Sharing our wealth of knowledge to show up in Google, Bing, and Yahoo Search!
At BNG Design, we don’t want to keep our steps to success a secret. We have learned some important techniques from leaders in the web industry and we want you to be able to learn from these ideas too. We have the “share the wealth” mentality around here. That is why we are going to be doing a 2 part blog post over the best first steps to take to show up in Google search. All of our techniques or ideas described in this article are best practices. When it comes to On Page SEO such as this, the overall idea is to make your website content as easy as possible to read for search engines and as accurate of an information source as you can. The easier and more accurate you can make your site for the major search engines, the better your website will rank in search.
The idea for this article came from some SEO consulting we were hired to do for a website in Silicon Valley. The site was built by a professional advertising agency, one we do work for from time to time. They brought us in to consult because the site they built for their client was performing poorly in search. We went in and added Google Analytics to see what the base line was and looked at their code. What we found is even though the site looked good in comparison to its local competition and the add agency built what the client asked for, there was no forethought put into the initial website build to help it show up in search. This is a common occurrence for us. We see that business owners ask a website design firm to build a site that looks good, but does not ask for it to show up well in search until much later. What should be built more often then not is a site that looks good and shows up in search from the beginning, these are goals we strive for in every website we build.
Steps 1 through 6 – How to Show up in Google Search
The steps below are the first 6 that we find to be some of most important steps to showing up in search. Understand that these steps will not ensure you will immediately be number one on Google search, but these are the most effective first steps that should be done before spending time or money elsewhere. If you have a business that is in a very competitive market you will definitely want to stay tuned for our next post with steps 7 through 12.
1. Submit Your Site
- Submit your site address to Google, Bing, and/or Yahoo to be indexed if it hasn’t been done before. Each search engine has different steps, so we linked the pages needed to submit your site.
2. Sitemap Submission
- If you do not have an XML sitemap you should create one. Give us a call if you need help! If you have an XML sitemap created, you should submit the sitemap to Google by creating a webmaster tools account. Doing this lets Google provide you with helpful information and stats pertaining to your site. Google wants you to submit your sitemap because it makes their indexing system much more efficient at locating and crawling new pages. The easier you can make things for Google, the better your ranking opportunities become. Submitting your sitemap helps Google have the address of all the pages on your site, ensuring that you have the best chance of getting all of those pages added to the search index, not just your home page.
- Creating proper headings is a very important step for showing up in search. Google wants to know what is important on a page. The h1 heading tells Google what is the most important subject on the page. We see sometimes web designers will hard code the h1 tag into the theme of a website as the companies name. This is a bad idea because now all of your pages have the same repetitive h1, effectively hurting you more than it could possibly help. The h1 heading tag should be designated for only one heading per page and it should be the most relevant and first heading of a page. Use h2 and h3 for headings after the h1 and use h4, h5, and h6 for headings in footers, sidebars or less important or repetitive info. Be sure to add headings to any of your pages that do not have headings so search engines know how to rank the page info and what information is most important.For example the h1 tag for this blog post is on the very top of the page content and is also the page title, see below.
<h1>How to Show up in Google Search – Part 1 of 2</h1>
4. Meta Tags
There are a number of different types of Meta Tags. The ones you should focus on at this point are the Meta Title and the Meta Description. The Meta Title tells the browser (IE, Chrome, FireFox) and the search engines what your page title is. In most modern web browsers the Meta Title will show on the tab when you load the page. The Meta Description is not heavily weighed in the search algorithms but is very important because it is the default description shown in search snip its. Make sure your page meta tags are clear and concise. The word order in the title and description is important. The words closest to the front are weighted more than the words in the rear. So put the business name last since it will be repeated in all page titles.Below is an example of the Title for this page.
<title>How to Show up in Google Search – Part 1 of 2 BNG Website Design</title>
5. Targeted Keywords
Remember that if there is no use of a desirable keyword or key phrase within the website page content, the website has zero chance of showing up in search for it. If there is very little mention or no mention of many of the keywords that you want to rank for, you will need to add them into the content. We see quite a lot that when a business owner is writing content for his or her website. They leave out some very important keywords because to them the words seem implied. Don’t think that way! Your visitors and Google do not have the same or even close to the same level of understanding on the topics you are writing about. We would suggest going through the website and adding keywords where appropriate, but don’t over saturate it. Only add where it adds to the overall reading quality. If you want your website to rank for keywords that are not easy to put into current pages, then new specific landing pages need to be created using the keywords or phrases you want to rank better with.
6. Ask For Professional Help
If you do not know what the above steps mean, hire the professionals. BNG Design is here to explain these steps and more to you. We will execute these steps on your site so you will show up in search and to help your business grow. At the end of the day, we have the same goals and motivations you do. We want your website to benefit your business just as much as you do. Our livelihood depends upon it and so does yours.
Stay tuned for our next month’s post for steps 7-12! Contact us today to learn more about how BNG Design builds websites and what we can do for your business.