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An In-depth Guide To Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

An In-depth Guide To Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing the visibility of a website, or a web page, in a search engine’s results. In simpler terms, your website will pop up earlier in a search with some keywords.

There are two types of SEO

Onsite SEO
This is what ‘you’ say about yourself. It refers to what you distribute on your site and what issues you think you have authority on.

Offsite SEO
This is what ‘they’ say about you. For example, if a reputable and established source like Forbes or Huffingpost, link to your site as an authority, Google’s algorithm will give you credit for that. Off-site SEO carries the most weight in a search. It makes perfect sense when you think it through. Reputable sources vouching for your authority on a subject mean far more than you vouching for yourself.

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SEO should be a factor in determining your content. In order to make Google include your site as a top result, your SEO should be based on the keywords you are shooting for in your niche or market. I recently stumbled upon a site that really laid out the benefits of having your contents included in search engine results. One Houston SEO Expert explained that it is essential to know what people really want and what they search on the web. The expert also said you are missing out on a great deal of money and business by not being on Google and other top search engines.

Essentially, if your brand is not rating as a top result, prospects probably aren’t going to find you.

When Does Google’s Algorithm Change?

Google usually updates its algorithm annually. Historically this has been in order to penalize content owners or marketers who have attempted to outsmart the formula with spammy, black-hat techniques. More recent updates have been to simply return better results for quality content.

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SEO is the most important part of internet marketing. Whether you have a blog, a business website, or an e-Commerce store, SEO is equally important to promoting it on the internet.

If you have just created a website or blog and want to do its SEO on your own, then this article is for you.  I am going to give a quick overview of how SEO works.

Keyword Research

The most important step of SEO is picking the right keyword for your campaign. This process is also called keyword research. Most of the success or failure of your campaign relies upon this keyword. Many people fail in their SEO when they try to rank with the wrong keyword.

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There is no “wrong” word to go with in keyword research. All words are rankable, it’s just that some keywords have higher competition and some have lower competition. So, a good strategy SEO experts use in their SEO campaigns is targeting low competition key word. This way they increase their site authority little by little. Once they have enough domain experts, they start targeting high competition keywords too.

Onsite Optimization

Onsite optimization is a very important part of any SEO campaign. Onsite optimization is basically about making an online page relevant to your targeted keyword. Yahoo, Bing, Baidu, Yandex or any other search engine always shows relevant pages only in its searches. So making your content relevant to your targeted keyword is important for a successful SEO campaign.

Off-Site Optimization

As I said earlier, the most relevant aspect is the off-site optimization. This basically consists of making backlinks to a site on high domain authority sites. Backlinks are basically the main ranking indication which Google considers to position a website. A site with a higher number of backlinks ranks above than a site with low numbers of backlinks. There are many ways to generate backlinks of your website. To know more about backlink creation you can check with a good backlinks building guide.

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What To Do When Things Go Wrong in SEO

As SEO has its good side for the content owner, unfortunately, sometimes it goes wrong. You think, how will it go wrong? This can happen because you get over-aggressive with SEO tactics or because you violated the rules laid down by Google. When you think something is wrong with the ranking of your website, it is a good idea to solve the problem as fast you can to avoid your site being banned by Google. For this reason, you need to diagnose your issue.

How To Go About The Diagnosis

There are two major ways to learn you have a problem. The first is if you see a large drop in the organic search traffic to your site. The drop can be catastrophic in nature. It seriously affects your website to the extent that your contents can’t be shown when people search with your targeted keyword.

The other way you might learn about a problem is if you get a message directly within Google Search Console telling you about it. If you haven’t signed up for Search Console, you should do that immediately. In fact, you need to stop reading this article now and go set it up.

Featured photo credit: United Methodist Communications via cdnfiles.umc.org

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Saminu Abass

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

We all have those days when completing our assigned tasks seems beyond reach. With the temptation of social media, mobile games, and the internet in general—not to mention the constant bustle of people in the office—it’s easy to fall prey to disruptions and distractions at work.

So, what can we do about it? How to be productive at work?

While we don’t have a foolproof system that can completely eliminate disturbances and diversions, we do have 9 ground rules that can be applied to help give your productivity levels a boost.

Keep reading to find out our tips on work productivity.

What Does It Mean to Be Productive?

How to be productive at work?” is the age-old question plaguing employees and employers alike around the world. Regardless of where you work and what you do, everyone is always looking for new ways to be more efficient and effective.

But what does being productive actually entail?

Completing more tasks on your list or working longer hours doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being more productive. It just means you’re more busy, and productivity shouldn’t be confused with busyness.

Productivity means achieving effective results in as short amount of time as possible, leaving you with more time to enjoy freely.

It involves working smarter, not harder. It means refining processes, speeding up workflows, and reducing the chances of interruptions.

Productivity is best achieved when looking at your current way of working, identifying the bottlenecks, flaws, and hindrances, and then finding ways to improve.

9 Ground Rules on How to Be Productive at Work

1. Avoid Multitasking

Multitasking can give the impression that more tasks can be accomplished as you’re doing multiple things at once. However, the opposite is true.

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Research has shown that attempting to do several things at the same time takes a toll on productivity and that shifting between tasks can cost up to 40 percent of someone’s time.[1] That’s because your focus and concentration is constantly hindered due to having to switch between tasks.

If you have a lot of tasks on your plate, determine your priorities and allocate enough time for each task. That way you can work on what’s urgent first and have enough time to complete the rest of your tasks.

2. Turn off Notifications

According to a Gallup poll, more than 50 percent of US smartphone owners admit to checking their phones a few times an hour.[2]

Switching off your phone—or at least your notifications—during work hours is a good way to prevent you from checking your phone all the time.

The same applies to your computer. If you have the privilege of accessing social media on your work desktop, switch off the notifications on there.

Another good tip is to logout from your social media accounts. Therefore when you feel the urge to check it, you might be swayed because your page isn’t so easily accessible.

3. Manage Interruptions

There are certain disruptions in the office that are unavoidable such as your manager requesting a quick meeting or your colleague asking for assistance. In order to deal with this, your best approach is to know how to handle interruptions like a pro.

Be proactive and inform the people around you of your need to focus. Turn your status on as “busy/unavailable” on your work chat app.

If you’re on a deadline, let your colleagues know that you need to concentrate and would really appreciate not being interrupted for the moment, or even work from home if that’s a feasible option for you.

By anticipating and having a plan in place to manage them, this will minimize your chances of being affected by interruptions.

4. Eat the Frog

Mark Twain once famously said that:

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“if it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

What this basically means is that you should get your biggest, most urgent task out of the way first.

We all have that big, important task that we don’t want to do but know we have to do because it holds the biggest consequence if we don’t complete it.

Eat the frog is a productivity technique that encourages you to do your most important, most undesirable task first. Completing this particular task before anything else will give you a huge sense of accomplishment. It will set the ball rolling for the rest of the day and motivate you to eagerly complete your other tasks.

5. Cut Down on Meetings

Meetings can use up a lot of time, which is time that can be used to do something useful.

You have to wait for everyone to arrive, then after the pleasantries are out of the way, you can finally get stuck into it. And sometimes, it may take a whole hour to iron out one single issue.

The alternative? Don’t arrange a meeting at all. You’ll be surprised at how many things can be resolved through an email or a quick phone call.

But that doesn’t mean you should eliminate meetings altogether. There are certain circumstances where face-to-face discussions and negotiations are still necessary. Just make sure you weigh up the options prior.

If it’s just information sharing, you’re probably better off sending an email; but if brainstorming or in-depth discussion is required, then an in-person meeting would be best.

6. Utilize Tools

Having the right tools to work with is crucial as you’re only really as good as the resources you have at your disposal. Not only will you be able to complete tasks as efficiently as possible, but they can streamline processes. Said processes are essential to a business as they manage tasks, keep employees connected, and hold important data.

If you’re the manager or business owner, ensure your team has the right tools in place.

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And if you’re an employee and think the tools you currently have to work with aren’t quite up to par, let your manager know. A good team leader understands the significance of having the right tools and how it can impact employee productivity.

Some examples of tools that could be used:

Communication
  • Slack for team chat and collaboration.
  • Samepage for video conference software.
  • Zendesk for customer service engagement.
Task Management
  • Zenkit for task and project collaboration.
  • Wunderlist for listing your to-do’s.
  • Wekan for an open source option.
Database Management
Time Tracking
  • Clockify for a free tracker.
  • TMetric for workspace integrations.
  • TimeCamp for attendance and productivity monitoring.

You can also take a look at these Top 10 Productivity Tools to Help You Achieve 10x More in Less Time.

7. Declutter and Organize

Having a disorganized and cluttered workspace can limit your ability to focus. According to researchers, physical clutter can negatively impact your ability to concentrate and take in information.[3] Which is why keeping your work environment well ordered and clutter-free is important.

Ensure you have your own system of organization so you know what to do when the paperwork starts to pile up.

Being organized will also ensure that you know where to find the appropriate stationery, tools, or documents when you need it. A US study reveals that the average worker can waste up to one week a year looking for misplaced items.[4]

Here’s a useful guide to help you declutter and organize: How to Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress (The Ultimate Guide)

8. Take Breaks

Taking regular breaks is essential for maintaining productivity at work. Working in front of a computer can lead to a sedentary lifestyle which can place you at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Even a 30 second microbreak can increase your productivity levels up to 30 percent.

As well as your physical health, breaks are also crucial for your mental and emotional wellbeing. That’s because your brain is like a muscle, the more it works without a break, the easier it is for it to get worn out.

Ensuring you actually take your breaks can prevent you from suffering from decision fatigue. It can also help boost creativity.

Take a look at this article and learn why you should start scheduling time for breaks: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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9. Drink Water

Although we know we should, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water during the working day.

Many of us turn to tea or coffee for the caffeine hit to keep us going. However, like taking breaks, drinking water is essential for maintaining productivity levels at work. It’s simple and effective.

Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration and also headaches, tiredness, and weight gain.

A good tip to avoid dehydration is to keep a water bottle at your desk as it can serve as a reminder to constantly drink water.

If you find the taste of water a little bland, add some fruit such as cucumber or lemon to give it a better taste.

You can also get more ideas on how to drink more water here: How to Drink More Water (and Why You Should)

The Bottom Line

The preceding 9 ground rules on work productivity aren’t the be-all, end-all. You and the company you work for may have other tips on how productivity is best increased and maintained.

After all, it’s something that can be perceived differently depending on the exact job and work environment.

In saying that, however, the 9 ground rules serve as a good foundation for anyone finding themselves succumbing to disruption and distraction, and are looking for ways to overcome them.

A good tip to keep in mind is that change doesn’t happen overnight. Start small and be consistent. If you slip up, just dust yourself off and try again.

Developing habits happens gradually, so as long as you keep up with it, you’ll soon start to notice the changes you’ve been making and eventually enjoy the fruits of your labor.

More About Boosting Productivity

Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via unsplash.com

Reference

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