Why is WordPress Content Not Ranking

To increase your website’s organic traffic, you must focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Despite knowing everything, you’ve to crack codes about on-page and off-page SEO. Let’s find the answer to the question – Why is WordPress Content Not Ranking on Google Pages?

Most people assume the problem is with WordPress itself or the theme. Hence, they turn to a WordPress development company to identify and fix the ranking issues. While the experts may resolve the problem, your content must rank well only – if you know how SEO works. There are so many reasons why your WordPress content is not ranking. These issues are not related to WordPress but to other factors.

Interestingly, if you search anything on Google, the top results are mostly WordPress websites. Although no official statistic is available, most reliable sources conclude that around 40 – 45 percent of websites are based on WordPress. So, why is your content not ranking when the top websites are built on this platform? We recommend revisiting your SEO practices.

Even if you know the theoretical part of SEO, it’s okay if you can implement it perfectly. You may be overlooking several essential SEO elements. This article will discuss why your WordPress content is not ranking. Before we delve into the reasons, we need to understand SEO. Unfortunately, people associate it with keywords and backlinks, which is only one part of SEO.

Understanding the Basics of SEO

The simplest way to define SEO is; it is a technique through which you can improve the quality and quantity of organic traffic. Understanding that SEO differs from paid traffic (Google Ads or similar types) is pertinent. Direct traffic (a user entering the URL directly) is not a part of SEO either. SEO improves your website’s visibility on the SERPs, bringing organic traffic.

How does a search engine like Google or Bing determine where to rank your website on the SERPs? Since Google owns more than 90% of the market share (mobile + desktop) in search engines, we’ll limit our discussion to its search algorithm. The below statistic provides a brief overview of Google’s dominance in the desktop search engine market.

Why is WordPress Content Not Ranking

No wonder Google is facing an antitrust lawsuit. Its dominance is so far-reaching that other search engines cannot compete effectively. Unfortunately, Google provides very little insight into how its search algorithm works. However, it does give some information from time to time. Let’s discuss which factors Google uses to rank sites on its search pages.

On-Page Content

When we say on-page content, we are not just talking about the text on your blog or the web pages. Instead, the on-page content refers to the images, videos, and overall website design. The on-page content is a broad term. It needs to be broken down into smaller parts to understand how Google ranks your website using the on-page content.

The first thing Google looks at in on-page content is relevancy and uniqueness. If you copy-paste content from another website or rephrase it, your content is not unique. Google may even mark it as spam. Google’s AI is quite advanced and can analyze your text to determine its uniqueness. Secondly, Google looks into the bounce rate. If users quickly close your web page after opening, the content lacks quality.

Another critical factor in the on-page is the meta description, keywords, and overall content structure. If your meta description is highly relevant, you have a better chance of ranking higher on the SERPs. Similarly, carefully placing keywords in the content is another way to improve your rankings. If your content is not structured correctly, Google’s crawler will not be able to crawl the webpage, thereby impacting your visibility.

Off-Page Factors

Just like on-page, several things make up the off-page SEO effects. The most notable is – your website’s authority. If your website enjoys a good number of quality backlinks (other websites linking to your website), then your website has a high power. Google uses this authority to determine your website’s ranking potential. The backlinks must come from websites that are relevant to your industry.

Of course, it is doubtful that you are the only website operating in your domain. You are bound to have competition. When determining your ranking, Google will also consider the competitor websites. If they have higher quality backlinks and better content, Google will prefer them over your website in the SERPs. Therefore, a crucial part of off-page SEO is to monitor your competitors.

Technical Factors

Most people confuse on-page SEO with technical SEO. Although both are interrelated to some extent, they are different. As the term indicates, technical SEO looks at the technical factors. It includes your website’s loading time, mobile responsiveness, broken links, and more. Google and almost every other search engine uses these factors when determining a website’s worth and ranking potential.

A slow-loading website affects not only your rankings but also the user experience. According to studies, users don’t bother waiting for it to open, if a website takes longer than three seconds to load. They close the tab and move to another website. Google has introduced penalties for websites that don’t adapt content based on the viewing device. Similarly, too many broken links will also impact your rankings.

This information is enough to give you a basic understanding of SEO and how search engines rank websites. Let’s focus on common challenges WordPress website owners may encounter during SEO.

Why is WordPress Content Not Ranking

1. Poor Keyword Research and Implementation

Let’s start with the most common problem. Did you conduct proper keyword research when setting up your website? This is a question that most WordPress owners need help to answer satisfactorily. They need to realize the importance of good keyword research. Instead, they rely on competitor websites or their thinking when developing the keywords.

There needs to be a better approach. You can use Google Keyword Planner and other tools for keyword research. Using the right keywords in your content can help with website ranking and ensure only relevant traffic is coming to your website. One consequence of poor keyword research is – you may be targeting keywords that have negative connotations. It will undermine your brand’s credibility.

2. Lack of High-Quality Content

Content is king! Remember this phrase. When creating content, you must write it for humans and not the search engine. What does it mean? Don’t try to impress search engines. Instead, try to engage your audience by crafting unique and appealing content. When your reader is going through your content, they must find it informative. Compel them to share your content with others.

Remember to structure your content in a way That attracts audience. The title is always H1 (heading 1), with only one H1 on every page. Structure the rest of the content into H2, H3, H4. The proper structure makes it easier for the audience to understand the scope and even the search engine’s crawler to crawl your website. Please refrain from keyword stuffing, i.e. adding too many keywords to make it rank quickly.

Also – content does not mean the text alone. You can use several types of content to boost your SEO and audience engagement. Nowadays, videos are the most engaging content type. Video marketing can increase your SEO to the next level. You don’t even need to hire professionals for this purpose. Various tools create videos based on the script you provide.

3. Technical SEO Issues

We talked about how technical issues impact a website’s worth for rankings. The most common technical problem is a slow-loading website. As most people utilize a ready-made WordPress theme, there is a lot of redundant code. It affects their website’s loading time. On top of it, they use too many plugins, which can further hamper their performance. There are various default plugins installed in WordPress that you should delete.

The below screenshot depicts a website’s performance using GTMetrix.

GT Metrix stats

By eliminating the render-blocking resources, the website can significantly improve its speed. There are numerous other tools that you may utilize to identify technical issues. Depending on the case, you may need an expert web development company to fix it. You must be careful when choosing a WordPress theme for SEO to ensure your website ranks well on search engine pages.

4. Neglecting On-Page SEO Elements

We have already talked about what constitutes on-page SEO elements. You must understand that meta titles, descriptions, content structure, and others are critical. Pay attention to them if you wish to rank your website. For instance, follow Google’s guidelines regarding the meta description. The maximum character count is 156-160 characters, and not more.

Top content writers recommend that the meta description should be written in an active voice and engaging enough to warrant a click. Similarly, remember to insert the most relevant keyword regarding the meta title. SEO experts recommend that your primary keyword must appear in the meta title. Of course, only add it if it seems natural.

5. Inadequate Backlink Strategy

Backlinks determine your website’s authority and are a critical ranking factor. Make sure to create backlinks for the sake of it. Instead, undertake comprehensive research. Please find the most relevant websites in your niche and approach them for a backlink. Although the world is divided between organic and paid backlinks, we won’t go into this debate. It is up to you how you get the backlinks. But the linking content and website must be related to your site’s niche.

6. Google Core Update

Google updates its search algorithm regularly. When there is a significant update, even your top-ranking web pages may go down on search pages. You must go through the update and understand how it impacts your website. It will make it easier to make the necessary changes and ensure your website is compatible with the latest search update.

7. Poor SEO Plugins

Every website owner uses an SEO plugin or extension for SEO purposes. It makes the entire SEO process hassle-free. However, not every WordPress SEO plugin is equal. Some are of inferior quality. If you are using them to rank your website, no wonder your website is ranking anywhere. Sticking to reliable SEO plugins is ideal scene, which we’ll discuss later.

8. Poor Interlinking

You need to ensure that your website has adequate internal and external links. It is a terrific way to improve your website’s authority and send traffic to other web pages on your website. Again, don’t add links just for the sake of it. You need to add relevant links.

9. Competitive Keywords

We recommend using keywords with low to medium competition when doing keyword research. If you target high-competition keywords, you must invest considerable resources and ensure your website has a high authority. It is better to focus on low-competition keywords, especially long-tail keywords. They are easier to rank without investing too much time or money.

10. High Bounce Rate

If your website has a high bounce rate, it confirms that there are problems with the webpage’s user experience. What problems? It is something that you’ll need to diagnose yourself. In most cases, the high bounce rate is indicative of low-quality content. Try re-writing the content and see if it improves the bounce rate. If not, change the web page’s design. You’ll need to conduct considerable testing to determine the problem.

WordPress Plugins and Tools for SEO

Numerous WordPress SEO plugins and tools can help your SEO efforts. The top ones are Yoast, Rank Math, and All in One SEO (AIOSEO). These plugins scan your web pages for SEO issues and recommend changes to enhance the optimization process. These plugins make sharing content on social media easy. Here’s an image depicting AIOSEO in action.

AIOSEO also includes intelligent features such as the Link Assistant. This feature scans your content to look for opportunities for interlinking. Instead of manually checking the content, website owners can save considerable time through this innovative feature. It also comes with an Image Addon, automatically allowing the user to add image alt text and attributes.

Content Promotion and Social Signals

Another way to improve your website’s visibility is through increasing your social signals. The social signals refer to the likes, shares, and engagement your website generates on social media. Therefore, website owners must feel free to share their content on official social media channels. Search engines now consider social signals as a form of citation. In other words, social signals are like backlinks.

Do more than share content on social media. Try to understand your audience and then design your posts accordingly. A more formal tone is appropriate if you are promoting on LinkedIn. If you opt for Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok, you should use a more creative approach. Regardless of the platform, ensure the post has visuals. With engaging visuals, your post will get the required level of engagement.

Monitoring and Measuring SEO Progress

After implementing the above solutions to WordPress SEO problems, you must monitor and measure your SEO progress. The purpose is to ascertain whether the answers have proved useful. If the rankings don’t improve, you may need to engage an SEO marketing agency. They’ll not only diagnose the problems but also implement best SEO practices. You can use Google Analytics to monitor your SEO performance.


Why is WordPress Content Not Ranking?

This article discussed the most common reasons to WordPress content not ranking on Google or any other search engine. We also provided solutions to these problems, helping you fix ranking issues on Google pages. However, if something else works better, engage an SEO marketing company to promptly identify and resolve the WordPress problems.

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