SEO positioning has become the essential element to increase the traffic of our website and display it among the first results of Google searches. This activity is so important for the digital world, that we have decided to create a guide that compiles from the most basic to interesting keys from SEO experts for people who are a little more advanced in the subject, including several crucial tools throughout the article.
What does SEO positioning mean?
The acronym SEO comes from the English Search Engine Optimization, which means search engine optimization. Google defines SEO positioning as the ” process of improving a website so that search engines can understand it better “, but to make it easier for you, we could understand it as the act of working on improving a web page so that it can appear among the first results of search engines such as Google, Yahoo! Search, Bing, etc
All these actions that are carried out to achieve a good positioning are governed, for the most part, following the Google algorithm, which is the most used search engine on the entire web.
This algorithm is a conglomerate of mathematical operations that are responsible for positioning each web page in the world in the Google search engine, for this reason, it has been thoroughly studied by experts to discover the trick and know exactly how Google locates websites. in the first positions of your search engine. However, there is a small problem: the algorithm changes hundreds of times a year, making it very difficult to discover the secret behind it.
Despite the difficult task, certain criteria have been generalized that will help your website achieve a good position. Google itself has offered recommendations and this, along with advice from other experts, is what you will read next.
What are the basic steps to optimize my website?
Pay close attention to the title of your page
The first thing you should know is that the title of your page ( title ) must be as concise, natural, unique, and descriptive as possible since it is the first thing that users will see when carrying out their searches. It is highly recommended to enter a keyword related to the content of your site, the products or services you offer, the name of your brand if you have one, what you constantly talk about, etc. In this way, you will help the Google bot to differentiate your page from the others. Avoid at all costs selecting a name that is not related at all to what is published on your page and that contains unnecessary keywords. Also, try to make it with a maximum length of 65 characters, since what is written after this limit is not displayed in the search results.
The “meta description” can be a great ally
Many people ignore how useful the description meta tag can be to position their pages since it not only provides the user with more information about the website but the content of it is taken into account by Google crawlers to return results. depending on what people are looking for.
That brief description that you see under the title of the page when you search must contain keywords that users can search for and above all, be suggestive to click.
CTR is key
Both the title and the meta description are essential for the CTR. .
( Click Through Rate) The CTR is the frequency with which people click on our content compared to the number of times it is displayed. A good CTR can help a lot to position your website above your competition. So in addition to having keywords, do not forget that they must be suggestive.
The description meta tag is located in the header of the HTML source code (<head>) and until recently it was managed that it should have an average length of 150 characters.
- RECOMMENDED TOOLS : If you use WordPress, the Yoast SEO Plugin is an excellent tool to determine when the meta description is too long or too short , as well as the title of your post.
Hierarchize the content to give it a better structure
Not only is it pertinent that you use H1, H2, and H3 to highlight relevant aspects of the content of your web page, but these can help you better structure the information so that it is pleasant for the user and so that the user can navigate easily, understanding it much better. what you are trying to communicate to them. For this, the ideal is that you analyze very well what the main and secondary elements of the page are, so you will determine your structure. This does not mean that it is correct to clutter the page with headers, remember that excess is not good.
Use structured data to better describe your page
Structured data is elements that you can add to your page to help Google rank your content and draw the attention of users. For example, if you search for a recipe, you’ll often see page boxes showing reader ratings, prices, dish ingredients, thumbnail images, etc. These elements (known as ” rich results “) are structured data that allows you to search for recipes. they give people more confidence to click on these websites, because not only has it been recommended and commented on by others, but it provides more information about the content quite quickly and briefly.
Think about it, what would you click first? A page that has ratings, votes, and opinions or one that just shows the page title and description?
According to Google, some of the important things you can show with structured data are:
- Products you sell.
- Location of the company.
- Videos about your products or your company.
- Opening times.
- Event lists.
- The company logo, among others.
Organize and rank all the relevant URLs on your website
Both Google and users need to rank all the pages within your website. Not only because it is much more orderly, but because it makes navigation more fluid so that Internet users can easily find what they are looking for.
The content of your sites, such as the products/services you offer and variations of your page such as language, region, etc., should be built with different URLs so that page duplication is avoided and it can appear properly in search.
It is recommended that your homepage or main page be the one that starts the navigation and from there, think about how readers or customers can navigate to certain pages of the website with more specific content. One of the most common ways to do this is through internal links and breadcrumbs.
These routes are those links that are generally located at the top of the website that allow you to return to the previous page, go to the homepage, or a specific category. Inside our blog, you can see it: under the title of this article, you can see a kind of bar that contains two links (the homepage and the category or collection where the article is located) and your current site, that is, the publication that you are reading right now.
If you have an eCommerce, the ideal would be to place your products by category on your home page, so the user can go to what they need or are interested in without any inconvenience. You must do this trying not to separate the content too much, that is, that a client must click 15 times to reach what they are interested in is something that you should avoid, the faster the better.
Optimize your URL
Letting URLs get surprisingly long and crammed with numbers can hurt visits to your website. In principle, it can become an intimidating factor for users, in addition to giving the visitor a better idea of what is found in the link.
The ideal is to introduce keywords or words related to the content of the page in a quite natural way. For example, if you’re publishing an article about the ten hottest places on the planet, ideally your URL should contain the most relevant words in that title, something like ten-hottest-places-planet, so you’re not just shortening the address, but you give the reader more information and increase the chances that your page will be found with these keywords since Google crawls even the most complicated URLs.
In addition to this, it is recommended that you indicate in the URL in which part of your website the user is located, so you can allow him to be located easily. For example, if the article on the ten hottest places on the planet was in the category “curiosities”, you could build the URL by prefixing the name of that category:
Again, if you use WordPress you can easily set these options and run this action by default, from Settings > Permalinks.
But beware, if you already have your website positioned, you will have to do 301 redirects so that Google indexes it well, all you want to do is change the URLs. There are plugins for it, although the simplest way is from the .htaccess file
RECOMMENDED TOOLS : Google Search Console is a very powerful and mandatory free tool for SEO . With it you will be able to discover the performance of your website, organize your pages for indexing, avoid having duplicate content, perform maintenance on your website, solve spam or malware problems, know about penalties and inconveniences with your website, know with what keywords users have found your content, test the mobile version of your website, among many other functions. In short, a tool that can not be missing in your day to day as SEO.
Keep your sitemap organized and up to date
As we have said before, the idea is to create a web page that allows fluidity and is easy for users to navigate. However, to take full advantage of the structure and content of it, it is recommended that you create a sitemap file in XML format in which all the most important URLs of your website are stored along with the update dates, this way you will keep the Google index up to date with the news.
All this includes the debugging, substitution, or redirection of broken links since it is not convenient for SEO positioning that 404 pages are indexed because it directly affects your popularity and quality (what was previously known as page authority). In case these incidents occur, it is best to create a custom 404 page that can redirect users to another active page or the homepage of your website.
Many use Atlassian’s tool, Statuspage, to respond appropriately to users when these incidents occur, instead of giving them impersonal messages like “Error 404”, “Not found”, etc.
- RECOMMENDED TOOLS : If you use WordPress , a tool that can help you a lot with this sitemap is the Google XML Sitemaps plugin , which will improve the indexing of your website by structuring it correctly and notifying Google every time you create a post about new content. . Another alternative to WordPress is Yoast SEO itself (mentioned above), which also generates your XML Sitemap for you.
Quality content is essential in SEO
Gone are the days when a web page could be positioned with plagiarized content, full of keywords and that did not contribute anything to the user. Currently, quality content is one of the elements that Google most values to position a web page and the truth is that if your site has this feature it is very easy to generate much more organic growth and little by little the same users recommend others to visit you.
Google is a fan of extensive content, so it is recommended that you write articles or pages of more than 300 words, all depending on the nature of your website, that is, if you have an eCommerce, brief content may work better, unlike a more specialized blog or website which will require length and depth. This does not mean that you will beat around the bush in the text to reach a certain amount of words, extend yourself if you think it is necessary, not to fill in.
How to make quality content?
Although this can be subjective, let’s say that quality content adds value and generates interest in the user. To achieve this, it is essential to carry out a thorough search for keywords related to the topic you want to develop, because everything is focused on understanding how it works and the user who is searching thinks that, as you may suppose, has multiple intentions. Some are looking to buy, some are looking to be informed, some are looking to be entertained, etc., so you must take into account the target audience of your website so that you can better target the content, do a keyword search correctly and use them successfully.
Once you have achieved this, originality and creativity will play a fundamental role in attracting visits to your website, because not only will they differentiate it from the rest, but they will also add a lot of value within your niche or your target. Avoid plagiarism and deception with duplicate content, because Google penalizes it and can eliminate the results of your page in its search engine.
Misspellings and writing should be taken care of because there is nothing more frightening than a page full of errors.
Distributes and structures content very well
The vast majority of Internet users are tired of finding web pages whose content is scattered, with large paragraphs, without subtitles or separations, it is not visually attractive. So, as with the elements of the pages of your website, you must organize and structure the theme in a way that users find meaning in it and can even scroll to what interests them most, since many times they are looking for something specific. that they can easily find if, for example, you divide the content into sections, lists or subheadings that catch their attention.
Keywords and long tails: how to use them correctly
We mentioned before that performing a keyword search is crucial to know and understand how users think, in addition to determining which keywords you want your web page to be found with. However, care must be taken not to use them excessively or fall into what Google calls keyword stuffing (and which it does not like at all).
You see, the more natural it seems that you enter a keyword, the better. Avoid adding or saturating your content with keywords so that the search engine positions you, what you will achieve is irritating users and even confusing them. To do this, introduce synonyms and use secondary or long-tail keywords that will not only enrich the content of your page but will help you rank better when semantic searches are performed, that is when users use long phrases. to search for content.
Currently, it is more than proven that this type of search is very common, especially since more and more virtual assistants or voice searches have been incorporated. It is usually then that instead of searching for “Italian restaurant” one searches for “what are the best Italian restaurants in the area?” or “best Italian restaurants in Madrid”.
FACT : Long tails words are very important in SEO, because although they are specific and have a low search volume compared to shorter keywords , they are characterized by high conversion rates, they reflect the user’s search intention and they are less competitive, that is, it is easier for them to position themselves well in the search engine. In fact, about 70% of search traffic is generated through long tails .
How to find the longtail keywords?
It is recommended that to find the right long-tail words or with which you want to guide the search towards your website, you develop a strategy where you use specialized tools to put together a list, as well as take into account Google autocomplete, search suggestions from Google, etc
Not only will this allow you to incorporate them into your pages, but it will also help you think of relevant content that can be built around them. For this reason, companies or e-commerce have decided to have a blog within their website to better position themselves with the content and attract users who search for keywords related to the product or service they offer and, be careful! This does not mean that you will write these long tails dozens of times, but rather that you will build content that responds to them. Distribute them around your title, your meta description, etc., you can even create a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page where you incorporate many of these keywords. Remember: write more for users than for search engines.
Once you have all your keywords, it is advisable to use bold and italics to indicate to the Google bot that these keywords stand out among the others.
Finally, when you put your keywords inside your titles and subtitles, make sure they are as far to the left as possible and that you put them in the first paragraph of your page.
RECOMMENDED TOOLS :
1. Google Adwords Keywords Planner : It will provide you with important data on searches, demographics, brainstorming and targeting based on language.
2. Keywordtool.io : With this tool you will not only get more than 750 ideas and suggestions for keywords, but you will also be able to visualize the questions that users usually ask related to your keyword .
3. Ubersuggest : Enter a keyword and from it it will throw several keyword suggestions that are segmented according to country and language. In addition, it shows you interesting data related to the search volume of akeyword , SEO difficulty and a SERP analysis.
4. Google Trends and SEMrush : With Google Trends you will be able to know what the Google search trends are and it will show you topics and queries related to search terms, as well as the popularity of these segmented by world regions and languages. SEMrush allows you to analyze your competition by visualizing the keywords they have used to position themselves, their traffic and their ranking. With this you can improve your strategy, as well as receive ideas to build the long tails .
Links are essential elements to achieve the popularity of your website. There are two types within your site: the internal ones, which take the user to other pages of your same website; and the external ones, which direct the user to the content of other websites, but what many omit is the importance that should be given to the anchor text or the visible text of the link
This text will allow users to scroll better on your page and will give Google more information about the content of the site you have linked to. ITheyrecommend that the link should contain a concise idea of what users will find on this page
So, although we see it often, the name of a link shouldn’t be“here”, “article”, “click here”, etc.
The dofollow and nofollow
Another thing that you must take into account with external links is the type of pages you are linking to because by doing this you are telling Google that you recommend it and it follows it to analyze it (what is known as dofollow links ), which it has a direct impact on your reputation, that is, Google understands them as “votes” that we give. What’s more, we give up a bit of authority that can go to the competition, this is recommended only in cases where the web pages are popular, of quality or of great value for the subject you are talking about on your site or in if we reach an agreement with said page to externally link our websites.
Note that links will default to the dofollow command, so if you want to link to a page but don’t want to give it part of your reputation you should specify it with a nofollow link by adding “rel=”nofollow” to the link tag. For example:
<a href=”https://explainedideas.com/” rel=”nofollow”>Link text</a>
This option is also used for links shared in user comments on your pages that may contain disreputable websites, spam, third-party widgets, etc. Although if you have a page where you want no links to be tracked, you have the option of including the <meta name=”robots” content=”nofollow”> tag to the <head> section of your web page.
Now that you know the immense importance of links, you must deduce that, consequently, there are strategies that seek to increase the authority or popularity of your page through them, mainly with backlinks, which are those incoming links to our website. , that is, when another page shares a link to our website.
A good link-building strategy receives links from websites with great popularity and quality content related to the topics of your page. For this, many specialists apply many techniques, among them are:
- Contact bloggers and pages of the niche to agree on mentions in publications or articles. To make it more natural, you could organize an event in which they participate and later tell the experience on their websites. Or just check if someone has mentioned your page on their website and contact them to link to you (in case they haven’t already).
- Create specialized articles where, for example, they interview or ask for the opinion of bloggers and experts; If the result is of quality and each one receives a fair space, surely the participants will want to link to your page on their websites. For this technique to work best, you should ideally cultivate good relationships with these people and do some networking.
- Create fictitious accounts in forums related to your theme and link to your page through a question. For example, let’s say you have a dog accessory website, if you find any dog forum you can write in the comments things like “does anyone know where else I could get an accessory like this www.yourweb.com for my dog? », yes, you must remember that it must appear as natural as possible and far from being spam. For this technique to be effective, it is necessary to verify that the forum allows dofollow links to be placed in the comments.
- Create Private Blog Networks (PBN). This consists of an ecosystem of blogs and websites that link together to help position your “official” website or the project you want to optimize. Generally, these sites have different names, hostings, IPs, and TLDs (.org, .net, .com, etc.), as they try to deceive Google by pretending that they are not related to each other. In them, you can link your website and increase positioning and popularity.
- RECOMMENDED TOOLS : Ahrefs is one of the best tools to analyze the backlinks or incoming links of your website and even of your competition, including if they are dofollow , nofollow , redirected, etc. All this will help you boost your linkbuilding strategy , in addition to providing you with other functions to analyze the competition and the keywords that work both on their websites and on yours.
Include multimedia content and optimizes images
Today, it has been proven that the future is visual Increasingly, social networks and the Internet, in general, are full of multimedia content, occupying more than 70% of Internet traffic even a meme can communicate complex feelings of users! So knowing this, the logical thing is to incorporate these elements into your website, in moderation, of course, and distribute them throughout the page so that it is visually pleasing and striking. Especially if it is a site that offers products; where you can play with the incorporation of videos, which generate higher retention ( higher retention = higher positioning ).
It is also essential that images are optimized in the following way:
- Rename the image file so that it contains words related to the content.
It uses png, gif, and jpeg formats which are the most compatible with browsers.
- Compress the images.
- Add alternative texts to your images (alt attribute) to provide more information about them and introduce some keywords (without saturating). This way you will also be able to position your images in Google image search.
- Incorporate an image sitemap (similar to the XML sitemap file for web pages) so that Googlebot obtains more information about them and helps you position them in image search.
Work on the mobile website
Lately, Google has put a lot of emphasis on SEOs optimizing their websites for mobile and has even prioritized mobile versions of web pages to index the content on them. This is because, in today’s world, the proliferation of cell phones and smartphones has caused more and more people to run searches through these devices.
In fact, according to Google, almost 95% of people with smartphones search for information from their phones, so it is quite logical to want to offer the user a more pleasant experience through these devices since many times the version for computers of a certain site can be difficult to visualize and even unpleasant for users.
Among the strategies that Google recommends to optimize websites for mobile are:
- Responsive web design
- dynamic publication
- Standalone URLs
Of the three, the most recommended by Google is the first, since with it you can send the same HTML code to different devices and the content can be adjusted to the size of the screen.
Other relevant recommendations to optimize your mobile website include:
- Avoid including content that cannot be displayed in this version. For example, a relevant Flash video.
- It includes the most features that can be experienced on the desktop version as users trust the experience to be the same.
- It includes the metadata, multimedia content, and structured data that the computer version has to help positioning.
Promote your website
Although SEO positioning requires patience to see great results, promoting your website will speed up this process and allow you to further publicize the content of your pages.
This promotion includes:
- Publications in your social networks.
- Mentions in forums related to the topics of your website.
- Email marketing.
- Entries in your blog that inform users of the news.
- Offline strategies such as delivering paper material with the address of your website (in case you have a physical company).
- Incorporate all the data of your physical company (if you have one) in Google My Business to be more accessible to those users who use Google Maps.
As you have seen, SEO positioning is not as simple as it seems and requires a lot of patience if you are just starting. We recommend you go little by little, that you designate a weekly time for these tasks, and little by little, day by day, month by month, year by year, you build your position. In the long run, it will be invaluable.