1st Pillar: Website optimization
Of course, we are assuming that your company has already got a website. And we assume it was done appropriately for your audience.
What we need to emphasize here is: the quality of your website will determine the user experience when he access your content.
What are we talking about? Ease of use, good navigation, good layout, proper functioning in cellphone, speed of loading.
And in order not to be technical, let’s we use a metaphor already used here on our blog: a physical store.
Suppose you come to the store and want to buy something. It may be that you are not completely sure about what you are looking for. But you certainly have an idea.
And what is your intention in visiting the store? You want to find what you’re looking for, or not. In a quick and smooth manner, having a good experience.
But then what happens is you enter the store and:
- the window does not show anything;
- the store is dark;
- sellers are rude;
- the signs are horrible, and you can not find what you want;
- Products are not well organized;
- the decor is ugly.
Quite possibly, the establishment had what you want. But you won’t give it a chance, because it is not enough to have the answer alone. It is also necessary to provide a good experience.
And coming back to your site: it is the same thing, with no complications at all. If your site does not offer a good experience, the user goes away once and for all. And Google knows it.
So if you want to ensure a good position on Google, you need to have a good website. Improve it every month. Monitor errors, optimize speed.
In order to simplify, take note of this:
Principles for website optimization
There is no particular order:
- have a nice layout;
- offer a simple navigation;
- make your proposition clear on the first page;
- ensure the site can load fast (maximum 3 seconds);
- have a good usability on cellphone.
Start by these principles and things are going to pan out.
Pillar 2: Content Production
What does Google want to offer to the person who is searching? An answer.
And what’s the answer? Content. That’s all.
But the big question is: do you have the answer?
I’m sure you have. Why? Because there are good chances your business, your company has been around for some time. So you’ve already researched, sold, studied, clashed with competitors.
Anyway, you understand about it. You know what you do. So, you have content. If someone asks you about your area, about your product, I have no doubt that you will be able to present a solution.
But what is all this knowledge good for, if it is there inside your head? Your audience does not read minds. And Google – even though it wants your answer – cannot read minds either. So you need to take all this expertise out from your mind and place it on your site.
We are talking about producing content: texts, videos, images. It must be content in a format your audience wants.
We don’t want to be too generic, so here it goes some quick tips or you to put this in practice and get started now.
Find out what your audience is looking for
Talk to your customer and / or potential customer. If that is difficult, ask anyone who deals with this public on a daily basis inside your company.
Ask them about their doubts, the things they don’t understand, what they would like to know about your product and segment … And write down everything.
Translate that into keywords
Take note of the question your audience is trying to do, and simplify it as much as possible.
Remember that human beings are lazy. If one can simplify a search term, he or she will do it.
Your role is to generate a list of words. Include variations, synonyms and misspellings.
Of course, there are tools that will offer you this. But first we just focus on simple stuff. Make it yourself, using common sense and your knowledge of the audience.
Test on Google
Now take some of the words you listed and throw them on Google.
See the quantity of results. Visit those sites and check the contents. Are the answers good enough? Can you do better? What about te video content? Is there any image? Or texts?
Separate those words with more results and the weakest vulnerable content. You will start with them.
Produce. Start writing.
Writing will consume your time only. You will not need to hire anyone.
And I know it is going to be difficult at the beginning, your text won’t look that great. However, it is only through practice that everything is going to work.
Just start it. Your audience wants those answers. And Google wants to deliver them. Still, this will only happen if you make this content available on your website.
Pillar 3: Conquer Backlinks Conquer
This is a pillar that will require much effort, but it can not be neglected.
First of all, what are backlinks?
Simply put, they are links from other sites pointing to yours. That is to say, if a blog or a website produced a text and placed a link to your site within their content, you got a backlink.
And why is this important? Because this is one of the basic fundamentals of PageRank, the algorithm that transformed Google into what it is today.
In practice, this algorithm counts the quantity and quality of links pointing to your site. And through that, it gives to your channel an authority score, which will determine whether you should be better positioned in the search or not.
Making a simple metaphor, let’s say you have cataloged ten barbers. You need to put the ten professionals in order of quality.
But you have never been in any of them, and you have no time to go there. The only way to measure the credibility of each one would be asking a group of people, whose only possible answer consists in announcing the barber’s name.
After receiving the feedback from that people, you will have a number to assign to each barber. That’s the amount of mentions they received.
And what is the logic behind that? Probably, those who indicated the barber know his job, or at least had heard about its quality.
That’s what Google’s algorithm does. It collects “recommendations” from other sites about your own. He also evaluates the quality of such statements, based on the authority of who indicated.
And how do you do in order to get those backlinks? We will address it according to the most common types of them, namely:
- organic backlinks;
- backlinks conquered;
- purchased backlinks.
Let’s talk a little about each one.
These are the best backlinks that may exist.
They are external links you got for producing a robust content, one of good quality . This content was found and somebody referenced it without even talking to you.
In other words, this is the word-of-mouth “recommendation” you receive simply because you are good.
How to achieve this type of backlink? Make an unique, robust and compelling content.
Here we have the external links your company will have to work to achieve: by means of an integrated work of content production, press office and SEO management.
In practice, you will need to follow a few steps:
- identify relevant channels to get links (websites, blogs, portals belonging to your segment and have some connection with your contents);
- figure out who is responsible for that channel (the editor, blog owner, owner of the company, etc.);
- open the channel, making contact with that responsible person;
- produce content, creating texts and materials for the editor to publish on their channel, referencing your company;
- follow the links and ensure they are not lost and are configured properly.
No, it is not easy and requires a lot of dedication. But as we talked before, conquering backlinks will affect heavily in your ranking. Then this routine needs to be considered.
Sorry for the Caps Lock, but it is important to make clear this practice must never be done.
First, because buying backlinks usually have the same problem than buying e-mail lists. You will invest in capturing a disqualified return.
Second, and this is why you should never buy links: Google does not allow . And if it finds out you’re acquiring backlinks using money, it will punish you and take your site from search results.
After that, standing up on your feet again won’t be easy at all. So, never try to do that.
But why all this drama? Because, as we told already, this is the foundation of indication algorithm. And what your company would be doing if you joined this kind of practice is nothing else than cheating Google’s rules.
Using the barber metaphor, it’s like one of the professionals were paying people to speak well of him. This would certainly affect the quality of your categorization, wouldn’t it?
Translating to simple words:
|Type||How to get|
|organic backlink||Produce unique and robust content|
|Conquered backlink||Identify channels and produce content for them|
|Purchased backlink||Never adopt this strategy|
Bonus: control and measurement
With the three pillars working together, everything will flow smoothly. However, we cannot forget to measure.
After all, without measurement you will never know where to improve, right?
However, following the same reasoning of keeping things simple, the indicators that you should work on SEO strategy are quite straightforward:
- organic visits (traffic coming from Google);
- Organic leads (entries generated by Google traffic).
In order to measure both, there is not much secret. An account on Google Analytics would be more than enough.
The idea behind following up these numbers is simple: to unlock the great potential SEO can bring about, which is the constant optimization.
With visits and data entries, you will know what contents generate more hits, which words bring a greater return, and which pages generate more sales.
And thanks to such information, you will be able to improve your content, adapting your site in order to seek new backlinks. In short, you have clear guidelines to work with the 3 pillars of your SEO strategy.
Despite of that, of course, you need to be accountable to someone in your company (even if it is to yourself), and that person will want to see the numbers.
Therefore, more than knowing what should be improved, you will also be provided with data to justify all the time invested in SEO and why it is necessary to keep going in that direction.
How to succeed with SEO
Admittedly, there are several other issues to be considered for enhancing the results with SEO.
There are technical issues and advanced approaches, which many Brazilian companies are not addressing yet.
But the point is that working on a supposedly “advanced” SEO will not ensure in such a hard environment.
So what’s the secret of success in SEO? It is consistency.
Focus on the long term. Act daily, improve your site, produce content, achieve backlinks and measure. All that is done routinely, every week and every month.
In practice, do not succumb to fires.
Yes, your company can work with immediacy actions. Perhaps it uses sponsored links, quick promotions. This is interesting and valid.
However, the SEO strategy requires consistency and dedication. In this way, your company gets there.
So don’t allow your motivation to fall apart. Keep on moving. Others will give up on the way. But by means of such dedication, only your company will arrive at the top of searches.