Firstly, it’s important to recognise that Google isn’t the whole internet. It’s simply a directory, just like the old Yellow Pages, of businesses, blogs and information. You shouldn’t take it for granted that your website will automatically appear in Google, if you put barriers in place, then they won’t know your website exists.

Search engines are key to bringing traffic to a website, and Google is one of the most important search engine there is. Having a presence on the web is great, but you need to be indexed in Google to bring in that valuable organic traffic that can supercharge your profits.

Google likes to see quality content, frequent updates, and broad device compatibility. Here are our basic tips on getting indexed rapidly, and without penalties.

How Indexing Works

Google has an automated program that skims website content. It uses a complex algorithm to determine the theme of a site from its content – in other words what the website is ‘relevant’ for, and what you’re all about. It also picks up on metadata, like the date of the last blog post, and it checks its index to ensure your site is original. It can also look at images, and their descriptors.

So, we can draw some conclusions straight away. Google’s spider is looking for quality content that isn’t copied from other sites. It’s looking for content that covers a theme or topic, so it can tell what your site is about. And it needs to see a good design that offers well-explained images and good mobile compatibility along with making sure that you are putting your users first, you are considering your ‘user experience’.

Practical Steps to Take

Actually getting your website listed is a multi-stage process that pulls lots of different elements together. For the purposes of this article, we’ll assume that you want to list a brand new site.

1. Build a Functional Website

Your website needs to be functional, attractive and usable, and it needs to be responsive, so that it delivers a great experience on any device (think laptops, tablets and smartphones).

It’s brilliant to have tools like Google Analytics in place and fully functional, and having access to Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools) lets you check the health of the site as a whole, and you can hit the ground running as soon as your site launches.

2. Audience and Keyword Research

Assuming you’ve done some keyword research, you then need to plan your content. This is key to attracting the right visitors to your site. The content needs to be of a high quality, unique (Ie: it doesn’t appear anywhere else on the web) and satisfy the intent of the searcher.

3. On-going Content Creation

You should think about having a strategy for adding new content on an on-going basis. That may mean stacking up some blogs, or asking a content writer to turn your ideas into articles.

4. Make Google aware you’re there

Then, you’ll need to do the groundwork for making Google aware of your site, which means submitting your URL to its index in Search Control, and sowing some seeds on social channels. Some businesses choose to embark on a larger SEO strategy that includes link building or guest posting once they’ve got the foundations in place. A good digital marketing agency will help you find out what the best strategy for you and your website is, and take away of the time-consuming jobs that you may not be able to complete yourself.

Getting a good result takes time; you won’t see huge visitor numbers overnight. It’s key to avoid any agency that promises miraculous results, or rapid ascent up search engine results pages. Spam, thin content and plagiarism will only ever result in your site being struck off Google’s index for good.

5. Building a Launch Strategy

Throughout the process of getting your site listed, you’ll need a website design partner that understands strong corporate branding and positioning. An agency that can piece together a detailed strategy for a successful launch.

Talk to Ultimate today, and find out how we can achieve the search engine positions you need to drive your business forward. From website design to digital marketing, we’ve got the whole thing covered.

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Written by Emma Puzylo May of 2016