Do you hardly make it through a day without a Google search? You’re not alone. Every day, the most popular search engine processes an average of 8.5 billion queries worldwide – that’s 99,000 searches per second!
To use the bulk of this traffic to your advantage, search engine optimization (SEO) is vital for your website.
SEO encompasses a variety of techniques aimed at improving the ranking of a website in search results. The order of the search results displayed on Google, Bing and other search engines is based on complex algorithms that are constantly being adapted. You should be familiar with the basics of these so that you can use them for yourself and your website.
How does SEO help your website?
Nowadays, consumers often search online for information about products and services before deciding on a purchase. That’s why it’s so important to appear in the results for relevant searches – and as far at the top of the list as possible.
A study conducted by SEO experts at Backlinko in October 2022 showed that this leads to more traffic – and, therefore, potentially more prospective buyers or customers. Their analysis of 4 million Google searches shows that the ratio of clicks to impressions for the first search result on Google averages 27.6%, compared with 15.8% and 11% for second and third place, respectively. This means that the first search result on Google is clicked almost twice as often as the second and almost three times as often as the third. At number 10 in the list of search results, only 2.4% of searchers click on the displayed search result.
Every click on your website can be considered a sales lead, which is why SEO also has great sales potential. In 2020, the marketing experts at GrowthBadger analyzed 2.35 billion website visits. They found that more than 50% of them came from search engines. Social media (especially Facebook) also generates web traffic, but according to the Growth Badger study, Google provides eight times more visits to a website on average than all social media combined.
How is SEO applied and what role do keywords play?
The classic approach, which has existed since the beginnings of Google and other search engines, focuses heavily on the use of keywords. This area is still important today. When creating your website, make sure that you include concise keywords that match your offerings, which potential customers would search for on Google and other search engines.
How often should a keyword appear on your site? A 2022 study by Authority Hacker analyzed 1.1 million Google search results and found that the exact keyword (no variations and/or synonyms) appeared on average 5.7 times for the first hit. More than that is just not worth it.
Google notices if you make unnatural sentences just to repeat your keyword as often as possible and punishes this.
That’s why it’s best to write natural-sounding content – preferably with related terms – and use your keyword in URLs, titles (H1, H2 and meta titles), image descriptions and in the first 300 or so words.
Technical quality and backlinks
Another important factor when it comes to winning in search engine rankings is the speed – or the shortest possible loading time – of your website. A study by Searchmetrics from April 2021 shows that pages in the top five search results load their most important element in under 1.93 seconds. By way of comparison, pages in the top 20 take around half a second longer. You can positively influence the loading time of your site by minimizing the file size of photos and deleting unnecessary code.
Other so-called Core Web Vitals – the technical qualities of your website – also influence your search engine ranking. Read more about this in our blog article on Core Web Vitals.
Backlinks can also play an important role in optimizing your search engine performance. Backlinks are mentions from other websites that link to your site. The more high-quality backlinks a website has, the higher its ranking in search results. And how do you get other websites to link to yours?
A blog is worthwhile in many ways
One possible way to generate backlinks is to create and actively manage a blog. According to a study conducted by DemandMetric in 2019, this increases your chance of someone using the information you provide and referring to you accordingly by 97%!
In addition, the number of words in a typical blog article has a positive effect on the search engine ranking. In 2022, Authority Hacker analyzed 1.1 million Google search results and found that the first search result was 1,337 words long on average, while the tenth was just 869 words long.
While you should keep the text on your home and product pages lean for the sake of clarity, a blog article offers you the perfect tool to go more into detail on a matter and increase the number of words for a better search engine ranking.
Of course, a blog also offers you the opportunity to use other keywords or use very important keywords again on your website and, therefore, make it relevant to the algorithms of Google and other search engines. Thus, you should also pay attention to the keywords, as mentioned further above, when creating your blog articles and implement them on the corresponding pages.
A blog also has other benefits apart from SEO: a tool with high-quality content that provides up-to-date and relevant information for users is a major plus for your customers. You will present yourself to potential and existing customers as a specialist in your field and, ideally, help directly with any questions they may have.
What if your resources for SEO are lacking?
Search engine optimization offers website operators a great opportunity, as the use of relevant keywords and various SEO techniques can massively increase their reach and visibility. But it also takes a lot of time.
Do you have limited resources? Then Hostpoint’s rankingCoach is the perfect solution for you and your website. It allows even amateurs to test a website according to Google’s search engine ranking criteria and make appropriate adjustments directly. Users receive tips and tools to improve the ranking of their website. rankingCoach offers CMS and shop system specific task lists, tutorials and videos that help your website rank higher on Google.