Google dominates the world of online search, and if you’re not featuring prominently on that platform many of your potential customers may never know your business exists, let alone the benefits of your products or services.
When looking to make a purchase, consumers today automatically turn to their mobiles, laptops, tablets, or desktop computers. And most of them search for businesses via Google – the biggest and most popular search engine in the world.
So, if Google is ignoring your website, and therefore your business, you obviously have a big problem.
There could be several reasons why your business isn’t ranking on Google. In this post, we’ll examine each of these issues and explore the solutions.
First, though, we’ll take a quick look at how Google works. With this insight, you’ll be better placed to improve your business website’s performance and start getting more customers.
Google focuses on giving its users a good experience, not on providing free advertising for businesses.
So, when someone enters a search query on the platform, it responds by showing the most relevant websites.
It does this by using a complex algorithm that changes constantly and is based on many different signals with hundreds of factors at play.
Many aspects of this algorithm are shrouded in mystery but basically Google is looking for content that demonstrates expertise, authority, and trust. This means your site needs to reflect your business’s expertise, standing, and dependability.
Factors that could be impacting negatively on your business’s Google ranking include:
- Inferior website content.
- Inadequate search engine optimisation.
- Little or no recognition of your site from other sources.
- Unconvincing online reputation.
- Google hasn’t indexed your site.
Importance of website content
Quality content is the most important component of a business website – a powerful marketing tool that can repeatedly leverage new business. It allows you to engage with existing and potential customers to position yourself ahead of the competition by demonstrating expertise in your line of business.
Inferior content, on the other hand, will reflect badly on your business and weaken the bond of trust you need to build with your customers, no matter how good your products or services are.
Google frowns on low-quality, thin or duplicated content that fails to satisfy the reader or shows lack of knowledge on a subject. If you write compelling content for readers, Google will like it as well.
Quality content captures the reader’s interest quickly and sustains it with clear, concise language that gets straight to the point.
Creating quality content requires keyword research to determine what your audience is searching for online. This enables you to produce relevant content. It can also help you with ideas for search engine optimisation.
How to improve search engine optimisation
Search engine optimisation (SEO) boosts rankings in Google and other search engine results pages. It also increases the volume of quality traffic to your website – individuals who are actively looking for the types of goods or services you provide.
Search optimisation may appear complex – the technology behind it is constantly evolving –but the basics remain pretty much the same.
- On-page SEO. On-page SEO refers to optimising website content for search engines, which look for keywords that match the search queries of their users.
- Off-page SEO. Off-page SEO involves actions you take outside of your website to increase the authority of its pages, typically by getting backlinks (more on this later).
- Technical SEO. Technical measures to improve search ranking include making it easier for search engine web bots to crawl your site.
Why your website needs backlinks
Backlinks – also called inbound links – are links to one of your web pages from another site. They act like a vote of confidence, helping search engines recognise the relevancy and trustworthiness of your content.
Links from relevant authoritative sites have more influence and are a huge factor in how Google ranks sites.
You can get backlinks by asking other sites to link to yours. They may also come your way without any action on your part – if a blogger likes your content and links to it from their site, for example.
Strategies to get good backlinks and improve SEO include:
- Publishing evergreen content.
- Creating interactive content.
- Using infographics.
- Syndicating content.
Google also likes to see internal links on your site to other pages and external links to platforms with high domain authority.
Managing your online reputation
Online reputation management plays a major role in attracting new customers and increasing revenue. It creates a more positive perception of your business by gaining control over the digital narrative surrounding it.
Managing your online reputation centres on encouraging feedback and monitoring reviews in order to mitigate the effects of negative comments and reinforce the impact of positive assessments.
Dealing with negative reviews
If you don’t respond to bad reviews, people may believe that you don’t care what your customers think.
Conversely, responding to a negative review reinforces the message that you have the best interests of your customers at heart.
It also sets you apart from businesses that ignore damaging feedback, and gives you the opportunity to show prospective customers that you’re willing to resolve any genuine problems raised.
When Google doesn’t know you exist
Your business won’t rank at all on Google if the platform isn’t aware of its existence.
Reasons Google doesn’t index a website include:
- The web page has just been created and Google hasn’t had time to index it yet – it can take a few weeks.
- You have set your pages to no index. This means you are telling Google not to look at your site.
- Google can not reach some of the pages on your site because there are no links to those pages and you have not submitted a sitemap.
Why a high Google ranking is crucial
Each Google search results page shows only a handful of websites, so claiming a spot on the first page is vital – and the higher the better. Consumers looking online for goods or services are unlikely to delve any deeper than this.
Research indicates that sites on the first page of Google search results pages get nearly 95 percent of web traffic.
Ensuring your site is Google-friendly will avoid your business being consigned to digital obscurity while your competitors bask in the glory of a coveted page one listing.