We know, you know, everyone knows: SEO is important! But how exactly does search engine optimization work?
Search engine marketing is divided into two branches. On the one hand search engine advertising (SEA) and search engine optimization (SEO). While search engine advertising focuses on placing ads to generate traffic, search engine optimization is about getting users to your website through a better ranking.
What is SEO?
SEO – “Search engine optimization” stands for search engine optimization. Roughly speaking, it’s about designing your website so that search engines can find it easily.
The search engine should not only find them, but also find them really good. Because then she will suggest your website to users. The search engine is like a best friend that users trust. In order not to lose this trust, the search engine ensures that only websites that meet certain expectations are ranked particularly high. So you need to understand what your audience is looking for, what words they are using, and what content they want to see.
What is special about SEO
Take Google as an example. If we as users found that Google did not answer our search query satisfactorily, then we no longer want to use Google and switch to other search engines. Therefore, Google has developed its own criteria to ensure that the user is only shown websites in the search results that are relevant.
Google works with an algorithm to which changes are made on a daily basis. Most of these changes are small and have no noticeable impact on your SEO. A few times a year, however, there are also major updates that have had a significant impact on the algorithm, such as panda and penguin.
The goal for sustainable SEO is to recognize how search engines work exactly and to understand their language. Then all you have to do is translate your website into the language of the search engine.
How does SEO work?
Search engines are nothing more than a large database. Crawlers or the bot “rummage” through various websites.
Every website has a crawling budget that has to be distributed across all subpages. Then the search engine indexes your website and feeds its database with the URLs. In the last step, the user enters a search query and the search engine ranks the answers according to the search intention.
How does the search engine know which websites are relevant?
The search engine is based on the basic pillars: competence, relevance and trust. I.e. if you want to know how the human heart works you are more likely to ask a cardiologist than a car mechanic → competence. The information you then get must be relevant. So you don’t want to hear from the cardiologist how he cooks coq au vin. → Finally you should be able to believe the source → 3. Trust.
So that you convey competence, relevance and trust with your website, it is important to dedicate yourself to the topics of on-page and off-page optimization. OnPage is what can be changed and optimized on your website. OffPage is that which can be changed and optimized by external factors. Still need help optimizing your website, but can’t estimate the cost? Here comes help:
What is OnPage Optimization?
This part of SEO improves your ranking within the search engines through technical, content and structural adjustments on your website. This makes it easier for the search engine to crawl and index your website and it becomes easier for your customers to find, use and read. The aim is to answer your customers’ search query, to have short loading times, good content and meaningful navigation on your website.
The technical optimization of your website ensures that the search engine can crawl your website better. This includes everything that makes the nerd’s heart beat faster: source code optimizations, programming languages, markup languages, internal link structure, page structure …
It is important that your technical SEO is good, otherwise it will be of little use if you optimize your content. If, while crawling, the search engine finds that it cannot read and process your content, it will not be indexed.
Good content is important for two reasons. On the one hand, search engines recognize stolen text or text that contains no information but only keywords – this has a negative impact on your SEO. Your goal should be to create content that is 10 times better than that of your competitors. If you want to know what is important, take a look at our blog article “ What is 10x content? ” on.
Another reason is that you want to keep your customers on your website. The perfect content picks up your visitors, answers their questions, informs them, guides them skillfully through your site and automatically improves your ranking with relevant information.
The more comfortable the customer feels on your website, the longer they stay. Everyone feels “comfortable” differently, but the main thing is that you arouse behaviors and feelings. Because the feeling that your customer has on your website is transferred to your product.
Imagine you need apples and you go to the supermarket. The apples are at the back and it takes you an eternity from the entrance to the apple shelf. The supermarket is not only poorly lit, but also cold and there are three villains at the door.
This is an example of a bad user experience. For a good user experience, it is important to know who your customers are and what they are looking for on your site. But there are also factors that are generally the same for all websites. These include: short loading times, an attractive design, an SSL connection and fast routes.
Also note that a large number of users are sitting on mobile devices rather than desktops. Your website should be optimized for mobile devices accordingly, if not, this will have a negative effect on the user experience. You can find more information about the user experience here .
The right keywords will help you drive users to your website through their search query. Your goal is to use keywords that are used frequently in searches but face little competition. In the past, the more a keyword was used, the higher the website ranked. Unfortunately, this also resulted in a better ranking of websites that met the keyword density, but unfortunately failed in terms of information density.
Natural Language Processing
In order to satisfy the search query better and faster, Google implemented “NLP – Natural Language Processing”. NLP works with whole keyword chains and tries to capture and process human language.
Master Search Intent
You know the keywords that are important to you. Now comes the next step. Every keyword has an intention. Either your customers want information about a process, something to buy or e.g. B. Compare two things. Understand the intent with which your audience is using the keywords you want to rank for. Why? Google recognizes which websites are clicked on most frequently for which keywords and ranks them according to the websites that best satisfy the search query.
What is OffPage Optimization?
Mama always taught us not to listen to the others, but for once it’s different here. OnPage optimization is mainly about: “What do the others think?” Who are the others The others are: other websites that share your links or, for example, reviews that you get.
Link building consists of different parts.
- Links that link to yours from external websites (backlinks)
- Links on your website, on subpages of your website
- Links that you link from your website to external websites
Links that link to yours from external websites (backlinks):
Links that link to yours from external websites signal the search engine that your website is competent, as it provides knowledge that is of interest to others. You will remember that when competence, relevance and authority come together, your rankings improve.
How do you get these links? Sure, you can earn it through content. Your content is so good that others want to share or quote it. But you can also buy them. Some turn up their noses here, but in fact many guest article places and thus links are bought. What doesn’t work anymore is buying a bunch of bad links for a little money. Because search engines are clever and recognize that. Whoever decides should pay attention to quality. Websites that meet the criteria of expertise, competence, and trust are the ones you want to be linked from.
Links of your website, on sub-pages of your website:
Just like external links signal to search engines that the content on your website is relevant, so do internal links. At the same time, you can also improve the user experience with a good internal link structure.
Links that you link from your website to external websites:
With links that lead from your website to another you can help your customers to get more information about your product or your services. You might also write a blog about Southeast Asia and link hotels or travel agencies in your articles. These links will help you to improve the user experience.
Will the other websites then get the credit and possibly be ranked higher?
Since you can specifically choose which page you link to, the focus is on helping the search engine or bot to recognize what your website is about and which topic it fits. It signals to the search engine that your website is competent, which is important for good search engine optimization.
For the search engine voting system, you should have a good mix of all links. Only external links bring you just as little further as only outgoing links.
What’s coming in 2020
In the meantime, search engines are more like answer engines, because it is more and more about answering the user intent even faster and better.
Zero click search
Google developed the Zero Click Search. This means that immediately after entering the search field, the result appears for the user in the 1st position. They no longer have to click on a website to get the information they want. It is a great advantage for the searcher, because no sooner has the search term been entered than the result is already there. In September 2019 alone, that accounted for 56.10% of searches on mobile devices.
Now it is time for companies to find a way to benefit from Zero Click Search. For this it is always important to create content that draws attention and leads the user to click on your website.
“Google….?” “Siri … ..?” “Alexa, …?” Voice search is spreading more and more and does the last remaining “work” for users – typing the question into the search engine.
When optimizing your website for search engines, you should consider how users will search in the future. In the background of your website, you can mark which areas are of interest for voice search. This is how the search engine recognizes what needs to be highlighted. Your FAQs are also helpful for the search engine, as they give faster answers to user intentions through W-questions.
Longtail keywords, mobile device adaptability and the speed of your website are also important for voice search, but you should already have adjusted these factors for text search.
What changes were there in 2019?
Another change came with the Medic Update. Or your money your life. Medic stems from the fact that many websites with a medical background were affected by strong fluctuations. Not only was the Google algorithm at work here, but the Google guidelines were also checked. This includes B. OnPage what does the website structure look like or does the content represent competence? OffPage were z. B. Reviews checked.
Keywords & link building
We already mentioned that what will definitely no longer work in 2020 is buying a bunch of bad links and thus achieving a better ranking. The times are over. Likewise the time in which you only searched for a few keywords, stuffed the text with them and was successful. The user comes first and does not want bad links or texts that contain keywords but no information.
For a successful search engine optimization, different components have to work as a cog. Do you care B. only about link building and neglecting content you will not get any further. If you focus on the technology in the background, but the user experience is wrong, that won’t help you either. You need one thing above all:
Teamwork! Good search engine optimization is only possible if all involved SEO managers, UX / UI designers work together on a strategy.