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Notes for Class

The hotel’s guide to SEO

June 19th, 2012 http://blog.dynamicwebmarketing.ie/2012/06/19/the-hotels-guide-to-seo/

Lounge area of Glenribbeen Eco Lodge

 If you own, run or manage a hotel, you don’t need me to tell you business is tough.  There is probably no other industry sector that fights it out on the online battle field more than hotels and hospitality providers.  For the hotel, the Internet is the marketplace and the industry has been revolutionised by the average consumers approach to choosing accommodation. But if SEO is so vital to your business, are you doing everything possible to ensure you stay well up the rankings?

7 SEO tips especially for the hospitality sector

  1. Competition is fierce – your meta descriptions must really sell your establishment. If you think of the meta description on a page as the same as a classified ad, you have just two lines to get your message across. Make sure you stand out and don’t forget to include a USP and benefit
  2. Meta Titles – extremely important for on page SEO, choose your target phrases wisely for your page and include them in your meta title tags. Remember that this is the first line of your Google listing so make it count
  3. Choosing your target search phrases- don’t forget to look at the amount of competition you have before choosing your target search terms, if there is massive competition then consider targeting longer search terms e.g. instead of targeting hotel cork maybe you should be targeting hotel cork county Ireland or hotel with restaurant cork city.  A more accurate, longer search phrase will get you up near the top of page one for that specific term and right in front of your target audience. Your hotel may already be doing something specialist, like trips, themed events and more. Incorporate them into your online strategy and into your long tailed search terms.

    Room 1 has a king-sized brass bed and a futon that can be opened to be a 1.2M (4′) bed.
    It’s en-suite and has tea.coffee and snacks.

  4. Online footprint – the key to your organic position is your online footprint.  How big is it?  Is it gradually growing over time? Is it relevant?  This includes your inbound links, drive to web activity on the web, social media sharing and endorsements. Include this into your online marketing strategy.  Google wants the most relevant website listed in the top positions and they now include websites that people are engaging with, linking to and endorsing.
  5. Blogs – they have real value in the hospitality sector.  Blogs allows you to provide extra value content to your user that set you up as the experts that you are, in your specific field.  Blog articles will help feed your online engagement and social sharing and endorsements. Be sure to create a strategy before launching into blogging. Know what you are trying to achieve and who are you writing for?
  6. Social Share Buttons – make it easy for your website visitors to endorse your web content, include the Facebook Share button, Facebook Like button, Tweet and Google+1 button on all key web content (including each blog post).  Social signals and endorsements are now being recognised by Google. But also consider the effect this sharing and endorsements will have on your social strategy.
  7. Google Places (Now Google Local) – is your Google Local Places listing in check?  Be sure to complete it 100%, Google prefers listings that are fully completed. Did you know that people can review your establishment on Google Local?  Drive people to Google Local to review your services, this will enhance your listing in Google search results and will help users make a quick decision on which listing to click on, I don’t know about you but I would be more likely to click on the listing with the most details and reviews.

There it is. SEO for hotels in a nutshell. The Internet is your marketplace. The right techniques will deliver real results, both short and long term.

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Dr Rob Rawson

Lesson 1

During this free 10 lesson course you are going to totally change your effectiveness at work or our studies. You will find yourself getting a lot more done, with less stress. And you will have more time to enjoy the things you want to enjoy. It’s not about working harder, it’s about working smarter and being more effective. Getting more done in less time.Ok, so let’s get started with the first lesson. Let’s get straight to the most effective method of getting more done. It’s really simple. All you need todo is make a list of the things you want to accomplish for thenext day, a maximum of 8 things. Then each dayyou work starting with number 1 on the list, then move to number 2 and further down the list. You’ve probably read this technique already on the timemanagement.com website, or somewhere else, but are you doing it?Do it now. Stop. Write down the top 8 things – MAXIMUM of 8! – that you want to do today (or tomorrow if you’re reading this late at night).Finished? Great.Ok now take a look at the top item on your list. What is it? Estimate how long it will take you to complete this item. Is there anything preventing you from working on this item today? If something is preventing you from working on it today, then remove it from your list! Only include items that you can work on today.Are you immediately clear what you need to do to accomplish this item? Yes? Great, if you’re not clear, take some time to think about it and figure out what is the next step towards your outcome in this area.Now start working on item 1 on the list! Keep writing this list down every day and working from the list. Make sure always to put the most important item first.That’s it for the first lesson. Follow the lessons in the  timemanagement.com e-course and you will be on track to getting more done each day with less effort.

Lesson 2

Each day for the last few days you should have been writing down the top 8 things you want to do for the day, and working from top to the bottom on this list. Have you been doing this?If not, get started now as this is a foundation for the course. If you didn’t do it, let’s make it even more simple. Write down only the top TWO things you want to do today. Two items only. How much easier can it get!Ok, make sure you do this. If you already have your list of 8 items, then select only the top 2 most important items.How do you know if something is important? Will it affect the important outcomes that you want in life in a powerful way? Usually there are only a few things you must do to achieve an important outcome. The other stuff is busy work. So the top items on your list should be really contributing towards your future plans and dreams. Also, if there is something that you are avoiding doing, but is important to you, consider putting that as number one on your list.Now stop and think whatare you doing for the rest of today(if you’re reading this email late at night think about what you will do tomorrow). Plan exactly what time you are going to spend on these top 2 items. Think what time (exactly) will you start and for how long will you work on them. Is that enough time to get them done? Now write down the start time (for example 3:40pm) and the length of time you will work on these two items (for example 2 hours). Now go to your mobile phone, watch or computer and set an alarm that will sound at 3:40 pm to remind you to start on these tasks. Ok that’s it for today! You won’t need to do this exercise of setting an alarm every day (unless you want to!) This is just to get started and make sure you have a taste of success.

Lesson 4

So you should have your list of everything that has been on your mind. Now it’s time to start organizing the list so that you can get it off your mind, and start getting to a place of peace and relaxation in your life. One of the funny things that you will notice is that the things you feel most stressed about are usually the things that you are just thinking about a lot but not doing anything about! Once you start taking action , the stress starts to disappear.This organizing process can take some time. It’s best to give yourself 2 hours for this process. So if you don’t have 2 hours right now, think when in the next 2 days you will have time to do this. Write it down in your diary, and set a reminder to go off at the exact time you plan to do this. Make sure to plan the EXACT time that you plan to start on this organizing task.So take a look at the list, and now we will consider each item with the following two questions: “What outcome do I want here?” “What is the next action step I need to take towards this outcome?”Sometimes it will be easy. For example you want to write a book but you haven’t started, the outcome is a book you are proud of and the next action step is to go to the library and research on the topic of the book.So as soon as you comeup with the next action step, you can tick off that item on the list and start a new list that is JUST actions steps. We will call this the “action steps” list. These actions should take you less than 1 day to complete usually. If the action will take more than 1 day to finish, please break it down into a smaller action step that will take you less than 1 day to complete.Now work through your list of everything on your mind and tick off all the items you can as you think of the next action step. Sometimes if it’s something simple, you might not need to change it and can just move it to the “action step” list. For example “read my mail” is really an action step in itself and you don’t need to break it down further. If you get stuck on an item for more than 2 minutes (you are not sure what is the next action step) then set it aside for a minute and move on to the other items on your list. Now when you are finished you should have a list of “action steps” and then a few items where you are not sure what the next action step is or maybe not even sure what the outcome is. Let’s work a bit more on these items where you are “not quite sure”. Consider each item and think, “What is the outcome I would like here?”. Try to write this outcome in positive language. For example, let’s say you wrote down “my partner keeps nagging at me”, then don’t write down the outcome “my partner stops nagging at me”. Instead write down, “I had a wonderful conversation with my partner”. Now once you have the outcome, think what is the next step you need to take towards this outcome. The next action step should again be something you can do in 1 day or less. If not break it down into smaller steps. Is there anything stopping you from taking this action today? If so there must be another action that comes first, and write that down as the next action step. An action step is obviously something that you can do, and not something that is dependent on another person. Still stuck with some of these items? The next step is to find someone who can help you to come up with some ideas. You will want to ask a friend who has success in the area that you have the issue with, and see what they recommend. If you can’t find someone who has success in that area, look for a book that is from someone that had the same issue as you and has succeeded in that area of life. In fact that can be your next action step, “Contact my friend” or “Read xyz book”. The final step! Ok now we are ready with our list of next action steps. Take this list and select the top 4-8 items only to work on tomorrow. Think what is most important to you in your life, and which actions will help you most in this important area of your life. Now you are ready with your list of things to work on today! (Or tomorrow if you are doing this exercise at the end of the day). Now imagine yourself completing the first action on the list. See exactly what you are doing, are you sitting, reading, talking to someone. Imagine exactly what you are doing to complete this action. If you can’t imagine exactly what you need to do then something is wrong! Think through this action step again and get more specific about what you actually need to do. For example if you’re action step is “find a way to get my book published” … you have a problem! That’s not an action step. It’s too vague, not specific enough. Instead an action step could be, “Spend 30 minutes online researching self publishing methods”. Or, “Check the yellow pages and online and make a list of all publishers that specialize in my niche”.

 

Lesson 5

Ok, we’re really making some progress! What you have done so far is toevery day make a list of the top few things you are focusing for the dayand work from this list. We also made a list of everything that is on your mind, and using this complete list organized it into a list of just action steps. You should be continuing to make a list of your top few things you want to do for the day, if you’re not, don’t beat yourself up! Just start doing it (make the list right now).Today is elimination and simplification day.The goal for today is to eliminate unnecessary steps in what you are doing and eliminate whole sections of your life that are not really that important. So here’s the exercise: Think of something you can eliminate from each of these categories. First what is something you do many days and you probably could stop doing because it’s not really that important to you. Here are some ideas: watching the news on television, taking unnecessary trips in your car, doing your washing (could someone else do it?). Once you have determined what it is, take a dramatic step that will indicate that you are eliminating this from your life, for example throw out your television! Yes, it’s nice to say “I’m not going to watch so much TV” but the reality is that you probably will keep doing so unless you take some drastic action. Second is there an entire area of your life that you could eliminate? Is there something that you are kind of doing out of obligation, but you don’t feel that it’s really that important. Third take a look at all the travel time in your life and look at how to make this time either more efficient or eliminate it. What can you do whilst travelling? (for example can you make business calls or get in contact with your friends). Also, how can you eliminate some of the travel in your life. For example can you visit the supermarket only once per week with a list of everything you need for the week. Lastly, think what is causing you the most stress in your life right now, and ask yourself what could you eliminate from your life or from your expectations about how life should be that will reduce or eliminate your stress.

   

Lesson 6

Email! Ahhhhhhh!Do you have an email problem of some kind? If not you’re one of thelucky few. Email addiction and inefficient handling of email some of the most commontime management problems.So let’s get focused on how to handle emails faster, more effectively and basically spend less time reading your emails and achieve the same overall outcome.Step 1: Filter your email as much as possible. Unsubscribe from anything you don’t need, and the stuff you might read occasionally filter it into a folder “to read later”. Step 2: Short replies. Reply in 3 sentences wherever possible. This decreases the amount of responses you get and significantly decreases your time in responding to emails. Emails are NOT for conversations. If you need to have a conversation schedule time for a phone call. Email should be treated more like a text message, short, sweet and to the point. Step 3: Educate your friends and family about sending you less emails and shorter emails! This is a hard one, but using a site like: http://www.lessemailsplease.com is very helpful. Step 4: Handle each email once. This means you look at the email, you decide what to do, you delete it, reply, archive, put it on your to do list, but you don’t go “oh I’ll handle that later”. This time when you procrastinate and think, “Oh yeah do it later” adds up to a significant amount of time. Step 5: Inbox Zero. Ok this is a really hard one for a lot of people, but it’s basically the best way to accomplish Step 4. In order to make sure you handle your emails only one time, you deal with the email immediately and then you get it OUT of your inbox where it’s not staring at you any more, it’s out of your sight! Step 6: Batch process your emails. Checking your emails dozens of times each day and handling a few emails each time is a very inefficient way to handle email. Each time you check your emails it interrupts what you were doing previously. Instead batch your emails so that you handle them at one time, perhaps setting aside 20 minutes to review all of them. Get them all completely handled and then move on to your next task. Ok, that’s enough for today. So the next step is to go through your inbox with all these things in mind, and clear your inbox to zero. If you’re inbox is in a terrible state (hundreds of emails you haven’t dealt with but think there might be something that need to take action on), then might need to quarantine your current inbox full of stuff you haven’t dealt with. If there really are too many emails in there, take everything out of your inbox and dump it into a “deal with later folder. Now make a commitment that whenever you check your emails, you will process all emails until you are back to zero m ails in your inbox

You don’t have to complete your to do list!  Instead, ALWAYS  focus on the most important things first, don’t worry about completing the rest.

Every day make a list of the top 1-6 things to focus on and work on the first one first, then the second, then the third, until finished.

Clear your email inbox EVERY time you look at your emails. Either file it, delete it, action it, reply quickly or put it in your to do list.

On larger projects focus on one thing only for an un-interrupted 50 minutes of time, instead of working with constant interruptions

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Four Destructive Myths Most Companies Still Live By

Myth #1: Multitasking is critical in a world of infinite demand. This myth is based on the assumption that human beings are capable of doing two cognitive tasks at the same time. We’re not. Instead, we learn to move rapidly between tasks. When we’re doing one, we’re actually not even aware of the other. If you’re on a conference call, for example, and you turn your attention to an incoming email, you’re missing what’s happening on the call as long as you’re checking your email. Equally important, you’re incurring something called “switching time.” That’s the time it takes to shift from one cognitive activity to another. On average, according to researcher David Meyer, switching time increases the amount of time it takes to finish the primary task you were working on by an average of 25 percent. In short, juggling activities is incredibly inefficient. Difficult as it is to focus in the face of the endless distractions we all now face, it’s far and away the most effective way to get work done. The worst thing you can do as a boss is to insist that your people constantly check their email. Myth #2: A little bit of anxiety helps us perform better. Think for a moment about how you feel when you’re performing at your best. What adjectives come to mind? Almost invariably they’re positive ones. Anxiety may be a source of energy, and even motivation, but it comes with significant costs. The more anxious we feel, the less clearly and imaginatively we think, and the more reactive and impulsive we become. That’s not good for you, and it also has huge implications if you’re in a supervisory role. As a boss, your energy has a disproportionate impact on those you lead, by virtue of your authority. Put bluntly, any time your behavior increases someone’s anxiety — or prompts any negative emotions, for that matter — they’re less likely to perform effectively. The more positive your energy is, the more positive their energy is likely to be, and the better the likely outcome. Myth #3: Creativity is genetically inherited, and it’s impossible to teach. In a global economy characterized by unprecedented competitiveness and constant change, nearly every CEO hungers for ways to drive more innovation. Unfortunately, most CEOs don’t think of themselves as creative, and they share with the rest of us a deeply ingrained belief that creativity is mostly inborn and magical. Ironically, researchers have developed a surprising degree of consensus about the stages of creativity and how to approach them. Our educational system and most company cultures favor reward the rational, analytic, deductive left hemisphere thinking. We pay scant attention to intentionally cultivating the more visual, intuitive, big picture capacities of the right hemisphere. As it turns out, the creative process moves back and forth between left and right hemisphere dominance. Creativity is actually about using the whole brain more flexibly. This process unfolds in a far more systematic — and teachable — way than we ordinarily imagine. People can quickly learn to access the hemisphere of the brain that serves them best at each stage of the creative process — and to generate truly original ideas. Myth #4: The best way to get more work done is to work longer hours. No single myth is more destructive to employers and employees than this one. The reason is that we’re not designed to operate like computers — at high speeds, continuously, for long periods of time. Instead, human beings are designed to pulse intermittently between spending and renewing energy. Great performers — and enlightened leaders — recognize that it’s not the number of hours people work that determines the value they create, but rather the energy they bring to whatever hours they work. Rather than systematically burning down our reservoir of energy as the day wears on, as most of us do, intermittent renewal makes it possible to keep our energy steady all day long. Strategically alternating periods of intense focus with intermittent renewal, at least every 90 minutes, makes it possible to get more done, in less time, more sustainably. Want to test the assumption? Choose the most challenging task on your agenda before you go to sleep each night over the next week. Set aside 60 to 90 minutes at the start of the following day to focus on the activity you’ve chosen. Choose a designated start and stop time, and do your best to allow no interruptions. (It helps to turn off your email.) Succeed and it will almost surely be your most productive period of the day. When you’re done, reward yourself by taking a true renewal break.

More Time Management skills;  http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newPPM_01.htm#np

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