What is SEO
SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization, which, in other words, means the optimization of the website for search engines.
The main goal of the SEO is to optimize your website, its design, and content, in order to get the best possible position in the search engines such as Google, Yahoo, or for instance, Bing, depending on the relevant keywords, which should result in the increased number of high-quality visits on your website.
How to Be Ranked First in Google Search Results
Various research suggests that webpages that are located on the first page on Google get almost 95% of clicks, while other studies show that the results that shown higher on the list get increased click-through rate (CTR), as well as more visitors.
SEO doesn’t just adjust your website for search engines, but also for the people who are trying to find it as well.
In the first place, you need to take what are the thoughts of your potential visitors and how they’re trying to get to your content into consideration.
Since the goal is to attract as many website visitors as possible, especially those who are interested in your content, SEO is a very important step towards it.
If potential clients want to find some specific product or service, they will usually try to find it on Google first.
Of course, the biggest success would be if your content was on the first page on Google. However, if that is not the case (because of a large competition) we will help you to reach that same result.
With the better search rating, the number of visitors viewing your content also increases, which furthermore, leads to better sales of products and services you offer. And we shouldn’t forget the positive effect that will only make your brand stronger.
How Does SEO Work
Google (as well as Bing, which drives Yahoo search results) rates search results according to the relevance and authority of the pages from its internet index, so users would get the best possible answer.
Google uses over 200 signals when it rates your search results, and SEO includes technical and creative activities used to improve some of those signals.
It’s often useful not to focus too much on the individual signals for ranking, and look at the bigger picture on what is the ultimate goal of Google, which is to provide the best possible answer to its users.
Therefore, SEO ensures that the website can be accessed, that it works well, use the words that people type in the search engines, and to provide high-quality and specialized content, which helps to satisfy the needs of the users.
The guidelines for search quality, provided by Google, offer a lot of details and examples on what is classified as a content or a website of the low and high quality, according to Google.
The most important thing here is to know that Google wants to reward websites that show great expertise, authority, and trust (EAT).
Google uses the algorithm based on the hyperlinks (known as ‘PageRank’) for calculation of the popularity and the integrity of the page, and even though Google is more sophisticated today, it is still one of the basic signals in the rating process.
Therefore, SEO can also include activities that help to increase the number and quality of the inbound links or the links that come to your website from other websites. This activity is also known as the link building.
Linking your website with other relevant and prestigious websites sends a strong signal that your site is trusted and that it could be of great use for its users, as well as it’s good enough to be shown on the top of the search results.
How to Do SEO
Search Engine Optimization process consists of several different activities, each with its own important aspects to think about. Those activities are:
- Technical SEO
- Onsite SEO
- Offsite SEO
- Local SEO
Let’s talk about every single one of these activities individually, in order to fully understand how SEO should be done.
The first and one of the most important phases of the SEO process is the Technical SEO, which consists of activities whose main goal is to make sure your website and server are in the best possible shape to be ranked in the search engines.
Importance of Technical SEO
The quality of the content, keywords, and links are important aspects of every SEO campaign. But, in order for your website to be seen in the search results, you need more.
Even if you have high-quality content, it won’t be seen, unless you optimize your website and server to have the best possible performance.
What does that actually include?
First of all, your website needs to be safe for browsing, as well as to be fast enough when it comes to loading the pages.
Apart from that, optimizing the content in order to avoid unoriginality is quite important, next to mobile optimization.
There are other important activities regarding Technical SEO, so let’s take a better look at what they are, and why they are important.
1. Use of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
Back in 2014 Google requested that everyone should use the Secure Sockets Layer tech, which is used to make an encrypted connection between the search engine and your website server.
Websites that use this tech are easy to recognize, since they all begin with the ‘https’, unlike those who don’t use it, which start with ‘HTTP’
Therefore, if you are using certain web building tools, most of them already have a built-in SSL as a default tech. If that is not the case, you can install it manually anyway.
2. Optimization for mobile devices
Mobile devices are an important aspect of today’s world, which is proven by the fact that more than half of all internet searches are done through mobile phones.
In order for your visitors to get the best possible user experience, you need to optimize your website for mobile use, so the pages would feel more responsive.
That way, your website will generate higher website traffic, meaning that you can reach out to more audiences and get additional potential customers.
3. Fast hosting
In order for the search engines to rank you higher in their results, it is also important to have a fast-loading website.
To do that you need to ensure a couple of things:
- Find a fast hosting provider
- Don’t use multiple CSS stylesheets, only one
- Minimize the amount of code on the website
- Find relatively fast DNS provider
- Use reduced images, but make sure they are not too small either because of pixelation
- Reduce the number of ‘HTTP requests’ (minimal use of website plugins and custom scripts)
- Do a web page compression, via GZIP for example
4. Dealing with the duplicate content
Search engines have very specific algorithms that are used to rank your content, in order to show them in the search results.
These algorithms can act weird if they notice a duplicate content on your website. This is why Technical SEO is very important.
Here, you need to prevent the duplication of the same posts or pages, so they wouldn’t cause any problems. This is what we do to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
5. XML sitemap
Another aspect of the Technical SEO is the creation of XML sitemap, which is a file whose main task is to provide assistance to the search engines when they’re scanning your website, so they know where the specific page is, when was it modified last time, what is the page priority, and what is the frequency of updates.
6. Enable AMP
AMP HTML is a specific code provided by Google, which is used to improve the speed of the website on smartphones.
Imagine your website having two almost the same, but also separate versions, one for mobile devices, and one normal version.
The features and everything that is shown on the website would be the same, but the mobile version, called the AMP version, would be able to give you faster performance on mobile devices.
You can do this by optimizing the code, by removing any unnecessary lines and features, such as comments, and forms, while also leaving the foundation of the website intact.
Faster the website is, more people it will attract, meaning that your audience will grow, and people will read your content more often.
7. Using structured data markup
Structured data markup is a specific website code that is tasked with providing relevant data do the search engines, which will allow them to optimize the indexing process.
Structured data markup is also extremely useful when it comes to creating top-notch snippets, which Google can use.
The more appealing snippets you have, the higher chance it is that Google will rank you on the top and show it to the readers, which would bring you more potential customers.
8. Taking advantage of free indexing tools
Once you are done with the website creation, and the content uploading, you need to send your website’s XML sitemap to Google or Bing, or even both.
It is done by submitting the details to the Google Search Console, as well as Bing Webmaster Tools, which are used to index your website in the search engines.
Some of the most commonly used features of these free tools are:
- Testing the performance on mobile devices
- Monitoring backlinks
- Gaining access to search analytics
- Removing spam links
Onsite SEO includes activities done on the website, whose main goal is to enhance the organic visibility of the website. That mostly includes content optimization, in order to improve the accessibility, relevance, and user experience.
Some of the most important activities included in the onsite SEO are:
- Keywords research
- Technical revision
- Direct onsite optimization
- Creating an optimized user experience
1. Keywords research
For your content to be seen in internet searches, you need to use proper phrases and words, so search engines could relate your content with the topic in question.
Therefore, you will need to do the keywords research, find the words with the high search intensity, and use them in your content.
This helps search engines to rank you higher in the search results, which means that your website traffic will also increase.
2. Technical revision
Technical revision is useful for making sure that your website can be indexed and crawled by the search engines.
Also, it includes the activities that help solve the issues users can experience, such as various errors, and barriers.
3. Direct onsite optimization
Direct onsite optimization aims to enhance the website structure, internal navigation, harmonization of pages, as well as the content relevance.
This is very important for organizing the structure of your content, as well as for the overall user experience.
4. Creating an optimized user experience
Last, but not least, one of the onsite activities is making sure that the content reflects some authority, relevance, and trust.
Apart from that, your content should be easy to understand, which, combined with the previous points, ensures that the competition won’t stand a chance.
Offsite SEO includes the external activities that are done outside the website, in order to improve the organic visibility of your content.
This is often known as the link building, whose main goal is to increase the number of relevant links from other websites, which are rated as trusted ones by the search engines.
Links from the trusted, relevant, and more popular websites are capable of transferring some of their value to other sites, unlike the links from unknown websites, in whose content people don’t believe. Therefore, the link quality is the most important signal.
Some of the typical offsite SEO activities are:
- Content marketing – links from trusted websites are of immense importance. That way, creating awesome content will ensure that new links are attracted to your website. This can include guides, stories, visualization, news, or research with the relevant data.
- Digital PR – PR gives reasons for other websites to connect with your website. It can be an internal news channel, guest writing, original research articles or studies, interview with experts, quotes, product reviews, and much more.
- Outside marketing and promotion – it includes communication with the journalists, bloggers, influencers, or webmasters about the brand, resources, content or even PR, in order to get enough coverage, and eventually received the links to the website.
It’s obvious that there is a number of reasons why would one website connect to another, but it was simply not possible because they didn’t fit in the activities we had mentioned above.
It can be a speech on a random event covered by local bloggers, sponsorship of the football team, or even a mention note from the seller, for instance.
A good rule about whether the link is useful or not is to measure the quality of the traffic on other websites that recommended it.
If the website doesn’t send any visitors, or if the audience doesn’t have any sort of connection with the website, then it shouldn’t be a connection worth pursuing.
It is important to remember the link schemes, such as sales links, or low-quality articles or files, whose main goal is to manipulate the ranking, because some of them might be against the Google guidelines, which might cause the website to be punished.
The best and the most sustainable approach for improving the backlinks is to earn them, by giving the reason to other websites to connect with your brand and content because of what they are, services or products they offer, or the content they create.
Local SEO is one of the SEO strategies specialized for optimizing the content for being able to show higher in the search results on a local level.
It’s safe to say that every company or small business can greatly benefit from the local SEO, especially if the competition is tough.
What Google found out by analyzing search data is that most people who are looking for something online, look for stores, shops, and retails that are relatively close to them.
Therefore, one of the most important aspects of the local SEO is that it helps to be shown amongst the top search results in the geographical search, aka the map search on Google and other search engines.
For example, if you want to order some food, you will probably look for available fast-food restaurants in your nearby area.
And when you do that, the most relevant websites will be shown on the first page, along with Google maps as well.
Now, local SEO includes everything we’ve talked about so far. The only addition is this geographical factor, where you need to think about optimizing your content not just based on the topic in question, but also considering the relevant locations.
Need Help with SEO?
Digital Media is an SEO agency that does extremely successful SEO campaigns in the sectors with the highest competition, by using the unique blend of technical and creative expertise.
There is nothing worse than the aggressive sellers, which is why we do not hire them. Therefore, if you would want one of our consultants about how our SEO could help you, feel free to contact us.