[GUIDE 2020*] What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
It is likely that you have heard hundreds of times talk about what is SEO (search engine optimization) rankings and do not know very well what it is, or have a little idea about it.
Well, I am going to help you understand it.
SEO is a vital Digital Marketing tool for your business.
It consists of multiple different elements, and knowing what they are and how they work is the key to understanding why SEO is so important.
In summary, SEO rankings make your website more visible, and that means you have more traffic and more opportunities to get customers.
It is also a very valuable tool to know a brand, establish relationships with future customers and position yourself as an authorized and reliable expert in your field.
So without further delay, here I tell you everything you need to know about SEO and why you should work on your website SEO rankings since it is essential in the digital world of today.
The visibility in the search engines gives it a prominent position in the search results of any user in a search engine.
Being visible in the results of the web search is the golden dream of anyone who wants to be known and sell on the internet.
This ranking in search engines is achieved, naturally and organically, by performing optimization tasks on web pages.
These optimization tasks include;
- optimizing the website and its structure,
- optimizing content pages.
The optimization aims at a website appearing in the top positions of search engines, which results in an increase in visits to your website.
Increasing visits means that the traffic on the website is increased, which increases its popularity within the web and gives relevance to the site at the time of searches.
That popularity within the web is known as authority and together with relevance are two indispensable variables to optimize a website.
And without doubt, authority and relevance is what any business with a web presence needs.
The application of SEO strategies seeks to position your website above those of your competitors, by optimizing each page of content you have.JIMMY OMBOM
This is how, undeniably, your business needs SEO to make your website popular, relevant and appear within the first five places in any search.
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The crucial elements of SEO rankings
Improving the position in web search engines can be done both inside and outside the web, in an organic and natural way.
What it gives rise to SEO on page ( on-page SEO ) and SEO off the page ( off-page SEO ).
Time needed: 14 days, 23 hours and 59 minutes.
To gain a better position from within the web page we can:
- Use texts with an appropriate repetition of the keywords to create quality content.
- The keywords that you want to position in the search engines must be used in bold or italic in the contents.
While keywords are less important than they were a few years ago, keyword optimization is still a cornerstone of SEO today. That said, the focus has shifted towards more long-tail keywords, which fit the search patterns of today’s internet users better. Think of your audience and the keywords they’re searching for, and try to create and optimize your website content around those keywords.
- In order to highlight the titles, important terms, and keywords, it is recommended to use them in headers H1, H2, H3, etc.
The title tag refers to the title of your web page or the main heading you see in the search engine results pages. The title tag in the above photo is SEO (H1 tag). Once again, this is another crucial opportunity to include relevant keywords and boost the searchability of your page.
- Create unique titles and descriptions of the content of each unique page, in order to be identified as relevant terms by the search engines.
A meta description is a short description that appears below your URL on a search engine results page and below a headline in a social post. It should describe the content on that page, but more importantly, be sure to include any relevant keywords in this area so they can be picked up by search engine crawlers. Try and keep your descriptions to under 300 characters to ensure your entire description is shown in search results.
- Writing titles with 60 or 70 characters is one of the best practices recommended.
- Renew the website with original quality content as often as possible, communicating news or explaining the benefits of your product.
- Use the ” meta tags ” to describe the website, in such a way that they can be understood by different web services, using the keywords.
- Optimize the URL (specific address assigned to each resource available on the network), placing the keywords and the most important and significant terms for the search.
In addition to the factors listed above, an organized URL structure is important for today’s marketers, because it allows search engines to crawl from page-to-page on your website more easily, and makes navigation more efficient for visitors. You want your URLs to contain keywords that reflect the pages they direct to, as easy-to-understand URLs are more likely to earn clicks, and also help search engines crawl your site.
This is where pillar pages have come into play more recently for marketers, with certain pages on websites being dedicated to popular topics your prospects are searching for, and linking all related pages back to that pillar. Let’s say you want to create pillar pages dedicated to automotive, medical, and consumer injection molding applications, for example. With your pillars identified, you can tailor your content and URL strategy specifically to those pillars, link all related content back to the main pillar page, and help you boost your searchability on those topics.
Gone are the days when keywords were the only SEO technique that mattered, but that does not mean they are not yet crucial.
The difference is that today, keywords must be well researched, carefully selected and used with criteria in your content to be effective.
Your Webmaster is an expert in detecting them, so trust him or her for this research work.
But what are the keywords, exactly?
These are words and phrases that potential customers use to find content in the search engine.
It is important to look for keywords that have high search and low competition rates: The philosopher’s stone of clear SEO .
But what do we mean when we say keyword?
A keyword is a search string, that your potential customers are putting in the Google search engine to find you or your competition.
For example ‘Hotels in Nairobi ‘ is a keyword, or ‘house for rent in Nairobi‘ or things like that, whatever a search is.
These Keywords are of different types:
- Short tail: ‘rent house’
- Long tail: ‘best price to rent a house’
- Local keywords: ‘rent a house in Nairobi’
These types of keywords and combinations have to be found on your website if you want to be found and get customers.
Check out this comprehensive guide on keywords.
Content is a vital part of SEO because it is the vehicle we use to reach and attract audiences.
For example, if you own a dental clinic and want to increase your visibility, you could publish a series of blog articles on a toothache, choose the right kind of treatment procedures, tips for cleaning teeth and much more.
When someone wants to know about gardening, and look for that information, your blog appears and you can build a relationship with that person by providing valuable information.
When the time comes for that person to buy, you will be the first dentist that comes to mind.
If the user had previously visited your site, search engines will position you higher than the competition, giving you a better chance to convert.
Today’s content should be educational, but also interesting, relevant, attractive and shareable.
The content comes in a variety of forms, including:
- Content of the website
- Whitepapers and e-books
- Publications on social networks
Off-page SEO involves external optimization practices that occur outside of your site instead of doing it on your site.
The main technique used for Off-page SEO is the creation of backlinks since Backlinks or quality links to your site from external sites indicate to the search engines that your site is valuable and of high quality, and this generates authority.
There are many tactics to create these backlinks, and some of the current best practices include guest blogs, create infographics that will be highly shared and mention influencers in your content.
To gain a better position from outside the web page we can:
- Use social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, so that your friends and acquaintances discover the products and services offered on your website.
- Improve the load time of each of the pages of the website, so that it requires less bandwidth to be displayed.
- Establish alliances with other websites for the exchange of articles and/or references and thus achieve greater visibility.
Local SEO is increasingly important, as more and more people use mobile devices to search.
These days, 70% of all searches are made from tablets and smartphones, and half of those searches have local intent.
If, for example, you own a restaurant, local SEO would make sure that when people in your area search for the best restaurants in the city, they will come across your site.
Along with the use of local keywords, other local SEO best practices include;
- claiming lists in directories,
- creating specific pages for the location of your site
- and creating pages for your company in Google My Business.
Your Webmaster can also help you create these pages.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Search engine marketing (SEM) refers to paid marketing efforts and includes elements such as;
- Google Ads text ads,
- Display ads,
- Shopping ads,
- and here we can even incorporate searches on social networks that also count.
The SEM is closely linked to the strategy of integral SEO rankings since it is very important when it comes to reaching new and highly specific audiences, as well as the use of remarketing, these ads that pursue you.
The importance of receiving qualified visits
Your website achieving greater traffic of visits is the primary objective of SEO rankings, but it is important to ensure that these visits are qualified.
A qualified visit is the one made by a client that has an intention or potential to purchase the product or service that you advertise on your website.
Therefore, you will want to generate more traffic of qualified visitors to your website, because this will increase the chances of having more customers with purchase potential.
Therefore, the importance of receiving qualified visits is that by increasing visits of quality or with potential for purchase, the probability of obtaining more clients increases.
There are two ways to increase the traffic of your website to get qualified visits: one is when you pay for it and another when you do good SEO.
Paying for qualified visits are marketing actions within the search engines called Paid Ads.
The SEM or ” Search Engine Marketing ” is to gain visibility through paid ad campaigns.
When you do good SEO you have a solution that will give more life to your business on the Internet in the long run and it is a natural or organic ranking that is also free.
It is important to keep in mind that a well-positioned website offers the best chance for the client to click on your link and receive more visits.
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Search Engines can fail
A final note that is worth mentioning is that SEO rankings are important because search engines are not perfect, and if you do not take measures to counteract their failures, your website will pay the price.
So that this does not happen, put yourself in the hands of a good Webmaster, who has the right tools to pass audits to your website and always keep it free of these errors.
For example, if a site does not have an appropriate link structure, it is possible that search engines can not crawl and index the site correctly, and this may decrease the rankings.
In addition, coding errors can block search engines completely, which makes it impossible for your site to be classified, regardless of the time you spend on other SEO efforts.
Can SEO increase my sales?
A good SEO strategy can turn your website into a more visible place, with a greater presence in the search engines.
This visibility and presence offer greater opportunities for your e-commerce option to have higher traffic and, therefore, increase your sales.
So, it is important to maintain the constant attention of the SEO, to analyze the result of the rankings achieved in the search engines.
Evaluating what has been effective and what needs to be improved is paramount so that rankings increase your sales.
Attract more traffic with qualified visits to your website, undoubtedly improves your sales volume on the web.
This is how a good positioning in the search engines determines a large part of the traffic your website receives and your online sales option.
Importance of doing good SEO
A good SEO is one that is oriented by your goals, then it is the one that clearly describes your product or service.
This description is made through articles with quality content, using keywords, bold and italics for the words to the position.
A good SEO must:
- Know what arouses interest in your potential customers and develop content from there.
- Offer valuable information that helps solve latent customer needs.
- To have an own URL, in order to guarantee direct access or through links to the content that makes it relevant for the search engines.
- Place in the first paragraph of the text, in the subtitles and naturally and organically distributed the keywords throughout the text.
- Contain the keywords marked in bold and appear in the description of the images.
In other words, a good SEO must meet the needs of customers, offer the possibility of being easily located and have optimized content.
What conclusions we draw from all this information
As you can see, SEO ranking is a complex task, which involves many techniques, different digital marketing tactics.
In addition, it is always evolving as the behavior of consumers and web users change, as new technologies emerge and search engines change their algorithms.
That said, SEO positioning is still very important for any company that wants to be visible in the Online, so your efforts are worth it.
SEO rankings can help you achieve a series of objectives, including those related to your brand knowledge, traffic, conversions, customer experience and much more.
So it is important for digital businesses to have a solid knowledge of what SEO rankings is.