Some companies still firmly believe that ranking higher will become easier as soon as they start spewing out more content than they normally do. Although quantity does matter when it comes to ranking and using content for SEO, quality and other factors are equally vital. That is why merely investing time and other resources in creating more content won’t help you earn those top spots in the search results if you aren’t mindful of other ranking factors. Neglecting your overall SEO strategy will not leave any room for your content to get the visibility it deserves, as magnificent as it might be.
To understand why your content isn’t ranking well and determine what might be going wrong with your current strategy, let’s cover the basics. The following reasons are some of the most prevalent among companies when it comes to ranking their content – if you recognize your situation, make sure to implement the most optimal solution and elevate your ranking over time.
The Loading Speed is Poor
Do website visitors have time to make a fresh batch of coffee and get a sandwich while your site loads properly? That alone is more than enough of a reason for your website’s content to get poor ranking – loading speed is a vital factor for today’s search engines to give you a top spot in search results. People are growing more impatient every day, and every second counts, so keeping them stranded and waiting for your content to load properly means relinquishing your top-ranking spot.
Take a look at your content and its structure. Have you chosen burdensome infographics that aren’t properly optimized? Are there too many elements on your site’s individual pages? What about intrusive pop-ups that interrupt the experience? Are the images on your site too slow to load because of their size? Always make sure that all content you publish is optimized and that it can load quickly on any device.
You’re Not Using Effective Security Protocols
Implementing the latest and search engine-approved security protocols is one of the most effective ways of letting search engines such as Google know that your site is safe for any visitor, that you safeguard their privacy and their data. Fail to implement the latest and the most relevant protocols, and your site won’t be sending the same signal to the search engines notifying them of your site’s safety and security.
For example, if you haven’t already migrated to HTTPS, make sure you understand the impact of HTTPS and similar protocols for the security of your site, and ultimately for its ranking. If your site isn’t configured properly with these security protocols in mind, you can hardly expect your content to get the visibility it needs to succeed.
Forcing Quantity Over Quality
A specifically content-related issue that will affect your ranking negatively is one of the most common problems businesses face without ever realizing it – emphasizing quantity instead of quality in their content output. As tempting as it might be to keep posting new blogs and focus on implementing as many links and keywords as possible, you need to focus on producing quality content of various formats.
- Consider how long your articles should be and how you can give them a unique angle – only by providing value can you signal search engines that you have something to offer to readers.
- Don’t limit yourself to articles. Expand into video creation, listicles, infographics, podcasts, and the like.
- Links and keywords do matter, but make sure that you pick reputable sources and that you don’t overdo it with keywords, otherwise Google will penalize you for it.
You’re Not Targeting the Right Keywords
Keywords are the bread and butter of SERP ranking and you need to ensure you’re trying to rank for the right ones, especially if your content isn’t ranking highly. If your website is relatively new, you probably have low domain authority. This means you will have trouble ranking for high-volume keywords because older and/or more renowned websites are given preference.
If this is the case, you need to start by optimizing your content to rank for easier keywords and building a good backlink portfolio. The latter will increase your DA and allow you to start ranking for more competitive keywords sooner.
Your Content isn’t Relevant to the Target Audience
User intent is crucial if you want your website to rank well. Considering how saturated with content everyone is, understanding what users want has never been more important. If your content doesn’t match their requirements, they’ll simply look elsewhere.
If your content has a high bounce rate, you may have an issue with misaligned user intent. This drives down your website’s SERP rank and can have a domino effect of making it less and less relevant. This ties back into optimizing for the right keywords as you need to understand what your audience is looking for and how they search for it.
To fix this, you need to do proper research and understand what people are looking for when they type something in their search engine of choice.
Mobile Optimization Issues
Your content might be a perfect reflection of your brand, it can be exceptionally informative, and it can give you the edge you need, but if you cannot read or watch it comfortably on a mobile device, you’re not going to get far. Considering that close to 60% of all Google searches come from mobile devices, it makes sense to presume that most of your own visitors will consume your content via their phones.
Google will rank your site based on its mobile version, treating it as the main version of your site. Before you continue publishing your content on a regular basis, you first need to address mobile optimization and ensure that all the content on your site can be visible and quick to load on handheld devices. Focusing on user experience in such a way allows you to help boost your ranking and your brand reputation in one fell swoop.
Contrary to popular belief, duplicate content doesn’t always equal plagiarized content. There are simply too many web pages covering the same topics, there’s no way they’ll all be unique. Sometimes, it’s a result of a mistake, and sometimes, the content is just similar, or they’ve used the same list of sources.
Even if it’s perfectly innocent, duplicate content never helps. Perhaps the wrong page gets ranked, or maybe none of them do because Google can’t decide which one is more relevant. Even in the best-case scenario, it’ll probably end up making your page less visible to its intended audience and could explain why your content isn’t ranking.
So be on the lookout for duplicate content and flag it where possible. If you have multiple pages covering similar information, try consolidating them into one or use meta tags to mark the canonical version.
From various technical issues to the manner in which you tackle content creation and publishing, your entire SEO strategy should be tailored to give your content a better chance to succeed and rank higher on Google and other search engines. Get to know the potential problems with your content ranking and then proceed to find the most optimal solution to keep your brand visible and authoritative. Above all, conduct regular SEO audits and ensure that your content strategy doesn’t suffer as a result of an SEO-related issue, and you’ll be able to establish trust among your target audience, too.
Elaine Bennett is a digital marketing specialist focused on helping startups and small businesses grow. She’s a regular contributor for Bizzmark Blog and writes hands-on articles about business and marketing.