Organic Google SEO Best Practices

You’ve got a website but it’s not ranking well on Google? This article is for you.

Google's SEO best practices for 2016


Organic Search Engine Optimization is not tricky. Here’s a good definition from Wikipedia:

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine‘s unpaid results — often referred to as “natural,” “organic,” or “earned” results.

No SEO tricks – that’ll get your site penalized

Years ago, Google began installing software within their engines to filter websites they caught using “tricks and hacks.” Long gone are the days of “stuffing keywords,” or buying backlinks – to name a few “tricks.” Today, if you want your site to do well in organic search, you have to know the rules, follow them and then some. So, what are the rules?

The core SEO tactics you need to integrate into your site include producing original and relevant content, proper formatting and using natural language. Here are the main points Google shares in their publication – “Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide.”

Create unique, accurate page titles

Title tags let users and search engines know what the key topic of a web page is. As you can see, the title of this page is: “Organic Search Engine Optimization: SEO.” Notice that it matches the content.

Tags should be placed within the <head> tag of the HTML document. Create unique titles for all your pages. Pages that appear in search results will show the contents of the title tag. Words in the title are bold if they appear in the user’s search query. This will assist users recognize if the page is relevant to their search.

Using the “description” meta tag

The description meta tag provides Google, and other search engines, a snippet of the page’s content.  While a PAGE TITLE is limited to a few words, or short phrase, a page’s description meta tag should be a sentence or two, or even paragraph. Words in the snippet are boldewhen they appear in the user’s query. This gives the user clues about whether the content on the page matches with what he or she is looking for.

Use simple/clean URLs

Most web content management systems, including WordPress, automatically create page URLs that are frankly, gobbledygook. The good news is that most of them also provide an easy switch to turn “Greek,” into plain English. Using descriptive categories and filenames for your pages, posts, images and documents on your website; it not only helps you keep your site organized, but may lead to better crawling of your content by search engines. Visitors may also be put off by long and cryptic URLs and you can bet they won’t share that link if they won’t even click it.

The URL to any page, post or document shows in the search result in Google. If the words in the URL on a search result were used by the user, then they also appear in bold on Google’s search result(s), really helping boost the chance a user will click your link – see why it’s critical to produce great content? More info from the horses mouth is available here:

Make your site easier to navigate (Menus, Sitemaps and Breadcrumbs)

Your website’s navigation is like the table of contents of a book and even Google admits that they use a site’s navigation (sitemap), to put all the pieces together to help make sense of the big picture. In the last few years, breadcrumbs have become very popular. If you’re using WordPress, the option to install breadcrumbs is easily available to you.

A breadcrumb is a row of internal links at the top or bottom of the page that allows visitors to quickly navigate back to a previous section or the root page (1). 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. ~ Google’s SEO stuff.

A site map is a page on your website that shows the structure of your website. Basically, it’s a hierarchical list of the pages on your site. Visitors can use this page when they can’t otherwise find content on your site they are looking for. Google will visit this page but they say, it’s mostly for users’ benefit, and we know we use them a lot around DC on big sites. They do come in handy.

Publish quality content

Content has always been king on the web, so it should come as no surprise that Google embraces this and has even gone on record stating that this is likely the most influential element of your website for great organic ranking on search.

Users know good content when they see it and will likely want to direct other users to it. This could be through blog posts, social media services, email, forums, or other means. Organic or word-of-mouth buzz is what helps build your site’s reputation with both users and Google, and it rarely comes without quality content. – Google.

Keys to good and basic search engine optimization

  • Write in plain English, unless you’re targeting a technical demographic
  • Keep your content organized, avoid “run-on pages.”
  • Create original content, copying will kill your SEO
  • Optimize your images: size, alt-text and descriptions all are used by Google
  • Use headings to help readers know what the topic(s) are about
  • Do not duplicate content – copy-and-paste from other sites

CT has been a Google SEO Specialist since 2006 and has managed several sites that generated millions of hits, annually in the Sacramento region. If you desire assistance in this field, please contact us.