SEO Optimization: Everything you need to know
SEO optimization is one of the most effective digital marketing strategies to increase a website's visibility, traffic, and conversions. According to a BrightEdge study, 68% of online traffic comes from organic search engine results.
Therefore, it is essential to know and apply the best SEO practices to improve the positioning of your website and outperform the competition.
In this article we will explain what SEO is, what SEO optimization is, what its benefits are, how search engines work and what aspects you should optimize to achieve good SEO.
We'll also give you some tips on optimizing content for SEO, the differences between SEO and SEM, the importance of local SEO, and how to choose an SEO agency for your business.
What is SEO in Marketing
SEO is the abbreviation for Search Engine Optimization. It is the set of techniques and strategies focused on optimizing organic positioning in internet search engines.
Some examples are Google, Bing, Baidu, Yahoo!, Yandex, DuckDuckGo or YouTube.
The goal of SEO is to increase quality traffic, attract relevant visitors, and improve the authority and relevance of a website online.
Authority refers to the extent to which a website is considered trustworthy and high quality by search engines and other websites. It is based on the quantity and quality of backlinks or inbound links pointing to the website from other relevant and reputable pages. These links act as votes of confidence and popularity towards the website.
Relevance refers to how relevant a website's content is to users' search queries. Search engines analyze different aspects to determine the relevance of a website, such as keywords, tags and descriptions, site structure, and the relationship between pages.
Relevance is achieved by creating high-quality content and optimizing it for relevant keywords. To do this, it is important to understand users' search intentions and provide useful answers to their queries.
What is SEO optimization
SEO optimization encompasses a series of tactics with the purpose of raising the position of a website or blog in unpaid results, also known as natural or organic results, in search engines such as Google and similar ones.
SEO optimization involves the implementation of various techniques and strategies to optimize different aspects of a website, both internal and external.
Internal aspects refer to the elements that depend directly on the website, such as code, design, navigation, content, images, metadata, etc. External aspects refer to elements that depend on the website environment, such as inbound links, social mentions, online reputation, etc.
Benefits of applying SEO to your website
Applying SEO to your website has multiple benefits that will help you improve your online presence and achieve your business goals. Some of these benefits are:
Increase visibility and organic traffic : by improving positioning in search results, your website will be more likely to be found by users looking for what you offer.
Improve user experience : By optimizing your website for SEO, you will also be improving the usability, speed, design and content of your website. This will make users have a better experience when browsing your website and make them stay longer, reducing the bounce rate and increasing loyalty.
Generate trust and credibility : by improving the authority and relevance of your website, you will also be generating trust and credibility with users and search engines.
Reduce costs : By obtaining organic traffic you will not have to pay for each click or impression, as is the case with online advertising. In addition, SEO has a long-term effect, since the results are maintained over time if appropriate maintenance and updating actions are carried out.
Increase ROI : By getting more quality traffic and improving conversion, SEO will help you increase your website's ROI. SEO is one of the digital marketing strategies with the highest ROI, since it has a relatively low cost and high benefits.
Understanding search engines to be able to do SEO
Search engines are computer systems whose main function is to provide users with the most relevant and useful results for their search queries.
To do this, search engines carry out three main processes: crawling, indexing and classification.
Crawling – is the process of searching for new or updated web pages. Search engines use programs called crawlers or bots that follow links from one page to another, collecting information about the content and structure of each page. Crawling is performed periodically to keep the index up to date.
Indexing – is the process of storing and organizing information collected by crawlers in a database called an index. The index contains the data of each web page, such as title, description, keywords, images, links, etc. The index is where search engines look to display search results.
Ranking – is the process of sorting and displaying search results based on their relevance and authority for each search query. Search engines use complex algorithms that evaluate hundreds of factors to determine the position of each web page in the results. These factors may vary depending on search type, device, location, language, etc.
7 points to consider to optimize SEO on your website
To do good SEO, it is necessary to optimize different points that affect the performance and quality of a website.
These points can be grouped into two categories: on-page SEO and off-page SEO.
On-page SEO refers to the actions carried out within the website to improve its positioning. Some of the most important points to optimize are:
It consists of identifying and selecting the words or phrases that best describe the content and purpose of each web page, and that match the users' search intentions.
Keywords should be relevant, specific and have a good search volume.
To carry out good keyword research you can use tools such as Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush or Ahrefs.
These are the data that describe the content and structure of each web page. The most important metadata for SEO is the title, description, and tags. The title should contain the main keyword and be attractive and informative.
The description should summarize the content and purpose of the page and include a call to action. Tags should indicate the hierarchy of the content and use the headings H1, H2, H3, etc.
It is the time it takes for a web page to fully display in the user's browser. Loading speed is a key factor for user experience and SEO positioning, as it affects dwell time, bounce rate and conversion.
It is the extent to which the content satisfies the needs and interests of users and provides them with added value. The content must be original, relevant, useful, up-to-date and well structured.
In addition, it must be optimized for the selected keywords, using an appropriate density and avoiding padding or stuffing. The content must be of sufficient length to cover the topic in depth and detail.
It consists of creating links between the pages of the same website, in order to improve navigation, the distribution of link juice or authority and indexing. Internal linking should be consistent, natural and relevant, using anchor text that describes the content of the link and avoiding excess or lack of links.
Off-page SEO refers to the actions that are carried out outside the website to improve its positioning. Some of the most important points to optimize are:
It consists of getting inbound links from other relevant and quality websites that point to the website. Incoming links act as votes of confidence and popularity towards the website, improving its authority and positioning.
Link building must be natural and organic, avoiding spam or black hat techniques that can penalize the website. To get good links, you can use strategies such as guest posting, content marketing, public relations, social mentions, etc.
It consists of optimizing the technical aspects of the website that affect performance, security and indexing.
Some of the most important aspects are using HTTPS, implementing a sitemap and robots.txt file, optimizing for mobile devices, fixing 404 errors and other status codes, removing duplicate content, etc.
How to optimize content for SEO
Content is one of the fundamental pillars of SEO, since it is the means by which it communicates with users and search engines. Therefore, it is important to create quality content and optimize it for SEO.
Some tips to optimize content for SEO are:
Define the objective and target audience of the content : before creating the content, it is important to be clear about its purpose and who it is aimed at. This will help focus the content towards the needs and interests of the users and choose the right keywords.
Conduct keyword research – As we have already mentioned, keywords are the terms that describe the content and match users' search queries. To conduct good keyword research, factors such as relevance, specificity, search volume, competition, and search intent must be taken into account. It is recommended to use long tail keywords, which are more specific and less competitive than generic ones.
Create an attractive and informative title : The title is the most important element of the content, as it is the first thing that users and search engines see. The title must contain the main keyword and be able to capture the attention and interest of users. It is recommended to use formulas that generate curiosity, benefit or urgency, such as questions, lists, guides, advice, etc.
Write an introduction that hooks the reader : the introduction is the part of the content that aims to capture the reader's attention and motivate them to continue reading. The introduction should briefly summarize the content and objective, and include a call to action or hook that encourages the reader to continue.
Structure content with headings : Headings are labels that indicate the hierarchy of the content and make it easier to read and understand. Headings should use tags H1, H2, H3, etc., depending on their level of importance. The H1 must contain the title of the content and there should only be one per page. H2s should contain the subheadings or main sections of the content and include secondary or related keywords. The H3s must contain the sub-subheadings or subsections of the content and include long tail keywords or variations.
Write original, relevant and useful content : The content must be unique and not copied or duplicated from other sources. The content must be relevant to the topic and its objective, and provide added value to the user. The content must be useful to resolve the user's doubts or problems, providing truthful, updated and verified information.
Use clear, simple and natural language : the content must be written in clear, simple and natural language, which is easy to understand and read. The content should avoid the use of jargon, technicalities or complex words that may confuse the user. The content must use a tone appropriate to the target audience and its purpose, whether formal, informal, fun, serious, etc.
Add visual elements that complement the content : Visual elements are resources that help improve the presentation and attractiveness of the content, such as images, videos, infographics, graphs, etc. Visual elements must be related to the content and provide additional or illustrative information. Visual elements should be SEO optimized, using appropriate size, compatible formatting, a descriptive name, and alt text containing the keyword.
Include internal and external links that enrich the content : links are connections that direct the user to other web pages related to the content. Internal links are those that point to other pages on the same website, and serve to improve navigation, authority distribution and indexing. External links are those that point to other pages on other websites, and serve to support information, increase credibility and generate relationships with other websites. Links should be consistent, natural and relevant, using anchor text that describes the content of the link and avoiding excess or lack of links.
Write a conclusion that summarizes the content and encourages the user to act : The conclusion is the final part of the content that aims to summarize the main points of the content and encourage the user to act. The conclusion should reinforce the main message of the content and the benefit to the user. The conclusion should include a call to action or an incentive that prompts the user to take a desired action, such as subscribe, purchase, share, comment, etc.
SEM and SEO: what are the differences
SEM (Search Engine Marketing) and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) are two digital marketing strategies that aim to improve the visibility and traffic of a website in search engines.
However, there are some differences between both strategies that are worth knowing.
+ SEM refers to the use of paid advertisements to appear in search results. + SEO refers to the use of organic techniques to improve natural positioning in search results.
+ SEM implies a cost for each click or impression of the ad. SEO involves an initial cost for implementing and maintaining optimization techniques.
+ SEM allows you to obtain immediate results and control the budget, target audience, geographical location, schedule and keywords of the ads. SEO allows you to obtain long-term results and improve the authority, reputation and loyalty of the website.
Google and local SEO
Local SEO is a variant of SEO that focuses on optimizing the positioning of a website for local searches. Local searches are those that include a geographic reference or are performed from a specific location. For example: “restaurants near me”, “dentist in Mexico”, “clothing store in Polanco”, etc.
Local SEO aims to improve a website's visibility and traffic for users searching for products or services near their location. Local SEO is especially important for local businesses that have a physical presence or offer home delivery services.
Google is the most used search engine in the world and has a great influence on local SEO. Google uses different factors to determine the local positioning of a website, such as:
Relevance : This refers to how relevant the website is to the user's search query. To improve relevance, content should be optimized with local keywords, including contact information and information about the products or services offered.
Proximity – refers to how close the website is to the user or the location specified in the search. To improve proximity, you should optimize your website for mobile devices, use a CDN service, include the business address and map, and ask for customer reviews and ratings.
Authority : refers to how reliable and quality the website is. To improve authority, you must obtain inbound links from other relevant local websites, create profiles on social networks and local directories, and generate valuable content for the local audience.
Google also offers a free tool called Google My Business , which allows you to create and manage a business profile that appears in search results and on Google Maps.
Google My Business allows you to add information about the business, such as name, address, telephone, hours, website, photos, offers, etc. Google My Business also allows you to interact with customers, responding to their reviews, questions and messages.
How to choose an SEO agency for your business
SEO is a complex and dynamic strategy that requires technical knowledge, experience and constant updating. Therefore, it is often advisable to hire the services of an SEO agency that is responsible for optimizing the website and improving its positioning.
However, not all SEO agencies are the same or offer the same services or results. Therefore, it is important to choose an SEO agency that suits the needs and objectives of the business.
Some tips for choosing a good SEO agency are:
Investigate the agency's reputation and success stories : Before hiring an SEO agency, it is advisable to investigate its online reputation, its references, its testimonials and its success stories. You can also ask the agency to show some examples of websites they have optimized and the results obtained.
Compare the agency's services and prices : Another way to evaluate an SEO agency is to compare the services and prices it offers with other similar agencies. It is important to keep in mind that SEO is not a cheap or fast service, but rather requires a medium or long-term investment. Therefore, you should be wary of agencies that promise immediate or very economical results.
Communicate with the agency and set clear goals : Finally, before hiring an SEO agency, it is important to communicate with them and set clear and realistic goals. A method for monitoring and evaluating the project must also be agreed upon, which includes periodic reports on the actions carried out and the results obtained.
Written by Moises Hamui Abadi : I am an entrepreneur, founding partner of Viceversa and SoyMacho. After leading several digital businesses and advising several other businesses; I decided to form MHA Consulting, a digital marketing consultancy dedicated to growing and enhancing digital businesses in more than 7 countries and generating more than 1,500 million pesos.
If you want more information on this topic or are looking for other options to profile your ideal client, at MHA you will find the solution you need. Schedule a call.