What is search engine optimization?
Search engine optimisation, more commonly known as SEO, is the process of making sure that your website is featured prominently in search engines such as Google. In order to do this a website and it’s content must be structured in a specific way. Search engines use algorithms to analyse and assess countless factors about a site in order to determine it’s ranking.
Most sites or companies are aiming to get onto the first page of Google for their chosen keywords. Therefore a site selling cars would ideally like to appear on the first page of Google every time someone types in “new car” or “cheap cars”.
Sponsored links appear in the rankings but these can run up a lot of expense. A good approach to SEO aims to get a site ranked on the first page without a large ongoing advertising budget.
SEO should be considered at every stage of creating a website. The site name is very important. Ideally the site name should contain at least one keyword hat the site is hoping to get ranked for. If the business in the example above was to call itself www.cheapcars.com then this would obviously have a big effect on their rankings. Realistically however many such obvious names are already taken and it may require some extra thought to come up with a relevant name. The keywords deemed to be relevant to the business should be used throughout the site’s content but not in a way that makes the content unreadable to a visitor.
A site should have inbound links from other websites. It is important to favour quality links over high volumes. Inbound links which use the site’s chosen keywords can be especially powerful.
Search engine optimisation also involves using images to draw in visitors. Google users can search through pictures which are relevant to the keywords they have typed in. Therefore a well optimised site will have a variety of pictures relevant to their chosen keywords. These images must have the keyword as the image name in order to appear in the rankings.
Sites with fresh content are more appealing to visitors and therefore get more favourable rankings. However on balance creating new content can be costly and time consuming. Options such as an on site blog can be a simple way of keeping content fresh.
Another big consideration for search engine optimisation is the potential returns of using social media. A good SEO campaign will consider how to use sites such as Facebook and Twitter to increase visibility and raise rankings.