Are you a website owner, webmaster, or simply wanting to improve the visibility of your business site in Google? Here’s the procedure to follow to Succeed in Google SEO.
What is Google SEO: Definition
In a world of increasing digitalization, visibility has become a crucial need to resist competition and boost the growth of your activities, thanks to the web.
Fortunately, it can be obtained by mastering SEO techniques. Google SEO is a set of means and techniques implemented to make web content appear in search results or to improve its positioning.
Therefore, this practice aims to ensure the presence and visibility of your web content on the most famous search engine, the latter representing more than 92% of the total volume of searches.
In fact, search engines work like a big digital library that receives visitors looking for specific information several times a day. The latter asks a question to the “library,” which, after having examined their research intention, provides them with a series of answers sorted by order of relevance.
Thus, for each request launched by an Internet user, he will have about 10 natural responses on a “SERP” (Search Engine Research Page) without counting paid links (ads). By clicking on page 2, you will have access to other links.
When doing SEO, your job is to make sure that Google presents your web content with the best results, if not at the first position, for queries relating to the keywords interesting for your activity.
The Difference Between Organic SEO and Paid SEO on Google
If you’ve ever wondered how the ads that appear on certain search results pages got there, the answer is simple: by getting your hands on the wallet.
Paid search is therefore paid, as its name suggests! It would be best if you bid on keywords for your ad to appear for those terms. So-called natural SEO, on the other hand, is free (although it takes time and effort to improve your rankings).
SEO, therefore, consists of optimizing your site for Google’s algorithms so that it appears higher in search results, as natural SEO can take some time to produce results. Google Ads is often considered a faster way to get noticed on the search engine giant via the AdWords system or even the Internet. Investment in Google’s local advertising services for good positioning of your site locally and local customers.
However, both types of referrals (free and paid) can effectively reach potential customers.
In this article, we will focus on free search engine optimization and what you can do on your own or with the help of an SEO specialist.
How Does the Google Search Engine Work?
The Google search engine is like a gigantic database of several thousand links that lead to website pages. This data is added to the database by a mechanism known as indexing.
What is Indexing in Google SEO?
This is the process by which Google’s robots automatically crawl the web in search of new data to integrate. They crawl websites looking for modified or newly added pages to update the search engine’s database.
When a web page is present in the search giant’s results, it will be said that it has been indexed. This is the first step to be taken to be visible. That is the first phase of SEO.
In principle, a search engine always identifies new websites created on its own and indexes them, but this can take time (and it is becoming increasingly demanding!)
So instead of waiting several days or weeks for indexing, give a boost by suggesting a passage on your site with a sitemap, which will be submitted to the Google Search Console.
As we have seen, more than just indexing a web page is required. It must be well positioned in the search results to attract more traffic. We come to the second stage of visibility, optimization via SEO.
Since Google constantly updates its database (composed of natural internet links), a website can only claim a definitive position in the SERPs if it meets the necessary conditions to deserve it.
The classification of web pages is done by theme, according to the relevance of the information they contain and a certain number of criteria unrelated to the content.
Considering that several thousand competing websites exist for each sector and niche, SEO is a fight against invisibility. The question is, therefore, what to do to ensure that your site is well positioned.
17 SEO Strategies to Succeed in Google SEO
To improve the ranking of your web pages on the most famous search engine, here are the aspects you need to look into.
1. Optimize Your Site for Mobile
Over the past few years, the volume of mobile searches has grown exponentially! As of 2022, more daily searches are performed on mobile devices than desktops.
With mobile search trends on the rise, you must optimize your website for the user’s experience by ensuring they can easily navigate this version. This is called a good user experience or “UX” and involves having multiple versions of each page, which display differently depending on whether you are using a desktop computer or a smartphone.
Make sure that, web images are optimized properly to avoid blurry/pixelated images when loading on small screens.
Using responsive design techniques helps ensure that pages display exactly as they should, regardless of what device the user is browsing from, making them want to stay.
2. Image File Names
Do you insert images into your pages? So remember to give them a name! The idea is to use a short name containing the relevant keywords with the image, and to your subject, of course, without forgetting to fill in the “ALT” tag, which allows robots to describe an image, visually impaired people or people using a browser that does not display certain images.
An example for your ALT tag? Prefer the phrase: “Lemon meringue cake” to “Cake” only. As for the name of the image, you will use dashes between the words: “Cake-lemon-meringue” will do just fine.
This good way of describing images makes it easier for search engines like crawlers to determine if an image should be part of their index and given a chance of being referenced in Google Images.
You can also add descriptive text below each image, which helps build engagement for readers who want to learn more.
3. Anchor Texts for Good SEO on Google
Anchor text – or link text – is a link’s visible, clickable content. It is usually a distinct color from the adjacent text and is usually underlined. Good link text informs your page visitor of the topic they will land on when they click on your link.
Using your anchor wording correctly helps search engines by providing context (which is good practice!) and increasing the chances of your link being clicked.
Good anchor text optimization can also help increase traffic and conversions by guiding people to certain areas of your site.
An example? Here it is: how to best design your anchor texts for SEO!
4. Check Your Site’s Features
A low-quality rating is given to websites that show signs of a technical failure (404 errors, broken links, orphaned pages, faulty redirects, etc.) that negatively affect the user experience.
If the electronic payment button on your eCommerce site is not working, images are not displaying. If your site needs better loading time on mobile and your theme needs responsive design, you should quickly revise your copy, as it may hurt your overall SEO!
Good SEO starts with working on technical features. And the Mountain View search engine offers a series of free tools, which would be a shame to miss.
If you need to learn more about it, ask an expert or your question at the bottom of this article in the comment box.
5. Original and Updated Content
On the Internet, content is king. On Google, it is the main pillar of SEO.
A good content strategy is based on researching topics, designing an editorial calendar, and choosing a format (blog article, white paper, videos, etc.) for each web page and corresponding perfectly to the search intent related to a query.
Remember to publish regularly: keeping your site up to date encourages indexing robots to visit it regularly. Users are always looking for the most up-to-date information, and Google is trying to please them.
That’s why you need to keep your content up to date for their requests: keep a calendar for updating your content, insert recent images, check competitors’ content, and change dates in the new year.
Example: “12 Horrific Challenges Of Digital Marketing In 2022” will become “12 Horrific Challenges Of Digital Marketing In 2023” from January 2023.
Be sure to avoid copying existing sites. It’s illegal, and you could get a Panda penalty: your page could be downgraded indefinitely.
6. Attractive Content with the Right Keywords
For your content to carry, build your quality, well-written, clear, and useful texts around the lexical field relating to the subject of your page. This involves writing your web pages a certain way, but also – ideally – blog posts and articles on relevant topics and with related keywords.
An easy way to do this is to use keyword research tools to help you create useful text around particular phrases or terms that people may type into their browsers when looking for information on various topics/ products/services.
Find each text’s keywords (main, secondary, long tail) and insert them sensibly.
But “reasonable,” what does that mean?
There is no rule on this, but the simple question is: is it digestible for the reader? Because it is your readers that you will have to think of first during your web writing, and not to please the robots.
The other aspect that should not be overlooked is the quality of the organization and structure of your content: delete or rework all the zombie pages on your site (pages that generate practically no traffic for a year) because they affect the “power” of your site in general. Quality before quantity.
Do you sell products via an eCommerce site?
Feel free to provide a maximum of photos with a detailed presentation, technical specifications, and some links to other references, such as manufacturers’ sites and evaluations.
7. Structure Your H Tags
Structure your texts with H tags (H1, H2, … up to H6) to allow a better-organized display. In addition to making it easier to read and air the text, robots can better understand your content.
The principle is as follows: each page must contain a single H1 tag, the page’s title. Then each subtitle will have the H2 tag. Each H2 can then be subdivided into H3s and each H3 into H4s. This prioritization gives logic, which is also good practice in your SEO.
8. Optimize Your Title Tags
Search engines don’t read content like humans. These are the meta tags that allow them to understand the content of web pages.
The Meta Title tag: This tag appears in blue as a clickable link on the SERPs. Your Meta Title tag must be unique, explanatory, relevant, and short (around 65 characters) to avoid being cut off in the SERPs.
9. Optimizing Your Meta Description
For your website to rank higher in search engine results, it is important to optimize the meta description of each page. This text appears below the link when viewing web pages in Google’s SERPs and helps entice people to click.
Make sure it doesn’t contain any errors or grammatical errors, which could hurt its quality score with Google and discourage people from visiting your site!
The text should be short enough for readers to know exactly what type of content exists on a given webpage but also descriptive enough to understand if it is something they will like.
Got a great meta description? This will make it more likely that people will click on your website rather than another. You have a maximum of 160 characters, be sure to use them to your advantage.
10. Pay Attention to Your URL Formats
When creating your site, it is important to optimize the structure of each URL so that search engine robots can crawl them properly. This involves the use of permalinks which are easier for visitors to remember and share with others online, as well as web crawlers like Googlebot, who use these same URLs in their indexing.
If the URLs are generated automatically, their format is generally not optimized by default. Change them: each URL should be short and configured.
When you design them, make sure that there is a canonical, i.e., reference URL (in case the content is to be published at different URLs), that they contain relevant keywords, but also sufficiently descriptive so that Internet users know what they offer (for example, the name of the product or the title of the article).
These pages should be easy to remember or quick to type if someone wants to visit them from a search result or another website.
Try to design them as best you can from the site’s design. And if you still need to change the URL of a published page, consider making a 301 redirect to make it easier for Internet users and robots.
11. Take Care of Your Site Structure
Any consultant or web marketing agency will tell you: apart from the content, it is important that the structure of your site is optimized.
More simply, Internet users and indexing robots must be able to explore your website easily. You can insert Ariadne’s thread on the site to make navigation easier for them.
As for speed, an optimized web page should be able to load fully in less than 2.5 seconds. If your pages take longer to load, you need to improve their speed.
12. Make an Internal Link
When optimizing your site’s internal linking structure, it’s important to link together relevant pages. This is called internal linking.
Links and their descriptions will be consistent and informative enough for people to understand exactly where they will end up when they click on a link (for example, your blog posts from the same category). These strategies are part of a good “On-site” SEO.
13. Use External Linking
External linking is an SEO technique aimed at increasing the popularity of a web page in the eyes of search engines in order to improve its positioning. It is part of what is called off-page SEO.
However, the best way to do external linking is to negotiate with owners of non-competing sites (referring sites) so that they insert the links of your pages into their content. The more links redirect to your site (backlinks), the more Google will consider you popular.
However, the theme of the partner sites in question must be close to yours and have minimum popularity. Also, the anchors should be descriptive of the content.
Finally, consider diversifying your sources: obtaining a backlink from different referring sites is better than obtaining several from the same one.
From time to time, you will need to check the quality of your backlinks for your Google SEO. Make sure they still exist and are still relevant. Also, check if any unwanted backlinks are directed to your pages and report them via the Google search console.
14. Social Sharing to Increase the Popularity
If social networks do not directly affect SEO, their importance in increasing traffic and your notoriety should be noticed.
Indeed, sharing links on social networks will make you more popular. This encourages more people to Google your name to find out more. Many products or brand names have been searched on Google because people have seen an image or a post about it on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, etc.
15. Take Advantage of Video Format
Everyone has their tastes, but the video format has been very successful for several years with Internet users. Easier to consume, fast, synthetic and lively, it will surely give your web presence an edge.
Do you have an individual Blog or a Blog for your company? So consider turning your articles into videos or integrating them into their content.
In addition, videos can also make you grab several places in Google, thanks to its interactive SERP section called the Video Carousel.
16. Leverage Google Analytics Data
You may already be familiar with Google Analytics for your website; if you still need to, install it as soon as possible.
This free tool provided by the search engine will provide you with a wealth of information about your visitors and help to develop a winning content strategy to attract Internet users to your website and seek to keep them there.
17. Do Not Despair!
A little wink for those who would feel lost in front of the work’s immensity and technicality: the world was not made in a day, and the SEO field is time-consuming and complex.
It requires many years of experience and continuous training in the field, as the developments are going fast.
Feel free to seek advice from our agency, which will offer you a free mini audit, will guide you without obligation, and will be able to assess the amount of work to be carried out, as well as its order of priority according to your means.
Google SEO: Conclusion
So that’s what you need to know for a successful Google SEO. Every aspect should be addressed during your audit and then your optimizations.
Make sure each parameter is worked on, both the content and the technique or the net linking. Continue regularly producing new, quality, optimized content on the right keywords.
Work, for sure, but seeing your web pages climb in the rankings of the SERPs is worth it in terms of return on investment over time.
Frequently Asked Questions
SEO your site on Google for free: is it possible?
It depends on what you mean by free SEO. Generally, so-called “free” search engine optimization consists of having your site indexed by Google.
In short, announce to the search engine that your site is online and ensure that it appears in its library.
But then the positioning “war” begins because you now know that it is not much use for your pages to rank on the 10th page of the search results when you type a link request.
How much does Google SEO cost?
The costs vary depending on the size of your website (10, 100, or 1000 pages?) and the “power” of your competition on the search engine.
Let’s start by distinguishing the fees: what exactly do you have to pay?
√ The service provider’s work: whether for SEO or SEA, your agency or consultant will spend time analyzing your site and your competition, thinking about a strategy that is always personalized (well, normally!). This time spent will therefore be the labor to be counted.
√ Technical improvements and On page: it may be necessary to make certain modifications to your site, to have certain content written, and to create images and infographics, and this will require an investment in development, graphic design, or web writing.
√ External Linking, for SEO: external linking was mentioned above, and the latter has a cost (sometimes insignificant). Your consultant will spend time looking for relevant backlinks for your website, following your competition, and will agree with you on a monthly budget to invest.
Concerning Google Ads paid SEO or the new Local Ads services, you will, of course, have to pay the cost of the ads during the advertising campaign and the configuration made by the service provider if you ask.
How to measure your Google SEO?
You have put all these tips in place to rank your pages better on the search engine.
Then, it will be useful to check if your efforts are bearing fruit and to readjust the shot if necessary. But what to measure to see your progress?
The first thing to do will be to follow the evolution of the positioning of your web pages: are they gaining in position following your improvements, are they stagnating, or are there falls?
For this, many tools are intended for natural SEO to follow the evolution of your keywords. We will, of course, mention the essential (and expensive) SEMrush, Ahrefs.
A second way to analyze your SEO success on Google is to check the traffic from search engines to your site. As advised above, use Google Analytics to track this traffic and see if it is increasing or decreasing.
Another KPI to consider to determine the results of your SEO efforts is to check the inbound backlinks on your website. This shows how many other websites are linking to yours and can be an indicator of the popularity and quality of your content. Do they increase? That’s a good sign!
Again here, the specific tools for SEO should inform you, but if you want to monitor it for free, go to the “links” tab in the left menu of your Google Search Console.
How to do good local SEO?
Sometimes overlooked, local SEO on Google is a strategy that can drastically increase your chances of being seen on the local Internet.
After all, nearly three-quarters of consumers use maps to find local businesses. The principle is to ensure that your site is in a good position on the list for geolocated requests.
To optimize your site for local SEO, register on Google My Business (which will ensure your presence on Google Maps) and insert elements that indicate your radius of action in your meta description and web pages.
Phrases like “restaurant in Brussels ” in your title tags, H1, H2, or text content will contribute positively to your local SEO.
Register in specialized directories whenever possible and keep your information up to date. Be sure to add opinions to your Business Profile (positive is even better!), which will also play a favorable role.