24 Apr Why Doesn’t My Website Show Up On Google?
You know, every profession has that ‘one’ question, the question that seems so simple, but to actually find the answer and explain it….well, that’s another story.
For me, “Why doesn’t my website show up in google?” is THAT question. It’s the one that I hear from new clients the most and the one that people always ask me when they find out I ‘do SEO’ for a living.
If you know SEO, you may wonder why I would even bother to write this post. It looks like this question has been answered a million times over, right?
Well, I find that I need to prove a point, the most important point, in fact, when it comes to SEO. The point is this: most digital marketing companies who offer SEO don’t know what they are talking about!
In fact, many guys I meet who claim to do SEO don’t even really seem to know what they’re doing. And the reality is that they are hurting many people’s businesses by taking their money and not helping them to get any new customers. YouTube is full of these charlatans, ‘gurus’ who offer their click-bait guide on how to optimize your site, or ‘experts’ with a secret trick that nobody knows yet.
The bottom line in SEO is this: in order to show up at the top of search results, you need to answer the question people are searching for better than anybody else. Yes, there are a bunch of little things that go along with this, but the biggest ranking factor is who can answer a searcher’s question the best.
Go ahead search for the phrase “why doesn’t my website show up on google?” What do you find? Read through the first two pages of results and you will see a pattern. Right away, you will see that every single result just about says the exact same thing, it’s all repeated ‘SEO Facts,’ canned answers and click-bait.
I am going to tell you a few reasons why your website doesn’t show up in Google: some real world, down-to-earth, no-BS reasons why nobody visits your website. My reasons may be a little harsh and my advice may sometimes sound too simple, but have an open mind, because I’m sure that I’m right!
So, let’s take a look at why your website doesn’t show up on Google.
Why listen to me?
Because I actually rank websites, consistently, for hard search phrases and I taught myself how to do it over the last 10 years.
Because in the beginning I wasted time and money listening to idiots on YouTube and buying ‘classes’ and downloadable ‘cheat sheets’….all the things you might be doing right now.
And because I want to help. Truly. Many businesses who are struggling to get by can’t afford to pay a company to do dedicated monthly SEO for them.
But the reality is that for many small businesses, there are some easy things that you can do on your own to help your website rank and your business to thrive.
So, let’s take a look at why your website doesn’t show up on Google.
The number one reason….your website sucks. This is a tough one for most people to understand. It may be beautiful and might have cost you $10,000, but it still is horrible. It may be your personal work of art that you spent hundreds of hours on, but it still doesn’t get the job done.
Yes, that’s a broad statement to make, but I will narrow it down. In the eyes of the search engines, your website is bad (no good, a waste of server space, you get the idea). Since it’s so bad, they (the search engines) are never going to send somebody to your website.
Your website may be beautiful and might have cost you $10,000, but it still is horrible!
One thing that is often overlooked when it comes to Google and Bing (despite a few partisan rogues sitting in a cubicle) is that the search engines actually believe in great customer service. They want people who use them to be able to find exactly what they are looking for in the shortest amount of time possible.
That means if someone is looking to learn how to dye socks a different color, Google wants to show that person the absolute expert sock dying instructions on the whole internet.
Let me ask you this, when it comes to your website, is the information you have on it the best on the internet? Think about it, does your website answer somebody’s question in great detail, succinctly, accurately and without ulterior motives? If you aren’t showing up on the search engines, then probably not.
Is your website just a bunch of re-hashed content that you read somewhere else?
Or maybe even just cut and pasted from another site or blog? I see this all the time. Actually, my inspiration for this post is that I just read a blog and the opening line of the article sounded familiar, then I realized the company copied content from several sites and made one, long, crappy article!
By now you might be saying: wait, I’m a roofer, what does this have to do with my website? It doesn’t matter what type of business or profession you are in, when it comes to your website outranking others, this applies.
Let’s bring this down to a local, geographical level. If you are a handyman and you are trying to get more odd jobs in your city, is your content better than the other handyman websites near you?
Is it better than the other handyman websites in the surrounding cities? Do you have the best content and information of any handyman in the state?
Think about it, without content, what in the world are you going to optimize?
You can basically guarantee to be at the top of search results in your industry if your website content is deeper and more authoritative than your competitors.
At this point, you just might be saying: that’s too simple of an answer for why my website never shows up on Google. Not really. That is the number one ranking factor….having the best answer to a question or problem that someone searches.
Does all that ‘on page’ and ‘off page’ SEO stuff matter? Yes, it does, but you can’t put the cart before the horse. That cliche is never more true than when it comes to optimizing your website.
Too often, SEO guys want to focus on page speed, backlinks, directory building, outreach, etc. However, the initial focus MUST start with content. Think about it, without content, what in the world are you going to optimize?
What a lot of SEO companies claim to do when they optimize your website is actually more about mechanics and operation. They want to wave a flag and show off their skills because they updated your website software to the latest version. I can tell you, that’s nothing special to be proud of and certainly not some kind of fantastic SEO skill.
Here are my down and dirty top five reasons why your website might not be showing up on Google when you look for yourself.
You copied or re-gurgated the content on your website. It shouldn’t be too hard to write something original about your own business. Originality is key here. Google knows!! It would be better to spend $25 on Fiverr for some ridiculous wording that’s original than to copy from another website. Even cutting a pasting from a site and putting a link back like it’s a footnote….you’re a rookie! Google immediately knows it’s copied.
Even cutting a pasting from a site and putting a link back like it’s a footnote….you’re a rookie! Google immediately knows it’s copied.
Your website has no value to people who are searching for what you do, what you sell, or the area you service. What does that mean, specifically? If you offer stamped concrete, do you explain the process, why you’re the expert, why someone would want stamped concrete, show examples of your work, or give an idea of the price? No? Well then, why would Google want to send me to your website?
You answer the same question that has already been asked and answered. Try to be original and unique. Spend a little time trying to find a different aspect of what’s out there. Does the world need another blog post about why a dog eats grass?
Poor Grammar and Spelling
Wait, what? Google cares if I spell stuff correctly? Yes, indeed! Part of delivering a great user experience is having well written content. You don’t have to be Ernest Heminghway, but you at least need to use spell check. There are several programs and browser extensions that can help you with this. Also, if you end up using Fiverr, this will be extra important.
You Didn’t Meet the Search Intent
In this case, you gave the searchers something about what they were looking for, but it wasn’t exactly what they were looking for.
Know what I mean? Here is a real world example, let’s say you sell lawn mower blades. You think: great, I am going to write about sharpening lawn mower blades but really make a pitch to buy a new blade.
You know, a bait and switch. Again, do you think the search engines with their AI and algorithms don’t know what you are trying to do. Of course they do. People searching for instructions on how to sharpen blades probably don’t want a new blade.
You would be better off either not writing that for your site or actually creating the ultimate guide on how to sharpen a lawn mower blade.
You could close your guide with: “If that seems like a lot of work, you could just buy a replacement.” In this case, you deliver value and have a chance to give an alternative solution.
Competition Is Too High
Sometimes a word or phrase is just too competitive and you’re late to the game. Theoretically, you can rank for anything, but in reality, there are cases where it would take years and countless pages of content to break into certain search phrases. This isn’t your fault, but not doing your research to realize that it might be a waste of time is. In cases like this, you have to look at different plans of attack. Is there an alternative search phrase associated with the topic? Are there lesser known words or areas where you can break in?
You Focus on Technicalities
Just like any job, there are a lot of tasks involved in SEO that aren’t fun. Creating content and getting pictures is one of them, unless it’s your thing. All too often, people try to focus on little details like page speed and building links, etc. That stuff is needed, but content needs to be your top priority.
What draws people from social media to your website?
Content that is interesting and articles that help them are what people want.
Remember, website optimization is needed, but it’s secondary to having the correct content. Yes, getting high scores on GTMetrix is fun, but the guy with a leaking roof doesn’t care that you compressed all your images, he just wants your phone number and to know you can stop the rain from coming through his skylight.
Does this mean you can ignore all other aspects of SEO….no, of course not.
However, you might need to dynamically shift your focus on how you go about executing your SEO on your website. Change your thinking to a customer-first mentality.
What is your perfect customer looking for? Deliver that, and you will definitely get business from your website.
Is every YouTube channel a waste? Definitely not. But you have to wade through a lot of trash to find the truth. Before you listen to someone’s advice, make sure they know what they’re talking about. Check if their results are real. You can vet this out pretty easily. The guys that are the real deal will show you these things, because they can actually do them, time and time again. A lot of SEO guys are one hit wonders too, they ranked one or two sites, but may not be able to do it consistently.
I recently wrote a detailed article about the Best Pizza On Hilton Head. The post started ranking on the second page of search results within 20 hours! Why? Because I answered the searchers question directly, then had the proof to back up the answer. It wasn’t spammy with tons of links and wasn’t rehashed content from 20 other websites. I made the article original and had real, direct knowledge of each restaurant we mentioned. That kind of accuracy and originality comes through in Google algorithms.
If you’re sitting there wondering why your website doesn’t show up on Google AND you got to the bottom of this article, ask yourself this question and answer it honestly: is my website truly useful to searchers on the internet?