Your search-engine visibility strategy
If you care about people finding you on the internet, you care about search engines. And you already know how tricky it can be to gain and retain valuable high placement in their results pages. Some search engine marketing firms sell services by promising high rankings, but many good minds dispute the value or even the legitimacy of some such services.
External Design just focuses on what works. If high rankings are important to your business — especially for search terms and phrases for which there are many competing web sites — you need a visibility strategy. And you need to track it over time in order to make informed course corrections amid the changing internet landscape.
Optimizing for high rankings
Search-engine optimization (SEO), the art of achieving and maintaining good, high rankings in the search engines, is delicate and requires specialized knowledge. These organic rankings are very different from pay-per-click and similar schemes. Optimizing for high rankings must be done with full knowledge of what can happen when good intentions go awry. At least one SEO firm, and all the client sites it had worked on, was banned from Google because of unapproved practices (often referred to as "spamming the search engines" or "black hat SEO").
This and other events make it clear: a site's owner pays the price for bad SEO practices, even if unaware of those tactics. If you elect to use an SEO service, be absolutely certain they are reputable. If possible, get expert consultation on that firm's proposed approach. Conversely, if you elect to do this job in-house, be sure your staff is expert and stays up to date on current search-engine practices.
Some sites try widgets that automatically generate incidental content relevant to the site in some way. (An example we created, shown here, is about global water news.) Such devices can help convey an impression of a busy, engaging site to visitors and, perhaps, to search engines, too. Maybe it's worth a try! We'll be happy to help you explore ways to improve your search-engine visibility and to increase your site's appeal to your audience.