@EatDrinkMS asked us the following question via Twitter:
Thanks for your question. Here’s my answer:
Google doesn’t publish their schedule. But, in general, it takes Google between a few days and two weeks to crawl your site and for the keyword changes to begin having an effect on search results. Websites that are updated frequently are visited by Google’s spiders (the software “bots” that index web pages) more often. Sites that rarely updated are indexed by Google less frequently.
You can manually submit an updated page to Google using Webmaster Tools, however there’s no guarantee that doing so will actually speed up the process. Some people say yes. Others, no.
Keep in mind, also, that Google uses a complex algorithm to determine where one of your web pages will rank for any given search. It’s harder to get on page one for more generic or competitive keywords (for example, “Mississippi food”) than relevant “long-tail” keywords such as “Mississippi culinary magazine.”
If you want to get more on page one for more searches, your focus should be on offering high-quality, original content on your website. That’s what’s going to make the biggest impact in the long run.
I took a quick look at your website, EatDrinkMississippi.com. Here are the top three things I would do to improve your SEO:
- Use relevant keywords in page titles (the words that are centered in the top of your browser window). Right now, each page of your website is optimized for the name of your magazine. That’s okay since you have some good keywords in your magazine’s name. But repeating those keywords on each page doesn’t help.
- Add more pages and more copy on your website overall. Adding a blog to your website and adding to it frequently is a great way to do it. In fact, according to Hubspot, companies that blog 15 or more times per month get 5X more traffic than companies that don’t blog at all. That’s a huge increase in traffic.
- Be sure to give your images descriptive file names to take advantage of image searches. An image labeled “freshwater prawns” will show up in the appropriate search, but “wpe5bfe967_05_06.jpg” won’t.
That’s enough to get you off to a good start, anyway. Feel free to tweet me @MarisWestBaker if you have any other questions. Good luck to you with your search optimization, and I wish you great success with your magazine!