About Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
What is search engine optimization and why should I care?
You’ve heard the term “SEO” but you’re not sure what it’s all about or if you even need to know.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Process
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving internal and external aspects of a website, or Web page, to increase its organic visibility for search engines. SEO involves editing the website’s HTML code and content to make it more search engine friendly, and then promoting the site to increase its relevance on the Web.
Once search engines are alerted to your website’s presence, they scan the code and content of your site and index the information. Search engines analyze the website content to determine when and where your website displays on a search-engine result page.
The page content (text displaying on a Web page) should be inviting, comprehensive, and — within reasonable limits — contain as many of the site’s keywords as possible.
Some search engines, including Google®, pay particular attention to the number of websites linking to your website when determining the importance and ranking of your site. These external links are called back links.
Why should I care about SEO?
You’ve heard the phrase “Location, location, location!” and its importance when shopping for business real estate. The same applies to the placement of your website on search engine result pages. According to research, the higher your site is listed as a search result, the more traffic you’re going to get.
Quality traffic means increased revenue and more publicity. Search engine traffic can lead to an organization’s success or failure.
The goal of SEO is to land your website in the top few pages of search pdat results page. This is not easy. It takes a lot of time and constant tweaking to increase your search engine rankings.
What Are ‘Organic’ Versus Paid Search Engine Listings?
Most major search engines display a combination of organic and paid search results when answering users’ queries.
The organic are the main results — often labeled “Web Results” or something similar.
Paid listings are displayed separately on search result pages and generally listed as “Sponsored” results.
The organic search results returned by a search engine for a given search keyword are generated through intricate ranking calculations that determine the relative relevance of the Web pages listed in the search engine’s index in relation to the entered keywords along with a multitude of other factors. These organic results are the “true” output of the calculations that comprise a search engine’s ranking algorithm. A high organic search engine ranking can only be attained through effective search engine optimization (SEO). Occasionally, certain Web sites automatically rank highly for very particular, non-competitive keywords.
Paid search engine advertising offers an alternative or companion to positioning a Web site for organic search engine listings. Most paid search engine advertising is built around the so-called pay-per-click (PPC) concept. Simply put, PPC allows advertisers (i.e., Web site/business owners) to bid for the top ranking for a given keyword. The advertiser that places the highest bid is ensured the top ranking for that keyword until he/she is outbid. The second-highest bid is secured the number 2 ranking; the third-highest bid claims the 3rd spot, etc.
If you are willing to pay for it — and perhaps even engage yourself in bidding wars with other advertisers — PPC can be an enticing option. Many large-scale e-businesses rely on a combination of paid advertising and targeted SEO.
How Do Search Engines See the Web:
Search engines have developed a lot of sophisticated techniques for weighting and valuing pages on the Web. But they all come down to basically two categories:
- What does your Web page say? The actual text content of your Web page and HTML code. What content does your site convey to the user?
- Who is linking to you? What sort of other Web pages are linking to yours? Do they have the same topic or a related topic?
When you look at a Web page, you see the page displayed on your computer screen. You can read the text, look at the images, and figure out what that page is about.
Search engines don’t see Web pages the same way a person does. In fact, search engines cannot actually see at all, at least not visually. Instead, they read the HTML code of the Web page, and the actual text that it contains.
All the search engines can read is text. They also can look at the HTML code (which is also text) of the site to try and get some clues about what that text means or which text is most important.
Search engines can sometimes use the HTML code to get some clues about other elements on the page, such as images and animation. For example:
Search engines can look at an image tag and read the alt text attribute, if the page author supplied it, to get an idea of what the image is.
However, this is not a replacement for actual text content.
Web links from other sites are also important clues that search engines use to figure out what your page is about, or how important your page is for a particular search query. In a search engine’s view, a link from one page to another is basically a “vote” for that page.
If you have a page about cows, and a local farmer’s Web page links to your page from their website for more information on the topic of cows, that is an extra vote for your page.
More links = more votes.
Not all votes are equal votes, however. Most important is how relevant the link is. For example, a link from a page about video poker software doesn’t have much to do with dairy products or cows, so a link from that page to your website about cows does not count for very much at all, if anything.
Some Web page owners put a lot of time and effort into chasing down links from other Web page authors, swapping links or trying to get listed on directories or have articles posted to sites like Digg or Reddit. This can be helpful for your site, but you have to remember to focus on your own page content first. If your Web page doesn’t have much value to other site authors, they are unlikely to link to it.
Why isn’t my site showing up on search engine results pages?
There are several reasons why a site might not show up in search engine results pages. Here are the most common ones:
The search engines haven’t indexed the site yet. Sometimes it can take a week or more for a search engine to find your website. This is because your website is new and doesn’t have any inbound links. Once your website is crawled, it usually takes another week or two for it to be pushed out to the index. A long time ago submitting your website to the search engines used to be a good way to speed up the process. But these days there are so many requests that the feature doesn’t work. It’s much easier to create links to get the spiders to crawl your site.
The site isn’t optimized for search engine crawling. Once you submit your site to a search engine, a spider is sent to your site to crawl it for content. These spiders don’t view your site like a visitor would. They scan your site for meta content, keyword saturation, relevant content, and many other factors. Therefore, you need to consider what content search engines actually see on your Web pages.
Wondering why a certain search term doesn’t bring your site up in Google®? Take a look at the page content of your site. If the search term isn’t in the actual content of your site, it’s not considered relevant to the search engines.
Once search engines index your site, and you’ve sprinkled targeted keywords throughout the pages, the site starts displaying in queried search results. However, this does not necessarily mean you’re going to be on the first page of search results.
Not enough quality content. Your Web page copy — being the actual, visible main content of the page — should be presented and arranged in a logical and visually pleasing manner. And, the copy should be rich in keywords.
The keywords should be woven into the flow wherever it is possible, but without sacrificing narrative and textual flow. Note that search engines are very aware of keyword stuffing in page copy. Therefore, do not force keywords into the copy. Rather make the keywords appear as integral part of the natural flow.
In layout and writing style, your copy should suit the page’s main target group. The point is to instantly catch and keep page visitors’ attention, so they stay on your page instead of exiting via the nearest outbound link. Note that Internet readers tend to have shorter attention spans than readers of print media, such as newspapers and magazines. Web page copy should generally be shorter than similar text in printed form. Ideally, you should break up large amounts of text with images, animations or other elements.
The site isn’t optimized for search engine inclusion. Search engine optimization (SEO) describes the process of refining a website to gain a higher search engine ranking in “organic” search engine results. By optimizing your site, you can tailor your site to be search engine-friendly. SEO can be a challenging and rather lengthy process. The more research you put into the practice, the greater of a return you’re going to see in your rankings. For more information, see How Do Search Engines See the Web.
The keyword market is very competitive. Search engines help millions of users across the world navigate the World Wide Web and find specific content amid the billions of documents that inhabit the Web. Make sure you are targeting a less competitive keyword market, so you can gain the attention of your consumer. Remember, your site might be returning in the results of a search engine query, but if you’re keywords are too general your site is going to get lost in the shuffle.
Improving your Website SEO
Improving the SEO of your website or blog is not an easy task. However you can start by measuring your Search Engine Optimization using some free tools before you start spending money in a consultancy service.
Start by measuring your site speed. The response time of your website or blog is one of the key factors to increase your audience and get a better search positioning. You can check your website speed using some of the following free tools:
- Google Page Speed Insights
- Thing With Google – Site Speed
- Pingdom Tools
- Web Page Test
Check your SEO indicators using the free version of some of the following tools:
- Website Seo Checker
Start by following the recomendations that you get, many of them will not require a deep technical knowledge.
The goal of SEO is not to rank #1. The goal is to generate leads and sales for your business.