Why do we optimize a site for search engines? We will answer this question as we define what SEO means but before we go there, let’s start from the Fundamentals; Search Engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing follow links from one web page to another on a given site. Basically, a search engine consists of a crawler, an index, and an algorithm. A crawler follows links on the web, and saves the HTML-version of a page in a large database, called the index. This index is updated every now and then as so long as you keep producing new content or revising the old stuff. Note that search engines like Google must know that your site exists before they index it. You can fast track this by:
- Creating a sitemap of you website. They are various ways to go about this; you can install the Google XML Sitemap Plugin for those using WordPress or use XML Sitemaps Generator.
- Submitting your site to Google Webmaster Tools or Bing Webmaster Tools; it’s free to sign up for webmaster tools, all you need is a Google account to sign up for, then add your new site, In the search Console Dashboard, you go to Crawl, then click on sitemaps and add the link to your website’s sitemap to webmaster tools to notify google about it, and the pages you have already published. You can also do the same with Bing Webmaster Tools.
- You can also add your site to Bookmarking sites like Reddit, Stumble upon, Digg etc.
- Add your site link to your social media profile like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus etc. Search Engine Crawlers will definitely find your site on these profiles.
Google Algorithm determines which site shows in the search results. The Google’s results page shows 7 to 10 links to sites which fit your best search i.e. the organic search. You will also notice 1-3 paid links (ads) above these 10 blue links; they also appear on the right of the search result pages.
So back to our question, why do we optimize a site for search engines?
Search Engine optimization (SEO) is the process in which a site is optimized in order to have it appear high in position in organic search engines results.
SEO Can is divided into two categories:
- On-Page SEO
- Off-Site SEO
On-Page SEO are key factors that determine ranking of your site basing on the structure of your site i.e. Internal Linking, Design of the site with respect to users navigation, the Text, how words have been used & the quality of the content and also Technical factors like the quality of the site’s code.
Off-Page SEO factors include presence on social media networks, links to your site, and also links to other sites. These factors all put together determines the Ranking in Search Engines
Keyword Research and Selection
Keyword research can be defined as the process through which you come up with a list of keywords that you would like to rank for. A good keyword research ensures that you select the words your target audience uses. To get the right keywords, you need to put yourself into your audience minds and ask yourself what kind of terms and related words will they use to search for your site, how do they do the search, what kind of questions will they ask etc.
We have several tools to help you do keyword research with ease:
- Google Trends if your article is related to holidays, or anything seasonal, then this is the best place to start. Google Trends allows you to compare the traffic for sets of keywords. You can check this basing on Geographical regions.
- Google Keyword Planner this actually the AdWords Keyword planner. You can use this tool to find new and related keywords. This can also be of great help when coming up with ideas for some potential keywords.
- Use your internal Search Engine on your site – These are terms in the vocabulary of your actual audience and can be added to your keyword list.
You can also read:
Understanding SEO as a blogger and all related tasks like using Keyword Research Tools makes it easier for you to create content that can appear high in Rank in Search Engines. When your site is in high rank position, then you stand high chances of benefiting from the free traffic from Search Engines, and your site will also be looked at as having an Authority in its niche.
Do you have any questions or comments with regard to SEO, feel free to post them in the comments below.