Why Should You Work With A Creative Digital Agency?

We’re going through an era where the importance of online presence is increasing every day. For businesses, it indicates that the customers are easily accessible online, and by leveraging the power of the internet, businesses can spread to all parts of the world relatively easily. But the ease of access also means that the competition is increasing rapidly, and to stay ahead in the competition, a business should always try to use tactics to win over the customers. On such circumstances, Creative Digital Agencies can be of great help.

 

These Creative Digital Agencies offer expertise and highly effective marketing tactics to promote the businesses online, which explains the rising popularity for such agencies. But, what does a digital marketing agency actually do? Is it worth the time and money, or can you do it yourself without hiring the agency? Let’s try to answer them.

What Do Digital Agencies Do?

 

What Do Digital Agencies Do?

Digital Agencies can perform all of the digital tasks for an organization, which mainly includes advertisements and digital presence for the business. The digital agencies can handle the following tasks, depending on the expertise of the agency:

 

Social Media Advertising & Management

 

In today’s world, social media plays a huge role in our everyday life. This is why businesses require a substantial social media presence and they try hard to stay relevant in the social media platforms.

 

Along with social media presence, businesses can easily reach out and engage with their customers. Creative Digital Agencies can handle all your social media profiles for you and can engage with your customers professionally. The Digital Agencies will also post on a regular basis with short and catchy copies that will send a definitive message to your customers.

 

Digital Marketing

 

Search Engines like Google and Bing also plays a huge role in a business’s online presence. Businesses always try to rank their advertisements higher in these search engines so that they get their customer’s attention. Digital Agencies can handle such digital marketing campaigns and choose the best keywords to target the customers looking to use the business’s products or services. These agencies also ensure that you get the best return on investment (ROI) for your advertising budget.

 

Website Development And Maintenance

 

Digital Marketing Agencies work with the customers and know your customers pretty well. With all those data, they can help develop and redesign your websites so that the websites provide a smooth experience to the visitors. This not only helps to enhance the looks of your website, but also helps to induce a greater brand value of your business.

 

Content Marketing And SEO

 

Paid Advertisements through search engines like Google can be costly, and you can have other way around to achieve the same (or better) results. This can be done by ensuring that the website/business ranks higher whenever a potential customer searches for the related keywords. Digital Marketing Agencies know exactly how to rank your website higher on the search engine page. To do this, they try to optimize the website with SEO, content marketing and blog posting. These ensure that Google knows exactly what the website is about, and this helps the website to rank higher on the search engine results page.

 

Measuring, Optimizing and Reporting

 

Digital Marketing Agencies also ensure that all of the money you spend is tracked and optimized to ensure maximum efficiency. Digital Agencies that have been in this business for a very long time have the data and expertise to plot every campaign with utmost accuracy, and this is why they can exploit Google’s algorithm to favor your business website.

 

Why Should You Work With A Digital Agency

 

Up until now, we’ve discussed all the different services that digital agencies can offer. Now, why should you work with a digital agency? Are these services truly worth your time and money? To answer this, we can look into the reasons why you should work hand-in-hand with a Creative Digital Agency that has the expertise to help scale your business.

 

To Stay Industry Relevant

 

Digital Marketing Agencies are professionals in their field of work. This means that they follow closely with the latest marketing trends on a regular basis, and try to implement them into the campaigns with utmost efficiency. It is important because doing so will ensure that your campaigns match with the latest industry standards, if not better.

 

Time Efficient Methods

 

The Digital Agencies are working with multiple other businesses, and this is why they work with utmost efficiency. Along with efficiency, Digital Agencies are highly focused on their work and tries to use effective marketing strategies to uplift the business. They use entreprise-graded software and tools in bulk to complete the daily tasks. In addition to these, digital agencies have a consistent experience dealing with versatile projects and they can find out newer and effective ways to a brand’s social media marketing needs.

 

Avoiding The Learning Curve

 

For new businesses, trying to handle all of the digital marketing by in-house marketing team may mean that the team goes through a learning curve. This includes the training period for the employees, learning time required to know which copy sells and knowing the most effective type of marketing campaign for the business. As for digital agencies, their years’ worth of experience and expertise helps the business to go about the learning curve and start effective marketing campaigns, which results in lower average costs over time.

 

Cutting Down Costs

 

When you sign a contract with a Digital Agency, you’ll find out that they charge on a monthly basis. During this time, they promise to put in a certain number of hours to achieve your digital marketing. These kind of contracts are highly cost-effective because you only pay them for the hours they put in, and this is a cheaper option than hiring an in-house team. You’ll also get professional results and expert feedback as additional benefits.

 

Getting Breathing Room To Focus On What Really Matters

 

There are two sides to a successful business – product and marketing. Whenever you have one side of your business taken care of, you can focus on what really matters to your business. By outsourcing your digital tasks to an agency, you make sure that you can focus on iterating your product, enhancing your PR, establishing a supply chain and running your business smoothly.

 

Working With Experts

 

Top Digital Agencies have highly experienced professionals who have been in this business for years. This ensures that you will be working with experts in regards to your digital marketing and digital growth, which is important to achieve effective campaigns.

 

Choosing The Right Agency

Choosing The Right Agency

 

So, we have discussed why you should work with a digital agency. But the question may arise, how should you choose a digital agency that fits your business?

 

In an article by Forbes, it was suggested that you keep in mind six main aspects before hiring a digital agency to work for you. These are:

Understanding your needs and your budget

Demanding full transparency

Going through the agency’s credibility

Ensuring prior industry experience

Considering client, agency and technical sides

Giving the agency a beer test

 

Apart from all of these, there are certain questions you (as a client) must question the agency. An article published by The Leverage Way puts 40 such questions into a single canvas which you can check out!

 

Conclusion

The digital marketing world is ever fluid, always dynamic and never dull. For businesses to cope up with this highly evolving world of ours, versatility is a must. To ensure that the business keeps up with the emergence of newer trends, the business must be ready to play ahead of the game and use digital marketing to their advantage to reach out to a wide audience effectively.

 

A highly creative digital agency can be of great help when a business is trying to create an impact online. They can help a business with targeted digital marketing, advertisements, brand promotions and website redesign and development.

 

Working with a Creative Digital Agency will ensure that you remain industry relevant while cutting down costs, using time efficient methods, work with experts and most important of all – get time to focus on developing your product or service!

 

Creative Digital Agencies are different from the conventional Digital Agencies because they put creativity into the table. Using this personality, they can ensure unique marketing campaigns and feature ideas that would enhance the storytelling mindset of your business. This is particularly important if you want your customers to understand that your business tries to do something out of the ordinary.

 

All in all, ensuring that you’re working with the right digital agency will help you to grow your business and reach out to more of your customers at once!

 

 

How To Design The Perfect Website Navigation

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci.

Maintaining simplicity in all aspects of life is critical. So why not maintain such simplicity in your website navigation? The overall design of a website’s navigation bar has a bigger impact on the success or failure of the website than any other factor. The navigation bar affects traffic and search engine rankings, conversions and user-friendliness. Analyzing the top websites in the search lists, you’ll find one thing in common – every single website has perfect website navigations.

In an article published by Forbes, it was clearly stated that website navigations are the single most important element in a website. So, why are the website navigations important? Let’s find out.

 

Why Does Website Navigation Matter?

A website navigation bar is one of the fundamental components of a website, and it surely is the most important element of a website. Not only does a perfect website navigation help us find content beyond the homepage, but it is also the go-to tool to give your users a proper sense of orientation and a well-planned website. Keeping this in mind, it is very important for you to stick to time-tested designs and usable interface. By doing so, you can give your users a comfortable time when they’re exploring through your websites and easily reference them in order to fully engage them with your content.

A research by the International Organization for Standardization stated that a website navigation gives the user a sense of brand image, presentation, system performance, functionality, assistive capabilities and interactive behavior of the whole website.

This, in turn, indicates that you can achieve higher traffic, better search engine rankings, better conversions and more user-friendliness in your website if you can implement a perfect website navigation.

So, how should you design a perfect website navigation? Let’s discuss all of the aspects that you must focus on while designing your site navigation.

Designing The Perfect Website Navigation

Up until now, we’ve discussed the importance of having a well-planned website navigation. Now, there are some things that you must keep in mind while designing a website navigation. Before we start focusing on all of the aspects that go into a perfect website navigation, let’s discuss some of the mistakes you must avoid while designing a site navigation.

 

Mistakes You Should Avoid

Neil Patel has pointed out many of the mistakes that most designers do when designing a website navigation. The mistakes he has pointed out are:

1. Not using standardized styles

2. Usage of generic labels

3. Unplanned dropdown menus

4. Crowding of items in the navigation

5. Inappropriate order in the navigation

 

When designing a navigation for your website, you should avoid these mistakes discussed above. Doing so will ensure that the customers perceive a better brand image and they’re led with useful navigation panels through the website.

 

The Basics to A Website Navigation

After you’ve noted all the mistakes, you can start to design a website navigation. Let’s guide you through all of the components you should take into account while designing the navigation panel.

 

Start With The Content

When you’re to design the navigation, you should always keep in mind of the content you’ll be having. Most prominent designers instruct people to have their website content ready before the designers start crafting the website. Jeffrey Zeldman, a usability guru, suggests, ‘Content always precedes design. Design in the absence of content is not design; it’s decoration.’

When you have your contents ready beforehand, you will know exactly what you want to showcase to your visitors when they scroll through your website. In this way, you can select all the important components and establish a hierarchy for better navigation.

Plan Your Navigation

Before beginning your design, you should consider the hierarchy and properly plan your navigation. Find out all the crucial portions that your visitors might want to look in your website, and plan your navigation in the same way. Consider what you’ll be including under each navigation panel and make sure that the flow makes sense to the end user.

Do Not Overwhelm With Content

Always keep in mind, the main role of a website navigation is to guide your user through the website. If you overwhelm the navigation bar with unnecessary content, the user might find it difficult to get the items they wish to see in the website. This increases the bounce rates within the website.

It is always recommended that you opt for a website navigation that sits between four to five items. If you direly need more tabs, you should never exceed the limit of eight separate items.

 

Use Simple Language

While designing each navigation item, you should use precise and simple words. Never use long phrases that consume half of the screen. Limit the content of each navigation item to 12 characters (including spaces). This will keep your navigation panel simple and easily readable.

 

Keep Actions To The Right

People read from left to right, and we naturally expect call to action links to be on the right side. It is mainly because moving to the right seems to be moving forward. Most designers know this phenomenon and they design the navigations in such a way keeping all the call-to-action to the right side.

 

Responsive Navigation

This is another crucial concept. When working with your navigation panel design, you must always ensure that your navigation is well-responsive across all platforms. A study by PEW research center suggested that more than 63% of total website visits are done by smartphones, while 9% of the visits are performed by tablets. This suggests that you must have your website menu design highly responsive across all of the devices.

 

Some Inspiration

When designing the perfect website navigation, you need to follow some best practices. Ensuring that you know them will help you understand what exactly you must do before starting to design the framework of your navigation.
It is also recommended that you check out some of the websites that have excellent website navigations.

Telepathy has listed out 23 great examples of innovative navigation panels that you can check out. While surfing through these websites, you will find some things in common:

1. All of the websites have simplistic navigation

2. The content are well-planned

3. Simplistic wording is used

4. Content hierarchy is maintained

 

Conclusion

Website navigations are crucial components within a website. These guide your users through the website, offers all of the elements that the user may want to see and includes call-to-actions. The navigation bar affects traffic and search engine rankings, conversions and user-friendliness.

While the primary purpose of a website navigation is to guide the users through the website, the navigation panel often gives the user a sense of brand image, presentation, system performance, functionality, assistive capabilities and interactive behavior of the whole website. This is why you must put proper attention in designing a perfect website navigation that your users would love.

Before starting off, it is highly recommended that you take inspiration from top websites and be sure of the best practices while avoiding fundamental mistakes. Next, you should arrange all your content and put them into a hierarchy. This is particularly important because this will enable the users to get the content that matters to them the most. After planning your navigation, you should be sure to use simple wording and never overwhelm the navigation items with content.

Following these rules will help you in designing the perfect website navigation for your website. Want to learn more about how you can design your website? Visit our website to get more profound insights into the aspects you must consider when designing and developing your website.

What To Look For In Photos?

In this modern era, photos play a huge role in every aspects of our life. Whether it’s a personal memory or a commercial purpose, photos can be very useful in every spheres of operation. Photos tell a story, often symbolizing the impact that drives within the frame. For businesses, a great photo can grab the customer’s attention while conveying a definitive storyline to the targeted audience.

For personal use, photos can be a great way of storing memories digitally. The visual impact of such photos can be unparalleled, explaining why the popularity of photos have always increased.

So, why do we love photos so much?

 

Why We Just Love Photos

We are highly visual creatures. We love to visualize things, and a large percentage of our brain is dedicated to visual processing. We get distracted by colors, gradients and illustrations and these can grab our attraction.

Our brains also process photos at an astounding speed. This means that we know what the photo is talking about in seconds.

The visual perception relating to images are truly something that’s phenomenal, and business try to exploit this to their needs.

So, what actually defines a ‘perfect’ photo? Let’s look into some of the things that you can look for in photos.

 

Resolution

As I’ve previously said, humans love to visualize. This indicates that the higher resolution (or the level of detailing) in a photo, the better impact it’ll bring. No one wants to look into a pixelated image, rather we want to look into a photo which has a crystal, clear detailing.

 

Exposure

Exposure is the brightness or darkness within a photo. It’s something that gives life to the photo. The aperture, ISO and shutter speed of the camera can affect the exposure, so knowing these will help to get the exact exposure you want to achieve. For darker themes, opt in for photos having less exposure.

 

Lighting

First of all, exposure and lighting is not the same. Exposure refers to the condition of the total image while lighting only refers to the detailing of the subject. The best way of doing this is making use of natural lighting. This will enhance the looks and give the photo a lot more natural vibe.

 

Composition

If you look closely into the ‘perfect’ photos, you’ll notice one thing – these have an excellent composition. Most photos have proper object balancing, leading lines and framing. These add up to make a proper photo that tells a story.

 

Emotion

Humans are naturally drawn to emotions. Photos shows us emotions and the timeless moments into one frame, which explains why these have exceptional emotional value. A ‘perfect’ photo will capture the emotion when it happens, whether it is something that makes us laugh or cry.

 

Story line

Photos create a visual impact on our brains. The best photos always have a story that’s linked to them. This helps us to visualize the photo better, creating a strong emotion towards the photo. A perfect story within a photo can be achieved if the photo is captured at the right time and has emotions attached to it.

 

Scope For Imagination

Although most photos feature a pre-told story, some photos may also use imagination to create a bigger impact. Having an unfinished frame can help achieve this phenomenon where the person looking at the photo can carve out a story of their own. This helps to create an emotional attachment to the photo.

 

Presents An Overlooked Detail

We always meet with exceptional details in our everyday, but more often than not we tend to overlook them. A photo that presents such an overlooked detail can grab the attention of a visitor, which is why it creates a unparalleled impact.

 

Unique Perspective

Most of us live our lives by viewing the world and our surroundings with relatively the same perspective as all others. This is what makes unique perspectives so interesting to the audience. Having a different perspective can put the target audience in awe and can help them visualize the scenario in the way you want them to see and feel.

 

Proper Depth Of Field

A professional photo ALWAYS has a certain depth of field. This is particularly important because it helps to focus the photo towards the subject, keeping the background out of focus. Some photos may have lower depth of fields, especially when the subject takes up a larger area in the photo.

Conclusion

Photos are always the best ways to help people visualize. These can have strong impact on our perception. Photos tell a story, often symbolizing the impact that drives within the frame. For businesses, a great photo can grab the customer’s attention while conveying a definitive story line to the targeted audience.

A ‘perfect’ photo will have a number of distinct qualities that will set it apart from the rest. To create an impact, the photo must have excellent resolution, good exposure, lighting and composition while capturing an emotion to create a story line within the photo. It must also have a proper depth of field and can have an unique perspective attached to it, have scope for imagination or can present an overlooked detail.

All of these can help the photo to create a bigger impact on the audience and can convey a message unlike any other photo.

Want to know how to find the right photos for your website? Don’t worry, click here to find out!

How To Find The Right Photos For Your Website?

When visiting a website, most people naturally gravitate their attention towards fascinating color and high-quality imagery. It is these elements which grab the attention of the visitor and helps in the retention for more extended period of time. A harmonious blend of colorful images, high-contrast colors and exceptional placement of content always helps to levitate the readers’ minds and to create brand value.

Personally, I love to visit websites with vivid imagery and unique color palette. It’s something that evokes attention, and it surely is true for most other people. When people notice the photo, people perceive the quality of the image to be synonymous to the brand, and this prompts their interactions to the website. This is why you’ll always find that the top brands use colorful imagery to grab their customer’s attention.

 

How To Choose The Right Photo?

As I’ve previously mentioned, high-quality imagery provokes a unique brand value that grabs the attention of the customers. Apart from the attention-grabbing ability, choosing the right photo can make a significant difference when you’re aiming to your targeted audience.

Let’s now look into some of the basics that you must remember to choose the perfect photo for your website:

 

Quality Matters

When choosing photo which goes according to your design concept, you must make sure that you’re choosing a high-resolution and sharp photo. Visitors often correlate the quality of the picture to the quality of your product or service, which is why it is essential that you opt for something that looks pleasant to the eye.

 

Know The Purpose

When finding the photo, be sure to know the purpose for which you’ll be using it for. This will mean that you’ll get the photos that serve the purpose, be it creating brand awareness, prompting people to take action or just creating a good vibe.

 

Strive For Originality

Visitors to your websites maybe fairly accustomed to the online world, which is why choosing a stock photo can create a bad impression to your visitors. This is why you should always choose something original, or something that looks as if it’s original. You can choose a candid photo, or just click some photos all by yourself using your phone. This lets the customers get accustomed to your company.

 

Be Consistent

When you’re finding the right photos for your website, you must make sure that all of the photos used in the websites add up to make up a story. If you look into the top-rated websites, most of them feature a unique set of photos that makes them stand out from the rest. If you add all the photos to a canvas, you’ll see a trend that they tried to create to appeal to their customers.

 

Where To Find The Right Photos?

With the surge of free resources, the availability of high-quality imagery has been easier than ever. While images have become a vital component for online content nowadays, the search for the perfect photos has always remained a pain. All of the images published over the web has a license, which protects the intellectual property from being used without compensation. Currently, you will find four main types of licensing for photos. These are:

 

Public Domain

These are the photos in which the intellectual property rights have already been expired, or the owner has released them to the public free of charge. These photos, therefore, can be used for any purposes including personal and commercial.

 

Creative Commons

This licensing is done either to protect the original photo or to give credits to the owner when the images are used. You can use these images for most purposes, but you must credit the owner for the photo.

 

Royalty-Free

These are the photos which require a one-time payment. Once you purchase the image, you don’t have to credit the owner, nor do you have to give the owner royalty every time you use the image.

 

Rights-Managed

This particular licensing allows us to use the image for a limited number of times, and once we’ve surpassed the frequency of use, we will need to pay for the license.

 

So, where to find the right photos for your websites?

There are a few options that you can try, which includes both free and paid images. Let’s look into some of the free sources from which you can find the perfect photo for your website:


Free Sources For Amazing Images

While there are hundreds, if not thousands, of websites offering excellent images for free, there are certainly some websites which have an extensive collection of free high-resolution images available to us. Let’s look at some of them.

 

Unsplash

Unsplash is one of the best websites from which you can find high-quality images taken by highly talented photographers. Personally, this is one of my favorite places from where I can get meaningful images that can attract people. While some images may be free, some may require you to credit the owner.

 

 

500px

500px has one of the largest collection of unique and attractive images in the world. The wide array of free images definitely surpasses Unsplash and features the trendy images in high-resolution. Although you will find free images on 500px, most of the images are up on sale and you will have to buy the image in order to use it. However, it’s truly a worthwhile investment given the fact that you’re getting such amazing images.

 

Rawpixel

If you are looking for photos for your business, Rawpixel might be the ideal place for you. Rawpixel has a limited collection of free images, but the images featured in Rawpixel portrays a definitive meaning. This is particularly important from small to medium businesses, where you want to convey a message to your customers. This is why Rawpixel is one of the best sources that you can use for finding the perfect photo for your website.

 

Wikimedia Commons

If you’re to get free-to-use images, Wikimedia Commons can be a great website to visit. It is an online repository of free images, sounds and other media files. The website contains a large collection of images, which is why it is more certain that you will get the images you’re searching for. The website, however, may not contain images that convey a definitive meaning. Instead the images are

 

 

Pexels

Similar to Unsplash, Pexels is another excellent website where you can find amazing free-to-use images. The images featured in the platform portrays a meaning, and you can easily find the perfect image from their vast collection of images. Top websites often visit Pexels to find the best images available.

 

 

Flickr

Flickr is an online community where talented photographers from all over the world shares their photos. These photos are free to use, and you can use them for any purpose you like. The images featured in the platform are of high-resolution and can portray a meaning to the targeted audience. The best thing about the platform is that you’ll get to know deeper insights into the photos, including the camera in which the photo was clicked, the aperture, focal length, exposure time, ISO and a lot of other information that may be relevant.

 

Paid Sources You Can Try

While you’ll get a wide array of excellent images on the websites mentioned above, there are no alternatives in purchasing an image. In such paid websites, you’ll find the best photos clicked by prominent photographers all around the world. Let’s look at some of the best websites where you can purchase high-end photographs and images for your website.

 

Getty Images

If you’re looking for a royalty-free image for your website, chances are that you will find the perfect photo that suits the purpose in Getty Images. It is considered to be the world’s best photo library, and you can get excellent creative stock photos, high-resolution images and vector art illustration all at the same platform.

 

 

Shutterstock

Similar to Getty Images, Shutterstock is another prominent photo library website. The website features excellent royalty-free images, creative stock photos, vi

deos and even music. The images featured in the website are of high-quality and follows the recent trend in the market. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking images for your personal blog or your commercial website, you’ll surely find the perfect photo that matches with the theme in Shutterstock.

 

Alamy

With over 150 million stock images, Alamy offers a wide range of excellent stock photos for you to choose from. The website features a wide range of royalty-free images clicked by photographers from all over the world. You can find all sorts of images, including the recent trends and images with a deeper meaning. Top businesses and websites prefer Alamy mainly due to the unparalleled aesthetics of each images.

 

What Next?

Once you’ve found out the perfect photo for your website, it is recommended that you follow the image with exceptional content that retains the customer’s attention. This ensures that you portray a greater brand value to the customer, so the customer perceives the quality to be synonymous to the quality of your website. This is why it’s truly important to follow up excellent photos with greater content.

 

Conclusion

Images are an integral part of any website, and choosing the right image helps the website to grab the visitor’s attention. Using vivid imagery and unique color palette may help a company portray their brand, which in turn means brand value and customer retention. By choosing a high-quality photo, knowing the purpose of the photo, using original photos and being consistent in all aspects can help a website to create a positive impression.

When you’re looking for images on the web, you’ll come across four types of licensing which may affect your usability. You may find two kinds of images – either these are free or you’d need to give a one-time payment to use the royalty-free custom stock image.

If you’re looking for exceptional images free-of-cost, you can surely try Unsplash, 500px, Rawpixel, Wikimedia Commons, Pexels and Flickr. All of these contain high-resolution images which can be used for both personal and commercial purposes.

If you want to be a bit more professional, you can try to purchase the image and reserve the licensing. You can try Getty Images, Shutterstock and Alamy to get highly professional stock images that will grab the customer’s attention.

Regardless of where you find the photo or which sources you use, you must always ensure that the photos are of high-quality and portrays the purpose in which it was intended to use. In this way, you will know how to find the right photos for your website.fairly straightforward, which is why you may not want to use the images for your business websites.

Understanding SEO: White Hat vs. Black Hat

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process in which websites work up the rankings for their desired keywords in search engines. Just like most highly desirable objectives, there are correct and incorrect sneaky ways of achieving it. Search Engines are constantly releasing updates to improve their algorithms to reduce the effectiveness of bad SEO practices and punishing it’s perpetrators. Simply, What Hat is good & Black Hat is bad. Here is a breakdown of what constitutes each;

Black Hat SEO

Black Hat SEO is any sneaky approach to achieving quick search ranking results. These are practices that hurt the user experience for the searchers – the people search engines care about most. They can help you achieve quick short terms results but are definitely against search engine guidelines and may result in your website having a worse search ranking or being blacklisted altogether. Here are some common Black Hat SEO practices;

1. Invisible Text/Links: Making your text the same color as your website background might seem like a good idea to list off a bunch of keywords on your website, but it’s explicitly against the rules.

2. Automated Content: Creating bots to generate content in the website is a huge no-go! We can all detect bot-written content fairly easily and so can Search Engines.

3. Cloaking: This is the practice of showing your visitors and the search engines entirely different content. Search Engines want you to create your website for the sake of your visitors and not to artificially impress the Search Engine Bots. The Sitemap presented to Google should be sitemap with pages that are visible to your visitors.

4. Doorway Pages: These are usually pages that have very little value themselves used to generate clicks on to another page that does have value. Having multiple domains or pages for sole purpose of generating links to another is against the guidelines as well.

These are some of the main most-common bad practices we see in the Black Hat SEO world. To learn more about Google’s Guidelines, click here.

White Hat SEO

White Hat SEO is just good practice standard SEO. Different companies will have different long-term SEO strategies to dominate their desired keyword ranking, even if they are targeting the same keywords. Companies seeking to be at the top results for their search ranking need to justify to Search Engines that they are the authority for such keywords. These companies will have to bring a lot of value in the content they provide to their visitors for these keywords. Here are the best practices for great White Hat SEO;

1. High-Quality Relevant Content: Having high-quality content can improve your websites ranking in unpredictable ways. When users read valuable original content they are much more likely to share to their friends adding to the number of visitors on your website – inevitably improving your search ranking.

2. Keyword Optimization: Search Engines want to make sure that the keywords you are optimizing for are crucial to your page and not just a minor footnote. Optimizing your keywords involves adding those keywords in the right places (page title, header tags, paragraph tags, etc.) of the website. Finding the right balance between keyword stuffing and quality readable content is heart and soul of White Hat SEO.

3. Page Speed: Good page speed is good for user experience – hence ideal for Search Engines wanting to link to you. Compress your images, de-bug your website until you have a fast website!

4. Quality Backlinks: Having high-quality websites link to your website is a sign that your website has value. It’s important to note websites that have bad page rank will not help and may even hurt your page ranking.

5. Internal Links/Good Website Structure: Your website should allow visitors to go from page to smoothly and organically. Navigating through pages should be intuitive. Search Engines prioritize websites where the pages link to each other. Pages that do not have any internal links within your website are known as orphaned pages and do not add much value to your SEO.

6. Social Sharing: Sharing your website pages on your social platforms is a great way to boost your website’s traffic and backlinks.

Creating your SEO Plan

SEO is a process. It takes time. It requires strategy.

Improving your SEO is a lot more than a checklist of tasks, it’s a strategy that may involve creative skills, content writing, keyword optimization, social media management, business development and much more. This is why it’s hard to give clients SEO packages that they can be reliably satisfied with. SEO plans should be customized based on their current business situation and their business objectives for the future.

The Irreplaceable One

Whether it is you or someone you work with, its unmistakable when one has reached the “Irreplaceable” status. The business simply cannot function without their input whether it be their corporate decision-making, managerial skill, technical skills, or in the most gifted cases all three and much more. Regardless of the type of input, this places the business in a precarious position. It is fortunate to have such a valuable person on the team but the price is the instability of the organization due to over-dependence. Suppose that they are to leave the company for greener pastures or simply due to illness, the world will continue to turn but the business will be in disarray. Businesses should not shy away from hiring exceptionally talented people but must take precautions against unfortunate circumstances.

Plan A should simply be to avoid this scenario however possible. Optimally one should hire a diverse and talented pool of employees who as a team can sufficiently handle the wide array of tasks needed to keep the company functioning. Or at least train your pre-existing employees bringing them to a sufficient level of competency, if possible, if not then reevaluate your hiring practices. No matter how skillful a single individual is their value can likely be matched by a team of perhaps less skilled but still competent individuals. It is simply a matter of finding or creating such a team.

Perhaps Plan A is out of the question. The lone individual has already reached Irreplaceable status and now the business hinges on their presence. This may have happened due to the company being in a strategic battle against opposing entities with the only hope resting on the Irreplaceable One. It may also be because of the business or personal connections vital to the company are linked solely and necessarily to them. Alternatively, unparalleled technical ingenuity and deep understanding of the company’s product may be the key to their importance. In any case the situation demands that they not leave the company. The only viable strategy is to align their self-interest to that of the company’s. This can be done by offering shares of the company, higher salaries and greater benefits. They must be courted and kept, for at this stage the opportunity cost has become much too high. If the individual is a savvy negotiator they may seize the moment and take a lion’s share. That is simply the price the company must pay for allowing itself to be in such a position. I would call this Plan B but in reality there is not much room for choice here.

Remember however it is not the fault of the talented individual for their irreplaceability but rather the rest of the company for allowing such a situation to arise. Any individuals should always be encouraged to achieve greatness to the best of their abilities. And in turn, a company should always be prepared to survive and prosper with the loss of any individual. If handled properly the irreplaceable ones and their companies should be able to have an exceedingly prosperous relationships.

How Culture Affects Business

Try to seriously convince someone in the business world that corporate culture is unimportant. You’ll most likely receive a few good-natured chuckles. That is until they see you aren’t stopping and you seem sincere in your delusion. At which point you have plummeted into having the same credibility as a flat-earther and you could say goodbye to potentially networking. There’s good reason for this very much proportionate response. As the company grows, success or failure can hinge on your businesses culture.

As with many fundamental concepts corporate culture has a very simple reason for its importance.  The employees should want to work. Who would’ve thought? The people at Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon,… really, just name a Fortune 500 company. And yet the number of startups insist on slave-driving their employees after the slightest growth is staggering.

Businesses must understand that while it is true that they are paying each employee for their time, this does not transform a human being into a machine. Employees retain their personalities, dreams, passions, attention spans and motivations.  Now you have the choice in creating an environment which satiates some of their humanity, thus allowing their work alone to be on their mind. Having control over the environment is alike to having control over which direction the current of the river flows where your employee canoes. Why on earth would you make the current flow the opposite direction in which you hired the employee to go? Rather make the current as suitable as you can.

Kayaking Upstream.

Remember the engine that runs the world’s businesses is Mutual Self-Interest. Without satisfying the interest of both sides not a single business deal would ever be made. Everyone seems to understand this when conducting their affairs with outside entities but they do not apply this philosophy with their employees because they are not viewed as independent entities. The employee is both an individual and a member of the organization. A compromise must be found where the employee is seen both as part of the company but also as an individual with whom business is conducted. Do good business by keeping your business partners happy, that includes your employees.

The design of your work culture relies heavily on the personality of its leaders. Charisma is a necessity for a great leader, but there are several types. You can have the outgoing, funny and lively leader drawing people in through their vibrant energy and in turn creating an energized environment thus naturally engaging people to work with enthusiasm. Alternatively there is the calm, collected and stoic leader able to lead through creating an environment where the employees respect and feel purposeful under a clear and directed path. Thirdly and most commonly, there is the hard-working leader that sets an example. They arrive at the office before anyone else, work efficiently and are the last to leave. This can inspire employees to work harder, out of respect, awe, and a desire to pull their own weight. Note I have given three examples but the qualities are not mutually exclusive from one another and hybrids can be made. Find your own style and optimize the environment based on your strengths.

Lastly, clean up your damn office! It does not matter what type of culture you are trying to create -that is if you want it to be productive- the office space should not repulse the employees. There shouldn’t be trash lying on the floors or mold growing on the kitchenware. Employees should not have plan meals and fluid intake out of fear of having to use the in-office bathroom. Design your office the best you can!