Search engine optimization explained – or How DOES Google (Yahoo, etc.) find stuff? – Let’s follow the Search Engines and how they work – first, the boring part. A search engine uses an algorithm (set of rules) to logically decide if a certain website can provide the answer you are searching for. It also looks to see if a large group of users have decided that a particular page has the right answer and are linking to it. And it looks to see if this site has been freshly made or is it rather moldy information (hasn’t been updated since its inception…) Essentially, the search engines READ, they can’t see, but they read. The engines read, check for misspellings, look for context, and perhaps even look for sentence structure (based on our research, we think they do!) A structured table performs worse than a paragraph with the same information. Content is the absolute most important. Text rules! Write 10 times more than you think you need! Don’t edit yourself! You are the expert here on your site so prove it with your knowledge! Even if you are not a great writer, just try to get it all out either as a question and answer or you can imagine you are being interviewed for TV…A consistent message is second most important. Stay on topic! If it is related fine, but if it some unrelated story, save it for another page! Don’t do a listing on topics or bullet points! If you were talking to someone, you wouldn’t do that… or if you did, the person would ask more questions about each! So explain it! Popularity is third most important – remember high school? If you had no friends, nobody would know that you existed! The internet is the same way! If the search engines see that you have no friends, then you will not be found! So is a pleasing design important? To the reader, yes… but to the search engines, not really – except there are some bits of code that represent importance. But overall, a flashy website is not what gets their attention.
Viewers are not blind Content, content content. 99% of all web-pages need 10,000% more substance. You need to answer the questions that internet surfers are looking for. How else will Google find your answer? You should really consider anyone viewing your website to be completely ignorant of your topic so that this forces you to really answer their questions completely! Don’t try to fake these people out! The search engines know these tricks and won’t fall for it! Be honest!In general, don’t sell something that doesn’t solve their problem. And if it does, you better explain how it does this completely! Pictures. Photos. Images. Do they provide an answer? Are they a part of your story? If not, get rid of them. And if they do, name these images to match the context of the answer or the content of the page. This will help the readers and the engines and YOU!
The Re-emergence of Design (ART) and Substance (WORDS) – The art vs. the search. The artist uses images to evoke emotional responses – the more powerful the better. This is true of Marketing Ad agencies, but not the internet! The search engine reads text to know it is a real page – the more true to itself the better. The compromise is not very hard to see. Never ever compromise content – over exaggerate it always – if you need to redesign the page or the site – DO IT! It will only help you in the long run as the search engines move toward COMPLETE understanding of what they are reading. Add in the artistic touches afterwards. Never use art as “content” or filler! Learn to use the art of color psychology to help people read your sites.
Moving towards a final solution – There is absolutely no need to edit yourself on the web, EVER! With most people we consult with they can’t seem to tell their story at all and that is exactly what is needed for the search engines and for people desperately in need of your solutions. Don’t think in photos for your site – be verbose! Explain everything! Pretend you are engaged in a conversation at a dinner party and the person you are talking with is really interested in your line of work! Remember that people looking at your site want to learn about it! 99% of them will not do what is recommended even if you give away all of your “secrets” because most of them don’t make the time to do what is recommended – hence they’ll hire you or buy your widgets to solve their problem!