KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator. The success of SEO measures can be measured via the KPIs. These are the most important key figures:
Search engines, and Google in particular, are the gateway to the Internet. Many users have Google set as the home page of their browser, and almost all online sessions begin with a search query. For website operators, this means that even the greatest website with the most useful content gives away potential if Google can't find it. And for commercial providers, business success depends crucially on placement in organic search results - the further forward, the better, but definitely on the first page. After all, as the saying goes so aptly: The best place to hide a body is on page 2 of Google's search results.
A search engine - we will stay with Google in the following - usually provides the user with two types of result after entering a search term: On the one hand, the organic search results, on the other hand, the ads matching the search term. For the ads, the advertiser has to pay Google - for each click, a price determined via an auction mechanism is due.
In the case of organic search results, Google's algorithm delivers the web pages that it believes best match the search term entered and displays them as search results. In return, the website operator does not have to pay Google anything.
In the meantime, websites with SSL encryption are a fixed standard, which must absolutely be observed for the topic of search engine optimization as well. People also take this for granted. A site with SSL certificate clearly says something about the site operator, namely that he has the topic of security on the screen. Take a look at this screenshot
an: Since 2014, Google has confirmed HTTPS as a ranking signal and now Google Chrome even displays the following: "The connection to this website is not secure". Would you trust a website like that? Probably not. So if you haven't already, make sure you switch to HTTPS, sooner rather than later. Google, by the way, sees it the same way and might penalize your SEO efforts by downgrading your rankings and thus organic visibility because of your website's lack of security. You can read exactly how to switch your website to HTTPS on the morefire blog here.
People don't like to wait, and neither do search engines. Every user expects a fast loading page and will be disappointed if this expectation is not met. And Google sees it the same way: Why waste valuable resources on slow pages? With a slow website you risk the success of your SEO work. Essentially, you should pay attention to the following points and check them regularly:
Eliminating resources that block the rendering of your website.
Deferring non-visible images (offscreen images that appear "below the fold")
Provide modern image formats to enable faster loading of images
You can get a first overview with the tool "PageSpeed Insights":
You can get a first overview with the tool "PageSpeed Insights":
The advantage of this tool is that you get clear instructions on how to improve the speed of your website. If necessary, you can also get a lot more information about the respective PageSpeed aspects.
As with PageSpeed Insights, the "TestMySiteWithGoogle" tool provides an overview of the most important PageSpeed aspects of your website. This tool also provides you with recommendations for optimizing your PageSpeed. In addition, you can have a free report sent to you here that summarizes the analyses and recommendations.
How important the topic "mobile" is in connection with SEO should be clear at the latest with the statement that Google is taking the step to "mobile first" and no longer wants to differentiate between desktop index and mobile index. Tool providers such as SISTRIX are also following suit and analyzing a special visibility index for mobile devices. Therefore, you should be prepared for this and ideally already be mobile optimized at the start of a new website. The tool "MobileFriendly" tests your website for its mobile optimization.
Rules of thumb for good mobile usability and thus SEO basics are:
If you want to learn a little more about mobile and usability in addition to search engine optimization, we recommend you take a look at our blog here.
People are supposed to find certain content, so make it as easy as possible for them. Again, search engines like Google want exactly the same thing. Make sure your website has a clean information architecture and a flat hierarchy, because this will definitely have a positive effect on your SEO results. In practical terms, this means:
As trivial as it sounds, check if your website is even shared with search engines. Often it is enough to set or forget only a small hook and the page flies out of the Google index. Keyword: noindex.
A so-called "site query" at Google can help:
The 77,000 results displayed here in the example correspond to the number of pages that are in the Google index. If this number differs roughly from the number of pages you have stored in your CMS or store system, then you should go one step further and crawl your entire website. Crawling means using a tool to try to follow every single link on your website. With a crawl, you also find out the click depth of your website, i.e. how many clicks it takes to reach your content. A very good and inexpensive tool (for websites with less than 500 pages even completely free) for crawling a website is the so-called "Screaming Frog SEO Spider":
If you find that much of your content takes more than 3-4 clicks on average to reach, you should optimize your internal linking. By the way, a good example of internal linking in terms of SEO is a typical Wikipedia article, linking to other important content within the same website:
A flat hierarchy as well as a well-structured information architecture through internal linking increases the chance of successful search engine optimization and thus happy visitors many times over. By the way, here you can find more practical application tips for the Screaming Frog SEO Spider from the morefire blog.
The most important thing here is that you use "talking" URLs. So-called speaking URLs consist of readable words or keywords instead of long ID numbers or cryptic characters. The advantage from an SEO point of view is higher click-through rates within the Google results, which pretty much describe what the searcher can expect on the website. To be successful in search engine optimization, you should also adhere to the following rules in addition to talking URLs:
So this is how a URL that is appealing to the user and at the same time SEO compliant could look like:
Among the now more than 200 different SEO ranking factors on Google, the HTML Title Tag still plays an extremely important role in the search engine optimization of your website. You can see the Title Tag of your website either in the browser, in the source code or in the Google search results.
Optimize your website's Title Tag as follows:
Example of a good title tag that encourages the user to click:
Meta Descriptions, unlike Title Tags, are not visible to visitors of your website. The HTML Meta Description can only be seen in the source code or in the Google results. Although Meta Descriptions have no direct influence on your SEO ranking, they should be maintained individually for every single page of your website. The reason for this is that search engines display the meta description within the search result lists. Thus, you can directly influence the click-through rate in Google results via an optimized meta description to drive more visitors to your website. So to speak, an indirect ranking factor when it comes to search engine optimization and the organic visibility of your website.
The following rules apply to Meta Descriptions:
Example of a good meta description that encourages the user to click:
After the visitors clicked on your SEO snippets within the Google results, the user has finally reached your website. As with usability and speed, it's now a matter of meeting their expectations. The first point of reference is the headline. It is important to stick to the hierarchy of h1 - h6. In h1 logically comes the most important headline, in h6 the least important. It is crucial to keep in mind that you should only use as many levels as it makes sense for the corresponding element. In practice, h3 is often quite sufficient as the last level. Stick to the following rules and it will work well with users and search engine optimization alike:
Since Google is primarily (still) a text-based search engine, the first step is to write texts that keep the user on the website. So, when writing texts, keep the following rules in order to be successful in SEO:
So the content on your website shouldn't be all about you as a company. Instead, focus on your potential customers, deliver content with expertise and added value! And so that your site does not degenerate into an unattractive desert of text, it is just as important to provide further content for your visitors in addition to good texts. So offer your visitors more than just your products. Provide studies, e-books, checklists, whitepapers, videos and other content with clear benefits and added value.
If you have followed all nine of the previous SEO rules, it should be no problem to have your content linked from other websites. Because Google evaluates such a link (also called backlink) like a recommendation. Websites that have more good recommendations than others are therefore logically classified as more relevant and usually have better SEO rankings. When it comes to backlinks, however, the following applies quite clearly: quality before quantity. One link from a reputable and well-visited website is worth more than 100 links from flimsy rather unserious websites. If you are trying to promote your content through links from other websites, ask yourself the following questions when choosing these external sites:
Of course, you should ask yourself the same about your own content J. And an important warning, never pay money for a link. Google's Webmaster Guidelines forbid buying links, as Google sees this as an attempt at manipulation. That Google is tough on this has been shown by updates such as the Penguin update or manually performed disavowals of certain websites in the past. A well-known online store for furniture was penalized by Google for almost 3 years, as the following graphic shows. What that meant for business is anyone's guess. So be careful!
We hope that with our 10 SEO rules we could show you that search engine optimization is not voodoo or witchcraft. A good organic visibility on Google is always connected with a lot of hard work. The first thing you should always think about is the user who has the need to find something and has certain expectations associated with it. Perhaps nowadays the term Search Engine Optimization is no longer appropriate and SEO should be interpreted as Search Experience Optimization. Anyway, if you meet the user's expectations, search engines will reward this with extremely valuable traffic to your website.