Search engine optimization

Do you want to improve your findability in Google?- Call in the help of real SEO specialists! We help you to make your website easier to find organically. Score higher in Google and increase the findability of your website!

What is SEO: the meaning

Search engine optimization (SEO) involves improving a website or webshop with the aim of achieving a higher ranking in the organic search results displayed by search engines.

The optimization of your website is done for search terms that match your website. In this manner, a website attracts new visitors every day – without the need for paid advertising. The higher a website ranks in the search results, the higher the chances of visitors and conversions.

To increase your findability in search engines, you optimize a website on the following three SEO fundamentals:

  1. Technical optimization
  2. Content optimization
  3. Link building (authority)

Why is search engine optimization important?

To illustrate the importance of search engine optimization, it is worth knowing that there are different ways to drive traffic from search engines to your website. In a search engine, you have the ‘normal’ (organic) search results, and you have paid search results. You pay the search engine for a listing in the paid search results. For a listing in the organic search results, you optimize and improve your website. The organic search results consist of several possibilities, such as featured snippets, answer boxes and the normal search results with a meta title and meta description.

This immediately highlights the importance of search engine optimization. As a company, you do not particularly want to be dependent on visitors who come to your website via paid advertisements. Because, stop paying? Then the search engine will not show you in the search results anymore. You will no longer be findable for your target group.

Visitors who come to your website from organic search results do not cost money. To break free from the infusion of paid advertisements and visitors, your website needs to be findable on relevant search terms. Because if you can be found well, you will get more relevant visitors. And more relevant visitors means potential sales.

The benefits of search engine optimization

  • Search engine optimization ensures more visitors to your website without you having to pay for it.
  • For search engines, relevance plays an important role in determining which sites are shown in the search results. As a result, there is a good chance that you will get relevant visitors to your website with SEO.
  • SEO is a form of pull marketing, so someone already has a need, rather than you having to create a need (which is push marketing).
  • Because with SEO you optimize and improve your website, SEO also increases conversion.
  • Leads and/or orders reached organically are usually more valuable than through paid campaigns.
  • SEO ensures long-term results, it is a sustainable marketing strategy. If you stop doing SEO, you will not immediately disappear from the search results (unlike SEA).

"Steigerhouten meubelen uit eigen fabriek tegen de scherpste prijzen"

SEO traject SteigerhoutTrend

E-commerce SEO-traject voor SteigerhoutTrend

SteigerhoutTrend kwam bij ons met één heldere wens: de organische daling omzetten in een groei, zodat marktaandeel verkregen wordt. Samen met SteigerhoutTrend zijn we een e-commerce SEO traject gestart waarbij al snel goede resultaten behaald worden.

106.47

procent organische groei

256.14

procent omzetgroei

122.99

procent meer conversies

121

nummer 1 posities

Read more about this case

Is search engine optimization only about Google?

We have talked up to here about “search engines” and “search engine optimization. But as you may know, there is only one search engine that leads the world: Google. Worldwide, about 92% of Internet users use Google as their search engine and only 4.3% use Bing [1]. So search engine optimization is mainly used to be better found in Google. Google’s algorithm determines the position of your website in the search results based on many factors.

Why not optimize for other search engines? Algorithms of other search engines work essentially the same, but their algorithm is simply less developed than that of Google. So, where Google is now, other search engines may be next year, or even later.

In short, optimizing your website for Google’s algorithm will always put you in the right place. They are ahead with their algorithm and other search engines are trying to approach Google. By optimizing for today’s Google means optimizing for other search engines in the future.

The Google algorithm

Google’s algorithm is a complex series of calculations that collectively provide rankings in search results. Exactly what the algorithm looks like is not known, and Google keeps it a secret. Yet, much is known. Therefore, we know what you need to do to optimize a website and improve organic findability.

Google’s algorithm determines the keyword positions of your website by about 200 different factors [2]. These factors vary widely, and each factor has a certain weighting. Moreover, the weighting of factors also depends on competition, industry and search intent. As a result, a website optimized for Google’s algorithm ranks higher than one that is not (or not as well).

Google’s algorithm updates

With the algorithm, Google has one goal: to show the most user-friendly and relevant websites to the user who performs a search in Google.

And Google wants to keep improving that relevance and user experience. That’s why they make more than 3,600 changes to the algorithm every year [3]. All with the goal of improving relevance and user experience.

Due to the algorithm changes, the factors that determine the ranking of search results are constantly changing. Especially major updates, such as the Google Core update, are highly visible in search results.

For example, after a Google algorithm update, the importance of mobile-friendliness may become more important. Websites that are easy to use on mobile devices go up in the rankings and become more findable. Or of course, the other way around, if your website is not mobile-friendly, you will sink in the search results and be less findable.

Therefore, it is important to be constantly aware of positions and keep track of changes in Google’s algorithm. There are a couple of overviews of all Google algorithm updates, with the most important changes in Google’s algorithm. This way, even after an update, you will be easily findable and respond to Google’s algorithm updates.

The optimization of the three SEO pillars

SEO is not just about placing a few keywords or writing nice text. To make a website more findable, there are three pillars within search engine optimization to which you must devote time and attention:

  1. the website speed and technique;
  2. (the quality of) content on the website;
  3. the authority of the website.

Website technology is complex. Especially if it is not your area of expertise. Technology forms one of the 3 foundations of SEO. A technically optimized website increases usability for visitors and ensures that search engines visit and index all pages. Moreover, loading speed has a great influence on the conversion rate of a website [4]. A fast website without errors and mistakes is therefore important for findability.

Content is the second pillar of search engine optimization. The purpose of content that you place on a website is to inform visitors. Content optimization ensures that your content matches search queries and questions asked in search engines. By providing relevant and valuable content that matches the search query or question, you ensure better findability on the right search terms. Once visitors find you, your content ensures that these visitors convert.

Link building is the third and final pillar of search engine optimization. For good findability, it is important that you build a valuable backlink profile. This means that only relevant websites should link to yours. All these links together form your backlink profile. The goal is to build an authoritative and relevant backlink profile so that Google considers you an authority within your field.

1) Technical SEO

Search engines like Google value technically optimized websites. Visitors should not encounter 404 messages or have to wait endlessly for your website to load. This is caused by technical problems on a site.

You can imagine that this causes irritation and a poor user experience for visitors. This is something you want to prevent. Especially since search engines, like users, love relevant and user-friendly websites. User-friendly websites results in Google visiting more pages of your website (crawling). Blogs and landing pages are thus better indexed.

Some examples of technical SEO points to optimize on a website:

  • The SSL certificate
  • The use of caching
  • A responsive website (so your website can also be properly visited on mobile devices)
  • The loading time of your website
  • An SEO-friendly URL structure
  • The XML Sitemap (overview of all pages for search engines)
  • The robots.txt file
  • Implementation and use of canonical tags

Technical SEO is one of the trickiest aspects of search engine optimization. The specialists at SmartRanking are happy to help you optimize the technique of your website.

2) Content optimizations (on-page SEO)

Google knows how long visitors stay on your website. The longer they stay, the better that is for your ranking in search results. The idea behind this is that visitors who find the answer to their question on your site will stay longer on your website.

And this immediately highlights the importance of good content. Content must match the search query of visitors. Therefore, focus on visitors when writing content.

Yet, visitors are not the only ones who judge your content. Thanks to “Natural Language Processing,” Google also understands what your website is about. They know for which search terms your website is relevant, and therefore for which search terms your website should be shown in the search results.

Good content improves your website’s authority, which is important for search results. And to avoid misunderstandings, content is more than just text. Consider also, for example, the videos and images that are on your website.

Parts you look for in content optimization are:

  • Using the right keywords in your texts
  • The HTML headings on your page (such as the H1, H2 and H3)
  • Uniquely written and easy to read content
  • Good and scannable pages
  • Avoiding duplicate content
  • Use of optimized images

3) Link building

The purpose of link building is to increase the authority of your website. You are building an authoritative backlink profile with your website. To achieve this, you want to have valuable inbound backlinks from external websites that point to yours. To achieve this, you engage in link building.

Relevance and authority are two decisive aspects within link building. The better you do this, the more Google will see you as an authority. And the more Google sees you as an authority, the better you rank in search results.

This sounds easy. Yet, the wrong approach will do a lot of damage. If you let go of the pillars of relevance and authority too much, Google will penalize you with a penalty. This will actually cause you to be more difficult to find in Google, or not findable at all. And that’s the last thing you want.

Want to get busy with link building? SmartRanking has a broad network to build an authoritative and relevant backlink profile for you. We do this naturally and manually, without violating Google’s guidelines. As a link building agency, we help countless websites, web shops, marketers, marketing agencies and other agencies to perform link building sustainably, for example, by using PR.

Should you outsource SEO, or do it yourself?

Search engine optimization can be done by yourself, you don’t need expensive tools or a senior consultant for this right away. However, keep in mind that it is a time-consuming job. Especially with limited knowledge and experience about the field of SEO. There are about 200 different factors that determine how your website ranks in search engine search results. And all those factors all have a different weighting, depending on your website, the area you’re operating in, and competitors.

In addition to all these factors, SEO is known as an “endurance sport”. Performing an optimization on your website today does not mean you will have risen in search results tomorrow. The results of search engine optimizations take longer to show, often taking between 6 and 12 months to see results [5].

The combination of many factors and longer-term results makes SEO tricky. A solid SEO strategy and a structured and planned implementation are therefore essential. It is up to you to determine whether you are capable of doing this yourself or whether you prefer to outsource.

B2B SEO and B2C SEO

Search engine optimization can be used for almost any website, regardless of the market you operate in. However, the strategy and approach will differ based on your target audience and their needs. It is important to consider your target audience in a search engine optimization project. B2B SEO requires a different approach from B2C SEO. Among other things, this has to do with the decision stages and the decision process.

SEO for B2B companies

It is often thought that search engine optimization for the B2B market is no different from the B2C market. The opposite is true. The decision process for most B2B companies is entirely different from the quick decision process of a B2B sales journey. The likelihood of conversion on the very first visit of a potential B2B lead is less than for B2C.

The goal of B2B SEO is to perform yourself as the authority within your field. Good content, with substantiation, cases, facts and answers to the needs of your target audience are necessary. Your visitor or problem, by properly explaining that you offer the solution to it, you have a greater chance of conversions.

For B2B SEO, the usability of your website is secondary to providing the right information and solving a problem or issue your target audience has. There are countless examples of B2B websites that look terrible but have good conversions. The reason? The target audience is provided with the answers they need to make a conversion. Of course, UX is not worthless because you need to be able to make a conversion in a good and logical way.

Characteristics of B2B SEO are:

  • The length of a sales journey is significantly longer than in B2C.
  • There are often several people involved in the decision, which complicates a sale.
  • Order values are higher than B2C, therefore fewer conversions are generally required.
  • The conversion rate is generally higher than for B2C.
  • Depending on your target audience and market, search volume is low, making good (keyword) research essential.
  • Link building requires a different approach because you are targeting a different type of website.
  • Design and usability of your website is less important than answering all needs.

SEO for B2C companies

Most searches that take place are searches related to B2C visits and purchases. A B2C purchase occurs after a relatively short journey. Your visitor may be orienting, trying to find the best brand or product for him or her. This orientation, barring an exception, takes place within a short period of time, after which a purchase is also made.

For B2C, it’s all about getting as much relevant traffic as possible, where you provide the visitor with the need directly. These are products (for example, a washing machine), services (for example, a landscaper) or information (for example, about a city trip). The visitor wants to get this information easily and quickly. UX and SEO are also indispensable; you must do everything possible to get the visitor to make a conversion with you. With good UX (loading speed and design) you make sure you stand out compared to your competitors.

In addition, search volumes for B2C SEO are generally much higher compared to B2B SEO. This also applies to the competition because within the B2C market there are a lot more providers for (almost) all products and services.

Characteristics of B2C SEO are:

  • The sales funnel is short; a visitor will make a purchase quickly.
  • Usability, including design and loading speed, are essential for your visitors.
  • The visitor's need must be met immediately.
  • It is less necessary to present yourself as an authority (compared to B2B SEO).
  • Price, branding, design and assortment are more important for B2C SEO.
  • In a B2C conversion, there are often only (at most) two people involved in the decision.
  • Within a B2C journey, there are generally many more search terms with higher search volumes.

SEO knowledge and tools are essential

SEO is a comprehensive area of expertise. To successfully implement it, you need extensive knowledge of all three pillars of SEO. The limited amount of knowledge is still a reason for many companies – from large to small – to outsource the search engine optimization of their website. Improving the findability in search engines is impossible without knowledge.

Besides knowledge, the use of the right tooling is essential. Of course, you can get a lot out of Google Search Console, such as long tail keywords, and there are a number of free SEO tools you can use. However, this is not enough if you really want to go for SEO results. Do you want to perform at top level? Then you cannot escape investing in SEO tools such as Ahrefs, Semrush, SE Ranking, Deepcrawl and ContentKing.

Search engine optimization services

SmartRanking is a SEO agency that is completely specialized in search engine optimization. We are good at it, and that is why we do nothing else. Stick to what you know, right?

Our team consists of experienced SEO specialists who closely monitor SEO developments. Using the best tools, our extensive experience and the insights from huge amounts of data, we have the knowledge to make your website rank well. It is our goal to have your website rank well in search engines. How do we do that? We help you with SEO in various ways. The question is what you are comfortable with and what you need. We have licenses to the best search engine optimization tools, so we can help you efficiently and with the right data.

SEO advice

Do you have enough time to carry out SEO optimizations? Or do you have a marketer or a marketing team? In this case, a SEO consulting project, in which we take on the role of consultant, is most valuable. We will work together on the SEO strategy and ensure a structured implementation. Our SEO consultants will help you or your team to carry out the optimizations in the best possible way to outsmart the competition. Through our years of experience, extensive knowledge in all SEO areas and tools, we will help you in the best possible way.

SEO audit

Do you want to get started yourself with concrete action points? Then we will carry out an SEO audit. After our SEO analysis, you will receive a list of concrete action points that you can use to improve the findability of your website. Depending on your needs, we analyze the technical SEO, on-page SEO issues, your authority, a competitor analysis, or we set up a keyword research. You will receive a report with clear tools, so you can get to work yourself.

We are not fans of lengthy PDF reports with all the points that are good because that takes us time to compile, and you time to read. That’s why we only send you the errors and action points, with a clear prioritization. Still need help? Of course, we are happy to help.

Local SEO

Do you operate locally or do you have a physical shop or branch? If so, we can provide you with more customers through the use of local SEO. The optimization of your Google My Business profile(s) is indispensable for local SEO. Google My Business is a fundamental part of your local findability. In addition, local landing pages are important to meet the needs of your local target audience in the best possible way.

International SEO

If you are active internationally, of course you want to score high in the search results in multiple countries. By using international SEO, we ensure that you can be found in search engines in multiple countries. This does not always involve Google; in America, for example, Bing is a more important search engine than in Europe and Yandex is the most important search engine in Russia. International SEO involves all SEO areas: technique, content and authority. That is what makes international SEO so complex.

SEO migrations

Are you planning to migrate a website? Migrations and SEO results do not really go hand in hand. Positions are often lost, and you have to work hard to regain them. With a clear approach to your SEO migration, we help you to migrate a website successfully. Without the loss of your positions in search engines.

SEO trajectory

During a complete SEO trajectory, we will assist you in gaining better SEO results. We look at all the elements, we set up a keyword research and competition analysis, and we create a strategy. If possible, we work together with you or your marketing team. We are great advocates of the exchange of knowledge, and are happy to guide you through the entire process of search engine optimization. Moreover, we prefer it if you carry out certain activities as well, if possible. After all, you know your target group and industry best. Together, we will achieve the best results in a SEO trajectory.

The investment for an SEO process

Each SEO project is a tailor-made project. This is why we always make a tailor-made proposal. The minimum budget for most of the SEO projects we work on is €2,200 per month. We will show you what we can do during a presentation without any obligation on your part:

  1. What the current status of your website or webshop is in terms of SEO.
  2. How your Google results look compared to your competitors.
  3. What can be improved in terms of technology, on-page and external authority.
  4. A plan of action for your situation.
  5. What a partnership with us looks like
  6. Our advice is in terms of investment to achieve your goals.

Are you interested in a partnership? Contact us for more information and the steps to be taken to achieve SEO results.

Sources

Articles about SEO