Website SEO: How to implement Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is very important for your website or e-Commerce. By optimizing your website for the search engines, you are showing your website to more visitors who get it through keyword searches in the search engines. In more technical terms, SEO brings your website to more Search Engine Results Pages - SERPs, pages that search engines such as Google respond to in a query of their users.
SEO is not a magic tool that we use to mislead search engines, to rank higher for more keywords on our site.
Think about how search engines are constantly updating their algorithms, even with artificial intelligence (see RankBrain), so that they can show users exactly what they are looking for. Best practices for SEO today are none other than the relevance of our content and the intent in the searches of users.
Surely all of the above may confuse you. In this article and the following, we will provide you all the important information to optimize your website by applying SEO techniques.
Somewhere here we can separate the Theoretical SEO that you can apply on your website from the Technical SEO that a Search Engine Optimization professional should apply. It is not mandatory to hire an SEO professional for Theoretical SEO. The Theoretical SEO that you can apply yourself, is enough to bring enough results to your website.
Keep in mind that the following list, consisting of 8 SEO Tips, does not cover every aspect of SEO available, but it is enough to attract more users to your website. In this article, we will focus on optimizing the content of a blog post.
1. Focus article SEO on one or two long-tail keywords that match your readers' intentions and queries
In previous years, they used to optimize articles using as many keywords as possible within a text. Today, advanced search engine algorithms understand keyword stuffing and penalize websites that use such techniques to appear in more keywords.
Looking at this from the visitors' point of view, the repetition of many keywords within a text destroys their experience. One of the many ranking factors of search engines is to make sure that the page they display on the SERPs is exactly the one that responds to the visitors' intentions. As a result, keywords within the content should not look unnatural and unrelated to it.
So find 1-2 keywords that interest you and take the time to cover any queries a visitor might have by writing those keywords.
Why do we recommend using long-tail Keywords? By optimizing a page in a generic keyword eg Car, we certainly do not know exactly what the visitor is looking for. In this way, we do not respond to his query and he feels unhappy with our page without interacting with it (see our article on sales growth and conversion rate). Instead, if you choose a long-tail keyword such as a VW electric car, for example, you know exactly what the visitor is asking for and you can give him a solution, even selling one.
2. Use these Keywords in the correct places within the page
Once you've chosen the keywords, it's time to put them right inside your page. But what are the right places to put them to get the most out of organic results?
- Place the Keyword in title
The title tag is the first point that search engines and searchers see. From the title, they determine if they will eventually visit your website or a competitor's. If the title is relevant to the visitor's expectations, then it is most likely to visit your website. The title must be less than 60 characters long to appear fully in Google results. When your article title is over 60 characters, you could place the keyword at the beginning of the title.
- Place the Keyword in Header and Body
Insert the keyword into the header and body of your article, but not repeat it unnecessarily, which may result in search engine penalties. When you start to create an SEO Copywrited Article - Content, your first thought should be to satisfy your visitors' requirements. Visitor feedback will increase your sales and not the visitors who briefly came to your site and then left disappointed. The keyword can naturally be added to the text without needless repetitions.
- Place the Keyword in URL
The search engines also look at the article URL to find out what the article is about. It is the element of the website that search engines crawl first and therefore it must be properly structured. In previous years, URLs were in the form of http://website.gr/article?id=5, which did not facilitate search engines to understand the content of the page. A few years ago, with the pioneer of the opensource Wordpress platform, URLs were modified and made more legible, by taking a form http://website.gr/website-seo. Because each article has its own unique URL, to make it more SEO friendly include the Keyword in your URL.
- Create a convincing Meta Description
After a search, the search engines return some search results to the users. These results, if not rich objects, usually contain a title and a description. This description is usually the meta description you have defined. Create a separate meta description for each of your pages, giving the visitor the ability to understand, in a few words, what he or she will read if he clicks your search result. Start creating the meta description by including the keyword you have selected.
Keep in mind that copy is the most important thing to increase your sales. What is a copy? In marketing, copy is the result of a copywriter who creates texts in such a way that he encourages visitors to buy a product.
3. Check if your website is SEO and Mobile Friendly
Did you know that most searches are now done by mobile phones? Research has shown that 65% of searchers use mobile devices to perform searches in search engines. From Google announcements at the Penguin Algorithm release in 2015, mobile-friendly pages rank higher in search results.
Use the Google app to check if your page is mobile-friendly. If you get an error, you should fix it. If you get a "Page is mobile-friendly" message, you have completed step 3 of our article.
4. Optimize the alternative texts of your images
Every website consists of text and images. Usually, pictures help explain the text. Search engines, although they incorporate artificial intelligence into their algorithms, cannot understand what each image on your page is about. Alternative text (alt) next to an image, is what gives search engines an idea of what the image shows. Alt-text is an attribute of HTML created to display text if the image is not displayed. An example of an alt text is the following:
<img src = "image-5.jpg" alt = "sea games">
Once you have set the alt text it would be beneficial to change the image name as well. Image-5.jpg? What is it? An image? What image? So do the search engines wonder. Change the image name to something more appropriate.
<img src = "games-at-the-sea.jpg" alt = "sea games">
The next time a user searches for pictures of sea games, your own image will appear and the visitor may come to your website.
5. Stop copying
Don't copy text from other pages! Copying a text from other pages and presenting it as your own, is at risk of being penalized by search engines as duplicate content.
Don't copy from your own page! If you are writing about sea games in an article, choose 1-2 target keywords. Write about sea games only. If you want to advertise a hotel in Mykonos, write another article that will target the keyword hotel in Mykonos. Never use keywords that are unrelated to the subject of the article, and never use the same keywords to all of your articles.
6. Improve the structure of your website
By optimizing the structure of a website, you help visitors understand the layout of the website and find the content they are looking for, with more ease. The same goes for search engines: They love to see a proper URL structure within the website. An example of our website and its structure.
This is our homepage: https://www.cloudoe.gr/
This is the page where we host our articles: https://www.cloudoe.gr/articles/
This is our contact page: https://www.cloudoe.gr/contact/
By adding a small keyword at the end of the home page URL, we present the corresponding page to the visitor.
A helpful structure for your site visitors and the search engines would be something like this:
The home page: https://www.my-website.gr/
The category that contains the sea-related articles: https://www.my-website.gr/sea
An article about sea games: https://www.my-website.gr/sea/sea-games
Another article about the sea: https://www.my-website.gr/sea/sea-animals
On most CMS websites like Wordpress, you can easily structure your website URLs from settings.
7. Create Internal Linking when possible
Inbound links or backlinks to an article in your article, are links that tell search engines that this article is important and its topic is relevant to the page you mentioned. The same applies to internal links. If you are writing an article about "sea games" and you have another article on "how to choose the best rackets" you can refer to the second one with a link, once somewhere in the text is mentioned that one of the games at sea, is rackets.
You may have noticed that many keywords appear in a different color on our text. In these cases, we have used links that point to other articles or products to give the visitor an explanation of terms he may also like to check. At the same time, internal linking helps search engines understand the relevance of our pages and the validity of what we write.
8. Use Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a free Google platform where you can check the keywords that drive visitors to your website. Of course, by writing an article doesn't mean that you will instantly rank high on a keyword. It takes a lot of time to build Search Authority. But by writing useful and optimized articles at regular intervals, you will be rewarded by the search engines in the long run.
The above 8 steps are the key to a successful search engine optimization. Don't rush to create all of them right here and right now. Set goals and conquer them day by day. Focus on each step separately and take the time to get the most out of it.
If your time is limited or your technical knowledge is not enough to perform any of the above steps, seek the help of Cloud O.E who has many years of Search Engine Optimization experience with proven results.