How to do SEO // Search Engine Optimization in a Nutshell

Published on 2021-05-05

Written by Tobias Kredel

What is SEO / Search Engine Optimization?

Search Engine Optimization is a part of SEM (Search Engine Marketing) and can bring your website more traffic from search engine results -- ongoing and without paying extra for advertising.

With perfect SEO, your website can be listed on top of the organic search results, just below the paid results. You can google the keywords "Packaging Innovation Consulting" to see that I am on the first page of organic search results with the Office of Strategic Services:

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How do Search Engines work?

Firstly, it must be made clear that a search engine does not search the whole internet. Instead, search engines crawl the internet and then organise the websites they find in their own index. This index includes several kinds of evaluations of the website, the most important for SEO being the inbound links to the website. Those backlinks from other sites show the search engine that content is relevant, authoritative and trusted.

Never forget that a search engine wants to bring up the right results for their users or tries to answer their questions in the best way. Your website basically needs to persuade the search engine that it has the most useful content for a specific user intent presented in the very best way.

Keyword Strategy

It generally does not work very well to create a website and then "do the SEO for it". The right strategy to get to the top should better be defined in the very beginning >> and this starts with the right keyword strategy. You need to find out what phrases your potential customers are searching for and then create content that provides solutions to the problem -- or answers to the question. The keyword phrase should appear quite often on the website, ideally as headlines, file names, page titles, etc. -- and if they are also prominent in any links, then those links count more.

There are many different tools that can help with this, Semrush being only an example:

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The main focus is of course Google -- for English results, 88% of searches on desktop and 96% on mobile are currently on Google. But Bing also has a certain share as well as Yahoo.

Credibility Signals (E-A-T)

Google uses the acronym E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) to explain how they are judging credibility. Google does this at three levels -- the page, the author, and the website. The three components of E-A-T are:

Looking at the above, it becomes clear why proper use of LinkedIn can help a lot with SEO. Further down, I am explaining this fact in more detail.

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On-Page Search Engine Optimization

This includes everything that can be done on the website itself and will be found there by the search engine. Optimizing on-page factors of your website is the basis of your success.

Technical Search Engine Optimization

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Content Optimization for SEO

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Off-Page Search Engine Optimization

Since Google connects the different sites contained in its index and brings them into correlation, your website is ranked higher if more third-party sites or social media profiles, blogs, etc. mention your own. Think back at the E-A-T formula:

>> Expertise

>> Authoritativeness

>> Trustworthiness 

Inbound Links 

The most important off-page factor are links to your content from relevant, authoritative sites. Backlinks can show Google that your content is popular & valuable and can indicate that a specific content, website and author are a trusted, authoritative source of information. Building a reliable backlink profile is one of the main pillars of SEO.

SEO Backlink Services

For the creation of additional backlinks in web catalogues, portals, blogs, etc., there are many specialised freelancers that can be booked like here on Fiverr:

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Some people think that this would already be what SEO means, while much of this is in fact not even 'real' SEO. Creating many artificial backlinks is -- bluntly spoken -- cheating and also called Black Hat SEO. But since too many people are using similar techniques, it can still make sense to hire such an expert at the very end of the SEO process to boost results.

However, search engines are becoming more and more intelligent, and if Google finds conspicuous backlinking, it will PENALISE your website in the search results, as it also does for keyword stuffing. This is stuffing the page with keywords but without context, just to have them more often. So be careful whom you work with and do not try too hard!

Social & Trust Signals

If your content is being shared on social platforms and links to your website are provided, this is a signal for search engines that the content is useful and appreciated. Other trust signals are things like product and service reviews, positive mentions in forums, comments on your blog posts, etc. >> any positive online activity by users around your products, brand, or content helps.

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LinkedIn is pure SEO Gold...

...but not too many people actually realised this yet. The best reason to be on this platform is that it is the only one of the big social media platforms that is properly connected to the rest of the internet -- and thus its contents will be found by Google and influence the ranking.

Marc Zuckerberg keeps Instagram and Facebook well apart from outside to keep the target groups on his platform so that he can earn maximum profit from advertising. LinkedIn has a different philosophy -- it wants to be informative and a valuable part of the vast information network that the internet is.

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Thus especially articles are great for getting a top ranking at Google, since it also rates those articles highly themselves. Especially if your own profile and publications work with the same keyword strategy and you manage to get some likes. Creating useful content here and embedding it or linking back and forth to and from your website boosts your ranking. Once the search engine rates yourself as an expert, it will also prefer the website connected to you.


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