SEO 101 From Google
Just Getting Started With SEO? Watch This Video
Maile Ohye from Google advises your startup as if she had only 10 minutes as your SEO consultant.
This Video Is a Great Place To Start
Got a new website? Just getting started with SEO? Here’s some SEO 101 from the Google. FYI if you need some SEO 101 in Vancouver Washington the nice people at VancouverWaSEO.org can help, like they did for us.
Make a decision to use the www version or the non www version of your site. Then use 301 redirect for the one you DON’T want. Most sites now prefer the non www version. Remember the 301 redirect is a permanent redirect.
Verify the domain and site ownership in Google’s Webmaster tools. This is really important for Google ranking. It definitely facilitates ranking
Use email forwarding too via Webmaster tools , so you can get messages from Google in case there is a problem with your website. This can save you from big trouble. It’s much better to find out about problems sooner, rather than later, especially if your site gets hacked, or if there is malware issue (that somebody else put on your site), or if there is difficulty crawling your site that results in URLS that are considered unreachable.
About your domain; did you do any research check on your domain name? If you bought an old expired domain, it could have a lot of spam links that make give it a bad reputation. There are lots of paid tools available, but Webmaster tools can help, but checking for out of synch keywords that don’t make sense. If your site already has pages, do a “site:domainname.XXX” search on Google. This will bring up pages and any references to the domain where there may be issues. If there are problems, you may need to do a Manual Reconsideration. Sometimes, if this domain is brand new to you and you have no pages, it’s better to walk away and start over.
Googlebot fetch or “fetch as Googlebot” is a Webmaster Tools feature that is very helpful. Enter a URL and the tool will tell you if it can crawl the URL and what content it can download. You can use it to inform Google what not to crawl on your website too. This will help the Googlebot crawl your site faster. So, if you update a page, you can actually tell Google to crawl that page for indexing. This can really help get faster rankings.
Use Google Analytics to your the header of the code within your website. This not only collects data, even though you may not have many visitors, but Google just loves it knowing it’s there.
Site design is important for your visitors and for the search engines. If your site is easy for people to navigate, it will be easy for search engines too. Create the best possible experience for site users and your website will be successful. If a site visitor lands in an inner page, will they be able to navigate to other pages or will they be lost? Can they find your home page?
If you are selling products, try to keep the customer “clicks” to a minimum. Work with your website developer, or if you are the developer, keep a real eye out for the checkout processes. Make it easy on your customers to buy your products.
Keyword should be included naturally within the body of your text. Don’t “stuff” keywords into the content. Keyword stuffing is an old SEO trick. The new search engine optimization, and this really is SEO 101, says avoid keyword stuffing. SEO Tip: Use your primary keyword, or keyword search term, one or two times per 500 words of content. If you have approximately 1000 words of content, you really only need to use your primary keyword search term about three times in the body of the text. Use the keyword search term in title tag and in the description tag, but only once in each.
When writing copy for your website, use terms that make sense to the reader. Define technical terms, use common terms that people use ever day to make your content flow evenly. Use synonyms that are close to an exact match to the “things” you are talking about in your content. Remember, the web is now about “things”, that means it is “semantic” . . . it is not just words. Try to avoid pronouns. “He picked it up and gave id to him,” doesn’t make much sense without more context.
Your content needs to answer your site visitor questions. Am I in the right place? Can I get what I need? Will this site solve my problem? Is the product reputable? Is the company reputable? Use product reviews to prove people like your products. Use testimonials to show you provide a great service.
Meta tags need to make sense, so use the Meta Description tag to show that each page is unique and use a title for every page that is also unique. The Webmaster Tools will give you information to let you know if you have duplicate Meta title and/or duplicate Meta description tags.
Link text should be descriptive, but overuse of keywords is discouraged. Here is where Google gets a bit fuzzy. If you are linking within your site, these links are called “on site links.” You can use almost any link anchor text within your site, so be descriptive, without any penalty whatsoever. However, once you have links coming to your site from other sites – these links are called “off site links”, “back links”, “backlinks” or just plain “links ” – Google spam rules come into the picture. Limit anchor text from backlinks to no more than 20% for your primary key search terms.
Avoid link schemes, if it seems to good to be true, it is. Cheap backlinks or buying backlinks, especially “off shore”, bulk backlink programs, guaranteed SEO rankings, budget SEO, the list goes on. Do you really think it works? These scams are a waste of money at BEST. At worst, your site could suffer a big time Google penalty.
Your website should have a fast load time. A research company named Akamai gathered data on ecommerce sites and states that 2 seconds is considered the absolute customer threshold of acceptance for website load time. Google acceptance rate is much faster . . . 0.5 seconds! Build your website for beauty, navigation, content, and speed.
About website ranking: First check to see if your site ranks for itself. Do a search for your site name. You want to rank number one for yourself. If you don’t you need to get to work. Webmaster tools is available to help with searching for other terms, but it is very basic. Do a search for “Google ranking tools” to find much better, but not free, tools available.
Google advises using Social Media, like Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus (aka Google+), and others to make contact with people to “advertise” yourself and to link back to your site. Also place social media badges, with links on your website. Google likes social media and links back to your site from social media help with rankings. Social media is a great place to meet people and well, people are potential clients or customers. From Google’s perspective, this is a holistic approach to the Internet, something they promote, so participate and be rewarded.
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