BBC (2013) describe the internet as one large library, containing pretty much anything from data and information to software, they explain that search engines act as an index to allow the user to navigate the vast information and find what they are looking for. Search engines are vastly popular because users rarely know the exact URL of the page they are looking for, these websites allow them to search millions of websites by using keywords, and the search engine will even rank them in order of relevance and popularity. Another benefit is the speed that information can become readily available, any question can be answered in literally a matter of seconds. Other helpful features include the use of speech marks when searching for a particular phrase, because without the speech marks the results will contain pages with each word appearing anywhere on the page.
Search engine optimization is the process that these websites go through to ensure that their websites are set up to have the best change of receiving traffic generated through search engines (Search Engine Land 2015) . This is important because for many online businesses the traffic generated by these websites is huge and can therefore be the difference between the success and failure of the business. One of the most common and effective ways of doing this is through the use of keywords, because this is how the search engine decide on the relevance of the page against your search. So for example if you were an online site selling cakes and other baked goods, it would beneficial to use words such as bakery, cookies, cakes and sale in you website URL, image names, descriptions and all around your site to give you a fighting chance of being near the top of certain searches. This area of online business is becoming much more important as now larger organisations are hiring professionals that specialise in search engine optimization and getting businesses to the top of these searches.
When businesses are deciding on the sort of keywords to use for SEO they should look at their competitors, and check the sorts of keywords they are using and use them as a guide. They could also do different types of research on slang words and include some of them, another tool available is google trends, to find out which searches are popular and use any that are relevant to your organisation. Although it is critical that businesses take advantage of SEO, they need to be aware that they can overuse and misuse keywords and the search engines will pick up on this and act accordingly, for instance if general popular phrases are used when they bear no relevance to your business.
With my WordPress website there are Plug-ins available like the one pictured below, which work with the user to use keywords in the right way. It does this by making you choose a focus keywords and ensuring that the chosen keywords appears on your website multiple times, to give you the best chance of success.
Now that I have the plugin downloaded and activated when I begin to create a new post a box below appear titled “WordPress SEO by Yoast”, that contains details of how effective the post will be with regards to SEO. I can type in my focus keyword and an area will come up with live updates informing me how many times it appears in my post. It also give a meta description area which should also contain keywords because the search engines will also pick up on this as it is the area that shows under the title on the search engine results, so it important that it catches the audiences interest.
BBC. (2013) What is a search engine? [Online] Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/webwise/0/22562913 [Accessed 5 May 2015].
Search Engine Land. (2015) What is SEO/Search Engine Optimization? [Online] Available from: http://searchengineland.com/guide/what-is-seo [Accessed 5 May 2015].