Six Good SEO Ideas: Making Sense of Google’s Latest SEO Statement

When Google gives you SEO advice, you should take it. The problem is, Google can be vague, which is why I’m here to decipher their messaging and what it means for your site’s SEO. Last week, I wrote an article making sense of the five common SEO mistakes portion of Google’s latest SEO commentary, posted on March 19th on Google’s Webmaster Central Blog.

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As with many of their releases on SEO, Google can sometimes be a bit vague. So this week, I will break down their six good SEO ideas and add some practical advice based on my experience and observations. So lets jump right in…

Six Good SEO Ideas (According to Google)

1. Do something cool

What Google says:

Do something cool: Make sure your site stands out from the competition — in a good way!

Practical SEO application:

Google is all about user experience, and sites that users typically find interesting, useful, and valuable – Google does too. Why? Because sites that “do something cool” are more likely to generate backlinks, social buzz, and traffic (which are all key indicators of a site’s relevancy and will lead to that site being ranked higher).

So how can you “do something cool?” Here are three pretty solid tips (SEO Gold):

  • Create a killer site design – i.e. something that is memorable and inspires people to reference you
  • Create great content – i.e. linkworthy, shareworthy, useful, relevant, interesting
  • Create content that is interactive and sticky – i.e. games, video, infographics, slideshow presentations, etc

2. Include relevant words in your copy

What Google says:

Include relevant words in your copy: Try to put yourself in the shoes of searchers. What would they query to find you? Your name/business name, location, products, etc., are important. It’s also helpful to use the same terms in your site that your users might type (e.g., you might be a trained “flower designer” but most searchers might type [florist]), and to answer the questions they might have (e.g., store hours, product specs, reviews). It helps to know your customers.

Practical SEO application:

This statement ought to take most people back to SEO basics, and Google verifies again a core fundamental SEO practice that isn’t likely to fall by the waist-side any time soon:

  • Content is king – cliche I know, but true
  • Include pages on your site that correlate with the keywords that your consumer-base searchers for (do good
    keyword research)
  • Like they said, include your target keywords throughout your site’s copy – without spamming
  • Use your target keywords (the ones that your consumers search for) in your heading tags (H1, H2, H3, etc) if it makes sense
  • Use target keywords in your site’s Title Tags and Meta Description
  • Leverage internal link patterns within your site that utilize your target keywords as anchor text when it makes sense – this is helpful to consumers and search engines

3. Be smart about your tags and site architecture

What Google says:

Be smart about your tags and site architecture: Create unique title tags and meta descriptions; include Rich Snippets markup from where appropriate. Have intuitive navigation and good internal links.

Practical SEO application:

Google wants to get as much information about your site as possible, in order to better determine your relevancy for a given topic. Don’t hold back on them. From an SEO standpoint, you should:

  • Listen to them when they say to make your title tags and meta descriptions (and content) unique. They need them to be unique so that they can understand the differences in your site’s pages, why/how those pages should stand out from one another, and use the unique information within them to make relevancy decisions. Same goes for content.
  • Use rich snippet markup from whenever possible. Again, the more information they have, the better (and more creatively) they might be able to rank you.
  • If you run a blog, you should go through the Google Authorship Verification process using the rel=”author” tag.
  • Connect your site to your Google+ account using the rel=”publisher” markup or a Google+ Badge

4. Sign up for email forwarding in Webmaster Tools

What Google says:

Sign up for email forwarding in Webmaster Tools: Help us communicate with you, especially when we notice something awry with your site.

Practical SEO application:

Google webmaster tools is a great resource for learning about your site’s online profile and what Google thinks of it. GWMT will send you notifications if they see any suspicious activity such as having unnatural links or being associated with link networks, it will provide you with error information, indexation information, site performance, and a plethora of other things.

It is good practice and in your best interest to verify your site in GWMT. Once that is done, setting up the automated email forwarding as they suggested can give you a heads up and may serve as an early-warning system that you may need to fix an issue with your site.

5. Attract buzz

What Google says:

Attract buzz: Natural links, +1s, likes, follows… In every business there’s something compelling, interesting, entertaining, or surprising that you can offer or share with your users. Provide a helpful service, tell fun stories, paint a vivid picture and users will share and reshare your content.

Practical SEO application:

There are two major takeaways here…

  • First, write great content that is interesting, helpful, and shareworthy. This is the most basic SEO fundamental. All the things they mentioned above (links, +1s, likes, follows) are all predicated on having something worth sharing.
  • Second, if you didn’t notice the correlation between social and SEO, you should now. Although there isn’t much data out there currently to prove it out, I think Google’s statement leaves little doubt that social signals can have a significant impact SEO and rankings. The takeaway? Share your content through social media, and make it easier for others to share your content through Re-Tweet buttons, +1 Buttons, Like Buttons, and more.

6. Stay fresh and relevant

What Google says:

Stay fresh and relevant: Keep content up-to-date and consider options such as building a social media presence (if that’s where a potential audience exists) or creating an ideal mobile experience if your users are often on-the-go.

Practical SEO application:

  • Google loves fresh content, so keep your site’s content fresh and updated (not stale), always be adding new content (and going after new keywords) – a blog is great for this (especially if your website architecture makes it hard to add content to the main site).
  • Again, social media and SEO are becoming increasingly linked. Google said it. Twice. In the same article. Build your social presence, and build it around some of your SEO focuses.
  • Make sure the mobile experience on your site fits the users needs (admittedly, I need to take my own advice here as my site sucks for mobile). This is increasingly important, as more and more people are adopting smartphones, tablets, etc. Heck, even with my site, 3% of my traffic comes from mobile devices.
Welp, that’s all for now. Let me know in the comments below if you feel my SEO assessments are accurate, or if I should be kicked, or both.

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