Why Isn’t My Website Showing Up in Search? The answer to this frustrating website owner question can only be provided by a website and SEO/SEM expert who can review your website and online activities.
Why Isn’t My Website Showing Up in Search?
There is never one simple answer particularly for older websites and for new websites. Your website will show up in search when you regularly post content to give Google new reasons to visit your website.
Here are just a few reasons why your website isn’t showing up in search results:
- No new website content
- Competitors do more SEO/SEM than you
- Competitors are using AdWords to appear on top
- Competitor domain is older than yours
- Poorly written or plagiarized content
- Dated website
- Non-responsive or non-mobile-friendly website*
- Website not optimized
- Website is dated and getting passed over by Google
- Website load time slow
- Website errors cause numerous user issues
WordPress 4.1.1 and Responsive Versions
*As of late fall 2014, many website owners, The Marketing Square included, was notified by Google to upgrade WordPress websites to become mobile-compliant. This means that your website, while viewable on all search engines and devices, is not optimized for viewing on mobile devices.
Not sure? Go to your phone and pull up your website in any Google, Yahoo or Bing search. If your website doesn’t say” mobile friendly” in the search results, it’s not responsive (mobile-compliant).
You may be one of the lucky few who can simply update to the latest WordPress version. Or you may be one who is having to rebuild the website in a brand new theme that offers the best new technology over which your website should be viewed.
WordPress Upgrade Google-Driven
Blame Google for this upgrade. Google is responsible for providing billions of the best search results to billions of demanding people. Google has responded to the online demands and leads us kicking and screaming to acquiese to its latest technological functionality. It’s all for the good of the search results.
Now, some clients have the good fortune of knowing who their target audience is and how they’re using their websites. For example, if you know from Google Analytics that your audience is reading your website on an older desktop computer vs. a mobile device and your traffic is not suffering, you may be able to hold on a little bit longer. But eventually, you’ll have to upgrade through a WordPress rebuild too.
The upgrade and updating to a mobile-compliant WordPress theme is just like the forced television upgrade to HD. When Mark Cuban decided that HD was the way to go, the TV industry listened. Thus, you went from ginormous big fat heavy TVs to the now one or two-inch screen. Sucks for you because those old TVs were built to last. They’re dinosaurs, but they didn’t cost what the new smart TVs cost.
Mobile Nation, Mobile World
If you know that your audience is purely mobile, or predominantly using smart phones, tablets and iPads to buy from you, listen to you, reach you, you had better hurry up. You’ll be skipped over by Google who will always put the most responsible search results up top on Page One of Google, or at the top of the search engine results. It’s what Google does: provide the best results for the best user experience.
As of June 2014, Apple had sold 500 million iPhones. As of January 2015, Apple reported selling another 75 million iPhones with the release of the iPhone 6. Maybe Google is responding to the fact that people are searching by phone more than ever? Looks like an opportunity that many businesses will be able to capitalize on through a website upgrade.
No matter why, the WordPress upgrade eventually has to be done. If you built your website prior to 2012, it’s highly likely that your WordPress website theme doesn’t even offer a responsive or mobile version. You’re like many, many millions of other WordPress website owners who thought the build would be a one time only thing.
Wrong. And it’s hard to predict what will come next. While many people say that SEO is dead, that websites are dead, that mobile is the way to go, this simply is a prediction.
Mobile Apps vs. Mobile Versions of WordPress Websites
Should you build an app? If you’re a small business, probably not unless your billings can warrant the need and if your clients need an app to work better with your product and services.
Mobile apps are very problematic because of the cost of building a customized app, and because they need continous updates to remain in sync with the many operating systems they run on.
Apps are not yet universal in appeal to all audiences which is why websites will remain the key marketing property of any business. Sure, websites have to evolve, but they won’t disappear–for a while.
Limits to Apps
Mobile apps are used by mobile devices and they have their limits. They should do 1-5 things really well. But apps can’t do everything. Many apps fail at even the very base ideas for what they promise.
How many times have you downloaded an app that was nothing like it promised? You delete it and search for another, but you know that you’re a bit jaded knowing the time that it takes to download an app and then remove it. Meanwhile, your lunch break ends or your train arrives to its destination or you forget what you were downloading the app for in the first place.
Apps are great and add some fantastic function and capabilities. However, the constant need to update the app with every operating system upgrade for a business owner of an app, can become expensive. Hire your app team carefully.
WordPress Mobile-Compliant Upgrade
For now, consider the marketing investment in mobile-compliant WordPress websites as your alternative to an app. You can see your website across all devices and you may gain some new clients because of it. They’ll have a simpler view and a simpler menu than the non-mobile-friendly WordPress version.
Never ever try to say what a client, prospect or user will not do. Individualism is never more important than today online. No one should be saying outloud…”well my clients don’t do that or use mobile devices.” That’s an archaeic way of thinking and it’s selfish.
You’ll never fully know the narcissistic useage habits of Americans. You can’t. You can hire researchers and everyone interviewed will give different answers. Use is subjective and it’s getting harder and harder to measure or create standards. People can literally disconnect from media and download all their news, music, movies, content etc. and they do it because they don’t want
Back to WordPress updates…
The upgrade is actually a rebuild. A complete rebuild into a brand new theme. If you’re a tried and true, successful business, you do NOT want to change your corporate identity in the upgrade. Your brand is your brand IF it is thriving. HOWEVER, if your business is struggling, the upgrade is the best time to makeover the website and tighten up the brand with new visuals.
You only shake it up if you are not getting enough business right now. If you are an old brand and you are not bringing in business online, change is imperative. An old brand does need new looks if what is there is not working.
This can be as simple as changing colors, while maintaining fonts. You don’t have to and should never scrap it all and start over. Tweak the looks.
So when you’re asking why your website isn’t showing up in search you now have some answers. This is only one or two aspects of what your website may be lacking. There may be very serious issues behind the dashboard. Don’t try to tune up your website alone, please.
If you do delve into your dashboard and see the little WordPress warning: WordPress version 4.1.1 is now available. Update by clicking here:
A Word of Caution
Do NOT update. You are not a webmaster and can crash your website. You may have old plugins destined to fail with the upgrade because the plugins (that provide various website functions such as pop-out video, photo galleries, sliders, calendars, etc.) have not been updated or will not work with the newest version of WordPress.