Search engine optimisation, or SEO for short, refers to all measures to increase the visibility of a website and thus also increase the quality and quantity of organic traffic. SEO aims to ensure that a website is found quickly and easily in search engines by the right target group. The better a page is optimised, the higher its visibility, i.e. the higher it can be found in the search results for important search terms.
The goal of search engine optimisation is to reach the top of the Search Engine Result Pages (SERP) as far as possible. Ten organic (i.e. unpaid) results are displayed per page for each search query. A top-10 placement, the display of one's own website on the first page, is the minimum goal.
Several statistics and studies have looked at the actual relevance of the positionings. Even if the results do not reflect the actual reality, due to regional differences, various end devices, time factors, etc., they still give a very good overview.
In a Sistrix study from 2015, about 124 million queries in Google search were examined for click probability. The analysis was limited to the first eleven search results. The results speak for themselves.
While the click probability in the first position is still 60%, it is only a quarter of that in position 2. Conversely, however, this also means that even the first position is not clicked by a large number, 40%.
In a more recent study, conducted by the Internet Marketing Ninjas in the USA, the actual click-through rate, i.e. the ratio of impressions and actual clicks, was compared.
(Source: Internet Marketing Ninjas)
Accordingly, the search results on position 1 achieve a CTR of 21% on average. This means that 2 out of 10 people who see the result for their search query also click on it. As a KPI in marketing, this is an extremely high value.
The SEO optimisation of your WEBSITE is therefore a very important factor for the success of your business. However, it is not enough to optimise a website without focusing on the target group. Your website should be adapted exactly to the needs of the users that it can meet. So the website does not have to reach as many people as possible, but the right people. This can be achieved through several measures that can be roughly divided into two areas.
Technical measures are aimed exclusively at the technical infrastructure of the site. It is about how quickly the content reaches the viewer and whether there are possible obstacles in the delivery.
"Crawl Error" means Google has problems identifying a specific page on your website. Possibly an internal link does not work properly or the page is even excluded from crawling, e.g. by a noindex tag. If a page cannot be crawled, i.e. cannot be examined by the search engine bot for its content, this is usually considered a page fault. You can easily identify your website for crawl errors via the Google Search Console in the subcategory "Coverage".
To achieve the highest possible ranking, you should ensure that the loading time of your website is as short as possible. You can check the loading time of your website with the help of Page Speed Insights. A high page speed guarantees the fast provision of all important content and ensures positive feedback from viewers and crawlers.
You can save time by taking the following measures, for example:
Since 2014, the distinction "https" has been a ranking factor. Responsible for this are the so-called SSL certificates, which define the conditions between browser and server similar to a contract. They regulate the authentication of the communication partners and a confidential end-to-end data transmission. In addition, they ensure the integrity of the transmitted data. This year, Google Chrome will begin the complete conversion to https. So make sure you build your website on the https communication protocol. After all, you don't want to risk users receiving a security warning in the future before they reach your website.
Google rates usability on mobile devices. Websites that are not optimised for mobile devices are ranked lower in mobile search. So you should make sure to optimise your website for mobile devices. Of course, it also makes sense to make your website tablet-friendly. Depending on the industry, most accesses are already made via mobile devices.
The internet is designed for cooperation. The better a website interacts internally or with relevant other websites, the higher the return for each website involved. Broken internal or external links have a negative impact on link juice, i.e. the power and relevance of the individual links. For real visitors, it is also very disappointing to land on a 404 page due to a broken link. Websites with many broken links are accordingly ranked worse.
Duplicate content on a page causes search engines to want to index both pages and thus they are in direct competition with each other. Duplicate content occurs, for example, when a website is accessible both with a subdomain and without a subdomain - HTTPS://WWW.DGTLS.COM/DE und HTTPS://DGTLS.COM/DE. To avoid double indexing, canonical tags must be included. These tags show the crawlers which page is the original page and which is the copied page. The crawler then recognises which page can be indexed and which can be ignored. This way, both pages do not compete for the same keyword, and the visibility of the page increases.
The hreflang language references function similarly to Canonical tags. Here, too, special information is provided for visitors and crawlers. However, this is not duplicate content, but pages in different languages. Via hreflang, it can be displayed on each page where the corresponding page can be found in another language. This makes it possible, for example, to immediately show visitors from certain regions the page in the correct language version. Hreflang tags are therefore indispensable for multilanguage pages.
Meta data are small tables of contents that provide search engines and website users with relevant information about the content of individual pages. In addition to the title tag and meta description displayed in the search results, information such as "noindex" and "nofollow" as well as the hreflang tags are also part of the meta data. Noindex and nofollow tell crawlers whether the corresponding page may be indexed for search engines and whether the crawler may continue to follow the links on this page. The more clearly and informatively the metadata is maintained, the easier it is for crawlers to identify the content of the page. However, if the metadata is insufficiently maintained, so that crawlers can no longer proceed, for example, this has an extremely negative effect on the page visibility.
The URL also plays an important part in search engine optimisation - in both a positive and negative sense. The first important step is to decide on the right domain. Users tend to trust a ".com" domain more than, for example, ".pro", ".biz" or ".tel". A higher trust also has a positive effect on visibility.
In addition, the URL should be readable. If users cannot read or understand your URL, neither can machines. Make sure that your URL is 100% readable. Search engines can then understand the content of the page and link it to your target market. Avoid any parameters or overly long URLs. A URL also benefits from clear content definition.
Content measures refer to the optimisation of all content elements of a website. Here, the focus is primarily on text optimisation.
The top priority of any website must be to provide the target group with exactly the information they want, as quickly as possible. The better this is achieved, the more relevant the page is and the higher the visibility at the same time!
To do this, it is necessary to recognise questions and problems of the target group and to provide the appropriate answers. The more detailed the answers address the respective problem, the higher the benefit for the visitors. A pleasant and structured visual presentation facilitates the absorption of the information and contributes to a positive feeling.
A detailed keyword research helps with the structure and optimisation of detail pages. It is important to recognise how often people search for which terms. This is the only way to get an overview of relevant search terms for which the page content must be optimised. Through the more frequent use of the language modules of smartphones, the search is slowly but surely becoming more verbal. So search terms no longer consist only of individual keywords, but key phrases. Instead of "Best beer garden Munich", terms such as "Where is the best beer garden in Munich" are also becoming more relevant.
Identify important terms in advance and optimise your pages for them. This will save you a lot of work in the long run. Content really has to be written for users, not just on strings that a user might be looking for. So you should focus on how your users talk about questions, problems and wishes (for each individual product).
Headings not only structure the text, but are also very important for the placement of individual keywords. It is important to distinguish between main and secondary headings. Main headings are called H1. They are placed at the beginning of the page and set the theme for the whole page. An H1 may only appear once per page. Within the text, individual sections can be structured by further subheadings. These are referred to hierarchically as H2 - H4 (H5, H6, etc.). Theoretically, this could go on forever, but practically it makes no sense. Subheadings are excellent for placing additional keywords or positioning long term keywords in question form on the page. So a page could have the heading "Beer Garden in Munich" and use the previously described formulation ("Where is the best beer garden in Munich") as a subheading. It is important that the headings optimally describe the subsequent content.
What counts for websites is in detail what counts for the entire internet. Those who are networked win. Whoever is blocked loses. A good internal link structure is therefore extremely important for navigation, usability and added value. The better the internal links are set, the easier it is for website visitors to move through the page and receive exactly the information they are looking for. If a page does not have further links, visitors will not move on but have to navigate back. From a usability perspective, the potential here is extremely wasted. The simpler the navigation, the more relevant the individual pages are and the higher the visibility.
Search engine optimisation is a real challenge, both from a technical point of view and in terms of content. A site that is optimised both technically and in terms of content has a clear advantage over the competition. If the page manages to carry the right information quickly and directly to the target group, the page is extremely relevant for the target group. The more relevant a page, the higher its visibility in the search results. The higher the visibility, the greater the likelihood that neutral users will click on your page instead of the competition's.
Search engine optimisation will always remain relevant - only some methods change.
As a digital agency, we are happy to help you with questions about SEO!