If you are new to this world you may be wondering what is SEO and how it works. If you've heard this, you probably do not stop hearing about "natural positioning in Google". However, do you really know what this is and how to get it?
"SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it's a technique to achieve positioning in the first results of search engines like Google."
Achieving a good SEO positioning is very laborious and should be considered as a long-term strategy. Getting a good web positioning through an SEO strategy can take months and, sometimes, it may not be on the first page. SEO is a world in constant change and in which there is no absolute truth about what works and what does not to achieve a good web positioning.
The fact that SEO is a strategy that requires a lot of time and resources to reach goals, makes many projects opt for SEM positioning to be shown on the first page of Google. The higher you appear on search engine results pages (SERPS), the more traffic your website can receive. This can obviously result in leads, sales, conversions, subscribers, and revenue. Before we dive into the subject of what is SEO and how it works we will look at the two core types of search engine optimization:
This is about getting a structure and perfect optimization of your website internally so that when Google crawls your site it will understand the information as best as possible.
It's basically the art of optimizing everything on your website as best as possible to help your potential organic search engine rankings.
This means optimizing your content and structuring it properly, improving your websites loading speed, and implementing things such as internal linking, meta tags, alt attributes, and much more.
This is SEO that is not performed on your actual website, but other websites in order to improve the rankings of your own. This would consist of you getting what's known as a "Backlink" from another website related to yours for example. We will cover more on this topic below.
For each of these aspects there are countless techniques and guidelines to follow, however, the lack of information on the part of search engines, the constant changes in their algorithms and the myths that are fostered on the Internet have caused many to question what exactly the correct method of ranking a website is.
Sometimes they are abused, in such a way that Google and other search engines have come to consider them as invalid or unnatural techniques.
Therefore, what must be done to achieve a natural positioning in Google? Forget about the famous SEO techniques. And we don't say that you forget them completely, but make them go to the background and try to optimize your site thinking about the user, thinking about what information your user would like to read and how would they like to find it on your page. We are all users daily, so it is not a complicated job. We hate slow, fuzzy pages, difficult navigation, bad spelling or illegible handwriting, outdated information, etc. so keep this in mind when working on your website. In regards to getting higher rankings on Google, the best way to get you there is to acquire backlinks. So, what is linkbuilding in SEO?
The main basis of Off-Page SEO is the links. The links are one of the main providers of direct traffic to our website since they allow us to get visibility for our website and branding. In addition, links increase the authority and reliability of a page for search engines and help to relate the relevance of a page to specific keywords.
Backlinks are the links that point to our website which originate from other websites, blogs, social networks, forums, etc. These refer only and exclusively to the links that are directed to a different website from which these links come. If your site receives a link from another site; that's a backlink.
Because of this, there are many different types of linkbuilding.
It is also important to note that Google prohibits you from actively building these links in an attempt to better position your website within its results. They prefer that the links come naturally from other webmasters seeing your website and linking to it.
Before the appearance of Google, the results in the search engines were ordered alphabetically and only "onsite" factors were taken into account. But Google realized that the most important websites had more links from other websites than the less important websites. And that is how PageRank was born, the Google algorithm that prioritizes the results that are most referenced from other web pages. In this way, during the first years, Google established the analogy of 1 link, 1 vote and, based on this, ordered its search results.
But currently, the situation has changed and the links are valued more for their quality than for their quantity, that is, the ranking system developed by Google to measure the "Authority" of a web page (Page Rank), is based both on the quantity as in the "quality" of the links that point towards it, but to a greater extent in quality. It's important to note that the metric "Page Rank" as it used to be known has been dead for years now and you should ignore anyone trying to sell you "High PR Links" as they would have no clue what they are doing. Page Rank still does exist its own state, however.
Now, it’s very important to note that there is a very fine art to getting backlinks and link building techniques. This isn’t simply a case of more is better, in fact, it’s almost the opposite. Getting backlinks should be treated as quality over quantity.
One backlink from an authoritative and niche-related site will far outweigh 100 links from un-related and low authority sites.
Characteristics of a Quality Link
A quality link is one that is related to the theme of the website to which it links. For example, if from SEOToolsHQ we link to pages related to search engine optimization, it is better than if we link to a clothing store, which has nothing to do with our subject.
The relationship between our website and the site that links to us is very important. Google rewards and values the relationship between two websites that are linked or linked to.
In the case of a digital marketing agency, a link from a marketing blog is much more valuable and valuable than a link from a clothing store. The first link is thematically related to the site, therefore it will be a better-valued link than the second link that has nothing to do with us.
And not only are search engines looking at the relationship between two linked websites but users who are visiting the marketing blog, may be interested in online marketing services and therefore the links are very useful.
A quality link is one that comes from websites or platforms of great reputation and relevance and are already well positioned in search engines with a high authority and many visitors. The more authority the page has; of better quality will be the links that it emits.
A quality link uses a text that matches the content of the page or the targeted website. This text is called anchor text. That is, the phrase where you click to open a link is called anchor text.
The anchor text is very important because the search engines use them to obtain information about the topic of the page that is being linked and help to position those linked keywords. But any linking technique using anchor text is not valid, with the arrival of Google Penguin, the rules changed and now it is necessary to combine anchor text optimized by keywords to position with other generics such as "click here" or "more information". The objective is that the links appear natural and not created to over-optimize or fall into the technique called Anchor Text Stuffing.
In short, it is advisable to create a mixture of different types of links: links with pure keywords, with related keywords, with the linked URL and with generic words.
A quality link is placed on a website that has few outgoing links. The more links a website has, the less relevant each will be. For example, a page with a high reputation that only contains a link will transmit a greater value to this website than if it had five links.
A link is of higher quality if it is external instead of internal.
It is more valuable to get links from two different domains than to have two links from two or more pages under the same domain.
The value also depends on the position of the link. The links that are inside the content have greater value and naturalness than those that are placed in the navigation menus or in the footer.
Text links are more effective than links from images.
The new links, as well as the links that remain for a long period of time, are very effective. In addition, the natural growth of links is more beneficial than the spontaneous appearance of numerous links that can be considered as spam.
Link Juice is the quality or authority that is transmitted when one website links to another.
It is very important that the links are structured and controlled correctly without falling into a dispersion of links. To do this, avoid transferring a lot of link juice to unimportant pages. Also, do not distribute your link juice to other websites that do not interest you, in these cases, you can use the "nofollow" tag so that the search engines do not take them into account.
Another aspect to keep in mind is that Google gives more value to the first link that finds a particular page, regardless of the number of links that we put, so think carefully what link to put first and remove all unnecessary links.
Use a combination of dofollow and nofollow links. Obtain a link profile where there is a combination of links "dofollow" (tells search engines that can follow that link) and links "nofollow" (tells search engines not to follow that link). This combination between these two types of links, tells Google that our linked profile is natural and that therefore we are less susceptible to possible penalties for over-optimization.
Analyze the theme of the website to link, how many links it has in total, how many internal and external links the page has, where will the link be placed, etc. All these variables will allow us to know the so-called "link value" or strength of the page that can be transferred to ours.
At this point, it is also important to add that you should not only get external links to your website, but the internal links (those that appear on your website and directs you to another place on your website) are very important too.
Internal links are hyperlinks found on your website that link to other pages on your site. These links can point to any part of the page: homepage, an article on the blog, a category or a product page.
Google gives more importance to first level links, then to second level links and so on. That is, the deeper you go, less link juice will be on the page; therefore you must control the number of links and the level of depth of your page, keeping it within acceptable levels of navigation.
Add direct links to the most important pages. Taking into account the previous point, it is interesting to create direct links to the best pages that are at lower levels and that receive little juice. This way, we can highlight some product pages for e-commerce, which are usually found at lower levels.
Take care of the number of links on each page.
Each link of a page transfers power and value, so do not place links because they are and control and assess if they are necessary. If in my website there are two links (one to services and another to contact) these two pages will have much more authority and more strength than if I link to 10 different sites.
Create links in the content of your website.
Whenever you can and in a natural way, use the text of the content of your website or the blog to take the user to other internal pages and transfer link juice.
Googles search engine ranking system relies on its algorithm which has been evolving ever since its inception. There are many elements to its algorithm that you could consider form it as a whole but also function in their own unique way.
And that is how it is, these updates have the power to throw all that SEO work done in the trash. So, the first and fundamental thing that we have to tell you is that, in addition to performing good SEO practices, we must be up to date on the changes made by this wonderful search engine to adapt and correct changes as soon as possible.
The oldest of our animal-themed friends is Google Panda. When it was released Google's new algorithm seemed very simple to understand but the problems arose when putting it into practice.
One of the procedures, quite logical for its part, was not having content copied from other pages. And the truth is that there is no one to take away the reason because why do I want to see two equal results of a search? What a range of possibilities! But good, leaving the irony aside, in this way Google only showed "original" content and put it in quotation marks because the first adaptation of this animal sometimes displaced the sites of origin to place the indecent copiers above.
When Penguin was launched as Google's new algorithm, it was not, at all, a silent killer. This was so detrimental that the results could be seen perfectly in the Analytics charts on web pages that would have misused backlinks. And is that the purpose of this algorithm was to quickly penalize those pages that made the purchase or sale of links to improve the position in the search engine quickly.
With this algorithm, Google wanted to know what the user was looking for in order to offer the best possible result, the purpose of this modification was to understand exactly what the interested party wanted and be able to offer it where it was located. This Google animal update was one of the more friendly ones that has an obvious benefit to the user and webmaster.
The loading speed of a webpage and the practice of improving it, referred to as WSO (Website Speed Optimization), is a determining factor for the classification of this in the search engines. But what is the importance of loading speed for SEO? Mainly to create good user experience (UX) that produces a fast website, thus affecting the bounce rate. Google loves the correct navigability or usability of a website since visitors can quickly find the content they are looking for and search engines can understand the ideas of that website.
In 2010, Matt Cutts announced that Google used "load speed time" as a determining factor in its algorithm positioning and this is increasingly important.
How much time should you load a site so that its loading speed is well optimized?
There is no exact and ideal load time that indicates that a website is well optimized, but check out some of these stats from various sources:
Taking into account all these points, we could say that all web pages that are below 3 seconds will have a good WSO or loading speed and all those that are above 3 seconds must improve their optimization of the load time or they will lose prospects.
If your web page takes 3 or more than 3 seconds to load, follow the following guidelines:
Remove plugins and social network widgets
For each social network plugin, the loading time is approximately one second. Therefore we must assess whether the information of "number of followers", "number of likes", "number of repins " brings good experience to the user since each query of our website to the API of the social network supposes an overload.
Page Speed Insights
PageSpeed Insights is one of the tools that Google makes available to developers. By entering the web we want to analyze, the tool gives us useful advice with the changes we should make to improve the speed of our website.
When creating a web page and registering a domain, we must take into account different aspects of interest to create the perfect URL. If your URLs are complex, users will have trouble remembering them. The URLs must describe the page to the search engines. Therefore, we will always try to make our addresses relevant, attractive and precise by implementing the correct URL structure SEO. You can follow these tips if you want to create an SEO friendly URL in PHP or other platforms too as the structure will still apply.
URL Structure for SEO Analysis
Some time ago, the domains that included keywords, ranked very well compared to other domains that did not use them. But Google has been removing weight to 'Exact match domains' so that the value of keywords in the domains has been decreasing with the passage of time.
Keep it Short
We have previously said the importance of choosing a domain that is easy to remember and write. For that, what better than a short URL?
A short URL will be easier to understand and remember for the user. Furthermore, the impact on the positioning of a word in a URL is less the more to the right of the URL it is and the more words the URL has. Therefore, if we use a short URL, we may have more chance to rank better.
The limit of a URL is 2048 characters.
Remove stop words and strange characters when possible
Stop words are prepositions, conjunctions, articles, adverbs and pronouns that are included in the URLs.
Google ignores this type of words since they do not influence the positioning. Therefore, whenever we can we will try to avoid them in the URLs. Remember with URLs the shorter the better and the keywords, the more to the left and close to the domain, the better.
The elimination of stop words will not be taken into account in titles, content or meta tags of the website since they can affect the naturalness of the content and we must write for people and not for machines.
You must also remove any character that is not from the English alphabet: Letters such as ñ, accents or exclamation and question marks.
Hyphens in URLs to Separate Words
When it comes to separating the words from the URLs, the best thing for SEO is to use and structure your hyphens like this:
Control Your Indexing Status
It is advisable to have the indexing status of your page controlled to avoid duplicate contents or indexing problems. For this, we will use the tool Google Webmaster Tools, specifically in the section 'Google Index' -> 'Indexing status'.
Google classifies and orders the millions of blogs and websites according to several criteria that he considers important. Do not worry about the hundreds of blogs that talk about your same topic, because many are not good quality blogs (they do not give good information, they do not target an audience, etc.) and the vast majority do not use the strategies we are going to present you here. The same applies for Local SEO, and these three points below are exactly what you need to lay the foundation for an organic SEO blueprint:
You have to give your readers (blog) or visitors (website) content that interests them, and that resolves their problems. For example, Mc Donalds' blog gives advice on good nutrition and the Pampers website gives recommendations on baby care. Your company must also focus on giving quality content, with the aim of helping your current and potential customers. Quality content will make your potential customers return to your page because they find interesting things. This way you will have the opportunity to conquer them in order to sell your products or services when they need them.
These are the words or phrases people type into a search engine when they want to know or find something. The choice of keywords for your website is a fundamental part of improving the positioning. Through these words, we are indicating the form by which we would like to be found, so the more specific these terms are, the more options we will have to occupy the first positions of the searches.
Toyota would not be interested if people find it if someone searches for "cars", "Japanese cars" or "cheap cars"? Does the Italian restaurant on the corner not want its customers to find it if they are looking for "Italian restaurant X city"? To begin with this strategy you must choose 3 or 4 keywords or phrases (per article or web page), for which you would like your potential clients to find you.
3. Share on Social Media
As we said before, Google likes changes, so it's a good practice to update our content periodically and if possible daily. What you never have to do is let the weeks go by without adding anything new to our website.
Another good advice is to share our information with other users since it would be of little use to publish something new if this is not visited by anyone. In this sense, social networks provide us with the necessary ways to make ourselves known to a greater number of people.