Google optimization: Improve your ranking with these 10 SEO tips

Veröffentlicht: 25. April 2024

What you will learn

  • What influences your Google ranking
  • How to find & use the right keywords
  • How to optimize your content for Google
  • Which tools can help you
  • More tips to improve your ranking

Want to improve your Google ranking? Attract more visitors & customers via your website? But are you skeptical whether SEO works, or do you currently have no budget for it?

Half as wild – Here are 10 current and proven tips for a better Google ranking!

Foreword: What influences the Google ranking?

Let’s start by looking at the factors that influence your Google ranking. Looking at every single ranking factor in detail would probably be an exaggeration at this point, so we will focus on the most important core elements.

Relevance & quality of your content

Probably the most important ranking factor: the quality and relevance of your content. What exactly does this mean?

“Quality” is a very broad term to begin with. In essence, however, it is about the following points:

  • Is your content useful? Does it fulfill the user’s search intention? Are you solving your visitors’ problem?
  • Is the content unique and correct? Ideally, you should back up your posts with reputable sources, for example
  • Is the content easily accessible and visually presented? Nobody likes huge walls of text. Break up your content with short paragraphs, graphics & videos

Your content must also be relevant. Put simply, an article about vegetarian recipes will not rank for a keyword like “best cordless screwdriver”.

Technical SEO factors

In addition to the content of your website, many technical details also play a role in your Google ranking.

First and foremost, your site must be crawlable & indexable. The Google crawler must therefore be able to evaluate & interpret your page correctly, and your own website should not be inadvertently excluded from the search results by “noindex”.

The loading times of your website also play an important role in its ranking in the search results. The page should take less than 3 seconds to load. A fast website can undoubtedly improve your Google ranking.

Internal links are also a very useful measure to push individual pages in a targeted manner. But more on that later.

The content, structure and technology of your website are the cornerstones of on-page optimization.

Backlinks are also a very important ranking factor. A backlink is a link from another homepage to your site.

In short: The more reputable sites link to your website, the better.

Link building, i.e. the targeted creation of links to your site, is the core element of off-page optimization – the counterpart to on-page optimization.

You should now have a rough overview of the most important ranking factors. If you want to go into more detail, go ahead:

Top 50 Ranking Factors (2024 Update)

Let’s now take a look at a few concrete measures for Google search optimization.

Summary of ranking factors

Content, technology & backlinks

The quality of your content, flawless technology and number of backlinks are crucial for your Google ranking

1st tip: Choosing the right keywords

Google optimization is all about keywords. In other words, the search terms through which you want to be found.

But there is a catch: realistically, it is not possible for the vast majority of companies to rank for all desired keywords. Why is that?

There are many “money keywords“, i.e. search terms that are associated with a clear purchase intention and are searched for very often. This would be a keyword such as “last minute flights”, for example.

A small travel agency would naturally assume that it would be very lucrative to appear at number 1 for this keyword.

Unfortunately, that will never happen. This is because all the major providers are also fighting for the top positions for such keywords, with huge budgets and their own SEO teams or commissioned agencies.

At this point, you have to admit that as a small one-man show, you won’t be able to compete with the know-how and budget of the top dogs. Any efforts to rank for such keywords will therefore most likely have no effect. This is not only a shame in terms of time and budget, it also means you won’t reach any potential customers.

Because only those who appear on the first page of Google will receive clicks. Placement on the second or third page is of virtually no use. This is a problem that many online stores have to contend with.

So what is the solution here? Does SEO not make sense now?

The solution is: long tail keywords. In other words, very specific search queries that you can specialize in. These search terms may not be searched for as often, but this is also your advantage. Most of the larger providers do not care about keywords that are only searched for perhaps 50 times a month.

Why should they, they have the necessary budget and expert knowledge to target big money keywords.

This is where your opportunity lies: as many long tail keywords are not highly competitive, you have a good chance of landing in first place with the right SEO measures.

So: Only choose keywords for which you have a realistic chance of achieving a top ranking. Work through these one by one and gradually increase your visibility.

The more long tail keywords you can conquer, the faster you will grow and you may be able to tackle big money keywords in the future!

How do I find the right keywords?

Luckily for you, we have just prepared an up-to-date guide + free template for keyword research & editorial plan for your site. You can find the link here:

Guide to keyword research

Note

Start with long-tail keywords

Start by optimizing for specific search queries with low search volume/low competition. Build on this and work your way up bit by bit.

2nd tip: Place keywords in a targeted manner

We already mentioned that you also need to be very relevant to rank well in Google search results. And this is where you can give the search engines a helping hand.

You probably already know that you should also place keywords in your texts. The question now is: how often and where?

There is a rule of thumb for the use of keywords, we call it the “magic square“:

Place your keyword in the meta title & meta description of the page, in the H1 heading, in the first 100 words, and in at least one other subheading (H2-H6).

If you are not familiar with terms such as meta description and H1, you should acquire a basic understanding of HTML.

That’s it! Don’t overdo it. Instead of repeatedly stuffing your main keyword into the text and chasing after a keyword density, you should focus on something else: semantic SEO.

In short, use synonyms and similar terms to your keyword as much as possible, and also cover similar topics on your site.

This brings us directly to the next point:

3rd tip: Answer further questions

You’ve probably come across the “Others also asked” box in Google search results. You should also make use of precisely these questions.

So if you are targeting a keyword such as “relocation” with a URL, you should also address further questions, for example:

  • When is the best time to move?
  • Who do I have to inform about a move?
  • What does a removal company cost?
  • and so on

I have taken all these questions as examples from the “Others asked too” feature. Why will this improve your Google ranking?

Quite simply: Because you will better fulfill the search intention. You are already answering questions that the user may only think of in the next step. This makes your website very relevant & helpful.

When you should create a separate URL for related topics

As soon as you apply this in practice, you will inevitably be faced with the question:

Should I now create a separate post for this topic? Or answer everything on a single URL?

There is no universal answer to this question, but you can consider the following tips:

  • How close is the peripheral topic to the main topic? The further away, the sooner you should create a separate page for it. Or even refer to an external source if it is not part of your actual field of activity.
  • How extensive is the marginal theme? Can it be dealt with in 2-3 sentences anyway or is it sufficiently in-depth to create a separate URL for it?
  • Take a look at the competition and the SERPs: How is your competition handling the edge topic? You can also use the SERP overlap score here.

In general, you should pay attention to the completeness of your content for Google optimization. As a rule of thumb, you should aim for a length of at least 500 words, preferably more.

Of course, this varies from topic to topic, but very few topics can be covered in detail in just 300 words. It’s always worth taking a look at the competition and your target group!

Note

Use keywords in a targeted manner & create detailed content

Create holistic content that also answers further questions. Place your keyword in the title, meta description, H1 heading and the first 100 words

4th tip: Make your content pretty

As soon as you have written your content, answered all further questions and placed your keywords, you need to prepare it visually.

The following points make your content more attractive for users and search engines:

  • Write in short and easy to understand sentences
  • Use short paragraphs, maximum 5 lines per text section
  • Use images, videos and infographics
  • Structure the assembly in a logical order
  • Use short, meaningful headlines

If you follow these basic SEO tips, your content will be much more appealing and easier to understand. This will generate better user signals and improve your ranking in Google search!

5th tip: Pay attention to your loading times

While we’re on the subject of user signals: The speed of your website is also important. This is probably nothing new to you, so here is a brief summary of the most important information about pagespeed:

  • As the loading time increases, so does the bounce rate
  • So pay attention to fast loading times
  • For WordPress users, we recommend the WP-Rocket & ShortPixel plugins for image compression
  • In addition to image compression, you should also only upload images in the resolution in which they are actually required
  • Your site needs to be fast, but don’t get lost in pagespeed optimization. If your page loads within 3 seconds, you are in the green zone!

6th tip: Optimize your website & URL structure

Now it gets a little more technical. With the clever selection of keywords, good content and fast loading times, you have already done a lot for Google optimization, but your foundation (and by that I mean structure + technology) must also be right.

A clearly organized and logical website structure not only improves user-friendliness, but also makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index your pages.

For example, a well-structured website should have a clear hierarchy in which similar content is grouped into sensibly arranged categories.

This could look like this:

www.deinedomain.de/produkte/schuhe/damenschuhe/

In contrast, a poor website structure can be confusing and contain deeply nested or irrelevant linked pages, such as

www.deinedomain.de/123/page-id?939

The URL structure also plays an important role. Clean, descriptive and keyword-optimized URLs are easier to understand – both for users and for search engines.

A proper, SEO optimized URL could be:

www.deinedomain.de/rotwein/bordeaux-2015

While a less optimized URL such as

www.deinedomain.de/prod123/4567

does not give any clear indication of the content of the page and is therefore less advantageous.

If you haven’t already done so: Make a concept of how you can structure your website logically and adapt your URLs accordingly.

7. technical SEO optimization

This brings us to the next point: technical search engine optimization. It may not be able to boost your site directly – but it can definitely pull it down completely if there are serious problems.

When optimizing your website for search engines, it is important to keep a close eye on certain technical elements. Here are the main points you should check:

  1. Duplicate page titles: Duplicate page titles can cause confusion for search engines, as they cannot recognize which page is more relevant for a search query. This can affect your ranking.
  2. Titles that are too long/too short: Page titles should precisely reflect the content of the page and ideally be between 50 and 60 characters long. Titles that are too short or too long can have a negative impact on the ranking and the user experience.
  3. H1 Duplicates: Every page should have a unique H1 heading that clearly and precisely describes the content. Duplicates can also lead to confusion here.
  4. Missing H1: A missing H1 heading is a missed opportunity to give search engines important information about the content of the page.
  5. Multiple H1: Multiple H1 tags on a page can dilute the meaning of the main headline and should be avoided.
  6. Status codes 5xx and 4xx: These error codes indicate server errors (5xx) and pages not found (4xx), which can impair the user experience and hinder crawling and indexing of the website.
  7. Missing alt text: Images without alt text are a missed opportunity to optimize content for search engines and improve accessibility.
  8. Meta description duplicates: As with page titles, duplicate meta descriptions can affect the ranking because they make it difficult for search engines to decide which page is more relevant.
  9. Meta Description Missing: A missing meta description gives you less control over how your page is described and displayed in search results.
  10. Response codes 3xx: These redirect codes must be checked carefully, as they can influence crawling and link power, although they are often correct and intended.
  11. Canonicalized and missing canonicals: Correctly used canonical tags help to avoid problems with duplicate content by showing search engines which version of a page has priority. Missing or incorrectly implemented canonicals can lead to duplicate content problems.

How to check these factors with SEO tools

Screaming Frog SEO Spider is a great tool to check these technical SEO factors on your website. And it’s even free of charge (up to 500 URLs).

It allows you to perform a complete analysis where you can quickly identify duplicates, missing tags, incorrect status codes and much more.

SEMrush and Ahrefs offer similar crawling features, supplemented by extensive data on backlinks and keyword rankings, which provides additional insights into the technical health of your website.

With these tools, you can not only identify and correct errors, but also improve the overall effectiveness of your Google optimization.

8th tip: Use of schema markup / structured data

Schema markup, also known as structured data, helps search engines like Google better understand the content of your pages and enable richer search results(rich snippets).

By implementing schema markup, you can provide search engines with precise information about the context of your content, which often leads to a better display in the SERPs.

Schema markups are available for many areas of application. The most common are:

  1. Persons: Information about people, such as names, dates of birth and contact details.
  2. Organizations: Details of companies and organizations, including name, address, logo and contact information.
  3. Places: Specifications on geographical locations, including addresses, ratings and opening hours.
  4. Events: Data on events such as concerts, conferences or sporting events, including dates, locations and ticket information.
  5. Products and offers: Information on products for sale, including price, availability, reviews and specifications.
  6. Recipes: Details of recipes, including ingredients, cooking and preparation times and nutritional information.
  7. Ratings and reviews: Rating scales and customer reviews of products, services or locations.
  8. Articles: Data about articles or blog posts, including title, author, publication date and content summaries.
  9. FAQ: Structured data for frequently asked questions (FAQ), which represent question-answer blocks on websites.
  10. How-to (instructions): Step-by-step instructions, often with pictures and time estimates, to explain processes.
  11. Job vacancies: Information on job vacancies, including description, location, salary and requirements.
  12. Courses: Details of educational offerings and online courses, including title, description, education provider and curriculum.
  13. Software applications: Information about software or apps, including name, features, ratings and operating system compatibility.
  14. Videos: Data on videos, including title, description, duration and quality information.

Tips for integrating schema markup

  • Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper This tool is a good starting point for SEO newbies. It allows you to load your website, select the desired content and choose the appropriate scheme. The tool then generates the required HTML code, which you can simply insert into your website.
  • Test and validate: After you’ve added the markup, use Google’s Rich Results Test to make sure Google can interpret the markup correctly and there are no errors.
  • Learn and customize: Use resources like Schema.org to learn more about the different types of schema available and how to best utilize them to support your specific SEO goals.

Note

Structure & tech SEO basics

Take care of a clear, keyword-optimized URL structure and the technical SEO basics. Use structured data.

As already mentioned in the foreword, links play a major role in search engine optimization and are an important ranking factor. The key word is: link building.

Links are like a kind of recommendation on the Internet.

The good news is that there are a few very simple ways to get backlinks. Free of charge and with little time investment!

Regardless of whether you run an offline or online business, you should take all relevant directories with you and list yourself there. These are usually nofollow links, but they still form a good basis for your link profile.

Important: Make sure that the information in the entries is consistent (opening hours, location, telephone number, etc.).

Common consumptions are e.g.

You can get links from social media just as easily by creating a profile on Facebook, Instagram & Co. and linking your website there.

Your social media account does not necessarily have to have a huge following (purely from an SEO perspective). But at least be present and somewhat active there.

Locally operating companies should definitely create a Google MyBusiness profile. This will improve the ranking, especially for local search queries such as “roofer Berlin”.

There are numerous other ways to increase the general visibility of your homepage. Take a look at our article: “How to make your website known

Summary

Brighten up content, improve loading times & build backlinks

As soon as your optimized content is ready, make it pretty, take care of loading times and build good backlinks

Not only backlinks can improve your Google ranking. Beginners in particular often underestimate the advantages of internal linking.

Internal linking means nothing other than a link that leads to a destination within your website.

For example, the navigation of your website is full of internal links. They are there to navigate visitors through your site.

With the targeted placement of internal links, you can give your most important pages a ranking boost. You pass on the power of the backlinks to your homepage, the “linkuice”, to your subpages.

So try to link your most important subpages internally as often as possible. Apart from that, you should always include an internal link if it helps the visitor at this point.

By the way: You can use “hard” anchor texts for an internal link. So always place the keyword (and variations of it) in the readable part of the link. This also gives search engines another indication of what this page is about – and makes it more relevant for a corresponding search query.

Bonus tip: Use the Google tools

Although this tip will not directly improve your Google ranking, you should familiarize yourself with tools such as Google Analytics and the Google Search Console.

Both tools give you a deeper insight into how visitors get to your website and what they do there.

Google Analytics

You can use analytics to obtain information about the user behavior of your visitors. You receive information about the average time spent on the site, bounce rate, number of visitors, source of visitors and much more.

The integration is very easy, you simply have to create an account with your Google account and integrate the script into the head of your website.

As soon as the Google Analytics script is correctly integrated, the recording begins. With the Tag Manager, you can also record your own events and virtually any interaction with your website.

This gives you extremely valuable feedback on quality & user-friendliness. If you use this feedback sensibly and react accordingly, your Google ranking will also improve!

Google Search Console

The Search Console offers several functions. On the one hand, you receive information about how often your website was viewed for a specific search term (impressions) and how often it was clicked (clicks).

The Search Console also shows you your ranking in the search results. However, this information is often not very precise. Nevertheless, it is helpful to see for which terms you appear in the search results and which keywords generate a particularly high number of clicks.

Another advantage is that Google informs you directly if something is wrong with your website. You will receive a notification if there are problems with user-friendliness or coverage.

The “Request indexing” function is particularly helpful for new pages. Here you can secure a preferred position in the crawler’s queue and get new pages indexed faster.

Google search optimization: Let’s summarize

Optimizing your website for Google is a multi-layered process that requires in-depth understanding and strategic implementation. The aim is to improve both the content and the technical structure of your website in order not only to be found better, but also to convince and retain your visitors. Here is a summary of the key aspects:

Content and technical optimization

  • Quality and relevance of the content: Your content should fulfill the user’s search intention, be unique and well prepared.
  • Technical SEO: Make sure your website is fast, accessible and error-free. This includes clean titles, the correct use of headings and the avoidance of duplicates and technical errors such as 404 or 500 error codes.

Key strategies for visibility

  • Keywords: Focus on long-tail keywords that are specific, less competitive and relevant to your business.
  • Schema markup: Use structured data to give search engines more context about your content and potentially be displayed more prominently in the SERPs.
  • Backlinks: Building high quality backlinks from trusted sites is essential for a good ranking.

User experience and performance

  • Loading times: A fast website is crucial for good user signals and low bounce rates.
  • Internal linking: Use internal links to effectively distribute the SEO power within your website and make navigation easier for users and search engines.

Use of SEO tools

  • Analysis tools such as Screaming Frog, SEMrush or Ahrefs: These tools help you to identify technical problems and provide insights into your keyword performance and backlink profile.
  • Google Tools: Use Google Analytics and Google Search Console to gain insights into user behavior and the performance of your website.

Final tips

  • Content preparation: Make your content visually appealing and easy to understand. Use graphics, videos and structured data to increase attractiveness and comprehensibility.
  • Continuous optimization and learning: SEO is not a one-off process. It requires continuous adjustments and learning from analyses and industry trends.

By taking these Google SEO basics to heart and regularly working on your website and its content, you can improve your Google ranking in the long term and attract more relevant visitors. Start small, but think big – and use the tools and resources available to achieve your goals.

Hannes Kaltofen

Hannes Kaltofen

Gründer & Geschäftsführer

Seit über 7 Jahren in den SERPs unterwegs. Dank SEO konnte Ich das Affiliate Marketing, Blogging und Agenturgeschäft kennelernen und helfe Unternehmen tagtäglich bei ihrer Sichtbarkeit.

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