Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Google Starter Guide: Improve Your Google Ranking
If you want potential clients, consumers, or readers to find your content via Google Search, well you’re in the right place. Here at At Nova Design, we conveniently provide businesses with an all-inclusive digital marketing package that improves online presence, content, and following. But, like we tell all our clients, it’s important to have an understanding as to how Google crawls your website, analyzes your content, and how it then uses that information to rank your page.
So we don’t take up too much of your time, we’ve created a simple list that you can go through to see how well you are optimizing your site based on Google’s SEO starter guide.
1. The first rule, arguably the most important rule, is to make sure your website is user friendly.
The user should benefit from your website. Every design and feature you include should be aiming to make the users experience better.
For Example: You might feel inclined to include various headings filled with keywords on your homepage, but it might be at the expense of the user’s experience. If you’re not careful, your titles may seem redundant and pointless, which can be off-putting.
Google’s SEO starter guide even gives us some pointers to consider;
2. Optimize the Title Links, Snippets and Meta Descriptions for all your Pages.
The Title Link of a page on a search result looks like this:
This title should be optimized to include important information such as Business name, location or even what you do.
Google also recommends that your meta descriptions and snippets accurately represent the content on that page. Definitely avoid any kind of false info click-bait tactics here, (actually... try to avoid them altogether).
When creating meta descriptions and title links, always include various keywords. But remember, user experience comes first, so make sure it flows and is relevant. If you’re overloading a webpage with irrelevant keywords to manipulate ranking, your basically committing “Keyword Stuffing”, and the Googlebot Crawler won’t like it very much.
3. Make it easy for Googlebot to crawl your Site with Sitemaps.
Google makes it easy for you to analyze your websites performance on it’s search engine. On Google Search Console, you can view problem areas of your site, test and submit sitemaps, and overall optimize how your site ranks on Google.
Sitemaps are important because this tells Google’s Web Crawler what your website is about, page for page.
Google Search Central provides resources on how to create and submit sitemaps.
4. Optimize your site to be mobile ready and friendly.
Nowadays, most people use mobile devices to make google searches. Enough to where if you’re lacking in mobile presentation your business is probably lacking in online lead generation. So it might be a good idea to create a responsive mobile web design and really think about the structure and content you want to include while keeping loading speed in mind.
In fact, Google provides you with a tool Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to check if your mobile site is considered mobile friendly… We actually highly recommend you take advantage of this tool and check your mobile site. And don’t worry, we can always help you optimize your site to be mobile friendly if needed!
5. Make sure your content is unique and relevant.
Having good, thought-out content is a terrific way to get traffic to your site. Quality content is what builds your site’s reputation. Be original, use backlinks, and research your target user and find out what kind of information they are currently searching for.
Being original today might seem a little hard, given that there’s so much information online, but it’s do-able. Researching your competitors and others in your industry to find out what kind of information they are putting out there is a good place to start.
Here’s a good place for you to find blog ideas and keywords: AnswerThePublic
Backlinks, are links on websites other than your own that navigate users to your site. Quality backlinks can help you rank higher in search engines, Quality backlinks usually come from websites that have a higher domain authority.
Reach out to your community and see if your partners are willing to link to your site. Networking and collaboration is always a good way to expand your business traffic!
6. Your site should cultivate users trust.
Based on what you’re doing with your site; you should have specific information readily available to your user. For example, if you’re an online store, Google tells us you should have clear and concise customer service information to helps your users resolve any possible issues. Including a FAQs page or a policy page is also a good idea to provide your users clarity on your business and how you intend to operate.
Another good rule of thumb when writing content for your site, is to be specific. We don’t want to mislead the user about information or about what kind of pages you might be linking to. Descriptive text is good for the user and even helps the Googlebot understand a little more of what your page or website is about.
7. Optimize your images for both your desktop and mobile site.
There are some things that might not even occur to some people that directly effect the SEO of your site, like image file names, sizes, and alt txt. Providing descriptive file names, and a short and to the point alt txt can make a big difference. Alt txt helps people understand what your image is about in case the image is not able to load right away.
Using standard image formats also helps, according to Google, most browsers support JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP and WebP image formats. We’ve learned through experience it’s best to go with WebP for mobile optimization and faster loading speed.
Not sure how to compress your images? No worries, here are some free online compressors:
Although we recommend using locally installed software to do this like VLC or Adobe, the online compressors should do the trick. Not sure what codec or format is best? We got you covered. Give us a call and tell us about your business.
8. Optimize your website for Rich Snippet Results
Test your website's Rich Snippet compatibility here. What is this test? Google will crawl your website and depending on the structured data it contains, it will generate a useful visual description of your business in google searches. This is imperative to appear in the top 3 results in Google searches!
9. Use a Schema Generator to add relevant JSON-LD code
This makes it possible for website crawlers to read your website to its fullest potential. While a human may easily understand your website by scrolling through it, crawlers look at the code behind the aesthetics. It is imperative to index and apply the correct schema in each page of your website. Here is a common schema generator you may use to your advantage. Remember to test all your code before applying it to your live website!
10. Simply give us a call!
Our mission is to learn about your business and show you how our marketing strategies and technology expertise can increase productivity in your business. Our team of experts is ready to boost your business today!
We hope this guide helps you get an understanding of the work that goes into optimizing your site for a search engine. If you want to know more don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re more than happy to help you and your business improve its online presence.
Google. (n.d.). Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide. Google. Retrieved November 24, 2021, from https://developers.google.com/search/docs/beginner/seo-starter-guide.