Why Is My Website’s Home Page Absent from Search Results?

Why Is My Website’s Home Page Absent from Search Results?

I have an online store, let’s say for example I sell forks of all kinds and colors. So naturally, I have ‘product category’ pages with titles and slugs like:

Big forks
Small forks
Plastic forks
Red fork

And plenty of product pages with slugs and H1 like:

Small red fork
Large plastic fork
18th-century fork

Some category pages are well-ranked, others are not, the same goes for product pages. The problem is that for the main keyword, ‘fork’ (exact query in the search console), my site is completely absent. Google should logically have referenced my homepage (which has links to all categories) for this main keyword. I have also optimized the page for it, without overdoing it.

I wonder if it’s not because I have a lot of pages with ‘fork’ in the slug, and perhaps Google thinks it’s too much (even though it’s logical for this word to be present in all product pages because it’s an essential word to describe the product).

I wonder if I should not modify half of my product pages to remove the word ‘fork’ from the slug…(only from the slug, without touching the H1 because removing the word ‘fork’ would remove its meaning).

Do you have any experiences with this kind of issue? I wouldn’t ask the question if my homepage was behind the competition, but it’s completely absent.

Question Asked

As a website owner, it can be frustrating and concerning when your home page is not showing up in search results. Your website’s home page is usually the most important page, serving as the virtual front door to your business or brand. When it’s missing from search results, it can have a negative impact on your online visibility and potential traffic.

Your frustration with your online store’s lack of ranking for “fork” is understandable. While your approach to naming pages with descriptive slugs and titles appears to be logical, there could be a number of factors at play. Removing “fork” from all of your product slugs may not be the best solution:

Keyword cannibalization is unlikely to be the culprit

While having too many pages targeting the same keyword can be harmful, it’s unlikely that your problem is solely due to the word “fork” appearing in multiple slugs. Google is sophisticated enough to recognize that your products are relevant to the term “fork” and can distinguish between individual pages based on additional criteria such as content, title tags, and internal linking.

There is Focus on broad user intent and search terms

  • While “fork” is a relevant keyword, it is rather broad. Users searching for “fork” may be looking for information (e.g., the history of forks), purchasing a specific type of fork (e.g., disposable forks), or browsing a selection of forks.
  • Analyze your search console data to determine what specific terms users are using to find your products. Optimize your content and titles for these keywords while still using “fork” where appropriate.

Improve your homepage

  • Your homepage is critical in determining your site’s relevance for “fork.”
  • Make sure it clearly communicates what you sell and strategically incorporates relevant keywords in titles, meta descriptions, and throughout the content.
  • Consider including a hero banner or a featured section that showcases a variety of your forks to draw attention and encourage browsing.

Backlink profile matters

Having high-quality backlinks from relevant websites can help you rank higher for competitive keywords like “fork.” Create backlinks by guest blogging on relevant industry websites, joining online communities, or collaborating with other businesses.

Technical SEO may be a factor

Make sure your website has a clean and mobile-friendly design, a fast loading speed, and a well-structured internal linking architecture. These technical aspects influence how search engines crawl and index your website, which affects its ranking potential.

Here’s what you can do Next

  • Analyze the search console data: Identify the specific search terms that users use to find your products and optimize your content accordingly.
  • Refine your homepage content: to ensure that it clearly communicates your value proposition while also naturally incorporating relevant keywords.
  • Focus on long-tail keywords: To attract users with defined purchase intent, use more specific search terms such as “red plastic forks for picnics”.
  • Create high-quality backlinks: Contact relevant websites about guest blogging or partnership opportunities.
  • Address technical SEO issues: Use Google Search Console and PageSpeed Insights to identify and fix technical issues.

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