The vast majority of SEO efforts today are focused on improving Google rankings, so it makes sense to seek advice directly from Google. Entrepreneurs can find valuable insights and best practices from various Google channels, including advice from Google managers themselves. These channels include:

Google Webmaster Central Blog: Google’s official blog for webmasters offers updates, announcements, and insights from Google managers and developers. https://developers.google.com/search/blog/

Google Webmaster Guidelines: Entrepreneurs can refer to Google’s official webmaster guidelines for best practices and SEO recommendations directly from the source. Google key best practices: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/essentials

YouTube: Keep up with the latest Google advances, including the effects of AI on the search experience on their official youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/google

Google’s advice in a nutshell

We’ve culled information from the above sources and come up with he top must-have SEO tactics for being found in Google today:

Keyword Research

Many entrepreneurs assume that the keywords they think of are the most relevant, but often there are keywords they haven’t considered that potential customers use. Keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner (free with a Google Ads account), SEMRush, Ubersuggest, and WordStream can help identify these valuable keywords.

Activate Your Keywords

It’s surprising how many entrepreneurs create beautiful websites but fail to include the keywords they want to be found for. Ensure the keywords you wish to rank for are present on your website. For instance, if you’re selling fitness memberships and want to be found for “fitness membership,” make sure this term appears in your content alongside the benefits of your offering.

Technical Aspects

Even if your website is hosted on a platform like SubHub, check your robots.txt file to ensure search engines can access your site. Confirm with your hosting company if you’re unsure. Also, ensure you have the setting “allow search engines to scan the site” set to “yes.”

New SERPS Presentations

“No website” search query results: You’ve probably seen this when search for the answer to a specific question. Google itself answers the question from a link it has decided is authoritative enough to quote from. There is no linking to a website required.

Visual layouts: Depending on the niche, search results might display differently. For visual industries like art or design, image carousels may be prominent. Optimize your images with relevant keywords in the filename before uploading to enhance visibility.

Focus on Quality Content

Content is and always has been at the heart of SEO success. Google has been emphasizing the importance of creating high-quality, valuable content that serves the needs of your audience since its inception. Instead of chasing algorithms or shortcuts, entrepreneurs should prioritize producing content that is informative, engaging, and relevant to their target market. Whether it’s blog posts, articles, videos, or infographics, quality content not only attracts visitors but also earns organic backlinks and improves search engine rankings over time. But what exactly is “quality” content? Sounds very subjective, doesn’t it? To some extent, it is because quality means something different to each individual. Here are some guidelines for deciding if your content is ‘up to snuff’ in terms of quality in Google’s eyes: 

  • Seek to bring additional value over whatever else is out there.
  • Position yourself as an expert in your field with youtube videos, interviews and podcasts.
  • Ask your audience what is important to them, and reciprocate. This can be done via polls and surveys or in a group setting.
  • Adhere to basic SEO practices.

The importance of backlinks (other websites who link to yours) is something that is not always fully appreciated. Entrepreneurs tend to ignore it, thinking they have to have thousands of backlinks to move the needle on Google ranking position. If your website is ranking lower than what you would like to see for a particular keyword, a well-placed backlink or two can boost its performance significantly, and in a relatively short period of time. It may be tempting to buy backlinks, but the better course is a natural approach to link building, emphasizing the importance of earning backlinks organically through high-quality content and genuine relationships.

Instead of resorting to black hat tactics or buying links, entrepreneurs should focus on creating content that naturally attracts backlinks from authoritative and relevant websites within their industry. Building relationships with influencers, participating in industry forums, and guest blogging on reputable sites are effective strategies for earning quality backlinks.  But again, we have something that is easier said than done. How do we create content that people will want to link to naturally?  Here’s some advice from SEMrush.com: https://www.semrush.com/blog/how-to-get-backlinks

  • Create unique assets that people will want to share and link to, such as data-driven studies, in-depth guides, unique infographics and visuals.
  • Find directories and resource sites specific to your niche, where you can submit a listing for your business.
  • Contact review sites and compilation websites that regularly publish “best of” lists for various niches, and request to be included.

Google search AI

Google is rolling out “AI Overviews,” which compile information from multiple sources into an overview displayed in search results. While there’s no specific optimization required, quality content and perceived authority are likely factors.

Understand the nature of SEO

SEO is a long-term investment that requires persistence and patience. Results may not be immediate, but by consistently offering high-quality content and building a reputable online presence, you can gradually improve your search engine rankings and drive sustainable organic traffic to your website.

In summary, these Google SEO best practices, directly from the source, are essential for anyone looking to improve their search visibility. While SEO is just one aspect of promoting a membership website, it’s a crucial one. Even if you outsource your digital marketing, understanding the basics and staying updated with the latest SEO trends is beneficial.

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