Local SEO is vital to your business

Local SEO isn’t all about the mom-and-pop stores anymore. Basically, any business can reap the benefits that local SEO provides. Since Google did its update in 2014, the significance of local SEO is vital, many entrepreneurs focus their marketing strategy within their local community. Businesses who used local SEO before the update say they have seen a big increase after the update.

These moves are crucial because local SEO is vital to your marketing plan. However, over the years, I do believe that local SEO will continue to grow and be an important tool to every business, here is why.

Google thrives on local businesses

If you’ve done your homework properly, you will find out that Google has shown small amounts of favoritism to the smaller, newer companies. While most of its rankings have to do with the brand’s authority and history, Google also gives the people what they want; therefore, showing the more popular brands.

This all comes down to allowing small-business owners, who may only have limited resources to potentially break new ground. Google always provides free tools such as, Webmaster tools, Analytics, and so much more to help business owners increase their online traffic.

On-the-go searching

With all the phones, watches, tablets out there, you have to think your consumers will be performing a lot more on the go searches. They may be looking for a café within three miles or a café within a certain neighborhood. So, if you keep the local SEO in your marketing strategy not only will it boost your online presence, but it can also boost your presence for those on the go.

Competition is increasing

Every year, more and more businesses are opening up. You probably noticed that there a lot of businesses in your industry. However, that makes the competition that much more. Many business owners are finding even smaller niches just until they can get traffic online, but that doesn’t always need to happen. With a good marketing plan, you will see a huge difference.

These are just a few ways why local SEO is vital to one’s marketing plan. Of course, if done right, not only will have a great online presence, but you will also be searched locally too.

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Increase your website traffic with these 4 tips

I know your company is important to you. I know how hard it is to get good quality traffic coming to your website too. Of course, you’ve been probably scouring the internet to increase your traffic for the past few hours and haven’t found anything, but those get quick rich schemes for $99, am I right? Well, luckily for you, you found Forever Writing. Forever Writing specializes in SEO, which can also bring traffic to your site, but if you are looking for more of a do-it-yourself, here are four tips you can implement within 5 minutes.

SEO

Keywords

When you are going to create content, you need to know the keywords people are going to use to search for said content. Every page should be built around the keywords that are vital to your company. This will require a lot of research and homework to perfect it.

Google can help you with your keywords. You know when you start typing into the search bar on Google, how it gives you suggestions for popular phrases and words people us to search. If you want to take it a little bit deeper, you can use the Google Keyword Planner, which will tell you all popular keywords. This tool will tell you pretty accurate numbers on how many average searches are performed on those keywords.

Image tags

Of course, the images are amazing, colorful, and add character to your website. However, in order for Google and other search engines to understand what the image are you need to tag your images. Basically, if there isn’t a tag or tags, Google will not know how to identify your image, and your image will be useless.

Meta description

A meta description can be found right under your URL on the search page. Its sole purpose is to give the consumer what the page is about, what will they learn, why should they click on it. You want your meta description to be engaging, truthful, and prompt the consumer to click on your link to find out more. It is wise to use call-to-action words such as “visit” and “learn” to engage people to find out why the information on your site is vital to their needs.

Backlinks

I cannot stress this enough. If you want to keep the consumer on your site, you need to backlink, backlink, backlink. You can backlink to your site, other content on your blog, and so much more. However, your backlinks should give your readers more useful information that can help build their relationship with you and your company. The more great information you provide, the more likely chance they will recommend your site and services to their friends and family.

These are just a few tips that can help you gain more traffic to your site. Of course, you won’t see the results overnight, but you will certainly relish the rewards later down the line.

SEO vs Content Marketing: Are you confused?

So, if you’ve been in business for quite some time, you are probably familiar with breakfast clubs and what they stand for. These are groups of people, usually locals that get together at an ungodly hour of the morning to discuss business such as, swapping leads, gossiping, and eating a fulfilling breakfast.

Now, I am not knocking on breakfast clubs, because they are extremely beneficial on the local front. For example, someone would stand up and tell you about their skill and give you a bit  about their skill and give you a helping hand on what they do, and how they do it.

However, where I am going with this is, many people, including those in the breakfast clubs don’t quite know the difference between SEO and content marketing.  Many people think they are essentially the same, but they are not. Here is why:

 

content marketing, seo,

Source: Wikipedia

What is SEO?

SEO is all about ranking higher in the search results. In order to do that, you need keywords, content, and a good website layout. However, if you are still concerned about what SEO is and want a deeper definition, check out SEO Basics: Cakes & Blind Dates Edition.

However, I do want to emphasis, it’s a lot about your website. You need to know a lot of different technical things that only you can see in your website back end.

What is content marketing?

In short, content marketing is any kind of marketing that involves creating and sharing content in order to gain customers. This type of content can be presented as blog posts, e-books, videos, photos, and much more.

What’s the confusion?

From the short explanations above, it should be pretty clear that the major difference between content marketing and SEO is that SEO has to do with more technical things such as structure of website, website design, and other back end website fun. While on the other hand, content marketing is all about getting noticed online with content that your company published.
Basically, with SEO, you will be making sure your website contains proper titles, descriptions, URLs, loads fast, has a great flow throughout the site, images; which have correct alt tags, and much more. Of course, this is the tip of the iceberg, to be honest.

 

However, with content marketing, you will need to figure out what type of content you want to publish and promote. You will need to figure out how to present it, so your target audiences see it.

Nonetheless, content marketing and SEO are different, but can get confused quite easily. Now, you should be well informed with the two concepts. Feel free to tell your colleagues the difference because, hey, you will look like the smart one.

Learn basic SEO in 5 minutes or less

If you are totally new to the SEO game and have more than five minutes to spare, you will want to start here. If you don’t have that much time to spare, but your boss wants you to be an SEO wizard, you came to the right place. This piece will provide you with the SEO basics you will need in five minutes or less.

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Source: Flickr/hobvias sudoneighm

How do search engines work?

Well, the easiest way to explain what a search engine is will be how you explain yourself on a blind date. It is all about finding what you are all about, to bring the correct people into your life.

When people use search engines, they expect to get results based on a few characteristics:

Relevance: How closely related is this information to what they are looking for?

Authority: Does the website appear to be knowledgeable or credible on the topic?

Popularity: Will people find this site recommendable to other people looking for information on the topic?

So what is SEO?

SEO is simply a way of improving your odds of showing up when people look for information related to you.

In short, SEO is a way of improving your chances that someone will find you and your website on the internet. Basically, let’s use The Tales of a Broke College Student for example. So if you were to search for “benefits for a broke college student.” You will see that thetalesofabrokecollegestudent.blogspot.com appears throughout the first page. This is because they use SEO to attract their readers.

The importance of pages

Once you get the hang of how to reel in your potential customers, then you will want to lead them to a specific page of your site. For example, if you are trying to sell your services, you will want to reel them into your rates page, and so on and so forth.

Basically, the entire objective of SEO is to give people access to what they want and need, by providing them a variety of different pages to get there. You want to keep building up your customer’s interest.

Optimize!

The next step is to optimize your website. Your site needs to be easily accessed by search engines. So, you will need to make it easy to understand, so the search engines can figure out what you are, what do you have to offer.

Basically, what you need to do is be as descriptive as you possibly can with your content on each of your pages on your site. Also, create a better user experience, if you are unsure how this can be done, send out a survey to your customers and ask for their feedback. Not to mention, offering a little incentive will really get a great group of people to answer your survey with honest feedback.

Think big picture

Of course, SEO will not happen overnight, but that doesn’t mean don’t look at the big picture. SEO will take time, so have a plan on how you will get to the final result. It is crucial you always see the big picture at the end, when working with smaller goals. If you keep that in mind, you will be an SEO pro in no time.

Special: August 11th

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You are probably wondering if there is a catch, but there isn’t. All niches are welcome, there are no quantity limits either. You will get your content the way you want it. However, this deal will not last long. The deal expires August 11th at 11:59p.m.

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5 Tips for a Successful Night’s Sleep

Are you tired of always lying in bed every single night, tossing and turning, and trying to stay awake the following day? I know, I get tired of doing that on a nightly basis, but what if I told you, that you no longer had to endure such pain in your life anymore? You may want to consider trying these five  tips to help you get a great night’s sleep.

Get some exercise

Everyone always says exercising always makes everything better, which is 100% true. However, if you  exercise during your daily routine, you will see a huge difference in the amount and quality of sleep you will get each night. Now, this doesn’t mean you need to go off and run five miles a day either. Even just going out and walking together with your spouse or kids after dinner can also be considered exercise.

Cut out caffeine

Now, I am not saying to go cold turkey either. We know how well that goes, don’t we? It is one thing if you are a coffee lover and drink coffee in the morning and a few caffeinated drinks throughout the day; however, when it starts getting later into the evening, try and cut those beverages out. This is a pretty common reason why you may be having a hard time getting a good night’s sleep.

No work allowed in your bedroom

This one is a huge one. It may not seem as huge as the others, but it really is. I will be the first to announce, I do work from my bedroom. I don’t follow this one at all. Do I suffer from this? Yes, I do.

If you work at home like myself, then you know how stressful it can be. Working in your bedroom usually means you don’t have a home office,  or you feel more comfortable in your room. Well, for starters, if you are completing stressful tasks including paying your bills, dealing with taxes, or just plain old working that you can’t seem to get away from, you may want to try and move that portion of your life into your living room or kitchen. You should always try and keep your room for sleeping and sleeping only.

Keep your phone off

At night, you should always try to keep your bedroom free of your electronics. I know most people now use their cell phones as alarms, which is perfectly fine, but instead of having it on vibrate or loud, turn it on silent. Yes, turn it on silent and put the screen facing down, this will eliminate you from trying to check your phone to see if work contacted you, emails, and text messages.

Get into a routine

I know sometimes we tend to go to bed at random times, but if you establish yourself a bedtime like your parents did when you were growing up. Your body will get used to going to bed at that certain time, which will allow you to get tired. Of course, you won’t be able to go to bed at that time all the time, due to different events going on during your life. However, as long as your stick to that schedule 90% of the time, you will see a huge difference in your sleeping schedule.

Just by following these five tips, you will be on a way to a better night’s sleep. Just remember to always take out any and all distractions that may be in your bedroom before you head to bed. You want your room to be for sleeping not a place to worry about everything that happened that day or what will happen in the future.

 

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Take a Mental Health Day

This is a huge problem that a lot of people have. Whether you work from home, or work outside the home, chances are great that you may need a break from your schedule. Some call it a personal day, while others call it a mental health day. Whatever way you may call it, it should be your day, the day you can spend embracing yourself and no one else.

Does it sound too good to be true? That’s because we have a tendency to cling to our responsibilities with a death grip. Somehow, many of us have decided that the world would stop spinning if we dropped out of it for a few hours. Try taking a one day break, and when no catastrophe ensues, you’ll see just how valuable a personal day can be.

Source: Denise Cross Photography/Flickr

Source: Denise Cross Photography/Flickr

Make a day for you

Make certain that everyone knows you’re taking this day. Request it off from work, get a babysitter for the kids and make alternative arrangements for meals. This is just one day. You can do it, and your family can function without you for a few hours.

Leave the phone home

If you are like me, you probably are always checking that phone of yours. For your own sake, leave the phone home. Yes, some clients may get back to you, or their other things that need to be done. However, they will be there tomorrow. You don’t need to worry about them today. All you need to do is worry about yourself.

Plan your day

Now this plan can be simple if you choose, or elaborate, if you so choose. However, the main thing to take away from this is do what you want. Do something that you want to do that will being you happiness. If you are racking your brain for some suggestions, here are a few:

Lay on the couch and binge watch some television. Get take out, snacks, and other food that you normally don’t eat on a daily basis.

Call up a friend and see if they want to see a movie, go shopping, or even have a nice lunch. It is something you normally won’t do, but it will be nice to have some human interaction.

Have a spa day. Grab an appointment at your local spa for a massage, facial, or just a mani-pedi. Doesn’t matter what you choose as long as you are happy.

By taking a mental health day, you are rediscovering your self-worth. Not only that, but you are taking all the stress you have built up over time and letting it go. Everyone needs a day to relax, unwind, and be themselves. Always plan for a day to do what makes you happy without having work and stress get in the way.

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