I’ve been where you are. You do everything you know about SEO, and you even manage to make your website look amazing.
But it’s just that thing that keeps nagging you because people are still not able to find you on Google. And the worst part is, if people can’t find your website online, you will not get any inquiries or sales.
Just like any other company out there, you might be asking “What would I have to do to get my website on the 1st page of Google?”
That is important because Google is the biggest search engine in the world. And obviously, that makes it the search engine that provides the most amount of traffic to websites in the world.
And because of that, it is important for your website to rank on the 1st page of Google.
After doing SEO for businesses for half a decade, I have found that there are at least 5 reasons that your website is not ranking well in search results. And with those 6 things, I’m also offering the solutions so you can rectify them and see your website leapfrog its way to page 1.
So if you want to know exactly what you have to do on your website so that it gets moving in the right direction, this is the place where you should be.
And without any further ado, lets jump right into it.
You Simply Have Too Much Competition
Let’s be honest, there are some industries that have a 100x more competition than others. And it is possible that the websites you see on page 1 might have a huge marketing budget to spend on SEO. And if you do have a similar budget, you might not be able to outrank them, or even compete with them in the first place.
This could be the biggest reason why you are not ranking on page 1 for your target keywords.
What can you do about this?
Let’s say that your target keyword was “3 piece suits for sale.”
Look at the competition that you will be facing for this keyword.
You will be competing with huge brands like Mens Wearhouse, Mens Suit Habit, Marks and Spencer, etc. These are all huge organizations that have a ton of money to throw on marketing campaigns. And the chance of you outranking them is slim to none.
And that is why we must take a different approach to things.
We need to start segmenting the marketing.
What do I mean by that?
I mean that instead of ranking nationally for a keyword like “3 piece suits for sale”, you could choose to rank for something easier and with less competition like “3 piece suits for sale in Boston.”
You can start segmenting your market by location. And if you target a smaller geographical area, it will be easier for your rank for that location.
Moreover, people would rather choose to buy from a local brand than a huge chain.
If you want to get really creative with your segmenting, you can go for something like “3 piece suits for men over 40.”
You will be shocked to see how less of a competition there is for keywords like that.
So, instead of directly going for the Goliath of your market, practice your shots on smaller segments of that market and build up from there.
Remember, SEO is like chess. You have to build up the strength of your website and dominate searches one-by-one. Until you surround the King and win the game.
Your Website Has Not Been Indexed By Google
If you have recently registered a website, then it is possible that Google hasn’t listed it yet.
So how do you find out if your website has been indexed/listed or not?
You can use a search operator/prefix in your Google search to find that out.
Type site:yoursite.com (without the www. And “/”)
If you can see your website in the search results and your website is showing at the top, then you have nothing to worry about. Once your website is indexed, you will see a list of all the pages of your website that are indexed by Google.
But if you cannot see your website, then that means Google has not indexed your website.
How Do You Get Your Website Indexed In Google?
In 90% of the cases, Google automatically finds the website and indexes them. But that does take a little bit of time. In some cases, it can take a few weeks for Google to find and index your website.
But do not worry. There is nothing wrong with your website. It just takes Google a bit of time because there are literally billions of websites that are freshly crawled every day. And so it can take a bit of time to go through all of that.
But if you want to make this process go a bit quicker, you can add your website to the Google Search Console and submit your website sitemap.
This will let Google know that it has to crawl your website. And usually it can take anywhere from 24 to 72 hours to complete crawling and you will be able to see your website indexed.
Non-Mobile Friendly Website
This is a big issue.
About 2-3 years ago the overall mobile usage of Google had overtaken desktop usage and this is the reason why having a mobile-optimized website is so crucial to rank higher in Google.
If you currently do not have a mobile-optimized website, it is possible that Google will not index your website.
If you don’t have a mobile-optimized website, you should at least have a mobile “responsive” website.
What do I mean by a Responsive website?
It means that your website should be easy to use on devices like a smartphone or an iPad. There shouldn’t be a lot of dragging and pinching involved while browsing your website.
If the desktop version of your website is showing up on these devices, then again, Google will not index your website.
How do you find out if your website is mobile responsive?
Google has made it very easy to find out if your website is mobile responsive or not.
All you have to do, is head on over to Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool and enter your website URL.
It will take a couple of tests to check the responsiveness of your website.
If it is mobile responsive, you will pass the test.
How do I make my website mobile responsive?
If you hired a web designer to design your website from scratch, then you can ask them to make it mobile responsive for you. It is possible that they might charge an extra fee for that. So make sure that you ask them about it beforehand.
On the other hand, if you are using WordPress, you can install a WordPress theme that is mobile responsive and you will be good to go. Alternatively, if you really like a WordPress plugin, then you can choose to buy the premium version of that plugin that is mobile friendly and you will be all set.
Those two will be your best case scenarios.
In the worst case scenario, you will need to convert an old website into a new one while ensuring that it is mobile optimized.
In that case, it is always best to spend a little more and get a fresh design.
At the end of the day, you want to make sure that your website is mobile optimized or mobile responsive to ensure that it is indexed in Google.
Under-Optimized Title Tag and Meta Description
You might not know this, but search engines use different tags to identify the topics of the website and what it is about. Every page of your website has a Title tag and a Meta description tag.
These tags can be optimized in a way so that they let the search engines know what those pages are about.
Once you optimize these tags, you will notice that those exact words show up in the search results as well. And that’s the reason why it is so important to optimize them. So you can control what shows up in the search results.
How Can You Check Your Meta Data?
There are a couple of ways you can do that.
For instance, you can use this tool that will make a list of all the pages on your website along with their meta tags. All you will have to do is copy and paste the URLs of which you want to check the meta-tags and it will give you exactly what Google sees.
If you are using a Content Management System like WordPress, then updating the title and meta tags will be super easy. All you will need to do is install an SEO plugin. Yoast SEO is the most famous one and the easiest one to use by far.
This plugin will let you change the meta tags on the same page as you write your content. That makes the whole thing easier than ever.
How to write better Title Tags
Now that you know how to change your meta tags, now is the time to know how you can write better title tags (I will be talking about meta descriptions in a minute).
I see a lot of people writing title tags like this: 3 Piece Suits | Sale | Boston | Cincinnati
That’s the worst way to write a title tag. It is not the best way to optimize that page for humans. And Google wants their visitors to have the best browsing experience ever.
Do you think that people would click on that title if they saw it in the search results?
Or would they click on something like this: Best 3 Piece Suits on Sale in Boston Massachusetts
I bet that they will click on the latter. Because it tells them exactly what they will find on your page. And Google will love that title as well for the same reasons.
How to write better meta descriptions
Google has stopped counting the meta description as a ranking factor, but it will help you increase your click-through rate.
The meta description gives you an opportunity to give more information about your title and further entice the visitor to click on your website.
Why not capitalize on that chance and increase your click-through rate and possibly your conversions and sales?
A great way to write the meta description is to include your contact details and a call to action. This will make it easier for people to decide and click. And if not, it is possible that they end up calling you instead.
That’s even better.
In my personal experience, high-quality content the distinction between a website that is ranking on page 1 and the website that is stuck on page 5 and is not able to move.
Remember, Google loves high-quality content. And if your website does not have that, then it is possible that your competitor might. And they will rank higher than you.
Not just that, I see people just throw away their hard earned money. They spend thousands of dollars on the development of the website, and they hardly spend any money on getting high-quality content on it.
I personally recommend that you have at least 300-500 words of content on every page of your website. This lets Google know what that page is about and shows that the page is valuable for that particular topic.
If you have content of fewer than 300 words, then the chances of that pages ranking are very slim.
How do you check the word count on a page?
If you are using WordPress, then it is very simple. You can see the word count of your content below the content area. This word count excludes your title.
But, if you want to know the total word count on the entire page, not just the article that you will be posting, then you can use this tool for that.
Again, you want to make sure that you have at least 300-500 words on each page. That is not a strict limit, but I have tested that limit on my client websites and have gotten good results.
However, feel free to write long-form content as well. The longer the content, the better it will be for you. And also Google will consider your website more authoritative.
That is why you will see that on this website, a lot of my articles average over 1000 words.
How can you fix the low-quality content issue?
Well, there are a couple of ways you can go about it.
First, you can write the content yourself.
This will take a lot of your time especially if you have a ton of pages on your website. You will also need to do a lot of research if you don’t already know about the topic.
Alternatively, you can hire a copywriter or a content writer and they can write the content for you.
This depends on how much you are willing to spend. If you want higher quality content, it is likely that you will have to spend more.
Zero Social Media Activity
These days Google is looking all over the place to find out if people love your website or not. And one of the ways it finds that out is by checking if your website has any social media activity going on.
If people are talking about your website, then chances are that they like your website and they are recommending it to their friends. And Google will pick up on that and rank you higher.
But if you do not have any social media activity going on, then chances are that your website is not liked by a lot of people. Or it is not famous enough to rank on page 1.
Remember, Google only wants to list the famous, high-quality, amazing websites on page 1. If your website is not one of them, then it will not rank high.
In a way, if you notice, this is a popularity contest. You want to show Google that your website is great, popular and it hangs around great people. And so Google will rank you higher.
I know that seems shallow, but that’s how all the search engines in the world work.
So, it’s better to take advantage of the knowledge you have than to feel bad about it and do nothing.
Apply these tips right now and see how quickly your website will climb rankings in the search results.