StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article | SEO | Search Engine Optimization

Simple SEO Strategies for Growing Your Business

There is definitely no doubt about the fact that every business needs a thought-out SEO strategy, so the only question about it is whether you are willing to spend time or money on it? Speaking from personal experience, the latter option usually proves itself more beneficial than the first one, mostly due to the fact that not all of us are marketing gurus.

On the other hand, even if you are a marketing genius – and especially if you are, you already know that SEO can be quite time-consuming, which makes hiring someone to handle it for you all the more compelling!

However, whether you choose to take up SEO on yourself or you decide to a white label digital marketing agency to do it for you, you should still learn more about some of these simple SEO strategies that will help you grow your business!

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article | SEO | Search Engine Optimization
 
That is why we prepared some tips regarding the whole process of search engine optimization, both what to and what not to do in order to grow your business!

Your vision of SEO

The first important thing regarding SEO is how you see it. What this means is that thinking of SEO as a tactic is a mistake most beginners tend to make, because the truth is quite different. SEO is actually more of a strategy that you have to plan out long before you take it up. So, it will take a lot more than just a few weeks to get your business to the top of Google.

Additionally, a lot of people tend to think that SEO is essentially a combination of titles and meta descriptions. Whatsmore, you have to understand that SEO “trends” tend to change from one year to another.

A few years back, search engine optimization was almost synonymous to keywords. Had you asked an SEO expert to give you some tips on the subject in 2014, they would have probably told you that your keyword density is something that will either make you or break you. However, as of 2018, this trend has changed.

Startups such as Yelp and Airbnb made sure to understand that these changes occur all the time, and to have a concrete strategy to drive their traffic through search and this is what brought their success about!

Now, lots of people tend to think that they can take up this task on their own. Don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to be an expert on the subject in order to create a good SEO strategy, but merely doing some reading and trying to implement what you read into the strategy just isn’t going to cut it.

Knowing what your audience wants is of extreme importance!

At the end of the day, your audience is the most important variable in this equation. This is why you have to get to know your target audience and walk a mile in their shoes. What is it that they need? How will your product/service help them further on? Is there something that your competition can offer them that you can’t?

As you already know, 71 percent of consumers tend to discover new products/services through a search engine, and this search influences about 75 percent of total purchases.

Now, although keywords are not as important as they used to be, they still play a part in the whole process that is SEO. You will still have to do a proper keyword research that will help you in creating valuable content that your audience will appreciate, and that will encourage them to become one of your consumers!

Focus on your links’ quality, not quantity!

A few years back, Google’s algorithm was quite favorable of sites with lots of links, and it wasn’t all that important whether those links were valid and actually useful, content-wise. However, times have changed! Links are still as important as the used to be, but the focus has shifted from their quantity to their quality. The only thing you can do now regarding your links is to look for those that will be engaging and valuable to your audience!

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article | SEO | Search Engine Optimization
 
Other things that you have to focus on as well are – your website’s structure (get it as organized and informative as you can!), your social media platforms, and mobile users! All three are of extreme importance for growing your business and are something you cannot succeed without.

Using these simple strategies, you can take your business from being one of the countless startups to becoming a household name, you just have to play your cards right! However, if you would rather play it safe and hire a great digital marketing agency to do this (and more!) for you, visit White Light Digital Marketing for more information!

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article | Outsourcing | Entrepreneurship

Outsourcing Might Be The Answer You’ve Been Looking For

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article | Outsourcing | Entrepreneurship
 
One of the biggest challenges of running a business is simply the fact that there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything that you need to. There are hundreds of businesses that had huge amounts of potential but fell apart simply because they took on too much and weren’t able to handle the workload or the pressure. There can sometimes be a sense of pride connected to how much of your business you are dealing with personally, but you should never let that get in the way of your success. So what is the answer? Since you can make the days any longer then there’s only one solution: share the workload. And the very best way to do that is through outsourcing. Outsourcing is simply hiring a professional in a particular field to handle a certain aspect of your business for you. That way you can focus your energy on more specific places, and you don’t end up feeling like you’re spread too thin. There are plenty of different areas of your business that you can outsource to other people, but here are some of the most common that you might want to consider.

Your IT

Let’s face it, we live in an intensely digital age and if your business isn’t able to reflect that then you’ve got a pretty major problem on your hands. Connecting to a company that can offer managed IT services for your business can help you make sure that you’re always right on the cutting edge of all modern digital developments. Otherwise, you run the risk of falling behind the competition entirely.

Your branding

It might sound kind of shallow but the truth is that without great branding, your business is never going to succeed. Customers will be drawn by what they see when they first look at your business and if your branding is ugly and amateurish, then they’re going to assume that your business simply isn’t worth dealing with. You need to make sure that you’re working with someone who can really make the most of your branding and help you connect with as many customers as possible.

Your finances

Despite how important they are to your business, not everyone is going to be an expert with numbers and figures. If that’s the case then hiring an accountant is going to save you a great deal of time and hassle. Not only that but you can be sure that your finances are always in order no matter what, that way you’re protected from any nasty surprises down the road. Not only that but your attention is now free to focus on the kinds of things that are really important to you.

The truth is that there are too many different parts of your business that would benefit from outsourcing to count. You need to think about the things that are really important to your business and make sure that you’re putting them in the hands of the people who can really make the most of them.

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article | Leadership Qualities

Enhance Leadership Qualities Of Managers At Work

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article | Leadership QualitiesAt the managerial position, leadership qualities are extremely essential because managers are in charge of building and leading a good team. Managing a team and making them work towards a common goal, comes with a lot of challenges and these challenges require good leadership skills to overcome.

While some people are born with great leadership skills, they still need training on how to showcase and execute these skills. So, it becomes very important to have regular training for managers at work, to keep their leadership skills fresh and growing. Workplace is a dynamic space, so it’s important that managers are given regular training to enhance their leadership qualities from time to time.

Here are some activities which can be conducted to enhance leadership qualities at work.

1. Resistance Dealing Workshops

Companies should organise workshops by professionals who can throw light on how to tackle resistance at workplace, whether it’s from clients or team members. Managers should be trained how to keep their calm and handle conversations that might be uncomfortable and resistive in nature.

2. Team Building Activities

There are plenty of team building games and activities that can help managers enhance their leadership skills. Organisations should conduct regular corporate events and activities that will get the entire team together for some fun games and activities, which will not only help build a good team, but also help leaders play their role better.

3. Recognition and Appreciation

How should leaders decide which employee deserves recognition and appreciation? Managers should be trained on how to recognise and reward talent and appreciate their employees for their hard work. Managers should be asked to give recognition and rewards to an employee at regular intervals, so that they can understand their team better and push them to do better, hence playing the role of motivating leaders.

4. Creativity Workshops

This is a great exercise for teams and their leaders. Creativity always makes way for better ideas at work. Everybody needs a push to get their creativity flowing. Conducting workshops, games and activities that would stimulate creativity can help leaders and their teams in enhancing their creativity and increasing their work productivity.

5. Sharing Tips

The best way to get new tips on effective leadership is to hear it straight from other leaders. Conduct a forum where leaders of different teams get together and share their leadership experiences. They can share instances of tough leadership challenges and decisions. This would give insight and helpful tips to other managers of the same organisation on how to deal with similar situations.

6. Coaching

There are many coaches who are experts in leadership building. Bringing in a leadership coach for some one-on-one lessons in leadership can give managers some great teachings about leadership. This will also give managers the chance to discuss specific instances of leadership with their coaches and enhance their skills.

7. Dreams Of The Leaders

Leaders spend most of their professional lives making the dreams of their employees come true, forgetting that they have dreams too, buried under the pile of emails. Companies should encourage leaders to dream of their growth too. This would boost their confidence, motivate them to do better and grow. Companies should hold events where they discuss and motivate the leaders of the organisation to dream big and work towards their personal and professional future.

Conclusion

It’s important to motivate team members to work together and work better, similarly it’s important to motivate team leaders to lead better and lead more. Leaders need to grow as well to build better and lead bigger teams. This is extremely important for companies that want their leaders to progress and grow in their company. Investing in leadership skills of managers will ensure better teams which will ultimately lead to better work productivity.

StrategyDriven Diversity and Inclusion Article | Bretton Putter | Culture Decks Decoded

Exemplary Diversity and Inclusion Practices from a Culture-Driven Company

StrategyDriven Diversity and Inclusion Article | Bretton Putter | Culture Decks DecodedThe conversation about diversity and inclusion (D&I) has gathered a lot of momentum in the last few years, in the corporate world as well as in society more generally. Thinking about D&I is by and large no longer a tokenistic gesture. We have grown in understanding that we all have unconscious biases and that our companies and society as a whole benefit when we strive to support and empower under-represented groups. We have come to realize, too, that there’s a clear benefit when we utilize people’s skills, creativity and life experiences – particularly of those whose voices, skill sets or perspectives have historically been unheard or marginalized.

In many culture-driven companies, thinking and talking about diversity and inclusion is non-negotiable. Culture-driven leaders recognize the immense value that a diverse team brings. They think about diversity and inclusivity on a number of different levels, including ethnicity, age, nationality, gender, expertise and experience, personality type and neuro-diversity, to name a few.

By paying extremely close attention to making their culture a conscious, tangible asset, these companies are helping to set the precedent for what an exemplary D&I conversation and set of practices looks like. Leaders who want to create companies that thrive commercially while simultaneously supporting their people to thrive, too, can learn a lot from studying these companies.

In my new book, Culture Decks Decoded, I do just that. I review the slides of culture decks from a wide range of culture-driven companies in order to provide inspiring examples of best practice in terms of all aspects of company culture, including D&I. One of the most outstanding companies in this respect is Patreon, which addresses diversity and inclusion with a depth of thought that shows how genuinely important they consider it to be.

Patreon is a membership platform that provides tools for creators and creatives to run a subscription content service and build relationships with subscribers, and it places a very high value on D&I. The company’s overall mission is to fund what it calls “the creative class” — makers and creators from all walks of life. Their opening slide on D&I states that they work hard to fight the “unfair practices and trends” that they see in other tech companies. The following two slides go into comprehensive detail about all the things they are doing to build a diverse, inclusive environment.

Some of the exemplary practices in place at Patreon include:

  • Being direct about the language and messaging: The slide emphasises that there is no such thing as a “diverse person” or “diverse candidate” and clearly requests that Patreon employees do not use that language.
  • Informing employees that if someone slips up and uses improper language, as that person’s colleague, they are encouraged and even expected to provide direct yet kind feedback, given with compassion.
  • Making it clear that employees can and should learn about each other’s pronoun preferences via their Slack bios.Making all restrooms gender neutral at the Patreon offices.
  • Using a D&I census to collect data that report son fairness across areas such as compensation, promotions and other resources.
  • Offering trainings on unconscious bias, ally-ship and active listening skills.
  • Directing teams to set inclusivity-based objectives and key results (OKRs): the company is explicit about aiming to be “champions in this space.”

While not all of these practices are relevant or suitable to every company, the depth of thinking that went into creating them arguably is. The practices at Patreon have been developed with the aim of creating a truly inclusive workplace, and the final point is one that I would encourage leaders of organizations large and small to pay attention to: do not shy away from conversations about diversity and inclusion. As Patreon states, “Frequent discourse and debate are key to making progress.”


About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Bretton Putter | Culture Decks DecodedBretton Putter is a leading expert on startup and high-growth company culture, consulting companies worldwide on how to leverage culture to prepare for and execute at a rapid scale. He is the author of Culture Decks Decoded and the forthcoming The Culture Gene: Leadership and Culture Development Lessons from High-Growth Companies. Connect with Brett on LinkedIn and learn more at culturegene.ai

StrategyDriven Big Picture of Business Article

The Big Picture of Business – Each Role Matters. The Value of Support Staff

StrategyDriven Big Picture of Business ArticleEvery person in the company matters to its success. Every job is important, as is filling them with the best people for each job. The art and skill of being great support staff is a cornerstone of business success.

From pop culture, think of the great role models that we grew up watching:

Della Street was the loyal secretary to Perry Mason. She knew what everyone was thinking and was the glue to the cases. She was the model for executive assistants and office managers everywhere.

The CEO is made stronger with a good C-suite team. Ed McMahon was TV’s premier second banana. He worked as assistant, announcer, commercial pitchman and sketch narrator to Johnny Carson throughout their 29-year run on NBC-TV’s “Tonight Show.” They had previously worked together on a game show, “Who Do You Trust” on ABC-TV. Bandleaders on the late-night are vital #3 characters on the show, including Doc Severinsen, Skitch Henderson, Paul Shaffer and The Roots band.

The movie star heroes had buddies to help them navigate the adventures. John Wayne and Roy Rogers had Gabby Hayes. Gene Autry had Pat Buttram.

TV show stars had great support casts. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz had Vivian Vance and William Frawley as Ethel & Fred Mertz. This historic teaming became the formula for most other TV sitcoms. Shows like “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “30 Rock,” “The Office” and others had expanded ensemble casts.

Some performers made careers as supporting players. Ann B. Davis was Schultzy on “The Bob Cummings Show” and Alice on “The Brady Bunch.”

Back characters on TV shows included restaurant and bar operators, where the stars went top relax. There were friendly, familiar places such as Cheers bar, Arnold’s Drive-In on “Happy Days,” the Krusty Krab on “SpongeBob Square Pants,” Dale’s Diner on “The Roy Rogers Show” and other homey places. In the business world are those staff people who make us feel more like family. Therefore, our loyalty to the company rises, and we are more productive.

Still other back characters bring cohesion to the enterprise. On “Gilligan’s Island,” those glue-adhesive characters were the Professor Roy Hinkley and Mary Ann Summers. Those vital employees in the business world might include the IT guy, the receptionist, the mailroom manager, the ethics adviser and the secretary to the Board of Directors.

Great executives know the value of crediting support figures for the business success. Lt. Columbo was always quoting his wife as basis for testing hypotheses, though the character was never shown. Newspaper publisher Perry White was always upstaged by his employees, notably Clark Kent/Superman. Al Roker does the weather on “The Today Show,” and he is also the motivating segment host as well. Nobody turns letters like Vanna White, making her essential to the legacy of “Wheel of Fortune.”

And then there were those mentors behind the scene who were responsible for lots of creativity. The Beatles had George Martin as their producer. Steven Spielberg had John Williams as music composer for his films.

A host of people make the CEO look good. Further, they transform the company to greater plateaus. Warmly recognize the contributions of executive assistants, trusted advisers, mentors, support staff, hier apparents, adjuncts, vendors and outside stakeholders.

Here are some characteristics of support personnel and rising stars who will make it as professionals and business leaders:

  • Act as though they will one day be management.
  • Think as a manager, not as a worker.
  • Learn and do the things it will take to assume management responsibility.
  • Be mentored by others.
  • Act as a mentor to still others.
  • Don’t expect status overnight.
  • Measure their output and expect to be measured as a profit center to the company.
  • Learn to pace and be in the chosen career for the long-run.
  • Don’t expect that someone else will be the rescuer or enable you to cut corners in the path toward artificial success.
  • Learn from failures, reframing them as opportunities.
  • Learn to expect, predict, understand and relish success.
  • Behave as a gracious winner.
  • Acquire visionary perception.
  • Study and utilize marketing and business development techniques.
  • Contribute to the bottom line, directly and indirectly.
  • Offer value-added service.
  • Never stop paying dues and see this continuum as “continuous quality improvement.”
  • Study and comprehend the subtleties of life.
  • Never stop learning, growing and doing. In short, never stop!

About the Author

Hank MoorePower Stars to Light the Business Flame, by Hank Moore, encompasses a full-scope business perspective, invaluable for the corporate and small business markets. It is a compendium book, containing quotes and extrapolations into business culture, arranged in 76 business categories.

Hank’s latest book functions as a ‘PDR of business,’ a view of Big Picture strategies, methodologies and recommendations. This is a creative way of re-treading old knowledge to enable executives to master change rather than feel as they’re victims of it.

Power Stars to Light the Business Flame is now out in all three e-book formats: iTunes, Kindle, and Nook.