You’ve got a brand-new website for your small business. The imagery is uploaded, social media links are sorted, text content written and formatted – all on display through your custom site design from your awesome web developer.
But no-one can find it. Typing the business name into Google shows nothing in the search results – even on page 10. Why isn’t your site showing up on Google?
The simple answer is that Google is entirely separate from your website and will not find it until you take action and make them pay attention.
Here’s five things you need know about Google and your new website:
1. Your site will not automatically appear on Google.
Google needs to be notified that your site exists so that they can send the “Googlebot” to check it out. Until this happens, your site lives in a bubble and any visitors will need to physically type in the domain name to get to the right address.
Solution: See #2 below…
2. “Google My Business” is the best way to gain fast attention.
Ever wondered how some businesses get their information to show in the righthand box in Google search results? It’s done via the “Google My Business” website and its free for all businesses. It’s also a great way of registering your new website address and nudging the “Googlebot” into action.
Solution: Visit https://www.google.com/intl/en_au/business/ and register your business and website.
3. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is not optional.
Google loves organisation and the best thing you can do on your site is to ensure that you have the basics of SEO ready for Google to crawl through. Fortunately, if you are using the WordPress framework, there are plugins that will walk you through the process of SEO setup to ensure that the “Googlebot” finds what it needs to.
Solution: Install either the Yoast SEO or All-in-One SEO plugins on your website. The basic versions are free with premium options available.
4. Sharing Links is the secret ingredient to search ranking success.
To get noticed even faster, share your website link around with other businesses already established online. By setting up reciprocal links* with other businesses in related industries, you will make both sites stronger in the eyes of Google. Added bonus: the “Googlebot” already visits these sites on a regular basis and as they crawl through them, they may even pick up your linked site address and add it automatically to their list of sites to visit.
Solution: Link up with your suppliers, stockists and anyone related to your industries (though maybe not your competitors). * You link with me and I’ll link back to you…
5. Google is in control – not you.
The final thing to know about Google and your website – they are in control. Google determines how long it takes before the “Googlebot” initially visits your website and how often it comes back. Their software technicians are always tweaking the search algorithm so what may have worked last week for SEO, may not work this week.
Solution: Sign up for Google Analytics and monitor your search results regularly. If your search ranking starts to decline, you will need to take action. Luckily the SEO plugins in #3 should keep abreast of any changes and let you know what needs to be done to reach the top. https://analytics.google.com/analytics/web/
Don’t expect that your new site will appear immediately on page one of the Google search results, even after applying the solutions above. You will need to carefully monitor and constantly tweak your site in order to reach the top. Even as your site gets older and grows a larger audience, SEO is an ongoing practice that will be necessary for the lifetime of your site.