Imagine owing an outlet without having any signage, name, or anything particular about it. Some people might come out of sheer curiosity, probably enquiring about a completely different product, instead of the product that is being sold . Giving an appropriate name to your outlet and putting up a product image on it would attract a lot of customers who are interested in your product, and those customers in turn would provide you with publicity. The first scenario resembles a website that hasn’t undergone optimisation, and the second one relates to one that has been optimised.
The Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) involves developing a website that is easy to categorise and find. SEO is a fundamental aspect of digital marketing strategies. This is an integrated approach to drives customers to your business through a web portal. There are more than 13 billion online searches every month. With businesses becoming global and going online, the Yellow Pages and Telemarketers have become archaic search methods. If we take a small segment of that 13 billion to your business, it means a considerable amount of people are looking for exactly what you offer. In order to achieve this, it is important to have a higher ranking in the search engines or SERP (search engine result page) and then retaining that position. The PPC (pay per click) activities should also be very good. Only then you will have a qualified traffic for your online business. SEO gives opportunities of substantial levels of free advertising; it would make your website rank primarily in the initial pages of SERP, and provide reasonably good ROI.
How it Works
Search Engines are typically the softwares that crawl web-page content. Unlike humans, they are text driven. They perform a particular set of activities such as scanning, crawling, storing indexes, and recovering. The search engines make use of algorithms that are complex and based on different factors including the following:
• Meta Tags: The meta tags provide metadata about the HTML document that are used by search engines in evaluating the content of the website.
• Inbound Links: The inbound link is a hyperlink placed on other websites that points to or navigates to your website. The search engines make use of inbound links to rank the websites. So it is necessary to make certain that the websites providing inbound links to your website have high rankings with sizable traffic.
• Keyword Density: This gives an idea of the number of times a particular keyword is used in the content of your website. Keyword density is an important factor to determine if a web page is relevant to a specified keyword.
• Content in a Website: The content in a website is the most important aspect for search-engine rankings. Having quality content in the websites, which is optimised with relevant keywords, ultimately makes the website valuable to the visitors and the search engines as well.
The whole cycle is described as follows:
The Web search engines make use of a Crawler or Spider that crawls the website content. The Web Crawler is a software that browses the World Wide Web in a systematic manner as a basis for web indexing. The crawler doesn’t check every day that if a page is updated or if the new page is added. Sometimes the crawler won’t visit a web page for months. The Web crawlers usually copy all the visited pages so that they can be later processed by a search engine. It also lists pages that have been downloaded, enabling the users to search efficiently.
After crawling the content, the Spider stores a particular page in a database. An index is another name used by a search engine for a database. It consists of all the information on all the web pages or websites that the search engine was able to browse. A particular web page or content can be retrieved from the database by using a keyword or a related search string. In case the website is not in the search engine’s index, then users won’t be able to find it using the search engine. Correct optimisation of the page also needs to be done for the search engine to understand the page content.
3. Search Engine Algorithms
Just as the keywords, the search engine algorithms are important and unique to every search engine. A search engine algorithm comprises of a set of rules or a unique formula that is used to define the significance of a web page. These sets of rules determine whether the web page is genuine or spam and whether it contains relevant content proving useful to the users in order to have a search-engine result page, which is organised and informative. The three types of search algorithms are on-site, off-site, and whole-site algorithms.
Once the search engine understands the intended content of the user, it retrieves a group of documents, which it finds relevant to that intended content. This process is quite complicated with the search extending to many different servers and indexes. The simplest way of achieving this is by retrieving a list of existing documents that contain a group of words or keywords aligning to the core concept of the query.