Search optimization is like a train -- slow to start, but hard to stop once you have momentum.
Where is my website? We published it and now I searched for it but nothing came up.
After redesigning an old site or building a new one, you might wonder why it does not immediately come up in organic search results. There are two primary questions to consider, and then a whole bunch of details behind those.
- Do search engines know your content exists?
- Is your content a relevant result for any particular search?
Organic search rankings take time to build. As far as Google and other search engines are concerned, you are irrelevant until proven otherwise. You need to change this.
Get Your Content Indexed
The first step to take is to make sure search engines know that your content exists. Go to Google, Bing, and Yahoo! and run a search on "site:yourdomain.com." The pages indexed by the search engine will be returned.
If only some pages are returned, then some of your pages might be set to hidden. Make sure your Robots.txt file is accurate and/or the pages are not set to "nofollow."
Interestingly, if your site appears to be fully indexed and you never did anything to make that happen, it is probably because the crawlers eventuallypicked you up via a referral link from another site.
Optimize Your Content
Once you are sure your site content is being indexed appropriately, then your goal is to optimize your content around target keywords. What searches are you a relevant result for? What would someone you can help search on to find help for what ails them?
Once you have a list, filter that list down based on the amount of competition and search volume. You want to target the most efficient keywords as possible. Your ideal target keywords will be relevant to your business, have high search volume, and low competition.
Keyword Efficiency = High Relevance * High Search Volume * Low Competition
Your content strategy should promote your business niche. One of the benefits of having a niche market is that it is easier to build a strong search presence because the search competition is low. For example, a landscape architect who is based in Everett and designs natural rain gardens should think about targeting the term "natural rain garden designer everett" rather than the more generic term "landscape design." The first term is more relevant and will have less search competition. Keep in mind, however, that getting too specific with your terms will eliminate search volume. You are trying to find the sweet spot.
You most likely will not nail your terms perfectly so do not worry about that. The market is ever changing anyway and probably so is your business. Efficiency will increase over time as you get analytics back that show you what is working and what is not and then optimizing your business, marketing, and content around that.
Once you have identified your initial list of keywords you can then start creating content around that and making sure all the little details of proper on-site optimization are correct.
When Momentum Builds
Search optimization is like a train: slow to start, but hard to stop once you get rolling.
Keyword traction usually begins within a couple months, and as your momentum builds, first page rankings may be seen within six months, depending on the competitiveness of the keywords. You may start to get above-the-fold positions (above the bottom of the screen) first page results around the one-year mark.
You will achieve the most initial traction for brand-related searches as you will be very relevant for those terms and there will not be much competition. It will be harder to rank for general informational (people looking for information on a topic) or transactional (people looking to hire or buy a certain type of product or service) search terms.
The more you put into it, the more and quicker results you will get out of it.
Want a free site SEO analysis? Use our free tool to see how you are positioned for your primary keyword and compare your rankings to your competition.