To ensure a good search engine ranking, basic knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO) is required. However, many website owners don’t have much expertise in optimizing websites for search engines. Today, we want to convey the basic knowledge so that your website has the chance to rank well and become successful.
Everyone writes content, but do you know how to write SEO Optimized Content? Website operators, web designers, and sometimes even SEO professionals waste a lot of money with expensive link building and search engine advertising. You invest a lot in the freestyle but forget about duty.
Good positions in search results can already be achieved with proper on-site work – especially in niches. And if it is not enough, you have to spend at least less money for appropriate link building thanks to careful on-page preparation.
This article covers all SEO content writing tips that an article should have prepared for a good ranking. Such content tells Google what the text is about and for which keywords it should appear in the search results. I will show you the things you can do for a good ranking before you press the “Publish” button.
A Good Content Will:
- Rank Better
- Reduce your Bounce Rate
- Make sure that you read other posts as it contains some suitable links to other posts by you.
The Preparation for Good Ranking
Before you can start tweaking your articles, there are a few prerequisites so you can keep track of how your posts are developing. Therefore, make sure that you have already addressed the following requirements.
Install Google Analytics
A Google Analytics account is the basic prerequisite for good optimization. Because you can quickly determine how your posts are developing. You can get a lot of useful information through the analysis software. For example, which articles could still have potential, but should be revised.
This is how you set up Google Analytics correctly and in compliance with data protection. So that you can check all important data in your WordPress, we recommend installing a corresponding plugin. I have had good experiences with the Google Analytics WD plugin.
Use the Google Search Console
The former Google Webmaster Tools tell you a lot about the quality of your website in the search results. You also get tips and clues to optimize your texts and the average position in the search results. A lot of other useful information is just waiting to be used by you.
Install a good SEO plugin
I will recommend you to use Rank Math SEO Plugin if you are using WordPress. You can set many important things and also
sitemap.xmlcreate one that you link in the Google Search Console. In my experience, this then makes indexing your posts faster.
The great on-page SEO checklist
Now that you have created the basic requirements to be able to control your results, we go into the realm and optimize your texts as much as possible for a perfect ranking.
Use the Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is an excellent tool for optimizing your posts because it helps you find the keywords that your potential readers are looking for.
You can see how many searches a month have for a keyword and how competitive that particular keyword is. This will help you choose the keywords for which there is less competition, but which still promises a lot of effects. Sometimes it makes more sense to use less popular keywords or phrases and thereby rank “more precisely” instead of just in general.
Example: Instead of trying to get on hell for T-shirts, it makes more sense to be at the top for “T-shirts in pink” if you sell shirts in chic pink.
Example: Instead of trying to get on hell for T-shirts, it makes more sense to be at the top for “T-shirts in pink” if you sell shirts in chic pink.
Use Short URLs
Google now loves short URLs, whether they are speaking or not. Some time ago, the keywords should still be in the URL. However, in the course of converting the URLs to short IDs, the search engine no longer weights the speaking variants of the permalinks as highly.
Google is going to want very short URLs. So make sure that the permalinks are very short, no matter what scheme you use.
Paste the Keyword into your Blog Post Title (H1)
Keywords should always be in the name of your article. In addition, it should be ensured that the title of your contribution is integrated into an H1 tag
<h1>Dein Titel</h1> . This signals the top priority to the search engine and also which topic your contribution deals with. If the title of your text is only in one
<h2> day, then change this or have it changed.
Use the Keyword in The First Paragraph
Your keyword should also be in the first paragraph because it is of great importance for the search engine and thus for your ranking. Insert your keyword as close as possible to the beginning of the first paragraph.
Put the Keyword in Subheadings
Subheadings are equally important for people and machines. Again, your ranking word must be in at least one
<h3> subheading if you are looking for good positions in the search results. By the way, you can convert scanners to readers with good subheadings.
Use your Keyword in the Body Text
Use the keyword a few times in the normal body text. Don’t overdo it, and you shouldn’t do it more than four to five times. Otherwise, Google could consider your posts as keyword stuffing. This would have considerable disadvantages for the ranking of your articles.
In addition, do not always use the correct keyword, but try to vary. Rewrite your keyword and use obvious combinations. See the screenshot:
Include Internal Links in your Posts
Internal links ensure a better click-through rate of your articles. They also help the search engine to better index your website. Both are very beneficial. Because on the one hand, the average bounce rate of your blog will decrease, on the other hand, Google will get to know your blog better and weight it higher with a low bounce rate.
By the way, the bounce rate is defined as follows:
The bounce rate is the percentage of visits to a single page (that is, sessions in which the user left your website on the entry page without interacting with the page).
The internal links should be set in two parts. The most important are integrated into the text as early as possible. At the end of your contribution, you can then again set two to three thematically appropriate links. Do not exaggerate and only set links that add value to the reader.
This is also about the benefit of your reader. Don’t be afraid to give him good information that can complement your articles. This gives your texts more credibility.
Relevant content from websites with high authority should be given preference.
Pay Attention to Spelling Mistakes and Grammar
Spelling mistakes and poor grammar are the enemies of a good ranking. Both make your posts difficult to read. Not only will your readers notice this, but above all, the search engine.
Rumor has it that Google is already devaluing posts with many errors and poor grammar, which would be logical. Because Google attaches great importance to good content that offers added value for visitors, you will not be able to eradicate every mistake. Still, with goodwill and a little effort, your texts can become almost error-free.
Create Long Content
In general, long content ranks much better than short content. The deeper you go into your topics, the longer your articles become, the better they will rank. Because then they offer your visitors a comprehensive insight into the subject areas that interest them.
Comprehensive, long content is, therefore, considered more valuable by Google than short articles that only touch on the topic. Long posts also increase the time spent on your website. How long visitors stay on your blog, on average, is another sign of quality for the search engine. This means that Google will rate sites higher if they can have a long dwell time.
Create High-Quality Content
Under no circumstances make the mistake of just writing your articles down because you may not feel like it at the moment. You won’t do yourself a favor with it. Rather publish fewer posts and write long, high-quality articles. Quality is an important ranking factor in addition to the level of detail.
It also has an important side effect that you will be perceived as an expert over time. This is really good for your ego and your website.
Use Multimedia Elements
Another factor that search engines use to determine the ranking position of your articles is how many visitors interact with your content. Therefore, it is a good idea to use multimedia elements in the posts.
There are many options here, it does not always have to be a video from YouTube. For example, you could also create and embed a SlideShare presentation. In addition, surveys or quizzes could be considered, because both stimulate your visitors to interact.
Always Respond to Comments
The comment section of a blog is the most neglected tool for visitor retention. Respond to the comments you get on your content. So you may trigger a valuable discussion because Google does not miss the fact that an article with many comments must be more valuable than one completely without feedback.
Critical comments should also be posted as long as they are not offensive. Swallow the criticism and try to learn from it and improve your articles.
Optimize your Pictures for the Web
On many websites, you can find image material that has been uploaded in unnecessarily high resolution. This slows down the page structure of a website immensely. Slow websites are not liked by visitors and search engines at the same time. Always cut your images to the largest variant of your contribution images and optimize the file size.
You can use Photoshop to do this by selecting “Save for devices and web” there. It is also a really good idea to use good WordPress plugins for optimization.
Optimize your Images for Google Image Search
There is also a lot of potential in this area that you shouldn’t neglect. Here you have two options. Name the image files with your keywords. Your keywords definitely belong in the names of the pictures. If you write about on-page SEO, then name your picture that way.
It should then be
on-page-seo.jpg called. Google Image Search then knows how to assign your images based on the keywords.
Another good idea is to always use the alt tag of the picture (absolutely!) And then fill it with relevant keywords.
The Title Variations
WordPress gives you two ways to find a name for your articles. One variant is only displayed on your website, the other only in the search results if you set it up this way. You are quite free to name your contributions to the website view, it can also be a long title.
However, you only have around 65 characters available for the optimal display of your titles in the search results. Longer titles are cut off. Both variants have in common that your keywords should ideally always be at the beginning of a title.
The Meta Description
The meta description appears below your title in the search results and briefly informs the potential visitors whether it is worth visiting your website. Write as briefly and concisely as possible what your article is about. Here is an example of an SEO title and the correct meta description:
In both areas, the bars below the input field show you how much space is still available. At the same time, a preview of the search result results from your entries. Write appropriate meta Descriptions
Write Eye Cache headlines
Headings are the be-all and end-all of every article. The better your titles are, the more people will read your posts. The headings of your posts must make you curious about what you wrote. You have to tempt to click on your search result.
Headings alone do not generate a top-ranking but are an essential part of evaluating a page. Using headings correctly is an essential permanent task. So today I’m going to show you how you can use headings on pages in a targeted manner and display them optimally.
The heading tag is used to define headings. The various headings of a content page are determined in order using HTML. To determine the order and in certain cases the formatting, these are determined with <hn>. The “n” is exchanged for a number. For example:
- <h1> Main Heading </ h1>
- <h2> Second-order heading </h2>
- <h3> Third-order heading </h3>
- <h4> Fourth-order heading </h4>
- <h5> Fifth-order heading </h5>
- <h6> Sixth order heading </h6>
The longer the text gets, the more headings and subheadings can and should be used. Of course, this not only helps the search engine itself – even the inclined reader can read a well-structured text more easily and find the information he is looking for more quickly on the page. This gives the reader the desired added value from your page.
Use of Headings
The main heading <h1> should only be used once per page. The subheadings can be used several times but should be in a normal relationship to the text. There is no fixed number of times how often these should be used. Above all, it is important that the reader should not feel disturbed by this. It is important to show tact here.
The same instinct should also be demonstrated in the content of the headings. Simply spamming keywords will be counterproductive for the site. Clear, short and precise headings with 4 to 6 words, starting with a keyword, are recommended.
So the reader, like the search engine, can quickly classify the article. A clearly formulated and informative headline gives the reader an understandable overview of the following article.
Headings in website themes and shop systems
Since very few people still program a website in an old-fashioned way in HTML, CMS systems with finished website themes are often used. Basically, these building block systems are practical and good, but they are quite rigid in some respects. The devil is in the details here.
Headings are not always obvious at first glance. Headings in the form of <hn> tags are often used in themes to emphasize a section of the text, to make it bold or to display it larger. This is easier for programming but is a problem for the search engines because it unnecessarily highlights unimportant sections of text on the page.
In the above example of the well-known Avada theme, headers are often used in the footer. You should pay attention to this when setting up the new page with this theme.
Headlines for tax rates or shipping options are sometimes also selected in shop systems. In such cases, it is difficult to change them.
Often, as a normal user of such CMS and shop systems, you reach your limits there and in the end have to employ a programmer again, which is often expensive. Therefore, it is important to make sure from the start that the theme or the shop system deals with these points correctly.
In the above case, the product name is correct, but the price is not so relevant and should not be a headline. “Related Products” is also not necessarily an important piece of information. If the number of other products that are under an existing article, for example, is within the range, it is no problem to present them as headings.
Further, Meaningful Optimizations
Your posts should now be optimally optimized and have the potential for a good ranking within the search results. But there are a few more things you can do to increase your on-page SEO. Here are some ideas for you:
Google takes the social aspect of the written content very seriously. If a post is shared frequently, it is a signal to the search engine that this content must be valuable. Therefore, shared contributions are often ranked higher than variants with only a few shares.
So make sure that you use good social sharing buttons and place them prominently. There are many good plugins for this job, for example, the privacy-compliant Shariff of the magazine.
2 – Make Your Website Really Fast
Google and your visitors will love a really fast website. Google will definitely rank your blog better if it is fast. Your visitors will also prefer your website if they don’t have to wait so long for the page to load. Use the Pingdom Tools with the setting »Stockholm, Sweden« to measure the speed.
Images and graphics are an important part of content marketing these days. But they can also cause a lot of SEO problems. Too few webmasters still use the important alt tags for the images and also do not pay attention that the images used can always be displayed. However, both are important for search engine optimization.
For example, the alt tags have two functions. On the one hand, they appear when an image cannot be displayed, on the other hand, they are important for Google’s image search. Search engines are still not clever enough to interpret an image without using an alt tag.
Therefore, these tags are blatantly important, because they help Google to correctly sort the image into certain categories based on the description within the alt tag.
In addition, the day offers the opportunity to write your SEO keywords in, because this will make it even easier for Google to sort the graphics. By the way, visually impaired people can also benefit from an optimal old day, because a good description gives them an idea of what can be seen in the picture.
Images that are no longer displayed for any reason cause the same problems like broken links. They lead to a dead end. Both reasons can cause the search engine to downgrade your website because it offers a poor user experience.
Problem 3: Title Tag Problems
Search engines use the title tags to determine what the text of the page is about. The titles appear in the search results along with a brief description. But based on the title, a user will decide whether to visit your website or another. Therefore, the correct title tag is one of the most important elements of your website. An element that can have a positive impact on the ranking.
The obvious mistakes in using these tags are the following:
- Duplicate title tags – very common
- Title tags too long – Relatively often present
- Missing title tags are problematic, but not very common
- Title tags too short – hardly available
The length of the title tag is very important because it depends on how much of your title will be visible in the search results. A rule of thumb is that Google can display about 70 characters. So the title shouldn’t be any longer.
Some SEO tools – like Yoast SEO for WordPress – help you optimize title tags.
Problem 4: The Meta Description
The meta description is displayed in the search results just below the title and is intended to give users a good impression of what the article is about. The meta description should not have a direct influence on the ranking, but I have personally found that a good description can influence the ranking – even if only slightly.
However, a good meta description also ensures better page CTR, which is especially important for webmasters who integrate Google Adsense.
Many websites have duplicate meta descriptions, while others have no explicit descriptions in use. An SEO tool or a plugin for WordPress can also help here.
Problem 5: Broken internal and external links
Broken links can be a really big SEO problem. One or two broken links will not be a problem. But if your website grows, it can lead to big problems. Of course, the 404 error page can be set up accordingly, but then the visitor sees this error page instead of the useful information that he hoped for.
If this happens more often, a user will also perceive your website to be of poor quality. There is also a real problem. Because if there are a lot of broken links on your website, you will get problems with the search engine bots.
These always crawl some of your pages and with a buildup of broken links, it could well be that these pages are no longer included in the index. This damages the authority of your website enormously.
SEMrush found that 25 percent of the examined websites had broken external links. So use an SEO tool or plugin for WordPress to find these broken links and fix the problem.
Problem 6: Bad text to HTML ratio
A well-known SEO problem. Some websites have a poor text-to-HTML ratio. This means that the website in question outputs proportionally more HTML than human-readable text. There can be many reasons for this, for example, texts that are too short, which usually do not exceed the 300 words required by Google.
The problem can be solved quite easily:
- Remove the unnecessary code. This reduces the page size and serves the speed.
- Check your plugins if you use WordPress. You don’t have to offer every gimmick.
- Complete your texts to a usable average length (at least 500 words, better more).
Problem 7: Problems with the <h1> tag
I have encountered this problem very often in my practice. Header tags – or headings – are very important for search engine optimization. For example, there should only be one <h1> heading on each page of a website.
Even if this dogma no longer seems to be so important due to the use of HTML5, the individual tags of the headings nevertheless offer a useful hierarchy for search engines and users. Many developers still create websites or offer themes for WordPress that incorrectly use the header tags and thus the specified headings.
It also seems important to know the difference between the title tags and the header tags. The title tag is what the search engine sees, the header tags are the ones that your visitors see. There is only one title tag per page, the header tags can appear multiple times – as heading 1, heading 2 and so on.
If the correct HTML5 markup is used, the <h1> can be used several times on one page if sections of the same importance have to be marked.
Problem 8: Word count too Low
SEMrush found that the number of words in the articles was too low on eighteen percent of the websites tested. Google does not issue an official minimum number of words, but it is known that Google would like to have at least 300 words used for each article.
But let’s not kid ourselves, even 300 words are far too little for an average article. Google is known for giving content with much more depth an absolute priority in the search results. In addition, an article that delves very deeply into a subject also gets more backlinks. And thus also a better position in the ranking.
Contributions can easily be written more comprehensively if you try hard. An article with a linked infographic (like this one) can also be described in words. Your readers will appreciate it.
Problem 9: Too many Internal Links
This problem is a tough nut to crack. On the one hand, it is important for search engine optimization to link his articles to one another. On the other hand, too many page links were quickly integrated.
Google used to provide a guideline for the maximum number of internal links that should be set. But this requirement has since been dropped.
Good SEO today means creating a natural internal link that is of high quality. The links must be relevant and useful, then Google will appreciate the value and rank the page accordingly.
Therefore, make sure that all internal links on your website have added value for users. Always have in mind that what is good for the user is also optimal for the search engine.
Problem 10: The wrong or missing language declaration
Our web audience is global. However, since many other peoples can do relatively little with German content, it is important to declare the standard language. The language declaration is important for many things, for example:
- It informs the browser about the language of the content – important for translations and the correct display of the pages
- It ensures that the contents of screen readers and text-to-speech converters are displayed in the correct language
- It helps with GEO localization and international SEO
- It helps to improve the important relevance score.
Use this list of language codes to get the correct language declaration.
Problem 11: Temporary redirects
Redirects are an excellent way to let search engines know that a page has “moved” and can no longer be reached under the old URL. These redirects can either be permanent, then you output the status code 301, or only for a limited time when you use the code 302.
A permanent redirection with status code 301 will not result in a loss of authority. The situation is different from a temporary redirection, among other things it can lead to an outdated page being included in the index.
The new page could be ignored by Google. It can be a real problem. Therefore, if the change is permanent, a 301 redirect should always be output. According to Moz, this is the best approach.
Otherwise, Google could assume that a 302 redirect should actually be a permanent redirect and then interpret it as 301. This could cause a loss of traffic, so you should always take control of which redirect is issued where.
The low hanging fruits of on-site optimization
Admittedly, how on-site optimization works is no longer a well-kept secret. On the contrary: The search engine giant Google itself explains it in detail in the webmaster tools.
Onsite optimization can be extremely successful, especially in niches and for regional search queries. The competition for regional search queries according to the “service/product location” scheme is usually thin.
If you rely on the right content (it depends on the correct wording) with the right meta information and technical data, the first SERP page is often not a problem under such niche requirements. External links are then only necessary a few.
The Onsite Basics at a Glance
As already mentioned, the measures of on-site optimization are no longer a secret. Google itself tries to bring them closer to the website operators. At this point I will summarize them briefly and add a few tips:
1. The most important parameters: Title, Description, and Url
The title of the page, the meta description, and the URL should contain the keywords under which you want to be found. Of course, these should also appear again in the text. After all, it is about topic relevance between keywords in the content and the highlighting through title, description, and URL.
In addition, the higher the keywords appear in the title and description, the more important they are viewed. For example, the page title should not be “Company XY – Product” if you want to rank below the product. Instead, it should read “Product – Company XY”.
2. Clean structure and code
The source code of the website should be checked (validator.w3.org). If it is error-free and complies with the W3C standards, this does not have a direct impact on the ranking, but it ensures that the pages can be indexed correctly.
3. Code to content ratio
Since Google crawlers cannot measure the quality of the content, but quantity, the ratio of code to content is used as a criterion. The reasoning behind this is simple: the more content is made available, the more information should be included. Of course, this does not say how high the information density is. (This requires the recommendation system of the links).
4. Highlight the relevant search terms with headings, underline, bold
The search engine crawlers search the code for highlighted formatting. These are headings (<h1>, <h2>, <h3>, …), underlined or bold passages. Since these elements are also used in the design to mark the important parts of a text for people, the search engine also assumes that these parts are important. The targeted search terms should therefore also appear here.
5. Important and unimportant meta information
As already mentioned under point 1, page title, URL and meta description are the most important meta information for Google. According to Matt Cutts, the former head of Google’s webspam team, the meta keywords are not taken into account in Google search results.
However, this does not mean that it is not worthwhile to maintain them carefully. Other search engines still use them. On the other hand, important for the Google placements are metadata for images (meaningful file names, image title, and alt attribute), as well as for videos (video sitemap as an extension of the sitemap, markups).
6. XML sitemap
An XML sitemap should not be missing on websites. It helps crawlers to understand the structure of the page more easily.
Content is King – But the Balance Between Man and Machine
Step by step, Google manages to better and better assess the quality of the content from update to update. This inevitably makes the search engine giant less susceptible to black hat methods. This is the real opportunity for all serious website operators: they can shine with their knowledge and attract visitors with good content.
According to Google webmaster support, the content on websites should be trustworthy, helpful, informative and competent. In addition, they should be as free from spelling mistakes as possible, not from mass production, and not be peppered with a disproportionate number of ads.
When it comes to content creation, however, there is another art to master: you have to find the balance between a search engine and a human being as a reader. What does that mean?
A human reader could get bored quickly if you go into too much detail. For a search engine, on the other hand, this is essential, since details are a guarantee for an exhaustive treatment of a topic.
An example: You are an entrepreneur and have problems with an employee. Because he is always late and does not do his job, you want to fire him. You now need a lawyer to do this and are looking for a “Labor Law Expert Location”.
The labor law expert, who now wants to be found by you, must therefore not only integrate the keyword labor law expert on his side, but also the location. If a law firm does not look at its website against the background of a search engine, it may be tempted to add a phrase like “Our team consists of top lawyers in all legal areas” to the page and leave it at that. Ultimately, visitors will also find the location in the imprint.
The firm was operating as it had been used for decades from newspaper advertisements, telephone book advertisements, etc. However, the search engine, in turn, has no chance of deriving the employment law expert from this sentence and locating him at the location he is looking for.
As a result, this law firm will never appear under the search phrase mentioned. However, a paragraph in which all legal areas covered by a large law firm are simply listed will also not be expedient. In this case, the law firm’s website may be ejected in the SERPs, but the user may not recognize that he has landed at the right law firm.
After all, the word “labor law” is hidden somewhere in the long paragraph. In contrast, the one-sentence with the top lawyers in all legal areas might have convinced the entrepreneur quickly and easily.
An SEO text is therefore not coughed up quickly and it is certainly not in any way disreputable. On the one hand, the text must provide all the necessary information for the search engine, on the other hand, it must be clear and easy to read.
On-site optimization is and remains a “low hanging fruit” because you, as the website operator, have the sole power to shape it. In niches or in regional searches, on-site optimization can achieve notable success as the only measure.
However, it requires a lot of work – especially if you have to retroactively rework an existing, larger page. However, this is a time investment that can be the cornerstone of a successful web campaign. It can be worthwhile by:
1. Leading Directly to Better Rankings
2. Keeping Link Building Expenses Lower.
With all the optimization for the search engine, don’t forget that your readers count first. Therefore, always do reader SEO instead of pure content SEO.
Optimize your articles for people first, then for search engines. Google itself also wants content to be optimized in this way. Always keep in mind that Google doesn’t share your articles, doesn’t write comments, and doesn’t follow you on social networks. Only your readers do that.