When people use a search engine such as Google to look for information, they do so by typing keywords or key phrases which relate to the product or service they are looking for, into the search engine’s search box.
The search engine will then search through the list of websites in its database to find what it thinks are the most relevant website pages relating to the search enquiry.
It usually takes the search engine less than a second to complete the search, when the search is completed, the engine displays a list of results starting with the page it considers to be the most relevant at the top of the page.
The object of Search engine marketing is to promote your website to high positions within the search engine results pages (serps) by making the search engine think that your pages are the most relevant for specific keywords used in the search.
There are two major components to any Search engine marketing campaign.
1: Optimisation of web pages and website content.
2: Generation of back links.
Optimisation of web pages and website content
Search engines collect the information on your pages using a special program called a spider or robot. To determine the subject matter of your website, this program reads through the text and various other elements included in the sites pages.
When starting to optimise a website, the first job is to identify which keywords might be used by a potential customer who is looking for the type of products you sell or the services you provide. To optimise the pages of your website, they have to be made as relevant as possible in relation to these keywords.
How are website pages optimised?
There are some important elements on each page of your website which the search engine will use as a starting point to determine the content of your pages. These elements are the page Meta page title, Meta page description and Meta keywords. The above elements are part of the html code used to build the page and they need to be optimised with the correct weight of keyword. Meta titles and descriptions must be written well and make sense to the reader as well as having the correct keyword density for the search engine.
If keywords are used too many times in a meta page description or title, the search engine is likely to mark the page down, the same goes if keywords are used too little.
So a good search engine optimiser will have the experience to create titles and descriptions which are like the porridge that Goldilocks nicked off the 3 bears - just right !
Creating the right meta information is only part of the optimisation process however, and there are many other elements which can be worked on such as optimisation of product category names, product titles, product descriptions, and product images.
In fact the list elements on a page that can be optimised is just about endless.
Generation of back links
Back links are links placed on other websites which lead back to your website. The importance of having back links cannot be understated. Google and other search engines use an algorithm or complex mathematical equation to determine the relevance of all the websites in their databases. Googles algorithm is based heavily on the number of relevant back links it finds leading to a website and refers to this system as ‘Page rank’.
In basic terms, the more back links that Google finds which lead back to your website, the higher your site relevance will be.
These back links can come from other websites, blogs, forums, in fact any kind of online resource which provides information.
Of course, as you may have suspected, it’s not quite as simple as outlined in the latter statement. There is also a dependency on the quality of the back links which lead to your website. In other words, if you sell electric drills, then there is not much point in getting a link from a website which sells pet food or a website that sells hot tubs.
What you really need is a link from a website with information about electric drills or some similar type of related product. That website also needs to have a high page rank or relevancy its self and to top it all, the link back to your website also needs to be optimised.
In short, the purpose of a back link strategy is to obtain an increasing number of the back links from relevant websites.
Just as with web page optimisation, a back link strategy should be seen as an on going part of a search engine marketing campaign.
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