Why aren’t I ranked first on Google?

This is a question we hear all the time at Orion, and it’s not an easy one to answer. Google is constantly updating their own algorithm to provide users with the best possible search results, and the trend in recent years is to reward sites with great, well-written and original content over sites that spam keywords throughout their copy in an effort to rank. Meta keywords are out – great content is in!

There are no guarantees when it comes to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and you never can be sure exactly how well you are going to rank. Although, if you aren’t getting the rank you desire, it could be because of the following issues:

Poorly written code

Too often we see websites using outdated coding practices, table layouts, confusing navigation or coded completely in Flash. Google doesn’t care how pretty your site looks, it only sees the code! A poorly coded website can cause Google to incorrectly index the site, or not index it at all! Worse, if your site is completely made in Flash, Google won’t even see it. Websites need to be coded to professional standards, which is why it’s very rarely a good idea to have your cousin’s girlfriend’s son code your website for free. At Orion we always code to WC3 standards, using the latest technologies and best practices, with appropriate fall-backs for older browsers.

Poorly written copy

As often as we see bad code, we see even worse copy a lot more! Most people like to think they can write (after all, most of us do it every day!) but writing an email and writing an SEO friendly website are two different matters entirely. Boring, repetitive content is not going to win you any clients, and without the proper meta tags and keyword density, you aren’t doing any favours for your SEO. We are lucky to have some excellent copywriters employed at Orion and they know exactly how to write content that not only reads well for your human clients, but is just as easy to read for search engine bots! Keyword density, page titles, meta descriptions and much more are just some of the tricks they have up their sleeves!

Incorrect keywords

Using the correct keywords can make or break your site when it comes to SEO, and you need to focus on the most relevant keywords to your business. It might seem like a good idea to include every industry related word under the sun, but you are better off focusing on 2-3 and tailoring your content to those keywords. Try thinking like your potential client – if you were looking for your business, what search terms would you use?

Remember that there’s a lot of competition

Tried searching for graphic designers lately? There are a LOT of agencies around, and it’s difficult to get found out there on the web. As much as you are working/spending on your SEO, someone else will always be doing more. If you can rank on the first page for one or more of your chosen keywords, you are already doing great! There’s always more you can be doing of course, but there’s no need to stress about not being first for every keyword!

Give it some time

There are millions of sites (billions even?) on the web, that need to constantly be indexed. If you have a new site, it can take upwards of a month before you even start to show up in Google at all. You are never going to rank first over night, SEO is about setting long-term goals and achieving them through best practices, proper development and great content.

It’s a tough game to get a high ranking on Google, so here are some tips to help improve your own site’s rank:

Constantly update your content

Updating your site constantly with fresh, original content is the easiest and best way to help your Google rank. A site that has a constant stream of content is viewed as more relevant to Google than a site that is never updated. Include keywords in your content, and link to other pages on your site where relevant. We recommend starting a blog, and aiming to post 2-3 times a week. Include industry news, latest happenings and other articles relevant to your business. Keep it interesting and people will start coming back for more and sharing it with their friends. A site full of great industry related articles is not only fantastic for your SEO, it shows prospective clients you know exactly what you are talking about!

Links, Links, Links

Links to your site from other well-ranked sites can do wonders for your own rank (not to mention increasing your page views). When building links, think quality, not quantity. One good quality link from an authoritative website can do much more for you than 10 poor links. In fact, irrelevant links from poor sites can hurt your ranking!

Leverage social media

While no one is sure exactly how much social media affects your ranking, sharing your content around social networks like Facebook and Twitter is a great way to get people looking at your site. Using these same social networks to interact with your clients and answer questions is a great way to build trust. You can also interact with other businesses, search for contacts and post about your new blogs/articles. Newer social media sites like Pinterest and Instagram can be used to great effect if you are in a more visual based industry such as make-up, fashion or art.

It can seem overwhelming to get your site ranking well on Google, but these small steps can help you on your way. Orion know a thing or two about SEO, so why not contact us or give us a call on 8850 2215 to discuss what we can do to improve your site? We’re always up for a chat!