What is Search Engine Optimization? What is SEO

Search engine optimization, also called SEO ( Search Engine Optimization), describes a part of the online marketing mix that primarily deals with the findability of pages via organic search in the various search engines such as Google, Bing, Yandex and many more. The point is to have your own URLs, i.e. your own content, appear in the search engine results (SERPs) in the prominent positions 1-3 (or 1-10). There are many to reach these top positions various levers that we can use, such as technical and content optimization of the existing pages!

3 reasons why search engine optimization is so important

Search engines and especially Google are the gateway to the internet. Many users have set up Google as the start page of their browser and almost all online sessions begin with a search query via Goolge, Bing, etc. For website operators this means: Even the best website with the most useful content wastes potential if it cannot be found via Google. For commercial providers, business success depends crucially on the placement in the organic search results – the further up the front, the better, but definitely on the first page. Because as the saying goes: the best place to hide a corpse is on page 2 of the Google search results. In the following I would like to give you 3 reasons why SEO can also be worth gold for your company!

  1. The number of new users who come to your website is mainly due to the organic new users. This means that Google, Bing and other search engines are the most important channel for attracting new users for many companies and websites. The advantage: These positions and new customers do not cost you any advertising money, unlike paid placements via various advertising options.
  2. With strong positioning in the various search engine results (SERPs), you have the opportunity to pick up your potential users and customers, especially in the first phase of the customer journey (SEE phase), and to lure them to your site. Of course, you need the right content for this, so that your page presents the most relevant content for the users.
  3. The users who come (or can come) to your website via the organic search of the search engines often have a very motivated interest in implementing their goal on your website, because after all, the users have entered a specific, targeted search term and then opted for Your website decided. It doesn’t matter whether the users come to your website via informational or transactional search queries, in both cases the users have a justified interest and goal that you should satisfy with your content in the best case!

What is the difference between SEO, SEA and SEM?

What is SEM?

SEO, SEA and SEM are three acronyms that are used in digital marketing. These three acronyms are explained below. Let’s start with SEM first.

SEM stands for earch ngine arketing (search engine marketing) and comprises all marketing activities, the purpose of which is to make a company or an organization more visible in the search engine results pages (SERPs). 

SEM is divided into two branches: SEA (Search Engine Advertising) and SEO (Search Engine Optimization). 

Sometimes the term “SEM” is used as a synonym for “SEA”, neglecting SEO. 

In our view, there is no reason to exclude SEO from the SEM. It is true that SEA and SEO work differently, but their purpose is basically the same: to make a company or an organization more visible in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) and to attract internet users to the website of an organization or a company.

What is the difference between SEO and SEA?

SEA stands for earch ngine dvertising and deals with paid advertisements that are displayed on SERPs. In the case of Google, paid ads are displayed at the top and bottom of the SERPs, whereby the term “ad” is used to distinguish it from the other search results.

Paid ads are usually shown one by one, although they can also be shown side by side.

Paid ads in SERPs are placed via an advertising platform. In the case of Google, the ads are created using the Google Ads platform .

The process of creating a paid ad is pretty straightforward. First, the advertiser selects a keyword. This keyword triggers the ad if it matches or is closely related to the search query entered by the user. Then the advertiser creates ad text and selects a landing page. Ultimately, the advertiser chooses a budget for their ads and a bid that represents the maximum amount of money they are willing to pay for a click. The advertiser only pays when a user clicks an ad, not when the ad is only shown to a user.

The process of serving paid ads to a user is just as simple. Every time a user enters a search query, an auction takes place to decide which paid ad comes first, which second, and so on. The position of paid ads is determined by a number of factors including their bid and the quality of the ad copy and landing page.

SEO on the other hand represents earch ngine ptimization (search engine optimization), and covers all marketing activities, whose aim is to improve the position of a website or web page in organic search results. Organic search results are results that are displayed in SERPS and are not marked as “ad”.

Whether a website ranks high or low in organic search results also depends on a number of factors traditionally referred to as “ranking factors”. Although search engines do not publicly disclose the factors used by their algorithms to rank web pages, some are now known.

This includes:

  • Quality and use of the content. The more valuable the content is for internet users, the higher the chances of appearing on the first organic search positions.
  • Website speed. A fast website is more likely to appear in the first organic search positions than a slow website.
  • Website architecture and ease of use. Websites with a simple architecture that are easy to navigate and use are likely to perform better than websites that are not architecturally and user-friendly.
  • Relevance of Keywords. Websites that contain keywords that internet users search for have a higher chance of getting to the top than websites that completely ignore the terms users enter in search engines.
  • Backlinks. A website linked to from other reputable websites is more likely to get a better organic position than a website that does not have links to itself.

Unlike paid ads, website owners don’t pay search engines when a user clicks on an organic search result. Hence, it is common to associate SEO or online search results with free online traffic.

The goals of search engine optimization (SEO)

The main goal of SEO is, very simply put, to be placed in the top ranking positions in the organic search results of the various search engines. Let’s go into more detail: Search engine optimization (SEO) primarily aims to be represented in search terms relevant to the user with the relevant relevant pages in the highest ranking positions in search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo or Yandex.

You should make sure that the presentation of the search results (snippets) that appear in the search engines should motivate users to click on your result, i.e. your website. The aim here is to meet the user’s expectation with regard to the content of the respective query (the search term), your snippet and the content of the website, so that the user stays on your website and does not jump back directly to the SERP page.

The overriding goal of search engine optimization is therefore to bring more visitors to the respective website via the organic search of Google and Co., i.e. to design the results in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) through various measures so that your own Website is at the top and has the best CTR (Click Through Rate). To achieve this goal, the status quo of the KPIs should first be determined in order to then improve them through targeted SEO measures.

The different areas of search engine optimization

SEO is multifaceted – like all disciplines of online marketing. That is why a general explanation is not enough, because the big picture can be broken down into various SEO sub-areas. These areas can stand for themselves and be optimized, but ultimately it is important to keep an eye on all areas in order to be able to implement holistic measures. 

If you are an SEO yourself or if you are more concerned with it, then you have probably heard of onpage SEO and offpage SEO  . These are the two larger areas to which all optimizations can be subordinated. The names leave little room for interpretation:

  • On- page optimization: all measures that affect the page itself, i.e. everything that happens on the page
  • Off page optimizations: Measures outside the page that deal with the popularity of a website 

While offpage SEO uses link building to increase the popularity of a website, i.e. the development of high quality backlinks (external links that refer to the website), onpage SEO is a very broad field and can be optimized again in terms of content and technicality subdivide.

In terms of content, you as SEO deal with the content of the pages themselves, their heading structure  and text-based optimization, as well as meta data (Title Tag & Meta Description), general page architecture, use of media such as images and videos (image SEO), internal linking and local SEO for companies that want to improve their online presence for certain locations.

From a technical point of view, the optimization often focuses on the user experience. The technical part deals with the optimization of the loading speed (page speed) , the optimizations for mobile devices and the efficient crawling and indexing D of a page by the search engine crawler so that everything that should end up in the index ends up in the index.

Technical SEO also includes topics such as the marking of structured data with schema.org and internationalization with the help of the hreflang attribute.

Part of the on-page optimizations are also optimizations in the area of ​​voice search (SEO),  which affect both content-related and technical aspects.

The various optimizations then represent either direct or indirect ranking factors, which means that they are used to varying degrees in the evaluation of the relevance of a page by search engines such as Google or Bing. Both sub-areas go hand in hand and always pursue a common goal: better rankings on the search results pages (SERPs) of the search engines. 

SEO KPIs – the most important KPIs for search engine optimization

First of all: KPI stands for Key Performance. These key figures form the basis to be able to measure the performance of the SEO optimizations at all.

There are definitely different starting points and perspectives from which you can evaluate the performance of your website. It makes a big difference whether you run a blog, for example, in which traffic (i.e. the sheer number of users) determines your success, or whether you run a shop in which traffic naturally plays a role In the end, of course, you have to make a transaction so that your shop is a success.

The most important KPIs from an SEO perspective

In the following section you will find a number of KPIs that can best verify your SEO performance in an objective way and which give you the best opportunity to analyze and classify the success (or failure) of your website.

Important KPIs for measuring SEO performance:

1. Visibility of the defined keyword set: For many companies, visibility is perhaps the most important value for classifying their own website.

However, the following is important here: You should always only pay attention to the visibility of your previously defined keyword set.

This set contains the keywords that are relevant for you and your website. If you run a blog about travel, then your keyword set should only contain those keywords that have to do with the topic “travel” – you don’t care about a keyword from the field of technology and it is important for your visibility as well as for your website success not decisive.

2. The specific ranking of certain focus keywords: For this KPI you should analyze which ranking positions your most important keywords (focus keywords) occupy. You can determine the framework in which you analyze your keywords: Here you can focus on the top 20 keywords and then take them into account in the following optimizations, or you can expand your analysis and observe the top 30, top 40 or top 50 keywords. You then use the results of these analyzes for on- and off-page optimizations, which contribute to promoting the respective focus keywords to better ranking positions.

3. PageSpeed: Not only since Google, Bing, Yahoo or Yandex have included the speed of websites as a ranking factor, the PageSpeed ​​of a website has played a decisive role in terms of your SEO success. The users you want to get to your site usually react very similarly to a poor loading speed: They will leave your website and search the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) for another website that loads better and, above all, faster!

4. Organic traffic: The organic traffic that comes to your website describes the users who find their way to your site via the pure organic search results of the search engines. The following applies: the more organic traffic, the better for your performance! In addition, you should also note the following: The users who were once on your website and whom you were able to convince with your content will also find their way to your website in the future and give Google and other search engines corresponding user signals (user signals ) that your website has a certain trust factor and thus ranks well.

5. Bounce rate & dwell time: The bounce rate and the dwell time (the time the users stay on your website) can be very important KPIs for you, because these two metrics can say a lot about the quality of your content and the technical requirements of your website . If, for example, the content on the page does not meet the search intention of the users, or if the important and relevant content cannot be found directly, then the users may quickly leave your website – the bounce rate will be correspondingly high and the length of stay will be low.

Reasons for such bad user signals could be, for example, too long loading times, too much advertising, irrelevant or bad information or simply the structure of your website (layout, navigation, font size,

What does visibility mean in SEO?

In search engine optimization, visibility is understood to mean the presence of a website in the organic search results of a search engine. If a page is found for many, requested keywords in good positions, usually on the first search results page, the page has a high level of visibility. If a page is not found at all in the organic search, it has accordingly no visibility. 

Basically, you can calculate a visibility value for yourself, all you need is the number of keywords that rank for your page, the search request for these keywords and the positions of these keywords. It is easier if you work with visibility indicators such as the Sistrix Visibility or the Search Metrics SEO Visibility. The advantages are obvious: there is regular data from almost all websites, also retrospectively. With the help of the visibility index and its course, you can carry out a large number of analyzes and compare your site with those of competitors.

You can find out here how you can calculate the visibility of a page yourself, what advantages and disadvantages the visibility index has and what relevance the visibility has as a KPI .

The Google algorithm

The Googlebots, also known as crawlers, regularly search billions of web content in order to include it in the Google index
. The result of this is the so-called Google Index. Due to the huge amount of information, Google is dependent on pre-sorting, evaluating and prioritizing the results for a specific search query. In order to be able to determine the most relevant and useful search results, Google’s ranking systems use a variety of algorithms. In general, the Google algorithm is also used here, or a search algorithm specifically related to search engines. 

In order to weight the relevance of certain information or web content to a search query, Google uses five key factors. The word analysis determines what exactly is being searched for. Language models are used to analyze what the search intention is, for example, and whether there are synonyms for the search term entered.

When comparing the search term , it is checked which web content actually matches the search term. Here, for example, it is analyzed whether, where and how often the search term occurs in the web content.

When ranking useful pages , Google uses over 200 ranking factors in order to determine the relevance of web content more precisely.

The best results  are evaluated algorithmically and it is checked whether the websites are optimized, for example mobile, whether the loading times are acceptable even with slower Internet connections and whether the websites are displayed correctly in different browsers.

Under consideration of the context of Google evaluates information, such as from the individual search settings, the location (eg city and country) of the seeker and to previous search history.

The Google ranking factors

There is hardly any other topic that has more myths, rumors and half-truths than the Google ranking factors. Studies and tests polarize regularly and nothing is discussed more passionately in the SEO industry. Google itself speaks of over 200 ranking factors that are used by the ranking systems to algorithmically evaluate the relevance of results in the Google index to specific search queries. Google is particularly cautious about the weighting of the individual ranking factors. The exact composition and the corresponding weighting of the ranking factors are therefore the best-kept secrets of the Mountain View search engine.   

First of all, it should be mentioned that due to the rapid further development of the Google algorithm and the use of artificial intelligence (machine learning), regular unannounced Google updates and the distinction between users (personalized search), a general listing of ranking factors has become obsolete.

Rather, it can be assumed that ranking factors that differ from one another are used for the different industries and even for the different search queries. In addition, the ranking factors are interdependent and / or build on one another. It is therefore difficult to predict in advance what effects optimizations will have on individual ranking factors.

Before you start optimizing, you should  therefore keep in mind that Google does not want to deliver the best SEO-optimized web content, but rather the most useful and therefore most relevant for the searcher. Therefore, a natural design of the ranking factors , as well as a primary focus on the users and not the Google Bot should be aimed for.

John Mueller has already revealed the most important ranking factor for a reason ?

Keyword Research & Keyword Strategy

Keyword research is about finding, categorizing and prioritizing the right search terms for the intended target group. There are numerous tools that can help you with keyword research. Due to the current algorithmic developments on the part of Google, it is advisable to subdivide the researched keywords according to the different search intentions.

In the subsequent keyword strategy, a meaningful assignment of search terms to individual URLs, page types and content formats is in the foreground. You can find detailed information on the practical procedure and the use of keyword research tools in our comprehensive article on keyword research and keyword strategy . 

What is onpage SEO?

Search engine optimization can be roughly divided into two thematic areas: Offpage and Onpage optimization. The former records measures that take place outside the website, e.g. link building. On-page SEO, on the other hand, describes technical and content -related measures that are carried out on the website itself . The site is to be optimized so that the crawler can easily access all content and index all relevant information without difficulty.

Since on-page SEO includes all measures that take place on the website itself, it includes a variety of different topics. These include:

Technical measures:

  • Pagespeed.
  • Mobile usability (keyword Mobile First).
  • Aspects of crawling control (e.g. meta robot tags and canonical tags).
  • the internal link structure of the website.
  • Dealing with 404 pages and redirects.
  • Url structures.
  • Internationalization measures.

Content measures:

  • Content creation and all related optimizations (eg, keyword strategy, researching topics, heading structures , avoiding Duplicate Content).
  • Meta data (titles and descriptions).
  • Image SEO.

Furthermore, the basic website hygiene as well as the information architecture of the page belong to it. 

Since on-page SEO is such a broad part of search engine optimization, there is a correspondingly large amount of overlap with other marketing disciplines, e.g. content marketing and UX, and cannot be easily distinguished from these. 

What is offpage SEO?

Under off page SEO all measures fall that can be taken outside to be optimized web page and set themselves about to onpage -measures from. This mainly includes externally set backlinks on other websites, but also other recommendations such as mentions and sometimes also local SEO . 

In general, backlinks still show crawlers the way to this day (this also applies to internal links). External links enable search engines to find new pages. This means that links are essential for indexing websites or new subpages or content. 

If you set a backlink to additional external content, the user could jump off your own website in order to consume the linked content. As a result, the backlink is an added value for the respective user, but you have to accept the risk of the user jumping off at the same time. Links are therefore references and should be interpreted as recommendations.

At that time, Google was the first search engine to force this – links as an evaluation criterion for the arrangement in the search results was one of the reasons for Google’s success. Even if the number of pure backlinks has lost its importance and a suspicious backlink professional (link farming, link buying etc.) was even punished by various updates, backlinks are still an important part of the Google algorithm. The focus here is now on the quality of the backlink.

For search engine optimization, it is therefore particularly important to consider the link as a recommendation, because only good content is linked organically. Today’s SEO must strive for so-called hero content alongside other online marketing disciplines such as content marketing. And you should do that too: backlinks should be earned (link earning ) and not bought! Backlinks reflect the relevance of the content and are an indication of the quality of a page or content. In addition, referral traffic is built up from the page providing the link. So always remember: A good backlink will also bring users to your site. 

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is, as the name implies, above all essential for locally operating companies and businesses as well as local trade. Measures that can be assigned to local SEO should also be observed by nationally oriented companies.

Even if search queries with a location using the desktop search are still common, the local search query using mobile devices has changed significantly. Location-specific keywords are completely eliminated through localization, or are substituted for, for example, “In the vicinity”.

But not only the search queries, but also the display of local results on the search results pages has changed significantly, driven by increased mobile usage, among other things. With the Google search engine, local search results are prominently displayed in a local box with a Google Maps link in order to do justice to the local search query. 

Your Google My Business entry is central here. This appears in the mentioned local box as well as on the right side and on Google Maps. In addition to the pure entry, users can recommend your business there and you can manage the reviews; In addition, images (interior view, exterior view, etc.) can be stored and statistics give you insight into the performance of your local entry. 

The search engine Bing offers an equivalent to Google My Business with Bing Places . Since these are free offers from search engines, the use of these should be mandatory for advertisers and website operators. 

In addition to your Google My Business entry, for example, you should set up local citations in, among other things, trustworthy business directories. In this case, local citations are the details of your company with a local address reference, which at least consists of the so-called uniform NAP data (from English for name, address, phone). These entries increase the credibility of your information for the search engines. In addition, these entries enable you to be found via local third-party platforms. Furthermore, referral traffic can be built up via the link to your website .

Local SEO also includes subpages optimized for the respective location. In addition to optimizing for the corresponding local keyword such as ‘SEO Agency Cologne’, your address details should be provided with structured data .

What is voice search? The importance for SEO

“Ok Google, where can I find the nearest pizzeria?” – Such or similar requests to Google Home, Amazon Alexa or the smartphone are now part of everyday life for many people. Voice-based search is becoming increasingly popular. This can also be seen in the increased sales of smart devices from Google, Amazon and Co.

But what is voice search ? It is a new type of search in which search queries are no longer typed into a search engine, but spoken directly. 

Voice search changes the search

Voice search is based on natural language, because the search queries are spoken in complete sentences into a device. This makes them longer and entire sentences or questions replace individual keywords. The use of mobile devices for search queries is increasing continuously and voice search queries are mainly carried out via mobile devices. It can therefore be assumed that this type of search will become more widespread and increasingly important.

Search engines like Google recognized this development years ago and are adapting their algorithms accordingly.

Voice Search SEO

Since only one answer is read out in voice search via smart devices, it is particularly difficult to achieve this position. Even so, there are some SEO optimizations for voice search to increase the chances of the playout. The change in search behavior towards natural language increases the importance of good content.

One side has to provide answers and possible questions have to be researched beforehand. The basis of the Voice Search Optimization are thus content research, content structure and structure. Featured snippets, the so-called “answer boxes”, are often played out as voice search results. The development of a featured snippet thus also serves to optimize voice search. We were already able to do this in a voice search case study determine. The marking with structured data also plays an important role in providing Google with further information on the content. 

Since many voice search queries have a local reference, local SEO is also important for optimizing voice-based search. Companies that want to be found locally should consider a Google My Business entry with current and complete information, entries in business directories and appropriate awards with local Schema.org markups.

Voice search is becoming more and more relevant, search behavior is changing and so is the search engine algorithm. The optimization for voice search has therefore become an important SEO part.

What is Mobile SEO?

Mobile SEO can basically be summarized as any measures that aim to optimize the mobile version of a website so that it ranks better in the organic search results of Google (or other search engines) and can thus be found.

A significant distinction can be made between the various technical implementations of a mobile website: the variant of a separate mobile domain (e.g. via subdomain) and dynamic serving versus implementation via responsive web design.

While the former are rarely used in their implementation, the responsive approach has meanwhile advanced to a kind of web standard and is also preferred by search engines such as Google with regard to the ranking factor mobile friendliness.

In addition, the change in the indexing process from Google to Mobile First Index should be viewed as a paradigm shift, according to which the mobile version of a website is primarily accessed and indexed by Google. For this reason, the terminology “mobile SEO” is no longer to be considered separately from the general designation of search engine optimization, since as far as possible all measures in the area of ​​on and off page optimization should be implemented for the uniform, responsive desktop and mobile variant.

Nevertheless, the topic of mobile SEO can be supplemented with the following additional focuses: mobile keyword potential analysis, UX and search experience on mobile devices, page speed optimization as well as progressive web apps and app indexing.

What is technical SEO?

Technical SEO is one of the most important pillars of search engine optimization. It encompasses overarching SEO measures, but only relates to technical aspects

In order for search engines to move smoothly on websites, the crawling of a website must be guaranteed. This is often a problem with very large websites and can in turn manifest itself in indexing complications . The maintenance and compliance with Robots.txt , Robots-Meta-Tags and Canonicals should not be underestimated in this case. 

From a technical point of view, a lot has happened in recent years. This includes above all the establishment of structured data . Structured data help to structure and systematize the content of a website – and thereby make the content ‘more easily’ accessible to the crawler. The options for labeling structured data are enormous. And the technical implementation also ranges from stored Microdata to JSON-LD. This can (but does not have to) influence the display of search results (such as featured snippets or rich snippets) .

In addition to structured data, AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) has also become more and more popular on non-news sites. Therefore, you should already have dealt with AMP pages. Furthermore, Javascript is becoming more and more manageable for search engines, even if there are still many pitfalls to consider.

SEO can no longer deny the importance of page speed – and every millisecond has long been at stake here! The technical possibilities from optimized image sizes to outsourcing and caching to compressed page source text should be part of the standards in order to reduce and optimize the loading times of websites . 

The evergreen basics with regard to technical SEO still include status codes or SSL encryption and should be a basics for every search engine optimizer. 

SEO relaunch

Domain transfer, CMS change, design changes, a facelift of the website, a restructuring of the navigation or URL changes … All of these are topics that can be viewed as a relaunch together, but also individually. This shows the complexity and the challenge that a planned relaunch brings with it. A relaunch is a project that is carried out over a certain period of time. Relaunches are possible both once or in an iterative process. A relaunch is therefore less part of the day-to-day business of an SEO, but SEO should still be included right from the start when a relaunch is planned.

First and foremost here is the precise definition of the relaunch. What exactly should be implemented? Why should a relaunch be carried out? What are the goals of the relaunch? Who is involved in the relaunch? When does the new version have to be rolled out? How much can the relaunch cost.

Once the most important questions have been answered, planning can begin. For the search engine optimizer, a status quo analysis of the old version is essential in order to meet the SEO requirements for the relaunch and the new website. An inventory of the old website is created to check what should not be missing from the new website, what should be shortened, changed or integrated. The test environment must not be neglected either and should be checked for all SEO criteria – whether technical or content-related. If the domain, the structure or the URLs change, a mapping file with the redirects of the old URLs to the new URLs is essential. 

In order to get the relaunch off the stage smoothly and without problems, it is advisable to create a checklist of all the important SEO points that need to be checked. This checklist should be checked both in the test environment and after the relaunch with the live version in order to get on the track of errors more quickly and to fix them as quickly as possible. After all, after the relaunch you don’t want to be in a worse position than before!

Ultimately, it is important to monitor the relaunch and report the most important key figures in order to draw long-term successes and learnings from the relaunch. 

What is International SEO?

As soon as your website or the website that you are responsible for as SEO is available in different languages, you should start thinking about international search engine optimization. This not only includes the general domain strategy and the decision whether the page is set up on individual country versions (ccTLDs) or generic versions (gTLDs) – you can find out more about this in our SEO case study on international domains read up. But also the handling of the different language and country versions. If the content of your website is available to users in different languages ​​or if there are several country versions, you should also give Google a hint in which country which language version should be played in the interests of your visitors. In web development, the hreflang tag is used for this, which is integrated in the head area of ​​your start and subpages.

If a website is available in Arabic, English and French, for example, the hreflang tag should be found in the source code of the start and subpages:

<link rel="alternate" hreflang="ar" href="URL">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="en" href="URL">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="fr" href="URL">

If you want to mark countries as well as languages, you can also note this on this day by first naming the language and then the country code. This is especially important if you have several Arabic or English language versions available – this is how you can avoid duplicate content :

<link rel="alternate" hreflang="ar-AR" href="URL">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="de-AT" href="URL">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="en-GB" href="URL">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="en-US" href="URL">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="fr-FR" href="URL">

In the source code of the start page and each subpage, reference is made to the respective equivalent of the other language. This integration lets you tell Google which language version of your website should be displayed in the search results in which country. In this way you can prevent, for example, users from France from landing on a Arabic landing page or vice versa. To enter the tag, you use country codes according to ISO-3166-1-alpha-2 and language codes according to ISO-639-1. 

However, one or the other mistake can creep in when awarding Hreflang.

SEO monitoring & reporting

Search engine optimization not only includes the described areas of work and tasks, but also the control of the associated key figures.

A SEO monitoring and reporting  should therefore be mandatory for each search engine optimizers. In addition to continuous monitoring, meaningful reporting should also show the success control of the desired goals.

SEO monitoring 

SEO monitoring should map the key figures as complex as necessary, but also as compactly as possible.

In addition, these should be collected continuously. Due to the large number of different key figures, a partially automated recording is advisable, whereby the active control and evaluation of the key figures must not be neglected. SEO monitoring must not degenerate into a dump of data that SEO does not deal with. The added value of monitoring should always be given. 

A single monitoring file is desirable here, but not necessarily feasible due to the complexity. This is due to the different data sources and key figures. The key figures can be divided into the following thematic areas: SERP monitoring, keyword monitoring, traffic monitoring, link monitoring and technical monitoring.

The monitoring files can be supported by storing selected alerts. Here, too, the number should not get out of hand and lead to an “ignorance” of the alerts received. A reduction to target-oriented key figures is therefore also important in SEO monitoring, which should be further compressed to the so-called KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) in SEO reporting. 

SEO reporting

SEO reporting can – like SEO monitoring – also serve as a control, but should rather serve third party reporting and convey the most important KPIs clearly. 

The goals of the SEO reporting should be clearly defined in advance and, in the best case, should have been agreed with the relevant stakeholders beforehand. The stakeholders play the central role in SEO reporting. This can also mean that there is not only one SEO reporting, as the KPIs shown should be tailored to the respective stakeholder. 

When it comes to SEO monitoring, the way in which the key figures are presented or recorded is rather secondary, as it is primarily used for internal purposes. In SEO reporting, on the other hand, the selected key figures should be presented in a clear, understandable and condensed manner so that a dashboard solution should be aimed for. 

Frequently asked questions about search engine optimization (SEO)

How does SEO work?

The search engine optimization includes all the measures that you had plenty, so that your website ends up on the search results pages of search engines (Google, Bing & Co.) to certain keywords on the front positions of the organic rankings. The ranking can be influenced by targeted measures in the content or in the technical area of ​​a website, but also by building high-quality links from other websites.

What is onpage SEO?

On- page optimization refers to technical and content -related measures that are carried out on the website itself. Technical measures include, for example, optimizing the loading speed or crawling control. Content-related measures, on the other hand, relate to the optimization of the metadata or to the creation of content.

What is offpage SEO?

In off page SEO it comes to the popularity of which is determined primarily by backlinks a website, so external links pointing to the page. These backlinks reflect the relevance of the content and are an indication of the quality of a page or content. When evaluating external links by search engines, the focus is on the quality of the backlink.

What is the difference between SEO and SEA?

Search engine advertising, or SEA for short, deals with paid ads that are displayed in the search results above the organic results. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) summarizes all marketing activities that influence organic search results with the aim of improving the position of a website. The organic results are listed in the search engine under the paid ads.

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