Yesterday I attended the Heber Valley Chamber of Commerce meeting and met a lot of bright people. A couple of weeks ago, Amber Johnson (VP at Pixo) spoke at a Heber Tourism meeting, speaking about social media and search engine optimization for local tourism businesses. What I recognized from both meetings is how small town businesses have some great opportunities with digital marking to increase their exposure and business in simple ways online.
At Pixo, we've been doing search engine optimization (SEO) since the very earliest days of search. If you remember when their wasn't a site named Google and Yahoo was a manually done search index then you would know how long we've been doing SEO. Oh, how times have changed.
About 7 years ago search, in my opinion SEO started to get dark. Google wasn't "smart" enough in those days to figure out what sites were about from the content so they asked site users to do a lot of things to explain what the site was about and any kind of a backlink from any site was a "good" backlink. I remember thinking how strange it was to try to get a link from another website in order to get your website to rank we'll instead of to drive traffic. But that was how the system worked. Google didn't want for it to work that way, but they had created that environment and as a result a lot of sites ranked that frankly weren't always great sites. I remember 10 years ago being frustrated because a nudist website outranked my wedding website for a while for the search phrase "wedding website service."
For one of our larger and more innovative clients we have recently been finishing up a larger project that will go live in the next couple of weeks. After building out what will be a truly revolutionary website for the industry we did focus groups on the website to get user feedback so we could make adjustments to get the website perfect. We gained a lot of great feedback. Most of it was what was to be expected but some insights were pretty interesting.
As a side project for the same website we were challenged to come up with a new form that was different than anything the industry had seen before as a test. I can't go into the specifics of it at this time, but think of a quoter form being meshed with an instant messaging user interface and you would have a ballpark idea of what I'm talking about. There are websites that currently have something similar to this, but I'm not aware of any website in this same space that has something as unique as this. In the interface it appears like you are talking with someone at the company, but you obviously are not. A series of questions, like you would have in a form, appear and the user simply answers the questions.