What is SEO and why its importance of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is necessary of the business. All you need to know if you are running any website or business.
It has surely happened to you; you have invested in your website, you have been creating content and still the results are not what you want.
If you’ve wondered why no one visits your website, this is the article you’ve been looking for, because this time we’ll talk about what SEO is and why it’s important for your business.
What is SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?
SEO or search engine optimization is the set of rules and good practices to optimize a website, that its pages are indexed in search engines and appear among the first organic results, in order to improve your traffic.
It covers factors such as:
Relevance and authority.
Search engine optimization or organic ranking is more important today than ever, and it should be a priority that all companies – who want to have a presence on the Internet – understand its true meaning and the growth potential it offers in digital businesses.
In addition, it is a great way to increase the quality of your websites by making them faster, easier to navigate and therefore resulting in a better user experience.
SEO can also be considered as a website development framework as the whole process has a series of rules, a series of stages, and a set of controls.
SEO for beginners
For SEO beginners, the above definition may sound complicated, so in simple terms we can say that it is a way to appear on the first page of Google.
For example, when you search on Google – or any other search engine – the order in which the results are displayed is based on complex algorithms.
These algorithms take into account a number of factors to decide which web page should be displayed first, second, etc.
Optimizing your website will give you an edge over non-optimized sites and increase your chances of ranking higher.
Importance of SEO
In today’s competitive marketplace, SEO is more important than ever. Search engines serve millions of users every day, who are looking for solutions to their problems, answers to their questions.
If you have a website, blog, or online store, SEO can help your business grow and meet your business goals.
Here are the reasons why it is essential:
Most search engine users are more likely to click on one of the top 5 suggestions on results pages (SERPs). In order to take advantage of this and get more traffic to your website, you must have top ranking contents.
SEO is not only about search engines, but also about improving users’ experience and usability of the website.
The users trust search engines and also pay attention to the top rankings. And thus this can increase the trust and authority of your website.
Search engine rankings are good for promotion on social media. If you have good contents your website is more likely to be found and shared on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Technical SEO is important for the proper functioning of large websites, as they benefit directly and indirectly. They benefit directly by the increase in traffic they receive, and indirectly by having a common framework to use before publishing the contents.
You can beat your competitors taking advantage of good optimization. If two brands sell the same product, the one with the best optimized pages is the one that will be able to attract more customers and therefore obtain more sales.
Sometimes people wonder and say “Is SEO necessary?” or “Isn’t SEO the same as a digital marketing strategy?”
The simple answer is – it is one of the tools available in an internet marketing strategy.
SEO is usually a part of an inbound marketing campaign, which we remember is a marketing philosophy. It seeks customers’ attraction with non-intrusive strategies. Also, it is generating value at each stage of the purchase process.
Search engine optimization helps bring such valuable content to the right users.
What is technical SEO?
SEO includes a large number of practices and techniques, in which a section called Technical SEO stands out. The Technical SEO focuses on the technical optimization possibilities of a website and which is like the definition of SEO. This type of SEO has the purpose to rank as the first place of search engines.
Technical SEO factors
There is a lot of competition at present for them who has the best content. In order to conquer the top rank in Google it is necessary to get fully into the technical part of SEO. It is not just the keyword research.
To do this, professionals need to pay particular attention to the following factors, both for — new contents and for error detection and correction.
Metadata is a set of HTML elements displaying information about a web page in SERPs. We can tell this in simpler words. Metadata serve to customize what you want Google to show on your page when they perform a search.
Keyword: It is what users type in the search box.
Meta title: It is the page title that can be approximately 65-70 characters on desktop and 50 characters on mobile devices.
Meta description: It is a brief summary of the content of the page, between 155-165 characters on desktop, and between 100-115 on mobile devices.
Optimized URL: It is the link of the web page, optimized to make it easier to understand.
Placing your main keyword in the metadata is very useful to give your ranking a little boost.
The word indexing comes from “index” —index in Spanish—, and refers to the inclusion of a web page in the internet index, which means that Google can show that page in its search results.
For a page to be indexed, Google bots need to crawl your website for new pages.
And how can you improve the indexing speed of your pages? To do this, we advise you to frequently update your content and create a xml-sitemaps to make the task easier for the bots.
Do you want to learn about technical SEO with our digital marketing podcast? Here we leave you the video:
Do you also want to do this type of content? You can visit our article with all the steps to create a successful podcast .
Since we are talking about indexing we have to mention the robots.txt files, which are files that are stored in the source code of your website and that tell search engines not to enter certain pages.
The robots.txt files are very useful to control which sections do not benefit from appearing in Google, as in the case of contact pages, thank you, photo galleries, bank pages, landing pages, among others.
Among the options in this file are:
Disallow: to block access to the folder.
Allow: to create an exception inside a locked folder.
If you want to see the configuration of the robots.txt file, you just have to put www.exampledelnameofyoursite.com/robots.txt
The sitemap —or sitemap in Spanish— is a public file containing selected URLs of your website , generally accessed only by administrators and Google robots.
And what is the use of having a sitemap.xml? As we mentioned before, this helps the indexing of new content and that you can rank them as soon as possible.
In this way, when Google robots are given the task of crawling your site, they will first see which pages are blocked in robots.txt, then they will go to your sitemap.xml to follow all the links, and finally they will review all over the site.
As you can see, doing all these settings clears the way for Google, making its job easier and therefore faster your optimizations.
HTTP status codes and error pages
Status codes are the responses thrown after making an HTTP request , indicating whether it was completed successfully or if there is some kind of error.
Response types can be grouped into the following categories:
Answers 100-199: They are merely informative and the most common are 100-103.
Answers 200-299: They are satisfactory answers, indicating that everything is fine with the page. The most common is 200.
Answers 300-399: They are web redirects, which means that what has been entered has been moved or modified but that the request can be completed. The most common are 301 (indicates that the content was permanently moved) and 307 (indicates that the content was moved but is still available at the requested address).
Answers 400-499: They are the errors related to the user, those that indicate that the request cannot be completed. 404 errors are the most common, and they mean that the resources cannot be found.
Answers 500-599: They are related to server errors, most of the time temporary. The 500 error is the one you could find the most times.
Website loading speed
Optimizing the loading speed of a website should be a priority for the SEO of any brand, as it directly influences the bounce rate.
Internet users hope to solve their doubts – or problems – quickly, to obtain information at the moment.
Therefore, when they enter a page and wait a long time, they tend to get bored, and it is at that moment when they decide to go to another better optimized page. Hence its importance.
Here is a list of the best tools to measure the speed of your website:
PageSpeed Insight: It is the first tool that you have to take into account because it is from Google itself. It is very simple to use, since it gives you a rating depending on the speed of the site.
Pingdom Website Speed Test: Like Google gives you a rating, plus some tips you can follow to improve.
WebPageTest: A Catchpoint tool that has advanced multi-step options.
And what is the speed at which your page should load? A HubSpot study says that the ideal measurement should be less than 1.5 seconds.
Errors when doing technical SEO
We understand that SEO is a bit of an overwhelming topic at first, and that is why it is normal for a couple of mistakes to be made when you are a beginner. For this reason, we have created this short list so that you know how to identify those errors that you should avoid when doing technical SEO.
Forgetting to put the alt text in the images: It is a tag in the code of the page, which offers a description of the graphic element. It is very important to be clear and try to use keywords naturally.
Neglecting the loading speed of the website: In general, using very large images, greater than 1080p, can be the cause of a web page loading slow, but it also has to do with the number of plugins you have installed and the lack of update thereof.
Have many broken links: Over time you may have broken links because the URLs are no longer the same. It is best to update them to the correct ones.
Link to pages with HTTP instead of HTTPS: You must always make sure to use the HTTPS protocol when linking, or you will be creating a 301 redirect that consumes resources.
Using rel = nofollow on your own pages: Rel = nofollow used to be introduced in internal links to link sculpting, but nowadays it is a deprecated technique so it doesn’t make sense.
Do not attend to cannibalizations: Creating several contents that have the same keyword will only make them compete with each other and that none of them is ranked well, spending time and effort.
Not using HTML titles correctly: Sometimes when using a CMS, like WordPress, the headings are used for their design and not for their hierarchy. This is a mistake. The correct thing is to only have an H1 (main title) and from there to hierarchize the content with the H2, H3, H4, H5 and H6.
Fall into keyword stuffing: Keyword repetition was common in the early years of SEO, but now it is a black hat SEO technique that is penalized by Google.
Stages of the SEO optimization process
By now you may be wondering: what are the main stages of the search engine optimization process? How is organic web ranking achieved?
The reality is that optimization is not a one-time thing, as it is not a static process but a framework with rules and processes.
For simplicity, it can be divided into 2 stages:
On-page SEO: What rules to apply on your site to make it friendly to search engines.
Off-page SEO: How to promote your website or blog so that it can rank better in search results.
In this way, the recommended steps to optimize a created content would be the following:
Search for indexed keywords.
While the steps to optimize new content would be:
- Keyword research.
- Keyword selection.
- Generation of content with keywords.
- Optimization of content on the site.
In our article on tips to improve SEO, we have explained the most important on-page rules with examples.
SEO on-page are all those optimizations that can be done within the content of a website, and that have an impact on ranking in Google.
What should you take into account? These are simple adjustments that you can apply to your website and increase your visibility. If you follow them correctly, these SEO tips will also improve their usability and credibility.
Do a keyword research: This way you will know which are the topics and keywords that are going to work best in your business. Our recommendation is that you focus on the long-tails over the short-tails and that you work on the pillars before the more specific ones.
Use the correct keywords: Those that generate more visits but that have to do with the product or service you are offering. This way you will get higher quality leads.
Update frequently: Content should never stop creating or updating, as it is the fuel in your inbound strategy.
Optimize metadata: Use your main keyword in the title, meta description and URL wisely. Avoid unnecessary saturation.
Improve navigation: Although SEO is about ranking in Google, do not think about optimizing for it, but for users. Seek that the browsing experience on your website is friendly, that there are no confusing words or duplicate pages.
It seeks to optimize for mobile devices: The vast majority of users consult information from their cell phones, so you must adapt your website and content so that they have a fast, accessible and complete experience.
Take care of the loading speed: A slow web page has a very high bounce rate, as users do not stay long enough. Maintaining a fast loading speed improves the user experience (UX).
In addition to the above guidelines, the structure of a website is also very important. That is why it is super important that before starting, you do an SEO audit to know the status of your website.
You can follow our advice in How to do an SEO audit of my website ? so you have an idea of what you need to improve on your page. Perhaps what is causing search engines to ignore you are your images and not your URLs.
In our web design trends article you can read about the essential components of an optimized and useful website; what pages should not be missing, what is a high quality site and why the navigation and URL structure is vital for good SEO.
If you pay particular attention to these 2 factors, i.e. structure and SEO tips, then that’s all you need to do to help search engines trust your website.
It is not necessary to spend more programmer time on these activities, nor should you over-optimize your website or blog, because sometimes – under certain conditions – the opposite results can be generated.
In addition to the changes you can make to your website (SEO on-page), the other way to improve the ranking position of your website is through the use of SEO off-page techniques.
SEO off-page is generally known as link building — or link building — but we can also use the term “website promotion,” since a proper way to promote a website involves many more methods and techniques than just building. of links.
Search engines are trying to find the most important pages on the web and show the best answer to the user’s search. One of the factors that determines this ranking is the number of incoming links.
Inbound links are a sign of trust and authority. Depending on where the links come from can greatly affect the ranking position, positively if the links come from known and trusted sites or negatively if they come from paid link farms or if they are sites with a low reputation.
In fact, in our podcast we also talk about link building:
So, summing up: how can you do a link building campaign? What are the key strategies? Here we tell you in a small list:
Look for who is talking about you without linking , for them you can do a Google search, review one for the contents, contact the person in charge and request a “dofollow” link.
Create audiovisual content. This way, you are more likely to have another website want to link to your resource.
Look for them to link you within a content. The rank is very important, it is not the same to appear in the foot of a page than in the middle of a valuable content.
Find websites that best match your content. This will make it more likely to reach an agreement and get quality links.
Take care of the anchor text with which they link you. Make sure they are keywords relevant to your brand and content.
Create alerts for related topics in Google Alerts.
Use tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs to find out which websites would give you the most valuable and authoritative links.
However, do not forget about quality content, as these will give you organic links, which in turn will give you good rankings and traffic.
If you try to buy links or get them in the easiest way, you may have a temporary success and then see your website disappear from the top ranking after the next Google update, or worse, you receive a penalty. That is why we do not recommend buying links at all.
On-Page SEO vs. Off-Page SEO
Why? Because applying only one of them would be doing only half the strategy, so you would only get half the potential.
What we do recommend is to first optimize all the internal content of your website, and since you have a considerable advance give it that little push with SEO off-page.
Content marketing continues to be the success factor
Something that you should be very clear about is that SEO cannot help you if you don’t have good content.
Bad content with SEO gets very little long-term results; On the other hand, a website with good content can perform well even if SEO is not solidly applied.
The right thing to do is to have quality content that is useful, that solves problems and questions, and apply good optimization practices to give it that little boost that will rank your web at the top of Google.
And of course, don’t forget to use good storytelling in all your content, as this way you can better communicate your message and reach the right people.
Also, one of the most important elements when integrating it into your inbound marketing strategy is your keyword search.
We have already told you how content marketing is the king of inbound strategies, however, we cannot make content to position if we do not know what words we need to rank.
In What is keyword research and how is it done? We explain the importance of having your list of keywords and how to do this research depending on your needs.
SEO practices: white, gray and black hat
Within the world of SEO there are practices that are well viewed, some that are taboo —because they are penalized by Google—, and others that remain in the middle.
The white hat SEO are the ethically correct techniques, which meet the guidelines set by search engines – such as Google – to rank a website.
These are the ones that we have already mentioned throughout the article, such as creating valuable content, using the main keyword in a measured and natural way, getting links on their own merit, etc.
When we talk about black hat we refer to the techniques that can be applied on a website to rank itself quickly, however, they are fraudulent practices and penalized by search engines.
It was given this name in reference to western cowboy movies, where the villain usually appears with a black hat.
- Keyword stuffing.
- Hidden content — text in the same color, font size zero, text outside the page via CSS.
- Duplicate / spinning content.
- Doorway page.
- Link paid.
- Private Blog Networks.
- Spam comments on blogs.
- Deceptive Clickbait.
- SEO Gray Hat
The gray hat SEO is the set of practices that do not use techniques penalized by Google, but that do not follow its guidelines to the letter .
Its most common practices are:
- Have longer content (1,000-2,000 words).
- Use synonyms for keywords.
- Look at the density of keywords of the competition, and not the one recommended by Google.
- Use multimedia to increase user visit time.
- SEO is a must for every web property
Bottom line: Search engine optimization – or SEO – is a way to optimize your website so that search engines understand it better and give it higher rankings.
It is important, as a good approach can drive more traffic to your website, blog, or online store, thereby gaining more customers, making sales, and serving your business purpose.
In addition, you must bear in mind that each campaign and business has its own needs, and that if you want your optimization efforts to give better results, you must mix them with other digital marketing or inbound marketing strategies. For example, you can mix your SEO strategy with an SEM.
You should also bear in mind that SEO is an investment, not only for the creation of content, but for the appropriate tools that you must use so that your website is at its best.
We have prepared a list for you with the best SEO tools and 5 other SEO tools from those that are free —and that you should be using by now— to those that serve a specific purpose such as searching for keywords.