What is Search Engine Optimization and how can it help your business? Quite simply, Search Engine Optimization or SEO as it commonly known is the process of organizing your website to be ‘read’ by search engines in the most effective manner. The result, hopefully, means that the quantity and quality of traffic is vastly improved. The earlier a website appears in search result pages and the higher its ranking, the more traffic it will generate.
Search engines are the gatekeeper for users looking for specific information on the Internet. Search engines read the programming language of your website known as HTML or Hyper Text Markup Link. HTML is text-based information on a web page identifying all text as links, headings, paragraphs, lists and so on.
‘Spidering’ is a web-crawler program used by search engines that runs an automated script to browse the web in an automated and methodical manner. Search engines use spidering to obtain up-to-date data, although they can also be used to automate tasks on a website or index downloaded pages to increase the speed of searches. They also are used to check links and validate HTML code. This bot or program starts with a list of URLs to visit and then identifies all the hyperlinks on the page and adds them to the list of URLs to visit.
There are specific types of search that a user can employ: industry-specific, local and image. An ‘Industry-Specific’ search is based on the category of a company such as ‘plumbing’ or ‘dentist’. A ‘Local Search‘ allows users to geographically constrain searches against local businesses. And an ‘Image Search’ is specifically designed to find pictures, images, animation, etc. Your website should be optimized for these types of searches.
As a marketing strategy SEO analyzes how searches work and what people want. While this is a truly wonderful marketing tool, one must be aware that with every positive there is a negative. For example a “black hat seo”, while not too commonly known amongst Internet users is harmful to the effectiveness of your SEO. It uses spam-dexing, keyword stuffing and link farms which impede the search engine experience. You want to completely avoid sites that utilize these techniques.