How To Get Your Blog Noticed By Google
You’ve got great keywords – low competition and high searches – and killer content, dripping value-nuggets of solid gold… but have you done the easier stuff to ensure your affiliate site gets found?
Google Analytics & indexing
Setting up your Analytics should be done! You need it to accurately measure the traffic your website draws. I’m going to assume you’ve completed that process already, what this post is about is making sure you’re taking correct advantage of what Google can do for you.
The purpose of keywords and content is to get your site found and listed by Google. Unfortunately Google can’t do that if it doesn’t know about it.
But Google knows about everything! No, it doesn’t. There are billions of pages on the web and Google takes time to find and index them. Your posts and pages will be reachable without Google knowing about them, but they won’t be listed in any Google searches anyone does relevant to your keywords and niche.
How do you know if your site has been indexed? Simply pull up a Google browser and type site:your_domain_name.com in to the search bar:
As you can see above, using this site as an example, entering the “site” operator in conjunction with your domain name will return what pages Google is currently aware of for your site.
If you don’t see anything, or very little and none of your posts, Google has not indexed your site. Or removed it from the index for violation of terms but that is another post. We’ll assume your site just hasn’t been indexed as yet.
How do I get my site indexed?
The easiest way is to set up a sitemap.xml file on your site’s Google Search Console.
The sitemap makes it easier for Google to traverse your site and record (index) the various pages it hosts. If you’re using WordPress as your website platform then various plug-ins are available that take care of updating your sitemap each time you add a post or page (such as ‘SEO All In One’).
If you don’t have such a plug-in, then you’ll have to login to your Search Console and manually resubmit the sitemap. You should resubmit your sitemap after every new post or page is added (or deleted) to ensure it’s always up to date.
You should note, though, that it can take Google anything up to a week to re-crawl (search) your site, it doesn’t happen immediately. Until your site is crawled, your latest post/page won’t be made available by Google in search results.
And also be aware that even when your site is crawled again, Google still may not index all your posts and pages.
That happens as Google may not deem the page of sufficient value (for whatever reason), and also simply because Google is not bound to index everything on your site on any particular visit – it may take several before it adds a page, and that could be a matter of weeks.
Speeding up Google indexing
The good news is that you don’t have to wait for Google to find and index any particular page, because you can submit your pages to Google yourself, and get them added Google’s index immediately.
You do this via your Search Console again:
As above you select “Crawl -> Fetch as Google” from the left hand side menu and copy & paste your post/page’s URL into the dialog with your domain prefix to the left. You have to remove your domain details before pressing “Fetch” i.e instead of entering “https://lazymoneymaking.com/new-post” I just need to enter “new-post”.
If Google finds your URL, then it will appear in the table list beneath. Status will be a red button labelled “Submit.” Click that (select “crawl this page only” on the next dialog) and your page details are sent to Google. You just got indexed!
Personally, I tend to do this after every post I make so I know I’m giving my site(s) the very best chance to get found as soon as possible.
In all likelihood your post/pages will eventually get picked up and indexed by Google naturally, but it doesn’t do any harm to help the process along in my opinion, and as I say, ensure your site’s offerings can be found.
Photos and ALT tags
It’s a quick update, so if you include pictures with your posts, make sure to name them appropriately and also update the ALT tag.
Remember Google can be searched on pictures too, so always name your featured/article photo after your keywords, and each photo thereafter as well using a suitable filename and ALT description. This tells Google what the photo’s about.
But don’t call all your filenames ALT tags the same, it won’t help rank or better place your article, in fact that may help get it ignored!
Whenever you post, get the link, and publish the URL to your social media accounts i.e. Facebook and Google+.
And always, always, accompany your link with hashtags, especially on Google+ and Twitter.
Posting on social media in and of itself won’t help rank your site, but it helps raise awareness of it. Raising awareness of it drives traffic, and traffic raises ranking.
In that regard, join relevant Communities on Google+ and Groups on Facebook (under your site accounts, not your own).
I’ve found Google+ better than Facebook, as Google+ tends to host more open Communities, and the best groups on Facebook tend to be closed, wary of admitting “business” accounts for fear of spamming.
Find a few Communities and/or Groups of a reasonable number of members, and post to them. There’s no need to spend a great deal time on this, and don’t spam them with your material, just add a relevant comment or two, or link relevant news articles, and now and again link up your own stuff. People will check out your own home page, and in many cases follow through to your main website.
Join a couple forums related to your niche and put a link to your website/blog in your signature.
Again, don’t waste a lot of time on these sites, posting a couple times a week is enough, and once more, don’t spam your material – that’s the fastest way to the ban hammer. Check out too that forum rules allow you to link to your site – some will have their own commercial interest and forbid it, but good independent sites generally don’t mind. But check first.
The point is, it gets another link to your main site in front of the right audience. You’ll see traffic coming from this “referral” in your Google Analytics.
Have you set a RSS Feed for your site yet? If you’re using WordPress you’ll find it in your theme’s widgets list. Add it to the bottom of your menu bar. Or top. It doesn’t matter as it’s invisible on your site’s main page. You have to go to your_domain_name.com/feed to see the output.
Once you’ve done that, make Google aware of your blog posts by linking your blog up to Feed Burner. It’s another method of making site your visible to Google and the world. You only have to link it once, and it’s worth taking a few minutes to complete the process.
Every little helps
The big one is making sure you’re getting your pages listed in Google. Without that your site will never succeed.
The other elements are peripheral, but no less important in my opinion. They don’t take long to do, and shouldn’t, as your main focus should be on creating content for your site, but every little helps.
And anything that could help my sites is worth it in my opinion.
Share your experiences and tips below.