When it comes to best-practices, it would be generous to say the insight Google provides is lacking. These “best practices” are similar to the Bible or the U.S. Constitution; their vague language results in their being frequently subject to varying interpretations.
The key points of Google and Bing
Develop a website and web pages for users – not for search engines. Make pages easy to read and easy to navigate.
Your site will be penalized if you deceive users by presenting different content to search engines than you display to users when the land on a given page. This practice is called “cloaking,” and commonly is referred to as a “black hat” SEO technique.
Planning Your Sitemap & Architecture
Put detailed thought into your site’s architecture; make sure you have a clear hierarchy and text links in place ensuring that each page is accessible from at least one static (as opposed to relative) text link.
Make sure that your website is as comprehensive as possible. Write your pages as clearly and accurately as possible and be sure to include descriptive and appropriate keywords in the <title> elements, <h1,2,3,4> tags, and ALT attributes where necessary (embedded multimedia like photos, audio, video).
Produce fresh, strategically targeted content at regular intervals on your website. Target keywords with high search volume but that lack available, up-to-date, high-quality information and write content around those search queries.
Common SEO Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid
Include relevant keywords or phrases in your domain or page-level URL that accurately describes your business or product. This URL should be legible from a human’s point of view, should be uncluttered and it should be memorable. People often fail to take advantage of the URL permalink as a means of including metadata. This is a mistake!
Make sure that you address any issues with duplicate content and use only ONE version of an URL to reach a particular piece of content or document, by using 301 permanent redirects, or the rel=”canonical” attribute.
Last is one of the most common SEO mistakes we see: placing content (i.e. text) intended to be indexed in an image file. If it is not plain or rich-text, it will not be indexed. For instance, if the only place your business address appears is in your logo, it is not going to be indexed. Make sure that it exists in the HTML, at the very minimum.
SEO Tests and Exercises You can Perform for Free, On Your Own!
While the visibility of search engine optimization strategy tends to be quite small in the public sphere, a large online community of search engine optimizers (SEOs), engineers, and writers provide continuously – often painstakingly detailed analysis of current SEO trends, search engine algorithm changes, and methodology testing.
What is methodology testing; can you give me an example?
One of the best tools that are available to search engine optimizers is free! This invaluable tool is the ease by which engineers and SEOs can utilize search engines to test the hypothesis, perform experiments, and develop informed opinions. It is this painstaking process that ensures that significant, original, and high-quality content that reveals to SEO analysts and specialists vast amounts of knowledge about the functions of the engines.
Here’s an example of an SEO ranking factor test:
1. Register a new website using a domain comprised of entirely jibberish keywords (www.joblienyz.com).
2. Establish baseline metrics for keyword and landing page ranking, SERP CTR, impressions, and clicks.
3. Utilizing an entirely new domain name (website), create several different pages optimized for various, jibberish keywords like hylewporglyyn, or something similar.
4. Record the rankings for each of the nonsense keywords for which you have optimized web pages.
5. Make small, strategic changes to web pages to get ourselves on the path to being able to assess the impact of pages or websites on search results that pertain to a larger topic (i.e. NAFTA claims through the investor-state dispute system). The more niche of a topic, the better, as you won’t be competing against more competitive search queries.
I didn’t lose you, did I? Add content to the pages that pertain to a given subject like the investor-state dispute settlement system, for instance. Before making these changes, take a look at the search engine results and craft your page in a similar way.
Certain alterations to on-page content may lead to a decrease regarding ranking, (in our experience, 15% is the biggest hit a site can expect to take following the rebuilding/issuing redirect for a particular page as traffic levels out).
The primary metric we are focusing on is to increase the CTR of multi-lateral agreements using the investor-state dispute settlement by over 100%, effectively doubling the traffic to a particular web property.