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What is SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)?

What is SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)?

What is a Search Engine?

A search engine is a programme designed to search for information or specified keywords on the the Internet. The search results are presented in a user-friendly list and may consist of web pages, images, information and other types of files. How it works (made very simple):

  1. The searcher types a query or keywords into the search engine search box.
  2. The search engine software then searches through billions of pages in its database to find matches to the searcher’s query or keyword(s).
  3. The search engine then ranks the results in a user friendly list in order of relevance.

Examples of different search engines:

  • Google
  • YouTube
  • Yahoo!
  • Bing
  • ASK.COM
  • MyWebSearch.com
  • eBay
  • MySpace
  • Facebook.com
  • Amazon

Search engines can also be built and used to search a specific website. This may be useful for large web sites that are news or information-based.

Note: YouTube is the second largest search engine next to Google.

What is Search Engine Optimisation?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of improving a website to become more visible to search engines for specified keywords and phrases. The website will then appear higher in the list of search results for these specified keywords and phrases.

SEO can make the content of a web site more relevant, more attractive, and more easily read not only by search engines but also current and potential clients.

An example of how it works (made very simple):

  1. The searcher types the specified query or keywords into the search engine.
  2. The search engine then ranks the results in a user friendly list in order of relevance. The current website ranks at 100 on the list.
  3. The website is improved or optimised. Wait a few days for search engines to see the changes that have been made.
  4. The searcher retypes specified query or keywords into the search engine.
  5. The search engine then ranks the results in a user-friendly list in order of relevance. The improved website will hopefully have moved up the ranks to top 10 on the list.

Even when a web site has been optimised it does not automatically guarantee it a top search ranking. However if a web site neglects the basic rules of SEO, this certainly will lower its search ranking.

Why optimise websites?

Why is search engine optimisation important? To put it into perspective: Is it important for customers to find a business’s phone number or address? This too applies to a business’s web site (often customers use a web site to find a business’s phone number or address). Can potential customers find the web site? Would they know where to look for it? Do they even know it exists?

A business may have other marketing that include the web site address, but in today’s web-based world many customers go straight to a search engine with their enquiry. They use a search engine to find the business that best meets their needs. If the business’s web site is not high in the ranks of the search engine results these new potential customers will not even notice the business.

Search engine optimisation grabs the attention of search engines and the search engines in turn grab the attention of searchers/ potential customers.

How to optimise a website

Search engine optimisation (SEO) can become very technical and specialised, so this article only covers some of the very basics of SEO. The complexity of SEO would require a whole book to explain.

Keywords and phrases

What keywords and phrases will a client use to search when looking for a business? Using these same keywords and phrases throughout the web sites content is important and will let search engines know what the web site is about or selling.

Using a CMS like MoST means that it is easy to update, change and ad keywords and phrases throughout the content of the web site.

Content

The Golden Rule of SEO “Content is King” and that means quality content. Having the top search engine ranking does not make up for a web site so hideous and dull that no one reads it or bothers to revisit the site.

Quality content is rich in keywords and phrases, well written, informative and interesting, so that the potential customers feel they are learning something. Used properly, quality content ensures that first-time visitors become repeat visitors.

Keep content up to date

Search engines along with customers and visitors to a website like new content. Older information may be seen by search engines as being less relevant than new and fresh information. New or updated content will also ensure that a web site stays up-to-date and will increase return traffic from customers and visitors

Updating a web site regularly with fresh content can be difficult, however with a web site built using a CMS like MoST it becomes a lot easier. Updating content simply becomes a matter of changing text in a document or use MoST's News, blog or RSS feed features to update it regularly.

When myINFOSAFE launched their new website they had gone to great lengths to make sure they had all their SEO bases covered. See the new website.

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