The ultimate purpose of SEO is to make the content produced available to their readers to whom the topic is necessary and topical.
In this article, I will focus on SEO specifically for Google search engine, as well as offering one process for SEO in the form of a short guide.
What makes search engine optimization important to a business is the fact that more and more often the customer does a google search during the buying process. This search is an important purchase signal for the company that should be grabbed – it's like someone carrying a sign at the market: I want to buy strawberries.
Whoever gets to offer strawberries directly to the sign bearer wraps the jams in their pockets, about as figuratively as possible.
Google's mission (*), on the other hand, is to provide the search engine with the most reliable and relevant information available, and to organize and present information in the world in the most useful way possible. Google is, therefore, primarily thinking about the user experience, and the way I recommend is based heavily on emphasizing the user experience and targeting content to the right audience.
* Source: Search principles
Search engine optimization should be seen as continuously improving content, keeping in mind the sign-bearer for which the content is optimized.
In business, however, the goal is to attract the customer and make him order a service in the long run. That is why we should study the competitive situation and develop a strategy: At what stage in the customer's purchasing process do we try to reach the customer, how do we do it? What do competitors do?
In general, the best strategy is a combination of solutions targeted to different stages of the process, but there is no general “one size fits all” strategy.
As a refresher, thecustomer's purchase process:
- Awareness of the problem
- Information retrieval
- Comparison of alternatives
- Purchase decision
- Post-purchase evaluation
What does Search Engine Optimization cost?
Now that you know what SEO is and why every company should pay attention to it, you also understand that SEO is not a single one-time performance that could be duplicated for sale from one company to another.
However, SEO can be divided into different stages as a process, which is why individual optimization components are often offered under the SEO name.
However, I think there are three rules of thumb for optimization as a whole:
- the more time spent doing SEO, the better it will work.
- the more competent the optimization factor, the less time it takes.
- The better the optimization factor understands your business, the more likely the optimization will turn into euros.
Thanks to point three, it is also possible to do SEARCH engine optimization with comparatively good results, as long as the most important rules are followed and the first one – i.e., time – is found. If you end up buying a service from an external producer like us, be sure to familiarise the optimization factor as well as possible with your business.
Search engine optimization guide for the entrepreneur
Next, I’ll go through the areas of search engine optimization that I think I should focus on, and in the order, which I recommend doing them. In the guide, I will present the tools and methods needed to make search engine optimization.
First, copy the search engine optimization Google sheet bases below:
Table of contents
1. Check the load speed of the pages
According to some guides, the importance of the load speed is only a small part of SEO optimization, but what's the point of a good search result if a visitor clicks to wait for the page to load, eventually getting frustrated and clicking back to the search results? The end result is not only a lost customer but also a lost search engine position in the long run. Do you remember Google's mission?
Google interprets the above event as a failed user experience and makes it difficult for the page to appear in search results. As a rule of thumb, the visitor must see the content in at least three seconds.
Three facts about the page load speed 2021
Personally, I use the following tools to measure the speed of websites:
Enter the URL of your pages and click analyze. Note! I recommend using https:// prefix because your pages will hopefully have an SSL certificate and direct visitors to a safer https version of the page.
Focus, especially, on mobile results. As it's more important in search results, and your desktop version is likely to load better anyway.
As a result, you'll see an overall review of the pages and the four most important metrics (so-called Web Vitals).
Below you can see the weight of the different metrics when determining the result
Pagespeed Insight provides valuable information on how your page loads and tips for improving your result. Sometimes you just need to compress the images and distribute them in .webp format, for example ( I recommend the Smush add-onon the Worpress pages) but sometimes the reason for the slowness may be the slow server.
We recommend that you always use a high-quality web server on your corporate website, such as the WP Host service.
GTMetrix is another handy tool for testing page speed. It's actually a collection of different tools that provides excellent reports, especially, to improve the speed of your pages.
Go to: https://gtmetrix.com/ and enter the address of your homepage in the search box and click "Test your site".
GTmetrix almost always gives a better rating than Pagespeed Insight, but I think it evaluates the user experience better. Note that the location of the test server affects the result and can only be changed by registering. In this case, you can also test at different connection speeds.
When choosing a service location for your homepage, you should prefer servers located in the home country of the target visitor. However, a good server in the “wrong country” is better than a bad server in the “right country”.
The load timeline describes the loading timeline particularly well, and when you click on the "Waterfall" tab, you can look at the download really closely and identify potential problem areas.
2. Do a keyword research
The aim of this stage is to form an idea of what keywords the customer uses to find a solution to their problems at different stages of the purchasing process, to be able to make the right decisions when making a content plan.
Especially in sectors or products that require a lot of substance expertise, the seller may have a very different picture of the search terms suitable for the solution they offer, in which case the services of the site will be named and service or product descriptions will be written very aptly, but they just don't pick up anything and the visibility will remain torso. If you haven't copied our search version -excel base yet, do it now.
Next, I'll tell you two ways to conduct keyword research and show you the tools.
- Decide at what point in the buying process you want the customer to reach, what are the customer’s search motives at the stage you choose and think about what keywords your customer might use to find a solution.
- Analyze the homepages of a few competitors and identify which keywords are used to get traffic to the pages
The first way may seem more challenging, but it can offer opportunities that competitors may not have noticed. The easiest way to get started is to research the competitors' pages. However, as the saying goes: "Both are better".
If you have already calculated how much is the value of one click for your business, you can evaluate the results on the following principle:
- Search result first gets more than 25% of traffic
- If the page is not in the TOP 6, don’t expect more than 4% of traffic
- If the search result is not on the first two pages, your page will not gain visibility at all.
Example of assessing search engine optimization revenue
For example, if you have an online store and know the conversion rate of your online store, you may have calculated that the value of an individual visitor is 8€. If, according to the search terms survey, the search terms have, for example, a search quantity of on average, 500 searches per month is the value of your first search result for your online store 0,25*500*8€ or 1000€ per month. The value of the second search result is still 0,15*500*8€ = 600€/month, but the value of the last search result on the first search results page is only about 0,025*500*8€ = 156,25€/month
2.1 Keyword Tools
With the right keyword in mind, it's time to look into whether it's being searched. There are many tools for this purpose and I will present the two that I think are most suitable for the business owner, as well as how to get ideas using google search. Both tools can be used free of charge.
Once you've examined the keyword and found that it has not only searches, it's also relevant to the solution you offer, enter it into the keyword research template you copied. Also, record the number of searches per month, the difficulty of the search terms, and the cost per click (CPC).
Also, place yourself in the boots of the searcher and think about the possible motive for the search. It helps you decide what kind of content to produce for the search message. For example: According to my assessment, the reader of this guide has the motive for searching for information about SEO, and the need for search engine optimization on their website. The reader is probably still wondering whether to do the optimization by themselves or whether it would be worth hiring someone.
As mentioned above, briefly record the search motive and the potential need for which you could offer a solution.
In the box on the front page of Ubersuggest, type the keyword you're thinking about or the competitor URL, select the country for which you want to search, and press “Search”.
The result is a clear visual report of search volume and, for example, keyword costs. You will also see suggestions for other keywords and the difficulty of the keywords.
Alternatively, you'll see the competitor's traffic volume, the most traffic-generating pages, and the most traffic-generating search terms.
However, in the free version, you can only do three searches a day.
If your business has a Google Ads account, you can also use the Google keyword designer for free.
With a keyword designer, you may find more widely search word suggestions than Ubersuggest and see the quote levels for paid advertising in detail.
After searching for keywords with Ubersuggest or Keyword designer and entering them in the search terms survey keyword research template, do a more Google search for the keyword.
You’ll probably see ads first (especially with popular keywords), but don’t worry about them now. Instead, copy one of the first five organic results links to the keyword research template. You will need them later.
Also scroll down to see if Google gives other search suggestions, as they have the option of first page visibility even with a competitive search terms, using an easier search terms:
Note: "Related searches" and "People also ask" and image suggestions on the first page of search results.
Paid tools speed up keyword research, as Ubersuggest, for example, can show you which keyword gap is not yet found on your own website. This way, it is possible to find completely new search words and search phrases, which may not even have occurred to you. However, keep in mind whether the search terms are certainly relevant to your business.
3. Make a keyword plan
Once the search term study has been completed and you have hopefully found hundreds or even thousands of key phrases, you have marked down their search volumes and competitive situation, it's time to decide what kind of strategy you're going to use to reach potential customers. Here comes the search motives and potential need you previously thought about (for which your company has a solution) and the url addresses of competing content.
Now explore what kind of content the pages you tagged have ended up at the top of organic search results. Wonder if you could do the same better? Maybe the competing content is a little misdirected or the content is out of date. Maybe you’re lucky and the competing content hasn’t just been optimized.
In any case, at this point, you should decide whether you want to compete for that search box or choose another search phrase. As a rule of thumb, the longer your search phase, the easier it will be to position yourself – remember that the search phrase you choose must have searches!
Opportunity: sometimes a two- or three-word key phrase is searched even more than a single keyword in an expression.
If you also plan to do paid keystand advertising, at this point also compare the competitive situation of the paid ad and the estimated click price (CPC). For example, you can decide to bet on a specific search message in paid advertising and optimize pages for organic visibility for other search phrases.
A very effective way is to optimize organic content for longer, more accurate search phrases and also use paid advertising for shorter and more popular search terms, while redirecting the ads to a landing page for sale (product description/service description).
Hint: It is usually advisable to aim for searches with a motive that is clearly in the intention to buy, as long as the click price is lower than its value for your business.
You can also decide to try to “steal” visitors from your competitor by producing better content - yes, it is allowed and effective as long as you are not copying the competitor’s content but producing your own. By copying, your pages end up at the bottom of the evil.
Mark your chosen keywords in the SEO plan template you copied, decide which goal is on the page, which type of content you think works best, and which search phrases best match the solution you offer to the applicant's needs.
An SEO plan proves its worth, especially, if your business has to offer multiple solutions in the same subject area; The plan ensures that you do not accidentally copy your own content making it difficult for both the visitor and the search engine to know which page is right for any search. This is called keyword cannibalization.
Also, enter a name for the page that contains the key key key to your choice and include the search message in the URL as well. N.B! If you are editing urls for a page that has already been published, you should always redirect the page 301. Your old content will be in Google search results for some time to come, and there may also be other external links to your Page that will stop working after the change. Of course, this hinders the user experience and you can guess – making your site more visible in search results
- Evaluate the competitive situation for each keyword
- Decide on a keyword-specific strategy
- Choose 3-5 search phrases per page to optimize for
- Avoid using the same keywords on different pages
- Include key phrases in header and URL (*)
* This is actually already part of content optimization, but it can very well be done at this point.
4. Set up page tracking
This step does not directly affect search engine visibility, but without tracking, it is virtually impossible to measure search engine optimization productivity. Tracking is also useful for continuous page improvement; Analytics provides, for example, a "bounce rate" on pages, which is helpful in assessing the relevancy of page content and meta descriptions, or, for example, in assessing load speed issues.
However, I won’t delve into page tracking in this guide, but I recommend deploying Google Analytics and Search Console tools at least. Google also has a lot of good guides for both getting started and making the most of the tools - it’s a topic that deserves its own article.
However, in the end, successful SEARCH ENGINE optimization should be heard as phone stimuli or cash registers without measuring the number of visitors to the website.
I certainly do not recommend marketers to forget about tracking (which is why I raised the issue here), but if you’re a business owner you can gladly move on to reading the next section on content optimization.
5. Optimize page content
Search engine optimization of website content is based on your keyword research and content plan, but there are also both technical and substantive requirements for the content.
First of all, in terms of usability, the structure of the pages should be as clear as possible, but in terms of search engine visibility, there is an advantage that the structure is also detailed and accurate. By this, I mean that each page is optimized for the selected search terms and not everything is added to one page. It is also important that you do not repeat the same search terms on multiple pages.
In practice, this means, for example, that the solutions offered by the company are presented on their own pages and not centrally on one “our services” page.
The service or product pages are optimized and targeted to the selected search terms and target audience, other relevant search terms are used to create guides, articles, comparisons, etc. content of interest to the company's target group, which directs the visitor to purchase the desired service or product.
Internal links and menu structure make it easier not only for a page visitor to convert into a paying customer but also for search engines to understand the content of the site and their relationships.
If there are few services or products, you may want to link directly to individual, optimized service or product pages from the front page.
Example of page structure and internal links
5.1 Technical content SEO
The technical content of the pages Search Engine Optimization is what most advertising and marketing agencies offer as search engine optimization. In practice, this means that the desired key phrase is included in the page titles and text. In addition, it includes the “title tags” and meta descriptions of the pages, as well as the URL of the pages.
The single most important technical thing on the page is the H1 title!
The H1 title must be found on each page and should describe the content of the page. In addition, only one H1 title may be displayed on one page. Because the H1 title describes the content of the page, you should use the most important search box or search phrase on the page. In addition, a good title is precisely targeted to the page visitor.
In the example above, the H1 title is optimized for the search phrase “Search Engine Optimization Guide” for which a reasonable number of searches have been found in the keyword research, but, in addition, it is targeted at the target group of the page.
Targeting improves the likelihood that an entrepreneur will read this guide. In addition, the title competes in search results with the word “Search Engine Optimization,” but because of the difficulty of the keyword, the chances of good visibility are lower than with a more specific search phrase (English term: “long-tail keyphrase”).
In addition to the H1 heading, the page should also aim to use subtitles (H2, H3, etc.). In subtitles, you can use either the same search word as H1 in the header, but in a different format, or they can be optimized for secondary search expressions, which are related to the topic of the H1 heading.
Subtitles are used not only because of search engines but also to make the text easier to read for a person visiting the pages.
Repeating a keyword in the text, on the other hand, is no longer as meaningful as it was a few years ago, although well-optimized content usually inherently contains the keyword in various forms.
As a rule of thumb, you can try using the search expression at least once just as the search term support has entered in the search term plan – text at the beginning of the day, preferably in the first paragraph. This is because, although Google already understands synonyms very well in English text, it still faces challenges in Finnish to understand content based on synonyms.
The length of the text is also an important factor, but it actually depends on the competitive situation in the search word. The principle is that longer text works better than short because it contains more search words (even those you might not have thought you'd optimize content for). According to Hubspot's latest research, the ideal word count for a blog post aimed at acquiring leads in 2021 is 2,500 words.
To improve readability on pages, it is also useful to use different formattings, such as lists and citations. In addition, the URL of the pages should use the selected keyword or phrase.
Page visuality and image usage
The use of images and infographics in addition to the text is highly recommended. The images brighten up the long text, and with an illustrative infographic, you present a complex solution in an understandable way.
In addition, the images help the busy reader scan the content quickly and decide whether to delve deeper into the content (this is also influenced by previously discussed titles, bullet points, etc.)
However, the images need to relate to the topic and load quickly. You can't upload nice cat pictures (unless they're related to your business) to the company's website, and you can't upload images directly from the camera roll in 4k resolution.
Also, always place the pictures to the right of the text or under the text; we have learned to read from left to right in western countries, and placing a picture on the left breaks the left margin, making it difficult to read.
For the same reason, you should also align the text to the left unless you use it as a power tool. However, keep such a piece of text short.
Keep these formatting rules in mind
Search engine optimization for images
Images are very distinguished by search results, as you can see well from the previous sample image. However, search engines are not yet able to analyze and understand images, so you need to put a few technical things to exploit the potential of the images.
Start optimizing your pictures by entering a descriptive file name for the picture. If you've ever searched for a specific picture or document on your computer and had to open a file to know its contents, you'll understand why naming a file is important. When you upload a URL to a web page, the file usually has a URL by file name.
Image descriptions are useful not only for search engines but, also, because the reader usually scans the page for at least images and captions.
However, "alt" text and titles in images are more important for search engine visibility – always give the images "alt" text and use a search expression in it, note that it will appear to the reader if the image cannot be displayed for any reason. The title is not displayed by most browsers.
Those interested in using more images in search engine optimization can read the Yoast article; "Image SEO: Optimizing images for search engines".
Image download speed
As stated at the beginning of this guide, page load speed is one of the most important individual things not only in terms of search engine visibility but also in terms of converting a visitor into a customer. For the same reason, we stated that images should not be used unless they bring clear added value.
However, since the images are clearly useful when used correctly, they should be uploaded to the pages in the correct size. The right size depends a bit on the intended use, but as a general rule, the image should be as small as possible without becoming blurred in relation to the purpose.
However, it's never a good idea to upload pictures in a higher resolution than where they're going to appear on the pages. Personally, I use Canvato resize images, and there is also a free version that goes a long way.
5.2 Meta description and title phrase
When talking about metadata, meta keywords found in pages made in the early 2000s appear from time to time, to which the desired keywords were added, and, thus, the ranking in the search results was improved. However, these are no longer relevant to 2021 search results. What about meta descriptions and title sentences, i.e. title tag? Let’s start by clarifying what they really are.
The image above shows Google's search result when searching with the word " Rasofi Oy". As we can see, the search result consists of three parts:
- Page URL Path
- Title phrase (=Title tag)
- Meta description
Once the content of the page has been hard optimized and the page appears in the search results on the first page, perhaps, even among the first three search results, there is another challenge ahead: How to get a search author to click on the pages?
If the meta description and title phrase are not specified, then Google will extract the snippet of text from the pages that it considers relevant, and it is often not the best. You should approach both from the point of view that they are like an advertisement for the page content.
Including a keyword in the title phrase and meta description is helpful because Google bolds the keyword description to help it stand out, but it also tells the search engine that the description is consistent with the content of the linked page.
Note that the URL path is also part of the "ad" and tells you about the relevance of the content to the search author's needs. Do you still remember what I wrote about Google's mission in the primer of this guide?
A poorly worded search result receives a few clicks, which from Google's point of view means that the search result is poorly matched by the user's search, which in turn weakens the ranking in search results.
Let's also go over the fact that the content on the page that is poorly searched (or slow loading!) causes the search author to quickly click back on the search results (followed by the metric "Bounce rate"), which in turn tells Google the same story about the suitability of the content for the search done by the applicant (there is no shortcut to happiness here either).
How to perform a meta description and format the title of the search result
You may have noticed how, in the example, part of the meta-description is completely invisible? Therefore, it doesn't matter how many words the meta description is – and the same applies to the title phrase(according to Moz, the title phrase is the second most important thing after the content itself).
The title and meta description should work well together and be written to the target group, but the search engine should also be taken into account.
Next, let's discuss how all of these should be generated to improve visibility and CTR (CTR=Click Through Rate, i.e. how often the search result/or ad is clicked relative to impressions).
1.Identify title phrases
- Make a unique title statement for each page
- Keep title phrase relevant to content and include a keyword
- Try to draw the reader's attention (keep in mind what the searcher is looking for and offer a solution to it)
- Make sure that the title statement is up to 60 characters long (that the entire content is displayed).
So the title phrase should not repeat the same slogan of your company from page to page, but with the exception of branding, it can still include branding; for example, there should be no harm in repeating a company name, according to Google. However, is it worth using precious header space to repeat a company name?
In light of a 2016 study, shorter headlines work better on average than long, and the Moz people did not notice the same when researching the issue in 2020, although with a few exceptions: using a strong brand in the title phrase can be helpful, others should use chips to describe/sell content to the searcher.
2.Optimize meta description for conversions
Meta descriptions are easier because they no longer actually need to be typed into search engines. Many WordPress add-ons, such as Yoast, usually instruct you to use a keyword in your meta description as well, and there is no harm in that, but it's worth serving up more information that complements the title statement, which searcher is feverishly looking for when judging which search result might provide the best response to the problem at hand.
The ideal length for meta-imaging is about 155 characters. Also, be sure to include a call to action in the meta description, such as "read more" or "subscribe to our website".
3. Take advantage of enriched search results and enable breadcrumb trail.
One way to add attention is to take advantage of the so-called Enriched search results (Rich Snippets, Rich Results, and SERP Features). These include additional information displayed in search results, such as price, product reviews, or number of comments. How rich search results are displayed depends on, e.g., the type of search and the device on which the search is performed.
An enriched search result can be, for example, a picture carousel, an event list, or do-it-yourself help. There are examples of enriched search results in Google's developer portal.
Breadcrumb trail, on the other hand, display, for example, the hierarchy of the page in connection with the search results, i.e., the path to the page linking to the search result.
The breadcrumb trail, thus, gives the searcher more information about which page may end up after clicking on the search result (Ex: www.example.com> guides> SEO). You can learn more about breadcrumb trails by clicking here on Google's developer portal.
Smartcrawl is a handy add-on to make a title word and meta description with WordPress. With the same add-ons, you can also add data for enriched search results and more. The add-on can be downloaded here: Smartcrawl WordPress mixture
6. Link building and page credibility
Unfortunately, search engine optimization doesn’t end with content optimization, although in my opinion, content plays a growing role in the order in which Google displays search results. So if time is on the card, then focus on the content but be aware that visibility is also affected by what others do. You can check if your competitors are getting a lot of links, for example with, for example, the SEMRush link-building tool.
After content, links from other pages play a key role in search results and can be a decisive factor in highly competitive keywords. Really useful content gets long links before, but just by posting service descriptions, there's no point in waiting for this kind of "earned link." So give your audience something that will benefit them if you want others to link to your pages.
However, it's not exactly the same as the page you link to your page, and the quantity doesn't replace quality. Building links to blogs and forums, for example, by commenting and linking to your own pages, may work for a while – but is it worth getting your brand so big for a business company?
In my opinion, When building links, you should primarily use your own network and ask you to link to your website if, for example, an article pages about the services offered by your company. You can also take advantage of your company's e-mail list to send a newsletter to selected people who are likely to be affected by a new article to help spread information.
You can and should also pay for links if the target group of the linking site is very close to your own target group because then the link also serves as an advertisement for your company. However, don't buy links in bulk masse from a company that offers them!
One way is to offer to write as a visiting expert on a prestigious site and link the article to your relevant service.
The credibility of a page also affects visibility and is related to how much the page is linked to. In addition to links, you can improve credibility by creating profiles for your business on various social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and even Pinterest. Also, be sure to definitely create Google My Business profile for your business and add your business to Google Maps. All this tells the search engine that your business exists and not the so-being campaign page. As a bonus, you may reach completely new customers!
Once company profiles have been created, it is, of course, worthwhile to publish relevant content; for example, summaries of the content you publish. This is how you also build links as if unnoticed.
If competition for keywords is fierce in your industry, you've found that your competitors' content is linked a lot and you've already optimized your own content, it may be time to think about what strategy to use to increase your search result.
In this paragraph, I have already gone through a few strategies on how to start building links; In the long run, I think the best strategy is content-based, as it probably only needs to be done once, while questionable habits may stop working with the next Google algorithm update. As a rule, you need at least four types of links: Links to the home page, links directly to the product page or service description, links that include your company/brand name, and links that contain the keywords you want.
However, writing a numbing guide is not the only way to earn links, but infographics and videos, for example, also work well if they are useful to their audience. If "London" goes well, Moz will have a very valid guide to building links.
In this guide, I will try to address search engine optimization from the perspective of a business company and provide a useful guide to doing search engine optimization. The guide focused specifically on content production as a cornerstone of optimization, as it is a safe and long-lasting optimization strategy.
By following the process presented in the guide, the reader should be able to optimize the website effectively according to my goal. To help with content production, I have previously released a tool for service productization. The tool is free of charge and the resulting report works well as a body for writing a service description, for example, as long as you also remember to optimize the text.
There's still a lot left to deal with, but just put a comment if you've raised any questions, and I'll get it as best I can. I also publish other tools to make everyday life easier for entrepreneurs from time to time, and these can also be expressed by e-mail. Then nothing more than optimize!