This is “About” AI – But It’s Really About People
In SEO Trends 2024, we dive deep into the realm of AI, but ultimately, AI is not the star of the show – you are. The human touch is still crucial when adopting AI into your strategy, and this ebook highlights the importance of working alongside it rather than relying on it as a human replacement.
“Helpful” Is A Bigger Word Than You Think
In 2024, Google will change the game with a redefined meaning of “helpful.” Inside, we explore how the definition of “helpful” content and websites is expanding and the impact of updates.
Here are some key insights:
- Google assesses the value and helpfulness of your entire site, so make sure your website has a clear and unique value.
- Engage with generative AI and understand how it works before you try to fight it.
- “Expertise” will be a key differentiating factor – insights and original data attributed to authors with names.
Prepare For Search Generative Experience With “Search Experience Optimization”
The experimental phase of Google’s SGE is causing ripples of anticipation and anxiety in the industry. But the key is being discoverable by generative AI, and knowing when to be its ally and when to be its enemy. Here’s what you really need to know:
- AI in search will upset performance for entire groups of queries, data gathering, and potentially the balance between the platforms.
- Search success may come down to being discoverable by generative AI and finding as many opportunities as possible to surface your brand to users.
Prepare For Disruption: Keep Calm, Educate & Move Quickly
Disruption is on the horizon, but while models for driving business goals may change, the essence of how people search for information remains consistent. The following will be crucial elements in navigating this dynamic landscape moving forward:
- Understanding a user’s true intent must guide you – spam and thin results are dying.
Don’t forget about technical SEO – keeping a tidy site can also help insulate you from ruthless core updates.
- Use AI strategically to give yourself more time for big-picture thinking.
Google uses a combination of algorithms and ranking factors to determine their
search engine results page. Every few months, Google comes out with a new
update, changing the way sites are ranked. Most updates are so slight that they go
completely unnoticed, but this update has been in the works since December of
2020. Because of the larger time period between updates, it will have a greater
impact on website visibility. To ready your site for the potential changes, it is
important to keep a watchful eye on your keyword visibility and frequently check
your core web vitals score using Google PageSped Insights. Keep reading to learn
more about what will be included in Google’s most recent update and how to
remain competitive in a constantly updating world.
What will be included in the update?
The new update will consider multiple user and page experience signals and Core
Web Vitals. Mobile and user experience are becoming more and more important
with each update, and this update is no different, but the most notable change is
the introduction of Core Web Vitals. Core Web Vitals include a set of three elements
that successfully measure user experience, interactivity, and general page speed.
These three elements are Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). For the first time in JB Systems history, we will be
including these core web vital metrics in our Monthly SEO Reports.
- ★ Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is the time it takes a site to load it’s largest
image or text block. It ensures that the viewer is seeing all content at a timely
pace. Google recommends an LCP of less than 2.5 seconds.
- ★ First Input Delay (FID) measures the time from when a user first interacts with a
page (i.e. when they click a link, tap on a button) to the time when the
browser is able to begin processing the interaction. Since a delay in the
processing of the website interaction is bad for user experience, Google
recommends an LCP of less than 100 ms.
- ★ Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) measures the unexpected movement of
elements on a site. A layout shift occurs any time a visible element changes
its position from one rendered frame to the next. When done wrong, these
unexpected shifts are often annoying to the consumer and will lead to a high
bounce rate. Google recommends having a CLS score (layout instability) of
In anticipation of the update, JB Systems has been monitoring Core Web Vitals on
our Advanced and Standard SEO Clients and have been working on site-wide
improvements that will maintain our client’s competitiveness. To learn more about
what you can do to improve your site’s Core Web Vitals, send us an email at
firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to answer any additional
WTA Exclusively Endorses JB Systems for Website Services
The Wisconsin Towns Association is excited to announce JB Systems as the “exclusively endorsed” provider for town websites!
Town officials are familiar with the WTA Recommended Service Provider Program. Through this program we thoroughly vet town service vendors and determine if they provide the product quality that prompts us to recommend them to gown governments. It’s like an “Angie’s List”, and much like Angie will put her stamp of approval on multiple plumbers, we will often recommend multiple providers of the same service.
The WTA also has the Exclusive Endorsed Provider Program. On rare occasion, through this program we choose to recommend a single provider of a particular service. JB Systems is only our second ever exclusively endorsed provider! By exclusively endorsing them, the Wisconsin Towns Association is communicating to town and village officials that we feel JB Systems is the best of the best. They are the Green Bay Packers of football; the 1980 Men’s Olympic Hockey Team, and the 1999 Women’s Soccer World Cup Team – all in one. If your town needs a website or would like to revamp an existing one, we feel that JB Systems is by far the choice you should make. There is no second place.
You are likely wondering who JB Systems is and what assets they possess that influenced the Wisconsin Towns Association to exclusively endorse them. We’ll get to those in a minute, but first let me ask a favor of you.
Over the next 6 months, JB Systems will be collaborating with the WTA to accomplish a number of tasks leading up to an early autumn launch of their services for towns. A few of those tasks include: developing the WTA website; holding focus groups with town clerks to determine what is needed to make great town websites; developing several website models; and collaborating with WTA to create the most appropriate pricing/quality structure. Both JB Systems and the WTA want to get this right, and that will take some preparation time. So, if you are thinking about developing or updating your website, I would ask that you wait for 6 months and take a look at JB Systems. I’m 100% confident you’ll like the engine under the hood.
Who Is JB Systems?
JB Systems is a home grown, Eau Claire, Wisconsin-based and nationally-recognized web, graphic design and database engineering company that specializes in developing eye appealing, high functioning, easy-to-use, cost competitive websites. They have been in the business nearly 20 years, almost since the inception of the internet. Their 17+ developers and designers work in downtown Eau Claire and have been awarded 40+ American Web and Graphic Design Awards since 2011. In 2008, they were recognized in Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the Top 10 Most Dependable Website Developers in the Central United States. Even better, in 2017, CIO Review Magazine tagged them as one of the top 20 most promising web development countries in the entire country.
Why JB Systems – Top 5?
Certainly the many aforementioned awards are impressive. It truly shows JB Systems practices DWYSYWD – do what you say you will do. They told customers they would provide an exceptional product, and they obviously did exactly that. You don’t get to be top 20 in the country if you don’t.
But, there were a plethora of factors besides awards that drove our decision to exclusively endorse JB Systems.
First, in government we have to be exceptionally careful about security. For those of you that attended District Meetings, you heard me talk about a Wisconsin village that was recently hacked, had their finance and election information stolen, and was forced to pay a ransom to retrieve that data. In considering security, we wanted to make sure JB Systems wouldn’t make a town work with foreign workers. They won’t!
Many web development firms enhance their profit margins by exporting American jobs to foreign workers. Those workers are often not vetted and seldom visited by the American based company to see if they have the character and integrity towns deserve.
We also wanted to ensure server security and back up. Well, they have all kinds of fancy stuff described with five dollar words that won’t burden you with. But, I will say they harden already high security servers with additional software and apply Triple Layer SpamAssassin. Yeah… I just wanted to write that. Seriously though, this is high security. They use the same off-site servers (you want multiple sites to cover you in case of disaster) as Bose Speakers, the Chicago Tribune, and Campbell’s Soup’s projects. In fact, JB Systems’ servers outperform servers leased by Amazon!
Second, they are not a one person shop. With the invention of a software called WordPress, almost anyone who is a little computer savvy can become a website developer. After WordPress hit the market, the number of one person web firms exploded. Here’s the problem with a one person web firm, – what happens if they go away tomorrow or, unfortunately, an accident occurs? What are you going to do now? JB Systems has several employees. If one person goes down, there are many more waiting in line.
Third, JB Systems uses a custom format. They do not use an open source format. OK Mike, but what does that mean? WordPress is an open source format, which means many of the bells and whistles on a WordPress site are exactly the same throughout the world.
What’s wrong with that?
Let’s say you have a calendar on your website. In an open source format, the calendar was likely developed using something called a plug-in. That same plug-in created a calendar on thousands of websites throughout the world. The coding behind that plug-in is the same in every instance. This creates an environment of never-ending plugin updates and a constant requirement of website owners to keep them up-to-date. We wanted to present a solution (and user experience) better than that.
Open source formats are fast, easy, and cheap, but we feel plug-ins are risky. JB Systems customizes that coding for your website.
Fourth, JB Systems provides out of this world customer care. Yes, they will provide great customer service, but our opinion is that they will care for you much like you care about local government and democracy. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t have a 95%+ retention rate among their clients. And to top it off, if you have a question, the person you talk to will have a familiar northern Wisconsin accent.
Finally, JB Systems is cost competitive. I’m sure you’re dying to know how they can be cost competitive when they are a top 20 company in the country. And, you are probably itching to know the prices. Let me say this, the power of bringing 1,000+ potential customers comes with some pricing advantages that WTA has leveraged. As for specifics, I hate to keep you on the edge of your seat, but that’s for another day. In the meantime, if you’re planning anything regarding your website, as my Mom used to say, I’d ask you to please hold your horses until the early Fall.
Mike Koles – Executive Director
Wisconsin Towns Association
You never know where a spontaneous conversation will lead. For JB Systems owner, Jerry Bauer, and Black River Falls High School principal, Tom Chambers, a chance encounter on a sailboat last October created a unique opportunity to introduce high school students to the world of programming.
“We just happened to land on the same sailboat,” says Tom. “In the process of skimming over Lake Pepin, we struck up a conversation about the needs in the IT area, the potential in our youth to fill those needs, and how we could work together make it happen.”
Their answer came in the form of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Non-traditional Occupations Focus grant. Since applying for (more…)
Often times your website is a potential customer’s first impression of your company. That being said, if you’re a business in the 21st century, you absolutely need a website. Since you need a website, you might as well have a handcrafted, award-winning website. That’s why our team at JB Systems puts so much time and effort into researching your company and industry design trends. We don’t just build websites 一 we create a beautiful, handcrafted solution that expresses your brand. (more…)