eCommerce merchants rely on organic traffic from search engines like Google and Bing to attract new customers. When organic traffic drops or never seems to get any better, it can be frustrating. There are several reasons why a website or specific pages are ranking poorly in search rankings.
Below are four reasons why a website or individual pages are performing poorly in search rankings and how to fix them.
Issue 1: Technical Difficulties
One of the first things to check is if the page or pages are functioning correctly. If there are technical issues present, that could be a significant factor for search engines to exclude the page from their rankings.
There are few ways to fix fundamental technical issues. First, try doing a hard refresh in the browser, or try viewing the page from another computer or device. There could be something wrong with the HTML, CSS, or any other scripts on that page. Improving the page’s ranking could be as simple as identifying this problem and correcting it.
Issue 2: Duplicate Content
Another common reason for poor rankings is duplicate content. It can be challenging to create new and engaging website copy for every page of a website, especially for a large site with many pages. Some merchants copy text from other pages, from a supplier, or even competitors. However, when search engines notice that the copy on the page matches that of another, they could remove the page from its rankings. Or, the search engine may not know which page to rank first. In this case, it’s possible to have multiple pages on one website competing against one another for the same organic rankings.
There are several tools to help check for duplicate content. Google Search Console will look for duplicate content in meta descriptions and titles tags. To review a website in Search Console navigate to Search Appearance > HTML Improvements. Refer to the image below.
There are also site audit tools like SEMrush and MOZ that can help diagnose duplicate content as well as other performance issues. The key to duplicate content is to avoid it from the get-go. However, accidents do happen. Just be sure to resolve problems as soon as possible.
Issue 3: Page Speed
Page speed is also a key performance indicator for organic rankings. Search engines are serious about page speed. Pages that are slow to load will drop in organic rankings. With Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool, it is easy to test page speed. Add a URL, and PageSpeed insights will analyze the page and offer solutions for improvements.
Slow page speed could be a result of broken scripts, server overload, or large image files.
Issue 4: Competitors Are Ranking Better
There are always going to be competitors competing for the same keywords. So another possibility for poor rankings could be that your competitors are doing a better job. Maybe they optimized their pages better, or have more backlinks.
To get ahead, analyze those competitor pages. There are plenty of competitor research tools available. With the competitor research tools, merchants can learn quite a bit about competitors, their marketing strategy and learn ways to make adjustments based on those findings.
Search Rankings Require Regular Attention
The real key to success search rankings is to make SEO a priority. Technical issues can arise accidentally, and competitors will always be working to win. Regularly monitor the website and take care in how pages and content are updated to avoid mistakes. With weekly or monthly evaluations, it is possible to find issues and work to correct them quickly. Being vigilant is critical because even if pages are ranking well now, that doesn’t mean they always will.
To learn more about SEO and organic rankings or to learn why your site is ranking poorly, contact us today!