In this blog, I’d like to address a really common question that many of my clients ask me – and it’s one that understandably can cause some angst. Let’s say that you have launched a new, high converting website with the aim of attracting more potential customers to your business. But when you type your business name or business name and location into Google, nothing shows up! When you subsequently Google your full domain name, your website suddenly becomes visible but not simply from the basics of your name.
I completely understand why you would feel anxious and even a little deflated about this and I’d like to use this blog to explain the reasons behind it, to give you a little more confidence that it’s actually not as big a problem as it seems.
The first thing to recognize is that it takes time to build an online reputation with Google. There are millions and billions of websites that Google has to scan and display within seconds and your website is amongst them. Although they have special bots that specifically search for new pages, it naturally takes time to be recognized. So, what can you do to speed the process up?
First, you should add social media links to your website. It’s crucial to connect your Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn pages to your website. This gives Google more places to find your information because it searches through social media channels as well. You should also include a Google My Business listing via Google Maps, particularly if you have a physical location such as an office or store. This is so important, as it gives you a boost of credibility from Google’s perspective and makes it more likely to display your website in the listings.
Secondly, it’s crucial to add valuable, regular new content to your website. Essentially, the more content you have, the more visibility your website will have because you will have more live pages that Google can find when it searches.
These are the basics and will help Google to begin the process of understanding what your website is about ie: what category is it going to push you in, what phrases it can match and what answers you are supplying to the phrases that people search for. This process takes time – often about 30 to 60 days to actually be picked up by Google.
A really effective way of speeding this up is by using a sitemap. A sitemap is basically a document that lists all of the pages on your website. By writing this and uploading it to Google Search Console, you are effectively giving Google details of your pages and asking it to index them, as opposed to waiting for Google to find your pages by itself via a search. Naturally, the more content you have, the more pages you will subsequently have and the more Google will index you.
And there’s one more thing to check. If you have a WordPress website, you should make sure that it is set to be found by Google. It can sometimes be the case that web developers who built your website forgot to turn this setting on after the build phase. To check this, you should log into your WordPress dashboard and navigate to “settings: reading”. Scroll down and locate the search engine visibility option and ensure that the “discourage search engines from indexing your site” is unchecked and saved. By doing this, you are giving Google permission to view all of your pages and making it possible for searchers to find you on Google.
In summary, patience is needed to be found on Google! Although there are things that you can do to maximize your success, it does often take a long time. When generating a lot of content for my clients’ websites, although the blogs or lead magnets are very heavily researched, using SEO, and based on what people are actually searching for, it does often take up to six months to really gain traction.
BUT – once it is actually out there and people begin to find your website on Google, it really does snowball from there, particularly if your content is relevant and targeted.
I hope this gives you a little relief that a slow start to finding your new website on Google is quite normal and, if you are doing all the right things I talk about in this blog, you’ll start to see results. Please sign up to my YouTube channel or follow my Facebook page for new content and I look forward to hearing your success stories!