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SEO: everything you need to know to optimize your presence on search engines

A brief overview of SEO: what exactly is Search Engine Optimization and how can it benefit your business?

SEO, an acronym for Search Engine Optimization , is a set of practices and strategies aimed at improving the visibility of a website on search engines. The main goal of SEO is to rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs), so you can increase organic traffic and reach a larger audience.

You may have heard all sorts of things about SEO: for some it is already a "dead" practice, for others it is the Holy Grail of online visibility.

The intent of this article is to provide some clarity to understand what it is and how it can be useful to improve the visibility of your site or your other online channels. In these years of working and studying in digital I have also received some very valid advice and points of view that I will share with you.

Personally, I am comfortable dividing SEO into two macro areas: on the one hand the actual optimization of content, on the other the development of strategies to make the most of the potential of search engines.

contents optimization

Contents optimization:

Optimizing content for search engines means making it easier for " crawlers " to read and interpret. But what are these crawlers and what do they do?

They are small bots sent by Google or other search engines to scan all the sites on the internet. I like to imagine them as little robots that go around exploring all the sites and pages they find, writing down the most important information each time.

At the end of their tour they return home and report what they discovered to Google or whoever. Our aim is therefore to ensure that the information brought back by these robots is precise and detailed.
We want Google to know exactly what's on our site so we can show it to people who search for it or what we offer on it.

Here are some points to keep in mind to help Google understand your web content:

1. Keywords:

Keywords are the foundation of SEO . These are the words or phrases that users type into search engines to find information. Identifying keywords relevant to your industry and using them strategically in your content, page titles, and meta tags can help search engines understand and rank your website accurately. Meta tags are small summaries that are created for each page, and are what users will see in their Google search results: take the time to create accurate and inviting meta tags.

2. Valuable Content:

Creating quality, relevant content is crucial for SEO. Make sure your content is well structured, easy to read and full of information relevant to your users. Use keywords naturally and offer added value to your site visitors.
In simpler words, your content must be created to be interesting and engaging for those who read it. If your content is interesting and original and users like it, most of the SEO will already be done.

Keywords are the foundation of SEOValuable content

3. On-page optimization:

On-page optimization refers to practices you can implement directly on your website to improve its visibility. This includes optimizing page titles, meta descriptions, URLs, image tags, and site architecture. Make sure your site is easily navigable and that search engines can locate and index all important pages.

In this case there are two most common errors : uploading the images to the site without renaming them and not inserting the alternative text. If your content is about ceramic vases and you add an image with a vase, make sure the image's file name is something like "ceramic vase" (and not "img1234").

The alt text is used to describe the content of the image for those who cannot see it. This applies to visually impaired people or slow connections where the image struggles to load. You know who else can't see the images?

Google crawlers .

4. Technical optimization:

Technical optimization focuses on the technical aspects of your website that can impact its visibility on search engines. This includes code optimization, page loading speed, mobile accessibility, and structured data structure. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly and meets coding standards to ensure a good user experience and help indexing by search engines.

If your site is updated and hosted by the most famous platforms such as WordPress and Shopify this part is practically already done. Both have a simple, hierarchical structure that is easy for search engines to understand. When you build the structure of the site, keep in mind that simplicity is essential, even more so for online sales: in just a few taps the user must be able to purchase the product without any problems.

For speed the first thing to do is make sure all images and videos are as light as possible. Ideally all images should weigh less than 100 kb or in any case never more than 200-300 kb. This is why it is important to start with high quality images so that you can resize and lighten them without losing details or "grainy" them.

first of all mobile optimization and site speed

Second part: Strategic organization of SEO

In addition to technical optimization, which therefore makes our content "digestible" for search engines, you can take a further step and try to create content specifically to position yourself high in search engines, significantly increasing the organic traffic of your site. The contents in question are usually articles in the site's blog, but they can also be descriptions or static pages.

The first and fundamental concept to understand for this type of strategy is this: it is not a one-off activity, but you will have to continue creating new content and optimizing existing content to keep up with user searches.

But what does it mean to rank high in search engines? Take for example a handmade pottery business with an online store. Our goal will be to show the site to those who search for ceramics on Google with the more or less urgent intention of purchasing them. To do this we need to know some things:

  • What words do users use to search for products like ours?
  • How much competition we have
  • What other information about our product are users looking for?

To discover this information, there are many tools such as SemRush , Google Keyword planner and Answerthepublic , just to name a few.

Once you find out what users are looking for and how they are looking for it, you will have to write articles that answer their questions . If they are not questions you will have to respond to the need implied by their research.

User searches will not always be the same and you will always need to keep your strategy updated.

Link building:

Link building is a key element of SEO. It's about getting quality links from other websites pointing to yours. Links from authoritative and relevant sites can improve your visibility on search engines and increase your online reputation . Invest in creating valuable content that others will be interested in sharing and linking to.

Basically, if your site is cited by other sites it will be considered a more authoritative source and will be shown higher up.

Final advice and considerations

If we refer to SEO as a series of guidelines to follow to improve the readability of our content, it is certainly something that can bring great benefits with an overall reasonable effort. It's definitely worth it.

But the strategic part, however, is a full-time job and the results will not be quick or even guaranteed.

One good piece of advice I received was to dedicate no more than 20-30% of your strategy to SEO. That's because things change fast these days, including search engine algorithms. If your strategy is already structured on multiple fronts , including advertising campaigns on social media and Google Ads, then it may make sense to invest time, energy and money on a good SEO strategy.

But if your site is new or needs more visitors, you can't rely solely on SEO.

I'll try to explain myself better: if you intend to write interesting and quality content for your users then you can't go wrong.

But if instead you focus everything on keyword research and create content that winks at the algorithm, without actually concentrating on writing texts that add value for the reader, the risk is that all your work could disappear at any moment. 'else with some update or new trend.

My intent is not to discourage those who want to dedicate themselves to SEO or to convince you that it is not an excellent strategic tool, but I hope I have led you to have a more complete overview so you can make informed decisions.

I hope this article has provided you with a useful overview of SEO and its strategic organization. If you need further information or assistance in planning and implementing your SEO strategies, please do not hesitate to contact me on Leone Digitale . I'm here to help you optimize your website and achieve your online visibility goals.

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