A business website is one of the most important components of a marketing plan. When people are looking for information, products, or services they turn to the search engines. More specifically, they turn to Google. If you want your website to be found, it needs to have a Google presence. Of course, not every website is going to rank prominently in Google. It takes work. If you want your site to rank well in Google, it’s necessary to create a website that is “Google friendly”.
Here are five ways to do so:
1. Optimize titles, headings, and page content
At the foundation of an SEO campaign are keywords. In order to show up on a SERP (search engine results page) for a specific keyword search, that keyword, or similar keywords, need to appear in your site content. The title element of each page is the most important meta data element for SEO purposes. Each title should include keywords and be unique to each page of content. The purpose is to tell the search engine spider what that page is about. If the title is the same on every page, there is nothing that differentiates it. Incorporate keywords throughout the on page content as appropriate without “stuffing” them. Utilize subheadings throughout the content using tags that convey that the content is important.
2. Submit a sitemap
Google will find your site and index it eventually, but it’s best practice to submit a sitemap to Google through Google Webmaster Tools which may speed up the process and gives Google the ability to find and index all of the pages of your site. If the site is large, it’s recommended to have a sitemap of sitemaps to keep things organized. An e-commerce site that is constantly adding and removing pages should resubmit the sitemap on a regular basis to get the new pages crawled and indexed.
3. Build a strong internal linking structure
Inbound links get all of the attention when it comes to SEO, but it’s also important to have a strong internal linking structure for SEO and usability purposes. It helps visitors and search spiders navigate the site easily.
4. Implement redirects
It’s understandable that a website will need to be changed and updated regularly. However, when removing pages of your website it’s important to 301 redirect to an active page of content that is relevant. A 404 Error page is bad for usability reasons and prevents the search spider from crawling the site smoothly. When it hits a 404 Error page the crawl comes to a halt because there is nowhere to go from there.
5. Create backlinks and keep the site “fresh”
In order to improve the authority of your website and get the search spiders coming back again and again it’s necessary to create inbound links and content on a regular basis. Spend time researching industry sites to obtain relevant inbound links. Add a blog to your website. A blog is a great way to ensure that the search spiders return to the site since each new post is a new page of content that needs to be crawled and indexed.
Image: Search Friendly by Shutterstock