How do I get my site into Google?

I have been asked this question more times then I can count.  Usually, we are just finishing up with a client’s web design and they email or call and ask “when will I show up on Google.”  The easy answer is “soon”, depending on when we loaded the site and setup your domain, you will show up in Google for your url or store name.  The hard answer is that showing up for your keywords is much more complicated.  It also takes work.

Many people think that if you setup your store, add your pretty things and go live, that you’re finished, people will find and shop at your store.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Just like a brick and mortar business, you have to start marketing and getting the word out if you want customers.  There is a mix of advertising, social media exposure and search engine optimization that must happen to start getting clients and traffic.  In terms of whether you will show up for Google, if you are actively working on your SEO strategy, I think you can get listed in the top 10 – 50 under some of your keywords in 4 – 6 months (did she just say months????).

My short list of beginner SEO strategies is this:
1) learn the basics of SEO. I highly recommend getting an easy to read manual on SEO, I like SEO for Dummies, it’s easy enough to read and will give you the basics.

2) do some keyword research.  It’s hard to get your site to show up under search terms if you don’t know what those search terms are.  Don’t guess…it’s a huge waste of your time.  Here is one method of finding your niche keywords and phrases, but a quick Google search should provide you with some more tutorials.  I think it’s absolutely essential that you know what search terms you want to be found under and that you have researched to insure that those terms are relevant.  Just because it’s a keyword, doesn’t mean people are searching for it.

3) name your pictures correctly.  Picture names are searchable, so you’re wasting an opportunity if your picture is DC0125.jpg instead of holiday-baby-tutu.jpg.

4) update your content to reflect your keywords.  This is especially true if you are wholesaling or drop-shipping and have taken pictures and descriptions from your vendor.  Start with a couple of products a day and rewrite them to make sure they are unique and they have your keywords.

This is a quick list, it is by no means exhaustive and does not represent everything you can and should do for your SEO.  But if you are just starting out, it may be all you can handle.  Take it one step at a time, and if you can afford it, getting an SEO consult or hiring and SEO company to do it if or you is a great idea.  Just make sure to do your research and know ahead of time what you are getting for your money.  Also be wary of anyone who makes guarantees about being number 1 in Google.h

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