Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is NOT a mystery and Google itself is our greatest resource and teacher to higher rankings.
First and foremost, let me get to the cold hard truth that…GOOGLE WANTS YOU TO HAVE HIGHER RANKINGS.
YOU Can Get More Traffic and Higher Rankings by Following These Top 10 Google SEO Tips in this report.
Google is your friend, not your foe.
Here are the…
Top 10 Google SEO Tips:
1. Study Google’s Official SEO Starter Guide.
And the best part…It Is Free! (read it)
Google has put out an official free report than gives to you their formula for getting higher rankings in their search engine.
This is the best resource for learning SEO and how to rank on Google. This is an excellent 32 page report that gives to us exactly what is important to Google.
- Create Unique, Accurate Page Titles
- Make Use of the “Description” meta tag
- Improve the Structure of your URLs
- Write Better Anchor Text
- Optimize your use of Images
- Notify Google of Mobile Sites
- And much, much, more…
Get Google’s Free SEO Starter Guide:
SEOMoz.com also created, The Beginners Guide to SEO.
2. Focus on the Users Experience, not the Search Engine
As SEO’ers we are so focused on satisfying the needs of the search engine. This is a wrong approach. Many even write content that is focused on the search engine instead of focused on the needs of the human searchers.
There are two pitfalls when the focus is on the search engine:
- You are susceptible to the whims and hypes of every Google algorithm change …instead of focusing on sound SEO principles.
- You are susceptible to be sold on every hyped SEO software product that comes out and be tempted to use manipulative and/or deceptive practices…instead of focusing on sound SEO principles.
Google themselves focus on delivering the best content for their users.
Instead of ‘Search Engine Optimization” it should be renamed to simply “Searcher Optimization.”
It is critically important to be focused on what is best for the human visitor, instead of a mathematical algorithm. For example…if web visitors land on your webpages, and bounce off quickly, they are not having a good visitor experience.
You may have all the proper technical SEO strategies in place but if the user feels your site is non-informative to their search, they will go elsewhere…and quickly.
Webmaster Guidelines is another great resource. Google has handed to you their formula.
Google`s 3 Tiered SEO Formula For Ranking:
- Design and content guidelines, which covers mostly how your website is presented to the human observer (easy navigation, etc.).
- Technical guidelines covers what is going on under the hood of your website and how it is crawled by Google’s bots (HTTP Header, Robots.txt, etc).
- Quality guidelines, mostly covers manipulative and deceptive SEO practices.
Any attempt to manipulate Google by using a seo software to create spammy tweets and backlinks schemes will only harm your webpage.
Focus on the Web Searcher by giving them a great user experience on your website using sound SEO principles.
This is what Google is looking for when they rank websites…and so should you.
3. Get Your Website Verified at Google Webmaster Tools For Technical Aspects of SEO.
One of the best ways to see how Google views your website is by verifying your website using Google Webmaster Tool. By doing so it will not get you higher rankings but it will allow you to monitor and see reports on many technical SEO issues, including mobile. By technical SEO, we refer to the ‘under the hood’ or source code of your website.
Any warning messages from Google about your site (ie, your site is hacked) will show up here.
Verify your website at Google Webmaster Tools.
There are also some great metrics you can review.
Google Webmaster Tools is all about metrics: what’s getting indexed, what’s getting linked, and what’s getting traffic.
Get started with the links below.
Four important features I want to mention are the following:
- Make sure to submit your sitemaps to webmaster tools.
- Evaluate which sites are linking to your site.
- Monitor Your Top Pages that are getting you the most traffic and optimize for maximum visitor engagement.
- Make sure Google can access your domain by editing your robots.txt, and submit new content for crawling and remove, or disavow content you do not want to show in the search results. Read: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6065812?rd=1
4. Mobile Friendly Websites Rank Higher (Responsive Design is Best)
Starting April 21, 2015, Google announced that it is making an algorithm change and Mobile Friendly sites will be included as a new and important ranking signal.
Here is a quote from Google:
“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”
Let me repeat Google’s Official Notice in that this “…will have a significant impact in our search results.”
Make sure your webpages are optimized for both desktop and mobile devices. Doing so will ensure visitors are having a good experience whether they be on a smart phone, a tablet, or a desktop.
Whenever webmasters look into creating mobile friendly sites, there are two ways to make this happen.
- The first method is by creating a mobile website on, for example, a .mobi domain and then when someone visits your .com domain on a mobile device it will redirect to the .mobi website. This is done by changing the user-agent.
- The second method is by having one website for both desktop and mobile devices, but the website uses what is called a ‘Responsive Design.”
Matt Cutts of Google says,
“Whenever you have a site that can work well for regular browsers on the desktop as well as mobile phones, there’s a couple completely valid ways to do it. One is called responsive design, and responsive design just means that the page works totally fine whether you access that URL with a desktop browser or whether you access that URL with a mobile browser. Things will rescale, you know, the page size will be taken into account, and everything works fine. Another way to do it is, depending on the user agent that’s coming, you could do a redirect so that a mobile phone – a mobile smartphone, for example – might get redirected to a mobile dot version of your page, and that’s totally fine as well.”
Important Google Mobile Sites to Help You:
Get Started with Mobile Website Guide:
Test to see if your website is Mobile Friendly:
Review the Mobile SEO Guide:
Get serious about Mobile SEO, especially since there are important differences in the search results between a desktop and mobile, including:
- There is LESS room above the fold on a mobile devices search results. There is only 1-2 organic listings above the fold on your smartphone.
- There are expandable sub links on mobile search results.
- PPC (Pay Per Click ) has more of an impact on the search results pages. It takes up more room above the fold.
- There are more Universals, especially images, on mobile search results.
- There are more local search results on mobile search result pages.
- Micro Formats (ie, Review ratings, etc) are more important on mobile search results.
One of the more important ranking factors for Mobile SEO is page speed. Fewer pages are indexed if page speed is slow.
When designing your webpages, design for Mobile first. Eliminate any unnecessary code. Minimize image sizes, compress files (CSS, HTML, JS), and make fewer server requests with scripts.
5. Create High Value Content Pages (Content Is King)
Quality content attracts quality sites that will link to you and builds trust with Google.
Gone are the days when you can hire a ghost writer, spin the article into a 1000 articles using a spinner tool, and posting these articles on blogs, web 2.0 properties, article directory sites, etc., with a backlink back to your own domain.
Auto-generated content, spun content, and other spammy content generated schemes will not work and may in fact get your website de-indexed.
What about Curated Content?
I remember 2-3 years ago the big buzzword in SEO circles was Curated Content. Another word used for this is ‘stitching.’ This is where you take a small portions of content from other websites and copy/paste it all it together to form one article.
Thus, you take a sentence from one website, a tweet from twitter, a Youtube video, a paragraph from an article directory site, another from a news site, and you put it all together to create an article.
There are software’s that automate this entire Curated Content process.
Matt Cutts of Google explains this method as spam. Click on video below to hear what he has to say:
Here are 5 more important Google SEO Tips when creating unique content to ranking higher in Google:
- Create Unique & Original Content – Avoiding spammy methods is not enough to getting higher rankings. Google wants you to have ‘original’ and ‘unique’ content and offer users VALUE.
- Create ‘High Value” Content Pages that others will want to view and link to. It is better to create fewer pages with powerful and unique content than it is to have thousands of pages with low quality content.
- Articles with 2000+ words rank higher than articles with only a couple of small paragraphs.
- Hook visitors in immediately or they will bounce off and never return. Make your website visually interesting and organized. Have some graphics but not too much. Write smaller paragraphs.
- Create Content with multiple rich media formats. Do not only have text format only, but include an images with alt tag, a video with a video sitemap, etc….
6. Use Google’s Keyword Planner Tool for Keyword Research
In point #1 we showed you how Google’s SEO Starter Guide goes over using keywords in your Title, Description, Image Alt tags, and more…. All this On-Page SEO is important.
But how do you come up with the right keywords that users are searching for?
Fortunately, Google offers a lot of help with keyword research where you can get data such as search volume, traffic forecasts, and new keyword ideas.
Go to Google’s FREE Keyword Planner Tool to plan your keyword strategy for your website and content.
Another great place to look for keywords that are relevant to your niche is by simply doing a keyword query and then going to the bottom of the results page.
Here you will find ‘Related Keywords’ given to you by Google.
Another great little trick to get great Semantic keywords (related keywords) is to look on the organic search results page, and you will see BOLD keywords. For example, when I do a search for ‘puppy dog training,’ and look for Bold Keywords, you can see that Google made bold ‘Puppy Obedience Training’ as a semantic related keyword.
It doesn’t get any easier than this.
7. Quality Backlinks is the ‘Holy Grail’ of Higher Rankings
Do not spam the search engines with low quality backlinks.
When I first started doing SEO back in 2007 all it took to get top Google ranking was to write an article on your blog, putting your keyword in the title and description tags, and then blasting the search engines with an automated software that would spin your article and post to article directory sites, bookmarking sites, rss feed directories, web 2.0 properties, and PR directories. Not anymore!
Today you need Quality Content (onpage SEO) & Quality Backlinks (offpage SEO).
How to see what sites and linking to you? A couple quick methods:
- Do an advanced search query using ‘link:yourdomain.com’ to show which sites are linking to you.
- Google Webmaster Tools will give you a report of all the sites linking to you.
In Google’s eyes, a backlink is seen as a ‘vote,’ and the more votes you have, the more popular you become to Google.
Terms such as Domain Popularity and Page Popularity all have to do with how well your website will rank because of the quality and number of its backlinks.
There are 2 important things you can do to make sure that Google only counts quality backlinks and content:
- If a spam site is linking to you then you want to use Google’s Disavowal Tool to tell Google to disavow it:
- If you have low quality or auto-generated content on your website that you do not want Google to count, then you can use your robots.txt file to block any webpage. Ideally, you want to promote your high value pages and block your low quality pages from the search engines.
8. Use Google Analytics to Lower your Bounce Rate & Boost your Conversions
Google Analytics is a tremendous resource that tracks and monitors visitor behavior, as well as sets goals for visitor engagement and conversions.
Sign up here: http://www.google.com/analytics/
Google Analytics can tell you everything from Real Time stats, how many social shares you have, what mobile devices or browsers your visitors are using, what percentage are new versus returning visitors, and much, much more.
9. Google Counts Social Media Sharing as Ranking Factor
Google see’s social sharing such as that done on Facebook and Twitter as a ranking factor.
Watch Matt Cutts on Youtube.
This is why putting social sharing buttons on your website for visitors to spread your content across social media sites is crucial.
Facebook and Twitter are some of the most visited websites on the internet and Google watches and monitors what is talked about, linked to, and spread on these social media sites.
Make sure to monitor your Social Analytics to find out what pages visitors are most interested in, and then tweak your pages by adding more quality content to boost conversion methods.
10. Do Continual SEO (Crucial)
The day your STOP doing SEO on your website is the day your site will die.
SEO is a process and takes constant and continual work. Website owners need to continually improve their website’s design, content, backlinks, and stay on top of Google’s changes on ranking factors.
Thank you for reading this Top 10 Google SEO Tips, and I hope it is useful for you.
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