Reasons Your Content Isn’t Ranking

You may still not achieve the SEO results you’d expect. So, we explore the reasons why your content isn't ranking and share tips to solve it.

Updated on July 25, 2022
Reasons Your Content Isn’t Ranking

Search engine optimization or SEO remains elusive despite how much businesses contend with it in their digital market strategies. Google is certainly not very transparent when it comes to ranking factors. Even when you can figure out what the most current algorithm is looking for to rank content, you may still not achieve the results you’d expect. In this article, we explore the reasons why your content isn’t ranking and share tips to solve it.

Reasons Your Content Isn’t Ranking

There are plenty of circumstances where great content doesn’t rank well. On the other hand, despite constant algorithm shifts to improve the search experience, there are also a lot of situations where not-so-great content ranks well. 

Maybe you have a well-designed and optimized site, and you’re following best practices but it just doesn’t seem to be working. It’s frustrating, but the following are some reasons that good content might not be ranking. 

Technical Issues: Reasons Your Content Isn’t Ranking

Above, we mention the importance of a well-designed site. This is a big one, and you may be having technical issues you don’t even realize are going on. These issues might be impeding your SEO results. 

Your website needs to load quickly, for example. Security is also critical to technical SEO. 

You may need to work with a website developer to audit your site and make sure there aren’t technical issues you need to address. 

Not addressing underlying technical issues is one of the biggest reasons you can create all the great content you want, but it won’t rank. 

There could be various specific technical issues you need to deal with. For example, you might have conflicting plugins preventing Google from indexing your site, or your load times could be too long. You might not have security certificates up to date either. 

You’re Using Shady Tactics

Google will penalize you for using shade SEO tactics. That doesn’t even mean you’re intentionally doing it, but you can still be penalized. 

One of the biggest is keyword stuffing in hidden text, which you would likely know you were doing. Your whole page could be otherwise perfect, but Google might be flagging something it doesn’t like. 

You can check if Google is flagging you for something like this by going to your Google Search Console or GSC. From there, navigate to the Manual Actions tab, which can show you whether or not you have issues you’re being hit negatively for. 

Linking Issues: Reasons Your Content Isn’t Ranking

You need a good internal link structure to rank well, and you also need high-quality backlinks. Google crawls the web and then follows the links it finds. If your links are subpar, you’re not going to rank as well as you could otherwise, if at all. 

First, don’t undervalue how important your internal linking structure is for SEO. When you have a clear site structure, Google can better understand it. 

Make sure that your key content and most important pages and posts have the most internal links pointing back to them. Don’t add internal links for the sake of doing so. Ensure you’re choosing links that are genuinely related and relevant. 

As far as backlinks, this is part of your off-page or offsite SEO. You need links from other sites. 

One of the best ways to get links back to your content is to create great content. You can also do outreach to other sites to ask them to link back to yours, or you can work with a link-building company and outsource the work. 

You’re Choosing Keywords That Are Too Competitive

Another big reason a page isn’t ranking is that there’s too much competition. Be careful with your keyword research. Sometimes you might think you can rank for a competitive keyword just by creating good content, but that’s unlikely. 

If high authority sites dominate the results pages for a keyword you choose, the likelihood of you being competitive with that is low. You probably don’t have the authority those sites do, especially if you’re just getting started. 

You can optimize your content as much as you want, and you’re probably not going to see results if your keywords are highly competitive. 

Using a long-tail keyword strategy is best, especially if you’re a newer site. Once your long-tail content starts to rank, you’ll be more likely to then rank for the higher competition keywords. 

Content Creation Isn’t Consistent

If you’re not consistently creating new content and publishing it, you’re not going to do as well in terms of SEO, even if the content you do have is high-quality. You need to have a marketing calendar that you stick to if you want to grow. You can’t publish content when you feel like it and expect you’re going to climb the rankings. 

The more content you can create while still keeping it high-quality, the better. 

It’s hard to be consistent, especially when you don’t see immediate results, but it’s worth it. Having discipline and a structure for content creation is one of the best things you can do for your business. 

You Aren’t Considering Intent

Search intent is becoming an increasingly important ranking factor. When you’re writing a piece of content, think about the intent of the person searching from the start to frame your writing accordingly. 

For example, are people looking for information or ready to buy?

You can find out a lot about intent by looking at the similar content already out there. 

The Content Isn’t Trustworthy

Google’s changes to its algorithm that seem to happen every few months are lately very focused on making sure people using their search engine are getting authoritative content they can trust. 

To build trust, first, you want to be transparent about who you are. Create a bio for yourself, and link it to your other sites or social media profiles. This makes readers feel like you’re more accountable for what you’re putting out there. 

Make sure you’re always showing your sources and references for information, and create information that’s honest and unbiased. 

You need to put your readers first to deliver trustworthy content that will also rank well.