Whatever type of site you have, it is certain that a large proportion of your visitors will come from Google search results. Search engines are now the yellow pages of previous years. And through them we find what we need within seconds. But how can we ensure that our site will come up in the Search Engine Results Page (SERPs)? To begin with, this is not a simple process. However, it is something that you can achieve if you follow the right steps towards optimizing your site for the purpose of search, also known as Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short. Before we go into Search Engine Optimization techniques, we may want to look at the philosophy that lies behind it.
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Many people have connected SEO with dubious techniques of deceiving the search engines. A combination of tricks to make a site appear on the first page of Google without that site really deserving it. This is known as “Black Hat SEO”. Search engines, especially Google, have invested billions of dollars in order not to fall for such optimization tricks that were usual some years ago.
Combining highly sophisticated algorithms and artificial intelligence, Google can now understand very easily when a site is trying to cheat. So, what does it mean to have a search engine optimized site?
It means mainly to have a site that is worthy of ranking highly in search engine results. This is the foundation of SEO. All our other actions should build on this principle. But why have search engines invested so much to identify sites that deserve a higher ranking? The reason is simple. If search engines cannot identify and display at the top of their results page those sites that actually have the most to offer to searchers, then people will stop using them to look for information. The reason why we choose Google is precisely because it succeeds in finding pages that are the most relevant to us, and provide to us what we’re searching for. If the search engines cannot do this, because of some cunning webmasters, having bypassed the algorithms they use, then they obviously have no reason to exist.
One of the first SEO methods ever implemented was the excessive use of keywords. If you were to look up the keyword ‘remote control’ in Google, it would find websites literally filled with repetitions and mentions of that word. Fortunately, this strategy can no longer be used. Although you will find many tools to measure the keyword density of your site, it is advisable not to keyword-stuff your pages. Google can now understand if you use natural language in your texts on page. So, it’s not worth giving special attention to the issue by filling your page with keywords.
However, if you follow these tips, the results you get will certainly be better and Google-approved. Include the word you are attempting to rank for in the URL of the page. For example, if you are aiming to rank for the keyword ‘remote control’, make sure you have an URL that looks like this. Include the focused keyword that you’re interested in on the title of your page. Rather than continually repeat the keyword that you’re targeting, use synonyms and related words. For example, remote control, handheld control, push-button control, TV, sofa, DVD, etc.
The use of synonyms and related key terms shows Google that our page is indeed relevant to a specific topic, and also gives us the possibility to rank for multiple keywords, other than focus on our keyword. Optimize your title tag. The title tag determines the way your title appears in Google. It is the first and most important element of your page and will determine how a user sees your page. The form should be the source of our HTML page. There are differing opinions on what size the title tag should be.
Although, theoretically, you can use up to 120 characters, it’s not a good idea to reach such numbers. Google usually shows up to 55 characters, including spaces between words.
The Meta Description of a page is a description that gives the use a brief understanding of the contents of the page. While the title tag of a page is advisable not to exceed 55 characters, the Meta Description of a page can be much longer. One or two sentences to a short paragraph, not exceeding 155 characters. Like the title tag, the Meta Description is placed within the <head> tag of the HTML code of our page. Although, as we mentioned, the Meta Description can be larger than the title tag, it should not exceed 155 characters. Avoid using the same Meta Description across the whole of your site or even on multiple pages.
All pages must be unique for the user to understand the page they are being taken to. A good tool to use for Meta Description writing is Google Webmaster Tools, which has a special section that will give you enough information, specifically about each page’s Meta Description. If the words are either too short or long or if it appears too many times, etc., it will let you know. It should be noted that Meta Descriptions are no longer considered as a ranking factor for search engines.
The main reason we insure meta descriptions are well-written and relate to the page they are used for is to help users understand what our site is about when they see it on the results page. In addition, Meta Descriptions are used by Facebook and Google+ when someone posts a link. Having written a proper description of our page increases the chances of people visiting our site through this link on these platforms. Choosing the keywords on which to focus our efforts is not a simple task.
The two methods we can use are:
Option one for SEO
To choose keywords that have a high search volume. For example, the word LED. The obvious advantage to this option is that about SEO efforts bring results we will have a huge amount of visits to our site. However, as one would expect, the greater the volume of searches for a keyword, the higher the competition. This means that the effort, time, and cost we will need for Search Engine Optimization for such a keyword would be correspondingly high.
Option two for SEO
The second option for keyword selection would be to focus on less popular keywords. These are called ‘long tail keywords’. For example, “car LED UK”. Or something more specific, such as “where can I buy LED car London”. Although the visits and search volume we can expect from these keywords will be less, we can expect faster results with less effort. However, there is nothing to prevent us from focusing on more than one of these types of keywords. There is also another advantage in choosing long tail keywords. As a rule, they are much more focused and allow people who know exactly what they’re looking for to find what they need.
These people are, therefore, much more likely to make a purchase because they have already settled on what they need and why they are searching for it. Let us look once more at the examples previously mentioned. When someone searches for the word ‘LED’ (L-E-D), we don’t know much about what she’s looking for. It can be a variety of things, since there are no other words for us to associate this keyword with. We can assume the searcher is one of the following: Someone who wants to learn more about this type of lighting. Someone is trying to see if it suits her to replace the bulbs in the house with LED. A student seeking information for an essay.
Someone who does market research. Somebody interested in Led Zeppelin. Alternatively, someone who searches for “LED car London”, knows very well what she’s looking for. She probably has already decided that she will have LED lights put in her car, and she’s trying to find a store that is close to her home to make a purchase. Therefore, the focus on long tail keywords will not only be less expensive and require less time. But it is also more profitable for your business.
But how can we identify the keywords that are worth investing in?The answer is simple: With Google Keyword Planner. By going to the following address. We see the choice. After you click on this option, you’ll see the screen below, which makes up the keyword of interest. LED, in this case. And then, you may choose from the options to target a specific country or language of interest. Greece and Greek, for example. By pressing the Download button, we will see a picture like this.
This table shows keywords associated with the word LED we used for our example. And how many monthly searches each one of these related keywords has. Analyzing the table, we can identify keywords that have a relatively small number of searches. But where the competition that exists for them is proportionately smaller. So, it may be not interesting to invest in them, as we can get results with relatively little effort.