The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide

Nonprofits often ask us, “What are some simple ways that I can improve my website’s performance in Google?” There are lots of possible answers to this question, and a wealth of search engine optimization information on the web, so much that it can be intimidating for  those unfamiliar with the topic. Google has just create a compact guide (PDF below) that lists some best practices that teams organizations can follow that could improve their sites’ crawlability and indexing.

From Google:

Our Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide covers around a dozen common areas that webmasters might consider optimizing. We felt that these areas (like improving title and description meta tags, URL structure, site navigation, content creation, anchor text, and more) would apply to webmasters of all experience levels and sites of all sizes and types. Throughout the guide, we also worked in many illustrations, pitfalls to avoid, and links to other resources that help expand our explanation of the topics. We plan on updating the guide at regular intervals with new optimization suggestions and to keep the technical advice current.

So, the next time we get the question, “I’m new to SEO, how do I improve my site?”, we can say, “Well, here’s a list of best practices that we use inside Google that you might want to check out.”

Working backwards from this guide, we can easily develop a list of exactly what Google’s algorithm takes into account.

This table below, developed by Josh Nelson a blogger for the Hatcher Group, does just that, linking to appropriate resources.

The SEO Guide Includes The Algorithm Must Take Into Account
Create Unique, Accurate Page Titles Page Titles
Make Use of the Meta “Description” Tag Meta Description Tags
Improve the Structure of Your URLs URL Structure
Make Your Site Easier to Navigate Navigation, Sitemaps
Offer Quality Content and Services Content, Content and Content!
Write Better Anchor Text Anchor Text
Use Heading Tags Appropriately Heading Tags
Optimize Your Use of Images Alt Attribute for Images
Make Effective Use of Robots.txt Robots.txt
Be Aware of rel=”nofollow” for Links Nofollow Attribute
Good Practices for Promoting Your Website Blogging, Offline Promotion, Social Media, Blogger Outreach
Make Use of Free Webmaster Tools Google Webmaster Tools
Take Advantage of Web Analytics Services Google Analytics


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Carrie Saracini
Content Marketing Manager

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