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Search Engine Optimization

SEO objectives

The general purpose of any search engine optimization program is to:

  • Achieve indexing in the search engines.
  • Improve your ranking in Search Engine Results Pages (SERP).
  • Increase the number of qualified visitors.
  • Improve your conversion rate and, ultimately,
  • Improve the profitability of your business.

Over 80% of people looking for information on the Internet use search engines in their quest. It is therefore important to ensure that the demographic segment for your business will find your website when they search using keywords and phrases.

search engine optimization

The search engines all use a similar methodology in finding and ranking websites. First, they start off by scouring the Internet for new sites and sites with updated content. To do this, they usually follow links from existing sites, although they will go directly to a new site, if it is a paid submission.

To crawl the Internet websites they use automated software ‘robots’, also known as ‘bots’, or ‘spiders’. These are looking for specific navigational links that they then follow to particular web pages. They then analyze the content to determine it’s relative value compared to other sites on the same topic.

As an example, Google processes each of the pages that Googlebot crawls in order to compile a massive index of all the words it sees and their location on each page.  In addition, they process information included in key content tags and attributes, such as Title tags and ALT attributes.

When someone enters a search query the index is searched for matching pages and the results returned are those the search engine believes are the most relevant to the user. Relevancy on Google is determined by over 200 factors, one of which is the PageRank for a given page. PageRank is the measure of the importance of a page based on the incoming links from other pages. In simple terms, each link to a page on the site from another site adds to the site's PageRank. The best types of links are those that are given based on the quality of the content.

It is therefore important to prepare websites to be easy for spiders to follow, and to design pages to deliver useful information, as well as to be structured to conform to what they want to see. This is the essence of search engine optimization.

Another very important factor in your site design is considering the keywords and phrases that your potential customers would use to search for your service.  Once these have been identified, each one should have its own landing page on the site.  That allows the page to be optimized for that particular term and thereby to attract more focused traffic than is possible on the home page.  The general rule is that each page can be targeted at only one keyword or phrase - trying to do more than that will inevitably lead to an unfocused page, giving the search engines a problem in trying to decide the degree of relevancy to any one phrase.

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