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Wyoming Business Tips for Nov. 15-Nov. 21


November 9, 2009 — A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center, part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Elizabeth Parks, Wyoming Market Research Center researcher

"Why is it so hard to find information on Web sites? I do not want to be taken through a maze of information before I find what I need. Can you explain, please?" Heather, Cheyenne

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, has become quite the buzz term for increasing Web site visibility.

SEO typically refers to linking strategies, keywords, descriptions and titles for Web sites. But SEO strategies can't work like they are supposed to if they are used in a Web site with a poor foundation.

The structure of a Web site, or how the site is organized, has to be balanced. Think of it as a pyramid with the home page at the top. The next level down could be about contact and articles pages. Remember, review the article pages often. Is this still what you want people to come to you for?

Outdated articles throw the site off balance and make it harder for people to find the pages that you really want them to find. Think about why a person comes to the site. Are the pages easy to find? It has to make sense to the user -- make the information easily accessible. Name the pages with words that will connect to customers. For example, give specific keywords to product pages.

If using a Web analytics program to monitor pages (such as Google Analytics), you can see which pages are being viewed the most. Are pages receiving the most attention toward the top of the pyramid or are you making visitors dig to find them?

Linking strategies also are important parts of this pyramid. Irrelevant cross-links that lead people in the wrong direction cause frustration. A navigation scheme that starts at the top and allows users to drill down -- narrowing the focus until they arrive at the intended page -- is a much better approach.

A good SEO strategy is to build the site so that both users and search engines can find the content. Some of my thoughts are based on an interesting article titled, "Intelligent Site Structure for Better SEO" by Joost DeValk.

A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments is available at http://www.wyomingentrepreneur.typepad.com/blog/.

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, e-mail wsbdc@uwyo.edu or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY 82071-3922.

 

Posted on Monday, November 09, 2009

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