A quick intro
So you have a website representing your business, your precious piece of an estate on the web… and for most people, this is the end of the story.
Roll the credits.
But you aren’t unique.
In fact, your website is one of 576,000 uploaded EVERY DAY.
We won’t get too much into detail when it comes to the size of the internet because we don’t want to waste your precious time.
But we all know one thing – it is competitive out there, and there is a chance that your website might be invisible.
So how do we get a percentage of those sweet 5 billion DAILY searches and, even better, the fact that it can be done for free?
This is what we will explore in this blog post, designed for people who want to know the most important in the least amount of time.
Fundamentals of SEO
An SEO audit scans the website for foundational issues that may affect the organic search performance, e.g., a slow website and misused H tags.
Even though SEO is going from code-driven to content-driven, technical SEO is still essential and isn’t as complicated as people believe it is.
This is the next step after doing the audit.
Fixing all the problems and issues that affect your user experience plus improving your existing/creating new content.
Analyzing what your audience is searching for, how competitive a search is, and finding the best keyword to rank for.
Creating well-thought-out content generates high-quality backlinks and satisfies Google’s philosophy of giving correct and thorough information.
Link building is getting your site mentioned by other websites via a link. Mentions by higher authority websites like Wikipedia can boost ranking.
Measuring the performance of a campaign via Google analytics. Essential indicators are organic traffic, search ranking, and visibility.
Before starting your journey into SEO optimization and all the cool things about it (at least for us, they are), you have to conduct a website audit.
Think of it as a house inspection before you start any work on fixing it.
Take a look at your website – is it easy to use and navigate through it? Is it fast and mobile responsive?
View its design and ask people for feedback – no one wants to visit a bad-looking website.
Analyze the content – search engines need informative content, not filler sentences, and fluff.
Does your webpage provide that?
Search for technical errors – we will talk about technical SEO in the next chapter.
After you’ve done a website audit, create a checklist so you can begin fixing all the issues and build better content on top of that.
What is technical SEO?
Technical SEO is the part of website marketing that isn’t seen by the users but by the search engines.
You can read our in-depth technical SEO guide here.
Why is it important?
No matter how many great content pieces you produce, without technical SEO, your audience may never see it.
covers how the different pages within your website are structured.
A great rule of thumb for website architecture is to check whether you can visit any page on your website within four clicks.
help search engines find all of your web pages, allowing them to crawl, index, and discover your content.
measures how much Google can scan in your website in a certain amount of time.
If you do the things from this tutorial, you shouldn’t worry about crawl budget.
measures how quickly your page loads within specific benchmarks.
Google has stated that page speed affects rankings, and it’s also crucial for UX.
You should aim for a page load in under 2 seconds.
tells the search engines whether or not to index certain pages on your site.
Diving deep into it isn’t necessary unless you want to have a bigger crawl budget.
Having copied or too similar content to other pages (even your own) can affect rankings.
The most common cause for penalties is in e-commerce, where products with different versions have different URLs.
On-page SEO has to do with fixing all your site’s technical issues and improving your content/ user experience.
If you’ve followed the last 2 steps, you should understand where your website stands in terms of content quality and technical health.
You may need to hire a designer or a programmer to ensure a properly optimized website, but it is worth it.
On-page SEO ties your website’s search engine and user-based aspects, killing two birds with one stone.
After you are done with fully optimizing your entire website, you can move on to growing it, a.k.a creating new content.
Why is keyword research necessary?
By having a curated list of keywords to target, you can create content and web pages with SEO in mind.
Keywords for SEO
Even though shorter keywords like “dentist” get the most searches, it isn’t optimal to use such because single words are too competitive; instead…
Focusing on long-tail keywords
like “dentist in Camden, London” will narrow down the search options a lot, allowing you to have a higher chance of hitting the first page.
How to find such keywords?
Just type in your main short keyword into Google, and the browser will autosuggest a list of longer keywords that you can use.
An easy way to find keywords to rank for is by seeing what terms other businesses are ranking for.
You can do this using paid tools.
(Also, keep in mind other factors like backlinks and domain authority when trying to match your competitors)
This is a significant part of your keyword research journey. In short, you need to look into 3 main factors:
- Content quality
- Number of competitor backlinks
- Number of search results
Choosing the best keywords
If you have done all the previous steps, you will most likely have a list of terms that receive a lot of searches but aren’t hard to rank for.
You can also use the Google Keyword Planner, but you need a Google ads account.
Keywords are a vital aspect of SEO, and you should take your time finding the best terms to rank for to optimize your content around them.
After keyword research, it’s time to start creating high-quality content to rank.
When you create authoritative content with on-page SEO in mind, you should rank high in the search engine results.
This is the text under a link to a webpage.
When you write enticing Meta descriptions, users are more likely to click on your website.
URLs with SEO in mind
Good URLs are essential for both the search engine and your audience.
So avoid https://yoursite/product76566584q8a
and use https://yoursite/product-category/product-A
Using your main keyword a few times on your page is okay. But there is no need to spam it.
Instead, use synonyms and words surrounding the topic.
Rich snippets are tiny bits of information in the Meta description or to the sides of the results.
They increase organic click-through rates simply because they are more eye-catching.
Types of rich snippets
The most popular ones are:
- company information
- product pricing
These are the search results you see before all the web pages, even the paid ads.
They are usually around 50 words long in the form of text, tables, and ordered/unordered lists.
What is link building?
Link building means having other websites link to your own.
Why is it important?
Website ranking is a voting contest.
The more votes (links) you have, the better the rankings.
But it’s not a democracy.
Authoritative websites like Wikipedia have a more decisive vote than your neighbor’s week-old blog.
Backlinks is the term used for links from other websites.
Finding broken links is a gold mine for link building.
If you stumble upon a link that no longer works, you can contact the owner to replace that link with a page from your website.
It’s a good practice to create content with link-building in mind. It will also improve the UX of your content.
The easiest way to do so is by creating graphical content that’s easy to understand and avoids long paragraphs.
The good thing about resource pages is that their owners want more links.
So if your content is good and supports their thesis, you can score a link quickly.
Research and data
Thorough and scientifically done industry research is guaranteed to score links.
A breakthrough using large amounts of data attracts link prospects.
How do you track progress?
By using Google Analytics and Google search console, and looking out for the most critical factors.
The one factor that matters
Online traffic. The more you have and the more it has grown, the better. Simple.
Down below are other vital metrics that have to do with user experience.
Bounce rate is when visitors click on your page, and without doing any actions on it, they leave no matter how long they stay on your site.
The amount of time a user spends on your website – the higher the dwell time, the better
The percentage of people that clicked on your link in a given search. If there are 1000 searches for a given topic, and your website gets 200 clicks, your click-through rate is 20%.
When searchers immediately click back from one page to go to the one below, that is a sign of pogo-sticking – it tells Google that the search result didn’t satisfy the visitor.
is the goal a user has when searching in Google. Satisfying Search intent is simple – give people what they are looking for.
Core web vitals
are factors split into 3 categories regarding page speed
Loading time – delay until users see the whole page on their screen
Interactivity – time until users can interact with your page
Visual stability – lack of movement in your page’s elements when loading
Okay, I’ll be honest. Maybe this wasn’t the quickest guide ever.
But the goal of this blog post was to show you how broad SEO is and that it isn’t just spamming keywords in the title.
SEO is a long process that requires both a lot of time and a lot of expertise.
But why bother with search engines and all of that work?
Well, apart from the fact that the search engine optimization industry is expected to reach 80 billion dollars by 2025 – the competition will get even more fierce.
Having a website on the first page gives you a free-to-run money-printing machine, and unlike social media that owns all of your information, your website is entirely yours.
We will explore the value of SEO in more detail in our value of SEO post.
But in the meantime…
Do you want to have everything listed in the blog post without doing any work yourself?
Don’t hesitate to book a call with our agency, and we will discuss an optimal strategy tailored for your business.