You have a great website, it has a great design, it has great content, it contains all of the important keywords, the usability is fine… but: the website does not have good rankings on search engines.
Many webmasters experience this problem. Fortunately, there is a way to solve seemingly inexplicable ranking problems.
Reasons why your web pages do not get ranked
There can be several “invisible” reasons why your web pages do not get high rankings on Google and other search engines:
1. The robots.txt file is not correct
If your content management system offers a development mode, chances are that the robots.txt file of your website blocked all search engines when you developed the website.
If you did not change the robots.txt file of your website, the search engine robots will still be blocked. Remove the “Disallow:” lines from your robots.txt file to make sure that your web pages can be accessed by search engine robots.
2. The HTTP status code of your pages is not correct
When search engine robots and normal visitors request a page from your server, your server answers with a so-called HTTP status code. This status code cannot be seen by the visitor as it is targeted at the program that requests the page.
The status code for a normal page should be ‘200 OK’. All other status codes mean that there is something special with the page. For example, 4xx status codes mean that the page is broken, 5xx status codes mean that there is a problem with the server, etc.
Some servers have configuration errors and they deliver the wrong HTTP status code. This does not matter for human website visitors and you cannot see it in your browser. Search engine robots, however, won’t index your web pages if they get the wrong HTTP status code.
3. There are other technical errors
Other technical errors can also have a negative influence on your rankings. For example, the HTTPs settings on your website could not be correct, or the pages might load too slowly.
In addition, websites automatically get errors over time. Some links on the pages become obsolete, old pages do not fit on the new website, etc. If a website contains too many of these errors, it will look like a low quality website.
How to find these errors
Of course, you can manually search your web pages for these errors. This can take quite some time. That’s the reason why we developed the Website Audit tool in SEOprofiler.
Among many other things, the Website Audit tool in SEOprofiler checks the robots.txt file of your site, it checks the HTTP status codes, and it checks your web pages for other errors that can have a negative influence on the rankings of your web pages.
The Website Audit tool also shows you how to remove these errors so that search engines can index your web pages as well as possible.
SEOprofiler offers many tools that help you to get more out of your website. If you haven’t done it yet, create your SEOprofiler account now and create an audit report for your own website: