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The Relationship Between Google and SEO

Posted on October 5, 2020September 30, 2020   Leave a comment on The Relationship Between Google and SEO

Historically Google has been seen as an adversary to SEO. With guidelines spanning over 200 pages it seems there is little chance of pleasing Google. However, Search Engine Journal did an interview with a Google executive who said Google is actually an advocate for good SEO and awards white hat techniques. Here are some good nuggets gleaned from this interview:

  • Google’s answer to a lot of SEO questions is “it depends” and that is because there are so many variables in how Google determines placement they must be that ambiguous. Some of the it depends questions are: Is it a new site? Has it moved recently? Has the URL changed? Has the site setup changed? How fast is the site? Is there a lot of competition? The answers to these The Relationship Between Google and SEOquestions and more will complete the “it depends” answer but because of the specifics that’s as specific Google can be.
  • Some complain that so much is included in featured snippets that potential customers don’t have to click through to the website. Google’s answer to that is in their view it actually does the opposite. Good content in a snippet will actually prompt a potential customer to click through and obtain more information. (They also say usually those who complain have crappy content.)
  • Google doesn’t provide a lot of transparency to their formulas and algorithms is something heard frequently by those at Google. The answer there is that like any company, if they revealed every piece of information, it would be misused and taken out of context and most likely used against them. McDonalds doesn’t give out their secret sauce formula but everyone knows what it is. There is value to some ambiguity. However, Google has said they will be providing as much information as possible to SEO companies and consumers to improve their transparency.

Possibly one of the most interesting parts of the interview was when the Google executive said he didn’t want to know how search engine rankings work because it would cloud his conversations with SEO professionals. While this professional appreciates that viewpoint, it is difficult to have an in depth and meaningful conversation with someone who doesn’t have an idea how search engines actually work.

So unfortunately the result of this interview didn’t provide a lot of clarity, but that is to be expected when dealing with Google. It seems the SEO game continues to be just that, an attempt by SEO professionals to follow the best practices and processes that have provided success in the past in the goal of getting a business ranked. The challenge is to understand that this is a game like chess and not poker. There is strategy and study involved to figure out the most effective techniques and formulas to achieve ranking results.

The SEO practices of VA on the Spot are testament that we follow Google’s guidelines as closely as possible and only utilize white hat techniques when helping our clients achieve success. Call today to see how we can help your business grow and achieve a new level of success while giving you back more time in your day to do the business you love.

The Effects of Mindfulness on Your Business

Posted on September 23, 2020September 1, 2020   Leave a comment on The Effects of Mindfulness on Your Business

We live in a society where people and things can constantly distract us. Mindfulness is a concept that has been around for many years, but is becoming more commonplace of a subject. Simply defined, mindfulness is the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something. It basically means to be present in all ways.

Why is this important for business?

Mindfulness is crucial to the success of a business. When one is focused on what is happening in front of them, they will be more successful. Think about it. Let’s say you’re in a business meeting with a prospective client but instead of listening to the client and meeting their needs, you are writing a story in your head or thinking about a problem at home. Do you think you will land that client? Probably not.

Now think about that same situation except this time you are watching the client’s body language and listening not just to what they are saying but what they are not saying. Then you respond to them letting them know you really care and want to help them be successful. Do you think the client is more likely to give you their business? Of course they are!

mindfulness Indianapolis

Forbes, Entrepreneur, and Inc all agree that there are many valuable things that can come out of mindfulness in business:

Give you better focus. Mindfulness will keep you in the moment and what is happening in front of you. Other noises, conversations, and thoughts will not distract you. You will be able to dig deeper into the task at hand and excel quicker than if you were not being mindful.

Heighten productivity. Having a better focus will increase your productivity as you will be able to get more done. Being mindful of what is going on in front of you will keep you from having to constantly refocus and remember where you were or what you were doing.

Improve creativity. Once all the minutiae is out of the way, your mind will allow itself to bring things to the forefront that it might not if it were clouded with other issues. You will begin to think of ideas and discover efficiencies you have never thought of before.

Communicate more effectively under stress. A big part of mindfulness is to acknowledge your feelings but not staying stuck in them. This allows you to think more clearly about the situation at hand and in addition to the clarity previously discussed, you can more clearly communicate because your thoughts are clear and emotions are in check.

Turn failure into a positive feeling. Some of the biggest figures in history failed before they found success. They didn’t see failure as something debilitating, but as an opportunity to get better and improve whatever they were working on. By viewing failure as a positive, you save time and effort to be able to find the right solution.

Increase your self-confidence. When all of the above are being practiced, you will feel more in control of yourself and that will increase your self-confidence. With an increase in self-confidence you will continue to improve pretty much area of your life.

Mastering mindfulness is a process but it is just like exercising – the more you do it, the easier and more natural it will become. If you are a decision maker in your business, encouraging employees to practice mindfulness will help bring your company to a new level.

VA on the Spot can help pick up the time-consuming tasks so your business can focus on more important things like mindfulness and productivity. To see how we can help you reclaim your time contact us today!

Link Your Blog, Website, and Social Media

Posted on September 3, 2020September 2, 2020   Leave a comment on Link Your Blog, Website, and Social Media
blog Indianapolis

When it first started, blogging was like recording a diary on the Internet somewhere. Through time it has become bigger to an essential piece of business marketing. A blog can serve many purposes, but for a business its overall goal is to attract customers and help you rank higher on search engines. What people don’t always know is how linking your blog, website, and social media can benefit their business.

Most professional websites have a blog section when they are created. If there is not a blog page created, you need to check with your website manager to add one – it is not hard and usually comes as part of a website template. The next step is to add content to your blog. You want to make sure your content is helpful, inviting, and informative. Whatever you post needs to be something that helps someone, provides him or her value, and educates him or her. It also helps establish you as an authority in your industry and shows readers you know what you are talking about.

If you have a blog not linked to your website, you need to make sure it is linked to your website. When someone visits your blog, that counts as a visit to your website. That is called a link. Natural links are ones that help you rank higher with search engines. There are many ways to get links, but natural links hold more weight than other more crafted ways.

After making sure your blog is either connected to or a part of your website, you must make sure your website is linked to social media. This is probably the most important point of the entire article. Studies show that while having a blog and website are necessary for business success, fewer and fewer people are visiting them. More people visit and make decisions from what they see in social media.

There are many ways to connect your website to social media. One is to put links to your social media on your website. Add a way for them to like your Facebook page or follow you on LinkedIn. Always leave a link to your Google My Business page so they can see and leave reviews. Another way is to add share buttons onto your website and blog so people can share what they see and read to their social media. Another is to provide a teaser on your social media that leads people to your website. Hook them with something on your Google or Facebook page and then provide a link to where they can read more. Another is to include widgets that show how many people like your posts, follow you, etc. on your website.

Blogs can be a valuable way to spread knowledge and information as well as hook and educate potential and current clients. If used correctly, they can increase your online visibility and client base. For help developing website and blog content or with your social media outreach, call or contact us today at 317-288-5748.

Virtual Team Building

Posted on July 23, 2020July 9, 2020   Leave a comment on Virtual Team Building

With all the virtual work that has been occurring, many businesses have had to take a leap into the virtual world and figure out ways to keep their employees connected. The hard fact is that you cannot connect employees virtually the same way you can in person. However, there are many ways you can work to accomplish this connection virtually. The most important thing is to make sure adequate time is given for both business and fun.

Coffee Breaks/Virtual Happy Hour

Intentionally schedule in coffee breaks and virtual happy hours for employees that usually work close. This may mean intentionally setting up some breaks. When everyone was physically at the same place there may have been times that you thought more breaks were needed by some or you may have felt there were too many breaks being taken by others. But when co-workers cannot be together, they will realize how much they are missing when not having that time to connect on a personal level with those they work with. You can schedule these breaks as mandatory or voluntary, that is totally up to you as manager. The main thing to remember is that you need to be sure you are clear on expectations. It may help if you plan a certain activity or game to keep everyone on a fun and neutral topic. Let them know this is a “no work” time but do have topics of discussion ready to put out there to get things started.

Verbalize Engagement

Working virtually can cause more work for a supervisor, but the kind of work will change. Use your teamwork/networking programs to start calling out employees for exemplary work. Use and recommend that your direct reports have individual calls with each other. Start a GIF exchange where each person shares a GIF to describe their day. Not only will these things break up the feeling of disconnection but they may bring a little laughter, which is needed right now as well!

Encourage Collaboration

Working remotely can make employees feel isolated. A way to combat that is collaboration. Again, use your existingvirtual team building programs and platforms to encourage employees to work together, even when they could work separately. Consider assigning partners for projects to encourage collaboration. To replace the times they may have just walked down the hall to a person’s desk, encourage them to make a skype or phone call rather than just an email or IM. By collaborating with others, employees will feel connected and be more productive.

Establish and Improve Processes

While it seems like more work, working virtually can provide insight into holes in a company’s processes and procedures. Encourage employees to give feedback about their experiences and what they feel could be improved. You can even encourage and empower them to verbalize the reason the improvement is needed and submit possible solutions. Then evaluate what they come up with and share the improvement recommendation with the team.

Start a Virtual Game

There are many games and icebreakers that can be done online. So, sign up for one and pass it around virtually to your employees for them to complete their part. Scrabble, Pictionary, Scattergories all have online versions that can be used to create a laugh and help keep employees connected.

Moving to a virtual environment may seem like more work at first, however, over time you will get into a rhythm and wonder why you were worried about the transition. This is an opportunity to encourage and empower yourself and your employees to be better at their job and ultimately that will benefit the company. In a way… you can’t afford NOT to enrich your virtual working environment. It may be here to stay, at least in part.

VA on the Spot can help you create a calendar of ideas as well as help with a plan to implement those ideas. For help with idea implementation or with your general workload, whether it is helping take some of your busy work so you can help your employees or assisting in employee management, VA on the Spot can help you achieve success, one task at a time. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation.

What to Do After Networking

Posted on July 9, 2020July 9, 2020   Leave a comment on What to Do After Networking

Business owners should spend 20-25% of their workweek networking with other businesses. What many don’t think about is following up with the individuals they met during the event. There are a few things you can do to maximize your networking efforts.

Organize Contacts & Add to Your Contact Database

When you return from your networking event, organize the business cards you collected into categories. Helpful categories can be leads, services, connections, etc. This will help you in later steps when you follow up with the contacts. Remember that every person you meet is a potential referral so make sure you are professional and complete in all your correspondence with every person.

Make Notes on the Cards or in Your Online Contact Database

Whether you write on the cards, put them into an online contact list like a CRM, or add them to your address book, it is important to make notes on the cards you’ve collected. Recording traits about the person, the conversations you had, etc. will help you personalize your communication with them and remember who they are. Do this as soon as possible after the event so your thoughts and memories are fresh.

Connect on LinkedIn

networkConnecting with your new contacts in LinkedIn can do several things. It will allow the other person to learn about you and you to learn about them. It will also allow you to see who else they are connected with which can offer you more connections and see who you both know. Possibly the most useful thing it does is open a new channel of communication between the two of you. Email is not always the best or most reliable so now you have a backup.

Send a Note Within a Day or Two

By sending a short, handwritten note you make a personal connection with the person with whom you previously networked. Much of business today is about who you know and the connections you make, personal connections being the best kind. Knowing someone on a personal level endears you to them and they are more likely to hire or refer you.

Provide Value

Regardless of the type of connection you make, you always need to be promoting yourself. The best way of doing this is to develop something that shows your expertise. Something of value that you can offer. This could be a flyer, blog, newsletter, really anything that helps them remember who you are and what you do and convinces them that you are the person they didn’t know they had been looking for.

Networking events are valuable and productive. You make connections with people who can help you and people you can help. The trouble is what to do with all the information you gathered while participating in the event. With all the hats business owners wear, they often feel they don’t have time to follow up after networking events. VA on the Spot can help you record contacts and facilitate follow up emails and notes. Call us today to see how we can help you succeed, one task at a time.