Critical Website Content Decisions to Produce High-Quality Search Ranking

Achieving Google ranking in search results doesn't require special skills, only determination

Achieving Google ranking in search results doesn’t require special skills, only determination to plan, learn and practice the tactics to gain mastery.
By: Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru / The National Library of Wales

You don’t have to be an expert to rank well

Every person who wants their business site to rank well with search engines has essential tasks to undertake in order to have their site be ranked well and to show up in search engines.

As the primary search engine, Google has said that they want to give searchers the answers and the help they seek within one click.

In order to do that, Google has developed algorithms that prefer fresh, well-written, focused content that has a clear purpose. In addition to this, Google prefers websites which are responsive to device type: meaning that your site responds and formats content sized to display best on the device the searcher is using. Content must be free of spelling and grammatical errors and needs to be linked to other on-site content and reference by hyperlink authoritative content external to your site. Google prioritizes content with substance. “Thin content” or content without substance is demoted in search results pages (SERPS).

In years past, people frequently thought that they were able to game Google and other engines. Those days are gone. So, abandon any expectation that you’ll stuff pages with repeated keywords, or phrases. Instead, author content which is focused on the reason that page exists on your site and is customer-centric. Keep your content fresh and up to date with revisions and updates.

Register for and use Google Analytics and link this with Google’s Search Console, which was previously called Webmaster Tools. The search console allows you to understand how Google “sees” your site, how people find your site, and which of your site’s content is indexed by Google. You can also see when Googlebot last crawled your site. It will identify search phrases and variants used to access and index content within your site. As you learn more about how your site is indexed, accessed and displayed in search, you’ll be prompted to continually improve your website and help increase its search presence.

Website content decisions before you develop your site:

  1. Understand and map out the challenges, needs, and manner in which you intend to provide services or solutions to your customers. Personas or typical customer bios are great to help keep you focused.
  2. Prior to any development, create a wireframe of your content’s organization and relationship within the site. A simple spreadsheet with top level content named in the first row and child or sub-page content identified in cells within columns below works well, or you may wish to create a more visually rich flow chart.
  3. Have a purpose and goal for every page within your website.
  4. Create anchor content for each page of your site. This content will be fundamental to that section of your site and will serve as an anchor or reference point.
  5. As you create this content, identify which phrases and words will become internal links, referencing other sections of your site.
  6. You will also need to determine visual elements to illustrate content. Powerful images help the visitor relate to your content and provide graphical elements visible in shares across social media.
  7. Decide how frequently you’ll be adding content to the site so that you continue to present a fresh, informed presence to both search engines and potential customers.
  8. While creating content, understand that readers will respond best to blocks of words which are tightly focused and easy to skim. These blocks of content on the page need to be separated by section heads which help identify the most important idea in the following section. Called sub-heads in magazines and newspapers, these are also critical to helping signal to Google the importance and flow of content on your site/page.
  9. If you’re using a CMS (content management system) as a site foundation, thoughtfully organize categories and tags (micro-categories) to be relevant to your customers’ needs as you’ve previously outlined them.
  10. Plan how you’ll be promoting your site’s content via social media and offline.

Post launch must-dos

Evaluate the success of content/performance by regularly reviewing Google Analytics to comprehend how visitors move through your site’s content and how long they remain on each section. These critical indicators will inform and help you improve each page’s rationale within the site.

If you find you need assistance with the development of content for your website, we can provide assistance from strategy to optimization to promotion. Call us at 843.628.6434 to discuss how we may assist and support your goals.

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New Site Live for Awaken the Dragon

AWTD Website 2015-07-23_14-49-18

Awaken the Dragon new site

Charleston PR & Design was invited to provide guidance, direction and design support to filmmaker Liz Oakley as she set a direction for a new website for Awaken the Dragon. In Awaken the Dragon, the ancient sport of dragon boating and cancer survivors are united in a quest to awaken to new challenges and, indeed, to life.

This heroic film about finding a new way to live following the diagnosis of cancer has resonated with people. It has won many awards, inspired and motivated film festival attendees and viewers far and wide.

The new site is live and provides links to the Amazon streaming and film purchase as well as provides a method for cancer survivors to share their stories of inspiration.

Thank you Liz for allowing us to work with you.

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Latent Semantic Indexing, Google and Your Web Content

Google wants to function like our brains do

The power of the human brain

Our brains are amazing things. If we’re talking and I tell you I want to find a red dress to wear to a party, you understand that I’m looking for festive, dressy apparel to wear to a social gathering. You understand that cocktail party dresses and elegant attire are also substitutions for the same needs. Though I would never say it that way, you understand it. And you’d probably also understand that while red is the color I named, other names for red are crimson, scarlet, magenta, carmine, burgundy, and brick.

Searching, parsing, deciding what’s important

Google wants to be just like our brain. Google’s intention is to provide every web user with the information they seek and need within a single click. So as we search the web, Google emulates how our brains work and provides us with options which are synonymous and which expand our search results. One of Google’s innovations has been the development of latent semantic indexing.

Latent semantic indexing removes need to keyword stuff

As Tina Courtney-Brown notes in her article The Top 5 SEO Tactics You can Drop in 2015

“…this means that you don’t have to litter your content with all the keyword phrases you want to rank on; LSI will assume that similar phrases are also relevant.

Google will suggest alternative and commonly executed searches in a list of drop down terms in their Chrome browser.

Being there in the “I want to” moment

When you’re developing content for your website, you must integrate Google’s manner of indexing and returning relevant content to their users. Integrating Google-awareness into your content’s development means that you will be creating robust content that meets the needs of your customer by answering their questions, extending their knowledge, or solving a problem. Google tells us, for every customer, there is an “I want to…” moment. Google also terms these “micro-moments.”

In these moments, consumers’ expectations are higher than ever. The powerful computers we carry in our pockets have trained us to expect brands to immediately deliver exactly what we are looking for when we are looking. We want things right, and we want things right away.

It’s that “I want to…” which drives the individual’s search. Being served to searchers in results means that you’ve directly met their criteria in a non-spammy, intelligent, unique way that is a direct fit or fits an analogous search result.

Now that you know this, you can quit dithering on about the precise keywords you need and focus instead on the “I want to…” questions of your core customers.

Want help developing content for your customers that meets them in the micro-moment? Call us at 843-628-6434, we’re really good at helping our customers comprehend what their client’s micro-moments are.

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The Future of Social Media Has Arrived: Meet Broadcast App Periscope


Broadcast app Periscope invites you to “Explore the world through someone else’s eyes.”

Social media keeps evolving. Far from being the one-sided stream of inane pics of food or defamatory posts about politics, social media in our opinion allows people to create and build interpersonal interactions. From San Francisco comes the newest face of our socially centered world, one that may just have a way to further confirm a more immediate and interpersonal element that outlets like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter may be missing.

Social broadcast your business

Meet Periscope, the newest video broadcasting app for social media users. This smartphone app for Android and Apple isn’t like watching television or even YouTube. Broadcasters live stream and connect with others in real-time. Viewers can send direct messages to interact with the broadcaster, or tap the screen to send “hearts,” showing appreciation in the same manner as a “like” on Facebook. Viewers ask questions as well creating a truly interactive video stream. Though separate from Twitter, the two companies have joined forces to cooperate with one another, making the perks of both apps available to users for optimal usage. As such, Periscope videos can be shared on or linked to Twitter, allowing users of both applications to glance into the lives of their fellow posters. Followers are instantly notified when broadcasters are live, offering audiences everywhere the power of the shared experience.

Different from Vine or Instagram video posts, Periscope allows users of the broadcast app to serve up video in real-time. Vine and Instagram video posts were captured in the past and then posted and shared.

Thus far, Periscope users have been treated to the sight of someone rising in a hot air balloon over the Sonoma Valley, a live performance by a private pianist who could play any request the audience could throw out, a tour of Glacier Park guided by one of its rangers, a monologue rehearsal for Jimmy Fallon before an episode of The Tonight Show, and a backstage look into the Paris Opera ballet provided by Benjamin Millepied.

Locally, Charleston news broadcasters Rafael James of WCSC Live 5 News and reporter Hanna Raskin of the Post and Courier used the app to report news and cover events related to the “Mother” Emanuel AME massacre.

Periscope is a broadcast app

Within the app, you may follow people from your Twitter group who are also on Periscope or you may use third party website Perisearch, which requires registration to find and follow or watch on your laptop, tablet or desktop (does anyone really use desktops anymore?)

Upon starting a broadcast, you can let your Twitter followers know that you’re live streaming by tapping on the Twitter icon. Live streams will be viewable on the web, but not after they are over. For details on all aspects of using Periscope, consult their easy to use help files.

There are many marketing and public relations uses we envision for Periscope. With it, live tweeting now becomes live coverage. Rather than wait on news media to cover and broadcast your event, with Periscope you have the tools to connect with current and future  customers and people following you via your Twitter stream. You could broadcast workshops, gatherings, sales, and more.

If your firm finds itself in a crisis situation, using this app to broadcast key leaders as they update people on the situation can help you reach directly to consumers and interested members of the public.

Make your own reality TV broadcast

Luxury Spot lifestyle blogger Bryce Gruber-Hermon has used her Periscope to share beauty tips from her home in New York City. She says, “I’ve been using periscope as a combination of a daily video diary, mini reality show, and live, in the moment version of YouTube tutorials. It’s so much fresher and more authentic than YouTube’s canned music and editing. I love it.”

The Tour de France is also using Periscope to share and interact with viewers.

If you’re interested in using Periscope for yourself or promoting your business, check out the app’s website and learn about its many awesome features.

Need help with your brand’s social media strategy, public relations, marketing or identity? We’re just a phone call 843.628.6434 or email away.

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Doing Business When Your Heart Is Breaking


How do we go on when our hearts are breaking?

Wednesday evening in Charleston was a horror. Thursday morning found most of my colleagues in shock. Collectively we are all reeling from the heinousness of the crime committed by one monster. Yet on Thursday, June 18, 2015, the phone kept ringing, clients still needed help, and all the while, our hearts were broken. Our eyes wet with tears.

As a small office, ours has the luxury of organizing our time to fit our schedules. However, we cannot turn the world off in times of crisis. Nor can we hide perpetually from being sad.

During calls and conversations yesterday and today, I’ve been open with people about my feelings; my shock; my horror. My colleagues have responded in kind, sharing their grief and their hurt at the murder of nine innocents and the savaging of a community.

Being open

And why wouldn’t we want to be open? Why wouldn’t we want to be frank about our hurts? This is the time to connect and bond with one another. We cannot wipe this stain from the heart and continue unaffected.

For me, being real means being open about what affects me and how my entire self is involved in how I serve my clients, how I’m friends, and how I want to be perceived. This is a core value for me. And it’s how I do business.

I hope you are feeling the caring and concern from those with whom you encounter as you transact your daily business. If not, perhaps you can take a moment and discuss your feelings before you begin your next sales call, or discuss the next marketing plan, or the sales objectives for August.

Honest hearts

Your heart and soul will be better for talking about your feelings and I expect your professional associates will feel better too, and you’ll create greater human bonds. And at the end of the day, we are in business person to person, not website to website, press release to outlet. We are all people with hearts and souls. Let’s embrace that.

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