Search engine optimization is no easy feat—you can work on optimizing your website for months and achieve literally no results. There’s nothing more frustrating than spending endless of wasted hours trying to improve your local SEO, with your efforts only falling flat in the end.
The truth is that it is really easy to destroy your own SEO efforts. The scarier part is that your efforts can be completely innocent—but if you’re not in-tune with Google’s guidelines and algorithm updates, you can cause more harm than good to your search engine ranking.
So, why isn’t your small business website listed on Google after you’ve given it so much effort? These are a few common reasons why:
- Your Website is Really New
Google gives favor to older websites. The age of your domain counts when it comes to ranking your website on Google, and older is better. This is because older websites are generally more established and are trusted more by Google users than when a website is brand new.
However, this isn’t to say that brand new small business websites won’t show up in Google’s search results. This is especially the case if you target keywords that aren’t very competitive. But if your market is saturated and your website is a year old or less, you’ll be waiting quite some time to get on the first page of Google.
- Your Keywords Are Too Competitive
Although keywords are one of the keys to increasing your website’s visibility, there’s an art to using them. Business owners typically don’t realize that using the first keyword from the top of your head isn’t necessarily your best choice.
When it comes to choosing your keywords, you don’t always want to choose the most popular. The more popular a keyword is, the more difficult it can be to appear on the first page of Google.
The idea is to find the sweet spot with your target keywords. Use keyword research tools such as SEMRush or Google’s Keyword Planner tool to get an in-depth look at how specific keywords will work for you. Stay away from keywords that are overly competitive or too broad.
Another thing to keep in mind is that some industries are naturally more competitive than others. The digital marketing industry is a good example, as keywords such as ‘SEO services’ and ‘social media services’ are next to impossible to rank for organically. This is when tying in geo-modified terms (city and state) can help tremendously with competition levels.
- You Never Post Fresh Content
Publishing fresh content is one of the keys to getting your ranking on Google. Bots crawl the Internet on a daily basis in search for fresh content—and when they find fresh content that is useful and is well optimized for keywords, it will help give your ranking a boost.
However, many business owners are guilty of posting content on their website and never updating it again. Outdated and unhelpful content won’t help your customers, and it won’t help your Google ranking, either.
- Your Small Business Website is Not User Friendly
We’ve talked before about how Google favors websites that are good for user experience. This means having a clearly defined navigation system along with a smart design for your local business.
If your website is hard to navigate or looks too outdated, it will encourage visitors to leave your website without exploring further. When customers visit one page of your website and leave immediately thereafter, this is factored into your bounce rate. A poor bounce rate indicates to Google that customers are not getting what they need or want from your website, and they are leaving it to find their information elsewhere.
If your website isn’t helping customers, Google does not have a reason to rank it on the first page. Eventually, it’ll get pushed further down the search engine result pages and possibly never be seen by your customers at all.
- You Never Put Your Business on The Map
Aside from your business website, business owners are also concerned about their visibility on Google maps. Some customers don’t realize that they need to register their business with Google to put it on the map, thinking that it’s an automated process.
If you have yet to register an account with Google My Business, you’re shorting yourself in terms of helping customers easily find you online.
How is Your Website Performing?
Are you having a difficult time finding your own website on Google? If so, your customers are having the same problem, too. Bigfoot Media specializes in helping small business get their websites found in the search engines by means of organic search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, and more.
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