Note: This post mainly refers to users using wordpress.com. However general advice is also mentioned in this post for users of Blogger/ Wix etc.
So you want more visitors to your website or blog. Yes I get it, you spend a month designing your website and then when you launch it you expect traffic to start flowing by, but you don’t see any traffic. Don’t be alarmed, there is a simple remedy for that! In this post we will concentrate on setting up your site so that Google indexes it and making your site more search engine friendly or more commonly known as Search Engine Optimization.
5 Tips for making your website more discoverable in 2021
- Setting up Google Search Console (With instructions for wordpress.com users)
- Selecting a suitable name for your website
- Using a custom domain
- Using links
- Setting Tags
Setting up Google Search Console
What is Google Search Console?
Basically Google Search Console is a tool for you to use to optimize your visibility on Google and check your website indexing status. It was formerly known as Webmaster Tools. (Don’t worry, it’s free)
Why do you need Google Search Console?
Google and other search engines need to be told that your website is actually on the internet and so you must index your website. Now wordpress.com and other CMS services do say that your site is automatically sent to search engines. But the hard truth is that unless you actually add your website to your Google Search Console, it will literally never turn up. Now there are other tools for Bing, Yahoo etc but Google is the most popular search engine out there and you by not being on it you risk losing a lot of valuable traffic.
Now you may argue that your CMS does send your website for indexing but the hard fact is that the website tends to end up on the third or fourth page of Google and be honest, if you were searching for something, are you really gonna keep going on searching for 10 pages or are you going to go for the first five results that you get?
We set up a test
So we have two websites, one with added to the Search Console and one not added. Now see for yourself,
Add your wordpress.com website to Google Search Console
Non wordpress.com user or allready done this? Then skip to the next step.
- Make a Google Account.
- Search for “Search Console” and login.
- Click “Add Property”
- In the Select property type window, select URL prefix. Using the Domain option will not work.
- Enter your WordPress.com Site Address (including https://) and click Continue.
- On the next screen, in the Verify ownership pop up, scroll down to “Other verification methods” and click on HTML Tag.
- Next, you’ll see a line of HTML code that resembles this:
- Copy the entire code given to you by Google using the Copy button.
- In a new browser tab or window, open your WordPress.com account and go to My Site(s) → Tools → Marketing → Traffic.
- Scroll down to the Site Verification Services section, and paste the code you copied from Google’s HTML tag section into the Google section.
- Click Save Settings.
- Return to the Google Search Console verification page and click Verify
Note that it may take upto 72 hours for verification.
Upload the sitemap
- Navigate to the Submit Sitemap section at Google Search Console at Index → Sitemaps.
- Upload the Sitemap URL, it should be something like this: https://your-website-name.wordpress.com/sitemap.xml
For other Search Engines visit the official help centre.
Selecting a suitable name for your website
Selecting a proper name is really important if you are on a free plan on wordpress.com or blogspot or wix. The thing is every CMS service registers you in a subdomain that doesn’t have a great impact on your SEO. So if you choose a name that is similar to a well known business or a blog, that could mean trouble for your website.
Now there are certain steps that you can take to make sure that the name of your website isn’t closely represented by another website. All you have to do is Google and see wether someone else has a similar name. If they do have a similar name to your website don’t hesitate to change the name early. Changing the name after you’ve got some traffic can lead to you loosing good and potential visitors to your website.
Choosing a custom domian
The hard truth is this. Even if you do manage to get your site ranked up on top of Google and you have a unique site name, if you go with a subdomain of wordpress or wix or blgspot, you may run the chance of your website not appearing looking professional. Also your potential customer needs to type in something like www.abcd.wordpress.com. Now if you have a short name thats fine but what if you have a long name?
Its easier to type in www.yourgroovysite.com rather that www.yourgroovysite.wordpress.com. Also some themes add a part like Your website name – WordPress.com on Google. It may be okay for some people but if you were running a business, you may want to change that and have only your name.
I mentioned this in my post Tips and Tricks to writing a blog post in wordpress.com. Now this doesn’t only mean links to other websites but it also means you need to include links into your own website. You can include links to your previous blog posts once you have enough or links to your biography. Also don’t forget to leave links on other websites as well. You can set up your Gravatar profile to include the websites you are a part of and when you comment on other’s websites, there will be a discreet link. If the website owner has kept a “website” tab for you to fill, go ahead and fill it.
Search Engines work on links and love links. In fact the more you link your site the more connected you become on the internet. You may want to include your featured image on Pinterest with a link to your website. If you have a YouTube Channel go ahead and put a link to your website there. Also don’t forget to fill up the “website” section of yout social media accounts!
Every CMS has this feature. I’ve mentioned the importance of this in wordpress.com in my article Tips and Tricks to write a blog post on wordpress.com. Tags are basically your organizing tool in your CMS. Not many people do know this but they function like hashtags in Social Media. Read the article above to learn the importance of catergories.
Now when using tags for a blog post, many bloggers agree on certain facts. You must keep your tags to a maximum of 15. Aim for the keywords your potential visitor will type in when they search for your website or blog post. Also don’t include too many keywords in your website blog/ pages or Google will give your website low priority. (This is known as keyword stuffing) If your website isn’t exactly a blog based website don’t underestimate the power of it. Recent blog posts each month or even every two months give your site a fresh look and doesn’t send signals to search engines that your site is inactive or dead.
Do you know any techniques? Do you have any personal experience or did any of these tips help you? Let us know in the comments below
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