Read on if you would like to learn how to SEO Google has updated their SEO starter guide for , although this version is not in PDF. Learning Your Subject . a free PDF checklist of all the SEO tools I use. . off the start to learn what keywords convert well for you and which. You'll get the most out of this guide if your desire to learn search engine optimization (SEO) is exceeded only by your willingness to execute and test concepts.
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SEO Learn Basics of Search Engine Optimization. by Search Engine Journal. Number of pages: With over pages, SEO learn the basics of SEO including how to find the right keywords using the Wordtracker Keywords tool and how to test their value using PPC. (pay per click) . Each stop is a unique document (usually a web page, but sometimes a PDF, JPG , or other .. Learning the foundations of SEO is a vital step in achieving these.
Learn the ins and outs of the current state of link building, including the evolution of link building, the importance of content, social share, the best way to use links, and more. Content marketing and link building are about building relationships.
This guide covers essential components of the outreach process to keep your response rates high. Get the basics on mobile SEO from Google. This tutorial covers mobile SEO configurations, key points for going mobile, responsive web design, tablets and feature phones, common mistakes, and more.
Take a test to discover if a website has a mobile-friendly design. Local SEO Checklist. Learn to achieve greater local visibility and optimize your web presence in three steps.
This is a tutorial from Builtvisible, a digital marketing agency, to help adopt a SEO strategy for mobile.
Whether your mobile site is standalone, adaptive, or responsive, you need a search strategy that corresponds to your design. It features chapters on WordPress, advanced data research, link building techniques, and more.
This six-chapter, in-depth speed-optimization guide shows you how important it is to have a fast loading, snappy website. Learn common business mistakes that kill website performance. Use website speed testing to identify performance bottlenecks. Google Analytics was the very best place to look at keyword opportunity for some especially older sites, but that all changed a few years back. This means site owners will begin to lose valuable data that they depend on, to understand how their sites are found through Google.
The keyword data can be useful, though — and access to backlink data is essential these days. Optimise this with searcher intent in mind. I have seen pages with 50 words outrank pages with , , or words.
In , Google is a lot better at hiding away those pages, though. Creating deep, information rich pages focuses the mind when it comes to producing authoritative, useful content. Every site is different. Some pages, for example, can get away with 50 words because of a good link profile and the domain it is hosted on. After a while, you get an idea how much text you need to use to get a page on a certain domain into Google.
One thing to note — the more text you add to the page, as long as it is unique, keyword rich and relevant, the more that page will be rewarded with more visitors from Google. There is no optimal number of words on a page for placement in Google. Every website — every page — is different from what I can see. Google will probably reward you on some level — at some point — if there is lots of unique text on all your pages.
There is no one-size-fits-all keyword density, no optimal percentage guaranteed to rank any page at number 1. I aim to include related terms , long-tail variants and synonyms in Primary Content — at least ONCE, as that is all some pages need. Search engines have kind of moved on from there.
It often gets a page booted out of Google but it depends on the intent and the trust and authority of a site.
Such pages are created using words likely to be contained in queries issued by users. Keyword stuffing can range from mildly annoying to users, to complete gibberish.
Pages created with the intent of luring search engines and users, rather than providing meaningful MC to help users, should be rated Lowest. Just because someone else is successfully doing it do not automatically think you will get away with it. Aaron Wall. Aaron Wall, It is time to focus on the user when it comes to content marketing, and the bottom line is you need to publish unique content free from any low-quality signals if expect some sort of traction in Google SERPs Search Engine Result Pages.
SEO copywriting is a bit of a dirty word — but the text on a page still requires optimised, using familiar methods, albeit published in a markedly different way than we, as SEO, used to get away with. When it comes to writing SEO-friendly text for Google, we must optimise for u ser intent, not simply what a user typed into Google. Google has plenty of options when rewriting the query in a contextual way, based on what you searched for previously, who you are, how you searched and where you are at the time of the search.
Yes, you must write naturally and succinctly in , but if you have no idea the keywords you are targeting, and no expertise in the topic, you will be left behind those that can access this experience.
Naturally, how much text you need to write, how much you need to work into it, and where you ultimately rank, is going to depend on the domain reputation of the site you are publishing the article on. SEOs have understood user search intent to fall broadly into the following categories and there is an excellent post on Moz about this. When it comes to rating user satisfaction , there are a few theories doing the rounds at the moment that I think are sensible.
Google could be tracking user satisfaction by proxy. A user clicks a result and bounces back to the SERP, pogo-sticking between other results until a long click is observed.
Google has this information if it wants to use it as a proxy for query satisfaction. For more on this, I recommend this article on the time to long click. Once you have the content, you need to think about supplementary content and secondary links that help users on their journey of discovery.
A website that does not link out to ANY other website could be interpreted accurately to be at least, self-serving. For more on primary main content optimisation see:: For me, a perfect title tag in Google is dependant on a number of factors and I will lay down a couple below but I have since expanded page title advice on another page link below ;. I think title tags, like everything else, should probably be as simple as possible, with the keyword once and perhaps a related term if possible.
If you are relying on meta-keyword optimisation to rank for terms, your dead in the water. What about other search engines that use them? Hang on while I submit my site to those 75, engines first [sarcasm! Yes, ten years ago early search engines liked looking at your meta-keywords.
Forget about meta-keyword tags — they are a pointless waste of time and bandwidth. So you have a new site. Sometimes competitors might use the information in your keywords to determine what you are trying to rank for, too…. Forget whether or not to put your keyword in it, make it relevant to a searcher and write it for humans, not search engines. If you want to have this word meta description which accurately describes the page you have optimised for one or two keyword phrases when people use Google to search, make sure the keyword is in there.
Google looks at the description but it probably does not use the description tag to rank pages in a very noticeable way. Sometimes, I will ask a question with my titles, and answer it in the description, sometimes I will just give a hint.
That is a lot more difficult in as search snippets change depending on what Google wants to emphasise to its users.
Sometimes I think if your titles are spammy, your keywords are spammy, and your meta description is spammy, Google might stop right there — even they probably will want to save bandwidth at some time. So, the meta description tag is important in Google, Yahoo and Bing and every other engine listing — very important to get it right.
Googles says you can programmatically auto-generate unique meta descriptions based on the content of the page. No real additional work is required to generate something of this quality: I think it is very important to listen when Google tells you to do something in a very specific way, and Google does give clear advice in this area.
By default, Googlebot will index a page and follow links to it. At a page level — it is a powerful way to control if your pages are returned in search results pages. I have never experienced any problems using CSS to control the appearance of the heading tags making them larger or smaller. How many words in the H1 Tag? As many as I think is sensible — as short and snappy as possible usually. As always be sure to make your heading tags highly relevant to the content on that page and not too spammy, either.
Use ALT tags or rather, ALT Attributes for descriptive text that helps visitors — and keep them unique where possible, like you do with your titles and meta descriptions. The title attribute should contain information about what will happen when you click on the image.
From my tests, no. From observing how my test page ranks — Google is ignoring keywords in the acronym tag. You do not need clean URLs in site architecture for Google to spider a site successfully confirmed by Google in , although I do use clean URLs as a default these days, and have done so for years. However — there it is demonstrable benefit to having keywords in URLs. The thinking is that you might get a boost in Google SERPs if your URLs are clean — because you are using keywords in the actual page name instead of a parameter or session ID number which Google often struggles with.
I optimise as if they do, and when asked about keywords in urls Google did reply:. I believe that is a very small ranking factor. Then it is fair to say you do get a boost because keywords are in the actual anchor text link to your site, and I believe this is the case, but again, that depends on the quality of the page linking to your site.
That is, if Google trusts it and it passes Pagerank! Sometimes I will remove the stop-words from a URL and leave the important keywords as the page title because a lot of forums garble a URL to shorten it.
Most forums will be nofollowed in , to be fair, but some old habits die-hard. It should be remembered it is thought although Googlebot can crawl sites with dynamic URLs; it is assumed by many webmasters there is a greater risk that it will give up if the URLs are deemed not important and contain multiple variables and session IDs theory. As standard , I use clean URLs where possible on new sites these days, and try to keep the URLs as simple as possible and do not obsess about it.
Having a keyword in your URL might be the difference between your site ranking and not — potentially useful to take advantage of long tail search queries. I prefer absolute URLs. Google will crawl either if the local setup is correctly developed.
This is entirely going to a choice for your developers. Some developers on very large sites will always prefer relative URLS. I have not been able to decide if there is any real benefit in terms of ranking boost to using either. I used to prefer files like. Google treats some subfolders….. Personally, as an SEO, I prefer subdirectories rather than subdomains if given the choice, unless it really makes sense to house particular content on a subdomain, rather than the main site as in the examples John mentions.
I thought that was a temporary solution. If you have the choice, I would choose to house content on a subfolder on the main domain. Recent research would still indicate this is the best way to go:. I prefer PHP these days even with flat documents as it is easier to add server side code to that document if I want to add some sort of function to the site.
It is important that what Google Googlebot sees is exactly what a visitor would see if they visit your site. Blocking Google can sometimes result in a real ranking problem for websites. If Google has problems accessing particular parts of your website, it will tell you in Search Console. If you are a website designer, you might want to test your web design and see how it looks in different versions of Microsoft Windows Internet Explorer.
Does Google rank a page higher because of valid code? I love creating accessible websites but they are a bit of a pain to manage when you have multiple authors or developers on a site. If your site is so badly designed with a lot of invalid code even Google and browsers cannot read it, then you have a problem. Where possible, if commissioning a new website, demand, at least, minimum web accessibility compliance on a site there are three levels of priority to meet , and aim for valid HTML and CSS.
It is one form of optimisation Google will not penalise you for. I link to relevant internal pages in my site when necessary.
I silo any relevance or trust mainly via links in text content and secondary menu systems and between pages that are relevant in context to one another. I do not obsess about site architecture as much as I used to….
This is normally triggered when Google is confident this is the site you are looking for, based on the search terms you used. Sitelinks are usually reserved for navigational queries with a heavy brand bias, a brand name or a company name, for instance, or the website address. Google likes to seem to mix this up a lot, perhaps to offer some variety, and probably to obfuscate results to minimise or discourage manipulation.
Sometimes it returns pages that leave me scratching my head as to why Google selected a particular page appears. Sitelinks are not something can be switched on or off, although you can control to some degree the pages are selected as site links. This works for me, it allows me to share the link equity I have with other sites while ensuring it is not at the expense of pages on my domain. Try it. Check your pages for broken links.
Seriously, broken links are a waste of link power and could hurt your site, drastically in some cases. Google is a link-based search engine — if your links are broken and your site is chock full of s you might not be at the races. For example and I am talking internally here — if you took a page and I placed two links on it, both going to the same page? OK — hardly scientific, but you should get the idea. Or will it read the anchor text of both links, and give my page the benefit of the text in both links especially if the anchor text is different in both links?
Will Google ignore the second link? What is interesting to me is that knowing this leaves you with a question. If your navigation array has your main pages linked to in it, perhaps your links in content are being ignored, or at least, not valued.
I think links in body text are invaluable. Does that mean placing the navigation below the copy to get a wide and varied internal anchor text to a page? Also, as John Mueller points out, Google picks the best option to show users depending on who they are and where they are.
So sometimes, your duplicate content will appear to users where relevant. This type of copying makes it difficult to find the exact matching original source. These types of changes are deliberately done to make it difficult to find the original source of the content. How do you get two listings from the same website in the top ten results in Google instead of one in normal view with 10 results.
Generally speaking, this means you have at least two pages with enough link equity to reach the top ten results — two pages very relevant to the search term. You can achieve this with relevant pages, good internal structure and of course links from other websites. Some SERPs feature sites with more than two results from the same site. It is incredibly important in to create useful and proper pages. This will help prevent Google recording lots of autogenerated thin pages on your site both a security risk and a rankings risk.
I will highlight a poor page in my audits and actually programmatically look for signs of this issue when I scan a site. Use language that is friendly and inviting. Make sure your page uses the same look and feel including navigation as the rest of your site.
Think about providing a way for users to report a broken link. In order to prevent pages from being indexed by Google and other search engines, make sure that your webserver returns an actual HTTP status code when a missing page is requested. A good page and proper setup prevents a lot of this from happening in the first place.
Pages may lack MC for various reasons. Sometimes, the content is no longer available and the page displays an error message with this information. This is normal, and those individual non-functioning or broken pages on an otherwise maintained site should be rated Low quality. This is true even if other pages on the website are overall High or Highest quality. The issue here is that Google introduces a lot of noise into that Crawl Errors report to make it unwieldy and not very user-friendly.
A lot of broken links Google tells you about can often be totally irrelevant and legacy issues.
Google could make it instantly more valuable by telling us which s are linked to from only external websites. I also prefer to use Analytics to look for broken backlinks on a site with some history of migrations, for instance. John has clarified some of this before, although he is talking specifically I think about errors found by Google in Search Console formerly Google Webmaster Tools:. If you are making websites and want them to rank, the and Quality Raters Guidelines document is a great guide for Webmasters to avoid low-quality ratings and potentially avoid punishment algorithms.
You can use redirects to redirect pages, sub-folders or even entire websites and preserve Google rankings that the old page, sub-folder or websites enjoyed. This is the best way to ensure that users and search engines are directed to the correct page.
Redirecting multiple old pages to one new page works too if the information is there on the new page that ranked the old page. Pages should be thematically connected if you want the redirects to have a SEO benefit. My general rule of thumb is to make sure the information and keywords on the old page are featured prominently in the text of the new page — stay on the safe side.
You need to keep these redirects in place for instance on a linux apache server, in your htaccess file forever. John Mueller, Google. If you need a page to redirect old URLs to, consider your sitemap or contact page. As long as the intention is to serve users and create content that is satisfying and more up-to-date — Google is OK with this. As a result, that URL may be crawled and its content indexed. However, Google will also treat certain mismatched or incorrect redirects as soft type pages, too.
And this is a REAL problem in , and a marked change from the way Google worked say ten years ago. It essentially means that Google is not going to honour your redirect instruction and that means you are at risk of knobbling any positive signals you are attempting to transfer through a redirect.
Sometimes it is useful to direct visitors from a usability point of view, but sometimes that usability issue will impact SEO benefits from old assets. Add navigation pages when it makes sense and effectively work these into your internal link structure.
Make sure all of the pages on your site are reachable through links, and that they don't require an internal "search" functionality to be found. Link to related pages, where appropriate, to allow users to discover similar content.
Avoid: Creating complex webs of navigation links, for example, linking every page on your site to every other page. Going overboard with slicing and dicing your content so that it takes twenty clicks to reach from the homepage.
Use text for navigation Controlling most of the navigation from page to page on your site through text links makes it easier for search engines to crawl and understand your site.
Creating a navigational page that simply lists pages without organizing them, for example by subject. Show useful pages Users will occasionally come to a page that doesn't exist on your site, either by following a broken link or typing in the wrong URL.
Blocking pages from being crawled through the robots. Providing only a vague message like "Not found", "", or no page at all. Using a design for your pages that isn't consistent with the rest of your site.
Simple URLs convey content information Creating descriptive categories and filenames for the documents on your website not only helps you keep your site better organized, it can create easier, "friendlier" URLs for those that want to link to your content.
Visitors may be intimidated by extremely long and cryptic URLs that contain few recognizable words. URLs like the one shown in the following image can be confusing and unfriendly. If your URL is meaningful, it can be more useful and easily understandable in different contexts. Google is good at crawling all types of URL structures, even if they're quite complex, but spending the time to make your URLs as simple as possible is a good practice.
Best Practices Use words in URLs URLs with words that are relevant to your site's content and structure are friendlier for visitors navigating your site. Choosing generic page names like "page1. Using excessive keywords like "baseball-cards-baseball-cards-baseballcards. Create a simple directory structure Use a directory structure that organizes your content well and makes it easy for visitors to know where they're at on your site.
Try using your directory structure to indicate the type of content found at that URL. Avoid: Having deep nesting of subdirectories like " Using directory names that have no relation to the content in them. Provide one version of a URL to reach a document To prevent users from linking to one version of a URL and others linking to a different version this could split the reputation of that content between the URLs , focus on using and referring to one URL in the structure and internal linking of your pages.
If you do find that people are accessing the same content through multiple URLs, setting up a redirect 32 from non-preferred URLs to the dominant URL is a good solution for this. Avoid: Having pages from subdomains and the root directory access the same content, for example, "domain. Optimize your content Make your site interesting and useful Creating compelling and useful content will likely influence your website more than any of the other factors discussed here.
Users know good content when they see it and will likely want to direct other users to it. This could be through blog posts, social media services, email, forums, or other means.
Organic or word-of-mouth buzz is what helps build your site's reputation with both users and Google, and it rarely comes without quality content. Know what your readers want and give it to them Think about the words that a user might search for to find a piece of your content.
Users who know a lot about the topic might use different keywords in their search queries than someone who is new to the topic. Anticipating these differences in search behavior and accounting for them while writing your content using a good mix of keyword phrases could produce positive results.
Google Ads provides a handy Keyword Planner 34 that helps you discover new keyword variations and see the approximate search volume for each keyword. Also, Google Search Console provides you with the top search queries your site appears for and the ones that led the most users to your site in the Performance Report Consider creating a new, useful service that no other site offers. You could also write an original piece of research, break an exciting news story, or leverage your unique user base.
Other sites may lack the resources or expertise to do these things. Best Practices Users enjoy content that is well written and easy to follow. Avoid: Writing sloppy text with many spelling and grammatical mistakes.
Awkward or poorly written content. Organize your topics clearly It's always beneficial to organize your content so that visitors have a good sense of where one content topic begins and another ends. Breaking your content up into logical chunks or divisions helps users find the content they want faster.
Avoid: Dumping large amounts of text on varying topics onto a page without paragraph, subheading, or layout separation. Create fresh, unique content New content will not only keep your existing visitor base coming back, but also bring in new visitors.
Avoid: Rehashing or even copying existing content that will bring little extra value to users. Having duplicate or near-duplicate versions of your content across your site. Learn more about duplicate content 36 Optimize content for your users, not search engines Designing your site around your visitors' needs while making sure your site is easily accessible to search engines usually produces positive results.