The Most Common SEO Mistake of Company Websites.

One of the fun activities we do at our SEO Seminars is the “60-second Web-o-Rama.” During these 60 seconds one lucky (or unlucky) participant allows me to critique their website on the big screen, in front of everyone. I basically pretend like the participant is not in the room, and I ramble off what I think about the optimization of their site in a 60-second rant.

In over a year conducting these seminars (about 30 of them in total so far) I have noticed that the most common SEO mistake that people make is putting their company name as the first thing in their index Page Title Tag.

The index page (e.g. your home page) title tag (definition/description below) is your first and best chance to tell the search engines what your page is all about. Don’t use this as an opportunity to tell the search engine who you are (they already know that). A much more effective use of this precious real estate is to tell what you are and/or what products/services you offer.


The title tag is easily found by looking at the top-left of the browser. The above image is’s index page title tag.
Or, you could look at the HTML code… in this case, it looks like this:

<title>Strategic Website Design Firm and E-Commerce Website Company</title>

In general, page title tags should be 50-70 words and focused on your keyphrases (that includes spaces, btw). One more additional hint… every page of your website should have a different title tag (probably the second most common SEO mistake of company websites).

Now that you know… check out your company’s Index Page Title Tag and make the appropraite adjustment!

St. Louis SEO Seminar


Jason Lavin (GoldenComm's CEO) currently in action at the SEO seminar in St. Louis

Jason, expert and guru of Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing, hosts another seminar.  Currently, he is teaching about ad verbiage and landing pages, and how that plays in Google AdWords and Analytics tracking.  Today’s SEO seminar is hosted at The Charles Knight Center at Washington University, in St. Louis, Missouri.  The town is terrific, the facility is STUNNING, and the weather could not be better for us!

Check out Golden Communication’s next SEO Workshop and Register today!

GSC’s Holiday Party!

Welcome to 2009 everyone! It’s back to work, full force.

GSC had our annual holiday party at Flemings Steakhouse, where amongst the Filet Mignon, Prime Rib, Lobster, wine, and deserts, we all shared some great laughs and celebrated our amazing 2008 year together. At Golden State, we definitely work hard, but we know when it’s time to let loose a little! The GSC team has one full new year ahead of us – E-commerce websites to develop, SEO and SEM strategies to continue, Blogging, Programming, Strategic Website Designs – oh it’s going to be an exciting one!

Also present at the GSC’s Holiday Dinner was Randy Bergstedt, VP of Marketing at Star Trac. We invited Randy to be our “special guest” at the dinner for being a great client, and to celebrate a new 2.0 initiative that GSC and Star Trac will be working on together in 2009.

A GREAT surprise we all received was from Jason. We all got to choose from a selection of UGG Boots, which were provided by one of our fantastic clients, Dan Goodman of Eilatan.
We really missed a few of the team that were not able to come (MIC, Aaron, Richard and the Clarion team).

GSC wants to thank both Randy Bergstedt and Dan Goodman for being a special part of our holiday party and our company. Happy New Year everyone!

GSC Gets Its PageRank Back

If you study Search Engine Optimization, one important factor is Google’s PageRank of your site.  PageRank (a trademark of Google) is more or less a numeric value (0-10 – 10 being best, zero being worse) that Google awards your site, based on the relevance of the site based on what your site says it is – wow, that’s a mouthful.

You can read more about Google’s PageRank algorithm on or


GSC's PageRank

GSC's PageRank

Every now and then, Google “refreshes” its PageRank rankings (not exactly posted when or how they do this).  Shortly after Thanksgiving, GSC’s PageRank went from “4″ to “zero” – urgh.  Not good for anyone, but especially not good for us, because we actually teach a Search Engine Optimization Seminar – so for us to have a PageRank of zero – is, well, hard to explain.

But, when this happens, know that it’s temporary (if you’re practicing ethical website optimization).  Sure enough, we got an nice year-end boost from Google and our PageRank re-appeared today at a “5″ – a great way to end 2008.

Behind an internet meme

Several months ago, a friend and I built a site based around a very nerdy inside joke we had at work. A code issue that web designers often face is making a layout work in all browsers using only CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). Using CSS is the standard, proper, acceptable way to create a website’s layout. An out-dated method of creating websites’ layouts involves a bit of HTML called a table. Tables, for all their clumsiness, tend to work more consistently across browsers than CSS. Tables also do things like vertically align content to the bottom of a cell while CSS will only do this in conjunction with JavaScript.

Of course, there’s a huge logical problem with using tables for layout: the layout of a site is not actually tabular data. And we coders don’t like that bit of bad logic. Also, while tables solve the initial layout problem, they are significantly harder to update.

That said, there often comes a time while coding a site when a designer might entertain the wish to give up and use tables. So we made a site based around that frustration we felt when browsers wouldn’t obey our CSS. Brian created a flash widget that gives a designer 47 minutes to wrestle with CSS. After that time, the widget buzzes and provides the table code for the designer to use.

The whole thing was a joke that we just got bored enough to execute. But here’s where the story gets interesting… After sitting dormant for 9 months, suddenly someone found the site. And not just someone but a very popular code blog called Ajaxian. In one day the site’s visitors leapt from 0 to 400. The next day the site was picked up by a reddit user. At the end of the day, we had about 35,000 visitors.

The Google Analytics graph tells the story:

Impressive, huh?

More impressive is that within one day my Google Page Rank shot up to a 5. And while the instant popularity of the site caused envy in my friends who wished their sites could get 35,000 visitors in one day, I knew it wouldn’t last. Friends encouraged me to put Google Ads on the site, make t-shirts, anything. “This could be another dramatic hamster, Todd!”

But I declined. Give Up and Use Tables is a pretty pure form of internet meme. It’s a site that does one thing — execute a really nerdy joke. We had our day — literally one day — and that was it.

Or to put it another way:

The long graph shows the decline and fall:

It was a fun 24 hours. Golden State even received several referrals from the wave of traffic that hit the site. There are some lessons to draw from this on internet trends, viral marketing, and link-sharing. But I’m still basking in the fun of our joke entertaining so many people (and even inciting real argument). And while Brian and I might have let the domain lapse and the site disappear, Golden State has taken over hosting and will keep it as a geeky museum piece.

So if you’ve ever felt cross-browser frustration with CSS, feel free to succumb to your urge and Give Up and Use Tables.

Orange County’s HOT 25

Steve Churm and crew put on a great event at The Island Hotel in Irvine on Wednesday night for Churm Media’s annual “HOT 25″ event.  Churm Media is one of GSC’s favorite clients and we have been working with them for the last two years.  Currently, GSC helps Churm Media with seven web properties,,,,,, and

Steve Churm and Jason Lavin at HOT 25


Way to go Churm Media… LOVE the energy that you bring to Orange County Business!




AspDotNetStorefront + Google Chrome = One fast store!

Google’s new browser, Google Chrome, launched this week.  Is your website compatible?  Our storefronts, powered by AspDotNetStorefront, are not only compatible, they are blazing fast. with Google Chrome

Ouch on IndyMac Bank

The IndyMac collapse making national headlines is a bit surreal for the team at Golden State Communication because IndyMac was one of our largest customers about 3 years ago.

I can remember several times heading up to Pasadena to meet with department heads (marketing folks, IT folks) to further enhance our on-line 1003 wizard (a loan application) and backend integration to their LOS (loan origination system).  Boy, have times changed.

We hope the best for the employees let go this week, as well for those left to try to rebound.  I understand the FEDs will be in Monday… it will be interesting to see exactly how this plays out.

As for the GSC front, thank goodness for diversification


Who’s buying Windows XP?

CNet wonders if Mac users are buying all the remaining copies of Windows XP.

Are you getting in line for an iPhone?

If you are, you may see one of Golden State’s geeks there with you. About one-third of our company will be in front of a store on Friday morning at 8am awaiting the 3G iPhone.

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