The presence on the Web starts for any business with the formation of a website to get recognized its services and products. You have previously taken this stage and your business is online! Yes, but if this instrument is indispensable to make you well-known to your clientele, putting it online alone will not be sufficient to make sure optimal discernibility for your company on the Web. According to recent statistics compiled by Ahrefs, 68% of online experiences start on a search engine and 53.3% of website traffic comes from organic search. SEO, you have often heard about it, but what exactly is it and why is it so important for your business by an M&A advisor?
What is SEO?
SEO, an acronym for Search Engine Optimization, means “search engine optimization” in the United States. SEO refers to all referencing techniques implemented to increase the visibility of a website in search engine results, without paying for clicks obtained to your site. It is a referencing that is described as “free”. Google is the most used search engine by internet users, followed far behind by Bing, Baidu, Yandex, and Yahoo.
The significance of being in the first search results
How do search engines work?
All search engines work the same way: they use robots that crawl the millions of pages on the web. Subsequently, the browsed pages are classified by the robots based on the configuration of the websites. Search engines crawl, index, and interpret the content of all pages on all websites. When a user enters a query, the search engine then presents them with the most relevant results according to its algorithm.
Why index your website well in Google?
Imagine. If your site ranks high in search engines, how do you want your business to be visible to your potential customers? How do you want to make sales? What if, even worse, your website pages were not found by search engines? It’s like saying you don’t exist for them…
Step 1: Strategic SEO
The first step in optimizing the positioning of your website in search engines is to first focus on the SEO strategy. Before constructing a website, it is essential to ponder the objects you want to attain to reach your target clients. Is your company’s website already online? Do not panic, this step is also for you! Because of this global reflection on your site, it will be possible to make improvements by adjusting the necessary elements as needed.
The fundamentals of an SEO strategy
It shouldn’t be a simple showcase that presents your business online, because you have to be on the Web. A website is the keystone of a good advertising strategy and business development through M&A advisory!
Clear value proposition | In many cases, the products and services offered by the company are not clearly defined. For example, you must be able to answer the following questions:
- How does your company meet the needs of Internet users?
- How will your products or services solve the problems encountered by your target customers?
- What are the key messages to convey about your business?
- What are the benefits for the customer of buying your products?
- What are the messages to convey to convert clicks to your site into sales?
Well-defined target clientele | Clearly defining your target clientele means being able to adapt the content of your website to the needs and languages of your customers. For example, if your target customers are engineers, your site will include texts that meet their need for technical information. You ought to therefore ask yourself the following questions:
- What market is your company targeting?
- What are the characteristics of the groups you want to reach (location, lifestyle, etc.)?
- What information do they need?
Competitor analysis carried out | Analyzing your competitors will allow you to better position yourself in your market. It is important to ask yourself:
- Who are your competitors and how are they presenting themselves on the web?
- Where does your business stand out?
- What is the best place you can occupy?
Step 2: technical SEO
This is the practical SEO step, which moves the configuration of your website when it is made. This is to ensure that all the technical elements involved in indexing your website are in place.
The essentials of technical SEO
Security | Search engines favor secure websites that will not harm Internet users when directed to them. Among other things, make sure you have a URL based on the HTTPS protocol and use CAPTCHA for forms.
Speed | The loading speed of web pages in search engines influences the indexing of sites. Be sure to optimize the loading of the pages of your site.
Sitemap | Create a sitemap, a plan of your site that will tell search engines which pages of your site to know. It is vital for a decent Google SEO. It also lets search engines have the date of the last alteration of a website to permit faster indexing following adjustments or accompaniments of content.
Step 3: Writing SEO
After checking a lot of technical facts, the third stage is to ponder your website to be well indexed by search engines. Every so often ignored, it is yet vital so that webpages are related to what your target clients are searching for.
Where to set in phrases people look for in a webpage
It is suggested to participate the keywords in numerous places on a page to produce qualified traffic, as in:
- the URL: the address of the website
- the title and the description: the meta-descriptions that appear in the search results
- certain titles (type H1 or H2 titles)
- the text sparingly
It is also possible to embed target queries in the name of an image and the ALT tag, also known as the “ALT attribute”, which describes each image.
With the search engine algorithm getting smarter, writing SEO has become a bit more complex, as it requires:
Step 4: SEO optimization
Now all the ingredients have been assembled for the web pages of your site to be indexed in search engines. There now remains the SEO optimization stage, which consists of implementing regular actions to continuously improve the visibility of your website pages on search engines. Search engine crawlers consider the performance of all web pages on all existing sites in their analysis. It is therefore a question of generating leads to your site and also of evaluating the results to improve your recipe.
We must also not forget that the algorithm behind search engines is constantly evolving. Updates are made several times a year and these can drastically affect your positioning. Here is another good reason to make SEO optimization a habit!
SEO analysis tools
There are several free and paid tools to track the SEO performance of your website. Here are two free Google tools:
First, is Google Analytics, which tracks daily traffic: real time spent on the site, audience characteristics, acquisition channels, user behavior, and conversion goals.
Then Google Search Console allows you to know the SEO performance per page. For example, it is possible to know the queries that lead to a page of a website. With Google Search Console, you will also be able to see the average position of each of your pages, which is a very good SEO performance indicator. The tool also makes it possible to consider SEO errors: mobile ergonomics, critical errors, etc.
Finally, the last element that you will need to optimize is the “notoriety”, the online “PageRank” of your website. But how to increase your online notoriety for a good SEO?
Netlinking is a fundamental technique in SEO that consists of increasing the number of incoming links (“backlinks” in English), and links pointing to a website. A highly cited site across the Web is, for search engines, a reference site. Conversely, Google ranks sites with a lot of outgoing links very poorly, because it considers them to be directories. Google and Bing want to present the best results to Internet users. They will always favor the sites they consider to be referenced.
Conclusion: the benefits of SEO
To conclude, if you don’t want your website pages to be among the 90.88% invisible pages on Google , make SEO a priority! You will see that you will reap the rewards of your labor in the short, medium, and long term. Search engine optimization will not only increase the quality of traffic to your company’s site. By prequalifying Internet users who arrive there but above all will generate a better return on investment. Unlike ad placement, which is one-time, you will get continuous and lasting results here. Finally, SEO will contribute to the credibility of your company. And claims to take a piece of the cake on the web by attracting more customers.