Web pages not showing up in Google? There are a few fundamental reasons why pages have a poor search rank. Read on to discover how to improve search rank.
I offer all this with a big caveat — most web pages don’t rank for anything. A study by Ahrefs found that more than 90% of URLs don’t get any traffic from search engines.
These are the five most common reasons that a web page doesn’t appear in search results.
You’re Not Targeting the Phrase Searched
I often have clients tell me they don’t rank for X, only to discover they don’t actually have a web page focused on X! Search crawlers are pretty literal. If your page doesn’t focus on a topic, you are not going to rank for that topic.
The fix here is to make sure you have a page that is focused on the keyword that you want to rank for in search. Of course, the more specific the keyword, the better. Attempting to rank for a very general, highly popular keyword will always be hard if not impossible.
A well-optimized website should have many pages targeting many specific phrases. The sitemap and navigation should be structured around keywords and search-optimized content.
Your Keywords Are Too General for Search Rank
Competition is the next most common reason a page doesn’t rank for a given phrase. The page has no chance of ranking because of the high volume of pages that already rank.
The answer here is to try another, more specific phrase. Try a longer, more specific phrase, that is less popular. Then rewrite the page to target that more realistic phrase.
Your Content Lacks Depth
Google ranks for quality and relevance. If your page doesn’t have a good search rank for the target keyword, it may lack sufficient detail relative to the competition.
If the other pages that rank have more detailed information than your page, they are likely to rank higher. This is because longer, more detailed pages are more likely to satisfy the searcher’s information needs.
Keep in mind that the detail needs to be clearly relevant to the keyword. Offer content that is worthy of being one of the top pages!
- Use the keyword in the title, subheads and body text as well as the meta title and description.
- Cover the topic and related subtopics. Answer relevant questions.
- Use the primary keyword in link text from other pages to the page.
Users Click but Don’t Stay
User behavior may be telling Google that your page isn’t worthy. When the visitor comes from search, the time they spend on the page is believed to be a search ranking factor. Longer visits are an indication of a good page.
To increase the amount of time that visitors spend on the page before leaving, make sure your site is fast loading and attractive. Then, make sure your page content is easy to scan and read. Adding formatting and visual aspects to a page helps increase user time on the page.
Your Content Is Stale
Google does not like “old” web pages. Updating the page will help it stay fresh.
Stay on top of search trends and update wording as needed. Likewise, make sure you are offering the latest information and answering all questions and concerns around the topic. Keep your page updated so it remains worthy of high search visibility.
One thing NOT to change is the page URL. That would lose the benefit of the page’s existing search rank.