Why Can’t People Find my New Website?
After all the blood, sweat, and digital tears, your website is done. Yet when you tell people about it, they can’t find it–sometimes even when they type your business name directly into Google. A common misconception many people have is that once their new website goes up people will flock to it like seagulls to your lunch at the beach. But getting results can take a bit of time. Even with the seagulls, if you toss food to one, it will take a little bit for others to notice and come over to see you. And the same is true for your website.
If you aren’t familiar with digital marketing, it can be confusing why a great-looking, easy-to-use site gets lost in cyberspace. Why is that? And is there anything you can do to speed up the process and what is a realistic timeframe to see SEO results?
My new website went live a week ago, where are the results?
As big and omnipresent as Google seems to be, they have their limitations. In 2020, there are over 1.5 billion live websites and 17 quadrillion pages online. It takes a lot of resources to get through all of that!
Think of your new site like a small, amazing restaurant at the outskirts of town. When the place first opens, it probably won’t get too many visitors. But then a few people might visit out of curiosity. If they like it, they might come back. And if they love it, they’ll probably tell their friends. Then those friends will spread the word until eventually, you can’t find a table without a reservation. With enough business, that restaurant may even have to move to a more centralised location where it becomes well known for its value and quality.
With new websites, Google takes a lot of things into account before it will put a site high in the search results. Sometimes this can take a while as it decides that the content on the site is useful and relevant to visitors. For example, if an unusually high amount people come to the site and leave quickly without visiting another page–known as a “bounce”–then the site will be less likely to be at the top of search results. But that means the opposite is true as well; sites that prove they provide value to visitors are more likely to be rewarded for the effort and hard work they put into giving a strong user experience.
Was your site built with SEO in mind?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, a series of over 200 factors Google uses to decide who ranks high.
When done right, websites can be like staff and can help you bring customers at any time. Like if some night owl wants to look into buying a boat at 4:00 AM on Christmas Day and you sell boats, your site will do the work for you when nearly all of the world is asleep. Your new website can do a lot of good!
However, for this to happen, the site needs to be built and developed with SEO in mind. It’s a lot more difficult to backtrack and try to add it afterwards. This is because the site structure–the way users get to pages and the way pages link to each other–needs to be done appropriately for best results with SEO. If the site structure is wrong, it’s a lot of work to rebuild the site the right way. It’s worth the effort to get it right the first time!
Luckily, Google has general guidelines about how to help them find your pages. Some of these include:
- Making sure that every page is linked to by at least one other page.
- Limiting links on a single page to “a few thousand at most”.
- Adding a sitemap–a list with links to every page on your site.
- Using proper server setup and a robots.txt file.
How long will it take before people find my site?
There’s no straight answer for how long it will take for your site to appear on Google. In general, it will take between several days and a few weeks to show up. You might be able to speed up the process by submitting the site to Google Search Console. Doing this improves the chances that your site will be crawled–checked over by Google–but is unlikely to speed up the process. Following the suggested guidelines and requesting Google to crawl it is your best bet. Even still, the timeframe will be several days to a few weeks.
What if several weeks pass and I still can’t find my new website?
If you wait through the time frame and still aren’t finding your site, it’s most likely missing something important. Does the site follow Google’s Guidelines? Was it set up with SEO in mind? If you think it was, double-check everything to make sure. If you’re unsure or don’t know how, the team here at Back9 can help. We have years of experience building and maintaining websites and know just what to look for. Give us a ring or stop by today to find out how we can help you.