In a world in which the internet has become fundamental to business, a business’ web pages have to stand out, yet, considering that there are nearly 1.2 billion websites across the world, with billions of web pages, standing out in that crowd has never been harder. Yet, the rewards of standing out are immense. There are 8.5 billion searches on Google every single day, or 3.1 trillion searches a year. The speed and volume of Google searches is breathtaking. There is a massive, active market of people out there looking for products that solve specific problems they have in their lives, whether it’s boredom or finding out how much a dental implant costs. Standing out goes beyond simply writing good content. A website needs search engine optimization SEO) in order to stand out from the crowd.
What is SEO?
SEO is about making small improvements across your website, which, on their own may seem small, but which, when combined, add up to meaningful improvements in user experience and performance on Google’s search results page.
SEO means building a website that gives your users the most high value experience possible, not just in terms of content, but usability and the entirety of their journey on your website. Among those users is Google, which has to be able to understand your content and present it to other users. When you search for something, you will; notice that Google presents a short summary of the website or webpage. For some websites, there is no summary because Google has been unable to determine what the website is about.
1. Check if Your Website is On Google
The nature of search engines means that the more users it has, the better it gets, yet, although Google crawls through billions of web pages, it does not crawl through the entire universe of websites. So the first thing you need to do is check if Google knows that you exist. You can do this through a site: search, for example, site:wikipedia.org returns these results.
If you can’t find your website, it means that:
- Your website is new and Google hasn’t gotten to it yet.
- Your website is an island and not linked to other websites.
- Your website design is poor so Google can’t crawl through it.
- Google got an error when it tried to crawl through your website.
If your website isn’t on Google, sign up to Google Search Console and submit your content and check your performance on Google.
2. Help Google find your content
You need to help Google navigate through your website. In order to do this, you should build and submit a sitemap that will tell Google what pages exist on your website, where they are, and what changes you have made to the website.
3. Tell Google What Web Pages Not to Crawl Through
If you have non-sensitive information that you do not want Google to crawl through, you should create a robots.txt file that will tell Google if it can access and crawl through parts of your website. This file is placed in the root directory of your website. However sometimes Google may still crawl through the website, or a user may guess the URL of the sections you do not want them to see. So for sensitive information, you need to use more secure methods. Google Search Console has a robots.txt generator you can use to prevent Google from accessing parts of your website.
For sensitive information, you should use a nonindex tag if you don’t want specific web pages to appear on Google, but don’t mind a person with the URL accessing the page. If you want to be really secure, you should block those web pages with password protection or having the page off site.
4. Help Your Users, Inc. Google, understand your content
5. Promote Your Website
Promoting your website is crucial to gaining new users and winning customers. Effective promotion will make it easier for users to discover your website.
If you have a local business, you should work with the best local SEO agency to optimize your website to your specific geography. You should also claim a Business Profile to make your site discoverable on Google Maps and Google Search.
You could consider having a blog post on your website telling users about any new changes to your content or services. Any followers you have will pick up on the story and share it.
Offline promotion of your website is also important. You need to have your URL on all your promotional material. Newsletters delivered by mail could also help promote your website.