How To Set Up A Website Using Google Sites

By | September 10, 2022

How to become your website to the top of Google

This commodity first appeared in issue 238 of .cyberspace magazine – the world’s best-selling mag for web designers and developers.

Certain, you know nearly SEO. You lot might not be an adept, per se, but you have a good agreement of the basics: title tags, clean URLs, text-based design and and then on.

Fifty-fifty if you’re more than of an expert than well-nigh, just every bit often it’south what yous don’t know about SEO that volition injure you.

Many webmasters found this out the hard way in February 2011, when Google’s Panda update was released. Many of these same webmasters were hit over again little more a year later on, when the search giant’s Penguin update followed – targeting low-quality, spammy link-building tactics. What they thought was SEO worked for a fiddling while, and so turned out to be less than optimal. Sites were penalised; traffic and revenue lost, and and then-called ‘SEOs’ fired.

Since then at that place’s been a new tone in the SEO industry. Non all of the states were creating depression-quality content and links; merely for many of those that were these two updates were a wake-upward call. And for those of u.s.a. who accept always been focused on loftier-quality, relevant content and links, it was something similar redemption. Our sites soared while and then many fell.

This is the new normal for SEO. Yeah, there are yet some who call themselves SEOs simply focus on manipulative tactics with brusk term revenue goals; yet there are also many who are part of a big and growing industry of specialists in a highly complex discipline that requires marketing, technical, and inquiry and communication skills.

Then merely how large is SEO? Believe information technology or non, it’s bigger in the minds of Google searchers than web design. Once considered a subset of spider web design, searches for SEO now eclipse those of web pattern worldwide.

The full projected value of the N American search marketing industry (SEO and paid search) in 2013 is $26.8billion, according to industry trade system SEMPO, and 13 per cent of companies take SEO budgets of half a meg to more than three million a twelvemonth (upward from 8 per cent in 2011).

Google Trends data shows that the number of searches for “spider web design” has declined over time – to the signal where it is now eclipsed by searches for “seo”

As budgets increase, there’s more to lose, and many companies take become more risk balky – forgoing the shady tactics they may have pursued in the past.

In cutting out the garbage we outset to see what SEO is actually good for (and has always been adept for): connecting relevant content with relevant searchers, and making content discoverable through accessibility and marketing.

For those of you who still think of SEOs every bit greasy algorithm-chasers in inexpensive suits or parents’ basements, consider the new reality.

Google Webmaster Central has many valuable reports on crawling and indexing of content, as well as who links to you and what queries your site appears for

Google Webmaster Central has many valuable reports on crawling and indexing of content, as well as who links to y’all and what queries your site appears for

Engines are non enemies

When I started doing SEO in-house for a Fortune 50 corporation 10 years ago, in that location were many in the organisation who were a little nervous about what nosotros were doing. Nil was against the Google guidelines … because at that place were no such guidelines in existence. At that time at that place were a few books, but SEO was largely something that was spoken of covertly, and certainly never to search engines, which, it was thought, would probable think of it as manipulation.

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Today we know improve. Google and Bing accept both published extensive webmaster guidelines, and Google has fifty-fifty published a guide to SEO for beginners. In Baronial 2011 Matt Cutts, Google’southward head of webspam, released a video argument maxim that Google does not consider SEO by itself to be spam. This sentiment at present appears in Google’s definition of search engine optimisation, in which information technology says: “Many SEOs and other agencies and consultants provide useful services for website owners.”

However, because of a few spammers who call themselves SEOs, SEOs in general accept the reputation of being charlatans, and have been portrayed as such on tv shows such equally The Skillful Wife and Dexter.

“SEO has unfortunately got a bad rap, and it’s due mainly to questionable SEO practitioners who perpetuate the ‘snake oil’ stereotype by making customers believe there’s some magic ‘black box’ that ‘tricks’ the search engines,” says Gord Hotchkiss, chief strategy officeholder for Montreal-based Mediative and regular columnist for Search Insider. Hotchkiss, and the other experts I reach out to for this article, explain that SEO is only about getting relevant content indexed, and making sure information technology’south visible to the search engines.

All of the veteran SEOs that I speak to empathize why SEO still has the reputation in some circles of beingness ophidian oil. But they insist that it has, at this point, get much more than mainstream and credible.

Vanessa Fox of Nine by Blue created this searcher persona in order to connect audience goals with relevant content from the business

Vanessa Fox of 9 by Blueish created this searcher persona in order to connect audience goals with relevant content from the business organisation

Rand Fishkin, founder of Seattle-based SEO software company SEOMoz, discusses with me a few of his favourite reasons for SEO being something other than snake oil, including that “SEOmoz itself has more than 2million monthly visits, near all from web marketers looking to learn more about the practice. And our software, which bills monthly, has more than eighteen,000 subscribers equally of today. If SEO were just serpent oil, I strongly suspect folks would stop paying.”

SEO, in its legitimate grade, is now a more than accepted office of the spider web design process, and in many organisations is finally getting a seat at the table when it comes to designing professional, search engine-friendly web sites.

A process, non a project

In my decade-plus doing enterprise SEO there take been many instances in which the SEO squad is brought in later the website is already complete, and told to magically brand it search engine friendly. This isn’t ideal. As Google says in its guide to SEO: “If yous’re thinking about hiring an SEO, the earlier the better.”

The really competitive sites that I’ve worked with over the years understand this, and integrate SEO into every stage of their planning procedure, from data architecture to content strategy to design, development, launch and mail-launch.

A lot of web designers and developers are hesitant almost integrating SEO further into the procedure, because doing so effectively produces actress piece of work. Just the rewards can be nifty, reminds Vanessa Fox, founder and CEO of Nine by Blue and author of Marketing in the Age of Google. “Organisations are losing 1) tremendous insight into their customers and potential customers if they don’t take advantage of the free search data that’s available from the millions of searches we do each day; 2) the opportunity to reach a significantly larger audition through beingness visible in search results.”

Would you put the Mona Lisa in a closet? Would you spend hours cooking Beefiness Wellington, and as information technology emerges perfect from the oven throw it in the trash? And so why would you build a website without considering how it volition be found?

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There’s another reason for making SEO a priority in the web design process, advises Hotchkiss – “it forces y’all to create a better website! Good SEO optimisation should be baked into your information architecture. It will force you to call back about common content themes. It requires you to consider how all digital assets (such as videos and user-generated content) will be integrated into the overall user experience. It helps eliminate user experience dead ends such equally gratuitious Flash interfaces and, my personal pet peeve, content locked in PDFs. Information technology extends your perception of your online footprint beyond the premises of your website, including things like social media. It will also instil a healthy rigour when information technology comes to thinking about how your site links together. Proficient SEO practices means a better user experience.”

Resolution Media’s ClearTarget Behavioral Analysis takes keyword research to another level by harnessing the power of big data and automation to create actionable searcher personas

Resolution Media’s ClearTarget Behavioral Analysis takes keyword inquiry to another level past harnessing the power of large data and automation to create actionable searcher personas

From my experience, more organisations than ever are learning these lessons, and are no longer thinking of SEO as a project, but as an ongoing process that ensures a website will be every bit visible in search as possible. This is good for web design because it gives it a larger audience, but also proficient for business.

While many commentators have claimed that SEO is dead since it began effectually 1997, the truth is that it doesn’t die; information technology evolves with the search engines. While SEO is constantly evolving, at the moment it seems focused on mobility, utility, the audition and automation, amongst other things.

1 of these trends is the dissolving distinction between SEO, user experience and content strategy. In ane recent Webmaster Tools YouTube video, Matt Cutts even suggested that those looking to change the proper noun might consider “searcher feel optimisation” to differentiate from the snake oil multifariousness of SEO.

Some, such every bit Vanessa Play a joke on, have suggested that SEO need not proceed as a split up activity from UX and content strategy: “I think that both disciplines should contain best practices from search rather than thinking of it as something tacked on later on,” she says. “Particularly, the data available from search is extremely valuable. Also, understanding that many visitors begin with a major search engine and that whatsoever page of the site can therefore become the home page of the site can shift how nosotros expect at both folio design and content.”

Google’s SEO Starter Guide defines tactics to help search engines and webmasters display relevant content

Google’s SEO Starter Guide defines tactics to assist search engines and webmasters display relevant content

At the same time, Fox – and all of the other SEOs I asked – recognise that content strategy and usability, while essential for reputable SEO, need technical and other elements from SEO to exist useful as a style of getting incremental search engine traffic.

“When SEO is done the correct fashion, usability and content is a huge part of the plan,” opines Eric Enge, founder and CEO of Massachusetts-based Stone Temple Consulting and co-author of The Art of SEO. “This is something that the snake-oil SEO people don’t worry about. For long-term success as a web publisher, the use must come beginning. Notwithstanding, for success as a business, y’all need to practise more.”

With this concentration on content strategy and usability comes a focus on the audience as well. For Hotchkiss, this is a shift from word-matching to utility, and follows the search engines’ ain evolution. “Today, good SEO is well-nigh making sure that when a prospect uses a word (or words) to search for something, you lucifer that equally best equally possible,” he says. “But in the time to come, SEO will be about ensuring that when your prospect wants something, y’all deliver information technology. Information technology may not exist content. It may be a film ticket, a hotel booking, a restaurant reservation or a downloaded TV show.”

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A change in assay

Delivering on this promise frequently requires a new blazon of analysis. In the past, marketers accept done keyword research to uncover keywords every bit proxies for user intent. In Marketing in the Age of Google, Vanessa Fob describes the procedure of creating searcher personas that get across simple keyword matching and search book exercises. And still others, such as iCrossing’s Core Audience and Resolution Media’s ClearTarget attempt to empathise characteristics of audiences, including simply not express to the keywords that they utilise.

For some businesses, mobility volition not change user intent. For example, news is not going to be rewritten for a split platform, as Karen McGrane and other adaptive content advocates oftentimes bespeak out. However, for some businesses it does; and if marketers want to get the most traffic and conversions from the mobile platform (in other words, be optimised for) the devil is in the particular, and understanding potential differences betwixt mobile and desktop audiences is key.

In that location are technical considerations as well, which make a type of SEO geared towards these differences – what is commonly called mobile SEO – what it is. Many people in the SEO world, as with their counterparts in the blueprint world, believe that responsive blueprint is the answer to these differences – and Google stated a preference for responsive design in June. However, as I said in issue 232 of .net, responsive blueprint is not always best for the user, and Google wouldn’t prefer it in those cases. If mobile and desktop search behaviour is significantly different, Google supports using dynamic serving or switchboard tags every bit well.

Matt Cutts is one of the most popular personalities in SEO. As Google’s head of webspam, his blog has been required reading for SEOs since 2005

Matt Cutts is one of the most popular personalities in SEO. As Google’s head of webspam, his blog has been required reading for SEOs since 2005

Cindy Krum, CEO of Denver-based mobile marketing agency Mobile Moxie and author of Mobile Marketing: Finding Your Customers Wherever They Are agrees that responsive blueprint is i of many solutions for mobile SEO. “I have been recommending a mixed solution for most of my clients,” she says, “leveraging responsive design when it makes sense, and special mobile-merely landing pages when keywords or utilize-cases cannot be accordingly addressed with a responsive blueprint arroyo.“

Another large shift in SEO has been the introduction of more automation to the process. SEO software has been effectually as long equally SEO has (remember WebPosition Aureate?), but the breadth of tools and level of composure has increased considerably in the last year or two.

At present there are tools to help yous optimise the long-tail through semantic relevance (BloomReach), reporting tools (Usher, BrightEdge, SEOMoz)), link building tools (Ontolo, Ahrefs, Open up Site Explorer, Majestic SEO) and more, all geared toward automating aspects of the SEO process (see our top 20).

When this happens, inevitably someone in the press volition claim that the tool will allow you lot to fire your redundant SEO; but none of the SEO experts or software providers I talk to concord. “Great SEO starts with human beings who are creative, tenacious, and empathetic to the needs of searchers,” says Fishkin. “No software can e’er automate those processes.”

There are other trends in SEO that are important, among them the integration of social signals into ranking algorithms and SEO that is non just text-based, but nigh agreement and optimising images and videos – possibly eventually for wearable calculating purposes (Google Glass, for instance). All in all, legitimate SEO has evolved with the search engines – and it continues to do so. As I’ve said, understanding and applying this new data requires a new type of SEO practitioner, and a different kind of user-focused SEO. The side by side time someone tells you something dissimilar, you now accept the knowledge to fix them direct.

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