Getting found in Google can seem confusing. But there are some basic steps you can take to help you “get ranked” in Google. In this episode I talk with Shae Baxter, an SEO rock star. She walks us through some of the most important parts of setting up a successful search engine optimization plan for our nonprofit websites. You can visit her website at shaebaxter.com.
First off, you need to know that getting ranked in Google search results involves several things. There is no silver bullet that will do all of it for you. But with the right tools and tactics, you can help your website “get found on google”. Here are some things you need to know to get started:
- Get a WordPress SEO plugin: when google crawls a page (looking for content) it searches the page titles, description and tags. An SEO plugin will allow you to customize how your site appears to the “Google Bots” and thus how you get indexed in the search results. Here are two popular SEO plugins, Yoast SEO and All in One SEO. (these plugins are for websites made with WordPress – Learn How to Make a WordPress Website)
- Install a site map: another thing those Google bots are looking for our sitemaps. This tells Google where your content is on your site. It makes their job easier. Both of the above SEO plugins come with a one-click sitemap install.
- Connect to Google Analytics: Google may find you by accident, but connecting to Google Analytics will tell Google you exist and exactly where to find you. This step is a must.
- Connect to Google Search Console: Once you connect your site to the Search Console you will be able to see what keywords people are using to find your site as well as which pages are being visited the most.
- Write SEO friendly content: don’t just write a blog post or news article. Think about who will be reading it and why. Then address those people right away with content relative to their needs. There is no need to write a two paragraph introduction to your blog post. SEO friendly content gets to the point quickly and with detail.
Keyword Research and Optimization
Every page on your site is not the same. So be sure that you use good keywords with your SEO Plugin (see above) to help Google index your site. Think of some phrases that people will use to find your content. The key is to use “long-tail” phrases (not one or two word phrases). For example, you’d do better with a phrase like “How to loose weight drinking green smoothies” than if you tried ranking with “weight loss”. The more specific your keyword phrase the less competition you have with competitors and the better chances the people that find you will actually stay on your site.
On Page SEO vs Off Page SEO
Shae breaks down two ways you can help your content get found on the web.
- On Page SEO: This is your content. You have control over this. This includes your page title and your description tags. Make sure your SEO plugin (see above) is optimized to best portray the content on each page with researched (keyword rich) page titles and description tags.
- Off Page SEO: Market your content so others can find it! Link to other post (on other sites) that are similar to yours, submit your post to other sites, encourage people to share your content and market it with your social media. Don’t just leave it up to Google to send people to your site. The more others link to your site, the higher you will rank in the search results.
Think Like a Brand
Stop the mindless blogging and start creating content that will make you look like a brand. First make sure you are writing to your audience. Good content – worth sharing – will help establish you as an authority. Remember Google wants to promote good content. And they want this content to be credible. If you can establish authority, then you will start ranking higher in Google. This means actively marketing your great content, linking it to other publications and sharing it on social media (off page SEO). But also seek out opportunities: offer guest posts to other sites, reach out to others in your field, offer to be a guest on a podcast, host a webinar or start a YouTube channel. The key is to get others to recognize you (and ultimately your content) as an authority and have them send their followers to your site.
Shae’s Website is at: shaebaxter.com
You can email her at: [email protected]
Links Mentioned in this Podcast
Example of aggregate content gone viral (you can do this too): 24 Must See Diagrams that will Make Eating Healthy Super Easy