Did you know that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an essential part of online marketing? If you want to achieve a better ranking than everyone else in search engines like Google & Co., you have to optimize your website so that it can be found better by Google & Co. – and thus achieve more traffic. Here you will get practical SEO tips and tricks on how to structure and optimize your website as effectively as possible.
SEO as part of Inbound Marketing
SEO – Search Engine Optimization – is used when the goal is to be found online and attract visitors to the website. Inbound marketing focuses on converting these website visitors into leads and ultimately into customers. This is done by providing the (potential) customers with beneficial, informative as well as educational content. Ideally, content that is tailored to the website visitor. This content helps them to make a decision whether they want to ‘do business’ with you.
Search engine bots scan millions of websites every day and index them based on various factors. Over 900 different factors are central for SEO. So basically, it’s about making sure that all the requirements are met in order to appear as high up as possible in the search engine results.
SEO Check List
Structure your website intelligently
Sounds logical, doesn’t it? But often this simple but very central point is forgotten. Therefore, we remind you again: First things first! Your website must be structured hierarchically, similar to a pyramid. The hierarchy of your website should not focus on the services and products of your company, but should be adapted to the needs of your customers. The central topics are shown on the homepage, the more detailed information follows as unique & actual content on the further subpages.
Set up a logical URL structure
Also, make sure that the URL structure of your website is consistent and based on the website architecture. A consistent, logical URL structure not only helps users find the content they’re looking for. It also helps search engines to better and more quickly recognize how your website is structured and where to find what content.
- Extra tip: Shorter URLs are more user-friendly. Therefore, keep your URLs as short as possible, but still informative.
Optimize page title and meta description
Choose a Page Title that matches and appeals to the content on the page. This adjustment is one of the easiest when it comes to SEO optimizations. The Meta Description must also be stimulating. In 155 characters or less, tell the visitor what to expect on the page. Short and crisp! Meta descriptions don’t serve as a ranking factor, but the more aptly and interestingly you package the content of the page in the Meta Description, the more likely you are to stimulate visitors to visit your website.
Your website should be mobile responsive
Compared to the past, today over 50% of people visit websites via smartphone. This means that your website must be Mobile responsive. Yes, it is a MUST! If your website is not responsive on mobile, you will lose visitors and get penalized by Google for it.
Use headings correctly
Headings serve website visitors not only for orientation. They are also SEO-relevant for Google. Here we usually talk about so-called head tags, i.e. H1, H2, etc.. They are used in hierarchical order from H1 to H6 on a page. The H1 is the main heading, so it is particularly important and may only be used 1x per URL!
Determine your relevant keywords
You should structure the website to meet the needs of your target audience – your Buyer Persona. To find out exactly what makes your buyer persona tick, what their needs, wants, problems and daily challenges are, you need to do some ‘market research’. Ask your sales and customer service people about this. Google knows a lot – a lot. That’s why it’s definitely worth checking out Google Trends. Enter your keyword and find out when, where and by whom your keyword is searched. The Google Consumer Barometer can also provide you with valuable insights into your buyer persona. Using various filters and additional functions, you can find out what makes your target group tick.
Place your keywords correctly
Keywords are a key factor for search engines. Now that you have defined which keywords are important for your company, you need to integrate these keywords correctly into your website. Simply inserting keywords everywhere on the fly does not work (anymore). Google is clever and classifies a website with too many keywords as spam. So where now is it nevertheless essential to use keywords?
Integrate external links
Backlinks are considered one of the most important SEO metrics of all. Links from external sites to your own website (so-called inbound links) increase the popularity of your website enormously. When search engines “crawl” the web, they look for links between websites. What’s more, search engines can assess and rank the respective links. In addition, metrics such as trust, spam and authority are checked. But watch out: The links must be natural and relevant to the topic of your buyer persona. Think about which links make sense, what your Buyer Persona wants to read, and which companies or bloggers it makes sense to link to. Please note that Google may classify paid advertising and PR – for example, placing products on famous blogs – as advertising and penalize this in turn.
Other ways to generate backlinks:
- Write media releases and forward them to journalists.
- Comment on blogs and forums.
- Write guest articles on other blogs.
- Be active on social media.
Integrate internal links
Search engines do not distinguish whether a link is in the menu or navigation or in the text. So create internal links wherever possible. For example, internal links can start from the footer. Analyze which sites on your website are the most important. Pages shown in the footer are considered relevant and important by search engines Chances are high that search engines will compensate for this. Moreover, a footer helps to better understand, classify and navigate the whole structure of a website.
For example, internal links can originate from the footer. Analyze which sites on your website are the most important. Pages shown in the footer are considered relevant and important by search engines Chances are high that search engines will compensate for this. Moreover, a footer helps to better understand, classify and navigate the whole structure of a website.
Check the loading times of your pages
Make sure your pages load quickly. Minimize any ‘load blockers’, like too large image or video files. Long load times are not only annoying for the user. For search engines, it’s a negative ranking factor. The Website Grader is a good tool for this.
Additional tip – Perform SEO audits
You should regularly perform SEO audits to detect and eliminate weak points. Because the guidelines and factors for a good ranking in search engines are constantly changing. You can use the following tools, among others, for SEO audits:
- Google Search Console: For ranking analysis, website metrics, to manage your URLs in the Google index, etc.
- Google Analytics: For analyzing relevant metrics about your website visitors, traffic and performance.
- Google Search: For checking your websites position in the Google Index.
- Ryte: For an on-page analysis of your website.