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SEO Fundamentals: Basic Website Optimization

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We continue to publish articles on SEO promotion for new SEO specialists and website owners who
want to learn more about this interesting and important subject!

Together with the REG.RU SEO specialist Evgeny Smetanin we have prepared a universal plan for
website promotion which will come in handy for self optimization. We will tell you step by step about
all the basic principles you need to carry out basic optimization of your project.

Phase 1: Study the specifics of the Internet resource, analyze competitors in the market and search
engines
Study the specifics of the Internet resource
Without proper immersion in the subject of the project will be difficult to achieve good results in
promotion. It is necessary to study in detail the specifics of the area to understand the basic needs of
customers and the key features of your product (applies to both content sites and online shops).

Analysis of competitors on the market and in search engines is needed to assess the difficulty of
getting into the top 10 of search engines. It may be that there are not many competitors in your
topic, and the quality of their sites will leave much to be desired, in which case, to take a high
position in SERPs will not be difficult.

The opposite may also be the case. With a large amount of competition in search, naturally growing
and the quality of web-resources, as in a bitter struggle for a place in the top must constantly
improve the project, to introduce new ideas, make it more user-friendly, attractive in terms of design
and so on. In that case, you'll have to plan a much larger budget for SEO and site improvements. A
great example of a very competitive topic would be the area of plastic windows. Promoting a site in
this area will require a lot of money and time for optimization.

Also, at this step you can see at your competitors interesting chips and ideas that you can quickly
implement in your project. Don't reinvent the wheel, but remember to always try to do better than
your competitor.

Step 2: Build semantic kernel and clustering
building your semantic core
One of the most important and critical stages in the process of promotion, beginners often do not
pay due attention to it and it is a big mistake, because this step is the basis for guidance for all
subsequent actions!

At this stage we gather all the key phrases for which to promote your Internet project. After that, the
phrases should be clustered (distributed into groups) and identify for each group its landing page
(the page on which the phrases to be promoted, if it already exists on the site).

To collect the semantic core, we recommend using KeyCollector, which is used by most SEO-
professionals. Also, you can use various services, such as Serpstat, to get competitor keyphrases.

Keyphrase collection in KeyCollector
Collecting keyphrases in KeyCollector
Let's briefly describe how the process is built:

Preparation of masks for parsing phrases. Masks are the highest-frequency queries consisting of one
or more words. The masks will be used to collect all the phrases that contain the base phrase. For
example, the mask "smartphone" will be collected from the phrase "smartphone to buy.
Collecting key phrases on the selected masks.
Cleaning the collected semantic core. At this stage, you need to remove phrases that are not relevant
to your site.
Frequency gathering for the key phrases.
Nucleus clustering (distribution into groups).
Kernel clustering
At this stage you should take into account the following points:

Select the core not only high-frequency phrases, but also medium with low-frequency – it will be
easier to reach the top of extradition.
In the CY should get only the phrases that match the subject of the website.
Note that if your project is commercial – key phrases should also be commercial (exceptions may be
the words for a blog on the online shop), for an informational resource, choose only informational
phrases.
Try to cover the entire range of products / product groups / themes of the site, to collect the most
complete core.
Step 3: Design the structure of the site, define the landing pages
Determine landing page
In the previous stages, we gathered information about the competitors and their strengths, as well as
a list of keywords for which SEO-promotion is done.

It is important to prepare the structure carefully, so you won't have to change it later and transfer
pages, because there is a risk of losing traffic and need

3d rendering search engine bar on smartphone. Concept mobile browser application.

to set up redirects during that process.

During the semantics collection phase, we divided the phrases into groups. For each of the groups, a
landing page needs to be prepared where the queries will be promoted.

Careful design of the website structure is required so that each cluster of phrases has a landing page.
Keep in mind that additional sections or pages may be added to the structure later on.

Why a good website structure is important for SEO:

Solves user problems and improves behavioural performance. If the user has trouble navigating the
site and has trouble finding the right section – he is more likely to close the tab and go to the
competition.
Improves the speed of indexing the site. PS robots will be much easier to bypass sites with a
comfortable structure and linking, and therefore indexed they will be faster.
Helps to cover a greater volume of semantics. A good structure is not only easy to use, but also
contains a large number of landing pages for search queries.
It is important to prepare the structure carefully so that there is no need to change it later and
transfer pages, as during this process there is a risk of losing traffic and the need to set up redirects.

Step 4: Carry out technical optimization
Conduct technical optimization

At this stage, you can not do without programmers. For your web resource to meet the technical
requirements of Yandex and Google, you need to carry out a whole set of works:

Create and adjust the robots.txt file. Do not forget to close from indexing the shopping cart page,
search on the site and pages of authorization.
Create and configure a sitemap for indexing pages for search engines – sitemap.xml.
Configure error-404 page
Set up all the necessary redirects. For example from reg.ru to www.reg.ru, from
https://www.reg.ru/hosting to https://www.reg.ru/hosting/ .
Install and configure SSL-certificate. Almost all sites in the top 10 search engines are protected by the
https protocol. An SSL certificate is a generally accepted security standard and affects your website's
ranking in a PS. Learn more about what SSL is.

Make sure the site is displayed correctly on mobile devices. In 2020, a website should have a mobile
or adaptive version.
Setup of the CNC (Human-Comprehensible URL) – the URL of the page, which will allow you to
understand its content, may partially contain key phrases. For example:
https://www.reg.ru/hosting/bitrix – NC URL, it is short and gives you an idea of what is on the page.
site.ru/php?param=122435&filter46 – is not an NC URL.
Adding favicon (an icon of the site which is displayed in search results and browser tabs)
Check the speed of the site. This parameter is worth paying special attention, because page load time
has a significant impact on the search engine rankings, and very soon, in 2021 Google will have a new
ranking factor based on the speed of loading site – Page Experience. Source link:
https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2020/05/evaluating-page-experience.html
Set attribute rel="canonical" on pages. This attribute should be installed on pages with the same
content, so that search engines do not regard them as duplicates. For example, canonical set on
pages pagination, on goods, in the case where the same product is available at different URLs
(located in several sections of the site).
Setting the meta tag on pages which should not be included in the index of search engines.
Implementing the https://schema.org/ and Open Graph micro-partitioning on the pages of the site.
These are the most important technical aspects that must be set up on any site. A detailed technical
audit may reveal additional problems that require your attention, such as the presence of duplicate
pages or broken links.

Step 5: Optimize Content
Optimizing Content
Before we get into the details, remember a very simple axiom: "Content is king. Content is what
users come to your website for, so it needs to be of a very high quality.

At this step, you need to put content on the site if you haven't had it before. If you publish texts,
articles, they should also contain images, links to similar materials. If you are selling goods, product
cards should contain descriptions, pictures of goods, delivery terms, price, conversion elements and
so on.

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