Four SEO Tools and How to Use Them to Build Your Business

Four SEO Tools and How to Use Them to Build Your Business

Search engines matter. They send traffic to your website. Use them well and they send very targeted traffic to your website. Targeted traffic turns into customers and repeat visitors. This means it’s not only where you're placed on the search engine rankings, but the keywords you use as well. You want to make sure you’re attracting targeted traffic to your site.  
  
The world of search engine optimization and keyword development can feel overwhelming. It seems there’s a lot of information to learn, know and use. However, when you drill down, it’s actually quite simple. You want to optimize your website for a few primary keywords. These keywords ideally will have an acceptable amount of demand and supply. They’ll also be keywords that your audience is likely to use to find your information.  
  
Then you optimize your pages for those keywords. You also choose some secondary keywords to support the primary ones. These may be keywords with less demand and less supply. However, they’re still keywords your audience is using to find your information.   
  
How do you use these keywords? Content, content, content. Content gives the search engine spiders something to index. It also provides material that others may link to. This is an important part of SEO.   
  
To help you manage and master your SEO efforts, there are literally thousands of various tools and gadgets. Some of these tools help you check the keyword density on your web page. They make sure your keywords are represented enough to help but not so much that your content reads poorly. There are also link checkers, keyword research tools, and so on. Here are four SEO tools you might find useful.  
  
Keyword suggestion tools - This is where it all begins. Keyword suggestion tools help you learn and research your primary and secondary keywords. The most common of these tools is the Google AdWords tool. It’s free and quite useful. There are also keyword tools that you can pay for. They offer a bit more information than the Google tool.   
 
Ranking checkers - Ranking checkers help you determine where you rank for various keywords and search engines. It’s a great tool for setting goals and tracking your progress. For example, you might set a goal to move up two pages in the rankings using article marketing. You can use a ranking checker to test and track your success. (You can also check to see how your competition is doing.)  
Link checking tools - Link checking tools help you determine the effectiveness of your back links. You can learn who is linking to you and how popular their links are. Again, you can also check to see who is linking to your competition. There are some basic, free tools that provide basic information. Or you can hire a service to analyze your back links for you.   
  
Keyword density tools - These tools can analyze a page or your URL for keyword density. There are a number of keyword density tools. Again some are free and some are paid tools. If you’re going to pay for this service, make sure it analyzes keyword phrases and not just one or two word keywords.   
  
New SEO tools are being developed every day. Take advantage of these resources to strategically position your business. The easier it is for your prospects to find you, the faster you’ll achieve your business goals.  
 

What Services Should You Offer?

As a virtual assistant there really are many services you can provide. You can offer a variety to your clients. Or you can specialize. Making the decision can be a bit challenging. Here are a few considerations to help you decide.

What Are Your Strengths?

While it might be nice to provide a variety of services it might be a better idea to focus on your strengths. For example, if you’re a terrific transcriptionist but not very technologically inclined then focus on transcription. Leave the website management to someone else. That way you can be sure you’re providing the best service possible to your clients. They’ll be 100% satisfied. And you’ll spend your time working on projects that match your skills.

What Do You Like to Do?

If you don’t enjoy a task, you’re not going to be motivated to accomplish it. This of course isn’t good business. Clients don’t appreciate it when you procrastinate. And it’s just not fun for you. Make a list of the tasks you enjoy doing. Make a list of the tasks that are okay. Then make a list of the tasks you dislike. Don’t take projects that entail tasks you dislike. Find another contractor to recommend. Consider partnering with that other contractor so you both benefit.

What’s In Demand?

Some tasks are in high demand. For example, right now managing social networking pages and profiles is an in demand opportunity. If you have skills and interests in this area this may be a service to market and provide.

Also take a look at the opportunities being requested. Visit social networking sites and search feeds for information. Visit freelance job sites and research the most commonly requested tasks. These are the skills and services people are looking for.

What Niche Will You Service?

Often, a virtual administrator will service a particular niche. For example, if you’re passionate about organization then you might seek clients in this industry. Each industry may have their own specialty needs. An organization coach for example, might need someone to schedule their appointments or moderate their forum.

When building your VA business take a look at both your strengths and weaknesses. Explore the opportunities. Also, remember that your business can change as you do. You can focus on one specialty task right now. Then as your business grows you can add more services to your portfolio. It’s your business; create it to fit your needs and the market demands for maximum success.

 

Professional Development Tips and Ideas for Virtual Assistants

One of the best ways to grow your business and increase your profits is through professional development. As a virtual assistant there are many opportunities. And often, through professional development you gain personal strengths too. It’s a win-win situation.

Learn a new skill

As the internet will undoubtedly continue to grow and change you can too. You can keep your skills fresh. Establish your business first. Once you’re steady, take a class and learn a new skill. For example, you might learn how to use a certain email management system. Or you could learn how to help clients with their blogs and keywords, or social media management. Your skill will help you offer more value to your clients. And once you’ve obtained the new skill, you can market it to your advantage. You can use it to really grow your business.

Take a look at online classes, books, and workshops to learn new skills. Consider taking classes at your local college or community center. These classes are often packed with information and fit the budget.

Get a coach

Many people think coaching is only for those who are looking to solve a problem. Not true. A business coach can help you optimize your business. They can help you see opportunities and strengths. They can help you grow both personally and professionally. Perhaps most importantly, a business coach can help you profit.

Before you hire a coach, ask around. Ask friends, family and business associates if they can recommend a good coach. Before you sign up with a coach, research them thoroughly. Make sure their approach to coaching matches your personality and needs. If possible, talk with them on the phone before you sign up. That way you can tell if the two of you will work well together.

If a coach isn’t in the budget consider a mastermind group. A mastermind group is a group of likeminded individuals who meet to help each other succeed. They can be motivating, inspiring and of course educational. You can find mastermind groups online and off. Like finding a coach, take your time to find the right mastermind group for you.

Read

If you don’t presently have a reading practice, create one. Read industry blogs. Read industry publications. And read a book that will help you grow professionally at least once a quarter. If you don’t have time to read, download an audio book. Listen to it for a few minutes at the end of each day. Listen to it in the car when you’re driving. There’s a lot of wonderful information available to help you grow professionally.

If you don’t know where to start, ask around. Ask your clients what they read and if they can make any recommendations. Check out the bestseller’s lists. Even a book about productivity or better business will help you grow.

You owe it to yourself and to your VA business to develop professionally. Find a coach.  Read a blog. Take a class. The world is waiting for you!

 

Be Honest About Deadlines

We all know what it’s like to have a deadline looming over our heads.  We spend most of our time feeling like we’re being pushed, often unwillingly, toward the goal line of one project or another.  We also all know what it’s like to miss a deadline.  However, with time and effort you can reduce your stress and meet deadlines more efficiently.

The first part of meeting goals is setting them.  This part is far more important than it seems.  When setting goals, you need to be realistic.  Not only with whether or not you can meet a timeline, but also with whether or not you have the ability to get the job done - period.  Once you have an overall goal, set smaller goals and a calendar for achieving them.  Assign specific goals and duties and make sure everyone not only knows their part, but everyone else’s as well.  

Even if you’re setting realistic goals and deadlines, that doesn’t mean you’ll always meet them.  When setting up your plan of attack, it is important to realize that sometimes things go wrong.  One of your co-workers may call in sick, the copier might break down in the middle of a large print job, or bad weather might trap your supplier out of town.

You can’t prepare for every eventuality, but you can set up a Plan B in case of common problems.  This is often as simple as having alternate companies’ phone numbers on hand or making sure someone knows how to do a task if someone else is sick.  Occasionally, something is going to happen and you won’t meet a deadline, but you can still make this a rare occasion.

When managing a team, always set their deadlines well before the deadline for the final project.  Even if someone does exceptional work, you may end up with a bad final product because you were in a rush to get everything together.  If the people you work with spend a lot of time procrastinating, you may just want to set a deadline they need to have it done by and leave it at that.  If they don’t know the final project deadline, it may get their part to you sooner.  

For a team to meet a deadline, the leader needs to be involved in the entire process.  No, they don’t need to check up on everyone every step of the way, but they do need to see if everyone is on schedule and if they have any problems.  Often people will try to handle it themselves when they hit a snag, delaying their part and possibly the whole project.

When you’ve met a big deadline, reward yourself and your team with some kind of treat.  Depending on your options and on the importance of the deadline, it could be something big, like a group outing, or something small liking bringing in bagels one morning.  If you have something to look forward to, you’ll be more likely to get things done on time.  Plus, this will give everyone the energy boost to get started on your next big project.