Search Engine Optimization: Improve Online Visibility
There are over one billion websites on the internet, so how can just one stand out? When someone uses a search engine to find the answer to a question or solve a particular problem, a site like Google uses its own set of algorithms to rank which websites are more helpful than others depending on the query. While there are many tips to improve the chances of a higher ranking, an essential SEO strategy is considering keyword targeting and how the site works on mobile devices.
The Importance of Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is maximizing the potential to rank high on search engine results. A given search can yield hundreds of pages of results, but even if there are as few as five pages, how many people are likely to click past the third page, or even the second?
- 91% of search-engine users do not click past the first page
- 50% do not look any further than the top 3 results on page 1
SEO is simply a matter of knowing what words to use on a web page and in the URL, which help achieve a higher ranking in a search result. Considering the amount of competition for products and information marketed online search engine optimization is essential.
Finding and Targeting Keywords
Everyone who runs a website wants to be discovered, but how? Spamming links on social media will get someone banned, and that is certainly no way to build a consistently growing customer base. Keyword targeting is the practice of utilizing information that already exists – it just needs to be found and gathered. Certain words and phrases are used in search-engine queries more often than others, and knowing what those precise words are in a particular area of interest is imperative. There are free programs available for download that will show a website owner the amount of searches for specific words that are related to a particular product. What words or phrases are used the most? Those are the keywords to target on a website looking to maximize its potential. Google, for example, has a “Keyword Planner,” and some websites have their own analytics built in which keep track of searches leading to a website visit.
Don’t Practice “Keyword-Stuffing”
Keywords belong not only on the web page itself but, in order to rank above others on a search engine’s results, they belong in the URL. Those parameters certainly help boost web page ranking. However, write them, so they appear naturally: stuffing them where they do not belong will be obvious. There are important points to consider:
- Keep the web page name in the URL – don't fill it with unnecessary letters and numbers
- Streamline your site – keep the number of clicks to get from one area of the site to another to a minimum
A Mobile World
Another important part of a good SEO strategy must be the consideration of a mobile search.
- Nearly ¾ of Americans own smartphones
- Almost ½ of Americans own a tablet, some of which use mobile browsers
- A number of mobile searches exceed the number of desktop-based searches
To guarantee that a website viewed on a smartphone will keep the viewer’s attention, both the function of ads and text need to be considered. First, avoid using pop-up ads. Sure, advertisers generate revenue, but not only are pop-ups debilitating a user’s view of your site, but search engines notice that a site allows pop-ups. Those sites do not rank highly in search results. Keep ads, but don’t keep pop-ups.
Be Mobile Friendly
Using mobile-friendly text leads to less accidental clicks since the text will automatically render to fit the screen size. Google now looks for plug-ins on a web page in order to consider ranking. Since many mobile devices do not support plug-ins, there are likely many missed opportunities by using them if a potential customer cannot view whatever is on the page. Many mobile browsers do not allow plug-ins anymore, so to keep a site mobile-friendly, avoid applications such as Flash and Java. Doing so will significantly increase the chances of a site having a higher ranking.
A Good SEO Strategy Leads to Better Visibility
Define your audience and their needs, know what keywords are the most important, and then go become more visible. Once a website becomes reputable, people will start linking to it, which also increases ranking on search engine results. That is the goal: stand out above the rest of the competition. You know you offer the best service, now it is time to let others know that too.