This topic came up in a recent Google Webmaster Central hangout where a site owner asked for help with improving their rankings.
The site owner mentioned there were no issues with the site, according to Google’s tools, and wondered what else could be done.
Here’s the question that was asked:
“There are zero issues on our website according to Search Console. We’re providing fast performance in mobile and great UX. I’m not sure what to do to improve rankings.”
Mueller responded by saying this is a situation that could arise when you’re so focused on technical details that you forget about the bigger picture.
Just because everything is technically correct on a website doesn’t mean it will rank high.
Ultimately, what’s on the site still needs to be relevant to users.
Fixing technical issues may be important but, on the other hand, what’s on the site has to be useful to people as well.
Mueller recommends thinking about what issues users are having, and what questions they may be asking.
Then provide content to solve those issues and answer those questions.
Mueller also suggests seeking feedback from other site owners and SEOs via a webmaster forum and being open to the feedback they provide.
Lastly, Mueller says to keep in mind that some niches have stronger competition than others.
A technically well-optimized site with great content will still face challenges with overcoming competition who have been at it longer.
You can hear the full question and answer below, starting at the 32:29 mark.
“This is always kind of a tricky situation where you’re working on your website for a while, then sometimes you focus on a lot of the technical details and forget about the bigger picture.
So what I would recommend doing here is taking your website and the queries that you’re looking [to rank] for, and going to one of the webmaster forums.
It could be our webmaster forum, there are lots of other webmaster forums out there where webmasters and SEOs hang out. And sometimes they’ll be able to look at your website and quickly pull out a bunch of issues. Things that you could be focusing on as well.
Sometimes that’s not so easy, but I think having more people look at your website and give you advice, and being open to that advice, I think that’s an important aspect here.
Another thing to keep in mind is that just because something is technically correct doesn’t mean that it’s relevant to users in the search results. That doesn’t mean that it will rank high.
So if you clean up your website, and you fix all of the issues, for example, if your website contains lots of terrible content then it still won’t rank that high.
So you need to, on the one hand, understand which of these technical issues are actually critical for your website to have fixed.
And, on the other hand, you really need to focus on the user aspect as well to find what are issues that users are having, and how can my website help solve those issues. Or help answer those questions.”
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