Marketing Automation, Search Engine Optimisation
11 mins read

Top 10 basic SEO rules to rank in Google

Eveline Smet

Founder & Growth Strategist

In today’s digital world, SEO is more important than ever for businesses looking to rank high in search engine results and attract organic traffic. But have you ever wondered how search engines like Google rank your website? Search engines use a complex algorithm to rank websites, taking into account a variety of factors. If you want your website to rank highly in search engine results pages (SERPs), you need to follow basic rules of search engine optimization (SEO). This guide will provide some great basics on the subject. Following these basic practices make it easier for search engines to understand and present your content to users. Here are 10 essential SEO rules based on Google’s SEO starter guide that will help you to improve your ranking and visibility in Google:

1. Determine whether search engines find your site

In order to appear in search results, Google (and other search engines) needs to crawl and index your website. Crawling is the process of following links and discovering new pages. Indexing is the process of adding those pages to the search engine’s database. When someone types a query into the search engine, the index is searched for relevant results. In order for your pages to be crawled and indexed, you need to make sure that your website is well-organized and easy to navigate.
You also need to create sitemaps. Sitemaps are files that list all of the pages on your site and help the search engine find them. You need to submit your sitemaps to the search engine so that it can start crawling your site. By taking these steps, you can ensure that your website will be properly indexed and will appear in search results.

2. Exclude pages you don’t want to be crawled

As a website owner, it’s important to make sure that Google is only indexing the pages that you want to be included in search results. Googlebot is the web crawler used by Google to discover and index web pages. By default, it is set to crawl the entire web, but you can use a robots.txt file to tell Googlebot which pages you do and don’t want it to crawl. If there are pages on your site that contain duplicate content or outdated information, you can use the robots.txt file to exclude them from Google’s crawl. This file is located in the root directory of your website, and it tells Google which pages to crawl and which to ignore.

You can also use the robots.txt file to temporarily exclude pages from Google’s index, which can be helpful if you’re making changes to your website and don’t want those changes to be reflected in search results until they’re ready. To tell Googlebot which pages not to crawl, simply add a “disallow” directive to your robots.txt file. This directive will instruct Googlebot to ignore any pages that match the specified pattern. For example, the following directive would prevent Googlebot from crawling any pages on my site that begin with “/admin”: Disallow: /admin/*. Keep in mind that your robots.txt file must be located in the root directory of your website in order for it to be effective. By carefully managing your robots.txt file, you can ensure that Google is only indexing the pages that you want people to see.

Google provides another way to tell its crawlers which pages you don’t want included in search results. The “noindex” tag is another choice which is mostly used for blocking more sensitive or confidential material. This tells Google not to index a certain page, meaning it won’t show up in search results. You can also use the “nofollow” tag to tell Google not to follow any links on a certain page. This is helpful if you have a page full of links to other sites, and you don’t want Google to crawl those other sites.

3. Help search engine and users understand your content

As a webmaster, it’s important to make sure that Google can see your page the same way a user does. This way, you can be sure that your content is being properly indexed and ranked. There are a few things you can do to make sure of this:

  1. Googlebot is the web crawler used by Google to discover and index web pages. To ensure that Googlebot can properly understand your website, you should allow it access to your website’s JavaScript, CSS, and image files. If these assets are blocked by your website’s robots.txt file, it can prevent Googlebot from rendering and indexing your content correctly. This can negatively impact your website’s ranking in search results. Therefore, it is important to make sure that your website’s robots.txt file does not block Googlebot from crawling your website’s assets.
  2. Check your page’s title and meta description tags. One of the most important elements of SEO is the page title and meta description tags. The title is the text that appears in the search engine results page (SERP), and the meta description is the brief description that appears underneath the title. Both of these elements are important for attracting clicks from users. They are used by both search engines and users to understand what the page is about. Make sure they accurately reflect the content on your page.The title tag should be unique, clear and concise, and it should include the keywords that you want to target. The meta description should be similarly focused, and it should entice searchers to click through to your website. By ensuring that your title and meta description tags are optimized, you can help your website attract more visitors from organic search results.
  3. Use heading tags to improve the readability of your code and make it easier for search engines to index your content. Heading tags are an essential part of HTML. They are used to indicate the hierarchy of a document, and they help to give structure to a web page. Heading tags can also be used to emphasize important text. Each heading should be followed by relevant and informative text. Using too many heading tags can negatively affect the readability of your code, so be sure to use them sparingly.
  4. Use structured data markup. Structured data markup is a code that you can add to your website to help search engines better understand your website’s content. When your website includes structured data markup, it can appear in rich search results, which can attract more traffic to your site. In addition, structured data markup can help you get your website indexed more quickly and improve your click-through rate. As a result, using structured data markup is a great way to improve your website’s visibility and traffic.

4. Enable Search result features for your site

In today’s competitive digital landscape, it’s important to do everything you can to make your website stand out. One way to do this is by ensuring that your pages are eligible for special features in Google Search results. This can be accomplished by correctly marking up your page with structured data. It can enable your page to be eligible for review stars, fancy decorated results, featured snippets, rich results and other enhancements. So if you want your website to stand out from the competition, be sure to correctly use structured data on your pages.

5. Create a search engine/user friendly site hierarchy

A website’s hierarchy is its organizational structure. It’s the way a website’s content is arranged in a way that makes sense. This can be done by grouping similar topics together and nesting pages within those groups. By organizing your website’s hierarchy, you can help visitors find the information they’re looking for more easily. Additionally, search engines will be able to crawl and index all of your pages more effectively, which can help improve your site’s search engine optimization (SEO). When organizing your site’s hierarchy, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure that all of your important pages are accessible from the home page. Second, organize your pages into logical categories. And third, use clear and descriptive titles for all of your pages. By following these tips, you can ensure that your site is both search engine friendly and user friendly.

Additionally, it’s important to use Simple and informative URLs for each page on your website. Doing so can help improve your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) and make it easier for people to remember the address of your site. Keep your URLs short and descriptive, and avoid using long strings of numbers or letters. If you have a CMS (content management system), make sure that it generates simple URLs that are easy to read and understand. Taking these steps will help to ensure that your website is easy to find and navigate.

6. Optimize your website content

A search engine’s job is to find and rank the most relevant and useful results for a user’s query. In order to do this, they use a complex algorithm that takes many factors into account. Some of these factors include the quality of the content, the relevance of content to the user’s query, the number of other websites linking to it, the freshness of content, recency of engagement, and overall popularity. Unique and high quality content which is useful and engaging with a clear structure, created to meet the audience’s needs, with useful links to relevant sites will be ranked better in search results. The algorithm is constantly being updated, and different search engines weigh these factors differently. As a result, it’s important to keep up with the latest trends in SEO in order to ensure that your content is being properly ranked. By understanding how search engines rank content, you can make sure that your website is getting seen by the people who are most likely to be interested in it.

One of the latest updates is Google’s helpful content update aimed to reward the most helpful content for users and rank content created for people first, not for search engines first. Accordingly, a first-hand content or review created according to the audience’s needs, and make them feel they’ve learned about the topic or had a satisfying experience while reading, will be ranked better than the content created for search engines primarily.

User engagement is vital for any website that wants to be successful. And, one of the best ways to ensure user engagement is to create content that is interesting and useful. Of course, figuring out what your users find interesting and useful can be a challenge. However, it is important to remember that your site content is what will ultimately determine whether or not users stay on your site. In addition to making sure that your content is well written and free of errors, you should also strive to make it interesting and useful. Think about what kinds of information your target audience is looking for, and then structure your content accordingly. Once you have a good understanding of your audience’s needs, you can begin creating content that meets those needs. In addition, be sure to include plenty of visuals, such as photos, infographics, and videos. These can help to break up the text and make your site more visually appealing. By taking these steps, you can help ensure that your site content is both informative and engaging.

While the goal of any website is to attract users, it’s important to remember that search engines are also a key audience. After all, if your site doesn’t show up in search results, potential visitors will never even know it exists. Therefore, it’s essential to strike a balance between optimizing your site for users and search engines. For example, using too many keywords can result in your content sounding stilted and difficult to read. On the other hand, failing to use enough keywords can make it difficult for users to find the information they’re looking for. When done correctly, optimizing your content for both users and search engines can be a win-win situation.

User-friendly features such as clear and concise Copywriting, easy navigation, and relevant content will help to keep visitors engaged, while also increasing the likelihood that they’ll share your site with others. On the other hand, including keywords throughout your site will improve its visibility in search results. Ultimately, the best way to optimize your site is to focus on creating high-quality content that will appeal to both users and search engines.

7. Optimize your images

Images are an essential part of any website. Not only do they add visual interest, but they can also help to convey information and improve the user experience. However, images can also be a major contributor to slow page loading times. Moreover, search engines cannot index images, which means that they can have a negative impact on your website’s SEO. There are a few simple steps that you can take to optimize your images for SEO. First, make sure to use descriptive file names and alt text. This will help search engines to index your images and make them more likely to show up in image search results. Second, reduce the file size of your images without compromising quality. This will help to improve page loading times. Finally, make sure to use the correct file format. JPEGs are best for photos, while PNGs are best for graphics with limited colors. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your images are both SEO-friendly and user-friendly.

8. Create a mobile-friendly website

A mobile-friendly website is a must in today’s tech-savvy world. A mobile friendly site is a responsive website that resizes to fit on any device, from a desktop computer to a cell phone. As more and more people use smartphones and tablets to access the internet, it’s crucial that your website is optimized for these devices. Otherwise, you risk losing potential customers or customers becoming frustrated with your site.

Mobile friendliness is important for two reasons: first, more and more people are using their phones to surf the web; and second, Google’s search algorithm now favors mobile-friendly websites. Google’s search algorithm is constantly evolving, and one of the latest trends is a move towards mobile-friendly websites. Not only do mobile-friendly sites provide a better user experience, but they also tend to rank higher in search results.

There are a few things you can do to make sure your site is mobile-friendly. First, use responsive design, which ensures that your site will look good on any size screen. Second, avoid using Flash or other plugins that aren’t compatible with mobile devices. Finally, make sure your content is easy to read on a small screen by using short paragraphs and large font sizes. By following these tips, you can create a website that’s accessible and user-friendly for everyone.

9. Promote your website

In order to have a successful website, you need to promote it properly. Finding the most effective method to promote your website, depends on the products or services offered, your target audience, and your budget. Besides SEO, which is one of the most common methods that make it more likely to be seen by potential customers, there are many other ways to promote a website. Other common methods include pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media marketing, and email marketing.

By creating engaging content and sharing it on your blog, you can drive traffic to your site and build an audience. Additionally, by placing ads on Google or other popular websites, you can reach a large number of people with your message. You can also submit your site to directories and listings, which can help to increase its visibility. By taking some or all of these steps, you can give your website the exposure it needs to attract more visitors.

10. Analyze your search performance and user behavior

There are many analytics tools that help you monitor the performance of your website as well as your user behavior in order to optimize the website performance and user experience. Google Analytics is one of the free tools that can help you to track your website traffic and see where your visitors are coming from. By understanding your search performance, you can adjust your marketing strategy to attract more customers from your target market. You can also use Google Analytics to track user behavior on your website. This information can be used to improve the user experience on your site and make it more likely that visitors will convert into customers. By taking the time to analyze your search performance and user behavior, you can stay one step ahead of your competition and ensure that your website is driving sales.

Would you like to learn more about SEO? Take a look at our article on  SEO tactics to boost traffic and drive sales.

Questions? Comments? Ideas! We’d love to hear from you! do not hesitate to drop us a note 😊

Eveline Smet

Founder & Growth Strategist

Eveline is our founder and the one who eats strategy for breakfast. She is in charge of budgets, KPI’s and growth plans. During her high school years, Eveline was wearing baggy pants and listening to 2PAC & Biggy. We have proof. Just ask. If you ever catch her looking off into the distance, it’s either because she wants to order sushi or she’s hungry thinking of ways to increase your profit. She’s also the biggest victim of marketing. But the biggest office sweetheart.

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