Optimizing your website for search engines is a crucial step. The challenge is to rank well in the SERP, Google’s results pages, to be as visible as possible. Search Engine Optimization, SEO, is often scary and sometimes seems unaffordable. However, some basic techniques can increase natural traffic. Here’s how to improve your SEO ranking in 7 steps.
1 – Choose the right keywords
In SEO, we will rather speak of a key query, that is to say the series of words typed by the Internet user into the search engine. To optimize its referencing, the key query is essential. But it is not a question of choosing it at random. To generate targeted traffic, the keywords must be those used by your target and correspond to their search intentions.
Be careful, the era of keyword stuffing to boost its positioning is over. Today Google knows how to make the difference. The key query should appear regularly in your content, but in a fluid and natural way, in the midst of a well-developed associated vocabulary.
2 – Produce quality content to interest visitors
Google often has the same requirements as a reader. What does your target expect in terms of content? Above all, she seeks to find relevant and reliable answers to her questions. For this, you need to write value-added content that is precise and complete, which will make you legitimate. To position yourself as an expert, be sure to deal with a single subject, in depth. Long articles (more than 1,000 words) also reflect your legitimacy on a subject.
Value-added content also involves fundamental elements such as impeccable spelling or the use of media (images, videos, etc.) to make the page pleasant to browse.
Finally, quality content is unique: plagiarism and duplicate content are heavily penalized and harm Google referencing.
To produce high-quality content, while using SEO techniques, it is best to hire a professional copywriter.
3 – Structuring and prioritizing texts, the basis of optimization for search engines
This step corresponds to the HTML markup. The primary purpose of tags is to help Google, and in particular its robots, to scan your pages and understand the content. To improve SEO referencing, your pages must imperatively include titles and subtitles, which act as guides. Here are the main tags to use to structure your text:
- <h1> for the title;
- <h2> for subtitles;
- <h3> to break up long paragraphs;
- bulleted lists are also appreciated.
Clear and structured content not only appeals to search engines, it is also relevant to the reader. Navigating through an organized text is more pleasant to read, and Internet users will find their answers more easily.
Do you want to review your basics on HTML tags? Are you a beginner and want to know more? Take a quick look at this free course.
4 – Optimize images
Images and illustrations are essential to bring the pages of your website to life. Photos, infographics, or screenshots become impactful and even engaging for your audience. The meta description, on the other hand, is the short description, which is found under the title in the results pages. ghost writing book it is a difficult exercise. To influence your site traffic and increase click-through rate, it must be useful, attractive and persuasive at the same time. Internet users must understand what your site will bring them. From an SEO point of view, it is interesting that the meta description contains the keywords and respects a length of approximately 156 characters (including spaces) so as not to be truncated.
Do you know that these visuals can also be useful for your SEO referencing? Here are some best practices to follow to properly reference images:
- rename your files: rather than using the default name, opt for a short name, including your keywords, without accents and separated by hyphens;
- fill in the ALT tags: this is undoubtedly the SEO key for your images. This is a brief description of the photo. It must also contain your key query because it is read by search engines;
- give a title to the images: this title corresponds to the text that is displayed when you pass the mouse over the media. It should be useful and informative, while containing at least one keyword;
- bet on the caption: this description, displayed under the image, can also contain your key query, while remaining natural and fluid;
- use the right formats: JPG and PNG (for smaller images with less detail) have become web standards.
5 – Take care of the title, the meta description and the URL of the pages
The title tag is one of the most important to improve SEO referencing. It describes the content that is on the page. In this way, it sends a signal to search engines. The title is included on the Google results pages (SERP) and in the tab of the internet browser.
To be optimized, the title must be approximately 55 characters. It must also include the key query, ideally located at the beginning of the title. Finally, it can be different from the title (<h1>) of the page.
Like other search engine optimizations, the title tag plays on both SEO and UX (user experience). This title must be catchy and attractive for Internet users and encourage them to click.
Always with the aim that Google clearly understands the objective of your page, the URL must remain short and descriptive. It is possible to optimize it thanks to the following format: domain.com/title of the article containing the key query.
6 – Improve your SEO referencing thanks to internal and external links
Working the internal mesh is part of the relevant SEO actions to gain visibility. As its name suggests, internal linking consists of creating links within your website or your blog, between your pages or your articles. The goal is twofold:
- tell Google that you are an expert in your field, by proving to it that you offer a lot of content dealing with similar subjects (which will affect your popularity rating);
- keep the user on your site and make him want to navigate to additional pages.
Hyperlinks can also point to an external site. It may seem risky to take the public to other web pages. Yet it is beneficial for the readers. Of course, these external links must be too credible and referent sites in their field.
A little trick to prevent the Internet user from leaving your site too quickly: configure the link so that it opens in a new tab or a new window.
For these actions to influence your positioning in the SERP even more, the links must be placed on relevant anchor texts. The anchor is the clickable part of the text, often presented in another color and underlined. Avoid keyword stuffing on anchors. Google Penguin, an algorithm update launched in 2012, penalizes it heavily. Instead, use natural, unique text that complements your key query.
7 – Check the technical factors that influence SEO
There are many technical and ergonomic parameters in SEO. Here are 3 essential ones, to absolutely take into account.
Since mobile is now in the lead for browsing the internet (in front of computers), Google has adapted its algorithm and favors “mobile friendly” sites. Mobile compatibility should very logically be part of your SEO strategy.
Page speed and loading time are also major criteria, especially for users. They will quickly lose patience if your site is slow to load.
Finally, optimization for search engines goes through the https standard. Google takes this into account. So, take the time to set up this protocol from the SSL certificate. SSL certificates can be a single domain, DV wildcard SSL, OV wildcard SSL, multi domain SSL, etc. All these SSL certs help to improve SEO ranking in search engines.