Businesses Beware: Mobilegeddon Might Affect Your Google Search Rankings By Lauren Dingus

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Google has many algorithms they use to serve the most relevant search results to you, and they update them around 500 times a year. These updates usually fly under the radar, and do not have any significant impact on the ranking of your business website, but the announcement from Google on Tuesday, April 21 has made everyone’s ears perk up and pay attention as techies warn of a looming “mobilegeddon.”

The effects of this change will influence search results worldwide in a significant way. For businesses, knowing the details of this update can help explain changes in ranking, and the amount of organic search traffic your website receives.

Mobile use officially surpassed desktop use by Americans as of February 2014. This means that potential customers are more likely to search for you via their mobile device than on their computer. Google’s new update will now reward mobile-friendly websites by giving them a higher rank when a search is conducted on a mobile device.

With the majority of your potential customers accessing the internet via tablet or smart phone, not having a mobile solution for your website is no longer an option. And, as the number of screen sizes grow, making your website responsive becomes crucially important to the success of your business.

What is Responsive Design?

Responsive design is the practice of building websites on a fluid grid that adjusts to the screen resolution of any device: smartphones, tablets, laptops and more. Your website will automatically adapt to give potential customers the best viewing experience regardless of what device they are using.

Benefits of Responsive Design

1. Avoid a high bounce rate: 48% of users say that if a website is not responsive, it is a sign to them that the company does not care.

2. Reach more customers: Over half of all local searches are done on a mobile device. Ensure that potential customers are able to easily interact with your site on their mobile device.

3. Better user experience: Have you ever viewed a website where you had to zoom in and scroll around the page to view all of the text and images? How long did you stay on this page before getting frustrated and leaving? A responsive website will give your viewers a pleasant mobile experience by adjusting to their screen size.

4. Convert more viewers into customers: 67% of customers were more likely to purchase products or services from a mobile-friendly website.

5. Save time and money: There is no extra cost of developing and maintaining a separate mobile site, so all of your time and resources can be spent making your company website the best it can be.

6. Avoid duplicate content: Having a separate mobile site will cause you to have the same content repeated twice. Google negatively ranks websites that have duplicate content.

7. Benefit from one URL: When your website is accessible from one URL, it is easier for viewers to find, share, and interact with your website.

8. Google officially recommends responsive site: Google’s Web Master Trends Analyst has gone on record saying responsive websites are easier for Google to crawl and index.

And now, Google has released a significant new ranking algorithm that will not only label your site as mobile-friendly, but will demote your website if it is not mobile-friendly, placing you lower in search results than your mobile-friendly competitors. The algorithm will take a few days to a week to take effect globally.

The fastest way to see if your website is mobile-friendly is to pull up your site on your phone. You can also use Google’s mobile friendly testing tool (https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/) if you are still unsure. This tool will give you a yes or no answer to whether or not Google views your website as mobile-friendly.

Google determines if a page is mobile-friendly every time it’s crawled and indexed. Once you implement a mobile solution, like a responsive design, you can ask Google to re-crawl and index your site, and Google will become aware of the change.

I want to stress though, that while the mobile-friendly change is important, Google will continue to use a variety of qualifications to rank your website. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal. Be assured, if your site contains high quality content that is relevant to what people will search for, then it can potentially maintain a high rank if it is not mobile-friendly.

Lauren Dingus is the web and graphics designer at Speros, responsible for the website development division including high-end graphic design, integrated functionality and security components. For information, contact Lauren at ldingus@speros.com or 912.354.8900

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

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Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Linked to Oral Cancer
By Angela C. Canfield DDS

Nearly two thirds of Americans over the age of 35 have some form of chronic gum infection, also known as periodontal disease or gingivitis. This is particularly concerning when you consider the connection between chronic gum infections and potentially life threatening diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and even some types of cancer. Additionally, every sixty minutes, a person dies from oral cancer. The disease is typically associated with long-term tobacco use, but it is becoming more frequent in young adults who have never smoked, but who may have contracted a common virus.

Besides tobacco use, the risk factors that could lead to oral cancer include DNA abnormalities or family history. But the main cause, especially in young adults who don’t smoke, is the human papillomavirus (HPV), which may be spread by sexually active people through intimate contact. HPV is the leading cause of cervical cancer, which was once the leading cause of cancer deaths for women in the United States. Now that women routinely get PAP tests, which provide early detection of conditions that could lead to cervical cancer, those cancer rates are on the decline. In fact, these days, a person is three times more likely to die from oral cancer than cervical cancer.

To diagnose and treat periodontal infections before they have a chance to cause systematic health problems, dental professionals frequently use a diagnostic test called DNA-Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR).

This is a simple oral rinse collection that takes only thirty seconds, but allows early detection, symptom reversal and even prevention from those diseases. Salivary diagnostics helps obtain precise evidence about periodontal disease and oral HPV. This allows a more accurate diagnosis and determines the most effective treatment options.

Anyone aged 18 and older should be tested annually. It is possible to have oral infections or gum disease and have no warning signs. That is one reason why regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are very important. Good dental care at home is also essential to help keep gum disease from becoming more serious or recurring. Remember to brush your teeth twice a day, clean between your teeth daily, eat a balanced diet, and schedule regular dental visits for a lifetime of healthy smiles.

Dr. Canfield is licensed by the Georgia Board of Dentistry and the National Board of Dentist. She owns and practices at two dental offices: Premier Dental Designs located in Rincon, GA, and Sandfly Family Dental in Savannah, GA.

Charles Bowen to Present “Top Ten Tips To Make Your Small Business Lawsuit-Proof” on April 23

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Founder of The Bowen Law Group to Speak at Buy Local Savannah Luncheon

(SAVANNAH, GA) Business attorney Charles Bowen has been scheduled to speak at Buy Local Savannah’s April Luncheon. His topic, “Top 10 Tips to Make Your Small Business Lawsuit-Proof,” will focus on what business owners should do to ensure their companies are legal and to protect themselves from personal litigation that could have devastating financial damages. The luncheon will be held Thursday, April 23 from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm at Corleone’s, 44 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., in Savannah. Reservations and advance payment may be made online at www.buylocalsavannah.com.

Founder of the Bowen Law Group in 2012, Bowen has practiced corporate law in Savannah for 20 years. In his presentation, he will review ten important, yet simple and affordable, steps. These include setting up the correct business structure; getting the proper insurance; writing simple, enforceable contracts; ensuring agreements are in writing; and acquiring and filing proper permits and registrations. Bowen will also discuss the importance of including disclaimers in contracts, how to resolve business complaints quickly and directly, and the importance of not cutting any legal corners.

“Buy Local is an nonprofit organization composed of all small business owners who encourage shoppers to buy from local businesses. It is just as important for small business owners to set up their companies legally and properly, as it is for large firms,” said Bowen. “It costs a lot less to spend a few hundred dollars up front for a lawyer to review a contract than to be hit with a lawsuit and have to spend thousands later on.”

Bowen also offers a free downloadable ebook on The Bowen Law Group’s website that explains how form a corporation, LLC or LLP in Georgia. This, along with other practical information for business owners, is available at thebowenlawgroup.com on the “News” tab.

ABOUT CHARLES BOWEN: Based out of Savannah, Charles Bowen is a business attorney who focuses on commercial, banking and manufacturing law and also offers comprehensive mediation services. Bowen attended Mercer University in Macon, Georgia where he graduated summa cum laude with honors in both psychology and political science. Upon graduating from Georgetown University Law Center in 1995, Bowen moved to Savannah and established a corporate law practice. He has received the Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ rating, the highest rating based upon confidential surveys sent to other attorneys. Also, Bowen has been selected by the members of the State Bar of Georgia as one of Georgia Trend’s 12th Annual Legal Elite for December 2014 in two categories: Business Law and Corporate Law. This year marks Bowen’s 20th year in practice as an attorney.

ABOUT BUY LOCAL SAVANNAH: Three Savannah businessmen. Rick Culbreth of Yates-Astro, Remer Lane of Remer Lane Insurance and Martin Sullivan of Sullivan Staffing, formed Buy Local in 1999. They agreed that an association of local firms should mount a comprehensive campaign to encourage shoppers to buy from local businesses. Today, the organization is comprised of some 150 businesses and is recognized as Savannah’s leading advocacy group for locally-owned enterprise. For more information, contact info@buylocalsavannah.com.

CONTACT
Charles J. Bowen, Founder, The Bowen Law Group
912-544-2050
cbowen@thebowenlawgroup.com
thebowenlawgroup.com

MEDIA INQUIRIES
Marjorie Young
Carriage Trade PR, Inc.
912.844.9990
savannahpublicrelations@gmail.com
carriagetradepr.com

Enmark Stations to Sell Paper Icons in Support of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk during the Month of May

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(SAVANNAH, GA) Enmark Stations, Inc. has made a commitment to once again sell paper icons in all 64 of its retail stores in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina in support of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light The Night Walk. The paper icons will be sold from Friday, May 1 to Tuesday, May 31. The paper icons, which can be personalized with the donor’s name, can be purchased for $1 and will be displayed on surfaces inside the Enmark stations. The company has set an aggressive goal to raise $83,706 in support of LLS’s mission to cure blood cancer and help patients and their families. This is a 10% increase over the $76,097 they raised in this same campaign last year. In addition to the paper icons sales, Enmark Stations will hold Full-Service Fridays in Springfield, GA; Tifton, GA; Arden, NC and Bluffton, SC to raise additional funds for LLS. A Full-Service Friday allows customers to pull into the Enmark Store, where members of the Enmark management team will be pumping gas, wiping windows and handing out coupons in hopes of collecting donations. Local radio stations will be broadcasting at each event. Hot dogs, drinks and snacks will be available and donors will be entered to win Enmark cash cards and other prizes. “The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is an organization that is very dear to me,” said Houstoun Demere, VP/General Manager of Enmark. “I lost my mother to leukemia when I was 6 and my sister was 8. It is in her memory and in support of all of those currently fighting leukemia and lymphoma that Enmark is proud to support LLS’ Light The Night Walk.” Enmark was recently honored with a National Partner Award from The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) for their outstanding fundraising support in the 2013 Light The Night Walk campaign. In their first year, Enmark raised an incredible $65,648 to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Savannah’s Light The Night Walk will take place on Friday, October 16 in Forsyth Park. During the event, walkers carry an illuminated balloon along the walk route. Cancer patients and survivors will carry white balloons as “lights of hope,” supporters carry red balloons and those walking in remembrance of someone carry gold balloons. For more information, visit www.lightthenight.org/ga or call 912-436-3280. About The Georgia Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society The Georgia Chapter serves patients with a variety of programs including the Patti Robinson Kaufmann First Connection Program, the Trish Greene Back to School program for children with cancer as well as financial assistance programs which last year provided over $1.45 million to patients statewide. Currently, the Georgia Chapter funds $2.75 million towards research grants in multi-year agreements with Emory Winship Cancer Institute. There were approximately 4,070 new diagnoses for blood cancer in Georgia in 2011. For more information on the Georgia chapter of LLS, please call 800-399-7312 or 404-720-7900 or visit www.lls.org/ga. ABOUT ENMARK STATIONS Founded as Interstate Stations in 1963 by Robert Demere, Enmark Stations, Inc. is a family-run business committed to offering its customers top-notch service and superior products. Today the Savannah-based company, which celebrated its 50-year anniversary in 2013, operates 64 stores in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina that offer high quality and competitively priced gasoline, food and beverages, lottery services and more. Enmark’s gasoline is filtered through a trademarked Double Filtered System, resulting in gasoline and diesel that is clean and 100-percent water-free. Enmark customers can save up to $.10 per gallon by using an Enmark Cash Card, a reloadable stored-value card that can be used directly at the pump. For more information on Enmark Stations, Inc., please call 912-236-1331 
or visit www.enmarkenjoy.com. CONTACT Matt Clements Director of Marketing Enmark Stations MClements@enmarkstations.com MEDIA CONTACT Marjorie Young Carriage Trade PR, Inc. 912.844.9990 marjorie@carriagetradepr.com

The Royce Learning Center Hosting Bourbon and Bowties Fundraiser

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(SAVANNAH, GA) The Royce Learning Center announces the inaugural Bourbon and Bowties with Stevens Hale & Associates as the lead sponsor. This event will be held on Thursday, April 30 from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum, located at 41 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. The evening will spotlight locally sourced bourbon, hand rolled cigars and everything Southern.

Bourbon and Bowties will feature signature cocktails and southern dishes, while guests are invited to enjoy the music of The Chris Thomas Band. The public is invited to attend; tickets are $50.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Royce Learning Center, which offers programs for children and adults struggling with learning differences, literacy, or other academic issues. Royce Learning Center is the oldest established organization in the Coastal Empire serving the entire community who learn differently, want to improve their academic skills, or seek to attain specific credentials/certifications for the workplace.

Stevens Hale & Associates is the lead sponsor for the Bourbon and Bowties event. Other sponsors include Southern Motors Savannah, Savannah Bourbon Co., Erickson Associates, Inc., and Ye Ole Tobacco Shop & Verdery’s Antiques.

For more information on the inaugural Bourbon and Bowties or to purchase tickets, visit https://roycelearningcenter.org/bourbon-and-bowties/.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT ROYCE LEARNING CENTER
Royce Learning Center is the oldest established organization in the Coastal Empire serving the entire community who learn differently, want to improve their academic skills, or seek to attain specific credentials/certifications for the workplace. The mission of Royce Learning Center is to enable children and adults with learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders, and literacy needs to reach their maximum potential educationally, emotionally, and socially by providing comprehensive services. Royce Learning Center seeks to heighten public awareness of the lifelong barriers associated with such disabilities and the interventions available. The Center meets the needs of children and adults with learning differences and literacy needs through its three unique programs: Chatham Academy, The Tutoring Center, and the Adult Community & Education program. For more information, visit https://roycelearningcenter.org/

ABOUT STEVENS HALE & ASSOCIATES
Henry D. Stevens, IV became an insurance broker right out of college, working first for a local agency and then as partner at another firm. In 1981, the veteran broker started Stevens Hale & Associates, which today represents more than a century of combined insurance expertise. One of the foremost firms on the Savannah landscape, Stevens Hale represents three generations of brokers, and a reputation of continuity and longevity that is rooted in the Savannah community. Though the agency has expanded through the years, growing from eight to 22 associates, their commitment has remained an extraordinary dedication to customer service. Stevens Hale understands that insurance is one of the most important investments a person can make. The experienced associates take great professional responsibility in helping customers protect their assets and safeguard against loss. The firm is located at 7391 Hodgson Memorial Drive in Savannah, GA. For more information, call 912.961.4300 or visit www.stevenshaleandassociates.com.

Media inquiries, contact:
Cecilia Russo
Cecilia Russo Marketing, LLC
912.665.0005
info@crussomarketing.com

Mother Daughter Derby Day Chari-TEA to Raise Funds for Local Children’s Hospital

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(SAVANNAH, GA) Matilda Jane Clothing is pleased to announce the inaugural Derby Day Mother Daughter Chari-TEA to be held on Saturday, May 2 at the Savannah Golf Club. Drinks and refreshments will be served from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets are $25, with proceeds benefiting The Next Generation. Keeping in the tradition of Derby Day, guests are invited to wear their favorite hats.

The Next Generation is a volunteer organization founded to benefit The Children’s Hospital at Memorial University Medical Center. The Next Generation’s mission is to foster a positive healthcare experience for children and to further educate parents on children’s healthcare matters through fundraising, volunteer service and educational outreach.

“I wanted to invite mothers and grandmothers and little girls to join me and my daughters for tea,” said Robyn Shirley, Matilda Jane Clothing’s Independent Trunk Keeper and a Team Leader for the Southeast, “I love meeting other families in town and I feel like opening up Matilda Jane’s trunk is the perfect way to honor all Mothers.”

During the Chari-TEA, a trunk full of clothes and fun hats will be available for guests to dress up in and take snapshots at a Matilda Jane photo area. Professional photos will also be available the next day. To purchase a ticket, contact Cecilia Russo at 912.665.0005 or info@crussomarketing.com.

Invitation

Robyn Shirley & her two daughters

Robyn Shirley & her two daughters

MORE INFORMATION ON MATILDA JANE CLOTHING
Matilda Jane Clothing (MJC) was founded by Denise DeMarchis in 2006 as a kitchen table startup that has quickly grown into a national children’s clothing business. Available in girls and adult sizes with designs that are youthful, playful and expressive, the brand’s whimsical approach to texture, pattern and color results in designs that capture the spirit and imagination of childhood. MJC sales are made directly though a Trunk Keeper, a representative who gets to know her customers personally. The exclusive sale of clothing by Trunk Keepers is a direct selling model allowing business opportunities for entrepreneurial women driven by creativity and relationship building. For more information, visit www.matildajaneclothing.com

MORE INFORMATION ON THE NEXT GENERATION
The Next Generation strives to brighten the everyday lives of children and their families during their stay at The Children’s Hospital at Memorial University Medical Center. The organization seeks to create a warm and cheering atmosphere in the hospital to bring comfort to sick children and their families during such a difficult time. Their mission is pursued by providing 100% of our net funds raised through events and corporate and member contributions to support The Children’s Hospital’s equipment needs, services, and programs. The Next Generation is dedicated not only to fundraising, but to volunteer service and meeting the community’s pediatric educational needs.

For more information, contact:
Robyn Shirley
Team Leader & Trunk Keeper
Matilda Jane Clothing
843-384-3842
robyns@matildajaneclothing.com

Media inquiries, contact:
Marjorie Young
Carriage Trade PR
912-844-9990
marjorie@carriagetradepr.com

Friends Of Music Puppet Program Performs at Port Wentworth Elementary School

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(Port Wentworth, GA) On Tuesday, March 31, the Savannah Friends of Music performed their Puppet Program at Port Wentworth Elementary School for the Kindergarten classes. The purpose of the Puppet Program was to introduce children to Classical Music.
In the show, there was a conductor named Tagenhorst and a detective named, Sherlock. Sherlock was on a mission in search for his favorite musical sound and Tagenhorst was searching for the Concert A Note. Sherlock and Tagenhorst decided to help each other and met musical instruments along the way. Each instrument represents the string, brass, woodwind, and percussion sections in a symphony orchestra. The musical instrument puppets were a Viola, French Horn, Oboe and Xylophone, and were created by puppet designer, Angela Beasley.  In the end, the conductor found the Concert A Note and the detective found out that his favorite musical sound was made by not just one instrument but, all of the instruments playing together.
At the end of the show, the children received a coloring book, from the SFOM, with drawings of the puppets as an educational material illustrating all the musical instruments of the orchestra. This coloring book was to help reinforce the concepts that were presented.
The entire show ran for about 25 minutes.
There are 12 puppeteers who are all members of Savannah Friends of Music. On March 31, there were 4 puppeteers represented at the Port Wentworth Elementary School. “I have been a puppeteer for 10 years and to see the children’s faces is so rewarding,” said Marie Schueremann, chairman of the Savannah Friends of Music Puppeteers,
“Our goal is to get the children excited about classical music while enjoying the show.”
Started in 2004, the Savannah Friends of Music’s Puppet Program began with Bunnie Ludtke’s suggestion that the SFOM adopt the puppet program developed by the Sacramento Symphony Guild for children in the Savannah area.
For more information or to request a performance at your school, visit their website at http://www.savannahfriendsofmusic.com or call 912-355-5601.
MORE INFORMATION ON FRIENDS OF MUSIC
Savannah Friends of Music (SFOM) is a non-profit 501c3 organizaton whose mission is to support, sponsor, and promote classical music programs and music education in the greater savannah area. SFOM was founded in May 2003. The organization has supported the Savannah Music Festival, the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, the Savannah Children’s Choir and Armstrong Atlantic Youth Orchestra. Now in their upcoming 12th year of operation, SFOM’s membership nears 300, and has raised and disbursed over $600,000 in fulfillment of their mission. For more information, visit their website at http://www.savannahfriendsofmusic.com or call 912-355-5601.
Marie Scheuermann
Chair of Savannah Friends of Music Puppeteers
Media inquiries, contact:
Kaitlyn DeLong
CarriageTrade PR