SEO is a bit like your online salesperson. It brings you back contacts. But SEO is a long-term investment: it takes between 4 and 6 months to see the first results of your actions. With SEO, no quick results, no magic techniques.
When is it worth investing (time and/or money) in SEO?
It is never too early or too late to invest in natural referencing by optimizing your site, by working on your internal network, or by writing blog articles for example.
The more actions you take to improve your SEO, the more likely you will be to climb in Google’s results.
There are two types of actions to be carried out for your web referencing: the optimization of your site or SEO on-page and the off-site optimization which mainly aims to obtain backlinks. Find all the details of these different techniques in our SEO guide.
The basics of SEO for SMEs
Rule n ° 1: know the rules of the game and respect them
Mastering SEO is ultimately nothing other than knowing and respecting the criteria used by Google to rank sites in the SERPs. And luckily for you, the firm publicly discloses part of these criteria regularly.
To show Google that you respect its rules, nothing could be simpler: connect your site to the services offered by the firm (Analytics, Google Search Console, My Business …)
Rule n ° 2: offer a mobile site
With the increasing share of mobile browsing for users, Google has long since taken the leap to mobile-first. If your site is not suitable for a cell phone in priority, it will be non-existent in SEO. A responsive site is often a good solution.
Rule # 3: Switch to HTTPS
Buying an SSL certificate is an obligation today. More and more browsers outright block sites over HTTP, telling the user that they are not secure.
Rule # 4: Monitor your page load speed
Always in the logic of mobile-first, and a little to relieve its servers, Google is giving more and more important to the loading speed of web pages. And you can do something about it by optimizing (compressing) the images on your site (there are many tools online for this like Squoosh offered by Google itself). You should also come up with clean code and use a good server.
Rule n ° 5: heal your metals and hx
Customize your title and meta description tags, your URL but also your ex depending on the theme of your page and your search for keywords to target.
Don’t repeat yourself between the title and the h1 even if you have to stay close. Know that the order of the words in your title is important. Use dashes to separate your keywords.
It is not proven that the meta description counts in the classification of Google but it appears under your title and your URL in the results of the search engines, it will thus have a role to play in your rate of clicks.
It has been proven by many SEOs that the meta keywords tag no longer has any SEO impact, so no need to bother filling it out.
Rule # 6: Provide optimized content for Google robots
Good content has at least 300 words, if you can get closer to 1000 words that are even better! But be careful, you must offer quality content by addressing the most topics related to the theme of your page. No need to stuff your content with keywords, this technique has long been penalized by Google. Therefore, prefer synonyms and semantics.
If you are wondering what good content is, this is content that you would like to read on your own, so that people take the time to read it. Google will see it (via Analytics and the time passing on your page in particular) and will reward you for it.
Rule # 7: think about the waterline
The waterline is the content that appears on your screen without you having to scroll. And if this is a little less true with telephones, an Internet user scrolls very little. Google knows this and has made it one of its evaluation criteria.
You must therefore place as much important content as possible above this line and especially the most important content (h1, h2, image, call to action button …). It is less pretty, indeed, but it works. This is what makes many WordPress themes unsuitable for SEO.
Rule # 8: think about local SEO
Always create a Google My Business account for your business to appear on geolocated searches in your industry.
Encourage your satisfied customers to post reviews on your business to gain better visibility.
Rule n ° 9: beware of duplicate content
Duplicate content concerns copy/paste content from another site but also elements of your site.
You need to create unique content for your business, without retrieving it from your competitors or suppliers. Be aware that Google dates the content it indexes, it will necessarily identify your site as the copier since the content will be the most recent and YOU will therefore be penalized.
This is also valid inside your own site where each page must be different (title, meta description, hx, content).
Ultimate Guide to Technical SEO
Domain names and redirects 301
If you have reserved multiple domain names for your site (and we strongly recommend that to protect yourself from the competition), choose your primary domain name and redirect others to it using a 301 redirect.
We recommend that you submit your site map to Search Console and perform regular scans.
Avoid having pages more than 3 clicks away from your home page, especially for the most important pages of your site (those that talk about your core business).
The 404 page is the page that appears when an Internet user uses a URL that does not exist (or no longer) on your website. It is important to personalize it (link to the main categories for example) to allow it to find its way and not to leave your site without performing any action.
You can test how quickly your site loads with a bunch of tools including this Google analysis tool. Remember to check the mobile version of the site first.
This data allows Google to identify more elements about your business and display rich snippets in the SERPs.
Other technical optimizations
Indicate the language (s) of your site using the hreflang tag.
Think about adding your links to your social networks on your site, for example in your footer: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn… They give social proof in the eyes of Google.
In our ultimate guide to SEO for small businesses, we’ve provided you with plenty of optimizations to put in place to gain positions in search results. Some are not accessible to everyone, but if you have control over the content of your site with a CMS, you can make a good part of it yourself. Then all you have to do is work on your external links by trying to obtain quality backlinks.