Search Engine Optimization

Essentially search engine optimisation is concerned with where one’s website ranks on a search engine when their web address or associated terms are looked up online. The are many contributory factors to where one’s web page is listed.

1. Search engine:

SEO often depends on which search engine one is using when exploring online. Google, the most popular search engine in the world by far, prioritizes text heavy web pages that utilize keywords associated with their business, as well as having numerous existing Google accounts such as Gmail and Google+. Bing on the other hand prefer more picture friendly and colourful websites in terms of search ranking.

Ideally a webpage operator will try to satisfy the criteria set out by Google given the sheer market share that they hold in the search engine industry: “Google remains the most used search engine in the world, far outdistancing competitors”

2. Webpage links:

A webpage that contains links to other reputable pages will rank more favorably in comparison to those that have less formidable links. For example, a company will have a more enhanced SEO if they have a link on their page to Cork Institute of Technology than they would to their local bookshop. This is because the larger, more reputable entity one is associated with, then the higher one will rank on Google’s SEO criteria. This will help to increase an organisation’s organic search engine ranking; “Organic listings actually tend to produce much more traffic for the same search phrase, all things being equal than paid ads”

3. Advertising:

This is when web pages pay Google to promote them online. There are two main forms of advertising that Google offer; Display advertising and Pay Per Click advertising. Display advertising is when an ad is shown to users, usually through the means of an illustrated banner, that when clicked on brings you to the web page advertised. This involved the website paying Google a fixed sum that is not affected regardless of how many times browsers click into these banner ads. Pay Per Click is when a web page is given high optimisation based on the fee they pay Google, and for each web page hit they receive they give Google a certain fee. This guarantees more visits to a site for sure, but does not mean more sales.

4. Meta tags:

Title Tag: A business should ensure that they write unique title tags for each webpage, including their main keywords in the title tag. They should ensure to include their brand name in the last tag. Up to 70 characters are shown in Google results, so its advisable to keep the characters to around 50 – 60, to ensure they are all included (well written titles will help in improving click through rates). It is recommended to keep all information on the site authentic and text heavy if possible.

Meta Description: again, it is essential to write unique description for each page, include main keywords in it, your location and try to include as many selling points as possible. Meta descriptions should be kept to about 150 characters. This description is no longer among Google’s search engine optimisation ranking criteria, but is very important for the click through to purchase rate.

5. Page headings:

It is important to use different fonts, sizes, colours and logos when selecting headings. The more imaginative the heading then the better the chance of an improved orgaanic SEO.

6. Page content:

It is pivotal that an organisation keeps their page updated regularly, at least daily if possible. They should also use appropriate, relevant, and interesting information within their content. A firm must be sure that all content is consistent with their meta tags and heading tags, that text on each web page is unique and that all content newly shared is newly written. (Google ranks fresh and text heavy content extremely high in terms of search engine optimisation.). It is never a good idea to try to match competitors’ websites. Although it is extremely advisable to look at them to help analyse the competitive environment in the industry, one must ensure that all content created on their website was created by their website. The one word we must remember in terms of page content is “unique”. Although it is highly recommended to use a firm’s keywords on their webpage, overusing the same ones is a bad idea, as Google will recognize the word’s previous presence in the content and mentioning it again will do nothing for search engine optimisation.

7. Eye tracker:

Numerous studies have been carried out in the area of eye tracking. Eye tracking basically tracks which part of a web page a browser pays particular attention to. Surprisingly, a webpage flooded with images does not appeal to a browser as much as one with various font sizes, colors and logos, especially those that are displayed on the left of the page, as people tend to be drawn to the left hand side of the screen far more than to the right.

There is a proven eye tracking theory that is called the F – pattern. This is where people look at a webpage and are drawn to the areas of the webpage that typically appear in the pattern of an F. Highlighted below in colour is the area of a page where people typically look, thus highlighting the areas that a business should pay extra attention to when determining their webpage layout.

F – Pattern:

It should be pointed out however, that the F pattern is effective for people who speak English i.e. from left to right, and that the opposite is true for anyone that speaks languages that reads from right to left.

8. Google adwords:

There is an very educational video on Google adwords available on Youtube.

If a company follows these recommended SEO steps then they should see a vast improvement in their online presence.

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