According to some estimates, Google processes as many as 5.5 billion searches daily. Some searches have millions of results. Only a few can appear on the first page — and those results get almost all of the attention. How do you make your website stand out against millions of potential competitors?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of designing a website for maximum search engine visibility and sculpting its relationship with other websites for maximum benefit. You can use optimization principles when building or modifying any aspect of a website — text content, layout, images and ad positioning are all website elements that can affect a website’s search engine ranking in subtle ways.
Things that happen away from your website can affect your search engine optimization as well. Every time your website attracts a new link from another website, Google treats that link as a signal that your website is trustworthy and authoritative.
Do you feel overwhelmed? Optimizing your website for the best possible search engine exposure isn’t easy, but it is necessary if you want to maximize your traffic. In this article, we’ll describe some of the most important aspects of SEO and explain how they relate to the success of your business’s website.
When people use search engines to find information online, they use keywords. It stands to reason, then, that keywords should play a role in content creation as well. If you’d like an article to appear on the search results page for a given keyword combination, you should use that keyword combination in the text so search engines have no trouble discerning the article’s topic.
Optimizing an article is much more than just keyword usage, though. It’s equally important to create an article that would satisfy and delight a human user. In addition to writing an article that does an excellent job of presenting relevant information, it is also wise to structure the article for maximum readability. Avoid overly long paragraphs, and use subheadings to break up large sections of text. Google’s algorithm takes article structure as well as content into account. After all, Google wants to suggest content that users want to read.
Website Structure Optimization
It’s wise to structure your website in such a way that each article reinforces a main idea within a general category. Let’s suppose, for example, that you have a website about sporting goods. Articles about baseball gloves, helmets and bats would all fit well under a “Baseball” subtopic and reinforce the idea that your website is a good source for information about baseball equipment. You wouldn’t want to put an article about football helmets into that subtopic, though, because it would confuse users as well as search engines.
As a general rule, a website structure that is good for users is good for search engines as well. Give your website a logical structure that clearly identifies all of the key topics and helps users find the information they want quickly.
External Search Engine Optimization
As we mentioned above, a link from an outside website can do a great deal to increase your website’s search engine ranking. One of the factors that Google’s algorithm considers when ranking a website is the quality and quantity of external links pointing to it. Returning to the example of a sporting goods website, let’s suppose that you’ve published the results of a lengthy research project. You examined hundreds of used baseball gloves to determine the most durable brand of glove to buy on the secondary market. A writer for ESPN discovers your article and links to it.
You can think of a link as something that confers trust between two websites. ESPN has many inbound links from websites all over the world. Therefore, ESPN is a highly trusted website that ranks well for many keywords. By linking to your website, they’ve created a conduit that transfers a small portion of that trust to you. If enough high-quality websites trust your website, your website’s search engine ranking will eventually increase.
Earning links is one of the most difficult parts of increasing a website’s search engine ranking. The best way to earn links is to create great content that users love. It never hurts to do some outreach, though. When you publish something great, tell people about it.
When a website is new, it seldom receives substantial traffic from standard search queries. However, you can still get traffic by paying Google for extra exposure. Search marketing — also known as pay-per-click marketing — is a system that allows you to display advertisements on Google’s search results pages and on websites that display AdSense ads. To advertise, you’ll set up an account with Google’s AdWords service and bid on keywords relevant to your business. Search marketing costs nothing unless someone clicks your advertisement, so you’ll pay only when your ad catches someone’s attention.
Optimizing a website for search engines is a difficult and time-consuming task that can pull you away from the more important job of maintaining a healthy business. Do you need help? Contact SEO Consulting Experts today for a free consultation.