SEO Services: Good or Bad?

The search engines play a major part in online marketing. SEO (search engine optimization) services are provided by marketing companies to help you gain targeted traffic through Google, Yahoo!, MSN, and other major or minor search engines. But are SEO services good or bad for your business? Should you use a marketing company's SEO services or try to "woo" the search engines into picking you as a leader and an authoritative company all on your own? Here are some things to consider.

SEO Services can be Valuable

Unfortunately as a business owner, you usually are torn between two important aspects of your business - promotion and operation. You've probably heard this phrase many times... "You are too busy working in your business to work on your business." This statement still holds true with Internet business. Whether you are offering services to a small group of clients, have a giant corporation, or own an online retail store, you face the same dilemma.

Using another company's SEO services can benefit you in several ways. One, it frees your time for other important matters. Two, you are able to receive help from someone who spends all their time analyzing and testing the search engines for results. They already know what it could take you years to learn! Three, you can save time and money for other types of promotions if you're not spending all your time trying to race your competitors to the top of the listings.

Things to Look for in SEO Services and an SEO Firm

SEO services can include many different types of services such as keyword density help for all your web pages, search engine submission, search engine optimization to target certain areas of the world or your country or state, and/or content writing services. For example, the company may offer UK search engine optimisation if your market generally lives in the U.K. They might write keyword-rich articles for you or provide you with a steady list of new keywords you can add to your site pages to make your site more search engine friendly.

Choose an SEO service that provides the most value for your money. Be sure they have experience in SEO rankings and can provide you with a valid list of company references that you can contact if needed. Check with the Better Business Bureau online to be sure the company doesn't have excessive customer complaints.

Also, choose a company that offers proof that their system has worked in the past. There are no guarantees that any system will work every time, but having proof of past successes will give you peace of mind that the company really knows its stuff. Talk with the SEO consultant to find out how they plan to improve your search engine rankings ahead of time. Ask them to explain the process to you.

Beware of Scams

If an SEO company makes amazing promises such as those promising to get your site listed at the top of Google under your major keyword within 30 days for only $19.95, this should be a red flag. This promise is unrealistic, especially if your business is brand new. Also, the company cannot actually "guarantee" a top listing. They can only guarantee that your site will get listed under some of your major keywords. You might attract traffic under hundreds of keywords after using legitimate SEO services.

The one thing to remember about SEO services is that it must be an ongoing process. Don't expect any SEO firm to work miracles overnight. They must analyze your business, study your market, find suitable keywords for your business, and begin a series of changes to optimize your site for the best possible results.

Make Money In Stocks – How the Day Traders Do It

No doubt you've heard of 'day traders' and how they sit at home making big money without having any boss or customers or have any need to interact with anybody. So how do they do it? Well they use a number of techniques but in this article we're going to explore one (and probably the most used), 'Technical Analysis'.

Before we start clarification must be made that the author is not a financial consultant and this article is not intended to direct or advise you in your investment strategies. This article is merely to describe some of the author's observations whether real or imagined.

People, especially concerning publicly available information, tend to respond at least to some degree as they percieve others to respond. For example: if people continue to buy stock until it reaches a certain price and then stop (for whatever reason) once, when the stock turns around (after the dive) and goes back up, people will be more wary of keeping the stock after it goes over that price again. This is known as a 'resistance' line. Of course resistance lines are broken all the time but patterns do seem to exist within stock pricing histories.

The job of a technical analyist is to be able to spot situations where the odds are in there favor that a particular stock will go up or down. Technical analysts watch for certain patterns and buy and sell stock based on predictions made as a result of spotting those patterns. Of course no one can acurately predict what stock prices will do 100% of the time but day traders generally try to keep the odds in their favor and that's how they make money.

If you have reason (even just a little) to believe that a particular stock is going to go up you might buy some. You recognize that it might go down a bit first so you determine how far to let it drop before you sell. If within that margin it turns and goes up you can ride it all the way up to the point where *you expect it* to start to fall (a resistance line). If you keep doing this (lose a little or gain a lot) over and over and you make money just 50% of the time, you'll profit from your overall investments. The trick is to be consistent. Get out every time it drops too far and never ride it above where you expect it to turn or you might get caught in an inverted spike and lose a whole lot real fast.

To study patterns you need to get a stock analyis software package or go to a Website where you can study stock trends. We like to go to OK, so what are the patterns that Technical Analysists look for?

To 'short' a stock is to 'sell' it at a specific price (not having bought it) and then 'buy it back' after it drops below that price. Brokers let you do this and you don't actually end up with the stock in the end. Basically you 'sort of' buy stock expecting it to go down instead of up.

Here are a few of the most common ones:

Head & Shoulders: The stock goes up and comes back down. It goes back up but farther (maybe 1/3 to 1/2 higher) and drops back to the same line. It goes back up again but the the same point as the first time and drops again. This pattern looks vaguely like a head and shoulders. When the price drops below the 'neckline' it is expected to continue to drop. The investor would short the stock in this case. This pattern is also seen frequently in an inverted pattern. In that case a long (buy the stock) would be indicated.

Cup & Handle: The stock goes down and then back up to form a pattern that vaguely looks like a cup. Then it goes back down just a little and back up to form what vaguely looks like the cup's handle (around 50% of the cup bottom). Now there are 2 points on a line where the stock reached and then went back down and it's right back at the top of the cup. The time of execution is when the stock reaches that point for the 3rd time. The stock is expected to shoot up to the next higher resistance point (above the cup's top).

Triangle or Wedge: The stock goes up and back down then back up then back down where the top and/or bottom price lessen consistently so that the distance between the top and bottom is less each time. If you drew a line by connecting the points of the top price and then another line connecting the points of the bottom price you would draw a triangle. When the price 'breaks out' of the triangle it is expected to continue in the direction that it's going. Very similar patterns to this are called the Flag and the Pennant.

Double Top: The stock goes up then back down to a point and then back up. When it hits the price that it turned at the last time it turns again. The pattern looks like an M but all the lines are diagonal. If it breaks below the point at which it bottomed out (in the middle of the M) it is expected to continue down. A short is indicated. An inverted version of this pattern (a W) would indicate a long (buy).

Many more patterns are recognized and the art of reading them is complex. This article is not intended to teach how to buy and sell stocks using Technical Analysis. It is intended only to introduce the subject and perhaps inspire further learning.

You can gain a great deal of information about studying stock patterns using Technical Analysis. Do a search in the search engines on the Internet for 'stocks "Technical Analysis" patterns' and you will find many Websites that explain it.

This author recommends two books on the subject: 'Technical Analysis Explained' by Martin J. Pring and 'The Master Swing Trader' by Alan S. Farley. You can also visit Alan Farley's Website and get free stock picks by him and his associates at:

7 Ways to Stop Chasing Decision Makers

You’ve put your heart and soul into doing what you’re best at -- explaining the benefits of your solution but working hard not to come across "salesy" or pushy.

As far as you’re concerned, you’ve done everything right.

Now you’re on the phone with your contact. You’re hoping this will be your last conversation before they fax the contract through.

Finally you ask, "So, is the agreement ready to be signed?" There’s a silence, and then you hear the disheartening words: "Oh, I realize that I should really have Mike and Julie, look at it before I send it over."

Talk about being set up to believe everything was going to be smooth sailing -- now a big wave has overturned the boat and it’s sinking fast! Why didn’t he tell you he wasn’t the final decision maker? Why did he lead you on?

Most important, what can you do to stop this from happening again?

Don’t despair! Here are seven ways to end the chasing game with decision makers:

1. Understand the psychology of working in an organization.

No one in an organization wants to make a wrong decision and then be left holding the bag and looking bad. What’s more, in many cases even CEOs of companies can’t make final decisions without the other executives on their team buying in.

So, even if your contact tells you that he or she is the only one making the decision, in most cases that’s highly unlikely, especially in larger organizations. Once you understand that, you’ll find it easier to roll with the news that others are actually involved in signing off on the decision.

2. Make sure your contact has the authority to sign the agreement without approval

from others.

How many times have you been told: "I’m the decision maker, and I decide if we’ll purchase your solution or not"? Contacts may say this with total confidence, and we usually take them at their word, only to discover later that they didn’t want us bypassing them to get to the other decision makers. Here’s how you can avoid this situation: After they tell you they are the decision maker, you simply say in a relaxed, easy-going conversational manner, "Oh, okay. No problem. So, basically you’re the only person who signs the agreement, and no one else needs to be involved with this decision?"

It’s amazing what happens when you ask this question. First, there’s likely to be a short silence, and then all of a sudden you learn that other decision makers are involved. Once you know this, you can rethink your approach.

3. Don’t panic when you discover other decision makers are involved.

Don’t get thrown off track when you suddenly learn, deep into the sales process, that other decision makers need to be involved in the decision. When this happens, gently suggest that it might make sense to come up with a way to get them involved with the proposal so they won’t be caught off guard.

4. Suggest a conference call to connect with the decision makers.

Suppose you find out that two other decision makers are involved. Now you have a total of three! What can you do to avoid the delay that’s inevitable when your contact tells you, "I need to get hold of Mike and Julie, but they’re both traveling, so I’ll get back to you after I speak with them"? This situation is often the black hole of selling, because you can wait for weeks until your contact tracks down Mike and Julie and gets back to you.

Here’s how to avoid this: You simply say, "Okay. No problem. Sounds as if Mike and Julie are an important part of the process…I’m wondering if it might make sense to pull together a brief conference call with you and them so that they can get an overview of what’s happening. That way you can avoid chasing them down, and everyone can get up to speed at the same time. Does that make sense?" Also, the answer you get will tell you a lot about where you really stand. If your contact says, "Sure. That makes sense. Let me schedule it," things are looking good. But if you hear, "Nah, I’ll just try and get hold of them when I can and then get back to you," he could be saying, "We aren’t really that interested."

5. Work with your main contact to set the agenda for the conference call.

If your contact agrees to the conference call, spend some time working together on a well-thought-out agenda. Emphasize that your main purpose is simply to inform the others about what has happened so far. It’s crucial that you assure your contact that during the call you will in no way apply any type of sales pressure on the other decision makers.

Why is this important? Because many times contacts are reluctant to pull together a call because they’re afraid that the salesperson will put the participants on the spot, and that would make things awkward for everyone. When you begin the call, simply say, "The purpose of our call today is simply to bring you up to speed on what has happened so far so you all have the information you need to think this solution through at your own pace. Here at XYZ, we don’t believe in pressuring people to make decisions." Your contact will love you for this.

6. Ask your contact to arrange the conference call.

When you suggest a conference call with all the decision makers, it’s important to put your contact at ease. Too often, salespeople get anxious and say, "I’d be happy to contact the other folks and schedule the call for a time that works for all of us," but that may make your contact think you’re going to try to influence the others before the call.

To avoid accidentally triggering any "sales alarms," simply ask your contact if he or she would be open to coordinating the call: "It might make sense if you could e-mail them to coordinate a time for all of us to connect, since you’re closer to them than I would be."

7. Get to the truth about where the deal stands.

So you have the conference call and you feel it went well, with lots of good discussion. Your intuition is telling you that everyone seemed positive about your solution. Now you want to find out the truth about where the deal stands, but you need to be careful not to call your contact and put subtle pressure on him or her to give you a final answer.

You want to get that answer without asking outright, but you can’t until you’ve uncovered the truth about where everyone stands. When you call your contact back, don’t use the tired phrase, "I’m just calling to follow up." That just kicks off sales pressure. Instead, say, "I’m just giving you a call to see what kinds of questions the others on the call might have, since those types of calls don’t always address everyone’s issues or concerns." This will allow your contact to talk about where he or she stands, and you can then ask, "Where do you think we should go from here?"

These seven tips will help you put an end to the dreaded game of chasing decision makers.

Computer Monitor Accessories Top My Holiday Gift List

Although the PC has revolutionized the way we work, live, shop, and play, the promise of a "paperless office" has never materialized. Indeed, having been in the workforce for close to thirty years, it seems as though I had just as much clutter - if not more - in my office as I did before the widespread adoption of the personal computer.

The truth is that papers, sticky notes, business cards, copy clips, and office accessories were strewn around on my desk, and even a desktop organizer or card holder didn't seem to help. Each work day, I found myself searching for a phone number I need, a business card I misplaced, or - worst of all - sticky notes that somehow fell off of my computer monitor and were lost in the detritus, resulting in my forgetting to attend a meeting or missing a deadline.

What I really needed - and ultimately found - were computer accessories that actually helped me get and stay organized. I was overjoyed when I discovered a frame that fit around my PC monitor, and that held all the sticky notes, pictures, and business cards that I wanted or needed close at hand. Better than a desktop organizer, card holder, or any other number of home office accessories, this PC frame allowed me to streamline my workspace and get rid of much of the clutter.

I use the frame around my monitor to slip in a variety of important information. Along one side, I'm able to slide in those annoying sticky notes that would always fall off when I tried to stick them to the my monitor frame or that left residue when I used tape to attach them. I use the sticky notes to remind me of meetings, deadlines, and other "to do's" - and I never have to worry about them falling off. Plus, once I complete a task, it's easy to just slide one out and toss it away.

Along the top of my computer monitor, I use the frame to slip in photos of family members and friends, as well as a wallet-sized calendar. I can see the month at a glance, and every time I look up, the smiling face of my daughter looks back down at me. I love it!

I use the right side of my PC frame for a variety of items, like a list of phone numbers I frequently call, an index card that lists the steps I need to take in order to complete a repetitive task I perform at my job, and business cards from people I recently met and with whom I have to follow up. Again, it's easy to slip the papers in and out of the frame, making it a dynamic tool to help me stay organized.

Because so many of my colleagues have asked about my monitor frame, I've decided to give everyone in my office computer monitor accessories for the holidays. Several of my family members and friends have home businesses, so I'm planning to give computer gifts to them as well. Life is just so much less stressful when the clutter around your computer vanishes and you have everything you need to get the job done within plain sight.

5 Tips for Buying Custom Vinyl Decals Online

It's never been easier to purchase custom vinyl decals and other types of custom signage. From custom wall lettering and magnetic signs to boat lettering and registration numbers, you can design your own signage or have a team of designers do it for you with a few simple clicks of the mouse. Here are five tips for buying vinyl graphics online:

1. Look for Versatility

A good online custom sign shop should be able to fill a variety of types of orders. When it comes to custom vinyl decals, for example, they should provide everything from auto decals and bumper stickers to rear window decals and custom wall graphics. Using a full-service online sign company will enable you to get all of your signage needs met, including those for custom signs, custom banners, vehicle lettering, and digital decals.

2. Timeliness is Key

The most reputable online sources for custom signage will make a commitment to providing the fastest on-demand printing at the best prices. An online sign shop should be able to ship your order within three days of your acceptance of the final proof. For large orders, the shop should be willing to give you a shipping date and work with you to accommodate your needs.

3. Guarantees are a Must

There are many inferior products in the marketplace, so the sign shop you choose should stand behind what they sell. Although the lifespan of custom vinyl decals and other signage can shortened by adverse weather conditions, you should receive at least a limited one-year warranty against peeling, fading, or failure.

4. Simple Design Steps

The sign company you select should make it easy for you to design your own custom vinyl decals. They should have a friendly user interface that you can use to enter text and choose options like fonts, sizing, spacing, color, border, shadow, and other effects. You should also be able to upload your logo, images, and other graphic elements within the interface. As you're creating your design, you should be able to preview it to make sure it's exactly what you want.

5. Straightforward Installation

When you receive your custom vinyl decals, you should also receive easy-to-follow installation instructions. The best online companies provide you with some of the materials you need when your order exceeds $30 or so. Similarly, the company should provide you with instructions on how to remove custom vinyl decals, as well as how to care for your vehicle lettering.

Using custom vinyl decals and other forms of signage are a terrific way to advertise your business, express your personality while accessorizing your vehicle, and give friends and family members personalized gifts. Once you find a reputable sign company, you can take advantage of the latest technology and use their online tools to create your own masterpiece from the comfort of your home or office.

Build Financial Freedom with Your Own Home-Based Travel Business

Many people are looking for financial and personal freedom by starting their own home-based business. The opportunities are endless, just depending on your own interests. You can be responsible for your own success and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

One of the most appealing factors in a home-based business is the freedom to work when you want. You can set your own schedule and work as often or as little as you would like. There are no bosses or other employees to worry about. It is up to you to set the limits and goals for your business. If you want to work full - or part-time, the decision is yours.

Start a Home-Based Travel Business

A very successful field for many people is a home-based travel business. Being a home-based travel agent means making available travel products produced by someone else. You can do it two ways. You can be a referral agent, directing people to a travel agency. Then you would receive part of the commission on these sales. You can also book your own vacations and travel. You will receive a commission on that as well.

The second way to have a travel business is to be a booking and selling agent. You would deal directly with the clients to help them find the kind of traveling experience they are looking for. Then you would research the options for them. You would deal with the travel supplier, looking for the best options. Then you would present the options to them and let them choose what they want. After they have decided, you would make all the arrangements for them.  In exchange for all this, you would receive a higher commission than the referral agent.

Get Help Online

Becoming a home-based travel business is not complicated. There are many online sites that will help you get started. You don't need a lot of money to start out and you can get plenty of information and support. By checking these sites, you will learn how to get started and have many of your questions answered. They can help you get started in an orderly manner and have a professional home-based travel business ready to go.

There are numerous places online to find discount travel packages, coastal vacations, and many other travel ideas.  You can choose whom you will work with and enjoy the benefits of helping others.  You will find the business opportunity is only limited by your time and motivation.

Be Successful In Your Home-based Travel Business

Even if you do not want to have a fulltime home-based travel business, you could earn enough to give yourself free trips and share discount travel with your friends. You can earn enough for a decent second income even if your time is limited.

Whether you want a home-based business as a full - or part-time job you will find that some great opportunities are available. By starting your own home-based travel business, you can build your financial freedom from a dream to a reality.

Increase Your Profits through Call Centers

Call centers are part of the dynamic business process outsourcing industry that caters to the needs of some companies for a dedicated unit that will receive and make calls, do sales, and perform marketing functions.  A company can acquire valuable information from its customers by hiring a call center to deliver front line customer services. These centers are usually operated by companies to provide customer  support or product information to consumers.

Call centers are mainly responsible for taking inbound and outbound calls.  Telemarketing sales are also part of the services rendered by these providers for their clients.  Call centers also handle desk queries and catalog orders. In addition to these tasks, they also identify customer care needs, anticipate customer behavior, and execute necessary functions while customers are still on the line. Teams of live operators, account representatives, and program managers are the backbone of the call center operation.

Online customers and callers contact inbound call centers to purchase things like airline tickets, get technical assistance with their gadgets, or get answers about utility bills, and many other reasons that company representatives are needed. Many companies hire inbound call centers for active customer service that could be utilized for cross-selling and up-selling. Cross-selling is a term that describes the sale of more products or service to customers. Up-selling on the other hand, is a marketing approach whereby attempts to have consumers purchase more expensive items, upgrades, and other add ons to make more profitable sales.

In outbound call centers, marketing representatives from companies initiate calls to customers. These representatives might call to inform customers that the orders are available or to follow up on problems that the customers need help with. The success of outbound call centers depend on their experience, technical solutions, assurance programs, and commitment to customer service excellence. These call centers ensure results from direct marketing efforts.

The services of web-enabled call centers are based on the Internet.  This kind of call center service is now considered necessity to survive and thrive in a tough business environment.  The main purpose of these call centers is to help improve people's ability to contact the company that provided them with a service or product.  Good customer service is key to developing customer loyalty.  At the same time, companies can keep track of the changing customer tastes and preferences.

Establishing call centers can improve communication between clients and the companies, thereby improving customer satisfaction. Because many businesses rely on the purchases of services or products, increased in customer satisfaction can lead to improved business profits. In addition, having a call center may increase the quantity and types of customers. Because that many call center representatives are multilingual, they will be able to assist new and existing foreign clients.  Call center services aid people in many of the world to enhance their business and customer communication. These services give high returns for a relevantly low investment. Because of the professional and friendly staffs working hard for a company, profits and productivity will increase by leaps and bounds.

Looking for a Unique Business Gift or Giveaway? Think Chocolate!

Who doesn't love chocolate? When people are surveyed, they always rank chocolate as their overall favorite flavor. And if the creaminess and rich flavor of, say, Belgian chocolate isn't enough to entice chocolate aficionados, researchers continue to discover the tasty treat's myriad health benefits.

Despite chocolate's popularity and health benefits, business owners often don't consider the ways chocolate can leave a lasting impression with clients, potential customers, and employees.

Trade Shows

If your business exhibits at trade shows, you know the challenges of coming up with a memorable giveaway for those who stop by your booth. Trade show attendees collect pens, pads, luggage tags, and the like by the bag full. What they could really use as they traipse up and down the aisles of a trade show is a little pick-me-up - something that brings a smile to their face and gives them a boost to make it through the day. At an education trade show, for example, you could hand out Belgian chocolate bars that say, "Teachers Make Learning Sweet." At a construction-related exhibit, you could distribute chocolate bars that say, "Think Safety," while at a political event, you could hand out chocolate coins that say, "Democrat" or "Republican."

Client Appreciation

Showing your clients that you appreciate their business goes far in developing goodwill and cementing relationships. A chocolate assortment with a large "Thank You" chocolate bar in the middle is a memorable token of appreciation. If you have a retail store, a chocolate "Thank You" cookie or chocolate "Thank You" coins wrapped in silver will leave customers smiling. Keeping track of and commemorating the birthday of a special client with a "Happy Birthday" chocolate assortment will communicate that you value him or her. A business gift of any kind is appreciated, but chocolate is a special treat that will be remembered.

Employee Recognition

Studies have shown that employees are happier at their jobs when they feel that their efforts are appreciated. Interestingly, it turns out that recognition doesn't have to come in the form of large bonuses or fancy events; small tokens that demonstrate you value their contributions have the same effect. For that reason, keeping a supply of Belgian chocolate bars that say, "Thanks a Million" or "You've Gone the Extra Mile" will give you an easy way to recognize employees on a regular basis.

Motivating Sales Teams

Salespeople have one of the toughest jobs on the planet. Even great salespeople need to get revved up and motivated to keep going day after day. That's why team sales meetings are so important. At your meeting, why not hand out a chocolate cookie that says, "Think Outside the Box" or "Way to Go"? If you're trying to reinforce team spirit, distribute chocolates in the shape of puzzle pieces with the word "Teamwork" emblazoned on one side?

Of course, in addition to a corporate gift or for employee recognition, custom chocolate can be used in a variety of other celebrations, holidays, and events. A chocolate party favor or wedding favor will be enjoyed and remembered, as will a Christmas food gift of chocolate. So, next time you need a gift or giveaway, think chocolate!

Use Marble Tile for Your Flooring

Definitely, you want to have the best for your home, so you would want to make sure that your home will gain beauty and elegance. But how can you add up beauty and elegance to your home?

If you want to make your home elegant enough not only for you but for your guests, definitely, you will make improvements that can surely give appeal and glow to your home. Having marble tile flooring can add up to the glow and beauty of your home. Yes. Marble tiles are very popular materials that are being use for home building and not only that; marble tiles are use for sculptures and work of arts as well.

Even way back in the time of Greeks and Romans, marble tiles are the best materials that are being used for sculptures and work of arts since they believed that these materials are great. The Asians and Europeans are enjoying these materials in terms of building homes and offices because these materials are durable and elegant.

Marble tiles come in different pattern, shape, size, design and texture, so homeowners have lots of choices to choose from. So they have variety of choices and can find the right one that matches the design and style of their homes.

If you want to make sure that the marble tiles will add beauty and elegance, you have to match it with your home’s style and design. Definitely, you can find the right one that can be best for your home. You can find marble tiles in the market and even online. Just take your time in finding the one that you want.

Marble tiles are quite expensive but more and more people are using marble tiles for the flooring and not only that they use it in their countertop and other decors at home. Even if it is quite pricey, it is worth it since it can add glow and beauty to a home.

As soon as you finally choose the marble tile you want for your home, you have to hire someone to install it, in order to make sure it is properly place. Since if the marble tiles are properly installed, it can surely add glow and elegance to a home.

Since your marble tile flooring can give glow and elegance to your home, you need to maintain that glow and appeal that the marble tile possesses. You have to take good care of your marble tile flooring. It is advisable to clean it regularly. You can mop it and let it dry. Do not let spills be left on your floor surface, if there are any spills, make sure to wipe it immediately with soap, lukewarm water and clean cloth, wipe your marble tile floor gently and dry it after. Always keep your marble tile flooring dry.

You have to clean your marble tile flooring, in order to keep the glow and beauty of your marble tile flooring.