SEO from a novice’s perspective
I had never heard of SEO until about 6 years ago. Back then, I was working for a mobile company, looking after the calling cards business. It was part of my job to increase sales & revenues for the business. Hence I was constantly asked the question as to what new could be done to improve these parameters. Being the geek that I was, I would constantly scour the Internet to check how different people went about improving their businesses. During one such google search sortie, I came across this method called Search Engine Optimization. Apparently, there were certain things you could do to your website, which would make google list it higher in people’s searches. And thus, you would get more people to visit to your site, improving sales & ultimately revenue! “Great”! I thought. “Now, if only I had an online sales channel!” But the online channel never happened, or at least not until I was still at the helm.
Fast forward 5 years & a few months. I was working for an Internet bandwidth company. Again, same old story. Had to increase revenues. Did google search for the things I could do. But this time I was surprised by the results. A search for Internet bandwidth listed my mobile company higher than my new employer. And my previous employer had just entered the bandwidth business! Wow! “That’s the power of SEO!”, I thought. “Wonder how they do it”, I thought.
At this time, my wife was attending a course on digital marketing. And she was taught in her course that it was all about keyword optimization, meta tagging & link building. That was the high level view of it. I needed to know the details. So I went back to the Internet. Did some searches on google to figure out what it was all about. My wife too learned some more details about how to go about doing it. By this time, we had a website of our own. We decided that the best way to learn it was to do it ourselves.
The 3 things that we needed to do were keyword optimization, meta tagging & link building. Since our site runs on wordpress, we downloaded a free plugin that allows you to set the meta tags. Meta tags are the data that identify what a certain piece of information is all about. Hence if a para on your page is about computers, the tags will tell search engines that it is about computers. Apparently, this makes it easier for the search engine crawlers to index your site. The plugin also lets you set titles & alternative titles for your images so that these bots can identify & index rather than bypass them. Apart from meta data, we rewrote each of the pages on our site to optimise them for a particular keyword. It seems if a certain keyword appears too many times on a page, search engines will consider it as junk.
The last thing we needed to do was link building. Now, links can be of several types. Internal links or links within your site. Your home page linking to your about us page is an example of this. Then there are outbound links. If you have a word called computers on your site & you have it linked to Apple’s website, then that’s an outbound link. The third and most important type of links are inbound links. These are the links that other people have on their sites, pointing to your site. The reason why these links are the most important is that they indicate to a search engine how popular your site is.The more the number of these links, the higher your popularity is assumed to be & hence your website gets listed higher in searches. But creating these links is the trickiest as you have to depend on other people to do it for you.
So far we have managed to get our website listed with a few local search directories & submitted it for listing to a few more national & international ones. The outcome of all this has been that the page rank of our site has improved from 0 to 2. But SEO is a journey. We would like to see the rank go up even higher, for which we will continue to search & explore more knowledge. Any help in this regard would be helpful. If you have any tips on what else we could do to improve our page ranking, do let us know through your comments. Thank you in advance for your help! Also, if you have any questions for us, we would be happy to answer!