When creating your website or blog, it goes without saying that you want it to be found by people. With the increasingly widespread use of search engines, if your website can’t be found it may as well not exist. Search Engine Optimisation is an essential part of any internet marketing campaign so what are the essentials that you can apply to your site to boost its visibility as quickly as possible?
What is the “Google Index”?
Google is the most popular search engine, so we’ll use it as the basis for explaining how everything works. When you create your website, you are found via searches, but when you search Google, you aren’t searching the entire World Wide Web, you are searching Google’s index.
Google’s index contains every webpage that Google can possibly direct you to, imagine it as a public library that is constantly accumulating more and more material. It acquires these webpages via web crawlers; the software Google uses for web crawling is Googlebots. Imagine a mass herd of tiny, invisible spiders – spiders that can read and file information accordingly – these spiders visit your website and follow every referring link to other webpages, compiling a list of every bit of content that’s on each page, such as the words on each page, the headings and even ALT tags, so that they can store it in Google’s Index.
How do I get my website indexed by Google?
The first step is to create a sitemap. A sitemap is an XML document on your website’s server that compiles a list detailing each page of your website, crawlers then use this to navigate through your site. In addition to this, your sitemap enables Google to see when you have added new pages and made alterations to current pages so that Googlebots can crawl your website again. The sitemap is also used as a means of finding new pages, via links that are incorporated into your sitemap. You can build your sitemap yourself, or there are third-party tools which can generate one for you; once this is done, submit it in Google Webmaster Tools by signing up with your Google account and adding it.
If you have created your website with WordPress, this process can be completed even quicker and easier by simply installing Google XML Sitemaps plugin, which will automatically create, update and submit your sitemap. Another recommended WordPress Plugin for accelerating Google’s recognition of your site is Google Analytics. Analytics is useful for any website for the purpose of analysing how your website is performing, in terms of its usage by visitors, but in this case, merely installing the plugin (or signing-up online) sends an indication to Google that a website needs to be crawled.
Building an effective social media & website link profile
Once your sitemap is completed, it is worth sending further indications to Google by sharing your Website link on social profiles. Google is constantly tracking social signals, so if you tweet or Facebook share links to your website for example, it will alert Google as well as other search engines. Along with this, you can expand your link-building process by creating off-site content and sharing the link through blog posts or submitting it to classified and article directories to then share. This method can be excellent for building your website’s trust flow and helping you rank higher in search engine result pages, but how you do it is vital – ensure that the content is of good quality and relevant, and only share it via good quality, creditable sources. Google only indexes quality content; so if Google deems your website as spam-prone, you are likely to be penalised in relation to your visibility.
If your website is more of a blogging platform, you’re at an advantage, because blog posts tend to be crawled and indexed much quicker than static pages. All the additional methods are still relevant, and sharing your posts with article directories (as mentioned above) is even more worthwhile, but making the extra effort to set up a Feedburner account is also effective. Feedburner is Google’s own RSS management tool. By submitting your blog to Feedburner, your sitemap will automatically update each time you update your blog with a new post, which will notify Google of your activity – and an up-to-date sitemap, along with an RSS tool, will influence the speed of which your content is discovered. To assist with this further, sharing posts on social media is a particularly effective technique. Creating a blog post to link to your pages will help Googlebots discover your pages considerably quicker!
Remember, the entire indexing process is for the ultimate purpose of appearing higher in search engine results and gaining more traffic – for any further advice or assistance with promoting your website on search engines, contact Kandekore: 0121 4000 171