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10 Small Office Ideas and Upgrades That Will Make Your Employees Happy

By Ashutosh Jha → Friday, January 18, 2019
What if you could have more productive employees starting today?

Most managers think that making employees more productive will take a lot of time and effort. However, there are many small office ideas that add up to more a happier and more productive staff.

Ready for a more efficient office? Keep reading to discover ten small office upgrades that will make a big difference!

1. Better Air Freshener

When we think of office upgrades, most of us think of how things look. But do you ever think about how things smell?

Adding air freshener to the office (such as simple automated fresheners) can make the area more pleasant to work in. Moreover, it makes the workspace more productive.

It's true: pleasant smells can do everything from reducing the number of typos to adding extra energy throughout the day!

2. A New Coat of Paint

We hate to break it to you, but your employees spend a lot of time staring at your walls. Yes, even the really productive employees.

Think about the colors of the walls in your office. Are the colors dark and drab? This can actually sap the energy right out of the room.

Of course, the opposite holds true as well. You can give the walls a new coat of paint. You may end up giving new life to your workers as well.

That's because bright and vibrant colors can make everyone feel more energetic and motivated. Just think: a weekend paint job could lead to a year of more productive workers.

3. Open Concept Office

We tell our workers that we like things like teamwork and collaboration. But do you have the kind of physical space that makes that happen?

Many offices place key employees behind closed doors. And for all intents and purposes, these employees may as well be in their own little worlds.

Try switching your office to a more open space. That means more open doors and more areas where your workers can actually see one another.

The idea behind this is simple. The more everyone can see each other, the more they can talk with one another.

Once they start sharing great ideas with each other, this open office renovation will pay for itself.

4. Snack Time

The beating heart of a productive office is not the cubicle. It's not even the manager's office. No, the real heart of the office is the break room.

Workers come to the break room to escape work for a few minutes. To help them escape, you need to provide some great snacks and food options.

In short, the more options that you have, the better. Things like having coffee machines instead of just having a water cooler will make your employees happy and motivated.

It's also good to upgrade your vending machine game. Check out this source to learn about Healthy You Vending.

5. Accessories With Personality

When it comes to your home or your fashion, chances are that you want to really stand out. But does your office manage to stand out?

Most office spaces are more or less the same. And if your space isn't visually engaging, then your workers will lose their motivation and their energy.

The trick to redecorating is to let your company personality show through. Maybe this means some quirky posters and artwork, or even creative ideas like using old doors as coffee tables.

When you're done, everyone will know that your company is one of a kind. And this will show in their work.

6. Add an Inspiration Board

Most successful managers have gotten very good at visualizing success. But do you regularly help your employees to do the same kind of visualization?

A great trick to doing this is to add an inspiration board. Such a board lets everyone contribute inspirational quotes and images as well as what they think success looks like.

It's subtle, but an inspiration board is the ultimate team-building activity. Once you know how everyone views success, everyone can start working towards the same goals.

7. Standing Desks

Standing desks are sweeping the nation. So, are they the real deal or just a passing fad?

While it can be a little pricy to upgrade the whole office, it turns out that standing desks are really worth it. That's because they carry several major benefits.

First, they are healthier for your employees. And it's empowering to know their boss cares about their health.

And it turns out that standing can help employees maintain energy all day and even project confidence into things like customer phone calls!

8. Separate the Break Room

Is your break room really close to the work space? Here's our advice: try to move the break room or otherwise separate the space.

Like we said before, workers use the break room to temporarily disconnect from work. But if the break room is right by the work room, they cannot make that disconnect.

Simply moving the break room further away can lead to happier and more motivated employees.

9. Clean Up Your Act

Sometimes, our employees aren't motivated because of the space they work in. This is especially true if that space is filled with trash.

A trashy work area actually looks very chaotic. And employees working in this environment will feel disorganized and even anxious while they work.

Hire a cleaning crew or simply kick off a cleaning initiative to make the office look shiny again. You may be surprised at how much more engaged and organized it will make your staff.

10. Make Things Fresh

One word that employees sometimes use to describe the office is "lifeless." And in many cases, this is quite true!

Office spaces without any kind of plants and flowers will look and feel both artificial and stale. And this leads to a staff who is eager to get outside and experience the great outdoors.

By bringing in some plants and flowers, you can bring the outdoors to them. And this will make a difference when it comes to productivity and accomplishment.

Small Office Ideas: The Bottom Line 

Now you know about the small office ideas that make a big difference. But do you know how else your business can success?

Here at Tricks Road, we specialize in helping businesses succeed. To see how we can transform the office, check out our business blog today!

How to Find a Blog Niche You Love

By Ashutosh Jha →
The life of a blogger is not easy. Between writing amazing content, making optimization-focused edits, researching new ideas, and checking site analytics, it takes a lot to keep a blog going. Not to mention, there's even more work that goes into monetizing a blog and/or creating a large market presence.

But, the process can be incredibly rewarding!

One of the best parts about blogging is being able to share valuable insights about a subject you care about. Whether you're blogging just because or you're trying to turn a blog into a side hustle, the writing comes much easier when you choose a niche you care about. 

That's only the first step in figuring out how to find a niche for your blog, though.

Keep reading for the complete 5-step guide you need to use when finding a niche.

1. Make a List of All the Things You Love 

Maybe your issue with picking a blog niche isn't that you don't know what you'd like to write about. Maybe there are so many things you love that it's hard to choose just one!

This is a situation many new bloggers find themselves in. It's human nature to have more than one passion. You likely have all kinds of different topics you want to learn more about and/or share your knowledge on.

So, the best way to start finding your niche is to write everything out. Make a list of the topics that excite you; the ones you're constantly reading about or discussing with friends. Consider the hobbies you enjoy and the thing(s) you've always wanted to learn more about, too.

Then, rank everything on your list from the most exciting and interesting to the least.

2. Research Blogs That Are Already Out There 

The next step in picking a niche is to research the competition you might be up against if you were to create one kind of blog versus another.

You're bound to have plenty of competitors no matter which niche you choose, considering the millions of blogs on the internet right now. The more you make yourself aware of these competitors, the better position you're in to differentiate your content.

This is also a good time to learn more about how SEO works. All successful blogs have some sort of optimization strategy to them. As you're browsing the most popular sites among different industries, you should start to see a trend.

Notice how user-friendly a blog's navigation is and the way that some blogs have created affiliate strategies. Keep in mind how often these blogs are releasing new content and maybe sign up for their newsletters to see what those are like, too. Even pay attention to the kind of action words they use like "check this out" or "learn more here."

These are just a handful of the tactics that big blogs have used to get to where they are today. Learn about them now so you can make your blog a huge success once it starts - no matter the niche you choose.

3. Identify What You Could Do Differently 

As you start narrowing down the different niches that appeal to you, think about what gaps your blog might be able to fill. Sure, there are all kinds of travel sites out there that talk about airline deals or things to see/do. There's no shortage of personal finance blogs, either.

But, there you have a bright, innovative blog idea to share with users. You just have to figure out what that idea is!

Go back through the top blogs you've been researching, and do so with a more critical eye. Ask yourself what else you'd like to see from them. Consider what's missing, and think about how these great blogs could be even better.

It's this kind of attention to detail that will help you take a stand within the niche you end up choosing. It gives you the ability to carve out your own space in such a saturated market.

4. Consider the Audience You'd Be Speaking To

By this point, you should only have 2-3 niches to choose from. These ideas should be semi-mature, meaning that you have a clear idea of what direction you would take each different blog in depending on the niche you end up diving into.

Now it's time to consider the kind of people that each blog would reach. It's much different to make a financial blog for millennials than it is to write a travel blog for retirees, after all.

You should be able to relate to your target audience on a personal level, though. Blogs work best when the people producing the content are able to put themselves in their readers' shoes. But more importantly, you need to know who your reader really is!

Take a deep dive into the target audience for each blog idea you're contemplating. Get to know these people's interests, habits, desires, and pains. Create a clear picture of them in your mind and consider which persona you'd be able to connect with - and provide value to - the most.

5. Assess the Opportunities for Growth

You can expand into different topics and industries as your blog grows. But, it's hard to create a strong brand when you're just getting started if your content is all over the place.

As such, the final step in choosing a niche is to consider where you want your blog to be a few years from now. Once you establish a strong presence within the first niche you choose, what other topics would you like to explore? Who would you want to reach beyond your target audience?

It's never too early to start thinking about a long-term growth strategy. In fact, you need to be thinking long term in order to choose the best possible niche. This gives you the creative freedom you need to keep coming up with new article ideas and ways to monetize, which are essential to a blog's success. 

How to Find a Niche While You're Expanding

It's one thing to figure out how to find a niche when you're just getting started in the world of blogging, but it's a completely different story to expand into a new niche after you've established your blog.

You want to make all your expansions as seamless as possible. It should feel natural for a frequent reader of your blog to visit it one day and see a whole new section of how-to's, reviews, or whatever else you decide to write about. Similarly, you want the people in your secondary niche to find value in the topics that you wrote about from the get-go.

For more blogging tips and tricks to use at any point of your blog's journey, click here.

Trying to Write Good Articles? 9 Tips to Writing an SEO-Friendly Blog

By Ashutosh Jha →
I'm going to tell you a secret. Are you listening?

The secret to growing any successful online business is a blog.

Really, a blog?

Yep, a blog. Now before you click that back arrow, hear me out. I'm not talking about the home-make blogging that was happening 10 years ago. These days, blogs can be a very valuable asset to your marketing plan.

Things like SEO, keywords, and quality content will make your blog easy to find on those search engines. And at the end of the day, that's what we want.  

So let's get started. Thinking of starting a blog but don't know how to write good articles? Follow these 9 tips to write an SEO-friendly blog!  Keyword Research

1. Keyword Research

First thing first. Before you even start to think about content, you must do some keyword research.

If you want good results when posting your blog posts, you need to figure out what keywords your audience is actually searching for. These are the topics you should spend your time writing about. 

Sure. You might be passionate about finding goldfish leashes, but unless other people are searching those exact keywords, your blog is going to be hard to find.

Think of keywords that an average person might type in. Then use those keywords throughout your article.  Here are some tips to keep in mind when searching for keywords:

  • They are related to your blog
  • Simple phrases that would be used
  • Has a low competition rate
  • About 2 - 3 words in length

Using Keywords is a critical part of making your blog SEO-friendly. But, we get it. If you aren't familiar with SEO and keywords it can feel overwhelming to try to understand how it all works. You could always consider turning to an SEO company for some help.

2. Write for the Reader

Ok, now that we've talked about the technical stuff, let's talk about the fun stuff. The writing.

After all, you wouldn't be thinking of starting a blog if you didn't have some great ideas and content that needed to be shared on the world wide web.

The first thing you need to remember is to write for the reader, not the search engines. It can be tempting to try to write articles that search engines will find and send to the top of the list, but if your articles are full of genuine content, your blog will not last long.

Remember, there is another human reading what you write. It must be natural, easy to read, and to the point. I mean, we aren't really known for our lengthy attention spans.

3. Solid Structure

Good blog posts follow some simple structure guidelines. We all remember 3rd grade writing, right? Introduction, body, and conclusion.

Your blog posts should more or less follow the same format. But, because we are writing for the average reader, here are some tips to keep your writing relatable:

  1. Don't use big long technical words or phrases. These will turn the reader off and they'll look elsewhere for their information.
  2. Uses short sentences and short paragraphs to make the article readable.
  3. Use heading to break the text up and so information is easy to find. 

Once you've found a structure that works for you and your readers, stick with it. It's good for your readers to know what to expect when they come to your blog.

4. Length Matters

While there is some flexibility for how long your blog posts should be, there are some rough guidelines to follow. Let's consider how a search engine crawls an article.

Basically, search engines crawl articles looking for keywords and clues of what the article is about. In turn, the search engine will send the user suggestions based on their search.

Anything less than 300 words is not enough length for search engines to get an idea of what the content is regarding. But, anything longer than 3,000 words and your readers will most likely quit before getting to the end.

Most would agree that anything between 500 and 2500 words would suffice. So, as a writer, you just need to find your sweet spot.

What length can you deliver good quality content while keeping your reader engaged?

5. Link to Links

It may seem contradictory to add links to other websites to your blog. But, this is actually recommended in order to have the best SEO possible for your blog.

These outbound links should be relevant and informative to what you are talking about. Adding links to authoritative and trustworthy sites creates a better experience for the user. It also helps search engines know that you're sincerely want to inform your readers. This will boost your SEO ranking.

If you've already written a similar piece, be sure to an internal link. Internal links will make your blog post stronger because it shows that you are somewhat of an expert on that given topic. It also allows search engines to get a better idea of your site and what you are about.

6. Post Content Regularly

I don't care if you've written the best blog post the world has ever seen. If you're not providing quality on a regular basis, no one is going to ever read it.

That's because search engines recognize when blogs are updated frequently. To them, it means that the information posted will be up-to-date and relevant to modern readers.
Once a week is usually a good place to start. If you get going and have more information to share, then posting 3 to 4 times a week would be ideal.

And again, readers love to know what to expect, so be consistent. Let them know they can count on you to deliver great articles weekly.

7. Organization Rules

Yep, even your blog needs to be organized.

Organize your blog by using categories and tags. These allow readers to connect with articles about the same subject that have already been written.

Here are a few organization rules to keep in mind:

  • Use keywords for categories
  • Have no more than 20 categories total
  • Each post should be in 3 categories
  • Tags are not the categories and should be named differently
  • Use 5 to 10 tags per post

A well-structured blog can boost your blog's SEO. So find a system that works for you and use it religiously.

8. Keyword Placement

Yep, we're back on those keywords.

You've found your keywords, and you've written a great blog post, so how do you incorporate the two?

Just like everything else, there are guidelines to follow when using keywords. Your keywords for your article should be included in the title, at least one heading, and one image description.

They should also be placed sparingly throughout the article. We like to suggest once in the introduction, and again in the conclusion.

Be careful not to use the keyword too much. This raises a red flag with search engines and they may mark your blog as spam.

Also, be sure the use of the keyword is natural and readable.

9. Share Share Share

Just like you learned in preschool, sharing is caring. When you've posted a new article, share it on your other social media platforms.

Share your article and encourage your readers to share as well. This sends search engines signals that your content is high-quality and they will send more readers your way.

You Can Write Good Articles

By following our guide, you will be able to pump out good articles that will entice the reader and track the attention of those search engines.

All it takes is a little research and some practice and soon you'll have an engaging audience at your fingertips.

Still have questions or concerns? Come check us out. We'll have you up and running in no time. 

7 Attractive Benefits of Learning a Second Language

By Ashutosh Jha →
66% of European adults speak at least one foreign language. But only 20.7% of American adults know more than one language.

Part of the reason is that when American students learn a foreign language in school, it only amounts to around 600 hours of instruction. Americans also have much less access to foreign language instruction than other developed nations.

And it's a shame because there are myriad benefits of learning a second language. Not only does speaking a foreign language benefit us on a global level, there are personal advantages of learning a foreign language as well.

If you've been thinking about learning another language, keep reading. We're sharing with you seven reasons how it will greatly benefit your life.

1. One of the Benefits of Learning a Second Language is That it Boost Your Brain Power

Why learn a foreign language? One great reason is that it boosts your brain power.

Learning a new language means learning a new system of rules, structures, and lexis. Your brain has to deal with these complexities as you learn.

As your brain is working out the meaning so you can communicate, you're developing key learning skills such as cognitive thinking and problem-solving.

A highly developed brain benefits you both personally and professionally.

2. It Looks Great on a CV 

When it comes to employment opportunities, there are many advantages to learning a foreign language. First, it makes you more marketable.

There are certain industries such as retail and manufacturing where knowing a foreign language is invaluable. Global businesses are also always on the lookout for employees with language skills.

Since business is now far more global than ever before, speaking one or more foreign languages helps break down barriers and build up relationships.

Speaking another language also helps you to stand out from a crowd when you're applying for a new position. You're suddenly considered a valuable asset thanks to your ability to speak more than one language.

3. Increases Your Ability to Multi-Task

Science is beginning to reveal to us that bilingual speakers can demonstrate an increased ability to solve problems. Learning more than one language forces you to use your cognitive muscles.

In order to do that, you develop the ability to juggle more than one task at the same time. That's because you become proficient at instantly switching from one language to another.

As they multi-task to speak several languages, they can adopt the same skills to multitask anything. And learning how to multi-task this way helps them reduce stress levels when they're asked to perform more than one task at a time.

4. Boosts Your Self Confidence

Your confidence increases as you master a new skill. And confident people are more successful in life and in business because they believe in themselves.

If you can master subjunctive French, then you can probably do anything in life.

And the techniques used as you develop a second language end up giving you a greater sense of open-mindedness. That's because the only real way to learn another language is to speak it with other native and fluent speakers.

It's a great way to get shy people out of their shell and meet new people. As you begin meeting and speaking to new people, it expands your horizons while enhancing your life experiences.

Also, people are usually impressed when they find out you speak more than one language. It automatically boosts your credibility.

5. Keeps Your Brain Sharper For Longer

Learning another language helps keep your brain sharp and healthy. Studies on this topic have shown consistent results that prove the many benefits learning another language has on your brain.

Especially in children.

Studies show speaking more than one language helps with children's academic progress, even in other subjects. Learning a new language also helps develop basic skills.

But it also helps with abstract and creative thinking. Kids score higher on tests.

And for adults, studies show it helps slow down signs of dementia. For monolingual adults, the first signs of dementia tend to show around age 71.4.

But for those who speak more than one language, the first signs appear at age 75.5. 

6. It Makes Traveling Easier and More Fun

There are so many amazing places to visit outside of the United States. And many of those places don't speak English natively.

It's stressful and exhausting to visit a foreign country when you don't speak their language. And you miss out on a lot of opportunities to get to learn about other people's cultures.

Learning a new language, even if you're not entirely fluent opens up your possibilities. Locals love it when you try to speak their language as it shows a greater level of respect.

It's also a great way to meet new people.

And if you take up a new language, it's the perfect excuse to start visiting countries where they speak that language natively. Think of all the amazing places you can visit in Africa, Europe, and even the Carribbean just because you learned some French.

Traveling through South America is a breeze if you speak some Spanish.

7. Increases Your Listening Skills

In order to learn a new language, you need to understand the ins and outs of your own language. Grammar, vocabulary, conjugation, comprehension, idioms, and sentence structure suddenly becomes important.

And in different cultures, different words have different meanings. It takes time and patience to learn small nuances in language so you interpret someone's meaning properly.

As a result, you need to begin learning how to become a better listener so you understand the person you're speaking with properly. It's a skill you can use in your personal and professional life to experience better relationships with people.

Keep Learning

The benefits of learning a second language are many. But learning, in general, is incredibly beneficial.

No matter how old you are, learning new skills helps keep your brain healthy and active. And you learn how to do things for yourself which increases your self-confidence.

If you're looking to learn be more successful in growing your blog writing business, keep reading. We're constantly adding new articles to our site. Click here to begin reading our "how to" section to learn everything you need to know about starting your own blog. 

6 Design Collaboration Tools Creative Marketing Teams Need

By Ashutosh Jha →
Are you looking for tools to help your design team do their best work? Then you need something that facilitates collaboration.

True collaboration means that your team members are really working together to do their best work. That can't happen if they aren't equipped with the right tools.

While some tools are good in some situations, they aren't always great for group work. So what tools should you be looking for?

You need something that lets everyone work together seamlessly. To help you get started, here are six design collaboration tools you could use. 

1. AND CO

AND CO lets your team work together in several different ways. It's perfect for those who freelance or who work in any industry, really.

Do you need to create invoices? How about keep track of contracts? Then this might be the right collaboration tool for you.

You can even charge your clients automatically and create customized proposals.

Beyond the basics of running your business, this tool allows for collaboration during the design process too.

Plus, you're not limited to working together only while everyone is in the office. All of these features can help your design stage go more smoothly.

2. Concept Inbox

This tool is web-based, so you won't need to worry about taking up storage space with downloaded files. And you won't have much of a learning curve because no coding is required.
With Concept Inbox, your team members will all have access to their project anywhere they have an Internet connection. This makes remote work a lot easier. 

Key features of this program include sending notes, making comments, and updating projects.

The best thing about this tool? Live collaboration.

You won't have to send files back and forth to get the job done. Instead, you can work on projects together in real time.

In other words, you'll really be able to work together as if you were all together, regardless of your physical location.

3. Onehub

Onehub is a great tool if you're looking to share files online. Having those files easily accessible to everyone on your design team is essential for efficient collaboration.
This program uses cloud storage, so you can access your files anywhere. That doesn't mean everyone has access to them, though. Security is a big part of the Onehub experience. 

And security isn't just for keeping outsiders out. It also lets you set parameters for those who should have access. Give your team members the ability to edit or simply view documents according to their roles.

You'll get all sorts of helpful features. These include document watermarking, stealth collaboration, and a customized portal.

Portal customization allows you to cater to your design clients. So not only can your team collaborate well, but they can present their work in a highly professional way using the exact same tool.

4. Slack

You've likely heard of this software. It has seen widespread use — and for good reason. It's a powerful collaboration tool no matter the type of project you're working on.
One great feature it offers is the ability to create multiple, specific conversations. When you have something to ask or say regarding a specific project or design element, you can go to that specific conversation.

You can even create a channel that's just for non-project related work among your team.

These channels are completely customizable. So you can create whatever types of dedicated conversations you want. Plus, they're searchable for easy access to previously mentioned information.

Other features include file sharing, feedback, voice and video calls, and integration with other tools.

5. Mural

With Mural, your team can do all their planning and collaboration in one place. And they'll have a lot of freedom while they're doing it.

Are you a fan of sticky notes? Then you'll love this idea.

Mural provides sticky notes that you can use in creating your masterpiece. It all starts with a blank space where you and your team can work together on your creation. Those sticky notes will help you bring everything together.

This is another tool that allows for remote workers to work together. You don't need everyone in the same place at once. This can be a huge benefit, depending on the setup of your team.

Create several boards, use different file types, and more. However you use it, this program is incredibly helpful when you're trying to design with a team. You'll find different prices depending on the size of your team, so you can find the right fit for your business.

6. Asana

If you love lists, this is the tool for you. Asana helps you create task-based to-do lists that'll help you get your project going, going, gone.

As a major perk, if you run a small business or work with freelancers, this tool is completely free! The limit is 15 users. The free version doesn't even limit you when it comes to tasks and the number of projects.

There are paying features that can be very helpful, but the free version is absolutely usable.

This tool is pretty cut and dried. You can always see what's going on where, and how each project is going. This helps you stay on track and get everything done when it's supposed to be.

Find Success with These Design Collaboration Tools

Each of these design collaboration tools offers powerful features that'll help you get the job done better. Your design team will work more effectively than ever before. All you've got to do is try them out.

Assess your options and choose one that looks like a great fit. You may even have access to some free trials, so don't hesitate to get started today.

Looking for ways to increase the sales for what your design team produces? Click here!

7 Things You Need to Consider Before Hiring a Local SEO Consultant

By Ashutosh Jha →
More than 80% of smartphone shoppers use “near me” searches. It makes sense. When you’re out and about, you want to know which shops and businesses are nearby.

The rise of local search has changed how people shop and how businesses do marketing. You no longer need to aim for the most competitive keywords to reach the right audience.

Local SEO is still pretty new, but it’s gaining popularity. You already know the power of SEO for your marketing, but you may have questions about how local SEO differs.

One thing you might be considering is hiring an SEO expert. Before you bring anyone on board, be sure to think about these seven things.

1. Decide on Your SEO Goals

Before you hire SEO consultants for your business, take stock of what you want to achieve. Are you planning to increase revenue? Maybe you’re building your brand identity.

Knowing what you want to achieve with SEO makes it easier to hire the right consultant. They can help you devise the right plan to achieve your goals.

While consultants will have different approaches, certain tools and techniques support particular goals. Look for consultants who have experience and expertise in those areas.

2. Ask About Experience Before Hiring an SEO Expert

Almost anyone can bill themselves as a local SEO consultant these days. That’s why you have to ask about their experience.

What kind of work has this expert done in the past? What clients have they worked with? What were the results like?

You’ll want to be sure the SEO consultant you choose to work with has experience in local SEO. You should think about the experience they have with businesses in your industry. How familiar are they with your type of business?

The more experienced they are, the more likely it is they’ll be able to help you improve your site and rank higher.

3. Talk About Communication

If some search engine consultants take weeks to get back to you, it doesn’t set a very high bar for communications.

You should establish communication guidelines with your consultants from the very start. How often will they send you reports? What will those reports contain?

You’ll also want to set standards for communicating changes to your site. You may not want to get updated every time something changes. It’s still important for you to track what the consultant is doing.

4. Determine How They Measure Success

How will you know if your SEO efforts are working? During an SEO consult, your experts should help you define success.

Then they should help you measure it. Before you hire SEO expert help, ask them about the metrics they track.

There are many metrics you can use to measure the performance of SEO. They're not all created equal.

If your SEO expert suggests they’re going to measure conversions and ROI, you’ve found a great partner. Traffic increases are nice, but conversions are where the money is.

5. Ask About How They Stay up to Date

Google is the standard bearer when it comes to SEO best practices. They issue the list of best practices for webmasters.

Any SEO consultant worth their salt should stick to this list. If they don’t, Google could penalize your site.

SEO consultants should also stay current with changes. Google updates its algorithms to reflect changing search practices. As a result, SEO techniques change too.

Local search itself is a great example. Google is making it easier for people to find your business. They've introduced features like the local three-pack, which lists three top local businesses.

Your SEO expert should know how to get you in that exclusive spot. They should also understand the importance of reviews and Google My Business.

There are many different aspects of local search which can improve your SEO. You can learn more about them. With this understanding, you can ask questions about these factors in your strategy.

6. What Happens at the End of the Contract?

Right now, you’re thinking about hiring an SEO expert. You may not be thinking about what happens at the end of the contract.

It’s something you should ask right from the start.

Many consultants will want you to sign on for a minimum period. After all, SEO takes time to work — it’s not a quick fix.

There may be times when unforeseen circumstances mean you need to end the contract early. If this is the case, you need to know if there will be any extra fees.

You also need to know what happens to your web-optimized content. It should be your property, but you need to check the details of any agreement.

7. Ask a Trick Question

Before hiring an SEO expert, ask them if they’ll guarantee you the #1 ranked spot on Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

Many people do ask this question of their SEO consultants. You should actually be looking for a consultant who says “no”.

Why? It’s simple. Nobody actually knows any search engine’s full algorithm.

Anyone who says they can guarantee your rankings likely isn’t going to be able to follow through on that. A good SEO consultant will be upfront and honest. They won’t guarantee particular rankings.

Get Started on Improving Your SEO Today

The search engine landscape is always changing, but one thing has remained the same. Good SEO is now the difference between a business that makes it and one that doesn’t. Hiring an SEO expert could be the best thing you do for your business.

You may not be ready to hire a consultant just yet. One of the things you can do instead is look around our blog. We have articles showing you how to improve your SEO with simple steps.

One thing is for sure. Whether you hire or take some DIY steps, you can start improving your SEO right now.

10 Essential Services You Can Sell Your Products Through Online

By Ashutosh Jha →
Selling online is now widely recognized as probably the most efficient and potentially lucrative way of growing your business and that is why you need to formulate an e-commerce strategy that gives you the best chance of success.

Here is a look at some of the main selling channels you should be looking at for your e-commerce business and what key points you need to consider when designing your business model.

10 Essential Services You Can Sell Your Products Through Online

Getting started

In order for your business to have the best possible chance of being successful, you will need to formulate a business plan and an e-commerce strategy that lays the groundwork for that success.

A big priority should be to work out whether you will be selling solely online or covering more bases with offline options such as a physical store.

It is also critical to decide on a product range that you think will generate plenty of sales and work out whether you are going to sell a diverse set of items or concentrate on developing a reputation for a specific niche.

Get your shop window right

In just the same way that a physical store will need to dress their window in an attractive way to entice shoppers inside, you should try to apply the same logic to your online store.

Picking the right e-commerce software to work with can make all the difference and picking the right one for your business can prove to a big influence on how well your venture performs in such a competitive online environment.

If you are just starting out, the good news is that there are a number of simple-to-use online shop templates that you can easily adapt to your business and hit the ground running in no time at all.

You may want to evolve and design something a bit more complex and bespoke as your business progresses but as a starting point, shop templates like Shopify, as just one example, are designed to do everything you want without needing a specialist knowledge to set it up and start marketing.

How will shoppers find you?

One of the biggest challenges facing a new e-commerce business is making themselves visible in such a crowded online marketplace.

It often pays to consider how search engine optimization (SEO) works and that means gaining a basic understanding of the way you will need to structure your site and pages so that Google and other search engines find you in their search results.

If you not sure how to do this, it might be worth getting someone with SEO knowledge who can guide you through the ways to help you become as visible as possible when people are searching for a product or service that you sell.

Choosing the right sales channels

There is little doubt that the online behemoth known as Amazon has got some serious marketing clout and if you can sell your products through someone like that, it can help improve your chances of increasing your sales as word spreads and you gain more exposure.
One option is to consider when looking at the various channels is whether you are going to use a fulfillment center arrangement like Amazon to save on your own storage and warehouse costs.

You might want to read more about how this works so that you can decide whether this is a good option in addition to analyzing which sales channels, such as eBay, and Amazon, you want to sell your products through.

Selling on eBay

One of the standout points about eBay, in particular, that is always worth keeping in your mind is the fact that many shoppers seem to arrive on the site with a specific purchase idea in mind, rather than just generally browsing.

If you have a niche that you want to develop a reputation for, eBay can prove to be a useful ally in helping you build an audience in your chosen area of specialism.

Amazon is so often the default option

Marketing feedback would suggest that more than half of online shoppers will commence their online product search with a visit to Amazon.

You simply can’t ignore a site that can give you access to such a huge audience and it also helps that Amazon does tend to make it easy for you to start selling through them.

Etsy might be a good fit

It might prove relevant to mention Etsy if your business sells handmade or bespoke craft items, as this is a platform that has developed a strong reputation amongst shoppers as the go to site for something a bit different or unique.

Don’t ignore the usefulness of social media platforms

Although you may not be selling your items directly through sites like Facebook and Instagram, these social media sites can prove invaluable in helping you find customers and driving customers to you so that they can make a purchase.
You should take the hint that so many multinational brands have such a strong social media presence, as they already know what a powerful sales tool these sites can be.

They also give you the opportunity to build brand loyalty and gain valuable feedback from your customers.

Other specialist channels

Amazon is the dominant general marketplace for all sorts of different products but there are a number of selling channels that could prove highly relevant to your business, depending on what you are selling.

Sites like Newegg, which is a sales channel for selling electronics, gadgets, and hardware, and Rakuten, which is one of the biggest e-commerce companies in the world, are platforms that should be on your radar if they are a good fit for your target audience.

Putting it all together

Draw up a list of all the sales channels you want to use and also evaluate which payment processing systems would be suitable to use on your chosen platforms.

Once you have everything in place and you have formulated a strategy that you are confident will give you the best chance of success, you will be ready to tap into a global marketplace and start selling your products online.

7 Lessons to Learn in Business

By Ashutosh Jha → Wednesday, January 16, 2019
There are lessons to be learned in every aspect of life, whether it’s personal or business. No matter how these lessons have come about, they are extremely important, helping us to move forward in life and not to make the same mistakes twice – or to be able to repeat something that is definitely working for you.

7 Lessons to Learn in Business
If you are in business, what are the lessons that you can take away with you? What are you going to be able to learn that will help you in other aspects of life too?

It’s Not Just Hard Work

Hard work is one of the most fundamental parts of the business – it is absolutely needed, and without it, your business simply won’t grow; it might even fail. However, an important lesson to be learned is that business is not just about hard work; there is more to it than that. It is about knowing when to step back and when to take the lead. It is about knowing when to take a break in order to be more useful and productive when you return. There is always a fine balance in business, and learning how to strike it correctly will help you throughout your life.

Know Your Accounts

In business, it’s crucial to know what your accounts look like. Without this information, it will make it much harder for you to budget properly for the future. The same is true in life as well. If you don’t know what your financial situation is really like, it will be impossible to know if you are over-spending, or whether you are going to have enough money to pay for your next vacation or even next week’s grocery shopping.

Taking a deeper look at your financials may not be fun or pleasant in some situations, but it is vital. If there is a problem it needs to be fixed, but you can only start making things better once you know what the problems are in the first place. Understanding this helps you learn more about how to be careful with money and to enjoy it more in a sensible way.

Focus On What You Want

Running a business necessarily means you will be focused on your goals. Without a good business plan to guide you, it will be difficult to maintain that focus, and you will be much more easily distracted by new ideas that come to you. If you know that you need to be focused on business, it makes sense to know that you should also be focused in life.

You can even create a plan to help you reach your goals, just as you would in your business life. It doesn’t need to be a ‘corporate’ kind of plan, written out and presented in a folder (unless that’s the kind of visual that works for you), and instead it can be a vision board full of colorful images, or a scrapbook with lots of pictures of what you want to achieve stuck into it. Keep these goals in mind and ensure that everything you do relates to them in some way. Don’t get distracted, and stay focused at all times.

Take Your Time To Find What You Want

There is no point in starting something only to find that it’s not really what you want to do. It’s far better to spend time at the start thoroughly researching and thinking about your idea, determining whether it will work and whether you are going to enjoy working on this idea for many years to come. Once you are sure, then it is time you move forward and continue setting up your business.

In life, there is a similar lesson to be learned. There is no point in traveling down one pathway if it isn’t going to take you where you want to go. Life is too short for this, and it is better to stop, turn around, and find a new direction that will make you happy and let you be fulfilled. There is no shame in doing this; reinventing yourself is simply an exciting new chapter in your life, and should be viewed as a stimulating challenge.

Market Research Never Ends

Carrying out market research in business is a fundamental part of ensuring you know your customers and can give them what they want. It’s not simply a one time task, however. Times change and with them fashion and people’s ideas change too, so it is important to stay abreast of the coming trends and understand your customers thoroughly.
Market research is a business lesson that can be applied to life. Never forget that your friends and family – and yourself – are changing and evolving all the time. Their likes and dislikes will change, as will yours, and it is vital to stay in touch with them so that you can truly say you know them.

Trust Your Gut

We’re not saying that you should run your business in gut instinct alone, but it can be a big help in some aspects of the business. Over time, you will come to understand when you have ‘a feeling’ about something, and experience will guide you as to what it all means. This is an important lesson to learn, and a skill that will be useful in business and in your personal life – sometimes you just have to trust your gut instincts to at least help you begin to make a decision about something.

Add experience and research to those feelings, and the answer should become much clearer.

Have Big Dreams

Never be afraid to dream big. Without exciting dreams, your business (and your life) may well go along happily, building up slowly and bringing you a reasonable income, but will it ever achieve the successes it might if you were thinking bigger?

If you want to truly succeed in anything, thinking big is what you need to do. Have long term goals that might seem impossible but that, broken down into smaller ones, can be achieved. As you look back you’ll realize how far you have some, and that will push you to do so much more.

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