Google, it sometimes seems, is the be all and end all for business owners looking to be found on the Internet. While the rules change, sometimes before you’ve even implemented them, there are ways to remain relevant, be found and up your Google rankings when you write a blog post.
Here are my top tips for gaining Google love:
Always write original content. Don’t be redundant – even if you write and post on more than one website in the same niche market. While you don’t have to recreate the wheel with your posts, you do want to make certain the content has been rewritten even though the ideas may be the same.
Create value for your readers by offering practical advice and relevant information. Readers love how-tos, tips and topic articles. Incorporate original research into your posts by embedding your experience as an expert on that subject matter.
Are your posts spell and grammar checked? Are your facts correct? If your readers are faced with inaccuracies in your facts and spelling errors (which can be easily avoided) they may doubt your expertise in the information you’re presenting.
Write about interesting topics with SEO as a secondary idea. Writing a post with only SEO (search engine optimization) as your driving force will make your posts read like something from a content mill. Sprinkle your keywords into the posts but don’t make them so keyword heavy that your message is lost.
Are you positioning yourself as an expert? If so, what’s on your “resume” that will point to that expertise? If you’re positioning your site as a clearinghouse for other experts, make that clear up front. Make certain your site reflects who you are and what you do and what sets you apart from the competition.
What do you have to say that is different from the other bloggers that are saying the same thing? It’s true there are no new ideas so you need to take your blog posts and find a way to set them apart from the thousands of others that are out there. Make certain your unique voice and perspective come through in your writing.
Is your blog post all about calls to action? Is the post or site cluttered with ads and “buy me” promotions? Don’t let your blog posts and your ideas be lost in the noise of ads and promotions. While you certainly want to have clients buy from you or sign up to work with you, you need to do direct them to a different part of your website – don’t bury the message of your blog posts in ads.
High quality, relevant content is your best way to be found by Google and your best way to communicate with your clients and potential clients. Let content be your guiding force in your blog posts.
In today’s ever-connected world, there are times when you simply need to step away and plan for quiet time. How can you turn off distractions? Step away from the office? Maybe even take time away from the family for a few hours? Can you turn off the television, radio, not play any audio books for a few hours? If possible, you need to do so. Your mind needs down time in order to function at its optimal levels.
If you find you have your best ideas when you’re doing a mindless task such as cooking dinner, showering, or even sitting in a traffic jam, it’s because your mind has had the opportunity to tune out.
Here are some steps to create your own downtime:
Put it in your calendar. Yes, you need to schedule quiet time just as you schedule appointments you need to schedule down time. Find a time during the day when you’re not at your peak and then make it a ritual for your down time. Take a walk. Sit in a quiet, darkened room and simply unwind.
Take advantage of your commute. If you travel to and from work and find yourself stuck in traffic, use that time to turn off the radio and take advantage of that as quiet time.
Schedule your downtime around your colleague’s schedules if necessary. Can you only grab small amounts of downtime at work without interruptions? Take advantage of the lunch schedules of co-workers and plan to eat at a different time. Use the time your co-workers are at lunch for your down time.
Carve out a space at home where you can have your quiet time. Let the kids and significant other know that when the door is closed for X amount of minutes, it’s your downtime and you’d appreciate not being interrupted. If possible sit in a room that doesn’t make you feel you need to get up and clean it. Make your quiet space a place of relaxation.
How can you take steps to have quiet time? Is it something to which you can commit?
Today, business owners can’t ignore social media. Even though there are times you may feel you’re screaming into a crowded room when it comes to either being heard or listening effectively, the power of social media cannot be ignored.
Here are three quick steps to jump into the social media market and make the most advantage of the conversations:
Understand the need for social media. If you don’t believe your company or business needs social media, you won’t be able to fully embrace, or commit to, it. Whether you own a product or a service business you can harness the power of social media to start conversations, grow loyalty and get to know your customers. Keep in mind that potential clients want to do business with people they know, like and trust. Do your clients know, like and trust you?
Sign up for LinkedIn. If you already have LinkedIn, update your profile, use correct keywords, endorse others and ask satisfied clients for endorsements and recommendations. If you’re in business, having a LinkedIn account is a must. It’s likely more important than a Facebook or Google+ account, but those other two social media platforms cannot be discounted if you want to remain relevant.
Claim your Facebook business name, capture your Facebook Places site. Create your Facebook business profile — again with relevant keywords — then start the conversation.
Remember though, social media is a conversation, it is not a place to constantly put forth a “buy me, buy me” message. Your status updates and the products and services you provide will speak for themselves.
We all know that no one gets more than 24 hours in a day. How you spend those 24 hours, and the number of hours you work, will determine how successful and accomplished you feel when you walk out of the office at the end of the day. If you find yourself faced with a never-ending to-do list and deal with interruptions all day long whether it’s from colleagues walking into your office, social media updates, phone calls or emails, sometimes it seems impossible to get to your tasks.
There are days when time may seem endless, but it’s not. Time is a limited quantity and how you spend it will shape your productivity and satisfaction in both work and life. What steps can you take to use your time to its best advantage? Here are some steps I take on a daily basis:
Block out interruptions. If you work in an office, it may be difficult to tell colleagues to not stop by, but you may be able to set “office hours” and let them know that in order to be productive you need to limit interruptions. They may appreciate your dedication to your duties!
Don’t respond to emails as soon as they arrive. Set aside time several times throughout the day to answer emails and respond to social media updates.
Commit to your own personal time. If possible differentiate your office time and your personal time. Those who work from home may have a more difficult time separating the two, but it is necessary to have a work-life balance. Set office hours and stick to them, once your office hours are over, don’t answer business phone calls or personal emails.
Before you leave the office – whether a work office or a home office – prepare your to-do list for the following day. Being organized before you even set foot in the office the next day will make you more productive. Don’t forget to check off what you’ve accomplished today.
Managing time effectively may not be a skill you learn over night but it is a skill that will serve you well for a lifetime. How do you manage your time?