The concept of SEO has been increasingly prominent in the digital marketing sphere since 2011. It has come a long way from its initial roots as a “dark art” that involved tricking or manipulating search engine algorithms into placing your site at the top of their ranking pages.
A lot has changed since then and SEO, as it exists today, is a different creature all together. Today’s SEO consultant is more likely to be found putting together content strategies and pouring over analytics data than placing thousands of links onto covert link farm websites and repeating a keyword 20 times on a webpage.
The main cause of this big shift was two substantial updates to Google’s algorithm in 2011 and 2012, called “Panda” and “Penguin” respectively. These came down hard with severe penalties on SEO techniques using any covert activity. The impact of these algorithm updates revolutionised the industry and turned SEO into an activity based around keeping in line with Google’s rules and guidelines, rather than trying to break them!
SEO has continued in this vein and is now divided between what we call “onsite” and “offsite”. The onsite sphere is concerned with technical updates to a website to fully optimise it in line with Google’s webmaster guidelines. This ensures that the site has the best possible chance of ticking as many boxes in terms of ranking factors as possible (there are around 200 in all - so a lot of box ticking!). This encompasses everything from making sure meta titles accurately describe page content to minifying CSS to keep page loading times down.
The offsite sphere, however, is concerned with what we call “content marketing”. This is focused around making sure a website has a big network of other sites linking to it (this is great for rankings) and that the content is being shared across the web, including social media platforms.
It’s this content outreach and sharing that Google has put huge emphasis on over the past few years, as they want people to make their sites useful and helpful for web users. If your site fits this brief, then Google will be more confident in displaying it as one of the top results for queries in the field.
SEO should be thought of as a holistic process that not only fits into web design and development, but also into your digital marketing and wider PR activity; more of a framework than a linear process and something that is kept in mind when doing anything on the web. “Users First, Search Engines Second” is our mantra here at the SEO department of Verto, and it’s a phrase that really sums up the position of SEO in today’s digital world.
6 May - Part Two | Is SEO Actually Important For My Business?
A.N. In Austria export is becoming more important and growth is becoming more difficult.
Austria is a high cost environment and our brands demand a higher price than those from some other countries. We have to invest in innovation and product design and then produce to an affordable quality. Price is a trigger for purchasing decisions, but even if it is expensive, it may still be purchased; branding is important.
Business is also influenced by many guidelines and laws, which can be a blessing or a curse.
S.M. There has been a huge change in terms of e-commerce. Driven by the growth and success of e-commerce in B2C, it has become increasingly important and valuable in the B2B area.
People see benefits in buying from companies like Amazon and they don’t want to miss out on these when they are at work. I think that purchasing behaviour in B2B will change a lot in the coming years.
A.N. The inclusion of active lighting in furniture will be one of the future developments. Furthermore there are going to be different mixes of new materials and “smart furniture” - meaning the combination of furniture and smartphone functions.
A.N. There are some large and well known producers in Austria. But in comparison to Germany (for example) our companies are not as big. Austrian industry, in general, is more focused on producing customized items instead of mass production.
A.N. We have noticed a change among our customers. Supporting customers online is becoming more important and ordering online is increasing. The internet has allowed speed and opportunity to compare products, but on the downside information overload can also be a problem. Products and services need to stand out from the crowd.
A.N. It is very difficult to give a clear figure, since ordering habits differ from country to country. A lot of clients look for info online and then pick up the phone to place an order or ask questions.
Our Webshop in Austria has over 300.000 visits each month. And around 300 small to medium sized companies are currently using our “PuSCH-App”, which launched in October 2014 in Austria, to place repeat orders.
It doesn’t matter how a client chooses to place an order. More important is to provide the customers with all the information they need and across all the channels.
S.M. We want to give our clients the opportunity to search for information and products around the clock. Our webshop has no opening or closing times!
In addition we provide many other services to our clients via the “Partner Portal” such as product videos, technical datasheets, installation guides, CAD drawings, etc. We’ve also installed a feedback function, so our clients can leave comments and suggest improvements.
Our “PuSCH App” offers support for controlling our clients’ stock levels.
A.N. Yes, but also by older generation who feel young in their heads:-)
Our next step is to ask our clients what they actually want and expect next from electronic media, rather than us telling them what they need.
But internet definitely gives us a good opportunity to answer the technical and legal questions many clients have about our product range.
S.M. The clients’ purchasing behaviour is very interesting. What info do they need? What products they are interested in? This data will allows us to tell them about new products or industry standards or whatever is relevant to them.
A.N. At the moment people still like coming to the showroom. But because of the internet, the client now has a good technical understanding of the products and wants to see how the product can be used in different applications. This has changed how we present the products in our showroom; it’s more about functionality.
For example, you can listen to music at home or go to a live performance. They complement each other. Both are important. But the experience you get is different.
S.M. As we have 95.000 products in our webshop, I do think it is necessary to have a showroom. When you want a client to invest in a product, they should have the opportunity to experience it.
Currently we have no virtual showrooms but in my opinion, for some of the product ranges, it would be really useful.
A.N. New materials and technology will influence not only design, but all future developments. Making furniture more functional for the older generation will also be a very important aspect of future design.
S.M. In my opinion, the market is a bit difficult; we need to keep ahead. We try to win new customers via our wide product range and services. As for the existing clients, we hope to inspire them with our on-trend innovations, products and services.
A.N. We are a family company and we do business like that. We have many long term employees and that gives our clients security and quality of service.
S.M. We are not just a trading company but a family company offering top level service.
But what also makes Schachermayer unique is the large and varied product range.
As I already mentioned, we have 95.000 articles available, from tools, fittings, fasteners, doors to flooring, etc., and we have a dedicated “Partner Portal” and “PuSCH App” to help the buying journey.
A.N. We want to add value by offering additional services alongside our products. Personally, I think that selling services is more complex.
Also, export can be difficult as some countries are now placing bureaucratic barriers in the way.
S.M. I think the biggest challenge in the future will be the fast changes in technology. We always need to be creative and offer fast solutions so we don’t lose that connection with the market and our partners.
S.M. I think the future in the furniture industry will be customization – keyword “mass customization”. Individuality and creative solutions will be on an increase in the coming years.
It tells the story of how our product development teams create new ideas and then take them from the drawing board to prototype testing and beyond to a selection of very different applications and markets.
A companion brochure has also been published in English and German. Email us with your details to receive a copy.
The 3832 has been around for many years and can be found across the world in many applications. Accuride’s continual re-invention of the slide has made it a best seller, and probably the most copied.
This versatile slide is what most cabinet makers would consider a ‘standard’. It has a 12.7mm thickness (½ inch), is compatible with both 32mm and traditional hole patterns, and can take loads up to 45kg, making it a good all-rounder for cabinet drawers where a side mounted slide is needed.
The first development was the addition of breathing tabs on the cabinet member. These seem pretty ordinary now, but this was an important first step in the evolution of the 3832.
The space between the cabinet and drawer is critical when fitting slides. This need for precision can make life difficult for woodworkers. So some of the fixing holes are located on a ‘breathing tab’; a small tongue of metal with a U slot around it. Because of the slot, the tip of the tongue can bend a bit out of the plane of the rest of the metal. That is, the cabinet member can pull away from the cabinet wall, just a little, to help absorb those tricky tolerances.
All 3832 slides include an integral quick release lever so that the user can separate the slide into the cabinet and drawer member.
This feature has two distinct advantages. The first is for the fitter. Being able to separate the parts of the slide and fit them individually onto the cabinet chassis and drawer makes the job a simple one.
Secondly, once installed, the disconnect lever is used to take the drawer out of the cabinet and put it back again without the need for tools; perhaps a benefit for the user rather than the cabinet maker.
The Cam Drawer Adjust offers installers a simple, yet precise mechanism for vertical drawer adjustment. The cam mechanism alters the vertical position of drawers by up to 4.8mm and is located at the front of the slide for easy access. It’s as simple as inserting a screwdriver and turning the mechanism to the left or right to provide the proper adjustment.
This may seem rather simple, but it is important that the slides are held in position – you don’t want the drawers bouncing open once closed and all 3832 slides have hold-in.
The hold-out is equally important for applications such as pull out keyboard shelves, when you would need it to stay open during use.
A dampened, soft-closing drawer just feels good and this one is side mounted, rather than the usual under-mount slide used in kitchen drawers.
Our self-closing slides ensure drawers come to a close and stay closed, keeping things looking neat and tidy. There are two options; a standard self-close and a heavier duty version, which is ideal for mobile applications such as trolley drawers.
If you like the look of simple, clean drawer fronts or need to design for those who have difficulty grasping knobs or handles, then our touch-release products are the answer. A gentle press on the drawer front releases the drawer and propels it outward about 45mm.
More fitting options are available through the use of clip on brackets, allowing both bottom and platform mounting. These can be fitted to the standard 3832 plus DO and SC/HDSC versions from length 35cm.
|3832 & 3832DH||3832||3832|
|Brackets 633xx||Brackets 633xx||Brackets 633xx|
Accuride’s distribution network covers all of Europe and employs well over 1,000 sales representatives on our behalf. We want our customers to buy the correct slide for their project, so keeping our distributors up to date with our products is vital. They need to be able to understand our products and be able to specify them into a huge variety of markets and applications.
One-off training just won’t do. We are always introducing new products and discovering new markets so we need to be training continually.
We make certain that our distributors are experts on our product line and that the end customers have full confidence in them.
It is not only front line sales who need in-depth knowledge about Accuride and our products. The distributor telesales and customer services staff are also included in training sessions.
Accuride’s regional sales managers all take direct responsibility for training their own distributors. This strengthens the relationships between the staff on both sides. We will go to their premises and organise hands-on training, which will be tailored depending on the expertise and job function of the group.
The follow can be applied to most product training. I hope that you find it helpful.
Although slide shows can be useful, don’t be a slave to the screen.
Your audience cannot listen to you, look at a sample and read the slide at the same time. Add blank slides where you think you may stop to look at samples or discuss an issue or invite examples from the floor. PowerPoint is ideal for showing pictures and creating a lesson structure, but can also be boring for an audience.
Consider using flip charts for more interactive sessions.
Use case studies from their experiences. You may find that they already have some problems or queries that you can use in class as a group discussion to find the solution.
You can also make some up to illustrate particular points and introduce role playing if you think that it will be useful and welcome. Have some case studies or application problems ready for the class to discuss.
Be clear, precise and get confirmation that each point has been understood by the group. If the session is a series of building blocks then ensure that each block is understood before moving on. Use questioning, discussion, case studies and working examples to check understanding.
Questioning is the most usual way of checking on understanding. An ‘open’ question calls for an answer which draws on experience, knowledge and judgement – often beyond the confines of the class.
When training, you need to get the audience interested and involved, so make sure that you use every opportunity to get their opinion or experience by using conversation starters or open questions.
Be sure that you know why you are asking questions (does the question meet the lesson objective?), know the answers, be sure that the students’ ideas will not be dismissed and that you can control any ensuing discussions.
You may wish to use a questionnaire to find out if your audience has found your training useful.
1. Understand your audience
Assess your audience; group size, interest and level of knowledge. Agree with your customer beforehand what result(s) you need to achieve at the end of the session.
2. Prepare the content
Structure the key messages, pulling together the relevant information. Decide on the correct visual aids, hand-outs and demo units to put across the information.
3. Create the right environment
Get the location right and be well prepared to present in that location.
4. Work on your performance
Identify what your personal style/strengths are. Understand how to build rapport with your audience. Work on voice projection and handling questions.
Photo: Geoffrey Whiteway, freerangestock.com
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