Question. Where would I find information on making my website show up in Google search (like my competitors). They have “bulleted items” BENEATH their website, and in some cases they have STARS next to their name. Plus even better (for them), they might show up twice on some searches. How do you get those links beneath your website, and the stars, too?
Answer. When I teach my classes, I always say if you know the question you can find the answer. The problem with your question, is that you’re not exactly sure what to call the phenomenon that you’re trying to create. Which is another reason why I always encourage people to take my classes, and just email me their questions. Fortunately, we still live in a world in which search engines like Google aren’t perfect and we actually need to talk to real human beings.
So, in terms of your first question. The magic word is sitelinks. Those little bulleted sub items that show beneath certain websites on Google search results, and in certain situations become blue links directly beneath the summary, those are called site links. Once you know what they’re called, you can Google how do I get site links, and what you’re going to find is that you need to sign up for Webmaster tools in Google.
Now here’s the funny thing, you don’t actually get to create the site links, Google pulls those site links from your website structure and organization, but in Webmaster tools you can essentially veto site links that you do not like and thereby attempt to promote the site links that you do like.
So here are your steps. First, make sure that you signed up for Webmaster tools. Second, organize your website using tactics that are friendly to Google. What I mean here, is make sure that on your homepage, for example, you have keyword heavy one click links to defined landing pages. Secondly, make sure in your site navigation, that you have prominent links to your top keywords, and landing pages. Third, make sure you have both an HTML site map and an XML site map, and you have submitted the latter to Google Webmaster tools. What you’re trying to do here is make it super easy for Google to figure out what are the most important pages on your website.
If you follow those steps, over time, Google will pick up the site links, and by communicating with Google in Webmaster tools, you can train Google to show the site links that you actually want to show.
As for your second question, how do you get stars to show up on your listings on Google searches, or how do you get double listings. The answer here is Google plus, especially the ‘local’ variant. By signing up for Google plus, and correctly connecting your Google plus account to your website, as I teach in our class on local search engine optimization, you essentially train Google to coordinate your Google plus situation with your website. Then, the task is to get real people to write legitimate reviews, and once you have about 4 to 5 reviews, on certain localized searches, you will begin to see stars. In addition, on branded searches, searches for your company name and or your company name plus the word reviews, people will also see the stars, which is a wonderful way to encourage a positive brand image.
In sum, you are very smart, to realize that you want both the links beneath your website which are called site links and the stars, which you get by cultivating a positive brand image on Google plus.
Got a question? Click this link to email Jason or call 888-993-1122. Dr. Jason McDonald is founder and Senior SEO / Social Media Director of the JM Internet Group. He teaches the SEO training classes for the group, and therefore provides most of the SEO tips for this blog. His goal with this blog is to provide an easy 'one-stop shop' for the busy marketer looking for tips, tricks, and secrets on how to get to the top of Google and Bing for free using proven SEO tactics. When not dreaming up SEO tips, Dr. McDonald lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, two dogs, a cat, four iguanas and twelve children (just kidding). Really you read down to the bio on this guy? Enjoy the blog.
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