Or how to get your website to the top page of Google
This is something we hear many, many times. “I have my website but it’s appearing on page six of Google results” or “my website doesn’t work, it doesn’t appear on the first page of Google when I type it in”.
There are many misconceptions around how a website gets to the first page of a Google search results. And it’s all down to something called SEO. Let’s start with an explanation of what SEO is.
SEO is Search engine optimisation and it is designed to improve the performance of your website on search engines such as Google, Bing etc. Google aims to return the best matches for the word or phrase searched for by a user. Good SEO will tell Google that your website is a great match for what a user has searched for, pushing it to the top of the search results. But to understand SEO, you must understand how a Search Engine works
Google crawls and makes an index of every page on the internet. It then uses this index every time it performs a search. When you put a word into Google search bar, two things happen:
- Google checks the word against every indexed page to see which web pages contain that word. This operation gives back a list of matches
- Google then runs algorithms on those matches to determine relevance, in order to present them in the correct order (as Google sees it) in the search results seen by the searcher
Google provides a graphic showing in more detail how this process works: How Search Works – click to view a more detailed explanation
Having the right keywords on your site is only ONE part of many parts to having successful SEO. Other relevant items are:
- A mobile responsive site – this is SO important, and is about to become more important with upcoming changes from Google
- Keywords – your site content must feature the words your customer are putting into the search engine to find your service
- Alt tags on all your images – a description of what the image is about
- Regular website updates – (that’s why we always suggest a blog)
- Your business registered on Google My Business
- Google reviews by your customers
- Social media presence
- Good quality, relevant, engaging content (blogs, updates etc) that is shared by your audience
- Links – outbound (from your site to another relevant site) and inbound (from another site into your site)
- Being listed on local online director, like yelp, localpages.ie, hotfrog etc
Google wants to return the most accurate and suitable results to a search it can and it uses all the above to decide if your website best suits what the user is searching for. The more you have of the above, the more likely your site is to be returned.
Don’t “Set and Forget”!
- SEO must be a continual WIP. It is not something you can do once and then ignore.
- Focus on providing what your customer wants and needs. Make it easy for your customer to find information on your website. Google will recognise your relevant content and be able to find it easily as well, which will lead to you being rewarded in rankings.
As you can see, having good SEO is a whole process in itself which is why we, amongst many others, offer it as a separate service. It takes time and effort to get it done well and right. And it also means that the site owner must commit to making updates and being on top of their social media or hiring someone to do that for them. Again we offer that as a separate service too, cos let’s face it, who has the time to do this along with the day job!
It will take time and it takes effort and work to get on the first page of google. If your site has basic SEO already implemented but you don’t have a lot of the other elements going on, that will have an affect on what page you are returned.
NOBODY can guarantee #1 spot in Google, and certainly not long term. It is not a quick fix and as it is continually changing nothing is guaranteed. And it does take work I’m afraid. But we can help!