One effective and popular source of getting visitors is thru search engines. Search engines such as Google Search, Bing and Yahoo are web tools developed to search any information on the web. A huge percentage of Internet users are using the search engines to find information that they are looking for. Search engine’s crawler or robot crawls and indexes virtually every web page on the web and include them on their database. The information that they have crawled and indexed is served to Internet users that use these search engines. That is why web pages of a website should be optimized for they can easily be discovered and crawled by search engines. This procedure brought the term Search Engine Optimization or SEO.
SEO and Search Engine Results Page
The very aim of SEO is to get better visibility of your website on the web thru the search engines. When you search for certain keywords using a search engine, it will display a page with list of information that contains the title, description and URL of a web page which is related to keywords that you have searched. This page is commonly known as Search Engine Results Page or SERP. The listed web page’s information and URL don’t randomly appear on SERPs. These lists are ranked according to reputation and relevancy to the searched keywords. That means the top most web pages listed on the SERP below means that it is the most relevant web page or website that describes the searched keywords. There are billions to trillions of web pages on the World Wide Web, so how do search engines do this? Search engines are using proprietary and patented algorithm to do this. Search giants such as Google, Bing by Microsoft and Yahoo are big corporations that invested on software engineers, large-scale servers and data centers around the world to do that.
Okay, back to SEO. SEO, in short is the process or method to get better visibility of your website on the web thru search engines. The more visible a website on search engines, the higher the chance to get more visitors. However, to get the job done and obtain good results, you have to get your web page or website on the top of the SERP. Websites that practices good SEO appears on top of the search engines results pages, and the more likely that they get more visitors than the rest.
Methods of SEO
Search engine optimization may consider local search, video search, image search and the likes. SEO is a notion which already gained a lot of regard when it comes to Internet marketing. SEO actually became a multi-billion dollar industry were SEO companies started to boom simultaneous with the use of search engines. SEO requires an in depth learning and research on possible keywords which may be used and are most likely being searched on search engines. Basically, search engines shows results based on relevancy and reputation of a web page. There are three basic procedure in implementing an SEO campaign. These are Keyword Research, On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO.
1. Keyword Research
When we search the web using search engines, we always input keywords on the search bar. This is where SEO starts – keywords. Search engine optimization starts with keyword research. When we practice SEO while starting a website, it is advisable to research on your niche. Research on what are your target topics, who are your target audience and what keywords are involved on your niche. Keyword research may include the following information.
- Global monthly search for those keywords
- Local monthly search for those keywords
- Competition on that keywords
- Related or suggested keywords
- And more…
SEO is centered on keywords, that is why it is very important to research about the target keywords for your website. There are numerous keyword research tools around, and I personally use Google AdWords Keyword Tool and Traffic Travis.
2. On-page SEO
On-page SEO is an optimization process wherein web pages are organized into “search engines-preferred format and structure” which includes keywords that are being searched on search engines. There’s a basic format that search engines love, which includes the targeted keywords from yourkeyword research.
The following web page’s elements should at least be considered.
- META Title, META Description and META keywords (META keywords are now optional)
- Keyword density on a web page content should be 1% or higher (but not too high, to avoid keyword stuffing)
- The number of words should be long enough and not to short. Your content should include the targeted keywords. Search engines love contents.
- Include alt tags in all images or other media files on your website. Remember, search engines can only read string on web pages.
- Improve your website design and navigation. Make your website easily crawled by search engines because this also means that human visitors will also easily browse your website.
Making a search engine optimized website would mean updating and editing its content together with the HTML tags, navigation and over-all design. With on-page SEO you’re optimizing your web pages to be more relevant to certain keywords, and making it easily crawled and indexed by search engines.
3. Off-page SEO
Off-page SEO on the other hand includes distributing your web page links together with your target keywords on the web. That is, you should spread your web page URL related to your target keywords. Off-page optimization is all about building inbound links or links pointing to your web page or website. For search engines, inbound links is a sign of reputation of a web page. If search engines see a lot of related inbound links to your web page, they might think that the contents of your site are interesting and thus reputable.
Below are some of many ways to do off-page optimization which basically helps to get backlinks to your website.
The importance of off-page SEO is building good reputation of a web page or website by building inbound links. Make sure to use your target keywords when spreading your links. Be reminded, not to overdo it to avoid being flagged as spammer. Increasing the inbound and back links to a website is essential in SEO. Off-page optimization may include promotional schemes, link building and various similar campaigns to improve the reputation of your website.
SEO in Practice
Good practice of SEO will place your website and web pages on top of search engine’s results page which means the more chances of getting more visitors. There are myriad SEO techniques and how-to tutorials that can be searched and read all over the web today. If you will ever get familiar with SEO, you will learn that the basic process is relatively easy “but” requires patience, diligence and consistency to do it successfully.
SEO is basically divided into two major portions and these include on-page and off-page optimizations. Both on-page and off-page optimization are further divided into various tasks, too specific that it became an industry centered on SEO.
In general, SEO is about optimizing your website and web pages on keywords and building inbound links. Search engine optimization is a continuous process which is performed by majority of webmasters, website owners, bloggers and online marketers who aims to be on the top of search engine results pages.
For additional reading, you may check Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide by Google and SEO Keyword Strategy.