You worked hard to build a great website that presents your brand in the best possible light. The navigation is simple. The content is clear and enticing. The images are high quality.
If you’ve done everything right, why is it that your website is nowhere to be found in Google’s search results? Why isn’t your site showing up on Google?
There are lots of reasons why Google may be ranking your site poorly or not at all. The good news is that many of the issues that your site may have are common, easy to find and fix.
In this post, we’ll explore a couple of possible reasons why your site isn’t showing up on Google. We’ll also share the steps to fix them and ensure people can find your business.
Your website is new and Google hasn’t indexed it yet
If you launched your site on Monday, you can’t expect it to show up on Google the next day. It can take a few weeks for Google to find and index your new website, and for it to reflect this in search results.
Your competitors may have been working for years to produce high-quality content, earn links and authority and optimise their sites to earn those top spots in the search results. Read this post to learn more about how long it takes to start getting SEO results.
So, what can you do about it?
The first step is to check whether Google knows about your website. Go to Google and run a search for site:example.com. If there is at least one result, then Google knows your site exists.
If there’s no result, then it doesn’t so move on to step two: create a sitemap and submit it via the Google Search Console.
A sitemap is a file where you list all the important pages on your site that you want Google and other search engines to index. When you submit it, you’re basically telling search robots which pages are important to crawl and index, as well as how often they’re being updated.
Find out more about sitemaps, how to create one for your website, and how to submit it to ensure search engines can find it.
To submit your sitemap to Google, you’ll need to have a Google Search Console account set up. If you’ve not done that already, follow the steps in our guide to learn how to set up Google Search Console (previously Google Webmaster Tools).
You’ve not optimised your site for search engine crawling
To index and show your site in the search results, Google sends spiders to your site to crawl it for content.
So, if you want search engines like Google to correctly interpret and “read” your website, you need to give them information they need.
Make sure you take these key steps to properly optimise your site for search engine crawling:
- Add a unique title tag and meta description to every page on your site. These elements help search engines understand what a webpage is about. Here’s how to write title and meta descriptions.
- Optimise your content using the right keywords. Use relevant keywords to tell search engines what your content is about. This post explains how to find relevant keywords for your website and how to use them to optimise your content.
- Help search engines index your images. Image optimisation can also help your site rank higher in search results. So, make sure you set a unique title, an alt text (alternative text) and a short description for each image on your site. The alt text is an alternative text which describes what an image is. Adding it helps search engines understand what’s in an image. Here’s how to make your images search engine friendly.
You don’t have high-quality links to your site
Even if you seem to be doing everything right, you still need to “prove” to Google that your site deserves to show up at the top of the search results.
Links from other websites, sometimes called backlinks, can help you do this.
Links are important for search engine visibility because they’re like a vote of confidence that another site gives to your site.
If you have very few external links pointing to your site, you need to earn more. Not sure about which websites are to you already? Give the 123 Reg Website Checker a try.
How do you get more links? By creating interesting and useful content that other people will want to link to and/or getting your business talked about through PR.
Check out this guide for tips on how to start attracting more links.
Your website has been penalised and removed from Google
A Google penalty can also prevent your site from ranking in the search engine results. If your site doesn’t meet Google’s quality guidelines, it may be temporarily or permanently removed from the search results.
Google Search Console will alert you if your site is penalised (so it’s another good reason to use it). This allows you to review and fix any issues, with the aim of getting the penalty removed.
If you’re unsure as to whether your site has been penalised by Google, check out this post with the complete list of Google penalties and how to recover.
There are many reasons that may be preventing your site from showing up on Google. Check to see if it’s not one of the common reasons listed in this article. If it is, now you have the information you need to fix it and help your site get found by your target visitors and customers.
You may also want to review your site to ensure there aren’t other things that may be causing SEO issues like poor content, broken links, and low website speed. Use our Website Checker to run a complete scan of your site and find out more about how your site is performing, and what you can do to make it better.