For most business owners today who are taking steps to become recognised on the World Wide Web or social media, the term search engine optimisation is probably something you recognise. Search engine optimisation is described as establishing your web pages and social media locations in a way that the major search engines, including Google and others recognise the website and rank it in a way that achieves a position at or near the top of the search results. In order to make this position happen, it is helpful to understand some basic SEO principles which are used by Google.
Perhaps the first step is to understand the concept of keywords. These are the terms which searchers use when trying to find information about a product or service. Keywords can be general or very specific to a brand, geographical area, industry or other. A web page or social media site which takes more than a second or two to load will probably not be of interest to searchers.
Those working to make a website or social media site user-friendly will make judicious use of likely terms which searchers are using. It is important to remember that too many keywords can create problems with the search engines. The placement of the words on a page can also make a difference. Searchers rarely stay more than a few seconds on a page, particularly if the first glance doesn’t seem to apply to the search terms.
The keywords which are chosen must be relevant to the industry, product or service and must appear in a way that appears natural to the reader. While search terms are used in the ranking process, they must also be reader-friendly. A careful balance is required to make the reader’s experience as positive as possible.
The way that Google and others rank the web pages is not fully spelled out by them. They use algorithms which can vary over time. Professionals, however can deduce many of the components of the formulas by their knowledge of what works and what doesn’t, in actual practice. It is important to note, though, that promises to place a website at the top of the search engine results page (SERP) should be viewed with suspicion.
As there is increasing emphasis by mobile device users on finding information using a cell phone or other mobile device, SEO design needs to take regional terms into consideration. People may be looking for an area eating place, medical facility or automobile mechanic nearby, so design of the website should utilise those terms. This practice is likely to improve the SERP rankings.
Another factor which enters into ranking levels is the input from peers in the industry. A website designed to capture links from other businesses in the industry or area can boost rankings. These links are encouraged by careful design of the website.
The above principles are those which are the most obvious. They include relevant keywords, attention to regional or local terms, placement of the terms on the web page or social media site and the use of back links. If appropriate, a design which maximises the readability of mobile device websites helps to better present the business or organisation.