Flying Pen, Great Ideas

Ever meet up with folks in a business setting that you just know you’d love to hang out with when the workday is over? That’s how I felt after attending a recent Lunch-and-Learn event at Adcuda, a Kansas City-based company that specializes in helping local businesses improve their online visibility. The event leaders were energetic and enthusiastic in sharing their knowledge with those in attendance about how to increase the number of visitors to websites.

Casey Copeland

Casey Copeland, Adcuda

Watching Casey Copeland, Adcuda’s founder and president, and his Design Director Craig Misak volley advice back and forth didn’t lend itself to perfect penmanship in notetaking. My pen was flying trying to keep up. I didn’t want to look down at my notebook for fear of missing some smart, straightforward tip the two continuously flung into the crowd.

Even more educational, the two, along with Accounts Director Jennifer Hoyt, didn’t hold back on critiquing attendees’ websites (at least those brave enough to offer them up for Aducda scrutiny). Casey, Craig and Jennifer reviewed the sites and provided thoughtful, smart advice that undoubtedly was put into use later that day as attendees scrambled back to their offices.

While those outside the K.C. area don’t have the advantage of attending one of these events in person, the agency thoughtfully provides links on its website with live feeds during the luncheons and after-the-fact video recaps. As of this writing, the video from the event I attended wasn’t yet posted, but keep checking back if you want to see the overview for yourself.

In the meantime, if you want to make some immediate improvements to your site, here are some sage tips gleaned from this session:

Sharing means more than not being greedy. Do you have lots of connections, friends or subscribers to your blog, website, LinkedIn page or Facebook profile? Great. But those don’t matter nearly as much as “Shares” and “Likes.” Search engines give far more weight to these latter factors when determining rankings.

Get links. Link your site to others and, hopefully, others will link to yours. The more in-coming links you have to your website, the better in getting search engines’ attention.

Don’t dilute your site. Having loads of pages on your website may make you feel like your site is superimportant, but they do nothing to improve your site’s search-engine rankings. In fact, Casey pointed out that too many pages can dilute the strength of your site. So consolidate pages as much as possible.

Shout your message. Ask someone unfamiliar with your website to glance at it for just a second before you change the screen. Then ask them what your main message was. If they can’t tell you immediately (“You are selling shoes” or “You are a dentist’s office”), then you need to make some changes, such as switching out the graphics or adding a key headline. (One attendee at the Lunch-and-Learn who got a quick glance at a dentist’s site first thought it was for a funeral home!)

Admittedly, those tips are only a few of the many I frantically wrote down during the Adcuda event. (While I felt like I only got a trickle of the advice on paper, I still managed to fill nine pages of my notebook!) I’ve already reviewed them and applied as many as I could to my own WordPress site. And I’ve used even more to make suggestions for improving two of my clients’ sites.

I’ve signed up for Adcuda’s newsletter and will be pouncing on the next issue as soon as it hits my in-box to make sure I don’t miss any more of their events. While I wait, though, I’ll be checking out the video links for their previous luncheons. (And, hey, Adcuda! Lemme know the next time your team is heading out for cocktails!  I wanna hang with you guys!)

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Filed under Communications, Communications, Writing & Editing Expertise, SEO, Websites, Writing

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