• 26Jul

    SEO strategies evolve with times as and when Google updates its algorithms.What has not changed, however, is the emphasis on good quality and meaningful content to be published in order to gain higher search rankings.Content has proven to be a massive magnet to drive online traffic to your website. Among the different forms of content used by professional content agencies to boost online site visitor numbers and subsequent conversions, articles score very highly in this context.

    Ways to use articles to boost SEO

    Creating and publishing high quality articles ensures a massive degree of SEO success.Industry statistics show that websites regularly putting up authoritative articles on their site experience a 10% jump in website views.You can focus on diverse topics to develop meaningful and relevant articles, aimed specifically at your key target audience in the below ways –

    (I) Promotional articles ending with a call to action to subscribe to your offerings

    (ii) Informative articles to help readers address a specific problem

    (iii) Authoritative articles that showcase your position as a leader in your business segment

    Advantages of posting good quality articles

    Some of the ways in which high quality articles can help drive significant web traffic are:

    1. SEO boost – SEO strategies focus heavily on original, well-crafted articles. By posting fresh articles on your website, you provide Google search engine with new content to index and hence better prospects of improving online visibility. Make use of keywords aimed at your specific intended audience, and you have a ready source for driving high Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) and subsequent high visitor count.

    2. Marketing opportunity through sharing – Whenever you post an engaging article, you create a new networking and marketing opportunity.With high quality articles, readers will be induced to share it amongst their networks.This provides a further boost to your business promotion endeavors. Be it in the form of links to your articles, tweeting your link, or sharing the link on Facebook, these are free ways to increase the amount of visibility your brand garners online.

    3. Leadership credential – A thought provoking article on a topic that very few have touched upon cements your place as an industry leader. With engaging content and an honest perspective to provide a solution to your customers’ needs, articles go a long way in providing the much needed credibility to your business as a thought leader in your chosen line of business. With frequent posting of such high quality articles, readers start using your resource as a go-to channel and build further confidence around your brand.

    4. High customer engagement – Good quality articles have the ability to let you connect with your customers like no other medium. You can showcase the human side of your business and connect at a deeper level with prospective as well as existing customers. You can invite commentary, opinions and thoughts from readers after they have finished reading the article. This way the readers can not only provide high value insight into their preferences, but also give them a good channel for communicating with your business.

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  • 25Jul

    What can we learn about culture in the workplace from the study of our expectations?

    In 1968 the work of two psychologists Rosenthal and Jacobsen studied the effects of tutor expectations on the performance of their students.

    They took intelligence pre-tests with the children and then told teachers the names of twenty percent of them who were showing “unusual potential for intellectual growth” and predicted they would bloom with the academic year.

    They then sat back and watched what was to unfold.

    Unknown to the teachers these children were randomly selected with no relation to the intelligence test. Eight months later they re-tested the children and the results showed that the randomly selected children who the teachers thought would bloom scored significantly higher.

    They called this the “Pygmalion Effect”.

    The results from this study (and since there have been hundreds of studies done in this same area) showed that positive expectations of others influence performance positively and negative expectations do the opposite.

    “When we expect certain behaviors of others, we are likely to act in ways that make the expected behavior more likely to occur.” (Rosenthal and Babad, 1985)

    You may have noticed this effect taking place on yourself when you think back to being in school or more relevantly in your professional life if you have ever worked for a boss who has believed in you and your ability and as a result you stepped up to meet their expectations.

    The message is simple. Be careful what you expect from others and be careful what others expect from you. Have a look around and notice if it is having a positive or negative effect. Building a high performance culture is almost impossible if the expectations are not positive.

    This is such an easy mistake to make. A common behaviour trait of being human is that we adapt to the environment we find ourselves in and subconsciously we will fit into that environment in the best way we can. It is hard to stand out when we have a strong drive to feel accepted by those around us.

    Pay attention to the environments you spend your time in. Have a look around and notice what the expectations are. Notice the subtle impact of this on the performance of both yourself and others.

    It is much easier to fit in than it is to initiate change but the world and especially business needs people who are willing to be the catalyst for change. Change is all around us at a pace faster than ever before and it is much easier to be at the forefront of this change than finding yourself on the receiving end.

    Be a leader. Raise the expectations. Demand more from yourself and more from those around you and watch them deliver.

    If you want to instigate positive change in your organisation then book Martin as your Motivational Speaker and create a culture of inspirational leadership and high performance.

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  • 20Jul

    So you’ve come to the conclusion you need a forklift rental. But before you rent, you need to come up with a plan to eliminate the guesswork and save you a few headaches. Let’s take a look at the information you’ll need if you want to acquire the perfect size forklift.

    Weight

    First, how much weight will you be required to lift? In what form is the material to be raised? Is it on pallets, in boxes, or shrink-wrapped? Take these things into consideration to avoid contracting the wrong size equipment. Some irregularly sized objects might require special front-end attachments.

    Height

    How high will you be raising your products? The height will determine how big the machine needs to be. If you are raising your product two stories high or more, then you will need at least a six-wheeled vehicle. Larger six-wheeled lifts can handle loads up to 60,000 pounds. The smaller sized machines are perfect for warehouse work or unloading flatbed trucks.

    Cost

    Now that you have the first two considerations figured out, you should think about your budget. Standard sized lifts average around $150 per day. However, many companies offer discounts so that one week will run you around $500, and one month will cost roughly $1,000.

    Insurance

    It’s up to you to check your company’s insurance policy about the use of rental equipment. The dealer you rent from will have their own equipment insurance, but you need to make sure the operator of the machine is covered as well.

    Inspection and Delivery

    At this point, it is time to go to the company you are renting from and pick out the lift you want – but be sure to note the model number to compare it to the unit that is delivered. Make sure the drop-off point is discussed: are you having the unit delivered to your home driveway or to a construction site with dirt roads? Delivery might cost you, but it is best to leave the loading and unloading to a professional.

    Fuel

    Lifts can run on any number of fuels, including gasoline, diesel, compressed natural gas (CNG), and liquid petroleum gas (LPG). Alternately, another option to consider is the electric forklift. Quiet and efficient, the electric version requires you to just plug in it at the end of the day to be ready for the next day’s work.

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  • 16Jul

    A brand is the sum total of all perceptions in your target customers’ minds, a synergy of the entire customer experience. This includes what your customers think of you and their reflections on everything you present to the outside world. Emails, Facebook posts, Tweets, official company descriptors (such as the “About Us” tab on your website), and yes, even the logo on your business cards all play roles in defining your company’s brand image by inviting consumer judgements. It’s a complicated integration of experiences, feelings, and personalities that make your customers love (or hate) your company.

    Branding is the process of using a number of tools to introduce the brand message to your customers, as well as gain awareness, build preference, and invite them to create a consistently positive customer experience with your brand.

    Six Things That A Brand Is Not:

    1.Positioning. A positioning statement defines the image a company wants to hold in customers’ minds in relation to its competitors. A position is often described as the meaningful difference between the brand and its competitors – though the positioning statement itself is rarely made public. It is the touchstone for developing a brand identity, new products, creative copy, and designs for advertising, marketing, and public relations efforts.

    2.Name. It’s the first impression that starts to define and identify the company or product. The name is eventually what you want to be synonymous to “the best” or the “only one” in the minds of customers. If you’re extraordinary, it may even become synonymous with the product no matter who makes it, i.e., Xerox, Band-Aid, Kleenex.

    3.Logo. Put simply, a logo brings the company to life graphically. A picture is truly easier to remember than words. Thus, you want a picture you can embed in the minds of your customers, one with which they will identify when hearing your name, seeing your product or even noticing a logo that is similar. Your logo sets the stage for the corporate identity and the graphic standards by identifying the colors that represent your company. Generally, your identity pieces include a logo, color scheme/graphic standards, and a tagline that all relate to your positioning.

    4.Tagline. A tagline is a short, written expression of your brand’s position or promise to the customer. Not every company needs or wants a tagline, but you will have a position and a brand in your customers’ minds whether or not you have a tagline.

    5.Business Card, Brochure, Signage, Packaging, Trade Show Booth, etc. These are more branding tools or extensions of your corporate identity that support your logo, colors and product/service benefits.

    6.Website. A website is where your advertising and marketing efforts reinforce the brand’s informational content with a vibrant mixture of feelings and experiences. Websites are where your potential customers go to find out more about what it will be like to deal with you, or where an existing customer goes to experience once more the benefits of your brand.

    When To “Rebrand” – Evaluating Your Options

    If you are a new organization or start-up company, spending everything on a logo design without adequate market research and position planning is not a good move. On the other hand, if your organization or company has been around for a while, it is important to begin the rebranding process with an assessment of where you are now:

    •What does the market look like today? 
    •Who are your customers (in detail)? 
    •How is your brand positioned in the market versus your competitors? 
    •How do your customers describe their experiences with your brand (in detail)?

    (Where are the gaps between your brand promise and customer experiences?)

    •Has your vision or mission changed (or evolved) into something more/different? 
    •Does your logo look dated (old-fashioned)? 
    •Is your tagline or company descriptor still an accurate reflection of your brand?

    Design Seduction — It is easy to be lured by the excitement of diving into designing a brand graphic identity, but whether you’re a start-up or an established business owner, doing your research and pre-planning goes a long way toward ensuring yours is a brand your customers will love.

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  • 11Jul

    In this modern era, people prefer to stay in apartments rather than individual houses. This is mainly because of the ease and convenience associated with such society based lifestyle. However, management of the daily affairs of such arrangements can turn out to be quite daunting in many ways. In such case, the best thing to do would be to go for effective software for management of such societies.

    There are many types of housing society management tools online that are known to offer extensive range of features. Before choosing over them, it is important that you check with its features, capability and reliability. Here are few things that you should be aware of when getting one,

    Extensive features

    You can switch to software in order to administer daily affairs in an effective and organized manner. Make sure that you pick the one that best suits your requirements and is packed with useful features. Most of such tools come with key features but there are some of them that have got some additional features that make society management convenient in many ways.

    The organizing tool should be able to provide you with extensive support in many important areas. Some offers a line of features which includes managing meetings, tasks, accounts, notices, circulars, maintenance bills, registers and complaints. It also comes with the facility to effectively handle documents and compliances details.

    These features would help organize and streamline important activities with regard to apartment society administration to a great extent.

    Reliable platform

    It is important to check for the reliability of the tool before buying one. Make use of a web based tool that is easy to use and manage. Some comes with attractive user interface and facilitates easy navigation. You should check for any sort of glitches before getting it. The best thing to do would be to read reviews online. This would enable you to make the right kind of decision when it comes to buying one. The tools need to be up-to-date in terms of technologies and functionalities.

    There are few systems that come with wide array of features for a cheaper price. You need to check and compare the different features in the system and then make the decision as to which one you want to buy.

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  • 08Jul

    To create a brand identity, it is important to advertise your business. However, just like any other activity it needs proper planning for promoting your business. Let us see the various ways of promotion.

    Have a strong web presence

    Today, it has become imperative for companies to have a strong web presence. Customers use the Internet to look for products and services. Not only this, they also interact with company representatives in real-time to have an in-depth knowledge. A robust web presence ensures that you reach a range of audience in the shortest possible time.

    Be socially active

    Over the past few years, social media has evolved rapidly. The wide reach of social media has prompted companies to rethink their strategies and be socially active. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. are some of the common platforms that allow you reach a vast audience. Today, most people are active on social media and hence it is vital to be present on as many platforms as possible.

    Build networks

    Promotional efforts can be greatly enhanced through business networks. You can build them online as well as offline. You can join an industry group or chamber of commerce to meet people of the similar domain. You can join many online communities related to your business. Successful companies boast of robust networks that help them reach prospective clients.

    Attend events and conferences

    It is important to attend events and conferences pertaining to your business. Being a part of industry events gives you an opportunity to interact with prospective customers and clients. It also helps you know the latest trends in the industry and you can formulate your strategies accordingly.

    Advertise

    To spread brand awareness, it is important to advertise. Advertise about your products and services using various mediums. There are several advertising agencies that help companies promote their products and services. Check the credibility of the ad agency before hiring.

    Innovate

    Innovation is the key to success. You must always offer something new to your customer. Innovation will help you stand out in competition. When you offer anything new, give discounts and coupons. Create fun events to bring more engagement.

    As said earlier that promotion needs proper planning. Sit with your team members and brainstorm ideas. Know the goals of your company and take decisions accordingly. Find out what suits best for your company and devise plans. You need to monitor your campaign at each stage to know its effectiveness.

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  • 06Jul

    A lot of people are following the “go green” approach with using cotton carrier bags in their daily lives for a wide array of reasons. They have an ability to carry plenty of items and no matter how many items you place into these bags, they will not tear just like paper bags. The best part is that they are 100% natural because they are made from cotton which is a very thin material. They can be recycled and can be used thousands of times for as long as you want to. These bags have a good life and are not dumped into the trash cans after the first use.

    The cotton carrier bags can be found in multiple sizes, shapes, colours and designs. You can get a bag of your choice which will suitable for any occasion you can think of. These eco-friendly bags are also available in small sizes so that you can place your jewelry items. What’s more? With these bags, you can also carry your school books and other types of bags which can be used to carry delicate pieces of clothing in order to prevent from getting any creases.

    Do you know that so many business owners out there are promoting their newly launched products with the help of a promotional item? Any guesses what this promotional item can be? It is a cotton carrier bag. This bag is considered as one of the safest options to be used as a giveaway item to the customers who express a curiosity to know more about your brand. If they find something useful, chances are they will get associated with your brand for years to come and be loyal to it.

    We simply understand and don’t deny the fact that the urgency to protect our planet has become one of our utmost goals and we must every possible attempt when it comes to safeguarding the planet, which we fondly know by the name of the “Earth”, from any ill effects that can later prove to be detrimental to the human beings and the environment. You can also go for printed cotton bags for daily use.

    Can you achieve your goal with the use of cotton carrier bags?

    Absolutely! Using these bags is one of the most effective and feasible ways to get the word out to the target audience about your brand which might convert into potential customers after realizing the fact that something useful has been given to them. This is indeed one of the best ways to spread the word about your brand if you want the same to become a huge success in no time. The carrier bags which are made from cotton are a perfect choice to attract more and more customers to associate with you brand for a long time.

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  • 04Jul

    Being a stay at home Mom or Dad is not the only reason to consider becoming a professional virtual assistant. Caring for an elderly parent, grandparent or friend is a growing responsibility in many households. There is a large number of middle-aged professionals (referred to as the Sandwich Generation) who are simultaneously caring for children and parents – that have left their normal 9am-5pm job to become an at-home caregiver. Whether we’re feeling loving or merely dutiful, we’re probably trying to do the right thing by them and let’s admit it: it can be really, really hard sometimes!

    According to a Pew Research study, most caregivers are women, about 45% are men. American Association of Retired Persons research says most caregivers have jobs, but 70% are obliged to “make workplace adjustments”-coming in late or leaving early, for instance. (Forbes 7/14). This can hamper your job performance and add stress to an already overloaded day. Many who are working and caring for an elderly parent or grandparent eventually end up having to take a leave of absence or will decide to quit their job as health situations change.

    Working as a virtual assistant is a viable option for those that still have some time in their day to utilize their professional skills. Virtual work offers the flexibility needed to still render elder care. Setting your work schedule around doctor appointments, in-home visits and other responsibilities can be accomplished if you take on the right kind of virtual work. Finding something that may not have hard deadlines or can be done during off-hours (such as night or early morning) is the ideal solution. It is important to have a home office that is quiet and the appropriate technology needed to do the work. Embracing virtual work can actually offer a great escape from the reality of being a care-giver. It allows you to focus on an activity that challenges you in a different way and provides you with some additional income.

    The care of a parent or grandparent during their time of need is something that most of us will have to deal with as our family members age. Knowing that there are some work options available if you are put into a position that requires quitting your 9am-5pm job can make that transition a little less stressful. We are all on this journey together. We can help each other along, working as Virtual Assistants.

    Virtual Assistance is a fast growing industry. At Virtual Assistant Quickstart (VAQ), we strive to keep you up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies by providing effective tools, training opportunities and resources that will help you grow and be successful as a virtual assistant.

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  • 25Jun

    It may seem that anyone with access to a computer is able to start their own blog. This may be true, but is anyone reading their material? Is their content engaging? In our digital age, business owners are starting to realize that adding interesting content to their website will help them rank higher in search engine results. Blogging builds a strong reputation for your brand, keeps clients and potential clients engaged, and informs readers that you are a reputable source of information in the industry. Starting a blog sounds easy enough – create fresh content, write regularly and promote your blog posts. It is important to stay on top of your blogging game, because there is nothing worse than looking at a company’s blog page with their most recent post from over 6 months ago. Now that we realize there are many benefits to business blogging, including an increase in traffic to your company website (which may turn into leads), and establishing your brand as an authority in the industry, let’s look at 3 ways to ensure the success of your blog.

    Writer’s block can be a drag, but you can avoid this nuisance by rotating through a cycle of topics such as How-To’s, Behind-The-Scenes and Share Your Opinion. Let’s take a look at these conversation starters!

    How-To Article: you’re a skilled, savvy expert in the industry, so why not share your knowledge with the online world? If you know how to do something most people don’t, or most people need assistance with, write a How-To article. It is crucial that your article is sufficient and to the point. Everyone is looking for a shortcut, so you’re How-To article should include less than 10 steps on how to achieve something the individual can benefit from. Here are some examples: “How to Develop the Best Marketing Campaign”, or “How To Ace a Group Interview”.

    Behind-The-Scenes: It’s important to share the personal details of your business so clients and customers can connect with you on a more personal level. Blog about events you hosted, campaigns you ran, insider information on your company, or corporate parties that readers wouldn’t have access to information from besides on your blog. For example, an informative Behind-The-Scenes blog is “A Behind The Scenes Look at Marketing Agencies”. This blog post outlines what event marketing agencies do, and why this specific company differs from the rest.

    Share an Opinion: Write about a current topic in the news within your industry, and share your opinion on the topic! Do you agree or disagree? What would you do differently, and why? People want to know what you think and this will again position you as a leader within your industry. Make sure not to babble and make your piece short and to the point!

    So now you’ve got lots of content to write about, but I’m sorry to say, people might want to hear from more than just you! Take turns within the company contributing to the blog page so readers are able to hear from all levels and positions and hear a new voice. Another great idea is to have guest writers on your blog! Guest writers can range from your clients to your colleagues outside of the workplace. It is important to get people excited to participate in your blog. An idea for a staffing agency would be to reach out to the staff on their roster and offer them the chance to contribute to the blog on events and their experience. Your staff will be honored that you want to hear what they have to say, and everyone loves seeing their work published!

    Great content is required to having a successful blog, along with consistency. The last step in keeping your blog informative and up to date is by sharing this content on all forms of social media and back linking! Sharing your posts on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn is a great idea. Not all of your social media followers take the time to check your website because they follow you on these other outlets. A great way to branch out and get new traffic to your website is to comment on relevant blog posts and articles on other brands websites and within your comment, encourage readers to visit your blog post. It is important to make sure your comment is relevant and provides informative content for discussion so you do not look like you are simply promoting your company.

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