Obviously, in order for a website to outmatch its competitors in its industry, it should first RANK well in SERPs. However, there are some websites that don't seem to have a competitive position in SERPs which could lead to losing a lot of potential customers in the future. Probably, there are some important areas that you must investigate and research that might be affecting your website performs well on the internet and these could be:
Market competition - This could the reason why a website is not ranking well in SERPs. For any industry, there are a lot of websites competing to each other just to be visible in first page of SERPs. But in order for a website to standout in this phase of online marketing, you must not immediately target the crowded areas of your industry. Do not attempt to compete with short tail phrases to drive traffic to your website. Since there is already an existing competition, it would be pain in the neck for a cat to jump into the cage of lions and tigers and escape without having any strategies.
Keyword Research - The main key to succeed in promoting a website is to have the right list of keywords that you will use to make your website rank and visible in SERPs. Do not attempt to target keyword phrases with low search volume as this will not pay off your efforts but don't target the high search volume keyword phrases as this will be difficult for your website to rank in SERPs as well. The only thing that you could do is to aim for medium competition and generate a list of keywords that you will be using in the long run to help your website rank.
Link Profile - Analyze what your links are and where your links is coming from. You need to make sure that your website has a very clean link profile as this is the most important when positioning a website in SERP. Avoid buying links from websites that are selling paid links to pass link juice, avoid linking your website to adult and irrelevant websites as this is considered as a serious violation in search engines guidelines which can result to penalization of a website. Also, analyze the amount of your inbound links as this could affect your website SERP in the long run. Remember that quality is much better than quantity and if you have poor quality but high in quantity inbound links; it might affect your SERPs as well.
Violations - Investigate some violations that your website may have committed. Look for hidden links, cloaking, keyword stuffing, missing Meta Data and more. Having at least one of the serious violations listed above could damage your website performance and may affect your SERP in the long run which can result to losing you potential clients. For more information about search engine guidelines, you can visit their support page.
In the modern world of marketing having your website visible in search engines is definitely a good result of your marketing efforts. Just keep in mind that you must analyze how much is the competition in your industry so you could scale how much effort and dedication that you must take to make your website rank in SERPs.