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Probably the first question I’m always asked by clients and potential clients is
“Why do I not show up when I type xyz into Google?”
First things first, the old ways of just having a website are gone. With today’s web speeds, and real-time social networks, and the fact that there are almost 150,000 new domains registered a DAY, the internet has evolved from the old days of Geocities and animated gifs.
Back to Google and your searching shall we? Now, there are many reasons why your website isn’t showing up on Google. Chances are it is, but it’s buried somewhere within the millions of web results that the Googlebot crawls.
So let’s get started with some answers to the question posed.
Do you have any content?
Many website owners, and designers tend to have big, vibrant, beautiful pictures spread throughout the homepage, and often times, sacrifice the text or content. Unfortunately for these websites, Search Engines can’t view images, only text and code.
Tips to solving this:
- – Use Proper Image Alt Tags for Images on the website
- – Make sure to use keywords sparingly
- – Internal links to pages with more information
- – Captions under images
Your Meta Tags Are Stuffed or Empty
A few years ago, all search engines had to use to learn about a page or website was the meta tags. This has changed drastically. Now a days, the Title & Description tags are of the highest priority, while the Meta Keyword tag’s popularity has diminished. (Google isn’t even using them)
How to fix this:
- – Title tags should be no more than 70 characters long
- – Be Creative! Unique title tags help optimize for the larger keywords
- – The meta description tag should be no longer than 140 characters and unique as possible
You’re using the Wrong Keywords
Yes, it can be a hard pill to swallow, but like it or not, you may be optimizing for the wrong keywords on your website. It’s possible you’re using too technical of terms, that your visitors many not be familiar with. There is also a possibility you’re trying to optimize your website for too broad of terms, causing your visitor spectrum to increase drastically, causing them to have very little chance ending up with you.
Solving the keyword dilemma:
- – Start by logging into your favorite Keyword Analysis Tool from Google or my preference SEMRush, and perform an analysis of the keywords you’re trying to rank for.
- – View Source on your competitor’s websites and adapt from their keywords
Right Click in an empty space of the website, and Click “View Source”
The Website That Never Ends!
Almost all search engines and their crawlers have some limits. If it takes a crawler too long to scan your entire website, chances are your rankings are being affected. Google and the other big Search Engines tend to promote websites with great content focused on one or a few products / services, instead of everything on one page.
A few easy solutions:
- – Break your website up
- – Use landing pages and categories for popular items
- – Implement a user-friendly menu for visitors to navigate with
- – Test your websites loading speed with Pingdom. (2 seconds or below is ideal)
Uh Oh! You’ve Been Penalized!
Yep, you’d be surprised how picky the algorithms are for websites these days. With hundreds of different ranking factors, search engines can easily penalize you for issues on your website, or links to your website.
How you can fix this problem:
- – Use common sense
- – Sign up for Google Webmaster Tools (Free), which will give you an amazing amount of information about your website and it’s health. From there on, use some of the popular website grading software available today to dive deep into your website’s current status and quality.
- – Start looking for problematic links and content
You’re Not Using Common Sense!
Sure, it may seem like a technical area, but in reality, common sense plays an important role in website ranking. From keyword stuffing your meta descriptions to having hundreds of out-going links to websites, you can easily improve your website’s ranking positions by using general common sense when designing and developing.
Keep in mind these are just the basics. Other ranking improvement factors can include but are not limited to: videos, archiving important articles & information, starting a blog, offering news and releases, obtaining natural backlinks and much, much more.
But if you’re just starting out, this is an excellent way to start building your website’s online presence, and begin to rank for the terms you’re trying to position yourself for.