Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving internal and external aspects of a website, or Web page, to increase its organic visibility for search engines. SEO involves editing the website’s HTML code and content to make it more search engine friendly, and then promoting the site to increase its relevance on the Web.
Once search engines are alerted to your website’s presence, they scan the code and content of your site and index the information. Search engines analyze the website content to determine when and where your website displays on a search-engine result page.
The page content (text displaying on a Web page) should be inviting, comprehensive, and — within reasonable limits — contain as many of the site’s keywords as possible.
Some search engines, including Google®, pay particular attention to the number of websites linking to your website when determining the importance and ranking of your site. These external links are called back links.
You’ve heard the phrase “Location, location, location!” and its importance when shopping for business real estate. The same applies to the placement of your website on search engine result pages. According to research, the higher your site is listed as a search result, the more traffic you’re going to get.
Quality traffic means increased revenue and more publicity. Search engine traffic can lead to an organization’s success or failure.
The goal of SEO is to land your website in the top few pages of search pdat results page. This is not easy. It takes a lot of time and constant tweaking to increase your search engine rankings.
To assist you with the process, Search Engine Visibility guides you through optimizing your website for search engine inclusion. Search Engine Visibility analyzes your site by applying various rules based on what search engines see when they visit your site. Search Engine Visibility reports the results of the analysis, and suggests measures you can take to improve the optimization of your site.
Most major search engines display a combination of organic and paid search results when answering users’ queries.
The organic are the main results — often labeled “Web Results” or something similar. Paid listings are displayed separately on search result pages and generally listed as “Sponsored” results.
The organic search results returned by a search engine for a given search keyword are generated through intricate ranking calculations that determine the relative relevance of the Web pages listed in the search engine’s index in relation to the entered keywords along with a multitude of other factors. These organic results are the “true” output of the calculations that comprise a search engine’s ranking algorithm. A high organic search engine ranking can only be attained through effective search engine optimization (SEO). Occasionally, certain Web sites automatically rank highly for very particular, non-competitive keywords.
Paid search engine advertising offers an alternative or companion to positioning a Web site for organic search engine listings. Most paid search engine advertising is built around the so-called pay-per-click (PPC) concept. Simply put, PPC allows advertisers (i.e., Web site/business owners) to bid for the top ranking for a given keyword. The advertiser that places the highest bid is ensured the top ranking for that keyword until he/she is outbid. The second-highest bid is secured the number 2 ranking; the third-highest bid claims the 3rd spot, etc.
If you are willing to pay for it — and perhaps even engage yourself in bidding wars with other advertisers — PPC can be an enticing option. Many large-scale e-businesses rely on a combination of paid advertising and targeted SEO.
Search engines do not see Web pages like you do. They cannot process images, and translate them into content. Search engines crawl your website by reading the code created with HTML, ASP, PHP and other code languages. A page made up mostly of images displays mostly blank to a search engine.
Sometimes, what you see as text on a page isn’t really text. Some people create Web page designs in an image editor program and instead of recreating the design as code, they simply post their image to look like HTML.
The problem is, a picture of text isn’t actual text, it is just a picture. And it isn’t visible to the search engine. All a search engine can see is a blank spot where the image is.
A similar problem exists for audio and video, as well as Flash® animations. (Flash is a plugin that runs animated content in a website that users can often interact with.) Some highly interactive pages that are completely created in Flash can be practically invisible to search engines.
Having a page on your site with lots of images, or with a lot of flash animations, can be fine depending on your target customer. Image gallery sites obviously want to showcase their images, for example. However, it is not search-engine friendly. So if your business model depends on being found by the search engines, you should think about including a few pages with descriptive text (such as “about” pages or even adding a business weblog to your site). This makes it much easier for the search engines to find and rank your site. Adding text descriptions to images (using alt text attribute) for such sites helps as well.
There are several reasons why a site might not show up in search engine results pages. Here are the most common ones.
The search engines haven’t indexed the site yet. Sometimes it can take a week or more for a search engine to find your website. This is because your website is new and doesn’t have any inbound links. Once your website is crawled, it usually takes another week or two for it to be pushed out to the index. A long time ago submitting your website to the search engines used to be a good way to speed up the process. But these days there are so many requests that the feature doesn’t work. It’s much easier to create links to get the spiders to crawl your site.
The site isn’t optimized for search engine crawling. Once you submit your site to a search engine, a spider is sent to your site to crawl it for content. These spiders don’t view your site like a visitor would. They scan your site for meta content, keyword saturation, relevant content, and many other factors. Therefore, you need to consider what content search engines actually see on your Web pages.
Wondering why a certain search term doesn’t bring your site up in Google®? Take a look at the page content of your site. If the search term isn’t in the actual content of your site, it’s not considered relevant to the search engines.
Once search engines index your site, and you’ve sprinkled targeted keywords throughout the pages, the site starts displaying in queried search results. However, this does not necessarily mean you’re going to be on the first page of search results.
Not enough quality content. Your Web page copy — being the actual, visible main content of the page — should be presented and arranged in a logical and visually pleasing manner. And, the copy should be rich in keywords.
The keywords should be woven into the flow wherever it is possible, but without sacrificing narrative and textual flow. Note that search engines are very aware of keyword stuffing in page copy. Therefore, do not force keywords into the copy. Rather make the keywords appear as integral part of the natural flow.
In layout and writing style, your copy should suit the page’s main target group. The point is to instantly catch and keep page visitors’ attention, so they stay on your page instead of exiting via the nearest outbound link. Note that Internet readers tend to have shorter attention spans than readers of print media, such as newspapers and magazines. Web page copy should generally be shorter than similar text in printed form. Ideally, you should break up large amounts of text with images, animations or other elements.
Too much Flash®. Flash-animation can be visually stunning and might turn a Web page into a virtual work of art. Unfortunately, very few search engine spiders understand Flash. This means that Flash-embedded page elements, including links and text, are invisible to many visiting spiders. In other words, submitting heavily Flash animated pages to Internet search engines is usually futile. You can still achieve decent rankings with partially Flash-animated pages by optimizing your site content and meta tags.
The site isn’t optimized for search engine inclusion. Search engine optimization (SEO) describes the process of refining a website to gain a higher search engine ranking in “organic” search engine results. By optimizing your site, you can tailor your site to be search engine-friendly. SEO can be a challenging and rather lengthy process. The more research you put into the practice, the greater of a return you’re going to see in your rankings. For more information, see How Do Search Engines See the Web:.
The keyword market is very competitive. Search engines help millions of users across the world navigate the World Wide Web and find specific content amid the billions of documents that inhabit the Web. Make sure you are targeting a less competitive keyword market, so you can gain the attention of your consumer. Remember, your site might be returning in the results of a search engine query, but if you’re keywords are too general your site is going to get lost in the shuffle.
This is where Search Engine Visibility can help:
If you’re using Search Engine Visibility you can use the sitemap submission tool, optimization options, and the SEO Checklist to identify possible issues with your website.
Search Engine Visibility is an Internet-based search engine optimization and submission tool that guides users to optimize their website. Search Engine Visibility shows users how to improve internal and external aspects of their website. Doing this increases the visibility of the website in search engines via the “natural,” or unpaid, search results.
Search engines rely on proprietary ranking algorithms and use that technology to look for various elements of the Web page, their organization, page content and how popular the Web page is. The absence of certain attributes, or the over-prevalence of other attributes, can seriously impact your ranking success. Search Engine Visibility shows you which site elements are particularly important to the various engines and helps you position your website for those engines’ ranking criteria.
Search Engine Visibility V1 helps you analyze, optimize, and submit your Web pages to key Internet search engines and directories.
Search Engine Visibility does not guarantee search engine listings or higher rankings. Search Engine Visibility also cannot provide any exact timeline for the fruition of your search engine optimization efforts.
Because competition can be fierce, and search engines use proprietary ranking algorithms, there is no guarantee that your URL will attain a high rank with a particular search engine. The ultimate decision lies entirely with the search engine.
But, search engines do reward sites that are optimized, well-composed, and feature unique and/or meaningful content. That’s where Search Engine Visibility comes in handy.
You can use Search Engine Visibility’s SEO Checklist to identify optimization opportunities in your site content. Optimizing your site significantly improves your chances of achieving higher rankings with the search engines.
Once refined, use Search Engine Visibility’s site submission options to submit your site, correct any submission issues, and track number of pages indexed by various search engines.
In some cases, yes. A number of search engines support paid-inclusion models for Web content. Paid inclusion generally guarantees a shorter turnaround time for submitted pages and in some cases also provides guaranteed inclusion.
Search engines use keywords when they include your website in their search results. Keywords can make or break your search engine ranking. Adding keywords to the content of your website can improve its ranking, but overusing them can cause your site to be banned for spamming.
When identifying keywords, select words and phrases in the content of your website that someone is most likely to use when searching for your online business or website.
Each of your Web pages should have keywords that include phrases found throughout the page content, title tag, headings, attributes, and link text. If you have words and phrases that occur often, rearrange the order to keep each tag unique. We don’t recommend using the same string of keywords on all of your pages because it could hamper your SEO.
You can use the Keyword Ranking report in Search Engine Visibility V1 to see where your site ranks on search engines for specific keyword searches. Search Engine Visibility V1 shows you the ranking information for saved keywords on your home page keywords, as well as keywords shared throughout the site.
To optimize your website in Search Engine Visibility V1, you should submit your sitemap anytime you make changes to your site. Site changes can include any of the following:
Generally, you should only submit your sitemap once every 24 hours. However, it’s a best practice to submit your sitemap only if your site is updated or you change content.
There are several types of Meta Tags, including Title, Description, Keywords. You place Meta Tags in the “head” section of your Web pages HTML to provide information that helps control robots and crawlers searching your website. The information in Meta Tags is not viewable by site visitors unless they view the page’s source.
A robots.txt file specifies which parts of your Web page robots or crawlers can access. While some can ignore your robots.txt file, many search engines will find it and follow the specified protocol. You create and place a robots.txt file in the top-level directory of your Web server.
While both a robots.txt file and a Meta Tag communicate the preferences of your website to search engines attempting to crawl and collect information, using a robots.txt file is recommended. The robots.txt file allows for more flexibility and control over what gets searched. It should be uploaded to the hosted site’s root directory.
No. Search Engine Visibility offers you insight on how to optimize your site. But, you still need to implement the recommendations for your site to be optimized.
Once you activate Search Engine Visibility, the tool crawls your site similar to how a search engine would. After analyzing your content, Search Engine Visibility displays issues your site might have with search engine optimization, and then offers suggestions on how to fix the errors.
It might help to do additional search engine optimization research, to assist you with fixing the errors.