“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 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”.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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> 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
You can completely implement SEO yourself.
You can do most of the SEO yourself, with a programmer and SEO consultant at your side.
You can give SEO completely to an agency and programmer.
You can hire an in-house team for SEO, i.e. one or more permanent SEOs who do nothing but SEO.
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:
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.
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 Sistrix, Searchmetrics 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. Shopware, Shopify, Magento, Gambio, WooCommerce– 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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Research – Find an attractive keyword that is important to your target group.
Optimization – Put the keyword in certain places to give the Googlebot context.
Linking – Set further internal and external links that provide the consumer with even more added value.
Influencers – Promote your content using influencers by asking them for a share, link, or guest post.
Analyze the competition’s link profile and see if you can build a better profile over time.
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.
Even people who otherwise have little to do with SEO should have heard of the topic of on-site SEO. But what about off-page optimization? Is it just about link building, or is there more to it?
Off-page and on-page are two sides of the same SEO medal. Off-page optimization defines all processes and methods that take place away from your website – for example, references from external pages (links).
The ultimate goal of off-page SEO is to attract as many visitors to your website as possible. This can be used to generate sales in the following, or to inform customers about the offers in a retail store, depending on the goals pursued a website.
But how specifically will you tackle off-page optimization in 2020?
Clean link building in magazines, blogs and forums
For search engines, backlinks are still the basis for building trust. The main focus is on the value of a page that issued the link.
If premium magazines, newspapers and Wikipedia link to your site, this is a great sign of trust for Google and will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the ranking.
The term clean link structure is also understood to mean that the pages concerned are selected. Not every page should refer to your page, because this could look like spam. A search engine like Google will see through such measures in the medium term and even punish the landing page in case of doubt.
Link building through resource pages
Resource pages are pages that publish high-quality content on a specific topic. These can be found among others as follows:
If the page is good enough for a backlink, there are the following approaches to get a backlink from the desired page:
Broken links method. The requested page is scanned for broken links. If you find one, you point this out to the website operator and suggest a replacement. Of course, this should be a suitable, own destination URL.
Guest posts. The operator of the desired page is advised to write a guest post on a specific topic to place the desired backlink then organically.
Find suitable articles on external sites. The blog or website operators are contacted and referred to a new, appropriate source on their landing page and asked whether they would like to incorporate it into their page. This is legitimate because Google also honours when websites are kept up to date and refer to relevant sources.
Answer questions on portals such as Quora, gutefrage.net & Co. to include the appropriate backlinks in the qualified answers.
Write and publish high-quality forum entries that refer to the destination URL.
Create high-quality reference contributions on your page and link them to Wikipedia.
Link exchange: Write to thematically related pages whether you are interested in a link exchange.
Infographics: If you create great infographics, other people may want to include them on your website. The condition for using the infographic is that a backlink is set.
No matter which of these ways you want to go, creating high-quality content is always part of building backlinks.
One cannot expect much from dubious ranking packs for a few available euros, for example, from Fiver and Co. Here you usually get to deal with “black hat” SEO methods, which will always damage your reputation in the medium term, for example, if there are entries from spam websites under your company name or the backlinks are generated via hacked websites.
People don’t link to your site because they don’t know they exist; and they will not usually know, that they exist unless you tell them about it. “
– Julie Adams, Our Beautiful Planet
Buying premium backlinks and having the link building service carried out by professionals to achieve a sustainable SEO effect makes absolute sense. There, SEO agencies that specialize exclusively in the topic of off-page optimization are recommended.
Other factors of a useful link
If excellent content is provided on the website, organic backlinks will inevitably also result. Forums, in particular, generate some links if the topic is worth discussing. Blogs or newspapers can also mention your page as a reference.
The link strength results from the anchor text, the position of the link in the article and the number of backlinks.
To analyze organic backlinks in more detail, it is worth taking a look at tools such as Seobility (which offers up to one domain and up to 10 keywords for free), Openlink Profiler (completely free) or the Moz Link Explorer.
About the anchor text, it should also be mentioned that a so-called exact match anchor text has its disadvantages. If too many anchor texts with a single specific word or order appear in the link profile, it is reasonable to assume that these are not organic links, but instead, activities related to link exchange or link purchase.
How effective are social signals?
In addition to pure link building (link building), there are also so-called “social signals”. These are mainly tweets, Facebook posts, and all other “social” platforms on which content and links are shared.
Although a direct connection between ranking and social signals is controversial, a correlation can be seen in any case. Google has also confirmed such a relationship:
Social annotations drive a 5% -10% increase in click-through rate, on average.
Social signals don’t just include tweets and Facebook posts. Social signals are also comments, likes and retweets. Those who focus on this generally have more traffic, since the platforms automatically promote a lot of interaction through the algorithm. Efficient social media marketing should, therefore, also take place.
Also, customer reviews on external sites as Amazon or Google My Business are among the so-called social signal.
Become an opinion leader and strengthen your brand
If you are looking for a specific search term, you will notice that large portals (with a lot of traffic) appear in the top places. This is primarily because Google, Bing and other search engines prefer strong brands and opinion leaders. A well-known brand, therefore, has it more comfortable and more relaxed.
But how can you strengthen your brand? This works especially when there is a lot of talk about a brand name. The mentions on the Internet show that it could be a relevant company. But a large number of high-quality backlinks and a large number of subscribers on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Co. can also be an indication of this.
This is again proof that social media should not be put on the siding, even if you have a limited reach in social media. You can counteract this by, for example, “managing” the current social media trends, that is, by publishing suitable content for popular hashtags.
Criteria on the website
To understand the rankings in the search results, you have to ask what Google values. Google’s goal is to show the best and most relevant content for a given search query. For this, Google uses the so-called user signals, e.g. the length of stay and the bounce rate.
If the user lingers on the page for a long time and even clicks on further pages, then it is a sign that it is relevant content. Google will then reward the page with even more visitors.
Create a monthly report of the off-page optimizations
To draw an interim conclusion, it is worth creating a report with the most important key figures once a month. The reporting can include the following numbers:
Website key figures
number of visitors
Number of page views
Sessions per user
Home page views
Top 10 Articles
The average length of stay per session in seconds
Pageviews per session
The main traffic sources
Share of organic traffic
Direct traffic share
Followers on Pinterest
Followers on LinkedIn
Followers on Instagram
In this way, it can be systematically recorded whether the methods in off-page optimization made sense or whether one’s efforts in a particular area still need to be intensified.
With our contribution to “Off-Page Optimization in 2020 – How it Works”, we have prepared a broad overview of the topic for you and showed you how systematic backlinks could be built up.
However, all of this means that high-quality links exist on the target page. Every effective off-page optimization in 2020 goes hand in hand with on-page optimization. In this way, parameters such as loading speed and bounce rate can also be improved.