The Complete Guide for You to Conquer the Top of Google in 2023.
These will help you to get the best ranking for your website.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the set of strategies and optimization techniques that are made on a web page so that it appears organically in Internet search engines such as Google, Yahoo, or Youtube. The correct application of SEO can cause expressive increases in traffic and visibility of brands on the Internet.
One of the biggest goals of companies that invest in Digital Marketing is to reach the top positions in search engines — after all, who doesn’t want free clicks and more visitors to their site?
But in a field as fierce and competitive as the Internet, making your website stand out among the millions of pages on the net seems like an impossible task. And I say it looks like it’s because it’s not.
However, being on the Internet is not enough to guarantee that your site, e-commerce, or blog achieves a place on the first page of Google: it is necessary to invest in a specific strategy to optimize the results and ensure that your business reaches a good web positioning for the most important keywords of its segment.
With SEO or Search Engine Optimization, you can make your website appear in relevant searches, connecting your content with people who are looking for products or services like the one you offer.
It’s the perfect operation!
But you should know that doing SEO requires a lot of studies to understand terminologies, build strategies and apply practices that take you to the top of Google results pages. For you to conquer the top of google in 2022, you need to understand SEO.
Do not worry! Whether you want to take your first steps in the world of search engine optimization, or you want to refresh your knowledge, in this complete SEO guide we will explain everything you need to know about the subject.
In this article you will find:
- What is SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?
- 7 advantages of implementing an SEO strategy
- What types of searches are there?
- A brief history of SEO and how Google’s algorithm has evolved
- How to put together a good SEO strategy and conquer the top of Google?
- What is SEO on Page?
- What is off-page SEO?
- How does technical SEO work?
- What is local SEO?
- Conclusion and bonus
Read carefully and become a web positioning specialist!
What is SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which stands for “search engine optimization.” It consists of a series of techniques, disciplines, and optimization strategies that are implemented in the pages of a website or blog to improve its positioning in search engines.
That marketing strategy is essential for your company to gain standing, and visibility in the digital world, and, consequently, more leads, customers, and turnover for your business.
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Optimizing sites and blogs through the use of techniques to improve the web positioning of your pages and positioning your company in the first results of Google, for example, increase (and a lot) your business opportunities.
At the end of the day, 90% of people who search on Google only click on the results that appear on the first page of the engine.
The main goal of SEO, therefore, is to increase the volume of organic traffic and ensure more visibility for web pages.
What is the difference between SEO and SEM?
We do not want to leave out of this article a topic that causes a lot of confusion among professionals who are starting in the world of Digital Marketing, and this is the difference between SEO and SEM.
Although at first, they may seem to refer to similar actions given the similarity of their acronyms, you should pay close attention because they refer to completely different actions. Let’s look at them one by one.
SEO = Organic Positioning
As you already know, SEO refers to all those actions that you can take inside or outside your website to optimize your positioning in search engines organically. This last point is key since organic means “no payment”.
With an SEO strategy, you don’t pay Google or any other search engine to gain positions in the SERP. It’s your valuable content and optimizations that earn those places in their own right.
SEM = Paid to position
In contrast, SEM (Search Engine Marketing) refers to those strategies that include the use of paid ads.
That is, with an SEM strategy you create an advertising campaign so that when a user types a search, your site appears before the organic results in the form of an ad, as long as it matches the user’s search intention.
Which one to choose?
A complete Digital Marketing strategy should not opt for one and exclude the other. That is, you should include in your strategy a combination of SEO and SEM strategies to increase your results.
With the use of SEM, results are generated instantly in a short term, necessary when you want to increase visibility or brand recognition quickly or when you want to launch products or promotions for a limited time.
In addition, SEO is a strategy that works in the medium and long term, bringing better quality visits constantly.
If you want to expand on this matter we recommend you read our article on SEO vs. SEM.
But what are the advantages of this SEO strategy and how efficient can it be? Below we propose the main ones.
7 advantages of implementing an SEO strategy
· Increase the visibility of a brand
Implementing an SEO strategy is one of the best ways to increase your brand’s visibility organically.
Imagine the following scenario: your business handles the sale of washing machines. A user, let’s call him Pedro, is having problems with his washing machine, so google how he can repair it himself.
Coincidentally, you have an article that shows a step by step to repair washing machines, so you conquer that visit for your website.
And although the article talks about repair and not sale, this is only the beginning of a customer relationship with your brand. It is what in Inbound we know as the attraction stage.
· Attract qualified traffic
Like Pedro, many other users will come to your content to solve their doubts or find solutions to their problems.
With the creation of valuable content, optimized for search engines, your website will be able to organically attract the leads it is looking for, at the right time.
In this way, the more visits you receive, the more people will know you and the more likely you are to close a sale, which leads us to the next advantage.
· Generate sales opportunities
Imagine that, although Pedro repaired his washing machine, he needs to change it, as it still has other failures.
As Pedro already knows your brand, thanks to the solution to his questions in your articles, he will surely already trust your business and think of you, as the first option, to buy his next washing machine. This is the decision stage in the Inbound methodology.
· Position a brand as an authority in the market
Continuing with our example, in the mind of Pedro and in that of many other users like him, your company will be it occupies its Top of Mind, that is, it will be the first brand that comes to mind when they think of washing machines.
SEO allows you to achieve this by facilitating the correct indexing and improving the organic positioning of your content.
So, whenever Pedro or anyone else searches for information about washing machines, your website will be the first to appear, or at least, the result they are looking for.
In this area, a concept that has been highlighted is that of EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness), an acronym used to represent the three fundamental elements of quality content.
Recently Google has looked favorably on the content published by authors who have technical authority and recognized credibility in the respective topics.
For example, on a disease content website, you may want to have articles written by doctors, with an author page containing information about your professional history.
· Educate the market
Users like Pedro have surely been educated by your articles about the operation, care, and maintenance of their washing machines.
Likewise, they have managed to understand what are the specifications they are looking for with their washing machine, according to their personal needs.
As you can see, the importance of positioning content not only lies in closing sales but also in educating the audience to make better decisions.
· Succeed over the competition
Finally, if it is your brand that produces the most complete and relevant content about washing machines, what do you think users will look for when they want to know something about washing machines?
Although it takes time and a lot of work to implement an SEO strategy, in the long term it generates constant and lasting results.
· Better return on investment
SEO requires a much lower investment than other strategies such as SEM or traditional advertising.
The investment that SEO requires translates into the payment of some tools such as those we saw above, the salaries of the SEO specialist or the content creator, and the payment of the domain and hosting of the website, for example.
However, the return more than multiplies the investment and the best thing is that the work that was done once continues to generate returns in the medium and long term.
We are going to explain now, step by step, the most important concepts of SEO and teach you the strategies we use to reach the top of Google.
And it all starts when the user searches.
What types of searches are there?
The psychology of search revolves around the user: their needs, their way of looking for answers, the results they expect when looking for something, etc.
Companies that invest in Digital Marketing should respond objectively to all those doubts and needs.
One of the first steps to understanding user search is to know the intent of their navigation, which is essential to be able to attract the right audience to your site.
So let’s explain what it is that brings the user to Google. There are three types of searches:
1. Navigational search
This type of search — also known as a shortcut search — happens when the user already knows which site they’d like to visit, but may not remember the full URL or are lazy to type.
For example, if the user searches for “Daravision Content” or “DaraVission Content blog” to find our content, their search intent is clear and therefore there is little chance that this user will change their final destination on the web — this person already knows what they are looking for.
2. Informational search
As the name itself says, in the informational search the user seeks information, either through news, product launches, or explanatory articles.
Unlike navigational search, the user does not know exactly which site they will go to to find the content they are looking for, as it is not possible to identify their search intention.
In an Inbound Marketing strategy, this organic visibility is essential to attract users to the pages of a business and start their journey to become customers.
By not knowing exactly which site he wants to visit, the user tends to use the organic results to look for the solution to his doubt or need, and it is at that moment that the good web positioning of the blog or site is an advantage for the business.
Look at an example of informational research:
3. Transactional search
In this type of search, the user wants to execute a transaction, such as directly buying a product or finding a store. This search is extremely valuable, especially for e-commerce.
Now that you have understood the 3 types of search, in the next topic, we are going to explain how the largest search engine in the world, Google, works.
4. Local Search
Local searches are searches with a geographical component, within a certain region, for example, when the user searches for restaurants, cinemas, shops, hotels, schools, and offices, among other types of establishments with a physical location.
Other types of search
There are also other types of searches that users can perform, such as:
- academic searches;
- specific information (weather, date, etc.);
Keep in mind that for each type of search, Google has increasingly strived to deliver specific results.
In (transactional) product searches, for example, it shows results from Google Shopping or when searching for a music theme, it shows the clip on YouTube and the lyrics.
The intention is to improve the search experience with more agile and accurate answers for the user.
A brief history of SEO and how Google’s algorithm has evolved
Since people realized that the best way to deliver their content to Internet users was through search engines, they devised a series of techniques to conquer their first places.
These techniques were baptized with the name of SEO.
However, in the 90s many contents were more concerned with positioning than with the user experience. That’s why Google began to constantly update its algorithm to deliver the most relevant results in each search.
Next, we will take a look at the main updates of the algorithm.
In 2011 came the first major update of the algorithm. Google Panda began to analyze and evaluate websites based on the quality of their content by reviewing aspects such as grammar and duplicate content and rewarding, in turn, original and valuable content.
A year later, in April 2012, Google Penguin was launched to monitor the health of website link building.
Google Penguin checks that the external links that are sent to the pages are natural and of quality. Therefore, it stimulates relevant backlinks that add value to the user who arrives at another website from them.
In 2013, with Google Hummingbird, it was agreed to classify the contents according to semantic factors and user interest.
It is with Hummingbird that Google co-understands natural language, expanding its way of interpreting content to variations of keywords or related keywords.
In 2014, with Google Pigeon, the search engine began to organize the results of searches according to the geographical location of users. It is from here that local SEO begins to gain prominence.
In 2015 comes the boom of mobile devices and Google adapts to it with Google Mobilegeddon. With this update, Google rewards mobile-friendly sites: those that have a responsive design and optimize their loading speeds.
One of the most radical changes in the algorithm occurred with Google RankBrain, in 2015. With this update, Google delivers the most relevant content to the user according to their search intention.
In this free infographic that we prepared you can find more detailed information about this story and how Google currently works.
Read more from our website blog
How to put together a good SEO strategy and conquer the top of Google?
Now, it’s time to know the step by steps you need to follow to create and implement a successful SEO strategy. Notes!
1. Define your goals
The first step of the strategy is to define what your goals are when optimizing your website, blog, or eCommerce. For this, you must know what SEO is, some possibilities are:
- increase organic traffic;
- generate more leads;
- generate more sales;
- reduce the cost of acquiring customers (CAC);
- educate the market;
- increase brand authority.
You should always align these SEO goals with your brand’s macro goals. If you want to increase your brand recognition, for example, SEO can help you with that by putting your company’s website in the top positions of Google.
When defining objectives, you can also identify goals and KPIs. If you want to have more authority, for example, you can use the Domain Authority and Page Authority metrics. You just have to define what score you want to achieve in these KPIs and at what time.
This way, you can monitor the strategy using these indicators to be sure that you are on the right track to achieve your goals.
2. Create a buyer persona
The first step is to define who you want to reach with your content, that is, to delimit who would be your ideal client. To do this, the concept of buyer persona will be completely useful. In short, a buyer persona is a semi-physical representation of your ideal customer built from data.
Unlike the target audience, a buyer persona is a character with a specific and detailed description, created to better understand your customers, their interests, and their problems or needs.
Creating a buyer persona is the first step to implementing an SEO strategy because it allows you to define the communication language, the content you expect, and the best content distribution channels.
That is, it will give north to your digital strategy and allow you to write for real people and search engines at the same time.
Remember this: everything your brand produces should be addressed to your buyer persona to make sense and lead them to naturally transit through the stages of the customer journey until concluding the purchase.
3. Install initial and basic SEO tools
To start an SEO strategy you must have, at least, the basic tools to make a diagnosis of your current situation, support the planning, make the first optimizations and start monitoring the impacts of each action.
We are mainly talking about two indispensable tools for SEO: Google Analytics and Google Search Console. Google provides them for free and they will always help you monitor your strategies. Let’s get to know them better!
Google Analytics is a widely used data analysis tool that offers a wide variety of resources to evaluate the performance of digital strategies. In SEO, you can help in different ways:
- get to know your audience better to build the buyer persona;
- identify which are the most visited and best-performing pages;
- monitor the amount of organic traffic;
- identify the channels that generate the most traffic (email, social, organic, etc.);
- understand participation (bounce rate, pages per visit, session duration);
- monitor the conversions generated by the SEO strategy.
These are just a few analytics you can do with Google Analytics that can help from planning to SEO monitoring. Undoubtedly, you will find many other data in the tool to help your strategy.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a tool that facilitates communication between a site and Google and offers valuable reports to apply SEO techniques. Here are some of the features it offers:
- find out if there are problems with indexing the site;
- helps you know if the site has been hacked or penalized by Google;
- monitor the average position of your pages in the SERPs;
- identify the click-through rate (organic CTR) of your pages in the SERPs;
- identify which keywords activated your website in the SERPs;
- identify which sites direct backlinks to yours;
- ask Google to rework dubious backlinks to your site.
Google Search Console is a bit more technical, so it’s geared toward webmasters. But the interface is very friendly, so anyone can use it to make diagnoses and direct more complex demands to specialized professionals.
The tool can also generate various ideas for content optimization, as well as be the primary source for identifying queries that drive traffic to your pages and the click-through rate of your top keywords.
4. Do keyword research
Since you know who you’re going to talk to and what topics might interest you, it’s time to land those ideas to create relevant content for your buyer persona.
What separates your content from your users is called keywords. A keyword is a term that users type in search engines to find content that solves their concerns.
For example, if a person is planning a trip to Japan they will surely type “best destinations in Nigeria or Japan” or “the cheapest destinations in Nigeria or Japan” in the search bar.
What I put in quotes are the keywords, which have different types those terms that cover interesting topics for your buyer persona.
Doing keyword research is a complete process:
- you start with an idea about a topic,
- you use tools like SEMRush or Google’s Keyword Planner to identify the keywords you can use in your articles,
- you determine if your search volume is relevant or how difficult it is to rank content by that word,
- you create a list with the best keywords.
In this keyword search, it is also very important to know the location of your audience, since this information will guide the entire content production of your website.
If you have a company in Mexico but want to expand your operations to Colombia, you will have to do specific research to find out which terms are the most common in this country.
To achieve this territorial dominance in Google for different regions of the world, there are the techniques of international SEO, which you can know more about in detail in the last link.
Among them, there are the use of hreflang tags and the production of content adapted to each national market.
We recommend you read our article on keywords to understand in-depth how to perform this process.
An indispensable tool in the work kit of an SEO is SEMRush. With this platform, you can, among other things, analyze the general positioning status of your website and identify the keywords of your sector.
But perhaps one of the most valued features of SEMRush is competitor analysis. Thus, you can identify the strengths of your competition’s SEO strategy and adjust yours.
In this article, we propose a complete tutorial on how to use SEMRush.
If you want to know the status of your link-building strategy and the health of your backlinks, you should use Ahrefs. This platform has the most comprehensive index of links on the Internet.
Ahrefs, which now has a free version, allows you to execute different functions: find link-building opportunities, find broken links on your website or that of your competition, find ideal pages for guest posting and analyze the backlink profile of your page.
To take care of your link-building strategy, and avoid being penalized by Google Penguin, you should use Ahrefs.
MOZ is a whole suite of tools that, correctly used, will boost your SEO strategy through its recommendations for optimization in positioning, the definition of the topics of your content, and the improvement of your strategy in social networks.
For example, with the Crawl Test function, you will be able to identify the technical SEO problems of your website. In addition, only with MOZ will you have access to two metrics that are essential to understand Google’s PageRank: the Page Authority and the Domain Authority.
5. Analyze the competition to identify opportunities
Another fundamental step before starting content creation is to review what your competition is doing.
With tools like SEMRush, google analyze, you can identify which are your most successful keywords, which of your articles are the ones that are best positioned, and how they are being found by users.
With this information, you can make adjustments to your strategy, adopt their best practices or try to position their keywords by creating more complete content.
6. Organize the contents with the Topic Clusters methodology
After identifying your best keywords with their different types, it’s time to write your articles.
You must explore the main topics of your market with complete content, which must be reconciled with minor and more specific articles on topics related to the most prominent issues.
Once you have several specific articles on a general topic, you can organize them into Topic Clusters, which means bringing together several related articles into one main post, creating interconnections between them.
You must pay attention to this methodology since increasingly, Google is paying attention to the user’s search intent and not only to the keywords that appear in an article.
With Topic Clusters, you give Google to understand that your article is the most complete on a topic and thus you will gain better positions in the SERP.
DaraVision Content universe is the pillar content we have on the concept of Marketing, which has almost 10 thousand words.
But to talk about this topic it is impossible to stop covering related concepts, such as:
- Digital Marketing;
- How to put together a marketing strategy;
- What is the relationship between Marketing and Advertising;
- What types of Marketing exist;
The concept of Topic Clusters tells us that it is advisable to write specific articles on each of these topics, making those contents send internal links to the “Marketing” page, and vice versa.
Thus the algorithm can better understand the semantic structure of the domain and reward it for this organized work.
In this free spreadsheet that we prepare you can use this methodology to guide the production of your content. Download it for free!
What is SEO on Page?
Here it should be remembered that On-Page factors refer to what the website administrator can optimize on their pages to improve the visitor experience and facilitate the reading of the site by Google.
These optimizations must be integrated into the Content Marketing strategy since a large part of them is implemented in the content published on the website or blog.
On-Page SEO brings together all the variables that you can control directly within your website such as:
- length of the title,
- user intent,
- content size,
- author pages (E-A-T),
- number of publications,
- meta description,
- Friendly and easy-to-understand URL,
- use of keywords,
- image optimization,
- loading speed,
- formatting by subtitles,
- internal links between pages,
- among others.
From now on we are going to break down the main factors of SEO on Page optimization and their best practices:
SEO is not about what people are looking for, but about what they want to find.
Therefore, on-page optimizations should focus on the user’s search intent, which varies with each search, so that your pages and content match what they want to find.
That is what Google concentrates on to offer what the user wants and, for that, natural language processing and analysis of the user’s location are elements that help decipher this intention.
Therefore, the challenge for an on-page SEO and Content Marketing strategy is to understand search intentions, as Google does, to deliver to users what they want.
And the best way to understand user intent is by turning to Google itself!
Let’s understand better with some examples:
After keyword research, you should search Google to analyze which results are in the top spots. After all, these are the pages that Google considers to respond best to user intent.
Let’s look at the results page for the “SEO” search:
As you can see all the first contents are educational, focused on teaching what it is and how to use SEO, therefore, to position yourself you need to have content following this line.
But what if I intended to find a “Batman costume”? What would I like to find?
Exactly, images of the products!
Can you imagine someone renting or buying a costume without seeing it? To reach the top positions you must use images!
So, analyze the first results for specific keywords and identify the topics you need to address and how to improve your content with topics that those results don’t yet address.
Overcome them and offer optimized and more complete content!
The size of the content usually has an impact on ranking, although it is not a direct factor in the ranking of the algorithm.
Extensive content tends to be more complete, detailed, and in-depth and can therefore better answer users’ questions.
But, of course, there is no rule: for each topic and each person, the ideal extension may vary. Here at Rock Content, we have super complete publications, such as this one about advertising.
It is ahead tail keywords, with a lot of competition, and search volume and that requires extremely complete content, due to the breadth of the topic.
Already a post about 18 Instagram tricks, for example, is much more specific, with fewer searches and competition, and can therefore be shorter and more direct.
In concussion: the best size is the one that best answers the user’s question. To gain insights into how long your post has to be to reach the top of Google, you can also take a look at the websites that are already ranking well for each keyword.
Volume of publications
The volume of publications also tends to favor positioning. After all, the more content you post, the better chances you have of ranking better.
However, you can’t just think about the number of posts, okay? We need to combine quality and frequency.
It doesn’t make sense to post hundreds of pieces of content that aren’t relevant or don’t answer users’ questions. That would be a waste of energy. Publishing a lot at the beginning of a blog and then abandoning is useless.
It is necessary to maintain the frequency of publications to retain the public and show Google that you always have new and updated content.
However, there is no ideal volume or frequency of publication. You must identify the demands of your topic area, and its identity, and, in addition, evaluate the content production capacity of your business.
Remember that the most important thing is that quantity and quality work together!
Moreover, Featured Snippets are a type of featured snippet known to be Google’s famous zero position. They are boxes that appear above all the results with a concrete answer to a user’s search.
In general, terms, to conquer a Featured Snippet you must create very valuable content and present it in a simple way that completely answers a question in a small space.
Therefore, lists, definitions, and short answers are the most common contents found in Featured Snippets.
As an additional fact, you should know that when you perform a voice search, the result you get will surely be read from a Featured Snippet. That is why it is so important to try to conquer position zero.
There are three types of featured snippets:
- and paragraphs.
Here you can see an example of a paragraph snippet featured that we conquered for the keyword “marketing information system”:
Images for SEO
Google still doesn’t fully understand what an image says, so it needs your help. And how can you help him? With image optimizations for SEO.
This strategy serves to provide data in the form of text about the images. We are talking about the alt text (tag alt), the name of the file, the title of the image, the URL of the image, and the context (words of the environment).
The most important thing here is the alt text, which is essential for the experience of visually impaired people, as the screen reader reads the alt text to the user.
Therefore, the alt text should be a description of the image and, whenever possible, contain the keyword. Look at this example:
All these elements make Google understand what the image shows, index it for search in Google Images, and turn it into another source of traffic.
Image optimization for SEO also includes some attention to file size and format, so they are quickly uploaded and indexed.
Rich Snippets are boxes that appear with extended information about your website. They occupy the position that your website occupies for a certain search.
If Snippets are a combination of a title, short description, and website URL, Rich Snippets are a rich version of these that includes more detailed information that is relevant to users.
To enrich your website with those resources, it will be necessary to establish a solid and organized structure of information that can be understood by the algorithm. That is achieved by setting up the pages with the code snippets available in the Schema Markup.
An example of a rich snippet is the qualification of the contents in the SERPs. Positive user feedback can help others who come to the page have more confidence in and access content.
The network of internal links of your website is also part of the on-page SEO strategies.
Linking internal pages has one main function: to guide navigation and direct the user (and search engines) to other content that may interest them.
But that action also serves a technical function in SEO. The internal link network helps Google find your content and better understand your site by showing the hierarchy between pages.
For example, the closer to home a page is and the more internal links it receives, the more important it will be.
We link, in addition to our blogs and most important pages, more relevant content directly from the home page of our website:
Another example of rock content’s internal link is found in our super comprehensive post on”Digital Marketing”, much other diverse content more specific to the subject (email marketing, SEO, social media, etc.) has links to that post and thus strengthens your authority.
This is how a topic cluster strategy works.
This acronym caught the attention of SEO professionals and stands for Expertise (specialty), Authoritativeness (authority), and Trustworthiness (reliability) Google uses these words as guidelines to evaluate the quality of search results.
They are presented in the document that guides the group of evaluators who perform a manual analysis of the relevance of the results offered by the search engine. Therefore, they also show what Google considers important for the content to be considered of quality:
- the specialty of the author of the content;
- the authority of the author of the content, the content itself, and the website;
- how trustworthy the author of the content, the content itself, and the website is.
Therefore, follow these guidelines in your content strategy and SEO optimization to be aligned with what Google thinks. To learn more about the subject read our article on EAT.
What is off-page SEO?
Now, it’s time to look outside of your pages for off-page SEO. What can you do to gain more authority in the marketplace and show Google that you’re a reference?
Here you need to realize that, unlike on-page SEO, in off-page SEO you don’t have full control over optimization. The decision to backlink your site and mention or directly search for your brand depends on third parties.
What you can do is increase the chances of that happening by adopting a link-building strategy, performing guest posting, and redirecting broken links, among other ways to reinforce the backlink profile and generate more authority for the page.
Below, you’ll learn more about these strategies!
What is link building?
Links are the basis of the internet. They connect one page to another and allow the user to navigate by discovering content.
Like users, robots also traverse this interconnected network to index new content and understand which pages are the most important, as one transmits link juice and authority to the other.
That’s why a link-building strategy is so important in off-page SEO.
Link building is the construction of a network of links that direct the user to your pages (called backlinks)and strengthen your authority on the web. For Google’s algorithm, the more quality links the page receives, the more relevant it will have in the market.
Keep in mind that quantity and quality must go together. It doesn’t make sense to get hundreds of backlinks from the same domain or a questionable website or out of context.
For a link-building strategy to work it must be able to obtain quality links.
What are quality backlinks?
As we have already seen, Google makes a great effort to avoid black hat actions.
Link building was once a widely used tool to increase authority artificially, with systems of artificial link production and “super optimization” of anchor texts, for example.
A quality backlink, therefore, is the opposite of these actions, it is a link to your domain that you receive on your own merits and shows that you relate to reliable sites and references in your market.
Quality backlinks, therefore, are those that:
- come from sites with domain and page authority.
- they come from sites that Google trusts;
- they come from several different domains;
- are naturally integrated into the context of the page;
- uses consistent anchor text;
- are in a privileged position on the page (at the beginning of the text, for example);
- come from sites related to your area of expertise.
These are the main features that you should look for in backlinks when designing a link-building strategy.
There is also an important point in the characteristics of backlinks: the difference between dofollow and no-follow links.
By default, all links are “dofollow”. This attribute tells the robot to follow the path indicated by the link and transmit authority from one page to another.
The “nofollow” attribute, on the other hand, prevents the robot from following that path and assigning authority to the linked page.
It is used, for example, in blog comment boxes and social media links, which are often for spamming and creating artificial authority.
This is not to say that no-follow links are expendable in off-page SEO. While they don’t directly convey authority to your pages, they generate traffic and make more people aware of your brand.
Link building techniques
Let’s see, then, what link-building techniques can you adopt to strengthen your market authority? Next, we will talk about the main ones. Read!
It is the most natural and efficient strategy. It is about creating content that is so good that it generates backlinks naturally, without having to look for or propose associations.
For this, you can invest in in-depth content, disseminate exclusive research data, create rich materials, and offer your tools, among other types of content that become assets with a lot of potential to be linked or shared.
Interactive content is an example that usually brings natural backlinks, as it surprises the user with its immersive character and encourages them to share it on their social networks.
There are several types of interactive content, such as:
- and eBooks.
To make you visualize it better I show you the example of the interactive calculator that Lansinoh made, in which the user can know how much he would save with breastfeeding instead of standardized baby feeding formulas.
Guest posting is a strategy for posting guest posts on an associated blog. It’s usually an exchange: you produce content for the blog audience and you can place one or more links to your website.
In this way, you attract new visitors and gain more authority, if the link is “dofollow”.
It is very important to adopt this strategy in moderation. If Google realizes that you acquired a lot of links quickly, it can understand that you are using black hat techniques and penalize your pages.
Mentions of the brand
Brand mentions, even without a link to your website, are already valuable for SEO. Google analyzes this criterion to recognize brands that exist and have a good reputation in the market.
You can also search for these mentions without a link and identify opportunities to get a quality backlink. Just contact the administrator and suggest adding the link.
What happens when a site’s URL pattern changes or content ceases to exist? Various broken links are created on the site.
That is, the user who tries to access that previous link does not find anything that falls on a page of Error 404 and you lose both the visit and the authority that transmitted the link.
In addition, you can find these links on websites with topics related to yours and display your content as a solution to that broken link.
You can find these links on other sites using tools like Screaming Frog and Ahrefs or using a free tool like Check My Links:
Link building tools
There are several link-building tools on the market. Some are paid, some are free; some are specialized, and others help with certain actions.
Tools like Majestic, Ahrefs, Moz’s Link Explorer, and SEMrush offer a complete analysis of a page’s backlink profile, from the volume of citations to the quality of anchor texts.
Some of them have indicators that help in this analysis, such as Majestic’s Trust Flow and Citation Flow and Moz’s Domain Authority and Page Authority.
These tools are paid, but they offer some free features.
In addition, you can work with more specific tools for certain actions. Google Search Console, for example, should be used to ask Google to reject dubious backlinks.
Google Alerts can alert you to mentions of your brand that are good opportunities to get backlinks.
How does technical SEO work?
The SEO universe is vast and includes many technical aspects of the structure of a website, so a very important part of on-page SEO is technical SEO.
When we talk about technical SEO, we are referring to all the optimizations you can make in the internal structure (i.e. in the codes and architecture) of your website, intending to make it more secure, fast, understandable, crawlable, and indexable.
Next, we will tell you what the fundamental elements are and how to optimize them. Don’t stop reading!
A sitemap is a text document that numbers all the pages of a website, as well as information about them, such as the date of the last modification and the frequency of updates.
Its SEO function is to show this information to search engines so that they can easily find and index URLs.
Although search engines already do this job of crawling, sitemaps make life easier for robots and ensure the indexing of all pages.
You can create the sitemap manually or with tools and plugins and then submit it through Google Search Console.
The robots file.txt is also a text document, inserted into the root folder of your website, that tells Google which pages of your website should not crawl so that, in that way, they do not appear in the search engine.
You can use bots.txt to prevent Google bots from accessing sensitive pages, such as the admin login form (the “wp-admin/” of WordPress sites, for example), scripts, or styles that aren’t important.
In addition, it is important to know about robots.txt for cases where your pages have a problem appearing in the SERPs. They may be in that file by mistake.
UX (user experience)
User experience and SEO are concepts that should go together. We have already said that the priority of engines is to offer the best search and browsing experience until the user finds what they are looking for.
And that includes their experience on your website.
But what does UX, User Experience mean? It is a concept used in the development of websites that centralizes all measures in the actions and responses of users to meet their needs.
According to Peter Morville, president of Semantic Studios, seven features are essential for a website to have a good user experience. It needs to be:
- easy to use;
Loading speed is one of the main criteria for classification. Google itself has already stated this openly: in 2010, for desktop searches and, in 2018, for mobile searches.
It is very important to remember that while speed does not make you gain positions, without it you will never reach the top.
A fast page speed won’t rank you above your competitors, but with a poor page speed, you won’t even have a chance to compete.
For Google, the quality of the user’s search experience depends on the agility of the information, since no one wants to wait more than a few seconds to find what they are looking for.
It’s no coincidence that the search engine has provided a free trial tool: PageSpeed Insights. The reports provide a speed diagnosis, as well as tips for improving loading, and optimizing images and website codes.
If cell phones are already used more than computers if mobile searches have already surpassed desktop searches if mobile traffic is already higher, what do you think Google should do?
Of course, the search engine is an excellent reader of reality! Therefore, it began to prioritize in the search results those sites that offered a good mobile experience.
In 2015 Google announced that searches on mobile devices would become a ranking factor which motivated several sites to become responsive.
One impact that was also impressive was the announcement of the Mobile-First Index, starting in 2016, which began prioritizing the mobile version of sites to rank them.
So if you haven’t yet adapted your site to this trend, hurry up to improve the usability and loading of your pages on mobile devices!
Creating a responsive website is one of the most appropriate ways to make your website mobile-friendly. With this technique, the site only has one version, which best suits the different screen sizes that users can use.
In addition to responsive design, you can also adopt two other techniques, although they are less indicated:
- Mobile URL, where the mobile version has a different URL than the desktop version (m.domain.com, for example);
- Dynamic service, where the two versions have the same URL but have different CSS and HTML for each device.
If you want to know if your website is mobile-friendly, you can take Google’s mobile compatibility test and receive optimization recommendations.
Accelerated Mobile Pages are another initiative to improve the mobile search experience. This is an open-source project, spearheaded by Google, whose goal is to develop pages of static content that load faster on mobile devices.
They are identified in the mobile search SERP with a stamp, and a small lightning symbol next to the URL and are given priority in the ranking.
The red Flecha of the following image is fixed on the symbol that indicates that the page will be displayed in its AMP version.
In technical SEO, one of the main actions is to perform audits, especially at the beginning of an optimization project.
An SEO audit identifies issues with tracking, loading, and usability (especially on mobile devices), among other errors that affect user navigation and website ranking.
Here are some elements that an SEO audit can point out:
- broken links;
- tracking errors;
- redirect errors;
- duplicate content;
- blocked pages (robots.txt, noindex, nofollow);
- slow loading pages.
One of the most comprehensive tools for this is Screaming Frog which offers comprehensive reports on all the elements we mentioned. But auditing can also combine other tools, such as SEMrush and Google Search Console.
What is local SEO?
One of Google’s priorities in recent years is to search with local intent. Understand why this is!
The search engine interprets that a user looking for solutions in a given region should receive answers differently, with more practical and objective information, rather than a list of links as in a traditional SERP.
In this type of search, Google activates the local search algorithm, which prioritizes the results in the region in which the user is located or that he types in the search terms.
In the results, the search engine usually presents information from Google My Business directly in the SERPs, so the user does not always need to enter the brand’s website (in the same line that we explained about the featured snippets).
Therefore, optimization for companies with a physical address, called local SEO, has some peculiarities. What changes this in an optimization strategy? Buy it better below.
To display local results in the SERPs, Google tries to interpret the intent of the user’s local search.
If you type in “hotels,” “nearest hotels,” or similar terms, Google considers the user’s location at the time of the search to show them the options in that region.
On the other hand, if the user types “hotels in Medellín”, the results will focus on the region they typed in the search, regardless of their location at the time. This can happen when we plan a trip, for example.
Therefore, keyword research for local SEO strategy should consider search intentions with all these variations, not just the one your city includes.
Think about the following:
- terms that identify your business, for example, hospitality, hotel.
- modifiers of industry terms, for example, best hotel, hotel better cost-benefit;
- geographical modifiers, for example, Medellin hotels, downtown hotels, and hotels near the airport.
Google My Business
Google My Business is the main ranking factor in local SEO. At the top of the local search SERP, Google displays the Local Pack, which is a box with the top three results for the user, whose information is pulled directly from Google My Business.
It is there, therefore, that you should strive to appear, for it is essential to register your company in Google My Business. This tool offers several registration features for local businesses.
You can place your name, address, telephone, and hours of operation and, also, receive comments, respond to users, place photos, and inform your menu, among other specific functions for different types of businesses.
Take advantage of all this variety of forms of registration and interaction with users to have more chances of appearing in the Local Pack.
Google prioritizes companies that provide the most information on the platform, especially those that have the most reviews and high ratings.
Google uses three main ranking factors for local searches: relevance, proximity, and prominence. The search engine itself presents these criteria on its recommendations page to improve local ranking on Google.
These factors are analyzed and combined to offer the best answer. If a company is more distant from the user, for example, but is more likely to deliver what it is looking for, it may appear better positioned.
Let’s better explain each of these factors below.
The relevance criterion considers the correspondence between the search keyword and the product or service offered by the business. If the user is looking for hotels, for example, they don’t want to see restaurant results, right?
That is why it is so important to complete the Registration of Google My Business with all the possible information since that is where Google makes this correspondence. For example, if the user searches for “hotel restaurant,” Google will only show hotels that have that feature.
Proximity refers to the distance of the business concerning the user’s location or the geographic terms placed in the search. Google understands that the best results are the closest to the user.
The highlight criterion evaluates whether the company is popular in your region, based on online and offline factors. If the business doesn’t have such a strong online presence, but it’s a well-known brand and is used offline, you can rank better.
But user ratings and ratings on Google My Business also count for a lot, in addition to the traditional on-page and off-page SEO optimizations the site adopts.
The more trust Google has in your business, based on these elements, the better your local ranking will be.
Conclusion and bonus for you
Although SEO is an extensive subject and subject to constant updates, with what you have learned in this post you are ready to start executing your first web positioning strategies.
However, we recommend you expand your knowledge with the articles that we have linked throughout the post to complement your learning.
After all, getting good results with search engine optimization depends largely on proper planning, execution, and measurement of the SEO strategy