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Shameless Plugs

Sometimes, you just need to shamelessly plug other projects you’re working on. We all have things that get us excited (and if you don’t, you should!). Here are a few project we’re excited about and why:

 

A New Network Marketing Company

There isn’t a lot of middle ground when it comes to network marketing. Usually people either love it or hate it. However, there is a new company called Bonvera that might be changing all of that. And that’s why we’re excited about both the company and our part in it.

Generally speaking, network marketing companies sell products or services that are unique to them. For these companies, network marketing is their sales channel which is why network marketing reps are usually called “distributors.” These reps usually have their work cut out for them as Continue reading

Black Hat SEO Tactics to Avoid at All Costs

Typically abbreviated as SEO, search engine optimization is particularly crucial for any company optimistic about digital marketing. Due to a large amount of competition from promotion-oriented blogs and websites, gaining an edge over your contenders can feel like a nightmare, especially for small-scale ventures. Nevertheless, the immense paybacks of SEO are worth the effort.

First and foremost, integrating search engine optimization strategies helps establish a strong online presence. This places your online store on the spotlight, thus enabling both existing and new visitors to quickly locate and view your content. While this is ideal for social promotion as well as boosting online traffic (it can generate significant revenue if your website is fully monetized), top search engine rankings help attract customers and keep them in the loop.

Essentially, search engine optimization is a great vehicle that not only pledges to boost sales but also takes your website to the next level. However, SEO can be a double-edged sword if done incorrectly. Despite its numerous paybacks, there are some SEO tactics that can send your digital store into a devastating tailspin in just minutes.

So, to thrive in this lucrative trade, it is important for every webmaster to perfectly understand the rules of engagement.

Methods of SEO Implementation

There are various strategies for employing SEO. However, what really determines if your website will stand the test of time is whether the search engine finds your tactics acceptable. For that reason, all search engine techniques can be grouped into two main categories. They are:

1. White Hat SEO, which includes all strategies recommended by search engines.

2. Black Hat SEO. Also referred to spamdexing, black hat SEO tactics include all strategies that are not recommended by search engines.

But what exactly are we looking at here? In this comprehensive article, we are focused on the don’ts of SEO. To perfectly understand the dynamics involved, below is an all-inclusive roundup of top four black hat SEO tactics to avoid at all costs.

However before that, first things first!

In-Depth Look at Black Hat SEO (Spamdexing)

Basically, black hat SEO is a crafty technique of boosting Google ratings of your blog through means that infringe search engine guidelines. Although significantly fruitful in the short run, most of the time black hat SEO strategies have dire penalties in the long run.

Why Is Black Hat SEO Bad?

First and foremost, black hat tactics are universally considered unethical by both Google and the digital community. Besides negatively affecting your ratings, in severe cases, these corrupt practices may land your website into search engine jailhouses.

The main drawback of black hat SEO practices is leading searchers into opening pages that they may not be interested in. Spamming is one of the most infamous black hat tactics that can land you into serious trouble with your visitors. While the people who read articles are only concerned with finding the most relevant information, inserting links that lead them to low quality pages can greatly affect the overall reputation of your website.

Stuffing keywords may also sound like an ingenious idea to impress search engine robots. Although this can quickly get you on the first page, the truth is that your content is only one-sided and is not at all appealing to the human eye.

Eventually, black hat SEO techniques can wreak havoc and trigger a spontaneous downward trail featuring catastrophic effects like:

·         Leaving a negative impression on your visitors

·         Significantly decreasing your website’s online traffic

·         Decreasing conversion rates

·         If reported, your website can be blacklisted

Black Hat SEO Tactics You Should Avoid at All Costs

Being featured on Google’s first page may sound exceptionally intriguing for any website owner. Although employing black hat SEO tactics may quickly get you there, the big question is, how long can you stay at the top?

If you are looking forward to building a sturdy digital presence and keeping a predictable sales curve as well as consistent online traffic, avoid the following 4 SEO strategies.

1. Keyword Stuffing

Using keywords is one of the oldest and most efficient techniques of impressing search engine robots. Essentially, the more your content is rich in terms of keywords, the greater your Google ranking. This makes it easier for searchers to find you.

However, to keep visitors in the loop, it is not only imperative to create informative content but also to make sure that it is attractive to the human eye. Generally, the main concept behind a blog is to provide reliable information in a way such that your readers can easily understand your mind.

Despite being exceptionally informative, indiscriminately inserting keywords all over your article can be a major turnoff for many readers. In reality, encountering the same word over and over again can be irritating and confusing. As much as keywords are vital elements of an SEO-friendly piece; it is crucial to use common sense when inserting them. Readers don’t like it, and neither do search engine crawlers.

Tip

To build credibility and natural flow in your content, keywords should be cleverly inserted and should appear at strategic junctures like at the beginning of a paragraph or introducing a concept. Generally, however, keywords should be evenly distributed all over your content and should mesh perfectly with the relevant context.

2. Plagiarized Content

One of the main roles of Google Analytics tools is to provide websites with virtual copyrights for each and every article posted. Typically in the public domain, cases of websites posting duplicate content are common.

While it may seem like a perfect plan to get away with other people’s hard work, powerful search engine tools will instantly flag down any duplicated content. Before publishing anything on your website, consider checking for plagiarism.

Tip

Pensters and Grammarly are some of the best programs to check for duplicated content for free. If you have a few dollars to spare however, a premium Copyscape account is the perfect avenue to ensure plagiarism free content.

By doing so, you will avoid getting flagged. But since borrowing from already published content is inevitable, when designing your articles, just borrow the main ideas and expound around it with your own words and refer back to the original source of the idea. However, especially when illustrating complex concepts, it seems like a good idea to directly copy a certain section of an article. To ensure originality, remember to put quotation marks around the copied part and to link back to it.

3. Hidden text

Incorporating invisible texts is another black hat SEO tactic. Whereas hidden texts are typically visible to the search engines tools but not to your readers, this technique is a great way of boosting your website’s ratings without jeopardizing the credibility and intuitiveness of the article.

Despite that, however, this seemingly ingenious plan violates search engines terms. Since this practice can greatly affect your rating, inserting hidden texts should be avoided at all costs.

4. Comment Spam or Blog Spam

With the urge to generate traffic more insatiable than ever, comment/blog spamming may seem like an incredible avenue to redirect traffic. Essentially, this black hat SEO practice focuses on maximizing inbound votes by posting links as comments on external platforms.

As covert as it may seem, the telltale signs of blog spam are not invisible to the powerful search engine tools and can land you into serious trouble.

Final Word

Besides the ones listed above, there are dozens of other black hat SEO practices that should be avoided. While it may feel euphoric and an easy shortcut to get to the top, sticking to the recommended SEO techniques is the surest way of building a reputable website.

Tips That Small Businesses Should Heed for Successful Mobile App Development

Online connectivity, social media, and the general prevalence of portable devices like mobile phones have forever changed the way customers look for information and how brands engage with customers. One study suggests that even a small business can potentially save up to 800 million person-hours over its typical lifetime with the help of a mobile phone business app. Another great impact of mobile apps is that they save considerably in the stationery expenses. However, as beneficial as building a mobile app is, its development can be pretty expensive and time-consuming. Some tips that can help businesses to save precious resources:

Determine What the App Will Do

Determining the functions and capabilities of the app is the most fundamental and critical step of the mobile app development process. Think very clearly what your business objectives are and what your customers are looking for in an app. Meeting customer objective is very important because only when the customers are able to discern any value, they will install the app. Given the extent of competition that you are likely to encounter on both the Android and Apple platforms, it may be worthwhile to take every similar app apart to discover their best features and how you could meet the existing gaps in solution delivery. Most of the top mobile app development companies Mumbai can assist you with their considerable experience.

Identify Your Target Audience

This is also a step that ranks equally with the function definition because unless you know who your target customers are and what their expectations from the app are, you will not be able to decide on what the app should ideally deliver. Target audience definition should take into account not only their demographics but also their buying behavior. However, all the effort you take will pay off really well as users will gladly buy an app that fulfills their preferences.

Decide On a Budget

Now that you know what the app is supposed to deliver and its target audience, you will need to figure out how much benefit your business will derive. When you have an estimate of the incremental profits that the app will generate, it will become easier for you to allocate a budget that will allow you a positive ROI within a reasonable time. However, in extremely competitive business niches, the ROI is not the only factor that you should be looking at as unless your business has an app; it may lose more market share and eventually be driven out from the market.

Conclusion

Mobile users are an impatient lot and demand their apps do whatever they want very quickly. Users prefer the operation to be extremely intuitive so that there is no learning curve involved and the design should be simple so that you know exactly how to go about using it without any problems. Needless to say, the app should have enough power to handle all the functions. Bells and whistles are appreciated but not at the cost of speed and core functionality.

Decisions, Decisions: Hiring an Agency vs Hiring a Freelancer

Over the last decade, the question of who to hire among individual freelancer and agency has been what most organization must face as new product and project evolves. Nowadays, several freelance platforms offer most organization the ability to tap into talents without restriction to their respective locations.

The question is, how do you find the right freelancer and at what price? Which of the freelancers would be better to do multiple jobs: individual freelancer or agency?

It is known that working with both freelance agencies and individual freelancers has merits and demerits. This article will educate you on the arising issue of who to hire between an agency and a freelancer as it will assess their respective pros and cons.

The first step is to set some important questions as guidelines about the project to be executed.

The question of nature, budget, goals to achieve, and complexity of the project desired should be asked before choosing among the two. The selection will then be based on individual’s needs as the two are exceptionally good and highly reputable in their various activities.

Hiring an Individual Freelancer

Here are the merits and demerits of hiring an individual freelancer.

Pros

  • Cost Effectiveness

On average, hiring individual freelancers is highly cost effective in contrast with the cost of hiring a freelance agency. Individual freelancers set their own reasonable rates based on the type, and length of the project. The rates can either be hourly or fixed.

  • Specialized skills

Most times, individuals venture into freelancing because they are specifically talented at various niches skill-sets. This means they sell the skills they are very much good at. Hiring such professionals will always give you an assurance that your project is in good hands.

  • Flexibility

Hiring individual freelancers will enable you to have complete control over your projects. Individual freelances are qualified professionals who are flexible enough to build their schemes around your priorities and needs. They work based on the instruction given and not out of their own discretion.

  • Allow Participation in the Creative Process

Hiring individual freelancers allow you to participate in the creative process. In as much as you have direct communication with them, you are highly involved in the whole process. This allows the freelancer to ask questions and in the process, future pitfalls as well as unsatisfying result can then be minimized.

  • Allow More Freelancers to Be Hired

As the project move on, you may require more professionals to speed up the project. Relying on individual professionals will give you the opportunity to out-source the other part of the project to other freelancers.

Cons

  • Work Overload

Individual freelancers can work with several clients at a time. Because of many jobs pilling up at their desks, performance, deadline commitment, and professionalism may be affected leading to less satisfying outcomes. Therefore, the quality of the project may be at risk.

  • Difficulty with Replacement

One of the pitfalls of hiring individual freelancers in the difficulty incurred in the process of replacing them. This arises when your best hands quit or disappear completely due to reasons best known to them. As such getting them replaced in the middle of the work may prove difficult. This is because the recruit may want to go through the template laid by the previous freelancer and may slow down the process.

  • Unavailability

Due to time zones, illness and other reasons, individual freelancers may be unavailable when you needed the most. For example, if your time zones are quite different, you may require their services at a point of time which the freelancer is unavailable. In the process your project might be disrupted in one way or the other.

  • They are Strangers

Hiring individual freelancers rather than employees working in-house can be extremely challenging. You may need them to get familiar with your business, market, customers, and confidential information about your company. This can greatly affect the status of your investment as you are about to rely on strangers.

Hiring a Freelance Agency

Here are the merits and demerits of hiring a freelance agency.

Pros

  • Team work

There is no such thing as ‘I’ in team work. This is regarded as the biggest advantage of hiring a freelance agency. It allows client to access full multi-faceted team of professionals that are capable to deliver quality works. Hiring a freelance agency will totally give birth to well-polished products than anticipated when individual freelancers that are not working as a team.

  • Accountability

Freelance agencies have several bodies. They monitor the task given to each freelancer under them. The project manager will help to manage, handle, track hours spent on the project, and provide feedback to the client. You do not necessarily need to have direct contact with the freelancers working for you. As a result, clients will have more time for other important business dealings to attend to.

  • Long-Term Project Relationship

Hiring a freelance agency with set of specialized skills will give you an assurance of success to take on more projects in the nearest future. Therefore, client will have assurance on long-term project.

  • Speed, Pool of Experience and Efficiency

Freelance agencies have well incorporated, invaluable, experienced and efficient team of individuals working together to deliver high-quality projects.  Because of this, they make project to be faster to meet your specific need.

 

 

Cons

  • More Expensive

Hiring freelance agencies is generally more expensive than hiring individual freelancers. This is because of multiple services that are simultaneously rendered as the contract is requested as they must pay their respective workers, office spaces and lots more.

  • Location

Although, you need not to meet them at their physical locations, most of the freelance agencies usually have respective offices which can be in a substantial proximity to clients. One way or the other the project assigned may suffer due to this.

Conclusion:

Both individual freelancers and freelance agencies are worth the stress of DIY. There is no correct answer in between this context. In general, both can perform exceptionally when assigned to do projects in their respective fields.

 

 

Avada Theme Support Options After the Envato Paid Support Change

With over 300,000 active theme users, ThemeFusion has always offered Avada Theme Support included in each theme purchase. With the new switch to Envato paid support after 6 months, there has been some confusion as to how existing theme users can get ongoing support for their theme. According to our friends at Avada Experts.. Continue reading

Choosing the Perfect WordPress Theme

Choice is great, but too many choices is.. well, confusing. When it comes to WordPress themes, there is really choice overload. With the tens of thousands of free and premium themes available, from different theme companies, theme resellers and theme developers, what do you do? Where do you go? I asked our friends at PressCastle for a little advice. Continue reading

Why You Need Local SEO in 2015

Local SEO, done properly, is a complex and continuing task. As search engines such as Google have become more skilled at sensing the actual intent of the user, optimizing your content for local search is the key to success when depending on local customers for your business.
According to Akea Web Solutions, a Haslett, Michigan local SEO firm: Continue reading

The Week in WordPress July 29, 2015

This week, we are going to take a look at the latest WordPress theme reviews and tutorials from the WP blog at Thereisathemeforthat.com.

Do you have a review or news item that you would like included in our weekly roundup? Leave us a comment or email below. Continue reading

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