Once you have your website designed and built, there’s a great chance for increased income, exposure to your audience, and business growth.
However, if your site cannot be found at all or is not being considered for ranking by the search engines, it can become a frustrating exercise in futility. Beautiful, functional websites suddenly become paper-weights and those yucky looking old time sites are out-ranking you. Can it be corrected? Yes, it can. Here’s a list of a few common reasons that sites won’t rank and how to correct them, as well as a few suggestions on how to properly prepare your website for listing with the search engines.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of tips to prepare your site for ranking, however, it might give you an idea of where to start until you find the SEO that’s right for you. Let us know if we can help!
The best thing to do first when preparing your site for ranking is to decide on your favorite top keyword or key phrase. This is what MOST people will type into a search to find your site’s products or services. This is not necessarily an easy task! You can put yourself into the shoes of your audience to imagine what they would type in and try a few to see which get the most returns or use a keyword planner. Make note of your top ten competitors. They’re the first ten listings (under the ads) on Google. Make sure your website’s title, description, <h1> tag and text mention your keyphrase. Don’t just stuff it in without context! Google’s AI is intelligent enough to work out sentence structure and grammar. The best thing to do is to talk naturally on your page about the subject matter, using the keyphrase naturally in proper context. Never copy your competitors. Duplicate text and plagiarism is something that Google will instantly detect and it will render your site unrankable.
Use real content. Ensure that your keywords match the product or service that you’re offering exactly. In other words, don’t claim keyword “Nike” and then only offer sandals. Google loves offering searchers the best content, so the more applicable and relevant the content is on your pages for your keyphrase, the better. I recommend having at least five hundred words per page but preferably two thousand. Yes, per page! The text should include and be relevant to your key phrase for that page (all pages’ key phrases should be relevant to the main key phrase of the site’s genre) and should also feature at least two images per page. The images should be genre specific and should contain the key phrase or related keywords within their alt tags.
Don’t go overboard using the same phrase for every page. Use relevant and related keywords on inner pages. In fact, the best thing to do is just type as you would talk naturally about your product or service. Even related phrases and concepts are counted for adding weight to your relevance. Duplicate content is not ranked whether it’s copied from someone else or your own pages. Google AI is specifically designed to find the best content available for the person who is searching, so try to make it as valuable and as relevant as you can.
Frames, free websites, front pages with image(s) only, or just a link that leads somewhere else will not normally rank. Avoid using old coding. If your site was built in the dark ages and it’s not responsive to mobile devices, has broken links, broken images, deprecated code, etc. it will not rank. There comes a time when change is good and a bright new site will feature not only increased functionality but also up to date coding with a responsive framework. About 60% of your site’s visitors will arrive on some sort of mobile device. If everything on your page shrinks really small on a smartphone or only the top left corner is visible, it’s time for a rebuild.
Keep your content fresh. Use a blog to feature new news and announcements or tips that are beneficial to your unique audience. Spread the value by sharing on social media channels with a link back to your website. Always type out your domain name as a link to your site on every post and do your best to mix things up. Don’t always post ads. This is about building a relationship! Post a few memes, tips, or valuable articles too and spread the posts out to no more than once per week or so to keep recipients from feeling spammed. Encourage sharing since mentions of your site on social channels can boost your rankings.
Using analytics to determine how to cater to your unique demographic can also help you engage your visitors and increase traffic and conversion. Design and direct to your own unique audience to overcome high bounce rates.
Again, this is not an exhaustive list, but by starting your new site out with these suggestions, your site will be in pretty good shape and will be ready for more rigorous SEO work by a professional. Who knows, you might even out-rank a few competitors! Let us know if we can help. We wish you the best success!