Top Reasons Why Your WordPress Website Is not Ranking in Google
Setting up a WordPress is half of the effort in starting an online business. the real effort lies in bringing in the traffic and making them do the purchases. WordPress is one of the favorite CMS platforms of bloggers and small to medium size enterprises. But, they all have to rely on Google for reaching out to a targeted community.
Google is the godfather of the internet for being a source of exposure to local as well as global audiences. It is committed to serving reliable and trustworthy search results to the users that’s why the entire mechanism of website ranking is created to prefer one over another.
Google expects you to be true and fair in publishing products, services, and posts in front of its immensely populous user base. You can benefit from the audience without paying the Google, and in return, it wants you to follow certain rules.
The rules laid by Google not only help you elevate web rankings but ensure the ease and comfort of your users. In short, the potential buyers and consumers you need to reach are the users of search engines as well. Whatever you do to improve search engine rankings will help to create you a positive impact in the minds of your users.
There are numerous possibilities if your WordPress website, either new or old, is not ranking in Google. If you have recently launched a blog or online store that is powered by WordPress then you need to review right from the hosting server to the application configuration. But, the established websites that one appear in searches, but then disappears soon are the result of penalties levied by the Google quality checks and algorithm updates. This post is all about finding different reasons that could stop your website appear or rank higher in search engine result pages.
Ignoring the significance of quality content
You might have heard the phrase ‘Content is the king’ multiple times while learning about gaining traffic to your website. But, have you asked why this is so? This is because the search engine users are searching for it. They need valuable content to narrow down their choice between multiple brands, vendors, and service providers.
Seeing to the needs of end users, the search engines are also enabling their search bots to judge the relevancy and value of a write-up just like the humans do. Gone are the days when marketers had to write 350-500 words and built links from any irrelevant or spam website.
Google has gone skeptical in judging the relevance of a piece of content by its context. If your website is not ranking in Google, it can be the thick and poor content that is not created to deliver useful information to the users.
Pursue better search engine ranking with detailed, meaningful, useful, creative, unique, and engaging content. Here, the content does not only mean the text on your web page or blog but the images, videos, audio files, infographics as well. Equip a landing page or blog-post with relevant images, audio and video tutorials, and real-life examples to make it compelling and easy to read for the users.
Fighting with the giants
One of the common reasons your WordPress website is not showing up in SERPs can be a tough competition. Most of the businesses start operating in a local or global region without properly understanding the level of competition.
Here, the selection of keywords matters the most. One has to achieve a balance between the high searches and low competition of key phrases. Highly competitive keywords are hard to get ranked as most of the established businesses are already working on them and have secured millions of links as well.
To rank easier, you need to narrow down your niche and select a keyword that is almost similar to a competitive one. This will help you rank your website higher and build authority. For example, if you start web development business and find ‘WordPress developer’ a hyper-competitive keyword, you can replace it with ‘WordPress Developer for Startups’ or ‘WordPress developer for Small Business.’
Failing to acquire high-quality backlinks
Backlinks have the power to connect your website with authoritative blogs and resources on the web. If these connecting websites and resources are relevant, you achieve higher rankings in SERPs that drives traffic and leads to your online business.
The quality of a backlink is judged by the value it delivers to the readers. Surely, if you anchor text useful resources in your blog or landing page, the users will find it helpful in knowing more about the nature of your business, brand, product, or service.
The acquisition of quality backlinks also depends on the creation of valuable content. Pursue a skyrocket technique of developing content to earn backlinks naturally rather than hiring a person for spam and irrelevant links.
Your WordPress website is not mobile friendly
According to a report published in Search Engine Land, about 60% of the online searches are carried out on mobile devices. Seeing an increasing number of mobile users, Google is now giving priority to responsive websites that retain similar design and layout regardless of the mobile device a user use.
If your website is not mobile responsive, it may not appear in the top searches. Additionally, Google is nrolling out another update that is named as ‘Mobile First Indexed’ which will index the mobile version of a website rather than the desktop version.
The mobile responsiveness is counted a ranking factor. You can check mobile-friendliness of a website with a freely available tool by Google, and ask your developer to fix if there is any error.
Not Allowing Google to Index your website
Startup founders and managers are often less familiar with the CMS or eCommerce platform they use. Though WordPress has a simple user interface still a lot of people are ignorant of configuring the basic settings before going live.
Among various mistakes, they often enable privacy settings that say ‘Discourage Search Engines from indexing this site.’ The search robots stop adding and updating such a website, as a result, it does not show up in SERPs.
If your WordPress website is not appearing the search result, you need to check if the search engines are allowed or restricted from indexing the website. Allow the option to index and wait for a day or two to check rankings.
Your website is dominated by affiliate links
WordPress websites that have more than necessary affiliate links are highly vulnerable to search engine Penalties. The reason for Google being so harsh about affiliate links is that the marketers utilize their blog readers, subscribers, and fan followings to purchase a product that may not be of the quality as described in a post.
The Landing pages and posts are created in favor of sponsored products with a biased opinion. The marketers praise the products to make the readers buy them. The end goal is to deliver valuable and informative content rather than promotions.
Evaluate the ratio of affiliate links against the informational content, and reduce it to an acceptable level. You can either reduce the risk of the penalty be creating landing pages for it or installing a plugin to mask the affiliate links.
Furthermore, you need to add more informative content to wrap up the money content. According to Dominic, a seasoned blogger, you need to keep an acceptable ratio between money and informational posts. Writing entirely about your affiliate products on your blog will earn you a search engine penalty that will remove all your virtual assets over a night.
If your WordPress website is not gaining the due rankings, it might be the pogo-sticking effect. Pogo sticking is when a user visits your website from the SERPs, go back, and click another result. This indicates that the users find nothing productive or useful that’s why decided to return.
The concept is pogo-sticking somewhat similar to the bounce rate, but it is rather more alarming for the search bots to evaluate the quality of your website content. The Google uses various signals like bounce rate and pogo-sticking to ensure the users are diverted to websites that are informative and useful.
You can avoid pogo sticking by evaluating web traffic against the search terms. If the search terms are not relevant to the nature of a page or post, remove it or add the information a user expects.
As I have mentioned earlier in this post that you could find numerous reasons that are working on the back foot and restricting your website from Google Ranking. The reasons discussed in this post are the common ones and happens to most of the WordPress beginners.
If I can sum up the entire article, I can deduce that informative content can overcome other reasons and jumpstart your search engine rankings. The content outperforms if it is crafted from the scratch, made trustworthy with statistics and citation, and optimized sensible for a primary keyword.
Rich content is ranked soon and earn natural backlinks for further authority building. It is like killing two birds with a stone. In addition to content, you can keep an eye on other factors that may affect your search engine rankings. All it requires is to continue learning the mechanism and you will find lots of reasons that are hidden or difficult to understand for a beginner.
Asad Ali is a digital marketing expert with an extensive experience of 7 years in eCommerce SEO, design optimization and user experience. He is currently working at GO-Gulf, that top-notch Dubai web design company. You can reach him on LinkedIn.