Why doesn’t my school website appear in Google searches?

Congratulations on the launch of your school website. You’ve got wonderful pictures of your students, an engaging story and technical savvy. In short, you’ve got everything you need to attract prospective parents and teachers. But one question remains: why does my website not show on Google?

Here are two easy checks you can make to find out what’s happened.

Indexing check

First, type in your web address with the prefix ‘site:’. With our website, it would look like this:

Press Enter and Google will give you a list of all the pages it can see on your site. If the list is empty, this means that the search engine hasn’t indexed your pages yet. Although Google indexes all websites automatically, it can take some time for new sites.

You can fix this by registering for the free Google Search Console tool. Essentially, it’s a way of telling Google that your site exists and you own it. You should also upload a sitemap to the Search Console. Watch out for any error reports from the tool and check back in a few days’ time.

Ranking check

Once your site is indexed, search for your school name (or another keyword you’re targeting). For example, ‘King’s College London Mathematics School’. Ideally, your school website will appear as the first link or at least on the first page. 

But if there are thousands of results (or more), it may be buried on one of the later pages. (You can check your exact ranking using one of many tools.) This is when you need to look more closely at search engine optimisation (SEO).

Google’s algorithm uses hundreds of ranking ‘signals’. And some of them don’t favour new sites – for example, the number of links from other websites. By working through common SEO factors, you can improve your site’s ranking over time. For example, King’s College Maths School takes advantage of its sponsor’s well-established website (kings.ac.uk), with which it’s linked.

SEO isn’t a quick fix. But it can help you dramatically increase your website’s position. Look out for more in our next blog. 

And that’s it for ‘Why does my website not show on Google?’, the schools edition. If you want support with your school website, we’re here to help. Please get in touch.

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