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If you have a brand new website you’re probably wondering how to list your site on Google.
Google is the largest search engine in the world and holds 92% of the market share. Your customers flock to Google to search for products and services. And if your site isn’t listed on page one you’ll find it difficult to be successful.
The key to rising to the top of Google Search is search engine optimisation or SEO.
This article provides a simple and informative guide to SEO for a new website.
We explain what search engine optimisation is and how it works. We show you how to add your site to Google’s index. Then we share the best SEO techniques to help you rank high.
Read this SEO guide for beginners to increase your visitor traffic. Then convert them into paying customers.
Search Engine Optimisation or SEO explains how to increase quality traffic to your site from organic search results.
‘Organic’ search results are those that you don’t pay to get included in. They differ from pay per click ads that usually appear at the top of the page when you search.
To demonstrate the difference, open a new tab and Google the phrase ‘Lenovo laptop’.
You’ll see x3 listings at the top, each with the word Ad beside them. Scroll further down and those sites below the ads are organic search results.
The question is, how do you add your site to this list? More importantly, how do you get to the top spot?
When you submit your website to Google – which we’ll cover shortly – they crawl your website.
A crawler, robot, or spider is software that investigates the content of each page on your site. Its job is to determine what you do, sell, and discuss and make a list of all your links. It then sends that information back to Google HQ.
Google analyses all that data to determine your position in its organic listings.
It uses an algorithm or a set of rules to match your site with the keywords or search phrases people enter. For example, in the Lenovo search, you’ll see results relating to the brand Lenovo and laptops but not McDonald’s burgers.
Google’s crawler is called Googlebot and it continues to visit your site periodically to see what’s new.
That means that your site should always offer fresh content. Yet that’s only one factor that Google uses when it ranks a website.
The aim of search engine optimisation is to match Google’s expectations of what a site should be.
If you check all of Google’s boxes then there’s a greater chance you’ll get placed at the top of the list. But how do we know what Google wants from a site?
Google’s guidelines give a strong indication of how its internal systems work.
Much of SEO relies on these clues which also change over time. What worked last year might not work today.
The truth is nobody knows exactly how Google ranks its organic listings. But there are some fundamentals that are proven to work.
There are three recognised types of search engine optimisation: on page, off page, and technical SEO.
On-page or on-site search engine optimisation relates to the content and structure of your website pages.
We’ll break down some of these on-page factors further in this article.
Notice that you or your web developer have full control over these techniques. You aren’t reliant on Google or a third-party. That’s great news for shaping your listing strategy – although it’s hard work!
Off-page or off-site SEO relates to things outside of your control. And the most notable off-page factor is backlinks or sites that link back to your website.
Google uses these links to create a PageRank or authority weight to see if your site is any good.
Those sites that Google believes carry ‘authority’ share it with websites they link to. Therefore, the more links you have from high-ranking sites the better.
Technical SEO covers everything from how quickly your site loads to how many broken links it contains.
For example, if your WordPress website is hosted with a slow provider, it can severely impact your Google ranking.
What are keywords? How do you know which ones to optimise for? Where can you get help?
Keywords are another term for search phrases or words that your customers search for.
They’re the cornerstone on which your SEO strategy should be built on. Choose the wrong keywords and your site won’t get the right types of visitor.
The first step in choosing your keywords is making a simple list of what you do or sell.
To begin, write down five or six phrases. Make sure each contains at least two words but preferably three or more.
Next, visit Google’s Keyword Planner Tool.
Signing up for this free service allows you to enter a keyword/phrase and see how often its searched. This invaluable feedback lets you know if you’re on the right track or if your keywords need tweaking.
You’ll also discover new high-volume keywords.
Replace the ones from your list that don’t work. Continue this process until you’re satisfied you have a strong set.
You have researched your keywords and have trimmed them down to the top five. Now you need to include them on your website pages.
Let’s revisit some of the strongest on page SEO techniques to see how.
The page title is used by Google when creating their search links to your pages.
To see this in action, Google ‘Lenovo laptop’ again. Scroll to the organic results and notice the link text on Lenovo.com. Click on the link then check the browser tab at the top. The text is exactly the same.
Google uses your page title as a summary of the page’s content.
It’s therefore essential that you add your primary keyword within the title tag, preferably near the start.
The tag looks like <title>…</title>. If you use WordPress you can only alter your homepage title tag unless you add a plugin.
Heading or <h1>, <h2>, tags etc. break-up content on the page and describe what each section is about.
You should include your primary keyword once in your <h1> tag. Scatter your other keywords in <h2> and <h3> tags.
The secret is to not overuse your keywords.
That’s called keyword stuffing and Google marks it as spam. Spam is contrary to Google’s guidelines and doing so could get you a permanent ban!
If possible, include your primary keyword in your web domain name. Google has a history of ranking sites higher that include the phrase their users search for.
Also, make it short, easy to spell, and memorable. Read more tips on choosing the right domain name here.
Website owners have a nasty habit of making links using the phrase ‘click here’.
Instead, try to include your keywords as the link text. Also, tie them with the title of the page you’re linking to.
It should go without saying that the copy/content of your site needs to include your keywords.
Unfortunately, many sites ignore them or spam the page which can get them in trouble. The tip is to include keywords naturally through the flow of your site.
Adding your website to Google is easy using Google’s Search Console.
Follow this guide and sign-up or login with your Google account. Enter your website’s web address and make sure it’s correct.
You’ll need to prove that you’re the authorised owner. Google gives advice on this using its verification methods.
Once complete, you’ll start to see results within a few days. The Search Console lets you track who’s visited your site and the phrases they searched for.
One final tip is to claim your free business listing if you haven’t done so already.
Visit https://business.google.com to add your physical business to Google’s database. Results appear when someone searches for a local keyword like ‘plumbers near me’.
The service is free and you can also add your website address and contact details.
If you’ve followed the steps above your new website is now listed on Google Search. You’ve begun the journey to optimise your site through on page SEO and understand the factors Google finds important.
SEO for a new website covers a wide base. But don’t worry. WebHostSG Blog is here to help.
Subscribe to our blog to learn everything you need for successful SEO.
The next article in this SEO series highlights how website content plays a vital role in search engine optimisation. If you aren’t comfortable writing text/copy for your site then it’s essential reading. We’ll look at how WebHostSG’s upcoming Content Writing Service and how that service can help your site rise to the top of Google.
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If your website host isn’t providing you with an optimised service then contact us.
We have hosting solutions to match all needs. And with a free domain and SSL certificate, they’re perfect for Google SEO.