SEO stands for search engine optimization. It emerged from the need to organize content relevantly, for people to quickly and easily find the information they were looking for through specialized sites called search engines, of which Google is by far the world leader.
This is not to be confused with pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. Paid searches are identified as “Advertisement” beside them, as can be seen in the following image:
SEO is not a “dark” practice, in the sense that, it IS NOT a hidden formula that every supplier invents to its liking. Instead, it’s a series of guidelines and practices that, depending on their use, may be classified as “white hat SEO.“ It is the correct and ethical way to do it (and of course, the one we employ at ZEWS), or “black hat SEO,” which are unethical practices aimed at producing what often are misleading results for attracting traffic to sites. The latter can be penalized by Google, which can eliminate a page from its results.
Another aspect to consider is that SEO, for comparative purposes, is not a “100-meter dash”, but rather a “marathon,” we could almost say an Ironman triathlon. That is, it is not something that you can adjust here and there only once and constantly get results that keep you among the first positions without having to retouch or provide maintenance for the site. This is quite a common mistake, as often clients have the notion that being on the first page, for any phrase, is as simple as uploading a couple of photos related to the desired phrase, and in three days, you’re on the first page, but no, it doesn’t work like that!
So, ranking in search engines or SEO is the series of techniques allowing the optimization of a website, and its content with the aim of being on the first page of Google (or any other search engine) in the chosen phrases, without resorting to systems such as pay-per-click, but instead, through proper management.
Now, before starting with ranking, you need to define the desired keywords clearly! The following can be mentioned among the factors to consider when defining key phrases for an adequate ranking strategy in search engines:
Delimiting the key phrase:
It’s not the same if you want to compete in Google with the phrase “shoes” or “shoes Costa Rica”… or “men’s shoes Costa Rica”… or “leather shoes handmade in Costa Rica”… or “luxury handcraft shoes made in Costa Rica”… or… you get the idea!
That is, the more you refine your keywords, the quicker you will reach the first page, allowing more qualified potential clients to find you assuming you do in fact sell “ luxury handcraft shoes,” and they are made in “Costa Rica”… What if someone does a search with this phrase and you appear in first place, with all of your shoe models available, in a website that is responsive to cellphones and tablets, with everything ready for the person to buy? There is a higher likelihood of doing business using more delimited phrases.
By the way, phrases as long as these are called “long tail keyword searches,” and are very, VERY widely used every day, so, do not hesitate to position yourself in phrases with more words to obtain results quickly.
Here are some examples of how results vary as new words are added to the key phrase, and the delimitations are done by country:
Frequency of updating
This is the point at which many companies stay! They may choose keywords correctly, following the steps of the example above, but if the content is not updated frequently, it’s very likely that (unless the competitors are also sleeping and do not make changes to their sites) they may not reach the first page.
You must have to begin with an SEO content strategy; that is, not just any content, but one that is optimized duly for competing in the phrases you want to achieve. Then the original quality content must be created, which provides value, and this must constantly be done, at least twice a month. And be careful, this does not include changing a photo with a different one, because Google does not “read” the content WITHIN the photo (yet!); it indexes based on the text. But Word and PDF files can work.
This is very important for you to consider: Google aims at high-quality content. So, don’t upload just anything.
Gone are the days (although there are still people doing it, but shouldn’t) when to have a website, you could simply go to Wikipedia, copy, and paste texts from here and there, or look for a company similar to yours in Mexico or Panama. And simply copy and paste their texts, often without even taking care to change the name of the country in the text, and that was it, your website was ready.
Well, Google now PENALIZED this. Besides, why would you not want to give your clients content with value? How can you expect people to buy from you and trust you if you don’t even take the time to tell them what you do differently from your competitors, and how people can benefit from buying your products or services? The creation and quality of content is of utmost importance. So, give it the importance it deserves.
Another of the many factors that Google considers is the quantity, but particularly the quality of the incoming links. Years ago, it was pretty easy to have inbound links. All you need do is to pay $5 or $10 for a little program that you downloaded from the internet which sent your link to “thousands of blogs and search engines” through the web, and that was it. The next day, you woke up to thousands of incoming links on your site and Google began to improve your position on searches… easy, right?
But it turns out that Google noticed that this practice did not concentrate on the quality of content or the frequency of updating, or optimization… none of this! So, they began to penalize the practice, which is, besides, unnatural (Who could manually add to a website thousands of new pages in one day)?
Given this, it is through QUALITY CONTENT that you achieve relevant information that people begin to share, disinterestedly, because they are interested in it, and they consider it valuable enough to share with their network of contacts… and that is what Google looks for!
As we said, simply having a website is not enough. Some companies have had a website for months or years without having benefitted from it, even though they may have a lot of content in it… Why? Because it’s not optimized! You must know how to optimize the content, particularly making use of titles that are relevant and different for each page, and are related with the rest of the content on the site, so that gradually, Google begins to identify that for the search “selling service X in country Y,” you get a relevant result.
Have you ever looked, say, for a hotel and ended up at the restaurant section of a website? This happens because of lack of optimization, for if the content is correctly optimized and indexed, people should always reach a relevant result on the site.
Merely organizing and optimizing the different content in a web redesign project can provide tremendous results, as in the case of our client Coronell & Lam, lawyers in the Colón Free Zone of Panama:
You now have a better idea of WHAT SEO IS AND HOW IT CAN BE BENEFICIAL FOR YOU. A website without an SEO strategy defined before beginning the site construction carries with it the risk that the site does not provide any result in the end.
Contact us if you have any questions or wants to learn more about our search engine ranking service.
By the way, here, we also give you a very interesting dynamic infographic on how a Google search works.