More and more people are searching for what they want to purchase online. At the time of this writing approximately 70 percent of the population finds and purchases goods and services on line. This means that for a business to be competitive they must be able to be found by people who are searching for a certain product or service on the Internet. So it’s important to understand what factors lead to your website being the one that people will find when searching. Of course the website itself must do an excellent job of presenting your products and services thus stimulating interest in the prospective buyer. But an excellent website will be ineffective if no one visits it. This can be likened to opening a new store and not telling anyone about it. Search Engine optimization is about telling people you’re there. Website design and search engine optimization (SEO) are specialized fields and they should be handled by people who are knowledgeable in these areas. However a business owner should have a basic understanding of these concepts in order to ensure that the correct objectives are achieved by those providing these services. Search engine optimization should be incorporated into the design of the website and a good website designer is not only proficient at the visual presentation aspects of their craft but is also knowledgeable in search engine optimization techniques.
Search Engine Optimization Clarified
Search engines are used extensively by people who are looking for things on the Internet. Google, Yahoo and Bing are examples of search engines. A person can key in what they’re looking for and a list of links will be displayed. So the goal of search engine optimization is for your web site to provide what the search engines use when displaying their lists of links. Search engines scour the Internet and look for important words that they store in indexes with links back to the sites where they find these words. Then when people key in a combination of words they use these indexes to display the relevant websites. These words are often called ‘keywords’. Using the best words and phrases in your website are an important aspect of search engine optimization.
Start With Keywords
The primary objective is to be found by people searching the products and services you provide. This is done by using the best keywords and including them on your website. The keywords should be used in page titles, headings, paragraphs, etc. Your website designer should know how to make the most of the keywords. So how do you identify the best keywords to use? There are tools on the Internet that will give you keywords and phrases that are most often used by people searching for your type of business. Google provides Insights for Search at www.google.com/insights/search. You can enter the type of business you’re in such as ‘Auto Repair’ or ‘Tire Shop’ and you’ll see a list of the most frequently used search phrases use by people when looking for these services. These phrases should be included on your website in the areas that search engines look for to find ways to classify sites. If this is done well, your site will be included in the search engine indexes.
Search Engine Rankings
When search engines display lists of websites they also rank them in order of relevance. They rank relevance primarily by location and frequency. In other words the place on the webpage that the keywords appear affects the ranking as well as the number of times they’re used. So building each page in a website to make the best use of relevant keywords that will be used by search engines will achieve the best results. In addition to ranking by keywords, search engines use relevant inbound links to rank websites. This means that a website is given a higher ranking based on the number of links that point to it from other locations on the Internet. Furthermore the location the link comes from is evaluated for relevance and traffic. So a link from a site on the Internet that is in the same business you’re in and has a high number of visitors will boost your rankings more than a link from a site in an unrelated area or one with low traffic volume.
Increasing Traffic to Your Website
The goal of search engine optimization is to drive more traffic to your website. Your website designer should build your site to accomplish this and you should check to make sure what is done makes sense. Check the page titles, headings and paragraphs and make sure the best keywords are included. Building links from other Internet locations will also increase your website rankings and should be pursued as much as possible. You’re competing to be at the top of the list when people search.