General Website Optimizations for Organic Search
Last night I had the pleasure of speaking to a social networking class at the University of Washington. One of my co-workers at POP referred me to help teach a segment on search engine optimization. Through the course of the presentation, it occurred to me that it has been far too long since I’ve actively engaged in my own social marketing efforts so I thought I’d share some of the information I presented on basic website optimization (with a focus on organic search results).
Main Point: There are three different aspects that any web developer should consider when trying rank well for search engines.
- The first aspect to consider is creating a website that is crawlable for search engine bots. Search engine spiders don’t behave the same was a regular human visitors so optimizing your website from a technical perspective is very important.
- The second aspect is to create content and tools on your website that are relevant to your audience. The goal being to become an authority on a particular topic, subject or category. A search engines goal is to crawl the web, index information, catalog that information, then serve the most relevant piece of information to an individual based on their unique query. The more relevant and thorough you are around a specific niche topic – an expert, if you will – the more likely search engines will serve your content to your specific audience.
- The third aspect is working on your popularity through effective online marketing mediums. Search engines aren’t going to just take you on your word that you are valuable – they are going to look at the community around your topic (category) and see how many other websites are linking to you and what they ares saying about you to their visitors. So, you’ve got to monitor which sites are linking to you as well as how you are promoting yourself through all of your online marketing efforts.
By creating a specific strategy around these three aspects you can effectively increase your usability and your organic search rankings. In general, what’s good for the user is good for the search. If you are novice web developer looking to ‘do the right thing’ for both search engines and your visitors, stay tuned as I will address each of these website strategies in separate posts shortly.