Websites compete for attention and placement in the search engines and those with the knowledge and experience to improve their websites’ rankings will receive the benefits of increased traffic and visibility.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine. SEO helps the search engines figure out what each page is about and how it may be useful to your visitors.
Without SEO, a website can be invisible to search engines.
- There are an average of 10 positions on the average search results page.
- They are ordered by rank.
- The higher you page is, the better your click-through and ability to attract searchers.
- Results in positions 1, 2 and 3 receive much more traffic than results down the page.
How does SEO work?
SEO allows web managers to provide clues that the search engines can use to understand content. Understanding both the abilities and limitations of search engines allows you to properly build format and automate your web content in a way that search engines can digest.
Basically, automated search bots crawl the web, follow links and index content in massive databases. You want your content to be indexed in those databases so it can be found and served easily when someone makes a relevant search through a search engine like Google, Bing or Yahoo.
The catch is that the way these bots work changes constantly. SEO tactics that worked in 2004 or 2011, can hurt your SEO today. No longer will keyword stuffing trick the search engine bots.
There are two key elements to mastering SEO for your websites:
- Technical Details
- Content and Content Marketing
The elements of indexable content:
- Alt Text for images
- Transcript for video and audio content
- Crawlable links to all pages on the site
Content and Content Marketing
Start with keywords: The entire science of information retrieval is based on keywords. Keywords are used on pages to help determine relevance of a particular document to a query. The order of words, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization help retrieve the right pages and rank them.
- Avoid duplicating exact content on multiple pages.
- Add titles, text and metadata.
- Sprinkling the keywords onto a page with irrelevant content will not help.
- Keep the URLs short, with keywords near the front and use hyphens to separate words.
Modern websites can not ignore the opportunities presented by optimizing your site for search engine results. Just do it.