When you type in your keyword phrase into Google or another search engine, you’ll find a list of sites that offer content/products/services related to that keyword phrase. If that phrase is something you’re targeting to get the audience to your website, you may find that other people rank higher than you. In fact, some website owners are disappointed to find out they don’t appear on the first five pages of Google.
Why is that? Just why do your competitors rank higher than you? What can you do to change that?
Here’s a look at all you need to know about Google’s PageRank and what it means for your website.
No-One Really Knows the Truth About Google’s PageRank
Let’s be honest for a minute. If you were hoping to get the exact format you need to follow, then you will be slightly disappointed. Nobody can tell you officially just how Google’s PageRank works, unless you work for Google (and then there are going to be some legal issues). Google doesn’t exactly release all the details of ranking and SEO.
The information that SEO experts have is based on trial, error, and perception. SEO experts have looked into how websites are affected by Google’s PageRank. They are willing to perform tests to see how one change can affect the ranking.
Your competitors may have someone willing to test elements throughout the day. There is something known as A/B testing, which means they’ll have two pages that look similar but have a few slight tweaks. The testing allows experts to see which page performs better.
But just because you won’t find out the exact information doesn’t mean you won’t get some. Let’s look at everything that known about why your competitors are ranking higher than you.
Google Checks for Relevance
One thing is certain: Google will search for relevant content based on the search terms of a person using their website. If someone is looking for a wedding photographer in a specific location, Google will rank a website with the phrase “wedding photography [location]” higher than someone who just uses the phrases “wedding,” “photography,” and the location randomly throughout the website.
If you have the phrase “wedding photography” and the location in the header or URL of your website, Google will see that you are highly relevant to that search term. This is why some competitors will have individual pages for separate locations when covering a wider area. It makes it easier to rank for those specific locations.
Your competitors may appear more relevant than you based on the keyword phrases used. This is something you’ll need to consider when looking into why your competitors are ranking higher.
You’ll want to make sure your keyword phrases are right for your target audience, used in full in the content on the site, and used in the H2/H3 headings and URL.
Competitor Website May Be More Reputable
It’s not all about the on-page SEO, which we’ve just looked at. Google will also look for reputability when it comes to promoting a website. If your competitors are viewed as more reputable and trustworthy than you, they are going to rank higher.
Older websites that are still updated regularly tend to get extra juice. Google sees that they have been around for some years and must be more reputable. However, that doesn’t mean you have no chance of succeeding.
You can make your site more reputable by getting good quality back links to the site. If high quality websites tell their visitors to check out your site, Google gets a ding and will put that as a point towards you. It’s easier for older sites to get the back links, but you can do it with some hard work and determination.
It’s not just about other websites on similar topics as yours that will help with ranking. If your readers share on social media, you’ll find your Google ranking is improved. Google follows the social shares. It will track just how many people are sharing and recommending. When they find a post that others are sharing in the masses, it tells Google that your content is reputable, relevant, and interesting. Google will boost your page rank in return for that.
Competitors Can Have Experts Do It for Them
While you can do SEO yourself, many of your competitors will decide to hire someone to do all the SEO for them. This gives your competitors more time to focus on other parts of the website or business.
When your competitors hire experts, they don’t have to worry about the SEO audits. There’s no need to worry about poor quality keywords or high competition keywords. They can just sit back, knowing that the experts are following all algorithm changes and working to push the websites up in the search results.
You could hire someone else to do it all for you. This will mean less research and less trial and error. The techniques used will definitely work to help push you ahead of your competitors.
In the majority of cases, your competitors are ranking higher than you because Google views their sites are more trustworthy and relevant. There are times that poor quality sites rank well, but this can just be a temporary case while Google finds out how these sites are gaming the system. Nobody really knows exactly how Google PageRank works, but SEO experts have a good idea to help you rank well.