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SEO for TYPO3 editors

Search engine optimization - SEO for short - is still an integral part of a good website. That is certainly beyond question. Unfortunately, SEO experts often speak a cryptic jargon that is difficult to understand.


 

In this article I would like to explain to you – the editor - the practical bases, which help to make the websites and texts of your online presence optimal for search engines.

On- Page? Off- Page?

Basically, we distinguish two main areas of optimization: Everything that happens outside of your pages ("off-page") and everything you can directly influence on your pages ("on-page").

In this article we are only concerned with the area "On-Page". Of course, the off-page area is more important. However, the rule is to keep your own garden clean first before switching to the neighbor; That’s why your own pages and texts need to be optimized first. For example, look for link partners.

Oh, and first of all, always remember the first basic rule: Websites are made for readers, not for search engines!

Texts and page structures should always be designed so that the reader gets an optimal impression of your product or project. As a rule, your pages are also well prepared for a search engine.

HOW DOES A SEARCH ENGINE WORK?

Search engines like Google try to set the most relevant page for a search term to #1 of the search results. They use a mathematical algorithm that uses certain criteria to compare pages. The result of this calculation determines the rank of a page for a particular search term.

From this we can draw the following conclusions:

  • We need to know the terms (“keywords”) for which we want to be found.
  • We need to know the criteria of a search engine to evaluate a website.

Note: User signals are playing an increasingly important role.

Search engines not only evaluate the technical quality of your site, but also try to include "real" user signals and behavior in your page in the ranking. These include: the time spent by users on your pages and the so-called bounce rate, i.e. how long users stay on your site (and consume the content) or how many visitors leave immediately after reaching your site (the more the worse for your ranking).

Social Signals like Shares on Facebook or Tweets are included in the ranking as well. Search engines try to deduce how much added value visitors see in your content (according to the logic, "valuable content is often disseminated") by looking at their numbers.

Good (visitor-oriented) on-page SEO creates the best conditions to be successful in these areas as well.

WHAT ARE MY RELEVANT KEYWORDS?

Take a look at the following example: I run a repair shop for cars in Hanover. Although terms such as "car" or "auto repair shop" apply to my site and thus to my readers, they are too unspecific. Why? Well, let's assume that your site is actually ranked #1 for "car repair shop". Someone from Munich enters the term and gets to your page. Did you win a customer? Certainly not. Hardly anyone from Munich will come to Hanover to have their car repaired by you. Much more relevant would certainly be the term "Car repair shop Hanover", and you definitely want to be in first place.

The analysis of suitable keywords is the first and most important step in search engine optimization. You will always come back to the results of this investigation. Of course, based on actual traffic and search terms, you should update this list regularly.

What is important for the On-Page Area?

Next, let's take a look at the key criteria you can influence as an editor. Just remember that you write an essay on a specific topic. With that you have already understood what important criteria are. An essay has a title. You structure the essay with headings, so that the reader can orient himself. You emphasize important words in the essay by making them bold. Keep this image in mind and we'll look at the criteria in more detail.

THE PAGE TITLE AND THE URL OF THE PAGE

One of the most important criteria is the page title. You set this in TYPO3 in the page properties in the field “Page Title”.

The page title is displayed in several places: on the one hand as the window title of the browser and on the other hand in the address of the page. Thus, the page above can be reached via the following address: https://www.bitmotion.de/de/internetagentur-leistungen/schulungen/seo-fuer-redakteure.html (Prerequisite: Use the TYPO3 extension RealURL).

The page title will also appear in the search results. For us this means: In the ideal case, it also contains an advertising message that should encourage the user to click.

The Headings

Another important place for the use of relevant keywords are the headings. You maintain this in TYPO3 in the field "Headline".

Note that similar to Word or OpenOffice, you can assign headings of different levels. Use this to structure your texts. Important: Use the most important headings H1 and H2 only once per page and don’t use H2 before H1.

The Text

It sounds trivial, but in practice, I have often experienced that a customer wants to be found via a specific search term, yet he has no text regarding that term on his website.

Of course, you should use the keyword in the text on the website.

The text should neither be too long nor too short and be as reader-friendly as possible in terms of font size, formatting and paragraphs. Also, the writing style is ideally adapted to your target audience and should really compel them to read the entire text.

Linking

One currency on the Internet is linking: a page that is linked frequently is more important than one that is rarely linked. Therefore, you should take the chance and put internal links on other relevant pages of your web presence. Make sure that the linked word is important for search engines. Often times, a "read more" or "continue" is the term used as a link. But you want to be found via your keywords and not via the term "continue", right?

Note: In the example I linked the words "TYPO3 SEO for editors" and also filled the field "Title" accordingly.

Put Words out in bold

As in essays, you should put important words in your texts in bold. This helps the search engines recognize the important words of a page.

Picture Text

You use pictures for your web presence? Great! Please use the possibility to provide a description of the picture. In TYPO3 please fill out the fields "Alternative text" and "Title text". Again, you can provide (meaningful) keywords.

Meta Description

Finally, a reference to the famous meta information on a page. First of all: You can forget about meta keywords. Google and other major search engine providers now completely ignore this information.

But you can use the meta statement description. Think back to the essay example once again: The description is a summary of your essay in two sentences.

In TYPO3 you maintain the description in the page properties in the field "description".

Make sure the description is displayed in the search results. It should contain between 80 and 160 characters. This corresponds to one or two sentences in the search results.

HOW SHOULD I OPTIMIZE?

We now know the most important criteria of optimization for our own site. But how should I optimize my pages for many keywords? The answer is: structure. Think about which pages belong together thematically and how you can group them up properly.

WHAT SHOULDN’T I DO?

There are certain criteria on a website that can trigger an alert on search engines and that can penalize your site.

You should not use the keyword too often on a page. Remember our principle from above. No reader of your page will understand what you’re trying to say when you use the word "bodywork" ten times in a row, even worse when it’s all bold.

Furthermore, search engines do not like duplication. You should ensure that the title of a page is unique on your web presence. This also applies to texts. Copying texts from other websites is not only prohibited for copyright reasons, but also for reasons of search engine optimization.

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