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Search Engines and Your 4ormat Site
4ormat is designed to be friendly to search engines, but we often get the question, “Why is my site not showing up in search?” While our code and the layout of your site is search-friendly, you’ll need to take a few steps to ensure your site will be indexed. Otherwise, it could take months for you to be added to the various indices.
Since Google is the main search engine considered by most users, we’re going to focus on it - once you’re indexed by Google other engines will tend to pick up your site faster.
In your 4ormat control panel, you’ll also want to make sure you’ve changed a few things in the Promote tab.
In your Promote tab, your Title, Description, and Keywords are used to help your search rank. There are a couple of tricks here that will help your site’s performance in search.
Your Title tag should be less than 70 characters in length.Past this, the tag will be cut off and anything past the 70th character may not be used. A good title tag has two common variants:
Primary Keyword - Secondary Keyword | Brand Name or Brand Name | Primary Keyword and Secondary Keyword
As a photographer or graphic artist, you may consider your name to be your Brand Name. Therefore, your title tag might look like: “John Doe | Conceptual Photography and Graphic Design”. To check the length of your tag use this tool.
Your Description and Keywords are less important for ranking - these simply help visitors to know what your page is about. Write your description to be less than 160 characters. Think of it as an advertisement - this is what Google will display beneath your title on its results pages.
For you to be able to search your site and it come up as the first result is a little more complicated. One advantage many 4ormat users have is that they are using their name (first and last) for their portfolio URL. This is useful because, in most cases, there won’t be too many other people with the exact same name as you. If you’ve already registered and connected a custom domain this further adds to the credibility of your page, which will increase its position in search rankings.
There are a few other things you can do to help improve your search ranking. The more links you have pointing to your site from quality websites, the better. If you can get your site linked to from blogs, professional organizations, and your social network, you’ll also boost your rank.
For the most part, you’re likely to do well in search because of the above stated uniqueness of your name - however the steps listed will help give you the best possible results.