How to implement better SEO

How to implement better SEO

Rai Omido

Table of contents

If you are a website developer, an SEO expert, or would like to promote online content via search, the guide is for you.

In this guide, I endeavor to help you understand how search engines work under the hood so that you can be able to make informed decisions when coming up with your SEO strategy.

# Introduction

Search Engine Optimization is the process of making small modifications to your website to make its content easily discoverable through a search engine's organic search results.

Organic search results are free listings in a search engine that appear because they are relevant to someone's search terms. The paid search results are referred to as paid advertisements.

A good SEO approach is one that is aimed at making user experience better.

~Objective of this guide

The main aim of this guide is to help you understand how to make your content optimized for Google's search. Since Google has a very high standard, tailoring your optimization to it is good enough. This approach will most likely take effect on other search engines as well.

This does not in any way restrict you from doing something about the other search engines. This only serves us well in narrowing our scope while still providing a good enough perspective with regards to search engine optimization.

# Commonly used terms

In this section, we are going to explore some of the commonly used terms in this guide and in SEO in general.

~Index

This is a database in which a search engine stores all web pages that it knows.

~Crawling

This is the process by which search engines look for new or updated web pages by following links, reading sitemaps and many other means.

A crawler - Is automated software that crawls pages and adds them to an index.

Google bot - This the name for Google's crawler.

# Check if your website is in Google's index

If are curious about whether your website is in Google's index, don't worry because, in this section, we are going to not only explore how to check if your website is indexed by Google, but also some reasons why it might not be indexed in case it isn't.

~Performing the check

To find out if your website is in Google's index, prefix your website's domain name with site:, then search for the term on Google. For instance, for this website, I would do site:raivill.com.

~Reasons for not being indexed

According to Google, if your website isn't indexed, it could be because;

  1. Your website isn't well connected to other sites on the web.
  2. Your website is new.
  3. Your content is difficult to crawl.
  4. Google found an error when trying to crawl your web page.
  5. Google has been blocked from crawling your website.

# Use sitemaps

There are a number of things you can do to help Google and other search engines find your content. One of the things you can do is to submit a sitemap.

~Creating a sitemap

A sitemap is a file that contains information about the pages and files on your website.

The first thing you need to do before you can be able to submit a sitemap is to create a sitemap. You can see how to create a sitemap on from this guide by Google.

It is however important to note that if your website has less than 500 pages, you do not need to submit a sitemap.

~Submitting a sitemap

First of all, you will need to upload your sitemap to your website's main entry point, where it will be available through a URL.

If you are using a site generator like WordPress, there are tools that can help you by automatically generating sitemaps for you. One such tool is the Yoast SEO plugin.

Once your sitemap is ready for submission, you can visit Google's search console, where you will be required to sign in with your Gmail account or register for a new one.

Once you are able to log in, you will be taken through steps to verify that you actually own the website whose sitemap you intend to submit. Once you go through these steps successfully, you will be able to access a dashboard with many options including one for submitting a sitemap.

Additionally, you may use the URL inspection tool to diagnose your website's URLs and fix possible issues with your links and content.

# Set up SEO tags

In order to help search engines understand your content, you need to add tags for the title, description, and keywords.

These tags should be placed within the <head> element of each of your web pages' HTML document.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
    <title></title>
    <meta name="description" content="">
    <meta name="keywords" content="">
</head>
<body>

</body>
</html>
~The Title Tag

This contains the topic for a particular web page.

This usually takes the form of;

<title>Your title goes here</title>
Best Practice
  • Each page should have a unique title.
  • The title should accurately describe the page's content.
  • Your titles should be brief and declarative.
  • Avoid stuffing unnecessary keywords in your title.
  • The best practice for naming is "Keyword | Keyword variation" e.g "Search Engine Optimization | How to implement better SEO", or, "Services | Software Development".
  • The recommended length is a max of 70 characters.
~The Description Meta Tag

This contains a summary of what a web page is about.

Search engines might use page descriptions as snippets. Social media platforms also rely heavily of page descriptions to generate snippets.

The description meta-tag looks like;

<meta name="description" content="Your description goes here">
Best Practice
  • The description must accurately summarize the page content.
  • Avoid generic descriptions like "This is a web page", or "Page about cakes".
  • Incorporate your keyword but avoid using keywords only.
  • Use a unique description for each page.
  • The recommended length is a max of 150 characters.
~The Keywords Meta Tag

This contains a series of comma-separated words that or phrases that people would potentially search for in search engines.

What happens is, you'll have to come up with a number of keywords that you want your content to rank for and then you add them to your web page's keywords meta tag.

Best Practice
  • Your keywords should be relevant to the page content.
~Types of Keywords

There are several types of keywords that you can have in your web pages. These are;

  • Short-tail keywords
  • Long-tail keywords

We are going to look at each of these next.

Short-tail keywords

These are search phrases comprised of only one or two words.

Their short length makes them less specific.

Creating short-tail keywords
  1. Make a list of 10 or so words associated with your product, service, or blog post.
  2. Use the Google trends tool to check the search volume and come up with variations as you see fit.

Long-tail keywords

These are comprised of more than two words.

Their lengthiness makes them more specific and more focused on a niche.

They have been found to have better prospects for conversion than short-tail keywords.

Creating long-tail keywords
  1. Use the short-tail keywords you create by following the previous steps to come up with long-tail keywords.
~The Page Content

Compelling and useful content has the greatest prospects for better ranking.

You should aim for creating new, useful content that no other sites possess. But most importantly, be as original as possible.

Best Practice
  • Write content that is easy to read.
  • Write your content well for users to read with ease.
  • Avoid grammatical and spelling errors.
  • Clearly organize your topics - Break your content into chunks to help users find the content they are looking for faster.
  • The content should be new and unique - Avoid copying existing content and using duplicate content on your website.
  • Target users and not search engines - You may fool search engines for while, but they will soon catch up. Build your website to fulfill users' needs, as much as you optimize for search engines.
  • Provide sufficient and factually accurate content - Be ready to invest time and effort to create content that is of high quality.
  • Make your content mobile-ready - You can choose a mobile strategy like responsive web design to make your website mobile-friendly.
~Linking

Once in a while, you might want to link to other pages from within some of your web pages. These could be pointing to content within your website (internal) or linking to other websites' pages (external).

Linking Best Practice
  • Avoid generic anchor text like, "click here". Instead, use descriptive text that provides useful information about the page linked to.
  • Unless necessary, avoid using the page's link as the anchor text.
  • Make anchor text distinguishable from regular text.
  • When necessary, add rel="nofollow" on anchor tags to prevent spammy websites from ruining your site's reputation.

# Conclusion

This guide could not be achieved without great insights from the Google Search Quality Team and Hubspot