Increase your client base by 45% in one swell swoop

by Ruud Hein April 16th, 2007 

How about…

  • adding a third of the young, upward and mobile Internet users — those aged 24-34 and with a spending power of several billions of dollars?
  • adding up to an estimated 32 million Internet users for whom the Internet is a much needed life line?

You can do that…

  • and make SEO virtually built into you site
  • and dramatically lower your cost for all future web improvements.

No sales copy – here's the answer

Now I'm not selling anything here so there's no need for long, drawn-out sales copy and a "30 days money back" graphic. I'm not going to keep you on hold for the next 200 words or so but will give you the technique and the answer right away:

  • Accessibility through agreed standards

If the coding of your site's web design adheres to commonly agreed upon web standards you…

  • increase the number of devices your site can be used on,
  • increase the number of people who can and will use your site, and
  • increase the ease with which search engine spiders view and, more importantly, understand your site

Accessible to all devices

Imagine the horror and sheer cost if you would have to make a different version of your web site for every brand and type of monitor out there. One version for Sony monitors, one for Dell monitors, one for… Well, you get the drift.

Ridiculous, right?

Yet this is still how most web sites are designed when it comes to devices on which they could potentially be displayed:

  • Xbox
  • Mobile phone
  • Pocket PC
  • Tablet PC
  • PDA's
  • Screenreader

You can target all those devices in one swell swoop if your site's web design is coded in web standards which separate content from design.

This technique, applied through CSS or Cascading Style Sheets, enables you to format a page of pure content with the styling needed for any device.

This means that where your concurrent is investing money into getting onto every platform, you are merely adding so-called stlye sheets which lets you target any platform the way you want.

Accessible to everyone

By adhering to those common standards you…

  • enable people to access your site from any device at any time they want to
  • enable people with disabilities to use your site with specialized software and hardware
  • … at no extra cost at all

A conservative estimate is that 16% of all North Americans are disabled up to to point of having difficulty accessing the web. The percentage is most probably much higher than that. For example, think about the people who have slight tremors (mouse problems) or have slight visual problems.

Making your site accessible through "skip links" and keyboard shortcuts helps you to retain those customers.

Apart from a common goodness that is important because…

  • not every site is accessible: those who are get customers who can't go anywhere else
  • people with accessibility problems need convenient ways to get the things they want, like everyone else. Do you want to provide it or your concurrent?

Accessible to search engines

If you make your site accessible to every device, through CSS, and every user, through proper web design implementation, you would actually have to pay people to make your site less loved by search engines.

The very things search engines love, content and links, are what is most efficiently exposed through commonly agreed web standards.

And as search engines start to take into account people's personal favorites through online bookmarks, monitor time spent on a site, number of return visits, etc., this only becomes more important.

Why is this so?

Determined by various outside forces, successful web publishing relies on three pillars:

  1. Content
  2. Links to your content
  3. Accessibility of your content

Each of these is interlinked with the other. As time and technology progresses, they are ever stronger interlinked up to the point of starting to exclude those sites and pages which do not fulfill the promise of the ubiquitous web.

1. Content

If you're looking for the easiest, cheapest, best ROI producing way to not only get ranked on search engines but to get actual human visitors (prospects) who are willing to buy from you, the answer is content. Good content. Relevant content. Good, relevant content.

  • For search engines to properly see and understand your content, your site needs to be accessible in the correct way,
  • For your site to be accessible to every device, your content needs to be separated from your styling in the right way,
  • For your site to be accessible to evey person, your content has to have accessibility features

2. Links to your content

To increase the number of links to your site your content needs to be….

  • Accessible to search engines,
  • Browsable from as many devices as possible to reach as wide an audience as possible at any given time,
  • Be accessible to as many people as possible so as to increase your exposure

3. Accessibility of your content

In a cut-throat market where at any given time only 10 sites appear on top of any given query on any given search engine, exposing your content and persuading as many people as you can to access, use and link your content as possible is key.

By exposing your content to the widest possible audience you're increasing your chances on all fronts.

Finally a sales pitch?

Search Engine People takes sites with spiderability and accessibility problems and transforms them into sites which at the very least are better accessible. I know because it's my job here.

Ruud Hein

My paid passion at Search Engine People sees me applying my passions and knowledge to a wide array of problems, ones I usually experience as challenges. People who know me know I love coffee.

Ruud Hein

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