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David Fairfull answered a question

David Fairfull

David Fairfull, CEO & Co-Founder at Metigy

There are some very good answers to this question, but I thought I would dd a really helpful tech solution.

Try MozPro https://moz.com

If you don't have the time to master your SEO, then you will find MozPro great in helping you improve your SEO continually. It analyses and identifies weaknesses and opportunities in your SEO actions, and definitely improves your traffic over time. If you don't have SEO expert and don't want to hire an agency, then this is a great hack to make sure you are moving in the right direction. We are using it and it has really made a difference.

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Zac Johnson

Zac Johnson, CEO at Blogging.org

Ranking in the search results is all about content creation and promotion. Without both of these in place, your content will simply get lost in the mix.

We are currently using a number of methods to improve our rankings (which are really good), using each of the methods below.

  • High-quality blog content, case studies, and tutorials
  • Social media to connect with new audiences and share blog content
  • The creation of shareable content like infographics
  • Guest blogging and article contributions on other sites
  • Creating expert round ups of other top bloggers and industry influencers
  • Getting interviewed on other podcasts and running a podcast of our own

Be sure to focus heavily on the content promotion aspect, as this is where the biggest power push for ranking in Google is going to take place.

For more guidance and working methods on how to rank higher in the search results from different experts around the world, I recommend you run through these ten SEO marketing tips.

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James Norquay answered a question

Is it bad SEO practice to include currency symbols in URLs?

Hey all, Is it bad SEO practice to include currency symbols in URLs? For example: www.pizzahut.com/vouchers/$50-gift-voucher What is the best solution for circumstances like this? Cheers

James Norquay

James Norquay, Consulting Director at Prosperity Media

I wouldn't use $ symbols in URL structure as Micha mentioned this can break the URL and cause issues.

Look at how most of the big Coupon players such as Retail Me Not set up their sits they have a category level page for "PizzaHut" and they list all the deals on the one page they do not set up seprate pages usually and if they do they dont use $ symbols they use dollars as micha mentioned. 

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Micha Wotton

Micha Wotton, Head of Development at SavvySME

The short answer is YES it is bad practice to use the $ symbol in URLs - . As an alternative, you can encode it as %24 but the best option (for SEO as well) is to use the word 'dollar' or 'dollars' - for example: www.pizzahut.com/vouchers/50-dollar-gift-voucher.

For the long answer, read on.

The dollar symbol is a reserved symbol within URLs - it should not be used as part of a URL except for it's specific technical purpose (as a sub-delimiter). Any attempt to use a reserved symbol in a URL will either break the URL or result in the reserved character being encoded, in this case the $ symbol would be encoded as %24 making your example www.pizzahut.com/vouchers/%2450-gift-voucher

While there are parts of a URL that may contain the $ symbol without breaking the URL, it's safest to avoid them except for their reserved use.

For more information on reserved characters, you can read the URL specification here: http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc3986#section-2.2

 

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Marlon Muya answered a question

What Would You Do If Your Brand Was Caught Up In A Scandal?

I am currently listing down all the possible scenarios that my business idea could face and I'm hoping to receive insights from people here.

Marlon Muya

Marlon Muya, Founder and Owner at Casino Financing

I just want to share my two cents with this one. I had an experience that is somewhat related to what happened to them but not that big.

The issue was a rivalry between two employees who took their argument on social media. It was unstoppable, and locals started tagging our business as " home of ****."

The outrage went on for just a few weeks. I didn't want our business to be known that way, so I had to move quickly and do what I got to do, I've initiated a couple of programs that amplifies our brand's core values, ran contests and hired a few local influencers that helped us revive our brand.

But for this one, this is pretty bad, not cool at all, and would be hard to restore their brand image.

Apparently, their issue has been going on in the past few weeks, and it looks like their previous clients who experienced "overbooking" has started sharing their personal experience.

They are totally damaged.

Saw this on LinkedIn and this kind of statements are harsh:

It's like their new value proposition is

"We stand United and heavy-handed if passengers are dead."

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Marcus Tjen answered a question

Is It Necessary To Have Physical Address For Online Business?

If the online business can be run from home, should we have an office for it? Is office a trust factor for an online business?

Marcus Tjen

Marcus Tjen, Owner at Rugged Computing

Think of this from your customer point of view.  How can your potential customers differentiate a fraudster website from a genuine website? Does fraudster website normally has a physical address on it?  What would your customer think if they can't find an address on your website?  You certainly don't need a physical address for a website but if are selling something on your website and you want to attract more customers, you should have one.

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Deborah Vella

Deborah Vella, Owner at Support Legal

From a legal perspective, you will need to have a registered business address.  This doesn't need to be a business location where customers visit, it can be a home address.  This address will be on a publically available register so people can contact you for legal reasons.

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Dave Williams answered a question

Any Idea What Is The Cheapest Country To Order Printed Products?

I'm looking to commission the printing of a calendar, agenda style of book.  

Dave Williams

Dave Williams, Sales & Business Consulting & Separate Online Retail Store at Asia Pacific Sales Management

I use a company in China who are very good and great value. wishpacking.com. My contact is Mr Woodwei.

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Jef Lippiatt answered a question

Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown

Rick,

One way to know is by the number of clients you are landing. Are you having any issues getting clients at your current price? If not, your prices may be set too low. This may sound counter-intuitive, but you want clients to question your pricing. This gives you a chance to justify your rates and fees.

The other way to know is by the quality of your clients. Are most of your clients easy to work with or are some of them nothing but headaches? Raising your prices will deter clients that want everything for a small fee. Getting rid of clients will also make you feel better (as you won't always be stressed about them reaching out for changes or revisions at the last minute). Also, if a client doesn't seem like a good fit, turn them down. Start saying "no" and you may actually see your profit margin go up.

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Rocco Mnseo answered a question

Rocco Mnseo

Rocco Mnseo,

Hello Dina,

To answer your concern, there is no technical way to weaken other site's SEO unless you have the access to their site. And why would you mind to weaken competitor's SEO strategy as it does not make any sense. You will face many competitors of various level across your blogging/marketing journey. You can't weaken them all. So, wasting your time on thinking about that, you should utilize your precious time on strengthening your own SEO. For any SEO strategy queries, do visit my site right here - http://chrometechny.company

Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt , Owner at Startup Chucktown

Totally on point. Focus on producing great content and targeting and connecting with your ideal users (or groups of users). Keep them engaged once they arrive and always look for opportunities to get their feedback for future improvements. It is better to spend time on improving your business (you should always focus on what is within your own control). However, you should always keep an eye on what your competition is doing. Why? Understanding your competition is key for adapting. Don't look to copy them. Look for gaps they have left wide open within the market. Leverage these "gaps" to pull some of their audience to your service. Simple things like that can lead to dramatic impacts.
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Jef Lippiatt answered a question

Have You Outsourced Any Work And Found It Hard To Control?

or even had the other company trying to muscle in on the client after the job? 

Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown

Matthew,

I have seen this in some of my previous work experiences, however, I think it vastly depends on how well you vet or verify the people you outsource work. I believe that you you conduct your due diligence you're more likely to find a good long term partner. The next part is working on that professional relationship in an ongoing manner. Constantly working on the relationship helps surface areas of frustration before they lead to problems (like them trying to steal your clients).

Speaking specifically about one of my ventures, children's books. I can say I did my due diligence in getting a solid illustrator. I've worked with him on a platform for about a year. Then we took it off that platform so he could give me better pricing and make a bit more money himself. We've been working together for almost 2 years now and it is a great relationship.

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Wendy Huang answered a question

Will Snapchat be the next Facebook?

I've recently been interviewed by BusinessDay.com.au for their Small Business section to gain some high level insights on Snapchat. Never heard of it? You're probably not a twenty something into sending pictures of your bits. But many think it's the next big thing for social media.

If you decided not to use it, would you consider using Snapchat down the track? What would change your mind?

Wendy Huang

Wendy Huang, Full Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes

Great question Cassidy!! I'd love to answer this one with I personally LOVE SnapChat!!! At first it took a bit of getting used to since it was unlike any other social media channel, but sometimes you just want to give a quick update to your friends without having a deep long conversation. It's a way of keeping up with them even though you can't physically be there (since we're all super busy these days).

I also love the fact that none of it can be used to incriminate you in the future, or used to blackmail you in some way. Unfortunately this kind of things happen a lot with the invention of the smartphone (ability to take pictures quickly and where-ever) So you can still send you fun party photos to your friends without your future clients finding it on Facebook the next day.

It gives you a freedom and privacy you can't have in a public forum like Twitter or Facebook. 

Another thing I love about it not  being stored is that I tend to run a fine line in regards to my storage on my phone. SnapChat allows me to see what my friends are doing without having to save a photo of a half eaten hamburger onto my phone and me having to go and delete it later. This replaces SMS and emails which is great because sometimes the things you want to send you friends is really for that moment and most likely not important to keep.

I'm pretty sure snap chat was never invented as a tool to replace online forums - just another great channel for close friends to share short bursts of moments and information instead of sending a sms or an email.

It has a huge potential, because I'm sure more people send private sms and messages than posting on public social channel, and therefore there is more opportunity to make use of it :)

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Christine Ma

Christine Ma, Consultant at S2B Marketing Solutions

I personally think SnapChat is a "phase"! Snapchat doesn't have that feeling of community..its just an instantaneous, spontaneous thing that young people use to when they're bored. It doesn't get across any message, and isn't a platform for building or maintaining stakeholder relationships and family/friend networks. with FB, users can engage interactively on a two way basis with greater content sharing. excellent tool for businesses (when used correctly). I don't think I could say the same for SnapChat. 

Ling Lee

Ling Lee , at Digital Marketing and Personal Branding

True, it is a very spontaneous platform, and highly inappropriate for businesses. Snapchat is a very intimate service. That being said, I loved it. The only reason why I'm not using it anymore is because I have a windows phone :'(
Wendy Huang

Wendy Huang , Full Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes

Great points, but I think SnapChat never was meant to create those relationships or be a business tool :) It's mainly to send mostly unimportant snapshots of your life to chosen people and not have to worry about being blackmailed with pictures afterwards :) For that purpose I'm quite confident it has done its job! But I do agree there is almost no application in a business or a brand building context.
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Brad Lyons answered a question

If you have an absenteeism problem, what do you do?

For those of you who have this issue, what steps have you taken and what would you recommend?

Brad Lyons

Brad Lyons, Consultant at SMS Fusion

Absenteeism is a result of multiple factors. The best thing to do before taking any action towards attempting to resolve the issue is to first understand it.

Some basic analysis of the issue should help identify some trends, for example what are the most common days people are taking off. Do those days correlate with any internal or external events. If you can see a trend appearing, for example every second pay day the same employee is calling in sick, you can start to understand what is happening.

People are creatures of habit, that is why behavioral modeling is so effective if done correctly. If you have a system in place to identify when employees are starting work you may even be able to identify early signs of absenteeism and address the issue before it starts.

Absenteeism reporting is common place in large businesses, sure they have expensive reporting software however the same analysis can be done without expensive software.

In some cases it could simply be the person is lazy however in a lot of cases it is something you need to do to change. Like Neil said in his reply, review internal factors as it could be something your doing. KPI, bonus structure and other incentives work however some people just need a challenge and may be getting bored with their job and seeking new challenges.

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Neil Steggall

Neil Steggall, Partner at Wardour Capital Partners

In my experience recurrent problems such as absenteeism suggest underlying management issues within the organisation. These problems can result from a single bad manager or a more fundamental problem with your organisational structure, poor recruiting practices or your levels of staff engagement and communication.

The first step is to question why (assuming it is organisational absenteeism rather than a single person) staff are dissatisfied and feel the need to take time off, look firstly within for a possible solution.

If it is a single person absenting themselves repeatedly, firstly look at their work environment and line manager and if all looks good there discuss the issue with the staff member, do they have problems outside work, can you help, would greater flexibility in working hours help? Of course if the person is simply a shirker then move to terminate that person with due process.

Phil Khor

Phil Khor , Founder at SavvySME

Great advice, thanks Neil.
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