What Is Search Engine Positioning?
I have written this easy to understand tutorial in response to some of my readers who find it difficult to achieve search engine positioning for their website.
In this post you will learn the fundamental and basic steps to easily achieve that in a totally schematic and easy to understand way.
So, your website has been published already for some time but you cannot position it in search engines? Do you consider it easier to buy advertising space than to position your page in the main search engines?
When I speak of search engine positioning, I do not only refer to SEO in Google. I say this, because it is likely that when reading the title you thought that it is another post about steps to position a website organically, but it is not the case.
Search engine positioning is a much broader term than just SEO. Search engines also offer the possibility of positioning ads or local search results.
But do not worry, doing online positioning is at your fingertips. You just have to understand the concepts and follow the steps I indicate below. I assure you that if you apply them, you will notice the difference.
What is a search engine?
A search engine is simply and nothing more than a web platform. It allows you to find concrete texts among the rest of web pages. In theory, the main objective of search engines is to show relevant results; and adjusts to the needs of users who take advantage of their search service. And it seems that more or less they get it.
The need to carry out a search engine positioning strategy is necessary because, being pages that control most of the traffic that moves on the Internet, they have an immense weight and importance in terms of visibility for all types of brands and people, aspect that they take advantage of and which regulates their main source of income.
You could say that these types of pages, widely opened the door to both private users and businesses. This translated into a new environment for hundreds of thousands of brands in which to operate and evolve and in which there is increasingly more intense competition (and we have been enjoying its great advantages for more than 20 years).
The main search engines are currently: Google, Baidu, Yahoo, Bing and Ask.
What is search engine positioning?
The term search engine positioning refers to the place that a website occupies in the search results for certain search terms carried out by users.
What types of search engine positioning can you use with your website?
Search engines offer two types of search results that users do for a term:
- Sponsored links or advertisements and
- Organic or natural results.
Both types of results, carry a specific type of positioning. They are part of the SEM positioning or Search Engine Marketing. Which is neither more nor less than any Marketing action within the search engines; whether there is payment or not. Depending on whether you pay for the search results or they are free, we can classify the positioning in two ways:
SEA, PPC or payment for advertising:
The SEA (Search Engine Advertising), PPC or pay per click, or payment for advertising, also known as sponsored links in the search engines or positioning of payment, is the payment for advertising directly to the search engines to appear in the first posts of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
In some countries, there are still many people who confuse SEM with pay per click; matching this term to SEO, when they belong to different levels. That is to say, the positioning SEM (Search Engine Marketing) encompasses both the SEO and the payment for advertising.
This is achieved through the purchase of keywords from the search engine. Through bidding via the tools they provide for this purpose (Google AdWords, Bing Ads, etc.).
This type of positioning, has two main objectives:
- Show the website or blog at the top positions of the search engine for certain search results.
- Get the user to click on the link on the website and carry out some type of conversion.
In this type of positioning, the advertiser does not pay to show his ad. That is, it does not work through CPM or cost per thousand impressions. He only pays when the user clicks on it, that is, CPC or cost per click.
SEO positioning or organic positioning:
SEO positioning or natural positioning, also referred to as organic results, Natural SEO positioning, web optimization or search engine or “Free” positioning (something that is not true, it is simply cheaper and requires more effort and work than money) is what is achieved by getting a website to appear by certain search terms related in the top of the search results without making any type of direct payment for advertising to search engines.
It is a technical process and / or discipline through which modifications and changes are made in the web architecture and information structure of a page with the purpose of improving its visibility in the organic results of the SERPs (the search results that show the different search engines), in addition to other external aspects that we will see next.
This algorithm is the system by which search engines apply certain criteria to decide in what order the results of a search should appear. It is one of the disciplines that have evolved the most in recent years due to the continuous updates carried out by the researchers.
In the case of SEO in Google, the main search engine worldwide, this has been changing considerably in recent years as this search engine has been modifying and improving its algorithm by including updates such as:
- Penguin (analyzes the incoming and outgoing links to the web).
- Panda (it analyzes the quality and originality of the content and its frequency of publication on the web), changing in a way the way in which positioning was made in this search engine until that moment.
Now what prevails is the optimization of the search experience, that is, everything with and for the user.
The SEO positioning, is a very effective and inexpensive technique medium and long term as it allows your brand by certain terms without having to pay for it directly to Google.
Obviously it also has some costs, but much lower in comparison to the SEA – PPC, hence its implementation over time while complementing this strategy with paid advertising, until it reaches the point where they are not positioned those terms and it is not necessary to make those investments.
This is achieved by applying all kinds of positioning factors SEO On page and SEO off Page.
What factors must be taken into account to achieve organic search engine positioning?
There are many factors that influence the search engine positioning of a website. But we could say that the main and basic factors are relevance and authority.
It is the relation that a page has in front of a determined search. That is to say, the related thing that is a web for a concrete term of search.
For their determination, the search engines take into account multiple factors of SEO on Page or SEO on Site. Gone is the time when it was enough to repeat a term many times to achieve 1st position.
Now we could say that among all the factors there are 3 truly important. The first two measure the user experience and content quality and the third measures the optimization of your website.
- Time of stay: Because, if on your website the user stays 7 minutes and in competition 1, your content will be better.
- Rebound rate: Because if you stay on your website and you never look at more pages in the competition, Google will understand that your content is better.
- Optimization on page: Because if your website is faster, is better structured and better optimized in order to meet Google’s standards, it will take it more into account than the rest of the pages.
It is about the reputation of a blog or website. So, the more popular a page is, the more value it will have; and the information it contains in the face of search engines.
This part is based mainly on the user’s own experience. Therefore it is one of the several that the algorithm takes into account the most. This is due to the fact that the more an article is shared and the more times it is linked from other websites , the more useful it has been in a general way to other editors – bloggers and users – visitors of that page.
Types of natural positioning in search engines
The SEO positioning or natural positioning in search engines can be separated into two major strands of work: On-site SEO and Off-site SEO.
SEO on Page or SEO on Site:
SEO On-Site is the part of search engine positioning in an organic way that deals with relevance; with the ultimate goal of optimizing the web in order for the search engine to quickly and logically index the substance of it. That is, to provide Google with an understanding of the content of the web.
Within On-Site SEO, all types of actions are included, such as:
- User experience
- Loading time.
- Keyword optimization
- Web Usability
- Code optimization
- Formats of URLs
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Okay, let’s continue …
SEO off Page or SEO off Site:
Off-Site SEO is the branch of organic search engine positioning that concentrates on external factors of the webpage.
Among the most crucial positioning factors to improve the SEO off Page of a website, we can highlight the following:
- The number and the quality of both internal links (broken or misdirected links) and incoming and outgoing links on the web (a good domain and page authority and a low spam score from the linked sites).
- Level of presence in the social networks.
- Records and mentions in the local media such as web directories, newspapers, etc.
- Brand authority of the web.
- CTR or performance in search results for which the web is positioned.
Local SEO or Local Positioning is an online marketing strategy. It is aimed at highlighting and making visible a brand – business when potential customers look for the activity, products or services that it sells with reference to the locality or area where it is located or operates, it is say, when the search occurs physically near where the business is located.
SEO Web positioning or search engine optimization can also be classified and differentiated in two major aspects depending on the tracking of the recommendations offered by different search engines to achieve appear in the results they offer:
- Black Hat SEO and …
- White Hat SEO.
These concepts receive their names or have an intimate relationship with the world of hacking or computer hacking, where …
- Black Hat (hackers who carry out actions for their own benefit and lack of ethics and morals).
- Gray Hat (non-profit pirates or they do not want to obtain something for themselves) and
- White Hat (experts hired by the brands), make reference to the level and direction that this type of informatics take in their actions and in the focus of their careers.
SEO techniques of Black Hat or Black Hat SEO:
It is a type of organic positioning for pages based on changes that contradict the guidelines set by the search engines. Which can be more or less ethical.
It is a search engine positioning strategy with a lot of risks. If it is not managed well, there may be all kinds of penalties and even banning of the web.
In addition, it does not offer a long-term secure continuity and does not provide any value to the user.
This is due to the fact that they are techniques that seek new ways of positioning with hardly any effort of adhering to the “legal vacuums” in the positioning requirements suggested by the search engines.
Some examples of Black Hat SEO :
- Link pyramids or TLB, Tiered Link Building: create backlinks to your own quality backlinks to give the last more strength and authority
- The Cloaking: show different contents depending on whether it is a user or a search engine bot that visits it.
- Spinning: develop variations of the text content of an article already published. It creates content quickly and easily to look like an original and quality post for the search engine.
- Comments and publications of Spam in forums, blogs, content aggregators, etc.
- Keyword Stuffing: inclusion and excessive repetition of the same term exceeding the logical density and allowed by the search engines.
SEO techniques of White Hat or White Hat SEO:
Are those techniques and actions that are used to position a web page in the search results. It is an ethical manner and it complies with the directives of the search engines.
These techniques refer above all to those actions aimed at improving the relevance of a website for the different search results of each search engine to offer the information that best suits what each user seeks through the value offer that captures their attention.
Fundamental aspects to take into account in search engine positioning strategy:
- Objectives: it is essential to determine what to expect to be achieve it; and how it is expected to achieve in any search engine positioning strategy.
- Time: for a search engine positioning strategy to be really effective, it takes a while. A lot of adjustments have been made to optimize all kinds of details (that is, a lot of work and patience). They cannot be determined or known until the campaign is underway.
- The Economic Investment: it is important to determine in advance the budget that is available. How to distribute it in order to know how to carry out the positioning of the web. The techniques and actions to implement in order to achieve it. Also for the determination of objectives and ROI (Return on Investment).
- The Competence present in the sector: the analysis of the competition is vital if you want to obtain good results and overcome it in the search results. The idea in this case, is to look at what they do and improve it.
- The Segment of the audience you are targeting: if you do not know who you are targeting, you will hardly find users really interested in what you offer from your page. Therefore, you must know who you want to contact with your communications and why you are addressing this audience.
Why is search engine positioning vital for a website?
I think that if you have already reached this part of the post, you have already understood many of the benefits it offers and the reasons why a good positioning in search engines is essential. In any case, here are some reasons why you should position your website within your online business strategy:
- Contribute to create brand image and offer visibility to your site
- Generate engagement with users
- It makes your website more useful for both users and search engines
- It is a commercial opportunity for any business
Surely you are thinking, that all this is very good and it is very nice, but what interests you is how to make the search engine positioning of your page step by step and in a way that you can understand.
Get ready then, because I am going to show in a schematic way the steps that you would have to carry out to achieve positioning in search engines with any website or blog.
How to improve step by step the search engine positioning of your website?
SEO Actions ON Page
- Creation of a content strategy based on an editorial calendar where the keywords to be attacked are determined in the different pages and when the different contents on the web will be published.
- Selection and analysis of the searched keywords:
- Measurement of proficiency level for each keyword (reflects the level of competition for payment).
- Measurement of the level of results for each keyword (reflects the level of organic competence)
- Measuring the search number for each keyword.
- Measurement of the CPC for each keyword (reflects the interest that exists between the competitions for positioning that keyword).
- Realization of a good keyword research or keyword search through tools such as Google Trends (thematic trends), Google Tool Planner (keyword search tool) and Semrush (analysis to steal the SEO keywords of your competition). Or best, the free keyword research tool Jaaxy.
- Creation of Post and Content optimized in the blog (less than 1200 words will be a very poor content as a rule) and other pages of the web (at least more than 400 words that describe the page well and contain the keyword) creatively and unique (they must provide something to the user, for example a success story, an entertaining story, a gift, etc.) to improve the CTR (click through rate or click ratio).
- Inclusion of keywords in the first paragraph of the texts, titles and headings H1 , H2, H3, …
- Mark the keywords in bold.
- Filling options SEO Title, Meta Description and Slug.
- Labeling and categorization of content.
- Internal links to the pages that we want to position on the web with the anchor text (text in which the URL is a link) that are most relevant according to the strategic planning that you have set up (follow links). The anchor texts have to be analyzed to see how to diversify them as much as possible (brand anchor, generic and keyword).
- External links to web authority to naturalize the text and provide complementary information (links with inclusion of attribute not follow).
- Determination of the Canonical URL (where you want to transmit the link juice or strength of the positioning of the page).
- Inclusion of CTA or calls to action
- Measure the density of the keywords used in each page of the web.
- Check for possible duplicate contents and add non-index label in the pages in which it is.
- Checking possible cannibalization between the different pages of the web.
- Control of periodic publication of the contents.
- Inclusion of Alt attribute in the Blog images (also for the pages) and optimization of the weight in tools such as Tinypng.com.
- Design of attractive cover images (creation of template) and audiovisual content to complement the contents of the blog such as videos, infographics, …
- Implementation of a hreflang tag if your website interests different types of public due to the use of more than one language in it, in order to help Google offer the correct language in each case to each type of user according to its type of search and language.
- Create a blog tab on your website where you can include content that relates to the most important keyword to position. A good way to get a domain with authority is by finding and using expired domains with a high page rank.
- Planning of the strategy to follow in terms of content and products – services that you want to position on the web.
- Guest Post and Sponsored Post (review of quality and optimization of these contents on your website).
- Link Exchanges.
- Collaborations such as exchanges of reviews, mentions or testimonies in exchange for a link.
- Direct purchase of links.
- Registration and comments in all types of online media (blogs, forums, magazines …).
- Analysis of the domain and page authority of the web and its evolution over time.
- Use of friendly URL writing systems and use of paging.
- Creation and automation of sitemap submission to search engines.
- Internal indexing of the page.
- Optimization of responsive design, AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages and use of CDN or Content Delivery Network on the web.
- Analysis of the keywords already positioned in an organic way through the contents on the web and review – post optimization.
- Elimination of any non-native advertising option on the web and enhancement of inbound marketing strategies.
- Creation of landing page and individual optimization of the same for the improvement of the conversions and the creation of a sales funnel.
- Analysis of load times on the web or WPO.
- Management of the tracking budget.
- Installation and removal of SEO plugin or other web plugin leaving only the right and essential and updating them whenever necessary, like the CMS that is in use.
- Correction of usability errors and user experience.
- Creation of redirects 301, 302, 401 and 404.
- Optimization, cleaning, compression (gzip), reduction of the web code.
- Use the web cache to reduce the bandwidth consumed, server loads and download delays. Likewise, it is also necessary to determine the expiration of the cache.
- Reduction of the number of http calls and DNS queries looking for all http requests to be always from the same domain.
- New requests or tracking orders for those pages that have undergone changes and need to be re-indexed by Google.
- Optimize levels of indexing in the web, so that the Google spider, track the page quickly and completely, and thus position all the URLs of the domain.
- Analysis of the evolution and improvement of the results offered by the KPI’s or key performance indicators in Google Search Console, Semrush and Google Analytics (bounce rate, number of sessions and visits, etc.).
SEO Actions OFF Page
- Creation of a moderate link building strategy of incoming and outgoing links (both follow and no follow).
- Complement and combine your Link Building strategy with a good Link Baiting strategy. This will make your link profile look more natural to search engines.
- Review and analysis of the pages from which they link you. Have a good DA and PA, and a low Spam Score.
- Creation of a social media marketing strategy. With which to support and enhance the contents of the blog. Make regular publications of this and other related media. Advertise (this part would rather be within the SEA positioning). Get followers to read, share and discuss the contents of your website or blog. For this strategy to be effective, not only must you manage these aspects, but also, it must interact and participate actively with the users (also in the comments of the blog, the options of forum threads, etc.).
- Use all types of media and promotion options on the Internet; such as exchanges with other related media, mentions, comments, publications, purchase of advertorials and post sponsored. These last two could also be part of SEO On Page as content marketing. But as they are external to the web should be how to fit SEO Off Page …
Local SEO actions
- Implement Google My Business to achieve geo-positioning in this search engine. In this way appear on the map that appears in these search results. For this it is necessary to ask for a verification code and register the business on the platforms. Then, it is necessary to fill the profile completely and obtain reviews and evaluations.
- Registration in local and authority web directories
- Creation of advertising campaign with ads in search engines:
- Search Network
- Display Network
- Mobile Advertising Network.
- Optimization and analysis of results offered by the advertising campaign to achieve the objectives.
- Analysis of the evolution and improvement of the results offered by the KPIs or key performance indicators (conversion rate, CPC or Cost per Click, CTR or Click Though Rate …) in Google Adwords, Bing Ads …
As you can see, it is a long process. It includes a multitude of tasks that could be broken down into an infinity of aspects. It must be improved in order to position a website in the search engines; either through payment or organically.
I must say that in order for a website to improve its positioning in search engines it is necessary that the web development that has been carried out was done with SEO in mind, as well as the implementation of a CMS (content management system).
If you still have doubts and you have a project that you do not know how to manage, my recommendation is that you go to an SEO consultant and / or SEO positioning expert to improve your presence in the searches.
Again, you can find more information on the subject in my free Internet Marketing course. Simply click on the banner below to get going …
I hope this post has been useful for you to improve the search engine positioning of your website and/or blog.
Thanks for reading this tutorial
Should you have some experience to share regarding search engine positioning, it would certainly be a pleasure to hear from you. Also, if you have some questions, please use the comments’ area below. You will typically receive an answer within the following 48 hours.
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