5 Reasons Why Your Site isn’t Ranking in Google
Sometimes even small changes can make a big difference in getting traffic through the SERPS.
1: Your content doesn’t connect with visitors
Buyers want to be heard, understood and helped. Most of all, they need to feel they can trust the content on your website or they will leave.
If your content is nothing but, “We are the BEST! Buy from US!” Then why would anyone trust it?
If the end goal of your site is to make sales, start by writing about these topics in an informative, helpful, non-salesly manner:
Pricing and comparisons – be the source that gives them the prices and specs on not only your product, but your competitors, too, and you might just keep them from leaving your site to make their decision.
– your product is the solution to their problem, right? Let them know that their unusually high-water bill can be solved with your free plumbing and leak detection inspection.
– your product is not a one-size fits all. Let them know this and you’ll build instant trust. For example, if you install wooden fencing, let them know when wood is not the best solution and chain link is better.
‘Best of’ lists
– write articles that show the best of products in your category, the best services, the best whatever is relevant. When people are ready to buy they often search for, “Best plumbers in Cincinnati”. If you can get them on your site, you have a good chance of making the sale. You can also write about the best practices, the best new methods, best examples, etc.
Reviews and case studies – before people make a purchase, they want to know that others have had success with your solution. Give them the reviews and case studies that ease their worries and build trust.
2: Your content isn’t targeting the right keywords
Search engines need to know what questions you are trying to answer with your content.
Start with keyword research and identify the keywords that will drive actual results for your business and not just general traffic. Find out how prospects talk about your product or service, and then create content that uses the keywords naturally.
For example, your customers might be searching for, “Best chiropractor Tampa Florida”. You might write an article titled, “The 5 Best Chiropractors in Tampa, Florida.”
3: Your site speed is too slooooow
Typical mobile sites take 5 or 6 seconds to load. But typical mobile users will only wait 3 seconds.
Houston, we have a problem with these numbers.
Google looks at your engagement numbers. And if people aren’t sticking around long enough for your site to load, those bounces are going to hurt your rankings.
4: You don’t publish often enough
For best results, publish at least 2 or 3 new pieces of content each week. This will please both the search engines and your prospects.
Have you ever visited a site that hasn’t published anything new in six months? Did you wonder if they were still in business or able to take care of your needs?
Publish keyword targeted, relevant content on a regular basis.
5: You’re not optimizing older posts
If you’ve got content that you published years ago that isn’t ranking, it’s time to update that content.
Find the articles with high bounce rates as well as the ones ranking on page 2 or 3 of Google. Also, look for articles that receive a significant number of impressions in search engines but not a lot of clicks through to your site.
Update those articles by removing anything that is out-of-date and adding anything that is new and relevant. Make sure each article is targeted to a specific keyword and formatted in an easy to read style.
Update the title and meta description to better align with what searchers are looking for. Don’t change the publish date unless you update a significant portion of the content.
Remember that any content that is outdated, inaccurate or missing information needs to be updated as soon as possible.
How to NEVER Feel Slimy When Selling
On or off the internet, you are always selling something to someone.
Maybe you’re selling your parents on why they should pay for your college.
Or you’re selling your spouse on why they should let you take that trip with your friends.
Or you’re selling your boss on what a great employee you are, and how you should get a BIG raise starting NOW.
We even sell little things, like getting our kids to go to bed, getting the newspaper carrier to deliver our paper where the sprinklers won’t get it wet, and selling the new cashier on bagging our cans at the bottom of the bag instead of on top of the bread.
“But these types of selling are different,” we tell ourselves. This isn’t selling someone on something they don’t need or want (it might be) This isn’t taking advantage of someone (depends on the point of view) or ripping them off (I hope not).
We’ve learned to equate day to day selling of our friends and relatives on agreeing to our point of view or requests as something other than selling.
And we’ve also been conditioned to think that OTHER kind of selling – the one where you take money in exchange for something – is sleazy, slimy and something no good person should ever do to someone else.
You and I know people don’t like to be sold but they love to buy. And people are afraid – really afraid – of being taken advantage of by a scam.
Yet our job as online marketers is to SELL something. Maybe we’re selling ideas, products, services or whatever. But we are most definitely selling. Even if all you do is blog, you are still selling your visitors on reading your stuff and your advertisers on buying ads from you.
Even social media mavens without a business are selling others on ‘liking’ their posts so they can get the momentary thrill of feeling, “They Like Me!”
How are we supposed to go against years – decades – of being brainwashed to think there is something painfully sleazy about selling?
How do we get up in the morning EAGER to sell something to someone?
The answer is so simple, and yet so profound, that I’m going to bet you already heard it but forgot it…
Do not, ever, ever sell anything you don’t believe in, aren’t excited about or goes against your moral compass. And never, ever make claims that aren’t 100% authentically true.
When you create a product or service with the intention of helping people, you will never feel bad about selling what you have. You will be able to speak of the value and importance of your product without an ounce of shame.
When you are being totally true to your goal of helping others, it will never even occur to you that you are somehow being a pushy salesperson. Rather, you’ll be able to passionately talk and write about how great your product or service truly is.
In fact – and here’s the amazing part – if you do this right, you won’t even feel like you are selling at all.
And this gets even better. Remember when we said that people hate to be sold to, but they love to buy?
When you’re passionately honest about helping others with your product or service, the person being sold to won’t feel like they’re being sold to. That’s because when you’re offering them the thing they want – or more specifically, the benefit they seek – they’re not being sold. Instead, they’re BUYING.
Everyone thinks that advertising doesn’t work on them. “I don’t fall for that malarkey,” they’ll say. But in reality, when someone responds to advertising, they’re not making the connection that they’re being sold to. They were LOOKING for that thing (that benefit) and then they make a rational, educated decision to buy it after reading or hearing about the benefits and features.
So the simplest way to not feel like a slimeball sales person is to only sell things you believe in to people who actually WANT what you’re selling.
Don’t sell hamburgers to vegans.
And don’t sell hamburgers if you are a vegan.
If you’re a vegan, then offer the best vegan burgers possible to vegans, and you will never feel like you are selling a day in your life.
Renovating Your Lousy Out-of-Date 404 Error Pages
A 404 Error Page is what a visitor sees (or should see) when they land on a page that is no longer there. Some links go bad over time because products get removed or content gets deleted. Or maybe there are changes in the permalink structure, or gremlins ate the page. It can happen. It DOES happen.
And there was a time when your 404 Error page could say anything or nothing at all.
But it’s time to wake up because 1995 is long gone.
If you’re still using bland, boring, dead-end 404 Error pages, then you’re losing readers.
That’s right – if someone lands on your 404 and it’s a dead end, you may as well put up a sign that says, “Go away, we don’t want you here!”
I’m not saying you have to get all creative and artsy-fartsy unless you want to. I love it when I see creativity and humor on a 404. But there are 3 things your 404 page MUST do, regardless of whether it induces a smile or even a laugh.
1: This one is so basic I can’t believe I have to state it, but here goes: HAVE A 404 PAGE. Please.
Don’t redirect to a category page or homepage or a whatever page. It’s so darn confusing for a visitor to think they’re going one place and end up someplace else.
If Bob think’s he’s going to the page with the article about his favorite sports icon and he winds up back at the homepage, he’s not going to be happy.
It’s like opening the door marked “Men’s Bathroom” in a restaurant and finding yourself back at the front entrance. What the heck just happened? You don’t know, but you’re pretty sure you don’t like it and you’re going to find a restaurant that doesn’t play weird tricks on you.
2: Your website’s navigation MUST be available on your 404.
This is not negotiable. While you want to have a message that indicts the person is in the wrong place, lost or simply took a wrong turn, you also want to give them options for getting the heck out of there.
Go to nytimes.com/qwerty and you’ll get a page that says, “Page Not Found. We’re sorry, we seem to have lost this page, but we don’t want to lose you.” This is followed by a search bar (Search NYTimes.com) and several choices for Most Emailed stories and Top News.
I really like how they take credit for losing the page, even though it’s not their fault I typed in a bogus link. And I love how they say they, ‘don’t want to lose you’.
3: Make it abundantly clear that this is a 404 error page. Have you ever stumbled on a 404 error page that was trying to HIDE the fact that it’s a 404? There’s a menu, navigation or some other content that you didn’t expect to see, and then in tiny writing near the bottom you see, “Page Not Found.”
Oh, well, thank you very much for FINALLY letting me know! It’s like driving the wrong way down a one-way street and wondering why All the cars are going the other way and honking furiously at you. Maybe they should put up a SIGN you can SEE that says you’re going the wrong way.
Okay, here’s my BEST 404 Error Page tip – are you ready?
Easter Egg it!
That’s right, turn your 404 Error Page into the ultimate Easter Egg for your lucky visitors.
You might say something like, “Uh-oh, this page was not found but guess what? You’ve stumbled upon our most secret of treasures. This (whatever it is… lead magnet, video, report, etc.) is so special, we do NOT allow just anybody to have it. In fact, before today ONLY 12 people have ever been lucky enough to discover this top secret stash, making you the 13th person on the planet to get access!”
Change the wording to fit your brand. The idea is since they landed on a 404, which generally is not a good place to land, you are going to turn the experience into something great for them. Yes, you can ask their email in exchange for it. How else will you send it to them, right?
Or have a crazy, fun 30 second video. Or do something wild. Consider your niche, be consistent with your branding and then come up with something off the wall but appropriate.
And yes, don’t be surprised if your 404 goes viral when you do this. Just make sure that whatever the Easter Egg is, it’s absolutely FANTASTIC.
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