Searching via Google is the main method individuals use to discover businesses online. For your business to be visible, it’s crucial that your website appears on the first page of Google search results, as 90% of all Google clicks don’t go beyond this page.
It can be disheartening when your site hasn’t yet achieved a ranking on the first page, or isn’t ranking at all. So, how can you bridge this gap to ensure your site appears where it’s supposed to?
If your website isn’t delivering the results you’re aiming for, it’s likely due to one or more of these six reasons. Let’s delve into the specifics and explore how you can rectify the situation.
Your Sitemap and Web Pages Haven’t Been Indexed
If your website isn’t appearing in Google search results, it’s likely that your sitemap hasn’t been crawled yet. Sitemaps, usually in XML format, guide Google’s web crawler (Googlebot) to understand the structure and location of each URL on a website.
The most common reasons for a poorly indexed site include a brand new website, a new domain, or a lack of fresh content. Given Google’s algorithm updates over the years, Google tends to favour websites that have already been indexed and it can take anywhere from two to four months to recognise new URLs.
Here’s how to address this:
- Verify if your sitemap has been indexed in Google Search Console (GSC). If Google is unaware of the existence of your website, it will not be able to display any of your URLs in search engine results pages (SERPs). GSC is free to use and allows you to manually submit your sitemap for indexing whenever you wish.
- Implement effective internal linking. Another reason your site may not appear in search results is if your content isn’t well-linked. Well-linked content provides a valuable user experience, which Google prioritises. Update your content frequently with links to and from earlier blog pieces.
- Publish content regularly. Google appreciates frequently updated websites. Fresh content is seen as more authoritative as it’s likely to be based on the most recent information available. Aim to publish at least once per month, but ideally once per week or more.
Your Website Contains Insufficient Content
The second reason your website might not be appearing in Google search results could be due to Insufficient content. Insufficient content is content that lacks substantial information or is significant but low in word count. Such content doesn’t provide much value to users and therefore isn’t prioritised by Google.
In the past, having 300 to 500 words per page was sufficient to rank well and keep visitors engaged. However, today’s readers have more complex needs and often seek answers to multiple questions. The current standard is around 2,000 words per blog post, but you can be flexible with your approach to content length.
Here are the top strategies to address thin content:
- Aim for a minimum of 1,000 words per post. With the prevalence of SEO, you can’t afford to have low-quality content.It takes no more than 1,000 words to establish topical authority in a blog article. If that word count seems daunting, consider hiring an agency such as ourselves here at Gekkoshot, to produce content regularly. Outsourcing your content development can be a viable strategy for small business owners to succeed in SEO.
- Regularly update old content. If you’ve been blogging for years, you likely have several posts that could benefit from an update. Conduct an SEO content audit to see how old posts can be revitalised. Often, you can expand existing paragraphs or add a “frequently asked questions” section at the end of the post.
Slow Website Loading Speed
The third reason your site might not be appearing in Google search results could be due to slow website speed. Google favours websites that load quickly, and a slow-loading website might not rank as well.
How can you determine if your site loads too slowly? If your site takes more than four to five seconds to load, it’s considered quite slow. Even if it takes longer than one second, it’s still not optimal. The quicker your pages load, the better, as Google favours mobile-friendly websites that load in three seconds or less.
Here are two straightforward ways to optimise your page load speed:
- Optimise your website images. You can achieve this with any free or paid image compression software. Many content management systems (CMSs) offer free plugins that automatically serve your images in web-friendly formats.
Outdated SEO Practices
Your website might not be appearing in Google search results due to the use of outdated SEO techniques. In the past, practices such as keyword stuffing or excessive reliance on backlinks were common, but these are no longer effective. In fact, they can lead to a decline in your rankings.
Instead, focus on these modern SEO practices:
- Structure your on-page content logically: Ensure your content flows smoothly from the headline, through subheadings and paragraphs, to the conclusion and call to action. This not only enhances the reader’s experience but also helps Google understand the relevance of different parts of your page to specific queries.
- Use relevant anchor text for internal links: While internal linking is crucial for SEO, it’s important to do it right. Try to use the H1 of a blog post as your anchor text when linking to it from a new post. This helps Google understand the relationship between the posts.
- Optimise your blog post headlines: A compelling headline can be a game-changer. Remember, three out of four readers decide whether to click on your content based on the headline alone.
By keeping your SEO practices up-to-date, you can improve your website’s visibility on Google and other search engines.
Your Website Has Poor Structure
This includes aspects like how your blog posts are categorised, your URL structure, and the average length of your URLs.
A well-structured site is crucial for both user experience and Google’s understanding of your site. If your URL is confusing or hard to read, users may opt for a simpler search result.
To maintain a robust website structure, consider the following:
- Maintain a “flat” site structure: A flat structure means your content is organised into broad categories rather than specific ones. This is opposed to a deep structure, which requires more clicks to reach specific URLs.
- Keep URLs short: Shorter URLs are easier for both Google and users to understand. They also make social media sharing simpler.
Remember, a well-structured website is beneficial for both users and search engines. It can significantly impact your SEO traffic and conversion.
You are Blogging Rarely
The sixth reason your website might not be appearing on Google could be due to infrequent blogging. If you’re not posting at least once a month, Google may not index your site as it may perceive your website as an unreliable or unpredictable source of information.
Google prioritises content that is both relevant and recently published. By having a consistent content marketing plan, you can cater to Google’s preferences.
Here are some suggestions to help you blog more consistently:
- Develop and adhere to a content calendar: Many business owners blog infrequently because they’re unsure of what to post. By planning out a month’s worth of posts in advance, you can avoid this uncertainty and ensure you always have something to write about.
- Prioritise quality over quantity: While it might be tempting to publish a large number of posts to make up for lost time, this strategy can backfire. Instead of publishing 15 low-quality posts, aim for three or four high-quality ones. A steady publishing schedule is easier to maintain in the long run.
We Can Help
At Gekkoshot, we understand the importance of SEO and how it can make or break your online presence.
As a digital marketing agency based in Belfast, we specialise in SEO, web design, social media management, and content creation.
We are passionate about the work we do and believe in creating unique ideas for every client. If your business is struggling to make its mark in the online world, we’re here to help.
Our team of SEO experts can help you dominate the SEO landscape in Belfast and drive quality organic leads to your site. We aim to turn high search engine rankings into real revenue for your business.
We have a proven track record of delivering results, and if you’re looking for an SEO expert in Belfast, you’re in the right place.
We also offer web design services tailored to reflect the professional image of your business and effectively market your products and services to your customers. We work closely with our clients to ensure their website is not only visually appealing but also SEO-friendly.
If your business needs help with SEO, look no further than Gekkoshot. We’re committed to helping you improve your online visibility and drive more traffic to your site. Contact us today for a free consultation and let’s start building your online success together.