Best SEO Practices When Updating Your Website

1. Write Original Content

What’s Original Content? It’s content that doesn’t already exist somewhere on the Internet. Google likes Original Content because you’re adding to it’s database of information, not cluttering it up with things it already knows.

Simply rule of thumb is: Don’t copy and paste content from other websites and put it on yours, Google will know.

A good way to check if your content is already indexed in Google is to search for it using quotations around it. For instance, if you wanted to check if that last sentence I wrote is original you would search Google for “A good way to check if your content is already indexed in Google is to search for it with quotations around it.”

No results found for “A good way to check if your content is already indexed in Google is to search for it with quotations around it.”


Good, no results. Keep in mind Google will eventually index this blog and will have that exact sentence in it’s database then, so in theory this blog should be the only result at that point. Neat!

2. Use Relevant Keywords

Anytime you’re writing a blog, content for a website, or anything that you want visitors to read you should always keep in mind what search terms you’re hoping to be found for.

For instance, if your website is trying to sell blue trinkets you should use those words whenever possible. You’ll also want to know what other search terms might help you like variations of blue (aqua, light-blue) & trinkets (gadgets), or adding words like buy, sell, cheap, free shipping, etc.

If you don’t know what keywords you’re trying to rank for you should figure out immediately. If you don’t know, Google won’t know either.

In order for Google know how and why it should rank your site it needs to get a good understanding of what your site is about and that’s where keywords come in. If you don’t know what keywords your ranking for there are free tools available to help you decide like Google’s Keyword Tool or BuzzSumo. These tools can show you how commonly certain terms are searched for and other important information that can help you decide which keywords are for you.

3. Use Headers & Bold Tags

Header tags are a good way to let Google know what your site is about and improve your search engine rankings. If you’re creating a page about “blue trinkets” and would like to rank high in Google for it, you should make sure that “blue trinkets” is surrounded by the < h1 > < /h1 > tags. (Minus the spaces)

Example: < h1 >Blue Trinkets< /h1 >

You can do the same thing with other keywords by adding Bold , Italics  or Emphasis  tags, or even other header tags such as < h2 >,< /h2 > < h3 > < /h3 >, etc.

This is just a quick way of letting Google know what words are important on your page. Just like with everything else, when optimizing for Google don’t overdo it or it may result in a negative impact on your page.

4. Optimize your Image Size

The image on the left was pulled directly from a digital camera and left uncompressed. The result is a file size of 962kb (almost 1 megabyte).  The image on the right was optimized in an image editor and saved with compression, resulting in a file size of only 23kb (over 40 times smaller)

This means that the image on the right will load over 40 times faster than the one on the left, and will take a lot less bandwidth. Google loves optimized images so make sure that you do this for every image on your website so Google will reward you with better rankings.


Digital Marketing Agency in Dallas, Texas

If you don’t have an image editor you can use there are free tools available that can help you optimize your image size. Here are a few:

5. Use Proper Image Filenames

Google also pays attention to the filename of your images. For instance, the image on the left is named: atomic-web-design-dallas-coaster.jpg

While the image on the right remained unchanged from the original image filename and is named: IMG_20161010_092514-300×300.jpg

When deciding on filenames you should reference the search terms you’re trying to rank for. (We generously added “web design dallas” to the example above)

It’s also important to note that when using multiple words you should separate them with dashes and not underscores (because Google said so!)

6. Use Original Images When Possible

Google is pretty smart. Smart enough to know when an image exists elsewhere on the web. Just like Google rewards original content, they also reward better rankings for images that are original. If you can use an original image instead of a stock photo, or an image you’ve already used, try to do so.

I took the photo of the coaster with my phone, so I know it doesn’t exist anywhere else. Google likes that.

If you can’t use a completely original photo there are things you can do things to make your old photo, “new again” in a way. Things like cropping the image differently from the original, adjusting the colors/tone, reversing the image (unless it has text), or adding new elements like text or graphics.

For example, I took the coaster image from above, changed the tone, the size and added words and now it’s considered an original image.

Use Original Images


The “Language of the Internet” (HTML) allows for the use of tags on images to help better describe what it contains. The two tags that should be on every image are the ALT tag, and the TITLE tag.

The ALT tag is used for “alternate text” so that you can describe the image for those who have images turned off, search engines, visually impaired, etc. In the coaster image above we used the ALT tag of “Digital Marketing Agency in Dallas, Texas” which are a few of our main search keywords.

The TITLE tag should briefly describe what the image is. In this case, “Atomic Design and Consulting Coaster”. (You can check this by letting your mouse hover over the image.)

These rules aren’t strict, but avoid ‘stuffing’ a bunch of keywords in there because Google might notice and penalize you.

It’s important to note that by default these tags will either be empty or will just mirror whatever the filename is, so it needs to become habit that every image you’re adding, you’re also taking the extra time to add these important tags. If you Google doesn’t know what your image is, it can’t spread the word about how great it is.

And there you have it. Feel free to let us know if we missed any by sending us a message or leaving a comment!

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