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Why Am I Not on the First Page of Google?


Why Am I Not on the First Page of Google?

Why Am I Not on the First Page of Google?


Imagine you've invested time, effort, and resources into creating a compelling website for your small business on the Wix platform. However, when you search for your products or services on Google, your website doesn't appear on the first page. It's a common scenario for many small businesses, prompting the question: 'Why am I not on the first page of Google?'


Achieving a first-page ranking on Google isn't an overnight process. It involves a strategic approach, technical know-how, and often, a significant investment of time. Let's explore why you might not be ranking on the first page and how to improve your standing.


Understanding Google's Algorithms

To climb the search engine results pages (SERPs), you must first understand the fundamentals of how Google's algorithms operate. Google's algorithms are complex mathematical and machine learning systems used to retrieve data from its search index and deliver the best possible results for a query. Here's a deeper look into some significant components:


Relevance - Google tries to match the user's search intent with the most relevant results. Relevance is determined by how closely your website's content matches the keywords used in a user's search query. The more closely your content aligns with common searches in your industry or niche, the more likely it is to be seen as relevant.


Quality - Google's algorithms prioritize high-quality content. Google uses several indicators to assess quality, including your site's backlink profile and engagement metrics like bounce rate and dwell time. The E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) principle is a significant factor that Google uses to assess content quality. Sites that demonstrate high levels of expertise, authority, and trustworthiness tend to rank better.


User Experience (UX) - User experience is another crucial factor that Google's algorithms consider. This encompasses various elements such as site loading speed, mobile-friendliness, easy navigation, and high-quality content. With the rollout of Core Web Vitals, Google has made it clear that factors like loading performance, interactivity, and visual stability of page content will impact rankings.


Site Security - Google prefers websites that are secure, and having a secure (HTTPS) site is a ranking signal. HTTPS protects the integrity of your site and the privacy and security of your users, which aligns with Google's priority of providing a safe web experience for users.


Backlinks - Backlinks are a key ranking factor for Google, as they serve as a signal of trust and authority. The number and quality of the backlinks to your site help Google understand how valuable and reputable your content is. However, it's not just about quantity; the quality of your backlinks is equally, if not more, important.


User Engagement - Google uses various indirect measures to assess user engagement, such as organic click-through rate (CTR), bounce rate, and dwell time. While these are not direct ranking factors, they can provide Google with signals about the overall user experience on your site.


Mobile-First Indexing - Google has shifted towards mobile-first indexing, meaning it predominantly uses the mobile version of a website's content for indexing and ranking. Consequently, having a mobile-friendly website is essential for good rankings.


Remember, Google's algorithms are continually evolving. What works today may not work tomorrow, so it's crucial to stay updated with the latest changes and updates in Google's search algorithms.


Keyword Optimization

An essential step in boosting your website's visibility on Google is optimizing your content for relevant keywords. Keywords are the terms users enter into Google when conducting a search. If your website doesn't include the right keywords, Google may not consider it relevant to user queries. To improve your ranking, identify the keywords your potential customers are using, and incorporate them into your website's content, meta tags, and URLs. Various keyword research tools, such as Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush, can aid in this process. But beware of 'keyword stuffing'—Google may penalize sites that overuse keywords.


Quality Content

Google aims to provide users with the most relevant and high-quality results. Therefore, the quality of your content is a crucial factor in your website's ranking. Google favors content that is unique, offers value to the user, and thoroughly covers a topic. Ensure your content is original, well-written, and provides valuable information to your audience. Incorporating keywords naturally into your content can also help Google recognize its relevance to certain search queries. Be careful not to overdo it, Google's advanced algorithms can detect when a website is unnaturally overusing keywords, which can lead to penalties that negatively impact your site's ranking. Moreover, keyword stuffing can make your content sound unnatural and spammy, which compromises the readability and quality of your content. This can lead to a poor user experience, potentially driving visitors away from your site. Ultimately, it's best to use keywords strategically and naturally within your content, ensuring that they add value for your audience while also helping with SEO.


User Experience

Google takes user experience into account when ranking websites. Factors influencing user experience include your website's loading speed, mobile-friendliness, and navigability. Optimizing your website for mobile devices is crucial, as more than half of all web traffic comes from mobile users. Similarly, a fast-loading site can significantly improve the user experience, reducing the likelihood of visitors abandoning your site out of frustration.


Backlinks

Backlinks are links from other websites to your own. Google sees backlinks as a signal of your website's authority and relevance. However, it's not just the number of backlinks that matter, but their quality. Links from reputable, high-traffic websites are more valuable than those from lesser-known sites. Consider strategies to earn high-quality backlinks, such as guest blogging, partnerships with other businesses, or creating high-quality content that others want to share.


Technical SEO

Technical aspects of your website can significantly impact your Google ranking. This includes your site's security (HTTPS vs. HTTP), the quality of your code, and the use of schema markup to provide Google with additional information about your site's content. Consider conducting a technical SEO audit to identify and fix any potential issues. Tools like Google Search Console can be particularly useful in this regard.


Local SEO

For small businesses serving a local customer base, local SEO is crucial. This involves optimizing your website for location-specific keywords and ensuring your business is listed on Google My Business and other online directories. Positive reviews on Google can also improve your local ranking.


In Summary

If you're not on the first page of Google, it's likely due to a combination of factors related to your website's relevance, authority, usability, and the quality of its content. Improving your Google ranking requires a comprehensive strategy encompassing keyword optimization, content quality, user experience, backlinks, technical SEO, and local SEO. Remember, achieving a first-page ranking takes time and patience, with the right strategy, it's a goal that's well within your reach!


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Hausman Graphics is a certified Wix Partner and creates stunning websites for businesses in the UK, USA and beyond. If you are looking for a new website, a fresh look for your current website, or are seeking to improve your performance on Google, contact us today and let's get started. Or if you'd like to learn a little more first, read our recent feature in The Drum.

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