Is your website still not showing up on the first page of Google’s search results for its relevant key phrases? Or, are you stuck in that bottom spot on the first page that is just not delivering traffic either? These issues make up the majority of the questions we get about search engine optimization.

In this article we are going to tell you how NOT to rank in Google so that you can weed out the things hindering your website and start focusing on the those that will actually help it succeed.

How NOT to Rank in Google

Why is it Important to Rank in Google?

The easiest way to answer this question is to ask yourself, or anyone you know, the following question, “Where is the first place you go to find information on products, companies, services and questions?” The most common answer, by far, is “Google”.

Knowing that most people share this answer, it is imperative that your business is easy to find on the most popular search engine. If your business is not #1, or worse yet, not even on the first page, then all of your potential customers are going to be contacting your competitors that are before they ever find you.

To be a little more objective, let’s take a look at some common statistics that support why having a strong presence in Google is critical for just about any business:

  • Over 80% of all transactions start with a online keyword search
  • Google holds a 66% market share over all other search engines
  • The 1st organic position in Google attracts over 50% of the clicks on a search results page across all queries

Google SERP CTRs

First page Google rankings, specifically those in the top 3 organic positions, bring a lot of benefits to the websites savvy and resourceful enough to achieve such placement. Some of the primary benefits that make these top organic positions so desirable by online marketers and webmasters alike are:

  • Increased traffic that does not carry a cost per click or per impression
  • Improved brand awareness
  • Enhanced sense of authority and resourcefulness
Due to the importance of achieving proper placement, getting a website to rank, especially a new one, can be a daunting challenge as the competitive landscape expands. Even with this though, it is possible to get a website to rank – as long as you’re not hindering your website.

How to Prevent Your Site from Ranking

It’s safe to assume that most webmasters are not purposefully trying to prevent their websites from ranking in Google. However, what many webmasters don’t realize is that their mistakes, oversights, lack of knowledge or laziness can easily prevent their websites from ever ranking in Google.

To avoid being one of these webmasters we have compiled a list of things NOT to do if you’re trying to get your website to rank organically.

How Not to Rank in Google

6 Ways to NOT Rank in Google

Want to keep your website from ranking? Do these things…

#1 Avoid Proper Website Migration Steps

Let’s assume that you have an existing website and you’re rebuilding it on a new platform and/or moving it to another server. One of the easiest ways to kill any existing rankings it may have, or even prevent it from ranking in the future, is failing to perform the proper website migration steps. We see this happen far too often and it’s usually due to a lack of knowledge about migrating a website and/or trying to move or rebuild a website too quickly.

TIP:
 We see this happen most when people move their website from one web developer to another. Before you rush to move things, make sure your new web developer is very familiar with migrating websites to prevent indexation issues.

#2 Try to “Trick” Google

We continue to find it humorous, but also frustrating, to see so many people spend so much of their time and money trying to trick Google to attain rankings. The irony here is that it’s much more work to try and trick Google (in the long run), then it is to follow their guidelines and focus time and money on building a user-friendly, resourceful website.

TIP:
 Avoid these useless tactics (and make sure your SEO company is also): keyword stuffing, hiding text, cloaking, sneaky redirects, using linking schemes, scraping content or using doorway pages.

#3 Ignore Usability

One of the easiest things to overlook when developing and launching a website is usability. Usability is all about creating a website that is easy for visitors to navigate, read and interact with. Designing / developing without usability in mind, or just forgetting to test everything, usually leads to terrible user experiences that can affect your website’s rankings.

TIP:
 To make your website more user friendly, try some of these best practices: (1) use jQuery instead of flash, (2) make text very legible throughout the site, (3) avoid incessant pop-ups, (4) don’t disable the back button, (5) always have a homepage link, (6) use breadcrumb trails and (7) simplify navigation options and keep them consistent throughout the site.

#4 Forget a Content Development Strategy

If you think you’re going to get to the first position just by launching a new website or even writing a couple blog articles every 6 months, then you’re setting yourself up for a huge let down. Making your website a resource is required if you want top billing for your most important key phrases. By planning and implementing a solid, consistent content development strategy your website will have the best opportunity to compete for the top organic spots.

TIP:
 Before you put time into developing content think about what you’re writing, why you’re writing and who you’re writing for. Once you establish those things put together a content marketing plan for every 6 months and stick to it.

#5 Never Promote Your Content

We hate to discourage you, but you could spend a lot of time and/or money on a great piece of content, but if you don’t promote it properly then it may never produce any results for you. Getting content to be seen and shared can often times be harder then creating the content in the first place. Fortunately, online marketing provides some of the most cost-effective ways to broaden the reach of your content.

TIP:
 For each piece of content you create use a consistent promotion process that consists of social media updates, email updates and possibly even some paid search campaigns.

#6 Do Your Own SEO

As an agency, of course we are going to recommend that you find and hire a SEO professional. However, this is not just because agencies like ours would love your business. Rather, we truly believe that two of the more damaging marketing decisions you can make are (1) spending your valuable time trying to learn SEO from scratch instead of focusing on what you know best (your business) or (2) using your marketing budget on a cheap solution just because the initial cost is less only to have to pay for and redo everything correctly in the future.

TIP:
 If you use a SEO friendly website platform like WordPress, then the amount of money you will have to spend on technical SEO will be minimal. This will leave money / time to spend on developing great content and providing excellent customer service.


Getting to #1 in Google

Hopefully you were able to pick out the useful tips we sprinkled throughout the sarcasm above. Either way, we commend you for reading through to the end. As a bonus for doing so, we’re going to provide you with 5 primary tips to get your website to rank #1 in Google:

  1. Switch to WordPress and use the WordPress SEO plugin
  2. Optimize your website for SEO, usability AND conversions
  3. Put together a content marketing plan and stick to it – every week without fail
  4. Work with a reputable agency (or professional) that will be your marketing partner, not just a provider
  5. Remember that this is a PROCESS, not a one time project
If you follow this clear blueprint, then you should see your website competing for those coveted first page organic rankings within a few months.

And, if you’re like most people we talk to who are either too busy to do all of this or would prefer to focus solely on their business and not online marketing, then we would love to be your marketing partner.

All you have to do is click the big orange button below to schedule your FREE consultation to get that conversation started with us.

Are you ready to get serious about your website’s organic rankings?

Yes, Let’s Strategize


Vinny La Barbera

I’ve been working in online marketing since 2000 and have helped thousands of companies improve their online presence and grow their business through better web / mobile design, development and online marketing. Learn more about me or follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn.

  • Spook SEO

    Hello Vinny,
    Strong presence in Google is indeed is an ultimate priority that every business should consider nowadays. For some types of business, it became the prime medium for marketing and eventually influenced the affairs in dealing with competition.
    Suberb move in applying reverse psychology to your article – it is surprisingly very effective, so thought provoking and full of valuable lessons. Excellent!