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

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 – Search Engine Ranking & Google Personalization

As part of an ongoing series, Internet Speaker Heather Lutze and Natalie Henley discuss why your search engine ranking may appear different in different areas to different users, Google Personalization, and other SEO tips.

Stay tuned for our next Findability Caffeine video by subscribing to our YouTube channel and be sure to follow Heather Lutze and Natalie Henley on Social Media!

Heather Lutze is on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Natalie Henley is on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Internet Marketing News – Google CEO Eric Schmidt to Step Down in April

From Left: Larry Page, Eric Schmidt, Sergey Brin

The New Google CEO

It was announced yesterday by Google CEO Eric Schmidt via this blog post that he will be stepping aside as CEO of the famous search engine giant and leaving it in the hands of co-founder Larry Page. Schmidt will be assuming a new role in the company dealing “externally, on the deals, partnerships, customers and broader business relationships, government outreach and technology thought leadership.” This came as a surprise yesterday to many.

Rumors have begun to circulate that Schmidt is being pushed out by co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin after the Goolge China decisions he made in mid 2010.

Click here for more information about the Google CEO change.

UPDATE:

Google Offers a New Service

Google Announced earlier today that they are about to unleash Google Offers, a Groupon like offers program that will help them increase their local advertising market. Google tried to buy Groupon in late 2010 for $6 Billion, but the offer was rejected by Groupon. Google Offers will give users impressive discounts at particular venues only after enough interest has been generated for that offer.

Here is more information about Google Offers.

Be sure to stay up to date with more Internet Marketing News by checking back often!