“How to SEO my website” or “How to SEO my blog” is easily the number one question among both: new online website owners and seasoned bloggers alike. Having your website show up on the first page of Google or at least picked up by Google is the ultimate goal of just about every website owner.
Visitors finding your website based on their search queries is referred to as ‘organic traffic'. In other words, you didn't pay for that traffic by buying an ad, and you didn't get that traffic by posting a link to your website somewhere, like Facebook for example. You got that traffic because someone went to Google (or any other search engine) and entered in the search box a “word” or “phrase” and Google felt your website provided relevant content for that word or phrase and it gave the searcher a link to the specific page or post inside your website that contained this content.
Most of organic traffic will NOT land or be directed to your ‘home page', it will land on a page within your website, such a specific blog article or another page on your site. This is why bloggers blog :-). It gives Google LOTS of content opportunities to find you by.
A good majority of people think (logically so) that if you build a website, Google will automatically pick it up and serve it to anyone looking for your services. Or at least pick it up, at the very minimum. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite happen that way. This article aims to explain why this happens (or doesn't happen) and perhaps offer some overall strategies to consider that will help improve your chances of your website showing up in Google Search Results.
An Example of Using The Right Keywords for SEO
The most important thing to remember before we start is that Google is a company in and of its own, and it has its OWN audience to serve. Google's goal (and every other search company as well) is to provide its audience (anyone who uses its search engine) the most relevant results from the terms they entered. Google wants its customers to have an excellent experience and when someone is searching for a “pink dress”, it would not want to serve them “mashed potatoes” or even “pink shoes” first (btw, here is the connection to the pink shoes as my featured image ;-). Clever right?). Google wants that visitor who searched for that term to see the websites who offer pink dresses at the very top of the list! Because that's exactly what that person was looking for!
In addition, Google doesn't want its customers to feel deceived when landing on completely irrelevant websites to their search, so it continues to refine and optimize its algorithms regularly to avoid staying stagnant or even people figuring out loopholes and such to bypass the natural logic of the results. Aren't you happy when you search Google and find what you were looking for?
So, keeping the above ‘pink dress' keyword example in mind, the owners of those websites who sell pink dresses have to optimize their websites for the WORDS “pink dresses” or “pink dress”. Having pictures of these products is simply not enough. In fact, it does nothing because Google robots do not recognize images (yet). They only recognize words: such as the words used when you named the image (pink dress.jpg) and a couple other fields that can be optimized within the images you add to a website. That is just ONE of the items you can optimize. For a list of items to optimize and how to do so, download my SEO Guide here!
Search Engine Optimization is the practice of creating content that helps search engine robots (not just Google but Bing, etc…) find, organize and then prioritize your content in order of relevance to the person who typed in the search terms.
Google is like a librarian (back in the day): it takes the content you give it (via optimized keywords inside your website's meta tags) and it decides where to store it and when to serve it. If you give it nothing, it gets filed under nothing and it never gets served to anyone. If you sell Rain Coats but the only keywords you got are “Monjuju Komoru” (the name of your business as found on your domain name), then unless people are physically typing “Monjuju Komoru” into the Google search box to find you, then your site will not come up for someone looking for “Rain Coats”.
How To Make Your Website Show Up In Google Search Results
Here is an overview of some key elements to consider if you are struggling with ranking on Google :
1- SEO is not a “set it and forget it” thing. It requires that you feed consistent and relevant content to search engines ON and ABOUT your website.
2- Adding a blog (and blogging) to include the different keywords in different articles that you wish to rank for can significantly improve your website's overall success in search results:
- If you don't have a blog, but you have a website, you may be able to easily add a blog to it. This is particularly easy if you are using SquareSpace or WordPress.
- If you don't yet have a blog or website and wish to start one, I recommend starting with a self-hosted WordPress blog. Here is how to start a WordPress blog. Once you have a blog, my SEO Guide will help you learn how to optimize your WordPress Blog for SEO (search engine optimization).
3- If you do not wish to blog, you will STILL need to provide search engines consistent content and links back to your website in order for it to be ranked and prioritized accordingly. You can accomplish this by sharing your information in social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Yelp (reviews make a difference), Instagram, Pinterest and the like. In fact, if you are open for video, then YouTube would be my second best recommendation to blogging in order to optimize your content and send traffic to your site.
By website versus blog, I am referring to just having a site with static pages such as: home, products, about me, contact me, faq but NOT a blog where you post regular articles and content to on a consistent basis. One can build a website with WordPress WITHOUT it being a “blog”. You have to add “posts” for this to be considered a blog.
4- Aim to find the best keywords. For example, if you are selling a car, don't optimize the word “car”. Instead go for “1984 Red Toyota Tercel in Tempe Arizona for sale”. You'd think you'd want ANYONE looking for a car to find you but keep in mind that you are better off with LESS but OPTIMAL traffic, than having visitors who are never going to be interested in buying from you because they drive Ferraris. Also, goes without saying, if you are PAYING for advertising, you DEFINITELY don't want anyone clicking on that ad who is NOT looking for a Red Toyota Tercel! Not all traffic is good traffic and in advertising, it can cause severe financial issues. :-).
- Use Google Keyword Planner to find great, relevant keywords. Get CREATIVE! The tool will give you not only they keywords but also their volume comparison.
- If your product or service is not a common searched term, aim instead to find keywords of what problem exactly your product or service would help people solve. Most times people are searching for things they need a solution for, instead of the actual solution, right? “How to cure a headache naturally” instead of “Peppermint Oil”. 😉
5- Have you submitted your site to Google? Go here and submit your URL to Google. Hey, it's there for a reason, right? You only need to submit your main domain URL (once). No need to send other pages and such.
6- Once you have done your SEO work on your site, remember this, it takes like 4-6 weeks to even make a dent (if it's gonna make a dent at all – depends on how well you set it up). Sometimes way longer to get to the first page of results. Its dreadful really, I wish it would just tell you something like “yeah buddy, that's not gonna fly” LOL. Reminds me of when I go fishing. You HAVE to leave the worm in the water for a reasonable time if you want to catch fish. Yet, you have NO IDEA if your worm is still on the hook, stuck under a rock or something like that until you reel it back in. That moment you reel your pole back in in after it sat there for 10 minutes and the worm is not there? UGH. It was never gonna work right? SEO is a similar waiting game but try to keep your consistency and learn new things to try along the way until it WORKS!
SEO is definitely not a thing of the past. If you can get some strong traction going here, search engines like Google will send you loads of visitors FOR FREE. Who wouldn't want that? Don't just rely on manual traffic (links you create); put your blog to work for you so that it will eventually work while you sleep!
If you are completely overwhelmed by this, consider hiring someone to take on some of the SEO work for you. I myself offer this specifically as an SEO service: where you type up your articles or blog posts, email them to me, and I go do the research for the best way to re-phrase those keywords as needed and optimize them within your content. Or, you can also download my SEO guide and do this yourself :-).
I wish you the best of luck with your search engine optimization and hopefully you have a better understanding of How to Make Your Blog Show Up in Google Search Results.