Last updated on January 13th, 2023
When I first set up my first online business, I was always annoyed that it never seemed to show up on Google.
Even when I directly searched for the name of my company, dozens of other websites would show up first. That’s how I found out about SEO – but poor SEO is not the only reason why your business could not be showing up on Google.
There are actually lots of different reasons why your business may not be showing up on Google. Here, I am going to be explaining them and sharing my solutions to each problem. Hopefully, you will find the answer you need right here.
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1. Tell Google You Are A Business
A common concern a lot of first-time businesses face when they set themselves up is that they do not appear on Google at all.
Even on Google Maps, their business just does not exist, and no one can find their name or link to their website while scrolling through the area where their store is located.
The first thing you should do when your business (either online or offline) is up and running is to tell Google. Surprisingly, only 44% of local retailers have claimed their Google My Business listing so it’s an easy thing to miss out on.
Google My Business is a service provided by Google which allows it to see your business as a business.
Here, you can list your hours, leave a link to your website and any stores’ addresses, and even upload photos of your store and products.
Google My Business is how businesses appear on Google Maps and where you can control your Google Reviews to see how clients view your business.
To verify your business on Google, simply sign up and open a Google My Business account. Choose the listing you want to verify and select ‘Verify Now’.
You need to request your postcard and this will be sent to your address in the mail up to 14 days after request. Once you have your postcard, log back into your Google My Business account and enter the verification code.
Once this is done, Google will recognize that your business is, well, a business. However, this is not enough to get your business’s website to those top results on Google’s search pages.
2. Check Your Business Has The Right Citations
If you have registered your business on Google My Business, then it could be missing or not have the proper citations to help Google identify and rank your business for user search queries.
Check that your business citations include important information such as the business’s name, address (if it has one), link to its website, phone number, any apps, and listings.
These listings can include Google Maps but also other platforms like Yelp or Facebook.
If you’re still stuck, I’d recommend getting a tool to help you scan your business’s listings and submit any missing citations it may have. Tools like this include GoSite’ Local Listing Report for a quick and easy way to get the job done.
3. Optimize Your Website
Every business owner needs to understand search engine optimization (SEO) if they want their business’s website to be at the top of Google’s result pages.
More than 25% of people select the first Google search result, and over half (54.4%) only select the top three. So, if you want people to find your business, it needs to be up there.
SEO has a lot of different areas, and Google takes into consideration over 200 different factors and only recommends the best websites to their users. Here is my checklist for basic SEO:
First, you need to ensure that it has plenty of content. Empty websites are suspicious to Google so you need to add plenty of content so Google can see what your website is all about.
For example, a blog about cats needs plenty of articles about cats so Google can understand what content it has to offer! As a result, content marketing is a part of the overall marketing strategy for 97% of businesses.
You will also need to update your content regularly as a website that has not been updated is seen as irrelevant by Google.
83% of websites are classed as inactive, and so Google will just assume that your website has been abandoned if it hasn’t been regularly updated.
You will also need to ensure your website is fully functioning. Pages with load times longer than 2 seconds have a bounce rate of 38% compared to the 9% for pages that load within two seconds.
Google will test this and not even bother recommending websites which are slow and glitchy.
To help make your website appear more trustworthy to Google, you also need to have plenty of backlinks.
90.63% of web content receives no traffic from Google, and the main reason why (according to this Ahrefs study) is because these pages lack backlinks.
Without them, Google will assume your business is super shady because no one wants to promote it – so neither do they!
Add these things to your website, and Google will begin to take it seriously and start adding it to their search results pages!
4. New Domains Take Around A Year To Appear
If your domain is new, then unfortunately, you are just going to have to be patient as new website domains can take around a year before they are trusted by Google.
During this time, you should continue to optimize your website as much as you can by asking customers to leave reviews, join business associations for more access to backlinks, promote your business elsewhere online, and frequently publish new content with keyword research to back it up (see the above section for why).
After a year or so, Google will begin to trust your website and you will see a gradual increase in its SERP ranking.
5. Your Business Has Been Suspended By Google
This problem is a lot more common than you think, as Google will sometimes unjustifiably suspend businesses over little mistakes or changes.
Here are some common reasons for Google suspension I have seen during my career, but not all of them will apply to you.
- Keyword stuffing in your business’s name field. Leave out details like your services, operation hours, and location in this section and keep them for elsewhere.
- Listing a business address although your location doesn’t exist. For example, you run an online business or have a virtual office.
- Creating and verifying multiple listings for the same business.
- Using a forwarding URL (like a landing page) for your website link. Just use your website’s domain instead.
To get your business unsuspended from Google, you will have to contact Google directly to get the mistake resolved. In the meantime, make sure you follow their guidelines to avoid getting your business suspended!
So, the main reason why most businesses don’t show up on Google is because of poor SEO (that’s something I had to find out the hard way as a website creator) but there could be other reasons behind the issue such as poor citations, forgetting to verify your Google My Business, or your domain is simply too young for Google to trust!
Overall, it’s important to ensure that your business appears on Google.
Not only is it the most popular search engine used across the world with 91.9% of the search engine market, but it is the main way your potential customers will find your business.
This is because 97% of people learn about companies and brands through the internet.
Hopefully, the solution to your problem is in the guide above. Good luck!