“If you ever want to bury a dead body, just bury it on the second page of Google search results.”
Heard that line before? I bet you have. Hello readers, today we bring you a piece on some techniques to increase the traffic on your website- a very common problem when it comes to online publicity. If your website is not able to get in top 5 search results of Google, then traffic on your website will be very low for sure. Now you must be wondering, why Google? Why not other search engines such as Bing, Yahoo, etc.? It’s just because Google has about 80% of the traffic. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is one of the methods that comes to the rescue when you want to avoid the second-page-of-Google horror story. This article is an attempt to introduce the SEO techniques, not a detailed discussion on the same.
WHAT IS SEO AND WHY SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is a technique to design and develop the website to increase the traffic coming through search engines. It is done by increasing the ranking of the website so that it appears in top 5 results when the keywords are entered. Most of the operation of businesses these days is online and no one wants a decrease in traffic on the website. SEO not only increases visibility among target audience and increases brand recognition, but is also cost-effective. It also reduces the dependency of your website on Pay Per Click ads.
How do search engines work?
In order to understand the techniques involved in SEO, we have to understand the functioning of the search engine. The basic operations involved are-
- Crawling- Fetching information from all sites linked to a particular website. This task is generally performed by a software called “crawler” or “spider”.
- Indexing- Creating indices for fetched websites and then creating a giant database. This process involves assigning keywords to the fetched web pages, which are retrieved later.
- Processing- The search requests (search string entered) that come to the search engine is compared with the indices.
- Calculatingrelevancy- Now, it may happen that the same search string is present in more than one website. For this, the search engine calculates relevancy of the web pages of the indices to the search string.
- Retrieving results- The last step includes displaying of the best-matched results.
The difference in the search results of different search engines is due the difference in their relevancy algorithm. Also, these algorithms are updated from time-to-time. The results displayed are a combination of natural search results (sometimes called organic search results), pay per click ads and paid inclusions (directories).
SEO: TYPES, TACTICS AND MORE …
On the basis of the process and ethics, there are 3 types of SEO techniques, namely-
- White hat SEO- This is a kind of SEO technique where everything is done in an ethical way. It conforms to search engine guidelines. Also, what crawlers find out and what the visitors are shown on the website is basically the same content. It also ensures good quality of the content on the web pages. It is also not involved in any deception. This technique is strongly recommended as it increases the traffic on the website in the long run. But the process is very slow.
- Black hat SEO or spamdexing- This is the EVIL kind of the three SEO technique, as per search engines. Under this tactic, the visitor is redirected and is not shown the page which was used by the search engine for ranking. This tactic is known as the cloaking SEO tactic. The website may have hidden content either in the background or in minute letters no one cares to notice and sometimes in the source code itself. This technique is not recommended.
- Grey hat SEO- The colour grey lies somewhere between white and black, and so does Grey hat SEO. It is also not recommended, just like the black hat SEO. The point of difference between Gray and black hat SEO is the less chance of spamming in grey hat SEO.
That being said, keep in mind to use ONLY the white hat SEO techniques and tactics. Remember,
| Greed, in the end, fails even the greedy.
Now that the terminology and ethics are clear, let us move on to the types of optimisation techniques- On-site and Off-site SEO.
On-site SEO- This is a method that involves optimising and improving the content on the website. Some of the methods are-
- KEYWORDS– Including the keywords in the page URL, if possible. Also, try to include the target keywords or phrases in the title. The title should be less than 70 characters.
- LINKS– Links to other pages or sites should be used judiciously as the latest research shows that Google may penalise any page containing more than 100 links. Also, links used should be relevant to the topic of the page. Internal linking is also very useful if the pages linked are related to each other. It helps the search engine categorise your site.
- CONTENT IS KING! The content on the page should be fresh and relevant. Headings should contain at least one target keyword or phrase. Also, the body should also contain around 3 to 10 target keywords or phrases. But be careful, more than 10 might lead to being categorised as “spam”!
- BREAK THE INERTIA! Try to include social media links and introduce user discussion forums on your website. Active sites are ranked higher as compared to static ones.
Off-site SEO- This is a technique in which the website is promoted at different places (besides advertising). Google has stated about 255 factors to rank a website. One of the important ones is the number of sites that point to your website. Some of the offsite SEO techniques are as follows-
- THE SOCIAL WAY– You should have active Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other social media accounts. Also, check the reviews about your website. You never know when fixing a small complaint might increase the traffic on your website like never before!
- LINK IT UP! – Link building is a method of exchanging links with other websites to increase your own site back links and quality back links. Now, what is backlink? Backlinks are lines from other sites to your site. Back linking is similar to a friend referring to his/her favourite restaurant.
- IT’S IN THE NEWS– Press releases are also a very helpful way to increase the ranking of your website. They give you higher authority links and diversified backlink profiles. It will show the search engine that everyone is talking about your product.
- ANSWER THEM! – Forums are a great way to get the word out about the website to other people in your niche market.
The techniques and methods mentioned above just a small chunk of the huge spectrum of techniques under SEO. Such tactics are a part of inbound marketing strategies which are based on quality content creation and sharing. If it strikes a chord with you, don’t waste another minute! Start your experimentation right away.