Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Remember we said that RELEVANCY was the Hercules of words when it comes to establishing your web presence? We mentioned several important things related to that in the last post. This time we want to look at another aspect of how you make your page relevant.

Be Consistent. You do not want mixed messages all over your site. The focus of it should be clear all the way through. If you are not all about something, the message that you want to get out is not getting out. You need to be consistent. Say something on your site and then have the rest of what you say be supportive of your main message. That includes graphics, polls, flash, links or textual content. They need to be related to your message. If something that you post on your site is unrelated, it is better to leave it off. The question of relevancy, which the search engines are asking, is answered by the argument of consistency. Make the argument in a variety of ways and forms if you wish, but be sure that it is one argument. Otherwise, you will be arguing with yourself and the searcher is likely to cut and run, not wanting to get involved with family squabbles, and all.

Part of the exercise of being consistent is offering your message using a variety of platforms. For example, if you choose to have a complimentary video link, make sure your searcher is not lead down a long, dark, scary path of confusion. He should be able to access the message in a click or two. Remember the movie, Deliverance? Not a destination of choice. Nobody wants to end up in Virtual Deliverance, so treat your visitors kindly by making your consistent video easy to get to.

Also, make sure your headlines and your titles are consistent with your message. Don't make your visitor perform mental gymnastics to try to figure out how a headline might be related. It is not the visitor's job to analyze your site to be able to make heads or tails out of it. That would be your job. And you had better do it ahead of time or else the visitor will be gone leaving you alone connecting dots by yourself. And arguing with yourself, of course.

(...to be continued...Next time: Be Clear and Complete)

Monday, February 12, 2007


RELEVANCY is the Hercules of words as far as your your web site is concerned. For relevancy is the highest goal of the search engines whose very business depends on returning the results that a web searcher has called for. If you are searching for Titleist golf balls and the search results turn up hen's eggs, how valuable of a search did the search engine produce for you? Not only did that result get you scrambling (pardon the pun) to another search engine, but the advertising that the search engine posted along side the free results were a disservice to the sponsors. Search engines who produce irrelevant results don't last long. Relevancy is their highest priority. Making your site relevant, therefore, should be your highest goal as well.

So how do you make your site relevant? Perhaps you are sitting on hordes of golf balls for sale. You are indeed a legitimate seller for a person looking to buy some. But does your site say so? If your site does not communicate this in ways that the search engine and humans can read, you may be indeed relevant, but you haven't said so. Remember, SAID=Say All, Include Details. Your page's content, not just fancy flash and javascript, should effectively communicate who you are and what you do. It should do so concisely but precisely. You should not allow the human reader to leave your site with only a vague sense of what was on it. Your message needs to be unequivocally clear.

Clutter kills. When your site is a jumbled array of various unrelated links, banners, topics and gizmos, the message is clear to the visitor: chaos. Nothing will get a user to hit the back button on the browser faster than allowing multiple and mixed messages on your site. I mean it would be like trying to hold a conversation with a person on a community telephone line, where everybody is talking at the same time. This is indeed sensory overload and somebody should take you out to the woodshed for committing such web abuse on well-meaning internet shoppers.

Likewise, you need to ask whether that fantastic creative web designer you hired to craft the perfect image for your name branding has done so at the expense of simply providing a way for a consumer with money to actually learn what you do or order the product he or she is looking for. Fancy flash and javascript looks nice and great creativity is a true compliment to the gifted designer. It also makes you look good. But how easy is it for a shopper to understand exactly what it is that you do? An example of this is during the dot com explosion when all of the up and coming internet businesses first began their advertising during a Super Bowl. A particular advertisement I remember was from Cingular. It was fancy. It was snappy and stylish. But I had no idea who they were or what they did. That part of the message was lost on me, for one. I did not fully understand what it was that Cingular did for months, or even years. I mean I could have researched it, I suppose, if I had wanted to, but the goal of an advertiser is hardly to get someone to have to do research to discover who they are all about, is it? Don't allow good design to leave you with an ambiguous message on your site and your potential customers moving on to the next search result.

to be continued....(Coming Up Next: Be consistent)...