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In order for your website to be displayed properly in search engines and apps, you should pay attention to the essential basics of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Here you can learn more about the most important measures.

1. Technical SEO

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) does not start with the content of the website. Search engines such as Google attach great importance to the fact that the user experience of a website is particularly high. One of the most important factors is the loading time of the website. But also other factors gain more and more importance in the ranking within the organic search results. These are among others:

 

  • Encrypted transmission of important user input (use of an SSL certificate)
  • Optimized display of images. Images should not be larger than necessary.
  • Error-free HTML / CSS & JS code
  • Reduction of requests when visiting the website
  • Using the Browser Cache
  • Minified CSS & JS
  • Provision of an XML Sitemap
  • Provision of a robots.txt
  • Compressed transmission of CSS, HTML & JS, e.g. by gzip
  • Provision of a version for mobile devices (AMP, Accelerated Mobile Pages Project)

If these requirements are already implemented on your website, you can dare to create your content.

 

 

2. Content is king

Content is important to Google and the visitors to your website. The following factors you should always keep in mind when creating your website content:

 

  • Do not use content from other websites. Google will find out and punish your website in the ranking.
  • Always be aware of who you are writing a text for (target group, persona) and use the appropriate speech and language.
  • Build essential keywords into headings and paragraphs. Use the most important keywords of the page in H1 tag.
  • Make sure that not several pages of your website contain the same content and keywords (keyword cannibalization).
  • Your content may only be accessible under a single URL in order to avoid duplicate content.

 

 

3. Page Title

This refers to the <title> tag in the HTML code of your page. Please note that your page title contains the essential keywords of the page. In addition, the page title should not be longer than 60 characters, otherwise it will not be displayed completely in the Google SERP (Seach-Engine-Result-Page) snippet. Please also note that you need an individual and topic-related page title for each retrievable page.

 

<head>
    <title>The page title should contain important keywords and not more than 60 characters</title>
</head>

 

TIP: For a better visualization of the SERP snippet for a title text, you can use the free SERP-Snippet-Generator von SISTRIX.

 

 

4. Meta-Description

The <meta name="description" ... tag in the head of the web page should always contain a short description of the contents of a specific page within the entire web page. Therefore, it is elementary that each page within the web page contains an individual description. The description should also reflect the actual page content. Essential keywords of the page should also be included in the description. These keywords are shown bold in the SERP snippet.

 

It is also important that the description is not too short and not too long. This makes optimal use of the available space in the SERP snippet. The description should be between 160 and 230 characters long.

 

<head>
    <meta name="description" content="These are the ten most important....">
</head>

 

 

5. Readable URLs

The URLs (contents of the address bar when visiting your website) of your website should be readable and should not contain any cryptic parameters, as these appear directly in the search results (SERP snippets) of the search engines. If the URL of a website contains a relevant keyword, this part of the URL is shown in bold in the search results. This can lead the searcher, consciously or unconsciously, to click on the link to your website.

A good example:

 

https://www.yourwebsite.com/services/

 

A bad example:

 

https://www.yourwebsite.com/index.php?id=423

 

In addition to a domain name (yourwebsite.com), you should always use readable paths for your content (/services/services1)

 

 

6. Hierarchy of headings

Headings in the form of H-tags should always be structured in ascending order. Please always make sure that you use the H1 tag only once per page.

For example:

 

<h1>This heading should contain the essential keywords of the page</h1>
   <h2>This is a subcategory of H1</h2>
   <h2>This is another subcategory</h2>
      <h3>This category is subordinated to H2</h3>
   <h2>This is another subcategory</h2>

 

All tags except H1 can occur several times. In general, however, you should bring your content into a meaningful and clear structure. This is the only way for the reader to quickly grasp your content.

 

 

7. Correct use of images

Always make sure that you always include the images with a corresponding Alt and Title attribute. The information contained therein will be displayed to the visitor if he stays with the mouse on the image (Title) or if the image should not be available (Alt).

 

Image names should also be chosen so that they contain only alphanumeric characters separated by "-" or "_". If you also want your images to be found in Google Image Search, be sure to include relevant keywords in the image's file name.


A good example:

 

<img src="my-company-services1.jpg" title="services 1">

 

A bad example:

 

<img src="p736252.jpg">

 

 

8. The correct use of links

Title attributes should also be used for links. Even more important is the link text, i.e. the text enclosed within the <a> tag.

 

<a href="/services/" title="About our services">Our services</a>

 

Try to describe the target page of the link in the link text if possible.

 

 

9. Social Meta Tags

Open Graph:

 

With Open Graph Metatags, you can ensure that your website is displayed correctly within a post on Facebook. If a visitor of your website shares a link via Facebook, Facebook uses the information within the Open Graph tags to display the shared link.

 

<meta property="og:title" content="The Rock" />
<meta property="og:type" content="video.movie" />
<meta property="og:url" content="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117500/" />
<meta property="og:image" content="http://ia.media-imdb.com/images/rock.jpg" />

 

 

Twitter Cards:

Similar to Facebook, each tweet of a URL displays additional information as a so-called Twitter Card. For example, different card types can be used to display additional images, a video player or additional information from an app below the actual tweet. The following example shows the integration of a Twitter Card of the summary type:

 

<meta name="twitter:card" content="summary" />
<meta name="twitter:site" content="@flickr" />
<meta name="twitter:title" content="Small Island Developing States Photo Submission" />
<meta name="twitter:description" content="View the album on Flickr." />
<meta name="twitter:image" content="https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5510/14338202952_93595258ff_z.jpg" />

 

 

10. XML Sitemap

Google collects important information about a website by crawling the entire content of a website through so-called spiders or robots. Thus Google finds all linked page contents independently. However, this happens at times over which you, the site operator, have little influence. In some situations, however, it can be useful to influence this point in time, e.g. when a new page content should be found as quickly as possible in the search results.

 

You can use an XML Sitemap to improve your control over when Google searches your website for new content. You can also share new content pages with Google that may not have been recognized by the website's crawl.

The XML Sitemap should be accessible as follows:

 

https://www.yourwebsite.com/sitemap.xml

 

and have the following form:

 

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<urlset xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9">
   <url>
      <loc>https://www.yourwebsite.com/</loc>
      <lastmod>2018-03-12</lastmod>
      <changefreq>monthly</changefreq>
      <priority>1</priority>
   </url>
</urlset> 

 

 

If you use a content management system like Drupal, Typo3 or Wordpress, you can generate an XML Sitemap with an extension / a module. This way you don't have to enter each new page yourself or remove pages that no longer exist from the XML Sitemap. Always make sure that the XML Sitemap of your website is up to date and does not contain any pages that can no longer be reached.

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