The different faces of SEO optimization

The different faces of SEO optimization

Nowadays, SEO is a complicated and complex process of building trust in the eyes of search engine robots. Algorithms take into account more and more ranking factors, but the basics of action are clearly defined. High-quality content and links from trusted sources win. We present the basics that every person who is interested in traffic acquisition from search engines should know.

What is SEO?

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – is the process of optimizing the entire website to increase the quantity and quality of traffic from natural and organic search results in a search engine (eg. Google).

SEO vs SEM

SEO is a component of SEM (Search Engine Marketing) activities, which includes not only traffic from organic search results, but also paid advertising for each click or display in the search engine.

Goals and Effects

It may seem that the main goal of the SEO specialist is to improve the position in the search engine. The most important goal during the SEO process is conversion. For an online store, it will simply be transactions made, for a blog the number of visits and subscriptions, for a service website, the number of calls and inquiries. Improving your position is only a way to gain valuable traffic and is not the most important thing. The first step in action should be to define the business goal of the website. After that, select keywords that will bring you valuable users. Then, and only then, you can be concerned with increasing the position for a very wide range of phrases that are relevant to the website’s activity. The next step should be to optimize the experience of users who have already entered the site. It should be easier for them to navigate through it so that the business goals of the website are achieved as soon as possible. In other words, you are not only interested in the amount of traffic, but also about its quality.

SEO Audit

The first step before starting work on the website should be an SEO audit that will help determine the scale of the project. Automatic tools for checking selected page elements will help you find basic errors. However, nothing can replace the search for potential sites for website optimization on your own.

The first analysis of this type takes several hours. With a person experienced in conducting audits, you can expect a large number of applications after the first several dozen minutes of work. You can then define elements that need urgent optimization, as well as activities that can be spread over time and those that will not be prioritized at the beginning of the project.

Audits should be done regularly, as there are always elements on websites that should be improved and optimized. It is also worth remembering that Google guidelines and trends in the construction of websites change quickly, and your website should always be up to date with them.

SEO Factors

Search engine algorithms have become more and more complex and complicated over time. Nowadays, it is difficult to measure the factors that affect the positioning of a website in the search engine. However, they can be easily divided into several groups, but it is impossible to clearly define which factors are the most important. It is best to try to optimize all, as far as possible.

Domain

The top pages in search results have a history of its existence of more than 3 years. The trust in the domain is built gradually and with the proper running of the website, the domain will gain automatically.

Content

One of the most important ranking factors. Content plays an amazing role in the evaluation of a website. Keywords, content length, quality, uniqueness, as well as its originality and the information that the page carries with it, is the key to increasing your visibility on the web.

Technical building of the website

In order for the website to get high positions in the search engine, you need to ensure the quality of the code. Above all, you need to enable search engine crawlers to easily index the content on your site. It is important to use the right code elements, special markings for the most important information, internal linking, and much more. Without this element, even the best content will not get high positions in the search engine.

Link profile

We mean all links coming to the page. Take both”dofollow” and “nofollow” links into account. You must make sure that they come from trusted, high-quality websites, thematically related to your site.

Social Media

The search engine robot must receive signals about the presence of your website on social media. This builds trust in the brand, differentiates the link profile, and shows the activity of your business.

Mobile version

Having a website version for mobile devices is a must today. All search engines pay attention to this, and Google sees the mobile version as default these days.

Page speed

Another factor worth working on is page loading speed. No user wants to visit a page where he waits for more than a few seconds for valuable information.

Security

In times where payment transactions are made via the Internet, an SSL certificate, website encryption, and care for the safety of your users’ data are a must. Additionally, attention should be paid to the privacy policy of all legal regulations related to data protection.

UX

Along with the development of search engine algorithms, User Experience is gaining more and more importance. Search engine robots already take into account the structure of the website, its architecture, and Call-To-Action elements. Your website should focus on increasing the importance of user experience as an SEO ranking factor.

SEO analysis tools

Over the years, many organizations have built several tools that allow you to automate website analysis in terms of SEO. Depending on their purpose, they can be used to verify the technical structure of the website, the linking profile of the domain, or the quality of your content. Some tools also work as plugins for selected CMS systems.

Google Search Console

A free tool that allows you to check basic data and statistics regarding the visibility of your website on Google, such as the number of visits to the website from the search engine, the indexation status of the website, analysis of internal and external links.

Google Analytics

A powerful tool for accurately tracking traffic on your website. Here you can check not only the number of users but also their location, demographic data, the technology they used, the channel of user acquisition, or the path of their stay on the website.

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test

A simple tool that checks the adaptation of a website to mobile devices and indicates errors that need to be corrected.

PageSpeed Insights

A tool that allows you to evaluate the speed of your website. It will check the latency to the first bit, load time, and other parameters, as well as suggest elements that should be improved to increase the speed of your website.

Google Keyword Planner

Keyword Planner, available as part of the Google Ads service, allows you to search for new keywords as well as check the number of monthly searches for a given phrase.

Ahrefs

A comprehensive and paid SEO tool that allows you to analyze the link profile of the website. In addition, it has modules of website visibility, keyword analysis, a publication search engine based on a given phrase, automatic technical audit of the website, and many others.

Majestic

Another tool whose primary function is to analyze the link profile of the domain. It allows you to evaluate incoming links and search for potential linking sites.

Screaming Frog

A computer program that allows a detailed analysis of the structure of your website. It is an extensive crawler that will find broken links, redirects, and will allow you to analyze elements such as the title and description of the page, headers or sitemaps, find duplicate content, and many more.

Surfer

A tool that allows you to compare your website to the best websites for a given phrase in terms of the amount of content and used elements such as headings, titles, and alternative descriptions of photos. It allows you to easily determine the amount of content you need.

Senuto

Senuto is a tool whose main function is to analyze the website’s visibility on the Google search engine. It allows us to determine approximately how many keywords your website has displayed in the selected position ranges.

Semstorm

This tool is another solution that shows the visibility of the website on the Internet. This is possible thanks to position monitoring combined with competition analysis.

Keyword Tool

An alternative to Google Keyword Planner. It allows you to easily find key phrases for which you should position your website and determine its potential.

GTmetrix

A tool that measures the speed of your website accurately. It allows for an extensive analysis of the loading of individual elements, photos, and scripts on the website.

Yandex.Metrica

This is an alternative to Google Analytics created by the Yandex search engine team used mainly in Russian-speaking countries. In addition to standard reports on the number of users, their data, and behavior, it allows you to record sessions and accurately track user steps.

Sitechecker

It is a tool that allows you to easily analyze the basic SEO errors appearing on the website.

SEO Strategy

Before starting the activities and after performing the website audit, you need to think about the strategy of SEO activities. It is a long and labor-intensive process, so it is not worth starting a project without an overall plan. You need to consider what area of ​​keywords you will operate. Analyze how well your competitors perform similar activities, how difficult your industry is, and estimate the costs that you will have to incur to do this work. It is not worth joining extensive SEO activities if you know that you do not have the appropriate budget for this.

A thorough analysis of keywords, their potential, and difficulty in positioning will be necessary here. Then you need to check what content is displayed in the top positions. Assess how much you lack to catch up with them and find the factor that will make you stand out from the crowd.

In the beginning, it is also worth carrying out a full technical optimization. With a website prepared in this way, it will start building content that will be as good or better than the content of the competitors. Finally, you will build a link profile from high-quality domains that are thematically related to the website.

You must remember that all these activities cost and require work. SEO effects are the overall cost of improving the visibility of the website, and not, as in the case of PPC campaigns. The work will be spread over time, but it will give results that last longer (but not forever).

SEO Activities

You divide all SEO activities into on-site and off-site activities. The first group is work related to the establishment of your website and the content available there. Off-site activities are about building your visibility beyond your domain – these will be activities on social media and gaining valuable links.

Website optimization – SEO on-site

Nowadays, website optimization is not only an important element in the context of SEO activities. Of course, it will improve the website’s position in the search results, but it will also improve the operation of the website and make it easier for users to obtain valuable information or make purchases. Optimizing a page concerns both its text and technical layers. It is necessary to ensure quick action, transparency for the user, valuable information in the content, and enable its simple indexing for search engine robots.

Content

The content you create for the website works as the basis of SEO activities. You will place keywords and the algorithm will evaluate the subject of your website. Above all, the content placed on the website should be unique. Search engine algorithms do not accept pages that copy their content from other sites. It must be of high quality and provide valuable information from the user’s point of view. In addition, it must also be linguistically correct and visually attractive. To see how much you are missing from the competition, check the pages visible in TOP10 for the most important phrases. Verify whether your competitors create extensive content on service subpages, whether the website has a blog with thematic articles, and whether products and categories are accurately described. It’s worth taking advantage of tools such as ahrefs and checking out the most popular blog articles with topics similar to your website and try to create more interesting content.

Keywords

For most of the subpages on your website, you should select the keywords for which this address should be displayed on Google. Then it is necessary to ensure that the text includes these key phrases in different language forms and at regular intervals. However, you must not overdo it.

Meta – Title Optimization

The Meta-Title element is the page title specified in the head section. It should be approximately 70 characters long. However, its length is counted in pixels (600px) so it can be shorter or longer depending on the characters you have used. Importantly, it should directly describe what can be found on the page, be naturally supplemented with keywords, and end with the name of the company or domain.

Meta – Description optimization

This is the description shown in the search results and it can be found in the head section of the HTML code. It is not a ranking factor, but it may encourage the user to choose your website. It should be approximately 150-160 characters long and should contain a short description of what can be found at the selected address.

Optimizing your headlines

One H1 tag should be placed on each subpage of your website. Additionally, carefully plan your H2-H6 header structure for all your content. You should not use this type of element for permanent fragments of content on your website, links in the menu, etc. Headlines should also be reasonably supplemented with selected keywords.

Optimization of alternative descriptions

Each graphic that you use on the website should have its alternative description (alt = “). There you should briefly describe the content of the photo. This element can be supplemented with keywords.

Additional elements

All your content should look attractive. You should try to place on your website appropriate video materials, graphics, extensive infographics, and diversify the texts with bulleted and bold lists.

Server responses

The response code is a numeric piece of information sent by the server that simply identifies the server’s response. They determine whether a given address has important content, redirects, or maybe an error page.

SSL certificate

An SSL certificate is a solution that allows you to encrypt your website and makes sure that connecting to it becomes safe. This is especially important in the case of online stores where customers make their online payments.

301 redirects per page

Because for Google the address www.your-domain.com and your-domain.com are two different URLs, you should ensure the presence of basic 301 redirects. The website should be available only under one version of the address with www / without www and HTTP / HTTPS. The page should also be available in one version of the address with and without the “/” at the end. For permanent redirects, you should use 301 redirects. In some situations, canonical links may be interchangeable.

Canonical links

The canonical link is a special meta tag entered in the head section of the page’s code. It informs the search engine robot that the content of the page on which you are ultimately staying should be at the address indicated there.

Unlocking the possibility of indexing

Remember that your website must be unblocked for search engine robots. The most popular ways to control bot traffic are the robots.txt file at the root of the website and the meta robots tag in the head section of the website’s code. However, it is worth thinking about blocking useless pages.

Language versions

The href language tags in the head section define the addresses at which the corresponding content is found in different languages.

Page speed

Page speed has been a ranking factor for a long time. It is worth ensuring that the website loads quickly in the desktop and mobile versions.

Mobile version of the website

Nowadays, a website must have a version for mobile devices. It’s worth checking it out at https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly. This is a tool from Google that will allow you to determine if your website is mobile-friendly.

Friendly addresses

It is about the method of building the URLs of subsequent subpages on the website. The address domain.com/offer/product-name will look much better here than all other combinations containing random numbers, special characters, and other unreadable information. This is important both for the website user, who will find it easier to navigate through the website and for the SEO results.

Navigation

Remember that both the robot and the ordinary user of the website will want to navigate it efficiently. That is why page navigation is extremely important. All its elements, such as the main menu, side menu, and other internal links must be thought out. It is worth making sure that the links to the most important subpages of your website are always available in the main menu. However, remember that it must remain transparent.

No self-links

A self-link is a link that points to the same page it is on. They can often be found, for example, in the title of the article. When you click them, the page will simply reload. It is worth considering removing links from such elements.

sitemap.xml

The sitemap.xml file in the Google Search Console tool will help index all subpages. It facilitates the work of search engine robots. It is worth creating this file and making sure that all-important subpages of your website are there, and that their list is regularly updated.

Microdata

These are special tags that facilitate the interpretation of the most important information on the page for search engine robots. It is worth using schema.org to see its full list. For each website, there will be at least a few tags that you should apply. These will include Organization, Website, Postal Address, Product, and many, many more. You can enter the company’s contact details, social profiles, product descriptions, information about the author of entries, and more.

Logo optimization

Remember that the logo visible at the top of the page is well optimized. This is a very important element of the website, which for search engine robots will always be associated as a graphic for your company’s brand. You should put the word “logo” in the file name and optionally your company name. The graphic should be linked to the home page and provided with an alternative description of the photo with the name of your company.

Outbound links

If your website has outbound links to other domains, make sure to include the rel = “nofollow” attribute in them. This will prevent the search engine crawler from reaching the page indicated by the link. Of course, you don’t have to block all links – you can leave a few links to your websites, valuable sources, or partners unblocked.

Images

Each image on the page should be described with an alt = ” element. There should be a short description of what you can see in the photo.

Breadcrumb

The path of a given subpage is displayed most often in the upper part of the website and shows where you are in the page structure. It should be supplemented with relevant schema.org data.

and other

Unfortunately, there are many more important on-site factors to SEO. The above list is the most important of them. This type of position is where the website audit and optimization work begins.

The whole process is to get links to your website. On this basis, the Google algorithm will evaluate the site’s popularity on the web and calculate the positions for individual keywords of the domain in the search results. Links will simply link to a domain from other sites on the web. After clicking on such links, the browser should open your website. The link on the website can be placed in the form of a text fragment, an exact address, or even graphics. In the website code, the link should look something like this: <a href=otykhttp://yourdomain.com “Link content </a>. Also, be aware of the “dofollow” and “nofollow” attributes for the link. They are added as an additional fragment of the above code. The “dofollow” attribute always means more value to your SEO efforts. It “encourages” the search engine robot to follow the link. Theoretically, the “nofollow” attribute blocks the robot’s access to the link content, but such links are also valuable for the positioning process and development of a diverse link profile.

Potential link sources:

All links should come from pages that are at least partially thematically related to your business. These should be high-quality websites that look modern, have valuable content, and are visible on Google. It is also worth trying to fight for links from governmental or educational domains.

Guest articles

It’s a good idea to work with blog and website owners to publish articles about your business. If you provide them with valuable and interesting content, they may link it to your website in return.

Sponsored articles

It’s the kind of guest article that you have to pay for. Prepare high-quality content with a link to the page, and the portal owner publishes it for the price he sets.

Business partners and organizations

All companies and organizations you work with certainly have their websites. It is worth asking them to publish a reference to your topic or to put a link with the logo in the “Partners” section.

Comparison engines and internet rankings

Try to find articles and websites that talk about your service or products. You may be able to get a link that will point to your website.

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iCEA Group
Category: SEO
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