We’re gradually heading into an era where failing to appear on Google’s front page is almost as bad as not appearing at all. The reason being that with each passing year, fewer people are bothering to look as far as page two – certainly no further.
So if it’s become apparent that your website isn’t ranking as strongly as it could be, what’s the reason?
The short answer…well, it could come down to any number of contributory factors – the following representing the most likely of all:
- Keyword competition
First of all, it’s worth remembering that the most obvious keywords rarely represent the best keywords for your website. The reason being that the more obvious the keywords are, the higher the competition you will face. Which in turn means that unless you are already something of a market leader in your field and can afford to invest massively in your marketing efforts, it’s highly unlikely you will overtake the competition in the SERP rankings.
- Insufficient content
Quantity cannot make up for quality, but you nonetheless need a solid amount of content on your website, in order for it to rank with any kind of prominence. Not only this, but you also need to ensure that your content is regularly updated and refreshed. Stagnant and generally thin content will never earn you the most lucrative rankings.
- Spam content
That said, the only thing worse than having little to no content on your website is having plenty of spam content. These days, not only do consumers in general respond very badly to substandard content, but so too do the major search engines. Once you’ve been detected as a spam artist, it’s pretty much game over.
- Technical problems
Make no mistake about it – problems behind the scenes can also cause problems with your rankings. Particularly in the case of things like page loading times, broken links and other common functional issues, these are all the kinds of things that can result in your site being penalised. Even if they are not particularly obvious to you personally, they could be doing you a disservice.
- You’ve been blacklisted
If you’re convinced you’ve done everything right and yet still seem to be fading into the background, you might want to check whether you have been blacklisted. Not that this is particularly easy to do, but if you suddenly dropped off the rankings for no apparent reason, it could be that Google picked up on something you were doing that it didn’t approve of.
- You’ve been hacked
Last but not least, there’s also the possibility – albeit a remote one – that you have been hacked. In some instances, competing websites resort to extreme measures to gain an advantage over the competition – one of which being to hack into them and deliberately tinker with their coding, in order to have them fall out of favour with Google. As mentioned, it’s a comparatively rare occurrence, but one that can and does sometimes happen.