How to see the sort of thing which Google sees

Yesterday I mentioned that your site may look like it’s about what you sell, but to Google it might not be as clear. Here’s a little exercise which you can do, which might demonstrate the sort of thing which Google sees.

TEXT-ANALYSIS

Here’s what the text looks like for our website. It’s not that clever, to be honest. A builder’s house is always the one which looks like it’s about to fall down.

The title and meta description tag are fine, but the headlines, link text and the words on the page don’t seem great when isolated in this way. So let’s get cracking and take a look at your home page.

The first thing you’ll need to do is to look at the source code of the page. On a PC with Firefox, go to the “Firefox” menu and then click on “Web Developer,” and then “Page Source.” With Internet Explorer or Chrome, right-click on the page and select “View Source.” There are similar options on a Mac.

You’ll find the title between the <title> and </title> tags. The “find” command (usually Ctrl-F) is your friend here. Copy out what’s between them to your report, like my one above. Do the same for the description meta tag (the bit after “content=” in the <meta name=”description”> tag) and any headlines (the bits between any <h1> and </h1> or <h2> and </h2> tags).

Now we need to go through all the links and find their text. If you want to copy them out manually from the source code, these will be the bits between any tags starting <a href=…> and </a>. If you’ve got a lot of links on the page, this might be a bit laborious. An easier way is to use this Link Extractor. Looking at the link text in this way should give you another view on what you’re presenting to Google as being important. You will probably also find you have a lot more links than you thought.

A nice presentation of what you’ve found in the exercises above can be to grab all those headlines and links, and merge them all together as we did for our page in the section called ‘Wordcloud 1’.

Finally, try this: open your home page in a browser, click in some text and ‘select all’ (usually Ctrl-A). Copy this, and paste it into a plain text editor like Notepad. This will give you a list of all the words on the page as we did for our page in ‘Wordcloud 2’.

I hope this gives you a better idea of what you’re actually presenting to Google. It was an eye-opener for us. If you’re a BMON client, just drop us an email and we’ll do the whole thing for you. (If you’re not a BMON client, this is the sort of thing we love doing for the companies we work with. All you have to do is to use us to run your Google AdWords campaigns and anything else we can do to help you comes free).

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