Do Images Matter for SEO? No More Blah Blah Blah Graphics

Are you building a new website or redesigning one? Starting from the ground up gives you a powerful opportunity to create architecture that supports your Findability and a bold graphics that reflect your branding. I’m not just talking about the usual color, fonts or layout either.

My client Terri Langhans, Certified Professional Speaker and Effective Communications Expert wanted to improve her Findability, so she took my webinar series, then signed up for private SEO coaching. Even though Terri has a successful career in marketing, she needed input to help more prospects find her website.

The first step for Terri was to redefine her target audience and who she wants to connect with online. Then she spent time getting clear about what she wanted to offer them. Once this strategic exercise was complete, we conducted extensive keyword research to choose just the right phrases used by her ideal clients.

At this point Terri realized her domain name wasn’t helping her and this was a big SEO epiphany. Her url – BlahBlahBlah.us – picked up on her company branding (Blah Blah Blah, Etc. Inc.) but did not communicate why people hire her nor did it help with Findability. To remedy that, she selected EffectiveCommunicationNow.com as her new domain which quickly communicates what she does. It’s not clever like her original url, but it sure is a lot more Findable!

Before the SEO Epiphany!
Before the SEO Epiphany!

Redesigning the Site Architecture

Once Terri changed her domain, it made a lot of sense to redesign her site. Our goal was to revamp her site’s architecture, making the most of the new keywords. This was an incredibly exciting and rewarding project because starting from the ground up gave us the chance to build the website strategically page by page.

Using the keyword site map, we crafted her new architecture and page hierarchy; determining both primary and secondary navigation. The primary buttons focus on the keyword phrases that her ideal clients use to find her. The secondary navigation at the very top of the page includes the usual things you expect, with buttons for her different services, the about page, contact, etc.

Writing a Creative Brief

How do you tell a designer what you are looking for graphically? The very best way is to prepare what’s called a Creative Brief which is a document that outlines what you want to communicate, the tonality, colors and elements that need to be included. The document is traditional in the world of advertising to ensure marketing and communication objectives are clear as well as the overall look that is desired.

Using the brief for website development is a smart practice and I helped Terri write hers which she then shared with several designers. Talking through the document with each one helped her choose the right designer and allowed them to work well together with a common understanding of the design.

Engaging Photography

Since Terri was willing to completely redesign her site, she had the chance to plan her photography, too. We talked about shots that would support her branding, her personality and would make the photos more engaging for visitors. She took this list to her photographer and had him shoot a bunch of pictures holding a blank white board at different angles. This gave her a focal point for copy and integrated her personality into the design.

The result is very engaging with Terri integrated with her copy. Every single detail works together in harmony to communicate what Terri offers and speaks directly to the two types of client she is seeking; people who need to communicate effectively and meeting planners who hire speakers.

This was an incredible project and I’m happy to say Terri is thrilled with the end results. Her new website clearly communicates what she does and her keywords and branding are woven strategically through every page. Her website stands out from her competitors’ more conventional sites and she is Findable!

I’d be happy to help you get these same great results with Findability and website design. I have a group of professionals I can recommend to help with development and graphics. Call me at 888-588-9326 or email me and let’s talk about improving your Findability and creating an outstanding website design.

Nothing blah about it!
Findability Ready!

 

DOWNLOAD OUR FREE WEB SITE PHOTOGRAPHY GUIDE!

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You may schedule a FREE one hour Findability Audit with Heather by clicking the icon below

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or you may call her directly at 888-588-9326

The C-Suite Guide to Search Marketing and SEO (Part 1 of 2)

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By Heather Lutze, CEO
Findability Consulting & Speaking

Would you like to Google the name of your organization, and see nothing but your business show up on the entire results page—no competition in sight? In today’s Panda and Penguin environment, your best bet for taking over an entire page of Google search results lies with social media engagement.

If you want to take your organization into social media marketing, but don’t quite know how to begin, let me lay it out for you with a six simple steps.

 Step One: The Leadership Team Meeting

Bring all your executives and brand managers on board. Discuss the objectives of your social media program and address the fear around social media as well. Get all your key leadership people in the room and really talk…

  • OK, if we’re going to do this, what return on investment do we need to get from it?
  • What  measurements can we apply to track that return?
  • What is our goal or purpose?

Did you know that social media marketing has finite, measurable results? Being clear about what you want from the very beginning is essential to its success.

Step Two: Define Your Objectives

Each department in your organization will have different goals they would like to realize from a successful social media endeavor. HR, sales, IT, marketing, PR, and strategic leadership teams are all focused in different arenas. Make sure key department heads in each group are represented in this initial meeting.

The questions to be addressed …

  • How can each department use social media to be more successful?
  • What do they each need?
  • For targeted sales goals, should we use promo codes? What about contests?
  • Will videos get the results we’re looking for?
  • Do we create internal assets like white papers, videos, or case studies to use in our social media efforts?

What about the Big Picture?

Along with department-specific, finite number goals, you also need to talk about big picture goals for the entire organization. What might be some of your overall objectives?

  • Branding: You want to brand the company as a whole, particularly if you are new or not widely known.
  • Reputation management: You must be monitoring what others are saying about your company on social media. Make sure you’re the first to know, not the last!
  • Thought leadership: You want to be seen as a leader, an innovator, and a major player in your particular industry; putting out papers, information, videos and quotes.
  • Building customer relationships and retention: This is one of social media’s strong points.

Step Three: The Start-Up Committee

I suggest you create a small, start-up committee in your phase-one approach to social media. This group would consist of a few excited and savvy social media advocates within each department. Someone from HR, sales, IT, marketing, PR,  e-commerce.

Excited and Savvy are the key criteria here … bet you’ve already got staff who fit this criteria.

Stay tuned for the second half of this post, with the next three steps you need to make sure your organization’s entry into social media is efficient and effective.

Warm Regards,
Heather Lutze
Author, Internet Marketing Speaker, Trainer and Consultant

 

Neuro-Search: Researchers Study Online Behavior & How It Affects Internet Marketing

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Professor Yan Zhang, of the University of Texas at Austin. Professor Zhang noticed that although we are in the information age, people still seem to have difficulties finding the information they need online. So she decided to study how people perceive and use search engines as information retrieval systems.

Professor Zhang’s research is ongoing, but it sheds light on some things which might just affect and improve the way you do your internet marketing. I wanted to offer some of the interesting information that she has already discovered. Here are some excerpts from our conversation:

Heather Lutze:  Tell me a little bit about your research.

Professor Zhang: I’m focusing on the ways people look for health information online, meaning how they use search engines to look for health information, and how they use social media to look for health information.

Heather:  Interesting. Why health, in particular?

Professor Zhang: Health is a topic that attracts a lot of attention; it’s an important issue. People look for information very seriously. Quality of health information online is a big concern. We still don’t know much about how people use information they find online in their actual health management or healthcare decision‑making. So there is a lot of research that needs to be done in this area.

Heather:  Describe to me, a layperson, how you are going about your studies.

Professor Zhang:  We invite people to our lab and then observe how they behave with online systems. We control the tasks they perform, the environment they are in, and the technology they’re using. This type of controlled study addresses, for example, how subjects’ learning style affects their search behavior.

Heather:  Interesting. Have you identified different learning styles?

Professor Zhang:  Yes, we can categorize people into two general styles, in terms of searching for health information: monitors and blunters. Monitors are people who are actively seeking information and wanted to know as much as possible. But blunters don’t want to know too much. They don’t want to make decisions on their own; they delegate this to other people.

When people come to our lab, we measure their information seeking style, monitor versus blunter, because this has an impact on their behavior when interacting with search engines. We assign them to two types of predefined tasks, and then we observe their behavior.

One task is straight fact‑finding. For example, we ask them to find out the side effects of the supplement Creatine. This is just factual research. The other type of task is exploratory. For example, finding out the relationship between diabetes and hypertension, and what can be done to alleviate the problems.

Heather:  Have you been able to come up with any sort of conclusions based on the research you’ve done to date?

Professor Zhang:  We have some preliminary data, but not the whole picture. People who are monitors will spend more time on tasks than blunters. The monitors want to know as much information on a particular subject as possible. They want every aspect of the subject. But blunter is happy with a small amount of information, and some of them are actually trying to avoid information.

Heather:  Have you been able to categorize the difference in monitors and blunters based on demographics, based on income, based on education level? I’m curious whether a monitor is a higher income or more educated person. Are they older? Are they younger? What do you think would be the characteristics of a monitor, or do you even know at this point?

Professor Zhang:  In terms of a demographic perspective, no. It’s a personality trait, rather than the impact of socio-economic status. Some people are cognitively demanding. They want it to understand the problem, but some people they don’t want to understand the problem, or they just let it go.

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As you can see, there’s a lot more to the business of search than we ever suspected!

It seems that for blunters, a few important bullet points at the top of a webpage would be enough… and for monitors, reams of information would be appreciated. Are your potential customers monitors, blunters, or a mix of both? And how can you take advantage of this information to get more business?

Let me know in the comments how you would take advantage of this information.

Stay tuned for more of my talk with Professor Zhang in the next post.

Warm Regards,
Heather Lutze
Author, Internet Marketing Speaker, Trainer and Consultant

About Heather Lutze:

Heather is the acclaimed speaker, trainer, and consultant who literally wrote the book on search engine marketing. Two books, in fact—The Findability Formula: The Easy, Non-Technical Approach to Search Engine Marketing and Thumbonomics: The Essential Business Roadmap for Social Media & Mobile Marketing. Her writing and in-demand keynotes are delivered with the same witty, “no-geek-speak” style that has managed to demystify internet marketing for countless business owners. Breaking free of corporate “cubicle” jobs over ten years ago with nothing more than a dream of entrepreneurship and a computer in the basement, Heather built her business, The Findability Group, into a multi-million dollar company. Today she leads a dedicated and slightly obsessed team of search marketing pros—their mission—to connect clients with their perfect customers online.

 

 

Internet Marketing Denver – Google’s Newest App, Google Cloud Connect

Newest Google App Allows Easy Syncing Between Cloud & Microsoft Office


It was announced via the Official Google Blog today that their newest service, Google Cloud Connect, is out of beta and available to the public.

Google Cloud Connect is a toolbar for Microsoft Office that you can download that automatically installs to all of your Microsoft Office applications. You must first connect it to a Google account, but the toolbar remembers your info and you are able to switch accounts easily at any time. You will then be able to sync your documents to Google Docs so you constantly have an online backup of your files. Also, and this is the really cool feature, you can share your Office documents with colleagues so you can all be editing the same document at the same time. Much like in the online version of Google Docs, when two or more people are editing a document at the same time, those changes will automatically appear on everyone’s desktop document.

This eliminates the need for emailing multiple versions of the same document which almost always leads to confusion. Google Cloud Connect not only will sync your Office Word documents, but PowerPoint presentations and spreadsheets as well. Internet Marketing Denver firm Findability Group recommends you download this free toolbar and give it a shot! You’d be amazed at how much time and frustration cloud computing will save you.

You can download Google Cloud Connect and watch some other videos explaining how to use this feature here. Being a Google app, you can rest assured that downloading and installation is fast and extremely easy.

For more internet marketing Denver news, be sure to follow the Findability Group on Twitter and Facebook!

Internet Marketing Denver – Social Media &The Internet Play Big Role in Superbowl

Social Media & Superbowl Ads

The Superbowl is one of the biggest TV days of the year and this year’s match up of the Green Bay Packers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers was not disipointing. Hopefully you were able to watch the game, but if you weren’t (and even if you were), here are some of the social media and internet highlights from last nights Superbowl ads.

Fail Of The Game

No Superbowl is complete without some crazy drama. The Fail Award goes to singer Christina Aguilera who had a little trouble with the lyrics to the National Anthem which caused quite a stir on Twitter and Facebook. Aguilera has since apologized, but unfortunately the damage has been done – less than 24 hours has passed and not only is she all over the news and social media, but also the top two video results on YouTube for “Christina Aguilera” are of her screwing it up.

Audi Superbowl XLV Ad

Audi made quite a big deal leading up to the big game about being the first company ever to “feature a Twitter hashtag” during their Superbowl ad. Audi’s ad aired pretty early on in the game and I would say that the hashtag was hardly even present, let alone “featured.” It was it on screen for about 1.5 seconds (literally) and the Twitter hashtag was “ProgressIs” which is a rather complicated phrase when you have no idea what it is. I had to go back and watch it three times and I still didn’t know what it was until I looked it up online. I’ve embedded the ad below, let me know what you think in the comments section below. I do have to admit, however, that I really liked the ad’s storyline, and it appears that everyone else did too, with it coming in currently as one of the Top Five ads as voted by users on FoxSports.com/ads.

Audi A8: Prison Break

Living Social and Groupon

Groupon and Living Social both had Superbowl ads this year and both were pretty unique. Living Social took a kind of creepy route where a man, with the help of the group discount service, found his true personality. A quick Findability Office Poll determined that, according to us, it was the creepiest ad of the game. Groupon, on the other hand, took a satirical approach which I feel was executed pretty well. I embedded both of these ads below.

Living Social Superbowl XLV Ad
LivingSocial.com: Change your life

Groupon Superbowl XLV Ad
Groupon: Save the Money

Other Superbowl Ads

There were a few ads for online companies that I had never heard of before and I thought that they were boring and rather confusing. Chatter.com, HotelHome.com and Carmax.com all had some air time, but I was not impressed.

This Superbowl goes to show that social media is here to stay. Companies are starting to integrate their brands more and more online (Check out Ford’s attempt which was pretty much a complete failure as it’s ranked the #1 Least Liked Superbowl Ad) and trying to get consumers to interact with them. It’s just a matter of time before these companies are able to do it right. 🙂

You can watch all of the Superbowl ads from Superbowl XLV and vote for your favorites over at foxsports.com/ads. According to the Official Findability Superbowl Ad Survey, The Pepsi Max – Can Hits Jogger was the most popular here in the Office. Let us know what you think.

<a href="http://msn.foxsports.com/video?vid=39b3ad68-31a7-48d2-b10d-61598ee40fc4" target="_new" title="">Pepsi Max: Love Hurts</a>

What was your favorite and least favorite ads? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear your opinions!

Written by Dan Pagliarini, Social Media Department for the Findability Group