What is Search Engine Optimisation?
February 2016 | By Farzana Irani, Web Consultant at iAdControl.com
Each day millions of web surfers log on to search engines and enter in a search keyword to help them solve problems, find places, or just learn something new. Few of these web users probably have little to no idea how the websites presented in the search results pages wound up on the list, much less why they were presented in the order they were.
While each search engine has its own algorithms for comparing information on web pages to keywords searched, there is one overarching practice behind the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). This is known as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and it is a technique deployed by web marketers to boost rankings on search engines.
Basic SEO involves organically optimising websites to appear higher on search listings such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Search Engine Optimisation analysis are conducted by professionals to discover keywords that are relevant to a particular product, service, or genre that will drive traffic to a specific website.
The successful implementation of a relevant keyword helps web surfers find the exact product or service they are looking for on your website because it best matches the keyword or phrase entered. At the same time, this has the positive effect of driving more traffic to your site and helping boost its perceived relevance by search engine algorithms, which means a higher listing in results pages.
As much as keywords and phrases are highlighted as the backbone of SEO, there is much more to SEO than simply implementing a few well-placed and well-worded keywords into a site. Good SEO practices require individuals to work beyond the world of just words and delve deeper into their website to ensure it is optimised from the ground up.
Other SEO factors include backlinks to well-known, popular outside website sources, and activity beyond your website. This might seem complicated, but in reality, it is a simple concept to understand.
Many search engine algorithms place a substantial stake on having quality backlinks to other websites, ideally news, government and educational websites. This adds authenticity and trust. This process is also open to building false or shady backlinks, where Google is very likely to penalise your website by decreasing your listing. While this practice has been black-balled in recent years, there is still huge value in backlinking if they are acquired naturally. This may change in 6 months as Google are always innovating their SEO ranking factors, primarily to provide web users the best possible results by listing trusted and popular websites.
User Experience (UX) and Information Architecture (IA)
Building a website that is diverse is one of the most important SEO practices out there. Websites with nothing but text are easily crawled by search engines, but they aren’t particularly attractive to readers and lack appeal. Websites that contain a diverse mix of valuable text, images and videos provide algorithms with the validity needed to land higher in SERPs and give customers a better sense of what your product or service can do for them.
The information architecture of a website is critical to SEO as well. Even the best content in the world is useless if it is not arranged in the most user-friendly way with affordances throughout the user journey. A website built solidly from the ground up, with the right content in the right place looks good to algorithms and visitors alike.
If your website is not mobile-responsive such as the layout is not rendering nicely on mobile or tablets, typography is too small, user's have to zoom in, images are overlapping content, and so forth then you are likely to lose potential customers. Website's that are thoroughly optimised for mobile are more likely to be listed in mobile search engines. It will also display 'Mobile-friendly' in the mobile results page for Google and Bing just underneath the website link.
Last but not least, it is important to have earned some social media presence beyond the confines of your website itself. Sometimes mastering the techniques mentioned above can still leave a part of the SEO puzzle missing for your online business, therefore adopting social media can bring more attention to your product or services from different channels. SEO factors are increasingly taking into consideration the impact of social media citations and posting regular valuable content, especially having a Google My Business / Google Local profile will definitely take it up a gear or two.
So if you want to optimise your website to fuel Googles's search engine then why not fast track your search and enjoy the ride with iAdContol's Online Marketing Services.
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