And, yeah I couldn’t agree more that there are some HUGE benefits in the Web 2.0 world, especially with the launch of Facebooks PPC program and the demise of email usage…
BUT the importance of considering 1.0 on the web can never be overlooked.
So what do I mean when I say 1.0 ? Well, I’m not talking about the “static web” (as opposed to the viral and interactive world of Web 2.0)… but the importance of considering the concept of Version 1.0 when developing your website(s).
See, most people go about launching a site the wrong way… They wait until the contact form actually works, or they wait until the new logo is redesigned, and as surprising as it may be, I’ve even heard people put off the launch of an ecommerce site because the shopping cart didn’t work (Read on… I do have a coherent point, trust me)
But, before I do go on and make sense of my above point I want to take a sideways step and discuss the WHY of a website.
Just like any form of advertising or marketing, before you take any action you must have a clear goal or outcome for it. There are a number of reasons why you would launch a website, maybe it’s so you can point customers to a interactive brochure, or maybe it’s stroke the ego of the owners with a jazzy flash-filled website.. or if you are a smart entrepreneur it’s to create a new lead generation source.
So, I am going to assume here that you are the latter, a smart, forward thinking marketer, with your websites sole purpose being to generate new leads for your business- be it online or off.
If this is the case, the first thing your website needs is new traffic (visitors) and there are essentially two ways you can get this.
1. Use some form of Pay-Per-Click advertising, like Google Adwords to drive traffic to your site from the search engines; or
2. Get on the first page of Google for free – That is use search engine optimisation techniques to get high rankings on the SERPs and get visitors at NO COST.
Now, not to get into a huge discussion on internet marketing here, but again I am going to assume you are highly intelligent, an educated marketer (read: regular reader of this blog) and want to take over the world,so you will want to employ both of the above tactics because if you are not of the front page of Google you don’t exist online PERIOD.
One of the biggest keys to achieving success with point 2, search engine optimisation, is the length of time Google (and the other search engines) have known about your domain (website) and the time they’ve had to read and index your pages content.
So back to my original point… If you enlist a website designer to create your new website, or if you go it yourself, there will be a decent amount of time between the time you register your domain and the time when you get the site live online – upto 6 months in some cases.
That’s 6 long & valuable months of lost, wasted, abandoned and squanded time.
So my point is this…. when you consider the SEO aspect of your web presence, and how important it is… It makes absolute sense to get some content online as quickly as possible, so you can use that time to court some of Google’s love.
The beauty of the web is that you can launch a site, before anyone has to see it… Let me say that another way – It is a GOOD thing to launch a site early, before any human sees it.
It’s with this logic that I say, uploading and making an e-commerce site live even when it’s shopping cart doesn’t work makes logical and commercial sense. The Google bots will spider the pages and get them listed in the index whether the shopping cart is active or not – All you are going to launching a version 1.0 of the site.
Most people I have worked with who are launching a website have all the content written before any design work is contracted, so the first mandate you should be giving your developers is to create a series of basic HTML pages with nothing but title, h1 and internal href tags throughout the content, for the search engine spiders to crawl, read and index.
Implementing this technique will see you well on the way to a good front page listing on Google, Yahoo and other search engines before your fully fledged web 2.0 style site is launched.
|Also, if you are one of those domain hoarders or squatters, who own a bunch of URLs for potential future use, you should be employing this technique too… The longer the relationship a domain (URL) has with Google the quicker you will get listed for other keyword phrases you may wish to target in the future. This is the secret.. it doesn’t matter what phrase you target initially, getting listed for a completely new phrase will be quicker if you have a history then if you don’t.|
[tags] seo, sem, website, web, design, development, web 2.0, 2, search, engine, optimisation, spiders, spyders, bots, google, yahoo, domain, squatting, url, twitter, facebook, pete, williams, pete-williams[/tags]