June 2004 Newsletter

A Quick Fix to Your Website Problems

**** The 4specs Perspective

Many companies have invested substantial sums in their corporate websites. Many of these website are not easily found in the major search engines and are not friendly to architects. Here are several work around ideas that may be useful to get better results.

The specific problems are these:

1. Your website home page relies heavily on javascript and flash, and the inside of the website uses a content management system or is database driven. As a result the search engines do not properly list your website in their index. See https://support.google.com/webmasters/?hl=en for more information about why your pages are not included if this is a problem.

2. Your website design may not provide an easy way for architects and engineers to understand and use your product offering. Your IT department or web consultants have never worked with architects and do not understand their needs. As a result, your competitor's easy-to-use website may be used in preference for the needed design and specification information.

While these problems need to be corrected in the long term, I see one of several quick fixes possible.

1. Site Map - this is a special page linked from your home page using a text link (not an image link and not using javascript), and would contain direct text links to the pages you want indexed. This will help the search engines index the most important pages on your website. Here are two examples showing site maps:

[site map removed]

Andersen Windows has a similar page focused on architects and specifiers as distinct from the corporate focus on home owners and residential construction:
[website no longer applicable]

2. Architect's Site Map - this takes the concept a step further by providing the information in a format intended for architects and engineers. Generally this will be a product listing by CSI category. This is a good example. It is very simple and I expect that the users find it valuable:

[site map removed]

You can submit this page to search engines to ensure getting all of your pages included and use the page as your target page on directories and expo listings. This Site Map could be several pages and be developed as an alternate method to enter your main corporate website.

Consider using WebFormat™ as the site map and the product pages.

If your IT department will not permit this type of additional pages to be added to your website, you might consider developing special advertising pages offer these links into your website.

While 4specs has not done any special profile pages, we have talked with several manufacturers about doing a special page for them containing direct links to specific data on their website. We could develop special pages using the WebFormat™ concept, but held on the 4specs server and controlled by your marketing or sales staff as part of your advertising program.

Using special pages held on outside servers may get around any corporate web restrictions (one marketing person called it their "IT Gestapo") and help architects and specifiers better use your online information held on the main corporate website. The end result will be increased specifications and increased sales.

Questions or comments would be appreciated.


Colin Gilboy
Publisher - 4specs
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