I found this article last week that answers the top questions of:
- How can I get organic placement. Someone has to be #1 on Google, why not me?
- Why are other low quality sites placed ahead of mine in the search results?
- I am doing everything right and still cannot place in the top 10 on Google.com
This article from Search MOZ is definitely worth your read and for those that learn visually there’s even a video.
Here are some of the better points from the video in a quick synopsis with my comments:
1. Just because you have more links, great keyword targeting, and terrific content does not assure that you will place higher than a competitor. The competitor may have more citations to their content, may have an authoritative domain (built over time), a better page experience, have a more compelling search snippet and therefore a higher click through rate garnering better Google search placement.
2. Look for your own weaknesses where the other site has strength. Do you have a poor snippet? (That is the meta description tag and meta title tag.) Is the title written in a way to encourage a search click? Does your page experience help of hinder your message?
3. Look at your brand and domain. Is your website ugly, brand indistinct? Brand bias and domain name maybe biasing your click potential. Start first by building or rebuilding your brand and improving your user page experience. Remember Google is watching your click through rate and the time spent on your page as part of your site delivering value for a search query. Low numbers may mean that Google simply stops delivering your address in the search results based on past user experience.
4. Citations meaning not only links, but mentions, social shares are a key factor in Google placement. Are people talking about you positively? Are more people talking about you than someone else? Is there a variety of types of websites linking and talking about you? If Google is seeing negative comments, it may stop showing your results as users “vote” on your site by their own activity.
5. Acceleration rate of link growth may be important. If what you are talking about is timely and pertinent to your marketplace, you will grow links quicker. This is a great study for creation of free downloads, white papers and creation of timely content of great value. The key is to create memorable and sharable content.
6. Informational content may be an excellent way to garner more traffic. Just remember your content must have unique value that is different than others in order to place.
7. Local results that are delivered based on your reader’s location will be important. Keep in mind that Google may deliver a higher placement for your site for a search based in your own geographic area but not place your site well nationally. With geographic bias you’ll want to work to own your local market and then expand out.
8. Make sure you are addressing mobile device design. Google wants to return results for websites that load quickly and have a responsive design that caters to mobile, tablets as well as desktops. Remember, Google is looking to deliver the most relevant site that will deliver what the reader is looking for and is watching click-ins to your site. If someone clicks back to the search results page quickly (albeit bounce rate) after visiting your site, Google is thinking that your site may not be relevant for that query.