How to get found on Google

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Search engine optimisation is an important thing to consider if you want your website to be a valuable part of your business strategy. I want to talk about the basics of how to get found on Google – these are relatively easy steps you can take right now to give your website the best chance of appearing in search results.

SEO is a complex, ever evolving topic. It’s also not necessarily easy to rank on Google, especially if your business is in a competitive industry or if your website is very new. The best results rely on an ongoing strategy, as well as immediate optimisation.

Essentially, there are four areas to focus on to get your website found on Google.

  1. Optimise your content
  2. Create a great user experience
  3. Use good internet practices
  4. Increase engagement and activity

I’ll be going into more detail about each one of these below.

Make Google Your Friend

When somebody asks Google a question, it’s going to instantly scan thousands of pages, and return the sites it believes are the best and most relevant to that question. So you need to get on Google’s good side. You’ll have to remember that you may be competing with a lot of other sites doing the exact same thing. However, optimising your site to get into Google’s good books is your best hope of getting organic website traffic.

A cartoon-like image of a web page waving to the Google logo, trying to get its attention.

There are many ways to increase your chances of getting Google to notice your site, and it can be a daunting process that takes time. There is no one quick fix. However, focusing on these four areas should give you a great start.

Optimise Your Content

Real, unique content

Surprisingly, many people overlook quality content when it comes to creating a website. You can list your details, your services and products, but that alone is not going to make your site attractive to Google. The more content you write, the more opportunities you have to provide value and genuine information to readers. Instead of just listing your services, write a little bit about each one, and why they’re important. Provide the backstory to your products, let people know why they’re different and special. Be real, provide quality, and fill out that page with some genuinely great content.

Keywords

This second point ties into the first, as your content should be based around keywords. I have actually written a whole article on how to use keywords to boost your SEO, so I won’t go into huge detail about how to use keywords here.

Basically, your keywords need to be the main words that people will put in their search query when looking for your services or products. The most important thing to remember about keywords or phrases, is focus on one per page. You need to make it as clear as possible to Google what the main purpose of each page of your website is. One of the reasons I would advise against just having a one-page site is that you’ll only really be able to focus on one key phrase, which limits you in terms of possible Google searches.

If you have a WordPress website, you can use free tools like Yoast to help you with using keywords effectively in your website content. I’ve written a guide on how to use Yoast, if you’re interested.

Create a Great User Experience

A speedy site

A slow loading site means that users are likely to leave the site before the content even loads in. The more this happens, the more Google will avoid showing your website in the top search results. Use a good hosting provider, optimise your media, and avoid lengthy, messy code and unnecessary plug-ins. A slow-loading site creates a vicious circle of bad user experience leading to bad SEO.

Relevant titles and descriptions

When writing content for your site, think about how to make it as clear as possible. Lay it out in easy to read paragraphs with relevant html headings. Google will pick up on those headings and use them to determine how useful this information is to its users. Give each page a title and meta-description focusing on your keyword. Label images with a title and some alternative text to show how relevant they are to your content.

Side Note: Some website builders like Wix and Squarespace don’t give you absolute, granular control over some of the minor details of your site. As a result, it’s hard to fully optimise these sites for SEO. If getting found on Google is a priority for you, consider using WordPress as an alternative. (Not sure what that means? I’ve written a guide to wordpress vs Wix, which gives you a good overview.)

Good navigation structure

Google uses your menu like a map – the most important pages should be the main items on your menu. You can organise your less important pages into sub-menu items that are relevant to each main menu item. This encourages Google to focus on those main pages where your quality content and keywords are. You can also use an internal linking structure to guide Google to other information that might be relevant to the page it’s looking at. You want to make it as easy as possible for Google to ‘see’ your most valuable pages.

Use Good Internet Practices

A secure site

This has become hugely important in the last few years. You might have noticed that the ‘http’ part of a website’s URL has changed to ‘https‘ for most sites. This is part of a global movement of the internet becoming more secure. The ‘https’ part shows that a site is using SSL, which is an encrypted connection between the web server and the web browser. This is standard now, and if you’re not using SSL, web browsers might flag up your site for using an insecure connection.

Whether you’re using a website builder or getting a developer to build a site for you, you must check that your site uses SSL, and comes with an SSL certificate. The chances are, if the service you’re using is super cheap or free, it might not include SSL. Google prioritises secure sites, and not having that SSL certificate is a sure-fire way to make sure you’ll be dropped off the rankings.

Use the other Google tools

Let’s face it, Google is an all-encompassing superpower, and it has become that way by getting people to rely on the tools it offers. If you submit your sitemap to Google Search Console and create a Google business profile, it will bump up the importance of your website in Google’s eyes. Don’t forget to link your website to your Google business profile as well.

Encourage ‘good’ traffic

You may see services advertising a way to get thousands of clicks per day on your website to increase your SEO. However, this is most likely to be automated bot traffic, and believe me, Google will see through this! Real human traffic, with people spending some time on your site, is a much better way to get ‘noticed’ by Google.

Increase Engagement and Activity

Keep your site ‘alive’

Google likes sites that get updated frequently with new, relevant content. Logically, these sites are more likely to contain up to date, relevant information for its users. One of the best ways to keep your site alive with new content is through a blog. If you can post even once a month with some news, updates, or new information then over time this will become a great way to boost your SEO.

There are actually loads more advantages of blogging – it’s really worth considering for many reasons, not just SEO!

Increase user engagement

Google keeps track of how long people spend on your site, and how much they interact with your site. This is another area where a blog can be an incredibly useful SEO tool. Create quality content that people will stay on your site to read. Encourage comments, and reply to those comments. Make it easy for people to get in touch with you via a contact form. These are all signs of an active, informative site, and these are the kind of sites Google wants to show to its users.

Backlinking

A backlink is a link to your site from any other place on the web. This could be an online directory, social media, a guest blog post you wrote on somebody else’s site, or a link on someone’s ‘associates’ page. The more backlinks and referrals you can get, the more Google sees your site as an authoritative and legitimate source of information.

Getting found on Google: The Good News!

So… you’ve done everything you can to get found on Google. If you’re still not showing up in those top – ranking spots, don’t worry. One of the most important things to bear in mind with SEO is that it takes time.

The good news is that by following all the steps I’ve laid out for you, your site will now be a place that people want to hang out. It should be a fast, optimised website, with great user experience and regularly updated, quality content.

My advice to you would be to stay patient, be consistent, and keep up the great SEO work! It will pay off in the long run!

If you have questions about anything in this article, feel free to reach out for a chat with me!

If you’re wondering how to generate more leads and enquiries through your website and you’d like my support, I offer one-to-one website consultations to help you develop a strategy for improving your website.

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