SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a set of measures to increase the visibility of a site in search engines for targeted search queries or keywords. The intention is to create content and optimize the website to appear highest on Google’s search results.
In this guide, we will go through the most important ranking factors for SEO and how to get started quickly. Make Your business visible on google
Why should you work with SEO?
Some Reasons Why SEO Can Be Something For You!
- Make Your business visible on google
SEO makes your website appear at the top of the search engines when someone searches for search phrases.
- 80% of customers start with Google
As many as 80% of customers start their buying journey on Google! It is an excellent channel for customer contact & leads.
- Expose the Brand
Customers want to do their own “research” today and the web is where most people start. Influence your customers directly on Google!
- High efficiency & ROI
With many customers, SEO and Google are the best channel for new customers and show the highest ROI
- Measurable results
It is possible to measure exactly which search phrases generate purchases, leads and calls. Can measure the results.
- Choose the right supplier
There are many rogue SEO players. So be sure to choose a reputable agency that can show results.
Chapter 1. What is SEO?
SEO is an abbreviation for the term Search Engine Optimization. In short, it is about optimizing a website so that it is highly visible in a search engine’s search results.
The largest search engine today is Google where about 90% of all searches are performed. Other search engines such as Bing and Yahoo account for the remaining 10%. There are currently over 200+ ranking factors that Google uses to rank a website.
These factors have different meanings and effects on rankings, where some play a bigger role than others. You can read more about what Google says about SEO here.
For Google, quality is paramount, so if your content speaks the language that Google’s robots speak and meets what is best practice for SEO, you are well on your way to getting more traffic to your website.
What is the difference between SEO and SEM?
As this is a guide on SEO, we will not go into depth about SEM but it stands for Search Engine Marketing. Examples of SEM are Google Ads and Microsoft Bing Ads. SEM is about creating ads for search phrases so you can be seen in the search results. For Google, you can be seen either above the organic results or below them. Often there are 3-4 ads that appear above the search results. For these ads, you pay for each click.
SEO is about organic traffic where a click does not cost anything. This is where the majority of search traffic goes and it is this aspect that this guide is about.
At Sitea, we usually recommend companies to work with both aspects. They are a good complement and SEM often gives fast results as you can be seen at the top of Google immediately after activating the ads.
Chapter 2. Ranking Factors for SEO
Google ranks high-authority pages at the top of the search results for a particular keyword or search phrase. It is thus up to you to create a website with high authority and ranking. More recently (in 2019), Google has also chosen to focus extra on something they call EAT. It stands for Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness and the ranking relates to a website’s points within these dimensions. Simply put, Google values resources, content and websites according to the quality of the value created from the website and that it comes from a source that is credible, serious and exhibits expertise.
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An important aspect of this that relates to SEO is to identify what visitors on Google have for intentions and then develop targeted resources linked to the searcher’s intentions.
This is achieved by developing content that users find useful and which they also feel a desire to share on blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc. When others link to your website and content, it is a strong signal that the website and content are worth ranking high. In addition, Google also looks to external sources when ranking a website. This means that Google looks for “trust signals” such as online reviews, reviews and the like. Companies that offer poor service should not rank high on Google either.
The circle of visitors sharing content on social media and external websites helps Google rankings.
How your domain rank affects your ranking!
The next step is to understand the connection between the domain rank and the website’s seo ranking. Google values the authority of your website. In other words, it means that your website has a ranking value. This value is directly linked to how quickly your website can get ranked content and appear high on Google but also how high your content ranks.
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High domain rating = faster and better ranking
How important is it with links? (very important)
Another question for me is how important are links to SEO? There are slightly different opinions about this where some SEO consultants express it as the undoubtedly most important factor while others express that links are less and less important and that content is much more important.
In the image above from ahrefs, we can see how the number of search phrases a website ranks for correlates with the number of linked domains (referring domains).
The more domains that link to the website, the more ranking search phrases.
Chapter 3. Ranking position and traffic!
In the picture below, we can see on average how much of the traffic goes to a website depending on which position you rank. For example, as much as 80% goes to the top three results. This is not always true but is an indication of how important it is to rank in the top five. In many contexts there is also talk of ranking I “above the fold”. This means before making the first scroll on mobile or computer. That is, one’s results are visible before a first scroll.
What is important to include is that position plays a big role and that only one step from place four to place three can make a big difference in results and profitability. So do not be content with being seen only in the top ten. Have the ambition to rank at least top three.
Chapter 4. Choose the right search phrases for the website
SEO optimization starts with choosing which keywords you want your website to be visible to. There are thousands of combinations of search phrases and the ambition should never be to appear for all keywords but for the right keywords.
The question then is: What are the right keywords for my website? Well, we at Site a usually recommend that you try to choose search phrases with the right intention. What does this mean you are probably wondering now.
Yes! Someone who searches for “SEO” may, for example, be looking for an education, a consultant, try to find out what it means, or read this guide.
The important thing to understand is that: the ambition is difficult to determine when the search phrase contains only a few keywords. Compare the search phrase with SEO this: SEO consultant Stockholm. Here the intention is clear and as a business it is a better search phrase to be seen from a lead perspective. And that brings us to the next point. The choice of search phrase should reflect the company’s strategy.
A company’s strategy for the website can be the following:
- Create new customers and leads
- Sell goods and services
- Create brand awareness
- Create credibility for the business
- Contribute with information and knowledge
What you should take with you is to choose search phrases according to what you want the website to achieve.
How do I choose search phrases?
If you have now defined the type of keywords you want to be seen for, it is important to get a list of the keywords you want to start being seen for. Step two is then to look at whether these search phrases show sufficient search volume to be worth seeing for. There is no point in SEO-optimizing a website for keywords that no one is searching for.
The most common tools for SEO are:
- Google Keyword Planner
What is the difference between SEO tools?
Basically, the SEO tools are the same. What sets them apart is often that they focus on specific parts of SEO. Ahrefs is more focused on links while Semrush is more on search phrases. Regardless of the choice of tools, you will greatly benefit from them for SEO optimization.
Do I need an SEO tool?
Yes! This is probably the best investment you can make to really get serious about your SEO. It costs between 79-150 USD per month but is a worthwhile investment to make! If you want to use tools that are completely free for SEO, you can use Google KeyWord Planner.
Chapter 5. How to get better rankings on Google
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO as it is summarized as, is in simple terms about ensuring that a website can be found on the internet by the search engines for search phrases and words that are relevant to the company and the search phrase.
Some quick tips are:
- Write engaging, entertaining and quality content that uses phrases and words that customers who search for your products and services use online.
- Develop content that meets the visitor’s intentions. This means that the website should create as much value as possible related to specific search phrases.
- Develop a website that is functional and adapted for different devices and screen resolutions such as mobile and toad (responsive).
- Make it easy for users and visitors to share and link content.
- Optimize the page for the search phrases and continue, continue and continue!
Chapter 6. How long does SEO take?
An important question with an answer that follows: it depends. Mainly there are a number of reasons that affect the time to rank on Google:
- Website authority and number of links
- Website age (takes longer for new pages)
- The competition for the search phrases
- Website quality and content
Often when you talk about SEO, you talk about time for ranking in terms of months and quarters. Then it takes longer the shorter a search phrase is, after which “long tails” is a classic strategy for new websites to get traffic quickly.
The time to rank for SEO depends on competition as well as the website and content quality and optimization. Count on months in the beginning before you see results.
What can I do to speed up SEO?
What you can do is develop and optimize your website as much as possible. Make sure it loads fast, has optimized and compressed images. That you choose good search phrases with good potential to rank for. You should also work on getting good links and encourage visitors to share the website and its links.
Rank faster through more links, better content and a technical and SEO optimized website.
Chapter 7. Some Things You Need to Know About SEO
As we previously mentioned, SEO is a combination of technical optimization and the development of valuable content that partly meets the visitor’s intention, but which also presents the company’s products and services in the best way.
An SEO agency that only works with the technical part of SEO such as links, on-page optimization and more will lose a lot by not incorporating a clear and business-centric content strategy!
Here are some quick tips:
- Write for people – not Google’s crawler!
- Figure out the intention of the visitor. Buy? Information?
- Develop great engaging content
- Make sure visitors can share your website on social media
- Engage your visitors and first their needs
- Learn the basics of On-page SEO
- Do not forget the Off-page
- Read more about SEO at Sitea
In this SEO guide we will also go through the basics of On-page optimization of your website. So that your website has awesome on-page optimization. And it’s not as complicated as you might think.
It is important that your SEO is natural and genuine. If you build too many links and do not adhere to Google’s guidelines, you will lose your ranking and in the worst case be blacklisted. Not something that is particularly fun.
You must not copy or steal other people’s content. It is against Google’s policy while infringing on the property of others.
Chapter 8: SEO in practice (Step by Step)
Time for some practice. Now we will SEO optimize your website in 5 minutes. It may sound impossible, but it is not. We are now talking about On-page optimization. And the first thing we need to do is decide which search phrases we want to appear for.
There must be a hierarchy for Google does not allow you to appear for 3,000 keywords on a single tab (page) of your website. So we have to start by delimiting ourselves.
Step 1. Choose your “most important” keywords and phrases
Let’s say we want to be seen for “SEO Guide”. Then we had started to optimize our website after this term. We had used the term about 10-15 times in our text and we had chosen to optimize the website’s URL, images and H1 and H2 after this.
Here you can learn more about how vu chooses search phrases and does a keyword analysis!
Step 2. Select your URL after the search phrase.
We had then chosen to call our URL www.sitea.se/seo-guide. It is short, concise and optimized for the search phrase. Google likes this!
It is important that your URL has the search phrase in it and that it does not become too long. Too often we see websites and links with strange characters and question marks and other characters (Ex. 68%).
Step 3. Select your H1.
Your headlines on the website are ranked by Google. The most important headline for SEO is your H1. Then follows H2, H3, etc. Best practice for H1 is to incorporate your search phrase into your H1. So we could have written: “SEO Guide to rank highest on Google 2019”. Remember not to keep it too long and only use the H1 once on the website. Google does not like more.
Remember to only use one H1 per page (tab). Do not use your Headings (H1, H2, H3, etc.) to design the website, but use CSS code for it.
Step 4. Optimize your images after the search phrase
The next step is to compress and make your images as small as possible and optimize them according to the search phrase you want to appear for. However, it is important that the images actually show SEO and not something else. Change the image alt-tag to “SEO guide”
Step 5. Write “killer” content
As with all search engine optimization, you need to be careful not to “over-optimize”. It should be clear to Google what the page is about and what search query it answers. However, it is important not to “spam” the website with search phrases, links and over-optimized content and images.
One of the most important things is to write really good content for your site. Write engaging and with a lot of value. Why else would anyone read or want to buy from the company?
In fact, you can have a great and technical website with lots of inbound links without ranking high on Google! Why? Well, you have “content” that is too bad.
Step 6. Write your Meta Title & Meta Description
The next step is to write and put your meta title and meta description. Only the meta title is a ranking factor for Google. However, the meta description is an indirect ranking factor as it increases the clickthrough rate (CTR) for your result and thus also becomes a ranking factor.
The meta title is the blue that appears in Google search results and should be between 50-60 characters long. If it gets longer, Google does not show the entire result but shows (…). It is important that the meta title uses the search phrase (s) you want to rank for and makes your result interesting to click on.
The meta description is below the meta title and is an indirect ranking factor. Here it is important that you write a description that contains the search phrase because then the search phrase will be in bold. It can be a maximum of 300 characters long. But also that you think that the description should call for action and clicks!
Step 7. Engage visitors to share your website
One factor in ranking high on Google with SEO is your links, or backlinks as they are also called. There are mainly two types of links. Internal links that are within the website and external links that are links on other pages that link to your website. Both types of links have a connection to ranking, but above all it is important to get qualitative external links.
Links act on Google’s part as an enhancement in terms of authority and credibility. If credible websites link to your website, it demonstrates to Google that your website is serious and value-creating.
A good way to get links is to make it easy to share the content with buttons for e.g. social media and above all: develop such good content that visitors want to share it with their friends.
How do I get more links?
Links are an important indicator of quality, but do not confuse the number of links with the quality of the links. However, SEO is not just about building a lot of links, but creating content that users want to link to. It’s about creating natural links from other authoritarian sites.
Simply put, this is true: Really good authoritative websites do not want to link to bad content. Why would they?
What is SEO – A Conclusion
It’s time to do your homework and understand that it’s about content and creating an experience for the user.
To answer: What is SEO, it is, therefore, important to understand that it is about developing a really good website that users benefit from and want to link to. If you succeed, you will also succeed on Google.