Stand for Small is a coalition of companies across multiple industries selected by American Express for their ability to provide support and resources for businesses nationwide during COVID-19. This includes everything from valuable marketing tools and delivery services to money-saving offers that help small businesses reduce operating costs, manage remote teams, and more.
As part of our partnership with American Express, Hurrdat is offering Local Search Fuel free for 90 days to help small businesses across the U.S. set up and manage local business listings that appear in search engines, map applications, and online business directories, such as Google, Apple Maps, Facebook, and Yelp.
Not only does Local Search Fuel provide a convenient dashboard where businesses can ensure their information is updated and accurate at all times, but it also offers a competitive edge in the digital marketing landscape. Small businesses have an opportunity to gain better visibility in search engine results that can help them compete more effectively with other companies in their area and reach new customers online.
“I know firsthand what it means to rely on a strong online presence. I’m thankful Hurrdat is able to provide assistance to other small businesses,” said Bill Hipsher, President of Hurrdat.
Getting started with Local Search Fuel is simple. Businesses are asked to fill out a form with important information—such as business name, address, phone number, website, and hours of operation—that’s then used by the search engine optimization (SEO) experts at Hurrdat to create and optimize local listings that will populate across search engines and online directories. This saves business owners time that can be better spent focusing on operations and customer needs.
“We developed Local Search Fuel with efficiency in mind,” said Meghan Trapp, Agency Director at Hurrdat. “That’s why it only takes about 15 minutes to sign up for our solution. It’s a simple online intake form where business owners provide contact information and basic business details. After that, we handle the rest so business owners can get back to doing what they do best.”
As much as you’d like to run and hide from another video call, it’s the foreseeable future for many of our work and social interactions. However, it’s possible to make video conferencing easier by trying out one of our automatic workflows (we call them Zaps).
To get started with a Zap template—what we call our pre-made workflows—just click on it, and we’ll guide you through setup. It only takes a couple of minutes. You can read more about setting up Zaps here.
Note: The video conferencing apps mentioned in the piece already have native integrations with certain apps. For this piece, we’ll be recommending workflows that either don’t already exist or take native integrations to the next level. You might notice that some of these Zaps don’t involve a video conferencing service, but can be used for the purpose of virtual meetings.
Set pre-call reminders
Fashionably late is acceptable at parties, but when it comes to video calls, it can be annoying for your coworkers. But even if a meeting is blocked off on the calendar, it can be easy to forget about an upcoming call if you’re busy with other things.
Instead of messaging late individuals, try a Zap to send video call information a few minutes before the planned start time.
If you find that you’re constantly reminding people to do regular pre-meeting tasks you can also automate a reminder in your team chat app.
Zapier’s content team gets this regular reminder in our Slack channel every week. Nicolas Cage not included.
And if you’re emailing a room link for the weekly family video call, these Zaps will also do the job. Just make sure the link to your personal Zoom meeting room (or video app of your choice) is in the email body.
Schedule your calls with minimal cat wrangling
It’s relatively easy to schedule calls with your team. Shared calendars allow you to view coworkers’ calendars and make sure you’re scheduling at a convenient time for everyone.
Unfortunately, the same luxury doesn’t exist when you’re scheduling calls with outside clients or even your own family members. Usually, there’s email, phone, or text tag involved, but scheduling apps like Calendly, YouCanBook.Me, or Doodle makes it easy to pick the best time for everyone.
Level up your coordination efforts with no extra work by setting up an automatic workflow to connect your favorite booking app to your video conferencing apps of choice.
Agendas sound boring but they are meeting lifesavers. They guide the scope of discussions and are helpful for teammates to review if they happen to miss that meeting. (You’re taking notes during your meetings, right?)
If you often forget to create an agenda, or you’re trying to build healthier meeting habits, use an automatic workflow to get the ball rolling. Instead of fumbling at the start of each meeting to open up and create a cloud document, these Zaps will create a new document for new video calls.
We all have those routine tasks that we have to do after a meeting. Update the project doc. Upload the call recording. Write a follow-up email to the client. Repetition leads to habits, but brain farts also happen and things can slip through the cracks.
For those days when you feel like your brain took a vacation, set up a Zap to connect your video conferencing app or calendar to a task manager like Todoist or Trello. Add a filter step—available on our paid plans—to make sure tasks are created after the appropriate meeting ends.
You can also set up an automatic workflow for follow-up tasks specific to client work. For example, if you send a call summary after every external meeting, you can have an email draft ready to go after the end of a video call.
It’s inevitable that someone may miss a meeting, which is why many video conferencing apps enable call recording. If you need to juggle running the meeting and assigning action items, it’s easy to forget to share the video recording once it’s uploaded.
This Zap will share your Zoom meeting recordings automatically so you never forget to keep someone in the loop.
We may not be able to fix that one colleague who never mutes at the right time, but automating some of the most annoying parts about video calls, it can ease some of the screen fatigue you might feel.
I’m a quiet person. My speaking voice is naturally soft, and it takes a concerted effort for me to speak louder. I’m also slow to warm up. I like to take time to get comfortable with folks I’m speaking with, but also to formulate my thoughts and opinions carefully—which means it can be difficult for me to provide thoughts or feedback on ideas off the cuff and in live conversation.
I’m also really smart (paint nails emoji), and my opinions are valuable. Out of necessity, I’ve learned to overcome the discomfort of speaking in large groups and providing quick answers, but it doesn’t come naturally, and it’s exhausting.
Instead, I’m able to do my best work when I have a venue where I can communicate in writing, often asynchronously.
Friday updates at Zapier
At Zapier, every employee has a weekly responsibility to create a Friday Update article on our internal main site. Our CEO, Wade, details the main functionality of these Friday Updates as, “The time to think through your prioritization. This will be your reflection time and your way of having public accountability to your top priority.”
He instructs: “At the beginning of your Friday Update, call out what you completed on your top priority this week and what your top priority will be next week. Don’t worry about the laundry list of tasks. This reinforces the wrong behavior. It’s not crossing twenty things off your to-do list. It’s about getting the most important thing done.”
Here’s an example of my top priority from one of my Friday Updates.
We have a Slack channel dedicated to a live feed of these articles, each entry showing the preview text of everyone’s top priority. It’s a quick way to see a weekly digest of what everyone in the company is working on, and it becomes a useful tool to facilitate transparency and collaboration and reduce areas of redundancy.
There’s also a secondary function of these articles, which I’ve found equally valuable: the “Unplugged” section. In each Friday Update, there’s the option to share what’s happening in your life outside of work, or to raise questions, thoughts, and discussion about ideas you’re thinking about. In a remote workplace with a large team, deep discussion and personal sharing can often be limited to one’s own team, and this opens that up to the company.
So what exactly do folks share? Here are some snippets from recent Friday Updates at Zapier:
From Erin Ozolins, Customer Champion, on pondering her career growth goals:
I want to be a developer, but I found myself afraid to say that out loud—if I don’t even understand for loops, how could I know that I want to do that as my job? But I feel driven to figure out how it all works. I want to be one of the people that puts the machine together and keeps it running.
From Marquis White, Learning and Development Specialist, reflecting on what he’s learned at Zapier in his first six months:
Balance is not about founding or making time, but prioritizing. Balancing work and life became one of my biggest, yet most familiar, struggles since becoming a full remote employee. It was hard to turn it off, stop, and have boundaries as the relationship between my house and I changed. I began founding myself saying, “I can’t, I have work,” or “Sorry I’m late, I’m at work” a lot more. I found it’s not about having time, but having priorities. Do I want to stay home from the gym because I have work to do or is my health important enough to get up and go? Priorities will create balance because what’s important to you will always win.
From Jane Davis, Head of UX Research and Content Design, on team dynamics:
The group is strong. It doesn’t need each of us to be strong at every moment. It doesn’t need us not to break. It just needs us to be there, with the group, and to bring what we can, whatever that is. That’s all I think we should be asking of ourselves and each other at this moment—be with us. Bring what you can. Take what you need. When you have a good day, help the group be strong. When you have a bad one, let the group be strong for you. Whatever kind of day or week or month you’re having, be with us.
From Fran Vieux, Customer Champion, on coming back to work after illness:
Being sick really sucks. It makes me feel like the weakest link of my team and overall kind of a useless person. I am working on not beating myself up about it (because what good does that do) but as someone who has never experienced this kind of long-term exhaustion that comes with something like this virus (which sticks around and ebbs and flows)…it is new and sometimes scary and mostly just…exhausting mentally and physically. I am blessed to have a company and team that has been so supportive and understanding that I am not quite 100% Fran yet….but am trying my best <3
How to implement Friday Updates at your company
If you’re looking for a tool to help build a positive remote workplace culture, instituting the Friday Update tradition can be a powerful step. Here are a few guidelines as you get started.
1. Be clear about expectations and rules
Do you want Friday Updates to be mandatory or optional? Including a Top Priority is the only essential part of a Friday Update here, and it’s completely up to the writer whether they want to include more in the Unplugged section. Whether or not it’s mandatory, allow employees to carve time out of their normal workday to write these.
If you don’t already have documented guidelines on what content is considered work-appropriate, take some time to lay this out. When you invite folks to share their personal lives, you want to also ensure that your work environment remains a safe and inclusive space for all.
2. Lead by example
Friday Updates should be provided by everyone, from executive leadership to someone who’s just started. It’s a chance to show that everyone’s voice matters at the company, but it’s also a way to enforce accountability and transparency.
3. Create a system to easily surface interesting articles
Our Friday Updates are articleed in a custom-built internal main siteging tool, but there are many other systems you can set up if you don’t want to build your own.
For example, you can have employees create their updates in a Google Doc, then set up a Zap (Zapier’s term for an automated workflow) that articles new Google Docs to a Slack channel.
Or, if you use Confluence, you can share articles there and have those feed to a chat channel, email, or other form of communication.
We’ve also got a “best of” Slack feed. Whenever anyone reacts to a article in the main Slack feed with a chili pepper, it’s sent to the “best of” channel. This is a great way to surface articles that explore exciting or interesting ideas that may not be visible from the article’s preview.
Whether you’re quiet and prefer written communication like me, or you’re the life of the party in social situations, a remote work environment requires intentional practices to build relationships. Friday Updates can be an important part of the process.
SEO has become more important than ever, but it isn’t all meta tags and content. A huge part of the success you’ll see is tied up in the inevitable business negotiations. In this helpful Whiteboard Friday from August of 2018, our resident expert Britney Muller walks us through a bevy of smart tips and considerations that will strengthen your SEO negotiation skills, whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie to the practice.
Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab!
Hey, Moz fans. Welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. So today we are going over all things SEO negotiation, so starting to get into some of the business side of SEO. As most of you know, negotiation is all about leverage.
It’s what you have to offer and what the other side is looking to gain and leveraging that throughout the process. So something that you can go in and confidently talk about as SEOs is the fact that SEO has around 20X more opportunity than both mobile and desktop PPC combined.
This is a really, really big deal. It’s something that you can showcase. These are the stats to back it up. We will also link to the research to this down below. Good to kind of have that in your back pocket. Aside from this, you will obviously have your audit. So potential client, you’re looking to get this deal.
Get the most out of the SEO audit
☑ Highlight the opportunities, not the screw-ups
You’re going to do an audit, and something that I have always suggested is that instead of highlighting the things that the potential client is doing wrong, or screwed up, is to really highlight those opportunities. Start to get them excited about what it is that their site is capable of and that you could help them with. I think that sheds a really positive light and moves you in the right direction.
☑ Explain their competitive advantage
I think this is really interesting in many spaces where you can sort of say, “Okay, your competitors are here, and you’re currently here and this is why,”and to show them proof. That makes them feel as though you have a strong understanding of the landscape and can sort of help them get there.
☑ Emphasize quick wins
I almost didn’t put this in here because I think quick wins is sort of a sketchy term. Essentially, you really do want to showcase what it is you can do quickly, but you want to…
☑ Under-promise, over-deliver
You don’t want to lose trust or credibility with a potential client by overpromising something that you can’t deliver. Get off to the right start. Under-promise, over-deliver.
Smart negotiation tactics
☑ Do your research
Know everything you can about this clientPerhaps what deals they’ve done in the past, what agencies they’ve worked with. You can get all sorts of knowledge about that before going into negotiation that will really help you.
☑ Prioritize your terms
So all too often, people go into a negotiation thinking me, me, me, me, when really you also need to be thinking about, “Well, what am I willing to lose?What can I give up to reach a point that we can both agree on?” Really important to think about as you go in.
This is a very old, funny negotiation tactic where when the other side counters, you flinch. You do this like flinch, and you go, “Oh, is that the best you can do?” It’s super silly. It might be used against you, in which case you can just say, “Nice flinch.” But it does tend to help you get better deals.
So take that with a grain of salt. But I look forward to your feedback down below. It’s so funny.
☑ Use the words “fair” and “comfortable”
The words “fair” and “comfortable” do really well in negotiations. These words are inarguable. You can’t argue with fair. “I want to do what is comfortable for us both. I want us both to reach terms that are fair.”
You want to use these terms to put the other side at ease and to also help bridge that gap where you can come out with a win-win situation.
☑ Never be the key decision maker
I see this all too often when people go off on their own, and instantly on their business cards and in their head and email they’re the CEO.
They are this. You don’t have to be that, and you sort of lose leverage when you are. When I owned my agency for six years, I enjoyed not being CEO. I liked having a board of directors that I could reach out to during a negotiation and not being the sole decision maker. Even if you feel that you are the sole decision maker, I know that there are people that care about you and that are looking out for your business that you could contact as sort of a business mentor, and you could use that in negotiation. You can use that to help you. Something to think about.
Tips for negotiation newbies
So for the newbies, a lot of you are probably like, “I can never go on my own. I can never do these things.” I’m from northern Minnesota. I have been super awkward about discussing money my whole life for any sort of business deal. If I could do it, I promise any one of you watching this can do it.
☑ Power pose!
I’m not kidding, promise. Some tips that I learned, when I had my agency, was to power pose before negotiations. So there’s a great TED talk on this that we can link to down below. I do this before most of my big speaking gigs, thanks to Mike Ramsey who told me to do this at SMX Advanced 3 years ago.
Go ahead and power pose. Feel good. Feel confident. Amp yourself up.
☑ Walk the walk
You’ve got to when it comes to some of these things and to just feel comfortable in that space.
☑ Good > perfect
Know that good is better than perfect. A lot of us are perfectionists, and we just have to execute good. Trying to be perfect will kill us all.
☑ Screw imposter syndrome
Many of the speakers that I go on different conference circuits with all struggle with this. It’s totally normal, but it’s good to acknowledge that it’s so silly. So to try to take that silly voice out of your head and start to feel good about the things that you are able to offer.
Take inspiration where you can find it
I highly suggest you check out Brian Tracy’s old-school negotiation podcasts. He has some old videos. They’re so good. But he talks about leverage all the time and has two really great examples that I love so much. One being jade merchants. So these jade merchants that would take out pieces of jade and they would watch people’s reactions piece by piece that they brought out.
So they knew what piece interested this person the most, and that would be the higher price. It was brilliant. Then the time constraints is he has an example of people doing business deals in China. When they landed, the Chinese would greet them and say, “Oh, can I see your return flight ticket? I just want to know when you’re leaving.”
They would not make a deal until that last second. The more you know about some of these leverage tactics, the more you can be aware of them if they were to be used against you or if you were to leverage something like that. Super interesting stuff.
Take the time to get to know their business
☑ Tie in ROI
Lastly, just really take the time to get to know someone’s business. It just shows that you care, and you’re able to prioritize what it is that you can deliver based on where they make the most money off of the products or services that they offer. That helps you tie in the ROI of the things that you can accomplish.
☑ Know the order of products/services that make them the most money
One real quick example was my previous company. We worked with plastic surgeons, and we really worked hard to understand that funnel of how people decide to get any sort of elective procedure. It came down to two things.
It was before and after photos and price. So we knew that we could optimize for those two things and do very well in their space. So showing that you care, going the extra mile, sort of tying all of these things together, I really hope this helps. I look forward to the feedback down below. I know this was a little bit different Whiteboard Friday, but I thought it would be a fun topic to cover.
So thank you so much for joining me on this edition of Whiteboard Friday. I will see you all soon. Bye.
Scoop up more SEO insights at MozCon Virtual this July
Don’t miss exclusive data, tips, workflows, and advice from Britney and our other fantastic speakers at this year’s MozCon Virtual! Chock full of the SEO industry’s top thought leadership, for the first time ever MozCon will be completely remote-friendly. It’s like 20+ of your favorite Whiteboard Fridays on vitamins and doubled in size, plus interactive Q&A, virtual networking, and full access to the video bundle:
Estonia, a country in northern Europe, has one of the highest internet access and usage rates in the world. 88 percent of the country’s population uses the internet, and internet access is legally considered a human right. It’s no surprise, then, that one of the world’s top customer relationship management (CRM) apps, Pipedrive, was finded and is headquartered in Estonia.
One of the most popular CRMs available, Pipedrive prides itself on being an app built for dealmakers. With Pipedrive, you can keep your leads organized and close deals in less time—so you can focus more on selling, not manual data entry. And with its iOS and Android apps, you can take your pipeline anywhere.
The CRM offers all the features businesses need in a CRM and everything is built around activity-based selling. You can track calls, emails, and contact history exactly where you need to, so you have full visibility into every sales touchpoint. This all-in-one-place tracking makes it easier to manage your schedule, especially when combined with features like activity reminders.
Pipedrive’s visual sales pipeline prompts you to take action, stay organized, and manage what can often be a complex sales process. You can enter, update, and find all data in one view, as well as enter new deals and contacts through either the desktop or mobile app. Plus, you can drag-and-drop deals between stages, so your pipeline stays accurate.
The CRM also offers in-depth sales analytics that you can customize to your particular business. You can take a deep dive into your team’s performance and measure it against your set goals.
Pipedrive is a workhorse CRM suitable for many types of businesses. Together with your other apps, Pipedrive can help you manage the sales cycle from end to end without doing extra manual work.
You can automate your customer relationship management with Zapier’s Pipedrive integrations. Here are a few popular Pipedrive automations to get you started.
New to Zapier? It’s a tool that helps anyone connect apps and automate workflows—without any complicated code. Sign up for free to use Pipedrive with Zapier.
Conference season is here! Of course, this year it looks a bit different. Instead of signing in at the front table and snagging seats next to some new pals, you’ll be setting up your computer as the main stage.
For some, this is going to be a major learning curve. Virtual events can be tougher to follow and engage with. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of best practices to show up ready and take on any online event you choose to attend this year.
Don’t forget, if you haven’t yet, there is still time to purchase your MozCon Virtual ticket!
To get the most out of your online event, you need to go in with an intention. That way you’ll be more likely to gain something from the experience.
Ask yourself, what are you hoping to achieve? Some examples could be:
Gain a business opportunity
Learn more about how to recover from the latest algorithm update
Find ways to increase efficiency within your SEO processes
Feel more confident selling your services
Many events will provide you with schedules ahead of time — look at them! (Pssst…if you haven’t yet, now is the perfect time to check out the agenda for MozCon Virtual.)
These schedules can help you go into the conference with a clear idea of how you’re going to spend your time. Going in with a plan will allow you to focus on the content of the event and your intentions each day, as opposed to wasting time frantically trying to decide what sessions you’re going to attend.
Choosing your sessions
Once you know what your intentions are and you have the event schedule, determine what will be the most beneficial content for you. This can be especially helpful when the event has multiple tracks, very few break times, etc.
Choosing your sessions may come down to a process of elimination, and it’s much easier to eliminate sessions when you have some sort of goal in mind.
Things to consider when choosing your sessions are:
The availability of on-demand videos post-conference
Your intention may be to broaden your horizons this year, so instead of opting to see presentations with the same topics or speakers that you saw last year, you may see someone new discussing something you find interesting but haven’t had time to explore. You may have a tight schedule and not be able to make anything past 3pm. If some of the sessions will be available after the conference, it may be worth checking out topics you wouldn’t have otherwise.
Know when to take a break
When you’re planning out your schedule, you need to make sure you build in time for breaks. This means time to eat, time to decompress, time to refill your coffee cup, and time to do work or home stuff.
Conferences usually have a lot of breaks and that’s for good reason. Ideally, you’re going to be learning a lot. But if you try to learn it all at once without giving your brain a break, very little of it will stick.
So, be sure to listen to your body. If you start to feel foggy or overwhelmed, take a break, grab some water, and move around a bit.
Build in networking time
Something else you want to account for when planning your virtual event agenda is when you’re going to network. Some conferences will have time to network built in, but others won’t.
You’ll want to dedicate time to get to know the other attendees by joining conversations and adding people on social media. This will look a bit different in the virtual space, as you won’t be meeting for coffee or chatting in the lobby, but try to stay creative! Zoom chats and video calls are a great way to connect with new or old friends.
At the end of each day, take some time to reflect. Think back to what your intention was, what you did throughout the day to fulfill that intention, and what you can put into action moving forward.
This is a great exercise to ensure you’re making the most out of the event. Far too often, we take in all of the information and do nothing with it! That’s why we like to suggest creating at least three action items at the end of each day.
Gather the essentials
Okay, it’s the first day of the conference and you’re about to jump in front of the computer. BUT! Before you do that, you need to make sure you have everything you need to be successful.
Get a clean notebook or start a fresh doc
Having a clean slate for notes will help you stay focused while attending any conference (virtual or otherwise). So grab a new, crisp notebook or create a new document file on your computer before you get started.
If you decide to go the computer route, be sure you close all other tabs and turn off notifications! You want to be sure that your attention stays on the conference.
Taking notes during a virtual conference
With that new notebook or document of yours, you’ll want to take the most effective notes possible. With that in mind, here are a few things to take note of:
What you learned
How can you apply it
What can you share with your team
To ensure that you’re on track to capture each of these things, when you go into each session, write your intention for the session at the top of your notes page. Then, divide your pages by “what I learned,” “how to apply,” and “what to share.” This will keep your notes nice and organized and give you a visual cue on whether or not you’re getting what you expected out of the session. It will also make your end-of-day recap much easier.
When it comes to virtual events, one of the biggest benefits is that you often get the slide decks and video bundles afterward. We suggest finding out whether the event you’re attending offers those things before you start taking notes, as it may lighten your note-taking burden a bit.
Have some snacks, water, and coffee (or tea)
Perhaps the most important things to have during a virtual conference are the snacks and drinks! As you know, at MozCon, we take this part very seriously, so we expect nothing less if you attend our virtual event.
Brain food can help you stay focused. Some of our favorite snacks are granola bars, nuts, veggies, and of course, donuts. However, you have full control over the spread this year.
Be sure to also have plenty of water and your favorite caffeinated beverage as well!
You’re ready to go! All that’s left is showing up. With virtual events, this can be hard to do. Especially if you know that the content is going to be available after the event is over. But there is so much to be gained by being a part of the live event and the conversations happening around it.
So show up, and show out!
PS: If you’re looking for a virtual event to attend this year, Roger is still hoping to give you a virtual hug at MozCon Virtual 2020.
Microsoft To Do checks the most important boxes for a to-do list app. It has granular task management, scheduled tasks with reminders, the ability to break tasks into multiple lists and subtasks, and access to your tasks and the interface on mobile or at your computer.
It owes quite a few of its features—the minimalist UI, ease of use, and general flexibility —to the now-retired Wunderlist. Microsoft acquired Wunderlist in 2015, and began work on the app that became Microsoft To Do. Wunderlist was shut down for good in May 2020.
A good to-do list takes you only so far, however. If you’re spending too much time copying or retyping items from your email or team chat into Microsoft To Do, Zapier can help. Use Zapier’s automated workflows to connect Microsoft To Do with your other apps and cut out the manual work involved in staying on top of your tasks.
You’ll need a Zapier account to set up these workflows, which we call Zaps. It’s free to sign up.
Next-level integration with other Microsoft apps
There are some native integrations between Microsoft To Do and other Microsoft apps. If you’re finding the things you’d like to do aren’t built-in, setting up Zaps—our word for the automated workflows you create with Zapier—can help you take control of your to-do list.
From porting Microsoft To Do tasks to Microsoft OneNote to creating or updating tasks in Microsoft To Do when a Microsoft 365 file is updated, Zapier brings more utility to Microsoft To Do when it’s used alongside other Microsoft apps.
You can also use Zapier to build your own custom workflow between Microsoft apps, like Excel or Office 365. On these pages, you’ll want to use the drop-down menus to select the trigger—the event that kicks off your workflow—and the action you want to have happen automatically, then click the blue button to connect the apps.
Keep your team focused and productive
There are a wide variety of project management tools that teams use to collaborate or to maximize their productivity.
Project management apps — like Trello, Asana, and Wrike — can be more powerful than you need from a to-do list tool. For this reason, you may find yourself using an app like Microsoft To Do separate from your team’s project management tool to stay on top of your own tasks.
Zapier can help you connect those tools and create a system that supports team-level and individual-level work. You can set up Zaps that let you turn your duties on team projects into tasks in Microsoft To Do to ensure your contributions to a team project never fall through the cracks.
Team communication and collaboration
Communication is crucial for collaboration and team productivity. On its own, Microsoft To Do isn’t a very strong team communication and collaboration tool. However, you can use Zaps to integrate Microsoft To Do with a designated team communication platform like Slack.
Manage your schedule and calendar
Although you can assign due dates and reminders to your tasks, Microsoft To Do isn’t the best tool for actually managing your schedule, at least not on its own.
Instead of relying on Microsoft To Do to manage your schedule, let Zapier ensure your Microsoft To Do tasks are added to your calendar by automating with your preferred schedule management tool.
This works the other way too: Use Zaps to add tasks to Microsoft To Do when an event is created or changed in your schedule.
Supercharge your sales process
With Zapier, you can boost your customer service and sales support skills by connecting those customer-oriented platforms with the tool you use to organize your personal work.
Most sales teams invest a ton of time and energy into warming leads. With Zapier, you can set up new tasks to be created in Microsoft To Do whenever a new Lead is added to your customer relationship management (CRM) program. This is a great way to capitalize on a prospective customer becoming interested in your product or service.
Lost deals usually mean another hands-on process. Fortunately, there are Zaps that you can use with Microsoft To Do to minimize lost deals and sales. One example is to create new tasks in Microsoft To Do when a deal progresses to a certain stage in the process (or meets some other criteria).
Let automation boost your productivity
Like other to-do list apps, Microsoft To Do is great for what it does, but has its limitations. Zapier helps flip the script and expand its capabilities.
Whether you’re looking for better integration with other Microsoft apps, to boost your customer support capabilities, or for a way to bridge the gap between personal task management and team communication, there are a variety of useful Zap templates with which to get more from Microsoft To Do.
But what if you don’t have the time to go through a 21-part training series? Or what if my SEO tool doesn’t give you the step-by-step instructions you need?
What other options do you have?
Well, today I thought I would make your life easier by sharing 21 of my own SEO and content marketing worksheets and templates to help you get higher rankings in less time and, best of all, with less effort.
Let’s start off with the basics.
In marketing, we all use terms that might be a bit confusing.
What’s cool about this template is that it breaks down the percentage of impact each element will have when it comes to your SEO.
The easiest way to find keywords is to use tools like Ubersuggest.
Just type in a keyword…
You’ll see a report that looks like this…
Then click on “Keyword Ideas” in the left-hand navigation.
But as you go through the list of thousands of thousands of keywords, how do you know which ones are valuable?
Sure, in general, if a keyword has a high “volume” it means it is searched a lot, which is good. And if it has a high “CPC” it means that advertisers are willing to spend a lot to advertise on that keyword, which again is good because it typically means that the keyword drives qualified traffic that causes purchases.
And if a keyword has a low SD (SEO difficulty) that’s great as well because it means the keyword is easier to rank for.
When looking for keywords, ideally you want ones that meet all 3 of those requirements.
But just because a keyword doesn’t meet all of those 3 requirements doesn’t mean that it isn’t good for you and your strategy.
There’s actually a lot of hidden gems out there that don’t meet all of those requirements because marketers don’t know they are lucrative.
Now, I want you to go back to Ubersuggest to perform a keyword search and look for keywords that contain some of the phrases within my profitable keyword cheat sheet. Those are keywords you’ll want to target.
Seriously, just spend 5 to 10 minutes hunting for keywords. Perform at least 10 searches and you’ll find some gold.
As you are doing the keyword research, you’ll find that it may be difficult to remember and keep track of all the amazing keywords you are finding, which leads me to the Ubersuggest keyword planner spreadsheet.
You can use it to keep track of the keywords you want to focus on first, second, third…
Trust me, it will make your life simpler.
There are over 200 factors in Google’s algorithm.
But let’s face it, you aren’t going to optimize for each of them because it takes too much time.
And even if you have the time, where do you start, and which ones do you fix first?
And if you click on any of the error boxes, it will break down what to fix in order.
You can then click through and get details for each SEO error.
And although I highly recommend that you fix your errors in the above report (it’s a great way to boost your rankings), you don’t want to just keep playing defense.
You want to start playing offense with your marketing and make sure that you are doing things right as you release new pages or make changes to your website.
So I’ve created an SEO factors cheat sheet that breaks down important factors that you need to think about when creating new pages on your site.
It’s great to pass along to your team members and your content writers as well (and even your developers!) so you can make sure that everyone is on the same page.
And don’t worry, it doesn’t break down all 200 factors as that would be too overwhelming… it focuses on the important ones that you need to get right from day 1.
But if your team does want something more detailed, I’ve also created a thorough SEO checklist that is 20 pages long.
Anytime my team is doing major changes like a redesign or change our site structure, I make sure that they go through that checklist as it helps ensure we at least maintain our rankings if not increase them.
Supercharging your content
Content marketing is a key ingredient to more search traffic.
But these days, there is so much content on the web. How do you make sure that your content stands out and ranks?
But of course, you probably don’t have the time, resources, or team to do the custom research we did.
So how do you create content that contains data, amazing insights, and research that people love? Well, I’ve created a data sources document that you can use to easily find all of the information I just mentioned.
It will break down sites that contain unique data, charts, and research that you can cite within your content so you can naturally build more backlinks like me.
And on top of that, if you really want to supercharge your content and make sure that it not only drives traffic but more importantly sales, here are a few more templates and worksheets I’ve created for you:
WHIPS – the WHIPS template breaks down the cycles people go through before they purchase. Such as someone could be a window shopper, in which they are interested in purchasing something, but maybe not from you. Or they may know that they have a problem and are just looking for the right solution. No matter what situation your potential customers are in, the WHIPS template breaks down each of them so you can create the appropriate content that fits their needs.
20/20 Rulebook – whether it is you who writes your own content or if you have writers, have them follow the 20/20 Rulebook. It breaks down the 20 rules that your content needs to follow if you want it to do well. Now in many cases, you won’t follow all of them, but your goal is to get as close to 20 as possible.
Content creation template – if you want my framework to write blockbuster blog posts, follow the content creation template. It’s a 20-page process, but once you use it a few times you’ll quickly get the hang of it and find that it’s easy to remember. And I’ve found that when people use it to write 6 blog posts, by the 7th they don’t even need to look at it because they know the steps by heart.
I know my content has grammatical and spelling errors every once in a while, but my content does well.
One of the reasons is I follow the templates and worksheets that I’ve mentioned above.
But it is because I put a lot of emphasis on editing.
See, once you write content, let it sit for a day. It will give you time to think about how it can be made better.
And the next day, you’ll want to go in and edit it.
Don’t worry, editing doesn’t have to take a lot of time… I’ve broken down our editing hacks into 3 worksheets:
10 Commandments – this worksheet breaks down the 10 things to look for when editing. If you are short on time, start with this worksheet because you can typically get your editing done in less than 30 minutes by following the steps.
Editing checklist – and if you have someone dedicated to editing on your team, have them complete this checklist each time they edit any content.
Step-by-step editing guide – for those of you who really want to master editing, here is a 27-page guide that breaks down each step of the editing process. I’ll be honest with you, it is a bit overkill, but it is great if you have someone dedicated to just editing.
You may find the editing process a bit overwhelming, and if that is the case, stick with the checklist or the 10 commandments.
Whoever says editing is the last step of content marketing is lying.
Going the extra mile by fine-tuning little things and making those small tweaks is what can help your content go viral.
Look, no matter how good of a marketer one might be, you will make mistakes. Even if you make very few, there is always room for improvement.
If you have already published hundreds (if not thousands of blog posts), don’t worry. You can tweak them still.
So, lets fine-tune your content to get that extra traffic.
Every little bit adds up, right?
It’s how I grew my SEO traffic to over 4 million visits a month:
Headline formula – as David Ogilvy once said, you spend 80 cents on the dollar in the headline. And it’s true, 8 out of 10 people will only read your headline, but only 2 people will click through and read the rest of your copy. So follow this headline formula swipe file to create amazing headlines.
Constructive criticism – having the attitude that you can always get better will help you beat your competition. The moment you think you know it all is the moment you lose. This worksheet will teach you how to critique your own content without being biased. I love using it to critique my competitions’ articles as it helps me better understand how to beat them.
WordPress SEO cheat sheet – you’re probably using WordPress like me. And if you are, fine-tune your blog with this cheat sheet. It’s an Excel file, but you can use Google Sheets to open it up.
Don’t forget to build links
Link building sucks. But if you don’t build links, you won’t rank well.
I wish there was another way… but there isn’t. 🙁
As you are building links you may be wondering, am I building the right links or the wrong links?
Are my existing links good? Do I need to disavow any of them?
It will help you keep track of your links, which ones are good or bad, and what you need to fix so that you can reduce your risk of a Google penalty.
Once you download the link building scorecard, you’ll also want to download these two worksheets:
Link building search operators – this worksheet teaches you how to use advanced search parameters within Google to find new link building opportunities. It is simple yet very effective.
Outreach templates – once you find link opportunities, you’ll have to send outreach emails to convince sites to link to you. Here’s my outreach template. It contains 24 pages of outreach emails that you can use to build more links.
I know I’ve given you a lot of templates, worksheets, and cheat sheets, but you don’t have to use them all.
Use the ones you need and just save the rest for later. It will make your life easier, helping you get results faster and in less time.