How exciting is it when you finally launch the website?!
The culmination of months (or years) of thinking about your business, brought to life the second you hit the ‘publish’ button. You can finally hold your head up high and shout about your brand.
If you build it, they will come, right? Or at least that’s the age old saying...so where are all the potential clients? Surely they should be beating a path to your door by now...?!
If you’ve launched your website but you're not coming up in Google search rankings, don't panic.
Simply having a website open for business does not immediately qualify you for page one rankings…if only it were that easy! It takes a little time and we have to do some work to get there.
To help understand why your website might not be ranking, we first need to understand what Google is looking for.
How does Google decide where you sit in the rankings?
Google's main mission is to serve up the right content to the right people.
When someone searches on a specific keyword or term, Google will rank your site (and your competitors sites) based on two things :
Site Authority - Your website's ability to rank relevant content in organic search results within your niche.
Site Relevancy - How relevant your website is in relation to a particular search term or topic.
So how do we affect our site authority and site relevancy?
We use Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
What is this in simple terms? SEO is everything we do to help our website to rank highly in search results.
Authority and relevancy can take time to build which is why SEO is a marathon and not a sprint, it’s a series of tweaks and refinements to hit the sweet spot.
Authority and relevancy are also not wholly within our control, but there is lots you can do tip the odds in your favour.
As a Wix marketplace partner I see a lot of sites that are failing at ranking on Google.
If you've created your website yourself and you're not a website expert then you may well be missing some of the fundamentals in design and SEO that will help with your rankings.
Getting your site ranked is also a two way street. If you've worked with a website designer then they can get you set up in the best place possible, but there are some things that you'll need to do to promote your site.
I don't want you to languish on page 2 / 3 obscurity for any longer than needed.
So without any more delay, lets cut to the juicy stuff...
If SEO makes your eyes glaze over, I completely get it…but stick with me. I’m going to make this simple and pain free.
How to get your website ranked on Google
1. Make sure your site is indexable
Sounds obvious, but you need to make sure that each page is set to be discoverable by Google. If you've built your site in Wix and haven't disabled the feature then you should be good to go, but if you're toggled pages off whilst you've been building then double check they're available to be indexed.
2. Make sure you have enough text on your homepage
You might like the idea of a sleek, minimalist design, but you have to give Google something to work with. If your site has little to no keyword-rich copy, you’re making it harder than it needs to be to rank.
3. Use your headings efficiently
Headings are not just for show, they’re to structure text to make it easier to consume - both for Google and your visitors. In recent years its become common place to use headings to take your customer language, which is nice, but in my experience it can have little to no impact on your discoverability.
You have to achieve a balance between speaking to Google and speaking to your target audience - This is why writing copy for SEO is a different skill to writing copy for your business in general.
4. Optimise for the right keywords
Not too generic, not too niche...what are people actually searching for when they're looking for someone with your unique set of skills.
5. Optimise your images
Google can’t read pictures, so you need to lend a helping hand by adding keyword rich descriptions to your website images.
6. Make sure you have internal links set up between pages.
Google LOVES links between your site pages because they link content together and help the bots to make sense of what your site is about. Don’t rely on your menu, create internal links to help the bots and your visitors to navigate your site.
7. Get blogging
If you don’t have a blog you’re missing out on a huge opportunity when it comes to creating keeping your site fresh, targeting specific keywords and not to mention educating your visitors moving them along in the buyer journey.
8. Keep up with your competitors (but in a way that's authentic to you)
Google is constantly weighing you up against others who are competing to be ranked for the same keywords.
Needless to say, if your competitors are making strategic improvements and blogging regularly, Google will likely favour their site over yours. Of course, the opposite is also true - they could also be making changes which favourably benefit you
What's important is not to create content just because other people are, but to share the things that you are inspired and passionate to share and the rest will follow.
9. Keep your site fresh
If against the above backdrop you’re not keeping your site fresh, you’re missing an opportunity. Get in the game :)
10. Create more backlinks to your site
So you’ve launched your site, what do you do now? Now you need to get it out there. You want as many links back to your site across the web as poss. Leverage social media, directories, guest blog articles, Google My Business.
11. Utilise Google My Business
You’re missing a trick if you’ve not optimised your Google Business profile. Google has given us an amazing tool to use and it wants us to use it!
12. Look at what’s working / not working
Checking for errors in Google Search Console and resubmitting your site for crawling when changes have been made.
13. Submit your site to Google Search Console
Google needs to know about your site if it's going to rank it. This goes for new pages that you've added as well. I've written some guidance on the steps I take after I've refreshed my website here.
14. Recognise that it takes time
Authority builds with time - the longer your site is live, the more activity, visitors and links back to your site there will be. All of which help you to rank in Google and all the more reason to create a website for your business sooner rather than later.
15. Create a site that your visitors will enjoy browsing
The longer people spend on your site and the more pages they visit, the higher you will rank because Google uses time spent on a site to determine whether your site is relevant and useful to people.
16. If you've just hit publish
If your site is brand new you'll need to start by building your authority and these are the steps that I recommend to my clients in the first few weeks to help with their google rankings.
In summary, SEO doesn't need to feel hard or like a dark art.
Remember that the algorithm isn't against you. There are specific things that Google wants us to do and we can help ourselves by ticking those boxes.
Wix is an awesome website building platform which has brilliant SEO features, which is one of the reasons that I choose to use it for my clients and I recommend it to anyone looking to DIY their own site.
If you'd like help to create and establish your own Wix website, feel free to contact me or you can head on over to read more about my Wix website design services.
I'm a brand designer, photographer and Wix website designer based in Dorset. I help female business owners and career changers build their brand and online presence through photography and web, brand & human design, so that they can turn their passions into the business they dream of.
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