Why Does Your Site Rank So Poorly In Search Engine Results?

Clients often come to us wondering why their website isn’t appearing at the top of Google or Yahoo! Search results (and why, in some cases, their site doesn’t appear in search results at all). Below is a list of common reasons why sites don’t rank highly on the major search engines, and some remedies for resolving the issues. The higher a website ranks in search results, the bigger the number of visitors is. Getting users to stay on your website and interact with your content can boost your website’s ranking. You can do so by improving the user experience and usability of your website. Check your site for lost links over the last 90 days using a tool (e.g., Majestic, Ahrefs, CognitiveSEO). If you’ve lost a lot of links, this might be the reason for your drop in rankings. Conversely new web pages may come along and rank higher for the given search phrase and drive other pages off the first page (or first few pages) of the search engine results. Newer, more recent content can impact older and perhaps dated content. Especially in videos, images and news.

Your website's ranking on search engines is crucial to its performance. However, sometimes even your best efforts can seem ineffective. This can negatively impact your website by making it near impossible for organic traffic to find you.

Fortunately, it is possible to improve your rankings on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Even if you’ve previously struggled to boost your rankings, you can optimize your results by making a few tweaks to minimize common problems.

In this post, we’ll discuss four reasons your search engine rankings aren’t improving. We’ll then show you exactly how to correct the issue (with the help of Pretty Links). Let’s get started!

1. Your Site Is Improperly Indexed by Google

With a Sitemap, you can help Google to crawl your website most effectively.

Have you ever wondered how search engines know what websites are on the internet? It’s all because of ‘indexing'. It's through this process that your website appears on SERPs and your content is indexed by them like it would be in a library.

However, you actually have to tell sites like Google to index your content. Without doing so, the process may still happen, but it will be slow and ineffective. Fortunately, getting your site noticed isn’t difficult. It’s simply a matter of letting search engines know it’s there.

The easiest (and quickest) way to do this is by submitting your site’s URL through Google Search Console. However, this will only ensure a basic crawl of your site. For a more advanced crawl, you should submit your sitemap. This way, Google (and other search engines) will know the exact structure of your site so it can search and index it most effectively.

2. You Have Poorly Optimized On-Site Links

Why Does Your Site Rank So Poorly In Search Engine Results Today

With optimized anchor text and slugs, you can improve how users interact with your links.

The links on your site – both on- and off-site content – play an important role in determining your search engine rankings. As such, poorly optimized links can negatively impact SERP rankings.

This is one of the easier problems to fix (especially with Pretty Links). Here are two steps you can take immediately to optimize your on-site links and, as a result, improve your rankings:

  • Create shortened, branded links. Also known as Pretty Links, these will make it more likely for readers to click and share.
  • Use split testing. With split testing, you can understand which of your links work best. This includes comparing different anchor texts, slugs, and link placements.

Once you’ve worked on your on-site links, you can take it a step further by optimizing your off-site ones. For example, adding Pretty Links to your social media profiles and guest posts can improve your organic search traffic.

3. Your Competitors Continually Outrank You

SERPs are a good place to see how you compare to your competitors.

When you search industry keywords on Google, your competitors will likely appear in the results. If your competition is outranking you on industry keywords, it means their content is better optimized for the same keyword.

It’s possible – with some time and effort – to outrank your competitors on SERPs with the quality of your content. Here are two ways to get started:

  1. Do your keyword research. By finding the keywords your audience is most interested in, you can target them and related ones. You can also use your research to find keywords that are less used by your competitors, but still highly searched.
  2. Use Google Analytics to understand your audience. While keywords are important, they can only do so much if you don’t know who you’re writing for. With Google Analytics, you can learn more about user demographics (such as location or age) and create content specifically for them.

Even if you completely overhaul your website with better-optimized keywords, it can still take time to climb the ranks. You’ll need to be consistent in your efforts, as well as patient.

4. Your Website Is Not Optimized for Mobile Viewing

Optimizing your site for mobile ensures all visitors can enjoy the experience.

With US adults spending more time on mobile devices than desktops, it has never been more important to optimize your site for mobile viewing. This means making it easier for mobile users to navigate your site.

However, User Experience (UX) isn’t the only reason. Google actively penalizes sites that aren’t optimized for mobile users. Fortunately, you can easily optimize your site for mobile with a couple of steps:

  • Use a responsive theme. The majority of available themes are responsive, and it ensures the screen size responds to the device being used.
  • Improve your page speed. You can do this with WordPress caching plugins, like Simple Cache.

If you want to ensure an even better mobile experience, you can also use demographics from Google Analytics to learn which devices your audience is using. You can then optimize your site for the most common device, such as a smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

Why Does Your Site Rank So Poorly In Search Engine Results Explained


Your website’s location on SERPs can have a major impact on your site’s success. Which means it’s important to fix any ranking problems you may be facing as quickly as possible. Fortunately, you can do this by addressing some of the most common reasons – like poorly optimized links.

In this post, we’ve introduced you to four reasons your search engine rankings aren’t improving. We've also given you tips on what to do about it. To quickly recap:

Why Does Your Site Rank So Poorly In Search Engine Results 2020

  1. Index your site with Google and other search engines.
  2. Optimize your onsite links with Pretty Links.
  3. Improve your ranking with quality content.
  4. Make sure your site is responsive for mobile devices.

Do you have questions about search engine rankings, or how you can use Pretty Links to improve them? Let us know in the comments section below!

Why Does Your Site Rank So Poorly In Search Engine Results 2019

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