Our guide to where you could be going wrong

It is often the case that even when using some of the best, most tried and tested of SEO techniques, that there is still a chance that somebody else out there, perhaps one of your competitors, is outranking you in Google. If that does appear to be the case, and you can’t seem to determine why it is happening, then maybe you can find the solution in the following SEO check-list!

Search results are affected by ‘search-engine bias’

The Search engines have changed the way they sort data on many occasions over the years, from the keyword hunting ‘spiders’ to new algorithms that have become so sophisticated that they can nowadays process user emotions based on patterns of their previous activity. This is invaluable for many users in terms of search results, but as a business it can be very frustrating trying to predict the said algorithms next moves. It is slightly less difficult to attempt to determine the many varied and different audience wants and needs when they are actually on your site.

Most of the market-leading search engines, Google included, will ultimately aim to provide the users with as much of a personal, and localised, service as possible. The result of this desire by these behemoths is a ‘results bias’.

Google bias their search results partly from three important factors: your local area, the type of device you are using to browse, and the type of content expected by the user, based on the search query that has been entered. For example, if you are based in the UK, then all search results will be sorted by the UK’s own specific local rankings – and would not be a fair representation of the global markets search results. Google also has a new bias towards websites with a high compatibility with mobile devices as well as showing just particular types of results based on the search query and patterns that are associated with it. If a particular search term would yield a lot of video or image based results, then you should try and adapt your content in relevant areas to match, ensuring that Google sees your site as rank-worthy.

Search Tip: You can search Google results for specific overseas regions by using ‘@gl=’ and then the official abbreviation of the country, for example UK, US, DE.

Does your search listing sound like a website you would want to visit?

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, it is possible that your listing or snippet recorded and displayed by the search engine could, for some reason, be preventing people from clicking through to your site. It’s been said many times before and it will be said again – nothing is more important than the actual content itself when it comes to search engine results .If you aren’t providing the type of content that people actually want to see then they aren’t going to see it in their search results (even though it may be there) and they are thus even less likely to visit your website.

If you are selling services or goods then you may be selling things that people want but you may not have any particularly unique value to your site that make you stand out from the crowd. There are often hundreds of other businesses selling the same thing that you are in the same country. If you really want to get an edge, pushing you above both your competitors and other content producers in the same field, then you may need to be prepared to fight fire with fire, and become a creator of true quality content. A blog is a great and simple way to do this.

Another great way to determine how much people may or may not wish to visit your website is the domain name itself. It may be that is doesn’t roll off the tongue very well, or it could be that the name is a poor and unrelated representation of the service or product that is being offered.

Does your provided search result reflect the users need?

Carefully compare the results that have come up for your chosen search query and ask yourself this one simple question aloud. Most of the sites that are ranked highly have done so because they do successfully address the user’s needs, the original needs that were behind the search query.

The major Search engine providers such as Google can determine your bounce and exit rates and change your ranking based on this information. If the people that are clicking onto your site from a particular search term are then exiting instantly then Google will view your site as one that is failing to meet the user’s needs and potentially will depress its ranking positions.

Examine your sites back links in fine detail

Finally, it is extremely important to have frequently linked fresh content. It is even more important, however, to have well-linked content! This means that the following factors are important:

  • Positive original comments from those who are linking to you
  • Quality of linkage
  • Links to your site from a variety of different types of webpage (special interest, blog, news, forum etc)
  • A fast rate of content acceleration compared to your competition.

There are, of course, many other factors which we will cover in the next article but these will give you a starting point from which to engineer future success.