Is your website appearing on the first page of Google?
Many business owners expect that their websites will be on the first page of Google as soon as the sites go live.
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Many factors contribute to a website’s ranking, and one of these is how long a site has existed. Once a site is registered to Google or another search engine, it can take weeks or months before a site is indexed by the search engine. This means it can take months before visitors find your site through natural search methods, such as typing ‘restaurant in Reading’ into Google.
In the meantime, what can you do to promote your site?
Imagine that your website is a new gourmet restaurant.
Opening night is fast approaching, so the first thing you do is call the most widely read restaurant reviewer in the UK, Fonda Foodle. Fonda will try my food and enjoy it and say nice things, you say. Then the entire country will know and I’ll be the most popular restaurant in all the UK!
On opening night, you open the doors. A good fair number of your best pals come by, because you mentioned it in the pub. Some people from the local rugby club turn up as well because they saw the sign you posted on the notice board. And ordering from the wine menu is your wife’s hair stylist – they must have been chatting about it in the salon.
The one person who doesn’t turn up is Ms Foodle. You telephone her the next day, only to find out she got called away to host some new reality television show, Angry Foodies, or whatever. It will be a few weeks, maybe a few months before Ms Foodle has time to visit.
That sort of defeats the plan you had for your restaurant, doesn’t it? If the biggest food critic in all the UK hasn’t taken an interest in your place, who will?
But people have already started telling their friends. You’ve publicised the restaurant through word of mouth and in multiple community settings. Word is starting to spread, and all it started with was a few chats in popular places.
What does this analogy mean for your website? Well, if Ms Foodle is Google, remember that you cannot control:
- When she checks in
- How many parts of your menu/website she tries, or how often
- How quickly she lets the broader public know her opinions
What you can do is use Twitter, Facebook or other social media to build traffic to your site and help generate business.
Twitter is like a popular hair salon, where one line is whispered and potentially heard round the world 5 minutes later.
With event features, groups and more, Facebook is like the notice board in the rugby club.
Imagine the pub banter being a string of comments in an online forum.
Your online marketing strategy should not rely on Google alone. You have more power than you may realise to help bring visitors to your site, and hence to your business, but it won’t happen unless you make it happen.
Follow this blog for more ideas on how to lead your customers away from their computers and into your business.