This is an extension of my previous Article written way back in 1998. SEO is still the same, which is promoting your search visibility, but the way SEO works does changes in years.
In the field of marketing, businesses use SEO to improve their website’s rankings in search engine queries. The essential premise behind improving the ranking is this – Almost 95% of users who type in a query on Google (or any other search engine) refer to just first or second page of the results page for answers to their search query. If your business website is on the 10th or 15th page of the search engine results page (or SERPs), then you are losing online business to your competitors.
Hence businesses target to come on the first or second page of the SERPs so that more and more customers can discover them BEFORE they discover their competitors. And this is what drives the profitability of a company online. SEO is a marketing field that helps you to achieve this challenging target. At Macronimous, we strongly believe that SEO should not only be search engine friendly but also people friendly. Hence our SEO strategies focuses that your goals should be on same lines with your customers’ goals. This is what takes us to our next part – knowing how online users interact with Google.
In return, the search engine make sure that the visitors get relevant information when they type in their query. SEO is what ensures that your business stays relevant, draws traffic to your site, and convert visitors to sales. It’s all about what your business deals in and then optimizing your website to ensure that it brings in visitors who want the same product or service that you deal in. This is done by using the right kind of keywords in your content and various HTML elements that helps in the optimization process.
In order to understand how the optimization process works, we need to understand how the search engine works to return relevant results. Search Engines employ search robots that crawl the web upon the user hitting the ‘Search’ button after typing in the search query. They follow links and index the content in their own databases based on pre-programed algorithms. This is done after they “read” what is provided in the text part of the content.
They rely on relevance and importance of content to give a higher rank. This relevance and importance is in turn determined by tracking what users do on your site, what they discover and how they share it. Thus a solid foundation for a good SEO rests on relevant and meaningful content and this in turn is crafted using relevant and meaningful keywords.
The key objective of SEO is not to increase the free (organic) traffic. It is rather to connect the right buyer with the right seller, with the seller being the client seeking the SEO services. This way SEO helps people who are looking for you to actually discover you by using the right set of keywords. However, how do you determine what the right kind of keyword is?
This is precisely where keyword research comes in. By researching the right kind of keyword you not only get to know which phrases or set of words can be targeted for best results. In turn you also get to know your own targeted customers well. So it’s not only about getting increased traffic, but it’s about getting the apt kind of traffic. Getting to know the keywords also provides you valuable intel on what type or variant of a product is selling better than others. For instance if you are selling apparel, would “polo neck t-shirt” or “round neck t-shirt” fetch you more traffic? That is the decision you have to make, and this is not an easy one to make. You need to constantly hypothesize, test it and refine it in case it doesn’t work – keep doing this till you hit the bull’s eye.
As said earlier, a bit of research is essential to uncover which keywords will work best for your business. The below three types of keywords work best:
Together these highlight the degree of user satisfaction from the website thanks to relevant and meaningful content.
Some tools that help you with keyword research include Google’s Keyword Planner tool, Google Trends tool or Microsoft Bing Ads tool. If you have an account in Google Keyword Planner, you can easily get customized keywords that get high traffic based on your website. These suggestions are based on actual Google searches data. Now that we are going into the realm of the degree of broadness or narrowness of your keywords, let look at one related yet interesting concept – the long tail keyword.
me keyword Long tail is basically the shape of a graph that represents the precise portion – a lot of low volus work collectively to send you high number of traffic. Ideally what happens in search world is this – popular search terms consist of just 30% of total searches. On the other hand, niche/individual/distinct searches are what comprise of the long tail of the search i.e. thousands of millions of unique searches that may not be popular but together have a higher weightage than the popular keywords.
To take our previous example, “t-shirt” will be a popular search query (high on popularity (may be millions of searches worldwide), but very low on conversion).
However “blue crew neck t-shirt” or “orange polo t-shirt” are more unique search strings that together form the long tail keywords (low on popularity (maybe 100’s of searches worldwide), but high on conversion).
Now imagine if you are a startup and ant to target on ‘Clothes’. Well, it does seem lucrative, but it also means that you are pitted against staggeringly high number of competitors (some of which may include giants in the business) and will require years of efforts to achieve high rankings. So your website will hardly stand any realistic chance of breaking through to the top of SERPs. One must hence make a judicious decision between the demand for the keywords, versus the efforts needed to achieve high rankings with them.
When you have achieved the right set of keywords through keyword research, the next step would be to get going with content creation using these appropriately. As we mentioned earlier, search engines have bots that crawl web pages and decide rankings based on keywords used and relevance of content. Thus your keyword research and use of correct keywords can impact their decision whether to rank your website higher or no. This will be especially needed if your website doesn’t have much of text but more of images, videos or Flash animation (which cannot be deciphered directly by the search bots).
Again, as we said before, the content needs to be search bot friendly, but it should be meaningful, engrossing and applicable for people too. This will help to ensure that
Search bots also decide on rankings by the way certain elements within website coding is crafted. Here are eight ways in which tags can be optimized to drive higher SERP rankings.
Links is perhaps the biggest ranking influencer for SEO. Imagine links as the roads that help search bots in their crawling and indexing process. With the aid of links analysis, search bots determine the quality and relevance of webpages being connected through the links. Additionally they also help the bots to assess the trust, authority and spam factor of the webpage and as a result move the ranking appropriately.
Because of the weightage attached to link analysis, a strategic method of linking to the right external sites helps to only improve SEO but also drives substantial web traffic. Thus link building becomes one of the most critical success metric for any SEO manager.
We at Macronimous believe that implementing these points will help your website optimization process to a great extent. While this is not “the” only list, but this is ‘a’ list that can fast track your SEO process and drive the results you and your client envisaged together. Write in with your comments to let us know if this list was useful and if any other vital pointer can be added in to this list.
“For large and small companies optimizing their web pages to provide top listing in search engines such as, Google, represents a task to be outsourced to professionals. ” – says Darrell Zahorsky of About.com. We have over 4 years of experience in search engine optimization and look at our services which you might be interested in.