Ranking well in Search Engines is the ultimate objective of every website creator or administrator as they are the most prominent source of traffic. Users tend to go for Search Engine Optimization and Advertising spending a lot of money to increase traffic on their site unaware of the fact that there are measures that they can themselves take to improve the ranking of their site on Search Engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo and many others.
In this article, we are going to discuss some of these measures that can help user increase organic traffic on their site without or with minimum investment. But first of all, we have to understand the basics of the functioning of a Search Engine.
How does a Search Engine work?
Although it is a seriously cumbersome process, I am going to make it as straightforward as possible. There are 3 basic steps to the functioning of a Search Engine.
It’s like visiting each and every household in a country to record data of every citizen of the country during Census. Search Engines have Web Crawlers which visit each and every site on the Internet ( at least it tries to ) and collects their data including title, description, pages, products, meta-data and links. It’s just like a normal visit but by a bot for a fraction of a second.
Sites are regularly crawled by these crawlers to remain up to date with the content of the site. Some faster than others, but eventually every site is crawled. This is important so that the user’s site is visible to the Search Engines to be visible in the search results later on.
After the census is conducted, government officials organise all of the data collected into a large database. Something similar happens in case of Search Engines. After the site has been crawled by bots and data has been collected, it is then organised into a large database. This process is known as indexing.
The data is stored in the servers of the search engines so that it can be retrieved later on during search queries by users. These servers may also contain some private data from users all across the Globe, that’s why, these server farms are some of the most closely guarded locations in the world.
Ranking and Retrieval
This step deserves it’s own article (even a book). It is a highly complicated process but the most relevant for a Website Administrator or Owner. When users search a query in the search engine, the search engine has to retrieve that data and present it to the user. Here, searc engines have to take great care that they present the most relevant information to the user. For that, search engines use search algorithms which are their precious secrets and it is very difficult to decipher exactly what is considered ‘relevant’ by search engines.
It is the ranking process on which I am going to shed some light. There are measures user can take to help their site rank well in search engine results. So, let’s get started.
Make an awesome website
This might seem obvious but trust me, it’s shocking how many websites fail this test. A well constructed website will surely get better search ranking than a mediocre one. A professional looking website not only translates into improved search engine rankings, it also increases user engagement with the site. This is especially important if the site is acting as an E-Commerce store. Users might not be willing to pay their hard earned money to a dull looking website.
Even Google has acknowledged that having a professional looking website goes a long way in getting better search rankings in Google. That should be more than enough of a reason to create a professional website.
Updation is key
It does not stop at creating an amazing website. It also needs to be updated regularly. As I previously mentioned, web crawlers crawl through the site in order to search for content. This content needs to be updated regularly, otherwise, crawlers do not visit the site considering it dormant. This updation is also a factor that leads to an improved search ranking. There is a reason blogs have an important place in the Internet Community.
Also, the frequency of the updates needs to be regular. Irregular frequency of updates can also harm search engine results. Ideally, 1 update every 24-48 hours is imperative for better search engine rankings.
Have a Genre
The site needs to be related to a specific theme or genre. It’s not like a general site with a wide array of topics cannot appear in search results. It’s just that there is much more diverse content and management can become cumbersome. Focusing on targeted content can yield higher results in a short span of time as compared to a wide variety of content.
Content generation is not enough, users across Internet need to know that there is an awesome website generating wonderful content. Share links to your website as much as possible. These backlinks play a crucial role in boosting the search engine ranking. But special care needs to be taken that the links are not spam. The web crawlers will be able to detect the spam traffic ( pretty smart! ) hampering the search engine rankings and in extreme cases, can even lead to blocking of the site by search engines.
It also depends on the quality of the site in which the backlink has been created. For example, a backlink from a well-known site having high domain authority will have more value than a random Facebook group. So, spamming is not the answer here. Instead, try contacting some reputed sites and try having your content featured there.
Apart from the articles and images, Google gives priority to video content. Especially if that content is YouTube video content. Embedding YouTube videos in a site can help boost its search ranking. But the video needs to be relevant. Also, like everything else excess is bad. There need not be hundreds of irrelevant videos but just a handful of good quality videos relevant to the site. It will go a long way in improving the search engine rankings.
These are just some of the basic steps a user can take to climb up the proverbial ladder. Surely, there are many other measures that need to be taken and things that need to be taken care of in order to ensure a high search engine ranking. But, these are the basic conditions that need to be fulfilled in order to move ahead.