When it comes to optimizing a website for the search engines, many entrepreneurs are faced with a big question mark. What should be done so that search engines reward the content of the page with the highest ranked search results possible? The bad news: The criteria that the search engine uses to decide which side to rank is constantly changing and extremely complex. The good news: If you want to optimize your contributions, there are still plenty of effective ways to achieve the desired results. What these are, you will learn in this post.
Relevance is the key!
If you could not read it from the headline yet: The most important thing when optimizing pages or articles for search engines is relevance! If the search engine was still influenced by technical gimmicks a few years ago, this is no longer the case today. Technically, technology still plays a role in optimization, but more importantly, your pages are tailored to the needs of your target audience. The reason for this is quickly explained: As a business enterprise, search engine operators have a legitimate interest in their customers being satisfied – and they are only then, if they get exactly the result they had hoped for after the search query.
To measure whether this project succeeds, Google has developed special algorithms that are used to measure the relevance of individual pages. At the very forefront: the retention time of users on a particular page, the frequency with which a page is opened and the so-called bounce rate, which provides information on whether a clicked search result is immediately closed again.
What does that mean for you? Be sure to fill your page with content that’s tailored to the interests of your audience. Only if you succeed, your visitors will be happy to stay on your side and at best even click through different menu items to gather as much knowledge as possible. If, on the other hand, you have lured your target audience with false promises, the visitors to your page quickly disappeared again. The consequences are fatal, because in this case you have not only lost the trust of potential customers, but also damaged your reputation on Google.
Therefore, focus on class instead of mass and regularly publish new exciting content that deals with typical problems of your target group and offers concrete solutions. In this way, you generate a continuous organic growth of your site, which attracts not only potential customers, but is also well rated by search engines.
Optimize pages with sense and mind
Now that we have clarified the intentions of search engines like Google in the last paragraph, we’re going to take a closer look at your goal: you want your content to be found. With the knowledge of the meaning of relevant content you have already laid a good foundation, but of course there are many other things that you should look out for when optimizing your site.
How to attract attention with keywords
Can you begin with the term “keyword”? Ultimately, a keyword is nothing more than the word combination that the user of a search engine enters in the search field. For example, if a person is looking for an “affordable car lease,” they will first see those pages that have the keyword “auto-lease” as a keyword.
For this reason, the deliberate use of keywords is an integral part of search engine optimization. Ideally, optimize each individual post and subpage for another keyword in your field to be found by as many people as possible. For example, if you’re a rose breeder, one post might be tagged with the words “cut roses”, the next one with “put on rosary” and the next one with “populate roses”. In this way you pick up your target persons exactly where they are at the moment of their search. But beware of using the keywords only as bait. As mentioned before, your page will only be considered relevant if the person searching for “cut roses” really finds the content he hopes for. For the topic “fertilize roses”, you are therefore creating a completely new contribution. Otherwise, you run the risk of bouncing your target – and thus the search engine.
And how does optimization work on a keyword now?
Once you’ve selected a specific keyword, it’s time for optimization. Let’s say you want to post a blog post, the following points are of particular importance:
- SEO title: This is the page title, which is displayed as a link in the search engine. It should contain the keyword that will appear later in the search results. A good title describes the benefit the target person has from clicking on the page and is tailored to the expected content.
- Meta description: The Meta description is a short description of the content that is displayed in the search engine directly below the page link. It should also be tagged with the keyword. Also, pay attention to a succinct formulation that gets you straight to the point.
- Headline: According to experience, users rate a headline as particularly relevant if it has a similar wording as the SEO title. Keyword included, of course.
- Main text: Again, you should be careful to incorporate the keyword – but without losing sight of the relevance of your contribution. Less is sometimes more.
- URL: A good URL contains the keyword and avoids numbers or special characters. Choose a URL that is easy to read.
- Images: Search engines evaluate the title, the file name, the associated text as well as the so-called ALT attribute. Use these sites to accommodate your keyword.
What you should look out for when designing your page?
The relevance of your content is one thing; the usability of your website is the other. Only if you make your site attractive, your visitors will be happy to look around. Keep in mind the following points:
- Short loading times: Make sure that you make access to your page as accessible as possible with short loading times. After all, you do not want to risk visitors closing your page because the content is not building up fast enough?
- Clear structure and intuitive navigation: Nested websites do not appeal well to your target audience or search engines. Therefore, structure your content and use directory names that are directly related to the content. Avoid a multi-level menu.
- Understandable content: Make sure that your content is easy to consume even for non-experts. Very few of your target people have their expertise – otherwise they would not have to visit your site.
- Appealing design: The eye eats with you – and in the case of your content you can achieve a great deal with elements such as pictures and graphics. Just make sure that the graphic design does not adversely affect the load time of your page and compress images before uploading.
- Mobile Usage: At a time when more and more people are accessing the network with their Smartphone, mobile device optimization is more important than ever. If your page can not be displayed cleanly on the Smartphone, the ranking suffers.
The importance of social media for your website
The more people link your posts to the social networks, the better your site will be ranked by the search engine. No wonder, after all, such behavior demonstrates a particularly high relevance of the content provided. Use this knowledge to consciously integrate the various social media channels into the optimization of your site.
Provide the individual posts with attractive “share buttons” and generate a corporate page on Facebook in order to draw people to your website from there. Link only valuable contributions (keyword relevance) and use both an appealing image and a succinct short text to make your “fans” want more.
Why links are so important for the optimization and the search engine?
The more relevant links you can find on your page, the better. In particular, internal links have a positive effect on the ranking – and for several reasons.
Apart from the fact that the web crawler used by Google can read your page better! Links also lead to a longer visit time and more pages to be clicked on. For the search engine these are clearly positive signals.
In addition to internal links, external links can also have a positive effect on the ranking of your page – especially if you manage to develop into a kind of Wikipedia for your area of expertise. In this context, it is only important that the links offer real added value and that the linked pages are displayed in a separate window. In this way, your own page remains open and the visitors return later with a high probability back to you.
You would like to keep an eye on the different possibilities of search engine optimization at all times? Prepare a SEO Checklist, which lists the most important SEO points and implement them one by one. You can also check our other posts for Website SEO optimization.