Search Engine Optimization Guide
Guide to rank #1 on Google’s search results
Have you ever wondered how Google prioritizes the results when you search for a particular keyword? Google often displays millions, or probably even billions of results when you use its search engine. But, how does it rank different websites? What are the various parameters that Google considers while doing so? Confusing, isn’t it? Well, you need not be, because I’m here to explain to you about how this process works.
SEO, your key to rank #1 on a search engine
What is SEO? It stands for ‘Search Engine Optimization’. SEO simply means optimizing your online content so that Google or any other search engine displays it as a top result for a particular keyword searched by the user. For instance, if you have an article about ‘The Nimitz’, you have to optimize the content with the keywords so that a search engine displays your content as the top result when someone searches for the keyword ‘Nimitz’. It has become so very important in the recent years that people hire professional SEO specialists to optimize their content for them.
Now, let’s get down to some stats!
- Several blog posts, such as this, will be uploaded every day, every minute. It is estimated that over 2 million blog posts are uploaded every day.
- Over 92% of online experiences begin with a search engine, such as Google or Yahoo, out of which Google alone accounts for 68% of such searches.
- The first 5 results of all searches get approximately 68% of all the clicks. This means, if your website is listed within the first 5 results of a search, you have a 68% chance of being noticed.
How does a search engine work?
When a user searches for a particular keyword, a search engine’s automated robots search through billions of files on the internet for your particular keyword. After they find the related files, they save the search results on massive databases so that they can be used in the future when someone else searches for the same or related keyword. What might seem astonishing to you and me is that how can a search engine search through billions of files in a fraction of a second. To help them in this regard, search engine companies have several data centers around the world. They all coordinate together and provide the result as quickly as possible, which in most cases is less than a second.
However, you could be wondering how does a search engine prioritize between so many results. For this, it considers several factors such as brand value, how often a website is being viewed, popularity, keyword optimization, the usefulness of the website, how user-friendly it is, traffic on the website, average time spent by a user on a website, etc.
There are actually two ways to rank high in a search engine’s search results.
- I’d call the first way as the ‘Temporary way’, literally! It involves making your website more visible to the internet users without giving more importance to the content on your website. For this, people optimize the website only keeping the search engine in mind and stuff the page with keywords, pop-up ads, links to irrelevant pages, duplicate content, etc. They are nothing but spam pages. It would result in making a few quick bucks, but the website will eventually be taken down and could also lead severe consequences such as punishment of the marketer.
- The second way is the ‘Right way’ of doing things. If you follow this method, your page should have relevant content which is unique and not plagiarized, proper usage of keywords, relevant images which are preferably labeled, links leading to related content, proper grammar and punctuations, etc. It might not become an instant success, but would often lead to a sustainable web page in the future.
So how do you actually optimize your content?
Here are a few tips on how to optimize your online content:
- Make your content really detailed and thorough: The more detailed your content is, more are the chances of your content and website being viewed. A person visiting your website for a particular reason would like to get all the information he/she requires within the same website. It would lead to user satisfaction and build in trust, which would eventually lead to the user visiting your website more often.
- Make your web page beautiful and user-friendly: When a user visits your website, he/she must find it simple, beautiful and easy to use. If you have too many pop-up ads or distractions which annoy the user, chances are that they would refrain from continuing with the site and also using it in the future. So try to give more importance to the content and make use of ‘Flat design principles’ to design your website.
- Cross-linking your page on all pages of your website: If you want more people to visit a particular page of your website, make sure that particular page is cross-linked to all the other pages of your website. For instance, assume you have a website for your blogs. It is better to cross-link all your blog posts on every page of your website so that when a user accesses your website, he/she would continue to stay on it by reading different blogs of yours. The more a particular page in linked, a search engine would give it more prominence, considering it to be more important.
- Your web page should load quickly: When there are millions of alternatives, why would a user want to stick on to your website which loads so slowly? Of course, one wouldn’t. So make changes to your web page and optimize it so that it loads quickly, which is a few seconds. Don’t forget that over half the internet users access it using their mobile phones and would love to stay on a website which loads quickly.
- Patience is the key: Well, this applies to anything new that you start. You can’t upload a blog now and expect it to go viral in a few hours, unless it is from a huge brand. People who follow huge brands such as Nike or Rolls Royce would love to stay updated about any developments related to the particular brand. But if you’re just a common person uploading some online content, you have to stay patient and keep making positive changes to it so that more people find it useful and would like to access it more often.
- Optimum keyword usage: Make sure that your content has sufficient keywords in it so that a search engine would consider your content while ranking websites.
I hope this blog has helped you understand how a search engine functions and how to optimize your content so that your website performs better. The importance of SEO would only increase in the coming days and not paying heed to it could very well kill your web page.