An average person living in the 21st century is bombarded with all sorts of information every passing minute. From billboards, to TV ads, mobile phone marketing messages and social media campaigns. This can be overwhelming resulting to fatigue, disinterest and inability to remember everything simple things. The internet did not make things any easier, with almost 1.2 billion websites published, finding information can be difficult if not impossible. To solve this problem, search engines were created by wading through the internet and presenting the user with the most relevant info based on their search query.
Search engines use tools called web crawlers commonly referred to as bots or spiders to build their databases. These web crawlers access web pages to find new or updated content for every URL found. The information is stored and organized through a process called indexing. The web pages that are indexed can from then be displayed as results for relevant queries entered by users on search boxes. At this point, search engines can rank content in order of the most relevant appearing top on search result pages.
You must have noticed by now that search engines are tailored to help a user quickly find information that is relevant. It makes sense therefore that websites will have to compete to rank top on search results. Websites have to help search engines find them through a process known as search engine optimization. There are a number of easy steps web masters can employ to make their sites visible to search engines. For instance, listing your website to online directories and frequent sharing of new content on social media platforms.
Call to action messages with links left on social media platforms can enhance a site’s online visibility. Providing physical location with online maps to your business, including title tags and images with meta descriptions is important for visibility. Keywords are the most important aspect of search engine optimization, page titles, headlines, image descriptions and the general content of your site need to be laced by correct keywords. These important phrases can be obtained by asking yourself some questions for example, how do your customers describe your products and services? What phrases do your competitors use as their keywords? What keywords best describe your business offers? Online tools like Google Keyword Planner as well as Google Search Console are available to help businesses find ideas for keywords that rank well against your competitors.
Businesses can also opt to pay search engines to them help rank their sites high on search results. Search Engine Marketing acts as online marketing strategy that helps webmasters use tools available to enhance their visibility. It differs from Search Engine Optimization in that the latter employs strategies to earn top ranks on search result pages without necessarily having to pay. Platforms like Google Ads are made to allow brands place paid digital ads to appear top on search engine ranks. Search Engine Marketing is broader than Search Engine Optimization in that it offers a more targeted approach to search queries or keywords entered by users. The ads can be targeted to only show in searches from specific locations at certain times of the day. A particular group of people for examples women under 40years as well as even to specific devices like mobile phones.
Paying for search engines ads is not in itself a guarantee for top ranks. Factors like amount paid for the bid, the score assigned to your ad according to its quality and how the platform ranks your ad determines where it will show on the search results. This is referred to as Ad Auction where a Search Engine Marketing platforms determines which ad gets top placement, it’s like the traditional bidding where the top bidder wins. Like in Search Engine Optimization, Search engine ads calls for work to earn top ranks on search engine result pages.
As seen, search engines do matter for both website owners and users alike. We all want information that is high quality, relevant, provided fast and efficiently. For business owners, search engines can be used as tools to improve brand awareness, they also offer a platform for healthy competition which inspires businesses to continually improve not just the quality of their websites but of their products and services too.