According to some recent internet data, there are currently more than 1.7 billion websites in the world.
And I can tell you from experience, 99.99% of websites don’t rank well on Google or other search engines.
That means when a user searches for a particular search term on Google or any of the other search engines, most websites don’t show up and as a result, miss out on potential new customers.
Now, if you’ve ever researched the complete list of Google ranking factors, you can be forgiven for thinking that ranking well is an impossible task.
But don’t be fooled, because it’s not as impossible as you think to rank well on Google or the other search engines.
Naturally, if you’re a small business or startup trying to compete in a highly competitive industry, especially on the international scene, you’ve got your work cut out for you.
But if you’re a local business, you can rank well on Google and the other search engines sometimes within a matter of days.
5 Reasons Why Your Website Does Not Rank Well on Google
The worldwide web is packed full of websites of all shapes, sizes, colours and styles. Some good, some bad.
Many companies choose to focus on making cool websites that are visually attractive and full of bells and whistles.
But visual websites and bells and whistles come at a cost, especially when they come at the expense of some very simple and important ranking factors.
(1) Slow Website Speed
If your website is slow to load then it will be impacting your search rankings and resulting in people spending less time on your website.
And that ultimately means lost revenue for your business.
As a rule of thumb, the pages on your website should take less than 2 seconds to load for it to be considered fast.
Personally, we aim to have all of our client’s websites loading in under a second on both desktops and mobiles.
Despite the cold hard facts of how important website speed is, most websites don’t come close to being fast enough.
A recent study highlighted that the average speed for websites in 2020 was 4.7 seconds on a desktop and a whopping 11.4 seconds on mobile.
Websites can be slow to load for a number of reasons including slow hosting providers, large images, poor website framework, too many flashy gimmicks and integrations and so on.
In most instances, you can improve the speed of your website with some simple and free changes if you have the resources or know-how.
If you’re interested in a free non-technical consultation on your website then feel free to request a free website audit from us today.
(2) Lack of Text
The number of words on the pages of your website is another important ranking factor for search engines.
We see way too many websites with too many images and very little text and it’s a really lazy habit that hurts the performance of a site.
You’ve got to remember that Google essentially sends a robot to your website in order to make sense of it, and if all you have is images with a bit of text, you make it very difficult for that robot to understand what your site is about and so it does not know what to rank it for.
You should be aiming to write at least 300 words per page as a minimum or more if you have the time, skills and knowledge.
The best performing websites tend to have in excess of 500 words per page and usually also have cornerstone content pages that consist of 1000 words or more, so don’t hold back.
So why not review each page on your website and use a word counter to calculate how many words they have.
If you find yourself struggling to write your own content then our copywriting services might be of interest.
Alternatively, if you’d like your text quality checked then our copyediting service is another option too.
(3) Missing or Poor Keyword Implementation
Keywords are words that are relevant to your business and the products and services you offer.
For example, if you’re a plumber in Manchester then ‘plumber manchester’ would be a relevant keyword and ‘boiler installation’ would likely also be a relevant one too.
Each page on your website should essentially have a keyword focus, which means it is focused on one or more relevant keywords.
This keyword should then be integrated into various elements of your page such as the page title, text and what’s known as the meta-title and meta-description.
The purpose of this is again to ensure that when Google or other search engines send a robot to crawl your website, it can easily understand what the pages relate to and index and rank them accordingly.
More importantly, your website needs to be user-friendly and easy to understand by a regular human being who is searching for you online.
Too many websites have very little or absolutely no keyword implementation at all. I’ve seen countless examples of websites showing generic page titles such as ‘Home’ or ‘Services’ with no other descriptive information.
Basic keyword optimisation isn’t rocket science, but it’s easy to get wrong and it does require a strategy if you want to get it right.
We follow a structured approach to all of our web design projects that includes advanced keyword research and technical SEO copywriting which integrates keywords into your text and all of the other relevant places.
If you’d like to know what keywords you’re ranking for already and how to improve your keyword performance then request a free website audit from us today.
(4) No Backlinks or Bad Backlinks
In order for Google and other search engines to judge the popularity of your website, it looks at what other websites link to your site.
These are what the industry calls backlinks.
For example, when I add a link like this one to a client’s website then that is a backlink from our site to theirs.
You can generate various types of backlinks from sources such as business directories, blogs or even social media profiles etc.
It’s actually quite easy but a little time consuming to generate backlinks to your website and not all backlinks are good ones, so you do have to be careful.
Every website is given something called a domain authority score which tells search engines how authoritative that website is.
The higher the score, the better.
In an ideal world, you’d have lots of backlinks from websites with a high domain authority score, but that’s very hard to achieve.
Instead, you should focus on getting backlinks from a variety of sources and avoid getting links from sites with a low domain authority score.
You should also avoid using any cheap link-building companies who offer to generate hundreds or thousands of backlinks for next to nothing because your site will get penalised and potentially get ranked much lower.
And trust me, it’s really difficult and extremely time-consuming to get rid of backlinks.
Check out our link-building services for more information on how to generate quality backlinks for your website.
(5) Missing SSL Security Certificate
The fifth, final and most irritating reason why your site might not be ranking on Google and other search engines is that you don’t have an SSL security certificate installed.
Having an SSL certificate on your website encrypts the site and protects your users from being potential misled or having their data breached when they enter private data via things like a blog comment or contact form.
The easiest way to know if a website is secure is to check if it has a little green padlock icon to the left of the website address in the address bar.
You can also test the site by adding https:// before the website address when typing it into your browser.
Most websites should re-direct automatically to the secure version but some sites might display both secure and non-secure versions depending on if the set-up has been done correctly or not.
Google introduced SSL as a ranking factor back in 2014 and it appeared to allow a generous grace period for websites to make the change, but that period has now ended and you can expect to see most non-secure sites losing rankings.
The reason this is probably one of the most annoying reasons why sites don’t rank well on Google is that it’s a really simple fix.
Many design agencies, domain and hosting providers charge a small annual fee for SSL certificates, but you can actually get a free SSL certificate from LetsEncrypt so there’s absolutely no excuse why any site shouldn’t have one.
If your website is either slow, lacking text, missing keywords or an SSL certificate then you are likely ranking lower on search engines than your competitors who have these things.
Honestly, I’ve seen some of the ugliest sites you can imagine ranking higher than others because they had these fundamentals in place.
If you personally built your own website and don’t have much experience then you can be forgiven, but if you paid a web design agency or other professional to do it then they’ve failed you.
It’s not easy or fast to get ranked well on Google by any means, but the least you can do is make sure you get the basics in place to give yourself a better chance of doing so.