“Google Ranking Wrong Page for Keywords”

By | January 30, 2020

Hello, this is John Locke. Today I’m
answering an interesting SEO question that I saw in a forum. Now in this
particular question, the person posting, they had one page on their site that
they’re trying to rank. But Google is favoring another page in their
site for the for the terms that they’re targeting. Now they didn’t reveal the
exact search terms or the exact site but the example that they gave was, that
they’re trying to rank their homepage for “camping canopies” or “camping
structures”, and instead Google is ranking another page inside their site (for those search terms). I
want to go over a few reasons this could be happening, and why it’s not
necessarily a bad thing. In this example the person was trying to rank
their homepage for these camping canopies, I’m
guessing, to sell them, but another page on the inside of their site was ranking.
There’s a couple things that this could be — without knowing more about the
situation. For one, your homepage might be more sales oriented, and you’re
thinking, “If I rank for this term, then people are going to buy.” And perhaps, either the page on your site that’s ranking in Google for that term,
is farther away from the home page — maybe it’s a product page — maybe
it’s a category page on the e-commerce site — that happens a lot. Because a lot of
times Google wants to give people choices. But another thing that it could
be, and I’m just using my deductive powers here — is it could be an
informational page on your site. Let’s say that you sell camping canopies, and
you’re wanting to rank for that keyword phrase, because you want to get sales, right? The bottom of
the marketing funnel. But people are googling “camping canopies” and maybe you have a page that is titled, “What are camping canopies?”, or
“How to set up a camping canopy”. And Google is ranking that page instead. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Remember that at the marketing funnel
are informational searches. Those customers are still going to your site. So it’s
very possible that they’re still ending up on the page where they make a
purchase. Remember the marketing funnel — at the top of the funnel is
awareness, and those are those informational pages that you use to
build up an audience. You may also have people in the pre-sales (portion of the marketing funnel), or they’re trying to
figure something out and they are doing research, or it’s a post-sales type of
situation (customer support or resources). But as you move down the funnel: Awareness, Interest, Decision,
Action — action is when they’re making a purchase, right? Just because they get
to your website from a different page (than you intend), it doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. You are wanting
them (customers) to go directly to the bottom of the funnel. At some point, people
will do that (buy something). But maybe they’re trying to figure out another way to get there. Maybe there are just more competitors like eBay or Amazon or REI — and perhaps they’re just going to rank higher than you for
those transactional (e-commerce) pages, where people are pulling out their
credit card and making a purchase.One thing that I would encourage you to do is
go into Google Analytics and see where people are going after they hit that one
page that you’re not trying to rank, (but it’s ranking anyway), and see if they
actually go and make a purchase later. Optimize that page for the the action that
you want people to take. If it’s the informational page about camping
canopies, and what you really want to do is have people purchase a camping canopy, put a
call-to-action button at the bottom of the page. (At the end of the article), say “If you want to
purchase camping canopies, here’s our
line of canopies.” That’s one thing that you can do. Don’t fight the flow. The
second thing I would say is, look at the actual Google search results, and see
what’s ranking. In the majority of the pages that are ranking, does that fit
the pattern of how your pages are set up? For example, let’s say that Google is ranking pages for the search term “camping canopies” — and they’re all e-commerce. Maybe your
page that you want to rank is already e-commerce. Maybe the page that is ranking is an
outlier. But I would say go with the flow. Try and optimize the page to make it
more like the ones that are in the top ten search results. So if you’re trying to
rank an e-commerce page, maybe add some more elements to that page (to make it an e-commerce page.) What if it’s all informational. Let’s say that all the
the results for this keyword that you’re trying to rank are informational and
you’re trying to rank a transactional (e-commerce) page, an e-commerce page — it’s not going to
happen. It’s very unlikely to happen. You’re going to have to be like the
top-rated result. (It is difficult to) be an outlier that breaks into the first page (if the pattern doesn’t fit).
You can’t fight against the pattern. So the two things that that I want you to
take away from this: One, just because somebody comes to your site, and it’s on
a page that you don’t necessarily want it to be (ranked for) doesn’t mean that it’s a bad
thing. They could still be getting to your page . The second thing is, don’t fight
the pattern. Try and go with the pattern, and make the page more like the prevailing pattern. A third
thing I wanted to say really quick, sometimes Google
doesn’t have a clear-cut idea of which page on your site should rank (for a given search phrase) because
they’re both kind of equally wishy-washy. I had this happen not that long ago,
with a site that I was working with. We were trying to optimize for one
keyword phrase, and instead of (Google ranking) the home page or a landing page — where people
could spend money — it was ranking the Contact page. It turns out that our target
keyword phrase was on that Contact page. We had to optimize these other pages
a little bit more, and then after a while, Google picked up (the changes), and said, “Okay, we’re
going to rank this other page instead of the Contact page, because it’s a better
choice (for that keyword phrase) now. Now it has the keyword phrase in the page, and now we
understand that’s the page we should rank.” Sometimes it
comes down to mentioning the keyword phrase a bit more (in the page) and making sure
that Google has clear-cut choices on which page to rank. It’s not just
taking a page you don’t want (to rank and transferring the ranking power to your preferred page). To be clear, different
keyword phrases have different intentions. And perhaps you think that (if people search that term) everybody (wants to) purchase or is going to whip out their credit card when
they google this phrase. But it could be that they’re just doing research.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. So, three things:
check the funnel, make sure you mention the keyword, and don’t fight the pattern
of the search results. Well, this is John Locke for Lockedown Design and
SEO. We’re here every day, making videos on SEO, helping manufacturing and
industrial firms. If you have a question, leave it in the comments below. I’d love
to see you subscribe. That’s all I’ve got for this video. Until next time, peace.

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