Holistic SEO and Usability and Cre8pc Not Forgotten

For the nearly 20 years that I have been building, optimizing and testing websites, there are always those people who think I’m a weeny who knows nothing.

This recent testimonial, written by a someone I have known for a long time, came as a surprise.  I know what makes a website work for ALL people, not just those who own the site.  I am the only person that I know of trained in SEO, UX, IA, Accessibility and software QA testing. Kim at Pubcon To stay on top of all the trends, fads, algorithms, testing methodologies and neuroscience human behavior studies that are part of my work means I don’t sleep, take family vacations or know how to play baseball.

When someone remembers your contributions, it is a joyous thing. Holistic SEO and Usability and Cre8pc Below are parts of what “Grumpus”, who helped build Cre8asiteforums, wrote:

Very early on, I realized that Google was hitting the scene, but it wasn’t very good at indexing this “dynamic” content generated by programmed web sites. At that point, Alta Vista was the “established” search engine, but we knew that Google would be the king within a year or so. With some hit and miss experiments in developing my Movie Soundtracks web site, I realized that structuring things a certain way, clear path to goal, and various other factors would encourage Google, AltaVista, and even good ole Slurp! (Yahoo’s spider back in the day) to not only harvest the data, but represent it better than most sites. So, at that point, I started looking around to try to find some people that actually understood what was going on with all this “search engine” stuff. I got very lucky, because in the very first few days, I managed to find Cre8asiteforums. I’d found a few other good forums and resources where I could talk to people and refine my “hit and miss” approach to figuring it out and turn it into something a bit more scientific, but it was the Cre8asite gang that really gave me what I needed. Of all, though, it was Kim Kopp Krause Berg aka Cre8pc (pronounced Create Peace) who made it all fit together in my head.

The point of this is that I’ve always felt sort of sorry for Kim. No, not for any lack of success, or anything like that. I’ve felt sorry that her chosen area of expertise gets no respect. There are some, like me who get it. Of course, the folks at Internet Marketing Ninjas who bought up the forum AND her talents last year get it. And, of course, most of the gang at Cre8asiteforums (then and now) get it, too. The article I’ve linked to below, here, is a good example of this.

The entire industry (especially as Google has evolved in recent years) understands and is vocalizing the importance of the ideas Kim has been trying to present for almost two decades, but they are still behind the curve when it comes to actually bothering put what they are preaching into practice.

Kim calls what she does a “Holistic” approach to web design. I’ve always called it a “Whole-istic” approach. Her real word and my made up word bear the same general meaning, though. It’s basically an understanding that a good web site that achieves its goals needs to look at the whole picture and it needs to be organized in a way that the user can do what they are trying to do, while it also encourages them to do what I, the web site owner, want them to do. With structure and ease of use as a foundation, all the other things fall into place a lot more easily. Your copy, graphics, calls to action, shopping system, blog pages, and all of that are the bricks and your usability is the mortar that holds it all together. The former things are the rooms in a giant house, and usability is the hallway that allows you to move from room to room (and that does clever things like putting the dining room next to the kitchen rather than upstairs at the end of the hall).

I’m glad that the industry is starting to come around and is at least starting to preach what Kim has been practicing since the mid 1990s. And, to be honest, I don’t really care if the rest of the industry ever starts to practice it (after all, if they don’t know how to do it, there will always be work for her, yeah?) I do hope that businesses start to get it, though.

To this day, when dealing with a new client, my most difficult obstacle is trying to explain the importance of Usability and all of that. Thanks to Kim’s lessons over the years, I’m much better at explaining exactly what the hell usability actually “is” – but it still always seems to be the first thing they want to cut when you start reaching the top of the budget plan.

THE REAL POINT of this post is for all of you other folks out there who have a web site for your business or charity and who want to make it work right…

You simply MUST find someone who understands the whole-istic approach. All the search engine traffic in the world will not help you if people can’t find what they are actually looking for. All the people who find what they are looking for do you no good if they can’t figure out how buy it or otherwise do what needs to be done once they’ve found it.

You can read the full piece here, including the comments by others.

It isn’t about me. This is about investing in the right resources and people to build your website, if your livelihood depends on the revenue from it. If they have never heard of holistic web design, or do not consider the needs of every person who visits your site, and especially if they are only concerned with faking out search engines, you are putting your business at risk.

Cre8asiteforums 15th Anniversary

For the past 15 years I’ve been devoted to a vibrant online community called Cre8asiteforums. Every day, night, weekends and holidays the forums has been part of my life.

cre8-hangout-logo-3This week we launch our first newsletter, called Cre8tive Way, and our first Google Hangout. It’s an exciting time to be part of a large web design and marketing community. Please come celebrate with us and join the family.

Checking In At Cre8pc

Remember me?  Me neither.  Somewhere in the flurry of becoming an employee rather than a consultant I went from being busy to being overwhelmed with work.

Cre8asiteforums LogoAs some of you know, I founded Cre8asiteforums and in October of 2012 it was sold to Internet Marketing Ninjas.  I came along with it, so part of my work is focused on growing the Cre8tive Community there.  Several months later and I can say all the changes and upgrades have been paying off.   A new team of technical people are assigned to handle the mechanics of the back-end, which involved moving to a dedicated server and ramping up security, as well as implementing new ways to handle spam bots.

The forums is focused on web development and this includes design, marketing and business development.  We’re experimenting with new ideas all the time and constantly getting feedback from the members regarding what they want.  It’s always been my way of doing things there.  I believe in the power and rights of the entire community to govern and direct where they want to go.  To see that in action, join the forums and you’ll see the member-only forums where members holler at challenge me to make the forums a place they love to come to.

My work is still focused on usability and persuasive design.  I conduct site audits and smaller reviews for all types of web sites.  We’re about to start promoting new services I developed which are designed to support the Internet Marketing strategies and services clients hire Internet Marketing Ninjas to do.  Unfortunately I get the fun job of breaking the news to clients that their web sites aren’t user friendly or designed for conversions.  The fun part, however, is designing mockups and assisting them in making all the changes that will make their web sites rock.

Coming Soon

Headshot of KimStay with me here.  I wrote an ebook on holistic SEO and Usability for increasing conversions that’s due to come out soon.  Cre8asiteforums turns 15 years old in August.  I’m launching a Google Hangout for Cre8asiteforums where among the pile of topics we have in mind, we will offering site reviews.   I am building a new personal web site, soon to launch.  It’s a joint project that my daughter and I are doing.

I’m speaking at PubCon Vegas in October.  And don’t forget my weekly blog posts for Internet Marketing Ninjas every Tuesday.  This was my latest one, Google Says Stand on One Leg. Enjoy!


Andy Beal Interviews Kim Krause Berg, Usability Analyst for Internet Marketing Ninjas

The new series, The Beal Deal, features interviews by Andy Beal that are run on Saturday’s for a relaxing read.  Today’s post features my interview.

Andy has known me for most of my career.  We’ve “grown up” in this biz together.  In fact, Andy was one of the handful of people in the search marketing industry who understood the benefit of offering usability and user experience practices along with online marketing services.  Twelve years ago, I could count on about seven SEO’s to support my holistic approach to client work.

Screenshot of Beal Deal interviewThe interview covers my thoughts on how usability fits in with Internet marketing, the sale of Cre8asiteforums and why I have so many names.  I hope you enjoy it. If human-centered design and marketing sounds like something you want for your company, contact the good folks at Internet Marketing Ninjas and ask for my help.

Read the interview:

The Beal Deal with Kim Kopp Krause Berg (@kim_cre8pc)

I admit I have way too much fun proving my worth around marketers… like a recent case where the revenue stream was hiding. I asked my boss to find it. Fifteen minutes and many guesses later I couldn’t stand it anymore and I showed him the tiny text link the homepage had that led to where the company expected to earn its revenue. I LOVE moments like this, especially when a client insists they don’t need a usability conversions audit but are more than happy to invest in keyword research.

Beat Your Competition – Ask for User Interface Conversions Testing