Internal link structure, choosing keywords, indexed pages, XML Sitemaps… it’s all covered in our step-by-step instructions on getting your site to the top of Google search results.
Getting your website to appear at the top of the Google search results is arguably the best way to advertise yourself on the internet, and assuming you can put in a bit of time and effort to set your site and content up in the right way, it’s completely free! Getting your pages ‘indexed’ in the Google database requires a few key tasks to be completed.
Before you start:
- You need a Moonfruit site with a few pages of content and/or products
- Sign up for a Google account if you don’t already have one
Now let’s get started
Step 1: Make sure all your pages are accessible by navigating through your site and making sure your internal link structure doesn’t have any holes. Read our Creating internal website links guide for detailed instructions on how to do this.
Step 2: Ensure that every page has a decent amount of relevant text content. The first few lines are vitally important in terms of establishing what your web page is about, so think carefully about the first 100 words and make sure you clearly state the intention and include the right keywords (read our Choosing keywords for SEO guide). You’ll need another 200-300 words on each page to provide a more thorough explanation, and be sure to make the content on each page unique.
Step 3: If the pages start to get too lengthy, you could always add more pages to cover topics separately – the more pages you have on your site, the wider the range of keywords you can target to give yourself a better chance of search engine visibility.
Step 4: You can check what pages are indexed on Google by using one of Google’s search operators. One of the most commonly used is the ‘site:’ command – just type it before your website URL in Google (e.g. site:www.moonfruit.com) and it will list every page of your site that it considers in its rankings. Count them up (or use the estimate provided at the top of the results if you have a lot of pages) and see if it matches the number of pages you think you should have on your site.
Step 5: If the numbers don’t match up, there are a couple of things you can explore:
- Check that none of your pages are orphaned (i.e. not linked to from another page on your site). If Google can’t get to a certain page from the links within your website, it’s unable to index it.
- Check that your pages aren’t considered duplicates. You may want to put across similar messages on pages throughout your website, but make sure that the content is phrased in a significantly different way, or it will be ignored.
Step 6: Submit an XML sitemap to Google. In its simplest terms, an XML Sitemap is a list of the pages on your site. Sitemaps are a way to tell Google about pages on your site they might not otherwise discover, including URLs that may not be discoverable by Google’s normal crawling process. Find out more on Google’s support page.
Step 7: You can also directly submit your URL to Google for indexing. Find out more.
Something else to try:
To get an idea of how other sites in your market are appearing to Google, you can run the ‘site:’ command on their website addresses too. This will give you an insight into the keywords they use and how their site is structured, which you can use to refine your approach.
Want to create a free website with Moonfruit? Find out how on our homepage
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