Moving to a new city can be extremely stressful and hectic. Moving to a new city without work already lined up is exponentially more stressful. Anyone who has been unemployed for a stretch of time knows how rough it is, but generally you can rely on contacts to help scope out more work. When you lack contacts in a new area the challenge has an extra layer of complexity.
One site is attempting to change this, however. Workhoppers.com is looking to make it easier for those looking for work to connect with companies offering work in a slew of different cities. The site directly caters to freelancers who find themselves in different cities on a regular basis. Even if you’re already heading somewhere to complete a project this may provide the option of picking up an extra contract or two on the side to help supplement it. Next time you find yourself abroad give it a shot!
SelectUSA’s 2015 Investment Summit is coming up next month, and you’re invited!
Taking place on March 23 & 24 in Washington, DC, “the Summit will showcase opportunities from every corner of the United States, while high-profile business and government leaders share their insight on the latest trends.” Additionally, “investors will find practical tools, valuable information and the right connections to establish or expand U.S. operations.”
There will also be a trade show and online matchmaking, which will give investors the opportunity to meet face-to-face economic developers and learn about resources, funding, and incentives.
“Why Should You Attend the 2015 Investment Summit?
The United States, with well over 300 million people spread the width of a continent and beyond, is incredibly diverse. Our consumer market, workforce, advanced technology and resources are vast and varied. This diversity means that there are opportunities for nearly every company – from start-ups to medium-sized enterprises to multinationals. The SelectUSA Investment Summit aims to provide unparalleled access to these opportunities – all under one roof.
Visit www.SelectUSASummit.com to learn more and register.
SelectUSA is the U.S. federal initiative to promote, facilitate, and encourage business investment in the United States. SelectUSA works with companies and U.S. economic development organizations to provide information about doing business in the United States and serve as ombudsman for investors on issues involving federal agencies. For more information:
Call: +1-202-428-6800 --- Email: email@example.com --- Visit: www.SelectUSA.gov”
Two things we really wanted to have as part of the new website were anchors and a navigation bar that moved with you as you scroll down the page. While we are quite talented (if I do say so myself), we are not pros, so we knew that if we were unable to figure out how to make either of these happen it was back to the drawing board, as the rest of our beautiful design plan would no longer work without these elements.
Save yourself some time
Luckily, our clever selves were able to figure out both, but we saved ourselves a lot of time by trying to get these items sorted out FIRST, before anything else. However, that did mean throwing in some gibberish content and leaving the template a weird shade of blue instead of our lovely red. This way, if the elements weren't working, we hadn't wasted a bunch of time on something we were going to have to throw away.
So why is Plan B so important?
“Plan B is even more key” doesn’t mean that you have to create two plans from the beginning; it just means that you shouldn't get too attached to your first plan, even if it’s super awesome and you love it dearly. It also means you should prioritize when creating Plan A, so that you haven't wasted any of your precious time before realizing that Plan A won’t work and you're back where you started.
Looking at launching a new website and aren't quite sure where to start? Feel free to get in touch by sending an email to info[at]thecodefactory[dot]ca – we'd be happy to help you get your site up and running!
Stay tuned for Lesson 3! (or go back and check out Lesson 1 if you missed it!)
If you've recently built a website, or are looking at putting one together in the near future, taking the time to get to know Google Analytics is absolutely imperative. If you're hesitant at all about acquiring a new tool to better understand your web traffic, just know these two things:
Google Analytics lets you monitor the amount of people that view your website, which pages they look at, how long they're on each page for and so much more. When putting together a website, be it for business or for fun, you need to know what’s working and what isn’t. If you hook up Analytics to your site, sit back and allow it to gather user data for a month or two you'll have a very clear picture of how users are traveling through your website. This will let you know which pages need improvement and which ones you shouldn't touch.
So, Analytics can help you track and understand your website better; that in itself is pretty awesome. There are other functions that make it even more awesome, however. One of which is the ability to set up Goals. A Goal is triggered when a user ends up on a certain page on your site. So, if you have a page that allows users to buy your product, you could set up the following “Thank You” page as a goal which confirms a sale. This gives you a quick, easy way to confirm how many sales you’re making online. You can also hook this up to AdWords and pay Google based on the amount of conversions you receive; maximizing the value of your advertising dollar. (I'll talk a bit more about AdWords next week!) You're not limited to setting up goals for payment reception pages, of course. You can have them trigger when someone fills out a contact form, or reaches any page on your website that you’ve determined has value. The versatility of these goals makes them exceptionally useful.
If you're interested in learning how to use Google Analytics you can check out Google’s online training tool. And as always, if you don't have the time to learn everything about Analytics but want it up and running on your website you can contact us or check out the SEO, Analytics and AdWords section on our website.
Lead To Win is under way and we are working to make it another successful season.
Lead To Win is an award winning business development program with the objectives to:
The Spring 2015 Lead To Win Bootcamp is scheduled for Feb 17-19 (Days 1-3) and Mar 17-19 (Days 4-6).
If you wish to participate, please apply at www.leadtowin.ca. Should you like more info, please write firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it is accomplished by tweaking a website and its content so that it appears higher in Google Search results. There’s certainly a lot to know about SEO, far more than I can write into one brief blog post, that’s for sure. However, I'm going to break down what I believe are the three main components to solid SEO work and briefly detail what’s involved with each.
1. Website Optimization
Building a nice looking website that’s easy to navigate is an obvious SEO must and, well, quite simply common sense. What a lot of people neglect and skimp on are some of the “behind the scenes” elements. Things like proper usage of header tags (specifically H1 and H2 tags), ensuring your website contains no broken links, having a working, effective 404 page and utilizing 301 redirects when you permanently change link URLS are integral parts of SEO. While many of these elements may not be noticeable to the average internet user, they can and will impact your SEO ranking in a positive or negative manner, depending on whether or not they are well implemented.
2. Content Optimization
Writing clean, coherent and well thought out content is a must for SEO, but there’s more that can be done to help ensure people find your website. Depending on what the content on your website is about, there are specific search phrases that can be integrated into it that can help people find your website. For example, if you're running a website selling dogs it would be good to know that the phrase “puppies for sale” receives more searches per month than “dogs for sale”. While it may be SEO friendly to include both phrases into your content, you know which has a higher potential to bring you visitors. Content optimization with regard to SEO is all about finding the right phrases to use and sometimes the phrases you think everyone should be using aren't searched much at all. You need to cater to what your customers are looking for. A great way to discover search patterns and determine which phrases are most searched with regard to your product is via the Google Adwords Keyword Finder. This tool is only available to those with Adwords accounts, but it does a great job of helping determine what phrases you should include in your content.
A backlink is simply a link to your website from another website on the internet. Google uses backlinks in regard to SEO to help determine how good the content on your page is. The thought is that well written, interesting content will earn backlinks from a wide assortment of websites. You want people to link to your website and talk about what you do. With that being said, Google can crush your SEO ranking if they discover that you're attempting to game the system. Some companies and websites offer to simply list a link to your site somewhere on one of their pages; this resulted in websites simply being comprised of links to other places. Google will blacklist sites that attempt to game the system, so earn your SEO ranking and backlinks by writing good content that’s worth looking at!
If this all seems like a little bit too much for you, or if it's going over your head feel free to get in touch with us and we can help!
- Gareth Graham
The question: How could we simplify a website that had evolved over time?
One of the main reasons we felt it was time to refresh the website was due to growth. We had grown so much in the past year, and the website had been growing with us, more out of necessity than anything. We added pages as we added features, just to get everything online. We eventually realized that while the website contained everything we needed it to, it wasn't organized in the most efficient or useful way.
The solution: Redo the website and spin ourselves a new (neat!) ball of yarn
The result: The proof of the pudding is in the eating
As I mentioned in my previous post, we've received a lot of fantastic feedback so far, and one of the most common comments is that the new site is so clean and sleek looking. I firmly believe that this is thanks to all the offline planning that happened before the building phase. Even though it might seem like a total waste of time and feel like you're not actually doing anything spending hours working on it offline, it will save you a lot of time when you do sit down to put it together. Why? Because you already know exactly where everything belongs. Consider us your proof; we had the site pages completely built in less than an hour after we let ourselves out of the boardroom!
Looking at launching a new website or redesigning an existing website and aren't quite sure where to start? Feel free to get in touch by sending an email to info[at]thecodefactory[dot]ca – we'd be happy to help you get your site up and running!
Stay tuned for Lesson 2!
- Kelsey Black
A website is your business’ window to the world. It acts as a store front of sorts, and if people are interested in your products they'll likely come inside and spend some time there. But what if your storefront window is in a back alley in a confusing part of town? Well, to be frank, you're likely not going to get many people coming inside to look around because they won't be able to find you. This same premise holds true for potential customers when they're looking for products or services like yours online.
When you search for something you're interested in, let’s say a new pair of gloves, are you going to venture to the 41st page of Google search results before picking a link? Probably not. You're going to pick the website that shows up first, or at the very least you'll likely pick one from the first page. This study shows that over half (53%) of searchers choose the first result! The website showing up first on the search results is akin to the store that’s situated right downtown, on the corner of the busiest street. It’s going to get the most foot traffic. And the more people that look at what you're offering, the more likely you're going to be to make sales.
So the question then is: how do you get your site to the top of the list? It’s not like a physical shop where you can pick a good location and put a neon sign above the door with an arrow. You need to optimize your website to generate traffic. You can do this organically through SEO (Search Engine Optimization) which produces better search results. Or you can pay Google through Adwords to show your website (the listings on a Google search that have the yellow box with “Ad” written next to them). Both SEO and Adwords can help generate more leads for your business, and they put your website to work generating leads rather than just sitting there looking pretty.
Here at TheCodeFactory we want to help take care of things like this for you so that you can focus on what you do best – your business. I’m going to cover SEO, Adwords and Analytics in future blog posts so you can get a better understanding of how they work and what we can do to help your business succeed.
If you've got any questions about SEO, Adwords or Analytics feel free to get in touch or check out what we offer on our Services Page.
- Gareth Graham
As many of you have likely noticed, we launched a brand new website back in May of 2014 – a project that went as smoothly as it possibly could have for such a huge undertaking. We are very proud of the final product, and hope that you are enjoying it too! We've received lots of amazing feedback so far, so keep it coming – we love hearing from you!
As tends to happen with almost any big project you take on, there are lessons learned along the way. I thought a blog series would be a great way to share my top five lessons learned, so that you'll be able to (hopefully!) save some time and headaches along the way. Whether you're creating a brand new website to replace an existing one like we did, or creating the first edition of your website to share with the world.
If you're looking at launching a new website for your business or for yourself and aren't quite sure where to start, feel free to get in touch by sending an email to info[at]thecodefactory[dot]ca – we'd be happy to help you get your site up and running!
Stay tuned for Lesson 1!
- Kelsey Black
I'd agree with Paul Graham that starting a business is indeed a lot like a sprint, but unlike the tracks that professional sprinters run on, the track that a startup must navigate is full of pitfalls and obstacles. Once you’re stuck the only way to get back on track is to figure out a way out of your current predicament; and anything that slows you down is keeping you from getting ahead.
For a startup, many of these pitfalls and obstacles are things that you need to do, but aren't core to your business. These are things like building your website, optimizing it for SEO, setting up Google Analytics, Google Adwords and Google Apps for Business. Every moment you spend on non-core activities likes these takes time away from what is most important to your business - maintaining momentum.
Here at TheCodeFactory, helping startups maintain momentum is core to our business. We are here to help startups.
Our Services Section is designed to take care of the things that slow you down, so that you can focus on your business and maintain momentum. If you need a website built, help getting into the cloud, Google's Apps for Business, Analytics and Adwords set up, and/or SEO optimization done for your site then click here for more information. It’s difficult enough to find the time to get things done for your business without having to learn all of these new tools, so let us help you!
Remember the startup that slows down the least is most likely to succeed.
- Gareth Graham & Ian Graham