How Professional SEO Services Can Help Your Website

No matter what type of business you are in today, having a strong online presence is very important. While this includes having a good social media and digital marketing campaign, finding a way to attract customers to your website continues to be important as well. One way that you can find more customers is by attracting them through major search engines. To do this, you should consider working with a professional SEO service. Professional SEO services can help your website in a variety of different ways.

No matter what type of business you are in today, having a strong online presence is very important.

Consultation for current website

When you hire a professional to help with SEO, the first thing that they will do is provide you with a consultation on your current website. The service will be able to provide you with data on where your visitors are coming from, how many visitors you are receiving and what is attracting visitors and customers to competitor’s websites as well. They can then help you identify what part of the website is attracting customers and what may be reducing visitation. They can show you what landing pages are effective and what landing pages could use some improvement.

Development of strategy

A professional SEO service can also provide you with the guidance to help you develop a strategy for your website. After assessing the strengths and weaknesses of your website, the team can help you develop a strategy that will be effective to maximize the SEO position of your website. This can include coming up with target phrases that will help you to attract your desired customer base and including content that will help improve the overall integrity and quality of your website. A lot of aspects of SEO require strategy and expertise, such as creating a landing page that converts. Professional SEO services know the best practices for landing pages and what is needed to improve SEO rankings and increase conversions.

Implementation of SEO strategy

Once you have agreed upon a strategy with the SEO service provider, the next thing that they will do is implement it for you. The SEO service will spend time altering content to include target keywords, placing new blog posts, and making website adjustments that will help to make your website more SEO-friendly. When this occurs, you will start to show up higher on the relevant search engines when people perform relevant keyword searches. The team will also add valuable content to your site and help you make your website a more enjoyable place to visit, which will help ensure people continue to come back after they have found your site.

Professional SEO services know the best practices for landing pages and what is needed to improve SEO rankings and increase conversions.

Evaluation and management of campaign

While implementing the initial SEO strategy is important, the plan and process do not stop there. To have an effective SEO plan in place, you will need to continue to monitor it on an ongoing basis. An SEO service will be able to provide you with real-time information about your visitation and other data. Based on this and changes in the search engine algorithms, the SEO service will be able to make additional changes to your website to ensure that you continue to show up high on the top search engines.

Identify other revenue streams

Once an effective SEO campaign has been implemented, it should help to drive more and more traffic to your website's landing pages. If this happens, your website will be more attractive when it comes to receiving ad revenue and placing relevant outbound links. Both of these can be a great way to earn some additional income for your business, which could then be invested into other areas of your website or business in an attempt to help it grow.

Anyone that is going to try to improve their business needs to have a quality online presence. Part of this includes making sure that you are able to attract customers to your website. Through the use of professional SEO services, you can appear higher on the relevant search engines while also having a quality website that will keep customers coming back.

How To Get Into A Tech Career Successfully

It is no secret that the technology sector offers high-paying, lucrative, and flexible career opportunities. After all, these positions offer an enticing work-life balance, career growth, and professional development. For tech enthusiasts such as yourself, this allows you to discover new aptitude, challenge yourself with a continuous learning curve, and be your unique, creative self. However, effectively finding and securing a job in tech can be awfully intimidating. Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to make the transition less overwhelming and nerve-wracking. 

Build up your soft skills

First off, it is important to hone the soft skills that are essential for a career in tech. Prospective employers can teach you hard skills, such as coding languages, programming algorithms or data structures. However, you are expected to already be proficient in soft skills, which emphasize your personal qualities and character. For a high-paying tech role, you need to be expert in information synthesizing and troubleshooting. Similarly, it is fundamental to be well-versed in project management, analytics, and perseverance. In fact, you should be extremely seasoned in key principles of effective communication. Other important skills to focus on include resourcefulness and organization. 

Master advanced tech & programming tools

Next, you should master advanced tech and software development tools. Modern information technology (IT) teams rely on several powerful solutions to revamp efficiency, productivity, and project management. For example, you can optimize your pipeline with a Docker registry by JFrog, which will help to automate development, manage distribution, and perform secure vulnerability analyses. Adopting these solutions, you can maximize resource utilization, reliably deploy containers, and better team collaboration. Naturally, these tools help your secure images and gain deeper insights into issues, which will promote operating system stability. 

Attend tech conferences, workshops, & seminars

Now, you are ready to attend some technology conferences, workshops, and seminars. In fact, you may even want to check out some local IT expositions, trade shows, or career fairs. Most jobs are obtained through professional networking, and technology is no exception. Attending local meetups is a great way to integrate yourself into your municipality’s IT community. At each gathering, professionals in tech will collaborate to share relevant work subjects, advertise open roles, and mingle with prospective candidates. This will provide you with first hand, expert knowledge, as well as entrance into new professional circles. 

Get active on social media

At this point, you should try to get and remain active on social media. Social media has become a major hub for making connections, sharing information, and recruiting top talent in the tech world. You can take advantage of this rapidly-growing network by starting tech conversations and interactions all over social media. Follow along with basic conversations, or dive into deeper, niche areas of interest. This way, you can become an active member of the community, which will help you gain new contacts and boost career opportunities. In fact, bolstering your social engagement will even help you to garner attention from industry-leaders in tech. Since you may be speaking with prospective employers, it is important to additionally work on your social media etiquette as well. 

Brush up on your interviewing skills

Of course, it helps to brush up on your interviewing skills to get a job in tech. Tech interviews are often much different than your typical job screening. Be prepared to answer questions that are directly related to your hard skills, experience, or proficiency in technology. Simultaneously, you should be ready to discuss any recent tech projects, such as software, mobile apps, or website. At the same time, you may want to brush up on some notoriously tricky interview questions to ensure that everything goes smoothly. Moreover, there are several simple job interview tips that you should certainly follow in preparation for your job examination. 

There are plenty of important steps to help you secure a tech career. First off, build up your soft skills portfolio. Next, master some popular IT and programming tools, such as Docker registries. You should attend some local tech expos, workshops, and other informative gatherings, and get active on social media. It is additionally important to brush up on your interview skills. Follow the steps highlighted above to learn about how to get into a tech career.

How to Manage Distractions and Become More Productive

You know how you strive to stay productive during the day…only to get sidetracked by the notifications on your phone or the donuts in your kitchen? If you’ve ever felt like you could be so much more productive if only those distractions would quiet down, then get ready to feel empowered.

I invited Nir Eyal – author of Indistractible: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life – to join me on the Modern Mentor podcast today. Nir's research has uncovered tons of actionable advice on how to take back the reins and stay in the zone of productivity. 

Nir Eyal

Nir Eyal writes, consults, and teaches about the intersection of psychology, technology, and business. Nir previously taught as a Lecturer in Marketing at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford. He was dubbed “The Prophet of Habit-Forming Technology” by M.I.T. Technology Review and Bloomberg Businessweek wrote, “Nir Eyal is the habits guy. Want to understand how to get app users to come back again and again? Then Eyal is your man.” He is the author of two bestselling books, Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products and Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life.

You’ll want to hear Nir’s story firsthand – in which case you’ll need to listen to our interview. But in summary, we talked about the importance of noting and managing our internal triggers (like boredom, anxiety, or loneliness) in order to manage our relationship with external triggers (like technology, food, drink, or anything that temps us away from our focus). And more importantly, he shares how he does this – and suggests how you might do the same.

Here are some of the big ideas we covered:

Begin by understanding distraction

“The best way to understand what distraction is is to understand what distraction is not…The opposite of the word ‘distraction’ is ‘traction.'” Traction is the thing that pulls us toward the action we want to be taking, and distraction is the thing that pulls us away.

Any action can be traction or distraction. The key is in your intent.

If you’re trying to stay focused on getting that report written but your fingers keep hitting that refresh button on your Insta feed, then technology has become a distraction. However, if your plan was to finish the report and then reward yourself with 20 minutes of scrolling, then your scrolling has become your traction. Because you set and intention and you executed it.

Technology isn’t always the enemy. It’s all about setting an intention. It's absolutely OK to scroll through your feed as long as it's what you planned to do.

Traction is the thing that pulls us toward the action we want to be taking, and distraction is the thing that pulls us away.

Manage your internal triggers

According to research in Nir's book, the “pings, dings, rings, and things” we point to as distractions are only about 10% of the problem. The main reason we turn to our phone – or the donut – is due to an internal trigger. It’s what’s happening within us that truly prompts us to seek a distraction.

When we experience something emotionally uncomfortable – like boredom, stress, anxiety, or loneliness – our human instinct is to comfort that feeling with something soothing. And our phones are delighted to play that role.

Nir says, “Time management requires pain management.” And we need to understand what’s triggering the need for the distraction, in order to then manage the habit or behavior.

So next time you realize your fingers have wandered somewhere unwanted, ask yourself what's going on.  Are you anxious about that job interview coming up? Are you tired of writing this report you've been working on for weeks? Start by noting – and acknowledging what experience you're having.  This self-awareness is the first step in becoming Indistractible.

Next time your fingers have wandered somewhere unwanted, ask yourself what's going on.  Are you anxious about that job interview coming up?

Form a plan – then implement it

What distinguishes truly indistractible people from the rest of us? “They don’t have tremendous self-control. They don’t have tremendous willpower. What they have is a system in place," Nir explains. “They know what to do when temptation rears its ugly head.”

Now that you know why you're turning toward a temptation, you can devise a plan to manage it.

“The antidote to impulsiveness is forethought.”  One of the many techniques Nir employs? The 10-Minute rule. Instead of telling yourself you can’t have or do the thing you want, tell yourself you absolutely can. You just have to wait 10 minutes. If at the end of 10 minutes, you still must have it, then go for it. Ironically, research shows that more often than not, 10 minutes is all it takes for an urge to subside.

Instead of telling yourself you can’t have or do the thing you want, tell yourself you absolutely can. You just have to wait 10 minutes.

Another tactic to try? Time-boxing. Instead of falling into a pit of eternal report-writing, try committing to 15 minutes of focused writing. Then, have a plan to take a break and watch a cat video.

In this conversation, we covered a lot of ground. But a few key takeaways I carried with me include:

  • Being distractible does not make you flawed – only human.
  • White-knuckling your way through temptation – gripping your fists and saying “I can’t have it” only makes you want it more.
  • Managing your internal triggers (your emotions and sensations) will make the external triggers (the temptations calling your name) less powerful.
  • This gets easier with time and practice as you build self-efficacy. So just start somewhere today.
  • Becoming indistractible is a superpower. It’s the “skill of the century.”

"How Will You Measure Your Life?" The Question that Changed Me Forever

Reading is one of my superpowers. I make time daily in my work life to consume an article or a chapter of a non-fiction book. I usually learn something—a new fact to absorb or a tactic to try. 

Incredibly rarely, something I read actually changes me. 

When I first read this piece, I was an exhausted, overworked, always-feeling-guilty mom with a long commute and a need for something to change.

Seven years ago, I first stumbled on an article called How Will You Measure Your Life? written by the renowned Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen. The piece captivated me, and I credit it with setting me on a new path. Christensen, who has since passed away, offered me a sense of direction and clarity. I find many people around me seek the same thing right now, which is precisely why I'm revisiting a seven-year-old article with you today.

When I first read this piece, I was an exhausted, overworked, always-feeling-guilty mom with a long commute and a need for something to change. Reading it helped me ask and answer some big questions for myself—not by telling me what to think, but rather how to think. Christensen's article applied big wonky management concepts to the everyday business of humanity. And he did it beautifully.

Since I first read "How Will You Measure Your Life," I've made a habit of rereading it once a year. And each year I take something new from it.

Today, in case you’re one of those people sitting with big questions, I’d love to share some of my favorite insights. If you’ve ever wondered how to maintain fulfillment, balance, and integrity in your life and career, then this one’s for you.

How do I achieve fulfillment in my career?

Professor Christensen begins with an introduction to the work of Frederick Herzberg whose research in the mid-twentieth century taught us that money is not our most powerful motivating force.

As Money Girl Laura Adams tells us, money can buy us happiness … but only to a point. To have emotional well-being, we need to have enough money to cover basics like food and shelter comfortably. A widely cited 2010 study set that bar at $75,000 a year. Making more than that, data told us, didn’t equate to more happiness.

Unlock those golden handcuffs and free yourself to find joy in your work.

So if money doesn’t drive happiness, then what does? According to Christensen, it’s the opportunity to learn, to grow in responsibility, to contribute to the development of others, and to be recognized for your hard work and achievements. 

So ask yourself: Are you having these fulfilling experiences in your work today? 

If you could use a bump, are there ways you can infuse more life into your work? Can you take on a project that might help you expand your thinking, network, or knowledge? Can you mentor someone whose success you’d love to enhance? Can you publicly recognize a colleague who did you a small solid?

Or are you ready for a change you now realize you can afford to make?

Maybe you’ve always worked in corporate and dreamed of rolling into the non-profit space. Or you’re being pulled in multiple directions and want to transition to working part-time for a while. Or there’s that side hustle you always wanted to try, or that degree you dream of getting.

Unlock those golden handcuffs and free yourself to find joy in your work. 

For me, this meant finally stepping out of a job that felt heavy and taking that chance on starting my own business. I’ve never looked back.

How do I maintain balance?

This, Christensen explains, is really a question of how your strategy is defined and implemented.

”…A company’s strategy is determined by the types of initiatives that management invests in.”

If a company's strategy is to win by creating high-quality products, but it chooses to maximize its profit margin by using cheap materials to manufacture them, well … I think you can see why the strategy is doomed to fail.

So the question here is what strategy have you defined for your life. And are you making the right investments to support it?

To make the analogy work, Christensen imagines each important part of his life as a line of business—his career, his family, and his community.

He wants each of them to succeed. So he allocates his investments—his time, his focus, his care—in alignment with that strategy.

I realized that my time is my investment portfolio. I wanted to take ownership of it.

“Allocation choices,” he says, “can make you turn out to be very different from what you intended.”

He goes on to observe that “People who are driven to excel have this unconscious propensity to underinvest in their families and overinvest in their careers even though… loving relationships… are the most powerful and enduring source of happiness.”

When I first read this, I knew my sense of balance was off. Yet I somehow felt powerless to change it. But there was something in his framing about the allocation of resources that really hit me. I realized that my time is my investment portfolio. I wanted to take ownership of it.

Did I quit my job and start my business the next day? I assure you I did not. But this reframing was exactly the gift I needed to move from feeling constrained and trapped to feeling encouraged and ready to explore some options. 

Where have you possibly overinvested in work and underinvested in the things or people that bring you joy?

I’m not suggesting you follow my path. I’m inviting you to assess yours. Are you investing according to the outcomes you hope to achieve? Where have you possibly overinvested in work and underinvested in the things or people that bring you joy?

How do I keep integrity at the forefront?

Ever hear of something called the “marginal cost mistake?” I hadn’t. It’s the idea that most people who’ve fallen from grace (think Bernie Madoff) didn’t wake up one day and decide to commit a major crime.

“A voice in our head says ‘Look, I know that as a general rule most people shouldn’t do this. But in this particular extenuating circumstance, just this once it’s OK.’ The marginal cost of doing something wrong ‘just this once’ always seems alluringly low. It suckers you in.”

Personally, I’ve never stood on the precipice of making a criminal choice. But this concept has shown up in my life in different ways.

Think long and hard before you break the golden rule. Otherwise, your 'marginal cost mistake' will stay with you.

In my life today, I stand firmly in the camp of respect and equality for every human being. If someone in my life—a client, a colleague, even a family member—makes an off-color joke or comment, I know it’s easier to ignore it. Just this once. 

But I won’t. And having that clarity makes the choice so simple for me.

Maybe your boss asked you to “borrow” a competitor’s idea you heard about… just this once. Or a friend needs a reference and wonders if you’ll play the role of her former boss… but just for this one potential job.

Think long and hard before you break the golden rule. Otherwise, your "marginal cost mistake" will stay with you. I still remember kids I didn’t stand up for on the playground. I can’t change what’s behind me, but I can be a version of myself going forward that the little girl in me would be proud of.

I wish the same for you.

I hope these ideas have triggered some insight or courage or inspiration. May you be fulfilled, may you be in balance, and may you be the most gleaming version of you.   

Tips And Services To Help Your Bookkeeping Go Paperless

The COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t a catalyst to shift businesses toward digital transformation, it merely sped up the process. Businesses needed to scramble to move much of their operations online so workers could efficiently collaborate with each other and maintain business continuity during a difficult time.

Fortunately, departments not traditionally associated with the digital universe, like Bookkeeping, had an easier time adapting thanks to online services like Bookstime.com, a provider of digital bookkeeping tools with unique experience in difficult areas like sales tax automation, health benefits administration, and more.

Advantages of digital bookkeeping

Keeping track of every business transaction is among the most important and perhaps underappreciated tasks. Failure to keep track of transactions in a professional manner can result in a business owner making wrong decisions because they have inaccurate information.

Even worse, they might think they end the year with a profit but in reality, a bunch of small bookkeeping mistakes over several months means the business owner really lost money.

A shift to a digital platform eliminates these concerns. Online digital platforms make use of the most up-to-date accounting automation software that erases nearly every careless mistake. This is especially useful for a business owner who does the tedious but necessary job of bookkeeping themselves to save money. The more time a business owner spends on ancillary tasks, the less time they have to generate revenue and keep clients happy.

Some of the other advantages associated with going online include:

  • Eliminating clutter: keeping a clean home office is challenging enough but a digital platform means more space for higher priority files.
  • Save time: A digital bookkeeping platform is always available online with a few short clicks of the mouse. It can be accessed as needed and when needed in a few short seconds.
  • Environmental benefits: It isn’t unusual for a company to use at least 10,000 sheets of paper each year. Shifting resources online may seem like a small benefit but everyone has a responsibility to do a little bit more to protect our environment.

Case in point: Fill in a W-4

Every business owner is happy to hire new workers because it means they are expected to provide value to the company above and beyond their salary. But that doesn’t mean that the formal process is enjoyable.

One of the more undesirable parts of the hiring process is the pesky W-4 form that every employer has to ensure is properly filled in before a worker’s first day. Simply put, the W-4 form confirms how much income tax a worker wants to have withheld from their recurring paychecks. Under-withholding taxes means a worker will likely experience a shock come tax season as they owe money to the government. Over-withholding taxes means a worker is paying the government too much money and has to wait for a refund.

Digital bookkeeping can help simplify this process so you're less prone to errors. When other people’s finances are at stake, small careless mistakes could impact a worker’s desire to give the business owner 100% of their focus.

Businesses that shifted their bookkeeping process online to better navigate through the pandemic quickly realized this was a move that should have been done years ago. The advantages of having access to a clean and organized online tool far outweigh the costs.