Your website isn’t ranking for these 7 reasons
Today we’re going to talk about 7 Reasons Why Your Website is Not Ranking.
1. Not mobile-friendly
Test it on your phone or use Google’s mobile-friendly testing tool. Google required this since 2015, so if you still have a site that’s not mobile-friendly, you’re way behind the times and missing out on a ton of leads your business can be generating.
Nearly everyone uses their phones today to search for everything, so make sure your site is not only mobile-friendly but also looks great on these devices. You’ll likely need to adjust the size of page assets and what page assets to have as a desktop vs. the mobile version of your site. Most themes allow for different mobile, tablet, and desktop versions of the same page.
2. Webpages load slow
Google data shows the probability of a user leaving your site increases by 32% as page load time goes from 1 second to 3 seconds.
That’s a third of your prospects!
And if you’re paying for online ads that go to your website, that’s an expensive price to pay for people who won’t even see your page.
Speed is important to users, but now it’s also a major ranking factor in Google.
In June of 2021, Google’s new page experience update includes its Core Web Vitals requirements.
It measures three metrics:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – which is the largest visible element at the top of the page that shows in the viewport of the user’s browser, and it must load in 2.5 seconds or below.
This is usually a background image but could be anything, a video background, a block of text, a button, an image that’s not a background, etc.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – which is the visual stability of the page as it loads. Do elements move around?
You know you land on a page and as it loads ads, the page moves around and is really annoying? That’s a bad user experience.
Other things can also do this, like your menu, animations, images without stated dimensions in the coding, loading fonts, video embeds, and more.
- First Input Delay (FID) – which is the time it takes your page to respond when a user interacts with it.
How long does it take to respond to a button click, fill out a form, a drop-down menu to drop, and more?
If it takes too long for the site to respond, it’s frustrating to the user and they’re likely to back out of the site.
All of these affect the user experience and Google is heading toward penalizing sites that provide slow responses or page assets moving all over the place.
Fixes for these issues are often:
a) Finding a better hosting company. We use the net for fast and reliable web hosting with automatic backups. Also, check out where your hosting company’s servers are located. For local home service companies, you want a hosting company that is local to you or one that offers a Content Delivery Network (CDN) that has a server located near you. CDN’s place copies of your sites on servers all around the country and even the world, so your site loads faster to users all over the globe by using a server nearest them to load it.
b) Removing videos and animations from the top hero sections of your web pages.
c) Reducing image files sizes that load in hero sections and throughout your site.
d) Using a caching plugin like WP Rocket. Caching puts the common files needed to load the site in a temporary storage location for faster access and delivery.
Page speeds can get much more complex than that, but those solutions will work for most companies.
3. Poor Content is another reason why websites don’t rank.
Gone are the days of your site being a static sales brochure.
If all you have are service pages on your site, you’re probably never going to rank for much of the searches people are doing for your services.
Today, home service company websites need a blog to provide helpful, informative content to people in all stages of the buyer’s journey about each one of your services, as well as info about the towns your service.
You need clusters of informational pages about each service that teach people what they need to know way before making an actual buying decision.
Then those topical pages need to interlink together and back up to your main service pages to create a topical group that shows Google you know what you’re talking about on that subject. You have a treasure trove of info for people looking for information about it.
Your site should always add new content to its blog to attract new traffic and show Google the site is active and expanding.
4. Technical issues could be preventing your website from ranking.
This is a common problem and the causes could be many.
First, you should have your site set up with Google Search Console.
The site should have a sitemap, and the easiest way to do this is to install the free Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress sites.
You should submit the sitemap to Google Search Console to crawl your site and index the pages on it.
Be sure you don’t have pages marked as “no-index,” except for thanking you pages and orphan landing pages for ads.
You might have terrible site architecture. This is the basic structure of the site. You should have the following pages:
- About Us
- Contact Us
- Service Area (listing the cities you service)
- A city page for each major nearby town outside of your location that you provide service to. Each one is listed under the /service-area page.
- A service page for each service is listed under the main /services page.
- A Reviews page shows your customer reviews and provides links for people to leave reviews directly on your website and on Google, Yelp, Facebook, Home Advisor, or wherever you want customer reviews. Google reviews should be priority number one.
- A Blog page that hosts all of your blog posts
- You should have a top menu and another one in the footer.
- Your contact info should be in the footer.
- Your phone number should be in the top header of every page. Preferably it’s a click-to-call number for people on mobile phones.
- Your Google My Business listing should be embedded onto your Contact Us page and perhaps in the footer. This helps link your website to your GMB listing and helps Google know who the website belongs to.
- Your footer and Contact us page should provide links to your branded social media accounts, which you should have for at least Facebook and LinkedIn.
When you publish a blog post on your website, publish part of it on your social media channels to link back to the main article on your site. Easy peasy.
Most home service companies should also have a YouTube channel to provide DIY tips to.
5. You don’t have an optimized Google My Business listing.
Your website and Google My Business listing help each other rank better.
Make sure your Google My Business listing is fully complete with business categories, description, hours open, holiday hours, amenities that apply, links to your website, product and service descriptions and images, customer reviews and replies to those reviews and more.
See our FREE Guide to Optimize Your Google My Business listing on our website.
6. Duplicate content can stop your site from ranking.
Be careful not to create blog articles about the same topic.
Many websites are guilty of doing this.
You DO want several pages related to the same topic, link them all together, and then up to your service page about those topics. Those are called topical silos or clusters.
But you DON’T want to say the same thing over again on more than one page. The context of each topical page needs to be unique related but unique—a different angle about the same subject.
Water heater repair & installation service page with sub-pages about:
- Water heaters
- Tankless water heaters
- Flushing water heaters
- Maintaining water heaters
- Leaking water heaters
- Bradford-White water heaters
7. You don’t have links from other websites to yours.
Backlinks, which are links from other sites to yours, are the #1 ranking signal in Google.
Those links are more powerful if they come from industry-related or local websites, which helps further establish your industry and location to Google.
How do you get those links?
We’ll share a few ideas:
a) Business directories – get your company listed in the major business directories with the same name, address, and phone number as your business. This is a big issue if you’ve moved your business or changed your phone number.
See episode #56 – Why moving your business can hurt your rankings.
We use Bright Local and Whitespark to order listings and to clean up inaccurate listings.
b) Going local Chamber of Commerce – you’ll get listed on their website with a link back to yours.
c) Local blogs – find popular blogs in your service area and offer to write an article for their website as long as they’ll provide a link from it to your site.
For more ideas, see our episode #45 – Local Link Building for Websites.
In summary, there are a ton of high-quality leads you could be generating online if your website was optimized and ready to work as hard as you do.
We’ve taken a deep dive into the many reasons why your website may not be ranking. If you need help with any of these issues or have questions about them, then contact us and let’s get started on making your website a lead generation machine that attracts more qualified leads.
If you want to learn how to rank higher in search engine results pages for your key services, then check out our Managed Marketing Services page.