“I’ve heard various things about what means SEO, and now I’m ready to know about it all.”
As you know, nothing happens by a wave of a magic wand, and to be whatever you want to be in the business is all about theories and practice. However, in this article, you will explore the indispensable tool that literally makes wonders in the promotion of the websites.
There is an opinion that only high-quality and trendy content is enough for successful promotion and no magic is needed to be in the top search results. Today you will get an answer why you shouldn’t neglect what is called Search Engine Optimization even if you’re the content superhero.
What is SEO? SEO optimization is the art and science of increasing the number and quality of visitors to your platform. The fact is that SEO mostly revolves around Google search engine optimization today, and according to the researches websites on the first page of it receive almost 95% of clicks, and more traffic. No doubt, it’s worth exploring further.
A little story about SEO
Most of the online businesses know that SEO is often-used service that increases your searching rates and quality visitors on the website. But what lies behind this formal definition? Now we’re not going to delve into the history of the SEO, because we mainly intrigued about its everyday effectivity. However, it’s never superfluous to find out more about what’s called SEO origins.
Remember the times when the word “google” wasn’t used as a verb, and the search engines were something brand new? Google, Yandex, Yahoo, Bing and dozens of others are our everyday help to the different questions: from the meaning of life to the daily routine. Thankfully, nowadays we don’t need to carry hundreds of paper sheets trying not to forget about important stuff, or lost inherited recipes. Finally, we live in the period of the easiest source for obtaining new information.
Despite being fairly young, SEO sphere changes steadily. Some people argue that it was born with the launch of the first website back in 1991. Others say it happened when the first web search engine saw a light a bit later, in 1997. The matter of fact that future search giants like Google started to see benefits and opportunities for creating more relevant content for users and upgrading the Internet to the one we know today. Bringing more and more updates, SEO evolved from a single-celled organism into the adaptive system that stays alive.
About job opportunities. The prosperity of the Internet marketing gave us the number of professions, and one of them is an SEO specialist. As you already know, it’s highly important for your project to be on the first pages. So, for your site to rise in results, it should be interesting to users and cause "trust" in the search system by matching its algorithms for selecting the most reliable and high-quality sites. Don’t worry, you don’t have to do this while SEO optimizer exists. His main calling is to set up the interaction of the site and search engines.
Europe is searching
Let’s return to the modern days. Still, the one and only, Google is ruling force, and no other search engine can compete in influence on the world market. But lots of people in Europe can agree that there are some notable players. For example, Bing is on the top second place in Germany, and then goes Yahoo. There are about 750 million people in Europe, and due to the data published by Eurostat, 84% of the population spend time online. And even if the small percent of the whole audience use alternative search engines, the targeting on those people could be very profitable.
No matter which one, all the search engines are constantly improving their algorithms. A lot of changes have appeared, based on which we can conclude which ranking factors are relevant in 2019 and the coming years.
Factors truly matter
Website ranking factors are the estimated parameters of the search engine, which calculate the significance of the site’s pages and determine their position in the organic search results. The largest search engines today operate with thousands of such factors. It is an interesting fact: precise information cannot be found, since it is kept as a top secret.
But through the theory and practice, we can identify the main categories. Let's take a look:
Everything we do is for the customers. So, your website must be useful and convenient for users. Are there contact details on the site, location map, terms of delivery of goods, additional communication methods, the possibility of a callback, free/paid delivery? They should be. Thanks to these factors, it is determined how much the audience trusts your project and do they ready to click the buy button.
Thankfully, the days of messy posts and chaotic articles are gone. Now lots of businesses understand the importance of the content presentation, its correctness, and relevance. Even more, to draw up a clear content plan for the next few months is no longer “overtime” but a regular part of the strategy. Thus, it is necessary to work on expanding the semantic reach of the resource and constantly fill your platform with new publications. This provides improved visibility in organic search, increase the trust of search engines, help to grow the natural link mass, and expand the constant audience of your website. Makes sense: fresh, up-to-date content has more chances to appear above older pages.
Recently, the significance of links has been decreasing more and more since it became less important than factors such as behavioral, commercial, etc. Instead of buying low-quality links on the exchanges and risking to be filtered, it's better to engage in link building and crowd marketing. Now more than ever, people hate spam. Instead of automatically collecting hundreds of spam links, it's preferred to use active posting on forums, make contacts with popular bloggers, and build a reputation on external resources. You'd better think twice when you choose the sites for competent link building. The response of your audience, as well as the reaction of search engines to such promotion, depends on their quality, attendance, specialization, and convenience.
And again about the wisdom of our life. Despite the rational and critical thinking, people still rely on emotions while making purchases or checking something new. Thus, the importance of behavioral factors doesn’t need to be neglected. Make the user journey smooth and unforgettable! As a plus, the behavior of users on the site also compares well with positions in the organic. The factors such as "time spent on the site", "number of views", and "bounce rate" (a metric that measures a percent of people on your website who do nothing on the page) are likely influence on the positions. Even if we know that Google denies using them due to the presence of "noise" in the samples and insufficient statistical certainty.
Who we are if we can’t trust each other? This rhetorical question leads us to the degree of trust to your platform. The trust can include the age of the site, direct transitions to the site, the average position of the site’s pages, the number of sessions and the number of actions, the variety of website traffic, etc. Here’s a hint: direct traffic is most strongly correlated with positions in organic search engine results pages (SERPs.) That is, if users go directly to the site, this is a good sign of the high authority of the site for search engines.
Phases of SEO
The full SEO-strategy consists of phases that are built based on the impact on ranking factors. It means that if you know how search engines rate websites or why they promote or ban them, you can influence this process. For example, Google’s search engine has the algorithm with cute name Panda, which evaluates a website based on several factors related to the content, logical structure, key spamming, and others. If the website uses non-unique content copied from competitors, this is fraught with a gradual decrease in positions and, after all, ban.
In general, what does SEO promotion stand for can be divided into three phases which are an influence on the internal and external ranking factors. Let’s get to know them better:
Off page optimization
Those times when the increase in site traffic was achieved by moving users from random sites or by purchasing more links than competitors have long gone. According to recent studies, links are only 10% of all search engine ranking algorithms. However, links are still useful, and they can increase the performance of your platform and the trust of the audience.
On this phase, you can use the links from any resources, social media, and other marketing activities outside your own website. Doesn't matter are they paid or free, in both cases, your links should be as natural as possible in order not to annoy neither users, neither search engines.
If your strategy goals include not only the rise of traffic but also much more crucial things such as conversion and profit, then you can't make it without internal website optimization.
On page optimization
So, if you want your site to keep or start rocking, using only links is not enough. Internal website optimization factors are all those you can influence from within your actual website. These are content-related things, code, and technical aspects.
Never get tired of repeating that your website’s content must be unique, useful and structured. Here’s a hint: it should also be free from the main mistakes such as spam (adding too many keywords) and highlighting keywords in bold.
Few hints about code. The pages should contain meta tags: title, description, H1 heading, h2-h6 subheadings, and the content should be formatted using lists, subheadings, and pictures.
And, finally, there are lots of technical aspects that you need to pay attention to. For example, you need to correctly configure the robots.txt file, sitemap, page loading speed, indexing, and URL format on your platform. If you have already tried to optimize your website, you are probably familiar with many of these terms. However, we recommend learning the basics of SEO promotion not only to those owners who want to do promo by themselves but also ones who decide to hire SEO-specialists to help. Anyway, it could help create a future marketing strategy.
For effective promotion and development of your website, you need to know its strengths and weaknesses to not to get into the soup. As we wrote in our previous article, to identify the pros and cons of your project can comprehensive audit.
Website analysis is a full-cycle process that requires experience and time. But it definitely worth it because you can find out all about current semantic core, reference mass, and general visibility across all types of requests. It also evaluate structure, content, and usability.
Based on the collected data, your website is compared with the necessary parameters. After that, specialists develop a promotion strategy. This stage is one of the most important, because it sets the tone for all subsequent work. If it’s done poorly, this will adversely affect the further phases, no matter how flawlessly they are performed.
And as a result...
Well, we have to say that separating the internal and external SEO is an ineffective task. To get the maximum result, both of these methods should work together, and in this case, they mutually reinforce each other. The main hint here is: before you start purchasing links or, for example, launching advertising campaigns on the Internet, that is, starting an external promotion, be sure to conduct internal optimization: put the site in order, this will lead to better results.
Also, the properly managed promotion allows you to achieve the first results within a month or two after the start of optimization. And keep in mind that SEO is a long-term relationship service. It means when you notice a positive tendency, you have to continue to support it. The uniform growth and development of the project allow you to take the desired positions for a long time.
The main wisdom here that the systematic service like SEO works on you only when you work on it. And if you stop devote time to it, the main performance indicators will soon stop delight you.
Key performance indicators
Conversion is understood as the achievement of a specific goal, it can be a purchase, filling out and submitting a form, downloading a file, ordering a callback, etc. The conversion rate is calculated by the formula and is expressed as a percentage: how many of the total number of users made a purchase.
As you can see, this is a fairly simple indicator in calculating, which is one of the most important for the business. SEO can demonstrate very well what effect these or those changes on the site provide for the business.
Attendance is the most obvious and required parameter for tracking, which is relevant for any type of project. In fact, all other indicators in one way or another depend on it, and the change in traffic (in quantitative and qualitative terms) affects almost any other indicator.
Attendance data can be obtained from Google Analytics, Yandex.Metrica or through reports through third-party services, for example, SEO-Reports (for those who consider ordinary analytics too overloaded). You can track changes in traffic over time, compare periods with each other, see the ratio of new visitors to returnees and the distribution of traffic across channels.
Sure, the absolute number of conversions is a highly important thing. But, for the business to remain profitable, it is important not only to know how many targeted actions the potential customers took but also how much resources were spent on obtaining these results. This allows you to understand the return on working with a particular channel. We are talking about leads. Leads are an integral part of revenue growth. The best way to measure the growth of potential website customers is by checking the email registrations, filling out forms and other indicators, depending on how the site collects its future customers. Growth here could mean a serious increase in profits.
To turn the number of customers ready for contact into a real amount, you need to calculate how much each lead for business costs. This can be done by looking at how many potential buyers are converted, what is the price tag for an average sale.
It is unlikely that someone wants to wake up one day and find out that the position of your website has markedly dropped. There are two main reasons why you need to check key positions and how this “SEO abbreviation” can solve this problem.
First, using SEO service, you can measure the effectiveness of website promotion. Any actions of an SEO specialist can lead to results. Changes can also affect individual keywords, individual pages, and the whole site. To be able to analyze the actions that led to certain changes, it is necessary to track positions.
Secondly, it’s great to be farsighted and aware of the immediate prospects and necessary efforts. The site page in the first positions and the last even in the top 10 brings a very different amount of traffic. If you want to always know how your site works and achieve more, then determine for yourself a couple of dozens of the most important requests and monitor their progress in search engines.
Here’s a hint: to check positions by keys, it is necessary to gather a semantic core. Using all the phrases that just popped into your head, you won’t get real statistics about positions. So, you can use Google services or other paid tools to collect keywords.
Who needs SEO
So, now you know more about SEO and how search engines closely connected to this service. It is like a guard whose aim is making sure that your website is useful, technically complete, post the delicious content, uses words that people type in search, and provides a smooth user experience. But not every type of business needs this kind of guard, so let’s take a look and find yourself in a list:
More traffic — more conversions. Properly managed product pages for key requests are a guarantee that the target audience will find your website earlier than a competitor’s store and become a customer.
For companies that offer services, the essential thing is regional promotion. Qualitatively collected geo-requests and their distribution on the website pages help to improve the delivery of your project to target audience in the chosen region.
Brand promotion works on recognition and image. The success of promoting corporate sites depends on the right strategy. SEO is an ideal service for manufacturing companies that need to be remembered and take a strong position in their niche.
News portals, teaching platforms, personal blogs: all of them also need SEO to grow targeted traffic. The high-quality content and proper resource structuring are key nuances in working with such type of business.
New websites usually struggling for first lines in the search, but reaching the top is possible. For this type, it is necessary to work out the structure, and internal optimization at the resource creation stage, use the correct semantics and choose a strategy, depending on their goals.
What goes around comes around
If you want to go with the times, and spend efforts on your online business, go SEO. Think about competitors: if they use professional SEO support, so without connecting this service to your platform, you will stay far behind. Also, good news: SEO is considered as the cheapest source of orders if you pump it. It means that if you invest in it, SEO brings the target audience for a penny. If you compare SEO, RRS (Rich site summary), SMM (Social media marketing), and other forms of Internet marketing, SEO gives the cheapest traffic.
Sounds reasonable to us.