Nine questions about your website
How many pages does your website have? How many are in Google?
For your pages to be visible in Google, they must first be in Google. One quick way to check is to use a search operator - a special kind of search using Google. Type the following in Google, without any spaces and hit search:
In what searches do you currently appear in Google search results?
There are commercial tools that attempt to track this but the best tool for your own site is Google Search Console, which is free.
On a scale of 0-100, how fast is your website?
You can find Google's answer to this for free at Google Pagespeed Insights.
Does your website pass Google’s ‘mobile-friendly’ test?
You can find the answer at the Google Mobile-friendly Test.
Where, physically does your website live?
The files that a visitor receives when they visit your website are held on a server (if you have your own hosting) or perhaps on many servers (if you are hosted on a cloud platform). (One definition of a server is 'somebody else's computer'). Many businesses on LCB course have been surprised to find their website is hosted in Germany, Ukraine or Arizona.
Find out where your website lives through Check-host.
What security measures does your website have?
Websites that don't use https now often cause security warnings to be flagged by web browsers, especially Google Chrome - download it to check if you don't have it.
Hacked websites are removed from Google, so you should take notice of vulnerabilities such as these outlined in 11 Ways To Make Your Wordpress Website Hackable.
Are you on the map? Does your business appear in local search?
Do your search listings get any enhancements?
Some searches are enhanced with star ratings, images, videos or knowledge graph panels. Try searching for your brand to see if you can spot any enhanced listings.
Does Google recognise you and/or your business?
When you type your brand name in Google slowly, does Google offer to autocomplete it? When you search for your business, do you see a Knowledge Graph entry?
A Lexicon of SEO
Alt text - Alternative text description of the content of an image, provided for accessibility of webpages. As image recognition and understanding has been difficult for search engines, alt text has been used as an important clue as to image content.
Anchor text - the text of a clickable link. The most popular anchor text is probably 'click here'.
Branded Search - search for your business or brand name.
Black Hat SEO - SEO tactics that contravene Google's terms of service.
Citation - A mention of your business, including your NAP, on another website.
Clickthrough Rate - The rate at which search users click your listing in the search results.
Entity - A person, place or thing. Entities can be named and specific e.g. Manchester, UK or general e.g. Paint
(the) Fold - named after the newspaper practice of making headlines visible when the paper is carried folded, the fold is the area of a webpage that is visible to the user before they scroll or click. In a world of multiple devices, the fold is not fixed but varies by device.
Googlebot - Google's software that vistis webpages to check for changes and discover new content
Google My Business (GMB) - A control panel provided for free by which business owners can add and amend some of their information that is shown by Google
Google Search Console (GSC) - An online tool which can be used to manage the relationship between a website and Google Search
Google Quality Raters Guidelines [QRG] - A set of guidelines that are used by Google to instruct human raters how to assess the quality of websites.
Headings - Headings are used to label sections of webpages and to communicate their prominence and structure. The highest-level heading, h1, is generally regarded as important for signalling page relevance to search engines.
Index - Google stores information about webpages and other media in an index, a database of information. Search results are chosen from the index.
Keyword - a significant word used within a search query
Knowledge Graph - Google's database of knowledge about entities
Local Pack - The results that appear along with a Google Map
Manual Action - Google uses a webspam team to occasionally penalise websites who contravene its terms of service. The most famous and visible manual action was taken against JCPenney in 2011.
Meta Description - Like the page title, the meta description was intended to be a label for the page that was not necessarily included within the page. It was intended to be a short summary or synopsis of the contents of the page. The meta description is often shown as Google's search description, although this is by no means automatic.
n-gram - In natural language analysis an n-gram is a sequence of words. n-grams are named by the number of words they contain eg. bigram, trigram or 2-gram, 3-gram, 4-gram
NAP - Your Business Name, Address and Phone Number. Consistency of your NAP across everywhere it is visible online is a key determinant of local search rankings.
Onpage SEO - the part of SEO that concentrates on changing and improving webpages
Offpage SEO - the part of SEO that concentrates on changes made beyond the website
Page title - A title for a web page that is intended to act as a label. It is not displayed on the page but may be displayed by search engines or when the page is shared through social media. It is often chosen by Google as its Search Title. The original specification for the page title suggested a length of not more than 64 characters as ideal to be always visible, although no limit was set on the length of a page title.
Search Description - In the 'classic' search results, Google shows a short description of the linked page. The description has a length limit which changes frequently and is different according to device. The current range is between about 150 and 230 characters.
Search intent - what the user of a search query actually wants, as distinct from than the words they typed or said
Search Query - a set of words that a search user types or says into a search engine
Search title - In the 'classic' search results, Google shows a short title, for which it often chooses the page title. The search title has a length limit, meaning that it is sensible to keep your page title shorter if you want all of it to appear as the search title. The current (January 2019) length of the search title is in the range of 70 -78 characters (including spaces) and variable by device.
Site Map - An html site map is a web page that lists the pages of the site, as an aid to navigation. An xml sitemap is a list of pages in machine-readable format that is used to help search engines to discover and crawl content.
Structured data - A way of adding metadata to a webpage to explain the relationships between the elements of the page, and its relationship to entities.
url - the unique address of a web page or other resource that identifies where it can be found
Free Tools and Services To Be Used In The Course
Google Lighthouse (also available as part of Google Chrome Developer Tools)