With a new website comes great expectations.
This is one of the first lessons we learned as a web design company, and it’s something we’re reminded of almost daily. Whether they had a website before or not, when we create a new website for a business, they expect results.
But just like the building of Rome, top rankings in search engines aren’t earned in a day. Often, they’re not earned in a year. All this leads to a series of inevitable ‘why’ questions.
Why isn’t my website showing up in Google?
Why am I not number 1 in search engines?
Why are they ranking higher than me?
Why is Radiate Digital such an amazing company?
In regards to that last question, there’s no straightforward answer. We just are. For the rest of the questions, there’s a number of potential reasons why your website isn’t showing up where you want it to.
Today, we’re going to share some of the possible reasons why your website isn’t showing up in Google. We’re going to try and keep it as simple as possible so that everyone can understand where we’re coming from.
Search engine optimization can get very complicated very fast, so consider this an SEO 101 course. Also know that these aren’t definitive answers. No one can know for sure why some websites rank high in Google when better sites don’t.
Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying.
But, based on our extensive experience, we can give you some strong possibilities. So, without further adieu…
Reasons Why You Might Not Be Ranking in Google
It’s Too New
There are nearly a billion websites out there. That’s right. 1,000,000,000.
That’s a lot of info (and cat videos). It’s up to search engines like Google to manage, sort, and index this information. Because of the massive amount of data that needs to be processed, it takes time for Google to recognize that a new website has entered the world wide web.
It needs to ‘crawl’ your site and decide where you fit into the bigger picture. Let’s say you’re a car dealer who just launched a new website. Google needs to figure out that you sell cars, where you sell cars, and based off the information on your site, judge how reputable you are.
This process takes time. So, if you just launched a brand new website, you might not show up right away.
Your Site isn’t Crawlable
This next one is a bit technical, but it’s also incredibly important.
In order to know what’s on your website, a search engine has to crawl through it. To do so, it sends bots (also known as crawlers or spiders) through your website. These bots are little programs that process words, code, and accessibility.
There’s just one problem. Some websites aren’t very crawlable.
Wix sites, for example, are notorious for being unfriendly with search engines. If your website is Flash-based, it’s not going to be crawlable either.
When your site isn’t crawlable, search engines know that it’s there, but they think that it’s empty, and thus, don’t give it much value.
There are a number of factors that can affect your sites crawlability. In fact, we plan on doing a whole post on it in the near future. Stop by soon to check it out.
There Isn’t Enough Content
Something you should know about search engine bots is that they only read HMTL code. So, if your website has a lot of text, great! The bots can process that all day.
However, these bots can’t read pictures, video, flash animation, etc. They realize that it’s there. They just don’t know what it is. It’s like handing a picture to a blind man. He might be able to tell that he’s holding a picture, but he can’t tell you what the picture is about.
Your website may look full to you, but if you strip away the images, videos, and other fancy things and there’s only a handful of sentences, that’s not going to look good to search engines.
Your Content is Bad
Are you writing your content specifically for search engines? Are you trying to cram in as many keywords as possible, using unnatural phrases such as ‘best cheap shoes Minneapolis MN’?
Yeah, that’s no good…
When you’re placing content on your site, it should sound natural. It should make sense. It should be written for humans. That’s the kind of content Google assigns value to.
How can Google tell whether or not your content is good?
We don’t exactly know, but we suspect a certain degree of black magic may be involved.
There’s another type of bad content: duplicate content.
If you have the same information on multiple pages, that’s going to hurt your rankings. Even if you change a few words. In the same vein, if you recopying content that’s on another website, that’s not going to do you any good either.
You’re Using Shady SEO Tactics
Do you have a bunch of keyword links in the footer of your website? Do you have a lot of inbound links coming from sketchy websites? Are you exchanging links with other websites? Do you have keywords hidden on your pages?
All of these things are bad, outdated tactics that could be preventing your site from showing up in search engines like Google.
So What Can I Do?
Now that you have a few potential causes for your poor rankings, the question is… what can you do to make it better?
Well, naturally you can hire a marketing and web design company like us to first, build you an SEO friendly website and second, perform search engine optimization for you.
But maybe you’d like to just understand SEO a bit better before you invest heavily in it. Well, you’ve come to the right place. Starting next week, we will be starting a beginner’s guide to SEO right here on the Radiate Digital blog.
Have you had troubles with showing up in search engines? Were you able to fix that problem? Are you going to like us on Facebook so you can stay up to date with future posts? Because you definitely should!