Search engine optimization or SEO is a book with seven sigils for many of us. For a long time, this was an issue for me where I was unsure and therefore avoided it. It is not that difficult to massively improve your own website or blog. Here are our best tips for SEO optimization of your website, which you can also implement as a beginner.
Let's not kid ourselves: nobody who wants to be present and found on the Internet can avoid optimization for search engines. No matter whether as a small self-employed person with a dog, as a blogger or if you want to become self-employed on a part-time basis with a dog. All your efforts will only be rewarded if you least pay attention to a few SEO rules. This is the only way your potential readers and customers will find you.
That's why I have put together a step-by-step guide for improving your website SEO. If you need help with one of the points or with the entire topic, please ask me by email.
What is SEO?
In search engine optimization (SEO), you try to optimize your website or blog and its content so that the search engines can find your page easily, analyze and categorize it quickly and classify it as important and helpful. Because if you are found on Google & Co., this automatically brings you more traffic, i.e. visitors to your website.
Smaller blogs, online shops or dog owners, who are just starting their own business, are giving away cash here if they ignore the topic. It may be dry for many, but it is essential if you don't want to get lost in the vastness of the World Wide Web. And it is worthwhile at the beginning to deal with the topic. Sooner or later you won't get around SEO anyway and the sooner you start, the more you can optimize posts. If you want to catch up on that later, you will have to edit a lot of content, which costs an incredible amount of time and nerves. I recently had that on my favorite pasta blog. It was a while before I struggled through more than 200 blog articles.
Good reasons to optimize your website's SEO
Whoever is found in the search engines automatically gets more visitors. Good SEO optimization not only gives you new visitors in the long term, but with a bit of luck, it also turns them into (regular) customers, loyal readers, or new followers on social media. And as I said, it would be a shame if all your interesting content and articles are not read because nobody can find them.
- Customer acquisition
If you have an online shop, SEO is one of the most important topics for you. If you search for a special product on Google, you already have an intention to buy. It is also an important tool for service providers, manufacturers or affiliates to win new customers. Even if you're just selling a small ebook, you should be concerned about SEO.
Of course you can also acquire new customers via paid advertising on Google or Facebook, only this costs money! And now you have to be a real professional there, so that the ad is worth anything, except for a constantly shrinking budget. You can still do SEO yourself at first and it has an effect even if you only improve the basic settings.
Nowadays it is very easy to become self-employed with a dog. In times of petfluencer marketing, new dog bloggers are springing up every day and there are certainly a few suppliers who have the same assortment as you do. self-employed with rope collars. Since mid-2018 there has been a strong increase in manufacturers of species-appropriate dog food. And other niches in the segment are gradually being filled by small, innovative dog companies that produce very special products. Surely you also have a business idea that should make your passion for dogs come true for you professionally.
So you can easily optimize the SEO for your website yourself.
Google's algorithm is said to have more than 200 factors by which it rates a website. The search engines make a big secret about these factors because otherwise, it would be too easy to manipulate them. Of course, you can't see all 200 things on every single subpage of your website, nobody who has just started up will probably have this nerve-racking capacity.
But there are a few things that have been shown to make a big difference to your website. You will now find out step by step how you can improve them.
- The URL of your website
The significance of the address of the website or article should not be underestimated. If the most important keywords appear in the so-called permalink and the link is as short as possible, Google likes that very much. The most important keyword should be at the very beginning of the permalink.
I personally use WordPress for all my websites and here under "Settings" you can choose how the permalink should be set up automatically. Select the variant with the entry name here. By default, the year, month, day and then the contribution name are specified here. This is not ideal for Google, on the one hand because of the length of the link and on the other hand because the publication date for the topic of the article (and thus the categorization) is of little importance.
- Main and subheadings
Readability is a big issue for Google. Because only if posts that were found via the search engine are easily understandable and well structured for the reader, is it in Google's interest to show the post to the next searcher. Google's algorithm also registers main and sub-headings and classifies keywords mentioned here as important.
However, you should not overdo it with the keywords in the headlines, because Google recognizes this too and then classifies the page as “keyword stuffing”, which is a kind of spam. Nevertheless, keywords can be varied in headlines. If you e.g. If you write an article about dental care for dogs, use at least one subheading instead of just “dental care” rather “dental care for dogs” or “dog teeth care properly”. Questions in headings also work well, e.g. "How can I brush my dog's teeth" or "How can I remove tartar from my dog".
Your website is part of the World Wide Web, so to speak a gigantic spider web. Take this as an example and network your social media channels, website and shop not only with each other, but also with other websites that are thematically close to your topic.
This is best done in blog posts, which is why all consultants always recommend that you start a dog company blog. Here you can link further information on the specific topic, either to external pages or to other blog articles on your own page. This gives a positive Google ranking, since your page then points to another trustworthy page.
Cooperations or guest posts with bloggers are also ideal for establishing external links to your own website. If you also link back to the article in question from your side, that's a bit better again. It is important that you set so-called do-follow links so that Google can also follow these links and analyze the content.
- Use SEO plugins
WordPress has numerous plugins that actively support you with SEO. I personally use the Yoast SEO plugin (* advertising without order) because it is free and easy to understand and takes a lot of work off your hands. It provides practical suggestions on how you can improve SEO. I love it and can only recommend it!
Ultimately, however, it is important that you write for the reader and not to make the search engines happy. Because these plugins are programmed, they often provide suggestions that should not really be implemented due to their legibility. At the end of the day, the reader should like the article, because then he will come back to you, subscribe to your blog or follow you on social media.
- OnPage optimization
This means all changes that you can make on your own website or blog. In addition to the above Measures on the permalinks, headings and SEO plugins are also about the meta descriptions and especially pictures. Most of the visitors to my favorite pack blog come from Google's image search or the search function on Pinterest.
It is therefore important to optimize images for the search engines by giving them file names and a description, of course with the most important keywords.
- Offpage optimization
This means all measures that are taken outside of your own website. Surely you've heard of backlinks. These are links that point to your blog and the more of them (preferably do-follow links), the better. This increases your ranking and thus the number of page views, the most important currency in everyday blogger life.
But here, too, it is important that the links lead to websites that have added value and fit your topic. For a while there was a trend to buy backlinks. Inevitably true link garbage dumps can then be found on such sites, but they have no further use. Here Google even awards penalty points and evaluates your ranking if these types of backlinks get out of hand.
So you see, there is not that much magic behind the basic SEO. Of course, there is still a reason why there are agencies and freelancers for SEO optimization because the topic is really nerdy. But you can also lay a good foundation yourself. If you are unsure or have any questions, feel free to contact me. Just comment below the post or send me an email.
An effective method of obtaining backlinks is through cold outreach. How it works is that you send targeted emails to blogs that you would like to get featured in. You offer the owner of the blog something in exchange to linking back to your website. For example, if you are an expert in "Home Maintenance" then you would be able to provide professional insights (content) to a "Home Maintenance" blog.
A nice tool that we would recommend to automate this process is Linkio. Linkio is an effective off-page outreach software that makes your outreach campaign a lot easier.
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