Search engine optimisation (SEO)

Website positioning (SEO for short) refers to all activities of a technical and content-related nature that aim to improve the position of a website and thus its visibility in the search engine results lists.

Search engine optimisation can be roughly divided into onpage SEO and offpage SEO; it is part of internet marketing and is now closely related to improving the user experience. Since Google has a very large market share, it is also referred to as “Google optimisation”.

SEO as part of search engine marketing

Search engine positioning (SEO), together with search engine advertising (SEA for short), forms a large part of search engine marketing (SEM for short). While the effects of SEO efforts usually only become noticeable after a certain delay, visibility, reach and traffic can be increased immediately with search engine advertising. An example of this is the placement of ads via the Google Ads advertising programme. The boundaries between SEA and SEO are sometimes fluid. There are also overlaps in both sub-areas of SEM. One commonality, for example, is the keyword targeting of your campaigns.

Objectives of search engine optimisation

The definition refers to reaching the top positions in the search results. This is a central goal of SEO. Ultimately, depending on the type of website, other purposes may also be involved.

  • higher sales and higher profits for online shops and other e-commerce sites
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Extending reach
    Increasing market penetration
  • Establishing an additional distribution channel

Example: A daily newspaper wants to achieve greater reach through SEO. The online shop, on the other hand, primarily wants to increase sales.


White hat and black hat

Search engines like Google and Bing provide so-called “Webmaster Guidelines”. In these, search engine providers describe the guidelines according to which search engine optimisation can be carried out. Webmasters and SEOs who take these online marketing guidelines into account and follow them are also known as white hat SEO. SEO tips are always based on the guidelines of the search engine providers.

Black Hat SEO, on the other hand, looks for ways to intentionally manipulate search engine results. Ultimately, the work of Black Hat SEO is a kind of game in which manipulation takes place until a new update of the search engine algorithms renders the method ineffective. Black hat not only violates the guidelines of the search engine providers, but in extreme cases can also violate applicable law.

On and off the website

Search engine optimisation can be divided into two main areas: Inpage optimisation is about activities that can be carried out on the website itself. Offpage optimisation, on the other hand, covers areas outside your website.

Onpage optimisation includes:

  • Content optimisation: includes improving texts with appropriate terms and creating added value for users. Likewise, optimising images or metadata can round out the keyword focus of your website and make the page particularly relevant to your topic.
    Technical optimisation: This area includes optimisation of the server, source code or the CMS used.
    Mobile optimisation: This refers to the optimisation of the website for mobile devices.
    Offpage optimisation refers to:
  • Link building: In order to increase the popularity of a domain, steps are taken to obtain more backlinks. At the same time, offpage optimisation aims to increase trust in your site.
  • Increase your visibility: By using content marketing and social media, you can improve your visibility on the web.

Both sub-areas are based on analysis and monitoring at the same time. Because SEO as a job is not a one-off activity, but continuous work on your online presence.

SEO has been divided into many sub-disciplines, each of which is carried out by experts.

  • Content optimisation: This segment aims to improve texts, images or other content.
  • Conversion optimisation: This sub-segment is particularly concerned with measures that have a direct impact on conversions or leads (sales or transactions) achieved via the website.
  • Shopping cart optimisation: This area includes the optimisation of payment processes in order to increase customer satisfaction and sales.
  • Image positioning: By optimising your image data, you can increase the visibility of certain keywords in your image search.
  • Local Search Engine Optimisation: these are measures aimed at improving local search results in a search engine.
  • SEO for Mobile Pages: with which a website is optimised for mobile use.