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1. There’s too much competition

In most cases, the reason a website doesn’t rank is that there’s simply too much competition. If you optimise your website pages and blog posts for competitive keywords and keyphrases, such as [dog behavior], [robot vacuum cleaner], or [real estate agent], chances are high you won’t rank for that term.

To find out if this is the problem, run a search and check the results pages for your keyword. Who dominates the first page? Do you see many competitors/websites that have already firmly established themselves in this niche? Odds are, your site doesn’t have the authority that these other sites have (yet). So you can optimise all you want, but unfortunately, that’s not enough to rank high in the search results if your niche is too competitive.

 

How to fix it:

If you want to rank for highly competitive terms, you should optimise your page/s using a long tail keyword strategy. Write blog posts that target related long tail keywords and phrases before tackling the competitive keywords. If these long tail articles start ranking, you’ll be able to rank for more competitive terms as well. A strategy such as this requires long-term efforts, but in the end, it will pay off.

 

2. Your site has technical issues

If your pages/posts don’t show up in the search engines at all, technical issues could be preventing it from appearing in the search results. You may have conflicting modules or plugins causing problems, and if using an SEO plugin, the configuration needs to be set up correctly (including ensuring you actually have your keywords and meta descriptions included for each page/post. You may need a sitemap, a robots txt file, caching etc - the technical stuff!

 

How to fix it:

First, make sure that your site is ready to be indexed - has it been submitted to search engines, has the sitemap been uploaded? Keep in mind, that after you change a setting to allow search engines to index your content, it may still take a while until you see it starts ranking.

Check your plugins and/or theme and make sure your security is in order!

 

3. Your site doesn’t have a proper internal linking structure

Another reason why your content doesn’t show up in the search results: a crucial part of your SEO strategy is not in order. Don’t underestimate the importance of site structure – the internal linking structure – for your SEO strategy. Having a clear site structure leads to better understanding of your site by Google. If your internal linking structure is poor, chances to rank high are lower – even when your content is well-optimised and awesome.

 

How to fix it:

Start adding those links! Make sure that your important posts and pages have the most internal links to them. But don’t randomly add links: make sure you add relevant, related links that add value for your users.

 

4. There are few backlinks to your site

If you just started out with your website, your content won’t instantly rank. Not even if every page is optimised perfectly. To be able to rank, you’ll need some links from other websites. After all, Google has to know your website exists.

 

How to fix it:

In order to get (more) backlinks, you can reach out to other websites. You’ll need to do some link building. Ask other websites with similar interests to you, 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!

 

5. You’re targeting the wrong type of intent

One final thing that could be the reason your content isn’t ranking: it doesn’t match the intent of people searching for your keyword. Search intent is becoming an increasingly important factor for search engines these days: do people want to buy something, go to a specific website, or are they looking for information? Even if you’re targeting a more long tail keyphrase, if your content doesn’t match the dominant intent of searchers, odds are search engines won’t show it in the results because it won’t be what people are looking for.

 

How to fix it:

Unfortunately, you don’t have the power to change the intent of search engine users. But you can adapt your content strategy. If your optimised content isn’t ranking, take a good look at the search results (preferably in private mode) and analyze what you see. Is one specific type of result dominant? Are there images or videos? Which related queries are shown? This is where your opportunities are. If you find mostly informational intent for a query, you can write content about that to get people to your site, establish your brand as a reliable source of information and stay top of mind when people do want to buy something. If you find a lot of images in the search results, you may need to focus more on image SEO. Take what you see on the results pages

 

Optimised content not ranking?
There are multiple reasons that could prevent a post from ranking. If you optimised it correctly with your SEO plugin, the most common cause will definitely be that the competition in a niche is just too fierce. Unfortunately, SEO is a long-term strategy. You need to work hard and be patient. In the meantime, there are a lot of other aspects of your SEO (site structure, link building) you can tackle. Try to focus on all aspects of website optimisation, not just think of a couple of keywords to put into your content - there's lots to work on. It will pay off eventually!
 
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