Abstract—A key major expenditure for any business in existence is advertising. In today’s digital world, it can be done more effectively using social media. This paper describes possibilities of enabling businesses to have higher search engine response position.
The Internet has a much wider reach than all of traditional medium of communication combined.
Search Engine Optimization refers to several on and off page techniques that help improve the overall results to queries on a set of defined keywords or related keywords. There is no definite or exact pattern that leads to a higher search engine response position. Google remains a favorite source of traffic for bloggers and has over 300 algorithmic changes in its query response mechanism throughout a year. This makes it impossible to fix a scalable strategy that may work for every website. The process of getting traffic from free / natural result pages on a search engine encompasses several techniques such as rewriting meta keywords & description, backlink creation and content marketing.
The most appropriate way to start with Search Engine Optimization is to start with a tool like Google Webmaster’s Central / Bing’s Webmaster Central. Upon successful verification of your portal, you get access to list of keywords that gets you featured on search engines. This helps in planning content for higher results. Such tools also show details such as potential keywords, list of sites linking to you and various other aspects that affects the position of website for any query.
Instead of taking search engines as just a different element of web, if you consider it as a normal ‘user’, you could build a
higher impact. There is no point in optimizing websites for search engines and not users. The real goal of any marketing campaign
is to generate leads that may get real conversions. Prime purpose of this technique is to reach actual users and not just a looped
collection of search engine crawling bots.
There are some key factors that affect your search engine response position:
– Title Of Webpage
– Relevance of meta description & keywords
– Value of content for user
– Number of authority links to your web site
– Page Load Time
– Social Media Reach
– Structure of URL / Navigation
– XML Sitemap
– Alt attribute for images
– Mobile compatibility
A. Title Of A Web Page
A title tag on a webpage needs to be related to the content of the web page. This helps search engines to reference to your web
page when a similar pattern of keywords is used in a query and your web page’s title. However, you need to maintain a unique
title for every page on the website. Furthermore, you cannot just target search engines because a title is also a visible element of a
web page. Any user browsing a particular webpage sees its title at the top of the browser. It needs to be necessarily relevant. It is
strongly warned to not simply stuff keywords in an unnatural form or your effect on search engines may drop significantly.
B. Meta Description And Keywords
Quality and original content is a key factor that lets you gain visitors. However, meta description and keywords convey the necessary meaning to search engines in comparatively less cluttered form. One of the most initial step to SEO is to write meta description and keywords for web pages. This can be written with tags like <meta name=”keywords” content=”your,set,of,keywords”> and <meta name=”description” content=”Precise description of the content of the web page “> . If you manage the meta tags well, you can expect a decent response without much of off-page optimization. However, as this is a basic technique – it is widely used and hence very competitive to find the right set of keywords and description.
Value Of Content
It is necessary to understand that people would never be interested in plagiarized content. Instead they need access to improved knowledge on a set of keyword which didn’t exist previously. Inventing valuable content is an important part of optimization. If your content doesn’t add value to life of your customer, people would never be interested in reading it. That is why when you are building a software product, an online support forum comes to a great rescue as your users will be engaged.
You can use tools such as CopyScape to verify if a particular post is copied from some other website. And if you cannot actually invent new content, you should link to your source of information as a reference while adding their work on your web page. By valuable content, we are not just referring to text or illustration but the entire user experience.
You need to track activities of user using tools like Google Analytics and Kissmetrics to find out where the user navigates on his first visit. This will give you access to mind set of most of your targeted users. Suppose, a navigation bar at the top attracts 200 clicks while that at the footer attracts 50 clicks – it is advisable to place higher
Certain search engine optimization practices may restrict you to a minor extent about location of links in a HTML page but it should never hinder the user experience. You should remember that people will be using your website and not search engines.
This remains as a key to success as far as Google is concerned. The number of websites linking to yours determines your relative position with your competitors. However, it should be noted that bulk link harvesting tools should never be used –as they get your website penalized by search engines on account of hyper spamming to obtain higher results. Search Engine Optimization is a medium or long term goal and takes time to execute effectively. It is extremely necessary to maintain that sites linking to your website do not contain spam content. Search engines detect black hat techniques by rating growth rate of backlinks. Suppose a website A had 500 backlinks last Monday and by Thursday, it grows to 10,000 without necessary quality content / article backing the link. This may bring you to suspicion and you may end up spoiling your appearance on search engines.
Alternatively, you can approach webmasters in your niche to backlink to your content. Convincing a webmaster to do that may require monetary inputs but a relevant backlink adds more value to your content than ten backlinks from websites with poor content. It can be understood this from the illustration.
E. Website Load Time
F. Social Media Reach
With introduction of social-networking rich content on webpages, it is important to consider social media count as a key factor in response position. A higher share by a public profile on social networking platform such as Facebook may help you bring a page to a higher rank on search engines as well. It is important to consider role of Google Plus when dealing with Google – the king of search engines.
G. Structure of URL
The structure of URL plays a role similar to title of a website. Your content is referred with a URL and if this URL contains targeted keywords of relevance, it may attract more people..It is very easy to say that the second URL is easier to memorize or use for an average human with a nominal IQ.
Suppose the following URLs : http://[nameofyoursite.com]/dev/struct/console.html
Similarly, you get an improved visibility when your URL is highly optimized.
H. XML Sitemap
Sitemap is an XML file that contains list of URLs to be indexed by a search engine. For this, you need to submit a sitemap to the respective webmaster central console. You need to build two sitemaps – one for user and one for search engines. You can use an online XML site map generator for your website or a plugin on open source CMS may do the same.
I. Alt attribute for images
Frankly search engines are blind about images and seek alternate text in place of images. It is very important to use alt attribute for images as this may help you target more relevant keywords.
Example: <img src=”graphics.png” alt=”My First Book”>
J. Heading – how different than title
The headings used on your webpages also contain an influence over your position in search engine result pages. The frequency of using heading tags may boost or reduce your overall appearance. You need to format and draft your content really well in order to rank better.
Robots.txt is a file that contains permission for user agents to access various resources on your website. It is required to allow search engine bots to index your websites. Without an effective robots.txt, the entire process of search engine optimization may turn out to be useless as the crawler may never be able to index your resources. This may restrict any further interaction of search engine with your interface.
L. Mobile Compatibility
Several people use smartphones and not desktops / laptops on a more regular basis and missing mobile compatibility may badly hamper your customer base. It is important to make a mobile version of your website as well – to reach the smartphone users within a limited bandwidth.
Search Engine Optimization is a tool for the visionary and knowledgeable person to market their products really well. It is necessary to consider real users rather than just search engines.
The day content on your website benefits your users, search engines will start upgrading your position. This shall be achieved with quality content, meaningful content and meta- tags, stream of backlinks and user experience.
If the mentioned steps are taken into consideration, the way to reach a wider population could be easier at minimal cost.