The first page of Google is much like Hollywood’s A-list: it’s simply the much-coveted position in digital business fame. Every business just wants to earn Google’s affection. But how exactly can we do that?
Make Your Website Google Friendly
Quite simply, you really just need to make Google—and search users—happy. If Google loves your website and people are looking up your content, your site will appear in search results more frequently and attract loads of organic traffic.
Back in the days, people would bombard their homepages with random keywords related to their business and put them in one huge pile at the bottom of the page. This doesn’t work anymore.
SEO is still largely dependent on keywords. But today, you can’t just pull them out of nowhere and stuff them in your content randomly. There’s a whole system involved in SEO now and being consistent with this can help you ace the top spot of Google search result.
We put together a simple, easy-to-follow guide on how to make your WordPress website Google-friendly.
Step 1: Write for real people
This is the single, most important thing you need to do: make sure that you provide high-quality and informative content on all your web pages. Google now focuses on smart and useful content which is highly relevant to what most users are searching for. This could be in the form of tips, how-to blogs, price comparisons, reviews and product videos. People want access to important insights and real advice, which, in turn, they would gladly share with their friends, colleagues and followers. This will also attract other website owners and bloggers to link to your site, thus increasing your authority in your niche.
Step 2: Help Google understand your content
It would help to get acquainted with how Google actually works. First, think of your website as a giant city full of different stops, each representing a document, an image or any file on your website. Now, Google has what it calls “crawlers” to crawl and find each of these stops in your site. Once the crawlers reach your pages, it deciphers the code and “indexes” your content. By indexing your content, Google selects pieces on your content and stores them in its gigantic database, to be pulled out later when a user makes a search query and your content happens to have an answer to it.
That being said, you should guide Google’s crawlers to critical parts of your content by:
- Creating accurate, unique and descriptive page titles
- Creating relevant meta descriptions that summarise your page’s content
- Using heading tags
- Optimising your images
The best thing about running your site on WordPress is that the platform itself is designed to be Google-friendly. The WordPress Yoast plugin will walk you through each important step in the optimisation process. You can find a detailed blog about Yoast and how you can optimise your content here.
Step 3: Use keywords strategically
Keyword stuffing is a big no-no in SEO. Don’t bother to fill your web pages with random words to lure Google bots to your site because they will only be considered deceptive and Google might ban your site from their index.
At Brand Shack, each keyword is given careful thought. We take the time to learn more about our client’s business and discover keywords that are unique to the business. A lot of our keyword research processes are based on a business’ unique selling proposition (USP), so it’s also important that, as a business, you know how to differentiate yourself from your competition. All your optimisation efforts will be based on your keywords so make sure you got the right ones. Structure your keywords according to how your audiences are searching for them and use them naturally (not forced) in your content.
Step 4: Build links
Links help Google’s crawlers find your website and can increase your visibility in search results. Every link going to your site is a vote for your website. Votes coming from popular and authority sites weigh heavily and will make your pages gain popularity and authority in your niche. Link building is the backbone of SEO, and even with the changes happening in Google, quality inbound links are still a huge ranking factor in Google.
Proven link-building strategies include:
- Using domain authority (DA) metric in choosing a blog to link from
- Guest posting
- Connecting with editors and media sites
Remember to include internal link-building strategies as well. Each time you produce content, always link to other content within your site. This way, Google can easily crawl your pages and find your most relevant content.
Step 5: Make your site accessible
Even if your content is promising, Google will not spare it a glance if it’s not easy to navigate in.
- Make sure your website is optimised for mobile devices. Your site’s desktop version may look fine but a poor mobile experience will hurt your chances of ranking in search results, especially now that Google prioritises a website’s mobile version in ranking its pages.
- It will help to keep your website running at optimal speed. The slower your site’s loading time, the less likely your site will appear in Google’s search results. Ideally, Google wants you to keep your loading time to at least 1.2 to 1.10 seconds.
Step 6: Avoid the following SEO pitfalls
- Using graphics to display important content – Google can’t crawl text contained in graphics. If you need to attach images or graphics, use ALT attributes.
- Don’t create duplicate content – Don’t create copies of your pages under different URLs. Google doesn’t penalise you for this but this can severely affect your rankings. In this blog, we talked about how to deal with duplicated content.
Now, keep in mind that making your site Google friendly is not a one-time task. It involves a great deal of time and patience. Some agencies will claim to guarantee “top spot in Google’s search results” in a matter of days. You can take their word for it. But be careful as some companies employ dodgy SEO tactics that can get you and your website in trouble. Tricks can only get you as far, but sticking with these basics provides a solid foundation for any website and will definitely make Google fall in love with your site.