In Focus

An Introduction To SEO (Search Engine Optimization) For Developers

How often do you visit a particular website? Or, for how long do you surf the internet? For most of us, the answer would be -- a number of times. You are not the only one browsing a website at a time. Apparently, the website you are browsing is not the only website either; there are billions. Today, every company has its own website and we are the people who engage with these websites and give birth to ‘web traffic’.

Introduction

How often do you visit a particular website? Or, for how long do you surf the internet? For most of us, the answer would be -- a number of times. You are not the only one browsing a website at a time. Apparently, the website you are browsing is not the only website either; there are billions. Today, every company has its own website and we are the people who engage with these websites and give birth to ‘web traffic’.

Web Traffic

Online traffic or web traffic is considered as a barometer for checking the success of a particular website on the web. The more online visitors you get, the more you will gain a conversion rate and website traffic.

What is a conversion rate?

A conversion rate can be defined as a percentage of users who are performing some actions on a website. Take a look at your website and think if it is giving a good conversion rate or not. If you are not converting your visitors into your customers, then what are you broadcasting? Analyzing your website conversion rate is a key factor to measure its success.

Suppose your website had 1000 conversions in the month of March, then you would expect it to be greater than 1000 conversions in the next month. And, if you are observing a downturn in your conversions, make some modifications to your website, for there must be something going wrong or unusual in your website which was not enough to drag you a good rate of conversion.

SEO

Ever wondered how a search engine works? How it gives the answer to your query? When you enter any query into a search engine like Google or Bing, the SERP (Search Engine Result Page) shows various results containing that query ‘keyword’. Search Engine looks into every website related to the query and ranks that on an SERP.

In order to deliver the best search results, Search Engine performs various activities like,
  • Crawling
  • Indexing
  • Processing
  • Calculating relevancy
  • Retrieving

To gain visibility of our websites on a search engine, we use a popular web marketing technique which is known as SEO, and it is responsible for driving more traffic to our website too. For a good SEO, one must understand the following -

  • What type of content do people want to read?
  • How do Search Engines work?
  • How can you optimize your website?
 

How does SEO work?

The initial step in SEO is crawling, in which a search engine crawls the web for what it contains. It is done by a search engine robot known as 'crawler' or ‘spider’. These crawlers follow the links in the websites from one link to another and perform ‘indexing’ among them. As we know, a website contains boundless pages, thus it’s not possible for the crawler to analyze a website daily to see if any modifications are made on the existing page or if any new page has been added.

What you can do is to control what the crawler sees from your website. Search engines are text-driven. Crawlers do not see images, frames, password-protected pages, etc. as we human users do.

After crawling is done, the next thing it does is indexing of the content. A database is used in order to save the index pages so that it can be retrieved later. ‘Indexing’ is a process of identifying texts and expressions describing the page and assigning the page to a particular keyword.

It may happen that the search engine finds a page ambiguous, but if you optimize it, it will become easier to classify your pages correctly and also give you a higher ranking.

Whenever you request your query on a search engine, the search engine processes it. You enter a query into the search engine in the form of text, symbols, and digits. This combined form of the query is termed as a ‘Search String’.

These search strings are compared with the indexed pages from the database by the search engine. As we know, there are billions of web pages available, the search engine starts looking for the most relevant pages in its index as the search string is contained by more than one page.

The relevancy of the pages is calculated by many algorithms. Each of these algorithms differ with respect to the keywords density, links or meta tags. And this is the reason why we see different search engine results pages on different search engines for the same search string.

The interesting fact to know is that most of the popular search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing change their algorithms periodically to check the relevancy.

As these algorithms keep on changing, you should also be alert and make your pages adaptive to sudden changes if you want them to be on the top of the search engine.

The last step is to retreive the search engine results. It’s just the results displayed on the web browser. Simply put, it does sorting from the most relevant to the least relevant result sites.

I will write about more related topics soon. 

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