How come I’m not listed on the first page of Google?

This is still the question that most business owners ask. However, I always tell my clients that if they do everything else well, the search engines will take care of themselves. This means that we need to look at what is going on with your website and your overall web presence to see why you are not listed on page one of Google.

You should also understand that Search engines are not the only source of traffic (in fact, I would argue, they are not even the primary source of traffic for most sites.)

I would argue that search engines are not the primary source of traffic for most websites. Click To Tweet

You hear stats all the time that Google accounts for somewhere between 70% to 90% of the search market. While this clearly makes them the market leader and dominant player in the search world, that does not mean that they are the only ones driving traffic to your website! Various studies indicate that organic search drives somewhere between 34.8% and 51% of total website traffic. Social media drives another 5% to 25.6% of traffic. Paid traffic accounts for maybe another 10%. Where does the rest of the traffic come from? The answer is often YOU! People either click on a link that you put out on the internet (such as a directory listing or blog post), they enter your url directly into the address bar, or they get there through an email that you sent them. This is as much as 60% of the traffic that comes to your website and it is traffic that YOU (not Google) control.

I recently had a conversation with a client who had discovered that he was “invisible” to the search engines and was really concerned about this. Then, I got a message from a another client asking me how come he didn’t show up on page 1 of Google. Despite the fact that most of your traffic comes directly from your own efforts, these companies (like most of us) value the free, organic traffic that Google sends our way. So, I did an analysis of his website and here is what I found, and the solutionsĀ  that I recommended:This client sells Swiss army knives using the domain name SwissKnifeSupplies.com

Here is what I said needs to be done:
1. A Search for “Swiss Knife Supplies” brings you up as #1. This is good, and to be expected, because the search phrase matches your domain name. That actually is a clue, because it is one of the first things Google looks at in a search: Does the search term match an existing domain name, and if it does, let’s display that site first. So, if someone is searching for “VICTORINOX SWISS ARMY KNIFE“, then the first result Google is likely to display is “VICTORINOXSWISSARMYKNIFE.com”. By the way, that domain name is available, and you can point up to 20 domain names to the same website, so it might be a good idea to get that name, along with any other names you think people are searching on). Note: We subsequently registered this domain name and pointed it to his website.
2. You have some broken links on your site. Google doesn’t like broken links, especially when they are pointing to pages related to the search term. For example, if you go to SwissKnifeSupplies.com and select “Swiss Army Knives” from your menu, you get a page that lists a number of choices – none of those links work. This needs to get fixed right away. Note: We subsequently did a search and replace and fixed all the broken links on his website.
3. Product names and descriptions.. This is huge – you need to make sure that you are including the search terms in the product names and descriptions. For example, I looked up the “Camper 91mm knife” on your site. The name you gave it is simply “Camper”. The same knife on Amazon has the product name of “Victorinox Camper Multi-Tool, 12 Functions”. You need to use the search terms in the product name like Amazon does. Next, look at the short description. Yours is as follows:
10 FUNCTIONS
Large & small knife blades
Corkscrew
Can opener w/small screwdriver
Reamer
Keyring
Wood Saw
Toothpick
Tweezers
Length 91mm, 3Ā½ inches
Width 16mm, 0.64 oz
Weight 74 gm, 2.6 oz
Now, go look at Amazon and see what the description on their site looks like for the same knife. It is over 500 words and provides a complete narrative about this knife in exquisite detail. I suggest you follow their example and do the same.
Note: I am happy to report that he went in and is working on all his descriptions. Rather than just having a “camper” knife, he separated all of these into different models, such as the Eagle Scout knife. Follow this link to see the description that he gave to the Eagle Scout Swiss Army knife.
You will notice in the link above, the “anchor text” I used was Eagle Scout Swiss Army Knife, not the words, “click here” or just the website address. This is also important, and since this link is coming from my site, it is considered a “vote” by Google for this term.
4. Creating Backlinks. Backlinks are links from an external site pointing back to your website (like what I just explained above). Google uses this as a way to measure how important your site is for a particular topic. Essentially, every time another site links back to your website for a particular search term, Google considers that as 1 vote for your website for that search term. The more sites pointing to your site, the more votes you receive. But it’s more complicated than that, because big important sites carry more weight than small, lesser known sites. So if USA Today said “SwissKnifeSupplies.com” is the best place to buy a Swiss Army Knife, that would carry more weight than if I said it on my site. In other words, that might count for 100 votes instead of just one vote.
So your goal is to create as many important back links as you can to your site for specific search terms. You can do this by:
  • Doing a guest blog post (writing an article) on someone else’s site and getting them to publish it. The article would contain links back to your site.
  • Posting on various social media sites and including a link back to your website from the social media posts.
  • Creating a video about your product and posting it on YouTube.
This last point is huge, and what I recommend you do. Here’s why: YouTube is owned by Google. It is a big important site, where the votes count for a lot. A link from YouTube back to your site can very quickly put you on page one of the search results because so few people take advantage of this. If you do a search for “VICTORINOX SWISS ARMY KNIFE”, then scroll part way down the first page of the search results, you will notice 3 videos from YouTube showing up on the first page of the search results. This could be you! the important thing is that you MUST link back to your website from the video description, by including the fully qualified URL (https://swissknifesupplies.com/product/camper-5330x/) in the description (notice the use of https://). The very best thing you could do would be to create a 30-second to 2 minute video for every single product in your catalog and then link back to them from YouTube. The next best thing would be to create at least ONE video for a specific search term.
Then, when Google follows the link from YouTube back to the page on your website that you linked to, it MUST have a product name and description that matches what you said on the video description. In most cases, this will be enough to put you on page one of Google for that search phrase. Note: we will be working on YouTube videos with backlinks over the coming months.
So, that is how you get listed on page one of Google. Use these techniques and apply them to your online store.

Did you find this article useful or learn anything? If so, I’d love some feedback about what you thought.

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