8 Reasons Your Business Doesn’t Appear on the First Page of Google Search
For a short while now, you owned your own company, and in your world, things went swimming. In your culture, word of mouth spreads quickly and your new, modern company is packed. People are fond of the environment. Your staff is kickass. But in paradise, there seems to be trouble.
You've heard that people have difficulty locating your company online.
Truth be told, you have not really put a lot of work into increasing your online presence because you have been so focused, practically, on building your company from the ground up.
You're not exactly sure what search engine optimization (SEO) entails or how to be optimizing your website to appear on the first page of Google. Heck, you might even just start creating an online presence.
Here are a few reasons you might be falling off of page one of the Google search results, otherwise known as “no man's land” for SEOs:
- You Haven’t Told Google You’re a Business
This seems like an obvious first move, but how to warn Google that you're up and running is easy to forget (or simply not know).
Start by building your listing on Google My Business or claiming it (GMB). It's a free service that puts you in charge of the way your company is viewed by the world's largest search engine.
List your hours, your website, address, and images to upload. Google My Business operates alongside Google Maps, and when you put your location information on this website, it will automatically create directions for local searchers or individuals trying to locate your company online.
Google My Business is a place where your Google reviews are also managed by you. You can also see your business data shown on the right sidebar of a Google search in a "box." This box is an Information Graph from Google.
- Your Site is Poorly Optimized for Search Engines
There are a number of different factors involved in search engine optimization, but one way a website might be poorly optimized for search is by loading quite slowly.
It shouldn't take more than 2 seconds for an optimized website to load.
This means that searchers do not jump back for an easier response to the search engine results page (SERP). This is where the term "bounce rate" comes into play when searchers hit the back button because it takes too long to find their response (or you just don't have helpful data).
- You’re Searching Competitive Keyword Phrases
You're grappling with those in your industry for similar keywords and phrases on the SERPs in a sector saturated with rivalry. If you're a local company, you particularly want to be aware of what people are looking for in your area.
The terms and phrases that you look up to find yourself online do not reflect the content on your website, or at least your website is not refined with search engines in mind.
- You’re Not Utilizing Paid Advertising
Let's be frank, Google will take your money however it can. That's why paying for ads on their website has advantages.
For visibility, the top three positions on each SERP are reserved exclusively for individuals dipping into their wallets. These are the listings for pay-per-click (PPC) with a little "Ad" sticker next to them to show that they are ads relevant to your search question.
If you're a newer business, you haven't had the time to build a reputation for your importance and consistency on the SERPs to get served up naturally (or 'organically'). If you can't wait to play the SEO game, or even if you just want a little extra boost, it could be a choice for you to get paid ads.
- You’re Not Active on Social Media
You'd be shocked how quickly social media like Facebook and Twitter would rank on page one for you.
That's because they have a little thing called high "domain authority (DA)." Some refer to this rating algorithm as metric items like domain score, trust score, etc., but SEO industry leader Moz has most widely popularized and tracked it.
A rating of 1-100 is the domain authority. That's right, it's getting graded on your account. Use it to see how important you are to the search results in your field.
- Your Reviews are Bad or Nonexistent
Reviews, both in local search and organic performance, are a pretty major ranking signal. What this suggests is that the way searchers view you online may be influenced by feedback.
Sign up for Yelp, get a TripAdvisor account, and ask people on Facebook Reviews to share what they feel about you.
Encourage them to leave a Google+ rating or take it from the old school when people visit your company and make them write in a guest book and share screenshots of the reviews online.
- You Have No Authority from Backlinks
Remember when in explanation number five we talked about domain authority? The amount and quality of your backlinks is something that feeds into your DA and subsequent page authority (PA).
What backlink is there? With a blue, underlined hyperlink pointing "back" to your homepage, it's someone listing you on their domain.
Think of it as someone else vouching for you, telling others that you have nice things to say, and checking you out. Plus, it tells search engines that you are important to that topic when others interact with you, particularly those in your industry.
- You Don’t Even Know What a Citation Is
An online citation is a listing of your company that can be indexed by search engines and you can start ranking organically.
Think Four Square or Yellow Pages. These are locations that people go to to learn more about your business! It would be easy to list and include only your name, phone number, and address. But some platforms allow you to create an entire company profile that you can use! Hint: Yelp or TripAdvisor.
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