Search engine ranking affects the amount of traffic coming to a website in a big way. Rarely do users go past the second page of search engines when searching for something. Therefore, it is important to have your website on the first two pages for you to get any substantial traffic.
There are a number of things that may be making your website to rank poorly. These can include both on-page and off-page search engine optimization factors. On-page factors refer to things or actions done on the website to improve its rankings while off-page factors are those that are done outside the website.
Below are on-page and off-page factors that could be making your website not to rank well in search engines:
On-page Search Engine Optimization Factors
Does your website have meta tags?
Meta tags are short descriptive words that search engine robots read to define what a website is about. The tags are place within the head tag and should contain the keywords that the business is targeting. Ideally, each page should contain its own set of meta tags, which should be revolving around the niche of the website.
What about title tags?
Does your website have a title tag? The title description is what is usually seen at the menu bar when a person opens up a website. Most websites simply have a “welcome to our website” or “home” text in the title bar. Such websites miss on leveraging on their target keywords. Put a short description about your website or service at the title tag and make sure you include your keywords.
Are your images optimized?
Search engines robots cannot read images. Thus, it is futile to write your keyword as an image. However, you can optimize the image by using alt tags. These tags should describe what the image is about and should also contain the keywords that you are targeting.
Off-page Optimization Factors
Off-page optimization techniques refer to link building. This is the single most-powerful way of making a website rank well in search engines.
Link building can be done by submitting articles with a link back to your website to article directories, submitting blog comments with your an anchor text linking back to your website, social bookmarking, creating profile links, exchanging links with other webmasters, submitting the website URL to web directories, building link wheels among others.
However, it is important to remember that link building should be more about quality than quantity. Websites are given a page rank (PR) of 0 to 9 by search engines, with 0 being the least value and 9 being the highest. A link originating for a higher ranking page is more valuable than one from a low ranking one. For example, a link from a PR 9 site may be valuable than hundreds of links from a PR0 page.
Check that the links you are building are originating from high PR websites.
Is your content unique or has it been scrapped off from another website? Duplicate content is usually penalized by search engine and websites with duplicate or copied content usually rank poorly. There are two forms of duplicate content:
• Copying content from another website and not rewriting to make it unique.
• Using the same content in your website on different pages.
In the first instance, the website that originally had the content will be ranked whenever a search query that can be addressed by the content is initiated. In the second instance, only one page of your website will be ranked for the content while the rest will be ignored.
Flash and Video Websites
While Flash websites are very appealing to the human eye, they do not rank well because search engine robots cannot read Flash objects. If you would like to use flash in your website, keep it to a minimum. Also, avoid using too many videos and images as they will not rank as well as text. Ideally, 90 percent of your website should consist of unique text optimized for specific keywords.
Black Hat Techniques
If you use unethical, also known as “blackhat“, methods to achieve higher rankings, you may have to pay with poor rankings. Blackhat techniques include keyword stuffing, using iframes, link cloaking, getting links from link farms among others. In fact, your website may be penalized by Google and banned from appearing in search engine results.
Another technique that is usually penalized is automatic link building. If you have just started a new website and suddenly get 1000 links in one day, your website may be temporary ranked poorly. Webmasters refer to this temporary drop in ranking as “sandbox”. It can take as many as 12 months to get the sandbox lifted.
If you are building links automatically, build them gradually and in small numbers so that they appear to be natural.
Does web hosting affect rankings?
Web hosting may have an impact on the performance of your website in terms of accessibility and load speed but it does not affect search engine rankings. Websites on both shared hosting and dedicated server hosting have a level platform when it comes to search engine rankings. However, it is still important to get a good web hosting solutions company to host your website.
Add to the discussion:
The above are some of the things that may be making your website to rank poorly. Anyone who has other points or experiences with poor rankings is welcomed to share. If you have any more questions or problems with SEO, leave a comment, and let’s have a chat!