How to get your website on page 1 of Google
aprompt website designers always like to help clients as much as possible with their websites. Having a successful website doesn't stop the moment you employ us to design and build it. Here are 3 useful tips you can take away with you on how to get your website to page 1 of Google.
My website went live yesterday - why can't I find it in Google?
A new website can take days, weeks or months (up to 6 months depending on your content) to show in Google SERPS (search engine results pages). Even then there is no guarantee Google bots will crawl your website and then list it as it takes in to account many factors in deciding whether to index a site or not. Some of these factors include:
- Age deflation – the age of the domain name. Google takes less notice of domains less than 6 months’ old
- Content - relevancy of your content to the users search criteria
- Appropriate SEO of that content
- Update to date information
- Blog usage, high quality content and appropriate links relevant to users search criteria
- Links from good sources to your website
3 Tips to get higher up in Google
First of all, there is no instant way to get to the top of Google for everything, unless you have a major budget to give direct to Google to pay for an advert that pops up for a particular phrase used in the search facility of Google at a certain time frame for a particular location in the world - this is called Google Adwords. So, lets assume you don't have a major budget for Google Adwords and want your online success to happen more organically.
1. One keyword or two?
All website owners want their websites to be number one in Google right? Yup - fair enough. But have you ever considered what it takes to become high up in the Google search engine? Some questions we'd ask you are:
- What key phrases do you want people to have entered in Google to then find your website?
- Think about what search criteria you would use in Google to find a company like yours
- At what point in the 'buying' process are your users? (This can have an affect on the key phrases you use in your text)
- How many variations of that keyword are you using?
If you'd like to know more about SEO and how to use keywords and where to put them, contact aprompt and book yourself on to our SEO training courses.
You may find that when you start a new search, the number one slot in Google on the 1st page is an advert or a research answer. And you may see adverts listed further down the page as well as in the last few results on the 1st page - and again, this depends on what you searched for, how many times you searched, if you clicked any of the results after being presented with those results and at what time of day you searched and where you are in the world.
One day, I'm sure, the entire first few pages of Google will be adverts and not natural listings because after all, Google is there to make money out of you. Natural listings in Google are those website links that are offered up by Google that haven't paid Google for the privilege. There are so many different algorithms that Google uses to provide what it thinks (figuratively speaking) is an accurate match for what the user searched for there is no way to know them all. Google search algorithms change constantly too - Google adapts to the way it's customers use it's search facility. And it does it very well!
What you can do to help your website
There are many ways to help your website get higher up in the Google search results pages and they all require a little effort (actually this could translate to 'a lot of effort' depending on your skill-sets). But don't despair... even though websites need effort and attention it is do-able. All websites need time and effort given to their content if you don't want to pay Google for Adwords.
It doesn't happen on its own and there is no magic wand to get to numero uno in Google.
2. Copywriting for websites
There are billions of live websites now and they increase daily, while others go off the radar daily too. Some of the loss is due to the online businesses not adapting quick enough to external influences in their target markets and changing surroundings and therefore they get left way behind.
As with businesses that come and go over time, websites have to be looked after and given attention to survive. They need to be 'fed' too - just like a living thing needs to be fed to stay alive. So imagine your website is a living being.
"Words are the food of websites"
Words count and Word counts
Size matters. Having 1000's of pages on your website is expected by Google. 10 pages is not enough! 100 pages is not enough! The more pages you have the better. But the web pages must contain relevant, unique and useful information that your users will find engaging, educational and - depending on your message - amusing. You are competing with BILLIONS of other websites - all growing in size and bulging with great text. It's endless... The quality of words really count so try to give as much thought as possible to each sentence. Don't keyword stuff and don't waffle just to get a higher word count!
Importance of using a blog
There are marketing consultants out there (speak to one last week actually) who still think that having 300 words on a page (for instance in a blog post) is quite sufficient to get the best organic results from Google. This, I'm sorry to say, is just not true. Long form content is better than short form content. Short content in Blogs (i.e. under 1000 words) is insufficient and is classed by Google as 'thin content'. This has been like this for some time however there are still people who think a few words is enough. There was a recent study of over 100 million blog posts that showed the most shared articles were over 3,000 words long. I'm not saying each page on your website needs to be longer than an elephant's trunk but your blog posts should be 'meaty' and not wispy thin.
Consistency of posting blog articles and what to write
I appreciate that once you've added pages to your website full of info about what you do and who you are as a company that this info might not change unless you change your business, so that is where a blog come in to it's own. Blogs which should be part of your website show Google that your website is alive and being fed continuously. Adding blog articles erratically will do you more harm than good. Funnily enough I stumbled upon a Wiltshire copywriters website today and they were (quite rightly) enthusing about the importance of great communication and how fab they were (they are actually lovely people) but unfortunately their blog only had 4 articles in it and they were all dated within the same year - the last one being posted in 2015.
If you're concerned about what to write on your website pages and if you're not a natural-born copywriter, try dictation software and pretend your talking to a customer whose just walked in to your business and they want to know everything about what you do or sell or service. I'm sure you'd have loads to talk about and the information you dictate can be transferred into your website as informative and useful words on pages. After a few times, you'll get in to the swing of things and be able to write more and often.
Unique content = nice
Remember: every business is unique. Each online business is also unique (and it could be in a big way or a small way). The words and images that will help you convert those customers who tap on to your website are incredibly important. If you're still not sure about writing for your website, employ a copywriter but make sure they understand that you need one experienced in copywriting for websites. Professional writing for websites is very different to a creating text for a printed sales brochure, for example! There are key phrases, links and headings to think about as well as the meta information for each page too.
Duplicate content = naughty
Creating 'unique' content on a website means unique text from everyone else's website/blog/PDF. You should at all costs avoid copying content from another website and slap it on to your own. You will be marked down for duplicating content. The amount of duplication on the web is astonishing and very sad. Duplicated content is just annoying for readers and it won't help your website in any way - it's effectively cheating but there will be no prize for you at the end.
3. Website development
When I say 'website development' I mean business websites (also referred to as online businesses) need to develop and re-invent themselves now and again to keep up with external requirements and user habits.
For instance if your online business is in retail (for whatever sector - landscaping products, clothing, jewellery, alarm systems, home wares, etc.) the shopping habits of customers have changed profoundly - just in the last 5 years. While consumers are spending less in high street shops, internet sales have been growing sharply, with one pound in five now being spent with online retailers. This is all great news for the online businesses but you have to keep your 'shop window' fresh and exciting. The best way to do this is ensure your website development is up to date with the latest requirements of browsers. You can ask your website developers about this. But if you know your website code hasn't been touched for over 3 - 5 years, it probably needs a little bit of tender loving care to keep it up to date (code wise) and possibly give it a face lift too.
Indexed Google listings
Your website doesn't have to be brand new to get crawled by Google and then indexed in it's multiple servers. It's actually best that your domain name for your website is not changed (see the importance of age deflation for domain names) however if you do need to change your domain name (or you get a new website and keep your old domain name) just ensure that your website developers know how to keep your previously indexed Google listings (not all website designers know how to do this), so always check they know what they're doing before you employ them!
Keep a clean website
We know that if you had your website built by us (or built by another reputable custom code website development company) that your website code is super clean, efficient and has no unnecessary bulky code included in it. 'Bulky code' (not a technical term by the way!) is the type of code that your website doesn't need in order for it to do it's job. You may find that if you have opted for a website from a website developer who uses pre-made templated code (like WordPress for instance), your website will undoubtedly have lots of unwanted 'bulky code' in it that you don't see and that your website doesn't need. This can be because the websites are made for all sorts of functions which are either switched on/off by the developer depending on what the website is used for. This code however still gets loaded every time the site is called/accessed (unless the developer has deleted and re-built the code), thus it can make your site slower and you will get penalised by Google for having a slow website.
How your website is built and why opensource websites have problems is not one of the tips I was going to include in this article originally as this is a much bigger subject. However the way your website is built, really will make a difference. If you have opted for an open source website, you'll need to really work hard on your content and make sure that all security flaws are mended as soon as you know about them.
If your website was built elsewhere and you're concerned about the performance of it, please contact our website designers in Wiltshire for a no-obligation chat. We won't tell you you need a new website (unless you really do), we'll give you honest feedback which we hope will help you.
Help with website content
If you'd like help with your website copywriting, please let our website designers in Wiltshire know and we can have a chat about your needs.
Written by Kirsty Paget
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