What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization is a magic to have more leads and opportunities
1. User experience matters
SEO is as simple as knowing the scale that Google uses to rate your website. And you’re in luck, Google tells you part of it.
Here’s what you need to prove your credentials to Google:
- Connect your website to all the services that Google offers: Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google My Business, YouTube… Google did not create them to please you. It created them to collect and analyze as much information about you as possible.
- Respect the basics of one-page SEO. The titles of your pages must be <h1> and the subtitles <h2>. (Ask your dev/CTO if you don’t understand what that means.)
2. Mobile first is Google rule
Look around you, people are on their phones. If you don’t have a mobile version, go and make one. Google already knocks down sites that do not have one.
3. Have an SSL certificate (from http to https)
More & more browsers like Google Chrome blocks sites in http, which they see as unsafe. So you must have an SSL certificate, otherwise you’ll soon find that you aren’t referenced in Google.
➡ Free SSL certificate right here.
WordPress, Joomla & Drupal.
4. Page loading speed is not a joke
5. Learn about Google's Ranking
- Google Title or <title> (what will be displayed when presenting a URL in Google): Make it different from the H1! 65-80 characters preferably (for visibility on mobile). Keep in mind that the first word will have more weight than the second, and the second than the third, etc. Also, avoid “|” in titles, use dashes instead. Finally, a certain school of SEO claims that articles (ex: “the”) are no longer taken into account by Google. Personally, I don’t believe this, because I’ve experienced the opposite. For safety, keep the articles in the H1 of your page, and remove them for the Google Title.
- H1: different from the Google Title! Do not exceed 80 characters if at all possible.
- URL: Ideally, 3–4 words. Delete articles. Really think about the shortcut that the user will search in Google (ex: “wedding planning tips” ➡ yourstartupwebsite.com/wedding-planning-tips). Here again, the first word will have more weight than the second, and the second than the third, etc.
- Meta Description (what will be displayed to describe a URL in Google): Preferably, 80-120 characters. WARNING: A certain SEO theory says that this criterion does not affect the ranking of a page but instead affects the click rate, as it is the commercial text that makes the user want to click or not. I’d note though that when doing a search, Google highlights the keywords you entered in the meta description of each URL that appears in the search results. My advice: Write a meta description using synonyms of the terms used in the Google title.
- H2: Preferably, 70-80 characters. Go into more detail than the H1 (ex: if H1 is “Dog food: dry food, treats…”, the H2 can be “Vegan dry food and treats for dogs made in France”. Otherwise, as people are searching more and more in “question” format, especially via voice search (Siri, Alexa, Google Home…), you can also try something like: “How many treats a day can I give to my dog ?”
Note: It has been proven that the Meta Keywords tag has zero impact on SEO, so it’s useless to indicate it.
6. Write SEO focused content
Try to make each page contain more than 800 words. Beyond that, don’t wrack your brain: write quality content and address a maximum of topics related to your big topic/industry. Try not to hammer keywords, Google punishes this. Use as many synonyms as possible. There is also a trick for Google to identify your business pages as blog posts, which is much better in its eyes: Avoid business vocabulary (ex: “quote request”). Instead, use terms like “advice”, “good idea”, etc., since Google prefers that you advise Internet users rather than selling them something 😉 For Google, sales are done through Google Ads, and sharing valuable information through free search (SEO).
When I talk with entrepreneurs, they always ask me “How do I choose the right keywords? I want to put lots of keywords!” But all there is to say is “Produce good content.” Content that you would like to read yourself. People will love to consume it, and Google will see that people spend time on your site, with the help of Google Analytics (refer to Rule N°1 😉)
8. Localization is important
- You must have a Google My Business account to be referenced in the geolocated search results.
- You must have as many customers as possible rating you 5/5 ⭐️ and giving good reviews
9. Don't copy
Make sure every page has different content for all of those elements: Google title, Meta description, H1/H2, page’s content. And ESPECIALLY, never steal content from another site. Google dates it every time new content appears.
Credit: Maxime Blondel