Search Engine Indexing
How do the search engines view your webpage? As simple as this sounds it presupposes another important aspect: Can the search engines correctly crawl your pages? If they have trouble reaching your pages, you will not get credit for those pages, they may not be indexed and therefore may never be found by people searching or users of your site.
Crawlability is best solved by having good site architecture; logical internal linking from the home page all the way down to the very deepest pages. An alternative and fail-safe is to submit a sitemap to the search engines.
Assuming the search engine can reach a page, its bot/spider will read through the html of the pages issued from your server. The html defines how your site is styled, what applications your site runs, images, hyperlinks, etc etc. The most crucial aspects of the html centre around your sites content and meta-data.
Optimising your sites content is a science in itself - the basics being lots of unique, keyword-rich content. The more you have the better but structure is of great importance and seperate themes on your site should be tightly siloed
What remains is the meta which has a two-fold impact:
- Tell the search engines what your page is about
- Define how your page is marketed/described to users in the search engine result pages (SERPs). This is an often overlooked but crucial element of the meta data which brings with it a strong marketing focus.
These are factors within your control and should be made perfect where possible. Every bit helps when looking to improve rankings!
A new on-page variable which the search engines will begin weighting more heavilly is your site speed. You may not outrank your competitors due to having a faster load time but having a significantly slow site may well impact on your ability to rank well.
Many different factors influence load-speed from server connection to 'weight' of images on your pages to unoptimised style sheets and scripts. Speed tools from google (Page Speed
) and Yahoo (YSlow
) are available and google's webmaster tools will graph how you compare to your competitors.
Some remedies include hosting images in the cloud (making use of a content delivery network), paralellisation of asset loads, aggregating stylesheet calls and many more.