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don’t surrender! reasons why you’re not ranking in 2023

is your website not ranking in 2023? there are usually plenty of reasons to choose from

Your site is not ranking and you can’t seem to figure it out, right? I know it can be frustrating and confusing, especially if you’ve put great effort toward this SEO stuff. So where is the payoff you were promised??

Before I begin, I want to speak directly to those over anxious people for a moment. Did you just launch your site with a newly registered domain name? Calm down, will ya? This stuff isn’t as instant as it may appear to be. Especially if you’re site is in even a little bit of a competitive market. It’s like dating for the first time. Google has to get to know you first, take you to lunch, introduce you to a few friends. Google has to make sure that you’re for real, going to last a while, and worth the time and effort.

Website not ranking? Maybe it's too new.
Website not ranking? Maybe it’s too new – or drunk – like this newborn infant.

So, if you’re website is simply too new, do yourself a favor and try using some free seo tools for small businesses. They can help you to study SEO tactics and your own website. They’ll easily tell you when there are things holding your site back from not ranking on Google and other search engines. Keep working at your site with well-written (and well-researched) content.

cheating because of not ranking just isn’t worth it
Google knows all the tricks…or figures them out quickly. Resist shortcuts and take the time to build for the future of your company’s online success. If cheating (it’s called Black Hat tactics in the biz), Google could really hurt your chances of ranking…big time.

hard work with a chance of sudden drop off

Okay, back to the rest of you with websites that have struggled to rank – recently and possibly for years. I’ve had plenty of clients and strangers ( telling me that their website used to get tons of regular traffic. Naturally, they thought it would last forever. Surprise! Google’s approach has become more and more sophisticated over the years. Each of Google’s algorithm updates has the potential to knock you back to earth and make you work harder.

That’s why it pays dividends to have dedicated SEO help, an employee, or even yourself. Someone who stays on top of this ever-changing SEO rulebook. Trust me, it’s way easier to make simple adjustments along the way. Way better than having to completely overhaul your entire website…seemingly at Google’s whim.

There can be many factors – even combinations of factors – that can impact your website not ranking on Google. I’ve listed some of the more common reasons why your site might not be showing up in 2023.

not ranking can be super frustrating, so make sure it’s not your own fault

These issues I’ve listed below can easily be missed by site owners. Especially if you’re new to this SEO game-of-thrones-like situation we’re all in. It could be as simple as not having a properly formatted sitemap. If you haven’t started using a plugin (look at me assuming that your site is on WordPress) to help manage your SEO. Two great ones with free versions are Yoast and AIO (All In One). They both will create a solid sitemap for you – automatically and for free. They are worth their paid versions as well, in my opinion.

quality of content issues

The content on your website is one of the most important factors that Google considers when ranking sites for possible inclusion. Your content may be poorly written, lacks depth or isn’t relevant to the keywords you’re targeting. If so, it’s unlikely that Google will rank your site very high. In fact, it may hurt your chances. To improve your content, make sure it’s well-written, comprehensive, and relevant to your targeted audience.

not enough quality backlinks

Backlinks are links from other websites that point to your site. Google views backlinks as a sign of credibility and authority – only if the site giving the backlink is also credible. If your site doesn’t have many backlinks, it may be signaling Google that your site isn’t considered trustworthy. To increase your backlinks, consider reaching out to other websites in your niche and offering to collaborate or guest post. Acquiring 10 backlinks from sites with high DA (domain authority) are better than 100 junk backlinks. Remember that.

poor website structure could be why you’re not ranking

If your site isn’t structured properly, it can be difficult for Google to understand the content and relevance of your site. Google’s bot will move on to the next website. This can result in lower rankings or even exclusion from search results altogether. To improve your site’s structure, make sure it’s easy to navigate and has a clear hierarchy of pages and categories. Site visitors should be able to get to what they are looking for in 3 clicks or less.

Your site not ranking? Ready to surrender? Take a break and rock out to this Cheap Trick (live in japan) “Surrender” video. You’re welcome.

your site is still not ranking…just when you thought you had a handle on this seo thing

slow website load speeds

If your site takes a long time to load, it can negatively impact your ranking on Google. Slow page load speeds can also increase your bounce rate, which can hurt your ranking even further. To improve page load speeds, consider optimizing images and using a content delivery network (CDN) (ask your host provider). Minimizing the number of plugins and scripts on your site will also help.

content is repeated – content is repeated – content is repeated

Duplicate content refers to information that appears on more than one page of your site. Google penalizes sites that have a lot of repeated content. It’s important to make sure that your content is unique and original. Use tools like Copyscape (a plagiarism detector) to find for duplicate content on your site.

stuffing the keywords like you’re stuffing a turkey

Using relevant keywords on your site to help Google understand what your site is about is great form. Overusing keywords can actually hurt your ranking. The proper term is “keyword stuffing” and it refers to the practice of using a large number of keywords on a single page. Come on, the content writing is unnatural. Instead, use keywords naturally and sparingly, and focus on creating high-quality content that provides value to your readers. Google sees that as much more valuable to its users.

Is your site frustrating mobile device users?
Is your site frustrating mobile device users? If it is, it could be the reason your site is not ranking like it should.

is your ‘not ranking’ website frustrating people who are on the go?

your website is not mobile-ready

It’s no surprise that more and more people are accessing the internet on their mobile devices. For years now, Google prioritizes mobile-friendly sites in its search results. If your site isn’t mobile optimized, it may not rank as highly. Make sure your site is responsive and mobile-friendly. You may even consider implementing AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) to improve your site’s mobile performance.

technical issues abound

You own or run a local business that you want to appear in local search results (like Google Map Pack). If so, it’s essential to provide accurate and complete business information on your website. This includes your business name, address, phone number, and hours of operation. Inaccurate or incomplete information can lead to lower search rankings or exclusion from local search results altogether.

your domain lacking authority may be why a website is not ranking

While social media doesn’t directly impact your website’s search rankings, it can indirectly affect your ranking. Driving traffic to your site from social media will increase your site’s visibility. If your website doesn’t have a strong social media presence, you may be missing out on potential traffic and visibility. Consider creating profiles on popular social media platforms and sharing your content with your followers. Regularly. Yay, more work!

is your content written for those you were intending to attract?

your content is not aligned with searcher intent

It’s important to remember that ranking on Google is a highly competitive endeavor. Even if you diligently optimized your site for search engines, you may still struggle to rank. You may be competing against well-established and high-authority sites in your industry. It may be necessary to focus on building your brand and reputation for the long term rather than expecting quick results. Consistently creating high-quality content and building relationships with other sites in your niche can help you establish your site as a trusted source over time. Learn more about how this approach is not only smart for SEO, it’s smart for your business.

Her site was not ranking. Amelia now lives at the office.
Amelia’s company website was not ranking. That was 9 days ago. She’s wearing the same clothes and has spent $10,000 on Grubhub. She stopped answering her phone days ago, so her family filed a missing person report with the local authorities. (This was all made up…for the laugh)

there’s never a conclusion to seo work, but there is to this article

As you’ve probably surmised by now, this not ranking thing can become an all-consuming part of your life. Just try and have a life, okay? Say hi to your children every once in a while. Make sure you shower occasionally and get outside to have some sun on your skin for five minutes, will ya?

I’m half kidding.

One of the free SEO tools I’ve mentioned before is Google Analytics. Make sure you create a new account STAT and get your site in there (see their simple instructions). The longer Google Analytics is gathering real-time and actual data, the better you will notice patterns and areas that require even more of your attention.

don’t worry, this article about not ranking is still ending soon…promise

Use the big SEO tools you hear about to help you. By addressing common reasons for not ranking, you can improve your site’s visibility. You can also increase your chances of attracting more organic site traffic. Do yourself a favor and focus your efforts on creating high-quality content, building backlinks and improving your site structure. Optimize your page load speeds, avoiding duplicate content and using keywords naturally and sparingly.

With time and effort, you may actually spend time with your significant other, see your friends and maybe even eat a meal at an actual dining table! Nah, just kidding. This junk never ends. Lol…

In all seriousness, it’s a lot of work, but you’ll keep learning. Once you see some SEO success because of things that YOU did, it can be extremely satisfying. Hopefully profitable for you and your business, too.

please note: I will be constantly updating this article as I find new information, change my mind, or if I hear feedback that I haven’t thought of. I’ll also update this article if I think of ways to improve it. Keep checking back. Share this article with those who you think could use the help and please write your comments and questions below. It could help me…and others.

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