SEO isn’t just about Google – Alternative Search Engines

If you believe in the long tail theory, adding up SERP results from all of the smaller search engine results can be just as important as trying to score well in the almighty google. So where do you focus your energy? I vote both. At least submit your site to a few of the relevant ones and of course check your keyword density for SEO primary keywords.

Rather than repeat the work of others – this site lists several alternative search engines you can start with:

http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/100-alternative-search-engines-you-should-know/ 

Yes, many of these search engines are small and hyper-regional, but that matters to the Tendenci community given the open source translation efforts going on at Transifex for Tendenci – the Open Source AMS. We thought it might help you too!

 

 

 

 

New Webinar Recording: Optimizing Your Tendenci Site for SEO

Photo Credit https://www.flickr.com/photos/twonickels/309295507/
SEO is baked in to Tendenci! Photo Credit:  flickr.com/photos/twonickels/309295507

One of the benefits of the Tendenci CMS is that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is baked in to the code. Also, Tendenci allows you control over backend SEO tags like Meta, Alt tags, and Title tags from the interface with no coding required.

This webinar video is about 40 minutes long and covers what you need to know when it comes to optimizing your Tendenci site for SEO!

  1. The automatic SEO features built into Tendenci
  2. What custom SEO features are available in Tendenci
  3. Tips for optimizing your content in Tendenci

Check out the full details of this webinar in our helpfile [VIDEO] Optimizing Your Tendenci Website for SEO!

Recorded Webinar Video

 

Slideshare Slides

Read More About SEO in Tendenci

You can see the full details of this webinar (including a video synopsis) in our helpfile: [VIDEO] Optimizing Your Tendenci Website for SEO

More Resources on SEO in Tendenci:

Tips for Restructuring Your Navigation for Better Website Usability

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Tip: Step Back and Analyze Your Navigation Every 6-12 Months

Your navigation is one of the most important ways that visitors get around on your website – and you want to make sure it is working for both you and your visitors.

At the beginning of our projects, we spend time developing a website navigation based on site goals and the needs of our target audience. Because of that, sometimes our clients feel like the website navigation is set in stone – but it’s not! It’s a good idea to take a step back and analyze your navigation every 6 – 12 months as your priorities change and you get more data about how visitors interact with your site.

Below, Schipulite Jennie Lane outlines steps for reviewing data from Google Analytics to make decisions about restructuring your navigation, including some real world before and after examples of a recent navigation restructure we went through.

 

5 Tips for Restructuring Your Website Navigation

  1. Use Analytics to determine which content is most important to visitors
  2. Make sure the most important items are top level nav items
  3. Order items so the most important items read left to right
  4. Use a Utility Navigation for Logistics that don’t need to be in the main nav
  5. Use Descriptive Words in Titles

3 Reports in Google Analytics to Review when Revisiting Your Navigation

  1. Top Content – To see what content is most popular with users
  2. Visitor Flow – To see how Visitors are navigating through your site
  3. In Page Analytics – To see which Links get the most clicks from your homepage

Your website should be flexible to change as your marketing priorities evolve. Remember – Making even small changes to the navigation can make a big difference for your visitors!

Tips for Taking Action with Analytics Data: Intro to Google Analytics Webinar Recording

As an Analytics nerd, I was thrilled to have lots of registrants for our recent Intro to Google Analytics webinar! We frequently get questions from Tendenci site webmasters on Google Analytics, particularly from clients who aren’t quite sure where to start to interpret all of the data Analytics provides. It can be a lot to sift through.

The focus of this webinar was not only which reports to focus on when reviewing your Google Analytics Data, but also what to do with that data. We spent a lot of time discussing taking action based on the reports you find in Analytics.

We recorded the webinar and have posted it as a Help File on Tendenci.com, and below. Enjoy!

Webinar Agenda

  1. Getting Started with Google Analytics
  2. Top Reports to Focus On
  3. Goal Tracking
  4. Benchmarks
  5. Making Decisions with the Analytics Data
  6. A/B Testing and other Analytics Tools

Watch the On-Demand Webinar Video

 

Webinar Highlights

A few notes from the webinar on interpreting Google Analytics reports to turn that data into action:

Questions to Ask When Interpreting Any Google Analytics Report

When reviewing any Google Analytics report, take into account the following questions:

  1. How does this compare to last month? Last year?
  2. Is this data what you expected (top keywords, top content, geography, etc.)?
  3. Can you add more content around popular topics/keywords?
  4. Can you make content/keywords you don’t see listed more findable or put a more unique perspective on it?
  5. What keywords are missing from your list? Can you add content around those words?
  6. Look for surprises – is this a rising trend? How can you take advantage?

Ideas for Generating Interesting Content

The best way to rank well for a keyword is to have content on your website around that topic. Once you’ve come up with a list of topics that you would like to bring in traffic around, brainstorm content you could add:

  • Top 10 Lists
  • Piggy back off of Hot Topics/In the News
  • Use Infographics
  • Post How Tos/FAQs (what questions are you getting asked all the time?)
  • Tag People (they are likely to share your content!)
  • Include Local Content
  • Revisit/Update Popular Content (make it a series)
  • Think about other types of content you can utilize (your most popular blog post might make a great video)

More Google Analytics Questions?

What other Analytics questions do you have? Leave them in the comments and we’ll do our best to address them in future webinars and blog posts!

Houston Website Designers Seminar Explores Crucial Client Conversation Topics

Tuesday, I had the opportunity to attend the Houston Website Designer Series monthly seminar, hosted by the Art Institute of Houston.  Aaron Long, a VP here at Schipul, was one of the presenters alongside Bo Bothe from BrandExtract, Joe Robbins from Joe Robbins Photography, and Tom King with Forward Marketing.

The presenters each shared stories and tips from their past experiences working on website design projects with clients to an audience of Houston developers, designers, and design students.  I gained new insight about how a design project can either go smoothly and stay within budget or go horribly wrong and become very costly solely on the basis of the types of conversations the agency or designer has with their clients throughout the project.

Designing a Website is Complicated

The process of building and designing a website is often more technical and time intensive than most people realize.  There is also the added challenge that our clients want a website for marketing their products and services to generate new leads.  This adds complex elements to the project to ensure proper branding, communication of the company and what you do, has calls to action and specific content for search engine marketing, plus custom development like a shopping cart for e-commerce, event registration, site login and permissions capabilities, etc.

Designing a complex website requires excellent 2-way communications between the client and the project managers and account executives.  As in every industry, this presents a challenge sometimes.  Lawyers struggle to explain complicated legal contracts with their clients, real estate agents have to explain the title and loan processes to clients, and doctors find ways to discuss very private, medical issues with their patients.

The Keys to Successful Communication

Education

As each of the presenters shared their tips for improving communication, Education was at the core of each success story.

Tom King on Designing Content Strategy

Tom King explained the complications of explaining to clients the importance of creating a content marketing strategy before the website design project kicks-off and integrating the strategy with the overall project.  Many clients want their website to be found in search engines and by new leads, and don’t realize how much time and research is involved in identifying the right keywords and creating the content that will go on the website before it launches and after it launches in an ongoing effort to boost search engine rankings.

To educate clients and prospects, Tom shares videos and resources from Google’s Zero Moment of Truth education series and shows clients these 2 videos that share the Coca Cola Content 2020 strategy:

Tom explained that he shows prospects these videos before the sales meeting because “if they watch these and don’t get it, then we won’t work well together.”

Bo Bothe on Designing Brand Identity

Bo Bothe’s presentation walked the audience through communicating with Marathon Oil’s executives as BrandExtract managed the project to redesign Marathon Oil’s entire brand identity.  According to Bo, education about every step of the project down to teaching Marathon Oil the finer aspects of just what a logo is, was critical to the success of the project.

You can see the results of the rebranding in this video:

Aaron Long on Designing Software

Aaron Long’s presentation stresses the importance of educating clients on the differences between software and preferences in order to keep projects within budget and time lines.  Aaron communicates to clients that the purpose of software is to lower costs, and content management systems are software that are already built and will lower the cost of the website project if clients use it.  Preferences, on the other hand, raise costs and when a client wants to customize software for their project, they need to be aware that custom software development is the most expensive thing in a project.

One tip Aaron shared during his presentation is that it is up to the designers and developers to ask clients more specific questions about what they envision the end result of the website to be.  Don’t just accept it when a client says they want a shopping cart feature with their website, dig deeper and find out what products the clients will sell with the shopping cart, what special functions will this cart need to do for selling products, shipping, collecting customer data, etc.  Aaron suggests showing clients working sites with examples of what is standard so clients can better understand what they are buying when they are buying the software.

Here’s Aaron’s presentation slides to view his other tips for educating clients on the more technical side of a website design project:

Joe Robbins on Designing Web Photography

Joe Robbins brought his experience in creating professional photographs and images for advertising in print and on the web to the seminar to share the importance of having quality photographs on your website. He discussed the conversation designers should have with clients and recommended educating clients on the costs associated with photographs along with the pros and cons for hiring a professional photographer compared to stock photos and photographs already owned by the client.

Joe explained that “a well designed website is very important, but if your choice of photography is poor, all that hard work could come to nothing.  A visually arresting site can be the difference between a sale/inquiry and the customer leaving your site prematurely.”

Website Design is NOT About the Design

Although you might find this ironic, not one of the speakers for a website designer seminar spoke about graphic design for websites or talking to clients about design for the website projects.  They all stressed the importance of creating a website that marketed and sold your company online to obtain new customers.

Tom King’s remark was that content brought new visitors to your website via search engines and not the design or appearance of the site.

Bo Bothe insightfully said “You can’t just make things pretty anymore, you have to make things that work.”

“Funny makes money, not necessarily pretty” was the comment from Aaron Long regarding creating websites that drive revenue.

And Joe Robbins demonstrated how to incorporate quality photography into your website for a more visually appealing site that reflected your brand in the same way companies use glossy print advertisements offline.

The presenters recommend that we steer our focus away from the flash-based, graphic-heavy websites that make it difficult to add and edit content on and also are poorly ranked by search engines.  Instead, focus on a strategy that integrates your marketing efforts with your website design.

This seminar explained the importance of talking with and educating clients and hopefully the videos and presentations I’ve included from the seminar will give you a better understanding of the process involved with building a complex website.  I encourage you to attend the next Houston Website Designers Seminar coming up in July if you are interested in learning more.  The seminars are always free to attend.

If you want to learn more about Schipul’s website design process to build complex websites that generate leads and revenue for companies, contact us and check out our training calendar for upcoming web marketing events and webinars we’re hosting!