When you start a business, don’t expect it to appear near the top of search results.
Why is that? Why is it so hard to get to the top of Google search rankings?
First, if your business is new, it just takes time for the search engines to find and notice you. That doesn’t happen instantly, and THAT’S NOT ALL IT TAKES.
Once you get found, there are a whole host of things that make it hard to get to the top.
7 Specific Things That Affect Search Ranking
This isn’t meant to be a thorough list or explanation… I could spend way too much of your time talking about each point.
Each of these points is really just a very short summary of a complicated topic. There are actually more than 7 things, but I’m trying to keep this short.
Established competition have had more time
Existing companies have had the time to build an online presence and are tough competition. A long time ago I was on the first soccer team my school ever had. Our coach was really a football coach (he just got us because he was the bottom of the ladder), none of us had ever played soccer and had no skills, and we didn’t even have a uniform. Our first game was against a school and team that had been around for years. Didn’t go well for us.
Your domain is a newbie
Your domain is new, so you don’t have what’s known as “domain authority.” Search engines want to show reputable companies, but a new company simply does not have an online history. The search engines generally rank older companies higher.
In other words, when you search for something on Google, it looks at how trustworthy and reliable a website is. New businesses haven’t had enough time to build trust and get recognized.
Not much content or backlinks
Your site doesn’t have a lot of content, and it doesn’t have a lot of high-quality links back to it from other sites. Google likes sites with lots of valuable content. And it likes sites that get linked to by other sites.
It’s common for small businesses to struggle with adding good content, typically due to time and cost limitations, and that makes it hard to rank.
You might like our article about content, Why High-Quality Website Content Helps Grow Your Business.
The website is all you’ve got
Speaking of budgets, if all you’ve done is put up a website, you’ll lose out to competitors who are also regularly using social media and running ads. They will get in front of more people and get more people to their website.
It’s a tight race
You might be in a highly competitive market. Not much more to say about that, it is what it is, and you’re going to have to work to stand out.
Lack of expertise
Your business requires a certain amount of knowledge, training, practice, and experience, right? The same is true for creating website content, or social media strategies and content, or building backlinks, etc. If you’re doing some or all these things and not seeing results, maybe you want to get some help from experts in the field.
The search engines change the rules
Google uses “search algorithms” to sort through and evaluate all the content on the internet, and they make changes to it – not quite “all the time” – but it feels that way. You have no control over that, but you do need to respond.
It’s difficult for new small businesses to rank highly in Google search results.
Established competition, limited resources, and lack of domain authority make it hard for newcomers to gain visibility.
The slow crawl and indexation process, niche competition, and the need for local optimization make ranking even more complicate.
Limited SEO knowledge, shifting algorithms, and time and financial constraints add to the difficulties.
But: with consistent effort, strategic optimization, and targeted content creation, small businesses can improve their chances of ranking higher.
Would you like help with any of this?
We can help with all your website stuff. Reach out, no obligations.
If you’d like help with social media, get in touch with Nicole Porter, owner of Monomoy Social Media.
That nice photo at the top of the page is by energepic.com and is from Pexels.