The Fantastic Four of SEO

The Fantastic Four of SEO

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Have you ever wondered why your SEO is lagging? Even when you have the basics down, your analytics are still not showing progress.

  • SEO plugins are installed on your site.
  • Meta descriptions are in.
  • Plugins are updated monthly.

Our experts at Connell Communications share four vital steps to improving your SEO without having to hire a professional.

  1. Mobile Optimization
    Whether you’re an e-commerce business or a counseling agency, your customers will most likely look for you via their mobile devices.
    With mobile on its way to overtake desktop, it’s important to have your site optimized.
    Mobile optimization involves several aspects such as the look of your site, functionality of the buttons and links, intuitive navigation, etc.
  1. Keyword Research
    Content is still the priority. In order to discover the right tone and information to build your customer’s trust, it is necessary to include keywords relevant to your industry.
  1. Social Media Presence
    This is a well-known fact, however many companies neglect their social media presence therefore losing points for their SEO.
    Active and refined social media activity gives your company credibility and helps build trust with your audience.
  1. Visual Content
    All of your visuals count toward your SEO ranking. Adding visual content such as images and videos engage your visitors, thus improving your SEO.

Millie Njezic
Strategist and Graphic Designer
Connell Communications

It’s True- Your Headlines Are Terrible.

It’s True- Your Headlines Are Terrible.

100% of your audience needs you to write a better headline.

That’s right, they didn’t notice your last one. You wrote great content. You even attached a nice photo and posted on your social media channels. But – no one read it.

Why? You needed a better headline.

Headlines must be irresistible because they are the most important part of your article. We are all overwhelmed with content. It’s everywhere and all of those posts are screaming – “read me!”

Therefore, the majority of people skim headlines while deciding whether to keep reading or keep scrolling.

Things to consider when writing your headline:

Numbers, digits and lists attract readers-Everyone loves statistics if presented in an engaging way.

Define what the article is about– Don’t just say “How to increase your revenue,” but rather be specific about the industry segment you are aiming for.

Readers should be excited– Don’t present something that is well known. Shoot for news ahead of you instead of behind you. Show your audience innovation right in the headline.

Know your audience– Will your readers be interested in what you have to say?Is your topic outside of their interests or within that circle?

Strong but concise– Avoid long headlines that don’t say anything.

Use keywords– Target your audience and use SEO advantages straight from the headline. Do research on most influential keywords within your industry and try incorporating them.

Feature Image- Attach an image of good resolution and size. Make sure the content of the image is clearly related to the headline and is not copyrighted. A great image can compliment a headline and draw instant attention to your content.

Let’s get it together people- we can do this!

 

How to use social media for your marketing in three easy steps.

How to use social media for your marketing in three easy steps.

Connell Communications experts say the best results come from an integrated strategy: a healthy blend of traditional marketing and PR with a strong mix of social media. But what’s the best social media strategy for your business? The answer is in these three steps:

1.    Determine your objective: What do you want to accomplish?

Is your goal to increase revenue, or would it be more beneficial to increase attendance to your upcoming event? It is important to narrow down your focus to be able to clearly identify the strategic elements.

2.    Strategy: Plan how online relationships with people will change how you conduct business.

Your strategy will vary for different goals. Many of the strategic elements will overlap in both cases but if you only stick to one strategy for all your goals – you are not maximizing the desired outcome. If you’re organizing an event, make a Facebook event and start generating buzz on your social media platforms. Engage in a two-way communication with your audience and show them it is about them by listening and acknowledging their inquiries.

3.    Technologies: Decide which mediums support your strategy.

Choose your platform according to the nature of your business. If you’re an e-commerce clothing line business, Instagram and Pinterest will probably be your first choice due to the focus on the visual. Those same platforms might not completely work for businesses that offer services such as dealerships, but that’s why Facebook and LinkedIn will be a more adequate solution.

How does your business use the potential of social media? What are your relevant platforms? Where do you see the best results come from? Share your insights with us in the comment section.

Three Reasons to Stop the Four Letter Words

Three Reasons to Stop the Four Letter Words

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One of the best ways to be in control in a professional environment is to have situational awareness. Know what kind of people you are surrounded by, then act and speak accordingly.

The way you speak may fluctuate depending on whether you’re with friends or in the corporate world. However, your language compromises your credibility no matter what the social circle.

Here are the top three reasons bad language can hurt your success.

Text Language

Why it’s bad: Slang vocabulary and abbreviations can make you look silly. Even worse, it could alienate clients or coworkers who are unfamiliar with the phrase. Your professional emails and texts represent not only you, but your entire company.

How to improve: Whether it’s an email or just a quick text, always be sure to use proper English and grammar. This will make you come off as more intelligent and more professional, making your reader respect you more.

Additionally, when you are working, stay away from phrases like “LOL”. You don’t have to sound pompous, just keep it on a professional level.

Poor Body Language

Why it’s bad: Your non-verbal cues and gestures can have a significant impact on your success. Standing or sitting with your shoulders slumped or arms crossed can give others the impression of insecurity, laziness and general disinterest.

How to improve: To be perceived as confident, you must stand tall, straight and make eye contact. This gives the outward appearance of credibility, strength and vitality. At first, improving your posture may require some effort, but it will come naturally in time.

Offensive Language                                  

Why it’s bad: Most employers view someone who regularly uses offensive language as impulsive. Therefore, they are less likely to be promoted to a leadership role. In extreme cases, your foul mouth may hinder your ability to remain employed. The higher you move up on the corporate ladder, the more that is expected of you as a professional. It is vital that you can hold your tongue and keep your cool.

How to improve: Watch your language both in and outside of the office.

At Connell Communications we have a Swear Jar. For every “bad word” we put 25 cents in the jar and the money then goes back into the company. At first, we had plenty of cash for daily pizza parties – but over time, our staff has adapted a cleaner, friendlier work environment. LOL. (Oh!)

Leadership roles require someone who has the ability to handle a tough situation with ease. It is vital to always be aware of the boundaries between your work and social life and to never let your guard down in a professional situation.

Do you have any other tips on how to promote more positive language?

See you at the Point of Influence,

Connell Communications

Heat Up Productivity When Motivation Runs Cold

Heat Up Productivity When Motivation Runs Cold

HEAT UP PRODUCTIVITY WHEN MOTIVATION RUNS COLD

Show of hands – lately, who else would rather stay in bed than head in to work most mornings? Especially when the snow is falling, the temps are sub-zero and there’s incredibly sophisticated Jimmy Fallon videos on YouTube. That’s me. Oh yeah, that’s me.

The cold season we all have a love/hate relationship with can make us lazy and tired. And it becomes really easy to put off until tomorrow what can be put off until tomorrow. Or the next day.

This dreary weather cannot only affect your personal life but it can also hinder your work productivity. Entrepreneur.com posted a list of five easy steps to make sure winter blues don’t get you down at work.

Let’s check it out:

Arrive early – stay later
For those who are not morning people, this task can be very hard to do. But once it becomes a part of your routine, it becomes a part of you. Arriving early before anyone else can help get your mind ready for the tasks ahead. Staying late after the work day quiets down can often lead to increased productivity and a second wind to power through the task list.

Plan each day the night before
Do you make lists? My “to do” lists have lists of their own. Mentally prepping for the work day ahead may alleviate stress and anxiety. At first, being a planner might seem like a tedious task. But, in the end it can help you stay focused. When I want an extra burst of enthusiasm – sometimes, I write things down just to cross them off the list. It’s amazing how much we are actually accomplishing in a day without realizing.

Leave the office for lunch
When it is cold and miserable outside, it is super easy to stay stuck in your office. However, you really need to change scenery and clear your head. Leaving the office for lunch can improve the rest of your workday. It gives you a chance to get away and breathe in new air.

Minimize distractions
Squirrel! Let’s pause for a moment while I respond to this text message. Exactly. With more ways to socialize than ever before and more pressure to provide instantaneous feedback – it is difficult to focus on one thing at a time. I lose this battle daily.

Someone smart once told me a person is 33% less effective when multi-tasking. I don’t know if that stat is true, but it feels true. Unplug. Detach. And get it done. Jimmy Fallon can be the nice reward when the work is turned in.

Keep your goals in sight at all times
Out of all the tips, this one seems the most important. We get into a funk when we live for 5 o’clock Friday. Life goes pretty darn fast as it is. Let’s slow it down a little more and keep in sight why we work so hard in the first place. Strive to meet even the smallest goals.

I don’t know about you, but I feel better already. What ways do you suggest heating up productivity when your motivation turns cold?

In case you missed it – this one rocks: Jimmy Fallon Lip Sync Battle

See you at The Point of Influence,
Alyssa

Pitching your Dream

Pitching your Dream

Pitching your Dream | Connell Communications

When thinking of starting a business, it all begins with a good business plan to pitch your dream.

More than just an essential part of the process, it sets the foundation for your business and helps entrepreneurs determine what their business is all about. Gone are the days of 70+ page business plans -but the company that doesn’t take time to at least put pen to paper will often feel like they’re navigating without a compass or a map.

Business planning helps in day to day operations, marketing strategies and  financial planning.

A basic outline can help you determine where to start this process and how to jump in.

Brainstorm
All business begins with an idea. Explore ideas and plans – both concrete and abstract. Connect them in a real sense to create your purpose and foundation.

Decide what is the purpose of your business, what do you plan to market, and how would you like to serve your target audience.  Also, decide how your business to be recognized in the eyes of clients.

Some sample categories we use in business planning:

Business Description
Your business description should be a brief outline of the type of operation, the business name, what services or products are you selling and their pricing.

Mission/Vision Statement
The mission statement represents the core ideals of the business.

Goals/Objectives
Goals are your desired projections in numbers.

Objectives are what you want to accomplish in words.

Target Audiences/Stakeholders
You must identify the market sectors that care about why you do what you do. Those can be internal and external categories. Break down these segments as specific as you can. Just because you communicate with one group in a certain way doesn’t mean it will work for a different target audience.

Competitors
Make a list of your top competitors and how the business differs from each one. The company that doesn’t pay attention to their competitors is the company operating in a vacuum.

Operations
Determine how your business operates and what resources you need to make this possible. This will also include the location and any equipment necessary to run the business efficiently. Determine the hours of operation and potential number of employees.

Marketing, Public Relations and Promotions.
Briefly describe how you plan to promote and market your business. Be as specific as you can in your strategic planning.

Financial Considerations
Attach a cost to everything you’ll need for your first day of business. This can include equipment purchases and rental costs, employees, business license expenses and initial product inventory you need to start your business.

Think about your goals and what you want to accomplish in the long haul. A solid business plan outline allows you the freedom to get out there and create, without worrying about the mundane day-to-day smaller issues.  While still important, these should not detract from the big picture.

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe”. Anatole France

See you at The Point of Influence,
Connell Communications