Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Best Practices

SEO

There are many popular and little-known browsers for mobile and desktop devices.

All of these browsers provide a method by which to search the internet. Basically, a browser is your access to the internet, and a search engine allows you to search the internet once you have access. You must have a browser to get to a search engine.

 

Some of the most popular browsers are Google, Microsoft (MS) Edge, Firefox and Apple Safari. When Olenick develops or tests a website for a client, we ensure that it works across all the popular browsers – this ensures when customers enter your website in their browser, your site comes up and is fully functional. At Olenick, we closely follow the industry to make sure our clients’ sites work with the most-used browsers, as they can change. For many years, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer was the top browser, but now its status is no longer supported by MS, as Microsoft has developed a new browser called Edge. If and when a new browser becomes prominent, Olenick will make sure your website will work with it.

 

Search engines allow people to find your content when they enter keywords and terms that trigger your site and come up in search results. For example, if you enter “global leaders in software testing” in Google, you will see Olenick.com in the results. It may not be any surprise to know that Google is the top search engine. According to Net Market Share, Google currently holds 70% of the search ad market and around 73% for 2019. Microsoft’s Bing is currently in second place with around 13%.

 

Where in the results your website comes up is determined by the search engine’s proprietary algorithm to return only what it determines are meaningful results. That’s where Search Engine Optimization, SEO, comes in.

 

SEO is the process for publishing website content that both search engines and users can understand.

If both conditions are not met then you have a limited chance of achieving high search result rankings, and people are more likely to ignore or miss your content. If you have both criteria, then your content will rank higher in search engines. Search engines are complex computer programs which perform three main steps: crawling, indexing and ranking.

 

Crawling

Also known as web crawlers or spiders, this part of the program is responsible for finding information that is publicly available on the internet. They create a list of all the webservers to crawl and the number of websites hosted by each server. It is a continuous process to visit a website- taking note of the number of pages and following any links (either pointing to pages within the site or to external websites), and thus they discover more and more pages. An optimized website for search engines means that they can access it correctly, otherwise if they cannot ‘read’ your website you shouldn’t expect much in terms of high rankings or search engine traffic. Big search engines, like Google and Bing, have tools (i.e., Bing Webmaster Tools) you can use to give them more information about your website (number of pages, structure, etc.) so that they don’t have to find it themselves. Many websites use a sitemap link, typically at the bottom of a web page, to list all important pages of your website so that the crawlers can know which pages to monitor for changes and which to ignore.

 

Indexing

Crawling alone is not enough to build a search engine. Information identified by the crawlers needs to be organized, sorted, and stored, so it can be processed by the search engine algorithms before made available to the end-user. This process is called Indexing. Search engines don’t store all the information found on a page in their index, but they keep things like: when it was created/updated, title and description of the page, type of content, associated keywords, and incoming and outgoing links needed by their algorithms.

 

How many web pages are part of the Google index, for example:

 

SEO Web Search Results

 

Rankings

This process is for search engines to decide which pages to show in the search engine results page and in what order when someone types a query. This is achieved through search engine ranking algorithms, which is proprietary software with rules that analyze what the user is looking for and what results to return. What sort of rules are used in these algorithms that you can use to optimize search engine results? These SEO techniques can include how current the content or web page is- Google and Bing want to show the latest results. The popularity of a page is also a rule, but this doesn’t necessarily mean how much traffic a website has but can include how many links to other websites may be considered more popular. Web page speed affects SEO in that the faster a page loads (2-3 seconds) have an advantage over pages that are slower to load. Another rule is location, where the search engine will show results in their area, i.e., “Thai restaurants in Houston”.

 

There are few popular methods to write and publish content and generate expected results – and higher SEO rankings. You need to write content optimized for search engines and users. That means:

1) Create the Title and URL

2) Create target keywords into your content

3) Publishing your content on a responsive and fast website

 

Create the Title and URL

Decide about the title of your content and the URL (Uniform Resource Locator), an optimized title is important for SEO because it gives search engines a big hint on what the page is about.

SEO Search Results

 

Keywords

Relevant topics and keywords makes titles more interesting and clickable. Besides making sure that you write content for users, you also need to ensure that search engines can understand it. SEO-friendly content helps search engines interpret the context of your content correctly.

 

Speed

A responsive and fast website is as part of technical SEO, but I can’t stress enough that a fast loading website or page can be better Google or Bing rankings than a slow loading page. Speed is a ranking factor and very important for usability, too.

 

Final Thoughts

There are many technical and non-technical approaches to make your website and content optimized for search engines. Be sure to have plenty of relevant content on your website. Competition is intense, so consider what makes your site and content stand out from the crowd. Consider mobile devices, as they are becoming more pervasive at work and for personal life. According to smashingmagazine.com, a mobile version of websites is practically essential. Also perform a regular SEO audit to manually review the website and come up with recommendations of what needs to be fixed (because it is objectively wrong) and what needs to change so that the performance of the website in search engines is improved.

Rodney Fiene Headshot

Rodney Fiene    


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