There are many tools out there to help you optimize your website content. Sometimes well-written content can struggle to get the top of the search engine. I mean, it isn’t magic! If your SEO plugin is giving you the “Green Light” that doesn’t guarantee it will soar to the top of the ranks. Even though it seems like your content is optimized, there may be a few reasons holding you back from the cherished first page!
There are some obvious reasons why your content may not rank well. Poor formatting, poorly written content, not enough content, not promoting your content and overall structure of your content can all be contributing factors. But, there may be other reasons your blog isn’t ranking.
Too much keyword competition
You need to carefully decide which keyword or topic you are trying to optimize for. If you are focusing on a very competitive keyword then it will instantly be more difficult to compete in the search engines. Google will tend to favour the more established, high traffic websites with strong backlinks.
Do your research before writing the content for a webpage or a blog. Google the keyword and research which sites rank highly. Are they high authority sites that are well established? If so, then you can optimize all you want but that won’t be enough to crack page one.
Build your online reputation and authority before tackling these highly competitive keywords. Instead, focus on more specific topics and use long-tail keywords. Focusing on localized keywords is another way to stand out in your area from the National brands. Instead of writing about “Pet Sitting” optimize for “Pet Sitting in [Your City]”.
Use a tool like UberSuggest to find related long-tail keywords that will get you more exposure. Although this strategy requires significant long term effort, it will pay off in the end. If you need help with your content marketing, you can check out our monthly plans.
Too many technical issues
If your page or post doesn’t show up in the search engines at all, then you have a big problem. This means Google is having trouble indexing your site. You should be using Google Search Console to monitor your website to ensure there are no issues impacting how Google crawls your site. It is important to use only one SEO tool so avoid plugin conflicts that may confuse Google. If all of a sudden your site is no longer ranking, you may have been hacked.
Website maintenance is very important as it can act as insurance for your website. Maintenance plans can monitor issues flagged by Google Search Console, warn you about changes to your website and perform updates and clean spam. If you don’t have a security plugin installed on your website, we recommend taking this first step right away!
Improper internal linking structure
Site structure is an integral part of any SEO strategy. Your site structure is what helps Google understand your website as it crawls. Even with a modern site design, if you have poor site structure you will have a hard time climbing to page one. If your website is well optimized with awesome content but lacks proper internal linking, you are hurting yourself.
This is why our blog packages come strategically embedded with relevant internal and external links. This strategy not only helps Google understand how your content relates to other pages, but it adds value for your readers.
Start adding links! All of your pages should have a strategically planned navigation bar with a sticky header. Review each page and post on your website and add at least one internal and one external link. But, don’t just randomly add links. Links should be relevant and related to your topic. When linking to external sources, stick with high reputation sites and/or local websites.
Few backlinks to your website
Link building is one of the toughest, but more important, SEO strategies. The more high-quality backlinks pointing to your site, the higher your authority will be with the search engines. Even if your content is perfectly optimized, you may have difficulty ranking high without those backlinks.
Get backlinks. If you aren’t collecting organic backlinks, you may need to start reaching out to other websites. Start locally by asking for site mentions on websites that refer their clients to your service. Writing a guest blog post and adding your business to local and industry directories can also help you increase your domain authority.
Never pay for backlinks or accept payment for links.
Wrong keyword or search intent
You may have a great piece of content, but if you are using different terminology than what people are actually searching for, your content won’t rank. You must understand the reason someone is searching for when writing your content. Are you answering their question? Solving their problem? Looking for your business specifically?
Or, are they doing research for someone to care for their pets when they are away? Will they land on your blog to find tips to house train their new puppy? Understanding search intent will help Google understand when to display your page as a search result.
For example, you want to rank for dog training services so you optimize a page for [training your dog] with transaction intent in mind. You want local people looking to pay for your services to land on this page, BUT it may display for people looking for do-it-yourself training tips. So people landing on your page may want a guide, not services.
Adapt your content strategy, since you can’t change a user’s intent. Check the search engine results pages for the query and adjust appropriately. If you notice most results are for informational intent, then write informational content.
Giving potential clients reliable information can help your brand stay top of mind if they need your services in the future. You never know, they may decide to skip the do-it-yourself training and hire a professional after they read your blog!
If your well-optimized content doesn’t seem to be ranking well it is important to reflect and review your analytics. You may be able to improve your rankings by adjusting your site structure or you may need to adjust your strategy to avoid high competition keywords.
Keep in mind, SEO is a long-term strategy that requires an investment of time and patience.
Erika Godwin is the President of Barketing Solutions and the Co-Founder and CMO of ProPet Software, an industry-leading kennel management software. Erika has over 8 years of experience with WordPress and graduated from Elmira College in 2009 with a BS, Business Administration- Marketing and Management.