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If You Build It, They Will Come

May 8, 2009 12:00 PM, By Don Kreski

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Sound Vision

Effective content when they need it

If you read my articles on marketing your site to the search engines, you know that an important step in designing or re¬designing your website is optimizing its pages for the keywords potential customers use when searching for someone like you.

This step is not important if your only goal is to have a site that builds credibility with people whom you have already contacted or who have been referred to you. You’re missing opportunities, however, if you don’t consider this additional step as well.

“We designed our site to inform people about who we are and what we do,” says John Miles, president of Sound Vision, an AV integrator serving Chicago and northern Illinois. “We don’t do any kind of hard sell. Nonetheless, the site has brought in some very large projects.” The trick is to build pages that impress and inform readers while at the same time highlighting a limited number of appropriate keywords.

For example, if the training-room market is important to you, you may want to build a page specifically addressing AV systems for training centers—perhaps with links to pages on individual training-room projects and other links to products or technical issues of interest to training managers. Each of these might appeal to training managers with different needs for information and highlight different sets of keywords. You’ll want to illustrate all of these pages with professional-quality photos of your work in this market.

You will also want to avoid gimmicks in building these pages. Gary Ricke, who builds higher-end business-to-business sites as president of Orbis Web Design, cautions customers: “We build sites that use video and Flash, but with the idea of matching the media to the story that needs to be told. Clever graphics are not an end in itself. People go to the Web because they’re looking for useful information.”

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