How to Fix a Failing Website (6 Tips)

If you buy something through a link in our posts, we may get a small share of the sale.

If your website is at least 1 year old, you should be getting organic traffic AND making money.

If it isn’t, something is wrong 🛑

Here are the 6 reasons I often see holding websites back 👇

1. Content Quality

Quite often, the content just isn’t good enough. 

Unfortunately, we tend to think our content is better than it really is (I’m guilty of this). 

Get an honest appraisal of the content. Is it truly helpful?

Or is it just regurgitating what is already out there?

Or, even worse, is it thin content that was just published as fast as possible?

If so, it could be worth quickly updating the content to see if that moves the needle at all.

Boost Your SEO: 9 Quick Ways to Update Your Website Content Fast

You might also consider deleting the content to help your site grow.

Either way, this is one of the biggest culprits I see. If you can’t name at least one thing about your content that makes it BETTER than anything else out there, this might be an issue of yours.

2. Missing Search Intent

Maybe the content is good, but if you miss the Search Intent, it won’t rank.

For example, Google typically doesn’t want a Top 10 list for a question keyword.

That’s the obvious example but it goes much deeper than that. 

In Website Reviews, I often see people combining different queries into one article. Not good. This typically stems from people adding PAA queries, but not understanding when they actually need to be a new article.

Then there’s the case where a query actually necessitates a more nuanced article. For example, if your article is “Best Hiking Boots”, and your H2’s look like this:

  • Best Waterproof Hiking Boots
  • Best Lightweight Hiking Boots
  • Etc

Each of those MIGHT necessitate their own article…

As you can see, this topic of “search intent” in very nuanced. But its still important, especially for a newer site. Make sure your articles match search intent.

3. Targeting Wrong Keywords

So often, new websites target topics that are far too difficult for them to rank for.

Take a look at the site’s that rank on Page One for your keywords. Are they all high DR?

You have to see evidence that you can rank.

Personally, I love using LowFruits for low competition keyword research. Here’s exactly how I use it.

LowFruits Keyword Research [The MOST In-Depth Tutorial & Review]

Now, you DO need to build topical authority, and sometimes that means writing articles you can’t rank for yet. But, that should be the exception to the rule. 

We consult with websites large and small on how to improve their sites to gain more traffic and money. Interested in learning more? Take a look at our Website Reviews!

4. Missing Topical Authority

Speaking of topical authority… 

If you’ve only written 5-10 articles on the topic, chances are Google doesn’t see you as an authority on the topic yet.

Which means they probably won’t rank you for those 5-10 articles.

So often in Website Reviews, I see people focus on low competition keywords, without any focus on fully covering the topic. So they’ll write lots of random articles that are loosely related, rather than focusing on a topical silo.

Today, you need to fully cover the greater topic to rank.

5. Insufficient Backlink Profile

Let’s face it, newer websites struggle to rank because they just don’t have many backlinks yet.

Backlinks = authority (there, I said it)

At some point, you’ll need links to rank long term for queries. That time might be now.

Use ChatGPT to help create a stat-based article you can use to build organic backlinks to your site.

6. Technical Problems

It’s more rare to see this as the reason holding a site back from ranking, but it does happen.

Architecture problems, mass 404 errors, server problems – some issues can be very damaging to your ranking.

If your site isn’t ranking but its been 1+ years, its time to deep dive and determine the problem!

We offer Website Reviews where we help owners determine problems, and provide a path to growth, if interested:

Screencap of a client review for 201 Creative's website review services
Photo of author

Jared Bauman

Jared Bauman is the Co-Founder of 201 Creative, and is a 20+ year entrepreneur who has started and sold several companies. He is the host of the popular Niche Pursuits podcast and a contributing author to Search Engine Land.

Leave a Comment