Will start with an anecdote. Few months back we were doing a website for a restaurant owner. We built it on WordPress. After we launched it, we had a call from the client – he sounded very worried: “my website wouldn’t open in Google”.
We weren’t sure what he meant by opening “in” Google, so we quickly tried to open the website in a few browsers while he was still on the phone and the site opened fine in all of them. We asked him to explain what exactly he was doing and we were shocked to know that this was how he always opened a website.
His browser’s homepage was set to http://www.google.com/. So whenever he needed to open a website he would type the domain name in the google search box and then click on “Google Search” button. A new site doesn’t come to Google index instantly so when he tried opening his site in the above manner, he didn’t see his website!
Imagine our hardship to make sense of this to an adult, we were telling him that his way of opening a website was wrong, that he should have really tried opening new sites using the address bar of the browser, and the natural conclusion he was perhaps drawing about us was “these guys are now trying to cover up their own mess by telling me I always did something wrong”! Duh!
The point however is that Google will not index your site same day as you go live. It can take a couple of weeks to a few months depending on how the content is written and placed, how good the site’s natural SEO features are and if you are linked from reputed websites. But before we go to the details, for our clients that are absolutely new to the concept of SEO, what is SEO?
SEO is the short for Search Engine Optimisation. Google, Bing and Yahoo are only a few examples of popular search engines. In order for them to “find” your website and “add” it to their search results (the whole process is called “indexing” by their search-robots or searchbots) you will need to optimise the content and code of your website so they spot you easy and find you worth for their audience to serve via their search results. So that in a nutshell is SEO.
It therefore is easy to appreciate that you will need to ethically enhance your content in a way that the search engines can target, assimilate and serve. We say ethically because searchbots are really tired of fake optimisations and are getting smarter to punish such fake sites. If you sell Fishing Rods from your website there is no point optimising it with content on popular fish names like “salmon” or “cod” or “haddock” just in the hope that you will get better hits! It doesn’t serve the purpose of selling rods after all.
So what happens if you have a good SEO strategy? What’s the gain? It means your site comes up before others in the search results. In SEO terms it’s “ranking” or “page rank”. So your target should be to have a higher page rank than others that compete with you so your website comes up before others when someone searches with a word or a phrase or even a sentence!
We hope this goes some way to set the scene. As always please get in touch if you have any question. We appreciate people have varying exposures to this topic and this blog obviously targets the “beginners” so to speak!
In our Part-2 we will discuss what can be done to improve SEO performance of your website. Until then, best wishes from all of us!