Home Improvement Tips For Smart Homeowners

When making improvements to your home, often times small things can make a big difference. Below are six little tips that you may not have thought about, but could be quite helpful in your next home project.

1. Pick out a suitable height for wall outlets. Though most electricians place outlets 12 inches up the wall from the floor, many people find that height is not high enough to be convenient. As an alternative, consider whether 16 inches might be a better height for less bending, and to get the most out of power cord length for tabletop electric items such as lamps.

2. Use a stainless steel taping knife. Use a tool made out of this material for your sheetrock taping to minimize the amount of cleanup time that is needed after the project is done, and to limit any possibility of having rust forming on the knife, which will make it useless for future projects.

3. Recycle old electronics and appliances. Many electronics recycling establishments are popping up all over the nation and will take your out of date electric products for free disposal that is a lot more eco friendly than putting them in the trash to be put into the landfill. If they’re in working condition, see if a charitable organization will take them so that they can be used again for extended life before they’re recycled.

4. Be organized. Know about every major element, each step of the way through the remodeling process. This will help you to ensure that your contractors will all arrive on the right days for tasks to continue progressing. When your electrician arrives at the correct point, for example, it means that the building team won’t need to wait to put up the walls or ceiling.

5. Put in a dormer to turn your attic into livable space. By building a dormer or two into the attic space, a properly constructed attic will receive natural light and added height to make it a much more appealing room. This can give your home a whole new space like a home office, play room for the children, or even a guest bedroom.

6. Measure everything. There is no such thing as guessing or “eyeballing” a measurement when it comes to the perfect home renovation. More often than not, you’ll find that the way that something looked inside a huge store is quite different than the way that it will appear in your residence. You don’t want to end up getting a kitchen island that will consume every square inch of floor space, and returns are costly and time consuming.

Cooking for Beginners

There is a lot of learning that must be done in order to
become a good cook and then there is becoming a great cook.
But that takes time and plenty of dishes that could have
came out better – and they will-someday. But that's OK
everyone starts somewhere. And the best place to start
cooking for beginners is in the kitchen, of course.

Naturally, there is all kinds of cooking: American, Chinese,
Japanese, Indian, European and etc. All of these types of
cooking takes time and training to learn how to master the
basics. But it can be done because it has been by many
already.

Maybe you are not the best cook yet and maybe that may never
happen. But always remember that someone is not quite as
good as you. Probably you'll be better than most ever will
be. OK so much for having the right attitude and
self-esteem.

Whatever your reason for cooking or learning to cook you
should always begin with the basics. The first thing that
you need to learn is what the different terminology you will
find in recipes actually means. There are many new and
sometimes foreign sounding terms that you will find in
common recipes. These terms can mean the difference in
recipe success or failure. You should be able to find a good
section in any inclusive cookbook that explains the
different definitions for unfamiliar terminology. If you
are not absolutely certain what is meant by "folding in the
eggs "it is in your best interests to look it up.

So take this valuable hint: Try simple recipes at first and
then get a little braver by tackling a few more difficult
dishes. Many recipes will tell you just how difficult it is
to make. But you will soon know by just looking at the
recipe.

Another good idea is that once you get some experience with
different (successful) dishes, make yourself a catalog or
diary of dishes that went over well. Put the date and
comments in the diary.

This will come in handy when you just do not know what to
cook or a special occasion is coming and you want to be sure
to make it successful and fun.

As you learn new recipes and improve your culinary skills
and talents you will discover that preparing your own meals
from scratch is much more rewarding than preparing
prepackaged meals that are purchased from the shelves of
your local supermarkets. You will also discover as your
experience and confidence grows that you will find yourself
more and more often improving as you go and adjusting
recipes to meet your personal preferences.

So what's the secret to learning the basics and becoming a
good cook? Just do it! (over and over).

Local SEO Industry: Current Status and Future Projections

What Is SEO?
This is a common question that most people especially those who are either new or not familiar with online marketing might be asking. SEO stands for search engine optimization. In layman's language, it the process of capturing traffic from the search engines such as Google listings. Through this read, I am going to give you facts about the SEO business, current market status of SEO as well as the future projections in this field.

The Major SEO Players
Like any other industry in the world, the online SEO business has its players. This includes SEO local tools providers such as small digital agencies, SEO free lancers and web-designers among others.

Returns for SEO Players
The major reason as to why people get into business is to profit and expand their economic status. In the field of SEO business, the rates of returns are promising. This is because a recent research on SEO returns for a period of 12 months shows that at least all the players had something to take home. However, the returns are varying depending on a players' hardwork and skills in the field. For example, according to this research, 34% of the interviewed SEOs said they received an amount less than $ 30,000 while another group of respondents, 17% said they received returns that were above $ 500,000.

From the above statistics, it is evident that the size of an organization played a role in the determination of the amount of returns received. It beats logic for one to expect a large organization to receive low amounts of returns and vice versa. In addition, the presence of part time SEOs as well as the entry of newbies into the market could have let the low rates of turnover due to low operation capacity. However, it is hard to predict the course the SEO market is likely to take due to lack of clear shift in SEO earnings since the year 2011. However, the demand for local SEO services seems to be growing day in day out and this is appealing more players theseby tightening the competition among SEO service providers.

The Emerging Issues with the Current SEO Returns
With the above distribution of returns, several questions emerge. This includes the following:

• From the statistics, a large percentage of SEOs receive a low income something that suggests low pricing of SEO services.
• It is also possible that small and medium businesses do not understand the value of SEO services provided to them.
• The low SEO income earners, those who received less than $ 30,000 annual returns are also being doubted if they can provide quality services while earning that low.
• It is also unknown if most SEOs will still be in operation if their income remains static.

The Current SEOs Income Per Customer
Just like the annual SEO returns, SEO income per customer also varies. This is because there are those clients who would pay less than $ 100 a month while others will pay more than $ 5000 a month. This variation in income per client can be attributed to the type of services provided as well as the depth of services. The size of business a client is seeking SEO services for also play a role in determining the amount to be charged. For example, small businesses are charged less simply because their requirements are much smaller as compared to large multi-location franchise businesses.

Research also shows that some SEO service providers operate on high volume basis. Such SEOs provide simple SEO services at very low monthly rates. As a result, such SEO service providers end up having a high customer churn with a large dedicated network of sales team.

Similarly, some SEO service providers provide services that are more comprehensive in a much more professional manner customized according to the client theby leading to a low number of clients.

Due to the above statistics, it there becomes essential for any SEO service provider in the current market to operate in a manner that matches his / her setup.

Handling Capacity of the Modern SEOs
Currently, SEOs are handling more clients as compared to the previous years. Statistics show that about 40% of the SEOs in the market handle at least 11 clients while 23% SEOs handle at least 21 clients. Such large numbers of clients to handle lead to more audits to be done, lots of tasks, research, reports and even more calls from the clients to be attended to. The high numbers of clients also demand a high level of efficiency so that the clients can be assured of quality services.

Market Structure for Most SEOs
SEOs have been using several marketing techniques to promote their businesses. Offline marketing channels such as word of mouth has been cited by most SEOs as the most effective marketing technique. This can be attributed to the trust level, business reputation as well as relationships build during the offline campaigns.

Alongside offline marketing, SEOs also practice online marketing such as the use of LinkedIn and social media. However, most SEOs have cited LinkedIn as the best option as compared to the social networks because it is better placed for lead generation and networking.

Services Offered by SEOs
Majority of the SEO players offer onsite optimization with 91% of the SEOs practicing this. Google+ optimization has also a good number of SEOs practicing it as 86% claimed to be offering this service to their clients. For affiliate marketing, only a small percentage (11%) of SEOs are offering this service to their clients.

Other services offered by SEOs:

• Content creation / optimization
• Link building
• Citation building
• Social media marketing
• Website development
• PPC
• Mobile site development
• Video marketing and mobile marketing.

The most demanded service by SEO clients is onsite marketing, while the least demanded service is affiliate marketing. The other services are somehow averagely demanded. However, most small and medium businesses do not understand the opportunities that video and mobile marketing can unlock to them and therefore tend not to use these services. SEOs therefore need to educate their clients on these marketing channels so that they can go for them.

When asked about the online SEO services SEOs feel effective, 82% of them said that the General search is the most effective for generating leads. Local search appears to be the second best after 62% of the respondents in an SEO survey voted in its favor. PPC is the 3rd with 53% while social media is the 4th with 26%. Daily deals appear to be an appealing to most SEOs because only 1% voted in favor of it.

Tedious SEO Tasks
55% of the current SEOs in the market find link building to be the most tedious and time-consuming work. Others, although 15% only believe that content writing is the most tedious and time consuming task among all the tasks they do. It therefore emerges that to the 55% who find link building tedious, this task is also boring to them.

Future Projections
This is an outline of what we expect in the near future as far as SEO business is of concern.

Expansion of SEO Businesses
Compared to the previous years, SEO businesses has been growing and expanding steadily. Most SEOs (about 93%) are not only optimistic about expanding their businesses, but are also expecting to grow their business. In what seems to be a determined move to grow their businesses, most SEOs (82%) are willing to recruit more staff members so as to realize their desired levels of growth.

The social media is also expected to grow and be more effective even than the local directories. This is because most SEOs believe that social media can perform better because of recommendations from friends. Mobile usage is also expected to grow further and become relevant for local businesses.

Upsurge of Confidence in SEO Business
Unlike other businesses, the SEO business is showing a positive growth of confidence among the players. Despite this being a dynamic and innovative industry, most SEOs are still willing to recruit more staff to help drive their businesses ahead. 84% of the sampled SEOs in the SEO research are also optimistic that the SEO business is going to be more profitable starting this year 2013.

Confidence is also running high that if the SEO players increase the understanding of SEO / social among the business owners they serve in future, they will not only increase the business owners' rate of investment, but also make them transfer their marketing budgets from other channels to the digital channels.

SEO Consulting For Big Brand Companies – 16 Guidelines For SEO Consultants to Beat the Competition

While the basic principles of SEO strategies are the same for most websites, there are certain techniques and strategies on which SEO consultants need to emphasize more when optimizing big brand web sites. An SEO consultant when selecting between different SEO services for big brand websites should apply strict planning and proven strategies that must be tailored to the specific needs of every web site.

1 – Establish your Authority:

Big brand web sites must establish their expertise in the field they are serving. Authority is recognized by both human visitors and search engine spiders by proving that their websites are the source of valuable information in their fields. Big brand websites must contain many pages dedicated primarily to providing useful knowledge to their clients. It can be in the form of a glossary of terms, frequently asked questions or tips and advices to their customers. The content of these pages must be of high quality and perfectly optimized for different keywords.

2 – Create semantic theming and siloing:

It is vital to create semantic branding for big brand websites by rearranging their pages and their internal link structure to represent clear categories that can be easily recognizable by both human visitors and search engine spiders.

An SEO consultant should divide the pages of the website into categories or groups. Each category must contain pages with closely related subjects and keywords. For each category there should be an index page where all the other pages of the same category will link to and the category index page will link back to them. Each category index page must have at least 5 – 10 pages from the same category pointing links to it with different relevant keywords as anchor text for these links.

Each category index page will link to the home page and the home page will link back to this category index page. You can create cross links between pages of the same category, but not between pages of different categories.

This type of internal link arrangement will increase the topical relevancy of every page and improve its search engine rankings.

3 – Review and clean out pages that are off topic:

After establishing the theming structure of the website, review every page and rewrite it removing all information that is not related to the specific topic or category where this page belongs to.

4 – Number of indexed pages and content:

SEO Consultants should match the amount of indexed pages and their content in big brand web sites to the amount of indexed pages and their content in the competitor's websites. If the pages of the competitor's websites have 500 words each, you should not have only 100 words in each of your pages. Your competitor's websites will look more authoritative.

5 – On-page optimization:

Proper on-page optimization will put the most relevant keywords where the search engine spiders go looking. Use long-tailed keywords as frequently as possible in the different pages according to the semantic theming of the website.

6 – Rewrite title tags and description metatags:

Big brand websites with thousands of pages typically have many duplicate title tags and description metatags. Rewrite unique title tag and description metatags for every page using keywords relevant to every page to enforce the new theming design of the whole website.

7 – Improve HTML Code:

Over years and with many configurations and additions, the big brand websites typically accumulate a lot of bad HTML coding. Clean up the code and make all links absolute as this gives the pages more relevancies when visited by search engine spiders.

8. Add footer links:

Using links in the footer of the pages is an effective method to strengthen the anchor text for the main pages and enhance the themic structure of the whole website.

9. Finish on-page optimization before starting off-page optimization:

Do not attempt to do any off page search engine optimization before you finish on-page optimization to a reasonable level. First fix the content and internal linking structure as much as you can. It does not make any sense to get more potential customers or search engine spiders visiting a big website which is completely messed up.

10 – Build high quality back links:

One of the biggest challenges to any SEO consultant is to acquire high quality back links from respectable sites. SEO consultants must avoid buying links that will lose its value over time. They should concentrate most of their energy on getting such links from relevant websites and ask for anchor text relevant to their subjects.

11 – Combine organic SEO campaign with PPC:

Combine organic SEO campaign with different forms of paid advertising like paid placement, contextual advertising, and paid inclusion in different search engines.

12 – Implement a fully optimized blog on the web sites:

Big brand websites need at least one blog to engage its customers more in their news and events and to drive more relevant links to the pages of the main website. Many big brand companies have more than 5 well maintained blogs.

Continuously add new content to the blog to increase spider activity which will spread to the whole site. It will also attract a steady stream of readers and potential customers.

13 – Social media marketing (SMM):

An SEO consultant providing SEO services to a big brand company must establish a strong presence of this brand name in different social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. He should also encourage sales and marketing personnel to get involved in the discussions around their brand, products and services.

14 – Reputation management:

SEO Consultants should consistently monitor the brand reputation on the internet to take quick actions so that they can resolve any problems stated by customers in any website. There are different software programs available to enable companies to monitor and track any indication of their brand on the internet.

15. Publish highly optimized press releases:

Big brand companies should regularly publish highly optimized press releases about different activities, events, new products or services. This will emphasize their authority and enhance visibility.

16 – Monitor and track your progress:

SEO consultants must have a set of tools to allow them to monitor and track their progress in the different aspects of their SEO campaign and to detect every possible change in the progress of their search engine optimization planes. Start by establishing a base line to know where you are concerned ranking, link popularity, convergence rates and other metrics.

Creating an aggressive search engine marketing (SEM) campaign for a big brand website with tens of thousands of pages typically needs a meticulous SEO plan that takes all search engine optimization problems into consideration. An SEO consultant should continually interpret and evaluate the results to adjust his strategies accordingly.