To generate more traffic from search engines, there are not fifty solutions: you have to position your website as high as possible in the results (the famous SERP). Indeed, more than three out of four clicks are concentrated on the first page of Google , as this article shows . However, to gain places, it is necessary to start by attracting the attention of crawler robots  : these computer programs which browse the web to “read” and “understand” the pages, with the aim of indexing them and positioning them in the results by depending on the requests made by Internet users. Through the SEO optimization of your web pages, it is therefore a question of “seducing” Google robots. And, for that, to apply these 11 good practices!

SEO optimization: why target Google robots as a priority?

Warning: this article is not intended to demonstrate that the attraction of robot crawlers takes precedence over the attention paid to Internet users themselves. For effective SEO optimization, it is important to satisfy both Google’s algorithm and the audiences targeted by your content .

But in order for your pages to be visible, they must first be properly indexed . You may well publish highly qualitative and relevant content, for lack of being indexed, no one will see it… and you will only manage to generate extremely reduced traffic.

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© 200degrees – Pixabay License 

The following good SEO optimization practices aim to rationalize the “  crawl budget  ” of your website . Good management of this budget makes it possible to direct and facilitate the crawl of Google’s robots, to save them effort and time, to help them cover your site more effectively, and therefore to promote the indexing of your content . What are these good practices?

1. Publish well-structured web content

Crawler robots do not approach a website as a whole, but as a set of pages that they will crawl and index independently of each other . In fact, SEO optimization never concerns the site as such, but each of its pages.

However, these pages must be structured in accordance with conventions established by search engines , so that robots can “read” them, understand their content, and then index them. For this, we use html tags  : title, description, Hn, alt, bulleted lists, strong , etc., while respecting certain rules of use (for example the fact of being limited to a single H1 title per page or to prioritize the content thanks to the different titling levels). These tags are at the heart of SEO optimization of pages: do not neglect them!

2. Offer sufficiently long content

The question of the ideal length of content has not finished debating within the SEO ecosystem. But what is certain is that Google relies on a simple equation: the longer the content, the more likely it is to contain keywords and to work the semantic universe around the subject , therefore to treat this last in depth. In short, this content is more likely to be relevant and meet the expectations of Internet users.

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This is the reason why the contents positioned in the first places of the SERP display an average of 2,400 words ( source ).

3. Increase the click-through rate on your pages

To ensure good SEO optimization of your pages and generate more traffic, should you first increase the click-through rate on them?

This idea may seem contradictory, but it can be explained simply: Google‘s robots are sensitive to the popularity of content, an undeniable sign of its interest for Internet users . The page that generates the most clicks in the results is not necessarily the one that best meets user requests, but the fact that a large number of Internet users access this content still works in its favor. relevance.

Consequently, you must promote your content through snippets , those bits of text that describe web pages in search engine results. In particular, good SEO optimization requires careful work on the title and the meta description , in order to make Internet users want to click on the link. This will encourage Google to judge the page favorably and promote its positioning.

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4. Publish content regularly

Google pays attention to the freshness of the content of a website, always in an approach aimed at promoting the relevance of responses. (Even if the most recent content is not necessarily the most relevant, in some cases this cause and effect link is undeniable, for example with regard to a news item.)

Also, posting often makes it possible to “invite” crawler robots to visit your pages with more regularity , which favors their indexing.

But don’t panic: you don’t have to find new topics every day! An alternative to frantic production consists of reworking existing but old content  : by updating the information it contains, by adopting a different angle of approach, by proposing a different format, etc.

5. Target relevant keywords for your SEO optimization

It’s hard to deny the importance of keywords in any SEO optimization strategy . However, Google’s robots are not fooled: it is not enough to saturate a content with queries to glean the first places in the SERP.

The engine algorithm is much more interested in the choice of queries to work on and their placement on the page . As such, it is essential to ensure consistency between the subject treated and the main keyword chosen . It is often beneficial to target long expressions , less popular but with a higher conversion potential, and likely to suggest to Google the high level of expertise of your content. Indeed, an article working on a query of the type “thermal insulation of walls from the outside advantages and disadvantages” will testify to a greater expertise than an article based on a generic keyword such as “thermal insulation”.

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Good to know: According to Ahrefs , nearly 70% of search engine queries are made up of four or more words.

6. Semantically optimize your content

If the keywords remain decisive in terms of SEO optimization, it should be remembered that the semantic constitution of the content is even more important than the simple succession of key expressions in the tags and in the body of the text.

The semantic richness of a text gives an excellent indication to Google’s robots as to the relevance of the latter with regard to the subject dealt with. For example, an expert article on SEO is most likely to contain terms like “SEO”, “SERP”, “tags”, “optimization”, “snippets”, etc. This is what allows Google to say to itself: “this content deals with this subject in depth and does not just accumulate keywords to gain positions”. And this is called semantic optimization .

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7. Create links between your different content

The practice of internal networking is too often neglected, even though it is a significant SEO optimization lever . It is about creating links between the different contents of your website to:

  • Facilitate the navigation of crawler robots , which use the links as so many gateways;
  • Strengthen the popularity of content on a semantic level . For this, the techniques aiming to create semantic silos or Topic Clusters prove to be advantageous in more than one way: we weave a network of pages around the same theme to increase the number of keywords used and enhance its value. expertise.

The idea is to integrate in each page an average of three links referring to relevant content, related to the subject dealt with.

8. Secure your website (by switching to HTTPS)

For several years, Google has actively campaigned for websites to adopt the HTTPS protocol, making it possible to secure data exchanges . In 2018, the engine officially announced the inclusion of this layer of security as a ranking criterion on its SERP.

In fact, the SEO optimization allowed by the switch to HTTPS is weak, even invisible, if we consider the direct effects of this process. But in this case, it is the indirect effects that count  : once unsecured sites are marked as such (through an explicit warning), Internet users may be discouraged from visiting them, which contributes to the increase the bounce rate and send negative signals to the ranking algorithm.

In short, switching to HTTPS does not provide an SEO boost, but staying on HTTP can become a handicap in terms of natural referencing .

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9. Improve the technical aspect of your pages

Effective SEO optimization also requires technical improvement of the website . This must be done at several levels:

  • Pages that are displayed quickly (Internet users are impatient and do not stay on a page that takes too long to load: you can test this setting on this link ).
  • Pages that display correctly on mobile devices . Given the popularity of the smartphone as a navigation medium (55% of global web traffic came from mobile devices in 2020, according to StatCounter ), it’s understandable that Google chooses to focus on mobile versions of websites.
  • A website free of technical errors  : orphan pages, 404 errors, duplicate content, etc. You can use a crawler to mimic the work of bots and spot problems on your site that require technical intervention.
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© jay88ld0 – Pixabay License 

10. Optimize the URLs of your pages

The URLs of the pages (their address on the network) are not only indications intended for Internet users, but also a means of communicating with Google’s robots and helping them understand their content .

Short, descriptive URLs featuring the main keyword will allow Google robots to immediately identify the subject of your pages and assess their relevance. For this, it is possible to customize each URL on your CMS (in the “Slug” field of Yoast SEO on WordPress, for example).

11. Include indications for robots on your website.

Some tools allow you to communicate directly with crawler robots and provide them with personalized information , in order to promote the indexing of the pages of your website.

  • The sitemal.xml works like a map of your site. This file gives robots the direction to follow, like a road itinerary, by listing the URLs that are worth visiting.
  • The robot.txt gives more general indications as to whether or not certain areas of your website need to be indexed. It is one of the first files analyzed by robots.

Do not forget to complete the SEO optimization of your website by integrating these files or, if they already exist, by checking and updating their content from time to time – especially that of the sitemap when you add pages. Your relationship with robots will only be better!

These good practices to attract  Google robots are crucial for good SEO optimization . But they are not enough: once your site has been indexed and understood by the algorithm, it is the quality and relevance of your content that will make all the difference in terms of positioning!

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About the Author

SAKHRI Mohamed

Founder & Editor

Passionate about the web, new technologies and IT, I share on tutorials, tips, advice, online tools and software for Windows, Mac and Linux. I'm the founder of this blog and I'm very interested in anything to do with technology, but I also love playing games. I was born in Constantine, but now I live in Algiers/Algeria

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