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Fleeing SEO Purgatory: What to Do if Your Website Isn't Ranking

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Having your website not rank can feel like a death sentence. Being easily discoverable can make or break your online presence and hurt website traffic if not taken care of. The good news is that there are some steps you can take to get in SEO good graces and rank again.

According to Yoast SEO, a search engine optimization plug-in for WordPress, there are many reasons why you might not be ranking as you should be.

Here are some main reasons to consider:

So, how do you fix these issues? Here is what you need to know. 

Indexing/Crawl issues:

If you’re unsure whether your site is on Google or not, you can check by using a site like Yoast to check if your domain is registered on Google. After you type your full URL and you see your pages, this means that Google has put at least some of your content in Google.

If this is the case, you'll need to look at other issues that might be plaguing your searchability.

Technical Issues:

Have you recently created your site? The most common reason for this to happen is the age of the site. If this rings true for you, you might consider waiting and checking in after some time has gone by. Surprisingly enough, getting your content crawled, indexed, and ranked does take some hard work and time.

It could take days or maybe even weeks for Google to finish its full crawling process. If you're finding that you're still having issues, it's time to dig a bit deeper.

Linking Issues:

SEO is a huge factor in why your site may not be showing like you think it should, so always run an SEO audit with a tool like SEMrush. Site structure is key and a huge part of your overall SEO performance. Google has a better chance of understanding your site structure if it's easily readable and clear. 

Keep an eye on your internal linking structure, such as your internal links, and that they are accurately pointing to the correct parts of the site, no matter how web-optimized your content is.

Content Keyword issues:

Keywords are where you need to have the most competitive edge to be able to keep up with larger sites that have a tendency to take over. Too much competition is one of the main reasons why you aren't ranking because there are too many other sites competing for visibility on that same phrase. 

If you optimize your content for competitive keywords and key phrases, try to make sure you're not using highly common short-form keywords and instead expand them a bit more to give you more of a chance to rank on it. Try focusing on a long-tail keyword strategy when fighting for highly competitive terms. This type of strategy requires time, but it will help you immensely.

These insights just graze the surface of what could be happening with your ranking and is definitely not an all-encompassing list. To keep your site healthy, running monthly or bi-weekly audits to maintain the performance of your site will help you gain a competitive edge compared to other sites. Time and patience are key here!