We know that Google takes into account 200 SEO factors when positioning any website in organic search results.
Too many for you to know them all in detail and start optimizing your website for each one of them.
In this article we will give you 15 keys and fundamental principles of SEO , the essential rules that must be respected, some tricks to optimize your site and tips to avoid a catastrophe in the visibility of your website on the Internet.
SEO is the English term for search engine optimization.
The concept is simple: SEO is to position your website in the first position in search engines, for all searches made by users and for which your company can respond with a product or service.
When we talk about SEO, we often talk about Google, for the simple reason that the market share of this search engine is much higher than the rest of its competitors.
This world is increasingly complex and involves different fields: web development, content writing and optimization, creation of links and popularity of the site from which they link, improvement of web performance, structuring of content and pages, analysis of traffic, etc.
If we simplify the concept of natural positioning as much as possible, we can say that it is based on three pillars :
- Source code
To which we can add two other aspects that will indirectly affect SEO: web strategy and usability .
Why does Google rank a certain site first for a specific query?
To answer this question, you need to understand what the search engine does:
- Browse the web (crawl)
- When it finds content, it analyzes it and adds it to its database of web pages (indexing);
- Then follow the links found in the new content to continue your crawl
- At the same time, when the user does a search, it retrieves all the content that could be useful in relation to the request, then ranks it by relevance and popularity.
Keep in mind that the search engine constantly updates its results based on your browsing history, whether or not you are connected to your Google account, your location, and whether you access from a mobile or a computer.
Once we understand the general workings of the Google search engine, we realize that we need to help you scan our site . To achieve this, there are some basic rules:
- Each content is unique and has a single URL . Therefore, it is necessary to prevent access to the same content through several different addresses:
- Avoid blocking elements :
- Flash format
- The NoIndex Directive
- 404 errors
- … Each page should have unique and relevant content that meets a specific need.
Next, we'll make it easy to add our content to the search engine's database:
- List our contents (sitemap file)
- Indicate where you are at each moment within the site with:
- Breadcrumb trail and its schema.org markup
- canonical URLs
- We make it easy to access all of our content with:
- Manual links between our content
- Related Posts
Of course, we must always try to satisfy the user's need , that is, try to position ourselves for the search term that the user will use. For this you must be clear that:
- Each content meets one or more specific needs
- Each piece of content has a purpose (sell a service or product, retrieve an email address, improve reputation…)
- We must think about how the user will express his need
Once you have in mind the specific keyword that you want to position, you should try to be relevant in the eyes of Google and think that you are going to a robot that does not have the same understanding capacity as a human being. Here again, SEO is based on fundamentals that have not changed over time:
- The content must be long enough ( Ideal length of a post for SEO )
- Include the key term or phrase
- Includes related terms or synonyms
- Add videos and images
- The content has to be placed in a coherent way in the structure of the website (which implies that the site is well designed)
- The post is of course SEO optimized (H1, tags, meta descriptions…)
Another point to keep in mind is that Google, Bing, Yahoo and the rest of the search engines love fresh and up-to-date content .
Therefore, you should make sure that you regularly publish useful and relevant content and that your site is interactive ( User Generated Content is a good way to get updated content effortlessly: reviews, comments…)
Keep in mind that some content performs better than others in the sense that it engages users more easily and therefore makes it easier to share and naturally create links to your posts. Among them we find:
- catchy titles
- Tutorials and guides
This can be done when creating user-generated content, but also by adding the corresponding schema.org markup. It is recommended, according to your sector of activity, to create content of this type to facilitate the understanding of your different pages and improve visibility in the results:
- Kitchen Recipes
- postal addresses
- customer reviews
A technically well-designed site with good content is still not enough. We must add an essential element in SEO: popularity.
Basically, a search engine estimates that each URL within a website has a (small) popularity. By linking to another page, a portion of that popularity is transferred to you. So:
- The more links a page has, the more popular it is
- The more links are made from popular pages, the more powerful the link will be
- Each link also conveys a semantic notion. If the link is located in a part of the text that talks about, for example, web design, Google interprets that the site to which it is linking is related to that topic.
Once you know the importance of the popularity of a page, you must create links, but you must do it in a smart way.
There is a risk that if link building is abused, the effect can be negative and lead to a penalty (since the last Google Penguin update , Google is much less permissive with this type of technique).
You must create links:
- From multiple types of site (directories, forums, blogs, institutional websites, wikis...)
- From sites of any size
- From websites with themes similar to yours
- From popular pages
- With alternation of natural links (click here) and optimized links ( SEO agency )
- Avoiding low quality pages (spam, incorrect language, link farms, negative themes...)
Another very important element today: the impact of social networks. In many cases, you may think that the simple fact of having a company page on Facebook or a profile on Twitter can bring us SEO benefits.
If you are not active and post constant updates, it is as if you were not.
Create a social media marketing strategy that will help you attract new customers. With the management of social networks you can reach a broader target audience and enhance the brand image of your business on the Internet.
The consideration by search engines of mobile compatibility (and therefore responsive web design) in the ranking of results is one of the vital trends for any website in terms of SEO in recent years.
It is essential, given the amount of web traffic currently entering from mobile devices, whether they are smartphones or tablets . It is important to improve the user experience and therefore to increase the conversion rate.
Another aspect that has a positive or negative impact on web positioning is the loading time. It is imperative to implement this recommendation, for the simple reason that a slow page can despair the user and make him go to the competition and never see him on your site again.
Also keep in mind that a better load time makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index, which is always beneficial for your visibility.
Google is a recognized supporter of HTTPS, i.e. secure URLs when your computer or mobile phone communicates with the server. When making the change from http to https, remember to correctly redirect all your links.
The implementation of HTTPS, if not done well, can become a real disaster for the positioning of an entire website, due to the loss of a large number of links that were already established. So pay close attention to this point.
To summarize this first approach to SEO positioning, it can be said that the key to success is based on simple pillars that do not usually vary over time:
- Have a solid technical foundation
- You constantly create varied and reputable links
- Generate relevant and updated content
- Think about user needs
- Have an effective web positioning strategy