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Supercharge Your Business Growth – 5 Ways to Get Organized

It’s a new year and we all know what that means. Resolutions, good intentions, and hopefully a ton of growth in 2020!

If you’re planning on growing your business, though, you need to have a solid plan of organization.

I’m not going to lie. It’s tough to stay organized and on task, all the while looking at your bottom line. Over the years, though, I’ve learned that cutting corners to “save time,” in the end only causes more stress, and eventually the loss of revenue.

You know what I’m talking about.

It’s when you decide that you’ll move that client file to right digital spot when you have time. Or, that you’ll sit down and make your weekly to-do list later, but right now you have to get to work because someone has to pay the bills!

Ultimately, you just end up spending more time (hence, money) later on when you’re trying to find that missing file or when you have that sneaking suspicion you’ve forgotten to do something (like a client project).

Let’s let this year be the year we all kick the bad habit of organization neglect. Here are a few of my tried and true tips and tools for easing the overwhelm and getting organized.

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5 Ways to Beat Organization Neglect

Take a few minutes each morning to plan. It can be tempting to roll with the punches and tackle every project or issue that happens to confront you during the day. It’s also exhausting! So take a few minutes each morning to think about what you want to accomplish this week. Then think about what you want or need to accomplish that day. Tie up any loose ends from the day before and then work methodically through your task list.

Use project management apps. A few of my favorites include ToDoist and Trello. I’ve used ToDoist when working with clients and I use Trello as a tool to plan my blog posts, content, and my goals. It integrates with many other apps, and it’s free!

Set a timer. How many times have you thought to yourself,“Oh that takes about five minutes to do,” and an hour and a half later, you’re still at it. Setting a timer helps to keep you aware of how you spend your time. Also, if you have clients that you bill by the project, it will help you to provide a more accurate estimate as well as keep you on task so you don’t lose money. Toggl is a great tool for keeping track of your time — both for solopreneurs and for teams.

Don’t let your inbox get overwhelmed. Alright, this is definitely easier said than done. However, it’s totally possible to get to inbox zero (I admit I’m still working on this!). Make it your goal to address your email every day at a fixed time. Reply to any emails that warrant a response, and if they involve a to-do item, put it on your Trello list. Delete any emails that you don’t need. Email extensions like Sortd can help you to organize your emails and even integrate tasks, put snooze timers on emails, and sort them into lists that you’ve created.

Name your files and/or label them. If you’ve noticed that “wheel of death” (for Mac users) or the timer that just won’t go away (for PC lovers), it’s probably time to do some digital cleanup. However, when looking at your thousands of files, it can be overwhelming to try and sort through them all. So, this year, make it your resolve to clearly label all of your files. For instance, if you have client image files, name them all something consistent, like “[Client Name] — [Images] — [Image Name].” When you have to delete old files, it will be so much easier to do so!

I hope these simple tips help you to get ready for an amazing new year with lots of growth, and of course, an incredibly organized business!

Top 10 Secrets to Boost Your SEO

Everyone wants to be number one, especially when it come to search engine rankings. “Ebony, I want to get on the first page of a Google search. Can you do that?”

Well, I’m here to tell you that, yes, it’s possible to appear on the first search page. And, no I can’t promise that it will happen. In fact, anyone that makes that blanket promise to you is probably (ok, most definitely) lying. Or, at the very least, just trying to make a sale.

The truth is, search engine rankings are in constant flux. One month, you beef up your content to be found for a certain keyword and you’re flying high. Unfortunately, your competition notices this, and they start beefing up their ranking, too. The struggle is real.

So, how can you ensure that your content gets seen by search engines and, more importantly, by humans that want to read your content?

No promises here, but I’m going to give you my top 10 secrets to help boost your SEO ranking. Follow these and you’re likely to be in good shape. Maybe not first page “good shape,” but at least you’ll have a fighting chance.

MY SEO Secrets Revealed

1. Use Synonyms
Google is pretty smart. If your website is selling art supplies, there’s no need to repetitively use the phrase “art supplies” over and over again. Actually, this will hurt your ranking. Instead. mix it up, just as you would if you were describing your site to a friend (think: tools for artists, arts and crafts, etc.)

2. Blog and Blog Some More
Having useful content for search engines to crawl is super important. It allows your audience to find you using several different search terms.

Be aware, though, that even if you blog twice per week, it may take up to six months for search
engines to really start favoring you. Regularity is key!

3. Don’t Use Too Many Tags in Your Blog Posts
Most of us use platforms like WordPress, where we can categorize our posts. However, putting your blog posts in too many categories can confuse search engines, and your site will likely get left out of the party.

Streamline your tags/categories and just stick to one per post.

4. Promote on Social
The more traffic your drive to your site using social, the more Google will favor the pages viewers are navigating to.

Think of it this way: Google is a business. What is the goal of any business? Isn’t it to give their customers what they want?

Looking at it like that, the more site traffic you have to a page or to your site, the more Google will realize that you’re giving its customers what they want.

5. Stop Using Canned and Stuffy Keywords
Most of us know that keyword stuffing is long gone. It’s spammy, awkward, and it just doesn’t work.

However, some people still have the mindset of using keywords in a very calculated formula. With more and more voice searches performed every year, though, it’s easy to see why keywords need to take a more relaxed approach. So stop thinking like a computer and start thinking like a human.

That’s all any of us wanted when the whole keyword world began, anyway, right?

6. Link to Reputable Sites
Your reputation is usually only as good as who you hang out with. And that’s true online, too.

Linking to reputable sites (and referencing the site or company name) can go a long way to building your reputation as a reliable business.

7. Improve Your Time on Page Stats
Google uses a tool called “RankBrain.” Basically, it measures the amount of time a user spends on your page.

Let’s say your art supply store ranks number three in a search. If your customers click on the search result for your site and spend several minutes there, it’s likely that Google will bump you up in search engine rankings.

How do you increase the time users spend on your page? You need to create relevant, customer-focused content. Use this customer focus calculator to see how your site ranks.

8. Use Long-Tail Keywords
Examples of short keywords are: “art supplies” or “art tools.” Examples of long-tail keywords include: “art supplies in Charlotte, NC” or “cheap supplies for new artists.”

Using long tail keywords may reduce the number of page visits you get, but it will also boost your ranking for those long-tail keywords, since your content will be more targeted to a specific audience.

9. Make Sure Your Site is Mobile-Friendly
Last year, Google announced its switch to mobile-first indexing. Since 60% of searches are performed on mobile, this change was really inevitable.

Use this tool to make sure your site is mobile-ready. https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly

10. Get Yourself on YouTube!
Finally, you’ve probably noticed I’m a little obsessed with creating video content. So, if you’re a little obsessed with watching videos, we’re a perfect match.

In fact, YouTube is now the world’s second-largest search engine. If you’re not maximizing your time on this giant platform, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to boost your search engine rankings.

How to Create Your YouTube Channel 

There you have it! My top 10 secrets for boosting your SEO ranking. Now go forth and rank!

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Thanks!