Google bots spend their days finding and indexing new content and images. They crawl through websites and follow links to the next piece of content. They do this 20 billion times a day.
When a user searches in Google, for example
‘a cleaning business near me’,
Google pulls results that they think are most relevant to the user.
To assist Google in presenting your website and content the best way in search engines, you need to do two things:
1. Help Google to find the content
2. Help Google to evaluate the content
Help Google to find your content
Design your website so that the structure makes sense. You should have top-level pages with subpages offering more granular details.
- Services (top level page)
- Cleaning services (sub page)
- Building services (sub page)
Breadcrumbs (using structured data) assist with showing where the page fits into the site hierarchy.
There is an example of a breadcrumb at the top of this page eg. Home -> Articles -> Business -> How to Control your Google Search Listing
Submit a sitemap to give Google an overall picture of your site’s structure. There are various ways to submit a sitemap. One way is to use Yoast SEO Plugin and submit the sitemap URL (web address) via Google Console. View the site map for this website.
Descriptive URLs (web addresses)
Ensure your URLs are telling Google what pages are about eg. /about-us /portfolio /our-services.
Ensure Google has access your content. Images should have a descriptive ‘alt’ tag.
Google doesn’t like spam or duplicate content (your content needs to be original).
Avoid errors (404s). Ensure that links (internal and external) aren’t broken.
Each website has (or should have) a robots.txt file. This file instructs Google on what pages of the website to fetch in a search and which not to.
Speed is now a confirmed ranking factor. Ensure your website is fast to load. Test your mobile web speed and see how you stack up in your industry.
Ensure your website is verified with Google Search Console so that Google can alert you to any issues affecting your site’s performance.
Google registers any links around the web pointing to your website. Links from reputable sources give weight to your website. eg a yellow pages listing, a Facebook page and a Twitter page all add to your website credibility. More so if you have a link from a reputable related industry or government body.
Help Google to know what your content is about
Ensure each page of your website has a title tag and a meta description. This information is hidden in the header code of each page. It assists Google in evaluating your content. Google may also choose to use the description in the search results. Once again Yoast SEO Plugin can be used to set these values.
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