Worried about how to fill out your meta keywords tag so your startup ranks best in Google results? Don’t bother, the company says. Google search ignores it.
Google released on Tuesday a video that provides startups tips and suggestions about how to master search engine optimization in just 10 minutes.
The video features advice catered to small businesses with main web content on less than 50 pages looking to rank only a handful of related search terms. From how to add the best keywords and including analytics code on your site to how to approach marketing in general, Google aims to make it easier for startups to get their brands ranked higher on search result pages.
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“It’s great to have a fancy site, but try not to focus so much on site fanciness that you don’t actually have indexable and searchable text,” Maile Ohye, developer advocate on Google’s Webmaster Central Team, said in the video. “You want to use relevant keywords naturally in your text. These keywords are like query terms that normal people would use to find your product or your business.”
For example, companies that sell athletic footwear should include terms that are likely to be typed into search, such as “running shoes.”
In addition, each page should include a unique topic, title and meta description for the snippet that appears below the link listed on the Google search results page, but meta keywords tags aren’t needed. Keywords should be in the file name and typed with lower case letters.
The anchor text for every link should also be clear and include keywords, whether you are linking to your site or another. This means that “click here” is not descriptive enough phrase to highlight with a link. Instead, it should be “product specifications” or something that better matches the link with the content.
Ohye also points out some major things to avoid: “Do not hire any rogue or shady SEO [provider] — if they guarantee rankings, it’s too good to be true,” she says. “Don’t participate in link schemes or buying links for the purpose of passing PageRank.”
Another question often on the minds of startups is whether they should invest time and resources into social media marketing.
“Play to your authentic strengths,” she added. “It’s likely that your company has limited resources so if your CEO likes to tweet, go ahead and let them. If you have a salesperson who really enjoys Facebook, that’s terrific… and let them interact with the community there.”
The company has been relatively candid recently about how a Google search works. In April, a Google software engineer head detailed in a YouTube video how Google scours the web on a daily basis to provide the most up-to-date results to users and last month, it released an infographic about how a Google search travels around the world to bring the latest results.