Get Flexible! Why You Should Let Your Web Design Team Work from Home

Strong web design (and, of course, development) are essential to businesses today. It makes for a time-consuming task. But is it one that can be done remotely, away from the main business hub? Absolutely.

There are loads of advantages to this sort of approach that you should be considering. This article will list some of these advantages. It will also help you through some of the logistics.

Web Design

The general perks of remote work

Flexibility is definitely becoming an increasingly popular word in the world of business. But why? Well, it has a lot to do with worker happiness and the increased productivity that people often see with remote working. The fact is that there is very little reason for any business owner to prevent employees from working at home. Sure, it can often be nicer to have employees right there where you can see them. But at the end of the day, the traditional 9-5 for five days a week work model seems to be floundering. As cloud technology advances, it simply makes more sense for people to work from home.

Talking web design

When we think of remote web design workers, we usually think about freelancers. We think about temporary employees who are there to do a specific job and then leave for pastures new. But that’s not the kind of employee I’m talking about here. I’m talking about a formal employee of yours who is working with you to design the website of your business in the long run.

One thing you need to consider is that a web designer prefers to have access to their own technology. The majority of modern web designers are also accustomed to working from home. It’s here that they have all the software they need, as well as all the web development reference texts they want to use.

Arranging a remote work methodology

Many of the problems people have with letting employees work from home can be found in the logistics. How do you actually make it work? How can you tell that an employee is actually doing their job? How is contact arranged adequately? How can you actually see the work being done?

It’s actually all very simple. You’ve got to make sure you’re using cloud technology in order to share and view files. Dropbox or Google Drive are great examples. As for communication, you might want to look into something like Skype. You can even get HR system software so that you and the employee can arrange human resource tasks like time off and sick leave remotely.

From a small business perspective

Of course, I know that a lot of people coming to this website will be starting a business from home anyway. You may even be designing the website yourself. But all this means is that you should read this article in another way. If you’ve got other areas of the business to focus on, maybe you should let someone else take on the burden of web development. After all, it can be a pretty huge task. This article should give you the confidence you need to trust someone else taking these reigns from another location.

How to Write Blog Posts That Rank Well with Search Engines

The blogging world is a place where information persists and everything else, not so much.

Isn’t it?

In such a competitive environment, it’s important that people find your content in different search engines for relevant search queries.

As the old joke goes, “The best place to hide a dead body is the second page of Google”, the aim is to rank your blog well as well as passing on the information in the best possible manner.

The question, here, is, “how to write a blog post that rank well?”

While most think that writing a good post and writing a post which is SEO friendly are two different ball games. But it is not entirely right. It is, de facto, possible to take both the aspects ahead together.

Here are a few tips that might come in handy when writing a blog post for your audience as well as the search engines rank them.

Find the Best Keywords for Your Niche …

ideal keyword

“Keyword” is the driving factor in any search. Choosing the right keywords is half the battle won. Keyword research is the first and one of the most important steps in writing a blog that ranks well.

Ranking for the right keywords can decide the fate of your blog. A keyword research not only helps you get a context on what to write but also allows you to know what your audience likes to search.

There are 2 variations of the keywords, such as – Broad keywords & Long Tail keywords.

Broad keywords are short and combination for 2-3 words maximum and high competitive in nature.

long tail keyword research for SEO

Long-tail keywords are variants of the broad keywords with some extra words added to them and are good ones to target for a blog post.

Firstly, these keywords are highly targeted and hence, have a chance to rank better.

Secondly, you might find less competition for long-tail keywords.

It is better to understand that search engines don’t like overstuffed keywords. The ideal density of keywords is around 2-3% and you should write keeping that in mind. Using semantics and LSI keywords along with the regular keywords is encouraged by search engines.

The trick is to let the content flow naturally without spamming it with keywords. Tools such as MOZ Keyword Explorer and Google AdWords Keyword Tool can come in handy while looking for the right keywords.

Build Proper Blog Visual Structure

When it comes to represent the content, the visual layout is one of the most important aspects that should never be ignored. Before starting to write, you need to have a clear structure of the post you are about to write.

Blog post Structure

One can easily break down a post into 3 important parts namely the introduction, the body, and the conclusion.

With the structure in hand, you can stay on the line to write the post. Once you are done with finding the right keywords, there will be several stray ideas in your mind. Writing down a clear structure before starting the blog is a good way to streamline the content.

Headings are an effective way to give your readers an idea of what they are about to read. While writing paragraphs, try to make paragraphs which make sense. Each paragraph should have a main subject or idea which is conveyed. Headings are the best thing you can do to improve your keyword positions and visibility. They give a structure to your writing and make it easier for the reader to grasp the topic. If you are still not convinced, keep in mind that headings are important for SEO as well.

Outbound Link Improves Your Blog Authority

A blog is deemed to be an informative piece of writing on the internet. If you believe the same, then why shy away from sharing proven facts from credible sources.

Stats can improve the readability of your blog by a huge margin and also keep the search engine gods happy. When you link your posts to other respectable material on the internet, it gives your audience much more to read from.

From an SEO point of view, having outbound links is a big plus. If you are planning to write blogs that are popular with your target audience as well as the search engines, try giving some statistics and outbound links to authentic & reputable sources.

Since we are at the importance of links, we must keep in mind the importance of internal links. Internal links are also an essential part of ranking the blog well. Also, having proper internal links helps the cause of creating a clearer sitemap and improving the visibility of related posts.

Optimize the Blog Word Count:

Length matters when it comes to blog posts to rank well. The debate on the ideal length is a never-ending one. Some prefer writing short blogs which are clear and concise while some go for lengthy posts. It will take some time to figure out what works for you. But, it is noticed that lengthy posts are assumed to have more information and the search engines might also assume the same. Not just that, various search engines get the chance to crawl the keyword several times and in various combinations. Shorter blogs are easy to read and share, but longer ones are good for a thorough understanding.

Try and find your ideal length. Though it might take some time, it can be achieved with a little trial and error. With the right length, you can easily keep the other aspects like structure and keyword density in place.

Place Relevant Images:

Much like any other thing on the internet, blogs also work on the aesthetic value. With relevant images, you can create a colorful world shrouded with important information in texts. While writing long posts, there is a high chance of your reader getting bored. Images give your blog the room to breathe. Not just that, images also offer you another area to place appropriate links for the search engines to look at.

Though the use of images is appreciated by one and all, those images must be relevant to the blog. You can find several high-res images on the internet. All that you need to do is search using the right keyword. While we are at it, it is important that you verify if the images are free to use unless you want yourself in the middle of a soup.

Proofread The Posts:

No matter if it is a short or a long blog post. Irrespective of the number of images it has and the aesthetic beauty of the post, typos and basic grammatical errors can ruin it all. Without proofreading the blog you have just finished, you are doing a great injustice to everyone associated with it. From the readers to the search engines to you, everyone deserves a mistake-free blog post which addresses real issues. There are online tools which can help you proofread.

Conclusion

The times of cheap SEO tricks are over. Content was, is and always will be the king. Good content will lead you to a better rank and bad content will drag your blog down. However, you can use our tips that will help you create quality content with the potential to rank well in search engine results.

 

The Truth About SEO: Super Elementary Observations

SEO has been around since the 1990s, and it has opened the door to a variety of new business and new professional careers. From SEO-compliant copywriters to expert SEO agencies, it is a skill that is difficult to miss. And that’s good because, in the world of the Internet, it’s not a skill that you want to be doing without. You need to understand the basic rules of SEO to appear in the ranking of search engines. However, it seems that the jargon has erased the true function of SEO. Now, at an age where every marketer’s CV displays the acronym SEO as a proof of expertise, it becomes essential to leave the business language out and focus on the common sense behind SEO. Here are some Super Elementary Observations, or SEO if you like, about your online presence.

seo

From understanding the right methods to knowing what useful content means, discover the logical observations that guide search engine optimization.

#1. There Is Such A Thing As Bad SEO

For a start, there is no denying that there can be bad SEO methods and results. You can find a great article about it, Marketing Mines You Don’t Want To Step On, which explains the key faux pas of SEO. Google is the main search engine, with over 93% of users googling instead of binging or yahoo-ing their search terms. Therefore it’s always helpful to keep an eye on the SEO rules set by Google. You can get penalized for keyword stuffing, for example – which is a strategy from the 1990s that consists in inserting your list of keywords all over the web page a bit like a grocery list. Additionally, there is more than just the text that you read on the page in SEO. You can optimize your images by giving them appropriate sizing, captions and alt tag – or alternative tag, which appears in the code and helps the search engines to understand the pictures. Missing these elements can make it more difficult for your page to be read and then ranked appropriately by search engines.

#2. You Need To Do Your Research

SEO is all about keywords. The idea is that the search terms that the users entered in their favorite search engines will match the keywords that you are placing in your content. Unfortunately, this matching phenomenon doesn’t happen by chance. You need to research the preferred search terms for your topic or product. This means that you need to a keyword specific tool that will help you to observe the high ranking keywords related to your content and to monitor your own ranking. It is a little simplistic, but what SEO tools do is dressing a list of relevant search terms for your content – generally after analyzing your web pages or receiving your own keyword list – to help you find the best keyword phrases and synonyms. Indeed, using the same phrasing than digital users is the best way to appear for their searches.

#3. You Need To Think About Your Audience

However, while a keyword research is useful, it doesn’t give you any information about your actual target audience. Let’s be honest, it’s nice to use the most typed search terms in your content, but if you don’t target the content for the appropriate audience group, it is a waste of your time. Knowing your audience means that you understand their demographics, lifestyles, and interests. It is an essential step of targeted SEO strategies, which means reaching the right audience, at the right time and in the right location with the right content. Sounds difficult? It is. But doing your research is key to success. You need to know who you are writing for.

#4. You Need To Generate Content

Does it really need saying? An SEO strategy needs content. Indeed, there’s only so much you can do to optimize your website so that search engines can access and read it easily. But it’s the content that will appear in the search results. Therefore you need to create content. Thankfully there is more than one type of content. Using infographics, for example, if you make a clever use of your alt tag, is a great way of presenting a clutter of information and facts about one topic. If you are an infographic lover, you have probably already rightly considered that this article could also exist in infographics format. Videos are another great example of engaging SEO content – you can post a transcript of the video alongside so that search engines can pick it up easily – that is ready to digest for users and still informative.

#5. What The Heck Is Good Content?

This asks the question of content, and specifically what is good content. Indeed, how you measure the results of your content is defined by what you want to achieve with your SEO content. For instance, are you creating content to attract more visitors to your website? In this case, the SEO ranking matters less than the traffic number and the traffic performance of each piece of content. But what if your purpose for generating content is to increase purchases? In this case, the SEO ranking and the traffic figures are no indicators of performance. You will be interested in the number of sales that you can link to your content – in the world of Google Analytics; it’s the convertibility of your content, or which piece of content leads to a conversion.

#6. The Dilemma Of Useful Content

There is a big emphasis on writing useful content. While it is difficult to measure the usefulness of your content regarding web traffic data – receiving visitors on the website is not an indication of how useful your content is but how high it ranks in search engine, for instance – there are ways to use social media to understand its impacts. The social media reaction to your content will vary in terms of how the content fits in a specific context. Let’s say, for example, that you are sharing a meme. This might create a semi-viral reaction on your social platform, but it will not last. While it is engaging, your content doesn’t have a long lifespan because it doesn’t serve a purpose in the long term. It’s essential to create content that is engaging and relevant in the long term.

The Small Business Hurdle of 24-7 Customer Support

When you realize the cost of acquiring a new customer is five times the cost of retaining an existing one, it makes sense to try to keep your loyal and paying customers. It is imperative for small businesses to have excellent customer service. You need to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What expectations would you have?

When prospects and customers believe, they are remembered, that can be a massive boon to your business. Sure, it seems like common sense. Yet, in today’s hyper-connected world, small businesses face challenges that come with trying to offer 24/7 customer support. It requires behavior that differs from business situations. You need to adjust your attitude towards each customer.

To win over customers, you need to make them feel as if they have also won. To gain a distinct advantage over your competition, you need to demonstrate excellent customer service.

Customer Support Hurdle

What customers want?

When you’re a small business owner competing against companies as big as Amazon, Apple or Google, no one needs to remind you of the weeds and potential for pitfalls. This is where it is critical to understand your customers’ biggest hot buttons when it comes down to customer service. Here is a partial list of what customers want:

Knowledgeable Staff–Don’t you hate it when you ask a company employee for information, and they have no clue? It’s annoying and makes you want to run in the other direction. So, you need to ensure your staff can answer customer questions.

Reduced hold times–Customers don’t want to wait on the phone for over five minutes. They have lives and jobs too. You can help by using an automated system that leads them through a series of prompts before getting a customer service representative. This helps to specify their need, while keeping them busy if there is a bit of a wait time.

Resolve issues quickly–Problems will arise, but how do you handle them? Does the customer want to wait a month to get a refund? Probably not. If you can solve problems quickly, you will be far ahead of your competition.

Have normal business hours–Most customers would rather call customer service in the morning, when they have more energy and a better attention span. So, you should be available during normal business hours.

Several Customer Service outlets–People will still make phone calls, but an increasing number is starting to use email, web chat and social media to get help.

Ensuring your customer service team is on board

Consumers tend to flock to small businesses because they believe they are more accessible than enterprise businesses. They want to know that there is someone on the other side just like them. This is where a small business can certainly stand out. When your team members are excited about helping your customers, it only helps your business. Plus, since you have a small business, it can be much more flexible than a massive organization.

You will need the flexibility in instances where everyone needs to play a significant role. This starts through training employees. You want your staff to know that your company is devoted to making sure your customers are happy. This means that everyone must go the extra mile.

Share the benefits of being a customer-centric organization. It means more growth, which is better for everyone. Then, provide training on how to efficiently answer questions and manage complaints. You also need your employees to understand how to keep upset customers calm.

Another option is to offer incentives for team members who go above and beyond when it comes to helping customers. It can be a simple as a paid lunch with the boss or a gift card. Nonetheless, the recognition will make them feel more proud of their accomplishments.

After that, you must have a plan to ensure that phone calls aren’t left unanswered. For a small company, 24/7 availability can be difficult. Yet, there are answers. You can automate after hours calls with a virtual phone system. You can then route the calls based on your desired set up. You might configure your system to ring specific employees who have an after-hours schedule.

This way, you can offer 24/7 customer service without having to maintain full time staff overnight. A virtual system also comes with features such as call forwarding, a virtual receptionist and simultaneous ringing on several phones.

Hire seasonal staff

The holidays are usually the make or break time for many retail businesses. For some, it is the only profitable time of the year and provides the fuel to keep a business going. Understanding that customers save for holidays and special occasions helps you to become better prepared for an influx of purchases. You also want staff available at all hours of the day.

You might have full-time staff during the normal hours, and a few part-time staff overnight. The last thing you want is for orders to go unfulfilled or customers not getting responses. In addition, make sure your seasonal employees work alongside experienced staffers. Putting three new employees together equates to the blind leading the blind. Plus, your customers may question your commitment to quality.

Use the right technology

Now day, small businesses can compete on a larger scale thanks to the use of technology. Still, you must know your customer to deploy the right types of technologies. You don’t need to automate all your processes right away. Your phone system is a start, as you need to be responsive. Still, how responsive do you need to be? Are you aware of the top five reasons your customers call you?

How are you handling orders? You might need to automate your order taking process with a CRM system. Moreover, when there are changes in demand, you should have the facilities to support that. You can use a cloud communication solution that offers the ability to only pay for the storage and services you use. You might pay for more storage and services during the busy holiday season. This way, you are always there for your customer with no down time.

Don’t lose your customers. These guidelines are straightforward, but you must stand out. By following them, your small business can overcome the 24/7 customer service challenge.