DIY SEO | Affordable SEO for Small Businesses

DIY SEO | Affordable SEO for Small Businesses

In the wild world of DIY SEO and digital marketing, visibility is everything. Page hits fly in from social media, google queries, and backlinks, but that’s only half the story.

Your audience is going to hit the first page that matches their needs. How do you make sure that Google knows what you offer and how to display it? Search engine optimization.

What Does SEO Stand For?

SEO Working Definition 

SEO or search engine optimization is the fine art of labeling your content so that an algorithm can interpret the type of content you have and choose when and where to display it.

By analyzing keyword density, intent (i.e. sales, white paper, review, blog), and backlinks, the Google algorithm gives your content a ranking for various search terms or queries and displays your content by ranking within a search engine results page (SERP).

This process also scans your content to create direct answer experiences within a SERP.

The exact process Google uses to rank and sort content is proprietary. To keep things fair and accurate, they do not disclose precisely how the ranking process works. However, let’s go over some basic principles of SEO.

SEO for Dummies

Your Basic Guide to DIY SEO 

Don’t worry, digital nomads! There are a lot of things you can do on your own to improve your site ranking and give yourself a DIY SEO checkup. 

Before you can optimize, you must determine what keywords you hope to use. In other words, what queries do you hope will return your content as the top choice? 

To start with, determine your current keyword density. If your website is on WordPress, you can use free SEO plugins like Yoast SEO or Rank Math. Both plugins have tons of great features including their own builtin keyword density analyzer tool. This tool will show you how often your focus keyword is used throughout your content compared to your content’s total word count. 

Next, try generating a SERP and running the top-ranking pages through the same tool. SERP will show you, in direct numbers, how your keyword usage compares to the top-ranking article. It will also show you the top keywords utilized by the top-ranking content, keywords you may want to incorporate into your content during your next edit!

With keyword info in hand, remember Google doesn’t just use your plain text. The Google ranking algorithm pays special attention to backlinks, paragraph headings, urls and alt-text. That means you should too!

Leave it to the Pros

Affordable SEO for Small Businesses

Is this starting to feel overwhelming? Don’t worry; I’ve got your back.

Once you’ve given yourself a DIY SEO checkup and identified your areas for improvement, you might feel like the hill is too high to climb alone. 

SEO doesn’t have to cost a fortune. There are lots of services for every budget from simple check-up tools to full service solutions, and most importantly, mentoring to guide you through.

Your first step is to optimize your existing content. Using an SEO suite of tools like SEMrush or Loganix can help you chart a clear course to improving your existing sites and measuring their performance. Using an SEO toolkit gives you measurable, actionable feedback rather than the qualitative inference you might do on your own. 

Once you have identified what works, and what does not work, about your existing content, you have the information you need to create new, more impactful content within your niche. At this stage, you are ready to utilize freelancers to create custom content that rank competitively in the ever changing SEO world.

Of course, like any entrepreneur, you, and you alone, have the vision that makes everything possible. You must balance the power of delegation with the need to invest in yourself. By spending a little more time now to master the world of digital marketing, you save yourself time and most importantly, money. When you are ready to take your DIY SEO to the next level, you are ready for mentoring and mastermind sessions

DIY SEO Checklist

Search Engine Optimization in 4 steps

Whether you are performing a marketing audit or crafting your strategic goals for new content, make sure you can check these ‘SEO best practices’ boxes.

  1. Have you identified your keywords?
  2. Are your headings, URLs and alt text boxes keyword optimized?
  3. Are you linking to relevant content both within your site and to other sources?
  4. Have you linked Google Analytics?
  5. Are relevant sources linking back to your content?

As your business grows, so will your on page SEO needs. Even so, affordable SEO for small businesses is possible! 

Hopefully this DIY SEO guide has provided you with some marketing wisdom you can apply to your niche right away. If you found more questions than answers, let this be a wake up call for you! No matter how big or small your business goals, it is always the right time to invest in yourself. Why not start now?

You Can Become a Digital Nomad. Here’s How.

You Can Become a Digital Nomad. Here’s How.

There are a number of reasons why people choose to pursue the lifestyle of a digital nomad. Whether you want to travel and see the world or whether you want to break out of the 9-to-5 grind, being a digital nomad affords you certain freedoms.

Before you jump into this laptop lifestyle though, some planning should be involved. There are a few things you can do to help you on your quest to become a digital nomad.

Simplify Your Life

When you think of a nomad in the traditional since, you think of a person who travels from place to place. Owning many possessions isn’t something nomads are known for. So if you have a house full of things and you’re serious about making the transition, you might want to start thinking about simplifying your life as much as possible.

An important part of becoming a digital nomad is getting rid of unnecessary baggage and expenses. When I first started my journey, I gave up my car and all things that I didn’t view as essential. It was a gradual process. You’ll want to be honest with yourself about what things are necessary and what you can give up. If you envision yourself traveling to different countries months at a time, do you really need that gym membership, magazine subscription, or Sam’s Club membership?

Don’t worry if you feel overwhelmed. Having many prized possessions can do that to you. Take baby steps. Two things that were really difficult for me to give up were my television and Vitamix. I actually tried to figure out a way to bring them with me. How crazy was that?

When it comes to simplifying your life, that includes your spending habits. Cutting down on your spending will not only save you money but will help keep unnecessary items out of your house that you’ll eventually need to give up anyway. When you’re traveling in countries where a dollar goes a long way and living is cheap, you’ll appreciate having more money in the bank.

Freelance or Start An Online Business

Consider your skills and how you can carry them into online work. Writing, design, editing, and software development are common skills that lend themselves to freelance or remote work. Joining a freelancing community will expose you to work opportunities and resources used by other location independent entrepreneurs.

If you want to start your own online business but don’t have the confidence to leave your 9-to-5 job right away, you can try to get remote freelance work in your spare time. The point is to establish yourself as a freelancer so it can become a viable source of income. As a digital nomad, you won’t need a ton of money, but you will need a steady amount to get by. If you don’t have a lot of money saved in the bank, traveling without having clients or an established online business can make your life more stressful and the laptop lifestyle nearly impossible.

Consider the Logistics

If you already have health insurance, double check that you’ll be covered while you’re in other countries. If your health insurance doesn’t cover you while you’re abroad, you should consider travel insurance that is specifically for digital nomads. One insurance company that I absolutely love, and am also an affiliate for, is World Nomads. Depending on your needs, their comprehensive insurance plans could cover some combination of dental, emergency health, trip cancellation, delays, lost luggage, tech and gear and the list goes on.

Research the country, city or town you want to travel to before you go. Find decent lodging, whether it’s an affordable bed and breakfast or other reasonably priced place to stay. You’ll want to feel comfortable and safe in the place you’ll be lodging, so thoroughly look into the neighborhood you plan on residing in, especially if you plan on staying there for at least a few months. Figure out where all the essentials are—hospitals, grocery stores, coffeeshops, metro stops, places of worship, coworking spaces and so on.

Whether you’re traveling domestically or internationally, it’s important to make sure you have the cell phone reception and wifi you need. Consider getting a local SIM card in the area you’ll reside. You may also be able to rely on your cellular network and use your personal hotspot for internet connection if you find yourself without wifi.

Consider Avenues to Diversify Your Income

As an online business owner, I can tell you that it’s crucially important to diversify your income by building multiple streams of income. Passive income can make life a whole lot easier for a digital nomad, especially at times when work is inconsistent. If you have the money, investments and dividend-yielding stocks might work for you. Others prefer going with something like an E-commerce business. If you already plan on documenting your travels through blogging, Instagram, YouTube, or other social media, placing ads, affiliate links, or sponsorship posts could be a possibility for you.

There are many affiliate marketing programs like Shareasale, of which I am an affiliate, CJ and Amazon affiliates just to name a few.

Digital Nomads Still Need a Schedule

It’s important to schedule your time, even as a digital nomad. Schedule time for work and time for leisure. That way you can stay productive and also enjoy your leisure time exploring your new environment.

Maintaining a work-life balance will make your new lifestyle more sustainable. Letting work take over leisure time will create stress, and failing to block out consistent work time will affect your productivity. Make goals and give yourself deadlines to meet so you can make progress on your work.

Conclusion

Becoming a digital nomad can seem like a big, intimidating change. But if you’re really interested in the lifestyle, there are steps you can take to make the transition easier and to minimize stress. And if you do eventually decide to settle down, you can still stick to freelancing instead of returning to an office job because of the work you did as a digital nomad.  

The Definition of Brand Personality And How to Develop It

The Definition of Brand Personality And How to Develop It

Many people confuse brand personality with brand values. While these two compliment each other, they are not the same. Brand values are the things your brand stands for, whether it be transparency or quality, or innovation, etc. These are the principles that your brand is determined to uphold.

A brand personality is similar to that of a person’s. It is the combination of human characteristics or qualities that form the brand’s distinctive character. A brand’s personality influences how consumers feel about the brand and has the power to attract consumers and make their experience with the brand memorable. These qualities should be consistent across all mediums and platforms in order to be truly effective.

If our relationships with brands so closely mirror those with our fellow humans, shouldn’t we think of brands as people?

– Ignyte

There are five main brand personality types to consider when building your own.

Competence

Competence evokes reliability, experience, proficiency, skillfulness, and expertise. A tried and true brand like Google is an example of this. Microsoft Office suite used to be the go-to office software for most people. Nowadays, Google Drive seems to be the go-to office software because of it convenience and ease of use. Not to mention the fact that it’s free.

When composing a document on Google Docs, Sheets or Slides, the document is automatically saved as you make changes. Additionally, you can pick up where you left off on any device. If that doesn’t scream reliability and proficiency, I don’t know what does.

Sincerity

Sincerity includes traits such as genuineness, goodwill, and trustworthiness. I personally, think of Whole Foods and Amazon. And it’s no surprise that Amazon decided to acquire Whole Foods in 2017. The Whole Foods brand markets itself as having high quality standards. It prides itself on the vibrant stacks of produce, animal welfare rated meat, responsibly farmed and sustainable wild-caught seafood and body care products with ingredients that consumers can trust. Since what you see is what you get, buyers feel a greater sense of trust toward the brand.

Sophistication

When we think of sophistication, we often think of cultured, refined, elegance and class. Designer brands such as Chanel and Dior are prime examples of a sophisticated brand personality. They exude elegance and status, which draws in customers who are attracted to those traits.

Excitement

Common traits of excitement are exhilaration, emotion, thrill and enjoyment. Oftentimes, those characteristics are also associated with youth. Universal Parks & Resorts uses thrilling commercials and showcases an image of being joyful with it’s current “Let Yourself Woah” slogan (as of 2020).

Ruggedness

Strength, grit, and athleticism are all traits of ruggedness. Recreational Equipment, Inc., commonly known as REI, a company that believes a life outdoors is a life well-lived, serves as a good example of ruggedness. REI, sells sporting goods, camping gear, travel equipment, and clothing.

Now that we’ve defined some brand personality types and traits, how can you build your own brand personality?

Know Your Demographic

Once you’ve figured out what your passion is, you need to develop it into a brand. An essential part of building your brand is knowing who the brand is for. Your brand’s personality should cater to the customer. Who is your product or service for, and what will they find attractive? Identify who your average consumer is and what they are like and build a personality that’s relatable to them. A good brand personality should connect emotionally with the customer.

Old Spice, for example, uses ruggedness to appeal to their demographic of young men. The face of their brand, the Old Spice guy, is typically an attractive, muscular man. The brand uses what are viewed as traditionally masculine traits to appeal to its consumers. The Old Spice guy is aspirational—he’s suave, he’s fit, and he’s manly. While the people who use Old Spice tend to be young men, the brand has also strategically tried to attract women with campaigns like “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like,” since women are more likely to do household shopping.

Brand personality traits provide a general idea of how to reach your target demographic, but make sure to really zero in on who your customer is.

For example, once you’ve identified your target as millennial women, consider the fact that millennials have increasingly expressed interest in a brand’s values and authenticity. Love Beauty and Planet, Unilever’s personal care brand that launched in 2017, targets socially aware millennials. The brand markets vegan and cruelty-free products that are environmentally conscious at a time when interest in natural products is growing.

Differentiate Your Brand Personality From the Competition

When developing a brand personality, take stock of your competition. A good way to build a successful brand personality is by capitalizing on what makes you different from other brands in your market.

Let’s re-examine the brand Love Beauty and Planet. Many personal care brands exist, such as Dove, Pantene, and the like. Additionally, other natural and cruelty-free products exist, but at a higher price. However, the brand’s target audience will trust it more because of its commitment to vegan, cruelty-free, and environmentally conscious practices. Its brand personality emphasizes these qualities in a way competitors at the same price don’t.

Cohesiveness

An effective brand personality extends to a brand’s design and behavior. Most people can easily identify an Apple product by its once-bitten apple logo. And like the logo, the design of the product is simple, clean, and sophisticated.

A brand’s behavior on social media influences the way people see it. A small, trendy jewelry store might utilize Instagram because visual platforms work particularly well for jewelry. It gives the brand a chance to convey the glamour and sophistication of its products.

The way a brand interacts with customers on social media can increase its appeal as well. For example, customers notice when a brand cares about their experience with a product or service and can sense that sincerity in social media interactions.

Conclusion

Building an effective brand personality is essential to attracting loyal customers. Customers who feel a connection with your brand will stay with you. By knowing your demographic, differentiating yourself from the competition, and staying consistent, you can develop a successful brand personality.

Facebook Business Page | 4 Essential Tips to Implement Now

Facebook Business Page | 4 Essential Tips to Implement Now

A Facebook business page can help you get greater visibility for your business. More consumers are turning to Facebook to find businesses, and you can tell them a lot about yourself through this opportunity. The goal is for people to ‘like’ your page so that they can follow what’s going on with the enterprise. Here are a few tips to help you build a strong page.

High Resolution Images

High-resolution images will ensure that you have great photos showing up across your Facebook page. Otherwise, you run the risk of too much grain. According to Social Report, “it’s important to use an image size guide so you know what the desired resolution is for the different areas where you will be posting. A standard page post employs a different size than your cover image. Without using the right size, you could end up with some less-than-desirable cropping.”

Below are the recommended video and image sizes for Facebook 2019. Having the correct image dimensions will save you a lot of aggravation in the long run.

The images that you use should tell a story. Whenever possible, use real photos of customers, employees or products as opposed to stock photos. They’re more authentic, and they’ll help with your brand perception.

Engage Regularly on Your Facebook Business Page

It’s important that you don’t appear as though you have no interest in your own business. After all, if you can’t bother to post, why should people bother to follow you?

According to Podium, “four simple, yet highly effective, ways you can engage are: Post at the right time, incorporate more videos, ask customers what they think, and try going live.” If you don’t have a lot of time, you can schedule your content to post automatically. You might also consider hiring a social media manager.

Regular engagement can be extremely helpful since it will show that your Facebook page is active. This can also ensure that your posts are visible to more of your followers.

Change Up the Content

Your content doesn’t have to be in the same format post after post. Instead, change the basic concept. Create a poll, run a contest, share a photo or video, ask questions and educate. People are more likely to engage with your content (and share it) when they find value in it.

Not everyone will find value in the same content, so you will need different content to appeal to the diverse demographic groups that may access your Facebook business page. According to Social Media Today, “there are plenty of social media content ideas available to keep your posts from growing stagnant. Quizzes and polls are always popular, contests and sweepstakes almost always have high engagement, interactive videos and other content also generally has great ROI.”

Utilize the Facebook Tools

Facebook wants your business page to succeed as much as you do, which is why they have provided you with an array of tools. It’s up to you to use them. First, be sure that you include all the details throughout your page, including a great photo and plenty of information in the ‘About’ section. Use a call-to-action button, too, which can send people to your website or invite them to make an appointment. You can also promote your page by creating an ad, allowing you to generate even more followers. According to Qwaya, “there are many great tools and tool sets that can greatly help in your business progress. Like Facebook Ads, ad scheduler, URL builder, Google analytics, and more!”

A Facebook business page can be one of the best marketing tools you could create. With such an advantage available at no cost, why wouldn’t you use it to engage your audience?

Questions to Consider When Hiring Independent Contractors

Questions to Consider When Hiring Independent Contractors

If you need to bring on more people to run your business, then you might wonder what qualities you should look for in candidates. Hard skills, such as computer software and position-specific skills, are big requirements that you should require from independent contractors. But you should also be looking for some soft skills, such as the ability to collaborate with others and take feedback. Here are a few things you should think about when trying to incorporate these qualities into your hiring practices.

How Can Independent Contractors Fit Within Your Business Model?

To hire effectively, you need to know what qualities you’re looking for. Do you want people who are willing to go above and beyond their assignment? Are you looking for candidates who understand how to effectively talk to each other about problems they encounter? Before hiring independent contractors, take a good look at the industry that your business is in, and then think about the common struggles you face. This will help you find contract workers who not only meet your current needs but also function as team players within your business.

Does Your Freelancer Have Good Communication?

This skillset is of utmost importance in all industries. You’re looking for workers who are able to effectively communicate with you and their fellow contractors about problems that arise and how to fix them. You can try to ask questions that will let you know more about their personality, but you can also incorporate a personality test into the interview process in order to determine their communication skills.

Emotional intelligence and personality assessments can also give insight into candidates’ social skills, empathy levels, reaction to criticism, and honesty. Individuals who work well in teams can be identified in part by highly accurate and validated tests. By assessing a candidate’s personality, you’ll also gain insight into their level of humility and whether or not they are teachable.

Is Your Contractor Truly Competent In Their Area of Expertise?

Some independent contractors think that showing confidence and having gumption will get them the job, but don’t be fooled by false confidence. Ideal candidates are incredibly knowledgeable and competent in their area of expertise. However, the best quality they can possess is humility because that’s what will make them teachable. A desire to learn should be one of the most important qualities that you look for in any candidate for a long-term contract. Real confidence is associated with a person’s ability to admit when he or she has something to learn. These are qualities that are difficult or even impossible to teach, but they’re also essential to working on a team.

Creating a great team is possible, but you want to ensure that you’re starting with the right candidates. One or two negative attitudes can sour the experience for everyone else. Take the time to find candidates who can grow and bring others together.

If you are in need of some guidance and business assistance, consider signing up to one of my consulting packages.

Pin It on Pinterest