SEO - rank #1 in Google
in a few steps
Search engine optimization has become an indispensable part of today's digital marketing world. Use our guide to improve your SEO step by step and generate more traffic to your website.
It can be very frustrating. You have finally finished and published your website after countless hours. But then you can hardly find your site in Google, and you can't even think about the organic traffic you've been dreaming of. There you ask yourself, "What did I do wrong?" or "How do I get on the first page in Google?". In the following, we would like to give you a step-by-step guide to these questions and explain what you have to pay attention to in order to get more attention from the search engine.
Search engine optimization (SEO) has become an indispensable part of today's digital marketing world. With the help of SEO you can get a lot of organic, i.e. unpaid, traffic for your website. The attention of potential customers without having to pay for advertising or anything else. It is clear that SEO is on everyone's lips at a time when even the café next door maintains its own web presence. Defining a clear goal is easy: You want to climb the ladder of search results - preferably into the top 10 or even the top 5, because only 14% of Google users look beyond page 1. To help you achieve this goal, we have put together a guide for SEO below.
First of all, the ranking factors can be roughly divided into three groups. The first and most important ranking factor is the content of your page. Here it is essential to determine whether it offers your target group an added value. In addition, there is the on-page optimization, which can be implemented with relatively little effort. Finally, there are off-page measures, which are somewhat more difficult to influence.
Content & Keywords
On-page measures: Meta information, Page quality, Page structure, Linking, Performance
Off-page measures: Backlinks, Distribution in social media, Click Rate, Time On Page
As already mentioned, the decisive factor for a good ranking position is the quality of the content. How the content is received is of course a purely subjective decision of the user. Therefore, it is first important to establish a clear definition of its target audience. Once this has been done, you have to ask yourself how you can offer this target group real added value. If so, the chances are good that users will stay longer on the page and recommend the website to others, which is also rewarded by Google. To do this, you can look for problems of the target group and offer a solution for them in your content. In addition, it is crucial to meet the needs of the target group by using appropriate language and format. For example, users often prefer to use a short, comprehensible video to obtain information, rather than a long text. Of course, which format is best depends entirely on the chosen content and the specific target audience.
"What are my potential customers typing into Google?" - this is exactly the basic idea for successful keyword management. Here, you should decide on one main keyword, but it is important not to focus only on this keyword, but to include several keywords that are also relevant in the content.
Keywords can be divided into long-tail and short-tail keywords. Short-tail keywords are short phrases such as "buy laptop" or "photography". While these have a high search volume, they also have a lot of competition. Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific search queries such as "buy laptop graphics card used" or "light settings for outdoor photography". While these have lower traffic to show for it, they are associated with less competition. Another advantage of long-tail keywords is that users have a higher propensity to interact, as they already know exactly what they are looking for. This reduces wastage. Especially for the beginning, we recommend choosing keywords with a search volume of less than 1000 views per month.
To find out the really relevant phrases, there are a lot of tools available. We would like to introduce you to a few useful tools that, in our opinion, can help you find the right keywords.
With Google Trends, you can see how popular a keyword is in your country at the moment. However, Google only displays the values relatively, you only get the course of the popularity of the keyword on a scale from 0 to 100 and not the exact number of search queries.
Google Ads Keyword Planner
The Google Keyword Planner is actually aimed at users of Google Ads, but you can also use it for your keywords to determine the search volumes. The only drawback: since August 2018, only the rough ranges (1-100, 100-1000, ...) are displayed for customers who do not have a certain advertising budget.
Answer the public
Answer the public is a very helpful and intuitive tool where you just enter a buzzword on any topic. Afterwards, you will get frequently searched and popular phrases related to the used word. In addition, the tool is particularly recommended for highlighting issues.
Once you have found a few potential keywords, you can analyze the competition. To check the strength of the competition, we can recommend the MOZ toolbar. With this free plugin for the Chrome web browser, two additional values are displayed in addition to your search results: the Domain Authority and the Page Authority. These values give an indication of the SEO strength of the respective pages and domains. To be competitive in the beginning, most of the results of your chosen search queries should have values below 30. If you have now found a few keywords with a good balance of search volume and competition, we can congratulate you. You have already completed the most important step as a SEO newbie.
With this you can give your SEO rank
a big boost without much effort.
The title serves on the one hand as a headline for your Google Snippet, i.e. information that is displayed in the search results, and on the other hand it is displayed in the respective tab. In addition, it is still one of the few tags that are directly included in the Google ranking. Now you should place your most important keyword in it in any case - in the best case at the first place. That means instead of "Today on sale: buy used laptop graphics cards", "Buy used laptop graphics cards - On sale today only!" would be more useful for the ranking.
Since 2017, the description is no longer directly included in the ranking, but it is still significant to optimize. Google rewards search results with a high click-through-rate (CTR), which means how many clicks your link gets in relation to its views. It follows that it is imperative to ensure that as many users who see the search query as possible click on it. Of course, in addition to the title, they also take the description below it as a potential click factor. If it fits into the context of the topic, emojis in the title or description can also serve as real eye-catchers.
Metatags serve as additional information about your website for the search engine. You can easily include them in the head of your website. Even if they have no direct influence on your ranking, it makes sense to include one or the other tag. The most important meta tags are presented below:
Canonicals: This tag indicates the original responsible website for the respective content. For example, if you have an extra URL for a mobile variant or a print version, Google knows that it belongs to your actual URL. Thus, there is no risk that it will penalize your URL as copied content.
Viewport: Google rewards mobile-friendly websites, so be sure to include the viewport of the page.
Social Media & OpenGraph: These tags have no direct impact on rankings, but are beneficial for gaining shares and thus clicks, which in turn can be good for rankings. With the OpenGraph or Twitter Cards, you can add additional information similar to Title and Description, which will be displayed in addition to the link when sharing. Additionally, it is possible to attach an image, which quickly turns a simple link into an interesting eye-catcher. Here you have to pay attention to the recommended dimensions of the images so that they are not cropped unattractively.
The page structure is also related to the page quality. Here you should ask yourself the question: Is my page logically structured or is there still room for improvement? The headlines on the web are represented by H-tags. The H1 headline is the most important one and should contain the main keyword. Very important: each page should have exactly one H1 heading! Not two, not three and not none - exactly one. Now you should pay attention to a logical headline architecture. After the H1, subdivide the H2 headings, which enclose each H3 signatures - and so on.
Just as for the headings, you should also have a strategy for the structure of internal links. They should be intuitive for the user and easy to find, but also not overused. A healthy logical balance is important here. If you are not quite sure about this, you can also look at successful competitor sites to see how they have solved it.
Performance is often a less considered point in search engine optimization. Especially in today's mobile-first generation, a fast page load time is essential and also influences the Google rating. To achieve this, there are a few things to pay attention to. No overly elaborate media. Yes - high-resolution images look good, but they also bring powerful amounts of data with them. Here, the benefit should always be in proportion to the data volume. A high-resolution image in the Stage is nice and also useful, but loading the whole website with such images would be disproportionate. To minimize photos maximally and lossless, we recommend TinyJpg. In addition, the use of SVG images is useful, if that is possible. Examples would be the logo, emojis and icons or shapes. The code-based vector format requires under 10kByte for some logos. Especially when using CMS systems, such as WordPress & Co. it is also recommended to take a critical look at the active plugins and disable all those that are not needed. These are also included in the code and can reduce performance. For blogs and similar dynamic pages, however, a caching plugin is recommended to increase performance.
Now it's time to promote your site!
In off-page optimization, building backlinks is the be-all and end-all. This is the difference if you make it to the top of the rankings. Building sustainable and high-quality backlinks is a bit tedious, but it's worth it!
First, you have to distinguish between dofollow and nofollow backlinks. By default, links have the dofollow property, which means that it bequeaths to the linked page some of its authority and thus gives the ranking a boost. This is not the case with nofollow links, which are also usually found on social networks. This does not mean that these links are unimportant, but less relevant for the ranking. The goal is to get dofollow links from sites that are as high quality and reputable as possible.
There are numerous techniques for this - two of them are the skyscraper technique and infographic strategy.
Probably the most famous, but also the most notorious backlink strategy is the so-called skyscraper technique. The basic idea of this technique is to create better content than the top 5 of the respective keyword. To do this, look for the page that most resembles your planned content among the first results and check if the page has several high-quality backlinks. If so, try to present the same content on your page even better and more intuitively. If you succeed, then the real highlight of this technique begins. Now you can write to all websites that link to your chosen page and ask them to link to you instead, since your content is better.
With the help of infographics, complicated contexts and information can be presented visually and memorably. However, these are also expensive to set up, at least some blog and website operators assume. However, there are now many easy ways to create a well-designed infographic. If you are graphically savvy, you can use InDesign or Illustrator to let your creativity run wild. If you don't, that's not a bad thing: There are many drag & drop builders on the Internet with ready-made templates that make your work easier. For example, you can try Canva. Once the graphic is ready, you can search for relevant pages where the infographic could fit in well. Now it's time to write a message: Offer the webmaster to provide your graphic for a link to your article.
Once you've followed all the steps, it's only a matter of time before you climb to the top of the search results. Don't be frustrated if it takes a little while, Google always needs some time to register changes or even new backlinks.