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15 Reasons Your Site May Not Be Ranking On Google

One of the questions I get asked frequently is – “Why is my site not ranking on Google.”  This is a HUGE question and so many factors can play into this. So I am going to give you 15 reasons your site may not be ranking on Google in order of importance.
15 reasons your site may not be ranking on google

15 Reasons Your Site May Not Be Ranking On Google

#1 – Your site is not HTTPS

Google required everyone to switch from HTTP to HTTPS mid-2018. This is a non-negotiable at this point. If your site is still HTTP, call your hosting provider to make the switch. Most hosting providers are offering this upgrade for free.  How to tell if you are HTTPS?  Go to a browser tab and put in your site.  Look at the URL.  You will either see HTTP or HTTPS before your domain name. You might think this is old news, but I still run across sites that are HTTP.

#2 – You haven't submitted a sitemap to Google

While Google will ultimately find and index your site, help it out by submitting a sitemap through Google Search Console.
Google Search Console – WordPress
Google Search Console – Squarespace
You also need Google Search Console to monitor for errors and see what keyphrases are bringing traffic to your website.

#3 – Your website is not mobile-friendly/responsive

You may think your site is mobile friendly – but does Google? Here's their tool to test:
https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly
Results from my site:

If Google doesn't see your site as mobile-friendly/responsive, I recommend talking to your developer or finding a developer who can work with your site.  Google prioritizes mobile first, so if your site isn't mobile-friendly, it won't rank as well.

#4 – Does your site load quickly?

Google likes to see sites load in under 2.5 seconds. That's not to say that sites over that speed won't rank. Not at all. I've seen plenty of slow-loading sites do well. But do yourself a favor and get on top of site speed. Since Google controls the ranking algorithm, it makes sense to test your site speed using their free tools:
https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/feature/testmysite

and

https://pagespeed.web.dev/

Here are the results from my site speed test today. I know I have some large images on my site I need to take care of (and am holding on that while I create an image optimization training).

If your site page speed is over 10 seconds, that needs to be your priority.

#5 – Is Your Content/Website Fairly New?

SEO is a long-term game. You can't expect to post today and rank tomorrow – or even next week. Want to rank for a Christmas post? Probably should write it in September. Google needs time to find your content.  Let me say that again.  You cannot expect a post you just published to immediately rank.
Same for new sites/blogs. If you just launched your site, you truly cannot expect to immediately rank – but that doesn't mean you should give up on optimization. The longer you wait to optimize, the longer it will take to rank.

#6 Did you optimize your content?

This is the big one. How much time and effort did you put into optimizing your post or page? Aren't sure how? My SEO Checklist will help. There are things you should be doing before you even write the post and then again after you hit publish.

Note:  If you are on WordPress, download the free version of Yoast.

Meta descriptions and title tags are extremely important and fall under the optimization of content.  These aren't just for blog posts though – but for any page on your website that you are trying to rank.
Internal and external links are also a ranking factor and fall under optimizing your content.  Purchase my SEO Checklist and keep it handy every time you write a blog post or optimize an old post.

image optimization workshop

#7 – Competition

You may be in a crowded space trying to use popular keyphrases. How can you niche down?  How can you make your keyphrase more specific for your audience?  Or – how can you beat your competition?  Did you do your competitive research with your keyword research?
A 500-word post will rarely outrank a 1000+ word post.  A written post might not outrank a YouTube video.  This is why keyword research is critical. Most people skip this step or do it last.  I highly recommend doing your research BEFORE you start your post.

#8 – Quality content / length of post

You can no longer expect 300-word posts to rank. There's no set point for what a post needs to be – but think long-form content.
Gone are the days when you need to blog daily or in some cases even weekly.  Work on quality posts that are well optimized even if that means creating fewer posts over the course of the year.
My organic traffic increased over 350% in one year when I wrote less than 6 blog posts.

Instead, I focused on writing quality posts, optimizing a few old ones, and promoting the posts I had.

#9 – No social media activity / no optimizing for social sharing

My BIG pet peeve. Make your posts as easy to share as possible. Include social sharing buttons and make them highly visible not teeny tiny. Include a click to tweet – even if you don't use Twitter. Have a pinnable image – even if you don't use Pinterest. My favorite social sharing app is Social Warfare.
SEO doesn't stop after you hit publish – you must share your content.

Why is my site not ranking on Google? 15 reasons your site may not be ranking on Google.Click To Tweet

#10 – No backlinks

Definitely not something you have a lot of control over, but other sites linking to yours is extremely helpful.

Are you on a podcast?  Make sure they link back to your site?  Guest post?  Include some links to your site?  Directories for the industry you are in?  Sign up and link back to your website.

#11 – Poor website builder

I'm just going to ahead and say that WordPress is the most friendly SEO platform around with Squarespace a distant second. If you are on Wix, Weebly, etc. – you are going to have a hard time ranking. Is it possible? Yes. Will you have to work for it? Definitely.

#`12 – Are there any manual actions against your site?

Open up Google Search Console and look under Security & Manual Actions / Manual Actions. You will see if there are any against your site here. If you see any, these should be your priority.

#13 – Poor User Experience

This could include tons of ads (which will also slow your site down), annoying popups (try exit intent instead or embed your sign up), etc. You want to increase pages per session and time on site. Give people a reason to stay.  Link to other posts or freebies they may find relevant.  Longer posts typically equals longer time on site.

#14 – Choose keywords from Keyword Planner

Keyword Planner is an Adwords tools and it pretty much useless in my opinion. Do your keyword research on Google.com.

image optimization workshop

#15 – Worrying and Stressing about Things That Don't Matter

Something you don't need to worry about? Domain Authority or DA. This is a metric invented by a third party and Google does not include it in its ranking algorithm.  Stop focusing on it now and focus on your site and your content.

Don't worry about the competition number, number of searches, etc. These are just numbers and are mostly flawed.  People are looking for the product/service you sell or the information you are providing.  Period.  But you need to worry about what terms they are searching for.

It's not about what you want to rank for, it's about ranking for what your ideal client is searching for.Click To Tweet

These 15 reasons your site may not be ranking on Google may or may not apply directly to your blog/website but are good general guidelines of where to start.  The most important point is to not give up.  Search engine optimization does take time – but can bring you valuable new readers and clients.
Questions?  Contact me and let's chat.

 

Here are 15 reasons your site may not be ranking on Google.
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Emily | The Multitasking Mom

This is amazing!! Thanks so much

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[…] 15 Reasons Your Site May Not Be Ranking On Google – Ahh such great tips! […]

Mandy meaghan
Mandy meaghan
3 years ago

Wow what a great insight to this thanks

About Me

Welcome! My name is Glenneth and I live in beautiful East Tennessee. I wear many hats: CEO of The Visibility Method, SEO & Google Ads Expert, content creator, and more. I love technology, social media, and weight lifting. My favorite place to hang out is the hammock in my backyard. My favorite colors are pink and orange. My favorite team is the Vols. And I LOVE to get email so please drop me a note and say hi!

glenneth@thevisibilitymethod.com

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