Appearance, you know, is not everything but it is extremely important when it comes to selling a product or service. Every store needs quality goods and a glittering showcase, but an aesthetically appealing and tidy outlet is not always enough to attract passers-by and turn them into customers: it is also necessary to place it in the most accessible point of the city, possibly on the main avenue.
Likewise, for every company it is essential to have a beautiful online showcase, a professional, simple and informative site, but not only: positioning is essential to be able to acquire visits and, in the case of an e-commerce, transform them in the much desired conversions.
Let’s clarify some concept: positioning on SERPs and SEO
Search engine positioning
What does positioning mean? The answer is simple: best place a website in search engine results pages, known in English as SERP – search Engine Results Pages.
The key word is therefore positioning on the SERPs; but what are the ranking factors? Take for example the search engine by definition: Google.
It is not known precisely what these factors are, nor their relative weight. Two things we know for sure: first, that Google factores hundreds of elements – more than 200! – to determine the positioning of sites in organic results; second, that Google’s algorithm is constantly updated: every year hundreds of changes are made with the aim of perfecting the ranking criteria more and more.
On-page and off-page factors
In general, two are the macro categories of factors considered by Google:
- On-page positioning factors are all those factors internal to the site, which can be directly modified by those who manage or develop the site (trivially, everything that allows search engines to index the pages correctly);
- Off-page positioning factors are all those factors external to the site, which therefore depend on the behavior of web users (for example, quotes on external sites, navigation and participation of users in the site, shares and likes on Social media).
The basic idea is very simple: a site must not only be complete, neat and informative to get a good position in the rankings; Google also considers feeedback and external references, of other sites and users.
SEO: Search Engine Optimization
So, considering the example of Google, 10 are the free positions on the front page and the path to get to the top is arduous and tiring. How to improve your search engine ranking? One word: SEO.
SEM, SEO, SEA
Before delving into the intricacies of SEO, it is good to make some clarity on some acronyms: SEO (Search Engine Optimization) together with SEA (Search Engine Advertising) is part of SEM (Search Engine Marketing). What is it about?
- SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is the branch of web marketing that concerns search engines and that includes all activities and practices aimed at generating qualified traffic to a website.
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the set of strategies and practices aimed at increasing the organic traffic of a site.
- SEA (Search Engine Advertising) is the set of strategies and practices aimed at increasing the paid traffic of a site, that is, in other words, the advertising practiced on search engines.
It is therefore good to remember that an SEO campaign does not include paid acquisition channels.
SEO as a complex process
Considering the ranking criteria, this system of two categories of factors-on-page and off – page-makes the positioning less self-referential and the SEO activity decidedly more varied and complex. In other words, a good SEO project must take into account, to the extent possible, of all the elements considered by the search engine to increase its performance: it is a myriad of elements that, while individually they may seem details, make, overall, a site worthy of placement in the eyes of Google.
In the definition of an SEO strategy, it is good to make a fundamental premise: no strategy is always valid, because no algorithm is immutable; optimization is therefore and must be a constantly evolving process.
How to define an SEO project from scratch
We will now see how to proceed to the definition of an SEO project, from scratch.
Step 1: initial analysis and definition of objectives
First of all, as with any strategy, it is necessary to define targets to be achieved: in other words, how much we can increase the visits, is it actually possible; to be able to answer this question, it is necessary to make an analysis of the situation of departure of the web site.
In order to obtain a realistic and truthful picture of the initial situation of a site, it is necessary to carry out a quantitative analysis, collecting, where possible, as many data available. What data are we talking about? In order to have a more complete overview of the situation, the areas to be taken into account are mainly three:
- Traffic analysis (Google Analytics)
- Search engine positioning
- Competition analysis
All three analyses will provide essential information in order to better structure an SEO project.
A. traffic analysis (Google Analytics)
First of all, to be able to assume the achievable results, it is necessary to use a traffic analysis program, i.e. visit tracking. Google Analytics is by far the platform most used, but the argument remains the same if you want to use some other software: with dozens and dozens of charts and percentages, Google Analytics allows you to view and analyze every aspect of Public, Acquisition Channels, user Behavior and Conversions.
Generally the most useful information at the initial stage are those related to:
- Total visits (Sessions)
- Organic visits (organic traffic session)
- Landing pages
- User interaction by capture channel
As with any history series analysis, it is recommended to compare a time interval with the same interval of the previous year to eliminate the seasonal component: it will be possible to understand the current and past trends of the website and monitor its progress, observing visits and user behavior over the period to capture strengths and weaknesses in traffic.
B. Analysis of kewyords and their search engine rankings
In parallel, it will be necessary to proceed with a selection of keywords: with the help of particular software – officially provided by the main search engines – it is possible to trace the most searched and therefore most competitive keywords within a given semantic and thematic area.
A very popular software to conduct keyword analysis is Ubersuggest.
At this point, if the goal is to increase the positioning on search engines, it is natural to proceed with an overview of the present placements: also in this case, the particular software will give a precise insight of the keywords for which the site is located, and which then generates the most traffic, and of semantic areas, which, on the contrary, they are not giving the desired results.
This kind of analysis is essential to proceed with the definition of an SEO strategy: it allows, in a few words, to understand the competitiveness of the site in relation to certain keywords and to distribute SEO efforts in an efficient way between the different keywords. The choice of keywords around which to build the strategy is fundamental: selecting the wrong mix can be a waste of time and energy, and risks compromising a possible position already earned with other keywords.
Clearly, the greater the use of a keyword in searches, the greater the traffic generated by it and the greater the attention paid to it by the different websites, which struggle to grab the largest share of staff by placing themselves in the top positions of the SERPs. In other words, the greater the competitiveness, the higher the competition, and therefore the commitment – and the time! – necessary to position yourself with the keyword in question. Performing an analysis of kewyords therefore means knowing not only the popularity, but also the competition of each keyword.
Once a set of keywords is selected, it is good to consider that the decision is never final: as already mentioned above, no strategy is eternal, it is a process of constant improvement.
C. Analysis of competition
As with any strategic decision, before proceeding with the definition of a plan is always good to make an analysis of the competition: understand if and how the main competitors are carrying out digital marketing activities is as important as try to identify the placements.
Access to secret and confidential information is not essential for the analysis: a website is visible and accessible to anyone and using certain software it is possible to identify the typical elements of an SEO strategy, obtaining useful indications on the gender and extent of the web marketing activity carried out.
Definition of objectives
Once the analysis is completed, it will be possible to define the achievable objectives with the SEO campaign and then define parameters and characteristics of the project.
Step # 2: SEO activities – Search Engine Optimization
Once the objectives have been defined, it will be possible to proceed with the definition of an SEO strategy. We have previously defined the two macro-categories of positioning factors and explained the importance of considering, for the SEO activities, both categories: a perfect optimization of the site, on the one hand, and external activities that lead to the site, good references from the other. What does it mean in practice?
- On-page SEO mainly indicates the activities of technical and qualitative optimization of the site and the insertion of quality content.
- Off-page SEO mainly indicates the activity of link building and other brand care activities, such as newsletters and relationships with influencers.
Let us now see in more detail these activities.
Main SEO activities
- Technical optimization of the site, i.e. the optimization of the code, which must be full of the required tags to ensure proper indexing by search engines, and optimization of the server in terms of speed. Particular attention is paid to the optimization of the snippet, i.e. URL, Title Tag and Meta Tag Description on each page, but there are a lot of components that should be present within the code for a correct indexing – and often ignored by the Web Master, Meta Tag Keywords, Tags, Headings, Formatting Tags, text, Title attribute and the link for the product name, Alt attribute for images, attribute, rel = canonical, robots file, site map, HTTPS protocol, and much more.
- Qualitative optimization of the site, IE optimization in terms of usability and web design, such as the presence of widgets and links to Social networks, the use of a system of reviews, the presence and quality of information content.
- Insertion and optimization of content, such as blogs, boxes and informative pages and descriptions. To be considered quality by search engines, content should be rich, informative, well-formatted, complete with internal and outgoing keywords and links.
- Link building, i.e. creation of positive references on external sites through the publication of articles and press releases that refer to the pages of the site.
Step 3: analysis of results and monitoring
Once a strategy is defined, it is good to consider that continuous and constant monitoring is necessary to maintain a good performance.
First of all, continuous monitoring in terms of reporting through Google Analytics is necessary, essential to have an overview of user behavior and conversions, in order to optimize the site from the same interactions.
Secondly, it is good to periodically check the progress of the site in terms of positioning, so as to evaluate its progress and quantify the results achieved through the SEO campaign. This activity is not only essential for the cyclical monitoring of the results of the activity, but it is also essential to be able to make ongoing changes to the strategy.
We have already said this before, but it is good to reiterate it: search engine algorithms are constantly evolving, for this reason SEO must mean continuous tension to improvement, constant improvement and meticulous analysis.
The world of the Web is, in fact, constantly changing and a small variation in algorithms can lead to significant consequences. Or even, more trivially, with the advent of smartphones and tablets an optimal display on mobile devices has been introduced among the parameters.
This is why constant attention in terms of SEO is necessary: the world changes, technologies evolve and what works today may not work tomorrow.
It is useful, in this sense, a continuous analysis of competitors and their strategies, which not only analyze performance and placements, but also consider the structure of the site and its features.
One last tip, to get more data for a good monitoring of results we recommend you try a very effective software called SEMrush.
SEO: the trends of 2019
As every year in the world of Marketing come News, change algorithms or new trends.
In this regard, Google in 2019 introduced news regarding the topic of search engine positioning. But what trends, news and new strategies have been introduced in SEO in this new year?
Some examples are the optimistic forecasts in the field of voice searches and the increase in mobile searches, as well as an increasing enhancement of high-level backlinks.
In addition to the parameters mentioned above, quality content will be increasingly important in SEO: text length, internal links, H1, H2, meta-description, video enhancement and photographs.
Social networks – already important-will acquire even more importance.
Voice search software is already significantly present in the daily life of anyone, thanks to the fact that now most people use services through their mobile device. But how can this affect Search Engine Optimization?
When a site is optimized for certain keywords it is important to include different sources to get a 360° overview of search queries.
The Google Voice Search, will be an increasingly constant presence in the everyday life of users of online services from smartphones. More and more people will use it, so by developing content through question and answer we will take advantage of this trend. Google Voice Search, works precisely according to a principle of knock and answer, the user asks a question by voice and the search engine presents more solutions through the results found in line with the needs of the user.
A good job of SEO optimization, even in terms of Google Voice Search, will increase the chances of obtaining positive results also in this field.
The importance of SEO expertise
In 2019, the quality of content will become increasingly important, becoming a relevant element in terms of SEO
With inside multimedia content such as images and videos, it will be possible to acquire relevance. But not only that, in fact receiving links from another site – the so-called backlinks – will acquire more and more importance to better position yourself within a search engine.
In the field of backlinks, the ranking factor by Google remains important if our site is cited by a site considered authoritative. Creating quality content definitely helps in backlink gain.
This practice of backlinks is one of the strategies on which to focus for SEO, it is important to be able to implement a correct strategy of web marketing and SEO copywriting.
Mobile First will have to be repeated as a mantra, according to some data in fact 60% of people search online through the mobile device. Google for this reason has implemented mobile-first indexing.
Your site therefore, for a good indexing on search engines must be able to adapt best to all formats, especially mobile.
It will be necessary to take into account the User Experience, that is, the behavior of users and their use of the service. Attention should therefore be paid to: the orientation of the design for the target, the optimization of usability by the user, that they are attentive to the user and landing pages that are optimized for conversion.
SEO integrates with Social networks
Search Engine Optimization is increasingly linked to Social Media, but to assume that no, social media does not have a direct influence on positioning. The latter are becoming increasingly widespread and important not only in the eyes of people, but also in the business and professional sphere.
Numerous social Media marketing techniques are increasingly expanding like wildfire in different areas, from personal to business.
The success of SEO is therefore connecting more and more also to the world of Social networks. Keywords are certainly still very important, if not fundamental in the field of position optimization on search engines.
However, attention is also shifting towards the degree of sharing that the text manages to achieve (like on Facebook, retweets on Twitter, publications on LinkedIn).
Every action on social media of this kind can lead to the acquisition of the value attributed to the content in terms of reach, traffic and consequently improvement of SEO positioning. This leads to a stimulus of lead generation and therefore conversions.
As mentioned earlier social network links do not affect the improvement of positions on search engines. But it is also true that social media is often among the first results that arise in the search for the name of the company or a brand.
These channels affect the user’s experience with the brand or with the company, making it fun, engaging and therefore memorable. The strategy to follow is to be present with at least 10 of the first results in the search on the search engines of your brand with social profiles.
Social media like Facebook and LinkedIn are authoritative in the eyes of Google, so they will easily be placed at the top.
As already mentioned, social media does not have a direct effect on SEO, this is due to nofollow links, but the interactions you get on these profiles are index of liking and interest by users and potential customers.
So indirectly Social influence on SEO, in fact good communication will enter the heads of people, leading them then maybe to quote us in articles or link us.
Social media therefore influence as organic positioning factors. The same Email Marketing and Chatbot, can be important for the dissemination of content that convey traffic to the blog.
A content can definitely be defined as valuable if its quality is high, if it is well optimized and especially if it is able to reach new audiences.
The more this is reconditioned the more it will acquire visibility: a very important factor in Digital Marketing strategies.
Surely the work on the correct and specific keywords is crucial for positioning, but at the same time it is becoming increasingly important to think in another perspective that the content is appropriate to social networks.
Therefore, Social Media can be seen as an effective and strong support in a field where they had been “excluded”, namely the positioning on the SERP.
So Social networks can become an indirect ally for SEO positioning.
Google’s algorithms are constantly updated, so it’s important to follow every new trend.
SEO campaigns for e-Commerce: Web Design, structure and hierarchy
E-commerce nowadays is playing an increasingly important role for many companies. E-commerce sites have developed following the advent of digital and have completely revolutionized the morphology of the market.
In addition to the big giants, first of all Amazon, also many other smaller companies to continue operating on the market have had to adapt to the new needs.
If on the one hand the internet has changed the characteristics of the market on the other it is necessary to emphasize how the consumer has also drastically changed the way of making purchases.
With this premise it can be seen that e-commerce is playing an increasingly key and important role for companies themselves.
In this regard, however, it is very important to emphasize that while e-commerce is gaining more and more importance for companies, on the other hand, however, many of these do not have, however, of the knowledge and skills necessary for the development of e-commerce in an effective way.
Implementing strategies for the development of an effective and efficient e-commerce can therefore not be realized if you do not know perfectly the characteristics of this sector.
For this reason contrary to what it seems and what many make believe developing a quality e-commerce requires time, dedication and specific knowledge.
During the implementation of an e-commerce therefore it is very important to take into account the structure and graphics of the site but it is also appropriate to pay attention to the positioning that e-commerce has on search engines.
A good positioning on search engines therefore translates into an increase in visits that can then be transformed into conversions or loyalty and thus have general positive repercussions.
For the realization of a good e-commerce site it is therefore strictly important to take into account at the same time:
- Factors internal to the site that depend on behaviors and actions that can be implemented by those who manage the site.
- Factors external to the site that depend on the behavior of external users.
Market analysis, the competitive context of reference and definition of objectives
After this very general consideration it is appropriate to proceed with the study of the basic initial steps to achieve an effective e-commerce and with a good positioning.
Fundamental is the initial analysis of the market and the competitive environment.
This first step is very important because it allows you to have a general overview rather realistic on what are the characteristics of the market in which you operate, as you place in it and what are the main features of the competitors. These activities are very important as an e-commerce is a real activity and not a simple website.
In this regard, after identifying the main characteristics of the sector, it is appropriate to proceed with the analysis of competitors, in particular, of their strengths and weaknesses. In fact, these are very important because they also help a lot in defining your strategy.
In addition to the analysis of competitors, it is also necessary to proceed with an analysis of their market positioning. Here if the e-commerce site is already present it is essential to go to analyze the positioning on the web and do a traffic analysis. If instead the site is to be built ex novo better focus on a SWOT analysis.
At a later stage you can proceed to the definition of the objectives.
The previous phase should provide the tools to define in a more realistic and precise way its objectives that can then be achieved with the strategies that will then be implemented.
Development of an e-commerce from a technical point of view
Realization of an e-commerce from a technical point of view
At this stage must be held inconsideration several aspects. First of all it is important to deal with the graphic structure of e-commerce. This in fact in addition to being very beautiful and cared for should also be as user friendly as possible. Here it is therefore necessary to pay attention to the choice of content, always perfectly formatted and optimized, the choice of images and the more general care of all graphic formatting.
The development of an e-commerce site from a technical point of view it is definitely much more complex than any web page, for this you need to go to enrich the e-commerce of a number of features and plug-ins necessary for the sale, for the management of sales, orders, and customer service. E-commerce sites must be built as if it were a hierarchical structure.
Also already in the technical development phase it is very important to pay attention to the SEO elements necessary to ensure a good positioning.
In this regard, it is necessary to proceed with an optimization of meta title and meta description, insertion of blogs, verified reviews and quality informative pages.
To conclude, operating in the digital market today is very important even if it is a rather complex market that requires the right knowledge and skills to move with professionalism and success.
Considering the opportunities that this market offers, it is very important for companies today to operate in this market. To do this, however, you need detailed knowledge and skills. Only in this way can you implement a successful digital marketing strategy that can effectively integrate various strategies.