Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Beginner's Guide to SEO - Part 1

5 Tips to Aid Your On-Page SEO Campaign. 
Search Engine Optimization Tips Presented by CC Communications

By now, most people have a basic understanding of what SEO is or at least know how crucial it is to implement a strong SEO campaign to expand and maintain your online presence. If you're a new kid in town or need a refresher, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is essentially the strategy and techniques that are used help a website achieve high rankings in the search engines, like Google and Bing. The better your website ranks for relevant keyword terms that one would use to find your business online, the better optimized your website has become or is becoming. You can reasonably assume you'll have more website traffic and more potential clients exploring your products or services.
Truly, if your website is not ranking well in the search engines, your competitors websites are...

Website Content 
While engaging in an SEO campaign or correctly conveying your services to your website visitors, content is king...Hands down. What content you have on your website truly is of utmost consideration for your SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Be mindful; just because you have a lot of content on your website, it doesn't mean it is always helpful. Make sure to infuse keywords or keyword terms (common terms that one would use to describe and find your website) into your content as you're able. For example, it's no secret that 'Charlotte web design' is obviously a keyword term that we'd like to rank well for and through our content, we take the consideration to implement that term as we're able.

Also consider hyper-linking specific keywords to internal (hosted on your website) and external (outside of your website) destinations, which is of huge benefit, too. Make sure that the keywords that you link to are relevant to what one would find on the linked page. Avoid using phrases like "click here" as you're missing out on an opportunity to fully optimize the phrase. An example of this practice would be adding a link here for our webpage on SEO services.

Side Note: Save the flowery writing, or what I call 'puppies and kittens' writing for somewhere else. I'm an admitted 'puppies and kittens' writer, but when it comes to SEO and keyword driven content, there is no room for that. Make your content as focused and meaty as possible.

Blogging has multiple benefits for your business. When you create relevant, keyword-rich, original content, not only does your website benefit, your business savvy spreads by positioning yourself top-of-mind to your audience. If you create posts that are useful, interesting, and original, you add value and take the steps to earn your spot as an industry expert. I must caution that haphazardly posting a few blog entries will not cut the mustard; you need to be consistent with blogging and keep posts coming at a steady pace.

Name Your Website Images
When you save a document or image to your desktop or server, how are you labeling the image? Search engines do not read images as we do; they read images by the title. Take this for example. Your business is in the food & beverage industry, specializing in creating sweet treats. You're adding a new image to your website via your CMS and you title it Pic1948459.jpg. How does that benefit your SEO? It definitely doesn't. Take the extra few seconds to correctly title the image:  Charlotte-MiniCupcakes-CCBakingCompany.jpg. Not only does your image include your region, what the picture entails, it also includes your business. Much less, fully and correctly labeling your images will go a long way to ensuring that you're able to stay organized, without flipping through hundreds of pictures.

Leave Out the Meta Keywords 
In the past several years, Google has publicly noted that they do not take keyword meta tags into consideration for an SEO campaign. Check out what Matt Cutts of Google had to say about this fact. In the past, search engines 'read' the keywords that were embedded websites.  However, some websites began an unethical approach called 'keyword stuffing', where they would input dozens of keywords into their website meta data that they wished to rank for, whether it was relative to their to their business or not.  Put your focus into filling out your Title Tags and Meta Descriptions instead, which are of great consideration to your On-Page SEO.

Don't Forget the ALT Tags 
Similar to labeling images copiously, ensure that you also fill in the ALT tag associated with your images. An ALT tag is the text that is associated or alternative to viewing your image. You don't need to write a novel about your image; instead, just a few words that describe what a picture entails. For example, if you have a puppy training business and you're looking to create an ALT tag for a picture of puppy training, consider having the ALT tag read, 'German Shepard Puppy Training Charlotte NC.

There are obviously more than five things that need to be done for a strong SEO campaign, so please consider this blog post one in a series. Take a second to follow the CC Communications blog to ensure that you don't miss a beat!

Can we help you in the meantime? If you're interested in the comprehensive SEO and Internet Marketing services that CC Communications offers, or would like more information, please contact Marketing@CCCom.com or call us at 704-543-1171.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Project Spotlight: Wellness Coalition America

CC Communications Launches Redesigned Website For Wellness Coalition.

Wellness Coalition America - CC Communications PortfolioThe latest addition to CC Communication's portfolio is a revamped website for the Charlotte-based health care management company Wellness Coalition America (WCA). The complex redesign completely changed the functionality of their existing website while maintaining a consistent look and feel of their online brand.

The site was crafted using DNN, and easy-to-use and secure content management system. This Microsoft based technology is our recommended platform of choice for website development. Our team integrated responsive design technology to make the site display correctly across all devices. We also added enhanced features including on-page video integration and a customized slide show on the home page to provide advanced storytelling for the WCA brand.

Prior to the redesign the WCA site structure was geared mainly to promote business services. To make the site more user friendly, we shifted the primary focus of the site navigation directly to the visitor experience. By adding persona-based menu selections to the navigation, the site now has clear and easy access to specific content for the multiple audiences accessing the site.

Is your website using outdated technology or in need of a face lift? Our trusted experts are providing free, no-obligation website reviews for a limited time.

Friday, January 8, 2016

CC Communications Wins 2015 Best Business of Charlotte


CC Communications has been selected for the 2015 Best Businesses of Charlotte Award in the Web Design category by the Best Businesses of Charlotte Award Program.

Each year, the Best Businesses of Charlotte Award Program identifies companies they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Charlotte area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2015 Best Businesses of Charlotte Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Best Businesses of Charlotte Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About the Best Businesses of Charlotte Award Program

The Best Businesses of Charlotte Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Charlotte area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Best Businesses of Charlotte Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Is the Social in SOCIAL Media Silent?

In 2002-2003, the world as we knew it changed. We began succumbing to the powers of social media, via Friendster and Myspace, and chat rooms like ICQ and AOL. Yes, getting online was accompanied by THE most annoying sound in the world, but we had unlimited freedom. Our barriers to connecting the world began crumbling.

Currently in 2016, a large number of social media platforms have entered, commanded, and won the market. The power that lies between our keyboards and fingers goes largely unappreciated. The bounds and opportunities to communicate and connect are endless. Social media is how we get our news, how we engage with celebrities and icons, celebrate milestones and learn of the excitement of others, how we find jobs, how we find love, how trends begin, how movements are created, how injustices are spread, how tales of inspiration and triumph are shared, and how we stay connected with those we care about, and those we long to know. (However, thankfully, the dial-up sound is a thing of the past.)

Further, businesses and organizations have realized the opportunity social media affords to become further branded, to expand sales potential, and to have a direct avenue to interact with consumers, customers, and clients. Yet, many businesses select to take out the 'social' aspect out of social media and focus primarily on sales; eliminating the ability to achieve communication nirvana.

Said businesses focus on selling to their social media base, rather than creating and expanding relationships and EARNING trust. Look at 5 star brands on social media, like BareMinerals by Bare Escentuals on Facebook and Southwest Airlines on Twitter. Not only do they connect fluidly with their target market, they encourage and respond to interactions with their customers and clients like a champ. They don't need to hard sell themselves; how they act, engage, and communicate naturally does that for them.

Being social on social media doesn't mean you can't sell, but make it an ingredient in the mix... Not the main course. No one wants to engage with a company that is trying to sell you at every turn or a company that boasts about their superiority or greatness. Most social media savants want to engage with a company that shares good content, allows opportunities to communicate, shows some spunky humor, offers specials, and extends a direct communication line. Attempting to blatantly sell in a social space is the quickest way to get unliked, unfollowed, unconnected, or unfriended.

So how to do businesses thrive on Social Media? Here is the secret... Ready for it? 

It's SOCIAL media. Social. It's about assimilating yourself into the social communication sphere and providing an incentive for people to follow, like, or friend you. That incentive could be the content you share. It could be discounts you provide. It could be your wit and snarkiness... Consumers aren't going to willingly engage with a business just to be pushed to purchase products or services each day... Especially on platforms that are created to be personal and to cradle friendships, relationships, and connections.

Businesses thrive on social platforms by being authentic... By hearing out their customers and responding to their questions, compliments, and complaints. By being down-to-earth and likable. By gracefully establishing a role as an industry expert without being cocky. By exuding the confidence of a trusted, true, and reliable company voice. By being off-the-cuff. By knowing, understanding, and speaking the company voice... By knowing who they are, and who they are not.

Tell us what you think 

What's your favorite business or brand on social media? What do you wish more businesses would or wouldn't do on social media?


Would you like to talk to the CC Communications team about Social Media Marketing or Charlotte Internet marketing? We'd love to have a conversation with you and your business to see if our services, style, and methods are a strong match for you and your company. Connect with us at 704.761.4676 or drop us an email at Marketing@CCCom.com.