Day: November 18, 2019

How to Optimize SEO on WordPress

WordPress is one of the most popular and widely used platforms for websites. It forms the foundation of than 30% of all websites on the internet and holds 60% of the CMS market share. WordPress is flexible and easy to use, even if you don’t know how to program. You can add your own content and make changes to your site easily.

Another reason why it is so powerful is that it’s easy to incorporate SEO best practices into your site. Optimizing your website for SEO helps it rank higher for key search terms. It brings more traffic to your site and saves on marketing expenses. There are many steps available for you to improve your site’s search ranking. Carry out the recommendations given here to jumpstart your site’s visibility. 

Leverage content

Good content needs to form the core of your SEO. Search engines like Google reward high-quality content above all other factors. Create content that is helpful and engages people. Stand-out content has certain features that appeal to readers.

  • Unique content: Unique content offers the latest information or presents information differently. Provide rich data and use media like infographics and videos are unique content. They engage users and drives more traffic.
  • Easy to read: It’s important to make your content internet-friendly. Make your content easy to scan by creating short paragraphs. Use conversational language and speak directly to users.
  •  Shareable: Use words that create emotions in users such as excitement and interest. Content that evokes emotion is sharable and builds a greater reach for your work.

Structuring your content and using other best practices also improve your SEO. Use heading tags such as H1 for titles and H2 and H3 for relevant subtitles. Maintain consistency in using heading tags so that search engines can index and understand your content.


Hiring a Marketer? Ask These 5 Interview Questions

Hiring for any role can be frustrating. You comb through hundreds of resumes looking for a perfect match, interview top candidates, and go through extensive negotiations, only to discover on the other end that you didn’t land the employee you really needed. You’re often left wondering if there was a question you didn’t ask that could’ve saved you the headache – and the high cost. 

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, the average cost to companies per hire was $4,129 in 2016, and that number has only gone up. When the role you’re searching for is in marketing, new strategic developments in areas like paid media might not be reflected well in a candidate’s degree or experience. 

I’ve seen business leaders hire marketers who are far too senior for the roles being filled, and the advanced salaries lead to skyrocketing budgets. In other cases, a company hires someone who doesn’t spend time learning how the company got where it is, leading to conflicts with the existing team and creating internal rifts. People who come in and try to prove themselves at the expense of other team members hurt the company culture.

We made a similar mistake. We hired someone with industry expertise, who claimed to be an expert in search engine optimization and client management, and a high-impact leader in a small, effective, agile team. He had an MBA to boot. Within his first few weeks, though, he just sat there – idle – waiting to be told what to do and never asking any questions. He had to be shown tasks multiple times and just didn’t get it. After turning away promising candidates with “less” experience, we wasted so much time on this hire, and our team morale took a hit.

When you’re hiring for a position,


8 HR Compliance Challenges Small Businesses Face

There are many regulations imposed on small businesses. Once you start hiring employees, you will need to abide by these ever-changing laws. Not only do you have to keep your finger on the pulse of federal agencies’ requirements, but you must also track changes at the state and local levels. Keep reading to learn about eight evolving employment and HR compliance regulations you’ll need to monitor.

1. Paying your employees at least minimum wage

The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. If you pay your workers less than that, you could be responsible for back wages and steep penalties.

Although the rate has been stagnant for over 10 years, there is a nationwide movement to increase it to $15 per hour. In fact, more than half the states and several localities have set their minimum wages higher than the Department of Labor’s standard.

If your state’s minimum wage differs from the federal limit, you will usually need to pay your workers the higher of the two. To find out how much you’re required to pay your team members, contact your state’s DOL branch.

2. Knowing when to pay overtime

A worker is exempt from overtime if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • They are paid on a salary basis.
  • They make at least $23,660 per year or $455 per week.
  • They perform exempt job duties, such as supervising two or more people.

For all others, you will likely need to pay at least 1.5 times their hourly rate for any time worked over 40 hours in a single workweek. Recently, the DOL increased the salary threshold to $35,568 per year or $684 per week. This rule will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020. If any of your employees are exempt from overtime but earn less


How to Accept Credit Card Payments with Stripe

Credit card processing allows you to accept debit card and credit card payments at your business, creating another payment method for your customers. Some credit card processors support online payments as well. Stripe, our pick as the best online payment processor, offers a range features and competitive rates, as well as very few added fees.

To learn more about Stripe and other leading credit card processing companies, check out our best picks page for a buyer’s guide and comprehensive reviews.

What is Stripe payment processing?

Stripe is a versatile payment processor that integrates with hundreds of e-commerce platforms, shopping carts and other third-party applications that many businesses rely on every day. It offers competitive rates and a pay-as-you-go option, so you won’t have any long-term contractual obligation with the company.

Stripe is an online-focused company; it primarily works with e-commerce, mobile commerce and subscription as a service businesses. Although Stripe is an online payment processor, it can be used to collect payments in-person. Using Stripe, you can bill customers on a recurring basis, set up a marketplace where you can host third-party merchants or just accept one-time payments at the point of sale.

Editor’s note: Looking for the right credit card processing company for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.


Stripe offers its payment processing services on a pay-as-you-go basis, meaning you can close your account at any time without fear of incurring cancellation fees. To start working with Stripe, you must sign a service agreement, which you can review on the company’s website. Reading this document will give you better insight into how accepting payments with Stripe works.

Stripe doesn’t set up its customers with their own merchant accounts; instead, it sets you up as


How to Develop Emotional Intelligence in Your Business

Emotional intelligence is a key trait employers should be looking for in employees. 

According the World Economic Forum, emotional intelligence is one of the top 10 skills needed for workers at all levels of organizations in 2020 and beyond.  McKinsey Group predicts that the need for EI skills will outpace cognitive skills by 2030.  Yet in a recent article by the Harvard Business Review, only 18% of companies report that they have emotional intelligence ingrained in their culture.

Is your business in the 18% or 82%?  If you are not sure, statistically it’s much more likely your organization is in the 82% of businesses that do not have emotional intelligence embedded in their culture.

Either way, you want to know where your company stands and what its strengths and weaknesses are. Self-Awareness is the foundation of emotional intelligence at both the individual and organizational levels. You can’t grow and develop something unless you’re aware of it and know what the root causes are. Several ways to assess where your business stands in terms of emotional intelligence are:

  • Leverage current engagement and other surveys you may already be using. Many companies use their own assessments that include questions that are emotional intelligence-based.  See the EQ-related questions below to determine if any of those are on your engagement survey and you can use them to assess your where your organization stands. 
  • Conduct focus groups. While surveys are excellent for getting anonymous feedback, the context and detail that can be attained from speaking to people can make a big difference. Conducting effective focus groups that aren’t just opportunities for people to complain takes a lot of skill and planning. 
  • Complete an EI-based organizational assessment. If you don’t have an engagement survey you are using, then finding a simple tool to assess your organization’s