We talk about SEO a lot on this website. I know. And I’m sorry for putting yet another SEO article in front of you. But it is crucial for business owners to understand the importance of SEO. But it’s not just about the importance – it’s about the intricacies of SEO. The way it works. The problem for most business owners is that this is mostly unknown to them.
If business owners are at all versed in SEO, they’ll usually have a couple of conceptions in their head. They’ll believe that the majority of the work an SEO agency does take place off-site. That you just give them the website you’ve created and tell them to get out there and spread the word. Pull some strings at Google. Perhaps slip some keywords to do with your website into the blogs of other websites. Well, you’re not completely off the mark there. (Although if you can find an SEO agency that actually has the capacity to pull some strings at Google, let me know.) But it’s not quite that simple.
The other idea that business owners have is that there are minimal changes needed to their website. (You may notice this idea goes hand-in-hand with the one about SEO agencies doing work off-“site”). If there are changes that need to be made to your website, then it’s usually just making sure your copy complies with the SEO strategy. But SEO strategies are often dependent on the actual design of your website. This is why many business owners will work with a web design agency when engaging in this sort of marketing business.
I’m going to show you exactly what I’m talking about.
How do websites get included on search engines? They’re certainly not manually added by employees of the search engine business. For the sake of brevity here – and because it’s the search engine prom queen – I’m just going to use Google as the example. Google, like other search engines, uses an automated system that crawls the web looking for websites. (And updates to websites).
The thing is that Google (meaning the automated system) doesn’t see a website the way you and I see it. Google will see the website in a cached, raw text version. They won’t see your gorgeous web design. But your web design may disrupt the info it can see.
Want to see how Google will see your website? I’m going to use this Flash-based Nike website to show you. And, y’know, prove my point. Click on that website. Notice how flashy it is.
If you want to see a Google cached version of your website, then you need to enter this into your URL bar:
After the colon, you then add the full URL of your website. Then, hit enter. This is the Google cached version of your website. But that’s not what the search engine system actually sees.
Add this to the end of that URL: &num=1&strip=1&vwsrc=0. In the case of my example, the URL would now be http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://archive.bigspaceship.com/nikeair/&num=1&strip=1&vwsrc=0. Check it out. That is how Google will see that website. Not pretty, is it?
So remember: web design and architecture is crucial to an SEO campaign.