When a person types in what they want into a search query, a search engine such as Google or Bing will go through their large catalogue of web pages quickly to find the best possible match to what the searcher wants to find. This also takes into account local listings, advertisements, images, videos and a whole host of relevant related information. Search engines may use different software but they work in pretty identical ways. Firstly, they ‘crawl’ through content on your page to be able to categorise each piece into an ‘index’. They use ‘crawlers’ or ‘bots’ to scour the pages of your website looking for keywords and relevant info. Then, they ‘rank’ what is the most important element of information that relates to what has been entered into the query. They then display the indexed content in order of relevance. Pages with copies of information (such as product descriptions) may not be registered as only one version of that information is required. This means it is always better to write up your own descriptions than to paste anothers.
A big part of ensuring a clean website to search through is to make sure the HTML of your website is short and efficient. This is the code in the back-end development of your web pages that makes sure everything in the front-end runs smoothly. Many websites can be edited using content management systems such as WordPress or a website builder like Wix or Squarespace. Try to relate to your consumers when writing. If you do this then you link to the very thing the search engines are optimized to look for. This means constantly keeping up-to-date with the latest trends and fashions. Images can also be named descriptively to add that extra info to a page.
The results page for a query shows both organic (unpaid) and paid results. Not every business has the resources to contend with buying searches, so the importance of organic search is more useful than ever before. Think about the specificity of what your potential consumers are looking for, this will likely result in you appearing in higher results. The search “Tesla” may come up with Nikola Tesla, news about him or Tesla the electric car company or news about relevant stocks, but the search “Tesla Model 3” will link directly to an individual page. It is more useful to focus on a tight subset of information categories to rank higher than others. A certain level of testing needs to be done to find the right level of macro-keywords and micro-keywords.
Paid advertising can come in a number of different forms, from YouTube ads to text ads on results pages. Advertisers compete for these spaces for the opportunity to display ads. These are done through bidding. If an advertiser charges £2 for a keyword, that’s the most they are willing to pay for a single ad click. If this ad shows but no one clicks, this does not cost the advertiser anything at all. Ideally, bids reflect the value of the keyword but the amount is up to each advertiser. These bids are the basic way of managing the impact your marketing efforts will make, however the quality and relevance of the ad itself is also vital to win higher spots on the results page even with a lower bid cost. With a well designed advertising campaign you can reach customers cheaper than your opposition simply by being more intune with your audience.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console gives you handy analytics reports to help you understand how intuitive and engaging your web pages are. This includes the most common searches that bring people to your site, number of clicks, and links to your site from external contributors. Other valuable reports include ‘crawl’ reports which let you monitor whether Google is visiting your web pages and “Google Index” reports which shows to you what information Google has recorded about your site. Find your website by logging in through www.google.com/webmasters to access all of this information.
Embedded messages such as meta-descriptions and titles are used in the background code of web pages which are more identifiable by search engines. Meta information is useful as it also generates the actual search result for the specific page. All information provided requires to be specific, relatively short, and tailored towards customers rather than the search engine itself. Trying to trick or direct the search engine will likely result in deductions in appearances on search results as it may think you are a con or fake site with repeated phrasing or spam. Backlinks are links from other sites and are the main examples of external contributors. Having high quality backlinks (such as government, academic, or informational institutions) can give a big step to your websites popularity. Many businesses believe that just having a high quantity of links is equal to having a few high quality links, however very low quality links to websites that are designed just for link building are useless to improving the SEO of a website.
The best way to get others to link to you is by creating great engaging content such as Top 10 lists, unique articles, or deep dive videos. High follows or likes on social media are not particularly important when it comes to optimisation of the website, but using social media is still a great way of engaging a bigger audience.