Google announced that the old version of the SEO Starter Guide released in 2008 will be replaced by the new, updated SEO Starter Guide to help marketers and webmasters create search-engine friendly websites.
Abhas Tripathi, search quality strategist at Google, said that the updated SEO Starter Guide will replace both the old Starter Guide and the Webmaster Academy, which supports information and tools to teach webmasters how to create a site and have it found in Google Search.
“The updated version builds on top of the previously available document and has additional sections on the need for search engine optimisation, adding structured data markup and building mobile-friendly websites” he added.
Google SEO Starter Guide outlines the best practices that will hopefully make it easier for search engines to crawl, index and understand your content. Here is a brief description of SEO Starter Guide, giving you some fresh ideas on how to improve your website:
- Help Google (and users) understand your content – let Google see your page the same way a user does (create unique, accurate page titles but descriptive at the same time; use heading tags to emphasise important text; add structured data markup in order to describe your content to search engines). This way you can attract just the right kind of customers for your business.
- Manage your appearance in Google Search Results – understand how search engines use URLs to be able to crawl and index the content and to refer users to it; the navigation of a website is important in helping visitors quickly find the content they need; plan your navigation based on your homepage (consider the “root” page as the starting point for the other pages of your website containing more specific information); also try and make it simple for the visitor to navigate around the pages of the website, creating a naturally flowing hierarchy and maybe including a simple navigational page for your entire site; also try to create your URL as simple as possible for Google to find.
- Optimise your content – creating compelling and useful content will likely influence your website more than any other factors. Users like good content when they see it and they will direct other users to it (it can be through blog posts, social media services, email, forums or other means). Word-of-mouth is what helps build your site’s reputation with both users and Google, but it needs a quality content. (easy-to-read text, clear topics, fresh and unique content, always optimise your content for your users, not search engines).
- Make your site mobile-friendly – As the world is mobile today, most people are searching on Google using a mobile device. The desktop version of a site might be difficult to view and use on a mobile device, therefore your website should be mobile ready for the online presence.
- Promote your website – Effectively promoting your new content will lead to faster discovery by those who are interested in the same subject (know about social media sites – sites built around user interaction and sharing have made it easier to match interested groups of people up with relevant content; reach out to those in your site’s related community because it is usually very beneficial, and it could spark new ideas for content).
- Analyse your search performance and user behaviour – Major search engines, including Google, provide free tools for webmasters to analyse their performance in their search engine (e.g. Search Console); if you’ve improved the crawling and indexing of your site using Google Search Console or other services, you’re probably curious about the traffic coming to your site. Web analytics programs like Google Analytics are a valuable source of insight for this.
If you really want to improve your search traffic and are unfamiliar with SEO, we recommend reading this guide front-to-back. There are also lots of linked-to resources that are worthy of your attention.
Each section of this guide is important to understanding the most effective practices of search engine optimisation.
Get in touch with us if you’d like to talk more about SEO for your organisation or about how we can help you build your next digital experience.