Improve Google Ranking: With these tips you will be found more easily on Google & Co.

Would you like to improve your Google ranking?

No problem. There are many levers, nails and screws that can be beaten um fine-tuned to improve your Google ranking. In the following post, I want to show you many optimization tips that will improve your positions on Google.

Inventory / as-is analysis

You need to know “where” your website is right now. You have to take stock, so to speak, to derive the next steps and see the optimization potential.

1. Traffic analysis

The first important step is, therefore, to analyze the existing traffic.

With the tracking tool from Google Analytics, you can see exactly how many visitors you have and how they behave on your website.

You can, of course, also work with other analysis tools (e.g. PIWIK / Matomo ) – the only important thing in the first step is that you have a tracking system that shows you where your visitors come from and how many people have come to your website go, which pages are clicked significantly often and how long the length of stay is.

Analyze this data carefully to discover the potential for optimization.

Example:

If the visitors leave your website very quickly, i.e., something may be wrong with your website again after a few seconds. Maybe you scare off your visitors? You may not get them what they’re looking for, etc.

Let people from your circle of acquaintances and friends click on your website to experience realistic user behaviour and to identify weak points on your website.

Tools like Google Analytics will, of course, provide you with additional analysis data.

If you have already entered your website in the Google Search Console, you can also use this tool to analyze where your visitors come from. What search terms do they join in Google searches, and how many clicks does your website get in the search results?

The Search Console can tell you a lot about the rankings and visibility of your website.

Why is it important?

Because good rankings on Google are increasingly related to high user satisfaction.

If your visitors are happy and find what they are looking for, Google is also satisfied with your site (to put it simply!).

Is z. B. the length of stay is very short and the bounce rate is too high, etc. You still have a lot to optimize so that your rankings increase.

I’ll show you later how you can optimize user satisfaction.

2. Keyword research and analysis

For which search terms do you want to be found on Google?

If you’ve already thought about it, of course, you have to check the competition and the monthly search queries to see whether your keywords make sense at all.

Collect and analyze as many search terms as possible and seek the support of as many tools as possible so that you do not miss any exciting keywords.

If you want to find out more about your competition (and I highly recommend that!), 

Do not underestimate the effort here: keyword research and competitive analysis can take several days.

Tip 1: Long-tail keywords are often better than shorttail keywords

Long-tail keywords or search terms that consist of several words often have less competition than shorttail keywords or search terms that consist of only one story. So you will z. B. rank faster to the name “veterinarian Mettmann” than to the shorttail term “veterinarian”…. just stupid that vet Mettmann is not sought so much ;-).

That is the art of keyword research: Finding a keyword with a high search volume and has beatable competition.

Tip 2: informational keywords vs. Money keywords

You want to make a profit with your website, and you may already have a few good rankings on Google that get you traffic, but the conversions are lousy?

This could be because you may only be found useful on informational keywords. The visitor wants to get information with such keywords, but usually doesn’t want to buy anything. For example:

  • free online tools
  • What home remedies help against pimples
  • Download free e-book

In contrast, “commercial” keywords tend to be more promising to increase conversions. Here some examples:

  • The best care products for pimples
  • The buying guide on the topic of XYZ
  • Online Marketing Advice
  • SEO Buxtehude

Now, that doesn’t mean you should switch to commercial keywords. Try to find a healthy mix. You also benefit if you pass on knowledge on your website for free, to, e.g. B. to be regarded as an expert.

3. Analysis tools to find out your rankings and those of the competition

With the Google Search Console, you can see which orders your website has.

Under Search queries -> Search analysis -> Click on “Position” -> the rankings of your website are displayed.

However, the Search Console only shows the rankings of your website to a limited extent.

To carry out a further analysis of the current rankings of your website, I recommend the Sistrix tool .

The “SEO module” of this tool shows its users the progress of their website’s rankings on Google by means of a visibility index.

Endless data: Analyze rankings and visibility with the SEO module from Sistrix.

This is how you can see the current rankings on Google for a large number of keywords. Thanks to this tool, you can draw a lot of conclusions. For example:

  • How do the rankings or visibility on Google change when you make changes to your website, etc.?
  • Which keywords are you about to get on page 1?
  • In which rankings are you currently increasing, and which are you falling?
  • What new opportunities/keywords do you have?
  • Have there been fluctuations in invisibility in the past? Have you been the victim of a Google Penalty?

The tool shows you your current rankings and the visibility history of the past. If your visibility on Google crashed sharply, your website could, e.g. B., have been given a Google penalty.

The SEO module also shows you which keywords you may not even have on your screen have a chance of moving forward.

Other interesting keywords are suggested to you under “Keyword Ideas.” Use this opportunity to create more exciting content for your website.

Keyword ideas from Sistrix

But you can also analyze the websites of your competitors with the tool.

This allows you to compare how you stand about the competition in the organic search results. If a direct competitor is better than you in terms of visibility, it is incredibly worthwhile to analyze this very carefully with the Sistrix SEO module:

  • Which keywords does it rank for?
  • Which URL is listed significantly often in the search results?
  • How is the visibility index going? Does it rise or fall?

As an alternative to Sistrix, I can highly recommend the metrics tools. You can use these tools to make a perfect look at your visibility and that of your competition.

Note:

Where are you and where do you want to go? If you haven’t answered these two questions, you are practically in the dark looking for good rankings. Therefore, analyze the current situation to shed light on the way to better rankings.

OnPage analysis and optimization

Have you already made an actual situation for your website? Do you have your realistic desired keywords together and meanwhile also know the competition? Wonderful! Then you can get down to business now and optimize the many small adjustments on your website.

Let’s get started:

1. & 2. Optimize page title and meta description

The optimization of the meta title and your website’s story is efficient and straightforward – a quick win. The title is the HTML heading of a post or page.

With the title, you can tell the search engine and your visitors which information they can expect on each page or which post they can expect on your domain. Include your keyword as far in front of the title as possible, to which the article should rank well. Important: Every post/page should be optimized for one keyword whenever possible. The title is used (in most cases) by search engines in search results. 

You have to try to create a meaningful title (without false promises!) That arouses the visitors’ curiosity so that as many users as possible click on your page in the search results. If the visitors then find exactly what they are looking for, this can positively affect your rankings.

The meta description is more detailed as a supplement to the title. Here you also have the opportunity to include brief information about what the visitor can expect on this individual page.

Optimize title and description

Unfortunately, the title and description cannot be infinitely long. Google only shows a limited number of pixels in your search results for each page. With the SERP Snippet Generator, you can therefore test and adapt your title and description in advance. WordPress users can get help with the Yoast SEO plugin ;-).

WordPress users can use the Yoast SEO plugin to manually optimize the title and description under each of their posts

Make sure that you do not string together any keywords, but always optimize for one keyword and that this occurs once in the title and description and has a clear and meaningful message. I want to show you some good examples of significant and, in my opinion, very click-strong titles and descriptions:

  • Present the best offer

Here the visitor is convinced with an exact figure that the website provides the most and best information for his search.

3. Avoid duplicate content

One of the deadliest mistakes is duplicate content (DC). Under no circumstances should you publish your content twice or more than once. Not even on other websites. Google recognizes very well whether your text is unique or multiple times on different pages.

Title, descriptions and H1 headings used twice can also be very critical. Try to make every page on your website unique.

If this doesn’t work for whatever reason, try setting the copy to “noindex , follow” or using canonical tags.

With the canonical tags, you can notify the Googlebot of duplicate content and at the same time point the way to the original. On your page with the copy, the following code should be included in the header, which contains the

link to the correct URL where the original is located: <link rel =” canonical” href =” http://www.example.com/original”/&gt;

Attention:

Incorrectly set canonical tags can also backfire. 

You can check duplicate content on your website very well with various tools, such as B. with the Screaming tool Frog. This analyzes your page for same content in terms of title, description, headings and URLs. The free version of Screaming Frog can analyze up to 500 URLs. The paid version costs £ 149 annually.

Check possible duplicate content with Screaming Frog

Possible reasons why Google may detect duplicate content:

  1. With and without “www.”
  2. Is your domain with and without the addition www. reachable? This can already duplicate content and lead to indexing problems since precisely the same content can be found under two different URLs.
  3. “Http” and “https”
  4. If the domain can be reached via both “http” and “https,” this can also be duplicate content. You will need to set up a correct 301 redirect to fix this error.
  5. Multiple users on WordPress
  6. If your WordPress website has multiple users, but only one user publishes the entire content, this can also be interpreted as a duplicate content. It would help if you therefore deactivated the WordPress author archive (you can do this with the SEO by Yoast plugin in the dashboard under SEO -> Title & Metas -> Archive -> Author archive).

4. Charging times: Are you already reading or are you still charging?

Long loading times on your website can not only put off your visitors; they can also cost you valuable rankings. Therefore try to keep the loading times of your website as short as possible.

With the two free tools gtmetrix.com and Google’s Pagespeed tool, you can check the loading times and display errors.

Some critical points that you should consider when optimizing loading times:

Good web host

Saving money is all well and good, but you really shouldn’t keep on web hosting if you want good rankings. Therefore, always choose a good hoster (if possible with servers in Germany) on which you want to host your website. Recommended web hosts are, e.g. B. Pure-Host.de or All-inkl.com.

Well programmed website

Make sure that your website is (technically) as lean as possible. Incorrect lines of code and bloated templates often require very long loading times.

Important:

If you get stuck here, please contact your doctor or pharmacist or, better still, the programmer you trust!

Minify CSS and JavaScript files

You can also get some speed out by removing whitespaces in the CSS and JavaScript files.

Example of a CSS code with whitespaces:

#Example {

font-size: 1.8em;

font-weight: bold;

padding: 15px;

margin: 11px;

}

Without whitespaces, the CSS code looks like this:

#Example {font-size: 1.8em; font-weight: bold; padding: 15px; margin: 11px;}

Caching

If you use server-side caching, a plain HTML file is created for each URL so that the content does not have to be reloaded again and again but is cached and thus accessed much faster. This can significantly reduce loading times.

WordPress users can get help from the free WP-Fastest-Cache plugin :-).

Compression of images

Images that are too large also cause long loading times. Try not to upload your photos too big (<500kb, better <200kb) and always compress them beforehand. At tinyjpg.com, you can compress your pictures for free.

5. Internal links

The internal links on your website are, in my opinion, one of the most underestimated SEO optimizations. Always link internally to other (important) subpages on your domain in your posts’ content (continuous text).

Keywords are particularly strong as internal links in the running text! Link your website’s essential URLs with explicit anchor texts to show your visitors and Google exactly the linked pages.

6. Outgoing links to other websites are useful – stop the lack of links!

Since Superman, the Pope or anyone else claimed that outgoing links could be harmful to their website, most German webmasters have become extremely careful with outgoing links.

Many of them no longer links to other websites on your website, which is against Google’s will. Without links, the Internet as we know it would not work at all. Hence, outbound links are essential on any website!

You have to be careful which sources you link to. Set references to other websites if it suits you and if they offer your readers added value or if you want to back up your theses with a source. External links are not a direct ranking factor – but they are always a sign of well-researched specialist articles and thus increase your readers’ trust.

7. Your website must be mobile-friendly 

Short and painless:

Your website has to be mobile-friendly these days! This means that the website adapts depending on the screen size. You can test your website for different screen sizes here: ami.responsivedesign.is.

8. Please don’t use website modular systems

You probably know the many great offers to create your website with just a few clicks. Tempting website construction kit systems such as B. WIX, the 1 & 1 Hompage-Builder are great for creating your small website.

However, not to achieve good rankings. So far, I haven’t seen a modular system that has any noteworthy rankings on Google.

Hence my advice: Stay away from modular website systems. Use content management systems like TYPO3, WordPress or shop systems (Shopware, JTL, etc.).

9. Thin content

If you have too little content on your website, this can also be dangerous and a cause of low rankings. However, there is no one guideline for how many words you should post per URL. Just think about whether you give your readers enough information per URL.

Example:

A text that deals with the entire life’s work of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe can hardly be 500 words short of providing all the information. A product description of a chair with leather upholstery in brown, on the other hand, will probably not need a 1,000-word story.

Fortunately, there are also tools (see point 10) that analyze your site for too little content (even if this is only a rough guide) …

10. Crawlability

Google also tried always cost-saving (despite huge profits). The search engine’s operation or maintenance costs the company a huge amount every year (more on this in the Slideshare Presi below)!

Indexing countless websites, in particular, costs Google a lot of resources. So Google tries to send its crawler bots to websites only as often as necessary. How often the crawler comes by depends on countless factors (authority, number of backlinks, etc.).

If you now have countless subpages on your website that are filled with little or no content, the crawler reduces the frequency of its visits and, even worse: Possibly. This could lead to lower rankings because the bot considers your site to be of low quality. Therefore, you should always consider whether subpages that have no content at all or are only online for test purposes should be set to “noindex, follow” so as not to waste the Google bot’s crawler budget.

I admit: For small websites with, for example, 100 subpages, this approach is somewhat irrelevant. Just because there are ten pages short of content on your website doesn’t make Google immediately think that your page is not right. This tactic is more critical for large online shops and portals. Otherwise, the Google crawler will not recognize changes or improvements as quickly, and the website will be classified as rather uninteresting.

11. Get help! Choose the right OnPage tool for assistance

With larger websites, it is immensely time-consuming to go through each subpage manually and manually analyze it for OnPage errors. In a shop with 10,000 subpages, this could take a long time. Because of this, there are a ton of OnPage analysis tools out there to help you analyze it.

I swear by the Seobility tool. It may not be as cold in terms of style as the competition, but the tool reliably finds many errors and optimization potential on a website.

Extract from Seobility.net

Also, there is a simple user interface and an acceptable price. Like no other tool, Seobility knows how to highlight problems and potential. Even non-techies quickly understand which problems the analyzed page has.

12. Google Search Console

The Google Search Console is the mouthpiece from Google to the webmasters. In addition to the many functions described in Chapter 1 (inventory/analysis of the current situation), you can see here whether your website has errors, e.g. B. 404 error pages (if specific URLs can no longer be reached), you can query the indexing status, enter a sitemap and have many other options.

A detailed blog post about the Search Console is available here.

OnPage analysis and optimization is an immensely important step. Only if your website is technically clean and can be indexed and understood by Google without major hurdles have you laid the foundations to achieve really good rankings.

Content optimization:

The content, i.e. the content on your website, is the essential thing to achieve good rankings.

In my opinion, one of the biggest problems with many websites that don’t rank properly on Google is:

Your texts are just to run away!

Many think that the texts on their website cannot be read and that Google cannot assess the text’s quality – this is not the case.

Google can very well distinguish good texts from bad ones. Truthful statements and false statements! Easily readable texts from empty text deserts, etc. …

Some now claim that the best content alone ranks above all others – regardless of how many backlinks the competition has or how well the OnPage optimization was carried out. If you have the best content in your niche, you are guaranteed a front seat.

I would not subscribe to this opinion since backlinks, and good OnPage optimization are still important. However, the “best content” has become an essential requirement for good rankings.

But what is the “best content”?

Simply put, the best content on a particular topic is the text that provides the most and best answers to its target audience’s questions and problems! As simple as that. 😉

But how do you find out if you have the best content on your website? First, look at the competition. What topics do they write about, and what information do they provide? Here you have to try to surpass them in terms of information content. What questions and problems are solved in their texts, and how can you reach these solutions and provide additional benefit?

Optimize texts with WDF * IDF

Using a WDF * IDF content analysis, you can see what the competition is operating in the top places for your keyword for terms (terms) in their texts.

Here is an example with the tool Ryte.com – free alternative: seobility.net/de/wdf-idf-tool

The keyword in the example is “SEO.” With the help of the WDF-IDF analysis from OnPage.org, it was analyzed which terms/words are to be found significantly frequently in the texts of the competitors’ search results for the keyword “SEO”.

So far, so familiar. From this point, I leave the standard path and go my own way ;-).

Most would now look at how often a single “term” or “concept” occurs on average and incorporate this into the text just as often – I find this approach inappropriate. It’s not the year 2008 anymore – The Google search engine is increasingly becoming an artificial intelligence. Do we seriously want to trick the machine repeatedly using an exact number of specific terms in our texts?

That will not do!

Google doesn’t care how often you use which terms!

My tip: Use WDF-IDF to see what your competitors are writing about, and consider whether you want to report on these terms as well, to provide your readers with meaningful added value or not. Through this analysis, I’ve personally often stumbled upon sub-topics (ouch) that I hadn’t even thought of before. So a WDF-IDF comment can always be beneficial to improve your content if you don’t blindly trust the results.

Web design

As is well known, one can argue about beauty. However, many people have similar tastes, and this is how beautiful websites can be distinguished from ugly ones.

Why should design be necessary for a better Google ranking?

Quite simply, if your website looks humble, who is going to dwell on it long?

Hardly anyone, and therefore “not so beautiful” websites have a much harder time getting ahead than beautiful and coherent websites. I am not a designer myself, and therefore, unfortunately, I cannot give you ONE TIP so that all of your websites look amazing overnight.

It would help if you didn’t try to have the most beautiful site on the net, but try to make it easy to look at. Purple background with pink fonts scares too many of your visitors. If you (like me) do not have a great idea of ​​design, you should buy beautiful, ready-made WordPress themes (such as the Genesis theme ), or you can get help from a web designer.

As a result, two essential ranking factors could be improved through a more beautiful design alone.

Analyze visitor behaviour

One of the essential ranking factors – and still very much neglected by many: Pay attention to your visitors’ user behaviour on your website.

If they are happy with your site by finding what you are looking for, Google will be satisfied with your site too. After all, Google wants satisfied users to continue to use Google to get answers to their questions.

But how do you find out if visitors are finding what they’re looking for?

The tracking data of your website is an essential point for the inventory / fundamental analysis (see 1st chapter above) of your website and shows your visitors’ behaviour.

When tracking your visitors, does it show that there is only a short stay time, e.g. B. less than 30 seconds? This can be a clear sign that the visitor cannot find what he is looking for and quickly leaves the page. Of course, the length of stay varies enormously from website to website. A website that only offers brief information, such as B. the current weather, usually does not have a long session, as the visitor can find all the information they need very quickly and then move on again.

If, on the other hand, you have a short dwell time with a blog or an online shop, this can be a clear indication that your website is off-putting or does not offer enough information.

To analyze the behaviour of your visitors precisely, you have to evaluate your tracking data more precisely.

If you use Google Analytics, you can see under Behavior -> Behavior flow which pages were clicked significantly and which pages were clicked on afterwards. You can also see which URL your website was left on again. Here you can do an in-depth analysis and study user behaviour in great detail.

Visitor behavior flow (Google Analytics)

How does the visitor find their way around?

If many visitors to your website drop out after a short time, you have to look for possible reasons.

In addition to the tracking tool Google Analytics, a heat map can also help you find out more about your visitors.

A heat map is like a layer that is placed over your website. This registers every click on your site and uses it to create an overview display. On this, you can find out where your visitors clicked significantly often. You can draw immensely valuable information from this.

Increase the length of stay: encourage the visitor to stay.

Are you offering the visitor enough to keep them on your website for as long as possible? In online shops, a “Look book” or “Shop Your Style” is ideal.

Many (successful) online shops offer entire photo galleries and product videos on their websites to show their products in action. This helps the potential customer to get a better impression of the work and, if necessary, he can be persuaded to buy. Also, smaller websites such as B. Blogs can do a lot to keep visitors on your website for as long as possible.

Meaningful menu navigation is worth gold for every website. The visitor can only orient himself and (hopefully) find what he is looking for if his website has a meaningful information architecture. In a blog, categories and keywords (tags) help structure blog posts in a meaningful way.

Try to make it as easy as possible for your visitors to get an overview of the website. So it would help if you didn’t ignore the 3-second rule either.

If your website doesn’t manage to make it clear to the visitor within 3 seconds what the website is all about, you will quickly lose many frustrated visitors. Therefore, your homepage/entry page should always pick up every visitor and make it clear what this is about.

Know your target audience’s problems and provide solutions

When people look for information on the Internet, they are often looking for answers/solutions to their problems. So this is your chance! Offer solutions on your website and answer your target audience’s questions in the best possible way. Your visitors and Google will love you for it!

But how do you find out the problems of the target group?

Research problems

If you run a website on a particular topic but don’t know the problems and questions yet, you can, of course, find out a lot of issues through classic keyword research (see inventory / fundamental analysis, 2.) keyword research).

Your target group has usually already published their problems and questions on the Internet. Forums such as B. Gute-Frage.net is an excellent place to go to research your target group’s questions. Many people enter their questions directly into Google, in the form of W-questions.

Offer solutions and answers.

Once you know your target audience’s problems and questions, you should get down to answering and solving those questions. The solutions can (theoretically) be answered in very different ways: B. through podcasts, videos or a blog. If you want to improve your Google rankings, you should rely on the written word. Because only names can Google understand, while podcasts and videos have little chance of excellent orders. Google is not that smart (yet) …

But only carelessly designed “SEO texts” will not get you to your destination!

You have to make your texts readable

1.) Many people scan texts before they even start reading them. Make sure to use a good headline that encourages reading, subheadings that provide information, and a conclusion that sums up the most crucial information at the end.

2.) Make your texts worth reading by incorporating a high level of information content (and added value) and not just using empty phrases. Try to include as many tips, information and solutions as possible in your texts. Always look at the competition. How does this answer the target group’s questions, and how can you surpass their solutions (super important !!!).

3.) Make your texts varied. Build as many paragraphs as possible, send pictures/graphics, small videos or another loosening up in your books. This is the only way that many people will agree to read your texts through.

Note:

Only a website with high-quality information and solutions to its target group’s questions and needs has a chance of excellent rankings on Google. Know your target group, find out what problems and needs they have and provide you with solutions. This is the only way to achieve good rankings!

Off-page optimization / backlinks

Backlinks don’t matter!

These no longer work !!

Backlinks are something of 2006 !!!

Content is everything !!!!

Backlinks are, of course, still an important ranking factor. You can have great content and a great website. Without OffPage SEO, it will be difficult, even impossible, to get ahead on highly competitive keywords. However, not every backlink is equally good. There are good backlinks that can make your website rise in the rankings, and there are bad backlinks that can make your website fall again. Of course, it is important to recognize good backlinks and build them for your website.

Simply put, good backlinks are backlinks from relevant websites that have good rankings on Google and have a strong link profile. There are many other criteria for distinguishing useful links from bad ones. I admit, evaluating backlinks is not easy, but it is doable. 

You shouldn’t ignore this topic either: If you already have many backlinks but still can’t get ahead, this may be due to wrong / harmful backlinks. Then you should check the fastest way to get rid of the bad backlinks.

But which types of links are positive?

Blog comments (yes, really, I wrote blog comments!) Can provide a solid foundation for a natural link profile. However, for bloggers only, as commenting is a form of discussion and sharing on blogs over the Internet.

Why should Google rate this type of discussion negatively?

It only becomes harmful when you, as a blogger, comment on old posts that went online years ago or only made pointless short comments to dust off a nofollow blog comment. No, that is not a good thing. Comment meaningfully, with heart and mind, or leave it the same! If you want to get ahead on strong keywords (e.g. online shops), you will, of course, not get very far with weak links from blog comments.

Content links are the magic word here. These are links from other topic-related websites (e.g. news and industry portals, blogs, online newspapers) from the running text, e.g. B. a guest post, mention in the news, etc. Such links are trustworthy.

Conclusion and one last piece of advice

I hope you were able to take some tips with you and improve your rankings. Incidentally, better rankings do not come overnight but are the result of hard and usually protracted work. But the effort can be worthwhile to achieve better rankings and larger visitor numbers (and hopefully more sales ;-)).

One last piece of advice from me:

Always try to have more traffic sources because search engines are continually changing their algorithms and thus, the game rules. If there are significant changes again, your website can lose rankings similarly very quickly, and your visitor numbers and your business suffer significantly as a result. There are plenty of alternative sources of traffic. Ranging from ads (e.g. display ads) to social media channels and email marketing, there are many alternatives to driving traffic to your website.

Therefore, always keep the most critical steps in SEO in mind to continuously improve your rankings on Google:

  1. You need a technically clean and perfectly indexable website.
  2. Your website should deliver quality content that offers detailed and the best possible answers to your target audience’s problems and questions.
  3. Only with intense, topic-relevant backlinks will your website make it to the top in the search results for highly competitive keywords.


Categories: Blogging, Content Marketing, Google, Seo

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: