Archive for 2.0

Business etiquette and body language blunders


There are certain behaviors we all know will raise eyebrows and offend people. Standing too close to someone while talking, double-dipping, and a feeble handshake, are all examples of behaviors that others find off-putting.

Particularly in business, it’s crucial to avoid the common pitfalls and adhere strictly to etiquette, especially when in a foreign setting.

While Westerners are suspicious of people who avoid eye contact, East Asian cultures don’t consider looking someone in the eyes a must. In fact, many Chinese and Japanese consider steady eye contact provocative.

But there are also more subtle, perhaps culturally specific faux pas, and committing them can be as easy as inadvertently checking the time while speaking to someone, or nodding too frequently.

Then, of course, there are the behaviors we don’t even catch ourselves displaying, but which nonetheless cause others to take a dislike to us, such as fidgeting and clenching our fists, or crossing our arms during a conversation.

We’ve looked at a selection of common etiquette breakers, and some you may not have considered before.


Business Etiquette and Body Language BlundersBusiness Etiquette and Body Language Blunders

Infographic by Swiss Canadian Capital



A week, a month, a year plus? The question of how long it takes to rank top of Google is one that we’re asked almost daily. Unfortunately, it is a difficult question to answer as there are just so many variables to consider: existing domain authority, competition, on-site ranking factors, off-site ranking factors… The list goes on.

If you’re ready to put in the hard yards (or hire an SEO specialist to take care of things for you) then SEO can be a very worthwhile exercise, but it’s by no means a short-term strategy. Exactly how long does it take to rank in one of the lucrative ‘top of the first page’ positions on Google? The short default answer has to be – “it depends” but we couldn’t sleep well at night having left you with an answer like that!

Fortunately, thanks to the help of a superb study carried out by the team at Ahrefs, we think that we can do one better than to simply answer with our own question relating to the length of string. So to give you something a tad more quantifiable than a copout – “it depends”, we’ve created this infographic (below) to shed some light on the topic.

As always, please let us know your comments or any questions on Twitter (@thewebsitegroup ← Click to Tweet Us).

Courtesy of: The Website Group


How To Track And Validate Website Sales Leads By Marketing Channel

A broken bone is relatively easy for a doctor to fix, but what if that doctor didn’t know which bone was broken? Putting the patient’s entire body in a cast might solve the problem, but it’s terribly inefficient — not to mention unpleasant for the patient. Knowing as much as you can about a problem makes it much easier to solve, and the same principle applies to optimizing a lead generation website.

Here at PPC services agency Straight North, we’ve found that many online marketers don’t have all the information they need to improve their websites. That’s because they rely on the raw conversion numbers from Google Analytics, which don’t identify which conversions are true sales leads and which are dead ends. Implementing lead validation and tracking into their lead generation websites can give these marketers the additional level of information they need to succeed. The following presentation details the step-by-step process of implementing lead validation and tracking into an Internet marketing campaign. Read it, and you may be able to better identify the problems lurking in your data.

Matt Cannon is Director of Web Services at Straight North, an Internet marketing firm in Chicago that offers SEO, PPC and web design services. Cannon manages all web development activities, making sure that every project is applying current development standards and techniques.

How to Track and Validate Website Sales Leads from Straight North, a provider of PPC services

How can business awards raise your international profile?

Is entering your business into industry awards a priority in your marketing strategy? Here are five reasons why it should be:

  1. Marketing & PR Even if you don’t win on the night (obviously it would be nice if you did), being shortlisted is already enough to improve your brand awareness, helping your business take advantage of invaluable PR opportunities. This will be especially effective and help build reputation if your burgeoning brand is relatively unknown in a new international market.
  1. Benchmarking
    Entering an award could often mean looking at your business from a different perspective. A complete review of your business or analysing your competitors will provide you with the opportunity to compare and contrast within the industry. The whole process will urge you to consider new ways of improving the overall performance of your business.
  2. Seal of approval
    Whether you end up winning the award or finish only being shortlisted, being associated with a prestigious industry award will be viewed as a seal of approval by any new customers. This seal of approval will be a mark of quality, credibility and industry recognition, potentially forming a distinct centrepiece of your international sales pitch.
  1. Employee motivation
    Being shortlisted for an award will recognise the hard work of your employees. Selecting a few key members of staff to attend the night will also make them feel valued and appreciated, also providing great networking opportunities.
  1. Attract talent
    Who doesn’t want to work for an award winning company? By marketing yourself as an award winning company, you will position yourself as an industry leader and attract talented individuals that will push your business forward.

Professional Guest post by OWB-UK. (Agency Comvort Member since 2009).

Pitch Perfect – Are you prepared for an international pitch?

If 2016 is the year that your business is expanding internationally; you will no doubt be speaking to local customers and regional stakeholders with a vested interest in your new outreach. This unfortunately comes with an all-new set of challenges.

Comvort will assist in your preparation for such an event, offering industry leading insight and feedback on your pitch. Begin with this handy checklist as we make this process a whole lot easier:

Research the company – The more you know the better. Observing their company culture and mission statement will give you a better understanding of how you should approach and address them. Focus on your body language and tone of voice, placing particular impetus on conveying enthusiasm and confidence. This is especially important when everyone in the room might be not be speaking the same language. This is something you can easily practice in the mirror.

Establish objectives – Do you want to make a quick sale now or spark an interest that will later lead to presenting your ideas in front of key decision makers? Be sure to spend time building a relationship and establishing objectives, particularly in countries that value long-term partnerships.

pitch perfect Comvort

Prepare yourself for cultural gaps – A prime example of this can be American business people often being uncomfortable with silences in conversation and will tend to keep talking or engaging in ‘small talk’ when they’re listening to the proposal of another party. When preparing for an international meeting it is a must to read up on the local culture and avoid any potential awkward moments.

Take your time doing business – In the western world we believe in and apply the common expression “Time is money”, however Asian cultures do not share this approach to time and processes can be slower in comparison.

Speak clearly and avoid jargon, slang and idioms – Stick to Standard English. Not everyone has heard of and understands expressions such as ‘that’s a piece of cake’ or ‘kill two birds with one stone’. Also give your audience an occasional pause, allowing them time to take notes and catch up.

Use visual aids & handouts in your presentation: This allows your audience to receive your message on a number of channels and will increase effectiveness.

Bilingual staff: If you are regularly conducting business on an international stage it might be worth hiring a bilingual member of staff. Ensuring that your pitch’s insight and advice is communicated in in a fluid and cohesive manner.

If you have any further suggestions to optimise any international pitch, please let us know in the comments below!

Professional Guest post by Agency OWB-UK.
Comvort Member since 2009.