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Tuesday 21st January 2020 at 08:06
It's a question we get asked all the time, "how do I appear on Google?".
Over the past couple of years we've written quite a few articles on tips and tricks on things you can do to appear on Google or improve your Google rankings, but many of these articles have covered a particular aspect of Google search engine optimisation. So we've put together this article as a one stop shop and sign post for all things Google search.
There are several ways you can rank well on Google, but all of them require either time, effort or money. Gone are the days of magically appearing at the top of Google so we've broken down the different types of ways you can appear in Google and explained what's involved (eg whether it's time, effort or money!)
Do remember that appearing on Google is not the only way you can promote your website and that there are many other successful ways to promote your website you can get visitors to your website such as:-
Whilst the main methods of ranking on Google are the same no matter what kind of business you run, the below has been tailored towards Antique, Art, Vintage and Militaria dealers; but is relevant to any business selling products online.
Whenever you search on Google, you're actually getting results from lots of different areas of Google including organic listings, adwords, shopping, images, and maps.
In the screenshot below we've made a search for "antique chairs" and highlighted the different areas to give you an idea of what's what:-
Let's get a bit of jargon out of the way. In the world of Google and websites in general, a common term used is "above the fold". This simply means the area of the web page you see before having to scroll down.
In the screenshot above you would typically see Google shopping, adwords and images before having to scroll down.
Google isn't stupid. They're one of the biggest companies on the planet and they are so for a very good reason; they make a ton of money! As you can see from the screenshot above the Google Shopping and Google Adwords listings (which you pay Google directly for) appear before anything organic. In fact, the true organic (traditional) listings don't appear until right after everything else.
If you've just launched a new website then this is step one. There's no point having a website if people can't find you just by searching for your company name.
This can take a little bit of time, but it's relatively easy to achieve. Here are the things we would do if we had launched a new website called "Rob's Antiques Shop" and wanted people to find us when anyone Googles our name.
These are free, and tell Google that you have a business, where you are, and basic information like that.
We've written a step by step guide on how to create a Google Business listing which you can read by clicking here.
Really so simple but crazy the amount of times this gets overlooked!
Ensure that your company name, eg "Rob's Antiques Shop" is in the following areas of your website. Your web designer should be able to help you with this, or, if you have one of our beautiful websites then we do this as standard.
As far as Google is concerned you pretty much don't exist unless somebody else links to your website. Getting that first link will be a crucial step in getting Google to know you exist. Click here to read our guide on inbound links.
If you have a brand new website and want to start getting found, being found locally is low hanging fruit and usually fairly straight forward.
As you'll see from our screenshot in section 1 above, results from Google Maps & Businesses usually appear before traditional search results.
If you're fairly niche in your area (for example we're based in Derby and there are only 2 antiques shops in the centre of Derby), then appearing should be pretty straight forward.
All you really need to do is to create a Google Business listing which you can read about by clicking here. It can be as quick as a week or two to appear.
Image: Appley Hoare Antiques
So once you have the basics sorted like appearing under your own company name, what do you need to do if you want to appear under general search terms, like "antique chairs" or "antique furniture" or things like that?
We'll explain these in more detail below, but essentially you have:-
PLEASE! Before you read any further, please don't do what so many people do and think "ah, I'll have the free listings please!". Nothing in life is really free. In the case of Google's organic listings and Google images, a certain amount of work (and often money) will be involved in getting found. Not only that but as you can see from the screenshot in section 1, Google does prioritise it's paid for listings and shows these before anything else so you're often likely to get a lot more visitors from paid listings than organic ones.
As you'll notice from the screenshot in section 1, Google Shopping and Google Adwords listings tend to appear before anything else.
I run advertising campaigns on Google for clients and one of my personal favourite these days is Google Shopping as you can really get some great results and a fantastic return on investment when managed properly.
With our websites we can even make it so that Google has an automatically up to date list of all the items on your website, including the name of the item, picture, price, etc so that your items will appear here:-
The key advantages of Google Adwords and Google Shopping are:-
The downside of course is that you do need a budget, and in an ideal world a company such as ourselves to manage the campaign for you so that you don't waste your budget and you get the best results.
If you do want to test the water for yourself however, you can contact Google directly or get started by visiting:-
Back when Google first launched its image search, you would only get results if you deliberately did an image search. Nowadays however results from Google images show up on most searches when searching for products like antiques, art and vintage items.
This presents a great opportunity to get visitors to your website from Google.
Here are the things we would recommend:-
Organic (or "traditional") rankings are the ones that most people think about when they think of Google. They are the results that used to dominate the page when you searched on Google, but now usually appear right at the bottom of page 1.
Whilst they're still incredibly important, they are a lot less prominent now with how much focus Google puts on the other types of results such as Adwords, Shopping, Images, and Maps (as covered above).
Whilst organic rankings are technically free, they can involve a huge amount of time and effort to achieve, especially if you have a brand new website, which is why we so often recommend the other methods out there as outlined above.
Getting organic listings, especially if you have a new website, will usually require the most amount of work compared to any other method.
Here are the steps involved in ranking organically on Google:-
Whilst you may think you know which terms you want to appear under, how do you know if anyone is actually looking for that term? How do you know whether it's highly competitive or not?
Do not skip this step or you will regret it.
Here are some tools you can use to research the above:-
You may also want to read the keyword research guide from Neil Patel, who is an internationally respected expert on Google search engine optimisation.
The second step is to ensure your website itself is properly optimised from a technical perspective.
Our off the shelf websites do this as standard so if you have a website with us already then you don't need to worry. If not, you need to be looking at all the basics such as :-
There's far too much to cover here, but any good web designer should know how to properly optimise a site.
Oh, and if someone tells you it's all about meta tags, then they're about 20 years behind the times.
This is such a simple concept, but so often overlooked.
Google is one of the worlds most popular search engines because it's good at finding things; that's why we all use it! One of the things it does is makes sure that results it displays are relevant. You wouldn't be using Google if it always displayed results which were completely irrelevant to what you searched for now would you? So you need to make sure your website is relevant to the search terms you want to be found under. SIMPLES!
So let's say you want to appear under the term "antique chairs", then you want to make sure you have a page on your website which is all about antique chairs! This should include a heading of "antique chairs", text about antique chairs, images of antique chairs, and products of antique chairs.
As mentioned before in this article, we also highly recommend you enure your product titles and descriptions are optimised to get results. Read our guide on this by clicking here.
Last but (very definitely) not least is inbound links.
Even if you have a perfectly built and optimised site, with great content which is really relevant, it does not mean you're going to get found at the top of the traditional (organic) listings in Google. With over a billion websites now on the web, Google has to pick who is coming up in the top of the results somehow. One of the main ways it does this is with a bit of a popularity contest in terms of how many people link to each website. You'll often hear terms like "domain rank" and "page rank" banded out with reference to how good the links to your website are.
The more people that link to your website, the more credible those websites are, and the more relevant they are to what you want to be found under, then the higher you will appear in the rankings.
It's a simple concept if you think about it, but getting links to your website can involve a fair bit of work because Google is only going to value genuine links. To help you out, we've written a plain English guide on inbound linking which you can read here.
Google is one of many ways you can get your website found online. As mentioned at the start of the article, social media and other methods can work just as well for getting your website found as Google can.
If you want to use Google as one of the methods of promoting your website then you need to think short, medium and long term.
In the short term you'd want to start with getting a Google Business listing, in the medium term think Adwords and optimising your website, and in the long term also bring inbound linking into the mix.
We hope you found our guide useful. If don't have a website with us already, then please do have a look at our web design services for antique, art, vintage & militaria dealers.
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Tuesday 21st January 2020 at 08:06