As the biggest source of web traffic, search engines are incredibly important to organisations. The very first step most people take when looking for information, products or services is to carry out a search online. Therefore, in order to successfully market products or services online, it is essential that internet users who are not aware of your site can find you easily. This can only happen if your website has been optimised for the search engines.
Traffic from search engines is incredibly valuable – probably the most important source. Users who carry out a search are typically looking for something very specific and are usually highly motivated to buy, as long as they find what they need. Ensuring you have a strong presence within the search engine is really important.
Factors Influencing Rankings
All search engines try to rank websites by their relevance when users enter a search term. In order to do this, they need an index of pages to refer to. An index is created by what are called spiders or bots, which trawl the web for pages, storing a copy of the text as they go. When a term is entered into a search engine, each page with the word or phrase on it is identified.
When it comes to the way these pages are ordered, things become rather complicated. Search engines use variations to determine relevance, such as how frequently a word or term appears on a web page. A page where the term or phrase appears several times is usually considered more relevant than a page where the term is mentioned just once. However, over-use of the term can also have a negative effect and may be picked up as spam by highly sophisticated filters.
In addition to key terms, Google and other search engines also determine the relevance of a page by looking at other web pages which link to it. Those with related content will score more highly than those with unrelated content. Even these links will vary in terms of relevance, however. The age of the web domain will also have an effect upon the way it is ordered in the search engines. The older the site, the more trusted it becomes.
How Can I Optimise My Website for Search Engines?
Google is the top search engine, with approximately 80 per cent of the search market. As such, being at or near the top (and definitely on the first page) of a Google search should be the ultimate online marketing goal. But getting there is easier said than done. That is why many companies outsource their SEO to companies such as Big Media House, which offers web design in Milton Keynes and internationally.
There are at least 100 different considerations used by Google when ranking pages, including the hosting country, the location of the server and the location of the user entering the search. Together, these factors will determine a site’s rank – on page 1 or page 1001. While each search engine uses slightly different criteria and methods of ranking, Google is nearly always a good indication of where your website is going to feature on others such as Yahoo.