How Search Engines Work In Conjunction with Website Copy

Keyword-rich website copy is the best way for architects, interior designers, landscape, and design-build firms to attract clients seeking home design services. Here's how it's done.

Keyword-rich website copy is the best way for architects, interior designers, landscape, and design-build firms to attract clients seeking home design services. Here's how it's done.

Architects, interior designers, and design-build contractors tend to value photographs more than copy when designing websites. Built environment companies often have beautiful portfolios, but they are devoid of descriptions, titles, alternative tags, and the text elements search engines need to understand what your website pages are about. When designing a website it is important to look beyond your photography and consider how you can get your website higher in Google search engine results pages. Without keyword-rich, informative content your site will not appear anywhere among the first few pages of search engine results.

It's important for your interior design business to appear highly in those results, even if you rely heavily on advertising and face to face networking. This is, in part, because people use search engines to find businesses when they're researching design firms. Most interior design websites simply don't understand how proper keywords and image descriptions help search engines work, and how they determine whether your website pages appear first or fiftieth in response to a prospects query.

What Is Search Engine Optimization?

Search engine optimization is a website design process that uses keyword-rich content that informs search engines and prospective clients what your website pages are about. (These two segments are increasingly intertwined.) SEO is all about well-written content crafted using a format that search engines understand. Beware of "black hat" SEO firms that promise first-place rankings in search engine results by some obscure, secret method. These claims fail to live up to the expense forked over by desperate companies. When Google changes the search algorithm it uses, exploitations of search-engine shortcomings will have highly negative long-term effects on your business with a search engine penalty. As convoluted as SEO may seem, there are no great mysteries about search engine optimization, especially once you understand even a bit of how search engines operate.

Search Engine Optimization Relies Upon Text To Work

Search engines are made up of three essential software components that handle crawling (spiders), indexing, and querying. Search engine crawlers often referred to as spiders, are computer programs that request pages from websites in the same way that a website browser like Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox and Chrome does.
While your browser renders some design and image elements, spiders take in only the title, text and links on a page, as well as the URL that delivered the content. Because the Internet is so vast, spiders are constantly "crawling" as fast as possible to gather all the information on the Web. Consider how often news sites change their content, you can begin to get a feel for how challenging the job is for search engines to crawl, index, and deliver results for breaking news as it happens.

A critical part of understanding search engines is that they cannot view non-HTML content. These unseen elements include photographs, videos or sites that depend on dynamic pages rendered by Adobe Flash. As a result, "alt tags" are necessary for images as they provide the spiders with at least some information about the photo, like "retro blue bathroom." Plenty of third-party tools allow you to see what your site looks like in the eyes of a spider.
After a page is crawled, indexing software quickly determines where to store that information based on the words on the page. This decision is made as a result of a complex algorithm, or mathematical formula, that can make a complex evaluation of the overall page intent. Over time, search engines have continued to progress, even recognizing synonyms of keywords as holding the same or similar meaning.

No one knows exactly how Google, Bing or Yahoo! analyzes the Web pages they crawl. The algorithm is a closely guarded secret—delivering more relevant results to users is how a search engine builds market share and, in turn, generates higher profits from ad sales. . (Google's algorithm looks at more than 200 factors when deciding how to index or serve a page.) Algorithms ultimately assign a score (or scores) to every page in their index that reflects their relative importance for a given keyword query.

Using Long Tail Keyword Phrases 

The query goes to work once a user punches in a keyword—any word or phrase typed into a search engine box. For most people, the query process represents their only understanding and interaction with a search engine. While visual displays remain simple, they elegantly conceal the incredible work that takes place on the back end to deliver near instantaneous results.
When you initiate your search, it's important to remember that Google isn't scouring the Internet in real time to bring back a set of results. Instead, it's going into its index—stored in massive data centers around the country—to find the closest connection to your query.
To see this for yourself, try typing in the URL of your homepage into a search engine right after you make a change to its title or meta description. Odds are, the engine will display the old title or meta description, at least for a time. Depending on the perceived importance of your site, the old information may stay visible for a few hours, days, or even weeks.
Like any other process, there's a limit to the computing power of a search engine, and Google will allow more of its crawl results to feature what it believes are deserving sites.

What SEO Copywriting Means For Your Built Environment Business

The text and keywords you choose for your page titles, headers, and body text becomes incredibly important if you want to be found online. The more closely your copywriting matches what a user is searching for, the more likely it is to appear in search engine results. Writing informative blog articles is a great way of increasing the number of pages you have on your website and consequently improving your odds of being featured in a search.
At the same time, given the vastness of the Internet, the more common your page title or content is, the harder it will be to rank highly for those queries. That's why, for many businesses, the best value is in long-tail keywords, which are longer keyword phrases representing more specific requests. The more specific the query, the less likely it is to have millions or even thousands of matches in the search engine index.
Targeting those keywords is how to utilize search engines to connect your business with ready customers.


About Michael Conway and Means-of-Production

About Michael Conway and Means-of-Production

My firm builds Squarespace websites, Houzz profiles, and content marketing and advertising solutions for architects, interior designers, design-build contractors and landscape design firms. Our all-in-one tactics attract the right clients with exceptional architectural photography and brand messaging that sets you apart from the competition. Contact me for a free-of-charge consultation and marketing review. It takes about 40 minutes and you'll be provided a list of actionable improvements designed to solve your specific marketing problems. 

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