6 Ideas for improving your blogging process

Create a content calendar
You can start by using the actual calendar and seeing what events or festivals are happening in your area. The reason for this is that you may want to create blog posts or articles that are timely and relevant to what’s going on around your business. Also, a content calendar helps you plan what you’re going to write and when you need to have it done by, along with ensuring that you aren’t under pressure each week to produce new content (when you could be busy with other work). Continue reading “6 Ideas for improving your blogging process”

5 SEO Tips and Common Mistakes

SEO = Search Engine Optimisation
Search Engine = Google, Bing etc.

SEO is about being found in Google because. Most people are looking for your service on Google, therefore, improving your site’s ranking in Google is of the utmost importance. When we talk about SEO, we should also mention SEM (search engine marketing). This refers to paying for advertising on Google. In this post, we will refer to both options.

New businesses and startups want to keep costs as low as possible but they also want to get as much traction as possible. SEO is the free option but it’s close to impossible to get to the top of Google soon after launching your website. Those top spots are reserved for paid advertising and for websites with a lot of useful and engaging content – not something that a new website would normally have. Therefore, if you’d like to get your new page to the top of the search results straight away, the only effective way is to advertise on Adwords.

Google Adwords
You’ll need to create an advertising account with adwords and input your keywords and negative keywords. Your keywords are the words people use when searching for your products. Negative keywords are the words you don’t want people to be searching for. An example would be ‘free’. In other words, if someone is looking for a free service, they may not be the right client for you. Make sure to create different versions of your ads so that you can measure which ones are performing better. You may also want to distinguish between the mobile and desktop ads to find out where people are searching for your services. Adwords is a very detailed platform so make sure that you start slowly, test often and monitor your account closely. Remember to also frequently check your ‘search terms’ to ensure that you understand what you clients are searching for.

Google My Business (google.ie/business)
This is a free platform hosted by Google, which allows users to put themselves and/or their business on the Google map. Once you’ve registered, when people search for your business, an image of your location and a map will often show up on the right sidebar. On top of that, customers can leave reviews for your business. If you don’t have a physical business location, don’t worry, you can hide that information from your profile.

The Keyword Paragraph
Use a keyword paragraph on your homepage to improve your SEO. The benefit of doing this is that the Google Robot can scan the text and pick out the keywords – this helps it to understand what your website is about. This is ours below:

For nearly two decades we’ve trained and supported the start and growth of 1000s of small businesses each year. We run everything from 1 day sales bootcamps to 6month full-time training programmes. The Academy is more than a training company, we are a nationwide movement on track to change the face of small business in Ireland. We advise government on SME policy and we consult with corporations and a host of agencies to help them connect with & better understand their small business customers. We train their staff and advise on their SME strategy.”

Original website content such as blogs and videos
Google likes when websites have original content that offers value to its visitors. It can judge this based on the time users spend on the page and by the bounce rate, among others. Make sure to create engaging blogs, videos and infographics that visitors will consume. This takes time but it really helps to improve your organic ranking in Google. Website users have certain patterns when interacting with the content on websites. Some key tips here are to:
• Use compelling words in the titles such as “must-know”, “essential”, “key” etc. to increase clicks on your blogs.
• It’s well known that inserting a number in the title of a blog will significantly increase the click rate. (e.g. 5 Essential Tips for Improving Your Site’s SEO).
• Send the blogs to other people via social media etc. to start the conversation.

Build Links
There are three ways to do this. You can link to content on your own site, link to other sites or get other sites to link to your page. It’s ideal to get a site with a lot of traffic to link to your page, that way you can benefit from all of their traffic. Also, it’s important to eliminate broken links and errors as they will negatively affect your site’s ranking in Google.

Some common SEO mistakes:

– Not having a value proposition – not stating why are you different from the competition.
– Segmented approach – not having an online and offline strategy that work well together.
– Chasing trends and keyword stuffing – not focusing on quality content.
– Not defining metrics for success – not knowing what to prioritise or what’s important in your digital strategy.

9 Twitter tips for small business

Follow industry influencers and friends/colleagues/stakeholders
Theses are typically the people who post very often and have the most followers. If you want to increase your twitter following, research how the influencers post and when they post so that you can achieve the same results with a similar strategy. It can also be useful to interact with them as they may follow you or engage with your account, which in turn should increase your following. Continue reading “9 Twitter tips for small business”

4 Tips for effective outsourcing

Outsourcing refers to obtaining goods and/or services from parties outside your company on a contract basis. They may be subcontractors or other businesses. This a key skill for every entrepreneur to learn because it means that you don’t have to be an expert at everything yourself. You can work on your own particular specialty while getting others to do work that is not in your area of expertise. For example, you could learn how to graphically design images or make short animation videos, but it can often be a better option to outsource that work to a professional designer.

It seems simple in theory but if we don’t do it correctly, we can leave ourselves open to a lot of conflict and the risk of wasting time/money. To help you with this, here are some tips from our experience of outsourcing projects to individuals and businesses:

Continue reading “4 Tips for effective outsourcing”

12 essential lessons learned in business

“Lessons learned first time around in business are never wasted by second time around entrepreneurs.”

In the course of our work in The Entrepreneurs Academy, we have met loads of people that are on their second time round. I’d also consider myself to have been round the block numerous times as it is now 18 years since I started what is now The Entrepreneurs Academy. I have amassed MANY learnings and have had many positive failures under my belt that I have survived and learned from). Continue reading “12 essential lessons learned in business”

Networking to get working

Listen carefully and show genuine interest
We all have experience speaking to someone who’s not really listening, just waiting for their turn to speak, and it’s not a very pleasant experience. You don’t want to fall into that trap. Make sure to listen to your counterpart clearly so that you can ask questions and enjoy the conversation. This is a great way to show interest and to find out more information. Remember that listening is a great way to learn – you can’t learn much from talking.

Continue reading “Networking to get working”