Now that you’ve made your own website you of course want it to be found on search engines such as Google or Bing – preferably at position one! Perhaps you’ve already tried to type in your website name to see if it would pop up among the results.
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If it didn’t, don't be discouraged; having your website appear in the search engine results is (sadly) not something that happens overnight. And just because your website does not appear in search engine results does not mean your website is not online! It means your website simply hasn’t been indexed by the search engines yet. Type your URL (example: www.mywebsite.com or www.myname.SimpleSite.com) directly into the address bar of your browser instead of into Google or Bing, and your website will appear on your screen.
Getting a high ranking (showing up in the top results of a search) takes a good deal of work and often patience. In fact, there’s a whole concept called search engine optimization (also known as SEO), which consists solely of guidelines and tactics to have your website appear in the results. Optimizing your website so it adheres to these guidelines can positively affect how frequently and how high you appear in search engine results.
The more successful these guidelines known as ranking factors are, the higher your website will appear when you type it into a search engine. In general, internet marketers and other people who work with SEO professionally assume that Google makes use of 200 ranking factors. The following comprehensive list is worth a read if you would like to know more about Google’s 200 ranking factors.
Instead of going into every single one of these ranking factors, SimpleSite would like to provide its users with some basic SEO tips they can instantly apply to their websites. These tips do not guarantee a number one spot in the results of search engines, but they will ensure that your website is more likely to be spotted by Google and Bing, and ranked higher as a result.
Use keywords on your website
When you want to find something on the internet and you make use of a search engine, you begin by typing in what it is you are searching for. What you type in is commonly known as keywords or key phrases. These key words are what you want to keep in mind as you optimize your website. What key words do you think people would use to find a topic, product or service such as the one you have on your website? Use your menu titles, page titles and the text content on your webpages to help search engines figure out what your site is about. Take great care in not overdoing it! Repeating keywords too many times all over your website is also known as keyword stuffing, and is generally seen as baiting search engines in trying to rank your website higher. This may work temporarily, but if Google and Bing catch on to this practice, your website will be penalized and ranked much lower (page 10 or lower) at best. At worst, your website may be banned entirely from search engines.
Instead, use your keywords where it seems natural to do so. A good way to use it is in the title of your page, and then mention it once or twice in the text. Try to use synonyms as well, as search engines look favorably on this and will be able to make the connection.
Consider your domain name carefully
If you plan on registering a domain name for your website, try to make it short and easy to remember. Search engines have a tendency to rank domain names that are short, unique and relevant better. The age of a domain name is also an SEO ranking factor. This means that when you register a domain name it’s entirely new and does not have as much authority as an older domain name that’s been around on the internet for some time.
If you already own a domain name, we therefore recommend that you transfer that domain to your website with us instead of registering a new one. The same goes for your website age; entirely new websites will not rank as high as websites that have been around a while.
Lastly, you can consider placing a keyword in your domain name; this is another way to signal the relevancy of your website to search engines.
Get links to your website & have a social media presence
Search engines pay special attention to people linking to a website. Think of each link to your website as a vote of approval. Each link is telling search engines, “Hey, this website is interesting and relevant! Perhaps it should be reconsidered and ranked higher for this topic.” This does not mean that more links is better. For example, if you go into blog posts and forums and post a hundred links to your website, that will not be nearly as important or powerful as one single link from a website with a topic similar to yours. When it comes to links to your website, it’s about quality, not quantity.
Even so, if your website is entirely new, it can benefit from getting a quick boost from links so search engines notice it. Try to find people with similar topics, services or products and see if they’d be interested in linking to your website. Ask friends and family to write about and link to your website on their own websites, their Facebook profiles, their Twitter feed, and so on. Being noticed and discussed on social media can also be beneficial to your ranking on Google. For this purpose, you can use our social sharing options on the right-hand side of your website and share webpages on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.
It’s not rocket science – but it does take constant work
Following these tips should help your website appear higher in search engines for the keywords you choose to focus on. Even so, these are only the tip of the SEO iceberg.
Search results will also depend on how many other websites are similar to yours and what you offer, how old your website is, how often you update your site, and so on. Search engines go through websites and adjust their search results constantly – you may see your website appear on page 1 for a search term one day, and then drop to page 2 or 3 the next day.
SEO requires constant work on your website so that it remains relevant and of high quality to people searching for terms that apply to your website’s topic, service or product. SEO is also a slow process; it can take weeks, even months, to start to see improvements. However, if you start by following the above tips and keep your website up-to-date, you’ll be actively improving your results in the major search engines.