Your website is up and running, now you can finally sit back and enjoy your free visitors from Google. Right?
To get ranked in Google you will need to make sure that your website is ‘worthy’ enough. For the visitor AND for Google.
In this article, I am going to explain the basics of how you can get ranked in Google.
What does Google want?
Before we get started, you will need to understand Google’s mission.
From their 2013’s mission statement:
“Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
They want users to find the information they are looking for as efficient as possible so that they can get on with their life’s.
So as a business, you will need to understand that your website:
will have to provide content that is valuable to your visitors, and
will have to present this content in a form that is understandable for Google.
So, you will have to create content that is easy to digest for both people and machines.
Now, the basics of SEO can be divided into 3 parts:
The creation of content,
The technique used to present this content, and
The online reputation of your website.
Part #1: Create valuable content
Users are looking for content that fulfils the need that they have. This could either be a search for information, or a search for a product/service.
As a website owner, you will need to fulfil this need by providing valuable content.
So to get ranked in Google, you will need to create content that is valuable to your potential customers. The more, the better.
Your homepage and product page will be to most important pages you want to get ranked for. So you should prioritise these. For each of these pages pick a search term you want to focus for, and expand your content based on this search term.
Then, you can create new pages for other search terms you might want to rank for. You can either expand your product pages or create a blog. Being ranked on long term search queries is the main reason why people start blogging. You can create valuable content for your potential customers without having to worry too much about your site structure.
Now, the most important thing for content is that you create it with the user in mind.
Part #2: Technique of your website
Once you created some content on your website, you will have to start thinking about the technique of how to present this to Google.
Remember, you want your content to be picked up by Google’s crawlers so that they can analyse it and rank it. You want to make it Google as easy as possible, by following the guidelines.
Things you can consider to get better rankings:
Create a robot.txt file.
Create and submit XML sitemaps to Google Search Console.
Think about your website structure.
Reduce image size (tip: use tinyPNG).
Use meta tags.
Use header tags.
And there’s much, much more.
Too much? No need to be scared away. The key takeaway is that once you created great content, you will need to make sure the Google crawlers will be able to read it as well.
It is easy for a user to see paragraphs. However, as the Google crawlers don’t have eyes you will need to instruct them by adding header tags.
Part #3: Building links
Google’s crawlers find their way across the web by following links. It is how the world wide web is connected.
Now if a lot of links are pointing to a similar URL, Google is likely to rank that URL higher in search results. After all, if that many websites are endorsing that URL, it must have some great content on it, right?
Now, wait! Don’t leave and start asking other websites for a link to your site straight away. There’s no point. Think about it: if someone endorses you for your work, wouldn’t it be better if it comes from your boss directly rather than from 10 random people you found on the street?
The same works for link building. There’s no point in building links from sites that don’t have a good reputation. Google won’t value them. Also, when there are a lot of invaluable links linking to your website you risk being black-listed by Google.
So, the key is to build valuable links from websites with a good reputation. Thinks about being interviewed as an expert on a news site, or being endorsed by one of your top clients.
To get your site ranked by Google, you will have to worry about three parts:
The creation of valuable content
The technique you use to present this content, and
Links (endorsements) from other websites to your content.
If you execute these parts correctly, you will notice that your content will be ranked higher by Google over time.
Search Engine Optimisation is a long term process. Especially when you just launched a new website it can take weeks or even months to build up. Google is all about presenting valuable content to its users. It doesn’t want to rank invaluable content as it will mean the user won’t be using Google to find the information in the future.
So, you will have to build up the reputation of your website first. Google is able to see if a website provides valuable content. If a user clicks on one of the results and re-does the search a few minutes later, Google knows the website didn’t provide valuable information.
Getting ranked in Google is all about creating valuable content for both the user and the search engine.