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Like the ocean, SEO is massive and ever changing, always keeping marketers and business owners on their toes as they try to keep up with Google’s latest set of rule changes. While the only thing that stays the same in the wild world of SEO is the major shifts happening, there are definitely some things you should know about to compete this year.
Here’s a quick look at the top SEO trends taking 2017 by storm, and how you can stay ahead of the curve.
Mobile Matters More Than Ever
These days more than half of all web traffic comes from mobile devices, meaning, you can’t avoid the future forever. Of course, we’ve been talking about the rise of mobile since the iPhone came on the scene. But, only recently has Google been penalizing companies for failing to provide mobile-friendly sites. This year, make it easy for consumers to access your site (content, e-commerce platforms) no matter what device they’re using. Google is giving preference to sites that use AMP (or, accelerated mobile pages), a stripped down version of HTML, which enables websites to load faster from mobile devices. Here’s an in-depth look at AMP, for a bit of background information.
Quality Over Quantity When it Comes to Content
We’ve had enough of the fluffy stuff over the course of the past few years. From ill-advised blog posts with no new information to business owners re-posting the same old stuff. Consumers are getting wise to the SEO-stuffing methods of content creators across all industries. If content hasn’t yet been factored into your 2017 SEO strategy, now’s the time to start thinking big.
This year, get more creative and start banging out the kind of quality content that offers insights to your customers, rather than blatantly trying to convert. Make sure your content is not only 100% unique, but also both relevant and interesting to potential consumers. Do this, and you may even find yourself with a following in short order.
An algorithm-based AI system, Google is now using machine learning to help users get more relevant search results when they type in a query. Rather than simply looking at the contents of various websites, RankBrain is taking into account which sites individuals users are most likely to click on based on their history–meaning a combination of good SEO, quality content and a spot-on UX design will all be more important than ever before.
Local is Becoming Ever More Relevant
Because mobile is taking over the web, accurate, local results are much more important than ever. Consumers want access to restaurants or coffee shops near them, or may be searching for a local shop where they can pick something up, while already on the go.
If your small business relies on walk-in customers for sales, you’ll want to make sure your listings are up-to-date, as well as consistent across platforms. While consistency isn’t exactly a trend (it’s just a good business practice), it will play a larger role in helping customers find what they want, when and where they want it. Update your NAP (name, address, phone number) across all platforms, and make sure GPS is tagging your business correctly.
Voice Search Will Play a Bigger Role
With the rise of electronic assistants like Siri and Alexa, people have become increasingly comfortable using voice search as a way to find what they are looking for. While voice search has been around for quite some time, marketers will need to consider how the different medium will affect SEO. Common voice searches will more closely resemble conversational language, versus the short tail keywords we’re so accustomed to typing into Google. Content will need to contain the long tail keywords needed to best answer consumer questions, in a natural-sounding manner, if they want to remain on the front page.
Consistent, Cross-Platform Branding
Branding, from the look of your website and adherence to a specific tone and visual style guide, has been a major part of SEO strategy for a long time now. But, as more and more channels become critical elements in your marketing plan, you’ll need to be sure you’re offering a consistent voice across all platforms–from paid ads to email campaigns, social and of course, your site’s content. Knowing the full scope of the buyer’s journey can help you offer content that works for each device, as well as each platform your audience can use to find you.
The post An Online Marketing Evolution: SEO Trends for Bright Business Owners appeared first on Home Business Magazine.
Have you considered hosting a business event? It’s easy to overlook event planning when your business is home-based because you don’t have space at your disposal, but there are a number of reasons to make the extra effort to create a memorable event for your contacts. Here are several ways your business can benefit from hosting an event.
Events are a great way for home-based businesses to connect with customers, vendors, or strategic partners. You may meet with all these people one-on-one during the workweek, but hosting a group of people in a relaxed setting lets you play a different role and build friendly feelings that will strengthen bonds and increase loyalty in your group. It’s a good idea to know the goals of your event and focus on one group accordingly, but you can have secondary goals as well. For instance, your event might be intended to honor your customers, thank your staff, or introduce your business to new customers, and your planning will center on that goal, but if you also invite your vendors you’ll strengthen those relationships as well.
Build Your Brand
People strongly associate most businesses with their locations. Customers may drive past a store or restaurant every day and take in the sign, the colors, and the atmosphere of the place. As a home-based business, it’s harder to build that level of sensory memory. But when you host an event, your customers will store an image of you in the event space, with a full set of sights, sounds, and even tastes. All those sensory impressions will help keep you in the front of their memory when they’re in the market for your goods or services.
That means it’s very important to plan an event that gives the image you’d like to convey. If your business is trendy, hold events in an up-and-coming neighborhood venue and make sure your staff is stylish and your decor is on trend. If you want your customers to associate your business with success, wealth, or luxury, hold events at a golf course or museum, and arrange for details like valet parking and a coat check to create a sense of style and affluence.
Get the Word Out
An event can also help you generate publicity for your business and meet new customers face to face. Make sure the media knows about your event well in advance and create buzz on social media as well. Encourage people to come in the door by setting up plenty of giveaways, freebies, or entertainment. If you’re hosting an event where it would be customary to charge admission, you can either use the event to generate revenue or choose to donate proceeds to a charity.
Hosting events is a healthy outlet for a home-based business. Gathering your customers, prospects, staff, vendors, and strategic partners in one space turns you into the hub of a great networking opportunity, and you’ll be able to build relationships, cultivate a strong brand image, and generate publicity for your business all at once.
The post How Your Small Business Can Benefit from Hosting an Event appeared first on Home Business Magazine.
With many businesses realising the benefits of offering their staff ways to stay healthy in the workplace, the popularity of standing desks is on the rise, but are they right for every office? Here Egan Reid, a leading office furniture company, take a look at each type of desk, the health benefits of standing desks and how you should decide whether they’re right for you.
Standard Seated Desks
The staple of many office environments, seated desks can be found everywhere from reception to the top floor of many a corporation. Once a simple hard chair and desk would do, but today’s workstations and chairs are ergonomically designed to counteract the aches and pains. This, along with the addition of footrests, monitor stands and ergonomic keyboards, makes for a more comfortable way to work.
So, it can be argued that with regular breaks to get up and walk around the office, workers’ needs are more than adequately catered for with a seated desk.
There are more than a few benefits to standing desks, and whether you feel these have been a little overhyped in the media, or are already convinced that this is the way to go, there are some interesting bits of information you may want to consider.
Standing Is Good for You
According to research, an afternoon of sedentary work spent standing can burn up to 170 calories more than if a worker were to perform this work sitting down. That may not sound like much at all, but this could add up to almost 1000 calories more than if workers were to spend the time seated. In addition, it can have a beneficial effect on both blood sugar levels, and could lower the risk of heart disease.
When it comes to reducing those aches and pains of a long day behind a desk, standing desks can help here too. Several studies were performed on those with long-term backache, and 32% of those taking part in these studies have noted a reduced level of pain when using a standing desk.
Is It Right for Your Office?
Of course, there are cases where workers will be unable to stand for long periods, either due to medical conditions or due to the tasks they need to perform at a desk.
If standing desks really aren’t a popular suggestion, then allowing workers short breaks to move around – and enforcing them – should help to reduce the problems that stem from sitting down for too long.
Whilst many office layouts, especially call centres, tend to favour the rows of desks with ergonomic chairs approach, there are many ways to ensure you make the best of the space you have yet still provide workers with the option for standing desks.
Contacting a company to help fit out your office in a way that suits both your budget, and your workers’ needs is a great way to throw out the old rules of office design and embrace a new, yet healthy way of working.
The National Healthy Schools Programme (NHSP) was a joint Department of Health and Department for Children, Schools and Families project intended to improve health, raise pupil achievement, improve social inclusion and encourage closer working between health and education providers in the United Kingdom
The Programme started in 1998 and formed part of the strategy described in the Department for Children, Schools and Families’ Children’s Plan (DCSF 2007) and in the Department of Health’s Healthy Weight, healthy Lives (DH 2008)
It had four themes, each with its own criteria:
The National Healthy Schools Status is an award made under the scheme to schools which have achieved the four criteria
The school must undergo a self validation as follows:-
The Government has set a target for all schools to work towards achieving National Healthy Schools Status, more than 97% are participating in the scheme and 75% achieved this by December 2009
The system was created and designed technically by contractor Eugene Le Roux  with ‘systems’ design input from National Healthy Schools Programme National Adviser Stuart G