SEO, search engine optimization, is an essential thing to understand for anyone operating a website. To gain as much traffic as possible you will want to have your website appear on the first page of a search engine like Google (which most people use) and there are two steps to accomplishing this. The first step is to make your website appear to people looking for whatever it is that your site is about by having words related to that thing appear on your website frequently. To explain this let’s say that your website is about video games for example. You will want to use words related to video games repeatedly on your website without overdoing it and have the words video games or maybe just games in your URL. This will help bump up your site to the front page by making Google view it as relevant to the search and therefore relevant to what the person doing the search wants. You will want to be careful to not sacrifice your website being user friendly to do this.
The second step is having other sites link to your websites. The websites that are considered high quality, ones that have been around for a while and are linked by many sites, will bump you up more by linking to your site so you can accomplish more by having a few high quality sites link to you than many recently made websites. Being linked to by other sites will make Google consider your website good quality. Or you could say popular. Said popularity making Google deem your website to be worth sharing, as having been approved by several sites as good quality.
You might be having flashbacks to being a teenager and wanting to be part of the popular crowd. Search engine optimisation is the key to achieving that popularity and gaining traffic for your website. As well as the things which are visible on the site for your users to see you also have meta tags and meta keywords which are simply tags and keywords build into the code of your website to help Google categorise your site and establish its relevance to what someone is searching for.
You need to beware of the Google sandbox effect that can put your website into a sort of probation zone if you have too many keywords or links. This makes your website not appear on Google while it is being reviewed to determine the sites legitimacy. Google considers sites with a large amount of keywords or links, especially when a young website has a high amount of links, to be suspicious, as being likely to be spam sites. You also need to know that Google prioritises responsive websites, websites that work on multiple devices by adapting to the system specifications of the device being used.
Written by Misa Appiah