You have a fantastic product or service, and you’ve built a terrific website. Yet still, you have no cut through. You search on Google, and your business doesn’t appear until the 10th page of search results. How can you fix this? While there is no magic bullet to get your business on the first page of search – there are a few hacks you can adopt to make sure you are getting better results.
How does Google find my site?
You might think Google crawls all sites; however, sometimes sites slip through the cracks. To find out if Google has indexed your site, do a ‘site: search’ for your homepage on Google. If you return a result, then Boom! You’re in business. Your site is indexed. The next step would be to work on making your site more attractive to Google’s bots, so when they crawl your site, it delivers a better result. If your site didn’t appear when you searched, submit a request for Google to crawl your homepage. Crawling can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. And make sure to check out Google Search Console as it provides loads of valuable information on how your website performs and what improvements to make to optimise the user experience.
I’m indexed, now what?
Once Google discovers a page URL, it crawls the page to learn more about what’s on it. It does this by analysing various elements of the pages such as overall layout, text and images (indexing). The better that Google can understand your site, the better it can match your content to people searching for that type of content. So how do you improve your indexing? According to Google support, the best ways are:
- Create short, meaningful page titles.
- Use page headings that convey the subject of the page.
- Use text rather than images to convey content. (Google can understand some image and video, but not as well as it can understand text. At a minimum, annotate your video and photos with alt text and other attributes as appropriate. Alt text also makes your site more accessible).
Improving your search rankings
Google looks for the most relevant answer to a user’s search query. To determine the best answer, Google considers several things such as user experience, language, location and device (Are they searching from a mobile or desktop?). If you’re searching for ‘best smash cakes’ from Sydney, you will get a different answer than someone making the same search request in London.
To improve your results, Google suggests:
- Make your page fast to load, and mobile-friendly.Check out Test my Site for helpful tips.
- Put useful content on your page and keep it up to date.
- Follow the Google Webmaster Guidelines, which help ensure a good user experience.
Plus, if you’re serious about improving your Google search results, then don’t forget to optimise your Business Profile with Google. Make sure to include information relevant to your local audience, such as name, address, and phone number, your hours of operation and location-based keywords.
Want more? You can find more tips and best practices by checking out Google’s free online course Make Sure Customers Find You Online.
This article was first published on Small Business First. You can see the original content here.