Before talking about search engine optimization, we have to talk about search engines. Search Engines have become the most important tool in locating information. Without search engines, online researching would be next to impossible. About 60% traffic an average website is gained through search engines. Hence, it is very important to work with search engines.
Search Engines basically does 3 things.
- Display Final Query
Crawling is the process of visiting websites and reading their pages and other information. Search engines send out smalls bots and programs which read all the information laid out on a website.
For example, in a restaurant menu, food is categorized under Indian and Chinese. Just like that the bots indexes websites under different headings, like websites related to shoes, are under the heading “Shoes”, websites related to cars are under the heading “Cars” and so on.
The bots make millions and millions of indexes with sub-indexes. Like Nissan, it will be a sub-index in the head index “Car.”
- Display Final Query
Whenever a user searches for anything on a search engine, the engine displays a list of websites related to the what the user had typed. For example, if a user searches for “Nissan Car” in google, google presents him with a list of websites related to Nissan Car. Basically, the bots which crawled websites and indexed them are now showing a list of websites related to the keyword searched by the user.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization is the process of optimizing your website and its content to make it easy for the search engines to crawl and index. This leads to ranking higher on the Search Engine Result Page for relevant query and hence, getting more traffic.
The following are some of the ways you can optimize your website and its content:-
- Make use of keywords. If your website is about slippers, include the words flip flappers, scandals, etc on it. This way if a person searches for scandals, the search engine will be able to link to your page.
- Use hyperlink texts to link other websites. For example, if your website is concerned with helping the readers plan trips to abroad countries, link information about the destinations available. If visitors are interested in traveling to Paris, link websites containing loads of information about Paris and it’s popularities on your webpage using a hyperlink. Search engines also check hyperlink texts while crawling. This way if a person is searching for “Trip to Paris” your website might get a higher rank.
- Give readers the opportunity to subscribe to your website. This could be through email subscription or you could link your social media page.
- Make sure your URL is static and not dynamic. This will make your URL better and will also help search engines crawl your website.
- Keep your Metadata short and sweet (65-75 words). You should include keywords and brand name ( if available) in the meta description and each web page must have its unique meta description.
- Use a separate Sitemap to list the images used on your website. This will make it easier for search engines to crawl and index your website.
Common SEO Mistakes
People think getting higher ranked means getting more traffic to your website, while that is basically true, getting a higher rank on the search engine should not be your main goal. Your goal should always be to provide relevant information to your readers.
Search Engines generate revenue basically because of advertisements. The more popular the search engine, the more amount of money advertisers will pay the search engine to advertise their ads. Let’s take Google and Bing for example. Google has more numbers of users than bing. Therefore, advertisers will pay more money to Google than Bing in order to advertise their products. The more popular the website, the more advertisers pay the search engine to show their ads. The only way to make sure your website gets more popular is by posting relevant content.
However, if you put irrelevant pictures and keywords on your website, yes, the bots will crawl your website and find them out and index them in various indexes. Doing this might get you ranked higher but you are giving your users irrelevant information. If a user is searching for cars and he sees a website which has the word cars on its title, opens it and finds out that the website is about books, he will be dissatisfied. He will close your website quickly and will never recommend to his friends.
Search engines have a way of checking how long a user stayed on your page. If he opens it and quickly closes it or if he opens it, surfs around and maybe comes back to the same page later one. If a high number of users open and close your website quickly, then the search engine will indicate that the readers are not pleased with what the website is offering. If they find out that you are using irrelevant content to get ranked higher, the bots will stop crawling your websites which affects the ranking.
It is like if Search Engine is your Boss. You can cheat your boss and earn a bit more money for a little while but it is definite that he will find out that you were cheating and will fire you. On the other hand, you can do your work sincerely and get promoted and earn more money.