Having trouble with search engines understanding your website? It is important that both users and search engine robots can understand your websites.
Search engines need help to understand websites and content; a picture that humans see online of an animal or a house, is easy for us to understand, search engines however would struggle to understand this image. For a search engines to understand these images, you need to build and format your website so the search engines can digest the content.
Limits of search engine technology
There are numerous technical limitations that cause significant problems in both inclusion and rankings.
Problems with crawling and indexing
There are certain things that will stop crawling and indexing from working properly and search engines finding your website:
- Online forms are difficult for search engines to complete and so information that is behind these forms may remain hidden.
- Duplicate pages: Search engines will find it hard to find the original content and therefore your ranking could fall.
- Poor link structures: If your links are not understandable then search engines might not reach all of the websites content because it isn't crawled properly.
- Non text content: Search engines find it hard to digest content that is non-text and in the form of flash, files, images, photos, video and audio.
How to get your content seen?
Your content needs to be shared and people need to get talking about it, this is achieved by marketing your content. The search engine relies on the relevance and importance of your content, it does this by tracking what users read, comment and discover. This information will allow you to build a perfect website.
Benefits of SEO
People claim that SEO is dead. People say SEO amounts to spam. However, websites compete for attention and placement in the search engines, and those with the knowledge and experience to improve their website's ranking will receive the benefits of increased traffic and visibility.
The Basics of search engine friendly design and development
Building and modifying your webpage is important so that your webpage is structured for both search engines and human users. Below are some pointers to help you design and develop you website so it is friendly for search engines to use.
To rank higher in search engines your need to make sure your content is in text format, even though search engine crawlers are becoming more advanced they still often ignore images, flash files and Java outlets. This is a modification you might want to make to your website if a lot of your content is in the format of any of the above. There are ways now of using Java plug-ins or flash and still have the search engine crawl your website, if you include text on the page and have transcripts crawlers will detect your content. You want a search engine to see your website the same way that you see your website.
Search engines need to see links in order to find content in the first place, this will allow the crawler to browse the pathways on your website. If the links are not there the crawler won’t reach them, this mistake can cost you as the page won’t get listed in search engines. Even if you’re content has good keywording and good content it won’t matter because the crawler won’t reach them.
Reasons that pages may not be reachable
- Submission required forms: Search engines won’t see the protected pages if there is an online form first, these forms could include a password protected login. Crawlers won’t attempt these forms and so the information to search engines is invisible.
- Frames or I frames: Both are crawlable but both provide issues, if you’re not technically advanced its best to stay away from them.
- Links to flash, Java and other plug-ins: Even though your site may have perfect images and link structure might not be right meaning they are invisible to crawlers and search engines as the crawlers cannot reach them.
- Links to pages that have hundreds and thousands of links: Search engines will only crawl so many links on a page. Pages with hundreds of links on are at risk of not being crawled as there are to many.
Keywords are very important in the search process, Google is based on keywords and this is why it is important that you have them. If you want your webpage to be ranked higher your keywords need to be used in your titles, text and metadata.
Do you abuse keywords though? Is your page covered in them? Having too many keywords can damage and hinder your page. You need to use keywords tacitly and naturally and not using them every other word, it is also important to make sure that your content is also relevant to your keywords that you are using. The important thing to remember is you’re not trying to rank that keyword by using it the most but using the right keywords that people search for the most so your website is then ranked higher.
There are a few things you need to remember when writing your title tags.
- Be mindful of the length, Google typically displays the first 50-60 characters or as many will fit into a 512 pixel display.
- Place important keywords close to the front of your title tag.
- Include branding, have your brand name at the end of the title tag. If your brand is less known then the brand name should be at the front.
- Consider readability and emotional impact. Your title tag should convey the most positive message possible. this is because it’s the visitor’s first interaction with your brand and you want them to visit your page.
It’s important to remember this as this part of your page needs to be accurate as it’s important that both humans and search engines can understand it.
URL can help rank your documents and URLs that have keywords and key search terms in them will benefit the most. Creating the perfect URL can be difficult here are some tips on creating one.
- Employ empathy: When you read your URL make sure you understand what information is going to be given to you on the site. Is it predictable?
- Shorter is better: This makes it easier to copy and paste and it means that it is fully visible when people are searching.
- Adding keywords but not over doing it: Why you ask? It’s because the over use of key words will result in less usable URLs and then they could trip spam filters when sending an email or text message with your URL in.
- Finally use hyphens and not underscores or plus signs or spaces.
Duplicate versions of content
Duplicate content will provide your original content with problems. However, search engines are cracking down on duplicate content pages and ranking them lower meaning your original content is ranked higher.