Changes To Medigap At The End Of 2019


When you are purchasing a Medicare supplemental policy it is crucial that you use care when making your selection, especially over the next few months.  At the end of 2019 certain Medigap plans will no longer be available.

 Medigap Plan F, which is known as the premier supplemental insurance plan, will no longer be available for new enrollees.  Medigap Plan F is currently the most comprehensive supplemental insurance plan available for purchase.  If you are a Medicare beneficiary that doesn’t want any healthcare cost surprises, then this is the ideal plan for you, but it all ends at the end of 2019.

Even though Medicare Supplemental Insurance Plan F will no longer be available after the end of 2019 for new enrollees eight different options in Medigap will be.  Participants that are enrolled in Medicare Plan F before the cut off at the end of 2019 will still be allowed to continue coverage.  Industry experts are predicting that the premium of Plan F may make it so that it is not cost effective and participants would be better off enrolling in Plan G. 

Currently Plan F is the most expensive Medigap plan available.  Medicare enrollees are willing to pay top dollar to be enrolled in this plan because they can see any doctor and go to any hospital that accepts Medicare patients without having to worry about a surprise bill after. With Medigap Plan F there is no deductible, no co-pay, or coinsurance. The next closest Medigap policy to Plan F as far as coverage goes is Plan G.  The only difference as of right now is that there is a deductible that enrollees must cover at the beginning of every year.

Rates for Medicare Supplemental Insurance differ state to state and between insurance companies as well. In the last few years the lower costs associated with Medigap Plan G have been drawing beneficiaries of Medicare away from Plan F.  Although a number of predictions have been made as to the effects that eliminating Plan F will have on Medigap, we won’t know for sure until the change goes into effect at the end of next year.

Some thoughts are that in 2020 Medigap Plan G rates will jump as all new enrollees will be accepted regardless of their health.  Another thought is that the participants still enrolled in Medigap Plan F after they stop accepting new patience’s at the end of 2019 will have to pay more for the same coverage.  Without enrolling healthy young people to help offset the costs, sicker people will make up the majority of enrollees.  In order to cover Plan F the premium that it paid will increase.

The experts at eMedigap Plans, powered by Omega, have all the answers you are looking for when it comes to your Medigap Supplemental Insurance needs.  More information can be found at https://emedigap-plans.com.



Original Medicare, Medigap, and Medicare Advantage Plans


Enrollees of Medicare often find themselves without the coverage they need.  There are a lot of holes left in coverage when only enrolled in Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B, also known as Original Medicare. There are two ways that these gaps can be filled: Medicare Advantage or Medigap. 

Although the two options are similar in that they offer health coverage beyond the generic hospital and physician benefits of Original Medicare, they are vastly different Medicare options.

Medigap

Medigap plans are supplemental insurance plans that are enrolled in to fill in the voids left by Original Medicare alone.   There are ten different Medigap plans that beneficiaries can enroll in, plans A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N.  Each lettered plan offers the same coverage know matter what insurance company it is purchased from.  All the plans with the same letter however offer the same exact coverage.  Premium scan vary depending on where the plan is purchased through.  No matter which state in the United States you live in, other than Wisconsin, Massachusetts, and Minnesota, the coverage you will receive in each of the lettered plans will be the exact same.

Medicare Advantage Plans can be chosen over Original Medicare.  Medicare Advantage Plans offer more comprehensive coverage but under stricter guidelines.  With MA, enrollees receive the same set of benefits, often more than, they would with Original Medicare however under different rules, costs and restrictions. Most often Medicare Advantage Plans require that you see certain in network providers, receive referrals for specialists, and might offer extras not found with Medigap such as vision and dental care.

If you decide to enroll in one of the plans over the other and later decide this is not the coverage that best suits your need you can switch during periods of open enrollment.  There are a number of rules to familiarize yourself with when choosing coverage for your health care needs as you age. 

The experts at eMedicare Supplemental Insurance, powered by Omega, have all the answers you are looking for when it comes to your Medicare Supplemental Insurance needs.  More information can be found at https://emedicare-supplemental-insurance.com/.



Overcoming The Challenge of Shipping Freight During The Holiday Season


Shipping freight during the holiday season can be quite challenging for any company.  Customers want guaranteed delivery and with the increase in shipping needs to be met,this often proves to be a complex task. To take the stress of shipping freight during the busy holiday season it is important that logistic managers use a combination of historical data, present knowledge, and updated technology to ensure that holiday shipments are delivered on time, every time.   When planning for your critically timed shipments consider the following:

Gather Critical Shipment Information Required by Carriers

A lot of information is needed when shipping freight to receive an accurate quote.  This is especially true in LTL shipments.  In order to receive timely and accurate quotes be sure to update carriers on the following:

  • Shipments Origin: City, State, and Zip
  • Shipments Destination: City, State, and Zip
  • Required Pick up and Delivery Dates and Times
  • The Number of Pieces, Pallets, or Crates in The Shipment
  • The National Motor Freight Classification, NMFC
  • Total Gross Weight of the Entire Shipment
  • Detailed Description of Your Commodity –(Hazardous shipments must have a UN# and packing group)
  • Special Instructions for Pickup and Delivery

Properly Packaged Freight

To avoid possible delays, it is important to take any confusion and eliminate it from your shipment.  In LTL shipping it is important that your freight is properly packaged.  Your shipments should be stacked heaviest to lightest vertically and shrink wrapped.  Shipments should be palletized, strapped or banded to prevent the freight from coming apart during shipping.  Freight that remains intact while handled throughout its expedition has a better chance of bring delivered without delay. 

Make sure all packages within the shipment are properly marked and labeled on all sides.  Don’t only include the destination details be sure to also include the details of origin.  If there are special requirements when handling your shipment make sure they are stated on readable labels on all sides of your shipment.

Utilize a TMS for Prominence in Consideration of the Best Rates and Service

A transportation management system can save companies not only time but money as well.  A TMS simplified will help to bridge any gaps between shippers and carriers, allowing companies to get rates, transit time, and such when deciding on shipping,streamlining the process.

The best way to guarantee customer satisfaction is to plan ahead.  Put limits on what you can and cannot guarantee.  Obviously, orders placed days before the holiday is set to be celebrated can’t possibly be guaranteed.  State up front your cut off date for guaranteed holiday season and after that any shipment sent is a bonus if it is received in time for the holiday.

Matrix Transportation is the fastest growing freight transport company in the Midwest, founded in 2009.  As an up and coming industry leader in freight management including shipping, warehousing, and cross docking services with the highest quality transportation solutions for the manufacturing and automotive industries. More information can be found at https://www.matrixtransportation.com/.



Updating your Curb Appeal When Selling your Home


When it comes to home improvements nothing is more important than your homes curb appeal.  This is particularly true when you have decided that you want to sell your home.  No matter how the house looks on the inside if the outside is a total mess from the curb, buyers aren’t going to add it to their must see list of houses. 

The good news for us is that exterior home improvements are those that get the biggest return on your investment.  Bigger returns on investment often lead to greater home values.  Unfortunately, not all home renovations are treated equally.   Below you will find the top exterior home renovations to give you the biggest bang for your buck!

The Installation of a New Front Door

Having your front door replaced sounds simple and it is however, replacing an old, low-quality door with an ornamental steel door really has an impact on your homes overall value. This single exterior home improvement can net you over 80% on your ROI while really changing the overall curb appeal.

A professional exterior home improvement expert can take your renovation a step further by adding a pediment and changing up the moldings around the doors frame.  These updates not only help to enhance the door itself, they add an overall intensity to the appeal of the front door.

Upgrading Your Homes Front Porch

The front porch of your home is where you welcome your guests and where future buyers will see themselves inviting family and friends inside their new home.  Front porches bring images of sunshine, sweet tea, and overall relaxation.  A front porch addition also works to increase the usable outdoor space of the home. People always consider the addition of a deck however, a new porch can offer up to a 70% return on investment.  Additional seating on a porch is always a great idea but to chance up the overall look consider adding faux stone to enhance the siding and other architectural front porch features.

New Fiber Cement Siding

No matter how many upgrades you do to the exterior of your home if your siding is peeling, cracked, warped, or rotting it can really decrease the appeal of the exterior.  New fiber cement siding is a popular option for the exterior of your home as it doesn’t warp, peel, chip, or rot.  Its increased longevity is a real value to buyers.  Another selling point of fiber cement siding is its resistance to fire and insects.  Homeowners that have fiber cement siding installed can be confident that this is a purchase that will stand the test of time.

Add Lighting Around the House and Landscaping

Lighting is an important aspect both inside and outside of your home.  For optimal curb appeal add lighting elements beside doors, especially the front door, and accent lighting around the exterior of the home. Additionally, landscape lighting should be added to accentuate key features around the yard.  Play off of your usable space with additional lighting to emphasize the size of your lawn.  Even the smallest of yards will seem bigger and more usable when lighting is added to the space.

Replacing Your Homes Roof

Without a doubt your roof is one of the most important exterior elements of your home.  Not only does it protect the structure from the daily climate changes, it also plays a large role in the efficiency of energy throughout your home.  Older roofs often have a number of issues from small leaks to missing shingles.  It is important to have your homes roof inspected yearly.  A roofing contractor is an expert is finding damage we may miss before it becomes something more major than just replacing your homes roof. 

The great news if you do need to replace your roof is that there are an abundance of new materials available in roofing.  Long past are the days when your only option were flat, three-tab shingles. Now-a-days homeowners have endless options in roofing materials including architectural shingles that reflect solar rays!  Long gone are the days where our air conditioners have run all day fighting the heat that is being transferred throughout our homes from the attic that has retained the heat of the sun.  We all know what efficiency adds up to in the long run, additional money in our pockets!

As a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan, Kearns Brothers, Inc. offers clients a wide range of services to meet their construction needs including:roofing, siding, window, masonry, chimneys, gutters, and insulation services.  More information can be found at www.kearnsbrothers.com.



Avoid These Mistakes in Remodeling


There are plenty of mistakes that can be made when you are having your home renovated.  From a freshly designed kitchen with upgraded cabinets to completing wasted attic space for an office, renovations can quickly go from smooth sailing to looking like the Titanic.  Below are common problems that are often ran into when remodeling especially if choosing the DYI approach.  Hiring a professional home improvement contractor is always your best bet but when you do decide you want to tackle a project on your own avoid the following:

  • Using Cut-Rate Materials:  The old adage is true for a reason, you do get what you pay for.  This is especially true when it comes to remodeling projects. If you don’t have the funds to do the renovation properly then wait and save money until you have money to do it correctly.  Materials of lower quality can reduce property value instead of adding to it as you wanted.
  • Failing to Consider the Budget: In any renovation a budget is important.  Not sticking to your budget can quickly derail your plan.  Many people fail to create a budget or just stop referencing it which leads to running out of money before the renovation is complete.  New construction project soften are spoiled because funds ran low. 
  • Inaccurate Measurements: Incorrect measuring is one of the biggest mistakes in renovating. It is true when measuring, “Measure Twice, Cut Once”.  This will prevent costly, time-consuming errors from occurring.
  • Forgetting About Layered Lighting: Natural lighting is a perfect addition to any room but once the sun sets and the lighting disappears it needs to be replaced. Lighting should be done in layers: ambient, accent, and task.  All three aspects should be included in each and every renovation
  • Too Many Trends and Overly Bold Colors: Trends fade fast and bold colors grow old quickly. The last thing that you want to do is to plan a major renovation on details that will fade fast and be outdated before too long.  It is okay to include trends and color but be sure it can easily be switched out.  Add trends and bold colors into your design with throw pillows, window treatments,and more.
  • Forgetting About the Environment: There is no reason to forget about the environment in your renovations.  Being eco-friendly is not that much more expensive and can lead to less expensive monthly utility bills.  It is also simple to do with the installation of energy efficient appliances, light bulbs, and using recycled materials.

The best way to avoid mistakes is to pre-plan.  Whether you DIY or hire a professional when making home improvements, planning thoroughly can help you avoid making one of the many mistakes listed above.

JFC Remodeling is a full-service licensed contractor out of Howell, Michigan.  Specializing in kitchen and bathroom renovations, flooring upgrades, and home remodeling services.  More information can be found online at https://jfcremodeling.com/.



Generator Tap Boxes: Instant Power During Power Outages


No matter what business you are in, be it manufacturing, banking, health care, or education a sudden change in the power situation can be a debacle.  A loss of power means a loss of time, resources, and more so it is imperative to prepare for just such an occasion. 

 To plan ahead to avoid an electrical interruption companies could choose to install a permanent generator. An installed permanent generator can be a large maintenance expense.  To avoid this extra expense the installation of a tap generator is a viable, cost effective option.  When a natural disaster like storms,blackout, and what not a tap generator allows businesses to get your electricity back up and running quickly. 

A tap box is a simplistic generator that is installed outside of the business.  It plays the role of connecting the business’s portable generator to the electrical system.  This allows you to get a temporary supply of electricity running to avoid downtime.  This connection can be made either manually or using an automatic transfer switch.  The power is generated so efficiently that it can be up and running without any delay using programable logic circuits and auto start generators.  Your power system will be emergency ready and the cost savings of no down time and not having to hire a professional electrical contractor to temporarily connect power will be pay off the first time the power goes out.  Being prepared ahead of time pays off.

When having a generator tap box installed you will want to assess your electrical needs.  The needs and requirements that your specific business have will vary from even your competition.  Here are some things to consider when choosing a generator tab box

  • How often do you lose power?
  • What are your electrical needs?
  • What systems are crucial to keep running?
  • What is your budget?

No matter what the answers are to these questions, J & P Electrical will have a solution that fits your exact needs. 

J & P Electrical Company is a full-service electrical company that supplies contractors, end users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We purchase a wide range of electrical equipment such as bus plugs, bud ducts, panel switches, substations, and transformers. More information can be found at https://www.jpelectricalcompany.com



Choosing a Unique Fence For Your Landscape


Installing fencing in locations that blessed with slopes, hills, or any tricky landscape feature can be a challenge.  Whether you are searching for ways to keep your home and family secure or you just want to add a little privacy to your space don’t let a few complicated yard elements stand in the way of you and your new fence.

Erecting a fence can be difficult when there are unique characteristics in the landscape of the space you wish to utilize.  You may have large rocks in the way of a fence post.  Perhaps you desire to install a fence in a commercial setting, but you also need to make sure you leave space for parking and driveways. Sometimes a fence needs to be installed on an incline.  Aluminum fencing can meet the challenge that any landscape throws at you. 

Hills, Slopes, and Valleys

A landscape with lots of different land elevations is the trickiest of all to install fencing on. Not every type of fencing can handle various grades however, aluminum fence panels are manufactured in a way that installation can be done with great ease.  One of the biggest benefits that come with aluminum fencing is that the pickets are vertical and can easily be manufactured to consider the changes in grade throughout the landscape. 

Raked fencing is the phrase that fence manufacturers in describing pickets that can be adjusted for the slope of the landscape, while keeping bottom railing parallel to the ground. 

A mistake that is commonly made by homeowners is installing the posts and fence panels on a slope instead of adjusting the fence panel to the slope.  Aluminum fence panels should be parallel with each being installed right next to one another. When planning for and ordering your aluminum fence, gate, and accessories it is important to choose the correct heights and adjust for various slopes, hills, and valleys in the yard.  The height of the fence panels that are ordered will differ depending on where in the landscape they will be installed and the landscape imperfection that is found.

Stepped fencing is another way in which unique landscapes can be addressed.  Stepped fencing is when aluminum fence panels are installed right next to one another, with the tops making a step design instead of being parallel with one another.  When stepped aluminum fencing is chosen over rackable fencing the bottom panels may create a triangular gap where the fence doesn’t completely reach the ground.  The stacked aluminum fencing option doesn’t work if you are trying to enclose a space to keep small pets from escaping. Consider the goal for fence installation when determining if stepped or rackable aluminum fence panels are is the right option for your landscape needs.

Tight Spaces and Corners

Tight spaces and corners are not an issue when fencing with aluminum.  Even narrow corners can be fenced with ease when installing aluminum fence panels.  This is accomplished in two different manners, one through bypassing the corner all together, the other by stopping the fence a little short.  It is important to make sure that there is not too much space between posts on these tricky corners as it can be off putting aesthetically.  The vertical pickets have a way of pulling together the look of fencing even with the trickiest of tight spaces and corners.

No matter the situation or layout of your yard or landscape setting we have a solution for your needs!

iFenceUSA is an online distributor of wholesale aluminum fences and gates for residential, resort, commercial, and industrial installation.  As an industry leader in maintenance-free aluminum fencing products we have all your aluminum fence and gate needs covered.  More information can be found online at https://ifenceusa.com/.



The Correct Use of Lighting in Your Home Improvements


In order to bring your remodeling projects to a whole new level consider the lighting in the space. In order to truly understand how the lighting in a room can spice up any renovation it is important to know what types of lighting is available and the best ratio of light to use within the space. To help we have created a list of different lighting options available to choose from.

Options in Lighting

Lighting can be used in a number of ways.  More often than not layered lighting is the best option to really boost your rooms appeal. When renovating the space consider how the three options below work together to not only provide functionality but also style, and beauty. 

Ambient Lighting: General lighting is considered ambient lighting and is used to create overall illumination within your renovation. Ambient lighting is the lighting is the usable lighting in the space.  It provides the brightness that is needed in the room to proceed with the tasks that are done within the space.More often than not your renovations will include ambient lighting.  This includes lighting that comes from the ceiling from ceiling mounted lights, recessed lighting, track lights, and chandeliers.

Task Lighting: As the name applies, task lighting is in place to make every day tasks easier.  Task lighting provides a small beam of targeted light for activities like working, cooking, reading, getting ready and more.  Some examples of task lighting are floor lamps, reading lamps, under-cabinet lighting, stove lighting and more.  Task lighting take away the imperfections such as glare and shadow.

Accent Lighting: Much like you add a hat and scarf to your coat or earring to an outfit, accent lighting is used to add flair to your room. It adds a focal point within your room. Most accent lighting fixtures provide at least three more times the light then ambient light does.  If you have incredibly high ceilings and you want to accentuate the height add an accent light to the ceiling.  If you have a picture on the wall that you want to be the main focus of the room, try adding in sconces that project lighting on to the pieces. 

Plan for Lighting in Your Renovation

As you are planning for your remodel clarify your goals for the space and how the lighting needs to be utilized in the space.  What will you be doing in the space?  If you are renovating a kitchen are you looking to do more than cook and eat? Often times extra lighting is needed above an island area to illuminate the space for working or studying. Consider adjustable lighting as well in areas like a dining room so that the mood of the room can be changed depending on the situation.

Your lighting should also take into consideration the style of your renovation.  Modern lighting options don’t fit in aesthetically with country chic.  When choosing lighting consider the different aspects of the room remodel you want to coordinate with. 

Next it is important to consider how much lighting you actually want and need.  What is the right amount of lighting to make your renovation usable as it is intended too?  Having too little lighting in a space may make the remodel useless which is the last thing you want for your new space.  Consider the size of the space.  A good calculation to make is that 40 lumens are needs per foot of room space.  A 600 square foot room would need 24,000 lumens, 600 square foot x 40.

Build a plan for your room remodeling lighting elements that begins with a central source of ambient lighting.  You can build onto the lighting in the space from there.  Task lighting is usually the next element that contractors consider. Do you need some glare free work space above the counters to allow you to easily measure ingredients?  Do you need additional lighting over a kitchen island where you will be prepping meals or bake goods?  Lastly, choose one interesting feature in the renovation that you want to bring attention to.  Add in an accent feature to highlight the feature.  If you have had an amazing arched entry add you may want to include wall sconces that shine light upward on each side of the entry to highlight the arch.   

It is also important to choose the right type of light bulb for each type of lighting feature.  Will you be using all incandescent lights?  Do you prefer LED bulbs?  Are you okay with a combination of both?  Most ambient lighting will use incandescent light bulbs as they provide a warm glow.  LED lights are best used in task lighting where the brightness of the bulb helps to see what you are working on better.

Glen Miller the Home Doctor is a licensed general contractor servicing Livingston County and the surrounding areas.  Glen offers a wide range of services including home maintenance plans, age in place remodeling, kitchen and bathroom remodeling, finished basements, and hardwood floor refinishing.  More information can be found online at https://www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/

Planning for The Best New Year’s Yet


New Year’s Eve is the BIGGEST party night of the year and the Event Planners at Event Planning DC are here to help!   Not everyone is a “party person” so that is why we are here to help.  Whether you are planning a party at your home or at a location there are a few creative ideas for celebrating with your family and friends. Below you will find some top tips for planning an event to remember.

Snack Trays

Instead of planning a huge elaborate meal consider snack trays to feed your guests throughout the evening.  Cheese, meats, and cracker trays, fruit and veggie trays, nut samplers, chips and popcorn trays, hummus and pita  platters, dessert trays, and more. 

Karaoke

Nobody can resist a microphone!  Karaoke is a crowd favorite.  If you have a speaker, a microphone, and a computer you can have a karaoke party. Whether you choose to sing popular Christmas tunes or piano bar songs people will love to sing along. Karaoke is a great ice breaker and gets people enjoying the moment.

Photo Booths and Props

Photo booths are all the rage and are easier then ever to set up and execute.  Grab a back drop,some basic props and costumes, a camera, and get ready to click away!  A photo booth works for all age groups and is a great way collect memories from your event.

Themed Party

Any type of theme will work, they are all fun and can be inclusive to everyone at the party. Decorations, food, music, and attire can all match the theme to make it legit.  One of the most popular New Year’s Eve themes is The Great Gatsby. If you want something a bit more festive and fun, try a beach party in the middle of the winter. 

Game Night

 This is a great option when planning an event that involves families and people of all ages.  Whether it is board games or competitive Wii competition, or a combination of the two it is a perfect way to gap the age difference and bring everyone together as one. 

Makeovers

This may not be a night time activity but how much better is a makeover party when bringing in a New Year. Start the night with the girls getting your hair, nails, toes, and a purchasing a new outfit for your big evening out. 

Movie/Fort Night

This is a great party event when bringing your family together.  It is a special time for cousins to unite under a massive living room fort and some good movies. 

Event Planning DC provides full event planning, partial event planning, month-of (day-of) event coordination, event styling/design and decorating services throughout DC, Maryland, and Virginia, with access to local and national vendors who may provide additional services suitable for your event and budget.  We pride ourselves on providing only the highest quality event coordination, giving you and your guests the perfect day, no matter what the occasion including exclusive corporate and non-profit events, weddings, Bar & Bat Mitzvahs, community events and milestone celebrations.  More information can be found online at https://www.eventplanningdc.com.



More Answers to The Million Dollar Question, “How do I get my website on the first page of Google?”


It is the question we are asked more than any other, “How do I get my website on the first page of Google?” and as we previously mentioned,there is more than one way to reach Googles front page.  In this installment we will look at gaining first page Google access both through paid ads and organic searches. 

 Let’s start by talking about paid advertising, more commonly known as Google Ads.  This is the quickest method in which companies can get their website to be viewed on page one of the Google search engine for particular keywords and phrases.  One of the easiest ways to describe Google Ads is to compare it to an auction.  Once you have created and set up a Google Ads account you will create bids for targeted keywords and phrases.    This bid is the amount you are willing to pay for ad positionings for your targeted keywords.  Pay per click as it is referred to allows higher bids to appear closer to the top of the page with all other elements being equivalent. 

There is a lot more that goes into paid per click advertising on Google.  This is however a very simplified approach to introducing the concept of paid advertising.  Website owners will choose a daily budget that they don’t want to go over and once this amount has been spent your ads will stop showing.  Ad scheduling helps to narrow down the time frame which your ads are shown.  It is important to note that you will have more ad impressions than ad clicks.  In pay per click advertising you are only paying for those clicks to your actual ad.  Setting up campaigns with quality ads and keywords will lead to a higher quality score, further enhancing the positioning of your ads.

There can be a large difference in campaign costs between industries.  For highly competitive industries such as construction, legal firms, and IT companies commonly have bids ranging from $1.00 up to $100.00. Paid advertising can be cost prohibitive especially when not properly managed. 

CPS has a Google Ads expert on staff.  It is common for companies to set up a Google Ads account without professional assistance. Google has made it very simple to sign up and create ads on their platform. Bing has a similar product as well. The problem is that if you don’t know what you are doing you can easily waste hundreds of dollars. 

I suggest all companies hire a professional that is certified in Google Ads to create and manage your account.  They will be able to optimize Google Ads and your company’s website to work together to create the best experience for your paid advertising campaigns.  Certified Google Ad specialists often charge a one-time account set up fee and monthly maintenance.  You can expect to easily make up the cost of professional services with the benefits you receive in increased traffic to the site within the first few months if not the first month. 

In conjunction with paid advertising it is important to have your site ranking organically on Google and other popular search engines.  Organic rankings are the listings on the SERP that are found underneath paid advertising and business listings.  Often more paid ads are seen again after organic listings.  Organic rankings cannot be bought and must come naturally. This is done through a practice known as Search Engine Optimization, SEO.  Many factors influence the positioning of your website on Google.  Some of those include:

Page Content Quality and Length

The pages throughout your website need to be full of content that is easy to read, informative, and unique. The on-page content must be beneficial to the reader.  Your content should be only as long as it can be while maintaining quality. Create content that your target audience will find useful.

Inbound Links Quantity and Quality

Google ranks your website higher than similar websites when other sites link to yours, especially large scaled, relevant websites.  When other websites, third party links, show acceptance by creating inbound links to your site Google sees that as a signal that your content is worthy and therefore can have a higher SERP.

Mobile Presence

With the increase in the number of people accessing the internet via smartphones and tablets, Google is placing mobile-friendly websites ahead of those that aren’t. Websites need to be optimized for mobile devices so that they are easy to navigate.  Users on all platforms should access the desired information with speed and ease.

Page Speed

No one notices the speed at which pages load unless they load slowly.  Well, no one except Google that is! Web pages must load quickly no matter what device they are being viewed on.  Patience is a virtue that most internet users don’t have therefore in order to provide the best sites possible within SERP the loading speed of pages is measured.

Keyword and Phrases Within Page Content

Another element that is considered important in SEO is using the keywords and phrases you desire ranking for within your sites on page and off page content.  These should be used not only within the content of the page but also the headers and meta details.  It is important to not overdo their usage as this is known as “keyword stuffing” which Google will penalize you for. Content should be written in language that is easy for humans to understand.  Keywords should be used sparingly and kept as natural sounding as possible.

Domain Name Authority

This is something new companies don’t have a lot of control over however, the longer you have owned a domain the better.  The more pages that contain your domain name along with quality content the better for ranking.  Using keywords within your domain can impact traffic and therefore rankings because users are more likely to click a relevant domain name vs a competitor’s domain that shows little relevance to the search.

Site Security

Google places priority on secure sites vs non-securesites.  A website should load via https.  Not only does Google give placement preference to secure sites, site visitors prefers to visit secure sites as well. This is true even if you are not obtaining critical information such as credit cards.  Google wants all sites to have an SSL installed in order to load website pages in a secure format.

Along with on page elements there are a number of off page features that, when done correctly, work to enhance your rankings on search engines. Some of these essential tasks involve:

Creating a Google My Business Listing

Business listings are one of the best FREE ways to“advertise” your business.  Take time to claim and optimize your business on Google (and other major searchengines).  Business listings are listed right after Google Ads, pay-per-click, and before organic searches on the SERP.  This listing allows clients to leave reviews, see your business on a local map, and shows all relevant business information like hours of operation, address, and more.

Create and Maintain a Blog

Blogging is one of the best ways to create a buzz about your company.  If you want to rank on Google,start a blog and post regular articles and company updates.  Blog ideas can be difficult to come up with,so my advice is to consider the top 5 questions customers would ask you if they were in front of you.  Then write a detailed answer to satisfy each of these questions, one blog post per questions.  Make sure to note the title of your blog; it is a crucial element to each blog post.

Quality Link Building

Quality link building can be done in a number of ways.  Guest article writing is one of the best ways that businesses can build links.  Write an article for a local paper, industry blog or magazine, or whatever reputable source you can find to publish you.  At the end of your article add in a bio with a link to your website and information about your company.

Submit your Business Information to Directories

Create listings of your business on local and industry directory sites.  Sites like Yelp, Foursquare,and Angie’s List, some of which charge a small fee, are great sources to create business listings.  Creating a healthy online profile through trusted directory domains send a trustworthy signal to search engines like Google.  If other sites trust yours this will only help your SERP.

Just remember that you are never done!  In order to get to the front page of search engines and maintain your placement it is critical to remain persistent in your efforts.  Staying one step ahead of the competition is what will ensure your placement at the top!

Creative Programs and Systems, CPS, is an all-inclusive IT solutions company offering a variety of services including: managed IT services, IT consulting, residential computer services, custom programming,website design, iphone & android app development, and more.  More information can be found at https://cpsmi.com.