Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Whether you already have a web site or are considering creating one search engine optimization will be crucial to your success. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is largely for the computer technorati or web designer crowds and not the lay person. Therefore, knowing where to look for help is almost as important as getting your website right.
For those of you who may not be familiar with this term (SEO) or how search engine optimization works I offer the following definition and information to help you determine what’s right for you and your web site.
According to the web site www.wikipedia.org SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the “….process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site from search engines…. This gives a web site web presence.” This is process is accomplished by understanding how search engines work [i.e rank various links, keywords, content, etc.,] and what people search for. Having the right mix means more hits for your web site which can translate into increased sales/revenues.
What You Need to Know to Highly Rank Your Keywords
According to most technical guru’s the information contained on any given web page has very little to do with its ranking. Keywords and meta’s are what can and will bring your web site to the top ranks. There are some keywords that are more or less competitive than others. If you can learn how Google, Yahoo, and/or MSN rank keywords you can bring your web site within the top five in no time. Here are a few tips that may help you learn more about keywords and their placement on your web site.
|Google ranks websites according to those that have the “most authority on the given topic/keyword”.
Google, Yahoo, Baidu, Excite, AOL, DuckDuckGo, Bing, Ask.com, Wolfram Alpha, Yandex, Lycos, CC Search, Swisscows, and MSN pay much less attention to what is actually on your web page itself (content-wise) than what some people think. As a matter of fact, you don’t actually have to mention your keyword anywhere on your website to rank highly for the keyword!
Ranking is determined most of the time, like in a democracy, by “voting”. If Google, Yahoo, AOL, or Big, MSN et.al. are “voting” for your website, you will rank highly or have a favorable placement when users are searching for any number of things. Google, Bing, and Yahoo are the dominant search engines based on the aggregate search traffic with Google out pacing the rest by a long shot.
BrightEdge (https://www.brightedge.com/blog/7-things-you-must-do-to-rank-for-your-keywords) has seven tips to help rank your keywords better. They begin with doing some keyword research beforehand, then move into the navigational framework of your website, and then off to SEO audits, and content creation/optimization and your on-page SEO’s, segway toward linked earnings, and social media, and finally tracking your performance. So, what does all of this mean?
Keywords are the foundation of website optimization. BrightEdge suggests that you “create an excel spreadsheet with a series of keywords from your competitors’ sites”. Aha! You may also wish to take a look at Google’s Webmasters Tools and add those to your list.
Website structure entails using the keywords to help users navigate the pages with ease. Does your website have a theme? Are there any other targeted themes or categories that can be helped with keywords?
An SEO Audit allows you to see what is getting you results and what is falling short. Blogs need to consider social metrics like Facebook or Twitter shares or retweets, likes, etc. as well as, the quality and quantity of backlinks that various search engines use to determine credibility and authority of the content contained therein.
Content creation, optimization, and on-page SEO is next. Content needs to look and read complete, ensure that it is more than 250 words depending on the topic. Content placement should be near the top of the page so it is the first thing that visitors see. Try not to duplicate content. Create metadata or clickable information links. If you use videos or pictures create descriptions so the SEO can capture that and rank your page higher too. Use headings and subheading to help separate data and information. If you have more than one page be sure they are all linked to one another.
Link earning means that other like your content and want to be affiliated with it. Links to your website from others forms what is called your backlink profile. Search engines look at the quality and quantity of those links when ranking your website.
Engagement via social media plays a huge role in rank and visibility. Number and quality of followers are also factors.
Keep track of your results. Track them month over month, week over week, quarter over quarter and year over year to see what works and where you can improve.
Who is good for what?
Google has a global market share of about 87%. However, searching in the major leagues comes with some trade-offs. For instance, privacy. Search engine titans catalogue browser habits of their users and share that data with advertisers and other interested parties.
Bing and the other suite of MSN search engines have nearly 23% of the search traffic in the USA. Bing offers a rewards program that is redeemable at Mircosoft and Windows stores.
Yandex is big in Russia with about 45% of their search engine traffic flowing through them. Belarus, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Turkey also use Yandex quite a bit.
If you want to search copyright-free then you might try CC Search. You can locate videos, graphics, and pics with repercussions.
Swisscows is the farm friendly alternative search engine. They never collect, store, or track data searched though them. They use AI (artificial intelligence) to determine the context of the user’s query.
DuckDuckGo does not track or store search data either.
StartPage ponies off of Google. They offer Google rich results, but do not track or store the searched data. The have a URL generator, which is a proxy HTTPS service, that eliminates cookie collection.
Search Encrypt uses a combination of encryption methods to encrypt the information that you search to ensure that your search stays private.
Gibiru touts themselves as the “Search engine for Patriots”. According to them they use a special Google algorithm that is unable to track and store your search data and uses no cookies.
OneSearch is a Verizon search engine product. They say it is encrypted, does not store or track search results, and does not share information with advertisers.
Wiki.com is a crowdsourced search engine. Which means it generates its results from the thousands of wikis on the net making it a community led information system.
Boardleader helps you locate message boards or online forums for a variety of topics.
Givewater attempts to have a positive impact on the world by empowering their users to help resolve the issue of poor water quality and ineffective sanitation around the world.
Ekoru uses renewable energy in their data centers. They do not store or sell any data from their searches. 60% of their monthly revenues got toward climate related charities, animal welfare, and conservation.
Ecosia is an environmentally friendly search engine. Instead of creating CO2 like Google does they plant trees for every 45 searches.
|In order to maximize your searches and bring your web site to the top you must know EXACTLY why the top 10 ranked sites in Google, Yahoo, or Bing are currently ranked where they are. It is impossible to simply guess by looking at their web page itself.
How is This Optimization Accomplished?
Search engine optimization is accomplished by outranking your competitors! Web site designers achieve search engine optimization by removing criteria that may obstruct or block indexing activities of those most popular search engines [i.e.Google, Yahoo, and Bing]. They [web designers] must be attuned to what criteria Google, Yahoo, Bing, or MSN et.al assign to, or use to, rank such searches and adept at the use of keywords and meta’s for navigation through sites. [positive factors] Web site designers need also know about the affects of spam, crawling and an array of other very technical stuff. [negative factors]
Since both positive and negative factors can affect searches and ranking within search engines web designers will need to be able to tweak the positive while diminishing the affects of the negative in order to maximize or optimize your search engines capability on your web site. Factors affecting your searches can range from keyword use factors to page attributes to site domain attributes to inbound link attributes to negative crawling/ranking attributes to Google, Yahoo, Bing, or et.al, rank questions and more.
Think of these positive and negative factors as you would your own reputation. Traffic and online reputations take time to establish. A bad review can ruin the sales for some products or services or see far less traffic than there was previously. Consumers may perceive you as a scam or sham making it more difficult to draw in new clients. Either way you lose revenue.
Search engine reputation management has become a big deal. Some of the top negative and positive factors are outlined below and may vary from web designer to web designer based on preferences, exposure, and experience.
Top Positive SEO Factors
Below taken from www.seomz.org and are in no particular order.
- Keyword Use in Title Tag-placement of the targeted search term in the title tag of the web pages HTML header.
- Amount of Indexable Text Content-the literal quality of visible HTML text on a web page
- Global Link Popularity of Site to Topical Community-the link weight/authority of the targeted website amongst it’s topical peers in the online world.
- Age of Site-older pages may be seen as more authoritative while newer pages may be more temporally relevant. [See also Frequency of Updates-the number and timeframe of changes made to document over time]
- Link Popularity Within the Site’s Internal Link Structure-the relevance of the number, and importance of, internal links pointing to the target page [page attribute]
- Topical Relevance of Inbound Links to Site-relationship of the body text content to the targeted keyword and targeted web page
- Link Popularity of Site to Topically Related Issues-quality and relevance of links to external websites or web pages
- Keyword Use in Body Text-using the targeted search term in visible HTML text of the web page
- Global Link Popularity of Site-the overall link weight/authority as measured by links from any and all sites across the web, weighted by both link quality and quantity.
Top 5 Negative SEO Factors
Below taken from www.seomz.org and are in no particular order.
- Server is Often Inaccessible to BOTS-specific components that may be impeding the spiders ability to crawl a web page or it’s rankings at Google, Yahoo, or MSN.
- Content Very Similar or Duplicate of Existing Content in the Index-duplicate title or meta tags on many pages or the entire web site.
- External Links to Low Quality/Spam Sites [Spamdexing or Link Farms]
- Overuse of Targeted Keywords [Stuffing or Spamming]-degrade relevance of search results
- Participation in Link Schemes or Actively Selling Links [frowned upon in most technical circles]
Learning how to navigate all of this very technical information takes time and effort. These special functions used to be performed by only the insider internet savvy crowd, but that is no longer the case. There are many programs and YouTube videos available that can teach even the least tech savvy person how to increase the traffic to their web site via search engine optimization in no time at all. The key is understanding how to search.