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Beginner’s Guide to SEO: 6 Steps for a Solid Online Foundation

To help any business meet its full potential or for anyone to successfully build their personal brand, the business or brand must have a strong online presence. In order to get your business or brand the exposure it needs and the long-term community engagement it strives for, you must first ensure that its online channels are optimized for SEO.

1. Choose the right domain name.

Your domain name does impact your SEO, but no longer in the way of the past. Using keywords for the domain name itself (an exact match domain, or EMD) used to be all the rage. For example, if you were creating a site for runners in the Phoenix area, for better search results you would make your domain name something like PhoenixAreaRunners.com.

Now, however, your main focus when choosing your domain name should be in making it brandable and memorable. Keep it concise and relating to your business name, as well as easy to spell, type, and say so that people will get to it without error.

2. Identify your target market.

Any content from your brand that you are putting on the web needs to cater to your brand’s target market. You want the content to be of interest of them so that they are more likely to find it as a result of the searches that they would most typically be making online.

If you are unsure as to who exactly your audience is, conduct market research to find out. By knowing the makeup of your primary audience, you can better work your chances of giving the people in it what they are looking for online.

3. Learn about your audience and narrow your focus.

Use any market research you conduct to do more than simply identify the demographics of your target market. Learn about who they are as individuals, too. Know their likes and dislikes (pertaining to your brand), and through which channels they typically access information online so that you are able to narrow your focus and make your website and web content more likely to reach them.

4. Utilize keywords and phrases.

The keywords and phrases you use throughout your online channels are what typically directly affect your brand’s ranking with search engines the most. Choose keywords that are relevant to what your website has to offer to searchers.

Also browse the sites of your closest competitors to see what keywords they seem to be utilizing. Including the keywords that they include on their sites will help you to not get left behind in searches that present these competitors at the top of results lists.

5. Use social media to your advantage.

Not only is it keywords and phrases that can help your brand’s SEO, but social media shares as well. The more your brand’s website and web content is shared through social networks, the more exposure it has online and the more likely it is to appear in search results.

Create content for your social media accounts that will engage the social community. Content that attracts people by being beautiful, interesting, entertaining, and/or informative has better chances of being shared by those people it comes in contact with and will lend itself to positively contributing to your brand’s SEO.  

6. Get feedback.

Reviews for your brand are highly important. Similar to the concept of getting your brand’s social media posts shared by your community to boost SEO, reviews left online for your brand give it valuable exposure. Encourage those who buy from or interact with your brand to leave reviews on sites like Yelp or Foursquare. The more reviews your brand is able to get online, the more exposure it has and the better its performance on search engines will be.

Only focusing on whether the content included on your brand’s website and shared on its social media accounts is of good quality and designed well is no longer enough. You must always keep SEO in mind as well. Utilize keywords, cater specifically to your target market, and get your brand shared online in order to boost your rankings within search engine sites.  



How A Business Owner Can Get Out Of A Rut

Falling into a rut is never easy. It’s frustrating and disappointing for all of those involved. Being a business owner is a difficult job. The role’s stressful and often requires lots of hours and hard work for little reward, at least in the beginning. Getting stuck in your path is a tough pill to swallow.

There’s no right or wrong answer about what to do if this happens to you, however, there are options for getting out of it. You can't sit back and assume it’ll just go away. You need to have determination and perseverance to work through it. See how a business owner can get out of a rut.

Revisit Vision

Go back to why you started your business in the first place. Revisit your vision and motivation for kicking it off at the start. Let your mind wander back and find your passion again. You may need to dig deep, but it’s probably there. This’ll help you reset your mind to want to charge forward with inspiration. Finding the reason why once again will bring your mind to a good place and you’ll be able to focus on the future. Go back to your initial notes and business plan documents to help you recall. Doing this may trigger a happy memory and snap you out of your funk.


It’s important you incorporate some movement into your day. Being an entrepreneur typically means you’re working and sitting a lot. You need your exercise to maintain high levels of energy and to feel mentally with it. Join a gym, run at lunch or participate in a new activity on the weekends. Do whatever it takes to make sure you get your daily exercise. It’ll benefit you in many ways and the time you spend exercising may lead you to answers you would have never thought of without the quiet time.

Explore New Ventures

Maybe it’s time for a change, and this is your sign. A great way to make a new start is in the screen printing and embroidery business. Owning a franchise means you’re the boss and can take your prior experience with you to start a brand new line of work as an entrepreneur. People use signs all of the time, so you won’t need to worry about if the need is there or not. Even the motion and action of researching and exploring new ideas will bring new life to your mind.

Talk & Share Ideas

Bounce ideas off of other people. Call up a friend or family member and tell them how you’re feeling. Talk to your leadership team at work and get a feel for how they think business is going. Open up and share your concerns and see if they can be worked out, so you feel good about your situation again. Talk and share ideas to get it off of your chest and let in new perspectives.


There’s no magic formula for turning your mindset around. You must explore yourself and seek the answers you need to find. These are ways a business owner can get out of a rut.  

Continued Reading

Check out this great article from Ken Evoy, Why Every Solopreneur Should Succeed (And Why Most Don’t).



How to Create a Seamless Workflow

Guest post presented by 3rd party-- BLOG not written by Doug Sandler

Guest post presented by 3rd party-- BLOG not written by Doug Sandler

When was the last time your company reviewed its workflow? It could be that everything is working as it should, and you are happy with that. Even if that is the case, it is always a good idea to regularly go through your work processes to ensure you are running at your most efficient.

You may not have to change anything in a drastic way; it might just need a little tinkering here and there. Here are some of the ways you can make your workflow almost seamless.


The way you use your technology can save you much time. However, some companies do not use their systems to their best advantage. Adding data to a spreadsheet is easy, but if you are doing the same input more than once, it is wasting your time.

With office applications now available in the cloud through sites like Bytes, you can share your data securely encrypted with everyone who needs to see it without having to input it more than once.

How your customers place an order is another potential area where duplication or too many steps can be unnecessarily slowing down your workflow. Go through the process and eliminate any steps you do not need.

Is your software up to date? Are there things you can do to improve the way it works? If your company has been using the same software for a while, it could need reviewing to see if there are any better alternatives.


It is a good idea to take a look at your communication processes and how they are handled. It is of particular importance for your customers. If they have to go through too many menus or talk to a line of people, they will get frustrated.

Simple things such as creating more ways for your customers to contact you can make a significant difference to their satisfaction and your workflow. Utilize social media, web chat and your website to give people options to communicate with you.

The way you deal with other companies can also be streamlined, dealing with suppliers and other clients electronically are much faster, especially if the process is automated.


Using technology or other systems may not come naturally to everyone. If you have particular software that you use for your business, does everyone know how to use it? Is there anyone trained to use it if the person responsible isn’t available?

Ensuring that all your workers have the correct training can lead to less confusion and a more seamless workflow. Knowing what to do if there is a problem is also a good idea. Having clear procedures along with telephone numbers to hand will get issues resolved quickly.

Just looking at a few simple ways to speed up your workflow can have a significant impact on your productivity. It will also help you to save money and time in the long run which will benefit you and improve your customer satisfaction.



Post #5 Tools, Tips and Tricks: Protecting You From Cyber Scams and Digital Invasion

Tool - An incredible app for saving your passwords. I have been using LastPass for about a year and find it very useful for generating passwords, saving passwords and securing my long list of passwords. LastPass is a great tool and easy to use, especially if you have multiple computers, many secure accounts and a variety of passwords. There is both a free version and a paid version too.  Side note: According to Webroot Threat Blog the worst password for 2015 was "123456." If this is your password, be on high alert, you will be hacked.

Tip - 95% of security breaches are human error.  It's much easier for a scammer to hack YOU than to hack your computer. The most common practices that cause potential security breach:

  • Logging in on-line at a public location and feeling secure. 
  • Visiting websites other than your own, and downloading files from these sites.
  • Reading your email and feeling safe clicking on links in your email. 

Check out this infographic from a trusted source and Nice Guys Finish First supporter CyberWise . 

Trick - Mind hack for passwords. If you have trouble remembering your passwords and you want an easier way to recall them, use this little mind hack. Develop a phrase that represents the site that needs password protection. For example, if you have an account at TD Bank and want to come up with a password (between 8 and 32 characters with at least 1 upper case letter and 1 number, no spaces, 1 special character: "TDisLike1GoldBar!" Easier to remember than random digits and harder to hack than usual. If you are not using a tool like LastPass (noted above), this mind hack might do the trick.

A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
— William Shakespeare



Post #2 Tools, Tips, Tricks: Elevator Speech, You Time, Networking

Tool: Building your elevator speech does not have to be challenging and the end result does not have to be canned. I recently had Fred Miller on my podcast discussing a No Sweat Elevator Speech and Fred shared an easy to follow elevator speech making template. Click here for a free download of the template.

Tip: Scheduling YOU time is one of the most effective ways to build productivity into your day. For the next 2 days, during your normal work day, add 2 slots of 15 minutes into each day, labeled YOU time. Ground rule: You cannot use this time to work, use technology or multi-task. Walking, napping, exercising, laughing and reading are completely acceptable activities. By adding YOU time to your schedule, you will become more productive, less tired, more patient with the people in your life, and begin to lead a more balanced life, 15 minutes at a time. Next week, see if you can expand to 5 days, adding YOU time to your schedule.

Trick: Networking made easier. If you are like most people, you do not like networking events. I used to find the time I spent networking unproductive. I never knew what to say or what to ask people I met, trying to be spontaneous but at the same time, trying to structured in what I said and did to make the most of this incredibly painful time. Next time, start out your conversations this way. When you approach someone say, "I'm not of fan of networking, can I ask you a question? When you come to events like this, what is your goal?" I think this sets the tone for a conversation that is genuine, open and honest. I have found conversations that begin this way have led to some great discussions about human behavior, personalities and eventually business as well. Build a relationship, the business will come.

People often complain about a lack of time when the lack of direction is the real problem.
— Zig Ziglar