Why Doesn’t My Website Come Up When People Search Online?
I Have A Website; So Why Can’t People Find It (and me) When They Search?
Being found online when someone searches for what you offer, products or services, is certainly desirable, particularly coming up on page 1 or 2 of search results. And of course, the goal is to have this happen without paying for an ad.
And actually, this has become “big business” with many companies offering services to “put you on page 1 for a fee” - not the search engine companies, but 3rd-parties who offer to ensure you results. All you need to do is to pay them monthly, and voila!
So, Why is this so difficult? And why if you have a website, does it not show up when people search?
WHY YOU WANT TO BE FOUND
Over 85% (and this is a conservative number) of all buyers, be they consumer or business, search online before buying something. And this is even if they know you and your company, and have every intention of buying from you. Why? Because people in general, always want “the best” for the lowest price. And this is what drives every business’ need to be on page 1 or 2 of search results.
Why page 1 or 2? Because the other characteristic of buyers is that they are busy and time-constrained. So they do not have the time to look through 16 pages, and 12 different choices. Therefore, we all need to be on page 1 or 2 - Therefore getting there is very competitive.
And of course, there is always the factor behind the scenes that if you will only pay for an ad placement with the specific search engine cmpany, then you are guaranteed a place on page 1 or 2, no worries. And this is pretty inexpensive actually, compared to prime time television advertising, and so is certainly a reasonable option.
Nonetheless, there is the opportunity to appear on page 1 or 2 without paying - this is called organic search results - so why not do our best to have this happen too. And so we are back to the original question - Why, if I have a website, does it not appear on page 1 or 2?
SEARCH ENGINES AND ALGORITHMS
This brings us to the search engines and their algorithms… every search engine has an algorithm that attempts to decide in a “fair” way, which results should appear high on the list for a given search query. And these algorithms are constantly being tweaked - Google changed theirs over 500 times last year - so even though your website appeared on page 1 yesterday, it might not appear until page 6 in 3 months.
So what to do?
1. Either try and keep up with what the search engines are doing and make changes accordingly, or
2. Pay someone else to do it, or
3. Pay for an ad.
For the purposes of this article, I am going to focus on #1, and discuss what things you can look at to optimize your online visibility right now. I am also going to focus on Google search right now, because the largest percentage of buyers use Google search. That being said it doesn’t mean the tips I am offering will not work for other search engines as well. And once again bear in mind that the search engines change their algortihms, so all I can do is address today. And incidentally, in future articles I will focus on options 2 and 3.
TIPS FOR INCREASING YOUR ONLINE VISIBILITY
1. Keyword Phrase Content: When someone searches online for a product or service you offer, they do not search for you by company name. They do search using a phrase that describes the product or service you offer. Examples might be “mortgage loans”, “chocolate donuts”, “pain-free dentist”, etc.
Further, they will search for a particular geography usually, a city or state, unless they don’t care. So the search might be “Mortgage loans in Corona”, “chocolate donuts in Temecula”, or “Murrieta pain-free dentist”. And often times they will also include a qualifier like best or cheapest, or affordable. So the search will look like “best chocolate donuts in Temecula” as an example.
One of the things the search engines do is decide which of the websites, facebook pages, Yelp listings, etc. have the most relevant content for this search phrase. They want to return results that are meaningful to the searcher.
So, if you only mention this search phrase in passing on your website, whereas another website has an entire page devoted to best chocolate donuts in Temecula, with pictures and 400 words describing and talking about best chocolate donuts in Temecula, then which one do you think the algortihm is going to decide should be placed higher because it is probably more relevant to the query?
2. Mobile-friendy is REALLY Important. Over 50% of searches today are done on mobile devices - this doesn’t necessarily mean theya re done in a car, but people are using their mobile devices at home, in the office, while at a restarant, etc., to search.
Therefore, you need a website that is optimized for mobile, shows well on mobile devices and is easy to navigate on a mobile device. Just check yours out on your phone and see how it displays. Is it easy to see how to contact you, where you are located, what your offer, and is it easy to navigate? If not fix it. Both Google and Dudamobile offer apps to make your mobile website optimized. Do this now!
3. Be multiple places online: This to me is a no-brainer. Yes, you need to have a website. But it doesn’t end here, unfortunately. The more places you are online, the more opportunities you have to appear on Page 1 or 2. Facebook, and having a facebook profile that mentions your business, as well as a facebook business page helps. Having a Yelp listing helps. Being on multiple directories, like Google Maps, yellow pages, and if it is appropriate for your business, Angies List, Home Advisors, etc., helps.
To test this out, do a search on one of your keyword phrases you would hope to come up for, and note what comes up in the organic search results - which other places besides a website… you need to be in those other places. Do this today!
I could go on with more tips, like having lots of great images, and video, and back links, etc. But I think this is enough for now. We will talk about these items in other articles. Now go do these things and increase your opportunity to be found.
This is the lucky 13th article in this Questions Series of articles where I answer the most commonly asked questions I get from customers and workshop attendees.
The previous articles in this series, in case you’d like to take a look at them are:
If you’d like to reach out to me for a free consult, or to ask questions, plese email me at
Tags: Online Visibility, Getting Found Online, SEO, Search Engine Optimization, Mobile-optimized, Dudamobile, Google, Yelp, Facebook, search phrases