“I want to improve my SEO”; this phrase is increasingly being uttered as companies fight for first place in Google’s search results. Some businesses are willing to pay a lot to improve their SEO, while many (bad) ‘expert’ SEO practices appear to be miracle solutions without actually leading to results. We will see in this article all the good practices to improve your SEO (your websites positioning on Google based on specific keywords).
SEO of your site
A) Content organisation
Before holding a grand opening to bring people to your store, it is best to first put away all cardboard boxes and make sure that people can easily find the products you have to offer. The same is true for your website. You must first organize your site so that Google and your visitors understand exactly what you offer.
Concretely, it is a matter of choosing the titles of your pages by including the keywords that best define your content. If you have a lot of content, it’s best to create multiple pages dealing with a particular topic rather than putting everything on the same page. Indeed, what title will you use if your content contains both tennis rackets and shoes adapted for certain surfaces (clay, grass etc.)? In this case it is better to make a first page on “how to select a tennis racket” then a second page whose title would be “how to choose a pair of shoes according to the surface of the tennis court”.
Also make sure that the most important pages on your site are easily accessible. Indeed, Google assumes that the more clicks a page requires to allow users to access it, the less important it is (all hail Google). It is therefore important to properly organize your navigation menu and create sub-menus if necessary.
B) Internal linkage
We talked in the previous section about organizing your website content. It is also important to create links between your different pages/articles. If you take the example of rackets and tennis shoes, you can add at the end of your article “how to select a tennis racket” to inform your readers on your second article: “Now that you have found your racket, you will surely be interested in this article which explains how to choose a pair of shoes according to the surface of the tennis court.” This way, you encourage your visitors to continue reading by providing links between your various articles.
C) Website performance
The loading time of your pages, broken links (404 errors), and duplicate content (which is very present on e-commerce sites) also influence your positioning on search engines. In short, everything that will degrade the user experience will degrade the rating that Google associates with your website (your Page Rank). For more information on Page Rank, see our article “How to improve your Page Rank? “(And just like this, an internal link J). One thing we often explain when we intervene in good SEO practices is to properly balance efforts to please Google AND your visitors. Indeed, many sites are over-optimized for search engines: fewer images to avoid increasing loading time, very short titles (less than 55 characters), little flair, etc. In the end, we get sites that all look the same; these kinds of websites do not keep user attention. Any SEO expert worthy of the name will tell you: optimize your site for your visitors before seeking to optimize it for search engines!
Google is a robot that mechanically reads your website’s code in respect to algorithm rules (constantly modified in new updates). So do not waste your time building your sand castle too close to the waves. Otherwise, with each upgrade you will see your efforts go to waste (and your money if you have to pay an “SEO expert”).
Improve off site SEO
Now that your metaphorical store is all beautiful and brand new, you can go to the streets and distribute flyers to attract people. Translation: You can launch advertising campaigns to get targeted traffic quickly and start communicating with your audience + set up a content strategy in order to present your services to your potential customers.
A) Social networks
Neither Google, nor Yahoo, nor Bing, nor any SEO expert has clearly indicated that a presence on social networks directly influences our SEO. Nevertheless, it makes sense to think that the more you link your articles on various social networks, the more you increase your visibility and the more likely you are that people come to visit your site, share your articles etc. Now, if people come to your site on a regular basis, Google will consider that your site is worth seeing and will help you increase your visitors (snowball effect). So we can say that social networks indirectly influence your SEO. To those who are thinking about the idea of advertising on Facebook or LinkedIn, you can read our article: Advertise on LinkedIn.
B) Guest articles
Here is a subject that has been debated for some time (especially since Google has gone to war against guest article platforms). Should we publish guest articles on our own website or offer guest articles on other websites? The answer to both is YES, ON CONDITION THAT…
- The article actually brings quality content and is not just written to integrate a link.
- The subject of the article is related to the theme of the site that publishes it.
- Links are placed in a natural way. It is obvious that an article about garden chairs (why not…) whose author integrates a link “Come visit the site of Mr. DIY” (which redirects to an external site) is not natural and brings no added value to the content.
Do not be afraid to publish or write guest articles as long as they are in good faith and you integrate your links in a natural way.
C) Comments on other sites
Again, it may be interesting to show your expertise by commenting on articles and thus enticing people to visit your site. Again, the goal is to bring added value to the article you are commenting on and not to place a comment like “Amazing article! Do not hesitate to come to my site, it’s great too!” It is not very nice to pollute the author’s page with such comments. There is a good chance that the site manager will not even accept your comment, or that it is put under “nofollow” which will have no impact from an SEO point of view.
As simple as it may seem, this article is about saving you energy by opting for long-standing and well-known practices from Google and allowing you to focus on what REALLY works: quality content, whether on your site or on buddy sites. If you write quality articles, people will see it and you will not have to start over every time Google updates.
If you liked this article, you might like this one: how to choose an SEO agency.