CPC

NCCCS A+GD Program Next Steps

Posted on Updated on

On 2/24/19, I attended the North Carolina Community College Fine Arts Conference Session NCCCS A+GD Program Next Steps at the Meroney Theater in Salisbury, NC moderated by Dr. Brian Morris of Catawba Valley Community College

Rather than a Professional development session, this was more of an Informal conversation. What do we want to capitalize on before we leave? Contact information will be a great step. Brian Morris will moderate and we can formalize and capitalize on resources.

We would like to bring the AFA back and increase the number of articulation agreements. We are tangentially related by adopting the ART track and GRD/GRA track. Where are these going to go? DME digital media technology program. Pasteup, Stat Camera are gone. Design thinking and UX is important now. Is it research, data analysis, storytelling? Is it software only? Managing this for articulation is important. AFA in visual art transfers, but our materials do not.

What should we discuss? Formalization requires contact and available people. We can decree today by consensus to be a group with standard boilerplate bylaws. Many people are on board. We want to talk about officers and facing the magnitude of challenges that the AFA faced. Creating the articulation agreements with universities may be difficult. CCP is difficult. We have a draft of the bylaws, and we’d like to get people together.

Does the A+GD degree name need to change? Does it mean what it used to mean? Are we media directors now? Is it digital Media. Having 15hrs of DME entitles you to a Digital Media Technology degree, and the other 50+ hours can be anything! To keep a healthy A+GD program means the needs must continue to move forward. We are working under old descriptions, but we are teaching the skills and methods we wish to teach. Do we want to push that? We find that there are formally 6 GRD Programs in the UNC System.

Articulation may be an issues if faculty do not have masters degrees in Graphic Design. There are some classes with UI/UX which need to be built and added. Some classes are still tlaking about pagemaker and/or coreldraw. These are topics to keep in mind moving forward.

Are masters degrees required? There are multiple degrees with BS, BFA, BA in Graphic Design, or Specialization in Graphic Design. Is business and marketing a good degree to complement the design backgroun? What ideas do we have to address this as a body? Graphic Design degrees are hard to transfer. Portfolios may not be good enough, or 4-year schools don’t want 2-year students. One problem is that the number of contact hours don’t transfer or run into the credit surcharge because they have the wrong credits. A 2-hour class cannot work, but it counts against the number of hours a student has taken which runs afoul of the credit max allowed for the “graduate in 4” system item for colleges.

Is articulation really important? The majority of some populations in some schools are returning 4-year students. The trouble is really the stigma of a 2-year degree holder. Keyword sniffers  block AAS in terms of employment. We are looking for 1-2 students a year. Maybe this is important and maybe its not as important.

What about private college relationships? some have made good deals by speaking with private schools in general? should we work to increase the deals we can make with other schools and examine those?

The idea of “stackable credentials” will be pushed in the future. Its really about the skillpath and job path that students can follow. Industry-specific credentials may be used in the future to out maneuver courses where they already have skills. How can we maintain the go-to credentials? A 4-yr school student who starts at a 2-yr school has a different track in mind. Where are our students going to go? We should focus our core strengths, and determine where we want our students to go and alter our classes based on that pathway.

We don’t want advisors to say “graphic design goes nowhere”. We want them to say “UNC-Charlotte will accept the GRD degree and here’s what credits you’ll get…”

What does this mean? We’ll need to meet once a year or so. WAKE TECH is close to the system office, and can make a nice meeting place which is centralized. The RTP campus outside of Durham is adequate.

Ms. Cobb of CVCC was then voted in as president. Mr. Compton of CPCC was voted in as Vice President. Ms. Holleran of CPCC was voted in as secretary. Ms. Cousar of CPCC was voted in as treasurer. These were all voted in for a 2-year term. At-Large members will need to be chosen. We’ll need representatives for at-large reps from 4-year schools and community colleges. We can continue this conversation during the wrap-up and also set some goals for ourselves and the conference next year.

We were then all invited to CVCC to visit the department and spaces. The meeting was then turned over to the new president, Ms Cobb.

brittany.holleran@cpcc.edu

 

Advertisements

3 SEO Strategies for building a Bigger Online Community

Posted on

At 10:00am on 4/29/2018, I attended3 SEO Strategies for building a Bigger Online Community, Presented by Amanda Gorman of Pressable, at the 2018 Raleigh Wordcamp Convention in the Engineering Building I of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC.

3 SEO Strategies for building a Bigger Online Community

 

WordPress Community: An entity where connection is democratized and ideas are made tangible. The community is a way for us to move from “I just want traffic” to questions like: who are these people, what do they want?

Community = Connections

We started out with the intention: Learn how to boost your SEO to build a bigger community online with 3 simple strategies:

  1. Keyword Research & Organization
  2. Leveraging Competitor Insights
  3. Writing Content that Resonates.

Intended Audience: Web designers, developers, Nonprofits. Beginner

Tending to your garden

LIke a garden, your community needs care on an almost daily basis. This “tending to”is about seeing what’s needed and then providing what is needed. What ideas are you planting in the garden? that really starts with keyword research. Knowing that this is your piece of the landscape.

How do we build a bigger online community

how do we get traffic, more conversions, more conversations? Go down your own path. Be intentional, be aware, build your own trust. These aspects will be so important an answer that you’ll want to push that first.

Be intentional

Keyword Research. This is where the ideas are planted and the SEO strategies start. Why are you doing what you’re doing? Take your time and have direction in what you’re doing. Watch those competitors and place your focus best. Client experience shows that insight into where to start can be incredibly beneficial. The rabbit holes exist, but they are not always helpful.

Core Concepts

Knowing the keywords you want to rank for vs. Knowing the keywords that are being searched. You want to be the go to person for a particular term. Wo, what is that term? The principal often has a big idea. Start with 20 keywords, expand it, then narrow it back down

“Empathy is the starting point for creating a community and takiing action. it is the impetus for creating change” Max Carver.

What does the community want and how can you expand it?

Keyword Research: Seed Keyword

The seed keywords are competitive and its good to get this before you talk with clients.

  • What are your keywords?
    • brand name
    • products or services
    • consider all possible scenarios
    • brandump words associated with your site
  • Example: Garden Center
    • garden supply
    • container gardening
    • gardening tips
    • backyard landscaping
    • gardening gifts

STEP 1: Dump seed keywords into google. See the related search terms. Perhaps you’ve forgotten catalogs, coupons, warehouses, and perhaps some of these you DON’T want to focus on

STEP 2: Working with Seed Terms build a list

  • spreadsheet in google sheets
    • ubersuggest
    • keyword tool
    • google correlate
    • google trends
    • soovle
    • answer the public: This is a great tool. When you see the same questions here you’re asking or hearing, its great to

Objective: Tap into  long-tail keyword phrases athat are specific to your audience, their needs, desires and pain-points. Remember: Seed Keyword + Modifier = Long-tail Keyword

Using tabs with Seed Keywords, we fill in the modifiers and use that to fill in the content for your site.

 

Keyword research: Google Keyword planner & The Doc

Enter your keyword findings into google Keyword Planner

  • Keyword
  • clicks
  • impressions
  • cost
  • click through rate
  • average CPC

Your seed keywords are going to be the most competitive. IDentify how much people are willing to spend. Copy/past the information into the spreadsheet

A massive document is overwhelming. Make it clear and concise.

Competitor analysis: be aware

its spying a little bit, but its more about market research, how you’ll become an authority in your niche. Its not a negative. understand your competitors so you can provide what’s missing. What can you provide that they are not?

MOZ bar is a free tool. Plug in your keyword to google, turn on the moz bar

  1. enter keyword
  2. look for one or more below
  3. review quality of content
  • pages with <20PA and DA. if less than 20, you can do a good job and get ranked!
  • ezine articles
  • yahoo! answers
  • ehow.com
  • buzzle
  • squidoo lenses
  • hubpages
  • ebay
  • wordpress.com
  • blogspot (or other free blog)
  • spammy press release sites

Let’s Have a Look at the Moz bar in action

High page authority means you won’t sneak in there. You’re not trying to beat the whole domain, you’re really only trying to have value for a specific page.

page authority are a lot lower here. This would be a great work to focus on. Gettting on the list will take time and effort, but find the gaps where you’ll fit in

Content Writing: Build Trust

have a trust mindset to build that copy. Forget the mindset of what you want, and build a connection and build trust. Be a place people can visit to get the answers they want fully and wholly.

Tips for success:

  • Write freely first
  • Use your target keyword at the beginning. don’t use more than 3 times, but have document open to the terms page, and include the related search terms, and don’t overuse or push that content or overstuff.
  • Keep your sentences concies
  • Include images, charts, videos and lists. People are also visual learner.
  • Create comprehensive content. This is key.  Rather than provide information overload with a short reply, be comprehensive. Give a full comprehensive report on each additional item

Improve Click-through rate

Quora & Udemy shows that there is a question and a need. Look at structure of content, and get inspired on how you might approach the subject. What’s missing? What questions have been asked which you can elaborate on, answer easier.

Add modifiers to your titles:

  • How to
  • the current year
  • review
  • best
  • fast
  • checklist
  • guide
  • tipseasy
  • simple
  • Use a number

Include bucket brigades: Add these headlines between content in an effort to re=catch the reader:

  • Here’s the deal
  • now
  • whats the bottom line
  • you might be wondering
  • this is crazy
  • it gets better/words
  • but here’s the kicker
  • want to know the best part?

The better you understand the content and the audience, the better you become and your website becomes. Keep People coming back to get that killer content.

Question & Answer

Content Length for a post?

500 minimum, but 1,000+ is better. better to write more and publish less than publish often but keep people reading than to publish often and not enough content

How to assist our customer?

Here’s what competitor does. it looks like… if you write this… dive deep into the specifics, and ask what they want to write about. Help them pick down to 5-10 key terms.

How much time should we expect to take building this list?

2 weeks of time. depending on the number of tabs.30 tabs might take  6 hours. Many clients only take 2 hours. From that step, its time to push the data and see how the trends show up.

What if I’m notified of a Keyword overload?

If you have too much, consider related words. Use google keyword suggest to pull secondary words and use those in the place of the oft-repeated term

What if you’re just getting started?

make connections with related industries. Life coach might find doctors and psychologist to connect with. Find a voice unfound and press into that niche. Be consistent with writing and promoting.

Other Suggestions

Brian Dean of Backlinko

 

See the whole slide deck at: speakerdeck.com/amandagorman/3-seo-strategies-for-building-a-bigger-online-community

 


Amanda Gorman

Amanda Gorman helps nonprofits and wellness-based businesses build thriving online communities. As a Customer Success Coordinator at GiveWP she works diligently each day to assist nonprofits in growing their communities and receiving more donations online to make a bigger impact in the world. As an SEO consultant, she’s passionate about tending to the internet like a gardener would tend to their garden, so it can become a safe and fun place to connect again. Amanda uses her SEO superpowers to help her clients better understand their purpose, their audience, and how to better reach their people. Amanda is in love with her husband Casey, her nephew Jackson, and their dog Topanga whom all live together in Rochester, New York.