SEO: the importance of getting it right

At some point we have had the need to have a presence on the web (to be positioned by Google), either as a personal brand or as a company, and when we turn to a professional (or we do it ourselves), we come across the famous "little word" SEO... But what is SEO really? Is it really so important? Is it really free?... There are countless questions that arise around this word. I'm going to try to explain how important it is. This post is not a detailed article about everything about SEO (which could be enough to write a book), it is just to help you understand, as the title of the post says, "the importance of doing things right".

Find out more about the concept of SEO.

Sonia de la Cruz

Reading time: 9 min

What is SEO?

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a set of actions aimed at improving the positioning of a website in the results list of Google, Bing, or other internet search engines.

SEO works on technical aspects such as optimising the structure and metadata of a website, but it is also applied at the content level, with the aim of making it more useful and relevant to users (Source: Wikipedia).

But in order for us to understand it better, I want to answer a number of questions that will help us understand “what is it” and “why is it so important”.

Why is it important to be well positioned on the web?

Imagine you want to open a physical shop selling clothes and fashion accessories, for retail sale (i.e. to end customers).

Where would you rent the premises?

  • A.- In the city centre
  • B.- In a busy pedestrian street
  • C.- In an industrial estate
  • D.- In an open space (taking advantage of a warehouse belonging to your cousin that he uses for storage)

Indeed, answers A and B are correct, as this is where we will have the largest target audience.
 Answers C and D are not appropriate, as our target is the end customer, so we would find it very difficult for someone to enter our shop as they would never pass by, unless they knew us and went to the exact address to find us.

In the same way that we understand that having a physical shop in a suitable location is necessary for the success of our business, we must also understand this on the web. If we are not well positioned, nobody will find us unless they put our exact address and go looking for us (https://tudominio.com/).

How can we optimise our search engine positioning?

Search engines (Google being the most important and the one that moves the most traffic) work with “search robots” or “spiders” that work with algorithms established by the search engine (TOP SECRET – they are the jewel in Google’s crown) and that are modified based on criteria that only the search engine knows. This is what makes it a complex task and there are no bibles that will always assure us, one hundred percent, our positioning in the search engine.

Google’s spider will check your website and analyse its quality, give it a score and give it the place that, according to Google, it deserves.

Allow me to make an aside, which I find most interesting. In an article written by Lluís Codina in 2018, he talked about the “Death of SEO” as it had been understood to date, and made some very interesting reflections. The conclusion is that the old SEO had degenerated into a practice of “how to trick Google” to position our website without being of quality. If we think about it, this is good news.

Black Hat SEO, i.e. SEO based on cheating Google, is harmful for everyone, but especially for users.

Imagine that you enter in Google and put “Italian restaurant in Madrid” and the first positions you find are “A language academy”, “A striped t-shirt shop” and a company of “Maritime transport” … you would be pissed, wouldn’t you? It doesn’t look anything like what you are looking for!… As you can well guess, this also hurts Google, because, when this happens a couple of times, you will start to distrust Google as a good search engine, so its reputation will gradually transform from excellent to quite mediocre.

 Because of all this, Google changed its algorithms to measure the quality of the site and offer consistent results, among other things, with respect to what users are looking for. So the new SEO appeared:

Ethical SEO, if I may say so, is born (if only because the search engines, seeing their profits threatened, have made any other SEO impossible). What matters to some of us is that the new SEO focuses on improving the user experience (so now the E, for us, is Experience), it focuses on aligning quality content and high visibility in search engines.

This should be a priority agenda for all stakeholders in the industry and, first and foremost, for media companies: the best content deserves the best visibility; but mind the premise, only if it is good content. Source: Lluís Codina (2018)

But how do you do “the right things”?

We all know how to do things well, even if only by intuition. You just have to make a little effort and put some love into it.

I’m from the EGB/BUP and COU era, and I remember my teachers, on the blackboard, making summaries, with “braces”, “brackets” and “parentheses”. Outlines that were intended to help us better understand the subject they were explaining. They ordered the content by priority and included each subject in the corresponding category, so that we students were able to understand it better.

Structure

Well, Google asks the same to understand your website.

 It is essential that you structure your site coherently, and that you put everything in its category. In this way the end user will understand intuitively how to navigate your website and Google will reward this with a better positioning (remember that Google rewards user experience).

Quality of content

Don’t think that with a good structure you have it all done… this is like being in charge of your house, it’s not just enough to make the shopping list and mark the breakfast, lunch and dinner times… no!!!, you also have to cook and make sure it comes out tasty so that your family doesn’t protest… Well, it’s the same thing here. Not only do you have to structure it well, but also the content has to be good, that is, well written, well understood and also interesting… if they are words without content and that do not say something interesting, Google will penalise it in positioning… (this must always be understood depending on the type of content/business that we are positioning).

Titles or H1

Keep in mind that in each of the pages of your website there will only be a H1, is the title that will be marked with this tag, so that Google understands that this is the title of the page, the rest of the titles of the page will be (H2-H3-H4).

So that you understand it, in this Post, there are several titles and each one has a tag for Google to understand it:

  • SEO: The importance of doing things right (H1)
  • Why is it important to be well positioned on the web (H2)
  • How can we optimise our search engine positioning (H2)
  • But how do we “do things right” (H2)?
    •  1.- Structure(H3)
    • 2.- Quality of the content (H3)
    • 3. Titles or H1 (H3)

In this way, we tell Google what our main title (H1) is and what the structure of the post is, so that it understands it, values it and positions it appropriately according to what the end user is looking for.

 It is very important that your titles (H1) are well named and, of course, that they are consistent with the content of your website or your Blog, this will make Google reward you and position you in a better position.

The domain

When we buy a domain, it is important that we contract it for at least 3 years (it is cheap), as Google pays special attention to both the contracting time and the age of the domain. The criterion that Google follows in this case is: “Why am I going to reward a domain that is likely to disappear in just one year? Therefore, the older your domain is, the better positioning your page will have, but if you have just acquired it, tell Google that you have been on the web for at least 3 years or more.

Another important thing that Google looks at is the domain name, that is, if your domain is https://pepitaymenganito.com/, Google does not know what you do. However, if your domain is https://rompaycomplementosmadrid.com/, Google will know what you do and where, so it will reward you in positioning when a user searches for these criteria.

Key words

This section could be the subject of several posts and is where the art of SEO makes the difference. It is important that you analyse what your keywords are (words for which you want to be found). Also analyse your audience and how they search (users’ search trends vary according to the moment and the product/service).

Once you are clear about your keywords, you have to add these words to your content and answer the search criteria used by your target audience… it’s not easy, is it? What is true is that it is not immediate and, moreover, it is a meticulous task, so when we have done our homework in SEO, but we want immediate results, we can combine it with SEM to cover some keywords that have not positioned properly by SEO.

It is important to pay a lot of attention to SEO when we make a website, at least with the basic guidelines that I have mentioned above. If you then want a more advanced SEO, we must hire a professional SEO that we optimize one hundred percent our site, and with this I answer the question at the beginning: SEO is free: Seo, as such, is free, the professional and the tools to be used, are not. So it depends on your needs, whether it is a free option or not. Only you are sovereign of your business and you will have to decide if for the benefit you expect to obtain, you must make a more or less expensive investment… Returning to the previous example of the physical shop of clothing and accessories:

Imagine you want to open a physical shop selling “clothes and fashion accessories” for retail sale (i.e. to end customers).

Where would you rent the premises?

  • A.- In the city centre
  • B.- In a busy pedestrian street
  • C.- In an industrial estate
  • D.- In a vacant lot (taking advantage of your cousin’s warehouse that he uses for storage)

It was clear to all of us that option A and B are the most suitable, however, they are the 2 options where rents are the most expensive… As a business entrepreneur, you will have to decide if the investment you have to make for option A and B will generate the profit you expect versus options C and D which are significantly cheaper…

I hope I have clarified the concept of SEO and how we should handle it when it comes to having a website that will be seen by “Saint Google”.


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