Marketing is a very vital tool for the success of any business globally. Every business firm would like to be recognized by the potential customers/clients. The situation can be worse if the business is facing stiff competition in the market. This will require extra efforts in marketing and that is where online marketing come into play. With the stiff competition in the market, strategies must be put in place to upgrade the online marketing. This can be fully achieved by increasing the site ranking in the Search Engine Optimization. If the site ranking on search engine optimization is high, the site will be easily accessible and visible to potential customers. “Rate Your Uni”, a website formed by a small group of UK University education professionals, with a vision of being the best website that will allow both UK students and overseas students to share by rating degree programs and exchanging experiences among other things. The “Rate Your Uni” site wants to set a pace by being different from other sites like thestudentsroom.co.uk by joining minds and experiences globally. The site’s source of revenue will be advertising and therefore will have a major task of upgrading the ranking level of the site in search engine optimization so as to be the leader in the market. Not forgetting the stiff competition in the market, the site will need to do more on its sitemap. This must be one that allows easy navigation, easy access and fast processing of information. The visibility of the site makes its easy for retrieval of information by users. With the known, online marketing sites in UK and by extension Europe, the site needs extra commitment of the administrators to ensure that its is frequently updated. In addition, the site also requires additional elements that will keep users to the site and make users to always visit the site. This includes love texts, video programs, documentaries, games, online music, and online links to other major sites. By doing this, site will gain popularity and rapidly grow over time. This adds the site administrators another task of doing a thorough research to gauge on what students both within UK and oversees prefer.
Preference varies from individual to individual, thus the research must note key important factors that can attract online users to the site. However, the site must not forget its soul purpose of establishment, it must remain and uphold its mission and vision statement. With all the consideration in place, the “Rate Your Uni” will collect enough revenues from the advertisements and also enable both UK students and oversees students share ideas among other important factors for global development (Dunford, 2008).
Sitemap is a list of pages of online site organized in a hierarchical fashion which is reachable to users. There are two types of sitemaps namely; XML and HTML. The XML sitemap is a well organized format that site user does not need to see, but informs the search engine like Google and Yahoo about the web pages in the site. The other one is HTML which is designed to assist the user in finding the web page content, thus does not need to comprise of all web sub-pages. The “Rate Your Uni” sitemap is very well designed to allow both online gurus and people with fairly low online knowledge to navigate through the features on the page. The sitemap is very appealing and visible to user; this reduces the hectic task of looking through features after features to access the user needs (Dunford, 2008).
The above “Rate Your Uni” web home page is professionally designed to help both UK and oversees students share their experience and rate their degree programs. The study program button will assist site users in learning more about the study programs in UK based universities and other universities across the world. This will enable students to gauge and compare notes on a different kind of study programs across the globe. The University button also allows students to learn more about different Universities across the globe and what they do, study programs and the environment. The Blog button directs users to the blogs diary. This will enable students to share ideas and learn more about other students and what they do. It is the best was to share experiences and views global (Dunford, 2008).
The nest button is the scholarship button that allows students and users to identify different scholarship programs that much their expectations. Through scholarship programs provided by different organizations and institutions across the globe, users will be able to meet their expectations through the scholarship programs. The other tab is the search button that will enable users to navigate to other pages of the website that does not appear on the home page. The about us part helps users to know more about the page regarding the mission and visions of the “Rate You Uni”. This will allow for the recognition and acknowledgement of the great work done by the web pate administrators. The most interesting part is the library link to the web page. Users will be able to navigate to the library through the web page. Quite interesting, the users will find it very useful to retrieve information from the library courtesy of the “Rate You Uni” Home page. The newsletter portions help the user to learn of other important features from different kind of organizations and institutions. The other interesting part is the conference portion; the button will link the students and users to organizations and institutions with conferences. The conference will expose the users to the outside world, extent the students thinking horizon and upgrade their standards through sharing and research presentation at the conference. Very important is the Join us button, that allows users globally to join the page and contribute either by blogging, posting through the social media or even posting directly in the web page (Dunford, 2008).
This will improve the students’ engagements on the page and sharing experience. Not every user web user in the world knows English, this makes the Learn English very important, and this will enable users to learn new vocabularies and improve their level of both written and spoken English. Last but very importantly is the advertisement portion, advertisements are very essential for the page because it’s the only revenue generation channel of the web page. The page also allows social media engagements and updates flow. This will also update the user on the social world happenings. This can also be noticed by humble space allocation for the adverts. The adverts must be visible for the potential customers and clients to notice (Dunford, 2008).
Importance of the home page wireframe
The features of “Rate Your Uni” home page are strategically designed for easy navigation and identification by the user. This will save on the users’ time to trace and go through different features in the web page. The web page is not crowded to allow easy retrieval of information by the user. This adds value to the page as one that is easy to access. The features are also strategically placed to in that, very important features are close to the easy like the adverts, scholarships programs, universities, newsletters among other features. This also adds significance to the web page because users will not be crowed by less important but necessary features. Priority is very important and the page recognizes the need for priority to very essential features in the page, but also gives room for the recognition of other important factors which may not be that important (Dunford, 2008).
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
This is the practice of affecting the accessibility of site on a search engine “natural” or organic search results. It’s involves getting traffic from the “free” organic” or “natural” listings on chief search engines namely; Google, Bing and Yahoo. The above mentioned search engines have search results such as web pages, videos, or local listings which are displayed and ranked as per what the search engines consider as most relevant to users. The process does not involve payment as it is with paid search ads. It is essential to go into details on the process involved in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for clear understanding. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a strategic way of online marketing (Davis, 2006).
Before the commencement of a search engine optimization (SEO) development, it is important to know the elements involved in an effective search engine optimization (SEO) promotion. This is a highly technical and essential business process that is developed to meet specific business needs. SEO has five key steps namely; Keyword research, reporting and goals setting, page optimization and content development, link building and last but not least follow up reporting and analysis. The steps are outlined in the diagram below (Davis, 2006).
a) Keyword Research.
Keyword research involves identifying a collection of keywords phrases that will be used in optimization. It is a very essential phrase and needs a humble period of time to identify a good set of phrases that is able and sufficient enough to balance two vital factors namely; low competition within the search engines and high usage by searchers. The set of keywords phrases must be carefully selected words that will add value to the site and at the same time, control the traffic to the site. This will make the site accessible and easily visible on the search engines (Davis, 2006).
b) Reporting and Goal setting
Once the targeted set of keywords have been identified, it is critical to note the subject site. This will ensure that specific areas which require attention are identified and given a baseline of which to measure the succeeding promotions success. One very important factor is the access to the site traffic. The searcher should be able to access the site as fast as possible to allow easy retrieval or access of the features on the site. The understanding of the traffic level in the site and the basis of its referrals is also a vital element in structuring other online marketing decisions. Keywords phrases, search engine, popular content, bounce rates are statistics that cannot be ignored because they determine how the searchers are accessing and interacting with the subject site. Search engine optimization (SEO) plan is very important and after establishing a complete structure of the site’s starting position, objectives are put in place for the search engine optimization plan. A well organized search engine optimization will upgrade the position of the page on the search engines, thus make the site accessible to users (Davis, 2006).
c) Page Optimization
The optimization of the web page is vital to search engine success. The development of the page content is chief to search engine optimization. In addition, factors like high volume and high quality page content serves as an important business tool in many ways as detailed below. First and foremost, a web page or website with high-quality content of interest to the users will convince users to stay in the page and a reason to visit the web page again. Secondly, the page will get the added advantage of serving as per the search engine requirement. This will make the search engine to store more information regarding the business services and products, thus the easy information access will translate to the high ranking of the site for the related keywords phrases. This is the heart of marketing, visibility, once the site is visible and accessible; “Rate Your Uni” will obtain high potential to create as much as possible income from the adverts due to the popularity (Davis, 2006).
d) Link Building
Link building involves the maximization of quality link popularity. Link high status refers to the number of other sites connected to the site. This can be achieved by first, making a list of related businesses in which the web page has got a relationship with, as well as the professional organization links, vendors or even suppliers that wants to place a link to their web page. Second, the page administrator should email the contact to those professional organizations requesting the link. The links will increase the business chances in the search engine for searchers looking for similar products and services that the business offers. Link building is essential in page boosting for the site optimizing. When other factors are the same, search engines will always work to the advantage of the higher page rank. Page rank is vital to link popularity and a reflection of how many sites has links pointing at the web page. This will mean increased business opportunity for the “Rate Your Uni” web page (Davis, 2006).
e) Follow up reporting Analysis
Just like in the initial stage, the follow up stage is also done at standard intervals, post-optimization. At this stage, factors like site traffic, ranking and other vital metrics are then compared to pre-optimization levels, gauging results to the Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
The following are done for On-page optimization
- The business works on site page-by-page basis to optimize the content.
- The business identifies web pages that needs modification and provide the right optimization needed for higher ranking.
- Ensure that all the methods applied are spam free
- The business should adjust on factors like title and Meta tags, internal site link, reframing, keyword phrases and URL framing.
- Extensive analysis should be done on the site and server to dig out any element related to standards compliance, page structure, internal and external link structure, domain usage among other factors that may lower the search engine position.
- Last but not least, analysis is then done on source code of the site to correct anything that may lower the search engine.
Once all these are done, “Rate Your Uni” will be able to work perfectly on page optimization.
When the on-page optimization is complete, the business should reload the site to identify any further modification. When the site is perfect, the business should upload the optimized content to the server. Once this is done, the site is now fully ready for major search engines and directories. This is good news for “Rate Your Uni” as the page will be able to work both On-page and off-page optimization (Davis, 2006).
Importance of Search Engine Optimization
The main objective of search engine optimization is to improve the business ranking on search engine results pages. If the web page or website appears at the top of the result page, the business has high chances of being found by the potential customers and clients. Search engine optimization is very critical to the business success. This is due to boost it provides to the online business marketing by putting the business close to the potential customers. Through page building, the business will have the potential to achieve a wide range of accessibility and online visibility. This is what the business needs to improve on its sales, once it has gain popularity from potential customers/clients (Davis, 2006).
DAVIS, H. (2006). Search Engine Optimization. Sebastopol, O’Reilly Media, Inc. http://public.eblib.com/EBLPublic/PublicView.do?ptiID=710141.
DUNFORD, T. (2008). Advanced search engine optimization: a logical approach. Wailuku [u.a.], American Creations of Maui.