Setting up a search advertising campaign can be an eye-opener when it comes to analysing a website. Clients often tell us that they’re not appearing in the Google results for blue widgets, which are important products for them, and they’d like to devote some advertising budget to appearing on the page. So we look at the website. The home page clearly positions the company as a widget manufacturer, and links here send visitors directly to specific product lines. It might look something like this, which some of you will recognise from your own website:
Pretty good, right? As visitors hover over “Blue Widgets”, a menu springs out and offers them various types of blue widget. They’re taken straight to the product they want. That seems pretty efficient.
However, in jumping straight from level 1 (widgets) to level 3 (fast blue widgets, slow blue widgets, etc), we’ve left a big hole at level 2 (blue widgets). And that’s an important search term for the company, as evidenced by the request to start advertising there.
Normally, we find one of two things: either there is no page at level 2 about blue widgets, or the ‘Blue Widgets’ in the menu is actually a live link, but it takes you to a page about blue widgets which is little more than a list of the items in the previous menu.
This is the problem Google encounters, and explains why your website does not rank highly in the natural search results for blue widgets. There simply isn’t any decent content about this key product classification for the search engine to get hold of. Should the company rank highly for “widgets”? Sure. Should it rank highly for “fast blue widgets”? Absolutely. But “blue widgets”? Google would say no to that one.
The solution is obvious, and something we can all get sorted without too much effort. If it isn’t already, make sure the ‘Blue Widgets’ in the menu is actually a live link taking you to a page about blue widgets. Then get some decent content on this page. Write a proper page of authoritative information about the subject. Show that you know all about blue widgets. That’s how you grab Google’s attention.