1. Getting Included in the Indexes of Search Engines
So you have a new Showit site and are ready to take the next steps to have your site listed in search results, what do you need to do?
There are two approaches to this, the first is to submit your website to search engines in order to have them create an index of the content available to them. The second approach takes a bit longer but receives more natural indexing that will impact rankings in the long term. It's recommended to follow both steps if able.
Option 1 - Submitting Your Website to Search Engines
Google provides wonderful tools for analyzing and improving your visible online presence. Through Google's free Webmaster Tools you can submit your URL to be crawled in order to be included in their search index.
It usually takes several days for Google to crawl a submitted site and to include it in the search result index. **This does not guarantee ranking but rather allows your site to be included in search results. Ranking is determined by many factors (some examples here) and not only a few specific settings
To Submit your website to Google:
- Perform a fetch (or fetch and render) request for a URL using Fetch as Google, or choose a recent fetch on the table that satisfies the requirements above. Make sure that the page appears in the fetch as you think it should; if the page cannot be reached by the fetch tool or doesn't display fully to the fetch tool, it might be misclassified or not crawlable by Google.
- Click Request indexing next to the fetch in the fetch history table. If the request feature does not appear next to a fetch, the fetch didn't fulfill the requirements listed above.
- Select whether to crawl only that single URL, or that URL plus its direct links: Crawl only this URL submits only the selected URL to the Google for re-crawling. You can submit up to 500 individual URLs in this way within a 30 day period. Crawl this URL and its direct links to submit the URL as well as all the other pages that URL links to directly for re-crawling. You can submit up to 10 requests of this kind within a 30 day period.
- Click Submit to queue your request.
- Recrawling is not immediate or guaranteed. It typically takes several days for a successful request to be granted. Also, understand that Google can't guarantee that they will index all your changes, as Google relies on a complex algorithm to update indexed materials.
Option 2 - Natural Growth
Natural Growth will have a more impactful and lasting ranking improvement for your site and involves piggy-backing on the rankings of other established and credible websites. When other websites or directories include links to pages on your site, Google is able to assign more a higher credibility for your own site. By piggy-backing off the validity of established websites it can help create a stronger web profile for your site for establishing search rankings. This is why you don't see spam or controversial sites displayed in any of the first pages for search results because the credibility behind those sites is very low.
One example of piggy-backing would be having you site featured in a wedding photography article for a popular online resource. This example could be highlighting your most recent wedding photoshoot and would include a link to your site. When the Google web crawlers index the article on the established article site, they will locate your url and then start the process of crawling and indexing your site through more natural means.
This process is generally slower as it it requires establishing your brand well enough to be offered a feature spotlight for established sites. When successfully achieved, you may not see immediate ranking boosts, but it does create and encourage more impactful boosts to search rankings in the long run and will continue to boost your website's validity over time.
To learn more about creating and building links to promote natural growth, check out this free resource offered by Moz: https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo/growing-popularity-and-links
2. Boosting SEO with Content
Across the board, it is agreed that one of the biggest factors to improve your ranking is by creating more content. The content on your website is what is reviewed and ranked by Google to determine it's relevancy to any given search terms. The more relevant content you have towards a search term the higher google will rank it accordingly. Additionally by having more content, it will increase the reach your website may offer to new clients.
The one stipulation with creating content is that it has to be good content. You don't want to bloat your site with irrelevant or weak content as it can generalize allot of your reach and not improve rankings. For example, If you create a web page that contains only one image that is named "Wedding", Google will see the image but will most likely not include the page in a search result for a searched term "Wedding" due to the lack of additional content that can promote the page's validity. On the other hand, if you have a web page that has quite a few images that are all indexed as being related to weddings, as well as including additional text content, Google will be more encouraged to display the page in search results as that page would be characterized as including "good" content for the search term 'Wedding" when it's indexed by Google.
Because content plays a big factor in expanding your website's reach to potential clients, blogs are some of the best options when it comes to creating content. Fresh content is a factor in providing relevant search results to users, so good blogging habits are encouraged.
As mentioned, you want your content to be identified as "good" content. If you creating fake pages that are indexed by search engines but may not be visibly available to users, or by hiding text content or other elements such as images on a page in an effort to spoof the indexing a page, this is viewed as attempts at "cheating the system". Google works hard to only provide the most relevant results to a user and is very successful in tracking down these "Black Hat SEO" practices and can either significantly lower your rankings or even ban your website altogether from their search index. The best thing to do is practice healthy SEO options that don't involve attempting to trick search engines.
3. Tracking and Measuring SEO Success
After applying the any of the approaches mentioned above, it's recommended to track the success of your SEO practices. This will provide valuable insight in both the impact of the steps you have taken as well as insight in how to use the success for further marketing purposes.
4. Additional Resources
SEO can be a complicated and in-depth mountain to climb and is going to be specific to each and every business. As with many online experts, we also don't recommend using SEO services that boast "Improving your ranking overnight" or other very bold claims. Most of these services use tools that are not approved by search engine guidelines to spoof immediate results and may cause your site's SEO to suffer in the long run or even to be banned from search results altogether.
However, if you'd like to work with a professional we recommend Davey & Krista as an additional resource to help build and grow your brand through healthy means. They work with many of our Showiteers and provide you with valuable insight and support in building your individual presence on the web.
If you are interested in other services, we would recommend choosing a service that may be familiar with our platform as this will improve your experience when developing your SEO through Showit.
Additionally you can find Guides that will walk you through how to optimize your website using Keyword Researching, Competitor analysis, Implementation, and other tips in these free resources: