Search engine optimisation is the process whereby a business or corporate entity seeks to increase the amount of traffic to their website, in order to push up revenue levels for the company. This can be applied for both corporate, not for profit and government organisations. Search engines work on the process of analysing websites according to a certain matrix of criteria. These criteria were developed after a period of consultation with industry experts and user experience testers, and the resultant criteria used to build artificial intelligence web crawlers that quantify aspects of a website against quality markers.
User experience includes off page digital experiences, including product information presented through person to person contact, print media and broadcast media. All of these sources of providing and disseminating information to a client about a particular product form part of the user experience. In the exception of a fully automated website, even so a helpline usually exists for those with human support, generally a number of items are included to promote ranking on a search engine results page. These include:
- Quality of the user experience: this is measured statistically through the amount of time a user spends on a website. Google bots (and other search engine crawlers) log user I.P. addresses and site connections, measuring the time a user is logged on to a website, and which pages they spend time on. They also measure repeat visits.
- Content relevance: keywords are important in the creation of good SEO, and these are used to index a website in a search engine. A search engine is a huge database essentially, and keywords (and latent semantic indexing) is used to match the best called up results against a particular query made by a user
- Brand trust: reviews of a particular website are important, because brand trust and positive comments about a particular company, including reputation management help to build higher search engine results page rankings
- Social media: a grouping of multiple social media channels that are flagged, where posts are liked, and posts become shared and engaged with are critical to the building of ranking criteria. This demonstrates a quality human and digital interaction and engagement with a particular brand
- Participation in forums and audience engagement: off page SEO includes brand representatives not only sharing in social media content responses, or giving live presentations, forums and opportunities to truly create an audience that engages in discussion is a massive drawcard in ranking criteria and builds quality markers
- Miscellaneous technical SEO ranking criteria: depending on the context of the product, a number of different coding and other technical aspects of a website contribute to ranking scores including the inclusion of structured data (from which can be generated rich result snippets on the search engine results pages), time to load the website, meta tags on images and in the header of a site, mobile responsiveness, H1, H2 and other headers and titles, and URLs that are SEO friendly being used, code efficiency and the use of multimedia and other visual content
- Interactive elements on a website that keep the user spending more time and engaging actively on a site rather than simply passively receiving information (these can include apps, user feedback surveys and other elements such as site forums)
- Traffic evaluation: website traffic sources to a website are often ranked, interlinked blog articles, and links from authoritative sites, and links offsite to other reputable sources of information all add to quality ranking
The Future Development Of SEO
SEO has been around for a number of years, and as the artificial intelligence built within the robots that crawl websites learns to become more responsive to human interaction, and builds profiles of what a person has previously looked for and refines its own algorithms, its efficiency improves.
Google Assist, built into technologies such as Google Home, use voice commands to search the Internet, give advice on certain recipes, are used as personal assistants and to control smart devices present within the home. Artificial intelligence is being used to make better individual user experience, and as people program websites, web applications and design better user experience, search engine companies are constantly refining the standards of quality for good SEO.