Search engine optimization (SEO) is becoming more important for businesses when creating content on your website that will attract customers, as well as, improve ranking in search engines such as Google and Bing. Local SEO companies can provide high-quality content and keyword strategies; however, anyone can follow this Basic Guide to SEO and provide their website with the jump-start it so desperately needs.
General Webmaster Guidelines
- All web pages should be reachable by a referring link that is relevant to your target page, by either a text link or an image link with the alt attribute. Referring links are other pages on your own website.
- Provide search engines and humans with a sitemap file that has all of the links to important web pages and posts on your site.
- To keep your links relevant, use only as many as needed. Usually no more than 1-2 links per paragraph or your content will look spammy. Add links to other pages or posts on your website, or even links to external sites to help make you an authority on the topic.
- Use a robots.txt file on your web server to block unwanted traffic and indexing of certain pages or areas of your site.
- Always submit your domain to Google (you must be logged in) and Bing.
Basic, Yet Important, Quality Guidelines
- Provide both search engines and visitors with web pages that are easily readable and understandable.
- The customer comes first. Pages should be user-friendly and not focus solely on getting search engine rankings. The customer is the sole reason for creating the website.
- Be honest. Your users do not want to feel like they have been deceived by your website. All of your keywords should be relevant to your business and industry.
- Do not mislead search engines and use tricks intended to improve your rankings. Ask yourself, “Is this going to help my visitors find me?”
- Be one-of-a-kind and build your website content with a focus on uniqueness, value, and engagement. Let your customers know how your business and website stand out against other competitors.
Avoid These Black Hat SEO Methods That Could Get Your Website Into Trouble:
- Do not participate in link schemes with irrelevant sources. Please note that search engines can easily detect this and will penalize your website when caught.
- Do not use content that is automatically generated.
- Do not create pages with plagiarized content or scrape content from other web pages.
- Do not attempt cloaking, sneaky redirects or doorway pages, while involves setting up content with a search engine bot that looks different to what a user was intending to search for.
- Do not participate in affiliate programs that provide no relevant value to webpage visitors.
- Do not attempt to load pages with irrelevant keywords, as Google & Bing will automatically detect this, record it, and knock you out of the rankings.
- Do not use pages that have malicious behavior and unwanted viruses. Monitor this constantly as hacked sites are getting worse every year.
- Do not abuse rich snippets markup. These are used to allow search engines to better understand the content on your webpage.
SEO requires consistency in order to ensure that all guidelines are being followed on a regular basis; however, this will greatly benefit your website & business in the long run. Search engines like Bing & Google work very hard to remove unwanted web pages from their searches, fighting to provide users with exactly what they are looking for within the relevant keyword search. If you’d like to learn more about how Google’s search engine actually works, check out this article identifying the three steps that determine your results.