Why isn’t your site ranked well on Google?
I had a meeting with a new client who has had a website for well over a decade. In that time Google has indexed nearly 100 pages of content from their site and assigned them a PageRank 4 on their 0-10 scale (an excellent ranking for a small business). So why, they asked, is it so hard to find their site on Google?
Maybe I’m an idealist who puts a little too much faith the the Google meritocracy but in my opinion, if you are not ranked well on Google, it’s probably because you don’t deserve to be.
So here are three questions to ask yourself in trying to figure out why you’re unhappy with your search engine rankings:
1. Have I made my website Google friendly?
First, try to unlearn the myths and mistruths that you’ve been told about Search Engine Optimization, also known as SEO, over the years and ask yourself honestly how familiar you are with SEO. But never fear, there’s no need to try to become an expert overnight: Google has a really simple, plain-English SEO starter guide that will teach you lot. But here are some quick guidelines
- That your site has unique and well-written title and description tags
- That your site is easy to navigate
- That you site is safe and secure
- That your site loads quickly
- That your site is responsive or mobile friendly
2. How well-curated is my site?
How often is it updated? How frequently do you post content? A five-page site you posted in 2007 and never updated is, by just about any standard, less valuable than a 75 page site that is meticulously curated and updated every week. Yes, that sounds like a lot of work, but consider that a solid blogging strategy will do most of your website marketing for you. A blog post a week creates more than 50 pages a year of original, current, high-quality content.
3. Am I pursuing the right keywords?
Let’s say I’m the owner of a small software widget consulting firm. Getting ranked on the first page of Google for “software widget consulting” will be difficult because the search is too broad… I’m competing with EVERY widget consulting firm if that’s my goal. So, very often it helps to narrow focus — this is the “long tail” you’ve heard so much about. Consider refining your keyword terms to include either a specific geography, specialty or, if applicable, both. It’s easier to be a big fish in a smaller pond than a big fish in a huge ocean.