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In today’s highly competitive environment, it is not enough to assemble an effective team and create your product or brand to succeed. It is crucial to make yourself known to as many people as possible. It should not be just random passers-by. Your goal is for people potentially interested in your service, product, or service. To achieve it, you need to develop a personalized plan to promote your site with search engine optimization. It is a step-by-step list of works aimed at increasing the visibility of your resource in organic search, which entails an increase in attendance and sales.

Why do you need a website promotion plan for search engine optimization?

As a competitive tool, search engine optimization is vital for business; unlike advertising, it allows you to succeed in the long term. This is why American companies spend more on search engine optimization than advertising and marketing combined. According to Borrell, this amount has exceeded the $ 700 billion mark. In many countries, the coronavirus pandemic accelerated the transition to online commerce. As a result, the level of competition in e-commerce is constantly growing, forcing entrepreneurs to optimize online resources for the benefit of search engines and the customer.

A search engine optimization plan is your step-by-step instruction to make the site more attractive to Google and the client. Promotion is complex and is carried out in several directions at once. Promotion should be planned because it allows you to:

  • determine the front of work and assign a clear sequence of actions;
  • monitor the complex implementation of all assigned tasks;
  • to plan the employment;
  • evaluate the results of each stage.

Pages optimized according to the requirements of the search engine are at the top positions in the output, attracting more organic traffic. How important is it? According to BrightEdge, 53.3% of all traffic to websites comes from search engines. That’s why it’s important to make every effort to develop this area to attract customers.

Stages of search engine optimization of the site

A search engine optimization plan is developed considering the current mechanism of ranking pages on Google. Although the algorithms of search engines are secret, experts have identified important patterns and determined the most significant indicators that affect the final position of the site on the page of organic output. They are reflected in the proposed search engine optimization algorithm.

Analytics

It is impossible to develop a plan to promote the site, set goals, and assign deadlines for promotion not knowing where you are now. Preliminary analysis is the starting point in assessing the results of the strategy on the basis of the list of works to be carried out to improve the position of a particular site. When creating a plan, you should also analyze the competitors. It is important to respect the scale of the project: if your goal is to enter the regional market, compare yourself with local businesses.

Comprehensive analysis and comparison with competitors provide information about the opportunities that need to be properly implemented in order to improve your ranking in the list of search engine results. The initial data of the sites is not the same, so the amount of work to be done, timing, and cost may vary significantly depending on the resource. All predictions for the search engine optimization and development of an individual plan are formed after a comprehensive analysis.

You need to check the following points:

  1. Visibility of the site.

Check where the site is located in the issuance of high-frequency queries, whether it is included in the search results in the target search engines, and what positions it takes on the medium and low-frequency queries.

  1. Competition in the niche

Find out who leads the market from similar sites, what is used to reach the top lines, what is not used, and what techniques are characteristic of the competitive niche.

  1. Capabilities

Determine what to adapt, improve and build into the strategy to get ahead of them

  1. Arrange the competitors in terms of search engine optimization

Analyze how the sites are arranged, which technological solutions are used, by what principle the content is organized, how the reference mass (profile) is formed for them, what is the ratio of natural to purchased links, and from which categories of sites (e.g., forums, blogs, social networks)

  1. Priority requests for work

Check for what phrases can get visitors and whether they have suitable landing pages or will need to create them; think about what work is needed to optimize previously created landing pages directly for these queries.

  1. Analytical data

Examine how the site is presented directly in search results, as well as what specialized analytics tools show; based on the results, decide what flaws (such as low visibility or a long response time) must be corrected in the first place

Based on this knowledge is built the concept of site development and search engine optimization strategy, defined goals, and budget for their achievement. Also, at this stage, a list of necessary steps for search engine optimization is formed – for example, the transition to another CMS if the current one does not meet future needs. It is better to plan such significant changes than to lose the gained results because of unscheduled rework or inability to work due to technical limitations.

Preparation of the semantic core

In order to define your position in search ranking, Google analyzes how a particular page meets the search query. This system is informed by keywords, which together form a semantic core. The peculiarity of its formation is that search queries should attract the target audience. This is the basis of all search engine optimization of the site.

Proper compilation of the semantic core is one of the main stages of website search engine optimization. It affects how often interested users can find information about your product or service and perform targeted actions.

The site’s semantic core (SC) is, in fact, the project’s skeleton – and not determined at random but based on actual queries from end users. For this purpose, Wordstat or similar tools are used to collect the phrases that customers enter in search engines and the frequency of these queries.

Next, clustering is performed to increase the efficiency of search engine optimization, as well as to avoid duplicate pages. Finally, junk entries are removed – for example; you should remove variants without payment if the project is commercial or includes an inappropriate region (where the business does not work).

The laboriousness of this process is directly determined by the size of the SC. This, in turn, depends on the project being promoted: if a hundred keys are enough for a business card with a dozen pages, hundreds of thousands are not the limit for a commercial portal with a store. The core is developed as the constituent categories are ready, so you can start optimizing immediately without waiting for the full collection of semantics.

The SC, in full accordance with the name, affects most of the search engine optimization actions to optimize the site:

  • Defines the structure of sites and indicates the relationship of pages;
  • Applies to meta tags – both in manual mode and when automatically created by templates;
  • Gives a list of keys for the web pages;
  • Gives ideas for anchors for external links to the site;
  • Allows you to monitor and, if necessary, adjust the visibility.

Creating a semantic core allows you to:

  • Make a relevant website taking into account popular user queries and semantic algorithms of search engines;
  • To update the structure of the existing website and define a strategy for its search engine optimization;
  • To distribute content evenly on all pages of the site (text optimization), thereby increasing their conversion rate;
  • Improve the position of the site in search engines (visibility) and increase traffic (number of visitors);
  • Prepare ad groups for launching advertising campaigns.

How to collect a semantic core for the site?

Answering the question of how to collect keywords, we need to digitize the process of building a semantic core in several stages:

1.    Selection of token queries

Marker queries – these are the most popular keywords from your topic that fully characterize your site/product/type of activity; these are a kind of “control points” – they will create and build up a “framework” semantic core, so they must be carefully selected. Depending on the marker queries to the completeness of the semantics, how precise and complete will your search engine optimization be?

There are several ways how to choose marker queries:

  • Brainstorming – gather all the ideas and associations related to the topic of your site – thematic and per thematic;
  • Competitor Analysis – Look at the top rankings for your topic and collect keywords from the Title in the snippets of competitor sites – they often contain the most popular search terms that can be used as markers. By the way, you can also check the positions of competitors’ sites.
  • The names of sections and categories of the site – if you already have a site, markers can be used as the names of sections, headings, and categories of the site;
  • Google Search Console – is also an important source of keywords. If you have a site, marker queries can take the most popular keywords with many hits from search engines.
2.    Collecting keywords from Wordstat

For carefully selected marker queries, we can start parsing semantics to compile a semantic core online – it is recommended to collect as many keywords, phrases, and word combinations from different sources as possible, to cover the topic well. To do this, we use tools:

  • Wordstat collection – collect keywords from the left and right columns of the Yandex Wordstat database for specified marker queries. One of the best sources of semantics. Also suitable for collecting keywords for PPC (Google Ads);
  • Gathering AdWords – collects keywords from the Google AdWords database for the specified marker queries;
  • Cue collection – we collect LSI keywords from Google search results. In search engine optimization, collecting Google cues is very useful because cues contain many synonymous, related keywords, including the “Together with this searched” blocks in Google. LSI cues have some advantages: expand semantics, dilute them, reduce spam, increase the relevance of the text, and allow you to rank at the top.
3.    Collection of keywords from Adwords

Go to Gather AdWords and similarly select the option frequency collection; frequency types are not here; AdWords shows the average frequency of the keyword for 12 months, import the file and run the project;

In the output, we get a table with the data.

This is the final list of your keywords. Now you need to get the structure from this list of queries; to do this, we send them to clustering.

Clustering (cluster analysis) is a procedure that performs query processing, analyzes them, and arranges them into groups. Only compatible and similar in meaning keywords get into one cluster.

4.    Collection of Google and YouTube search cues
  • Search cues contain the most recent data (the actual flow of user queries).
  • The queries shown in the tooltips have the original correct word form.
  • The service filtering “crooked” queries and typos
5.    Gathering frequency of keywords
6.    Query clustering

After collecting the semantic core comes the stage of clustering and distributing requests on landing pages.

At this stage, the keys are combined into clusters (groups) that can be promoted to the top on one page.

There are two types of clustering keywords, Hard and Soft, which are based on an analysis of search results for a list of queries and search for matching URLs in them.

  • Soft – this method is used for clustering queries in large informational articles. The formation of the group occurs when the intersection of 2 or more URL addresses is in the search results for marker queries.
  • Hard – this method has a high clustering accuracy and is used for commercial queries. The group formation occurs when the intersection of 3 or more URL addresses is in the search results for all queries.

The greater the number of intersections by which keywords are grouped, the higher the accuracy, but fewer queries in the cluster.

Clustering queries can be performed both manually, for example, if there are few keywords, and automatically with the help of special services like unmiss.com/keywordclusterizator.

Classification of semantics

When collecting the semantic core, it is important to consider what type of semantics corresponds to your site. All semantics can be divided into:

  • commercial/informational;
  • geo-dependent/geo-independent;
  • seasonal/non-seasonal;
  • Highly competitive/medium competitive/low-competitive.

Grouping queries by pages

Creating a semantic kernel is an important step in implementing a search engine optimization plan. Grouping queries helps shape the overall structure of the site. For example, when working with the “Dresses” section for a clothing store, you may find the high popularity of clarifying queries. These may be “summer dresses”, “dresses with long sleeves,” or “office dresses.” For so many refinement queries, it is wise to create several subcategories or filters leading to refinement search pages.

The frequency of queries helps to determine the current demand for specific groups of goods or services. Given the grouping of queries, it is advisable to build a content plan and set up cross-linking. If there are informational queries in addition to commercial ones in the list of requests for site promotion, they can be used when writing articles for a blog or to create content for external pages.

Forming the structure and making a content plan

Throughout its existence, the site has been growing in size. New product pages are constantly being added, the blog is filled with articles and reviews, and reviews are written. The sheer volume of information creates confusion and clutters up the site. It becomes difficult for users to find anything, Google lowers the ranking, and the number of buyers decreases noticeably, although you develop and regularly add new products.

A well-organized structure helps Google find the right content, understand your offer, and present that product to its target audience. Users can find the information they need and take targeted action quickly. With the proper structure, your site’s pages won’t compete with each other in search engine rankings. When building the architecture, it is vital to group thematic sections and builds a hierarchy by highlighting separate categories, subcategories, and products. When implementing this stage of the search engine optimization plan, consider the URL structure, build navigation, divide products into separate categories, and set up internal linking.

In narrow niches, you can do without elaborate structure if there is no competition due to the specifics of the product or service. However, in other cases, you need to carefully work out the order and relationships, adding optimized landing pages for the highlighted groups of queries in the previous step or using as a source of inspiration the results of competitor analysis and search statistics directly on the site or the range of products.

The content plan should not only concern the text content of the pages of your site. You should make yourself known wherever your potential customers live. These can be social networks, thematic blogs, or authoritative publications. The content plan should be based on the requests of the target audience. When reviewing new products and presenting relevant information, it is important not to forget about “evergreen content” (information that remains relevant for a long time).

Work on internal search engine optimization

The above steps to promote the site lead to the main – the internal search engine optimization of pages, which includes a large list of works:

  • technical upgrading – setting up the visibility and proper operation of pages, elimination of double entries, download speed search engine optimization, linking tuning, fine-tuning of the architecture, correction of errors in meta descriptions, title tags, and so on;
  • filling of the site content in accordance with previously developed semantics;
  • improving the usability of the site – work on usability and commercial factors.

Internal search engine optimization is a process of comprehensive improvement of the site for search engines and users. All obstacles to the normal ranking of pages should be removed, and the site should begin to receive its share of organic traffic. Internal optimization gives 99% of the result of search engine optimization.

Search engine optimization experts recognize edits that are made during internal optimization as significant Google ranking factors.

According to experts, the most important ranking factors in Google at the moment are the relevance of the page content to the request, the quality of sites that link to the page, the use of words and phrases from the query, trustworthiness, and credibility of the resource, usability from mobile devices.

Technical audit and error correction

Either site visitors or search engines do not like the incorrect performance.

Checking and optimization of technical factors include:

6.1 Automating the creation of titles and meta tags

Generation by templates, taking into account the previously typed SN or its categories, structural categories, and filters specific to geographic location or individual products.

6.2 Generating understandable addresses

Creating pages and sections of addresses in a format understandable to humans (not /sgsergddcw-2-3-1, but /notebooks/brand_name), taking into account the search phrases, you must also define the logic of the generation of page addresses with filtering and visibility of links to filters.

6.3 Reducing loading time

Identification and elimination of the site “bottle-neck” that slows down loading: enabling caching and, if necessary – content delivery networks (CDN), using compression (both for images and all content), minimizing the scripting load or asynchronous loading, optimization of accesses to the database.

6.4 Creating or recreating a sitemap

Enabling or disabling indexing of pages according to their perceived visibility, explicitly designating important pages for search engine crawlers to check.

6.5 Eliminate repetitions

Setting up redirects, adding a canonical tag on original pages, adding no-index follow.

6.6 Fine-tuning of the markup

Adding information for the automatic reading by search robots of data on ratings and reviews, images on the site, and for the formation of snippets in the search results (e.g., immediately with the display of categories or contacts for ordering).

6.7 Connecting other languages

Adding a switch to switch to the version with the appropriate language, optimization for this language.

6.8 Testing adaptivity

Checking of website operability on mobile devices, which search engines give priority in rendering; checking of display of key forms and buttons from different devices.

6.9 Verification of the correctness of the program code

Check scanners and services for viewing in different browsers and troubleshooting.

Antivirus Checks the site with scanners and, if necessary, removes malicious content.

6.10 Checking and, if necessary, updating CMS

Switching to the latest version to avoid vulnerabilities of old versions, provided that such a transition will not critically affect the operation of the resource.

Working with commercial factors

Commercial and informational sites are very different in structure. If your goal is to sell, you need to:

  • Improve access to contact information.
  • Improve the quality of product cards. Additions to informative descriptions are the ability to choose the desired modification of the product, the presence of basic characteristics, and quality photos or videos. The page description should include the price of the product, as well as the ability to add it to the cart;
  • Timely updates of the information. Ideally, there should be integration with the stock calculation program. Otherwise, a user may try to buy a missing product;
  • Create informational sections describing delivery terms, return payment methods, and warranties. An integral part is to have a user agreement and familiarization with the privacy policy.

Security of the site increases the confidence level of the search engine and visitors. HTTPS is required for this purpose. Secure websites rank higher, and users here take targeted actions without fear – registering, subscribing, and making purchases.

Internal linking

An internal link leads from one page of your site to another. How does it help your content rank better? Internal links give Google an idea of your site’s hierarchy and improve page indexing. The amount of link mass determines the value of a page. Internal linking encourages the user to explore the site and spend more time on it, which signals to the search engine that the resource is quality and useful.

There are several ways to organize internal linking. These include:

  • Navigation elements that allow you to return to key pages quickly;
  • “Breadcrumbs”, through which the user quickly returns to the previous level of the hierarchy;
  • End-to-end links on every page of the site in the “header” and “footer”;
  • Blocks of popular products;
  • Contextual linking – placing links in the text description;
  • Placing pictures-links.

Depending on the goals of search engine optimization, choose the optimal scheme for linking pages.

Proper linking within site allows you to achieve these results:

  • An increase in the number of pages viewed (visitor engagement). The more engagement, the more products the user can buy. In addition, an increase in engagement has a positive effect on ranking. Thus, the weight of the link mass is distributed on pages with competitive keywords;
  • Increasing usability (ease of use). Relinking complex sites to do because directories with thousands of products and individual card pages are difficult to navigate. Links are placed in order to help the potential buyer to find what he needs;
  • Increasing conversions. If you place links to selling product cards on pages with useful information, they are highly likely to buy that product because the useful content has increased confidence in the product being offered;
  • Reduced bounce rates. This metric has a big impact on rankings. If a user came in and left the online resource after 10-15 seconds, it is considered a bounce. If the visitor looks through more pages and performs some actions, it will not be a bounce;
  • Improvement of indexing. Through the link, search engine robots can find new content on the website;
  • Distribution of link weight by the importance of the page being promoted. You can lift pages with the most profitable or marketable products to the top by placing links to them from those pages, where there are many links.

Link mass creates a particular structure, linking pages together. Clicking on the link, the visitor to the site or online store is moving to another page (the link’s text often indicates a section or product card where the user will move). Applying this type of linking allows you to increase the depth of views and engagement of potential buyers. In addition, links on pages positively affect the indexation and rating of the web resource as a whole.

There are different types of page linking

Manual

Such a website page linking is done manually and is a more time-consuming process than automatic spacing, but it allows for better control of all the nuances. Manually you can check the correct placement of anchors, links relevance, and the literacy of linkage text.

+ Ability to control the topic and relevance of the links and the link text.

– High labor intensity.

Automatic

To automate linking, use special plugins and scripts. In the plugin, you can select the number and name of links, which are then put automatically. Automatic link linking is suitable for large online resources to form menus, site maps, “breadcrumbs” (navigation), blocks “new articles”, “you will be interested”, etc.

  • High speed of linking. The ability to quickly put a large amount of link mass.
  • Requires periodic double-checking of the quality of the plugins.
Contextual

These types of links are written in the text part as recommendations “more information about the product you can learn here” or “also learn how to choose products” and so on. All types of links in the text are referred to as contextual. This type of links has a major impact on engagement and depth of user browsing.

+ Increased browsing depth. Increases user loyalty to the web resource.

– Placed on one page.

Through

These are links that are located in the menu and sidebar (sidebar). “Through-links” is placed on elements that are visible on every page. Search engine robots see such links not as one but as many (by the number of pages in the resource).

+ Helps the user navigate to the home page of the site, speeds up indexing, and increases traffic.

– Weaker in the ranking, compared to the contextual. “Squiggles” are not placed in the text.

Unanchored

If the link is inserted with the word “here”, “more”, “on the site”, etc., then it is an unanchored link. The same type includes a simple mention of the name of the company or the URL of the desired page on your site.

+ Links without anchors have a natural look, dilute the anchor list, and make the link mass more diverse.

– There is no way to harmoniously fit HF or HF keywords in the link.

Anchor

An anchor link contains a request that redirects the visitor to the desired section or product card. The presence of a thematic anchor increases the relevance of the content of the page to which the link leads. Anchors are used for high and medium-frequency key queries. You can use the anchor with the exact occurrence of the key (without changing the word form), as well as using the morphological form (changing the case or number) or diluting it with other words that are relevant to the topic.

+ Increases the relevance of the recipient page. Positively affects the growth of traffic.

– You need to pick up a lot of different queries that are not the same among themselves.

The benefits of linking in the promotion

What benefits does the owner of the web resource receive with the proper use of link mass on the pages of the site:

  • The ability to make the right pages a priority. Adequate redistribution for links that lead from other pages or third-party online resources can increase the authority of certain pages;
  • Accelerated indexation of the most authoritative pages or sections helps to bring them to the top of search results;
  • Increase of conversions. Improving usability increases the loyalty of visitors. If the site contains useful expert information or a good description of the product with properties and benefits of use with a link to the product catalog where you can buy it, the user is highly likely to take the targeted action (place an order);
  • Optimization of costs for search engine optimization. The fewer bounces and the greater the involvement of potential buyers, the higher the website’s ranking. The ranking indicator directly affects the appearance of the first positions in natural results.

For competent use of link mass, you need to determine which pages on one site are the highest priority to get into the leadership positions for the major key queries.

For the promotion of the online store can be recommended such a scheme of linking:

  • On the main page, there are links to sections;
  • From sections, the links lead to subsections or categories;
  • From information articles, links lead to product cards or catalog sections;
  • From product cards, links redirect to useful articles and promotional offers.

Specialists in website promotion recommend organizing the structure so that the page to be promoted is, at most, three clicks from the main page on deeper levels. Nesting can cause difficulties with indexing and promotion.

Useful tips on linking

In order for the link mass to give a positive result for Internet promotion, you need to adhere to several rules:

  • Each article should have no more than one link to the promoted URL – its duplication makes no sense.
  • It is necessary to make a list of anchors unique to each other. For this, key queries are diluted, and words are declined by case. Links are selected by subject pages and sections to which they lead.
  • You need to redistribute the main weight on pages that are being promoted. To do this, they should lead to more links than from them.
  • Analyze the click map to determine which links are not clickable and need to adjust the anchor text.

Each link should be well thought out before placing, and better to assess the situation with successful competitors. Links profile – one of the most important elements of the site ranking, which the algorithms are studying meticulously. Therefore, the links and their ratio need to think carefully or order an assessment of the situation with professionals.

If done correctly, the link mass on the site will bring new users and improve the link ranking. Links need to be handled with extreme caution so as not to arouse suspicion among search engines. Bringing back a good reputation will be much harder, almost impossible.

Content optimization

Content helps users and search engines understand what you’re selling. According to BrightEdge, 54% of online shoppers read reviews before they buy, and 39% are interested in reviews. Having in-demand content boosts sales. To optimize it, it’s important:

  • It should be useful, informative, and original. Good content takes into account the requirements of users and search engines;
  • Timely updates. Outdated or irrelevant information has no value;
  • Structure. Search engines don’t like to analyze long strands of text, so it should be broken down into sections using subheadings.

With content, you tell search engines which query to search for on your site, show your customer the best aspects of your product, and can influence behavioral factors. Chartbeat research shows that 66% of user attention goes to the bottom of the page, so important textual information should be placed there.

How users read online

Texts, as the main content of the site to be promoted, also need to be optimized. Here we need copywriters who are able to organically fit the previously collected site keys from the CYA. It is important to comply with the current requirements of search engines – algorithms change regularly, so blindly following outdated recommendations will lead to a negative effect. When working with meta tags, queries from the “long tail” (with the occurrence of more words but a lower frequency) are used, which allows you to achieve a high degree of compliance and thus become a preferred option for the search engine service.

Since it’s not just the site’s text content that ranks, you should also check the optimization of images. A thematic video with a description will also be useful – for example; it can significantly improve behavioral indicators on a product card.

External optimization

For full-fledged promotion, you need link mass. Ideally – 100% natural that is formed by the visitors themselves. For this purpose, the content should be useful and interesting so that you want to share it. Then, for small projects with minimal competition, you can get by with links created by users.

In practice, however, links have to buy more to the profile of the site corresponding to the average performance of competitors from the top of extradition while not looking suspicious to search engines. The number of external links for a site is still one of the main factors influencing the ranking. It is important to monitor the quality of this: looking at natural links from the forum will be more useful than from sites of questionable quality, where web admins are willing to put unthematic links. It is advisable to check beforehand whether the donor site has no sanctions from search engines so as not to get caught under a filter for the company with it.

Since pages in Google are ranked based on relevance and authority, at this stage of search engine optimization promotion, the latter is to be increased. Creating informative and useful content for placement on authoritative external sources with backlinks to your resource helps improve positions. Making the site more noticeable will help:

  • registration in directories;
  • publication of articles in authoritative resources;
  • the attraction of users from social networks;
  • doing your own blog or forum.

External search engine optimization works are carried out over a long period of time. Among the factors affecting the degree of confidence in the search engine, there are also the dynamics of growth of link mass, as well as the age of links.

External linking of the site is placing a link on the page leading to a third-party website. This type of linking on the pages of one site allows you to transfer the page’s authority to a third-party resource, which positively affects the search engine promotion and the output of the top organic results.

What should you take into account during re-linking sites:

  • You need to use a hyperlink with the href tag, not just the address of the page;
  • As an anchor, use a relevant word that will tell the user where to go by clicking on the link;
  • Choose sites with similar content, complementary products, or services as donors (online resources, where your link leads).

For effective promotion, it is recommended not just to buy external links but to choose the ” link building strategy.” This builds a quality link mass from external resources – sites, forums, and blogs- through publishing useful, expert content. Interesting texts with important information about the product, its use, or choice will be shared by users and thus promote the website.

Analysis of behavioral factors

The way users behave on the page affects the results of issuance. Therefore, the work plan to promote the site should include the implementation of a set of measures aimed at:

  • reducing the number of bounces;
  • increasing the depth of page views;
  • increasing the amount of time a user spends on the site;
  • Analysis of traffic and optimization of content for the target audience.

Each specific situation requires a separate analysis.

Improving usability and conversions

Let’s assume that Google understands content perfectly. What then makes the difference between pieces of textual information placed on different sites? User response. Pages that people like will be the most profitable for search engines. Usability search engine optimization makes the site more convenient for the target audience. Search engine optimization involves observing user behavior over time. Such analysis helps to get rid of unnecessary elements and choose the optimal placement of important buttons and forms.

User experience and usability directly affect its popularity with visitors. If the site design is pleasant, the structure is well thought out, and the desired material can be reached in 3-4-5 clicks – most likely, the user will not return to the search engine but stay on the site. Otherwise (too long loading time, awkward navigation, aggressive content, not suitable for mobile devices) – on the contrary, will return to Google or Yahoo.

Search engines take this into account in behavioral factors, such as:

  • return to prominence;
  • bounce rate;
  • time spent on the site.

The better the indicators, the higher will be the ranking.

An additional advantage will be an increase in conversion from one-time visitors to permanent visitors or customers. Therefore the following points are important:

  • adaptability: first of all, the content should be convenient for smartphones – their share in site browsing already confidently exceeds the share of traditional PCs;
  • navigation: simple, with “bread crumbs”, and the internal search for the site comes in handy;
  • contacts: available everywhere, with a travel map if needed;
  • “about us” allows you to score extra points to increase the visitor’s credibility.

In this case, it implies not only selling as converting a visitor into a customer but also fulfilling other site promotion goals, including intermediate ones, such as subscribing to a mailing list. This stage includes an extensive set of activities aimed at identifying the most successful combination of design, content, reviews, and calls to action.

It includes:

  • testing color schemes for items;
  • checking and, if necessary, adjusting order and forms and subscriptions;
  • setting up online chats or connecting other channels for direct communication with site managers;
  • choosing the layout of materials on the page, including the relative positioning of images and text, the position of buttons, and even the direction of a person’s gaze on the picture, if there is one on the page;
  • development of mailing list triggers;
  • implementation of content personalization and/or recommendation system (both for products and articles posted on the site).

Crawling management

Large projects (stores, forums, portals) play a special role in the crawling budget – that is, the number of pages one visits can analyze the search robot.

If he checks for low-use addresses – for example, filters for which there are no requests, it may not reach the important. And as a result, landing pages may not even enter the index and will not be available to users of the same Yahoo or Google.

You should avoid such mistakes:

  • Sorting options that are open to indexing;
  • Multiple intersections of filters (more than three);
  • Crossing of filters of the same type (by two parameters from one category);
  • Too many pages of combined filters.
  • It is recommended to involve professionals in fine-tuning. If you edit the settings yourself, you risk closing the necessary pages from indexing or leaving too many unnecessary pages visible.

Configuring Robots.txt

This file contains directives that are set for the search robot to index the site. In other words, the file specifies to the search robot which pages of the site should be indexed and which should not. The indexing is to exclude all system files, duplicate pages, keyword headings, and other technical pages.

If the appropriate bans are not set, the robot will index pages randomly, which may greatly affect the position in extradition.

You can create a Robots.txt file using a text editor or use a service to generate such files.

XML sitemap

Sitemap.xml (sitemap) is a file that tells search engine crawlers how exactly the site structure is organized.

The file contains information about:

  • Which pages of the site should be indexed;
  • How often the information on the pages is updated;
  • Indexing which pages are most important.
  • For the file to perform its functions, it must be located on the same domain as the site for which it is composed, contain no more than 50 000 URLs, and be encoded UTF-8.

There are also special services (Mysitemapgenerator, XML-sitemaps, Gensitemap) to generate sitemaps.

Micro-label

To increase the CTR of your site, use structured data that will allow the search engine to enter additional information into the page’s snippet and thus concretize information about you to the user. The most common types of micro-markup are Schema.org and OpenGraph.

Schema.org shows the search robot exactly how to structure information from the site to show in a snippet in the search results. It does not directly affect ranking but makes the snippet more attractive to users. Different forms of this micro-patterning are designed for pages with different types of content: recipes, movies, organizations, reviews, product cards, etc. The templates are easy to find online.

OpenGraph was created by the developers of Facebook in order to ensure that links to the pages of sites will be beautifully displayed on social networks. Almost all social networks now support this micro-markup. Thus, in the preview of the snippet, the user sees an image relevant to the content of the page and a clear description. Such a publication does not require any further work; there is no need to supplement it with text or select the image. Snippets of pages where OpenGraph is implemented look more attractive to users, and they are clicked on more often.

Testing the site

Before the first launch of a new site or after the changes are made, it is worth making sure that all the fixes work as intended. Some of the work can be done manually to test different online services for analyzing the site.

  • Check links on the site, and make sure that they lead to the right pages. Create a separate 404 page for your client to get to if one of the links does break;
  • Test the performance of the site and the loading speed of pages;
  • Test all feedback forms and correct integration with other services so you don’t lose orders;
  • Make sure the site is linked to the primary services to collect statistics (Google Analytics) so as not to lose data for further work to promote the site;
  • Make sure that the activities of your website comply with the laws of the country where the company operates;
  • Create a backup, just in case.

Remember! Organic traffic from proper search engine optimization is the most motivated and best converted into contacts, leads, and deals.

Monitoring Results and Consistent Improvement

Full-fledged search engine optimization implies constant monitoring of the effectiveness of the measures taken with the help of webmaster panels or other analytical tools. If critical errors are eliminated, the site is not under sanctions; it is successfully ranked – you can move on to fine-tuning by sections, subcategories, and so on. By doing this, you can provide complete coverage of the semantic core to get more natural (and not costly) traffic.

Is it possible not to perform everything in your search engine optimization?

Yes, individual search engine optimization steps can be waived. For example, with a single-page resource, there is no need to work with the crawling budget, and in the absence of competition, specific sites can even be ranked safely in the first three, even with a terrible design or zero-budget search engine optimization. However, underestimating a particular step (such as a technical audit) can be a critical mistake. Therefore, you should consult with professionals when planning the work – or trust them with all the activities to promote the site.

Conclusion

Implementing all the planned stages of search engine optimization does not cancel the need for regular analytics and further work on the site, albeit not as extensive. If you do not maintain the results achieved in the future by properly expanding the structure of the site creating quality content, and competitors will soon take link building, the positions you have taken. Search engine optimization should continue as long as you want to be competitive on the Internet.

 

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