You’ve updated your meta descriptions. You’ve added in alt text. You’ve even made sure there are no 404 errors. But still for some reason, your website isn’t showing up on Google.
First off, take a deep breath. Rankings on Google or Bing can’t be completely controlled. Then read through our list of three big reasons why your website isn’t showing up on Google:
Problem 1: Your Website (or Webpage) Is Brand New.
A brand new page or website takes time to make it to the front page. Sure, Google knows it exists, but they’re not sure exactly how relevant or noteworthy your content is right now. A term often used by the search industry to describe that relevancy is “authority.”
Authority, simply put, is the idea that you are of the upmost authoritative source on a certain topic. The more clicks to your website, time spent on your website, or social media shares you get, the more authoritative Google thinks you are.
The Solution: Share Your Content.
While you can’t affect how long your webpage or website has been around, nor can you control the number of clicks your website gets on the search engine result page (you can try tricking Google, but it’s frowned upon), you can affect your distribution.
Lots of likes, shares, tweets, and pins won’t get you to number one immediately, but it will help the process along, and it will get people to your website to begin with (which isn’t that the point, anyway).
Problem 2: Google Thinks Your Website Is Spammy.
No one likes spam, and that goes two-fold for Google. However, with the wrong website design, even the most legitimate websites can raise a spam flag, in addition to driving away first time visitors by the dozen.
There are a number of reasons your website could be flagged as spam, including too many outbound links, no contact information, long domain length name, low number of pages, thin content, or a large site with very few links to it. The list goes on and on, and too much or too little of one thing can land you back on the spam list.
The Solution: Update Your Website.
Before you go removing links, adding links, removing pages, or adding pages, take a look into your Google Analytics account for some quick insight. What pages are people spending the shortest amount of time on? Are there any pages with a really high bounce rate? Are many people visiting my Contact Us page?
Google (and your users) want to see a well balanced website, so make sure that’s your number one goal with all your updates. When in doubt, ask a friend. A fresh set of eyes may be exactly what the SEO doctor ordered.
Problem 3: Your Content Game Is All Wrong.
No one cares about your cat named Felix. There, I said it. I’m sure he’s really cute, no doubt, but unless you’re selling cat food or providing cat grooming services, there’s very little chance Felix is getting the right kind of visitors to your website.
In addition to posting irrelevant content, another common mistake that prevents people from showing up on Google is posting too little content – or too much! In April 2016, Google reported that having strong content on a few pages is better than having many pages with thin content. Even if you happen to get the Goldilocks of content (not too much, not too little), if your content is too old, it also might not show up.
The Solution: Post The Right Amount Of Relevant, Timely Content.
It may seem like a tall order to get your content marketing strategy just right (which may be why there’s a whole industry around it now), but by constantly staying in the know about industry news is a great way to stay both timely and relevant with your customers.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask your viewers what they want to hear about! Chances are, if you’ve got your ideal customer in front of you, they’re going to be a great source for content ideas to capture more ideal customers. Even if you don’t get the opportunity to ask them, this is another great chance to dive into your Google Analytics account and see which blog posts caused the most commotion.
Showing up on Google isn’t an exact science. While it may be tempting to try and game the system, you’re more likely to end up with more ranking penalties than ranking boosts (if you think it’s a sketchy tactic, it probably is). By creating and sharing timely, relevant content as well as offering your users with the best possible experience on your website, you’ll climb up the Google ranks slowly but surely, and have a better chance of staying there.