January 18 Meeting: Optimizing the Googleability of Your Content
Saturday, 31 December 2011

Despite our best efforts at developing user assistance, it is increasingly likely that your users will turn to Google for answers to question about your software. The success Google has in providing quick answers to difficult questions has made it a natural resource for help with software - even if the software provides tutorials, online help, FAQs, forums, and e-mail support. Since this trend will probably continue, we need to learn how to "embrace the beast".

There are a number of things you can do to improve your Googleability without too much time and money. This session describes how Google indexes information and what you need to do to be visible, how to use search engine optimization techniques (including the use of sitemaps and metadata), how writing styles affect indexing, and what other search engines you may want to support.

Search engine optimization is not just the realm of consumer web sites and marketing folks. The importance of visibility on the web means that all of us need to have a working understanding of how search engine work. More importantly, we need to understand how to make that work for us and our content.

You Will Learn

  • The importance of getting your content on a public-facing server and the challenges in doing so
  • How Google indexes information and delivers it to search queries
  • How to add a variety of search engine optimization techniques to your content production
  • The importance of supporting social networks and mobile devices
This session is designed for content developers of all experience levels. A basic understanding is required of web markup and the client/server process. No specific understanding of tools is required.

 

About the Speaker:

Joe Welinske is the president of WritersUA. WritersUA is a company devoted to providing training and information for user assistance professionals. The WritersUA/WinWriters Conference draws hundreds of attendees each year from around the world to share the latest in user assistance design and implementation. The free content on the WritersUA web site attracts over 20,000 visitors each month. Joe has been involved with software documentation development since 1984. Joe recently published Developing User Assistance for Mobile Apps. He has also taught online Help courses at the University of Washington, UC Santa Cruz, and Bellevue Community College. Joe received a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Illinois in 1981, and a M.S. in Adult Instructional Management from Loyola University in 1987. Joe was the President of STC Puget Sound Chapter from 2006-2008 and served as Membership Director for the Puget Sound Chapter of the Usability Professionals Association in 2010.