Google’s Official SEO Starter Guide



Okay. We’re going to look at Google’s official SEO starter guide. This is a nice document for anybody to review when optimizing their site, particularly if you’re a beginner, because this is a pretty basic starter guide, but there’s a lot of good information in here. So we’ll just walk through this and look at the best practices of each section that they give us. So it starts out the first section in this, uh, Google’s official SEO starter guide is created unique accurate page titles. So it’ll walk through some, some ideas and the best way to create, um, title tags for your site. And then at the end of each section, it gives us kind of best practices. So in this case, best practices for creating page titles are accurately described the content of the pages. Avoid choosing a title that has no relation to the content on the page, and avoid using default or vague titles like untitled or new page one.

Oftentimes the word home is all. Also a big time default for a lot of CMS is, um, create unique title tags for each page. This is important to create unique titles for every page. On your website, avoid using a single title across all your sites, pages or a large group of pages. Um, and then lastly, use brief, but descriptive titles. Obviously there is a character limit for title tags between 50 and 70 ish characters. Uh, so avoid using extremely lengthy titles that are unhelpful to users and avoid stuffing unneeded needed keywords in your title tags. We have a good blog post on how to write a perfect title tag that you can check out to help you really dive in on the best practices to write really good page titles. The next section that this Google official SEO starter guide goes over is make use of the scription meta-tags and it walk through some of the practices there.

A best practices for that are accurately summarize the pages content. Avoid writing a description, Meditech that has no relation to the content on the page. Um, avoid using generic descriptions like this is a web page or a page about baseball cards and avoid filling the description with only keywords that would look really spammy, um, and avoid copying and pasting the entire content of the document into the meta-description. Um, a good practice is to use unique descriptions for each page. Um, definitely avoid using single description tags across all your sites, pages, or large group of pages, just like your title. You need to write unique descriptions for each page, um, on your site. So the next section on this starter guide is improve the URL structure of your site URLs. Um, best practices for this are use words in your URLs rather than numbers. Also use dashes instead of underscores.

So says, avoid using lengthy URLs with unnecessary parameters and session IDs. Avoid choosing generic page names like page one. Um, and avoid using excessive keywords like baseball cards, baseball cards, baseball cards, baseball cards. So, um, you want to have words in there. Um, you don’t want to have too many words in there, but always use dashes instead of underscores. Um, create a simple directory structure. So avoid using deep nested, um, of sub deep nesting of sub-directories that’s multiple directories deep. It’s always best to keep it as close to the homepage as possible. Um, and avoid using directory names that have no relation to the content in them. Um, provide one version of the URL to reach a document. So avoid having pages for sub domains and root directories. You just want to have one and avoid using odd capitalization of URLs. Um, so that’s the URL section.

The next section is make your site easy to navigate. Um, best practices there are pretty simple. Create a naturally flowing hierarchy and avoid creating complex web of navigation links, linking every page on your site to another page and avoid going overboard with slicing and dicing your content. Um, I hate pagination when people just try to extend as much content across as many pages as possible. Uh, it’s mostly for advertisers trying to get a large number of impressions, uh, but it’s really uncomfortable for a user experience. So try to put most of your content onto single pages rather than creating a, lots of pages. Use mostly texts for navigation. So avoid a navigation based entirely on dropdown menus, um, images or animations. Google likes anchor text, so obviously Google likes text menus as well, helps with navigation and with SEO. Um, that’s the, uh, navigation part of it.

Another best practice is to put an HTML site map page on your site and use an XML site map. You’ll notice if you look at the bottom of our site, at the very, very bottom, the footer, you’ll see that we have both an HTML site map and an XML site map, and that is a best practice to use both of those site maps and we link that in our footer. So really every page is accessible from every other page. Um, have a useful four Oh four page. So if you have all websites that for all four pages for pages that can’t be found, but avoid allowing your four Oh four pages to be indexed in search engines, that’s pretty important. And avoid providing vague message, like not found and avoid using a design for your four full pages that isn’t consistent with the rest of your site.

Obviously somebody can’t find a page, they want to make sure that you have your top navigation and can still go back to the core of your website. And the next section in this starter guide is offer quality content and services. That’s obviously should be pretty straightforward, but there’s a lot of good information in here about providing and writing good content for your, for your, um, your audience. Uh, best practices, right, easy to read, text, avoid writing sloppy texts with any misspellings and grammatical mistakes. Avoid embedding text and images for, uh, contextual content. Um, stay organized around the topic. So avoid dumping large amounts of text on varying topics on a page without paragraph, subheading or a layout separation. Um, create fresh and unique content. So avoid rehashing or even copying existing content that will bring little extra value to users and avoid having duplicate or near duplicate versions of your content across your site.

Um, create content primarily for users, not for search engines. So avoid inserting numerous unnecessary key words aimed at search engines, but are annoying for nonsensical to users, excuse me, annoying or nonsensical to users. Um, having blocks of texts like frequent misspellings, use to reach this page that add a little value for users. Um, and then avoid deceptively hiding texts from users. You can do that by changing the text call. You don’t want to do that. Uh, make sure it displays properly on your page. And the next section is to write better anchor text. Obviously that’s how Google follows links and understands what a page is about as oftentimes by text anchor text. Um, so best practices to write good anchor text is choose descriptive text. Um, avoid writing generic anchor text like page article or click here. Um, you want to actually describe in the text what the page is about and avoid using texts that is off topic or has no relation to the content of the page linked to and avoid using the pages URL as the anchor text in most cases.

Um, obviously write concise text so it’d be very concise. Not long, don’t leak long sentences and don’t link full paragraphs. You want to be pretty short in what you link a format links, so they are easy to spot. That could be highlighting, um, you know, uh, underlining. So it’s easy to spot them. Avoid using CSS or styling that makes links. Just look like regular text. Don’t want to do that. Definitely hides it. Um, think about anchor text for internal links too. Same thing, right? You want to link your internal pages, use anchor texts so Google understands what your internal pages are about. Um, so that’s that section. Um, optimize your use of images. Obviously it’s really, uh, imagery is extremely important, um, and as an important part of SEL. So use brief but descriptive file names and Alta text. Um, avoid using generic file names like image one.

Dot. JPEG or pick B. Find that this is very, very common for most people to build their sites and not think about their image names. Um, a good SEO will go in and rename images to be descriptive of what the image is about, of what the page is about, what the content is about. So writing descriptive filings is important and obviously supplying all text when using images as links is important as well. Um, so we try to put as much all text on all our images as as well. Um, and then supplied image, the site map and you can, you can um, add that right into the Google search console. Um, use heading tags, appropriate headings. [inaudible] threes H one is most important heading tag. So you definitely want to do a good job with writing your, your heading tags here. Um, best practices for heading tags is, imagine you’re writing an outline, um, similar to writing an outline for a large paper, but some thought, but some thought into what the main points and sub points of the content on the page will be and decide where to use heading tags appropriately.

So avoid placing text in heading tags that wouldn’t be helpful in defining the structure of the page and avoid using heading tags where other tags like E M and strong may be more appropriate. Um, M and strong basically just makes it bold, like bolding text, um, and avoid a radically moving from one heading tag size to another. You want to keep your page pretty consistent with your heading sizes. Um, best practices using headings sparingly across your page. So you don’t want to have tons. You should only have one H one. And you definitely do not want to have tons of [inaudible], but you do need to break up your paragraphs. So it’s easy to read and smooth to read.

Make effective use of the robot. Dot. TXT. Obviously you want to, um, use more secure methods for sensitive content. If you have any sense of continent or site, you can block it using the robot dot TXT file. Um, and also robot dot TXT really helps tell what type of spiders can crawl your site. So definitely make use of your robot dot TXT, um, be, be aware of the REL equals no follow for links. Obviously if you don’t want to send out any juice you can put in a rail, no follow, um, you can do that. And I think that that’s pretty much it. I think, uh, the last, the last two sections of this, uh, Google starter starter guide are about mobile sites. Um, making sure that Google is aware of your mobile site if it’s separate from your regular site. A lot of sites now should be responsive. Um, and so it should be the same site. But if you have a separate mobile site, it’s important to, um, let Google know that you have a separate mobile site and

I make sure that you submit a mobile site map to Google search console. However, hopefully your site is responsive and it’s all one site. And last section is promote your website in the right ways and not using spammy techniques. Um, so best practices there are, know about your, know about social sites and reach out to those in your site’s related community if you’re trying to get back links, um, reaching out to similar sites, um, and asking for to write article or help out there can help get links back to your site.

Google’s official SEO starter guides about 31 pages long. Um, but some really good information on the very, very basics of SEO. So, um, check it out. I’ll leave a link here for you. Um, and I would check it out and download it as a PDF so it can be downloaded. And, uh, that’s it. Thanks.