Would you like to improve your rankings and come first on Google?
But does all of search engine optimization seem like a nine-headed hydra to you?
Even if the Google algorithm now has over 200 ranking factors, you can extremely improve your rankings with these ultimate 35+ search engine optimization tips in 2021 .
Certainly there are many more adjustments to your website. Nevertheless, with these basic tips you can extremely improve your rankings. According to the Pareto principle , this is the 20% work to improve your rankings by 80%. Or more.
1. Seo Tips: The BASICS
1.1 OnPage + OffPage optimization = Successful SEO
Successful search engine optimization consists of the so-called on- page and off-page optimization . The OnPage optimization means everything that you do on your own website. Off-page optimization describes everything that happens outside of your website.
Social media and link building are examples of off-page optimization. If your website can score with other websites, Google will trust your website more too.
Good search engine optimization means both: Great content on your own website (OnPage optimization) and the resulting links from other websites (OffPage optimization) to your great content.
1.2 Have patience
You mean, you follow all SEO tips here today and tomorrow you will be number 1?
Not even close. That’s not how Google works.
Before your rankings improve, it takes time . Google monitors your website and hesitantly tests how users react to your content. Before your rankings improve, it can take 3-6 months.
Important: stay chill! Any change to the content can cause a further slump. Some have already lost patience and optimized anew every day. The result: Due to the constant changes, Google assesses the website as inconsistent . The rankings are falling.
1.3 Tricks & Blackhat SEO is not a sustainable strategy
There used to be keyword stuffing. And all sorts of other tricks to cheat on Google.
So-called blackhat SEO may work in the short term. In the medium and long term, Google will penalize your website.
That is why it is important to play by the rules of the game. There is no quick path to success. Good content and a technically flawless award will always lead to good rankings. That might take a little longer – but you’ll rank well tomorrow for that too.
1.4 Search engine optimization is only a means to an end
Please keep in mind that user signals are becoming increasingly important. Of course you can optimize everything so that Google thinks you have 1A content. However, if you then rank first and the user does not find the information they want on your website, you will fall again very quickly.
Therefore, you should make yourself aware that you are optimizing for the user. You want them to find the information they want on your website. Of course we’re also optimizing for Google – but that’s just a means to an end.
Do not forget that.
1.5 Google lies!
In the Google Webmaster Hangout , little secrets about the Google algorithm are apparently revealed over and over again. Unfortunately, you cannot rely on Google’s statements about the Google algorithm.
Sometimes Google lets you know that this or that method does not work or has no influence on the rankings. However, my practical experience is often different. Google either intentionally spreads false information here or since Rankbrain itself no longer knows exactly what is and what is not.
1.6 Track your rankings & visitors
The best search engine optimization won’t help you if you don’t monitor your rankings. There are tools for this that query and save your rankings on a daily basis.
If you like it a little more professional, you can take a look at the SerpWatcher . This comes as part of the Mangools SEO Toolkit and gives you everything you need (and more). The € 30 / month is money well spent.
No matter how – to improve your rankings you should know where you stand. And which method will help you the most.
1.7 Search engine optimization is a continuous process
You don’t even do search engine optimization and that’s good. You can certainly first implement the SEO tips presented here.
Nevertheless, you should always stay on the ball and analyze and improve your side again in half a year at the latest. The competition does this too.
2. SEO Tips: KEYWORDS
The search terms, so-called keywords, are the heart of your search engine optimization. Even if 70% of search queries are long-tail keywords, you should still focus on keywords.
2.1 Keyword Concept & Keyword Research
The rule is: only one keyword per subpage. And by keyword I actually mean topic;)
Keyword research precedes any search engine optimization. And that is what the keyword concept results from. With a keyword tool you can check how many people search for your keyword per month and how high the competition is.
Building on this, you choose keywords for your subpages and group the keywords thematically.
Keyword research is extremely important and can fill an entire blog article.
2.2 Use a good keyword tool
To find good keywords for your optimization, you should also use a good keyword tool. Good does not necessarily mean expensive. Even with free keyword tools you can get a little further:
- Ubersuggest : Free keyword tool from Neil Patel with competitive analysis
- AnswerThePublic : Free tool for questions and long-tail keywords
- Google Suggest : Just enter your keyword in the Google search bar and see what Google suggests
- Google Trends : Here you can examine the trend of a keyword
- KWFinder : really abkey: the paid keywords tool leaves nothing to be desired
For the sake of completeness, here are the really expensive professional keyword tools: Sistrix , SEMRush , Searchmetrics , XOVI and Ahrefs . For starters , however, you can work with the free keyword tools or at least with the cheap KWFinder .
2.3 Understand keyword intention & don’t disappoint users
There are different types of keywords . In addition, there is an intention of the searcher behind every keyword.
You should understand the problem the seeker is having. Because in order to rank # 1 for a certain keyword, you should optimally satisfy the searcher’s information needs.
User signals are now very important. If you rank # 1 for a certain keyword, but you cannot satisfy the user, you will lose your ranking for a short or long time. Google notices when the user does not find what they are looking for on your site and is still googled.
2.4 Shorttail Keywords vs. Longtail Keywords
When it comes to the length of the keywords, a distinction is made between long-tail keywords (“SEO Tips 2021 WordPress Checklist”) and short-tail keywords (“SEO TIPPS”).
Shorttail keywords have a higher search volume but usually also greater competition. In addition, the search intention can usually hardly be recognized from the short tail keywords.
Long tail keywords make up around 70% of search queries on Google. This is why these keywords are a popular target in search engine optimization.
You should also focus on long-tail keywords . Therefore, you should put as many different keywords as possible on one topic on one subpage. But be careful: Of course, everything is organic and sensible!
2.5 Look at the keywords of the competition
When searching for keywords, you can also take inspiration from the competition. If your competitor already has a search engine optimized website, you can get great keyword ideas here.
2.6 Keyword density / WDF * IDF / LSI
Chances are you’ve heard of keyword density before. This shows in percentage how often a certain keyword occurs in your text. Funnily enough, there are tips like:
Your keyword density should be between 2-3%
Forget it again! Surely your keyword should appear here and there in the text. But Google is known to be the semantic search engine. That is why Google recognizes the subject of a text even if not every second word is your keyword (keyword stuffing).
And then there are great algorithms like WDF * IDF or LSI keywords . These will calculate the optimal SEO text for you. But you can also forget that very quickly.
To write a piece of text that ranks well, you just need good content. And a few synonyms or topic-relevant keywords. However, these should come into the content by themselves if you write a good text.
In order to expand your topic or to cover it hollistically, you can also use Google’s autosuggest function.
2.7 Only one keyword (topic) per page
When creating your keyword concept, you should already have thought about the distribution of the keywords on your subpages. You should cover a sufficiently large topic (keyword) with a subpage.
If you write two subpages on a topic, you will end up with the keyword cannibalization . That means you are your own competition and that is not good.
Also make sure that there is sufficient search volume per keyword. Don’t let that drive you crazy either. 70% of the search queries are long-tail keywords and 15% of all search queries are completely new. So there are also keywords that seem to have little search volume (e.g. 30-100 search queries per month) – but can also bring a lot of visitors.
And remember: a # 1 ranking is better than five # 4 rankings. The first three places on Google get 60% of the traffic. Would you like more information ?
2.8 Content strategy
There’s this buzz word “ content marketing ”. This may sound a bit confusing for your project at the beginning, but you should create something like a content plan . At least roughly in the head.
What topics do you want to write about? “All topics” does not count as an answer. Narrow down your topic at the beginning. But also give yourself freedom that you can expand thematically later.
3. SEO Tips: CONTENT
The most important thing in search engine optimization: the content. Today, Google sees itself as a semantic search engine. It’s about content, content and content! Therefore, this is also a very important point in search engine optimization tips.
3.1 Content is King
You have probably read it on every SEO blog: content is king! And yes, this mantra is getting annoying. Still, it’s the most important thing in search engine optimization.
If you’re an expert in your field, you can create unique content that people will enjoy consuming too. Nobody else has. And that puts you in first place.
As simple as that!
3.2 Find your topic and search for sub-topics
If you’re writing an article on a specific topic, think about which subtopics go with it. Cover the whole topic.
You can also use the Google Suggest function to find out subtopics or search queries from users. This results in additional ideas for subtopics.
3.3 Format & structure your texts clearly
Most users (and search engines) scan your page first. Therefore, you should structure your content with headings. Use short paragraphs.
You can also use lists, tables, quotations and other formatting options to loosen up your text.
Surely you don’t feel like going on an expedition through a desert of texts with almost endless word mounds. By dividing it into short paragraphs, you also give your reader a sense of achievement. Made another paragraph.
You should also mark important words in bold (strong tag). This makes it easier for the user and the Google bot to scan the text.
3.2 Use meaningful headings
The first time the user scans, headlines are mostly scanned. Therefore, you should use crisp headings that make you want to read the text.
Also make sure that the headings also contain your keywords or subject-relevant keywords.
Your keyword should definitely be in the H1 heading. Also pay attention to the correct hierarchy of H1, H2, H3 , etc. Your WordPress theme should not use any H-tags for design elements.
Use signal words to make your headline more interesting.
3.3 Use media (images, videos, infographics, etc.)
Texts are out. If it weren’t for this incredibly high information content, most texts would be deselected.
That is why it is important to use images and other media as well. This loosens up your texts and can turn text deserts into colorful oases.
Infographics are popular to share and provide backlinks when others use them on their blogs. If you have the ability to create great infographics – do it!
Videos are becoming increasingly important. Users prefer videos to long texts. Who would have thought that. Videos also increase the time you visit your website and send positive user signals to Google.
3.4 Link further resources
Pages with no outbound links seem lonely and desperate. This is how Google sees it.
Therefore, you should link relevant and further information for your readers. So you show Google your topic again.
Make sure to link to good sites – spam links don’t help anyone.
3.5 Build in keywords sensibly
Of course, you should be based on keywords and incorporate them into your text in a meaningful way. However, you should be organic.
If you are writing a text about a topic, it is clear that you are also using keywords on the topic. You don’t need to worry about keyword density or anything like that.
Write relevant and unique content. The rest will come by itself. Try to add as much added value as possible to a topic. In the best case, more than the competition.
There is a special case: if your keyword density is over 4-5%, you should use synonyms. Because then Google may punish you. Even if you didn’t write this high keyword density on purpose.
3.6 Avoid stop words
Stop words are the most common words in a language and have little to no meaning for sentences. That’s why Google filters out these stop words. “How to drill a hole” then becomes “drill hole” for Google.
Therefore, you can leave out these words, as they only artificially inflate your text. Of course, your sentences should still make sense;)
You should also avoid stop words here:
- Title tags
- URLs of websites
- Meta descriptions
- In the alt-tags of your pictures
3.7 Use connective words
If you have already worked with Yoast SEO, you surely also know connective words . According to Yoast SEO, 30% of all sentences should contain these connective words.
Okay – texts are not math. The percentage of 30% does not have to be a good SEO text. Still, you should understand what the point is. However, as soon as you look at examples of connective words, a light should appear:
- Or rather
- Even though
Connective words always represent a semantic context. With them you glue together your individual sentences and facts or differentiate them. This is how you create a meaningful text that also has a conclusion.
4. Seo Tips: The Search Results Pages (SERPs)
Google offers you more and more new possibilities to present your search results better in the search results through meta titles, meta descriptions and rich snippets.
In addition to the content, these are probably the two most important levers in search engine optimization.
4.1 Optimize the title tags
You can edit the title tags with plugins like Yoast SEO for WordPress. Depending on the device, you have around 70 characters to convince the searcher to click on your website.
This is precisely why title tags are so important: They are the first contact with the searcher. You should get attention right away. You should use signal words for this.
In addition to the keywords in the title tag, it must also convince the user.
If you want to write an article about the best SEO tips for 2021, the following meta title doesn’t sound very inviting:
SEO tips 2021
Numbers and power words are particularly good (great, ultimate, fast, instant, guaranteed …). If you speak to the user directly, they cannot help but click on your title tag.
25+ SEO tips 2021 to improve your Google rankings
To top it off: People like resources like checklists, infographics, etc. In addition , square brackets miraculously increase the click rate . Our example looks like this:
25+ Ultimate SEO Tips 2021 That Will Improve Your Google Rankings [Checklist]
Okay – this title is too long. However, if you still have space for your meta title, you should think about it!
4.2 Write a great meta description
With the title tag you generate attention. You write the meta description to convince the searcher. Of course, the keywords also come up here – but make sure that you address the searcher.
4.3 Use RICH snippets
More and more Google snippets and features are making the search results page colorful. It is no longer just about the meta title and the associated description.
The SERP features dominate many search queries today, i.e. videos, featured snippets, Q&A boxes, Google stars, reviews, etc. But how is my website displayed as an info box?
So-called rich snippets, in German: structured data is the magic word here. You can integrate this into your WordPress website using a plugin .
This will increase your click rate. But be careful: if you give all the necessary information on the Google results page, the searcher will no longer click on your page.
5. SEO Tips: Technology
If you have already optimized the content and the display in the search results and are still not ranked # 1 on Google, you should take a look at the technology of your website.
For laypersons, this section of the most important SEO tips 2021 is certainly a book with seven seals. If you really only understand train station here: Better to concentrate on good content. The technology of your website is (apart from the loading time optimization) only the tip of the SEO scale.
5.1 Optimize your loading time
The most important ranking factor in the tech section: the loading time of your website. This can really cost you 35 places in the ranking. Without you changing your content.
Just test your website with Google Pagespeed . A score of less than 60 points means that you need urgent action. From 80 to 90 points, the loading time of your website is just a luxury SEO problem.
5.2 Speaking URLS
The address of your page should also reflect the subject of your subpage. In WordPress one speaks of permalinks.
With this you show Google the clear topic of your subpage once more.
You can set the URLS under Settings -> Permalinks. But be careful: If your website is already online, set up 301 redirects for the old permalinks!
5.3 Optimize your images for the search engine
You should definitely use pictures. Make sure, however, that these have the correct dimensions if possible. If your image is only 500px wide in the layout, it doesn’t have to be 2000px wide. Therefore, use a suitable program to scale your images to the appropriate size beforehand. You can use Photoshop or the free GIMP for this .
But you should also compress your pictures with the right dimensions with a plugin . This will also load your pictures quickly.
As a little extra, you can also use the new WebP format . That again saves data and looks good too.
5.4 Mobile First
Another buzz word that haunted almost all online marketing blogs in recent years. The mobile first approach.
Your website should definitely be responsive. Even better: it should be created directly for mobile devices. Today, responsive web design is still sufficient in the conventional sense.
5.5 Use Https (SSL)
The green lock (which has already turned gray) indicates the SSL encryption. This means that data entered by the user is transmitted in encrypted form.
But switching from http to https is also worthwhile for blogs etc.! SSL encryption has been an important ranking factor for Google since 2004 .
Newer browsers now always show websites without SSL encryption as unsafe. That doesn’t make a good impression on the user either.
5.6 Avoid categories / tag pages
Does a lot help a lot? Not at all! The more bloated your website is, the more your good content gets lost.
Therefore you should delete zombie sites or exclude them from the Google index. This gives you a ranking boost of up to 33% .
In Yoast SEO, for example, you can exclude your tags pages and your category pages from the Google index with a “No-Index”. This way you focus more on your unique content than on overview pages with duplicate content.
5.7 Seo images
Images SEO is a big issue. Google image search is becoming increasingly popular. But not only for this you should optimize the images used on your advertising site.
Since Google cannot yet recognize images as such, the title tags and alt tags of the images are used to classify the image semantically. Therefore, you should use important keywords (or related keywords) in the file names and the title and alt tags of your images.
But as always: please with sense and understanding. Typing the same keyword into the tags of your pictures over and over again does not help. Also, pay attention to where you use the images in your text. The associated text topic should also be found in the tags of the picture.
6. SEO Tips: LEFT
Off-page optimization is becoming increasingly less important, but it is still an important part of search engine optimization. Links indicate to Google that your website is relevant and valued by other websites. Those who have many links seem to have a good reputation.
6.1 Maintain good links
You have to earn links! Of course you can post a few links here and there at the beginning … but you will only achieve real success with high-quality links.
Therefore, high-quality websites should also link to you. But how do you do that?
If you continuously create high quality content and media (infographics, tools, etc.) then pages will link to you. It happens automatically.
There is also the possibility to write guest posts for other blogs and thus get good backlinks. In general, there are no limits to your creativity when building links … oh wait: there is one thing: no spam, please!
6.2 Avoid bad links
There is no point in getting any links. The pages that link to you must have a good reputation.
So just surf blogs and post spammy comments a la: “Great article. Thank you very much! ”Won’t get you very far. You’re only annoying the bloggers in question.
You should also be careful with link lists. Some still work, others have no visibility and are therefore a poor link source.
6.3 Link internally to suitable articles and subpages
A very underrated topic. Of course, you can also have links point to you from your own website. This means that your page will be crawled faster because the Google bot is directed from one page to the other.
In addition, the so-called internal “link juice” is also an important ranking factor. The Google bot just doesn’t like lonely websites. Only the connection of the individual websites with links shows the Google bot that your website is consistent.
6.4 Use social media for attention
Personally, I don’t particularly like the social media topic. Nevertheless, the so-called social signals are also a ranking factor.
If you have a lot of links on Facebook or your YouTube channel has thousands of subscribers, then your website will rank better too.