Getting the attention of search engines is critical to the success of your website.
Search companies like Google have a top-secret algorithm that they continually develop. How can you make it work for you?
SEO is “organic” search because appearing “naturally” on a SERP is free. Businesses however spend time and money strategising over how to get higher up in SERPs because customers generally only look at the first 30 entries.
That means, the more refined and sophisticated your SEO strategy, the better your website’s ranking is, the more traffic you’re likely to get to your site and the more conversions you make.
So how does it work? Search companies such as Google have a top secret algorithm that they continually develop and refine.
The algorithm is the way engines not only index and classify websites, but also how they decide how much of a match the content on a site is to keywords being searched for by potential customers.
Here are some important rules to remember.
Content is king
Google actively states that it if sites want to rank well, they need to have relevant, quality content – and plenty of it. That’s because search engines continually send out web spiders which literally crawl over sites, looking for words and phrases that are repeated.
That’s how they identify what the site is about and send the information back to the engine to be indexed and rated. So when a customer searches for those words and phrases, your site comes up first.
Use, don’t abuse, keywords
Now you know that the more frequently a term people are searching for appear on your site, the higher you rank – but how do you know what keywords to choose?
Choosing your keywords and phrases is really about establishing the common search terms your target audience normally types in. One word of caution: once you decide on your keywords, don’t ‘stuff’ your content with them as Google will penalise you for it.
Here's a tip: Use the Google AdWords tool to analyse what kind of traffic certain keywords attract.
Optimise your pages
The location of keywords is important. Search engines look at a website’s description which is often contained in what are known as 'title tags' and 'meta tags'. The title tag is a vital location for good keyword placement. It is that clickable link you see on a SERP, or search engine results page. It should contain your business name, service/product and/or location. Meta tags are optional descriptions that explain the page so a browser can understand it. These are the words you see written under the title tag on a SERP. Again, it is a further opportunity for you to promote your website and entice traffic by providing a brief description of your site.
It’s a long-term commitment
The more traffic a website receives, the higher its ranking on SERPs. For a website to maintain a high ranking, it needs return traffic. Visitors will return to a site if it has quality content. Not only will producing good content mean you are naturally using keywords, it will also engage your customers and build relationships.
Another good way of increasing your popularity in the eyes of a search engine is to have a high level of links from other sites onto your site. Links are looked upon by search engines as marks of approval or votes. You can ask other sites to link to you, or use anchor text, which is when you hyperlink a word or phrase within text to another site or to information within your own.