December 11, 2012 By Don Kreski
Here’s a common problem: You’ve created a new website, but it doesn’t bring in the business you expected.
Such was the case for MediaTech Intelligent Home Systems based in St. Charles, Ill. The residential firm began talking to us about its website less than a year after its launch. Commercial integrators, meanwhile, can learn from the search engine optimization (SEO) mistakes and corrections made.
“SEO takes a different set of skills than web development,” explains Tim Grant of Gamma Partners of Chicago, who worked with me last summer to optimize the Media Tech site. “A failure to show up on the search results page is not necessarily a reflection on the developer. They just needed to get someone involved who specializes in search engine marketing.”
Like most SEO efforts, the Media Tech optimization involved seven crucial steps.
Define Your Goals
When I met with the owners of Media Tech, we identified two main issues. First, the website was not very visible in Google and Bing. Second, once someone found the site, they were not getting a strong picture of why they should give Media Tech their business. Solving these problems became our top priorities.
Craft a Message
I also asked the owners what is unique about their company. They answered that Media Tech provides a higher level of service than most A/V contractors and focuses on relatively expensive solutions, including home automation, home theater, lighting, shading and whole-house media distribution.
They were not interested in selling individual A/V components or competing for smaller TV or audio installations. They also said they had strong relationships with Control4, AMX, Savant and other manufacturers, and that a significant amount of their business came from people looking for these brands.
Develop Keyword List
We began our analysis by developing a list of possible key terms and phrases related to residential systems design and to the brands the owners highlighted.
This list came from terms used on the existing website, input from Media Tech owners and managers, and from our own knowledge of the industry. We built a list of 100-plus terms and then checked each in the Google Keyword tool, which returns the actual number of monthly searches for each term and suggests related terms. We delivered a final list of 230 key words and phrases, organized by their relation to Media Tech offerings.
Our next task, admittedly as much an art as a science, was to prioritize these terms so we could start fitting them into an update plan for the website. We were able to throw out many terms because, while we felt they described Media Tech’s offerings, they were not often used by real searchers. Others were searched frequently but were so general that it seemed unlikely they would bring in potential customers. We prioritized a list of three terms or phrases per page. These were not necessarily the most frequently searched but they did a good job of describing the type of systems Media Tech sells.
Develop a Page Plan
With our keyword list in hand, we turned our focus to the structure of the updated website. We did not have an unlimited budget. While we developed key words and phrases for all of the Media Tech offerings, we knew upfront that we would write new copy only for the most important pages.
In the end, we fully optimized 10 pages. Five were existing pages: the home page and pages focused on home automation, home theater and lighting. We felt that one page about audio and video distribution systems was too broad and suggested we divide it into two pages. We also felt we needed individual pages for Control4, AMX and Savant if we were going to attract people searching for these brands.