Search Engine Optimization

Contrary to popular belief, there is no magic to top search engine rankings, however, there are myriad ways to ensure that you do not achieve them.

Search Engine RankingsA search engine, in it's simplest form, is just a computer that reads pages, catalogs them and attempts to determine the subject matter covered by them.

It will do this by factoring tangibles such as the number of words on a page, the words which are repeated, highlighted or linked on it, the location of the words and other page attributes.

They will also factor in what other sites say about yours, how many link them and how those links are presented.

Search Engines cannot see images,  they cannot parse java or flash and they cannot find your web site if the only place it is listed is on your business card.

If your web site is devoid of incoming links and designed to be entirely graphical, using only complex java and flash applets you will never achieve the goal of high rankings in the search engines.

The real secret is to never lose focus of the goal for your web site. In my experience there are only two reasons to have a web site. It is a corporate brochure or it is a sales tool. Regardless of which it is, you cannot ignore the importance of a search engine.

Search engines are used by everybody with internet access. They are responsible for over 80% of all traffic to web sites. If you are not listed in the search engines you will not receive any traffic unless you specifically direct people to your site. Worse, they may find your competition while looking for you!

Consider this example:

Assume you run a paving company called London Asphalt but you do not have a web site, or you have one, but it is not listed in the search engines.

A regular client cannot recall your phone number, has misplaced your business card and has no phone book handy so they go the their web browser and type in your company name.

Your competitors, while they have a different name, have a web site on which the words London and Asphalt are prominently displayed and repeated often. What happens? Your customer clicks their link. Now, maybe you won't lose your customer that easily but either way, you just provided an advertisement for your competitor and a reminder that there are options.

Search Engine OptimizationIt is not enough however to focus simply on your company name. In fact, it is a big mistake. If the prominent message on every page of your site is your company name no-one will ever find your site unless they know your name.

Every page on your site needs to be geared to a specific aspect of your business.

In the example above, the fictious company "London Asphalt" would be well advised to develop About Us and Contact Us pages on which they can focus on their company name. In addition, they should have pages on Paved Driveways, Parking Lots, Pavement Repair etc. on each of which the focus in not on the company, but rather, the service.

Even this approach however can be too narrow, for it assumes that the potential customer, whom you have never met, knows exactly what they are looking for; Pavement Repair. Well, what if that phrase never occurred to them?

In their mind, they do not need pavement repair, they need the "cracks in my driveway fixed" or "driveway sealant". If these phrases are not properly and prominently displayed on your web site, this potential customer will never find you.

You could be #1 for London Asphalt and #1 for Paved Driveways on every search engine on the internet and it will not help you gain any customer who did not type those specific phrases into a search engine.

  • Company name
  • Products (each of them)
  • Services (each of them)
  • Location
  • Locations served
  • Customer needs

The absolute most important point listed above is Customer needs. If you can anticipate the possible queries that someone wanting or needing your products or services will type into a search engine, you will gain far more traffic than if you focus only on your product. If someone has itchy skin, it is far more likely that they will search for "itchy skin" than "skin cream". Prepare your site for that eventuality and you will win.

Why do YOU have a Website?

Responsive Web Design

All current and future NTech design projects are fully responsive designs that will display equally well regardless of the viewing platform. Read more on Responsive Web Design and why it is no longer an option.