Dec 3rd, 2016
So you've finally established a web presence and you're up and running with a great website. But now you're faced with the process of optimizing your website. Website optimization involves techniques that are used to drive visitors to your website. There are tons of ways to optimize a website, but it's easier to understand if it's narrowed down to a couple of important aspects - accurate descriptions and relevant keywords.
So why are descriptions and keywords so important?..
Using words that are relevant to your main topic is an important part of optimization. Having an outrageous design is one thing, but how do you get people to see your design if the words you use to describe it are not getting attention from search engines? And if your site is ecommerce, how do you use effective copywriting to convince prospective customers to purchase your products? Words are a powerful tool when advertising on the Internet, so let's examine the use of certain types of words that will help your website move forward in the organic search rankings.
Keywords (and key phrases) are words that you assume people will use when they search for a certain topic that corresponds with the content on your site. If the purpose of your site is to sell sporting equipment, then you could effectively include "sports equipment" as part of your list of keywords. The relevant keywords that you use should be inserted into a number of key places within your pages that the search engines will look for. The page title, meta description, headers and lists are a few strategic locations where your most important keywords can be placed. Crawlers are small contained software bots that actively seek out the purpose of your site by looking for what they think is important and relevant. They're looking for what they think is relevant to your sites' purpose by reading or parsing your text. When they're finished, they push the information into an index array.
Organic optimization takes time...
Before accepting your SEO assignment, be aware that organic optimization takes time. It means less reliance on paid advertising and more about rolling up your sleeves, warming up the coffee machine, hanging the "D0 Not Disturb" sign up and getting your typing fingers ready to start moving.
It also requires some knowledge about SEO and algorithm updates, as the search engines aren't really looking at keywords like they used to. Instead, they're looking past simple keywords and more at what they perceive to be your intention. Their method of using semantics as a determiner involves examining changes in the form of sentence and paragraph structures, and then formulating what they believe to be your actual purpose and intention. Rather than just looking at your choice of keywords, they use a series of developmental factors to determine how your keywords actually fit into the overall language.
Keywords should be part of the integral structure of the main topic. They should be worked into the natural flow of verbiage and not allowed to sound contrived. Keyword usage should also include associated derivatives and synonymous, and they should all point toward the main topic. All keywords, derivatives and synonymous should be relevant, or at least semi-relevant.
A little history on keywords..
Keywords had their heyday years ago, as they were at one time the dominant factor for SEO methods. Yes, the term "SEO" has been around for a few decades now, but wasn't a household phrase among developers until years after it was first used in the late 90's. In the golden age of keyword spamming, it was easy to rank high as long as you didn't mind the boring task of repeating a single keyword over and over again.
What is SERP?
When potential visitors type in their chosen search words, the search engines gather up a bunch of URL's that relate to those specific search words and display them in a list on a search engine results page (SERP). The list of URL's are accompanied with short descriptions and allows a visitor the opportunity to select the website that most appeals to him/her based on how well their search words matched the keywords in the pages.
To find out if your website has been included into the Google index, simply perform a "site:search" for your site's URL. For example, if your site is www.mywebsite.com, then simply substitute the 'www' for 'site' and submit. Ex: "site:mysite.com." If your site is currently indexed, then a SERP page will display every page in your site directory in an indexed fashion, and with only your pages showing up.
While optimization is an effort to appease the search engines, there are other ways people will find your website. Website URL's can be found through word-of-mouth, email, traditional advertising, the traditional media, web directories and links from other sites. Sometimes these examples are more effective draws, depending on how hard you work them, than are search engines.
Links from other websites..
Another way to get the attention of search engines is to get quality links to your website from other reputable Internet addresses. Just any old links won't do however, they must be roughly the same subject matter and rank well on the search engines. This can be one of the most difficult parts of the optimization process, but if your site is informative and full of rich content, the links will eventually come as you attract other website owners who are looking for websites with quality content.
This process is known as link building and involves building a network of links to and from other websites. It requires dedication and consistent effort and is the most difficult and time-consuming task of search engine optimization. If done right, it performs well to get a website ranked high.
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