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Have you heard about SEO positioning but you are not sure what it is about yet? This is a rather important term within the Digital Marketing world, to the point that practically every online business needs to know what SEO is and how to implement it correctly.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a small blog or an eCommerce, SEO plays a fundamental role for your website, mainly to receive organic visits. Ranking in the top positions brings huge benefits.
Finding ways to climb positions in Google’s SERP and other search engines has become a constant objective for every webmaster. However, what exactly is SEO?
Let’s start with the main point: SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, this is a discipline that combines a series of techniques, actions and strategies that along with some specialized tools are in search of improving the position of any specific website.
You can find this concept expressed as “web positioning or organic positioning”. It’s main feature is precisely to help a webpage to improve their position with the main search engines, although the target search engine to improve the ranking is generally Google.
If we analyze this concept, we can say that there are two main types of SEO, Off-Page and On-Page.
Off-Page is everything that is not implemented directly on a page, such as backlinks, that are part of a Link Building strategy.
On the other side, On-Page refers to those SEO techniques that apply on a website, such as optimizing keywords that our content is based on and also the internal links used.
SEO is Not an Exact Science
Once the definition of SEO and what it offers have been clarified, we should explain that even though SEO is a discipline with a well-defined objective, it’s not an exact science.
In other words: There isn’t a rule that “if you do this you will get these results”.
For this reason, it’s normal that those who are starting with SEO make some mistakes that can lead them to have the wrong impression that “SEO is useless”.
Before you get started, you must understand that it’s a “trial and error” process and even when there are proven cases that certain techniques work, there are multiple factors involved that explain why results won’t be the same in all circumstances.
In fact, there are around 200 known (or suspected) factors that might explain why a specific web gets a better or worse organic position.
Still, professionals in the digital world think that Google’s algorithm has hundreds (or thousands) of additional factors, although they are obviously not shared publicly.
Advantages of Promoting SEO in a Digital Strategy
Promoting SEO in your digital strategy brings a clear advantage, and the thing is that the better you rank in the main search engines, the higher the organic traffic will be to your website.
A high organic traffic can be translated into more people interested in your content, brand or business, and therefore, more conversions and sales.
We should highlight that organic positioning brings higher chances to capture customers since organic traffic normally has more users interested in the content of your website. That is to say, users actively looked for that information as opposed to ads that appeared in front of users.
Consider these SEO Factors to Improve Rankings…
As I have just mentioned before, there are multiple factors that affect SEO. We can’t control some of them directly, but there is no doubt that all of them have their impact in order to improve the positioning of your web.
Amongst the main SEO factors, both On-Page and Off-page, that you must take into account are:
1. Keywords Optimization and Search Intent
Optimizing keywords correctly is crucial for organic positioning. This SEO On-Page factor lets you define the keywords that you want to position, as well as lets Google know relevant information about what your web is about or what you offer, for example.
However, after the three last updates in its algorithm, and even more after the arrival of “BERT” in more than 70 languages worldwide (it was previously launched in English in the US in October, 2019), it’s even more important that our content satisfies the search intent that users hypothetically had when they wrote the keywords in the search engine.
And to an even greater extent this is what Google will give more importance to when it’s time to give a better or worse positioning to online content generated by you and the other millions (or billions) of users who create content for the Web periodically.
2. Website’s User Experience
This is a bit more general. However, it’s perfect for covering some important SEO On-Page factors.
Google takes the webpage experience offered to your visitors very seriously, for this reason, it’s important that your website is optimized so users enjoy a positive experience on your site.
This means that you need to work on some aspects such as the browsing on your web, the loading speed, the amount of ads that you show, errors in internal links, etc as they have a direct impact on the website’s user experience.
3. Content Relevance
Apart from keywords, you must pay special attention to how relevant your content is. As I mentioned above, you must choose the right keywords but also users’ search intent is important.
With this in min must know that the relevance of your content is vital and you must offer users exactly what they are looking for.
A quick example: If the keyword is “buying apartments in Barcelona”, you must make sure that you provide a direct answer to visitors and don’t get sidetracked by giving explanations about what an apartment is or where Barcelona is located.
Users will abandon your page immediately, that is, you’ll provoke the effect that is known as “pogo-sticking”: after searchers realize that they have landed on a page that is not what they are looking for, immediately they will bounce off and probably end up clicking one of the links from your competitors.
To succeed, my recommendation is that you start creating a Link Baiting strategy, where you generate relevant and useful content for users… encouraging them to create external links toward your page and therefore, increase your organic positioning.
As you might have observed, many of these factors (the ones that have been already mentioned, and the ones that we are about to talk about) are interconnected.
The Click-through rate is quite important for SEO. It measures how many users click your ads that lead to your website. It is important Google uses the CTR to determine whether your content is relevant for users or not.
The higher the CTR, the more importance Google will give to your website as it will consider that it is interesting and relevant for their users. CTR is calculated by dividing the number of clicks received by the number of times your content is shown (impressions).
A Backlink is basically a hyperlink that links from a website to your own page. It used to be the fundamental pillar of SEO. However, with time and the constant changes applied by Google, now the focus is on how useful the content is for users over the amount of links that your result has.
6. Meta Tags Optimization
This is an important point that you must consider. Meta tags are crucial for your site’s internal SEO optimization. They might not be relevant for your users but it is for Google. Thus, you must create them properly.
Meta tags refer to the meta-title, the meta-description and the URL. You must optimize them for each content created on your website and that you are planning to position better. This is vital for Google apart from being fundamental in order to be found by users in SERPs.
7. Quality Content
The relevance of the content is important but the quality of that content is too. They are both related, however, the focus of the quality is on how the content has been created in contrast to the importance that it has for users.
A quality content must attend users’ needs but also avoid grammatical and spelling errors, be as complete as possible, keep an adequate keyword density, not make spam and be original.
Keep in mind that Google penalizes duplicate content and therefore, plagiarized content from another website.
Besides, if we only focus on what you publish on your own blog or web, make sure that you avoid keyword cannibalism, that is, that multiple pages are targeting the same search intent. You won’t rank in the first positions (even the TOP 1) because your pages are competing with each other.
It will impide the first page from ranking properly.
8. Internal Links
Internal linking basically consists of links include within our content that redirect to other parts of our website with related information that complements it.
Some examples could be the typical “it might interest you” or “if you want to learn more about SEO On-Page click this link”.
This internal linking will help the browsing experience, and encourage users to visit other content from your web, giving more visibility to old content.
It is also recommended to use a variety of anchor texts for internal links. This could be a separated factor within this list as well…
9. Publications on Other Web Pages (Guest Blogging
Classic “guest posts” are an excellent help for SEO.
Content that you have created for other websites. The person in charge of that website normally allows you to add one or several backlinks to your own page.
It’s importance lies in how they help you give authority to your page (if they are “dofollow” links) and to your personal brand. Besides, they are an excellent option to put yourself on the spot on the Internet, especially if you are able to publish on a renowned website and with recurrent traffic.
10. Dwell Time
Dwell time is a SEO factor that determines the average amount of time that a searcher spends on a website. For Google, a high dwell time is a synonym of relevance and quality.
The time that users spend on your site is directly proportional to the interest that the content generates; with this in mind, it is normal that Google gives priority to those pages that have a higher dwell time.
There are many factors that have an impact in the average dwell time, but most of them are related to the user experience, the quality of the content and its relevance.
Now that you know what SEO is, the only thing I can say is that you must work towards improving it, it takes time.
Rest assured that 96% of cases, people start slowly, very slowly. You won’t get results overnight.
Factors such as CTR, the creation of backlinks, the creation of content that understands users’ intent or getting guest blogs amongst others, require time, you must go little by little, trying to speed up things won’t help.
Slow but steady, this is the best way to improve your SEO and avoid being penalize.