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Developing a Google-friendly website

October 5, 2010

I just read an article from The Atlantic by James Fallows called “How to save the news”.  His article talks about how Google (often blamed for many of the ills facing print media) is working to help traditional newspapers adapt so they can thrive online.  To thrive these organizations will need to rethink how they will bundle and market their products “news stories”.  Some of the concepts  shared in the article can easily apply to businesses outside the newspaper industry.

Site Layout

All businesses grapple with how to best optimize web pages but they may not think about the overall architecture of their site as part of the problem.  Often related content / services / products are hosted on separate pages.  With multiple pages each getting individual hits none of these on their own may appear in search results.   Combining related content / services / products will result in pages receiving more hits. 

more hits  means more traffic; more traffic = better placement in search

Of course there needs to be thought put into how one organizes a site.  Placing everything on one page will have an adverse so a general strategy that also includes thought about how future content / services / products will be incorporated must be addressed.

Related Content

The other concept Fallows addresses that I applies to everyone is  what he refers to as “display ads”, but I like to think of this as “related content”.  This is not a new idea and is constantly being refined on leading B-to-C sites in an attempt to  entice customers or direct them to products of potential interest.  When this is not done well it can result in a negative online experience, so as with the concept shared above – it should be thought through carefully.  A good first step might be asking “Do we cross-promote our content / services / products?” 

Neither concept – better grouping content / services / products to help increase traffic to key pages or cross-promoting related content – is news to anyone.  However, most marketing professionals might find these a,b,c’s in web-strategy have been overlooked or at a minimum are long over due for being revisited.

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