The best website and an active presence on social networks will be worthless if these efforts are not reflected on search engines. Here is some advice and some explanations.
All internet users carry out searches on the web, using Google, Yahoo or Bing for example. However, most people do not look beyond the first page of results. Positioning yourself on the first page of search engine results should be the aim of any internet marketing strategy. To do this, you need to understand how search engines work.
Google, for example, indexes and ranks webpages according to two criteria:
- Relevance. Relevance seeks to assess pages' relevance to the keywords specified.
- Authority. The criterion of authority ranks the pages to be displayed according to their authoritativeness, that is, according to the number of links that connect these pages to other pages. In other words, the more often a page is cited on other pages, the better chance it has of rising in the rankings. But not all links have the same value: a link from a site that has numerous backlinks itself confers more authority than a link from a site which has none or very few.
There are two main methods for improving the indexation of a site on search engines:
- Paid Search Engine Advertising (SEA). Paid SEA services (for example, Google AdWords or Yahoo Search Marketing) help place the site in the first few search results. However, these links will be presented as adverts paid for by the company. The owner of the site signing up for this program pays a fee for each click on the link. This system can be particularly advantageous for niche markets, which use unusual keywords and are therefore less costly. Search engines typically have tools which make it possible to measure the impact of keywords used and to modify them where appropriate.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which is based on the use of keywords and an increase in the number of backlinks. This method consists, for example, of adding relevant keywords to the site (in the code and in the presentation) to increase its chances of appearing in the first search results when a user enters these terms or other, similar terms. Particular care should be taken with choosing page titles, and also descriptions. Search engine results should ideally reflect the information present in the page description, in just a few words. For example, the first few lines of a page presenting your products or activities should already appear in the user’s search results. URLs – i.e. the full address of site pages – should also include a maximum number of keywords. The same applies for the architecture itself and the titles of sections, text, etc.