With a market share of 95 percent, Google dominates the search engine landscape in Germany by far. That doesn’t surprise anyone, especially since “googling” is now even a verb in the Duden dictionary and is an integral part of our vocabulary in practice. The success of the US company is based, among other things, on a highly sophisticated algorithm that manages to show us the pages we are looking for. What potential does this have for companies? How can you secure the top search engine rankings? We have the answer for you.
What Is Search Engine Ranking?
A search engine ranking is a website’s position for a specific keyword in a search engine.
Example: When you search for “Content Marketing,” you get ten different search results to choose from on the first page. In the first place, you will find suxeedo.de with an article on the subject of “Content Marketing.” This place is the ranking. The website “ranks” in first place for this keyword.
Of course, there are many different keywords for which pages on Google or other search engine operators appear in the results. Each of these positions (1-100) are in itself a search engine ranking.
The Most Popular Search Engines In Comparison
In Germany, Google dominates our search behavior on the Internet. Therefore, search engine optimization is often equated with the optimization of Google rankings. But what about in other countries? Is Google the top dog in the world too? Which search engine operators are still there?
Market shares of search engines worldwide
- Google 76.5%
- Baidu 7.28%
- Bing 10.32%
- Yahoo 1.63%
- Google: 88.77%
- Baidu 8.08%
- Bing: 0.76%
- Yahoo 0.79%
The statistics already show it: Google is not as dominant worldwide as in Germany, but it still takes up well over half of the market. Another significant part goes to Baidu with China, followed by Bing.
How Can I Improve My Search Engine Ranking?
Depending on the website, company, and search term, it is usually not entirely trivial to improve a search engine ranking – the algorithm from Google and Co. is too complex, there are too many criteria. If you want to improve your search results, you have to build on several pillars. We can roughly distinguish between technical SEO, off-page SEO, and content SEO:
Technical SEO is an integral part of the so-called on-page measures (optimizations on your page): With this optimization, you pursue the goal of making access to your website for the search engine as comfortable as possible.
The search engine must first get to your page to gain search engine rankings: it crawls your website. Technical principles such as page structure, URL structure, or the document outline navigate the search engine through the page. You can imagine technical SEO showing the crawler around, making him understand what is, where he has to crawl and where not.
If a search engine understands your website quickly and can navigate its content well, it gives you plus points in rankings.
An overview of possible measures in technical SEO:
- URL structure: Ensure a clear and meaningful URL structure. That means: short, concise URLs with relevant keywords, reader friendliness, avoiding special characters are essential.
- Robots.txt: A text file with which you can signal the search engine which directories, pages, or files it cannot crawl.
- Core Web Vitals: Core Web Vitals evaluate the user experience on your website: loading speed, response time, visual stability are the metrics.
- Mobile-First: The mobile version of a website has been an essential factor for the rankings since 2016.
- Structured Data: With structured data, you can signal the crawler what type of content is on the website: e.g., B. Mark telephone numbers as such, or FAQs, email addresses, etc.
- Canonical: If you have duplicate content on the website, you should use canonical tags to tell the search engine which content is the “original.”
- Error Pages: 404 pages cause negative user signals, and the search engine also perceives these pages. Make sure you have appropriate redirects if possible.
- XML Sitemap: A list of all the subpages of your website that the search engine should crawl. With the XML sitemap, Google can make indexing easier.
The search engine not only rates a website on its domain. Another important factor: the PageRank. How often do other parts refer to your website? She perceives all these signals from the outside and evaluates your content accordingly. If you are mentioned frequently by other large websites, this will positively affect your PageRank and thus the search engine rankings. Small websites, on the other hand, have a lower impact on your appearance in search results.
An overview of standard measures in off-page SEO:
- Seeding: Seeding focuses on the proactive, organic distribution of content. This is the highest and most valuable kind of off-page SEO.
- Link marketing: Link marketing has lost its importance over the years due to various Google updates. This refers to cooperation between website operators who set links for something in return.
- Branding: How often does your company name appear on the Internet? How do users rate your company? Google also perceives such signals and incorporates them into the off-page rating.
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Once technical SEO and off-page measures have created the necessary basics, you can now get down to content SEO. The aim here is to identify attractive keywords and create content that makes it to the first page in search results. This is how you do it:
What keywords does your target group enter into the search engine? And which of these keywords are relevant to you? With these two questions in mind, make a list of relevant topics. Then use a keyword tool to check the search volume of these words. Keyword analysis aims to find relevant keywords of the target group searched for frequently but have little competition.
Once you have found a keyword with a search volume and topic relevant to you, you should google it. What results appear here? You should check which domains are ranking and whether your part is of comparable size or authority. If so, your chances are generally good. Then it’s best to take a look at how the articles are structured to understand what results users expect when they enter a search query.
Structure And UX Of Your Content
More than keyword optimization is necessary for the text to achieve a good search engine ranking and generate organic traffic in the long term. Make sure your reader has a clear structure because users no longer read texts linearly from start to finish. Offer a table of contents with jump labels and make it clear which contents appear in which chapter.
Also, pay attention to loosening elements within your text so as not to overwhelm your users with so-called “text deserts.” It can be:
- Conversion elements
With these UX elements, you manage to keep the users’ attention: inside longer, which, in turn, notices and rewards the search engine in the form of ranking improvements.
Keyword optimization is and will remain an essential factor with which you can improve your search engine rankings. However, the goal is not to include your keyword in the text as often as possible. Create a natural distribution within the text. Use the keyword in headings, in meta texts, but also within the text.
A WDF * IDF optimization is also relevant. The aim here is to place other vital terms around your focus keyword. This optimization supports the focus keyword and increases the ranking probability. You can identify these words with tools like Searchmetrics, SEOlyze, or Termlabs.
How Can I Check The Search Engine Ranking?
There are several tools you can use to check your rankings. The principle is often the same. You have a search field in which you enter your domain or a unique URL. You will then be shown all the keywords to which the entered URL ranks. You can usually filter by positions, for example, to look at top 10 rankings or threshold keywords (page 2). A selection of the countries is also possible. For example, you can check how well your site ranks in other German-speaking countries.
A competition analysis is, of course, also possible in tools with which you can check your ranking in the search engine. In this way, you can identify keyword potentials that competitors cover, but you do not yet. You can also see how you stand in comparison and the topics others dominate in the SERPs.
Popular tools for these analyses are SISTRIX and SEMrush, but Ahrefs, a classic link profile tool, has also caught up in the study of search engine rankings.
Why Are Rankings Important?
The statistics say more than 1000 words: We enter numerous terms into the search engine every day, looking for answers, products, inspiration. The help that companies can offer users at the moment is often linked to a product. But the perception of the brand in a thematic environment can also be precious.
Organic search engine rankings do not create a short-term traffic boost – as would be the case, for example, with ads. Whether you approach the topic with a search engine optimization agency or with your team of experts: Start with valuable rankings and make yourself independent of advertising budgets in the long term.
Also Read: Four Tips For Good SEO On Google