Monthly Archives: December 2016

Dead Simple White-Hat SEO Techniques For New Businesses

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One of the first things new businesses ask themselves when they start up is how they can improve their rankings on search engines. After all, it’s no fun being way down on page 20 for your particular keyword, getting 0.001 percent of total traffic. Many companies look for techniques to quickly boost themselves up the rankings. But the problem with this is that a lot of those techniques aren’t allowed, and if you get punished, you could be penalized for a long time.

The good news is that there is stuff that you can do that it totally legitimate to quickly improve your position. Check out these dead simple white-hat SEO techniques for new businesses.

Copy Adword Ads For Better Title And Description Tags

If you’re selling a product, there’s an excellent chance that there’s somebody else out there on the internet who is selling it too. The bad news is that they got there first, but the good news is that they are now a resource you can use to title your blogs and description tags to get more clicks.

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Some of your competitors will be using Google Adwords, the service that allows them to advertise in Google’s search results for a fee. Because Adwords is expensive, companies invest a lot of time fiddling about with different combinations of words to see which ads attract the most clicks. Often the ads that you see are the result of hundreds of different split tests, where ads are tested against one another to see which is the most effective at grabbing attention. You can use this fact to your advantage, choose titles for your content based on phrases web page in Adwords. In other words, you’re piggybacking on the research and success of the marketing material already out there.

Insert Yourself Into Local Ad Directories

Placing your business in local classified ads is a great way to build links, but the way it benefits business has changed over time. In the past, classified ads were used to generate backlinks to your site, but now these are weighted less strongly in Google’s ranking algorithm. The purpose of classified ads today is to drive specific users to your website and increase engagement. Search engines are a lot more sophisticated than in the past and are interested in the number of people visiting a certain page, as well as how many other websites link to it. Putting your business in a classified ad with a link to your site helps to funnel people through to your webpage increasing your overall presence on the internet.

Curate Content To Emphasize Benefits

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Most of the content that is generated out there on the internet is organized by topic. For instance, think of blogs you’ve read like “top 10 fastest cars” or “top 10 best coffee shops.” These blogs are great for some mild entertainment, but they’re never going to generate the engagement you want because they aren’t organized by benefits. Build blogs around benefits, like “how to get great links for marketing” rather than around topics. You’ll generate more traffic.

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Why You Should Invest In Employee Education and Training

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In order for any business to run smoothly, it’s important to have employees who are motivated and productive. But, when employees are dissatisfied and disengaged with their work, it’s often very difficult for them to find the motivation to produce great results. Because of this, any great business owner knows that investment in their employees is one of the wisest moves that they can make. Recently, surveys have shown that employees who feel that they do not have any opportunities at work or any option for training and progression are more likely to be dissatisfied than others. We’ve listed some of the best reasons for you to invest in training and education for your employees.

Online Degrees

Employee training and education is not always cheap, although you can often get discounted tuition rates if you’re considering paying for your employees to go to university by opting for an online course such as a master of public health from The University of Arizona. Online degrees are often the best option for full-time employees, as they offer enough flexibility for them to continue working whilst they study. Along with that, an online degree usually costs around a third less than an on-campus degree, meaning that everybody can benefit.

In-House Training

Although paying for your employees to do a degree such as an MPH degree is a good investment to make, many employers prefer to handle employee training themselves, as it can be more specific and train employees to handle different areas of the business. Providing ongoing training to your employees, or even putting in place a scheme that employees can complete in order to achieve qualifications and the chance of landing a higher paid position, is a great way to encourage your employees to stay motivated and give them something awesome to work towards in regards to their career.

Return on Investment

Many business owners worry that investing in training for their employees will not pay off. However, this couldn’t be further than the truth. Employee training and development is one of the best investments that any business owner can make, as it usually provides a very high return on investment. Not only will you have employees that are more highly trained and ready to take on more responsibility, investing in training also often leads to employees who are happier and more satisfied at work, more motivated and far more productive – all of which produces great results for your company.

Further Advantages

When it comes to the advantages of offering employee training, there are many which you could enjoy for your business. Along with increased employee satisfaction and better productivity, investing in employee training could also save your business money as your employee turnover is likely to be a lot lower. When employees feel that they are able to work towards their career goals and progress at work, they’re far less likely to leave, creating a more loyal workforce for you and costing you less in hiring and firing.

If you’re thinking of investing in your employees, training and education is the best place to spend your money.

 

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Save Your Customers, Clients And Employees From Trauma

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Are you taking the responsibilities that you have as a business owner seriously? Don’t forget that when you run a company; you are responsible for the safety of your employees. As well as your customers and anyone else that is at all connected to your company. For instance, someone could break into your business, and you could still be responsible for their welfare and safety. That’s why you need to think carefully about how you run your business and whether you can avoid any incidents. There are a few ways to do this that we think you’ll find beneficial. Don’t forget; you need to think about more than physical well-being. For customers, it might be about protecting their finances. You can do this by avoiding any issues with fraud being sourced from your business. For clients, it could be about protecting their reputation. We can look at each of these issues, in turn, to better understand how they should be handled.

Physical Injuries In The Office

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There are numerous ways someone can get physically injured on your business premises. In fact, there are so many, that it’s difficult to make sure you are covering them all. For instance, you will need to make sure that you are checking for any hazards in the office on a daily basis. Anything that is potentially dangerous could ultimately be a hazard that you will need to watch out for. For instance, you might find that there is a flickering bulb in your stairwell. This might not seem like a hazard, but it could make walking downstairs a little more dangerous. This bulb needs to be replaced before someone falls and claims it was because they couldn’t see the steps properly.

Don’t forget that you don’t have to check for these hazards yourself. Instead, you can hire healthy and safety officers to complete the work for you. They will examine your business property on a regular basis and make sure there isn’t anything that could cause harm.

Of course, it may be that it isn’t an employee that gets harmed at all. Instead, you might find that a trespasser is injured. The law is tricky here, but you tend to find if they injure themselves on your property, you are still accountable. Even if they were allowed to enter the premises and that is why physical security needs to be at the highest possible standard. You have to make sure that there is no way anyone can access your business property without your permission. This is particularly important if there are any harmful equipment or dangerous areas in your business premises. We suggest you purchase commercial door hardware for your company. You can get high-quality locks that will guarantee intruders can not break in.

You may also want to look into other more hi-tech forms of security such as CCTV. With CCTV cameras on the property, it will act as a deterrent, preventing intruders even attempting a break in.

Customer Care

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You must be aware of the threat a hole in your business security could have for customers. Don’t forget that as a business owner, you will be keeping a massive amount of sensitive data on customers. If this did fall into the wrong hands, it could be used for fraudulent purposes. You might think that in this situation customers would blame the criminals who committed the fraud. However, banks tend to be able to source a case of fraud directly back to the company that caused it. Due to this, it is often the business with the breach that customers will blame. If this happens, it will be difficult to win back their trust and support. Customers may choose to buy from a different business in future. Others will favor the ‘better the devil you know than the devil you don’t’ response. But you can’t rely on this reaction.

If you want to avoid cases like this hitting your business reputation, you need to be proactive. Make sure that you have the latest tech security in place. This means that you should be using antivirus software as well as encryptions on your systems. You may also want to think about using an IT support team. The idea behind an IT support team is that they will monitor your digital drives for you. They will check to see if there is a threat to your systems on a regular basis. If they do notice something is wrong, they can fix it immediately. IT teams can be expensive, and that’s why most business owners now outsource this issue. Through outsourcing, it’s possible to avoid the high cost while still getting the best protection.

Client Reputation

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This is important for B2B business owners to take on board. When providing a service to another company, you can affect that company’s reputation. Your service or product could shape the perception their customers have of the service that they offer. As such, any failure on your part will fall onto their shoulders. At that point, you will start to lose business clients. You could even find that businesses start to tell other companies not to buy from you.

The best advice that we can offer here is not to bite off more than you can chew. Don’t try to provide a service for customers if you don’t have the resources to do it. Essentially, this is going to lead to you coming up short. When this happens, you will be judged for the failure and the consequences will be severe. You should also be implementing quality checks within your business model. This will ensure that you are providing the best service possible for customers and clients alike. If there’s one piece of advice to take on board here, it’s that quality is more important than quantity. Certainly, it’s a simple lesson but one that many business owners have all but completely ignored.

We hope you see now how important it is to protect your business for the people using it.

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The Risky Business Of Running A Business

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Risk. It’s a word you hear a lot in business. Of course, running a business comes with plenty of risks. Which makes it hard for a lot of business owners to stay afloat, and prevents a lot of potential business owners from starting up. Fortunately, though, most risks can be avoided with clever planning and identification.

When you’re trying to plan for risk within your company, you should perform a risk assessment. This will determine the risks that your company faces, and will give you a solid place to start planning to prevent risks. This can be hard, though. So, this post will go through some of the risk areas you need to be aware of, and how to avoid them. For bigger companies, it’s usually best to get outside help. Enterprise risk management companies can perform risk assessments for you and give you data back with a plan. Obviously, having professional help would benefit even the smallest of companies.

  • Strategic Risk

Obviously, you will already have a solid business plan in place; that spans over the next few years. Your plan details the all of the steps your company is going to make, to become a market leader. But, what if something changes suddenly? Particularly in the world of tech, it’s easy for a business model to fail because popular products change and progress. This is strategic risk.

Sometimes, this risk is unavoidable. But, you can still do something about it. You have to be willing to move away from your original plan. If you’re able to adapt your business quickly enough, you could keep your position in the market. Whereas, if you don’t change a thing, you’ll be left in the dust. A great example of strategic risk damaging a company can be found in Kodak. In 1975, a Kodak engineer invented a digital camera. Unfortunately, because it would be a threat to their film camera market, Kodak decided not to pursue the product. Obviously, digital cameras became the standard. And so, Kodak became bankrupt. If they’d simply adapted to a modern market, they could still be at the top of the foodchain today.

To notice this sort of risk, you have to be observant. Monitor your competitors, as well as the products available. When another company releases something that looks like it could be very popular, it’s worth trying to jump on the bandwagon. Do market research for any product before trying to sell it. Sometimes, even great products don’t leave the shelves.

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  • Compliance Risk

Your company has to be compliant with the laws of the land. But, sometimes laws can change, leaving businesses to fall short. As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to make sure that your business is always operating legally. When a law changes you need to change with it; if you don’t, you could find yourself in a tricky situation. This is compliance risk.

The law is different in every country. And, a lot of the time, if your business ships overseas, you have to follow the rules of those countries as well. This makes it extra important that you work hard to research and know the law. This has to be a constant process. You have to regularly check to make sure that you’re still compliant. As a business, you can’t claim ignorance in court; you’re always responsible, even if you weren’t aware that the law was being broken. Thankfully, you can use a professional to help you manage this risk. They will be able to help you check your current practice, and then monitor it for you throughout the future. Their advice will be from a place of experience and knowledge, so you can always trust that your company is going in the right direction. Obviously, you’re still responsible if something goes wrong, even with the help of a professional. So, you’ve still got some research to do, even if you hire someone. Most companies will give you some sort of compensation if their compliance management solution fails for you.

  • Operational Risk

Everyday your company will rely on internal systems and services to run. Sometimes, though, things go wrong. Whether it’s a power cut stopping your servers from working, or a staff member submitting a payment for much more than intended. These problems are operational risks to your business. They are risks that occur as a result of internal operations, whether it be the people or processes your business uses.

Most operational risks will require an audit to get to the bottom of. You need to scour your business, from top to bottom, to find the risk areas. Say you have a water cooler next to your server power supply. This would be considered a risk because the water could damage the hardware. To avoid the risk, you’d simply move the water cooler. This works for internal processes as well. If your staff have to make payments by cheque, it can be very easy to pay the wrong amount. To get around this risk, you could bring in a new payment system. One with some sort of verification, like an electronic system or simple double check from another staff member. It’s important that you identify these risks early on, as they can become other types of risk, as well. Just like the other types of risk, you can have a professional audit to help you out with your operations.

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  • Financial Risk

Of course, most of these risks all involve the possibility of losing money. But, a financial risk is a risk regarding the actual income and outgoings of your business. Say you’re a construction company that generally relies on having one or two large clients at a time. If one of your current customers fails to make a payment, you could be in trouble. The risk on your side comes from allowing the customer to make the payment after the work. But, obviously, this is unavoidable in some cases.

One of the best ways to avoid financial risk is to always have a contract with those you work with. The contract should specify exact numbers for things like deadlines, payments, and interest. This way, if someone fails you, you can still take legal action. This risk covers any sort of change to your company’s income or outgoing, so it’s very broad. It’s worth having a professional have a look at your company to evaluate the financial risk you’re taking on.

  • Reputational Risk

One day, you post a controversial status on social media, for your company. A lot of people see the post and a lot of people really don’t like it. As a result, these people are much less likely to buy from you in the future. Plus, they could even start to spread word of your bad reputation. This is a reputational risk, one that needs to be avoided.

In business, your reputation is everything. If you have a widely recognized bad reputation, you’ll struggle to draw in customers and make sales. A lot of your reputation is built up by how you treat your customers. This extends to sales, customer support, social networking, advertising, and accurate marketing. Lying to customers or forgetting to ship orders is a bad idea. But, so is taking too long to reply to a customer. This sort of risk can be easily managed in-house. You just have to make sure that you’re polite, don’t lie to people, and treat your customers like royalty.

All of these risks can be handled with a small amount of clever planning. It’s worth investing in your risk management early on, to avoid large problems in the future. But, remember, there’s no point if you’re not going to work at making a difference. Good luck, and enjoy living risk-free!

 

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