Introduction to SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Introduction to SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Every person (or business) who creates a website need to make it visible online. To do so, it’s mandatory to have a SEO strategy to make your website appears in the top results of Google. What is SEO and how to create an SEO strategy ?

What is Search Engine Optimization ?

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, consist in working on a website to make it appears in the top results of Google on specific keywords. It has to be differentiate to SEA which is making pay adverts to be on the top results of Google.

To work on a efficient SEO strategy, it’s mandatory to understand the basics of SEO and how search engines work. You also need to understand that no one (except Google itself) has a perfect understanding of the criterias Google is using to determine its results as there is so many of them (200+).

SEO optimization can be divided in two parts :

  • On-site optimization : making the website itself SEO friendly. It means improving your content, its accessibility, its URL, links between pages, images or its loading time as an exemple.
  • Off-site optimization : all the work that can be done outside of the website. Basically, working on getting external links pointing to your website.

Creating a SEO strategy step by step

To improve how your website is gonna appear on Google, you need to work on a proper strategy. Even though your strategy is going to be different from a website to another, every steps to create an efficient strategy are the same.

  1. Selecting Keywords

This is the very first step of any SEO strategy. In fact, the whole strategy is depending on the keywords you’re going to select as you gonna have to use during the whole process of working on improving your position on Google.

The first question you have to ask to yourself is this one : with what keywords do I want my website to be visible on Google ?

Of course, some keywords are much more competitive than others. Therefore, it’s going to be much harder to be on the top results for those ones. It’s very important to not only trust your intuition but to use tools such as Google Keywords Planner to understand what are the strategic keywords you need to use. This tool is very useful as it’s giving you ideas of new keywords but also to understand if it’s useful to work on specific keywords. Google Keywords Planner is giving you the average number of monthly research for each keywords but also it’s competitive level.

The classic mistake would be to use a large number of keywords. In fact, it’s more efficient to focus on a smaller list to get good results. Once you have reached your goals on those keywords, you can start widing your list.

  1. Use your keywords on your website

After selecting a list of keywords, you can start optimizing your website. Use your keywords in your content, your titles, your URL or in your images alternative texts. You can also optimize your meta title and meta description tags. Those ones are the way your pages are going to appear on Google as you can see on the following picture :

You also need to be careful about not using them too much ! Remember that your content is supose to target a real audience and using to many keywords would make Google think that your content doesn’t make any sens or is not easy to read for real users which could make your website goes down in the results.

  1. Create internal links

Once your website is optimized, you need to work on creating internal links between your pages. You have to understand that all your pages are not as important and some might be harder to access than others.

As an exemple, a « contact » page is probably less important that an « about » page which is going to give a lot of informations about your activity and tell about your products.

Therefore, it’s very important to give to Google’s algorithme a good understanding of your most important pages by creating internal links to them.

  1. Gain external links

After finishing optimizing your website, it’s time to start working on getting external links. The idea is that the websites pointing to yours with link will show Google that you are an expert in your domain. It’s therefore important to get external links from websites which are talking about similar topics and have a good  « ranking » to improve the position of your pages.

There is different technics to get external links. One of them is by creating a blog and contacting other websites to ask about exchanging articles. The idea is simple : you write an article with a link to your website and they post it on their blog. In exchange, you do the same to improve their SEO as well.