Organizing a Worthwhile Networking Event

Organizing a Worthwhile Networking Event

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Networking is a crucial part of business. Whether you started your company a long time ago, or you are just starting out, networking can be a powerful tool when it comes to learning, growing and setting up plans for the future. It’s a great way to meet new clients and suppliers, as well as people that could become a support network and boost your business in other ways. It’s a great chance to learn more about emerging and existing methods and tools and to learn from other people in your industry. If nothing else, it’s an excellent chance to make new friends and to speak to people who truly understand what you do.

Planned networking events are the ideal places to make these connections. But, they aren’t all equal. Sometimes, we come home from supposed networking events feeling as though we’ve wasted a day, we’ve lost money, we’ve learned nothing and met no-one that will have any impact on our businesses or our lives. These events can make you wonder if it’s worth attending in the future. Sometimes, the best way to ensure an event is worthwhile is to organize it yourself. Here are some tips to help you to make sure any event that you plan is worthwhile and helpful to everyone that attends.

Find the Right Venue

The venue can make or break an event. Do you want dinner? Drinks? A conference type feel? Will it be a formal sit down event, or do you want people to mingle as much as possible? The venue needs to be right to meet your requirements. But, it also needs to be in an easy to access location, and have parking and facilities. When you’ve found your venue, register for online event registration to make everything easier for you and your guests.

Invite the Right People

Remember, the whole purpose of a networking event is meeting new people. So, don’t make the mistake of only inviting people that you know, or that you have worked with in the past. LinkedIn connections are a great way to move outside of your direct circle. Or, ask your invitees to bring someone that will be interested along with them.

State the Events Purpose

The very best networking events, the ones that you come out of with new connections, new knowledge and new ideas, that leave you feeling excited and eager to get back to work, are the ones with purpose. They aren’t just general business dinners or meetings. They are events with a focus, where the guests share what they want to get out of the experience. Or, they fit a tight niche. Everyone attending is involved in a specific field or area. Think about what you want from the event, and make sure you advertise the purpose when you invite people.

Get Introducing

There’s nothing worse than an event where no one talks. Where everyone sits or stands nursing a drink, making small talk with people that they already know. As the host, it’s your job to introduce people. Even those you don’t know. You invited them. You need to make the first move and facilitate introductions between guests.

Raising Money at Your Corporate Charity Event

Raising Money at Your Corporate Charity Event

If you would like to do something for the community or encourage your employees to work together, there is no better idea than organizing a charity event or a fundraiser. The good news is that – thanks to the latest digital technology – you can now reach out to partners, find resources on project management, and collaborate remotely. Below you will find a few creative ideas to raise more money at your charity event and create a buzz about your cause.

Combine the Event with Networking

Image via Flickr

If you would like to sell out your tickets to your fundraiser, it might be a good idea to create a networking opportunity and offer sponsorship tables for people who are ready to donate and take part. This will answer their question: why, and you will be able to draw in crowds, as they will see the benefit for their business as well as the community or charity you are supporting.

Market on Social Media

Promoting your event on social media and listing it on various ticketing websites will cost you a bit of money in either advertising costs or commissions, but it is the quickest and easiest way of raising the profile of your business and creating awareness. At the same time, you will also be able to get people to learn more about the mission, vision, and values of your business.

Raise Money Online

If you don’t want to handle money when creating an event, you can outsource your ticketing to one of the online platforms, and get donations through social media, too. This is a good way of implementing transparency in your business and making sure that you don’t get bogged down with administration, so you can focus on making your event a success. Find  a platform that automatically provides tax deductible receipts and donation certificates.

Give Out Recognition

Image via www.whiteman.af.mil

It is also a good idea to reward people with something memorable, so they can post about the event and create a public relations campaigns around your event. You can create personalized plaques or get more creative, and get their business featured on your wall. You can find plenty of great ideas at brickmarkers.com and get people to take photos and post them on social media raising awareness of your cause online.

Great Prizes

No fundraiser is perfect without relevant and valuable prizes. You can hold a raffle draw and ask your sponsors to offer prizes that will get them recognized, remembered, and might even earn them customers for a lifetime. No matter if you are a beauty salon, or a business legal firm, you will be able to find partners and participants who will be happy to donate prizes for extra mentions and exposure.

Organizing a fundraiser will not only help you raise your business profile, but it is also a good way of getting your employees to collaborate and improve their project management skills. Create awareness online and use social media platforms to engage with potential donors.

The Only SEO Guide You’ll Need to Optimize Your Website and Rank in Google (Plus 47 Expert Tips)

The Only SEO Guide You’ll Need to Optimize Your Website and Rank in Google (Plus 47 Expert Tips)

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Written by Ben Hanzel

Ben Hanzel is a Content Management Specialist for Best Company. If he’s not in the office, you can probably find him writing music or going to a concert.

Every new year brings new goals, trends, and fads. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies should look completely different than they did five years ago. 

Unfortunately, not many site and blog owners know where to start when it comes to creating, building, and optimizing a website.

Don’t worry, everyone struggles with ranking in Google. 

That’s why the entire digital marketing industry was created — to help site owners win the Google turf war.

Since the process of ranking for the best keywords can take months and even years, your SEO strategy needs to be well thought out. 

The main problem is that people aren’t creating big picture SEO strategies. They build their strategy article by article. This type of strategy leads to thin content, lack of enthusiasm, and eventually terrible content.

You need to start by creating a big picture strategy. Think about the objective of your site. Is the purpose to inform? Is it to sell something? Where do you want to drive your traffic? You should have a clear vision and an answer for each of these questions.

You need to clearly define your traffic goals, which means you must know your target audience. After you’ve defined your goals and researched your audience, it is vital that you not only create value, but that you also create targeted value (valuable content exactly applicable to your target audience).

A quick Google search will bring up endless information on best practices, but the reality is that most of this information is either out of date or too general, making it difficult to know where to begin. 

It can be overwhelming to sort through the information, let alone implement it. This guide provides all the information you need to optimize your website.



To win the Google game and rank in Google in 2019, you need to perfect these five SEO tactics:

  1. Build a perfect content strategy
  2. Create content that wins an audience and ranks on Google
  3. Beat your Competitors with on-site optimizations
  4. Become an expert in off-site tactics
  5. Utilize tools to maximize efforts

If you implement these SEO practices, you’ll be on you way to the top of the search results in no time.

Building the perfect content strategy in 2019

Whatever the objective, chances are you’ll want to drive traffic to a specific page on your site. 

Look at your website as a building. 

The foundation is a content strategy. 

The walls are your landing pages (what pages visitors are seeing first). 

The doors are where your visitors are entering. 

The rooms within your building are the different pages on your site. 

There is one room where you want every visitor to end up — the page where you turn visitors into money.

Ask yourself, are you missing walls, rooms, a foundation? The goal is to create a building that attracts AND converts. As with any building, the foundation is fundamental. Your content strategy needs to be solid or it won’t support anything built on top of it. 

While developing your content strategy, keep the following in mind: 

Define your goals: Great content is created with a defined purpose in mind before you even start writing. Much like your big picture strategy, focus on the objective of the individual piece of content, and don’t stray from that objective. 

Research your audience: Your content strategy becomes more laser focused as soon as you identify your audience. This can also help you determine what other audiences to target as well. 

Create a unique endpoint: This is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It’s where you want everyone on your site to end up. Make this page as unique and valuable to the reader as possible. This is also the point where you want to sell or convert.

Keep the marketing funnel in mind as you create your content strategy. It’s important to know which stage you’re focusing on with a specific piece of content. The stages are as follows:




This can seem like a lot to keep in mind every time you create a new piece of content; however, a little planning upfront can save a lot of headache in the long run. Set your content strategy upfront and then tweak it as you progress, and you’ll never have to worry about creating meaningless content again.

Creating content that wins an audience and ranks on Google

Neil Patel, cofounder of the Neil Patel Digital Marketing Agency, said the following about content: 

“Writing great content is a choice. You can choose to put in the time and work required to create great content and build a prosperous brand. Or you can choose to take the easy path and write poor content – a path that ultimately will get you nowhere. It will only result in a waste of time, energy, and resources.” 

Most of the content on the internet is useless. 

This content either already exists or doesn’t provide value to the user. Make sure your content not only fulfills your content strategy objective, but also provides valuable information to the reader. 

Here are a few tips for creating original, engaging, and thought-provoking content to rank in Google:
 
Write short paragraphs and concise content: Nobody wants to look at a wall of text. It’s visually unappealing and you’ll lose the reader’s interest. 

Shorter paragraphs will engage your audience.
 
Use graphics or video if available: Everybody learns differently. Some people tend to be more visual, so an infographic may help them connect with your content. 

A photo or video is a great way to break up the monotony of text.

Refresh old content and update regularly: Your content needs to be relevant or nobody will stick around to read it.

While some information stands the test of time, add a paragraph every now and then with new or updated information. 

Target clusters > keywords: This is based around user intent. Google’s algorithm is evolving, and so strictly optimizing for keywords alone is not as effective as it was five years ago. 

Organize content into topic clusters and optimize from there. The diversity in keywords has the potential to help you create more user friendly content as well. 

Provide answers: When users make a search query, they are looking for an answer, and you need to provide that answer. 

Try to cite any sources and keep the information as accurate as possible. 

Writing great content is not easy; don’t get discouraged if you struggle at first. It takes time to research and write, so allot yourself time to immerse yourself in the writing. Your effort will be reflected in your writing.

On-site optimization is still a vital part of SEO

Most SEO guides tend to gloss over on-site and focus on off-site tactics, as they are constantly changing. Remember, on-site optimization is still as important as ever. Getting your on-site optimizations lays a foundation to build on.

Google uses the content on your site to determine what keywords your website should rank for. If you have specific keywords you’re looking to rank for, make sure those keywords are in your content. Google will assign more or less relevancy to different elements of the page. 

These elements include the following: 

Title tag: The page title shows up as the clickable portion on the search engine, as well as within the tab on your site. 

This is the most important on-site element to focus on. There’s limited space here (512 pixels, or about 70 characters), so put only the most important information here. The important terms should be placed closer to the front. 

The title tag also works as an advertisement for your website on the search engine. Make sure that it’s user-friendly, easy to read, clear, and to the point. 

Meta description: Page descriptions don’t directly affect your rankings; however, they are still an important part of SEO as they can sway your click through rate one way or the other. 

Click through rate is not a ranking factor, yet it does play an important part when it comes to site traffic. 

The best way to write your description is to follow the FAB (Feature, Advantage, Benefit) principle. State what it is, what it can do, and why it’s a good thing. 

Page headings: Headers are used as a stylistic element, yet they are still an active ranking factor. 

The ranking importance has diminished in recent years, so don’t spend too much time on these. 

They should adequately describe the following paragraph, and you shouldn’t need to worry about it beyond that. 

Keyword in content: Keywords are important, so include several in the body of your content. 

If you have specific keywords you want to rank for, make sure you mention those within the first 100 words of your content. 

But don’t sacrifice the quality of your content in order to fit more keywords (otherwise known as keyword-stuffing). 

Keyword variance: While Google cares about where the keywords are on your page, it also cares about how keywords relate to one another. 

The best practice here is to write your content naturally, then go back to see if you have implemented the keyword enough. 

Detail, detail, detail: A recent study by Backlinko shows that Google favors content with over 2000 words. 

You don’t need to crank out long content with every article or blog post you put out, but it is something to keep in mind with content you want to perform well. You can also repurpose older content by adding additional relevant information. 

Make sure you aren’t adding words just to add words; if it’s not beneficial to the overall piece of content, leave it out. Focus on writing quality content without sacrificing or compromising the integrity of the page. 

Alt image tags: Images have a written description as well, known as the Alt image tag. 

This is important to optimize for your images, as it will then allow Google to read the image and you can use that to your advantage when it comes to content. 

URL: The URL can be an underrated asset. It not only adds additional value to your keywords, it also shows up in the search results themselves. 

Like the title tags, don’t make them too long. Just make sure they read well and are relevant to the page. 

Brush up on your technical knowledge. Whether it be switching to HTTPS, or enabling Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), it’s important to show some love to the technical side of SEO, as it can enhance the user experience as well as help with your overall rankings. 

It’s important to know the difference between white hat and black hat SEO. The difference between white and black hat refers to the technique used in order to get ahead in the search results. 

Think of black hat SEO as gaming the system. 

Don’t cut corners and try to trick the search engine, and you shouldn’t have to worry about this when it comes to onsite work.

Off-site SEO tactics to set you above the rest

While on-site SEO focuses on making your site relevant, off-site SEO focuses on making your site authoritative. Anyone can create a website and optimize it, but proving to Google you deserve to be on the first page is a different story. 

Optimizing for off-site SEO involves improving the search engine and user’s perception of your site’s reputation, authority, relevance and popularity. This is achieved by other relevant and authoritative sites linking to your site, essentially ‘vouching’ for the quality of your content and site. 

Most off-site work focuses on obtaining these links. Remember, not all links are created equal.





If you’re focused on creating quality content, you may see a lot of natural links come from people genuinely wanting to share your content. This is the ideal situation, however there are other ways to try to obtain backlinks that can be effective. 

Guest posting is one of the most popular methods, and for good reason. Essentially, you write a piece of content for someone else’s site, and in turn, they link back to you. 

This works well because you are exchanging content in turn for a link. If the content is good, it’s putting valuable information out there, and you’re compensated with the link. 

With guest posting, make sure you are only reaching out to relevant sites, as you want to add value with your expertise. 

Guest posting is also a good opportunity to network and build connections within your industry. This goes back to the core principle behind link building which is to build authority. 

The more you can interact and network within your industry, the more credibility you will build and you will be an authoritative site to the search engine and users alike.

Tools to help you along the way

As with most professions, you can’t get very far without some tools. As the SEO industry has grown, the available resources and tools have grown with it. 

Google Search Console and Analytics will be two extremely valuable tools as they will tell you how you’re doing on the search engines as well as how users are behaving on your site. These are both free, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be utilizing them. 

Ahrefs is one of the best tools to check keywords and backlinks. Buzzstream is a great tool for outreach. 

The list goes on, but what’s important to remember is that these tools can help you track your progress.

Tips from SEO and content marketing experts

These beneficial tips from SEO experts in different industries are divided into the following four categories: Content strategy, Content curation, On-site SEO, and Off-site SEO.

Content strategy tips

1. Branding
Shawn Lim, Founder of Traffic Bees

“When we first started doing SEO five years ago, branding is one thing that we overlooked. Initially, we focused on finding the right keywords with a significant search volume. 

But after working with some of our clients for a few years, we realized that they were getting the most traffic from their brand name. Studies have also shown that brand recognition increases click-through rate as well.”

2. Correlative potential keywords
Cary Haun, SEO Specialist at Page 1 Solutions

“One important aspect of SEO that tends to be overlooked is the correlative potential between keywords. Oftentimes, people will choose and target keywords that are either topping the charts or obscurely dangling with the low-hanging fruit. (This is a common strategy, of course.) 

However, combining keywords into new, niche topics is how an innovative SEO can not only find new potential audiences, but create them as well.”

3. Don’t overlook evergreen content for SEO
Bradley Shaw, President of SEO Expert Brad Inc.

“Evergreen Content is content that does not lose relevance over time; it is ageless. It does not expire.

Blogs have become the keys to online marketing and SEO. Content should be crafted in a style that presumes the basic facts on the topic will not likely change over a long period of time. Using present perfect tense is one of the easiest ways to keep content evergreen.” 

4. Dwell time
Pierre de Braux, Content Strategist at Spiralytics Inc

“For me, the most overlooked SEO strategy would have to be keeping visitors on your page for longer.

While traditional on-page/off-page elements are undoubtedly important, bounce rates and average time on page also significantly affect how well a page ranks. And that’s not even mentioning the additional conversion potential that comes with more engagement.

If you take a look at your best-performing content, you’ll almost always see that bounce rates are relatively low and time on page is relatively high. So, the next time you’re trying to optimize a page, think more engagement and more dwell time.”

5. Focus on lower volume keywords
Jason Lavis, Managing Director at Out of the Box Innovations Ltd

“Something that I missed for years, and still often neglect now, is a focus on lower volume keywords. Content creation tends to come with SEO nowadays since you need something to rank in the first place. As more marketers and companies start to expand their web presence, they look at the easy wins first. If they have high domain authority, they can go straight for trophy keywords and have a realistic chance of page one without much work.

The result is that everyone else, finds that they’re now on page two or three, with little chance of page one. It’s easier to create a 1,000 word post that includes ten keywords with 100 monthly search volumes than to go for a 1,000 per month keyword. In the same way, pages with ten 1,000 volume keywords words will be easier to rank than a 10,000 volume keyword.”

6. Power words
Briana Marie, Content Marketing Manager at Tanzek Media

“The use of power words in title tags is often overlooked when it comes to SEO. Power words are action-packed terms or phrases such as amazing, fast, step-by-step, proven, crazy, exclusive, shocking, etc. 

The use of these words in your title tag will greatly increase your click-through-rate as people are seeking the quickest and most effective answers to their questions. Your CTR is important because it helps search engines determine how relevant your content is to the terms the user has searched.”

7. Quality over quantity
Matt Erickson, Marketing Director at National Positions

“One area that is commonly overlooked is too much content. Some end up having hundreds of site pages with thousands of words that people are not going to read. 

You might have a short-lived bump in your rankings but over time, Google will learn that your content lacks relevancy and your ratings will begin dropping. Shorter, highly relevant content is far more valuable and powerful — so focus on your context, timeliness, and the impact of your content before you focus on content volume and length.”

8. Semantically related subtopics
Stephen Jeske, Content Strategist at MarketMuse

“Those new to SEO often focus on keywords while neglecting the importance of semantically related subtopics. That’s a mistake. In September 2018, Google revealed it added a new layer to its Knowledge Graph. It’s called the Topic Layer and helps the search engine deeply understand a topic space in order to surface relevant content.

In this environment, it’s imperative your content demonstrates an in-depth understanding of the subject. Employing a detailed topic model ensures the content you create thoroughly covers those critical subtopics.”

9. User Experience
Lila Eidi, Founder and CEO of EIDI Communications 

“User experience (UX) is critical to SEO and something that can easily be overlooked, especially with SEO newcomers. UX on a site is often underestimated as a valuable aspect of link building campaigns. 

When a site has a good UX, visitors to that site stay. Their extended time on the site adds value to the SEO juice. Conversely, a poor UX causes visitors to leave quickly. This reduces the value of inbound links from that site.”

10. User search intent
Brandon Andersen, Chief Strategist at CerAlytics

“The most commonly overlooked aspect of SEO we see with our clients is not taking user intent into account when creating recommendations on keywords and building out content. If a user’s search intent is to know more about a topic, throwing a product page at them in search is not going to work. 

Likewise, if the user’s search intent is to get help with a topic immediately from someone, giving them a how-to guide isn’t going to work either. Match the intent of the user’s query with the content you create.”

11. Visual content
Tony DeGennaro, Director of Marketing at Dragon Social LTD

“I’d say creating shareable visual content is one SEO tactic I think that tends to get overlooked. Many companies employ full-time designers, who by putting together a simple and updated infographic, could end up drastically improving a post’s backlink profile. 

Nearly every infographic I’ve created has resulted in a huge amount of backlinks that have helped to increase SERP. I also think this fits in well with the mantra of creating high-quality content. Everyone likes a good infographic, especially when it’s chock full of updated statistics, quotable information, and high quality visuals!”

Content curation tips

12. Build more landing pages
Gene Caballero, Co-Founder of Your Green Pal

“One SEO strategy that gets overlooked is building more landing pages. 

What we have done to grow our business and ramp up our organic SEO in different markets is to create landing pages for those new markets — outside of our larger markets that we already operate in. For example, in addition to creating landing pages for large metros, we also create them for smaller cities.  

This will ensure that Google algorithm can detect the keywords and our business in that specific location. This helps expand our business to a new city by ranking for search and has improved our business by 10 percent by launching this practice.” 

13. Delete old content
Tatiana Morand, Content and SEO Manager at Wild Apricot

“Something that many people overlook when thinking of SEO techniques is the importance of deleting old content. If your website has been around for a while, chances are that there’s some pretty thin content on there.

Auditing your site and editing or removing content that provides little to no value to visitors (and to Google) can give you an easy boost without being too time-consuming or difficult to do.” 

14. Experience and site structure
Shafi Khan, SEO Analyst at Optiux Marketing

“User experience is among the top ranking factor for SEO in 2019 and optimizing the site structure should be the first thing you should do. Make sure no page on the website should take more than three clicks to reach (from the homepage).”

15. Featured snippets
Vi Trang, SEO Specialist at Savings.com.au

“I think the most overlooked SEO practice so far has been identifying opportunities for featured snippets. Featured snippets, sometimes known as position 0, offer great visibility to websites because they rank above all organic results. 

While keyword research is a familiar task to SEO specialists, it doesn’t often move beyond researching and mapping relevant keywords based on user’s intent and monthly search volume. 

Keywords that provide great opportunities for featured snippets (those that have yet to generate any) are often overlooked. These should be singled out on day one, to help drive a content strategy that focuses on such keywords, increasing the likelihood of gaining featured snippets while competitors have yet to get there.”

16. Optimize video content
Andre Guelmann, SEO Manager at Promo.com

“Today, the most overlooked SEO practice is ignoring/not optimizing your video content. People no longer want to read online, and we can see this with the increasing prevalence of video results when you do a search on Google. 

As an SEO, your job is to optimize CONTENT, no matter the format, so you need to be prepared to do it wherever your audience is.”

17. Start a blog
Dr. Ty Belknap, SEO Expert at Port Bell Inc. 

“Everybody knows that content is king when it comes to getting higher in the search engines, but few people set up blogs. Blogs are a great way to blast content, but each blog post doesn’t have to be the size of a book. 

Write a post reviewing an article or a helpful hint for customers. Small blog posts are not as effective as larger blog posts, but they are much more effective than nothing at all.”

18. Use of images 
Marie Lamonde, Content Marketing Specialist at DashThis

“One of the SEO practices I consider people overlook is the use of images. We talk about content, blog posts, landing pages, etc. But very few marketers actually talk about the importance of optimizing images for SEO. 

We all know that we have to add alt text, but what about the picture itself? 

You have to take into consideration the nature of the image (original and relevant), the name (SEO optimized), the format (high-quality pictures with a small size for page speed), the presentation (organize them neatly, and in a way that makes sense for the visitor), and the captions (use some if possible since they are crawlable).

Indexing your images properly can give you a lot of traffic that you would otherwise never get! You could also get image snippets that would place you before the first ranking page! So don’t choose your images lightly, and make sure they are as optimized as your text.”

19. Voice search optimization
Ketan Pande, Founder of Goodvitae

“One of the overlooked SEO practices is optimizing content for the voice search. The volume of voice search is increasing day by day, and while writing a blog and making a video, we tend to overlook it. 

It’s mostly overlooked by SEO, who runs a blog or youtube channel which concentrates on local topics and issue. The sentence ‘XYZ near me’ is becoming a gold mine, and an SEO must take note of it. Also framing questions in the title can help us in optimizing as per voice search.”

On-site SEO tips

20. Aggregate rating schema
Kristie Deaver, SEO Specialist at Page 1 Solutions

“One aspect of SEO which is often overlooked is adding aggregate rating schema to your site. Adding this markup will add the coveted stars to your SERP entry, making it stand out among the sea of results given to users. 

SEOs need to be careful when adding this to their sites, as mistakes will result in a warning from Google. Be honest in your schema and you should be fine.”

21. Canonicalization
Chris Foster, Head of SEO at Acquiro Digital

“One of the most overlooked aspects of SEO that we’ve experienced is canonicalization. Duplicate pages and URLs are a common occurrence on many platforms and is something which can’t always be avoided, but in terms of SEO, having these duplicate pages could negatively affect your organic performance. 

Canonicalizing similar or duplicate pages signals to search engines that these areas of the site are very similar and it allows you to tell Google which is the preferred page that you wish to be shown in search results. It’s a vital element that any new SEO specialist should take into consideration when optimizing a site.”

22. Check redirects
Ryan Scollon, SEO and PPC Consultant at ryanscollon.co.uk

“One key tactic that is often overlooked is redirects. When you start working on any site, it’s always worth reviewing the site in Web Archive for any old variations of the website. Then you need to grab a few page URLs from the old versions and test them in a browser. Do they redirect? If not, it’s certainly worth getting a redirect in place should there be any historical links that still exist.”

23. Crawl efficiency
David Pagotto, Founder of SIXGUN

“One of the most overlooked SEO practices is the focus on crawl efficiency — essentially making your website as efficient as possible for a search engine to crawl. Unlike individual SEO practices, crawl efficiency is a wider philosophy that encompasses a number of different optimisation areas. 

For example, ensuring the website has no unnecessary indexed pages, duplicate content, or internal 301 redirects and 404 errors. This type of thinking can go a long way in boosting your organic search performance.”

24. Fix technical errors first 
Jeff Ferguson, CEO of Fang Marketing

“The most overlooked practice in SEO is realizing that most SEO issues aren’t SEO issues at all, but larger technical issues that are causing numerous SEO issues. Say you’re just starting work on a new site. You pull out your trusty SEO site crawler tool and it’s a bloodbath of errors. However, nine times out of ten, the reams of errors that you see are caused by another technical issue that mucks up a dozen other issues. 

Find the root of the issue first, fix that, then crawl again. Your life will be so much easier.”

25. Incorrect canonical link
Adam Riemer, President of Adam Riemer Marketing, LLC 

“The canonical link is set up incorrectly. Canonical links are designed to show the proper version of a page so Google knows what to display to an end user.  Many websites and templates do not have it set up correctly.” 

26.  Internal link hierarchy
Jeff Kear, Head of Marketing at Planning Pod

“Creating internal links to key pages on your site in the body copy of your site pages is vitally important in letting the SERPs know the hierarchy of your site as well as passing more link value to important pages and less to marginal pages. 

This is also critical if you are restructuring a site and need new or repurposed pages to take more prominence and want them to be recognized by the SERPs for specific keywords or phrases.”

27. Internal link impact
Jimmy Rodriguez, COO of 3dcart

“Internal links can have a huge impact on how Google reads and prioritizes pages on your site, and it can be the difference between you ranking for your target keyword or not. The way you link pages within your site tells the bots what that page is about, so make sure to always clean up your link profile and use the right anchors for the right pages.”

28. Internal linking opportunities
Dave Hermansen, CEO of Store Coach

“The mistake I see more often than any other when it comes to websites — especially new ones — is that people miss so many internal linking opportunities. Maybe it’s because there were no internal pages to link to at the beginning. 

Almost every post, product, or category on a website has at least one page that it should be linking to from the textual content. Go back and review each page of your site and I’m sure you’ll find internal linking opportunities galore!”

29. Optimize for mobile 
Sadi Khan, Digital Marketing Manager at Run Repeat

“Optimizing for mobile: This gets overlooked a lot because SEO specialists are working on the desktop computers or laptops. Mobile searches and mobile traffic has now surpassed desktop users. 

So, SEO specialists need to acclimatize to a mobile-first approach in everything they do. It will include, but will not be limited to, voice searches, mobile user experience, and loading speed.”

30. Optimize meta titles and descriptions to grab people’s attention
Jack Parcell, CEO of Clovr Creative

“I think the biggest thing that new SEO specialists overlook when first starting out is to optimize meta titles and descriptions to grab people’s attention. By grabbing people’s attention, you are sure to improve your click-through rate.

I think that SEO specialists, especially new ones, get so caught up in trying to inject their keywords into the titles and descriptions that the titles and descriptions end up dull and boring. While it is important to make sure the keywords are there, click through rate is a huge indicator for Google, so it is important to stand out from competitors.”

31. Page load speed
Andrew King, Search Analyst at Klood Digital

“A commonly overlooked aspect of SEO, and improving the ranking of a website, is page load speed. Many SEOs don’t think about it, as they consider it to be more of a technical issue for developers to deal with, but there are many simple jobs that can be done to improve it. One example is to ensure images are compressed to a reasonable file size to allow them to load more quickly.”

32. Robots.txt file check
Borislav Ivanov, SEO Executive at Best Response Media

“The thing that rookies often miss is the thing you should do first when you start working on a website as a technical SEO. That’s a robots.txt checkup along with robots meta directives and canonical links. 

Without proper sorting, the bots crawl and index on all of the wrong places. Often there are blocked assets, like CSS files. That means that little bots can’t reach them and render the page.”

33. Sitemap check
Stephanie Hooper, Senior SEO and Digital Marketing Manager at Infront Webworks

“One aspect of SEO that gets overlooked is checking your sitemap. Your sitemap is a directory or guide that lists the web pages on a website and can also include when the pages were last updated. 

The pages are listed in a hierarchical order and the most relevant pages are listed at the top. It is important to submit your website’s xml sitemap to Google Search Console. This ensures that Google has the most updated version of your website.”

34. Update disavow files
Adam Gingery, Paid Search and Digital Strategy Manager at Majux Marketing

“New SEOs aren’t often tasked with updating disavow files, but it’s an important process that can’t be overlooked. Google has said that it actively credits or discredits links in real time, with the implication that your disavow file is superfluous, and you won’t be penalized for bad links — they just won’t help you rank higher. 

However, our own tests have shown that deleting a disavow file will expose you to penalty-level fluctuations, and when a disavow is re-uploaded to Search Console, the eventual rankings recovery (likely during a core algorithm update) will make it fairly obvious that the disavow file was important all along.”

35. URL length
Kris Rivenburgh, SEO Specialist at RIVE Marketing 

“New SEOs often overlook URL length. Although simple to implement, keeping URL slugs as short as possible by removing filler/unimportant words definitely makes a difference.”

Off-site SEO tips

36. Anchor text ratio
Kevin Peguero, Digital Marketing Manager at Astro Pak

“Anchor Text Ratio is overlooked. Many people don’t know how to build backlinks to have correct anchor text ratios pointing to their site. They get penalized often for this.  
 
I specialize in building backlinks for my clients. That is what I do and I have came across dozen of brands with this issue. It is also not talked about much. It is not as sexy as other SEO practices.”

37. Broken link building
Owen Cook, Founder of Blockchain SEO

“While it may be somewhat time-consuming, broken link building is still an effective way to boost SEO results and is highly scalable in 2019. 

Specifically, broken link building is the process of identifying a broken or dead link, recreating the content which was linked to, and then notifying the website or party linking to that dead content. After all, it’s in a website’s best interests to make the user experience as smooth as possible — and broken links sure don’t help!” 

38. Digital PR
Caroline Khalili, Associate Director of PR at Circa Interactive 

“Digital PR has emerged as a powerful tool for generating exposure and establishing credibility online. 

Forging strong relationships with journalists, bloggers, and other producers of digital content can help an organization amplify its story and reach larger, higher-quality audiences. Digital PR also creates value in the form of improved search engine rankings, greater conversion rates, and enhanced brand trust.”

39. Google review system
Mercy Muigai, Founder and CEO of Onlipac Digital Solutions

“As a white hat SEO tip, Google review system is an overlooked SEO practice. The more positive reviews your website has, the better the SEO. Businesses should take advantage of this practice by asking people to leave their reviews on Google and not just on social media. It’s not only for SEO but also builds the credibility of a website.”

40. Handle toxic backlinks
Dan Rawley, Account Manager at The SEO Works 

“One area of SEO that often gets neglected is handling toxic backlinks. While actively building strong backlinks is a common focus of any SEO campaign, it is just as important to monitor new links to the site that you have not built, and ensure that undesirable links are dealt with, either by creating and submitting a disavow file or by contacting webmasters to request link removal. 

This ensures that the strength of the backlinks you are building is not being diluted and allows you to keep on top of any potentially harmful new links.”

41. Name, address, and phone number consistency 
Damien Buxton, Director at Midas Creative

“One fairly simple task that often gets overlooked is to review every website that your business is mentioned online. Look at places such as online directories, social media accounts, and local listings  What you should look for is consistency of the business name, address, contact number and categories that your business is listed as. 

Search engines such as Google cross reference other sites to validate data that it holds on your company. If you’ve moved address recently, for example, make sure that your new location is updated across the web. By doing this you’re helping your website have a better chance of appearing stronger in local search results.” 

42. Networking through PR
Winston Nguyen, Owner of BitCoinSEO 

“People don’t normally associate PR with SEO, but I think most of SEO is PR! After the technical audits, the only thing that’s left is the content creation and link building. And the best way to do link building is through PR.”

43. Optimizing “Google My Business”
Lewis Peters, Marketing Specialist at Online Rock Salt 

“During the past year we have found a huge lift in our local SEO rankings by optimizing our Google My Business (GMB) account, by increased rankings in the map pack and increased ranking in localized organic searches. 

GMB can easily fall under the radar for many businesses; many have theirs left untouched for many years and not paid any attention to it. A new SEO specialist may not think to optimise GMB especially if the contact details have not changed.”

44. Out-of-business competitor sites
Simon Rogers, Digital Marketing Executive at Website Pulse

“One of the overlooked link building practices is to check (and keep checking) your out-of-business competitors’ websites and try to get their backlinks. You can do that by outreaching the linking sites and letting them know their link is broken and suggest they link to your content/service/product.”

45. Review outbound links
Natalie Athanasiadis, Founder of Ormi Media

“When it comes to SEO, everyone talks about inbound link-building but too often outbound linking is overlooked. You want your site to be linking to authoritative and relevant content. 

Pages can be deleted on other websites and not redirected resulting in your site displaying dead links. So it’s really important to review outbound links periodically.”  

SEO Tool Tips

46. Google search performance report
Ryan MacKellar, SEO Specialist at 9thCo

“One of the most overlooked SEO methods is using the performance report in Google Search Console. Specifically, the keyword impression data can provide a ton of insights. 

For example, you can find new keywords that you didn’t know your website was ranking for and ensure you are fully optimized for them. It can also provide a treasure trove of long-tail keywords that make for ideal blog posts.”

47. Learn HTML
Jensen Hendriks, Owner at Candor Digital Media

“Many new SEO specialists avoid learning basic HTML code. They rely on WordPress and the SEO plugins to get them by. All goes well until they acquire a client, or have the opportunity to, but it’s a custom site. 

Simple courses on HTML markup would be beneficial to anyone in the SEO world. Key things to be capable of editing in HTML would be the meta info, title tags, heading tags, links/anchor text, lists, and paragraph copy. There are courses all over the web on these topics. It’s worth learning and will help SEO specialists with longevity in the industry.”

Guide To Leadership Consulting

Guide To Leadership Consulting

https://pixabay.com/en/workplace-team-business-meeting-1245776/

Leadership consulting has been around for a number of years; however, it’s still easy for some CEOs and chairpeople to think that their organization’s functionality has reached a Zen-like state. That is until something dramatic affects their business, and they suddenly need leadership development and strategies.

The best way to avoid such situations is to always be assessing and reassessing your organization’s performance and that of its key managers and leaders. You want maximum efficiency using the talent that is already evident within the organization. So, continue reading to discover all you need to know about using a leadership consultant.

The number one reason you need leadership consulting services is that, without such a service, you will not be maximizing your potential as a leader. It does not matter whether you are looking at how to start a real estate business or you have an established retail company, if you’ve got a weak management team supporting your role within the organization, or the top-level exist in isolation in an ivory tower that is devoid of clear communication channels, this can hurt your business strategy and decision-making from the top-down.

A strong leader needs a strong set of leaders behind them to support their vision. This isn’t about training servile ‘yes’ people, it’s about developing leaders who will challenge the leaders above them, who will provide a unique insight into operations and who will bring a diverse skill set to the table. By having a strong leadership team to challenge the top-level, you will find that you can address strategy issues and business objectives from different perspectives, meaning that your final decision and action will be better informed. It also means that you have less on your shoulders, as a support system of leaders can help you distribute the load.

This allows you to move away from the quotidian quandaries and focus on enabling strategy and building the foundations for the future of your organization. CEO and chairpeople everywhere are recognizing that leadership advisory is just as important as finances and other aspects of their organization that keep everything running smoothly. That is why leadership consulting is not just a want or an ideal – it is a need. Pressures are everywhere, induced by the shifts in regards to globalization, technology, culture, diversity, social networking, transparency, and ethical and social responsibility. Things aren’t so black and white anymore.

A consultant or a leadership consulting firm will generally be called into a company when a business’ growth has started to stagnate. Usually, the consultant will systematically work through each functional level within the business and examine how they relate to one another. They will also evaluate the current leadership or management styles that are prolific in different parts of the organization. Based on this evaluation, the consultant will then map out a course of action to help stimulate leadership across the company, so that it can continue its growth by making use of a number of strategies. This may include formal processes, such as leadership training classes to help develop skill sets, or informal processes, such as mentoring of department heads from the top-level.

A consultant may also find that restructuring is in order, whether that be to create new management positions or the erosion of certain management positions because they have been found to be redundant. While this may mean saying goodbye to some employees who do not fit into any position, the process can also help identify future stars within the ranks who could move into management in the near future.

Partners and Suppliers: The Key To Your Business Success

Partners and Suppliers: The Key To Your Business Success

Image Credit: Pixabay

The role of supplier and partner can often be confused, but each one is critical in business and has a vital role in helping you achieve your goals. A supplier is most commonly selected through a traditional bidding process and will provide goods or services in standardized transaction patterns for some time. When the transactions end, the business relationship ends. A partner, on the other hand, is a tailored business relationship based on mutual trust, openness, and shared risk and reward that yields a competitive advantage. Partners often participate in product design processes across organizational and geographic boundaries. Partnerships are fluid, flexible relationships that depend on honesty and integrity to succeed.

The key to your success lies in the abilities to select the right business partner for each business need and the right supplier for each supply your business need.  

No matter what industry you’re in, choosing your suppliers and partners is a critical task. You must find a partner that you work well with, that you “click” with, and that you can work with for many years to come to ensure the relationship flourishes. When working to select the right partner, it is essential to think about the future not just what’s happening in your company right now.  

When searching for a supplier, whether it’s a steel supplier or a paperclip supplier, it is a good idea to have a back-up or at least two – one that you use and another you know you can trust. With changes in workload and diverse experience, it is good to have a safety net in case issues arise with one supplier.

A typical approach to finding a supplier is to Request for Information (RFI), receive proposals from potential suppliers for review, and then compare across the potential suppliers. Once you have chosen, then the challenging part is to build a good relationship with your supplier.

Governance is a vital part of building a relationship with a supplier. It helps establish commitment from both parties and ensures senior management buys into the relationship. It also provides transparency and buy-in to the KPIs, so both teams understand the KPIs and are accountable for them. It is imperative for the governance to be rolled down to the side that is on the front line for study execution.

Finding a good business partner is a little different, it’s about networking and finding someone who has the skills that support and complement your own. If you have excellent interpersonal skills but poor business finance skills, consider a partner who understands business accounting. The more skills you and your partner bring to the business together with the easier it will be to start, plan, grow, and run your business.

Maintaining and growing any relationship takes time, patience, and commitment. If both sides are not willing to invest the time in the relationship, then it will not last. This is no different than our relationships. You must give the time to the relationship that is needed, such as regularly scheduled meetings as outlined in your governance, survey completion to learn more about each other and how to improve.

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