With Google algorithm changes coming thick, fast and very regularly, it is hard to keep up with the best ways to keep your online properties ranking well and off the blacklist. As SEO criteria is constantly evolving, so too must your strategies if you wish to stay ahead of your competitors.
There are hundreds of ways to optimise your website for Google search, many of which can only be effectively carried out by an SEO specialist, but there are a few SEO basics you can (and should) be implementing now to make sure your site survives online.
Create relevant, original content
Google’s algorithms are clever. They know how to recognise good content and they know the difference between relevance and keyword stuffing. You will not only be rewarded for your creation of great content, but you will be penalised for NOT creating it. Keyword stuffing, plagiarism and duplicate content will earn you nothing except lost opportunities – and some hard-to-remove Google penalties.
Create interesting, relevant pages and blog posts for your website that can be shared via social media for the greatest success. Always bear in mind, when writing pages and blog posts, that the content is helping you to build a relationship with your audience. Remember that this audience is also your customer base, and the content is not just for Google!
Optimise your pages
Ensuring all your site’s pages have the correct SEO has always been an important element, and this has not changed in over a decade. These SEO basics will be easy to add to your site, particularly if you have an SEO plugin or widget. Each of your pages and posts should have:
- A Title – this should be descriptive and relevant to the page.
- A Description – think about your audience and imagine what would make YOU click and read on.
Look at the example below: you can see from the first listing that the maximum character limit has been exceeded, resulting in a loss of the information. Although this does not necessarily create a problem with Google, it can be distracting for the reader. The next two listings illustrate tidy search results that give the readers the information they are looking for.
Optimise your images
There are three ways you can optimise your images for best SEO basics practice:
- Image filename – make sure this is relevant to the image itself, and include a page keyword if you can. For example, ‘iphone-case-puppies.jpg’ is better than ‘IMG_05738.jpg’.
- Image title – Give your image a title that is again relevant to the page and to the image itself. Include a keyphrase. For example, ‘Puppies iPhone Case | Buy Online Today’. The title tag will appear on the page when hovered over by the mouse pointer.
- Alt tag – Image alt tags (or text) are an important attribute, as they give blind or visually-impaired internet users an idea of what the image is all about. The image can survive without a title, but not an alt tag.
Cover the SEO basics and leave the rest to the experts
There are many critical aspects to SEO, and whilst many require an SEO specialist to be sure that everything is set up correctly, these important SEO basics can still keep you ahead of your competitors, and keep your site thriving online. Building your brand presence online takes time, and more than a little know-how, particularly in today’s information-driven world. It is important to organise your priorities and give careful consideration to every element. The implementation of SEO basics is just the start.