September 17, 2019

The ultimate SEO guide

Search engine optimization (SEO) is important for all websites. If you have ambitions to rank high in Google, you should work actively to optimize your site. Here's the ultimate SEO guide: We provide you with unique SEO tips that are relevant to both beginners and experienced marketers.

Introduction to SEO

You are probably already interested in search engine optimization since you read here - and you may already know a few good techniques. But for good measure, we're making a quick introduction to SEO so everyone can join. If you already know the basics, skip to the next point!

SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization - Search Engine Optimization in Danish. It is a discipline that is about optimizing a website so that the website ranks better in the search engines and thus attracts more visitors. It is immediately the most effective method when you want to get more customers online.

Search engine optimization is usually divided into two disciplines: Internal SEO and External SEO. Internally, it's all about optimizing your own website to live up to search engine preferences. Externally, it is about getting other websites to refer to yours as it signals quality and popularity, which is important when the search engines need to evaluate the website's relevance.

Both small and large companies can do SEO for their website. Some prefer to do it themselves while others outsource the task. Search engine optimization usually requires experience, and some disciplines in SEO can be difficult. Fortunately, there are also easy SEO techniques for everyone to join. However, search engine optimization is almost always time consuming, so that is another reason why many people choose to outsource the task.

But whether you want to outsource or not, it's good to know about SEO. That way, you can both work on it for yourself and you can better identify if others are actually good at it.

Here you get a mini-course for SEO, which guides you through everything from internal to external optimization. Let's jump into it so you can quickly start utilizing the best techniques!

SEO on your website

First of all, you should optimize your own website so that it is easy to load for the search engines and so they can easily see what it is about.

There is a sea of techniques for internal SEO. The good news is that most of them are relatively easy to perform and that it is cheaper to get help for internal SEO than for external SEO. You can also do some optimization work on your own. Below you will get an overview of the most effective techniques that you can easily get started with yourself. That's the first part of this SEO guide. Many of the tips are simple, but they make a big difference anyway.

Optimizing texts

Text is included on almost all websites. The search engines are also fond of textual content as it helps them identify what the website is about.

It is important to have good texts on all your subpages. First and foremost, you should focus on ease of use, but don't forget to focus on the keywords. Each article should be focused on a particular keyword or phrase. Include the keyword or phrase an appropriate number of times - a rule of thumb is that it should make up 1-3% of the content - and also make variations of the word. For example, a variation of the keyword "SEO guide" could be "search engine optimization guide" or maybe just "SEO".

Long content usually ranks higher than short content. The average length of websites that rank in the top 10 of Google.com (the international Google) is just about 2,000 words. Many website owners have also noticed that long content attracts more visitors. This is precisely because Google rewards in-depth content with high rankings. Therefore, it may be a good idea to create solid content with fill. At least if you want to rank high in the search results!

Make good titles and meta descriptions

Google search results display a title and description for each page. It's the small preview that appears when you search for something and look at the search results.

This little preview is also called the meta title and meta description - and you can write them yourself. The easiest way to do that is to download a plugin, such as Yoast SEO, where you write your title and meta description at the same time as you publish the text itself. But alternatively, you can also type it into your page's source code.

The next question is thus: How to make a good title and meta description?

First of all, it should look good in Google's eyes. Therefore, include your most important keyword and possibly your secondary keyword as well. The title is most important, then the description. Also, make sure the title is written so that it appeals to the users who view your page in the search results. If you have written an interesting and attractive title, it may well be that a Google user prefers to click on your page rather than competitors. Even though you may have a lower ranking!

SEO-friendly URLs matter

Of course, URL is the address of your website. Your website already has its domain name, but each subpage also gets a unique URL. This URL should be optimized to be SEO friendly.

Some studies showthat short URLs generally rank better than long URLs. Therefore, you should remove small words and indifference in the URL. But that's not the only factor: It's also important that you remember to include your most important keyword in the URL. There is no reason not to do it - and as it adds up to the overall SEO rating, you should definitely remember to include the most important keyword.

Another thing about URLs: Remember to create an SSL certificate so your website starts with https: // and not http: //. Since 2018, it's been a pretty significant factor in Google's eyes. Since it's almost always free (at least with Danish webhosts), you should clearly activate an SSL certificate for your website if you haven't already.

Internal links

If you have the opportunity, then you must also make internal links in your content. That is, you link around to your own content in your own texts.

It's a good way to spread out link juice between your subpages. In addition, it gives the search engines an impression of which of your pages are the most important (usually the ones with the most links), and they can more easily get an overview of the structure of your website. Thus, internal links are actually a fairly important factor, so be sure to insert links where you can - but of course it works naturally and so it also benefits the users.

Check the speed of your website

Google has even stated that the speed of a website is an important factor for rankings. If you have a website that is slow and where the user has to wait forever to get into the page, it will also be viewed negatively in Google's eyes. And they actually measure it. But on the other hand, if you have a lightning fast website, it counts!

Therefore, you should optimize your website so that it is quick and easy to use. You do this by minimizing unnecessary content, by hosting the website in the right place, and by optimizing cache and the like. If you are using WordPress, avoid using too many plugins and use a lightweight theme. If you are unsure whether your website is fast or not, you can measure the speed yourself Google PageSpeed Insights.

Linkbuilding

Once you have mastered your own website, it's time to start external optimization. It is one of the most important disciplines in SEO. Without link building, you will not get far, as Google has always paid great attention to inbound links.

But which links work and which do not? A lot has happened over the years. Once upon a time, virtually every type of link was a win, but that's not it anymore. Today, it's all about being more picky and focusing on quality links. A really good link can be worth more than 100 mediocre links. In addition, it is all about getting relevant links - if you can get links from websites within the same industry as your own, this is often a big plus.

There are many techniques for link building. Some are better than others, but at the same time, the best links are usually quite resource intensive. However, there are several techniques that even beginners without a budget can start working on. Below you will get an overview of the best link building techniques - both links that can be retrieved in a working way as well as links that are obtained via payment.

You can read more about ours linkbuilding services here

Guest blogging

Guest blogging - or guest posting in Danish - is one of the most widely used methods of getting links.

In short, it is about offering an article to another website where you get a link in return. It is thus a situation that both parties benefit from: You get a link and the other person gets a new piece of content.

But how does Google look at guest blogging? Immediately they have no problem with it, as long as quality is created, as long as there is no exaggeration, and as long as no "cheating" - for example, by making spun content that does not really contribute anything. So it's all about being sensible when working with guest posts. Contribute a good and in-depth article to the media to publish it. Rather write too much and too little, as Google likes long content.

Hear Matt Cutts from Google explain their point of view here:

Easy links: Forums, blogs, exchange

Some of the easy-to-download links are forum links and blog comments. They often have quite a small effect, but in some cases they may be fine to go after anyway.

For example, if there is a forum related to the topic that your own website covers, then it is excellent to get a few links from there. Blog comments rarely provide much value, but they can work if you want a balanced link profile with multiple nofollow links (blog comments are often nofollow).

Another easy way to get links that are actually quite effective is to exchange links with your friends and partners. Do you know anyone else who also runs websites? Ask if they are interested in exchanging. If they have pages A and B and you have pages C and D, then you can easily find a way to provide links to each other.

Take some care to make too many of these links and do not overdo it with the number. But to a limited extent, these easy links may well be worth the effort.

reachout

Reachouts don't always have a high conversion rate (measured by link request), but it's worth a try anyway.

If you think you have really good content - for example, an article with unique content in your industry, or an infographic - you can contact other webmasters and suggest that they link to you.

Again, the conversion rate is usually not very high. In most cases, you will get a refusal or not at all. But occasionally there will be webmasters who can see the relevance of linking to you. And the times when it happens are simply worth it. Therefore, it is quite a fine SEO technique when it comes to link building.

Linkkøb

Link purchases have become more popular over the past few years as many websites are willing to sell article releases with link. And this is actually all types of websites: Both small blogs, which like to sell links in order to earn some, but also large established news media that receives the so-called advertorials.

Although Google does not immediately give the green light to this method, it works pretty well - if only you get links from quality pages. However, prices can vary greatly, so be sure to get value for money if you buy links. Furthermore, it is smart to distribute these purchased links over a long period of time so that you do not get a suspicious boost in a short time.

Content marketing

Content marketing is a method that covers far more than just SEO, but in its way it is also a sensible strategy for link building.

You simply create content on your own site that is highly recipient-oriented. It's about focusing on specific audiences and organizing the strategy accordingly. The result will probably be content that attracts and engages the target audience - which is why content marketing often links with it.

Sometimes content marketing stands alone, with you simply making the content and waiting for what happens. But the best method is when you are also pitching the content to the target audience that you had in mind along the way. It is a way to get really strong links, but it requires experience and is therefore not always easy for beginners. However, you can always get experience with time.

In addition to these techniques, there are of course many more link building methods - but just by following the mentioned techniques you can easily get started with SEO and link building.

keyword Analysis

An SEO guide is never complete without mentioning a keyword analysis. It's a smart way to find potential queries from Google users that you can try to rank. Search for a specific topic and then you will find all the most popular related terms.

You can also see how relevant each keyword is. It's very simple: Look at how many people search for the word / phrase each month. If there are many, then create an article based on the keyword and if all else is fine, it can become a good source for more customers.

Keyword analysis should be done not only when you want to explore the possibilities of new content, but also when you want to optimize your current content. Either way: All website owners should do keyword analysis, because it's an essential part of SEO!

There are several good tools that can help you find the right keywords and analyze the options. Ahrefs is a good paid solution, but you can also easily use the Google Ads tools, which are free.

Well-coded website improves SEO

There is absolutely no doubt that a well-tagged website improves SEO. That means a lot for Google's performance. If you have a large and complicated website, it can be harder for search engine crawlers to get through. On the other hand, if you have a simple website that does not take up a lot of space, but which is still functional, then in return it is really positive. Also, keep in mind that speed (which is an important factor in Google) can also be optimized for coding.

If you code your website yourself or you have hired an expert, it should always be a clear focus on SEO from the start. That way you can avoid problems later. But remember to continue in the same style when updating the code: Many people make the mistake of starting with a clean code, which later becomes more complicated after a few updates. And that can have consequences for SEO.

Moreover, it is smart to know your website's source code as it also has a big impact. For example, make sure that the title, meta description, alt tags, and the like are included. This kind of thing happens automatically in a CMS like WordPress when you use the right plugins at the same time, but in other systems and in custom development you should definitely pay attention to that. Also, make sure that some pages are marked with noindex if you are not interested in them being included in the search results. Also, keep an eye on duplicate content, which can easily occur. By using the “rel = canonical” tag, you can instruct the search engines on how to handle duplicate content on your website when it occurs.

Using CDN

CDN is an abbreviation for Content Delivery Network. It is a network of servers, distributed across multiple sites, that cache static content. You can thus display images and other content on your website, but without actually uploading to your own server. Instead, simply upload to your CDN network and display the content on your website. It brings several benefits and is especially good when it comes to SEO.

For example, it makes your page faster. Users will be presented with the content faster when they click into your page. Instead of having the image hosted on your local server where the website is located, CDN can deliver it much faster. Speed is, as I said, an important factor in Google, so you should strongly consider using CDN if you have many images or other media on your site that would otherwise slow down loading time.

Another benefit is that you save space. By uploading media to CDN and not to your web host, you will have more room for other things instead. It is a way to save money if you are a start-up company and therefore can scale your needs. The benefits are related both to SEO - but also to other things.

SEO or PPC?

Many who work with online commerce consider both SEO and pay-per-click (PPC). But what is best and what should you choose?

In general, SEO and PPC are both effective ways to get traffic. SEO is immediately the best long term solution as it is persistent. If your website is well optimized, you will feel the effects for several years to come. PPC, on the other hand, only provides temporary results, since you have to pay for every click or impression your page receives in Google, Facebook or another portal offering PPC.

For small businesses, SEO often pays off best. Especially if you sell to private customers. For companies selling to other companies, PPC is often effective, but it does not exclude SEO. For very large companies, it pays to invest in both. SEO and PPC can work well together. For example, you can invest in PPC early and still attract visitors while working on SEO. Namely, it takes some time before the effects of SEO optimization can really be felt, whereas PPC basically gives results right from the start.

However, the combination of SEO and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) gives the very best effect, as SEM can improve your organic rankings.

Choosing one of them is not easy as the most effective marketing strategy uses both SEO and SEM.

SEO tools

You have hereby answered why SEO is interesting and what techniques you can use to optimize your website in the best possible way.

But there are also several tools that you can use when performing SEO. For example, when finding new keywords to rank, when assessing how relevant a potential link will be, or when looking at competitors' rankings.

Here are some of the best and most popular SEO tools you can look into:

  • Ahrefs
  • Google Ads
  • Google Search Console
  • Google Trends
  • SEMRush
  • Moz
  • Majestic
  • Ubersuggest
  • AnswerThePublic

We are happy to help

Do you think it sounds a little too complicated to get started or do you simply not have the time?

Then you are always welcome to contact us by phone & mail or you can read more about ours SEO services here

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