Search Engine Optimisation for beginners- what is SEO?

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It is fair to say that Google is the heart of the internet. After all, billions of websites have accumulated over the years. How would we keep the overview if there were no search engines? Thank Google, neither you nor we have to deal with this problem, as the search engine functions as an ordering system or more specifically an algorithm on which Google is based. It has the task of filtering out the best search results for each searcher and listing them according to quality. The articles with the highest quality will most likely be listed in the top ten.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) plays an important role here. Search engine optimisation means that you provide Google with as many indications as possible that your article is a high-quality contribution to a specific topic. If this is successful, Google rewards such articles with a position on the first page of the search results. It is also important to know that Google only ranks individual articles and not entire web pages. So if you rank in the top 10 with article A, this does not apply to articles B and C.

Why SEO is so important for companies

If you do SEO correctly, you have the chance to win numerous new customers and build up an enormous reach. While this used to be primarily interesting for online shops in the past, today every kind of company benefits from a good placement in search results. Especially with regard to classic offline companies, the industry has undergone an interesting development in recent years. Hairdressers, tilers or painters have the opportunity to build up a new customer base via the Internet.

For this purpose, content marketing is ideal, primarily blog posts, but also YouTube videos and social media postings. However, we want to concentrate primarily on content in text form. Blog posts serve to gain expert status in their field by presenting potential customers with free tips, tricks and solutions on their own topic. For example, the hairdresser could present the latest hairstyle trends on his blog, while the painter gives you a priming instruction.

And guess (attention spoiler alarm) what I’m doing here right now… 😉

If you optimise such articles for the right search terms, they will be suggested to the searcher as a result and ideally bring him to your website – where you can then qualify the searcher as a buyer.

SEO Guide for beginners – who is SEO interesting for?

Briefly and concisely: For every company. A little more narrowed down: SEO is interesting for every company that wants to win new customers and use the internet as a traffic source. However, there are also companies that do not have and do not want to have their own online presence. By the way, the word traffic stands for visitors or visitor streams.

Who decides which websites will be displayed on position 1?

With the emergence of the first search engines, criteria were established according to which a website either rises or falls in the ranking. Since the market share of other search engines such as Bing or Yahoo is relatively small, it can be said that it is actually the clever minds behind Google that decide which items achieve top rankings.

Which articles rank at the top?

The Google ranking is not the result of random coincidence. It is the declared goal of the search engine giant to provide users with the best possible hit rate for the respective search queries. This means: If person A searches for XY, Google ideally wants to deliver XY to him. The article that comes closest to XY therefore ends up on the winners’ podium

What is a Google Penalty?

In the course of this SEO guide for beginners, I have already hinted that Google may penalise you for certain actions. A so-called Google Penalty is something like a sanction, which massively decreases the Google ranking and the visibility of your site. A penalty is imposed if you violate the Google Webmaster Guidelines and thus manipulate the ranking or deceive the users.Violations include keyword spamming, duplicate content or unnatural backlink profiles.

What ranking factors are there?

If you have read my SEO Guide for beginners so far, you know that Google places the best hits at the top.So if you want to get to page 1, your article should provide a user with a high quality and comprehensive answer to their question. Through SEO measures you provide the search engine with evidence that your article is very relevant to the topic in question. In the following section I will tell you which actions are necessary to achieve this.

SEO for beginners – what do I have to do to get on the first page?

There are a lot of factors that are included in the algorithm for calculating the ranking – according to Google there are more than 200 of them (here you get a detailed insight). Some of them have a serious impact on Google’s ranking, while others have only a minor impact. The fact is, however, that there are many things to consider when you want to rank on page 1 on Google:

1. the content

Content plays an absolutely key role. Only those who present good content on their website have any chance at all of getting to the top. While this used to be easy to avoid, today you can hardly avoid having professional texts written. They should be as comprehensive as necessary to cover all the issues of the topic, but at least 1000 words. This is because the probability of a topic being covered comprehensively is much higher with a long text than with a short one.

2. keywords

A connection to the topic is established by integrating relevant search terms. Make sure to integrate those keywords into your text that a potential customer would search for. The number of your keywords defines the keyword density.

However, quantity is not the decisive factor here. It is sufficient if a search term appears a few times in the continuous text. So don’t exaggerate, because Google doesn’t like that either. Try to stay below 5 percent in terms of keyword density. You can use this tool to check this.

3. linking

Links are also important. If you lead users to other topic-relevant topics via your links, it can be assumed that you have some idea of your topic. By this I mean both internal and external links. Link to your own relevant content as well as to other websites that deal with a similar topic or have something relevant to offer.

4. backlinks

You will receive a backlink when another website links to your article. This is important because Google considers backlinks as a kind of recommendation. Mass is not the decisive factor here either. It is much more important who your backlinks come from. Big internet portals have a much higher authority than small niche sites, which is why Google gives more trust to authoritative sites. On the other hand, it is of course better to be pushed a little by weak backlinks than not to have any at all.

5. user signals

Positive user signals, so-called “social signals”, are undoubtedly one of the most important factors when it comes to ranking on page 1 in Google. Because no matter how well you optimise your articles: If no user visits your pages or shares your contributions, this gives a very bad picture in front of the search engine. Here, social media can be the tip of the scales, since new articles, contributions and products can be advertised there in a targeted manner and you can invite users to interact.

6. topicality

There is nothing worse than finding only outdated contributions to a problem. Therefore it is very important that you keep the content of your website up to date. You do this by regularly updating existing articles and by regularly publishing new content. By doing this you show the search engine that your site is always up to date. Consistency and reliability are important to both your readers and Google.

7. user experience

The user experience is also one of the key factors for a good Google ranking. Ease of use, loading times, photos, videos, layout – all this contributes to a reader feeling comfortable on your site. Because only if the user feels comfortable, Google feels comfortable and rewards you with a top ranking.

8. order

Google loves order. Only if the crawlers can read your pages perfectly, they will be classified as high quality. This includes labelling the images on your page, tagging headlines and sub-headlines with the appropriate HTML tags (h1, h2, h3, h4) and making sure that the page title and URL contain your main keyword. In addition, your Meta Title should not contain more than 60 characters and your Meta Description should not be longer than 160 characters.

Pardon me? Meta Title and Meta Description? What is that?

This is the title and the text excerpt that is suggested to searchers on the result pages. And as you can probably guess, your keyword should also appear here. 

SEO for beginners – you can do that too!

I wrote this SEO guide for beginners because I know from my own experience how daunting the subject of search engine optimisation can be for newcomers. However, if you take into account the things explained above, it is not that difficult to rank on page 1 in Google. Of course we’d love to give you more individual advise on how to improve your SEO Marketing, just contact us here!

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