Google has recently announced the launch of their new, updated SEO Starter Guide just in time for Christmas and holiday breaks. Find out how to best optimize your website for 2018.
SEO Starter Guide Highlights
- Making your website mobile-friendly
- Getting started with Google’s Search Console
- Benefits of hiring an SEO expert
- How to submit a sitemap
- Understanding the purpose of a robots.txt file
- Creating unique, accurate page titles and snippets
- Best practices for using heading tags in your content
- Using structured data markup for rich results
- Optimizing your website content and navigation structure
- The importance of optimizing your images
- Why Google recommends that all websites use https:// when possible
- Best practices for using keywords in your URL’s
The new guide won’t provide any secrets that’ll automatically rank your site first in Google, but following the best practices outlined will make it easier for search engines to crawl, index and understand your content.
Optimizing your content
Creating compelling and useful content will likely influence your website more than any of the other factors. Users know good content when they see it and will likely want to direct other users to it. This could be through blog posts, social media services, email, forums, or other means.
Organic or word-of-mouth buzz is what helps build your site’s reputation with both users and Google, and it rarely comes without quality content. Think about the words that a user might search for to find a piece of your content. Users who know a lot about the topic might use different keywords in their search queries than someone who is new to the topic.
Are you on Google?
Determine whether your site is in Google’s index – Do a site: search for your site’s home URL. If you see results, you’re in the index. For example, a search for “site:wikipedia.org” returns these results.
If your site isn’t in Google – Although Google crawls billions of pages, it’s inevitable that some sites will be missed. When crawlers miss a site, it’s frequently for one of the following reasons:
- The site isn’t well connected from other sites on the web
- You’ve just launched a new site and Google hasn’t had time to crawl it yet
- The design of the site makes it difficult for Google to crawl its content effectively
- Google received an error when trying to crawl your site
- Your robots.txt file blocks Google from crawling the site
If you’re thinking about hiring an SEO, the earlier the better. A great time to hire is when you’re considering a site redesign, or planning to launch a new site. That way, you and your SEO specialist can ensure that your site is designed to be search engine-friendly from the bottom up. However, a good SEO combined with great user experience analysis can also help improve an existing site.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!?
Director, Marketing and Creative Services