If you are looking for how to get my website ranked in the Search Engines, then you have come to the right place. Getting your website found by the search engines is the first move to getting the key ingredient to monetising your website – TRAFFIC.
There is a key difference between getting your website indexed into the search results and actually getting it ranked anywhere near where you can get that traffic. In this post I will describe those differences, share some hints and tips on how to get your content ranking as high as it can and then tell you how to ensure the Search engines can actually find your website with ease.
Let’s start with the differences between ranking and indexing when it comes to Search Engines.
The Difference Between Ranking & Indexing
One of the things that people new to the online world get a little confused about is the difference between getting your post or website indexed into the search engines and the ranking of that post.
The search engines are actively looking for high-quality content for its users, and Google is really good at finding your website and content. Bing and Yahoo, not so much but we will delve into this a little deeper later on.
If your latest blog post is showing as indexed into Google (for example). This means that Google has found your post. Whether that is via your sitemap or if you are using the URL Inspection tool in Google Search Console. But that doesn’t mean it will be immediately ranked, and especially will not always be ranked where you want it to be.
Once the search engines have reviewed a number of factors about your content is the point where it will be ranked somewhere in the results.
What are the Search Engines Looking for?
To answer this, the first part is a question for you – when you type in a keyword into the search engines, what are you looking for?
We are looking for the best result that will:
- Answer our question or solve our problem
- Be totally relevant to what we were searching for
- Not have a corrupt or slow website experience
If you are searching for a term through a search engine, they want to be able to give you the best result straightaway. They are constantly checking new and existing content to see if it still does. Being able to rank as high as possible is every website owners dreams and there are some simple techniques that will help you along the way.
Let’s go through some hints and tips, prior to sharing with you how to tell the search engines about your website.
Blindly writing content will not help you in your quest, one of the first tasks you need to complete prior to writing your article or recording your video is keyword research.
If you are just starting out, you are much better off going for the ‘low-hanging-fruit’ keyword, as this givs you a better chance of getting ranked higher up the rankings.
If you are not too sure of what keyword research is at this point, check out my guide on Effective Keyword Research.
But by targeting keywords that have regular traffic, but lacks a lot of other competing posts. With a well written article, you could definitely get ranked higher up. Even though when you complete a search there will be millions of results, only the top few will be relevant to the actual keyword. The remainder of the list will be the next best results.
High Quality Content
The search engines are looking for high-quality content that is highly relevant and actually does a good job of answering any questions or resolving any problems that the reader was searching for the first place. If it is to do with whether to buy a product, have they thoroughly reviewed it and written well for it, to help you make a decision.
But what you will find is that whilst there might be competing posts for the keyword you are targeting, they will not all be offering the best content out there. They are just the next best.
A perfect example of this is there are plenty of posts out there that just have 500 words. They also don’t always fully answer your question. This means that you need to go away and find another post that might fill in the blanks from the first one.
Most SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) experts suggest that you target at least 1500-2000 words. But these words need to be fully relevant. Don’t just type content for the sake of it and there is a key reason for this.
Specifically Google, reviews your whole post not just the keyword you targeted in the title. If you type up a 2,000 word high-quality article on a given subject, you could actually be ranked against any keyword or key-phrase within that article.
Another point with your content is that it needs to help, and ideally written as though you were talking to someone you know. Make sure that it is understandable and also worth a spell check. Whatever your niche, you are building an authority with it… anything that effects the quality of your site will affect the next topic – Engagement.
This is the hardest one to achieve for a new website owner – getting organic traffic to visit your website and actually engage with it. The easiest way is by adding comments to your posts.
The search engines like these comments for two reasons:
- It shows people are interested in your article, found it helpful and wanted to add a quick question or thanks to it.
- It adds content to your post.
That’s right, you could have written a 2,000 word article that ends up showing as close to 10,000 words when comments start coming and with your replies.
As you start to gain these comments or organic traffic visits your website, the better your rankings will become as it all shows that people find your article useful and this is a big tick from the search engines towards improving your rankings.
I would also advise you against buying traffic too, It might make it look like your website is getting a lot of visits. But in my experience, it is not really traffic (normally a load of bots) and you have a huge spike in traffic, but then when the time is up it shows as a massive fall in traffic. This is the bigger impact. It shows the search engines that you have lost loads of (fake) traffic.
Stay true and create regular content and the engagement will come. The more often you can post quality content the better. Search engines love fresh content.
Mobile Friendly Website
If you have a website that looks great on desktop, but looks awful on mobile devices… guess what, this will impact your rankings. Google recently changed their search algorithms meaning that websites that were mobile friendly would get better rankings than those that are not mobile friendly.
This can also be factored in with your web hosting, if your web hosting slows your website down a little, this could impact the user experience and hence affect your rankings.
Does Your Website have HTTPS?
Search engines are constantly looking for ways to improve security, and users want a website they can trust. By having an SSL Certificate on your website, it has shown to rank better in the search engines down to that trust factor. If you have a website, but do not want to pay through the nose for an SSL certificate, there are web hosts out there that provide an SSL Certificate as part of their membership.
Related Post: Where Can I Get Free SSL Certificates for my Website?
Do Not Use Duplicate Content
At this point I would like to point out something that will have a detrimental factor on your rankings – Duplicate Content!
Copying someone else’s content is the cowards way of producing content and the Search Engines reward that cowardice with negative rankings.
Please do not be tempted to copy and paste someone else’s work, that is Plagiarism.
I would also suggest you stay away from any products that claim to be on autopilot by using high-quality content – guess what, they are duplicating someone else’s work?
To be successful and rank well, do the hard work yourself. You will see the rewards from it.
Rankings Do Not Sit Still
One thing I would like for you to understand at this point is the fact that rankings do not typically sit still. Just because you get one post ranked higher, it doesn’t mean that they will all rank high.
But by having a high ranking post, it can positively affect the rankings of your other posts. Consistency is the key to success.
Online Marketers will tell you that you need to remain consistent with posting high-quality content 3-5 times a week. That is a great target to sit with. The more active your website is, the better your rankings will be.
But what some bloggers are unaware of is the impact of taking a break can have on their rankings. I remember a blogger I know talking about that as he had started earning good money from his blog, he was going to go travelling for 6 weeks.
We would all love to do that, but he didn’t realise the impact on his site as he didn’t post any content for that 6 weeks. This told the search engines that it was not active anymore. When he started posting content again when he was back, it definitely took longer to get back to where he had been before.
If all you can achieve at the moment is one post a week, then stick to it – Google loves consistency and you can tell them how frequently you plan on posting content too.
You might think that I personally prefer creating content for Google, but when you look at the numbers you will find that making sure your content is Google Friendly will have more of an impact than Bing or Yahoo, but by making sure it is Google Friendly you are also making it ready for Bing and Yahoo too.
To get your content ranked, we need to first get your website indexed into the Search Engines. We do this by submitting a sitemap to Google and to Bing. We will be starting with Google.
How to get your Website onto Google
Between Google and Youtube (which is owned by Google) they own two thirds of the search traffic online.
That is why you need to ensure it gets onto Google and is right to get ranked high enough. You will get traffic through Bing and Yahoo, but we are going to start with Google.
Google is very good at finding new content and is actively looking for new content to submit to its search index. But there are also a few things you can do to make it happen a little quicker.
Using an SEO plugin such as All-in-One SEO or Yoast is a great start for making sure your website is search engine friendly. the next stage is using a free tool that Google provides called Google Search Console.
Related Post: How to Submit a Sitemap to Google
Google Search Console
You may have seen it around called Google Webmaster Tools, but it is the same thing but the Search Console is the updated version and is so much easier to use for your SEO strategies. Here is my complete guide on Google Search Console.
By adding your website to Google Search Console, you can submit a sitemap to it so that Google can crawl your website fully and understand what the structure is like, what content is included and index it ready for ranking it.
They also include a cool tool called URL Inspection. It allows you to request indexing. Why would you do that? A new website wants to get into the search results as early as possible, right?
The easiest way to add your website to Google Search Console is by having a Google Analytics account. You are going to want to fully use these tools to get your website ranked and understand the traffic you are receiving. See below, the relevant guides to do this:
Related Post: Google Analytics Tutorial for Beginners
Related Post: How to Use Google Search Console Like a Pro!
Submit a Sitemap to Google
By submitting a sitemap to Google, they will regularly crawl your website for new content and rank it. But I personally use the URL Inspection tool to great effect with a new website and manually request indexing on every new post I write. You then get to a point where you can get indexed within a couple of hours or even minutes with the right methods and quality content.
If you have followed my guide to adding your website to Google Search Console, submitting a sitemap takes seconds to do.
From the left-hand menu in Google Search Console, select ‘Sitemaps’. Add the URL for your sitemap (typically your domain name followed by /sitemap.xml and you are good to go.
Even if all you did was install the All-in-One SEO plugin and submit your sitemap to Google, they would find and rank your content in due course.
How to get your Website onto Bing & Yahoo
We must not discount Bing and Yahoo, as they still have close to the other third of the global search traffic. But they are not as good as Google at finding your content. You definitely need to submit a sitemap to Bing Webmaster Tools to ensure they start crawling your website and content.
You will notice that I am talking about the two of them together and that is because they are the same search engine. Whether people use Bing or Yahoo, they are actually the same search engine. If you submit your sitemap to Bing, you will be indexed into both Bing and Yahoo via Bing Webmaster Tools.
Bing Webmaster Tools
Whilst Google will find your website, even if you didn’t submit a sitemap. Bing does seem to take its time to find your content, let alone indexing and ranking it.
So the first step you need to complete is creating a Bing Webmaster account. You can use either a microsoft, google or Twitter account to sign up with Bing Webmaster Tools. Follow this link to get started.
Submitting a Sitemap to Bing & Yahoo
The first step once you have created an account is to add a website to your account. Start by adding your URL in the box that looks like the image below.
Once you have done this, it now asks for your sitemap that goes with it. I have used my other website as an example below. Make sure you leave your traffic as All Day. Until you know when your traffic will be around, there is no point guessing.
It will then take you to the part where you need to verify that you own the URL, that you are going to add to Bing Webmaster tools.
Again it will give you the option of copy and pasting a code into the header of your website. But this means any time you update or change the theme of your website, you will need to redo it. There is an easier way.
When you look at option 2: you will see a long combination of numbers and letters. It will normally start with a number then go into captial letters. Just copy that combination. (Do not add any symbols or punctuation marks).
Then we are going to go back to our WordPress editor and go into the general settings of out All-in-One SEO Plugin.
If you scroll down the general settings, you will get to a section called Webmaster Verification. There are 3 options, the first being Google. (This is the alternative way than using Google Analytics).
The second is for Bing Webmaster Tools. Just add that code to that box. Make sure you scroll down and select save.
Now, you need to go back to Bing Webmaster Tools and click ‘Verify’.
That’s it, you are done verifying your website and submitting a sitemap to Bing.
This will load you to your Bing Webmaster’s dashboard. It probably won’t show a lot yet, but on the left hand menu, if you select ‘Configure My Site’.
You will see a menu heading called Sitemaps, select it. You should see a screen like the one below, and whether it was successful or not. (We know it was successful, as the verification would not have worked if you had an issue).
This will show a Last Crawl section. Now considering Google last crawled my site yesterday, Bing has not crawled my sitemap since the 30th December. This shows just how you need to tell Bing about your website, and I would also suggest that whilst you get going, don’t be afraid to resubmit your sitemap, via the options on this page too.
The first step to getting your website and content ranked within the search engines is to first get indexed. Submitting your sitemap to Google, Bing and Yahoo will tell them to start reviewing your content regularly. But that is only the start.
If I am honest, the best way to get your content ranked is “Creating High Quality Content that Helps!”.
Pure and simple, as long as you are doing just that, the URL Inspection tool is a great feature to use with Google. If they see that you are creating high-quality content on a regularly basis, they will start to automatically start crawling your website more frequently to a point where you may not need to use it.
But a new website or a struggling website can definitely work off those 2 things, quality content and posting it regularly.
Hopefully now you know what it takes to get your website ranked in the search engines, but I will leave you on one last thought.
One of the key things we want is getting our content ranked high enough so everyone can see it and start clicking on our website. Everyone wants that, but what we sometimes lack is realistic timescales.
A new website will struggle to acheive this straightaway. The search engines want trust, we as readers want trust and the website owners want trust.
It is a big trust cycle, we do not get to know someone well enough to trust them straightaway – It works like that for rankings.
If you post 3 articles a week for 3 months, that is 36 articles. That shows the search engines you are starting to get serious about this website gig. Another 3 months at the same rate, that is 72 articles. That is typically when most websites start to get organic rankings and organic visitors coming onboard.
So my point is, submit your sitemap and remain consistent with creating high quality content that is better than what you find in the search engines for the same keyword you are targeting and give it 6 months. You will definitely see some positive results with regards your rankings.
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If you have any questions on this topic or anything related to it, please write them in the comments below and I will definitely come back to you with an answer as soon as I can.