Do you find your content on the third or fourth page of Google results? We’ll explain to you some of the reasons why your content isn’t ranking – and even better, what you can do to help improve its position on Google’s search engine results. 

You put months of effort into creating amazing blogs, guides, and tools hoping to attract organic search visibility. But frustratingly, the pages languish unseen by searchers. Rather than assuming content “if you build it, they will come”, a thoughtful audit can diagnose issues hampering discoverability and rankings.

With Google’s algorithms valuing higher quality, authority, and freshness with each passing year, simply checking SEO boxes like keyword usage no longer reliably unlocks rankings. Utilizing an investigative framework examining technical flaws, quality gaps, outdated practices, and lacking earned media can pinpoint improvement areas.

This definitive and actionable SEO guide will provide a content troubleshooting blueprint, complete with fix-it recommendations validated from industry experts. Follow along as we conduct root cause analysis on a fictional site’s underperforming cornerstone content. Arm yourself with a customized prescription for your own content upgrades after diagnosing what might be holding pages back from reaching full rankings potential.

To understand why your content isn’t ranking, it’s helpful to understand how content is being ranked first. This should give you an insight on how Google search results work.

Content Isn't Ranking - Why Your Content Isn’t Ranking

What is Content Ranking?

Content ranking is an index to the positioning of your content in search results pages. Naturally, Google users – unless they are thorough researchers – tend to get their results from the first page. Naturally, this means that the earlier your content makes it in search results, the better.

Content writers and advertisers use a myriad of techniques in order to ensure that the marketed content is ranked higher. There are various online tools and experiences that allow digital marketers to optimise content to the highest organic rank possible.

Overview of the Goal to Diagnose Underperforming Pages in Rankings

The goal of diagnosing why pages underperform in rankings is to identify and address the underlying issues preventing them from achieving their full potential in search engine results pages (SERPs). This involves a systematic analysis of various factors, including:

Technical SEO:

  • Crawlability and indexability: Can search engines crawl and index the pages effectively?
  • On-page optimization: Are relevant keywords used appropriately in titles, meta descriptions, headers, and content?
  • Page speed and mobile-friendliness: Do the pages load quickly and offer a seamless experience on mobile devices?

Content Quality:

  • Relevance and value: Does the content address the user’s search intent and provide valuable information?
  • Topic depth and comprehensiveness: Does the content sufficiently cover the topic and offer unique insights?
  • Readability and engagement: Is the content written in a clear, concise, and engaging style that holds the reader’s attention?

User Experience:

  • Internal linking structure: Is the website’s internal linking structure optimized to guide users to the target pages?
  • External links and backlinks: Do the pages have a strong backlink profile from high-quality websites?
  • Click-through rate (CTR): Are users clicking on the pages in the search results?

EEAT (Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness):

  • Author expertise: Does the content author have the necessary expertise and credentials to be considered an authority on the topic?
  • Website authority: Is the website itself considered an authoritative resource in its niche?
  • Trustworthiness and brand reputation: Does the website have a positive reputation and build trust with users?

By systematically analyzing these factors, we can identify the specific areas where the underperforming pages might be falling short. This information can then be used to develop targeted solutions and implement strategic improvements to boost their ranking and visibility in search results.

Here are some additional benefits of diagnosing underperforming pages:

  • Improved organic traffic: Higher ranking pages will attract more organic traffic, leading to increased website visits and engagement.
  • Better conversion rates: High-quality content that addresses user intent can lead to higher conversion rates.
  • Enhanced brand awareness: Improved visibility in search results can strengthen your brand awareness and online presence.
  • Resource optimization: Diagnosing underperforming pages can help you identify and fix issues that might be impacting other areas of your website’s performance.

Google Analytics Service

What Is Google Analytics? Why is it Important to Use Google Analytics?

Once Google launched its Google Analytics service, content creation, ranking, and marketing online changed dramatically. The service was integrated with Google Adwords, an online platform for advertisers. These tools revolutionised online marketing, with new concepts such as SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and Google rankings making its way into the digital marketing world. 

Google Analytics is the main tool that gives insights to online users on what’s searched for online. It became a treasured tool for marketers to explore the demand of people and what they look for online. Consequently, digital marketing agencies can use this information to understand the demand of the market and find an answer for it.

Why Your Content Isn’t Ranking
Google Analytics Service

What is the Difference Between Organic and Paid Search Results?

Organic search results employ the use of SEO and digital marketing techniques to ensure that the content makes it as high as possible in the search results. Organic, or natural content ranking, relies on exploiting the search engine algorithms. This compels it to display the content in the first page when the topic of the content is searched for online.

Paid search results, on the other hand, bypasses the algorithm to allow search results to show on the search engine on the first page regardless of the SEO ranking. In short, the digital marketer pays for the content to be displayed as a form of advertisement, disregarding SEO ranking.

SEO and Content

Despite the technical capacities for writers, it’s relatively easy to write on social media, blogs and similar services. However, making this content visible for exposure on Google search results pages makes all the difference for highly ranked content.

SEO is short for search engine optimisation: a process in which the content is optimised for search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.

The SEO process focuses on tweaking content to change its content ranking in search engines, making it score hits in the Google search results and other engines organically. The main goal of SEO techniques is to reach these rankings in an organic manner, without the need to pay for sponsorship.

It cannot be denied that the quality of the content provided is of great importance. However, a lot of good content without the properly optimised SEO can get lost in the sidetracks of the internet. Efficient content should be prone to a proper digital marketing process, investing in both the content’s quality and SEO alike.

Neglecting SEO techniques can waste the effort of embellishing great content, a point emphasising the importance of SEO. 

Why Your Content Isn’t Ranking

5 Reasons Why Your Content Isn’t Ranking

If you provide quality content but still don’t hit high in content ranking, you might want to consider the following:

Backlinks are source links that are embedded in your content to help readers refer to further information or elaborate on them. They are great for higher indexing rate of content ranking.

Backlinked content in other related media increases recognition of your content. In turn, it provides a higher recognition of your content ranking. They are great for increasing your organic rankings and can be considered as a form of indirect affiliate marketing. 

How to Fix That?

Try researching your topics more and provide in-depth knowledge. Having backlinks in your own article from credible sources can help to harness a good database of trusting followers.

Readers prefer content that doesn’t just aim to grab their attention without any real merit. Many readers complain that they wasted a couple of minutes of their time over some clickbait. This can begin to leave a negative stigma on your website.

Why Your Content Isn’t Ranking

A High Bounce Rate 

But what is a bounce rate? Bounce rate means that someone clicked on the link leading to your website to read the article, and this led to one of three things:

  1. The page took too long to load and they just closed it out of losing interest in pursuing the article any further.
  2. They felt the title was misleading, a clickbait, and opted to close the site.
  3. The introduction made them lose interest and opted to pursue the article no further.

Since the technicalities are taken care of, it should be a good time to review the writing style and approach, and try to incorporate the keyword more often. However, don’t overuse it or this may lead Google to penalise you for deliberately over-densing your content. This process is also known as keyword stuffing.

On another note, a high bounce rate can be the result of the page taking too long to load. You can assume that the more of the people viewing your content are doing so from a mobile, rather than a PC. Try using less interactive pictures or ones that won’t heavily increase the site’s loading time.

How to Fix That? 

Bounce rate can be an indicator of the quality of the content or its coherence. Basically, the more your site harnesses higher bounce rates, the more this indicates there is an issue with your content. 

To fix that, you have to:

  1. Properly outline your content. Make sure that it can fit into a coherent, subsequent table of contents.
  2. Regularly audit your content and make sure it’s of viable quality. You can do this through a number of SEO checkers, such as adding the handy plugin GDoc Assistant.
  3. If it’s possible to have readers’ feedback, assess it thoroughly and make sure that valid points are applied to your content, even in hindsight with an editor’s note. Readers respect content makers that respect their time and intelligence.
Why Your Content Isn't Ranking

You Are Not Optimising Your Content for Search Engines

Your content can be of very high quality and extremely informative, but without optimising it for search engines, it’s bound to fall within the cracks of the internet. 

Think of it as a really large book. Your readers and customers keep looking for stuff on the internet that answers their questions and an overflux of results swarm on their monitors or mobiles. Naturally, they’re inclined to click on the first results showing up in their browsers. No one likes to waste too much time searching for something on the internet.

Without effectively optimising your website for search engines, it won’t show up in any search results. Search engines work according to an algorithm that seeks the keyword and connects it with the search topic. Naturally, the more dense the keyword, the more it gains priority to show up in search engines’ searches.

How to Fix That?

Most blogging domains and social media allow the use of tags or hashtags. A hashtag is a symbol (#)  followed by a word that acts as a keyword within the text. Next, try to incorporate the keyword within the text at least five times for every 1000 words you write. Optimising your content for search engines is basically embellishing it.

If you are wondering why your content isn’t ranking, it may be because the readers aren’t engaged with it or capable of relating to it. Try to make the content more intriguing and tend to the coherence aspect of it. Improving on the readability of your content will also boost your ranking among search engines.

Google May Be Penalising Your Site

SEO companies are now widely spread across the internet. An SEO malpractice may be why your content isn’t ranking in search engines.

If you are collaborating with a illigit SEO company, it’s bound that they may have used one of the various SEO illegal techniques to boost your ranking and Google’s algorithm penalised your site. 

Yet, some of these techniques can happen by mistake or inexperience. For example, most of those common issues are over-densing your content with your content’s keyword or social media automation overuse, thus spamming content in social media.

Though it may be intentional, as from inexperience or ignorance of the issue, the Google algorithm can execute extreme prejudice in such a situation.

How to Fix That?

The safest step is to read more about SEO as much as you can. If SEO optimisation is outsourced to other parties, whether a staff of employees or a SEO company, ensure that they are properly educated and integral when it comes to optimising your content lest your efforts to build up your site go to waste.

To keep your content ranking well in search engines, you should keep tending to the current issues and those that might come up in the future. This way, you ensure that your content gets the recognition it deserves. Sometimes, people do judge the book from its cover, and search engines are no different. It’s important that you’re able to differentiate between rogue SEO companies and credible, experienced ones.

A Change in the Search Engine’s Algorithm

Sometimes, the search engine’s algorithm can be updated and such updates overlook some technical SEO and metadata. Try to contact your search engine’ support and make sure that you check with them that your content and metadata are working fine with the tool.

Keep up to date with our SEO articles:

How to Fix That? 

Follow up with your search engines’ developers. Most search engines have a developer blog or Facebook page – any viable source from wherein you can check if there is an issue with the algorithm and how to rectify it for your website.

Of course, there are other factors as to why your content isn’t ranking. It could be easy to try to optimise every tip above, but it’s not always about perfection – it’s about making progress in your ranking.

This list should give you a good understanding of where your website can be improved. Many of the issues essentially come down to the standard of the content you’re posting.

If you don’t have a speedy website with frequently-posted, insightful and credible content that’s optimised for SEO, some of these fixes may only get you so far.

Step-by-Step Framework for Conducting a Comprehensive SEO Audit

How to Perform an SEO Audit

A comprehensive SEO audit involves a systematic analysis of your website and online presence to identify areas for improvement. By following a structured framework, you can effectively diagnose any issues impacting your search engine ranking and visibility. Here’s a step-by-step guide to conducting an effective SEO audit:

Step 1: Technical SEO Audit

  • Website Crawlability and Indexability:
    • Use tools like Google Search Console and Screaming Frog to identify any crawl errors or blocked pages.
    • Ensure your website’s robots.txt file is properly configured.
    • Submit your website’s sitemap to Google Search Console.
  • On-page Optimization:
    • Analyze title tags, meta descriptions, and header tags for keyword relevance and optimization.
    • Check for broken internal and external links.
    • Optimize images with relevant alt text and filenames.
  • Page Speed and Mobile-friendliness:
    • Use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights and Mobile-Friendly Test to assess page load times and mobile responsiveness.
    • Implement optimization techniques to improve page speed and mobile experience.

Step 2: Authority Metrics Analysis

  • Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA):
    • Use tools like Moz Pro, Ahrefs, and SEMrush to evaluate your website’s DA and individual pages’ PA.
    • Compare your DA to your competitors and identify areas for improvement.
  • Backlink Profile:
    • Analyze the quantity and quality of backlinks pointing to your website.
    • Identify any toxic backlinks that may be harming your ranking and disavow them.
    • Implement strategies to attract high-quality backlinks from relevant websites.

Step 3: Keyword Research and Gap Analysis

  • Keyword Research:
    • Identify relevant keywords that your target audience is searching for.
    • Use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs Keywords Explorer, and SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool.
    • Analyze keyword search volume, competition, and potential ranking difficulty.
  • Keyword Gap Analysis:
    • Compare your website’s current keyword ranking with your target keywords.
    • Identify any keyword gaps that you can fill with optimized content.
    • Prioritize high-volume, low-competition keywords that align with your business goals.

Step 4: Content Audit

  • Content Quality and Relevance:
    • Analyze your website’s content for quality, relevance, and value to users.
    • Identify thin content, outdated information, and duplicate content.
    • Develop a strategy to improve content quality and address any identified issues.
  • User Experience:
    • Analyze your website’s user experience and identify any areas for improvement.
    • Focus on website navigation, readability, and overall usability.
    • Ensure your website provides a positive and engaging user experience.

Step 5: Reporting and Implementation

  • Document your findings:
    • Create a comprehensive report outlining the results of your SEO audit.
    • Include specific recommendations for improvement along with prioritized action items.
  • Implement your plan:
    • Develop a roadmap for implementing the recommended changes and improvements.
    • Prioritize tasks based on their potential impact and resources required.
  • Monitor and track progress:
    • Use SEO tracking tools to monitor your website’s ranking, traffic, and other key metrics.
    • Continuously evaluate the effectiveness of your SEO efforts and make adjustments as needed.

By following this step-by-step framework, you can conduct a comprehensive SEO audit that provides valuable insights into your website’s strengths and weaknesses. By implementing the recommended improvements, you can significantly enhance your website’s search engine ranking and achieve your online marketing goals.

Additional Resources:

This framework can be adapted and customized to meet the specific needs and goals of your website. By regularly conducting SEO audits, you can stay ahead of the curve and ensure your website continues to rank well in search results.

Google Algorithm Updates:

  • Frequency: Google updates its core algorithm several times a year, with major updates occurring less frequently. In 2022, Google confirmed 13 major algorithm updates: January 2022 (Product Reviews Update), February 2022 (Page Experience Update), May 2022 (Core Update), June 2022 (Spam Update), July 2022 (Product Reviews Update), August 2022 (Helpful Content Update), September 2022 (Core Update), October 2022 (Spam Update), November 2022 (Link Spam Update), December 2022 (Core Update), February 2023 (Helpful Content Update), May 2023 (Core Update), and July 2023 (Link Spam Update). Source: Moz:
  • Impact: Each update can significantly impact website ranking and traffic. Understanding the specific changes and their implications is crucial for SEO success.Opens in a new windowwww.pinterest.comGoogle Algorithm Update Trends
  • Focus: Recent updates have emphasized user experience, content quality, and website authority.

Common Content Issues:

  • Thin content: Content that lacks depth, comprehensiveness, and value.
  • Keyword stuffing: Excessive use of keywords in a way that appears unnatural and spammy.
  • Duplicate content: Content that is copied from other sources without any original added value.
  • Poor readability: Content that is poorly written, grammatically incorrect, or difficult to understand.
  • Lack of mobile-friendliness: Content that is not optimized for mobile devices and provides a poor user experience.
  • Outdated information: Content that is no longer accurate or relevant to the user’s search intent.

Shifting Search Behavior Trends:

  • Increased use of voice search: Users are increasingly using voice assistants to search for information, requiring content to be optimized for natural language queries.
  • Focus on local search: Users are searching for information and businesses relevant to their immediate location, necessitating local SEO strategies.
  • Growing importance of visual content: Images, videos, and infographics are becoming increasingly important in capturing user attention and engagement.
  • Rise of long-form content: Users are seeking in-depth and comprehensive information, leading to the popularity of long-form content formats.
  • Increased focus on user intent: Understanding the user’s intent behind their search query is crucial for creating content that meets their needs and expectations.


  • 50% of all searches are conducted on mobile devices. (Source: Statista)
  • 27% of online adults use voice search at least once a month. (Source: Pew Research Center)
  • 69% of consumers say they are more likely to purchase a product or service after watching a video about it. (Source: HubSpot)
  • Long-form content receives 9x more shares than short-form content. (Source: Buzzsumo)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What are the most common reasons why content doesn’t rank well in search engines?

There are many reasons why content might not rank well in search engines. Some of the most common reasons include:

  • Technical SEO issues: These can include crawl errors, broken links, slow page loading speeds, and a lack of mobile-friendliness.
  • Poor-quality content: Content that is thin, outdated, irrelevant to user intent, or poorly written is unlikely to rank well.
  • Lack of backlinks: Backlinks from high-quality websites are essential for building domain authority and ranking well.
  • Keyword stuffing: Keyword stuffing is the practice of using keywords excessively in your content in an attempt to manipulate search engine rankings. This can actually hurt your ranking.
  • Not understanding user intent: If your content doesn’t address the user’s search intent, it will not be relevant to their needs and will not rank well.

2. How can I improve my content’s search engine ranking?

There are many things you can do to improve your content’s search engine ranking. Some of the most important things to focus on include:

  • Fixing technical SEO issues: Make sure your website is crawlable and indexable, and that your pages load quickly and are mobile-friendly.
  • Creating high-quality content: Write informative, engaging, and relevant content that addresses your target audience’s search intent.
  • Building backlinks: Get high-quality websites to link back to your content.
  • Using keywords strategically: Use relevant keywords throughout your content, but don’t stuff them in.
  • Promoting your content: Share your content on social media, email newsletters, and other online platforms.

3. How often should I audit my website’s SEO?

It is a good idea to audit your website’s SEO at least once a year, or more often if you make significant changes to your website or content.

4. Should I hire an SEO expert?

Hiring an SEO expert can be a good option if you don’t have the time or expertise to manage your website’s SEO yourself. An SEO expert can help you identify and fix technical SEO issues, create high-quality content, and build backlinks.

5. What are some of the latest trends in SEO?

Some of the latest trends in SEO include:

  • Focus on user intent: This means creating content that is relevant to what users are searching for.
  • Voice search: More and more people are using voice search to find information online. Make sure your website is optimized for voice search.
  • Mobile-first indexing: Google is now using mobile-first indexing, which means that they are primarily using the mobile version of your website to rank your content.
  • Visual content: Images, videos, and infographics can help to improve your content’s engagement and ranking.


By understanding the factors that influence content ranking and implementing the strategies outlined in this article, you can improve your website’s visibility and reach a wider audience.

Remember, SEO is an ongoing process, so it’s important to constantly monitor your results and make adjustments as needed. With hard work and dedication, you can achieve your SEO goals and boost your website’s success.

For more information, get in touch with us today. 

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