When starting or continuing your adventure with online marketing, you basically have to make an important choice right away: which channels should you choose? A brand’s digital presence comes with many different ways to reach your customer, and the plethora of options available can seem overwhelming. PPC (pay-per-click) systems, such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads or TikTok Ads? Marketing based on social media influencers? SEO of the website? There are plenty of options and it cannot be denied that it will be very soon necessary to combine several channels – this way they will interpenetrate and complement each other, combining advantages and, to some extent, eliminating disadvantages.
The vast majority of brands, when they “enter the Internet”, start by starting their own website. It is almost always a sensible choice – your own piece of the Web allows you to present your brand, products or services to customers, offering freedom in form and content, without limiting the reach, as in social media.
When designing and publishing the brand’s official website on the web, it is difficult to do without SEO. SEO advertising is a long-term investment, but this marathon usually pays off! Moreover, it fits well with other online promotion methods such as Google Ads.
SEO as an advertising channel
But let’s start with what exactly is SEO advertising, otherwise known as website SEO. SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization, i.e. website optimization in terms of their visibility in search engines.
Pages displayed in the search results of individual phrases in the engine (for example, Google or Bing) are not accidental – their set and order is the work of an advanced and constantly updated selection algorithm. It is based primarily on the so-called keywords, i.e. keywords. So when we enter any phrase, the engine returns a list of results that in theory best match a given query – that is, Google tries to limit the time spent by the user on searching and redirect him to the desired destination as quickly as possible.
On the part of the algorithm, such page ordering to actually shorten the search time to the absolute minimum is a huge challenge. The search engine has to “guess” what type of information the user is looking for – are these the products they want to buy? Or maybe he wants to broaden his knowledge on a given topic and collect specific data? Teaching the algorithm a sensible “understanding” of the user’s intentions is the greatest difficulty – and although the search system is still far from ideal, thanks to updates the algorithm becomes slightly better at fulfilling this function every day.
SEO – what it is all about
The algorithm largely takes into account the content placed on the page, i.e. its length, quality and presentation, but content is only one of over 200 factors analyzed by the algorithm. Below, we will describe the most important elements that make up the position of the website in search results – their refinement can, under favorable conditions, bring amazing results when it comes to SEO advertising.
However, before we get into the SEO advertising guidelines and rules, let’s start with how to prepare for SEO. The first step should always be an in-depth analysis of keywords – what phrases are entered by users into the search engine if they want to find products, services or data contained on competing websites? What keywords are related to the industry in which you operate?
Many programs and services that analyze key phrases and positions of specific pages come to the rescue. It is worth paying attention to free Google Trends and Google Keyword Planner, as well as various paid solutions: Ahrefs, Semstorm and Senuto, among others. In the case of positioning, your intuition must give way to the collected data – if you think that a certain keyword will attract valuable (i.e. converting) traffic to the website, but the analysis suggests something exactly the opposite, probably in 99% of cases the program will be right.
It is worth remembering that from the point of view of the business owner, the value is only the user who converts – buys a product or service or performs another action that we have planned (e.g. watching a video on the website or downloading a PDF file). This means that your keywords must be related to your image or sales goals. You can easily attract many users to your website, but the wrong choice of keywords will bring people who are not interested in the topic to the website, without having a positive impact on important business indicators.
Without meaningful keyword analysis, SEO is an internet wandering in complete darkness – sometimes you can attract a client, but you have no real chance of competing with someone with night vision. If you haven’t had anything to do with SEO before, perhaps in your case you should consider outsourcing an SEO audit to an SEO professional who will check the keywords with the greatest potential and suggest necessary changes to the website.
There are many tools on the web that allow you to perform an independent SEO audit. This is a good start to understanding what a page is missing and worth paying attention to. Automatic audit, however, will not replace an analysis made by a specialist, taking into account the specificity of the website, industry and other aspects that the machine is not able to properly develop.
SEO advertising starts with content
When adapting your website to the requirements of the algorithm, it is worth starting with the content. It has to be – of course – user-engaging and encouraging to buy, but also search engine-friendly. This means that the content should be:
– Full of keywords – so that it does not obstruct reading as much as possible and does not give an unnatural impression. The potential customer will reflect on the inauthentic and simply strange-sounding text. The same will be done by an algorithm that better and better recognizes “junk” content.
– Long enough to comprehensively describe the topic – the user can learn more (and your brand gains an expert image). It also enables collision-free interweaving of more keywords.
– Properly formatted – divided into paragraphs (nobody likes a compact wall of text – neither does the Google algorithm), decorated with graphics and written in a readable font. It is also good practice to include your title and subheadings, possibly with keywords, in the form of H1, H2 and H3 headings.
If you don’t have a site where you can post more content, it might be a good idea to start a corporate blog. This gives you basically unlimited possibilities – you can strengthen the expert image of the brand, show off your successes, present your know-how and specialists, and at the same time, thanks to the publication of content, attract valuable traffic from the search engine to the website.
Content optimization is one of the elements that make up the so-called on-site SEO, i.e. activities that can be performed directly on a positioned website. In addition to refining the content, other important aspects of the website are also important for Google and it is worth bearing in mind for seo advertising to be as effective as possible.
Google also places great emphasis on technical issues, such as:
Page loading speed
Users browse pages on a variety of devices – desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, TVs and many more. This means that your website must display properly and allow comfortable viewing on multiple screen resolutions. The algorithm pays attention to, among other things, whether the text is readable (for example, whether individual characters do not extend beyond the screen).
Encrypted communication is absolutely essential today – Google knows it too. The correct installation of the SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate is indicated by a green (or gray in some browsers) padlock next to the website address.
The URL has a specific structure, but the form of the URL may vary depending on the administrator’s actions. Friendly addresses are much more intuitive for the user, and at the same time allow network bots to better “understand” the content of the subpage.
We have devoted a separate section of this text to links, but it is worth mentioning internal links here. These are the links in which you redirect to subpages within your own domain, making it easier for both the user and the bot to navigate.
Each picture can be provided with a title and the so-called alt attribute, i.e. an alternative description. They are not usually visible at first glance, but they are in the code, which makes them well understood by web crawlers.
These are just some of the actions that should be performed on the website to improve its position in search results as part of on-site SEO. However, SEO is much more than just the methods presented above. In addition to other ideas for adapting the website to the requirements of the algorithm, it is also worth taking an interest in the second SEO department.
Off-site SEO – the power of linking
Off-site SEO can be simply called all activities that focus on obtaining links from other pages pointing to a given domain. This is largely what a page’s rank is based on – often referred to as (digital) social righteousness. The algorithm assumes that if many other pages of high “value” link to a given page, the linked page is also considered valuable – so it is probably worth raising its position.
However, it is not that simple. The key is getting quality links that will often be worth much more than a few hundred links from a zero-reputation microsite.
It is also worth paying attention to the attribute of a given link. There are several types, the most important of which at the initial stage are:
– Dofollow – a link that “opens the door” to a web crawler – encourages him to go to the linked page, ergo has a clear positioning value.
– Nofollow – a link that the bot theoretically does not pay attention to – i.e. sees it, but does not go any further. This includes links from social media such as Facebook or Twitter, as well as Wikipedia.
However, it is not that every nofollow link is meaningless from the point of view of SEO advertising, and each dofollow link will bring a specific value. The natural link profile is important for the algorithm – suspected spam may result in the imposition of a filter that will limit the website’s visibility in the search engine.
Where to get the links? Valuable content will organically diverge to some extent, but this is usually not enough. So you can arrange an exchange of links with the owner of another website or simply buy them. There are many websites on the Internet market that allow you to buy space for a given domain, but the selection of the “linking area” must be supported by thorough research – otherwise you can burn out the budget allocated for it, and in extreme situations, severely damage the painstakingly built position of the website.
SEO Advertising – What Should You Remember?
SEO of websites does not bring immediate results – you have to wait up to several months for the first noticeable changes. The power of SEO inertia is considerable, especially when compared to PPC systems (Google Ads or Facebook Ads), where a well-configured campaign brings profits right away. For this reason, positioning should be planned in the long term – only this approach provides meaningful results.