For your website to appear in the top positions in Google search results, your site must be search engine optimized. This is the only way you can rank on the coveted first page. In this post, we would like to show you how the Google algorithm decides where your website ranks and what you can do to achieve a better ranking.
What Is SEO, And Why Do I Need It?
Search Engine Optimization refers to all measures that help your website achieve a higher ranking than other pages in the organic search results. You have numerous options available to achieve this goal, which will be discussed later. Overall, SEO and SEA (Search Engine Advertising) is part of search engine marketing. Your website will rank high if your content is easy for search engines and users find it helpful. If both apply, you can hope for a better ranking.
To be found easily and quickly by potential users, your website must be displayed in the top search results. When was the last time you looked at Google results from page two or three? Probably not very often. This is exactly why you should try to rank well. A study found that 99.1% of clicks go to the top 10 results. The top spots in the Google ranking are indeed hard-fought and sometimes difficult to achieve. But it’s worth it. Because successful SEO leads to:
- more sales because of more reach,
- increasing your notoriety,
- increased traffic on your website.
In addition to placing paid ads, search engine optimization is one of the most important tools for displaying your content in the preferred front positions of the search results.
How Does Ranking Work?
Google uses certain ranking factors to position your website. The procedure is divided into three steps.
Only pages that Google knows are displayed in the results. To get to know the pages, the individual websites are not entered manually, but web crawling is used. Crawlers crawl the Internet and scan page content.
- Looking for new pages
- Analyzed changes on old pages.
Indexing takes place after crawling. This means that new pages are added to Google’s index. All the important information on a page is saved there. For example, the algorithm can determine whether there is duplicate content on a page or whether the pages are canonical. When indexing, not only texts are crawled, but also embedded images and videos. Texts with user-friendly and understandable language are ranked higher.
Based on these two steps, the Google algorithm decides which results are displayed and at which position they are to be seen. The display results also depend on the search query’s location and end device. The goal: is to display relevant and high-quality content.
Which SEO Metrics Are Important?
You may have heard of KPIs before. The key performance indicators are the key performance indicators. You can read a lot from these numbers because they tell you what the current status of your site is, whether your measures have achieved the desired results, and, very importantly, they tell you where you should still improve a little.
Important KPIs are:
- the number of ranking keywords,
- the rankings on page one,
- organic traffic,
- visibility indices,
- the number of backlinks
- CTR – the click-through rate,
- conversion rate,
- the length of stay,
- the bounce rate.
You can read more detailed information about the KPIs here.
What Is Forbidden?
Of course, unauthorized measures will also make your website rank better. However, if you notice that you want to rank better with forbidden means, you will be penalized by the algorithm and receive a bad position in the ranking. In professional circles, one speaks in this case of black hat SEO. It will help if you read the exact guidelines once. In summary, they include the following prohibited methods:
- link farms,
- link purchase,
- hidden text,
- hidden links,
- keyword stuffing,
This is only an excerpt of the prohibited methods. If you resort to these measures, you have to expect that Google will reduce your visibility or, in the worst case, you will be completely removed from the index – in this case, your website can no longer be found.
What Is Allowed?
The opposite of black hat SEO is white hat SEO. It includes all legal measures to improve the ranking of your website and is divided into on-page and off-page optimization.
OnPage improvement is about optimization that you do directly on your website. This includes measures such as optimizing the content: i.e., texts, images, and videos. This area also includes improving the website technology and improving the navigation structure.
These OnPage measures are very important because they alone account for 70% of SEO relevance. You can find a detailed article on this here.
To create good content for your website, you should pay attention to the following.
- Be specific: Can you back your content with numbers or facts?
- Be important: Is the information you give on your website relevant?
- Be up to date: Don’t use outdated information on your site.
- Be readable: Is it easy for users to absorb your content?
To score points in this field, you should know your target group exactly because you will only know what they are looking for.
Before you get to work creating relevant content, you should read up on keywords if you haven’t already. These are the search terms entered by your users. With the help of keyword research, you can determine which search terms are relevant. You will find out how often which term is entered into the search engine and how many other pages there are for it. A free tool for keyword research is the Google Search Console.
You can also make optimizations off-page. These are actions that you do not take directly on your site. These include, among other things.
Domain Authority: This area includes the quantity and quality of backlinks and the PageRank of the entire domain.
Page authority and keyword relevance: This includes measures such as the distribution of anchor texts, the quantity and quality of backlinks, and PageRank and TrustRank at the page level.
Brand authority: This measure means the brand or company mentions on social media or in the press.
Surely you have noticed that backlinks have been discussed several times in the meantime. A study has shown that links to external sites are important to rank well. The other way around: If you do not have enough backlinks, your site will not rank well. Common and allowed methods of building these links are:
- guest article,
- product testing.
Current Trends In SEO
The current motto is: Content is King. You can achieve a better ranking with good and relevant content. That’s why it’s important that when creating content, you ensure that your content is better than your competitors. You should also pay attention to high-quality content that is easy to read and brings something to your users. You are doing something good for the algorithm and also for your readers.
When creating your texts, images, or videos, pay attention to the following:
- carefully researched information,
- useful information,
- a sophisticated internal link to other articles relevant to the search query,
- an appropriate length of content.
However, your content can be as informative and high-quality as it is. If they are presented poorly, no one wants to look at them. So ensure your site visitors don’t come across a huge text desert – they will leave your site faster than you can say “Internet.” The UX (user experience) is important for a long stay on your website to be achieved. How to improve the flow of reading on your page:
- Use a mix of long and short sentences.
- The structure is important! Paragraphs and meaningful headings will help you.
- Subheadings, images, lists, and tables also loosen up your text.
- Ensure your text is easy to understand and does not get lost in technical jargon.
- Be sure to read your text again before you put it online and fix any mistakes.
This is how you ensure that your readers stay on your website for as long as possible.
If you meet some basic technical requirements, nothing stands in the way of a good ranking. To get your site in the top spots, you should pay attention to the following:
- fast loading times,
- your website should be accessible,
- optimize your website for mobile devices,
- high-quality and relevant internal links,
- create your URL instead of an automatically generated one,
- pay attention to an appealing page experience.
It is becoming apparent that user experience is becoming more and more important. It is, therefore, important that you offer your users clear, high-quality, and relevant content. You also benefit from this because the Google algorithm will reward you with a good ranking in return. However, you must know your target group well because this is the only way you can create relevant content and develop a working SEO strategy. If you want to find out more about founder friends and are looking for contact with other founders, then look at Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Xingover.