Why Isn't My Website At The Top Of Google?
Posted on 4th August 2021
If we had a pound for every time we’ve been asked this question, we’d be millionaires! Seriously, though, we know how important it is for your website to rank well on Google, especially if you’ve spent a lot of time, money and effort on creating and optimising the perfect online showcase for your business.
Websites don't rank on Google, web pages do
So, where do we start with this one? Well, first of all, you need to understand exactly how Google works – our last blog explains this in a nutshell. Next, you need to consider the fact that websites don’t actually rank on Google. Individual web pages do. This is a small but important point, which we’ll revisit below.
Now that’s out in the open, let’s take a look at some positive actions you can take to boost your Google rankings if you’re not happy with your current position.
1. Research your current position and keywords
Take a look at who’s actually competing with you in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) for your chosen keywords, as they might not actually be your ‘real’ competitors (i.e. they may not operate in the same industry sector or category). They’re still your rivals on Google, although you’ll need to think about them separately to your ‘real’ competitors.
If you’re up against large, well-established websites with deep pockets for Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, it will naturally be much harder for your own web pages to rank, and more expensive to run Google Ads campaigns for the same keywords and phrases used by the bigger players.
So, think laterally about the keywords and phrases you use. Try using synonyms for the more popular, expensive search terms (Google Algorithms are programmed to recognise these), such as ‘vacation’ instead of ‘holiday’. Or try to find some more niche words and phrases that will make it easier to rank, such as individual towns and boroughs instead of large cities, counties or regions. E.g. for ‘Nottingham’, you could try ‘West Bridgford’, ‘Beeston’, ‘Arnold’ and so on.
And it may sound obvious, but do some research to find out what your customers are actually searching for!
2. Take advantage of online business directories and review services
These are great for search engine optimisation (SEO), especially if you rely on local trade. As a minimum, claim your Google My Business listing and populate it with as much information as possible. That means full contact details, opening hours, service areas, business categories, photos and more – not just your business name and phone number! Encourage happy customers to leave you glowing reviews, as these are great for SEO.
Have a look around for other good quality local directories, too, and register on review sites as appropriate to your business, such as TripAdvisor, Which? or CheckATrade.
3. Check in with Google Search Console regularly
We love Google Search Console! It’s a fantastic service that troubleshoots your website’s Google ranking, telling you about any issues and even helping you fix them. Issues like slow site loading speeds, indexing problems, broken links, mobile usability and spam problems can quickly and easily be identified.
It’s a massive help when it comes to optimising your website to obtain the best possible ranking for your pages – and you can even use it to ask Google to re-index new or updated content.
4. Review your page titles and page descriptions
This harks back to our point about individual pages ranking on Google SERPs, not entire websites. In short, this means applying the same level of TLC when optimising your content to each and every page that you want to be indexed. First and foremost are your page titles and page descriptions, as these will tell the Google search ‘bots’ what each page is all about. So, make sure they accurately reflect the page’s individual content and contain relevant keywords (not least because this is the information people will see in the SERPs).
That doesn’t mean your front end content should be neglected, however. Make sure headings and sub-headings are optimised using relevant search terms and the right header tags, and take care to optimise links, images, photos, videos and anything else that will help the Google bots understand what the page is aiming to do.
5. Be compliant and secure
The two main points to note here are compliance with GDPR and site security (SSL) certificates. The former means having an up to date Privacy Notice on your website and compliant opt-in processes for signing up to newsletters, emails and other communications.
As far as security certificates go, these are important for SEO as they tell Google that any data entered into your website, such as contact or payment details, will be encrypted. You’ll know if you already have an SSL certificate as your URL will begin https:// instead of just http://.
6. Have a little patience!
Great Google rankings don’t happen overnight. It takes time for your web pages to find their natural ranking positions and 2-3 months for a new website to be indexed. And that’s just the beginning, as your competitors will have had a massive head start in terms of SEO activities.
Essentially, SEO and web page ranking is a medium to long-term investment that needs constant attention to keep the momentum going. That means regularly adding new content by sharing blogs and social media posts, setting up quality backlinks, and revisiting and updating your keywords periodically as consumer trends and preferences change.
Need help? Just ask it’seeze Web Design Nottingham
We are here to help propel your website up the Google rankings. We offer a choice of monthly services, SEO Boost and SEO Accelerate, and we can advise on the right kind of website designed to help your web pages perform to their very best. Get in touch today to find out more, or request a free website health check to get feedback on how your site’s doing at the moment.
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