Search engine optimisation is my absolute passion in digital marketing. That's why I am already writing my fourth blog entry about it today. In my first post from April 2018 I gave five SEO tips for voice search. In the second post in December 2018 I described when it is worthwhile to invest in SEO (spoiler: ALWAYS). And in May 2019 I wrote in my third post about the importance of the loading time of a website.
Today I show why good search engine optimisation (short SEO) requires not only top technical knowledge, but also a lot of knowledge about human nature - or at least knowledge about the behavior of people visiting a certain website. As a bonus, at the end of this article, I will introduce you to our big SEO checklist!
The term «search engine optimisation» is actually very misleading. It suggests that all measures taken for SEO are only about optimising a website for search engines. But Google & Co have grown up and have seen through all our SEO hacks from the 00s for a long time.
The only thing that really counts today ...
... is user experience! In other words, everything that visitors experience on a website or how they react to it. Search engines use a variety of different benchmarks to measure the quality of this experience. A simple example: search engines analyse the time spent on a website. If the page is one with a lot of text and the visitors stay on the page for only 5 seconds, this counts as a negative user experience.
Of course, the time spent on a page is only one of many factors. Others are for example the bounce rate, the loading time, the quality of the backlinks, etc. All of these values together and combined with each other finally result in an evaluation of the quality of the user experience. The more positive this assessment is, the better the corresponding page is placed in the search engine result page.
In summary, this is my credo: SEO should always aim to provide an optimal experience for the users of a website. If we are successful, search engines will take note of this and reward us with a good ranking.
Now we come to the more difficult part: The mentioned factors for the analysis of the user experience are unfortunately not set in stone. Instead, they change over time. For more than 6 years I have been working intensively with SEO and only in these few years so much has changed technically that a list of factors from back then might be useless today.
The Renuo SEO checklist
For this reason, just over a year ago we started an SEO checklist with all the current technical guidelines. Now you are probably asking yourself: Why are we creating a fixed checklist now, when these factors seem to change soon anyway? That is exactly what we thought.
Our solution is a customisable checklist that is openly stored on GitHub (an online software management service). There, the whole community can and may use the checklist for free and also comment on new developments. Of course, we also revise the checklist ourselves continuously. Through the comments and use of the community and our own revisions, the checklist is always up to date.
The list currently consists of more than 40 sub-items, all of which are provided with best practices and further links. To ensure that the list continues to be used and remains as up-to-date as possible, I would like to encourage you to use it: Visit https://github.com/renuo/seo-checklist now. Maybe find a subject you have long wanted to optimise yourself. Or you find something that you would like to add.
Either way, give me a feedback on what you think of SEO, my credo with user experience or our checklist. I look forward to reading from you!