James Marshall Head of Product Getting Your Site Noticed By Google Getting your site noticed by Google is simple, getting it noticed by users and climbing up the page rankings is an art form that despite what agencies tell you, is only truly understood by Google themselves. OK, so you’ve just made a website and want to get it off the Deep Web and into the mainstream search engines. To do this you need to tell your website to allow search engine bots to find and index your website.This is done by modifying a file called robots.txt which is the file all search engines are looking for in order to register your website. If your website is still on a staging environment, or is not yet complete it will most likely be set to “no follow” which ensures Google does just that. That’s the easy bit done, if you’re able to view the website traffic you will start to see Google and Bing bots start to crawl the website as they log everything they have been given access to with their respective search engines. From this point on, it’s all about fine tuning. The thing to remember is that you’re trying to appease a robot, not a human being so making your site as easily navigable as possible for these robots will be a big help; therefore the second step needs to be your site map. Not wanting to cause confusion at this early stage but there are two different types of sitemap you need to be aware of, and make sure you don’t confuse the two. You have on one hand your traditional sitemap, or site index which designed to help users navigate the site by presenting them with a page of nested links you can click through to find other pages on the website. These user friendly site index pages are often themed to match the website and although a rather dated feature these days are still considered an essential part of most website construction. The below example is from our client BCL, and as you can see from the snippet, have their page index listed alphabetically and still maintain the core functionality of the website, in their case the job search. The other, and arguably more important, sitemap is the XML Sitemap. OK, in a blog post about getting noticed on Google the XML sitemap is by far the most important of the two sitemaps in relation to where your focus should be. To the untrained eye an XML sitemap just looks like a page of code, which in fairness is pretty much what it is. What’s important about this page is that this is exactly what a Googlebot is looking for, something it can easily digest and use to map all of the pages on your website, even the ones you normally wouldn’t think about like thank you pages for forms for example. Getting this page right is crucial to the continual success of your website and if done correctly while your site is in its infancy, can save you a lot of time and money on SEO as it should be setup to grow and expand along with your website. Search Engine Optimisation Your next stage is Search Engine Optimisation or SEO for short. This is the process of fine tuning your website to make it even easier for Google to find and index your site correctly and is the next step after sorting out your XML sitemap, although chances are the two will go hand in hand. Back in the 90’s and 00’s this was achieved, rather shamefully by adding backlinks to your website from another site, which resulted in websites just full of useless links and adverts and was in all fairness a dark time for the internet when the whole thing started to feel like on big pop up advert. The good news is that Google pretty much wrote off all sites doing that back in the mid 2000’s, taking control of website rankings away from the webmasters and putting them in the hands of the content creators. And that is now pretty much a broad overview of how best to get noticed by Google organically. If you are producing plenty of relevant, regular content updates on a website that has been well mapped to assist googlebots you will inevitably find yourself climbing the google rankings. Admittedly getting to the very top of popular search results pages will almost certainly require help from an SEO specialist as there are simply too many smaller variables and tweaks to take into account. So If you are working to a tight budget, regular content updates and a good quality sitemap will get you most of the way there but if you intend on being a big hitter in a certain field, finding a good quality SEO agency that can help you achieve your goals is essential. If you need help getting your site noticed by Google, look no further than Indiespring. As certified Google Partners we know how to optimise your Search Engine Strategy and get you in the good books.