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What exactly is search engine optimization?

For many beginners, search engine optimization is like looking into a crystal ball. Nobody knows exactly how Google or other search engines work in detail. In addition, the results (SERPs) and good rankings in the search engine are often a long time coming.

With this article I bring you light into the dark and would like to help beginners, thanks to many years of experience, to benefit from the gigantic Google traffic. Alternatively, I can recommend my SEO seminar, with which a beginner gets a very good overview in two days of what is important in search engine optimization.

 Let us begin…

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a sub-area of ​​search engine marketing and is itself divided into two large areas:

  • Onpage optimization (everything that happens on your website)
  • Offpage optimization (everything that can be done outside of your website)

As can be seen in the following diagram, the essential components of good search engine optimization are the sub-areas of programming, content and link building (and a little social media, whereby the influence is only indirect). The content creation is of course an important part of the on-page optimization, but good and above all topic-relevant content will also ensure better success with the off-page optimization (linked content).

SEO 2021 - A Guide to Correct Orientation

In the following, I'll explain the most important elements that should be considered for good search engine optimization. The more intensively you deal with these individual topics, the better your rankings will be.

Who Is This SEO Guide For?

This guide is aimed at anyone who wants to generate more traffic from the various search engines. Most of the time I concentrate with my examples on Google as the industry leader, which is by far responsible for the largest traffic flow in Germany. However, that does not mean that individual parts of this guide cannot also help optimize other search engines.

I have structured the guide in such a way that especially beginners can get help. On the other hand, advanced users and experts will find suggestions at one point or another to question their working methods. There is something for everyone!

In addition, it is important to me with this guide to take away the fear of the prevailing ignorance, but on the other hand also to sensitize the fact that good search engine optimization requires a lot of work, a little creativity and adequate patience and perseverance.

Which search engines are relevant for us?

This usually depends very much on your positioning. Google probably has the largest market share, making it the most relevant search engine to optimize for.

Do you run an online shop?
If you run an online shop and use Amazon as a sales channel, Amazon SEO is also very relevant for you. Amazon is the largest search engine for products. In this case, ebay, etsy, Rakuten or price comparisons can also be relevant search engines for you, whereby these should not reach Amazon's market share.

Do you have an older audience?
Then Bing can also become a relevant search engine. Why? Many older people buy a Windows computer that has the Microsoft Edge browser preinstalled. Bing uses this as a search engine.
Small fun fact on the side: some older people think they google, but actually use Bing.
There are also search engines like DuckDuckGo or Ecosia, which are also based on Bing.

Do you work a lot with moving images?
Then maybe YouTube is your No. 1 search engine! YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world and also belongs to Google. Here, too, there are many tricks and twists on how you can optimize your video or its description text in order to get more views.

But it doesn't stop there: Yandex, Baidu, but almost every forum and every website with a search slot is a search system that could theoretically be optimized for! Whether the benefit justifies the effort has to be discussed or everyone has to decide for themselves.

Why is it so important to deal with search engine optimization?

People's information gathering continues to migrate to the Internet year after year. Gone are the days when we walked through department stores or obtained information from real newspapers. The fastest and easiest way today is via the various search engines on the Internet. Regardless of whether YouTube, Amazon or Google, I finally have a (knowledge) need that I want to solve with a specific search query.

It is important that we position ourselves in the information gathering process by publishing adequate (very good) content that gives our customers confidence in our expertise. If this content is processed in a search engine-optimized manner, I will massively increase the traffic potential of my website and also position myself in the right place on the customer journey.

Search engine optimization through the ages

In the last few years in particular, a lot has happened in the area of ​​search engine optimization. For as long as I can remember, Google has been preaching “Build websites for users, not for the search engine!”.

But it is also a fact that we were still able to influence the algorithm or the placement in the SERPS with many measures, which had less of a positive effect on the user than on the rankings. For a few years now, however, Google has been able to evaluate the usability and the specific user intent of a search query more and more, which at the same time means that so-called customer centricity is becoming increasingly important.

The introduction (planned for May 2021) of Google Web Vitals is a clear indication of what Google will place more and more importance on in the future. And even more important: That Google is increasingly able to attach importance to it.

In short: In all SEO measures, but above all in the content production discipline, the focus should always be on the user and not the optimization of the Google algorithm.

How do you develop an SEO strategy

Ultimately, it depends above all on the status quo of a website, whether we can expect short-term increases in traffic through search engine optimization (SEO) through quick wins, or whether a fundamental optimization of the website is required.
And it is precisely with this fundamental optimization that I want to deal in the following paragraphs. Should I also see quick win potential in one of the following points, I will explicitly list this again.

I have determined 15 “basic rules” for myself that an SEO manager should concentrate on in the first optimization steps!

To be continued ...