Let’s say you’ve done a fantastic job of incorporating keywords into your site and you’re perfectly tweaked for efficient SEO. You’ve got a good inbound linking strategy. You’ve built a nice user experience and maybe even incorporated some video. Your reporting and analytics functions are tuned to your liking.
So is that it? Are you done?
Certainly, SEO efforts and keyword optimization are an ongoing function of your business. But it’s also critical to make sure you’re welcoming Google with open arms. It’s as simple as this: When Google doesn’t crawl your site frequently, your ranking will likely drop.
Here are five tips to make sure Google stops by for frequent visits, courtesy of Pratik Dholakiya over at Search Engine Watch:
- Make sure your web server is fast. Slow load times and unreliable servers can incur SEO penalties and discourage frequent visits from Google. So whether you host your site yourself or contract for hosting services, it’s critical to optimize for better performance.
- Update your site. A lot. Need a good reason to have a blog? This is it, because Google likes new content. Another benefit: Google applies the SEO benefits of your blog to your entire site, so frequent updates can pay big dividends. Just make sure your blog falls inside (not outside) of your site’s core domain. In other words, it should be yoursite.com/blog, not blog.yoursite.com.
- Get more inbound links. Quality counts more than quantity, but links pointing to your site continue to tell Google “Hey, this is good stuff.” If you need more quality inbound links (and who doesn’t, right?) just be sure to ASK for them – don’t buy them. Ever.
- Ask Google to crawl your site. Using the “Fetch as Google” tool, you can tell Google to crawl any page of your site. This is especially useful for time-sensitive updates to your content.
- Keep your sitemap updated and error-free. An XML sitemap, when properly maintained and implemented is like a plate of warm cookies when Google shows up at the door.
Most of these things you can do yourself, but some are definitely more complex. Some require intentional effort and planning. Just know that we’re always here to help, with a combination of strategic marketing and extensive technical know-how.