It happens all the time; you spend loads of time and energy getting a site to rank for a keyword that you know has to search traffic, and you get little if any extra search traffic.
This investment can then seem like a bit of a waste. What’s more, it can seem like you’ve been lied to, either by the people doing your SEO or by your traffic estimating tool.
There are a few reasons you may be ranking and still getting no traffic. They are as follows:
- Ghost Rankings
- Keyword Research Failure
Search results are more and more personalised, and that means that you can’t be sure that what you’re seeing is what everyone else is seeing. The two main reasons for rankings being different for you than other people is due to:
This means Google checks out your user behaviour and attempts to match up what you’re doing with the websites out there and serve up sites that are really relevant to your search queries.
So if you search for a search term and click on a particular site a lot, then you’re likely to see something different than everyone else.
By using the change location feature (see image), you can tell Google where you are making the search form, that’s because you’re IP address can what local results you can see.
Suppose that’s still not giving you the answers. In that case, you need to look in your Analytics account and review the keywords by city. That should show you any significant holes where you’d expect to get some traffic.
Universalism beats organic
There are plenty of times when you can be first in the organic results. Still, the first organic results can appear below the page fold due to Google Places results, Adwords results, Google Product Search results, etc.
Keyword Research Failure
The next thing you’ve got to look at is, do your keywords actually drive traffic? It’s straightforward to look at Google’s figures and think you can target specific keywords and you will get shed loads of visitors. However, it never ever works like that.
Google’s data is less than accurate at the best of times, and it’s mainly broad-matched info – so the more long-tail you get, the more inaccurate the results become. It’s just a guide.
If you use exact match, you’ll find your results go down to about 10% of what Google initially says.
So you’re ranking well for a keyword. You’ve double-checked that you are actually typing in the position. You think you are, and you’ve rechecked traffic volume on exact match and compared it to other traffic estimating tools.
You are sure that there is traffic there; the next thing to consider is why people aren’t engaging with your listing on your listing Google. There are a couple of options to consider:
Layout of Listing
You got to think of your listing on Google as your opportunity to engage with your audience. That means getting the correct information into your page’s snippet.
There are times that you can’t control what Google display here, but a good rule of thumb is this is made up of the page title and the page description. This needs to be informative and instructional whilst including the keywords someone has used to search for the site.
Be sure to put some wording in that explains your products or services and give them a call to action, telling them to read more about them. I usually include a phone number on there, with the thought that it’s one less click for someone to have to make.
Context of Listing
Take a look around your listing. Does it sit right? Do the other listings try and do the same thing as you?
Are any of those listings potentially damaging to your listing – i.e. do you use your brand and mention your brand in a negative light?
Rankings and Traffic – things to consider
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