4 Reasons A Site Won't Rank on Google: How to Make It Found

01 Jun, 2021

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Have you ever Googled yourself? 

And I don't mean to make sure that those holiday snaps aren't appearing in the Google images results — I mean to search for your business's website, What happens? And not just when you type in your company name or URL, what about the terms customers in your neighborhood use to find a business like yours online? 'Clothes shops near me', 'Buy protein supplements online’, 'The best cup of coffee in Oxford'. 

From the terms customers who know about your business use to find its opening hours, to the ones people type in when they feel like trying something new; if your Digital Marketing strategy doesn't cover these things, your website simply won't get found. Ultimately, isn't that the whole point of having a website? To help you out with your Digital Marketing strategy: Here are 4 common reasons why businesses and websites cannot be found online.

1# Even Google Can't Find You

If you type the exact address of your website’s homepage into Google, and your website doesn't appear as the first result, then something has gone seriously wrong with your website's SEO strategy. The most likely reason for this issue is that your website cannot be found by Google and other search engines.

This problem is the Digital Marketing equivalent of Blackberry Smartphones for the last 5 years — no one has a clue that it exists. Any business that cannot be found on Google cannot claim to have an adequate Digital Marketing strategy. Fortunately, with the right tips and a little help, the problem can easily be solved. 

The Fix: Give Those Googlebots Some Help! 

Every second of every day, Google’s software applications known as GoogleBots, also given the less appealing name of spiders or crawlers, are scanning millions of websites around the world to find and sort their information, so that Google can list these websites as answers to inquiries. If your website doesn’t appear when you type its exact URL into Google, the Googlebots either haven’t found it yet or that they cannot understand or read its content.

In order to fix this problem, you need to focus on your website's technical SEO. One of the first things you can do is submit a sitemap to Google. This will make sure that Googlebots find your website, this is a common solution for the problem of a website not appearing in the Google search results.

2# New Customers Cannot Find Your Website

An online business may have an excellent website but Digital Marketing isn’t as simple as making your site appear as the top result when someone types in your business's name, Unless you are a major brand like Coca-Cola Apple or Chanel, the search terms potential customers use to find your site or products won't be brand product, or modal specific. 

Even with many medium-sized brands consumers tend to use more open terms to find what they are looking for. According to the rankingCoach keywords feature, when most people are looking for a low-cost holiday in the USA they are much more likely to type in cheap flights when looking for low-cost flights than the name of the smaller airlines like Virgin America. Whereas the major brand Jetblue gets roughly the same number of searches as the term ‘cheap flights’ 



           Virgin America               

cheap flights

Average Monthly Searches 




Ranking Difficulty for small SMB's website.             





Figures are taken from the rankingCoach keywords feature 

The business with the best value keywords for their size will reach the highest possible number of customers. You need to make sure that you can be found for the best value terms in your industry and this is always much more than just your business’s name. Even if jetBlue gets a lot of searches for its name, it can get twice as many by also having a top ranking for the term cheap flights. It is easy to see how getting tops rankings for 5 or even 10 of phrases with such a high search volume can lead to millions more visitors to a site.

The Fix: Optimize Your Site for the Best Keyword with SEO Tools

When we go to search engines like Google to find something to buy online, the reason why certain site owner’s pages appear often is not because they have an expensive website with lots of flashy graphics, in fact, an overcomplicated website design can hurt rankings on search engines, as coding like flash and poorly tagged video content can make it impossible for Google to locate the keywords hidden in flashy content.

The vast majority of websites that have the best rankings on Google, got there by using Keyword tools to target the best value keywords and phrases, and then optimizing their website for these keywords to make sure they are present on the best pages, and that they can be easily accessed and indexed by Google. Successful digital marketers don't try and guess these phrases they use keyword tools to make sure that their site is optimized for the most popular phrases that they can realistically rank for. 

To get this right, we need to strike a balance between keyword search volume and keyword competitiveness. The rankingCoach application has a keyword finding feature that suggests high volume keywords along with a rating of their difficulty to rank for. With help from the video tutorials, the user can optimize their website for the latest and best-ranking phrases and adapt and change them accordingly as keyword trends come and go. This way new customers will always be able to find your business with all the best value keywords. 

#3 No One in The Neighborhood Can Find You

The last teenagers to pick-up a phonebook and use it to find a pizza delivery place probably did so during the height of Britney Spear’s career — but these days it's not just the younger generation who are perplexed by those big old dusty phonebooks: 97% of all consumers go online to find a local business. Many of these local businesses are not found by customers in the standard listings because the SERP is much more than just a list of meta titles and descriptions. Let me show you what I mean:

You come home from work too late to cook and decide to order a Pizza. The last place you tried wasn’t great, so you go to Google enter something like “thin Italian style Pizza near me” or “deep pan pizza free delivery”. The first place you most likely look on the results page is not the Serp –– it's Google maps, you pick four places that don’t seem too far away and head to Yelp or Tripadvisor to read some reviews. 

Any of the local pizza places that aren't on that map, or perhaps have a lot of bad reviews, aren't going to be selling many pizzas that night! This is another reason why a website or business won’t get found.

The Fix: Sort Out Your Local SEO

You've solved the first two problems: your website shows up in the Google results for the best value keywords and you have a well-built website that is great technically for SEO. Now we need to get people from your neighborhood into your store or restaurant. 

When finding a local business online, many customers will visit its website, but others may just look up its opening hours and location on local directories or online maps, and head over to check it out for themselves. To make sure a local business is found: it needs an effective Local SEO strategy making sure that the business's website and details have great visibility on online maps and consistent directory listings in all the important directories, these include Yelp, YP, Google My Business. On top of this, they need a positive online review profile. Having this will do more than attract visitors to those directories: these listings also influence Google’s main results for standard listings and Google Maps pages. By creating this presence a site owner is boosting their site’s visibility in local searches. 

Finding all the right directories for your business, keeping all of your local directories listings, and customer review correspondence up to date can be very time-consuming. Businesses need to be in at least 20 local directories to start building an adequate Local SEO presence. Fortunately, local marketing Apps like rankingCoach 360 can find and scan all the relevant local directories for your business and update all of your listings simultaneously with just a few clicks. Whether you pick the quick and easy way, or the more time-consuming option of finding the right directories and entering listening manually, creating a ubiquitous and consistent Local SEO presence will make sure your business is found by customers in your neighborhood.

4#  Your SEO Content is Competing Against Itself

Another reason for a website not being found on Google comes down to a different kind of problem which relates to website content, specifically, too much of the wrong kinds of content. This could be sabotaging your website’s chances of ranking. This normally happens for one of two reasons:

Duplicate Content

All of the content on your pages that you want to rank should have unique content. None of these pages should, in the worlds of Google, share: 

‘Substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely matches other content or are appreciably similar.’

Taken from Google Search Console Help 

If long passages of text are identical, search engines will punish one or all of the pages by giving them either a lower page ranking or not ranking them at all.

Too Few SEO Keyword Targets

Alternatively, a website could be pushing its own pages out of the rankings, if the site's content strategy creates too many site pages that are chasing the same keywords. For example, an online jewelry store is trying to optimize for the term "retro watches’ by posting a keyword-focused blog article titled "The five best retro watches" and then to tries to get multiple pages ranking by posting another article titled “six must-have watches”, by focusing too many articles on the same keywords the content creator will not be getting the best out of their content.

Both pages could be preventing each other from ranking. Or this time spent on the 2nd article which doesn‘t rank so well, could be better spent creating content that targets other keywords.

The Fix: Combine & Reword Content

The solution for two articles competing against themselves, especially if one ranks well, and the other doesn't, is to add the content from the second article to first to create a longer more authoritative piece. One long article on a subject has a much better chance of ranking than two shorter ones.

If one of your pages ranks and the other doesn’t it's often easier to improve the rankings of the article that already ranks, and one front page ranking page will always drive more traffic to a website than two pages both ranking but much further back in the results pages. 

If you are still not sure if your content is duplicate, consult Google’s duplicate content guidelines to give yourself a better understanding of what counts. Then find those pages on your website which share long passages of a text that are either identical or very similar and rewrite these sections so they are worded completely differently. 

If for some reason you have to keep duplicate content, be sure to add canonical tags that point to the longer more important article. (You can read more about canonicals here). This will make sure that the favored version keeps its rankings — so more people will find your website. 

We hope these four tips have helped you to clear up some problems!

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