Last year a Google search for Ponoka would result in anything Ponoka except for the town’s website, www.ponoka.ca.
The issue has been fixed however after Tadd Cameron, manager of technology services, hired Adster Creative out of Edmonton. When the town changed over its website to the .ca domain from .org, search engine optimization (SEO) became compromised, Cameron explained to town councillors May 28. “Even though we had this nice website, brand spanking new and everything, nobody could find us.”
Last year the new site was launched and the company hired to create the new design failed to complete SEO to a reliable degree, which left Cameron trying to put Ponoka.ca back on the Internet map.
“It was just not done to any kind of design or any kind of standard,” he added.
“Prior to January 2013 we didn’t show up anywhere,” said Cameron.
Adster Creative was contracted to fix the issue for $2,900 and statistics from January show a steady increase in traffic. A Google search for “Ponoka” puts the town’s site as the first site to show up, a Wikipedia page is shown to the right of the Google search choices. “It’s working way better and it’s getting better day by day.”
Cameron is working on updating the popular pages link on the front page; based on a user’s stats the page will start to adjust to where they go the most on the site.
The business directory is also seeing a change, businesses with a valid business licence can access their own directory page and update details. Managing the directory is too big for staff.
“I think there’s 500 and some businesses in the directory,” said Cameron.
The goal is to make www.ponoka.ca “the authority of Ponoka,” he added.