3 Ways to Boost SEO on Your WordPress Site

3 Ways to Boost SEO on Your WordPress Site

As a small business owner, I hope you have a website. Because if you don’t, then you’re missing out. You’re missing out on the opportunity for your customers to find you on search engines, which means your competitors that have websites are taking business away from you. It’s important to get a website and develop your online presence; the longer you push this aside, the longer it will take for you to be found.

Related Article: Establishing your Online Presence as a New Business Owner

If you HAVEN’T created a website for your business. One of the most popular platforms is a WordPress site. Many celebrities, news outlets, famous blogs, and Fortune 500 companies are using WordPress.

Websites are important to your business. Yeah, you’ve put information about your business like your hours of operation and where you’re located. Yeah, you’ve chosen a great template and the right images to make it look pretty and appealing for customers. But, how are search engines like Google going to help your customers find you? You’re going to need to boost SEO (search engine optimization) on your WordPress site.

Here are three ways you can boost the SEO of your WordPress site:

1. INSERT A TITLE TAG

This is the most important tag when it comes to increasing your rankings on search engines. For search engines like Google to rank your site, it needs to know three things which are: what your content is about, what each page is about, and what your site as a whole is about.

boost seo

The keywords that you target with your content need to be in your title tag. In order to do this for your WordPress website:

1. Go to your WordPress dashboard
2. Click on “Posts.”
3. Select the post you’d like to add a title tag to.
4. Type in what you want as your title tag where the post says “Enter title here.”

2. INSERT A META DESCRIPTION TAG

Below the title, there’s a meta description. A meta description is information that describes what the content is about. There should be continuity between your title tag and your meta description.

Related Article:  Quick SEO Guide for Small Businesses

As you can see, the focus keywords for the title tag are also in the meta description, “Experiential Field Marketing.” This makes it easier for a search engine to recognize what you’re talking about which will help you rank well.

In order to do this for your WordPress site:

1. Go to the post where you want to add a meta description. On the right side, you’ll see a box that says “SEO Description.”

2. Type a meta description that includes your target keyword.

3. INSERT IMAGE ALT TAGS

Don’t forget to ignore your images! Just remember that people don’t only search in Google under the “All” tab. There are some people that will also search under the “Images” tab. Therefore, you need to include alt tags on all of your images.

In order to do this for your WordPress site:

1. Go to the post with an image. Click on the image and you’ll see this bar.

2. Click on the pencil.

3. On the side, you’ll see an empty box that’s labeled “Alt text.” Type something that describes what the image is about.

After completing these steps to boost SEO, you will be in a better position to be found by search engines.

About Retailors Group

The team at Retailors Group has over 15 years of retail sales and field marketing experience. Retailors Group takes the time to understand your brand and align your core values into a tailor-made solution that builds a long-lasting relationship with your consumers.

We offer services in Experiential Field Marketing, On-site Sales Assist, Retail Management, and Digital Marketing.


When is Employee Training the Right Solution for Low Sales Productivity?

When is Employee Training the Right Solution for Low Sales Productivity?

We have seen small and big retailers go through the following exercise:

When we see low sales productivity, more employee training is provided. Employees get equipped with more product knowledge and the company’s existing sales training is reinforced.

There are two things to consider when going down this road:

Is product knowledge really the issue that causes low sales productivity?

I know that product knowledge is a key component of being a good salesperson. It is obvious that if I don’t know my product I will most often fail in closing the sale and fail at providing a good customer experience. Having high product knowledge gives me and my clients confidence in the future of the business relationship.

Strong product knowledge, however, is more of a hygiene factor. It is almost certain that if I lack product knowledge I will be a below-average salesperson, however, having strong product knowledge is not predictive of strong sales. It is more of a necessity and a job requirement rather than a performance enhancer.

So, if I provide reactive product knowledge training as a fix for low sales productivity, more often than not I have not identified the root cause of the product knowledge problem. The root cause might be in the original training design, on-boarding process or even worse, have nothing to do with the Product knowledge of the sales team.

Related Article: Best Practices for Effective Onboarding of New Hires

The consequences of getting the team to go through this training exercise without identifying the root cause of the problem are:

  • Creating distrust and hurting the credibility of my company
  • Lower morale and disengagement at the training sessions
  • Lower sales productivity and loss of sales because of time spent away from selling
  • Over a long period of time it can impact the company culture and make it acceptable for employees to be reactive and have low attention to detail

Will sales training target the current gaps in performance?

If the team has already been put through sales training, then I operate under the assumption that they are familiar with the sales process. Sales is both a science and an art. Sales training is usually aimed at teaching the science component. The art component gets developed over time and it takes coaching, experience, and one-on-one attention.

If the gap is in the teams’ understanding of the sales process (the science component) then putting them through the existing sales training again should add some value. The bigger question though is why did it take two training sessions to gain understanding? And will the second session accomplish what the first one didn’t?

Training in itself only holds value if it is reinforced and applied in our day-to-day activities. If I have to put my team through the same training twice then I wonder if there are gaps in the follow-up process, the sales management, or if the training itself needs a redesign. I would probably scrutinize the above-mentioned components before committing to another employee training session.

Does the team believe the sales process makes a difference?

Another cause of low sales productivity might be the teams’ trust in the existing sales process. If the team doesn’t believe that the current sales process makes a difference or helps in any way, they resort back to their previous experience, history, or own knowledge of sales.

The challenge with this is that your customers will be treated differently in every store and the consistency of the customer experience will diminish. Aside from that, the team will no longer be committed to the same process, which will allow for a spontaneous culture change. Losing control over your sales culture can be both dangerous and costly.

Related Article: Proactive Hiring vs Settling for the Best Available Candidate

To sum it up, I do believe sales and product knowledge training are key components to a strong sales culture and are a necessity for an engaged team. A few things I can do to eliminate the possibility of making the above-mentioned mistakes are:

  • Listen to my team. Get their feedback on the current training programs and processes. They live and breathe these every day, they will provide the truest feedback.
  • Involve my sales team in the design of the training program. Not only is their feedback necessary, but they will also feel a sense of pride and ownership in the program itself. They will become the biggest ambassadors of that program.
  • Ensure that every level of management goes through the training program. For a program to work, there needs to be alignment across the whole department.
  • Follow-up on the behaviours and actions learned in training, not the results.
  • Recognize good behaviour as well as good results. Do not recognize good results without the right behaviour attached to it.

There are many other things to consider when discovering the cause of low sales productivity. In my next article, I will explore how poor discipline impacts sales.

About Retailors Group

The team at Retailors Group has over 15 years of retail sales and field marketing experience. Retailors Group takes the time to understand your brand and align your core values into a tailor-made solution that builds a long-lasting relationship with your consumers.

We offer services in Experiential Field Marketing, On-site Sales Assist, Retail Management, and Digital Marketing.


How To Boost Your SEO Using Social Media

How To Boost Your SEO Using Social Media

You’ve improved your SEO by optimizing your website’s usability and appearance. You’ve also played around with keywords to figure out what’s right for your business and how to position those keywords strategically. So now you should be creating original and shareable content such as videos, pictures, and blog posts that you can post on your social media.

This is a strategy used by digital marketers called “link building.” Link building is an effort to increase the popularity of your website. The amount and quality of backlinks are an indicator of the popularity of your website. The more backlinks of good quality point to your website, the better the visibility of your website in the search engine results. Therefore, your social media presence can greatly increase your search rankings on Google.

Related Article: 7 Reasons Social Media Marketing is Still Underrated

Here are five ways you can harness the power of social media to boost your SEO strategy:

1. Increase Brand Awareness

Increasing your reputation on social media will increase your online brand presence. This will lead to more branded searches Google, and the more branded searches your brand receives, the higher it’ll rank for non-branded keywords.

2. Influence of Social Sharing

Any indication of a verifiable external source validating your brand or content is grounds for improvement in domain authority. The number of likes, shares, favorites, replies and retweets all count towards this increased authority.

3. Growing Your Number of Followers

Google can detect the number of your followers. So, the total number of followers you have on your social media profiles have a significant influence on your rankings. You can “buy” followers, but it won’t help your rankings. Why would you want fake followers? Fake followers won’t lead to any potential for conversions. You’ll need to grow your following with organic followers.

4. Optimizing Your Post for Searches

You need a strong anchor to serve as your foundation. This could be a video, photo, or a blog post. You’ll need to title it in an accurate and descriptive way. Then, when you post it, you’ll need to use text that’s optimized for a specific type of search. For example, if you wrote a blog post on “best practices for cooking steak,” I would use a specific query like “Have ever wondered how to make the perfect steak?”

5. Encouraging External Inbound Links

Think of your content as bait and your social media profiles as fishing poles. When you create high-quality and authoritative content, you’re “putting the bait in front of the right eyes.” Your main goal is to encourage more external sites to link to your content and social media serves as a broadcast channel.

About Retailors Group

The team at Retailors Group has over 15 years of retail sales and field marketing experience. Retailors Group takes the time to understand your brand and align your core values into a tailor-made solution that builds a long-lasting relationship with your consumers.

We offer services in Experiential Field Marketing, On-site Sales Assist, Retail Management, and Digital Marketing.


Organic Search vs Paid Search: What is the Difference?

Organic Search vs Paid Search: What is the Difference?

Say you’re looking to buy a house and you need a mortgage broker. What do you do? Some of us will ask our family or friends for advice. Some of us will use a search engine like Google.

Search engines like Google have become the solution to a lot of our problems. You can’t even deny it, you use Google for everything! Whether you’re looking for a mortgage broker or looking for how to cook a steak, Google is usually the first place we turn to.

organic search

But, Google is also important to businesses. As a small business owner, you should take advantage of Search Engine Optimization (SEO, also known as organic search) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM, also known as paid search). You can generate more traffic and leads to your business with the help of SEO and SEM.

What is Organic Search?

Now, say you’re the mortgage broker and a potential client is out there looking for you. He or she has typed into Google “Mortgage Brokers, Mississauga.” How do you expect this person to find you? Have you claimed your Google My Business listing? Do you have a website that will direct people to you? Your potential client will see a list of links that appear below the ads. These links are known as “organic” or “non-paid” search engine results.

Do you want to achieve the best organic results?

You must keep in mind a few things about SEO:

1. Optimize your website’s usability and appearance
2. Create original and shareable content that is informative and captivating
3. Use the right keywords and position your keywords strategically

You must also keep in mind that SEO takes time to develop. Remember, you are trying to rank on Google using organic or non-paid search engine results. How long are you willing to wait to see results? Because it may take months or years to get high rankings on Google. Just think of your SEO initiative like growing a green and healthy lawn. Your lawn needs some “TLC” on a regular basis such as watering it and using natural fertilizers rather than pesticides.

Benefits of Organic Search

So, SEO takes time. But, is it worth it? The answer is yes. Approximately 70% of the links users click on when they search are organic. What does this mean for you and your business? Well, high search engine rankings mean you’ve built trust and credibility, which equals to a greater likelihood of users to click through to your site.

paid search

What is Paid Search?

Paid search or SEM is referred to as paid listings. These are the list of links you will see that appear above the organic or non-paid search engine results. The most popular advertising service used by businesses is Google’s advertising system called Google AdWords. Google AdWords is where you bid on relevant keywords so your ads can appear on Google’s search results.

How does Google AdWords work?

In Google AdWords, the actual position of your ad is determined by your ad rank (Maximum Bid times Quality Score). Therefore, the highest ad rank gets the first ad position. So, your Cost-Per-Click (CPC) is determined by the ad rank of the highest ad below you divided by your Quality Score (QS). However, you will pay for your maximum bid-per-click when you are the only bidder or the lowest bid in the AdWords auction.

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that AdWords bidding PENALIZES advertisers who bid with a low QS.

paid search

Does Google AdWords work?

AdWords may or may not work for your business. It is dependent on the competitiveness of the keywords you’re bidding for and the ratio of relevancy to conversions for your business. AdWords can be EFFECTIVE if you’re bidding on the right keywords. You can use Google Keyword Planner to help you identify the right keywords to target and to find which keywords your competitors are using.

Benefits of Paid Search

We know that SEO takes time, but what about SEM then? Paid search engine results are placed on top of rankings as soon as you pay for ad placement in Google AdWords. You can also tailor your Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns to reach specific audiences. Some examples of segmentation include age, income, and marital status.

Related Story: How Google Can Help Your Small Business

Which One is for Me?

Should I use organic search or paid search? Which one is better to use? Should I be using both? The truth is that it depends. The answer is dependent on the type of business you have and the objectives of your business. Here at Retailors Group, we believe together is better. The combination of both organic search and paid search is the best approach.

Just remember this… Organic search provides you with trust and credibility which equals a greater likelihood of users to click through to your site. Paid search provides you immediate listings using the right keywords and reaches specific audiences. And with paid search, you’re pushing your business to customers. Wouldn’t you want the best of both worlds for your business?

About Retailors Group

The team at Retailors Group has over 15 years of retail sales and field marketing experience. Retailors Group takes the time to understand your brand and align your core values into a tailor-made solution that builds a long-lasting relationship with your consumers.

We offer services in Experiential Field Marketing, On-site Sales Assist, Retail Management, and Digital Marketing.

Sources

Image 1: http://blogoscoped.com/archive/2004_10_31_index.html#109922219137420342

Image 2: http://hubshout.com/?Three-of-the-Most-Convincing-Statistics-All-SEO-Resellers-Need-to-Know&AID=1645

Image 3: http://www.wordstream.com/quality-score


Best Practices for Effective Onboarding of New Hires

Best Practices for Effective Onboarding of New Hires

In my last article, I explored the benefits of proactive hiring and the impact proactive hiring has on my business. I talked about prioritizing the important over the urgent and setting aside an hour a week to do interviews, regardless of my staffing needs. Now that I have hired the right people I need to put them in the right position and set them up for success.

So, what does effective onboarding look like? Who is involved? Do I need a structured process in place or do I just trust that my most tenured employees can take care of it?

Over my 10 years of experience in hiring, onboarding, and leading people; I found onboarding to be one of the most important and most overlooked time blocks of an employee’s tenure. So why is it important to have a structured onboarding process?

Related Article: 6 Benefits of Pop-Up Shops

1. It is the very first impression of the organization

First impressions go a long way. A properly structured onboarding process will show the employee that my company is professional, cares about the success of its employees, and does not care to sacrifice time and resources in the short-term to benefit long-term. Once the first impressions are made, the employee will always look at the company through the “lens” they put on in the onboarding process.

2. It is the best time to build strong discipline and good habits

You ever heard the expression “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”? The first 90 days are really important in setting up clear expectations, building the right daily disciplines, and eliminating shortcuts. I have also found that this process helps the existing employees enhance their own discipline just by being a part of this process. On the flip side, skipping steps, encouraging shortcuts, and not setting clear expectations can create some habits that will be really tough to break in the future.

3. Proper onboarding helps build confidence and increase engagement

Every new employee carries a certain level of anxiety when starting a new job. Having a proper onboarding process that includes continuous feedback on the employee’s learning and will help eliminate that anxiety, increase engagement, and develop a strong relationship with the organization.

4. It creates consistency

Having an effective onboarding process will create consistency in the way new hires are brought on, which in turn will translate to more consistent customer experience. Think of Starbucks for a second. Have you ever wondered how they have the same level of service across all of North America? Their onboarding program is extensive, structured, and focused on the job itself, the story of the company, the culture, and all the people within.

After exploring the importance of having an effective onboarding process, here are a few tips:

  • Create an onboarding journey schedule that is very specific.
  • Involve every stakeholder in the process of creating that journey
  • Ensure that every day is documented
  • Develop specific metrics for the “onboarder” (the person responsible for the onboarding) and hold them accountable to those metrics.
  • Provide consistent feedback to the new employee
  • Evaluate the onboarder once a month.

About Retailors Group

The team at Retailors Group has over 15 years of retail sales and field marketing experience. Retailors Group takes the time to understand your brand and align your core values into a tailor-made solution that builds a long-lasting relationship with your consumers.

We offer services in Experiential Field Marketing, On-site Sales Assist, Retail Management, and Digital Marketing.