You’re sure you have something interesting to tell, but you don’t know what to do to convince people to read your posts. Writing an effective post is not just a matter of content. In fact, the way it is optimized is as crucial as the content itself. Readers may not realize how much they like these formatting nuances, but a well-organized and well-designed post can help keep their attention and increase the number of shares.
Writing for the web is a challenge, both corporate and creative, it requires a lot of work, but above all no improvisation.
For this reason, if the text is correctly optimized, the chances of being positioned correctly are abysmal. Rodanet explains how to optimize a post so that search engines, and Google in particular, treat us with affection.
Índice de contenidos
- 1 How Google and other search engines work
- 2 How can we get our website to appear in Google?
- 3 How to position a post in Google in 8 steps
- 4 Off-page positioning factors
How Google and other search engines work
Understanding Google’s role
A good first approach is to look at this challenge from Google’s perspective. Its goal is to be the best search engine, which means it wants to provide its users with the most useful results. Google judges how useful its results are based on how long a visitor stays on a particular website, how many blog posts they read, or whether they click on other content on a particular site. It also takes into account website credibility indicators, such as the total traffic to our website, how many other websites link to our website and whether it is connected to active social media profiles.
All these factors give Google an idea of how legitimate and useful our website is. Its algorithm for determining what search results are returned for a given keyword is constantly being updated to improve its search engine. No one knows exactly how it works, and we SEO experts are constantly catching up.
Not only Google
We also have to keep in mind that Google is not the Internet, and not fall into the error of thinking that if our website does not appear in Google, then it means that it does not exist somewhere on the Internet. Our website may be published somewhere without appearing in Google search results for a specific keyword.
The way Google and other search engines display websites is as follows: Google has automated computer systems that work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. and randomly visit websites all over the Internet, take snapshots of each page and archive them in a huge database.
As part of taking a snapshot of each web page, Google’ s system reads every word and other content on a web page (such as photos, videos, audio files, etc.) to determine the specific subject matter of the page. Google uses this collected data to determine which web pages to display, and in what order, for a particular keyword search.
In other words, Google’s computer algorithms dynamically determine which web page on the entire Internet happens to be the most relevant for a particular keyword or phrase and displays it first, followed by the second most relevant, and so on. The resulting list of web pages is known as the search engine results page (SERP).
How can we get our website to appear in Google?
To begin with, it is essential to make sure that our website has been indexed by Google. To find out if it is, we will have to type site:yourdomain.com in the Google search bar. If a list of the pages of our website appears, then it means that Google has already indexed it. If your website does not appear in the list, we can consult the steps to follow here: http://www.google.com/addurl. At this point, Google will take a week or two to crawl and index it.
If you already know a little bit about the Internet world, you will know that Google will only show the web pages that “it” considers relevant to the keyword searched. Therefore, the first step is to make sure that the text of our website is related to the keyword in question. If not, it is very likely that Google will not show it.
Thirdly, we must not forget that the fact that our website or post does not appear on the first page does not mean that it is not there at all. Let’s go to the bottom and click “Next” for page 2 and so on. Our website could be on page 2, page 62 or somewhere in between.
Now, our website is on Google, but on page 39. How can we get you to the front page? This is the million dollar question. In fact, an entire industry has been created to answer this question and millions of dollars are spent each year to do so. The good news is that there are two main ways to get our website to appear among the top positions in Google:
- We can decide to pay to be on the first page of Google without spending a lot of money thanks to Google Ads.
- We can get our website to rank “organically” without having to pay for ads.
The quickest and easiest way to appear on the first page of Google for a specific keyword is to pay for an ad. You have to register with Google, choose your keywords and then “bid” (as in an auction) what you would like to pay each time your ad is clicked. This is called “pay per click” (PPC) – Find out all about it in our PPC Agency section. The higher our bid per click, the higher our ad will appear at the top of the page.
Appear in Google organically
The other way to reach the top positions on page 1 of Google and other search engines is organic or natural. These are the main results that appear below the ads on the search engine results pages.
These results are not achieved by paying money to Google: they are achieved by careful, long-term optimization of many factors that Google uses when ranking relevance. The practice of optimizing our web presence so that we appear organically in Google is called search engine optimization (SEO).
How to position a post in Google in 8 steps
Nothing is better than a practical example to understand how to position our articles, for this reason we analyze a post from rodanet.com. The article, which deals with one of the most popular periodic updates to the algorithm, now appears in the third position in Google for the keyword Google Penguin 3.0, after having been in the fifth position for some time. To check how a page of your site is ranked in the SERP’s by specific keywords, there are specializedsoftwares (like rank tracker) that allow you tocheck long lists of keywords, but you can also do it very easily with the “private browsing” option (and without being logged in to any Google service, and with history and cache always clean). [por si acaso]), as you can see in this screenshot.
In the case of being logged in to Google+ or browsing without the private option, Googlewill offer personalized results in relation to our Internet query routines, and therefore, will not give us objective results. Since you probably enter your own website a lot, it would most likely appear in the top positions, but only for you! Not for the rest of the users.
For the keyword Penguin 3.0, we appear third which is not bad either 😉.
The merit here is not in having positioned ourselves well by writing about a topic like any other, but in the fact that these are two keywords with low/medium competition within the SEO field. Almost everyone in this industry has posted about this update, because of its impact on SERP’s.
Today we are going to see how we have managed to position the post, and we will explain how SEO is applied at the content level, which as you probably know, encompasses several factors of the one page optimization work.
As we always say, we talk about search engine optimization, but we refer especially to Google, which in countries like Spain, has no rival.
# 1 Create quality content
A few years ago, you could enter any “keywords” into your website so that Google would think your site was actually relevant to specific search terms. This meant that you could put “Financial Planning” over and over again on your web pages in order to appear in search results for that keyword. However, Google caught on quickly and now keyword stuffing is penalized.
Google calculates keyword density, i.e. the percentage of times a keyword is used in relation to the total number of words on the page. If you have a keyword density of more than about 2%, your post will be punished by the Google gods.
The only way to appear in search results today is to create valuable and useful content. Google knows if your content is relevant by observing the behavior of users who search for something and end up on your site. Answering a question well and getting visitors to stay on our site longer can help our blog posts appear higher in search results.
# 2 Keyword density
We will now analyze our actions to place this post in the first results for relevant keywords. In our post we have avoided exceeding the 2% we talked about above in this way:
- 1.92% for “penguin”.
- 1,10% for “google penguin”.
- 0.88% for “penguin 3.0”.
- 0.33% for “google penguin 3.0”.
As you can see, we talk about Penguin, and its version 3.0, but we use semantic combinations, without always abusing the same terms so as not to fall under the suspicion of keyword stuffing. In fact, the terms for which we have managed to be in the top 5 of the SERP’s, Penguin 3.0 and Google Penguin 3.0, are the ones we have repeated the least number of times. How is this possible? Because the use of keywords in SEO has changed a lot. Whoever thinks that just by having a keyword density of 2% is going to position a post is doing Paleolithic SEO. Google has become smarter, and now the number of times keywords are repeated does not matter as much as other factors, such asstrategic placement and semantic relationships. And this last sentence connects us to the next point.
# 3 Strategic keyword placement
- Title tag: this is the most important place to put your main keyword. In our case, we entered the keyword Google Penguin 3.0 Update. It is actually a combination of terms that can match several searches (penguin 3.0, Google penguin, google penguin 3.0, penguin update…) You can see the text we include in title directly in the SERP’s, in blue color.
- Description tag: in the screenshot above, the text we inserted in description appears in black. In this case we went a bit overboard with the length. Try not to exceed 130 – 140 characters, or Google will cut you off, as it has done with our text. Here we introduce Penguin 3.0, and we accompany it with a longtail that gives a lot of play: the latest update of Google’s algorithm. But with this longtail we have only managed to appear on the second page of results, because those who placed that phrase in their title tag have priority.
(Note: if you use WordPress, you can optimize title, description and a few other things with the WordPress SEO plugin, although if you use a Framework like Genesis, for example, it incorporates these options as standard).
- H1, h2: the “h” tags, which go in order of priority from 1 to 6, are responsible for the hierarchy of the title, the first-order subtitles, the second-order subtitles, etc. The most important are h1 and h2. The first one, in most content management systems, is automatically generated with the title of the post (not to be confused with the title tag, which is separate). H2 serves as a subtitle for the sections within the post. It is recommended that you place at least two subtitles in h2, dividing the text into three parts (introduction, section 1, section 2). When it comes to longer posts, you can use more subheadings and divide the text into a larger number of sections. This will make it easier for users to read and will allow you to put keywords in the h2. Watch out! To avoid Google’s suspicions, do not introduce many h2 subtitles all with exact keyword. It is recommended that you use synonyms, or leave some h2s unoptimized.
- Body of the text: in the corpus of the post we continued to use the generic keywords, some variants and certain longtail phrases that we considered could match some queries. We will not detail them all. We will only refer to the first one to appear. Whenever possible and natural, write the main keyword in the first line of the text and as far to the left as possible, as you can see in the following screenshot. In this case, so as not to repeat ourselves with the title, the first word to appear is Penguin, but as soon as we can we add 3.0, so that there are no doubts regarding the algorithm.
- Bold and italics: by marking text with bold or italic highlighting you are indicating to Google that those words are important. This worked better in the past, but can still be used. Use this resource sparingly. In our case, we used it when Penguin first appeared, and a little later, in Penguin 3.0.
- Others: there are many resources that can be used, the only limit to which is the imagination. In the case of our post, and given that we had not yet talked about it in this blog, we decided to dedicate one of the sections to the penguin’s update history. This allowed us to enter the keyword “Penguin update” in a burst (no less than 5 times in a row!), while still looking natural, because it was a list. And when someone makes a query that matches this keyword, the rodanet.com post appears the second 😀 Look at the following screenshots.
# 4 Add structured data
Understanding the content of a page is a difficult task for Google Search. You can help by providing Google with explicit clues about the meaning of a page byincluding structured data. Google uses the structured data it finds on the web to understand the content of the site, as well as to gather information about the web and the world at large.
Adding Article structured data to our posts, blogs and articles can help Google understand our website more clearly and better display title text, images and article date information in Google Search results.
Article objects must be based on one of the following schema.org types: Article, NewsArticle, BlogPosting.
The recommended properties are:
- author: person or organization authoring the article.
- author.name: the author’s name.
- author.url: the URL
- dateModified/dateTime: the date and time of the last modification of the item.
- datePublished /dateTime: the date and time of the first publication of the article, in ISO 8601 format.
- headline: the title of the article, which cannot exceed 110 characters.
- image: the URL of a representative image of the article.
# 5 Text length
Now, the length of the posts, it matters!
Forget about the 250-word articles you used to drop. Google is taking more and more into account the length of the contents, to the point that instead of posts, it seems that what they ask us from Mountain View are small guides. Some posts could be edited in e-book format, and I bet they would fit!
In the post we are analyzing, the length is 2,740 words, which is soon to be said 🙂
A few days after publishing the post about Penguin 3.0, we launched another one titled “Link building 3: black hat techniques to get backlinks“, with a backlink to the previous one. And the good news is that we were able to position that post in the first position for the keyword “black hat for backlinks“, for example 😎.
For more specific queries, such as ” black hat to get backlinks” we are even better positioned, in the featured snippet! But what we wanted to emphasize is that, to position a post, you can keep writing about related topics, with similar keywords (or even for the same one), and link. Google likes internal links, because they improve the user experience by offering Internet users the possibility of further information.
If you know anything about link building you will know that internal links also transmit strength, and by optimizing the Anchor text they allow us to indicate to Google the keyword we consider important for the post we want to position.
# 7 Make sure your website is mobile-friendly
Since most of a website’s traffic comes from mobile devices, Google penalizes sites that are not mobile-friendly because they do not offer a good user experience. Make sure your website is mobile friendly.
# 8 Optimize images
I had a professor in marketing school who would fail students if they used irrelevant images in their PowerPoint presentations. He was so tired of seeing generic graphics or a thumbs-up sign that he finally figured it out: if the image wasn’t relevant to the slide in question, you failed.
Like my professor, Google also likes the relevance of images. He prefers that you use a photo that adds something to the text and that you alsoname it appropriately. Did you know that screen readers used by people who are blind or visually impaired depend on images being labeled correctly? Adding an accurate tag to your images helps your SEO score.
Off-page positioning factors
In closing, I would just like to remind readers who are less initiated in these topics that, although we have focused all along on the work that can be done at the on-pageAnother very effective way (the most forceful, without a doubt) is the creation of content, etc. to position a post is to resort to external links.
The fact that a post can climb positions in the SERP’s also depends on the authority of your domain (and here again, linkbuilding is important).
Questions? Other techniques at the content level that we have forgotten? Your experience in positioning posts…? Anything you can think of is welcome in the form of a comment 🙂 And if you are looking for the best SEO consultants to take your website to success, don’t wait any longer and contact our Rodanet team.