SEO for any business in 2017 is one of the most important aspects of increasing visibility and gaining customers – whether your business is done online or offline. After your website is launched, you may be asking, “Why doesn’t my site show up in Google?” If so, these are 5 key things to consider:
- Google may have not indexed it yet.
- You may be targeting a competitive market.
- On-site SEO may need work.
- Robots.txt and noindex meta tags.
- You could be penalized by Google.
1) If your website is new, Google may have not indexed it yet.
First thing’s first, if you aren’t noticing your site on Google yet for your specified keywords – is it even indexed yet? You can check this simply by testing your domain name. Search, site:yourdomain.com on Google and the results will show you every page Google has indexed.
Now, of course, some of you probably have websites with hundreds of pages – so this won’t be your most ideal strategy. We will touch on that soon. Though, needless to say, if no pages are returned from the search, you’ve got a problem. This may be that your domain is too new and Google has not indexed it yet. This is why you should always make sure that you’ve created and submitted a sitemap in the Google Search Console. This is the easiest way to get your site indexed and ready for the search engine results page (SERP).
In the Google Search Console you will be able to reference how many pages were submitted and how many pages were indexed. It is here that you can see if you are missing pages, for example, if you have 304 pages submitted to Google but there are only 231 indexed.
If you’re asking yourself, “Why doesn’t my site show up in Google?” then you’re first proactive step is always to make sure you have submitted your sitemap on Google Search Console – make that first step and start watching the organic traffic begin to flow.
2) You may be targeting a very competitive keyword market
The SERP is a competitive, but necessary, place to market your business. It takes a strategy of discipline, patience, and consistency to create authority and increase your page rank. One major consideration is whether the market that you are in is very competitive, or is it more of a niche market? If you are not seeing your business in the first page of the SERP right away, that is completely normal – but if you are competing with websites that have been around for a while and have recognition, expect a battle to get the goals you desire.
We will look at search engine optimization (SEO) further in the next section, but, for starters, make sure tactics for your long-term strategy include optimizing each page for one main keyword. Saturating your page with that keyword is not going to win you points, but creating quality content for your users will. Think about the question your target audience is asking and answer it on that page.
Using tools, like SEMRush, give you the possibility of comparing domain vs domain, where you can see which keywords you are sharing with your main competition and determine just how competitive your market is. With the right mind-set and understanding that this will take time, you can climb the SERP without a doubt.
3) Your website may not be optimized for search engines.
Ah, yes, this very important part of the SEO process – optimizing your website so the search engine crawlers can read it better and thus, rank you on the SERP. This is something that you can do yourself, but may be worth hiring a professional to do for you. There are many things to do in the beginning, but SEO is an on-going process to ensure you are always striving to improve your rankings. There are many things along the way that can drop you down in the rankings, such as algorithm changes from Google, so if this is important in your online marketing strategy (as it should be), maintenance is key!
There are many options to choose from if you want to use an online tool to conduct an audit. They all have their pros and cons and people hold differing opinions on which is the best – so do some research and make the choice. SEMRush is our go to application, as it covers every aspect of SEO and SEM, not only showing the ‘what’, but also ‘how to’ in an in-depth analysis. Another tool in the SEO toolkit is Google Search Console, which you should already have running, where you can find any crawl errors.
Essentially, the main things you want to look at are creating SEO optimized landing pages and a great user experience.
Creating an advanced internal linking system and linking to external sites with high domain authority are part of SEO strategy to ensure Google can move through your site and know that it will be valued for Google searchers. Using a keyword strategy for your meta titles, description, and header tags will allow the Googlebots to know what your pages are about and therefore rank them to be found by the right users.
Content is arguably the most important part of your site, Google prefers sites that have fresh informative content so that web users have a great experience and find what they are looking for.
Finally, making sure your site is mobile-friendly will help you rank in Google as a growing percentage (nearly 60%) of web users are using mobile devices to perform their queries. Run your website through “testmysite.com” to check the speed of your website on desktop and mobile. People are impatient these days and will exit your page if it takes too long to load, especially on mobile.
SEO takes time, and patience, but by covering some of these basic techniques, you can ensure your website is ready to rank and the traffic you are looking for will begin rolling in.
4) Check your robot.txt & noindex tags
Okay – you have your sitemap indexed, you understand your market, and your website is optimized, yet you still find yourself wondering why your website is not showing in Google results. If you or your website designer added noindex code and forgot to take it out, this will completely stop Googlebots from crawling and indexing your site. You should always review your robots.txt and noindex tags and use these to ensure the pages you want indexed are – and the pages you don’t want showing up in Google stay out of sight.
5) Have you been penalized by Google?
Finally, if it ever comes down to it – Google does penalize sites due to various reasons. Sites can be removed completely from the index and SERP usually because it has not followed Google’s Quality Guidelines. There are various things that will get you deindexed by Google but they all come down to one thing – not creating an excellent experience for Google’s users. No worries, if Google has penalized you they will notify you via the Google Search Console. You will then have the chance to modify your site to meet the guidelines and submit for reconsideration.
It’s 2017, if you aren’t increasing your visibility online via search engines then you are missing out on a lot of valuable attention and potential customers. SEO requires ongoing maintenance served by a strategy of discipline, patience, and consistency. At first, you might be asking yourself why your site isn’t showing up in Google, but by checking up on some key aspects and using a professional SEO service, you will start to see the results of a well optimized online marketing campaign.