A guide to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your website!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) caught my attention when I spoke to the CEO of a small company in Rotterdam in 2014. He mentioned that his company won a lot of assignments from clients since he engaged in SEO. His small company was the first result on Google whenever clients searched for companies in his industry (for privacy reasons I leave the industry, company and his name anonymous).
SEO is another perfect example of how small and medium-sized companies are able to build a reputation and compete with larger organizations thanks to technology. The ultimately aim of SEO is to build an online brand reputation and influence online consumer behavior.
Why engage in SEO:
- It is cost-effective: unlike paid-advertisements on the search engine
- Customers increasingly search online for reviews
- Your competitors are doing it (Olenski 2015)
However, one must remember that SEO is a long-term strategy and not equal to a temporary marketing campaign
How it works:
Underneath Google, Bing and other search engines there are algorithms. These algorithms scan each website and translate the information into useful search results. The principle of SEO is understanding this algorithm and creating your website in such a way that it exactly accompanies these algorithms. The higher you are ranked, the more likely consumers or businesses will find you.
- Make sure the words on your website equal common search key words
- Give each page a page title, that is clear and descriptive of the page
- If possible, construct your URLs as clear and descriptive as possible
- The more websites provide links to your websites, the higher you will be ranked.
- The context in which they refer to your website matters!
- Do not try to create fake websites that refer to yours, as some algorithms will pick this up!
- The reputation (incl. cleanness) of your website is analyzed by the algorithm (Search Engine Land 2015)
- Make sure your website is easy to navigate (categories, folders)
- Search engines update their algorithms, for optimal SEO: analyze the changes in the algorithm and the impact it will have on your website. Then adjust your website accordingly. You have to stay on the move (Small Business Trends 2015).
Here is a detailed starter guide for all your website components written by Google (Google.com 2010): http://static.googleusercontent.com/media/www.google.com/nl//webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf
How to track your SEO performance:
This is possible through e.g. Google Analytics (Valk 2014; Google.com 2015):
– For a demonstration see: https://yoast.com/tracking-seo-google-analytics/
– Google Analytics website: http://www.google.com/analytics/
Overview of the factors in the algorithms (Search Engine Land 2015):
Author: Dilara Okci
Student number: 366348ao
Google.com, (2010). Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide. [online] Available at: http://static.googleusercontent.com/media/www.google.com/nl//webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf [Accessed 21 Sep. 2015].
Google.com, (2015). Google Analytics – Mobile, Premium and Free Website Analytics – Google. [online] Available at: http://www.google.com/analytics/ [Accessed 21 Sep. 2015].
Olenski, S. (2015). 7 Reasons Why Your Business Should Invest In SEO. [online] Forbes. Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/steveolenski/2014/03/26/7-reasons-why-your-business-should-invest-in-seo/ [Accessed 21 Sep. 2015].
Search Engine Land, (2015). What Is SEO / Search Engine Optimization?. [online] Available at: http://searchengineland.com/guide/what-is-seo [Accessed 21 Sep. 2015].
Small Business Trends, (2015). One Year In, Is Your SEO Effort Paying Off?. [online] Available at: http://smallbiztrends.com/2015/06/analyzing-seo-performance.html [Accessed 21 Sep. 2015].
Thinkbig.marketing, (2015). SEO. [online] Available at: http://thinkbig.marketing/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/seo-company-tampa.jpg [Accessed 21 Sep. 2015]. SOURCE FEATURED IMAGE
Valk, T. (2014). How To: Tracking your SEO using Google Analytics • Yoast. [online] Yoast. Available at: https://yoast.com/tracking-seo-google-analytics/ [Accessed 21 Sep. 2015].