If you are the owner of a website, be it a blog or a commercial website, your main objective is surely that your content reaches as many people as possible .
Obviously, one of the most important ways to achieve this is for people to find you on Google.
But how do you make your content appear on Google? And, also, how to get you to get as high as possible?
The answer is simple: your content must be optimized for search engines .
The discipline that is dedicated to this is known as SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and its objective is to achieve the best possible web positioning for your content.
In this post, I will talk about the basic principles of how this “SEO” works so that you can get the best out of your content on Google and other search engines, whether they are from a personal blog, a site for commercial purposes, an institutional website or whatever.
Contents, searches and keywords
The basic SEO of optimizing content for search engines is simply an exercise of adapting a supply to the demand, basically, just as it happens in the traditional offline world.
This means that the first step is to know if your offer (your content) is really in demand (people carry out searches related to that content). And specifically what interests you is knowing what are the exact words and phrases with which people search Google and other search engines or what is the same what are the most interesting keywords related to your content.
To get a general idea of what kind of things people are looking for, you can use Google Trends and have more specific information about how many searches are made per month for certain keywords or phrases, I recommend using the AdWords Keyword Planner.
Once you have explored the various keywords, the following would be to make a short list of them to decide which one (s) you want to focus on in your web positioning work and optimize it according to the guidelines explained below.
For example, if you like the world of motoring and you have a blog about it, you will see that one of the topics that raises the most interest is the topic of cheap insurance.
Generally, theirs is to focus on a single key phrase, but you can also optimize for several, although the optimization loses some force with respect to each one.
For example: this same post points to two different searches: “basic seo” and “web positioning” (the last one is practically impossible, but the idea is to target “long queue” , longer searches that use the words “positioning” and «web»).
One trick : don’t use accents with the planter. People search for “basic seo , “ not “basic seo . ” Although it is indistinct for the Google web positioning algorithm to use the accent or not. Planner numbers are different and using accents can distort reality.
For example, “how to create a blog” also has close to 1000 searches per month, but if you try “how to create a blog” it has more than 60,000 (!). However, in your post, you should use the spelling well: «How to create a blog – Guide for newbies».
You already know how to locate good searches (with a lot of traffic) to optimize our content for them. Now, if you think that with that you are ready to conquer No. 1 in Google results, I am sorry to disappoint yousad
The problem is that you are not alone, the more “succulent” a search is, the more websites will have tried to position themselves for that search in Google results.
This means that in the selection of keywords you have to take into account the difficulty of “ranking” your content based on the strength of the competition. You will receive many more visits being # 1 or # 2 for search that is carried out 100 times a month than being in position 50 in another that is carried out 10,000 times a month.
- “Car insurance” has 22,200 searches per month, but the competition is very strong. Unless you already have a very consolidated website, with a lot of authority in that niche, it will be impossible for you to appear on the first page of Google. You’re probably not even close to the first 3 or 4 pages of results.
- «Classic car insurance» has only 90 searches per month, but it is much more affordable because there are few results optimized for this search and the ones that do exist are not too strong. If you work hard, even with a young and low-authority website you could surely “sneak” into the top 5 positions on the first page of results.
The question you will be asking yourself now is:
“And how the hell do I know if a competing website is strong or not, and how strong am I?”
Classical metric has been the PageRank of the page, a value of 0-10 indicating the authority that Google will recognize this page, the higher the PageRank, greater authority, and greater force is facing page to your web positioning. The PageRank of a page is basically determined by the quantity and quality of the links it receives.
However, in SEO optimization it is hardly used because it is a pretty poor metric, with a very thick scale and Google updates it (outside doors) when it feels like it.
What is usually used are the metric authority Page (PA) and authority domino (DA) of Moz, a specialized company in SEO, and the most important of the world in this sector.
The good thing about all this is that Moz has created the Mozbar, a tremendously practical extension for Firefox and Chrome that allows you to display the PA and DA values directly next to the search results so that you can immediately see in each search what the level of competition of that search. Small wonder with which it is very easy to do basic SEO, even not so basic.
You can assess the strength of your page against competitors by comparing, on the one hand, the DA value of yours with that of the competition and, secondly, the AP values. In principle, it will be very difficult for you to overcome competitors with a DA that exceeds yours more than 5-10. However, very low PA values (<15) will be affordable even if the DA value is much higher than yours.
On the other hand, you have to assess the accuracy of the search. That is, if the PA and DA values of your competition are high, but the search does not fit well, that is, it is not well optimized, (not all keywords appear in the titles, url and description of the results of your competition) So its strength is much less compared to a page that is well optimized for that search.
As you can see, evaluating your strength to compete in a specific search has its crumb and deserves a post like this entire one. I have only wanted to give a few first brushstrokes so that you can see the philosophy of how web positioning works and what are the main objectives of basic SEO that you have to carry out for any page, but I think that with this and a little practice you should already intuit enough well how it works.
Once you have decided what specific keywords to optimize a web page for, start work on the page itself, known as “SEO On Page”. The on-page SEO is basically intended to make Google understand as best as possible “what is going on” about your content in order to determine as well as possible how relevant that content is to a certain search.
So what it is about is using the keywords in the best possible way in the content so that Google considers it as relevant as possible for a search with those keywords.
Let’s go back to the previous example of “classic car insurance”. If you are going to write a post about classic car insurance, try to find this key phrase as faithfully as possible in the following elements (for clarity, the keywords are underlined):
- Site domain: This is the hardest thing to fit in, usually only possible on niche sites with highly specialized content. In this case, it would fit if you had, for example, a site like insurancecoche .com that exclusively talks about this topic.
- In the post URL: This is already much easier. Ideally, your URL should be [yourdomain] / word1-word2-etc. For example: autosrapidos.com/ insurance – car – classic
- In the title (<h1>): All words should appear in the title, the shorter the title the better (the less they are “diluted”). There’s nothing wrong with using singular or plural interchangeably in words, although an exact match is better. For example: “How to hire good insurance for classic car ‘
- At the least, in a subtitle (<h2>, <h3>, …): In the previous post could have a subtitle like “What insurance of classic car should avoid”.
- In the meta description: It is the description that appears in the search results in each result. WordPress, for example, takes the default of the first few paragraphs. But with some plugins, such as WordPress SEO, you can expressly determine it. Here they should appear again keywords: “In today’s post I will talk about insurance of car classic, how to find the good and avoiding evil.”
- Several times throughout the content: This is obvious and the guideline to follow would be to make sure that the phrase appears around 0.5 – 1 time for every 100 words. Also, try to use synonyms and that the wording is always natural. Never force the machine with “weird” phrases that are artificial.
And finally, a trick: if you want to improve the strength of specific content, make it really long, for special occasions I recommend posts of more than 2,000 words and it will gain a lot of strength.
This same post, for example, is in that range and, despite the fact that this domain has lost enough authority due to the long period of inactivity, I expect that in the medium term it will be on the first page of results for the two searches for which is optimized.
If the SEO On Page is the «Yin», the The SEO Off Page is the « Yang «. It is the part of the SEO work that is carried out for factors external to the web page in which we work and in that the most important is the links. Google will give more authority to a page and a domain as more links receive, taking into account the quality of those links and the thematic similarity of the sites.
That is, in the case of this blog, for example, a link from a site with authority that talks about web-related technology will be very valuable, but a link from a site that talks about cross stitch, however prestigious it is. be the site, it will be worth almost nothing, just like a link from a site with low authority.
The branch task within SEO that seeks to get those links is known as “Linkbuilding” and uses various techniques to accelerate the attainment of links for the page you want to position.
Signals such as the popularity of content on social networks (social accountants) are also relevant, although Google keeps the details of its algorithm very secret and it is not well known what weight each of the social networks has.
Despite being SEO is a large field with experts and companies 100% specialized in this discipline, the Pareto Principle is met, in some way, the really important measures are relatively few and have a lot of impacts. With a basic SEO well done you have done the lion’s share to achieve a good web positioning of your content. And the measures to take are those that I have told you here.
If you want to delve a little deeper into them, I also highly recommend reading the official Google guide on this, the Google Search Engine Optimization Getting Started Guide.
In addition, you have a compilation of the best SEO tools on my page of the best tools and resources on the web.
I also recommend this interview about the 2015 SEO of the great Dean Romero and as a point of fun in SEO topics, Chuiso’s blog is a relatively recent blog that has made a huge impact on the SEO world.
Remember that the vast majority of content leaves a lot to be desired in terms of its SEO and that is a great opportunity that you can take advantage of to advance it in Google if you work it a little, even being much more relevant websites and with much more traffic than the yours.
On the other hand, neither of obsessions with this, remember that you write for people and not for Google. It is useless to be the first if then the reader who enters your page feels a rejection of a text that is artificial and unpleasant to read.
And lastly, if you take a liking to this SEO thing, a warning: be careful with the SEO «tricks» that try to deceive Google, known as «Blackhat SEO». Google is very on top of them in its updates to its search algorithm and if it catches you, it can send your website to the catacombs for a long time.