Friday, June 25, 2010

Optimizing Web Searches: Needle Meet Haystack

The Holy Grail of web marketers is to somehow find a way to get their site “ranked high” in search engines results. And by “high,” people usually mean being listed in the top three dozen results for a particular search (hopefully, within the top ten). Since the GREAT majority of users don’t look past the third page in any given search, anything short of that is a waste of time.

Ensuring that a site gets the desired search result requires an understanding of what those search engines are looking for. Site administrators used to try to “trick” search engine algorithms with tactics such as repeating words at the code level to get ranked higher. Nowadays, most search sites are smart enough to realize when these types of games are being played and may actually rank the offending sites lower or NOT AT ALL.

The real trick is figuring out what key words the average member of a web site’s target audience would typically enter when running a search and somehow incorporating terms those into the content of the web site itself. That’s easier said than done.

Search Engine People, an Internet marketing company that offers search engine optimization (SEO) services, uses a number of strategies to help their clients get ranked higher. For instance, they run predictive queries to determine the level of search traffic and then go after terms that have sufficient search volume. Along with that, they evaluate the conversion potential for the level of search traffic that is generated. High quality traffic is MORE important than simple quantity.

The other aspect of getting a site ranked higher is the type of content on that site. Quality content is one of the fundamental KEYS to attracting links from other sites which in turn secures superior search engine rankings. This is the only strategy condoned by Google, Yahoo, and MSN.

Also, with the advent of Universal Search, many types of content now exist, and provide opportunities to rank. Some opportunities are: text content, images/picture, videos, user ratings and reviews, user generated content, and press releases/news.

If done properly, good content will increase search engine rankings as well as establish a web site as an authoritative source of information on a given topic.


Jason Bellamy said...

No kidding: I came out of a meeting on SEO and found this post. Come on, man: I'm trying to keep from thinking about work. :)

Matt Maul said...

If it helps, think of this post as your "boss screen" for the day. ;)