One of the biggest goals for companies investing in Digital Marketing is to reach the top positions in search engines – after all, who doesn’t want free clicks and more visitors to your site?
But in a terrain as fierce and competitive as the Internet is, making your website stand out among the millions of pages on the net seems like an impossible task. And I say it seems because it really is not.
However, being on the Internet is not enough to guarantee that your site, e-commerce or blog achieves a place on the first page of Google: it is necessary to invest in a specific strategy to optimize results and ensure that your business reaches a good position. website for the most important keywords in its segment.
With SEO or Search Engines Optimization Techniques – you can make your website appear in relevant searches, connecting your content with people who are looking for products or services like the one you offer.
It is the perfect operation!
But you should know that doing SEO requires a lot of study to understand terminologies, build strategies and apply practices that take you to the top of Google’s results pages .
Do not worry! Whether you want to take your first steps in the world of Search Engines Optimization Techniques, or you want to refresh your knowledge, in this complete SEO guide we will explain everything you have to know about the subject.
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- 1 What is SEO (Search Engines Optimization Techniques)?
- 2 What is the difference between SEO and SEM?
- 3 7 Benefits of Implementing An SEO Strategy
- 4 What types of search are there?
- 5 A brief history of SEO and how Google’s algorithm has evolved
- 6 How to put together a good SEO strategy and conquer the top of Google?
- 6.1 1. Define your goals
- 6.2 2. Create a buyer persona
- 6.3 3. Install initial and basic SEO tools
- 6.4 4. Do keyword research
- 6.5 Keyword tools
- 6.6 5. Analyze the competition to identify opportunities
- 6.7 6. Organize the contents with the Topic Clusters methodology
- 7 What is SEO on Page?
- 8 What is the off-page SEO?
- 9 How does technical SEO work?
- 10 What is local SEO?
- 11 Conclusion
In this article you will find:
- What SEO means;
- SEO and SEM: what are the differences
- What are the advantages of organic positioning;
- What types of search exist;
- A brief history of SEO;
- How to develop an effective SEO strategy;
- What is SEO on Page;
- What is SEO off Page;
- How Technical SEO Works;
- What is Local SEO?
Read carefully and become a web positioning specialist!
What is SEO (Search Engines Optimization Techniques)?
SEO is the acronym for Search Engines Optimization Techniques, which means “Search Engines Optimization Techniques”. It consists of a series of optimization techniques, disciplines and strategies that are implemented on the pages of a website or blog to improve your search engine rankings.
This marketing strategy is essential for your company to gain prominence, visibility in the digital world and, consequently, more leads , customers and billing for your business.
Optimizing sites and blogs through the use of techniques to improve the web positioning of your pages and positioning your company in the first results of Google, for example, increase (and greatly) your business opportunities.
Ultimately, 90% of people who search Google only click on the results that appear on the first page of the engine.
The main objective of SEO, therefore, is to increase the volume of organic traffic and ensure more visibility for web pages.
What is the difference between SEO and SEM?
We do not want to leave out of this article a topic that causes a lot of confusion among professionals who are beginning in the world of Digital Marketing and this is the difference between SEO and SEM.
Although at first, they may seem to refer to similar actions given the similarity of their acronyms, you should pay close attention because they refer to completely different actions. Let’s see one by one.
SEO = organic positioning
As you already know, SEO refers to all those actions that you can take inside or outside of your website to optimize its positioning in search engines organically. This last point is key since organic means “no payment”.
With an SEO strategy, you do not pay Google or any other search engine to gain positions in the SERP. It is your valuable content and your optimizations that earn these places in their own right.
SEM = Positioning payment
By contrast, SEM — Search Engine Marketing — refers to those strategies that include the use of paid ads.
That is, with an SEM strategy you create an advertising campaign so that when a user types a search, your site appears before the organic results in the form of an ad, as long as it agrees with the user’s search intention.
Which to choose?
A complete Digital Marketing strategy should not opt for one and exclude the other. That is, you must include in your strategy a combination of SEO and SEM strategies to increase their results.
With the use of SEM, results are generated instantly in a short term, necessary when you want to increase visibility or brand recognition quickly or when you want to launch products or promotions for a limited time.
In addition, SEO is a strategy that works in the medium and long term, constantly bringing better quality visits.
If you want to expand this matter further we recommend you read our article on SEO vs. SEM .
But what are the advantages of this SEO strategy and how efficient can it become? Here we present the main ones.
7 Benefits of Implementing An SEO Strategy
1. Increase the visibility of a brand
Implementing an SEO strategy is one of the best ways to increase the visibility of your brand organically.
Imagine the following scenario: your business deals with the sale of washing machines. One user, let’s call him Pedro, is having trouble with his washing machine, so he goes through Google to find out how he can fix it himself.
Coincidentally, you have an article that shows a step by step to repair washing machines, so conquer that visit for your website.
And although the article talks about repair and not sale, this is just the beginning of a customer relationship with your brand. It is what in Inbound we know as the attraction stage.
2. Attract qualified traffic
Like Pedro, many other users will come to your content to solve their doubts or find solutions to their problems.
With the creation of valuable content, optimized for search engines, your website will organically attract the leads you are looking for, at the right time.
In this way, the more visits you receive, the more people will meet you and the more likely you are to close a sale, which leads us to the next advantage.
3. Generate sales opportunities
Imagine that, although Pedro repaired his washing machine, he definitely needs to change it, since he continues to have other failures.
As Pedro already knows your brand, thanks to the fact that he has found the solution to his questions in your articles, he will surely already trust your business and think of you, as the first option, to buy his next washing machine. This is the decision stage in the Inbound methodology.
Continuing with our example, in Pedro’s mind and in the minds of many other users like him, your company will occupy its Top of Mind , that is, it will be the first brand that comes to mind when they think of washing machines.
SEO allows you to achieve this by facilitating correct indexing and improving the organic positioning of your content.
So, whenever Pedro or anyone else searches for information on washing machines, your website will be the first to appear, or at least, the result they are looking for.
In this area, a concept that has been highlighted is that of EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness), an acronym used to represent the three fundamental elements of quality content.
Recently Google has viewed with good eyes the content published by authors who have technical authority and credibility recognized in the respective topics.
For example, on a disease content website, it is in your best interest to have articles written by doctors, with an author page containing information about your professional history.
5. Educate the market
Users like Pedro have surely been educated with your articles on the operation, care and maintenance of their washing machines.
Also, they have managed to understand what are the specifications they are looking for with their washing machine, according to their personal needs.
As you can see, the importance of positioning content lies not only in closing sales, but also in educating the audience to make better decisions.
6. Win over the competition
Finally, if it is your brand that produces the most complete and relevant washing machine content, who do you think users will look for when they want to know something about washing machines? Who will they trust if they need to make a purchase?
Although it takes time and a lot of work to implement an SEO strategy, in the long term it generates constant and lasting results.
7. Better return on investment
SEO requires a much lower investment than other strategies such as SEM or traditional advertising.
The investment that SEO requires translates into the payment of some tools such as those we saw previously, the salaries of the SEO specialist or the content creator and the payment of the domain and hosting of the website, for example.
However, the return more than multiplies the investment and the best thing is that the work that was done once continues to generate returns in the medium and long term.
We are going to explain now, step by step, the most important SEO concepts and teach you the strategies we use to reach the top places in Google.
And it all starts when the user does a search.
What types of search are there?
The psychology of search revolves around the user: their needs, their way of searching for answers, the results they expect when searching for something, etc.
It is in the interests of companies that invest in Digital Marketing to respond objectively to all these doubts and needs.
One of the first steps to understand the user’s search is to know the intention of their navigation, which is essential in order to attract the correct audience to your site.
So we are going to explain what brings the user to Google. There are three types of search:
This type of search – also known as a shortcut search – happens when the user already knows which site they would like to visit, but may not remember the full URL or be lazy to type.
For example, if the user searches for “ Rock Content ” or “Rock Content blog” to find our content, their search intention is clear and, therefore, there is little chance that this user will change their final destination on the web. – This person already knows what they are looking for.
2. Informational search
As the name itself says, in the informational search the user searches for information, whether through news, product launches or explanatory articles.
Unlike navigational search, the user does not know exactly which site they will go to find the content they are looking for, as it is not possible to clearly identify their search intention.
In an Inbound Marketing strategy , this organic visibility is essential to attract users to the pages of a business and start their journey to become customers.
By not knowing exactly which site he wants to visit, the user tends to use organic results to find the solution to his question or need, and it is at this moment that the good web positioning of the blog or site is an advantage for business.
Look at an example of informational research:
3. Transactional search
In this type of search, the user wants to execute a transaction, such as buying a product directly or finding a store. This search is extremely valuable, especially for e-commerce .
Now that you have understood the 3 types of search, in the next topic we will explain how the world’s largest search engine, Google, works.
4. Local Search
Local searches are searches with a geographic component, within a certain region, for example, when the user searches for restaurants, cinemas, shops, hotels, schools, offices, among other types of establishments with a physical location.
Other search types
There are also other types of searches that users can perform, such as:
- news ;
- academic searches;
- specific information (weather, date, etc.);
Please note that for each type of search, Google has been increasingly striving to deliver specific results.
In (transactional) product searches, for example, shows results from Google Shopping or when searching for a song, shows the clip on YouTube and the lyrics.
The intention is to improve the search experience with more agile and precise answers for the user .
A brief history of SEO and how Google’s algorithm has evolved
Since people realized that the best way to deliver their content to Internet users was through search engines , they devised a series of techniques to conquer their first places. These techniques were called SEO.
However, in the 90s, content was more concerned with positioning than user experience. That is why Google began to update its algorithm constantly to deliver the most relevant results in each search.
Below, we’ll take a look at the main algorithm updates.
The first major algorithm update arrived in 2011. Google Panda began to analyze and evaluate websites based on the quality of their content, reviewing aspects such as grammar and duplicate content and, in turn, rewarding original and valuable content.
A year later, in April 2012, Google Penguin was launched to monitor the health of website link building .
Basically, Google Penguin checks that the external links that are sent to the pages are natural and of quality. Therefore, it stimulates the relevant backlinks and that add value to the user who arrives at another website from them.
In 2013, Google Hummingbird began to classify content according to semantic and user interest factors.
It is with Hummingbird that Google understands natural language, expanding its way of interpreting content to variations of keywords or related keywords.
In 2014, with Google Pigeon, the search engine began to organize search results according to the geographical location of users. It is from here that local SEO begins to gain prominence.
In 2015 the mobile device boom arrives and Google adapts to it with Google Mobilegeddon. With this update, Google rewards sites that are mobile-friendly: those that have a responsive design and that optimize their loading speeds.
One of the most radical algorithm changes occurred with Google RankBrain, in 2015. With this update, Google delivers the most relevant content to the user according to their search intention.
In this free infographic that we prepared you can find more detailed information about this story and how Google currently works.
How to put together a good SEO strategy and conquer the top of Google?
Now, it is time to know the step by step you must follow to create and implement a successful SEO strategy. Take note!
1. Define your goals
The first step of the strategy is to define what your objectives are when optimizing your website, blog or eCommerce. For this, you need to know what SEO is, some possibilities are:
- increase organic traffic;
- generate more leads;
- generate more sales;
- reduce the cost of acquiring clients (CAC);
- educate the market;
- increase brand authority.
You should always align these SEO goals with your brand’s macro goals . If you want to increase the recognition of your brand, for example, SEO can help you with that by putting your company’s website in the first positions of Google.
By defining goals, you can also identify goals and KPIs. If you want more authority, for example, you can use the Domain Auhtority and Page Authority metrics . You just have to define what score you want to achieve in these KPIs and in what period of time.
In this way, you will be able to monitor the strategy using these indicators to be sure that you are on the right path to achieve your goals.
2. Create a buyer persona
The first step is to define who you want to reach with your content, that is, define who your ideal customer would be. For this, the concept of buyer persona will be of full use to you. In short, a buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal client built from data.
Unlike the target audience, a buyer person is a character with a specific and detailed description, created to better understand your customers, their interests and their problems or needs.
The creation of a buyer persona is the first step to implement an SEO strategy because it allows you to define the language of communication, the content you expect and the best content distribution channels.
In other words, it will give a north to your digital strategy and will allow you to write for real people and search engines at the same time.
Remember this: everything your brand produces should be addressed to your buyer persona in order to make sense and naturally lead them through the stages of the customer’s journey to the end of the purchase.
3. Install initial and basic SEO tools
To start an SEO strategy you must have at least the basic tools to diagnose your current situation, support planning, make the first optimizations and start monitoring the impacts of each action.
We are mainly talking about two indispensable tools for SEO: Google Analytics and Google Search Console. Google provides them for free and they will always help you monitor your strategies. Let’s get to know them better!
Google Analytics is a widely used data analysis tool that offers a wide variety of resources to assess the performance of digital strategies. In SEO, it can help in different ways:
- get to know your audience better to build the buyer persona;
- identify which pages are the most visited and with the best performance;
- monitor the amount of organic traffic;
- identify the channels that generate the most traffic (email, social, organic, etc.);
- understand participation (bounce rate, pages per visit, session length);
- monitor the conversions generated by the SEO strategy.
These are just some analyzes that you can do with Google Analytics and that can help from planning to SEO monitoring. Undoubtedly, you will find many other data in the tool to help your strategy.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a tool that facilitates communication between a site and Google and offers valuable reports to apply SEO techniques. These are some of the features it offers:
- find out if there are problems with the indexing of the site;
- It helps you know if the site has been hacked or penalized by Google;
- monitor the average position of your pages in the SERPs;
- Identify the clickthrough rate (organic CTR) of your pages in the SERPs;
- identify which keywords activated your website in the SERPs;
- Identify which sites direct backlinks to yours;
- it asks Google to rework dubious backlinks to your site.
Google Search Console is a bit more technical, so it’s geared towards webmasters. But the interface is very friendly, so anyone can use it to make diagnoses and direct more complex demands to specialized professionals.
The tool can also generate various ideas for content optimization, in addition to being the main source for identifying queries that drive traffic to your pages and the click-through rate of your main keywords.
4. Do keyword research
Since you know who you are going to talk to and what are the topics that might interest them, it is time to land those ideas to create relevant content for your buyer persona.
What separates your content from your users is called keywords. A keyword is a term that users type in search engines to find content that solves their concerns.
For example, if a person is planning a trip to Japan, they will surely type “best destinations in Japan” or “the cheapest destinations in Japan” in the search bar.
What I put in quotes are the keywords, which have different types of terms that cover interesting topics for your buyer person.
Doing keyword research is a complete process:
- you start with an idea on a topic,
- you use tools like SEMRush or the Google Keyword Planner to identify the keywords that you can use in your articles,
- you determine if their search volume is relevant or how difficult it is to position a content by that word,
- You create a list with the best keywords.
In this keyword search it is also very important to know the location of your audience, since this information will guide the entire production of content on your website.
If you have a company in Mexico but want to expand your operations to Colombia, you will have to do specific research to discover which terms are the most common in this country.
To achieve this territorial domain in Google for different regions of the world, there are the techniques of international SEO , which you can learn more about in detail at the last link.
Among them are the use of hreflang labels and the production of content adapted to each national market.
We recommend reading our article on keywords to understand in depth how to carry out this process.
An indispensable tool in an SEO work kit is SEMRush. With this platform you can, among other things, analyze the general positioning status of your website and identify the keywords of your sector.
But perhaps one of the most valued features of SEMRush is competitor analysis. Thus, you can identify the strengths of your competitor’s SEO strategy and adjust yours.
In this article we propose a complete tutorial on how to use SEMRush .
If you want to know the status of your link building strategy and the health of your backlinks, you should use Ahrefs . This platform has the most complete index of links on the Internet.
Ahrefs allows you to perform different functions: find link building opportunities, find broken links on your website or that of your competition, find ideal pages for guest posting and analyze the backlink profile of your own page.
To take care of your link building strategy, and avoid being penalized by Google Penguin, you must use Ahrefs.
MOZ is a suite of tools that, correctly used, will boost your SEO strategy through its optimization recommendations in positioning, the definition of the topics of your content and the improvement of your strategy in social networks .
For example, with the Crawl Test function you will be able to identify the technical SEO problems of your website. Furthermore, only with MOZ will you have access to two metrics that are essential to understand Google’s PageRank: the Page Authority and the Domain Authority .
5. Analyze the competition to identify opportunities
Another critical step before starting content creation is to review what your competition is doing .
With tools like SEMRush you can identify which are their most successful keywords, which of their articles are the best positioned and how they are being found by users.
With this information you can make adjustments to your strategy, adopt its best practices or try to position with your keywords creating more complete content.
6. Organize the contents with the Topic Clusters methodology
After identifying your best keywords with their different types , it’s time to write your articles.
It is necessary that you explore the main topics of your market with complete contents, which must be reconciled with smaller and more specific articles on topics related to the main issues.
Once you have several specific articles on a general topic, you can organize them into Topic Clusters , which means putting together several related articles in one main post, creating interconnections between them.
It is important that you pay attention to this methodology since increasingly, Google is paying attention to the user’s search intention and not only to the keywords that appear in an article.
With Topic Clusters, you imply to Google that your article is the most complete on a topic and thus you will gain better positions in the SERP.
An example from the Rock Content universe is the main content that we have on the concept of Marketing, which has almost 10,000 words. But to talk about this topic it is impossible to stop covering related concepts, such as:
- Digital marketing;
- How to put together a Marketing strategy;
- The 4 P’s of Marketing;
- What is the relationship between Marketing and Advertising;
- What types of Marketing are there;
- among others.
The concept of Topic Clusters indicates that it is advisable to write specific articles on each of those topics, making those contents send internal links to the “Marketing” page, and vice versa.
Thus the algorithm can better understand the semantic structure of the domain and reward it for this organized work.
In this free spreadsheet that we prepare you can use this methodology to guide the production of your content. Download it for free!
What is SEO on Page?
Here it should be remembered that the On Page factors refer to what the website administrator can optimize on his own pages to improve the visitor experience and facilitate the reading of the site by Google.
These optimizations should be integrated into the Content Marketing strategy, since a large part of them is implemented in the content published on the website or blog.
The SEO On Page has all the variables you can control directly within your website as:
- title length,
- intention of the user,
- content size,
- author pages (EAT),
- number of publications,
- scannability ,
- meta description,
- Friendly and easy to understand URL,
- use of keywords,
- image optimization,
- loading speed,
- subtitle formatting,
- internal links between pages,
- among others.
From now on we are going to break down the main SEO optimization factors on Page and its best practices:
SEO is not about what people are looking for, but what they want to find.
Therefore, on-page optimizations should focus on the user’s search intent, which varies with each search, so that your pages and content match what they want to find.
It is in this that Google concentrates to offer what the user wants and, for that, the natural language processing and the analysis of the user’s location are elements that help to decipher this intention.
Therefore, the challenge for an on-page SEO and Content Marketing strategy is to understand search intentions, as Google does, to deliver to users what they want.
And the best way to understand the user’s intention is to use Google itself!
Let’s understand better with some examples:
After keyword research, you should Google to analyze what results are in the top places. After all, these are the pages that Google believes respond best to user intent .
Let’s look at the results page for the search “SEO”:
As you can see all the first contents are educational, focused on teaching what SEO is and how to use it, therefore, to position yourself you need to have content following this line.
But what if my intention was to find a “Batman costume”? What would I like to find?
Exactly pictures of the products!
Can you imagine someone renting or buying a costume without seeing it? To get to the top positions you must use images!
Therefore, analyze the first results for specific keywords and identify the topics that you should address and how to improve your content with topics that those results have not yet addressed.
Overcome them and offer optimized and more complete content!
Content size generally has an impact on ranking, although it is not a direct factor in ranking the algorithm.
Extensive content tends to be more comprehensive, detailed, and in-depth, and therefore better responsive to user questions.
But of course there is no rule: for each topic and for each person, the ideal length can vary. Here at Rock Content we have super complete publications, such as this one about advertising .
It is a head tail keyword , with a lot of competition, search volume and requires extremely complete content, due to the breadth of the topic.
Already a post on 18 Instagram tricks , for example, is much more specific, with less searching and competition, and therefore can be shorter and more direct.
In conclusion: the best size is the one that best answers the user’s question . To get insights on how long your post has to be to reach the top of Google, you can also take a look at the websites that are already ranking well for each keyword.
Volume of publications
The volume of publications also tends to favor positioning. After all, the more content you post, the better chance you have of ranking better.
However, you can’t just think about the number of posts, okay? We need to combine quality and frequency.
There is no point in posting hundreds of content that is not relevant or does not answer user questions. That would be a waste of energy. Posting a lot at the beginning of a blog and then leaving is useless.
It is necessary to maintain the frequency of the publications to retain the public and show Google that you always have new and updated content.
However, there is no ideal volume or frequency of publication. You must identify the demands of your subject, its identity and, in addition, evaluate the production capacity of your business content .
Remember that the most important thing is that quantity and quality work together!
Furthermore, Featured Snippets are a type of featured snippet known to be Google’s famous zero position. They are boxes that appear above all the results with a specific answer to a user’s search.
In general terms, to conquer a Featured Snippet you must create very valuable content and presented in a simple way that completely answers a question in little space.
Therefore, lists, definitions and short answers are the most common content found in Featured Snippets.
As additional information, you should know that when you perform a voice search , the result you obtain will surely be read from a Featured Snippet. That is why it is so important to try to conquer the zero position.
There are three types of featured snippets:
- and paragraphs.
Here you can see an example of a featured snippet of paragraph that we conquer for the keyword “marketing information system”:
Images for SEO
Google still doesn’t fully understand what an image says, so it needs your help. And how can you help him? With image optimizations for SEO .
This strategy is used to provide textual data about the images. We are talking about the alternative text (alt tag), the file name, the image title, the image URL and the context (environment words).
The most important thing here is the alternative text, which is essential for the experience of people with visual problems, since the screen reader reads the alternative text to the user.
Therefore, the alt text should be a description of the image and, whenever possible, contain the keyword. Look at this example:
Image optimization for SEO also includes some attention to file size and format, so they load and index quickly.
The Rich Snippets are pictures that appear with expanded information on your website. They occupy the position that your website occupies for a certain search.
If Snippets are a combination of title, short description, and website URL, Rich Snippets are a rich version of Snippets that includes more detailed information that is relevant to users.
To enrich your website with these resources, it will be necessary to establish a solid and organized structure of information that can be understood by the algorithm. This is accomplished by configuring the pages with the code snippets available in the Schema Markup .
An example of rich snippet is the rating of the content in the SERPs. Positive user feedback can help others who come to the page to have more confidence in and access content.
The internal link network of your website is also part of SEO onpage strategies.
Linking internal pages has a main function: to guide navigation and direct the user (and the search engines) to other content that may interest them .
But that action also plays a technical role in SEO. The internal links network helps Google find your content and better understand your site, as it shows the hierarchy between pages.
For example, the closer a page is to home and the more internal links it receives, the more important it will be.
We link, in addition to our most important blogs and pages, more relevant content directly from the home page of our website:
Another example of the Rock Content internal link is in our super complete publication on “ Digital Marketing ”, many other more specific content on the subject (email marketing, SEO, social networks, etc.) have links to that publication and, from that shape, strengthen their authority.
This acronym caught the attention of SEO professionals and stands for Expertise (specialty), Authoritativeness (authority) and Trustworthiness (trustworthiness). Google uses these words as guidelines to assess the quality of search results.
They are presented in the document that guides the group of evaluators who carry out a manual analysis on the relevance of the results offered by the search engine. Therefore, they also show what Google considers important for content to be considered quality:
- the specialty of the author of the content;
- the authority of the author of the content, the content itself and the website;
- how trustworthy is the author of the content, the content itself and the website.
So, follow these guidelines in your SEO optimization and content strategy to stay aligned with what Google thinks. To learn more about the subject read our article on EAT .
What is the off-page SEO?
Now, it’s time to look outside your pages for off page SEO. What can you do to gain more authority in the market and show Google that you are a reference?
Here you need to realize that, unlike on-page SEO, in off-page SEO you don’t have full control over optimization. The decision to give backlinks to your site and directly mention or search for your brand depends on third parties.
What you can do is increase the chances of that happening by adopting a link building strategy, guestposting and redirecting broken links, among other ways to strengthen your backlink profile and generate more authority for the page.
Learn more about these strategies below!
Links are the basis of the internet. They connect one page to another and allow the user to navigate discovering content.
Like users, robots also traverse this interconnected network to index new content and understand which pages are the most important, as one transmits link juice and authority to the other.
That is why a link building strategy is so important in off page SEO.
Link building is the construction of a network of links that direct the user to your pages (called backlinks ) and strengthen your authority on the web. For Google’s algorithm, the more quality links the page receives, the more relevance it will have in the market.
Please note that quantity and quality must go together. There is no point in getting hundreds of backlinks from the same domain or from a questionable or out of context website.
For a link building strategy to work you must be able to get quality links.
As we have already seen, Google makes a great effort to avoid black hat actions.
Link building was once a widely used tool for artificially increasing authority, with artificial link production systems and “super optimization” of anchor texts, for example.
A quality backlink, therefore, is the opposite of these actions, it is a link to your domain that you receive on its own merits and shows that you relate to reliable sites and references in your market .
Quality backlinks, therefore, are those that:
- come from sites with domain and page authority;
- they come from sites that Google trusts;
- they come from several different domains;
- naturally integrate into the context of the page;
- use consistent anchor text;
- they are in a privileged position on the page (at the beginning of the text, for example);
- They come from sites related to your area of expertise.
These are the main characteristics that you should look for in backlinks when designing a link building strategy.
There is also an important point in the characteristics of backlinks: the difference between dofollow and nofollow links .
By default, all links are “dofollow”. This attribute tells the robot to follow the link path and pass authority from one page to another.
The “nofollow” attribute, on the other hand, prevents the robot from following that path and assigning authority to the linked page.
It is used, for example, in blog comment boxes and social media links, which are often used to spam and create artificial authority.
This does not mean that nofollow links are expendable in off-page SEO. Although they do not directly transmit authority to your pages, they generate traffic and make more people know your brand.
Link building techniques
Let’s see, then, what link building techniques can you adopt to strengthen your market authority? Next, we will talk about the main ones. Keep reading!
It is the most natural and efficient strategy. It is about creating content that is so good that it generates backlinks naturally, without having to search or propose associations.
For this, you can invest in content in depth, disseminate exclusive research data, create rich materials, offer your own tools, among other types of content that become assets with a lot of potential to be linked or shared.
The guest posting is a strategy to publish posts as a guest on an associated blog. Usually it’s an exchange: you produce content for the blog audience and you can put one or more links to your website.
In this way, you attract new visitors and gain more authority, if the link is “dofollow”.
It is very important to adopt this strategy in moderation. If Google realizes that you acquired a lot of links quickly, it can understand that you are using black hat techniques and penalizing your pages.
Brand mentions, even without a link to your website, are already valuable to SEO. Google analyzes this criterion to recognize the brands that really exist and have a good reputation in the market.
You can also search for these mentions without a link and identify opportunities to get a quality backlink . Just contact the administrator and they suggest adding the link.
What happens when a site’s URL pattern changes or content ceases to exist? Various broken links are created on the site.
That is, the user who tries to access that previous link does not find anything, falls on an Error 404 page and you lose both the visit and the authority that transmitted the link.
Also, you can find these links on websites with topics related to yours and show your content as a solution to that broken link.
You can find these links on other sites using tools like Screaming Frog and Ahrefs or using a free tool like Check My Links:
Link building tools
There are several link building tools on the market. Some are paid, others are free; some are specialized, others help with certain actions.
Tools like Majestic, Ahrefs, Moz’s Link Explorer and SEMrush offer a comprehensive analysis of a page’s backlink profile, from the volume of citations to the quality of anchor texts.
Some of them have their own indicators that help in this analysis, such as Majestic’s Trust Flow and Citation Flow and Moz’s Domain Authority and Page Authority.
These tools are paid, but offer some free features.
Also, you can work with more specific tools for certain actions. Google Search Console , for example, should be used to ask Google to reject dubious backlinks.
The Google Alerts can warn you about mentions of your brand are good opportunities to get backlinks.
How does technical SEO work?
The SEO universe is vast and includes many technical aspects of the structure of a website, so a very important part of on-page SEO is technical SEO .
When we talk about technical SEO, we are referring to all the optimizations you can do in the internal structure – that is, in the codes and architecture – of your website, with the aim of making it faster, more understandable, traceable and indexable.
Next, we will tell you what the fundamental elements are and how to optimize them. Don’t stop reading!
A sitemap is a text document that numbers all the pages of a website , as well as information about them, such as the date of the last modification and the frequency of updates.
Its SEO function is to show this information to search engines so that they can easily find and index URLs.
Although search engines already do this job by crawling, sitemaps make robots’ lives easier and ensure indexing of all pages.
You can create the sitemap manually or with tools and plugins and then submit it via the Google Search Console.
The robots.txt file is also a text document, inserted into the root folder of your website, which tells Google which pages of your website it should not crawl so that they do not appear in the search engine. .
You can use robots.txt to prevent Google bots from accessing sensitive pages, such as the administrator login form (the “/ wp-admin /” of WordPress sites, for example), scripts or styles they are not important.
Also, it is important to know about robots.txt in cases where your pages have a problem appearing in SERPs. They may be in that file by mistake.
UX (user experience)
The experience of the user and SEO are concepts that must go together. We have already said that the priority of the engines is to offer the best search and navigation experience until the user finds what they are looking for.
And that includes their experience on your website.
But what does UX, User Experience mean? It is a concept used in website development that centralizes all measures in the actions and responses of users to meet their needs.
According to Peter Morville, President of Semantic Studios, seven characteristics are essential for a website to have a good user experience. Needs to be:
- easy to be used;
Charging speed is one of the main criteria for classification. Google itself has already stated it openly: in 2010, for desktop searches and, in 2018, for mobile searches .
It is very important to remember that, although speed does not make you gain positions, without it you will never reach the top.
A fast pagespeed won’t rank you above your competitors, but with poor page speed you won’t even have a chance to compete.
For Google, the quality of the user’s search experience depends on the agility of the information, since nobody wants to wait more than a few seconds to find what they are looking for.
It is no coincidence that the search engine has provided a free trial tool: PageSpeed Insights . The reports provide a speed diagnosis as well as tips to improve loading, optimization of images and website codes.
Mobile First Index
If cell phones are already used more than computers, if mobile searches have already surpassed desktop searches, if mobile device traffic is already higher, what do you think Google should do?
Of course, the search engine is an excellent reader of reality! Therefore, it began to prioritize in the search results those sites that offered a good mobile experience .
In 2015, Google announced that mobile device searches would become a ranking factor, prompting various sites to become responsive .
An impact that was also impressive was the announcement of the Mobile-First Index , starting in 2016, which began to prioritize the mobile version of the sites to rank them.
So, if you have not yet adapted your site to this trend, hurry up to improve the usability and loading of your pages on mobile devices!
Creating a responsive website is one of the most appropriate ways to make your website mobile friendly. With this technique, the site only has one version, which is best adapted to the different screen sizes that users can use.
In addition to responsive design, you can also adopt two other techniques, although they are less indicated:
- Mobile URL, where the mobile version has a different URL than the desktop version (m.domain.com, for example);m . domain . com , for example);
- Dynamic service, where the two versions have the same URL, but have different CSS and HTML for each device.
If you want to know if your website is compatible with mobile devices, you can take the Google mobile compatibility test and receive optimization recommendations.
The Accelerated Mobile Pages are another initiative to improve the mobile search experience. This is an open source project, spearheaded by Google, which aims to develop static content pages that load faster on mobile devices.
They are identified in the SERP of mobile searches with a stamp, a small lightning bolt symbol next to the URL, and are given priority in ranking.
The red arrow in the following image is fixed on the symbol that indicates that the page will be shown in its AMP version.
In technical SEO, one of the main actions is to carry out audits, especially at the beginning of an optimization project.
An SEO audit identifies issues with tracking, uploading, usability (especially on mobile devices), among other errors that affect user navigation and website ranking.
These are some elements that an audit can point out:
- broken links;
- tracking errors;
- redirection errors;
- duplicate content;
- blocked pages (robots.txt, noindex, nofollow);
- slow loading pages.
One of the most comprehensive tools for this is Screaming Frog which offers comprehensive reports on all of those items that we mention. But auditing can also combine other tools, such as SEMrush and Google Search Console.
What is local SEO?
One of Google’s priorities in recent years is to search with local intent. Understand the reason for this!
The search engine interprets that a user searching for solutions in a certain region should receive responses in a different way, with more practical and objective information, instead of a list of links as in a traditional SERP.
In this type of search, Google activates the local search algorithm, which prioritizes the results in the region in which the user is located or that the user types in the search terms.
In the results, the search engine generally presents information from Google My Business directly in the SERPs, so the user does not always need to enter the brand’s website (in the same line that we explained about the highlighted fragments).
Therefore, optimization for companies with a physical address, called local SEO, has some peculiarities. What changes this in an optimization strategy? Understand it better below.
To show local results in SERPs, Google tries to interpret the user’s local search intent.
If you type “hotels”, “closest hotels” or similar terms, Google considers the user’s location at the time of the search to show them the options in that region.
On the other hand, if the user types “hotels in Medellín”, the results will focus on the region that he wrote in the search, regardless of its location at the time. This can happen when we plan a trip, for example.
Therefore, keyword research for local SEO strategy should consider search intentions with all of these variations, not just the one included in your city.
Think of the following:
- terms that identify your business, for example: hospitality, hotel;
- industry terms modifiers, for example: best hotel, best cost benefit hotel;
- geographical modifiers, for example: Medellín hotels, hotels in the center, hotels near the airport.
Google My Business
Google My Business is the main ranking factor in local SEO . At the top of the SERP for local searches, Google shows the Local Pack, which is a table with the three main results for the user, whose information is extracted directly from Google My Business.
It is there, therefore, that you must make an effort to appear, for that it is essential to register your company in Google My Business. This tool offers various registration functions for local companies.
You can enter your name, address, telephone number, hours of operation, and also receive comments, respond to users, post photos, inform your menu, among other specific functions for different types of businesses.
Take advantage of all this variety of forms of registration and interaction with users to have more possibilities of appearing in the Local Pack.
Google prioritizes companies that provide the most information on the platform, especially those with the most reviews and highest ratings.
Google uses three main ranking factors for local searches: relevance, proximity and prominence. The search engine itself presents these criteria on its recommendations page to improve local Google ranking.
These factors are analyzed and combined to provide the best answer. If a company is more distant from the user, for example, but is more likely to deliver what it is looking for, it may seem better positioned.
We will explain each of these factors better below.
Let’s keep going!
The relevance criterion considers the correspondence between the search keyword and the product or service offered by the business. If the user is looking for hotels, for example, they don’t want to see restaurant results, right?
That is why it is so important to complete the Google My Business registration with all the possible information since that is where Google makes this correspondence. For example, if the user searches for “hotel restaurant”, Google will only show hotels that have this feature.
Proximity refers to the distance of the business in relation to the user’s location or the geographical terms placed in the search. It is clear that Google understands that the best results are the closest to the user.
The standout criterion assesses whether the company is popular in your region, based on online and offline factors. If the business does not have such a strong online presence, but is a well-known brand and is used off the Internet, you can get a better ranking.
But user ratings and Google My Business ratings also count a lot, in addition to the traditional on-page and off-page SEO optimizations the site adopts.
The more trust Google has in your business, based on these elements, the better your local ranking will be.
Also Read: All About Latest Products Reviews
Search Engines Optimization Techniques. Although SEO is an extensive subject and subject to constant updates, with what you have learned in this post you are ready to start executing your first web positioning strategies.
However, we recommend expanding your knowledge with the articles that we have linked throughout the post to complement your learning.
After all, getting good results with Search Engines Optimization Techniques depends largely on proper planning, execution, and measurement of SEO strategy.