SEO - Step By Step Guide From Semalt
Website optimization has several important aspects that you should pay attention to. Taking care of each of them can make your website start gaining customers from search engines. You have to remember that SEO is an ongoing process that is practically never-ending.
Moreover, one cannot finish knowing everything in the world of SEO. This article will focus on the strategic and technical aspects of SEO.
Before you go on to optimize your website, you need to know how to optimize it. In the beginning, the most important task you need to do is to get to know your potential customers. You need to know what they need and how they Google it. Start with a thorough keyword analysis that will show your business from the customer's perspective.
Knowing all the queries and intentions of the users behind them, you can start planning subpages that will respond to their needs. Every problem and every intention should have a dedicated subpage on your website. Thanks to this, Google has nowhere else to send a potential customer.
If you sell legal services, it is not enough that you build one subpage with the offer. Depending on the scope you deal with, it will be a dozen or so subpages intended for potential customers looking for services related to:
- divorce cases;
- criminal cases;
- civil matters;
Each client raises a different issue and Google will not allow them to be limited to the home page. A person looking for a divorce lawyer only wants to find information about that area. For divorce-related inquiries, Google will display pages that comprehensively describe their offering.
Therefore, at the very beginning of SEO, start with a sheet of paper or an Excel spreadsheet. List all the problems that potential clients may encounter. To help you, you can use tools such as the Dedicated SEO Dashboard, which will show you the words used by search engine users.
For each issue (or user intent), add a page on the right that will be appropriate to be displayed on Google. There will be thousands of intents in big companies and online stores, each product, and each category will have some intent behind it.
Both the potential customer and the search engine robot must be able to find their way around your website easily. You will then have to plan the right structure for the website. The links between the different pages are responsible for the structure, for example, the menu (but not only). In online stores, products, categories and subcategories will be the main element of the information architecture.
The home page (the entire store inventory) is broken down into a few general categories, which can be broken down into smaller (or even deeper) subcategories.
Notice how the organic traffic is working
- Customers who enter phrases related to a laptop store on Google go to the home page. Based on the phrase, we don't know what more they need, so it makes sense that they have to go to the most general subpage.
- The categories related to the types of laptops will include people looking for: notebooks or ultrabooks, etc.
- People who are looking for laptops for gaming, work, etc.
Thanks to such optimization of the store, each user's need will be satisfied, and each entered phrase gives a chance to sell. Even if there are the same products in these categories - different users search for your products in different ways.
Preparation of such a structure is not difficult, but it requires knowledge of the full range of keywords used by potential customers. If you have prepared a table with words and subpages assigned to them, you can now use it.
Repair of technical errors
Technical optimization is primarily what is related to the reading of the page by search engine robots. To show your website in the results, Google needs to know what information is on each subpage. Therefore, it should be as easy as possible for indexing robots to get to know the entire website.
This is a very important element in SEO, all the previous and subsequent work will be wasted if Google robots are not able to find the right URLs. What are the correct URLs? All that you have included in your structure. The others should be blocked, mainly because there is no need to scan addresses that will not respond to any query.
Deficiencies in this field may block further SEO activities, which is why it is so important to start the optimization process by eliminating technical errors.
There is also a wide range of potential errors that are mentioned most often in various SEO audits. They are important, but you can postpone fixing them.
Such errors include, for example:
- incorrect header structure;
- no ALT attributes in graphics;
- no structured data;
- a large amount of unnecessary code;
- not using title attributes in links;
- incorrect formatting of the content;
You will hear a lot, for example from companies that offer SEO, that these are important mistakes. All in all, it is true, but not many people say that fixing these errors will not do anything at all if the website is not optimized in terms of structure and content, which will be discussed in the next paragraphs.
The content and appearance of the website
Website content is a way to reach potential customers. The content is responsible for which phrases you will appear on Google (no content means no visibility). If you want to appear for the phrases with a given product, you need to properly prepare the product card in terms of SEO:
- prepare a name containing keywords;
- write the right title of the subpage that will become the result of the search;
- write a description that will be valuable for the potential customer, additionally containing the right keywords - the ones you have chosen for this product.
The same should be done with service companies - each individual service should be treated as a product. It should be described on a separate subpage, it is very important from the SEO point of view. Google simply cannot show your business in search results if there is no place (subpage) on it that the searcher could refer to. A summary page or the main page is not enough.
In addition, the content of the page should be structured in a logical and easy-to-understand manner. Each company works differently, so the content should be prepared to meet the needs of your customers. It is not always good for you to follow the competition. It is possible that they are trying to reach a different target group.
It is worth remembering that your customers are at different stages in the purchasing process. Some people are just looking for information about your product and want to find a page that will explain how it works. Others already know the benefits of your product and just want to buy it. Both of these groups should receive different content to fully meet their needs. This should be taken into account when selecting keywords and parts of the website that users are to find when entering these words.
Content optimization is mainly:
- keyword selection information;
- architecture on the site;
- preparation of relevant content;
- optimization of metadata (mainly the title and description of a given URL);
- type of content (text, graphics, video, presentation, etc.);
- elimination of the problem of content duplication;
- elimination of the phenomenon of cannibalization of keywords.
Apart from the content itself, the method of its presentation also matters. A useful page makes it easier to understand what it depicts. A simple layout will help one find himself and understand the meaning of the content more easily. Users like clear presentations. The text should be properly formatted, and contain paragraphs of a certain length, bulleted lists, and helpful graphics. These things also count for the optimization of the website for search engines.
Off-page SEO activities
Technical optimization of the website and its content is not enough. You still need to carry out SEO activities outside of the website itself. Google's trust in your website increases when robots find information about it in various places on the Internet.
What is this information?
- links from other websites;
- mention of the company name;
- opinions on various websites and forums.
Information about your company posted outside your own website allows you to increase the number of potential customers who will also find your website through search engines. The process of building trust with links and mentions of the company should be carefully planned, continuous and long-term. Well-conducted activities in this field can enhance technical and content optimization.
Where to post links or mentions?
The strategy for acquiring links depends on the business goal and the company's operations. For example, a small local company that is looking for customers within a city or district should focus on gaining the so-called NAPs. This is information about the company containing the company's name, address and telephone number (NAP = Name, Address, Phone) placed on the Internet. Local information, on the other hand, will not be useful when positioning online stores operating throughout the country. Large stores need to acquire links in other ways.
If you need to learn more about the subject of SEO and website promotion, we invite you to visit our Semalt blog.