4 Software Tools That Can Make Your Life Easier

Through the maze imageThought I would share some of the software applications I use to make my daily life run more smoothly. I believe they will for many of you as well. They are all multiplatform, which is a requisite for me and most of you reading this.

KeePass is a free, open source, light-weight and easy-to-use password manager for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and mobile devices. Not the prettiest, but function over form wins when it comes to secure password management. Store the data file in a Dropbox folder, and you always have up-to-date passwords on any of your devices. keepass.info

Dropbox is a free (2GB+) service lets you bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily. Never email yourself a file again! Always have your passwords synced. (See Keepass above.) www.dropbox.com

Evernote says their application “makes it easy to remember things big and small from your everyday life using your computer, phone, tablet and the web.” Throw it in Evernote (type it, speak it, email it, scan it, take a photo in it, clip it with a browser extension), find it easily whether you organize it or not.  Currently, I have 3262 “notes”, somewhat organized, tagged and in Notebooks. www.evernote.com

Todoist is one of many TO DO apps available. To-do-list and task management apps are subjective by nature. After trying many over several years, I have been using Todoist for nearly two years and just renewed the “Premium” version for another year. It simply fits the way I work very well.  Has a very good addon for MS Outlook. It runs 13 platforms including iOS, Windows, Chrome + more. www.todoist.com 

These applications are nearly indispensable for me at work, and they make managing documents, receipts, and other personal information a breeze as well.

Give them a try. I will be surprised if you don’t find them useful.

Bonus tip: Give Microsoft’s OneNote a try. Easily capture ideas, whatever form they come in. Type, handwrite, or sketch your thoughts. Clip links and webpages, insert photos and videos, embed tables, and attach files. All your notes, on all your devices, all up-to-date, and it’s free!

Landing Page Key Elements Refresher — SEO Notes

Landing Page ExampleWe often talk about important key elements of a well written landing page when we are talking with clients and prospects. Every page on your website is a potential landing page, so it doesn’t hurt to mention these key elements even more frequently.

Of course, pages vary greatly due to the nature of their content. However, there are some basic tenets that should be nearly universal. Here are some key elements that should be included in nearly every page.

  • Headline
    • Short description of what is on the page
    • Contains same keywords as title of page
  • Sub-Headlines
    • Makes for easy scanning — People scan before reading
  • Content
    • Page-specific, well-written descriptive text
  • Images or video
    • Visuals attract attention — Videos engage website visitor
  • Bulleted and/or Numbered lists
    •  Makes for easy scanning — Did I see this somewhere before?
  • Calls to action
    • Call us today at 1-800-281-9993 or 608-822-3750 for help with your landing pages.

Every page on your website is a potential landing page.

Too many people still believe that nearly everyone sees the home page first when visiting a website. That is far from the reality. You need to treat every page as a landing page that conveys your message, or describes your product or services effectively.

Did I mention calls to action in the key elements of landing pages?

We could be “Putting The Web To Work For YOU!”  Call 1-800-281-9993 or 608-822-3750 today!

Have an Old Website That No Longer Ranks Well in Searches?

p-google-search-boxFor years, many have believed the age of a domain name is a factor in Google search results rankings. We have seen anecdotal evidence that it seems to be true, to a point.  Google’s Matt Cutt’s answer to a related question in a Google Webmaster Tools video prompted this post.

Does this sound like your business?

  • Your domain name was registered several  years ago.
  • You had a website before a lot of others understood the importance.
  • Your website was doing pretty well in Google for many keyword searches
  • Lately, the last statement is no longer the case.
  • You are wondering why you no longer do as well in Google SERPS (Search Engine Results Page) rankings.

Does this sound like your business or organization?

  • You have not done any meaningful updates to the content on your website in years
  • You have not redesigned the look and layout of your website
  • Your photos and graphics are not optimized to be fast loading
  • You are not using Social Media
  • You have not included Social Media share & follow buttons
  • Your competitors have been doing all of the above

Take a fresh look at your website to see just what visitors are experiencing, and compare that to what they experience on your competitor’s or other similar websites.

Don’t just listen to us. See for yourself what Google’s Matt Cutts says in his video, “How can an older site maintain its ranking over time?

Take Control of Your Local Search Listings Now!

Are you sure that those searching for your business are getting the correct information? Do a quick search for your business name using Google, Bing, Yahoo or your other favorite search engine. Hopefully you have a website that is listed at or very near the top of the organic SERPS (Search Engine Results Page) rankings. You will likely also see several instances of your business name in the results.

The web has a myriad of companies providing local listings of businesses. The vast majority of them generate those listings using bits and pieces of information by scraping the web. These services can either help or hinder your businesses with the information they display in Google or other SERPS (Search Engine Results Page) rankings. More often than not, one or more of the services will have an incorrect phone number or address, or out-dated hours of operation. You need to “claim” each of these listings and control what is displayed. It is a huge mistake not to do so.

We’ll list them here, arguably by importance:
Google+, Bing Places, Yahoo Basic Local, Yelp, Yellow Pages Local, Superpages Business, CitySearch

Local Search Listing Sites

 

 

Start with Google+ which, because it is connected to all things Google, simply cannot be ignored. Do the rest as you have time, but definitely Bing, Yahoo, and Yelp. There are others as well, but claiming and filling out your listings for these will help you considerably.

Please know that you do not have to do any more than the “free” listings. Do not fall for their upsell, unless you have a very large advertising budget. There are better values for your ad dollars.

Also, please do not fall for the “We’ll list you in 40 Local Directory sites.” or similar pitches. You do not need to be in 40 local directories.

This is not a “local listing” suggestion, but worth mentioning here. Most of you should have a LinkedIn Company Page. Why? They simply do very well in SERPS, and they don’t need a lot of maintenance.

I didn’t mention Facebook, but hopefully you know whether or not a Facebook page is right for your business. If it is, by all means create one. It will help you locally. If it is not a really good fit, don’t waste your time.

So, take the time, and Take Control of Your Local Listings Now!

Here are some quick links for you.

Google+
https://support.google.com/plus/answer/1713911?hl=en
Bing Places
https://www.bingplaces.com/
Yahoo Basic Local Listing
http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/local-listings/basic-listing/
Yelp
https://biz.yelp.com/signup
YP Local Listings
http://adsolutions.yp.com/advertising-solutions/local-business-listings
Superpages Business Listing
http://www.supermedia.com/spportal/quickbpflow.do
CitySearch Listing
https://signup.citygrid.com/cyb/find_business

Three Important SEO Facts to Remember for 2014!

1. The Google Search you remember from 2 years ago doesn’t exist!

GoogleMost likely, what you thought you knew about getting ranked in Google SERPS (Search Engine Results Page) rankings, matters very little anymore. Think semantic and entity search with keywords as the tertiary element.

2. Just having a website is not enough!

Social Media needs to be included as well. Blog, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook – know the social media platform used by your target audience and connect with them frequently.

3. You can’t ignore Google+ anymore! Especially, those of you with local businesses.

I know. I know. I don’t like it either. When someone searches locally for your business or the products or services you offer, you simply have to control the narrative.