Understanding SEO: A Practical Beginner’s Guide
Do you want to brave the jargon of web marketing tounderstand SEO and its mechanisms? Know what is SEO? Excellent initiative! These three magic letters can do many miracles. Are you a web entrepreneur or professional blogger, but your site does not appear in search engine results? Better online visibility, increased traffic, conversion rate optimization… The benefits of an effective SEO strategy are impressive and promise a real boost for business! This handy little beginner’s guide explains how the positioning of a site on Google, SEO writing of optimized content and net linking. It’s time to learn all about SEO!
Understanding SEO: the main lines of natural referencing
SEO, what is this gibberish?
SEO… another name to sleep out! This wacky term is none other than the acronym for Search Engine Optimization (search engine optimization). Here is a simple and concise definition to help you understand SEO. Called natural referencing, SEO consists of making a website visible by improving its positioning in the ranking of search engine results pages, the SERP.
When you type a query in the search bar, Google ranks websites according to their relevance to offer suitable content. The more your site meets the many criteria of Google’s algorithm, the higher it appears in the first results. Better visibility on the Net allows more organic traffic to your blog, and therefore a mechanical increase in your conversion rate. And poof! It’s shocking… uh, a CA that takes off!
Do you still doubt the interest of natural referencing? See instead:
- more than 50% of Internet users click on the first two links of the SERP;
- the click-through rate (number of clicks recorded compared to the number of impressions) on the last URL of the first page of the SERP drops to 6%;
- 91.5% of Internet users will never go further than the first page of Google results.
How does the almighty Google algorithm work?
To understand SEO, you have to look at the mechanisms of Google. The most powerful and used search engine on the planet, the famous Google has established itself as THE search engine in front of which everyone bows. Google reigns supreme thanks to an ultra-powerful algorithm. Its regular updates are closely monitored by SEO experts. Because no one really knows what is going on in the bowels of the beast. That’s why organic SEO professionals constantly analyze Google’s algorithm to unlock its secrets.
With all its army of robots, Google manages the referencing of websites. Bots, or spiders, roam the Web relentlessly. They scan and crawl billions of web pages to index them according to a whole list of ghostwriting services. Your goal? To please Google and its indexing robots to win the number 1 place in the SERP, or even, let’s be crazy, position 0. This Grail is characterized by the optimized extract, or featured snippet: a box which appears at the top of the results page and offers the user a quick response to his question or request. A prime location sought after by web players!
The blogger when he reaches position zero
Where to start to build an SEO strategy?
As a web entrepreneur, professional blogger or owner of an e-commerce site, understanding SEO is essential. Without optimization, it is difficult to seduce the almighty Google algorithm and position a site on the first page of the SERP. The solution: establish an SEO strategy while keeping in mind that natural referencing takes time. Although the results can sometimes appear quickly, do not expect to see your site in position 0 overnight. Only SEO writing experts know the right ingredients to “rank” on key queries, even if there is no magic formula…!
Building an effective SEO strategy is a long-term investment that can really boost your business. This implies a good knowledge of the digital ecosystem and its workings, such as social networks, blogging, local referencing or even your own CMS (content management system for your site). First of all, have your website settings checked by an SEO consultant. Loading speed, dead links, mobile compatibility (responsive design) are all elements that influence SEO referencing. The cleaning is done? Are the bases of your site SEO friendly? Good game!
Optimize your natural referencing with SEO writing
Technical SEO is obviously not enough to parade in the top 10 of the SERP. That would be way too easy, wouldn’t it? So, let’s come to one of the pillars of natural referencing: SEO writing.
1. Create optimized content: keywords, but not only
SEO writing consists of writing content optimized for the web: about pages, product descriptions, blog articles, etc. Calling on an SEO web editor is imperative to produce optimized articles that meet the expectations of the organic SEO criteria of the Google god.
So, what is an SEO article? First, we identify the main request to work on. The idea is to put yourself in the shoes of a potential customer. What will he type in the search bar? What is the competition on the key query? The SEO writer then draws up a list of keywords to include in the article and develops the semantic field. The goal of the game: to appear in the best results of the SERP on a key query to acquire qualified and therefore pre-filtered traffic.
Keywords, yes, but not only! Optimizing SEO content also requires working on other essential aspects:
- a shortened hyperlink (URL);
- a striking copywritten title, which makes the Internet user want to click;
- an attractive meta description;
- good HTML markup with correct use of subtitles and bolded words.
The insertion of tags makes it possible to structure a web page, thus facilitating its reading by Google robots and therefore its indexing. Knowledge of HTML is essential to understand SEO and have a good natural referencing.
2. Increase your visibility on the web with quality content
There is a plethora of SEO tools on the market today. Even if they prove to be useful, this software is far from sufficient in an SEO strategy. Do you think that simple keyword stuffing will propel your article into position zero of the SERP? Sorry but no! It would be an affront to the intelligence of Google who knows about SEO writing. Beware of keyword stuffing: you risk being penalized by the Googlebot which has been promoting the quality of editorial content since the Panda update of 2011. And that, professional bloggers have understood: content is king. Content is king.
Blogger, you got to look beyond the keywords
The spearhead of inbound marketing, relevant, informative and useful content builds reader loyalty while currying favor with Google. No more maddening bounce rates! But beware, writing for the Web is an art that web editors masterfully perform:
- airy and structured content;
- impeccable spelling and grammar;
- compliance with punctuation, syntax and typography rules;
- style and tone adapted to personas (ideal customers);
- harmonious integration of keywords;
- source reliability;
- clear and understandable language.
Delegating the writing of your site or blog articles makes it possible to obtain optimized content while guaranteeing smooth reading, essential to the user experience (UX). Understanding SEO requires human brain thinking that the machine is fortunately not yet ready to replace!
3. Improve its positioning on Google thanks to internal and external links
Technical SEO, check. SEO writing, check. Let’s now tackle the notion of internal networking and the links pointing to your site, the backlinks. Yes, more jargon! Don’t panic, we’ll explain.
The addition of internal links to the website contributes to the optimization of natural referencing. By inserting links to other pages or blog posts, you work on internal networking. Good news: Google loves it! In addition to improving the user experience and reading comfort, you encourage Internet users to stay longer on your site.
If the internal mesh is important, the net linking is capital. It is one of the fundamentals of SEO, to be integrated into an off-site or off-page SEO strategy. Understanding the mechanism of backlinks is therefore essential. These external links, present on other sites, redirect Internet users to yours. The more backlinks a website has, the more popularity it gains. But there is no question of tricking Google with poor and hollow incoming links, or purchased ones. Only the acquisition of quality backlinks in a natural way will increase the PageRank and the authority of your domain. In other words, you’re positioning on Google!
You have reached the end of this little practical guide, congratulations! You should know better understand SEO and its challenges. Ready to start a natural referencing strategy? So, delegate your editorial content to one of our awesome web editors, SEO copywriting specialists. Web accompanies you to success!