Not ranking for target keyword...advice please?

16 replies
  • SEO
  • |
Hi all,

Apologies if this isn't the right thread - couldn't see anywhere more appropriate and couldn't see something relating to this problem in the FAQs.

I have a domain that is about a year old, but has only had content added in the last three months or so.

I'm very early on, and am just doing on page work at the moment - but I'm confused about why a term in not really targeting is getting impressions on Google, but the phrase I'm really targeting isn't.

I'm trying to rank for the phrase 'public affairs jobs', and have followed what seems to be best practice - partial domain name match, phrase is in title tags and H1, etc, decent keyword density, and content designed for the user.

I'm not getting search traffic from that phrase, despite getting traffic for other terms which have a higher competition ranking on SeoMoz.

I don't think I have pushed the optimisation too far, so I'm confused - does anyone have any ideas? All thoughts very much appreciated!

Thanks very much,

Tim
#keyword advice #keywordadvice #ranking #seo #target
  • Profile picture of the author Backlinko
    It's hard to say without looking at your site, but it could be because your site doesn't have any off site signals.

    Keep in mind that 75%+ of Google's ranking factors are based on links, social signals, and user experience. For any competitive keyword, simply writing a page optimized around it isn't enough (but it's a good start).
    Signature
    Find Awesome Keywords...Without ANY Tools
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8249196].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author TimConnolly
      Thanks for the reply Backlinko, that's helpful.

      I'm confused because all of my keywords are in the same boat - only on-page, no link building or social signals (yet), but the one which is a partial domain name match is not ranking (at all) but others are...
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8249291].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Backlinko
        Originally Posted by TimConnolly View Post

        Thanks for the reply Backlinko, that's helpful.

        I'm confused because all of my keywords are in the same boat - only on-page, no link building or social signals (yet), but the one which is a partial domain name match is not ranking (at all) but others are...
        Sure thing, Tim.

        Could be a few different things: this keyword is more competitive, it doesn't hit the exact same on-page signals that the other keywords do, has different user-interaction signals.

        Hard to say.

        But as long as you carefully build quality links you'll rank.
        Signature
        Find Awesome Keywords...Without ANY Tools
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8250132].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author yukon
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Backlinko View Post

      Keep in mind that 75%+ of Google's ranking factors are based on links, social signals, and user experience.
      I doubt that very much (social).

      Define user experience (bounce rate?).
      Signature
      Hi
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8250144].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author ankitoberoi
        Originally Posted by yukon View Post

        I doubt that very much (social).
        Not sure how much weight google gives it, but it does matter. Specially G+ and Twitter. I've seen this work on one of my recent blog posts. The site is relatively new and this post had zero backlinks.

        It got a lot of social attention and I saw the page rise through the rank ladder, for a keyword (not very competitive though). Right now it is already in the Top 10 for the keyword and I'm still getting a few shares and tweets.
        Signature

        BETA - AdPushup | Increase AdSense revenue using advanced automated A/B Testing.

        Recent Post - How Typography Affects Readers

        Twitter - @oberoiankit

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8250349].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author mosthost
          Originally Posted by ankitoberoi View Post

          Not sure how much weight google gives it, but it does matter. Specially G+ and Twitter. I've seen this work on one of my recent blog posts. The site is relatively new and this post had zero backlinks.

          It got a lot of social attention and I saw the page rise through the rank ladder, for a keyword (not very competitive though). Right now it has already reached in the Top 10 for the keyword and I'm still getting a few shares and tweets.
          I'm seeing 'The History of Online Advertising' in 2nd. Nice work
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8250392].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author ankitoberoi
            Originally Posted by mosthost View Post

            I'm seeing 'The History of Online Advertising' in 2nd. Nice work
            Thanks, Yea, it was around Rank 20 for another keyword and has reached the 5-6th spot, so far.

            People like Larry Kim, Hiten Shah (crazyegg, Kissmetrics) shared/upvoted the post.
            Signature

            BETA - AdPushup | Increase AdSense revenue using advanced automated A/B Testing.

            Recent Post - How Typography Affects Readers

            Twitter - @oberoiankit

            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8250434].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author mosthost
              Originally Posted by ankitoberoi View Post

              Thanks, Yea, it was around Rank 20 for another keyword and has reached the 5-6th spot, so far.

              People like Larry Kim, Hiten Shah (crazyegg, Kissmetrics) shared/upvoted the post.
              It's a good article. You took a lot of time to make it. I think part of the 'transition' we're going through now with Google is them de-emphasizing links in favor of social. Your article sort of proves that point to me.
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8250451].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author yukon
              Banned
              Originally Posted by ankitoberoi View Post

              Not sure how much weight google gives it, but it does matter. Specially G+ and Twitter. I've seen this work on one of my recent blog posts. The site is relatively new and this post had zero backlinks.

              It got a lot of social attention and I saw the page rise through the rank ladder, for a keyword (not very competitive though). Right now it is already in the Top 10 for the keyword and I'm still getting a few shares and tweets.
              Originally Posted by mosthost View Post

              I'm seeing 'The History of Online Advertising' in 2nd. Nice work
              Originally Posted by ankitoberoi View Post

              Thanks, Yea, it was around Rank 20 for another keyword and has reached the 5-6th spot, so far.

              People like Larry Kim, Hiten Shah (crazyegg, Kissmetrics) shared/upvoted the post.
              So you rank a page because you have links.

              Who's on first?
              Signature
              Hi
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8250499].message }}
              • Profile picture of the author ankitoberoi
                Originally Posted by yukon View Post

                So you rank a page because you have links.

                Who's on first?
                All the tweets/shares/upvotes are a nofollow. I suspect inbound links have anything to do with the rise in rankings.

                Wikipedia is #1, but that would be anybody's guess
                Signature

                BETA - AdPushup | Increase AdSense revenue using advanced automated A/B Testing.

                Recent Post - How Typography Affects Readers

                Twitter - @oberoiankit

                {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8250525].message }}
                • Profile picture of the author yukon
                  Banned
                  Originally Posted by ankitoberoi View Post

                  All the tweets/shares/upvotes are a nofollow. I suspect inbound links have anything to do with the rise in rankings.

                  Wikipedia is #1, but that would be anybody's guess
                  You never ranked a page because of Tweets, or upvotes (whatever that means). You might have generated links from people reading Twitter & then those people create links on other web pages, but the actual Tweet didn't rank anything.
                  Signature
                  Hi
                  {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8250533].message }}
              • Profile picture of the author PerformanceMan
                Originally Posted by yukon View Post

                So you rank a page because you have links.

                Who's on first?
                His page is in position 3 for me. It has a July 3rd date. I'm willing to go out on a limb and say 'traditional' links have NOTHING to do with this ranking.

                The world is changing. Anyone who has launched a few websites in since May can see it.

                I took an old banned domain and put it on a dew domain July 2nd. I submitted to GWT and there are NO LINKS to the domain. That hasn't stopped them from crawling and including 248 pages already. You COULD NOT do this a few years ago. You always needed links to get crawled and included. Now you can submit and use social.
                Signature
                Free Special Report on Mindset - Level Up with Positive Thinking
                {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8252314].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Backlinko
        Originally Posted by yukon View Post

        I doubt that very much (social).

        Define user experience (bounce rate?).
        I'm not a big social signals proponent, but it's short-sighted to say that they don't matter at all.

        And yes, they're technically links, but as they're nofollow or JS I think they're treated as a seperate entity by the algo.

        User-experience comes in several shapes and sizes: Chrome bookmarks, dwell time etc.
        Signature
        Find Awesome Keywords...Without ANY Tools
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8252240].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author jackrice
    that's very true Fb likes and tweets do not rank, i still do not know why lots of people are laying more emphasis on social signals
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8250635].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author ankitoberoi
    I still can't see any valuable links to the page, wonder what else could have caused the rise in rankings then. [Specially some of the competing pages are strong domains]

    Anyways, I personally believe social signals do matter and if they don't, they should.

    Take a look at this video from 2010: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofhwPC-5Ub4

    Social Signals as a factor used by Google, is confirmed here. Further, I quote - "We're studying how much sense it makes to use it a little more widely within our web search rankings".

    Google is smart, I'm sure they would have figured it out over the last two years.

    Here are some nice reads about the subject:
    The Three Pillars Of SEO In 2013: Content, Links, And Social Media - Forbes
    Social Signals Work for SEO | Social Media Today
    Signature

    BETA - AdPushup | Increase AdSense revenue using advanced automated A/B Testing.

    Recent Post - How Typography Affects Readers

    Twitter - @oberoiankit

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8250676].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author shmeeko69
    Originally Posted by TimConnolly View Post

    Hi all,

    Apologies if this isn't the right thread - couldn't see anywhere more appropriate and couldn't see something relating to this problem in the FAQs.

    I have a domain that is about a year old, but has only had content added in the last three months or so.

    I'm very early on, and am just doing on page work at the moment - but I'm confused about why a term in not really targeting is getting impressions on Google, but the phrase I'm really targeting isn't.

    I'm trying to rank for the phrase 'public affairs jobs', and have followed what seems to be best practice - partial domain name match, phrase is in title tags and H1, etc, decent keyword density, and content designed for the user.

    I'm not getting search traffic from that phrase, despite getting traffic for other terms which have a higher competition ranking on SeoMoz.

    I don't think I have pushed the optimisation too far, so I'm confused - does anyone have any ideas? All thoughts very much appreciated!

    Thanks very much,

    Tim
    Hi Tim, I've just checked your keyword phrase and the main reason why you're probably struggling with this term is that it has a fair amount of competition with Google.

    public affairs jobs | Medium | 14,800 | 1,900

    14,800 global monthly views is very attractive and it would be good to tap in to some of that audience, but being the realist that I am, I only tend to chase phrases which have low competition or even limited data.

    The ideal scenario is low Google competition and a healthy amount of monthly Global and local searches and not the other way about which I've seen a few online marketers chase.
    Signature
    The Rock n Roll of Marketing Reviews
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8285279].message }}

Trending Topics