Search Engine Optimization – What is it?
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is an important element of search engine marketing. SEO is a science whose objective is to improve the quality of both organic and paid traffic to websites. SEO targets unpaid visitors rather than paying visitors or direct traffic. Although some SEO techniques may require the use of advertising media such as pay per click, SEO professionals feel that it is better to reach the targeted audience directly. It is estimated that only 10% of online visitors to perform searches, so the potential to reach a large audience through SEO is great.
The objective of the search engine optimization process is to improve the visibility of a site in the search results for a particular keyword phrase.
The different elements of us are a website’s off-page structure such as title tags, headings, keywords, meta tags and description tags, on-page elements such as headers, alternative text for images and buttons, and the website’s content such as texts, titles, and other meta information. Search engine algorithms change constantly, so websites need to be constantly upgraded to keep up with changes in the search results. SEO techniques are categorized into two main categories: black hat SEO and white hat SEO.
Black hat SEO is considered by some to be a spam method and is contrary to the principles of search engine optimization. These techniques may include link harvesting, directory submission, and Pay per Click (PPC) advertising. Some spam sites have been removed from the search results for displaying black hat SEO tactics. In recent years, many blog directories have started banning these types of sites due to the negative publicity they have received.
White hat seo strategies adhere to the rules and regulations of search engine land. They are also implemented according to certain criteria set by the website owners. A proper balance must be achieved in order to achieve good ranking factors and this can be achieved through the use of various black hat and white hat techniques.
One way of achieving a good ranking is through keyword selection.
Keywords must relate to the target audience. The most effective keywords will be the ones that are searched frequently. Other ranking factors include: meta description keywords, image keywords, page title, site maps, site navigation, site structure, and other website features. Each of these factors has a significant influence on the amount of traffic visiting a specific page.
The density, or number of times, that the keywords are used determines the rankings of a webpage. The higher the frequency of keywords used, the better the ranking. The ratio of total number of pages vs. the number of pages that contain keywords is a prime factor in determining the website’s ranking. This ratio measures the effectiveness of seo efforts in generating targeted traffic to a specific webpage.
- The relevance of a webpage to its topic and industry is determined by other search engine algorithms.
- These algorithms are based on past searches, on what users have found to be relevant, and other criteria.
- When this information is collected and analyzed, it is translated into a machine-readable form.
- In this way, keywords enter the formula for search engine optimization.
- These keywords are then used to create hyperlinks from each relevant page of a website to the top ranking page.
- The higher the page that a link is placed on, the more popular the site.
It takes more than just using the right keywords to rank well in a search engine. While this is certainly an important factor, many experts advise that there are other more subtle factors involved. These include but are not limited to the design of the website, the content it contains, the usability of the website, and the links that exist within the website’s code and structure. By following these guidelines, you will be able to achieve search engine optimization that meets your business goals and will make your website’s presence known.