Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website and its content for search engines. It helps to increase inbound traffic to a site and improve its visibility. With paid referencing (SEA), it is one of the components of Search Engine Marketing (SEM), which refers to all the techniques to get a better web ranking on Google or Bing.
Before embarking on the definition of an SEO action plan on one or more sites, however, it is necessary to define the objectives (positioning, increase in organic traffic, etc.) and to know the criteria and pillars of an efficient SEO strategy.
First pillar: technical SEO
According to the SEO SEARCH Factory agency, technical SEO is the first area to consider. Designate optimization actions to ensure that your website meets the requirements of search engines such as Google and Bing in order to have the best possible ranking. This is a natural referral subdomain that includes a multitude of technical elements, such as a website’s performance, detection of broken links or coding errors, or its structure.
Several steps are required to improve these elements. The first step is keyword checking. In concrete terms, this means checking whether the keywords selected during the initial keyword search are suitable or whether changes need to be made. This check can be done through competitive analysis to find out which keywords your competitors rank for and identify opportunities for ranking improvement. It is a way to discover new opportunities and areas for improvement to remain competitive. For example, you can find keywords that your competitors rank for, but that you haven’t attempted to target yet.
Not conducting a technical audit is one of the mistakes to avoid when referring to your website. This is an essential process for discovering one’s weaknesses. This could be scanning or scanning issues, such as poor internal meshing, 404 errors, or duplicate content. So many elements that affect SEO and user experience. This also applies to optimizing your website’s technical performance, such as page view speed, accessibility, or responsive design. The latter allows you to demonstrate that your site is suitable for different media, especially the web.
The third step involves creating a sitemap. It is an architectural representation of your website. Determine the links between your pages, menus and categories. An optimal architecture ensures smooth browsing for Internet users, but not only. It greatly simplifies the indexing of your content by search engines. The more well structured your site is, the better it will be referenced.
It must therefore be said that it is essential to place natural referencing at the center of one’s development strategy. To avoid disappointment when going online, it is best to think about SEO from the beginning of your website creation or before your website redesign.
The second pillar: the content
Content is at the heart of any SEO strategy. This needs to answer your target audience and any questions they might ask, such as “how to style your hair fast”. It is necessary to identify the topics to be addressed that correspond to the Internet users who visit your website. The contents (articles, advertisements, product presentations, etc.) must be perfectly understandable by search engines. For this it is necessary to optimize the lexicon and semantics used. It is essential to make your pages more accessible and to make it easier for Google or Bing to interpret your site content. This optimization aims to establish a link between the content of your web page and the queries entered by users. Another essential rule: the clarity of the contents! Visitors to your sites should easily access your articles and read them as comfortably as possible.
To address the topic as accurately as possible, it is essential to choose a main keyword when writing an article. To target the right keywords, however, you need to take into account search volumes but also search intent. Some keywords will generate more traffic than others. All you have to do is change the wording to adopt the most effective one and perform the keyword checking well in advance.
Another important element are editorial briefings. While they are sometimes forgotten during the SEO optimization process, they are still essential. They allow you to identify the words on which to position yourself and the main contents to be produced. It is important to establish the title tag, the ALT attribute of its images or the meta description so that the editor can provide optimal content that generates organic traffic.
The third pillar: networking
Networking is one of the most effective levers in organic referencing. It consists in creating links on domains external to your site. These links, also called backlinks, contribute to the reputation of your domain. The links must be numerous, relevant and of high quality. On Google, backlinks are among the three most important ranking factors for SEO.
However, this step must be taken at the appropriate time, i.e. when your site is already positioned on the targeted keywords. This strategy should be adopted to improve SEO, and go for example from the first 7-8 on Google to the first 1-3, or from the second page to the first page.
Getting an effective networking strategy requires setting up a solid methodology for promoting your website and its content on search engines. Again, a competitive analysis is essential to know the existing opportunities and the action plan adopted by competitors.
Measure the performance of your SEO strategy
To know if your SEO strategy is effective, it is essential to measure its performance using platforms such as Google Analytics. It is essential to obtain the results on your organic traffic, to know the conversions generated thanks to SEO or, more generally, to know your return on investment (ROI). The Google Search Console is also an indispensable tool for carrying out the monthly technical monitoring of your site. However, other tools make it possible to complement this technical watch, such as Screaming Frog.
Although SEO is constantly evolving, these three pillars remain fundamental to designing an effective SEO strategy. However, it is necessary to carry out permanent monitoring to learn about new practices and techniques and to adapt the actions implemented.