You’ve spent thousands on a new and expensive website. The site launched today. You type the keywords and hit search, and panic! Your site is nowhere in the search results. There can be many reasons your web page is not appearing in search results. The good news is that these can be fixed, once you identify the causes.
Before we go further, there is one important distinction that you need to note. When you search with a keyword, the results display a webpage and not a site. So, when looking for factors affecting visibility and how to fix them, you are actually looking at page-level factors at a micro-level and website at a general level.
With that out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons why your site isn’t visible in Google and how to fix them.
Your website is new
Google takes time to discover and index new sites and webpages, at times several weeks. The number and quality of inbound links are ranking factors, and it takes time to build domain authority.
Type site: yourwebsite.com in the search bar. If Google returns at least one search result, then it is aware of your site, else it doesn’t know about your site.
Type site:yourwebsite.com/page-name/ in the search bar, to see if Google knows about the page that you are trying to rank for. You should get one result.
If you don’t see results with either of the above searches, it means Google has not yet found your site and page. Check if you have submitted your sitemap to Google. You can do that in Google Search Console by doing the following action.
Search Console > Sitemaps > Enter sitemap URL > Submit
You will need some patience with new sites. But in the meantime, you can check and fix a few things.
Blocking search engines from crawling pages
You can block search engines from crawling a page via robots.txt file erroneously, which usually will cause them not to show up in search results.
You can check blocked pages in the Google Search Console if you have submitted a sitemap. Check for “Submitted URL blocked by robots.txt” errors under ‘Coverage’.
If you are not sure about working with a robots.txt file, it is advisable to hire a professional.
Remove directions for blocking set up in error to allow a page to be crawled.
You have set Noindex tags
It is possible to allow search bots to crawl a page, but block them from indexing it. Again, this can happen by error. This can be another common reason why your site isn’t visible in Google. You can check whether a page is blocked for indexing by checking the source code of a page. If you see the below code somewhere in the head of the page, the page is blocked for indexing, and Google usually will agree.
Or you can also check in the Google Search Console under ‘Coverage’. Look for “Submitted URL marked ‘noindex’.
Remove any ‘noindex’ tags from pages that you want to rank.
Your site is not optimized
Whether your site is new, or it has been around for some time, it won’t rank without a strong SEO strategy. Several factors impact SEO and they keep changing. So, you’ll need continuous monitoring and tweaking.
What can you do to improve site and page SEO?
Begin with a comprehensive SEO audit of your site to find areas of improvement.
Optimize content for keyword and search intent
Create quality content
Ensure fast loading times
Ensure technical SEO meets requirements
Ensure positive user experience for visitors to your site
Hire an expert or go for custom SEO packages if you are not sure about SEO.
Your webpage lacks quality content
Google will always try to provide quality content to its users. So, if your site and page content does not match keywords and satisfy user intent, it will not rank.
Ensure that your page content is engaging and provides solutions to user queries.
Keep updating your content, as frequently updated content rank better.
Use relevant keywords but avoid keyword stuffing.
Optimize for search intent as well as keywords.
Use engaging Calls to Action.
Quality content is more than these basic factors, so you may want to take the help of specialist content creators.
As with content, Google wants to provide its users with the best user experience. If your site is weak in this area, users will hit the back button. A high abandon rate and bounce rate will send a signal to Google that your site is not user friendly. This will negatively affect your page’s ranking in SERPs.
Here are some basics fixes to improve your web page’s UX.
Speed up your page load times.
Ensure the page is responsive on mobiles and across devices.
Use engaging and prominent Calls to Action.
Ensure the page is visually appealing.
Ensure all page elements are easily navigable.
These are the most common reasons why a webpage may not be visible in Google SERPs. If you are unsure about fixing any of these, our SEO experts in Perth will help to put you on the search results. Contact us or email at email@example.com to speak to get help with your site rankings.
Website has a penalty
If your site doesn’t meet Google’s guidelines, it may penalize you by temporarily or permanently removing your site from search results.
Google penalties include manual and algorithmic penalties.
Manual penalties are triggered by a Google employee when your website does something against Google’s Terms of Service. You can check for this in the Google Search Console. Take the necessary steps to modify your site as per Google’s guidelines. You will then need to submit to Google to reconsider your site to put it back in search results.
Algorithmic penalties happen when there is a change or update in Google’s algorithm. You will still show up in search results but much lower. You may need professional help on correcting this one and our web development team in Perth is happy to assist you.
Robots.txt file – a file that tells search engines which pages it can crawl and which are blocked.
Domain Authority – the relevance of a website in a specific industry or area of expertise.
Sitemap – a file that displays a list of all URLs available to users.
Tim Reynolds is the Chief Solutions Consultant and SEO specialist at Codesquad. Talking SEO strategies, analysing client business needs and managing projects – all in a day’s work for Tim. He loves a challenge and when he isn’t engaged with a project or developing SEO strategies, you can find him with soldering iron in hand “making stuff.” If you are looking for 100% SEO compliance, Tim and his team won’t rest until you get there.