Having difficulty understanding SEO? You are not alone. From the largest marketing agency to the budding freelancer, everyone has the same potential for presence on the web – content.
This does not mean that all content is created in the same way. A detailed and well-researched article, with sources, will stay better than the bait piece “You will never believe what happens next”.
Even among good content, people have varied preferences that change constantly. Google is responsible for tracking this and, as such, indexes search results differently. That’s why it doesn’t matter what you’re writing about, you need to keep your content up to date.
What is SEO and why does it matter?
What things do people include in search engines? Important topics, common questions, favorite brands – when pages have these terms in their content, they tend to rank higher and generate more traffic.
This technique of placing popular search terms in content is known as search engine optimization or SEO. Google is the largest search engine in the world and is smart enough to know if you use these terms organically and conversationally. If you do, you must rank higher.
However, the same keywords do not always maintain the same ranking potential. Given that Google receives 3.5 billion searches per day, which is more than 1.2 trillion per year, ranking the possible changes along with the user’s search preferences.
This is a huge amount of traffic and therefore a large number of pages in order to get the same points as you. Imagine yourself at an auction – it wouldn’t be fun to bid among a few billion other people, would it?
New content is the key to staying at the top of the rankings, as it allows you to keep the rank you have already earned and increase for the better. New content also offers the chance to work on new keywords that can help you get even more high-ranking points for your content.
New content means new ranking opportunities
As search terms gain popularity, it becomes more important to capitalize on them. More pages with more quality content, including high-ranking keywords, are a sure recipe for traffic.
A steady stream of new pages (blogs, landing pages, etc.) that use popular keywords in a conversational manner will get Google’s attention. After doing this, you can get the attention of billions of people who use the search engine every day.
SEO – Basics
If you have an e-shop, blog, business website or personal website, you naturally want to be found online. You may have heard that SEO should help with this. But what, in fact, is SEO?
For many people, SEO remains a jungle of mind-boggling strategies. This confusion is the result of an abundance of half-truths and outdated information circulating online. In this series of articles, we would like to explain exactly how SEO can help your website and showcase its most diverse applications. But first, let’s take a look at the meaning of the term SEO and how demanding it is in terms of time.
What is SEO?
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can be defined as a marketing strategy or a set of methods designed to improve the visibility of your website in organic (unpaid) search results.
It is a process made up of several elements, and by calling SEO a process we mean that you will have to work on it continuously, because SEO is not the result of a single action. You will not achieve a good position in the search results by elaborating only the titles and descriptions of the content of your website. It is a committed long-term effort, with the aim of improving the visibility of your website in search engines, thus attracting relevant visitors instead of Internet users who open the website to leave soon after.
What is SEO not?
SEO is not a process of creating and optimizing your website for search engines only. For example, you should not insert keywords randomly on your website just to make it more relevant. SEO cannot be activated with one click and you cannot pay for your website to be in the first position in organic search results. You can hire people to work on your website’s SEO, but you will not be able to pay for placing the site in organic search results.
SEO is also not a form of advertising, and it is difficult, if not impossible, to secure a good position. At least in the beginning.
There are forms of advertising, such as PPC (pay-per-click) that influence the positioning of a website in the paid search results . However, this is a totally different topic and will not be covered in this series of articles.
How long does SEO require?
As we already mentioned, SEO is a long term process, however, a well thought out strategy will greatly facilitate the performance of your website. As each business area has its peculiarities and these are reflected in its online presentation, SEO strategies must be designed individually for each website. This requires time, a lot of attention and patience.
There are other factors that you need to consider:
- Google does not react immediately – changes made to your site will be indexed (recorded) in the Google database with some delay, and the quality of your site will be assessed only later.
- Your website’s authority and credibility play an important role – sites that feature high quality content over the years will always have an advantage over others. Therefore, it is good to invest in building your brand.
- The rules of the game are unclear – Google’s algorithms that decide which pages to display in search results and in what order are not available to the public. All SEO techniques are based on tests done on different websites and, therefore, are considered relevant and effective.
- SEO is constantly evolving – not only because Google changes its indexing rules, but also its users’ expectations change over time. As Internet usage is increasingly connected with mobile devices, strategies need to be adapted instead of using the same techniques as years ago.
- SEO is an ongoing process – you can’t expect an agency hired to optimize your site to do an analysis, followed by minor adjustments, and everything will be resolved. A single action can have a positive impact in the short term, but it will not work in the long term. You need to work on your website consistently and not neglect it for longer periods.
- Content strategy – if you choose to start a content marketing journey, you need to dedicate a lot of time and effort to create a good plan for the coming months. Do not hurry, as haste will not bring desired fruit.
- Space for organic results is shrinking – the times when you could only see a few ads followed by ten organic results are long gone. Google started to display additional information, such as maps, weather, lyrics, math formulas and more. All of this takes up space and, therefore, many sites, even if well optimized, are moved to the second page of search results.
- Strong competition – if you operate in an area with strong competitors, it will be more difficult to succeed. Therefore, the ideal is to have your own USP (Exclusive sales proposal) or separate some money that you can invest in marketing.
Baking cake with SEO
The optimization process consists of specific steps that must be followed in a specific order. To illustrate better, imagine that you are baking a cake. First, you need to have a prescription, otherwise your effort may go down the drain. Next, you must find the right ingredients; only then can it start with the cooking itself, ending with the famous icing on the cake. Then just hope that your cake is delicious and so irresistible that people keep coming back to eat more.
It is certainly possible to make a cake without a recipe. But unless you are a baker, the cake is unlikely to look the way you expected. SEO is similar – having a plan and following all the steps, it will be much easier to achieve the goal.
But even to find the best recipe, you have to go a long way. Define your target audience by analyzing what kind of visitors you currently have or expect to have in the future. Know your competitors. That done, you can dedicate attention to the content of your site to meet the needs of your target audience. About identifying your target audience and competitors, we’ll talk in the next article in our series!
The cake is not made of air. You will need some ingredients. Search engines evaluate websites according to specific technical criteria. Fast loading, HTTPS, responsive design, clear URL address structure, relevant titles and meta descriptions, as well as unique content are just a few of the basic elements that are part of SEO and your site should cover them all.
With Webnode, you don’t have to worry about applying technical elements (like HTTPS or responsive design ). Our editor is designed to take care of these advanced features for you.
You found a good recipe, mixed all the ingredients and put the cake in the oven. It’s time to increase the temperature. In other words, if you designed your site to make your visitors happy, start working on your promotion. You need to inform the world that your website is online and full of high quality content.
Create a brand to attract a larger audience. To help with this, encourage your visitors to also share your site with friends. Make contact with other trusted sites to share your content, be active on social media or cooperate with Google. Advertising is such a decisive factor that we decided to dedicate more than one article to this topic. Stay tuned!
Cherry on top of the cake
Your cake is ready to be sold. But if you add a cherry on top, you will get even better results. In the SEO area, the cherry can be identified with the analysis of the work done. The tools to evaluate your statistics and adjust your site, if necessary, are many. It is essential to know if the SEO approach chosen by you has brought the desired results.