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Digital Marketing 8 min read

Fed Fix: Why Isn't My Website Ranking on Google?

Natalie Yelton photo

Written by Natalie Yelton

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed

Dallin Porter photo

Expert reviewed by Dallin Porter

Marketing Director @ Galactic Fed

Published 14 Apr 2021

It can be frustrating as a business owner to spend time, energy, and money building and maintaining a website only to be left confused why it fails to rank on Google. 

New research published earlier this year shows the first five organic results on Google account for a whopping 67.6% of all the click-throughs. 

So how do you ensure your site makes it to the top of Google’s search engine results page (SERP) and stays there? 

Galactic Fed’s team of SEO experts has valuable insight into why your website isn’t ranking. We’ve helped a ton of websites improve their ranking on Google, and in this article, we dive into the most common reasons why sites have an unsatisfactory ranking and what you can do to fix it. 

From slow-loading sites to a less-than-average user experience, here are the top six reasons why your site isn’t ranking on Google in 2021:

Your website takes too long to load 

Smartphone loading website with spinning wheel on screen

Source: Giphy

We’ve all been there at some point.

You land on a website only to be met with a spinning wheel of doom. 

Research shows that 1 in 4 site visitors will abandon a website that takes more than 4 seconds to load, and Google doesn’t like slow-loading websites either. 

Page speed directly affects your search engine optimization (SEO.) This has been the case ever since Google’s Algorithm Speed Update. In Google’s eyes, site users come first, and if users are leaving your site because of slow-loading pages, Google will be less inclined to rank your site. So what can you do? 

Fed Fix: 

PageSpeed Insights of showing 95% score.

Galactic Fed recommends first testing your site speed. You can place your URL into Google’s Pagespeed Insights and understand why your site isn’t loading fast enough. Make sure to look at loading issues across both desktop and mobile, which Google separates. 

Common solutions for optimizing site speed include:

  • Reducing the size of large images
  • Reducing the number of videos on a single webpage 
  • Reducing the number of HTTP requests for your website

Your site lacks high-quality backlinks 

In 2021, backlinks are the second most crucial factor in your website’s ranking on Google. Having a good amount of quality backlinks is essential when it comes to improving your site’s SEO. 

Why are backlinks so important for your website’s SEO?

Well, backlinks act as a vote of confidence for your website. Google calculates all those votes while checking if your website should rank in the top 10 results.

The more backlinks from high authority websites, the better. This can help boost your chances of a higher ranking on Google. Securing links from high authority sites sends a signal to Google that your site’s content is credible as other websites point to it.

Fed Fix: 

Building high-quality backlinks takes time, and you need to know what you are doing. Galactic Fed recommends partnering with backlink specialists if you don’t have a lot of experience in link-building. This is because Google can penalize you for poor link building or “black-hat link building.” 

Check out our guide to what you should be looking for when it comes to backlink services which also goes into more detail about what exactly backlinks are and why you should care about them to boost your ranking on Google. 

Your site is relatively new 

Giphy Simpsons characters.

Source: Giphy

Google has been known to take its time discovering and ranking new websites. If you launched your website today, chances are Google has yet to notice and rank it on your targeted search engine results page.

Fed Fix: 

The quickest way to ensure Google knows about your new site is by submitting your sitemap to the Google Search Console

You can create a free Search Console account if you don’t already have one and add your website before submitting your sitemap. A sitemap signals to Google which pages are important on your website and where people can find them. 

Duplicate content is lurking on your website 

Double-check there’s no duplicate content on your website. Google can pick up on duplicate content when crawling your site and may index one piece of content over the other, potentially bringing the ranking strength of both pieces of content down. 

Fed Fix: 

There are many free resources online that can help you quickly and easily scan your website for duplicate content that may be hurting your search engine ranking. 

Siteliner checker for checking duplicate content, broken links, and more

Pop your URL into Siteliner, and within seconds you can see how much duplicate content exists on your website and where. Siteliner also provides other helpful information, including:

  • your average page load time,
  • number of words per webpage,
  • text to HTML ratio, and 
  • internal links per page.

If you have a WordPress website, there are several free and affordable plug-ins that automatically scan your site for duplicate content and suggest improvements to boost your search engine ranking.

Your website’s user experience isn’t up to scratch  

Your site’s user experience is more important than ever before when it comes to your search engine ranking. Next month, Google launches its Core Web Vitals Update, which will make the user experience of your website a key ranking factor.

Fed Fix: 

We recommend getting your site into top shape before Google’s update to avoid impacting your website ranking. 

Make sure your site meets Google’s minimum requirements:

  • Largest Contentful Paint: occurs within 2.5 seconds of landing on a webpage
  • First Input Delay: occurs within 100 milliseconds
  • Cumulative Layout Shift: webpages need to hold a CLS of less than 0.1

Google hasn’t indexed your site  

Our last point may seem like an obvious one, but companies also commonly miss it. For Google to index your site, it needs access to your sitemap, which should be error-free, and you should ensure you aren’t unintentionally blocking Google from indexing your site.

Fed Fix: 

You can see all pages blocked on your site by running an Index Coverage report through Google Central or try testing a specific page using Google’s URL Inspection Tool.

Galactic Fed audited the sitemap of Enplug’s website and discovered ways that they could optimize their SEO by resolving a number of technical issues. We provided actionable recommendations for each of these issues and worked in partnership with Enplug’s marketing team to ensure each task’s correct execution.

Boost organic traffic to your site with top spot on Google

And there you have it! Six ways you may be unintentionally harming your search engine ranking and what to do about it if so. 

Ensure all of the pages on your website load fast and build a decent amount of backlinks to your site to make Google happy. 

If your website is relatively new, set up a Google Console account, create a sitemap and submit it to Google to watch your search engine ranking improve. 

Address duplicate content as a priority and make your website a joy to navigate with a great user experience. And finally, make sure Google is indexing your site and all of the pages on it. 

If you’d like a helping hand with improving where your website ends up on Google, reach out to us today! We have years of experience performing SEO audits of websites, helping businesses large and small boost organic traffic and grow.

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Natalie Yelton photo

Natalie Yelton

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed