7 Linkbuilding Myths Debunked – A Beginner’s Guide to SEO Bridge Building

Anyone interested in search engine optimization (SEO) and wants his side in the search results is very far above, and sooner or later, the topic link building . Link building has almost 8 million effects in Google search. If you don’t feel like clicking through the mass of information and looking for an excellent introduction to link building, you’ve come to the right place!

In this article, we want to explain understandably what link building is, why it is so important, which factors play a role and resolve seven widespread link building myths.

In a nutshell: what is link building? 

Link building, or link building, is assigned to the OffPage optimizations in search engine optimization (SEO). OnPage Optimization encompasses everything from content and structural Optimization to technical adjustments. OffPage Optimization, even if the name suggests otherwise, still has something to do with the website. But it’s about external factors and things that don’t happen on your website. 

The goal of link building is to get as many good backlinks as possible. With a backlink, another domain refers to your website using a link (strictly speaking, this is called the hyperlink ). In the figurative sense, a bridge is built from one domain to another for users and Google. The more backlinks you have, the more bridges there are, and so there are more ways to get to the website via different bridges. Users and Google find their way to your site more efficiently and more often.

Unfortunately, link building is not that short and sweet, but a very complex topic. Rightly one wonders what a good backlink is, how this form of SEO bridges comes about, and whether it is best to support the development actively. But that’s another story, and where we want to stick to the link building basics and the backlink myths circulating on the net. Lots of details about backlinks there is, for example, the SEO tool Sistrix. By the way: Because a Sistrix contribution has been linked here, a bridge has already been built, and Sistrix has received a new backlink.

Why do I need a link building? 

If you imagine that websites like small islands float in the sea of ​​the Internet and that backlinks like small bridges connect these islands, you already have a rough idea of ​​why link building is essential. 

WITH BACKLINKS FROM OTHER SITES, YOU CAN MAKE IT EASIER FOR USERS AND GOOGLE

When many bridges, from different islands, point towards your own, it is easier to find – both by users and by Google. Because both use links, both internal and external, to move through the Internet. It is much more challenging to reach a desert island because the connections are missing here. Once a few bridges have been built, the way to the island is much more comfortable. 

A small example: You are planning a vacation in a big city and read a blog post on how to spend your day in this city. A café is mentioned, linked, and makes a good impression. Click on it and land on the side of a cafe that you might not have found through Google search. Such a bridge looks like this in the HTML source code:

<a href=”https://www.cafeimurlaubsland.de”&gt; The best café in your holiday country </a>

The link, surrounded by anchor tag <a> […] </a>, contains the linked URL. This URL is the destination (hence the destination URL or link target ) that you will reach when you click on it. The link text (or anchor text ) is the text that you click, and that describes the link target.

Another factor why link building is so important is trust. Because if a page is often linked, Google can assume that it is also a desirable target. This page contains what it promises because the linked pages confirm this. Also, “good” sites tend to link to other “good” sites. The SEO Beginners Guide of MOZ explains this as follows:

“Through links, engines can analyze not only the popularity of websites and pages based on the number and popularity of pages linking to them, but also metrics like trust, spam, and authority. Trustworthy sites tend to link to other trusted sites, while spammy sites receive very few links from trusted sources. “

But that shouldn’t be overrated either, because backlinks are not the only and not the most critical factor that Google uses to rate a website. The evaluation of the sites, taking into account the incoming links, is used by Google as PageRank designated. This is an internal rating by Google, which cannot be viewed because the PageRank is no longer published publicly. 

The origin of the PageRank metric can be explained using the example of a scientific paper. If another article is cited in a renowned paper written by experts in this area, you can be sure that the paper cited is a good source. It is trustworthy and relevant. The more often an article is cited by excellent other documents, the stronger this impression is. Such a quote is comparable to a backlink. The more backlinks created from good sources, the more trustworthy and relevant the linked page is, and the higher the PageRank rated by Google.

Link Building Foundation – The Google Guidelines 

Now it is naturally tempting to collect as many links as possible simply. Until the penguin update from the Google algorithm, this was a widespread, but foul, tactic. The aim is not to use the much-help method, but rather to set up useful links. Useful links are also relevant to the user. What helps you with the travel preparation in the text section to the café a link to a casino in an entirely different country – absolutely nothing.

Overview of the guidelines 

The  Google guidelines for webmasters and the guidelines for link exchange programs When it comes to link building, they primarily deal with backlinks that influence the PageRank of your page. Simply put, these are backlinks from extreme sites. This restriction clarifies that these are guidelines and not general rules that are mandatory for every backlink. These guidelines can be summarized as follows:

  1. Do not participate in excessive link exchange programs. This works according to the motto link me; then I link you! Here, added value and the context of the backlink creation are missing.
  2. Do not buy or sell links that come from pages with higher PageRank for money, products, services, or in exchange for other relationships.
  3. Only link content that offers the user added value and also makes sense.
  4. Don’t overdo the keywords. Anyone who runs a café and links it in forums with ” Example name café Café sample city best café sample city” which exaggerates.
  5. Do not use misleading anchor texts.
  6. Use only visible links that everyone can find. For example, invisible links are white text on a white background or zero font size links.
  7. Do not use automated services that create links to your site. 

These guidelines have been drawn up by Google. In practice, many cases contradict these guidelines. For example, buying and selling links is often ordinary. Such a violation of the Google guidelines should always be treated with caution! 

In general: Naturalness wins. 

If you compare the following section with the rest of this article, you can see without content what naturalness does not look like in link building :

THIS EXAMPLE SUGGESTS DIRTY LINK BUILDING WITH NO CONTENT 

A strikingly large number of links is set for such a short section; the anchor texts are concise, the penultimate line doubles with a smaller version. There may also be a version of this line that is no longer recognizable. Of course, there are always exceptions. Nevertheless, be careful with everything that does not seem reasonable to you.

Opinions differ about good and bad backlinks. 

Several factors determine whether a backlink is valuable or not. At this point, it is slowly becoming difficult for SEO beginners because some elements have to be measured and analyzed with tools. The report of how many backlinks you got from other websites also requires a tool and contains different metrics. 

To put it simply, it can be said that the following factors play a role in a good backlink: 

  • The linking page can be found in the Google index – also in the Google search results. 1
  • The site is rated “good” by Google. 2nd
  • The linking page offers unique content and appears high quality. It does not consist of blank pages or copied texts. 
  • The linking part matches the link target and is therefore relevant. 3rd
  • With a vast number of links from one side, you should be skeptical.
  • The anchor text describes the linked page appropriately and appropriately. 
  • The linking page links, as best as possible, from the text and not from the footer, which has little to do with the high-quality content. 
  1. You can check whether a page is in the Google Index by entering “site: http://www.domainname.com&#8221; in the Google search. This will show you all indexed pages. 
  2. You can see that pages are rated “good” by Google because the page ranks high in the search results. Another indicator is high scores of metrics that measure the site (for example, the MOZ Domain Authority or Power * Trust from LRT).
  3. Useful links are links that are also relevant for the user. Here again, the holiday example comes into play: You are looking for a café in your holiday country and have found a website with travel tips. Describes this page in a section of restaurants and links to them, this is a relevant link. If cafes are described, and casinos are linked, this is not the case. The linked page should also match the content created. One should lead the reader to helpful other sites and not too unexpected goals. Critical to the relevance of a backlink: The website to which a backlink is created does not have to deal with the same topic as the website from which the link is made. The linked part should fit the place where the backlink was set. 

What hats have to do with it 

Anyone who deals with link building quickly comes across the terms White HatGray Hat, and Black Hat. This is where hats come in – does that have anything to do with SEO?

WHAT DO HATS HAVE TO DO WITH SEO AND BACKLINKS? SOME!

It did because these terms describe the method that SEOs use in the area of ​​search engine optimization. 

White Hat SEO complies with all the rules set by Google. Black hat SEO includes clear violations of Google’s guidelines. Gray hat SEO is between white and black hat – some guidelines are followed, there may be rule violations, and there are methods where it is not clear whether they comply with the rules. Gray-Hat tries to interpret the Google guidelines differently, creates more freedom of action, and is classified as borderline. 

What are the limits to link building? 

Google’s guidelines for quality in link building, which have already been mentioned in the section Link Building Basis – the Google guidelines, are the benchmark for the evaluation. While a white hat and black hat are recognizable methods, the gray hat is often borderline and difficult to assess. The methods used are not directly prohibited (otherwise, they would be classified as black hats) and are rarely warned or punished by Google. The plans are discussed a lot on the Internet, and it is often a subjective assessment whether a gray hat method is still acceptable or is going too far.

Two Gray Hat SEO Examples Briefly Discussed 

To illustrate the differences, two examples from the link building gray area follow :

  1. Optimize anchor texts too much for keywords  – Of course anchor texts should best describe the link target and help the user. It is not surprising that keywords appear in anchor texts for which a page is to be found on Google. But if you overdo it and fill anchor texts with keywords (or overfill them) and set a whole series of these links, you are in a gray area. You should pay attention to here: Do not always use the same anchor text and not link each keyword in a document. 
  2. Link yourself  – Those who comment on forums and answer questions also have the option of linking useful sources in their answers. That, of course, includes your website. In most cases, this is perfectly understandable and fine. But if you spread your website in a big way and write forum posts without useful content and instead with many links to your page in many forum posts, you are again approaching the gray area. However, if relevant information is passed on to users that contain a link to further content, this is not in the gray hat, but in the white hat area. 

Here is a simplified example: To the forum question, ” I am looking for a flower shop in Cologne that you can book for weddings ” in a local Cologne forum, the answer ” Nice cafés in your holiday country! ” With a link to http://www.cafeimurlaubsland.de is irrelevant. The answer ” You will find an overview of flower shops in Cologne with tips for planning weddings! ” With a link to http://www.blumenschmuck.de/hochzeit/dienstleistungen-köln, ” it is relevant and offers the valuable user information.

Of course, you are on the safe side with the white SEO hat and natural link building. This creates a backlink from a useful page with many users and provides valuable content to your page. It is thematically appropriate and helps to expand the content on the other website. Natural link building arises if both sides meet the perfect link building requirements and offer everyone involved the highest possible added value. John Mueller (Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google) answered the question of how to deal with link building

“In general, I’d try to avoid that, so that you’re sure that your content kind of stands on its own. And make it possible for other people too, of course, link to your content […]”.

With this, he emphasizes that in his view, natural link building is the best way, and active intervention should preferably be avoided. The answer to the question is in the video of the Google Live Hangouts to find just before the end.

7 Linkbuilding Myths Uncovered 

After all the basics and guidelines, things are finally getting serious: The link building myths are exposed! 

LINK BUILDING WORKS WITHOUT MYTHS AND MAGIC

Clicking through the topic of link building as an SEO beginner primarily means a mass of information. A few myths have set in overtime, which we would like to clarify here, quite simply. 

  1. Those who get links rank at the top 

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple, because links alone do not ensure top positions in Google search. The Google algorithm takes into account far more factors, and backlinks are not the most important. Also, in almost all cases, you are not the only page with links. Competing sites with better relationships to do better in comparison. Nevertheless, backlinks are still relevant. 

2. Only links from top sites get me ahead. 

If you only follow excellent metrics in link building, you will miss out on a lot of opportunities because even pages that appear less well known can assign valuable backlinks.

Because:

  • Very new sites rarely have particularly useful values ​​because they are simply too “young” for them. Therefore, of course, they have no less potential.
  • Lesser known sites also have users. As long as the link is set meaningfully, every single user who comes to your page via a backlink is valuable.
  • Some pages deal with niche topics and are only relevant to Google in a particular topic area. If the linking page with your question fits your page well, this backlink has a high thematic relevance and is therefore very valuable. 

If you want to explain the connection between metrics and backlinks, you can find an explanation on backlinks from sites with a low domain authority at MOZ. So you don’t have to worry that pages with less ethical values ​​can damage your page through a backlink. Especially not with a single link. In certain situations, a high number of low-quality backlinks can be harmful.

3. Avoid links from directories. 

This myth holds up pretty well. The main thing here is that there are pages that only consist of an eternally long list of links. Since these links have no added value, the backlinks are also worthless. Excluding all directories, therefore, makes little sense. A contribution about the best cafes in holiday destination XY,  which lists and links all recommended cafes in a section, is a backlink with content and meaning.

Forums are also often understood as a directory and thus as a “bad” backlink. This is because forum backlinks are almost always “no follow” – more on that in the next point.

4. “Nofollow” must not be 

With the attribute “no follow,” you distance yourself from a backlink and tell Google that the link should not be followed. So there is a bridge, but Google doesn’t go over it. This is a good argument that these backlinks are not good, but only one way of looking at it. Because for users, these links are in no way “no follow” – the user does not notice the difference. Thus, “no follow” links can bring valuable traffic to your site.

5. By setting outgoing links, you lose “Linkjuice.” 

This is where the assumption that if you refer too much to other pages is distracting from yourself. It’s like giving your fame to others by linking to other sites. At this point, you often read that the so-called link juice thereby lost. Some SEO studies even show that creating backlinks is positive can impact.

6. An anchor text without keywords is not an anchor text. 

It is rumored that only links with a lot of keywords in the anchor text do anything. On the one hand, keyword-optimized anchor texts are against Google’s guidelines. On the other hand, the situation cannot be assessed across the board. An anchor text can, as Google expert Matt Cutts confirms, also use synonyms and paraphrases – a completely normal part of everyday language. Then the anchor text contains absolutely no keyword but is well designed for the user. Another factor here is the mixture of different anchor texts: If all anchor texts are only aimed at synonyms and not at your keyword, this can be a problem. If it’s only part of the backlinks, there’s nothing wrong with that.

7. Backlinks from pages that don’t seem relevant hurt me. 

Relevance is an essential factor for a good backlink, that cannot be denied. If you look at which pages link to your own, you shouldn’t prematurely judge backlinks from pages from other niches. Anyone who runs a café and a suitable website not only gets backlinks from the area of ​​food & drink. This could just as well be travel blogs or websites with nutritional tips if they match the menu. Topics such as furnishings or location can be addressed just as well, perhaps the building is historical, or the café is particularly child-friendly. Also, such a restaurant can be visited and recommended by a wide variety of people with a wide range of blogs. As long as the context is right, topic differences are not relevant.

The end of the SEO bridge 

The first SEO bridge would be built – with essential knowledge and without any myths. Link building is and remains a complex topic. Hopefully, this article could help you get started. 

Search terms Google – How to generate traffic with the right keywords

“If you search, you will find” – this saying applies not only to everything in life but of course also to the Internet. This lesson is particularly important when it comes to your website. Because your potential customers should find you or your company, whom they carry out a search query that deals with your core business. The noise is loud on the Internet – you will encounter a large number of companies that are also trying to direct search queries to specific terms to their websites. With this article, we would like to show you how you can increase the traffic on your site with the appropriate tools and strategies by choosing the right search terms Google.

What is part of the ideal search engine optimization (SEO)?

As we have already indicated, the right choice of focus keyword, which should lead interested users to your website, is critical. But how do you find these terms and make use of them? When we talk about SEO optimization, we also have to talk about SEO keyword. Through the ideal method of the right keywords, you contribute to the fact that search engines – and thus also users – are referred to your website faster. The search result leads directly to your company.

Of course, some aspects are entirely logical and require no further keyword research – if you have a flower shop, for example, it is clear that terms such as “flower shop, flowers, flower arrangements” etc. are among the names that your potential customer is looking for becomes. Only this type of keyword determination is not enough to get the best results. Intensive keyword research is of particular importance and requires effective  SEO online marketing.  Your on-page optimization. This way, search queries are ideally used to give your company even more reach. It also helps to find new topics for your content marketing strategy.

Search terms Google – Learn to think about how your customer is looking!

Think carefully about how your customers can reach you. Most entrepreneurs use  Google Ads accounts to become more visible on the Internet. These are filled with the appropriate keywords. There are a variety of different sources available to help you find the right ones to improve your search engine marketing.

For example, consider the following when determining keywords:

  • Your website: Always keep it up to date. Find gaps between the content of your website and your keyword list.
  • Your products: Make sure that your products can be found quickly and easily on Google. If you’re a retailer, things like product names and models can make keywords powerful.
  • Your brand: also think about your brand. The name of your brand – together with the product – already represents a new keyword group.

It can also make sense to enter your URLs as keywords. Some people also search for them on Google if, for example, they cannot remember the name of a product.

An essential feature for optimal SEO – keyword tools

Your keywords should reflect all of the different types of user queries that could help someone find your business when they’re looking for something you offer. So that the Google search of your potential customers also ends on your website, you should use a keywords tool. One of the best known is the so-called Google Keyword Planner. This tool has the task to find the right search terms for your Google Ads campaigns and shows you how high (or how low) specific words are in the course about the topic of your choice.

The Google Keyword Planner offers the following options.

  • Search for keywords and find ideas for Google ad groups
  • Ranking of existing keywords that you enter yourself
  • Creation of various keyword lists

Step-by-step: the Google Keyword Planner

To use the Google Keyword Planner, you need a Google Adwords account. If you don’t have an Adwords account yet, you can set it up in a few minutes. By the way, you do not need to initiate an active Adwords campaign to use the tool – nevertheless, you should install the Adwords account completely.

Next, log in to your Google Adwords account. Then click the wrench icon in the toolbar at the top of the page and select the Keyword Planner tool. Now you have two options – on the one hand; you can find relevant search terms from the planner or have your keywords checked for significance. Fortunately, these two SEO-oriented keyword research tools are enough to generate thousands of potential keywords. The tremendous new SEO offer optimized texts.

Generate keywords in different ways

If you want to generate new search terms instead of checking existing keywords, the search field shows you the option to type words, phrases or URLs that relate to your topic. How good the results of the research are depending on your input, which is why you should be strategically wise here.

  • “Word entry”: These are individual words that describe your company (e.g. “car” or “vacation”). This enables you to access Google’s internal keyword database for various industries.
  • “Phrases”: Here, you enter terms that consist of one to three keywords. For example, if we assume that you have a pet shop, you can enter terms such as “feed for rodents” or “grain-free animal feed” here. Terms that your customers would use in their Google search to find what they’re looking for.
  • “A URL that relates to your company”: This is primarily for Adwords users. But even in this way, you can sometimes find important keywords by entering the URL of your website or an article on your homepage.

Check your keywords

This is a function that is useful if you already have a long list of keywords and want to check their search volume. To put it in a nutshell, this option will not help you generate new keyword ideas. You may also discover new online marketing trends for your industry. Nevertheless, the information determined in this way is by no means uninteresting. Copy a list of keywords into the search field and click “Go”.

Search terms Google – What is all about SEO?

Determining the right keywords is a measure that influences a wide variety of factors in the ideal SEM search engine optimization. The correct search terms are also useful in connection with services such as Google Suggest. But Google has come up with much more for the optimal traffic on your website.

Here is an overview of the essential features:

Google Search Console

The Search Console ensures that your website always stays up to date. Thanks to the Google Search Console, you can find errors in the code, internal links and other areas of the site. The Search Console also shows which online search queries the user came to the website and which terms were relevant. Since many users are now only online via smartphone, Google’s Search Console also shows how well your site is displayed on the go. The feature also shows you how often specific keywords are used within the domain.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free web analytics tool that produces detailed statistics about website activity. Google explains on its website that the system “helps to analyze the traffic on a website and to get a complete picture of your target group”.

Google Analytics uses a Javascript tracking code to collect data about visitors to your website and their interactions on your page. You then insert this code on your website.

With Google Trends, you can observe specific topics and search terms. This is also important for keyword analysis. Thanks to the tool, and you can see the search interest in a question or a search term within a specified period and also see which words are searched in addition to the first time.

Google Suggest

It is not easy to improve your status on Google Suggest or to provide the keywords that ensure that auto-completion is in your company’s favour. You had already noticed how important Google Suggest had become when you started a search query on Google. The tool is strongly oriented to the search behaviour of its users by logically merging term groups according to their temporary popularity.

As soon as you started typing a term, the word was completed by not only spelling it out but adding alternative names. Wouldn’t it be nice if your company could also benefit from this feature?

The direct influence on Google Suggest is challenging to control – it is essential in this context that you conduct meaningful content marketing and try to identify suitable keyword trends using Google Trends and include them in your content strategy. Because in the end, it is always about generating content in which the terms that users are looking for are incorporated.

Conclusion: Anyone who says SEO must also mean keyword optimization

Even if proper keyword research can be a bit time-consuming, it is worth it. After all, you want your new, potential customers to find you and your offer immediately if you are looking for services or goods from your core business. With the right key terms that you can generate with the right tools, you can find out exactly how your target group is looking. You then incorporate these terms into your content marketing strategy and your general online marketing measures  – and thus manage to generate traffic to your website.

Yoast SEO – advantages and disadvantages for your optimization

Do you want to learn more about the WordPress SEO plugin from Yoast? Then just read this post by giving you the most important one.

What is Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin, and what does it offer?

As the operator of a website, you want your page to be found by search engines. Rank in Google and Bing search results is one of the purest forms of internet marketing. The so-called search engine optimization mainly consists of two large fields: on-page and off-page. Off-page are, for example, other websites that link to your page and thus “recommend” you. On page is all you can do on your page to appear for a keyword in the index. An SEO plugin helps with these SEO measures.

You have to consider a few things when writing your posts, and every article has the chance to rank well with search engines for the right focus keyword. It also gets more clicks. More clicks on your entry on Google means more readers on the website. This, in turn, brings you more conversion. Depending on the intent, more transformation can mean higher advertising revenue through more reach or more sales. What exactly do you have to consider when optimizing your website for a search engine? The Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress will help you with this.

The plugin shows you additional fields such as meta description, meta title, page title and focuses keyword under each article. These are necessary so that Google and other search engines can understand what your page is about. This information is also used for your entry in the index. You can also get more conversion if you are already ranked, but your meta description or the page title in the search results is not appealing enough.

Installation

In the WordPress dashboard, go to Plugins and enter Yoast SEO in the search bar. With one click, you download the plugin and install it on your WordPress. After installation, the configuration wizard will guide you through the necessary settings and functions in ten simple steps, if you want. If you have previously installed other SEO tools such as wp SEO or All-in-One SEO, you can import the settings into the installation of Yoast SEO and do not have to create everything again. To do this, go to Import and Export and “Import from other SEO plugins” in the Tools tab. Put a tick, click import, and the settings will be transferred.

As the operator of a website, you should be registered in the Google Search Console, formerly Webmaster Tools. If Google detects problems with your page, you will be informed. You can connect the Search Console to your WordPress. Statistics, i.e. essential data for your SEO measures and tips for better conversion, are displayed directly on the dashboard. The SEO plugin can also help you with the traffic light.

If you already have a relatively large page and are installing the plugin for the first time, you can see in a clear dashboard which posts need optimization. With a simple traffic light system, each of your pages is marked in green, yellow or red. With each field that you have optimized, more traffic lights jump to green. Of course, no one wants to edit over 100 pages individually and optimize them for a focus keyword. Therefore, the Yoast SEO plugin offers so-called templates. Just create a rule like A field “title” should always be composed of “Category: Page title” or the meta description should always be the first 120 characters of the post. And you’ve already optimized hundreds of pages in five minutes. But that is only the beginning.

All functions of Yoast SEO at a glance

Both versions of the Yoast SEO Plugin (Premium and Free) have the following functions in addition to the necessary additional fields required for SEO in WordPress:

Keyword check

The SEO plugin automatically calculates how often your focus keyword appears in the text and uses the traffic light to show you whether it is too little or too often. It also checks whether the keyword is in the right places. This is possible, for example, in the page title and the first paragraph of the text. Of course, your keyword should also be found in the “Meta description” field and the URL to achieve a good entry in the index. This is a good start for your  SEO measures.

Legibility

The Flesh Reading Ease Score is determined automatically. This tells you how simple or complicated your text is written. The calculation is based on a simple formula. A score of 60-70 is easy to read for an eighth-grader; a score between 0 and 30 is only understandable for university graduates. An important factor here is short sentences and the use of binders such as before, after, nonetheless. The Flesch Index is probably the best-known indicator of excellent legibility of texts. However, there are other indices for readability, such as the Viennese exact formula and the Gunning Fox Index.

Breadcrumbs

Something that you write either fits into different categories or you change the article types when writing and the breadcrumbs get mixed up. With the plugin you can easily define the first category and determine the subsequent taxonomy without having to work long in the backend. If you have not yet created breadcrumbs on your page, you should consider such measures in SEO think. They are accommodating for good online marketing of your website. Google partially takes over the breadcrumbs in the entry. So instead of the URL http://www.meinehomepage.com/neuerartikel under the blue heading in the snippet in small letters is http://www.meinehomepage.com&gt; Category> Subcategory> Third level. This way, the search engine knows better whether your page matches a keyword. The searcher also knows quickly and clearly that he wants to read your page.

Duplicate content

Avoid duplicate content! The Yoast SEO plugin helps you via canonical to mark the original content. For example, if your page can be reached at the URL www.deinehomepage.com and yourhompage.com, these are two different URLs with the same material. To avoid that a search engine classifies this as duplicate content, you simply set a so-called canonical link. There are also so-called scraper websites on the web. These search the internet for exciting content and automatically copy it to a collection page that should rank for a specific keyword. If you have an RSS feed, this SEO plugin adds it to the link building feed with a canonical link each time. So everyone who takes your content automatically links back to your page and is not classified as a duplicate content.

Technical SEO

You have no idea what robots.txt, .htaccess files, clean permalink URL and sitemaps are or how you access the backend of your site? You don’t have to know that either. The Yoast SEO Plugin is easy to install and automatically configures a few essential technical SEO aids in the backend. This will make your page more visible. The clear dashboard is helpful to make things in the backend easy to understand. If you are already familiar with .htaccess, Permalink and robots.txt, you can easily optimize them using the SEO plugin. Also, you do not need an additional plugin to create an XML sitemap.

Noindex and Nofollow

Most of the time, you want your posts to have a Google entry, but not the many archive pages on the keyword. Then you should set the Permalink to noindex here. Or you have an article that is only available for advertising purposes, and you want the Permalink in the text to be set to nofollow in order not to spread the link juice unnecessarily. This is also easier to change with Yoast SEO than in the standard WordPress dashboard or backend.

Images SEO

An often neglected field of search engine optimization is SEO. First of all, of course, you have to consider whether you want your images to appear in Google Images Search. If this is the case, then Google must know what can be seen in the pictures. You can tell the search engine this with an image title on the one hand and with the alt attribute on the other. The alt attribute is the meta description for images. If you prefer to write “What a beautiful forest” as a caption for a picture of a squirrel that eats a nut, then you should write in the alt attribute what can be seen: “Squirrel eats nut”. If someone searches for squirrels in the image search, they will find your image as an entry for this keyword.

Linking

The Google algorithm was initially based on not merely listing all the search results that match a keyword. Above all, it was essential to enter the pages particularly high in the index, which have many links from other pages. This type of recommendation mechanism made Google better than other search engines. Therefore, it is part of proper search engine optimization. It is a kind of code of honour for online marketing. So if you find something useful on the net, don’t just write about it, but link it. Make sure to link a page with Permalink. This is a page where the link does not change. If you search for a product in the search engine, the link to the search will no longer be active approx. 20 minutes later.

Timeliness

Have you ever heard of a panda or penguin? In the online marketing world, these are not just animals, but above all significant changes in the Google algorithm, which often lead to a sudden sharp drop in visibility in the index. This can also affect pages that are well optimized. Google even makes small changes, about 500 to 600 times a year. The Yoast SEO plugin is updated every two weeks. So if Google spontaneously changes something in the algorithm, your page is quickly up to date.

Preview

What does your entry look like in the search results? And what if a potential customer or reader is looking for you from a cell phone? Sometimes this is good to know before the text goes online. Therefore, the Yoast SEO Plugin shows your Google Snippet directly under each article. You can see a section of the search results or what they will look like. Google also uses so-called “rich snippets”. This means that your Google “snippet” is enriched with other functions, depending on the article type and keyword. Rich snippets are, for example, the sightseeing carousel, if you are looking for a place, or the box on the right, adding pictures, names, excerpts from Wikipedia,

Even if the standard Google entry begins with breadcrumbs or with stars because it is marked as a rating, this is already considered a “Rich Snippet”.

The advantages of Yoast Premium compared to the free version.

One of the main arguments for the premium version is, of course, support. If you like to leaf through FAQs and Yoast’s knowledge base, you will have no problems finding help. However, the premium version offers round-the-clock support by email for one year.

Also, the premium version not only has a preview of what the snippet shown in the index will look like later. It also shows a preview for Facebook and Twitter. This is how you will find out what your page looks like when someone shares it on Facebook or Twitter. The plugin shows you which text and which thumbnails are used for posts so that you can make changes before you press the “Publish” button. If you don’t want to think about it for every article, you can simply set a template for the social media metadata in this SEO plugin so that it is always the right title and the right picture in the correct format.

When it comes to internal linking, the premium variant automatically makes suggestions as to which of your pages you can link to in the new article. And while you are writing. No (internal or external) linking would be a waste of a good text or a well-running material. You cannot always keep all the pages and article types of your homepage in mind. However, the plugin can check all of your pages and make suggestions that would be suitable for internal linking. The internal link is an integral part of on-page optimization.

Content Insight

Automatic content insight is particularly useful. The five keywords that appear most frequently in the post are displayed. So you can quickly compare whether they correspond to the desired keyword for which the article should rank or whether another focus keyword has crept in. This is particularly helpful if you like to deviate from the topic in the page title when writing. BTW: If you want to optimize a text for more than one focus keyword, you can create several keywords with Premium, on which your text should be optimized.

A redirect manager is also included as a feature in Yoast SEO Premium. Redirect plugins are available in the plugin store for free and like sand at sea. However, sometimes it is better if everything comes from a single source, and you have no additional installation. The more plugins installed in WordPress, the higher the chance of performance or compatibility problems, especially with updates. The practical thing about the Redirect Manager in the Yoast SEO Plugin is that it asks you every time you delete a page, and the Permalink threatens to go nowhere to redirect the URL in the backend. So no user ends up in 404 nirvana, and the dashboard is clear.

Internet marketing digression

A little internet marketing digression on redirects: For example, if you want to switch from the URL with http://www.meinehomepage.com/456132 to a speaking URL like http://www.meinehomepage.com/here standing essential things, you should redirect the old page to the new URL. If you wrote an article about new buildings ten years ago under the URL http://www.meinehompage.com/neubauten2008 and you want to write an updated version under the permalink http://www.meinehomepage.com/neubauten2018 and delete the old material, you should, of course, remove it Link new ones, and no user will land on a 404 error page. Also, all the old links then link to your pages and they have a good start in the search results. Make sure the title and URL are similar on both.

The SEO plugin also offers a CSV export in the premium version. Of course, you can manually create an online marketing table in which all pages are listed with their focus keyword or simply use the WordPress dashboard so that you do not appear in the search results with multiple pages on the same keyword. But that’s Sisyphean work. With the installation of the premium version, you can easily export and download this table, including SEO scores into a CSV file. This feature saves time.

Finally, unlike the free version, this premium version is, of course, ad-free for all types of items. For this, you pay 79 euros net for one year, including support and updates.

Disadvantages of the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin

In contrast to the free version, the premium version naturally costs money. But you get an excellent package of features. But whoever searches, finds. So you can also name a few disadvantages with this SEO plugin, but they tend to border on “complaining at a high level”.

Some functions of the premium variant should be used with caution. If you are not familiar with SEO measures and simply accept all suggestions for internal linking, readers will quickly end up in a click circle. Also, it is not pleasant, and the readability on page disturbs if five words are underlined in each sentence.

Optimizing a text for several keywords is feasible without prior knowledge, but not always useful. For example, to optimize it, you need to know that the keywords are very similar and should cover the same search intent.

Google can now see very well that online marketing, online marketing and online marketing are the same keywords. The Yoast SEO plugin cannot. It only finds exact matches in the traffic light rating with meta description and title in the snippet.

In particular, the semantic feature with Flesh Reading Ease Score for readability does not always work correctly in languages ​​other than English. The feature content analysis in the premium version is also not available in all words. Previous languages ​​for which it is optimized are: English, German, Dutch, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese and Russian.

Snippet

Sometimes Google automatically picked parts of the page for the title or description in the snippet because no metadata was stored. For example, if you change the “Meta description” field, the piece in the index is still the old one and different from the preview. It happens that the snippet displayed under your article does not match Google. That may be surprising, but it doesn’t matter. Your SEO measures will still appear in the search results over time. The social snippets sometimes look a little different than in the preview. For example, less text is used for the title or Facebook / Twitter posts show more of the URL.

The Yoast plugin itself is not actively looking for duplicate content. For example, the SEO tools sideliner or FeedWordPress SEO Fix are much more suitable.

The underlying parameters of the plugin are, of course, standardized and therefore do not cover all article types. This means that if you write a glossary with many short texts, the tool will recognize it as not optimized and make suggestions for improvement. Among other things, that it should be more than 300 words. You want to keep this page as short as possible.

We, therefore, recommend the Yoast SEO plugin

Even the free version offers extensive functions to optimize your page fundamentally. The Yoast SEO Plugin is simple to use and easy to understand. It covers the essential SEO requirement that your website needs to be found by a search engine. You suddenly know what a page title is and what your preview looks like. The plugin is easy to install, and on-page optimization is covered with a solution. It also prevents one of the most significant risks of good content: duplicate content.

It is also the best known among SEO tools. It has over 40 million downloads, is stable, and helpful. The installation is also not only available for WordPress but also Magento 2, TYPO3 and Drupal. However, WordPress remains the market leader among the CMS, with a 60 per cent market share.

A unique gimmick of the Yoast SEO plugin is the traffic light. The evaluation for good, medium or bad for the individual SEO parameters is carried out using a small circle that lights up green, yellow or red – similar to a traffic light. This is not only pretty and easy to understand but can be a real motivating factor. If you edit the metadata for the preview of a snippet and slowly see how the traffic light changes from red to yellow to green, this immediately stimulates the internal reward system.

Conclusion

All in all, Yoast SEO is an excellent tool for starting online marketing and very helpful for on-page optimization. The premium version is especially recommended if you rely heavily on social media marketing in your internet marketing mix. Or if you just want personal support. If you have fundamentally exhausted all SEO measures with the tool, optimized every field and your page still does not rank as you wish, then you should consider the human factor. Let an SEO expert look over your site. Because a page with infographic often lists better or has a better conversion because you use more than one content type on one page. The Yoast SEO Plugin does not tell you that yet.

SEO for Online Shops – The Monster FAQ!

You have an online shop, and you have questions about SEO? Then you are right here! Welcome to the Monster FAQ on SEO for Online Shops.

Basic questions

If you already know your way around, feel free to skip these questions. But I tried to shed some light on aspects that not everyone knows. Maybe there is something for advanced users too!

How does search engine optimization work for online shops?

Phew, there is usually a lot to do. But to put it roughly, you try to achieve several things:

  1. Your shop should be accessible and legible for Google. Google (or any other search engine) needs to recognize that it’s a shop and what products it sells.
  2. The shop should deliver the best result for the user on this topic, i.e. also give the user exactly what he was looking for.
  3. The shop should have a good reputation online. This works mostly through links from other useful websites. Google also evaluates other signals such as social media and the like.

What SEOs do now is to improve the online shop on these three points. Everyone does it differently. And everyone sets different priorities. While some swear by link building, other shops optimize technically such as page loading speed down to the last detail. Still, others focus on the content of the website and offer the user the best experience. Since it is an algorithm, there are several ways to get there. In the last few years, the first final points felt to have become more critical, the first point lost relative to the others. You should always keep an eye on all three to get the best results.

Is search engine optimization prohibited?

No. Neither Google nor the legislator has anything against search engine optimization – on the contrary! Google even wants you to make your website more readable – this will make your work more comfortable, and the search engine will find good results faster – which will help users and ultimately make them more satisfied with Google.

However, some techniques violate the so-called webmaster guidelines. For example, if you artificially procure links (for example, by bribing other webmasters with money instead of getting real recommendations to link to your website, you can book advantage for yourself in the short term. However, there is one at Google own team that takes care of exposing these techniques. If you get caught, you may be deliberately downgraded a few places or even flipped entirely out of the Google index so that you may be accurate accomplishes the opposite of what you want.

Apart from this, techniques such as the purchase of links and the setting of links in forums for advertising violate the Unfair Competition Act (UWG). Since you don’t want to show Google that you are buying links, bought links are rarely awarded. Unfortunately, many search engine optimizers – especially agencies – still buy links today. This works mainly because of the principle “Where there is no plaintiff, there is no judge”. If you do something big here – as is currently the case with Instagram influencers with unmarked advertising – then the link buying industry is in bad shape.

How long does it take for my online shop to have good rankings?

To make it short: It depends a lot on the market environment, the desired keywords and your website. Generally speaking, SEO is a matter of months to years, not a matter of weeks. There are some techniques – such as optimizing titles and descriptions – that can affect very quickly (i.e. in a few days or weeks). But if you want to gain trust with Google with a brand new domain, you should plan for a long time. However, initial successes can be visible very soon – especially for niche keywords that do not have a high level of competition.

Why does SEO seem so crucial for my shop?

For most websites, SEO is one of the most cost-effective channels for high-quality visitors – despite the work that you have to do yourself or for which you have to pay an agency or a freelancer. You get targeted visitors with SEO who googled for “Buy blue hiking pants XL”. Anyone who offers such hiking pants (and has matching pants and a beautiful online shop) will have a good chance of buying them. Many high-quality visitors can only be obtained via Google Ads. Google Ads is excellent too, but usually costs more per order (compared to SEO). That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t book Google Ads – most shop owners run SEO and Google Ads at the same time.

But you don’t have to do SEO. Some shop operators rely 100% on Google Ads. Others go full offline marketing with flyers and Co. That also works, and SEO is just one channel out of many.

If you want to sell a product, also consider whether you don’t want to just do it on eBay, Etsy or Amazon? The fees there are high – but you save the costs of an online shop, marketing (mostly) and many other things. Likewise, SEO doesn’t make sense if you have a completely new product that no one knows about yet. In that case, nobody is looking for your product because nobody knows that it exists. Here, however, it makes sense to optimize for relevant terms and keywords in the environment of your product, for example, the “problem” that your product helps with, rather than the product itself. A company magazine and content marketing are ideal for this.

How much does SEO cost?

The question “What does a website cost?” Or “What does a car cost?” Is similarly simple. It all depends on what you want to achieve and where you start. Do you sell puzzles online?

The following models exist – the more SEO, the higher the costs, of course:

  1. You can completely implement SEO yourself.
  2. You can do most of the SEO yourself, with a programmer and SEO consultant at your side.
  3. You can give SEO completely to an agency and programmer.
  4. You can hire an in-house team for SEO, i.e. one or more permanent SEOs who do nothing but SEO.
  5. You can hire an in-house team for SEO and have it supported by an agency. This works with them and is available as a sparring partner for essential questions.

The whole thing is, of course, not static. Successful online shop operators often go all the way from 1-5 (over many years). 

How do I find a reputable SEO agency for my shop?

I find this question incredible because it is so often on agency websites. The answer is then as neutral as possible, whereby towards the end of the solution, it becomes clear that your agency is the only one that uses the Rankingbooster3000. But seriously: It is incredibly difficult to see from the outside how good an SEO agency is. Most of the time, you can only see from the outside how professional the sales department is. Even I often do not know how well or poorly other agencies work until I am brought up with one or the other. And also then you should be careful because opinions are often very subjective. Just because the work at one agency’s client was catastrophic does not have to apply to all of the agency’s other clients and vice versa.

I have been doing SEO for 12 years, and two methods can reliably help you find the right agency:

  1. Inform yourself beforehand in detail about the topic of SEO and know your way so far that you can assess the statements of your counterpart. The more knowledge you have, the less you can fall for dubious offers and the more you can identify which agency suits you best. Ask the agency of your choice if you have holes in your stomach – the more, the better! The principle also applies to craftspeople, car workshops, doctors and any other service provider.
  2. Ask acquaintances, friends and colleagues if they can recommend someone to you. Unfortunately, this is not the panacea, because sometimes spam techniques work well for your friends and they recommend you to someone who is not dangerous. Therefore tip 1 is much more effective. Another good advice is to take your friend/acquaintance into the conversation with the agency. So you learn what your acquaintance values. Incidentally, this also works great when buying a car with a friend of my car mechanic. 

How is SEO success measured? How important is visibility?

There are a lot of tools that give SEO points, show visibility and with which many SEOs work. The best known are SistrixSearchmetrics and Xovi . These three tools regularly monitor millions of keywords, assess their value and use them to calculate an index that then reads like a stock chart. This can be important for an initial assessment of a domain – or when comparing different areas in the same industry. However, the values ​​are an approximation and sometimes do not say much about the actual SEO traffic.

The visibility of various SEO tools shows the actual SEO traffic only to a limited extent

You can ultimately make the most reliable statement about SEO success if you use your web tracking tool (e.g. Google Analytics) to check how many visitors come to your shop via SEO – and how many of them buy. What you need are more acquiring customers about SEO – no SEO visibility. The Google Search Console is an indispensable tool for determining which terms visitors use to come to your website and where you appear on Google.

Can I do SEO for my online shop myself?

Of course! Why not? Especially when you are at the beginning of your business, you often have no money for an agency. The alternative is to read yourself in and then take action yourself. So if you have the time, there is nothing to be said against trying it yourself. By the way, this is how I came to SEO myself. My t-shirt shop did not have enough visitors and a forum member in a shop operator forum advised me “Try it with search engine optimization”.

Of course, it will be the case that you don’t use the levers that a professional would use from the start. This means that you make wrong adjustments or invest a lot of time in things that are not worth the time. So in my first days as SEO (in 2007) I wasted days on an XML sitemap. At some point, I realized that firstly there are sitemap generators and secondly that sitemaps are not so important. Only one thing: If you don’t have time for SEO and no money to pay someone else to do it, it looks terrible.

Questions about online shop technology

Which shop system is best for SEO?

I hear the question quite often. It is like this: you should choose your shop system according to what other functions you need. Basic SEO can do most just fine. SEO is often more about the template (i.e. the design) than the system itself. My advice is: get a system that is as widely used as possible. There are usually right SEO extensions for this, and you also ensure that updates continue to come. Also: good web agencies only work with sound shop systems. ShopwareShopifyMagentoGambioWooCommerce– these are widely used systems. You should do detailed research, only then choose a suitable method. At least shop systems work “off the shelf”, most require adjustments to your individual needs.

Small “quick-and-easy” solutions may help you get started quickly, but changing a shop system later is usually very expensive. Therefore, I would always rely on one from the start that is easily expandable.

When do I start with SEO in my shop?

You should get an SEO specialist on board as early as possible. The best time is when it comes to the basic design, and you have already considered the categories for your shop. A basic plan should already be outlined (as a sketch), but the SEO can change that again for usability reasons. He can also question the categories after performing a keyword analysis. Another possibility is that you create the shop and then have an SEO overlooked before going live. Here, however, there is a high risk that you will have to knock down a lot. I would do it after choosing the shop system, create a dummy without a design and also a sketch of the shop – and then wait what the SEO says about it.

What should my URLs look like?

One thing that is often screwed up at the beginning is the shop URLs. Google wants thematically arranged directories, so you have achieved that well. Of course, you should only introduce subcategories if they make thematic sense so that you can structure them well. Think of your categories a little like a guide in the department store – how would you design one? And what would you put in which aisle and then on which shelf?

What is a good headline structure for online shops?

First of all, headings are not as relevant as you might think. The reason? Many web designers misuse layout headings so Google can’t rely on them. Depending on the page type, the product name or the name of the corresponding category should be defined as an H1 heading in your shop. Further small lines such as the article description, unique features and the like can then be in H2 entries. Under no circumstances should design elements in the sidebar or the footer be marked as headings – here the template designer should work with CSS and not with lines. 

How do I get to number 1 for my keyword?

There are very few industries where a single keyword is essential. For most of the shops that I optimized, even the most critical keywords were often responsible for less than 5% of sales. Conversely, niche keywords were relevant for 95% of sales. It is also felt that the more search volume behind a keyword, the more difficult it will be with the ranking. If you want to start wisely with SEO, then book Google Ads and see which keyword groups you use to generate good sales – and later try to achieve granular success there.

How important is page load speed for SEO?

Google has repeatedly stressed that page load speed can be critical. It is also confirmed that a fast-loading online shop leads to more conversions. You should have a quick loading page. But it is certainly not the most important factor, just one of many. Only because you load the fastest in your industry, you will not be in the first place.

Shop content

Do I have to enter a product description for each product and a category description for each category?

As smart as Google is, it is unfortunately, still a text-based search engine. As a rule, it makes sense that you create unique product and category descriptions. Do not use the one that the manufacturer provides for free. And conversely, please do not make them available for free price search engines. But yes: you need individual texts for your shop.

Can I use automated/standard texts for these SEO texts?

Of course, you can buy cheap texts. However, it is not advisable. If you have a large number of products and cannot afford the texts for so many products, you may ask yourself from the other direction: Do you need so many products? Prefer to prioritize your range: What are your most important products? Start with these and create good product descriptions for them that inspire the user to buy and that are optimized for search engines.

Many people will advise you about additional content. Why? Well, if Google has a choice of 50 different online stores that sell the same thing and have similar prices, they’ll put those in the forefront who go the extra mile and advise, inform, or maintain the customer. Your customers will also be happy if you don’t just provide an item description, but a tutorial on how to use the product.

What one understands by good content, the opinions of experts differ widely.

  • Videos
  • Good descriptions that answer my customers’ questions.
  • Instructions for your products
  • Examples of use
  • Excellent and large photos – the more visual the product, the more important
  • FAQs on shipping, ordering, delivery costs and returns.
  • A shop magazine that provides news about the products or shows insights into your company.
  • Helpful tips on your products.
  • Reviews from other customers about the product

I recently ordered a hedge. A glossy loquat “Dicker Toni” to be precise.

I ordered them from Pflanzmich.de. Plantmich.de is not a customer of ours, by the way, just for information. If you look at the product page, you may notice why I ordered there. There is a lot of detailed information about the product that I urgently needed. The excellent content here was about the growth rate or the height, and much more. The product text is very informative. Probably someone wrote it who had detailed information about the product. There are also so-called “master questions” at the bottom “- this is an APP that answers all sorts of questions about plants and gardens free of charge. In the meantime, that’s 31992 responded to questions – that’s quite a lot.

As a customer, I ordered there because other shops, particularly in the garden area, often only had scant information about the individual plants. What I like as a professional: Pflanzmich.de thinks up from the user. There you think about what the user needs and wants about hedges. I want to know how fast the fence grows and how high it gets. Unfortunately, 90% of the hedgerow shops do not answer that. So much for my hedge example. Incidentally, it has already been delivered and looks great!

User experience (UX) and shop SEO

Do you already know Google’s GrowmyStore? There you can have your shop tested for user-friendliness. From Google – for free. It is not unusual that the tool exists, but how it works. Automatically. The device not only recognizes how well your product details are described (see picture below), but also whether your pickup offers in the store or a flexible order execution in terms of express delivery. According to the FAQs, this works by searching for specific keywords. I am not sure whether Google also incorporates such results into the ranking, but it would be possible – too resource-saving and straightforward. And the engineers at Google like that. 

Google automatically recognizes whether your product details can be found quickly and described adequately.

How important is UX for the SEO success of my online shop?

Very important. If your users despair during the ordering process, your categorization is not user-friendly, and your shop is otherwise difficult to use, you can no longer win a flowerpot today. Take this sentence to heart, unfortunately, I have seen some otherwise good shops slowly dying. From a Google perspective, a website gets a good ranking if it serves its purpose well. The use of an online shop is to inform you about products, to present them well and to make them easy to buy. This works out!

How do I improve the user experience in my shop?

Three approaches are best made one by one, starting with the 1:

  1. There are specific basic rules that you should use in your online shop. Your logo is at the top left, the shopping cart and “Checkout” link are at the top right. You should check and apply these rules. You gain a lot with that. 
  2. You can put users in front of a monitor and watch how they operate your shop. You will learn a lot. This can be done quickly and inexpensively, for example with rapiduser tests.
  3. You can do AB testing. Here you present different versions of your website to different users. You can even do this for free with Google Optimize. 

4 simple steps so that your content ranks well in the search engine

Imagine that you have created excellent content.

You invested 20 hours, did a lot of research, and packed the findings nicely. It is a little masterpiece. Everything is perfect. Nearly.

With all the effort, you forgot one important thing: good old search engine optimization. By now, you should be convinced that SEO plays a vital role in inbound marketing.

Every inbound marketer should have a bit of space in their hearts for SEO.

So let’s take a look at why SEO is essential and what steps to optimize your content for the search engine.

Why is SEO important?

On the surface, there seem to be significant differences. But if you look at SEO and inbound marketing from different perspectives, you will see that they complement each other perfectly:

When you research for a topic, you do it from the gut or through market research (inbound). But you should also consider proper old keyword research (SEO). Further sources are also good for the consumer (inbound), but they are internal and external links (SEO) simultaneously. After creation, your content must be promoted. The best way to do this is via influencers and guest posts (inbound), but at the same time, you also get external links (SEO). Finally, take a look at the shares and comments and see how well your content performed (inbound). But the search engine rankings are also a good criterion (SEO).

You see, SEO and inbound marketing are a perfect combination. Whereby SEO is just one piece of the puzzle, inbound marketing without SEO would only be half as effective.

Therefore, you should always create content for people and then adapt it to the search engine. And you do that with the following four steps.

1. Research

You might think of search queries and competition when you think of keyword research and the keyword planner, to pure vital figures.

But you should take a vital thought step in advance. You should always speak the language of your target group. You should find out what words your customers use. Different target groups often use different names for the same ideas or concepts.

If you know your target group’s exact words, you can take a look at the key figures:

  • Search queries – Here, you can see how many queries there are for this keyword in a month. Make sure that there are enough search queries. A rough guideline is 1,000. But don’t drive yourself crazy, even a keyword with 50 search queries can be interesting if you catch the entire target group with it.
  • Competition – Here, you can see the game in AdWords for this keyword in most tools. With this, you can derive the game in the search results. Logically, the most attractive are many search queries and little games.
  • Trends – Trends is also an interesting point in the research phase. Google Trends sits on important data and can show you the seasonal popularity of a keyword or generally show whether there is an upward or downward trend.

I do quick keyword research for every content idea to get an impression of how popular the topic is and how difficult it will be to rank.

You can also use keyword research to find new ideas for topics that are important to your target group. Another helpful tool for this is KeywordTool.io.

2. Optimization

Here you have to make sure that Googlebot understands that your content is the desired keyword. The Googlebot is relatively intelligent, but you still have to provide it with a bit of context.

You do this primarily with the classic OnPage optimization. Pay attention to the following points:

  • Title Tag – Your keyword should appear in the Title Tag. Ideally, as close to the beginning as possible. Also, make sure that the title tag does not exceed 75 characters.
  • H1 heading – Your keyword should appear in the H1 line.
  • URL – Your keyword should appear in the URL. In general, your URL should be as short and descriptive as possible. Also, make sure that your entire URL is no longer than 90 characters.
  • H2 and H3 headings – If it fits, it can be an advantage if your keyword appears in the H2 and H3 headings.
  • In the actual text – Depending on the length of your content, your keyword should appear approximately twice in the exact wording. Frequently used related words can also help here.
  • At least 1,000 words – Except for content landing pages, we always recommend writing at least 1,000 words. Correlations repeatedly show that lengthier content ranks better.
  • Bold or Italic – Once your keyword is formatted in bold or italic, preferably as close to the beginning as possible, it can have advantages.
  • Image, alt attribute, and file name – You should have at least one image that contains the keyword as an alt attribute and as a file name.
  • Meta Description – Keywords in the meta description are not a ranking factor, but ensure higher click rates and, therefore, possibly more top rankings. Again, make sure that your meta description does not exceed 160 characters.

Another critical point in this phase is the linking. You or others certainly have content in use that continues to work on a topic that you have outlined. This helps your consumer, but also the search engine. So make sure that you have at least three additional links. We always have a lot more. If you set internal links, be careful not to overdo the anchor text. Always ensure a healthy and natural anchor text ratio.

3. Doctorate

Now the real work is just beginning. In general, you should always actively promote your content. A good guideline is 50/50. So if you spent 50% of the time creating it, spend another 50% supporting it.

Inbound marketing is a long term game. That’s why you should think long-term and build real relationships with influencers in your industry:

If you know a lot of influencers, you can always ask them for links, shares, or guest contributions.

Therefore, create an extensive list of all influencers and start building relationships slowly but strategically.

Another critical point is the topic of link building. You should get into the habit of asking for links regularly. You should build it into your workflow. For example, get in the habit of writing to 10 operators after each publication and asking for links.

It is also interesting to analyze the competition at this point. What does the already ranked content do well? What can you learn from them? With tools like MOZ’s Open Site Explorer, you can find out what your competitor’s link profile looks like and try to build a more robust profile over time.

4. Tracking

Finally, you should always keep an eye on your external links and rankings. After all, you need to know how well you’ve worked and whether you still need to improve, right?

You can use the external links e.g., B. also find out with the Open Site Explorer. But you have to start it manually every time, and the tool is limited to a few requests per day. To monitor the ranking, you can e.g., B. Use Rank Checker. But here, too, it is a bit cumbersome if you want to find out the current classification for your entire client. It’s especially tricky with a ranking history.

In general, it makes sense to create evergreen content. Over time, your rankings should slowly improve on their own, because you will always get new links and shares actively and passively.

What are the content landing pages?

Before we finish, one last thing. It is so small and inconspicuous that it is used far too rarely. But this little thing is the key to good rankings.

If you found a longtail keyword (e.g., “how do I eat a banana”) with little competition during the research phase, simply create content for it. But if you have found a short tail keyword (e.g., “banana”) with higher competition, you should take a detour via a content landing page.

Content landing pages are primarily simple pages that are optimized for a specific keyword. They do not generate their benefits directly but through their further content. Hub pages usually unite one topic. So you find z. B. on our content landing pages on the subject of headings, all new content. It also ranks quite well for that.

You will always link to this content landing page from internal as well as external sources. Due to the high added value of the site, influencers like to share and connect it. So you ensure that you can rank long-term with lucrative but highly competitive keywords.

Conclusion

You should invest a lot of time in creating content and always create content that delivers value.

But with all the effort, you must not forget the good old search engine optimization. SEO and inbound marketing are a perfect combination. Only then will you maximize your results and get an effective marketing strategy.

Let’s summarize the individual steps again:

  1. Research – Find an attractive keyword that is important to your target group.
  2. Optimization – Put the keyword in certain places to give the Googlebot context.
  3. Linking – Set further internal and external links that provide the consumer with even more added value.
  4. Influencers – Promote your content using influencers by asking them for a share, link, or guest post.
  5. Analyze the competition’s link profile and see if you can build a better profile over time.
  6. Tracking – Keep an eye on the external links and rankings and find content that could be improved and optimized.

You can accomplish these steps with the tools mentioned. Unfortunately, these are often only accessible to a limited extent or are very cumbersome.