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Why you should write for search engines

SEO is an integral part of the web design process

Our web design portfolio includes over 22 years of developing websites for keen companies who wish to enjoy SEO as part of the design process. Why you should write for Google in your S.E.O. development and not listen to others. We examine the process search engines use and cover the following topics.

What search engines do

Search engines use algorithms (formulas, numbers & ranking scores) to process and rank content so you don’t have to sift through thousands of pages of text to find the answers to your queries. The search engine algorithms does the work for you by searching out relevant Web pages that contain the keywords you used to search for, then assigning a rank to each page based on several factors, including how many times the keywords appear on the page but Google makes use of over 200+ ranking factors. Some search engines can even understand natural, human speech to make for a quality service. This becomes really obvious when uploading a video to Google’s YouTube. They automatically provide Subtitles/close captions so people can switch them on if they just want to read what’s going on rather than listen to it. Also music can be easily identified during the upload and you may be penalized by YouTube if you are using commercially available music for breaking copyright, even if you have music faintly in the background, they will pick it up.)

The main take away from this search engine history list, apart from the various “buy-outs” and the bankruptcies is that web crawlers have found various ways to remove spam websites that is websites that contain too many keywords or over stuffing a webpage. Today it is never a good idea to do this as you may get banned completely from their indexes.   Keywords are and have always been the dominating aspect of search engines these words are in your control so using them correctly is what you must learn to do.  Google has updated their algorithms many times since they first began business and the Google goal has always been to be able to read and understand the written word and rank good websites that contain good information and they have gotten really good at it. They have gone beyond just the written word to be able to understand the complete meaning of what is being written. If you write your webpage like you would when describing your business to anyone asking for a description about you or your company then that is the language you should use and it is part of your goal.

“Google’s Quality Guidelines”

“Search engine optimization (SEO) is often about making small modifications to parts of your website. When viewed individually, these changes might seem like incremental improvements, but when combined with other optimizations, they could have a noticeable impact on your site’s user experience and performance in organic search results.”

“You should build a website to benefit your users, and any optimization should be geared toward making the user experience better.  One of those users is a search engine, which helps other users discover your content. Search Engine Optimization is about helping search engines understand and present content. “

Source: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/7451184?hl=en

So Google clearly states that they are a “USER”

Why Google’s statement that they are a “User” on your website makes sense.

Many people including specialists from the search engine world say that you should never write for search engines in mind you should just write for your users. I consider a search engine to be the most important user, always the first most important user to a website.

Why you should write for search engines

This is explained using a simple analogy, if you were opening a new restaurant would you not get anxious that the news media and restaurant critics who would come to your restaurant opening and would then write about their experience? The same way you get anxious about your website and how people will react to it. Google and other search engines are your biggest critic and also your friend and you would like to know what they think about it. You will obviously want to track how well you are doing on the search engines and once you are aware of how they are ranking you it is a sign of how good your website is. It is a sign of what people can expect when they visit your website. If it is not doing so well on the search engines then you know that it is not going to be such a good experience for your visitors. You will then want to fix the things that are not doing so well. This then is therefore a crucial aspect of search engine optimization. Obviously once you have proved to yourself that the search engines are ranking your webpage better then you can relax a bit but for every new page I would recommend you monitor this as well.

Google regards themselves as a User to your website so I always keep this in mind when doing anything on a web page.  I regard Google as my greatest critic I therefore am going to gear myself up to please them. If you please Google today you please your visitors as that is what Google does it returns content to please visitors to a good and relevant website.

Home Page Content

Google is the best user and critic of your website and they know what you are talking about they know if what you are writing about is confusing or weak on nonsensical or not. They know if your webpage is knowledgeable by the quality of content you write. If whatever you are doing in your business is explained well on the home page and other pages Google can promote your business to thousands of people if they like what you are saying by making sure that your website appears high up on their index and so making it easier for people to find you.

I write for Google I always propose to clients how they need to write a page according to the algorithms rules but many have their own conceived ideas. Many clients’ think like they would when briefing a studio on the way they would for a leaflet.  They only want a certain amount of copy here and there. They don’t understand structure of a webpage (which is totally different). Some of my most anxious moments were trying to communicate to clients’ around the differences between designing for print and the web.

Scope of your Content

I have clients typically asking me to make their logo bigger and adding more images in a slider on top of the page, (a slider is a good idea and may make it easier for people to understand what you do but it does take up bandwidth and takes time for the page to load onto the screen) you don’t want to keep people waiting do you? So optimization of the images you use should be done so that they are the best quality images but made smaller by optimizing them to reduce the number of pixels so they load faster or as an alternative add a slider to your About us page instead. This is another factor to building your webpage that is speed or time it takes to load your home page. Copy or text on your home page is critical but only add one image if you can.

Here is a link to test your webpage speed:

https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

Server Log Analysis: It’s More Important Than Google Analytics

Why Doesn’t Google Analytics Data Match My Web Log Reports?

At a high level, the simplest explanation is that Google Analytics uses client-side code to gather information, whereas most log file analysis tools only process server-side information.

For example, Google Analytics uses one tracking method to track website visitors, which requires JavaScript and cookies. Each visitor is uniquely identified and a tracking request is sent back to Google Analytics’ data collectors for every action performed on the site, unless the JavaScript or tracking request is blocked by a browser or firewall or proxy filter.

Today, google analytics offers a lot of functionalities including e-commerce transaction information, campaign-specific using parameters, and behavioral demographics. but in the end, google analytics still depends on that little script executing every time that a page is requested from a server.

Just to summarize the data: more than 70 million people are estimated to be using at least one advertising blocker that either blocks google analytics by default or can be easily configured to do so.

The use of such platforms will become less and less effective as more and more people use ad and script blockers. (as I like to say, people tolerate offline advertising but hate online advertising.) plus, these analytics packages were never enough to monitor complete server activity in the first place.

The solution is to forget about the front end and go to the back end. the server log contains the only data that is one-hundred percent accurate in terms of how people — and even bots such as googlebot — are using your website and accessing your server.

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Author of this page: Whois Gordon Barker, a previous ad. exec. has had over 23 years experience in online web site production and is widely known as the King and Guru of SEO in South Africa!