Why don't our pages rank?

mattclarke
New Member
10 0 0

Hi there,

This one is a bit of a mystery to me. We run a successful online sports nutrition retailer based in the UK. We have a large following, two retail stores and online has been doing really well during the lockdown from our local following & a few new customers which have found us on social / potentially organic.

I have noticed that our listings have dropped off the face of the earth. Sites that have a lower DA and been around for about a year are ranking higher than our site which has a DA of 25 and been around for more than 7 years.

I've fixed all Technical SEO issues that are critical to ranking and performance, and I do a daily crawl via Ahrefs for any new movements on keywords etc but we just can't seem to rank.

We have had early access to products from manufacturers and we're sometimes the first to list, but when we try and rank for the given keywords - we just can't be seen. I use Apps and 3rd party tools to ensure that we're pumping the right keywords into the product pages, but again, other websites are favoured on top of ours.

I have personally ranked websites to page 1 through personal projects, not using Shopify, but for some reason, we just don't rank.

Our industry is competitive and with some products, we are on page 2/3, but it's literally a hand-full. We have over 500 products listed, some with extremely low competition.

Does anyone else have these issues, or could it be Google somewhat sanctioning us? 

Things I've done to try and increase our ranking possibilities:

  • Scoured through Google Search Console to fix any issues that may have arisen like CLS issues, Schema etc. No problems what so ever in this area
  • Configured a brand new theme, which is more modern, faster, includes Lazy-Loading, small asset sizes etc
  • Kept our page load speed down to under 3 seconds
  • Optimised keywords on product & collection pages
  • Fixed pretty much every Technical SEO errors and warnings
  • Submitted Sitemap to Google
  • Used an App to create a sitemap page
  • Compressed all images for file size

There are tons more optimisations I have done, but we just don't see any difference.

Could this be a problem with Shopify itself?

I am aware that there are lots of things we can do to improve our DA, one of which is sourcing high-quality, high DA backlinks, which I'm in the middle of doing, but surely that's not the only ranking factor? I have not done this with previous websites also in a competitive industry and seen traction.

I'm just completely boggled as to how we don't rank. The site health is 100%, no outstanding issues. My only two thoughts are Google is punishing us (we've not had any warnings or anything) or Shopify is the bottleneck.

Looking through Google Analytics, I can see that behind direct traffic, the largest channel people use to find us is Organic search. But diving deeper into this, I can see that people are Googling our brand name which we rank #1 for, but other than our brand name, that's all we rank #1 for.

If anyone has some insight into this, I would really, really appreciate it. It's getting to a point now where it's affecting business and may need to look at other platforms and set up under a new brand name to monitor it's ranking potential.

Thanks for your time, if there's any more information I can provide, I'd be more than happy to do so. 

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KieranR
Shopify Partner
144 11 38

So assuming you've done some good kw research, and you know you're going for realistic, strategic keywords, not vanity or unrealistic ones. 

How do you stack up with content relevancy? I know you've said you've optimized keywords for pages, but it goes pretty deep. 

  • Intuitively - like kw [x] gets some competitor PDP's/PLP's in SERPs and we have those too (or not)
  • Topic coverage - read & understand topic + subtopic mix on competitors page and compare that to yourself. Frase / Clearscope are good here.
  • Correlational tips - tools like POP/Cora/Surfer etc can compare your not ranked page to top ranked pages and generate content/tech things you may be missing.

How do links to individual pages (not just total DA/DR) stack up against to competitors? 
Are they ranking purely based off the authority of the root domain (usually not the case in competitive niches). I find if you go through each each page in the SERP and figure out what kind of links you need to build to each /products/ and /collections/ page to build this out. 

What about internal links? Do they have a blog or other internal surfaces that attract traffic and link-equity and funnels it through to their PLP/PDP (money) pages? 

Could take a look if you like? Bit hard to spitball blind.

A self defined Shopify SEO "expert". Sometimes I freelance outside the 9-5
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Hi Matt,

Are you sure it's purely an SEO problem? You seem to be leaning a lot into the technical stuff. But are we sure it's not a strategic problem?

Improper targeting could be one side of the issue.

Google has been heavily leaning on behavioural signals over the past couple of years. How are your pages on that front?

What about the product descriptions? Product photos? 

If looking at the SEO doesn't solve the problem, then perhaps it's not an SEO problem. 

Maybe you could check some other marketing mistakes that you might be making.

Hope this helps.

Cheers

 

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MansionEcom
Shopify Partner
398 33 125

Hello @mattclarke,

Everyone knows search is the most effective way to acquire customers and drive traffic. Natural search draws way more traffic than Social media. To appear in search results though, Google has to first find your website content. It used to take years to get your content found by Google and major search engines. Not any more.

Doing SEO once is virtually useless. To get in front, and stay in front needs regular feeds to Google and Bing. We created flare to deliver search engine feeds on a regular basis without taking your time. Focus on creating content relevant to your customers, brand, and business. Let flare worry about informing Google, Bing and many major search engines of your awesome content.

For improving the website SEO rating, one of the main method is to get your site listed on search results, Google needs to crawl and index your content. This happens automatically over periods of days or weeks.

Hope this was helpful,
Jeena
https://apps.shopify.com/partners/mansion-ecommerce

https://MansionEcommerce.com
https://apps.shopify.com/partners/mansion-ecommerce
Driving the next decade of eCommerce
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Hi Matt-

Shopify is not the problem. I work with many brands (some multi-million $$) on Shopify who rank highly for competitive keywords. It is great you have cleaned up many of the technical issues, but most sites I have worked with have many technical issues and still rank.

You are saying you were ranking for a lot of non-brand keywords and now you aren't? If so, when did you see a drop? 

You mention you are working on getting links from high DA websites? If you are working with anyone to 'build' links, this is a bad idea and will make things worse. There is no quick way to gain links in a legitimate way that won't come back to hurt your site in the end. 

It would be really helpful if you could share your website and I can take a look. You can DM me if you don't want to share it on the forum. 

Steve

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