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Managing A Generationally Diverse Workforce

Here’s how to understand, motivate, develop, and retain talent from each generation.  Read on.

Hi, This is Roy.
Welcome to my next 1-minute message, designed
for short-attention-span people (like me).

Today’s message:  How To Masterfully Manage The Multi-Generational Workforce

Some takeaways

  • Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) are optimistic, have a strong work ethic.  Want a loyal employer, respect.
  • Gen X (born 1955-1979) are independent, innovative.  Want problem-solving opportunities, autonomy.
  • Millennials (born 1980-1995) are tech-savvy, collaborative.  Want meaningful work, new skills training.
  • Gen Z (born after 1996) are digitally fluent, flourish in a diverse workplace.  Want competitive wages, stability.

multi-generational workforce
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To view the entire article, click here

Are You Ready to Go Freelance?

Thinking of quitting your 9 to 5 job and going freelance?  Here’s what you need to know before taking the plunge.

Hi, This is Roy.  Welcome to my next 1-minute message, designed
for short-attention-span people (like me).
(For those not familiar with this, here are short sound-bites
in business and internet marketing, in 1-minute format.)

Today’s message:  Are You Ready To Go Freelance?

  • Take the self-evaluation below to see if freelancing is right for you
  • Tip: Have clients lined up first
  • Tip: Set up your social media profile
  • Tip: Start networking

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are you ready to go freelance graph part 1
are you ready to go freelance graph part 2
are you ready to go freelance graph part 3
things to do before you freelance task list 1
things to do before you freelance task list 2 and 3
things to do before you freelance task list 4 and 5
things to do before you freelance task list 6
things to do before you freelance task list 7 and 8
dos and don'ts of freelancing
communicate clearly
keep learning in your area of expertise
write about your work
ask for testimonials
zen business

To view the entire article, click here (from zenbusiness.com)

Succeed on Google with 3 Basic SEO Principles

3-legged stool to illustrate 3 principles of good SEO

For Function and Simplicity, Nothing Beats a Three Legged Stool

Anyone who is familiar with my newsletter knows that I’m a big fan of keeping things ultra simple. Most of my connections on LinkedIn are C-suite executives like me who value the briefest explanation possible.

So here is a quick overview of 3 guiding principles that will get you the most visibility on Google. It’s what’s we teach in our digital marketing courses as the 3 pillars of SEO.

Relevance

What if you have a severe headache and you want to see what remedy Google can give you? So you type “best home headache remedy.” Now let’s pretend you get a page of results for home head cold remedies? Sure, the words are similar, but you’d be irritated (even more so because your head is hurting!) that Google isn’t giving you something that is…yes, you guessed it…RELEVANT to your search or your needs.

So Google prioritizes results that they feel are relevant to the searcher’s “intent” (in other words, what they really want, regardless of what words they use). Google has gotten pretty good at this over the years, by the way.

Relevance is determined by how well you write the content on your page. It has to be good quality, and structured the way Google wants to see it. We call this “content marketing.”

Also, you might want to do something called “on page optimization,” which goes a bit further in creating a relevant page.

Authority

Ok, so let’s stick with our headache example. Let’s say that you get a bunch of results that really do seem to be relevant to home headache remedies, but when you visit the pages you see that they are from very questionable sites. They might be full of ads, or perhaps they link you to dangerous and pornographic corners of the Internet. Well if you’re like me, you would also think that the search results were poor.

Knowing this, Google tries to show you websites that are authoritative to avoid getting you justly irritated. How do they do that?

Google has very sophisticated ways of looking at a given website and the sites that are linking TO that website. If your website is linked to by other websites that are high quality, with lots of sites linking to them, and (this bit is important) if the sites that are linking to your site have something to do with the subject of the page, then it helps you appear to have authority.

Getting more Authority is usually based on creating useful content that webmasters, online journalists and bloggers want to link to, along with outreach to make those people aware of it. We call that “link building,” although you can also think of it as link “earning.”

Technical Stuff

Ok, finally we come to the toughest bit of this. And here’s where having someone working for you, whether a contractor or an employee, who knows the technology of SEO and how Google works is extremely important.

To determine if your site is relevant and authoritative, Google needs to “crawl” all over your website with their analytical programs (a part of the mechanics of this is those programs that SEOs call “spiders” or “bots” or “crawlers” … although that’s only part of it). There are all sorts of things you can do to a website (usually accidentally) to make it confusing to Google. If you want Google to give you the best results, they need to easily understand your site. We call this “Search Engine Friendliness,” or SEF. This is not the same as SEO, but you can’t have S E O without S E F.

How do You Know if You’re Getting the Best SEO?

If you are working with an SEO company, or even in-house staff, make sure they can explain each of these three pillars of SEO to you and how they are addressing them. If they struggle to give you an explanation you, as an executive, can understand, then they probably don’t understand it themselves.

And while we’re adjacent to the subject of how to hire an SEO, here’s a video from former Googler Maile Ohye about “how to hire an SEO” that is as useful today as it was in 2017.

More Tips Like This Are Coming to You Soon!

The above explanation and tips come from my soon-to-be-published book, The CFO’s Guide to Demystifying Internet Marketing. The complete book addresses a need I’ve been aware of for years in business, especially for my colleagues who are extremely busy executives: a resource that can bridge the gap between the marketing department, the tech people, and the C-Suite. And don’t let “CFO” in the title fool you, any busy executive can get tremendous benefit.

SEO is About More than Ranking High on Google

SEO stands for “Search Engine” Optimization. It’s Understandable People Get Confused.

Almost every day I delete an email from some “SEO” company, often written in broken English, telling me that they can guarantee a high ranking on Google. In the first place, such claims are always bogus (yes, I said “always” not “almost always”). In the second place, so what?

Ranking high is nice, it’s desirable, it stokes our egos, but ultimately, most business people realize that a high ranking, even a number ranking, can be completely meaningless. Of course once you think only in terms of “Search Engine” optimization, you might miss that the point of having a website probably is probably not achieved by a person searching on Google or Bing and finding your website.

picture of children having search engine success

Hurray! They found you! … Now what?

An SEO company owes it to their clients to focus, not on rankings, but on business success. Even Google drives this point, as mentioned by former Googler Maile Ohye

“A successful SEO also looks to improve the entire searcher experience, from search results to clicking on your website and potentially converting”

Not only does this make business sense, it’s absolutely critical from Google’s perspective. Think about it, Google is like a tour guide. If a tour guide keeps dropping the tourists off at destinations that bore them, that they can’t wait to leave, where they find nothing of interest that they’d like to take home, that tour guide will not get tips and eventually will lose customers.

Google has a vested interest in having people arrive at a website that they’ve “recommended” and say, “wow, this is just what I was searching for!”

When you become a client with Horizon Web Marketing, we view it an essential component of our program to analyze the type of website experience your customers will enjoy (or hate) when they land on your website. We’d like to offer some of the methods we use to understand and improve visitor experience on our clients’ websites.

3 Easy Ways to Understand Searcher Experience on Your Website

  • The best tool is still the easiest. Visit your own site and try to experience it through the eyes of someone who has never been there. This can be hard at first, but the longer and slower you browse, the more you can get a feel for that first-timer.
  • What good are friends if you don’t use them? Actually we’re talking about using them as unofficial testers. For example, if your site is an Ecommerce site, as a friend to buy one of your products (you might want to give them a substantial discount, say, 100%). Here’s the key, watch them do it. This is an occasionally painful, always useful experience.
  • Check your analytics. Google Analytics will show you on a page by page basis how long the average viewer will stay on a page (behavior > all pages > average time on page), how many of them leave without going deeper into your site ( > bounce rate).

Of course there are more sophisticated ways to measure searcher experience, but the priority remains the same, don’t get distracted chasing rankings or be satisfied when you’ve achieve them. As Maile Ohye said, “improve the entire searcher experience.”

How to Choose the Right SEO Firm or Consultant, According to Google

picture of Maile Ohye of Google discussing ways to make sure you hire a good seoGreat Advice on Vetting and Hiring an SEO Firm

If you hang around SEO, as we do, you’ve seen a recent video from Google Tech Lead Maile Ohye getting a lot of sharing love lately, especially from legitimate SEO companies, like, well…Horizon Web Marketing.

We like it so much we’re embedding it below.  But in case you don’t have 11 minutes handy to watch it, here’s the bullet pointed highlights (and if you know us you’ll know it’s what we’ve been preaching for years now):

  • Hiring a bad SEO isn’t just a waste of money, it can actually hurt your rankings
  • SEO is NOT black magic or some bag of “tricks”
  • Any SEO can only succeed if you invest in a good website and will make suggestions about your whole website experience for your visitors, and not just where you rank in search; they want to help your business, not just your rankings
  • SEO starts with making your site “search friendly” (we call it “search engine friendly” or SEF)
  • A legitimate Search Engine Optimization program will take 4-12 months to start bearing fruit
  • If an SEO recommends something, they need to be able to back it up and show you how their practices are based on Google documentation, they should be willing to educate you about what they do
  • The starting point in a relationship with an SEO firm will usually be an search engine optimization audit, and yes, it usually does cost money to perform one
  • Competitive analysis is important (what are your competitors doing that affects search and their website)
  • Technical issues are important (so any firm you hire has to be technically competent)
  • If you’re not ready to commit to improving your website and following the recommendations of your SEO professional, don’t bother

Here’s the thing that strikes me repeatedly in the points that Maile makes: an SEO has to be able to communicate well with you about your business.  Having a 2-way dialogue is critical.

These are just a few of the high points.  Make sure you watch the whole video.  We’re glad that what Google thinks is important is exactly how we would represent our business value to you.

https://youtu.be/dT038wiWHPY