We recently met with a client to discuss ways to make her site more findable in search engines like Google. Like most businesses, our client wants to appear on that first search results page, right up at the top above her competition. Who wouldn’t?
Despite the fact that our client works in a super-competitive industry; and despite the fact that the Internet has become so saturated with sites (and other media) that even well-optimized pages face major challenges ranking well, I was optimistic that we could make it happen for her. Why is that?
When it comes to search engines, Upstate New York’s Web sites appear to be under-optimized. In normal human-speak, this means that many organizations in Central New York and the Southern Tier aren’t doing the things they need to do to ensure that their page listings appear in Google’s search results when prospective customers type in appropriate keywords or phrases.
For example, many sites in this area lack basic on-page optimization features like:
- Unique page titles
- Unique page descriptions
- Keyword rich copy, headers and editorial links
- Streamlined information architecture
- Navigational aids like redundant text navigation, breadcrumbs and site maps
I also see little evidence of local and regional companies, non-profits and public-sector institutions taking advantage of social media marketing opportunities (like blogs, community sites, sharing sites, etc.) in order to increase the number incoming links to their sites. This is an extremely important feature in any search engine marketing strategy.
Why does this matter? I’m sure that many of the organizations that fall into this group spent considerable time and money developing professional-looking sites in an effort to attract business. If those sites aren’t findable and effective, then the return on those investments is likely to be poor.
Nobody likes to waste time and money (unless they’re on vacation).
If you think you fall into this group, then you should consider this present climate a huge opportunity to elevate your organization’s visibility and attract more qualified visitors to your site.
Seize the opportunity to beat out the competition while it still exists!
Go forth and optimize.