Everyone understands by now that if you don’t have a website, you’re pretty much extinct. But what if you have a website, and it never gets found? If your website doesn’t show up on Google’s first page (or on the 1st page of other popular search engines like Duck Duck Go or Bing), you’ll soon be joining the post-extinction graveyard of “Websites Never Found”. It’s like a Tim Burton horror movie, only more so.
It’s as if you didn’t have a website at all.
Lost in the cloud?
There are over 2 million pieces of website content added on a daily basis. It’s easy to understand how great writers — and otherwise-scalable business concepts — can get ‘lost in the crowd’.
Just think about the exponential volume of media being added to websites, social media pages and YouTube channels on a daily basis.
It’s not surprising that many great articles, books, and business ideas fail to see the light of bedside table lamps or touchpad screens.
Becoming lost in the cloud is more common than you think.
- Getting eyeballs on your brand in today’s crowded digital space is becoming more difficult by the hour.
- Earning first-page placement on search engines like Google (known as ranking or “SERP”, described below) requires a PhD type of content writing expertise.
- This means only a handful of individuals will be able to achieve this result ‘organically’, without spending a fortune on your Google ads.
The handful of people who might be able to achieve this for you are likely not only senior experts in strategic content marketing and organic SEO; they are also likely to be au fait with your industry, writing genre, and business focal-point.
Google’s first page
What does it take to rank your website, books, or YouTube videos on a first-page search result?
Ranking on Google’s first page – or near the top of any other popular search engine results page – now takes up to 200 strategic steps. These steps must be strategically executed on a frequent, ongoing basis, or you’ll continue to fall further and further behind.
Getting found on Google’s first page typically takes, at minimum, a weekly dedication to strategic web content writing and website tweaking. This requires not only dedication but appropriate levels of time and content marketing expertise.
If you really want to rank ‘well above the millions or billions of others’ also trying to make it to the top of the first page of Google, you need to make it a priority investment.
Because millions of other people (just like you or your marketing team), are trying to reach the top of Google’s first page search results.
Is being listed towards the top of Google’s first page search engine results truly a necessity?
Yes and no.
- It is, if you care about your business growth or book readership levels.
- It isn’t necessarily AS important if you are regularly in touch with thousands of potential readers or business clients using a different approach.
And while word-of-mouth referrals still rule the world of relationship marketing, you can bet your Google ranking — and business survival — on the fact your clients will look you up online. If a potential reader (or business client) finds a competitor’s site instead of yours — or it takes too long to find you online — you’ll flit into and out of their brain. And you won’t even factor into their purchasing decisions.
The audience-building potential — and income earning potential — of making it to the top front-page of Google searches, is genuinely worth millions and billions of dollars and views.
In addition to dedicated time and content management expertise from a digital marketing expert, search engine ranking success hinges on the following components
- intensive knowledge of past performance
- insight into your industry’s unique search phrases (‘search strings’) and keyword trends
- deep insights into digital intelligence and algorithm changes (the hundreds of website ‘content signals‘ Google’s algorithms examine when making a determination on WHERE to rank your website in terms of searches)
- hours of intensive effort to stay up to date on digital content trends (including blog writing), to keep your content at the top of Google’s ranking systems
Getting your website found on Google’s first page and other search engines is both a science and an art.
Getting found on the internet takes hours of effort on a daily or weekly basis. It’s not just “plug and play”.
No wonder most businesses and book writers are getting lost in the cloud.
CEOs and authors may take webinars or online courses to learn how to get their websites found on Google. Sadly, these courses will rarely result in a higher ranking.
Why is that the case, you ask?
- Firstly, it’s NOT as easy as those predatory course sellers would have you believe.
- Secondly, your competition is growing both in size, digital marketing savvy, alternative purchase options, and market reach on a daily basis.
- Thirdly, even if you learn what’s necessary (no small feat), will you really have the dedicated time, personal interest, and digital savvy to actually make it happen?
Not to mention most of your competitors are likely spending thousands of dollars, and hours of personnel time, to get their websites to the top of Google’s search results.
Large companies spend more on advertising and website content management than the annual budget of a number of countries.
It’s not unusual, for example, for a company to spend $40,000 to $500,000 each month just in AdWord expenditures, depending on their product and their market.
Many also employ a digital marketing team consisting of 5 to 50 people, to ensure their front-page placement for Advertisement ranking (as well as organic rankings or ‘unpaid’ link clicks). The reason is that the income potential for that lofty first-page ranking is usually 10x above whatever they’re spending, so long as they’re spending it wisely. This can result in a billion dollar edge over a competitor. Which leaves you with an even higher digital marketing budget — and a growing profit margin compared to your competitors or ‘alternative purchases’ to your product, book, or video links.
The majority of business owners simply lack the time and skill sets to accomplish what would save their businesses from extinction. Many formerly successful CEOs and Authors know this all too well.
Times have changed. Books will rarely sell these days, as so many flood the market. It’s harder to gain readership even when you are giving your books away for FREE on Amazon and Audible. People simply have a lot of choice now. Global choice.
It’s hard to stand out in the digital crowd. But if you’re serious about getting found, seen, heard or read — it’s worth it.
Without ranking on the first page of Google, you’re essentially non-existent to 80% to 95% of your potential readers, video audience, and business clients.
But if you don’t prioritise content marketing in our increasingly digital world, you’ll flat-line.
If you’re reading this now, you likely already have. But if you start today, and get the right person to help you, it’ll be like receiving CPR for your business and your website. But we strongly suggest you don’t wait until there’s no pulse at all; or until your bank balance or book sales are so low (or in the red) that you, yourself, are turning blue.
Not only are you going to be invisible if you fail to engage your target audience using digital content means — the links your clients and readers DO FIND are likely to be appealing to your client base.
- The links your readers find instead of your links, can rapidly become alternative purchases to your own creations.
- This results in your competitors rapidly growing their databases and bottom lines, while you flounder in Google-never-never land.
Should you hire an overseas agency for SEO and content writing?
My recommendation is NO.
- You’re typically far better off to find a local person with expertise in your particular writing genre or business sector.
- They will cost more..but otherwise you’ll get exactly what you pay for (very little).
Too often, in desperation and ignorance, I’ve seen people hire a dodgy overseas SEO agency or publishing firm. They typically hand your website over to a junior employee, who may not be a strong writer (second-language issues abound unless they have a good command of the grammar and syntaxes of your language).
Agencies can also leave your website vulnerable to ransomware or ‘website hijacking’.
What about gig-economy contractors for website development?
Other people hire workers in the gig-economy. Sometimes this works well, but it can also lead to problems.
- These workers can suddenly disappear once a higher-paying offer evolves.
- Plus, this is NOT the place to skimp on digital marketing expenditures, if you’re truly serious about getting found, seen, read or purchased.
Digital Marketing Priorities and Expenditures
You will typically need at least two (2) types of digital content expenditures — often, you’ll need three (3). Two will consist of ongoing content management and SEO expenses; the third relates to sporadic website structural updates including security certificates and plug-in updates.
- The 1st priority for digital marketing and Google ranking efforts should be on content writing (content curation), because that’s what Google looks for.
- This includes content SEO expenditures; which should ideally be performed by ONE person vs separate agencies (they will need advanced skill sets).
- The second expenditure should be Google AdWords, at a minimum of $1200 a year for a single author or small business venture (the more employees you are trying to keep afloat in your business, and the more competitive your industry, the more you’ll need to spend on Google AdWords.
- The third expenditure is a website refresh for either branding or speed (nothing fancy and do NOT overspend on design to the peril of your digital marketing dollars).
And if you continue to waddle along while dreaming of days gone by? Days when your clients or readers found you far more readily than in a digitally-driven world?
Your competitors — and less pertinent authors or video producers — will win audiences and paying clients. Their lead in the digital race for eyes-on-books-or-brands will grow at a pace that you may, in your business or book writing business, never be able to recover from.
If you like Tennis, think 0-6, 0-6, 0-5 and you’re now at Match Point.
You’re competitors are gaining digital ground:
- While you struggle to get found, seen, heard, bought or read.
- While you slowly (or not-so-slowly) become increasingly invisible to clients, readers and audience segments (and nearly irretrievably extinct).
- While you end up trying to revive a dead-on-the-table corpse of a business concept or hardly-selling book.
So if you’re published, but not ranking on the 1st page of Google (who owns over 90% of search engine traffic), then you’re pretty much a sitting duck in hunting season. Not being found readily in searches is the equivalent to not having a website at all. And if you’re found on a different site – like Amazon – you’ll lose traffic, income, and the potential to expand your proprietary client database.
Is getting found on a reseller’s page as good as having my own website traffic?
It’s better than never getting found, yes.
But you’re generally better off getting traffic to YOUR proprietary website or YouTube channel than to an onsellers website or YouTube channel.
As you’ll otherwise be losing:
- Direct-sale income potential
- Advertising income from affiliates
- The chance to directly contact your clients, audience or book buyers when you have a new product release or publication announcement
Remember, The world is changing faster than you can imagine, especially in terms of digital engagement with your client base and readers.
You need to embark on a long-game strategy with adequate investments. And you need to hire your contractors or marketing teams extremely carefully.
But to sit on your hands and do nothing is equivalent to passive ‘business-cide’.
To be frank, not being on Google’s first page is equivalent to not having a website at all.
- Being invisible on the web serves no one if what you have to say, sell or distribute matters.
- And I’ve seen people with traffic as low as 20 visitors a month – mostly their parents, friends or employees taking a glance out of politeness.
Others get ripped off by dodgy SEO agencies.
These events sadden me deeply. I regularly watch good businesses and great writers slide into the abyss of digital non-existence.
When you’re invisible on the web, you are actually missing out on thousands of extra website visitors (or book readers) every month.
If you only took it seriously, you could be gaining those audience members (readers, subscribers, clients, and purchasers).
You could be making up for those initial marketing expenditures over a period of time. Instead, you’re passively sliding into that digital-extinction graveyard.
Will building a new website help you get found on Google?
Probably not. Read on if you want to know why. Otherwise contact me on (+61) 422.214.171.124 for a no-obligation discussion of your content issues and ranking gaps on Google.
Will building a new website help my Google ranking?
Is building a new website worth the hassle and expense?
Sometimes yes, but mostly no. Your invisibility issue and current ranking position is often a content management issue (and an SEO content tweaking failure).
It may, however, also involve a slow web page loading speed.
If I do need a new website built, how much should I consider spending on development?
Don’t spend more than a few thousand dollars at best. Sometimes $800 to $2000 is all you need for a basic, but fast loading website. Just make sure it’s secure (that’s another blog topic for another time).
And save enough for content. You’re better off with a simple 1 or 2 page website that gets found and clicked on, than you are for a 5 to 8 page website that never gets seen.
And if you’re wanting to add a digital shopping platform to your website?
Seek expert advice on which one gives you the most freedom and flexibility to change things up when needed, the most customer service support; the greatest payment security, at the most reasonable cost.
Common web design mistakes that will impede your ability to rank on Google
#1. Fancy graphics along and low-word count website pages.
- Fancy websites with graphics that move across a page are often the worst performers, in terms of loading speed and Google rankings.
- They often have a lot of back-end coding which Google’s algorithms despise.
- Short page content with zero thought to headers and back-end SEO structures will never (I repeat, NEVER) get found in searches.
Google’s artificial intelligence is looking for instant-load speed and in-depth content that readers will value. They want speed-of-light web page loading speeds. And they want descriptive, well-structured content.
And frankly, so do readers.
People are becoming increasingly impatient in modern times, partially due to the instant availability of nearly everything else on the internet.
#2. Building a new website thinking your web design costs will be the only investment you’ll need to makde in order to get found on search engines.
Getting found on Google is not about adopting a ‘build it and they will come’ mentality. Especially if you are aiming for a first-page, high-level search engine result position (“SERP”).
That’s one of the most common mistakes people make when investing in a new website build.
You should never invest in building a fancy website in the hope that this alone will enable people to find you, your books, or business.
That’s NOT how search engines work.
But your web design team will never tell you that. Getting found on the web is not their forte. Building websites is what they know. SERP is not their business acumen.
They simply want you to spend as much as possible on your design, so they can survive. And many are still ripping clients off by charging $15,000 to $20,000 website development fees (1990 to 2014 website design prices). Despite that many are simply starting off with templates!?
Even worse than overcharging for today’s website design market – many agencies are simply updating the same WordPress template that everyone else is using in your sector.
So you’re getting charged for a ‘custom build’ that is anything BUT a custom build in real-life terms. It’s mostly template-based and you can often get it for 1/10th the pricing structure.
Plus, search engine algorithms don’t care how beautiful and clean your new website looks.
Nor how fancy your interactive graphics look in your new design.
Search engine ranking position (or “SERP”) is all about website loading speed, heading structures, alt tags, word counts, content currency, and SEO.
There are billions of other websites competing for the same digital space and visitor traction you are. Instead of spending everything on design, you need to keep it simple, but with excellent content, images, video and – high-level SEO (search engine optimisation).
#3. Blowing your entire digital marketing budget on the website build.
Expensive website builds that consume valuable energy, time, and marketing funds, are far too often the biggest waste of a CEO or Author’s precious writing time, and money.
For example, if your website is very outdated and slow (which is most websites designed by experts who work on ‘fancy’ versus ‘fast’, you may need to invest in a rebuild.
Or if you need to add online shopping capacity to the website, but the current platform isn’t compatible with what you’re trying to accomplish. Or if your online branding is so ugly that it reeks of a 1990 to 2014 web design.
Just don’t overspend. And be realistic – on its own, a new website won’t help you rank on Google.
#4. Writing your own content without SEO advice, unless you’re an expert at SERP.
Caution: Be very careful if you DO invest in a website redesign. Save your money for content collation and genre-specific, industry-specific SEO.
And watch those hidden clauses.
Do your homework. Spend cautiously on a rebuild. And double-down if doing homework on who will conduct your automated marketing strategies and communication funnels. These companies often charge you heavily as you start to grow – flat rates are far better than incremental increases based on how much you’re earning. Do the maths!
Spend more on content than on web design.
Be sure you save enough money to create website content that Google actually cares about, which few – if any – web designers understand.
Web designers are typically graphics people. very few web designers actually understand content marketing and SEO at an adequate level. They can help you make an attractive website…but what’s the point if it never gets seen?
Nor are they content experts. They like to get fancy with their graphic designs – and their creative art degrees – and charge you a lot for the privilege of working with them.
But Google hates that type of website. They aren’t that interested in graphics. So if you overspend on design, you’ll have nothing left to get traction on your website.
Sure, it’ll look amazing. Your parents, friends, bankers and employees will ‘oooh’ and ‘ahh.’ But you won’t get traction. And soon, you may just be having to lay off those employees and will be calling your bank manager (or friends) and asking for business loans.
All the while complaining about how business has changed, but doing little to change how you run your business.
Don’t blow your budget on a website redesign. You need to save enough for rankable content, findable SEO, and Google AdWord spending.
- Some web design programs and hosting platforms are notoriously difficult to navigate — and hard to rank with due to structural issues and sale-item category duplications.
- Your pages could get caught in a ‘Google website crawl loop‘ on certain platforms.
#5. Conflicting SEO signals and crawling issues
Craw loops (crawling issues) are a sophisticated topic based on website structures and/or category listings on shopping sites.
But in simple terms, crawling loops means that the program that Google uses to decipher what your pages have to offer searchers on the internet:
- gets caught in a maze or on a round-about
- gives up or ‘times out’
In other words, having a crawling issue is NOT GOOD. It’ll stop your page from ranking.
Worse yet is the issue of accidentally selecting a hosting platform that has common crawling issues. Or which means you are:
- stuck for life with that platform as your website host;
- are forever dependent on that company for visitor traffic (your site is not independent on these platforms; rather, it is embedded into their site) – giving them full control and you, little options if you find a better platform or shopping site.
- and/or forever subjected to that platform’s ever-increasing fees
- Their rates tend to go up with each visitor or website subscriber increase’
- For example, you pay an increasing amount for web hosting based on the number of visitors or sales income, versus paying a flat rate no matter how many visitors you get or sales you make.
Avoid being held hostage by your website builder and hosting provider (automated marketing funnel service company).
Obviously you want to build traffic to your site. But you are better off doing it at a flat rate for hosting. (Hosting is a term for the server/traffic capacity to your site; consider it a land leasing fee).
Ideally you want the flexibility to move your website to another host or server at ANY time, without having to rebuild it from scratch, and without having to lose your existing client data and email databases.
If your site is built within someone’s automated systems (HubSpot, etc). it’s nearly impossible to move your website to another platform, host or server, without a major hit to traffic, income, or website stability.
What I mean is this: some web designers and content hosting platforms ‘own you and your client database’. You end up signing a contract that ensures that, as your business grows, you pay more money per user or per subscriber. It’s somewhat like an income taxing system. You enter a higher bracket, and you pay for it dearly.
This company essentially “owns” your website, clients and traffic — far more than you do. Hubspot and Shopify are classic examples, depending on how they’re structured, although sometimes you can add these on to your own site (landing pages or shop plug-ins). That’s somewhat better, but not foolproof.
If your site is built ON (and in) someone’s proprietary platform, look out! It makes it very difficult to move your website to another platform own the road (and you won’t fully own your own traffic and digital assets).
But that’s a far more sophisticated website development topic than I can cover in this blog).
Mostly, I often tell my clients never to over-invest in their website design – but rather to save those funds for proper content and videos that have genuine potential to get found, seen, heard or read.
Far too many make the mistake of spending $5,000 to $20,000 on website design.
NB: These are 2010 prices by the way…today you’d be very foolish to invest more than a few hundred to a few thousand dollars on a website design that will become outdated the minute the next technological changes emerge – typically before it’s even completed).
What IS worth spending money on is content creation, not web design.
We live in a world governed by attention-grabbing headlines, high-expenditures for SEO and other traffic gains, and over 2 million new articles posted each and every day. The numbers are staggering. But if you’re not the one that is getting found, seen, heard or read when it comes to a particular word or topic — your diligent writing will soon be forgotten. Or most likely, rarely ever get seen.
Exception: if your book ranks really well on Amazon, you may get discovered through their own high-spending marketing campaigns PLUS your SEO-savvy book descriptions.
Amazon SEO is one of the most coveted ranking areas in modern times, especially for writers (but very few writers earn a living from their books, and so many people are publishing books today that it’s not the differentiation-point many Authors and medical experts expect).
But if so, then Amazon gets most of the web traffic generated by your books and other products sold on Amazon. They also get higher digital credibility as well as a high percentage of your income.
Basically anyone who gets your name, publications or book titles on the Google’s first page is going to ‘own you’ — one way or another.
Investing in your own content and ranking position gives you more independence and a greater chance to grow your audience base, fans, and buyers.
Why YOUR website ranking on Google’s first page is better than any other website
Such as your name or business ranking better on Amazon, your University website and/or International Conference Presentations
That web traffic is far better off going to your own website or LinkedIn page. That’s because you have a lot to gain by increasing your web traffic and controlling your personal content. Not to mention whoever gets the traffic from your name, videos or publications, can benefit from:
- the increased visibility in Google searches (good SEO spirals your site upwards)
- credibility as a website that attracts click-throughs (simply meaning someone found your link on the first page of Google in a search, and then clicked onto the link on your page
And in today’s digital marketplace, web traffic is your golden egg.
Website traffic simply means the number of visitors that (a) visit your site and (b) stay on your site long enough (engaging with your content) to send Google search engine algorithms a message that you’re site is ‘rank worthy’.
Definitions (Google page ranking): What does ‘rank worthy’ actually mean? Ranking simply means you are found towards the top of a person’s search string (keyword and/or search phrase).
Ranking on Google essentially means that Google’s artificial intelligence codes — which are algorithms or ‘codes’ that make branching decisions as to what to show a person who is searching the internet for a particular word or phrase —– decide that your site, above millions of other sites, is what people are actually looking searching for. That your site is credible and rank-worthy enough to place it higher on search engine results for that particular topic (or search term).
These topics or search terms are known as ‘key words’ or ‘key phrases’ and are crucial for SEO (read my article, what is SEO and how long does it take to work)?
Website traffic (visitor numbers) is a valuable digital asset. It requires initial and ongoing investments in terms of web design and hosting fees, security certificates, and ongoing maintenance (upkeep, such as regularly-posted long-form blogs of nearly 2,000 words or more, properly keyworded, alt-tagged and structured). It requires expert web content marketing to stay on top; and this takes time and money.
Additionally, Google ads are a worthy decision for nearly any business today. You don’t want to rely exclusively on them (that gets expensive quickly). And you will need professional help to create ads that don’t attract the wrong type of user (click-throughs for people looking for something totally different to what you’re sharing, e.g. a waste of your advertising expenditures – and prevented by something called ‘exclusion criteria’).
Draft only – all rights reserved (c) by Health Media Marketing and Doctor My Web.