People are looking for what you have to offer.
You walk down the street, talking with your colleague, engrossed in the conversation, when you happen to notice just the puppy you’ve always wanted in the pet shop window.
In the waiting room at the dentist’s office, skimming through the magazine rack, a cover story on Quebec’s Old City pops out at you, and you realize that’s the place for the getaway you’ve been needing so badly!
Searching for a solution to infectious disease, you accidentally contaminate your sample with a certain mold. In the morning, you’ve discovered anti-biotics!
In the real world, it’s serendipity. On the Internet, it’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
You have something to offer the world. Be it your skill as a fine woodworker, your talent as a color consultant, or your large inventory of cable assemblies, someone out there is looking for what you have. The challenge is to make it so that they can’t miss you.
When people look for stuff these days, they do it on the Internet, and that means Google. And that means you need to prioritize the SEO of your site.
SEO is a complicated cocktail of keywords and structure. It’s all the more complicated because Google and Bing and Yahoo protect their algorithms. An algorithm is a serch engine’s decision-making process: how they decide to list Sammy’s Pizza before Rudi’s Pizza when you search for “Hibbing, Minnesota, pizza”. A lot of theories exist about the best ways to get a site to show up first, and they boil down to two things which tend to work: (1)include your product type in the header of your site, and (2) make sure your sentences don’t go on and on. Stay away from those long sentences.
But there’s more to it than that. Sure, there’s a formula you can try to reverse-engineer. But Google’s computer-power is greater than any app or service that promises fantastic SEO, so Google can often see through SEO window-dressings. That’s why a clever optimizer uses all the latest utilities, and then adds in a secret weapon: experience. Years of adapting to ever-more-sophisticated algorithms makes a big difference.
The manufactured serendipity of SEO is more than half the battle – getting your customer to the right place at the right time – but there is one more part: they have to notice what you want them to notice.
Great Look; Great Content
Once your customers have come to your SEO-maximized site, you’ll want to grab them and help them understand why they were looking for you all along. You do that by presenting your brand in the most visually appealing way possible. Whether you provide veterinary services, sell tubas, or are an insurance agent, you want your site to show what you have to offer in the absolute best light. You want, simply put, the most beautiful, functional site you can have.
You also need great content, presented clearly and understandably, with just the right tone. Information that conveys your responsiveness as a consultant. Information that validates your position as an expert. Information that cements your product’s reputation as the best choice.
In the end, online serendipity takes a lot of thoughtful work. What’s going to work is the combination of great content, presented attractively, delivered to your audience in a way that makes it so that they find you – great SEO.
At Cider House Media, we create the shop window with the irresistible puppy. We slip that magazine into the rack. We even edge that petri dish over so the bread mold happens to drop in just the right place. If you’re interested in improving your online serendipity, give us a call.