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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is big business. There are seemingly infinite options to raising page rank and getting your website noticed. Our clients often come with major misconceptions about what websites do, and are often heavily resistant to the principles - we believe - are truths in their online existence. Part 1: The Simple Truth & Common Pitfalls One way we help our clients generate value from their website is by minimizing costs; not just expenses associated with running a site, but also the soft costs from the time spent on creating the online appearance. Our most difficult challenge is restoring balance to perceptions the client has, and believes their customers have, about the business; ultimately those perceptions carry over to web projects.Majority of small companies - our client base - do not have brand/marketing/image requirements. Rather, the website is a virtual handshake between new clients, a means of distributing/accessing relevant information, and a link to existing customers. Therefore, any time spent - by the business owner - should be spent on making sure that a relevant visitor can easily find the business website, and access the information they seek. The critical step is a favorable organic search result ranking for relevant keywords. Relevant keywords are generally specific phrases or combinations of words that identify the business. In small business, keywords are always relative to a target market. For example, a Portland based car dealership targets “car dealer portland maine”, not just “car dealer”. A simple concept that takes time to comprehend, especially when expectations are far from achievable realities. Successful companies know their real - and achievable - target market and can articulate it in terms of keywords. When visitors land on websites after a keyword search, they are typically looking for specific information. In the car dealer example, they are likely looking for inventory or contact information; restaurants are typically hours and menus; law firm visitors seek practice areas and success track record. Therefore, majority of the business owner’s - or agent’s - time needs to be spent on providing a concise package of content. Successful companies ignore aesthetics and focus on navigation and content; those who struggle realize these facts months after site launch when visitor statistics favor 1-3 pages substantially more than anything else on the site.Aesthetics are important never-the-less, but aesthetics should be clean, simple, easy to navigate, and reasonably representative of the business. Generally speaking, well designed style sheets bring over a relevant color combination along with a user-friendly layout architecture. This means a site should carry a particular feel, look professional, and established. The remaining nitty-gritty racks up billable time that is difficult to recover. The next article we will go into our three pillars of SEO optimization. There we will cover how relevant keywords are supported by content, and what realistic methods exist for improving organic page rank. In subsequent posts we will also cover SEO tactics that are common among “SEO Optimization Companies” and the benefits/drawbacks they offer.
SiteBentoc/o Computer Doctors of MainePO BOX 2816, South Portland, ME, 04116, USA Tel: (207) 221-2773
SiteBento is a suite of web development, hosting, and management services offered by Computer Doctors of Maine, Inc. These services are based on two powerful web platforms: Joomla! and Google Sites. Use this site to explore both options and decide which option works for your business.