The ultimate guide to SEO in 2018

The ultimate guide to SEO in 2018

What is the first thing you do when you need new marketing ideas? What about when you decide that it's time to change the way you keep the books finally? Or even notice a puncture in the car?

I guess you're talking to Google.

But did you know that 89% of B2B buyers and 81% of online shoppers do the same thing?

problem, challenge or even a choice, they google it. Simply.

So it's a cold and hard truth that without the presence of at least Google, it's unlikely that your business will survive long.

In this guide you will discover a strategy for building this presence – Search Engine Optimization (SEO.)

You'll learn what SEO is, its what you need to do to position your site in the search engine results. But before I begin, I want to reassure you.

So many resources make SEO complex. They scare readers with technical jargon, focus on advanced elements, and rarely explain anything beyond theory.

I promise you that this guide is not like that.

its most basic parts and show you how to use all its elements to build a successful SEO strategy. (And to keep up to date on SEO strategy and trends, check out HubSpot's Skill Up podcast.)

Keep reading to understand SEO or jump to the section that interests you the most.


When I was asked to explain what SEO is, I often choose to call it a strategy to make sure that someone who wants to do that a find your product or service in your category.

But that simplifies discipline a little. It does not take into account items such as different customer information needs.

In short, SEO leads to two things: ranking and visibility.


This is a process that search engines use to determine where to place a particular web page in the SERPs.


This term describes how important a particular area is in search engine results. With great visibility, your domain is very present in the SERPs. Lower search visibility occurs when a domain is not visible for many search queries.

Both are responsible for achieving the main SEO goals: traffic and conversions.

19659003] This discipline allows you to position your brand on most of the purchase route.

In return, she can guarantee that your marketing strategies match the new buying behavior.

Customer behavior changed forever .

Today, more people are using search engines to find products or services than any other marketing channel. 18% more customers choose Google on Amazon. 136% more prefer the search engine to other retail sites. And B2B buyers perform up to 12 searches, on average, before engaging with a brand.

Moreover, they prefer to go through most of the buying process themselves.

For example, in a recent HubSpot Research survey, we found that 77% of people search for a brand before committing to it.


Forrester revealed that 60% of customers did not want any interaction with salespeople. In addition, 68% prefer to do research on their own. And 62% developed their own criteria to select the right provider.

Moreover, this process has never been so complicated.


Source: Forrester Research

Finally, DemandGen's B2B survey in 2017 found that 61% of B2B buyers are starting the buying process with an extensive web search. In comparison, only 56% go directly to a provider's website.

But how do they use search engines during the process?

At the beginning of the process, they use Google to find information about their problem. Some are also learning about potential solutions.

Next, they evaluate available alternatives based on criticism or the hype of social media before asking a company. But this happens after exhausting all sources of information.

So, the only chance for clients to notice and consider you is to appear in their search results. a page?

Search engines have only one purpose. They aim to provide users with the most relevant answers or information.

Whenever you use them, their algorithms choose the most relevant pages for your query. And then, rank them by displaying the most important or the most popular ones.

To provide the right information to the users, the search engines analyze two factors:

Relevance between the search query and the content of a page . Search engines evaluate it by various factors such as subject or keywords.

Authority measured by the popularity of a website on the Internet. Google assumes that the more popular a page or resource is, the more valuable its content is to readers.

And to analyze all this information, they use complex equations called search algorithms .

their secret algorithms. But over time, SEOs have identified some of the factors taken into account when ranking a page. We call them ranking factors and they are subject to an SEO strategy.

As you will soon see, adding content, optimizing image file names, or improving internal links can affect the visibility of your rankings and searches. And that's because each of these actions improves a ranking factor.

Three Core Components of a Strong SEO Strategy

To optimize a site, you need to improve ranking factors in three areas: technical site configuration, content, and links. So, let's move on.

1. Technical Setup

In order for your website to rank, three things must happen:

First, a search engine must find your pages on the web.

He then has to scan them to understand their subjects and identify their keywords.

And finally, we must add them to his index – a database of all content found on the web. In this way, his algorithm may consider displaying your website for relevant queries.

Seems simple, does not it? Certainly nothing to fear. After all, since you can visit your site without any problem, Google should do it, right?

Unfortunately, there is a problem. A web page is different for you and the search engine. You see it as a collection of graphics, colors, text with its formatting and links.

For a search engine, there is only text.

Therefore, all the elements that he can not render remain invisible. search engine. So, despite the fact that your website looks good to you, Google might find its content inaccessible.

Let me show you an example. Here is how a typical search engine sees one of our articles. That is, by the way, if you want to compare it with the original.


Notice some things about it:

  • The page is only text. Although we have carefully designed it, the only elements visible to a search engine are text and links.
  • As a result, he can not see an image on the page (note the item marked with an arrow). If this image contained an important keyword for which the page should be filed, it would be invisible to the search engine.

This is where the technical setup takes place, also called on-site optimization.

It ensures that your website and your pages allow Google to analyze and index them without any problem.

Among the most important factors include:

Navigation and links on the site

would have. They follow links. Search engine indexing bots land on one page and use links to find other content to analyze. But as you saw above, they can not see the pictures. Define navigation and links as text only.

Simple URL Structure

Search engines do not like to read long strings of words with a complex structure. So, if possible, keep your URLs short. Configure them to include as little as possible the main keyword for which you want to optimize the page.

Page speed

Search engines, use loading time – the time it takes a user to read the page – as a quality indicator. Many elements of the website may affect it. Image size, for example. Use Google's Google Speed ​​Insights tool for suggestions on improving your pages.


Dead links or broken redirects

A dead link sends a visitor to a non-existent page. A broken redirection points to a resource that may no longer exist. Both offer a poor user experience, but also prevent search engines from indexing your content.

Sitemap and Robots.txt files

A sitemap is a simple file that lists all the URLs for your site. Search engines use it to identify pages to explore and index. A robots.txt file tells search engines what content to not index (for example, specific policy pages that you do not want to appear in the search). Create both to speed up the crawling and indexing of your content. 19659067] Duplicate Content

Pages containing the same or very similar content disturb search engines. They often find it almost impossible to determine the content to display in the search results. For this reason, search engines consider duplicate content as a negative factor. And by finding it, can penalize a website by not displaying any of these pages.

2. Content

Whenever you use a search engine, you search for content – information about a particular problem or problem, for example.

True, this content can be of different formats. It can be text, like a blog post or a web page. But it could also be a video, a product recommendation and even a business listing.

Everything is contained.

And for SEO, it improves the visibility of the search. two reasons why:

On the one hand, the content is what customers want when searching. Regardless of what they are looking for, the content provides it. And the more you publish, the more likely you are to get better visibility of the search.

But search engines also use content to determine how to classify a page . This is the idea of ​​relevance between a page and a search query that we talked about earlier.

Exploring a page, they determine its subject. The analysis of elements such as the page length or its structure helps them to evaluate its quality. Based on this information, the search algorithms can match the query of a person with the pages that she considers most relevant.

The content optimization process begins with the keyword search.

SEO is not about attracting visitors to the site. You want to attract people who need what you sell and who can become potential customers, and later, customers. Otherwise, there is no chance they will find you. And that's even if your website has appeared at the top of the search results.

That is why SEO work begins with the discovery of phrases that potential buyers enter into the search engines. Relevant topics for your business. Then convert them to initial keywords. And finally, conduct extensive research to discover the related terms that your audience would use.

We have published a comprehensive guide on finding keywords for beginners. It describes in detail the process of finding keywords. Use it to identify the search terms to target.

With a list of available keywords, the next step is to optimize your content. SEO refers to this process as optimization on the page.

Page Optimization

Page Optimization, also known as page referencing, ensures that search engines a.) understand the subject and the keywords of a page, and b.) can match it to the relevant searches.

Note, I said " Page " This is because although the core of the SEO work on the page is focused on the words you use it extends to the optimization of certain elements.

You may have heard of it. the most popular. But there are more. Here is a list of the most crucial optimization actions to perform.

Note: Since blog content is prevalent on most websites, I will focus on blogging. . However, all these tips are also valid for other types of pages.

i. Keyword Optimization

First, make sure that Google understands the keywords you want this page to rank. To do this, be sure to include at least the main keyword in the following:

Title of the Publication: Ideally, place it at the beginning of the title. We know that Google puts more value on the words at the beginning of the title.

URL: The web address of your page should also include the keyword. Ideally, without anything else. Also delete all the stop words.

Tag H1: In most content management systems, this tag displays the title of the default page. However, make sure your platform does not use a different setting.

The first 100 words (or first paragraph) of the content: Finding the keyword at the beginning of your blog will reassure Google.

Meta-title and meta-description tags: Search engines use these two pieces of code to display their lists. They display the meta-title as the title of the search list. The meta-description provides the contents of the small text below. But beyond that, they use both to understand the subject of the page.

Image File Names and ALT Tags: Remember how search engines see graphics on a page? They can only see their file names. Therefore, make sure that at least one of the images contains the keyword in the file name.

The alt tag, on the other hand, is displayed in place of an image (for visually impaired visitors). tag resides in the image code, the search engines also use it as a signal of relevance. Google and other search engines use them to better determine the relevance of a page.

Let me illustrate this with a quick example. Let's say your main keyword is " Apple ". But are you talking about the fruit or technology giant behind the iPhone?

Now imagine what happens when Google finds terms in the copy? The choice of queries to classify it would become immediately obvious, right?

That's what semantic keywords do. Add them to make sure your page does not start appearing for irrelevant searches.

ii. Optimization factors on page not related to keywords

SEO on page is not just about sprinkling keywords on the page. The following factors also serve to confirm the credibility and authority of a page:

External links: Creating links to other relevant pages of the topic allows Google to better define his subject. In addition, it offers a good user experience. How? By positioning your content as a valuable resource.

Internal Links: These links help you to improve the rankings in two ways. First, they allow search engines to search and analyze other pages on the site. And secondly, they show semantic relationships between different pages, which helps to better determine its relevance to the search query. Generally, you should include at least 2 to 4 internal links per blog post.

Content Length: Long content is generally better. Indeed, a longer blog post will always contain more exhaustive information on the subject.

Multimedia: Although this is not mandatory, multimedia elements such as videos, diagrams, quality audio players. It keeps readers on a page longer. And in turn, that means they find the content valuable and useful.

3. Links

According to what you have read in this guide, you know that no page will rank without two factors: relevance and authority.

In their quest to provide users with the most accurate answers, Google and other search engines give priority to the pages that they consider most relevant to their queries, but also popular.

The first two areas – technical configuration and content – were focused on improving relevance (some of their elements can also help highlight authority).

Links are however responsible for popularity.

But before talking about how they work, here's what SEO means by talking about links.

What is a backlink?

Links, also called backlinks, are references to your content on other sites. Whenever another website mentions and points its readers to your content, you get a link to your site.

For example, this article in mentions our marketing statistics page. It also contains links allowing their readers to see other statistics than the one mentioned.


Google uses the quantity and quality of links like this to report the authority of a website. Its logic is that webmasters refer to a popular and quality website more often than a mediocre site.

But note that I also mentioned the quality of links. This is because not all links are the same. Some – low quality – can have a negative impact on your rankings.

Link Quality Factors

Poor or suspicious links – for example, links that Google would consider to be more authoritative – might reduce your ranking.

That is why, when creating links, SEOs do not focus on building any links. They aim to generate references of the highest quality possible.

Of course, just like with the search algorithm, we do not know exactly what factors determine the quality of a link. However, over time, SEOs have discovered some of them:

  1. The popularity of a linking site: Any link from a domain considered by the engines of research as an authority will naturally have a high quality. In other words, links from websites with good quality links pointing to them work better.
  2. Subject Matter: Domain links on a subject similar to yours will have more authority than those of random websites. Trust in a Domain: Just as with popularity, search engines also value the trust of a website. Links from more reliable sites will always have a better impact on rankings.

Creation of Links

In the field of SEO, we are referring to the process of acquiring new backlinks as links. And, as many practitioners admit, the activity can be difficult.

Link building, if you want to do it, requires creativity, strategic thinking, and patience. To build quality links, you need to develop a link building strategy. And this is not a small feat.

Remember that your links must meet different quality criteria. Plus, it's not obvious to the search engines that you've built them deliberately.

Here are some strategies to achieve this:

Editorial, organic links. These backlinks come from websites that refer to your content by themselves.

Outreach. In this strategy, you contact other websites for links. This can happen in many ways. You can create amazing content and send them by email to inform them. In turn, if they find it useful, they will reference it. You can also suggest where they could be linked.

Guest Posting Guest posts are blog posts that you post on third-party websites. In turn, these companies often allow you to include one or two links to your site in the content and biography of the author.

Profile Links. Finally, many websites offer the opportunity to create a link. Online profiles are a good example. Often, when you set up such a profile, you can also register your website. All these links do not have strong authority, but some can. And given the ease of creating them, they are worth pursuing.

Analysis of competition. Finally, many SEOs regularly analyze the backlinks of their competitors to identify which ones they could recreate for their sites.

Now, if you're still here with me, you've just discovered what's responsible for your site's success in research.

The next step is to determine if your efforts are working.

How to monitor and track the results of SEO

The technical installation, content and links are essential to integrate a website into the search results. Monitoring your efforts helps improve your strategy.

Measuring the success of SEO means tracking traffic, engagement and link data. And yet, most companies are developing their own sets of key performance indicators (KPIs), the most common of which are:

  • Growth in organic traffic
  • Keyword rankings (divided into unmarked terms)
  • Organic Traffic Conversions
  • Average Time Spent On The Page and Bounce Rate
  • Top Landing Pages Attracting Organic Traffic
  • Number of Pages Indexed
  • Growth links (new and lost links)

Local SEO

Up to now, we have focused on obtaining a site ranking in the search results in general. If you operate a local business, Google also allows you to position it, especially with potential customers in your area. But for that, you use local SEO.

And it's worth it.

97% of customers use search engines to find local news. They look for suggestions from suppliers and even specific business addresses. In fact, 12% of customers search for local business information daily.

In addition, they use this information: 75% of researchers visit a local store or business premises within 24 hours of research.

On, is the local SEO different from what we have always discussed?

Yes and No

Search engines follow similar principles for local and global rankings. But since they position a site for specific location-based results, they must also analyze other ranking factors.

The results of the local search are also different:

  • They appear only for searches with a local intent (eg, "Restaurant near me" or when a person has clearly defined the location .)
  • They contain results specific to a relevant place.
  • They focus on providing user-specific information that they do not need to go elsewhere.
  • They mainly target smartphone users while local searches are more common on mobile devices.

For example, a local pack, the most important element of local results, includes almost all the information needed for a business. . For example, here are the local results posted by Google for the expression " best in Boston. "


does not contain any link to no content. Instead, they include a list of restaurants in the area, a map to show their locations, and additional information on each:

  • Trade Name
  • Description
  • Image
  • Hours of Operation Opening
  • ] Address

Often they also include the phone number or address of a company's website.

All this information combined help customers choose the company to which to address. But it also allows Google to determine how to classify it.

Local Search Ranking Factors

When analyzing local websites, Google examines the proximity of a search site. With the rise of local searches containing the phrase " near my home ", it's just that Google is trying to first present the closest businesses.

However, an additional element of optimization on the page is the presence of the name, address and telephone number of a company. In local SEO, we refer to the NAP.

Again, this makes sense because the search engine needs a way to evaluate the location of the company.

Reviews and quotes (references from the address of a company or an online phone number) also underline his authority.

Finally, the information that a company includes in Google My Business – the search engine platform for its ranking.

The above is only the tip of the iceberg. But it is they who get first place if you want your business to rank well in local search.

What is Black Hat SEO?

ne seront jamais tentés d'utiliser.

Parce que, bien que cela puisse leurrer, l'utilisation des moteurs de recherche se termine généralement par une pénalité due aux listes de recherche.

Les méthodes Black Hat visent à manipuler les algorithmes des moteurs de recherche. Les techniques les plus courantes comprennent le bourrage de mots-clés, la dissimulation (masquage des mots-clés dans le code pour que les utilisateurs ne les voient pas, mais les moteurs de recherche) et les liens d'achat.

Par exemple, le classement d’un site selon les directives de Google prend souvent du temps. Longtemps, en fait.

Les stratégies Black Hat vous permettent par exemple de réduire la complexité de la création de liens. Le bourrage de mots-clés permet de classer une page pour de nombreux mots-clés, sans avoir à créer plus d'éléments de contenu.

Mais comme cela a été dit, un site est complètement effacé des listes de recherche.

voici ce que je veux que vous réalisiez qu’il n’ya pas de raccourcis dans le référencement. Et sachez que quiconque suggère des stratégies qui peuvent sembler trop belles pour être vraies.

SEO Resources & Training

Ce guide n'est qu'un point de départ pour découvrir le SEO. Mais il y a beaucoup plus à apprendre.

Voici des ressources de formation en ligne à essayer ensuite:

  • Hubspot SEO Academy
  • Cours Google Analytics
  • SEO That Works cours

experts et leurs blogs. Voici quelques points à lire:

  • SEMrush
  • MOZ
  • Yoast
  • BrightLocal (conseil local de référencement)
  • Journal de moteur de recherche
  • Montre de moteur de recherche
  • Inc.

Sans positionner activement son contenu dans les résultats de recherche, aucune entreprise ne peut survivre longtemps.

En augmentant la visibilité de votre recherche, vous pouvez attirer plus de visiteurs, et ensuite des conversions et des ventes. Et cela vaut bien le temps passé à devenir un expert en référencement.

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