Best Practice Search Engine Optimization
Google provides great how-to articles to help small business owners manage their sites according to the friendly Googlebot. Search Engine Optimization (SEO), is a process that determines how your website links, pages, and content show up in search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing when people search for keywords relevant to your site.
In this blog post I’m only going to talk about most basic Best Practice SEO, a guideline that everyone can easily follow and remain aware of that will yield a lot of Google traffic. We tell all of our clients to be aware of this when they are making their content; we use a saying around here: “Content is King”. The quantity and quality of the content of the content can really make or break a site no matter how well optimized it is.
Ok, onto these best practices! According to Googlebot:
Write easy-to-read text
Users enjoy content that is well written and easy to follow.
- Avoid: writing sloppy text with many spelling and grammatical mistakes embedding text in images for textual content
- users may want to copy and paste the text and search engines can’t read it.
Stay organized around the topic
It’s always beneficial to organize your content so that visitors have a good sense of where one content topic begins and another ends. Breaking your content up into logical chunks or divisions helps users find the content they want faster.
- Avoid: dumping large amounts of text on varying topics onto a page without paragraph, subheading, or layout separation
Create fresh, unique content
New content will not only keep your existing visitor base coming back, but also bring in new visitors.
- Avoid: rehashing (or even copying) existing content that will bring little extra value to users having duplicate or near-duplicate versions of your content across your site (more on duplicate content)
Create content primarily for your users, not search engines Designing your site around your visitors’ needs while making sure your site is easily accessible to search engines usually produces positive results.
- Avoid: inserting numerous unnecessary keywords aimed at search engines but are annoying or nonsensical to users having blocks of text like “frequent misspellings used to reach this page” that add little value for users deceptively hiding text from users, but displaying it to search engines
Choose descriptive text The “anchor” text you use for a link should provide at least a basic idea of what the page linked to is about.
- Avoid: writing generic anchor text like “page”, “article”, or “click here” using text that is off-topic or has no relation to the content of the page linked to using the page’s URL as the anchor text in most cases – although there are certainly legitimate uses of this, such as promoting or referencing a new website’s address
Write concise text
- Aim for short but descriptive text-usually a few words or a short phrase.
- Avoid: writing long anchor text, such as a lengthy sentence or short paragraph of text
Format links so they’re easy to spot
- Make it easy for users to distinguish between regular text and the anchor text of your links. Your content becomes less useful if users miss the links or accidentally click them.
- Avoid: using CSS or text styling that make links look just like regular text
Think about anchor text for internal links too
- You may usually think about linking in terms of pointing to outside websites, but paying more attention to the anchor text used for internal links can help users and Google navigate your site better.
- Avoid: using excessively keyword-filled or lengthy anchor text just for search engines creating unnecessary links that don’t help with the user’s navigation of the site.
This introduction outlines pretty much everything you need to know to do your own SEO just by being aware. If you are interested in learning more, check out all the topics that Google Starter Guide covers. You can download the guide here: Download SEO Guide. You can also contact us or even post a comment here, as I would love to discuss more with you if you have questions concerning SEO.
Remember, “Content is King”!