SEO Fundamentals – Part 2
Are you ready for the second part of our basic SEO fundamentals tutorial? If you missed the first part, be sure to check that out!
Step 5: Use clean URLs
The most important thing here is that you use “speaking” URLs. So-called speaking URLs consist of readable words or keywords instead of long ID numbers or cryptic characters. The advantage from an SEO point of view are higher click rates within the Google results, which describe quite exactly what awaits the searcher on the website. To successfully run search engine optimization, you should stick to the following rules in addition to speaking URLs:
- Keep your URLs as simple and short as possible
- Use keywords
- Do not use special characters
- Use the minus sign as separator
- Use lower case only
- Do not use filler words
If you want to learn more about SEO-friendly URLs, we recommend that you have a look around on the MOZ blog.
Step 6: Optimize Title Tags
Among the more than 200 different SEO ranking factors on Google, the HTML title tag still plays an extremely important role in the search engine optimization of your website. You can see the title tag of your website either in the browser, in the source code or in the Google search results.
Optimize the title tag of your website as follows:
- EACH URL should have an individual title
- The keyword should be as far forward as possible, ideally directly in the first position
- The title should not consist of more than 70 characters
- The title should encourage the user to click
If you would like to simulate how certain SEO snippets look in Google search results, we recommend you take a look at the SISTRIX Snippet Generator.
Step 7: Optimize Meta Descriptions
Unlike the title tags, meta descriptions are not visible to visitors to your website. The HTML meta description can only be seen in the source code or in the Google results. Although meta descriptions have no direct influence on your SEO ranking, they should be maintained individually for each page of your website. The reason for this is that search engines display the meta description within the search results lists. This way you can directly influence the click rate in the Google results via an optimized meta-description in order to direct more visitors to your website.
An indirect ranking factor, so to speak, when it comes to search engine optimization and the organic visibility of your website.
The following rules apply to meta descriptions
Minimum 80 characters, maximum 150 characters including spaces. If you exceed this value, Google simply cuts off the meta description and replaces the last characters with (…). There are many Google easter eggs, but this is not one of them, so make sure the length is correct.
Keyword at the beginning of the first 80 characters and ideally within the second 80 characters. The keywords are highlighted in bold in the search results.
Write promotional and informative. Also use a clear request for action to positively influence the click rate within Google results.
Use special characters to draw the searchers’ attention to your snippet. But as always, the same applies here: Don’t exaggerate, or we have spam!
Step 8: Optimize headings
After visitors clicked on your SEO snippets within the Google results, the user has finally reached your website. As with usability and speed, it is now a question of meeting their expectations. The first point of reference is the heading. It is important to adhere to the hierarchy of h1 – h6. Logically, h1 contains the most important heading, h6 the least important.
It is important to note here that you only use as many levels as make sense for the corresponding element. In practice, h3 is often sufficient as the last level. Stick to the following rules and it will work equally well with users and search engine optimization:
- Consistent with title tag and meta description
- Short and memorable
- Use keyword
We hope that our 10 SEO rules have shown you that search engine optimization is not rocket science. Good organic visibility on Google always involves a lot of hard work. One should always think first about the user who has the need to find something and links certain expectations with it.
Perhaps the term Search Engine Optimization is out of date nowadays and one should interpret SEO with the words Search Experience Optimization. However, if you meet the expectations of your users, search engines will reward this with extremely valuable traffic to your website.
SEO Fundamentals – Part 1
SEO or search engine optimization refers to measures aimed at placing the content of your website at the top positions in the organic and thus unpaid search engine ranking of various search engines such as Google. To explain this SEO definition we made a small video:
Step 1: Ensure safety
In the meantime, websites with SSL encryption have become a fixed standard that must also be observed for the topic of search engine optimization. People also take this for granted. A page with SSL certificate clearly says something about the site operator, namely that he has the topic of security on the screen. Since 2014, Google has confirmed HTTPS as a ranking signal and now Google Chrome even displays the following: “The connection to this site is not secure”. Would you trust such a website? I don’t think so. So if you haven’t already done so, make sure you switch to HTTPS sooner rather than later. Google agrees and could punish your SEO efforts by downgrading your rankings and thus your organic visibility for lack of site security.
Step 2: Optimize loading times
People don’t like waiting, search engines don’t either. Almost every user expects a fast loading page and will be disappointed if this expectation is not fulfilled. And it looks similar to Google: Why waste valuable resources on slow pages? With a slow website you risk the success of your SEO work. Basically you should have the following points on the screen:
- Reducing HTTP Requests
- Reduce file size
- Correct order of resources
You can get an initial overview with the Google “Mobile Website Speed Testing Tool”. The nice thing about this Google tool is that you get clear recommendations to make your site perform better.
Also a look at the free webpagest.org is worthwhile itself, in order to look the Website once completely roughly under the hood:
Especially important: take a close look at your competition. If your competitors have faster websites, they have a clear advantage when it comes to search engine optimization. More information about faster websites can be found here or here.
Step 3: Optimizing Mobile Display
How important the topic “mobile” is in connection with SEO should be clear at the latest with the statement that Google goes the step to “mobile first” and no longer wants to distinguish between desktop index and mobile index. Tool providers such as SISTRIX also follow suit and analyze a special visibility index for mobile devices. It has not yet been determined when this will actually take place. However, one should be prepared for this, rather too early than too late.
Rules of thumb for good mobile usability and thus SEO basics:
- Fast loading time (again)
- Recognizable font sizes
- “Sausage finger” usability
If you want to deal with the topics of mobile and usability in addition to search engine optimization, we recommend that you take a look at the SEO agentur Hamburg website.
Step 4: Making Content Accessible
People are supposed to find certain content, so make it as easy as possible for them. Here too, search engines like Google want exactly the same thing. Ensure a clean information architecture and a flat hierarchy of your website, because this definitely has a positive effect on your SEO results. In practical terms, that means:
- Share content with search engines
- Make any content accessible with 3-4 clicks
As banal as that sounds, check whether your website is even approved for search engines. Often it is enough to set or forget only a small check mark and the page flies out of the Google index.
We’re not done yet. Go to part 2 of our SEO fundamentals course!
Nursing Services in Hamburg
Recently, I noticed that nurses come and go several times a day, and I found out that a neighbor of mine is bedridden and needs daily care. This made me think about my own family, and myself, because if we are lucky enough, we live to a old age and will eventually need some kind of care, too. The question is, who will do this? After all, not everybody has children to take care of them in their old age. If they do have children, they have jobs and can’t spend as much time caring for their parents. Until recently, I thought that retirement homes were the only way to go at that point, but personally, I don’t fancy living in one of those. Now I see a different option: nursing services that come and go to your home and do what needs to be done.
Not all services are equal, and there really need to be special providers for people of different origins. I mean, what if someone only speaks Spanish or has a different culture from what a nurse is used to. Nowadays, there is a lot of migration going on, with refugees streaming away from the east. We have all heard the news. More people of foreign origin come to the western world because of war and persecution. In Europe, a lot of these people are being integrated into society, and once their are old, they need to be taken care of in their own way. What’s more, many of them bring aged family members with them that only speak, say, Arabic. Again, this puts a lot more pressure on nursing services to adapt and hire people with an understanding of the language and culture they are dealing with. In Hamburg, there are a ton of “Tagespflege” services, as they are often called.
Being of foreign origin myself, I started researching different service providers in the city and throughout Europe, just because I thought it was interesting. One that caught my eye was this Pflegedienst Hamburg (Here is their Yellowmap), which specializes on the kind of immigrants I mentioned above. It’s cool to see that things like that exist, because I had suspected that it doesn’t (which would be quite an open niche in the market, come to think of it).
Thinking about retirement despite my youth has made me a bit philosophical. I started thinking about life expectancy in general and noticed that people live longer than they used to, which means there are more elderly per young person than ever before in history. This causes a lot of problems, because young people have always had to work for old people to pay for their care and pension. As more people get to grow older, this puts a lot of financial pressure on everyone, because more old people means more pensions! This fact is why pensions are a problem nowadays and the amount of money that we can expect in our old age is getting less and less. Man, I really hope these issues are solved by the time I’m retiring! But who knows, maybe by then robots are doing most of our jobs – after all, cars are already driving themselves!