5 Reasons why we should use a VPN on a Fire Stick

Amazon Fire TV stick has made TV watching a tad more enjoyable. On the platform, you can watch any kind of app, and this includes the popular ones like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime, etc. 

However, you must know that most of these apps do not have any content of their own. They just help you to stream different types of content that are pirated, and you may not be aware of it. 

Since streaming pirated content is a crime using a VPN is an easy alternative. To understand this better, here we share with you 5 reasons why we should use a VPN on Fire stick.

Security and Privacy

You must have heard the word “cord-cutting,” and it involves streaming and downloading content from different sources. Some of the content could be copyrighted, and if you play it, you could be penalized. 

Without using a VPN, all the viewing history of yours is for a display to your ISP, law enforcers, and copyright agencies. With VPN, you can enjoy with Fire stick tricks, and no one would ever get to know about it. 

Bypass Censorship

Some governments monitor the internet usage of their citizens. Such countries detest cord-cutting, and therefore, they even curtail the free streaming of channels. So if you travel to such a country, you may not be able to use your Fire stick. However, if you have a VPN hides your real IP address, and thus, the government has no control over your viewing pattern.

Unblock Geo-Restricted Services 

Content copyright means that content will be viewable only in specific locations. To meet the copyright restrictions, the service providers impose geo-restrictions. This means that when you travel to certain countries, you might miss your favorite program as the channel is restricted there. A quality VPN will also help you go through the restricted geo-locations.

Using Streaming Apps Freely

With a VPN, your internet history is hidden from others. You are not sure of where your sources are procuring the content they are sharing with you. Usage of VPN is just to remain on the safe side. On the VPNwelt.com website you can find a list of recommended VPNs for streaming.

Avoiding ISP Throttling

As soon as ISPs detect streaming activities, they tend to reduce the bandwidth. There could be multiple reasons why they resort to throttling, and if you are in the middle of something crucial reducing bandwidth can be a problem. If you are streaming, you can face buffering and lagging, something you would want to avoid.

Conclusion 

Using an Amazon fire stick is an absolute delight. However, there are dangers associated with it that can spoil your entire fun. To avoid that situation from arising, always use a VPN with the device. It would reduce your chances of the authorities getting to know in case you are watching any copyrighted content. 

Apart from that, the reasons mentioned above are also why people use a VPN with a fire stick. You would not want anything to come in the middle of an enthralling TV viewing experience, and for that, using a VPN is the best bet.

7 Employee Rights Small Business Owners Need to Know

Small businesses rarely have the means to manage their human resources department (if the department exists at all!). They can’t always refer to a lawyer on retainer in every situation.

For this reason, small business owners and managers should know basic employee rights to avoid unnecessary litigation and negative situations that reflect poorly on the business.

This creates a fair and enjoyable work environment that establishes mutual trust and ensures long-term, fulfilling employee-employer relationships. Here are 7 Basic Employee Rights Small Business Owners Need to Know.

Right 1: Fair Labor

According to the Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA) every employer is required by law to comply with certain fair labor practices. Even small businesses are not exempt.

Here are the rules established by the FLSA:

●      Minimum Wage – The current Federal minimum wage is set at $7.25 per working hour but can vary based on the type of business and by state, county, or city.

●      Overtime – Employers must pay a rate of 1 and ½ times the established hourly rate of an employee for hours worked beyond 40 hours in a workweek.

●      Hours Worked – This includes all times when an employee is performing an activity required by his or her job duties. It also includes time when an employee is required to be on premises or at any designated place of work. Here is a Department of Labor (DOL) reference sheet that clarifies this rule.

●      Recordkeeping – Employers are required to keep track of payroll records and employee timecards.

●      Poster – All employers must display the official DOL poster that outlines these requirements.

Right 2: Safe Workplace

The federal government passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) in 1970. The act proclaims that workers have a right to a “safe working environment.”

This means that a workplace must be free from dangerous equipment, excessive noise levels, and employers must not expose workers to toxic chemicals.

Employers are responsible for investigating potential safety and health threats and must remove them if possible. If not, they must inform their employees and provide proper safety training and equipment.

Right 3: Freedom from Discrimination

Mutual respect is key in the workplace, but this is even more important within a small business structure. Wes Herman of Woods Coffee is an outstanding example of an owner who understands this principle.

To attract and keep top tier talent, owners must create an enjoyable, trust-based work environment that is free of discrimination as he told UpFlip during a recent interview. That’s why Wes could grow his business to over 17 locations and over 350 employees.

Regardless of personal principles, there are rules established that prevent businesses from discriminating against employees.

As a general rule, it is illegal for employers to discriminate against candidates based on sex, religion, color, race, national origin, pregnancy, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or age.

This can vary based on state law and the number of employees, but here is a list of the key federal laws pertaining to discrimination:

  • Equal Pay Act (EPA)
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)

Employers must also protect employees from sexual harassment with training and other procedures of accountability.

The U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission has extensive resources on their site.

Right 4: Privacy

Employees and potential employees have privacy rights extended to them by several federal laws and regulations. This means that employers can’t take actions like search an employee or their belongings or run a background check on a potential employee without their written consent.

However, employers also have rights in this realm. Employers can monitor company emails, phones, and computer usage if their monitoring policies are transparent. For example, an inappropriate email sent on a company server is not protected.

Surveillance laws also vary by state, but most permit camera usage if an employer notifies employees that they are being recorded.

Right 5: Whistleblowing

Employees may inform authorities and testify about illegal actions taken by an employer. They can do so without fear of retaliation or retribution.

For example, if an employee reports your business for negligence regarding safety regulations or discriminatory actions, then the company has no legal grounds to retaliate against the employee.

Retaliation means an employer cannot:

  • Fire or lay off a whistleblower
  • Blacklist, demote, or reassign to affect promotion
  • Deny overtime, reduce pay, or deny benefits
  • Formally discipline
  • Intimidate or make threats

The National Whistleblower Center has extensive explanations of these rights.

Right 6: Unionization and Collective Bargaining

Whether you employ union or non-union workers, the National Labor Relations Act applies to your business. Specifically, it grants employees of private employers the rights specified in Section 7 of the Act:

  • The right to organize, form, join, or assist a labor union.
  • The right to collective bargaining by representation (of their choice).
  • The right to engage in activities related to “other mutual aid or protection.”
  • The right to abstain from any of these activities.

These rights include discussion of conditions of employment and wages.

With the rise of the Digital Age, some social media policies have come in the crosshairs of the National Labor Relations Board for violation of Section 7.

The Board can lean one way or the other based on their ideology, so carefully review any social media policy before distribution to ensure compliance. Ideally, employers should work with an attorney familiar with labor law.

Right 7: Employee Leave

The Family and Medical Leave Act grants employees 12 weeks of protected unpaid medical or maternity leave over a 12-month period. This means that under certain family medical conditions, an employee can take leave without risking their job security.

It’s up to employers to take an active role in monitoring FMLA claims. They may request forms and medical certifications to determine whether an employee’s absence is up to legal standards.

Only employers with 50 or more employees must worry about the FMLA. So, it may seem like this right doesn’t belong in an article that pertains to small businesses.

However, the SBA classifies businesses by industry and their average annual revenue or number of employees. The lowest limit for the number of employees in their table is 100, and they classify most business by revenue. Therefore, the act applies to many businesses classified as small.

Conclusion

While I’ve covered the key rights business owners should know, there are additional laws at the state, county, and city levels. Some of these laws are contradictory to federal regulations.

If in doubt of any law or regulation, consult with a certified employment lawyer for clarification.

Independent of federal regulations, it’s advisable for employers to write their core values into a business plan and work manual.

Top Five Smart Devices for Home Automation

Technology no doubt has changed the course of our lives, as it brought improvement even to our homes. Smart home technology is becoming popular because of its convenience and accessibility.

Smart home apps can be classified into two types. A single-tasking app is designed to perform one task and for one specific device only. Meanwhile, a multitasking app takes control of the entire system of your home.

The use of these apps depends on the preferences of consumers. Some want to use a single-tasking app because it is safer. On the other hand, some users want the multi-tasking app simply because it is more convenient. 

Let’s look into the top five mobile apps that will make your home smart.

SmartThings

SmartThings allows users to control appliances such as washing machine, air conditioner, refrigerator, and dryer. Users can check the status of the devices, change settings, and receive notifications. Most of the home devices are compatible with this app, making it convenient for anyone. 

SmartThings is a free app from Samsung and is available on the Apple, Google, and Windows app stores. This app will allow users to receive notifications about what is happening in their home wherever they are. Users will also be given alerts on situations such as smoke or unwanted entry into your home

In addition to this, SmartThings is capable of capturing video footage if there is a camera installed.  To sum it up, this app can control devices with just a tap of your finger. 

Google Home

Google is a tech giant that has provided users with a great home app choice.  Google Home is an app that can be found both on Android and on iOS.

The best feature of Google Home is that it provides users shortcuts in controlling, organizing, and managing tasks. These tasks include turning lights on, getting the news of the day, or even checking the weather. A lot of actions can be done with a single command.

Moreover, Google Home enables you to send texts, make phone calls, or even play music.  It is versatile and can do multiple types of tasks and commands, making it a reliable app for your home.

MyQ Garage & Access Control

MyQ Garage & Access Control empowers you to open your garage door just by using your smartphone. It is a great choice in automating garage features even when you’re not at home.

Using this app, you can set alerts and schedules for any activity. You receive notifications via text or email to know if your garage is being compromised.

You can take full control of the lights and doors to protect your tools for garage seen in reviewerst.com. MyQ Garage & Access Control allows you to provide access even to a MyQ guest.

SimpliSafe

Simplisafe is a smart home app that allows you to access your security alarm anywhere. You can receive notifications and updates to keep tabs on your home even if you are away.

One of the highlights of Simplisafe is that professionals take charge of monitoring your home around the clock.

If Simplisafe detects any emergency in your home, the professionals will immediately contact you. You can guarantee the safety of your home by using this smart security app.

Palgate

Installing Palgate in your smartphone enables you to open your garage door using a Bluetooth network. Palgate easily connects to the control system of your garage door without using an Internet connection.

Just like the features in guruchoicelab.com, Palgate uses different commands in controlling the garage door to ensure that your essential garage products are safe.

You can even customize access management by adding and removing other users. Palgate uses a simple interface where you can open your garage door even when your hands are full.

With a lot of home apps available in the market, it is best to consider how you’d want to control the functions in your home. The apps we rounded up in this article perform similar functions, so be sure to look at each app closely to know its best features. With a little research, you’ll find a good and effective home app that will fit your needs and will give you a seamless home experience. 

What is Web Scraping

There are situations in which you need to gather information with a vast magnitude. For instance, forex exchanges have many different currencies for trade and can’t collect them manually. So, what do you do? Of course, you look for a professional solution. In this case, a professional solution is web scraping. Knowing what you need makes your research more accessible. Therefore, let’s discuss web scraping, its types, and how to use it.

What is a web scraping

Whether you need more from the site or gather bulk data, you should have some idea about web scraping. In basic terms, copy-pasting any info from any site to another source is a definition of web scraping. However, due to its functionality and the needs of internet users, we are referring to collecting a vast amount of information if we are talking about web scraping. Since doing this process manually takes eons, it is unavoidable to use web scraping services. If you are looking for an efficient solution, you should seek help from web scraping services. A lot of such services claim to be one of the best web scraping services. However, doing your research, and most importantly, knowing what your requirements are, will contribute to the time and money you will spend for such scraping services. So, how do these services work? In general, they have three steps. To meet your needs, the professionals may either use previously created scraper or develop a new one. Then, that scraper gathers data from the source website, be it a new one or the ready one. Depending on the amount of data to scrap, it takes some time to collect all the data. The final step is delivering to the user result in file formats like Excel, JSON, CSV, or any other type. 

Web scraping types

It is not easy to generalize all of the web scraping services. However, for the sake of simplicity, we can talk about a couple of web scraping types.

Ready solutions

Some sites are already known to have vast amounts of data. Be that Amazon, Alibaba, IMDB, stock exchange markets, or Craigslist. The entrepreneurs are continuously interested in what products are sold most and what their prices are. The experienced developers are aware of this and already have scrapers that successfully isolate data according to client requests. That is, they already have a working scraper, and customers can use it accordingly.  

Browser Extensions

Web scrapers are not available only as independent software. There are browser extensions that can harvest data from the websites. Those browsers have their advantages as well. You install them on your browser, most probably Chrome or Firefox. Another advantage is that they are simple to run. When it comes to the downside, they don’t offer advanced features as they are not built to meet all of the needs. Also, not all internet browsers may have such scrapers. For instance, you may have a hard time scraping extensions if your favorite browser is Safari.

Cloud-based web scrapers

One of the popular solutions. If you use a cloud solution, you are going to have the most significant advantage. You don’t have to install any software or extension. Your PC will not “sweat” to scrap all the data. You can order from the site and get the desired result in a short time. MyDataProvider offers such solutions. Just organize your needs, contact us, and get results that will please you.

Web scraping use-cases

Even though only some of the usages of web scraping were mentioned before, its usage is very diversified. In particular, we can use scrapers to get the stock prices, any other financial data, market research for the products, learn geographics, ages, and any additional demographic info on social media, monitoring news, etc. It seems like only professionals may need web scrapers. However, this is not the case. An average user can use simple scraping tools to get info from the cinema about the movies they screen and their screening times. As simple as that.

How to Grow Your Small Business With Content Marketing

Whether you’re launching a startup or already have an established business, a strong online presence is a must. Just relying on word on mouth alone isn’t enough. 

More than half of shoppers say they use Google to discover brands. The data points to the importance of a digital marketing strategy. 

If your target audience can’t find your business online, your competitors will happily grab those sales. So how can you attract prospects and bring in more sales?

The answer is with content marketing. Not sure what that is or what it entails? Don’t worry — we’re about to take an in-depth look at what content marketing is and how to get started.

What is Content Marketing?

ContenContent marketing is the process of creating and distributing engaging content. The goal is to attract prospects to your site and convert them into customers. By far, content marketing on WordPress is the most popular choice and a starting point for aspiring bloggers.

The average consumer today is constantly bombarded with ads. Content marketing is effective because it doesn’t take this aggressive approach. 

Creating engaging content means you’re attracting prospects to your site and helping them address their issues. That in turn can help you establish credibility and build trust with your audience.

Publishing content on multiple channels can increase your reach. But as a small business, you may have a limited marketing budget. The good news is that content marketing is highly scalable, so you can start small and gradually ramp up your efforts.

Now let’s look at how to grow your small business with content marketing.

1. Define Your Content Marketing Goals

Content marketing is most effective when you have clearly defined goals. These should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. In other words, use the SMART goal setting methodology to bring structure to your marketing objectives.

For example, simply saying you want to increase traffic is too vague. A better goal could be increasing search traffic by 10% within the next three months. A goal like this makes it easier for you to measure your progress and pivot as necessary.

2. Identify Your Target Audience

Identifying your target audience is key to developing and implementing an effective content marketing strategy. If your content doesn’t resonate with your audience, they’ll likely move on and take their purchase elsewhere.

Start by creating a buyer persona — a profile that depicts your target customer based on market research. A buyer persona includes details like background, demographics, behaviors, motivations, and goals.

Collect data about your audience using platforms like Google Analytics. You can take your research even further by surveying your existing customer base.

Developing a buyer persona may take some time. But it allows you to get a clearer sense of who your audience is, and create more effective content.

3. Decide on Content Types

The next step is to think about the types of content you’ll create. Publishing blog posts is a good place to start. This type of content is relatively easy to produce and it gives you the opportunity to share your expertise.

You can also use guest blogging to build backlinks and increase your Domain Authority. Guest blogging is when you publish content on other sites. It can drive referral traffic to your site and help you build a quality backlink in the process.

Other types of content you can create include ebooks, infographics, videos, webinars, and more. Revisit your content marketing goals to help you decide on which formats to focus your attention on.

4. Select Your Marketing Channels

Publishing content on your site is a great way to establish your business as a go-to resource for helpful information. But you’ll be severely limiting your reach if you rely solely on your site.

Social media is one such marketing channel you don’t want to overlook. With an estimated 3.6 billion people on social media, there’s a good chance your audience is on platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Be strategic about which channels you market on. For example, Twitter may be a popular social platform, but is it where your audience is on?

Refer back to your research on your target audience. What channels do they actively use? This is important because those are the channels you’ll want to focus your efforts on.

5. Create a Content Calendar

Content marketing takes ongoing effort to be successful. You can’t simply publish one blog post and expect traffic to suddenly flood your site. At the same time, it can be overwhelming to keep track of everything.

A content calendar is a document that outlines upcoming content for the coming weeks and months. It details everything from the types of content you’ll create to when and where you’ll publish it.

Using a content calendar is a great way to keep all your content organized. Instead of starting from scratch every day, you can simply refer to the calendar and get started.

6. Incorporate SEO

SEO or search engine optimization is the process of optimizing your site with the goal of ranking higher in the search results. There are two aspects of SEO: On-page and off-page.

On-page SEO refers to optimizing individual aspects of a page like titles, headers, meta descriptions, and the content itself for certain keywords. Optimizing on-page factors helps search engines understand what a page is about.

This LastPass review is a good example of a well-optimized page. It includes the target keywords in the title and it’s broken down into sections that are easy to read. 

As you optimize your pages for SEO, always focus on your visitors. Spamming your content with keywords doesn’t work, and may incur a ranking penalty. Be sure to use a grammar checker before you publish to make sure that your content still flows well after optimization.

With off-page SEO you’ll focus on external signals like backlinks, which are a major ranking signal. Google sees links from other sites as a vote of confidence. Building backlinks to your pages can improve your overall rankings.

7. Scale With a Content Team

There’s only so much you can do on your own. Eventually, you should consider outsourcing your content marketing to scale your content efforts.

Use platforms like Upwork to find talented writers and editors who can implement your content marketing strategy. You can use Google Docs to write your content and automate with Wordable to automatically upload to WordPress.

Conclusion

Content marketing is a key strategy that can raise brand awareness and establish your business as an industry authority. It can also help you turn more visitors into customers. Implement the tips laid out here to grow your business with content marketing.

Content Writing Guide for Small Businesses in 2020

If we started naming all marketing options that a small business has, we’d end up with a pretty long list.

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest are mandatory. Each business also has a website, and most have a blog, too. Email marketing is still a valid practice. Many small businesses engage in local marketing practices. They print out brochures, publish radio commercials, and promote themselves through billboards.

There is one thing that connects all these practices: content.

Great content will drive traffic to your website. It’s what makes the difference in clicks, likes, conversions, and everything else that defines the results of your campaign.

In Keap’s 2020 Small Business Marketing Trends Report, only 13% of the respondents said that distributing content was an important goal when using social media to market their business. At the same time, 43.6% of the respondents said that they didn’t know if their marketing efforts were effective.

Maybe that’s the trick. Small business owners need to focus more on distributing content, so they would see better results from their promotional efforts.

Guide on Content Writing for Small Businesses in 2020

1. Know What You Already Have

Chances are, you already have some content out there by the time you’re reading this article. What kind of content is it? Start by doing a thorough evaluation, so you can take steps towards improvement.

These are the questions to answer:

  • Are your blog posts, social media posts, and all other publications written in the voice of your brand?
  • Are they written for a particular target audience?
  • Are you already getting good results from a particular type of content?
  • How many likes, shares, and comments does an average post get? How many would you want to get?
  • Are your posts unique when you compare them to the content that your competitors publish?
  • Do they offer practical solutions to particular issues that your audience faces?

When you analyze your published content through these questions, you’ll figure out what it misses and what aspects you should keep.

2. Make a Content Marketing Plan

After evaluating your published content, it’s time to plan the new steps.

Remember the main rules of content writing:

  • Your posts must convey the brand’s voice
  • They should be focused towards a target reader
  • They must be unique
  • They must deliver solutions and value

If you analyze a competitor who’s successful with their content marketing, you’ll see how they meet all those standards.

When planning your content calendar, you want to achieve the same goal, but you’ll do it through unique content. You can look through school essay topics ideas to get new ideas. A blog post is not much different from an essay. It needs a thesis statement in the beginning, arguments that prove that thesis, and a conclusion with a solution.

3. Hire Writers

How many blog posts, landing pages, guest posts, and social media posts do you publish per week? If you want to share different types of content, you’ll have to write something every single day or ask to write my paper cheap or do it by yourself..

Can you cope with such a challenge?

Let’s face it: when you run a small business, you can’t afford to spend at least two hours writing every day. Do you know what successful business owners do? They get dissertation help from professional writers. Writing agencies will pair you with a writer educated in the niche of your business. They will take your content marketing calendar, and they will develop content based on it.

You can also consult your writers when developing the content calendar. They can help with audience analysis.

4. Measure the Results

You are not measuring the number of posts you publish on a weekly or monthly basis. You’re not measuring likes, shares and comments for the sake of reaching higher numbers. What you need to measure is the return of investment.

You can evaluate the success of your marketing campaign when you pay attention to the leads, sales, onsite engagement, web traffic, and social media engagement factors.

It’s not easy, so most small business owners hire marketing agencies to help them with this aspect. But hey; you can make an attempt and rest assured that you’ll be getting better with practice.

Deliver What Your Audience Wants

Essentially, that’s the main rule for successful content marketing.

You won’t write content just for the sake of publishing something. You’ll do it because your target audience needs solutions that you can provide.

Everything will seem complicated at first. After the first report, you’ll realize that you know what you’re doing. The experience will teach you.

Useful Writing Tools for Small Businesses

Effective communication can also help small businesses build relationships with customers as well as clients and potential partners. Writing is one of the most common and effective means of communication employed by businesses. Writing skills are paramount for anyone with a small business with goals of growing the business and building relationships. Estimates put 30% of business work being accomplished through the use of writing communications. This makes the need for tactful business writing very essential in the business world, and for achieving the goals set by the business. Be it report writing, proverbs and quotes writing, appointment confirmation emails, website publications, compare and contrast essays, SEO article writing or copywriting, business writing skills should be honed by the continued practice of writing skills. Small businesses can also outsource their writing needs, to professionals to write business communications for small businesses. Should the small business desire to keep all business writing in-house, there are writing tools that can be used to help tailor business writing to the desired language, the proper writing formats and make edits that will polish grammar and sentence structure to give the piece of writing a professional look and feel.

Grammarly 

Grammarly is one of the most popular writing tools that exist and it’s a multipurpose tool meaning it offers you more than one solution for your writing needs. There are essentially two versions of Grammarly available for businesses; the free version which offers very basic writing solutions, and the premium version which has a variety of writing solutions that comes at a fee of about $140 per year. Grammarly is effective in assessing grammar and punctuation errors like comma splices, fragments, run-on sentences among others. It is also useful for checking every word in a piece of writing for spelling errors and offers what is considered “near-human” suggestions and tips on the writing style and sentence structure. It can also be used to scan a document and identify cases of plagiarism and similarities with other published works. Grammarly offers not more than just grammar and spelling mistake corrections, but also offers detailed writing enhancements that focus on the clarity, conciseness and the tone of the document and can be installed as an extension of web browsers and other writing tools like Microsoft Word free of charge. It is a very useful tool for small businesses that run a blog, for the business involved in content marketing and copywriting and for business tasks like drafting reports, narrative essays, presentations and business emails.

Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is essentially the most used office software that offers a variety of writing tools for all purposes of writing needs. It is a sophisticated word processing program that allows people to create documents with a variety of fonts and offers a lot of formatting options. Microsoft Word is very useful when one needs to write a long document with many sections. MS Word is part of suite software and tools that are used by businesses like PowerPoint presentations and Excel spreadsheets, with the full collection of the Microsoft software being inclusive of a lot of writing and editing tools. Modern MS Word is integrated with online features, which can allow for online storage of documents and increased versatility with other related programs. MS Word provides formatting options like APA outlines for creating automatically formatted documents. Other formatting options provided by MS Word include MLA and Chicago format outlines.  

Canva

Canva is a useful tool for illustrating content pints, breaking up text walls and working as an image creation tool. Creating and placing images is important to business writing, especially for business blogs, copywriting and business presentations. Images help make business content attractive, and when someone looks at the content on a website, a wall of words without appealing images can be intimidating to readers. Canva allows you to select an image from a variety of options, and with hundreds of templates, backgrounds, and icons, customize the image and the content to your liking.

Keyword Planner

The keyword planner allows you to choose and insert the most applicable keywords in a document. Keywords are important to content writing, especially for SEO writing, as without them search engines will not know how to categorize a website for SEO. If the business website or copywriting content is not indexed well by search engines, then finding it will be difficult among all the content that is available on the internet. Keyword Planner is a Google keyword research tool that is applicable for website content or content for social media campaigns. The tool allows you, as a business contracted to do social media campaigns, to enter a topic, industry or website which will give you a selection of keywords that are organized by subject, popularity, and level of competition, and the most appropriate keyword for the particular business writing needs to be chosen from the available selection.

Google Docs

Google Docs is an online document processor that works well as a writing tool for businesses. The tool has collaboration and organizational features that help you as a small business owner or copywriter to draft a copy of your intended content and share it with editors and friends for comments. The tool allows you to store the documents on Google Drive, which allows you to access the content anywhere for review and editing purposes. As a copywriter and small business owner who has to stay on top of business projects, Google Docs can help in this regard.

Creating a WordPress Website: Using Plugins to Increase Performance

Whether you want a website for personal or business purposes, WordPress is a great option. Using WordPress themes and plugins, even a novice can set up a stylish, high-performance website.

Before starting with WordPress, you need to choose a web host.

Finding the Right Hosting Provider

Before setting up a ​WordPress website​, select a hosting provider. You must find a reputable company that offers a feature-rich plan within your budget. Before you check out potential hosting providers, think about what you need from hosting and make a list. It’ll make it easier to compare similar plans.

If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, here are a few essential features to consider:

  • ​A free domain name
  • An SSL certificate
  • Adequate data storage
  • One of the popular control panels
  • WordPress as a quick, or one-click, install

When you have your list, consult one or two popular web hosting review sites and see who they recommend. Below is a list of popular web hosts who have easy WordPress installation:

  • Cloudways
  • ​Bluehost
  • GoDaddy
  • ​HostGator
  • SiteGround
  • ​Hostinger

Check out web host websites before making a final decision. You don’t want any hidden surprises. It’s often difficult and costly getting out of a contract. Once you have hosting, it’s time to create your WordPress website. Begin by choosing a theme.

Selecting Your Ideal Website

Creating a website with WordPress is simple. Most of the tasks required are click-and-drag. There are thousands of website themes available from within WordPress (in the repository). Many are free or low-cost. If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself or want a unique design, you may want to ​consider hiring a website designer​ to help build your website.

Whatever your requirements, there are themes for every situation. Your website has to look good, but there are other considerations. Ask yourself:

  • Is your theme regularly updated?
  • Will it work on mobile devices?
  • Is the template optimized for speed?

If you struggle to find a suitable theme in the repository, check out some websites that specialize in WordPress themes. Or you can hire somebody to create one (or design it yourself, if you have the skills). Below are some websites that offer WordPress themes:

  • elegantthemes.com
  • ​​themeforest.net
  • templatemonster.com
  • ​athemes.com

After choosing a WordPress theme, it’s time to install it and set it up. WordPress makes this painless, even for someone unfamiliar with website development. Following this, it’s time to optimize your website. You can do this with some WordPress plugins.

Use Plugins to Enhance Your Website

Plugins enhance your WordPress website and add functionality. If you want to add a feature to your site, there will be a plugin. The easiest way to find and install a plugin is from the WordPress back-end (called the Dashboard). You will see a Plugin section, and that has a plugin search. Once you find what you want, it’s a simple matter of clicking the install button.

If you can’t find the right plugin in WordPress, you can find free and paid plugins on third-party websites, but these may need manual installation. Only select reputable plugins. WordPress should inform you if a plugin is affecting how your site performs. If you notice an issue and receive no warnings, disable one plugin at a time and see if you can diagnose the problem.

Here are a few plugins you may find interesting.

  • Contact Form 7 or WP Forms – Add forms to a web page
  • UpdraftPlus – perform WordPress back-ups
  • WooCommerce – set up an ecommerce store
  • Constant Contact and OptinMonster – help with email marketing
  • Beaver Builder or Divi Plugin – add additional drag-and-drop functions to web design
  • MemberPress – create online communities and membership sites
  • Shared Counts – a social media plugin
  • WPML – make your site multilingual
  • ImageInject – adds free license images (from Flickr) to your content

Now let’s discuss the specifics of how to optimize WordPress with plugins.

Speed Up Your Website

Simple issues can hamper the page ​load speed of a website​, such as image sizes or large data uploads. Search engines and visitors prefer websites that load without delay. There are on-site optimizations you can do, but why not use a handy plugin tailored to speed up your website?

Plugins to help with site speed:

  • WP Smush – compress images
  • WP Super Cache, WP Rocket, W3 Cache – improve page load speed

Search Engine Performance

If no one can find your website, it negates all the work you’ve done on design and performance. Search engines need to index your site and crawl its pages. A robots.txt file helps them to do so. WordPress creates one during install, but you can improve on that using a plugin.

  • ​Better Robots.txt or Virtual Robots.txt – give better control and help optimize a robots.txt file.

You can improve how search engines crawl your site by using a plugin to create an XML sitemap.

  • Google XML Sitemaps

When they crawl your website, search engines assess factors that will affect its placement on a search engine results page (SERP). You want your WordPress site to be high on page one. You can help by ensuring your ​website has good SEO​(search engine optimization). Save yourself time and effort and use a plugin.

SEO plugins:

  • ​YoastSEO
  • PrePost SEO

Improve the Links

Links are an integral part of the online experience. Search engines and visitors use them to navigate to and through a website. You can improve how your website performs by monitoring your external and internal links.

  • ​Only link to relevant websites.
  • ​Your internal linking has to be logical and thorough.
  • ​Check your links work. Do they go where they point?
  • ​If you move a page, set up a redirect for the old URL.

These two plugins help to optimize link architecture.

  • ​Pretty Links Pro
  • SEO Internal Links

Tighten Up Security

Websites get hacked. WordPress sites are no exception. You have anti-virus on your home computer, so why not add one to your website? A web host will have security on their end, so should you. Add some additional defense with a plugin:

  • WordFence Security
  • ​Securi

If you’re using WordPress as a blog and have not disabled comments, you could get spam.

There are plugins to stop your comments from being abused.

  • Akismet Anti-Spam

Analyze Website Performance

When upgrading the speed and performance of a website, you must make sure the optimizations and enhancements are working. You can perform manual checks, such as opening your website from a search engine or clicking through its pages. An in-depth analysis of website performance is preferable, and for this, you need one of the analytic plugins.

  • ​Google Analytics Dashboard for WP
  • ​MonsterInsights

Don’t Underestimate Content

We shouldn’t ignore the impact of content when discussing website performance. You can check and improve content, as with any other part of a website. Content is of immense importance to web users and search engines, and affects website reputation, popularity, and search rank

You can optimize the images and links within content, but how about actual written material? There are plugins to help improve the quality of textual content (in terms of readability and engagement). For example, the Word Stat plugin highlights:

  • Content that is too difficult for readers to understand
  • Posts that are too short
  • ​Too many keywords in a post
  • ​The 20 most used keywords on the website
  • ​Word count of different content

Keep Everything Up-To-Date

For your website to run smoothly and in sync with web browsers and devices, it’s crucial to use the latest version of WordPress and its plugins. Install updates, when available, to help your WordPress remain bug-free. If you find that a plugin becomes unsupported, stops working or develops issues after a WordPress update, search for an update. If none is available, remove the offending plugin and look for a substitute.

Don’t Go Overboard

Plugin fever is real. You go crazy and install every plugin you come across. Please show some restraint. Some plugins are more resource-hungry than others, and ​too many can slow your website to a crawl or cause unexpected glitches​. First, install plugins that enhance website performance. Then add others one at a time. If there are no issues, install your next plugin

Give Your Website a Plugin Boost

Taking the time to choose the right web host and WordPress theme gives you a running start on developing a high-performance website. Smart plugin selection will help your WordPress sprint to the finish line. There are many great plugins available to help you build your perfect site. Do the research, then experiment, and analyze. Try to have fun!

6 Steps Every New B2B Venture Should Adopt for Success in 2020

One of the most challenging factors of starting a new business is the high level of competition, limited budget and lack of experience. All three factors can lead your business to go down the line and eventually shut down before you actually hit the break-even point. However, we can help you change that with a few steps that we have saved in our playbook. All you have to do is utilize the following path and witness your B2B startup survive in this competitive modern B2B environment.

1. Finalize Your Product or Service

The first question that you should ask yourself while planning on starting your new B2B company is what you’re going to sell. There are millions of products and services you can choose to work on. However, your final decision should always be considering your current geo-location, budget and area of expertise. Once you have finalized the product or service you plan on selling, you can move forward with other factors of starting your new venture.

2. Come up With an Attractive Brand Name

Your goods and services will always be recognized by the brand name you choose to market. The name of your business or brand plays a significant role in your organization. You could go for something short and easy to remember, or if you are confident that your marketing strategies will help you survive, then you can even use your own name to launch your new business. However, considering the rising level of competition between B2B companies, we advise that you introduce a brand name that is both unique and catchy. If you can make your brand name to be remembered by all those that see your promotional activity, no one can stop you from reaching your next milestone.

3. Identify Your Target Audience

Though this may not seem like an important step, yet knowing your audience is essential to make sure your marketing efforts aren’t wasted. Once your brand name and products are identified, you have to determine which sector of the population you plan on reaching out to. If you are a toy manufacturer, you’ll be on the hunt for local and international wholesalers that sell toys. Or you can even attract leading supermarkets that have the potential to sell your products to the final consumer rapidly. On the other hand, if you are starting an organization that offers financial services and products like, insurance, bonds, or consultancy, then you’d have to look for both businessmen and individuals who are interested in investing their money.

Without knowing your audience, it might become a challenge for you to choose the right marketing technique and set the ideal budget for this purpose. Also, if you plan on focusing on social media marketing, then targeting an audience can save you both time and money in generating high-quality leads.

4. Manage Your Budget

Before initiating any sort of promotional activity, you have to determine the budget. Budgeting is a crucial step that all startups have to focus on. Once you are aware of how much and when you can spend what amount of money on promoting your brand and products, you can take better and smarter decisions.

5. Signup Your Business on an Online B2B Marketplace

One of the fastest and most reliable way of becoming a recognized business virtually is by merely joining a Chinese B2B platform or any reputable international marketplace for businesses. A B2B marketplace is an online platform that features international B2B companies that belong to various industries. Once you get listed on a B2B directory, you’ll eventually be seen by other buyers that belong to the same industry. Also, you can even use this directory to connect with your next lifetime client.

Apart from that, many leading B2B portals even offer additional digital services to help you become a competitive online brand. From creating your website to get it ranked and generating leads, all can be provided to you by such B2B marketplaces. Therefore, we believe such a platform is the perfect opportunity a B2B startup needs to survive in the B2B environment.

6. Choose the Best Marketing Strategy

Last but not least, you need to choose a marketing strategy that will help you generate leads and achieve business growth. This step is mentioned at the end, as without the above-mentioned plans; you can’t initiate your marketing campaign. Once you are done finalizing your product and brand, know your audience and budget, you can choose a relevant marketing strategy to kick start your promotional activity.

You can either go for traditional marketing or digital marketing strategies. Your choice will strongly depend on your product, audience and budget.

Wrap Up

Starting a B2B venture is no walk in the park. It can take years to eventually make enough to survive in this competitive market. However, with the right plan and resources, you can finally manage to succeed and set up a profit-making business. Follow all the steps mentioned above, so that you can prepare your venture to tackle all hurdles and survive this journey.

A Brief Guide on Optimizing your Product Page SEO on Amazon

When users search for a specific product, listings don’t appear magically in a random manner with vendors hoping their product will be picked. You need to work hard on your product page and ensure that the SEO is fully optimized. Just like Google, Amazon is going to use an algorithm that will pick up on cues that are strengthened using SEO.

So before you spend money on an Amazon SEO consultant, you might want to follow some of the tips given below to see if it makes a difference. If nothing, this guide will help you reach the basic standard that any quality vendor would implement in their listings.

Keyword Research

Before listing your product, carry out some research on keywords depending on your target audience and the type of product you want to list. Focus on long-tailed keywords and keep your research consumer-focused rather than having a generalized viewpoint. Even though your research will be focused on the viewpoint, you need to be as vast as possible with your coverage because even one missed keyword can make all the difference in the world.

Be Smart with your Content

Now that you’ve got all your keywords figured out, you need to be smart when it comes to usage. First and foremost, make sure that you aren’t pasting all the relevant keywords wherever you can find some space. You need to be organic with their usage and keep the flow of information consistent and intact throughout the page. Even if you have every keyword possible included in your content, if the information doesn’t follow a format and comes off as forced, the search algorithms will ignore the content and your page’s ranking is going to suffer. Your keywords need to be integrated into the information of the product rather than the other way around.

When it comes to images, use high-resolution HD images with a zoom enhance function if possible. This improves the buyer usability experience on the page and by extension the Amazon website. The better the user experience, the better your page will rank as this is one aspect that the search engine algorithm also follows.

Be Consistent with the Formatting of your Text

Whatever font, size, and tone you might choose for the text on your page, you need to ensure that it remains consistent throughout its entirety. The inconsistency leads to bad overall user experience and is likely to impact your SEO rating.

Present information in an organized manner and use bullets for different aspects of information. Your font type and size should be the same throughout the description and you need to check on spelling and grammar as these small errors can also have a significant impact on your page rating.

Amazon Guidelines

It also helps if you read the Amazon guidelines. These aren’t just rules that vendors are supposed to follow, but rather a format which helps Amazon organize all its listings and makes it easier to display them to the buyer.