Successful search engine placement is contingent upon the following factors:
Planning: A successful website clearly defines what makes its product/services different/better than the competition, focusing on the needs/desires of its target market. That information has to be communicated in an attention getting, easy to absorb style that is efficient and fluid.
Credibility: You can’t optimize a plumber’s website for terms like “free gold” or “bikini models.” Thus, all content has to accurately reflect the purpose and content of the website.
Accuracy: Search engines use robots that scan websites and index content. They are susceptible to roadblocks caused by errors in the code/structure of the website.
Competition: Any search term will generate thousands to millions of search results. The #1 result is “better” than all the other search results in the eyes of the search engine. Therefore, that website has to more effectively (than all the other websites) justify its relationship to the search term that was used. That requires monitoring and analysis of the competition/market and prompt response to changes.
Time: First, it takes up to 90 days for search engines to find and completely index a website. If it is a replacement website, then all reference to the previous website has to be scrubbed. Second, over a period of time, the competition will become aware of your presence and will strive to get/stay ahead of you by making adjustments to their website.
Analysis: Beyond measuring “hits, unique visitors, and page-views, successful search engine placement requires study of bounce rates, time on each page, paths, referring sites, exit pages, connection speed, and numerous additional statistics which must be compared on the basis of this week vs. last week, this month vs. last month, and this year vs. last year. When anomalies are discovered, they have to be justified and appropriate adjustments made.
Basic steps used to successfully optimize a website:
- Identify words and phrases to accurately describe the property. – It is important to move beyond the name of the property/business. The goal is to get people who are searching for information about similar properties/products/services. The text in the link has to be appealing and has to motivate them to seek more information by clicking on it.
- Quantify the frequency with which the words and phrases are used to find information, and rank them according to their power.
- Create Individual Titles, Descriptions, groups of words and phrases, using the most powerful for each page of the website; and insert that information into the appropriate tags (Title, Description, Meta, Alt, ID, Title, Div).
- Create additional tags to control the activities of robots used by search engines to index website content.
- Create descriptive individual page names for each page.
- Oversee website programming to verify that embedded text is visible to search engines.
- Insert tags into web pages in accordance with www3.org protocol.
- Create tracking code for monitoring website activity and insert code into web pages in accordance with www3.org protocol.
- Using various online tools, validate the accuracy of all html, asp, flash code, etc.
- Create a sitemap in xml for use exclusively by search engines for the purpose of indexing pages and content.
- Initiate a search engine submission process that will expedite the content indexing process.
- Initiate an ongoing process to establish links from other websites to the one that is optimized.
- Establish parameters for and initiate website performance monitoring.