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06 Oct 2020

Introduction to SEO

 

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a process of optimizing websites and their content so it can be discovered by users who search for specific terms. Search engines, such as Google, aim to give their users the most relevant information for the topic they are searching for. For that reason, they rank websites based on the content they are providing, popularity, speed etc. In short, their optimization. All the elements which make a website, should be perceived by Google and visitors in the best way possible. Your website should be safe, rich in content, relevant, structured, fast, intuitive, and it should also have a great user experience.

We differentiate OnPage and OffPage SEO.

OnPage SEO – Search engine friendly, and user friendly 🙂

OnPage SEO, refers to optimizing elements on the site. There are more than 200 factors which have an impact on the website ranking.

Some of the important ones are: Exact Match Keywords, LSI Keywords, Readability, Markups, Social Markup, Mobile-Friendliness + AMP, Long Content, Freshness, URL (domain&pages), Meta description, Title, H Tags, Keyword Decoration, List Formatting, Conversion, Keyword Placement In Content, Anchor Text In Links, External Links, Page Load Time (speed), Comment Section, Social Sharing, Image Optimization (size, alt), Crawler Control (robots.txt), Broken Link Management (404), HTTPS (SSL), Canonicalization (duplicate, rel), XML sitemap, Redirections, HTML code

Performance, behaviour of the website, visitors behaviour, speed, safety and ranking are trackable with these tools: Google Analytics, Google Search ConsoleScreaming Frog, SEMRush. Based on the results we adjust the optimization; if it is necessary to change the text, pictures, structure, navigation and etc.

The first step is optimizing key elements on your website. Those are: titles, descriptions, H tags, pictures, speed, content which repeats itself, structure of URLs, etc. After that, adding an optimized text on the homepage, which should entail at least 400-500 words. The text should contain internal links. Besides, creating events calendar on the homepage and contact information is important in order to achieve more diverse and better optimization.

When developing a website, it is important to take users’ search terms into consideration. Your targeted audience will find your website if your content matches their search terms. When you find what your audience is searching for, by creating relevant content for the specific search terms, you can appear in your audience’s search results – which is your ultimate goal.

For example, adding a target keyword (search term) in your meta title, meta description tag, and URL, can help search engines and searchers understand that your site is relevant to their search query. When creating content for your website don’t be afraid to use synonyms, stop words or connecting words. Google is smart enough to recognize them, having in mind your content is on point.

Content that you create for your audience should be easy to read. When you are writing on your website, especially for your blog, the sentences need to be short, and the words which you are using should be easy to understand.  Have in mind that users attention span lasts from 6 to 8 seconds!  That is why your website has to have an attractive design, and relevant information that is easily accessible.

The content should be relevant and optimized. The more relevant content you are posting, the more Google will index you and remember more keywords. This way Google will rank your website higher on the search results.

parts-of-SEO

SEO elements

Advertising your website using Google Ads, or any other type of advertisement, and spending X amount of money, in order to direct traffic on a landing page which does not give clear information or has slow loading time, or anything similar, is a waste of time and money. If the site is not optimized, there is no need for you to be waisting your money on advertisement. Visitors will leave the website before it loads, or shortly after, and they won’t be back. Besides, Google tracks that kind of behaviour, and sees that your website is not good enough. Because of that, it ranks your website lower in the results, or it doesn’t show your site in the result section, for certain keywords.

Investing in SEO will prevent this from happening.

OffPage SEO – Popularity, relevance, trustworthiness and authority

OffPage SEO represents all actions outside of your website, which are connected to your website and your brand, such as newsletter, social media, and links to/from other websites. Each social media site or platform, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google My Business etc., has its own rules when it comes to optimization.

Using both OnPage and OffPage SEO we can communicate, not only to Google, but also to viewers, about who we are, what is our occupation, and our size. In the end, the most important thing is to represent your company in a reliable way to build trust with the targeted audience. Optimizing our digital channels helps your company to do so.

We should optimize all social media channels, and create enough content (visuals and text) which should be posted regularly.

Some of the elements which indicate a good SEO

key-performance-indicatiors

Elements which indicate a good SEO

KPI (Key Performance Indicators) indicate how successful is the SEO optimization.

SEO is used to achieve the following goals:

1. Increase of organic traffic on the website

Organic traffic is unsponsored traffic which is attracted to your website through organic search results. Google Search Console is a useful tool which helps track traffic on the website. Elements which can be tracked through Google Search Console are: mobile usability, number of clicks and impressions, types of devices, pages rank, queries, international targeting, external links, internal links, etc.

2. Conversions

Each business that has a website wants to reach the same goal; to convert viewers into customers. Conversion tracks every contact with the potential buyer such as: subscriptions to newsletter, referred phone calls, and purchases. You can easily track conversions with Google Analytics.

3. Keywords

Keyword ranking implies the position on the search engine which helps viewers find your website. For that reason, it is important to use relevant and audience targeted keywords that will attract potential customers.

4. Bounce rate

Bounce rate is the rate of visitors who leave the website shortly after reaching it. The standard bounce rate is somewhere between 40-60%. In case your bounce rate is any higher than that, you are doing something wrong.

5. Pages/sessions

Pages per session indicates average number of sites a user visits during one session. The goal is to keep the customer as long as possible on the website to create a conversion.

Interesting SEO facts

  • for every click on a paid result on Google, there are 11.6 clicks to organic ones
  • according to research, around 30% of all internet users now use ad blockers
  • on the first page alone, the first five organic results account for 67.60% of all the clicks
  • the average content length of the top position Google article contains 2,416 words
  • 70% of marketers see SEO as more effective than PPC
  • updating and republishing old blog posts with new content and images can increase organic traffic by as much as 106%
  • images are returned for 22.6% of search queries on Google
  • “best” + “right now” mobile queries have grown by over 125% in the past two years
  • 50% of all organic search queries include four of more words
  • 39% of all global ecommerce traffic comes from search
  • 46% of all Google searches are local

SEO never sleeps

Like money, SEO never sleeps.  Google’s algorithm updates every single day. For that reason, creating one SEO doesn’t mean that the job is done. Consistently working on your SEO is of great importance due to technology changing very fast. With that being said, Google is consistently changing as well as the users habits.

To put things in perspective, 15 years ago Facebook did not exist, the largest number of users used their desktop computers, internet speed was significantly lower. Today, according to the Digital 2020 research, 93% of users today use their smartphones to access the internet. Google is consistently changing its algorithm, which implies that SEO should be optimized as well.

SEO is not a sprint, but a marathon which pays off in the long run. The need for optimization will not end. The most important thing is to create a quality foundation to achieve wanted results. SEO is constantly changing, and developing. It is important to keep in touch with the updates. Changes made, will show results in a few weeks, or even months. The reason behind that is the fact that Google is very cautious when assessing websites. In order to succeed against your competitors you need to be patient, and invest in your website and its SEO.

In the end, there is no magic tricks or instant solutions. Only the rules Google described – the rules needed to be done for a quality representation of your business online.

There is so much more that we know about SEO at Hexis. If you are interested in optimizing your website feel free to contact us.