New Year, New IT Support for Your Business

It’s not only a New Year for you. It’s a New Year for your business.

Just as you’ve made resolutions for how to improve your personal life, it’s beneficial to make resolutions for how you can give your business a fresh new start. One resolution that may top your list this year is finding a better IT support company.

Finding the right company isn’t as easy as it may seem. Here are a few things to do as you prepare to find a new support crew for your business in 2017.

Go Over Your 2017 Budget

Before you start your search for a new computer support department for your business, you need to have an idea in mind of how much you can afford to pay.

Prices range dramatically (we’ll talk more about why next). Basing your decision only on price could mean you’re not getting the services or support you anticipate or need. Not to mention, you have to consider the possible costs of productivity loss, cyber attacks, or data loss due to choosing a poor provider.

Get the Right Quote

Ask five people in the technology industry what computer support means and you’ll get five different answers.

The term “computer support” is a broad one. One company’s version of computer support services could vary wildly from another company’s version. That’s enough to make your head spin, so let’s simplify it. There are two main models of computer support services for business.

  1. Time and material. This is where you pay an hourly rate whenever you have a problem with your computer. It’s a model that’s quickly fading because it feels like you’re putting bandages on problems instead of actually preventing them.
  2. Managed IT services. This model gives you a flat rate to cover all of your IT requirements. These requirements often include remote support, a helpdesk, and onsite support in one monthly fee. That also covers cybercrime prevention, backup and disaster recovery, 24/7/365 monitoring, patch management, and other services.

Many businesses have already or are in the process of switching away from the first model in favor of the second model. With how fast technology is developing (and how fast hackers are honing their attacks), it’s important that you consistently have a support team on your side. The managed IT services model gives you that computer support team.

As you start soliciting quotes, be sure you’re asking for specifics about what you get instead of price alone.

Have the Right Hiring Mindset

When you set out to find your new computer support crew, you’re essentially setting out to hire an important addition to your team. They will interact with your business intelligence, your staff, and you on a regular basis. You need this company to fit in with your culture for the new relationship to work.

Interview your computer support companies with this in mind. Make sure you can relate to one another and understand what’s happening with your business’s sensitive information. If you’re met with techie speak and jargon that you don’t understand, ask them to clarify. It’s important that you always get the full explanation of what’s happening in your business.

And just like you do for your employees, ask for references. Good companies that provide managed IT services have testimonials and guarantees to backup their work.

Treat Trust as a Non-Negotiable

Part of having a computer support team on your side is to keep you safe from ongoing threats. This requires a team that is proactive at protecting all your devices. To do that, your team needs to have access to your network, passwords, and other confidential information.

You’re handing over the keys to the person or people you hire. It’s not a decision to take lightly.

Talk to the companies you’re considering about how they keep your sensitive business information secure. What happens when an employee leaves their firm disgruntled with your business intelligence in hand? What do they do to protect your company’s digital assets? Ask these questions up front so you can get a clear idea of what will happen if you sign on with the computer support company.

Know What You Can Expect

Hiring a team to support your business should mean just that – support. If you need help, you should be able to get it fast.

Talk to the computer support company about how they handle incoming requests. Can you call and talk to a real person? Do they guarantee a response time to your support requests? What happens if you need help after hours?

Support also means preventative care. A good computer support department will meet with you quarterly to analyze and give you a report of your system’s health. This is a critical service that will help you stay innovative and ahead of any developing threats.

Eliminate Surprises

All of these services sound great, but how much will it cost? Although we never recommend basing your decision on price alone, we do recommend having a clear idea of what the bill will say when it arrives on your desk each month.

Monthly surprise charges on the bill are frustrating, to say the least. By working with a computer support company that charges a flat fee, you’ll never have to open the bill in a sweat wondering how much it’ll put your business back that month.

Next Step: Get Your Free Consultation

Ready to hire your next computer support crew? The first step is to ask for a free consultation to discuss your current IT setup. This will help you understand where you can improve and how competent the team is you’re considering.

We’d like to be one of the first to provide an IT consultation for your business. Call us at [phone_main] and we’ll do an onsite 30-minute consultation to analyze what you need and determine whether we’re the right fit for you.

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8 Cyber Security Threats All SMBs Face

You read the news and hear about cyber attacks on big businesses and think, “that would never happen to me.” It’s an easy trap to fall into. Many Small & Medium Business (SMB) owners operate under the guise that cyber criminals go after the big fish – the ones with lots of money, sensitive data, and a strong identity. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

SMBs are an equally attractive target for cyber criminals, and usually, they’re easy targets. It takes less effort to break into an unprotected SMB system than it does to blow past the firewalls of the large corporations.

This isn’t just speculation either. 31 percent of data breaches were on businesses with 100 or fewer employees, and another 9 percent were on businesses with 101 to 1,000 employees, according to the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report.

Cyber crime impacts companies of all shapes and sizes. Here are 8 cyber security threats that SMBs are especially at risk of falling victim to.

1. Theft of Sensitive Data

Time for a security check. How safely are you storing your data and your customer’s information?

Sensitive data is passed around your business daily. Customers give you their payment information. Vendors accept your payment information. Staff have paychecks deposited directly into their bank accounts. Usually the passing of this payment happens online and when it does, cyber criminals want to steal it to use for their own malicious reasons.

The amount of sensitive data being passed via the Internet is at an all time high. Cyber criminals are stealing credit card information to sell in the black market. This data can be sold for as much as $300 per record, which makes it an attractive target for thieves.

2. Trade Secrets

SMBs have something unique to offer. You’re innovating, building, growing, and producing the latest and greatest new things. All this innovation and growth means you have a handful of trade secrets in your arsenal. To the right cyber criminal, those trade secrets are worth gold. On the black market, thieves might be able to sell these as a get rich quick scheme to people who don’t want to put in the years of work you have.

3.  Identity Theft

A person’s identity is valuable on the black market today. Over 11 million had their identity stolen in 2012, with damages as a result of the theft reaching $21 billion, according to Statistic Brain.

The information you keep about your employees, such as social security number, bank account information, and more, is perfect for thieves who want to sell identities to make a pretty penny. Securing your human resources information can help you and your employees avoid a major personal disaster that could come back to haunt your company’s reputation.

4. Your Reputation

Speaking of reputation, yours is on the black market too. Competitors often use underhanded ways of getting the advantage in the marketplace. One is by destroying your reputation online.

Reputation destruction today goes way beyond sharing a few bad reviews online. Attacks are often done by rogue employees or disgruntled customers who aim to destroy your business by stealing data and slowing down your success so they (or a competitor) can get ahead.

5.  Your Email

One of the most used apps on a smartphone is the email app. People are constantly connected to their inboxes today. It’s the way to keep in touch, especially with customers and teams who are geographically separated.

Buried within these email accounts is access to your other accounts. iTunes, airlines, your business’s website login information, or even your online banking is all stored in your inbox. Hack one account and the cyber criminals can access many.

6. Medical Insurance Fraud

Health insurance isn’t cheap. That’s why the black market for health insurance was born. Now, medical insurance fraud is a growing threat in North America. In the United States alone it costs American taxpayers $80 billion every year, according to FBI estimates. Thieves use this to buy prescription drugs, which can then be sold on the street for more money to those who don’t have insurance. If your medical insurance isn’t locked and sealed up tight, thieves could be coming after your employees benefits information next.

7. Online Banking Theft

It’s a simple concept. If thieves gain access to your bank account, they’re going to be able to drain your funds. What would you do if you came into the office thousands of dollars poorer? Would you be able to make payroll? Would you be able to buy inventory? Would you be able to pay vendors?

Online banking is highly convenient, but if done on an insecure network, it could expose you to a major cyber security threat.

8. Ransomware

Ransomware is when a cyber criminal uses malware to hold your business’s data hostage. The malware is inadvertently downloaded to your network (usually when an employee mistakenly opens a file that appears trustworthy) and soon, a ransom is set. Pay up and you might be able to get your data back. Yes, it’s not even guaranteed… Wait to pay and the ransom goes up, while your cash flow usually goes down.

It’s a nightmare scenario and one that’s affecting many businesses of all sizes. Companies are being forced to pay thousands of dollars to reclaim what is rightfully theirs.

The Threat is Real

Cyber criminals are relentless. They’re experts at hacking accounts and stealing from unsuspecting SMBs and it’s all done with the intent of malicious gain. Most of the time it’s a monetary gain. Sometimes, the gain is meant to be used to destroy your business and give your competitors an unfair advantage. Whatever it is, one thing is certain – without solid security measures in place, you’re at risk. At [company_short] we can help you out with all your IT security needs. Give us a call at [phone_main] today to see how we can secure your network from the growing number of cyber criminals targeting businesses just like yours.

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7 Ways to Destress at Work (Really)

Destress at work? Impossible! At least that’s how it might feel when you’re pounding the pavement and putting your nose to the grindstone to meet your ambitious goals.

But stress can impede progress. As popular as it is to say that hustle is the only way to win, hustling in the wrong way can actually hurt you more than help. You’ll burn out faster. You’ll start to make mistakes that could cost you more than help.

Destressing at work is more important than most people realize, but is it possible? Sure, but…

Before you can destress, you must practice self-awareness.

Self-awareness is one of the most important ways to be successful in the business world. It permeates all areas of business from knowing your strengths to knowing when you need a break to regroup.

Let’s focus on that last point. Knowing when you need a break isn’t as easy as it might sound. Typically, professionals don’t realize they need a break until they’re on the verge of burnout and buried in stress. By that point, it’s too late.

Practicing self-awareness means realizing the signs that you’re becoming stressed and taking a proactive role in managing it. It also means knowing what relaxes you. Most of the time that isn’t leaving work. It isn’t putting your obligations to the side because they’ll always be lingering in the back of your mind. It’s finding other ways to destress on the job so you can quickly regain focus and knock out what’s on your to-do list.

Here are seven of the most popular ways to destress at work as soon as you realize you’re feeling overwhelmed.

  1. Go Outside

    There’s something instantaneously relaxing about sunlight and fresh air. If you’re feeling buried in your work duties, the walls around you are probably not serving to help you relax.

    Go outside for five minutes. Sit in the sun. Call a client while listening to the birds chirp. Take a deep breath of fresh air. Whatever you want to do outside, do it. Being in nature is supremely powerful and can almost instantly relax your muscles and mind.

  2. Stretch It Out

    Speaking of muscles, you’re probably tensing them up unintentionally while your stress compounds. Stretching your muscles can release that slow growing tension and make you feel more relaxed.

    More importantly, it can also help you proactively stop common physical ailments of stress, such as headaches and indigestion.

  3. Get Up and Move

    A little bit of movement can have a dramatic impact on your overall health both physical and mental. Blood flow is important to keep your body relaxed and free of tension. Whenever possible, get up from your desk and move. Instead of emailing the person down the hall for something, get up and get it from them. Or, simply go for a walk and try to leave your technology behind (if we as an IT company can do it, so can you…). If you can’t get up from your desk, consider investing in a treadmill desk so you can move while you work.

    The more you keep your blood pumping, the more focused you’ll be and the more relaxed you’ll feel.

  4. Practice Yoga-Style Breathing Techniques

    Yoga has long been known to have healing effects on the body. One key component of the practice is breathing.

    Breathing techniques can be used at your desk to remind your body to relax. You’ll slowly inhale and fill your body with oxygen, then exhale out the tension you’re feeling throughout your body.

    Try the ujjayi pranayama technique where you inhale through your nose and exhale through your throat, trying to make a subtle sound of an ocean wave. Having an intentional focus on how you’re breathing will help you take deeper, fuller, more relaxing breaths.

  5. Time Your Breaks

    When you’re in over your head with work, it’s easy to forget to step away now and then. Still, burying yourself is a surefire way to get stressed.

    Time your breaks so you’re frequently getting up from your desk and giving your brain a chance to relax. Set a timer on your phone to remind you when it’s time to step away.

  6. Make a Priority To-Do List

    There are a million things you’d like to get done, but there are only 8 hours in the workday. What tasks can you finish that’ll inch you toward your goal and make you feel like you had a productive day as you check them off the list? Prioritize them.

    There are several ways to do this.

    Barbara Corcoran makes a list of tomorrow’s tasks every night before she leaves work. Then, she labels them with A, B, or C. The next day, when she comes in, she starts with her A tasks. When those are finished, she moves to the B tasks, then the C tasks. It’s an easy way to cut through the noise and know you’re spending your time on the tasks that matter the most.

    Another way is to start a Bullet Journal with intentional setup of your to do lists.

    Find a way that’ll let you break down each of your tasks in order of importance and then prioritize what you can and should be getting done so you can clear the clutter from your mind and dig in when you’re ready to work.

  7. Put on Music

    Sound has a dramatic impact on the body. Are you listening to relaxing sounds? Or are your ears taking in the sounds of stress?

    Whenever possible, put on a playlist with wordless music. This will help to center your brain so you can focus on the tasks at hand instead of the stress you’re feeling. Spotify in particular has some great playlists designed specifically for focus.

What’s Your Zen?

Work doesn’t have to be a four-letter word in your world. By using easy, but powerful ways to destress, you’re able to unwind while staying focused and on task.

What’s your best tip for destressing at work?

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7 Olympic Strategies To Help Your Business Come In First

Perhaps no one understands how to dominate in a niche better than Olympians. These are the people who pour heart, soul, hours, grit and guts to get the glory of the Gold medal.

If you saw the medal counts from this year’s Rio Olympics, you know the United States came to win. In terms of total medals, the United States ended with a total of 121 medals followed distantly by China in second place with 70 medals.

The winning strategies employed to reach this world domination in the Rio Games work both on and off the field (or in and out of the pool). As it turns out, many of them can be used to turn your business into a powerhouse player too.

Here are seven strategies from Olympians to help your business get the gold quarter after quarter.

  1. Plan for the Good Times and the Bad

    Michael Phelps is no stranger to the Olympics. Rio was his fifth and final (according to him) games. With 23 gold medals, which far surpasses any other Olympian, it makes sense to pay attention to his strategies for winning.

    His secret: Creating a vision for every scenario that could go wrong.

    Bob Bowman, Phelps’ coach says he envisions the perfect race from the stands, from the poolside and from the water. Then, he goes through each scenario for what could go wrong.

    The only rule in business is that something will go wrong. The chances of a perfect launch, perfect customer experience 100% of the time and perfect manufacturing flow are overwhelming slim. By anticipating glitches, you’re better prepared to tackle them head on when they do occur, keeping your business moving more efficiently.

  2. Operate Distraction Free

    When the world is your audience and the track is your stage, you’re surrounded by distractions. Flashing lights, pushy reporters and cheering crowds are enough to jolt any Olympian off her game unless you’re Allyson Felix.

    Her secret: Tuning out the noise.

    She told Sports Illustrated, “I don’t hear any noise around me. I’m just completely dialed in to what I have to do.”

    Like the Olympics, in business, distractions are plenty. It’s easy to have shiny object syndrome, drifting between the latest and greatest new strategies. But to win, having a relentless focus on your goal is the key to tuning out the rest of the business world. This way, you can keep the momentum moving forward instead of sideways.

  3. Teamwork = Harmony

    In a self-penned article on Inc, Olympic gold medalist Ryan Millar from the 2012 Men’s Volleyball Team described his tips for winning.

    One of his secrets: Find harmony as a team.

    In business, like on the court, teamwork is all about collaboration and communication. You can’t make plays if you’re focused on your independent success exclusively. Find harmony with your team and you’ll win.

  4. Use Your Senses

    When you have an off day, it’s easy to get down on yourself or your business. The ability to stay positive is priceless, according to Anne Kursinski, an Equestrian Olympian.

    Her secret: Employing positive mental imagery.

    She uses all of her senses to imagine what the perfect win feels like. From what the announcer says to the way the contact with her horse feels, she’s in tune with everything that needs to happen for her to put a win on the board.

    In business, you can do the same by imagining everything from what the press needs to say about your business to what a perfect workflow looks like for your company.

  5. Losing Isn’t an Option

    No one goes to the Olympics to lose, so for swimmer gold medalist, Garrett Weber-Gale, visualizing loss isn’t an option.

    His secret: Never think about losing.

    By blocking out the idea of a loss, you aren’t living in denial; you’re maintaining focus on the desired result.

    In business, imagining your company coming in second or third to a competitor is worthless. Keeping a laser-focus on coming in first on every bid, sale or transaction is key to performing your best.

  6. Breathe, Believe and Battle Through Challenging Times

    Kerri Walsh Jennings former coach, Troy Tanner used to tell her to “breathe, believe, battle.” Breathe and be in the moment, believe in your training and battle to the end. This mantra ended up helping her win the gold in beach volleyball in three consecutive olympics – 2004, 2008 and 2012.

    Her secret: Breathing, believing and battling through every challenging time.

    In business, you will undoubtedly hit a roadblock or two (or ten). When this happens, you’re faced with a choice. You can stumble and focus on the fall, or you can keep the breath flowing through your company by creating a firm belief that you can overcome the obstacle by battling to the end.

  7. Recognize that Some Things are Out of Your Control

    When it comes down to it, some things are out of your control. For Merrill Moses, the goalkeeper of the men’s water polo team, that’s a given, which takes a tremendous amount of pressure off his broad shoulders.

    His secret: Only focus on controlling the controllables.

    In business, there will be some situations that will rock your performance. These situations might be out of your control. Instead of wallowing over a fall, keep your eyes facing frontward. Recognize that there are certain things you’re not able to plan for, predict or push aside. You must keep rolling no matter what life and business throws your way.

Listen to the Olympians

If business were easy, anyone would do it. The same goes for winning Olympic gold. Are you following the examples of Olympic medalists in your business?

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Is Pokemon Go Putting Your Corporate Network At Risk?

Have you heard your employees raving over catching Pikachu or desperate to find a Pokestop? Chances are, these employees are using your office as a hunting ground to build their army in Pokemon Go.

Pokemon Go is a game that has taken the world by storm. The idea behind it is, players must wander the streets trying to find Pokemon hidden around the area. When they find them, they must toss a Pokeball at it to capture it. As they capture more Pokemon, their army becomes stronger and they’re able to fight against other Pokemon users at virtual gyms (not to be confused with the traditional athletic gym non-Pokemon Go players think of when they hear that word).

It might sound silly but this game has captured the hearts of people of all ages. From teenage girls to men in their late 30’s, Pokemon Go is played by millions of people from all walks of life. User statistics show that at the end of July, around 20 million people were actively hunting Pokemon.

If you’re not a devoted player, it’s tempting to sweep the game under the rug. But if you own a business or are in charge of your company’s network security, you need to take some precautions.

Pokemon Go and Malware Go Hand in Hand

Hackers, phishers and others online recognize the craze around Pokemon Go, so it makes sense that this game is a breeding ground for malicious behavior online. When your employees download the game, they’re putting your business at risk.

There are several ways your network is exposed to malware when employees download copies of Pokemon Go at work.

They’re downloading it from a file sharing site.

If Pokemon Go hasn’t been released in your region, your employees could still be playing the game. They get access to it by downloading it from a file-sharing site. This usually involves a technique called “side loading” where a counterfeit application is placed directly on the phone.

If your employees use their phones for business purposes, your business intelligence is at risk.

They’re downloading it from a secondary app marketplace.

Sometimes, people will avoid the official App Store or Google Play stores when downloading games and instead, head straight for a secondary marketplace.

Apple phones (iOS) does not allow secondary app marketplaces. They’re only accessible if the device is jailbroken.

Android phones do have secondary marketplaces. When downloading from these, the user accepts all responsibilities and risks. It’s a danger that’s not worth taking, yet some people do.

They’re not installing the right app.

When an app catches fire like Pokemon Go has, there are sure to be several counterfeit versions. The goal of these versions is to trick people into installing them so the developer can plant malware on their phone.

To know whether you’re downloading the right app, it’s always important to check the number of downloads (a popular app, such as Pokemon Go should have millions of downloads by now) and look for spelling errors. If there is anything suspicious about the graphics or grammar, don’t download it!

Another good idea is to check the reviews. People might tell you if they’ve been tricked, which is a huge red flag for you to avoid downloading and installing from that developer.

What Can Your Business Do to Protect Your Network?

You know how malware can sneak into your business through a popular app, such as Pokemon Go, but what can you do to stop it? That’s the bigger, more pressing question.

1. Enterprise Grade Firewalls

If your employee downloads malware while on your company’s wifi network, they could enable the attack to spread to other devices connected to the same wifi signal. Now, the cyber criminal can go after other devices, causing more havoc for your business.

By putting enterprise grade firewalls in place, you can block Pokemon Go from being played in the building on the company wifi. Side benefit: You also stop your employees from playing while they’re supposed to be working.

Firewalls have another benefit too. You can configure your firewall to protect all of your other devices from being attacked from the one device. That makes it harder for the malware to spread like wildfire throughout your firm.

2. Block the App

If you provide company cell phones, you’re able to block certain apps, including Pokemon Go. This also allows you to uninstall the app if it’s already there, taking instant measures to protect your firm’s network.

3. Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware Software

Make sure your anti-virus and anti-malware software is up-to-date. This software is constantly scoping out potential threats. With an up-to-date subscription and version, you’re sure to be doing everything you can to prevent hackers and phishers from accessing your business.

Can Your Business Afford to Ignore Pokemon Go?

In short, no. Pokemon Go poses too big of a risk to ignore.

If you’re not sure your network is protected against this and other potentially dangerous apps, give us a call at [phone_main]. We’ll make sure your network is protected. And as a by product of digitally securing your business, we’ll also help get your employee’s heads away from hunting for Pikachu so they can get back to work.

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10 Timeless Ways to Improve SEO

SEO is the fickle big sister of online marketing. She’s constantly changing her mind about what’s important on a website and how to rank pages.

With the ever-changing algorithms, how can you know what you should do to improve SEO for your business?

There’s no shortage of SEO tactics. The problem is, these quick and dirty SEO tactics never last.

Search engines learn and adapt quickly, punishing businesses that employ black hat SEO strategies meant to drive quick rankings. As hopeless as that sounds, there are a few tactics that remain effective – even throughout the constant algorithm updates.

Here are 10 timeless ways to improve SEO and keep your business website in good standing with search engines.

1. Do Better Keyword Research

Before you can optimize your website, you need to know what you’re optimizing it for. What keywords make the most sense for your company? For example, if you’re selling health food products, do you rank higher for “healthy granola bars” or “gluten free granola?”

Many businesses use tools, such as Google’s Keyword Planner to hunt down the words or phrases with the most traffic. Although this is valuable, it doesn’t show you which keywords will drive visitors who convert into buyers. To do this, you need to go a little bit further with your keyword research.

  • Start by finding relevant keywords;
  • Search for the keyword yourself to determine what type of content shows up on page one;
  • Once you find out what words your customers are actually searching, you can utilize this for a number of SEO tactics below.

This takes time, but it’s well worth the effort to find the most valuable keywords for your business.

2. Analyze Your Business Website

It’s time to get introspective. With your valuable keywords in mind, take a look through your website to make sure you’re using them in your copy. If not, Google has no way of knowing you’re relevant for that keyword.

A word of warning here: Don’t stuff your pages with your valuable keywords in an effort to stand out to Google. This can make your page appear spammy and will have an adverse effect.

3. Start Blogging

The more content you have on your website, the better. Not only do the search engines need a lot of content to know how to position your website in the search results, but your visitors appreciate it too.

Post on your blog at least once per month. Ideally, you’ll post more often than this.

Choose one keyword for each post. If you find yourself using the same keyword repeatedly, choose a variation of it to cast a wider net and harness the same quality of traffic. Boost it even further by adding a few valuable, relevant tags.

4. Use Headers

It’s important to break up your blog posts using headers. Not only does this make it easier for your readers to quickly scan and absorb, but it also shows Google which keywords are most relevant in your post.

Ideally you’ll want your keyword in the headline (which will appear as an H1 tag for Google, which is the most important heading). Then, you’ll want to use your keyword in at least one subheading (which should appear as an H2 tag in the body of your post).

5. Link Internally

The goal of your blog posts is to keep your readers on your website so you can ultimately convert them. To do this, your content must work as their guide to move them effortlessly from page to page.

Internal links, or links to other pages on your website, are an easy way to do this. If you have a page on your website that’s relevant to the topic you’re discussing, add a link to move the reader to the page for more information. This shows the search engines the depth of your website while also making it easy for your audience to find the information they need.

6. Expand Your Internal Pages

Some businesses have started to use one long page to sell their products and services. These don’t typically rank well.

In addition to adding content to your blog, expand on your internal pages. For example, create a page for each product or service you offer. Then, add a page with an overview of everything you offer linking to each page for more information.

7. Nix Duplicate Content

Here’s a word of warning: In an effort to add content to your website, be careful not to add the wrong kind of content.

Duplicate content is anything that has previously been published elsewhere online – including on your website. This is heavily punished by search engines and should be avoided at all costs.

To keep things simple, make sure your copywriting and blogging are all 100% original.

8. Keep Your Contact Information Consistent

There is one exception to the duplicate content rule – your business name, address and phone number (NAP).

Your NAP should remain consistent on your website and anywhere your business is listed. To find your current listings, use Moz’s free local search feature. Choose one exact style for your business information and then make sure it looks consistent on all listings online. If something is incorrect, fix it. If you don’t, the search engines will be confused and you could hurt your SEO.

9. Connect with other Blogs – (Blogger Outreach)

The secret sauce to SEO is (and always has been) backlinks.

Backlinks from high quality websites show the search engines that your website is valuable and interesting. High quality is the key term there. To make a difference in your search engine rankings, you need to get backlinks from websites with a domain authority over 30. (Domain authority essentially shows how trustworthy and popular a website/domain is) One of the best ways to do this is to write content for these websites or give the blogger a reason to link back to your website.

This goes back to the importance of creating quality content.

10. Get Social

Another way to get backlinks is to add your own on social media networks.

If you haven’t already, add your business profile on the top social media networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Yelp, LinkedIn, etc.

Once you have your profile set up, make sure you add in a link to your website. This is an easy way to get a backlink from websites with high domain authorities and add value to the people who are interested in following your business.

Get Started

These are ten easy, yet highly effective ways, to improve your rankings on search engines. Some methods are fast (such as ensuring your NAP is consistent) but others require work. It’s all worth it to improve your website’s position in the search engine results.

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