Taking a gap year due to COVID-19? Here’s how to avoid common pitfalls

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If you’re one of the many students now planning to take a break from school, here’s what you should keep in mind to avoid common gap year mistakes. Whether you’re an incoming freshman or a graduation-facing senior, you may be concerned about attending college this fall. Nearly one in six high school seniors say the coronavirus has changed their education plans, and of those, 35% plan to take a gap year, according to a survey by the higher education consulting firm Art and Science Group. Read Full Story

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5 simple steps to choosing the right software, every time

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30-second summary: Software selection isn’t as difficult as it’s been made out to be – but you absolutely need a plan. Don’t wing it. The right software decision can drive your business forward. The wrong one could cost you significantly. Follow this simple 5-step plan to streamline the selection process, minimize risk, and maximize satisfaction. Don’t be afraid to seek guidance when negotiating a deal and finalizing contracts. We’ve assumed since the beginning of digital time that choosing the right software package is difficult. It doesn’t have to be. But it is critically important. If you’re a marketer, you may be choosing a full-on CRM system, or a more focused online listening tool. Whatever you need, the very future of your organization may hinge on how successful the selection process is. Chances are you’ve been winging it. If you’ve never done it before, you may not really know when to …

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Best Employee Retirement Plans

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Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission. Starting an employee retirement plan is not too hard or expensive, even for small businesses. Plus, these programs offer tax advantages to both the employees and the company, which leave more money in everyone’s account. Offering such benefits is a great way to attract qualified candidates and gives your top talent a huge reason to stay. The sooner you start the better. First, I’ll walk you through the different types of employee retirement plans available. There are more than just 401(k) plans helping people save for post-career life, including some types that are specifically made for small businesses. Then we’ll take a look at what to consider as you decide on which provider you want to manage your employee retirement plan. There’s a little bit to know, sure, but …

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The 5 Best Reputation Management Companies of 2020

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Researchers at Womply analyzed 200,000 small businesses in every state, looking at a few dozen industries. They found that businesses with more than 82 total reviews earn 54 percent more money. It isn’t just about getting reviews either. Businesses achieved moderate to large jumps in revenue from the simplest tasks. Claim your profile on at least four review sites? You earn 58 percent more revenue. Businesses that reply to their reviews 25 percent of the time earn 35 percent more revenue. Here’s the problem many businesses run into. They don’t know what they’re doing. Most know how to ask customers for reviews, but they’re unsure how to handle the other important parts of reputation management. This is why it’s important to get help. If you have the right reputation management company, you’ll have the help you need to improve your company’s online reputation. The 5 Top Reputation Management Companies in …

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How to Choose The Right SEO Agency

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Today, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of SEO agencies out there. And each one of them is good for something. Thus, your question shouldn’t be, how do I find the right SEO agency, but how do I choose an SEO agency that’s right for me? I’m glad you made it here, as I’ll guide you through how to avoid choosing an SEO agency that’s right for something not relevant to growing your business. Deal? Well, then, keep reading. First things first, why do you need an SEO agency? Know Your Goals and Desired Outcomes Imagine you hurriedly booked a last-minute flight from New York to meet some business partners. Thankfully, the airplane you boarded flew fast with no delays. And you land safely at the airport. On arrival, the announcer congratulates you for a safe journey and welcomes you to Beverly Hills in Texas. Meanwhile, your intended destination was …

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Announcing: The MozCon Virtual 2021 Initial Agenda

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Posted by cheryldraper Come one, come all to the hottest ticket in virtual! We’re packing up the MozCon big top and bringing all the MozCon magic straight to your front door. Last year we took MozCon to the virtual stage for the first time, and we loved it so much, we’re doing it again! Only this time, we’re taking it to the next level with exclusive performances by world-renowned local SEO jugglers, automation acrobats, link building magicians, and so much more! We know SEO doesn't stop — searchers keep on searching, and marketers need to stay on their toes to meet their needs. (Cue the tightrope walkers!) Join Ringmaster Roger and marketing experts from around the world for three days packed with presentations on SEO, search marketing, mobile, conversion optimization, local search, and more — all from the comfort of home. Not your typical marketing conference Get connected Meet fellow …

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Supporting Small Business Saturday with 2020-Conscious Marketing

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Posted by MiriamEllis Image credit: Elvert Barnes “Conscious spending with the community can contribute to neighborhood sustainability.” — Christine Araquel, The Park’s Finest I encountered this quote from a restauranteur on the American Express Small Business Saturday website , and just these few words called a vivid image to my mind: local business owners and customers gazing together toward the horizon, hoping to pierce the clouds of COVID-19 and see them clearing away, revealing communities that are still standing, and still capable of sustaining our hometowns, our cities, and our dreams. 72% of consumers believe they will frequent neighboring businesses more after the crisis is over, but that will take all of us doing our part now to ensure as many SMBs are still there to greet us when better days return. In Q4 of 2019, I used my column to encourage local business owners to start having meaningful conversations …

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What Are Productized Services?

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If you try to grow your consulting or freelance revenue by merely adding more clients to your portfolio, you may hit a common obstacle: Living project to project. This kind of lifestyle isn’t sustainable for everyone, and it can be frustrating and stressful. One solution to this problem may be productized services. The productized services model allows agency owners, freelancers, and consultants to break out of billing by the hour or per project and instead invoice by sets of services rendered. What Are Productized Services For? Productized services are standardized services sold like products, with clearly defined parameters and pricing. When we outline precisely what a customer will get and at what price, we can market and sell this “product” many times. The customer is still receiving a service, now with the appealing predictability of an off-the-shelf product. Benefits of Productized Services for Freelancers and Consultants Productized services allow you …

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Should You Test That? When to Engage in SEO Split Tests

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Posted by Portent This blog was written by Tim Mehta, a former Conversion Rate Optimization Strategist with Portent, Inc. Running A/B/n experiments (aka “Split Tests”) to improve your search engine rankings has been in the SEO toolkit for longer than many would think. Moz actually published an article back in 2015 broaching the subject, which is a great summary of how you can run these tests. What I want to cover here is understanding the right times to run an SEO split-test, and not how you should be running them. I run a CRO program at an agency that’s well-known for SEO. The SEO team brings me in when they are preparing to run an SEO split-test to ensure we are following best practices when it comes to experimentation. This has given me the chance to see how SEOs are currently approaching split-testing, and where we can improve upon the …

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Should You Test That? When to Engage in SEO Split Tests

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Posted by Portent This blog was written by Tim Mehta, a former Conversion Rate Optimization Strategist with Portent, Inc. Running A/B/n experiments (aka “Split Tests”) to improve your search engine rankings has been in the SEO toolkit for longer than many would think. Moz actually published an article back in 2015 broaching the subject, which is a great summary of how you can run these tests. What I want to cover here is understanding the right times to run an SEO split-test, and not how you should be running them. I run a CRO program at an agency that’s well-known for SEO. The SEO team brings me in when they are preparing to run an SEO split-test to ensure we are following best practices when it comes to experimentation. This has given me the chance to see how SEOs are currently approaching split-testing, and where we can improve upon the …

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