How can people find your site in Google’s search engine rankings?
In an effort to “level the playing field” for small business owners, Google provides “Webmaster Tools”—the one-stop source for tools and diagnostics for a healthy, Google-friendly site. “Webmaster Tools” makes it easy to troubleshoot a site and fix problems:
- Understand and improve your site in Google search with easy-to-use tools
- Educational videos and articles to help you get found in Google
- Fix problems and find answers to your questions
Steps to get your site ranked higher in Google
As with any important project, the more consistent and persistent you are, the better.
1. Publish “Evergreen” articles to your blog:
- Relevant content
- Quality content
- Original content
An Evergreen article is an article that is not timely and is based on a subject that people will always be searching for year round. An evergreen article is one that does not become dated.
To minimize the chances of your articles becoming dated, avoid words like “yesterday”, avoid dates, and always write your articles so that they appeal to a larger audience. For example, if your blog is provided as a tool for companies looking to become more “green”, write on subject matters such as “renewable energy”, rather than “natural steam.” The reason being is that the keyword “renewable energy” is more broadly searched for in Google than “natural steam”.
In order to make your website more “worthy” of Google’s search engine rankings, it is imperative that webmasters publish frequently to their blog or website (preferably a blog using a content management system such as WordPress or Joomla).
2. Create a sitemap.
Sitemaps tell Google which pages you want crawled and indexed. Create an XML sitemap that can be submitted to Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines to help them crawl a website better. A sitemap helps Googlebot index website content, even the pages that are buried deep in the website’s hierarchy. Anytime a new page is added to a website or blog, the sitemap file should be updated. The easiest way to create a sitemaps file is XML-Sitemaps. When a sitemap file is created, submit it to Google.
3. Submit a sitemap to Google.
With Google Webmaster Tools, companies can be sure that Google finds their website or blog and that it is shown for the correct search queries. Webmaster Tools displays the errors that Google finds when reading a site so companies can check those errors and fix them to be sure that all the pages appear in search results. Anytime a new page is created, the sitemaps file should be updated. In the Webmaster Tools control panel, webmasters can see if other people link to their pages and how often their pages appear in Google search results. That data can be used to discover the most successful pages on a site so that webmasters can then focus on those pages in an effort to increase traffic to a site. Webmaster Tools also checks sites for malware and other problems and will even send an email alert if it finds important issues.
Search engines generally go through two main stages to make content available for users in search results:
- Crawling – This is the process of which search engine crawlers access web pages that are publicly available. In most cases, crawling involves looking at the web pages and following the links on those pages, just like a human visitor would.
- Indexing – This is the process of which information is gathered about a page so that it can be made available and served in the search results for people to find world-wide.
Getting started in Google’s Webmaster Tools.
- Create an account with Webmaster Tools.
- Add a site.
- Verify the site.
- Submit a sitemaps file for the site.
To help webmasters identify problems on their site, Google provides a “Site Health” section on the Webmaster Tools home page. With Google Webmaster Tools, webmasters can gather important information about the health of their site and interpret the numbers associated with a web site. Tweaks can be made to improve, not only the numbers, but the performance of a site.
If a site is not performing to expectations, it may be a sick site but it can be cured with a little analysis. Use the tools available on line to find out who is stopping by, how long they are staying and where they go after leaving your site.
In the end, with some small changes, you can cure that sick site and create a robust, healthy site that receives visitors–and a lot of them!