Today more than yesterday, having a website is not enough! It must be visible to internet users (you know, your future customers !?) and therefore be ranked well in the search results of the beloved Google …
Indeed, nobody will visit a site, however extraordinary it is, if it does not find it … To illustrate this phenomenon, I usually say that a poorly referenced site is like a shop open at night in an unlit street: it’s useless!
Once this has been established, implementing an effective natural referencing strategy is no longer an option, it becomes an absolute necessity! The referencing of your site is therefore a crucial element that should be incorporated into your thinking from its conception.
To help you in the SEO optimization of your site, I deliver you in this article the 5 factors which constitute, for me, the main managers in terms of natural referencing.
The webmarketing strategy
This may be obvious, but I think it should be remembered anyway: SEO is just one way to serve your web marketing strategy.
Indeed, if you are a wine merchant, your goal is not to leave first the request “château moulin neuf 2014”, but to sell as many bottles as possible!
Thus, the purpose of your site is to sell (or to generate contacts, to lend credibility to your expertise and to enhance your brand image, etc.). You follow me ?
First, you need to define a precise web marketing strategy. For this, I suggest a reflection in 4 steps:
- Draw your portrait: Who am I ? What am I selling? Whose ? How? ‘Or’ What ? etc. ;
- Identify your competitive advantage and determine your positioning: This is something that you master better than the competition, something specific to you. Once identified, it will allow you to establish your positioning on the market;
- Set SMART goals: Goals will allow you to establish the relevance and effectiveness of your actions. But, for this to work, they must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and defined over time;
- Determine the actions to be implemented: It is only then that we speak of natural referencing. Like social media, this is a “free” lever. Conversely, online advertising, affiliation or even emailing are paid actions.
Of course, each action leads to another, etc. It is the sum of the set of actions that must yield results and not each action individually.
As you can see, before you think about referencing your website, you need to set a course and establish a real web marketing strategy.
Once this brief reminder is done, we will now be able to tackle concepts specific to SEO.
The source code
As I indicated to you at the beginning of this article, the notion of natural referencing must be integrated from the development phase of the site.
Source code is the basis of your natural referencing. A bad technical optimization is enough to reduce all your efforts to nothing. So be particularly careful with this aspect. Here are some examples of technical criteria that can influence natural referencing:
- Pages responding in error;
- Non-indexable pages;
- Pages too slow;
- Pages too deep;
- Non-optimized titles;
- Unoptimized description;
- Unoptimized content;
- External outgoing links in error.
To validate the relevance of your agency’s work, do not hesitate to perform a free SEO technical audit.
The CMS used can also cause problems. Personally, like 1 site in 4 in the world, I use WordPress.
It’s a fantastic platform, but still has some flaws (like the others). Themes are also a source of concern, as they are only very rarely optimized.
To “counter” this phenomenon, the installation of a few plugins is recommended or even essential.
In terms of natural referencing and web marketing, we regularly hear that ” content is king “. This has never been so true.
However, there are a few rules to follow to make content successful:
- Respond to a specific need;
- Be unique (no copy and paste!);
- Present in an eye-catching form (lists, tutorials, media, etc.).
On a purely SEO level think about:
- Concern relevant key expressions that generate traffic;
- Develop a single main keyword (and a few secondary keywords);
- Identify the terms used by your competitors.
To help you find relevant topics to develop, you can use one of the following external tools:
Like the technical aspect, the structure of a site is very important when we talk about natural referencing.
The structure recommended by the main SEO specialists (Olivier Andrieu and Daniel Roch in mind) is the structure in silos.
This structure consists in dividing a site into several distinct sections, each of which develops its own semantic set.
Here are the two main rules to respect in a silo structure:
- Each content must be inserted in the correct section. It will reinforce its relevance on the key expression concerned;
- The contents of the same silo can be linked together. But the contents of two different silos should not be.
In natural referencing, popularity is measured by the number of links to your site.
- Social networks;
- Partner / supplier sites;
- Public / institutional sites.
In order to optimize the effectiveness of these links, it is important to:
- Vary their anchors;
- Do not constantly optimize them;
- Redirect them to different pages of your site (not always the home page).
Optimizing the natural referencing of a site is a multi-task and long-term job.
If the regular writing of optimized and relevant content is essential, we should not forget the impact of the structure and the technical aspects of your site.
Finally, never forget that SEO, and more generally your website, is only a tool at the service of your strategy. So take the time to think about it, build it and do not hesitate to modify its components if the need arises …