Why isn’t my new website at the top of the search results?

March 14, 2019    Reading Time: 2 Minutes

You’ve just launched your new website. Congratulations!

It took hours and hours of work, but now your business has a website, and everything is coming together. It’s official. Pat yourself on the back.

I’m sure the first thing you’ll do is search for your business on Google. But it’s nowhere to be found. Where is it? Your website is live, why isn’t it listed front and center at the top of the search results?

To understand what’s happening here, let’s take a step back.

How Do Search Engines Work?

People type (or say) their search and they get a list of results.

How are those results decided?

No one knows every single detail to a search engine’s algorithm, but there are a lot of known basics.

A search engine’s entire goal is to keep you using their services. The bulk of their money is made from advertisers. Advertisers pay a search engine because their customers are there.

If you or I have a bad experience or we don’t find what you’re looking for, we may not come back. The search engines want us to come back.

How do they keep us coming back?

They find exactly what we’re looking for, every time.

If we find what you’re looking for, we’ll come back. If we don’t, we’ll go elsewhere.

Now, back to your brand new website.

How long ago did you launch your new website? A day ago, a week?

Guess how many websites were launched before yours? As of January 2019, a whopping 1.5 billion.

According to search engines, those websites have more authority and trust than yours. You’re the new kid on the block.

Now, why would a search engine show your website in a search result today? Much alone at the very top of the search results?

Like the real world, your website needs to gain trust. You don’t let a complete stranger borrow your car. So, it is with search engines.

They have an extremely valuable service and business that’s taken years to develop. At this point, they have every reason not to show your website in their results.

What Can You Do?

Now that we’ve gotten that groundwork out of the way, let’s talk about what you can do. What you can control.

There are many things you can do, but let’s talk about the basics. You need to have the below items in place to hit the ground running:

#1) Create a sitemap.xml file

#2) Create a robots.txt file

#3) Connect your website to Google Search Console

Bing has webmaster tools.

#4) Connect your website to Google Analytics

#5) Make sure your website is mobile-friendly/responsive

#6) Your site architecture needs to be organized

Good example: /services/individual-service or /reviews/individual-review
Bad example: /services/individual-review/individual-service/contact

#7) SEO-Friendly Permalinks

Good example: /name-of-page
Bad example: /?p=256

#8) Make sure your website is fast

#9) Optimize your images

There’s a balance here. You want your images to look nice, but you don’t want them to be large in file size.

If you accomplish the above, you’ll be off to a good start in your relationship with the search engines.

I know, I know. Keywords. That is a huge topic I’ll leave for someone else to cover. Right now, we’re sticking with the basics.

Have Questions? Need Help?

If you’re not sure your web company has taken care of the above, please call or text us at (360) 450-3711. We’d be happy to review your website on the points above and more, for free.

Last updated on May 04, 2020. Shawn is the President of Graticle, Inc.

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Graticle designed the website for the company that I work for, and it turned out so amazing! Shawn was extremely understanding and helpful, walked me through problems (on my end, not his), provided solutions, and was always available to me if I had any questions. The whole process was very straightforward from wireframing to designing to WordPress. Shawn also recorded training videos to help me (and other associates) understand how to control nearly every aspect of our site from within the dashboard. Our website is now controlled in-house, and we have a beautiful mobile-friendly website that is already seeing more traffic!

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