How would you feel if you put in hours and weeks of hard work on your website only to find that it doesn’t even feature in the top 10 pages on Google? Indeed, organic search rankings can make or break a website. While there are numerous articles on the web explaining the standard reasons for low page rank, our article provides a comprehensive list of reasons beyond the SEO realm.
Your website is not worth it!
Imagine you’re a website that talks about beauty tips and sells beauty products online. Your serious customers are those who are looking for ‘beauty tips’ and ‘beauty products’. Needless to say, there are a gazillion number of sites that offer beauty tips. Do you have the punch to beat them all?
Imagine you’re a tech blog. Are you really talking about mind-boggling technological stuff? Do you cover major tech inventions, trends and insights?
If your website is value for money, Google and other search engines will put you right on top. Else, you’re lost in the crowd. Plagiarism is penalized – never ever resort to it. Unworthy content is the biggest reason for the failure of a website.
Too many third-party ads
You’ve been doing pretty well in the website business for a while now. One day you receive a nicely-crafted email from a genuine marketer. If you place their ad on your site – You’ll get a 5% commission every time a user clicks-through your link. Aha – You smelled easy money! You got greedy and welcomed too many advertisers on your site. What you didn’t realize is that you’re driving away traffic from your site way too easily! Mother Google watches this drama unfold for some time and decides to rank you lower.
You have a fantastic email promotion going on – You pop this message for each visitor – “Please enter your name and e-mail address to unleash the treasure”. It’s like shoving annoying marketing leaflets up their noses! Now why would they need your newsletter if they haven’t even spent 10 seconds on your site?The first time they click ‘No – thanks’; so you let them browse a few pages. Then comes a desperate pop-up, “Sign-up to continue. You’re only a minute away from the biggest treasure in your life”. You just lost 50% of your incoming traffic!And for the ones who fall prey, you tirelessly send emails and newsletters for years to come.
Let me tell you what happens next. Gmail and other email servers automatically filter your emails as “spam”. The emails that somehow escape spam fill up their inboxes so much that they cannot find the emails they really care about – They hit ‘Unsubscribe’! There goes your rank!
Lack of device optimization
In the age of smart phones and smarter brains, device optimization is important. Websites not optimized for mobiles and tablets; page taking too much time to load; images not optimized for device are all indicators that you care poorly for your online customers. Slow service is equivalent to no service in the online world. Invest in a good web designer and get your website up-to-date.
Healthy linking or no juice?
Do your pages and posts talk to each other and to other friendly web pages? Think what you’d do to keep users hooked onto your site – You’d help them navigate from page to page without making them want to leave your website. Excellent internal links are the key here.
You also need to provide ‘link juice’ to your users. For example, you could link to the source of the original content. This may be another website (ranking higher for that specific content).
Caution: Don’t overdo or under do cross-links, else Google penalizes your website! Also remember: Maintain your links. 404s (Page does not exist error) or 501s (server side error) are ugly for the visitors – They immediately move on to some other site.
SEO-worshiper or SEO-naïve?
Have you come across websites which follow every Search Engine Optimization (SEO) rule in the book – So much that the site itself does not make sense? And then there are other sites which are plain Jane and SEO-naïve.
Keywords, SEO titles, meta descriptions, alt descriptions, appropriate images and links, and good internal site structure are extremely important for bots to “crawl” your website. Get an SEO expert to work on some of these factors before you become visible to search engines.
Remember: SEO is only a catalyst to good ranking; your content (point #1) is the most important.
How good are your keywords?
Say, you’re a website dealing with beauty products. Are your keywords only generic, like “beauty products” or only specific, like “Himalaya Herbals Youth Eternity Night Cream”? Ideally, you should have a healthy mix of both. Use Google Analytics on your site to see which keywords are performing well on which web pages – choose the ones with longer “bounce rate” or better “click-through rate.” These indicate that users actually spent time on that product or even bought it. Keywords should be tightly coupled with individual web pages too. That way, search engines will learn to display your website to customers intelligently.