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A Search Engine Guide for New Business Owners

So, you’ve published your new business website, but it’s not getting much traffic yet. You’re also not seeing your web pages come up in the search results when you type in your queries. Why is that?

The short answer is that simply having a website isn’t enough. Search engines, like Google and Bing, are the gatekeepers of the internet. They decide which websites are shown in response to a user’s query and in what order. This process involves complex algorithms and multiple factors, from the relevance and quality of your content to the technical aspects of your website.

To truly thrive, you need to understand how search engines work and why they’re crucial in directing traffic to your site. This guide is designed to demystify the inner workings of search engines so you can get your website the attention it deserves. We’ll explore the fundamentals of search engine operations, the key concepts important for you to understand, and common reasons for low website traffic.

What are search engines and how do they work? 

At their core, search engines perform three primary functions: crawling, indexing, and ranking websites through algorithms.

Crawling: Discovering Your Website

The first step in this journey is ‘crawling.’ Search engines deploy bots, often referred to as ‘spiders’ or ‘crawlers,’ to discover new and updated content on the web. These bots systematically browse the web, following links from one page to another. Think of them as digital explorers charting the vast expanse of the internet. When these bots find your website, they scrutinize its content and structure, making a note of what it’s about and how it’s organized. This is how search engines find your website in the first place.

Indexing: Cataloguing Your Content

After crawling a website, search engines then move to ‘indexing.’ Indexing is akin to adding a book to a library’s catalog. In this stage, the crawled information is processed and stored in a massive database, known as the ‘index.’ When a user performs a search, the search engine sifts through this index to find the most relevant information. If your site isn’t indexed, it’s as if it doesn’t exist in the eyes of the search engine.

Algorithms: Deciding the Rankings

The final, and perhaps the most intricate part of the process, is ranking. This is where search algorithms come into play. Algorithms are complex formulas used by search engines to rank indexed web pages based on various factors like relevance, quality, and user experience. The specifics of these algorithms are closely guarded secrets and are continually evolving. However, factors such as keyword usage, site speed, mobile-friendliness, and backlinks are known to influence these rankings significantly.

Wait. This sounds complicated.

It is, but have no fear. This is what Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all about, and there are people out there with the expertise to help you get your website into shape so that Google and Bing will want to present it to people in search.

Understanding the basics of SEO and how search engines work is a great idea for anyone with a website so that you’ll know what to expect, but when you bring in professionals, you’ll be able to count on them to stay on top of the latest algorithm updates and technical requirements, plus monitor how your site is faring compared to your competitors.

SEO Basics for Business Owners

Four concepts to understand that will help you immensely when you begin chatting with an SEO team are keyword targeting, search intent, content relevance, and content quality.

Keyword Targeting: Identifying What Your Audience is Searching For

Keyword targeting involves selecting the right keywords to attract your target audience. This is more than just guessing what people might type into a search engine; it’s about understanding the terms they use when looking for services or products like yours. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner to find keywords with a good balance of search volume and competition. Incorporating these keywords into your website’s content helps search engines match your site to relevant queries.

Search Intent: Aligning with User Needs

Search intent is all about understanding the reason behind a user’s search query. It’s categorized broadly into informational, navigational, transactional, and commercial investigation intents. By aligning your content with the correct search intent, you ensure that visitors find exactly what they’re looking for on your site, which can improve your site’s ranking and user experience.

Content Relevance: Matching Content with Queries

Content relevance refers to how well your website’s content matches the search queries you’re targeting. This involves creating content that not only incorporates your target keywords but also thoroughly answers the questions and fulfills the needs of your audience. Content relevance is crucial for ranking higher in search engine results and attracting the right kind of traffic to your website.

Content Quality: Engaging and Informative

The quality of your content is a vital factor in your website’s SEO success. High-quality content is engaging, well-written, informative, and provides value to your readers. It should be crafted to not only include keywords but also to offer comprehensive and insightful information that addresses your audience’s queries. Regularly updating your website with fresh, quality content signals to search engines that your site is a valuable resource.

Common Reasons for Low Website Traffic 

If you’re not getting much traffic to your website, it’s worth reaching out to a local SEO agency to help you diagnose the issues. Some of the most common issues include:

Your site (or important pages) haven’t been indexed.

One of the primary reasons for low traffic for new websites is that the pages haven’t been indexed yet. Remember, when people search Google, they’re not searching the entirety of what’s available on the internet. They’re just searching what Google has included in its index.

There are many possible explanations for indexing issues, though some may include:

  • Incorrect keyword targeting: Not using the right keywords that potential customers are searching for.
  • Poor on-page optimization: Neglecting elements like title tags, meta descriptions, and header tags.
  • Weak backlink profile: Having a limited number of quality backlinks pointing to your website.

We hadn’t mentioned this in the sections above, but for this last item, it’s important to know that Google considers other websites ranking to yours as a vote of confidence in your content and your business. SEO agencies can also help you build good backlink profiles.

You need quality content.

Google understands your website through content, so if there is not enough of it or it is not high quality, you will not see much traffic. This could be either because Google doesn’t know what searches to serve your website for, or because it (again) simply decided not to index it.

The general issues here are typically:

  • Insufficient content: Not having enough content to cover topics relevant to your audience.
  • Low-quality content: Publishing content that doesn’t provide value or adequately answer user queries.
  • Irrelevant content: Content that does not align with your audience’s interests or needs.

Your site has technical issues that create a poor user experience.

Technical problems on your website can significantly impact traffic. These issues can make your site difficult to navigate, slow to load, or even invisible to search engines. Key technical issues include:

  • Slow loading times: Websites that take too long to load can deter visitors.
  • Mobile incompatibility: Not having a mobile-friendly website can alienate a significant portion of internet users.
  • Poor website structure: A confusing or complicated website layout can hinder user experience and search engine crawling.

Bringing in an SEO Team to Help 

Not only can an SEO agency help you solve the above issues, they can help you grow your business online from whatever your starting point is and help it reach its full potential. For example, you may think that 1,000 visits per month is great, but what if your competitors are getting 10,000 per month?  Many agencies offer a free audit to help you explore the traffic potential in your industry to help you reach your goals.  Make them part of your team and your digital marketing strategy to get the full benefit of what running an online business can offer.  


IEMLabs is an ISO 27001:2013 and ISO 9001:2015 certified company, we are also a proud member of EC Council, NASSCOM, Data Security Council of India (DSCI), Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The company was established in 2016 with a vision in mind to provide Cyber Security to the digital world and make them Hack Proof. The question is why are we suddenly talking about Cyber Security and all this stuff? With the development of technology, more and more companies are shifting their business to Digital World which is resulting in the increase in Cyber Crimes.


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