If you want your website to be noticed, you have to get on Google.
And if you want to get on Google, you have to make yourself as visible as possible to them and their web crawlers.
Then of course once you’re on, you’re going to want make sure you stay there.
Getting and staying on Google can be broken down into three easily remembered stages:
· Build (on-site SEO)
· Engage (off site SEO)
· Stay fresh (regular content)
Let’s elaborate and see what these points really entail.
Build – on-site SEO
Anyone who maintains their own website, be it for business or pleasure, should at least be aware that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a thing, even if they might not really understand it.
They also need to know that it comes in two flavours: on-site and off-site, and taking care of the on-site SEO while building your website is paramount if you want it to get on Google.
On-site SEO includes everything that your web design team can arrange for you, either behind the scenes or for public consumption; quality content with relevant keywords, page titles, Google text snippets, URLs, H1 or H2 headings, correctly tagged images, outbound links, and having a site map.
All of these will affect your Google rank, although some (content and titles) carry more weight than others (alt tags on images).
Engage – off-site SEO
As the name suggests, off-site SEO covers everything you can do in other places online to improve your own SEO and help you to get on Google.
One metric used by Google to measure your ranking is the quality of your inbound links; that is, links from other places directing people to your site.
The practice of link building has long been a big part of any SEO campaign, although the focus has now shifted to the subtly different but more interpersonal practice of link earning.
Advisable ways of earning the high quality links that help you to get on Google include reaching out to bloggers and asking them to link to your best content, or offer to write a guest post with a link back to your site.
Leaving useful, non-generic comments on relevant blog posts with a link back to your site also works, as does being active and respected on a forum that allows you to display your web address in your signature or in posts.
Building a community on social media is another great way to improve the engagement with your content, if you can encourage your audience to share it directly from your site.
Stay fresh – regular content
While on and off-site SEO practices help you to get on Google, the ubiquitous search engine also takes into account the freshness of your website and its content.
It makes sense; after all, Google wants you to keep using its service, so strives to give the most relevant, freshest results it can. Stale websites get punished by falling in the rankings.
Even if most of your website’s pages are static and don’t change, there are ways to maintain a steady stream of new content. The most common is a regular blog, with the opportunity for people to comment on the posts.
Depending on the nature of your site, running a forum is also a possibility and helps with the fresh posts and interaction that Google values so highly.
Get on Google, Stay on Google
Being found through organic search engine results is vital to your business, and that means one thing: you have to get on Google.
By following the three key stages of building, engaging and staying fresh, you’ll give yourself the best of chance of both getting and staying there.