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Make your invisible graphics-intensive or flash site highly visible to google

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Chances are that your corporate website is beautiful and expensive. Beautiful websites tend to be rich in graphics, images, photos, and Flash content. They also tend to be shallow with few pages and very little copy. Sites like this are almost impossible for Google to find. If Google can't find you then neither can your customer. Until now. This article helps you turn your invisible corporate website into a high-profile and highly-effective medium for communication. This article is designed to help you turn your stealth website into a big, loud, impressive, bomber of a website with plenty of payload capacity, the payload being your company, your message, your products, your services, and your story.

Make your invisible graphics-intensive or flash site highly visible to google

Search Engine Optimization

Corporate websites that are highly graphics-intensive or are built using Macromedia Flash or Shockwave rich content are pretty much invisible to every search engine because search engines want nothing more than lots and lots of descriptive and rich content. In general, the prettier the site, the more impossible it is to actually find unless you know just where to look.

Websites are delivery vehicles and their payloads are your company message, your products, your services, your brand, your culture, and your story. Is your company website an F-117 stealth fighter, only visible to people who know where to look and only carrying a small payload, or is your company a C-130 Hercules, filling the sky with its size and noise and carrying a massive payload.

There are some important things to consider when optimizing a web site for search engines, using Google as the gold standard. SEO requires three things, two of which most web developers and companies do good jobs: rich textual title content, rich textual metadata content (in the form of meta tag keywords and description), and rich body textual content.

Most websites suffer from a strong lack in rich body textual content because they are in general built like brochures: very shallow and very graphical. Sites that rely heavily on either image files or Flash content suffer disproportionately when it comes to search engine ranking. Why?

Because search engines can only index the content that web sites offer them and the only content that the search engines can use is plain text. Although handsome, graphically-rich sites don't have either the diversity or the sheer volume of keyword phrases that text-rich sites have. In addition to pure volume, search engines also need to find all keyword variations of your service – all variations of the service that your potential clients might use. Search engines also care about what is called “keyword density” which means that the most readable of copy isn't necessarily the most findable.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Keep Pronouns to a Strict Minimum

First, never use pronouns. Keyword density is essential to how Google ranks you. Second, use variations on search terms. To illustrate the first two points, I will take a bit of copy and optimize it for search engines and their love for keyword density. Instead of this:

“Viral marketing is now an essential strategy for every firm. It has become as essential to small and large firms alike, both for its relative affordability and its potentially high effectivity. With the advent of the Internet, it has become amazingly efficient: all you need is a laptop and a compelling message.”

Try this:

“Viral marketing is now an essential marketing strategy for every marketing firm. Viral marketing, also known as relationship marketing, buzz marketing, word-of-mouth marketing, conversational marketing, and passion marketing, has become as essential to small and large marketing firms alike, both for its relative affordability and its potentially high effectivity. With the advent of the Internet, viral marketing has become amazingly efficient: all you need is a laptop and a compelling message.”

Yes, you're appalled by its inefficiency and wordiness. Your boss would never approve, nor would your writing coach. Tough. This is not about winning the PEN/Faulkner, its about arousing Google’s algorithms. Of course, I am exaggerating in order to make a point. I removed all the pronouns and made sure that everything is completely contextualized – not for your visitors, but rather for the search engines.

For my example, I made sure that there was a broad diversity of all the ways people might search for this content. In addition, I made sure that I also mentioned all the buzzwords and key terms that I could imagine. Brainstorming with your sales and communication team or looking at the kind of words and wording your competitors use is always a great idea.

The Controversial Image ALT Tag

Although there is much debate over whether Google pays any attention to ALT tags for images, I always recommend adding ALT tags to all image files, even when the web page is made up of a “sliced image.” The only ALT tags that exist are usually in the banner of the site. No other parts of a highly graphical or flash-based main page are usually textualized using image ALT tags.

Your company slogan, tagline, phone number, guarantees, products, services, the menu choices (navigation) should be included in the image ALT tags. Even if Google doesn't care about ALT tags like the rumors say, the site will be way more navigable, especially to the blind and seeing impaired – and don't they deserve a break? don't they need your services, too?

Google's "Eyes" Focus on Where Your Eyes Do

Google give favor and weight to headers and emphasized text. No matter what anyone says, Google cares about formatting. Strong, Bold, Emphasized, Italicized, and Hyperlinked text is favored by Google. Also, Google looks at header tags, too. Header 1, Header 2, Header 3, and Header 4 are important to use. This is especially important because when the same designers who have you that "sliced" graphics-based site, they might have designer the CSS style sheet without concern for these things. CSS styles can change the look of regular HTML tags as easily as they can customized DIVs, SPANS, and STYLES.

Corporate Blogs

Corporate blogging is essential to the growth of online properties for a number of reasons, including access to the blogosphere and its interested and passionate community of bloggers and blog-readers. Blogs offer built-in useful tools such as RSS syndication, comments, outgoing links, blogrolls, trackbacks, a richness of text and textual content, and the ability to build celebrity and personality online through a first-person relationship with said blogosphere, current, and future customers.

Since potential and future clients are clueless as to how the company works, how you have grown the company, why you chose to go into this business, and what your vision is, this is a great opportunity to share yourself as the owner, as someone who has his finger on the pulse, and also to directly respond to the curious and the unconvinced. It would also allow you to accept and then publish shameless testimonials from real fans like me. It would also allow you to publish any and all positive or neutral mentions (testimonials or otherwise) about the blog or your official corporate website.

Corporate Blog as an SEO Strategy

The Search Engine Optimization of your official corporate website will aid in the site’s “findability” in Google, MSN, and Yahoo!. There are other things that Google and the other search engines consider in addition to the textual completeness of the entire web property. The most important are the depth of the site (more pages are better), the number of links and interlinks to and from the site (can be within the same site), and the frequency with which the site gets updated. A traditional corporate web site is shallow, poorly-linked (especially to external sources) and can oftentimes go for months without being updated. If Google can figure out that your site isn't changing, it passes it over for constant indexing. It does this because Google has a finite number of resources and will revoke any resources it can in order to preserve them. Since the Internet is vast, Google gives priority to web sites and web pages that are constantly-updated such as blogs. Blogs are constantly-updated, deep, many-paged sites that are constantly being updated and constantly being spidered by search engine robots.

Corporate Blog as Community Outreach

No matter how many cool offers there might be online and no matter how much of a your company’s products and services might be, a real angle in the entire blogosphere and blog world is in not only letting your service speak for itself but also that people are even more attracted to story, personality, and the behind-the-scenes experience of both the people who run companies and their clients than they are to the services themselves. If you have the time, passion, and wherewithal to put the time and energy into really reaching out to the blogosphere and the community of readers and bloggers, you can get quite an amount of influence and sway – real impact and market penetration – by just building a relationship with the blog-savvy, wealthy, young, and the professional – people with money, in other words. These types of people, 25-45, are the same sort of people who spend a lot of time reading blogs.

Blog Community Outreach

One powerful technique for building community on blogs is to first find a compelling item about your industry, products, and services then search for the blogs that are already talking about it on Technorati. It is much easier to message on blogs that are already having a friendly conversation.

Technorati as a Strategic Tool

Spread the word online: People are already talking about how busy they are, how awful their places look, and so forth -- tell them about your company, your culture, your history, your story, your products, and the services you offer – and do it openly and honestly and place your own name, your own email, and either the URL of your web site or the URL of the blog itself. Here's how:

1) Go to Technorati.com, a blog search engine.

2) Type in one or more of the keyword phrase in your Meta Tag keywords

3) Go to the blogs that are talking about your company, industry, products, and services

4) Where appropriate, leave a short note about your company or your corporate blog

5) Come back the next day (or as often as you can) and do the same thing but be sure to follow-up with the conversation because dropping a message without coming back is considered spam and in the blogosphere, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Submit your Blog and Website to Search Engines

I personally use Dynamic Submission, but there are a bunch. Web Position Gold is another fave. I choose Dynamic Submission because it allows me to spider my entire blog to within an inch of its life and then submit not just the site's arteries but also all the way down to the site's villi as well. In my opinion, search engines are lazy. They have only so many resources and so many nanoseconds in the day. They need to put first things first. So what I do before I spider the blog is set the index page of the blog to view 365-days of posts, or maybe a bunch of weeks, so that I can spider most of the blog from one "Import from Web." When the import is complete, I change it back to showing only the last 7 days. I even maintain a separate box on which to host the Dynamic Submission tool because it's such a processor hog. And then let it go. Seems to work like a charm. Why? Well, not because I am doing anything unseemly but rather just because Google and the rest sometimes miss something and I want to make sure that all the engines get everything. Every little dumbass link.


The Services You Might Want to Employ

Although I have not used the services, one respectable way of increasing your link popularity and prestige in Google is to use a service like Text Link Ads. What Text Link Adss offers is a link-buying service that does double-duty. The double duty is as follows: in addition to creating clickable links on the popular sites that can choose and afford, it will also allow you to legally create Google bombs that will heighten the probability that your company website or your corporate blog will turn up when people search for your company, your industry, your market, your products, and your services.

Employing "localized" Google AdWords, content-based Google AdWords, and search-based Google AdWords is a no-brainer. There are other advertising solutions available now, including finding the advertising networks that might be placed on some of the blogs you find the most focused or relevant, including BlogAds, etc.

Okay, I hope that helps. I am tired of writing but if you have any more questions, please feel free to ask me questions below in the comment section and I will both answer them and also use your questions, comments, feedback, and suggestions to fuel future articles.

Apr 26, 2006 12:00 AM