small business website

How Important Is It Really To Produce Content For Your Website?

 Just how important is it to produce fresh content for your website on a regular basis? It’s not just important, ladies and gents, it’s essential. Getting the perfect website designed by a web design company doesn’t mean much without perfectly written content. You have probably heard this a million times before, but we’re going to say it again: content is king! If you’re wondering why your website isn’t working for you, it’s probably because you’re not working for it. Simply having a website isn’t enough anymore. Having a website requires constant input. You will need to create informative, helpful and keyword-rich content to ensure that your website remains relevant and search engine friendly. You can have the flashiest website with all the bells and whistles and still have to deal with the frustration of your competitors ranking ahead of you in an online search result, if you have stale content. Ranking number one in an online search result with leading search engines such as Google, is the coveted prize for all online marketers.

Below are a few reasons why you should regularly update your website with fresh content:

  • A website that is frequently updated with articles, blog posts, video clips and similar, will be frequently indexed, which immediately improves your chances of ranking higher in a search engine result. Of course your content should be relevant, interesting and helpful to the reader.
  • More keyword rich content means you strike it rich with leading search engine’s algorithm charts. Of course keywords aren’t all that a search engine is looking for anymore. If you simply have pages and pages of keywords, your website is going to be viewed negatively and will most certainly lose its potential for a good ranking.
  • You can position yourself as an industry authority by posting helpful articles and guides on your products / services. “How to” articles are great for this, as are guides on how to use your products more efficiently and effectively. Providing your consumers with good quality content will also earn loyalty from your target audience.

What exactly makes content great? How do you know if your articles and posts are going to work for your website and get your business marketing to where it needs to be?

Below are a few tips on how to create great content:

  • Always be original. Never reproduce someone else’s content or copy and paste something else that you find online.
  • Your content headlines should grab attention and your content should keep it. Create strong headlines and use your keywords / key phrase in them.
  • Spur on action. What’s the point of a good article or blog post if the consumer doesn’t know what the next step is? Always include a call to action and make sure that it is clear / obvious. Instruct the consumer to email you, click through to your Facebook page or download a new article.
  • Get visual. Images are interesting. As humans, we are attracted to what looks good and that’s why images help to sell products so well online. If you are worried that you can’t take great pictures, don’t be. There are plenty of free online image resources that you can use.
  • Skip the waffling. No one wants to read pages and pages of content that end up being a yawn a minute. Keep the content interesting and concise.
  • Be thorough in your content and link all of your online platforms. What’s the point in having a website with great content that points your consumers to your Facebook page, LinkedIn page or Twitter page, and none of these pages have more content. Ensure that all of your profiles are properly filled out and that where the opportunity exists, updates and posts filled with fresh and interesting content are made regularly.
  • Make sure that your content is well written and presented neatly. Break up content into sections or paragraphs with powerful headings to ensure that you don’t lose your readers along the way. ghsggsgs

Is your website ranking on the first page of Google? If not, what are you waiting for! The time to start creating fresh and interesting content is now!

Article by Gert Hattingh from web design company, One Click Here.

Featured image courtesy of  Guudmorning!

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ROLLER COASTER OF VOLATILITY

ROLLER COASTER OF VOLATILITY

By Haroun Pochee.  B.Com CA (SA) – Growing Hands Entrepreneur Development

Are we on a real life rollercoaster ride of fast paced change, unexpected twists, turns and breathless anxiety?

Whether it is in our business environment, political happenings, managing the myriad of power cuts, the extreme fluctuations in exchange rates and markets the ride is not an exhilarating one and our best laid plans can easily be derailed and crashed into an abyss beyond our control.

This can be gut wrenching and factors beyond yours and my control influence the way we react and plot the course of action.  It is definitely not a theme park ride but a real life experience.

We are definitely living in volatile times!

Who would have thought that the oil price would crash in such a short period of time? Who would have thought that the European economy would be in such dire straits? Who would have thought that with such a small representation in the South African parliament, the Economic Freedom Front would make such an impact on the domestic political front?

The impact and consequences of such a drastic change on our business and financial affairs have yet to be assessed and digested by the experts. It leaves the business community with uncertainty in inconsistency.

David Morobe, a regional director of Business Partners emphasized one of the challenges in his keynote address at the 2015 Growing Hands Entrepreneur Start-Up program recently. He said;

“Unemployment is a global issue. Global youth unemployment is a crises and is predicted to keep rising. The South African situation is dire. Four million seven hundred thousand people out of an estimated eighteen million people are unemployed.”

He cited that in South Africa entrepreneurship offers the country a chance for growth, job creation and wealth creation. Yet entrepreneurship did not seem to be a desirable choice for young people. Morobe emphasised; “We must build a society that appreciates the role of entrepreneurs.” International there is a lot of support for entrepreneurs and entrepreneur development. Business Partners have started the “Square Peg Movement” which is intended to promote “entrepreneurship as a noble career.” The idea being that the movement could develop people who see the world for what it could be, who could go against the tide and find the best of themselves with joy and spirit and who care for the spirit and well being of our communities and their upliftment.

 

He inspired with his conclusion; “True success can be defined as – Not what we know but what we do with what we know. Everything starts with an idea and we are all creative in one way or another”

He gave aspirant entrepreneurs who find themselves challenged by the rollercoaster ride HOPE to see the world from their perspective, for what it could be and who are swimming against the odds of challenges in trying to create opportunities for themselves, their families or their loved ones.

There are lessons for all of us:

  • We have to encourage entrepreneurial activity.
  • Support, mentor and fund ventures even if they are small and self sustaining.
  • Be prepared and accept that there could be failure.
  • Our plans, like the times we live in, need to be flexible and should allow us to tailor or amend should any of the matrix change fundamentally.
  • We have to be better prepared to adapt to trend changes and adopt principles of change management.
  • Expand our business and personal networks seeking opportunities for improving and expanding business prospects.
  • Invest in our personal development to up-skill ourselves and improve our preparedness for any threats that may arise.
  • We cannot be paralysed by procrastination and indecision. Leaving a situation unaddressed for too long without decisiveness can be fatal.
  • Understand our individual leadership personality and role.

Working on our challenges, sharing our concerns and making our action plans come to fruition will help us prepare ourselves to overcome the head winds of the rollercoaster of economic uncertainty.

 

Growing  Hands is a NPO, providing Entrepreneur Development programs. Visit Growing  Hands Facebook page for more information on our programs, our volunteers and our presenters.

Black Business Supplier Development Programme (BBSDP)

The Black Business Supplier Development Programme (BBSDP) is a cost-sharing grant offered to black-owned small enterprises to assist them to improve their competitiveness and sustainability to become part of the mainstream economy and create employment.

The programme provides grants to a maximum of R1 million:

  • R800 000 for tools, machinery and equipment on a 50:50 cost-sharing basis; and
  • R200 000 for business development and training interventions per eligible enterprise to improve their corporate governance, management, marketing, productivity and use of modern technology on a 80:20 cost-sharing basis.

Objectives of the grant

  • To improve the sustainability of black-owned enterprises by providing funding to increase the competitiveness of the businesses.
  • To fast-track existing Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) that exhibit good potential for growth into the mainstream economy;
  • To grow black-owned enterprises by fostering linkages between black SMMEs and corporate and public sector enterprises;
  • To complement current affirmative procurement and outsourcing initiatives of corporate and public sector enterprises; and
  • To enhance the capacity of grant recipient enterprises to successfully compete for corporate and public sector tenders and outsourcing opportunities.
  • Qualifying criteria of the incentive scheme

Eligible Enterprises

  • Fifty-one per cent black majority shareholding;
  • R250 000 to R35 million turnover per year;
  • One year in operation and trading as a business;
  • Fifty per cent management positions held by black people (historically disadvantaged individuals);
  • Enterprises formally registered for VAT;
  • Be operating and trading for at least one financial year

Contact Details

Website Details: Department of Trade and Industry

 

Technology for Women in Business – Award

Since 1998 the Technology for Women in Business (TWIB) an initiative of the DTI has given hundreds of women the opportunity to apply technology to support and grow their
businesses. This has largely contributed towards mainstreaming women’s businesses within the broader SA economy.

TWIB is calling for the 2013/14 Awards nominations. South Africans are invited to nominate women entrepreneurs who systematically use technological innovation and creative know-how for business growth and positive economic impact on the broader economy. These should be in the following three categories:

Two thirds of South African Households Are Poor

Statistics South Africa released it’s annual report titled “Selected development indicators” yesterday, 3 May 2011. The report provides important data on government performance on its programmes. One of the most important descriptors is an attempt to measure the extent of poverty in South Africa. The report defines the poor as households with a monthly expenditure of R 2500-00 of below. This measure shows that two-thirds of South African’s households are poor.

Based on the data available, the calculations for each province was undertaken, which shows variances across the provinces. These are represented in the table below:

IndicatorsTotal Number of HouseholdsNumber of households classified as poor using household monthly expenditure of below R2500-00 as the cut-off% of households with monthly expenditure below R 2500-00
Western Cape158173246.3
Gauteng3826197751.7
South Africa14756978866.3
Free State90761667.9
North West100670970.5
Northern Cape32723170.6
Mpuma-langa105075371.7
KwaZulu-Natal2802206573.7
Eastern Cape1820143078.6
Limpopo1437127588.7
Photo: Hannelie Coetzee, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com

Infrastructure Investment Catalyses Social Accord

Photo: Hannelie Coetzee, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com

Towards an infrastructure investment social accord

In the last session of the second annual Economic Development Programme conference hosted by the Economic Development Department, a series of remarkable commitments emerged from business and labour leaders, on government’s Infrastructure Investment Plan.

The session chair and convener of the Economic Development Conference, Minister Ebrahim Patel posed a series of questions to the panelists focused around commitment to the plan and the commitments sectors were willing to make . The panel consisted of:

  •  Bobby Godsell, President, Business Leadership South Africa
  • Zwelinvima Vavi, General Secretary, Congress of South African Trade Unions,
  • Ndaba Ntsele, President, Black Business Council

Bobby Godsell representing Business Leadership South Africa argued that the long term nature of the infrastructure investment framework provided the space for business to think about the next twenty years as opposed to the next quarter. In turn, he argued that the private sector should “seek a realistic and sensible” rate of return. The rate of return he ventured would be a real return, but would be in single digits.

BRICS – Total Entrepreneurial Activity

Brics - Entrepreneurial activity bubble map

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) provides a basis for comparing entrepreneurial activity, aspirations and intentions globally. The chart below shows the Total early-stage Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA). TEA is defined as

TEA = Percentage of 18-64 population who are either a nascent entrepreneur or owner-manager of a new business

The data shows that there is a gap between South Africa which is has moderate economic growth, and Brazil, India and China which have significantly higher economic growth rates in terms of Total Entrepreneurial Activity. (Curiously, Russia has high growth rates but low TEA rate). The data however suggests that South Africa may be catching up, with these high growth countries.