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Appear in the first Google results is the goal of many professionals and business owners who work on the Internet. That’s because one of the first placed this tool means a real opportunity to close deals and, of course, generate income without having to invest a lot of money. In this post, we gathered all the most important concepts and techniques to get started with SEO, whether you are an owner of business, professional digital marketing area or just curious to learn more about it. Read to the end to absorb everything that is relevant and start applying the techniques taught!





What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or, in good Portuguese, optimization for search engines, are practices aimed at attracting visitors organically for a particular site. It is a set of techniques that make sites appear in the Google search results page when someone conducts a search. To make it simple, suppose you want to cook a carrot cake. Instinctively you visit Google and type:






SEO - Google image search bar

You visit the first site in the search results and find the full recipe. The site could attract you without having to serve an ad to you from accessing. You went to him. And that’s what means an organic business. These practices are closely tied to search mechanisms that are willing tools for users seeking information, solutions and services. The best example of a search engine is Google, but it is far from the only one. Yahoo, Bing, Youtube, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Play, App Store and Facebook are good examples of seekers we live with daily.







To understand and be able to play good SEO is to understand how these mechanisms and how we can optimize our channels to appear in the top positions in search results. Although not the only, Google is still the most used search engine and therefore the most studied by marketers. So in this post we will focus entirely on it.

Advantages to appear on Google

Let’s assume that you own a pizzeria in Belo Horizonte and when someone search for “best pizzeria in Belo Horizonte,” is that your site is in the first place! The first result on Google pages generally receive 30% of the clicks of those who are searching for information or solution. That means it is very likely that someone looking for the best pizza in Belo Horizonte visit your site. And if it is good enough and convince your visitor that your pizza is really good, the chance is high to win a new customer. This can happen with several business models: e-commerces, physical business, services and software, for example. Organic search has the power to reduce the cost of acquiring a potential client, since it is not necessary to spend money to place your website in the first results of Google. On the other hand, it takes hard work and dedication, after all, the first place is very busy! If your goal is to gain visibility for your brand / her name appears on Google is also quite interesting.











As the search function in Google

In a very simple way, Google seeks to deliver the best answers to user questions.

And believe me, are MANY questions. Google receives an average of 3.5 billion searches daily. And how did he do it? Imagine a large database containing most of all content that permeates the internet. Within this basis, Google can scan all your content to deliver the best answers to your user. When you search for a term in general it is how Google will present you the results:









SEO - search results on google image

This is a results page, also known as SERP (Search Engine Result Page) or the search engine result page. The results marked as “Ads” indicate that the owners of the sites appear to have paid to the terms, according to their interests. You can advertise on Google through Google Adwords and you can understand more about this by clicking here.

On the other hand, results in green frame are the organic results and were placed on the first page because, according to Google intelligence, deliver the best result for the search in our example, “tips for traveling to Bahia.” Each result is displayed as a snippet. Snippet is the fragment in which Google presents the results. Example snippet:




SEO - image indicating how the google shows the title SEO, URL and Description

Title (title), URL and description (description) are important elements to be analyzed, because it is through them that is the user’s first contact with the site. The title is the first element that the user observes and is extremely important in an SEO strategy.

The URL is the address of the site to which the user is directed to click this snippet. The description is complementary to the title and serves as an incentive to the user clicks on the link and get your answer.  

But let’s talk more about that below.

How Google Bot works?

Google has an intelligence, known as Google Bot, which is the program that makes all the scan in your database to organize and deliver relevant results. Google Bot works in three steps: Track: Google robot navigating in your database, looking for new and old pages. Index: this stage the Bot evaluates the information of all searched. According to the criteria established by the Google engineers, the robot will define which of all those pages are most relevant to the search. Post: is when Google Bot displays the results to the user. And the interesting part is that this whole process can happen in tenths of a second. In our research on “tips for traveling to Bahia,” for example, it occurred in 0.44 seconds!











Rankeamento factors in Google

Currently, Google analyzes more than 200 rankeamento factors before prioritizing the sites with the first places in the SERP.

The main rankeamento factors are, in this order:

  1. Content
  2. backlinks
  3. RankBrain

The content is to answer the questions of the user does a search, so it’s the first and most important factor to be considered by Google when selecting the best results. It is essential that your content is relevant and the most complete for the user sane your doubts. The backlinks are generated when other sites indicate your site as a reference for any topic. For Google, a site enough trust in you to point it out, it’s because you are a genuine expert in a particular subject and it will take this into account when displaying results to users. It is worth noting Google also takes into consideration the quality of these links , which means sites that indicate you should be equally reliable. The RankBrain is Google ‘s artificial intelligence that works through a process called Machine Learning. This means that it interprets the Google database pages and evolves as you learn something new.





It is the RankBrain that analyzes the user’s intention as a whole and delivers the results based on the context of the research and not just with the keyword contained in the search. He can deliver a relevant result to the user, even if he has done research never before performed on Google.

How to appear in Google’s first positions

If somehow it is advantageous for you to appear in the first positions of Google, it’s time to understand how this process works.

1. Do a search keyword

As mentioned earlier, Google has a large database, and when there is a search, this bank is resorted to deliver the results. This search is performed by terms that indicate the user ‘s intention and these terms are called keywords.

Keywords are the terms used to do a search on search engines. If users use keywords to find information, it means that you need to identify what are the best that have synergy with your business. So, you will connect with the intentions of your potential customers. For this you need to do a keyword search. Before reaching this step effectively, you must understand that there are two types of keywords: head tail and long tail. Head tail: they are more generic terms and not explicitly express the real intention of the user who uses it . The term “online courses” for example, is a head tail. Only with this term is not possible to identify if the intention is to know what are online courses, online courses buy or sell online courses. Being very general terms, they have a high search volume and, inevitably, a high competition, since the site that can be positioned for a broad term gets a lot of visibility. This does not mean that this should be your goal. We now better understand the long tail keywords (or long tail). Long tail: the long tail terms are more specific words that clearly indicate what the user intended. The term “how to create online courses” well expresses the doubt that the user wishes to clarify. This is a long tail term. Despite the volume of searches for terms long tail is relatively smaller, the competition for them will be too. Another important advantage of working with this type of keyword is it possible to be more assertive with your audience. If you have a flower shop and is able to rank well for the term “where to buy juicy”, the chance is high to attract more customers. Head tail or long tail?



























If you are wondering what kind of keywords you should use in your strategy, the answer is simple: both. For more than a very broad term does not generate business immediately, it may be that a future customer will buy with you after a while that accessed some more general your content.


Moreover, appear to have broader is interesting to generate Brand Awareness, which means to make your brand to be remembered and recognized.

In relation to the long tail terms, it is crucial that you invest a lot of your time with these keywords, as they are with users seeking to address their most private doubts. If you position to have such means to be the solution to what your customers want.

How to Do a keyword

Now that you understand the main concept of keywords, go to the step by step to do a search keyword:

Identify your persona:

To perform a good research of keywords you need to understand those who want to achieve with your SEO actions, since they are your potential customers. For this, you need to identify your personas. The personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal clients. This concept is different from “audience” because while it is wide, the personas include behavioral characteristics in your description, as personal tastes, lifestyle, personality and moral values. When you leave work with a very wide audience and begins to work with personas, you can identify which approaches are most effective with your potential customer. Figure out your persona is not a big deal and you can identify it even if you do not have a customer even. Visit our guide to building personas.







Use tools Keywords:

Are there any tools (free and paid) for you perform your keyword research and separated some to help you. At this point, you can create a spreadsheet to organize the keywords you have identified are most relevant. Google Keyword Planner This is a tool widely used by those who run ads on Google and is very useful for those who work with SEO. Just visit the site and enter a Google email account. Enter the subject on which you wish to contemplate. For example:










SEO - Image example of google keyword planner

Click “Get ideas” or “Get ideas.” Then you will see a screen with the volume of monthly searches the entered term and, below, some related terms.



SEO - picture of the results of the google keyword planner

Note that there are an estimated searches for the terms. Select the terms that you consider relevant and transfer to your spreadsheet keywords.

To learn more about how to use KeyWord Planner, check out our full post on the topic ! Keywordtool.io This tool is also free and has a more full paid version. The free version already meet you too well. Simply enter the desired term in the blank box.







SEO - the keyword tool image

The tool will give you several options for additions to the term you entered. Ubersuggest This tool is also free. It lists the keywords and their complements in alphabetical order. The Ubersuggest can also be used as an arsenal of suggestions for terms related to the main keyword





SEO - picture a search on ubersuggest

SEMRush

The SEMRush tool is one of the most complete for those who work with SEO. Full access to it is paid, but there are some free features. Unlike the aforementioned, this tool can give you a clearer picture with new insights about the topic you are researching.


SEO - image of SEMRush panel

For those just starting out , it is interesting to search for terms with a considerable amount of monthly searches, but that the competition is not so fierce. You can discover these indices in the table “matching keyword phrases”. The full version of SEMRush, you can also analyze the keywords for which your competitors are positioned, which is very handy to understand what should be your focus if you want to reach them. After reviewing the most interesting keywords for your business and enter them in the spreadsheet, separate a column to indicate the priority of each. Identify which of them have high priority, medium or low to understand the urgency of the work SEO them. With the search keywords in hand, you should focus on onpage and offpage factors of your business.







2. Review the SEO factors onpage

The onpage SEO factors are those that relate to your website and depend solely on you to optimize them. Factors SEO onpage:

Content

Knowing that content is the most important factor for Google, watch out what you deliver to the user when accessing your page. Ensure that all the information he needs is contained there and he does not need to consult another site to address your questions.

Your content should be unique and valuable. A good practice is to analyze the first page of Google results for the term you want to position and produce something even more valuable. Include the keyword you are targeting over your text and other terms that relate to the main keyword. Thinking about it, Rand Fishkin, one of the world’s top SEO experts, created the rule of ” 10x content “, which means that your content should be ten times better than those who occupy the first page of Google. In short, if you want to stand out and reach the top positions of Google, you need to deliver a high credibility content, excellent organization and an amazing experience for anyone who accesses it . Sometimes you need to spend a lot of time in research, creating pieces that enrich your page and everything that could influence in its delivery. Create content so it’s not easy. However, it is rewarding. Besides the quality, it is essential to update your website / blog with some frequency and consistency to display to its user and to Google, you keeps you active and refreshed.













titles

In this topic we will present two types of security that are important for SEO onpage well done.

SEO Title: SEO title is the first contact of the user with your page and so it must be attractive enough to win clicks. A good SEO title should contain 55-65 characters. After that, Google will cut it and insert ellipsis to indicate that there are more words than that is displayed. See our fictional example:


SEO - image of the fictional example

In the aesthetic point of view is not anything cool and still hinders the user experience, right?

Use leaner titles that contain the chosen keyword and compile the main idea of its contents. Example:

SEO - result image on google search

If you use WordPress can install Yoast, an SEO plugin that will help you set the SEO title and indicate other good onpage SEO practices. Internal title: domestic title may be different from SEO title and must be compelling enough to keep your user on that page. He has no character limit. Example:



SEO - example image

Escaneabilidade

The escaneabilidade is how you organize your content on the page. This is an important factor, as before the user make a thorough reading of the content is very likely that it “scan” your page and analyze the most important points for the pursuit of it. Within your page, keep your content as clean as possible. Are good practices escaneabilidade:



  • Intertitles have to share content;
  • Maintain the hierarchy between the topics of long texts, as in the case of blogs;
  • Avoid very large paragraphs of text;
  • Merge text content to other media (images, graphics, videos etc);
  • Using markers, such as numbers and bullet points;
  • Use the heading tags properly: h1 only for the title and subsequent (h2, h3, h4) for intertitles.

Site Speed

The loading time of the site pages directly impacts the valuation of Google bots and also the user experience. If a site takes to deliver the content that the user expects, the tendency is that it leaves the accessed page and search for another result in the SERP. To check the speed of your site visit the Google PageSpeed Insights and enter the address of your domain. PageSpeed in itself is possible to understand what are the aspects to be optimized to improve the loading of your pages.



Mobile access

By the time of publishing this post, Google considers, first, the desktop version of websites for indexing. It is likely, however, that even in 2018, it pass the first consider the mobile version, which are calling Mobile First Index. Thinking about it, it is important to consider all important aspects for the user (and Google) displayed on the desktop, are available on the mobile version of your site complies with the new search engine guidelines.

URLs

The URL is the unique address of each web page. Although not one of the greatest weight factors for SEO, the URL can influence the user experience and the rate of clicks you receive in the SERP. URLs prefer simple, short and contain the keyword focus. In our fictional example below, note the long, confusing URL that does not pass the idea of page content: www.nomedosite.com.br/15-01-2018/noticias/plantas-suculentas-como-plantar-em-apartamento






The same URL could be summed up with just the root domain (www.nomedosite.com.br), followed by a term involving the keyword and summarize the page’s content, such as: www.nomedosite.com.br/como- rear-plants-succulents  is what we call friendly URL.




In e-commerces that contain many pages within categories, the challenge may be higher, but always remember to optimize as much as possible so that your user recognizes your search already in the URL. Another best practice is to install an SSL security certificate for HTTP that your URL will become HTTPS. This means that the data that permeate between the browser and the site is encrypted, so safe.

SEO - image navigation bar

This procedure is recommended mainly for sites that work with banking or involving confidential information. But even if you do not work with any of these aspects, generate an SSL certificate transpires security and credibility to your user.

internal links

Internal links are indicating function for users other URLs from your own site.

Build a good network of internal links is an essential part of your site’s architecture.

Internal links will tell Google which the most relevant URLs are transferring authority from one page to another and keep your user more time within your domain.

Alt Text

Alt text is an abbreviation for Alternative Text and is a feature used to describe images. It is important to show to the Google Crowler what’s a page of images. It is also very useful for the user experience if the images on a page does not load, since visitors can read what is contained there. Still talking about accessibility, if the content to be accessed by the visually impaired, the alt text can be identified by a screen reader. Example Alt text:






SEO - sell at instagram - instagram smartphone with the application on the screen and a 200 reais above the mobile label, indicating the possibility of making sales by application

Alt text: sell at instagram – instagram smartphone with the application on the screen and a 200 reais above the mobile label, indicating the possibility of making sales by the application. In short: You may have noticed that over the explanation of SEO onpage, the great point mentioned several times, it is a good user experience. This compiles several other concepts that will make your visitor receive what you expect (and even beyond).



Keep documented everything that might involve the quality of your site, not only aesthetically, do tests and understand everything that can improve the performance of your website and the experience of your potential customer.

3. Analyze factors SEO off page

Factors SEO off page are those that do not depend solely on you, but most of the sites that indicate through links. Of course you can act indirectly on your SEO off page factors and let’s talk a little more about it. For starters, understand that the big offpage factor considered by Google are backlinks. Practically all part of SEO off page is devoted to the understanding of the links that are directed to your site.



To keep your off page factors in order to consider:

Domain authority

The Domain Authority (DA) or Domain Authority is a metric created by MOZ, one of the most famous companies among the SEO experts, whose founder is, as mentioned, Rand Fishkin. The DA is a ranking used worldwide with logarithmic scale ranging from 1 to 100, and the higher this value, better evaluated is a website and hardest climb on the scale. What does it mean to grow an area 19 to 20 is much easier than from 59 to 60. The DA is measured according to the quantity and quality of links pointing the domain root of a site as well as the onpage factors already cited .



Page authority

The Page Authority (PA) or Home Authority has the same principles of Domain Authority, but relates to specific pages. Following this logic, it is possible to achieve a PA even bigger than the domain DA in question, the specific page have better rates than Moz considers fundamental to grow in scale.

Importantly, both as Domain Authority Page Authority are closely related to your SEO efforts as a whole. This means that, as the links are important factors that scale, everything that has been said so far can also interfere with your ranking.

You can find out the position of your site and your competitors by Mozbar , an extension for Google Chrome that allows you to view the SERP and within each site, what is the ranking.

anchor text

Anchor text is the text used in links. This is still a factor considered by Google, according to the best experts in the field, as Brian Dean , the Backlinko.
Incidentally, the text that is next to the link also influences how Google looks at your site. To make it clear, if your site gain many quality backlinks with anchor text “take care of succulents” and the like is more likely to reach good positions in SERP for this term.

Amount of backlinks and quality backlinks

This topic takes two items sets in, it is important to mention that no matter if your site has thousands of links, if any of them actually comes from relevant fields. Google considers the amount, but is aware of the great webmasters that the quality of backlinks is even more relevant.

How to win good links?

As mentioned earlier, links are like votes of confidence than other sites guarantee you, the good work you do on your website. To be worthy of good links you need to do quality work with your website, produce relevant content, generate buzz with your brand in order to become an authority on the subject with which you work. Keeping a journal is a great way to generate good content that is very accessible, using Content Marketing techniques. To speed up this process, you can partner with other sites that have synergy with your business and propose exchange of content , so that you publish their texts on other blogs and vice versa. Also create highly sharable content. Lists, graphics and videos are great formats easy to consume and share on social networks. Within their area of expertise, seek subjects that have not been so thorough. Do research to clarify the main doubts of his persona and position yourself as an authority on the subject.









4. Track performance and results

To observe the first results, we need to monitor their daily performance, producing quality content, always check-up of your site to ensure that all practices are in accordance with good Google ‘s guidelines. Google Analytics is a good ally in this regard. In this post we teach you all about the tool and how to install it to begin analyzing their results.

Remember to monitor your competitors closely and observe the actions they are running not to be left behind. There are several other analysis tools and, if you think working heavily with SEO, it is worthwhile to consider the paid version of one of the tools that we have already mentioned, the SEMRush.

Also remember to set goals for your organic traffic work, because then it will be easier to analyze the results you are achieving. If you are starting the work from scratch, you can start evaluating the volume of daily visits to your site and backlinks conquered and gradually evolve into sales metrics generated by organic traffic, for example.

Conclusion

SEO is a constant and of medium to long-term work. The big tip here is to study constantly keep an eye on possible updates from Google and, of course, always keep a consistency in their work. If you want to keep learning techniques on generating organic traffic and business opportunity, also learn about Content Marketing strategies.