SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a discipline that helps to optimize and enhance the visibility of a website or blog in the organic results of search engines, mainly on Google.
Wikipedia says: “SEO is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results”
Although Google is currently not the only source of Internet access as it was a few years ago, this due to the emergence of native apps on smartphones and social networks, yet still has enough authority.
We also know that when the vast majority of users perform any search on Google, they immediately look at the results of the 1st page and rarely navigate through the rest.
Within the first page, it is not the same to appear in the top 3 positions than any other position lower than that. This is due to the CTR (click through rate of the users in regards to the impressions or times that such result is displayed) it is much lower.
For example: Although there is always 10 results appear on each page, only the first 5 results on that list will be the ones receiving most clicks by users to access the content.
Therefore, how to optimize a website is something that requires a series of actions in both levels internal as external. with regard to the web to work, to get more visibility to attract more traffic and visits to the website.
Two main ways on how to optimize a website for SEO: On-Page and Off-Page
How to optimize a website for SEO can be divided into two parts, optimizing SEO On Page and optimizing SEO Off Page. Depending on whether the actions that we have to take are internal aspects to the website or otherwise, we will then be optimizing for one or the other.
Here I am going to briefly explain each one of the parts you need for you to know how to optimize a website for SEO.
How to optimize a website – SEO On Page
SEO OnPage refers to those actions that need to be taken within the website in order to optimize it, always taking into account the suggestions or demands of Google.
Therefore, it has to be the first part that we need to work with in order to optimize a website for SEO since if we have no successfully optimized our website yet, it would be almost worthless that we start taking external actions.
On page SEO positioning is divided into the following sections:
- -Web architecture
- -Structured data
- -WPO or loading speed
- -Quality and original content
- -Internal links
- -Friendly URLs
- -Meta tags
- -H tags
- -UX or user experience
Without going much into details in this aspect, the web architecture has to do with how the website has been it developed, it must be a structured and organized web page. The language used, everything related to the de code used, definitely matters.
If the web architecture is too complex, convoluted, and is poorly raised and structured, Google crawlers and users themselves will have a lot of trouble to find the content and the information they are looking for. If instead the web architecture is well crafted, it will be a good foundation, to begin with SEO optimization.
Structured data are a series of informative tags that serve to describe the content of the website, something that users don’t see, but the robots of Google, something that is very important, since it serves to better understand what is the content on the page.
Structured data will help Google to be able to offer more accurate results in terms of search from users based on the semantics used in the contents.
WPO (web performance optimization):
The loading speed of a website, as its name suggests, refers to the time that it takes for a page to load and display the content to the user. Today, a website that takes more than 2.5-3 seconds to load is considered slow and leads to a backlash by the user as the closure and abandonment of the page.
The vast majority of factors imply to have knowledge on how to work with them and optimize them, but if in your case you still don’t have the knowledge, what you can really do is compress the size of the images without loss of quality and with this will be a big help to get the loading speed is improved.
This factor is today, very important. After several experiments and tests, we have proven that by optimizing the content of a website, you get a better rate on the SERPs (which means Search Engine Results Page, these are the results pages that appear in the search box) and get better positions.
And what is the meaning of optimizing the content? Take into account that is not only about the keywords that we want to position in Google with that content, but also all of the semantic field that accompanies and gets involve around those keywords.
It is evident, that in addition to this, the content must be original and quality, to provide real value to readers and to draw them in their reading.
How to optimize a website – Internal links:
Internal links refer to links that are created within the same website and link to other pages of the same website. This way, we obtain two things:
-The first thing is improvement of user experience lever, since the best way to expand the information and content on a particular page it’s carrying the user over to other pages where such information is expanded such (Wikipedia does a great job with this, as we are accustomed, most of their words to have a link that expands the contents of each word more aggressively without having to go seek information outside of this web).
-The second thing at SEO level, which serves to transfer the authority of a strong page to the rest of pages through the links.
How to optimize a website – Meta tags:
The meta tags, are a part of the code that is not shown to the user and which serves to summarize the content of each page for the search engines and browsers.
The most used are the Meta Title, Meta Description, Meta Keywords, and Meta Robots.
Meta title serves to put in less than 60 characters the more attractive and explanatory title going to appear in the SERPS. It is therefore very important because based on this goal, the CTR may be larger or smaller.
The meta description serves to make a brief description of maximum 160 characters explaining what the website or the page in question is about, trying to attract visitors and clicks also in this way.
The meta keywords today are no longer a factor that Google takes into account, as it was the case a few years ago. However, I’m still using it adding at least 1 or 2 keywords in this field, those ones that I’m working on.
Meta robots, report to the search engine spiders whether the content of that page is indexable and can be traced or not. The 4 possible combinations are:
-Index, Follow: Allows the page to be indexed and can be tracked by the spiders
-No Index, Follow: Does not allow the page to be indexed but it can be tracked
-Index, No Follow: Allows the page to be indexed but it can’t track
-No Index, No Follow: Does not allow the page to be indexed and it can’t track
How to optimize a website – H tags
H tags represent a hierarchy. They are numbered from 1 to 6.
On every page of a website should only have a single <h1>tag that would come to represent the title or header of the page. And it is important that it is this tag since a level of positioning has much relevance. Try the main keyword is in the H1.
Then put the <h2>that would be the subheadings or subtitles in order of relevance. Within these <h2>may be subparagraphs that would be the <h3>and so on.
How to optimize a website – User experience, UX:
User experience has been increasingly becoming an important factor in SEO positioning.
It is extremely important to focus on users either when they are looking for concrete content in the SERPs and the search engine gives the best possible result as when that user is accessing that content. You are truly what you are looking for, so tidy, simple, which is useful, which can surf the pages of the site expanding information, etc.
I.e., we need to generate a satisfactory and positive perception of the user when they access and browse our website.
How to optimize a website – SEO Off Page
On the other hand, SEO Off Page refers to those actions that we take outside the website. It has nothing to do with any of the aspects that we talked about before (which are internal aspects) and they are directly relevant to our web, but they are very related to web positioning although it seems contradictory to what I have just said, with the above points.
Just to make sure there is no doubt, SEO off page have its outside(externally) of our website, that’s why I say that it has nothing to do with internal aspects. However, they are very related to each other because it’s worthless to have a great quality external strategy if our website is not well structured and does not provide a good user experience.
As of the off page SEO aspects, there are several factors that come into play, although the most important and well known by everybody is the so-called link building.
The backlinks are links that point from the external website to internal website pages.
There are two types of links:
The DoFollow links transmit the authority and strength of the page in question to the page linked.
Moreover, the NoFollow “does not convey” that authority, but is used to take the user from a website to another.
In a link building strategy, it is important that there is a balance between these two types of links in order to provide naturality.
Another important aspect for these links is the so-called “anchor text” or text anchor, which is the text accompanying the link when you click on it.
At the level of code, a link is built the following manner:
<a href=”http://www.dominio.com”> anchor text <a/>
It is very important to vary the text anchor. Isn’t anything natural to have multiple links pointing to our website from different places with the same text anchor. That is indeed a punishable technique that Google does not like. For this reason, try to vary and toggle the text anchor.
Therefore, link building has a very important role, so it is necessary to promote the creation of different links as well as be proactive and create them ourselves.
And it is not so much a question of quantity, but quality. It’s better to have a few links but from relevant websites, related to our topic and well ranked by Google such as links from newspapers, related blogs, directories of quality, social networks, etc. than many low quality links created on sites with topics very different to ours, on websites of ill-repute, or do not have authority…
Along with the different factors affecting off page SEO, in addition to the links, there is also others relevant factors like comments, reviews, opinions, content brand, called PAN (Phone, Adress, Name), especially of expensive local positioning.
Usually, these factors also attempt to create links, but sometimes with the simple purpose of creating a name, brand awareness, foster dialogue and discussions in regards to a product, service or industry, and be actively involving the brand relates to all of this. It leads to the creation of the link without us doing that, the users comment and leave reviews and sometimes they are the ones who link to our website from another site, this way our website improves it’s positioning in a natural way.
The same thing with NAP, as I said making reference to the most important data of a physical business such as the name, address and telephone number. Include these data in local authority directories, social networks, forums, when you write a comment, etc helps to link and cross data that contribute to the positioning.
Another aspect that has been gaining more and more strength, is the ability that Google has when it comes to understanding and process texts and generated content, this is not only giving relevance to the keyword or keywords in question, but to all the semantic field that is generated by those words.
For this reason, is increasingly more important to work the content (especially the inner contents of our website) but also the external content we generate based on all the semantic field relevant to the keyword. This way, Google includes the keyword, the anchor text of the link in question, and the words that are around, linking terms and pages based on concordance, the cogitation, and the co-occurrence.
Social networks also help position derived from this social upheaval, conversations, and shares that occur around an article, page or brand in question.
How to optimize a website – Most important factors
As the final conclusion, the most important factors in the web positioning for search engines like Google so that a page can appear among the first results in the SERPs are:
- -Web architecture
- -Optimized content
- -Internal links
- -External links
- -Social mentions
- -User experience
- -Authority and reputation of the site
Taking care of all these points and working with them little by little, will get you better positioning and get more keywords to appear among the top results.
However, SEO is a constant, very steady, hard work that provides visible results in the medium term and long term, so it is imperative that you have patience and you start with a good base, developing all the points mentioned above. Remember, first devote time to the internal level of page optimization and then work the creation and obtaining of quality backlinks and off page SEO.