There are vast amounts of data out there on the web, and search engines help to make it all feel a bit easier to navigate. They can be relied on to take queries, sift through their catalog of indexed web pages, and offer direction on where to look.
As a consumer, it’s just a matter of phrasing the right query for x, y, or z and the subsequent diligence in researching the results.
But what if we are on the other end – what if we want our information, or our services, or our goods to be sought after for x, y, or z? How do we ensure that our website pops up in relevant search engine results so that it can be easily available to a consumer?
That’s where search engine optimization, or SEO, comes into play as an important consideration in web design and development.
The intent behind SEO is to make a website or webpage more accessible to online traffic by improving its presence in search engine results.
THE INFLUENCE OF THE SEARCH ENGINE
We’re all familiar with the process: we have problem x, or want to buy product y, or need to do z, so the first thing we most often do is submit a query in a search engine.
The search engine returns a ranked list of relevant results, we look through the first few links, and most often we’re satisfied – the web pages address our queries.
Data has never been more abundant and so easily accessible. It’s right there when we ask for it – and we use it to influence our considerations and decisions.
But we might be the ones who have a solution for problem x, or are selling product y, or know all about z – and we want to make this known and available to consumers.
How can we successfully achieve that?
With billions of search engine queries being performed daily, we can tap into one of the most useful tools the average person has: the search engine.
If our website is one of the first few results returned from a relevant search engine query, then that’s our information being easily available and accessible to a target audience. That’s an increase in exposure, which translates to an influx of traffic to our website.
That’s the influence of the search engine.
But it’s not easy to attain one of the top rankings from a search engine. With the billions of web pages out there, there are bound to be numerous competitors marketing solutions for x, y, or z. We need our website to be at the forefront of the rankings, though, and it requires more than just a well-designed website.
MORE THAN JUST CODE
So, how can we craft web pages that are identifiable by search engines?
This involves crafting web pages in a way that incorporates two types of SEO strategies: on-page SEO and off-page SEO.
At a glance, on-page SEO takes in account the content and user experience of the webpage and off-page SEO is impacted by the popularity and authority of a webpage – but both types are crucial for crafting a successful SEO campaign for a website.
In addition, with the rise of mobile usage growing past desktop usage, website responsiveness and mobile accessibility have become significant factors that affect SEO rankings, introducing mobile-first SEO strategies to target the dominant mobile demographic.
While we can build a well-designed website, it likely won’t garner much attention from a search engine if the website isn’t attentive to SEO practices and conventions. This can translate into a huge loss of potential exposure. But a successful SEO campaign that involves both on-page and off-page SEO can bring a boon to a website – whereby a search engine, the go-to tool for most people, becomes the shepherd to tons of new traffic.