The Complete SEO Guide: Optimizing Your Site
The algorithms by which search engines (SARs) rank sites are regularly updated. New elements and factors have been added to them on which sites are ranked. But the basic principles of SEO site optimization remain the same.
To really understand how to improve a site in the direction of search engine optimization, in addition to the deep knowledge of theory requires a lot of practice – dozens of sites, preferably in different areas.
In this article, we have collected their practical experience in site promotion and compiled a guide on SEO optimization.
The reader, in turn, will be able to decide – to take on this work yourself or entrust it to those who do it regularly and in practice has proved the effectiveness of their work.
At the end of the article, we have prepared for you a handy checklist that will allow you to check your site – what has been done to optimize the site, and what items need improvement.
Analysis of the site, topics, and competitors
For which projects this step is relevant:
- Online stores
- Sites of services and products
- News sites
- Company sites
To analyze the competitiveness of the topic of your site and identify the major players in this niche, which occupy the first positions in SERP by keywords, you can use different ways. The simplest are the following:
1. Primary study of the top 10 search results (manual search).
If you enter a query into the search box, the search engine will show you the number of sites that are ranked by it, and you can understand how competitive your topic is.
2. To analyze your competitors in more detail, we proceed to the second method: analysis with the help of services.
They allow you to quickly and easily analyze the keywords you are interested in, as well as find out what keywords are used to see your competitor’s site in search.
Services can help you understand how competitive your topic is. To do this, enter a keyword phrase into the line, select the region of analysis and you will get a list of words with an average demand for a month, it’s called search volume.
Here’s a list of the best-known services
The most popular service is Similarweb. There are paid and free versions. Last gives quite a lot of information. True, if the site is small (less than 5,000 visitors per month), then part of the data will not be available.
This tool is geared to analyze the link mass, but you can also analyze the content, see the approximate number of organic words, traffic from organic, the number of keywords in context.
These services are very similar in their functionality. Here you can see what keywords your competitors are ranking for, the number of words in organic and contextual ads, examples of ads, positions and visibility in search.
How to use these services we consider in other articles on our website.
Semantic kernel – these are the keywords that users are looking for sites in a search engine. It is recommended to start the process of promotion with this point, as only pushing away from semantics, you can make the most convenient, logical structure of the site.
Collection of basic queries
Your goal: to collect a general list of requests for all services and product categories, which the company is engaged in.
Take into account synonyms, different variants of spelling, analyze the site, catalog, list of services, and a list of marker queries is formed.
Then they are supplemented by possible synonyms, different variants of spelling, analyzed the results (what words stand out as synonyms in the search, what competitors use in the text of the pages).
Collection of the full semantic core
Your goal: full coverage of key queries on the subject of the resource.
Such a complete semantic kernel can be collected only for such projects as an online store, for a blog the process of keyword searching will be a constant process for you.
Based on the collected indicator semantics the whole list of commercial phrases is collected. Various tools are used for this purpose – Ahrefs, Semrush.
When collecting complete semantics, it is important to understand the differences between commercial and informational queries. If you gather the wrong list, the optimization of the landing page (ie, a page that should rank in search results for a particular query) on it will not bring results, that is positions.
Your goal: to form groups of queries based on the semantic core, divided by common themes.
The work can be based on the experience of the SEO specialist, because most often the clustering is logically justified by the division of queries in certain areas. The work uses additional tools that are based on the issuance analyze which queries are more often found on the same pages (ie, can rank on the same page). This can speed up the clustering process, as well as gain insight for groups where the division seems unobvious.
Without an understanding of the clustering principle, queries that should not be aggregated, or queries of a non-commercial nature, may fall into the same group. This will create problems with the correct optimization of pages and the structure of the site.
Distribution of requests on landing pages
Your goal: to allocate for each group of semantics corresponding page on the site, or determine the number of new pages to create.
Gathering a list of pages on the site and specifying them as landing pages in the appropriate groups. For groups for which there is no appropriate page, make a list of new pages to be created on the site.
You may have errors in the selection of landing pages – for example, selecting a common section for a group with refined product parameters.
The structure of the site
After collecting the semantic core, we have an understanding of how users search for the products or services the site sells. Semantics also tells us if users are looking for more specific products or use different versions of the names of products. This is what we’re going to build the site’s structure around.
Your goal: to analyze the current structure, to identify errors in the formation of a hierarchy of sections and subsections, to form a new structure
Based on the semantic core, the main sections (the main division of the catalog), they are allocated subsections (if necessary). If there is a structure on the site, the analysis of the current division of the directory, forming a task for revision and reorganization.
You may have if there are errors in the collection of semantics or lack of understanding of the logic of the formation of the catalog – for example, the overall division is incorrect (for example, incorrect queries are combined into one group, or, conversely, divided into unnecessary small sections), a lot of unnecessary or unaccounted for in the structure of subsections, or they are not in their parent groups.
Types of site structure
For commercial websites should distinguish two basic types of structure that are interrelated and complement each other: vertical structure and horizontal.
A vertical structure is a set of pages with all services, categories, products, and other pages. This structure is present in almost any online store and is the basis of the site.
A horizontal structure is a set of tagged pages containing entities with common properties or characteristics. For an online store, these can be pages with a selection of products of a certain color, size.
Developing the structure of the site
Creating the right structure of the site for SEO consists of several steps:
- Analysis of the structure of the existing site
- A detailed study of the services or range of products that the site offers
- Collection of basic queries
- Analyzing sites from a pool of high-frequency indicator queries
- Parsing of all requests, cleaning, and formation of a full semantic core of the site
- Formation of the site structure
For any commercial website, the region of sales is the most important ranking factor. To sell products in Boston, you must have an address in that region and get geo-referenced by Google.
Any commercial site must have a page with full contact details. Without it, users won’t be able to orientate in which city you do business, and are likely to leave the site.
Contact information on the site should contain as much detail as possible about all methods of communication with the company:
- full address of the company’s office
- telephone numbers
- email addresses
- office hours and operators of the site
- links to all social networks in which the organization is registered
- detailed travel directions
Address in the footer/header
The presence of contact information in the footer and header allows you to be sure that when a user enters any page of your site, he will immediately understand in what region you are, and if necessary, without unnecessary clicks can find your phone or office address, or, for example, call you (if he came to the site from a cell phone). Also, each page of the site will have your contact information in the content, which will help improve the ranking of the pages in the relevant region.
More often than not, companies add their phone number in the header and full contact information in the footer.
Allows you to participate in a map search and get linked to the desired region. In order to be added to Google Business, you need to confirm the details of your organization by a code that is sent to the address of your company office (by mail), or by calling the phone number indicated in the company card.
The region in the meta tags
The presence of the city in the meta-tags helps improve the page ranking in the corresponding region as well as for inquiries involving your region.
Promotion in one state
If you are selling goods and providing services in one region, it is enough to do all of the above work on the regional linking of your resource. Usually with one region when promoting the site there are no difficulties (provided that you have a real physical address in that region).
Promotion in several states
If a company has several offices in different cities or delivers products to other regions, promotion within one site may be difficult.
For example, if you need to specify the regions in the meta-tags, it is not always possible to list all the cities you need.
This problem is often solved by creating regional subdomains or subfolders. In this situation, it is possible to create a separate site (subfolder) for each city in which you want to improve the ranking, and through the generation and substitution of addresses to unique each site (subfolder) for the region.
Technical optimization and indexing
Is a set of works to eliminate technical errors in the site, which negatively affect the indexing and subsequent ranking of the site.
What should be checked:
- The correctness of site responses – 200 for existing pages, 404 or 410 for deleted pages
- Availability of 301 redirects from the double pages
- Correct execution of the 404 page
Screaming Frog, Netpeak Spider, Xenu
What you need to check:
- redirects from the site to the www (or vice versa)
- redirects from HTTP or HTTPS (depending on the protocol your site uses)
- redirect from pages with a slash at the end to pages without it (or vice versa)
- redirects correctness – setting 301 response
What you need to check:
- the presence of the map XML
- no errors when you check the validity XML map
- correct protocol (HTTP or HTTPS – depending on the protocol your site is using)
- Google Search Console Sitemap Analyzer
- XML Sitemap Validator
HTML site map
What you need to check:
- the presence of the html map on the site
- link to the map in the footer
- no unnecessary pages in the map
What you need to check:
- The presence of a link to the XML map
- Close all unnecessary sections
- No indexing of styles, images is prohibited
Parsing the site
What you need to check:
- The presence of broken links on the site
- Links that lead through 301 redirects to the destination URL
What you need to check:
- Viruses on the site
- Virus Scan on Hosting
- Spam links on your site
Validity of CSS and HTML
What you need to check:
- no errors in CSS
- no HTML errors
Saved copies (Bing, Google)
What you need to check:
- Assessment of the site’s content indexing
- Availability of text in the saved version
- Checking saved copies in Bing and Google output
What you need to check:
- presence of noindex tags in important blocks, content
What to check:
- presence of unique meta-tags on pagination pages
- unique h1 headers
- no indexation bans (in robots.txt, noindex nofollow tags)
- correct canonical leading to the main section page
- Page code check
- Check the robots.txt document
- Use of browser extensions (e.g. Moz)
What to check:
- Absence of double h1 on pages
- Excessive number of h2-h6 tags on pages
- Header tags in transversal blocks, in templates
- Page code check
- Use of browser extensions (e.g. Moz)
Alt and Title of images
What you need to check:
- The presence of filled alt and title tags
- No duplicates in tags
- No over spamming in tags
- Checking page code
- Use of browser extensions (e.g. Moz)
Secure connection (SSL protocol)
What you need to check:
- https version on the site
- Check ssl certificate validity period
- Check availability and correctness of redirects to https version of the site
- No errors in installing ssl certificate
Tags noindex, nofollow
What you need to check:
- presence of noindex nofollow tags in the code of the pages
- assessment of the necessity of the installed tags (if any)
- page code check
What we check:
- presence of subdomains in the index (technical, duplicating the main domain, etc.)
- search for subdomains and search for site mirrors from pixelplus
Junk pages in the index
What to check:
- presence of administrative pages (login pages in the admin area, etc.)
- presence of pages with dynamic parameters – sorting, filters, etc.
- analysis of the site index through Google Search Console
Correctness of site indexing
What you need to check:
- Number of indexed pages in Google
Analysis of site index through Google Search Console
What to check:
- the presence of complete or partial duplication of content pages
- tight content
This metric has become one of the key metrics for all search engines in recent years. Algorithms take loading speed into account in ranking, and Google’s webmaster panels have data on the evaluation of site loading speed. Accordingly, if there are problems with this indicator, it is possible to lower the site in the rankings, as well as an increase in the number of bounces from users who did not wait for your site page to load and leave it.
Analyzing loading speed
PageSpeed and GTMetrix tools allow you to evaluate the speed of loading pages on your site. The services also display tips for fixing problems on the site (types of errors and how to solve them).
Optimizing JS and CSS
Optimizing images and other visual objects
It is important to keep track of what size images are placed on the site. It is not recommended to use too large file sizes. In addition to image sizes, you can use delayed loading – lazyload, which loads images as the user scrolls through the page.
Micromarkup is the structured markup of your organization’s data that allows search engines to better understand your content. It allows you to improve your site’s snippets as well as display blocks in a user-friendly format (e.g., photo carousel, Q&A, instructions, etc.).
Services are used to check the correctness of the embedded microarray:
- Check structured data from Google
- Check OpenGraph microdata
Micro markup schema.org
This type of markup is supported by Google and allows you to mark up many types of data on your site.
All of the markup options can be seen in the dictionary https://schema.org/. Below are described the most popular and important types of markup for sites
Organization markup is the markup of data about your company. It includes the name, region, and website address of the organization.
The markup of contact data allows you to design your address, phone number, e-mail.
Breadcrumbs is useful to make on the site in order that in the snippets PS displayed a navigation chain of sections of the site. This helps the user to better navigate in search results.
Markup allows to make structured data with information about each product on the site – price, name, image of products, reviews and rating.
In Google this markup is displayed in a different format than the standard snippet – the price of the product and its rating (if there is one on the page) are shown in a separate line.
Micromarking of images should contain addresses of images and tags describing them. This markup helps improve the site’s image ranking.
For the sites of medical organizations (private clinics, diagnostic laboratories, etc.) there are several separate types of micromarkup, for example:
MedicalOrganization – allows you to mark up data about the organization, indicating the medical specialty.
Physician – markup that is used for data on doctors working in a medical organization. Allows you to specify the doctor’s specialty.
This type of markup is useful first of all for controlling the view of links to pages on the site when reposting in social networks. Allows you to set the title for the page link, description, image, site address.
Adaptive website version
It is recommended to optimize your website for mobile devices in the first months of the project launch and regularly maintain, monitor, and analyze it.
Considering the statistics of websites, traffic from mobile devices overtakes desktops in many areas, primarily in the b2c segment. On this basis, without a user-friendly adaptive version of the site can not do without, so it is extremely important to know how it should look to make it convenient for users to use the site and all its functionality.
Adaptivity or mobile version
Display of the site on mobile devices can be customized through an adaptive website design, or create a mobile version.
The advantage of the adaptive version of the site is that the main version of the site is edited with the help of styles, and there is no need to create a new design for mobile devices.
The advantage of the mobile version is that by creating a separate mobile subdomain, you can simplify and lighten the site as much as possible by removing unnecessary functionality of the desktop version. And conversely, you can add functionality that is not on the desktop, but for mobile devices, it can be useful.
But it is important to consider the disadvantages of the mobile version – you constantly need to control both versions of the site, to make changes twice.
What problems most often occur on the site and what should be paid attention to in the first place?
The presence of horizontal scrolling. Often occurs when the size of some elements are strictly specified in the code and they do not adapt to the size of the user’s screen. Because of this content pages can be stretched horizontally, which is a critical point for user comfort and perception of the page robots search engines.
In Google Search Console there is a separate item where you can see a list of pages with horizontal scrolling – it is recommended to regularly check and fix this error.
The proximity of elements. This is especially true for buttons, forms, etc. If the user when trying to click on one element, accidentally falls on another and goes to the wrong place, it will create a negative experience with the site. It is unlikely he will stay on it long, much less return.
Small font content
Mobile devices are a compact means of viewing web resources, but this does not mean that the text should be reduced to too small a size. The golden mean is important – that the text is not too large, and at the same time not to reduce it too much.
The usability of the adaptive version
- Pop-up banners. It is not recommended to add a lot of banners with pop-up elements, because on mobile devices they often cover the whole screen, and it is more difficult to close them than on the desktop.
- Site menu. On mobile devices is usually not possible to create a header with a menu in the same form as on the desktop. Instead, the main links of the site are usually made in the drop-down menu. It is important that it was available on all pages of the site.
- Forms of interaction. They should be as simplified as possible. No need to leave those fields that you are likely to be unimportant. A user should be able to quickly fill out a form and send it in.
- Phones. When displayed on mobile devices by clicking on the phone the user should be able to immediately make a call from their smartphone For this purpose, the phones are designed with tags tel:.
The company should have contacts in the region in which it trades or provides services.
contact information is placed on a page specially created for this purpose, which should be accessible within one click from any page of the site (in the end-to-end menu).
Key data should be duplicated in the header and footer of the site. For example, phones in the header, address in the footer.
- The more means of communication – the better (Skype, Whatsapp, Telegram, etc.). at a minimum, you need to understand the characteristics of your audience, which messengers they use more often, and be sure to be able to communicate in them.
- Social networks (Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, etc.) – all the links to them should be placed on the site, both on the contact page and in through blocks. and, of course, the availability and constant maintenance of accounts in social networks are important.
- How to get to the office – describe in text how best to get to you by private car, by public transport, on foot, or better yet, draw graphic schemes. Also, add interactive maps from Google.
Full and reliable information about the company increases the level of trust, so this point should be paid attention and place all the necessary information. If there is a lot of it, the page can be divided into several daughter pages.
What is important to place on the site:
- Props. Underlines the fact that you are an officially registered company and trade in compliance with the law.
- Add the address of the organization, the name of the CEO
- Certificates and licenses. To emphasize that you are engaged in legal activities, and that the quality of goods, services and competence of employees meets quality standards, place on the site all the company’s certificates, licenses, diplomas of employees, other documents.
- Information about the people working in the company will help potential customers see who they will be dealing with when they turn to you for services or goods.
- Photos of the office, a portfolio of work, photos of satisfied customers with the company’s products. All this will allow the client to get to know the company, its services, and its products even better.
- Company history. If you have something to tell about the years of work – when and how the business started, in which directions it expanded, etc. – be sure to share it. This will be an added advantage for a potential buyer because a successful business indicates the presence of regular customers and a satisfying product or service.
- Clients. If there are important, large, and popular companies in the company’s portfolio, it is worth mentioning this on the website as another plus in favor of choosing your company.
Be sure to add information about all the warranties that you can provide to the potential buyer – quality assurance on products or services provided, the conditions of return, exchange of goods, warranty repair or maintenance.
If you run a social media site, there’s probably a section on it where customers can share their opinions about you. Post them on your site so customers can read them. When working in b2b, thank you letters from customers/companies are often common – these should also be posted on your website.
This section will be useful no matter what your particular area of expertise is in selling or providing services. Collect the most popular customer questions, write down simple and clear answers to them and combine them into one section where the customer can clarify all the points he doesn’t understand.
Promotions and special offers are popular tools to stimulate sales and increase interest in the company. It is necessary to regularly arrange sales, offer regular customers discounts.
Tips for working with promotions:
- monitor the relevance of the offers – remove the information in a timely manner after the end of the sale, so as not to mislead customers
- if you make a discount on specific products – it is important to highlight it in (the pages with a list of products of a particular category) and on the very product cards with bright and eye-catching signs, blocks
- information about promotions should be present not only in the section specially created for this purpose, but also on other pages of the site. This can be implemented by creating a through-block with banners
Ways to communicate
A company should always be in touch with its customers, if possible, so they don’t have to wait for an answer to their questions. To do this, there are many tools to help not only answer customers promptly, but also to receive instant notifications of questions that arise.
To do this, it is recommended to have the following forms on your website:
- Callback Order Form. The client will not have to call himself. it is important to respond promptly to such requests. If you can’t implement 24/7 feedback, it’s better to specify it in the form – in what hours operators can make calls at the request of the customer
- Online chats and consultants. For most members of the younger generation, any means to replace live communication is more likely to be a priority. So make sure they can ask questions online so they don’t miss out on a potential client. Promptness in getting an answer is also crucial here, so be on call and indicate when there is an operator available.
Search by site
Item is relevant for sites with a large number of pages, but the search does not interfere with any resource.
The list of where, how and for how much you can deliver the product plays an important role in the decision to buy. Be sure to describe all the details of making delivery of your product. This can include the following items:
- The method of delivery of the product. Describe who will deliver the goods – our own delivery service, delivery to postal terminals, shipping companies.
- If there are several possible ways it is necessary to describe each of them.
- Describe the approximate time frame in which you will be able to deliver the product. If there are several delivery methods – specify terms for each of them.
- Shipping cost. Indicate the amount of your order at which the delivery will be free, and how much it will cost for delivery by different ways.
- Security measures for the delivery of goods in one piece. Most relevant for valuable or fragile items, but will be useful for any product. For example, you can show the packaging of goods, post a video of how you do it, what means you use to transport valuable goods, etc.
Describe all options for customers to pay for a product or service:
- is it possible to pay online on the website?
- Is it possible to pay by courier upon delivery?
- can I pay when I pick up my package?
For b2b spheres please describe in detail how the payment process is carried out – by contract, after agreement with the operator, is it possible to pay in cash or only by bank transfer.
Optimizing landing pages
Landing page – one of the most important pages of the site, as it is most likely to get a user when searching for a desired product or service in a search engine, so it is worth paying special attention.
Let’s describe the basic types of landing pages, and what should be considered on them to increase the chances of getting a conversion on the transition
This is the face of your site, and therefore your company. It should reflect the advantages, strengths, describe what you do, what you sell, and why potential customers should contact you.
Here are the key elements that are recommended to be placed on the home page:
- Company name – an obvious element that should be present on the page. It is desirable to add to it the USP of your business.
- The main menu of your catalog or services. Highlight the main items and provide links to them from the home page
- The advantages of the company. Clearly, concisely and accessibly list all the advantages of business, which may incline the buyer in favor of turning to your company
- Forms of interaction. It is recommended to place a form for questions or order a call-back
- Banners. They may contain promotional offers, or links to seasonal sections that will be updated regularly depending on current demand
- Popular services/goods or new products. A catalog is an important sales element of any website, so in a compact form its placement should be provided even on the home page. This is usually realized by displaying the most popular products, or new products in your catalog
Product listing has the main purpose of making the list of products of the selected category as convenient as possible.
How to make the listing as effective as possible:
- Meta tags pages – thanks to them, the user, firstly, is more likely to find you in a search, and secondly, can get brief information about the product you sell already from the output (through snippets).
- Page content. This item is not mandatory. Its necessity is determined solely on the basis of competitor analysis, as unnecessary content can lead to negative consequences.
- If, after the analysis of competitors and the niche as a whole has decided on the need for a text, it is important to prepare it in compliance with all requirements for content: The material should be written for users, not for Google. That is, it should be useful, informative keywords are important to consider in the text, but do it inappropriate places and in the correct grammatical forms It is important to consider all the LSI words – that is, those phrases that are related to this group of requests.
- Assortment. It is important to analyze competitors’ output to understand how many products will allow the catalog to compete with other companies. One page should not have fewer products than the competitors, and at the same time not to overdo with the number, as it can reduce the speed of page loading
- Filtering of products. Having filters in the catalog allows users to simplify the search for products, as well as create additional pages on certain characteristics and attract more traffic
- Previews of goods are blocks with links to cards. It’s important to develop them competently, taking into account competitors and the specifics of the business – analyze what other companies are displaying, display colors if available, code or product part number, if this is important in this area, product images, prices (mandatory), rating, product status (in stock, on order)
- Linking. Add links to related sections, related products, you can also display popular category products.
- If you want to draw attention to certain products, it’s useful to add prominent labels – these can be “Promotions”, “New products”
A product card should describe a specific product in detail, contain related information about shipping and purchasing conditions and buttons for ordering.
Below is a description of the key aspects that need to be taken into account when optimizing product cards.
- Meta tags. As with listings, properly optimized meta tags help to increase the chances of getting clicks from Google. It is recommended to include only useful information in tags – price, is there shipping, brand. If the site has hundreds/thousands of products, the task of filling in the meta tags is often solved by generating, which consists of a template that includes important words from key queries and unique elements that will be different for each page (e.g. the name of the product, price, color, etc.)
- Image of the product. The quality should be high, it is desirable to give the user the opportunity to enlarge the image. The more images of the product – the better
- Product Description. Includes product name, characteristics, and part number.
- Breadcrumbs. They help the user to see the nesting of a given product, as well as quickly return to previous sections
- Price. One of the key elements of the card and product information. If the product has a discount – highlight it and also indicate how much the buyer benefits (in percentage or the amount of the discount)
- Shipping. Shipping information: preferably in date format, when the customer can receive the product if he orders it today
- Product options. Include links to all product options – colors, sizes, other characteristics (e.g., battery options for chargers, sizes for clothing)
- Linking. On the product page you can add various linking options – related products, products that are often bought together with the viewed product
- Payment information. Describe briefly how you can pay for the product, you can also provide a link to a page with full information about how to pay
- Warranty and returns information. Indicate how long the product is covered by warranty, and how and under what circumstances it is returned.
- Useful services – the ability to compare the goods, add to favorites video reviews. Especially useful for electronics and other appliances
- Additional information about products. Instructions, certificates
- Status of the goods. Indicate whether the product is in stock or is available to order. If the item is out of stock at the moment – the user has the possibility to leave his e-mail for him to be informed as soon as it will be available
A service page, unlike a catalog page, should rely more on content and examples of work. Users will not be able to see the finished result of their request, so it will be important for them to carefully describe the whole process of providing services, what the benefits of this company, as well as to see examples of work that the company has implemented for other customers.
- Content. It is necessary to describe the entire process of providing the service briefly, informatively, without too much water and excessive calls to action. Tell how you are punctual, responsible and responsive to each customer – and users will want to contact you.
- Examples of work. Portfolios in the service industry are very important, because customers can’t see the result, as in the case of buying a particular product. But you can show them how you’ve completed an order for other clients. If the company is not in the business of customizing a particular product (i.e. there is no specific result to show potential customers), but provides services (consulting, selection, etc.) – post customer photos, reviews in the form of texts, thank you notes, video testimonials. This will help the buyer build trust in you.
- Frequently Asked Questions. If you understand at the stage of describing your services, what questions often arise from possible customers, describe them on the page and give succinct answers to them
- Application forms. Place a simple and clear form for users to leave a request for service or a callback to clarify the details. Try to avoid unnecessary fields – the simpler the process of filling out, the more conversions you will get from the form. If you need more details for the request – make additional fields optional.
- Calculator. For spheres in which the service consists of several steps, includes the cost of materials, size formulas, etc., a convenient solution for the site will be the implementation of calculators through which users can find out the approximate cost of their order. If the calculator will display the average value – be sure to indicate this in the window with the results, so there will be no misunderstanding with the user, who will later apply to you for a service and get a different cost calculation is not the same as that calculated on the site.
- Certificates. Place on the pages with the service description all your certificates, licenses, confirming the quality of materials used in the work, as well as the competence of the employees providing the service.
Catalog filters pages
These pages are narrowly sorted search results for certain characteristics. They are useful primarily because they can be used to gather additional traffic for low-frequency queries and, based on the reduced demand for such semantics, the output of these pages to high positions will be easier than for the main sections (especially if your site is still young and optimization work has just begun).
First of all, such pages should correspond to the characteristic that was specified by the visitor in the search bar or in the filtering block on your site.
What should be considered in this group of pages:
- Meta tags. As with other pages on the site, they are key in ranking these pages. Therefore, meta tags, firstly, should correspond to a specific characteristic and its value, and secondly, be unique to the site.
- Friendly url. Often filter results, like sorting pages, generate dynamic addresses with search results for a particular characteristic, and they in turn are closed from indexation. Therefore, to filter pages correctly ranked, you must use human-readable urls in the formation of addresses.
- Number of products. It will be useful for the user to immediately understand how extensive your assortment by this property of the filter, so the number of products is recommended to display on the page. If the user has proceeded to the filter page not from search, but through the use of filters on the site – show the number of possible variants of goods at once in the filtering block – next to the value of each characteristic.
- Relinking. As with all catalog nodes, it’s also important on these pages. You can place links to all types of pages, which, in your opinion, may be useful for a visitor when searching for the desired product, for example to pages with related filter types of the same property, or, conversely, to other product properties, etc.
Infomaterials for a commercial services site benefit in the following ways:
- In addition to commercial queries (that is, queries that aim to buy a product or order a service), any niche has groups of informational queries through which users can learn about certain products or services. Info-queries cannot be ranked with commercial ones on the same pages (since user needs are different), so an information section is created on the site. It allows you to cover all the semantics of your company’s field of activity.
- When selling or providing services, the company must have a clear understanding of this niche and understand it. By posting informational articles, you let the user know that you are not just selling this product or service, but also have extensive knowledge in this area, which shows the level of your expertise.
In order for the information section of your site to benefit the company and to attract a new audience, you should be very careful in its creation. Here are the key points:
To create useful content that is in demand, it is necessary to properly collect relevant queries and assess their level of commerciality – that is, the semantics should be exclusively informational in nature. Collecting this semantics requires a certain amount of experience, so it is recommended to use the services of competent specialists in this matter.
Disclosure of the topic
In order for the article to answer all the questions that are implicit in the topic, after collecting informational semantics, an immersion in the topic and evaluation of the articles in the issue is required. Then it is necessary to make a detailed plan that includes a description of the entire structure of the article, nuances on the disclosure of the topic, the need for graphics, tables, comparative analyses, etc.
In any article, regardless of subject matter, it is useful to place graphic materials. These can be images with a product, service, diagrams, charts, videos. But all this should be unique, so this issue should be treated responsibly and prepare all the necessary information.
The credibility of articles
This parameter has become very important after the Google update, which took place in 2018. He introduced such a concept as E-A-T (expertise, authority, trust). Websites that provide services in areas that affect the health and well-being of potential customers should pay close attention to the content they put on their site. This should be supported by the following data:
- The company’s certifications and licenses. They make it clear that the company has the right to engage in these activities and has received all necessary permits, as well as confirmed its competence in this matter.
- The authority of the authors of the content. Articles and other texts posted on the site should have an indication of who is the author of the article and what level of knowledge he has in this matter. This paragraph also indicates that the material is expert and can be trusted.
These requirements apply to sites from such topics as medicine, finance, and education. If your business relates to them, you should take this into account when placing content on the site.
The design of articles
- This item refers to elements of design and layout of articles, which increase the ease of perception of the material articles:
- Convenient layout, formatting. Provide subheadings that will describe and draw the user’s attention to the next block of text. Provide convenient indentation between blocks, so that the text in different paragraphs does not merge.
- Highlight key ideas in the text in italics, bold, color – users will be able to see the main conclusions, critical information. There shouldn’t be too much of it, so the text won’t be too garish and the really important points won’t get lost in all the highlighting. Use convenient line spacing, the right color of text and background of the article, a simple text font.
- Article Content. It helps to see the structure of the article on the first screen of the page and quickly jump to the right paragraph if the visitor doesn’t want to read the whole article.
- Bulleted lists and numbering. They are used to make lists in the text easier to perceive.
Images, graphs, tables, charts. All these means will allow the user to better perceive the information, remember it and with more interest to read your material.
The maximum benefit will come from linking, which makes it easier and more convenient for the visitor to use the site and find the information they want through the accompanying links on the page. By trying to make the linking useful, you are more likely to get clicks on those links, and that will give more weight to the anchor links.
Correct site structure
The structure of the site is formed on the basis of the work described at the beginning of the article – the collection of a competent semantic core. In a properly formed structure is the parent sections, subsections, tag pages, etc. Within one parent section automatically builds linking between related sections, category pages in turn have links to parent sections, related sections and child pages. All this is displayed in the main site menu (catalog or list of services), as well as the “breadcrumbs”.
This block, which is usually placed on all pages of the site (except the main page), reflects the nesting hierarchy of the current page, helping to understand which topic or group it belongs to and also gives an opportunity to go to the top level page or the main page.
Links from the home page
On the main page of the site usually place links to the main sections of the catalog (or key services), add popular products and new products. This ensures the transfer of link weight to important sections, as well as accelerating the indexing of new products in the catalog.
Recommended blocks in listings, cards
These blocks, in addition to weight distribution between pages, allow you to increase the depth of site browsing, and with the careful development of a list of links also increase the average purchase check on the site. For example, on the page of tonometers advise to buy an additional adapter, and when ordering interior doors – give a link to the installation service.
The presence of links to the site from other resources – an important ranking factor. The main thing in it – adhere to the rules and carefully build up link mass, so as not to impose sanctions on the site Google.
Analysis of external links through GSC services
Tools for webmasters from Google allow you to check the links from external resources leading to your site. In addition to the link itself, the pages to which it is installed are available, as well as the anchor.
Analysis through third party services
Third party services (e.g. Ahrefs.com) often have a more up to date list of links and also allow you to evaluate your competitor links – something you cannot do with GSC.
Having collected all the links leading to your site, you should analyze all donors and select those that are of low quality (for example, donor sites may be under filters, have too many outgoing links in relation to incoming, do not match the subject of your resource, etc.).
Directories are resources that allow you to link to your site for free. In addition, in the directories users can find your company in the appropriate field of business or on a map of the city. It is recommended to have a card of the organization on the popular for the city directories and directories, as well as keep track of the relevance of information posted. When changing the address, phone number or main mirror of the main site (for example, when moving to https), it is necessary to check all external resources and update the information in them.
Analyzing your competitors’ link profile
In order to make a link purchase plan, it is important to take into account which scheme your competitors follow in your subject matter. This analysis will allow you to take into account all types of sites and popular purchasing schemes in order to get maximum results from it.
Third-party services such as Ahrefs or SeRanking are used for competitor analysis.
Placing Links on Inforesources
Information resources most often place “eternal links” in the content of the material (i.e., links that are not removed from the article). These sources are useful because you can choose a site that corresponds to the subject, and the link from it will have weight as a thematic and useful. If the resource has a good attendance, there may also be targeted conversions to your site.
Placement in the media
The media can include news portals, which often have a regional affiliation. When choosing this platform it is necessary to orient on resources having the same region with your website. News sites most often publish press releases with company news, as well as reviews of services or products on your site.
Forums are a useful free source for targeted conversions. The likelihood of conversions is high with proper placement. In this case, for forums, it is important to have active live accounts on the sites and do at least minimal work in advance to increase the activity of the account on the forum – otherwise it is possible removal of the link as spam.
This method is more complicated than the previous ones, as it requires preparatory work or a list of active accounts that are regularly conducted and leave useful messages in the various branches of the forum.
Exchange with business partners is another free way to get external links to your site. In this method you need to discuss the exchange with those companies who are your partners. If they agree, you will need to place a link to them (for example, in the section “Our partners” specially created for this purpose), and they, in their turn, will give a link to your site.
Maintaining social media accounts
Having your own account in social networks (Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, as well as Youtube, Tiktok) allows you not only to communicate with your audience, inform them about company news and news, but also to link to your pages and increase website traffic due to users switching from social networks.
Free services Q&A
Some of the most popular services with user questions are quora and reddit. Having an account on these platforms and regularly updating it (by answering users’ questions about your products or services) will allow you to show potential clients how well you know your product, help users with their choice and get additional conversions to your site.
Behavioral factors take into account how users behave on your site. They reflect how useful, user-friendly and informative the site is, whether it is easy for a visitor to find and purchase (or order) what he was looking for.
Bounce is a quick exit from the site (e.g., viewing only the login page, staying on the page a small amount of time, no interaction with the forms).
The indicator reflects how well the page met the user’s expectations, whether he received an answer to his request, whether he found the desired product or goods. It is important to assess the reasons for refusal (e.g. the product was out of stock, awkward design, lack of forms for interaction, insufficient information about the product) and eliminate them, as a large number of refusals negatively affects the site’s score in Google.
Entry and exit pages
The analysis helps to understand which pages are more likely to attract users in search (login pages), and which pages users often end up visiting the site without making a conversion. It is necessary to understand the reasons why failures occur on these pages, trace the user’s path and eliminate all possible causes and difficulties in the interaction with the site.
Depth of view and time on site
Parameters you should also analyze are depth of view (how many pages users view per visit) and time on site. In trying to influence these indicators to a greater extent, the main thing is not to get carried away:
do not make it difficult to navigate the site by splitting one topic into several pages or making it difficult to buy, as this can lead to rejection
not try to artificially force the user to spend more time on the site (with too much content or long and boring videos about products or services), because the user can get lost and distracted and not make a conversion.
This is a block with a page description that is displayed in Google and briefly introduces the user to the content of the page. If this content meets the user’s request, he will click on it and go to your site. Snippets can be influenced by the following tools:
- Title page. Displayed as a headline snippet and reflects the relevance of the page to a given query.
- Description. This element is often used in Google snippets, but can sometimes be displayed in Yandex. Must describe the contents of the page and provide information about the product and company.
- Micro markup. Allows you to display in a snippet rating, product price, image. Also, “breadcrumbs” designed in microarray will be reflected in snippets in text format (rather than in the format of the site url) and show the nesting of the page in the site structure.
- Favicon. Site icon, which should be memorable, bright and eye-catching. Also match the logo of the site.
CTR is an indicator of the clickability of a snippet which reflects the percentage of clicks (i.e. clicks to the site) in relation to the number of times the site is shown in search results. A high CTR level is reached by means of snippet design (by the methods described above) – the more useful the description of the page in the results page and the more attractive the offer is, the more chances the user has to click through to your website. If you see that the index is low, you should pay attention to the site’s snippets and improve them. The higher the click-through rate – the more relevant your site is to the request, so the position will increase.
In addition to the number of clicks, Google also takes into account the time between clicking on the site and returning to the page with search results. If this figure is small (“short click”), the transition may amount to a rejection. For Google it is a signal that your site has not responded to the user and he was dissatisfied. The less often visitors to your site will return to the search (“long clicks”), the higher the site will be ranked.
To optimize the cost of site promotion, you need to constantly analyze the available indicators and compare them with previous ones. Web analytics is used for this purpose – in the form of special services offered by the largest search engines. Competently using the statistics collected by search engines, you can significantly improve traffic figures, increase online sales of goods or services, reduce the cost of attracting each new customer.
What indicators are studied by web-analytics
The main indicators that are recommended to study web analytics:
- The time that users spend on the resource;
- Depth of view (the number of pages that have scrolled by the user);
- Login pages and exit pages;
- Geographic location;
- Age, gender, other characteristics of target groups;
- The source of traffic (where from, from which site the client came, from a search engine or a contextual ad);
- Behavioral factors. Reactions to ads, pop-ups, etc;
- The number of goals reached. Such goals can be switching to the “Contacts” page, subscribing or ordering through the “Cart”.
The most popular services and tools for web analytics:
- Google Analytics. A classic tool for web analysts. Offers a wide range of tools which can be used to test, track and measure user behavior on the site. You can find out the statistics of visitors to the site, statistics on conversion, advertising indicators, behavioral factors. Analytics can also be conveniently monitored online.
- Quill Engage. A handy tool for reporting on metrics from Google Analytics. Once a week, the service will send a report on the changes that have occurred in key analytics metrics. One report is available free of charge to one recipient.
- Clicky. The service allows you to get an analysis of the actions of visitors, see the heat map (the principle of heat map is that a layer is imposed on the site page, where warm colors show the areas that are most often hit by the cursor of users, cold colors – the site areas that are not paid attention to). And you’ll also be able to monitor conversions or mentions of your brand. The tool can be used for free if you analyze only one site.
- Open Web Analytics. This is an open source tool that can be installed on your hosting. It can be used for several resources: there is no limit on the amount of data. You have access to information about the last visits to the resource (individual and quite detailed summaries of the last visitor to the site with location, browser type, pages viewed, duration of the visit). There is also a heat map of clicks and a record of cursor movements.The version with extended functionality is available for WordPress and MediaWiki sites. The plus side is that all the data is stored on your own server.
- Piwik. This is a web analytics system, analogous to Google. But there is a major difference: Piwik is located only on your servers, which is a plus. The service offers a standard set of data: queries and search engines, websites, pages, operating systems, browsers, screen resolutions, user behaviour. There is a translation into Russian. Interestingly, the service automatically generates reports in pdf or html and sends them to you by email.
- GoingUp. The service offers web analytics and SEO tools, a click heat map is available. It is advisable to use another web analytics tool together with this service as GoingUp does not have such a wide range of functions.
- IPerception. This service will help to understand what actions your visitors do on your website. Find out if they are completing their actions and if not, why. Whether users like your site.
- MobTop. This service is designed for analyzing mobile sites. You can use it to find statistics by traffic, topics or devices.
In this guide, we have cited the main steps in the SEO optimization of the site. We hope this guide has helped you improve the SEO optimization of your website.