Wednesday, October 31, 2012

SEO For Restaurants

As much as Americans hate to admit the fact, popularity is a fundamental building block to success- especially in the restaurant business. Google, Yahoo, Bing, and countless other online search engines provide consumers with infinite pages after pages of results for any phrase or keyword they search for. When using an online search engine, people tend to visit the websites listed at the top of the page; these are the sites they perceive as the most popular in regards to relevance to their query. These rankings are a result of SEO, or search engine optimization. SEO is a technique that helps search engines find and rank a website higher than the millions of other sites relevant to a search. Therefore, SEO assists in creating popularity for a website by providing online traffic to that site through search engines.

Restaurants should become familiar with the SEO process in order to enhance their online status, which will subsequently enhance their primetime reservations. There are several ways a restaurant owner can conquer the SEO process and earn a spot among the hierarchy on the coveted first page of search results.

First and foremost, a restaurant's website should always incorporate important and relevant keywords in various places. outlines numerous essential areas where keywords should be placed including: page titles, URLs, headings, and tags. Although keywords are crucial, always try to avoid overusing them; any magnified keyword density (10 percent and over) can result in banning your website from search engines.

Links are another way to SEO your restaurant's website. Building links to your site shows people that it has a significant online presence. Search engines look for how many websites link directly to your site; they view these links like votes or recommendations. If another site links to your site that means it likes you and your website must be important.

A website's content is also taken into consideration. Having more unique content is a boost for your restaurant's website. Make certain you update your content regularly; steady new content is great, it shows your restaurant is moving forward. Furthermore, bold, italics, and font size are ways to emphasis the importance of keywords and phrases; but, do not overuse these features.

Most restaurants like to include fancy coding and a variety of pictures and videos showcasing the menu and specials. However, JavaScript, Images, and Videos make no difference in SEO ratings because they do not involve text. If your JavaScript code is confusing, websites like Google cannot make sense of it. Images and video also cannot be read. This does not mean do not have any pictures or videos whatsoever. Just always make sure you include ample amounts of text on your restaurant's website.

Mastering these three online aspects will ultimately lead to mastering Search Engine Optimization. It may be tricky at first, but it doesn't take long to learn. Knowledge of SEO will guide restaurant owners to prime placement on search engine pages; which will, consequently raise their restaurants nightly reservations.

The Necessity of Professional Cover Letters

Many job seekers stress over cover letters more than they do their own resumes. It may surprise some, besides cover letters are typically a one-page preface to your intricately prepared resume. But, the truth is, that your resume may look dull without a good cover letter to introduce it. Cover letters are the first impression of you to HR managers and set the tone for how your resume will be received. You can have a perfect resume, but if the preceding letter is not well done, then your resume will not get the type of attention it deserves. Everyone looking for a job should have a professional letter and resume in order to find the career that's right for them.

When you first enter the job market (most of us at around 21 years of age) don't know how important cover letters are for you, much less how to write one that sells you. Many people are not aware of the benefits that a simple, well-crafted introductory letter to a prospective employer can have. It introduces you to your prospective employer, but also gives a glimpse of your personality.

Just a few weeks into your job search, you will realize that a well-crafted cover letter is not an option, it's a necessity. Through the support of a professional resume writer, you can finally have the letter that sells your individual personality and traits. If you already have a letter you're using, it could always use another eye on it in order to see where you can make changes or additions. You want to sell yourself in your cover letter, your resume speaks to what type of experience and qualifications you have, that's why it's important to have a cover letter that sets you apart.

But, just having one is usually not enough. After a few weeks or months of unanswered applications and fruitless job searches, you begin to come to a final conclusion. The letter you use to precede your resume needs to be specific to the position you're applying for.

When you, or your professional writer, drafts your first letter, the primary focus is on presentation and the format. How long should the cover letter be? Where to assign the date? What type of font is right for my cover letter? But, throughout you want to focus on one thing - quality content. If your cover letter is full of buzz words or just inane babble, then it's not worth the paper it's printed on.

It's always important to remember, before you start writing, that content is king. It's fairly easy to lose sight of what's important and lose focus instead of paying attention to what's important. That doesn't mean that there are not guidelines to follow, but your professional writer can help you deal with the details. You will also want to ensure that you address specific qualifications required by the position description in your letter.

You do not want to have spelling or grammatical errors in your letter or resume. That's an instant turn off to any prospective employer. Once you have finished with your document, have a friend or colleague read over the content. A second set of eyes will help to ensure that you do not have typos in your letter.

Remember that the main point of your cover letter is to get noticed and sell yourself.

Erin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CPRW, BS/HR, is a Certified Professional & Executive Resume Writer/Career Consultant and President of Professional Resume Services, Inc. She is a nationally published writer and contributor of 12 best-selling career books. She has achieved international recognition following yearly nominations and wins of the prestigious T.O.R.I. (Toast of the Resume Industry) Award. Erin has written thousands of resumes for executives and professionals.

Three Great Box Sets Available From HMV

A great gift for a friend or relative on a special occasion, DVD box sets usually feature a collection of films or an entire TV series in one package. Unlike a standard DVD, DVD box sets will sometimes feature fantastic extras - such as extra discs containing bonus material, or some other kind of valuable collectable.

HMV sells a huge range of DVDs and Blu-rays. But which are the best available from HMV?

Here are just three of the best box sets featured on the HMV website:

Curb Your Enthusiasm - Series 8: A hugely popular HBO show, Curb Your Enthusiasm follows Seinfeld co-creator, Larry David (who plays an exaggerated version of himself) as he continues on with his career after the show.

Following the Seinfeld reunion in the series seven finale, this series sees Larry continue to get himself into incredibly awkward situations to brilliant effect, as he moves from L.A. back to his hometown, New York.

Featuring guest appearances from the likes of Michael J. Fox (Back to the Future) and Ricky Gervais (Extras), series eight - which can be purchased from HMV - is often outlandish, sometimes controversial, but always provides a huge amount of laughs.

Curb Your Enthusiasm series one to eight can be purchased either individually or as a big box set from the HMV website.

The Wire - Season 1: Regarded by many as the best piece of television of all time, it would be fair to say that The Wire is held in incredibly high esteem.

Available from HMV as an individual season or in a complete box set, The Wire is a gritty drama that focuses heavily on the various facets of the city of Baltimore.

Each season focuses on a particular area; this first season focuses on the illegal drugs trade in the city, following the organisation dealing the drugs and the law enforcers investigating them. Thrillingly immersive and full of fantastic story writing, The Wire is a show that just shouldn't be missed.

Starring renowned British actors Dominic West (Detective Jimmy McNulty) and Idris Elba (Stringer Bell), season one - available from HMV - certainly isn't short of excellent performances either.

Lost - Complete Season 1/2/3/4/5/6 Box Set: A show that delighted and frustrated its viewers in equal amount, Lost has been viewed by many as one of the best TV shows of the last decade.

The series follows the survivors of a plane crash, Oceanic 815, on a mysterious island. Featuring no shortage of shocking twists and turns, Lost is the kind of show that is sure to get your attention and keep it for the duration of each 43 minute episode.

Truth About Forex Millionaires

Many people on the Internet these days are on the quest searching for forex millionaires. Other people just think that it is not possible to make millions trading forex market. So where is the truth?

The truth is that there are real forex millionaires in this world. Just one example for all: George Soros. He made not millions but billions on forex market back in 1992. Here is his story:

His career began since the establishment of the Quantum Fund in 1969 on Curacao. During the time of its existence, Quantum Fund conducted a large number of profitable speculative operations at Forex currency market. Just one example: on the spot market in 1996 only, the Quantum Fund received the profit equal to the annual income of McDonald's Corporation. But, the most money-making deal of George Soros is considered to be the currency speculations at the British pound sterling back in 1992, which within one month netted a profit of USD 2 billion. Thanks to such great success and the facts, by which it was caused by, George Soros soon got the reputation of "the man who broke the Bank of England."

But there are also ordinary people these days who can make millions on Forex market.

Good news is that even you can become one of them. But it takes a little time. Yes, there are some forex contest winners who turned 10 thousands into 100 thousand or million in a month or so, but that has nothing to do with real forex trading. They were just lucky, overtrading their demo account, risking all capital in one trade and so on. If they continue like that they would blow their account up very soon. Other question is: would they trade like that with real money or they own money? I do not think so.

There are no shortcuts, there is no holy grail, there are no magic indicators to make you millionaire in a speed of light, but if you employ a sound strategy, great money management, discipline, power of compounding and patience, you can turn even a very small amount of money (like couple of hundreds) to one million or more within 10 years. Or even sooner if you have bigger starting capital.

You do not even need to know how to trade forex market yourself. There is a simple way for you. You can simply auto copy forex trades of experienced traders. Their trades can automatically copy on your broker account and you will be just sitting and watching your account grow.

Why Do Sales Proposals Leave Buyers Naked?

The Naked Buyer

Typical sales proposals fail to provide buyers with the basic undergarments in terms of the justification required for the buying decision. That increases the risk of a stalled deal, even a lost sale.

The problem is that as sellers we have been slow to realize that the role of our sales pitches and proposals goes well beyond selling our solution. They must also help the buyer to get the purchase, or project sanctioned.

With this in mind here is the real test of the powerful sales proposal: can the buyer use it to get the purchase approved? More to the point, can he, or she present it directly to his, or her senior management colleagues to justify the purchase decision? We call this the Naked Buyer test.

The Two Levels Of Naked

Why are buyers being left naked, in spite of the many pages in proposals and other documentation provided by the seller? Well, the problem is sales documentation has long been focused on the secondary, as opposed to the primary decision for the buyer. That is the two levels of naked.

Buyers tell us time and time again that choosing a supplier is not the most difficult part of the decision. Their biggest challenge is to wrestle scarce resources for their project/purchase and guard against competing priorities, budget cuts, or politics. That is the primary decision!

The primary decision is to go ahead and to go ahead now. It is the decision to spend the money on this, as opposed to something else. Everything else is secondary. But, this is not where most sales proposals focus. For the buyer getting caught naked - without the required information and analysis and unable to answer the questions or objections that arise - at this level is the most embarrassing. It is also the most damaging, it could result in the purchase being stalled, or even scrapped.

The Secondary Decision

The reason why deals get stalled is not because the buyer cannot choose another supplier, but because he, or she fails to get the decision sanctioned, or the resources allocated - resources for which other purchases, projects, or departments may be competing.

So it is that selecting a supplier is in many cases only a secondary decision. It must be preceded by a decision to go ahead with the project, or the purchase in the first instance. Yet it is former and not the later that most sales proposals seek to influence. They focus on the secondary 'why choose us?' decision, as opposed to answering the more fundamental 'why do it?' question.

The failure of sales proposals to help the buyer get the decision sanctioned means that most sales proposals are helpless to prevent buying decisions getting stalled.

If the seller is to be certain of winning the sale the sales proposal must help the buyer to get the go ahead for the purchase, or project - that is decision one. That is a tall order for the salesperson's proposal and it is exactly what the Naked Buyer test above is all about.

Why Can't Proposals Get Approvals?

Why can't buyers take the seller's proposal and use it to get the purchase decision sanctioned? That is a question we have asked of both buyers and sellers.

Some sellers suggest that the typical proposal is too long for the buyer to put in front of their colleagues to get the decision approved. But, if that is the reason then surely the buyer could take the executive summary and use it to get the decision sanctioned. That means there must be another reason.

Other sellers will simply say that their proposals were not written for the purpose of getting the purchase sanctioned. Little wonder then that buyers are not using them for that purpose! That is the point about buyers being left naked in terms of the information required to make the decision and to get it approved.

The buyer is likely to take some of what is in the seller's proposal, but a lot of what it contains is not the stuff that gets the decision sanctioned. But, if that is the case then there is something wrong with the way that sales proposals are written.

The Fully Dressed Sales Proposal

The seller's proposal must present a compelling rationale for the purchase, counter all the potential objections that are likely to be raised and answer the questions that are likely to arise. If it does not then it is a case of 'the emperor has no clothes'. It does not matter how well-written, or glossy they are.

The seller's proposal has to demonstrate how the solution will help the buyer to achieve the results that his, or her business, project, or team requires. Put another way it has to demonstrate a compelling business case - that is a compelling case for buying. That is required either to help the buyer to decide, or if a decision has already been made to justify it.

The proposal or tender must give the buyer the ammunition required to sell your solution when you are not in the room. It must:

Show the impact on the key relevant business/project performance metrics.
Demonstrate a compelling cost-benefits analysis.
Address the issue of risk in all its forms (supplier risk, technical risk, etc.).
Show the purchase fits with other decisions, goals, strategies, etc.
Address the issue of compliance.
If it does not then it is the equivalent of the buyer being caught with his, or her trousers down.

The Virtual Office and the Death of the Salesman

Few who have made a success in sales would argue that the discipline of selling is both an art and science and it follows many of the same verbal /conversational rules established within other respected professional disciplines such as psychology or the legal field.

For example, you can call it an "Open-ended Question" or an "Indirect Probe"; it really makes no difference. The psychological strategy and import are the same whether it is used in conversation with a person lying on a couch, sitting next to a judge or someone you would like to sell something to behind a corporate desk. It is a time-tested, strategic and proven verbal technique that is used to allow another person the latitude to say what is on their mind. Moreover, it is a technique that must be learned and that is the core catalyst contributing to the demise of today's professional salesperson.

Psychologists, psychiatrists and lawyers need not worry about this phenomenon because none of them are allowed to practice their profession until they have spent years in university learning and honing their craft until the day they are licenced and hit the street, fully prepared. (Or so one would hope!)

The discipline of Selling, on the other hand, is the only Profession that allows anyone with guts to pick up a bag on day one, with no selling experience and "Haveatit!" Sink or swim, you learn on the Job.

As one might expect, the mortality rate is quite high; higher than most other professions. That is a fact. It has always been that way. The problem, however, is that the mortality rate, especially over the last decade and a half, is now alarmingly high. The reason? The rise of the virtual office.

Years ago, the bullpen of almost any sales force, regardless of the industry or product, comprised new sellers and experienced sellers who had tenure, but they also had one other very important ingredient - successful sales journeymen... Mentors!

Anyone could argue that good selling courses and training is the key ingredient to producing new professional salespeople. Although this may shock you coming from a guy who trains successful salespeople, from where I stand, they'd be right, but they'd be more wrong than right.

I have written many times before that I'll never forget the mentors in my sales career who took me under their wing and showed me the way to sell. In a couple of cases, they saved my career. It is my belief that the training and expertise that is handed down one-to-one, by working in the field in real time in front of a customer, cannot be overvalued. In fact, I would go so far as to say, it is invaluable to reducing the sales mortality rate which in turn would save companies and industries millions of dollars in wasted training and turnover.

The sad reality is the virtual office paradigm is not equipped to satisfy this basic and integral requirement for a new seller. They need leadership, the kind of leadership that can only be found by spending time with the unquestionably successful. [Insert the 'teach a man to fish' story here].

Too often new sellers are left to their own devices to try and implement a newly-learned sales technique (without the benefit of seeing it first used successfully by a proven professional) at a time where they inevitably pay the ultimate price, by losing the sale!

More tragically, as a result, they typically abandon what they have been taught in an expensive sales course, believing its all bunk and then they psychologically flounder on a path of unproductive trial and error. The sad reality is they often spend the remaining time the company is prepared to give them, in a slow, predictable and unsuccessful slide, convinced that sending out emails all day to potential customers from the comfort of their Virtual Office, will somehow garner the results they seek, but instead they experience devastating results.

So what's the answer? Well, it's really not that mysterious.

Business owners and sales management must embrace the fact that along with on-going focused sales training and development, there is a second part of moulding newcomers to sales which can only be achieved through mentorship.

I don't mean to be glib but if the Mafia and drug cartels see the value in training their recruits on the street in real life situations to learn the business, can we in our profession not see the correlation in supporting our inexperienced sellers?

A "glass-half-empty" person might be quick to point out that successful sellers are too busy to take on a new recruit or there is no personal benefit for them to help someone else.

Well, from my three-plus decades experience in sales, sales management as well as training, they would be proven completely wrong! The fact is, I have lived and witnessed both sides of the fence.

As a rookie, I found the truly and consistently successful sellers almost always accommodating and willing to help the inexperienced, but with only one caveat. The inexperienced seller must be dedicated to the craft and then implement what is taught. Likewise, successful sellers don't see other sellers as competition. They are competing with themselves. That's why they are so successful.

And as far as what's in it for them, they never kid themselves by thinking they did it all on their own. Like me, they know that there were times when a mentor came to their aid and said something like, "C'mere rookie... Let me show you how it's done!"

They recognise too that with success comes responsibility. I can tell you first hand, having mentored many young (and by the way, now successful) sellers - there is no greater joy in sales than watching a young seller get a first sale and taking pride in the fact that you have successfully passed on your skill and expertise for their benefit, as well as that of the company and your profession.

The Bottom Line:

The move to Virtual Offices, although more efficient on many levels, still pays short shrift to the overwhelming needs of new sellers to learn their craft from those who are inarguable professionals. Selling is both an art as well as a science that is best learned by watching and mirroring the truly successful. Where it takes place is in the presence of a mentor and often in front of a customer... not in a Virtual Office.