There are some basic steps companies can take to get started with search engine optimization and driving organic traffic to their website. In the past, website owners would manually share their website URL to Google to have their sites indexed, allowing the search engine to “crawl” or read what their website was about and recommend it to people looking for related information. More recently, things have changed and in 2022, there are two key ways to have your business listed on Google and get people to your website.
Here’s how to get started.
One of the best ways to get Google to notice your website is by signing up for Google Search Console (formerly called Webmaster Tools), a tool that helps website owners to measure traffic, manage performance, and that supports search engine optimization efforts. This free tool allows you to submit your sitemap, which contains valuable information about your website. By doing so, Google can learn what’s important to you and your users and then recommend your site by ranking it in search results.
To get started, go to search.google.com preferably using a Google-enabled email address. Then, verify domain ownership using any of the recommended methods, including using an existing Google Analytics account. If you’re more tech savvy, you can verify your domain with a code snippet or by modifying your DNS settings. Once you have done this, you can add the path to your sitemap, which usually is something similar to sitemap.xml. If you are using WordPress, most SEO plugins will help you generate or locate the sitemap path to submit.
Google My Business
Google also allows companies to add their information on a free directory called Google My Business or GMB. GMB will help you list your business information including your location and website in Google Maps, collect and respond to reviews, post multimedia content, and share products and services. Businesses using GMB will see their listing prominently displayed in search results for their area, helping local patrons find out more information about their business.
To get started, go to google.com/business and create a profile by providing details about your business. Share your business address, but only make it public if you have visitors come to your location. Verify that you own the business by having a postcard with a confirmation code sent to your address. Follow all prompts and go through each section of the profile to add content and engage with visitors. The profile is easy to navigate so you complete it and have your listing live in less than an hour.
Use all of Google’s available resources, including courses on Search Console and GMB to help you market and sell more. By creating your Search Console and Google My Business accounts, you can list your business with the world’s most powerful search engine and drive traffic to your website. If you are running a non-profit, there are even more (FREE) resources available to your organization. Check out this post to learn more about getting started with Google For Nonprofits Grants. To get support with this, contact Spark Creative today!