Poor Ranking of Your Website

Poor Ranking is everyone's nightmare! We all dread not being on page 1 of search results. Here we show how to verify issues. This article will help you understand what to do if you have most of the "Basics".

This discussion will be about why your website is or isn’t on that first page of search results, especially if you’ve done all the basics. Always remember, the goal of the search engines is to provide the best possible results for the searcher. 

Let’s assume you have the necessary details covered on your website — title, keywords, description, 400-plus words of content, a footer, 20-plus pages, privacy policy, pictures with descriptions and links.  You’ve worked really hard on your site and it’s typically only on Page 8 of the search results. How could that "Poor Ranking" be happening? 

There are many factors that will cause this. They include:

  • Is it a new website?  The search engines won’t even display your website for at least 4-6 months after you’ve built it.  It’s called being kept in the “sandbox.”  Years ago, websites were built with not exactly 100 percent ethical intensions. The search engines would display them on Page 1, only to realize they were misleading.  Now, you will sit in that “sandbox” to be sure your site is credible.  Even after that “sandbox time,” your home page will be the only one “found” for a few more months.
  • Did you build your site from a “parked” domain name?  Doesn’t matter how old that domain name is, it isn’t credible until a website is built from it.
  • Did you purchase a domain name that already existed?  Many times those names are from websites that got shut down because of unethical practices.
  • Is your website competing with hundreds or thousands of other websites? The more “niche” your business is, the easier it is to be on Page 1.  
  • Are you competing with a lot of national chain websites, or Yellow Pages, Dex, Yelp and large associations? 
  • Is your “bounce rate” for your website too high?  
  • Are your generic search results climbing?
  • How long do people stay on your site, and how many pages are viewed per visit? 
  • Did you make sure to have your title, keywords and description properly formatted to be sure the search engines find them? That is a very common mistake.
  • Is your e-mail address based on your website name?  The more professional you appear, the better.  (Notice, mine is Bernie@MerchantBottomLine.com) – not bernie@hotmail.com) 

Some of these poor ranking questions you can answer yourself when you look at your search results for your business. Others will require looking at your monthly reports from your webmaster, such as bounce rate, length of time on site, pages per visit and whether generic results are climbing. Perhaps you have everything done correctly, but your 400-plus words of content are not very good, copied or just not informative. 

By the way, NEVER copy content from another website. The search engines have every page it has ever looked at memorized. Copying someone else’s content is a huge negative to your site, trust me, the search engines will know it, too.

A very common problem with the typical business owner is a website was built years ago and “forgotten.”  No new pages were added and the information was not updated. The search engines “know” all of this. Plus, when a visitor looks at your site and doesn’t see anything of value to them, they leave quickly.

All of this is taken into account with the Googles/Yahoos/Bings.  If your website isn’t providing a good experience to visitors, they won’t put you on Page 1. It’s that simple!  Poor ranking can really damage your sales and company exposure to the World!! This is why many of the large company websites are better placed on search results.  They’ve made sure to follow SEO best practices and are always updating pages and adding new content.

A good example will be a large franchise RV park company.  If you have one locally, look at all the pages they have under their “main” home page.  They will provide their website basics to your local competitor so he is part of a larger website. That is literally thousands of webpages.

You can compete with them and still be on Page 1, but it will take a dedicated professional webmaster.  That does not have to cost a lot of money, just a knowledgeable webmaster who knows how to “work the system” properly. Fancy pictures, code and graphics are not the answer. 

Playing within all the rules of the search engines is the correct way to avoid poor ranking!

Next installment will be a discussion about the social networks and how they have an impact on search results.


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