How to go up in Google results? How to optimize the SEO ( Search Engine Optimization ) of your website? How to better reference your web content? In this presentation, we talk about the Panda, key expressions, meta-descriptions, long tail, but also semantic cocoon. Here are 7 tips to boost your SEO.
1. Do not neglect natural referencing
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is often overlooked compared to paid search or SEA (Search Engine Advertising) in web projects. As much as those responsible for websites, especially e-commerce stores, are ready to spend money on Google Adwords advertisements, they are also reluctant to produce or buy quality content.
However the two levers of SEO (paid and natural) are very complementary to improve its visibility in Google results:
Paid SEO allows you to quickly go back to the top of the first page of Google, if the ads are well designed and configured. But their display is limited in time: as soon as we stop paying Google, ads are no longer displayed and no longer generate traffic. In other words, this lever is to be favored in the short term when you want to quickly reach the first positions and you have the budget.
SEO requires producing a lot of different content that will take time to go up in Google results. As long as they are online, their display continues over time. The same content can generate traffic for years, without having to pay Google. In other words, this lever is to be favored in the medium term when one wants to improve its digital brand image and retain customers.
In addition, content is even more important today than it was yesterday because it responds to three major current developments on the Web:
- The development of Ad Blockers : these anti-ad extensions that install themselves in browsers block the display of advertisements but not the editorial content of websites. There are already more than 35% of users in Europe.
- Updates from Google : the Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird algorithms deployed by the search engine since 2011 favor sites that have quality, relevant and frequently updated content. Quality sites that are optimized for SEO are better positioned in results than others.
- Smartphones and broadband : Internet users are consuming more and more content on their mobile, especially via social networks. 16-30s spend more than 22 hours a week on their phones. It is therefore a question of pushing them content that they will like to share.
2. Remove the technical obstacles to SEO on the site
If you want to perform in terms of natural referencing, your website must be properly developed. If Google has trouble accessing your content, if it encounters technical obstacles to crawling the pages of your site, you may publish the most beautiful content in the world, Google will not display them on the first page of natural or organic results .
This is called on-site SEO. A website suitable for natural referencing is:
- Optimized for mobile , that is to say it must be displayed quickly, adapt to any screen size (responsive design) and facilitate finger navigation on smartphones and digital tablets (mobile friendly). The content also needs to be mobile-friendly, with short text blocks, videos, clickable phone numbers, call-to-action buttons, etc.
- A site with a good CMS ( Content Management System ) that allows web editors to easily publish content themselves, without using a developer, and to fill all the necessary SEO tags, page by page and image by image (rewriting URL, page title, meta description, text alternatives, link titles, open graph, structured data)
- Connected to serious statistical tools which make it possible to evaluate the results obtained and to refine the editorial strategy, in particular Google Analytics to measure the site traffic and Google Search Console to follow the results in Google
3. Publish new content more regularly
The content value chain is simple on the Internet: the more quality new content you post on your website, the more qualified traffic you generate, the more chances you have to convert, the more your business will grow. It is therefore necessary to publish new content frequently, at least more frequently than one generally imagines.
I am often asked how much content should be published per month or per week on its site. In fact, the answer depends on Google. If the crawlers find the same content every time they crawl your site, they will come less to your site so as not to waste their time. Google will consider that your site is not kept up to date, that it is less relevant, it will therefore degrade its positioning in the search results. This erosion is more or less rapid depending on the volume of content on the sites.
It’s the same on social media. On Facebook, the EdgeRank, i.e. the algorithm that manages the display of posts in the subscribers’ news feed, takes – among other things – the date of publication. The more recent the content, the more interesting it is for Facebook. After 3 hours, your post will still be published on your company page, but will no longer appear in user feeds. In other words, on Facebook, you must publish at least one post every 3 hours. On Twitter, it’s worse!
So forget about one-page sites that are too difficult to reference! Forget the showcase sites of a few pages never modified! Forget the annual site updates just to correct the organization chart or the product catalog. Forget sites without a news, magazine or blog section where you can regularly publish new content that can be shared!
What it takes to be referenced by Google is:
- Add new content every week (for example a news, a product sheet, a portfolio reference, a customer testimonial, etc.)
- Regularly update existing content
- Animate a blog (integrated into the main domain name) with advice, tutorials, business cases, etc.
4. Work better on your keywords
Let’s start with the definition. A key phrase is the words or queries that people type in Google to find out about or buy services or products. A frequent error is to be satisfied with a few unique words (for example: guesthouse) or with a single target key phrase (for example: Nairobi guesthouse). This method, which has been practiced for a long time, has become completely obsolete since the Google Panda.
Choosing your SEO keywords means researching and selecting hundreds of queries of at least 3 or 4 words for each of your activities, each of your products, each page of your website. Do not hesitate to lengthen the queries with more than 4 or 5 words to capture the most targeted searches.
This is called working the long tail . The most precise key phrases are typed less frequently by Internet users, but they answer their question more precisely and relevantly, while being less competitive, which increases the conversion rate. In other words, it’s better to have a few clicks that convert to a long keyword phrase, than hundreds of clicks that don’t convert to a short expression.
The vocalization of searches via smartphones and the progress of semantic analysis at Google are pushing even more to lengthen and diversify queries. Not only do internet users have hundreds of different ways to ask Google the same thing, but Google is increasingly trying to guess their intentions behind queries, that is, answering questions they don’t haven’t even formulated yet. For example, if you are looking for the recipe for a smartie cake on Google, you may be planning a children’s birthday party. Maybe you will also be interested in sites that sell multicolored balloons or magician shows…
The more you work on diverse keyword phrases within the same web page, the more you will help Google understand the content and context of your page, the more it will match with hundreds of keyword phrases, the more it will show in the first results of Google.
To respond to these recent developments, some sites that have a lot of content have implemented a semantic cocoon strategy . This strategy consists of organizing its content by semantic silo and linking them together by internal links to help Google decipher the intentions of Internet users.
5. Publish content that interests internet users
The equation is simple to state: good content = natural referencing = qualified traffic . But it is difficult to apply. What is called “good” content? This is content that interests internet users, which they will search in Google and spontaneously share on social networks.
It is therefore a question of understanding what the users of your site like and what they do not like to build an editorial line oriented towards users and not organization. Corporate news that is self-centered on the successes achieved by the company only interests its managers and a few specialized journalists. However, an article of advice on how to better use the types of products sold by the company interests all buyers. or potential users.
We must also diversify formats. The short videos tailored to mobile are the queens of the Web! You can deal with the same subject in the form of written articles but also in the form of a video.
Also remember to regularly offer content that generates “leads” , that is to say, which allow you to capture emails from potential buyers via download, registration or participation forms: white papers, newsletters, contests, webinars, etc.
6. Optimizing the natural referencing of each content
Each content can be optimized for natural referencing. When integrating content on a web page, whether text, images or links, you must ensure that they meet Google criteria and contain all the tags intended for engines and social media.
7. Use web content specialists
It’s a job ! Writing and publishing quality content, optimized for SEO, illustrated, etc., cannot be improvised. Hopefully this article has convinced you to use an agency specialized in web copywriting…
Jimmy Ombom is an SEO Expert and digital marketer.