Spread the word

Spread the word


Test Your Site in Search Engines.

How to check Google and other search engines to see how your site is really doing.

Don't get too excited if you type the name of your site, or the name of your company, into Google and see it on the first page. In most cases this will not help future clients, or the audience you hope for, find you.

If you want to be discovered by people who don't know you yet, you need to be found for what you do.

To promote your website based on what you do, you will need to check how the keywords and phrases that you have chosen and carefully implemented are working for Google and other search engines. 

Search engines tirelessly try to present the most relevant and helpful answers to their users' questions. Just like you when you are creating your site. You share the same goal.

Think about you reader's needs, Google will think about your site

1. Search for the words that your users would actually think of. In most cases, it won't be helpful to search for your name, unless you are promoting a brand. When you search for your name, if it is original enough, it is likely that it will appear near the top of Google search results.

However, very few people will actually type your site name into Google. Most people that are looking for something won't even know you exist. Instead they will be searching for the key expressions that you have used on your site to describe your activity.

List 5 or 6 typical searches that you think people looking for your site will most likely type in search engines.

Pro Tip: You can begin to get ideas by simply typing words into Google's search box. Google will automatically begin to suggest commonly searched phrases.

Pro Tip 2: At the bottom of a Google search results page you will see a section called "Related searches". These suggestions are, again, commonly searched phrases.

When you identify commonly searched phrases that are relevant to what you do, you can then test how your site is showing up in search results. Our write for the web guide has further helpful information on this topic

Look at the first 5 pages of Google, Bing, etc., and keep track of the position of your site for each key phrase. If your site is new, you will want to do this every week for a month before you make any changes to your site. 

2. Make sure you are working with a fresh browser. Google takes the sites that you have visited into account when it is displaying what it thinks you would like to see. Your browser cache can influence the placement of your site and make your position look better than it actually is. It is a good idea to use a browser that you don't typically use when you are doing testing with Google. Also you can use private or incognito mode so that it won't save any information. This way you will always be sure that you have a fresh browser. 

3. Make small changes to your content and wait. If you decide to tweak your content in relation to what users of search engines are looking for, you want to keep this in mind: The search engines take time to reference the changes, and even more time to start registering these changes when people are making searches. A good rule is to check your placement in Google every two weeks and wait at least that long between changes to your site. Otherwise you will simply not have enough time to correctly judge the consequences of what you have done. Small changes, regular checks and observation will serve you better than radical changes every week. Give time to the process.

4. Once or twice a year you may want to think about the questions that you answer in your site, the questions you defined in the first stage of the writing process. With the results that you now have from Google, if you keep track of your site's position on Google over the course of a year, you will have a basis to re-think your questions and decide whether it would be a good idea to add content to your pages, or pages to your site. It will also give you an understanding of how to best make changes to your keywords and expressions. 

Give it time and effort

Optimizing your site so that it appears in Google can be a long process. You can't expect to submit your site one day and be at the top of the results the next. For your site to have good results in search engines you need to be promoting it around the net following the simple guidelines that are found in this site.

How often should I check my site on search engines?

It is advisable to check your site in Google search every two weeks and wait at least that long between changes to your site. It will give Google enough time to fully reflect the changes made by you and to make their effect visible.

What words should I use to look for my site in Google?

Try to use common phrases that are relevant to your activity. Think about things people looking for your site will most likely type in search engines (please note that it will not be the name of your site).
Photo by