What do you do when the wrong page ranks for a keyword?

SEO, Podcast, SEO Keywords

Have you ever wondered why one page ranks for a keyword and another one, the one you want to rank, doesn’t? It can be frustrating when the seemingly wrong page is ranking for a keyword. If you’ve had this happen or it’s happening now, I can help you get the right page ranking.

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Why having the wrong page rank matters to your SEO

You may wonder why it matters what page ranks for a keyword; if your website ranks, people can find you, right? Yes, they can find you; however, we want to ensure they’re finding the right page that answers their query and provides the information they’re searching for. If your potential customer ends up on your website but on a page that doesn’t have the information they’re searching for, they will likely leave without finding what they need. They may not even visit your website because the information they see in Google’s search results doesn’t seem applicable to their issue, so they’ll visit a different website instead.

 Listen to the podcast episode here.

How do you end up with the wrong page ranking for a keyword?

Google tries to deliver the best results to searchers, and sometimes, they see a different page on your site as being better for the user than the one you’d like to have rank. Some factors go into Google’s ranking algorithm, including your content, optimization, user engagement, and internal and external links. Google chooses the page it thinks is the best experience for the searcher and will likely contain the information they want.


How do you find out if the wrong page is ranking?

If you’re actively working on your website or blog’s SEO, you’re probably using a keyword ranking tool to track the keywords that you’re using in your optimization. If so, you can generally see which page ranks for a given keyword in your reporting tool. You can also check manually and see which pages Google shows if you search for your website using different keywords, but tracking in a reporting tool is the easiest way to do this.



How do you “fix” the issue if you find the wrong page ranking for an SEO keyword?

First, start by looking at the page ranking and the page you’d rather rank. What keyword are you using, and where is that keyword on both pages? If you’ve used the keyword in the title tag or meta description on the page that you don’t want to have rank for the keyword, then you’ll need to edit those.


You want to use the keyword on the page you want to rank. You may need to update your title tag, meta description, content, title, header tags, image name, or image ALT text to help Google know what your page is about the keyword you want to rank for. If it makes sense to link this page to other pages or blog posts, go ahead and do that, too. Links can be helpful to both Google and your ideal customer.


Then, choose a keyword for the page currently ranking for this keyword and re-optimize this page using the new keyword. Edit the copy, title tag, meta description, image file name, image ALT text, and header tags to incorporate the new keyword.


Yes, you will need to edit two pages to resolve the issue. Edit the one you want to rank for this keyword, then edit the one currently ranking for the keyword to optimize for a different keyword.


Final thoughts on correcting SEO keyword ranking

I always tell my students and clients that the good news with SEO is that there are do-overs. If you find yourself in a situation where the wrong keyword is ranking for a search query, it’s pretty easy to make the necessary edits, update your optimization, and hopefully get the right page to rank for the keyword instead. Don’t be afraid to adjust your SEO on pages if you think there’s a better option for that query.