If your website is going to attract new customers to your business, it must be optimized correctly to be ranked high in the search results. Companies often invest large sums of money to build beautiful websites or turn to inexpensive alternatives but fail to realize few customers find their sites due to fundamental mistakes. Here are five common reasons why customers may not find your website when they search for the services you provide.
Your website fails to first communicate with Google. Before anyone ever finds your website, it first must tell your story to Google and the other major search engines (Yahoo! and Bing). Google’s job is to provide what it considers the most valuable and relevant sites consistent with the search terms used. As Google crawls through the millions of sites on the internet, it reviews all the criteria in their algorithm to rank sites in order of importance. Your business might have the best service, best reputation, and best prices but that doesn’t necessarily matter in terms of ranking. All these distinctions are important for the success of your business but the first priority for your website is to impress the search engines, which leads to the next reason.
Your coding is wrong or insufficient. Behind all the pages with attractive colors, pictures and text, is the HTML coding language that is the first point of contact for the search engines. The problem with most sites that aren’t ranked very high is not that the coding is necessarily wrong, but there are missing pieces that if added or corrected, would elevate its importance in the eyes of the search engines. At Make Top 10 we have our own proprietary diagnostic tools to determine where the coding is failing and it’s one of the first items we correct.
Content is poorly written, inadequate or improperly duplicated. If you type in a search phrase looking for a particular service provider, after Google looks at the coding—metadata, title-tags, etc.,—it then scans the pages and assesses the value the site offers in relation to the search terms. Some SEO companies or writers try to cheat the system by stuffing pages with long lists of keywords resulting in pages that read awkwardly. Google gives these pages a failing grade and won’t rank them as high as sites that provide unique and helpful content. Writing keyword rich pages is more art than science and must be done carefully to avoid being penalized.
Another short cut some take is to duplicate content from one page to another and change only the title or location where the service is provided. Google sees this for what it is, duplicate content, and won’t index those pages as unique or relevant. Content must be written carefully and effectively to get your site on that top ten list.
Insufficient number of pages to capture relevant search terms. People with a basic understanding of SEO try to achieve their goals by stuffing all the relevant keywords on the home page. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work. Each person searches differently and will use a variety of terms and phrases to find what they need. It’s impossible for one or just a few pages on a website to capture all those terms. Think of the pages of a website like fishhooks in the ocean. If you only have one hook, you won’t haul in many fish. If you have an abundance of bad hooks—bent, dull, etc.,—your catch won’t increase. The key is to have several hooks specifically targeting fish you want and include the right kind of lure. The more of these hooks you place in the water, the larger your catch. It’s the same with your website: the more pages you have that specifically target terms people use to find the services you offer, the better your chances of “catching” more customers.
Pay-Per-Click budget runs out and your ad comes down. Many companies turn to pay-per-click advertising (PPC) to get them on the first page of a search result. And yes, you can get first page placement from such an ad, but you have to be willing to pay for it and it’s important you understand what you are getting. What people often forget is that these ads last only as long as your budget. Once the number of clicks meets or exceeds your budget, the ad comes down for the month and nobody will see your website. To prevent this from happening, companies spend more and more money to keep the ad up longer in hopes of being seen and attract new customers. Since fewer people click on the ads compared to the natural, or organic search results below the ads (16% compared to 80%), to get an equivalent amount of traffic for what you get with organic results, your cost goes even higher.
These are the primary reasons why your site may or many not be seen by customers searching for your services. If you address all these issues, your site has a much greater chance of being listed in Google’s top 10 list. Why it is important to be on that top 10 list is covered in this article.
For more information about how Make Top 10 can help you correct these issues and boost your website to the first page of Google’s search results supported by a money back guarantee, contact us at email@example.com.