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Shajith Ali
Shajith Ali

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60 Tips and tricks to boost your natural referencing

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Natural referencing, also called SEO , is not magic or an obscure science. Its objective is to optimize a website to make it understandable by search engine algorithms.

All of these 60 recommendations aim to give you the right leads for a successful SEO strategy to be ranked first on Google by respecting the ranking criteria as closely as possible.

Free referencing does not exist, it requires significant work to stick to search engine criteria and satisfy readers in order to obtain quality traffic.

What are the recommendations to follow at the technical level?

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1) Create an XML sitemap

For large sites and making it easier for search engine crawlers to crawl , setting up a sitemap to submit through Search Console is a good practice. The Sitemap allows the search engine to be informed of the addition of new pages and modifications of old ones.

2) Create a robot.txt

The robot.txt is a file that allows search engines to know which parts of the site to index or not . Thanks to this file, you can ask robots not to index certain parts of a website. It also allows to give the address of the sitemap.

3) Identify crawl errors

The analysis of logs and exploration errors can detect many problems on your site and facilitate the work of search engines. By analyzing your logs and the alerts given via the Search Console, you will be able to identify dead links, 404 errors, redirection problems, missing images, etc.

4) Create useful 404 error pages

Sometimes visitors land on 404 error pages . It is always a shame to lose a visitor, especially in e-commerce, after the efforts made to capture it. By customizing the 404 error pages, you give Internet users the possibility of continuing to navigate to other parts of the site, thus preventing it from being permanently lost.

5) Set canonical URLs on duplicate content

Canonical URLs are a useful tool . They make it possible to indicate to the search engines, which versions of the same content to take into account. Defining canonical urls avoids the internal duplicate content issues, main when creating a multitude of almost identical pages with different variables in the urls.

6) Optimize crawl budget

Google has a crawl budget . In order to save resources, it assigns each site a number of pages to crawl each day. For large sites, the multitude of uninteresting pages can affect the good visibility of the most useful pages.

It can therefore be positive to study the behavior of robots on your site through log analysis and thus optimize the passage of bots on the best performing pages for your SEO and conversion.

7) Use permanent redirects (301)

301 redirects are used to redirect robots and Internet users to other content . When you delete content or change the URL of a page, the 301 redirect allows you to redirect to the new URL or content close to that deleted. This prevents Internet users from falling on error pages, and search engines from taking into account the new URL of the content.

8) Fix errors identified by Search Console

The Search Console makes it possible to follow the indexing of its site on Google , to identify errors and even sometimes to receive a message indicating a manual penalty. It is therefore important to create an account and then register your site there.

How does user experience work?

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9) Have a fast site

Having a fast site is important for user experience . A site that is too slow scares away Internet users and lowers your conversion rate. So, you should take all necessary steps to improve the speed of your website. There are a multitude of levers to improve performance:

  • Choose your CMS wisely.
  • Reduce the code.
  • Optimize images.
  • Use a CDN.
  • Have a successful host.
  • Optimize databases.

10) Have simple navigation

Whether for Internet users, as for search engines , simple navigation makes it easy to find what the Internet user is looking for and to navigate from page to page. For the engine, keeping all the pages within three clicks of the homepage optimizes the crawl of the site and the passage of robots on all the pages as regularly as possible.

11) Switch to HTTPS

Google said it gives a small bonus to sites migrating to HTTPS . This is an element that reassures Internet users. More and more browsers clearly indicate when a site does not use this protocol, which can cause fear in the visitor.

When switching from HTTP to HTTPS, a well-defined protocol must be followed so that search engines take into account changes to your site's URLs.

12) Avoid interstitials on mobile devices

Interstitial ads should be banned. They are a nuisance as visitors and can lead to penalties for nuisance to the user experience. Your site must be ergonomic, easy to navigate and offer a quality user experience. Ad abuse and poor placement can harm your strategy.

13) Create a mobile-friendly site

Visits on mobile phones can represent more than 60% of visits . Not thinking its marketing for mobile is nonsense. The mobile version must no longer be a simple adaptation of the PC version, it must be designed for use on smartphones. Google gives it paramount importance and your conversion rate will also be strongly impacted.

How does the content work?

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14) Consider search intent

The search intent of Internet users must be the priority . The time when we simply tried to position ourselves on keywords is over. Today Google is working to detect the search intentions of its users in order to offer them appropriate content. Creating content that meets these intentions is therefore the priority in order to try to position itself on the various searches and to offer content that is in line with the needs of the Internet user.

15) Avoid Duplicate Content

Duplicate content is a brake. Why Google would waste its time processing several identical texts. It is a waste of resources for him and the Internet users. You must therefore be careful not to use it within your site, but especially outside it. Plagiarism and use by third parties should therefore be monitored.

16) Optimize for long tail keywords

Long-tail keywords need to be worked on . Sometimes easier to target, because they are less competitive, they also offer a more precise search intent, and therefore often higher conversion potential.

Working on long-tail keywords therefore makes it possible to capture traffic more quickly than by seeking positioning on shorter and often more competitive keywords. Working in this direction can save time and generate the first conversions faster.

17) Find Out Which Keywords Are Driving Your Competitors' Search Traffic

Observing your competitors is good practice . A multitude of tools allow you to monitor your competitors' strategies and better understand the reasons for their success. By finding the keywords on which they are positioned, you may find untapped opportunities and sources of visibility that you had not thought of.

18) Use structured data

Structured data allows search engines to better exploit your content . The enrichment of search results is greatly enhanced by this information. Your site can take advantage of this and gain increased visibility by using the multitude of Rich Snippets available.

19) Optimize Title Tag

The title tag is important for SEO , because it gives the search engine strong indications on the subject covered by the page, but also plays a key role in terms of encouraging clicks for Internet users. A catchy title will optimize your click-through rate in the results and thus optimize your visibility without the SERP.

20) Optimize meta descriptions to increase CTR

The meta description does not affect positioning . On the other hand, as for the title, it plays an important role in terms of CTR. A catchy description can encourage people to choose one result over another. Take advantage of this space to indicate your values ​​and encourage people to come and discover the content.

21) Structure texts with Hn tags

Well-structured content is important for the Internet user as well as for the search engine . The use of Hn tags to structure your content and its different paragraphs is a necessity. Beyond the structural aspect, it is also important to include the keywords and synonyms of the subjects you are discussing. Having titles that answer users' questions on a specific topic is a good practice.

22) Naturally insert your target keywords in the first 100 words of your content

The introduction of your content should clearly announce the topic . Placing the most important keywords and synonyms is good practice. The subject must remain fluid without abuse. Writing guides help writers to structure their texts and use semantics in an optimal way.

23) Create Outbound Links

Don't be stingy with external links. The web is built thanks to the link. By giving your readers a link to other quality content you make your content better. Creating an external link does not dispossess you of anything, it enriches your subject and can even reinforce the relevance of your page and improve its referencing.

24) Optimize Your Content for Featured Snippets

Featured snippets can boost your website's visibility . Depending on the types of requests, it may be interesting to work to appear in position 0 and obtain significant visibility.

25) Give answers to specific questions

Internet users ask specific questions . By answering these specific questions, you increase their relevance and the chances of seeing them offered to Internet users. Google is increasingly becoming an answer engine and the future may belong to voice search.

26) Create quality content

Content is King, as the English say . Quality content does not need long content, but it must meet the search and intent of the user. Quality publications attract shares and therefore links. They boost your credibility and your content marketing strategy.

Creating content that is semantically rich, interesting for the Internet user and optimized will be an essential basis for your visibility strategy.

27) Enrich the semantic field of pages

Optimizing the semantic aspect of pages is fundamental . Software now helps writers produce semantically optimized text for search engines. To understand content, Google needs to identify a number of signals.

By including in the texts the lexies essential to the understanding of a subject, you give the search engine the material that its algorithms need to classify a content.

28) Incorporate calls to action

Having visits is good, converting is better . Positioning your pages in search engines is not an end in itself. The ultimate goal remains to convert and have your visitors perform specific actions (call, register, buy, etc.). Your pages must therefore contain calls to action and encourage Internet users to carry them out.

29) Make Reading Easier

Easy to read, well-structured and airy content will help people stay on your site. Fonts must be legible, airy, and this on all media. Bulleted lists are a good way to prioritize ideas and get to the point.

30) Vary the media

A content marketing strategy should not rely solely on text . Use images, video, drawings, podcasts, infographics to enrich your text and convey messages in other media.

31) Use short, descriptive URLs for your content

Use short, descriptive URLs . Search engines display page urls in their results. Well-formed, short urls with the main keywords can boost clicks, especially in e-commerce.

32) Update

Updating your content reassures Internet users and shows that you remain active . Old content can be positioned, it is not an obstacle, but in certain themes, the freshest are in the spotlight.

It is also more reassuring for an Internet user to read content that he knows to be up to date, rather than old content whose relevance he is unable to assess. Updating content will therefore have a positive impact on algorithms and readers.

33) Delete or rework poor quality ones

Poor quality content may be penalised . It is therefore preferable to enrich those that are too fine and of poor quality, or failing that, to delete them completely if they bring nothing. The Panda penalty penalizes sites judged to be non-qualitative, using short texts without added value.

34) Merge those who cannibalize each other

Google can have a hard time choosing between multiple pieces of content on the same topic. In this case, a good practice may be to group these articles into one in order to create a complete and qualitative article on a subject. He will then only have one content to analyze and highlight in order to avoid the cannibalization of keywords.

35) Optimize content for voice search

Voice search will become more and more important in the future . Voice searches are most often formulated in the form of questions. Producing content that answers questions in a concise way can be a good advantage for positioning yourself on voice queries. Popularity is also important to be offered in response, netlinking will have to be worked on.

What is the role of popularity and links?

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36) Avoid Penalties

Penalties can sign the death of a website . They are not always final and irremediable, but for the sake of the sustainability of a company, it is necessary to avoid them as much as possible. SEO requires taking controlled risks and adapting your strategy according to your objectives.

Different strategies can be put into action, more or less aggressively, depending on your needs. But from a long-term perspective for a particular site, it is better to limit risky actions.

37) Work the internal mesh

Internal networking alone can have a positive effect . Linking the pages together, in a logical way while respecting semantic shifts, will bring legitimacy to your site. Good internal linking will also make it easier for robots to crawl between your pages, leaving no isolated areas in your site's tree structure.

38) Make it easy to social share

Shared publications more easily receive visits and backlinks . Do not hesitate to facilitate this sharing by encouraging readers to do so and by offering them features to simplify this sharing on social or other networks.

39) Find Your Competitors' Backlinks

Monitor the netlinking strategy of its competitors. By looking to find where your competitors' backlinks are coming from, you'll see which strategies work (or don't) and could eventually solicit the same links if possible. In all areas of SEO, you will learn a lot by watching others, even in areas you don't work in.

40) Buy Quality Links

Link buying has become commonplace. Today it is a widely used tactic and the number of platforms continues to grow. However, you must make rational purchases, at justified prices. Links are often sold at prohibitive prices, in no way justified from an SEO point of view. Prudence and frugality.

41) Remove/disavow all harmful links

Beware of toxic links . Some poor quality links can jeopardize your strategy and lead to penalties. In the best case, try to remove dangerous links. At the very least, get them to disavow with the tool made available by Google.

42) Find Broken Link Opportunities

Fixing broken links is a good strategy . Obtaining links is difficult, so it is essential to ensure that you keep the ones that exist. If inadvertently a link is broken, contact the sites to have them corrected or point to those most suitable.

43) Work on a natural link profile

A natural link profile is the best protection against algorithmic penalties . A suspicious link profile may trigger the wrath of Google. By observing the link profiles of leaders in your industry, you can get an idea of ​​the links obtained and draw conclusions. Always keep a safety margin. What works today may not work tomorrow.

44) Get links from authority sites in your field

Obtaining a link is good, obtaining a link from an authoritative site in my field is necessarily better . Quantity does not always rhyme with quality, especially in terms of netlinking. It is better to avoid a bad link than to take it. Obtaining links from qualitative sites must be the priority. Qualitative site does not necessarily mean very well-known site, but it must be of quality and above all be in your theme.

45) Boost Linkbaiting

The best way to get links is to provoke them . It is possible to stimulate sharing and naturally attract links in number. Infographics and buzzing content are conducive to the natural creation of backlinks in number.

According to the Guidelines, these are the only real natural links allowed.

46) Do not give in to temptation

Getting links quickly can be detrimental . Links appear over time as your site grows in popularity. Speeding up links too quickly can attract suspicion.

Thinking of going faster by buying poor quality links for unbeatable prices is also a suicidal strategy. SEO takes time, keep this in mind to build a long-lasting visibility strategy and avoid falling into pitfalls.

47) Create your PBN

Use a private site network . We are never better served than by ourselves. By creating a PBN (personal blog network) , you control your external link strategy without being dependent on third parties. You can refine your netlinking strategy, modify it easily, without having to call on others.

It is an effective strategy at the moment, but which requires taking precautions so as not to be denounced by competitors.

48) Monitor your backlinks

Monitoring your backlinks is essential for your netlinking strategy and has several advantages.

  • Monitor your link profile.
  • Remove toxic links.
  • Identify what has positive effects.
  • Identify dead links.

How to use SEO tools?

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49) Install Search Console

The Search Console is an essential tool to configure to monitor the referencing of your site. This tool will give you a lot of useful information (indexing, positioning, penalty, exploration of the site, number of impressions and visits, etc.).

50) Configure Google Analytics

Analytics helps track your traffic . It is a comprehensive tool that offers other features as well. It allows you to know the origin of your visits, the behavior of your visitors, the visit times on each page, the bounce rates and a multitude of other statistics.

The study of all this data can help you better understand the expectations of your visitors, identify blocking points and opportunities.

51) Install plugins

Plug-ins are available to optimize the SEO of the most popular CMS . Yoast, SEOPress, Rank Math, are the best known and used by site editors, mainly under WordPress.

They make it possible to compensate for missing functionalities and to solve certain problems that can have an impact on SEO, such as duplicate content.

The main functions that can be found there are:

  • Management of Title and Meta description tags.
  • Generating the sitemap file.
  • Content optimization.
  • Management of canonical urls.
  • Management of noindex tags.
  • Robots.txt management.
  • Inserting breadcrumb trail.
  • Etc…

52) Use Keyword Research

A good strategy goes through keyword research. Knowing the queries that Internet users enter to find the information, services and products that a company offers is fundamental. This research makes it possible to find the most promising expressions, the search intention and to create the appropriate content to position them at the top of the results.

There are sometimes big differences between what customers type in the search bar and the jargon used by professionals.

53) Activate a caching plugin

Caching plug-ins help increase display speed. In the context of optimizing the user experience, they can give a boost to save precious seconds of loading speed.

What are the general SEO tips?

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54) Define KPIs

The quantity of visits alone is not a sufficient metric to assess the success of a strategy . Other KPIs can be used to assess the performance of visibility efforts: positioning, conversions, bounce rate, duration of visits, number of page views, etc.

55) Be Patient

SEO takes time . The inertia can be several months for each action. They are evaluated over a year or more. By keeping this in mind, you will be less impatient and will have more serene relations with your service providers.

Obtaining results and fulfilling the ranking criteria requires hard work to hope to be first on the targeted queries.

56) Stay Informed

SEO is constantly evolving . Habits change, techniques evolve, you have to adapt and modify your practices to follow the movement. What worked 5 or 10 years ago no longer works today. The work of web visibility must adapt and sometimes reinvent itself. Anticipating changes and adapting your strategies is necessary for long-term success.

57) Avoid dream sellers

SEO is a demanding discipline , with quality SEOs, who like any professional charge according to their skills and the work done. Flee from services that sell exceptional results for minimal prices. No serious person is sure of the results, nor of working for a few euros an hour.

58) Complete your strategy with the SEA

SEM = SEO + SEA. Visibility in search engines is optimal by using all the options in terms of visibility. Mixing paid (Google Ads) and free referencing is therefore often a winning strategy that increases the effectiveness of both. The SEA also makes it possible to test things in anticipation of SEO, and to obtain immediate visibility while waiting for the progress of the other visibility lever.

59) Build a sustainable strategy

Natural referencing takes time and is part of a long-term strategy . By working on your SEO, you are working on the future of your company.

Do you want a quick and ephemeral boost, or deploy a long-lasting strategy? It is necessary to invest in safe strategies, to control the risks and to take them while controlling them as much as possible.

60) Understand how it works

Understanding how Google works is essential. To work well on your natural referencing, it is important to understand the philosophy of a search engine. If the concepts of indexing, Pagerank, search intent or semantics do not speak to you, you should look into the subject.

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