When it comes to SEO, the best time to be thinking about this is actually when it comes to building your website. But in most case SEO is very often ignored and it seems to be only implemented once the website has actually been finished. It is rarely considered before they are built.
This is of course not ideal but as a SEO professional that is just part of life. Most clients are looking for help after they have already built a site and I know that many of you out there are now in the same scenario. So you have a website, perhaps you obtained it from a previous employee or this is a site that you have had created from scratch some time ago. Regardless of how and when you got your site, you have a site that was not built with SEO in mind and because of that you are now here reading this article.
Clearly you want your site to be appearing well in the search engine results pages, but thankfully it is not the end of the world if your site has not been built with SEO in mind. In many cases it is possible to make changes to a website so that it is friendlier to the search engines. It is quite possible to take a site that has no current rankings, make appropriate technical changes and to see a real improvement in rankings.
Of course the best thing to do, because it is cheaper, is to build the website correctly from the very beginning. So what I want to talk about further in this article is how to go about analysing an existing site in terms of how it has been built and then making the right changes so that it works better in the search engines or more friendly which is the common expression. But of course what we are really trying to do is to get the search engines to be friendlier to the site.
First of all, at the moment in time the only search engines that are actually worth focusing on are that of Google and the Microsoft search engine, Bing. If you are able to get your site ranking here and you are ranking well, then you are performing very well with the search engines that provide the most search results for most of the world’s searches. If you are looking t get ranked on Yahoo, we then actually their search results are generated from Bing. Other search engines such as AOL get their results from Google. So you can now see why there are only really two search engines that are worth focusing on. And when it comes to optimising your website for these Google and Bing, it is also going to help your ranking with other search engines also.
When it comes to optimising a site – we are essentially aiming to put out best foot forward in the eyes of the search engines. We want to structure our websites and content in such a manner that we are favourably positioned in the search results. This means that we a prospect is looking for a business like yours then your website can be found on the first page and ideally within the top three search results.
Think about that the search engines do when a person types in a search query. Out of all the web pages that exist, they need to figure out which sites are the most suitable to present to the user. This is done using two techniques. First they look at the text on the webpage. Second they look at the links that are coming into your website and also where those links are coming from. Clearly the search engines have a list of criteria at which they look at. Such factors include: are the keywords that the user has entered actually contained within a web page? If so – are those keywords in the title, URL, page headings or within the body copy of the page? Also have the words been formatted in some way such as bolded?
The list of things at what search engines look for is vast and the search engines do not provide and specific details of what they are looking for. This is one of the main reasons why there is just too much misinformation in the SEO industry. When it comes to SEO, you can only try and do your best and you have to accept that all your efforts could be in vain as rankings are not guaranteed.
You will or should know that the area of SEO is always changing and it is very much a full time task trying to keep up to date with all the latest developments. However most of the principles of SEO, do remain quite constant. I have clients who have been ranking very well on Google for the past several years.
[author ]Sadhiv Mahandru has been developing websites and optimising them for over a decade. Specialising in Organic SEO UK. You can learn more about Internet Marketing and SEO by reading my personal blog. [/author]
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