SEO: The Pen Isn’t Mightier Than the Sword

Every entrepreneur, business owner and organisation knows that being found online is vital to staying successful and ensuring steady growth. Having a strong presence in social media arenas such as Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter are requirements, as is being listed in online businesses directories such as Yellow Pages.

However at the end of the day, these resources all serve one common purpose: they direct consumers to your website. When your website traffic isn’t coming from these sources, it is coming from the search engines and the amount of traffic generated from Google can often make or break a company.

We have all heard the Bill Gates saying that “content is king”, and while that is true, the content is irrelevant if you aren’t able to draw people to that content.

Sometimes the pen (though valuable) is not necessarily mightier than the sword.

Emma Taylor

Rather, these two entities go hand-in-hand and, if executed correctly, will work together in a harmoniously, finely tuned marketing machine. This article will examine some SEO tactics that every small business owner should be implementing into their online marketing efforts.

Know your battlefield 

Before charging the battlefield, great leaders such as Napoleon Bonaparte and Alexander the Great studied geographic and tactical maps—they knew the field inside and out before advancing. The same must be effectuated by those who are engaging in SEO with their partners.

Although Google is not an enemy in the literal sense of the word, it is your battlefield yet it can be perceived as a foe if the webmaster doesn’t advance according to the topography challenges and deep chasms caused by Google’s updates.

The “dirty players” are regarded primarily as those who buy numerous links or who acquire them through networks designed specifically to boost Google rankings. Due to these changes, your Google ranking may have dropped.

Before you can implement SEO tactics you must first understand your battlefield, and this means you must perform a diagnosis to determine if your site’s ranking dropped due to Google updates. There is an easy way to do this: analyze your website’s traffic data.

In this case you will need to take the following steps:

  • Isolate your traffic data specifically for organic search traffic (as this is the traffic that would have been altered).
  • Verify the results by launching an analysis of your inbound link profile (looks for links that appear unnatural).
  • Pinpoint any rotten links by running an anchor text report on your domain.
  • Clean house and have those links removed.
  • Begin a new and appropriate link building campaign.

Once you have followed these steps, and you have a clear understanding of your battlefield and the divots have been kicked over to ensure smooth advancement, it is time to launch your new SEO campaign however remember to also keep it simple.

With all their advances, search engines are still pretty simple and favour simplicity. If you get too complicated, then you may not see the result you like.

Link building diagram (source)

Natural SEO Activities

The natural approach wins the war. Having a natural inbound link profile will appease the Googles and will set you on the path to god, natural organic placement. Be extremely diverse in your domain visibility, and link to social media platforms.

This should be especially followed in detail within the anchor text that you use in your links. Be diverse, however make sure each is relevant to the content on your site. If you are linking to a website for a Perth IT support company, state that, and don’t try linking using other words like ‘houseplant guide’. This is where content comes into play.

Engage with content

When striving for good SEO enriched content, there are some basic rules to follow. In an article published by The Guardian, the author offers a number of tips to indulge readers and the search engines with good content.

While providing expertly authored blog posts, the article tells readers to use controversial topics and opinion pieces, quality visual imagery, catchy and original titles and to inject one’s personality into the material. Think of your content like a powerful performance sports car: the content is the catchy paintjob and head-turning trim, and the accoutrements of your SEO will fuel its massive engine.

Your link-building strategy will help to fuel your content and will help you win the SEO war of the Google battlefield. When executing your link-building strategy, be sure to include the following into your arsenal:

Sydicate your quality content to niche-related blogs with high quality written articles.

Offer to do guest posts to blog sites within your industry.

When guest blogging, choose sites with active community discussions and sites with dynamic author biographies (where you discreetly link).

Publish videos to YouTube with imbedded links.

Publish images to Pinterest with links in the descriptions that direct people back to your website.

By incorporating links to relevant sites and utilizing your creativity within a technical flare, your link-building strategy will line up with the quality of your content and boost your SEO engine far across the Google gamut.

Charge into battle! 

Once you have a clear understanding of the search engine battlefield, the topography, and your content and search tactics begin to flow together in unison, you will be in the best position possible to market your brand effectively from the command post where the pen and the sword share equal value.

From this vanguard you will begin to rank yourself organically and naturally within Google and with the pen of victory in one hand, and the marketing sword of supremacy in the other.

Five Ways to Thrive While Working From Home as an Introvert

Many of us are automatically lumped in the “we must always thrive in remote work since we love being by ourselves.” While that may be true sometimes, our preferences brought on by our personality types can also push us into some pitfalls.

Extroverts are not the only individuals who need to take care when planning to work at home (or somewhere else not in the office). There are ways to make introversion work for you when working from home, however there are also some caveats to be aware of.

So, here are five ways to thrive as an introverted remote worker (from personal experience).

Don’t Ignore Your Energy Levels When It Comes to Face-to-Face Interaction

You may think you can schedule a lunch meeting, Skype call, and phone conference back-to-back, however I guarantee your brain won’t like you very much. I have made the mistake of putting a networking event, client call, and catch-up lunch with a friend on the same day. It didn’t go over too well.

Even though we have heard it a million times, every interaction we have with others drains us. This exhaustion will make it challenging to stay productive and also go into the next day refreshed. You care about your clients, employees, and coworkers and you want to show it. However, remember that you need to be at your best to give your all to others. Basically…don’t overbook.

Turn Off Those Email Notifications

This step is something I am still working on. Because of our tendency to aim to please, and our overachieving nature it is natural for us to become a bit overwhelmed when we have multiple demands. On numerous occasions, I have been working on a project, seen an email notification of another client, and then stopped to answer it. Not only does this shatter productivity, however it is also a distraction that takes a minute to come back from. Don’t think email distractions impact you?

According to a study by the Danwood Group, it takes a minute and four seconds to fully recover from an email. Now, multiply this by how many times you switch from a task to email during the day.

It is counterproductive, and because we tend to live in our heads to reflect (which is not a bad thing), this may be even longer. So, set a time to check emails throughout the day so you can finish one task and then give your full attention to a response.

Rethink the Cafe and Coworking Space

I am not going to lie. Before I stepped into remote work, I fantasized about days of drinking a cup of coffee while typing away on my laptop in a posh urban coffee shop. I also dreamed of enjoying the perks of a hi-tech coworking spot with all the bells and whistles.

Well, the reality was a lot different. I do sometimes go to coffee shops, however I find the constant growl of the coffee grinder, background chatter, and hunt for an outlet a bit much sometimes.

Not to mention the parking situation at many of these happening spots (looking at you coffee shops in midtown and downtown Atlanta). There is nothing wrong with leaving the house and putting yourself in a position to connect with others.

However, don’t feel like you have to show you are “aligned with the remote work tribe” on Instagram or Pinterest by frequenting posh coffee shops and coworking spots. If they are distracting, that’s all right! Check out a library or bookstore/coffee shop hybrid (which tend to be quieter) instead. Your introvert brain will thank you.

Don’t Internalise Criticism

Now, this only applies to constructive criticism that is meant to propel you forward. Some can think they are providing helpful feedback however fall short of providing ways to improve. With that said, my work means a lot to me. As an introvert, I treat my job seriously because I enjoy it. So, it is easy to for criticism to hit a bit hard because myself (and most introverts) put so much time, creativity, and effort into what they do. It becomes a part of us.

Couple this with likely receiving feedback over the phone, through email, or on a Skype call and the experience can be a bit overwhelming for an introvert. First, know that it is normal to feel the way you do. We are wired to care a great deal about the work we produce. Next, look at the feedback as a way to climb to the next level to creatively produce an even better product.

Embrace The Power of the Meme (or Gif)

Unless I am with my closest friends, I am “all work and not much play.” For me, “shooting the breeze” feels incredibly unproductive. There are blogs to write, sources to find, and gigs to apply for. However, there is something to be said for finding the time just to goof off.

There is nothing wrong with taking advantage of the Slack watercooler chat to send a funny meme or gif, or even emailing one to a close professional friend.

While socializing is not an automatic go-to for all of us, creating bonds are healthy and necessary. You are not “slacking off” if you decide to take a moment to watch a YouTube video during the day or send your team a hilarious article you found. It could be starting your own ecommerce business as a side hustle as well. While serious work can be fun for us, so can taking time to be a little silly.

Final thoughts

While many may not understand us, introverts are some of the most productive, creative, and thoughtful workers out there. However, as we work remotely, we have to be careful that we are paying attention to how working at home impacts our lives as introverts.

So, make sure you that while working at home (or elsewhere) to create the most healthy working experience for yourself. You Deserve It!