I liken a non-ranking website to owning a pimped-out sports car that won’t start. It looks great, but if it doesn’t move you from Point A to Point B, then you are going nowhere fast. So, bear with me as I take this analogy a bit further. Why is your website not ranking in Google? More than likely, one of the parts is not functioning as it should. You see, a website is a complex machine of integrated elements. When one goes down, it affects overall performance. Sometimes, it just leaves you stranded in the woods where no one can find you.
The good news is that most ranking problems require nothing more than a quick website tune-up.
5 Tools to Fix a Website Not Ranking in Google
A good mechanic needs tools and so does anyone needing to repair a website not ranking in Google. Luckily, some of the best tools out there are free and easy to use.
#1 – Google Search Console
Have you ever called the cable company to report an outage and then realized somebody unplugged the cable box? Rather embarrassing isn’t it. To eliminate the obvious, Google Search Console is a good place to start. There you can find out if Google has even found your site.
- Has it been crawled?
- Did Google index your pages?
- Are there redirect errors?
I highly recommend you set up an account, verify your site, and monitor your crawl results. At first, it may seem a bit “technical” but here are some basic things you should be able to check.
Review your crawl errors. They could be the reason your website is not ranking in Google. Fix them or contact your web developer for help.
See if Google has indexed your pages. Not every page or image submitted will be indexed, but most if nothing is showing, you probably have found your problem.
If you are still unsure if Google has found your website, go to the search bar and type in your company name. Your website should pop up but if it doesn’t then try entering site:yourwebsite.com. If you still can’t find your site, then Google has not crawled it.
Don’t drive yourself nuts trying to fix every little thing that shows up in the Google Search Console. What you are looking for are large, obvious problems keeping your website from ranking in Google.
#2 – Duplicate Content Checker
We assume that none of you knowingly plagiarize another site’s content, but what about your own? Google does NOT like duplicate content, so they ignore it. If your site is image heavy, with very little content, then you need to make sure that whatever text you do have on your landing pages is unique from the rest of your site.
Copyscape is a great place to compare two web pages to see if they are duplicate content. Opinions vary widely within the industry as to what percentage you need to be under, but I’ve found that anything under 70% is fine as long as it is content within my own website.
Do not copy another website’s material. You run the risk of having your entire site shut down. It’s just not worth it.
#3 – Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test
With the majority of people moving to mobile searching, Google has changed its ranking process to favor mobile-friendly sites. If your site does not load well on tablets or phones (and by well – we mean fast), then you may find your website not ranking in Google, even searching from a laptop.
Run your website through Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test and see how it scores. Fix any problems that pop up and see if that improves your ranking.
#4 – SEO Analyzer
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) determines how Google categorizes your site. The keywords you place within your text helps search engines establish the relevance of your site to a user’s search. The more relevant your material, then the higher you rank in the search results. A more in-depth discussion of SEO is found in our 4 Minute SEO Crash Course.
Open a free account on OnPage. Once a month they crawl your website and return any errors that might affect SEO. Also, there is their keyword analysis tool that lets you see the most prevalent phrases on any given page.
If you have a WordPress site, then you definitely want to install the Yoast plugin. By following their recommendations, you can eliminate a good number of SEO issues.
#5 – Backlink Checker
Every time an outside source links to your content, it gives your website a small boost in rank. If you fixed all your functionality issues and properly optimized your content, then you may just need to promote your website. Time, content, and promotion are what cause a site to rank in Google. Use the Backlink Checker from Small SEO Tools to see how many URLs point back to your website.
You can increase your backlinks by promoting your website on social media or joining industry forums. Develop an email campaign that shares links to your articles and landing pages. Encourage people to share or bookmark your material. This link should help a website not ranking in Google.
When to Hire an Expert to Fix a Website Not Ranking in Google
When all else fails, you may need to call in a professional. Let’s revisit our car analogy. Many people are comfortable turning a wrench, but others don’t even want to mess with airing up the tires. Some people pay a mechanic to assess the situation before deciding if they can fix the car themselves. So if you have a website not ranking in Google, consider having a professional take a look. They can assess the problem and see if it’s something simple or even one of these 3 Weird Reasons Your Website Doesn’t Rank on Google. At that point, you can decide if you want to work on the repairs yourself or if it’s worth the cost to have it done by the experts.
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