Thursday, November 27, 2014

Wishing You a Wonderful Thanksgiving!

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Importance of Social Media Consistency

We all know social media is great for marketing, building your brand, and increasing profits, but only if you remain consistent with your efforts. Social media is less beneficial if you don't dedicate a set time to update and maintain your social media accounts. These aren't the only areas that must remain consistent with social media. Your tone, brand identity, and much more needs to remain consistent if you hope to gain any benefits from social media marketing. Don't underestimate the importance of social media consistency.

One aspect of social media consistency involves regularly updating your accounts with fresh posts. Also, you need to update your profiles regularly to maintain consistency as well. When posting, you can't just post once or twice a month. You need to make it a daily habit to update your social media accounts at various times throughout the day.

Social media consistency involves interacting with your followers frequently and regularly. By interacting with your followers on a consistent basis, you'll build your brand loyalty as they will see there's an actual person running the social media account, providing them with a personal connection. Not to mention, the more you interact with your followers, the more followers you'll gain and maintain.

Brand Identity
Your brand identity is also part of social media consistency. All of your logos, fonts, pictures and every other aspect of your brand must remain unchanged throughout all of your social media accounts. Many businesses forget this important aspect. If a person is an avid follower of your Facebook page, and then they stop by an outdated Twitter page that has a different logo than the Facebook page, they won't recognize your Twitter page as the company they've become loyal to. So, make sure all of your accounts remain updated and consistent with your brand identity to further the loyalty to you business.

It's easy to forget your tone consistency on social media accounts, especially if more than one person is maintaining your accounts. You can't be humorous on one account and serious on another account and expect your followers to build a personal connection with you because they will be confused as to who they are actually dealing with.

What are some tips you use to maintain social media consistency?

Friday, November 21, 2014

What is a Content Marketing Strategy?

Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.-- Courtesy of Content Marketing Institute
A content marketing strategy allows you to connect with potential customers without having to spend money. Content marketing is very effective for marketing in general and for building your brand. The idea behind content marketing is to provide quality and valuable information to a targeted audience to encourage brand loyalty-- thus, producing higher profits. Your content marketing strategy is also a large aspect of your social media strategy as content marketing involves various types of content (IE- blogs, videos and images.)

Content marketing differs from traditional marketing because you aren't trying to sell anything. Instead, your providing information, which will encourage audience engagement, resulting in sales. By producing good content, you'll catch your targeted audience's attention, causing a reaction-- which is a different reaction than what occurs with advertising.

So, is a content marketing strategy really effective? Does it really produce benefits? Here are a few quick little facts to help you determine if content marketing will be beneficial for you:
  • 70 percent of customers report content marketing makes them feel a closer connection to a company.
  • 80 percent of customers report to make a decision with content marketing when compared to advertisements.
  • 60 percent of customers report to enjoy content marketing as it informs them about a product, encouraging their purchase decision.
Statistics courtesy of Roper Public Affairs

With high positive results, you can't afford not to develop a content marketing strategy. There are a number of methods you can use and various forms of content to create the perfect strategy. Common forms of content used for a content marketing strategy include:
  • Blogs
  • Articles
  • Videos
  • Newsletters
Have you found a content marketing strategy to be beneficial? What are some forms of content you use for your strategy?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Understanding Branded Keywords

Branded keywords are different than ordinary keywords; although, though they serve the same purpose-- to allow internet users to find information about a topic they are seeking. Basically, branded keywords are part of a company brand, such as the company's name. Using Pepsi as an example, here are a few branded keywords the company may use on their website:
  • Pepsi Products
  • Pepsi Reviews
  • Pepsi Careers
The purpose of using branded keywords is to allow internet users who have already heard of your company to find your website with ease. When they want to contact a company or learn more about a company, they will type in the name of the company and another keyword to find the information they need. For example, a person who wants to know more about the latest pair of Nike shoes may type "new Nike shoes" into a search engine to find what they need.

It's important to use both branded and non-branded keywords on your website. You don't want to only use branded keywords, because not everyone has heard of your company, so how will they find you if there aren't non-branded keywords used too?

It's common practice to use more non-branded keywords on your website than branded because it will allow you to reach a wider audience. However, the "About Us" page on your website is the perfect place to increase your branded keyword density if your website's overall branded keyword density is low.

What are some ways you use branded keywords?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tips for Using Branded Keywords

Not sure how to use branded keywords? Here are a few of the best tips and articles on using branded keywords:

Are You Really Standing Out?: Brand Keywords in PPC
If there’s one PPC practice that should be instilled among all advertisers, it’s to make your brand stand out: not just physically or visually, but behind the scenes as well.

Of course, advertisers want their brands to stand out above the rest, that is a given; but it’s important to keep this same methodology in place when compiling your PPC campaigns (and I’m not just talking about writing an eye-catching ad).

Introducing Branded Keyword Rules and Metrics
Looking at your site’s aggregate organic search traffic is a bit like docking a boat without a depth sounder: Sure, you can gauge where you need to go, but you’d be wise to have more details before you head in.

On that same tack, we should have more detail about our overall search traffic before we use it to make decisions. First and foremost, this bucket of attention can be divided into two groups that we need to watch differently: branded and non-branded traffic.

Targeting Branded versus SEO Keywords
It’s no longer in dispute that Google places a premium on branded websites when it comes to choosing the pages to display in its search query results listings. And from Google’s standpoint, this practice makes sense. The search engine’s goal is to provide users with the best possible results, and there’s no doubt that some users prefer the “known quantity” of a branded website than the potential risk of an unknown competitor.

Branded vs. Non-Branded SEM
Whether a company should bid on their own brand name to fortify their search position is a subject of fierce debate. There are reasonable arguments both for and against the issue.

This article is going to shy away from arguing for one “correct” answer. Instead, we’ll explore some of the key considerations and try to equip you with the information needed to make the right decision for your organization.

Tips for Marketing Online Videos

When you think of content marketing, you most often think of blogs, articles and email newsletters, but online videos are also included in content marketing. In fact, online videos are becoming very powerful marketing tools when you know how to distribute them properly. As this is a digital day and age, marketing online videos will quickly produce favorable results as research indicates a website with a video is ranked 50% higher on Google when compared to sites lacking videos. Online videos will boost your SEO efforts, lead to higher conversion rates and increase your profit potential, especially if your video goes viral.

To maximize the benefits of marketing online videos, make sure you're doing everything you can to promote the videos, not just distributing on YouTube and your website. Here are some simple tips for marketing online videos that will produce positive results.

Utilize Social Networks
Social networks provide the ideal opportunity to distribute your online videos to a vast global audience without having to spend a dime. Not to mention, videos are a hit on social media sites, so they are likely to be shared by your followers, extending the reach of your marketing efforts even further. Plus, people will comment on the videos on the networks, allowing you to be a potential hot new trend. So, don't just stop at YouTube. Post on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and the many other social network outlets!

Optimize Your Videos
Written content and websites aren't the only areas you can optimize to generate results. You can optimize videos as well to land on search engines. Although optimizing videos may be a bit tricky as the tactics vary from optimizing written content, the overall results are favorable and you'll extend the influence of the promotion.

Reach Out to Niche Communities and Blogs
We all know guest blogging is a very effective marketing tool, so why not tweak the practice a bit to market your online videos as well? Search for bloggers and niche communities to share you videos with. For example, if your video is about restoring old cars, reach out to car enthusiasts groups and bloggers. Although it may seem like you get more rejections from blog owners and communities, with just one promotional share on a third party network, your video will be distributed throughout their connections, followers and communities as well-- increasing the chance it goes viral.

These simple tricks for marketing online videos are very effective. What are some other methods you use to marketing your online videos?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Surviving a Penguin Attack on Your eCommerce Website

Google designed the Google Penguin algorithm to penalize websites for containing unnatural links as an attempt to weed out the low quality sites to promote the browsing experience for internet users. Many websites, including eCommerce websites, suffered from the Penguin update. Even though it happened a while back, many sites have yet to recover from a Penguin attack. No matter if you've received an email from Google saying your site isn't abiding by the new requirements or you've watched your traffic and ranking decline over the past few months, it's never too late to begin surviving a Penguin attack on your eCommerce website.

Surviving a Penguin Attack

To begin surviving a Penguin attack on your eCommerce website, you need to identify any unnatural links on your site to take action to remove them. Often, unnatural links are deceptive or manipulative links that have been used to try to gain traffic quickly, such as those that have been purchased or false reviews. But, unnatural links aren't limited to the "get traffic quick" links. You may have unnatural links on your website without prior knowledge, such as those in spammy comments, poor anchor texted links or third party backlinks.

Unnatural links are now considered to be pollution on the internet, and they will cause your traffic and ranking to plummet. In some cases, your site can even be eliminated from Google altogether. To repair your relationship with Google to have a successful eCommerce website, eliminate any third party backlinks that aren't relevant or originate from a low quality website. This can be difficult as you aren't in control of who links to you. However, make the attempt to contact the third party and ask them to remove your link. Also, remove any backlinks that are purchased or forced link schemes. Make sure the outbound links of your website only like to quality and relevant sites too.

You also need to eliminate spamming comments on your site. If you have to, set your comment section to be moderated to reduce the number of spamming comments. Also, remove any fake reviews you may have conducted or had a third party conduct as it's considered to be intentional sabotage.

After you've found and removed as many unnatural links as possible, take a look at the content on your website. To begin surviving a Penguin attack on your eCommerce website, you also need to comply with the Google Panda algorithm, which emphasizes the need for quality content. Remove any duplicated, plagiarized, spun, keyword stuffed or low quality content. Add fresh, relevant content to your site that's informative and engaging to boost your website's quality and authority.

Once you've taken the initiative to fix your website to abide by the Google Penguin and Panda algorithms, reach out to Google to try to restore your relationship with the search engine. Although this can take a great deal of time, it's worth it in the end if you're able to repair the relationship. Even if you don't reach out to Google, recovering from Penguin is possible, but it'll take time. It's not an overnight process, but eventually, you'll see positive results as long as you don't resort back to old practices.

Were you penalized by Google Penguin? How did you recover your relationship with Google?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Creating Quality Content to Help Your Business Succeed

Google's push for quality content is increasing rapidly. Gone are the days of just throwing up a website with basic information and content. Now, if you want your business to succeed, you need to have well written content on your website. Not only must it be well written, but it must also be engaging and informative. This goes for any content you produce online, whether it's a webpage, newsletter, blog post or social media updates. But, what can you do if you aren't that great of a writer? Maybe you don't have the budget to hire a writer? You can still create great content to help your business succeed. There are many tools available that can help you out.

The content you create for your website and marketing strategies are essential for your business's very success. With well written content, you increase your credibility in your business's niche. Plus, you provide your audience and customers with the information they desire, putting you ahead of your competition.

Of course, there's also the SEO factor involved. Google's algorithms are all about quality content and websites. Quality reigns king. Without quality content, your website isn't going to rank well. It's also much easier to optimize well written content than it is to optimize poorly written content.

The benefits of quality content really are endless, and I can't emphasize enough the importance of taking the time to promote your business with great content.

If crappy content is hurting your business's success, you need to take action. There are many options you can use. Some businesses have the budget to hire professional writers to create the content they need. Those with smaller budgets hire a proofreader or a rewriter to help touch up their existing content. Even businesses with little to no budgets still have options.

As previously mentioned, there are many tools available online to help you create the content you need. Even something as simple as using spell check will help boost the quality of your content. You can even have a few friends or employees read over your content to help increase it's quality.

Lets face it, not everyone is a writer, but that doesn't mean your business has to fail just because you aren't capable of creating the quality content you need. Take the time to explore all of your options to ensure you're providing quality content to your audience and customers. You'll not only notice the difference with your website ranking, but with your business's success as well.

Need help creating quality content for your website?

Friday, November 14, 2014

SEO Tips for eCommerce Websites

SEO tips for a successful eCommerce website
When you transfer information across the internet, whether for business or commercial purposes, you need an electronic commerce website, or an eCommerce website. With an eCommerce website you're able to electronically exchange services and goods despite time or distance. No matter if your site is used for B2B or B2C, you need to utilize SEO tips to make your eCommerce website as successful as possible. With SEO tips for eCommerce websites, your site will rank higher than your competitors and attract an appropriate audience to increase your profit potential.

When you develop an eCommerce website, you need to ensure every page of your website contains informative and unique content that hasn't been duplicated elsewhere. Quality content reigns king, and it's the number one aspect of SEO that will set your eCommerce website apart from others. It doesn't matter how many pages of content you have if every page lacks quality. Plus, the terms used in your content will increase your likeliness of appearing on user searches.

As you create the content, make sure you're being as descriptive as possible in regards to your products/services. List as much information as possible to interest and engage your website's visitors. If they are interested in a particular product, but can't find out if it's available in different colors on your website they will turn to another website that has all of the information they need to make their purchase.

While creating your content, the keywords you use need to include your product or service names. By using the product/service names in your content, titles, header and product descriptions you'll drastically promote your site's online visibility through product/service searches. It also makes your website more user-friendly, while aiding with ranking and its appeal overall.

In addition to using your products/services in your SEO elements for your website, you'll need to use keywords that are relevant to your products/services. Incorporate the keywords into your content, metas, headers and titles to boost your website's potential visibility. However, be careful you don't overdo it by keyword stuffing.

Another aspect you need to pay careful attention to when creating an eCommerce website is the site's URLs. Often, this area is overlooked and hurts your site's ranking. In order for your URLs to be effective for SEO, they need to be as short, simple and descriptive as possible. If you can, incorporate your products/services and keywords into the URLs, but only if you can keep them short and to the point.

It's also a good idea to allow product reviews and comments on your website. Some website owners are hesitant to do so as they fear they will receive bad reviews or comments. Essentially, this is inevitable; however, if you have a quality product or service, the good will outweigh the bad. As many people base their purchases on reviews and comments, the comments and reviews will encourage others to purchase your products/services.

If you hope to have a lucrative eCommerce website, you really need to pay special attention to your SEO efforts.

Here are some more SEO tips for eCommerce websites that shouldn't be overlooked:
  • Crosslink your internal pages
  • Keep your content and website updated
  • Promote your site, products and services
  • Develop a content and marketing strategy
  • Don't use manufactured product descriptions as they will be duplicate content
  • Optimize your images and videos
  • Create unique meta descriptions
  • Link your products/services to your Homepage
 What are some SEO tips for eCommerce websites that you have found to be effective?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Tips for eCommerce Content Marketing

Tips for your eCommerce Content Marketing Campaign!
To bring in the right customers to build your business, you need to develop a content marketing strategy for your eCommerce website. By creating an eCommerce content marketing strategy, your website will stand out from your competitors as it will contain quality content to attract the interest of your customers. Plus, it will also help your SEO efforts as your site will rank higher on search engines. When developing a content marketing campaign, you can't just create anything you'd like. You need to add in strategy to ensure your content has quality, is engaging and information. You must also correctly distribute your content to reach your intended audience. With these tips for eCommerce content marketing, you'll be well on your way to increased profits.

Creating Your Content
Before you can begin creating content for your eCommerce website, you need to understand your targeted audience and how you'll reach them. Who are your potential customers? What interests them? What information will they find helpful? How will they find you? How will you find them? These are all very important questions that need to be answered before you can begin creating your eCommerce content marketing campaign. No matter the content you create, it needs to be quality content that's relevant to your targeted audience. And, don't forget to use those keywords to ensure you reach your intended audience.

Distributing Your Content
After you've determined the type of content you're going to use, you need to figure out how you're going to distribute your content. Are you going to use social media? Blogging? What about email marketing? There are many different platforms and outlets to distribute your content. Don't be afraid to use more than one distribution outlet as your audience is sure to use more than one too.

Here are some other tips for eCommerce content marketing:
  • Don't stick to the written word. Use videos, images and other forms on content to reach your audience.
  • Keep your content updated and current to your products/services.
  • Put a creative spin on your content to make it unique from your competitors
What methods and tips do you use for content marketing your eCommerce website?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Targeting a Specific Audience to Reach Your SEO Goals

There's a common misconception among website owners regarding the amount of traffic they receive. Many believe the more traffic their site receives the better; however, this isn't necessarily true. Yes, you want to have as much traffic as possible as each visit is potential profit, but if the visits your site receives aren't relevant to your business, the visits are essentially pointless. But, if you target a local audience, you'll increase your profit potential and reach your SEO goals even if you don't receive thousands of page views. By targeting a specific audience with your optimization efforts, the views to your site will be quality views that will result in more potential sales. Along with the added benefits of a specific audience, you'll reach your SEO goals easier as you'll have less competition.

Benefits of Targeting a Specific Audience
When narrowing your focus on a particular audience, you'll find it's easier to create and implement an effective marketing plan. Instead of trying to reach and please everyone, you'll have clearly defined goals in mind. As a result, you'll know exactly how to reach them, reducing the amount of time and effort you spend trying to reach your intended audience.

As you'll be reaching an audience who actually has an interest in your business, you'll have more credibility, which will also encourage more shares among your audience. You'll be viewed as an expert in your area; thus, encouraging more sales among those already following your business. Not to mention, your traffic and sales will increase as your credibility is spread among word of mouth, which is more difficult to accomplish when you have a general focus.

With a general focus your competition is stiff, but if you're targeting a specific audience, you'll have less competition. By narrowing your audience focus, you're also narrowing your competition-- thus, further increasing the accomplishment of your SEO goals.

Reaching Your Targeted Audience

To reach your SEO goals with a targeted audience, you'll need to define who they are and their interests. By determining their age, sex, location and needs, you're able to develop a marketing strategy directly targeting them. By understanding who you're trying to reach, you're able to develop a website that interests them. Not to mention, you will be able to choose the keywords they are likely to use when trying to find a business that suits their needs. This results in more specific keywords with a lower competition than you'll find with generalized keywords.

After you have an engaging website that encourages a relevant audience, you will easily develop an effective content marketing strategy. By understating what your audience is interested in, you'll know what type of material you need to produce and how to distribute it. For example, younger audiences are really into YouTube videos and social media sites; therefore, if you're trying to reach an elderly audience, you want to reconsider the use of primarily using social media sites and limiting your efforts with YouTube videos.

For further information to help you determine how you can begin targeting specific audiences, check out market research studies to understand how the demographic your targeting interacts and what interests them. Conduct surveys to gain the information you need to tighten the focus of your SEO efforts.

When you're targeting a specific audience, your traffic may decrease but that's perfectly alright if the traffic your site now receives is relevant; whereas, it was generalized traffic before. As you tighten your focus, you'll certainly reach your SEO goals easier and more effectively when compared to a general targeted audience.

What benefits have you discovered with a targeted audience? How did you determine who to target and how do you reach them?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

How LinkedIn Boosts Your B2B Social Media Marketing Strategy

LinkedIn is a well known networking site to connect with like-minded professionals for various reasons, whether for personal connections or increased business prospects. LinkedIn is also a great place to promote your marketing strategy, especially when involved with B2B. As the majority of the LinkedIn users are there for a direct reason, you'll easily connect with the right people to further your business's success. A great way to promote your B2B social media marketing marketing strategy is to take advantage of LinkedIn groups as you're able to connect with people who will further your business.

By joining niche specific LinkedIn groups, you're able to establish connections to easily communicate with the professionals you need to take your business to the next level. Plus, the people you connect with won't just be local connections. You'll establish global connections that will expand the reach of your business. Sure, you may be directly connect to 50 people on your personal profile, but after you join a group, that 50 turns into a potential 500 or more as you become connected with every member of that group. Therefore, try to join the top groups that are relevant to your niche for maximum connections.

As the members of the LinkedIn groups you join already have a common factor in place, you can easily share relevant information, join discussions, and market related material and information within those groups. Of course, this is beneficial in a number of ways. If you're looking for a certain type of professional to aid your business, such as an investor, you can post your information within the group. Or, if your business is currently offering a service that will benefit similar businesses, you can market or announce that service within the LinkedIn groups.

There are other B2B social media benefits that are attributed to the use of LinkedIn groups as well. Basically, after you join a group, you have a directory of professionals at your finger tips. You no longer have to seek out the professionals you need or wait for them to find you. It will save you a lot of time and effort as each member of the group already shares a common interest. You can easily browse members of the groups to contact. If you find someone who may be beneficial to your business, you can contact them directly through the group or your LinkedIn account.

To maximize the B2B social media benefits associated with LinkedIn, don't just join groups-- create your own. By creating your own LinkedIn group, you'll establish communities you can use to your benefit. If you decide to start your own group, try to offer a unique approach to reduce the amount of competition you'll have with other similar LinkedIn groups. Now, each member who joins your group is another added potential business prospect-- again, saving you time and effort as they've come to you.

LinkedIn groups aren't just great for connecting with professionals who share similar interests. Yes, it's great to connect with like-minded people on the site for personal reasons as you're able to relate to one another, but it's also great for business. If you want your B2B social media strategy to succeed, don't underestimate the effectiveness of LinkedIn groups. It's not as time consuming as you might think, and you'll be happy you did.

Do you use LinkedIn groups for your B2B social media strategy? What benefits have you gained from using the groups for your marketing?

Monday, November 10, 2014

Benefits of Site Search Feature on Your Website

A great website contains an abundance of relevant and quality information. Overtime, that information begins to accumulate and may be difficult for your website visitors to find. This is where a site search feature comes in handy on your website. Users can easily search your site for the information they need, which encourages them to come back to your site time and time again. It makes your website more appealing to your visitors as they feel your website is for them and not just a marketing tool. Not only is the search feature a great tool to promote the user experience while on your site, but it also helps you with your marketing efforts in a number of ways.

You can gain a lot of useful information from the site search feature to aid you with your marketing. By analyzing the terms people use on your site, you are better able to find a diversity of relevant keywords to use. Not to mention, the terms used may give you new ideas for products or services to offer.

A site search feature also allows you to understand your website users and their behaviors to further promote their interaction on the site. By monitoring how they use the feature, you will be able to tell which topics are interesting, which are of least interest, and even areas you may not have covered yet. You will even be able to tell if there are any website issues that may need to be fixed.

The site search feature is a simple yet highly valuable tool to use on a website for a number of reasons.

How do you use the site search feature to promote your online marketing strategy?

Friday, November 7, 2014

How Your Small Business Will Benefit from Blogging

The Benefits of Blogging Will Help Your Small Business Succeed

Small business owners often have a very small budget to spend on marketing and advertising. As a result, it can be difficult to determine which marketing methods should be a priority and what can wait until there's more of a budget. Often, small business owners put blogging on the back-burner because they aren't fully aware of the benefits of blogging. Or, in some cases, they feel blogging isn't necessary for their business niche. However, this misconception may actually be harming your business.

No matter if you're B2B or B2C your small business will benefit from blogging, and it's fairly cost effective given the results. The benefits of blogging are diverse and vary depending on your content marketing strategy. However, the main benefits a small business will generate from blogging include an increased online presence and a stronger brand identity. Both of these will equal a higher profit potential. Not to mention, you'll help build engagement among your audience; thus, strengthening your brand loyalty.

One of the biggest benefits of blogging for small businesses is the fact if gives your website more pages to index and keeps your website active. With the increased activity and number of pages indexed, you'll achieve a higher search engine results page ranking. This will naturally lead to increased website traffic that can convert into sales.

As your ranking and traffic increase, so will your online presence. The more places your website is seen, the more room there is to grow your sales. Along with this new presence, you'll target new customers by creating quality and engaging blog posts. Well written blog posts are enticing and continue to attract current and new customers to your website. Plus, engaging content is more likely to be shared via social networking; thus, increasing your social media engagement. Once you tie all of these benefits of blogging together, you'll further your brand identity and brand loyalty. Again, this will all result in increased potential sales.

Even with these benefits, many small business owners remain skeptical and don't want to spend their small budget on blogging. However, blogging is very cost effective and you have a few options. You can easily create the blog posts yourself. If you're worried that there may be grammar or spelling errors, hire a proof reader. If your budget allows for it, hire a professional writer to help you create the amazing content you need to succeed.

Small businesses will benefit from blogging as long as it's done correctly. The content needs to be well written and engaging. Plus, it also needs to be marketed correctly to drive traffic to the website.
If you're ready to take your business to the next level, consider adding the benefits of blogging to help you reach your goals.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Is Your LinkedIn Profile Hurting Your Employment Prospects?

Increase Your Employment Prospects with a Great LinkedIn Profile

Nowadays, social networking plays a huge role in employment opportunities as the days of searching the classifieds are slowly fading into the past. More and more job seekers are now turning to social media sites to market their skills for their perfect career. Employers are equally turning to social networking sites to find the ideal candidates to fill their positions. LinkedIn reigns king when it comes to employment prospects.

LinkedIn is set apart from other social networking sites because it's all about professionals. The site is a great place to display your talents and skills to seek out career positions and to allow potential employers to find you. However, your chances of finding employment on LinkedIn are only as good as your profile. If your profile lacks quality, your chances of getting hired are going to decrease.

When creating your LinkedIn profile, simple mistakes can really hurt your employment prospects. Plus, there are little known tips that will boost the credibility of your profile, giving you that leading edge above other job seekers. Here are some basic tips to help you increase your employment prospects with your LinkedIn profile.

#1-- A Picture Says a Thousand Words
A picture really does say a thousand words. When a potential employer views your LinkedIn profile, the first thing they will see is your profile picture. Choose your LinkedIn profile picture carefully. Employers are going to pass you over if you don't have a professional picture. Also, check the background in your profile picture. No one wants to see your messy desk or sofa in the background.

#2-- Optimize Your Tagline
Few people know that you can actually optimize your LinkedIn profile to increase your visibility in searches. The area right below your name is the section used to optimize your profile. Often, LinkedIn will include your recent job title in this section. However, you have the capability to edit this to include your most relevant skills. Choose your words in this section carefully.

#3-- Proofread!
This should go without saying, but you really need to proofread your profile. If your profile contains spelling and grammar errors, it's going to lower your level of professionalism. If you can't spell or write very well, consider hiring a proofreader or someone who specializes in LinkedIn profiles to help you.

#4-- Use the Skills Section Correctly
The skills section on your LinkedIn profile allow you to list up to 50 skills. Many people only choose to list a few skills. Don't do this! List as many skills as you possibly can to increase your chances of employment.

#5-- Only Include the Most Relevant Information
Your LinkedIn profile allows you to include a ton of information about yourself and your work history. However, no employer is going to sit there and read an incredibly long profile. Therefore, only include the most relevant information on your profile. Only list your finest achievements, awards, publications, and work history.

With a LinkedIn profile that has been completed correctly, your chances of employment will increase dramatically. Take the time to fill out your LinkedIn profile as best as you can to reduce the risk of hurting your employment prospects.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Going Extinct: Will Your Job Become Obsolete?

Technology is changing our lives in more ways than one. It's more than just extra computer functions, better medical equipment, and top notch cell phones. Technology is even changing the way businesses run. This is good and bad. As technology expands, businesses are able to provide their customers with more services and better customer care. However, this often means bad news for some employee positions. Technology is causing many former jobs to go extinct. As technology continues to grow, more and more people will be replaced by a computer, which raises the questions-- will your job become obsolete?

Retail Cashiers
You've probably already noticed many jobs are dwindling in certain areas. When you walk through Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and even some fast food restaurants, you have the option to use the self checkout stands. Sure, these are convenient and easy to use. But, for every self checkout lane that appears, that's one retail cashier that is now out of a job-- essentially replaced by a computer. It's presumed that retail cashiers will be totally obsolete in the next 10 to 15 years.

Word processing, transcription, and some data entry positions are already being replaced by software. As technology grows, voice-to-text software is replacing the need to hire a human to input data or type documentation. Voice-to-text software has increased dramatically over the past few years. Now, the voice recognition software is more accurate, decreasing room for errors. It's a simple and cost effective solution for businesses. Unfortunately, that means bad news for you if you have this as a career choice.

US Postal Jobs
It's no secret that the Untied States Postal Services has been in trouble over the past several years. As emails are now easier to send than traditional mail, they have suffered a huge profit loss. Now, there are more shipping options underdevelopment that will further hurt the postal sector. For example, Amazon is working on technology to deliver their packages via helicopter drone. As cool as that sounds, it means that will be another person replaced by technology.

Certain Dispatchers
Some dispatchers, such as taxi dispatchers, also hold the risk for becoming obsolete in the next several years. With GPS units right on cell phones and built into vehicles, there's now no need to call for directions. Plus, cell phones and mobile devices are loaded with apps. Waiting on a corner trying to hail a cab will become a thing of the past as an app will surely be developed. Need a cab? There's an app for that! You can instantly hail a cab with a push of the button. Yes, it's convenient; however, that means one less human job available.

There are many jobs that run the risk of going extinct over the next several years. Even summer jobs for teenagers are being replaced. For example, the sign spinner standing on the corner is now often replaced by a mannequin spinning the sign. When choosing a job, you need to take the future into consideration. Ask yourself, will your job become obsolete in a few years?