In SEO world the word is King of content and Queen of search

Among a galaxy of 8 billion web pages

What we are going to talk about is search engines. In particular, we going to examine how your website is found or not found on the Internet, among a galaxy of 8 billion web pages, and growing exponentially.

In the beginning there was the word. This is as true of the Internet as it is true of the biblical view of creation. The web started out as system for transferring word laden documents between academic institutions. So the word is Queen (Links to websites are currently King for the main search engines). Search engines feed on the word. The world wide web would not exist without words. Really the Internet is a veritable cyber tower of Babel. Businesses that venture onto the Internet ignore this fact at their peril.

The blind leading the blind.

Here is something to ponder. A significant number of 'experts' helping businesses onto the Internet -
  • the web designers
  • the web development companies
  • the design and advertising agencies
  • the web programmers
  • your nephew or niece or geek that has done you a website
either ignore the word, or are ignorant of the word, or don't understand or plainly don't care about the word. In many ways this situation is a scandal. Some would say it amounts to a fraud on a scale of billions in any currency you care to think of. Okay, so what you put on your website is your business. But then why hand over your money to 'experts' who fail to or have no advice to give you on succeeding on the Internet. Many would say they provide just technical, programming or design expertise. You want marketing or SEO consultant to make your website a success is their defence.. The trouble with this get out is that in many instances their work (in ignorance of how the Internet works as a communication medium) can be a contributing cause of websites' failures.

WARNING

If your business is a well known blue chip company, a household brand name, a high street name, you can breathe easy. You advertising off the internet means your website should be easily found by name by your customers. If you want to be found specifically through your services or products it might be wise to read on.

Like wise if your company has a bottomless budget for off and on the web advertising you can stop reading this monologue on the importance of the word and search engines.

You maybe a business that has what could be called a 'check me out' website. This is website that sits there waiting for prospective clients (who know of you and your web address) to visit and check you out as part of a tendering process. That is one way to use the Internet but don't expect customers ignorant of you to ever stumble upon your website.

Similarly if you use your web site as an online brochure where you direct people to take a look by word of mouth or printed material then your website could be seen as value for money compared to other publication mediums..

However, should you be a small to medium sized business relying on the Internet to provide you with new customers from search engines then read on! Likely as not, you are not getting value for money at the moment.

So what is the big deal about the word?

The Internet might be the cheapest and widest reaching advertising and marketing medium around but for most small to meduim businesses it is an illusion. And all because people fail to recognise the importance of the word. So what is the big deal about the word?

Simply this - 80% of Internet users use search engines to find there way around the 8 billion documents, web pages and web sites that populate the world wide web. And search engines are blind. Blind to visual content (unless described in words). Blind to pictures, graphics, animations, video, sound tracks. They are blind to your hot dog, design agency, flash, mega bucks websites. The only thing that matters to search engines is the word. Billions and zillions of them, to be collected, indexed and displayed as lists for you to click on. So the word counts and will do so until artificial intelligence advances to the point of the human brain's capacity to read and interpret pictures. And when this attribute is incorporated into search engines, perhaps then the word will lose its crown.

Gone to the dogs

Here is the scenario. Imagine that you are a champion Labrador gun dog breeder. You have a local yellow pages advertisement with HereBoy Gundogs in a fancy typeface, a colour picture of your stud dog and 35 words detailing your service. You see the internet as a means of going nationwide, worldwide even. You get a website done by a web designer, with loads of pin ups of your stud dogs and off-spring, you even splash out on professionally photographed pheasant shoot. You have your 35 words added along with 'HereBoy Gundogs' words made into graphic so your fancy typeface is the same on everyone's computer.

You are used to a steady flow of enquiries from your yellow pages advert so your expectations are high for your new website, especially with all those pictures. Afterall pictures speak louder than words, don't they?

Launched into cyberspace and sunk without trace

Now let's switch to your potential customers. It is highly probable that they will type in a phrase like 'gun dog breeder' into their favourite search engine, like Google, and are returned with a list of 380,000 entries. With 'HereBoy Gundogs' as a graphic, not text, and perhaps the word 'dog' used once or twice in the 35 words of copy, Google has no idea HereBoy Gundogs is about gun dogs. You would have a better chance of winning the lottery than find this web site in the top 20 entries of the gun dog breeder list. Most people don't look further than the top 20 or 30 entries, unless Google returns more than the usual irrelevant entries that some how get to the top part of its lists. So the prospects for our HereBoy Gundog breeder is pretty bleak.

A quantum leap

The problem is our Gun dog breeder is viewing 2 vastly different advertising and communication mediums. The Yellow Pages, a printed directory is a passive, fixed, small scale medium, ready and waiting to help a local customer find a local business. On the other hand the Internet is a completely different animal. In terms of scale and scope it is a quantum leap, like comparing the size of a football to the sun. The Internet is an active, dynamic medium, serving everyone in the world with access to the Internet. To cope with the scale and complexity of the Internet it has search engines that use words to make judgement calls on the usefulness of websites and web pages. No readable, relevant text? Then it is bye bye to your dreams of Internet riches. Your website will be invisible to the world.

Conned and ripped off by the thousands.

If your 'experts' don't understand this basic fact that words, the right words, are essential to your web site being found then you've joined the thousands and thousands of small to medium sized businesses who have been conned knowingly or unknowingly into owning a website that is going to under perform whatever these 'experts' suggest you do.

Pictures evoke - Words direct

The easiest remedy for your experts to recommend is that you 'cheat' the system. You will be told spend money on Google or Yahoo online advertising or find a search engine marketeer who employs dubious tricks and techniques to get you to the top of the search engine lists. Yet, this will make your web site's return on investment even poorer. Why? Because the right words not only find you your website visitors they are also vital for converting them into customers. Pictures, images and graphics and layouts will help evoke an emotional response. But only words will amplify, direct and channel this response into buying your message your service, your product. If right from the start your site content is so poor that it needs cheating strategies to gain visitors, then these visitors will be just as soon gone with a mouse click to another site.

The internet can work for your business

This is not to say that the internet can't truly work for your business. It can. It just needs to be done properly. The word has to be central to the communication process that is called a web site.

Help with search engines, copy writing, and web design, based on an understanding of how the internet works is available

The process of building a successful website and identifying the real experts will be dealt with in other articles. In the meantime, you can contact Left Angle Communications for help and you can follow the links below. Despite the fact that 90 per cent of all web sites are not optimised properly for search engines there is a wealth of information out there. Go dig, you'll be surprised just how easy some of it is to do. Why the experts don't do it is open to debate.

No guarantees just hard work

Just remember, if some one ever guarantees they can get you permanently to the top of the search engines lock your wallet, hide your credit card. You are either talking to a madman or a con man. There are just too many variables, too many contributing factors, to make any guarantees. Apart from that, the search engines are continually evolving and changing their selection strategies to find the best sources of information to match peoples' enquiries.

The best advice is this. As a business owner if you can get the right content, the right copy, the right words on your web site you have got a fighting chance to find and convert those elusive customers. There is only one draw back about a successful website - it takes a lot of hard work and creativity. Are you and your 'expert up' to it?

Contact Left Angle if you need some help with the hard work and creativity. For immediate help with search engine optimisation and creating a strong, web presence please contact us via or use our contact form.

YOUR SUCCESS IS OUR SUCCESS

 
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