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SEO in 10mins… Is that possible?

Our summary of the new advice from Google on SEO for startups and small sites

You've probably heard of the Penguin series of updates that have negatively affected rankings for many companies. It's worth being aware that last week we had the release of Penguin 3.8 which impacts 1% of global searches. You can learn more about this Penguin update here.

SEO basics in 10 minutes

The main purpose of this post is to alert you to this new video guide from Google. It's from  Maile Oyhe who has worked with Google for 7 years. The advice covers the basics needed for SEO for sites with less than 50 pages, she says that doesn't include more complex Ecommerce sites.

While most online marketers will already know most of the advice, you may find it useful to share in these situations:

  • Friends / family just starting their own site / business who are asking you for advice and you want a simple starter
  • Smaller websites and clients that maybe want to learn and understand more about your services
  • Students and anyone new to marketing who should know the basics of SEO

Here's the advice, a summary follows:

1. Decide on version of site you want to serve www.domain.com or domain.com

2. Verify ownership in Webmaster tools including Email forwarding when there is a problem with site and do a background check on site depending on its history.

3. Include analytics code from Google Analytics or another provider

4. Set your site strategy in site design, define which content pages for which audience? She uses the term personas; interesting Google uses this term.

5. Get focus on pages - Maile advises not to use a long page with multiple topics, but instead a single topic

6. Define your conversion points - include the call-to-action on each page

7. Put the right information on each page. Make sure the copy includes the keywords people  Perhaps the most important:

Interesting she stresses anchor text, something we've been saying for years.

8. Answer the visitors concerns or questions. For example about the credibility of the company and the returns policy.

9. Pitfalls to avoid include link buying or hiring a shady SEO and a slow page load time. She mentions the two second rule for Ecommerce sites.

10. She recommends getting involved with social media marketing saying:

To rank well, provide an awesome product or service, then attract buzz: natural links, +1s, likes, follows, shares.

Good advice, but I'd say content marketing and outreach to other sites is also needed to cut through!

Well that's it. I think SEO in 10 minutes is possible. Always interesting to hear what Google employees place emphasis to understand what's important. Maybe the importance of quality links with a good variation in anchor text and avoiding duplicate content weren't really stressed, but the basics are covered as promised.

By Chris Soames

Chris Soames is a Smart Insights blogger and consultant, he has worked in digital marketing for over 6 years with the last few years managing international web strategies for a leading travel brand. Now the Commercial Director at First 10, an Integrated marketing agency, he helps clients get clarity on their marketing strategy and create campaigns engineered to engage with their consumers to help drive sell-through. Most of all, Chris enjoys working with talented people who want to create great (& commercial) things not just tick boxes.

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