A new cheat sheet from Google Webmaster Tools says that website optimization comes down to three basic things: look good in the search results, help Google understand images, and update and keep going – that’s it!
This one page publication, dubbed a “first-steps cheat sheet for friends and family” – in other words, for folks who have just set up a blog or website for the first time, but who haven’t really given search much thought – gives concise tips on how to optimize your website, complete with illustrated examples.
Under “look good in the search results”, site authors are encouraged to use descriptive page titles, reader-friendly URL structures, and unique meta descriptions. Helping Google understand images is as simple as using short, descriptive file names, employing the “alt” attribute, and including image captions. And to explain “update and keep going”, Google uses an analogy: “Your website is like a virtual storefront. You wouldn’t leave a store unattended for 6 months, right? Keep your site fresh by starting a blog, announcing new products, sales, and special offers. Remember to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and make sure you provide them with the information they need.”
To anyone with any amount of SEO experience, this is pretty basic stuff. But it’s a great resource for anyone who’s intimidated by Google’s more sophisticated SEO resources, and overall, serves as a good reminder of the key elements of good website optimization.