Blogs: Help, my website isn't showing up on Google
Date Added: 25/05/2023 @ 12:25pm
You have a shiny new website that you shelled out your hard earned cash for, but for some reason you keep getting emails similar to the one below:
I was examining your website and saw you have a good design and it looks great. But it was not ranking on any search engines for most of the keywords.*
The irony of these kinds of emails is that they clearly did find you and were able to email you. So while it may be true that your website isn't as high as you'd like it to be, I want to reassure you that the email is probably from a scammer. I get these emails myself all the time and from websites that are showing up fine in search - including my own.
One way to check is by searching for your business name (so for me that'd be 'Doive Web Design'. If your website pops right up, then you can be found. At least if people know your business by name.
That said, unless you're in number one place for your industry, we can always do better. There are a number of solutions, but all require time and effort either on my part or yours.
In essence getting your website to show up in the right searches comes down to two main things:
- Links to your website and
- The words you use on your website.
Of course, there are more complicated things you can do, but let's keep things simple for now.
Inbound links to your website
So the first task is to get as many people linking to you as possible. The easiest way to do this is by signing up to the many free business directories (e.g. Google MyBusiness, Scoot, The Sun, The Mirror etc...).
Why do these links matter? While you might not have heard of these directories, Google has. A link from these kinds of website not only helps people to find you if they are searching them, it also adds a link from a relatively high profile website.
Other easy things to set up would include popular social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn (which is more about business). Depending on your target audience, you may also consider social networks like Instagram, Snapchat etc...
At Doive Designs, we have a tool that we can use to submit your website to a lot of the major business directories, but it comes with a monthly cost of around £20 a month (minimum contract of 1 year). The advantage of this is that it gets your details out there quickly, but if you do have the time I would recommend signing up to as many as you can yourself. We'd be happy to send you a list of the ones we think you should start with.
Some industries will also have specific web directories. Many of these will charge an annual fee so it's up to you whether you think it worth the money. But, if they are currently first place in a search you want to be in, I'd certainly consider it.
Another method of getting links is by putting out press releases to the local papers and websites. The local rags are always looking for easy content and will link back to you, giving a high profile link from a trusted source. Google loves this and as well as having a quick boost, the link will probably live on in their archive for years.
They second part is thinking about what searches you think you should be appearing in, which are not necessarily the ones you think they would be. You might think that people search for 'web design' for example, but it might be that people's searches are far more specific like 'website designer in Tiverton' or 'help with my website' perhaps.
It may be worth asking friends or family what words they might type into or 'speak into' their smart speakers if they were looking for someone with the services you offer. You might be surprised what you say.
Then we need to incorporate these words, phrases and questions into the content on the website itself.
e.g. If the phrase 'website maintenance' was mentioned a lot when you discussed it with friends or customers, we might want to make sure that exactly these words are used on a page on your website.
The words that you think are important should ideally be used in headings or sub-headings or in bold. For obvious reasons, search engines assume headings are more important than just regular text.
You should also dig out your thesaurus, to find other similar words that mean the same thing or that are often used with it. If you are selling something unique to a location, like Devon. Throwing the mention of a cream tea, or local place names may also be good.
Internal Links also matter
The web address (or URL) of your pages matters, why? Google is effectively a massive sorting machine trying to work out which of the billions of pages it finds are relevant to which search queries. So any extra hints we can give it are really helpful.
For example, if you have two web addresses, one is simply '5678.htm' and the other is 'about-doive-web-design.htm' which one provides the most information. The first might be a good name for a page about the popular 90s pop song by Steps, but it's no good for a page about Doive Web Design.
The words used as the link text (i.e. what you click on) also matter for two reasons. The first is that to Google the words used on the link are taken as relevant to the page it links to. So if you are linking to a page about 'web design packages', use the term, don't just say 'click here'. Click here doesn't tell Bing anything about the page you're linking to. The second reason is that 'click here' is not useful for those who use screen readers, so it's good practice for accessibility.
Each page is unique
You would be forgiven for thinking that you should use the same keywords throughout your website, but alas not. Search engines treat each page separately and so should you. Your contact page is covering a very different topic to your sales page.
So, going back to the keywords again, think about what your customers might be searching for on the page in question - and maybe even change the web address of the page so it includes those keywords.
Need help with SEO?
At Doive Web Design we do not claim to be SEO specialists, but we'd be happy to help in any way we can. As we have tried to do in this article, we can point you in the direction of things you can do yourself and would be happy to help you with research or more technical changes you can make.
One piece of advice I always give is to be realistic. Only one website can be top for a specific keyword in a country or region. It is easy to get to the top of search for something that nobody searches for or cares about. Getting ranked for popular searches is much more tricky and can take time to get right. It's a marathon, not a sprint.
If you need advice, please contact Dave by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call on 07817 851856 or 01884 561499. (not 24/7)
*I don't think that any legitimate business would ever send out emails like this.