There is a lot of discussion on the web dedicated to identifying Google’s algorithm secrets. However, before trying to determine what Google isn’t telling us, it’s important to address what Google does tell us. This helps ensure your small business SEO is truly ethical SEO. These tips are extremely important because they come straight from Google. So, it’s wise to discuss these guidelines with your webmaster before he or she builds the site, or when you update your site.
Strategic Website Content
— Make sure your website is as useful as possible for visitors, and make sure it is chockfull of good information. The more information you have on your site, the better. Keep in mind, that doesn’t mean you should pack each page with giant blocks of text. Instead, you should build as many pages with useful information as you can. One way to do this is to keep a good, consistent blog. After all, each blog post is full of relevant information. Plus, each blog post creates one brand new page for your site.
— When you display important information on your website, be sure it isn't trapped in an image. For example, website headers often include images. If you display your address in the image of your header only, Google won’t recognize it because Google can’t read text that’s in an image. Therefore, you have lost an opportunity to tell Google where your business is located. This may inhibit your chances of showing up in local search results.
— Determine what words and phrases people would likely search to find your website. Then, ensure the content of your website includes those words and phrases specifically.
Build SEO Right Into Your Website
These are some things your webmaster should consider while he or she is in the process of building your site. If you’re site is already built, it’s wise to ask your webmaster to update it with these guidelines in mind.
— Build your website with a clear hierarchy and text links. All pages should be reachable from at least one static text link.
— Be sure your site does not have broken links or links that include incorrect HTML. It’s important that you or your webmaster check for broken links periodically, not just one time after the site is finished. Broken links are simply links that don’t work.
— Make sure your title tags and ALT image attributes include your keywords in an accurate description of the webpage’s content. Focus on including only a few keywords in the title tags and ALT image attributes of each page. A title tag that is simply a long string of keywords will not be as effective as a title tag that contains two or three.
— Ensure your web server supports the If-Modified-Since HTTP header. This feature allows Google to recognize whether your content has changed since Google last crawled it.
— Make proper use of the robots.txt file on your web server, and make sure it remains current. This will help Google recognize your site.
— If your site is built with a content management system (CMS), be sure the system structures pages and links that search engines can crawl.
Make Google Find You
After your site is properly optimized, tell Google, “I’m here!” Don’t just wait for them to find you. These are good tips to have your webmaster follow.
— Submit a Sitemap using Google Webmaster Tools. A sitemap allows Google to learn about the structure of your site and crawl it better.
— Open your website in several different browsers and make sure it looks right. Popular browsers include Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari and others.
— Keep an eye on how fast your website loads. Google prefers websites with fast load times. If you have a website with many hi-res photos are lots of videos, you definitely want to ensure your site is not loading too slowly.
— Have your webmaster frequently monitor your website with a text browser and performance evaluation tool.
Not all webmasters automatically include these steps when creating websites. It’s wise to tell your webmaster to include these steps because they come straight from Google. In fact, Google explicitly states, “Webmasters who spend their energies upholding the spirit of the basic principles will provide a much better user experience and subsequently enjoy better ranking than those who do not.” Additionally, implementing these guidelines when your site is built will help you set yourself up very early for good search rankings. After completing these steps, you’ll be positioned well to begin successful search optimization techniques that take place off your site.