You know that optimizing your presence on search engines, otherwise known as SEO, or SEO, is a necessary part of achieving these goals.
So first, a brief reminder...
What is SEO again?
Optimizing SEO is essentially about improving the way your website pages appear and rank on search engines.
It's about implementing, evaluating and then making decisions about your website that will ultimately affect your online reputation and success.
But why try to be first on Google?
It will be easier to answer this question, which is on everyone's mind, with a few examples.
Get more qualified traffic, customers and sales
As you can see below, this graph from Sistrix shows the average organic CTR (or click-through rate) compared with the average CTR - all formats combined, including advertising - for the same keywords.
Being first in SEO means achieving click-through rates of 30 to 35% on search queries, which is considerable in terms of traffic acquisition, and a real game-changer for your business!
In fact, if you're one of the first in the search engines, that's just as much budget you won't spend on advertising to get to the same level.
And just as much qualitative traffic, if Google deems your content to be the most relevant to your potential customers' queries!
So the more you know about how to optimize your positions, the more clicks you'll get, the more qualified traffic you'll get, the more leads you'll get and the more sales you'll generate.
Increase your income
Another example in anAlkries case study shows how they exponentially grew a service company's organic traffic while dramatically increasing their revenues.
Thanks to a detailed SEO strategy, they were able to almost double their customer's traffic and increase their revenues by 49%!
Update content to boost traffic
Below is an extract of Ahrefs' organic traffic for one of their pages.
As you can see, in 2018 traffic dropped by 54% in just over a month. Web pages are not referenced well forever. A good part of an SEO's job, in fact, is to keep his content up-to-date and current.
That's exactly what they did to get a massive boost in traffic: they simply modified and republished the article!
Being highly ranked again has led to a considerable increase in traffic, which also means more conversions.
Want similar results for your business? Then follow our ultimate SEO checklist to the letter!
These tips are your guarantee of better organic positions. And if the list seems endless or sometimes too complex, rest assured: you don't have to do everything.
Just do your best and see the results for yourself on your organic acquisition and search performance!
A word of advice: with SEO, you're looking to rank pages, not websites. Remember this, and the whole process will be that much easier.
1. Basic settings for your SEO
Install Google Search Console
Connecting your website to Google Search Console (GSC) will help you monitor your search engine performance and find trends and ranking opportunities.
To configure GSC:
- Sign in to your Google Account, or create one
- Click on add property
- Choose "Domain" and enter the domain name of your website, for example coteries.com
- Click "Continue" and check your domain by adding a DNS entry at your domain provider (Infomaniak or other).
That's it! If you're having trouble validating your domain, you can select the URL validation option and choose your preferred validation method.
Note: even if you haven't yet verified that you're the owner of your site, Google will start tracking the data associated with your website (ownership). Be sure to check that you are the owner, as only then will you have real access to your site's search visibility information.
Configure Google Analytics
The second essential tool you'll need!
Google Analytics helps you track the acquisition of your traffic and collect many other browsing and usage information about your site.
Go to google.com/analytics and get started for free.
Google also provides clear instructions on how to set up your analytics account, in case you're a little caught off guard. Note that we're talking here about setting up a Google Analytics 4 (or GA4) property. GA4 is the latest version of Google Analytics, launched in October 2020.
If you wish, you can compare GA4 with Universal Analytics, and you can also opt for Google Universal Analytics if you prefer or are already used to it. Please note, however, that Google Universal Analytics will disappear on July 1, 2023.
Tip: you can import your Search Console data into Google Analytics. This will give you more accurate data on your organic traffic acquisition. To do this, you need to enable data sharing with GSC in the Google Analytics property settings.
Note that you can also use another traffic analysis tool as an alternative to GA. GA works very well, however, especially when it comes to connecting it to other tools.
Use Yoast (if you're on WordPress)
If you have a WordPress-based site, using the Yoast SEO plugin is a must.
You have access to a number of tools to help you optimize your articles or pages to ensure that your entire website is SEO .
Yoast checks whether your keywords are well inserted in your article, whether your text is long enough for your keyword frequency and much more.
Be sure to add it to your site!
2. Understand where to position yourself: research your keywords
Find opportunities to position yourself on in your niche or sector. This will help you find out what content you can position yourself on and get more traffic.
Here are a few tools you can use to perform keyword research.
Google's search tool to suggest searches, simple and effective!
Wondering what the most popular searches are when people are looking for terms related to what your company sells?
Just put yourself in your customer's shoes, do a search and see what comes up!
This simple method is ideal for finding keywords with low search volume and competition levels, but which have a high conversion value due to their length and degree of precision. These are known as "long tail" expressions.
A free tool to see if a keyword is trending in searches.
Google Trends is also very useful for choosing the right time to post content on certain subjects.
Please note that due to the low volume of search data in Switzerland, Trends may not be very accurate, but it can still help you!
Google Keyword Planner
A Google Ads tool.
If you don't yet have a Google Ads account, you can log in with your Google account. Forget about setting up a campaign for beginners, which is suggested when you first log in, and use the keyword planner directly.
This tool will give you information on search volume and competition for a specific keyword. By providing suggested bid estimates, you can also determine an advertising budget.
Again, data from Switzerland may not be very accurate, given the low search volumes. So you can always try another market (France, for example, if you're targeting French-speaking regions).
Keyword surfer is an excellent tool for quick (and free) information.
You can also use it with a Google Chrome extension that gives you additional information for each link appearing in the search results page (SERP).
In addition to Google Suggest, you immediately receive estimated search volume, cost per click and other info. Not bad, eh?
Yet another option, this time with a basic plan costing $29.90 per month.
You benefit from keyword suggestions, information on your competitors' rankings and even on how easy it is to position yourself on a keyword.
Search online communities
This is more a method than a tool: you can consult community platforms and groups on social networks to find trending news topics.
Do people have questions about a subject to which you have the perfect answer? Create an article to answer it, answer their questions and let them explore your website!
You can also search for keywords in online "forums" such as Reddit, Quora or any other platform relevant to your industry.
3. Create quality content
Publish content that is useful and relevant to your potential customers.
Always aim for quality, not quantity. This will help you to position yourself better, to be found and mentioned elsewhere on the web (we'll talk about this later).
Plan and structure
Once you've done your keyword research and prioritized the topics you want to position yourself on, you should now have a good idea of the content you want to create.
It may seem obvious, but keeping a structure in mind is essential to creating quality content. Once you've dived into the writing or creation part, it's easy to lose the thread and wander off. So make sure you get it right from the start!
Write long content
An important point: make your content longer and more detailed than other content appearing for the same keywords. This will give you a better chance of ranking higher than your competitors!
SEO-optimized content is generally considered to be between 1,000 and 2,000 words.
Go into real detail. Google ranks detailed pages on a specific subject better than vague content.
Use synonyms and keywords related to your subject to create a semantic group, which will increase your chances of ranking well for your target keywords.
Publish easy-to-read content
Google favors content created for humans.
Reduce your bounce rates and get better positions with easy-to-read text:
- Consider short paragraphs and sentences.
- Use the active voice instead of the passive voice
Offer unique content
- Don't just regurgitate information. Use your own internal research, surveys, studies or clear examples.
- Involve your experts in the content creation process.
- Create timeless content that you can update!
- Insert media: not just images, but also videos, graphs, infographics or diagrams.
- Insert images with consistent file names and descriptions. This will enable you to be better referenced in Google Images.
Update your content
Keep your content up-to-date and update your old content. This is a great help in optimizing your SEO !
Use high-impact designs
We all love images and impactful visuals.
The first few seconds of a visit won't necessarily be spent reading your content, but feeling the visuals on offer.
4. Optimize your pages: On-page SEO
On-page SEO means optimizing your website pages for both search engines and visitors.
Common SEO On-page practices include optimizing title tags and metas, enhancing your content, inserting links and managing URLs.
Improve your content
- Use your keyword once in the first 100 words. Insert your keyword once or twice every 100 words.
- Add "auxiliary" words to make your title more impactful and specific. This will help you appear in long-tail searches and therefore get more qualified traffic. You can use "auxiliary" words such as "current year", "best", "review", "guide", "checklist" and so on.
- Rank different pages for different keywords. Don't repeat exactly the same keyword or keywords that are too similar - Google is smart enough to notice (and sometimes penalize)!
- Use synonyms and semantic fields.
Structure your page and its titles
- Insert your keyword as early as possible in your page title (H1 tag).
- Structure your html H tags and introduce your keyword if you can:
- - H1 for title
- - H2 for subtitle
- - H3 for other categories
- - P tags for paragraphs
Define your meta tags
- Define your page's Page Title and Meta Description, including callsto action and a targeted keyword.
- Place your keyword as early as possible in the title tag of your page
- Add "auxiliary" words to make your title tags relevant and more targeted. This will again help you rank on more long-tail searches and thus acquire more traffic ("current year", "best", "review", "guide", "checklist"...).
- Improve your organic CTR (click-through rate):
- - Add numbers to your title and description tags
- - If there are any, take inspiration from sponsored results ( search ads) for a keyword, as ads are generally designed to maximize clicks (if they're done right!).
- Define "og: tags" with at least the image, title and description of the page. These tags are intended for social networks, for example when you share content in a feed. If you're using WordPress, the og:image tag should already be included with the page image.
Create better URLs
- Use short URLs
- Insert your keywords in the URL of your pages
Insert internal and external links
- Include links to at least 5 top sites in your industry.
- Insert links to 2 to 5 pages on your site with text anchors (the text on which the link is located).
Use Schema markup (Schema Markup)
- Tag your HTML code with schema.org markup to getsearch snippets, those little sections in search results that you can interact with. This helps search engines to better understand your content and enables visitors to quickly find relevant content corresponding to their searches.
- Use tools such as schema. org or Google to check and validate that your site is well structured and tagged for enhanced results.
5. Technical SEO: check that everything is in order
Improve your website's crawlability and accessibility for better SERP rankings!
- Make sure your page is available on Google using Google Search Console (GSC) and Google search.
- Check your page coverage in GSC
- Check your domain's coverage on Google by searching for site:yourwebsite.com directly in Google.
- Check whether one of your pages is available on Google by searching for its URL in quotation marks.
- Make sure your site is HTTPS, a key signal for Google
- Detect and repair SEO errors on your site, with page coverage in GSC or other tools like Moz, SEMrush or ahrefs
- Make sure your website is mobile-friendly, a must in 2022. Unless you're in a specific niche, most of your traffic should come from mobile devices.
- Repair broken links with Dr Link Check
- Identify the main domains pointing to your site, as well as all outbound links.
- The free plan is limited to 1500 links. By deleting the "project", you are not really limited if you wish to see statistics from other sites.
- Measure your site's speed and find out how to improve it (in addition to analyzing a whole host of other points) with PageSpeed Insights
- PageSpeed Insights is a Google tool that provides you with information on your website's performance, including 6 key metrics and recommendations. We won't go into detail here, but you can find out more on this page.
6. Off-page SEO: develop your online reputation
Off-page SEO focuses on developing your domain's reputation, in particular through the acquisition of quality backlinks.
Note that this is a key element for your SEO, in addition to content and Google's rankbrain algorithm (their program for ranking content for a given search).
Domain reputation is most often measured using metrics such as Moz's domain authority or SEMrush's domain score. Based on 100, these metrics reflect domain reputations and help identify backlink opportunities when coupled with other indicators, such as spam scores.
Seeking a high domain score means obtaining a multitude of quality inbound links!
ANY link redirecting to your content from quality websites in your sector - provided it's a rather influential site, a good directory, a blog, a social network, etc. - is a good one! - is good to go!
Development backlinks, or backlinking, is like... biz dev: it's time-consuming and not as easy as it sounds!
In the end, understand that the more inbound links you have from quality sites, the better you'll be positioned on your key queries.
Here are a few avenues to explore for your backlinking:
- Write guest posts for websites whose domain authority is similar or better than your own. Write for sites whose audience interests you, and include links to your website.
- Analyze your competitors' backlinks
- - ahrefs is a great tool for visualizing your competitors' backlinks. The first 100 links can be viewed with a free account.
- Contact the owners of sites that include external links with content similar to yours
- - With a tool like SEMrush, export all your competitors' backlinks and filter out those that are not relevant to your strategy.
- - Take an exhaustive list of prospects, send them a personalized e-mail and ask them to link to one of your quality contents (that's why quality content is essential!).
- Mention influential bloggers, let them know you've mentioned them and ask them for a link or post to your content.
Any questions? Any doubts? Need help with your SEO?
Contact our SEO and digital marketing specialists, develop your visibility on search engines and get more customers and sales!