Search Engine Optimization Lands Websites at the Top of Search Engine Results Pages
Of the nearly seven billion people on the planet, more than two billion use the internet. With such an incredible amount of people surfing their standard bookmarked sites, the same amount use the internet to simply search for new information, services or products. Whether the individual is in the United States or Taipei, they receive the same information on a single page called a search engine response page, or simply “SERP.” The results provided on this page are derived from websites that apply search engine optimization tags, data and keywords into their programs, to help insure they are displayed at the top of the list of search results. Appearing at the top of the results page increases the likelihood of the searcher clicking on their link, and obtaining the preferred traffic to their website.
Understanding Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is an important portion of the design and build of a website, which will allow it to be viewed at a higher ranking during search results. SEO is developed in several ways, one of which is the use of keywords in the copy portion of a website. For example, when individuals search for something as simple as “gutter repair” it would behoove any maintenance company that provides that service to include the keywords “gutter repair” in the website’s copy. When the criteria is searched using those keywords, the search engine will provide results whose websites contain those words. It is important to maintain an appropriate frequency of keywords, so as not to appear as a spamming site to the masses. This delicate balance of keywords usually runs around two to three percent of any current page view on any website.
Keywords are not the only important portion of an SEO function. Using easy to understand verbiage, along with clear and concise URL links, helps visitors know exactly what they are linking to, without confusion. For instance, if the search for gutter repair for single family homes only takes the searcher to www.gutterrepair.com/tenbdoajrksf, it contributes confusion to the memory, and quite frankly, the logic of site’s link. Should the result be www.gutterrepair.com/singlefamilyhomes, or something similar, the information is submitted to the searcher in clear, easy to digest terms, instilling confidence in where the link will land them. Moreover, all website content should be applicably written for possible search engine results, including captions and pedestrian site information such as contact advisement.
Equally important as keywords and phrases are the links listed on a website; or even better, a link to a site from someone else’s. When adding a new article to a site, or updating information on a website, linking to past information will help spur interest in previous articles, thereby increasing the time visitors spend on the site. Also, something as simple as a link to contact a company representative can be added wherever the interest is written. If there is copy on a website that states, “Contact us today for more information” the words “Contact us” should be hyperlinked to an email address or the overall company contact information page. Companies should never underestimate how important an easily maneuverable website is to consumers. It is also important to note that only words are picked up by search engines; bells, whistles, graphics and images are not. Additionally, partnering with customers, vendors or affiliated companies by providing shared links on one another’s website is a practice in synergy that helps everyone’s site receive more traffic. Certainly, no one wants to link to a competitor, but there are industry related sites – no matter the industry – that can benefit the visitor, while providing a friendly, free, search optimization strategy for the site’s owner.
Crawling with Spiders
Search engine optimization, starting with keyword implementation, strong link appearances, and functioning site maps, begets better search engine results for any company who subscribes to the ideology.
The process by which this takes places is called “crawling” or “web spiders.” Simply put, web spiders are enacted when an individual types words or phrases into a search engine. The crawling begins by separating the information for review by popularity, links and updated information. Keeping content refreshed as often as possible, will help the internet spiders select a website for top billing, allowing for a better ranking on the search engine results page. One way to accomplish this practice is by creating, maintaining and updating a blog on a website. Blogging allows for real time information to be updated on a website, while providing interaction between the writer and reader, and most importantly updated content for spider detection.
Search Engine Results Page (SERP)
A search engine results page is the page that appears once a word or phrase has been entered into a search engine. For instance, if an individual types “gutter repair” into a Google, Yahoo!, Bing, AOL or any available search engine, the return page will list several websites, with links and a splash of information about the company or individual. A standard SERP will list ten to 12 companies and their information, before providing links to additional pages at the end of the first results page. Appearing on the first page, nearest to the top, is the ideal position for any company. Outside of paying the search engine to the be the “sponsored link” – which is to be premiered at the top, typically enclosed in a box, or highlighted in a different color – free SEO opportunities can net the same results. When a company appears at or near the top of the SERP, it is more likely that their link will be chosen for review, before another company that appears lower or on one of the additional pages.
Know What Works
Assuming a website is built with all of the search engine optimization prowess a team can muster, including new content imported daily, and a site map that provides the easiest way to maneuver from one end of the operation to the next, it is all for naught if it is not proven to work. The basic principle is the same for everyone: Get as much traffic to the website as possible. The results of all search engine optimization outcomes are based initially on how many times a URL has been used – directly counted when an individual types in the exact company URL into their toolbar to reveal the site intended – or indirectly counted through a search of something similar (i.e., typing in .com when the actual site is .net), then clicking on the link provided. Secondly, keyword searches that led to the traffic visiting the site, followed by the actual traffic on the site. Traffic reports will provide information on what portions or pages of the website are searched, and what information is retrieved by the visitor while they are on the site. Lastly, and the absolute tell of a website’s functionality, are orders and revenue produced through the site.
The best way to get traffic to a website, causing an increase in the company’s exposure to prospective customers, is by engaging in search engine optimization, which will, in turn, land the site at the top tier of the search engine results page. Let us know what is working for you to increase traffic.