Can You Find Your Website in Google Search Results?
It’s been a busy week for questions about small business websites and how promoting your business online actually works.
Well more to the point, why just having a website doesn’t work!
The worldwide web is too big and far to busy to simply put up a website and expect it to show your website in Google search rankings for terms people are actually looking for.
Let’s start at the beginning…
Does your small business need a website?
The majority of businesses will get great benefit from having a website that works. Think about it. People from all walks of life, all ages and all classes look information up on the internet. Something happens and they Google it.
- They want a new car – they Google the spec and deals from local garages
- They want to go to Zumba classes – they Google it
- They need a new kitchen appliance – they Google that too…
You get the idea…
For many types of searches Google will try to show localised relevant results. Your aim is to get your website in Google search results for terms related to your business that people are actually looking for. Most of the time, that is not your business name.
Why Isn’t My Small Business Website in Google Search?
Pages from your website probably are in Google’s index. Just because Google can see your website doesn’t mean it will be shown in the search results.
How do you know if your website is indexed? Simply type the full website address in quotes in Google search. If your site is indexed you’ll show up.
Getting pages from your small business website to actually show up in the standard search results depends on many, many factors – around 200 per search! While nobody knows the exact formulas and methodology used (and if anyone tells you they do know or have a special relationship with Google – they’re being less than economical with the truth) we do know certain processes work. It can be boiled down to a three key points.
- Search engine friendly – the search spiders can read it, know what each page is about and find their way around
- User friendly – relevant content, quick loading, good navigation and trust signals
- Other sites link to your website
This is the first hurdle when small businesses approach a web designer – whether it’s an independent guy to the giants at our friend Yell sites. If you only look at one of the three key points your business web pages will not likely show up in the search results for phrases people are looking for.
These three points are the basics of search engine optimisation (SEO), which is a term bandied around by many web designers without understanding the principles. SEO is not some dark black mystical art, but it is an ongoing process that requires more than a title on your web page and web copy that is so keyword stuffed that the visitor doesn’t hang around to actually read it!
Other sites linking back to your website still remains one of the biggest factors to get your website in Google search results. For a local business website, adding your details to the popular online directories review sites is often enough – unless there is high local competition online. Then you need to spread your wings wider!
Find out where to list your business online in my “Getting Started Online” guides – they’re free, just fill in your details in the blue box below.
Original image copyright Yvonne Bogdanski via PhotoExpressWhy Isn't My Small Business Website in Google Search? by Jan Kearney