SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a methodology or process whose purpose is to crawl, index and rank each page of a website as high as possible in organic (unpaid) search engine results.
Many still do not know what SEO is and how it can help a business. SEO is the work with organic search results, which plays a huge role in promoting a business.
In general terms, it’s about understanding what people are searching on the Internet, what words they use and what types of content they like. Once you understand what people are looking for, you can create a sales funnel through which users will go through and make a purchase.
Why is SEO important?
Clients can be sent to the funnel in many ways, including contextual advertising, social networks, advertising from bloggers and other sources. However, organic results occupy most of the search results. They receive most clicks in the search results, even more than contextual ads that are located above the organic search results.
SEO provides the business with the reach they need to attract customers. While you focus on topics that are of constant interest to the target audience, SEO promotion is the most stable method of generating traffic.
Google and Yandex take into account a wide range of factors when determining the ranking of a site in a search engine. Remember that the goal of search engines is to try to find the content that best matches the user’s request. If your website manages to make relevant requests related to your activities, this is a huge victory.
71.33% of Google searches resulted in a click on organic SERPs on the first page of SERPs. The second and third pages receive only 5.59%. These statistics once again emphasize the importance of integrating SEO optimization into a business’s marketing strategy.
Having a website that does not receive any traffic is pointless. SEO has many benefits that will help your site grow:
- Best user experience
- The main source of potential customers;
- Higher conversion rates
- Brand awareness;
- Effective budget management;
- Helps in competition.
- SEO will help you create a fast and convenient website that will meet the requirements of Google and Yandex.
Next, we will analyze, unlike the “black” and “white” SEO, how to check the state of your site and how, in fact, to optimize the site for search engines.
Black and White SEO
If something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. If you want to get fast results in SEO promotion, you will probably resort to using methods that are related to black SEO.
Black SEO includes techniques that violate search engine recommendations. The use of such techniques can ultimately lead to sanctions in search engines, which means lowering positions and traffic.
At Google, and Yandex has a great guide to improving the sites. These guides contain specific rules that must be followed. If a site violates one or more of these rules, Google and Yandex may impose sanctions on them. After troubleshooting, you can send the site for re-verification. Are you interested in Internet marketing and online business promotion? Subscribe to our Telegram channel!
White SEO is the exact opposite of black. It includes the use of optimization strategies that comply with the recommendations of Google and Yandex. The only way to get long-term results without the risk of sanctions is to use white promotion methods.
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SEO site audit
To find out what is wrong with the site, you can start with an SEO audit. Site audit before optimization allows you to assess the current state of the site and determine priority tasks.
Using advanced solutions, such as SEMrush or NetPeak Spider, will allow you to crawl up to tens of thousands of pages of a website and identify problems that impede search engine promotion. Such problems include broken links, duplicate pages, missing meta tags, and others. A good audit will include analysis of several sections of the site:
- The amount of organic traffic;
- Analysis of the semantic core;
- Technical condition of the site;
- Analysis of structured data and markup;
- Internal website optimization;
- Page loading speed;
- Content analysis;
- Link Profile Analysis;
- Competitor analysis.
Now your site has been tested for compliance with the basic algorithms of Google and Yandex, quality recommendations, and also received a list of problems that need to be fixed. You can proceed to the next step.
Before you start collecting keywords, it’s important to analyze your competitors. This is necessary to develop an effective strategy.
Identify your competitors. Look for sites that sell the same products or services as you do and consider them. When you have a list of several competitors, check which keywords they use for their site. Make a list of keywords your competitors use for SEO optimization. You can learn about them from the page headers, text, but it is best to use special services like keys.so or serpstat.com .
Find out where competitors get backlinks from. Analyze the list of inbound links and see if you can get links to your site from the same resources. For example, if you find an article with the top 10 online stores of your subject, then you can contact the site administrator and ask to include your store in its selection. Also ask for a link when someone mentions your brand. But you should make sure that the links sites are of high quality, because links from substandard sites can do more harm than good.
Now you have an idea of what your competitors are doing, and you can start compiling your own semantic core. When optimizing pages, it is important to consider keywords with good frequency, relevance and level of competition.
In RuNet, Yandex Wordstat is one of the main tools for finding keywords for SEO. It offers new keywords and a predicted search volume for them. If you have a regional business, then you can find out the scope of the search for the query of interest specifically in your region. You can also check the frequency in the context of devices and seasonal changes in traffic.
Suppose you are promoting an online brand shoe store in Moscow and want to put together a list of keywords for SEO. For different types of pages you will collect different requests. The main thing is to understand the intention of users and, on the right key request, to offer the right landing page.
For example, for the main page, the queries “online shoe store” are suitable, for the section with Nike shoes – “buy Nike men’s shoes”, and for a specific product use the name of a specific model – for example, “Nike Air Max 90 Essential Black”.
Remember that different keywords have different levels of competition. In other words, for some requests it will be easier to raise the site to the top, for others – more difficult.
There are many ways to evaluate competition. You can write a separate article on this topic, so for now we will write one of the simplest ways – use the service to assess the mutagen competition . Keys can be checked one at a time and in bulk. The lower the competition (preferably up to 10-15), the easier it will be to promote the page to the top.
After we discussed the importance of following the recommendations of Google and Yandex and touched on the topic of the semantic core, it’s time to talk about content.
Google and Yandex have become much smarter than they were 15-20 years ago. Of course, you should still use keywords in the content, but excessive use of keys will only harm, and not improve the site’s ranking.
Content is one of the most important ranking factors in Google and Yandex. But this does not mean that you just need a lot of content. Google and Yandex require high quality content. And although search engines do not give specific instructions for creating such content, there are several time-tested techniques that we will share below:
- Check the occurrences of keywords in the texts. As mentioned above, too many keywords hinder search engine promotion. Make sure that you only use keywords that are perfect for this page and that they fit seamlessly into the text.
- Do more and better than your competitors. If competitors create lists of “top 20 best …”, then you should create a “top 50 best …”. It can be time consuming, but you have to force yourself. Think about it from the point of view of search engines – if someone has better content that has been on the first line of search results for years, then something special is needed to get it out of there.
- Constantly update content if necessary. Search engine algorithms are constantly changing and updating, and page rank may fall. It’s worth going back to the old pages and updating the text, links, adding images or videos or other kind of content. This will help to occupy higher positions, and visitors will find the material more relevant.
Another secret to creating good content optimized for search engines is to create different types of content. Blog articles, e-books, infographics or videos are great ways to create effective content. Creating different types of content takes time and money, but with the right approach, it pays off.
On-Page SEO is the optimization of individual web pages for higher ranking and getting relevant traffic from search engines. There are many on-page ranking factors, among them:
One of the most ignored parts of SEO optimization is the user experience. High positions are not everything; you can attract a million people to the site, but if it is not optimized for the user properly, it will hit the bottom line.
A good user experience can be understood in different ways, but there are some basic conditions: the site has convenient navigation, there are no annoying pop-ups and automatic video and audio playback, the content is correctly displayed on all devices, the site loads quickly and much more. If you are optimizing an online store, we recommend that you read the UX article for online stores: how to create a better user experience .
Title optimization (title tag)
The title tag is the title of the entire page. The content of this tag affects the ranking and appears in the snippet in the search results. Try to make the page short (up to 60-65 characters) relevant to the content, with the inclusion of a key query by which you want to promote this page to the top and unique within your site.
Keywords in the URL are a ranking factor. It is also preferable to create non-long URLs – this is useful for people who want to copy and paste the URL on social networks or in an email.
Make sure that there are no 2 or more different URLs that link to the same or very similar content, because duplicate content negatively affects SEO. Use canonical URLs to avoid the negative effect of duplicates.
Internal links are links within a site that link to other pages within the same site. The purpose of these links is to redirect people from one page of your site to another. These links are important for SEO and user experience, so make sure they all work correctly and lead to the right pages. If the user clicks on the link but doesn’t get to the desired page due to broken links, he will leave and most likely will not return.
Think over the structure of the site. Imagine that the site is a pyramid with the main page at the top, the categories below it, and then the pages of goods, services or articles. Make sure that the structure is logical and clear to the user – this is extremely important for ease of use and for ranking in search results.
Links highlighted in red are called bread crumbs. They help in navigating the site and are an example of internal linking.
The goal of image optimization is to find a balance between file size and image quality for fast site loading without sacrificing image clarity. This is not only convenient for users, but Google and Yandex prefer faster website loading. In addition, the download speed affects the conversion rate, so with a slow site not only positions fall, but also income from those users who still get to your site.
Unique description tags
The description meta tag is the description under the heading on the search results page. It can be of any length, but about 160 characters are displayed in the search results snippet, so try not to exceed this length. Think of this tag as an advertisement – users read this description, and if they like it, they go to the site.
This displays the description tag on the search results page. And the title is the title tag.
Off-Page SEO is a set of measures that are performed outside the site in order to improve positions in search results. These include link building (getting backlinks from other sites), crowd marketing, content marketing, working with bloggers, etc. In simple words, Off-Page SEO helps search engines understand what others think about your site or product. people.
Getting backlinks is one of the most common and effective methods of Off-Page optimization. Search engines use backlinks as a signal about the quality of content and the authority of the site, so sites with a large number of high-quality backlinks are ranked higher in search results.
How to get back links? There are several ways:
- Buy on the stock exchange or contact the site owner and agree on the placement of the link for a monetary reward. This method is contrary to the recommendations of Google and Yandex, so we do not recommend doing this. Nevertheless, this is one of the most popular ways of link building in RuNet.
- Create them yourself. These can be links from forums where users create content, or guest blog posts, that is, an article written specifically for another site with a link to your site or directories, directories and ratings, where you can add the site yourself. But do not forget that links from low-quality sites can harm the position of the site . If anyone can post a link to the site, there are probably a lot of them there and there will no longer be any benefit from such a link.
- Naturally, when other Internet users and site owners voluntarily link to the site, because the content is high-quality or they want to recommend your products or services.
- Agree with site owners to link to your site or ask users to recommend you. For example, you suggest adding an article on someone else’s site with expert opinion, and in return the site owner mentions you and your site.
Local SEO Optimization
Local SEO refers to site optimization to attract potential customers from nearby areas. You can start local promotion by adding a site to a Yandex and Google map. How to do this is described in this article.
Google and Yandex are well aware of local queries, for example, “restaurants near me,” and in response, they display companies from the Yandex and Google directory. This is a great opportunity even for a young site to get first visitors and customers.
At the local request “restaurants in the center of Moscow”, in addition to organic issuance, Yandex.Handbook with suitable restaurants also appears
Fill out your profiles as detailed as possible – add a work schedule, contact details, photos, services, prices, a link to the site, and also ask customers to leave feedback about you. With the right approach, Google and Yandex map will provide you with a stable flow of customers, and all this for free.
Add your site to Yandex Webmaster and the Google Search Console to analyze the technical aspects of the site, get statistics on key queries that users find you on, track the appearance of new backlinks, and much more.
For more complete site statistics and visitor analysis, add Analytics to the site. What are these and what are the benefits of Google Analytics, we discuss in more detail in the article Google Analytics for the online store: instructions for beginners.
We hope you enjoyed our guide to the basics of SEO optimization.
SEO is a complex topic, but considering how much traffic and profit it can give your business, it is worth the time and effort.
Start optimization from the basics – make sure that the site is accessible for crawling by search robots, start publishing high-quality content optimized for key queries, and start doing link building. This will already be enough to get the first results. If you need help, please contact our specialists.
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