Google is the most popular search engine for finding resources on the Internet. Some researchers suggest that more people use Google than all of the other search engines combined! That being said, you’d probably like to show up near the top of the search results. Well, there are two ways to do it:
#1 – Pay for it. Google will gladly accept your sponsorship payment. As a paid sponsor, you can be highlighted and show up ABOVE the search results.
#2 – Simply DO what the Google robots are looking for…
If you’re of the mindset that you would like to increase your chances of showing up near the top of the search results, but you don’t want to be a Paying Sponsor, follow these 10 simple steps:
- Understand and accept the fact that you may never be #1 on Google.
- Understand that if one day you DO become #1 on Google, the very next day (or hour) you may not be #1 anymore.
- Understand that nobody and no company can promise that you will be #1 on Google. And if you are #1, they can’t keep you there as a guarantee.
- Understand that Google’s goal is to provide its customer (the person doing the search) with the most accurate results for his or her inquiry.
Okay, you might be thinking, “Those aren’t ways to be #1 on Google!” Well, they are. You have to have the right mindset for the six action items:
- Clean up your text! The text on your website should includeaccurateexpect your customers to search for. In other words, if you think your customers are searching for “antique green glass bowls” then be sure to include that exact phrase in the text of your website. While you’re at it, get rid of the text that might be irrelevant and that confuses the search robots into thinking your company serves an entirely different purpose. information, common terms & search phrases, and other text items that you
- Let’s hit the links! It’s a popularity contest out there, folks. So if you can get a hyperlink FROM a popular & relevant website TO your website, that makes you look good (and more relevant) to Google. Offer to trade links with your industry colleagues. But be WARNED: DO NOT pay link-swap websites or get involved in any link scheme. Google knows it’s trickery. And that hurts you.
- Text, not images! The search robots are looking for the text on your site to be accurate, but they cannot read the ‘words’ that are embedded into your images. So if you have important embedded words in images, be sure to also include those words/phrases as part of the body of editable text.
- Titles & Page Names. Take time to make sure the titles of your web pages, as well as the file names of your pages actually mean something to a human. For example, “home.html” means nothing, whereas “pizza_palace_homepage.html” does – and also makes more sense to a search robot.
- Create a sitemap for your website and submit it to Google. (This isn’t really a do-it-yourself project, so be sure to talk to your webmaster about getting it done.) A sitemap helps Google understand the layout of your website, what pages are available, etc. While you’re at it, submit your domain name to Google for good measure, especially if it’s a brand new website.
- Be patient! The search robots come around on regular intervals. For example, Twin Bees’ site is indexed once per month. Some sites are more frequent, some are less frequent. So… if you make changes today, there is a chance that the changes won’t be seen in Google search results for a few weeks. (By the way, if you try to pull some link scheme or “sand bag” your text with catch phrases, there are rumors that your site can be put on the “once per year” robot list. Um… not good. As a best practice, always be as fair and straight forward as you can, without false advertising, lying, over-emphasizing, or painting your words to too wide of a brush.)