If you have a website, you have, no doubt, asked yourself “how do I rank highly in Search engines”. With thousands of new websites popping up on the internet every month, it’s not easy, unless you are in a very niche market.
Before you attempt to optimize your website for search engines, it is important to understand how search engines work. Google’s own quality engineer Matt Cutts explains it in a YouTube video: “How Search Works,” Matt describes how Google indexes pages and then delivers results when someone does a search. One of the key points that Cutts makes is that Google asks more than 200 questions of each page and then delivers pages that are most relevant.
- Do the search keywords appear in the website’s title?
- Do the search keywords appear in the website address)?
- Does the website page include similar keywords and key phrases related to the topic?
- Is the page within a quality website or a spammy website?
- What is the page’s “Page Rank”?
- How many websites link back to this page?
Google then analyses the results, gives each page a score and displays the results it believes the visitor will find useful.
Search engines change their algorithms (ie. How they display results) all the time, so it can be difficult to keep up with the latest trends, but over the years the following trends have remained the same.
- A keyword or keyphrase needs to be included in each page’s title, heading, meta description and alt tags of your images
- Your website needs to include original content, which gets updated regularly
- You need to have as many backlinks (ie. Links from other websites) pointing back to yours.
It is important to understand that search engine optimization is not a one off exercise, you need to work on it constantly. If you don’t have the time, then get an SEO company to do it for you.
Focus on “buying” keywords, not “research” keywords. Buying keywords are words that people would type into the search engine when they are ready to buy, while a “research” keyword is a word or a phrase that people are using while they are researching a subject.
For example, a research keyword may be: Toyota and a buying keyword would be “Toyota Corolla Ascent.
Before you start optimizing your website for search engines, it is important that you research your keywords. There are several great tools, which you may consider using:
If you bury your head because Search Engine Optimisation just seems too overwhelming, you are going to be left behind. Remember when someone searches for a product or a service, only two outcomes are possible:
1. They find your website
2. They find your competitor’s website
SEO doesn’t have to be boring and the more you learn the better off your business will be. So next time you are heading to a café, park or even the beach grab your iPad or your laptop and start reading about search engines, how they work and begin researching the most appropriate keywords for your business.