Today, it is becoming increasingly important that your website features strongly on search engine results. In SEO speak, this is referred to as having a website that is crawlable. Think about it for a moment. You can have the most brilliantly designed website but if it is not crawlable, it may as well be locked away in the attic because nobody is going to find it. There are entire industries built around search engine optimization and indeed it is a complex and growing topic. However, for the layman, there are a few simple things that you can implement to make sure you are getting a decent online presence. Before we look at ways to go about this, let’s first discuss the major search engines and their angle on search engine optimization.
The Top Search Engines and Why They Are Important
There are many different search engines but only a handful that you should really focus on. The big three are Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Bing is Microsoft‘s search engine; on most computers that run Microsoft’s software, Bing is the factory default for searching the Web. Bing likes pages that have keyword content and phrases that can be picked out as search items. They recommend that each page has separate topic and that page sizes are kept small to allow them to load easily and quickly. Yahoo places a high value on the content of a website. The frequency of updates and number of links to similar relevant sites is equally important. Google is the one search engine that stands head and shoulders above the others. They have refined the search process to the degree that it is by far the most widely used search engine on the Internet. If you plan to focus on only one search engine, make it Google. Google looks at content, website and link structure, and information-rich content.
Making Sure that Search Engines Like Your Content
When creating the content for your website, you need to have a broad view. Do not think of your products or service from only your perspective. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Think of what type of information they would want, what format would be easy to read, and what topics might they find relevant. Perhaps one of the most important aspects of creating your content is to select the right keywords. Keywords should be the basis for each page’s topic. They should be the word or phrase that people will search for to find information about your company, services or products.
Correct keyword usage is also important. Have the keyword in the page heading as well as in a subheading. It should also be repeated in your page content. This is where most people make a mistake. Either they shove in so many keywords that the text is almost impossible to read or they stray from the core keyword, using too many different variations of it so it isn’t effectively picked up by search engines. As a rule of thumb the keyword density on a page should be between five and 20 percent. In other words, the key word must make up at least five percent of the words on that page. It is essential that your content still reads naturally. If readers are bombarded with too many keywords, they are likely to navigate away from your site.
Keeping Your Website Relevant
It used to be that as long as you had reasonable content, you would feature relatively well in search engine results. However, more recently search engines are focusing on bringing customers search results that are not only accurate but also relevant to them. One measure of relevancy is how current the information is. A sure way to ensure that your site is crawlable is to update it on a regular basis. Ideally, this should be every day. Make sure the information you post is relevant and not just filler. It should be content-rich and of interest to your customers. If you are using a blog, keep it informational rather than personal.
Building Your Web Network
Other strong features of search engine optimization are website links; however, you need to proceed with caution in this arena. Not all links will be beneficial or relevant to your company. You need to be careful in your selection of link partners. Links are used by search engines when they are crawling for information. When you are selecting links for your website, keep in mind your list of keywords. You want to select companies that use the same keywords and that already rank high in search engine result. Internally on your website, you want pages linking logically so they are easy for search engines to navigate.