Learn How to Position Your Website in Search Engines
The Internet has become the preferred marketing tool because of the excellent value for money it offers. Measuring results is also much easier than with more traditional marketing tools, such as print ads.
It is estimated that almost 80% of pre-purchase searches are conducted on the Internet.
In 2014, the number of websites in the world exceeded one billion. In such a mass of information at your fingertips, how do you bring out your business? How to attract the user to your site from the beginning of his search for a product or service?
The answer lies in web referencing.
What is web referencing?
Doing SEO is to ensure that its website will appear at the top of the results given by the search engines after a search by relevant keywords.
Ideally, your business should be positioned in the top third of the search results on the first page. The further away it gets, the fewer hits will be on its website.
Since few users go to the second page of results, appearing early in the search results is essential for reaching your customers on the Internet. Visibility on search engines should therefore be one of the priorities of your Web strategy.
Concretely, when a user searches for a product or a service, he will write it (by a word or a key phrase) in his favorite search engine. For example, if he needs the services of a machine shop, he could type “machine shop” and then start his search.
To ensure that your business appears as high as possible in the search results, you must act on three plans, described below:
natural (or organic) referencing;
How to check the positioning of your site?
Search for the key keywords in your industry and see the results. If your site does not come out in the first third of the first page, there is room for improvement.
Since the search engines take into account the user’s geographic location, this introduces a bias in the search result that you do yourself. You should also search by people using their own keywords and in your target markets that are geographically distant from your location.
Use partners – customers, representatives, manufacturing agents, distributors – and ask them for this service, which will only take a few minutes. If the results are not convincing, you will have to work on your referencing.
In order to obtain an optimal geographical referencing, the company must be registered on Google My Company.
How to choose your keywords?
As we have seen above, key words or phrases are of primary importance and represent the basis of referencing. Here are some tips for choosing your keywords:
Define one or more target clienteles.
Think in groups internally to define a list of words or phrases in each language of your site.
Ask your customers about the keywords they use in your industry; these keywords may differ from yours.
Consider the official terms, for example in “good French”, and the usual terms, that is to say those that are most often used.
Check which keywords are accessing the sites of your main competitors
Use only one or two synonymous keywords in the content of each page.
Use Google’s KeywordPlanner keyword planning tool, which provides you with search volume statistics and other keywords. Google Trends also provides search trends by topic.
A good positioning in the search engines will be easier to obtain by using a precise expression rather than a generic word. Search engines favor groups of words and even complete sentences.
For example, your site is more likely to rank at the top of the search results with “Precision Digital Machining” rather than “Workshop”.
“Techniques used for a good SEO”
Natural or organic referencing
SEO (or search engine optimization) allows your website to be more easily accessible by search engines like Google (75% of the North American market), Yahoo! or Bing.
All search engines have the same operating principle: they use robots that scan the millions of pages on the Web for:
to list them;
It is estimated that 80% of clicks come from natural referencing (source: Adviso).
This analysis and ranking is done on the basis of an algorithm that includes hundreds of different factors and is kept secret.
Natural referencing can be inexpensive if done internally.
Basics of natural referencing
Natural referencing uses a variety of techniques and tactics, some of which are complex. They optimize your website to attract as many qualified visitors as possible. Here we present the most common ones:
Content – including text – needs to be optimized:
2. Interesting, quality;
Only one keyword (or key phrase) and one theme should be defined for each page of the site. A second synonymous keyword can also be considered;
Of sufficient length (300 words or more per page), but not too long either – avoid the river novel;
And especially adapted to your target customers.
Avoid excessive referencing and excessive use of the same keyword on the page, which can be penalized by search engines.
Titles should be written in bold and contain the keywords of the page (see passage on the source code, below).
Your site must contain a sitemap: a file that lists the web pages of the site to provide search engines with information about the structure of the content.
Your site must also include a breadcrumb, to promote internal links:
6. URL addresses
The URLs for each page should include relevant terms, keywords, not codes. They must be descriptive and structured by directories. They must also contain less than 115 characters.
For example, rather than:
This address would be more efficient:
Host corporate and demonstration videos on your site. These attract many users and are recognized to contribute to SEO.
8. Names of documents
The names of documents (images, files, videos) must be representative and contain keywords. For example:
Is preferable to:
9. Incoming links
Inbound links from other sites allow search engines to find your site and rate the popularity of its pages. These links must be of quality, that is to say relevant and corresponding to the activity of your company.
You can start by registering your business on the sites of organizations related to its sector of activity, for example sectorial associations, or in directories.
10. Source code
The source code for each page must include tags: These tags must be entered using your content management system (CMS) (or CMS – content management system) or by your web service provider.
Title tag (<title>): The main theme of the page, which can be displayed in the search results. It must be at most 65 characters, unique and descriptive, and contain your most important keyword on the page.
Metadata tag (<Meta name = “description”>): Summary of the page content, which can be displayed in search results. It must have a maximum length of 160 characters and be precise and descriptive.
Header tags (<H1>, <H2>, <H3>): Allows robots to understand separations and hierarchy of content. The H1 tag (title) must contain the main theme (and keyword) of the page.
Alternative text tag for images (<image alt = ” “>): Describes in words what is represented, which must be present on every image, since robots can only parse the text.
11. Speed of the site
The speed of site: slow sites (due to hosting, bandwidth, etc.) are penalized by search engines.
Good ergonomics: manifested particularly in the architecture of information, it can improve the quantity and quality of traffic on your site, because it allows an optimized user experience.
13. Mobile devices
A site adapted to mobile devices (adaptive site or responsive): the generated traffic from mobile devices now exceeds that generated from computers. Search engines take this into account in their rankings.
Regular updates of your site; the News, Newsletter and Blog sections are good vectors.
A blog is indeed a recognized tool for its effectiveness. In addition to increasing the number of visitors to your site, it can make a significant contribution to the reputation and credibility of the company.
Note that it is not necessary to publish every week on the blog. Some publications a year can have a favorable effect on your SEO.
The company’s SEO goals, that is, the keywords it wants to be associated with, must therefore determine the topics and words you choose for the articles.
Topics should also be of interest to your target audience, and there should be only one topic per article.
16. Social networks
Social networks also contribute to the SEO of your site if they are properly managed and if your target audience is there. You must spend time and an internal resource, at least part-time, or an external resource (service provider).
17. Cheating (spam)
No cheating (spam): Search engines detect more and more every form of cheating. When they detect a hoax, they can quickly decommission the site and it becomes very difficult to position themselves again in a good place.
Although SEO is a very interesting tactic, it also has its limitations. In general, it takes three to six months before its effects are optimized. In addition, positioning efficiency also depends on the level of competition in the field of activity.
When we implement seasonal campaigns or one-off events, it’s hard to stand out from the competition by focusing on natural referencing. In addition, some key words can be more difficult to highlight, for example those in the insurance or auto sector, because they are in high demand.
Thus, search engines offer businesses a simple way to be visible, or the search engine marketing (SEM), which allows to buy advertising placement for one or more keywords. For the search engines mentioned above, advertising platforms are Google AdWords, Yahoo! Advertising and Bing Ads.
Choose key words or phrases close to a purchase intention. For example: “digital machining small components aviation”.
Ads should be simple, short and focus on two goals:
present a profit for the product or service offered;
It is possible to choose the geographical area as well as the target language, which ensures that the ads are displayed only when queries from actual potential customers. In addition, you can determine a maximum daily budget.
In addition, you only pay for clicks on your ads. The cost for a click is subject to an auction in which the different advertisers who want to bet on the same keyword face each other. Thus, the more competition there is, the higher the cost per click.
The ads will give much better results if you link with a landing page (homepage) states, including a call to action and limiting the external information to the ad, rather than linking to a standard page site.
For destination businesses, such as restaurants or clothing stores, as well as for any business with a local customer base – including a customer base made up of other businesses (B2B) – it is important to focus on local SEO.
Note that more and more people are doing local searches. These have become even more important with the increasing use of mobile devices.
Three techniques are used to optimize local referencing:
Creation of local profiles
Creating local profiles, for example on Google My Business (includes Google Maps and Places), Foursquare, or even Yelp.
You must ensure that these profiles are completed for each institution, that is:
you display the complete information;
you have relevant photos;
You collect favorable ratings.
In addition to being referenced on the search engines, these profiles will join the users of these different social networks and thus increase the probability of attracting new qualified visitors.
The optimization of the 2 tags (title tag and metadescription tag) and the content, including the location, ideally the name of the city or region (e.g. “Atelier d’usinage Laval” or “Atelier” Machining Montérégie “). This information allows the company to distinguish itself from more global competition and to respond to local research.
Contact information, such as the name of the company, its address and phone number, to be added to all pages of the site, for example at the bottom of the page.
In addition to helping visitors to your website find your contact information, it makes it easier for search engine robots to find the content of your search engine.
Who should take care of it?
Given the importance of the Internet in today’s business development, it is imperative that you assign a resource to this valuable tool, at least on a part-time basis. Three options are possible:
integrate internally a webmaster mastering referencing techniques;
entrust the management of referencing to a specialized agency;
A combination of the previous two, which is the most recommended option for SMEs: an internal person assigned to the web function, using the services of an agency if necessary.
In the first and last cases, you must ensure that the resource person regularly attends refresher courses or receives specialized advice. Regardless of the means, the resource person must keep up to date on the constant evolution of the techniques related to the optimization of the Web, because the search engines modify their algorithm regularly.
How to measure the results?
In addition to the verification techniques mentioned above, you must use a traffic measurement tool on your site, such as Google Analytics (free) or Adobe Analytics.
This type of tool measures visits as well as viewing times on each page of your site. Thus, it helps to know if you have worked SEO on the right keywords, those that interest your target customers.
In addition, it is possible to know the number of pages of your website that are considered by the search engines. In Google, for example, you can find this information by entering in the search field site: www.yoursite.com (no space).
If you write site: www.yoursite.ca <keyword>, the search engine will allow you to see all the pages of your site that are indexed in Google under this keyword.
Finally, you can quickly measure your paid search campaigns by viewing the results and billing published by the search engine.
In addition, if your paid search is to increase your sales, they will speak for themselves.
A well referenced site is essential to the development of the commercial activity of your company. Use the different techniques mentioned above to optimize your site and position it at the top of the search results.
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