The Importance of Optimising a Website’s Content
The process of creating a great looking website with high-quality content takes considerable effort for a solo creator and, in the case of a creative team, a significant amount of effort into effective collaboration. In most cases, high-quality content is truly a labor of love. What is easy to overlook and frequently a lesson learned by many content creators is that creating content and posting it to a website is only half the battle. The other half required to successfully attract the right audience, promoting your website and content, is to optimize the web content.
The significance of search engines for a website
Most people begin their experience on the internet by starting with a simple Google search. Behind this elegant and minimally designed landing page is a powerful technology that is far from simple. This complex system of algorithms and seemingly infinite amounts of data have grown alongside and shaped how most of us experience the internet. Multiple search engines allow users to search the internet, but Google’s market dominance is unparalleled. Currently, in 2020 Google comprises over 92% of the search engine market share worldwide, and Alphabet Inc, the parent company of Google, is listed in the top 5 stocks of the S&P 500. This highlights the importance of Google and its Google search engine platform. If used smartly, Google has the potential to provide a website scalable and exponentially growing leverage in the form of an increase in the audience reached by a website and its digital content.
How does a search engine even work?
At the most basic level of understanding, search engines work by performing three different functions. These are crawling, indexing, and ranking. The first crawling is a process through which search engine proprietary software searches significant portions of the internet for content, analyzing each website and its content. This is followed by indexing in which the data found during the crawling process is efficiently stored and analyzed. The final step in the process is ranking. This involves the process of ordering the results by most relevant to least relevant.
What is SEO?
Let’s start with the basics. Suppose you are a content creator and exploring your options for services and online tools because you are interested in optimising your websites content. You would like to increase your content’s ease of appearing as a favorable search result on a significant search engine such as Google. In that case, the starting point is learning SEO. This is an acronym that stands for “Search Engine Optimization” (SEO).
More specifically, SEO is a term used to describe the process of increasing traffic to a website or digital content through a search engine. This relatively simple concept of incorporating content by taking practical steps to increase your website’s discoverability is powerful. It can pay dividends at scale when applied in a smart and informed way.
Once you appreciate the significance of SEO and its potential to help your content and brand grow at scale, you will likely conclude that it is no longer a viable option to rely on the traditional organic growth and spread of web content. There are users on the internet that may be sincerely interested and benefit from your content that cannot even know that it exists if SEO is not a part of your strategy. These users are potential future customers that can fuel your business or project’s growth and provide you with the competitive advantage you need.
What goes into content optimization and creating a high-ranking search?
The process through which content is optimized to appear as a favorable search result involves making sure that certain features are present in the website content. When done right, SEO will help your website appear with a fair search result that will extensively reach a broad and, more importantly, the audience of the right type.
These features include (but are not limited to) the presence of appropriate keywords, relevant links, content, images, and attributes of a webpage. A few examples of such attributes that are not evident on the surface but are often embedded in the source code of the web page itself are called Meta Tags. These are an HTML tag that includes meta title and meta description. Although these can only be viewed by selecting View/Source from the browser, these are very important in a website’s SEO. These are only a few of the common data variables and signals that the search engine algorithms factor into the complex process of deciding which website and content should be assigned a position in the hierarchy of results.
A few more examples of variables and factors that the search engine algorithms take account of in the multistep process of crawling through the web, and subsequently indexing, and ranking include the following:
- Text length
- Referring URLs
- Exact keywords
- Partial keywords
- Keyword Density
- Partial Keyword Density
- Text and length of headings
- Number and types of images
- Meta Tags Structure
- Load time of the website
(This is not even close to being a comprehensive list)
There are professionals, businesses, and tools that are experts in the science of SEO. The basic idea that drives their ability to achieve excellent SEO successfully is to determine how the search engine algorithms will view any given website and digital content and compare it to similar content. Depending on the context of the content being optimized, different factors could contribute to better optimization. There is no one size fits all approach that can be implemented to SEO. This complexity level may seem daunting, but it is worth remembering that it also allows systematic, creative, and determined approaches to achieving search result dominance. You can learn more about on-page SEO here.
SEO provides content creators and owners of websites an opportunity to leverage this powerful skill set to increase the audience that views your content drastically and, consequently, increases the chances of maximizing both impact and profit. Invest in learning and implementing SEO; the results will speak and pay for themselves.