Demystifying How Search Engines Rank Your Web Pages
Whether you are in digital marketing, an SEO consultant, a web designer or simply a business owner wanting your website to be more visible it is important that you know how search engines rank different web pages.
Digital marketing agencies are set up to utilise a number of digital tips, tools and tricks in order to best push a business and website into the limelight. The end goal is to of course increase sales and profits however many important steps along the way all include working to boost visibility via the search engine ranking systems.
There are two key elements to consider when a site or web page is ranked and that is to look at crawling and indexing.
This pertains to the search engine’s ability to navigate around the site it needs to index.
This is the process of actually listing pages from a website into the search engine’s index.
If you look at your website stats once in a while in depth you might see who or what has been crawling around your site. What you can’t see is how easy your site was to crawl and the immediate results of indexing so it is instead worthwhile taking steps to make access easier in order to “score” higher.
The way that Google looks at websites here in 2013 is much different to the way it has in say 2010 or even before. SEO experts and those in digital marketing will confirm that the landscape has changed dramatically in recent years thanks to Google updates which ultimately have been geared more towards organic and natural links, better quality and relevant content as well as all things socially related.
Signals and Graphs
Search engines use “signals” for want of a better term to look at the site demographic, geo-location, how it is or should be categorised and more. Those involved in web design, SEO and even digital marketing need to understand what these signals may be and in short they include information such as the internal link ratios, how trust-worthy a site is and what authority it has, local information, the Meta data each page should include, anything link related and more. The list is extensive and you can read more on signals here which will give you an idea of what is considered when your web site is crawled and indexed.
Graphs are all about classifications. When a bot crawls a web page it adds it to the master list of other crawled pages in the same category. Called graphs these categories refer to:
Anything named for example “things”, events, people, places etc
Links: The links which connect to any sites which increase trust and authority in a given field as well as their relevance
This includes behavioral information, how the page is connected etc.
There are other categories or graphs to consider however it should have become clearer by now that these are the ones which need to be given more attention in order to help Google and other search engines index a website. How much effort the people responsible for SEO on your site put into these categories will affect how successfully the site is ranked.
Despite this breakdown of the ranking process which has hopefully enabled you to pick up some information which will better your changes of a better ranking no-one truly knows the ins and outs of Google or indeed any search engine’s crawling and indexing criteria. More may be found from Google webmaster tools however generally speaking being relevant, getting rid of those nasty backlinks and ensuring your site is informative, engaging, relevant and sports top quality content is the best way to work toward more successful rankings.
How to Use Web Marketing to Optimise Results for Your Business
In order to ensure your business grows and becomes a success, it is important to make use of web marketing to help achieve better results. Web marketing has very little cost associated with it, but it can help with your branding and to build your customer base. Most businesses make use of web marketing in one way or the other these days and it is important to take advantage of all the benefits it can offer. There are various marketing strategies you can use to help optimise the results for your business.
In order to engage consumers and keep their attention, you need to take careful consideration with your website content. Instead of throwing your content together, you need to make sure it is interesting, up-to-date and relevant; otherwise it is highly unlikely that you will gain enough interest to convert your visitors to sales. You should also incorporate search engine optimisation into your content, as this is the how you will drive traffic to your website and improve your ranking on Google. You can find out more about the importance of content and SEO by reading this article.
Writing articles and posting them onto other sites is known as ‘guest posting’ and it can be a really effective way to get your business name known to the masses. Again, you need to make sure the content is informative and relevant to the website you are posting on; otherwise visitors to the website will be unlikely to click on the link to read more about what you have to offer. There is usually no cost associated with this form of marketing, although high ranking website may ask you to pay a small fee.
Pay per click does have some associated costs and will depend on how much you are willing to spend. This type of web marketing involves bidding for keywords, in order to rank in the sponsored part of Google. It can be hit or miss and there is no certainty that you will achieve results from it but if you have a marketing budget to work with and are a larger sized company, it may be worth giving it a try.
If you want to let consumers know about your new business, special offers or perhaps a new collection, press releases are a good way to do it. The content of your press release must be written in a way to entice consumers to your products/services, otherwise you won’t really benefit from it. If you are not really sure how to write these effectively, it may be worthwhile to enlist the help of a marketing agency to do it for you. You will usually find these to be relatively inexpensive, but they can help you achieve some good results. You will also need to know about the most popular PR websites to publish your press release, in order to attract as much traffic to your website as possible. For more information on writing press releases, please take a look at this short video.
Cost Effective Ways to Market your Business
If you mention SEO or any other type of online marketing to many people, they will wonder what on earth you are talking about. There are many businesses who don’t even consider the prospects available to them by implementing a marketing campaign and many would shrug it off as being too expensive, without knowing the true costs. Marketing does not have to be costly and in fact, there are many strategies you can use which are actually cost-free.
It is imperative that you start your marketing with your website and make sure this is flawless before you move on to any other marketing strategies. The content of your website should make use of SEO, although it should not be littered with keywords. You should have around 2/3 keywords on each page and ensure that your website is easy to use and navigate around so that when visitors find your website, they will want to stay and re-visit. You can learn more about SEO in your web content in this article.
Another cost effective way to market is making use of SEO in articles. You can create articles which have a link to your website and post them on free directories or submit guest posts to other relevant websites with SEO incorporated within them. This can be very time consuming though, so if you don’t have the resources, it may be worthwhile looking into a digital marketing company to take this task on for you. It can still be cost effective to do this as you will be getting insight from experts who will dedicate a lot of time and attention to marketing your articles.
Social media is one of the most effective ways to target a captive audience and one of the best features about this is that it is absolutely free. You can set up a fresh page for your business on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and any other platform you can think of, advertise your products and incorporate SEO into it. Social media is only ever effective for a business if you have the time and resources to put into it as you need to make sure your content is always kept relevant and up-to-date.
Build up a network of businesses within your own niche as they may be able to help you with your marketing campaign. These things often work on a ‘You scratch my back, I’ll scratch your back’ basis and you never know where this could take your business. For instance, you may wish to post an article on a very highly ranked website and the owner may agree as long as you post one of their articles on your own website. These situations are common ways of marketing in the industry and can be a highly cost effective way of achieving some good results. The more you grow your network, the better your chances of a successful marketing campaign. You can learn more about networking by reading this interesting article.
I am the one who searches….Google under fire over organic search results
A certain search engine has come under a lot of flak recently for modifying its ‘organic’ search results.
Few companies are privileged enough to be both a proper noun and a verb. In fact, I’d wager that apart from Hoover there’s only one other – and it’s the company you most likely used in order to read these very words. Yes, Google of course, a constant presence that enjoys such tangible omniscience as to make deities jealous.
Recently though, the all seeing all knowing behemoth has hatched a cunning plot, ruffling a few feathers in the process. If you’re an SEO consultant, then you’ll be all too familiar with trying to evade incurring the wrath of Google: Use dubious black hat techniques such as keyword stuffing, link farming or creating doorway pages and you’ll soon discover that your sacred 500 word text will never appear in the promised land of a page one Google ranking.
Now, however, it seems that Google have broken one of their own ten commandments (Thou Shalt Not Deceive Thy Users), by ensuring that paid ads receive higher rankings than those results obtained by organic searching. Admittedly, this has always gone on in some form, and thankfully devotees of the Google search are pretty good at spotting which results are ‘genuine’ and those that are propped up by cash, yet it seems like this practice is becoming ever more common place. And it may only be occurring with regard to a minority of search queries at the moment, yet image carousels, paid ads and Google maps are slowly replacing more relevant search results.
So what can be done about it? Many SEO’s are frustrated by this volte face on the part of Google, especially when considering that they’ve given Google pretty much unlimited access to their content so that brands and company websites could easily be located by those Google spiders. One such solution – and it’s a bold move – is to STOP USING GOOGLE ALTOGETHER. Although that may sound like blasphemy to some, and impossible to others, it’s worth remembering that the Walls of Jericho collapsed and mighty civilisations do fall: Remember The Roman, or indeed British Empire, or even (whisper it) the world’s number one superpower formerly known as the United States of America?
Websites could block Google’s crawlers, making searches pretty much useless on that white screen with the letters in primary colours. Users would go elsewhere which would lead to a loss in ad revenue and ultimately a fall from grace as Google’s stock value tumbled. So, maybe it’s time to resurrect the search engines of the olden days; remember Before Google (BG)? Admittedly Alta Vista has been swallowed up by Yahoo, but there’s always HotBot, Dog Pile or – in hushed tones again – Bing? Bing could quite easily capitalise on this schism and use it to significantly invest in high quality organic search results.
Or why not use www.gizoogle.net instead? Gizoogle is a parody website of Google and returns all searches in gangsterspeak. You might not get exactly what you’re looking for – type Google for example in Gizoogle and it doesn’t even come up – but at least you’ll be having a good old chuckle, whilst those money worshipping devils in California will be left scratching their heads, praying for a miracle and wondering where it all went wrong.