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Five Tips to get you IN with Google

It should come as no surprise that the most common question I field as a web designer is “How can improve my site’s placement on Google?”

It’s universally known that Google is the main driver of traffic on the internet. The word “Google” has even been added to the Oxford Dictionary.

So, what steps can you do as the website owner or manager to try and snag that front page of Google search results? Here’s five tips that will help you on the way:

Tip #1 – Use your Web Designer to get quick placement!

If your site was professionally designed and developed, your developer should have added your site to Google upon launch via the Google Search Console – a tool built specifically to get your site and its sitemap add into the search engine.

If you aren’t already in there, you can do this step yourself – all you need a free Google account which you probably have already if you use Gmail. The Search Console is also a great tool if you have updated a particular page and want Google to reindex it quickly.

Tip #2: Utilise Keywords throughout your Content

While writing content for a particular page of your site, be sure to include a “smattering” of the page’s keywords throughout. For example, on the front page of a site containing fashion, you would include the keywords that your customers would type into Google to find you – words like “fashion, style, Prada, Gucci, etc. Use these words in the regular flow of your text content, not as an afterthought.

Don’t add them one after the other and most importantly, don’t overload the page with keywords. This is known as keyword stuffing, and you can be penalised by Google for this tactic.

Tip #3: Utilise your Page Titles

Another great place to put your keywords is in the actual titles and subtitles of your site pages. Known as H titles (h1, h2, etc), these are generally the heading titles that you can clearly notice on a web page and Google holds these in very high regard when calculating page ranking for search placement.

Tip #4: Share links with your Industry partners

Link sharing, also known as back linking, can be very powerful tool to make your site look important in the eyes of the search engines. Link sharing is the usage of links between various (separate) sites on the internet to promote each other. Put simply, your site links to another site and they link back to you. Depending on the popularity of the sites involved, this “trick” can help to boost your placement in the search results.

To do this, you must link from high quality, relevant sites – sites that Google likes within your industry. It doesn’t work to link from unrelated sites as this is detected by the search algorithm that the search engines use.

Tip #5: Keep your site fresh with new content

Finally, Google still loves sites that update regularly with fresh content. This can come in many forms – a blog, videos, new galleries, fresh products on an online store or, at a more extreme level, a site re-design. Unbeknownst to most website owners, the search giant does keep an eye on the age and relevance of your website content and does frown upon content that is long in the tooth.

After applying the above tips to your own website, there are a couple of ways you can watch for improvements in your site’s listing. You can monitor the gradual climb through the Google search listings or, a quicker method is to onto your site’s statistics through Google Analytics (ask your website designer to set this up for you). Through GA, you can observe the usage of keywords, which search engines are sending you traffic and the overall site visits that your site is receiving.

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