Dos and Don’ts for modern SEO

Keywords used to be central to SEO. However, these days the index practices of search engines, in particular those of top dog Google, are very different. An SEO strategy which relies purely on keywords is no longer expedient and in focusing too strongly on keywords, other important aspects are forgotten.

Search engines are constantly evolving and new techniques offer new possibilities. These days, keywords are no longer the only factors used to connect searchers to your site. Search engine crawlers recognize continuous text passages, evaluate the accessibility of content on your website and can differentiate between good, useful content and content which is packed with keywords but is in fact useless.

Old SEO strategies, which aimed mainly to accomodate as many relevant keywords as possible in the content of a website, are of little use and can even lead to a fall in rankings. It is, therefore, necessary to use different ways to show search machines that your website is relevant for user searches.

Know your target group

As with all marketing campaigns, the first important step in SEO is to think about who you want to reach with your website, who your target group is. Creating a business avatar can be useful for this.

The most important point when creating a business avatar is to consider the needs and problems of the user. Ask yourself what exactly the users you want to use your website need and what they will be looking for, so that you can provide the relevant information for them. Using various SEO tools, including Google’s own, you can determine relevant keywords for your branch. It is also important to determine who your direct competitors are and what customers exactly require and expect of a provider in your branch.

Collecting Data – the SEO Analysis

In addition to the information about the target group, you can determine additional data, including how current and prospective customers currently use your website. This is known as web analysis. Google provides various tools for this, including the Google Search Console or the well-known Google Analytics.

Some of the data to be determined:

  • Traffic on the website or the number of users visiting the site
  • Demographic data of the users
  • Users’ path through your website
  • Keywords and their frequency
  • Indexing and technical structure of the website

Assessment – What is working well? What could be improved?

As soon as you have determined all the relevant data, you have to decide what should be the focal point of your website optimization. In the assessment, the statistics collected in the web analysis will be applied to your aims. The evaluation will decide which pages are already good enough and which need improvement.

Your goals are important for the assessment phase – and these should not only be a better ranking or the first place in Google’s search results. You might want to win more customers, in which case your aim should be a higher conversion rate. Other possible goals could be generating more leads or relevant traffic.

On-page optimization

Your web analysis can show which pages need improving. Assessment of the content and technical design of a page can be useful for this: Which texts are more difficult to read? Are meta descriptions in place? Are some pages difficult to find? Can all the data be read correctly by Google’s crawler? Some of these points are easier to put right than others, but they can have a large influence on your ranking in the search engines. Before starting your on-page-optimization it makes sense, therefore, to list points which need improving and proceed systematically.

You can also evaluate the content of your website: how long users spend on and interact with your site can indicate which texts they like to read. As a result of the target group analysis, you know which content is relevant for your target group and can update and adapt the content of your site accordingly.

Mobile First  – be accessible for all users

A large number of searches now come from users of portable devices such as smartphones or tablets. It is, therefore, essential that there is a mobile-friendly version of your website. These days, Google rankings are based on the mobile version of websites.

Loading time

The loading time of a website, also known as page speed, is not only an important factor for Google ranking, your users also want to access your page as quickly as possible. If your website takes too long to load, users could return to the search results and visit a different website.

In order to avoid this, you should check the page speed of your pages, improve it where necessary and find further possibilities for improvement.

SEO is an ongoing process

User behavior is continually changing, for example the widely used voice search with Siri or Google Assistant. Google could introduce new factors to its ranking process in search engine updates. Even if certain measures result in instant improvement, it is important to check and improve your website regularly.

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