The basics of search engine optimisation

You read a lot about SEO, which in most people’s minds appears as a strange, inexplicable concept. However, in this article, we’ll dispel that fog and show you how you can harness the power of search engine optimisation to make hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In this article, we present the basics of search engine optimisation

The concept of search engine optimisation, or: what is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimisation, which is derived from the English word Search Engine Optimisation. In a nutshell, it’s about how to get to the top of Google’s rankings through various technical adjustments, content improvements, image and speed optimisation.

But why is it so important to get to number one?” you might ask, and rightly so. Perhaps this one picture says more than any words.

Click-through rate as a function of search positions

But let’s look at what the image itself means. 

The average CTR (click-through rate) for the first ranking is 31%.

Quick tip: Click-through rate is a measure of the percentage of visitors to a page who click on that page. So the short formula is clicks/view. For example, if a page appeared 1200 times in a search engine and 65 people clicked on it, then 65/1200=0.054 or 5.4% CTR.

Second place is clicked by only 14% of visitors, third place by 10… and so on. The 10 hits on the second results page are only attracting 4% of visitors.

You can probably see why it’s so important to be in the top 3. But let’s look at it in concrete numbers!

Suppose you have a webshop where you sell board games. According to Ubersuggest, on average 22,200 people search for the term board game every month.

If you are ranked first on Google, with a CTR of 31%, 6,880 people visit your shop every month. If only 3% of them buy, that’s 206 people/month.

In second place, you have a CTR of 14%, which means that 3108 people click on your website on average. If we also assume a 3% purchase rate, that’s 93 people per month.

The third place has a CTR of 10%, which means that on average 2220 people click on your shop. At 3%, that’s 66 people per month. 

If you calculate a profit of HUF 2,000 for each person, the difference between first and second place is HUF 226,000, and between second and third place is HUF 54,000 – all this per month.

So that’s why the big players are spending up to a hundred thousand forints a month to get to the top organically, because these are the most valuable positions.

Now that you are familiar with the concept of SEO, you need to understand another very important thing: how search engines work. 

We won’t bore you with all the complicated technical details, as this is all about SEO basics, so we’ll just show you the mechanics of search engines at an entry level.

Google, the most popular search engine

What are the search engines?

In short, a search engine is an online tool that allows people to gather information on the web. The most typical example is Google. Let’s stop here for a moment.

Because if you practice and learn search engine optimization, you have to meet 99% of the expectations set by Google. The simple reason for this is that this is THE SEARCHER. 

It dominates more than 92% of the global market. 

Bing came in second with a modest 2.61%, while Yahoo, which once saw better days, slipped to third place with 1.64%. 

So the point is: it’s enough to focus on this one search engine, so that’s what our guide will be about. 

How do the search engines work? 

The search process itself consists of the following 4 steps:

  1. Enquiry
  2. Indexing
  3. Selection of results
  4. …and finally the display of search results to the user.

The query

Crawling is the process by which search engines scan all web pages. This is done using so-called crawlers, which are actually nothing more than programs. These crawlers can discover new pages through links (hyperlinks) and also update pages. 

This is how Martin Splitt of Google describes how crawlers work: 

“We’ll start with a few URLs and then follow the links from there. So basically you go page by page through the web.”

The indexation

Once your site is crawled, the information is indexed. The idea is that the search engines try to analyse and understand the pages, categorise them and store the information they get in the index. 

The easiest way to think of indexing is as a huge library of all the websites in the world that you have crawled. In this ‘library’, every shelf, every book, every page, every paragraph is categorised.

Selecting and displaying results

Once the user has searched for a particular term, the search engine, “the librarian”, will find the most useful “book”, in this context the website, and recommend it to you.

In fact, he actually recommends a lot of books, starting with the one he thinks has the best, most relevant information on your search. Where all these hits, all these recommendations appear is the SERP (Search Engines Results Page). 

Your job is to write the best “book” you can, and the “librarian” will recommend you in the first place. But how does this librarian decide what is good and what is bad? How confident can you be that he or she is making a fair decision? 

Well, Google’s algorithm can answer that question. 

How does Google's algorithm work? 

Google’s algorithm

Google’s algorithm is actually a catch-all term. 

All the unique algorithms, artificial intelligence and machine learning used to rank websites are in fact a complete ecosystem.

Of course, like any complex system, Google’s algorithm needs to be constantly updated and refined. Smaller algorithm updates happen on a quasi-daily basis, but there are some “big bangs” that can have a serious impact on rankings, which Google rolls out every few years. 

For a search engine to provide the best, most relevant results, it must first understand what the user is looking for. Once this interpretation has been made, it looks to see which of the pages stored in the index match that search. 

The search engine then ranks you according to the quality of the content. 

An important criterion is that the site is usable: accessible to anyone, public, readable and secure. 

Last but not least, Google takes into account the user’s location and search history.

And that’s where it gets all fuzzy. Because the algorithm of the search engine is secret. Of course, this is not to say that SEO experts are shooting blindly, but rather!

On the one hand, Google occasionally drops information about how the search engine works (especially John Muller, who is often like Google’s unofficial spokesman), and on the other hand, there are excellent SEO tools. And indeed, the content at the top of the results list can be used to filter what Google ranks based on. 

On the one hand, thanks to the information dropped by Muller and conscientious SEO experts such as Brian Dean, a lot has been learned about Google’s algorithm in recent years.

The ranking factors, or how Google’s algorithm works?

As mentioned above, Google keeps secret exactly what the ranking factors are. This is understandable, of course, because if it were public, anyone could be at the top of the page, and Google would not be able to sort, ergo everyone would disappear into the digital fog. 

So the list below is compiled to the best of our knowledge, but should be treated with caution. In fact, we’ll go further: if an SEO expert tells you that they can definitely get you to the top of Google, then steer well clear. There is no such thing.

So after this little digression, let’s see how the algorithm itself works! 

The meaning and the intention. First and most importantly, the algorithm interprets the meaning and intent of the search. Although this may seem similar at first glance, it is not the same. For example, if you search for winter tyre replacement, the intention could be to use a service, or it could be a date when you should change your winter tyres. If you are more specific, such as a time to replace winter tyres, the algorithm will return content that matches your search intent.

Topic. You may be looking for a larger topic, such as “How to start gardening”. In such cases, Google will also glean from broader, related articles such as “how to use pruning shears, how to green your lawn, etc.

Synonyms. The algorithm is now smart enough to understand synonyms (in English too!). That’s why it doesn’t matter whether you’re looking for an adjustable wrench or a wrench, it will display the same results.

Language. Of course, the language and regional location is also important, because if you type something in Hungarian, you get Hungarian results.

Freshness. It’s also important to keep your articles up to date, especially if there are new statistics or legislation coming out that affect the area you work in. However, there are some markets where the most up-to-date information is the most important.

For example, if you are looking at Tesla shares, you are probably looking at the share price. Therefore, based on your search intent, it will throw up the result right below the URL. 

The most up-to-date information is therefore the most valuable for people in such cases (similar to football scores, crypto exchange rates and so on). 

In the light of this, it makes sense to optimise content along these lines. In other words, after keyword research, develop the content so that the intent is clear. 

How to get started?

One of the most important things is to have good, quality content, supported by proper keyword research. This means identifying what your target audience is looking for, what problems they want solutions to, and creating content tailored to those needs.

It is important to note that content is not necessarily just textual content. If your target audience prefers to listen to podcasts or watch videos, you need to serve them with that. And one more thing: don’t write jargon-free, unnecessary content for Google, write good, meaningful content for your readers. Remember: if the user is happy, Google is happy. 

Content should be unique – avoid duplication both inside and outside the website. 

Of course, you need an online platform, a website where you can be found and where you publish this content. Otherwise you simply won’t be found by search engines. 

You also need quality backlinks from other sites. These backlinks, links, are actually feedback to Google that you are writing useful content that others are willing to share.

Google favours expert content. For example, if you have an online shop selling abrasives and you know abrasives, share your knowledge, answer frequently asked questions and so on. Build trust with your readers and only write about topics you really know. 

It is important that you update this content regularly. Always have new content up, and update old content so that you have evergreen content. 

Optimise titles and meta descriptions based on user searches. Use the Search Console and Analytics as a crutch, where you can get a lot of extra insight into user behaviour. See which pages are converting the most? Which have the lowest? How can you improve this? 

Today, more than 60% of internet users browse from mobile devices, so it’s essential that your website is responsive, i.e. that it can be viewed on mobile devices. 

This is why the speed of the website is also important. If users have to wait too long for the page to load, they will simply drop off. 

To prevent this from happening, let’s take a look at what you need to know about mobile SEO!

What is worth knowing about mobile SEO?

This will be a shorter, summarised chapter, as we have already written a longer, more comprehensive article on mobile search optimisation. You can read it by clicking on the link. 

Google’s Mobile-First index , a relatively new metric that allows Google to look at the mobile version of content first, followed by the desktop version. If the site is not responsive or the content on mobile and desktop is different, this can lead to serious gaps.

What else is important to take away from this is that Google has virtually set itself a new direction, a new goal, which clearly puts mobile content at the forefront. WordPress-based websites are highly responsive and most are very usable on mobile.

But many people make the mistake of not putting enough emphasis on speed. This is a problem. Because if the page is not fast enough (in simple terms, it should load in less than 3 seconds), Google may well rank you lower. 

But even if the likelihood of this is low, on the other side there are still users who sometimes get impatient and close the browser. And yes, with a slow, poorly optimised website, you can say goodbye to more potential customers. 

It’s also a bad user experience if pop-ups or chat windows on your mobile phone clutter the entire screen. In many cases, these make the mobile site unusable, so it’s a good idea to disable them in the phone view. 

These are the most important things to know, in a nutshell, about mobile SEO. If you’re interested in how you can check if your website is mobile-friendly (and how mobile-friendly it is) then read our article linked above. 

Now let’s unblock and see what types of search engine optimization there are. 

We show you the most important ranking factors

Types of search engine optimisation

Search engine optimisation is basically divided into three main groups, these are: 

  • the technical SEO
  • the On-Page SEO
  • and Off-Page SEO.

Let’s take a look at what each one means!

What is technical SEO?

Technical SEO 

What is technical SEO?

Technical SEO is actually the first step you need to take if you want to improve your website metrics. It is the first step to improve the SEO of a website, as it is the first step to make a website faster, more efficient, visible and crawlable by search engines. 

If you think of SEO as a house, then technical SEO is the base, On-Site SEO is the walls, and Off-Page SEO is the roof. 

Why should you technically optimise your website?

Google and other search engines want to show users the most relevant results, which is why Google’s robots crawl and rank pages based on a number of factors. 

Some of these factors are based on user experience (UX). For example, how quickly a page loads. 

Other aspects help search engines to understand what your website is about. 

That’s why, for example, if your site has a serious technical error, it can set back the ranking, typically if there is no sitemap or a faulty robots.txt file (relax, we’ll cover these in more detail below).

When carrying out a technical SEO analysis, the following aspects should be considered: 

  • speed
  • mappability
  • broken links
  • duplicate data, content
  • Security
  • UX
  • responsiveness

Speed of the website

Websites need to load quickly, and this metric is even more important since the Google Page Experience algorithm update. 

A 2016 study already showed that 53% of mobile visitors leave a website if it does not open within three seconds. 

Basically, you need to understand that Google is now so advanced that it knows what users need. If the search bots see that a page has a high bounce rate, it’s a red light to the search engine. 

Because slow websites do not provide a good user experience, Google naturally ranks faster sites higher and slower sites lower. 

You can also test the speed of your website on GTmetrix. Here you will basically see three metrics that are part of the Core Web Vitals:

  • LCP (Larges Contentful Paint): takes into account the page load speed by measuring the time it takes for the largest content item to load from the time the url is requested. The ideal time is <2.5 seconds.
  • the TBT (Total Blocking Time): measures the time between the page loading and becoming interactive. The ideal duration is <50 hundredths of a second.
  • and CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift): the score is calculated by moving each content element. A score of zero means no movement (best). However, the greater the cumulative movement, the higher the score and the worse the user experience.

Crawlability of the site

Search engines use robots (spiders) to crawl your website. If you think of the web as an interconnected spider web, where each point is somehow connected to another, then search robots are spiders that learn about the whole web by going through each point.

Spiders can crawl the site through links: this is why it is very important to have the right internal link structure. 

So if you write a big article about hiking, for example, mentioning the best hiking boots, jackets or hiking trails, you should link to all of them on your site. This is the easiest way for search engines to “crawl” from one internal page to another. 

And you can also control search bots: you can prevent them from visiting certain content (for example, your customers’ shopping carts in your online shop). 

You can even “tell” them to crawl the page, but not to display it in the search engine (for example, this is typically the terms and conditions page). 

You can specify these instructions using the robots.txt file. 

Of course, it’s worth paying attention to this, as you may unintentionally block CSS and JS files on your site, which can cause fundamental problems with display. The bots may rightly think that something is wrong with your website. 

The robots meta tag is a code snippet that is only visible in the source code, also known as the head section. This is the part that robots “read” when they find a web page, in fact it gives them information about what they find on the page and what they should do with it.

It is also very important that your website has a sitemap (site map). 

The sitemap contains all the pages of your website, in effect serving as a map for the bots. 

Incorrect links

We have already discussed that slow websites are annoying for visitors. What’s perhaps even worse is when they’re thrown to an erroneous 404 page. This means the link is broken and points to a non-existent website.

Unfortunately, most websites have a lot of broken links, which could be remedied by a simple redirect to a relevant page or deletion. 

Duplicate data and duplicate content

Duplicate content is unfortunately also a common problem, and most website owners are not even aware of it. One reason is that different url addresses can display the same content. This is not obvious to the visitor, who doesn’t even notice it, but it is to the search engine, which sees the same content at different URLs.

The problem can be solved with a so-called canonical link: you can tell the spiders what the original content is – the page you want to rank in the search engines. 

Security of the website

A technically well-optimised website is secure – nowadays this is almost a basic requirement. One of the most important elements of this is the implementation of HTTPS.

HTTPS ensures that no one can retrieve the data sent between your browser and the website. So, for example, when they log in to your website, visitors’ so-called credentials are safe. 

To implement HTTPS, you need an SSL certificate, which you can request from your server. Secure sites are naturally ranked much higher by Google than HTTP sites. 

You can easily check whether your website is HTTPS-enabled yourself: if you see a closed padlock on the left-hand side of the browser search bar, your site is secure. 

Responsiveness

As well as security, it’s also essential that your website can be viewed on mobile devices and tablets – this is what responsiveness means. 

Almost 60-70% of visitors are now coming from their phones, so if your website is unusable from mobile, you’re not only losing significant rankings, but also a lot of potential visitors. Most people will close the site and look for another one instead. 

User experience, or UX

User experience is not an exact thing, but in fact a quintessence of all the aspects mentioned above. If your site is fast, responsive, doesn’t crawl, isn’t full of 404 errors, then the user experience will be good. 

Now that we’ve covered technical SEO in detail, let’s look at On-Page Search Engine Optimisation!

What is On-Page SEO?

Advanced On-Page SEO techniques

If you’ve already mastered the basics of on-page SEO, here are some intermediate On-Page SEO techniques to boost your website. Let’s take a look at the snippets first!

Featured snippets 

Featured snippets are extracts that appear above the search result. Because of this, they have an incredible ability to boost your organic traffic. 

It’s good to know that there are several different types of snippets, so you can take advantage of them based on the content. 

Snippets like these, for example: 

  • the paragraphs,
  • the lists, 
  • the tables, 
  • the pictures,
  • and video content and so on. 

To have a featured snippet, you actually “only” need good SEO. You need to format the content of your site in such a way that you win the rights to your snippets. But to write something of substance, and not just puffing up a bunch of buzzwords, let’s look at what you need to do, in a non-exhaustive way. 

First of all, you need a good keyword research, and here, for example, you should pay special attention to long tail keywords. In fact, experience shows that only 4.3% of the single to single word keywords contained a featured snippet. 

As opposed to, for example, the 5-word keywords, of which 17% already contained a featured snippet; but 55.5% of the 10-word keywords already contained a featured snippet. 

Typical questions are those beginning with “how”, such as “how do I pick a ripe apple?”.

It’s also important to update your content regularly and to mark them up, for example with schema markup. 

The schema markup (schema markup)

Schema markup is like a kind of digital marker, a marker for Google robots. 

As mentioned above, Google uses automated bots to help crawl, index and display your web content. 

To understand your site accurately, Google relies on a simple, technical language called a schema markup. This allows Google to understand what your website is actually about and how each sub-page relates to each other. 

You’ve probably already come across these, especially if you’ve clicked on one of the following:

  • Events
  • Products
  • Famous people
  • Local businesses 
  • Organisations
  • Reviews
  • Recipes and the list goes on. 

For example, if you want to know what local events are going on in the area, simply type “Balaton programmes” into Google.

If the event pages have implemented schema markup correctly, you should get a search result similar to the one below. 

Google schema markup example for events

But without getting bogged down in events, let’s look at another example. 

Look for a recipe for egg noodles, for example. 

Google schema markup example for recipes

So the content creator tells Google that it’s a recipe, so it shows up in the search engine accordingly. It also provides Google with other important information, such as how long it takes to bake. 

You can test whether your code was created correctly, for example, with the Google Schema Markup Testing tool.

That’s enough of that, let’s look at another advanced technique that is very exciting: keyword cannibalism. 

The keyword cannibalism

Most people misunderstand what keyword cannibalisation actually is, and misinterpret it as cannibalism when two or more pages are optimised for the same keyword. 

But this is wrong.

Just because two or more pages on your site are optimised for the same keyword, it doesn’t automatically mean that none of them can rank.

The key word cannibalisation is more about the intention itself.

Cannibalism itself exists when you have two or more sides that have the same intent. 

For example, if you build your whole website around 3-5 keywords and you keep mantraising them, repeating them on your website, hoping that it will rank better. In this case, the keywords are likely to “eat each other up” and in fact none of your pages will rank well.

That’s why you need to diversify your content: you can write about one topic, but approach it from a different angle, use synonyms, other keywords. And if you already have cannibalism, then pull the text together and turn it into a skyscraper article, a giant guide. 

In such cases, 301 redirect the old url to the new content to avoid a 404 page error, which also hurts SEO.

The magic 404 page

We have already touched on the 404 page in the section on broken links, but now we will go deeper. 

Since the guide is quite long, here’s a little update on what a 404 error code is: it refers to pages that are referred to by an internal or external link, but in fact no longer have any content (i.e. they are dead). 

You may have deleted or redirected content, for example because of the keyword cannibalism mentioned above. But the point is that there is no substantive content. 

There are a lot of websites that are really full of 404 error codes. You can avoid these by running a search with some SEO software or, in the case of WordPress, a plugin. 

They should then be redirected via a 301 redirect to a url that 

  • relevant,
  • or where you have moved the content itself. 

Yes, it is that simple, yet very few people use it. And speaking of error code 404, here’s a bit of cleverness. 

Ingenious SEOs redirect not only their own 404 error code, but also those of their competitors. This is known as broken link building, or in free translation, broken link building. 

You can use for example the broken link checker. The main thing is not to enter your own website, but to run it on pages that are relevant. If you find a broken link that points to a competitor, contact the website owner. Tell them you noticed the error and the link points to a broken page. In turn, you have similar content and would appreciate it if he would insert it instead of the other one.

Voilá!

Link content together

And speaking of links, the importance of internal links is definitely worth a few words. If only because it is perhaps one of the easiest, yet most underrated SEO techniques. 

The first aspect is to choose the right anchor text (the keyword or keywords you are linking to). 

For example, if you have a boat marketplace and you are writing an article about catamarans, link to it with the text “you can view catamarans for sale by clicking on the link“. Put the internal link on “catamarans for sale” and point to the catamaran category.

It may seem a bit complicated at first, but the idea is to link similar content together within your site in the same way that a spider web links together. 

On-Page SEO

There are SEO experts who lump technical and on-page SEO together, but I think it’s better to treat the two separately. After all, as you have seen, technical SEO is already a very complex thing. 

But what exactly does On-Page SEO cover?

  • the keyword research
  • the title of the subpages
  • the headings (H1, H2 etc.)
  • the meta description
  • the title and replacement text (alt text) of the images
  • and the content itself. 

If you feel that this is going to be an important topic, you’re in the right place, because well-structured content is how people find you organically in search. Let’s look at them in a little more detail!

Keywords, keyword research

Keyword research is important not only because it provides a wealth of ideas and topics, but also because you can fine-tune the text of your website.

You can do this manually using Google, which in itself gives you a lot of ideas and long tail keywords (keywords longer than two words). 

Again, stick to board games, and type this as a keyword in incognito mode (the cache does not store searches). 

the basics of search engine optimisation

He’s already published a bunch of ideas to write texts on. Of course, this is only a small slice of keyword research, but it can be a good starting point.

Of course, this is just the “cheap” method; serious SEO professionals have well-established keyword research software such as SEMrush, KWfinder, or Ahrefs.

Page title (title)

Just as a book has a title, so must each sub-page.

However, the title is much more important, and according to Brian Dean, founder of Backlinko, the most important SEO metric on a website. But why did one of the most respected SEO experts say this?

On the one hand, the title and H1 headings carry the most weight in the hierarchy when search engines monitor a sub-page. The more relevant keywords you have in a title, the more you can “explain” to the search engine what your page is about. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to pile up keywords… but more on that later. 

The use of years, “best”, “detailed” and similar call words not only grabs the attention of search bots, but also that of humans. 

The title is often the same as the H1 headline: the difference is that while the title is the title visible in Google search, the H1 headline only appears on the subpage itself.

The H2 headlines

If we stick to the book analogy: the H2 headings correspond roughly to the title of each chapter, while the H3 headings are further down the hierarchy. 

These headings are also important because they make a section more digestible, they break it up and, of course, keywords can be condensed into them if the context so requires. 

The meta description

A good meta description will help increase CTR (you know, click-through rate), and you can (and should) include the keyword. Because even in the SERP (search engine results page), you can see that Google highlights keywords that are correlated and the same in bold.

Search engine optimisation keyword appearance in the SERP

However, sometimes Google writes its own meta description, as you can see from our example above – this is not always a sensible and good solution, but its algorithm is selective…

Image title and alt text

The title of the images and the existence of a replacement text are also very important. Let’s look at the former first. 

The title of the images should be given in a way that search robots can easily interpret and crawl them, which is why a keyword is included. 

Take this picture for example: 

The short and pithy title would be online shopping, but the correct, Google-able form is: online-shopping. Spaces should be hyphenated and words should be written without accents.

Alt text also helps Google (and visually impaired users) understand what each image is about. It’s worth selecting images optimised around each target keyword and using alt text accordingly. 

For example, a good alt text for the image above is “buy online with credit card“.

Content (content)

More on content below, but first it’s worth noting that content, whether it’s text, vlogs, podcasts or whatever, is a cornerstone of SEO. You need regular and excellent content, because without it you will be virtually invisible to Google.

Your website may be the most technically search-optimised, but if a piece of text or content isn’t there, there’s simply no reason to visit it.

So this is something you should also put a lot of emphasis on if you are serious about search engine optimisation.

What is Off-Page SEO?

Off-Page SEO

Off-Page search engine optimization could be briefly described as anything that is not On-Page, but we don’t like to have a topic hanging in the air.

The Off-Page SEO parts are:

  • the link building
  • brand-based searches
  • and your social media presence

The link building

More about links will be described in the “Links and content” section. However, what is worth knowing in a nutshell is that although the importance of link building has decreased compared to previous years, it still has a lot of weight even now, in 2022.

PR articles, organic placements and content on guest blogs all attract new users, which will expand your readership and give you a higher search ranking.

Brand-based searches

Brand-based search means that your brand is so well-known that people search for you by name. For example, if someone wants to buy shoes, they could type in Nike shoes, Converse shoes, etc.

You can increase brand-based search through links and social media presence – the wider the audience your brand reaches, the more known it becomes.

Social media appearances

It probably goes without saying that one of the main focuses of marketing is building community, especially through social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn). Social media and viral content can also give your site a huge boost to get more (organic) visitors.

If you feel that some elements of Off-Page SEO are interrelated, you’re on a very hot track. In fact, all three are a single entity: they work best when you pay attention to all of them.

How can you get to the first place? What are the most important ranking factors?

Although it is not officially confirmed by Google what the most important ranking factors are, the metrics can be deduced from the information crumbs that are dropped (for example, expert John Mueller likes to tweet and drip information.)

Links and content

The better and more useful the content you write for the reader, the more likely they are to share, link to and adopt the information. Of course, it doesn’t matter which sites link to yours. After all, if you stick to the example above and you have a traditional toys shop, it’s unlikely that a link from your mate’s sex shop would have any link power.

Sites also have a so-called trust rank. The older the domain, the more people visit it and the more sites link to it, the higher the trust factor. So, for example, if you get a backlink from Index or 24.hu for Hungary, it has a very high link strength.

Often, just one of these links is enough to send you to the stars for a while. However, in the long run, it’s also worth getting organic links from relevant sites so that your website doesn’t end up as a shooting star.

So content and link are very closely related. The more useful and understandable your content is (and we’re not just talking about text, but also videos, podcasts or infographics), the more “trustworthy” you become in the eyes of Google – and your readers.

Two other important things to mention in this context, one of which is regularity. You don’t have to write a litany every week, but you should aim to write content that you get out to your readers at least monthly (for example, on Facebook, your email list, or LinkedIn.)

The other is not to write to Google.Even professionals often make the mistake of over-optimising content and stuffing it with keywords, which makes the text simply unenjoyable. Google is now so intelligent that it can look at the text as a whole and recognise synonyms, context and conjugations.

So write naturally, but consciously.

Time spent on site

How much time a visitor spends on a website is also important. After all, if they find content that is useful and relevant to them, why would they leave the site in 3 seconds?

However, if for some reason visitors still leave after a few seconds, it can be a strong indicator for Google to rank the page lower for that keyword.

Responsiveness and speed

The 3 seconds has been mentioned several times in the article for a reason. That’s about how long the average user waits for the page to load, otherwise they move on. This is why we would like to emphasise once again how important it is that your website loads as quickly as possible.

The importance of responsiveness has already been discussed above. Not to overstate the case, the vast majority of users now shop or get information from their phones, so this is also a major ranking factor.

Search engine optimisation step by step – analytics

When we look at a particular page, we always go through a very precise list.

First, we assess the technical state of your website and optimise it

This means using an analytics program to look at the points that need to be improved from an SEO perspective.

Examples include:

  • Is there a sitemap, is the page visible in the search engine? (You wouldn’t believe how common this problem is, but in many cases the site is simply not visible in Google.)
  • The missing H1 headings
  • Missing H2 headings
  • Missing meta descriptions
  • Is the website secure?
  • Are there unnecessary redirections?
  • Is the site well structured?

This is just a tiny (very tiny indeed) slice of what we look at in technical analysis. It is only worth building on good, strong foundations – otherwise the house will collapse.

Keyword research

The importance of this has been explained in detail above. In many cases, the keywords are identified during the competitive analysis and the keyword list is then cleaned up.

Market research

It is important to be aware of how many competitors you have in the market and what they do better than you. This applies not just to SEO, but to content marketing as a whole.

  • To the blog
  • What other platforms are used for communication (e.g. Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube)
  • How big their following is on the platforms, how active they are
  • And what you should change to get more (returning) customers

Link building

As mentioned above, links are one of the biggest ranking factors. However, sometimes you don’t build as many links organically as you need to grow your site – in this case, you can find link partners who will publish your articles on their site in exchange for money.

These can be:

  • PR articles
  • Native content
  • Research-based studies/infographics
  • Fragmented link building
  • Link injection (although this is not always recommended)

Now that we have clarified these, let’s look at a very interesting phenomenon, black hat and white hat SEO.

What is black hat SEO and white hat SEO?

Just as there are black hat hackers and white hat hackers among hackers, there are white hat hackers among SEO experts. However, don’t think of it as a Sith-Jedi dichotomy, as many SEO professionals are also in the so-called “grey zone” between the two.

Let’s get these concepts straight then!

The meaning of white hat SEO

What is white hat SEO?

In short, a white hat SEO professional is someone who follows the right, ethical way to optimise your website.

1. Follow search engine guidelines

The most widely accepted definition of white hat SEO is that it follows Google guidelines.

An ethical SEO strategy can essentially be summed up in one simple idea: don’t manipulate the search engine. Such manipulation could be buying backlinks, backlinks from link farms (although these are very rare now) and so on.

It is a grey area if you use artificial intelligence to write your texts, as this is not always excellent and relevant content, nor is it necessarily a black hat SEO technique.

So generally speaking, if you’re not trying to manipulate or fool Google’s algorithm, you’re probably a white hat SEO professional.

2. Focus on people

White hat SEOs don’t produce content for Google, they produce content for people. That’s why he doesn’t pile up keywords in his articles just to get ahead, and even prefers to use synonyms in the text for variety.

3. Planning for the long term

Of course, developing strategies that follow Google’s guidelines and ensure a positive user experience is more time-consuming and labour-intensive than black hat methods, but it pays off in the long run.

A black hat SEO practitioner may achieve very impressive results in the short term, but sooner or later karma (in this case Google) will pay the price. And this can lead to drastic position losses.

The meaning of black hat SEO

What is black hat SEO?

Black hat SEO is essentially the opposite of white hat SEO.

1. Use manipulative tactics

While white hat SEO looks for ways to improve the user experience, black hat SEO focuses on manipulating Google’s algorithm.

Simply put, if a tactic is designed to make Google believe that a site provides more value to users than it actually does.

2. Focus on quick results

The strategies used in black SEO are really all about finding loopholes. However, this can only produce surprisingly good results in the short term. In the long term, however, it is impossible, because Google is constantly improving and refining its algorithm.

So what is a loophole today may well be a ban tomorrow.

What many people do use it for is a good reference: after all, who wouldn’t be amazed if an SEO expert showed you something that tripled your organic traffic in 2 months? Of course, this can bring in new clients and make a lot of money quickly, but reputation quickly goes to the ground.

Now that we’ve gone through the differences between black hat and white hat SEO, let’s look at the most common questions about search engine optimization.

Questions and short answers about search engine optimization

What is search engine optimization?

Search engine optimization is the process of analyzing your site as described above, correcting errors and boosting content. The goal of SEO is to get your website as high as possible in the search engine rankings (SERPs).

Why should a website be search engine optimised?

Being at the top of the Google results list is what drives the majority of traffic for a particular keyword. The lower down you are in search, the smaller your slice of the pie, meaning the less profit you make. Search engine optimisation is therefore, ultimately, about profit.

What are the different parts of the search engine optimisation process?

SEO audit, keyword research, technical improvements, On-Page and Off-Page development.

How much does search engine optimization cost?

Our basic SEO audit costs 100 Euros, our advanced package costs 150 Euros and our premium package costs 200 Euros. The amount of monthly SEO depends largely on the condition of your website, so we can only give you a quote after a preliminary assessment.

Summary

What’s important is that SEO is a waiting game, a long-term strategy; it’s like trying to make a very tasty Bolognese sauce. First, you pick the tomato seeds, water them, nurture them, wait until they’re nice and red, and only then pick them. Then you simmer it for hours and add all the quality ingredients, resulting in an amazingly delicious sauce.

Only patience and a lot of hard work can ensure that your online shop (be it a shop selling products or services) is in the first place. But, as you have seen in the calculator example, it is an investment that pays off many times over.

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