What is the next level of search engine optimization

Invest the right way in search engine optimization.

Transcript from the video:

Oh yes, search engine optimization ... A real love-hate relationship for some marketing departments, decision-makers and entrepreneurs. Because: There is no area in online marketing that is immediately as obscure and complex as SEO. On the other hand, the joy here is particularly great and the positive effect for business is even greater when you have finally cracked this nut for yourself and have made the visibility in Google search results as you wish. So that you as a company, as a brand or as a client can perhaps shorten one or the other piece for yourself and start working more efficiently with service providers, I summarize here the most important points for the mindset, for thinking about SEO for you.

SEO opportunities & risks

High return on investment

It starts with a look at the typical opportunities and risks of investing in search engine optimization. Let's start with the great classic that in search engine optimization you of course have the opportunity to make a one-off investment and benefit from it on a permanent basis. That means putting in money in the first two years in the first year and then continuously withdrawing money in each subsequent year without having to put in much more. That is the basic principle of search engine optimization, where a very high return on investment can be achieved. Every month that we benefit, that we generate visitors and sales through our visibility, but we don't have to invest further to maintain our position, naturally increases the return on investment.

head Start

The time advantage that you gain if you are one of the first in your market niche to professionally take care of its visibility, this time factor is of course immense. Because you have to imagine if you have been doing search engine optimization for half a year or a year - in the right way - then your competitors will of course need half a year or a year to catch up on their stand. And the moment the competitor follows suit, you are probably one step further.

Ad budgets down

The fourth point is the possibility of reducing existing Google ads in the budget. If you are currently still dependent on it, you can of course drastically reduce your ad budget with organic visibility, which leads to permanent savings.

trust

Another point is a significantly higher level of trust enjoyed by providers in the market who are ranked at the top in the organic search results. A higher level of trust compared to those who rely on it to shop there with ads.

When the time runs out

But now to the risks and there is the top rule: Never plan too little time for your SEO goals. Never set yourself and your SEO service provider too tight time frames. Because if you make yourself dependent on the fact that you definitely have to be in position 1, 2 or 3 here and there in six months or in nine months or twelve months, then you are putting yourself in great danger To get into such a dependency here because search engine optimization cannot be planned in this way.

When the budget is gone

If you do not plan a budget buffer in order to add another 10-20% after completion of the planned work in order to have improvements made, which have only become clear there, then you are also taking the risk. Because here, too, there is simply no real predictability in the area of ​​search engine optimization. The moment you start to have the measures carried out, the experts only see how the algorithm reacts exactly and how your competitors are really positioned. Only then can you get a feeling for when you are progressing, how much activity, how fast and where. So always plan a buffer for rework.

Rise Before Fall

Sometimes it happens that you first see great curves and start very high up in search results, i.e. are ranked very high and they start to slide a few days or weeks later. This is a scenario that often occurs when the website is not optimized enough for the user. (Google tests your website by first ranking it high and then observing visitor behavior. If the behavioral data looks like visitors can't find what they're looking for on your page, Google will drop you.) But come to that I'll come back later.

SEO and conversion

The next risk is the topic of conversion on your own website. Here is the question: Will you even manage to translate the streams of visitors that you get through pure visibility into profit for yourself? So if you do not manage to turn the thousands of visitors that you now have on your website into profit, then this is ultimately also a great risk for your return on investment.

Keywords that nobody needs

The classic SEO risk is far too wide a spread in the keywords that are invested in. As a client, you really have to get stuck in there. Deal with the keyword lists that you are optimizing for. This is where you should really look carefully and ask yourself, “If I type in this keyboard and that… Is it really a search where we can expect sales? Does it really help us to be visible exactly at this point? " Sometimes you have to look three times to be able to say exactly.

Investment history

Here's a quick look at an ideal investment curve. It looks different for every business. We have different conditions in every competition, but the ideal is of course that we invest a lot of work over the first few months and that at some point to a point around zero or around a good operating value that is very low. So that the actual visibility, which is hopefully equated with sales, is constantly increasing, so that the curves intersect relatively soon and we generate significantly more visibility and sales than we have to put in a budget in the long term to maintain it.

SEO level "Basics"

It is very important that you really classify your SEO project correctly so that you know what you actually want right from the start. There are four rough levels that you should classify yourself into. The first stage is actually just a basic optimization, where it is not about the great visibility, but more about not doing so much wrong with regard to later serious SEO measures now on the website and now in the previous workflow. It's about not getting in the way today and maybe building the relaunch of a website right away in such a way that we don't later have any handbrakes on everywhere, which then have to be released and rebuilt when we really get started with SEO.

SEO level "comfortably visible"

The second stage would be that you want to be comfortably visible in a small market with very little competition. That means it is enough for you if you appear somewhere around your competitors on page 1 and you just want to see how it is developing and then later, if necessary, add a shovel.

SEO level top positions

The third stage would be that you really want to aim for the top 3 positions and that you really want to attract a lot of visitors to your website from your search terms. Level 3 also means that you are in medium-sized or large markets where there is already really serious competition and where your competitors have already presented good SEO measures.

SEO level market leader

The fourth expansion stage would be to strive for market leadership and say “Okay, in one or two years we definitely want to be the market leader in all of these search terms…” That means you want to be 100% sure that you dominate the Google search results and accordingly the largest Get part of the cake in this market niche.

Monthly search engine optimization?

Before we go any further, it is important for me to point out that the times in which you could achieve such goals with flat-rate package offers / monthly flat-rates are definitely over. In case you didn't already know, I have hereby told you. With such flat-rate packages with monthly billing, in which some teams with whom one has hardly any contact apparently do some technical things every month in order to get further up there are now to be avoided Unfortunately, it no longer works well today and that is mainly due to the fact that search engine optimization is a very complex field today.

SEO is not a describable activity

One or the other still understands this a little too easily and sees search engine optimization as something that can really be outsourced to a team of 2-3 people who sit in some corner of the office and do some magical things so that Google will bring you to the top . SEO is not a definable area of ​​activity. Search engine optimization is actually more of a kind of project, an intention. But what has to be done for this is very diverse. You know the typical keywords: You have to optimize keywords, you have to build links, take care of many aspects of the code of your website and so on. The classic areas such as content, texts, images, videos must be optimized, as well as the structure of the page. It's a lot about usability, but then you get out of the typical topics. Today, Google MyBusiness has a great influence on the visibility in Google (including websites).

Search engine optimization is done a lot on social media and has a lot to do with press work and reporting. SEO can also be promoted completely through content marketing focuses and to some extent you can polish up your own position in the search results via traffic from elsewhere, via purchased ads and so on. Finally, magical terms such as Only with Quality Content can we really achieve something in the search engines ”or“ We have to build up our authority to become more successful ”come into play. As you can see, search engine optimization is not an activity, but that it is actually a modus operandi that has to come into play in many different areas in order for the whole thing to really work.

Google’s black box

It is still the case, it has always been and it will always be: The algorithm that decides whether you are visible or not, whether you get visitors and sales through Google or not, this algorithm is a black box. We know roughly what goes in, we roughly know what comes out, but what happens in there - no idea. There is no hotline you can call and complain and there are no magical contacts with Google employees who can be hired. We stand in front of this box with big question marks and have to live with what it spits out when we enter certain signals.

Digital hand and brain work

Do not think about search engine optimization as if they were a lot of automatable little ticks that someone places somewhere or small snippets of code that can be integrated somewhere, which can be partially automated ... Search engine optimization is really a lot of manual work. This relates to things like keyword research and user intentions on individual keywords. This can only be done by hand with your own head. Competitive analyzes have to be carried out very precisely, keyword optimization of texts - I have to put someone who is both linguistically good and SEO-wise good. Meta description, detailed code optimizations. A lot of manual work and brainwash flows into it. Just as an overview, to make it clear to you once again that every task in the SEO area is done by people and it has to be done well, otherwise it is of no use.

SEO relativity

The next point is SEO relativity or the “law of relativity” in search engine optimization. If you are wondering what you have to spend to move up in an existing keyword competition and overtake your competitors, then that is always measured in relation to what your competitors have already done or have already invested. In other words, we can only find out what you really have to invest if we take a very close look at "What are your competitors doing right and what do we have to do to catch up and then overtake them?" And that can look very different in different search terms and then very different efforts have to be taken into account.

Cause unequal effect?

The next thing that is important to me is that linear thinking, which we know from advertising campaigns and what we wish for so that we feel safe in life, does not work that way with search engine optimization. An act does not lead directly to an effect in a linear manner. Because in the search engine area we always work with a whole series of acts on the most varied of levels. Small, big, coherent acts. And they all influence each other in turn. They all go through the black box at Google once, are calculated there however, and then at the end the visibility result comes out. We can actually never say exactly which of our methods and measures actually contributed the largest part to the visibility. That said, linear thinking of cause and effect is always difficult in SEO.

Structure vs. activity

The next important point is the difference between structure focus and activity focus. You have to master both and focus on both, otherwise nothing will work. I will briefly explain what that means: Assuming we build and optimize your website perfectly for the search engines, we simply do everything right in terms of content and social media profiles. Assuming we build everything correctly and bring all of our knowledge into it. Then we built a high-performance structure. But it is initially static and just stands there. This may bring about a lot more visibility, but in order for the whole thing to really take off, you then have to carry out activities on this structure. That means there has to be new content, regularly. Users really have to come to the site, we really have to work hard on social media, there have to be new backlinks, and maybe a lot has to be done in press work. We do all of this so that impulses, signals and activity occur again and again. Even a top optimized website is just like a sports car in the garage. You really have to drive it to make it all fun.

Man vs. machine

The question “How strongly do we actually focus the Googlebot in search engine optimization, ie on the algorithm, and how strongly do we focus our optimization efforts on the human users of our website? This is exactly where most of the changes are happening, this is where the biggest upheavals are pending in the Google algorithm because the robot (which works very hard with technical checklists in the background) has been taking more and more user signals into the evaluation of your websites for several years . In addition to its checklists, the robot also observes the behavior of the individual human users who meet on your website and evaluates, based on the length of time the click sequences, etc., whether your website was actually the correct search result, or whether there are better ones that belong further up in the ranking . That means you have to realize that the users and the behavior of the users on your website now have just as much influence on your visibility in search engines as the technical checklists for the bot.

Traffic unequal success?

What use is the traffic of thousands or more visitors to your website every month if you do not manage to generate sufficient business and profit for your company? What good is it if you invest large sums of money in search engine optimization and get large masses of people on your website and then turn only a tiny fraction of those users into customers? Then it doesn't look well ordered and your return on investment. This is again about the user focus, about guiding the visitors, really encouraging them to close the deals and leading people to the points where they want them so that they can really have a positive effect on business development.

Step by step towards the perfect investment

Finally, I would like to point out once again that it is a very good idea not to do search engine optimization in one piece. In the case of a service provider, that means commissioning the analysis phase and the conception phase together with a large number of measures and perhaps signing a contract for a year or two years.I think it's a very, very good idea to always commission this in parts and, above all, to invest in orientation first. You should invest time, resources and budget separately at the beginning for your own orientation so that you can realize “Where are we actually in the competition? What are our options? What do we want to focus on? " So you can first go through the plan for yourself and evaluate internally for yourself “Which search terms really fit our business? Where is the whole thing more lucrative for us, where less? " That can be much more worthwhile than if you stumble too much into the whole thing and then you are already bound for a year.

I hope this has given you a good boost in your thinking about search engine optimization and I hope that you will make a really good investment in getting started with search engine visibility.