Google’s John Mueller answered the question of why a site with “good SEO” doesn’t rank, even when there’s low competition. His answer might seem controversial at first but his words are worthy of consideration.
Good SEO But Lackluster Ranking?
There is no one definition of what constitutes good SEO.
It’s a subjective judgment call that changes depending on the experience, knowledge and skill of the person making that call.
There are many who have read “everything” about SEO who think they know it all but are actually at the beginning of their journey.
It’s hard to be aware of what one doesn’t know until failure makes it clear that there is a knowledge gap.
This is one way of looking at the context of the question that John Mueller answered, although he takes a different and entirely legitimate context.
Why Does a Site Rank Poorly Despite Good SEO?
There person asking the question was frustrated because they’re in a situation where the competition is low and they have applied what they feel is “good SEO.”
“Why is my site not ranking despite low competition and good SEO? I have a sitemap, indexed pages, updated content, backlinks and on-page optimization.
But my site is still not in the top 200 results for my keywords.”
“I see this kind of question often.
Mueller then zeroed in on the part that Google doesn’t really talk about, site promotion.
“A good way to think about this is to compare it to the offline world.
When it comes to books, does a good cover photo, a reasonable sentence length, few misspellings, and a good topic mean that a book will become a best-seller?
Or as a restaurant, does using the right ingredients and cooking in a clean kitchen mean you’ll get a lot of customers?
Technical details are good to cover well, but there’s more involved in being successful.”
Site Promotion and SEO?
At a certain level, it can feel like it’s all too much to have to optimize a site and promote it.
But promoting a site, whether it’s talking on podcasts, speaking at conferences to develop press and industry contacts, radio, making YouTube videos, advertising, it’s all a part of site promotion.
That said, if a site can’t rank well for low competition keywords, that may be a sign that maybe there’s still a little more about SEO to learn.
Featured image by Shutterstock/pedrorsfernandes