SEO Guide 2021


Here is an easy to read SEO Guide presented in step-by-step sections.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) brings people to you who are interested in what you do.

For example, they may be searching for products or services that you are marketing.

Or they may want to find out more about a subject that you have written about.

SEO is an effective promotional technique that can generate website traffic, enquiries and sales.

Being found in the organic (not paid for) search engine listings is a positive signal about your enterprise.

How does Google search work?

Google sends out crawlers (AKA bots) which jump from link to link, in a never-ending journey.

Google is looking for new and updated pages.

There are 3 steps:

1. Crawling the web mainly by jumping from known links to updated or new pages. URLs (web page addresses) are stored by Google.

2. Indexing pages. Google tries to figure out what each page is about. Meta data (see below), well-written content and media such as images all help.

3. Delivering search results. Factors include location, the device being used and previous search queries.

Think keywords

Google, Bing etc use the words that searchers use to direct them to relevant websites.

These words are known are keywords.

When you are writing content (pages, blogs etc) include keywords and phrases that you want to be found for.

I will refer to ‘page’, however blog entries can be treated in the same way.

Create a keywords list

A top SEO guide tip is to create an alphabetical list of keywords that you would like to be found for.

It is alphabetical, so that you can see what is missing.

Include your brand name, products and services, as well as words that describe what you do.

If it is relevant, include place names, such as London.

Domain name

If you are launching a new website, think carefully about your choice of domain name.

Broadly speaking it can be either your name, a brand name or a keyword phrase.

Understand meta data

Meta data is data about other data.

From an SEO perspective, it helps to guide search engines with regards to the content of a page.

Meta data includes Alt Tags for images and Title Tags.

Title Tags

Title Tags are important as Google reads them.

Within SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), Title Tags look like headlines.

This means that you should write Title Tags for human readers as well as for search bots.

Begin your Title Tags with the primary keyword, if possible. Then use a secondary keyword and so on.

A ‘pipe’ symbol can be used to break the text up. 

They look like this:   |

On a full size Windows keyboard, the pipe symbol is in the lower left, near the shift key. To make it appear, press shift and |

Description Tags

The Description Tag (if there is one) appears underneath the Title Tag within a SERP page.

If there is not a Description Tag, some random text from the page will be appear.

Although Google does not read Description Tags, they are still important as they can help to convince more people to click through to your website.

On-page SEO

When you are creating a web page or a blog, think about SEO.

Have a single keyword phrase as the focus for page.

Ensure that this phrase appears in the:
– URL (web page address)
– Title tag (ideally at the start)
– Page headline (wrapped in H1 Tags)
– The first sentence of the body copy

Your keyword phrase should be repeated a few times within the body copy, however, make sure that it does not exceed 3%.

Use anchor text links, from one page to another within your website.

Google Passage Ranking

In October 2020 Google announced Passages – which enables Google to rank a specific passage (section) of a page.

This means that you should now think in terms of the page as a whole, as well as separate sections within the page.

Each separate section should focus on a specific topic.

For example, the sections within this page.

Google said that sometimes the answer to a searcher’s question is buried deep within a page.

Therefore, it makes sense to display that section rather than the whole page.

This is a ranking change, not an indexing change, by the way.

Mobile friendly

Check that your website works on smartphones etc here:

https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly

Update your website regularly

When the search engines find a new web page or updated information within a website, they report back to base.

The search engines know that there is something new as they look at the log files within your website.

One way of updating your site is to use blogging as an SEO strategy.

I will be updating this SEO guide, over the coming weeks.

Ask questions about SEO via The Marketing Compass or ask me about my SEO training services.