The other day I was listening to the video of Matt Cutts for the Google I/O 2010 series where he was giving some serious advice to the website owners who had submitted their websites for review.
I found the video informative and worth mentioning. He discussed all the ingredients you may need to make a website rank well during his presentation.
The points below were mentioned as well and their are bits and pieces of information and advice given to have a better ranked website or blog.
Here are some of the items he mentioned as important:
Summary of Google’s Top 10 SEO Tips
1. Always have text on your home page
Its always good to have your home page designed with keyword rich text on it. If you have a well designed website but no text it won’t help you in any way on the search engines. Think about the keywords you think the end users would type to reach you and then ensure they are on your homepage.
Simple rule – always have your potential keywords in text. Even sentences / text that need not be ranked as well can be in text.
2. Wrong keywords can rank you well, but for the wrong reason
You might be tempted to add a lot more other keywords on your website although you know that they are not your niche keywords, but just somewhat related. Don’t just add keywords because you want to fill in your meta keywords with lots and lots of keywords!
Don’t be under the impression that Google indexes meta text. It does not. So don’t assume placing keywords in your meta tags will help you rank.
3. Great images and information in pictures
Here is another very typical problem we have. You are the author / website owner of a website with great photos and ideas of sorts, but not sure how well you can actually describe the photos. Well it is time to start. Like i said in #1, you definitely need good text to support your picture, so make sure you to add the ALT image text.
Another cool thing is to add a feature like “User comments” on your website, so that helps you actually get keywords (albeit unknowingly) that the end users will type. Also, all the grind will be done for you through right reviews.
4. Blogging? Better be on your toes
Yeah, you read it right. If you are using blogging tools like WordPress then make sure that your WordPress is updated. Get your WordPress blog up to date with the latest version circulating on the internet along with the cool (or not so cool?) plug-ins. Remember they are free and help your blog or website rank better.
5. Design a browser compliant website
The basic aspect in designing is to have your website ‘in line’ with most popular browsers. By that I mean, maybe your website has got great content to show, and an awesome banner that says it all. But, what if the most popular browser does not actually display the content but the whole banner instead? Maybe its time you check out the design and the CSS you’ve used.
6. Search engine complaint descriptions
Well, this is something you ought to take care of. Make sure your description has the best of the best keywords as some search engines may certainly ignore most of the content after say a few 100 characters. Short and sweet, hope you get the point.
7. Stand out – get noticed
Its always nice to have your website have attributes that make you stand out of the crowd. Carve a niche for yourself and the brand name will definitely take care of the rest. Yes, sometimes its nice to hear that you are known ‘just’ because your domain name sounds ‘so cool’. Time to think out of the box. Do not think of a domain name like ‘ChocolateIceCream.com’ but maybe something like ‘Icey.com’ 🙂
8. Get the focus right
When you have a blog, do not just lose focus. By that I mean, just don’t get your business blog to become more personal to say , “Hey, I am throwing in a party for whatsoever reason and I want to you to fill the form below so I can make a head count of the number of people here.
9. Think smart get your answers from others
You did your SEO right, but there is always a chance that you might have not chosen the right keywords. So how do you do that? The best way is to use the keyword tool from Google or even better, go figure it out from the server log file! You can find out who typed what to come up to your website. I guess that is something cool.
10. SEO friendly URLs
If you are using CMS I guess you have the option to use SEO friendly URLs option in it. If not its wise to use the dash rather than underscore as dash (-) is treated as 2 terms rather than 1 as in the underscore (_). For example, A_B would be one term whereas A-B will be treated as 2 terms. Advantage? Well, simply put – you get a choice of more terms to search. So isn’t that pretty simple math?
Well that wraps up my 10 favorite points from Matt Cutt’s Google Website Tip Video. I hope you evaluate your current website and enjoy putting these tips to great use!
All the mentioned points are spot-on. Matt Cutts has also mentioned the usage of hyphen vs underscore in another video. I feel that it is very important for a newbie web developer to learn about it. I find this blog very helpful and also will many others.