Search engine users are some of the most qualified and motivated visitors to your website you will ever have. After all, they have taken the initiative to hunt for online resources on a certain topic and then they clicked your link to your website to learn more.
Why do you have to optimise your web pages?
Some people think that it is enough to submit a website to as many search engines as possible to get high rankings. Unfortunately, that is not the case. If you do not optimise your web pages, then you won't get high search engine rankings.
Not all websites can have high rankings
There are billions of web pages on the Internet. It's obvious that not all of them can be listed in the top 30 results on search engines. Search engines only list web pages that they find relevant to a specific keyword. You must make sure that your website is such a site.
If search engines cannot find out that your website is about football equipment for example, they can't give your website high rankings for that keyphrase. The process of changing your web pages so that search engines find them relevant is called search engine optimisation (SEO).
Your website must appear in the top 30 results
Key among the findings relating to the search engine user community is that 62% of search engine users click on a search result within the first page of results, and a full 90% of search engine users click on a result within the first three pages of search results. This reinforces the need for you to ensure that your website is ranked within the first three pages of search results – particularly on the first page – for the keywords or keyphrases used by search engine users to find your products, services, or information.
(Source: iProspect Search Engine User Behaviour Study)
For that reason, search engine optimisation is imperative if you want to be successful with your website.
How do search engines rank web pages?
All major search engines use the same principle to rank websites. The exact ranking algorithms differ from search engine to search engine but the principle is the same. We'll use the ranking algorithm of Google as an example.
How does Google rank your web pages?
1. You need good links
To get good results for the PageRank factor, you need good links from related pages that point to your site. It's a simple principle: if page a links to page b then it is a recommendation from page a to page b. The more links that point to your website, the better your rankings.
The quality of the links is also important. A link that contains the keyword for which you want to have high rankings in the link text is better than five links with the text Click here. A link from a website that has a related topic is much better than links from unrelated sites or link lists.
2. You need optimised web page content
While the linking concept is easy to understand, the hypertext-matching analysis factor is a bit more complicated. Google explains hypertext-matching analysis as follows:
"Hypertext-Matching Analysis: Google's search engine also analyses page content. However, instead of simply scanning for page-based text (which can be manipulated by site publishers through meta-tags), Google's technology analyses the full content of a page and factors in fonts, subdivisions and the precise location of each word.
Google also analyses the content of neighbouring web pages to ensure the results returned are the most relevant to a user's query."
As Google analyses the full content of your pages you also have to optimise the full content of your web pages.
One page is not enough
Google also analyses the content of other web pages on your site to ensure that your web page is really relevant.
That means that it is crucial to optimise different pages of your website for different but related search terms. The more web pages of your website are optimised for keywords about a special topic, the more likely it is that you'll get high rankings for a special keyword that is related to that topic.
It is not enough to optimise a single web page.
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