Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO in 2022 - What's new?
In the conceptual design and implementation of SEO measures, a paradigm shift has begun that has massive implications for successful perception by Google & Co. since May 2022. Thanks to AI and better and better algorithms, search engines are more and more perfectly able to realize their own goals, i.e. to find the most relevant results for their users.
Formalisms (like the “right” number of certain keywords in the title)
Google does not want to further reward since August 2022, too much “optimization” Google now even evaluates as disadvantageous. Google has published a set of criteria for a good website since August 2022:
Roughly summarized, Google says queries:
- Does the website have a clear purpose and focus?
- Does your content clearly demonstrate first-hand expertise and in-depth knowledge?
- Does the existing or intended audience of your company and website find the content offered useful enough that they would go directly to your site? Does the visitor then have the feeling that he does not have to search further, but has reached his goal? Is he satisfied with it?
- Googles also repeats the request to adhere to their webmaster guidelines, this also applies to product reviews.
For SEO, this means that many of the deceptive tricks and technical constructs that may have worked years ago are now drastically losing their value and can even be counterproductive, burning budgets senselessly.
In the future, optimal findability and visibility will essentially depend on two factors:
- Attractive, relevant and unique content that captivates the searcher because they have understood their search intent and provide the best possible answers,
- the general brand awareness (brand strength).
In addition, the big players (top brands, corporations), which previously took longer to digitize due to their sluggishness, have now caught up with the nimble, smaller companies and now have corresponding content hubs and spendings. Therefore, it is becoming increasingly difficult to compete successfully with them. However, niches that the strong competitors do not cover can remain lucrative.
SEO strategy of the TBA-Berlin
Your website should be seen
For most companies it is important to be as far ahead as possible with their web offer on the hit lists of the search engines.
Our e-marketing ensures that your messages and content are found and preferred by the right visitors on the web. We offer coordinated methods and modules for this purpose.
Our SEO ensures that content is found in the best possible way on the search pages of Google & Co.
Modern SEO is a combination of perfect content and various onsite and offsite optimizations.
The content and its preparation is realized by our partner studio for visual brand management, TBA-Hamburg – we, TBA-Berlin, take care of the technical implementation and the success measurements.
1. Pushing forward is rarely crowned with success
Do not trust any tempting “TOP 10 GUARANTEE” of dubious SEO providers. Depending on the topic (search query), a place among the first 10 results may even be impossible to get. Successes in niches are more realistic.
Thus, a top 10 for the search for “car” is utopian, but for “car purchase golf used Hamburg” – depending on the competitive situation – possible. If you are a strong brand e.g. “Microsoft”, or occupy a niche “drill XP3000”, a top 10 for this search term is also a realistic goal.
The old tricks don’t work anymore, Google is learning every day. This is because Google’s own business model is extremely dependent on search results truly satisfying users.
The battle for the top spots in search results is usually a competition of the most helpful web pages and best answers for a web user’s particular search.
Web users don’t find a content great because a text shows the search term 10 times in a row, but because the content is engaging and exciting and answers the open question in the best possible way. And what the searcher finds good is also interesting for Google. The searcher often does not know exactly what he is looking for at the time of the search and specifies his search after reading what he has found so far.
Besides old tricks and formulas, real cheating is still tried to foist bad pages on Google.
In SEO jargon, a distinction is made between “white-hat” SEO and “black-hat” SEO, i.e. good/permitted or evil/not permitted methods. “White-Hat” Methods are in accordance with Google Webmaster Guidelines, the other violates it.
Cheating against Google never pays off in the long run. As a consequence, you have only burned a lot of money if Google simply ignores your tricks in the meantime or as a consequence even ranks the website worse or even bans it from the search index.
Just don’t. Rather invest the time and effort in good content that interests users.
So, even if we are asked about it:
TBA-Berlin offers and recommends exclusively “white-hat” SEO measures and focuses on high-quality content and long-term strategies. In addition, our high-quality content also supports your brand awareness (brand strength).
2. For those in a hurry: flanking Google Ads (SEA)
If you are in a hurry or new to the market, you do not need to trick, there is a fast lane that Google offers just in case: Google Ads (SEA). This allows you to control exactly when, how and for which landing pages you are shown in search results. Google makes you pay for it, but at least you have a predictable, like viable way.
We are happy to support you with ad placements on Google, Facebook, Insta, TikTok and Co.
3. People like to stay with good content
The user demands well-founded answers, presented in a simple and understandable way. For Google, good content is what is good content for the real visitor, i.e. fulfills his search intention in the best possible way.
Since 2018, Google has described the E*-E-A-T principle (Experience*, Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness) as an important criterion. Even today, Google still rates web content according to these principles.
Be honest: Is your landing page really the best, most relevant answer to the user’s search/question compared to others?
Google is increasingly using cutting-edge pioneering technologies (quantum computing, self-learning “artificial intelligence”) to better understand web pages and assess their relevance and substance.
*Update: The ranking criterion ‘Experience’ was updated in Dec. 2022 supplements
- Is your website well structured so that readers can easily find their way around?
- Do the texts read smoothly and are the thoughts well subdivided? Is there perhaps “marketing-speak” or foreign words that the other person doesn’t understand?
- Is there a good visual presentation, informative graphics, videos or even small mini-apps/widgets, e.g. calculators and configurators?
- Are there good external source references and reputable links?
- In the context of the search query, the website should be able to credibly demonstrate that it has the necessary competence and trustworthiness for its content. Is the website or author already known as a writer of similar topics? Do other reputable websites perhaps recommend your topic through a reference (backlinks) to you?
- Are there questions that fit the topic but are not answered on your website, so might require additional content?
Does your website already represent an established brand, so do people search your website directly by typing in the brand name and not indirectly via just descriptive keywords? Then you have hit the jackpot. Google loves strong brands. Brand building across many channels is the best investment in your business.
Brand building and brand strategy are a core competence of TBA-Hamburg, our partner agency.
There are websites with content that can be highly risky for users, especially on health, legal or financial topics. Google has been taking a particularly close look at these since 2020.
For this website category (also called YMYL / Your Money or Your Life ), Google’s aforementioned E-A-T principle is particularly important: Is the information source really trustworthy and competent for such a sensitive topic? This is because incorrect or misleading content in such cases can have a strong negative impact on health and financial situation.
Obvious examples of such websites are: Legal, financial, health or educational guides and instructions on dangerous topics, such as electrical or vehicle repairs. But even online stores have been subject to closer scrutiny since 2020.
4. Google measures if visitors love your content
Content alone is not a panacea – what matters is the user experience.
Search engines therefore measure whether readers are satisfied with the content they find (compared to other search results pages):
- What is the user doing on the site? Are the users on the page for a long time, scrolling and reading there? Click on what? Are they satisfied after that or do you look elsewhere?
What is good content depends on the question. If someone asks about Madonna’s age, the best answer would not be a long text, but a number. Other searchers need complex answers, while still others would prefer to click the order button for a product right away.
- Is there any external feedback? Has the page been rated in social media or rating portals, for example? Is there a mention or even a link from quality external websites, news outlets or social networks?
An external backlink is a link from an external website to your own website. Backlinks are one important factor (among many) that Google uses to position its own site in comparison to the competition in its search results pages.
At best, you get a backlink in a very classic way “by itself”: If the content on your own website is so well-founded and appealing that a journalist or blogger is happy to link to it – as a source of a quote or to provide his readers with further information – you have done everything right. If this link is then also clicked on, all the better. Good content and a good product/offer is thus also indirectly worthwhile.
If the content of the third-party website fits thematically to the own content and if the third-party website is reputable and influential, the backlink signals a particularly high trust by a third party in the expertise and quality of the own web content.
Examples of high quality backlinks:
- Linking page must have a high “E-A-T” value.
- A thematically exactly fitting online article of well-visited websites/platforms (e. g. B. of a trade magazine, the quality press,
of a good blog)
Good PR in the sense of “brand building” also helps with SEO: Ideally, a:e journalist:in/blogger:in is thus made aware of the topic and catches the right moment and the question is new and topical and the own content/product or offer offers a satisfactory solution.
The task of SEO here is the important strategic planning and support.
Trickery, e.g. paid links, are not profitable (anymore) and this can even harm in the long run if exaggerated: “Building a website based on bad links will have a lasting negative effect” writes Google in December 2022. (By the way, this source citation is an example of a good quality backlink within an article).
Backlinks are sometimes possible in a simple way: from customers and buyers,
from the study or professional environment, speaker events …
And there are many examples of websites that rank well even without a single qualitative backlink. Backlinks make the difference when the competition otherwise offers 100% equivalent web content.
6. Internal links
One work that can be done internally and is a classic task of SEO, is a sophisticated internal structuring and linking own website, to set here deliberately focus and accents. Searchers and search engines can use this as a guide.
7. The hidden "META" information
These markings of a website, which are invisible for normal readers, are not “trickery”, but wanted and supported by Google.
A clever title and a good description (“META-Description”) act like a call-to-action and indirectly support a future ranking and in conversion by being clicked. With this content, as with Google Ads Marketing, ongoing A/B testing of text variants helps, which best indicates the exact target audience that converts (i.e., prospects).
Other meta information (“micro” code) can be used to tell Google about FAQs (questions and answers), reviews, or products that Google sometimes highlights separately in search results.
Websites with a specific location reference (such as retail stores) can be marked so that someone can be shown that page preferentially for certain searches “show me … in the vicinity”, this page will be shown preferentially.
Setting SEO goals, like all marketing efforts, should be taken seriously and should always be a matter for the boss.
These agreed upon goals are worked towards by the entire team and later these goals are used to measure success.
To help you plan and scale costs, we offer several packages. Because even little SEO is better than no SEO. You can achieve decent results with just a few targeted actions, unless you are in a highly competitive market with lots of competition,
We help you to measure and evaluate the success of the measures in a meaningful way (monitoring). With these results, you can check how your investment in SEO is paying off without fooling yourself.
Solid rating improvements don’t happen overnight with search engines! Hectic experimentation often only makes results worse: Google may have difficulty ranking content that is constantly changing. In controlling and fine-tuning, cause/effect effects should also remain recognizable.
A strategy defined at the beginning is therefore usually followed for a certain time, and then well-considered adjustments are tested, sometimes in A/B testing.
TBA will be happy to check and log SEO results for you on a regular basis using special software and prepare and evaluate the results for you.
Why at SEO the TBA-Berlin?
Interdisciplinary SEO approach of the TBA Hamburg/Berlin
The service combination and interlocked coordination of TBA Hamburg/Berlin is unique, because many providers can usually only perfectly realize one or two of the important guarantees of success (analysis/technology, content creation, brand).
TBA Hamburg, as a design studio with its core competencies of excellent visual branding and content creation, and TBA Berlin with its technical as well as analytical expertise, combine all requirements for a future-oriented and successful SEO.
The interdisciplinary form of this SEO can then, in terms of ROI, beat many other advertising measures in the marketing mix in the long term.
There are hundreds of software for technical optimization of your own website, often with huge to-do lists. (Bad agencies sell you such an automatic evaluation then already as SEO). However, you can have sites where the software gives the green light and the site still doesn’t rank, so don’t rely on that.
Nothing against such SEO software. It helps in finding silly mistakes (like broken links, wrong redirects or forgotten page titles) and can be very useful. However, SEO has long been much more and more complex than just following certain formal rules exactly. If the content of your website is great, a website can still rank even though you may not have even set a headline “correctly”.
The more websites are added worldwide and the more big brands use the web for themselves, which were stuck in the digitalization phase for a long time, the harder it will be to prevail against this competition with your own website.
Little SEO is better than no SEO and you can learn a lot. For small projects and absolute niches, a “do it yourself” may be enough, assuming basic knowledge, time and patience. However, in normal cases SEO support by professionals will be indispensable part of your marketing mix.
An SEO strategy can mean a scope of actions that is very time-consuming and costly, and usually an ongoing process.
For the continuous SEO, we can provide shooter assistance or offer it as a complete implementation. Protective support, in this case, means:
The TBA-Berlin does not only provide you with the usual “good tips” as a PDF file and leave you alone with it, but we help your team with the implementation of the measures or work SEO “onsite” optimizations right into your website ourselves.
The TBA-Berlin normally does not offer SEO in isolation, but in cooperation with the TBA-Hamburg and jointly created websites.
Because everything works together, brand building, style guides and visual design, content, SEO and SEA.
We are a well-coordinated team – this simplifies coordination processes and saves resources – and ultimately your money.
We offer interesting bundle packages.