Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
If you are going to realise a fraction of your online potential your customers and prospects need to be able to find your website. Think about the last time you were researching a topic online, I bet you hadn’t heard of a number of the sites offering a solution to your query – which emphasises the importance and power of good SEO to your business.
SEO is a vast subject area and a strategy that you need to keep evolving given the fact that the search engines are continually evolving to find smarter ways to deliver a better search experience for their users. Here are a few key areas that will aid your understanding:
How do Search Engines Work?
First and Foremost search engines focus on delivering timely, relevant and high quality search results for their users. They are constantly researching, developing, testing and refining ways to enhance the service that they provide and are therefore optimizing the relevance of the results they deliver to their users on every single query they process. The reason they are so focused on this is because the better the search experience the better the reputation of the search engine and the more users it will attract which in turn has a direct impact on the amount of advertising revenue it will generate.
How do Search Engines find my site?
To deliver the results mentioned above search engines need to gather detailed information about billions of web pages and they do this using automated computer programs often referred to as ‘Bots’ or ‘Spiders’ which they send out to crawl the web. These Spiders follow hyperlinks and gather all of the information about the pages they find.
How do I make my site easy for search engines to crawl?
Spiders are only interested in text and don’t pay any attention to graphics, animations, flash or any other widgets that website developers may use to make the site look more appealing to the user. So you should strike a balance between making the site look attractive enough to hold the attention of the user without alienating the search engine spiders. If you focus on producing a website filled with high quality text based content that focuses on fulfilling the user’s information needs and/or an answer to their query the chances are the search engine spiders will love your site.
The key to effective SEO is knowing what your customers and prospects are typing into the search engines when they are searching for your products and services. The text they use to find relevant content is known as ‘keywords’ or ‘keyword phrases’ that consist of two or more keywords. Once you know what these keywords and phrases are you should make a list to use as the foundation of your SEO strategy. If you then incorporate these keywords within your content, title pages, index etc. then you should see your site rise up the organic search rankings for these keywords and with any luck you could see a rise in the amount of targeted traffic that arrives on your site.
So how do I choose effective keywords?
Knowing your target audience is a good place to start and is generally a critical component in any marketing campaign. Try putting yourself in the shoes of your typical prospect and type into a search engine what you would type in if you were them to find the type of product or service you are selling. Add them to your keyword list and start to play around with them and imagine the various combinations of search terms your prospects might use to find your site. Type them into a search engine, look at the results, examine the sites that are ranking highly for these chosen keywords and analyse them to understand how they are achieving these rankings.
Google Adwords is a useful tool for undertaking this research. If you haven’t got an account I would suggest setting one up as soon as possible, especially as it’s a free to use service. In the example below I have used a keyword phrase ‘facebook tips’ and you will see a tab below the search button ‘keyword ideas’ which can provide a quick list of combinations of the phrase and other keyword’s that are proving popular at the time. The number of global searches as the name suggests are worldwide searches and local searches are the number of searches in the country where you reside. Approximate CPC is the ‘Cost Per Click’ that you might pay if you undertook a paid search advertising campaign.
I hope you enjoyed this post and interested to hear any views / comments. In my next blog post I shall be providing tips on what to do once you have identified your keywords.
Happy Digital Marketing!
PS - If you are looking to see how you can improve the performance of your website I am giving away a free website evaluation tool for all new email subscribers of my blog
Posted on March 27, 2013, in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and tagged Digital marketing, Google Adwords, Organic search, Pay per click, Search engine optimization, SEO, Web crawler, Web search engine, Website, website design. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.