Your small business has its brand new website, maybe it’s your first website – the first step into a larger world, and you’re all set to take over the world…..
But when you search for your website on Google, it doesn’t show up.
Unfortunately, despite the fact that search engines, like Google, continuously improve to return us the best results, they aren’t omniscient. Just because your website is there, doesn’t mean they know it exists.
But there are a few ways to help push things along to help make your website be found by Google once it is live.
Submit your website to Google
First things first is to let Google know your website exists. At the time it goes live, it is unaware of its existence and this creates a line from your website to it.
There are 2 steps to this. Firstly, you need to set up a Google search console account, which:
allows webmasters to check indexing status and optimize visibility of their websites.
The second step is to create an XML sitemap and upload it to Search console. What this does it let Google know your website exists and know the pages that are on there. This then makes it quicker for Google to index your website and get it found in the results.
(For Procredible websites, the website auto-generates and updates the XML sitemap and we set up a search console account and submit the sitemap once the website goes live.)
Get listed on Google maps
Similar in principle to getting search console set up so your website can be found, creating a Google Business Profile. This is especially if you predominantly work locally.
This has several benefits such as when someone searches for your brand, a knowledge panel of your business can show up to the right of the search results.
It also lets your business show in the map search results. You’ve probably noticed that when you perform [service + location] search, in the results you will have a map and 3 companies based within the specified location.
This can also be expanded to show all the businesses within that area, but this relies on you having a Google business profile.
Submit your website to Google
With more people now using mobile phones to browse the web, Google is putting a greater concentration on having websites that work on different screen sizes. So it is important to have a responsive website.
What is a responsive website?
Let me tell you, it is a website where the design adjusts depending on the viewport, like the screen below.
So when getting a new website, it’s important that it works across all devices.
(Our Procredible websites are built to be responsive by default and so will work across different screen sizes).
Get links from other websites
So, you can’t find your website in the search results, but you know what you can find?
When Google crawls these websites, it checks the links to see what pages and websites they go to and your website and pages can be discovered this way too.
If you have friends in the blogging realm, having them give you a shout out in one of their posts can go along way. If you don’t, then signing up and adding your website to business directories and having a link from your social media profiles can help move the process along.
Optimise meta tags
When you show up in the search results, how will you convince searchers to click on your result over the others?
The answer is optimising your pages meta details. This is the first contact you will have with people interested in what you’re offering and you need to entice them to click on your website, instead of the others.
If you take a look at the search results, you will that they are made up of:
Link – the page
Title Tag – title of the page
Meta description – brief description outlining the offering
Optimising the title tag and meta description can be the thing that makes the difference between someone clicking on your site and a competitors.
(The title tag and meta description are fully customisable in Procredible, simply find the page from the menu and go to the SEO tab. It will give an indication in each of the lengths these should be).
The methods above can help you get your foot in the door as it were, to Google’s search results. However, this is not to say this will give you instant exposure and your website will rank on the first results page for your desired searches.
You will still need to optimise your website, make your website provide value to potential customers and keep working on improving it.
There is also an option we haven’t mentioned, due to it having a price point, that will give you instant exposure in the search results and that is paying for Google ads.
These can get above the organic search results and start bringing people to your website straight away, where you pay for each person that clicks your ad.