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If you're a child care or early learning centre provider and have been working hard to get your website ranked on Google, there's nothing more frustrating than to see your website isn't even showing up on Google, let alone ranking for any keywords. Don't worry; this can happen for a few reasons, and luckily there are a few ways to fix this.

It can be frustrating when you put your heart and soul into building your business and working hard on your website to attract customers, not to show any results. This post will show you how to find these issues that may be preventing your website from showing up on Google and how to fix them and start getting the traffic you deserve!

So, why is your website not showing up on Google?

Before we begin, check if Google has even recognized your website. Open up Google, and type this command.

site:yourwebsite.com

If you see some results, good news - that means Google has at least acknowledged your website exists on the Internet. It has already indexed your website. Getting indexed means Google has already scanned your website (known as crawled) and stored pages of your website in their database.

Use site search operator to find if Google has found your website

In the results that show up, analyze the number of pages Google has indexed. This is not always 100% accurate. However, it will give you an indication of how many pages are already in Google's index.

If you don't see any pages, you need to dig a little deeper to get to the bottom of the issue. Here are a few potential reasons and fixes.

Why doesn't your website show up on Google?

Most common reasons why your website may not be showing up on Google

  1. Google hasn't indexed your website yet because it is brand new or relatively new
  2. Your website doesn't have enough quality content
  3. Your website hasn't gained Google's trust yet
  4. Lack of backlink
  5. Technical and other crawling-related issue
  6. Your website has been penalized by Google

1) Google hasn't indexed your website yet because it is brand new or relatively new.

It could be that Google hasn't indexed your website because it doesn't know you exist. This can happen if your website is relatively new or you've just created your site. The best thing to do here is to create a sitemap file and submit it to Google. You will need to use your Google Search Console account for this. Create a few posts using topics your target audience is already searching on Google. Use the exact words they use to create your blog post title. Doing so will give you the initial traction you need to rank for much more competitive keywords.

2) Your website doesn't have enough quality content.

Another reason could be that your website doesn't have enough quality content. It's no secret that there needs to be content on your website to rank for keywords or topics. So make sure that your website has sufficient content targeting keywords your target audience is already looking for.

You need high-quality content to rank in Google

In order for Google to rank your site, it needs to deem your content as high-quality and relevant. This means having keyword-rich articles that are well-written and provide value to readers. If you're not sure how to write such content, consider hiring a copywriter or content writer who can help you create the type of content Google is looking for.

3) Your website hasn't gained Google's trust yet.

One more reason not to see your website on Google is that it doesn't trust your website as a credible, authoritative source yet. Google is trying to indicate that they need more trust signals to determine that your website is a credible, trustworthy site. Most new websites suffer from this fate. Give Google a bit more time, create more useful content focusing on low-competition keywords, and you'll start to see some traction. Also, make sure to install Google Analytics to see your traffic.

4) Lack of backlinks

A backlink is a link from an external website to your website. This is considered a vote of confidence. As a website grows, its popularity also grows. Make sure you have links on other relevant websites to your industry pointing back to your website. This is a key signal for Google that your website is a credible, trustworthy site. You can get backlinks by writing guest blog posts for other niche-related websites.

Websites need quality backlinks from other credible websitesImage source: SpeedySense

But here's the caveat, if you don't have any organic traffic coming to your website yet, don't start building links! It looks unnatural to Google when a brand new website that doesn't even have any organic traffic to suddenly get backlinks. Build content first, and get some initial traction going with those low-competition keywords that are long-tail. Once traffic picks up, start building links. Creating linkable assets is a great way to attract backlinks organically without you having to beg other website owners for links!

5) Technical and other crawling-related issue.

Sometimes perfect-looking websites with awesome-looking graphics may be completely invisible to Google! You may be blocking your website for Google or even have asked Google not to index your website!

To check if you are blocking your website from Google, open up your robots.txt file on your website. If you don't know where that is, open up a web browser window, and type your website address followed by /robots.txt (yourwebsite.com/robots.txt). Check if the contents of the robots text file doesn't have the following syntax

User-agent: *
Disallow: /

The above code snippet will ask all search engines not to crawl your entire website! I often see this issue when brand new sites go live, and even after several months, they don't see any results on Google because their developer forgot to remove these few lines of code before pressing "Go Live".

You see, the above few lines are meant to prevent search engines from crawling your website when it's a work in progress - it's not meant to be there forever.

Another check you need to do is to make sure there is no noindex tag on your pages. A noindex tag instructs search engines NOT to store that page on Google's index. So the page may be crawlable, but you are asking search engines not to index it. Use this handy tool to check if your pages have a noindex meta tag.

<meta content="noindex" name="robot" />

If you find either of these, simply remove them (or contact your web developer) and resubmit your website to Google for crawling and indexing.

You can also log in to your Google Search Console to check for any technical issues that might be preventing your website from being indexed.

Look for technical, crawl and index errors in Google Search Console

6) Your website has been penalized by Google

Finally, it's possible that your website is being penalized by Google. This can happen if you (or your marketing agency) have been using questionable SEO tactics (sometimes known as black hat or gray hat SEO techniques) to manipulate Google and to have an unfair advantage to get higher rankings.

You could be penalized by Google for following bad SEO practicesImage source: LoudGrowth

Actions such as stuffing keywords, building a bunch of low-quality links, or any action that Google deems as a violation of their guidelines can get your website in trouble. This is known as link schemes. If you are relying on a marketing agency, you won't know how they get their links. If this is the case, I suggest you have a candid conversation about how they get their backlinks. If they answer by saying "we pay for them," run fast and run far away from them! Google heavily frowns upon buying links as it's against their policies. Use this tool to check what kind of backlinks your website has.

If you have been penalized by Google, work towards attracting high-quality backlinks by creating high-quality, link-worthy content. It will be slow progress, but the sooner you start the rebuilding process, the better it is for the long run.

There you have it. A few reasons why your website might not be showing up on Google and how to fix those issues.

 By Shammika Munugoda

Shammika is the founder of Sproutling Media. He is a software engineer by trade turned digital marketing consultant helping chilrcare, early learning centres and daycare centres get in front of more parents, book more tours and generate more enrolments.

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