Seo Basics

This page lists 10 tips to set up and properly structure your Google Site.
1. Research Your Keywords
Keywords Best Practices:
  • When creating your website, target keywords and search phrases with the right amount of traffic
    • Don't choose very popular search phrases, since you likely won't rank very well for them
    • Don't choose search phrases that don't receive any traffic, since your website won't have many visitors
  • It may be beneficial to target a specific group of keywords
    • The phrase "orange cats" return a significant volume of searches, which may indicate that there is too much competition for this phrase
    • The search phrase "orange fluffy cats" return very little data, which indicates that the audience for this search may not exist

How to Research Keywords
The following are searches made with Google Trends:




3. Accurate Page Titles
Best Practices:
  • Use a page title that reflects the actual content of the page
  • Use a unique title for each page on your website
  • Make sure your page title contains the primary keyword or phrase a user will use when finding your page
  • It's better to target one keyword than several
    • Do not stuff your title with several keywords

How to Change Page Titles
Navigate to your Google Sites page while signed in and click the Edit button.
The page title then becomes editable, as shown in the image below.




5. Well Structured Pages
Best Practices:
  • Use headers to highlight important text for your users and search engines
  •  Do not overuse headers 
    • Limit them to important section titles
How to Insert a Header
Navigate to your Google Sites page while signed in and click the Edit button.
Click on the location where your would like to insert your header, type your header text, highlight it with your mouse and then choose Format > Heading 2/3/4 as shown in the image below.




7. Promoting Your Website
Best Practices:
  • Make use of email marketing platforms (we recommend using Constant Contact)
  • Focus on targeted advertising
    • Advertise on social media to reach specific audiences
    • Advertise on blogs or websites in a similar niche
  • If you have a local business, use services like Google Places to reach customers
  • Avoid spamming links in comment sections
    • This may bring a temporary increase in traffic, but affects your long term PageRank
    • Many websites use a rel="nofollow" attribute for all links in the comments section, which means you won't benefit from that page's reputation
  • Build organic traffic
    • Integrate social media sharing buttons



8. Webmaster Tools
Best Practices:
  • Use webmaster tools to identify issues with your site
    • Fixing issues increases your position in search results
    • Webmaster tools can be used to submit sitemaps, which improves indexing of your website
  • Webmaster tools available from Google and Microsoft
  • Use analytics services to identify patterns in your traffic
    • Discover where your traffic originates
    • Analyse search words used to arrive at your website
  • The most common analytics program is Google Analytics



9. Using Google Analytics
Go to the Google Analytics page to sign in and retrieve the Google Analytics code. When prompted, enter the URL of your website and the other details requested. The final code should be in the form of UA-12345-12‎

Navigate to your Google Sites page while signed in and click the More Actions button.
Then, select Manage Site. Scroll down to the Statistics section, select Use Google Analytics in the Enable Analytics for this site section and paste your Google Analytics code into the space provided.




2. Page Description and URL
Description Best Practices:
  • This description may be included in search results 
    • Make sure it's engaging and reflects the page's content
  • Keep your description length to one or two sentences
  • Do not use multiple description tags on the same page
  • Do not use the description to list keywords
  • Avoid using the same description tag on several pages
URL Best Practices:
  • Try to include the main keyword you're targeting in your URL
  • Keep your URLs short, lowercase, easy to read and understandable for your visitors
    • Get your own domain name (we recommend GoDaddy.com) and avoid having "sites.google.com/site" in your domain
  • URLs are displayed in search results, so make them relevant to the content

How to Modify Page Descriptions/URLs
Navigate to your Google Sites page while signed in and click the More Actions button.

Then, select Page Settings. Here you can modify the page description and page URL.




4. Creating Links
Best Practices:
  • Use anchor text when creating a link
    • Make anchor text concise and related to the content of the page you are linking to
    • Do not use generic text, such as "click here"
  • Make sure links are easily identifiable and useful
    • Avoid using too many links that make website navigation difficult
How to Create Links with Anchor Text
Navigate to your Google Sites page while signed in and click the Edit button.
Type the anchor text onto the page, highlight it with your mouse, and then click the Add Link button in the toolbar. You can now pick a link from your own site, or choose a website address as shown in the image below.




6. Optimize Your Images
Best Practices:
  • Use well compressed formats to improve page load times
    • If transparency isn't needed, serve JPEG image formats to your users
    • Common image formats are JPEG, PNG, BMP and GIF
  • Use alt text and descriptive image names
    • Names should be short and reflect the image content
    • When an image is used as a link, use alt text
How to Insert an Image with Alt Text
Navigate to your Google Sites page while signed in and click the Edit button.
Click on the location where your would like to insert your image, and then choose Insert > Image as shown in the image below.


Select the image you want to insert, and then fill in the Alt Text input field.




10. Advertising Placements
Best Practices:
  • Do not push all of your content below the fold of the website to highlight advertisements
    • Make sure users can see the content they are looking for when the page loads
    • Hiding all of your content below the fold will lower your PageRank score and negatively affect your visitors
  • Place advertisements in areas that catch a users attention
    • A 720x80 ad near the top of your website
    • A 300x250 ad wrapped within your text content
  • Limit the number of placements on a single page
    • Three ads should generally be the maximum
    • Shorter pages should have fewer ads, and longer pages may have more (check with the ad network you are using)