Oftentimes your website design might be spot on, but Google still has trouble finding, indexing, and ranking it. When you perform a Google search, Google’s programs check their index to determine the most relevant search results to be given to you. They do this by crawling and indexing, and I’ve included definitions for these terms below.
Crawling: This is the process by which Googlebot discovers new and updated pages to add to Google’s index. Googlebot uses a process where computer programs determine which sites to crawl, how often, and how many page to grab from each site.
Indexing: Googlebot processes each of the pages it crawls in order to compile a large index of all the words it sees and their location on each page. In addition, they process information included in key content tags and attributes, such as Title tags and ALT attributes. Googlebot can process many, but not all, content types.
These guidelines will be helpful in making sure your site is found by Google, thus putting your website high on the page when a search is done.
- Make a site with a clear hierarchy and text links.
- Offer a site map to your users with links that point to important parts of your site.
- Create a useful, information-rich site, writing pages that accurately describe your content.
- Make sure that your <title> elements and ALT attributes are descriptive and accurate.
- Check for broken links and correct HTML.
- Test your site to make sure that it appears correctly in different browsers.
- Make reasonable efforts to ensure that advertisements do not affect search engine rankings.
- If your company buys a content management system, make sure that the system creates pages and links that search engines can crawl.
- Monitor your site’s performance and make sure load times are as fast as possible.
- Make your pages primarily for users, not search engines.
- Don’t be tricky and deceptive with your content, be as clear and concise as possible.
- Make your website stand out from all the rest.
- Avoid hidden text and links, cloaking, creating pages with little to no content, or loading pages with irrelevant keywords.
- Monitor your site for hacking and do your best to prevent spam.
If this list seems a little overwhelming, you are not alone. It’s a lot to think about. Contact us today to chat about how your website is doing, how Google is finding it, and what you can do to make it even more successful.