It’s Saturday morning, so you know what that means – time for another SEO Tip. This week’s tip is so simple some of you may wonder if it’s even true, others may wonder why they haven’t been doing it already.
You have all been told for years that you must add lots and lots of images to your sites. You’ve learned that visitors enjoy looking at pictures of houses, that blog readers are pulled in by having large images at the top of a post.
But is it possible to bring more traffic in from the search engines because of how you use images on your sites? The answer is yes. Today we’ll cover a few ways to help your site rank better using images.
Before we continue, take six minutes and watch these three Google Webmaster videos:
- Should I expect increased traffic if I optimize my images?
- Matt Cutts Discusses the Importance of alt Tags
- Does Google consider the URL of an image?
That pretty well sums up this post…oh, you want more? Fine, keep reading.
Use Descriptive File Names for Images
In video 1, Matt flat out tells us – YES OPTIMIZING IMAGES WILL INCREASE TRAFFIC. What else do I need to say to convince you?
Matt suggests using descriptive file names for your images. Don’t keep the bland,boring name your camera created, what good is a name like “dsc00234.jpg”? You should use a carefully thought out descriptive name. You shouldn’t get too carried away with long file names, but I do suggest using multiple words. Of course, keep in mind our tip from last week and use dashes to separate the words in your file name. Possibly use something like: “3576-lakeview-street-homerville-tennessee-kitchen-1.jpg”.
Use ALT Tags for Images
In Video 2, Matt reinforces something I and others have already told you – ALT tags for your images are important. However, he does tell us something new; it’s OK to use slightly longer, more descriptive text instead of just “cat”, “house” or “motorcycle.” So what does that mean for you? It means that when you take pictures of a house you are listing, you have an opportunity to really do a good job of describing the property through photos, in a way the search engines not only understand, they want. Consider putting something like this in your ALT tags: “123 brookehaven road, Jasper, Wyoming – master bedroom – MLS 123456”. Be creative in your description, use words people will be using when they search the web.
Image File URLs
In video 3, Matt reminds us that the URLs of files help the search engines figure out what is in the picture. Depending on how your site is constructed, this might take a little bit of planning. Rather than just drop all you images in a generic folder named “images”, or named for the date you uploaded them (like WordPress does by default), perhaps you should consider creating a special structure to store them in. You could get pretty detailed if you wanted to take the time. You may want to create a folder structure like what’s shown here, based on your state, county & city names. Of course, YOU should know your web traffic better than I do, use names you KNOW people use in searches, based on your keyword research.
How well did you listen to video 3? Go back and listen to it again, starting from about the 25 second mark, ending at about the 40 second mark. OCR and Meta-data for the images? Now we’re talking.
OCR, if you don’t know, stands for Optical Character Recognition. Matt’s comment implies that Google is able to READ and understand the text with in your images. How can you use this? Start adding a crisp, clear title to all of your images. Make it easy for them, place the text on a plain background and use a simple, non-swirly font.
OMG! Not more meta tags! Take a deep breath, relax. It’s not more geeky tags. Image meta-data is often added automatically by digital cameras and it can be edited by many image editing tools to add all sorts of information. The image to the right is a screen shot taken from within Adobe Photoshop, but the software that came with your camera may also allow you to edit your files like this. Place your descriptive text within these fields before you upload them.
I know this was a lot of information, but I’m confidant you can manage it.
When working with images, keep the fortune cookie in mind; how it looks on the outside is important, but sometimes it’s what you can’t see that is more important.
Social media is being used for hiring, and no, we’re not talking just LinkedIn
(SOCIAL MEDIA) Social media has evolved from being only community-oriented to career-oriented. See how users are getting jobs by being creative.
Gen Z and Millennials are no doubt the heaviest users of social media, and perhaps the internet in general. But it’s no longer just about catching up with friends and family, posting memes, and hailing yourself as hashtag king – they are using it to get jobs in creative ways.
Kahlil Greene was a student at Yale University hell-bent on educating others about African American social movements and culture. Known as “The Gen Z Historian” on Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn, he got to posting about the lesser-known facts and stories of history, amounting to 1.3 million views very quickly, catching the attention of employers. Now with over 500,000 followers across all major platforms, Greene is heading to work in consulting focusing on public education.
“I think that’s the thing that people don’t realize that social media is everywhere, and it’s congruent with every lifestyle you want,” says Greene.
Another TikToker, Emily Zugay, has over 2 million followers on the platform from hilariously redesigning brand logos. Her personality of shooting down brand choices with such a dry delivery is sure to make you giggle. She’s appeared on Ellen, and many brands changed their logos to her suggestions, including McDonald’s, the NFL, Tinder, Doritos, and Nascar. Just announced, Panera Bread is realizing limited holiday cups by Emily Zugay, taking a stab at Starbucks who typically creates the mad rush for holiday cups. Though she hasn’t publicly spoken about taking on a new role due to her wacky design endeavors, she has been approached for many partnership collaborations and markets herself as a content creator on the platform in order to rack in the dough.
Having the perfect one-page resume and perhaps, an inkling of personalization in the cover letter (which no one enjoys writing and barely anyone reads), is no longer the secret to landing jobs. 92% of companies use social media to hire.
“Creating a personal brand doesn’t have to be scary, hard, or time-consuming. You just have to be yourself. Consistent posts, a few follows and some direct messaging can go a long way to open doors.”
TikTok launched a pilot program of applying to the short-form video powerhouse by well, making a TikTok on the platform. Within 48 hours, 800 videos were submitted with #TikTokResumes in their captions. Expanding from internal hiring to external hiring, the program allowed job seekers to apply with their videos to Chipotle, Target, Shopify, and more.
Want to get in on the action but don’t know where to start? Unfortunately, the TikTok submissions have now closed, but you can always follow these tips to start getting creative for your next career move: Embrace the tools on the platform, do your research about the company you’re applying to, make connections on the platform and within the company, show off achievements as you would in a typical resume, and be yourself!
For more cool resume ideas, check out this article on the most creative techie resumes.
Pay employees for their time, not only their work
(MARKETING) Yes, you still must pay employees for their time even if they aren’t able to complete their work due to restrictions. Time = Money.
The COVID-19 pandemic has inspired a lot of insightful questions about things like our healthcare system, worldwide containment procedures, and about a billion other things that all deserve well-thought answers.
Unfortunately, it has also led to some of the dumbest questions of all time.
One such question comes courtesy of Comstock Mag, with the inquiry asking whether or not employees who show up on time can be deducted an hour’s pay if the manager shows up an hour later.
From a legal standpoint, Comstock Mag points out that employees participating in such activities are “engaged to wait”, meaning that – while they aren’t necessarily “working” – they are still on the clock and waiting for work to appear; in this case, the aforementioned “work” comes in the form of the manager or supervisor showing up.
In short: if the reason your employees aren’t working is that the precursor to completing the work for which you pay them is inaccessible, you still have to pay them for their time.
Morally, of course, the answer is much simpler: pay your employees for their time, especially if the reason they are unable to complete work is because you (or a subordinate) didn’t make it to work at the right time.
Certainly, you might be able to justify sending all of your employees home early if you run into something like a technology snag or a hiccup in the processes which make it possible for them to do their jobs – that would mean your employees were no longer engaged to wait, thus removing your legal obligation to continue paying them.
Then again, the moral question of whether or not cutting your employees’ hours comes into play here. It’s understandable that funds would be tight for the time being, but docking employees an hour of their work here or there due to problems that no one can control may cause them to resent you down the line when you need their support in return.
The real problem with this question is that, despite most people knowing that the answer should always be “pay them”, the sheer number of people working from home in the wake of worldwide closures and social distancing could muddy the water in terms of what constitutes the difference between being engaged to wait and simply burning time.
For example, an employee who is waiting for a meeting to start still fits the bill of “engaged to wait” even if the meeting software takes an extra half hour to kick in (or, worse yet, the meeting never happens), and docking them pay for timecard issues or other extenuating factors that keep them from their work is similarly disingenuous – and illegal.
There are a lot of unknowns these days, but basic human decency should never be up for debate – especially now.
Lenders need to see these 3 things to get your LLC off the ground
(ENTREPRENEUR) Securing a small business loan is tedious, but there is a shortlist of requirements you should be aware of before getting info from lenders.
If you are reading this, you probably have an LLC for your small business already, or money talk gets you going. If it is the former, let me say CONGRATULATIONS, and insist you pat yourself on the back in honor of your small business’s progression. Your arrival at a point where expansion is necessary is no small feat given half of small businesses fail in the first year. So, kudos to you.
Now, back to the money talk…
For LLC businesses looking to expand, please don’t fret about all of the information you’ve seen on the web. Yes, securing a small business loan of any kind is tedious and depends on varying lending organizations and business needs, but there is a list of general requirements small businesses should be aware of before getting knee-deep in conflicting information about lenders.
After some extensive research posing as the owner of imaginary businesses and annoying every loan officer who’d take my call, I’ve found three general lending requirements. I also provide a collection of the tangible information banks will likely review to meet those requirements. Take a gander:
Small businesses must have necessary assets: steady cash flow, financial reserves, personal collateral to support a variety of business fluctuations (i.e. unexpected employee loss), and a realistic payoff plan. These assets and financial safety nets are necessary for any lending organization to be confident in your business’s ability to support employee expansion in lieu of current expenses.
Proof of past
Just as you will come to expect from your soon-to-be employees, lenders want proof of the past and how you’ve managed past loans to align with your business goals. Historical evidence will further determine if your expansion is feasible, but also if it is worthy for the company to accept the lending risk.
Finally, be prepared to provide your small business’s explicit expansion plan, including how you arrived at your suggested loan amount and how you intend to divvy out the funds. It is important that you are as specific as possible in your projected numbers, seeing as one employee could make a $60,000 difference, and largely affect your expansion plan and financial need.
Before you go…
Now that you’re equipped with the magic three, you’re probably feeling empowered to walk into your nearest bank and demand your small business loan. Let’s first be sure you have all of the necessary information on hand and ready to produce.
Lenders that look for the magic three before investing arrive at their conclusion after collecting data from the following pertinent information:
– Proof of collateral
– Business plan and expansion plan
– Financial details
– Current and past loan info
– Debts incurred
– Bank statements
– Tax ID
– Contact info
– Accounts receivable information
– Sales and payment history
– Accounts payable information
– Credit references
– Financial statements
– Balance sheet
– Profit and loss history
– Copies of past tax returns
– Social Security Numbers
– Assets and liabilities details
Now, my friend, do I release you as proud as a parent unto your nearest bank to secure your small business loan and begin growing your staff the way you’ve dreamed. I’m confident you will find the aforementioned information helpful in the said quest and would like to wish one last time (because it’s impossible to over-congratulate) a sincere CONGRATULATIONS on your business’s growth.
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