You have just launched your website. It looks great, it has engaging content, and you are ready to serve an influx of visitors. A few days pass, and you realize your Website isn't ranking for its target keywords or any keywords at all. Why is this happening?
The basics of a good SEO strategy are somewhat simple: write engaging content that will attract your target audience to read, share, and build relevant links. However, in practice, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is much more of an art than a checklist. Search engine ranking takes a lot of time and skill. This is why it is important to consider investing in or assembling a digital marketing team.
Websites fail to rank for a variety of reasons. When you have just launched your Website, it's easy to overlook important elements and wonder where you have gone wrong. If you are sure you're writing content using on-page SEO Best Practices and you're still frustrated that you aren't getting any results, consider these possibilities below.
SEO is not an overnight process. It takes time to research, create, and implement an effective content strategy. Then, it takes even more time for Google to identify these changes have been made. Then you have to wait for the search engine to determine if your content adds value to internet users' queries.
According to an Ahrefs study, only 5.7% of all newly published pages will get to Google Top 10 within a year. The same study found that, on average, it takes anywhere from 2 to 6 months to rank in Google's Top 10.
SEO requires patience, strategy, and creativity. It's frustrating to have to take a "wait and see" approach, but when it comes to organic search, you have no control over the timeline as to when your pages may find their way to the first page of a relevant search query.
Let's face it. Some industries are more crowded than others, and some of your competitors might have a bigger marketing budget. For example, suppose your competitors publish fresh content three times a week and publish a blog article once every three months. In that case, your competition will cover topics quicker than you are and gain authority sooner.
The more competitive your target keywords are, the more SEO work it will take for your Website to reach the first page. In other words, the tougher the competition, the stronger your Website needs to be in order to rank on the first page.
If your Website isn't ranking for its target keywords, it could be that Google doesn't clearly understand the context of your content. Analyze your competitors using SEO software like SEOquake to understand how competitive a keyword is before creating content and building links. Then take time to read the relevant content that is ranking for that term. You may find it's easier to rank for a long-tail keyword with lower volume rather than a high volume, highly competitive word.
Google's algorithm is designed to recognize the most relevant and helpful results for any search keyword. If your content is short and simple, it may not be substantial enough for Google to recognize it as a relevant result.
You may want to consider beefing up your content by expanding its length and level of detail. If your content helps visitors learn more about your page's topic, it will help you rank. People will share content if it's useful. Content with real value will attract links from people who find it to be helpful.
If you're facing writer's block, you can quickly develop blog topics by completing a Google search for your keywords. Look at the People Also Asked questions and answer one or two. Remember, you're an expert in your field!
When we think about links, most people think about internal links. This is a key component of on-page SEO. You'll also need to look for opportunities to gain inbound links to help improve your domain authority.
Google's algorithm uses two factors to determine whether or not a page is the best result for any search keyword: relevance and approval. Relevance is determined using the topic of the page and the anchor text of inbound links. Approval is determined using the popularity of signals, such as the number of inbound links that point to the page and the value of the pages these links are on.
The more links your Website has and the higher the value and relevance of these links, the more it will be viewed as a relevant page by Google. More quality links can result in first page rankings for your Website.
Aside from the three possibilities highlighted in this post, numerous other factors may be why your website isn't ranking. There are so many things you can do to improve your search visibility. If you aren't ranking yet, you may need to give it a little more time, or you may need to make some serious SEO improvements. Either way, consider examining your situation and begin implementing changes that will improve your Website's visibility.
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Editor's Note: This article was originally published in November 2018, and has been updated with fresh content.
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