Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Best Online Apps for HR Executives

The job of Human Resources (HR) personnel does not stop at screening and hiring the right people for the company, it also includes duties such as making sure that employees get their commensurate pay and benefits, employee satisfaction and happiness at work, and overall employee productivity and teamwork.
Screening applicants and hiring employees is just one of the easier tasks for HR executives, the hardest part is how to ensure that the best employees stay in the company for good – and how the company in turn can maximize and realize their full potentials and talent.
Luckily in this digital age, there are many online and digital apps that can help HR executives and personnel track each employee’s attendance, manage payroll, and gain feedback. All these can be used to ensure that employees are constantly attended to, and that no one gets left behind (especially when it comes to compensation).
  1. Zoho Recruit
Of course, there is an app that can make the screening and hiring process easier, and aside from Zoho Recruit, apps such as BambooHR and Workable can do this too. However, let’s just take the spotlight to Zoho Recruit for now because this is the most popular app in this category.
Zoho Recruit allows HR personnel to post jobs at once on multiple leading job listing sitesand Social Media pages such as LinkedIn, Monster, Indeed, etc. The app also allows you to create an applicant form which can be redirected to the company’s website. Most of all, Zoho Recruit helps organize, filter and track every resume that is received from a candidate.
The best part? The app has a completely free version, but this one has very limited features. Its paid version however, has two options. Their most popular package costs $25 per month, while the premium one costs $50 per month.
  1. VibeCatch
As mentioned earlier, the work does not stop at hiring and screening employees for the company. It also extends to making sure that they are actually happy and motivated to do their job. Employee engagement is an important duty for every HR executive, and VibeCatch can help out with that.
VibeCatch allows HR executives and personnel to set-up polls, get feedback from employees and enable a crowdsourcing of ideas for company and work improvement. So it could work even for companies who do not have a regular work space yet.
Best of all, the app is mobile-friendly, which makes it easier for both employers and employees to access its features. The app does not have a free version, and price starts at $24 each month for each employee.
  1. CakeHR
Recording employee attendance have never been easier with CakeHR. The app is created for small to medium-sized entrepreneurs who don’t want to be burdened with piling documents and spreadsheets that tally an employee’s attendance, absence, leave requests and actual leaves taken.
Aside from time-in and time-out tracking, CakeHR lays out a shared company calendar that could show approved leaves for each employee, approval of leaves for the management to take care of, requests for time-offs from employees, and the number of leaves that an employee is still entitled to.
The app provides two options for payment – one is $3.30 per employee on an annual basis, while the other is priced at $4 per employee on a monthly basis. Interested companies can however avail of a one month free trials service.
  1. Workday HCM
Workday HCM is not essentially an app, rather, it is a cloud-based tool that has all the essential features when it comes to HR functions such as attendance tracking, payroll management, compensation plans, recruitment and even up to the retirement process. Aside from that, it is also a place where customer engagement can be improved with its mobile and desktop compatibility.
Workday HCM is however pricey, since its target is mainly large and established companies. Its cost would also depend on the contract agreement, which should not be less than 3 years.
  1. HR Management Magazine App
Of course, improvement of customer engagement and management cannot be done without reading up on additional knowledge and trends that concern the HR industry as a whole. The HR Management Magazine app is a place where HR executives and personnel can be up to date with staffing and recruitment strategies, leadership training and seminars, labor law updates, and many more.
Every HR executive should also take into consideration the size and industry of the company they’re working for before deciding which app is best for use. Most apps actually work best for startups and medium-sized businesses (especially those with free versions), but high-priced and premium apps are mostly targeted to large businesses which employ a higher number of employees. With more employees, HR management could get more complicated – hence the need for more inclusive HR services and apps.
Author Bio:
Jessica Radburn is a seasoned writer who enjoys creating helpful articles and interesting stories. She has worked with several clients across different industries such as advertising, online marketing, technology, healthcare, family matters, and more. She is also an aspiring entrepreneur who is engaged in assisting other aspiring entrepreneurs in finding the best office space for their business.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

How to Harness the Power of Instagram for Your Ecommerce Site

With competition in the e-commerce sector getting even stiffer, there is an urgent need for entrepreneurs to innovate. While the internet marketplace has brought about myriad opportunities, especially for smaller brands, the vicious competition on this platform makes it crucial to keep adapting. If you are still sticking to your old website as the only avenue for marketing, you are driving your business to oblivion.
The e-commerce industry is growing rapidly and if the challenges you are facing today are driving you to the wall, you just have to consider the opportunities you are losing. According to a study by eMarketer, retail e-commerce sales will shoot up to $4.058 trillion in 2020.
A similar study by Big Commerce says that over 51% of Americans today prefer shopping online, with over 96% of all consumers already having completed a purchase online. The same study says e-commerce is growing 23% year-over-year, which highlights the opportunity that every business can enjoy if they have the best digital marketing strategy.
There are over 3.7 billion internet users according to Internet Live Stats and you have to position yourself strategically to leverage the opportunities available. The best way to do this today is by riding the crest of the Instagram wave. The days of Facebook dominance seem to be over with its reach reducing and Instagram now gives the innovative marketer an opportunity to thrive. In fact, Instagram has been labeled the world’s most powerful marketing tool and for many good reasons.

The Power of Instagram Marketing
With Facebook’s decline in business marketing, it was only a matter of time before another platform came up. This time, Instagram, a photo and video sharing platform started by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger in 2010, has come in to provide the much-needed solution. With over 700 million monthly active users (MAUs) and 500 million daily active users (DAUs), this is one of the most powerful social media networks today.
Close to 50% of brands in the U.S are already using Instagram for marketing purposes and according to eMarketer, the number is expected to go up to 71% by the end of 2017. A recent Forrester Research tagged Instagram as one of the most effective social marketing tools.
All these numbers highlight the power of Instagram for your marketing campaign. If you are struggling to leverage the growing numbers of internet users, it is time you learnt how to build your Instagram followers, but first things first.
Harnessing the Power of Instagram for Ecommerce
While it is very easy to set up an IG account, it is more difficult to start getting followers on Instagram and achieve your business objectives. In fact, this is the reason why most brands say social media offers no returns. In the rush to build an IG account, most business owners miss out on the bigger picture and they find it hard to get any results from their campaign.
If you want to leverage the power of IG, consider the following:
  • Create an Instagram Strategy
Like with any other business campaign, you have to create a roadmap to get you to the desired objectives. There are many objectives of taking your brand to Instagram and it is advisable to first assess what you want to achieve before even opening your account. For example, do you want to increase your e-commerce website’s visibility on social media or do you want to drive sales?
Are you more after brand awareness or do you want more mentions of your products? Whatever the idea you have, make sure you set it down as this will guide the rest of the campaign. You should also consider the type of content you will be posting, schedule of posting, and the person tasked with posting content among other factors.
  • Optimize Your Bio
The cardinal rule when creating a profile for your e-commerce website is to use a public account and use the new business tools to give your profile a professional touch. More importantly, you need to optimize your bio by giving detailed information about your business and more importantly adding a link to your landing page.
This is the only chance to direct traffic to your e-commerce site and it is surprising that most marketers overlook it. While at it, make sure you have optimized the landing page to make it easier for shoppers to compare the products available and make a purchase in a few steps.
  • Integrate IG Photos into E-commerce
The easiest way to use Instagram for conversion is by integrating IG photos into your e-commerce website design. You can use a feed or a widget on your landing page with your IG posts to showcase your products. For instance, if you are selling eyewear, why not share posts from your IG account by customers who are wearing the same? This instantly creates a sense of authenticity in your products and you will witness better sales conversions. There are many 3rd party Instagram tools which you can now use to embed Instagram photos onto your website.
  • Show Your Best Products
The power of visuals drives Instagram and this is also the reason why it has become one of the most powerful marketing tools over the last few years. It is now possible to showcase your best products in the best way possible. With IG photos, you have an opportunity to call attention to your products.
The platform has the amazing photo and video editing features to give your images an edge. These amazing photos will attract visitors to your store and from there it gets easier to close a purchase.
  • Contests Galore
If you want to engage users on social platforms, start with a contest. The same applies on Instagram and it is easy to get started; you just need to choose a prize, pick a contest-specific hashtag, create a contest “theme” and finally aggregate and display the photos online.
  • Use the Full Power of Hashtags
Now that there are no links, you have to leverage hashtags which allow connection of your Instagram followers with the larger marketing strategy. Start by getting a small number of real Instagram followers using popular hashtags. To get the best out of your hashtags, use a mixture of broad and specific terms. However, avoid overusing hashtags or using irrelevant ones.
Using Instagram for your e-commerce site is a learning process and these tips will help you get started.
This is a guest contribution by Scott Harris for Instamacro.
Author Bio
Harris is a leading blog writer and content marketing professional with thousands of real Instagram followers for his postings.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Helpful Tips On Hiring An Outsourced Web Designer

Outsourcing has become the norm for small to medium and large enterprises these days, and how could it not be? It is a smart move for companies looking to save or cut costs and still get what they need done, when they need it.
Among the most highly outsourced jobs today is web design and development. It has become too costly for companies to have their own in-house web developers, especially if they just need them for seasonal projects. This is why outsourcing to a web design company or individual contractor has become the more logical and practical option.
But while hiring outsourced talents appear to be the better option, especially for small and upcoming companies, there are downsides to it that can also be detrimental for business. This includes not getting the expected outcome, abandoned work, and so on. So how can you hire an outsourced web designer and be well satisfied with it all the way through? Here are some helpful tips that you can do.
  1. Come up with a specialized screening process – Whether you’re outsourcing to a company or directly to a remote contractor, it would help to come up with a special screening process to easily filter out those that are unqualified for the job. Example of which is by providing specific instructions to follow upon their submission of their application and if not met, would automatically be not considered for the job.
  2. Ask for samples of previous work and references – In hiring remote “creatives” (e.g. writers, designers, etc), it’s necessary to request for a couple of the sample work they’ve done, whether it’s from their portfolio or work that they did for previous clients. It would also help to get references, whom you can contact regarding the work done by the remote contractor. Not only will you get an idea of their work ethic, but you’ll also be able to verify if they’re a suitable candidate for the job you need to get done.
  3. Prepare list of questions – Don’t just rely on spontaneous conversation when doing the formal interview. Live video chat is preferable (e.g via Skype or Google Hangouts) and you’ll need to have a fixed set of questions to ask and go through with the candidate. You can then compare answers among candidates to see who’s the best person for the job.
  4. Observe communication throughout hiring process – Are they very responsive or does it take some time before you hear back from them? How respectful are they when discussing the details of the job? The hiring process would normally take at least more than a week and that’s enough time for you to assess how well they communicate. Communication is key in managing a remote employee and if there are certain red flags just from the hiring phase, then it may be a sign to simply move on to the next candidate.
  5. Read between the lines before committing – You and your outsourced employee should agree on a contract that specifies your terms and conditions for the employment. As with any other agreement, due diligence is important before signing and committing to a binding contract.
Hiring an outsourced employee always has its risks but do it the right and careful way, and you’ll certainly reap the benefits of having the work you need at a more cost-efficient level and be completely happy with the results. Of course, it’s also one thing to hire and it’s also another thing to nurture the working relationship you have with your outsourced employee. At that point, it’s also dependent on you, as a business owner and superior, to be able to effectively manage and guide your outsourced employee as you would with your in-house employees.

Monday, July 23, 2018

What To Consider In Building A Website

Ready to start building the website for your business?
Before you dive in headfirst into the world of web design, you may first want to take note of these factors that you should consider in building an effective and functioning site.
Mobile Responsiveness
Did you know that mobile web browsing has already overtaken desktop browsing since late 2016? Mobile-friendly sites aren’t just an afterthought anymore. These days, it has become an even bigger priority than your traditional desktop site given the volume of users who do most of their browsing and shopping on their smartphones.
It’s important to create the same seamless user experience for desktop and mobile sites, from the navigation to page layout and everything in between. Not only will this further engage your target market, but it will surely result into higher sales and revenue opportunities as well. And in case you’re not aware of it, Google also rewards sites that are mobile responsive through higher search rankings.
Optimising your site isn’t just about using keywords and inserting them into your blog post or web content as many times as possible anymore. SEO has become so much more strategic than before that you’ll most likely need the help of a certified SEO agency if you want your business website to rank and be known to your target market.
Also take note that optimisation happens both on-site and off-site and requires a continuous process and progression. This means that even with the best SEO practices put into effect, it may still take some time to see actual results. Just make sure to be on the good side and follow legitimate white hat SEO practices to avoid getting penalized by Google.
Imagery & Graphics
Let’s face it, most people online are attracted towards visual content than text. And while optimised web content is important for your site, it’s also just as necessary to invest in beautiful imagery and graphics to appeal more to your audience.
Balance out the text with high resolution photos and videos, and make sure to strategically position them throughout the site! Also experiment with combining text and graphics by creating infographics that could lead to higher click-throughs and conversation rates.
Call To Action
You’ll definitely want your website to be effective in pulling in your target market and converting them into paying customers. One effective way of doing so is by having different forms of call to actions found on your site.
CTAs can be a click-through button or image, it can be a text telling your customers to order now or inquire about your products/services, or it can even be a main header on your homepage informing visitors of what your business is all about and why they should make the purchase. CTAs can vary for different types of businesses–the key is to do proper research, then test out and check which ones are the most effective for you.
While it’s true that design is very subjective, there’s still a viable standard of what makes a nicely designed website. And these days, it’s not enough to simply put in the images and text from your business’ marketing materials and call it a day. You’ll have to invest in a professionally designed and coded site in order to appeal to customers and provide them with a seamless user experience.
Building a website for your business does seem like such a daunting task at first. But while it may seem such a tedious and overwhelming project to take on, just remember that all it takes is proper planning, a solid vision for your business, and a reliable team of web designers and developers to help turn your vision into reality.

Friday, July 20, 2018

5 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Pro For Your Site’s SEO

SEO has long been an important strategy for businesses to succeed. It’s even become more necessary in this digital age, especially since more and more consumers are relying on e-commerce to purchase what they want and need.
While there are several optimisation tactics that you can very well do on your own, completely managing it while running your business may not exactly be the best idea. Here are 5 compelling reasons why you should just go hire a pro.
Reason #1: SEO requires technical knowledge.
Let’s get one thing clear: SEO is not easy. Sure, you can start and do some form of SEO yourself but there’s more to it than just reading an article on the best SEO practices. Professional optimisation covers a lot of technical ground, from content to user experience, as well as off-site and specific local SEO strategies that would prove useful for your business.
This is not to say that you can’t do SEO by yourself. It simply means that if you want a more comprehensive and effective way of optimising your site and get the results you want, then it’s better to invest in a dependable and trusted SEO agency.
Reason #2: SEO requires time and attention to detail.
As a business owner, you already have a lot to deal with in running your business on a day-to-day basis. Do you really have the time to constantly monitor and implement various SEO strategies for your site?
Your time is extremely valuable and it would serve you and your business well to leave it to professionals who can really focus on optimising your site, which entails a number of continuous and progressive tasks. A dedicated SEO agency is also updated with changes and updates in algorithms and rules, as well as keeping track of your competitors. All of these come into play into having a successful SEO campaign.
Reason #3: They can provide extensive analytics and do proper monitoring.
It’s not enough to simply see the numbers from your SEO efforts. What’s even more relevant is to know “why” that’s the case and how to go about fixing or improving it further. A professional SEO agency would know what to do with the numbers and more importantly, understand the relationships among your site’s key performance indicators.
Always keep in mind that optimisation is a continuous process. It’s not a one time, big time effort, which is why it requires consistent monitoring and analysis to identify points for improvement. With proper understanding of analytics come better strategies to improve ranking and online presence of your business.
Reason #4: The pros have the pro tools.
There’s a myriad of software solutions and online resources that can help in developing and executing SEO strategies. However, some of which cost more than your marketing budget allotment, which is why it doesn’t make for good business sense to acquire the program on your own.
The professionals are pros for a reason and this includes having the right tools on their belt that provide the right assistance and guide for various SEO strategies and tasks. A truly reliable and proven SEO agency invests in premium software for effective optimisation and they would be able to assess which applications would best work for your business.
Reason #5: Significant ROI potential.
Compared to other conventional means of marketing your business, SEO provides some serious potential for return on investment and a long-term one at that. Traditional advertising can cost you way more than having to pay for monthly SEO services from a reputable agency. With continuous SEO efforts, your business will certainly reap the rewards with the boost it’ll get down the line.
Don’t scrimp on your optimisation budget. It would benefit you, even more, to hire a professional and trusted SEO company Sydney to take care of boosting your business right from the get go. Leave it to the pros to help get your site ranking high, while you sit back and take care of other important business matters.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Top 3 Key Ways to Build Your Brand Through Content

Starting a business can be quite daunting. Growing it is even more overwhelming and requires grit, drive, and a dash of creativity.
One effective way of building your brand is by creating content that will inform, entertain, and engage your target audience. Remember that in this day and age, content remains king. And knowing how to harness its influence can work wonders in growing your brand furthermore.
So how do you do it? Here are three key ways that you can start with to build your business through content creation.
Identify Your Audience
Who do you intend to reach? What demographic are you trying to appeal to?
These are some questions you need to ask–and answer–before you even begin crafting content. Defining your audience aids in knowing what types of content you need to develop. This can be done in doing market research, developing buyer personas, and so on.
The point behind identifying your target audience is simple: if you know who you’re talking to (or should talk to), you’ll know all the right things to say.
Also note that your audiences may vary depending on the products and services you offer. Should this be the case, you’ll need to tap into proper segmentation to appeal to varying interests of your market.
Set Your Brand Apart From Competitors
After identifying your target audience, it’s now time to define what differentiates your business from your competitors.
Through this strategy, you’ll be able to come up with branded content aimed towards highlighting that certain edge that you have, which allows your business to be known amongst competitors. Knowing this information can help improve your conversions and search engine rankings. In short, a lot relies on this tactic.
You may think that given the oversaturation of today’s market, it would be hard to identify what sets your business apart from all others. The thing is, it doesn’t have to be big. It can even be your business’ key locations, or perhaps crafting content that would highlight all services or products that you offer.
Of course, don’t just push out branded content whenever you can. A good mix of brand and non-branded content released consistently would help improve your online standing, as well as in getting paying customers out of readers.
Repeat and Diversify Your Message
Most of the content that you’ll create will pretty much say the same thing. But in doing this, make sure to diversify your message and make it fresh.
This is even more so the case for niche businesses, in which you’re basically stuck with the same topics and themes. Good news is, a little creativity and resourcefulness can go a long way in crafting new content that would continuously engage your customers and make them trust you.
Do note that it’s not just the way you craft and write your content, but it’s also in the way you present them to your audience. We’re talking about using different formats. If you’re talking about SEO techniques, you can come up with a written blog post, an infographic showing key steps and statistics, colorful visuals to highlight important steps, or even videos that narrate everything about your message.
Suffice it to say, your goal is to tell your audience what you do and how you can help them over and over again, but a little differently every single time. Not only does this guarantee that you’ll reach a wider scope, but it’ll also help in building your brand’s credibility and trustworthiness.
Content creation is an integral part of growing and promoting our business. Expect to encounter a couple of hits and misses before you finally nail what content will be well received by your customers.
What you need to do is to use these three solid tips to start creating the foundation for your brand’s content and from there, analyze, adjust, and refine all the way through.

Monday, July 16, 2018

5 Tips on Improving Your Skyscraper Content

Skyscraper content has earned a reputation of being an effective medium in increasing click throughs and site traffic. In short, it’s known to be a reliable SEO tactic.
However, this resulted to a lot of sites coming out with guide posts with over 10k words, promising to give you everything “you need to know about” this and that. And while some truly offer substantial content, most of these just comprise of a whole lot of nonsense fillers and cringeworthy copies.
At the end of the day, this makes a skyscraper content ineffective, especially if it doesn’t really convert readers into buyers. So how do you create a skyscraper content that truly engages and well, one that doesn’t suck?
Here are 5 tips to improve your skyscraper content that you can work on right now:
1. Make Headlines Out of Subheads
Apply what you know about crafting engaging headlines into how you write your paragraph subheads. It should say more with less, but it should also give a clear picture of what’s about to go down in the paragraph following the subhead.
Headlines are supposed to intrigue and catch the attention of the reader right off the bat. If your subhead is vague and unsubstantial, you can pretty much bet that the reader would just skip right through probably until the very end of your skyscraper piece. So instead of simply saying, “Grow Your Audience With Quality Content,” perhaps you can try a little more headline-worthy subhead like, “Rouse Your Audience’s Interest with Content that Clicks.” It may not be perfect but it’s something that would make your readers pause and have a read.
2. Say More By Writing Less
It’s a given that a skyscraper piece requires a very high word count–one that’s much higher than your regular average blog post. And given this word count requirement, a lot of copywriters tend to just fill in as much fillers as they can, which bores readers to no end.
Using fillers can be appropriate sometimes, but not most of the time. If you can be more succinct and tell them straight with just a few words, then do it.
If it reads, “As you may already know, writing a skyscraper content can help your site increase page views and overall foot traffic.” Maybe you can reconsider and dial it down a bit by saying, “Writing a skyscraper content can help increase your site’s foot traffic.” More succinct, more readable, more engaging.
3. Don’t Make It About You
Readers only care about themselves and what you have to offer them. This is why there’s no point in making your skyscraper content about you and what you think.
Sure, you may be an expert giving legit advice through your skyscraper content. But you have to still make it about the readers. So how exactly do you do it? By taking yourself out of it and not drawing any attention towards you. You can do this by not using “I or we.” Use “you” as much as you can–pretty much how this post you’re reading right now goes.
4. Transform Boring Topics With a Little Wit
You can do better than sounding like a Wikipedia page. Most topics that uses skyscraper structure are not that exciting and mostly technical. But even if that’s the case, don’t resort to sounding like an encyclopedia and try to inject a little wit and creativity to make it more fun to read.
For example, you can easily find several skyscraper pieces on SEO strategies. A lot of these would include technical terms, which are just all too boring to read. Case in point, a sentence might read: “Putting these SEO strategies into effect can contribute in improving your site’s ranking and lead conversions.” Did you just yawn reading that? So did we.
Maybe you can turn it into something like this: “Using these SEO strategies play a big role in higher rankings and increased sales!” What it all boils down to is how you re-craft your message and making it more exciting for your readers.
5. Pay Attention to Sentence Length, Sequence, and Pacing
Just like with how songs have a certain pace and build-up that rouses emotions to its listeners, your skyscraper piece also needs to have the right sentence length, sequence, and pacing.
The best way to do this is to start short.
And then slowly build it up with relevant information to support your message.
Once you’ve gotten hold of their attention, you can move on to writing complex structures that include technical information, comprising the very meat of your skyscraper piece. (See what happened there?)
Skyscrapers are really effective if you know how to do it right–and not just for the sake of wanting more clicks.
A lot of planning and preparation goes into it before you hit publish. But the best way to truly make it as effective as it can be is to pay attention to the writing.
It’s about the information you present and how you present it to your readers. It’s both the content and the structure–the information and how you craft it and deliver to your audience.
Pay attention to these details and you’ll see your site get indexed and ranked. Not to mention, it’s what makes customers who actually buy out of mere readers.