Page 2 on Google Ranking Blues

Are you stuck on page 2 of Google and cant seem to get to page 1? Do you watch your competitors stay on page 1 and you just can figure out why you are unable to beat them? Does your SEO company promise you that this is a small hiccup and that you’re going to get to page one in a matter of time? If you have those page 2 ranking blues and can’t seem to crack it big time on page 1 then you need to look at what’s going on with your SEO campaign.

googlepage2If you are forever stuck hovering between the top and bottom of page 2 then you know what I am talking about. One day you might be excited because you see your SEO rankings start to shoot up to the very top of page 2, just at the cusp of venturing into the unchartered waters of page 1. Then all of a sudden you check your keyword ranking and you start to move back down the page. This is when you start to wonder what is happening with your online marketing.

This is unfortunately very common and happens all the time. Rankings fluctuations like this are extremely common and what you find is that the only positions that seem to remain unaffected are those in the top 3 positions. The rest are very volatile. For a lot of businesses it’s hard to remain competitive and plan for the future with these types of fluctuations.

If your in a niche market and you have been in business a long time your rankings should by their very nature of Google be pretty solid. That is, you shouldn’t be overly concerned about too much up and down activity. That is, unless there enters into the market a lot of new players who want your position. Then you may start to see your rankings take a dip.

Alternatively, if you are in a highly competitive niche where everyone is scrambling to get to page 1, you are definitely gong to see some real bounces in your position unless you can come up with a great strategy to stabilise things a bit.

Unfortunately, in this day many businesses are looking for the quick option and this also goes for search engine optimisation. Businesses all over Sydney want the best deal they can find and in the case of SEO, this can have a damaging effect on your internet marketing. Reason being, the cheaper options generally lead to cutting corners and implementing what is termed ‘black hat’ SEO techniques. Those people reading this blog and have used a few companies in the past will know exactly what I’m talking about. They made the grave mistake of taking one of these cheap SEO agencies on board and have paid the price of not being able to get their rankings above a certain level. In most cases, they will see a slight improvement in their position but over time they start to see a pattern on ranking stability BUT NEVER ON PAGE 1.

The problem gets compounded when we are called in to try and remedy the situation and what we find is a whole lot of messy, incredibly bad back links that will over time get de indexed and devalued by Google. Whilst this is a good thing in the short term, what this means is that your website will start to loose big rankings over the next 6 months to a year, as Google keeps viewing these thousands of links and starts to place zero value on them. All we can do is try to counter balance this with a proper back linking campaign.

Ways to improve your rankings

  • make sure that your website is fully optimised for Google search. Keep load times to a minimum and make sure that there are no heavy graphics on you main landing pages

 

  • keep web content and this is site wide freshly updated with news and relevant information. If you have plagiarised content get rid of it quickly as this could be one of the main factors holding you back.

 

  • Try to satisfy Googles algorithm called rank brain. This is the combination of quality backlinks and content. If anything, I would put more of an emphasis on quality content throughout your website. The rationale behind this is that the better the copy the more people willing to it naturally and hence your rankings will improve. The best way to achieve this is to go through your website thoroughly, check each page and make sure the content is rich with information. Wikipedia highlights RankBrain as the third main ranking factor with Google. So it’s vital that you fully understand it’s significance and the reasons why a violation of this could be inhibiting your rankings.

 

  • Make sure all titles on your site are relevant to the page. This also includes meta descriptions.

 

  • Audit all your back links and prune those that you seen as irrelevant or spammy. Those might have been placed there by your current SEO provider. This may be hard to do but it is an essential part of improving your rankings. You will immediately recognise a bad backlink as it’s one that has come from an unrelated and untrusted source. If you are unable to delete all links naturally then you need to disavow them and the following article is a must read: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/2648487?hl=en

There are over 200 rankings factors that could be holding your website back and to compound matters and make them seen insurmountable Google is forever changing these. But, one thing you should do to get out of the page 2 rut is to make sure your being as natural as you can with your site. A natural back linking profile and fabulous copy is really the only two ways to avoid ranking slumps. So my advice is to get cracking and start writing.

Common questions regarding SEO

seoquestionsBeing in the SEO industry for over a decade we are lucky to speak with businesses from all over Sydney. We get so many questions regarding SEO and digital marketing daily.

Following are a few questions we get that just might help you understand SEO a little bit more. The video on here is particularly helpful.

Can I get to the top of page 1 today if I hire your SEO services?

This is a great question and I do love being asked this. Many people have no understanding of how the search engines work and they often expect immediate results. The truth is that ranking on Google can take a significant amount of time and for those people expecting to be up there within a day or two, expectations must be managed. Especially if you have a new website. Google rankings take time & panning and reaching page one quickly will never happen.

Why do other SEO agencies offer a money back guarantee?

Well, this one would have to take the prize for the most frequently asked question. I would get at least 2 to 3 of these per day. I have full empathy for businesses that want guarantees. After all, there are many SEO companies who will offer this and they are prepared to put it in writing. All I can say is good luck!

If you are prepared to believe this then you are being tricked in to the biggest SEO scam that exists today. These guarantees are not worth the paper they are written on. Companies out there offering this are just slick sales people trying to get your business. They are experts at deception and playing the guarantee card.

They come across as a completely legitimate company who after all are ranking on page 1 of Google for the term SEO. WRONG!! These deceitful, misleading statements like: ‘money back’ and guarantees’ are all part of the scam. I guess there is an element of luck, but my advice to anyone thinking about hiring an SEO team is to avoid these scams and walk away.

Have a close look at what one of Google’s top employees says about SEO Guarantees:

Google will even tell us on their website that there are no such things as a ranking guarantee. See the link below:

https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35291

SEO companies all say the same thing, I don’t trust any one you.

This unfortunately is a common question. It is not a case of a few rotten apples have ruined the cart. But, a lot of bad fish are stinking up the place. The SEO landscape and players within it have systematically ripped off so many businesses that we all have a bad name. That’s right. The honourable and truthful agencies like our team at SEO Sydney Experts have to get tarnished with the same brush as those who are simply out to squeeze as many dollars as they can out of you.

 

What has happened is that they have been burnt by the last 2 or 3 SEO companies and are completely distrusting of other agencies.

I try to explain to them why they have been ripped off (paying next to nothing for their SEO, using cheap providors, ignoring the basic fundamentals of SEO), yet they still are quite closed off when I speak with them. People (and I get this) want the best deal that they can get for their business. And in the SEO world there are many agencies that are prepared to take even a few hundred dollars for competitive SEO terms and promise the world.

They don’t care about the size of your company, they will simply take your money and do nothing. Remember they love corporate SEO, becuase you have more money to throw at them. The temptation for most people is too great to refuse and this perpetuates the vicious cycle.

This is not how SEO works and is the reason people continually get smashed online. The logic behind taking a few hundred dollars, is that over a year this adds up to $2400 and this is not bad money for 1 phone call & locking you into a contract.

Can I start & stop my SEO?

Unfortunately not. SEO is a continuous strategy that must be worked on the whole time without a break. Stopping your link building and copywriting will just let the competition get ahead of you. Your website has to send ranking signals to the Google spiders to continuously index your website and this can only be achieved through SEO on a continual basis.

Why does my website have to have so much content when all I want is to have pretty graphics?

Thi sis a very common question we get from industries that rely on images to tell their story. Content simply clutters the site up. Unfortunately for these businesses content is necessary and they have to tell their story through words and not graphics alone. The reason for this is that Google needs information to rank a site.

Yes you can have it looking nice but there must be content alongside the images. People often wonder why their website hasn’t moved up the rankings, or worse has not been indexed when they follow the philosophy of no copy. The golden rule here is a mix of unique content and great imagery. This will give the user the best experience and Google will in turn start trusting and pushing the site higher up the rankings. It’s amazing what an additional couple of paragraphs can do.

These are just a few of the questions I get asked but in truth they are not that bad and they reflect the fact that many business owners are still unclear about SEO and how it works.

If you have any questions no matter how silly you may think they may be, I am more than happy to answer these for you.

New Websites Take Time to Rank

new-website-seoI really does not matter what your niche is or the keywords you are trying to rank for, SEO for any new website is going to take time. In fact, in some cases and industry niches up to a year. This is the reality of the SEO space and if you feel that your website is better looking or flashier than your competitors, therefore it should rank faster, this simply won’t happen. Trying to speed up the ranking process is a really bad idea and will only end up with a Google penalty.

There is the temptation to try and do anything you can to boost your rankings and there are businesses out there who will have will not believe this and try to do their own SEO. But, at the end of the day, the only way you are ever going to solidify and cement your online position is to do your SEO slowly and ethically.

The frustration is huge. You can see that your new website is sitting on page ten or in some cases has not even been indexed by Google and you think that by buying a few links you are going to somehow improve the situation. This is never going to happen. You may see a slight bump in your position, but nothing like you hope it would be.

How long does it take to rank on Google for new websites?

It can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months to start to see rankings on Google. As stated above this is only for new websites. For aged websites, the case s different and rankings will start to climb almost immediately if you implement ‘on page’ amends. There are a lot of sites that have never looked at their actual site and it may take only a few tweaks of the content of the home page to see positive improvements.

For brand new websites the wait is far longer. Trust and authority need to be established and this can only be done by constantly adding content over time as well as building links. Then and only then will your site start to rank. It is a waiting game and you are at the mercy of Google’s ranking algorithms.
Let me also add that if your in a really competitive industry where the first page of Google is dominated by Government, education and established businesses, the wait could be many years.

This is a curse for so many businesses who have gone to the effort of designing a website but no one is seeing it or visiting the site.

To get abetter idea of how websites get to the front page of Google we first need to take a closer look at how Google indexes website pages.

How Does Google Find my Website?

Google has ‘Googlebots’ or what are commonly known as spiders that are constantly indexing new content throughout the web. There are billions if not more pages being added the whole time and it’s the job of these wipers to collate this information and add it to Google’s index. If your site is able to be read easily by these spiders, chances are it will get indexed very quickly. In some cases maybe a couple of weeks.

To learn more about Google and how the search engines work take a look at the video by Matt Cutts who heads up Google’s spam team.

When it comes to finding your website there are about 200factors that Google takes into account which means your site has got to be compliant. It’s not all about back linking as some SEO companies might try to tell you. There are many small changes you can do to your site to help improve it’s overall quality which will make it easier for the search engines to index

How to Improve your websites overall quality

There is no silver bullet that will instantly push you to page one. But following are some really quick wins you can implement on your site to help the whole indexing process.

Website Speed. Look at your websites loading times. Speed is an important ranking factor. Get rid of large graphics, pop ups, or videos that will slow your load times.

–  Page titles. Correct web page titles and descriptions will help Google index the page based on the topic.

–  Quality content. Having quality content throughout your website is a major ranking factor. Writing creative copy is what attracts those Googlebots to your site and if your consistenty adding fresh, new, informative content these its will be visiting your site regularly. Over time this will add trust and therefore higher rankings.

–  Website structure. Your site has to be easy to navigate and a clean web interface that helps visitors get around your site easily is vital. Complicated menus will not only confuse your customers but will also make it harder for Google to index your site.

–  SEO. Try to find and SEO agency you can work with who will be able to implement all this for you.

–  Include alt tags and title tags. These are placed on all images of your website to help Google learn more about your web pages as the bots cannot index images. Have a read of this article for a better understanding of this important ranking factor.

Local SEO rankings – quick wins

If you have a just started a small business and have a new website then your probably going to want to attract local customers. Competing on a larger geographic scale is no use to you and this is where local SEO becomes the focus. Ranking newer websites for local SEO business will take time and in many cases up to 6 months, but there are ways in which you can help Google find your site.

– Google My Business. Register with Google My Business immediately. If you have a legitimate address and local phone number this should be the first thing on your list. Click here.

– Local Content. With content that is focused on your local area.

– Maps. In the contact us section of your website add a Google maps clearly sowing that your a local business.

In summation:

When it comes to your Google rankings you really have to think long term; 6 months to a year to start seeing a return on your website investment as well as decent traffic to your site. Some less competitive keywords will rank quicker than others and this is where you will start to see a trickle of traffic flow though. But, patience is the key here. Unfortunately, for most businesses who need to see a cash flow from day 1, this is not ideal. There are however other marketing platforms (social media, Adwords) your can try to generate traffic and these should be explored in conjunction with the Google waiting game.