“I’ll Google it.”
When a brand becomes a verb, you know it’s here to stay.
So it’s not surprising that for a website to be successful, it needs to be found in Google. Otherwise, like a helium balloon on a blustery day, it will be floating around the internet without a hope.
Why do I need to make friends with Google?
Back in the old days, if you wanted your website to appear in search engines like Google, you could do a few tricks, like pasting the same keyword into your content a dozen times. The more times you added the keyword, the more likely your website was going to appear in Google for that search term.
For example, if you wanted to be found in Google when people searched for “safari holidays”, you could do this:
“Want to go on an amazing safari holiday? Our safari holidays are different from other safari holidays. Not only are our safari holidays great value, but they also steer away from the traditional safari holiday experience, going off the beaten track. Contact us for a safari holiday you will never forget.”
Thankfully, Google cottoned on to this trick, making their algorithm more sophisticated so that people were penalised for “keyword stuffing” and other dodgy ways to cheat your way onto page 1. The search engine now works hard to provide the most relevant results for users, rather than spewing up a list of mediocre websites that have a lot of repeated keywords in them.
So, in order for your website to perform well in Google, you need to treat it like a person. You need to make friends with Google.
How to Make Friends with Google
Befriending Google takes a little bit of time and effort, but it’s worth it!
1. Have a responsive website
There’s an abundance of information online about this, but it’s worth saying again: make sure your website looks good on screens of all sizes.
2. Make it fast
If your website is a tortoise, it will get left behind and won’t win the race (sorry, Aesop). Run it through an online site speed test and see how it scores – you might need to compress some of your images to speed things up.
3. Create regular, original content
Google wants to provide people with useful content that answers questions. If you are creating content like this, your contribution will bring the right people to your website.
4. Don’t abandon keywords altogether
Keyword research is still important if you want to make friends with Google - you just need to use those words appropriately. Write descriptive headings that explain what each page is about, and use clear language in your content that naturally includes those important words that people might be searching for.
5. Be original
You might have heard that Google does not allow duplicate or plagiarised content, but I believe there is more to winning a friendship with Google than not copying someone else - your content needs to stand out! Yes, draw inspiration from others in your field, but your ultimate goal should be focussing on what makes you different from everyone else.
6. Be patient
No-one likes to wait for anything now, especially online, but when it comes to making friends with Google, patience is imperative. It takes time to gain a good reputation, so don’t be disheartened if your website is still on page 4 after a few weeks of work. If you are following these steps and keeping up to date with the latest SEO trends, your website will improve over time.
Once you’ve made friends with Google, you’ll feel like you’ve won the internet! If you would like any more help with your website, I have plenty more ideas and would love to share them with you.
Leave a comment or send an email!