What is SEO?
Simply put, the goal of SEO is to make a website attractive to search engines (like Google, for example). Knowing that obtaining a better ranking in search results can have the impact of greatly increasing the number of visitors who will pass through your website.
To summarize how search engines work , it is possible to say that they use algorithms to “read” and index websites. To achieve this, the algorithms take into account many factors, such as the relevance of the content to the Internet user's search, the quality (and number) of external links pointing to the site, as well as all of user experience.
Why is SEO so important for SMEs?
Experts agree on one thing: for small businesses in particular, SEO is essential. A good, well-crafted SEO strategy can help SMEs stand out from the competition and generate high-quality organic traffic to their website. Natural SEO is therefore an effective way for businesses, regardless of their size, to raise awareness of their brand, attract new customers and build a solid online presence.
The benefits of an effective SEO strategy
A well-implemented SEO strategy offers many benefits . According to HubSpot , for example, these benefits include:
- increased online visibility;
- an increase in organic traffic directed to the site;
- an improvement in the credibility of the company;
- greater customer confidence;
- an increase in conversions and sales recorded;
- and more !
In short, SEO is a long-term strategy that, when done correctly, can deliver an excellent return on investment style="font-weight: 400;"> (often identified by the acronym ROI ).
Understanding the different types of search results
In order to fully understand the benefits of SEO , it is important to differentiate between the different types of search results: organic, paid and local results.
- Organic results are unpaid results that appear based on their relevance to the user's search query.
- Paid results , on the other hand, are advertisements that businesses pay for in order to appear at the top of search results.
- Local results show users nearby businesses and places that match their query.
Key ranking factors
According to the main references in the field, several ranking factors are used by search engines in order to determine what position will be assigned to a web page. These include:
- the relevance of the content offered;
- the authority of the site (measured among other things by the quality and number of incoming links);
- as well as the user experience (UX) as a whole, notably via site loading speed, mobile friendliness, and several other more technical points.
Common SEO Strategies
There are of course many different SEO strategies. But, among the most common, we find among others:
- research and optimization of keywords , used during writing;
- on-page optimization (quality content, structure, titles, meta descriptions, etc.) ;
- off-page optimization (such as creating quality backlinks for example);
- local SEO ;
- as is content marketing style="font-weight: 400;">.
Mistakes to avoid
Through these strategies, there are still certain errors to avoid style="font-weight: 400;">:
- excessive use of keywords;
- neglecting the mobile optimization of the site;
- not investing in quality content;
- failing to include good links.
Before going any further, we can therefore already remember that, for any company seeking to improve its online presence, several elements are necessary: ensuring you have a basic understanding of SEO, realizing its importance for SMEs, and take into account the various advantages offered by implementing a good SEO strategy . By knowing the most common natural SEO strategies, as well as the typical mistakes to avoid, businesses can develop effective strategies allowing them to stand out from the competition and attract more customers.
To help you find your way, here is a small glossary bringing together the essential terms used when it comes to SEO and web marketing . By understanding the basic vocabulary associated with the domain, it will be easier for you to navigate all the concepts of SEO on the web.
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization) : The art of optimizing a website with the objective of improving its visibility on all search engines.
Example: Using relevant keywords in titles helps improve your site's SEO .
- SERP (Search Engine Results Page) : Results page displayed by a search engine in response to a query requested by the Internet user.
Example : A Google style="font-weight: 400;"> search for "running shoes" will display a SERP first showing various shoe sales sites, based on relevance.
- SEM (Search Engine Marketing) : Web marketing strategy involving improving the visibility of certain specific sites in search engine results pages through paid advertisements.
Example : Use Google Ads to target specific keywords and increase traffic to your website.
- SMM (Social Media Marketing) : Use of social media platforms to promote a product or brand.
Example : Use Facebook and Instagram to promote a new clothing line and its associated products.
- Backlink / Return link : Name given to a link coming from another website and pointing to yours.
Example : Getting a backlink from a well-known fitness blog to your athletic shoe store can help boost your website's credibility due to the quality of that link.
- Keyword : Word or group of words entered by a user in a search engine.
Example : “Chocolate cake” is a popular keyword for a food blog.
- Long-Tail Keywords : Longer and specific keywords, often less competitive.
Example : “Best running shoes for marathons” is a good example of a long-tail keyword in addition to the regular keyword “running shoes”.
- LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) Keywords : Keywords linked to or synonymous with a main keyword generally part of the same lexical field.
Example : For the keyword “diet”, LSI keywords could include “weight loss” and “healthy eating”.
- On-Page SEO : Optimization of individual elements of a web page.
Example : Use an appropriate H1 tag for the main title of your blog post.
- Off-Page SEO : Optimization of factors external to a web page (such as the use of backlinks for example).
Example : Building links from authority sites to your own site to improve its ranking.
- White Hat SEO : Using SEO techniques that comply with search engine guidelines and rules.
Example : Focus on quality content to attract natural backlinks .
- Black Hat SEO: Using misleading or non-compliant SEO techniques.
Example : Hiding text filled with keywords on a page in order to fool search engines. ** Please note that this represents a risky strategy and should be avoided. **
- Meta Tags : HTML codes providing search engines with specific information about the content of a web page.
Example : Using the meta description tag to provide a good summary of the page to search engines.
- DA (Domain Authority) : Score predicting a website 's ability to rank among search engine results pages ( SERPs ).
Example : A site with a high DA is therefore generally considered more reliable by search engines.
- UI (User Interface) : Set of visual and interactive elements that can be controlled by the user.
Example : A website with a clear menu, well-placed buttons and harmonious colors thus offers a good user interface (UI).
- UX (User Experience) : Overall user experience when interacting with a website.
Example : Improving the loading speed helps to optimize the UX.
- Anchor Text : Clickable text serving as an anchor for a hyperlink in web content, particularly in order to create internal networking or even external links.
Example : Use " Click here to learn more about our products " as anchor text redirecting to another page.
- Crawl : Process by which search engines discover and index web pages.
Example : Googlebot "crawls" your site to index new pages.
- Robots.txt : File used to tell search engines which pages not to crawl or index.
Example : Using a robots.txt file to prevent indexing of private pages.
- Sitemap : Directory aimed at grouping together information on a site in order to facilitate Internet users' search (UX) as well as the indexing of the web page by search engines.
Example : Create a website map to group its different pages.
- XML Sitemap: Specific file submitted to search engines to help them understand the structure of a website .
Example : Submit a sitemap via Google Search Console for easier indexing.
- Canonical URL : preferred URL (address) of a page, to avoid duplicate content.
Example : Use a canonical tag to indicate the main version of a product with different variations.
- 301 Redirect : Permanent redirection from one URL to another.
Example : Use a 301 redirect to transport visitors from an old page to a new one.
- 404 Error : Error message indicating that the requested web page was not found.
Example : Personalizing a 404 page helps guide visitors to other sections of your site.
- Alt Text: Descriptive text of images, used by search engines and screen readers.
Example : Adding the ALT Text “Dog playing in the park” to an image of the animal practicing this activity.
- CTR (Click-Through Rate) : The click-through rate represents a percentage of the number of clicks received on a link, compared to the total number of impressions.
Example : A CTR of 5% therefore means that, out of 100 impressions, 5 people clicked on the ad.
- KPI (Key Performance Indicator) : Indicators used to measure the success of an SEO campaign.
Example : Conversion rate is an important KPI for evaluating the effectiveness of a campaign.
- EMD (Exact Match Domain) : Domain name matching exactly a target keyword or phrase.
Example : If you are targeting the keyword “buy books online”, then an EMD could be “buybooksonline.com”.
- Citations or NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) : Contact information from across the web, important for local SEO.
Example : It is therefore recommended to ensure that the NAP is consistent on your site, Google My Business style="font-weight: 400;">, as well as on online directories.
- TF-IDF (Term Frequency-Inverse Document Frequency) : Statistical measure used to evaluate the importance of a word in a document compared to a set.
Example : Use TFIDF to find the most relevant keywords for specific content.
- CDN (Content Delivery Network) : Network of servers used to quickly deliver the content of a website to the user.
Example : Using a CDN to reduce the loading time of images on a website.
- AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) : Format for creating mobile pages that load faster.
Example : Use AMP to make a news page more responsive to loads on mobile devices.
Mastery of SEO is an undeniable asset in today's digital world. In an age where digital dominates and organic traffic can drive a business , understanding and applying the fundamentals of SEO is more important than ever. This article has provided an in-depth overview of SEO, covering its importance, benefits, methodologies, as well as common mistakes to avoid.
In addition, thanks to the detailed glossary, even beginners in the field can now find their way around more easily. It is essential to remember that SEO is not a one-time solution, but a long-term strategy that requires persistence, adaptation and continuous learning.
By investing in strong SEO practices , businesses, whether large or small, can not only improve their online visibility, but also establish a robust and lasting digital presence.
- PBN (Private Blog Network) : Network of websites used to create links to a main site in order to improve its SEO ranking .
Example: Building a PBN with the aim of increasing the DA of a website .
** Be careful because this practice is often considered Black Hat SEO . **