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As we look at the many options for web development and SEO we need to be able to distinguish between real SEO and canned SEO. What this means plugins, SEO optimizers in websites and so on, I’m talking real SEO, painstaking ranking the old fashion way, hard work.

As far as basic web development let say within Word Press, there are several options available regarding basic SEO plugins which you can download. More experienced SEO web guys and gals know this isn’t going put you on page one, two or five on a google keyword search. These avenues alone will most likely help get your site indexed, that’s pretty much about it

Let’s talk about the mystical  practice of having your domain end up on page one of Google. “How do they do that??” It really boils down to three things, Strong Content, Citations or Directories, more so for local rankings and Backlinks. I can’t stress enough the importance of strong content, poorly written content will ding you every time,  work on content over a 1,000-1,500 words for the home page along with adding a few images, make sure you don’t pull images which someone already owns, that’s a whole other problem which you don’t need. Don’t worry so much about H1, H2 tags, most websites now will sort that out for you and I’ve ranked multiple websites without H1 tags using Weebly.

Citations or listing with local directories is extremely important in dominating the local market. There are several tools available to determine which sites to list with and who your competitors are listed with. When talking about local listings we are talking about Google +, Bing, yp, Superpages, Factual and so on. The critical ones, of course, are Google+, Bing, Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Pinterest, FourSquare, after these are more local directories which are focused on the local area.

Finally are the backlinks, which is the “juice” to your site. This is a whole article in itself but I’ll try to summarize, there are a couple of ways to obtain high-quality backlinks, the fist is, do it yourself, the second is PBN’s or Private Blog Networks. Doing it yourself takes a while in posting to others blogs and leaving your sites link when posting, this takes a while and your never sure if it will stay posted. This takes dedication and persistences on your part ensuring you are posting to relevant blogs. The second is securing PBN’s which have expired and turn them into new websites or blogs linking to your site. You better know what you’re doing on this one because you can spend a lot of money on PBN’s which are spammy or don’t have high Trust Flows, Citation Flow, Domain Authority or other relevant metrics.  It’s best having someone you know or a trusted source walk you through this, as I mentioned it can be quite expensive if you don’t know what you’re doing, BUT it can pay dividends when set up properly and done right!

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I want to thank Eva from our lockout partner at Premier who submitted this article on carpal tunnel, we’ve had several people at our facility including myself develop this issue. Please take a moment to review this article it might help you in the long run.

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is the effects and problems associated with pressure on the median nerve in your wrist. It can include weakness, numbness, tingling, and a number of other issues in the hand. The median nerve runs through the carpal tunnel, and the effects of CTS are caused when there is pressure on the carpal tunnel. This pressure is most commonly caused by swelling due to illness, repetitive hand motions, or due to pregnancy. So if you suffer from an illness which can impact your carpal tunnel, you work in a job where you have repetitive hand and wrist motions, or you are pregnant, here are 4 tips to help you reduce your chances of CTS.
  • Stretch – There are a number of specific stretches designed to keep your wrist and hands limber. These stretches will help alleviate swelling in the carpal tunnel and help reduce the likelihood of symptoms from CTS. Yoga and other flexibility-based exercises will also help to stretch this area.
  • Improve your Posture – If you sit at a desk all day, make sure you are sitting properly. This means you should be sitting up with your work in front of you. Bring your work station down as far as possible without touching your legs, then straighten out your arms and keep your wrists and hands in line with your forearms. Do not lean forward, as it will put unnecessary pressure on your hands and wrists. If you work with tools, be sure not to grip them too firmly, use the proper tool for the job, and change up how and where you grip your tools.
  • Take Breaks – Taking breaks will help alleviate any tension or pressure in your wrists. Getting up every 15 to 20 minutes can help prevent the effects of CTS. These breaks can be to get a cup of water, use the restroom, or simply stretch your wrists quickly at your desk.
  • Stay Healthy – Losing weight, exercising, and quitting smoking can all help prevent CTS. The healthier you are, the less likely you will be to be impacted by CTS.

Ultimately, there is no true prevention for CTS. But by following these tips, you can dramatically decrease your likelihood of having any CTS symptoms.…

Ask any small business owner if you should borrow to expand faster, and you will get a very passionate response. Some will warn you of the dangers of borrowing against your business, others will tell you it’s the only way. Ultimately, borrowing is an effective way to raise capital to expand without giving up equity, however, it can come at a steep cost, specifically to cash flow. Below are some pros and cons of borrowing money as a small business owner. Hopefully, they will help you determine what is best for you.

Pros

  • Allow for Early Expansion – You can generally secure financing to allow you to expand well before you can save those funds.
  • Helpful During Slow Seasons – Lines of credit and other revolving credit allow seasonal businesses to stay open during slower seasons, which can be extremely helpful, especially early on.
  • Startup Funds – Some businesses require a large sum of cash to get going; lending can provide that cash if you don’t have a large savings account.
  • Inventory – Lending can make it easier to buy inventory. With a greater selection often comes greater sales.
  • Cash Flow Management – Many small businesses have trouble managing day-to-day and month-to-month expenses. Credit can help cover gaps in payments.

Cons

  • Expensive – Loans and lines of credit accrue interest. That interest builds up quickly if not paid down. This interest can put small businesses out of business if allowed to grow unchecked.
  • Over Expanding – Some businesses will over expand or expand too quickly, and the owner will not be able to manage the new responsibilities. Others will not be able to keep up with the new demand. Expanding is good, but too much growth can actually be bad.
  • Kills Cash Flow – Nothing will shut a business down faster than a lack of cash flow. If you are spending the majority of your cash on paying down debts, you will have nothing left to cover other bills, advertise, or take advantage of strategic opportunities.
  • Becomes a Crutch – Lending can become a crutch. It can allow you to spend money you don’t have, expecting to pay it down later. If you need loans to cover your expenses month over month, your business may not actually be successful and can lead to serious personal consequences when it crashes down.

 

Whatever your need, lending can be a blessing and a curse. If you decide to borrow to build your business, do so with a mindful eye toward managing cash flow and ensuring you have a strategy to eliminate the debt as quickly as possible.…

I want to thank Julie from sterlingheightsphotobooth.com for contributing this article on business travel, she has become the resident expert on travel and I recommend you visit her website for an in-depth look at what she’s doing now.

Whether you travel somewhere new every week, or only travel a few times a year, traveling for work can be a nightmare. Many people arrive tired, work long hours, then spend their nights in a hotel bar, waiting for the trip to end. But those who know how to travel right can turn business travel into a great experience. So here are 10 tips on traveling for work to help get you out of that funk.

  1. Use a Packing Checklist – Nothing can start a trip off on the wrong foot worse than forgetting something important. If you have a checklist which you create in advance of packing, you’ll never forget what you need.

 

  1. Do Your Research – Whether going to a major city or a small town, look into what there is to do. Is there a city square you should see? A specific restaurant you want to try? If you wait until you are there, it will likely be too late, but if you plan ahead you can squeeze in some fun things to do.

 

  1. Use Public Transportation when Available – If you are traveling to a major city, taking a bus, subway, or train can be an opportunity to experience the city in ways you never can from a boardroom or bar.

 

  1. Get Your Work Done Early – You will likely have time in the morning before you need to leave the hotel that is dead time. It may be an hour, it may be two, but it is time that could be used to get emails sorted, projects reviewed, or other tasks completed. This way, you can actually enjoy the night.

 

  1. Schedule Meetings at Mealtimes – If you have any say in when you meet with clients or coworkers, try to do it at mealtimes. This will give you the opportunity to try out restaurants, see different parts of the city, and enjoy that meeting a little more.

 

  1. Go a Day Early – Or stay a day late. Either way, this gives you a day to explore without a hectic day of meetings.

 

  1. Get Out – If you are stuck in corporate meetings all day at a corporate building, then head back to the hotel to eat dinner, find other places to eat. If you have downtime one day, walk around the city, grab a cab and go to a tourist area, do something. You don’t want to be a world traveler who’s never really been anywhere.

 

  1. Network – If possible, find out about people in the city where you are traveling who you may want to meet. Try to schedule time to grab a lunch with them to expand your network. Someone who does your job in another town may be able to give you a new perspective on your job. Similarly, a big prospect may appreciate the personal touch of an in-person meeting.

 

  1. Travel More, Less – If you need to go to LA to meet a client, but also have several in San Francisco and San Diego

We all have goals. Some are personal and others professional. Some are short term, and others are longer term. But whatever the goal, be sure it is something you can actually work toward. A vague, unspecific, unattainable goal can never be reached. Similarly, if there are no guideposts to your goals, you simply can’t measure your success. As such, the most successful business owners create goals which are SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. By ensuring goals meet these characteristics, they will become far easier to achieve.

Specific – Setting a goal to increase revenues doesn’t really mean much. It is not specific. Setting a goal to increase revenues by 15% is specific.

Measurable – Setting a goal to run your business better is virtually unattainable because you can’t measure it. What does “better” mean? Make sure you can measure your success.

Attainable – Setting a goal to have a physical location in all 50 states within 3 months of starting up with no seed capital is not attainable. No matter how hard you try, you can’t possibly do that. Set a goal that can be achieved. Making it a stretch is ok, but make sure there is a clear path to completion.

Relevant – A goal that has no bearing on what you would like to change is not helpful. There may be many areas you would like to tackle, but be sure you understand how the goal you set is actually relevant to the issue at hand.

Time-Bound – Setting a goal to grow revenues by 15% is great, but if you do not have a time by which you would like to see this happen, it can be difficult to create a plan to meet that goal. Instead, put a time-cap on it, such within 12 or 24 months.

By creating goals that are SMART, you will find that your strategic planning to hit your goals becomes easier, you achieve more of your goals, and your business becomes more productive. It is always a good idea to have goals; just be smart about them.…