Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Improving Search Engine Results

Search Engine Optimisation or SEO is an important process to improving the ranking to your website in search engine results.  Its a process that involves several levels of optimisation ranging  from keyword research, website architecture, usuability  and linking strategies to correct imagery and fresh content.  In this post I explore the options.

Improving Your Web Page Ranking

User behaviour

Studies have revealed that 90% of Internet users find websites through search engines and out of those users, 85% do not go past the first 30 results displayed. With this in mind it is easy to see why it’s important for your website to rank high in these results. Your website must be displayed within the first 3 pages of search engine results.

Search Engine result Results Pages SERP

Search Engine Results Pages, or SERP for short, are the pages you see after you type in your keyword query into the search box of a search engine. Ninety percent of internet users query search engines to find what they are looking for. The most important elements first seen by users in SERP’s are the page title, the page URL and the page description. So it makes reasonable sense to optimise those elements with keywords that are relevant to the content of the web page, are present in the page title, page description and are part of the page URL. Simple right.

Types of Listings

The Search Engines Result Pages can be broadly divided into two categories:
  • Non paid organic listings sometimes called natural listings
  • Paid Advertisements sometimes called Pay per Click or PPC.
Clicks on organic listings account for approximately 80% of all traffic. Organic lists are free and attract the vast majority of clicks and are the overwhelming reasons why is it important to get your site to rank naturally in the search engine result pages. Website owners need to follow a process to get their websites to rank higher.

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of engineering your website so it can be properly read by the search engine spiders. A useful blog post to read is on levels of web page optimisation

What are Search Engines?

Search engines are programming systems that analysis text and only text. If your webpage is full of images and no text your site will be crawled but not read and not indexed by search engine simply due to no text on the page. You need text on the page, you need to target each keyword/keyword phrase on the page. For example, if you want to target the search term “web marketing agency” you need to have one page with the title “web marketing agency”, a URL with “web marketing agency” , page description with “web marketing agency” and lots of content about ““web marketing agency” plus all the page elements (H1 – H6 headings, Alt image tags, Bolded words and Links). Website optimisation is performed by internet marketing specialising in all levels of optimisation.

What NOT to do!

However it never makes sense to call a home page “home” or have their business name on the title of every single page of website. This is great for corporate branding but useless for other purposes. The owners probably search for their business and are pleased when it comes up first in Google. This is only good for the customers that know your company name or brand which is fine for large brands like Argos or Amazon but if you’re trying to get customers from internet users you need to optimise your text for keyword or keywords phrases that internet users are searching for.

What TO do!

Other aspects of getting higher rankings for your website are trust, authority and link building. The trust you get is via good link building and from algorithms. The more links you get from already established trusted (authorities) sites the more Google will trust you. It makes sense really, because a good website will not link to a rubbish or an irrelevant website.
It is important to understand that the value of link juice transfer to your website is the page rank of the web page divided by all the inbound, internet and outbound links on the page plus yours times a damping factors .

How Link Juice is Transferred

If you get a link from a website with a Page Rank of 4, and this web page has 250 other links pointing to other websites the value of link juice transferred to your website is calculated as:

the standard weight of a page PR 4 is 625 divided by the total of links plus 1 (yours or 251) times a damping factor of 85% equals 2.117 which is added to your webpage page rank.

You can read a very useful blog that explains in detail the value of link juice transferred.

Another aspect of trust is by executing your link building strategy within accepted good practice and search engine guidelines. This means building links naturally, creating keyword rich anchor text, pointing links to relevant pages and not using keywords excessively on your page. Adding an unreasonable number of pages to your website in one day is not a natural progression. Search engines like websites to expand naturally, anything else and your website comes under the radar and possibly get penalised/banned.

Summary

So the only way to obtain high SERPs is to stay within search engines guidelines and accepted practice. This means building websites that are easy to navigate (so users and the crawlers can find every page easily) ,have lots of good relevant interesting content and plenty of trusted links. Make your website the best site on the internet in your chosen niche and you shouldn’t go far wrong.

About the Author:

Vincent Sandford of SEO Synovation is the author of numerous articles and blogs on search engine optimisation, online reputation management, web marketing, wine and real estate. He has a passion for website marketing and helping professionals, small and medium businesses grow. Learn what Vincent can do for your website by visiting SEO Synovation a web and search marketing agency.
 

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