What Does Google Think Your Website is About?

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One of the questions I’m often asked by small businesses, especially online businesses is:

Why don’t I get more traffic from google and other search engines?

The answer often has multiple layers, but one of the biggest is having poorly-written, low value content that’s not relevant to your business, product or service. At least, not relevant…”in google’s eyes.” This often leads to the next question, which is:

How do I know if google thinks my website is relevant?

Again, there are many factors to look at, but here are two fast and easy ways to see (a) what google thinks your website is really about, and (b) how relevant/valuable they think your content is.

In today’s post, we’ll answer the first part, “what does google think your website is about?” Then, in part 2 of this series, we’ll show how you can tell whether google thinks your website’s content is relevant and valuable.

Using the Google External Keyword Tool

Google has a free keyword tool that lets you see what search phrases or “keywords” google is associating with your small business’ website. This is immensely powerful, because it essentially tells you what google thinks your website is “about” and what terms google is “ranking” your site for.

To use this tool:

  • Visit the free keyword tool page (as pictured below),
  • Click on the radio button on the left that says, “Website content,”
  • Enter your web address or url in the field on the right,
  • Check the box underneath that says “Include other pages on my site linked from this URL,” and
  • Hit the “Get keyword ideas” button

Picture 3

Wait a few seconds, then underneath the area where you entered your website, a new section appears that lists keywords that google believes represent your website, followed by a list of suggested other keywords.

Here’s what pulled up when I did this for Entrepreneur.com:

Picture 7

We’ll talk about what to do with the suggested keyword list in a later posts, but for our purposes today, just take a look at the first section that appears underneath the section where you typed your website address. Notice how “on target” the keywords are for Entrepreneur.com. They do a great job of describing what the website is about. So, when people google these keywords, Entrepreneur.com comes up in the search results.

Do this for your website, then ask whether the keywords listed are the ones you want your website associated with. If so, you’re in good shape. If not, you may need to rework your content to let google know what your website is really about and give it a better shot of pulling up in the search results when people google what you’re selling.

Be sure to tune in next week for part 2, where I’ll share a simple way to see whether google thinks the content of your small business’ website sucks or rocks.

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13 responses

13 responses to “What Does Google Think Your Website is About?”

  1. Jonathan, this is a good, gentle introduction. What most folks will discover as they begin to dig is that an improved understanding of what people want and how they think will help them create content that is more likely to be found in search.

    A little keyword research can be very insightful. Clients/customers may be thinking differently than business owners about the same subject, simply because one group is on the “outside” of it and one group is on the “inside” of it.
    .-= Michael Martine´s last blog ..Interview with Glen Allsop – Are You “Cloud Living?” =-.

  2. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ Michael – Gentle, indeed. Trying to remember most small biz people don’t live and breath this stuff that way blog geniuses (like you) do, lol! No doubt, the further you go down the rabbit hole, the more you learn, but the more complex it also gets.

  3. Heh… I tried not to scare anyone away. 🙂 But the thing is, it doesn’t have to be all that complicated: find out what people are searching for (keywords) and then give it to them (your blog content). That’s the heart of it right there.
    .-= Michael Martine´s last blog ..Interview with Glen Allsop – Are You “Cloud Living?” =-.

  4. Wow! Twitter time paid off immediately tonight when I found this post. Thank you for the tip. I’ve used it already to generate new article and blog post ideas. Google is a science in and of itself, is it not?

    Steven Schlagel, CPA, JD, Small Business Mentor

  5. I’ve been at this game for three years and I feel like I’m just scrapping the surface. It takes awhile to know all the ins and outs. The more that I do learn the better I get. I’m finally seeing the traffic from Google that I’m trying to cultivate.
    .-= Karl Staib – Work Happy Now´s last blog ..Why Don’t People Laugh at Work? =-.

  6. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ Michael – Man, you make it sound so easy and you’re right it is. The challenge for me has always been to marry what I want to write with what people are searching for and make the end result something that stands out from everyone else who’s trying to rank for those same phrases. Definitely part science, part art. Though, gotta say your SEO for WordPress course has a huge help to me.

    @ Steven – Yeah, I’m still largely on the early part of the learning curve, too. Just sharing what I learn.

    @ Karl – No doubt, it takes a while for the google juice to kick in

  7. Sonia Simone says:

    Ha ha, I get a good number of keywords about business, marketing, & small business ideas (good so far), but also “golf,” “hair color” and “The Mitfords.”
    .-= Sonia Simone´s last blog ..What’s Your Tribe’s Secret Language? =-.

  8. Lin Burress says:

    Jonathan, this is great information for people needing to improve their use of keywords to better their chances of Google and other search engines understanding what their website is about. I use the keyword tool all the time, but I must admit that until now I’ve never run the keyword test you explain here. Very good information and I’m pretty happy with the results I got.
    .-= Lin Burress´s last blog ..I’ve Come To Realize That…MySpace Survey Meme =-.

  9. Okay, so Google thinks my site is all about making money online while working from home, which is odd because I didn’t think I talk about making money online ever.

    money on the internet (6), work from home (23), to make money (9), home based business (7), home based businesses (5), make money (17), from home (5), earn money (13), business opportunity (6), time management (7), extra money (6), project management (5), money (18), home (7), business (23), management (8), coaching (9), marketing (9), development (6)

    Looks like I have a lot of SEO work ahead of me…
    .-= Alex Fayle | Someday Syndrome´s last blog ..Help Me Cure My Boredom! =-.

  10. […] Fields at Career Renegade recently wrote about the Google External Keyword Tool. This free keyword tool reveals the search phrases or keywords […]

  11. Andy Hayes says:

    @Michael – nice new avatar! 🙂

    Good sense check – my keywords are all over the map for some reason. Yikes! Time to do some digging.
    .-= Andy Hayes´s last blog ..Want to Live and Work from Anywhere you Choose? =-.

  12. Great tool for those that try to do websites on their own. I know a few clients that ask why their website doesn’t get much traffic or why they don’t show up on google.

  13. […] 4. Career Renegade, Jonathan Fields, helps you improve your blog by asking “What Does Google Think Your Website is About?” […]