What is SEO? – the basics
The problem is certainly known to many smaller companies. They have had a website built – possibly for a lot of money – it looks great, but unfortunately they have no visitors. Search engine optimization (SEO for short) helps your website to be found better in search engines such as Google Bing and Co.
For this, measures must be taken to be as high as possible in the organic (unpaid) search. Think about the last time you went to the second page of a Google search to get more search results.
As a rule, only the first six entries will be relevant for users. This is precisely why it is important to be one of the first to be placed in order to be the best possible result for those searching.
When you talk about SEO , you move on three levels that correlate with each other: Strategic, operational and tactical SEO .
The strategic level is already strongly related to the corporate strategy:
- Who are my target groups?
- Where are they different or where are they the same?
- Use analytics to find out who you’re working with so you can provide the best answer to the problem and how. How do you present people with what they are looking for?
- How do you present this so that users can find it in the best possible way?
On a tactical level , on the other hand, the content of the websites is optimized and technical improvements are made, for example to improve the crawler or indexing.
Operational SEO is divided into three parts:
- OnPage SEO : This part refers to technical, content and structural adjustments to the website.
- OffPage SEO : This part deals with so-called external factors. This involves third-party sites, but also mentions of a brand or product from other sites.
- Technical SEO : The last part is based on the technical requirements of the website and goes from the information architecture to the communication between the web server and the crawler (search engine bot).
Why is SEO important?
On the one hand, Google and search engines in general are the most important channels for generating new customers. On the other hand, users who come from search engines have explicitly searched for a solution to their problem.
This means that these users are much more likely to convert than users who landed on the website through other means.
In addition, new customers can be won via generic keywords. This means that customers will also become aware of your website with less specific keywords.
What do you want to achieve with SEO?
Every marketing needs clear goals. Compared to classic marketing, online marketing is measurable. You need an overview to know what to measure. The numbers provided by a website are often very extensive, which is why it is difficult for young entrepreneurs in particular to define which values are relevant for their website.
It is important to mention that SEO is just one of many other online marketing channels. SEO is suitable when you want to reach the visitor with a clear intention at the right moment.
Now let’s get down to the specific goals. The primary goal is to be visible at the top of the search engine. If you only find the company on the back pages, it is virtually invisible to companies. The website is then gradually brought forward in the Google search with SEO measures in order to generate more clicks.
What previously applied to you as a latent company should, of course, apply to your competitors in the future. While you slowly but surely get the top spots in the rankings, the competition will fall behind. What potential customers don’t see, of course, they don’t click on.
What role do competitors play and how can I analyze them?
Competitors are the websites of companies in the same professional field as you. Maybe they already have a little more experience or decided to do SEO early on. Often this means their website is ranked higher in the search engines. In this case, you can learn a lot from the competition.
For example, how did they build the site or how did they optimize their content over time. A keyword analysis can be used to find out which search terms your competitor can be found with.
You can find out how high their visitor numbers are and compare them with the others – are you closing in or are your competitors becoming more popular? Which Google AdWords budget does the competitor use? Where did the competitor get their backlinks from, how did they manage to get linked from big websites? Do they use social media more successfully than their site?
What is the goal of SEO?
The intention is that more “qualified” visitors will come to your website. They have a clear idea of what they want to find on your site and are therefore most likely to achieve the goal. The more the website is optimized for relevant keywords , the better visitors and search engines can be convinced.
For this very reason, it is important to analyze the search behavior of users in order to be found in the search engine with as many relevant keywords as possible. It is suggested to the user that you are the leader in your field and shows Google that you are the best solution for the respective keyword .
The result: The search engine places your website among the top places .
If you now think that it would only depend on the placement in the search engine, you are unfortunately wrong, being at the top is not everything. The bottom line is that your website should rank well in the search engines for relevant search terms with pages aligned with the search intent.
How does the search engine decide which website is placed where?
An algorithm with over 200 ranking factors determines where your page is positioned. Four of these factors are discussed in more detail below:
- Website content : Does the quality of the website stand out compared to your competitors? Do they offer content and information that cannot be found elsewhere?
- Structure of the website: Does the site have a structured, clear and logical structure? Do you get along well?
- User signals: Google recognizes whether website users are satisfied or dissatisfied. For example, it is rated as negative if the user changes the page quickly after opening it because he immediately sees that he does not like the structure.
- Mobile Friendly: Is the website mobile-friendly? Can you open everything when you visit them on your smartphone or tablet? Does it take a long time to load?
What exactly is done with SEO now?
The following points only roughly summarize a few tasks and in no way reflect what is possible.
- Keyword analysis: In this step, search terms that could be used to access the website to be optimized are analyzed. There are certain keyword tools that evaluate the terms that have been developed. For example, the search volume is analyzed. How many users enter this keyword ? Or which click price has to be paid for which search terms? Another metric would be searcher intent. Does he just want to find out more or does he actually intend to buy something, does he have a transactional intention? Finally, you can of course see how the competition is going. What keywords are used on competitor websites?
- Visibility: This checks whether the number of visitors to the website has changed. Will it be drastically more or less? Can one discover patterns when or where there are many or fewer? How is the site developing? Do other measures need to be taken? There is also a visibility index which analyzes the visibility of a website in the Google ranking based on keywords.
- Position/Ranking: Position refers to where the website appears in search engines. Many entries on the back pages have little success because they are hardly ever accessed. On the other hand, you achieve a higher success if you have fewer entries, but these are placed in the first positions.
- Click-through rate: The position of the website is obviously important for inspiration, but the significant part is whether the searcher ultimately clicks on the page. With the help of Google Analytics or Google Search Console, numbers are retrieved from which the behavior of the site and future developments can be read. You always have to keep an eye on the Click Through Rate (CTR). This shows the relationship between impressions of the website and actual clicks.
- Visitor Behavior: Clicks are worthless if the searcher doesn’t find what they want on the site and bounces off the page. Among other things, the length of stay on the page, the click depth (do I click on different things on the website) and the conversion rate are analyzed.
- Achievement of goals: All work was in vain if the defined goal was not achieved. A goal can be, for example, the purchase of products, the registration for a newsletter or the participation in a survey. At the end of the day, the most important thing is the conversion rate. This shows the relationship between the clicks on the website and the conversions.
Getting started with SEO: how do I start?
At the beginning of the optimization it is worth looking at what pages (independent URLs) are available. This varies greatly depending on the page size, the larger the page, the faster you lose track. Tools like the Screaming Frog SEO Spider help to analyze the site by crawling the site and spitting out an overview of all URLs, meta descriptions and headings.
In order for optimization measures to take effect at all, the technical foundations of the site must be in place. The basics are the following:
Are Robots.txt and the Robots meta tags ready to be used to properly guide crawling and indexing?
Are the pages on https? Google attaches great importance to security, which is why the HTTPS standard should be used as the hypertext transmission protocol.
Fast loading speed ensures high customer satisfaction. This can be measured using Google’s “PageSpeedInsights” tool. Long loading times can affect the Google ranking.
After analyzing the page, the on-page optimization can be started, which affects all content-related measures on the pages, as mentioned above. Then one refers to the off-page optimizations, interventions that do not take place directly on the page.
What is SEO? – Our conclusion!
There is not only one perfect way to optimize a website with Seo . As a business, why should you do SEO now ? Many combined criteria and measures increase the click and conversion rate.
With SEO, costs can be reduced in the long term. Compared to some other online marketing measures, it is not perceived as advertising. In addition, it increases brand awareness. It should be noted that SEO alone does not help much.
If all measures are taken but the website does not meet the expected clarity or the page takes a minute to load completely, the user will immediately back off and try to avoid you in the future. If everything is done correctly, you as an entrepreneur and operator of the website can expect a strong increase in sales.
Do you need support in implementing your SEO measures? Contact us without obligation in an initial meeting. Saphirsolution, as an SEO agency, also puts your website in the fast lane.