Challenging Resources For Your Students That Will Aid Career Development

Overview and Features of Elementary/ Middle School Career Development Models

Counselors and teachers know that the elementary/ middle school development is important. Schooling is a time of transition, a threshold to the student’s future, and a bridge into the student’s destiny. In elementary/ middle school, career development is a time to build career awareness, not a time for premature career choices or career preparations. Career development is an ongoing lifelong process. During the career development process, students remain open to new career ideas and possibilities. Counselors and teachers build readiness for future career planning. Students build visions of what they desire to do in their lives as they contribute to the society.

Need for Elementary/ Middle school Career Development

Since most elementary and middle school students have limited understanding of how school relates to work, students use career development curriculum to build a foundation and the connection between career development, Twenty-First Century Skills, school academic subjects, potential careers, and future training options. As a result, students build self – awareness, possess intrinsic motivation, build a positive self-concept, and begin problem solving about career choices.

Benefits of Elementary/ Middle School Career Development

Elementary/ middle school career awareness lays the groundwork for future career exploration by helping students achieve the following goals:

Knowledge of personal characteristics, interests, aptitudes, and skills
Awareness of and respect for the diversity of the world of work
Understanding of the relationship between school performance and future choices
Development of a positive attitude toward work

Students who complete career development activities have the following positive outcomes:

Expanded understanding of the world of work leading to an openness to an increased number potential careers
Improved skills to make informed decisions and complex career information problem solving
Enhanced academic, personal, and teamwork skill development
Amplified career awareness, self-esteem, sense of direction, motivation to persist, clearly defined goals

Eventually, as students participate in career curriculum programs, the number of dropouts is minimized.

Elementary/ Middle School Career Education Models

There are 4 major career development models:

National Career Development Guidelines
21st Century Skills
New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards
Missouri Comprehensive Guidance Program

National Career Development Guidelines

The National Career Development Guidelines (NCDG) determine career development knowledge, skills, and decision-making processes. The NCDG Guidelines have three domains, goals, and mastery indicators.

The three domains are:

Personal Social Development (PS)
Educational Achievement and Lifelong Learning (ED)
Career Management (CM)

The learning competency stages are:

Knowledge Acquisition (K). Students at the knowledge acquisition stage expand knowledge awareness and build comprehension. They recall, recognize, describe, identify, clarify, discuss, explain, summarize, query, investigate and compile new information about the knowledge.
Application (A). Students at the application stage apply acquire knowledge to situations and to self. They seek out ways to use the knowledge. For example, they demonstrate, employ, perform, illustrate and solve problems related to the knowledge.
Reflection (R). Students at the reflection stage analyze, synthesize, judge, assess and evaluate knowledge in accord with their own goals, values and beliefs. They decide whether or not to integrate the acquired knowledge into their ongoing response to situations and adjust their behavior accordingly.

An example of the Personal Social Development domain is:

PS1.K2 Identify your abilities, strengths, skills, and talents.
PS1.A2 Demonstrate use of your abilities, strengths, skills, and talents.
PS1.R2 Assess the impact of your abilities, strengths, skills, and talents on your career development.

21st Century Skills Model

The 21st Century Model and Skills is the collaboration of the efforts of education, business, and government organizations. These organizations create a 21st Century Learning Framework that outlines the essential learning, innovation, technology, and career skills necessary to be successful in the today’s workplace. A rich, well-designed learning environment promotes creating, applying, remembering, analyzing, understanding, and evaluating processes. The 21st Century Model seeks the development of knowledge, skills, motivations, values, attitudes, beliefs, feelings, health, safety, resilience, and other qualities.

The three major 21st Century Model main skill areas are:

Learning and innovation
Digital literacy skills
Career and life skills

Within the Career and Life Skills area, the focus is on:

Flexibility and adaptability
Initiative and self – direction
Social and cross-cultural interaction
Productivity and accountability
Leadership and responsibility

New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards

The New Jersey Department of Education Content Standards connect the 21st Century Model and elementary/ middle school career awareness.

In K-5 grades, students learn the interrelationship between 21st Century life skills and personal, academic, and social development. Curriculum areas range from career awareness information and to basic personal financial literacy skills.
The development of 21st Century life skills and personal financial literacy continues in the grades 6-8. Students explore careers, academic and personal interests and aptitudes.

The New Jersey Department of Education has four career education standards:

Standards 9.1, 9.2, and 9.3 cover life and career skills within the K-12 curriculum.
Standard 9.4 includes specialized, career and technical education program skills in grades 9-12 curriculum.

These standards cover the following areas:

Career Awareness (grades K-4)
Career Exploration (grades 5-8)
Career Preparation (grades 9-12)

An example of one of the objectives is:

Standard 9.3 – Apply knowledge about and engage in the process of career awareness, exploration, and preparation in order to navigate the globally competitive work environment of the information age.

Examples of Standard 9.3 are:

9.3.4.A.4 Identify qualifications needed to pursue traditional and nontraditional careers and occupations.
9.3.4.A.5 Locate career information using a variety of resources
9.3.4.A.6 Explain why knowledge and skills acquired in the elementary grades lay the foundation for the future academic and career success

Missouri Comprehensive Guidance Program

The Missouri Center for Career Education (MCCE) is a career and technical education curriculum, research, professional development, and innovative instructional resource center.

The Missouri Center for Career Education (MCCE) Guidance Lessons (Strands) are:

Academic Development
Career Development
Personal and Social Development

Within each Strand CD: Career Development area, the Big Ideas are:

Big Idea: CD.7. Applying Career Exploration and Planning Skills in the Achievement of Life Career Goals
Big Idea: CD 8. Knowing Where and How to Obtain Information about the World of Work and Post-secondary Training/Education
Big Idea: CD.9. Applying Employment Readiness Skills and the Skills for On-The-Job Success

The Big Ideas serve as the foundation for building curriculum concepts and behavioral objectives.

Examples of CD.7 Big Idea are:

Compare interests and strengths with those of workers in the global community.
Describe occupational changes that have occurred over time within the six (6) career paths.
Describe the self-satisfaction that comes from completing a work responsibility.

Tips for Finding the Right Elementary/ Middle School Career Development Program

Based upon the National Career Development Guidelines, 21st Century Skills, New Jersey Department of Education Content Standards, and Missouri Center for Career Education (MCCE), the key elements of career curriculum provide information on the relationship between job interests, key characteristics, college majors, hobbies, abilities, and related careers.

Teachers and counselors know that students:

Are curious
Love colorful, multimedia presentations
Use colors to improve attention span, concentration, memory skills, and understanding
Use their senses and imaginations in career exploration

Counselors and teachers utilize career awareness programs to help students:

Discover career interests
Build awareness of career interests, abilities, skills, and values
Search for meaning, purpose, and direction
Discover potential careers that are linked to children’s identified interests
Understand the relationship between education, training, and specific occupations
Search for tools that will help students plan for the future and unlock their potentials
Clarify thoughts, integrate new knowledge, and promote critical thinking
Receive new information so that the concepts are more thoroughly and easily understood
Hold attention and absorb information

Elementary/ middle development curriculum includes career tests, assessments, games, web sites, and books. Programs should be fun, educational, and not boring. Career development program are:

Eye appealing
Easy to use
Full of resources
Suitable for your students’ needs

An effective career education tool motivates your students to explore careers. Creative career tools build a foundation for more detailed career exploration. Career development lessons should answer the question “Who am I?” and “What should I do as an adult?”

With the right resource, students are ready and willing to:

Explore
Investigate
Learn
Ask questions
Enjoy discovering who they are
Gain knowledge, wisdom, and understanding

Steps to Select the Right Elementary/ Middle School Career Development Program

How do you choose the right career awareness program? Look at 3 major areas:

Format
Cost
Resources

When you look at a career education curriculum, ask yourself the following questions:

What do your students prefer?
What is your budget for the curriculum?
What resources do you have? Do you have a computer lab?

Then, follow these steps:

Select an elementary/ middle school career awareness program that your students are interested in and that provides valuable information about careers and your student’s interests.
Look for career development lessons that use well-known career models.

As students grow older, the students will continue to use career models to eventually expand their knowledge of self, careers and college majors.

In summary, when they use career education curriculum, students:

Learn and apply the academic material
Know and value self
Build self-esteem and confidence
Identify interests and build relationships between the school environment and the work force
Incorporate academic career pathways into classroom activities
Build academic, communication, problem solving, and social skills
Increase awareness of the need for future jobs skills
See the connections between learning in school, academic skills, job related skills, and careers
See career possibilities
See themselves as a future contributor to the job force
Receive empowerment
Build self-determination

As a result of completing the career development lessons, students have:

Higher grades
Higher academic achievement
Improved school involvement
Increase in career awareness exploration, personal, and interpersonal skills

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Career Development Planning: Keys to Career Success

Career Development Planning: keys to finding and qualifying for the right job for overall career success.

Career development planning is the key to advancement and is a measure of tracking the progress of your career. Also, it is a dependable method to study your overall personal goals and the steps taken as your accomplishments move you toward the right career.

Keys to a well thought out career development plan: The plan is a work in progress. As you move up one step there is another in front of you. You build in flexibility, one door may close but with continued career related research another soon opens. Your career development plan is not focused exclusively on your work but on your career, its direction and your interests and passion.

As you career plan evolves so does your resume. Keep it up dated through a file in which you keep a record of achievements, training, projects completed, new skills, promotions, performance reviews and positive letters and memos.

Begin keeping a file on job announcements in your career and any career in which you have an interest. Even if employed this is a good tip as you can identify where new qualifications are required allowing you to get the additional training and experience.

In the course of writing out your career development plan spend some time on exactly what your overall job objectives are. Both short and long-term and what you see yourself doing. Are there any obstacles you have to overcome? How is your development plan going to help you qualify for your next career or update your current position?

To make your career development plan work for you there are several personal planning steps that it would be productive to consider:

1. Research the proposed career. Use informational interviews to talk to those already working in the career. Attend workshops and seminars and area conferences. Build your network of like minded people. Work to determine what skills, education and experience are required to qualify for the position.
2. If your career direction is not firmly fixed, pick the top two or three and keep researching until a number one comes into focus. Don’t worry if you reject a career that at first seemed so promising, this is progress and it’s just as important to find out what you don’t want as what you look at favorably.
3. If you are planning a career change analyze closely what qualifications are required. Identify your transferable skills, and build a step by step plan to become qualified. In-line learning, self-study and mentoring can go a long way to become qualified in many required skills.
4. Add financial planning to your career development plan. If changing careers requires a reduced level of income, take that into consideration in your overall planning. Reduce overall debt to increase your options and reduce stress.

In any career development plan you have a series of long-term objectives, for example: reading books appropriate to your career, leadership, team building and project management are just a few subjects to consider. If you want to move to another area, you may want to vacation there first.

If you are looking at a career in another industry, research and study of the industry is in order. What are the overall prospects to the industry and the proposed career?

In summary, career development planning is a work in progress, and a valuable partner to growing your career based skills and qualifications. All of which should allow you to discover opportunities that match you career objectives.

Career Change and Career Development Beyond 50

Career change and career development beyond 50-is now the time to get started?

Career change beyond 50 and career success are closely allied to career development. If you are planning a change careers after 50 you should know that to get ahead of your younger competition you have to work hard at your plan and develop your skills and abilities to qualify for your proposed new job.

Once you start building your career change plan it is important to identify your employment objectives and how you plan on achieving it. It is not good to write out a career development plan and then put it in the drawer never to see the light of day and expect magic to happen.

The development of your plan and its success rests with you. No one else can acquire the needed skills, qualifications and experience unique to you so you can qualify for your dream career.

Here are some things to consider as you work in developing your unfolding career plan:

1. If you are ready for the daily, weekly and monthly effort necessary to make you career change development a reality; take the plunge.
2. A written career plan is a must. When your plan is written you can see daily what you need to accomplish. As you develop you skills and acquire additional qualifications you can judge your progress against the written career plan.
3. You should build your career plan as you uncover new information, change direction when necessary and be willing to give up on unpromising ideas and directions.
4. Your career change plan should contain daily, weekly and monthly components. Judge your progress against these benchmarks, adjust as appropriate.
5. In any career plan you must take a critical look at your skills, abilities, interests, strengths and weaknesses. Build the plan to develop your strengths, shore up you weak points and expand your interests and knowledge.
6. Career growth requires a daily effort practiced over a long period of time. This daily effort and its cumulative positive effect on your career and your future will move you toward your career and life goals.
7. A positive attitude is everything in working at developing your plan to change careers. Plan to read motivational books, attend positive meetings and conferences, learn to associate with positive people, listen to positive CD’s as you drive: all will have a big impact on your ongoing career development.
8. Have patience as you move forward in your career development. All good things take time, time to build good habits, time for the new skills to become practiced, time to build relationships, time to acquire experience and qualifications but in the end your journey will lead you to your dream career.

Three Strategies for Employee Career Development

Are you presently at loss as to how to go about developing the strategies you can use for your career development? Are you one of those employees feeling trapped and unappreciated in your organization? Do you no longer derive any sense of meaning or purpose from what you do for a living? We in the human resource practice have often observed and counseled, questioned and even helped employees in this kind of situation with requisite career advice. It is therefore for this reason that human resource practitioners have come up with career development strategies that should assist employees in their career planning and growth. These strategies when utilized bring about greater employee self-awareness. Further it brings about clearer view of workers long-term goals. The main objective in this article is to highlight the strategies for employee career development that can propel smart workers in whatever career they might have chosen in their life.

What are those career development strategies that any employee should utilize to survive in this information age? How should a worker desirous of choosing a career that enables him live a happy and full life go about doing so? Detailed below are these strategies.

· Discovery of your primary aim: The first strategy for any employee is to identify the primary purpose in life. By this is meant a picture of the kind of life you wish to live. What is it that you want to be most in the world? What is it that you love doing most and will not tire even if you continue doing it forever? You need to ask yourself questions to enable you find answers to how to discover your primary aim. Without asking relevant questions you cannot get answers. I had always wanted to be a writer. Though I started late, but I am doing what I always wanted to do which is writing. This I do through dissemination of information on human relations practice and blogging. I achieved this by asking myself questions to discover the answers. What is your own vision? What is your primary purpose in life? Your purpose or your vision in a period of time. Your purpose or vision is a continuous thing. It is something that shapes your life and it is a life time process. An employee who has not done this will only accept whatever career that is thrust upon her. She will never be happy in whatever career she might have chosen. Your career is your life. It determines how you want to live your life. You therefore need to have a picture of what you want your life to be like (your vision) and this will guide you into your choice of career. Primary aim helps your awareness about yourself. It helps you to get clear about certain truths about yourself and how you should live your life.

· Creation of Standards:This is another strategy for career development any smart employee must utilize in the 21st century. By standard is meant benchmarks to measure your performance against. Without a clearly defined vision of your life, you will have no standards by which you can evaluate your role in whatever career you have chosen nor any criteria with which to gauge and measure whether you are in the right career (or considering to pursue one) which will work for you. No matter your primary aim, if the career you have chosen or intend to pursue does not mesh with your vision you can never be happy. That is where standards come in. The only way by which you could evaluate yourself therefore is by looking at where you are in your career (work, time, money, culture, relationships) and measuring it against the picture of who you wish to be. It is therefore based on these benchmarks/standards that decisions and choices concerning your career should be made. This you do by envisioning model(s) which will then serve as your measuring rod. A model is the prototype of the kind of life you wish to live. You will create rules by which you will live your life. The rules and the standards should go hand in hand. You cannot have one without the other.

· Identification of your passions, interests, skills, abilities and experience:Another key career development strategy for a smart employee is the identification of your main passions, skills, interests and abilities. You need to ask questions. What are those things that you love doing? For example writing, speaking, helping others etc. What are those innate skills that you possess or have acquired in life that distinguish you from other human beings? For example interpersonal skill, management, communication, IT, organization etc. What are those talents that you possess or have acquired that distinguish you from other employees? The experiences you have acquired over time that makes you different. No two individuals are created the same. We are all created differently. Identification of these key attributes will therefore assist you in your career development. This when married with your primary aim helps in your career development.

Identification of primary purpose or aim is however a process. The bid to envision your life is a journey. It is during the journey that you will identify your skills, passion, talents, interests and experiences that are compatible with your vision in life. You should therefore be alive and aware as they are being identified. They are the attributes that will help you in developing your career and consequently in shaping your life. If your purpose is to be a writer, what are those skills, interests, passions and experiences you need to acquire to be one? To be a writer, you need to love writing. You need to love reading and acquiring knowledge. You need be observant. Your communication skill must be exceptional.

From the foregoing therefore, the application of these three strategies for career development will assist a smart employee in making the best out of his chosen career. These strategies are to assist the employee in reinventing his life such that he will live it the way he wanted. Just as it is beneficial to a job seeker who is already gainfully employed, it is equally beneficial to one who is still searching. The strategies when utilized will guide you in your career path. Having identified your primary aim, created your vision and in the process identified your passion, interests, skills and experience, you will be able to identify the best career you will be suited and consequently work on it. Having worked on your career you will be able to work on your life because your career will ultimately affect your life.

As an experienced human relations practitioner, I can safely advice that the application of these three strategies by any employee will enable him in building a career in a matching organization or with a matching employer. Working in such a satisfactory organization brings about job satisfaction and job enrichment and consequently a fulfilled life which is the ultimate goal of every smart employee.

4 Signs That You Are Not Working With a Professional Expert Witness and Need to Switch

Expert witnesses are integral to the success or failure of litigation. There’s much more to being an expert witness than offering an impartial, knowledgeable opinion at trial.

Experts should be able to communicate effectively with legal teams, meet court deadlines, and prepare accurate, well-written expert reports admissible in a court of law. Often, it can be challenging to find an expert who has all these traits and possesses the specialised knowledge appropriate to your case.

While factors such as experience, qualifications, professionalism, and fees are of course central to selecting an expert, they are not foolproof grounds for making a decision. Listed below are four clear signs that you’ve selected the wrong expert and need to source an alternative.

Your expert is not credible

A key part of expert evidence is the credibility of your expert both on paper and in the court room. Your expert needs to have sufficient training,education, and experience to convince the court that their opinion is well-substantiated and worthy of being taken seriously. If your case goes to trial, it is of paramount importance that your expert is comfortable with a trial setting and able to withstand cross-examination confidently.

If your expert does not have the education, experience, and confidence required to present a credible, qualified opinion, look for better alternatives.

Your expert spends a little too much time as an expert witness

Generally, leading experts gain their experience by spending the vast majority of their time practicing as a professional in their field. While a wealth of expert testimony is in itself a good sign, spending a disproportionate amount of time in the witness box, rather than in practice, should be a red flag. Ideally, expert witnesses should have both specialised knowledge and recent, practical experience in their field of expertise.

If your expert is more over-used than they are experienced, it’s time to search for another one.

Your expert lacks conviction

The foremost duty of an expert witness is one of impartiality to the court; witnesses should not be an advocate for either party – not even the one paying their fees.

If your expert appears easily swayed by your comments and is eager to change the substance of their report in order to align more closely with what they believe you are wishing to hear, it may be unwise to continue to engage their services.

Your expert charges an unreasonable fee

As with other consultants, experts set their fees based on the complexity of the case and the time required to review files, prepare a report and, if necessary, appear in court. Yet legal teams should be wary of experts who charge rates that appear at odds with the demands of the case at hand.

If you suspect that your expert is charging more than what could be deemed reasonable for the review of documents and preparation of an expert opinion, you may want to make the switch to another expert.

Conclusion

An impressive CV or extensive field experience alone do not qualify a professional as an expert witness. Rather, there is a broad variety of factors to consider when selecting and engaging an expert.

If your chosen expert shows one or more of the signs above, we recommend terminating your business relationship and approaching Experts to find a better choice.

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More About Interest Rate Cap And How To Take Advantage Of It

Borrowing money either for personal or for business use is now very common in most places. Financial establishments offer several different options for you to take advantage of. And as a borrower, you should know how you can greatly benefit from the options offered. One of the things that you should know about is an interest rate cap.

An interest rate cap serves as a hedge that protects the borrowers from rising short term rates. It works when a variable rate goes over the cap, the cap will be compensated for whatever difference may be between the cap price and the market variable rate. It can also be viewed as an agreement between the provider of the cap and the borrower. It limits the floating interest rate to a set level for a certain time period.

Additionally, an interest rate cap translates to a series of call options on an index of floating interest rates which normally involves 3 or 6 month Libor and it coincides with the rollover dates on the borrower’s floating liabilities. Knowing this will greatly help a borrower stand on his feet again knowing that he will be paying the same all throughout the time period of his loan.

The borrower can greatly benefit from having this cap especially if he is set to pay the borrowed money within a short period of time only. He is protected against the increasing interest rates that most financial establishments add on top of the amount being borrowed. And when the market rates go above the cap rate, you will no longer have to worry because the cap rate provider has to make payments to the borrower or buyer of the cap to bring the interest rate back to the cap level which is actually a very big help and a huge advantage on the borrower’s side.

The cap provider, on the other hand, does not need to make payments as long as the rates are below the cap, so the borrower is left to pay market rates. So now, you can rest assured that you do not need credit approval during this process, although it may involve an auction process with the help of a consultant. And this usually results in highly competitive pricing and terms.

Should You Use an SEO Agency for Your Business?

8 Benefits of Engaging SEO Agencies to Boost Your Online Presence!

Advertising has transformed to one of the most demanding and crucial aspects of having to run a business. This ultimately means that the overall success of your business is going to depend mainly on the effectiveness of your advertising campaign.

Nowadays, online is where everyone’s at, which is also the reason why most businesses look to promote their products or services online. To do that, one needs to have a business website which will run their internet marketing campaign. With an abundance of spam links and countless other websites floating around in cyberspace, it’s easy for a business website to get lost or rank so low in the SERPs, that the chances of searchers to find the website are seriously diminished.

Since, paying a search engine to place your business website at the top of its list doesn’t come cheap, the next best thing one can do is to use search engine optimization or SEO techniques to increase the clicks to the website and help it work its way up the search engine’s results page.

Why You Should Hire a SEO Agency?

Optimizing a website for a search engine can be not only a tough, but also costly process, mainly because there is just too many business websites competing for the coveted number one spot on the page rank, by using the exact same keywords.

While businesses can opt to do their own SEO, hiring a SEO agency that has experienced search engine optimizers will no doubt, help businesses reap ROI in the long run. One of the best ways in which businesses can do that is by outsourcing their SEO needs to qualified SEO agencies.

The growing demand for SEO services has lead to a mushrooming of many a great number of SEO agencies fulfilling their business objective, which has lead many businesses seeking SEO services asking the question, “how do we find the best SEO service provider?”

Obviously, all those searching for SEO agencies will have to make their selection by passing SEO companies through careful and meticulous scrutiny, in order for them to get the best in search engine optimization for their business website.

Benefits of Using SEO

One of the most obvious advantages of using the services of SEO agencies is their ability to enhance the visibility of a business website, but that being said, business owners also raise concerns on affordability, which can only be analyzed when businesses know the benefits of using the services of SEO agencies. In more ways than one, the following are some of the benefits of using search engine optimization services, especially the right ones, which can allow businesses to enjoy the following advantages.

Target Traffic

While businesses embark on an SEO marketing campaign, they should realize that an entire marketing campaign can fall flat on its face if a business is unable to reach the masses, that is, their target audience. It doesn’t really matter whether your business website is attracting hundreds of clicks per day, if those visits are not from your intended target demographic, you will only be seeing them spending time on your website without actually buying anything, which is really the opposite of your marketing intentions.

Get a Well-Made Business Website

Even though, search engine optimization is necessary for businesses to compete with one another online, the importance of the website design cannot be undermined. While hiring the services of a good SEO agency can get you good marketing copy for your website and an effective use of the related keywords, having a brilliantly designed website will help a lot when it comes to attracting people and even the search engines to your website. This is true because search engines always take into account different aspects of usability and the overall layout of the business website.

Cost Effectiveness

The fact of the matter remains that while using radio and TV advertisements can be an effective means of marketing a business’s product or service, it still is very expensive, especially for start-up businesses. By taking their marketing needs online and hiring the services of an experienced SEO agency, a business is able to reach thousands, or even millions of people which they would have not been able to otherwise.

Using SEO Best Practices

Hiring an experienced SEO agency will allow you to get information on the various techniques they have adopted in their SEO tactics. Hiring a SEO agency that has been in the game for a while will also provide you with the added advantage of not having to worry about them using any SEO techniques while working on your business website.

Hiring experienced SEO experts will ensure that your website climbs the search engine ranks without using any illegal practices or short cuts that could produce short term spikes in the website’s ranking, but eventually lead to your website having to pay penalties.

Access to Latest SEO Techniques

Needless to say the field of SEO is constantly evolving, which means that it is important for businesses to stay abreast on all the latest SEO techniques that can help them stay in the game. That being said, businesses usually have little or no time to keep up with the latest developments in SEO techniques. However, an agency providing SEO services is all about being proactive in keeping up-to-date with the latest search engine news and changes in SEO techniques.

Cutting-Edge Tools

Keeping in mind the last point, SEO agencies are fluent in navigating through a wide range of online marketing tools that helps increase the value of your marketing strategy. Whether it’s using web analytics for carrying out research or conversion tools that monitor and report the usage of important keywords, SEO agencies know how and where to get the information they need to save time and reduce your in-house cost.

Comprehensive SEO Knowledge

As mentioned earlier, SEO agencies are usually the most qualified in dealing with various verticals of online marketing, mainly due to the nature of their work. Therefore, an SEO agency is able to solve a multitude of problems which a business simply cannot handle by itself. An SEO agency can work together with a business to provide an added perspective, when it comes to understanding and developing marketing strategies for different sectors and various types of business websites.

Bottom Line

Lastly, search engines like Google realize all too well that websites that don’t add value to a searcher’s experience on the internet are not worth a mention in their index. Furthermore, in some cases Google might also decide to drop your website from the SERPs altogether if you’ve used spam to get a higher page ranking.

The two main goals of SEO agencies who develop marketing strategies to push your product or service online, is to make sure online content is interesting and no techniques have been used for obtaining your goals. So, are SEO agencies worth it? Absolutely!

10 Secrets to Hiring the Right SEO Company

Even if you are armed with an abundance of knowledge in SEO, you may still need the services of a professional SEO company. Having strong knowledge of SEO is hardly sufficient in some cases. Even if you are doing your best to attempt to obtain a good ranking for your website, you might still wind up wondering why your website is simply not doing well. For starters, you must understand that your website will have to be fully optimized in all elements. Not just that, but your website has to be maintained on a regular basis. SEO is a continuous process that includes a great deal of time and effort. To make things simpler, you will be better off utilizing the services of a competent SEO company to do the work for your website.

There are numerous SEO companies today, and there are a lot of trustworthy companies as well as unreliable ones. Thus, it is crucial that you select the perfect SEO Company. Here are 10 important points that you must keep in mind when selecting SEO services:

Site Evaluation Guide

Does the SEO firm offer you a site evaluation guide? A reliable SEO firm should have the ability to provide you with an extensive analysis of your site, regarding ranking and design structure. This can be done by performing a website audit. The result of this website audit will allow the SEO firm to offer you a proposal of how much work needs to be done to bring you to a certain level of ranking. They must be able to advise and troubleshoot all aspects related to performance, content, and design that might hinder the reading or indexing of your pages.

Tools in Figuring out Keywords

What tools does the SEO Agency use to look for keywords? Do they offer competitive analysis based on your chosen keywords? Understanding what methodology the SEO Agency utilizes for keyword evaluation or research is very important. It will be a great help if you perform your own due diligence using basic tools, such as conducting keyword research and analysis through the use of keyword planner in Google AdWords.

Backlinks to Website

Where will the SEO Company return links from? Backlinks are just as, if not more, vital in SEO than onsite optimization. The SEO Company should be able to obtain high-quality backlinks from reputable websites that are highly related to your niche. Ask your SEO Company what techniques they employ for gathering backlinks.

Cost Structure

A dependable SEO Company will not just give you a quote once they figure out how much work has to be included. Charging you high costs will not necessarily ensure you receive high quality services. It also doesn’t ensure that the rate being quoted is proportional and consistent with the services you anticipate the SEO Company will provide. A good SEO Agency should be able to give you a rundown of services to which the performance and price contract will be based upon.

The Timeline

Does your SEO Company provide you with a timeline? It is through hard work and correct planning that results can be attained on time. Some SEO Firms offer SEO plans that claim to put you in the very first page of search results in just a matter of 10 days. Realistically, however, no SEO Company can guarantee you the number 1 position in Google in as short as 10 days.

An SEO campaign will take 6-18 months to deliver the top outcomes you expect. Make sure you don’t give in to false pledges. Conversely, avoid SEO services that provide you with a time limit. A good SEO company knows that optimization is an ongoing process and they should be able to offer you regular maintenance, customer support and proper upgrading.

SEO Technique

What SEO strategy will your SEO Company use to raise your ranking? You should look out for companies that will utilize spam advertising methods to rank you on top in no time. If the strategy includes any form of dishonest practice, such as spamming or deceiving online search engines, then you should instantly turn away.

An excellent SEO company will certainly see to it that you will not be subjected to spam or misleading services. Keep in mind that if it is based on using deceitful strategies, your site might be taken out of Google’s indexing, which will certainly lead your site to being blacklisted. Knowing your SEO Company and doing your own research on how proper SEO is done is extremely vital in choosing the ideal firm.

Providing Targeted Traffic

Do they understand the distinction between plain traffic and targeted traffic? You will hire the services of an SEO Company mainly due to the fact that you need to attract traffic into your website. However, what you need is targeted traffic that gets you visitors who might be genuinely interested in purchasing your products or services. This is based on your desired keywords in order to generate leads.

You don’t want irrelevant traffic that comes to your website because of irrelevant keywords. Unqualified traffic only enhances your bounce rate (surfers that arrive on your page and immediately leave) and not your sales. The right SEO Company will create relevant content for your website and distribute it to relevant channels, social media and Press Releases (PR). This will potentially lead to natural backlinks that will enhance your overall ranking in the search engine.

Transparent Deliverables

A professional SEO Company should have a clear course of action to attain the desired results in a given time frame. They should be able to show the client what’s being completed for the first month and subsequent months. With this, you will be able to determine how much work is being done in relation to your costs, allowing you to determine your ROI. A clear outline of work in the proposal should be available at any time to show the extent of the campaign. This includes how much fresh and high quality relevant content they are going to publish on your website every week. How many distribution channels? What social media, article directories and websites are they going to use to distribute your content? How many PR submissions? And how many backlinks have been generated? These are the qualifying questions that need to be answered by a good SEO firm.

Reporting

A comprehensive report system should be provided to show the progress of the SEO campaign, as well as ranking status of the site. This reporting could be monthly or quarterly. The report should be clear and concise, using the right combination of graphics and texts. This will be the bench mark of how the firm is progressing towards your desired ranking status.

Performance Guarantee

Does the SEO Company offer some kind of guarantee, such as a percentage increase in traffic? Although there are a lot of factors involved in an SEO campaign, a professional SEO company will be able to give performance guarantees based on their years of experience and proven methodology.

These are the major considerations you need to look at when hiring an SEO Agency to make sure that you don’t pour your money down the drain. SEO is a vital marketing strategy to make your brand highly visible online to your target market and to grow your business. It is a time-consuming effort, but it has greater ROI in the long run when compared to other marketing options.

THE NEXT STEP IS YOURS.

Newman Ramirez is a Digital Marketing Consultant at Sakal Marketing Solutions, LLC.
At Sakal Marketing Solutions, we offer the best internet marketing and mobile marketing services to make your business grow by acting and deciding diligently and intelligently. We do the hard work to prosper your business because we love what we do and we care for you.
YOUR SUCCESS IS OUR BUSINESS.

What is SEO Anyway?

Both pay-per-click and SEO are targeted to get your website placed as close to the top of search engine results as possible. Marketing and SEO are different, yet very, very similar. SEO are considered as the main factors in enhancing the traffic of one’s website. The concepts of good SEO are hardly a secret. The people who least understands issues with URL structure and SEO are the very people who create them: web developers, programmers, and software developers.

Many long-time SEO’s are now looking at the big picture and working with usability analysts. Some SEO are scam artists. I find it interesting that so many newcomers are given the wrong impression that there is one almighty answer to doing well in search engines. SEO are specialized techniques used to optimize your web site, to be Search engine friendly and increase your chances of placing well in searches. But SEO can also be the most profitable methods of driving leads because any leads you receive from SEO are free leads.

There are a large number of companies that adopt a fast and unethical approach to SEO known as Black Hat SEO. They employ unethical techniques that are against search engine policies. The best results from SEO are rarely achieved overnight. Black hat SEO are the techniques used to fool the search engines in order to bring in more traffic to websites. Website owners who unknowingly utilize black hat techniques of SEO are more vulnerable to changes in search engine algorithms and faced being banned.

Most hardcover books on the subject of SEO are best viewed as a vehicle to help the beginner understand the process of search engine optimization. This is because the principles behind SEO are not easy. They are very informative and most webmasters are involved in SEO and using it. White hat and black hat SEO are two opposing views of how to do search engine optimization. In a nutshell, SEO are methods that aim to improve the position or rank of a website in the listings produced by search engines. The benefits of SEO are almost unlimited.

Watch out for SEO Tools and software that is outdated and totally useless. Always research before you buy any SEO software because the search engine Algorithms are constantly changing thereby improving their search technologies to provide the most relevant results for their users. SEO tools for Google, MSN and Yahoo are numerous. SEO tools for press release optimization were also launched by PRWeb at the end of June called SEO Wizard. Search engine optimization is not easy, but with the right SEO tools, your website promotion task just got a lot easier. Blogs are one of the best SEO tools around and some like WordPress are free. Google Sitemaps’ are a powerful SEO tools which you can get free by visiting my website.

MSN has launched a suite of SEO tools to go with their Pay Per Click product Adcenter. There are many SEO tools available on the internet, some are better then others, and some are not. Header tags, proper Keyword density, proper text formatting fonts, start text key-phrase as whole phrases, alt image tag text, links pointing to your site and each page and your domain name itself are some things to pay attention too. Many specialized SEO tools can help you determine the popularity and the competitiveness of your possible keywords and can help improve your search engine ranking particularly in Google.

Writing fresh content for SEO plays a large role in keeping visitors on a web site. Let’s talk unique web page content and SEO content strategy. Finding a good SEO content writer is easier than you think. Just run a Google search or checkout elance.com. What is good SEO Content? It is unique, quality information that your visitors can use and is helpful to them. RSS feeds are an invaluable tool in the SEO content toolbox. If you scrape SEO content and end up scraping a couple spam pages, you may get noticed even more because someone is investigating the other spam pages.

The primary factor that will determine whether your SEO content is “good enough” is the content provided by competing websites. You need unique content that nobody has in order for it to pass duplicate content filters. That’s why it is important to get your content articles indexed before you submit them to the search engines. I think nowadays though search engine algorithms can trace back the content and see who published it first, so at least make sure you publish it to your website or blog before submitting it to article directories.

To strengthen the theme of your web site, you need keyword rich SEO content. SEO content writing tips content writer’s main aim is to create a new written piece which is original, simple, informative and also to the point. Write specific targeted SEO content for the independent pages. Unique SEO content remains king. Showing your visitors you can really write unique, compelling content, your traffic will grow very fast. Earlier it was just content writing but now it is widely known as SEO content writing. However there are some strict rules enforced on SEO content. Once you have visitors, your SEO content should be converting them into customers. With effective SEO content on your website, half of your search engine rank optimization work is done.

Ethical search engine optimization is a must or you will get banned. It’s not if, it’s when. Search engine optimization was and still is fascinating to me. Search Engine Optimization is a crucial part in a websites success. The objective of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is to achieve high natural search engine placement for relevant keywords or keyword phrases. Hiring an ethical search engine optimization company to rank well in the natural results is essential to long term success.

Your white hat Search engine optimization (SEO) campaign will provide you with a long term increase in targeted traffic and qualified visitors to your Web Site. Visit my site often and add it to your favorites as I update you with the latest news and rumors in the search engine optimization industry everyday. The effects of bad search engine optimization are devastating and very depressing. Each website is unique in its own way and hence your (SEO) plans differ from website to website.

My site has some tips on how to perform search engine optimization (also know as SEO) on your website. I have a free, comprehensive guide to the practice of search engine optimization for those unfamiliar with the subject if you send me an email. There’s a lot of hype out there about search engine optimization (SEO) services. Some are good and some are bad. Read through Google’s terms of service as they have some information on their site about it.

Too often, visual design and SEO are perceived as a mutual sacrifice. Pay-per-click and SEO are targeted to get your website placed as close to the top of search engine results as possible. Pay-per-click cost money, but the clicks from SEO cost you nothing. SEO are considered as the main factors in enhancing the traffic of one’s website. Both, PPC and SEO are important. The truth is, the most rewarding part of SEO are often the slowest to reward. PR and SEO are based mostly on editorial credibility and relevance, not a direct payment for exposure.

SEO are specialized techniques used to optimize your web site, to be Search engine friendly and increase your chances of placing well in searches. There are a large number of companies that adopt a fast and unethical approach to SEO known as Black Hat SEO. The main components of on-page SEO are optimization of the title tag, the headline tag, the body text and the Meta tags. Companies interested in SEO are occasionally not very happy with how their website looks. Programmers with an understanding of SEO are in high demand. As a matter of fact, sites with excellent Search Engine Optimization are making giant leaps in rankings and getting a major boost in free traffic with Google’s new update.

Great web usability and SEO are wasted if folks who visit your web can’t tell that you are worthy of their trust. Those who specialize in SEO are in the unique position of understanding the web in a way that no traditional marketing agency can hope to. White hat and black hat SEO are two opposing views of how to do search engine optimization so if you use one, choose with great care. The second most important aspect for high SEO is the headers. Use H1, H2, H3, H4 headers.

Many of the techniques that can be used for SEO are banned by the various search engines. The benefits of SEO are almost unlimited. Bad techniques of SEO are a strict ‘NO’ – Like same color text as the background and Doorway pages can get your website banned. The five forces of SEO are relevant Keywords, unique Content, clean Code, relevant Links and proper use of Technology. Designing for users and designing for SEO are not mutually exclusive goals. There will be compromise. White hat SEO are techniques that follow precisely the rules and guidelines provided by search engines stand a better chance of receiving traffic and higher rankings than black hat techniques.

For this reason it is important to try to stay updated as far as new SEO are concerned. The off-page elements of website promotion and SEO are just as important. The majority of issues with SEO is very basic and just takes time to be picked up on search engines. Web design and SEO are two very different disciplines, but a certain degree of collaboration is required. It’s easy to see why effective SEO are now very much in demand. Black hat SEO is techniques used to trick or manipulate search engines for higher rankings.

If done properly, the results of your SEO efforts are very impressive. Those who practice what some refer to as “ethical” and “correct” SEO are called White Hat SEO’s. The most important for SEO is to follow the rules and you won’t have anything to worry about.