SEO Services experts often observe a confusing issue faced by many website owners. This is the situation where efforts to improve organic ranking do yield results but in the wrong direction. So your website gets ranked for targeted keywords, but the organic traffic is being directed towards the wrong web page. To sum up, you want your target audience to read a certain page to find what they are looking for, but they end up visiting another page that is of less relevance to them.
The big question remains- why has Google ranked the wrong web page? Well, there could be several possible reasons why Google comprehends the unintended page to be more apt for your selected set of keywords. Here’s a look at the various aspects that could have gone wrong, and solutions to overcome them easily.
Misinterpreted User Intent
User intent refers to the purpose of search underlying the keywords. A misplaced understanding of user intent could be the root cause of this issue. For instance, if your e-commerce website sells mobile phones, then you are sure to have a category page showcasing the bestselling mobile phones. But if you have also put up an informative post about say 5 top-selling models, their comparative analysis, pros, cons, etc. then the Search Engine will invariably display the latter.
This is because the content is more informative and matches the search intent to say “top 5 mobile phones” better. The best solution here would be Strategic Internal Linking. Well-placed contextual links in the informative post could lead your target audience to the relevant product pages, once they are done with reading the information.
Multiple Posts competing for the same keywords
To improve organic ranking, one is supposed to ace over competitors for the most relevant keywords. But a common mistake is when you have several pages and posts using the same set of keywords. What happens here is that these similar pages end up competing with each other, and crawler bots get confused about which page to rank for the particular keywords. Hence, the overall search ranking of all these similar pages goes down. In technical language, this is known as ‘keyword cannibalization’.
As per SEO services, the solution for this lies in auditing your existing content and reviewing which page performs better, in sync with user intent as described above. The less performing content can either be removed or modified to suit a different set of keywords.
Poor Linking Strategy
Insufficient internal and external links could also be the possible reasons for the SERP (Search Engine Results Pages) not displaying the page you want to highlight. Your website’s internal links are crucial for the Search Engine to understand which pages are most important and which are less important. Haphazard internal links send wrong signals to the search engine.
Well-placed internal linking and back-links from authority sites send a clear indication to the Search Engine that this particular page is the most authoritative on your website. So even if 2 or 3 pages are using similar keywords, the high link value of your webpage will make it rank higher. Focusing on high-value link building is a sure-shot step towards resolving wrongly ranked pages by Search Engines.
User Experience Issues
If you feel none of the above reasons are relevant to your website, and yet a different webpage is being ranked, as opposed to the page you want, it would help to take a look at Google Analytics. Analyze the available user experience parameters such as conversion rates and click-through rates.
It just may be that the load time is high forcing the users to leave midway. Or maybe there is an issue with the navigation of the webpage. Another possibility is that the content structure of the particular page is misaligned with the website’s layout. Either way, these factors make it difficult for both end-users and search engine bots to explore your webpage. Rectifying these user experience barriers will go a long way in improving your organic search ranking.
Altering Ranking Signals
Contrary to popular opinion, the issue of wrongly ranked pages by search engines is quite rampant. A simple website audit would automatically reveal the possible reason or multiple reasons for the same.
If you wish to directly bring down the ranking signal of a less important page, you can always remove the keywords and links. While this may look like a one-sided solution, the focus of your efforts should always be towards increasing the ranking signal of the focal page.
Most webmasters take effort in creating and posting engaging content and also promoting it through various means in a bid to gather higher SERP ranking. But most miss out on the above mentioned activities depriving them of the fruits of their labor.