SEO Guidelines from Google
Posted 20 November 2013
If you’re relatively new to the world of website design, it’s very likely that you find some aspects of web design and website maintenance a little confusing. One of the primary themes that we tend to find clients asking about is search engine optimisation (SEO).
You’ll find SEO guidelines from a variety of sources. Search Engine Optimisation is the process of getting your website recognised and ranked by search engines so that people searching for businesses or services like yours find your website. It is a complex and multi-faceted discipline.
However, within the parameters of SEO there are various techniques and emphases that need to be taken into consideration. Whilst some of these are highly technical and fall within the remit of web designers, other methodologies are very practical and can be implemented by anybody.
Unfortunately, much of the confusion surrounding search engine optimisation originates with people saying things like “SEO is all about ——-“. This approach can fail to take into consideration both the constant evolution in SEO best practice and the changing ways in which search engine algorithms evaluate content. It also fails to recognise that SEO guidelines need to be tailored for every kind of user, whether they’re working at the deep end or simply taking their first steps in the world of search engine optimisation. The most helpful SEO advice for a web developer will probably look very different to guidelines produced for the owner of a new start-up business.
SEO Guidelines from Google
The good news is that Google provide very helpful guidelines for website owners. You’ll find a Search Engine Optimisation starter guide here and Google Webmaster guidelines here. These are both produced to help website owners get up and running with SEO.
The Google Webmaster guidelines are particularly helpful because they outline practical next steps for ever kind of website owner. Whilst we wouldn’t expect you to understand every recommendation – let alone be able to implement it yourself – it’s vital that you understand where your website’s SEO strengths and weaknesses lie and possible next steps to improving these areas. At the very least, these guidelines should help you to produce a list of questions for your web designer.
Quality and SEO Guidelines
If you scroll down to the third section of the Google Webmaster guidelines you’ll notice that the article addresses quality in great depth. The basic principles of SEO best practice are that everything should be focussed on your users and visitors, not search engines. This is a subtle but crucial distinction that will impact the overall effectiveness of your SEO strategy.
It can be tempting to try and find SEO shortcuts, particularly as this can be a time-consuming area of website maintenance. However, the overarching message from Google is that best practice will be rewarded and underhand tactics will be penalised. SEO isn’t always straightforward, but it is always worthwhile.
If you’d like to find out more about developing this area of your business why not contact us to find out more about our SEO services?