SEO updates — keeping our eye on the (crystal) ball

Your finest SEO efforts might fail at any time. The search engine rankings you anticipated don’t occur. Your top rankings abruptly decline or vanish. You are compelled to be cautious, so you turn to the most recent information regarding what Google demands. You examine the search engine’s helpful content upgrade that launched. Even while many algorithm changes are minor and sometimes go unnoticed, the well-publicized upgrade to useful content earlier this fall will prove to be significant.

On the Google Search Central Blog, it was suggested that content marketers that are SEO-focused consider the following questions:

  • Do you use a lot of automation to create content across a variety of topics?
  • Are you primarily summarizing other people’s arguments without really contributing anything?
  • Do people who read your material feel like they need to recheck their sources for more accurate information?

If you answered yes to any of these, Google will not be happy with you.

Quality is at the core of this transition. Google has always highlighted the need for websites to provide a pleasant user experience with timely, pertinent content that loads quickly. Google has consistently emphasized content quality since the Panda update, which was launched more than 10 years ago and targeted pages with little to no substance. Google Search AI is a complex code created for a very complex content environment.

Because of the sophistication of the technology, websites now frequently rank for terms that aren’t even in their content. All of these developments have been gradual. With little fanfare, Google quietly updates its search engine algorithms, making over 4,000 changes in 2021 alone. One of the aspects of the complexity of the code, looks at the authority of a site in its space. When last year I was telling everyone to avoid duplicating their show names from one season to the next, I was repeating the Google’s mantra. But, as I quickly found out, the rules didn’t apply to the customers that were leading authority in their space, and for example, an Aladdin show for 2022 was indexed even though it had Aladdin indexed twice before showing under the identical name, with near identical content.

For us mere mortals, the rules will apply. However, if you are building your site authority then there is flexibility to this September’s announcement. So, what should you do if you are not one of the sites of authority?

  • Ensure quality, relevant content is on all pages
  • FAQ about your programming, your stage, your product, or service should be added wherever possible
  • Make sure you have your program book, press release or e-book, or product manual attached in PDF and HTML versions if possible.
  • Use a lot of videos but be sure to include transcripts and captions
  • Pay attention to WCAG for accessibility

The impact of this is not yet clear but applying these will help SEO and it never hurts to prepare. By the way, if you are an ARTdynamix® customer, you already have the tools needed to make the above points reality. In fact, the tools have been available for your use since 2013. Voice search and “Near Me” search are now built into the latest version of ARTdynamix®.

Often when we inform folks that ARTdynamix® has a Press Release module, an FAQ builder, a program-book uploader, etc. that can be attached to their shows or content on demand, that is met with excitement because of the efficiency changes but it also substantial for SEO and authority. Here’s the impact: Google has been hinting at this change for a decade (especially if you can read between the lines), and now Google has made it a standard.

As a reminder, in February 2022, Google has already made the schema a mandatory of their SERP (search engine results page) rules, and now followed by the above noted content update

~Nami

Mobile First…and Primary

DWG has been building and spreading the word on mobile first for a long time…remember “.mobi?”  Times have changed since then and at some point the emphasis flipped from a mobile site as an accessory to your desktop version to mobile primary. This concept is so important that we thought a refresher may be helpful. The idea is simple – the site needs to respond to the visitor and visitors are on their devices.

A few reasons:

  • It is now often your first impression.  Where do you open your emails and click links?  So do your visitors
  • Google – This isn’t a surprise or a secret especially if  you keep up on Google various email channels. If your site does not have mobile friendly interface, you will be downgraded.  Google considers mobile primary — they are not wrong.
  • Why not?  At the end of the day, all of your versions should be well-designed and fully functional.

Your visitors use your mobile first, so it should be primary to your design.

 

Pacific Symphony Launches with Tessitura Ticketing Integration

Congratulations to the team at Pacific Symphony on your beautiful new website!   You can see it here – Pacific Symphony Website

Pacific Symphony sought an entire web presence that could represent their nationwide brand with passion and excitement (in addition to California style).  Pacific Symphony wanted to maximize the user experience by fully integrating custom functions including Tessitura ticketing system.

ARTdynamix™ Enterprise fit that request perfectly.  Thus, DWG collaborated with Pacific Symphony through the entire process and the new web presence launched in December of 2021.  Yay!

As we began developing the Pacific Symphony’s Website, the need for a shopping environment for REST handshake with their Tessitura software in order to replace their existing SOAP based environment.  Having converted other Tessitura clients from SOAP to Rest, we began the task by understanding the way that Tessitura is customized for Pacific Symphony. Tessitura refers to itself as “arts enterprise software”.

It is an enterprise application used by performing arts and cultural organizations to manage their activities in ticketing, fundraising, customer relationship management, and marketing.

As many of you know, Tessitura happens to be amazingly flexible and allows the end user to create their ticketing environment pretty much any which way they care to.   As such, understanding the client ticketing paradigm is essential to creating a great Shopping platform.

We were able to cover the gamut ranging from short flex series with special pricing, to long term category based fixed packages, to group sales, individual tickets, and donations.

 

 

The Vital User Experience

When I (LaMae) do presentations about web design and navigation, the User Interface / User Experience, the discussion is always lively because inherently everyone understands that UI/UX is vital.  I often tell the story of a mirror I installed in our home hallway and how I was so pleased with myself for the handiwork.  Then, I showed my husband who happens to be taller than me,  his head was chopped off and I realized the great job I had done would only work for me … or those very close to being the same height as me.  Missed the mark on that one.

A simple UI problem

Paper Towel Dispenser with sign

This picture is a  more analog example of the user experience.  Imagine how many folks had difficulty using this paper towel dispenser for someone to have taken time to make and tape up an additional explanation?   My experience was just as confusing.  I read the sign, “PLACE HAND RIGHT BELOW THE GREEN LIGHT …” but the green button was nowhere to be found unless you moved your hand under the dispenser, and then it was intermittent.  Most of us would eventually figure this out and frankly, it is only an annoyance, but how many people are choosing someone else because of an annoyance?

UI/UX on your site

The user interface (page design including the look and its ease of use), as well as the user experience (how do the site pages flow work together to get things done), should be the primary, or at least one of the primary planning considerations.  Can the visitor find what they want, is it aesthetically pleasing, can they/will they buy?  These questions are your goals (or should be).  There are probably others, too.

If someone wants to buy – let them.  Heck – make it easy for them.

Finally, this brings me to Quality Assurance.  Check your site (or paper towel holder) based on real users and not your own expectations and assumptions and minimize annoyances.

 

How can we help? E-commerce? Virtual Interaction? Questions?

Now is not the time to profit – so please know in advance that our consultations will be free and our pricing will be at sustainable rates for our team.

DWG understands how dramatically your business/life/business-life have changed in the last few weeks and perhaps, minute-by-minute.  Perhaps we can help….24/7.

Do you need online access to your business such as selling products online, updating your clients, hosting your digital messages?  DWG will brainstorm and implement promptly.  We stand ready to be your digital support whether you are a long-time client or someone with a new need.  Let’s talk.

Phone:  818.610.3316
Email:  dreambig@dreamwarrior.com
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LaMae and Nami