Search engine optimization – SEO for short – is an important part of online marketing – because it ensures that your website is found by search engines like Google. The further up you appear in the search results, the better your chances of attracting more potential customers to your site. However, SEO takes time and a good strategy.
We will show you what is important when it comes to search engine optimization and which measures you can take immediately.
Onpage and Offpage Optimization: What’s the Difference?
Google does not reveal in detail what criteria it uses to decide exactly where a website is positioned in the search results. One thing is clear, however: there are more than 200 ranking factors that interlock in the complex system of search engine optimization . The SEO methods that are derived from this are divided into on- page and off-page optimization .
On-page SEO includes all optimizations that are made on the website itself . This includes content-related and technical aspects, such as the production of high-quality content or the optimization of the website for mobile devices.
Offpage SEO is all about improving the reputation of your websites. The main discipline in this area is building valuable so-called backlinks . These are links that refer to your content from other pages. If well-known, trustworthy websites link to you with suitable topics, this can have a positive effect on your ranking.
What does search engine optimization cost?
The financial costs for search engine optimization can hardly be clearly quantified. If you want to commission an agency or a sole proprietorship with SEO, the prices vary from provider to provider. If you wanted to take the optimization to the extreme, you could even employ an entire marketing department .
If, on the other hand, you want to tackle the search engine optimization of your site yourself, it will cost you time, patience and perseverance. Unfortunately, SEO isn’t something that works overnight. It usually takes four to twelve months before specific improvements can be observed on Google after changes.
Plus, you’re never done with search engine optimization . You should constantly deliver and optimize new content and of course keep an eye on changes to the Google algorithm . Because SEO is an ongoing process: as soon as you don’t put any more effort into it, other websites can overtake you.
Basic SEO Measures to Get Started
There were times when Google was relatively easy to manipulate. They are over. Google prefers sites that are authentic, trustworthy and give users exactly what they were looking for. Therefore, many ranking factors are geared towards the user experience .
Here are seven ways you can get started with search engine optimization :
1) Set up SSL encryption
An SSL certificate is an absolute must. It makes your website safe. It can be recognized by the small green padlock at the beginning of the browser line and by the URL starting with “https” instead of “http”.
If you have not integrated an SSL certificate, visitors will receive a message in a prominent place that your website is not secure. That literally calls for you to leave the site again. The result is a high bounce rate or, under certain circumstances, a high return-to-SERP rate , insofar as users return to the SERPs (search results pages) after the short visit .
Sends the signal to Google that the users on your site did not find what they were looking for – which will most likely result in a deteriorated ranking for you .
2) Optimize loading speed
Nobody likes slow websites. If your page doesn’t load fast enough, you could lose users. In the best case scenario, your website will be up and running in less than three seconds .
3) Optimization for mobile devices
Your customers are no longer just on the Internet from their computer. No, they also want to be able to surf the web quickly and easily using their mobile phone or tablet. Google also knows this and has been penalizing sites that are not optimized for mobile devices since the “ Mobilegeddon ” update .
Therefore, use a responsive design for your website. The presentation of your content then automatically adapts to the respective end device and looks equally convincing on any screen size.
4) Find suitable keywords
Keywords are search terms that Google users enter in the search bar. If you know what your customers are looking and incorporate these keywords in your articles, Google can better understand your site for the chosen topic relevant and they continue forward view corresponding to the search results.
You can choose from countless paid and free tools for researching suitable keywords . Ubersuggest , for example, is suitable for getting started .
Ideally, the search volume for a good keyword is high, but the competitive value is low. The latter shows how competitive the term is in the search. As soon as you have found a suitable keyword, you can write it in the page title, the headings and of course in the main text, among other things. But don’t overdo it! Beware of keyword stuffing because your text should always be easy to read. You can do it more effectively when you do your keyword researchincorporate into an overarching SEO strategy .
5) Produce helpful content
You can achieve a good ranking with useful , unique content. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes:
What problems are driving them?
What do you need?
Then deliver content that answers your customers’ search queries as precisely as possible. High-quality, SEO-optimized content provides added value, is well structured with headings, paragraphs and lists , easy to read, enhanced with images, graphics and videos and, of course, free of spelling and grammatical errors. Also, be sure to eliminate duplicate content .
6) Use metadata
The metadata consists of a title, a URL and a description . They show up in search results and have a huge impact on whether or not customers click the link to your website.
Tell users and search engines in the title what topic your page is about. In the description you can outline the content briefly and succinctly .
The URL should also be clearly legible: Avoid gibbering numbers and letters and choose one to three keywords instead . You can also include your keywords in all areas of the metadata .
7) link building
Your goal in link building should be that trustworthy , quality and thematically appropriate to your business sites link to your pages.
There are several ways to do this. For example, you can start by connecting with bloggers in your niche. And of course you should convince yourself with outstanding content that invites you to link. In any case, refrain from buying backlinks . Google could then penalize your website.
Search engine optimization makes you more visible step by step: Optimizing your website is a form of online marketing that can be very useful to you in the long term. It can take several weeks or even months to show results, but then your website can be found more easily by interested parties over the long term. A thorough SEO check at regular intervals can also provide you with important insights.