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What’s inside:Understand how search engine optimisationhas grown to be an important marketing tactic. Gain insight into the factors that affect the position of your website in search results pagesand how you can go about improving this. 09Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
2302319.1 IntroductionWith millions of people performing billions of searches each day to find content on the Internet (Sullivan, 2013), it makes sense that marketers want their products to be findable online. Search engines, the channels through which these searches happen, use closely guarded algorithms to determine the results displayed. Determining what factors these algorithms take into account has led to a growing practice known as search engine optimisation.Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the practice of optimising a website to achieve the highest possible ranking on the search engine results pages (SERPs). Someone who practices SEO professionally is also known as an SEO (search engine optimiser).Google says it uses more than 200 different factors in its algorithm to determine relevance and ranking (Avellanosa, 2012). None of the major search engines disclose the elements they use to rank pages, but there are many SEO practitioners who spend time analysing patent applications to try to determine what these are.SEO can be split into two distinct camps: white hat SEO and black hat SEO (with, of course, some grey hat wearers in between). Black hat SEO refers to trying to game the search engines. These SEOs use dubious means to achieve high rankings, and their websites are occasionally blacklisted by the search engines. White hat SEO, on the other hand, refers to working within the parameters set by search engines to optimise a website for better user experience. Search engines want to send users to the website that is best suited to their needs, so white hat SEO should ensure that users can find what they are looking for.In this chapter, you will learn:• How search engines work and how they deliver results• How to plan, research and implement an effective keyword strategy across text and other content• Techniques for link building, an essential aspect of SEO• How specialised search – such as mobile, social and local search – can affect your rankings, and how to optimise for these9.2 Key terms and conceptsTermDefinitionAlt textThe ‘alt’ attribute for the IMG HTML tag. It is used in HTML to attribute a text field to an image on a web page, normally with a descriptive function, telling a search engine or user what an image is about and displaying the text in instances where the image is unable to load. Also called Alt Tag.Anchor textThe visible, clickable text in a link.App store optimisation (ASO)The process of optimising mobile and web applications for the specific web stores in which they are distributed.