Is it worth it to optimize search engine optimization

SEO: More visitors and customers through search engine optimization

With SEO to more visitors through Google & Co.

As a self-employed person, there is no getting around your own website. It doesn't matter whether you are a craftsman, in the catering trade or with an online shop - without your own website you will have a very difficult time, especially as a founder.

However, even the best website is of no use if you are not found in search engines. Google, by far the most widely used search engine in Germany, has developed a complex algorithm over the past few years that decides on the positioning of a website in the search engine results.

With well over 100 million search queries in Germany alone, positioning in first place for a certain search term - a so-called keyword - can mean a lot of money for many companies. Therefore, in the meantime, a method for improving your own Google ranking has been developed, which is known as search engine optimization, or SEO for Search Engine Optimization.

With SEO, companies and advertising agencies use various measures to aim to be shown as high up as possible on the search results list. In the following, we will go into the most important of these measures and explain how you can optimize your own website from an SEO perspective.

On-page optimization as the basis of SEO

SEO can be roughly divided into two areas: on-page optimization and off-page optimization. The basis of SEO is on-page optimization, which has a pronounced - but not exclusive - technical component. As a founder, you should concentrate on the most important measures of on-page optimization in the first step of SEO:

  • Logical and consistent page structure and hierarchythat is plausible and helpful for the user
  • Keyword-oriented structure of a pageby frequently using the keyword - under which the website is to be found on Google - in the headings and the text
  • Clear and frequent linking of internal content with a suitable link text that describes the content of the target page well
  • Fast loading time the website
  • Compliance with Google's technical requirementssuch as the provision of a sitemap, speaking URLs and picture names, specification of title and meta tags, clean programming and an optimization of the site for mobile devices

This list could go further, but is only intended to give a first impression of how many different factors are taken into account in Google's on-page optimization for SEO. If you want to deal in more detail with Google's requirements for on-page optimization, you can read Google's introduction to SEO here or deal with Google's guidelines for webmasters.

Don't want to deal with the technical component of SEO? We will look for an agency near you that will support you with your SEO.

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Offpage optimization in SEO through link building

As soon as the on-page optimization has been carried out, you can dare to take the second step in SEO: the off-page optimization in the form of link building. In summary, link building can be described as all those measures that result in the linking of external websites to your own website. These links are known as backlinks.

Why do such external links play such a big role in SEO? Google interprets a backlink from an external website as a kind of recommendation. If a certain URL receives a lot of such recommendations from different websites, Google can assume that the linked website contains important content - and so Google positions it higher up in the search results.

Active link building - i.e. the setting of backlinks on third-party websites - is not viewed favorably by Google in the context of SEO, as this is not a natural link building. In the meantime, the Google algorithm has advanced so far that link building should really only be used with caution in SEO, as the risk of a penalty or even a complete ban from the search results by Google is too great.

For this reason, with SEO you should instead concentrate on high-quality and up-to-date content, which over time will often automatically bring you links from other websites.

Content marketing and social media as tools of SEO

Content is king - this saying from online marketing has now come true. Because many successful websites now rely on a pronounced content strategy as part of their SEO and benefit from it.

In SEO, content marketing means the provision of high-quality information on your own website or blog. This information is mostly free of advertising content and should offer the customer real added value. For example, an online shop for IT and entertainment electronics describes in various tutorials how to upgrade your computer or optimize the sound of your home theater system.

Content marketing is important for SEO for two main reasons: Unique and high-quality content generates long-awaited backlinks, but is also found on Google at the same time, which brings in additional website visitors. In summary: the more high-quality, keyword-oriented content, the more visitors from search engines.

Due to the widespread distribution of the content (which can also be a video or an infographic) in social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and Co., it is now assumed that so-called social signals play an important role in SEO. If a link is shared several times via these platforms, Google can assume that it has a certain relevance for the users. This relevance is then in all probability reflected in a better ranking in the search results.

For your SEO, this means: Be active in social networks and distribute newly created content. This brings you new visitors and at the same time helps to drive your SEO forward.

SEO for professionals: More clicks with Google Rich Snippets

On a Google search results page you will usually find a small text excerpt for each search hit that describes the content of the linked page. This text excerpt is also known as a snippet and plays a decisive role in SEO for the click rate, i.e. the relative number of people who click on the search hit.

With rich snippets, these text excerpts can be expanded to include information that offers the user added value. As an online shop operator, for example, users can include product reviews in the search result of a product detail page, which are then displayed in the form of stars directly in the search result.

The advantage for SEO is obvious: search hits that stand out in terms of content or color from the other search results are clicked more often. This type of SEO can increase the number of visitors without great technical effort. There is more information on rich snippets as a tool in SEO here.

Design and implement SEO strategy

SEO are measures that usually have a long-term impact on placement in search results. Instead of any quick fixes, a holistic SEO strategy should be designed and implemented according to the following scheme:

  1. Current situation analysis: Which target group do I want on my website and what is the current state of SEO (both on-page and off-page optimization)?
  2. Keyword selection: What keywords does my target group use to search on Google?
  3. Implementation of on-page optimization as part of SEO
  4. Implementation of the off-page optimization, i.e. in particular link building and social media activities
  5. Success control: Check your Google rankings at regular intervals and take corrective measures for your SEO if necessary.

Remember that the implementation of SEO is not a one-time task, but an ongoing process that has to be optimized again and again due to competition and adjustments to the Google algorithm.

There are special agencies that specialize in planning and implementing strategies for SEO. We are happy to help you find an SEO agency near you.

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The 7 biggest mistakes in SEO

The implementation of SEO is extremely diverse and sometimes technically complex. If you as a founder do not have an agency to support you, then it is particularly important to avoid the worst mistakes in SEO. We have summarized these for you:

  • Avoid duplicate content:
    Google doesn't like websites with duplicate content. Use the canonical tag here.
  • Relevant keywords are missing:
    The keywords under which you want to be found must appear regularly, especially in the website title and description, the headings and in the content.
  • Text saved as an image:
    If you have saved text as an image, Google will not be able to identify this text. Incidentally, the same applies to the use of Flash - neither of which is suitable for SEO.
  • Missing ALT attributes for pictures:
    Images are only correctly indexed by Google if you have specified a suitable ALT attribute (description of the image).
  • URLs are not suitable for SEO:
    Use speaking URLs and avoid the use of SessionIDs.
  • Internal link texts without a keyword:
    Only use "click here" as the link text in exceptional cases. With internal links, the link text should always contain the main keyword of the linked subpage. When creating the link, make sure that the link text appears natural.
  • Inexpensive server with long loading times:
    Hosting really isn't expensive these days - pay a few dollars more and provide your customers with a fast website. A fast website is an important success factor, especially in online shops. But a website with short loading times is also helpful for SEO.

It usually takes some time for SEO to take effect. With Google My Business, local businesses can be found quickly on Google.

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Author: Für-Grü editors

As editor-in-chief, René Klein has been responsible for the content of the portal and all publications by Für-Grü for over 10 years. He is a regular interlocutor in other media and writes numerous external specialist articles on start-up topics. Before his time as editor-in-chief and co-founder of Für-Grü, he advised listed companies in the field of financial market communication.