SEO in Mallorca is the same as anywhere in the world. There’s no black magic to it. It’s common sense with a dose of analytics.
We get a lot of clients asking us about SEO positioning for Mallorca. While it’s true that local SEO can play a big part of your strategy it’s also important to look at the bigger picture on an international basis. When you do this your local SEO falls into line too.
Don’t worry though, we’ll also be covering how to specifically target your local SEO in Mallorca later on. Spoiler – it’s in the Off-Site SEO section.
So, let’s get back to basics and give you an overview of what Search Engine Optimisation is, how it works and how you (or we!) can improve search engine rankings.
Most SEO consultants in Mallorca will know this but for the rest of us it’s refresher time! So grab a coffee, sit back, relax and let’s get into it…
SEO can be boiled down to on-site work and off-site work. Both are important ingredients in your overall SEO strategy and both need your attention to succeed online!
On-site SEO is any type of SEO optimisation that you conduct on your website’s pages. This can take many forms but here’s a list of some of the most important ones:
- Good site and URL structure
- Proper categorisation of pages (siloing)
- Valid HTML
- Fast loading (aim for less than 0.5s page load time)
- Quality content that people will actually want to read
- Use videos, images and other rich media
- Use HTTPS not HTTP for your web address
There are, of course, many aspects to optimising your site properly but this list can be thought of as the headlines. Let’s take a look at each of them in more detail and understand what they are.
Search engines send an automated robot to your website known as a spider. Why a spider? Because it crawls your pages and indexes every bit of content in the page and adds it to it’s master’s database.
Spiders are pretty smart nowadays but they aren’t infallible. They can easily get confused about what your page is actually saying and what its subject is. This is why you need to categorise your content properly and group similar pages and products together so that it’s obvious what your page is about.
For example, you have an e-commerce site that sells apples so you have a product category called Apples. In this category you need to have your sub-categories e.g. Granny Smiths, Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp and so on. This way the spider knows that a product that lives in your Granny Smiths sub-category is likely to be a Granny Smith apple. When people search Google for Granny Smiths apples your easy to find sub-category pops up instead of your parent category (Apples).
Sounds like common sense. Is there a term for this?
Yep. This type of structure is known in the SEO world as “siloing”. In other words compartmentalising types of web pages that are all related to each other. It’s also a good way to keep your site organised and easy to navigate for users. This works for all types of websites regardless of their purpose or subject matter. Take this website, if people are looking for examples of our past work they know to check the Our Recent Work category which contains pages dedicated to past projects we have worked on.
Apart from structuring your site so that spiders can identify what your content is about it’s also important to make sure that there are no dead links in your pages, commonly referred to as spider traps. A spider finds pages on your website by following the links on your pages. This is why it’s important to link all your pages together in a way that makes sense to spiders. If any of your links lead to a page that no longer exists then the spider hits a dead end and has to go back to where the last good page was. Hit enough of these dead ends and the spider may give up stopping your entire website being properly indexed.
Finally, if your site is multi-lingual it’s important that your page code contains the correct hreflang tags in the header. This tells search engines that “this page is a direct translation of this page” which helps you display the correct language for users based on their browser language settings and location. This is especially important for SEO positioning in Mallorca as there is such a diverse range of nationalities you need to appeal to.
Quick Tips On Site Structure SEO
- Plan out your website structure on a piece of paper or whiteboard before building your site.
- Make sure you link between pages in a common sense way.
- Create a sitemap and make sure it’s uploaded to Google and Bing.
- Make sure your code contains hreflang tags for translated content.
The days of stacking your pages with keywords (keyword stuffing) are long gone and will get you penalised by Google in short order. In 2018, you need to research the keywords that you want to target and write informative content around the theme of those words and phrases.
It’s also important to look at the “long tail” phrases that are associated with your target keywords. Using tools such as MozTools and SEMRush are a good start as both offer excellent research capabilities for finding your niche keywords.
Once you’ve found a set of keywords you want to target for a page you can begin building that page and content structure. From your research you’ll know which words or phrases are searched for the most in your keyword set and these words need to be featured in order of importance in section headings and text.
Last but not least you need to make sure that the keywords you’re targeting correspond to that page only. If you have several pages targeting the same set of keywords you can end up with “keyword cannibalisation” (sounds ugly!). This is where you have several pages all targeting the same keywords so that Google doesn’t know which page to rank highest. The result? None of your pages rank high because you’re diluting the rank power amongst several pages rather than concentrating it on a specific one.
Just like your website structure your page content needs to be structured in a well thought out and straightforward way. Not only does this make it easier for the spiders to analyse it but it’s also easier to read for the visitor.
First, it goes without saying that pages need to be free from errors. Your page code can be checked easily using the W3C Markup Validation Service. Just paste your page URL in and it will check to see if your page has any HTML errors. If there are, fix them!
Next you want to be looking at how the page content flows. Are your most important keyword phrases contained at the start of the content? Do they show in the page title? Are they included in the URL? Is the content easy to read? Are you using rich media such as images and/or videos? Are you using Accelerated Mobile Pages? etc.
The most important tip we can give with content optimisation is “make it valuable”. In other words, is this something that people are going to want to read? Would you want to read it? If the answer is yes then your on to a winner. If the answer is no, revisit your content and see how you can improve it.
Do’s And Dont’s Of Content Optimisation
- Make it valuable. If you don’t want to read it, why will others?
- Don’t steal other peoples content. Google knows who was first and will penalise you for duplicate content.
- Use videos and images. It makes it more enjoyable for the reader.
- Put your main keywords in the title and, if possible, the URL.
One of the most important ranking factors for Google is site speed. They want your web page to show as quickly as possible for the user once they send someone your way. If your site is slow, not only are you frustrating users but you’re losing rankings to sites that are better optimised than yours.
Amateur designers frequently neglect this aspect of website development. They stack a site and pages full of heavy content such as full HD images, videos and tons of scripts then wonder why the page loads slow and it doesn’t rank too well. This is also a symptom of designers who don’t know how to code, they rely on plugins for systems such as WordPress and all these plugins contain their own scripts and files that slow down a website.
Google have provided a handy tool to check how it sees your web page’s performance. It’s called Page Insights and you just paste in your page URL and run it to see how it scores. This is a great way to check if your designer/developer knows what they’re doing. Google will also let you know what can be done to optimise the page if it’s performing badly. You should be aiming for a score of at least 85+ and ideally 95+. Most of the sites we build score a perfect 100/100.
Here at Harpers we optimise all of our clients site pages at server level using ngx_pagespeed, a handy web server plugin that lets us optimise images, minify files, prefetch scripts and other magic on the fly in milliseconds. The result is our websites are rated by Google, Pingdom and GTMetrix as in the top 1% in the world for speed.
Do’s And Dont’s Of Website Optimisation
- Don’t use plugins, code your own functionality. If your designer/developer can’t do this they’re an amateur playing at being a professional.
- Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) such as Cloudflare. Your visitors will thank you for the speed.
- Optimise images so they’re only as big as they need to be. You don’t need a 5000px x 5000px image for a mobile phone.
- Consider Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) for mobile pages.
Off-site SEO is the practice of generating interest in your site from external websites and having those sites link to your site or page from theirs. This is better known as “creating backlinks” or upgrading your “backlink profile”.
It’s also important to consider your social media channels and make sure that you’re generating interest on those platforms. It’s all taken into account by Google when working out where you sit in the internet ecosystem.
A link to your website is seen by search engines as a vote of confidence in your site. If the site linking to you is itself well regarded by Google then, consequently, that vote counts for more. Conversely, links to your site from spammy sites, link directories and other sites seen by Google as poor quality can harm your standing in the eyes of the search engines.
This is why you should never ever buy links. You know the ads, you’ve probably seen the freelance sites promising thousands of links for the price of a cup of coffee. Don’t be suckered in. These types of link generation techniques usually involve posting a link to your site on low grade web blogs, forums, directories and will do you no good at all.
We’ve had clients come to us after they tried this complaining that their links were, for example, in Chinese or were on Indian blog sites completely unrelated to their type of website. As a result of this technique you may get blacklisted from Google. Recovering a site from a blacklist tag is not easy and can sometimes take several months, we know of one that took over a year. Can you do without any traffic from Google for a year?
Google is clever. They know when links are organically generated for websites and when there has been manipulation. If you get caught the consequences could be business ending. So, if you value your search traffic and don’t want to see it terminated for an indefinite period. Don’t buy links.
Now that we’ve sufficiently warned you of what could happen if you’re a naughty site owner here’s a list of do’s and dont’s for link creation…
Do’s and Dont’s of Backlink Creation
- Don’t buy links from freelancer sites (fiverr etc). They’re worthless and your site could be blacklisted. Permanently.
- Do reach out to other sites in your niche and negotiate link exchanges.
- Do check your competitors for broken links. Maybe the third party wants to link to you instead now?
- Don’t accept links to your site from sidebars, footers etc. You want them from the main content.
- Do check the domain authority, Trust Ratio and Citation Ratio of potential sites that will link to you.
- Do contact online blogs and press for your niche. Can you write an article for them in return for a link to your site?
- Did we mention don’t buy links?
In Google’s ideal world a site that is producing quality content will organically be linked to by other websites as they themselves want to share with their users what they have found. The reality is that this can take a very long time. Why not give your site a push so that other websites know about your great content?
So, reach out to likeminded sites in your niche. Tell them about what you have to offer. If they’re an influencer or a blog see if you can write an article for them in return for allowing a link in your article to your site. Backlink creation is a lot about networking with other sites and influencers in your niche.
Woohoo! I’ll get links from social media and be sorted!
Not so fast. You’re thinking, I’ll get all my friends on Twitter and Facebook to post links to my site. Great but don’t expect that to carry the same weight that links from other sites do. Virtually all social media sites nowadays mark their outbound links as “nofollow” which tells a search engine that the link carries with it no endorsement from the site that is sending it. So, no link juice flows from Facebook et al for you my friend.
All that being said, social media platforms do have some use…
Social Media Signals
Although links from social media sites don’t carry “link juice” in the traditional sense there is evidence they’re being used more and more nowadays as important ranking signals. It’s more important than ever to look at your surrounding social media platforms.
Think of your website as the centre of the universe with your social media platforms as surrounding planets. The more people who choose to live on the planets (join your groups/pages) the more important your universe as a whole will seem to the search engines.
At the very least nowadays businesses need to have Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn accounts. YouTube if appropriate to your content. You need to be posting to these accounts regularly (like several times a week minimum) and you need to be trying to grow your respective user base on each of these platforms.
You guessed it. The more people who are members of your groups or who follow you the more recognition the search engines will give the centre of that universe – your website. But only if you’ve been a good little SEO guru and connected all your accounts so that it’s clear your website is the one common denominator!
Targeting Your Local SEO For Mallorca
As SEO consultants in Mallorca this is a common request for us. We’ve left this section to last for a reason and that’s because if you’ve followed all our advice above then you’ve already helped your local SEO. That being said, there are a few things you need to do specifically when targeting your local SEO ranking.
First of all, register your business online with Google Business and set the business page up. Make the page look good with your company logo, contact details, hours, photos and of course your address.
Google will then send a card out to your address in Mallorca which you can then use to verify your business. This is known as claiming your business location and gives you that nice little advert at the top of search results or on the right of them.
Next, ask your existing customers if they wouldn’t mind posting a review on Google of your business and their experience. It goes without saying, the more reviews you have with higher rating the more reliable you’ll seem to potential clients.
Third, register on the local (good quality) Mallorca business directories. Definitely get on Yelp (and set up a page like you did with Google Business). For those directories that allow it, ask your customer base to post reviews. If you’re a tourist related service or venue, get on Trip Advisor and get reviewed there as well.
Last, reach out to other local well regarded websites to see if they’ll link to you. If there’s a cluster of links to you from other local Mallorca websites then Google will rank you higher when users specifically search for your business type in your area.
SEO Questions We Get Asked A lot
As Mallorca SEO, and SEO in general, is a complicated subject we often get asked a lot of questions by our clients. This is only natural because of all the different parts you need to consider. It’s a lot of information to digest for a newcomer to SEO! To help, here are answers to some of the more common questions we get asked…
How Long Does SEO in Mallorca Take?
It depends on the competitiveness of your business sector or market. As a general rule we advise clients that the initial campaign should run for six months. Good SEO takes time to get results and the time it takes is largely down to Google and friends. When they feel like taking notice of your changes and campaign they will.
If you’re in a highly competitive sector, for example the real estate market, then plan for at least a six month campaign. If your business is more niche with less competition you could see results a lot quicker.
Obviously there are things that can be done to maximise the chances of quicker results but there’s no guarantee. Anyone who promises to rank you quickly is going to be using dodgy black hat techniques that could get you penalised. Avoid these types of “consultants” at all costs!
Also keep in mind that Google puts new domains and sites in its “sandbox” for a couple of months (give or take). In these circumstances you’re unlikely to break page one until Google feels you’ve proved your worth and let you out of the sandbox. How do you do that? By doing all the above and being patient.
How Much Does SEO Cost?
Again it depends on the competitiveness of your market and the man hours needed to challenge in that sector. If it’s highly competitive it costs more, if not it costs less.
When a client first contacts us for SEO we provide a free analysis of their current position compared to their competitors. We provide a report on what needs to be done to compete aggressively and win. It’s only after we’ve conducted an analysis of your current rankings that we can know how much time we need to dedicate to help you succeed.
So, bottom line is we can provide a free quote after we analyse your site. Until that time we’d be plucking figures out of the air and we don’t work like that. If you would like a free consultation please get in touch and we’ll get right on it.
How Will I Monitor Our SEO Positioning and Progress?
We provide client reports at the end of each month which show you what progress has been made, what your rankings are, what your traffic is and lots of other goodies. Each section comes with a graph for ease of reference.
How Do I Know If It’s Worth Doing?
Most businesses that invest in SEO see long term benefits to their bottom line. The key is patience because SEO can take months to start achieving results. All good things come to those who wait!
Th-That’s All Folks!
We hope you found this article useful in some way. If you have any questions or would like us to take a look at your project and provide a free consultation please get in touch. We’re ready to help you get ranked!
Now I get It!
Always was mystified by what SEO is and how it works but this article really helped me get it. Many thanks!MarkFanciano
Muy útil. Gracias por el tiempo que está poniendo esto juntos.Alejandro