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SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is about optimizing the visibility of your own website content in search engines.

The goal of search engine optimization is to achieve a good position in search results in order to get organic traffic to your site.

SEO can be done for all search engines and is not just limited to Google.

However, search engines like Microsoft Bing, Yahoo!, DuckDuckGo, or Ecosia play a subordinate role in the DACH region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), so we mainly focus on Google in our article.

 

Definition: What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which means optimizing websites for search engines.

Search engine optimization involves implementing On-Page and Off-Page measures to ensure that a website, specifically its content, appears as high as possible in the search results of Google, Bing, and others.

However, before delving into keyword research or optimizing your content, you should first identify the search intent of your target audience.

Because Google’s goal is to provide the best possible answer to users’ questions.

What is SEO? Google Search
Source: Screenshot Google

Recommended Reading: These are the SEO Trends in 2023

What is the Difference Between On-Page and Off-Page SEO?

In Search Engine Optimization, activities and measures to improve visibility in Google search can either take place directly on your own page (On-Page SEO) or outside of your page (Off-Page SEO).

What is On-Page SEO?

In practice, we refer to On-Page SEO when SEO activities involve optimizing page titles (Meta Title or Title Tag), meta description, internal linking, page loading speed, integrating structured data, or keyword research.

These are just a few examples. It’s no longer enough to blindly place keywords on your own page or in the title and meta description.

The Google algorithm is now so sophisticated that it can also analyze the context and relevance of the content created.

According to Google, there are over 200 ranking factors that influence positioning in search results.

Recommended Reading: 5 SEO Mistakes You Should Definitely Avoid

What is Off-Page SEO?

Off-Page SEO refers to optimization measures outside of your own page. A central part of these activities is building backlinks.

A distinction is made between active and passive backlinks.

Active backlinks can be generated, for example, by strategically placing links in guest posts that refer to your website.

With passive backlinks, users voluntarily refer to your website without your involvement. The higher quality and relevance your content, the higher the chance of getting passive backlinks.

Recommended Reading: What is Off-Page SEO & How Can You Use It for Your Online Shop?

Keyword Research

Keyword research is part of On-Page SEO. It involves identifying the most suitable and relevant search terms that users enter into Google to get an answer to their search query.

Depending on the length of the search terms, a distinction is made between Short-Tail Keywords (1 to 2 terms), Mid-Tail Keywords (2 to 3 terms), and Long-Tail Keywords (more than 3 terms).

Graph: Curve of search queries

The length of a keyword affects the search volume. The shorter and more generic the search term, the higher the search volume and the competition.

Therefore, don’t just focus on search volume.

The likelihood of answering a user’s search query with a generic and very short search term is extremely low.

Although long keywords have the disadvantage of having lower search volume, the competition is lower, and the probability is higher that you can answer the search query with your content.

Short-Tail Keywords

Short-Tail Keywords are usually very generic search terms consisting of one or two words, for example, ‘Mallorca.’

Although generic search terms have a very high search volume, they are highly competitive and have high competition.

In addition, their search results are not as specific as with Mid-Tail or Long-Tail Keywords.

Mid-Tail Keywords

Mid-Tail Keywords typically consist of two to three words (e.g., ‘Mallorca vacation’).

They are somewhat of a compromise between the highly competitive and demanded Short-Tail Keywords (e.g., ‘Mallorca’) and the less competitive but more conversion-strong Long-Tail Keywords (e.g., ‘Mallorca hiking vacation in autumn’).

Mid-Tail Keywords thus have a moderate search volume and less competition than Short-Tails.

Long-Tail Keywords

Long-Tail Keywords are very long and specific search terms. They consist of more than four words and therefore have lower search volume (e.g., ‘Mallorca hiking vacation in autumn’).

However, don’t be discouraged by the lower search volume of long-tails. They are very specific and thus have less competition.

The advantage: Long-Tail Keywords have a higher conversion rate than Short-Tail and Mid-Tail Keywords. This allows you to regularly attract organic traffic to your website.

SEO for Online Shops

What is Search Intent and Why is it So Important?

In addition to keyword research, search intent (User Search Intent) is a crucial factor.

Because not every keyword serves the search intent of your target audience. Therefore, identify the intent behind a user’s search query.

There are four different types of search intent, which we will discuss in the following section:

Informational Search Query

Commercial Search Query

Navigational Search Query

Transactional Search Query

Informational Search Query

Many people on the internet search for information. This is exactly what happens with an informational search. A person wants an answer to their question or is looking for a solution to their problem.

Informational search queries are often used very early in the purchase decision process.

Many users in this phase are only looking for a solution to a problem and are not yet aware of the solutions available and whether a purchase is an option for them.

An example of an informational search query is: ‘What is SEO?’ or ‘How tall is the Cologne Cathedral?’

Commercial Search Query

With a commercial search query, a person intends to make a purchase.

For research, they use Google search to find out more about a product or service, e.g., ‘What is the best Smart TV?’ or ‘Which smartphone has the best value for money?’

The commercial search query is very similar to the transactional search. However, the difference is that the person has a transactional intention but still needs some time to complete the purchase.

A person uses Google search on a laptop.

Navigational Search Query

Users resort to navigational keywords when they want to navigate to a specific subpage on a website or online shop or to a specific location.

In the first place, the search engine is used for navigation. Brand keywords are often used, as the person already knows where they want to go.

A navigational search could look like this: ‘Starbucks Cologne’ or ‘Adidas Online Shop.’

Transactional Search Query

These search queries are used when a person has a purchase intention and wants to perform a (trans)action.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a booking, order, or reservation.

Transactional search queries can look like this: ‘Buy iPhone 14’ or ‘Ticket sales 1. FC Cologne.’

Search Engine Market Share in the DACH Region

 

SEO is usually only talked about in terms of Google. This is because Google search has a market share of 84 percent and is therefore the most used search engine worldwide.

And in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, Google is by far the most popular search engine.

Most Popular Search Engines in Germany:

Google (90 percent)

Microsoft Bing (17 percent)

Yahoo! (13 percent)

DuckDuckGo (9 percent)

Ecosia (6 percent)

Source: Statista – Most Popular Search Engines in Germany in 2022

Most Popular Search Engines in Austria:

Google (93 percent)

Microsoft Bing (12 percent)

Yahoo! (9 percent)

DuckDuckGo (8 percent)

Ecosia (6 percent)

Source: Statista – Most Popular Search Engines in Austria in 2022

Most Popular Search Engines in Switzerland:

Google (84 percent)

Microsoft Bing (16 percent)

search.com (14 percent)

DuckDuckGo (13 percent)

Yahoo! (13 percent)

Source: Statista – Most Popular Search Engines in Switzerland in 2022

Why Should You Invest Time in SEO?

1. Search Engine Optimization has a long-term positive impact on ranking

There are occasionally voices claiming that the era of search engine optimization is over, but the opposite is true.

SEO is still as important today as it was 20 years ago. Only the game has changed slightly. Due to regular updates, search algorithms have learned.

What worked before doesn’t work anymore today. And that’s a good thing. Because that’s the only way Google can ensure that users are shown the best and most relevant search results.

A well-thought-out SEO strategy helps in the long run to bring your website or online shop to the top of Google search results.

This results in benefits such as increased visibility and simultaneously strengthens your brand.

Tip 💡: SEO takes time. Search engine optimization only pays off if done long term.

2. Not doing SEO is more expensive

Another point in favor of addressing search engine optimization is: SEO is (almost) free.

Search engine optimization is very time-consuming. From a monetary point of view, however, you are not obligated to spend money (unless you hire an agency for it).

Of course, you can also completely forgo SEO and focus solely on search engine advertising (SEA). However, the big disadvantage is that you have to pay for visibility. And this only remains as long as you spend money.

Running only ads campaigns can become very expensive in the long run and is not really sustainable.

With On-Page and Off-Page SEO, however, you can ensure that your content achieves a high ranking in Google search results without having to pay anything for it.

Moreover, there are numerous free SEO tools that can help you optimize your content for search engines.

Recommended Reading: Google Search Central – The Starter Guide to Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

3. Your competition is doing SEO

That search engine optimization is a solid marketing tactic to attract new customers is no secret.

Most likely, your competition is also doing SEO to secure full shopping carts day by day.

Do you really want to leave the field to your competition without getting a piece of the pie?

Therefore, online shops and companies that do not use SEO are giving away the attention of potential customers and a lot of revenue to their competition.

Conclusion: Search engine optimization is and remains important

Search engine optimization continues to be a very important element in online marketing. With a good SEO strategy that is long-term oriented, you can increase your visibility in search engine results.

Stay regularly updated on new trends or developments, as the online world is very fast-paced and Google & Co. regularly make updates and changes to the search algorithm.

Use the data available to you from Google Search Console and other SEO tools to create unique and high-quality content for users.

Search engines will reward you with good rankings on search results pages.”

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