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optimise my website for googlebot search engine

My Start getting found on the internet post gave an overview of how to optimise a website for google search in general terms. It outlined the 3 major factors that google uses to determine a websites ranking for a search phrase keyed into google: 1. Relevancy, 2. Trust & authority, 3. Fresh & up to date.

Lets take a closer look at the first of these website optimisation elements; how you can show google that your website is relevant to the search phrase(s) that you want to get visits from.

Contents

 

Website meet Googlebot, Googlebot meet website

optimise my website for googlebot search engine Google needs information to determine what your website is about so it sends robots affectionately known as Googlebot to your website to read the content. Ok it’s actually a computer program that follows link after link on the internet gathering website page content and information and adding it to it’s huge database.

When a search is performed Google interrogates the data it has stored away to narrow down the search to all the pages that could be relevant to that search. So before any sorting and ranking goes on, you need to make sure your website is in with a shout of being ranked. So the first part of answering the question, how to optimise my website for google search? is: make it relevant. You must make sure it qualifies as a relevant page on the web for the searches that are applicable to your site.

 

That means you need to use those phrases and their derivatives freely on your site. It means you must use them in your page content. It’s tempting to be clever and use flowery marketing language which may sound great but won’t help you show search engine relevancy.

relevant-search-simon-cowellIf you are a dentist but only talk about “orthodontic treatment for a smile as white as Simon Cowell’s, performed in state of the art facilities”, then it will be difficult for Google to work out that you are actually relevant to a search for ‘Dentists in Bradford’.

Make it obvious with content relevant to likely searches such as “We are Dentists in Bradford serving Bradford and West Yorkshire for dental treatments such as teeth whitening. You’ll be all smiles when you see your dentist in our state of the art dental surgery in Bradford” Still a little flowery but I think you get the idea that this page is much more likely to be relevant to the ‘Dentist in Bradford’ search.

 

How to make a website page even more relevant to a search engine

Okay so you are probably quite comfortable now with writing your content with an ear to the search phrases that you want to qualify as relevant for.

To really ensure relevancy to a search phrase you should target only one to two phrases per page. If you try to cover other phrases on the same page it can dilute your efforts and muddy the waters for google.

 

I recently analysed a golf product website and found more than half of the content on the home page related to golf insurance (as they had a business partnership). The golf insurance content made the page less relevant to the golf product search and the product content made it less relevant to a ‘golf insurance’ search. The solution was to move the insurance content to it’s own page to make each page clearly relevant to it’s own search phrase. So yes target other phrases but do it on separate pages. Yes each of your pages can rank for a different search phrase. You don’t have to cram it all in to your home page.

Now don’t get the wrong idea here. Repeating your target search phrase over and over is not the way, rather write naturally but make sure you use your target phrase and variations of it where it naturally fits.

 

The most relevant parts of the website page that you need to optimise

So now lets get a bit more targeted and I’m afraid a bit more technical. There are some key places on the page that you should target. Using some of these will make the job easier for you.

First paragraph: try to include your target phrase in the first paragraph of your main content.

Title tag: told you we’re getting more technical. Each page has one and only one, it typically appears as the words at the very top of your browser screen. You probably haven’t even noticed it but it is very very important for Search engines.

You must put your desired 1 to 2 search phrases here as it is a primary indicator of what your page is about. We don’t want to see things like “Brand name – Welcome to our home page”. We want search phrases that are relevant to the page such as “Dentist In Bradford | Teeth Whitening | Brand Name”;

thats search phrase1 | search phrase2 | Brand name.

The beginning of the title carries more weight so start with your primary search phrase and add your brand name afterwards if you wish.

 

Headings: add your target search phrases in headings (h1-h6 heading tags). Include the search phrase in your main heading (h1) – try to have only 1 h1 tag and use supporting theme phrases in sub headings. So this will help our Dentist who can create a heading such as “Welcome to <name> – your Dentist in Bradford for whiter smiles”

 

Now you probably have some nice images on your page, that show lovely teeth and some text in beautiful fonts or whatever is appropriate to your business. These images can make a big difference in generating positive emotions in your visitors that can convert into leads and sales but I’m afraid they don’t do it for the googlebot, your glamorous dressing up will not stir up even the faintest glimmer of passion for your website for our googlebot friend.

The problem is that googlebot cannot see images, it’s as though they don’t exist as far as google is concerned. I’m afraid googlebot is a text fiend. It has a thing for good old plain boring text, and nothing else. So yes create glam images for your visitors but make sure that your target keyword search phrases are not ‘hidden’ from googlebots view by being embedded in your images. A simple way to check if google can read the text is to try and hilight it with a click and drag of your mouse. If you can hilight it then it’s text if you can’t then it’s an image.

Image alt tags: Now there is one thing you can do to your images that will satisfy the needs of the googlebot. That is to ensure each image has an alt tag set for it. The alt or alternative text tag, is the text that is set to appear if a user has disabled images in their browser. It is also read by screen readers used by the visually impaired. So the alt tag should be set to be some text that describes the image. Notice I used the ‘T’ word, yes it is text which means it is also read by googlebot. So make use of it as another place where you can add your target search phrase as appropriate.

relevant-search-simon-cowell

 

e.g. add an alt tag to the image with the text: ‘Dentist in Bradford gives you the Simon Cowell teeth whitening treatment’

 

 

Useful website optimisation tools

Here’s a simple tool that will easily tell you what the page title and h1 heading tag are set to.

Here’s a useful tool which will show you what your page looks like to the googlebot. Enter your url and click ‘simple’. If the result is very short and largely blank then you need to consider giving in to the whims of the googlebot by creating some more text to help him better understand which search phrases your page is relevant to.

Let me know how you get on in the comments.

 

My SEO (search engine optimisation) specialist service can help you make your website relevant to google search and help you choose the optimum keywords to target.

About the author: Pete Stevens: I work with businesses to get the best out of their website; maximise visitors and maximise sales. I live with my wife and 2 teenage children near Bradford & Leeds in Yorkshire UK. I enjoy golf, football and curry mmm!

5 Responses to “How to optimise my website for google search – make it relevant”

  1. Hi are you able to give me any advice at all as I can’t work out which bits I specifically need to address? Thankyou

    • Hi Susie,

      Thanks for your comment. I have had a look at your photography website. I can see that you have built it using iWeb by Apple which of course being Apple makes very nice looking websites. The problem with iWeb is that it is notoriously difficult to optimise for Google and is rather inflexible. So I can understand why you are finding it difficult to know the places on your site to use keywords and optimise.

      However, I think I may be able to suggest a solution for you. I have not used it myself as I tend to avoid iWeb, but there is a software package produced by Rage Software called iWeb Seo Tool that you can buy for £20 that looks like it will help you. You can get it and watch a video here.

      It will help with things like your title tag that I talk about in my post as being very important, setting this in iWeb is a bit hit and miss.

      The title of your home page is “Welcome to Dinky Pics Wedding & Portrait Photography” it is taken from the main heading that you set on the home page. You can see the title by looking at the top of your browser, depending on what browser you use you will see it right at the top or it will be the name on the browser tab. This title is also used in the Google search results.

      Thinking about making your page relevant to the intent of a searcher you probably want to be relevant to the searches like “Wedding photographer Peterborough” & “Portrait photographer Peterborough”. (It’s good that you talk about Peterborough and your local area in the text of the page, that helps) It would be nice to have your title match those searches as well.

      The only way to do it in iWeb (without the SEO Software tool) would be to change your heading from “Welcome to Dinky Pics Wedding & Portrait Photography” to “Wedding & Portrait Photographer Peterborough” which is better for Google but will look naff to your visitors and you don’t want to look naff to potential customers.

      The Rage SEO Software allows you to set the Title independently and also a few other things which will help. (least that’s what it looks like in the video) so you can have your nice welcoming heading for visitors and your targeted title tag for Google. I suggest you give it a go and let me know how you get on. If you need help with it then you could always engage my services.

      The other alternative is to move your website off of iWeb to a platform which is a lot more flexible, which is probably a better long term business solution. If you want to explore that route come back to me and I can suggest a couple of good options for you.

      You may also find my guide to Search Optimisation for non-techies helpful, you can download it for free.

      Hope that helps Susie, do keep in touch.

      Pete

  2. Dear Pete wondered if you can help?i have set up a sole practice as family solicitor in Cleckheaton and I noticed you are based in Bradford. I am getting nothing from my website by way of clients and when I googled family solicitor in Cleckheaton my website http://www.harringtonfamilylaw.co.uk didn’t even appear which is disastrous. I’m not at all techy and have no idea what to do. I have read your information above but I still don’t know where to begin. Have you any advice? I really need a useful website and am panicking about what to do. Any advice would be much appreciated
    Thanks
    Yours
    Victoria Harrington

    • Hello Victoria, thankyou for your comment.

      The first thing is not to panic. Your situation is not uncommon and you can improve matters significantly without too much difficulty.

      Lets put ourselves in google’s shoes for a moment. Someone enters a search phrase such as ‘family solicitor in Cleckheaton’, as we are google, we now need to find sites that are relevant to that phrase. As google we look at your home page and ask how relevant is the content to that search? We see the word family featured quite strongly, we do not see the word solicitor at all (although we see a related word ‘law’), we see ‘Cleckheaton’ well down the page mentioned the same number of times as Wales. As google we would probably conclude that your page has little relevance to the search phrase, we can find much more relevant ones to return in the search results.

      The best way to be found for ‘family solicitor in Cleckheaton’ is to make sure you talk about how you are a family solicitor in Cleckheaton. It’s not magic.

      Specifically you could:
      make your (h1) main heading read something like “Cleckheaton Family Solicitors – Welcome to Harrington Family Law”. (currently it just says “Welcome to Harrington Family Law”.
      make your opening sentence say something like “Harrington Family Law is a specialist legal practice serving Cleckheaton families… we are solicitors who offer…”
      add your Cleckheaton address & phone number.

      One of the best things to do is to include the search phrase in your page title tag. At the moment your title tag of your home page is set to “Home”. This is absolutely no use to google in determining the relevance of your page to any search. You should try to set it to include your target search phrase such as “Family Solicitor in Cleckheaton. Harrington Family Law”.

      How to set your title tag depends on how and on what platform your website was built. In your case your site is built using a very good Content Management System called Joomla, so setting the title tag should be quick and straightforward. Ask your web developer to set it for you. To do this they log on to the Joomla Administrator page, edit the Home page menu item and enter your desired text in the ‘Browser Page Title’ field under ‘Page Display Options’.

      The same thing can be done for each page of the website but try to make each page target a different phrase.

      So don’t panic Victoria, once you have made these changes, you will be on your way as you will have a site that is at least relevant to that search. It can take a few days for Google to revisit your site and pick up on the changes.

      Let me know how you get on. Get in touch if you would like to engage me to make these and other helpful changes for you.

      Pete

      • Pete thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful email. Will do as you suggest and keep your details for referral. MUCH
        Appreciated thanks

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