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The internet? It’s a wide place and a varying place. It can do so much for our personal lives, but it can do a lot for our business.

If you’re a business owner and you’re not interested in using the internet to further your business goals, ask yourself why you aren’t using it.

A common answer? Well – there’s too much going on. There’s so much that the internet can offer to our businesses. It’s actually scary how many options are right there, at our fingertips! There are so many options it is overwhelming and with no clear place to start – it can be disheartening even to try. Here’s what you need to know about the internet, what it can do for your business and where you can get started.

So, does your company have a website? If not – why? A website is a tool that can help you network. It can help you promote your business. You can run a marketplace on your website or utilize it as a customer service platform. A website can pretty much give your business some more business! Sites like Squarespace, Wix, and others give you all you need to get started.

If you have a website – consider its age. If it’s been awhile since it was changed or revamped – then you should think about getting in touch with someone, or an agency, who will restore some life to your web presence. The website is where your business will be seen, and it makes a lot of sense to make it appealing to your audience. The better the website looks and works, the better first impression you’re going got make. A good website is going to transform visitors to customers – a bad website that doesn’t work is going to put potential customers off your business and push them away.

If you are contacting an agency, try not to ignore your website because the professionals are handling it. Make sure you educate yourself about your website and understand how it works. That way, you can ask for improvements based on your own knowledge instead of a shot in the dark! Also, you might be able to fix issues if you educate yourself.

The visitors to your website? That’s known as traffic. Your site should be generating traffic, and thus you need to ensure that your site is actually able to track people. There are plenty of ways you can do this, but blogging is the easiest way to start. It also builds content for your website. It’s a great way to bring your target audience to your site, and if you can blog on a regular basis, you’ll make your business look extremely active and on the ball.

Traffic to your site is going to generate data. Google Analytics can be attached to your website and can offer you an enormous amount of demographical information to help you identify your target audience. You might be surprised by the people who are visiting your website, and it may cause you to adjust who exactly you are aiming your business services and products to! This data is worth its weight in gold and can really offer you a true insight into the people interested in your business.

By now, you’ll have an optimized website that is working for your business – you’re selling and gaining data. This is an amazing foundation, but how do you get seen more often.

Let’s talk about search engine optimization – or SEO as it’s commonly known. People don’t rely on old-school directories anymore. Stuff like phone books aren’t really going to bring people to your net presence, are they? Register your company, the details of your business, and the services your company provides across directories on the net. Yelp and Google will suffice at first. This will get you seen in the places people are looking! Being seen is the best reason to use the tools of the web other than using it to sell your goods.

Once your business is in all the online directories it should be in – it’s time to focus on the SEO and search engines. People at this point should be locating your business on the internet when they go looking for it, but what else can you do?

Well, you need to position yourself to become the answer to a question. Think about the reasons why you use search engines. When people search for answers, ideally – they will find your business.

Search engine optimization is the best method of clawing your way to the top of search rankings so that it is your business that is seen before other businesses. Ideally, the higher you are – the more traffic that will pass through your website. If you use certain keywords, you can be found more often by your target audience. Use the data you’ve procured so far and insert the keywords that relate to your target market into the blogs you should be regularly producing. This fresh content should be full of keywords – meaning you’ll always have ways to get keywords into your site. If you’re afraid of pushing yourself too far here – seek help from a company like Hoth SEO – who can boost your SEO game and teach you how to do it all.

SEO and data lead perfectly into generating leads. Leads exist in all sorts of sizes and shapes. For example, a potential new employee is a lead for your recruiting department! Someone who signs up to your newsletter is a lead, people who email your business are leads. A lead is someone or something that expresses interest in your business one way or another.

Leads are another way of gathering data. The more data – the better. For example, people who download items from your site provide their name and email in exchange for the downloaded item which might be a newsletter. This data is used to personalize future information directly to customers and create a ‘human’ interaction. Tailoring communication to leads is a great way to build relationships and is certainly better than cold-calling. Generating leads is going to depend a lot on the infrastructure of your website. The page that visitors land on is key here, and your landing page should include a sort of offer and a form. The offer should entice the visitor to exchange their data for said offer. A ‘call-to-action’ seals the deal here and with a simple click to redeem the offer, the form is sent off – data is provided, and a lead is generated.

Social media is an amazing tool that you can focus on next – it is an absolute must-use tool. Twitter and Facebook will allow you to communicate with every single customer that comes to your business with a query or complaint. You can speak to each customer as an individual and solve their issues almost instantaneously. Social media is a great way of personifying your business and giving a personal touch to what otherwise may look like ‘just another company.’

Twitter, Facebook, Google and Youtube offer great exposure to your company when they are used correctly and will get you noticed! Remember when you registered your business to directories? Well, now it’s time to make your own with a Facebook Page. A well-managed Facebook page allows you to answer questions rapidly, and there’s nothing better to a customer or client than making sure their voice is heard, listened to and their requests acted upon. On top of this, the Facebook page is a great marketing tool.

Twitter is different. It’s a stream of conversations happening in real time. Compare it to a convention you can visit at any time. Insert your company into the right topics, talk to people and your customers and make solid contacts. You can also follow the brands and influencers that are relevant to your business and get your brand out there! Remind yourself of the conversational nature of Twitter and don’t always lay the hard-sell onto your followers. Mask the sell and keep talking.

Youtube offers a completely different service. Sharing videos of your company is a great way to allow people in the beating heart of your company. You can offer help, advice, tips or just show a plain old day in your working office. This content works well with your written blogs and can help promote your business and products.

Finally, the internet is a great way to find people to work for your business. Upwork is a fantastic site to find freelancers, and Indeed can help you list your full-time vacancies.

There is just so – so much that the internet can offer to you and hopefully this has helped break the back of all that. Once you educate yourself on the use of a website, you’ve got the perfect platform to jump off and explore from!

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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The Cheapest Places to Upsize Your Home Revealed

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Does it feel like you’re seriously lacking in space in your current home? Do you find the clutter has taken over your life simply because you don’t have enough storage space? Do you and your family members feel as though you’re living on top of each other with little to no privacy? If you’ve answered yes to these questions, then there’s a good chance you’re already convinced it’s time to upsize your home. But what if you can’t or don’t want to upsize the budget? Can you upsize your home in an affordable way?

With that in mind, here’s a look at some of the cheapest places in the UK where you can upsize your home.

Orkney

Top spot goes to Orkney, which is not only a great location for upsizing but offers all kinds of other benefits to residents. It’s here that you’ll be able to take advantage of a bigger living space without having to inflate the budget exponentially.

As an in-depth article by deacon.co.uk – a specialist buildings insurance provider – points out, it is often called the happiest place to live. Residents consistently point out their high quality of living, low crime rates, school class sizes in the primary years are low. It’s rare you’ll find anything that would be classified as a traffic jam, there is plenty of open land and wide-open spaces, and you’ll be treated to some of the most exceptional natural scenery in the world.

Richmond in North Yorkshire

Another great location to research is Richmond in North Yorkshire. It features many of the same draws as Orkney does, but this time you will be located in England. The cost of living is more reasonable than many other areas of the UK, house prices are still affordable, the crime rates are low, and you’ve got a robust nightlife and entertainment scene that you can explore.

Rutland in the East Midlands

If you like that quiet kind of setting that is filled with history and fabulous architecture, then you may want to consider Rutland, which is the smallest county in Britain. There are plenty of rolling hills, the River Welland, a lot of agricultural lands, and is a drivable 164 km from London (ideal for a weekend getaway).

Hambleton in North Yorkshire

Hambleton is located in England’s northern regions with Northallerton being the largest town in the district. The district is dotted with small towns and villages, is known for its agricultural lands, and even got the title as the “best place to live in Yorkshire” a few years back. This title was based on life expectancy, overall health and wellness of residents, personal well-being, weather, crime rates, and employment.

Other Notable Places to Consider

And if you’re still not sold on the places listed, other affordable areas that you can potentially upsize your home include Eden in Cumbria, Westminster, and Richmond-upon-Thames. Each has its own unique personality and list of benefits. No matter which of these locations you pick, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to fulfill your goal of branching out and upsizing your home to something that is more functional and liveable.

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Showing Your Love For Healthcare Workers

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When you know and love a healthcare worker during this difficult time, you may be searching for ways that you can show you appreciation for the hard work that they do. Coming up with some great ideas can seem a little difficult, as many items are inaccessible and restrictions are closing shops and limiting travel. Luckily there are still many ways that you can show your love for the health care workers in your life, as there are several brilliant concepts which you can make the most of to put a smile on their face today. So, if you want to find out more, then read on to uncover some of the best suggestions that you can utilise to show appreciation during this difficult period. 

Make Their Life A Little Easier 

One of the best things that you can do for a healthcare specialist that you know and love during this tough period is to attempt to make their life a little easier. Extra long shifts battling against this new virus can have a terrible effect on a person’s mental health, as well as sapping away all of their energy at the same time. This can mean that things like doing their grocery shopping and making meals are often the very last thing on their mind, opening up the perfect opportunity for you to get involved and lend a helping hand. Doing a big food shop that you can take to their home after work will be such an amazing gesture they will no doubt appreciate, whilst going an extra step further to actually cook up a delicious meal that they can enjoy after a long day can put such a huge smile on their face. Be sure to make the most of healthy ingredients including lots of fresh fruit and veg, as they must look after their immune system to stay strong throughout. 

Little Extras 

There are several different little extras that you may want to invest in to show your health care loved ones a bit of appreciation, and you can get these items delivered straight to their home so that you needn’t bother trying to work around social distancing measures to drop off their present yourself. For example, something like a heart badge reel that they can add to their uniform can be a great pick-me-up that they can look down at for a little motivation during their long shifts at work! It’s also a great idea to find some self care activities that they can indulge in, such as a luxurious face mask or bubble bath that they can utilise to get some down time at the end of the day.

Showing your love for the healthcare workers in your life needn’t be as difficult as you might think when you can make the most of the top tips and tricks detailed above! Whether you decide to help them get their grocery shopping, cook a nutritious meal or simple invest in a few little gifts to put a smile on their face – every little helps!

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3 Steps to Becoming a Better Person

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We only get one life so it’s important to live it well, make the most of things and seize opportunities that come your way. If you’re hoping to make the most of your time on earth, here are just three ways you can go about it. 

Be more understanding

We all want to be the best person we can be, and a big part of that is relating to and getting on with other people. But it’s not always in the way we think, we don’t need to make grand gestures, we don’t need to be able to give therapist level advice or be a perfect friend in every sense. The main thing we need to do is be empathetic and understanding- be able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. It can be easy to be irritated, annoyed or upset if a friend lets you down, cancels plans or does something else undesirable but when you’re understanding you’re able to empathise about why this might be. Maybe they’re busy, have other priorities (as we all do) or double booked themselves. We’re able to cut ourselves slack as we know that we’re only human, do others the same justice. Being understanding doesn’t mean being a doormat and being walked over, you do still need to know when someone is taking advantage. But for the most part, the people in your life won’t be purposely trying to upset you, be more understanding and it’s easy to realise this. 

Find your own spiritual path

Having beliefs in something that matters to you can be a great way to live your life, it seems counterproductive but realising how small you are on this planet and as part of the greater universe can feel reassuring. It means that your problems are also small and often irrelevant, and as a result can help you to just get out there and live your best life. Being spiritual and having beliefs doesn’t have to mean being religious, there are many reasons you might be put off from traditional religion. While it helps many, there’s no denying that it’s also a cause of many wars, there are numerous church abuse lawsuits that have been filed across the globe and to some, it simply doesn’t fit their beliefs. But don’t write off finding greater meaning altogether, find your own spiritual path. This could be anything from numerology to deep meditation to trusting in the universe and it’s signals. Do some research and find a path that suits you. 

Find a good work/ life balance

Work is important, not only does it give your life purpose but it allows you to earn the money you need to have the lifestyle you want outside of work. Most of us have no choice but to work, but it’s easy to go overboard with it. Maybe you’re passionate about your job or are just a bit of a workaholic, take a step back. Find the balance between work and life such as travel, family, pets and hobbies. You’ll be much happier for it.

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