In France, the Covid app threatens to flop, in the UK it is a long time coming. The cases show: Without Apple and Google it will be difficult

London and Paris rely on their approaches to the Corona apps. Now France is struggling with low user numbers, and the British will get their app in the autumn at the earliest, if at all.

Within three weeks of the launch of the COVID app in France, it had downloaded around 1.8 million French. However, this corresponds to hardly more than 2.5 percent of the population. Cyril Marcilhacy / Bloomberg

The joy didn’t last long. On June 3, one day after France launched its StopCovid contact tracing app, the State Secretary for Digital, Cédric O, was satisfied. Six hundred thousand people installed the application on the first day, he explained on French television and spoke of a perfect start.

But disillusionment quickly returned to France. The figures that Cédric O presented last week are likely to be well below the government’s expectations: three weeks after the launch, only around 1.8 million French had downloaded and activated the app. That is hardly more than 2.5 percent of the population. In neighboring Germany, which launched its app in mid-June, more than 15 percent use it.

So far, the French app has only had limited results. Just 68 French people who tested positive for the coronavirus recorded their results in the first three weeks. Only 14 people who were close to the sick could be warned in this way. Particularly bitter: 460,000 French people have already deleted the app from their smartphone. The reasons for the low success can hardly be named with certainty. The now small Corona case numbers are likely to play a role. The particular route that France goes with its app, but also.

He was increasingly isolated in Europe.

Several European countries have developed apps in recent months to help track infection chains. The principle is mostly the same: the app uses the Bluetooth Low Energy transmission technology to store the encrypted ID of those devices that also use the application and come close to the smartphone for several minutes.

Most European countries are now adopting a decentralized approach: their apps only save as much data as possible locally on their respective devices. Only when someone has become infected and reports this will a few encrypted data be sent to a central server. The apps use an interface for measuring the distance and transferring the ID, which the technology groups Apple and Google, have developed. The unusual collaboration of the rivals is supposed to set standards and enable the applications to function correctly. But it is subject to certain conditions. The decentralized approach to data storage is one of them.

France, on the other hand, takes a different course and is therefore increasingly isolated in Europe. With the French app, more data comes together on a central server – the country does without the solution from Google and Apple. State Secretary Cédric O emphasized time and again that the decision was taken deliberately. It is essential to maintain the country’s sovereignty.

The French model has some disadvantages. On Apple devices, the application only works to a minimal extent without the interface. iPhone owners – who make up around 20 percent of smartphone users in France – should have the app open in the foreground so that it sends Bluetooth signals. However, the research institute Inria, under whose leadership the app was developed, seems to have found a way to counter the problem at least a little. The app becomes active on iPhones when another person approaches an Android phone and can then register the contact, representatives of the institute explained to French media. If two iPhone owners meet, and the app does not run in the foreground, the communication is not recorded.

Privacy concerns

Data protection concerns may also have contributed to the fact that many French people, who are fundamentally suspicious of the government, reject the app. Fifty-four percent were concerned about their data, according to a May survey. The central approach is also controversial at the European level. Some privacy advocates fear that too much information would be concentrated in one place, and misuse could not be ruled out. It is questionable whether the French would have trusted an app more with a decentralized approach. France’s data protection commission had given the application a generally positive testimony before it was launched.

However, a researcher at the Inria institute discovered in mid-June that “StopCovid,” when a user-declared himself ill, sent more data to the central server than the government claimed: This is not only the case for encounters in which cellphone owners over 15 minutes are less than a meter apart, and it is therefore assumed that there is a risk of infection. A meeting is transmitted even if it only lasts a few minutes, and the distance is more significant. Cédric O tried to resolve privacy concerns last week. He said he hadn’t noticed any privacy violations. In the future, a filter should limit the number of information transmitted.

If contrary to current signs, the French app is still thriving, another problem remains to be solved. Because of the central approach, it should not be easy to make StopCovid compatible with counterparts from other countries. But that is precisely what will be necessary so that it also works outside the French borders.

It is easier to measure distances by hand than with an app: Boris Johnson (l.) And Emmanuel Macron at a meeting at 10 Downing Street, June 2020. Imago

Great Britain is there without an app.

On the other side of the English Channel, Britain would be happy if it had problems with France. The launch of a British Corona app, initially announced for May, was delayed, but now it is entirely in the stars. The government no longer wants to state the exact time for the launch; it is hoped for autumn. This means the island has to monitor the coronavirus the old-fashioned way with phone calls and inspectors when the last significant loosening of the lockdown is due. From July 4, pubs, restaurants, and other entertainment venues may also reopen under certain conditions.

The number of deaths in the UK is among the highest in Europe. Just as London initially followed a unique path in the fight against the pandemic and delayed the lockdown until the end of March, the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson also wanted to find a solution of its own with the tracing app. As a centrally organized country with a central healthcare system, the National Health Service (NHS), similar to France, user data should also be stored centrally. According to British experts, this would have made data analysis easier. Because this centric approach to data storage is not possible with the interface developed by Apple and Google, the UK relied on its development.

In-house development fails due to Apple cell phones.

This NHS app was tested in May on the Isle of Wight off the south coast of England – due to the island location, an excellent way to monitor the movement patterns of the population. It was found that Android smartphones registered mutual contacts in around 75 percent of the cases, but Apple smartphones, in the worst case, only 4 percent. The reason for the discrepancy is that the use of Bluetooth for apps on Apple phones is restricted if you do not use the interface developed by the companies.

This maladministration was the reason for Health Minister Matt Hancock to make a U-turn in mid-June. Great Britain will now develop the app based on the Apple-Google interface and thus say goodbye to the central storage of the contact data. The mutual recognition of smartphones works very well via Apple Google technology, as a parallel British test showed.

But there was another problem, and therefore a quick start of the new app is not to be expected: According to British data, the distance measurement between the smartphones works poorly. Based on the Apple-Google interface, it is impossible to tell whether a cell phone was at a distance of one or three meters from the other smartphone – an essential factor in deciding whether a user should quarantine prophylactically. According to Hancock, the distance measurement worked much better for the drawer-based in-house development. He didn’t say why. But because neither approach is reliable, none will be used for the foreseeable future.

Apple and Google fight back.

The British accusations leave Apple and Google as bogeymen. Google had announced that it only offered an interface, not a complete app – and implicitly handed the responsibility back to the British programmers. Unnamed sources from the Apple group complained in the newspaper “The Times” that the government had not previously raised the problems with the distance measurement. London’s announcement that it would cooperate closely with Apple would also have to be followed up in the future. Health Minister Hancock had previously said that he wanted to incorporate the well-functioning distance measurement of the failed in-house development into the work with Apple and thus deploy a hybrid model.

However, other countries that use apps with the decentralized approach and the interface of the two tech groups have fewer problems. The developers of the German Corona Warn app reported that their application was able to correctly determine 80 percent of the contacts – a counterexample that Prime Minister Johnson had to be kept in the lower house. In Switzerland, it is said that the distance measurements are not perfect, but one is satisfied and continues to work on improvements.

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.

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.

SEO tips: off-page optimization in 2020 – how it works!

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:

“Keyword” + inurl: links

“Keyword” + “Question”

“Keyword” + “resources”

The next step is to check out the free backlink checker from Ahrefs and have the domain checked.

If the page is good enough for a backlink, there are the following approaches to get a backlink from the desired page:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Answer questions on portals such as Quora, gutefrage.net & Co. to include the appropriate backlinks in the qualified answers.
  5. Write and publish high-quality forum entries that refer to the destination URL.
  6. Create high-quality reference contributions on your page and link them to Wikipedia.
  7. Link exchangeWrite to thematically related pages whether you are interested in a link exchange.
  8. 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.

ZMOT Handbook, Thingwithgoogle.com

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
  • Bounce rate
  • The main traffic sources
  • Share of organic traffic
  • Direct traffic share

Social media

  • Follower XING
  • Twitter followers
  • Facebook likes
  • 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.

Conclusion

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.