Contrary to some beliefs, Google wants to encourage SEO, as long as it’s done correctly in a way that helps the searcher’s experience and gives them access to relevant and useful information. As a result, Google publishes an SEO Starter Guide which has just been revised and updated.
This SEO Starter Guide lists best practices for website owners and marketers that can make their website easier for search engines to crawl, index and understand content. The updated version has been enhanced to include additional sections on the need for search engine optimisation, adding structured data markup and building mobile-friendly websites.
The Guide – which can be accessed here in HTML format – explains how to get web pages indexed by Google and include links out to other resources including webmaster guidelines, Google Search Console and more technical information about Google’s ‘crawling’ of the web.
It includes best practice techniques for adding or blocking pages from Google’s index, and how Google’s crawler will interact and read content from a web page. There is some advice about writing unique and accurate title and description tags, as well as the use of headings in the body content.
As a more advanced technique there is some information on using structured data markup and links to tools that can help users set these up if required. Plus there is a section on the importance of the website hierarchy and navigation structure that will help users and search engines find the content in the correct manner.
Finally there are some sections included on content optimisation with tips on what to do, or not do, and also some advice about the use of links and how to manage these effectively. The guide also covers the importance of mobile friendly web pages, and some techniques to analsye site performance and user behaviour.
The SEO Starter Guide is certainly a good place to begin the SEO process for your website and to review what is currently being done and what could be improved. Following the advice from Google is also a good way of increasing your chances of your site being found and ranked well in the search results, so it should be an essential resource to use as part of your website marketing activity.
If you would like any further information or have any questions about the SEO for your website, please get in touch.