Search Engine Optimisation guide

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Who is guide for ?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is often about making small modifications to parts of your website. When viewed individually, these changes might seem like incremental improvements, but when combined with other optimizations, they could have a noticeable impact on your site’s user experience and performance in organic search results. You’re likely already familiar with many of the topics in this guide because they’re essential ingredients for any web page, but you may not be making the most out of them.

You should build a website to benefit your users and gear any optimization toward making the user experience better. One of those users is a search engine, which helps other users discover your content. SEO is about helping search engines understand and present content. Your site may be smaller or larger than our example site and offer vastly different content, but the optimization topics in this guide apply to sites of all sizes and types. We hope our guide gives you some fresh ideas on how to improve your website, and we’d love to hear your questions, feedback, and success stories in the Google Search Central Help Community.

If you own, manage, monetize, or promote online content via Google Search, this guide is meant for you. You might be the owner of a growing and thriving business, the website owner of a dozen sites, the SEO specialist in a Web agency, or a DIY SEO expert passionate about the mechanics of Search: this guide is meant for you. If you’re interested in having a complete overview of the basics of SEO according to our best practices, you are indeed in the right place. This guide won’t provide any secrets that’ll automatically rank your site first in Google (sorry!), but following the best practices will hopefully make it easier for search engines to crawl, index, and understand your content.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is often about making small modifications to parts of your website. When viewed individually, these changes might seem like incremental improvements, but when combined with other optimizations, they could have a noticeable impact on your site’s user experience and performance in organic search results. You’re likely already familiar with many of the topics in this guide because they’re essential ingredients for any web page, but you may not be making the most out of them.

You should build a website to benefit your users and gear any optimization toward making the user experience better. One of those users is a search engine, which helps other users discover your content. SEO is about helping search engines understand and present content. Your site may be smaller or larger than our example site and offer vastly different content, but the optimization topics in this guide apply to sites of all sizes and types. We hope our guide gives you some fresh ideas on how to improve your website, and we’d love to hear your questions, feedback, and success stories in the Google Search Central Help Community.

How do I get my site on Google?

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By Search Engine Optimization inclusion in Google’s search results is free and easy; you don’t even need to submit your site to Google. Google is a fully automated search engine that uses web crawlers to explore the web constantly, looking for sites to add to our index. In fact, the vast majority of sites listed in our results aren’t manually submitted for inclusion, but found and added automatically when we crawl the web. Learn how Google discovers, crawls, and serves web pages.

We offer webmaster guidelines for building a Google-friendly website. While there’s no guarantee that our crawlers will find a particular site, following these guidelines can help make your site appear in our search results.

Google Search Console provides tools to help you submit your content to Google and monitor how you’re doing in Google Search. If you want, Search Console can even send you alerts on critical issues that Google encounters with your site. Sign up for Search Console.

Here are a few basic questions to ask yourself about your website when you get started.

  • Is my website showing up on Google?
  • Do I serve high-quality content to users?
  • Is my local business showing up on Google?
  • Is my content fast and easy to access on all devices?
  • Is my website secure?

You can find additional getting started information on https://g.co/webmasters

The rest of this document provides guidance on how to improve your site for search engines, organized by topic. You can download a short, printable checklist of tips from https://g.co/WebmasterChecklist.

Do you need an SEO expert?

Search Engine Optimization

An SEO expert is someone trained to improve your visibility on search engines. By following this guide, you’ll learn enough to be well on your way to an optimized site. In addition to that, you may want to consider hiring an SEO professional that can help you audit your pages.

Deciding to hire an SEO is a big decision that can potentially improve your site and save time. Make sure to research the potential advantages of hiring an SEO, as well as the damage that an irresponsible SEO can do to your site. Many SEOs and other agencies and consultants provide useful services for website owners, including:

  • Review of your site content or structure
  • Technical advice on website development: for example, hosting, redirects, error pages, use of JavaScript
  • Content development
  • Management of online business development campaigns
  • Keyword research
  • SEO training
  • Expertise in specific markets and geographies

Before beginning your search for an SEO, it’s a great idea to become an educated consumer and get familiar with how search engines work. We recommend going through the entirety of this guide and specifically these resources:

If you’re thinking about hiring an SEO, the earlier the better. A great time to hire is when you’re considering a site redesign or planning to launch a new site. That way, you and your SEO can ensure that your site is designed to be search engine-friendly from the bottom up. However, a good SEO can also help improve an existing site.

For a detailed rundown on the need for hiring an SEO and what things to look out for, you can read Do you need an SEO.

Help Google find your content

The first step to getting your site on Google By Search Engine Optimization is to be sure that Google can find it. The best way to do that is to submit a sitemap. A sitemap is a file on your site that tells search engines about new or changed pages on your site. Learn more about how to build and submit a sitemap.

Google also finds pages through links from other pages. Learn how to encourage people to discover your site by Promoting your site.

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