Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Improving Google visibility brings your website more potential customers

TL;DR

In a nutshell, search engine optimization is about making the website easy for search engines’ indexing bots to understand, as beneficial for the users as possible, and a respected, popular, and trustworthy source.

Search engines want their users to see the best possible search results. That is why they list the results in precise order, always showing first the one that serves the users’ search intent the best way possible.

Optimization usually means optimizing the content with relevant keywords, improving the technical aspect of the website, and obtaining backlinks from other respected websites.

In summary, you gain better visibility:

  1. By ensuring that all the technical aspects of a website are under control.
  2. By producing quality and helpful content for one’s target audience.
  3. By making the website user-friendly (fast and responsive).
  4. By acquiring backlinks from websites sharing the same topic.
  5. By following Google’s updates and analytics and making small changes regularly.

The price depends on the size of your website, how competitive your industry is, and your goals.

I start every project with keyword research and a so-called SEO audit (nonrecurring jobs). This way, I can familiarize myself with your website and locate all possible things that need improving. After all this, I offer constant SEO optimization and/or consulting.

Directional pricing: nonrecurring work ~ 1000-3000 €, constant optimizing ~500-2000 € per month.

Yes, I do offer link-building to my customers. I will do this independently (part of constant optimizing), but I also provide consulting services and advice on how a customer can acquire more backlinks by themselves.

With technical SEO, the intent is to locate and fix all the possible technical problems with code, files, rules, etc., that prevent, for example, the indexing bots from accessing your website or confusing them somehow. I will go through the typical technical issues more thoroughly in this article.

In my personal opinion, an SEO-friendly website is:

  • Informative – it offers information and answers to customers’ potential questions.
  • Built logically – it is easy for users and search engine bots to understand its structure and hierarchy.
  • Fast – a long downloading time alienates users, and search engines favor fast websites.
  • Popular – external signals, such as backlinks from other websites, tell a lot about the popularity.
  • Mobile optimized – a good user experience with different devices makes your website comfortable.

Like with so many other things, the answer is: it depends.

When improving organic visibility, things such as effort, the competitive situation, and the status of Google’s indexing – among other things – have an impact. Generally speaking, you will start to see the results in some months.

Using an SEO tool doesn’t guarantee any kind of results itself. It depends on how you interpret the knowledge you’ve gained and how you use that knowledge.

At the same time, the right tools can help you with your SEO work. Here are some examples of the tools you can benefit from:

  • Screaming Frog SEO Spider
  • KeywordTool.io
  • Yoast SEO
  • Ahrefs.com
  • Wincher.com

What Does Google Optimization Mean?

Search engine optimization is a process where you improve the user experience for search engines and users. People are looking for information and solutions for their problems with specific keywords (keyphrases), and search engines want to show their users websites that offer the best answers to their questions/needs (to keep them using the search engine).

It is vital that the website, first and foremost, serves its users, meaning people. The principal purpose of a website is to answer their questions and provide them with information about topics that interest them. And the content needs to be in a form that finding and understanding it is easy and fast. It also means that the website design and usability need investing.

On the other hand, the website needs to serve search engines as well. In practice, it means crawling (reading) and indexing the website is easy for search engines. Search engines must understand what topics the website is all about and who or what is behind the content (is it a trustworthy and popular source).

You can find more information about this, for example, from Google’s instructions.

How Does the Optimization Happen in Practice?

Optimizing a website can mean all of the following things, among others:

  • Content creation (texts, blogs, articles, videos, pictures, etc.)
  • Code fixing
  • Creating or removing redirects
  • Hiding certain pages or files from search engines
  • Regenerating the website design
  • Minimizing photo files
  • Moving the website to a more powerful server
  • Editing meta titles and descriptions
  • Publishing guest posts
  • Deploying Google My Business service
  • Attaining an SSL certificate
  • And hundreds of other possible measures!

As every website is unique, and different businesses have different goals, there is no one way to handle search engine optimization. That is why it is crucial to get familiar with the website and the business itself when collaborating with a customer, as it is the only way to recognize possible issues and things that need fixing.

The Aim Is to Increase Sales

With search engine optimization, the biggest goal is to increase sales numbers. The increase doesn’t happen directly, though, as first, you need to get the website ranking higher in organic search engine results (with the right keywords) so that it brings in more potential customers.

Search engine optimization requires constant work and effort, and seeing the first results will take months; it is a marathon instead of a sprint. But even if the results show up slowly, it is worth the effort when done right.

The slowness of it is because of the following reasons:

  • You need to collect data on the changes and their impacts
  • Search engines won’t take notice of the changes immediately
  • Some of the actual work you need to do might take a lot of time

No one can guarantee great results, at least not in the long run. Why? Because people working with SEO don’t hold any power over search engines. Google decides by itself in which order it will show its SERPs, so no one can guarantee that your website will be in the first SERP at a specific time.

Why Is Search Engine Optimization So Important?

As you most likely know, based on your own experience, when someone needs to find a product, service, or information, the first place they look for is a search engine. Search engine optimization helps your potential customers see your products or services when they are looking for them online.

The lower you rank on Google, the lower your visibility is, leading to a situation where you don’t get clicks (customers through search engines). The Top 3 places always take the lion’s share of the clicks, and the clickthrough rate (CTR) drops exponentially the lower you rank.

SEO impacts only the so-called organic search results (free), meaning it is about free visibility. You only pay for someone to either handle the optimization or use your own time to do it. So, one thing is for sure: you cannot directly impact your organic visibility with money.

How Do I Personally Do SEO?

The actual optimization work includes various measures, not only on the website but also outside of it. In this section, I’ll take a closer look at how I approach search engine optimization.

Principles

  • With SEO, the principal purpose is always to increase sales.
  • There is always a user-first kind of mentality behind every decision regarding the website itself and the content.
  • There is no such thing as the correct answer: getting the results requires testing and learning.
  • The changes to a website require a step-by-step approach. Otherwise, you won’t know what changes had a positive or negative impact if you change 100 things simultaneously.
  • If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it – let’s not make changes to pages that rank high on SERPs.
  • Usability and design are vital factors (just the amount of visitors doesn’t mean anything if no one buys anything).

If you want to handle SEO by yourself, I strongly recommend reading Google’s beginners’ guide for search engine optimization.

Understanding the Business of My Customer

Before I do anything else, I need to understand the line of business my customer operates in and their goals: what they are selling, where they sell it, and to whom they sell it. Why? It helps me to prioritize the long-term decisions regarding keywords and other measures.

Keyword Research

I always start the actual SEO project by doing keyword research, as it helps to map out relevant keywords people use to find their products and services. While doing the keyword research, I use the information I’ve received from my customers (about products, services, and target audiences). I also use particular tools (such as Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs.com, and KeywordTool.io).

I always document the average search volume and the difficulty for each keyword in the target market (I offer SEO in Finland and Sweden). Then, I separate the keywords into groups based on their topics so that using them is always as fast and effortless as possible. And when I know the search volumes and the general competition in the market, I can make a deliberate decision regarding what keywords carry the potential for the specific customer.

In general, you will get better results with keywords that carry a low search volume and keyword difficulty. For example, “men’s shoes” (common word, a lot of queries, heavy competition) and “men’s red running shoes” (specific search term, fewer queries, lower competition) are distinctively different in this regard.

SEO Audit

The SEO audit is a review to know what the website has eaten, meaning I will pay close attention to everything on the website and also write down all the issues, challenges, and things we can improve. More often than not, I use a tool called Screaming Frog SEO Spider for this, as it automatically goes through every single page and adds them to an Excel Sheet. At the same time, I go through the site the same way as all of the users: by clicking anything and everything.

Quite often, the main issue – specifically with larger websites – is that the site has too much unnecessary content that doesn’t bring any value to users or search engines. It is surprising how often I come across a website that has left the test versions of the website visible to search engines or a WordPress site where every uploaded picture has a separate page.

In addition to technical issues, it is common for my customers not to have any content (or only a little) regarding the topics the keyword research revealed to me. But why does this happen? Because of a lack of content planning or the wrong kind of execution.

To summarize, the principal purpose of the audit is to investigate and document everything I can find on a website. While doing the audit, I write everything down, all the problems and things to improve, on a separate to-do list or development plan.

Technical SEO

Under technical SEO, I include every technical aspect (code, server, robots.txt file, redirects, etc.). Common problems and challenges with technical SEO include:

  • Unnecessary redirects
  • Page load time suffers because of picture-, CSS, and JS-files
  • Issues (or accidents) with robots.txt file
  • Misuse of canonical tags
  • Some pages are visible without a protected connection
  • Pages return the wrong HTTP status codes
  • Sitemap.xml includes unnecessary pages (for example, no index pages or 404 errors)
  • The website’s internal search results are visible on Google.

On-Page SEO

Search engines have improved a lot during the past couple of years, and these days understand pictures, videos, and audio without any issues. At the same time, text content is vital regarding search engine visibility. The way to summarize the so-called On-Page optimization is that you must have the right keywords in the right places on your website.

Common issues with content optimization:

  • Keyword stuffing
  • Several pages talk about the same topics (with the same keywords)
  • There’s no keyword research behind the content
  • The website has decided to focus only on heavily competed keywords (no results)
  • The text content isn’t unique
  • The internal link structure is wrong (for example, using redirections)
  • Critical elements (Meta title, URL, H1, etc.) don’t include the most important keywords
  • Search engines have indexed unnecessary files, such as PDFs, Word and Excel files, etc.

Link-Earning and Link-Building

Google sees links from other websites (external links) as votes of confidence, telling a lot about the website’s popularity and domain authority.

When a website owner decides to add a link directing to another website, they need to know that the users will like the linked website because why else would the owner redirect them there? Trustworthy websites earn backlinks organically around the internet, which helps Google determine which websites are valuable and which are not.

Here are a couple of important notes about link-building:

  • It is not illegal to buy backlinks, but it is against Google’s recommendations, and they might punish you for that.
  • Quality over quantity.
  • Earning backlinks takes a lot of effort, but it is one of the best ways to improve your rankings on SERPs.
  • The best way to earn backlinks is to network with people from your industry.
  • The main goal should always be to earn organic backlinks from popular and relevant websites.

Layout and Usability

SEO is not only about technique, content, or links but about the whole because what do you do with growing traffic if no one buys anything (because they don’t trust you or didn’t find a form)? That is why the layout and usability of the website need to be top-notch.

The website design needs to be modern and fitting for the target audience. It also needs to build trust and give the right kind of first impression to a potential customer. But more than anything, the website should tell immediately what it’s all about and who should use it.

By investing in your brand and the design of your website,

  • You give a great first expression to potential customers.
  • You indicate clearly what is your target audience.
  • You are more likely to get conversions through your website.
  • Your customers will remember you.
  • And you are respected in the eyes of your customers.

Investing in usability also improves SEO. For example, parsing your content logically and improving website speed serve your users and search engines.

Why Buy Search Engine Optimization Precisely from Me?

I will never give you a promise that in the next 1, 3, 6, or 12 months, your website will rank in the Top 3 with a specific keyword, nor will I give any guarantees about my work. Why? Because then I would be lying to you, as I’m not the one who decides which websites will rank high on Google.

I have a lot of experience in SEO. And what I can promise you is that I will work with your website like it’s my own. I will always give everything I have to improve your website’s visibility on Google. And I will never use prohibited techniques or do anything Google doesn’t recommend.

Here are some successes I’ve gotten in SEO:

  • My website ranks in the Top 10 in Finland with the keyword of Search Engine Optimization.
  • I get new customers constantly through the organic traffic to my website.
  • I’ve been interviewed, among others, in YLE Areena’s Tiedeykkönen program.
  • I’ve sold a website that leaned only on organic traffic for a five-figure amount.
  • Create success stories with businesses in highly competitive industries (consumer credits, financial management, etc.).

And in case you’re still doubtful whether I can help you with SEO in Finland or Sweden, please add the link to your website, hit me up with a message, and I will tell you how we can improve your visibility on Google – for free.

Link Building

Link building is a process where you acquire links from other websites that lead to your website. This is how to do it in Finland.

Last updated: 21.10.2023.