Google Rankings 101: common reasons why your website is underperforming.

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So your SEO campaign is live and you’re ready and waiting for your site’s google rankings to skyrocket.

However, it’s been a few months now and you’re still not sitting pretty atop the search engine results pages (SERP’s) — in fact, your rankings have barely changed.

It can be tempting to put it down to experience and write SEO off as ‘not for you’. However, what many people don’t realise is that the issue is relatively easy to fix. In our latest blog post, our Head of Search, Kev Strong, discusses the common reasons why your site may be underperforming.


Weak internal signals

Internal linking is an important part of any website. Not only does it help direct the customer’s journey, the links are ‘crawled’ by Google spiders to determine a site’s architecture.

For example, if a retailer’s homepage links to the accessories or sale pages but not the men’s, ladies and children’s category pages, the latter three pages are not as important in Google’s eyes, as you are not passing authority to these pages from your most important pages.

Thankfully, this issue is often easily rectified by adjusting your site’s internal link structure. You should aim for a pyramidal shape, with the homepage linking to subcategories and subcategories linking to sub-subcategories and so on. This helps ensure the flow of link authority throughout your website, boosting the google rankings of deeper pages.

If you are targeting a particular page, you should link to it on more than one occasion from different areas of your site. For example, if you want to boost the rankings of the ladies scarves page, you could link to it internally from the ladies category page, as well as from the ladies hats and ladies accessories pages. This will help to pass authority to the page you want to rank.

This isn’t to say that you should over link though — you should only link where relevant. Think like a user and only include useful links that the user can benefit from.

Unintentional content duplication

Duplicated content can be a big problem in terms of SEO but sometimes, it’s not always intentional. In some cases, the URL structure can cause problems for your website. In some instances, you may be able to reach a page via multiple addresses. For example:


In theory, all four of these pages will take you to the homepage of our imaginary website. As the content is the same on each of the URLs, it poses little impact to the user. However, it can prove problematic in terms of SEO.

If each URL receives an external link, Google will see that each has a ‘vote’. This means that the authority is spread between the four pages, resulting in four weaker pages rather than one homepage with four links and a strong page authority.

You can rectify multiple URLs by using 301 redirects to combine the pages into one, directing both users and Google to the correct page. By having a clear URL structure, you can build more authoritative pages that have a better chance of ranking.

Neglected pages

You may have missed opportunities on your site that you could better utilise to improve your performance in the SERP’s. When it comes to optimised content, you’ll often prioritise your core landing pages, categories and target pages. While this is a logical approach, optimising the deeper pages of your site could boost your google rankings too.

Longer tail searches for more specific products, like coloured or branded search terms, could boost search visibility and drive additional traffic to your website. By carrying out keyword research to determine what people are searching for, you can optimise these neglected pages accordingly and reap the benefits.

Need more help with your SEO or digital marketing campaign? Talk to the experts — contact Mediaworks today.


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