What is SEO & how does it work? (2024)

SEO can seem a bit confusing. I assure you that it is quite simple. Read my step-by-step guide that explains what SEO is and how it works.
hero image blog

I'm going to explain how results appear in Google and how you can increase your visibility.

Search engine optimization is a very important skill, as every industry in the world can benefit from it.

If you want to earn more income, SEO is an activity that is exploding, especially thanks to the strategies of Inbound Marketing.

SEO remains one of the cheapest acquisition channels and if you are still not interested in it, it is time to do it right away.

SEO - coûts d'acquisition
Databox survey of 4,000 businesses

Are you in a hurry?

Here are in brief the 3 main components of SEO that we are going to detail in this article:

  • On-Page SEO : it refers to the process of optimizing the actions and content of individual pages of a website in order to achieve higher search engine rankings and gain more relevant traffic.
  • Off-page SEO : It refers to the process of optimizing the visibility and ranking of a website in search engine results pages through actions taken outside the website, such as link building, social media promotion, and brand mentions.
  • Technical SEO : it refers to the process of optimizing the technical elements of a website, such as its infrastructure, code, and architecture, in order to improve its visibility, ranking, and ease of exploration by search engines.

Let's get started.

RECOMMENDED READING: Best tools and software to optimize your SEO

What is SEO?

SEO is the acronym for “Search Engine Optimization.”

SEO consists of applying specific optimizations to web pages in order to target specific queries on search engines.

SEO is a simple concept.

The aim is to appear higher in search results compared to competitors for specific queries.

By appearing higher in the search results, you will get more clicks and therefore more customers.

Qu'est-ce que le SEO
Understanding SEO - 3 pillars

In the context of website optimization, SEO is based on three main pillars which are:

  1. On-page SEO
  2. Technical SEO
  3. Off-page SEO

I'm going to cover these three concepts in this step-by-step guide.

First, let's go a bit deeper into the process of how a web page appears in a search engine to get a clearer picture.

History of SEO

The history of SEO dates back to the early days of the internet, when search engines started indexing web pages and making them searchable.

moteur de recherche Archie

In the 1990s, early search engines, such as Archie, Veronica, and Jughead, were used to index files stored on FTP servers. As the web grew in popularity, new search engines such as Yahoo and Lycos were created, and in the late 1990s, Google was founded.

Google's search algorithm was much more advanced than that of its predecessors, and it quickly became the most popular search engine. In recent years, SEO has become increasingly complex and multi-dimensional, with an emphasis on technical SEO, local SEO, and mobile optimization.

With the rise of voice search and the increasing use ofartificial intelligence especially with the revolution GPT chat, SEO is becoming more and more dynamic, and it is expected that this field will continue to evolve in the future.

What are the different types of SEO?

1. On-page SEO

SEO On-Page

Definition of on-page SEO

On-Page SEO targets specific keywords mentioned in the content of a web page.

To do an On-Page SEO, insert your target keyword:

  • In the title of your article,
  • In the body of your article
  • And in your subtitles.

With the help of SEMrush, you can assess the search volume that the keyword generates per month.

The objective is to insert keywords into your content that have a good search volume and low competition.

Take a look at the example below that shows how the combined impact of SEO and blog posts on your revenue is.

Définition du SEO On-Page
How blog posts can be profitable for your business

Profitability of On-Page SEO

If you took the example of infographics and created 10 articles, you could potentially generate 4,080 euros in revenue per month.

But it's not that easy: you need to have the same ranking position, for the same search volume and the same average CTR for all your articles.

Rentabilité du SEO On-Page

It's not realistic to rank first for all of your target keywords with low-quality articles.

Don't produce tons of low-quality items for indexing purposes: it won't work and you'll have wasted more time than anything else. This worked in the past but Google's algorithm is constantly evolving to make way in the top positions of its search engine to the pages that bring the most value to Internet users.

The only way to succeed is to produce quality articles, publish them regularly, and select keywords that have good search volume and low competition.

“To increase online revenue, multiply the quality and quantity of your blog posts.”

Don't make the mistake of targeting the most searched keywords where the competition is too tough. To assess the level of competition, use keyword competition metrics from SEMrush.

The difficulty of the keywords is evaluated on a scale of 1 to 100.

In my experience, aiming for a score between 40 and 59% keyword difficulty is the best solution.

Here is a breakdown of the difficulty levels of the keywords for example for the term “growth hacking”.

SEO niveaux de difficulté des mots-clés
SEMrush Report - Keyword Analysis

You need to have some competition, but not too much, to increase your chances of ranking well in search engines.

This step is essential and SEMrush can help you choose the right search keywords for free.

logo Semrush
Use 100% free SEMRUSH now

As I said, there are three levels of SEO. Now let's look at technical SEO and off-page SEO.

2. Off-Page SEO

SEO Off-Page

Definition of Off-Page SEO

Off-page SEO refers to any action taken outside of your website to increase your ranking in search results.

Off-page SEO is mainly linked to link building efforts (backlinks).

Link Building

Link building is the basis for increasing the authority of your site. It's about getting mentions from your authoritative sites strategically. in your niche. There are several ways to proceed with the creating links.

Your site will never show up high in search results if more popular sites don't link to your site.

Inserting a link to more popular sites in your niche is a way for Google to see that these sites guarantee your expertise in your respective field.

Now that I've covered all three levels, you need to understand what specific search characteristics appear in Google search results.

I'm going to dive into each search function that comes up when specific search queries are entered.

I am going to explain each of them so that you can learn how to position yourself to appear in these search functions and beat your competitors in searches.

Diversity of links

Link diversity refers to the variety of different types of backlinks pointing to a website.

This can include links from blogs, forums, social networks, and directories, as well as a mix of dofollow and nofollow links.

This shows search engines that a website is popular and respected by various sources, and that it is acquired naturally and not through manipulative tactics. This can improve visibility and ranking in search results.

Social networks

Social networks are platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, for connecting with others, sharing content, and promoting your brand, products, or services.

They can be an effective tool for reaching new audiences, building relationships, and driving traffic to your website.

In terms of SEO, social media can help get backlinks and increase brand awareness. It is important to choose the platforms that are relevant to your niche and target, to optimize your profiles and publications with relevant keywords and hashtags, and to include links to your website.

Guest blogging

The Guest blogging consists of writing and publishing content on other sites or blogs, usually in your niche.

This makes it possible to get backlinks, reach new audiences, and increase brand awareness. By publishing a guest post on another site, you can reach a new audience and get a link to your own site, which can improve your visibility and ranking in search results.

It's important to choose sites that are reputable and relevant to your niche, as posting on low-quality sites can hurt your reputation and your SEO.

In summary, guest blogging is an effective strategy for gaining backlinks, reaching new audiences, and becoming an authority in your niche.

Watch your backlinks

Backlink monitoring consists of monitoring the links that point to your website, to identify poor quality links or spam and to remove them.

This is important for SEO because backlinks play a crucial role in the visibility and ranking of a website in search engine results. There are tools like Ahrefs, Majestic, and SEMrush to monitor backlinks, identifying low-quality links and monitoring your competitors' backlinks to identify new link building opportunities.

Backlink monitoring is crucial to improving the overall quality of your backlink profile and avoiding search engine penalties.

Influencer awareness

The goal of influencer outreach is to collaborate with these people to promote your brand, products or services, and content. By using the reach and credibility of an influencer, you can expose your brand to a new, larger audience, increase your online visibility, and ultimately drive more traffic and conversions to your website.

It is important to choose influencers that are relevant to your niche and to personalize your message to offer mutually beneficial collaboration. You can ask them to share your content, create sponsored posts, reviews, or even create content together.

Influencer outreach is an effective way to gain visibility, build relationships, and get backlinks to your website. It's important to remember that this should be part of an overall marketing strategy, not the sole objective.

Quality of links

The quality of the links refers to the relevance and authority of the sites that link to your site.

High-quality backlinks from reputable sites can signal to search engines that your site is valuable and relevant, which can improve your visibility and ranking in search results. Poor quality or spammy links can hurt your rankings.

To get quality links, you can contact sites in your niche, create quality content, participate in online communities and forums, or focus on links from sites with high domain authority.

It's important to remember that the quality of a link is more important than its quantity. The best links come from sites that are reputable, relevant, and with high domain authority in your niche.

Brand mentions

Brand mentions refer to all cases where your brand or site is mentioned on another site or social media platform.

These mentions may take the form of texts, quotations or links. While they don't convey link value the way backlinks do, they can improve your brand's visibility and reputation. Tracking brand mentions allows you to identify sites that talk about your brand, even if they don't link.

By contacting these sites, you can ask them to include a link to your site, thus improving your visibility and ranking in search results. There are tools like Google Alerts, Ahrefs, and SEMrush to track brand mentions across platforms.

Submission to directories

Directory submission is the process of submitting your website to online directories to improve its visibility and ranking in search engines. It is important to ensure that the directories are relevant to your niche and reputable, and to provide accurate and complete information on your site, with a link back to it.

Keep an eye on your competitors

Monitoring your competitors involves tracking and analyzing the strategies, tactics, and performance of your competitors to understand which strategies work for them and identify opportunities to improve your own strategies.

You can use tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Moz to track their backlinks, keywords, and search engine rankings.

It is important not to copy the strategies of your competitors, but rather to be inspired by their successes and to stay up to date with the latest trends and updates in your niche to adapt your strategy accordingly.

Try 100% free SEMRUSH now

3. Technical SEO

SEO Technique

Definition of Technical SEO

Technical SEO focuses on increasing the loading speed of your pages, creating a Robots.txt file, controlling broken links, and much more.

Don't worry if you don't have technical knowledge. Numerous free and paid plugins can do most, if not all, of the work for you.

Technical SEO is needed to make it clear to search engines how they should crawl and index your site.

READ MORE: Learn how to perform a technical SEO audit in 9 steps

Essential aspects of technical SEO

As a general rule, it's best to address seven critical areas with technical SEO.

  1. Make sure you're using HTTPS
  2. Verify and correct duplicate content
  3. Submit a Robots.txt file to Google Search Console
  4. Improve site speed
  5. Fix broken links
  6. Create mobile-friendly web pages
  7. Add schema.org markup (I'll talk about this in detail later in the guide).

If you're not familiar with the items I've listed, let's go through each one.

HTTPS

HTTPS is the abbreviation for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. It is used to secure communications and access to websites on the Internet.

If this message appears:

pas de HTTPS SEO

Your site needs the HTTPS protocol.

How to implement HTTPS

To implement the HTTPS protocol, which is a ranking factor. You will need a hosting provider.

I recommend Bluehost as a hosting provider to any new blogger or future site owner that is really easy to use.

You can also consult my list of the best hosts for your website.

Once you access the control panel, you'll be able to enable HTTPS by clicking on a button called SSL, which stands for Socket Security Layer.

Bluehost SSL

If you use CMS like Webflow, you won't need to set up HTTPS. Indeed, the SSL option is present on all of their monthly offers:

HTTPS - SSL sous Webflow
SSL option under Webflow

If you are on Linux and manage your hosting yourself, Let's Encrypt is a great free solution for you.

This is the solution that I myself use for my various VPS servers where I host my Scraping (Scrapebox) or automation tools (n8n).

Here is a simple tutorial if you are also concerned: Let's Encrypt installation on Linux Ubuntu.

Duplicate content

Duplicate content is content that appears on more than one web page.

Ideally, unique content should exist on each web page. Having duplicate content confuses search engines when it comes to choosing which article to index.

How to check for duplicate content

To check for duplicate content, download a free software called Screaming Frog.

logo  Screaming Frog

Step-by-step method:

  • Click on “Configurations” > Content
  • Then on “Duplicates” in the top navigation.
  • A new tab will appear called “content” to show all duplicates on your site.
Doublons sur ScreamingFrog

This is a paid feature of the tool, but I highly recommend this tool for SEO in general. The free options are just as useful for SEO.

Once you've identified pages with duplicate content, you have 3 options for correcting duplicates.

  1. Set up a no-index tag in your robot txt file for duplicate content.
  2. Set up a 301 redirect from the “duplicate” page to the original content.
  3. Apply a rel canonical tag

In most cases, I recommend deploying a canonical tag as the first option and a 301 as the second option.

The non-indexing solution comes in 3rd position in my opinion.

Canonical rel tag

A canonical rel tag tells search engines that a particular URL is the most important version to reference.

By using the SEO pack all-in-one plugin, you can easily define canonical tags without any code.

robot.txt file

The Robots.txt file is a file that contains rules for search engine crawlers.

It specifies how to guide web robots (search engines) what should and should not be browsed.

Setting up and submitting a robot.txt file

To set up and submit a Robot.txt file to Google and perform the other actions I listed above, use the SEO pack all-in-one plugin for WordPress.

You can create it in a few clicks. I recommend the paid plan for the additional features that will help you significantly with SEO.

If you are looking for a free tool, here is a utility that can help you: Robots.txt generator

If you use Webflow, the submission of your Robots.txt will be automatic, however it is still possible to simply configure the file:

Fichier robot.txt sous Webflow

Page load speed

To improve the loading speed of your pages, use theGoogle Page Speed tool and ask your developer to implement all of the suggestions listed.

Page load speed is a ranking factor.

Another great tool that I personally use is GTmetrix.

Together with Google Page Speed, this tool gives you a lot of good information to clearly improve the speed of your website.

If you follow my Growth Hacks, you will see that I regularly use it in tips to improve the performance of websites.

SEO : Rapport GT Metrix

Fixing broken links

Before correcting your broken links you would surely like to know whether or not you have broken links on your website?

A great tool for that is Ahref Broken Link Checker (https://ahrefs.com/broken-link-checker), to do this simply enter the address of your website:

Correction des liens brisés AHREFS

And get the result in a few seconds (thanks to this article that allowed me to correct them 👍):

Correction des liens brisés résultats ahrefs

To repair 404 links, you can either remove links that point to 404 Errors, or apply a 301 redirect that can be managed by a WordPress plugin for example.

If you use Wordpress, the tool called 404 to 301 will allow you to set up the redirects automatically for you.

Learn to create a website on Wordpress or create a site on Wix. If you are not sure which option to choose, I advise you to read this comparison: Wordpress vs Wix.

Mobile experience

To ensure that you are following best practices for a mobile experience, be sure to use themobile test tool from Google.

If you need to implement something that is not within your scope of expertise, turn to Fiverr.com to get the services of a professional freelancer who won't ruin your budget.

Schema.org markup

Later in this guide, I'll explain what schema markup is and why it's essential for SEO. But in short, this schema markup helps your site stand out in the search results.

The best way to implement schema markup is to use the Schema pro plugin for WordPress. It does not require any code. We'll get to that later, but for now, let's move on to Off-page SEO.

What is Schema.org?

Schema markup is a semantic language that search engines read to give additional context to web pages.

The Schema markup code includes several specific types of markup that may appear in search results, such as how-to guides, recipes, and reviews.

Here are three visual examples from Google Search Central of what specific search results that contain types of schema markup look like.

SEO Schema.org 1
SEO Schema.org 2
SEO Schema.org 3
SEO Schema.org 5
SEO Schema.org 6

I highly recommend using the Schema pro plugin if you use Wordpress.

If this is not the case, the tool for Google Markup Helper is there to help you find the best possible configuration for your markup.

How do I test if my schema markup is good?

Again, Google gives you all the means to help you validate that your schema markup is consistent.

To test your schema markup, Google Search Central gives you access to 2 tools :

  1. The Google tool : for testing rich results
  2. The Schema.org tool : for validating Schema markup
Outil SEO Schema.org

As we will see, few companies know what schema markup is and even fewer companies are implementing it, it is an opportunity for you.

What percentage of search results does schema.org include?

A study conducted by Ahrefs showed that 30.9% of the top positions in Google contain featured snippets.

The data is pretty clear. If you don't implement schema markup, you'll lose traffic to your site.

Once you've implemented the schema, I recommend setting up Google Search Console to monitor how many rich results appear in Google.

Other SEO features

Google Images

If you entered specific search terms into Google search, you may see a collection of images that look similar to the example below.

SEO Google Images

Google displays a collection of images related to the search query entered.

It's just as important to include images in organic results as text-based search results.

The images are captivating and can entice users to click with a higher rate. In addition, it is estimated that image research represents 27% of all queries generated.

How to appear in organic Google Images results

  1. Add alt text to your images
  2. Compress file size
  3. Download an image site map
  4. Use the jpeg image format

Image Alt Text

Alt text means alternative text.

By default, numbers appear for image file names.

A good SEO practice is to replace these numbers with a specific name for what the image represents in your alt text (and ideally a name with the target keywords on your web page).

Image file compression

Google wants to index images, but only if they are properly optimized.

Most image files can benefit from compression. By compressing images, you reduce the size of the image file.

You'll also increase page load time by reducing the time it takes for Google to display images.

Google said that the Page load time is a ranking factor.

Use the tool iLoveIMG to compress your images in a few seconds (or the WPSmush plugin for Wordpress users)

Another good practice is to use the lazy-loading attribute for your images: this means that only images that are visible on the page are loaded. For example, if all the images in this article were loaded when the page was loaded, they would take a very (very) long time to load.

Image sitemaps

Many webmasters are unaware of the existence of image sitemaps, which greatly increase the chances of your images appearing in Google.

Image sitemaps differ from standard XML sitemaps by focusing exclusively on images on your site.

An image sitemap gives Google a guideline for exploring which images to reference for inclusion in the organic image pack results and in the Google Image results.

To create an image site map, you can use a free online tool. (alternative: Angel Digital Marketing)

SEO Sitemaps d'images

Once the generation is complete, you need to connect to the Google Search Console and submit your image sitemap.

Ajouter une Sitemaps d'images SEO

What is the best image file extension to use for SEO?

The Jpeg image file extension is one of the best file extensions from an SEO perspective.

SEO différence taille PNG JPEG
Source: Thrivethemes

Jpegs allow for greater compression, which reduces the time it takes for the page to load to display images.

To check the images indexed on your site, go to the Google Search Console, go to the “Performance” section, and set the search type to “Image.”

Google search console image recherche type

WebP is also a new image standard that is great for SEO.

Numerous WordPress plugins can help you convert Jpeg and Png files to the new Webp standard.

If you don't use Wordpress, the site Convertio will help you do it easily.

convertisseur JPG WEBP

Google Videos

Video search results are only going to grow in importance over time, since YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.

Since YouTube is not owned by anyone but Google, it's a safe bet that the trend is only going to increase.

Take a look at these stats provided by Oberlo.

62% of businesses use YouTube as a channel to broadcast video content 90% of people say they are discovering new brands or products on YouTube.

Given these parameters, it is therefore time to make videos. Take a look at the video search results that appear in Google's search results.

SEO Video Schema

Videos are indexed using the video object tagging diagram. When creating videos, you can also produce a video sitemap which will be crawled by Google to consider indexing in the search results.

Once you've created the video sitemap, go to Google Search Console and add it so that it can be recognized and browsed by Google.

To better reference your videos, try to get backlinks from other sites to your web pages where the videos are embedded.

Also, before uploading your video sitemap, be sure to follow best practices for optimizing videos by following the steps below/

Best practices in SEO for videos

  1. Include your target keyword in the title tag of your video.
  2. Create eye-catching video thumbnails to increase your click-through rate (Use the tool Canva)
  3. Find the tags your competitors are using and include them in your videos.
  4. Research the keywords that your competitors are targeting and follow them.
  5. Download a transcript to rank for keywords that are in text format.

Google Knowledge Graph

I'm sure you've seen the following function appear in the search results at least once, right?

SEO Google Knowledge Graph

What you're seeing is the Knowledge Graph in action. It is also called a “Google carousel.”

How about a search result that looks like this.

SEO Google Knowledge Graph exemple

What you're seeing here is the Google knowledge panel.

What is the Google Knowledge Graph?

The Knowledge Graph is a collection of data queried from authoritative websites. Information is presented above the search results for quick access.

What is the Google Knowledge Panel?

Similar to the Google Knowledge Graph, the Google Knowledge Panel brings together data queried by Google.

The Google Knowledge Panel differs from the Google Knowledge Graph in that it displays dynamic search results to the right of organic search results.

Generally, the Google Knowledge Panel displays information about public figures and large organizations.

How do I appear in the Google Knowledge Graph and the Google Knowledge Panel?

1) Create a page on Wikipedia

wikipedia is considered to be a source with a lot of authority.

When most search queries are entered into Google, Wikipedia is always one of the top results.

SEO professionals know that the Google Knowledge Graph retrieves user-generated information from Wikipedia.

2) Create a page on Wikidata.org

Like Wikipedia, Wikidata.org is open to the public as an open-source project. Wikidata is also considered to be an authoritative resource in the eyes of Google.

3) Create social media profiles

Google shows social media links in Google Knowledge Graph search results.

Create profiles for the following social networks.

  • facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • twitter
  • Pinterest
4) Implement Schema markup on your site

Schema markup gives search engines additional context for indexing. It is essential to add the schema in order to provide a directive for Google to index you in the Google Knowledge Graph and the Google Knowledge Panel.

5) Format your web page

Write for your audience, not for search engines. Include essential information that relates to the target search query you want to appear for.

Make sure you do this:

  • Add an explanation of who you are in your “about” page.
  • Include links from authoritative web pages
  • Integrate images, graphics, and videos
6) Use specific keywords

The Google Knowledge Graph is powered by queries entered into Google. It is therefore essential to include your target keyword.

Make sure you do this:

  • Place your target keyword in your URL
  • Include your target keyword in your title tag.
  • Add your target keyword in your meta description.
  • Add your target keyword to your header tags.
  • Include an introduction, body, and conclusion.
Don't overuse keywords. The aim is to maintain a delicate balance in mentioning keywords while providing value. Write for humans, not for search engines.
7) Promote your content

Content is useless if you don't promote it. Be sure to use social networks to promote your content.

Google Shopping

The search results that appear for product-specific search queries are ads.

SEO Google Shopping

To be featured in Google Shopping, you need to invest in creating Google Shopping ad campaigns.

When running ads, I recommend that you test a small daily expense before investing a significant amount of money in the first place.

I suggest €10 to €20 per day to assess traffic that allows you to convert for one to two weeks. This will vary considerably depending on your CPC (cost per click) for your keywords.

How to set up a Google Shopping advertising campaign

  1. Navigate to Google Ads
  2. Select “Campaigns” from the page menu
  3. Click the plus button and then select “New Campaign.”
  4. Choose “Shopping” as the campaign type and then click “Next.”
  5. Set your advertising preferences
  6. Next, choose the type of ad group you want to create.
  7. Press Save,
  8. You are done

Google News

One of the most powerful functions that can create an influx of traffic to your site is Google's top news.

SEO Actualités Google

How to appear in Google's top news

To appear in the results of news articles, activate AMP. The Google Developer Guide can help you implement AMP.

I recommend hiring a developer to take care of the AMP implementation on Fiverr.com.

How do I track appearances in the Google news result?

Navigate to the Google Search Console, click on “performance”, then filter the results on the “news” option.

Google search console actualités

Local SEO

Local search results vary depending on what geographic region you are in. I'm sure you've seen search results that look like the following:

SEO local

Here is an example of the results above. I am located in Montreal so your search results won't look like what you see above for the same query.

There are specific ways to improve your ranking for keywords that can trigger local results in the local pack.

To increase your local SEO for your business in the local pack, you'll need to use what SEO professionals call NAP.

What is NAP?

NAP is the abbreviation for Name, Address, and Phone number. It is used to create local information on the web to give Google insights into where your business is located.

A Nap citation mentions your business name, address, and phone number on a relevant local website. When you think of a local website, you more than likely think of Yelp, which is the right way to think about local SEO.

NAPs allow you to have the right format and the right information on the various local websites. If your name, address, and phone number are not maintained consistently, it confuses search engines.

The most common problem for a local business that negatively affects their local SEO is moving without updating addresses.

Imagine someone doing a search for your business only to be taken to an empty parking lot. Google realized that it needed to help local businesses and so created Google My Business.

Google My Business

The most important place outside of external local websites to make sure your NAPS are up to date is Google my business.

Google My Business was explicitly designed for local businesses to give Google guidelines for indexing your site accurately.

Google My Business allows you to:

  1. Add a description of your business to appear in search results.
  2. Manage reviews and messages
  3. Provide answers to frequently asked questions
  4. Give instructions
  5. Add images

And much more, here is an example of a search sheet Google My Business that appears to the right of the organic search results compared to the local pack that appears directly in the search results.

Exemple SEO Google My Business

Google provides local businesses with a simplified user experience that allows them to keep their ads up to date.

In general, regularly finding sites to place Nap quotes on a regular basis is good practice for local SEO.

In addition, there is a pattern for local businesses. Use the schema pro plugin to add local schema markup to your site.

Google Discover

One of the most interesting search functions introduced by Google is Google Discover.

What is Google Discover?

Google Discover shows you the topics that interest you based on your search history. Topics are displayed with large images on the home page of Google mobile search applications.

Here's what it looks like:

SEO Google Discover

Google Discover produces high CTR (click through rates) thanks to large image formats. A click-through rate of 11% was reported based on data compiled in a very informative report written by Abby Hamilton.

How to appear in Google Discover

1) Producing high quality content
  • Cite reliable sources
  • Include data points
  • Add semantic keywords (Variations of your target keyword)
2) Use images
  • Select high quality images
  • Use illustrative graphics (infographics)
3) Producing videos
  • Integrate YouTube videos
  • Transcribing pre-existing videos
  • Focus on practical guides and interviews
4) Respect Google's content policies

Google said that if you have a chance of appearing in Google Discover, you should comply with its content rules.

5) Implement AMP

The Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP) will increase your chances of appearing in Google Discover. Remember that this feature was designed for mobile devices.

6) Post trending content

Remember, I said that Google's discovery is based on search history. Google seeks to provide the most recent content based on what has been viewed previously.

By providing timely articles/posts, you'll increase your chances of appearing in Google Discover.

Tip 2: Look for competitors that are currently showing up in Google Discover. Reverse engineer what they did.

Job offers

SEO Offres d'emploi

These search results are triggered when you type search queries such as “developer jobs” to feed these results.

If you are a business looking to hire freelancers or full-time employees, implement the schema job post type of markup.

Upcoming Google events

Évènements à venir dans Google

If you type a search query such as “next soccer matches,” you'll get a search result like the one shown above.

In addition, if you plan toorganize a webinar On a specific date, you can gain momentum by adding a type of event schema markup.

Here is a list of best webinar tools and software to get you started.

How do web pages appear in search results?

  1. The web page is published on your website.
  2. Search engines crawl your web page to understand your topic.
  3. An algorithm determines your ranking in the search results.
  4. Your web page is indexed in the search results.
  5. A user enters a query that directly correlates to your topic.
  6. The search engine shows your page in the search results.
Now that you have an understanding of what SEO is and how it works, as well as how web pages appear in search results, let's talk about publishing a web page - which is, of course, a prerequisite for being visible.

To appear in Google search - even though it may seem logical - you need to:

  • Create a website (or start a blog)
  • Publish content including blog posts

If you have a website, you can create a blog as a natural extension of your site.

Submit your site to Google search

To report your site to Google so they can index your web pages more quickly, you'll need to do two things.

  1. Create an XML sitemap
  2. Submit your XML sitemap to Google in Google Search Console

Creation of the Sitemap under Webflow

If you use Webflow, the generation of a sitemap is done automatically as soon as your website is published. So you don't have to worry about it.

Création du Sitemap sous Webflow

Creation of the Sitemap in Wordpress

If you use Wordpress, you can use a WordPress SEO plugin called All in one SEO plugin pack to create a sitemap.

Creating a sitemap does not require code to set it up.

Even if it costs a bit of money, the investment is clearly worth it. I recommend that you pay the one-time annual fee to take advantage of all the additional features this plugin offers.

XML sitemap Wordpress

If you don't have a budget, you can use the Yoast SEO plugin to generate your sitemap:

Création du Sitemap sous Yoast

Your site map URL should look something like this:

Submit the sitemap

Adresse du sitemap
Sitemap file URL

Once you have generated the sitemap from the Wordpress plugin or from your CMS, paste the sitemap URL into the Google Search Console.

logo google search console

Later in this guide, I'll explain in more detail what Google Search Console is and how you can use this tool to help with your SEO efforts.

ajouter un sitemap google search console

Understanding the “Zero Position”

Have you already seen the following search result for a question you may have already asked on Google?

SEO exempke "Position Zéro"

Zero-click results show the answer to a question without clicking on the search result. So there is no click, hence the result name to Zero clicks.

Google directly designs these results to answer questions.

Understanding Featured Snippets in SEO

Based on a search query based on a specific question entered, you will see the following.

Résultats  Featured Snippets dans le SEO

These results are presented to help you find an answer to a specific question.

SEO professionals call it Google's answer box or featured snippets.
Google featured snippets rely on schema.org markup to appear in search results.

If you don't know what a schema is, don't worry, I'll explain it to you shortly. But first, let me explain a few details about featured snippets.

Definition of featured snippets

A featured snippet can appear as a short response to a query entered in the Google search bar. Featured snippets can also appear as reviews, videos, recipes, and more - depending on the search query entered.

Featured Snippets reference web pages relevant to the search query entered in order to display the most relevant and structured result possible.

Importance of featured snippets in SEO

Featured Snippets can help increase the click-through rate on search results for specific queries through structured responses called the zero position.

Exemple résultat  Featured Snippets dans le SEO
Featured snippet = Position Zero

Position zero is a featured snippet of content that answers directly to a search query.

The zero position is placed above the first search result and displayed differently.

As Google explains about featured snippets in searches, “What's different about a featured snippet is that it's highlighted to draw the user's attention to the results page.”

Implementation of featured snippets

To be indexed as a featured snippet, you need to implement the schema markup code on your web page.

To implement the schema without code, I recommend using the Schema pro plugin.

If you don't have Wordpress, you can use this Growth Hack to set it up:

READ MORE: Put “featured snippets” for your website: the Zero position (Growth Hack)

How to improve SEO on Google thanks to blogs?

It is strongly recommended to create several blog posts that deal with the main topic of your site in order to increase the number of pages indexed in the S.E.R.P (Search Engine Result Pages).

Here is a visual example of how to combine Blog themes and their combinations.

Example: On the subject of Growth Hacking, I try to explore all facets of this field through articles like below 👇

  • How do I become a growth hacker?
  • What is Growth Hacking?
  • Skills of Growth Hackers?
  • GROWS: Growth hacking process
  • ...
améliorer le SEO sur Google grâce aux blogs
Blog posts extend the reach of your keywords.
They increase your chances of appearing in search results for various keywords related to your main topic. Blogs can lead to a 434% increase in indexed pages.

If you are considering creating an e-commerce site, I recommend starting a blog as soon as possible, as it is difficult to position yourself for keywords on product pages.

Creating blog topics that you can link to product pages internally is the best way to beat your competitors in the search engines.

When a visitor lands on a blog post, they can click on one of the internal links to go to a description page for your products.

Once the visitor has landed on your product page, you will have the opportunity to convert them into a paying customer.

READ: Why should every business have a blog?

What is reverse SEO?

Reverse SEO is the practice of reverse engineering search results.

When implementing this practice, your goal is to get results off the first page of Google.

There are three main ways to do reverse SEO.

  1. Request the removal of content from external sites.
  2. Create more content around the specific query to rank our competitors.
  3. Promote competitors for the targeted search query.

The most ideal choice is option number one, as options two and three can take a long time.

The third option is certainly not ideal, but it is sometimes the most viable option in different scenarios.

The second option generally requires creating more authoritative content in order to outperform the negative search result in order to be effective.

The second option is the most used reverse SEO tactic.

FAQs

How do I delete a Google search result?

There are two scenarios when it comes to removing search results from Google.

You are in control of what content you want to remove from Google Search. This means that you, or someone in your organization, has the right to do the following.

  1. Delete the page that appeared in the unwanted search result
  2. 301 page redirect appearing in the unwanted search result
  3. No index the page appearing in the unwanted search result

Out of the three options, from an SEO best practice perspective, you should choose option number 3 if you want the page to disappear from the search results.

What are the SEO metrics to track?

As the example shows, the The industry's average benchmark for e-commerce is 2%.

This conversion rate varies between different vertical sectors.

As shown in the infographic seen earlier, the CTR (Click Through Rate) for the number 1 position of search engines is 31.7%.

Why such a low percentage?

For some keywords, Google ads occupy an important position in the top positions.

These sponsored inserts are displayed above the organic search results and thus concentrate a large part of the clicks of Internet users.

For example for the query:”Learn SEO“, Google shows nearly 5 ads.

SEO exemple résultats Google
Tip: Don't target keywords that have too many Google Ads ads to increase your organic CTR (click through rate).

What is AMP in SEO?

Accelerated Mobile Pages is an open-source project designed to speed up the loading of mobile web pages.

Google created it taking into account the fact that new trends should be immediately accessible.

Once the implementation is complete, I recommend that you use theAMP test tool to verify compliance with Google Search requirements for AMP.

Summary

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of optimizing a website or blog to improve its visibility and ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs).

This is done by using a combination of on-page and off-page techniques, such as keyword research, content optimization, link building, and technical SEO. The goal of SEO is to increase the quantity and quality of organic traffic to a website or blog, which can lead to higher search engine rankings, greater visibility, and ultimately more conversions and revenue.

Be sure to share this article with others who may benefit from it 🙂.

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Stephen MESNILDREY
CEO & Founder

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