How to do SEO?

Part 1: Content

12 December 2022

If you’re wondering how to do SEO, you’ve come to the right place. We bring you a series of 4 articles where we will analyze each of the 4 groups of factors that influence SEO:

Content

Technical aspects

Authority

User experience

In this first part, we will see how to do SEO through content optimization.

Keywords

What are keywords?

Keywords (or keywords/keyphrases/search queries in English) are the words and phrases that people type in search engines to obtain information on a specific topic. Keywords are how users search for answers online.

That said, it’s easy to understand why keywords are an essential factor for users to find something on the web organically. If your website or content does not have the keywords people are looking for, they won’t find or reach your website.

On the other hand, if you correctly identify the information that your potential clients want to obtain, and more specifically – the keywords with which they search for this information, you will have solved an important part of web optimization.

Where can I find keywords?

There are many ways to define the right keywords for your content. You can use several tools like Answer the public, Semrush, Ubersuggest. There are also entirely free ways to obtain keywords, for example, Google Trends, as well as basic options of Google Search such as Autocomplete, People also ask, Related searches. Here’s a video on how to use Google search to obtain keywords.

You can find out more about keywords and their use here.

Once the keywords have been defined, the content must be built around them. Of course, don’t forget first and foremost, you have to write content for people, not for machines (in this case Google). Avoid keyword stuffing – excessive use of keywords so that the content appears among the first Google results. Not only does this burden users, but it can actually negatively influence the ranking in Google since Google’s crawlers detect it.

As a general rule, keywords should be in page titles, URLs and meta descriptions and in the first paragraphs of the text.

Search intent

What is search intent?

Along with keywords, we have another important factor when looking for things in search engines. This is search intent (or user intent) – a term used to describe the purpose of an online search. It is the reason why someone makes a specific search.

Search intent is useful in defining a search query and in further specifying keywords.

Google continuously updates its algorithm to be able to determine the search intent of users and show them the results of pages that best match both the keywords and the intent. This requires the creation of content that takes into account not only the right keywords, but also the search intent.

There are different types of search intent, the main ones being:

  • Informational: The user searches for information and wishes to know more about a certain topic. Many time includes phrases such as what is…?, what does…do?, best way to…
  • Navigational: The user wishes to visit a specific website.
  • Commercial: The user has an intention to purchase, but needs more time and persuasion. Can include comparison phrases such as: which….is best, best…, which…works best for me, …. vs. …
  • Transactional: The user has decided to buy. This intent usually includes words like buy and discount.

As you can see, these 4 types of intention represent a funnel with 4 conversion phases. It is advisable to adapt the content of a website to the corresponding conversion phase. If your website sells products, for example, you may want to use more commercial and transactional phrases. If you want to convert users who are in the informational phase, you should create informative content such as posts that answer specific questions.

How to determine search intent?

And if you wonder how to determine the search intent of your users, look no further than the search engines themselves. You can open an incognito window in Google, type in the keyword you want your content to be indexed for, and analyze the results that come up. They are a good indication of the search intent that users generally have in relation to the keyword you typed in.

Metadata

Metadata are HTML elements that contain information about the web page that contains them. That is, they are data about other data.

Search engines use metadata to define the content and theme of a web page. This function makes them especially important for web optimization.

Good metadata include:

  • Meta title containing the target keyword of the page
  • Meta description that explains the content of the page and contains the keyword

Google’s own recommendations on metadata include:

  • Create unique descriptions for each page of your site
  • Include relevant information about the content in the meta description
  • Use quality descriptions

Here are some of Google’s examples and suggestions for improving meta descriptions:

Google meta description examples
Google meta description examples

How to define metadata?

If your website is made with WordPress, the Yoast plugin is perfect for generating appropriate meta descriptions and adjusting other factors that influence SEO.

Format

The way you format your content is also important for SEO and search engines. What stands out here is the use of the heading H1.

H1 is an HTML element used to identify the most important heading on a web page.

Typical uses of H1 include the title of a page or a post, the name of a product or service. Apart from H1, we have other headers (H2, H3, H4…) that, once defined in the correct order, help crawlers better understand the content of a web page.

It is recommended to use H1 only once per page and in this way define the central element (the title, for example). Then with H2, H3…, we can continue to define the hierarchy of the content so that both crawlers and users can read and understand it more easily.

It is worth mentioning that elements such as lists, bullets, and text in bold can also help with optimization. After all, crawlers perceive a web page as if they were actual users. Therefore, when formatting a text we, guide them and direct their attention to the most important points.

URLs

URLs are the unique addresses of web pages that help people locate them.

As a basic rule, a URL should contain the page title and the keyword, which in many cases coincide. It’s best to keep URLs short and concise, avoiding numbers and unusual symbols. It is recommended that words within a URL be separated by a hyphen, such as https://allucinant.com/es/blog/marketing-digital/what-are-keywords-and-how-to-choose-the- right-ones/.

Having the keyword within the URL provides an extra clue about the nature of your content. And as we have seen, the better Google understands what your website contains, the better it will index and position it in user searches.