SEO is an effective digital marketing strategy because users use search engines to discover new content and visit only the websites that appear in the top positions. Identifying what those searches are and managing to appear in the first positions for them is the objective of SEO . And since we cannot pay Google to show us in a better position, SEO experts study how to classify content in search engines to improve said positioning.
Why is SEO so important?
As soon as the first search engines appear, several aspects that lead to the appearance of SEO (search engine optimization or web positioning) as a professional activity in high demand and with a clear role in any online marketing strategy are revealed:
Users do not always pose their queries in search engines in a correct, logical or predictable way: identifying what exactly a user is looking for when using keywords such as “lose weight” or “operation” is not an easy task for a search engine. This is why search engines have refined their algorithms to consider the context of the search. For example, they take into account what other searches the same user did previously (his “search history”), if he refined them in any way (for example, if after searching for “lose weight” he proposed a new search of the “diet to lose weight” type). ) as well as the type of device from which you entered the query and its geographical location. Knowing which are the most popular keywords that our potential clients could raise is one of the fundamental tasks of SEO since it allows us to set our visibility objectives.
The first results are seen more and get more clicks than those below: as it is easy to assume, the first results more easily capture the attention and clicks of users than those that appear on subsequent pages. Trying to appear in the best possible position for related searches that our potential customers and / or audience may raise is the main objective of search engine optimization.Search engines analyze the content automatically so it is important to know what limitations and problems could be derived from the way we program and / or serve our content:
SEO professionals study the way in which search engines search and analyze content to facilitate this work. At the same time, they take into account their limitations to avoid that the search engines stop crawling content due to errors, long download times or that they find pages with hardly any content (thin content or weak content) or with the same content that they have already crawled in. others (duplicate content).
Professional SEO Experts learn how to improve their websites by studying search engine guidelines, analyzing their patents, conducting experiments in controlled scenarios, and using specific analysis tools. This type of SEO is usually called white hat or ethical SEO and, in general, it is the safest way to optimize a website to avoid search engine penalties while obtaining the best possible results.
It is possible to detect flaws in the way in which a search engine sorts the results in order to position low-quality content ahead of other high-quality content : when it began to study the way in which search engines ordered results, it soon became apparent that its Algorithms weren’t perfect either, and some SEOs tried to exploit these vulnerabilities to position certain content in a position they really didn’t deserve. To this type of optimization It is usually called black hat and although it can give good results in the short term, when it is detected by search engines it is usually a reason for a penalty. In these cases, the results of the penalized website appear much lower in the results (partial penalty) or are not shown at all. The website is then said to have been banned or banned from the index. These types of penalties can be algorithmic (the search engine automatically detects unethical practices and lifts the penalty when the situation is corrected) or manual (a Google quality qualifier detects the offending site) in which case we must request reconsideration from the search engine.
If users cannot find the content they need , they will stop using the search engine: that is why search engines constantly refine their algorithm to prevent low-quality content from sneaking into the first results, displacing the content that could best serve the interests of users. The first search engines of the 90s were very vulnerable to black hat practices, so their results were often dominated by low-quality content aimed at advertising monetization. Although Google was the last great search engine to appear in the 1990s, the basis of its algorithm – the analysis of content as well as the relationships and references of this content through its links – has proven to be much more solid than the from its predecessors.In order for users to continue using them, search engines will do everything possible to perfect their indexing methods so that the best content for each search always occupies the top positions: we use search engines because they are still the most effective way to find new content on the Internet. . To continue fulfilling this role – enormously profitable for Google – search engines will do their best to continue perfecting their information retrieval methods to better understand the needs of users who hide behind their queries as well as to identify the content that can best satisfy these needs. Updates such as Caffeine, Panda, Penguin or Hummingbird –to name the best known– are aimed on the one hand to better detect fraudulent practices or black hat and, on the other hand,
From the leading role played by search engines on the Internet, it is logical that a whole professional activity has been developed focused on optimizing Web sites so that they appear in the first positions for the searches that interest us most. And since until very recently there was no formal training on these subjects, the truth is that SEO is a professional activity very conducive to intrusion.
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SEO, the professionals of web positioning
In fact, the professionals who dedicate themselves to it have reached that status of professionalism based on experience, study and work from a common beginning in which all of them were part of that arrival that in some way can be seen as intrusive . Even today it is difficult to differentiate, for the layman, who is a true professional SEO from the inexperienced beginner. And there are no professional groups that have established some type of good practice regulation or ethical code about SEO practice. In this scenario, only the professional career and a portfolio of clients with abundant references and success stories is the only guarantee that can guarantee the professional value of an SEO or a consultant.
The most experienced consultants are highly valued by companies since they can achieve, through the improvement of positions in search engine results, large increases in quality traffic with a much lower acquisition cost (CPA) than other strategies. of traffic acquisition, such as pay per click (PPC), display advertising or e-mail marketing. Therefore, it is advisable to invest in optimizing our website to exhaust its potential for generating organic traffic before investing in other traffic acquisition strategies with higher acquisition costs.
Hence, this activity is also related to an improvement in the visibility or findability of certain content. If users use search engines to find the answer to their need, SEO strives to make such content visible or searchable wherever its potential customers search for it.
What differentiates SEO from other digital marketing strategies?
SEO traffic is a quality traffic since it is generated from the interest of users and just when they have a need. There is a popular saying in SEO: “It is much easier to sell when your client is looking for you.” From this perspective, SEO traffic is usually formed by visits from very interested users with better indicators of visit quality (page views, time spent on the site, bounce rate) and conversion than that acquired by other means.
Another characteristic of SEO that differentiates it from other online marketing strategies is its durability. While it is true that it will be difficult for a new website to achieve a high volume of visits from search engines in the short term, it is also true that the benefits of optimizing a certain website will last a long time after investing time and resources in doing so. . From this point of view, SEO is a traffic acquisition strategy that has a high inertia: it costs initially to make the volume of organic traffic grow but, also, once the domain acquires a certain authority, it will remain well positioned even though conjuncturally it stops investing in its optimization.
SEO is a source of quality traffic with a lower acquisition cost than other tools and with a high durability, SEO is today a basic and key online marketing strategy that is present in any digital marketing plan. Being in visible organic results for the searches of our users and potential clients is a first level objective for companies, media or professionals with an online presence. We will then discover what are the foundations on which search engine optimization is based and what are the main phases of work in SEO to achieve top positions.