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Search Engine Optimization Overview

by amcfarland81 September 19, 2017

One of the most important aspects of establishing an online presence in the world today is making sure that your website is optimized for online search.   What this means, is that there are many different ways that a company can improve their website and drive traffic through online searches by making specific changes to improve rankings.  Search engines rely on complex algorithms to rank websites based on how relevant they are to the user.  We will not get into the specific of the algorithms in this article, but we will go over some of the main categories that a website can improve upon to increase relevance in search rankings.

Keywords

When you put a search into Google to try to find the information you are looking for, the input that you type into the search bar is often a shortened version of the question you are asking.  For example, somebody who want to look up “How old is Michael Jordon?” might just type “Michael Jordon” into Google to find the Wikipedia article that details how old he is.  The keywords that people use to search for certain information is vital to online strategy and for optimizing your website to show up when people are searching for specific information.  By focusing on keywords that have a high search volume and low competition, you can maximize the chances that your website will show up higher in the rankings when the item is searched.  These keywords must be included in the content of your web page as well as in the HTML.  By targeting keywords that are very specific, you can ensure that those who are searching for a specific thing, can find exactly what they want on your website.

Links

Having links to and from other websites on your web page is extremely important for your website rankings on search engines.  Google and other search engines have algorithms that determine how trustworthy and relevant your website is, and having links to your blog posts or products from large and trusted sources will help your website rankings tremendously. Google is most concerned with getting users the best and most relevant information, so having links from websites with great reputations will give your site much more credibility.  In addition, it is also important to have many internal links to your own pages.  Not only will this increase traffic throughout your website, but it makes it easier for search engines to “crawl” through your website and read and rank its contents.

Website Performance

Google and other search engines care a lot about user experience.  That means that if your user experience is not up to par on your website, you are going to be punished in the search rankings and pushed lower.  There are several factors that play into a good user experience, but website speed and layout are very important.  You must have a fast website that can handle the amount of traffic that your site generates.  Also very important is that your website has a responsive layout, which means that it will change depending on the device that it is being viewed on.  Many users view websites from mobile and not adjusting your website to create a good experience for mobile users will destroy your rankings.

HTML elements

Getting into the more technical side of things, it is important that you equip your site with the correct HTML tags and descriptions to help search engines identify what is on your site and what is the most relevant information on your site.  For each webpage you will define in the code what the focus of your page is and what other things are important on your page.  There are many different tips and tricks for optimizing your website HTML for search engines and we won’t get into it here.

Content Quality

Finally, you must have high quality content on your website.  The definition of high-quality content can change, but essentially, you want to be able to give your website audience exactly what they are looking for when they come to your website.  Content should be well-written, factually correct, easy to read, and in alignment with the pages’ keywords.  Search engines are surprisingly good at distinguishing high quality content and if you wouldn’t want to read it, a search engine wouldn’t either.

These are some of the main elements that go into a web page optimized for search engines.  You can learn much more by checking out some other articles.

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