What are Google's ranking criteria?
There are indeed other search engines such as Bing and Yahoo, however, Google seems to be the preferred search engine by Internet users. Thus, to optimize your position in the SERP or search engine results page, it is necessary to know Google's SEO ranking criteria.
The composition of the search engine directory
A search engine with all the pages published on the internet can be likened to a directory. The composition of the latter is the work of robots or crawlers. More concretely, engine robots collect data and index each page of a website.
Attention, this technical part essential to natural SEO must be activated by content creators. In general, this task is assigned to professionals working in an agency specializing in SEO website.
Google natural referencing: the criteria
After indexing or crawling by the robots, the search engine takes over. It performs an SEO analysis and examines the following points:
- The content of each page of the site;
- The title of the web page;
- The different titles;
- The code of the website;
- The links;
- The images;
- The loading speed of each page.
Here, it is thus a question of respecting to the letter the instructions of the Google algorithm to have a good referencing website.
Good to know: A slow page loading originates from a too loaded code. The disadvantage to this is that robots have trouble indexing them quickly. Therefore, the page will not appear in the first natural results.
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How does SEO work?
For your SEO strategy to work, it is imperative to work on SEO. This work revolves around several practices.
Knowing the search intentions of Internet users
In order for Google or other search engines to link to the pages of your site, you need to know beforehand what people are going to type. This is why it is imperative to choose your keywords carefully. If this is done correctly, the search engine robots will make your pages come out among the first results.
The robots perform this function by studying the different elements of the pages of your site. They also observe their relevance according to the keyword typed in the search bar. Finally, the information is cross-referenced with a lot of data to increase the chances of answering the user's query. All this is done in a few milliseconds.
The good practice of SEO techniques promotes good visibility on the first page of search engines.
Search engines offer a good position to websites, whose pages have :
- Rich content.
- Keywords adapted to the topics covered.
- A well worked semantic field.
- External links.
Other parameters also come into play such as the age of the site itself, its volume of pages, its popularity among Internet users ... Once all this is taken into account, the search engine used determines the order of priority of the results to be displayed on the SERP.
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How to improve your SEO?
Several SEO techniques can be adopted to improve the visibility of a site. Here they are.
Structuring articles using Hn tags
Hn tags are particularly useful for structuring an article. Among other things, they represent your titles and subtitles, their purpose is to make reading easier for your readers.
The first beacon is the H1 beacon. This one is unique and contains the main title. It is also the one that allows search engines to know the subject matter. In this regard, it must contain the main keyword and secondary keywords to optimize your positioning in the results pages.
Your page or article must also have H2 or subtitles. You can write more than one. This in order to obtain a satisfactory reading optimization. Obviously, these H2 tags can and should include keywords. Although these will have less importance than in the title tag.
After the H2 beacons, there are the H3 beacons which correspond to sub-subtitles. It is possible to go as far as the H6 tags and integrate the main keyword and secondary keywords into each tag.
SEO techniques: inserting images and meta description
Currently, Google search is being revitalized by image search. Indeed, in its goal to be a complete encyclopedia, this search engine giant has developed Google Lens. This technology allows objects to be identified from images and visually searched. So to guarantee the good SEO of your web pages, it can be interesting to add images to your content.
Be careful, simply adding images for engine optimization is far from enough. It is also important to give them a title. This is done by filling in the title tag. You can use keywords corresponding to the image. Anyway naming your images allows search engines to identify them. To check their work, also use the alt tag or alt attribute. It represents a description of the image that can be read by screen readers. Not only does the alt tag make it possible to appear in the natural results, but it can also convince the user to click on the image.
Finally, there is the meta description tag. This is the small descriptive text found under the title of the different pages in Google searches. Meta description tags have a null value for search engines. On the other hand, they can convince the Internet user to read your article. Write them carefully.
Writing a qualitative and unique content
Search engine optimization strategy involves creating quality content. This means that your article must provide an answer or a solution to the Internet user. Indeed, when the latter consults pages or websites in order to satisfy a need.
If the content of the page proves to be of poor quality, the user will spend little time consulting it. This low time is recorded by search engines. They understand that your site provides an unsatisfactory user experience. As a result, the referencing of your website and its traffic will go down. Note that the association between SEO and user experience or UX is called SXO.
It is also known that search engines do not appreciate duplicate content. In principle, search engines favour sites that have published a particular topic first. If your article is too similar to this one, the quality of your site is negatively impacted and it will appear in the background pages of the search results.
You can easily check the uniqueness of your content using online SEO tools.
Thinking SEO content of articles for the audience
A good Search Engine Optimization strategy also includes content designed for your audience. After all, it is the Internet users or visitors who generate traffic and by extension inform about the quality of your site. So make your article engaging and enjoyable to read.
In addition, if users find the answers to their questions on your site, they will share your articles. This snowball effect will improve your SEO performance.
Add internal and external links for top SEO optimization
Existing SEO techniques include the addition of internal and external links.
Adding internal links is also called internal mesh. Its purpose is twofold:
- To make it easier for web surfers to navigate on your site.
- Transmit the authority of your main page to one or more subpages.
Netlinking represents another added value for your traffic and authority. This SEO strategy consists of creating links from other websites and integrating them into your own. During this step, make sure that links to other websites are in "Do Follow". This way, the authority will be transmitted and your SEO can be done.
Building audience loyalty by creating a community
Building a community around your website can be beneficial for your SEO. Do this by creating groups or pages on social networks such as Instagram and Facebook. Also, encourage users to subscribe to follow your news, new features, watch your new video or read your most recent article.
Implementing this trick helps you interact with your audience. However, the real advantage is that you can keep your users coming back to read or view your latest content. Maybe they will even share them, which will attract new members.
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What is the difference between on-page and off-page optimization?
When the term referencing the pages of a site is mentioned, it is also necessary to talk about on-page and off-page referencing techniques.
On-page optimization to strengthen the SEO of a website
An on-page SEO optimization gathers all the actions to be implemented directly on your web pages. More concretely, it is about :
- Main keyword and secondary keywords with their density;
- Alt tags of the images with the keywords;
- Title tags;
- Content of your pages;
- Meta description;
- Site loading speed ;
- Link structure.
In short everything that helps search engines to identify your content. Although an on-page optimization improves your search engine optimization ranking, it can be accompanied by an off-page referencing.
Improving the visibility of a site with an off-page optimization
The term off-page SEO encompasses all the actions that can be taken outside your site to make it rise in Google's natural results. It is mainly the creation of external links or backlinks.
For example if a third party website raises the relevance of an article on one of your pages, Google will give more weight to it. So more traffic to your site.
Another off-page practice that can lead to a better Google referencing is the mention of your company on social networks. Indeed, Search Engine Optimization takes into account this parameter.
Understand then that with off-page, it is mostly other websites and people who work on your natural referencing. Nevertheless, you have the possibility to do off-page work yourself. In particular by publishing an article written by you on other sites. This implies that this content has a link leading to your site.
You can easily move up in Google search results by working with an SEO agency chosen by Sortlist.
What is the difference with ASP?
SEA is another term related to digital marketing. It stands for Search Engine Advertising, which translates into search engine advertising. Unlike SEO, this process consists of advertising directly on Google and search engines. However, the differences between these two marketing techniques go even further.
SEA, more immediate results than SEO
The objective of ATS is the same as that of SEO: to increase the traffic on your website. On the other hand, the former offers immediate results. The latter results in your ads appearing at the top of the organic results.
Be aware that in order for your ATS strategy to work, it is important to pay advertising or pay-per-click fees. This also means that if you stop paying, your ads will no longer appear at the top of the list.
ATS allows you to fine-tune your word selection and marketing content strategy.
While an SEO marketing strategy can be beneficial to your visibility, organic results do not tell you which keyword was typed to get to your site.
By opting for SEA, Google Ads will provide you with just that information. This way, you will also be able to know at what price keywords are converted. What's more, you will be able to reuse these keywords in the content of an article and a video.
Furthermore, ATS is very accurate in that it allows you to target :
- Geographical areas.
- A specific audience.
- Internet users according to the language spoken.
- The devices used during the search.
SEO gives more lasting results
With ATS, you have to pay to see your advertising links in Google's top search results.
In the case of SEO, the traffic is generated organically or for free. This implies constant efforts. However, the development of traffic and visibility is more sustainable.
Because of this constant investment, some companies prefer to entrust this task to a content marketing and consulting agency.
Digital marketing SEA: better visibility of your ads on Google
A particularly interesting parameter with SEA is having more space for your commercial messages. Indeed, Google normally reserves the same space for all its proposals.
With paid search ads, Google displays additional information such as :
- The location of your business and your different points of sale.
- Your opening hours.
- Your contact information.
- The possibility to learn more about your company by clicking on a dedicated link.
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How to do an SEO audit?
The SEO audit consists of a series of updates to increase traffic and optimize natural referencing. It can be done at any time in the life of your website. This step is carried out by controlling several points of your search engine optimization project. Here are some of these points.
Accessibility: putting your site in HTML format
Another parameter that can facilitate the accessibility of your website is the organization of its architecture. The clearer this is, the better search engines can link the different contents and Internet users will find answers more easily to any queries they may have.
In short, guaranteeing the accessibility of your site guarantees a better user experience.
Optimize the writing of URLs for a better natural SEO referencing
A good URL is a URL that takes the main idea of the page and indicates the position of this page in relation to the main one. This while being short, clear and incorporating the main keyword.
Example of a good URL: www.votresite.fr/sports/accessoires/raquettes/.
A bad URL would be: www.votresite.fr/sports/accessoires/accessoires-de-sports-raquettes.
Analyze the sub-domains and possibly transform them into categories.
Today engine robots are able to identify whether a sub-domain is attached to a domain name or not. Despite this, it is still interesting to check the traffic generated by each sub-domain. If one of them is not well indexed or poses a SEO concern, it would be wise to transform it.
The transformation would be done from sub-domain to category. On the other hand, if the sub-domains of your site perform well in SEO, no need to change them.
SEO: think mobile friendly to appear in Google mobile searches
Mobile compatibility is a factor taken into account by Google for natural referencing. Indeed, most searches on the net are done from a smartphone or a mobile device. Knowing this, Google encourages websites to be mobile friendly or compatible with mobile devices.
For your information, Google provides a free service to test the mobile compatibility of sites.
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