What are we most likely to do when looking for specific information these days? We open a browser on our mobile phone or PC, select our favourite search engine and enter a search key. Within seconds, hundreds of results appear on our screen, but most of the time, we only look at the first few links displayed at the top of the list. The order in which search results are displayed is by no means random. It is the result of search engine algorithms determining the relevance of a website according to different factors. Thus, if you set up your website accordingly and use what is called ‘search engine optimization techniques’, you are more likely to be among the first links to be displayed.
But how does search engine optimization work? This – and a lot more about websites in general and social media – is what employees of the national metrology institutes of Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and the Palestinian Territories learned on the occasion of a virtual series of workshops held in the summer and autumn of 2020. This digitalization training measure was conducted by the Dutch service provider Globally Cool – International Business Made Easy within the scope of PTB’s regional project on ‘Quality Infrastructure for the promotion of trade and consumer protection’.
The first part of this training session was dedicated to the topic of online marketing. Based on website optimization, e-mail marketing and the use of analytical tools, the participants learned how to increase their online visibility, and thus how to make prospects aware of their services. In addition, the workshop dealt with how websites should convey information – namely providing a clear structure, attractive design and focusing on the essential facts. The second part of the workshop transferred these objectives to another topic: the social media. This part of the workshop focused on giving an overview of the different social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, and on developing a social media strategy. In addition to these online seminars, each metrology institute was provided individual coaching in order to answer questions and to set up an advanced action plan.
The participants particularly appreciated the practical approach and the high degree of interactivity offered by the workshop despite its virtual character. “It was my first experience with online training, explained Mariam Beshtawi from the Jordan National Metrology Institute, and I must confess it was an exciting one! Different to what I was used to, but very productive and with lots of interaction in spite of the distance. The trainers are experts in their respective fields and helped us visualize improvements for our website and our social media channels.” Omar M. Aladdin from the Egyptian National Institute of Standards also reports about himself and his team having gained valuable insight: “The workshop has helped us acknowledge what a huge potential social media offer. The workshop was perfectly organized and the trainers highly qualified.”
With the newly acquired skills, the metrology institutes are now able to revamp their online presence and to ensure that their websites rank at the top of the list in search engines.