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Across every industry, vertical, and product/service category, search and SEO culture has emerged as the beating heart of a successful enterprise marketing operation.
SEO insights provide business intelligence not only to marketing but to operations, product development, and customer service, among others.
Enterprise search enables brands to not only respond to, but actually get ahead of consumer demand in position, and be equipped to capitalize on trends as they emerge.
In this increasingly digital world, where inbound marketing is powering rich, fulfilling customer interactions and relationships, success in enterprise SEO is success in business. That’s no exaggeration.
And it all hinges on your ability to build and nurture enterprise SEO culture.What Does Successful Enterprise SEO Culture Look Like?
You would be forgiven for thinking culture is a bit of a buzzword – but it’s a lot more than that.
At the enterprise level, SEO culture is:
The way your SEO team interacts and collaborates internally and across the organization.
How SEO is prioritized by leadership, and how the budget is allocated as a result.
The mixture of people, process and platforms that drives marketing performance.
A shared mindset and commitment to better serving and scaling the business.
Knowledge, beliefs, habits, and best practices that support SEO, and how the business benefits from SEO.
Building an enterprise SEO culture is challenging, but the benefits are well worth it.
In SEO organizations with a positive culture, search is recognized as integral to the business and championed across business units.
Let’s take a look at five specific ways you can build and protect this culture in your own organization.Five Ways to Build an Enterprise SEO Culture
Start with a common objective and shared goals.
Build trust and rapport inside SEO and across the brand.
Develop and invest in your people.
Shore up operations with empowering processes and technology.
Establish a Center of Excellence to replicate successes and support organizational maturity.1. Start With a Common Objective and Goal
What is your SEO vision and mission? How does it align with your company’s broader business goals and objectives, and what key results will move those forward?
Developing a solid understanding of the landscape in which you’re building this culture is critical to its success.
This is where a modified SWOT analysis can help. Take stock of your strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities from both an SEO and an organizational perspective.
SEO is not an island. You don’t want your team operating in a silo, disconnected from the organization as a whole. List internal barriers to a results-based SEO culture across the organization, and begin formulating the ways you’ll overcome them.
Enlist the help and support of cross-departmental leaders and any C-suite stakeholders in developing your SEO vision.
Don’t create it on your own and try to sell it to them after the fact. Help them develop their own understanding of what SEO brings to the table from day one.2. Build Trust and Rapport Inside SEO and Across the Brand
Creating a culture of trust is no small feat – it’s an ongoing process that takes an unwavering, everyday commitment. Trust can take years to build, and just moments to break.
In enterprise SEO, you might also be dealing with trying to build and nurture trust across time zones and cultural boundaries; with internal teams and third-party contractors alike.
Again, this is where getting stakeholders involved early on in meaningful ways can pay big dividends later on.
Keep these in mind as you bring on new team members and scale your SEO operation:
Hold regular one-on-one meetings.
Be fair when giving feedback to team members and cross-departmental colleagues.
Don’t wait for people to raise issues with you – approach those who may be struggling silently.
Acknowledge that failure will happen and be okay with it when it does.
Be clear about who serves as the point person for important contacts across the brand.
Set ground rules and communicate them clearly.
Be accessible to team members and cross-departmental collaborators alike.
Implement a zero-tolerance policy for bullying and model healthy conflict for team members, instead.
Su also recommends that leaders provide coaching and mentoring opportunities to those interested or those who show potential.
This brings us to your next culture-building step.3. Develop and Invest in Your People
How will you keep SEO team members engaged and feeling fulfilled?
Despite their incredible responsibilities and the size of the website or network of sites they manage, enterprise SEO organizations tend to be small and close-knit.
In fact, the typical in-house SEO team has 2–5 members, regardless of whether the business has fewer than 100 employees or more than 1,000.
The skills required for these SEO positions are both broad and highly specialized, and span both the technical and the creative.
In addition, succeeding inside an enterprise organization takes a whole other skill set – business acumen, reporting mastery, exceptional communication skills, and political awareness among them.
It’s essential that you don’t burn out these “unicorn” employees and churn through them. They’re in short supply, and once your organization becomes known as a toxic place to work, you’ll struggle to find qualified applicants at all.
Develop hiring and onboarding best practices that will enable you to find the best fit not only for the skills gap you need to fill but for the culture you’re trying to create, as well.
Do our HR policies and strategy support SEO team members and make them feel safe?
Are we addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion in real, meaningful, and measurable ways?
Do SEO team members have access to training, certifications, and other educational opportunities to keep them engaged and at the top of their game?
Are we being proactive in providing professional development and mentorship or relying on team members to self-identify with their needs?
Are we creating a culture where open communication and collaboration are rewarded?4. Shore up Operations With Empowering Processes and Technology
Documenting standard operating procedures and fleshing out reporting processes may make your eyes glaze over – and those of your team members, as well.
Make sure you’re using technology to intelligently automate as much of the redundant, rote work of enterprise SEO as possible.
Free up team members for more impactful pursuits such as interpreting the output from those tools and evangelizing SEO successes with cross-departmental teams.
SEO has the capacity to provide invaluable business intelligence. Make sure your enterprise team is equipped with the technology and processes to:
Understand and activate real-time opportunities gleaned from consumer search data.
Make real-time content and offer optimizations that better deliver on customer expectations.
Dynamically adapt to real-world events in your vertical and potentially interruptive political, social, economic, and technological happenings.
Have both a high-level, birds-eye view of SEO performance and the ability to dig in and get granular.
Combine search data and other business intelligence to capitalize on new opportunities and emerging trends.
You can read more about how search and business intelligence work together to support enterprise goals here.5. Establish a Center of Excellence to Replicate Successes and Support Organizational Maturity
Finally, all of these processes and best practices you’ve developed must be made replicable and scalable. The best way to achieve this is through the development of your enterprise’s SEO Center of Excellence.
This is where the mindsets, skill sets, and toolsets that power exceptional SEO performance come together in a living, breathing repository you’ll keep updated as your operation evolves.
Your Center of Excellence will guide onboarding, training, professional development, adherence to internal and industry best practices, performance frameworks, and more.
As you grow your team and your enterprise SEO strategy evolves, the Center will serve as a single source of truth for your team.
This is where you’ll share learnings, celebrate successes, strategize, evangelize, and mature as an organization.
I share more about sharing SEO insights and inspiring interorganizational action here.Key Takeaways
Building a healthy, sustainable enterprise SEO culture takes time and an unwavering commitment from leadership.
So-called soft skills – communication, collaboration, and curiosity among them – are integral to a positive culture.
SEO culture isn’t exclusive to the SEO team. Early and ongoing support from the C-suite and other department decision-makers is essential.
Investments of time and budget must consider the SEO organization’s people, processes, and technology to produce the balanced approach required for long-term success.
Enterprise SEO culture, best practices, and knowledge are made scalable and replicable through an established Center of Excellence.
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For years, I’ve been saying that public relations practitioners should make the best search engine optimization professionals. In fact, I even wrote about it 10 years ago. Little has changed since then.
The premise is simple:
Search engines like quality links.
Public relations professionals work every day to get their clients mentioned in the press. In most cases, the press will provide links in these mentions. These links are far more valuable than any links you can get from other sources.
Building links is the hardest part of search engine optimization (I’m sure some will argue after me on this point – well, prove me wrong).
So if public relations professionals can do the hardest part of SEO, they should be the best SEOs.
But with few exceptions, they aren’t.
There are many reasons that PR folks don’t like SEO. They think it’s just for techies; they don’t want to be seen as an SEO; but mostly they don’t realize the value links can have for their clients or organizations.
But many PR professionals are changing their attitude toward SEO and embracing search. Others, though, are happy to pitch away, worrying more about the ink than the link.
Here are five ways you can build links using the time-worn media relations techniques that have been practiced for years by PR pros.1. Find Your Influencers & Create Relationships With Them
SEO professionals are typically tech-minded. SEOs typically work to create scalable solutions that automate everything. No exception in link building.
From e-mail scraping tools to private blog networks, SEOs will jump on any link building tool which promises to create links en masse that they control. Well, at least until Google bans those techniques and the tools start getting websites into trouble.
I can tell you from experience that successful link building is more about quality than quantity. I’d rather have one link from the Wall Street Journal than 1,000 links from Joe Schmoe’s blog. But a link from the Wall Street Journal is difficult to obtain.
You don’t have to go that big.
Finding the influencers in the niche you are working in isn’t hard. It just takes time and research.
Once you find those influencers, engage them. Not by spamming them asking for a link. Really read what they are saying.
Comment. Send influencers helpful articles that have nothing to do with your site. When the time is right, they’ll be more apt to link to what you want them to, even if it’s not quite a fit.
It’s the law of reciprocity – if you do something for the influencer, they will feel that they need to help you out.
PRO TIP: Whenever possible, meet with influencers in person. Buying a journalist or blogger a beer typically has a very high ROI.
PRO TIP #2: Limit your reach. This sounds counter-intuitive, but if you target everyone, you target no one. Identifying the top 10 or 15 best influencers and cultivating relationships with those folks is, in most cases, far more effective than trying to interact with 100 influencers. Everyone has limited resources. Use yours wisely.
SEO PRO TIP: When looking at influencers, look at their search presence. If a decent influencer has a bad search presence, offer them some tips for free. Depending on the influencers, it can be profitable to even offer to fix their site for free. I can say, however, that I’ve turned influencers into clients with this tactic. Again, law of reciprocity.2. Look for Opportunities That Tie Into Current Events
Many SEO pros already do this, to an extent. But most write an article around something timely and then pitch it.
For many of the top sites, that’s too late.
PRO TIP: Set up Google Alerts around key topics and people in your industry. That way you can know when a big story hits.
PRO TIP #2: Practice getting the word out. Create “fire drills” with your team and client and act like a big news story just hit. This is a good way to get your team and client onboard with what you are doing so you don’t get blank stares or flat or refusal to participate when the real thing hits. This is especially important for SEOs who work with other PR professionals. Get the other PR pros involved in the process. That way they don’t feel like you are taking over their job – a common problem for SEOs who practice PR tactics for link building purposes.
BONUS PRO TIP: Make sure you have your lists ready as much ahead of time as possible.3. Use Press Releases for Big News
A few years back, SEOs almost ruined the press release. We found out that a tool that has been used for decades by PR pros also worked to create links on a ton of sites. And so we use them, abused them, and almost “losed” them.
Today there is still some abuse of press releases, but most legitimate services have increased their prices so that sending out a press release is not practical for every little piece of news.
But when you have something big to say? The links are still there. But they don’t come from the syndication.
In fact, most of the links that are syndicated are now nofollowed or carry no value.
Like you (see tip #2), influencers are monitoring for new stories. They will see your press release. If you don’t get any calls, that means you either used the wrong service, didn’t use the right keywords in the release, or your news wasn’t big enough.
PRO TIP: The “emabargoed” release, or a release that goes out to a few influencers before it is syndicated, is a great way to get an influencer’s attention. If you have one that you really want a link from, send them the press release beforehand and ask them not to put anything out about it until it goes live – but make sure to tell them when it goes live. In some cases, you can even let them break the story, which influencers love to do.
PRO TIP #2: If you don’t embargo (or more likely don’t embargo to everyone), you can send links to your release in the sites that pick up the release through your wire service of choice. If you send a link from the Houston Chronicle or even the influencer’s local paper that has your news in it, you’ll get their attention.
SEO TIP: If you work with a PR firm, ask to see their releases before they put them on the wire. That way you can insure that the keywords you want in there are actually in there. PR folks love language, and sometimes use different words than what is searched. Showing them the light in regards to specific keywords is a win for everyone.4. Look at HARO
Help a Reporter Out was founded by Peter Shankman initially as a Facebook group to help reporters find sources for stories. Shankman knew that most reporters are looking for sources, and PR pros are looking to provide sources.
The Facebook group was such a hit he turned it into an e-mail list. Then Cision bought the whole thing for several million dollars.
Today there are still tons of journalists and other influencers asking for sources for stories. There is a veritable linking gold mine in every issue of HARO. And there are three issues per day.
PRO TIP: It takes some time to really read through HARO every day. If you can, assign someone on your team to be responsible for looking through each issue to see if there is anything relevant for your client or your company.
PRO TIP #2: Follow HARO on Twitter at @helpareporter to see urgent requests from journalists.
SEO TIP: There are frequent questions from reporters around search related subjects. Don’t forget to check it for yourself.5. Research Your Niche
Most PR pros are news junkies. Many came into the profession from a journalism background. Good PR pros always know what is going in their niche – from the latest rumors down to the competitor offerings.
Most SEOs I know are news junkies when it comes to SEO, but not when it comes to their clients. SEOs miss out on so many link building opportunities when they don’t know the industry they are working in.
For our clients, we try to become experts in their field. We may never know the business as well as the client does, but we can certainly become proficient enough to identify linking opportunities we would never find if we didn’t know the industry.
PRO TIP: If there are publicly traded companies in your niche, read their earnings reports. You can learn a lot from earnings reports, and your influencers may not be reading them, so letting them know what’s up is a way to further the relationship.
PRO TIP #2: If your niche is wide, try to narrow it. The more you can narrow the niche, the easier it is to become an expert. And once you learn one aspect of your niche, it’s usually easier to expand to broader topics.
SEO TIP: Keep tabs on what your competitors are doing in search, what’s working for them, and what isn’t working. Don’t forget to look at their backlinks. By doing this, you will become better at optimizing your own sites.Related Resources
Companies everywhere have embraced videoconference calls, but the tools have added a new element to company culture and team workflow.
When used appropriately, videoconferencing can enhance a meeting, but forcing a “cameras-on” culture across the board can have unintended consequences.
While video calling has benefits, establishing the right approach for your team is important to making the most of this software.
This article is for business owners and professionals using videoconference calls as a tool for meetings.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, video calls exploded in volume. While many businesses had previously resorted to regular voice-only conference calls, the pandemic ushered in a new age of cameras-on video calls — and that era appears here to stay. But the trend also raises questions around the intersection of company culture and videoconferencing. These include legal ones, such as whether managers can force employees to go “on camera” during every call. According to at least one lawsuit, companies might want to tread lightly when mandating whether employees should keep their cameras on or not.Can forcing a cameras-on video call culture backfire?
Although videoconferences have enabled remote teams to get together and collaborate effectively, some managers have found it difficult to set and uphold expectations around certain elements of the video call. Chief among them is if team members should have their cameras on. While many find a cameras-on culture creates a more engaging and productive meeting, many employees are resistant to giving the rest of a team a window into their world — and trying to force them to do so can have big consequences for morale and engagement. So, what’s a manager to do when they want to make the most out of their video meetings?
Did You Know?
The number of daily Zoom users exploded from approximately 10 million in December 2023 to 300 million in April 2023 (Chawla, 2023).
The use of videoconferencing differs across companies and, sometimes, even within the same company. Some managers set strict rules for camera usage; for example, some may insist cameras must be on unless you’re sick. Others leave it up to individuals to decide if they want to use their cameras, often resulting in a hodgepodge of who is visible and who isn’t. Some leaders might expect cameras to be on only in smaller groups (say, fewer than 10 people) or for one-on-one meetings.
Now that videoconferencing has been around for some time, legal precedent for just how far managers can go when mandating videoconference etiquette is beginning to emerge.
A recent case highlights one of the risks of a rigid videoconference policy and gives insight into how legal precedents are shaping up. An employee of Chetu, Inc., a software development company headquartered in Miramar, Florida, was instructed to take part in a virtual training session in which he was to remain logged in with screen sharing and with his webcam both on, all day.
The employee refused to leave his camera on all day, saying he found it to be an invasion of his privacy. He did, however, comply with the screen-sharing requirement. A few days later, he was fired. A few months after that, he was awarded €75,000 (about $73,000) by a Dutch court for wrongful termination.Benefits and drawbacks of on camera video calls
Some employers believe that the visual connection helps increase collaboration and connection. There is anecdotal evidence that shows that seeing another person does somewhat fulfill the need for face-to-face contact. This was especially true in the early days of the pandemic when contact with people outside our homes was scarce.
Some participants also feel like video calls give us a glimpse into another’s life, helping us see them as a whole person. There is nothing like seeing a cat traipsing across the camera or hearing a baby cry in the background to remind us that the person on our work call has a life outside of work. This window into their life as a “real” person can help increase empathy among coworkers and lead to more patience and tolerance for our colleagues.
Don’t forget some workers are truly remote. Maybe you have team members or direct reports in another office, another state or another country. The good news is that the popularity of videoconferencing now makes it normal for remote employees to join meetings online. If other employees are using videoconferencing to join as well, it levels the field in terms of being able to engage in the conversation.
If you’re looking for a videoconferencing tool, check out our picks for best video conference tools for small business, including our GoToMeeting review.
Despite these benefits, forcing employees to be on camera all the time is not a good policy and may even dampen creativity and productivity. Being on camera has its drawbacks, as anyone who has uncomfortably caught sight of their harried selfie on a conference call can tell you. But aside from that self-view paralysis, which we will discuss later, there are some lesser-known side effects to a video call.
Evidence suggests that watching a grid of people on a conference call is psychologically akin to having a room full of folks staring at you. The full-face view of people in front of their laptops simulates eye contact, and maintaining eye contact for an entire conversation or presentation is something that wouldn’t normally happen. When we engage with others in person, we naturally avert our gazes throughout the interaction, whether we’re listening or speaking. On video calls, it feels as though everyone is staring at us all the time. This sensation can be unsettling.
The actual view of the camera is rather narrow, which inhibits our willingness to move, gesture, and even stand up. If we’re meant to be on camera, our actual space may feel limited to that camera scope. Interestingly, being able to move is linked to paying closer attention and even to retaining information better. Consequently, this inability to move around may lower actual meeting productivity.
Another downside to on-camera calls is the self-view. Many videoconference platforms include a self-view as a default. You may have felt uncomfortable looking at yourself while on a call. If so, you’re not alone. In fact, some studies show a negative, depressive impact associated with increased self-evaluation that often accompanies this self-view. This is especially true for female users.
If you feel distracted or anxious when you see yourself in real-time on a conference call, check your application settings and minimize or turn off the self-view.How to encourage camera use
Instead of mandating a camera-on policy, consider the softer approach of encouraging cameras on — and only for calls that make sense. Here are a few tips for inspiring your employees to put their best faces forward:
Be what you want to see. Make sure you have your own camera on. In smaller meetings this may be all the encouragement employees need to flip their own switches.
For collaborative or important calls, ask participants to turn on their cameras at the beginning of the call. Explain why you think it will benefit the meeting but don’t make demands to employees.
If an employee refuses to turn on their camera, take it up afterwards in a one-on-one call. The goal should be to understand and encourage, not to reprimand. They may have had a legitimate reason for not using their camera that may resolve itself or can be fixed. Even if the reason doesn’t seem valid to you, asking your employee about their non-participation on camera lets them know that it was noted and opens a dialogue to discuss the issue.
Weigh the costs and benefits. If there are more people in the meeting than can be shown on a monitor, is it worth demanding cameras-on for everyone? For large meetings, consider asking only the main presenters to use them.Amplify the good and minimize the bad
If video calls aren’t going away, do we have to just take the good with the bad? Not necessarily.
Many researchers are currently looking at the videoconferencing malaise known as “Zoom Fatigue,” and there are some simple actions user can take to lessen the negative effects:
Use videoconferencing strategically. Don’t automatically schedule every communication as a video meeting, but rather, for only those that make the most sense and offer the most benefit. Calls where the objective is to connect and collaborate are good candidates.
Check your tech. Ensure that your employees have adequate systems in place to use videoconferencing without technical challenges. This includes checking the app or software of choice but also internet speeds, access and even computer performance (calls with many people on video can be very taxing).
Modify settings to suit your needs. Change your view settings to hide or minimize your own image if you’re uncomfortable seeing yourself on screen. Consider getting a separate camera so that you’re not limited by the position of your laptop. Adjust your background by blurring it or adding a virtual background to retain some privacy in your surroundings.
Participants in Zoom Fatigue studies believe you can reduce it through better meeting management, resolving technical issues beforehand, and setting expectations around camera use and sticking to them.Creating a video conference culture that works
While videoconferencing has its fans and its foes, it’s undeniable that it has helped keep teams and colleagues connected. If anything, its widespread use has given us a lot of data points to improve the experience and refine how we use it. As your team develops its own culture around videoconferencing, pay attention to how well it works (or doesn’t) in order to optimize your meetings and keep employees engaged. For even more information on how to make the most of a video call, read our tips to hosting productive videoconferences.
Admittedly, most other tactics take a bit more effort. But the Internet’s multifaceted nature is on your side. You have as many ways to turn prospects into customers as your imagination allows.
(Image source: Clipart.Email)
Of course, it isn’t as simple as just sending your ad to thousands of people. The days of email blasting glory are long gone, squashed by users’ continually increasing levels of spam intolerance.
Today’s email marketing is all about creativity, personalization, and a variety of acceptable approaches to different groups of subscribers.
Use email forms on your site. Whether it’s to start using your services or just to receive updates in the future, make it easy for your visitors with a carefully placed form.
Design newsletters. Emails are much more engaging in this format than in plain text.
Automate your email marketing with tools. When you have thousands of emails in your database, you won’t get anything done without an email marketing platform. What tools do you use?
Segment your audience. You can’t appeal to all your prospects using the same approach for everyone. Split them into groups based on their needs and think about what will work best for each.2. Attend Networking Events
Working in a social vacuum can only take you so far. If you want to enter the big league, step into the real world and start creating your own luck.
There’s no shortage of opportunities to befriend other marketers, so the only potential obstacle is a lack of social skills. And if that’s not a problem for you, then luck has already blessed you.
Do you prefer to be a visitor or a presenter?
Either is fine.
Just don’t be a silent observer, because that defeats the whole point of networking events.
You can go a long way if you meet the right people and show yourself in a good light.3. Run Express SEO Audits & Offer Help
Here’s a trick that’s popular among SEO agencies.
You are having a real-time conversation with a potential customer. Your job is to convince them to try out your service. What would be convincing enough?
Why not show the customer what exactly your agency can do?
Run a quick SEO audit on their site and choose a good moment to show them the report. Explain what’s in the report and the issues you have found.
And once the customer realizes they can’t solve all those issues on their own? You have a new customer!
This works best when you are using SEO tools capable of running express audits.
Get these tools for your SEO agency now.4. Create Irresistible Special Offers
Fear of missing out is a powerful force. That, and human greed.
But not all greed is bad – and that’s the great thing about special offers. If you want something, it only makes sense to get it before it becomes more expensive, right?
Everything you can think of works: discounts, bonuses, freebies, as long as you can present it in an alluring form. Eye-catching design, text written to sell – these are the main ingredients of these offers.5. Empower Your Offers With Success Stories
Showing off is great, as long as it’s done in moderation.
After all, your target audience deserves to know about your accomplishments. What better way is there to inspire trust in your brand?
Don’t let your success go unnoticed. Think long-term, even as you win!
Whenever you strike gold, keep a record of it – that’s the material you need for a case study. The format is up to you: an article on your site, a YouTube video, or even an email for your subscribers.6. Design Landing Pages That Convert
It’s hard to find a site that made it big without deploying carefully designed landing pages.
The plan sounds simple enough:
Create several such pages with different designs to determine which works best (A/B testing).
Lead your prospects there by sharing the link on other resources and email.
Seal the deal with a call-to-action.
Of course, “sounds” does not necessarily mean “is”. But this process does get easier as you gain experience.
Really, it’s a sin not to.
We’ll start with the easier step: search snippets. That’s the first thing your prospects are going to see when they find you in Google, even though ranking high is one of the last stages for you personally.
What makes a snippet good?
URL, title, meta description. All three need to be short enough to fit within their respective character limits. At the same time, they will need to be descriptive enough to let the users know you have what they want.
Schema markup. You can and should make your snippets even more effective by using structured data on the pages you are promoting. Images, review scores, your phone number and address – all of these additions (and many others) make search snippets stand out in a good way. You will only need to find what will work best for you.
Position Zero. Competition for this space in Google is even harsher than for the #1 organic position, which shows how much more valuable it is. There’s pretty much no SEO without optimizing your site for featured snippets and the Knowledge Panel.
The challenge is optimizing your site for search engines and for user search intent at the same time.
The former is technical for the most part.
Using keywords with a high search volume, descriptive and reflecting user search intent.
Link building from high-authority sites.
Ensuring a stellar user experience on all types of devices.
Meanwhile, satisfying user search intent is tougher by a margin. It takes knowing your target audience inside-out, as well as being able to address all their wants, pains and questions.8. Create Lead Magnets
You probably have many more pages on your site. Why not use them all?
That is easily accomplished by using lead magnets. They can be anything:
The list goes on and on.
As long as you show your users a form to fill out, you can offer them any treat you want. Just be sure to make it clear how cool and valuable it is.9. Embed a Widget for Free SEO Reports on Your Site
Well, if it’s an SEO audit they need, they don’t have to ask you for it. Just place a button that will generate a report for them.
It can look like this:
This begs the obvious question: if it’s so handy, why doesn’t everyone do it?
That’s because not all SEO tools have a feature like this. If you want tools that do, sign up on WebCEO.
Then you can embed a lead generation button on your website to see how it works.10. Contribute to Other Sites as a Guest
There are plenty of websites that accept contributions from external sources. If you have time and the skills to create content for other sites, that’s your chance to shine.
Find the biggest authority in your niche that will accept your piece and give them an update that will have value both for your audience and for theirs.
The hardest part will be the negotiations, but that boils down to whether or not you can prove it will be worth the other party’s time.11. Use Video Content as an Incentive
I doubt many of the commercials you’ve seen made you spend money, but that can be chalked down to your being outside of the target audience.
Video is the most powerful medium there is, and they do work on the people they are intended for.
And these strategies have proven to be the best:
Put your videos behind “gates”. Ask your prospects to give you their information first, and then they can start watching.
Put calls-to-action in your videos.
Alternatively, make calls-to-action appear on the page when the video is almost over (or at other times you prefer).
Create a video series. Or even better, a live video series.12. Do Advertising on Social Media
Sounds convincing, right?
But social media’s perks don’t stop at just low costs. Its true power lies in connecting with prospects.
Better yet, a well-designed ad can reach a user the moment they need services like yours.
Which social networks are the best for this purpose?
Facebook is pretty good at analyzing its users’ wants (to the point it’s scary), so that’s the number one place for you to start.
Another great choice is LinkedIn with its business-like approach. Depending on the kind of prospects you are looking for, it may be easier to do on LinkedIn than on Facebook.
Create a group or a business page.
Set up a chatbot on your page.
Link to gated content (which can be downloaded after filling out a form).
Share content in real-time like live videos and webinars.13. Set up a Referral Program
If you are fantastic at providing your services, you can expect your customers to spread the word about your greatness.
The key word here is “expect”. There’s no guarantee they will, no matter how grateful they are for all your good deeds.
But what if you were to give them some incentive?
If you can afford to invest in your business a little more, then you might as well try to make your customers do some of your work.
First, offer them bonuses for referring new customers to you. Then you can increase those bonuses depending on how many new people they introduce.
When done smartly, this system can make up for your investment several times over.14. Find Affiliates to Promote You
Your customers aren’t the only people who can promote your brand. You can involve other brands in it, too.
Naturally, neither option is free. But both can do wonders when you know what you are doing.
Simple enough, right?
But there’s a tricky part. You have to track those commissions, and that requires special software – or, more specifically, paying for this software.
You can leave tracking to an affiliate marketing network (somebody like Commission Junction). If you do, they will also find affiliates for you in exchange for a monthly fee.
Or you can opt to save money, in which case both obtaining the software and looking for affiliates will be nobody’s headache but your own.15. Do Cross-Promotion With Your Indirect Competitors
This strategy is as old as time itself. Helping others is a virtue that goes a long way.
The world is full of things that aren’t of much use on their own and need to be used in tandem with others.
Shoes and socks, bookshelves and books, pizza and pineapple… You get the idea.
However, they aren’t always sold together in the same place. So what happens then? Customers shop at several places, of course.
And usually, those separate businesses will gladly refer their customers to where they can buy the rest of what they need.
That way, everybody wins:
Business A who has just made a sale;
Business B who has a new lead coming their way;
And the lead who got everything they wanted and even received some help for free.
Are you in a niche which is designed to fulfill only a part of your customers’ needs? If that’s the case, cooperating with other businesses is for you. Today you scratch their back, tomorrow they will scratch yours.16. Gather Positive Reviews & Testimonials
They are like a light version of success stories. Better yet, somebody else writes them for you. Despite the difference in scope, customer feedback is just as effective as case studies.
It’s obvious why: reviews and testimonials make for a much faster read than a 20-page long PDF. They are also easily gathered in one place, and new ones keep coming – that helps a lot, too.
Create a separate page to put some of your best reviews on display. You can even use your homepage for that.
Also known as customer support. Heaven for some, hell for others. Both subject and object of many a complaint.
Everybody has seen a popup chat window like that at least once. Sometimes people even use them when they happen to need help.
Chats reward those who are knowledgeable about their brand and possess quick-thinking skills.
Consider using them everywhere your customers can get in touch with you: not just your website, but also your page in social media.
Live chats are obviously more preferable, but you should also use chatbots for when nobody is available to help a user in need.
Here’s a neat little trick to personalize your calls-to-action.
A simple example: “Join the 250,000 experts who recommend this software”.
Even Einstein agreed that feelings beat logic. Be like Einstein.19. Use Exit-Intent Popups
The visitor is about to leave! Quickly, do something before you lose a lead!
If you need a last-ditch effort to convert a user, show them an exit-intent popup.
They work by monitoring the mouse cursor’s movement: if it gets dangerously close to another tab in the browser or the “Close” button, a script shows a popup with a call-to-action.
Of course, it needs to have something really good to change the user’s mind and make them stay.20. Launch Retargeting Campaigns
Do you believe in giving people second chances? Then you can’t pass up on retargeting.
But if they forget to come again, there’s a way to help them remember you exist. If you have a tracking pixel on your site, you can create retargeting campaigns in Google Ads and Facebook.
Perhaps you’ve found a way to improve on some of the ones already in your repertoire?
Try out SEO lead generation tools powered by WebCEO.
Online security is becoming a serious issue in the business world, especially for startups. Many security measures that businesses put up to try and fend off cyber attacks often fail, leaving them open to variety of problems. These measures fail for a number of reasons, but mainly due to insufficient tech knowledge on the part of the business and talented hackers who seem to get better with technology.
Unfortunately for businesses, customers will run as soon as they realize their personal information is at risk. For instance, Yahoo!, a company that has suffered multiple data breaches over the past few years, saw thousands of customers close their accounts after the breach in late 2023.
Unlike companies in the big leagues, however, startups cannot afford to lose customers. Apart from the internet, business communication platforms such as IP PBX, VoIP systems, and cellular networks can also be used as conduits for data theft. As such, these platforms should always be kept secure to ensure the integrity of customer data and information.
Check out some of the ways startups can guarantee the safety and integrity of their communication platforms.Ensure Physical Security
You’ve employed the latest, enterprise-grade software for your startup to keep data and information safe. However, leaving your server room without any access control measures means anyone can just walk in and access your company’s data, even when they’re not supposed to. Internal fraud and data theft is a real thing.
Therefore, startups should implement access control protocols to ensure that only authorized people have access to data storage areas and network centers.Observe Best Password Practices
Passwords are an important first line of defense when it comes to securing any kind of business system. Still, many startups overlook best security practices for passwords, creating weak points within the system. As a rule of thumb, passwords should be changed often and not used on more than one account.
There are many password management tools out there that enable startups and small businesses to create and manage strong passwords, including LastPass and CommonKey. Instituting additional measures such as two-factor authentication can also help improve overall security.Use Dedicated Servers
Using a single server for multiple functions exposes your communications infrastructure to many security threats. For instance, using a single server as your PBX server and web server enables intruders to access the PBX system via tools that run on the web server. Plus, if anything was to happen to the single server, multiple elements of your business would go down at the same time, which can be disastrous for startups with limited resources.
Use hosting services with a built-in CDN or Content Delivery Network because A CDN mitigates DDoS attacks by absorbing the bulk of data requests. This allows your site to maintain functional speeds too, Cheapest CDNs are not hard to find because for startups every dollar count. Always deploy separate servers for each major communication platform such as PBX and web servers. This will let you increase security for each component and ensure continuity in case one element is compromised.Employ Patches and Firmware Updates Regularly
Many of us often get away with ignoring patch and update requests on our smartphones and computers. However, with enterprise-grade servers and business systems, these updates and patches are the lifeblood of any sound communication infrastructure. These updates are always sent out by manufacturers to fix problems that may make your systems vulnerable to attacks.
As such, they are an essential part of system maintenance and should always be installed and configured as soon as soon as they’re available.System Monitoring
System monitoring should be a part of every business’ regular routine. System administrators are usually tasked with the responsibility of monitoring traffic at all times, which helps establish a pattern of normal usage. They can then identify unauthorized access by monitoring traffic surges, which is what usually happens when an intruder gains access to the network.
For startups that cannot afford the services of specialized IT staff, there are many tools that can be used to monitor networks. With a brief learning curve and some patience, many of these can often be used by non-techies.
Google Drive is already an incredibly useful service in its own right, but once you bring the power of its desktop components into play you’ll be more productive than ever.
If you’re using a desktop computer then there really is no reason not to install the Google Drive desktop components. If you still need convincing, these are the best reasons according to us why you should give Google Drive Desktop a chance.
Table of ContentsWhat Is Google Drive “Desktop”?
There isn’t actually a specific product called Google Drive “Desktop”. Rather, there are several methods you can use to get Google Drive to work without an active internet connection.
The first is the Google Docs Offline Extension for Chrome. This official Google extension, once activated, lets you work on your Google Drive documents whether you have internet or not. It’s quite frankly an essential feature and you should absolutely enable this.
The second part of the desktop component suite is Google Backup and Sync. This syncs copies of certain key folders, such as photos and videos, to your Google Drive automatically. It also creates a DropBox-style folder on your computer where your Google Drive contents are synced to. Anything you copy into that folder will be synced to the cloud!You Can Keep Working When The Internet Is Down
Cloud-based productivity suites are incredibly useful in a world where people need to work from multiple devices and in collaboration with a team of remote colleagues. However, as soon as the internet goes down for any reason, you lose access to your work! While internet connection losses may be relatively rare at home, it’s a frequent problem for mobile internet users.
It’s also a major issue if you need to travel a lot. On airplanes you can’t use WiFi. On trains and in the subway there may be no reception. Not to mention that you may not have internet access for a while in a different country. So having your work files available at all times is absolutely needed to stay productive.Sharing Large Files Is Easy
Even in the age of broadband, most email services have some pretty severe limits on the size a file attachment can be. Not a great situation when you need to share high-quality images, audio, or other large media.
With a synced Google Drive folder on your computer, you can easily share large files by simply storing them on a designated folder on your computer. Anyone you’ve given permission to can sync it to their own computer or access it in the cloud. Google Drive handles all the rest.Storing Your Backups Can Keep You In Business
If you’re using Backup and Sync, you can save just about anything you want in your local folder and have it synced. Assuming that you have enough storage. That can include any type of file.
For example, you can sync hard drive backup images and simply set your backup software to target a synced folder on your drive. Since you can specify which folders to sync on each of your Windows or macOS computers, you don’t have to worry about having irrelevant files on each machine. So if your computer is stolen or your hard drive is wiped, you can get your data back no matter what.It Makes Collaboration Dead Easy
Speaking of which, Google Drive has robust sharing settings, which means you and your co-workers can share content only with individuals who need access.Scan And Archive Documents As a Team
The dream of a paperless office is still just that – a dream. Which means that plenty of paper documentation still needs to be digitized. There’s actually a pretty cool way you can get your team to collectively digitize paper documentation using this Google technology.
The Google Drive mobile app has a built-in document scanner. Each member of your team simply needs a smartphone, the Google Drive app and access to a shared Google Drive folder. Then they can create scans of documents in the field and save it to that folder.
If you have that folder synced to a computer, that means that all that scanned data will automatically download and accumulate on that machine. Ready to be used for whatever purpose you have for it.Storage Upgrades With Google One
While anyone can use these productivity tricks for free, a standard Google Drive account only comes with 15GB of storage. A storage pool is shared across services like Google Drive and Gmail. Which means one of the most impactful ways to get a productivity boost from Google Drive desktop is to upgrade your total storage using Google One.
While this will cost you a few bucks, it’s actually some of the cheapest cloud storage you can get. For $1.99 a month, you can get an additional 100GB of storage all the way up to $299.99 a month for 30TB of storage.
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