SEO – Search Engine Optimisation
SEO is a complex field that involves tools and techniques to proactively improve (or “optimise”) all parts of your company or organisational website to increase the amount of visitors (or “traffic”) to your site from search engines. Website optimisation can be as detailed or broad as you would like it to be depending on your website strategies.
There are four major search engines in the World Wide Web with Google being the most popular. Many people use these search engines to find key products or services they are looking for to fulfil a need, want, desire or solve a problem they have. A search engine ranking page can net from 10 to millions of web pages depending on what the searcher is looking for. But, searchers won’t spend valuable time searching through thousands and thousands of pages; they may only go as far as the first page. Therefore, you don’t want your website listing to be buried in page number 2,578 because you haven’t used SEO to keep your website competitive and attractive. SEO makes your website easier for potential visitors to find you when they need to. If your website does not come up in these SERPs or Search Engine Ranking Pages you will miss out on potential sales. The amount of visitors to your site can make or break your business so you need to make sure that as quickly as possible search engines know what your website is all about.
Search Engines and SEO
When searchers (potential visitors and customers) search on the Internet they use “keywords” or “search queries” in the search engine search boxes. SEO ensures that your website contains those keywords used by searchers within the content of your website. Without the “tagging” and use of these keywords in your content the technology that search engines use to trawl the Internet indexing keywords would miss your website.
When “spiders” (the technology used by search engines) search for keywords they are creating indices of these keywords that are relevant to people who are searching. When someone searches using a keyword or phrase the search engine will provide relevant website results based on that keyword or phrase. Spiders following a set of rules or algorithms to quickly and efficiently index and search through millions of web pages a day. This is why you need to make it really easy for spiders to index your web pages.
The search engine process:
- Web Crawling – programs have been written to run automatically trawling or “crawling” through the pages and articles on the Internet. These programs are called ‘spiders’ or ‘bots’. With an estimated 20 billion web pages online only 50% has been trawled by search engines. Some websites may be spidered first and indexed later and search engines will index on a monthly basis.
- Index the contents and documents of websites. The spider scans all the content within each page of the website and indexes the words once it has decided how it will be indexed. Spiders will look at all the content, headers, titles, subtitles and images. Each search engine differs in the type of content it puts into the index. Some index every single word on the page others just headers and titles.
- Search processing – basically matching search queries with keywords from websites and documents stored in the index.
- Provide a ranked list of search results – ranked by level of relevance to the keyword or phrase used. This is where you need to have a high web ranking to be attractive to your market.