Why you need SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

The online business is all about traffic to one’s website. The traffic which you will be receiving from search engines is a free organic traffic. SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a quality methodology which increases a site’s reputation and ranking in popular search engine results page. SEO is very vital for the success of a website campaign. The benefit of SEO is that, even a small player can make its brand popular and visible on search engine results. It is extremely important to rank high in search results as more than 70% of online consumers start their quest for a product or service using a search engine. It was found in a recent survey that about 46% of visitors come through Google, whereas 22% come through Yahoo and 18% through MSN. Now one may easily calculate that 86% of unique visitors made their search through these three Search engines. These netizens go directly to these search engines immediately upon being online to find what they are looking for. Therefore one cannot afford to be missed from their search engine rankings.

There are over 1200 million websites on the World Wide Web. Nowadays every small business should get SEO services to highlight their site into the search engines. The idea is to use popular keywords from several search engines so as to advertise the website among prospective clients at a very low cost.

One must look at the following 10 tips to ensure a successful website campaign-

1.Always hire a Search Engine Marketing Professional before designing your website, so that you get adequate help to choose the apt domain name and to guide you in the writing process.

2.  It is a smart idea to take out a Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign while your website is coming up on the organic searches.

3.Always take that extra effort to include lots of original articles in your website, so that the search engines find your website relevant.

4.You should always make sure that your search engine marketer adheres to Google’s guidelines.

5.Choose a permanent hosting company. The SEO may crash if you change your hosting company, because the IP address will no longer be the same.

6. If there is heavy competition in your field, go for video marketing.  Video marketing will help your rank high on the top page of Google within just a few days.

7.Always choose the right keywords for your website. You must research on the possible keywords which the online users use to search for your products and services.

8. One must always keep track of the competitor’s progress. You should be aware of the changes your competitor makes in the websites for his/her website campaign.

9.Build a lightweight and search engine friendly structured website so that when the users search for products and services, the search engine may be lured to choose your website.

10.Build quality backlinks from sites related to yours. This helps you rank higher in the search engine results.

Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing is the most effective way to publish one’s products or services not only in local market place but also in the global arena in an inexpensive and reliable way. An excellent SEO strategy gives your website the edge over your competitors by getting top placements in search engine rankings at a low cost. By relying on a renowned SEO service provider you can receive great benefits:

• Enhance your business through the internet with the SEO campaign services.

• A popular SEO service focuses on your SEO campaign and related activities while you focus on your core business activities.

•Get superb SERP (Search Engine Result Pages) within a short time.

•Logical and sensible keywords to receive vast unique visitors.

• Receive smart promotional strategies for your keywords.

• Getting thousands of prospective customers at your website.

•Advertising globally with the best SEO optimization techniques.

•Uplift your local business into global internet marketing arena.


 


Google Tools

Among the plethora of tools offered by the search engine giant Google; there are a variety of tools that help in optimizing one’s website for high ranking in search results. It is clear that Google is not really against SEO. Most of the SEO tools are good for keyword research and on-page SEO. The following is a list of free Google SEO tools that everybody should use –

1.         Google Webmaster Tools

Google Webmaster tools acts as your mechanic for your website. It helps you identify broken links, malware and other issues as well as find out what search queries can lead to your pages even with click-through statistics. It even examines your website speed and tells you why it’s too slow.

  1. Sitemap submission
    1. Look for bad links with sitemap warnings
  2. Change address
  3. View Crawler statistics
  4. Change crawl rate
  5. Manage Sitelinks
  6. View Search Statistics
  7. View links to your site
  8. View keywords that Google thinks about your content
  9. View Target pages via internal links
  10. View Crawl errors
  11. View HTML suggestions

2.         Google Analytics.

Google Analytics is a top-class web analytics tool that gives you excellent insights into your web traffic and marketing efficiency. Some SEOs don’t use it due to the fear of being controlled by Google. You have to decide by yourself what’s more important -  a very useful analytics tools or the fact that Google can monitor your progress.

3.         Google Website Optimizer

This is a free website testing and optimization tool that allows you to increase the value of your existing websites and traffic at a cheaper cost. With Google Website Optimizer you will be able to test different versions of your pages. This way you can settle on the best converting ones. It’s called A/B split testing or multivariate testing and is the latest trend in the SEO circles and beyond.

4.         Google Zeitgeist

“Zeitgeist” means, “the spirit of the times,” and this spirit can be seen through the aggregation of millions of search queries Google receives every day. Google Zeitgeist is not a tool in the strictest sense but you can use it for keyword research nonetheless. In fact it shows the most popular queries so it’s a good starting point in your SEO campaign. Take the Zeitgeist popular keywords and then test some key phrases containing them with the other tools that will follow in this list.

5.         Google Trends

With Google Trends one can compare traffic for popular search terms and websites. This way, you can determine whether a topic is rising in popularity or not. Google Trends works great when combined with Google Zeitgeist and Google Insight for Search.

6.         Google Insights for Search

With Google Insights for Search, one can compare search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, time frames and properties. You can look up most keywords here, even those that aren’t popular at all. Compare up to five keywords and their resulting traffic.

7.         Google Traffic Estimator

The Traffic Estimator is a tool designed to give you keyword search traffic and cost estimates at a glance. This is a classic tool. It says “Adwords” but you can use it to find out the probably number visitors a keyword can bring to your site.

8.         Google Keyword Tool

The Keyword Tool is similar to the Traffic Estimator but from a different angle. All you need to do is to type in the word or phrase. Google will provide you with a list of keyword ideas plus data showing how often words are searched and their ad bid competition. You’ll want to check both the traffic estimator and the keyword tool to make sure you’re on the right track with your keywords.

9.         Google Search Based Keyword Tool

This is a very useful tool will allow you to find out related keywords to a site or existing keyword or rather both. It’s connected to Google Insights for Search is a very useful service.

10.       Google Ad Planner

Google Ad Planner is like Alexa and SpyFu in one. One can use it to screen popular sites or your competitors for keyword intelligence or both.

11.       Google Chrome SEO Extension

This is a wonderful SEO extension that plugs into the Google Chrome browser that can give you very valuable information like pages indexed, where a website is hosted, and how old the domain is.

12.       Google Alerts

Google alerts are very useful and can be set for anything a user may want. But one may monitor the trends in an industry or a brand and understand what is pulling traffic now. Also, Google Alerts can help you stimulate your blog writing skills and update you with new information.




PPC- Pay Per Click Advertising

Pay Per Click (PPC) is an online advertising model that is used to direct traffic to websites and target potential customers who actively search the internet for products and services offered online. Under the PPC advertising, the advertisers only pay when the users actually click on the advertisement and visit their website. PPC is highly cost-effective and offers great flexibility in targeting and scope. Prior to the start of a Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign, one must consider the following:

  • One must define the target audience who may be interested in the services.
  • One should also decide on when and how long the advertisements are to be activated.
  • The keywords used must be re-analyzed to check if they are still popular in renowned search engine’s ratings.
  • One should check the advice from major search engines on setting up of campaigns and the tools to be used.
  • The campaign landing page should be well designed such that, the user is directed to the sought product at a single click itself.
  • PPC campaigns require strategic thinking and careful management to be successful.

One can choose from the two primary models for determining the cost per click: flat-rate and bid-based.

  1. Flat-rate PPC

In the flat-rate model, the advertiser and publisher agree upon a fixed cost that will be paid per click. Advertisers typically bid on keywords that are useful to their target audience. Publishers usually have a rate card that lists the PPC rates. These various rates are often related to the content on pages. Content that generally attracts more valuable visitors have a higher CPC than content that attracts less valuable visitors. The rates are usually minimal, and advertisers may pay more for better visibility.

  1. Bid-based PPC

In the bid-based model, an advertiser will sign a contract that will open the gates for competing with other advertisers. A private auction is hosted by the publisher or the advertising agency, where each advertiser informs the publisher of the maximum cost that he or she is willing to pay for the ad spot.

In the case of ad spots on search engine results page (SERP), an automated auction is triggered whenever a search for a keyword that is under bid occurs. Various factors like the searcher’s geo-location and the day and time of the search are then evaluated, and the winning bidder is determined.

Advertising Standards Compliance

One must ensure that the claims made for a product in its advertisement complies with a number of advertising standards to guarantee fair trade. The following terms and conditions of the PPC must be followed responsibly by the advertisers:

  • One must not use any copyrighted content without the permission of the copyright holder.
  • One must not advertise products that are replicas of some popular designer goods.
  • One must avoid information that can be considered discriminatory or offensive to any particular group.
  • One must also comply with regulations that protect the intellectual property rights and registered trademarks of the copyright holders.

Tracking

The major search engines offer online analytical tools so that one may track the progress of one’s pay per click (PPC) campaigns. One can also prefer a search marketing agency to perform these critical tasks and provide real-time reports about the performance of the PPC. These tools will gather information like, how visitors find the website, how they navigate, and how they convert into customers. One may analyze this information and improve the online results of one’s PPC campaigns.

For example, with the Google analytics tool, one can analyze the conversion rates in different regions; find out the geographical data of the potential customers, analyzing and optimizing the landing pages, and assessing the steps taken by a visitor to become a customer.

Benchmarking

Benchmarking is the process of comparing one’s performance with a preset performance standard for identifying rooms for improvement. After the analysis of the statistics portraying which approaches get the best click-through rates and conversions, one may use these measures as a benchmark to analyze the success of future PPC campaigns. One may also compare the campaign’s performance to that of the competitors’ and identify areas for future improvements.

Writing

Above all, writing is the most critical aspect of a PPC campaign. One must impress the targeted leads with barely 100 characters. The copy must be compelling, and it must attract buyers who are interested in one’s products or services. The following key points must be considered while writing an advertisement:

  • include the selected keywords
  • use phrases that relate to the keywords
  • be specific about which city you serve, and include it
  • offer exciting benefits
  • make the keywords part of the URL
  • keep the lines simple

Calculating PPC budget

One can calculate the PPC budget in terms of ROI. ROI or Return on Investment is the ratio of the cost of advertising relative to the profits generated from leads in sales. The ROI projects the overall value of the business gained in return for the cost of the PPC advertisements.

The ROI can be calculated as follows:

ROI = [Contribution] / [Cost]

So, to calculate Contribution for a PPC campaign:

([Your average profit per sale] x [Estimated number of Conversions]) – [PPC Spend]

To demonstrate more fully, let’s take the following example:

Monthly PPC Spend:                    $1,500

Average Profit per Sale:                 $50

Number of Conversions (Sales) per Month:  75

Thus the Contribution to Margin of the PPC campaign is:

($50 x 75) – $1500 = $2,250

And the resulting ROI would be:

$2,250 / $1500 = 150%

 

One can also find a number of online PPC ROI calculators like,

http://www.metamend.com/seo-tools/ppc-roi/

http://www.ppccalculator.com/ppc-calculator

http://www.1on1business.com/loveland-colorad/ppc-calculator.php




What’s this buzz around ROI?

“What is ROI?” This is a question popped up by many business analysts and IT professionals. ROI or Return on Investment is a financial measure used for evaluating the performance and efficiency of an investment. Over the last few decades, ROI was taken to be the central financial metric used by many financial decision-makers for projects and programs to capital expenditures and advertising cost. ROI is calculated as the ratio of the benefit of an investment to the overall cost of the investment and is often expressed as a percentage. ROI is a versatile and simple metric that measures the overall profitability of an investment.

The ROI analysis formula is as follows:

ROI Calculation

In this formula, “Gain from Investment” refers to the profit from the investment and the “Cost of Investment” refers to the amount of financial assets put into the investment.

In the case of cash flow analysis, ROI is used to refer to the cumulative cash flow results of an investment in a time period. In order to compute the ROI, the analyst will require the data about both cash-inflows and cash-outflows for each time period,  usually yearly, as well as the net cash flow. For example, if the expected cost of a project is $500,000 for the next 5 years and yet it delivers $700,000 in that time period, the ROI is calculated as,
(700,000 – 500,000) / 500,000 = 0.4 or 40%.

ROI is only one factor that the decision makers and planners will take into account, but they will consider the impact of other financial metrics as well. You should be careful while choosing the input parameters while calculating the ROI. Otherwise you could get skewed and misleading results.

When you go through the ROI reports, you will also come across terms like ROA, ROE and ROIC. ROA or Return of assets is a metric that measures how profitable the enterprise is relative to its total assets. It is calculated as the ratio between Net income and Total assets. ROA is often synonymous with ROI. The higher the ROA the better are your company’s growth and prospects for a given invenstment. For large corporations, ROE is often chosen as the measure of profitability. Return on equity calculates a corporation’s profitability by computing how much gain a company generates with the money that the shareholders have invested. ROE is calculated as, the ratio of Net income to shareholders’ equity. ROIC is a measure used to assess a company’s efficiency at allocating its capital to profitable investments. It is calculated as the ratio of the difference between Net income and dividends, to the Total capital. ROIC is calculated in percentage. The capital often refers to plant and equipment.

The ROI is an attempt to answer a purchasing decision question for a given investment. ROI will give a very precise idea of the progress and future of the company and help the business analysts make a better decision in favor of its growth overall.




Laptops, Tablets, or Smart Phones for My Sales Team?

Do you know what has taken the world by a storm in recent times? Technology, of course, but that has advanced, too, to great heights. The increasing demand for advancement in technology has resulted in producing mobile devices, such as Laptops, Tablets, or Smart Phones. Thus, with the use of these devices, Business can be enhanced with connections, presentations and video conferences for sale of products and services to domestic as well as overseas clients.

Although Laptops support mobility, they have the same power and functionality as desktops. They also have screens like desktop monitors, as well as an attached keyboard, web browser, software programs like Microsoft Office, and CD and DVD slots. You can get access to the Internet at any time you prefer. However, multitasking with Laptops is efficient for sales personnel with higher CPU power and more RAM space.

Tablets are similar to Smart phones, but have a large screen almost 7-10 inches. They are also portable and can slide easily into bags. They do not weigh much and have a mobile Operating System (OS) and user interface, which seems like a Smart phone. Hence, they are resourceful for your sales team. Tablets are phenomenal for reviewing and responding, as you can turn it sideways to review web pages and watch videos effortlessly.

Smart phones are the simplest mobile computing devices for your sales team, as they offer the usual’s of a mobile phone service, such as talking and messaging. However, they are, in a way, enhanced technology devices to substitute computers. With the use of Smart phones, you can access the Internet using wireless signals, such as GPRS or WiFi. Mobile web browsers are the new trend for phones in the sales business. They can run Applications made especially for Smart phones that are designed by third parties. Your use of Smart phones would not be complete without the little ‘snippets’ of checking emails, Facebook posts or playing the famous Angry Bird game on your Smart Phone.

Just like any other product, which comes into the market, Laptops, Tablets and Smart phones have their own advantages and disadvantages to deal with in the sales field. You either like it or you don’t. You can either live with it or live without it. You can make the choice as per the requirements of your sales team. The basic purpose to own them is for portability as your Sales Team may always be on-the-go with meetings and presentations for various clients.

a.     Advantages for Laptops, Tablets and Smart phones
Laptops, Tablets and Smart phones can be used in any environment as you do not need a keyboard and a mouse for its function. It can be used by sales executives while travelling or rushing to meet a client, with a single hand. It is mostly believed to be the precious possession of business people. However, that’s just a myth. Anyone can own a Laptop, Tablet or Smart phone. As a mobility device, these products are mostly lighter in weight, have lower power models, and can work for E-book readers, like the Amazon Kindle.

The conventional ways of technology usage have moved on to the ‘touch’ mode, wherein, navigation is made easy for manipulating images, music, and mouse based games. You can also indulge in digital painting and image editing for leisure or work purpose as they are precise and intuitive. Moreover, these devices provide the ability of entering diagrams, mathematical notations, and symbols with increasing speed and ease. Hence, your sales professionals can also benefit with proper software, universal input, and independence from different keyboards. Furthermore, with the use of a stylus, pen or your finger, you can tap on your screen rather than use a mouse, which is not directly connected to the screen pointer.

Disadvantages for Laptops, Tablets and Smart phones
Laptops, Tablets and Smart phones are not economical commodities to purchase, as they sell at high prices. Their input speed is significantly slower, in the case of typing. A simple thing like resting your wrist can prove as a drawback for Laptops, Tablets and Smart phones, as they do not provide space for such a gesture. The performance of your sales personnel can be affected with tiredness of moving their arm repeatedly while working for a long duration with these devices. These devices may seem easy, but can be time-consuming as your sales team will need to know information for a lot of programs to use them. Due to the absence of graphic cards, these devices have embedded graphic processors, which have weak video capabilities. This may hamper video conferences or presentations conducted by your sales executives for your potential or existing clients.

Moreover, as Laptops, Tablets and Smart phones are modelled for business, they do not sell much. In addition, since they are frequently used, you may find most of your sales executives walking in with damaged screens due to impacts or misuse. As compared to a standard desktop, these modern devices have smaller displays, and probably, lack keyboard functions, which are efficient at times.

b.    Cost of each
The cost of each Laptop, Tablet or Smart phone may vary with their features. You can choose the best that suits the needs of your sales team:

Laptops can range from $149 to $6059 AUS Dollars.
Tablets may range from $67 to $8384 AUS Dollars.
Smart phones range from $4 to $5663 AUS Dollars.

c.      Capabilities of each
Each device has its own characteristics and capabilities:

Laptops
A set of high quality external speakers for laptops can enhance the ability of processing audio files while having a sales meeting. You can improve the function of your laptop with additional memory, as well, to store critical sales data files. You can always keep an extra laptop battery handy, in case of functioning in locations that do not have electricity or face power failure.

Tablets
More like a portable PC, the tablet allows you to use MS Office and view PDFs with the productivity software application “Documents-To-Go”. As a result, you can share and carry out sales meetings from anywhere in the world. Moreover, you can access Skype and YouTube for chatting and promoting your products or services through online video clips.

Smart phones
The primary attributes of Smart phones are software features, power management and multimedia features for gaming, software features and power management for business, and hardware support and multimedia features for casual use. In contrast, the secondary attributes of Smart phones are supported platform and hardware support for gaming, and business, and power management, software features and supported platform for casual use.

i.            Connectivity
Most laptops may have inbuilt WiFi adapters. Apart from that, you can use a tablet to connect to a wireless or wired network with the help of an Ethernet port or WiFi for internet access and connectivity. Moreover, Smart phones support Wi-Fi that allow you to access data and voice services within an area of Wi-Fi coverage.

ii.            Programs for each
Programs are vital for producing and providing sales information for training your sales executives, as well as exhibiting the skills of your sales team to your clients.

A laptop can have programs, such as Firewall, Anti Virus and Anti Spyware, Word Processing, Spreadsheet, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Unzipping software, Graphics, Quicktime, Media or Flash Player, and CD and DVD burning software.

You can get OneNote, Kindle, Flickr, ArtRage, IE9, WCS Touch Browser, Pen Commander, etc. as acetous programs for your tablet.
You can have a lot of programs for your Smart phone, but make sure you also have Dolphin Browser HD, LauncherPro, Beautiful Widgets, Amazon MP3, and Multicon Widget.

iii.            Flash capability for each
You will not have any trouble viewing Flash content on your laptop, as long as you have the latest version of Adobe Flash Player installed for your browser.

Flash Player 10.2 can be used by Android Smart phones. However, it is not yet available for Tablets.

iv.            Connect to company Database (VPN)
With connection to a Virtual Private Network (VPN), you can link Remote offices or teleworkers using the public Internet, across the road, town or even the world. You can keep your company date confidential within your sales team behind your firewall, with High-Security encryption. For VPN, you can use ADSL, Cable Modem, ISDN or dial-up links for the Internet at either end. This mode of connection helps you save money to a considerable extent when used for an entire sales team as compared to rental lines or direct dial-up access. It also supports scalable multiple simultaneous tunnels. The flexibility of VPN can set up Remote offices quickly or efficiently deploy it temporarily.

d.    Limitations of each
Just as these devices have advantages, they have limitations that may not cater to your sales team:

Laptops
The size of the laptop can affect the sound quality that it produces. You find that many laptops lack the ability to handle extensive tasks, such as graphic designing and gaming. Batteries of laptops last only for a couple of hours.

Tablets
Although you may enjoy capturing photos and videos with your Tablet, the clarity will depend on the camera model and its megapixels.

Smart phones
Smart phones limit your use, when it comes to screen size and input methods. Some smart phones even limit the size of an application, in general.

e.      Presentation capability
Laptops, Tablets and Smart phones can be best used for presentations, as you can make, present, as well as view a presentation through connectivity and various program tools. It is the latest style of presenting with these devices. You can make presentations while you are travelling or just sitting in your car. Rather than gathering members for a meeting, you can present your work within the scope of your WiFi coverage or online access to send emails of the presentation to your sales team. Thus, the scope of your Sales Team can increase with the use of the latest technology as a successful tool of business strategy.

Resources:
-          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tablet_computer#Advantages
-          http://www.bemoneyaware.com/blog/shopping_smartphone_tablet_laptop_netbook/
-          http://www.ausprices.com/cgi/Search?q=&cid=27&num=30&start=0
-          http://www.myshopping.com.au/PT–3_Laptops_Tablet_PC__fs_455_e__
-          http://www.shopbot.com.au/smartphones/communications/australia/939
-          http://www.correctionblog.com/news-magazine/news/laptop-capabilities.html
-          http://eandroidtablets.com/android-tablets-capabilities/
-          http://www-scf.usc.edu/~juihungc/project_page/doc/ee532_FinalReport.pdf
-          http://in.blackberry.com/ataglance/networks/
-          http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090507094538AAeoZiP
-          http://www.techradar.com/news/mobile-computing/10-best-windows-7-tablet-apps-953677
-          http://www.vpn-for-business.co.uk/




Essential Aspects of Search Engine Optimization

Your website can get prime rankings on major search engines with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO enhances your website ranking beyond thousands or millions of other websites that have similar content as yours. When someone searches for particular information on the web, they believe that sites that appear in the first page of various search engines will have the relevant information as their search results. Hence, they are likely to visit your site if it ranks in the first page. As a result, they will look into your site for the required information.

  1. Local Search and Google Places pages

    As a free Web marketing service, Google Places pages are used by businesses to describe their products and services, as well as list their hours of operation, business address, phone number, email address, and website URL. Photos and videos are an added advantage for your Places page for your customers to leave behind their reviews.You will find Google Places pages appear at the top or near the search results in the case of a localized search query. Thus, your business appears in a local search result with the category and location. A red push pin is accompanied with the Google Places pages that appear in the search results. It indicates the location of business on a map. Google users can click for the search results to go directly to the website of your business, access reviews, or go through the Places page of your business.

    You can improve your Google Places Page by creating a listing for your Google Places page to help you rank higher in the local search results; adding keywords to your business description; creating a Google Places page for each location in the case of multiple locations; using standard categories to describe your business when required; not adding a keyword to your  business name for the Google Places page, if it’s not actually part of the name for your business; encouraging existing customers to post their reviews to your Google Places page; spacing out reviews as much as possible; getting your business listed in appropriate online business directories; adding images and videos to your Places page; and monitoring the analytic of your Places page.

  2. Organic search results

    Organic search results are the natural or ethical results of SEO. It improves the natural or unpaid listings of your website in major search engines. Based on keyword searches, it helps in getting genuine traffic or visitors to the website. Organic search results can be of many types, such as web, image, video, and business search. Paid traffic does not help in the case of large websites to index all the pages or build traffic for each product in the case of e-commerce websites. Hence, organic search results can be used to index all the pages and products. It also facilitates management of business listings, email marketing, search engine sponsorship, affiliate marketing, classified ads, etc.Organic search results depend on natural link building. Spammers and faulty link builders can be recognized by search engines as they use automated software or spam without focusing on the quality of content. Natural link building is necessary for providing quality back links with informative content that seem genuine. Some of ways for natural link building involve social bookmarking submissions, directory submission, forum posting, content blog creation, article creation and submission, effective use of RSS directories, and social media sites.

    According to SEO, organic search results optimize the website naturally through on-page or off-page optimization. It is nothing but a way of generating better back links for organic listings with the help of HTML and web content for specific keywords on search engines. Organic search results are focused on to ensure organic SEO work is provided as affordable services. An SEO plan is customized, wherein it can be looked up, analyzed, and researched to perform organic search for objectives and business requirements. For off-page optimization of organic SEO, methodologies, such as forum postings, article writing, submission and distribution, press release writing and distribution, online reputation management, social bookmarking submission, directory submission, RSS feeds, etc., can be used for effective local search results.

    i. On-page
    On-page optimization for SEO affects your website or web page listing through factors related to organic search results. You can control these factors, or it can be controlled by coding on your page. For instance, on-page SEO involves HTML coding, meta tags, keyword placement and keyword density.

    ii. Off-page
    Off-page optimization for SEO also affects your website or web page listing through factors related to organic search results. However, these factors cannot be controlled by you or by the coding of your page as they are off-site. As a result, they include link popularity and page rank.

  3. Google AdWords and PPC

    Internet marketing, especially search engine marketing, slates PPC as an important aspect of making money online. You can increase productivity and sales of your online business with appropriate traffic directed to your website with an effective PPC campaign. Google AdWords have efficient tools for organising pay per click ad campaigns, through which you can easily understand, employ, and manage online advertising for your website. It’s always good to learn from your mistakes, and Google AdWords makes it easy with simple tracking features to see whether or not the targeted keywords result in conversions. Hence, to use Google AdWords, you need to, initially, create a Google account, and then, move ahead to promote your website with PPC advertising.Small businesses consider Google AdWords as a trendy form of pay per click advertising, due to the popularity of Google and expense control for daily maximums set up for each ad. Pay per click advertising mechanizes, when someone clicks your ad to visit your website, and you pay for it. Ads can be placed on pages that show search engine results or on websites that relate to the targeted keyword. Your payment of each click depends on your will to bid for your selected keywords, as well as on your quality score in Google AdWords. The higher your bid or quality score, the more you will have chances of listing your ad on top of the ads displayed on a page. As a result, PPC advertising attracts potential customers to your website and converts them to paid customers.

Resources:




OSHA fall protection

OSHA requires construction companies to provide fall arrest in the following:

Employees working six (6) feet or more above lower levels must be protected by conventional fall protection methods listed in 1926.501(b)(13) ( i.e., guardrail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems ) or alternative fall protection measures allowed by other provisions of 29 CFR 1926.501(b) for particular types of work.

An example of an alternative fall protection measure allowed under 1926.501(b) is the use of warning lines and safety monitoring systems during the performance of roofing work on low-sloped roofs. (4 in 12 pitch or less). (See 1926.501(b)(10)).

OSHA allows the use of an effective fall restraint system in lieu of a personal fall arrest system. To be effective, a fall restraint system must be rigged to prevent a worker from reaching a fall hazard and falling over the edge. A fall restraint system may consist of a full body harness or body belt that is connected to an anchor point at the center of a roof by a lanyard of a length that will not allow a worker to physically reach the edge of the roof.

When the employer can demonstrate that it is infeasible or creates a greater hazard to use required fall protection systems, a qualified person must develop a written site-specific fall protection plan in accordance with 1926.502(k) that, among other things, specifies the alternative fall protection methods that will be used to protect workers from falls.




Is Random Alcohol Testing Legal?

Random Alcohol TestingIn a press release dated 10/5/10, the EEOC claimed that U.S. Steel Corporation violated federal law when it applied a nationwide policy of requiring probationary employees to undergo random alcohol tests and fired an employee as a result of such a test, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit.

Apparently, the company randomly requires alcohol testing for all probationary employees. The employee was given a random alcohol test where she gave a false positive. The company doctor refused to give another form of test, which she obtained from her doctor. The employee told the company doctor that her false positive was due to a medical condition.

At issue is that the employee’s union negotiated a contract that allowed the company to test for alcohol without cause. The EEOC’s position is that the union did not have the right to negotiate on a topic that would give away rights granted under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“Although an employer may, of course, prohibit the usage of illegal drugs and alcohol in the workplace and hold all employees to the same conduct and performance standards, the ADA strictly restricts workplace medical examinations, including breath alcohol tests,” said Regional Attorney Debra Lawrence of the EEOC’s Philadelphia District Office.  “An employer can only require an employee to submit to a medical examination such as an alcohol test if the examination is job-related and consistent with business necessity.  The EEOC is committed to eradicating systemic discrimination in the workplace, including blanket policies mandating medical examinations that violate federal law.”

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Civil Action No. 2:10-cv-01284.

The case could have far reaching impact on alcohol policies for companies of all sizes. If you have a company policy that requires random alcohol testing, you are going to want to follow this case.




Benefits of ISO 9001 to Small Companies

Recently I came across an outstanding study by David Levine and Michael Toffel published by the Harvard Business School. The title of the study is Quality Management and Job Quality: How the ISO 9001 Standard for Quality Management Systems Affects Employees and Employers. At first glance of the title I didn’t think much about it until my eye spotted the affects of Employers. This was something I needed to look at in more depth. I am very glad that I didn’t skip over this as just another article that I read part of and don’t get much from it.

I found this study to be fantastic. This is a must read (at least the introduction and conclusion) for ANY company that is considering becoming ISO 9001 certified.

The study focused on the overall costs and benefits of ISO 9001 for those companies who are  ISO certified, as the title suggests. Most of the findings in the study come as no surprise to me, but I must admit that I did find some conclusions extremely interesting.

My intent of this post is not to go through the entire study, but here are some of conclusions that the study found.

  1. Companies with ISO certification had lower death rates. This was interesting to me since the ISO 9001 standard itself doesn’t really have a safety, health and environmental component.
  2. Both sales and employment grew faster for ISO certified companies than at “matched” companies without certification. This comes as no surprise to me since companies with certification have a more disciplined and systematic approach to business and have processes for continual improvement. Other companies without this system will tend to rest on their laurels and continue to make the same mistakes over and over.
  3. Both payroll and earnings per employee increased at a fast rate after ISO certification than did other non-certified “matched” companies. Again, no big surprise here based continual improvement and corrective action processes.
  4. Perhaps the most interesting finding, is that companies that adopted ISO certification had fewer injuries than their “matched” companies, even BEFORE they were certified. Now this must mean that if you are a company that is considering ISO, you are already well on your way to having the program in place in some aspects. This I found to be very interesting.

For my audience perhaps the most important, is that they found that ISO certification often has the most positive impact on small businesses. They quote studies by (Docking and Dowen 1999; McGuire and Dilts 2008) that the benefits of the ISO 9001 are greater among small companies and those with average level of “technological diversity, and/or early adopters”




Quality Systems

Many manufacturing and service companies have customers that highly suggest or require some form of quality system such as ISO certification. Even if you are not required to be ISO certified, it is generally wise to implement some form of quality system that creates consistent customer satisfaction for your company. If you have questions or comments concerning quality or quality systems, we invite you to post them here.