The first step towards understanding SEO is to understand what site optimization is for and what it consists of. Auckland SEO agency Pianov.nz explains it point by point.
Search Engine Optimization – search engine optimization is the finalization, development and promotion of a site, taking into account the requirements of search engines.
Why SEO is important
- Growth of search traffic
Despite the popularity of social networks and Google messengers in the top in terms of traffic on the Internet.
Consequently, search engines remain the key sources of traffic to the website. So, according to statistics, online stores get about a third of visitors from search.
Other type of websites tend to have an even higher rate of search traffic.
Media, brands and agencies are interested in search traffic not only because of its potential volume. An important difference from other channels is that you do not need to pay for each click and transition to the site, as in contextual and targeted advertising.
At the same time, of course, you cannot call search traffic free one, because especially at the beginning you need to invest a lot in content, technical optimization, and so on. But investing in SEO brings results and pays off in the long term (4 to 12 months).
- Improving user experience
The main task of a search engine is to give a high-quality answer to a user’s request. That is, choose among the many sites the most relevant, convenient, informative, authoritative. So, for example, search engines take into account when ranking:
- page loading speed – the faster it loads, the better position in the search (all other things being equal);
- responsible design – ease of display in all devices, browsers, operating systems;
- site security – availability of connected https, absence of viruses;
- coincidence of words from the request with meta tags (title, description), since they contain additional information about the page for search engines;
- availability of reviews, information on payment, delivery, guarantees.
Thus, when you do a competent SEO, you not only increase traffic to the site, but also improve the user experience in parallel. Convenience and informational content give the visitor a reason to stay on the site longer, come back more and more, place orders, leave applications.
Traffic and leads growth, and website behaviour improvement can only be expected when using honest white-hat SEO. On the other hand, grey and black SEO methods are highly likely to lead to penalties and sanctions.
What is included in the SEO
SEO Company Pianov.nz recommended the following types of work to be included in your SEO process:
- Preparation and planning
Before taking specific actions in SEO, you need to decide on goals, strategy and promotion tools. For this, the following are carried out:
Audit of an active resource – the site is assessed to what extent it meets the requirements of search engines. In the process, errors are detected, for example:
- broken links (links leading to non-existent pages degrade the user experience);
- duplicate pages (copies of pages impede promotion, lower search rankings);
- slow loading of the site (there is a great risk that the user will not wait and leave);
- incorrect display on mobile devices (increases the number of bounces from the mobile audience, worsens the ranking).
Analysis of competitive sites – collection and comparison of data on traffic and traffic sources, number of pages, search queries, visibility in search engines, and more.
Collection and clustering of the semantic core – selection and grouping of user search queries for which the site will be promoted. Taking into account the collected keywords and phrases:
- the structure of the site is determined (for example, a decision may be made to create additional pages, complicate the existing hierarchy);
- optimization of meta tags, headers, text, descriptions of pictures and other elements on the site;
- landing pages are selected for contextual advertising, as well as ad impressions are configured.
- Onsite SEO
Internal SEO works include:
- filling the site with content – writing articles for a blog, filling in product cards in an online store, uploading videos to the site and other content;
- prescribing unique meta tags (title, description) for each page and optimizing the text in accordance with the collected semantic core;
- linking – linking the pages of the site with each other by links (for example, in the article “How to use a product” it is logical to put a link to the card of this product and vice versa).
Internal optimization also includes purely technical work:
- setting robots.txt and sitemap.xml – these are files with instructions for search robots, which are needed, for example, to prohibit the indexing of some pages and speed up the search for others;
- setting up redirects (redirects) – which is important, for example, when moving a site from one domain to another (for example, siteold.com → site.com), changing the page address (site.com/trendy2018 → site.com/trendy2019);
- removal of duplicate pages and broken links, elimination of problems with adaptability and loading speed, and so on.
- Offsite SEO
The work on external factors begins when the onsite SEO is well done and all the technical work has been done.
External SEO includes the work of analysing and extracting links to the site. You can get them, for example, by:
- Mentions in the media – when a company writes articles for industry resources, gives interviews and expert opinions on the topic. Or it turns out to be in the centre of a scandal, hype.
- Guest publications – when a company posts articles containing links on thematic sites and in other people’s blogs for free or through barter.
- How User Behaviourfactors
At the stage of development and testing, it is impossible to take into account all the nuances of user interaction with the site. What initially seems reasonable to the developer and customer may be inconvenient for most visitors. Web analytics systems show how users behave on the site, and allow you to build hypotheses for further improving the resource.
It is important to constantly study and take into account the user experience while working on the site. Search engines take into account such indicators as:
- The number of viewed pages.
- Time spent on site.
- Bounce rate – the higher the proportion of those who immediately leave the site, the worse for its rating.
- CTR – How clickable your website on search results pages.
- Repeat visits, direct visits – these metrics show that users know the site and trust it.