Getting Your Site Seen in Google (SEO)

Last Updated on Jun 28, 2013

Site Not Showing Up in Search Results

If you're having problems getting your site to come up on Google, there are a couple things you can do to help. Most of the time, your site's absence is due to one of two basic issues: either your site hasn't been found or "indexed" by Google yet or your site doesn't contain relevant information to help the search find your site.

Google, and other search engines, "crawl" the web to find new websites, and it can take awhile for it to find yours. We highly recommend that you check out Google Webmaster Tools to get more information about what Google looks for when crawling the web.
 

Better Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Virb sites are set up to be SEO-friendly from the start. All of our Themes are built with semantic, indexable HTML5 with unique page titles and URLs, proper image alt tags, and a clear navigation structure. Here are some tips to make your SEO even better.

Google results

1. Use descriptive page titles
Your page titles are the first thing to show up when your page is listed in search results. They tell search engines, as well as your users, what the page is about. In Virb, your page title is constructed from your Site Title (in your Settings tab) combined with your Page Title.

Bad: John's Site | Photos #1
Good: John Smith Photography | Portraits



2. Use descriptive URLs
Your URL is displayed below your title in search results and is also used by search engines to figure out information about that page. You can adjust your URLs using the field below your Page Title.

Bad: mysite.com/johninfo
Good: mysite.com/information-about-john



3. Use meta data
Virb offers two simple ways to add meta descriptions and keywords to your site. Meta descriptions are the snippet of text that generally shows up under search results (generally because sometimes Google will use site content instead—they're tricky). Be sure to use related, page-specific information and keep it between about 50 and 150 characters. Meta keywords are less important than they used to be, but Google can still use them to categorize your website.

To add a site-wide meta description, just open up your Settings page. We suggest adding short, descriptive text that answers the big questions: what your site is about, what it's for, and where you're located.

You can also add page-specific meta descriptions and keywords. These page-specific descriptions will override any you've added to the Settings page. To add these, just open the Page Settings box on each page and find the SEO Options area.




4. Add image data
If you have a lot of images on your site, you will want to make sure there is text associated with each image to make it searchable and understandable by vision-impaired users. You can do this with alternate text or "alt text," as it's known by its tag. By default, your image's alt text is the file name so be sure those are descriptive. You can override alt text with even more descriptive wording by adding a Title to the image. To do this, just click "edit" on the image's thumbnail when editing your page and add a descriptive title.



5. Submit your sitemap to Google
Sitemaps can be submitted to search engines for improved crawling and indexing. You can read exactly how to do that here.

6. Keep up with your stats
One of the best ways to make sure your site's SEO is working for you is to keep an eye on your site's Stats page, where you can see how many visitors you're getting and what pages they're looking at. You can do even more by diving into your full Google Analytics report or by hooking up services like Google Webmaster Tools to see what searches people are using to find your website.


7. Provide useful content
In SEO, content is king. If your site has useful content that interests your users, search engines will find it and others will link to it, which provides you with the best search engine rankings. What that means for your business or personal site is up to you to discover! Also, if you have a page with a lot of content, remember to divide text up into sections by adding headers to give your content heirarchy.




For more, we'd recommend reading this handy Beginner's Guide from SEOmoz or this SEO Starter Guide from Google.

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