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The importance of website optimization for search engines

Question:

Discuss About The Understand Engine Optimization Relevance?

Internet is the market of information now-a-days. A webpage contained in a website, displays various set of information of different format like textual, graphical and audio-visual. Specific information of any organisation is displayed in specific web pages. A webpage needs to be optimized for better search engine result. People all over the world generally use some common and most famous search engines like Google to find out information. Better optimization places the website and the webpage higher than the other results.

Google.com is the leading search engine in the world. From any country one can get information by accessing it via Google. Any organisation can submit its content to Google accepting the terms and condition. It is the general method for promotion of content or information now-a-days. For this discussion, a webpage www.jcu.edu.au is related with information technology of James Cook University is chosen that displays the content related to the IT Bachelor course in that university ("Bachelor of Information Technology", 2017). There is a requirement to improve the search engine optimization for the webpage and the Head of the IT department is in need of a 3 weeks ADWords marketing plan within the cost of $250.

The purpose of this study is to understand the requirements and develop a perfect ADWords marketing plan within the budget for improved search engine optimization and Google ADWords campaign.

A webpage is a Hyper Text Mark-up Language formatted document that is displayed via website. It can be opened from an internet browser using specific URL address (Moreno & Martinez, 2013). The contents of a webpage are certain information, different advertisements, links for file sharing to social networking sites and most of all an option for search.

The second oldest public university in Queensland is James Cook University. The university has its campus and study centres in various cities of Australia. Undergraduate and post-graduate courses are offered by the Brisbane campus of this university to the international students. Courses offered to students are related with information technology, engineering, law, business, biomedical sciences, pharmacy, nursing, healthcare sciences, social work and some other. Research subjects of this university are associated with genetics and genomics, marine sciences, engineering and information technology, biodiversity and some other. Currently, number of domestic and international students of the university is approximately 15.273 and 6.886 respectively. Consisting over 5000 academic and non-academic staffs this university has proved to be a very profitable one as well-renowned on the basis of their research papers, published books and journals.

James Cook University's website and its contents

The description of the university clearly describes its enormous structure and the requirement for a website can be easily understood. The university possess a website from where different information can be gathered (Carter, 2012). The website contains different portal for students and staff members. Institution description like history, statistics, campuses, annual report and university plans are given in specific web pages. University presents the information about its specific courses in the website along with services like application submission and support services. Fee and cost structures, scholarships and accommodations are also presented through the website. Details of their various staff section and alumni section are given in specific pages (Crawford-Ferre & Wiest, 2012). Finally the website contains a search engine to ease the access of users.

Potential customers of this business are students, both domestic and international. The university has developed its website to attract the attention of the students, for under-graduation and post-graduation courses. The website also shares information about scholarships, accommodation and facilities (McIntyre, 2015). The webpage for the course of bachelor in information technology has been designed for both Australian and international students.

The benefits for having a well-built and information filled website are numerous (Skinner, 2016). Through different web pages an organisation can share its information and offerings specifically to its targeted audiences. Providing origin, history, statistics and annual report helps the viewers to develop a knowledge and trust about the organisation. Detailed information present in the website helps a user to enrich his or her knowledge of the subject or sometimes it may help a user to select between different subjects. The channel through which a user can apply for something online to the organisation, reduces the physical effort and saves time and cost. Having a website for education purposes helps an institution to become popular not only in domestic region, but also all over the world (Marshall, Rhodes & Todd, 2014). Students can go through the information given in the portal and compare it with other websites to choose the best for them. Links of research papers, journals and books are presented in the websites of an institution which helps a student in his studies. A student can get the information about cost structure, accommodations and other benefits from the website which quickens their time of choosing. Students and staffs of an institution also get various benefits from the website of the institution (Wilde et al., 2012). An institutional website often contains different portals for students, professors and staffs. They can communicate as well as get research materials through the portal. They can also view the results and rewards through the website (McKeever, 2016).

Benefits of having a well-built website

Optimization of search engine is known as SEO. Website ranking in search engine can be improved by following a definite set of rules for optimization. These rules are also used to make the website user friendly by providing ease of access and navigation (Sofronic, 2012). This optimization is very much essential for websites to gain competitive advantages as most of the search engines users prefer the top 5 results of search. The benefits of search engine optimization include high amount of search engine traffic and common framework for publishing contents. Search engine optimisation can be categorised into two parts, White hat SEO and Black hat SEO (Berman & Katona, 2013). First one follows the concepts of search engine guidelines to improve the rankings in search engine results and the next one uses the algorithms that do not follow the guidelines. White hat SEO utilizes development of high quality content, reconstruct and optimization of website HTML, acquisition of high quality content campaign link and research manually (Killoran, 2013). Black hat SEO uses link spam, cloaking, hidden links and texts. A gradual improvement in search engine friendliness and website ranking can be achieved by it (Tutaj & van Reijmersdal, 2012).

 Website of James Cook University is pretty user friendly however it can be still optimized a few level. A basic SEO audit helps a website owner to fix various elements that resulting in website unfriendliness (Shyam , Jagannathan & Rajavel, 2013). This involves eliminating duplicate contents, creating a short URL like <name of the website>/<subject matter>, each and every page of the website should contain customizable title tags and including search engine to index web pages (Geddes, 2014).

To increase the user friendliness the titles and headings of each web page needs to be descriptive and simple, without repeating keywords. Contents in web pages should be up-to date and involved with limited keywords. Excessive keywords that make file name huge must be avoided (McIntyre, 2015). Excessive page addition with no information should be avoided. Sending manual link requests to manually researched websites, paid directory submissions increases the value of the website. Linkable contents from different websites also increase the friendliness of a website (Tutaj & van Reijmersdal, 2012).

Certain pages of the Website of James Cook University contain repetitive contents. Course and study information are repeated in several pages (Yuan, Wang & Zhao, 2013). Heading of the pages should be viewed more clearly. Excessive background should be avoided as an institutional site must contain more information and study materials rather than various graphical images not-regarding the studies (Weller & Calcott, 2012). Search engine results for James Cook University is good but the applying some important SEO techniques mentioned above optimization can be done.

Different types of search engine optimization and their methods

In order to promote a new web page the best online advertising technique is ADWords. The technique is developed by Google, where paid advertisements are shown partly developed on keywords and partly on cookies (Marshall, Rhodes & Todd, 2014). The payment methods associated with is pay-per-click, cost per action and cost per mile. Text advertisements in Google contains one headline of approximately 30 characters, 35 characters based two text lines and a display URL consisting approximately 40 characters (King, Abrahams, & Ragsdale, 2015).

A proper ADWords campaign can be developed applying certain step-by-step method. After signing up for an ADWords account at first the campaign type and campaign should be chosen properly. Next, the location has to be chosen where the ads will be displayed (Carter, 2012). Larger the targeted area, larger the payment cost. Bid strategy should be set as manual and maual payment and automatic payment must be done according to the daily budget. Ad Extensions should be ignored in the first week, however the second and third week can have Ad Extension added to the campaign objectives (Berman & Katona, 2013). For better search ranking the headline should be aligned with campaign objective and within 25 characters. Benefits should be assigned in second line for better customer review.

For promoting ADWords profitably, market analysis is the key factor. A 360 degree market review for the popularity of the product can be obtained from shopping insights consisting of heat maps and graphs. Obtained data help in ADWords campaign (Geddes, 2014). To become familiar with consumer’s searching habit Google Trends is an effective tool. In order to compare the performance metrics Google Benchmark tools are helpful (McKeever, 2016).

Customer demand and target audience is the first objective of the campaign. The specific webpage www.jcu.edu.au is related with information of the bachelor in information technology course ("Bachelor of Information Technology", 2017). Therefore, the target audience will be largely undergraduate students (Weller & Calcott, 2012). According to the duration and study mode, the campaign needs to be divided in three parts. The 1st week campaign will be associated with 3 years full time study for domestic students, 2nd week campaign will be associated with off campus part time studies for domestic students and 3rd week will be associated with on campus full time studies for international studies. Hence forth the main objective is to set the keyword for the ADWords campaign (Shyam , Jagannathan & Rajavel, 2013). The budget for three weeks is $250. This budget is divided into $100 1st week, $100 second week and $50 last week. Therefore the daily budget for the 1st two weeks becomes approximately $14.28 per week. According the market analysis the conversion rate of consumers must be estimated. Cost per click (CPC) is the payment process of the advertiser to the publisher (King, Abrahams, & Ragsdale, 2015). The CPC bidding strategy is set according to the maximum cost-per-bid strategy. For this campaign, max CPC is $14 per day. Estimating a starting customer conversion rate of 20% max CPC is calculated according to the formula, Maximum CPC = {profit per customer} x {1 – profit margin} x {rate of website conversation} (Sofronic, 2012). The target of the ADWords is to create more traffic from the targeted audience and to gain competitive advantage from the competitors in the basis of profit.

Ways to improve the search engine friendliness of a website

Each click on ADWords costs the advertiser. Therefore the main target is to take care of that only the interested student clicks on the ad. In this case the attractive ads possessing a high click through rate (CTR) elevate the quality score of ADWords (Killoran, 2013). Headlines should be ‘Apply to James Cook University’. Description line 1 and 2 should contain ‘Bachelor of Information Technology’ and ‘Best Guidance and Environment Guaranteed’. The structure of URL should be ‘www.jcu.edu.au/information-technology/bachelor degree (Crawford-Ferre & Wiest, 2012). Matching the objectives a landing page has to be created before the main web page. In order to start the campaign, tracking of conversion is must in order to know which keywords are generating sales (Yuan, Wang & Zhao, 2013). For that condition, unique contacts have to be given.

Negative keywords are blocked so that uninterested customers do not click on the ad ("Bachelor of Information Technology", 2017). Other course of the university has been placed in the negative keywords. An increase of keyword bid has been planned in case low ranking. Optimization of CTR and landing page with the help of Google analytics have been planned during the campaign.

Conclusion:

Hence, from the report it can be deduced that e-business plan is an innovative plan to promote a business profitably. The components of this promotional activity are search engine optimization and ADWords. The highest ranking a website or web page can achieve in a search engine result more benefit the marketer will achieve. The report is associated with the promotional activities of a new web page of James Cook University. The course of Bachelor of Information Technology has been developed for domestic students as well as international students. In order to spread the popularity of the institution among the students all over the world Google ADWords is the best network. Among the search engines Google is the most popular. Therefore promoting through Google is most beneficial. The budget for the 3 week ADWords campaign is $250. The domestic students are key elements of a university in that region; hence, more budgets should be allocated for domestic ad campaign. Proper designing of every steps and keeping a back-up plan for raise in keyword bidding is an essential part of ADWords campaign, which has been followed here.

References:

Bachelor of Information Technology. (2017). Jcu.edu.au. Retrieved 9 September 2017, from https://www.jcu.edu.au/courses-and-study/courses/bachelor-of-information-technology

Berman, R., & Katona, Z. (2013). The role of search engine optimization in search marketing. Marketing Science, 32(4), 644-651.

Carter, J. A. (2012). U.S. Patent Application No. 13/551,600.

Crawford-Ferre, H. G., & Wiest, L. R. (2012). Effective online instruction in higher education. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 13(1), 11.

Geddes, B. (2014). Advanced Google AdWords. John Wiley & Sons.

Killoran, J. B. (2013). How to use search engine optimization techniques to increase website visibility. IEEE transactions on professional communication, 56(1), 50-66.

King, M. A., Abrahams, A. S., & Ragsdale, C. T. (2015). Ensemble learning methods for pay-per-click campaign management. Expert Systems with Applications, 42(10), 4818-4829.

Marshall, P., Rhodes, M., & Todd, B. (2014). Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords. Entrepreneur Press.

McIntyre, E. S. (2015). Search engine optimization. ON October, 11.

McKeever, M. (2016). How to write a business plan. Nolo.

Moreno, L., & Martinez, P. (2013). Overlapping factors in search engine optimization and web accessibility. Online Information Review, 37(4), 564-580.

Shyam, K. P., Jagannathan, S., & Rajavel, M. (2013). A New Technique for Ranking Web Pages and Adwords. International Journal of Computer Applications, 82(12).

Skinner, D. (2016). U.S. Patent No. 9,311,662. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Sofronic, B. (2012). Search Engine Optimization.

Tutaj, K., & van Reijmersdal, E. A. (2012). Effects of online advertising format and persuasion knowledge on audience reactions. Journal of Marketing Communications, 18(1), 5-18.

Weller, B., & Calcott, L. (2012). The Definitive Guide to Google AdWords: Create Versatile and Powerful Marketing and Advertising Campaigns. Apress.

Wilde, T., Morton, K. D., Lobacheva, Y., Zinovieva, N., & Meteer, M. (2012). U.S. Patent No. 8,312,022. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Yuan, S., Wang, J., & Zhao, X. (2013, August). Real-time bidding for online advertising: measurement and analysis. In Proceedings of the Seventh International Workshop on Data Mining for Online Advertising (p. 3). ACM.

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