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Learn the basics to improve your website's positioning in Search Engines

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) basically boils down to the following question: "How can I improve the positioning of my website in search engines?"

Anyone who has already developed for the Web has certainly heard about SEO and knows its importance. There are several techniques to optimize a website in order to make it SEO friendly. However, there is no magic formula that makes a website appear in the top position of a search engine overnight. The road is arduous and requires dedication. Optimizing keywords, creating AdWords campaigns and advertising on social networks are the most common practices for increasing the traffic of a websites.

What factors to take into account?

There are several factors that influence the ranking of Internet pages, but first you have to understand how search engines classify the content of websites. And then you ask, "So how do search engines sort the contents of my website?" And then you expect a whole scientific-spectacular response, right? Well, I'm sorry to disappoint, but I have no answer to that question. In fact, I do not think anyone - except perhaps the Gods of Cyberspace - really knows how indexing algorithms work. Yes, from time to time a great revelation is made and there are always "gurus" who claim to have discovered the miraculous recipe. In my opinion, none of this matters, as the algorithms are constantly changing, the crawlers become more resilient and the vaccine eventually stops working. To get a better idea, check out this Google page titled "How Search Works".

Make your website appealing

After all, what is really important? In one word: traffic! Traffic, traffic and more traffic. Imagine this: you have opened a top notch nightclub and you are convinced that it will be a great success. Well, it might be so, but if you do not attract the audience with big parties, you will never appear on the covers of magazines! Now imagine that the nightclub is the website, the parties are the contents and the magazines are the search engines. That is, you must organize big parties to get internet users to visit your website and the best way to achieve this is to have well structured, current and relevant content for your target audience. There's always some who think, "Oh, but my website is all tunned up. I've lowered the navigation bar, rigged the banners and slideshows, and I even set up some flashy lights to get people's attention." Wrong!!! A website may be visually spectacular and leave a good impression on the first visit. However, if visitors find out that you have nothing interesting to say, they will hardly come back.

Advertise wisely

Well, you've spent the last few days working on the contents of your website and you did not even go to bed last night because you've been giving those precious finishing touches. Finally, you can contemplate the fruit of your dedication and you even allow yourself to think: "That's right baby! I'm really that good!" And then, it sudently hits you: "So what now? What should I do to attract visitors to my site?". Well, every case is a case and there are many paths that can be taken. However, I think the first step will be to identify your target audience. That is, you must figure out what kind of people might be interested in "buying what you have to sell". For example, if you want to advertise an article about fitness, it is likely that your target audience will be all men and women between the ages of 16 and 40. Once you've done this exercise, you have to realize where these people are on the Internet, and that usually requires some research. And you're probably already thinking: "Target audience, age groups, research?! Forget it! I'll share the link to my article on Facebook and that should be enough!". If you have a Facebook page with thousands of followers, then go ahead. Otherwise, roll up your sleeves and get to work!

As I said earlier, there are several paths you can take, but remember that the easiest ones may be the least productive, while others may require a little more work but produce more results on the long run. For example, you can share the link to your article in a blog related to the topic in question. Basically, the goal is to spread links that serve as access points for as many websites as possible. The more access points, more people will probably find your website.

Techniques and suggestions

For those who are starting out, Google Analytics Solutions and Google Webmasters are good starting points as they offer a range of tools that will help you understand how your Website's traffic behaves. Here are some of the most useful information you can consult:

  • Number of visits
  • Demographics and geographic origin of your audience
  • Technology (browser and operating system) and devices (desktop, mobile) used by visitors
  • Keyword analysis
  • Backlinks to your Website
  • Source of traffic coming from social networks
Google Analytics UI
Google Analytics UI

There are also other online tools that may be useful. To give an example of a free one, I will refer to SEO Analysis from seomastering.com. Here you can check the position of a domain in different indexes, such as Google Page Rank, Real Page Rank and Trust Rank. You can also get an overview of the pages indexed in different search engines and even an estimate of the value of your website. I would advise you not to take the results very closely, but rather consider them as an estimation and indicator of the health of your website.

To conclude, my advice is: keep yourself up to date. The Internet is full of articles on this subject, but caution is advised. The amount of information is overwhelming and it is easily realized that there are many contradictory opinions out there, so you have to know how to filter, and above all, maintain a critical spirit.

Have a nice SEO journey!

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