5 Reasons Your Content Doesn’t Rank in Search

Have great content that doesn’t rank well in search engines? The problem can be the content you see or the technology that works in the background of your website. Here are some thoughts to help you troubleshoot low ranking content.

Search Indexing Issues that Affect Rank

Your content won’t rank well if your page or site is crawled ineffectively by search engines. If you’re unsure whether your site is indexed on Google, check using the site:search operator in Google. For example, “site:kurtzdigitalstrategy.com” will show a list of pages found on that domain.

If you see your pages, that’s good news. Google does know about your site and has put — at least some of it — in its index. If your pages don’t show, you will need to submit a site map to the search engine. There are plugins that do this for you if you have a WordPress site. Or, you can log into Google Search Console and upload a site map file.

Check for Blockers

One of the most common reasons for Google not indexing your site or a specific page is because it has the noindex code. Adding noindex tags to a page tells Googlebot that it can crawl a page, but that the results can’t be added to the index.

To look for this code, open the page and view the source code. Somewhere in the head of the page, you’ll find the code below. This tells search engine crawlers that the content of the page shouldn’t be added to the index, and thus, keep it from ranking.

<meta name="robots" content="noindex">

Other technical issues can generate crawl errors that prevent Google from properly crawling your site. Google Search Console can help you identify and fix these issues.

Technical Issues that Affect Search Rank

A website needs to meet certain technical benchmarks to rank on Google. How quickly your pages load is one factor. Security is important too. There are many technical issues that can occur and most can be found with these checks:

  • Ensure all plugin settings are correct and that unused plugins are removed
  • Use a page speed checker to assess load time and take actions for improvement
  • Make sure your site has a secure certificate installed and uses the https:// secure protocol

Links Can Help or Hurt SEO

Having a good internal linking structure and links to your site from other sites are important if you want to rank well. Google crawls the web, following each link it finds, so if your links are lacking it can cause you problems with ranking.

Having a clear site structure creates internal links that allow search crawlers to understand and access your site. If your internal linking structure is poor, chances to rank high are lower – even when your content is great.

Look for opportunities to earn links to your content from credible websites. You can reach out to other websites to ask them to mention your site or talk about your product and link to your site. You can also use social media to get the word out!

Keep in mind that links to your site from spammy, low-quality sites can hurt your changes of ranking well. You are judged by the company you keep!

Optimize Content with Keywords

Your page or site may not rank well due to the content or keywords.

In most cases, the reason content doesn’t rank in search is that there’s simply too much competition. To find out if this is the problem, check the results pages for your keyword. Do high authority sites, such as Wikipedia or Amazon, dominate the first page? You may not be able to out-compete them for search rank. A long tail keyword strategy can be more effective. Write content that targets specific phrases – long tail keywords – rather than tackling competitive keywords.

Also check that your content matches the intent of people searching for your keyword. Search intent is an increasingly important factor for search engines that work to match searchers with the content they are really looking for.

Now that you are on the right track with search rank, I offered more SEO tips for brands in a recent post to help you develop a strong search marketing strategy.

Facebook Marketing Requires Organic and Paid Effort

The Facebook algorithm decides which posts people see when they check their Facebook feed, and in what order those posts show up. Facebook marketing today requires that you understand the algorithm and how to combine organic and paid content to gain attention.

The Facebook algorithm evaluates every post, scores it, and then arranges it in descending order of interest for each individual user. This process happens every time a user refreshes their newsfeed. The details aren’t public, but Facebook’s goal is to keep people visiting and scrolling so that they see more ads.

Facebook’s Current Algorithm Favors New and Popular Content

In 2021, the Facebook algorithm is made up of four main ranking signals: recency, popularity, content type, and relationship. The best organic reach is given to content that people engage with.

Known ranking signals include:

  • Relationship: Is the post from a person, business, news source or public figure that the user often engages with? (i.e., messages, tags, engages with, follows, etc.)
  • Content type: Does the user interact with this type of content?
  • Popularity: Are people who have seen the post reacting to it?
  • Recency: How new is the post?

5 Facebook Marketing Tips for Brands

Combine Organic and Paid

Post regularly on Facebook so that the algorithm ranks your content. Get the most from your best content with paid boosts to increase the number of people who see it. The goal is to increase the number of people who trigger algorithm ranking signals so your content ranking improves.

In addition to boosted posts, run ads that attract attention and draw people to your brand on the platform.

Generate Conversation

The algorithm prioritizes posts from pages that a user has interacted with in the past. Post content intended to generate conversation and engagement likes and shares. Reply to every comment on your content.

Be sure to post content at times that your audience is online, since the newest posts go to the top of the news feed.

Note that the algorithm weighs reaction buttons more heavily than a simple like. So target emotional reactions in your posts: love, caring, laughter, sadness, and anger.

Foster an Active Facebook Group

The Facebook algorithm prioritizes posts from groups users care about, so a post that gets amplified in a popular group by enthusiasts and fans is likelier to earn more reach. Set up a group that connects people you care about with content they care about. Encourage conversation and react to posts and comments.

Use Video

Posts with live and other forms of video continue to get attention on Facebook, so they are favored by the algorithm. Live video on Facebook continues to grab attention. Because live video receives 6x more engagement than regular video, the algorithm ranks it highly.

Watch time and completion rate are both crucial ranking signals for video because they indicate that the viewer enjoyed the video enough to watch the whole thing. The longer you keep people interested, the higher your video post will be scored by the algorithm, and the higher up in the Facebook newsfeed it will appear.

Expand your reach via your best advocates

People – including employees, customers and brand loyalists – have more credibility and authority with the Facebook algorithm than any brand page. This is because people have more credibility and authority with followers and friends.

Invite people to like your Facebook page and/or join your group. Encourage people to share your brand messages both directly and by sharing your content. Know who your best advocates are on Facebook and involve them in your marketing.

These tips should put your Facebook marketing on the right track. Keep in mind that the rules can and will change. Watch the Facebook platform for updates and changes so that your Facebook marketing strategy continues to leverage best practices.