List Of Important Factors That Affect The SEO Ranking
28 May 2018 | 1:30 pm

SEO Ranking Factors
With more than 200 signals or components, Google algorithm is no joke! Yes, this list is no doubt impressive, but it can turn out to be rather daunting for a human to spend only 24 hours a day for this process. However, SEO can prove to be rather helpful in this regard. It is more like getting everything right and also to set forth your priorities accordingly. But, you need to be extra careful while working on the best ranking factors, which can affect SEO to a great extent. Once you get a glimpse of it, there is no chance of making a mistake.


1. Let's start with backlinks:

Even in this year 2018, backlink seems to hold a strong position in your SEO Ranking. It happens to be the strongest indication of Google's authority, even now! Before you head for the backlink, you are cordially invited to break things down a bit.

  • You may be wondering how Google can turn the vague concept of backlink into promising ranking signal. In multiple patents, it has been addressed that calculation of link score takes place. This score is followed by quality score individually of the incoming links along with link numbers to the site.

  • On the other hand, anchor text relevant is yet another part of the back linking source. Anchors are designed to inform Google about your page more and what rank it deserves. But before you head for this norm, you need to remember a bit about Penguin. That will help you to keep anchors diversified and even quite natural.


2. Quality of the content:

Google has done well in improving its algorithm lately, mostly after the Hummingbird update. It now clearly understands your content structure. There are some useful articles available to offer rewards value for better rankings. All the poorly made affiliated options might find it hard to get the right ranking. Robust websites are much more in vogue these days, known to publish detailed guides and tutorials. For higher ranking, your articles need to be worth reading by potential customers or online browsers.


3. Mobile-based first user experience:

It was in the year 2016, when Google turned its working notion towards mobile first indexing. It shows that Google's index is now crawling much more towards website's mobile versions.

  • So, mobile optimization happens to be a promising ranking factor for sure. Most of the top 10- visible domains are known to be mobile friendly in nature, as per the statistics from SearchMetrics.

  • Your content needs to be absolutely responsive on various mobile platforms. To top it all, it needs to be identical to desktop's content. You even need to bother a bit about URLs SEO friendly to hike up your present ranking to an all-new level.

  • Recent studies clearly state that around 85% of the website are focusing towards mobile-friendly versions to make way for their presence in front of Google. So, the time has come to start improving your website now!


SEO Tips: List of Best Ranking Factors


4. Make way for technical SEO:

The technical sector of your site is rather crucial to be honest. It comes with two major factors, which deal with the ranking source well.

  • It all starts with the page speed. According to Google, your page should load within a speed of 2 seconds or even less. This speed leads to the best-ranking signal. Speed can also lead to huge impacts on UX with slower pages having more bounce with lower conversion rates.

  • The next stop got to be mobile-friendliness. If you don't have mobile versions of your page, it will lead to no value from the mobile users at all. As half of the queries are generated from mobile users, therefore; you need to put up with this notion in years to come. So, without wasting time, it is time for mobile-first indexing, right away!


5. Content updates are there to help:

Google makes it a point to check on your updating frequency. If you have an old content for too long, then you are practically murdering your rank with your own hands.

  • It uses metrics for determining if your website is still up and running.

  • Your site will definitely deserve a lot of credit while publishing articles frequently.

  • Google will start highlighting dates for the searches where dates play a pivotal role.


6. Check out the encryptions:

SearchMetrics recently confirmed that around 45% of leading websites are currently using HTTPs encryption, which has been up by 12% since 2015. Even Backlinks can find a positive connection between first ranking websites in Google and HTTPs websites. In the year 2014, Google clearly confirmed that websites with higher HTTPs will have a better ranking in the future.

So, if you really want your business to reach for the sky, you have to follow these points. Once you have settled for the best rankings in major search engines like Google, there is no looking back from there on!


About The Author: Brandon Graves is a WordPress developer at HireWPGeeks in the USA and manages the services for html to wordpress conversion. He also shares his articles with tech savvy peoples to help them in the form of tips and tutorials. Follow him on Facebook to get instant updates.

Did you find this article helpful? Please let Brandon and myself know by leaving us your valued comments in the comments section below.

Would you like to guest post on the blog? Please use the Contact tab above to get in touch if you write business-related articles or articles on the topics of Internet Marketing, Affiliate Marketing, Social Media Marketing/Optimisation (SMO), Blogging, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) or Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

Related articles:
How Facebook Can Help Your Website SEO
The Recent Google Update: What This Means For You
How Twitter Can Help Your SEO
Mobile-Friendly Site Designing: Things You Shouldn't Be Doing

For a full list of helpful articles on SEO, use the following links:
https://www.derekjones.co/search/label/SEO
https://www.derekjones.co/search/label/SEO%20Tips


If you found this or any of my other posts helpful, don't forget to share the posts to your favourite networks using the toolbar on the left-side of the screen or by using the "Share" buttons located at the bottom of each post.

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You can also follow me on Twitter @djones1509, Google+ and on Facebook at:
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Until my next post, best of luck with your SEO efforts!


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Minerals-Water Limited: How NOT To Treat Your Customers
21 May 2018 | 1:30 pm

Minerals-Water Limited
I've been blocked by a seller on eBay for simply enquiring as to why I had not received the replacement product they promised. Yes, you read that right - a seller trading as Minerals-Water Limited has blocked me on eBay for simply enquiring about a replacement product. What kind of seller treats its customers in this way!

Minerals-Water Limited is a UK company based in Purfleet, Essex who supply food additives, health and beauty, weight loss and detox products, sport supplements, water filtration systems, chemicals and packaging. As well as having a website (minerals-water,co.uk), they also have storefronts on eBay and Amazon where they sell their products.


Minerals-Water Limited Website


It all started late last year when I ordered 500ml bottles of pharmaceutical grade Propylene Glycol (PG) and Vegetable Glycerine/Glycol (VG) from Minerals-Water for doing my own e-liquid mixes. As a smoker for more than 30 years, I now use vaping as a substitute for smoking which I've been doing for the past two years since giving up the cigarettes.

When I received the two items a few days later, I noticed that the VG had a very short shelf-life of just 6 months compared to the PG which had a normal 12 months shelf-life. Having a 6-month shelf-life is very unusual as these products from other sellers usually have a shelf-life of 12-18 months. Having a long shelf-life on these products is very important as anyone who mixes their own e-liquids will tell you.

When I contacted Minerals-Water on eBay to ask why the VG had a short shelf-life, they blamed it on the supplier. I asked if the VG stock was old stock given the difference between the shelf-life of both products, but they assured me that it wasn't. It was agreed that before I do another purchase, I would send them a message to find out the shelf-life of their current stock. In their response, they offered me a replacement which I thought was very decent of them considering I never asked for one. Fast forward to 2018 and no replacement has been received.

With it being a low-cost item and with being unwell recently, I actually forgot about the replacement. It was only when I was going through some of my old emails at the beginning of the year that I remembered. Although it was a low-cost item, I decided to contact Minerals-Water on eBay anyway to enquire as to why no replacement had been received as they did promise one. You can guess their response! Apparently, they checked their archives and said a replacement was posted. When I pointed out to them that all items that I order online (and I do order a lot) are delivered successfully and could they possibly send another replacement as the first one had not been received, no response (or replacement) was received.

I actually discovered the blocking last month on eBay when I decided to do another purchase because my current stock of VG is running very low due to the previous supplied bottle now being out of date. When I tried to add an item from the Minerals-Water store to my basket, the following error message appeared: "This seller won't sell to buyers that do not meet their requirements". Given my suspicions that I may be blocked, I decided to contact eBay.


Minerals-Water Limited eBay Blocking


After being passed to a customer support manager, my suspicions were confirmed; I had indeed been blocked by Minerals-Water. This is where it gets really interesting from a buyers point of view. When speaking with the manager, my messages with the seller were viewed and it was agreed that I had done nothing wrong to warrant the blocking. However, eBay were limited on what they could do to resolve the issue. The only option open to them was to send Minerals-Water an email in the hope that they would remove the block. A few weeks later and the block has not been removed, hence the reason for this post.

During my conversation with the manager, it was discovered that eBay give full control to sellers on who they can block. While this may be fine when dealing with buyers who are abusive or frequently return items for no good reason, it doesn't protect the innocent buyer from being wrongfully blocked. Given that sellers are using the eBay system to sell their products, why would eBay have no control over the blocking system? This seems rather odd and quite frankly unacceptable from a buyer's point of view. What's stopping a seller from blocking you simply because you enquired about a replacement or refund? It happened to me! I did suggest to eBay that they should include information in the Terms and Conditions to protect the buyer from such actions. They said that they would but I'm not convinced that these changes will be made.

Given my experiences with this seller, my advice is simple: Be careful if you decide to do business with Minerals-Water on eBay (and Amazon), more so via their website where you will have less protection. Remember, if you're wrongfully blocked by this (or any other) seller, eBay are powerless in what they can do in removing the block. The same could also be true with Amazon. Whether you're a vaper or not, be warned if you're thinking of buying your VG, PG or any other time-sensitive products from this seller as the items you receive may have a short shelf-life. You may also not receive a replacement even though they may have promise you one. Given the way this seller treats its customers, I would recommend shopping elsewhere!

As some of you will know, it's very rare that I do a negative post on a business, but I feel it's justified given the unwarranted actions of this company. Although they're a top-rated seller and have an impressive positive feedback percentage on eBay, this means nothing if they're treating customers unfairly when it comes to product replacements. Making sales is one thing, but you must also provide good customer service; anything less is just not acceptable. I did send them an email prior to this post being published, but again they failed to respond. Maybe this post will grab their attention and force them to act - we can only hope! :)


Did you find this article helpful? Have you had any problems with this seller? Please let me know by leaving me your valued comments in the comments section below.


If you found this or any of my other posts helpful, don't forget to share the posts to your favourite networks using the toolbar on the left-side of the screen or by using the "Share" buttons located at the bottom of each post.

As ever, if you want to stay up to date with the latest blog posts, don't forget to follow on Facebook and Google+, via Email or by subscribing to our blog feed.

You can also follow me on Twitter @djones1509, Google+ and on Facebook at:
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Until my next post in a week's time on important factors that affect the SEO ranking, have a wonderful week ahead. Be vigilant when shopping on eBay!


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Top 5 Must-Have Skills For Project Managers
14 May 2018 | 1:30 pm

Project Management
For every $1 billion invested, companies in the US lose $122 million due to bad management. Here's the thing: building a plan from scratch and taking it to an end, while respecting both the deadlines and the original budget, isn't for everybody.

Thanks to the new technologies, projects have more chances to a happy end. But, software alone isn't enough to put things on the right track. You need to be a killer project manager to keep up with challenges -- to deliver high-quality results, fast, and without spending more than your clients or your company can afford.

Whether you get your PMP certification in San Diego or any other part of the country, you need more than passing the exam to become a great project manager. Here are five skills you must develop as a PM to turn every new project into a success.


Effective Communication

Effective Communication

Communication is vital for a successful project. That's why, as a project manager, you should know how to talk to your colleagues, clients, and superiors. Better yet, when your team communicates efficiently, it's easier for everybody to finish their tasks in time and to make the right decisions inside the group.

However, effective communication goes beyond sending explicit emails and organizing efficient reunions. You need to master a wide range of abilities in this field:

  • Learn to listen. A good project manager asks for feedback and looks to all team members.

  • Ask the right questions. You can avoid a lot of delays and communication errors when you take the time to understand what's happening inside the team.

  • Update the team on a regular basis. As a project manager, you must know everything about progress and new milestones. By informing all the team, you get to gain more trust, motivate your staff, and increase productivity.

  • Encourage efficiency. When you communicate with your team, you should always stress the importance of doing things the right way -- instead of rushing them to finish faster.


Time Management

Time Management

Time management is the key to increased productivity and efficiency. That's why your job as a project manager is to organize and plan all the activities to make sure that your team delivers on time.

To develop killer time management skills, you need to focus on these three elements:

  • Planning. For every project large or small, preparation is everything. Project managers who take the time to define all activities and to estimate durations are more likely to respect deadlines and bring the project to an end.

  • Setting reasonable, clear goals. 37 percent of projects fail because they lack clear objectives. You need more than a guideline to make things right. Set measurable goals, with realistic deadlines. Getting ISO certified, for example, can take months. If you're hurrying your staff, you risk losing more time fixing errors in the long run.

  • Prioritizing. It's fundamental when you need to avoid distractions and focus on the critical things. Not all tasks are equally necessary to the success of the project. Make sure you don't keep all the team blocked just because one member is behind schedule.


Problem Solving

Problem Solving

The most important skill of a PM is the ability to come up with solutions to a crisis. Machines and complex AI software can improve workflows and increase productivity, but they can't make decisions for unpredicted problems -- and as long as you work in this business, there's always going to be something to solve.

You must learn to get to the bottom of any problem, identify the causes and come up with innovative solutions. The faster, the better.

Your problem-solving skills can keep a project going even in the hardest times. Plus, your ability to analyze and evaluate the situation (and to take action) can save your client significant resources.


Risk Management

Risk Management

In 2017, the US government lost $32 billion due to failed IT projects. Whether you're working with small or large companies, there's always a risk for things to go wrong.

That's why your risk management skills are essential for any project. You must learn how to identify opportunities and how to make the most of every challenge during the project.

In many situations, you can identify risks early in the project. Discuss scenarios with your team members and learn to read between the lines, when watching numbers. This way, you can see possible risks right from the beginning and counter them effectively.

Opportunities always come with risks. It's your job as a project manager to evaluate and decide if the reward is worth the risk. And, what measures can help you reduce it to minimize the damage.


Leadership

Leadership

As a PM, you must inspire, motivate and communicate on a permanent basis. All eyes are on you, expecting guidelines and solutions.

Besides self-confidence and self-esteem, you need solid knowledge and experience to be a good leader. From stakeholders to clients and team members, everybody expects you to make decisions and implement them.

You must be the person who works hard, listens to everyone, and has an accurate answer to any question. Everything less than that and your peers will stop following you. The success of any project depends on how you use your leadership skills for the best.

Being a good leader means having all other skills -- competent, excellent communicator, empathy, problem-solving, team builder, to mention some. Plus, you must know how to use these skills to improve your team's results. Because a good leader always works with an efficient team!


Did you find this article helpful? Are you a project manager? Please let me know by leaving me your valued comments in the comments section below.

Related articles:
Top Personal Skills That Will Stand You In Good Stead In Business
5 Ways To Make Your Small Business More Efficient
How To Best Increase Efficiency And Profitability In Your Business

For more business tips, use this link:
https://www.derekjones.co/search/label/Business%20Tips


If you found this or any of my other posts helpful, don't forget to share the posts to your favourite networks using the toolbar on the left-side of the screen or by using the "Share" buttons located at the bottom of each post.

As ever, if you want to stay up to date with the latest blog posts, don't forget to follow on Facebook and Google+, via Email or by subscribing to our blog feed.

You can also follow me on Twitter @djones1509, Google+ and on Facebook at:
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Until my next post in 7 days on why you should be careful when doing business with Minerals-Water Limited on eBay, have a great and productive week ahead. See you back here on Monday 21st May!


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STUDY: Will The New Twitter Character-Limit Affect Your Digital Marketing Efforts?
7 May 2018 | 1:30 pm

Twitter
When it comes to marketing your products online, social media is a key player in generating awareness of your brand and connecting you with your target audience. Different social channels are geared towards different demographics, which allows you to focus in on your target audience. Social platforms work in various ways, and their different functions allow you to express your brand's message in different ways.

Facebook has always been the place for long, compelling posts about what your business does and how you do it. LinkedIn is where professionals can network in a more formal online setting. Instagram is the visual channel, where you sell your products through engaging images. Twitter is the platform where busy users scan concise posts for important information.

Over the years, marketers have grown accustomed to the way that each of these social channels works, creating strategic posts that get the most out of the network in question. That was until Twitter decided to change its character-limit from 140 to 280.

This got us thinking whether we should be doing things differently for our clients as a result of this, and whether businesses should change the way that they communicate with their audiences on this platform. So, we got in touch with our friends at Manchester Metropolitan University and arranged to carry out a study about how users engage with different tweet-lengths.


Our hypothesis

Our initial thoughts were that having the ability to write twice as much in a Twitter post would be valuable to us marketers, because this gives us the opportunity to cram in plenty of information about our brands and what we do. But, Twitter users are used to the short and snappy bursts of information.

There are two elements to our hypothesis that we had to prove:

  • Twitter users don't consume 280-character tweets in equal measure to 140-character tweets.

  • Tweets with media will receive greater attention, regardless of character-length.


The experiment

We headed down to the MMU usability lab and used its eye-tracking software to monitor how a group of Twitter users reacted to tweets of different lengths.


Methodology

We decided to make this research qualitative, and asked our 10 volunteers for their Twitter handles. This allowed us to create test accounts that would feature accounts that were similar to the ones they followed on their own personal accounts. We then hooked the volunteers up to eye-tracking software and instructed them to browse their Twitter feeds as they normally would. We split users into mobile and desktop in order to establish any differences that may occur between devices.


Our findings

On average, users engaged more with tweets that were longer than 140 characters across mobile and desktop.

  • Users who read less than 140 characters focused on each tweet for an average of 1.7 seconds.

  • Users who read more than 140 characters focused on each tweet for an average of 2.2 seconds.

These findings prove that users don't skim over longer tweets; in fact, they take the time to read them. Although half a second doesn't seem like a big difference, it is in terms of social media engagement.


What does this mean for you?

Our findings demonstrate that marketers should take advantage of the longer character-count on Twitter, because users take the time to read longer tweets whether they contain images or not. If you feel that you need to utilise the full 280 characters to express your brand's message, then by all means do.


About The Author: Danny Sefton is a Content Marketing Executive at theEword, a digital marketing agency based in the heart of Manchester.

Did you find this study helpful? What do you think of the increase in character-limit on Twitter? Please let Danny and myself know by leaving us your valued comments below.

Would you like to guest post on the blog? Please use the Contact tab above to get in touch if you write business-related articles or articles on the topics of Internet Marketing, Affiliate Marketing, Social Media Marketing/Optimisation (SMO), Blogging, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) or Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

Related resources:
Twitter Study Infographic

For helpful articles on marketing your business on social media, use this link:
https://www.derekjones.co/search/label/Social%20Media%20Marketing


If you found this or any of my other posts helpful, don't forget to share the posts to your favourite networks using the toolbar on the left-side of the screen or by using the "Share" buttons located at the bottom of each post.

As ever, if you want to stay up to date with the latest blog posts, don't forget to follow on Facebook and Google+, via Email or by subscribing to our blog feed.

You can also follow me on Twitter @djones1509, Google+ and on Facebook at:
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https://www.google.com/+DerekJonesUK

Until my next post in a week's time on top 5 must-have skills for project managers, have a great week ahead and thank you for all the support during my absence. See you back here next Monday!


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Website Management: The Importance Of Quality Web Design
6 March 2017 | 2:30 pm

Web Design
** Update 4th May 2018: Normal service will resume on Monday (7th May) on Derek's Home and Business Blog. Thank you again for your patience and understanding and for the continued support during the difficult period! Want to guest post on the blog? Visit the "Write For Us" page above for more details. **


Note: Some technical changes are being made to the blog such as secure connection, new sharing buttons etc. If you encounter any errors, please let me know.

Changes in Web technology have changed the way that people design websites. It really is incredible to see just how much it has changed in the last couple of years. Nowadays, Web users want competitive websites that look and function at optimal levels. People do not stick around on sites that are low quality in design and usability. There are several reasons why quality Web design is an essential part of all websites.


Clear Communication

Communication is the main reason that people hire Web designers. They need all elements of the website to communicate effectively with people online. Sites have to be user-friendly and allow people to be able to get the help that they need right away. It is definitely essential for sites to be easy to use and super user-friendly. Designers start by choosing the right page layouts and templates with borders that define where the text starts and stops. Websites without page layouts have misaligned text that seems to run off the page and can be really hard to follow making the site seem confusing. Your site is certain to fail if it only has one block of text like this. It is also a good idea to be sure that you have enough space for ad banners and page tabs that are clear and easy to follow. With tabs, your visitors can move from one page to another with ease making it super easy for them to find exactly what they are looking for. At all costs you need to make sure that you avoid creating disorderly pages that make you look disorganized and irresponsible. Nobody likes a webpage that is hard to use and difficult to follow.


Interactivity

Websites are becoming more and more competitive every day. That is why when it comes to your site you really need to step up your game. Nowadays, the most visited and popular websites are interactive. Because of this, it may be a really good idea to try to incorporate a variety of multimedia layouts into your Web designs such as videos, pictures and sound files. Make your site interactive to provide interesting ways for people to gather information about your business. Professional website development includes a major focus on creative website designs. The right development company provides you with a variety of unique, interactive designs to choose from. Choose transition effects for users who want to move between different pages on your site. Place a different picture in the background of each individual page.


Marketing

When it comes to sites it is also essential to incorporate your Web designs into an effective marketing strategy. Design your website for the purpose of reaching your targeted audiences online. You may also want to use different templates and themes that relate to your particular type of business and services. You could even include stock photos of professionals working inside of an office building to appeal to business people and make your company seem super friendly and personal. Luckily, experienced Web designers have created themed websites before, so it helps to get suggestions from them as they may have some really good ideas that can help you easily find your way to success.

A good marketing plan is necessary to get more than clicks. You want visitors to convert and turn into regular customers. Make your site stand out among the millions of others made by companies exactly like yours.

To summarize, create your website with the use of high-quality Web designs. When you take the designs seriously, more people will take your business seriously, too. Work with a qualified Web designer to receive more visitors and stir up more interest in your business over time.


Did you find this article helpful? Please let me know by leaving me your valued comments in the comments section below.

Related articles:
Beginner Steps For Launching A Website
Mobile-Friendly Site Designing: Things You Shouldn't Be Doing
Five Keys To A Successful Web Design And How You Can Achieve It For Free


If you found this or any of my other posts helpful, don't forget to share the posts to your favourite networks using the toolbar on the left-side of the screen or by using the "Share" buttons located at the bottom of each post.

As ever, if you want to stay up to date with the latest blog posts, don't forget to follow on Facebook and Google+, via Email or by subscribing to our blog feed.

You can also follow me on Twitter @djones1509, Google+ and on Facebook at:
https://www.facebook.com/djones1509
https://www.google.com/+DerekJonesUK

Until my next post, have a great week ahead and thank you for all the support during my absence.


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&copy 2017. This article is DMCA protected. Republication is prohibited.


Warning: 5 Ways You Are Losing Engagement By Not Using Social Media For Your Business
31 March 2014 | 1:30 pm

Social Media
The opportunities are endless for today's business owner to reach potential consumers and convert them into lifetime customers. But in this modern landscape, users want to engage in a virtual community where they can be advocates, share ideas, and get the latest scoop on new product offerings and services. Making your presence known in a social space is essential for growing your business.

Interestingly enough, some of the most successful business owners have learned how to use technology to gain an edge. Rather than shelling out thousands of dollars on prime air-time, companies are learning to generate buzz by creating viral content and encouraging shares and likes. If you are not currently using social media for business, there are five things you need to know where you may be missing out on engagement:

  1. Let's face it - Anyone who's anyone is on social media these days - Not being on social media is like not listing in the Yellow Pages in the 1980's. If you aren't utilizing these channels wisely you are limiting your audience and making it harder for potential clients to contact your business easily. A social media page is now like using a search engine. Consumers want information that is easily accessible and they want it at the stroke of a key. You want to be ahead of the pack by greeting your visitors with amazing content that is up to date and ready to go viral at a moment's notice.

    1. 72% of online adults are using social networking sites.
      http://www.pewinternet.org/2013/08/05/72-of-online-adults-are-social-networking-site-users/

    2. In 2012, nearly 20% of respondents reported not using social media tools; in 2013 that number was down 11% http://moz.com/industry-survey

  2. Maintaining your reputation - Be it positive or negative, engaging with your customers through social media can turn a potentially negative experience into a positive highlight for your business. Earlier in 2013 after a hacking incident, Buffer showed great poise in the management and response to such an experience. Customers sometimes just want to have a voice. We all know the reach a negative impression can stretch and often it goes unnoticed or unresolved. Having that personal conversation with the customer shows them that you are not only engaged, but place great customer value for the service or product your business offers. Making a positive customer experience allows your reputation to shine and in turn, social advocacy will start turning its wheels. Maintaining your reputation allows your fans or followers to make suggestions for improvements, share the latest updates, and voice opinion on which products or services they would like to see most often.

  3. Beating your competitors at the game - Having a popular social media page with a large following increases your exposure over your competitors. Being able to engage directly with potential customers gives you a strong advantage over a competitor who isn't online.

    1. By being on social media when your competitors are not, you're already delivering better customer service.

    2. This is a great place to start developing trust for first time buyers. It signals that you care about your customers if something went wrong.

    3. Pushing content-based and promoted ads to the Facebook News Feed in 2014 will prove to give you that competitive edge. Even spending $1 on Facebook ads per day will get you in front 4,000 more consumers than your competitors. That's a win in my book.
      http://moz.com/blog/1-dollar-per-day-on-facebook-ads

  4. Social media is a fun place to engage - Showing fans your authenticity is very important in the eyes of today's social media goers. Being in command of your social media page allows you to be more personable when it comes to interacting with your customers. You can reply directly to their comments and re-adjust your tone to accommodate the given situation. Just like a search landing page, it is important to make your content exciting and interesting. Your page needs to stand out, because it is typical for a searcher to spend less than 20 seconds, before deciding whether or not they will take an action in a buying decision. Make the page pop with visual appeal by utilizing photos, videos, and banners. Social media gives you an easy opportunity to improve brand awareness and build your identity. Be quick to the punch and put a human voice to your brand - one that people, your customers can connect with on a personal level.

  5. Now more than ever Google is placing more recognition on social behavior - In a vast digital arena where Search Engines grade your rankings based off social interaction and reviews, really depends on a business owner's willingness to obtain technical prowess. Not having a social page can cause your presence to decrease on Google's radar and slip down the search results, potentially loosing visitors to your website. Social media will help you increase the amount of traffic your website receives. Social media is an SEO ranking signal and has grown increasingly important. Being talked about and mentioned on social sends a positive signal and drives Google to seeing your site as more authoritative, which will help you rank better in organic SEO.

So what are the main take-aways for your business to become social savvy?

  • Be Proactive! - Build your social media page to fit your business' consumer base and start creating a buzz! Make your content engaging and most importantly, have fun!

  • Engage your Customers and Create Social Advocacy - Personalize your brand to your consumers and let them know what real customer value is all about!

While it takes time to be a social media Jedi, social media engagement is no longer an option but an essential part of your online business plan.


About The Author: Anna Johnson is a Senior Digital Marketing Analyst at seoWorks and takes a great interest in everything marketing, social media and internet related and enjoys sharing her knowledge on these subjects.

Did you find this article helpful? Please let Anna and myself know by leaving us your valued comments below.

Would you like to guest post on the blog? Please use the Contact tab above to get in touch if you write business-related articles or articles on the topics of Internet Marketing, Affiliate Marketing, Social Media Marketing/Optimisation (SMO), Blogging, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) or Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

Related articles:
Facebook Branding For Online Business
Five Effortless Things Business Owners Can Do To Boost Their Social Media Presence
How Pinterest Can Help Your Small Business

For more business tips plus helpful articles on marketing your business on social media, use the following links:
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If you found this or any of my other posts helpful, don't forget to share the posts to your favourite networks using the toolbar on the left-side of the screen or by using the "+1" and "Share" buttons located at the bottom of each post.

As ever, if you want to stay up to date with the latest blog posts, don't forget to follow via Google Friend Connect (button on sidebar), on NetworkedBlogs, via Email (maximum of one email per day), on Facebook and Google+ or by subscribing to our blog feed at:
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Until my next post on the basics of business networking, I wish you every success with your business!


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Finding Perfect Venues For Business Events
19 March 2014 | 2:30 pm

Business Events
Since you are reading this article, you most likely have a business or corporate event coming up and you need to find a suitable location. Business events are nowadays crucial for setting up collaborations, networking, offering awards and education. With this in mind, it should come as no surprise that there are basically hundreds of different venues that you can consider. Many can end up feeling overwhelmed to see such a variety.


Locating Suitable Venue Options

Event success is highly dependent on where it is held. This is a reality that we cannot dismiss. The good news is that the internet can help out a lot. There are always websites that list business venues so that you can see what options are available. For instance, if you live in London, Venue Search London can be used.

Make a list of all the options that seem to be suitable based on the information that you find about them on the internet. Then, try to narrow down your list by looking at events held there in the past and how successful they were.


Questions You Need To Ask

Before you decide to actually consider a business venue location, you need to ask yourself some really important questions. For starters, you need to know what the available budget is for the event. Then, you have to think about how many people will attend and the business outcome that you expect. Based on these questions, you can actually end up making a good list of venues that are suitable. However, things do not stop here.

Questions have to continue and need to be focused on the exact event type that is organized. For instance, do you need to host people for more than one day? Do you need food or entertainment? To put it simple, lay down on paper everything that you imagine your event to need. Then, see if it is possible with the considered venues and if not, try to find some that do. You basically have to think about everything from parking to extra staff needed.


Proper Planning Takes Time

Organizing a successful business event is not something that you do in a week or two. This is especially true when referring to those that require overnight stay or are held for more than one day. It is always a good idea to have a team that is in charge of the entire process and that you plan everything way in advance.

When referring to choosing a suitable business venue, there are many mistakes that are made and unfortunately, in most situations people end up faced with problems that they did not see coming. As a very simple example, let us say that we talk about a conference. A speaker might require projection equipment. Does the venue have this or do you need to rent one? Such questions appear as you organize an event.


Finding A Perfect Business Venue Location

To sum up, we cannot tell you what venue you have to consider since this varies from one business to the other and from one city to the next. However, we can tell you that the most important thing is making sure that the venue can accommodate exactly what you had in mind. Never hurry your research since this is definitely the most important part of the process.

Consider as many venues that seem suitable at first glance as possible. Your initial choices will be based on available budgets but keep in mind that negotiations are sometimes possible. You cannot dismiss a venue before meeting with a representative of the company that owns it. Those meetings are the ones that will actually showcase if you can hold your event there or not.


Did you find this article helpful? Are you planning a business or corporate event? Please let me know by leaving me your valued comments below.

Related articles:
How Easy Is It To Hold A Successful Networking Event?
How To Match A Speaker's Style To The Audience

For more business tips, use this link:
http://www.derekjones.co/search/label/Business%20Tips


If you found this or any of my other posts helpful, don't forget to share the posts to your favourite networks using the toolbar on the left-side of the screen or by using the "+1" and "Share" buttons located at the bottom of each post.

As ever, if you want to stay up to date with the latest blog posts, don't forget to follow via Google Friend Connect (button on sidebar), on NetworkedBlogs, via Email (maximum of one email per day), on Facebook and Google+ or by subscribing to our blog feed at:
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Until my next post at the end of the month on 5 ways you are losing engagement by not using social media for your business, I wish you every success with your business! See you back here on Monday 31st March!


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How Facebook Can Help Your Website SEO
17 March 2014 | 2:30 pm

Facebook and SEO
Today, SEO is critical to the success of your website's online marketing campaigns. For best results, you've got to cover every aspect of SEO, and that includes using social media the right way. Learn how Facebook can help your SEO.

When it comes to building a successful SEO strategy, you can't ignore social media, especially Facebook. When used the right way, Facebook's power to drive traffic is phenomenal. How do you use Facebook to help your business and improve your SEO?


Social Media Links Matter

Today one of the many factors that Google considers in ranking is your social media presence and chatter. Facebook provides a more legitimate means of determining the human interest in your company, beyond just how many links you may have bought or artificially built to your site. While SEO experts like to debate about how strong Facebook links really are, the truth is simple: the more people talk about your company on Facebook, the better your website will rank in the search engines. Regularly posting updates on your Facebook page will help your website earn new links even if your SEO campaign is taking a breather. Remember: the age of your links and how many new ones you have pointing toward your site is also a ranking factor!


Facebook Lets You Gather Useful Information For SEO Purposes

Probably the most important role of Facebook for SEO purposes is the supply of relevant information about your company's audience. Websites are typically a one-way platform where businesses can stand on a soap box, so to speak, and blast information and ideas at whoever's visiting. On the other hand, Facebook is much more interactive and serves as a forum where conversations can occur. Using Facebook will keep you in better touch with your clientele and help you get to know more about the people who either are or will become your customers.

Providing fresh content that your readers want and need is important to the success of any website. Using Facebook will help you a lot when it comes to creating content and coming up with new ideas. The best internet marketers are always gleaning information from their social media interactions so they know:

  1. what their target market needs;
  2. what their customers want to know more about and care about;
  3. how customers describe their products or services.

You can translate this knowledge you gained from Facebook into marketable keywords. If you see that a certain topic has sparked conversation and comments, you can translate that into a new post for your blog.


Social Relationships Translate to Powerful Website Links

Using Facebook and social media to build relationships with others in similar industries can help your SEO efforts tremendously. When you connect with other website owners via Facebook, opportunities arise to link to each other's sites via guest posts or even interviews. Relevant links like these are some of the best links to have in terms of increasing your site's rankings and overall traffic.


Your Company's Facebook Page: a Second Website

When it comes right down to it, SEO is all about reaching your audience. Facebook is the best social media tool you can use to do that well. If you do it right, your Facebook page should work a little bit like a second website. You can use Facebook to drive traffic to your commercial website when you release a new product or promotion. While you might want to save all of your SEO tricks for your main website, using a lightweight version of your overall SEO strategy on your Facebook page will improve your page's success and strength. Make sure you use keywords wisely when choosing the title of your company's Facebook page.


See How Facebook Helps Your Website SEO

As is the case with any SEO strategy, it is important to carefully track the effectiveness of your Facebook efforts in your overall web strategy. You will find that consistently updating your Facebook page will eventually translate into better search engine rankings. Create a plan today for your Facebook use and see how it helps your SEO.


About The Author: Julie Crawford is the internet marketing director at rural wireless internet service Broadband Blue.

Did you find this article helpful? Please let Julie and myself know by leaving us your valued comments below.

Would you like to guest post on the blog? Please use the Contact tab above to get in touch if you write business-related articles or articles on the topics of Internet Marketing, Affiliate Marketing, Social Media Marketing/Optimisation (SMO), Blogging, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) or Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

Related articles:
The Recent Google Update: What This Means For You
Why Content Is Still King In 2014
7 Things You Need To Know About SEO In 2014
How Twitter Can Help Your SEO

For a full list of helpful articles on SEO, use the following links:
http://www.derekjones.co/search/label/SEO
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If you found this or any of my other posts helpful, don't forget to share the posts to your favourite networks using the toolbar on the left-side of the screen or by using the "+1" and "Share" buttons located at the bottom of each post.

As ever, if you want to stay up to date with the latest blog posts, don't forget to follow via Google Friend Connect (button on sidebar), on NetworkedBlogs, via Email (maximum of one email per day), on Facebook and Google+ or by subscribing to our blog feed at:
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Until my next post on Wednesday on finding the perfect venues for your business events, best of luck with your SEO efforts! See you back here on Wednesday!


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How To Find The Perfect Balance Between Traditional And Online Marketing
12 March 2014 | 2:30 pm

Traditional vs. Online Marketing
The world's most popular brands can be found both online and offline. At the same time, many small businesses hope to reach a global audience via Internet marketing. Thanks to the modern technology, physical boundaries are no longer a constraint. Business owners and service providers can reach customers from all around the world with a few clicks. However, marketing online means added expenses for many companies. Finding the perfect balance between traditional and digital marketing can be difficult. That's why you need to experiment and try different strategies to see what works best for your business.


The Rise of Online Marketing

Traditional media is on the decline. Most people use the Internet to read news, search for information about their favourite brands, and stay up-to-date with the latest technology trends. Only a few are still buying newspapers and print magazines. Digital marketing has surpassed traditional methods of marketing such as radio and newspaper ads. It makes perfect sense for companies to reach out to their prospects on the Internet.

While direct mail marketing and multi-channel marketing still work, print media has lost its power in today's digital world. Advertising products and services online is more affordable and convenient than paying for radio or TV ads. Commerce is shifting more and more online. Statistics indicate that over 61 percent of Internet users research products over the Internet. Approximately 92 percent of business owners who have blogged several times a day acquired at least one customer through their blog.

Recent studies have shown that 20 percent of customers have purchased something because of ads they saw on Facebook. More than 64 percent of smartphone users are shopping online from their mobile devices. These numbers show how popular Internet marketing is. If you don't promote your small business online, you are missing out on potential clients.


Online vs. Traditional Marketing

Digital marketing offers measurable results and involves lower costs. Business owners have access to a wide range of tools for tracking their online campaigns. They can check the number of clicks through sponsored links and assess the success rate of campaigns through Google Analytics and other programs. These features do not exist in radio or TV advertising. Unless your traditional marketing campaign has a direct call to action, such as "call this number" or "check out this website," there is no way to assess your results in real time.

Whether you use email marketing, social media marketing or SEO, promoting your business online will save you time and money. While it is true that many business owners remain sceptical about using digital marketing, its benefits cannot be denied. People who find your brand online become familiar with your products and develop trust. You can interact with your target audience on social networks, blogs, forums, chat rooms and other online platforms. Sending out tweets or sharing industry news on Facebook is free and can dramatically increase your exposure.

If you want to reach a local audience, you should use both traditional and online marketing. Think about who your customers are, how they buy, and where they go. For example, if you own a clothing store, you can distribute flyers and brochures in your area. At the same time, start a Facebook fan page and then set up a Pinterest account. Share photos of your products, connect with potential clients, and encourage them to visit your clothing store. Offer special deals and promotions to those who "like" your fan page or follow your brand on Twitter.

When you find a balance between digital and traditional marketing, you not only engage your prospects, but also give them a reason to choose your brand. Promoting your business online is one of the best ways to learn more about your customers. The data they leave behind indicates their buying preferences as well as their concerns. Business owners can use this information to assess customer behaviour, request feedback, and improve their products.


Did you find this article helpful? Do you use both online and traditional marketing strategies for your business? Please let me know by leaving me your valued comments below.

Related articles:
Why Online Marketing Is Just As Important As Traditional Marketing
Traditional Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing For Beginners

For more articles on traditional and online marketing, use the following links:
http://www.derekjones.co/search/label/Online%20Marketing
http://www.derekjones.co/search/label/Traditional%20Marketing


If you found this or any of my other posts helpful, don't forget to share the posts to your favourite networks using the toolbar on the left-side of the screen or by using the "+1" and "Share" buttons located at the bottom of each post.

As ever, if you want to stay up to date with the latest blog posts, don't forget to follow via Google Friend Connect (button on sidebar), on NetworkedBlogs, via Email (maximum of one email per day), on Facebook and Google+ or by subscribing to our blog feed at:
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You can also follow me on Twitter @djones1509, Google+ and on Facebook at:
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Until my next post on Monday on how Facebook can help your SEO, I wish you every success with your marketing! See you back here on the 17th of March!


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5 Steps To Setting Up Your Own Business
10 March 2014 | 2:30 pm

Business Startup
So you've decided that now is the time to set up your own business. Congratulations, it's a brave move but in my experience it's the best decision you will ever make! Now that you've decided to take the leap, there are 5 key steps to getting set up that will stand you in good stead.


1. The Idea

For me, this is always the hardest step. There are so many products and services to potentially get involved with that it can be hard to choose. My advice would be to focus on an industry that you have worked in previously or have a good knowledge of. This will give you a head start in your planning as you may already understand the competition and opportunities in the market.

One thing that works well, particularly when going down the product route, is to look for either an exclusive or a way to create a product under your own brand name. Plenty of suppliers will label your products under your brand name, good examples of these for getting started in selling products online are Alibaba, VapeLab, and Print Clothes. These sites and more will let you create custom branded products, helping your business to stand out amongst the crowd.

If you go down the service route, try to not simply copy other ideas. You may be entering a marketplace with plenty of competition, but try to find a way to differentiate yourself and give yourself a unique selling point (USP) that will appeal to potential clients. This can be tricky to do, dependent upon your niche. There's nothing wrong with borrowing elements of competitor's strategies and amending them to create something unique.


2. Funding

Once you have your idea, it's time to create your business plan. The crucial part of an initial business plan is naturally going to be funding. Whether you are planning to save up yourself or take investment you need to consider a lot of different factors here, such as:

  • How long can you survive without taking a wage?
  • What's the lowest wage you can live off?
  • What are your startup costs?
  • Do you really need a physical premise, or can you work from home?
  • Will you need to hire people straight away?

These types of questions will give you an idea as to how much funding you need to survive that first crucial year, both as a business, and with your personal finances.

There are a number of options available for funding, from bank loans to private investment. Crowdfunding has also become a credible option with sites such as Kickstarter successfully funding numerous startups with creative ideas. Crowdfunding ensures you don't have a high level of bank interest or a single powerful investor applying pressure.


3. Making The Leap

Once your business plan is set, and you're confident about your plans it's time to make the leap. This may mean leaving your current employment if you are currently earning a living, or it may just mean formalizing the business.

Register yourself with the relevant authorities including the taxman at an early stage to avoid any surprises later on.

Once you've made the leap and are out of your current employment, make sure you make a big noise around your launch. Get friends and family to share your brand socially, and make your launch a big deal. This will help with step 4, your marketing strategy.


4. Marketing Strategy

You will no doubt have thought about your marketing strategy, in terms of how to generate new customers whilst planning everything out and creating a business plan. However, when you are actually live and running your business the marketing strategy becomes even more important.

Making a big noise at launch should be complemented with other activity in the form of advertising, content marketing, social media, event attendance and other marketing dependent upon your niche. The problem is, the word of mouth element from your launch may be keeping you quite busy in terms of work at this early stage (hopefully), which means that you don't have quite as much time to focus on your marketing strategy as you need.

Make sure you keep some time back from your schedule to continue with your marketing efforts to keep work coming for the long term. Many startups fail because their initial business development from word of mouth is strong, and they don't feel the need or have the time to continue to invest in their marketing for the long term benefit of their business.


5. Surviving The First Few Months

Believe it or not, the setting up part of your business is by no means the hardest part. Once you've made that leap into self-employment or running a limited company, you need to make sure you survive the first few months. The first year is always the biggest challenge, but the first few months can be particularly challenging in terms of generating new customers, getting your name out there, and dealing with issues like cash flow. Prepare for this carefully in your business plan - expect the worst and make sure you can survive it and then you will be in a position to thrive as your reputation grows.

Best of luck with setting up your new business - by careful planning and forethought you can give yourself a much higher chance of success. Strap yourself in for the ride, there will be plenty of ups and downs, but running your own business may be the best decision you have ever made.


About The Author: Bryan Staggers is an online entrepreneur who runs numerous ecommerce sites such as VapeLab. Bryan enjoys writing to share his experience in setting up businesses, with a particular focus on online revenue creation.

Did you find this article helpful? Please let Bryan and myself know by leaving us your valued comments below.

Would you like to guest post on the blog? Please use the Contact tab above to get in touch if you write business-related articles or articles on the topics of Internet Marketing, Affiliate Marketing, Social Media Marketing/Optimisation (SMO), Blogging, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) or Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

Related articles:
Is 2014 The Year To Go Entrepreneur?
Could Franchising Be The Right Route For You?
How To Survive Your First Two Years As A Start-Up
Q & A: What To Consider When Setting Up A Home Business
Most Important Steps To Draft Your Business Plan
Legal Issues For Setting Up A Business

For more business tips plus helpful articles on setting up your own business, use the following links:
http://www.derekjones.co/search/label/Business%20Tips
http://www.derekjones.co/search/label/Business%20Startup


If you found this or any of my other posts helpful, don't forget to share the posts to your favourite networks using the toolbar on the left-side of the screen or by using the "+1" and "Share" buttons located at the bottom of each post.

As ever, if you want to stay up to date with the latest blog posts, don't forget to follow via Google Friend Connect (button on sidebar), on NetworkedBlogs, via Email (maximum of one email per day), on Facebook and Google+ or by subscribing to our blog feed at:
http://feeds.feedburner.com/DereksHomeAndBusinessBlog

You can also follow me on Twitter @djones1509, Google+ and on Facebook at:
http://www.facebook.com/djones1509
https://www.google.com/+DerekJonesUK

Until my next post on Wednesday on how to find the perfect balance between traditional and online marketing, have a great week ahead! See you back here on Wednesday!


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