How can I be found on Google?
We get asked this question on a regular basis, and although there’s not a magic formula, there are some straightforward steps to set you on the right track.
So if you want to know how to get your business found on Google, here’s where to start (with a little background so you understand why it’s super important to be there)…
Why should I make sure my business is on Google?
Think about how you buy virtually anything these days – from products to services. Need a boiler service? After some new shoes? You go to Google, enter your search term and explore your options; you’ll be comparing prices, reading reviews and completing your purchase in no time.
Did you look at companies who didn’t pop up on your search results? Unlikely. And that’s the thing to remember when it comes to your business – the majority of people don’t give a second thought to those that don’t appear on Google, so to compete, you’ve got to be there.
But why Google? Consider the staggering amount of searches that happen on Google every single day (prepare to get your mind blown).
Although Google doesn’t release official search data, research and estimates indicate that…
- Google processes approx 70,000 search queries every second
- This equals 5.8 billion searches every day
- So around 2 trillion Google searches are made every year
- The average person does about 3 or 4 searches each day
Bottom line? Your potential customers are out there looking for you, hundreds of them – are you giving them the best chance of finding you?
So how do I get my business found on Google?
1) Submit your website URL to Google
Your shiny new website is ready to launch – once it’s live it will be popping up on search results immediately, right? Not quite. Google displays results by crawling and indexing web pages, billions of them, which takes time.
You can speed up this process by submitting your new website URL to Google. Your web developer should be able to help with this, but Google also have this helpful guide to submitting different types of content to them.
2) Get your website keywords right
Ever wondered how Google finds such exact results for your own searches? Keywords are one really important part of a process known as Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO.
Think about it from the other side – what search terms could, and should, lead potential customers to your business, products and services? You need to make sure that your website includes these keywords, so Google can recognise that your website could tick the user’s box.
And when we say ‘keywords’, we don’t just mean single words. ‘Keywords and key phrases’ is probably more accurate, as again, Google is looking to match what someone is trying to find, and we often write sentences in the search bar, not to mention when we ask Alexa, Siri or Hey Google for answers using a complete question.
Google have a great keyword planner that you might find useful, and don’t forget the autocomplete function in the Google search bar – start typing a sentence and get suggestions based on popular search terms, so you can build content around what people are actually looking for.
One word of warning – don’t squash in keywords at any cost. The Google algorithms are smart enough to know you’re trying to do this, and because they want to deliver top quality search results, they’re looking for engaging, informative content. Repeating your keyword multiple times will make no sense to the reader, which is likely to have an adverse effect on your performance on Google.
3) Add your website to local directories
The more traffic you get to your website, the more Google is likely to recognise your site as a useful resource. This starts the wheels in motion for your website popping up in more search results, being visited by more users, becoming an even more valuable website and so on…
Research shows that 97% of us search online for local businesses. Making sure your site is optimised for local searches is crucial, so you’ll appear in results more, encourage more visitors and improve your Google ranking.
A great way to do this is checking your Google My Business page is accurate. You can include your opening hours, a map to your location, contact details and location-based keywords.
4) Make your website work on mobiles
In 2020, over 50% of global web traffic is via mobile phone. This means that over half of your potential customers could be coming to your site on their device.
Google also operates Mobile-First indexing, using what it finds on your mobile site to determine if your site is a good match for search results, before it looks at your desktop site. So not only are consumers looking at your mobile site, Google is too.
We’ve all visited a website that doesn’t work properly on our phones. It’s annoying, it impacts your impression of the business and brand, and it’s likely to reduce your chances of using the site at all.
Use your phone now to check – does your website work properly? Does the menu display correctly? Does the content scale for the screen size and can users easily make an enquiry or purchase with straightforward payment routes?
If not, you risk losing them to your competition who no doubt have got their website in shape for mobile (why not take a look and see how they compare?).
5) Signposting and labelling with metadata
As we mentioned, there are all sorts of factors that affect your SEO.
Making sure your meta tags are concise and correct doesn’t have a direct impact on your rankings, but they can really help your Click Through Rate (CTR).
Having clear meta tags which label your content and why they should click means that users will quickly and easily understand what your business and website is about. The more they click through, and the longer they stay on the site exploring your information, products and services, the better.
Google uses CTR and time spent on the site as one of the ways it determines which sites are valuable for its users. Essentially, clearly signpost information, drive more traffic to your website, keep them engaged and Google will know and reward you for it.
So there you have it. A beginners guide to getting your website on Google. The world of SEO is ever expanding, but by following these simple first steps you’ll set your business on the right track to appearing in Google search results in no time.