Remember when people used to use phone books to find vendors and resources? How about when we used to access encyclopedias to learn about a particular item?
The World Wide Web has definitely changed the way we seek information. It generally all starts by entering a search phrase in a search engine (i.e.: Google, Yahoo, Bing). The higher up on the results page a site is, the more often a person will find and likely click on that link.
When a website offering a particular service gets a hit, it has a chance to make a sale. With that said, you’ll want to optimize your website to make sure your site is indexed appropriately by search engines. The set of procedures that go into this is known as search engine optimization (also known as SEO), the art of getting a website to rank high on search engine search results.
Search engine optimization is done through various steps, and if not done properly, it can backfire. For a site to be well optimized for search engine traffic, its content should be understandable to the search spiders (the program used by search engines to index a particular site).
Website content has to be generally useful to the reader as well as understandable to search engines; keywords and descriptions in Meta tags help to achieve this. An important step of search engine optimization is creating Meta tags for each page, with keywords and descriptions. Also, the title tag should have your most important keyword.
Search engine optimization also requires keyword-rich content. Keywords are the words that your potential audience will most likely be searching for. The search engine spiders look for these keywords on the indexed pages. So, keyword-dense content easily ranks higher in the search results. There is caution, however, because overuse of keywords will blacklist the site as spam. Search engine optimization requires an expert to prepare quality search engine-optimized content.
Another factor that plays into the process has to do with the number of inbound links to your website. The incoming links show the search engines that the page is important enough to be displayed as a result. The incoming links, however, have to be from reliable sources. There are unreliable sources like link farms, which are websites solely made for linking to other sites, and these sites are often disregarded by the search engines. With that said, it is very important to create some links to whichever page you try to optimize.
These are just some of the common methods used to achieve good rankings for your sites. There are so many other important aspects in search engine optimization. Google itself is known to count hundreds of different metrics to calculate the page rank of a site (Google’s measure of the importance of a site).
Search engine optimization should be looked at more as a science and technique. It’s an ever-changing process that requires continual work to ensure your website maintains a certain status. Just because your website is appears on the first page this month doesn’t mean it will be there next.