Why is My Website Not Ranking? 9 Reasons Google Thinks Your Website Sucks!

It’s happened to all of us: You build a website, and you’re certain it looks great and contains amazing content, but instead of sparkling at the top of Google search results, it flops around halfway down page 2 or below. It can be frustrating when you work so hard on creating something that doesn’t get any traction. Especially as we all know that most people don’t look past the first few results on the search engines. According to this study, the first result on Google’s search engine gets 33 percent of the traffic, while the second page gets 18 percent. The traffic only goes down from there. That means that if you want your website to get noticed then its ranking is critical.

But why isn’t your website ranking in Google? Probably because there are some things wrong with the way Google sees your website – things that need fixing.

In this article, I’ll discuss 9 reasons why Google doesn’t like your website – and more importantly, how you can fix them!

Incorrect Keywords

Choosing the right keywords is essential in order to get your website ranking on search engine results pages. Incorrectly chosen keywords can lead to low rankings, meaning that you will be unable to acquire organic traffic. To ensure that you reach your desired ranking potential, research relevant terms and optimize for those with adequate search volume, strong relevance, and competition levels that you can realistically compete with.

When researching your keywords, it is important to take some time to really dive into the language of your audience. Consider which words and phrases they use when searching for what you offer as well as competition level of certain terms – if a keyword is too competitive then there’s no use wasting energy trying to rank for it. This means researching both head terms and long-tail keywords – the latter being easier to rank for due to their high chance of conversion. Ensure that you frequently update your keyword list or sheet in case your audience changes or business goals change, which may have an impact on the optimization strategy.

Search intent plays a big role in effective keyword research as well. Evaluate what people are looking for when they conduct searches – do they want information, navigational assistance or commercial goods? The content should match searcher’s intent in order to appear on result pages as otherwise no matter how optimized it is or how great it is it won’t be seen by users. If a retail store was trying to rank for “fitness” but all that appears on SERPs are informational posts about fitness exercises, then there needs to be a reconsideration of their SEO strategy.

Finally, make sure not to use any keywords that people aren’t searching for, such as made up words or phrases too specific or niche; this equates to wasted effort resulting in zero returns. Always take the time to double-check with analytics tools first before incorporating any terms into your content creation process!

Poor Quality Content

Poor quality content can have a variety of negative effects on your website, its ranking in search engine results, and visitors’ experiences. Search engines have become sophisticated enough to identify poor quality content and this can negatively affect their evaluations of your site. Additionally, when people visit your site looking for meaningful, high-quality content, they won’t stay long or return if they don’t find what they’re looking for.

Creating quality content isn’t just important for SEO – it’s crucial for providing a positive visitor experience as well. Quality content needs to be written with the user in mind and should provide information that is relevant to them. Conducting keyword research is beneficial as this allows you to understand what topics are trending and applicable for your audience. It is also important to write in an engaging style that encourages users to keep reading. This means using headings and paragraphs, limiting hard words, using synonyms and alternate longer sentences with shorter ones. To make sure your content truly resonates with readers, talk about events or news items that align with your business goals while keeping it fun and personal at the same time!

Finally, it is important to consider search intent while writing and creating content. Think about the goal you have set out when you create specific pages – is one of your goals to get more subscriptions? Then you should write articles addressing any questions people might have on the topics related to signing up for a newsletter/subscription service so that people who visited will convert on the page they land on instead of immediately leaving due to unrelated information presented on the page.

Unoptimized Site Structure & Pages

If you’re looking to improve your website’s visibility in search engine rankings, it’s important to make sure that your site structure and pages are properly optimized. This includes page titles, meta descriptions, and URLs, which should be optimized appropriately for maximum SEO efficiency. Site structure is not only aesthetically pleasing but is also essential to Google; if its crawling process can’t understand or find your pages easily, they won’t be indexed – hence why your website isn’t ranking highly on search engines.

Crawling is the first part of this process; essentially it’s how Google finds new web pages through following links from known pages or sitemaps given by website creators like Squarespace or Wix. Then, when a page is discovered it has a “crawl” where the content – including video and images – are analysed and put into a database for categorizing in the indexing step.

To optimize for indexing, make sure page titles are concisely descriptive as well as have relevant heading/annotation tags to explain videos/images accurately. After Google understands each page correctly, it can assess its relevance in comparison to what someone has searched – keeping in mind past searches, language errors and location data.

Slow Website Speed

Slow website speed can hinder the user experience, result in decreased engagement, and prevent conversion optimization goals from being met. Recent studies show that around 53% of mobile users leave a website if it takes longer than three seconds to load, whilst even a single second delay could be damaging to your business. So, having a fast loading site is essential for keeping customers on your page. Optimizing your page speed is integral for proper website performance, making sure visitors receive the quality user experience they expect.

In order to achieve faster page speeds, webmasters should consider utilizing caching plugins such as W3 Total Cache or WP Rocket. Page speed isn’t defined by one simple metric; instead, it is an umbrella concept based on how fast content appears on the page and how quickly users are able to interact with it once there. Therefore, very often it is better to think of page speed as a part of the user experience overall rather than trying to assign a single number or calculate metrics in isolation. Besides loading times, other factors like animation quality and images also need to be taken into account when evaluating website performance.

Google launched Web Vitals in 2020 which includes several metrics meant to accurately gauge how fast and smooth user journeys are online. Thus, websites need to prioritize optimizing their speed if they want better rankings in search engines as well as improved user engagement and conversions.

Missing Alt Texts On Images

Alt text is an important factor in achieving optimal website ranking. It is a form of HTML that helps give your images context and description so that they can be picked up by Google’s search engine crawlers. This will enable each post to get more visibility in the webpages and in Google Image Search, plus, it also offers opportunities to boost the page ranking power of the pages using those same images.

Having alt text also promotes accessibility on a website as it is read aloud by screen readers used by visually impaired users who cannot see the image. Additionally, it serves as a placeholder for when an image fails to load due to connection issues or some other reason.

When creating alternative descriptions for your images, make sure to keep them concise yet descriptive enough so that if someone closed their eyes and heard only the alt text, they’d have a good understanding of what the image looks like. Avoid stuffing keywords into the description as this may bring unfavourable results.

Ignoring Useless Pages & Broken Links

If you want your website to rank well on Google, you need to pay attention to the pages that are indexed by the search engine. Ignoring useless and broken links will reduce the number of distractions for search engine crawlers and help improve your website’s overall ranking.

Useless pages, such as Thank You pages, should be fixed by redirecting visitors directly to the homepage or other internal pages with useful links. This will help to increase dwell time on the site, and in turn, improve your rankings. Additionally, it’s important to regularly check any external links pointing towards your website for broken pages resulting in a 404 error message – this can have an adverse effect on your website’s SEO too.

A common issue when optimizing for SEO is index bloat – this occurs when there are too many low-quality pages indexed by Google on a website. This means that instead of focusing their efforts on quality information that benefits your business, search crawlers have to crawl through unnecessary content which will slow down your site significantly. By keeping a clean website, it’ll be easier to control which URLs appear on Google, so visitors find what they’re looking for faster!

Lack Of Internal Linking

An effective internal linking strategy is essential for helping both visitors and search engines find and access the content on your website. Without internal linking, search engine bots can’t properly crawl your site to locate relevant posts and pages. Additionally, without links leading from one page to another, Google won’t be able to determine relationships between content, or which pages are more valuable than others.

Internal linking helps you pass link value across different sections of your website and supports crawlability. It also allows visitors to navigate through your content in an intuitive way. Establishing relationships between related topics will help Google understand which pages should be ranked higher, while giving visitors the opportunity to discover new content they may be interested in.

To ensure that you are taking full advantage of the benefits of internal linking, create a comprehensive linking strategy that helps guide search engine crawlers through the webpages on your website. Think about how each post and page relates to each other in terms of subject matter and establish relationships using links on the most connected pages possible. This will help distribute link juice evenly across each indexed page so that no important landing pages are left out. Consider also installing a tool such as Yoast SEO, which can suggest related posts to link too when necessary!

Not Utilizing Local Listings & Citation Sources

If you want to improve your website’s visibility – and ultimately ranking – in local search engine results, it is essential to utilize local business listings and citation sources. Popular sources such as Yelp and Foursquare can be particularly influential when it comes to helping you rank higher locally. Creating a comprehensive profile with accurate contact information for your business is the first step toward optimizing your local presence. You should also invite customers who enjoyed their experience with your business to leave reviews.

Local citations are references that contain key elements of a business’s identity, such as name, address and phone number (otherwise known as NAP data). These citations act like digital landmarks which allow people to find businesses online quickly, but they also play an important role in local search engine rankings. Quality citation profiles with consistent NAP details across all online platforms can help Google accurately assign you the correct spot in its SERPs.

To make sure your citation profiles are up-to-date and accurate, you can manually check each source or use an automated tool like Moz Local’s ‘Check Listing’ option. This will tell you which sites to focus on first by covering the big players including Facebook and Apple Maps. It is recommended that you build desired references on major data aggregators such as Foursquare, Data Axle and Neustar/Localeze for maximum impact on your local search rankings. Additionally, geo-specific platforms like chamber of commerce websites or industry associations may provide additional benefits when it comes to positioning yourself locally in the SERPs. Finally, don’t forget that owning a fully optimized website is the most authoritative type of citation available!

Not Thinking Mobile First

Nowadays, it’s essential for website owners to think “mobile first.” This means optimizing sites for mobile device users, ensuring that layouts are usable on any device and that text fonts are legible without zooming in or out. Google uses the mobile version of a site’s content to index and rank websites, known as “mobile-first indexing.” It’s not mandatory to have a mobile version of webpages in order to be included in Google search results, but it is highly recommended.

To ensure that your customers have the best experience possible, follow the mobile-first indexing best practices detailed by Google. These include creating a mobile-friendly site via responsive design, dynamic serving or separate URLs; making sure Google can access and render page content and resources; and having the same content available on both desktop and mobile versions of the page. Optimizing your website for both desktop and mobile devices can improve your rankings in Google’s search engine results pages.


Finding out why your website isn’t ranking as well as you’d like it to be can seem daunting at first, but taking a systematic approach to optimizing your website can help make the process significantly easier. With the right knowledge, tools, and strategies, you can improve your website’s rank in search engine results pages so that more of your target audience can find what they’re looking for on your site. Doing this consistently and effectively should produce the desired results.

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