Introducing SEO. Where to start?
If you enter any query like “buy furniture in Kharkiv” into the search box, you will get a lot of online stores offering their products. But most likely you will go to the site on the first two search pages. Have you ever wondered how sites get on these first 2 pages and how much it took the site owner to do it? And that’s exactly what we are going to discuss today.
Before entering the so-called TOP-20 (the first 2 pages of the search results), the website’s webmaster takes many actions to outpace his competitors. There are several types of activities to improve in the SERP, but one of the most interesting and basic is SEO promotion.
So, what does SEO stand for?
SEO (Search Engine Optimization – an expansion to be known to every decent webmaster and optimizer) is a set of measures to promote a website to the TOP (in lay terms).
But if you drill down and try to figure it out, you realize that everything is not so cut and dry.
SEO is a time-consuming and labor-intensive process during which you build the trust of the search engine by providing users with reliable information (whether it is the information or the product they need). The more users visit your site, the more trust you give the search engine and it promotes you further.
In turn, SEO promotion is divided into 2 subtypes – internal and external optimization. Let’s consider each type in detail.
Internal promotion is a set of activities within the site, which to a greater extent affects the position of the site in the search results. On-site promotion includes:
- work with the semantic core (collecting, sorting, and embedding keywords on the site);
- site structure improvement (competent division into directories and subdirectories);
- elaboration of technical SEO (adjusting CNC, creating and implementing robots.txt and sitemap.xml);
- bug fixing (eliminating duplicate pages, improving page loading speed, fixing code errors);
- work with usability indicators (improving design and functionality to make a website more user-friendly);
- improvement of the quality of the content (working with relevance, adding media files to improve the perception of the material);
- image optimization (compressing images, adding an alt attribute);
- elaboration of internal interlinking (correct interlinking of pages to improve the robot’s transition to all pages of the site).
This is a set of measures for external website promotion aimed at building the link mass. It is important to understand that buying a few links will not be enough. External optimization requires building and gradually implementing a competent strategy. The external website promotion can involve the following methods:
- Crowd marketing – adding comments/discussions/answers to questions regarding the topic of your site and a mandatory link to the promoted resource – whether closed or open links (we’ll talk about this later).
- Link building – external promotion through link mass purchase from donor sites (through link exchanges or directly from the webmaster of the donor site).
- Posting on price aggregators, which implies posting on catalog sites that provide the user with the opportunity to compare products/services/prices. For example, pn.com.ua – a user, who is looking for one model of a sofa, wants to know whether there is another place in the city offering this sofa for a cheaper price, chooses a site with the most favorable price, and follows the link posted on the catalog site.
There are other methods of external website promotion, but we have considered the most common of them.
First steps towards website optimization
We have run through the main types of SEO site optimization but left aside the starting point – a step to start promotion with.
Before taking up the website optimization (or breakage if the webmaster does not have a clue how it is done), many procedures should be carried out to obtain analytical data to build a development and promotion strategy for your Internet resource.
Always start with your competitor analysis. Why invent the wheel again if your competitors have already filled up the cones before you? There is no need. Therefore, go to a search engine, enter the main keyword your business, or one page on the site is oriented to (for example, “buy a sofa”) and start analyzing the first 10 competitors. At the same time, look both at usability indicators (ease of use of the site, location of navigation elements, etc.) and at internal and external indicators (the number of pages in search, the number of referring resources, etc.). However, we will discuss competitor analysis in more detail in another article.
Once getting this kind of data, proceed to the next stage – profiling your user. This can be done using analytical data in tools such as Google Analytics, Yandex Metrika, etc. Things important to know about a potential client:
- Interests (user’s hobby/profession apart from his needs for “buying a sofa”);
- Age categories – knowing the age of the user helps correctly compose the advertising that will attract your age group;
- Sex – identify the target audience for the selling texts, advertising, promotion strategies. If, for example, the bulk of your customers are girls and women, it would be illogical to add cars, fishing, etc. to advertising campaigns and promotion strategies;
- Income of potential customers – you must understand exactly who will be able to buy your goods/services and develop strategies for the promotion of your resource for such customers;
- One of the most important indicators in profiling is the potential customer pain points. What is it? Let’s look at an example: a user has a pet (for example, a dog). A small dog still does not know how to endure until walk and eases itself at home – right on the floor. So the pain point of a potential client is eternal puddles on the floor, and you (having correctly drawn up a promotion plan and advertising campaigns) show the same user that you can solve his problem – just by buying your “super diapers”!
Done! You have collected analytical data together and now you can estimate the budget to be allocated for internal work on the site, how much should be set aside for the external promotion of the site, whether you need an advertising campaign or your niche is not so competitive to launch advertising.
In general, after analyzing the data obtained, you must answer almost all the questions that arose from a misunderstanding of the situation.
Now we have gained an insight into the key points of SEO site optimization. You already more clearly understand what site optimization consists of, what types exist, where to start promoting an Internet resource. However, this is only a small part of all SEO work and processes.
The role of an SEO optimizer in the resource promotion chain is not the least. Previously, there was little information about what the optimizer does for a business and how it further affects the prosperity of the resource and the business in general. However, now more and more businessmen have begun to cover the ground and understand how important it is for an experienced person to work on the project – otherwise, you can inadvertently lose the site’s position or even leave the TOP-100, or even worse – get filtered with the search engine and stay hidden for a very long time (sometimes it’s easier to start a new site than recover an old one).