How does the internet work? Although I am involved in very sophisticated technology projects that take advantage of the internet structure, I can’t honestly say how search engines work. But I am learning.
The first term you need to learn is “Search Engine Optimization”, or SEO. SEO is nothing more than making sure that your website has all the good things and none of the bad things that the huge search engines like Bing or Google are looking for. Luckily, Wix understands that most new web site owners don’t understand all the details, and they walk you through how to make sure you are optimized. I thought it would be interesting to walk through the things that go into this, but the first thing you need to remember is that it takes time to earn rank!
The big search engines have “bots” that crawl over your web pages and score you. The look for things like traffic, activity, links to other sites, validated ownership, etc. It takes a little time for these bots to crawl your site and then report what they found to the search engines so your side gets “indexed”. This is a very basic explanation, but indexing characterizes your site topic, type and then ranks you based on a variety of things. When you go to Bing and type in “boat sump pumps”, it looks for sites that are about marine supplies, then to retail sites, then to the ones with the most traffic to rank them. As you can see, getting indexed properly is very important.
The first step is to get connected to Google. This involves getting a google log in (if you use Gmail you already have one) and then registering as the owner of the site. Wix walks you right through that. This is an important step because you want all your pages on Google, you want to be highly indexed and you want your page to show up in the “preview” pane on Google.
The next step is to make sure that your site has all the right things that the search bots are looking for. This is complicated, and again it is great that the hosts like Wix walk you right through it. It involves things l like making sure that you had the right key words in your header (because those are the words people see when they search), a good summary of your site, etc.
Then you need to make sure you have contact information on your home page. The search engines don’t like sites where they can’t connect a real person to it because it’s the internet and there are a lot of bad things out there!
Now you connect to social media. In this instance, I connected to my SeaClutch Facebook page (we will talk about setting that up later!). I also connected to my LinkedIn profile. I have a pretty active LinkedIn profile because of my other website, a project management blog located at www.projectmanagementforum.net, and I figured that would be a good tie in. I also started a YouTube channel, but I didn’t understand what I was doing when I set it up and it doesn’t look that great, so I didn’t connect it.
Then you input text hyperlinks. Hyperlinks are those things that hover over and text pops up. You want them when people are deciding if they want to click on your website from a search engine.
Climbing in search engine ranking is a lot like getting a good credit score, you need to do the right things and then wait!
There are a couple of things that can help you rise in rankings and gain traffic. You can link to other sites! I have several friends who have businesses, so I created a “friends” page and placed all their links there. You also need to have activity as the bots don’t like sites that don’t update frequently. One of the reasons you are reading this is because a weekly blog helps with that!
Now that the website looks good on your desktop, don’t forget about mobile apps! Billions of people search off their phone, so you need to look good on a mobile device as well. Luckily, Wix allows you to change views from desktop to mobile and change your layout. You can change one without changing the other – an awesome feature! My website was up and running, now I needed to make sure people thought I was safe!