Would you build a new business that depended on foot traffic at the end of a hidden cul-de-sac? Would you put a billboard out on a dirt road or a well traveled highway? When building a website the foot traffic and the visibility are as important as the design of the site.
It’s difficult to overestimate the importance of a good online marketing presence. A successful website is so much more than just a brochure site for a business, or a way to show off the latest web designer’s tricks with bells and whistles. The intent of a website is to be found by those who seek your products or services, and toward that end a website needs to be designed with SEO – search engine optimization- in mind from the outset.
Suppose your company builds widgets and you design the snazziest widget website ever. There’s Flash video of dancing widgets on the home page. The resources page is stocked with dozens of white papers informing visitors of all the different types of widgets available. There’s even a message board where widget lovers from around the world discuss how the invention of the widget has changed the course of manufacturing forever. This site should, without a doubt, establish your company as the world’s foremost authority on widgets.
Unfortunately, when you run a Google search on the word “widget,” your site is ranked as the 187th search result. The user has to read through 19 pages of results just to find you. Most searchers don’t bother to look past the first couple of pages of search results. You need to be as close to the top as possible when someone searches for your site on the web.
Search Engine Optimization -SEO- is the technique of designing your website so as to better ensure top ranking when people search online. The hard thing is that search engines and how they find products and services is changing. In fact, there are so many changes that it is hard to keep up, and the competition gets more fierce each and every day.
The key is really twofold: relevancy and clean design. Relevancy simply means that your site needs to be focused on one thing- what you are trying to sell or communicate. Clean design because now the search engines have a better time finding your product or service if the code is easy to parse. If your website was designed more than two years ago, it is time to take a look at redoing it with SEO in mind. Sounds overwhelming? Not so. The cost might surprise you. And, the results will certainly surprise you.