Getting Rid of Bottlenecks In Your Business

On January 5, 2010, in business, by Adelard

bottlenecks-in-businessBottlenecks cause huge problems in any business. Finding a way to release the flow reduces pressure and stress at all levels of the organization. The problem occurs when one person, or group hold up processes, projects, or even decisions that have a rippling effect down the organization ladder. Here are some of my suggestions to removing bottlenecks and streamlining your business.

Know Who To Really Go To
The problem with most meetings of manager is just that meeting of managers. There is almost no representative of employees on the front lines that directly talk to customers and clients. The people that have most communication with the clients have the least input on streamlining the process, which when you think about it is backwards. The people in the trenches that go in day in and day out, they know what the customer complaints are, they know what’s hold up production, they have better rapport with customers than some manager believe.

Identify The Bottlenecks
Have a company wide meeting that has one agenda. Ask employees, managers, etc to all put input on what they see is holding up process, sales, etc. Where are the bottlenecks they see? Some employees might state some profound realization on what they feel is going on and their frustrations. Everyone can give insight to what can be better and what is wrong. One thing you have to do is make sure it doesn’t turn into a pointing fingers situation. Explain to group that everyone will have a turn to put their input and state problems they see, and how it can be fixed. Remind everyone that everyone in the company is in it together. What someone does on one end affects the outcome on the other.

Remove The Bottlenecks
If a process or method is not working, completely remove it and design it from the ground up by having employees and managers work together to find an efficient way. With many brains working together others can see problems that can occur or input solutions that can save headaches down the road. Create a process and test it out for a week or month and come back as a group and find out what were the results and did it improve productivity as a whole. Make sure that everyone is allowed to have an input if they have one, this important!

Employees need to understand what they are saying is not falling on deaf ears, so giving them the same power of level of respect as managers and executives will help get better response from them.

One of these company wide meetings may not be enough. I suggest having a meeting once a week or at least once a month to discuss productivity and allow everyone to he heard creates an environment that is constantly moving towards more efficiency.

Tagged with:
 

Karma Snack 2.1 Finally Out

On January 2, 2010, in Internet Marketing Business, by Adelard

you-too-would-want-the-best It was a long road to get here, but Karma Snack 2.1 is finally here. 2.1 represents a refocus on direction of our marketing message. We are here to help business achieve their ultimate goal of online success.

Talent Show
A couple things that can be noted is the Talent Show (http://www.karmasnack.com/talentshow/) scheduled for January 25, 2009 to launch, we’ve been working on this surprise for months now, and it’s almost here.

Knowledge and Fonts
We revamped the Knowledge center (http://www.karmasnack.com/knowledge/) for better usability, and engagement. Through the site you will notice the fonts are a lot easier to read. That was the result of several months of data analysis of our A/B split testing results.

Back To Retro
Most of our fans miss the old retro theme we launched with back in February 2009, so we bring most of the elements back through the site. Some of it can be noticed on the contact us page, and inner pages of the site in general like the services page (http://www.karmasnack.com/services/). We know that several of our competition have talked about our retro look, some really hated it, Arthur, others loved it. We’ve got some fans like PepperJam employees that loved it enough to make it their twitter background. Thank you everyone for your feedback!!

Staff
Now clients can have access directly to our staff member’s direct lines, twitter accounts, and blogs they have on our staff page (http://www.karmasnack.com/company/staff/). We want to create better user engagement with our team and show the faces behind Karma Snack. There has been a tremendous amount of growth in client results, and I have to thank our new Marketing team lead by Jason Riner and Joelle Ayala. Their expertise and knowledge has allowed us to creating some of the most successful marketing campaigns to date.

Portfolio
Our Portfolio (http://www.karmasnack.com/portfolio/) has been revamped and includes some of our newest clients, so check out our latest work and results for clients.

Lifestream
The lifestream (http://www.karmasnack.com/stream/) is still going at 110%!!

Let me know what you think of the updated design, and if you have any questions or suggestions to improve it! Thanks!

How to Compete in any Niche With A New Site

On October 13, 2009, in Expert Advice, by Adelard

SEO-ninjaFiguring out whether a particular niche is prime for taking over is key for anyone trying to play the search engine optimization game. Some marketers are simply bottom-feeder, and go after all the niches no one else is targeting. Others attempt to shoot for the sky and become hyper-focused on nothing but this. What I attempt to do is a little of both.

First you have become strong, search engine ranking wise and as well as TrustRank. The stronger your ranking power and trust are, the easier it is for you to get rankings. So in the phase we will bottom-feed. There are so many factors in search engine rankings I am going to skip most of then and go for the 1, 2, punch knockout: freshness factor (content) and link factor (backlinks).

Let’s look at getting rankings for New York Event Planning for my example. Here are the top 10 competing website for New York Event Planning and New York Party Planning along with their backlinks in parentheses (as of today, Oct 13, 2009):

Backlinks for top 10 (New York event planning):

#1 www.emrgmedia.com (2,909)
#2 www.gatheringguide.com (133,728)
#3 www.bizbash.com (44,202)
#4 www.eventique.com (1,147)
#5 www.davidtutera.com (3,215)
#6 www.yelp.com (12,208,011)
#7 newyork.citysearch.com (186,451)
#8 www.eventective.com (70,081)
#9 www.newyork411.com (1,272,799)
#10 www.nyc.com (40,730)

Backlinks for top 10 (New York Party Planning):

#1 www.davidtutera.com (3,215)
#2 www.gatheringguide.com (133,728)
#3 www.emrgmedia.com (2,909)
#4 & #5 www.partypop.com (375,140)
#6 & #7 www.alltimefavorites.com (4,224) (Ridiculous design)
#8 & #9 www.mypartyplanner.com (35,317)
#10 & #11 www.newyork.citysearch.com (186,451)

What I see is the #1 spots are going to websites that are more targeted for the keywords but have generally less backlinks that the other top 10, meaning the total search results is somewhat fragile.

A person with an aggressive marketing campaign is going to be able to skyrocket through these. A key indicator is the freshness factor, most of top sites all have fresh content on the their website, which is allowing them to outrank everyone else, but they are not totally focused on “New York Party Planning” as the top #1 positions for both keywords.

In this case I would recommend posting 4 to 5 articles weekly for about 2 months straight. Do keyword research and talk about topics that involve your business and keywords. It is very very very important that you post 4 to 5 ORIGINAL articles a week consistently, that either you wrote or hired a copywriter to write. Don’t copy and paste, please. WordPress is going to be your friend in this situation. Your freshness factor will become very strong, and we give you a significantly large advantage.

    2 Key Steps to increasing your freshness factor fast:

    1. A key to posting your articles is to have a Google sitemap.xml file, make sure it is submitted to Google and the other search engines, and it is visible in your robots.txt file (So search engines you don’t know can find it as well). I use WordPress, which has an XML-Sitemap plug-in that automatically re-created the sitemap after a new article, AND submits it to the major search engines.

    2. Make sure that once you post an article, you automatically ping as many ping services as possible. Again, WordPress has an updating/pinging service included, in which I include a huge list of ping services (Click Here to get my list of ping sites).

The down side to this is the link age; the new links you will be getting from the marketing campaign are all going to be relatively new. Google and the other major search engines take age of links into account as well.

This is where social media comes in. Having a viral marketing campaign along side is critical. Using several other social media websites pushing links, distributing your content, and generally talking about your company, it allows you to also be seen by search engines as a viral website, this is you creating your own “buzz”. Since the amount of backlinks we are gather are on several different major social sites, this combats the link age down factor that a new link faces such as in this case, with authority factor.

Exactly 4 days after you post each article, you will go to all your social media profile and send a backlink to each one, and a little snippet/intro to the article won’t hurt. During this process, post your article to the major article directories, and to avoid duplicate content penalty simply backlink to your original article in the resource box. The search engines will recognize this and will make sure your article on your main site is the one that shows up before others. It many take a couple of weeks or so of processing but in the end your original article will outrank your other ones, as long as you make sure to backlink to the original article.

Simple 1, 2 punch. This approach is targeted focused backlinks, and freshness factor. With this process the freshness factor is being ramped up significantly doing with constant articles.

There are several signs that are going to start arise to show the significant increase in ranking power, the most important one I measure is the Google Alerts. I setup Google alerts for my name, Adelard Gasana, and my website AdelardGasana.com, or KarmaSnack.com before doing anything.

When I post/schedule an article, the amount of time it takes Google to send me an alert tells me how high the trust factor is. If Google is sending me an alert, that means it has visited the website, has indexed the website, and is cached in Google’s database. So when I post an article on a Wednesday for example and it takes about 2 to 3 days until a Google alert shows up, that tells me that the freshness factor is growing.

As you know, there are some sites/pages that don’t get indexed for months. But the unique way of post lots of original articles and send rankings have allowed my clients and me to see sub-24 hours of getting index, cached, and traffic. My personal Blog AdelardGasana.com has got a freshness factor under 20 minutes. So as soon as I post an article there, within 10-20 minutes I am receiving an alert that Google indexes it. The freshness and trust factor is so high I am able to rank for almost anything I want by writing an article. KarmaSnack.com is at that level too, as well as all of our other clients.

There is no magic to doing this, just getting relevant backlinks, constantly posting articles, and knowing which ping websites to ping. Once you are receiving sub-24 hour Google indexing alerts, you can shift from bottom feeding to skyrocketing into the air. By this time, you will notice in your stats that most of your traffic is indeed targeted, and very focused. It’s prime for some good old newsletter list building, marketing, and promotion additional products/services or whatever you want to talk about.

Back in February when I launched adelardgasana.com, I was posting articles about 1 to 2 a day for about 2 weeks or so. Then I slowed it down to about 1 every other day. What this did was fill up the search engines with a lot of content, then I start limiting the content, this created a situation where search engines crawling my site constantly looking for new content, so when I publish something is gets almost instantly indexed.

This is why content is a very important part of the SEO process; backlinks are the next important step. Once you have a great combination of articles and content, and individual pages are getting sub 24 hour indexing you will be in a position to take over almost any targeted keywords.

That’s an overview of my trick to getting rankings. Of course I can’t divulge all the really big techniques I use to make sure I get extra boosts in the search engines, ridiculously increasing traffic techniques, and customized programs I can, maybe another day, stay tuned.

Let me know if you have any questions, this post was written of the top of my head, and not organized and outlined like I usually do.