How many times have you heard asking “what is SEO“? There are many who still have doubts and who can not get a more or less clear answer. Moreover, I could say that if you are here reading this post, it is because at least you are curious about this topic.
Certainly, today almost anyone interested in knowing more about digital marketing, may be asking the same question as you: what is this SEO positioning?
I’ve written a lot about search engine positioning, but I think I’ve never talked more in-depth about the definition…
What does “SEO” really mean?
The knowledge of SEO is very important.
Also, as I mentioned in other articles, there are many people who want to start improving the visibility of their websites or blogs but do not know where to start.
But, my goal in this article is not only to explain what is SEO, but also to tell you what kinds of basic techniques exist and what to do to get the most out of working with it.
What is SEO?
“SEO” is an abbreviation that means: Search Engine Optimization.
Definition: SEO is a discipline that consists of applying a series of techniques both inside (On-Page) and outside (Off-Page) of a certain web page, with the aim of optimizing its visibility in the organic results of the different search engines.
In conclusion, it is a set of actions focused on improving the position of the site in search results for specific queries from different users, in order to increase web traffic and the possibility of monetization.
Keep in mind that: the higher the position of a website in the SERP (Search Engine Results Pages), in theory, the greater number of visitors will reach it from the search engines.
When a user types in Google the keyword “bird sale Barcelona”, the search engine shows, in hierarchical order, the web pages that talk about the sale of birds in that city.
In this case, the user will probably be conducting a search to find bird stores in Barcelona.
The three words that you typed (sale, birds, and Barcelona) are those that Google will have used to find the pages indexed in its database, which respond better to these characteristics and have placed them in order according to the specific parameters of their algorithms.
Why is it so important to improve those positions in the search engines?
Because hardly a user goes to the 2nd page of the search results of Google or any other search engine to search for information.
It is popularly said that: “The best place to hide a body is the second page of Google… no one will remedy your murder.”
In addition, there is a greater chance that the user will end up by clicking directly on the first results they find.
Where do I begin to position my Web page?
With this post I wanted you to start by first having clear the basic concepts about what is SEO so that now we can see together some basic factors that will come greatly in your new SEO positioning strategies.
As I was saying, in addition to the definition of Search Engine Optimization, I will describe the main concepts that you must be clear about the subject and give you some basic guidelines so that you can take your first steps.
But, if you are really interested in learning much more, take a look at these other guides and more advanced tutorials on web positioning that I have previously published on the blog:
- What is the WPO and why is it a key factor?
- Basic On-Page positioning guide for bloggers
- How to improve your SEO International positioning?
- The new SEO positioning and the user experience (UX)
- A complete manual of SEMrush
- What is Local SEO and how to improve it in the web of your business?
- How to optimize SEO for PrestaShop?
Some important factors when talking about SEO positioning
Search engines take into account hundreds of parameters when analyzing and positioning a website (depending on the degree of compliance with the search request entered).
Among them are:
The user experience: Today, this factor is most taken into account by search engines to position or retain a position of a web page, based on the experience of our visitors.
The Relevance of the content: It is related to the content of a web page for a certain search query. Here I am not indicating the content has the searched keyword, but position given is based on hundreds of on-page factors that are related to the quality.
The Authority of the site: Basically here we talk about the authority of a website. The more popular a web page is considered the more important.
All these factors are of special relevance to determine the usefulness (or not) of the content for users.
Likewise, all the factors that affect the position of a web page in search engines can be divided into two types:
Internal optimization factors to take into account
The internal optimization (on-page) refers to the internal structure of a site, includes work dedicated to the quality of web development and the benefits that the site brings to the user.
It includes the website structure, on-page content, loading time, the perception of the quality of the content (from a user’s point of view) and, of course, the general quality of the website.
In content issues: It is important to create unique texts on each page and does not focus on keyword density. Nowadays, search engine algorithms perform semantic text analysis to detect possible spam.
Factors of user behavior: These are all the actions that users can perform on our website:
- Click on text links
- Interaction with content
- Page views
- Time of permanence, etc.
It is important, at the same time, the internal optimization of the page, headers tags <h1>, <h2>, <h3>, meta description, content optimization, permalink (the structure of URLs), etc.
External factors of optimization to consider
Now, let’s see what are the external factors (off-page).
Main methods of external optimization
Let’s see the main methods of external optimization:
- The quality and number of incoming links (backlinks)
- The CTR that the web pages have in a search engines
- Use of external services, such as Google My Business.
- External publications, some examples are guest posts, publications in Media, etc.
- Use of Social Networks
- Blog creation and management
- Press releases
What factors can harm the SEO positioning of your website?
Ok, so far we have not seen anything that is not familiar to us, but we also have to pay close attention to the factors that can damage the SEO positioning of our website.
Among the most important are:
- Actions that can be considered as Spam by the search engines
- An excessive number of inbound links; unnatural increase in them
- Incorrect layout
- Pages that take a long time to load
- Incorrect server responses
- Duplicate content
As we can see, not only the “positive” factors of external and internal optimization have to be taken into account. Avoiding “negative” factors have exactly the same importance.
This is a world that grows by leaps and bounds day after day and even if you are a specialist, there is always something new to try or learn.
Extra: Tools that will help you in your strategy
As we know, there are now a lot of tools for SEO optimization.
Among them, we could not fail to highlight some free Google tools or some paid, such as:
- Google Keyword Planner
- Webmaster Tools or Google Search Console
- Google Trends
- XOVI Suite
This is the case of SEMrush, of which I would like to speak in this 3rd part of the article.
You may be interested: 5 Website Traffic Estimator Tools to Know Competitor’s Site Traffic
As you can see, there are many novelties that it offers you and that will help you in your strategy, whether you are a novice or a professional with a lot of experience.
Let’s start and see what these developments are.
In the SEMrush projects section we have two:
Site Audit is one of the first tools that appear in the projects section.
Its main objective is to identify the problems that our website may have.
The data thrown by this section are divided into three types: Errors, Warnings, and Notices.
Errors: They are the problems that have to be solved as soon as possible since they can harm our positioning.
One of the examples of this type of problem is the duplicate content.
Warnings: These are all those problems with a lower level of risk, but which also require our attention.
In this case, for example, we could talk about broken internal links.
Notices: These are not problems in themselves, but the advice offered by the platform to improve your results.
Apart from mentioning the problems you may have on your website, the tool also tells you where they are and how you have to fix them.
On-Page SEO Checker
The On-Page SEO Checker tool came to light about a year ago. Today it is one of the 12 tools available in the projects section of the platform.
For those who have not had the opportunity to try it yet, I tell you in a few words what it is for.
In my opinion, “Projects” is the most interesting and least used part of this platform. Thanks to it, users can easily assemble a series of analysis about their online projects (blogs, eCommerce, etc.) and, in turn, analyze them comparatively with their direct competition.
That’s why, from the SEO point of view, “The Tool of Ideas” is a secret weapon that deserves special attention.
As the name suggests, this tool offers us a series of ideas that can help us better position our website on Google.
The ideas are divided into 6 groups:
1. Strategy tips: For example, if we have a better-positioned URL with a certain keyword, the tool will tell us, so we do not waste time. We can try to position other pages with a lower ranking.
2. Semantics: Refers to the related keywords (suggested) with which we can enrich our content.
3. Contents: Without a doubt, the keywords in themselves continue to be a vital factor.
In “contents”, the tool tells us how we have to use the keyword and in what part of the content we should put it (among other things).
4. Backlinks: This is a factor of indisputable importance to position our website. “SEO Ideas” gives you information about the new sources of reference traffic.
The information (as in other cases) is based on the data of your competition, which is better positioned than you.
5. Technical problems: You can waste a lot of time doing things to improve SEO positioning, but this tool tells you what should you fix to be able to do it (such as nontraceable pages, the absence of internal links, etc.).
6. User experience: This factor has become today one of the most important for positioning.
Based on your Google Analytics data, you get a list of suggestions so you can avoid those problems.
SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool
The SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool is one of the newest within the platform and, although it is still in beta version, already offers a number of interesting possibilities.
The main objectives of Keyword Magic Tool are to analyze the niches of keywords, obtain the data of the related terms and segment the statistics in relation to the main metrics of keywords.
One of its main advantages is to help us get the total number of keywords available for the database of Spain, which are more than 45 million today.
One thing to keep in mind is that, apart from Spain, you also have 22 more databases and, in some cases (such as the United States), it reaches up to 180 million keywords.
The interface of the tool itself is very friendly, something of an enormous advantage for users.
How does Keyword Magic Tool work?
In the tool, the first thing we have to do is select the country with which we want to work by clicking on the underlined text next to the word “database”.
Then, in the search bar, we can insert the concerned keyword and clicks on “search”.
After starting the analysis we will see a line of filters with which we can segment the concerned data.
For example: Including or excluding keywords with the indicated terms.
We can also set limits on metrics such as:
- Search volume
- Difficulty level
- Cost per click
- Level of competition
- Indicate the SERP functionalities that the keyword has to carry (or vice versa).
Just below, in the first column on the left, the tool shows us a list of niches related to the indicated keyword.
In parentheses, you can see the exact number of terms that each niche carries.
If we look at the right sector, we will see all the keywords that carry the main term and 6 additional columns with the metrics for each keyword.
As in most of the tools of this platform, all the data that SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool offers can be downloaded in an Excel file.
It is important to remember that the tool is in Beta version and that it is still in full development. For that reason, it would not be bad to get your feedback on the functionalities that you currently have and what can be improved.
If we take into account that most people search Google for information that answers their doubts, it is not surprising that these search engine positioning techniques focus almost exclusively on this Internet giant.
So, I hope that what we have tried to do in this post, define what is SEO and mention the basic concepts about the main techniques of SEO positioning, has been useful.
Because these are not just basic elements to know, but indispensable subjects to take into account when working with the Search Engine Optimization of your website.
As always, I expect your valuable feedback.