How can I improve my search engine ranking?

No matter if you are a founder, self-employed or a company. Every company, no matter how big, wants to be seen on the Internet and, in the best case, found. If one sells a product or a service, all the more.

Often the rankings on Google and Co. But not so good that you are also found by your customers. So what can you do to improve your search engine rankings?? We have a few simple and free tips to improve rankings sustainably.

Why is the search engine ranking important?

First of all a small thought experiment: A plumber in Bremen has a website created and wants to win customers for himself. The website is visible on the Internet for a long time but still no new customers contact it. Then he googled different terms, which he would use so also if he looks for a craftsman. He finds his own website but not or only very far behind in Google.

So that such cases do not occur, one should also "think" SEO when creating the website. The success of a website depends on the structure, the technology, the content and the links. But this can be improved quickly.

Simple tips to improve search engine rankings

The following tips are general, but I mainly refer to the CMS WordPress. This is now a quasi-standard on the Internet. There are also other CMS' like Typo3, Drupal, Joomla and Co. Or even construction kits, nevertheless WordPress is meanwhile the most used content management system on the internet.

Better loading times for a better search engine ranking

If the search engine ranking of your own website is not good, this may be due to the loading time of the website. If a website takes too long to load, the searcher may jump back to the search results page during this time. This is always a bad sign for Google. In addition, the SEO scene rumors that Google also evaluates user signals and also the bounce rate, i.E. The bounce rate from the website, is such a user signal.

How can I improve my search engine ranking?

So log in to the hoster and release the handbrake. Simple is usually to change the PHP version. It is best to go directly to the latest version. PHP 7.4 and PHP 7.3 bring for example a lot more speed. If one stands currently on 7.0 or 7.1 you will notice this in a few seconds loading time.

In WordPress itself the recommendation is: slim down! Less plugins is usually better than too many. In addition, you can install caching plugins to improve the loading time. A recommendation in this regard is the suite around Autoptimize. Of this there is a plugin to minimize and combine HTML, CSS and Javascript. Also lazyloading and caching images via CDN and converting to WebP is easily done with it. In another post about making WordPress faster, I rather recommend to let Shortpixel do the compression and delivery of the images. In a test with Google Lighthouse and Pagespeed the Shortpixel CDN which is used by Autoptimize is slower than my own webspace. So install roll backwards and shortpixel and use only the lazy loading function of Autoptimize!

Furthermore there is an additional plugin for the use of Critical CSS and one for asynchronous loading of Javascript. Both should be installed. By the way, you can do without further plugins for caching then!

If the website is faster but not much faster, this can also be due to the hoster. Then there are three options: Change the hosting provider, book a more performant package or use a CDN like Cloudflare.

If the hoster change is imminent, then the recommendation currently goes to Digital Ocean. There WordPress can be used on an Openlitespeed server. This makes plugins like Autoptimize and Shortpixel unnecessary and is optimized from the ground up, for speed.

A different WordPress theme for better a search engine placement

To create a website with WordPress you use themes. This is more or less the basic structure of a page. But many themes are not really helpful for a good search engine ranking. Themes which bring a lot of ballast or are poorly programmed, do not help but can, on the contrary, even prevent the website from a good ranking on Google and Co. Hinder.

So what are the criteria of a good theme for WordPress? A good theme for WordPress is slim, brings many setting options, is often provided with updates and is initially also optimized for the search engine (SEO).

Changing the theme can sometimes work wonders. If the website does not rank well and the theme is not the best, just change to a new one, even if it means some work. A recommendation goes clearly to the theme Generatepress by Tom Usborn and his team. The theme is streamlined, SEO compatible and very modular. This can be used to implement just about any idea.

Here is also a small overview of various WordPress themes, which emphasize the above points. Summarized by Marc on Blogalog.

How can I improve my search engine rankings?

Website structure for a better search engine ranking

Websites are often a reflection of the company to which they belong. Every department wants to be represented adequately of course. Nevertheless, you should not build the website for your own company but for the potential customers you want to attract with it. A clear structure and few, clear menu items are an advantage.

Instead of an exuberant number of subpages and menu elements, you should break down what is important for the searcher. Few pages with comprehensive content are better than many pages with little content. Why not combine pages if they belong together thematically??

This is how to avoid pages with too little content. If I have a subpage with only a few sentences, it will definitely not move up in Google. In addition, the linkjuice or linkpower is better distributed to the subpages, if you do not have too many of them. It is better to start sparingly and add subpages or landing pages if the topic is not yet present on the website.

Content for a better search engine ranking

Content, backlinks and loading time are the most important factors when it comes to SEO for Google. So why leave out one of the most important points? Good texts, appropriate image pictures and now and then a video can enhance any website.

Google has recently admitted that the amount of text on a subpage has no influence on the placement in Google search, but nevertheless plays a role, which words just occur. Do I cover a topic on a subpage with 300 words – good! But if I write more words, I potentially have more secondary keywords, for which I rank later on. That means, rather go into more detail and be happy about the better search engine placement.

But it is also clear – more is not automatically better. More than necessary to adequately outline a topic, you should not use either.

More backlinks for a better search engine ranking

Especially new websites are affected by this: Too few backlinks and no prospect of improvement. What can you do in the short term to polish your backlink profile and thus achieve a better search engine ranking?

Google argues quite nebulous in its guidelines that good content automatically gets backlinks. That means, if I write a good blog post here, it will be linked too. Unfortunately, the reality is often different. Unfortunately, at least for websites that offer products and services, this is always a real struggle. You can of course try to get linked with good content, but you shouldn't be disappointed if it doesn't work right away.

It is easier to enter your own website in existing directories and web catalogs. Perhaps one finds also directly yellow pages with local reference. These are the first simple backlinks, which can be generated quickly and which also have a good standing with Google.

But it is also clear: The more difficult it is to get a link, the more valuable it is. A link that is naturally set, from a website from the same niche, with high authority, is worth its weight in gold for your own search engine placement.

Nevertheless, you can also start one floor lower and check out what is available. Also clear is, a good backlink profile consists of various backlinks of any color.

How can I improve my search engine ranking?

If you want to check your own backlink profile to see where he or she stands, you can use the backlink checker from Ahrefs. Here you get a value on a scale from 0 to 100, which stands for the "popularity" of your own domain. You should check this value from time to time and see how it develops.

Even though it is said that backlinks are becoming less and less important for Google's search engine rankings, they still play quite a significant role. Using the knowledge of this can only be an advantage.

I would clearly advise against buying backlinks. Here you never know exactly what you get and the risk to be completely kicked out of the Google index thanks to a penalty is high. Once you are out, you have to clean up your backlink profile from the purchased links and wait for the reinstatement. Especially companies that rely on inbound marketing via SEO can not want this.

SEO Plugin for WordPress

Maybe the poor performance in search engine rankings is also due to the used or not existing plugin for the WordPress SEO. There are also massive differences. Many people swear by solutions like Yoast SEO or All-in-One SEO, but meanwhile there is a lot of competition.

New is for example Rank Math. This is an SEO plugin for WordPress, which offers almost everything and is also free of charge. The functions range from local SEO, Woocommerce support, redirects, schema, an analysis for pages and posts and AMP support out of the box. Everything that Yoast Premium and Yoast Local SEO can do, can also be found in Rank Math. Only Howto blocks and FAQ blocks in Gutenberg are not included. But these are on the retreat at Google anyway, also because Google was spammed with them.

But in the meantime I use another SEO plugin. Specifically, this is The SEO Framework. This is not quite as comprehensive as Rank Math, but offers similar functions in a kind of modular system, which I can install and activate as needed. The SEO Framework pays special attention to a lean plugin that does not negatively affect the loading time of the website. So it is actually quite in the trend. But it admittedly seems a bit more spartan than Rank Math or even Yoast SEO. Nevertheless, here goes the recommendation to The SEO Framework.

PS: There is also a premium version of The SEO Framework. This offers full access to all functions and extensions plus a server-side analysis of my written content. The whole thing actually costs the same as Yoast SEO Premium, whereby I can run four websites with it and also have Local SEO in it.

Help with search engine placement

Tried everything and still little changes? Then Hecht ins Gefecht is the SEO agency of choice. We are based in Bremen but also work for clients from Berlin, Potsdam, Cologne and more. Just ask and we will find flexible solutions for your problem!

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