I just got this awesome new website, but nobody can find it. What’s going on?
My website ranked on Google a year ago, but now I can’t find it in search results? What’s going on?
I’m on page three. What’s going on?
The word that usually comes after sentences like these—and they are more common than you think—is “help”! And, there’s a good reason for that. If your site won’t show up on Google, it seriously damages your ability to compete and win new business. So, if you have poor search engine visibility, it’s vital to determine what’s happening and fix it quickly. Here are some of the most common search engine issues, as well as quick tips on how to increase website visibility.
Google hasn’t indexed your site yet:
If your site is new—that’s 90 days or less—there’s an excellent chance Google, Bing and the other search engines haven’t indexed your site yet. Even though the search engines have greatly accelerated the rate at which their spiders crawl new sites, it can still take a while for things to start popping up in results.
Practicing a little patience helps. But, if you feel the need to be proactive you can manually submit your site to Google by informing them you have a new site that needs indexing. Submitting a new site to Google is simple—just pull up Google and type “submit website to Google” in the search bar. A box will pop up in the first position of the results that looks like this:
Enter in your site information, click the “I’m not a robot” box and click submit. To see if Google spiders have crawled and indexed your site, you can type “site:yourURL” into the search box. If you have indexed pages, it will look like this:
The website is “Private”:
There are a lot of reasons why a developer or webmaster might mark specific parts of a website as private. For example, people don’t want password protected areas of their website indexed by Google. Similarly, you may have landing pages with short-term or seasonal promotions that you don’t want Google to show in search results. In these cases, the developer may have added “no index” tags in the code to keep pages private—but it can sometimes have the unintended consequence of hiding the entire site.
Reach out to the developer and ask them to check to see what pages are blocked by robots.txt code. Removing this code from pages that should be visible is relatively straightforward and the developer should be able to re-publish the site quickly. After that, it can’t hurt to re-submit the site manually to ensure Google begins indexing everything.
You have lots of duplicate content:
Google isn’t a fan of duplicate content. While there are times when small sections of duplicate content can’t be helped, if Google feels that substantial blocks of content are too similar, it can confuse the spiders and they’ll only index one of those pages. Similarly, if your website’s content is identical to another site, Google may ignore the page or penalize your search ranking. If you syndicate content from another site, Google algorithms decide whether to index the page or not based on the context of the site.
If you find repetitive copy is showing up on multiple pages, don’t block Google’s spiders from crawling the pages with duplicate content. Instead, consider reworking the text or consolidating multiple pages into one. When syndicating content, make sure the syndicating website adds a link back to the original content and not a variation on the URL.
Your website is facing stiff keyword competition:
Let’s say your site meta-tags are brilliant, you have tons of backlinks, your copy is keyword rich and your H1 tags are the best ever created. You can still find yourself on page two, three or more. Why? Because the keywords you want to rank for are insanely competitive. We’re not saying it’s impossible to bump the big guys off the top spots, but do you really have to? Google helps millions of users find goods, services and information amid the billions of websites. If you’re an MSP in Chicago, you’re going to face brutal competition for a keyword like “Computer Repair Chicago,” while the term “Business Computer Repair Chicago” is less competitive because you’re not going against home PC repair companies and computer shops.
When picking keywords, think like your customer. If I install audio/video and VoIP systems in offices around Orlando, Florida, what words would my customer most likely type into the search bar on Google? Would it be “AV Installer Orlando” or “Office AV System Installer Orlando.” Not only is your target audience more likely to use the second one, but it’s less competitive because you’re not fighting Best Buy, Lowes, home theater installers and a bunch of others. The Google Keyword Planner Tool can help you choose good quality keywords.
Once you’ve optimized your site and watched it climb the Google listings, you can’t just kick back and call it a day. SEO, much like laundry, is a never-ending process. If you’ve made it to the first page, somebody out there will be looking to knock you down with their SEO kung-fu skills.
Marketopia is a marketing and sales enablement agency that helps technology service providers, vendors and other IT channel partners win more leads, more sales and more profit. We specialize in digital marketing, website development, SEO solutions, pay-per-click advertising, lead generation and more. If you’d like to learn whether Marketopia would be a good marketing fit for your business, contact us at 844-4U2-Grow (482-4769), ext. 806, or send us an email.
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