SEO Guide - 2023
Search Engine Optimisation - Guide to SEO Success 2023
Are you looking for tips on how to succeed with search engine optimisation (SEO) in 2023? Then you’ve come to the right place!
In this SEO guide, you will learn the basics of SEO and how to kick start and improve your current site to gain positions in the search engine result, find new traffic potential and improve your site's engagement.
By the time you read this sentence, there will have been around 210,000 searches on Google. There are about 105,000 searches per second.
There are over 1.5 billion websites online.
Additionally, Google only has 10 search results on the front page.
This article aims to teach you how to become one of those billions of websites that appear on page one using search engine optimisation.
Our SEO Guide content sections:
- What is Search Engine Optimisation
- Before you start
- Start with SEO analysis of your site
- Why do SEO - calculate value
- Keyword analysis and content plan
- How to write SEO content
- On-page - the technical
- Off-page - links are the secret sauce
- Improve conversion - from click to client
- Analyse and improve
- FAQ for SEO
What is Search Engine Optimisation?
Search engine optimisation, or as it is often abbreviated; SEO is about improving a website's visibility on search engines such as Google and Bing. The algorithms determine which websites appear at the top of the search engines. Optimising your website based on search engine ranking factors can increase the chances of ranking your website high in search results.
Google is by far the largest search engine in the world with just over 92% of the market.
Search engine optimisation done correctly will lead to high visibility in the search engines for relevant searches. This brings potential customers to the website who can then convert into customers.
In short, it's all about increasing the quality and quantity of visitors coming to your site.
What does search engine optimisation mean?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the technique used to optimise a website so that it appears better in search engine results. Since search engines use algorithms to rank websites, SEO can improve the chances of appearing high in search results.
Before you start
It's important to remember that search engine optimisation is a never-ending job.
To get to the top and stay there, you need to keep working continuously. There are no shortcuts. Search engine optimisation should be a part of your business. Just as your business stagnates if you don't drive it forward, so does SEO.
A big advantage of search engine optimisation is that you don't have to pay per visitor, but if you design your website correctly, you drive so-called "organic" traffic.
Start with an SEO analysis of your website
Before you start your SEO, you should do an SEO analysis of your website.
An SEO analysis should include:
- Technical improvements you can make
- Link Analysis
- Keyword Analysis
- A to-do list of things to do to improve your visibility on Google
To get our SEO analysis you can click this button and fill out the contact form and we get back to you.
Why do SEO - calculate value
One of the most common questions is, “How do you do SEO?”.
We’ll answer that, but first, we’re going to do something fun. Namely, we will set achievable goals for your search engine optimisation. Here we will present tips to optimise your website.
Data is the Alpha and Omega of internet marketing. If we don’t know how a website performs today regarding visitors and conversions, we don’t know if search engine optimisation has worked.
If we assume that your goal is to get 100 leads per month from your website, you must know how many visitors you have, where they are coming from, and how many leads you have today.
Now if you get 1000 visitors from Google and 20 leads each month, you need 5x more visitors to reach your goal assuming the conversion rate is the same.
Today: 20 leads = 1000 visitors = 2% conversion rate
Target: 100 leads = 5000 visitors = 2% conversion rate
The first step in planning to get more visitors is to create new content on your site and optimise and expand the content you have.
Plan new relevant content & keyword research.
How do you know what to create relevant content around then? Well, we look at three different things:
1. Design your content according to your goals
What if you magically got 5,000 people standing outside your shop every month? Waiting to find the best and latest information related to your industry.
What would you have written about? What action would you have wanted them to take after they read your content piece?
Most people have multiple or different goals. Because of 5,000 visitors, only a few per cent will be ready to buy straight off the shelf.
So, on the one hand, you want to be visible on searches where you can convert visitors into customers. And on the other hand, you often want to be visible on more informative searches. People looking for information might not be ready to buy. But they might be willing to signup for a newsletter not to miss out on the next product launch.
An example of this could be the search “real estate agency”. If you rank high on such a search phrase and are a real estate agency, it most likely could lead to new customers.
On the other hand, appearing on “popular areas in X” is not as valuable to sell a property. But the aim should at least be to collect an email address so you can use the data via email or remarketing.
2. Identify how people search
If you are a real estate agency specialising in a particular area, you need to look at how many people search for “real estate agency in X”.
If no one or very few people are searching on that topic and you have a low ROI (return on investment) per customer, it might not be worth aiming for SEO.
You should always start with the business objective. It would be best if you did a calculation that assumes your conversion rate is, e.g. 2% = X number of new business = X amount of profit.
To find out the number of searches per month, you can use the Google Ads Keyword planner, Ahrefs, SEMRush or a similar 3rd party tool.
Start with 3-5 main keywords per topic.
3. How tough is the competition on the topic?
We want to know if you have a reasonable chance of actually getting on Google’s first page for the right keywords with the help of search engine optimisation.
For example, if you are a hotel in Palma or sell sneakers online, I wouldn’t start aiming for keywords like “hotel Palma” or “buy sneakers”. Instead, I would look more closely at the competition for “hotel in Santa Catalina” or “buy yellow sneakers”. However, if you are an accounting firm, it doesn’t matter so much, and you can go for an accounting firm in Palma, Barcelona, Madrid, Paris or Berlin, for example.
To find out what the competition looks like, the best tool today is Ahrefs which most agencies in the SEO world use.
To keep in mind at all times is that Google sees each subpage as its separate landing page. Suppose you have written a super interesting “how to” guide that acquires many links. In that case, you can still rank high on that particular subpage even if the general visibility of your site is weak and lacks traffic.
Here are some of the things you can look at:
- Look at the results that come up. Do you see the keywords in the blue titles? Or are there several that show up?
- What is the average UR (URL Rating) of the pages that rank, and does yours compare? You will be able to increase your UR using external and internal links. But a good benchmark is that the keyword may need to be better optimised if very few have 0 in UR on the first page.
- What is the average DR (Domain Rating) of the websites? What Domain Rating do you have? Are there sites with low DR, or are they higher than yours? This figure matters less than UR but should be taken into account.
Remember that these Ratings are only indicators. So it would help if you didn’t put too much weight on these numbers because Ahrefs doesn’t know precisely how Google’s algorithm works. The ranking is also determined by design, code, content structure and user engagement. Still, it is an indicator to be added to the evaluation.
SEO tips: How to write SEO content
One of the most common questions about search engine optimisation is how to write content so that Google likes it and ranks it highly. We’ll go through that now.
Gone are the days when it was essential to include keywords you wanted to rank for in X% of the text. Google has become better at understanding text, identifying over-optimisation texts and similar techniques that worked a decade ago.
An example of a recent update of this kind is Google’s BERT update, which improved Google’s understanding of nuance.
Always write for the visitor.
The primary advice is to always write for the visitor first and foremost.
A rule of thumb you can have is that you want to “write sharable and valuable content that people want to link to it as a useful source.
In the long run, Google will get even better at interpreting good and poorly written content, so it’s just as well to get it right from the start. Try to create exciting content backed by facts.
But now you’re reading this to get specific tips and what works right now. So here are our recommendations on how to write SEO-optimised content.
Use these tips to design content optimised for both Google and the user.
For the sake of the example, I’m using a dermatologist who aims to get 20 customer contacts per month and collect 100 email addresses.
One of the topics you’ve chosen to write about is how to cure acne.
1. Look at what Google thinks is “search intent” around this search.
Start by searching for the search phrase and see which of Google’s search results come up. Is it an information search? Are they guides that come up, long posts, or short posts? How are they structured?
Try to see if similar results come up for more search phrases. For example, “tips for acne” and “cure acne” might produce the same effects on Google, while “acne creams” shows different type of results.
Now let’s look at which keywords and searches are related to the search phrase. For example, if someone searches for “hotel”, Google also looks for so-called “LSI” (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords. So to see if an article seems to be informative, you might also look for “accommodation”, “lodging”, “amenities”, “stay”, and “room”. From these LSI keywords, Google concludes that the web page is about a hotel.
There are several ways to get LSI keywords; one of the easiest is to use Google’s auto-complete function. The bolded keywords are searches often done in conjunction with the search you are looking for. Try doing searches on them and see if you get similar results or if it looks different in the search results.
2. Use LSI keywords to help you design your content
LSI keywords are supporting words and ideas for headings. The idea is not to cram in lots of keywords but instead write in such a way that you provide answers to questions that users are looking for.
If you can provide an excellent answer to the user, they don’t have to go back to Google and search again. Then you’ve done a fantastic job, and Google will like your site!
3. Track the results and update the article.
Use tools like SERpbot and add the keywords you want to rank for.
If you see that specific keywords are getting somewhere but have yet to get through, keep adding more and better content and acquiring links to that page you want to push up the search results.
You can also use Ahrefs and look at the “pages” to see suggestions for keywords you are starting to rank for but are not high enough.
On page - the technical
In addition to the text on a website, a host of other “on-page” factors come into play. There are dozens of factors that are important, but here are some of the most important:
1. Have the main keywords in the title tag.
The title is what shows up on Google and represents each website.
2. Make sure the website loads quickly.
Anything over 3 seconds needs to be optimized immediately. Google says 53% of visitors will leave a page⁴ if it takes longer than 30 seconds to load.
Remember that you need to test all your most visited subpages individually.
Standard errors for slow-loading websites are:
- Too large images
- The page does not use a cache
The best tools for testing your website are WebPageTest and GTmetrix.
3. Don’t have duplicate content
Ensure you don’t use the same content on several subpages.
4. Use a lot of images and use alt tags for them.
Make sure your images have relevant search phrases in the alt tags for images.
5. Internal links
This is an absolute goldmine that many people miss. After all, Google looks at the number of authoritative and relevant links you get from your website from other websites. But they also look at links from your site. Google will perceive the subpages that get the most internal links as important to you.
For example, you can use Google Search Console or Ahrefs to see which pages get the most internal links.
6. Use search phrases and keywords in headings (H1, H2, H3.)
Links - the secret sauce
Before Google became Google, the search engine was called “Backrub”. This is because much of the algorithm is based on a voting system - the number of good “backlinks” or “links” you get to your website.
One of Google’s founders, Larry Page, laid the groundwork for PageRank. PageRank is an algorithm that assigns a score to each web subpage. And in simple terms: the higher the score, the higher the chance of ranking.
Even though Google’s system has gotten much more intelligent, links are still one of the essential parts of search engine optimisation.
Compared to 10 years ago, it’s more important today that links are relevant.
How do I get links?
Getting links to your website is something similar to a PR job.
One of the most common is to write good content and contact relevant blogs online. Many websites are looking for new helpful content for their visitors, and in exchange, you get a link to your website.
If you buy search engine optimisation from a company, ask them how they work with link building and how many links you will get per month.
Another way to get links is to buy them directly from bloggers.
It is also possible to buy blog posts etc., directly from companies that do this.
Get links from real websites.
You can use tools such as Majestic or Ahrefs to find metrics. Some valuable metrics are traffic, Trust Flow (TF) and Domain Authority (DA).
Build links from as relevant websites as possible.
It’s certainly not a must, but if your site is about clothes, it’s better to get a link from a fashion magazine than an IT magazine. This is assuming both sites have equally good metrics otherwise.
Make sure the links are “do follow”.
There are so-called “nofollow” links, a code that the webmaster can add that shows Google and other search engines that it is a “bought” link. Now Google has also introduced “sponsored links” tags, which give less power to your domain.
Links in content.
Ideally, you want the link being built to your site to be embedded in the content. This shows the search engines that there is more good information on that link. For example, if you get a link from a footer on a page, it shows that the link shouldn’t be that valuable.
Remember that the foundation is always about having good content people want to link to and can naturally share on social media.
Conversion - from the first click to becoming a customer
Let’s say you quadrupled your traffic from 1000 to 4000 visitors per month with the help of your search engine optimisation. Hopefully, you’ve chosen the right keywords to write good content with.
Now you want visitors to take action on the site, such as contacting you, signing up for a newsletter or completing a purchase in your e-commerce.
A vital part of search engine optimisation is conversion optimisation.
Think about the entire customer journey. What they have searched for, what they are looking for
- Please write a good meta description for each subpage and use its main keywords. The main keywords will be highlighted in bold, increasing the click-through rate (CTR).
- Have a good CTA (Call To Action), preferably “above the fold”.
- Use an exit intent pop-up for secondary CTA where visitors can sign up for a newsletter, for example.
Check out our guide on conversion optimisation.
Analyse and improve!
Now let’s say you’ve doubled your traffic. Are we done yet? I guess not. Your competitors will probably continue improving, new ones will pop up, and Google will probably make algorithm updates.
Nope, search engine optimisation always continues, and you need to constantly update your website with new content and keep track of your rankings on Google and other search engines and the traffic you get.
When you see that you rank on specific keywords, you know what needs to be done better.
Want more customers for your site?
We know how to increase traffic to your site and increase conversion rates
FAQ for SEO
Many factors need to be considered when calculating the SEO cost and what budget you need. It’s determined by your goals and the industry you’re in. However, SEO is generally a cost-effective marketing strategy as long as people use search engines to find information, contract services, or buy products.
Most understand that; if more people find your website, more people will visit it, leading to more clients.
The question should not be about the cost of SEO but the ROI (Return On Investment) you can get. The important thing is always to measure and see if you are reaching your ROI. After all, the idea is that search engine optimisation should not be a cost. But an investment.
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