Unlike (some) humans, robots are programmed to follow specific instructions. Google is a robot. Its basic function is to crawl through web content and make a copy of everything it finds to store in its library of web pages. When you search Google, the list you see is just the most recent copy of the website that Google found and indexed.
So how can you make sure Google finds your content, and indexes it?
The robots are programmed to find web pages through links. Googlebot looks for links, so linking to your content from other places is very important. The more links from credible sources you have, the easier it is for Google to find and rank your content.
But without certain technical factors taken care of, you will make it difficult for Google to find you and you may even be giving it signals that make it unlikely that you will rank well.
Here are the most important technical items to watch for. If it’s confusing, just forward this to your web marketing company and ask them if they’ve taken care of all this. If that doesn’t work, give us a call and we’ll help you out.
- XML sitemap. This tells Googlebot what all the pages of your website are so they can find them immediately and get you in the index. It also is kept as a reminder to revisit your site every once in a while to find what’s new. If nothing’s new it will come less often, if there’s a lot new it will come more often. So the more often you update your content, the more often you get a visit from Googlebot. That is a good thing, my friend.
- Canonical tags. Sometimes it makes sense to have duplicate content on the internet. For example if you are operating a franchise, or someone is republishing a piece of content you created. The canonical tag lets Google know what the original source was, so neither page will be penalized for duplicating content and the main authority will still get the big benefit.
- SSL Certificates. Yes, I repeat, you need to have a securely hosted website. Googlebot does not give favour to unsafe playgrounds!
- Site Speed. Googlebot wants to give users websites that provide a good user experience. Slow websites do not! Use this Google Developers widget to test your site speed.
- Mobile responsiveness. 2012 is around when we started building responsive websites. This is not new. But even today, some websites may appear better on mobile phones but are still not easy to use or read. This is a problem because over 50% of the internet usage every day is on a mobile device.
I hope this is a helpful tip for you. If you’d like to have a quick intro call to see if we can help you with your online marketing needs, here’s a link to my calendar to schedule a 15 min call.
Have a great week!