Search Engine Optimization and Metadata
Definition: SEO stands for search engine optimization. What this is all about is how to rank high in the free section, also called the organic listings, of a search engine. SEO is the process of optimising your web content so it ranks as a top choice for searches of a particular keyword. Higher ranking in the search engine results means that your website will have more traffic and it will generate a better conversion rate.
How does the search engine optimization work? The way Google works is very complex so we will not get into all technical details here. Basically what happens is that your website or blog has to have relevant keywords in the title and body of text. This is called the ‘keyword phrase’ or ‘search term’. Your website or blog has to be written around this keyword phrase and there has to be one or more incoming links that are from this topic.
Once you optimise your site for the specific keywords, you need to rank better in the free section of the search engine rankings. You have to make sure you use proper keyword metadata when you create your web pages. Keyword metadata is a way to describe the content of your website or blog so that the search engines can understand it and rank you better for the specific keywords used in your site.
Why is keyword phrase important? When you optimise for the search engine rankings, your site will have to have relevant keywords in the title, and within the text and in the Meta tag information. When people look for what you have to offer using the search engine, they will most likely type in your keyword phrase, to find you. The search engines do not index everything on the internet, they index the links that contain the keywords you have used in the links within your site.
Keyword phrases and meta description tags are what are known as metadata in SEO. There are two different types of metadata in SEO: content and title/meta tags. The content of your site will be completely worthless unless you optimise for the search engines, and the title/meta tag will give the search engine spiders the link text for the page title.
It is very important to understand what these keywords and phrases mean in terms of SEO, because many people use them incorrectly. For example, a popular search engine ranking in the top 10 for biomedical engineering has many visitors, but the actual text on the page is not that helpful, the title is not that useful because it is just a page title, and the meta description is meaningless because it does not describe anything. This is a prime example of putting off your users who arrive at your site wanting to learn more about what you do. If you do not optimise your page correctly, it will be almost impossible to get anywhere in search engine rankings, because your keywords and keyword phrases mean absolutely nothing.
The second type of metadata that SEO is based on, and which many people do not recognise it for, is called meta description. Meta descriptions are what describes the contents of the page. They are not the actual words that appear in your page, although they are an essential part of SEO. If you do not optimise for the search engine rankings, then the title and meta description will almost certainly be wasted. People use them to try to get a better understanding of the contents of your site.
It is important to remember that search engines do not see your page as a whole, they see each link on the page as an independent piece. They do not necessarily link together or logically connect the various parts of the page. This is partly because search engines rely on the text to be understood and partly because of the nature of links. Therefore, it is more valuable to focus on the internal associations your links have rather than just the external associations.