Google SEO Guidelines & Best Practices

Have you ever wondered how Google ranks the web pages to be displayed when you type in a search? The search engine utilizes different algorithms to sort and rank websites based on many hidden factors, but Google will often release information regarding any updates and changes they make to the search engine and from that, search engine optimisation experts can figure out what it takes to make Google happy.

So in this article, we’re going to talk about a couple of guidelines and practices that you should follow if you want to be seen in a good light by the world’s largest search engine.

Making Your Content Concise and Easy to Read

Creating concise and easy-to-read content won’t suit everyone. Some people much prefer to write from the heart and give detailed accounts of things. They love to use descriptive and creative words to help their audience imagine what they’re talking about. If this is the case then you don’t need to make your content concise especially if it’s not what your audience wants. In this case, you should still follow some simple tips to help make your content easier to read.

  • Format text and make it easier to follow with headings, lists and bullet points.
  • Use images to break up large walls of texts so that it doesn’t become annoying for your viewer to read.
  • Don’t overuse formatting options unless it’s meaningful. For example, don’t add bold to every single business name and only use bullet points when you’re creating a list.

If your content is made to convert viewers into customers, then your content needs to be free of fluff and get straight to the point. Use simple sentences, remove any complex words or jargon and re-read your content several times to remove any wordy sentences. The use of an SEO tool or grammar tool can help improve your Google SEO. Google can tell when the user has had a good viewing experience of your website and they’ll use that to slowly build up your status as a trustworthy website.

Adding Titles and Meta Descriptions

Whenever you search something in Google, you’re typically greeted with what’s known as meta descriptions and titles. The title should give you a rough indication of what the site is about and it’s a clickable link that takes you to the page, while the description elaborates on what the site is about and offers a slightly more in-depth description.

The two of these together will frequently show on Google search pages. If you haven’t set a description or title, then Google will attempt to pick one for you but this can reduce your search ranking. Instead, what you should do is set your own meta titles and descriptions. Most web design services on the internet will have a setting that allows you to change this. Alternatively, you may need to speak with whoever helped you set up your website.

Here are some practices for meta titles and descriptions:

  • Set a new title for each page of your website – It should ideally contain information related to your brand or what you do so that Google picks up those words.
  • Don’t use duplicate titles – Duplicate titles can cause issues with Google’s search algorithms and it’s also a sign of laziness.
  • Keep titles short so they don’t get shortened or cut off – Keep titles around 55 characters or less so that Google doesn’t cut them off. This makes it easier to read and will look more professional.
  • Make the title meaningful or informative – If you’re a relatively unknown business then you need to add a bit more information into the title to help people understand what you’re about. For example, just having your name in the title won’t help because people don’t understand what you offer.
  • Write informative descriptions – For the description, you need to elaborate on what you’ve said in the title. This is your chance to grab the attention of your audience and get them to visit your site.
  • Keep descriptions concise – Explain what’s necessary and keep it short. It’s recommended to fit your description under 160 characters, but if you can explain more and use fewer words then it’s far more effective.

Google SEO strategies are all about making use of what you know about the algorithms. Google’s search engine currently favours these titles and meta guidelines so it’s important to follow them for maximum compatibility with the search algorithms. Trying to go against the grain will just cause you to lose placings in the search ranking and eventually plunge you into obscurity.

Using Alt Tags on Your Images

An alt tag is a name given to an image to help describe it. Images use alt tags in the event that the image doesn’t show for some reason or if the user has disabled the display of pictures, such as if they’re browsing on a phone with a data saving option enabled. It also helps with dictation software because the program has something to read out and describe an image.

Alt tags are also taken into consideration for image searches. This is a great way to get a bit more attention to your products if you sell physical products like clothes or antiques. It’s best to try and include keywords in the alt tags to help with the SEO process, but you should make sure not to add too many tags to avoid congesting it.

Here are a couple of summarized tips for this section:

  • Give meaningful and simple descriptions of an image – Don’t be too fancy with the description. Explain what the image is no matter how boring or simple it may be.
  • Use basic numbers and letters – Stick to simple letters and numbers to make your images easier to find on image searches.
  • Don’t overdo the tags – Avoiding having too many tags or a long description so that people have an easier time finding it and so it doesn’t look unprofessional.

Alt tags give you extra Google SEO fuel and it helps get you noticed, so make sure you don’t forget to add them to your images.

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