In today’s digitalized world, customers use search engines to find products, services, companies or offers. Within fractions of a second, tens of thousands of search results appear, which search engines fish from the deep reaches of the Internet and list in a user-friendly manner.
The user usually only notices those websites that appear in the first three to five places in the result list. The operators of these sites have understood the rules of the search engines and were best able to align their appearance accordingly. They have the best chances of being contacted by potential customers.
Why is Search Engine Optimization so important?
The goal of every website owner should be to get on the podium in the search results. This is achieved through online marketing. Here it is important to distinguish between two main areas. Conventional paths are taken by SEA (Search Engine Advertising). According to an old tradition, presence is bought for money for a certain period of time. If the advertisement runs out, you are out of business.
More sustainable and intelligent, but also more complicated and extensive is the path taken with SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Here, one tries to achieve a good ranking organically — i.e. without payment.
On the surface, the goal of SEO optimization is to improve your site’s rankings in search results. But beyond that, the purpose of achieving high rankings is to attract more traffic — and ideally, to convert that traffic into customers and leads. And in case you were wondering, it works.
Moreover, SEO can help build your brand. Although branding is often considered more of a traditional marketing strategy, and SEO belongs to the digital category, the two involve similar steps. Building a brand requires considering both what you provide, and what others say about it.
And when you look at the steps involved in optimizing a site, the factors are similar. You need to create content that’s in line with your customers’ needs and interests, then find ways to earn links to that content from other sites. If you keep this relationship in mind as you develop your SEO strategy, you can select keywords and create content that’s in line with the image you want your brand to have.
What are the four pillars of SEO?
SEO is divided into four key areas, which should always be considered by website owners:
- Technical SEO ensures that content can be “crawled” and indexed. This includes loading speeds and good compatibility with mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
- Content — be it text, pictures, infographics, audio — must offer added value to the user. This means: content is king! It tells the customer why they should buy the products on a website. It is important that the content is unique. This is because Google recognizes copied content (duplicate content) and devalues the corresponding page.
- On-page SEO serves to optimize the content with the help of an optimally structured content hierarchy. This is achieved by using suitable keywords through keyword research, intelligent navigation and sensible headline formatting
- Off-page SEO focuses strongly on a reasonable link building. The link building is mainly done via backlinks. That means via links from external sites. High-quality backlinks, which have a positive influence on the ranking, usually only get websites with high-quality, unique content.
The competition is tough — and the search engine operators are constantly changing their algorithms. As such, the implemented measures for search engine optimization must always be adapted, if you want to stay ahead of your competitors!