Why Doesn’t My Site Show Up In Google?

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Can’t find your website in the search engines? You’ll need to engage in some search engine optimization (SEO). Here’s how to get started.

Dear Rich,

I’ve had a website for years but people tell me they can’t find me at Google. What am I doing wrong? How can I get on the first page of Google and other search engines?

–Invisible in Islesboro

Dear Invisible,

Good question. Without knowing your website I can’t give you the exact reasons why your site doesn’t show up in Google, but I can give you some common reasons why you may be difficult to find when your prospects are searching for you.

1. You’ve got no content on your home page. Many web designers (and site owners) like big, beautiful pictures on their home pages and feel text just “gets in the way.” Unfortunately, search engines are blind. They can’t see the beautiful view from your waterfront rooms, or the quality craftsmanship in your handmade, wooden toys.

Solution: Bite the bullet and add some text. The text should include some keyword-rich copy (in other words, use the words in your copy that your prospects are searching for) and then link those words to the pages on your site where they can find more information.

Keyword Rich Text with Links

2. Your title tags aren’t descriptive. Ask the opinions of two search engine experts and get three different opinions, but almost all search engine marketers agree that your title tag is critical to your search engine visibility.

Too often companies have generic title tags, or just have their company name as the title, or use the same title on every single page…a huge missed opportunity.

The title tag are the words that appear in the title bar of a web page and let the search engines know what this page is about. Your title tags should be keyword-rich, descriptive, and specific to the content on the page. Here are some examples from our website.

Home Page Title

Home Page Title

Internet Marketing Title Tag

Internet Marketing Title Tag

CMS (Content Management System) Title Tag

CMS (Content Management System) Title Tag

You’ll notice that each one is unique, keyword rich, and focused on the content on that particular page.

3. You’re using the wrong keywords on your site. This is a tough one. Maybe you’re using technical terms but your audience isn’t familiar with the language. You’re writing about your vocal stylings and they’re searching for a wedding singer. Or you’ve coined a term that differentiates your business…but no one is searching for that term.

Or you’re targeting a keyword that’s too broad, such as travel or coach. Those terms are so broad there’s little chance anyone will find you for them. Instead, you might do better targeting to a narrower niche, such as Maine family adventure travel or leadership coaching for non-profit professionals.

Solution: Perform some keyword analysis of the phrases you’d like to rank well for or that you think your prospects are searching for. While there are some powerful for pay tools out there, you can start with Google Adwords Keyword Tool.

Put in your keywords:

Find Keywords

And reap the results:

Keyword Results

(And, yeah, we can help you with your search engine optimization if you don’t want to do it all yourself.)

4. You put all of your products/services on the same page. Google and the other search engines prefer focused pages. They are hungry for rich detail so that they know if they should recommend your page (or your competitor’s page) to your prospects. You need to help them out.

Solution: Instead of listing your five service areas on the same page under the header “Services” create a unique page for each service. Give each page a unique page title, strong header, go into more detail about the service in the body copy, consider adding photos or video, and create links to all the other services pages.

If you’ve got dozens of services (or products) you may choose to highlight the most important (or lucrative) and bundle the rest onto a single page. If you can’t think of how you can create unique content for each service (think 300 – 500 words minimum), then consider writing up a case study of someone you helped to round out the page, or include a testimonial.

Silos of Information

5. You’ve been hacked, blacklisted, have some technical problem on your site, or worst of all, have an all-Flash website. It happens to the best of us: some scummy guy from across the hemisphere has hacked your site or your host company for some nefarious purpose…or just to see if he could do it. Or your web designer created a gorgeous site that is 100% Flash, which is often 100% invisible to search engines.

Solution: Sign up for Google Webmaster Tools, a free service from Google that will provide you with loads of cool tools and alert you to anything that’s keeping your site from getting indexed by the search engines.

Google Webmaster Tools

Takeaways:

This is just the starting point for increasing your search engine visibility and “finding yourself” on Google. I’d also recommend adding a blog to your website, starting an email newsletter and archiving past newsletters on your site, adding videos, getting inbound links and a whole lot more.

However, if you’re more or less invisible on the search engines, or they’re not delivering the amount of traffic you were expecting, then start with these five tips for improving your search engine visibility.

Also, consider checking out our search engine blog, the Maine SEO Blog.

Rich Brooks
Small Business SEO

  • http://www.brickmarketing.com/ Nick Stamoulis

    These are certainly the main culprits of not being found on Google.  Depending on the niche, it can be very hard to get on the first page of a Google search.  Every industry is competitive online.  It’s important to remember that it’s not ranking that matters, but rather increased traffic and conversions.  

  • http://twitter.com/therichbrooks therichbrooks

    Good points, Nick. Ranking matters, but not if you’re not converting traffic at your website. Good search engine visibility is only part of the equation.

  • http://www.tyseo.net Annecy Web

    Build links with others websites (partners, customers, social media, directories, PR). It takes times but is one of the best way to show up in search engine results pages.

  • http://www.ydeveloper.com/kaushalam-ecommerce.html eCommerce

    As a beginners in SEO, I really enjoyed all these tips. The last things, Google Webmaster Tools is really one of the great tools I heard about to track all the technical as well as other stuff affecting a website from one panel.

  • http://suncoastlocalmarketing.com Suncoast Publishing

    I like your suggestion of putting your services on separate pages. This will allow you to focus your specific keywords to optimize each page.  Good one!

  • http://www.buildyourdream.gr/english/index.html prokat

    Can you please explain why my website is no longer on SERP’s? It was 2 weeks ago and now I can not find it in any page on Google….Any ideas why?

  • http://www.expedientinfomedia.com/ EIM Media

    Nice article

  • http://www.MISSOURIWEBSITEBUILDERS.COM Missouri Website Builders

    No content on the homepage is a big problem!  Many website builders offer an image and menu only homepage as one of their templates.  This is why organizations that are new to the web need to do their research so they choose a good website builder, template, or web designer.

  • http://www.nddw.com SEO Serivces

    A very useful blog post for all newbies and you rightly said that its not the end, there are a lot more things to do to rank higher in Google’s SERP’s.