We all rely on #Google’s powerful search engine to basically help us run our lives. From confirming if it’s really true love that we’re feeling, to finding out the name of that TV character actress from our childhood, and to medically diagnosing our cold symptoms, we really aren’t so sure where we would be without it. It’s so easy to think of this platform as something we use to find information about other people, but as a small business owner, you also need:
Submit your site to Google
Lay a link trail
Choose the perfect #keywords
Manage your meta tags
Optimize for #mobile
Prove that you’re a local
You might think that Google is omniscient, but even the most powerful rulers need a little help sometimes. While your website will inevitably be found at some point by the Google bots constantly crawling the web’s content, you can take a few actions to speed up this process. The first step is giving Google a quick heads up that you exist by submitting your site to Google. You can do this by sending over your sitemap to Google Search Console. (And if you’re not sure how to get started, we have the complete guide to GSC right here). It’s the tech equivalent of waving hello and giving Google a little nudge to speed up the indexing of your website. True friends don’t let other friends not be in tip-top #SEO shape.
The friendly reminder of your presence doesn’t need to stop with submitting your site, though. Another way to direct those bots to your site is by planting links elsewhere on the web. When the bots reach those blue text hyperlinks, it’s like they receive a command to proceed directly to your website. If you have friends in high (blogging) places who are happy to give you a shout out in one of their posts, then you should start thinking of a good ‘thank you’ present. But if your friend or professional circles aren’t full of website owners, then no fret. You can also be your own best friend and send the bots to your website by posting the URL in all of your social media profiles and online directories for your industry or geographic area. Besides being incredibly convenient for potential customers to have your business’ homepage so easily accessible, each location where you place that link becomes another superhighway straight to your beautiful website.
You might have heard these things called keywords mentioned a lot in conversations about appearing on Google. But what are they and why should you care? Good #keywords are usually three-to-five word long phrases that a person might search to find a business like yours. They’re important because when there’s a match between the words people are typing into the search box and the words you’ve incorporated into your site’s content and SEO settings, it means your listing is more likely to appear. So, if someone is searching for “vegan recipes” and “dog food,” and vegan homemade pet snacks just happens to be your life’s work, then you’ll want to have made sure those likely keywords appear throughout your site. That way, Google will know that your business’ page is a good candidate to suggest for that animal lover.
Let’s expand on this keyword logic a little bit more to explore some other ways these phrases can help boost your Internet popularity. Think for a second about what leads you reaching for your nearest device to consult Google’s wisdom. Sometimes, like the doggie snacks above, it’s a more general query. Yet, often, you’re searching for the answer to a very specific question. ‘What is the weather today?’ ‘What temperature should I bake this cake at?’ ‘How do I get my website found on Google?’ You know, questions like that.
Your potential customers are no different. You should imagine this audience as asking Google the specific question that your business is uniquely primed to answer. Once you do a little keyword research to figure out the golden phrases that are most commonly searched, your job is to sprinkle them throughout your content and website SEO settings to let Google know that it’s your page that holds the magic answers. The search engine loves to point its users in the right direction, so making your keywords are as detailed as possible helps them do just that. If you’re feeling stuck, Wix SEO Wiz will also provide feedback on the strength of your chosen words, and offering alternatives when appropriate.
You can jump up and down and squeal ‘choose me, choose me!’ all you want, but how will you actually get Google to pay attention to your site? One major signal you can send that your website is worthy of its SERP love is filling out your website’s meta tags. Not to be confused with a philosophical term or a children’s recess game, these are the elements that make up a web page’s listing on Google. The blue lettering is the meta title or SEO title, and the short blurb in black beneath it is called the meta description. This text doesn’t actually show up on your website, but picking out clear and concise wording for these labels is critical for convincing web browsers that yours is the link to click. And, as always, don’t forget about weaving in those keywords here to catch Google’s eyes! If meta tags are still sounding like something from outer space, that’s okay. With a checklist broken down according to each page, Wix SEO Wiz will literally walk you through your site and show you each component, including the meta tags, that you can throw some SEO fairy dust over.
Mobile devices now account for about half of all global Internet traffic. And trust us, not one of those users wants to be squinting their way through cut-off displays on their phones, or images that never seem to fully load. Google knows this, and they want to keep their own users happy, so they will take into account just how mobile-friendly your site is when deciding whose pages will get listed first in the search results. That’s why you need to make sure your website is ready to go mobile. Well, you can check this one off your personalized SEO plan to-do list, because all Wix websites are automatically optimized for mobile. That was easy. Beyond making sure your formatting and loading speed are ready for its closeup with the small screen, you will also want to learn the best practices for presenting information on your mobile site.
Think about the instances that will lead most people to make a purchase on their phone. It’s rarely a casual browsing kind of situation, and more of an ‘I need it now’ action. Google has actually coined a term for this experience: micro-moment. It is “an intent-rich moment when a person turns to a device to act on a need – to know, go, do, or buy.” Let this definition guide your choices about what to include, for example, on your homepage. Maybe you can do away with the menu options leading to your company story and blog in favor of centering your product gallery and shipping FAQs. Or if you have a mailing list subscription Lightbox with multiple entry fields, perhaps consider having mercy on your visitors’ thumbs and narrowing down the questions.
Let’s summarize here. How quickly and seamlessly your site facilitates a person arriving at the solution to their problem via mobile will do wonders for how users think of you (seen through time spent on your site, and how many browsers become buyers), and in turn, how Google thinks of you (seen in better page ranking).