If you just launched a website recently and can’t find it on Google, there are a number of reasons you can’t see your site and it’s not ranking on Google.
I get this question all the time. People are so used to “googling” a website rather than typing in the address of that website. However, it’s highly unlikely your website will be found on Google after you launch it. To understand why, you need to understand how Google Search works.
Ranking on Google first requires that your site is indexed
For every new website, including re-designed websites. Google first has to “crawl” and index your site. The Google bot (a computer program that follows links and catalogues the content) must first visit your site and index it before it will appear on Google at all. Your website designer should have submitted your sitemap to Google and submitted a craw request. This however, does not guarantee your site will be crawled and index in any specific timeframe. It can happen in a few days, it can take a few weeks, depending on the capacity Google has to crawl new sites and the relevance of your site (how many other sites point to it).
If your site does not get indexed beyond a few weeks there could be something wrong. If you website does not get indexed within a couple of weeks you should have your website designer check that the robots.txt file is not specifically blocking the Google bot from crawling your site.
You can check how many pages your website has indexed on Google by typing in site:mysiteurl.com (replacing mysiteurl.com with your site’s url). Any pages indexed by Google will be listed. Initially, just your homepage will be indexed. Again, it could take a few weeks to a few months for every page on your site to be indexed.
To Rank on Google, Google has to Rank Your Site
Just because your site is in the index doesn’t mean anyone is likely to find it. There are literally billions of pages in Google’s index and only 10 on the first page. Your site, upon indexing gets ranked by Google. There are many (hundreds) of ranking factors that impact how your site is ranked. Many of them are beyond anyone’s control. The most significant ranking factors in fact, are ones that you, nor your “SEO Guy” have little control over. As an example, searching for “website designer” has 2,200,000.000 (that’s 2 billion, 200 million ) results. Only 10 appear on the first page of Google.
What Really Helps a Site Ranking on Google?
Let’s first assume you have all the on “on page” optimizations done reasonably well. This is something you have 100% control over. Things like having good content, properly titled, with meta titles, meta descriptions and proper keyword targeting. This kind of stuff is important, but in terms of ranking, you can assume that all of your competitors have done this pretty much as well as you have. Remember, ranking is a competition, so if you’re the same as your competitors, there is no advantage gained here. Spending a lot of time micro managing your content and pages to get “perfect” on page SEO doesn’t buy you a whole lot.
What really ranks you on Google is the number and the relevance of links pointing to your site from other websites. This is not generally something that can be manufactured or “faked”. This must be earned both in terms of time and a well managed website with fresh and regular content.
Google indexes and counts the links that point to your site. Generally, more links are better than less. However, not all links are equal. A link from a personal blog might get you “1 point” (for the sake of scoring and understanding the concept). A link from a national newspaper might get you 1000 points! You can’t really fake this. You can’t call a national newspaper and ask for a link. However, if you are really the best in your industry and do something newsworthy, you’re likely to get media attention and great links to your site. This is how Google works. The most deserving sites (based on popularity and trust) get ranked first. This has to be so, otherwise the information Google provides in terms of presenting the best results for your search would be invalid.
So what can I do to get traffic to my new website while I’m waiting for ranking on Google?
Fortunately, there are lots of other way to not only get traffic and exposure for your site, but also to help out with your Google Ranking as well.
- Social Media Pages – Setting up social media pages gets you an authoritative link back to your site. Having a Facebook, Linkedin, Instgram, etc. page that is consistent with the information on your website can help you rank.
- Google My Business – Google My Business is the local listing for your business. What’s great about it is not only does it add authority to your website with a link, but you business can show on the first page of Google for relevant searches based more on LOCATION rather than your website ranking. So people close by will more likely see your business listing at the top of a Google search for your business. You can sign up for Google My Business here: https://www.google.com/intl/en_ca/business/
- Google Ads –Your business can appear on the top of Google Search tomorrow….if you pay for it. Google offers pay per click advertising where your ad will show in Google Search for searches your customers are likely to make and you only have to pay per click for people who visit your site. In addition, the added exposure typically results in naturally occurring links to be created to your sites by visitors who link to, and share your content on social media. You can sign up for Google Ads here: https://ads.google.com/intl/en_ca/home/ However we really recommend hiring an expert (Like us!). It’s very complicated and you can waste a lot of advertising dollars if you don’t know what you’re doing.
- Social Media Advertising – Just like Google Search, social media advertising can target specific people by demographic, geographic or interest categories on social media and show them display ads that drive traffic to your site. This also over time helps with your Google Search ranking as links and shares of your site over time will help.
- Develop Content – Write and share relevant blog content with your audience. Content gets links and links help your site rank. Plus, it positions you as an expert on the subject of your business.
If you need help developing a marketing plan for your website to help increase traffic and exposure, contact iGo Sales and Marketing today for a Marketing Discovery Meeting where we’ll do a complete marketing review and help you develop a plan to increase your exposure and in turn your website ranking and traffic.