Search engine optimization is one of most popular online marketing tool for any website. With most websites looking forward to increasing the online sales of their products/services, search engine optimization can be a very cost-effective tool to target and procure your customers online. In this paper, we will discuss about search engine optimization, its benefits and how you can optimize your website for top search engine rankings.
What is search engine optimization?
Search engine optimization (also known by various other names like search engine ranking, search engine promotion, website promotion, SEO etc.) is a method through which a website is given top rankings in various search engines. According to a recent industry study, 1 in every 20 people go to the second page of search results pages, but only 1 in every 100 people go beyond that. So, by top search engine rankings, we mean that your website should be within the first two pages of the search results, preferably in the first page (i.e. within top 10 rankings).
What are the prime benefits of search engine optimization?
* Top search engine rankings result in more pre-qualified business leads coming to your website which in turn can convert to greater sales for your organization.
* Search engine promotion is one of the cheapest methods of advertizing for your organization. Compared to advertizements in the newspapers/magazines or in the television, search engine promotion costs many times less and can bring more traffic to your websites, thereby providing greater ROI.
* Search engine optimization enhances online brand identity of your organization.
What are the key factors for your website to have top search engine rankings?
Search engines change their algorithms frequently, thereby forcing the search engine optimization companies to re-strategize their search engine optimization techniques. However, the following attributes are basic and play a major role in procuring top search engine rankings.
a. Keyword Research – Keywords play the most vital role in your search engine optimization campaign. Keywords (can be 1, 2, 3 or more words) are the search terms which a surfer types in the search box of a search engine to reach your website.
Keyword research tips –
* Always target keywords that best describe your products/service.
* Try to find multiword potential keywords compared to single keywords.
* Try formulating keywords which give answers to as “why/how/what …….?”
* Utilize your server log files to know what your customers searched most while visiting your site.
* Use keyword generator softwares like Wordtracker (http://www.wordtracker.com) or Overture (http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/)
* Include popular common misspellings (e.g. viagra typed as viagara etc.) in your keyword list.
b. Title of the webpage – Title has a deep impact on your website’s search engine rankings. Experience shows that most companies use the following as title of their index page which can prevent them from getting top search engine rankings.
For example, let’s continue with the example of “India-based Outsourcing consultant”.
An ideally optimized title should contain the top 3-5 keywords of your business, e.g. outsourcing consultants, outsourcing india, outsource india
Optimized Title – title Outsourcing Consultants, Outsourcing India, Outsource India
c. Description Meta tag of the webpage – Description of a webpage also plays important role in getting top search engine rankings.
Optimized Description – Develop a suitable description based on your top 3 keywords
example: meta name=”description” content=”One of the most reputed outsourcing consultants offering outsourcing India services and strategies on how to outsource India.”
d. Keywords Meta Tag of the webpage – This meta tag was of great importance at one time. But rampant manipulations (i.e. multiple, often non-relevant keyword stuffing in the “keywords” tag), leading to abuse has resulted in search engines giving lesser importance to “keywords” tag while ranking sites. Nevertheless, you can always place top 3 – 5 keywords of your site in the “keywords” tag.
Optimized Keywords – example: meta name=”keywords” content = “outsourcing consultants, outsourcing india, outsource india
e. Importance of Content/Keyword-enriched optimized pages for top search engine rankings –
Well, if there is one aspect which holds supreme importance in search engine, specially in Google ranking, then it is this. Yes, content! The popular industry say – “Content is King” was perhaps devised by watching Google’s love for content. Develop content based on the top keywords related to your business. While developing content for your web pages, keep in mind the keyword density (KD).
Mathematically speaking, Keyword Density is the ratio of the total number of time a keyword is repeated divided by the total content words. Since KD is normally represented in percentage, the above figure is to be multiplied by 100
For example, if you have developed a web page of around 250 words on the keyword “search engine optimization”, and that particular keyword (search engine optimization) is repeated 10 times, then
Keyword Density (KD) = 10/250= 4%
As a thumb rule, Keyword Density of an optimized page for top search engine rankings should vary between 2 – 7 % (this figure varies among different search engines)
Submission of Keyword-enriched optimized pages
After you have finished content development for the optimized pages based on the keywords targeted for top search engine rankings, submit those pages to various search engines.
a. Google – http://www.google.com/addurl.html
b. AlltheWeb – http://addurl.alltheweb.com/add_url
c. AltaVista – http://addurl.altavista.com/addurl/new
d. MSN – http://submitit.bcentral.com/msnsubmit.htm
e. Yahoo – http://submit.search.yahoo.com/free/request
Key SEO Factors
Targeting the right keywords for your website
Title of your webpage
Description Meta tag of your webpage
Keywords Meta tag of your webpage
Quality, Informative Content
With Google’s numero uno position in the search engine market being threatened by arch-rivals Yahoo! [bought Overture, the largest PPC search engine recently, who in turn bought Altavista and Alltheweb] and Microsoft’s MSN [believed to be developing its own search engine], it is no doubt that the search engine industry is going to experience tremendous changes in the next few months. The recent Google “Florida” Update is just one of the many upheavals that we may be witnessing in an industry where the only constant factor is the “change”. However, the various techniques outlined in this paper are basic and are we believe that following them you will be able to achieve top 10 ranks in Google and other search engines.
Prabuddha S Raychaudhuri is the Founder & CEO of Search Engine Optimization Guru Pvt. Ltd., a premiere Search Engine Optimization and Marketing (SEO/SEM) consultancy firm, catering to clients which range from Fortune 500 to small home business start-ups.