5 Reasons Why You’re Not Ranking in the Search Engines
“OMG WHY AM I NOT RANKING IN GOOGLE YET, WTF!!!.” said every person who isn’t ranking.
I used to be that guy.
When I first started learning SEO, it seemed like a pipe dream.
How could I ever rank something to the top of Google. There’s just no way.
I was reading about all these success stories of other bloggers and SEOers who managed to crack the Google code and find their stuff on page 1 for the world to see. Then they turned into 6-figure earners.
I wanted that so bad, so I studied and did research and blogged my ass off!!
I never gave up the belief that it could happen for me.
I was consistent and I was patient.
Finally, I started to get some traction. My stuff started rising from the abyss to page 4, 3, and then 2…
Until one day I woke up, opened a Google incognito window, and took a peak at page 1 for a keyword I was trying to rank for and I couldn’t believe my eyes…
My site, TipsfromTim on page 1 of Google!
And let me tell you friend, it never gets old seeing your stuff rank to the top. I have dozens of keywords on page 1 now and I get just as excited each time it happens.
BUT…it took a lot of trial and error for me to get this right. So, I’m going to share what I’ve learned and discuss some reasons why you might not be ranking in the search engines YET.
Reason #1 – You’re On-page Optimization Sucks
On-Page optimization ensures that Google ranks you blog post for the intended keyword you are trying to rank for.
If you are trying to rank a blog post for the keyword, “donkey kilts” but Google thinks you are trying to rank for “pigeon mittens” then you’re screwed!
That’s like a 100 meter sprint athlete accidentally being placed in a triathlon.
So make sure that you’re optimizing your header tags with the keyword and using variations of the keyword so that Google can’t catch on to what you’re doing.
- 1 H1 tag (the title of your post)
- 1-2 H2 tags
- 2-3 H3 tags
- As many H4, H5, and H6 tags as you want
You also want to sprinkle your keyword throughout the post NATURALLY.
Don’t keyword stuff unless you want to feel the evil force of the Google slap.
Be sure to insert your keyword into the permalink (URL) of the post.
Lastly, optimize any pictures by using the keyword in the title and alternative text of the image.
I use the plugin WordPress SEO by Yoast to make sure my 0n-page SEO is solid.
Reason #2 – Your Site Isn’t Being Indexed By Google
If you don’t setup a sitemap for your blog then Google’s search engine crawlers might not find your content, which will make it impossible to rank.
Sitemaps allow search engines to find all of your webpages, that they might otherwise miss when indexing.
So the first thing you need to do is setup an XML sitemap so that Google will know when you publish new content to your site.
You can setup your sitemap using Google Analytics and by following these instructions.
I also use a plugin on my blog called Google XML Sitemap, and you should use it, too.
Reason #3 – You Are Trying to Rank for Highly Competitive Keywords
Here’s how you spot a newbie SEOer.
They head to Google Keyword Planner tool to do some research. They see a keyword with 50,000 monthly searches, shit their pants, and think to themselves, “OMG, I can get all that traffic if I go after this keyword!!!”
And they completely ignore how difficult it might be to rank for that keyword.
Months down the road they are crying to their friends, pets, and grandpa that SEO doesn’t work.
If you are new to blogging and you are attacking generic keywords like, “make money online, weight loss, car insurance,” then you might as well drive your car off a cliff into shark infested water because you are going to die before you rank for those terms.
You have to target the low-hanging fruit until you build up your blog’s authority and earn the big G’s trust.
You might be thinking, “But Tim, how can I tell if it’s too competitive?”
Easy, I use a tool called Long Tail Pro because it gives me a numeric value 0-100 that tells me how difficult (or easy) it would be to rank for that keyword.
I keep the winners, ditch the losers, and then rank and bank my way to the top page of the SERPs.
Reason #4 – You Aren’t Blogging Consistently
Google has taking action to prevent new websites from ranking to the top fast because they don’t want SEOers abusing their search engine to make money off of people.
That’s not to say that it can’t happen, but that is a more advanced conversation for another time.
When I was only blogging once in a blue moon, I wasn’t moving up the search engines.
When I started blogging everyday, Google started to index my site more regularly, and it began to trust me as an authority site.
Thus, my content started to rank a lot faster.
The lesson to learn here: blog more often and you will get better rankings.
Reason #5 – You Aren’t Building Enough Backlinks
At the end of the day, ranking to the top page of Google comes down to backlinks.
How many other sites are linking back to your webpage?
It’s just like the winners of your high school prom, they were more popular so they won.
Google sees backlinks as “popularity votes” and the webpage with the most backlinks usually wins (not always).
The quality of the backlink is super important.
One link from a credible and authoritative site will dominate thousands of spammy and low-quality backlinks.
“So Tim, can I go to fiverr.com and buy 10,000 backlinks for $5?”
Sure, if you Google to backhand slap you and send your blog to the phantom zone.
Otherwise, you need to be manually creating web 2.0 backlinks like how I show you here, doing guest blog posts like this, or using quality and safe link building software like Link Emperor, which is what I use.
The Bottom Line
If you follow these tips then your rankings will improve.
Focus on choosing keywords with low-competition until you have built some authority and credibility with your blog.
Then, make sure you are optimizing your on-page SEO so Google knows what your trying to rank for, and then creating an XML Sitemap so that your content gets indexed faster.
The final step is to build backlinks so that your popularity juice boosts you to the top.
Leave a comment if you got some value!