What is SEO & Everything You Need to Know About it

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  • In this article, We would like to explain what SEO is actually. Talks and articles on SEO always put us in astonishment. The extent to which the views on the position of the search engine optimization in the online marketing structure fluctuate. And also about how the answers to the question “What really SEO is?” Fail.In this article, you will find a strategic approach to find a better approach to the topic of “SEO”. The results are summarized as the “6R of the SEO(Search Engine Optimization)”.

    The aim of the Search Engine Optimization

    The goal of SEO is therefore not to only stand up. The presentation of the text available in the search engines (snippet) is intended to motivate the user to a click on your result. The aim is to meet the expectations of the user in terms of content consistency between search term, snippet, and relevance of your website.

    SEO basics

    The user expects the search term, snippet and content of the website to match. This content consistency can be identified by key figures such as:

    • Bounce rates
    • Pages / visits
    • Conversions

    The different areas of SEO

    As a rule, search engine optimization is divided into the following areas:

    • Development of keyword strategies
    • Technical optimization
    • OnPage optimization
    • Information architecture
    • Internal and external linking
    • Content marketing
    • Mobile Optimization (Mobile SEO)

    The enhanced optimization of the results presentation in the form of snippet optimization also gains in importance. For example, Rich Snippets.

    Definition SEO on Wikipedia

    Search engine optimization (SEO), refers to measures designed to make content such as websites, videos, and images appear in high-rank places in the unpaid search results (“natural listings”) in organic search engine marketing. By deliberately influencing the search engine placement of, for example, videos on the YouTube platform or websites on Google, they can be better listed and generate new reach.

    Search engine optimization is a sub-area of ​​search engine marketing.

    Source: Definition of Search Engine Optimization from Wikipedia

    The 6 “R”s of the search engine optimization:

    First of all, in a nutshell, our own SEO definition:

    Search Engine Optimization (SEO) includes all strategies and tactics, in order to be sustainable for relevant search terms or topics with relevant pages on the optimal positions in the relevant search engines. With the aim of achieving meaningful conversions for the company.

    Relevant search engines are not just Google or Bing. In addition to Google’s “main index”, vertical search services such as Google News, Google Images, or Google Maps ( Local SEO ) can also be relevant. But also search systems like the optimization for Amazon (Amazon SEO), SlideShare or Youtube or Stepstone can be substantial for the search engine optimization.

    With appropriate SEO tools and analysis tools, you can check:

    • Which are the right search terms ->  Relevance
    • How visible your own website is in the search results ->  Reach
    • At which positions one is with the relevant search terms ->  Rankings
    • How high is the click rate in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) ->  Response
    • As users are based on the entered search terms on the page ->  Reaction
    • Whether all measures of search engine optimization also lead to a demonstrable achievement of economic values ->  Results

    These six terms from the 6 R of search engine optimization. Following are a few tricks which will help you rank better:

    – Choose the right keywords and topics

    The basis for each search engine optimization is the search, evaluation, review and extension of the relevant search terms and/or topics. In our view, this is often overlooked.

    The following are the different levels:

    1. Searching for search terms

    In order to find the right keywords, they often collect their own ideas, use keyword tools, and research on websites of competitors. In a first step, a comprehensive search term list should be researched.

    Longtail keywords can be searched with Keywordtool.io

    2. The evaluation of search terms

    In a next step, the search results are evaluated. To do this:

    • Quantitative analysis: How often the researched search term is searched on Google and other search engines.
    • The intention of a user when he enters a search term. Is it looking for information ( information oriented ), a specific company or brand ( navigation oriented ), or is he looking to buy ( transaction oriented )?
    • Whether the term is evergreen with a constantly high search volume. Typical evergreens are “weather”, “route planner”, “online marketing”.
    • Whether the term is an event with regularly recurring volume. Typical events are “CeBit 2018”, “iPhone 8”, “Soccer World Cup 2018” or “Yearly Horoscope 2018”.
    • Whether the term is a current event, that is a search term that suddenly shows a strong increase. Typical current events are natural catastrophes and deaths.

    Other criteria for evaluating a search term are:

    • Volume
    • Competition situation
    • Potential for optimizability (wording, CI-Guidelines)
    • Possible conversion rates (from SEM experience)
    • Plural or singular
    • Seasonal fluctuations
    • Strategic importance
    • Synonyms (“Training”, “Course”, “Seminar”)
    • Trends
    • Negative criteria: Brand names of competitors, prohibited terms, terms with too many words or signs

    3. Review and broaden the search terms

    It is useful to check the list in the previous step regularly. Since Google does not provide more accurate numbers in its Keyword Planner since June 2016 , it can make sense to test your terms using Google AdWords, especially for search engine optimization.

    For example,

    • The exact search volume for certain terms.
    • How high the click rate (CTR) is on different display texts
    • Which product features or USPs convince your users
    • How high conversion rates are for your search terms

    Relevant metrics for an upstream AdWords test to define your keyword strategy are:

    • The number of impressions (what is the actual search volume?)
    • The amount of  click-through rate (test product features and USPs)
    • The amount of bounce rates (your users are concerned with your content)
    • The amount of conversion rates (your users want to buy).

    Google Trends for extended analysis of search terms

    Keyword Trends graph

    Even after initial optimization approaches, you have to check your own keyword set regularly:

    • How behave to users who have come to this exact search terms on your page?
    • What are actual bounce rates?
    • Which search terms lead to a conversion?
    • Are there new terms that are attractive for optimization?
    • How does my visibility evolve?
    • How is the number of keywords in the Top 100 (Potential) and Top 10 (sessions) developed?

    In answering such questions, these tools help:

    Since October 2011 the search results pages are encrypted at Google. The consequence: in web analysis tools, such as Google Analytics, you do not get any keyword data anymore, but it is only (not provided) as a keyword. This, of course, very unfortunate, so We recommend you for the search term analysis Google Search Console:

    search console overview

    Keyword search: strategic versus tactical

    The search term has two dimensions in general: strategic and tactical.

    • Strategic: For which terms do you want to be found in total?
    • Tactically: For example, if you are producing a single article for your  content marketing, the question is, for which search terms this individual article is to be found. You can use tools like keywordtool.io.

    Conclusion: This means choosing the right search terms will help you get your users on Google at the right decision-making stage at the right time. The selection of the correct search terms, therefore, has a direct effect

    • The probability of site positions.
    • The conversion probability.
    • The perception of your brand.

    Reach – the visibility in the search engines

    You could also call the Reach also in old Marketing term as “Share of Voice”. The term ” visibility” has been used in search engine optimization.

    This term was coined by SEO tool providers such as SISTRIX or Searchmetrics.

    The visibility refers to two factors:

    • The number and volume of keywords that a domain appears on Google
    • The positions one occupies with these search terms

    Trade shows can be the Reach,  or visibility, with tools such as SISTRIX or Searchmetrics. But also with the Google Search Console, you can see very well, how the impressions of the own domain have changed over time.

    The visibility of one of our clients.

    Both SISTRIX and Searchmetrics use visibility for the first review of a website. For SISTRIX, this value is called Visibility Index, and Searchmetrics refers to SEO Visibility.

    And thus both indices are formed:

    • The SEO Visibility (Searchmetrics) of a domain is made up of the search volume and the positions of the keywords for this input. Searchmetrics uses a factor to weight each position. It also takes into account whether the keywords are navigational or searchable keywords.
    • For the  Visibility Index ( SISTRIX ) the top 100 positions are analyzed for a large set of common keywords for a country. Subsequently, we are weighted according to search volume and position. Thus, a bad position on a much-searched keyword pays more to the index than a good position on a little sought-after keyword. Here you will find how Sistrix defines its visibility and how you interpret it in detail.
    • Mobile Visibility:  Since 2015 as a ranking factor also counts, whether your side is mobile-friendly. For this reason, your mobile profile can now also be evaluated via both tools.

    Even if the values of SISTRIX and Searchmetrics are not comparable, they are a good way to quickly lookup for problems with your website and compare with the competition.

    The course is decisive

    Interesting for the search engine optimization are however not only momentary shots, but especially changes over a period of time.

    The question is: Why did it change?

    Reasons for a change in visibility are:

    • Own optimization
    • The optimization of competitors who influence their visibility
    • New content
    • Loss/gain of external signals, such as links
    • Technical reasons, such as the exclusion of pages/directories
    • Technical problems such as duplicate content
    • Individual penalties by Google
    • General re- evaluation of  your site via signals, such as via the panda- or penguin update

    Thus the reach or the visibility is an effective indicator, to be attentive to changes in the search result lists at all. In addition to visibility, real data, i.e., meetings, and conversions (from Google Analytics, for example) should always be included in the consideration.

    Rankings – at these positions is your website with their search terms

    Even if the relationship between Reach and Rankings is very high, it must be differentiated here:

    Rankings are the key criterion to get the chance to get a click at all. The valuation of the positions is not done, however, to enter its set of search terms with Google and to check where one emerges.

    This made difficult by Google through two aspects:

    1. context
    2. personalization

    The context criteria include, for example:

    • language
    • country
    • place
    • time

    The personalization categories include:

    • Your search history
    • Your click behavior

    You can prevent personalization by using an incognito window in your browser, or by appending the & pws = 0 parameters to the result URL.

    The context, however, remains intact despite the possibilities just described. Since the Venice, the Pidgeon . And most recently the possum update has made the context even more important for implicitly local search queries.

    The result: A query on a general term, as in this case “Online Marketing Seminar” leads to different rankings depending on the regional context.

    Here’s an example:

    Despite the increase in context and personalization at Google, rankings must be checked in the SEO. It is not always about absolute values, but about indicators for search engine optimization.

    These values are useful in the analysis:

    • Number of search words in the top 100
    • Number of search words in the top 10
    • Number of search words in the top 4-10
    • Number of search words in the top 3
    • Number of search words on top 1
    • Percentage distribution of the search terms on the individual results pages
    • Ratio of branded Searches to Non-Branded Searches
    • Average rankings for the top keywords
    • Visibility of individual keyword clusters
    • Visibility of individual pages and directories

    Note: Viewing the results in Google Analytics is also important:

    • How are accessed from the organic sector changing?
    • How many URLs actually get hits from Google’s organic index?
    • How strongly correlate visibility with real Analytics numbers? </ Div>

    Visibility: tactics and measures

    To increase visibility, these measures should be on the agenda:

    • Content strategy and content marketing
    • OnPage optimization
    • Side loading speed
    • Internal and external linking

    In the case of extensive websites with a lot of content (media, blogs, publishing houses), aspects such as internal linking, information architecture, crawling and indexing play an even greater role.

    At least since the Mobile-friendly from April 2015 and the May 2016, the whole topic of mobile friendliness is also set for the SEO. Also, Google announced in November 2016 that the Mobile Index would be the main index in the future.

    Response – Good CTR Depends on the quality of the content

    Good postings are a prerequisite for the click.

    Your CTR will gradually fall with low quality content. 

    The first note is derived from two possible analytics. On the one hand, Google Search Console shows not only the impressions but also clicks and the CTR.

    Whether users actually click on your snippet depends on a number of factors:

    • What is the position of your result?
    • Snippet design: How good are your titles and descriptions?
    • Awards, such as Deeplinks (good information architecture)
    • Rich snippets, such as reviews
    • Brand: How familiar and trustworthy is your brand?
    • Competition with vertical integrations such as Google News or the Google image search
    • Competition by Google Adwords

    Response: tactics and measures

    The response can be optimized with these strategies:

    • Link marketing or link building
    • Technical optimization (rich snippets)
    • OnPage optimization with the emphasis on snippet optimization
    • Building your brand across other channels

    The best indicators to measure the success of your SEO strategy in the response come from Google Search Console and are the ratio of impressions to clicks (CTR). Look in detail for a Uniform Resource Locator(URL), which search words lead to high click rates and low click rates.

    Reaction – so users behave based on the entered search terms

    The users’ judgment has not been easy since the search results were encrypted. Encryption does not translate search term data from users to web analytics tools like Google Analytics.

    In Google Analytics, these keywords are marked as not-provided. The effects can be seen here using the example of the 121WATT. The changes since the introduction on 18 October are quite dramatic.

    Despite the best search for search terms and optimization, the user decides how relevant the page is in relation to his entered search term.

    Indicators of high relevance are these factors:

    • Bounce rate
    • Length of stay
    • Pages per visit
    • Conversion rate – macro- and micro conversions

    As the research on the search terms as mentioned is not easy, we combine two analytical approaches:

    • On the one hand, consider the relevance based on the search terms.
    • On the other hand, you should also look at the behavior of the users when calling up the target pages when they come from the organic area.

    Reaction: tactics and measures

    The tactical measures for the optimization of the reaction  are the main focus:

    • Information architecture
    • Layout and design
    • Internal linking
    • Conversion Optimization

    Conversion optimization is especially important, as a visitors’ behavior is becoming increasingly important for Google. These user signals, called Google Long clicks or Short clicks, are important to determine whether the result was good or bad for a user.

    The Panda update,  which was first released in February 2011 in America and at 12.08. It has tried to see if the content you generate for your users is really helpful and the user can do the job on your side as best as possible.

    google analytics graph 2

    Results – does the optimization also lead to a demonstrable achievement of economic goals?

    What counts in the end are results. And by far not only the short-term and immediate.

    In the recap for a conversion summit, we learned from the presentation of “Mr. Web Analytics “Avinash Kaushik summarized the following thoughts:

    • When 2% convert, what actually does the rest? The 2% are the ones who make the direct sales. But too often we do not concentrate on the remaining 98%.
    • Are there, besides the immediate macro conversions, also micro observations which have no immediate, but a medium or long-term economic value?

    List of possible micro conversions

    • Create Wishlists
    • Newsletter Registration
    • Write a review
    • Facebook fan
    • Call a store locator
    • Call for certain strategic business pages (product pages)
    • Request an info packet

    Besides, the consideration of the ROI of the search engine optimization should besides the input factors

    • Budgets for resources
    • Consultant
    • Know-how
    • Seminars
    • Tools
    • Processes

    Also, the output from the point of view of macro conversions and micro comings will be kept in mind.

    SEO makes websites better

    One aspect of optimization that can not always be directly attributed to (sustainable) search engine optimization is that it leads to better websites:

    • Improve page speed -> reduction bounce rate, increase pages/visit, higher conversions
    • Optimization of internal linking -> reduction of bounce rate, increase of pages/visit, higher conversions
    • Better Information Architecture -> Reduction Bounce Rate, Increase Pages / Visit, Higher Conversions
    • Link marketing -> more relevant traffic, better networking in the relevant environment, higher trust
    • Keyword search -> Structure of a user-friendly information architecture
    • Snippet optimization -> Analysis of the most important USPs

    Results: tactics and measures

    The main SEO tactics for optimizing the results are:

    • Information architecture
    • Side concepts (information, navigation, transaction)
    • Internal linking
    • Content marketing
    • Conversion Optimization
    • Keywording, Keywording, Keywording

    Abstract: Search engine optimization methods (list)

    These SEO methods are part of the overall search engine optimization:

    • Search Keyword analysis – Keywording
    • Domains and domain management
    • Forwarding management
    • OnPage optimization
    • Technical optimization
    • Pagespeed optimization
    • Information architecture
    • Internal linking
    • Link building and link marketing
    • Snippet Optimization / Rich Snippet

    Further interesting information sources, presentations or blogs on the start in search engine optimization

About the Author
Faizan Shaikh

Faizan Shaikh

Faizan has been working on the Internet since 4 years. He has studied B.Sc. IT. He likes helping businesses grow on the Internet & likes sharing his knowledge.

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