Improve your SEO referencing, what for?
SEO has never been more alive than in recent years. With the increase in competition between companies on the web – which are passing the digital transformation stage -, the search for consultants has exploded.
But then, what does it change to improve your natural referencing?
- Amplification of website visibility
- Retrieval of qualified prospects
- Increased site traffic
- Improved conversion rate
- Business revenue boost
SEO has become a real workhorse. Indeed, a gain of a place in the SERP can double the traffic of a page.
It is true that SEO traffic is experiencing a slight decline due to the ever-increasing use of social networks. We will talk about it again in action N ° 9.
So, what actions should you put in place now to gain visibility quickly?
Clocky on her cellphone while waiting for the next train
Action N ° 1: Design your site for mobile
Mobile traffic has been growing steadily for years, and Google has understood that. Until August 2018, it crawled the sites in their computer version. Now Google analyzes them all in mobile version.
For your site to comply with this procedure, you must provide a responsive version to mobile users (yes, that’s what they are called).
The 2 versions offer a totally different experience. On the mobile version of your site, you must respect new rules, such as facilitating navigation or adapting the size of the content.
It is even said that today a site should be built in a mobile version and then adapted for the computer.
Responsive design improves your positioning, and also your bounce rate. The latter is a given that you must follow regularly. We will talk about this again when we discuss Google Analytics, with the bonus action.
To continue on the technique, it is also necessary to have an irreproachable loading time. This is what we will see right away.
Action N ° 2: Reduce loading time
Loading time is a metric taken into account by Google in 2021 to improve its natural referencing. This is a given that visitors, in a perpetual race against time, no longer neglect. On average, if your site takes more than 3 seconds to load, you lose half of your audience.
So, to have top natural referencing, you have to have top performance.
User experience, Google’s new criterion in 2021
In May 2021, Google decided to double down on site performance. With the Core Web Vitals project, Google adds all the site load speed data.
But this criterion, part of the 200+ positioning criteria, is only a grain of sand. In reality, a site’s loading speed should be a priority for everyone, just so as not to lose 50% of their visitors along the way.
Images, the sit’s heavyweight
Embedding images is a good technique to ventilate the content of a page, but it’s also a type of content that weighs heavily on a site.
So to gain in performance, and in loading time, you have to compress them. For that, you can use dedicated Word Press plugins, like Imagify (which is my preference), or external sites, like Tinypng.
You can also use the vector format, in .svg, 90% less heavy than PNG or JPG.
However, they can take up space and weight very quickly, because of the multiplication of lines. To counter this, we apply minification. It consists of grouping together a maximum of code from the same file. No more long lines of code (with lots of newlines)!
With this technique, we remove all comments and spaces, to keep only the essential, the code. This gain allows (once again) to gain in performance.
Clocky shoots a video on a green screen in a studio
Action N ° 3: The video, the new El Dorado
What? Haven’t you started in the video yet?
So take a good look at these numbers:
- Video generates 80% more conversions
- It has a 50 times higher probability of being classified in the organic results
- Blog posts with video attract 3 times more backlinks
- You can have a 157% increase in your organic traffic
It is also not for nothing that Google bought YouTube in 2006. The latter is the second most used search engine in the world.
The video can improve your SEO and boost your position, then what do you expect to run you?
- Store your videos on YouTube
- Optimize them for YouTube SEO
- Integrate them into your site to limit the weight
Action N ° 4: Find the right keywords
The famous keywords everyone wants them, but no one really knows how to put them in place. In SEO, we will not speak of keywords, but of search intentions or queries.
The difference is that an SEO consultant will seek to improve your natural referencing on the searches made by Internet users.
For that, we will use 3 tools:
- The first is a competitive analysis tool. Yes, the goal is to stay ahead of its competition, so you have to know on which requests it is positioned in the SERPs. SEMrush or Ahref, are perfect instruments for this, but they are not free.
- The second is Google’s Keyword Planner. It allows you to do query analysis. With it, you can know the average number of searches for a query. By doing this study, you find the ones that are best suited to the content you want to write.
- And finally, the last one is simply Google itself. Yes, the search engine has specific queries, including “allintitle: [The name of your query]”.
Action N ° 5: Write rich and quality content
I can’t repeat it enough, but the content is the basis of good positioning. Google likes to be given it. Beyond a search engine, it becomes a response engine. And if what you write perfectly answers the question of an Internet user, then he will position you above the others.
But how do you write content that is both comprehensive and of high quality?
As I explain in the article on how to start a blog, you have to follow a plan. With it, you will gain in efficiency and you will no longer even have the impression of writing long articles because your ideas will already be in place and you will have “only to fill in” (yes it is easy to say).
Action N ° 6: Do not have duplicate content
Be careful with duplicate content. Someone who wants to improve their SEO should not have this kind of problem.
Duplicate content is similar or even identical content on multiple pages on the same site, or on a page on another site. Although this does not generate any penalty on Google’s side, only one of the content will be indexed.
And there, it is Google which decides. And quite often, it doesn’t necessarily choose the most recent content, but that of the most authoritative site.
In fact, it’s even wasting your time, because you created a page on your site for nothing.
I would also add to be careful not to try to position several pages on the same keyword. One page = one target request. By doing this, you can be sure that you don’t have internal duplicate content.
However, there is always the risk of receiving negative SEO from other sites, which create pages with similar content. We see you the black hat!
I just advised you not to create multiple pages for the same query, this is called keyword cannibalization.
What happens to this kind of page is that in addition to dealing with the same subject, it distills the positions and therefore loses some traffic.
My recommendation, in this case, is to analyze which page has the best position/backlinks/traffic ratio and consolidate it with the other pages.
For that, you just have to integrate the content of other pages to the one considered as “parent”, and to redirect the old ones to the new one. In no time it will easily gain a few places in the SERP, and get you a new flow of traffic.
Action N ° 7: Optimize titles and HTML tags
Headlines and HTML tags play a key role in content production and SERP positioning. So if you optimize them well, I’m sure your page will gain places.
Write titles anchored in semantics
The H1 title of a page is essential in SEO. It is he who will determine the topic addressed. But be careful not to neglect the subtitles either, which add depth to the subject.
The titles, regardless of their level (H1-H6), must correspond to the semantics of the theme of your page. Each of them is there to deepen a part of the main subject of the query you want to achieve.
It is also necessary to respect a certain hierarchy, which avoids confusion. A good title structure should start with an H1 followed by H2, H3, and so on. We must avoid going from an H2 to an H4 for example, because the structure becomes wobbly, and has no intermediate subject to cling to.
Clocky shows you the difference between good and bad HTML title hierarchy
Write title and Meta “description” tags
Although they are not useful for positioning, these 2 tags have an indirect effect on SEO.
Indeed, they are the ones that will be displayed in the SERPs.
Let us take the case of 2 sites. The first is in 2 nd position with a bland title, which is not at all catchy. The second on the other hand is in 3rd position but has a really attractive title.
Which one are you going to click? Probably the second, because it will have managed to catch your eye and make you want to visit it.
The “meta description” is there to support what the title tag says. On approximately 160 characters, you will be able to describe what the Internet user will find on your page. The goal is always to make this paragraph attractive so that the visitor clicks on your link.
The “Camel case” system
It is a system that consists of putting all the first letters of the title tag, in uppercase. It is a very widespread system in digital marketing which makes it possible to naturally draw the eye to this link rather than another.
Some people do not like this practice at all because it is not good French. For my part, drawing your attention to my link is the most important!
The alt attribute, often forgotten and yet very useful
We regularly see, through site audits, that the alt attribute (or alternative text) of images is forgotten. However, it has an essential function for search engines. It is he who explains the content of an image.
Originally, this attribute was used to help visually impaired people understand the correspondence of an image, via an audio transcription tool.
And precisely, as I have already been told, Google is the biggest blind in the world. It needs to understand everything on the page and therefore uses this attribute to identify images.
So, I often say that you should not hesitate to place your main keyword there because it allows positioning in Google Images. But we must not forget that the goal is also to place this image on what it really represents.
A test, well known to consultants, was carried out in 2011. I’ll let you discover the result by simply typing “anchovy pizza” in Google Images. You will see that, even years later, the result is still there.
Action N ° 8: Work on your internal network
So there we are still entering the technique, but it is very important!
When you want to improve your natural referencing, having a good internal network can really change everything.
The principle is to make links between the different pages of the site. Oftentimes, these links are made a little thoughtlessly, depending on ideas.
The problem is, the SEO juice gets super diluted. Imagine a good bottle of rum to which you add a bottle of water, that doesn’t make sense! Well for the mesh it is exactly the same.
To achieve a clean mesh, you will have to think upstream on the pages that are and will be present on your site. The best thing, in this case, is to use a mind map system to create your system in silos or cocoons.
What is a silo system?
It is a principle that recommends not to make communicate one type of content with another. The SEO juice is then shared only by the pages coming from the same silo.
To be clearer on this procedure, here is an explanatory diagram.
Clocky features a silo site structure
What is a semantic cocoon?
Unlike the Silo, the cocoon goes further in the mesh.
This method is defined by Laurent Bourrelly, its creator, in one sentence “Who is in relation with what and why? “
The goal of this formula is to create meaningful connections between them. A strong link will be positioned at the start of the text. While a list of links, as can be done at the end of a blog post, will have a much lower weight.
We then speak of mother-daughter and sister-sister relationships. The first denotes up and downlinks, while the second denotes links of the same level.
And to illustrate this, I also offer you a more precise diagram.
Clocky tries to understand the structure of a semantic cocoon
Action N ° 9: Don’t overlook the power of social networks
Although they do not promote positioning in the SERPs, social networks have a significant role in obtaining high traffic.
Vary the sources of traffic, allows you to have stable traffic on your site. Especially since visitors will likely be more qualified since they interact directly with the content they follow.
But be careful not to believe this old legend that says social networks will improve your SEO. All links, regardless of the network (even Pinterest), are nofollow links. That is to say when Google walks past, it ignores them (almost) completely.
But if you have a large community that follows you on social networks, it would be a shame to deprive yourself of it.
Action N ° 10: Get backlinks from authoritative sites
And talk about links, let’s talk about the famous external links or backlinks for English speakers. Everyone wants it, some even think that the more we have, the faster we will progress in the SERPs.
So I’m telling you right now, forget about that idea. If you want a bond that saves you places, then it’s better to have a bossy bond than 10 weak.
But how do you get this famous Grail?
Here are 3 ways to get external links:
- Produce magnetic content
- Write a guest post on an authoritative site
- Replace a broken link
But be careful not to get fooled (well, that very rarely happens with really authoritarian sites). The “external link” remains an exchange of good process: you produce good content, I reference it on my site by linking to yours. But nothing guarantees the longevity of it.
If overnight, someone produces better content than you, then your link may disappear in favor of the new one.
And monitor the optimization of the anchors. If you end up with a “click here” or “discover” style link anchor, immediately request a change from the site owner. An oversight can happen, but a penalty is difficult to recover.
Bonus action: Use Google tools
By force, we know them, but a little repetition never hurts. One allows you to follow the statistics of your site, the other the performance and positioning opportunities.
Track your statistics with Google Analytics
Well known in all areas of the web, Google Analytics is clearly the benchmark for tracking and analyzing your statistics.
With this tool, you can, among other things, know:
- The number of unique visitors
- The bounce rate
- The source of your traffic
- Which pages convert the best
- The time spent on a page
In short, there is plenty to please you with all the data that is collected. This is the tool that must be put in place as soon as the site goes online, to follow its evolution over time. This is also how I saw my traffic double in just 2 months.
Discover opportunities with Google Search Console
A little less known to the general public, and yet essential too, Google Search Console is a site that allows you to follow the technical data of your site.
In particular, you will be able to:
- Know which pages are indexed or not
- Make an indexation request (when you publish a new blog post for example)
- Discover on which requests you position yourself
- What average position are you in
- Have information on the pages that can be positioned on structured data
- Make deletion requests (although in the end, it is Google who decides if it takes it into account or not)
Thanks to this knowledge, you can establish new strategies and discover new queries in which to position yourself. When we know that 20% of searches made in Google have never been done before, then there are plenty of opportunities to find new ideas for content, for example.
If you take these 10 actions in place, you can be sure that your site will start to take off. As a reminder, here is what you need to do, starting today:
- Create a responsive site
- Reduce loading time
- Find effective and attainable keywords
- Write content that brings added value to the visitor
- Have no duplicate content or pages that cannibalize keywords
- Optimize titles and HTML tags
- Work the internal mesh
- Using the power of social media to get traffic
- Get links from authoritative sites
- Analyze its performance and find new keywords with Google tools