A key element of improving the performance of a website is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is the process of affecting the position of a website in a search engine’s organic (unpaid) search results. A website that is search engine optimized will appear higher in search results resulting in a greater number of customer visits to the site. A high organic rank also helps build trust in the minds of the consumers as they generally associate a higher ranked website with being a strong, more established brand with greater reliability. This perception in turn leads to greater conversions on the website and supports the fulfillment of the corporate objectives for the brand.
Search Engine Optimization is an Internet marketing tactic that takes into consideration how search engines operate and ‘rank’ websites, how people search for keywords, the keywords that are most frequently searched, and the kind of searches (text search, image search, video search) that consumers are likely to use to learn more about the products, services, and business as a whole.
Typically when a business adds a page to its site, the various search engines send a spider (or web crawler) that stores the page on the search engine’s server and then indexes the page (i.e., gathers relevant information on the contents of the web page and the links that it contains) for fast and accurate information retrieval when an online consumer registers a search query on the engine.
Optimizing a website for online searches involves editing the content of the site, tagging or coding the pages to increase the website’s relevance to specific keywords, and removing barriers to the indexing activities of search engines. Promoting a site to increase the number of backlinks, or inbound links, is another SEO tactic.
Mobile devices and tablets are being used increasingly by consumers to access the Internet, therefore, it is important for organizations to ensure that their websites are optimized for mobile devices. Also, since many consumers use voice search features, websites and keywords must also be optimized to account for this changing trend among mobile users. When businesses optimize for mobile devices, they should ensure that the website is responsive to mobile devices and tablets; maintain a separate mobile site since mobile users prefer websites in which content can be consumed on a smaller screen and on the go, and provide only relevant content and maintain a light mobile site to ensure faster loading of the mobile site.
An Example of SEO Skills:
A website that sells kitchenware had issues with site structure and on-page targeting. Their category level pages were at subdomains (e.g. category.sitename.com) while each sub-category was back on the main subdomain (e.g. sitename.com/product2=url?xyz). Category and sub-category pages had a distinct lack of semantic HTML or term targeting. Steps such as getting H1 tags onto each page, improving title tag structure, clean & friendly URLs and adding internal links with appropriate anchor text were taken. The site saw ranking improvements across the board, which brought new traffic through head, mid and long tail terms.