The main reason that I am interested in high ranking websites is because I think it adds value to a business that is exiting. Not that this is much of a factor in valuing companies but I think that Internet presence will become more of a tangible value factor.
One of my investee companies director’s asked me to give him some help with the latest ways of achieving a high ranking website and as this was a subject that I have been discussing here and elsewhere it seemed like a great opportunity to pull some of my thoughts together. ( I speak not as an SEO or website design expert but as an Internet Marketing Strategist ).
Q. How does a high ranking website get to be so ?? ( He asked )
I was reading some books about Google a while back and I remember them talking about how one of the founding ideas for internet search was based on the practice of referencing papers written by ( mainly ) intellectuals. That is ” good ” information is ” referenced ” or ” linked to ” by
” referrers “. So, I write a paper and I put a list of the references that I have used at the end. The more times that a paper is referenced ( linked to ) the better that paper is likely to be.
I noted that Googles spiders ( that crawl through all the websites on the Internet ) are looking for good, relevant information that other people have both visited and referenced ( linked to ).
Good content and information obviously tends to lead to lots of visitors and references ( links ) which creates more visitors and references and so on.
Clear and correct “classification ” and ” indexing ” and ease of navigation through the website enables people and spiders to find information easily and leads to more visitors and links.
It is a case of ” If you build it ( correctly ) they will come ” and they will remember and reference you. ( Assuming they are interested in what you have to say ).
So, important factors are:
1. Relevant content ( updated and added to regularly )
2. Correct ” classification “, ” indexing ” and construction ( ie coding and website structure/ease of navigation )
3. Traffic ( Number of visitors )
4. References ( links )
Points 1 and 2 relate to what you are trying to rank for.
Points 3 and 4 are achieved with good, interesting and valuable content.
( There may be shortcut ways to the top but Google may well work out that you are trying to shortcut the system and going against the basic tenet of providing the best, most relevant information to the searcher and penalise you for it ).
Understanding what you are trying to rank for is KEY.
This will lead to you having a number of ” straplines “, words and phrases that ARE WHAT YOU WANT TO BE FOUND FOR.
N.B. You MUST put yourself in the mind of the person who is searching for what you provide ( NOT who you are ). People will search for products and services generally not company names. ( Unless they know you and what you do already ).
So someone might search on a pub by name e.g. The Glan Yr Afon Inn but they are more likely to search on ” Pubs in Holywell ” or ” Pubs in North Wales “.
There are ( as I view it ) various tiers of relevant words and phrases.The name of the company and it’s main products and services are Tier 1 and Tier 2. We then get down to lower tiers where someone may search on ” Bird watching in North Wales ” for instance. This may not seem immediately relevant until you understand that there is a bird sanctuary just down the road from The Glan Yr Afon Inn and realise that people who may want to watch birds may also want to eat, drink and sleep somewhere.
Understanding clearly what you rank for ( and the various tiers ) is the subject of a Strategic Marketing Review which we have talked about elsewhere in the Marketing section of this blog.
- Strategic marketing objectives
- Tactical marketing objectives
- Target markets
- How to get to target markets
- How we will support our proposition
- What the competition is doing
This needs doing whether we are thinking about Traditional Marketing, Word of Mouth Marketing or Internet Marketing – all of which we will do in a co-ordinated way.
From this review we will obtain some key messages, straplines, words and phrases.
We will create a website that has:
- Our brand
- Our message(s) – relevant ones
- Our culture
- Our content – relevant
and always – in the back of our mind – will be the fact that we want to be found for certain searches. We integrate these terms into our content and we also ” code ” them in where we can ( in website names, titles, metatags etc )
What we are doing is that we are taking care of the relevant content and correct classification aspects referred to earlier. THEN we need to go about increasing traffic and creating links ( ideally from other high ranking websites ).
To achieve this we ” promote ” ourselves.
N.B. Whilst we will concentrate on Internet promotion clearly Traditional marketing and Word of Mouth marketing will lead to an increase in Internet activity alongside a return fom that particular activity e.g. a mailshot may get a return in it’s own right but it will also add to Internet marketing return .
When we talk about Internet promotion I am thinking that we have already established a website which has everything we have talked about so far in it. It looks great, has the right content, has the right coding and construction.
It will get direct visitors ( because people will see the url somewhere and type this in to the browser ).
It will get visitors via Google and other search engines because when people search for your products and services they are very likely to find you because your website has the right content and coding.
It will get more visitors because you will promote it on and you will create links from what I call referrer sites:
- Feeder websites. These are small, perhaps niche focussed websites that you establish.
- Social Networking sites eg Facebook, Twitter, Ecademy, LinkedIn.
- Photo/Video sites eg Flickr and YouTube
- Your blogsite.
- Other people’s web and blogsites.
- Information sites eg Digg, Stumbleapon,Delicious,Social Median
- Directory sites.
- Google Adwords.
- Press Release websites.
- Others sites.
Promotion does a number of things:
- People see you on that medium/site eg on YouTube and further promotion may occur there
- They link through to your website ( ie you get more traffic and links )
- It adds to the number of visitors to your website
To give you an example of how I have used ” referrer sites ” to boost visitors and links to a main website – here is one of the pubs websites
here’s it’s blogsite
here’s it’s Facebook page
here’s it’s Twitter page
here’s it YouTube video
If you look at this search on Glan Yr Afon Inn ( I have searched on the name to show you where it appears rather than as a ranking example – as you know it is hardly of any interest for the name to come up on google ) you will see that The Glan ( like myself ) is all over the place on Google.
Review sites, directory sites, press release sites etc etc
all of this are providing traffic and links to the main website as I described to you.
If you search on eg ” pubs in Holywell “
you will see that we come up top of Google Maps ( which comes top of Google )
and then in the main natural listings number 4 and 5.