Why Isn’t My New Website Showing Up In Google Search Results?

Why Isn’t My New Website Showing Up In Google Search Results?

ID-10011498You’ve built (or had built) a shiny new website and you’re excited about getting it out there in front of people who may want to buy your products, avail your services or simply read what you’ve got to say. But after a few weeks or months of it being live, you’ve still had nobody visit it other than the people you’ve promoted it to directly.

Concerned that your website could be missing out on vital organic traffic from Google and other search engines, you decide to look for it yourself using some of the search terms you think it may appear under.

And that’s when it hits you, you can’t find your website for love nor money and apparently, it doesn’t appear in Google anywhere.

There are many reasons why this could happen and you shouldn’t despair because I’m about to give you a few pointers, which will help get your website featuring in Google search results going forward.

Google Webmaster Tools

Search engine spiders crawl the Internet and look for new websites all the time. However, they can sometimes take their time discovering them, so it’s always best to tell Google directly that your new site exists.

The best way to do this is via Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) – a suite of tools designed for webmasters, like you and I. As well as allowing you to inform Google of your website’s existence, it also boasts a plethora of features to help boost your site’s search engine optimisation (SEO).

Here’s what you need to do as a minimum:

1. Go to http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools and login using your Google account. If you don’t already have one then you’ll need to register one.

2. Once logged in you’ll need to add your website. Click ‘Add Site’ and enter the full URL as shown below. Be sure to do this twice: with and without the ‘www’ prefix

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3. Now you’ll need to verify your site and prove that you actually own it. You can do this in one of several ways and GWT will give you a recommended method and several alternative methods. They all achieve the same purpose, so choose whichever you feel most comfortable with.

4. Open your newly added and verified site from the main dashboard and down the left hand side look for ‘Crawl’. Under this submenu you’ll see ‘Sitemaps’ and this is where you can submit your own website’s sitemap to Google, so that its spiders know exactly how your site is laid out. My own sitemap was created using a WordPress plugin, but there are many other online resources to help you make one.

Search Engine Optimisation

When the search engine spiders crawl your site they are looking for meta content, keywords and other relevant information, so they can report back to the main Google database what they’ve found. If your site is lacking in any of these then its database entry may not reflect its content or purpose.

While littering your site with keywords is definitely not best practice, it absolutely has to have some. Otherwise, how can you expect Google to rank it in searches? As a rough guideline, try and have your keywords in the title of your page, subheadings and naturally and evenly distributed throughout.

Whatever you do don’t try and shoehorn keywords in where they don’t look right. It’ll not just annoy your readers, but Google won’t appreciate it either. We keep hearing that ‘content is king’ and that’s never been more true than today.

Social Signals

Google doesn’t always discover the latest and greatest content and sometimes has to rely on signals from social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. If a particular article or piece of content is getting a lot of attention in terms of shares, likes comments, etc. Google may choose to rank it more favourably.

In a similar vein, content that attracts a high bounce rate i.e. a visitor clicks through to it and then leaves almost immediately may be frowned upon by Google. This is because the visitor obviously didn’t find what they were expecting when they reached the content and so Google may decide that it shouldn’t be ranked so highly for that particular keyword or phrase.

Providing your readers with high-quality content and information, which makes them want to come back again and again, is fundamental for improving your site’s chances of appearing in the Google results pages.

If you hire me to set-up and design your WordPress website, then this step is included, free of charge – get in touch for more information.

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Rise and Fall (I Hope) of Desperate SEO

The Rise and Fall (I Hope) of Desperate SEO

SEO-image-largeJo and I talk a lot. Well I say talk, but quite often it consists of me moaning and Jo listening. In fact, Jo should probably charge me for her ‘listening time’ but I’m very thankful she doesn’t.

Now you may be wondering what it is that I moan about. The usual day-to-day stuff mostly but, until recently, there was something else quite specific on my list of bug bears; something that I like to call ‘desperate SEO’ – the inspiration behind this post.

As a freelance writer, I can obviously choose which assignments I grab by the horns and which I let slip me by. However, even when times are quiet, I still need to provide for my family and so take any work (within reason) that I can get.

It’s at times like these where I sometimes find myself at the disposal of digital marketing agencies who employ said desperate SEO practices.

The bottom line is that I strongly believe that great content really is king. Yeah, yeah, I know it’s a cliché that sounds cringeworthy but I genuinely believe it and I’ll tell you why…

But first I want to elaborate a little further on desperate SEO – something that exploits content to achieve a desired backlink outcome.

So what is this desperate SEO I’m referring to?

Well it comes in the form of carefully crafted blog posts and is used by some SEO companies to simply tick a box on their client order sheet. For example, their client may have paid for x number of backlinks on various websites that have favourable domain authorities and one way to satisfy this is through blog posts.

Now you’re probably familiar with the terms ‘white hat SEO’ and ‘black hat SEO’ – basically ethical and unethical. Desperate SEO comes with a light grey hat. It’s not necessarily bad but – and this is only my opinion – it doesn’t provide any real value for the reader.

And that’s the important thing right – providing value? After all, Google’s sole purpose with its search offering is to provide people with content that’s engaging, useful and relevant to their search.

Now I’ve got nothing against leveraging blogs to boost a brand’s coverage, but some of the posts I’ve seen (and even created in the past) provide very little in the way of value for the reader.

A typical desperate SEO brief may require that you write a post to be published on a travel blog – so far so good. But then you find out that the client you are writing the post for is a company that sells blu-ray DVD players and you have to naturally insert a link back to their website within your post.

Oh and just to make the post look even more natural, you’re asked to put a few other carefully placed links to websites that are non-competitive or in other words, don’t sell blu-ray DVD players also.

The end result is a post that lauds some of Europe’s most beautiful beaches but contains a link back to the DVD retailer. You may be wondering, how do you make that look natural? The answer is with great difficulty and as a writer, it’s a very frustrating task.

That’s why I have made a conscious effort to steer away from such practices and now only focus on creating stuff that I think provides value to the reader.

I was fortunate enough to cross paths with Jo and in-turn be introduced to Neil and Phil at Positive Sparks. The stuff I write for all of them is a breath of fresh air compared to churning out desperate SEO pieces.

Desperate SEO isn’t going to disappear overnight. But Google’s regular algorithm updates should be warning enough that creating fresh, original and high-quality content that engages your audience is the key to SEO success. Furthermore, it will boost your brand’s online presence at the same time – what could be better than that?

Screen-Shot-2014-04-15-at-14.04.26Author Bio:

James Devonshire is a freelance writer who specialises in creating content for social media, SEO and digital marketing purposes for a wide variety of businesses. With a strong knowledge of website monetisation, entrepreneurial practices and optimisation techniques, James has carved out a literary niche for himself from his adopted home in the Philippines.