Understanding Initial SEO Rankings and Tips for Improvement

November 8, 2023
A graphic with a generic bar graph that says "Keyword Rankings"


Struggling with achieving high rankings for your new website? Discover common SEO problems and how to fix them ASAP so you can start ranking on Google.

Are you struggling with achieving high Google rankings for your website? Maybe you just published a new website and you are wondering why the Google rankings aren’t flowing in. You’re not alone. Many businesses face challenges in climbing the search engine results pages (SERPs), especially at the beginning! However, understanding the factors influencing your initial SEO rankings and employing the right strategies can make a world of difference. In this blog post, we’ll explore the complexities of Google’s ranking factors and offer actionable tips to help you improve your website’s performance and achieve higher rankings.

Key Takeaways

  • Achieving high rankings is essential for online success, but it takes time and dedication.
  • Quality content creation, keyword research & optimization, on-page/off-page SEO (including local SEO) are key strategies to improve website rankings.
  • Steel Croissant provides expert services to help optimize websites for better Google rankings.

Achieving High Rankings is Vital, But it Takes Time

Online visibility and success hinge on high rankings, as they enable your website to appear more prominently in search engine results, increasing organic traffic and conversions. However, achieving high rankings takes time and effort. While you strive for those coveted top spots on Google, patience and persistence in your SEO efforts are key.

Here is Why Your Website Might Not Be Ranking Initially

Several factors can contribute to your website not ranking initially, such as:

  • New website crawl and indexing delays
  • Low domain authority
  • Competition in your niche
  • Issues with content quality and quantity

A significant improvement in your website’s initial rankings and overall SEO performance can be seen by understanding and addressing these factors.

New Website Crawl and Indexing Delay

Search engines need time to crawl and index new websites before they can appear in search results. This process involves Googlebot discovering your website, analyzing its content, and adding it to Google’s index. The time it takes for a new website to be crawled and indexed varies, generally ranging between four days and four weeks.

In this initial phase, you have two options - patience or proactivity. You can wait it out and give Google the time to discover the site or you can submit your sitemap to Google Search Console and request indexing to expedite the process (which we recommend doing). However, it’s important to know that  simply submitting the sitemap does not guarantee instant or immediate rankings. This simply means Google has crawled your site, and it's now eligible for rankings on search engines.

How to Submit Your Sitemap to Google Search Console:

  1. Sign in to GSC
  2. Click sitemap on the left hand side of your screen
  1. Enter your sitemap URL and click submit!
  1. Come back and check the status to make sure it was submitted correctly.

Low Domain Authority

Domain authority is a metric that evaluates the quality of a website’s backlink profile and can impact your website’s ranking. New websites typically have low domain authority (don’t be shocked if your DA is a 0 at the beginning), which is a measure of your website's credibility and trustworthiness in the eyes of search engines.

Strategies to boost domain authority include producing high-quality content, constructing quality backlinks, and optimizing on-page SEO. By consistently working on these factors, you can enhance your domain authority and improve your website’s search rankings. Also consider guest posting, influencer outreach, and creating shareable, link-worthy content, which will boost your domain authority over time.

If you need guidance or templates to guide your outreach process for guest posts and backlinks, check out our blog titled ‘Effective Guest Post Outreach Made Easy [+Free Email Templates].

Competition in Your Niche

Competition in your niche can significantly impact your website’s rankings. In highly competitive niches, it may take longer to attain high rankings due to the presence of well-established websites vying for the top spots on search engines. Factors such as the age of the website, SEO efforts, and content quality also contribute to the ranking timeline.

Analyzing your competitors’ strategies and optimizing your website accordingly can help you stand out in a competitive niche. By identifying gaps in the market and differentiating your website from others, you can increase your chances of achieving higher rankings.

Content Quality and Quantity

Content quality and quantity both play a significant role in your website’s rankings. Google prioritizes websites with high-quality, fresh, relevant content that provides value to users. Consequently, a focus on content creation is pivotal so that the needs of your target audience are met and it addresses their search intent.

The ideal length for a quality blog post or article for SEO purposes is between 2,100-2,400 words. By producing content that is both comprehensive and engaging, you can improve your website’s rankings and attract more organic traffic.

Thin Content

Thin content is content that lacks depth, structure, and quality and does not provide substantial value to users. Google perceives thin content as low-quality and not very beneficial to users, which can lead to a decrease in rankings in search results.

To avoid thin content, ensure that each page on your website provides value to users and covers the topic in detail. By focusing on creating content that is both informative and engaging, you can improve your web pages’ rankings and user experience.

Suboptimal URL Structure

URL structure has a significant impact on both search engine optimization and user experience. A suboptimal URL structure can include long, complex URLs that are difficult to read and understand, or URLs that lack relevant keywords. These issues can negatively impact your website’s rankings and overall performance.

Optimizing your URL structure for better crawlability and user experience involves:

  • Creating simple, easy-to-read URLs
  • Including relevant keywords
  • Enhancing your website’s SEO performance
  • Making it easier for both users and search engines to navigate your site.

Tips to Improve Your SEO Rankings

Having discussed the factors influencing your website’s initial rankings, we will now delve into some actionable tips for enhancing your SEO rankings. By focusing on the following areas, you can significantly enhance your website’s performance and achieve higher rankings in search results:

  1. Keyword research and optimization
  2. On-page SEO
  3. Quality content creation
  4. Off-page SEO (link building)
  5. Local SEO (if applicable)

Keyword Research and Optimization

Thorough keyword research is indispensable for content optimization and improving your search rankings. By identifying the top keyword phrase your target audience uses to find your website, you can create content that is more likely to rank well in search results.

Tools like Semrush can help you identify relevant target keywords for your target audience. Once you have identified the right target keyword, incorporate it into:

  • Your content
  • Title tags
  • Meta descriptions
  • Header tags

Crafting a well-written meta description will help search engines understand your content’s relevance and improve your click through rate.

On-Page SEO

On-page SEO involves optimizing various elements of your website, such as title tags, meta descriptions, and header tags, to improve your search rankings. By implementing on-page SEO best practices, you can enhance your website’s user experience and increase its visibility in search results.

Optimizing images for on-page SEO is also important. Use descriptive filenames and informative alt tags for your images, and compress them for faster loading times. Additionally, ensure that your website’s URLs are easy to read and comprehend, and include relevant keywords for better search engine performance.

Need more information about how to execute a successful SEO strategy? Check out our Guide to Creating a Kickass SEO Strategy.

Quality Content Creation

Attracting users requires high-quality, engaging content and encouraging sharing. High-quality content is characterized by its relevance, engagement, usefulness, and tailored approach to the target audience. To create content that resonates with your audience, focus on thorough research, effective presentation, and addressing the search intent of your users.

Shareable content can positively impact your SEO in the following ways:

  • Increasing the visibility and reach of your content
  • Reaching a larger audience
  • Enhancing brand recognition
  • Generating more organic traffic to your website

Off-Page SEO - Link Building

Improving your website’s rankings involves off-page SEO strategies such as link building and social media promotion. Building high-quality backlinks can increase your website’s authority and drive more traffic. Internal linking also plays a significant role in SEO, as it enhances your website’s structure and allows for the use of exact-match anchor text.

Social media promotion can also benefit your off-page SEO by generating backlinks, increasing brand visibility, and driving referral traffic. By promoting your content on social media platforms and engaging with your audience, you can boost your off-page SEO efforts and improve your website’s search rankings.

Need simple email templates to guide your outreach efforts? Check out our blog on Effective Guest Post Outreach Made Easy [+ Free Templates].

Local SEO 

If your business caters to a local audience, it’s pivotal to optimize your website for local SEO. Local SEO focuses on optimizing your website for local search results, helping your business get discovered by local customers searching for your products or services.

Claiming and updating local listings is a crucial aspect of local SEO. Utilize tools like Google Business Profile to claim and update your business information, ensuring that customers have accurate and current information about your business.

Incorporating location-specific keywords into your content can also help improve your local search rankings, making it easier for customers to find your business online.

Monitoring Progress and Adjusting Strategies

Monitoring your progress and adjusting your strategies accordingly is key to ensuring the effectiveness of your SEO efforts. By using tools like Google Analytics and Search Console, you can track your website’s performance, identify areas for improvement, and make ongoing updates as needed.

Continuously optimizing your SEO strategies based on data and performance will help you achieve higher rankings and greater visibility in search results.

Google Analytics and Search Console

Google Analytics and Search Console are invaluable tools for monitoring your website’s performance and identifying potential areas for optimization. By integrating these tools with your SEO efforts, you can:

  • Track your website’s organic traffic
  • Monitor keyword performance
  • Analyze landing pages
  • Set SEO-related goals

Using Search Console can help you identify any indexing issues or errors on your website, as well as monitor your website’s performance in search results. By addressing these issues and making the necessary adjustments, you can improve your website’s search rankings and overall SEO performance.

Ongoing SEO Updates

Given the constant evolution of the SEO world, staying up to date with the latest trends and best practices is crucial. Regularly reviewing your SEO strategies and making updates based on your website’s performance can help you stay competitive and adapt to changes in search engine algorithms.

In addition to monitoring your website’s performance and making adjustments as needed, it’s essential to continuously learn, test, and adapt your SEO strategies. Staying informed about the latest updates and best practices can help you maintain or improve your website’s rankings and ensure optimal visibility and organic traffic.

SEO Is an Ongoing Process

In conclusion, SEO is a continuous procedure that necessitates time, effort, and patience for noticeable improvement in rankings. By focusing on the fundamentals, such as:

  • Keyword research
  • On-page SEO
  • Quality content creation
  • Off-page SEO

You can set your website up for success in the online realm. Remember that achieving high rankings takes time, and consistency is key to ensuring long-term growth and visibility.

Steel Croissant is Here to Help!

Steel Croissant has a team of SEO experts that can help your team develop and implement a solid SEO strategy, and we can even execute that strategy for you! By collaborating with Steel Croissant, you can enhance your website’s user experience, earn backlinks from external sites, and implement SEO best practices to improve your search rankings. With our expertise and guidance, you can navigate the complexities of SEO and achieve higher Google rankings for your website. Contact us today!


How do I get higher Google rankings?

To get a higher Google rankings, optimize your website's user experience and content, add internal and external links, improve page speed, and reduce bounce rate. Monitor technical SEO and target relevant keywords to further improve ranking.

Is it possible to rank #1 on Google?

Yes, with sufficient time and effort invested into researching keywords relevant to your content, it is possible to rank #1 on Google.

How long does it take to rank high on Google?

It typically takes 3-6 months to rank on the first page of Google, though it may take up to a year depending on the competition in your industry and how much optimization work you do. With good content and SEO techniques, you can expect to see results within 90-180 days.

How long does it typically take for a new website to be crawled and indexed by search engines?

It typically takes between four days and four weeks for a new website to be crawled and indexed by search engines.

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