David BrowneThe most popular question I get asked as a web designer is “How soon will my website be ranking on Google?” I have actually had one client phone me and complain because 2 hours after going live he still wasn’t anywhere to be found on Google.

The biggest myth or misrepresentation about SEO consultants is that we somehow phone up Google and tell them to list a site, or that we can login to some sort of website throw in a list of keywords and all of a sudden clients websites appear, this is completely false and anyone who tells you that they can is well worth walking very quickly away from.

The truth is Google finds and ranks websites and webpages in its own time, it’s kind of like a big fishing net where Google casts a net and finds new sites constantly and then ranks them using its own algorithms. That can be an hour, a day, a week or even a month.  I would target new sites to be up in a couple of weeks.

So am I saying that SEO is a waste of time and we have no control over it? Absolutely not, there are many things that can be done on your site and on other websites that will influence the way in which your websites is found, read, interpreted and ultimately ranked by Google.

What can you do to help speed up your inclusion in Google’s search results?

  • Using Google Webmaster tools and a XML Site map, will make it easier for Google to find and crawl your website.
  • Make sure that every page on your website is linked to even by your own page, using a navigation bar or hyperlinks.
  • Use social media to share your content and make sure your content is easily shareable. Make sure your website has relevant social media pages attached to it.
  • When developing text content for your website think about the type of text and language as well as phrases you audience will be using to find you. Very often this is not the same set of words or phrases you try to target. Think “layman’s terms”
  • Get some quality inbound links to your website, make sure people are talking about your website online and on social media. Relevant links are vital, spammy links will be sniffed out very quickly by google and penalised.
  • Make sure your website contains no broken links, programming errors and bloated code.