Business:

Why Local Content Matters

No matter what type of online presence you have, from a blog to managing a website, are you focusing on local? Search engine optimization (SEO) has a subset of localized SEO (LSEO) for a reason: Geo-targeting your audience can help improve the quality of your content, loyal followers/customers and also with where you appear in search engine rankings. It’s not for everyone (such as huge corporations like Amazon with zero local focus) but for many smaller websites, it’s crucial.

For example, let’s say you provide contracting services in a metro area and want to reach as many of your neighbors as possible. The content on your landing pages, blogs, social media and anywhere else you manage needs to be geo-specific but still organic. You don’t want to stuff “Kansas City” or “Phoenix” into awkward places, but a reputable content creator can do so seamlessly to ensure more locals find you online.

The local approach

There are some websites that shy away from local content because they might serve a certain region but want to appeal to a national or international audience. A good example is a florist in Houston that also ships domestically. They may or may not have a brick and mortar location (but if they do, going local is even more important). Focusing on national customers is a good idea, but ignoring the appeal of “supporting local” means they’re bypassing what is probably a very lucrative and loyal market.

More and more consumers are looking for local businesses to get their business. You can see it in the thriving farmer’s markets, and you can even ask a premium price when reaching out to your local customers. Retailers and service providers can maximize on this trend by highlighting their family owned, local, Main Street style of business. You should have two focuses if this suits you: A local content marketing strategy and a generic one.

Pitfalls of content creation newbies

Now that you see the benefits of local content, can’t you just freshen up existing content yourself by peppering in some local language? Not necessarily, and it won’t be done as well as a professional. By utilizing keyword search technology that’s constantly changing, a professional can pinpoint the right “keyword density” to maximize your exposure while also using the most popular and trending words. You might know a nickname for different neighborhoods that are searchable, but you don’t know which are most searched.

Local content can make a huge difference in your visibility and ultimately success. Stop ignoring it.

Web:

Build Your Business with a Strong Web Presence

Do you want more customers and sales? Are you trying to gain exposure online? If so, you’re not alone. Millions of companies are competing against each other on the Internet. The World Wide Web offers great opportunities for those who want to make money and reach new clients. The key to success is to build a strong online presence. This involves creating a website and blog, staying active on social networks, and sharing quality content.

If you want to expand your business, go online and make a name for yourself. Promote your brand to the target market, interact with your prospects, and post unique content on your company’s blog. Here are some tips to build a solid online presence for your business:

Set Up a Website

It is estimated that more than 47 percent of small businesses don’t have a site or blog. A professional website can enhance your reputation and give you a competitive edge. About 97 percent of U.S. customers use the Internet to find products and services. Over 61 percent have made a purchase based on recommendations from a blog.

Invest in a quality website and promote it on social networks. Business owners who blog generate up to 88 percent more leads than those who don’t. Your website is a valuable marketing tool that can increase sales and put your brand in a positive light.

Optimize Your Site or Blog

Simply building a website is not enough. You also have to choose an eye-catching design and optimize your content for search engines. If you can’t afford to hire a Web designer, use WordPress. This blogging platform includes thousands of free and paid themes that will make your website look amazing. The best part is that it can be installed with one click and then customized according to your needs.

Once you choose a theme and a domain name, search for relevant keywords. Ask an SEO expert to help you pick the most relevant terms. Many freelancers offer keyword research services at competitive rates. When this step is complete, start posting content on your blog. Add your targeted keywords, upload pictures and videos, post infographics, and share your work online. A well-optimized website with quality content will rank high on Google and attract traffic.

Stay Active on Social Networks

Social networking is an important tool for every business seeking to build a strong online presence. Start by adding social sharing buttons on your blog. Create a Facebook page for your company, post pictures and text, and encourage your prospects to become fans. Reward them with free eBooks, bonuses, and special discounts.

Share all types of media, including photos, slide shows, infographics, statistics, and blog posts. The content should be relevant to your fans and help them solve a problem. Be consistent and interact with them as often as you can. Social media gives businesses a chance to show their human face and learn about their target audience. Take advantage of this opportunity and connect with your clients on a deeper level!

Around The Web

last update: August 30, 2014

Web:

SEO+Product Descriptions. Mission Impossible?

If you’re charged with search engine optimization (SEO) for a company, you know it’s crucial to organically place key words and phrases on every landing page. However, that can be tricky when you’re dealing with product descriptions for a mega e-tailer, especially when many of the descriptions are inherently nearly identical. This can also pose a problem for keyword stuffing and duplicate content even when that isn’t really the case.

How can you get around such a conundrum? It’s going to take serious skills that only an SEO writer has. This is why it’s important to hire the write SEO agency that tackles SEO from all angles, including the requirement for high quality content at all times. Not all writers are SEO professionals, which is why who you hire can make all the difference. Luckily, there are some SEO gurus who can handle this problem.

Variant skills

Every key phrase has variants, but you need to look beyond the variant tools and suggestions from Google AdWords. A good SEO writer will know how to pinpoint these variables and use them in correct balance. Plus, “duplicate content” is somewhat subjective and Google algorithms are smart enough to differential genuine duplicate content from “duplicate content” that isn’t black hat trickery but rather a common phrase (such as, for example “garden hose”).

If you’re staring down a site that offers a variety of different tapes, writing unique product descriptions that abide by SEO best practices can seem maddening and it is. That’s why the best SEO pros get paid well for what they do. Trying to do this yourself solely to save money is going to drive you crazy and lead to poor results. SEO writing requires a type of patience that most people don’t have.

Digging out the unique

The good news is that even very similar products have big differences (otherwise they wouldn’t be a separate product). Your mission is to find out what that is, highlight it and still work in those keywords like a boss. While it might not seem like it, a job like thousands of product descriptions is actually more challenging for an SEO writer than drumming up creative content from scratch.

Most SEO writers are also naturally talented writers to begin with, so the creative side of things come easily. It’s the daunting and repetitive tasks that can be a struggle (just like with non-writers). However, practice makes perfect, and that’s what product pages need.

 

Web:

Technology for the Creative Voice is Expanding

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New technological advances in creative writing and expressing one’s ideas into images and words have provided many platforms for people to organize their thoughts into collaborative collages and other various artistic projects. During the Internet age, most people are dealing with information overload and the ability to easily retrieve data about any topic in a matter of seconds. Most people absorb 34 gigabytes of information every day with conventional forms of media. With all the accessible information that is available, it’s easy for someone to have hundreds of cluttered thoughts daily.

Keeping Track of Thoughts and Ideas in the Digital World

Various images and ideas can come and go in your thoughts. You can think about an idea that relates to a goal you’re trying to accomplish or a project that you’re creating, and without having the ability to clearly jot the idea down or save it for future use, it may become difficult to remember at a later time. Most artists are aware of the importance to keeping track of their collective thoughts from day to day, and organizing these thoughts to help them with their work is essential. This method of practice can work well for just about anyone.

In the digital age, different apps, social media sites, podcasts and online video libraries are helping people with the right technology devices, an Internet connection and basic navigation skills log their ideas and thoughts. These innovative technologies also provide easy mechanisms for people to share their thoughts for others to see. New methods to support creative writing are being invented every year. There are even various online publication mediums that allow people to share and provide inspiration to other people around the world.

The Best Ways to Express Thoughts

Not everyone can access online media quickly and straightforwardly to take note of their thoughts. If you’ve ever experienced a time when you thought of the perfect idea or answer to a question and you failed to write it on paper, you know it can be frustrating trying to remember the thoughts later in time. Being unprepared and unable to place your thoughts in written form can be infuriating. By simply having a journal and a pen near you at all times, you can always use the traditional method of expression and write your thoughts on paper.

There are also convenient, hi-tech methods to express your thoughts in a room full of written and illustrative expressions. Like a toddler who enjoys drawing and painting on walls, you can also experience the fun and child-like ventures of expressing your creativity. With innovative, state-of-the-art equipment, you can write your ideas wherever you find available space on walls, ceilings and whiteboards using dry erase paint or chalkboard paint. This lets you create an entire room of art and written words without permanently damaging any fixtures or furniture in rooms, and when you’re ready to erase all traces of the work, simply wipe away and start all over again. The possibilities are unlimited, even if your wall space is.

Mobile:

Managing Portfolios in a Mobile World

You’ve spent weeks slaving over that portfolio and it’s perfect. When your display it on the big screen from your laptop, you know everyone will appreciate the clear graphs, the beauty in the simplicity and all the work you put into making every shade and font choice just right. What you don’t expect is that your portfolio will be skimmed over on a tiny screen in a crowded train.

The reality is that there are now more people on mobile devices than on desktops and you have to seriously compete for their attention. Even if the recipient is the COO and this is a huge project, she might be glancing over your finished product while on her iPhone while waiting in the dentist’s chair. Don’t assume your project will be seen on a screen similar to the one you worked on.

Stacking the odds

You can ensure that your portfolio is seen in the best light possible, but there will be factors you have no control over. For example, start by using the right software and programs for your analytics and research. This helps keep responsive design in check so you know your file will showcase correctly and adapt to different screen sizes. This is project management 101.

However, it’s also beneficial to do a few test runs yourself. Get your hands on as many different types of mobile devices as possible and check out the portfolio “in miniature.” Even when displayed correctly, this might show you a different, better way to display your portfolio and help you see it with fresh eyes. It’s kind of like writers who put a piece to bed before sending it to their publisher.

Respect the recipient’s time

Even if you’re asked to dissect something that nearly demands 100 slides, still try to keep it as simple as possible. Your job is to make information as easy and fast to digest as possible, and sometimes this means skipping the pomp and circumstance. Yes, your work should speak for itself, but it should also be talking in a fast, clipped voice.

Finally, when it comes to flash such as images and videos, stick with the basics (which will be the default in proper portfolio software). Getting too fancy can slow down page loads and infuriate the recipient. Simple is better, in both text and images, so keep the extreme creativity for another time.

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4 Online Resources Nurses Should Know About

Whether you’re fresh out of nursing school or a seasoned healthcare professional seeking new job opportunities, it is important to know about the resources available to you online. The job outlook for registered nurses is extremely promising, with a projected increase of 19% during the years of 2012 through 2020, far above the national average for other careers. However, it can be difficult to find your dream job if you don’t know where to look for nursing work. Here are four online resources that can help you track down the opportunity of a lifetime!

Resume Databases

Online resume databases like LinkedIn allow you to upload your resume so that recruiters can contact you. This is a great way to passively collect recruitment contacts, especially if you aren’t in a rush to find a new nursing job. Make sure to keep your resume up to date as your professional life progresses, so that recruiters have access to your most current accomplishments. Keep an eye on your email inbox, so that you can reply to recruiters who have taken an active interest in your resume.

Job Board Filters

Most nursing job boards have an advanced settings feature so that you can narrow down the career listings that appear during your search. This is particularly useful when you are searching job boards that display national opportunities. Use the filters to omit listing that don’t match your state, part time / full time, and benefits requirements. These filters can help you save a significant amount of time during the job search.

Email Notifications

Some job boards allow you to create a personalized account so that you can save search filter settings and resumes. Keep an eye out for an “email notifications” feature. Essentially, this allows you to sign up for notifications from a job board service whenever a listing matching your search criteria is posted online.

Staffing Agencies

Get in touch with a reputable staffing agency that specializing in matching healthcare institutions with nursing professionals. These organizations have their finger on the pulse of nurse recruiting and job markets. Staffing agency professionals can be an excellent resource when you are searching for nursing work.

Taking the next step in your nursing career can be an extremely exciting experience. You can increase your likelihood of landing your dream job by understanding what your online resources are. Job board features, email notifications, and staffing agencies can help connect you with fantastic opportunities.

Web:

SEO and Internet Marketing Myths That Stop You from Growing Your Business

Search engine optimization and Internet marketing are strongly connected. The best SEO practices can boost your online marketing campaign as well as your search engine rankings. From websites and blogs to magazines, there are plenty of resources available to those who want to learn about Internet marketing. With so much information overload, it can be hard to figure out what works and what doesn’t work. Whispering+in+ear_jpg

Here are the most common SEO and Internet marketing mistakes that stop you from growing your business:

SEO Is Dead

Millions of websites and blogs have been hit by the latest Google algorithm changes. As a result, they’ve lost customers and sales. It’s no wonder why so many business owners believe that SEO is dead. However, this is just a myth. Search engine optimization still works. The key is to avoid black hat SEO and spam link building techniques that can get you banned from the search engines.

The More Backlinks, the Better

Backlinks are a vital component of SEO. A website with high-quality links from well-established sources will always rank high on search results. When it comes to link building, quality is more important than quantity. A few relevant links provide more value to your site than hundreds of poor-quality links. For optimal results, you should obtain links from popular websites and blogs in your niche. If you’re offering wristband USB drives on your site, get links from other websites selling PC accessories and electronics. It doesn’t make sense to request links from online furniture stores or health insurance blogs.

Guest Posting Doesn’t Work Anymore

A few years ago, guest posting was one of the most effective SEO strategies. By publishing content on other websites and blogs, you can get tons of traffic to your pages. This is also a great way to acquire relevant links and reach a wider audience. According to former Google software engineer Matt Cutts, most marketers are using this method the wrong way. Their only purpose is to obtain links. Their posts offer little or no information. As a result, guest blogging has lost its value.

However, this doesn’t mean that guest posting is dead. This strategy works for those who submit high-quality content to authoritative sites and blogs. Every time you write content on other sites, focus on building your reputation.

Internet Marketing Is Free

Contrary to the popular belief, Internet marketing isn’t free. It’s less expensive than traditional marketing strategies, but it still costs money. If you’re on a tight budget, you can use free blogging platforms, free stock photos, free content and free software. As you gain exposure online, start using premium tools. Buy a premium theme for your blog, create a marketing budget and use the latest software. You have to spend money to make money.

If you’re serious about SEO and online marketing, you’ll need more than a free blog and free email services. There are many social media tools and blogging apps that are absolutely necessary for your business to grow. Some can be expensive, but it’s worth the investment.

Social:

Searching for Tech Support Leads to Scams

If you were a hacker and created a site to obtain sensitive information, what sort of site would it be? According to computer experts, the most popular type of site is one devoted to tech support, because consumers instinctively trust such companies. tech support

There are certainly hundreds of legitimate tech support companies out there, so how can you distinguish a scam site from a real one? You certainly shouldn’t assume the top search results are the most reputable.

Kevin Boynton is the owner of a Richmond-based computer repair company. He says, “I get calls all the time from people saying ‘they took my money, I let them into my computer and they said they fixed all the problems and if I have any more problems, give them a call back but then they didn’t fix my problem.”

Perhaps not surprisingly, these people never get another reply. If you’re looking for a reputable tech support company, read reviews, talk to a live person, and get those testimonials.

The biggest niche

According to Boynton, the most common scams happen when consumers are looking for help with computers, not more complex tech help. “They see a phone number that says call us now for support, and they think okay.”

Many of these consumers never bother to do their research; they blindly trust what might be a marketing scam. “They will answer the phone as HP Support, but they are going to give you a hard sale and they are going to try to talk you into buying some sort of support,” Boynton warns.

Somewhat on the plus side, many of these scam artists are “just” out for your money and are not seeking to install malicious software on your computer. If you’re looking for a technician to actually repair your computer, be wary of any high pressure sales.

While this may not be illegal, it’s an iffy business model that indicates they don’t put the customer first. Plus, you can always challenge credit card purchases if you didn’t agree to the purchase.

Bigger fish in the sea

On the other hand, some sites are indeed designed strictly to steal your information. These probably won’t turn up among the top Google search results, but some companies do a great job of manipulating search engine optimization (SEO) for short periods of time to get higher rankings and attract potential victims.

If a “support company” is actually doing something illegal, they’ll be caught soon enough, but possibly not in time to save you. Your best move is to trust your gut, do your homework, and rely on real reviews.

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