You go to Google. You search for your website. You can’t find it.
There are two answers and reasons within each of those so I’ll cover both as I can as concisely as possible.
If you want a shortcut solution, just contact me with the address of the website and the search term you think you should be showing for and I’ll tell you the reason(s) you’re not showing up.
To figure it out on your own though, here’s some guidance…
Answer #1 Your website isn’t indexed
If it’s a brand new website it will take time for Google to find it and include it in their results (or ‘index’ it to use the technical term).
You can check if your site is indexed by going to Google and typing the following into the search bar (obviously swapping YOURURL for the actual address of your website):
If Google doesn’t return any results, the site isn’t indexed.
This isn’t uncommon with new websites on new domains, particularly those that haven’t been marketing elsewhere online.
If you have an established website that’s previously been indexed on Google then you may have been penalised or there might be a technical issue with the website that needs resolving.
Install Google Search Console on the website and manually submit the URL to Google.
If you’re unsure about how to do this, contact me and I’ll do it for you. If there are any technical issues with your website, which make it impossible for Google to include it in their listings, Search Console will flag them.
Add a link to your website from other websites.
Google find websites by crawling the internet from one link to another so the more links pointing to your website the more likely you are to get found. A quick and easy way to add links is on social media.
Go into the source code of the website and check for the ‘noindex’ code.
Sometimes without knowing it, you’re directly telling Google to ignore your website by including the noindex tag within the code. If you’ve installed Google Search Console, it will also be able to tell you if Google can actually access the website.
Answer #2 Your website isn’t ranking
If all the pages of your website are definitely indexed and you’re wondering why you don’t appear for a particular search, it’s almost certainly because Google doesn’t see your website as being relevant for that search term or doesn’t see it as being as relevant as other websites that are showing.
Make sure your content is relevant.
The most important thing to Google is relevancy, so on a basic level if you want to appear for the search term ‘doughnuts’ you have to include the word doughnuts in your website content. Google look for this information in the URL, title, headings, navigation and copy on every page of a website. If you don’t mention the phrases you’re interested in appearing for somewhere in these locations on at least one page it’s unlikely you’ll get listed prominently.
Be user friendly.
Relevancy is paramount but if the website is slow to load or doesn’t work properly on all devices (i.e. desktops, mobiles and tablets) it’s likely Google won’t like using it. They want to give their users the best quality results and a website that doesn’t perform well will reflect poorly on them.
Get some links.
If your website is the vehicle, links from other websites are the fuel. In competitive markets where lots of websites have done some SEO work, the number and quality of links a website has from other websites is usually the key differential.
If you’re a new website competing against established competition for a competitive search term, it’s unlikely you’ll get a prominent position in the search results without some serious hard work. If you want to know what is and isn’t realistic for your website in your specific market get in touch and I’ll tell you.
I hope you found this article useful. If you have any follow up questions please do get in touch or leave a comment below.