Trending February 2024 # 7 Tips To Make Your Writing Portfolio Discoverable In Google Search # Suggested March 2024 # Top 6 Popular

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I’ve always been a writer.

Since I learned to put pencil to paper, I’ve been writing stories, poems, plays, and anything else that put my imagination into words.

When I discovered blogging, I quickly realized that SEO and writing make a smart match. It became apparent that I’d need to optimize for organic search if I wanted readers to find my content.

Over time, I’ve turned writing into a lucrative business and, later, a full-on SEO career.

Along the way, I’ve learned some tricks to getting a writing portfolio found by potential clients.

If you’re a content writer or copywriter, use these SEO tips to make your writing portfolio more discoverable online.

First, How Do You Create A Writing Portfolio?

There are many different types of content portfolios.

In fact, you don’t even need a website to showcase your work.

You can use something as simple as a folder in Google Drive to house your content examples and share them with clients.

You can post articles on LinkedIn.

You can even save your work as PDFs and send them to potential clients.

However, if you want to rank your portfolio in organic search, having a website is likely the best way to go.

That gives you the most flexibility when optimizing your content, earning referral traffic, linking to live examples, and much more.

So, for this article, I’ll go over how to use your website to house and link to specific examples of your published works.

1. Subscribe To An SEO Keyword Research Tool

SEO tools like Semrush, Ahrefs, and SpyFu allow you to identify the key terms people use to find services like yours.

They can quantify how many people (i.e., “users”) are searching for a term, how competitive that term is, and whether other websites are targeting it.

A subscription to an SEO tool is essential because you’ll have access to real data to inform your SEO strategy.

You’ll be able to research which keywords to target in your web page content and what topics to write about on your blog.

Further, you can use SEO tools to uncover the keywords your competitors are targeting.

For instance, you can enter a competitor’s domain into the SEO tool, see their keywords, and apply them to your own SEO strategy.

Many of these tools adopt a “freemium” model where you get certain features for free.

Others have a monthly subscription fee.

Having access to a reliable SEO tool will make all the difference!

2. Plan And Launch Your Portfolio Website

If you already have a website, you can use SEO tools to determine the keywords you should target on your existing web pages.

For example, if you have a page about SEO content writing services, you might want to use the term “seo content writing services” (search volume: 720) in your page content, title, and description.

Do this for as many pages on your website as it applies.

If you are building a new website, you’re in a great position to plan your content from the ground up.

First, think of all the services you offer.

Next, use an SEO tool to find keywords that match these services.

Here is an example of what this might look like for a sale copywriter portfolio:

Home page: “sales copywriter” (search volume: 170), “sales page copywriter” (search volume: 50).

Services page: “sales copywriting” (search volume: 110), “sales copywriting services” (search volume: 30).

Service: Website Copywriting: “website copywriter” (search volume: 390).

Service: Email Campaigns: “email copywriter” (search volume: 260).

Above, you can see how each page maps to a relevant search term.

That ensures you create content for and target terms with monthly search volume and, in turn, gives you a chance to drive organic traffic to your pages.

It also has a blog that covers content-related topics.

This website generates over 500 organic visits per month!

3. Create A Blogging Calendar And Strategy

The writing industry can be quite competitive.

With so many writers online, many are targeting most of the same keywords on their portfolio pages.

With that in mind, you will need to get creative with your blog content to drive more organic traffic and is, again, where your SEO tool comes in handy.

If you put energy into writing content, you might as well target topics that will drive traffic to your website.

Here’s how to do that:

Go into your chosen SEO tool and start searching for broad topics related to “writing,” “writer,” “copywriting,” “content,” and the like.

Look at the list of keywords that come up in each category. Make a list of those keywords which have search volume but have a low to medium competition score.

Filter these keywords for those that could be best answered in a blog post. For example, “How to write a sales page” is a much better blog topic than “sales page” or “blogger.”

Pull these keywords into a worksheet like Google Sheets or Excel. Add a column in which you brainstorm a blog title to match your chosen keyword. (For the keyword example above, a good title may be “How to Write a Sales Page in 5 Steps.”)

Specify the dates when you plan to write, optimize, and publish your blog articles. That will help keep you accountable to a schedule.

Once you have written an article, add an internal link to a related service page or the Contact page on your website to encourage users to work with you.

Keep in mind that you will want to create content that speaks to your target audience.

So, as a writer by trade, you probably won’t want to talk about “Thailand travel tips” or “best holiday recipes.”

Instead, you may want to write about “how to choose a copywriter,” “where to find writers,” “best content tips,” “what is content marketing,” etc.

4. Leverage LinkedIn Articles And Medium

SEO can take time to ramp up, especially if you have a new or small website.

I recommend leveraging platforms that already get a great deal of traffic to direct users to your own website.

Medium is a great platform that allows anyone to publish content for free.

You can write an article and then link back to your website.

The same is true of LinkedIn articles.

Your articles will pop up for your Connections and your Connections’ Connections.

You can then direct users to related pages or posts on your own website.

This strategy can help direct more users to your portfolio without waiting for SEO’s payoff.

5. Reach Out For Guest Posting Opportunities

In fact, I have gotten writing clients directly through guest posting on other blogs, websites, and online magazines.

Reach out to other blogs related to your niche, and offer to write for them.

Or apply to become a contributor to more reputable sites and publishers. Many will allow you to link back to your website.

This strategy can help earn you backlinks to your website, which can improve your site’s SEO.

At the very least, many sites will help market your content on their platforms and drive referral traffic to your site.

Guest posting brings many benefits, especially if your website doesn’t generate much traffic yet.

6. Optimize Your Google Business Profile Page

Google Business Profile is a free platform that allows businesses to create an online profile and generate local, organic traffic.

If you offer writing services to local clients, you can benefit from a Google Business Profile listing.

Just know that this listing will be tied to a physical address and a phone number (you can use a Google number if you don’t want to use your personal number).

So, if you are more private, this may not be the way to go.

7. Join Writer Job Boards And Directories

The most common platforms are Upwork and Fiverr.

Sites like these serve as freelance marketplaces where people submit a brief, you apply for the brief, and then you get paid to provide your services.

Many writers have had success with these platforms – though they tend to pay less than what you might charge as a direct contractor.

One well-known Upwork writer is Alex Fasulo.

She is known for having generated over $300,000 on Upwork in just one year.

Still, she has her own writing portfolio to attract clients, teach other writers, and land speaking opportunities.

Submitting a profile to writer job boards and directories can be a smart way to grow your client base and portfolio.

Grow Your Portfolio With SEO

SEO is one of the best ways to increase your writing portfolio’s online presence and generate organic traffic.

You can then use these tools to uncover blog topics, research your competitors, and analyze your backlinks.

Want to get more writing clients?

Invest in SEO to passively drive organic traffic to your website and attract clients who are actively searching for your services.

More resources:

Featured Image: Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock

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Top 7 Tips To Make Your WordPress Site Fast & Secure

Ready to build your first website? Are you shopping for affordable WordPress web hosting?

There are multiple types of web hosting solutions to choose from: shared hosting, dedicated hosting, cloud hosting, and VPS hosting, to name a few.

If you own a small- or medium-sized business, shared hosting is likely going to be your best fit.

What Should I Look For In a Shared Hosting Provider?

Shared hosting is a great, budget-friendly solution for businesses that don’t need large, dedicated space for their website.

Small- and medium-sized businesses can easily claim a place online without paying hundreds to thousands of dollars per month.

There are dozens of shared hosting providers, but not all of these providers have everything you need to run a high-performance WordPress website.

Selecting the right web hosting company can positively impact the success of your online presence.

Look for these seven must-haves to ensure you have a fast and secure WordPress website.

1. WordPress-Friendly Servers With Easy-To-Use Functionality

The hosting company you select should be clearly labeled as “WordPress-friendly”.

These properly-configured hosting servers typically come with great time-saving services, such as pre-installed WordPress, website building tools, and more.

Pre-Installed WordPress

Look for a shared hosting solution that offers to pre-install WordPress onto your hosting account.

This is a great offer to look for, especially if you are ready to hit the ground running.

Instead of spending time learning about the installation process, you can get started with your website’s design, functionality, and content.

Easy-To-Use Website Builder

In addition to having WordPress pre-installed, look for an easy-to-use website builder.

InMotion offers BoldGrid, a free drag-and-drop builder that includes hundreds of responsive designs for popular industries.

This feature makes it fast and easy for you to design a new website without any coding knowledge.

Flexibility For Advanced Users

Advanced users who would like to dive into the WordPress installation process should have the option to:

Manually install WordPress.

Migrate content from an existing website into WordPress.

Advanced users may also want access to the WordPress Command Line Interface (WP-CLI), which allows you to manage your WordPress website(s) via SSH.

WP-CLI allows you to efficiently maintain your WordPress website without a web browser.

2. Servers Positioned For High Speed

A faster website means better rankings. Better rankings mean more customers. More customers mean a need for higher website rendering and transfer speeds.

Make sure your website lives on a server that is optimized for speed.

Equipped With Solid State Drive Technology (SSD)

Do you know what type of hardware your current hosting company uses to serve your website to your users?

Most hosting companies use Hard Disk Drives (HDD) or SATA SSD as their primary storage option.

InMotion Hosting’s shared hosting plans use NVMe SSD technology and work 6-20 times faster than standard HDD hosting plans.

NVMe, or Non-Volatile Memory Express, is a blazing fast storage protocol designed for next-generation SSDs. Using NVMe drives not only increases performance, it also uses less energy. These high-efficiency drives are less prone to generating heat, which increases the reliability of the server.

Premium Server Locations

The location of your web host’s servers and data centers can affect your website’s speed and response times.

Data must travel from the data center to your client’s computer. The shorter the distance, the faster the travel and performance.

This is why InMotion has data centers in Los Angeles and Washington D.C., which sit directly on the largest Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) in the U.S.

3. Next-Generation Technology

As WordPress grows with time, your hosting service should, too. You shouldn’t need to uproot your entire website due to outdated technology on your server.

Selecting a host that has next-generation technology means that your shared server will be able to handle all future versions of your website.

Look for a shared hosting service that uses tech such as NGINX, Apache, PHP-FPM, and so on.

Along with high-performance server technology, your shared host should support the latest versions of PHP, MySQL, and MariaDB to ensure your website’s safe and fast performance.

A Future-Proofed Technology Stack

To support the latest versions of WordPress and the plugins used on your website, it’s important to have the best server-side technology possible.

In addition to NVMe SSD Technology, InMotion offers the UltraStack platform for WordPress websites on select shared hosting plans.

Important components of UltraStack include the following:

NGINX – Can be configured as a reverse proxy server, first to receive page requests. It saves resources, CPU processing, and provides a faster page load speed.

Apache – This web server does not require any additional coding or modification to be used with your custom website, application, or CMS.

PHP-FPM – The Fast Process Manager (FPM) caches PHP pages, resulting in a significant speed increase and a decrease in the number of requests to the Apache server.

The UltraStack server configuration is designed to focus on the composition of a specific content management system (CMS). It was originally designed to work with WordPress, but it now covers other popular CMS platforms.

4. Ease Of Scalability

Does your server give you the ability to expand your online presence without having to search for another hosting service in the future?

Scalability is essential for any web hosting company you choose.

You may be starting out with one website that receives a handful of visitors per day.

In the future, however, you may find yourself running the next major eCommerce brand.

13 Tips To Make Your Pdfs Seo Friendly

Back in the day, there was a long-held belief that Google found PDFs impenetrable.

That myth has since been unceremoniously busted by Google in 2011 when they announced that:

“Google first started indexing PDF files in 2001 and currently has hundreds of millions of PDF files indexed.”

They even come with their own tag in SERPs to alert users that the result is PDF-based:

Today, search engines are indexing PDFs and even including them as featured snippets:

— Kevin_Indig (@Kevin_Indig) January 16, 2023

This opens up a growing opportunity to increase traffic with existing and new PDF content across your site.

But, you’ll need to follow these 13 SEO optimization tips for PDF files to have the best chance of ranking.

When Should You Use a PDF?

PDFs (which is short for portable document formats) are often used for content that requires extra effort to create, and you may want people to be able to print your content to your exact specifications.

This includes:

Ebooks

Ebooks often have illustrations, infographics, and guides.

You can also include cover art, headers, and footers, making your ebook even more like a book.

Offline Content

If you have content that benefits from an offline option, then PDFs are a preferred route. This goes for info heavy blog posts as well.

Although, you’ll want to make sure the PDF version of your blog posts isn’t indexable to avoid being penalized for having duplicate content.

Specification Documents

Often format heavy and with an abundance of images and illustrations, PDFs are an ideal format for specification documents.

Given how often specification documents are printed, a PDF ensures that everyone sees your document in the same way.

White Papers

Often longer than most online content, PDFs are good for white papers.

Given how often people make notes on white papers, it’s good to offer a printable option.

You want to make sure your PDF contains links to the rest of your website.

You may even consider offering an HTML version of your PDF, make your PDF unindexable, and instead offer the option to download your PDF.

The option to download a PDF is also a great opportunity to get a visitor’s contact information.

Simply offer the PDF as something that will be emailed to your users in exchange for their name, email, etc.

How to Make Your PDFs SEO-Friendly

Optimization for PDFs follows much of the same best practices as “traditional” SEO.

However, the details differ in some crucial ways, which are outlined below.

1. Compress Your PDF File to Reduce File Size

Most importantly, make sure your file is not already optimized for speed.

Check If Your PDF Is Optimized

Similar to a webpage, reducing a PDF’s file size is paramount.

Make sure your PDF is optimized for the web.

Luckily, this is an easy process:

Open your PDF in Adobe Acrobat.

Select File.

Select Properties.

Go to the Descriptions tab.

Find the “Fast Web View” at the bottom of the window. If it says “No”, the PDF file needs to be optimized.

Optimize PDF Fonts

Use Standard Fonts

PDF readers support a set of standard fonts:

Times.

Helvetica.

Courier.

Symbol.

Zapf Dingbats.

Any other fonts will likely have to be embedded, and that increases your file size.

You can choose not to embed any fonts, but then Adobe Acrobat will substitute a standard font for you.

Because a major appeal of PDFs is the granular control the format affords you, you’re going to be missing out on one of the main reasons to use the format in the first place if you give up font control to Acrobat itself.

So, use the standard fonts.

Use Fewer Fonts

Every font you use just makes your PDF bigger, so use fewer fonts!

Use Less Font Styles

Every font style you use is treated as a different font, which, you guessed it, increases the size of your PDF.

So, keep that in mind when making your font decisions.

To see whether your fonts are embedded, follow this procedure:

Open your PDF in Adobe Acrobat.

Select File.

Select Properties.

Select the Fonts tab.

Optimize PDF Images

Use Vector-Based Images

Vector-based images are smaller and of higher quality than bitmap images.

Use Monochrome Bitmap Images

If you must use bitmaps, make them monochrome and not color to ensure they’re as small as can be.

Optimize Microsoft Word PDFs

You can reduce the size of your PDF when exporting your Word document by following these steps:

Select Save As.

Select PDF.

Select minimum size.

“ISO 19005-1 compliant (PDF/A)” and “Bitmap text when fonts may not be embedded” should not be checked.

Optimize Your PDF with Adobe Acrobat

You can further optimize your PDF using Adobe Acrobat.

Open your PDF in Acrobat

Select File

Select Compress File

You’ll have a variety of options including standard mode, mobile mode, or you can customize your presets.

Note: If you change your preset standard options, that the settings will automatically change to custom.

For further information about all these settings, see Adobe’s tutorial on optimization.

You’ll want different settings based on each type of PDF you create (image-heavy vs. text-heavy).

Fast Web View

Fast Web View restructures a PDF to download one page at a time.

This is useful when your PDF is a big file (remember, long load times may inspire someone to bounce).

Follow these steps to turn on Fast Web View:

Select Edit.

Select Preferences.

On the far left side under Categories, select Documents.

Under Save Settings, make sure Save As optimizes for Fast Web View is checked.

Tools like Smallpdf and PDFCompressor will allow you to compress your PDF even further.

Initial View Settings

Adobe also lets you control how your PDF will appear as soon as it’s opened.

You can toggle:

Which page to open on.

Magnification.

The visible page layout.

Window size.

And more.

2. Keyword-Rich File Name

Treat your file name like you would a URL or H1.

That means making your file name keyword relevant and search-friendly.

While your Google Doc may be called SEO Best Practices, your PDF file name should be: seo-best-practices.pdf.

Here are a few file naming best practices:

Shorter is better. Ideal file name length is between 50-60 characters.

Match the URL to the title of the PDF when possible.

As a best practice, remove punctuation, hashes, and stop words (and, or, but, of, the, a, etc.).

Use lower case always.

When separate words, use hyphens if possible. An underscore is also acceptable.

3. Body Copy

One of the reasons that those myths persisted for so long about Google and its PDF problem was that so many PDFs are image-based.

If you want your PDF to be indexed in and of itself, then make sure it has more text than images.

Not sure if your PDF is text or an image?

If you can copy and paste the text from the PDF, it is in text rather than an image format.

Luckily, many common tools, including Adobe’s own Creative Suite, will allow you to make this conversion easily.

Here are some general best practices when writing for the web:

Use short paragraphs of around three to four sentences. Short paragraphs are easier to understand and digest, drive your point across, and encourage reading in this age of information overload and short attention spans.

Use bulleted and numbered lists to break out content and aid in easy scanning by the reader.

Transition to new sections using succinct bolded subheadings that begin with an action verb.

4. Heading Tags

PDFs can contain lots of in-depth information so content should be broken up with subheadings.

Here are some general best practices for assigning heading tags to your content:

An H1 tag functions as a headline on the page. Should be unique to the page.

Maximum length of about 100 characters, but usually more concise.

Should always contain and usually begin with the primary keyword.

5. Use Alt Text For Images

Alt text is text that appears in place of an image on a website in the event that the image doesn’t load.

Alt text is important because it:

Helps screen-reading tools describe images for the visually impaired.

Let’s search engines better crawl and rank your website.

To use alt text, do the following:

Select the Tools menu.

Select Action Wizard.

Select Make Accessible.

The key to writing alt text is to be:

Succinct

Descriptive

Keyword-rich, but not keyword-stuffed

6. Set Reading Language

To set the reading language, open the Document Properties dialog:

Select a language from the Language menu in the Reading Options area of the Advanced tab.

Activate the OK button.

7. Create an Optimized Title Tag

PDF properties are the PDF version of a webpage’s metadata.

To edit the properties of your PDF do the following:

Open your PDF with Adobe Acrobat.

Select File.

Select Properties.

Select the Description tab.

The title field should be treated as you would treat the title tag of a webpage.

Here are some general guidelines to use when crafting title tags:

Put the most important keyword phrase at or near the front.

Aim for 55-70 characters (it’s OK to exceed this when necessary, but avoid excessive length).

When included, brand or site name should come at the end of the title tag.

Make sure it adequately categorizes what is on the page and follow grammatical best practices:

Use full names of people, events, items, etc.

Minimize the use of stop words (a, and, the, etc.)

Include dates for annual events or cases where date is important.

Limit punctuation (hyphens, commas are OK; use “and” instead of “&”)

Try for unique title tags across each and every PDF and avoid ‘cannibalization’ by focusing on different keywords on each page.

8. Meta Description

To edit the meta description properties of your PDF do the following:

Open your PDF with Adobe Acrobat.

Select File.

Select Properties.

Select the Description tab.

Add your meta description content to the Subject field.

Here are some general guidelines for adding a meta description:

Max of 170 characters, 1-3 sentences.

Begin with action word: Get, Find, Explore, Discover, Shop, Browse, Research, Compare…

Work in primary and secondary keywords as soon as possible in the text (within the first sentence if you can). Be enticing! Be informative! Think of it as a paid search ad but with room to be descriptive.

9. Internal Linking

Make sure that your PDF contains links to other pieces of your content, and to use anchor text best practices.

Your anchor text should be:

Unique.

Succinct.

Relevant to the linked-to content.

Keyword-rich, but not keyword-stuffed.

If your PDF is meant for off-line consumption, you should use the link URL instead of or in addition to the linked keyword text.

That way readers can visit the desired website later if they want to.

10. Use Older Versions of Acrobat

When saving your PDF, make sure to use an older version of Adobe Acrobat to avoid compatibility issues between your readership and potentially even search engines.

11. Link to Your PDF

Make sure to link to your PDF on your own pages using SEO best practices as well.

12. Make Your PDF Mobile-Friendly

So much content is consumed on mobile devices these days that to not optimize your PDF for a phone, tablet, etc would be a big mistake.

So, follow these steps:

Left Align Your Text: This way people can scroll through your document more quickly without having to scroll horizontally first.

Use Bullet Points & Bold Text: These techniques will make it easier to skim your PDF.

Use Images Sparingly: Images help break up text and make it easier to digest. They also increase your file size, so use wisely.

Break content up with Subheadings: This will also make your document easier to read.

Short Paragraphs: Try to keep paragraphs to 3 to 4 sentences each.

Given the uses of PDFs, you may want to track them individually as an end unto themselves.

You can, for example, see how many people got to your website using organic search and then downloaded your PDF.

You can also see which other nooks and crannies of your marketing strategy were interacted with on the way to downloading the PDF.

Summary: PDF SEO Best Practices

Google knows PDFs can be useful.

That’s why Google indexes PDFs and turns some of them into featured snippets.

You should treat your PDFs with the same degree of reverence as Google does.

By using the aforementioned tips, you’ll make it easier for both Google and your users to find and rightfully appreciate your work.

More Resources:

Image Credits

All screenshots taken by author, September 2023

10 Tips To Help Your Restaurant Make More Money

With more than 1 million restaurants in the U.S., it can be difficult to compete for business and retain loyal customers. To grow your restaurant and increase profits, there are several elements to consider, such as staff, food, marketing, finances and customer experience.

Restaurant success can be a challenge, but it can be achieved if you’re committed and open to feedback. Here are 10 strategies to help you increase your profits and achieve success. 

1. Do your research.

Owning a restaurant is extremely challenging. Between managing employees, balancing finances, implementing marketing campaigns and pleasing customers, you have to do it all – and no one can be an expert on everything. If you’re ready to expand your restaurant, taking time to conduct research will help guide you in the direction you’re trying to go.

Regularly reading restaurant management blogs will give you keen insight from industry professionals on best practices for running your restaurant efficiently. With so many resources available at your fingertips, you can educate yourself on restaurant management practices that can help you save money on costs and increase your profits.

3. Use technology.

Incorporating modern systems into your restaurant business will increase your profits dramatically. If you’re disorganized, lose receipts and have a desk cluttered with paperwork, you may be throwing money out the window. A restaurant management system will help you keep track of sales, manage employees and create a rewards program or mailing list for your customers – and that’s just the beginning.

Again, food waste costs restaurants a ton of money. Restaurant inventory software will let you track every ingredient you use, whether it’s a teaspoon of spices, a diced carrot or an egg. With inventory software, you can also keep an eye on expiration dates so that your bread doesn’t get moldy and your milk doesn’t spoil.

Did You Know?

Restaurant POS software reduces errors and theft, speeds up service, and offers you a snapshot of your restaurant’s sales and performance.

4. Market your restaurant.

One of the best ways to attract customers to your restaurant and increase profits is through marketing. There are so many marketing techniques that can help you expand your business and attract the attention of customers you previously couldn’t reach.

If you want to increase your restaurant patronage and keep your regulars coming back, form a relationship with them. Social media marketing is a virtually free way to interact with customers and grow your brand. Utilize social media management apps that allow you to schedule when a post will go live and give you insight on the perfect time to upload your #foodpics so you can reach the largest audience.

5. Consider food delivery options.

People love convenience. After a long day at work, the last thing we want to do is prepare a home-cooked meal or drive through heavy traffic to get a bite to eat. Food delivery services now act as taxis for food, so you don’t need to hire drivers or buy company vehicles to send food to “hangry” customers. 

FYI

For a small commission, you can partner with an online ordering company like Grubhub to expand your business and grow your profits.

6. Make a good first impression. 

A customer’s experience begins as soon as they reach your restaurant’s front door. Having welcoming staff at the door to greet them and get them situated can make a positive first impression. In addition, having staff thank customers on their way out may encourage them to return soon. Customers who feel welcomed and appreciated are more likely to generate positive reviews and recommend the restaurant to people they know. You want a customer’s first visit to be a good one.

7. Know your customers.

Sometimes the visions you have for menu items or specials are not aligned with what your customers are seeking. To create a successful menu that will generate profit, learn which meals customers want. Consider your restaurant’s location, which types of foods sell well in the area and what people are ordering the most from your current menu. 

If you find that something isn’t selling well, try reworking the dish or creating new options. Customer survey data can provide valuable feedback. Additionally, have managers or waitstaff visit tables during service times and chat with customers about their opinions on certain dishes.

8. Establish a digital presence.

Many customers visit restaurant websites to get business hours, digital menus and contact information. In addition to a website, restaurants should create a social media presence to promote their restaurant and communicate with a broader audience. 

Facebook, Instagram and TikTok are a few popular platforms that can attract and engage customers. Facebook is great for displaying business information such as address, hours and daily specials. Instagram and TikTok help businesses create engaging videos highlighting dish preparation, restaurant tours, and upcoming specials or events.

FYI

Other top online restaurant marketing sourcesf include Twitter, Yelp and Groupon.

9. Train your employees well.

A confident, knowledgeable staff will give customers an excellent impression of your business. Waitstaff should know your menu items, current specials and how the food is prepared. With firsthand menu knowledge, they can more easily give recommendations, answer questions and ensure customers are getting what they want. 

Staff should learn how to talk to customers positively and upsell things like appetizers and drinks. In addition, they should be informed of any changes that are made or newly available items and deals.

10. Offer coupons, specials and loyalty rewards.

Rewarding loyal customers helps ensure they’ll stay with you long term. Offering a reward program, such as allowing them to earn points for each visit, can incentivize them to come back. After accumulating a certain number of points, they can exchange them for discounts or earn free items or meals. 

Customer loyalty programs demonstrate that you value your patrons. To bring in new customers, consider offering coupons or daily specials to encourage them to stop in and experience your restaurant. Everyone loves discounted meals that taste great. 

Boost your restaurant’s success.

Increasing your restaurant profits doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With so many resources readily available to you, you can soar past the competition and bring in more customers. 

Technology has saved the day with easy-to-use and efficient point-of-sale systems, marketing tools, and online delivery services. Take matters into your own hands and utilize these resources to increase your restaurant’s profits.

Sean Peek contributed to the writing and research in this article.

14 Uber And Lyft Tips To Make Your Trips Easier

Uber and Lyft have helped transform the way we get around via cab, and have even put the idea of car ownership to the test in certain places.

These apps have become popular, in part, to their simplicity and ease of use—just tap to ride—but even though almost everyone has them installed, not everyone will have dug deeply into all the features the ride-hailing apps have to offer.

General tips

1. Get away from the crowds

If you’re just leaving a gig, a sporting event, or a busy restaurant, walking a couple of blocks can make pick-up a lot easier for both you and your driver. Stepping away from others will make you easier to spot on the sidewalk and you won’t have to try to find your car in a crush of a dozen others. Plus, you’ll get a bit of exercise while you’re waiting for your ride to arrive.

2. Find a landmark

Another way to minimize the risk of a pick-up mix-up is to send your Uber or Lyft driver to a recognized landmark rather than a nondescript address (again, a little bit of walking might be needed). Try a park, a well-known hotel, or even a shopping mall—anywhere that’s easy to find with plenty of room for your driver to pull up.

3. Schedule rides for the future

One of the most useful features of both Uber and Lyft is the ability to schedule future rides. In the Uber app, once you’ve chosen a destination and car type, press the small clock icon next to Request to set a time and date (up to 30 days ahead). If you’re using Lyft, set your destination, then press Schedule to choose a time and date (up to seven days ahead).

4. Use a friend’s phone

If your phone is lost or dead, you can still access Uber and Lyft on a friend’s handset via the magic of the mobile web. Head to either the Uber or Lyft) website on your friend’s phone, enter your details as prompted, and you’ll have access to a limited number of the regular features—including the option to request a ride from your current location.

Uber tips

1. Sign up for a subscription

Uber offers a subscription called Ride Pass, though at the time of writing it hasn’t yet rolled out across the entire U.S. If it’s live in your city, tap Ride Pass from the app menu to pay a flat $25 per month to prevent the price of your ride from being affected by weather or surge pricing. Uber calculates its Ride Pass rates based on historical data, making it easier to budget your travel costs.

2. Look after your family

If you’re responsible for young people and want to make sure they can always get home, add them to your Uber family by picking Set up your family in the app settings. People you specify can then use the Uber app as normal, but can charge their rides to your account. You can add babysitters, personal assistants, and anyone you like, really.

3. Split the cost

Sharing the cost of a trip on Uber is simple if every passenger has the Uber app installed (if they don’t, you can send them a prompt to do so). When a ride is in progress, swipe up from the bottom of your phone screen to see the trip details, then press Split Fare. Enter the names of your fellow riders or their cell numbers to prompt them to pay up.

4. Go through Google Maps

If you’re more comfortable using Google Maps to find your way around, that’s fine. Just pick your destination on the map, choose Directions, and you’ll see Uber listed when you tap the “ride” icon (a person with a raised hand). Doing so will send you seamlessly into the Uber app. At the time of writing, Uber isn’t available through Apple Maps, though.

5. Call an Uber with your voice

If you’re at home, you can call an Uber using either an Amazon Echo or a Google Home smart speaker. You’ll need to connect Uber first (instructions for Alexa here and Google Assistant here), and have the app on your phone. Once that’s done, just ask for a ride to a particular place. You can also keep tabs on your car’s location while it’s on the way.

Lyft tips

Lyft lets you separate business and pleasure, which might be good if you’re still preparing a presentation at the last minute. Deposit Photos

1. Sign up for an All-Access Plan

Lyft offers a monthly subscription service called the All-Access Plan, which lets you pay up-front to lock in a fixed price for rides. A payment of $299 every 30 days gets you 30 rides up to $15 each, with 5% off any extras, an agreement you can cancel at any time. From the Lyft app menu, choose Notifications, then Learn More under All-Access Plan to sign up.

2. Add your preferred pronouns

Lyft recently rolled out the ability to specify your preferred pronouns inside the official apps for Android and iOS, and your driver will be able to see them once you book a trip. From the app menu, tap your avatar at the top, then choose Add your pronouns and pick from the list. This is optional, and you can pick Prefer not to say rather than one of the options.

3. Mix business and pleasure

If you need to bill rides back to your employer, Lyft makes it simple to do. Press Business Profile in Settings to set one up, and you’ll be able to distinguish between work and personal rides. When you need to put in a claim, open the app menu, then go to Ride History, Business, and Export, and you’ll get an expense report emailed to you or your manager.

4. Sync your calendar

Give Lyft a little more help by syncing it with the calendar on your phone—meaning the Lyft app will be able to look up details, such as the address of a party you’re at, without you having to enter them manually. The next time you request a ride, pick Add from calendar under the destination search box, and the app will ask you to sync a particular calendar.

5. Call a Lyft with your voice

Lyft works with Echo and Google Home speakers, just like Uber. You’ll need the Lyft app on your phone and connected to Alexa (instructions here) or Google Assistant (instructions here), and once it is, you’ll be able to ask for a ride to a specific place, a fare estimate to a destination, how far away your driver currently is, and more.

Protect Your Personal Information From Google Search

In today’s world of Internet connectivity and social media, a surprisingly large amount of your personal information can be found through a simple Google search of your name.

This has many implications, but these implications are mainly seen in the areas of security and your reputation. Imagine that every drunk tweet, silly profile on a website you forgot about or damning photograph is available to potential bosses, romantic partners and even cyber criminals.

Because they are. Your personal information is a Google search away. Let’s talk about what you can do about it.

Why is this information available?

On the Internet there are two types of websites: ones that are indexed by search engines and ones that aren’t. Social media outlets and many web communities are Googleable, but certain sites, like private community forums, won’t leave much to the public eye.

What are the threats?

People find your information quite often. Applying for a job interview means people might look for you on sites like Facebook or Google. The same applies to meeting new people, maybe even someone you like.

However, it can also apply to malicious parties. People trying to break into your accounts may attempt to find personally identifiable information on you through your social media activity which they can then use to perform social engineering on support agents or guess passwords/security questions for your online accounts.

They can also potentially find things like your phone number or your home address. People can be malicious with the information they find and use it to defame you for something you said years ago. You may even end up a victim of something like swatting where people find out your address and call the local police department on you.

So yeah, the threats are very real.

How can I find it?

Search for it yourself! Search for things like your full name, your phone number and your email address. The results you get for this information will show where it’s available on the public web. Also, cover your bases: be sure to search for yourself on Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets, which is where people are most likely to run a search for you first.

How do I remove it, and what should I be removing?

Once you’ve located your personal information online, it’s time to comb through and remove anything that you could probably do without. This includes:

Usage of your full name/phone number/email address where unnecessary. In my case my email address doesn’t link to anything embarrassing, while my full name simply shows my work on MakeTechEasier and Greenlit Gaming.

Personal photos and posts. Make these private or exclusive to friends, but keep them out of the public eye.

Embarrassing past posts. It’s okay to reflect on silly things you said or did a few years ago and decide to remove it. You don’t want someone digging up dirt on you, do you?

Unused accounts. If you don’t use the account anymore, there’s no reason to keep it. Use that site to clear your profile and delete your account.

Conclusion

Overall, it’s important to mind what you put online. What you put online doesn’t go away on its own, and you can find a lot of embarrassing or worrying things. Be careful when uploading files to sites like Imgur or Pastebin, too – if these files contain personal information, they can end up saved and on some random person’s computer.

Christopher Harper

I’m a longtime gamer, computer nerd, and general tech enthusiast.

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