Where am I going wrong? Google shuns my new site


I launched a new site at the start of December 2014, and it ranks ok with Yahoo, Bing etc, but with Google even writing the business name “Whippet Print” doesn’t put it on the front page. This is a real problem because so many people just write the business name into google rather than writing in the website URL!

Is there something I am doing wrong? I just don’t understand it.

You’re up against some stiff competition on Google — Etsy, Ebay, Zazzle, and a few more established niche sites.

How do you rank for more granular keywords? Do you show up in Google at all? If you search for [yourdomain.com] in Google, does it appear?

You might like to have a look at Webmaster Tools (a free Google tool, easy to set up if you already have Google Analytics) to gain some insights into how Google views your site.

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thanks, yeah I have been using Webmaster Tools and that says everything is fine. If the domain name is put into google, then the site comes up at the top.

I have followed all the good practice guidelines I have learned over the years, but it just seems to be to no avail. I have read that recently new sites don’t perform well on google, but then what do I do? Just wait?

If it is just because the competition is too well established? Perhaps I should consider a rebrand :frowning:

Yes, even your business name in quotes faces stiff competition, because if triggers hits on the kinds of sites @Ophelie listed.

If you primarily hope to be found through a search of your business name, a rebrand might be worth considering. But as Ophelie suggested, it’s more the granular searches that you want to target if you are looking to be found by people wanting print services. (Few—if any—people looking for a printing service will type “whippet” as part of their search. :slight_smile: ) These would include keyword searches that include your local area. In my experience, most people looking for a printing service will want something more or less local. “Print” is a hard word to rank with as there is so much competition, but if you offer something unique—like “Double and Single Sided Printing”, then you could focus more on something like “Double and Single Sided Printing UK” for your page titles, for example (bad example, but sort of gives you the idea).

I notice that your pages don’t give a lot of detail about you, what you do and what makes you special / stand out. There’s very little info about your location, either. So there’s a lot you can do to make your site more meaningful to a search engine (let alone to your visitors).

PS: It takes a lot longer than a month for Google to take you and your business name seriously, too. You’ll find that “Whippet Print” will jump up the list a long way over time, but I doubt it would ever get near the top of the SERPs given the competition.

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I have checked your website. You can simply fix this. This is not due to keyword competition or any other issues. Follow the steps.

  1. Add 300-400 words text and 1-2 images to the home page.
  2. Your title is really poor - “Home - Whippet Print” change it accordingly, remove the “home” part.
  3. Active age of the domain - Your website is new, you need to wait 1-2 more months to see some visible changes.
  4. Add a blog section if possible.
  5. Improve social sharing.

I am pretty sure, you can gain rankings in 1-2 months.

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Thanks for the feedback.

I have tried to keep the content very short and to the point. The main two things that make us special is that we are much cheaper than the competition without sacrificing quality and designed to be really quick and easy to use. Do you think those points need to be more clearly stated?

I thought that would mean when people write “whippet print” the search engines would put the site at the top, considering it is the business name, website name, written on every page, written in the logo, the title, the description and the structured data. What could be a more relevant site?

Maybe I should add a “About Us” section. About how and why the company was formed. It might help users trust the brand more too if they know the story behind it.

In all the literature I read it is re-iterated to just write content for a good user experience and the search engines should reward you. I have written the home page to be really short and to the point because users don’t want to read through a big chunk of text. They want to quickly estabish whether the site is worth more investigation and I believe that is usually achieved within the first 10-20 seconds.
So with all due respect, I am not sure step 1 will help, but I could well be wrong.

I am worried Google might interpret that as just trying to boost keywords instead of describing the page and penalise the site.

I don’t think a blog is relevant, it’s just a simple straight forward service with very little to blog about.

I suppose it would be worth waiting a few months then to see if there is an improvement, and then if not, rebrand.

To play devil’s advocate here, but “that’s what they all say” comes to mind. :stuck_out_tongue: It would be good to have examples (images) of your beautiful work, testimonials, an explanation of your values and philosophy etc.

Well, I suspect the search engines will focus more on the “print” side of it first. But as you see by searching your business name, some big players grab those keywords and serve up pages offering pictures / prints of whippets! You can’t win.

Certainly, although I’d say the product pages are the most important. It’s good to have detailed about pages, though in my experience they don’t get a lot of traffic.

Yes, but rather too short to be useful. Rather than pad it out with fluff, though, make a stronger case for what makes you special and why you should be trusted (with examples, images, testimonials, awards etc.)

“Home” doesn’t describe the home page at all, though. “Quality, affordable printing in the UK” does, though.

Many have found it useful to talk about what they do in this way, though. It shows you take an interest in what you do—both for visitors and search engines.

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I must admit, I can sympathise with you there. If I were looking for pictures of dogs, I’d probably search for “whippet prints”, in the plural. But as others have said, it is early days. I don’t know if it would help any to add “printers” or “printing company” to your logo alt text and/or page titles. e.g. “Whippet Print printers”, rather than “Whippet Print logo”. If I typed in “Whippet Print” to search for your company, and got all the arty options instead, I’d probably try again searching for “Whippet Printers” - which currently brings you up in fourth place.

Adding more information to your pages - or even to the meta descriptions - might help.

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@ralphm thanks, some good points :smile:

Home doesn’t describe the Home page? It does in my mind. From my years of browsing if I see “Home” I know that is that reliable safe happy page with some brief highlights about the site and where I can navigate to what ever else I need. Where as “Quality, affordable printing in the UK” doesn’t really tell me anything about the page in my mind.

@TechnoBear After learning the hard way, I really think SEO tip 1, is pick a company name that does not compete with well estabished sites for keywords! My other half mentioned to me the other day, maybe that’s one reason why lots of new companies have wacky names, to make them easy to find on the search engines.

Although I agree with you in general, I don’t think you should despair just yet. You’re already doing OK for the term “Whippet Printers”, so if you did decide to rebrand. a very slight change in company name should be OK.

Whilst idly trying to think of alternative business names for you, I tried a search for “greyhound print”. You might find the results both reassuring and informative. (Hint: take a look and see if you can get ideas from their site. )

Might it be worth an initial investment in Google Ads until the site is a bit older?

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You need to rethink that. The home page title is so important for your site that to use it to say “Home” is really a huge opportunity wasted. “Quality, affordable printing in the UK” tells people a lot more about your site than “home” does. You really don’t want to target that as a keyword if you are trying to sell printing services!

Another thought to add to the above: I’ve used a lot of printers over the years, but there are so many that it’s hard to work out which to use. The one I end up going for usually speaks directly to what I want to do at the time, so it’s useful to be very clear and detailed about what you do and don’t do. I usually go for one that does the exact kind of printing I’m looking for at the time and that describes in detail how they go about it, what surfaces they print on, what machines they use (digital etc?), what inks they use, how much it costs, how soon it can be done etc. In other words, lots of detailed info. To be honest, I would probably quickly pass over your site in its current state, because it doesn’t give me much detail about what you do and how you do it.

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I was thinking about that, I think I will.

Isn’t the title supposed to describe the nature of the page rather than the site? So if I have a load of tabs open on different pages, it tells me what that page is for? I’m not saying you are wrong, this is my understanding.

Thanks for the constructive criticism. I think I do need to spell out the benefits more clearly. It is actually mainly aimed at students with big projects to print, so price is key. Our prices are the lowest in the market; I suppose I should tout that more as well as how much a customer can save. We have achieved the low price by automating a lot of the production process, and inventing a new binding method that looks and feels good but is much faster and lower cost to do.

To an extent, try to cover both. But what you are doing is a bit like every shop on the street having Home written in the window rather than what they actually sell, which is sort of my point (even if it’s a bad analogy). “Home” doesn’t tell me anything about your page or what it offers. If you were right, every home page on the internet would be titled “Home”, which obviously would be a disaster for search!

Perfect! So that’s what you should focus your site content / titles/ headings around. Having a focus like that is really important for standing out and attracting the right customers.

That’s a great selling point, so sound the message loudly and clearly on your site!

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I would have thought the search engines would use it as the page to point at if you put the brand name, or website name in. Ah they want to see the “John Lewis PLC” website, the Home page is a good place to introduce you to the John Lewis site. With the shop analogy, more like a notice board and map when you walk into a big store, rather than the window.

However, W3C and Tim Berners-Lee should be setting a good example right?
Well on their home pages they simply have the organisations name as the title.
[World Wide Web Foundation][2]

So I am now convinced I should indeed remove the "Home - " part from the title. As I seem to be the only person in the world who thinks it adds any value haha :smile:
[1]: http://www.w3.org/
[2]: http://webfoundation.org/

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I guess they know to assume that the page at the root of the site (the mysite.com page, so to speak) is the home page anyway.

In my opinion, this is where you are failing!

If I called you, or walked into your store - if you had one - and asked what your business is and why I should be interested, would you say, “It’s just a simple, straightforward printing service…”

Printing companies are boring out of the box. And now you are telling us all you have to offer is a “simple, straightforward printing service”???

Forget what you think about “blogs”.

Start thinking about why anyone should ever care about your business.

If you can thinking of a half a dozen things of why people should care, and even better if you can think of reasons why your business excels and provides value where your competition doesn’t, then start writing things down.

After you have that, come back here and we can help you with your copy and tightening things up.

Nothing personal, but your home page reflects how you subconsciously view your business…

Simple, straightforward, (and boring).

Not only will that hinder your SEO, it will kill your chances of your business survivng.

Just being honest.

I confess the look is not brilliant, and I need to present the benefits of the business better. My strengths are more on the programming side than the design side, but I am trying to improve my design skills.

The look has been sacrificed somewhat in order to get a functioning good quality product/service out quickly, but it is time to re-address the presenation.

However I defend that the bottom line is if you use our services for printing a big document, you will save money. This is the most important thing for students. I don’t think I know anyone who would read the blog of a company they use to print an assignment. The typical mindset is where can I get my document printed quickly, cheaply and to the required quality?

No we do not produce the worlds finest documents with hand stitched binding and gold leaf covers. Our pride lies in providing a fast, easy, low cost service that produces documents to the required level of quality at as low price as possible. That is what our customers value, to be able to get their document printed without fuss, for their lecturer to be happy with the quality so they get their marks, and to have more money left in their pockets.

[quote=“RT_, post:18, topic:111361, full:true”]
I confess the look is not brilliant, and I need to present the benefits of the business better. My strengths are more on the programming side than the design side, but I am trying to improve my design skills.[/quote]

So let us help you! :smile:

While the look and feel of your home page wouldn’t win any awards, I think your bigger priority should be content on the home page and elsewhere.

Customers will often forgive a less than beautiful website/store/restaurant if they get great products or services. (I know of some real dive bars that have the best hamburgers and fries around!!)

My advice is focus on 4-6 selling points for your home page. You also need a Call-to-Action.

News to me. So tell us that on the home page using bullet points. (You get about 20 seconds to grab visitors attention before they leave…)

Again, ditch “blog”.

Focus on telling people how your service can help them out.

If you do large documents for students then I’d expect you to be targeting architectural and engineering students. (Have you reached out to any local colleges or universities?)

What about architectural firms?

Can you do banners? Marketing people, real estate people, small business owners might be interested.

What about bands? Could you print out posters for my new punk band playing this weekend in Liverpool?

Can you help non-profits “get the word out”?

I don’t see any prices listed on your home page. So price obviously isn’t important to you…

And I don’t see anything obvious about quality.

Why are you more convenient than the shop down the street?

Do you deliver?

Will you text or email me when my order is done?

Can I check my order status on your website?

Can you deliver on weekends?

Have any guaranteed turn around times?

So you give education discounts?

:confused: All that is on the home page… In big bold letters…

No, the base prices are already lower than all the competition.

Not that kind of large document. PDF’s that are anywhere from 10 pages long to 500 pages long.

I am :slight_smile: