How Google works is a regular topic of conversation with our Web Design by Knight clients. While most know what Google is, some of you may or may not fully understand exactly how Google works and how it can help your business. So here’s a quick explanation as to how you can get Google’s attention and how you can measure your website’s interactions with this global search engine. Let’s start with what Google is.

Google defined

Google defines itself like this: Google is a fully automated search engine that uses software known as “web crawlers” that explore the web on a regular basis to find sites to add to our index. In fact, the vast majority of sites listed in our results aren’t manually submitted for inclusion, but found and added automatically when our bots crawl the web.

For those of us who grew up in the pre-Google era, the Google Index works similarly to a card catalogue. Remember those?

In any library, a card catalogue is filled with cards representing book titles. Each card will feature the title of the book, a little snippet of information that helps the browser decide if this book will be helpful, and if so, a number showing where to find it.

The Google index  works much the same way. When you search any given topic, your search results will render a list of websites by name, a little snippet about the purpose of each site, and a link that will take you to it.

When we talk about the Google index, we are talking about all those websites that have been approved by Google and are legitimate, relevant, and valuable to the customer’s experience.

Getting on the Index

So how can you make sure your site gets into the index? By making sure your website is “legitimate, relevant and valuable to the customer’s experience.”

Google is filled with web crawlers, like little librarians constantly reviewing new acquisitions to be considered for the index. If the web crawlers like your website, if they find it useful, relevant, easy to navigate and understand, then your website is added to the index. If it doesn’t, your site will slip further down in search results. That’s not good for your business.

Is My Site on Google?

To determine whether your site is currently included in Google’s index, do a site search for your site’s URL and see where you place in results.

What if it isn’t?

Although Google crawls billions of pages, it’s inevitable that some sites will be missed. If a website or page is missed, it is usually because

  • The site isn’t well connected from other sites on the web.
  • You’ve just launched a new site and Google hasn’t had time to crawl it yet.
  • The design of the site makes it difficult for Google to crawl its content effectively.
  • Google received an error when trying to crawl your site.

Getting Google’s Attention

If you want to improve your Google ranking, there are a few things you can do to improve your results.

  • Publish relevant content –  Quality content  will help your search results more than anything else. Make sure it’s interesting, helpful and link-worthy. There is no substitute for great content. This will increase traffic and relevance.
  • Update your content – Creating strong content is great, but it also needs to be fresh. Google content has a short shelf life.
  • Link your site to Google My Business – Registering your business on Google My Business can help it appear in relevant geographic search results.
  • Make sure your site loads quickly, especially on mobile – Since 2010 Google has been paying attention to site speed.

If writing content isn’t your strength or it doesn’t fit into your schedule, you might consider our professional content services. We have a team of professional, experienced content writers who know who to optimize your website. To learn more about this option, contact our office at Web Design by Knight.

Google Analytics

Today’s online customers are curious and also skeptical. Most everyone has a horror story about ordering something online. Today people shopping online are doing their homework before buying, no matter how big or small the purchase. According to Google Data, mobile searches for “the best earbuds” has increased more than 130 percent in the last two years. As online shoppers become more savvy, marketers are paying more and more attention to the data. That’s where Google Analytics come in.

When we talk about analytics, what we’re really talking about is measurements of customer behavior. So you ignore them at your peril. Still, discussions about analytics can often get complicated. And digging deep into how Google works can be overwhelming, if numbers aren’t your forte. But there are a few basic things you should understand about your analytics.

Behavior Reports

What happens when customers come to your site? Do they stay or leave? Do they click on other pages? What pages do they like the best? Behavior reports this kind of information and much more. You can learn how each page is performing, how users are acting on your site, and much more.

Acquisition Reports

Where did your customers come from? Acquisition reports answer this question, while offering feedback about how well your ads are performing.

Conversion Reports

A “conversion” happens anytime a website visitor does something you ask them to do. It could be something like sign up for a newsletter or register for a webinar. What is a conversion for one website, might not be for another. Conversions are unique to each website. So conversion reports measures the paths leading to conversions? These reports help you understand what caught your customers’ attention as they moved toward a conversion.

Understanding conversion, along with behavior and acquisition reports will open up a universe of insights that will help you understand your customers and improve their experience.

Still Have Questions?

If you still have questions about analytics or how Google works, feel free to contact our team at Web Design by Knight. We’re happy to answer your questions about insights or any other aspect of your website management.