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How does search engine optimization work?

SEO explained for laypeople

How does SEO work?

If you knew exactly how search engine optimization works, Google would no longer be able to market Adwords, which is why there are no publications on how to do it Search Engine optimization in a form that guarantees that the desired search term will be on the 1st page in Google. Nevertheless, there are of course various points that, if you observe them in principle, bring success. Google is not to be seen as a single search field, but you have to try to look at the structure as a whole. Overall means here that successful search engine optimization is made up of different actions that should interact. In this article, we assume that a company like yours is at the beginning of all work and does not yet have its own website.

The abbreviation SEO is now mainly used for the English term "Search Experience Optimization". The abbreviation originally came from “Search Engine Optimization”. But it makes little sense to optimize a website to meet the needs of a machine (in this case Google's AI) if the actual users end up not enjoying it. Google has also recognized this and has increasingly focused on user experience since 2013.

Why does Google play such a big role in SEO?

The focus on Google has a good reason, because it is the search engine with by far the largest market share. At the beginning of 2018, it was around 87,35 percent worldwide for access to the Internet with desktop computers. At the same time, the BING search engine operated by Microsoft achieved just under 5,8 percent. Anyone who thinks that the integration of the Edge browser into the Windows 10 operating system has caused major changes in Bing's market position is wrong. The shift is only a few percent, so Google will continue to be the focus of SEO in the future.

What other trends determine the development of SEO?

In the past, Google usually kept a secret about the planned changes to the algorithms used to sort the organic search results (SERPs for short). It's different now, at least in one respect. With all the changes since the first Panda updates, website operators and SEO agency employees can rest assured that Google is aiming to improve the user experience of the search engine.

The number of factors to be considered in search engine optimization also continued to grow over time. In the meantime, a whole "periodic table of SEO" has emerged. It shows which elements influence success positively or negatively. The change of direction by Google can also be seen very well there, because many things with which the Internet agencies were able to achieve great success in search engine optimization a few years ago are now even having a negative effect. An example of this is keyword stuffing. Due to the large number of ranking and SEO factors, search engine optimization now seems like a "closed book" to the layperson.

Biological SEO is and remains the best way

The term biological SEO is a more recent term. This is an overall concept of search engine optimization, which has proven to be sustainably successful. All attempts to manipulate the ranking in the SERPs in any way are avoided from the outset. This approach makes sense simply because Google is constantly changing the ranking algorithms. In biological SEO, the professionals always put themselves in the shoes of the users and explore their needs. The result is a list of requirements that are permanent.

Bio-SEO generates targeted content that users classify as highly interesting. This results in several advantages:

  • The time spent on the website increases because the content is read from start to finish.
  • High-quality content is linked voluntarily if it only contains verifiable facts.
  • Content that is worth reading is often shared, liked and recommended on social networks.
  • As a result, the visibility of a website improves, which in turn increases traffic.

This means that with biological search engine optimization, several SEO factors are cascaded through high-quality content alone. Even without mass link purchases, this ensures that a website remains permanently in the top positions in the search results. Conclusion: Organic SEO puts the emphasis on on-page optimization to make parts of off-page optimization redundant.

What else belongs to good SEO directly on your own site?

Of course, the technology should not be neglected in SEO. Anyone who publishes their website on a slow server risks massive customer and user losses. They result from the fact that the “goodwill” of the browsers is very tight when it comes to the response times of the servers. If the server responds too late, the browsers display an error message. The continuous availability of content also plays an important role in technical SEO. If Google's crawler wants to check the content at the exact time when a website cannot be reached due to a server failure, this can even lead to de-indexing from the databases from which the search results are generated. In addition, dead links must be avoided at all costs. This requirement applies to both internal and external links. The Google AI now punishes a high number of "dead" links with a downgrade in the ranking. This demotion also occurs when a website's source code has numerous errors. Therefore, the programmers must also be involved in the SEO.

Unique content is an essential part of on-page optimization

For a long time, website operators saved money by having software create numerous modifications from a basic text using the spinning process. This has been counterproductive for on-page optimization for some time, because the Google AI can now recognize such spinning texts without a doubt. If there are texts that are very similar, they are gradually sorted out by Google during the intensive check after the initial indexing. The generation of content with spinning software is therefore no longer worthwhile, but represents wasted time that should rather be invested elsewhere.

Off-page SEO is also subject to constant change

Until 2013, the search engines only based their ranking on the absolute number of links pointing to a website/domain. This is why the so-called “link farms” came about. Google now evaluates the links very individually. This entails the need for SEO to pay very close attention to the origin of the links. Massive backlinks from websites that rank significantly worse than your own page in the search results are no longer worthwhile, at least since the Panda and Penguin updates. This also made the entry in the so-called article directories superfluous. If you want to make your website public today, it is better to use the potential of social networks from YouTube to Facebook and Twitter to Instagram and WhatsApp. The occasional publication of press releases has also become an important element of off-page SEO.

The goals of SEO are always the users and the search engines in parallel

In addition to the combination of on-page SEO and off-page SEO, SEO is divided into two other sub-areas. One focus is user comfort. The second key point is providing information to search engine crawlers. At this point it is an advantage that Google serves as a role model. This means that the crawlers from BING, Baidu, Yandex and Co. call up the same information from a website. They do not therefore have to be stored in different forms.

However, it is necessary to know the differences in the display of the snippets in the SERPs of the different search engines. This was shown by looking at the content displayed in the snippets at the beginning of 2018. Once again, Google proved to be a pioneer in improving user convenience and doubled the number of characters possible in the description displayed, while the other search engines were still using the limited number of characters. However, many website operators and Internet agencies decided early on to take full advantage of Google's innovations in SEO. Of course, the enormously high market shares of the Alphabet Incorporated search engine also played an important role.

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Our tips for 
Search Engine optimization

First you should be clear about the name of the domain. In the past, great importance was attached to the fact that the domain name should already contain the search term. Today that doesn't really matter anymore because Google cares about the content on the page. The goal that Google is pursuing is clear.

Anyone who comes to your website should find exactly what they were looking for, i.e. the information on the search term. So it makes perfect sense to create a separate subpage for each individual search term and to report on the specific term. The following points are important here:


The main title of the home page

In every homepage you have to enter a page title, which usually appears in every subpage behind the search engine title. The risk here is that you use a title that already describes the actual service and appears 100 times with 100 sub-pages. This can be positive if you no longer use this word at important points on the page, but it can quickly have a negative effect if you also use the search term a lot on the page. Here you should think carefully. It makes sense to simply use the company name with a reference to the place where you are based. So you no longer need to do this in the title tag of the main page and can only go into services there. Google will automatically pull and use your business name from this main title.


Set important meta data

  • The title of the button to select
  • Designation of the subdomain (www.your-homepage.de/name-der-unterseite.
  • The search engine title (which can also be seen in Google as blue text)
  • The search engine description (Description)
  • The 1st heading (H1) and also other headings

In all of these fields, you should add words and texts specifically for this search term that you would also be looking for yourself for the desired product. The Google Keyword Tool is a great help here, in which you can also find ideas for a search term with the associated monthly search queries and you should also use them. After all, it is of no use if you are in 1st place with a search term, but this search term is not searched for in Google. In the important fields mentioned above, make sure that the search term is not listed twice and hide the search term in a text (sentence) in a meaningful way. Google particularly likes that, because just writing the search term multiple times on the page is rather counterproductive. It is best to refrain from all other headings at the beginning and only use an H1 for the time being, i.e. the largest heading. Usually you can also select this as the 1st heading if it is a question of modern CMS systems.


meaningful and
extensive texts

Even if you are of the opinion that you should not burden the visitor of your homepage with too much text, write as much as possible on the topic in question. After all, you know your company and the product range best. Google lives from content and the statement of some entrepreneurs that they do not want to use so much text but more images will not lead to the desired success in search engine optimization. The more content and subpages your homepage has, the more you can be found. After all, not everyone is looking for just "trade", but some searchers use whole sentences such as: Where can I get "trade" or how do I find a reputable supplier of ...

If such formulations are not present in your text, Google cannot recognize this either.


Internal links

Since you have now understood that there should be several sub-pages, each of which describes your search term, certain individual words will also be found in other sub-pages. It makes sense here to simply link this to the subpage in which this individual word is described in more detail. So if you sell awnings and have a subpage that describes awnings very well, you will certainly also recommend that, after checking on site, a roller shutter may also be sufficient. Now link the word shutters to the sub-page where the shutters are described and link from shutters back to the awnings page. In this way, neither side is weakened, but strengthened.


External links

Links to your site are very important and are recommended. If, for example, a supplier of your material links to you, Google sees it positively, since its homepage recommends you to customers. Conversely, every link you give to others weakens your own homepage. So give as few links as possible from your site to other sites if you want links to benefit you.


Picture descriptions

Each image file should be named before it is loaded onto the page. So it made little sense to name the image CM234567 or to leave it at such a name, but to give it a name that describes the performance of the respective subpage, eg "cheap awnings from "company name". Another picture could be called "electric awnings" etc. You can also usually add a caption to a picture. This should possibly describe the picture. If the image is a commodity, the caption can be the name of the commodity. The alternative text to the image appears when you mouse over the image. Another text then appears, which you should select specifically and which gives the person searching further brief information.


Tip: Direct search engine
registration with google

If your website is registered and already has content, simply submit the site to Google via the Search Console. Here it is usually sufficient if you register the main domain, since Google then automatically adds the subpages to the index. Now Google also knows that your new homepage is available.


Google business

Hardly anything works today without Google Business. Verify your Google entry (PIN or post), state that you are the owner of the entry and add pictures of your company and team to the Google entry and insert your logo. Of course, you can also use your new homepage there so that life is breathed into the Google Business entry. Without a stored website, the entry is not necessarily of much value. You can select several services that you offer via the categories. If you already have a very important word in the main name, do not select the same branch, since the search terms will then overlap. Sometimes it also makes sense to first search for the branches offered and to use a different word in the main title. For example: Hairdresser category – main title Hairdressing salon.


Google account

If you don't already have one, create a Google account. Here you can create a new e-mail address or you can use an existing e-mail as a login. You can also use the Google account to verify and edit your Google Business entry. Otherwise this is unfortunately not possible.

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