SEO The Basics Every Beginner Should Know
Taking a website to the highest positions in the results of the main search engines implies using SEO tools, and acronyms that correspond to Search Engine Optimization. We have compiled the basic concepts and the most common terms when it comes to SEO optimization of web pages.
What is SEO?
For some years now, search engine optimization (SEO) has been one of the main branches of Online Marketing and its operation is very simple: quality content, focused on the user, gets a better position in search engines. While SEO is based on the organic or natural positioning of a website based on its content, SEA or Search Engine Advertising seeks to improve it through paid advertising. Both areas are part of search engine marketing or SEM (Search Engine Marketing). The latter generally defines all online marketing activity in search engines.
Organic and sponsored results
When a search is carried out on the web, two lists of results are obtained, the organic and the sponsored, the latter being the result of paid advertising campaigns carried out with the Google AdWords tool. These sponsored links appear in the results as such, visually differentiated from the organic ones, which are the result of proper content optimization thanks to prior SEO analysis, and not paid campaigns.
What is the goal of SEO?
The idea is basically to get an online project, be it a store, a blog, or a news portal, to appear at the top of Google’s organic results list. For this, it is necessary to optimize the contents of the web according to the most relevant keywords searched by users. For example, a page that sells women’s handbags will be interested in search terms like “cheap women’s handbags”, “buy women’s handbags” and other possible variations.
If you manage to position yourself among the first positions, you will have a better chance of getting a potential customer to click on your link. And although there are other search engines such as Bing or Yahoo, Google is still the most used search engine worldwide.
Advantages and disadvantages of SEO
One of the great advantages of the application of SEO techniques is profitability, since positioning is not achieved by paying, but is the result of well-achieved content. The organic optimization of a web page implies a greater investment of time and money, but compared to the expenses involved in a paid campaign, the long-term results are more satisfactory.
Once Google has detected that a web page is frequently visited by readers or customers and that, depending on the offer, they also buy from it and recommend it in their circle, it is possible to build a good online reputation, thus improving the position of the web page. website in the search engine ranking.
Thanks to the large number of SEO analysis tools available, such as SISTRIX or Searchmetrics, it is possible to analyze the success of your website, as well as that of the competition, to see what measures have worked on other pages.
SEO has its downsides too, including being dependent on Google and regularly updating it. A good SEO strategy that has worked well for months can stop doing so with a new Google algorithm update. Building a good reputation can take weeks or even months, and involves costs that are hard to foresee, while paid advertising often yields results in a few hours. Of course, once the SEA (paid advertising) campaign is over, the page loses visibility quite quickly, while SEO optimization guarantees positive results that are maintained in the long term.
OnPage and OffPage SEO Basics
SEO is applied in two large areas: OnPage and OffPage. With SEO OnPage, visibility is achieved through the structure and quality of the web page: content, format, and images, among others, play a fundamental role. OffPage SEO, on the other hand, deals with carrying out measures outside of a web page: seeking to indicate to Google that its contents are also relevant to readers of other websites. Here it is decisive to have external links. A successful SEO strategy must take these two aspects into account.
OnPage optimization consists of all those actions that are carried out within the same page, so that they depend to a large extent on the administrator and not on third parties, as in the case of OffPage. It deals above all with the adaptation of the contents, although the structural and technical components also play an important role.
The most important fields of action of SEO OnPage :
- Content: Our objective is to offer information of great value, new and relevant, what is called unique content in marketing ( Unique Content ). Duplicate content and plagiarism of information are not allowed, and the use of keywords must not exceed what is readable, being able to use synonyms. It should not be forgotten that the texts are addressed to a person, not exclusively to the Google robot.
- Structure: In addition to good content, formatting elements such as headings, subheadings, paragraphs, and lists increase the readability of articles for both the user and Google.
- Multimedia content: Images, videos, and graphics are an ideal medium for enriching texts, but for Google to be able to “read” them, the keyword or keywords must also be found in the file name, in the title, and in the description (Alt).
- Metadata: The so-called meta tags include information that browsers and search engines can interpret. The most important attributes for OnPage optimization are the title and the description.
- Links: Internal links not only help users to navigate a page but also to Google. When it comes to optimizing the internal link structure, it is essential that the clickstream, or the path that a user follows and its registration, is not very long.
- Programming: Another aspect to take into account is the optimization of the source code, where a friendly design for search engines can also be applied: excessive loading times, crashes, or code errors are fatal signs for Google.
OffPage optimization includes those practices that indirectly affect the page, that is, they take place “outside” the page – unlike OnPage, which takes place on the website itself. They can be considered as a kind of “signals” that point to the web page from the outside and that Google interprets as “votes of confidence”.
When page A links to page B, it favors the online reputation of page B, since Google understands that the content of this page is especially relevant; page B increases your authority and therefore your positioning. Backlinks (incoming links) and mentions from other pages or social networks are, thus, very important factors to take into account when it comes to getting a good position in the list of results.
The most important fields of action of SEO OffPage:
Links are one of the most important factors when it comes to positioning a web page since they serve to measure the degree of estimation of a page. This is why the creation of links or link building concentrates a large part of the efforts of SEO OffPage. This concept defines the set of measures that are taken to generate incoming links (it is not about quantity here, but quality) and achieves agreements with third parties through various strategies.
This concept refers to all those indicators that come from social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Tik Tok Linkedin, or Instagram, although in some cases it can also include comments on blogs.
Although there are no official figures that support the importance of these signals for search engine positioning and the opinions of the experts are different in this area, it is a fact that the positive signals (the number of “likes”, the times that they are share content and comments) are not entirely irrelevant.
Those companies that are active in social networks through contests, surveys, and other strategies, achieve an increase in visibility, qualified visits, and customer engagement.