What is Your Ideal Client Looking For?
Unlock the Secrets of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
As we continue into the twenty-first century, the amount of information on the internet increases geometrically. The question of how to find relevant information on the web becomes more and more difficult to resolve.
The Search for Relevant Information
Initially, the number of entities with computers was so small that everyone knew who everyone else was. Most electronic information sites back then were run by universities, research centers, or the government. You had to know who they were to have their address. If you knew who you were talking to, you knew if their information was trustworthy, and you knew if their information was relevant. If it was both trustworthy and relevant, the information was good. If you didn't want or need their information, you simply asked someone else.
Jumping over a little history of the web, we come to the last twenty years or so.
The Search for Trustworthy Information
Now, powerful computers are smaller and cheaper, and consumers are using mobile devices and tablets. Now every Tom, Dick, and Gladys can set up a website. The question becomes, how do you know which ones have good information and which ones are loaded with junk? If you are searching for something using words or phrases, web crawling spiders can tell you what sites contain those terms. The challenge is, there are so many sites containing any given term that may or may not be relevant. How can search tools even decide what order in which to list them? How can anyone know whether they are trustworthy and relevant?
Page Rank System
During the late 1990s, Larry Page invented an algorithm that his company, Google, uses to measure the trustworthiness and relevance of a given site. Based on this algorithm, pages are individually ranked according to relevance and trustworthiness and how they use keywords and other factors that indicate whether they are probably respectable/trustworthy. Each individual page on a website gets its own rank, but it is Larry's name Page. This is the reason it is called Page Rank (PR) instead of something else. Notice that it is the page that is ranked rather than the website as a whole. A single website can have more than one page that is highly ranked...
When online users search Google using terms or "keywords", for instance; the term "libraries", a list of libraries appears. If they add a city, name or zip code they get a list of libraries beginning with the closest ones to the zip code from which they are searching. Of course, this is a simplified explanation. The libraries are ranked using the Page Rank algorithm system that was implemented by Google.
Search Engine Development
In the time since Google and its imitators were founded, clever entrepreneurs have found methods to defeat the original algorithm and cheat their way to the top. So Google has repeatedly tinkered with their formula, to keep ahead of their competitors.
Up until a few months ago, the algorithm had been fairly stable, and fairly fair. Those who knew and followed the rules (best practices) were graded based on the genuine content of their site. However, there were still a few "black hat" operators who got around the system by hiding keywords and cheating human users of real content. This has caused some radical changes in the way that Google and other search engines rate sites. Penalties can be quite severe, including shutting down a site completely.
In the past, having a website that honestly portrayed the depth of experience and care that a business has to offer clients was probably enough to make them appear in search results. Because of irrelevant and even redundant information on websites, search engine algorithms have created new challenges for users searching in the digital marketplace.
Many of our recent clients have seen their internet traffic fall off because their sites were not doing well in "organic search". This means when anyone simply searched on terms that should have retrieved their business, these businesses did not come up close enough to the top to be found.
By analyzing our client's sites and the sites who were winning in their categories, we were able to re-design their sites to improve things like:
- How many visitors found their site
- How many visitors stayed on their site
- How many visitors read several pages on their site
- How many visitors landed on specific areas aimed at specific types of clients
- How many visitors repeated their visits and decided to take action
At Southwest Digital Media, we strive to create an internet presence for you that is customized to meet the needs of your clients, you, and the search engines. In other words, those who seek, find you; and those who find you, keep you.