Three reasons your website isn’t ranking

Not sure why your website isn't ranking? Here are three things I check when I'm not seeing the rankings expected.

Matthew James Oxlade
Updated on

Are you finding that no matter what you do, your website isn’t ranking in Google search? It’s frustrating, I know. It’s even more frustrating when you feel like you’ve done everything right and followed everything to a T, but your website isn’t ranking. I totally get your frustration. Sometimes it’s something major you’re doing wrong or not doing, other times it just requires some simple tweaking to get your site showing higher up in the rankings.

I’ve put together a list of things contributing to your lack of search rankings and ways to overcome it so you can get back in the game and getting your website out there again.

1. You are using oversaturated keywords that are just too challenging to compete with

This one is a really common mistake so don’t beat yourself up about it. Sometimes we have a keyword in mind that we really want to use but often this keyword is overused and competing with it is a waste of your time. This is especially true for when you’re just starting out. You don’t want to be competing with other sites that have more time, resources and authority up their sleeves than you. You will lose.

You should start off with keywords that are less competitive and more in your reach. Once you start using less cutthroat keywords, you’ll find that it’s a lot easier to get leverage over other sites. Once you start to gain traction through these, work your way up and target more competitive keywords when you’re website starts to expand and you have more resources on your side.

If you’re not sure what your keyword difficulty is, you can use Ahrefs, SEMrush or Google Keyword Manager.

2. Your content is not as good as you thought (ouch)

Now, hear me out! I know this sounds insulting, but it’s really not that bad.

Whether your content is good or bad, it needs to meet the expectations of users. This really has nothing to do with the content itself, more about the size of your articles, using too many filler words or keeping your articles too short. You can’t make these 3,000 word Frankenstein articles that have random keywords thrown in there. Your content needs to be captivating, interesting and have a good number of words that leaves your audience wanting more.

The best way to make sure you’re content is captivating and not putting people off is to look at your competitors and what they do. From this, you can see the types of content they share and get an idea of which word length, format and style content tend to excel.

website isn't ranking

3. Your website isn’t a fun place to be

One of the most important things about your website design that unfortunately gets overlooked is the user experience. When you visit a website, you automatically start ‘judging it’ and the first impression can be vital. That’s why you want to make sure that people enjoy visiting your site because you want them to want to come back. Using Google analytics can be a great way to see what works and what doesn’t on your site.

Google Analytics allows you to measure user experience by looking at key metrics such as time on site, the bounce rate of these visitors as well as return rate of these visitors. These tools can be great for you to adjust your site when needed.

For example, did you just tweak your site by adding pop-ups? Check your analytics! Did you just change your content or writing style? Check your analytics! Did you make your page very sales based? Check your analytics! This should give you a great insight into what users are expecting or want to see and you can adjust accordingly. Your website rankings will take a little while to change based on what you altered, so wait a while to see if your website isn’t ranking before you worry too much.

Getting your page ranked can be tricky at the best of times, but there are certain steps you can take to give yourself the best possible chance. By targeting ‘easier’ keywords, making sure your content is on point and making your site user friendly are just some of the ways you can tackle Google and fix an issue where a website isn’t ranking.