Many of us can recall a time when the thought of working from home was merely a daydream we’d have while fighting the traffic on our morning commute to the office. More and more people have been making the switch in recent years: remote work in the U.S. increased by 159% between 2005 and 2017. Even more dramatically, the COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020 has shifted the work-from-home concept from a rare job perk to a standard protocol worldwide in just a matter of days. Whether you find yourself working remotely by choice or by chance, there’s no denying that becoming a full-time work-from-home employee requires a complete mindset shift from the days back at the office. [Read more…] about 10 Work From Home Tips From The UpBuild Team
There are thousands of digital marketing agencies out there, and countless more that provide digital marketing services as part of a larger overall offering. We’re not exactly suffering from a shortage of digital agencies in the world. In some ways, this is great news for digital marketers — lots of agencies means a vibrant job market. Unfortunately, as I talk to marketers in our industry, especially those who are just a year or two into their careers, one thing becomes clear: a lot of these agencies really suck to work at.
A cursory search on Glassdoor reveals a litany of complaints from current and former employees of digital agencies across the US. Common themes include too many clients, not enough time to get results, bad management, no on-the-job training, high turnover — the list goes on. If you’ve spent much time working in a digital agency in your career, chances are at least some of this sounds familiar.
Not only are these agencies creating negative experiences (and high turnover) for their employees, they’re also churning out terrible work. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve taken on a new client and found that their previous agency was using outdated techniques (like focusing on keyword density or PageRank sculpting); engaging in shady practices like using PBNs for link building; or — the worst and, also, the most common — charging a high monthly fee for “services” that boiled down to a canned, auto-generated report on meaningless metrics (like total page views and nothing else), with no further analysis or action items in mind.
As we’ve built UpBuild, we’ve tried to commit ourselves to not only delivering the best possible work and highest value to our clients, but also to being the best possible employer. Here’s a little secret I’ll share with you: it is because we focus on being a good employer that we are able to deliver the highest value to our clients.[Read more…] about Employee Retention: A Key Metric for Digital Agencies
SEO can be something of a “black box.” It’s certainly much more widely accepted as a marketing practice than it was when I was first starting out, but even though more business owners understand that SEO is something they need to be doing, they still may not understand what, exactly, SEO entails.
In some ways, this is a good thing for us as SEOs – we’re in possession of an in-demand skill set that not a lot of people possess. Can anybody say “job security”? But in other ways, SEO’s esoteric nature makes it easy for unscrupulous SEO providers to hide the fact that they’re not providing real value. In a world where business owners understand that they need SEO, but may not have much (or any) idea of what good SEO entails or what results they should be getting, there’s a lot of room for advantage to be taken.
To add to that, there are a number of “black hat” SEO techniques that still work disturbingly well even today. These tactics can gain success for a business, but also run the risk that the website will be penalized by Google if it detects the use of those tactics. Since black hat tactics aren’t illegal, just risky, there’s really nothing stopping SEO practitioners from using them, often without their clients’ awareness or a full understanding of the risks involved. Nothing, that is, except the individual practitioners’ sense of ethics and integrity.
In January, UpBuild had its 8th annual Team Retreat in Orlando, FL. As has become customary to say after every retreat, it was our best one ever!
What is the Team Retreat?
Ruth and Laura have given past recaps for our retreats in 2017 and 2018 so I won’t rehash this in detail. In short, we have a team retreat 1-2 times per year so that we can discuss where UpBuild is currently and where we’re heading, discuss different trends and strategies we may want to implement for our clients, and to get some face time and just have fun together.
Team Retreat 2019: Orlando Edition
This year, the time for our team retreat landed in mid-January. Since the majority of our team lives in cities where winter is an actual thing – I’ve been in south Florida for 5+ years so I know nothing about that – we thought it’d be fun to bring everyone to my neck of the woods for a reprieve from the weather. We hosted the retreat in Orlando, FL: home to Universal Studios, Disney World, and weather that does not include snow.
Great SEO requires focus. A highly technical SEO project is best done in chunks of several hours at a time: you need time to get deep into the data, look for patterns, and chase down the roots of any problems you see. A more creative or content-focused SEO project is also going to benefit from a focused effort; you need time to explore possibilities, do your research, plan, and create.
Focus is a core part of how we do what we do at UpBuild, and we’ve gone to great lengths to structure our company in ways that help us defend and use that focus. [Read more…] about Values Spotlight: Focus