4 reasons why you may not see your small business website when you search online

Google shows MORE than just your site (if you know what to look for)

When you work with as many small businesses as Hibu, you hear a lot of the same reasons for needing a new website:

  • Your site looks old
  • Your site doesn’t have the functionality you need today
  • You can’t find your site online

Or maybe your friends and family say they can’t find it…and then you start thinking that your customers can’t find it either.

But if you’re not #1 on Google, don’t panic just yet! Here are four ways to see if your business is exactly where it should be online – even if you don’t recognize it right away.

1. Search smarter

Chances are, you’re just searching for your business name. Try searching for your business name + your city or zip code.

Even though search engines often return local results based on your location these days, it doesn’t hurt to get more specific — and there’s a good chance that’s what your customers will do too.

And if you’re just searching for what you do — like “landscaping” or “family dentist” — you probably have a lot more online competition than you think (more on that below).

2. Look deeper

You’re probably expecting to find your website, mylocalbusiness.com, when you search for your business name. But pay attention to everything else that shows up for your business:

  • Map / Local listings
  • Online directory listings
  • Online reviews sites
  • Social profiles (and sometimes even individual posts)
  • Paid ads (which can actually drive more traffic to your website by building brand awareness and consumer confidence)

Of course you want to find your website…but your customers might not be so picky. If they’re looking for basic info like your phone number or hours, or checking to see what other local customers are saying about you, these other results may deserve more of your attention (and get more of theirs!)

And if these other listings for your business aren’t ones you created, make sure you have a plan to take control of them and correct any wrong information. The wrong phone number on Google or the wrong address on Apple Maps can mean the wrong results for your business.

3. Check out your competition

Search results are a mix of organic vs. paid results and local vs. regional (or national) results. You may know that there are only five other landscapers in town, but search for “landscaper + your area” and see for yourself how many results Google serves up:

That’s a lot more than five!

With this much competition, you need to make sure ALL the search results for your business (like the map and directory listings above) are up to date — and you need a plan to reach your customers elsewhere too (like on social media).

4. Upgrade your website

Search engines look at thousands of factors when it comes to indexing (or recognizing) your website, determining its relevance, and deciding when to serve it up…but if your site isn’t built to be “search engine friendly,” you and your customers are going to have a hard time finding it. Period.

So do a quick check to make sure your site is playing by “Google’s rules” today:

  • Is your site mobile friendly?
  • Is your site secure (using HTTPS)?
    • This is especially important in Chrome (the most popular browser — and the default browser on most Android phones & tablets)
  • Have you optimized your On-Page and Off-Page SEO?
    • Is your metadata complete (especially your page titles)?
    • Do you have pages about each service, product or topic you’d like to be found for?
    • Are your pages filled with recent, useful, unique content?

Make sure you have a business website that gets seen drives visits builds your business

At the end of the day, you need a site that makes your phone ring…fills your inbox with interested inquiries…or brings customers through the door.

Finding your site when you Google yourself FEELS great — but what WORKS great for your business is a site that turns your visitors into customers — no matter how they find you.


Watch this quick video about making all your digital marketing work together to get you found online, on mobile, on social and more.

 

This post was originally published on Local Search Association’s Marketing Bitz blog as “4 Reasons You May Not See Your Small Business Website When You Search Online.”
Ian Messinger

Ian Messinger

A longtime lover of a little alliteration, Ian is Hibu's Senior Copywriter for Marketing and Communications. Since joining in 2007, he's worked closely with the product development and creative services teams to get first-hand knowledge of how Hibu's marketing products help small business succeed online - knowledge he's happy to share with you here!

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