Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process used to enhance organic search
results. Search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing use complex algorithms to
sort through the millions of websites in their database, and deliver relevant information
based on search terms.
The higher a website ranks in a search engine the more visibility it gets, and the more
trafﬁc it generates. The more trafﬁc, the more conversions, leads and sales, as is
demonstrated with the following data from 2006 for Google click-through rates.
According to this data, the 1st result in the search engine gets almost half of all clicks
for the search, with a steep drop-off to the 2nd/3rd positions. The 7th-10th positions are
pretty even, while anything past 10 gets less than 1% of total clicks.
This demonstrates the importance of search engine ranking. For example, if a website
is ranked 1st they will get 420 clicks out of 1,000 searches, whereas the 7th-10th
positions will average only 30 per 1,000.
Factors affecting rank
Search engines use extremely complex algorithms to calculate where a page ranks.
These algorithms are not only proprietary, but change often on a weekly if not daily
basis, affecting the rank for millions of websites.
• Incoming Links- The popularity and text content of links coming into your website
from other websites is perhaps the single most important factor affecting search
engine rank. The quality and relevance of links is just as important as the quantity of
• Title tags- Title tags are used to change the text in the very top of the web browser
that describes a web page. Title tags should be optimized for keywords for best
• Domain registration length- The longer a domain has been registered the more
trustworthy it is considered. Aged domains have the ʻexperienceʼ that younger sites
• Frequency of updates- Fresh content should be added regularly to keep search
engines coming back to a site for indexing.
• CONTENT is KING- This is the mantra in the SEO world. The more content on a site,
the more search engines can pick up on, and the more diverse keywords are going to
be. Search engines are responsible for one thing and one thing only; delivering
accurate information relevant to a search phrase. The more content a site has the
better chance of a site being picked up for a search.
• Bounce rate- If visitors click into a site from a search, then leave after seeing the ﬁrst
page, it is safe to assume they were not intrigued enough to stay on your site. This will
say to a search engine that users were unhappy with that result, and so high bounce
rates will negatively affect a website.
• Broken links- If there are a lot of broken links on a site, a search engine will look at
this as a poorly managed website, and therefore reduce that siteʼs rank.
• Page load time- Nobody likes waiting a long time for a web page to load, and so
neither do search engines. Optimizing a site for speed will increase ranking.
• Trafﬁc- The more trafﬁc a website gets, the more popular it is. The more popular it is,
the better the rank because itʼs popularity reﬂects itʼs relevancy.
• Site map/architecture- Search engines use ʻbotsʼ to crawl websites and index pages/
content. The easier it is for these bots to navigate your site and ﬁnd content the better.
If a site make bots work for content, the bot may miss pages, leaving valuable content
out of the search engine.
These are just some of the factors affecting a websiteʼs rank in a search engine. Each
search engine is different, and they will prioritize some of these factors over others, as
well as add/remove factors. Regardless, fresh, keyword-optimized content with plenty of
incoming links will always yield better results.
Perhaps the most difﬁcult part of SEO is picking the keywords to use in your content. If
your keywords are too generic or broad, you will have stiffer competition and a lot of
irrelevant trafﬁc. The goal is to ﬁnd a balance between the amount of times a term is
searched, the competition for the term, and the relevance of the term to your content.
Finding ʻnicheʼ keywords that are being used a lot by searchers but not competitors will
yield the best results because you can get to the top of the ranks for a search term with
Keyword Searches Rank %
Broad Term 100,000 20 0.03% 30
Speciﬁc 10,000 10 3% 300
Niche Term 1,000 1 42% 420
As you can see, it is better to pick very speciﬁc keywords with moderate trafﬁc, because
not only is it more targeted which will lead to a higher conversion rate, but it will be
easier to get to the top of the ranks, thus improving click-through percentage
Because keywords will be used in content, title tags, hyperlinks, incoming links, and
meta descriptions, and makes up the bulk of SEO efforts, starting right out the gate with
the best keywords is going to give the best results.
It is vital to stay committed to keywords. Though it is relatively easy to change keywords
for on-site optimization (factors that deal directly with the content and architecture of a
website), changing incoming links from hundreds or even thousands of other websites
and online directories (off-site) can be a grueling task, and your ranks depend upon the
synergy of both on-site and off-site factors.
1. Go to http://websitegrader.com
2. Enter the Website URL for the Website you are about to optimize in the Website
3. Click Generate Report
4. Print the results for the customer
5. Perform tasks to improve the Optimize section
6. Inform customer of issues he/she needs to address that we are unable to fulﬁll
1. del.icio.us bookmarks
2. Link Tweet summary
3. Twitter Grade
7. Print improved results page
All-in-One SEO Pack
Set to Enabled
The Home Title is the title of the homepage, should include the company name and a
The Home Description will show up as the meta description of the website, which
appears in search engines such as Google and Yahoo!. Should include a few vital
List of keywords from the Keyword Research Report (see above)
Leave this checked, this will allow the following ﬁelds (Post Title Format through
Paged Format) to be formatted independently in the title bar of the page, to better
optimize for search engines.
SEO for Custom Post Types
This will allow custom post types to be available for SEO. WP-Enterprise should add
Alert, Order, Purchase and Product custom content types to this list, in addition to
standard post and page types. If the customer is using an e-commerce store, product
custom content types should be made available for SEO. Alerts, Orders and Purchases
should not as they are private types.
Use Categories for META keywords
Leave this unchecked unless instructed otherwise