Gone are the days of library cards and thick encyclopedias. In the modern age of technology, people are empowered with access to information with just a few clicks. Search engines have become the ultimate gateway to a vast pool of information. A huge chunk of users turn to search engines to find information about local businesses, making search marketing a vital element in any business’s marketing strategies.
With over millions of websites strewn across the great Web, putting your website on the top ranks of search results can be a daunting task. Search engines use algorithms and spiders that crawl through the web in search for relevant and reliable information on websites (above is a basic example of how a spider crawls and parses a page). High traffic and Web presence largely depend on how you, your audience, and search engines “see” your website. Here are some basic methods to note in optimizing your website for search engines:
Search engines have eyes for HTML
While a beautiful and interactive Flash website can earn you a few claps form your audience, search engines do not even appreciate the cool effects. Search engines and crawlers can only see and index HTML text-based content. This puts rich multimedia content such as Flash websites and elements, images, videos, audio clips, and other non-text media relatively invisible to search engines. It’s always a good practice to add captions, descriptions, video transcripts, HTML text, and semantic markup such as the schema.org and Open Graph protocols to accompany the web content you indexed by search engines.
Keyword phrases are the key
Search engines pull up a list of relevant websites whenever we make a search query, based on keywords, and many other signals. That being said, keywords play a major role in establishing the ranking and relevance of the information on your web content. Using keyword phrases also involves a number of strategies to ensure that your page ranks higher and your traffic increases.
On another note, most websites stuff way too much keyword phrases into web content in their futile efforts to rank up faster. Abusing keywords merits more damage on your website, as search engines can tag your page as irrelevant for the keyword that you’re targeting. The key to using keyword phrases lies in creating quality valuable web content that’s rich with information relevant to your keyword.
Linking pages properly can put you on the list
More than just focusing on quality content and strategic keywords, your website’s infrastructure also plays a crucial role in helping search engines index your pages. When search engines find it hard to navigate through your website and access other pages, it makes it more difficult to properly rank your content, no matter how rich and informative (with well-placed keywords) it may be. Some websites are poorly structured in such a way that some pages are not being linked to other pages, making them virtually inaccessible to search engines. Understanding the concept of passing editorial creditability through linking (internal and external) is fundamental to understanding how to rank in search.
Let URLs describe what it’s all about
A URL is essentially the address that allows your audiences and search engines access your website and its related pages. It’s one of the elements that people and crawlers both look at, so having a descriptive and reliable URL can help explain the page to the user and search engines. Some URLs have a concoction of symbols and letters within them, which makes it unpleasant for humans to read, copy, paste, and share the URL across different platforms, while also being of no help to the spiders as well. Create concise yet informative URLs for your pages, including your keywords in them as well.
There are many other ways to optimize your website for search engines to boost your rankings and increase your traffic. Understanding how search engines work and interpret data is a fundamental aspect to getting your website visible in search engines. Optimization Theory is here to explain these best practices and working methods for achieving this goal. Here, we provide cutting-edge information on what search engines are looking for to rank a site high. This is done through experience with A/B testing and shared knowledge amongst other leading experts in the industry.