When you type your keyword into a search engine and Google displays your site’s homepage in the top results, it’s a good moment. You’ve successfully mastered the techniques for pleasing Google’s crawling robots, and your site now shows up as one of the chosen. But then comes that moment when you feel betrayed: Google only shows your homepage in the SERPs, and not any of your subpages. Why would that happen? Don’t panic: it’s not because Google doesn’t like you.

The two most common reasons for your subpages to not show in the SERPs are indexing programs or PageRank struggles. When it comes to indexing, your added pages may be running into problems that your homepage managed to avoid. If your homepage is displaying in the top results, then you’re probably already familiar with good ranking practices: strong link building, keyword optimization, unique content, etc. The challenge is taking the time and effort to re-apply these practices just as aggressively to your subpages.

Here are some techniques to check off in your quest for subpage stardom in the SERPs:

Check for Indexing Issues

Google can’t rank what it can’t index, so verify that your pages are indexed by plugging your site into this formula “site:examplesite.com” and entering the formula into Google’s search engine. This will pull up all of the pages for your site that Google has indexed. If they don’t show up, there may be several reasons why. Google Webmasters Tool is a nifty resource for seeing the errors that Google finds when trying to crawl your pages.

Submit a Sitemap

A Sitemap is a great way to give Google a “heads up” that you have new and exciting pages waiting to be found. Sitemaps give the crawlers useful information about your site, such as your site structure; the different types of content you have, like videos and images; and how often you plan to update your site. All of this information can help improve the way Google crawls your site.

The best benefit of a Sitemap is that Google will often index your pages faster. The Internet is a rather vast place, and Google’s robots have a bazillion pages to crawl. If your page is not only new but also low in quality link optimization, it may take months before your page is indexed. Submitting a Sitemap nudges Google in your direction. If your site structure changes, you can resubmit your Sitemap to keep Google updated. Be sure to resubmit sparingly; a good practice seems to be about once a month. If you submit too often and Google’s crawlers keep coming back for little changes, they may get annoyed. While a Sitemap is not a guarantee that Google will index—or rank—your pages, it can only help more than harm.

Help Google See Your Content

Google’s robots crawl your pages for relevance to the keyword once they index your pages. This level of relevance contributes to your PageRank. If your page has too many images and too little content, your SEO value will be low, and your page won’t compete well in the SERPs. This same snag can occur if your page loads content or links from a Flash file or AJAX/JavaScript; quite often, Google’s crawlers will struggle to see content that doesn’t appear in the page HTML. To Google’s credit, they have steadily improved their search engine technology over the years so they can better see Flash and JavaScript content. But there’s a delicate balance between all the right ways and wrong ways to use non-HTML sources in an SEO-friendly way. If possible, you should still try to have your links and content appear in the page HTML. This way, you know for sure that Google can see your content and rank your page accordingly in the SERPs.

Apply SEO Strategies

A common reason that subpages rank low in comparison to the homepage is that they lack the same SEO power. Your subpages are competing with other homepages that are beefed up with SEO, so you need to apply correct SEO practices to boost your other pages. Mostly likely your weakest spot is link building; since your homepage is the most prominent part of your site, it naturally draws the most backlinks. Spoil your subpages gradually with quality links to raise their value in the eyes of Google.

It’s true that a lot that can go wrong in a world of coding and secret formulas. But if your homepage has already achieved fame in the SERPs, then you’ve done something right, and you can do it again. Give your subpages the right attention by first making sure they function, then making sure they look appealing to both Google’s crawlers and visitors to your site. It may take time to hunt down the problem and fix it, but it’s a necessary effort to bring your subpages to the SERP spotlight.