SEO Recommendations

SEO recommendations is the list of areas for improving SEO according to information from the Google's official documents. Among them are: Google's Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide (2010) and it's one-page versionWebmaster GuidelinesSearch Console Help Center (including Webmaster Academy) & Google Webmasters' Youtube Channel, and Google's Webmaster Central Blog.

 

  1. Page Titles' Recommendations
  2. Meta description Tags' Recommendations.
  3. URLs' Structure Recommendations.
  4. Navigation of a website' Recommendations.
  5. Basic Content' Recommendations.
  6. Anchor texts' Recommendations.
  7. Image Optimization Recommendations.
  8. Heading tags' Recommendations.
  9. Robots.txt file' Recommendations.
  10. Nofollow Links' Recommendations.
  11. Mobile Usability' Recommendations.

Page Titles' Recommendations:

Text contained in title tags appears in search results pages, and relevant, descriptive text is more likely to be clicked on. Page titles are an important aspect of search engine optimization.

  1. You should create a unique title for each page on your site.
  2. Words in the title should match the user's search query.
  3. Title should has relation to the content on the page.
  4. Titles should not to be too long.
  5. Titles should be helpful to users.
  6. Page's title may be a few words or a phrase. Titles should not be stuffed with unneeded keywords (keyword stuffing).

Meta Description Tags' Recommendations:

Meta description information gives users a clear idea of your site's content and encourage users to click on your site in the search results pages. Use description meta tags to provide both search engines and users with a summary of what your page is about.

  1. A page's description meta tag might be a sentence or two or a short paragraph (160 characters or less).
  2. Differentiate the descriptions for different pages.
  3. Include clearly tagged facts in the description. Description should be easy to read, words and sentences within it should be separated with space for better readability.
  4. A page's description meta tag should not duplicate of information already in the page title.
  5. Information within the description should not be duplicated itself.
  6. Your descriptions should not be "spammy".

Futher reading:

  1. Official. Support.Google.Com: Create good titles and snippets in Search Results.
  2. Opinions. Moz.Com: Title Tag.
  3. Opinions. Moz.Com: Meta Description.

URLs' Structure Recommendations:

Simple-to-understand URLs leads to better crawling of your documents by search engines. 

The URL to a document is displayed as part of a search result in Google, below the document's title and snippet. Like the title and snippet, words in the URL on the search result appear in bold if they appear in the user's query.

  1. URLs should be easy, "friendly" for those who want to link to your content.
  2. URL should contain relevant words, this provides users and search engines with more information about the page. But do not use excessive (spammy) keywords (keyword stuffing).
  3. Do not use lengthy URLs with unnecessary parameters and session IDs.
  4. Use a simple directory structure in your URLs, do not use deep nesting of subdirectories like ".../dir1/dir2/dir3/dir4/dir5/dir6/page.html". Urls' categories names should be descriptive.
  5. Do not use directory names that have no relation to the content in them.
  6. Use 301 redirect from non-preferred URLs to the dominant URL, if you have different URLs to reach the same document. Use the rel="canonical" link element if you cannot redirect.
  7. Do not use capitalization of URLs, use lower-case URLs.

Futher reading:

  1. Support.Google.Com: Keep a simple URL structure.

Navigation of a Website' Recommendations:

Although Google's search results are provided at a page level, Google also likes to have a sense of what role a page plays in the bigger picture of the site. The navigation of a website help search engines understand what content the website owner thinks is important.

  1. You should think about how visitors will go from a general page (your home page) to a page containing more specific content.
  2. You should have enough pages around a specific topic area that it would make sense to create a page describing these related pages.
  3. You should have hundreds of different products that need to be classified under multiple categories and subcategories pages.
  4. Use ‘breadcrumb lists’: Front Page -> Related Topic Listing -> Specific topic. Many breadcrumbs have the most general page (usually the root page) as the first, left-most link and list the more specific sections out to the right.
  5. Allow for the possibility of a part of the URL being removed. Your site should be prepared to show content in this situation.
  6. Prepare HTML sitemap for users (a simple page on your site that that comtains a hierarchical listing of the pages on your site). HTML site map should not have broken links. HTML site map should contain list of pages organized by subject.
  7. Prepare XML sitemap for search-engines.
  8. You should have a custom 404 page to improve users' experience. 404 pages should not be allowed to be indexed. 

Futher reading:

  1. Support.Google.Com: Learn about sitemaps.
  2. Support.Google.Com: Create custom 404 pages.

Basic Content' Recommendations:

  1. Texts should be easy-to-read.
  2. Content should be organized around the topic: break your content up into logical chunks or divisions, use paragraphs, subheadings, or layout separation dealing with large amounts of text on varying topics on a page.
  3. Content should be fresh, unique (with extra value to users), without duplicate or near-duplicate versions across your site.
  4. Content should not contain numerous unnecessary keywords aimed at search engines but are annoying or nonsensical to users.

Futher reading:

  1. Support.Google.Com: Duplicate content.

Anchor Texts' Recommendations:

Anchor text is the clickable text that users will see as a result of a link, and is placed within the anchor tag <a href="...">anchor text</a>. Both users and search engines like anchor text that is easy to understand.

  1. Anchor text you use for a link should provide at least a basic idea of what the page linked to is about.
  2. Avoid generic anchor text like "page", "article", or "click here".
  3. Anchor text should be on-topic and has relation to the content of the page linked to.
  4. Avoid using the page's URL as the anchor text (sometimes it possible for promoting or referencing a new website's address).
  5. Anchor text should contain short but descriptive text-usually a few words or a short phrase. Avoid long anchor text, such as a lengthy sentence or short paragraph of text.
  6. Avoid using CSS or text styling that make links look just like regular text.
  7. Pay more attention to the anchor text used for internal links that can help users and Google navigate your site better. Create necessary links that help with the user's navigation of the site.

Image Optimization Recommendations:

  1. All images should have an "alt" attribute. Optimizing your image filenames and alt text makes it easier for image search projects like Google Image Search.
  2. Consider consolidating your images into a single directory (e.g. example.com/images/). This simplifies the path to your images.
  3. Use JPEG, GIF, PNG, and BMP image formats.
  4. Long alt text as well as extremely lengthy filenames would be considered spammy.
  5. Do not use generic filenames like "image1.jpg", "pic.gif", "1.jpg". Use descriptive filenames.
  6. Use an Image Sitemap file.
  7. Write a short caption on the page below each image.

Futher reading:

  1. Support.Google.Com: Image sitemaps

Heading tags' Recommendations:

Heading tags are used to present structure on the page to users. There are six sizes of heading tags, beginning with <h1>, the most important, and ending with <h6>, the least important.

  1. Use heading tags to emphasize important text. Heading tags are an important website component for catching the user's eye. Hedings act as an outline of a text (the structure of the page).
  2. Multiple heading sizes used in order create a hierarchical structure for your content, making it easier for users to navigate through your document.
  3. Do not use heading tags where other tags like <em> and <strong> may be more appropriate.
  4. Do not erratically move from one heading tag size to another.
  5. Too many heading tags on a page can make it hard for users to scan the content and determine where one topic ends and another begins.
  6. Do not use heading tags only for styling text and not presenting structure.

Robots.txt file' Recommendations:

  1. Prevent search engines from crawling your not useful pages of your site.
  2. Yse Google Webmaster Tools to remove content that has already been crawled.
  3. Do not allow search result-like pages to be crawled.

Futher reading:

  1. Support.Google.Com: Learn about robots.txt files.
  2. Webmasters.googleblog.com: Remove your content from Google.

Nofollow Links' Recommendations:

  1. Setting the value of the "rel" attribute of a link to "nofollow" will tell Google that certain links on your site shouldn't pass your page's reputation to the pages linked to. Nofollowing external links ensures that you're not giving your page's hard-earned reputation to another site.
  2. Linking to sites that Google considers spammy can affect the reputation of your own site.

​Mobile Usability' Recommendations:

  1. You should design your website to be viewed by mobile devices.

Futher reading:

  1. Suppot.Goole.Com: Resources for developing mobile-friendly pages.