This is a guest post by Megan Totka, Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com.
No, this isn’t an indictment against the modern website. Although often overshadowed by the massive size of today’s ever-expanding social network, we know that the modern website is alive and well. This is especially true for small businesses, whose sites represent their central hub and heartbeat online. Today’s sites are anything but dead (despite what certain social media “experts” might claim) and aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Is the Webpage DOA?
But what about the webpage?
The term almost seems prehistoric now, doesn’t it? Coined during the dinosaur days of the web, the term “webpage” heralds back to a much simpler era. Specifically, a time when the Internet was thought of in terms of a book, ripe with information as we slowly flip from page to page.
Fast forward to the modern web where information and content are hurling past us at a rate we can’t even begin to comprehend. Generally speaking, the Internet is no longer viewed as something we can simply “bookmark” and come back to later. Memes, viral videos and “Internet sensations” come and go faster than we can forget them. Simply put, the “pages” concept often gets lost in a sea of social media.
With our shortened attention spans and frantic sharing, is anyone really thinking about singular “pages” anymore?
Most likely, no; however, the conversation doesn’t stop there.
The Bounce. The Buzz. The Book.
Consider Google’s recently announced Hummingbird update. As Google is constantly evolving its search algorithm to weed out the black hats and bad seeds, they’ve time and time again stressed the need for killer content. One way for Google to tell whether or not a piece of content is up to snuff is to examine how long we spend on a piece of content. For this reason, the metric of bounce rate becomes very relevant to businesses and marketers looking to keep their visitors on the page (and hopefully buying). The problem, of course, is our aforementioned attention spans and tendency to bounce around. This makes the goal of creating a successful site a lofty one.
Yet creating such a site is anything but a lost cause. In fact, it’s practically a necessity in the cutthroat nature of today’s web. Consider further:
- A lower bounce rate represents better SEO, content and conversions. While obsessing over the metric in and of itself doesn’t do much good, understanding what keeps our users around is paramount.
- The world may seemingly be abuzz over Facebook and Twitter; however, consider that your site houses all of your juicy, sharable content. Without that content, those networks lose a lot of their power and viability for SMBs.
- Let’s go back in the day and think of the Internet as a “book.” Your articles, blogs and content represent pages and illustrations within that book. The more content you have, the “deeper” your site is (and that’s great for SEO).
While the concept of the “webpage” may seem outdated and elementary, it applies beautifully in today’s SEO landscape.
So Now What?
We all want to look good in the eyes of Google, don’t we? It’s to our benefit to embrace their principles when it comes to what makes a “good” site. Whether or not you inherently agree with their practices, it’s hard to argue that we shouldn’t deliver what our users are looking for versus a keyword-stuffed mess. If you’re delivering the fresh, topical content that meets the needs of your audience, Google will reward you accordingly. The Hummingbird update only reinforces what we’ve learned in the past from Panda and Penguin.
That is, content is king.
Next, think of your site as a book and ask yourself:
- How deep is your site?
- Is it worth reading?
- What sort of story is your site telling?
While such questions may seem a bit existential and beyond the scope of search engines, they matter to your visitors and essentially determine your site’s worth. The juicy center of your site (its content) then returns to the “pages” concept.
Think of it like this: The more pages you have, the more content you have. The more content you have, the more SEO opportunities you have. The more SEO opportunities you have, the more people will find you and stick around.
In short, it all comes full circle.
The Bottom Line
Thanks to Google, the principles of giving your site depth and quality content are here to stay. While the term “webpage” may never leave your lips again, the concept itself is alive and well.
Image via Shutterstock
About the Author
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.