Google Search Rankings Languishing? Here’s Some Tips

By Deborah Kurfiss, Umbrella Content Marketing Director on Aug 19, 2022

When you post website pages for a client, you are probably hoping that after a time, your important pages will rise to prominence on the first page of Google search rankings  Sure, there are other search engines, but the facts remain that about 93% of all Internet searches are on Google.

But it’s not enough to just show up in Google search results. If your client’s pages are not making it to the first page, most people will never see the links to your client’s site. 75% of people only look at the first page of Google search results… they don’t page through to the others.

So. what happens if you publish content that eventually appears in Google search results on page 3 or 7, but then never moves? Let’s talk about what you can do to create and push content to the first page of Google.

Post Valuable Content

There are a lot of complicated manipulations an SEO manager can perform to optimize a website for Google and improve Google search rankings. But there is only so much they can do if the content is not interesting or valuable. As you read through pages and posts, consider these questions:

  • Is it helpful?
  • Is it clear?
  • Is it well-organized?
  • Is the format readable, such as breaking up long sentences and paragraphs, using bullets for lists and so on?
  • Does it need more detail?
  • Is it so detailed nobody will ever wade through it?
  • Is it interesting or valuable? In other words, is the content good or just kind of blah?
  • Are there links to authoritative external sites as well as relevant internal pages?
  • Is there a lot of extra fluff, perhaps because the writer was instructed to hit an assigned word count? Big isn’t always better if the article just rambles on. You want to keep people interested.

Check if Pages Are Competing with Each Other

When you plan a website, you want to be sure you accurately signal Google about where to send traffic for specific keywords. If you are using the same keywords on multiple pages, you may be setting them up to compete with each other, thereby diluting their effectiveness and decreasing Google ranking.

You can use various tools (such as Ahrefs and Semrush) to check to see if a client’s site has pages that compete with each other. If you find a a couple that are competing, examine whether or not your client really needs both pages. If they, analyze the wisdom of changing the keywords on one of them.

Work on Your Backlinks

In addition to including links in the content you post, you want links from domains with authority to link back to your client’s site. In doing so, they vouch for your client’s site’s credibility and value. This can vastly improve your Google search rankings. We recently wrote a two-part blog on getting backlinks, the first of which may be found here.  You can find the second part here.

Update Your Content

Don’t let your site go stagnant. Search engines will come check your client’s site more frequently if you are freshening the content. That doesn’t mean total makeovers that will confuse your current traffic. But updating product pages with new features, regularly publishing blog posts, posting case studies, adding video, sharing company news and adding to FAQs will all help your SEO. Also, you will want to periodically check your client’s website against those of competitors to see whether or not you are being outdone.

At the same time you are adding content, check for content that’s outdated. You don’t want to show pages dedicated to products that have been discontinued or a bio of an executive who has retired for example.

Double-Check the Metadata

This may seem obvious, but sometimes when a business is in a hurry to get a site up, they neglect to add metadata with keywords to pages, posts and images. Metadata, of course, are tags that are often hidden but give Google and other search engines information about a page’s content.

  • A meta title shows up in search for a page. Images should also have meta titles.
  • Similarly, a meta description that gives more detail about a page also often shows up in search. Images should also have meta descriptions.
  • Alternative text describes an image for those times when the image does not appear or other reasons a text alternative to the image is desired.

Good metadata is critical to improve Google search rankings.

Check the Page Speed and Core Web Vitals

Google has not exactly made an announcement, but it’s firmly believed by most that Google does not love a slow-loading website or page. In other words, page speed affects Google search rankings.

Page speed is the time it takes a page to load after its link is clicked on a search engine results page. Below a certain threshold, Google starts penalizing. After all, Google wants to send users pages that given them a good experience. Nobody wants to watch paint dry. Fortunately, Google provides a free tool called PageSpeed Insights to measure loading time.

Also be aware that in 2020 Google introduced Core Web Vitals to measure URL performance that includes not only page speed but also responsiveness, interactivity and visual stability. These all affect Google rankings.

Keep Abreast of Current SEO Best Practices

Google and other search engines change their algorithms – a lot. And usually, they don’t make announcements about it. If you wake up one day and some of your client’s pages have taken a big dive in Google search rankings, you want to check into whether there has been a major algorithm change. If you don’t see anything about it on the Google site, check out well-respected SEO websites such as Search Engine Land and Search Engine Journal and The Moz Blog.

You need to keep on top of all the factors Google and other search engines use to determine rankings – and just how important various factors are.

Keywords you may want to use may also change according to what is important in an industry and other factors.

Technology and how people search also change. For example, voice searches using technology such as Alexa and Google Voice Assistant have gone mainstream.

Contact Umbrella for White Label SEO Services

As a digital marketer, you should know SEO basics, but that doesn’t mean you need to become an SEO expert yourself. If SEO is not one of your core skills, you can always turn to Umbrella for white label SEO services you can resell to your clients. You can start the process of improving your clients’ Google search rankings immediately.

Contact Umbrella to discuss how our SEO experts can serve your clients and help keep them coming back to you!

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