How to Use Search Engine Marketing to Get Your Website


Randy Duermyer is a former writer for The Balance Small Business and a home-based business owner with experience in digital marketing.

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Randy Duermyer

Updated April 02, 2019

Without a doubt, search engines are the most used online tools for finding information and resources. So it goes without saying that having your website listed can do a lot in helping you market your home business. Here’s what you need to know about the ways in which search engines can be used to promote your business.

When you think of search engines in terms of marketing, you might focus on SEO or search engine optimization. However, that’s not the only way search engines can help your business.

Search engine marketing is the practice of marketing or advertising your website through search engines, like Google, Yahoo, or MSN. Search engine marketing (SEM) may consist of one or more of the following components:

  • Organic search engine optimization (SEO): Search engine optimization involves using techniques to help search engines find and rank your website in organic search results. Organic search results are the rankings of web pages returned by a search engine when you search for a specific word (keyword) or phrase (keyword phrase).
  • Local search: If your business caters to people who live or work in your area, you can get listed by city in search engines (e.g. Google) and directories (e.g. Yahoo). This offers a way for area residents to find your business online, which is ideal since many people don’t use the phonebook anymore.
  • Pay per click advertising (PPC): While SEO is free, pay-per-click ads are just as they sound; ads you run on a search engine that you pay for each time someone clicks on it. In PPC advertising, you bid the amount you are willing to pay per click. In general, the more you bid, the higher your ad will likely appear in the search engine results. Google AdWords ​has implemented an additional factor in which your ads are ranked based on the relevancy or importance that Google places on your site, which is very difficult to manipulate. You can also use pay per click advertising to your advantage on your own site. For example, you can make money with Google AdSense and other similar programs.

You may or may not decide to make search engine marketing part of your marketing and advertising strategy. If you don’t have a website for your business and don’t plan to ever have one, you certainly wouldn’t need search engine marketing. However, in today’s business climate, nearly all businesses are expected to have a website. In fact, since most people go online to find information, even about their local businesses, not having a website can hurt your chances of being found. Since having a website is crucial to success, there’s no reason not to take advantage of what search engines offer to help you get found.

Search engine marketing can help deliver traffic to your website, which in turn can lead to new customers and clients, and increased home business revenues. Compared to other means of marketing and advertising, search engine marketing can be very cost effective. For example, it costs nothing to use search engine optimization techniques if you do them yourself. Organic search rankings are free, so if you can help search engines find and rank your business, your traffic should increase

Similarly, Pay Per Click Advertising can be very inexpensive, as long as you do it right. You can set limits on how much you pay per click and how much you pay per day, which allows you control costs. The trick to success in PPC advertising is making sure you write a great ad that targets your market.

How you measure the effectiveness of your search engine marketing program depends on what your objectives are. If your intent is to increase the number of visitors to your website, you determine if your SEM campaigns are successful by comparing your web traffic statistics before and after you implemented search engine marketing.

For search engine marketing, efforts may take time before you see any significant boost to your traffic. There are many factors to SEO, including the keywords you’re hoping to rank for, how well you utilize them, without overdoing it, on your website, as well as how long your website has been online and the quality of backlinks (other websites that link to yours).

Although you can instantly get your PPC ads running, it can take some time for them to appear against other ads, depending on your per-click pay bid and other factors.

In addition to measuring your website traffic, you need to track your conversion rates. For example, if, as a result of your search engine marketing efforts, your traffic doubles from 250 to 500 visitors per month, how many new customers did you acquire from the additional 250 visitors to your site? Do you now have twice as many customers as you did before? If you picked up five customers your conversion rate would be 2 percent of the new traffic (5 divided by 250) and 1 percent (5 of 500) overall. You’ll spend a lot of time marketing, so you want to make sure your efforts are paying off.

Ultimately, when measuring the success of SEM marketing, it isn’t just about increasing traffic to your website but also having that traffic lead to greater sales. So your goal is to find ways to increase the number of visitors and their conversion rates, so you’ll know exactly what it takes to make your search engine marketing program successful.

Although you don’t want to ignore search engines in your marketing plan, you don’t want to rely on them solely for website traffic. Search engine marketing is just one of the many marketing options available to home businesses.


What is Project Management Definition and Terms

What is project management?

We encounter projects in our everyday lives—in business and at home. Think about projects for a minute: at work you might be building or contributing to a deliverable (like a report, a website, a tool or product, or even a building), and at home you might be making a meal, planning a vacation, or even working on upgrades to your home. These—and many other examples—are true projects that have a defined start and end date, a goal, a scope, and resources. And, they all require some level of management.

In business, which is where we’ll focus in this chapter, projects are typically unique operations that are conducted to meet specific goals. Examples of projects might be the development of software to increase employee productivity, the construction of a building to house community events, or the design of a website to decrease call volume to a business. The list could go on and on. All of these types of projects require a team of people who are responsible for different aspects of the delivery. For instance, you’d likely see a designer, developer, and copywriter working on website design projects. In many instances, a project manager is staffed to these projects to ensure that the team delivers the project on time, under budget, and meeting its stated goals.

So, then, what is project management? It’s not a tool or a person, it’s a practice.

Quick links

What does a project manager do?

No matter where they work—construction, consulting agencies, marketing teams, manufacturing, HR teams, software developers, and event planners—or the types of projects they manage, project managers are the men and women on the front lines of projects, defending their teams, clients, and projects from miscommunication, missed deadlines, scope creep, and any other failures. They champion the well-being of the people involved in their projects and look to make or facilitate strategic decisions that uphold the goals of their projects. That’s a hefty job description, and it requires a fine balance of managing the administrative details of a project and its people. While PMs are often lumped in the “behind the scenes” aspect of project, to be highly effective, they need to be a part of the bigger strategic project conversations.

PMs are not robots. They are not on your team to just take notes and make sure you’re recording your time properly. Yes, they do work in spreadsheets and follow-up on deadlines at a sometimes-annoying rate. But the PM role is important on your team for several reasons.

There are so many intangible tasks and qualities of project managers that it’s not uncommon for people to not fully understand just what a PM does, and if they need one or not. Here’s the thing: You always need a PM, no matter what. That PM might be called a producer, account manager, designer, or even developer.

Project manager roles and responsibilities

As mentioned, the role and even the title may differ slightly from place to place, but the basics of what a PM will do for a team are fairly consistent (though some may be less formal than others). The role of the project manager involves many tasks and responsibilities including:

  • Traditional approaches
  • Agile methodologies
  • Change management methodologies
  • Process based methodologies
  • Planning and defining scope
  • Setting and managing expectations
  • Crafting process
  • Creating project plans
  • Managing tasks
  • Resource planning
  • Time/cost estimating
  • Analyzing and managing risks and issues
  • Monitoring and reporting project status
  • Team leadership
  • Strategic influencing
  • Facilitating communications and collaboration
  • Planning and facilitating meetings

That is a lot to include in one job description—one that does not actually hold any operational or management responsibility for the team working on the projects. Often, you will find PMs in a tough position of trying to make things happen, but without the authority to truly push an issue. In order for that to happen, the PM has to gain the trust and respect of their teams and have the endorsement of senior management.

Project management process

There is no single way to run all projects. You’ll find that most organizations spend a lot of time making mistakes and adjusting their process in order to get it just right, only to find that when they thought it was “just right” it needed to be tweaked again. Factors like changing business needs and goals, new or different staff and expertise, evolving or new technology are often among reasons why processes have to change. But what’s most important is that an organization or team has a basic framework for how projects operate. As you research project management processes, you will find that most models identify three basic phases (with varying names, tasks, and deliverables) to organize activities:

Research, discovery, and planning

Typically, an organization will perform some level of research to determine the validity of a project. This could take the form of market research, user research, competitive analyses, among many other activities. These are the critical steps in the project that help to define goals and requirements for what needs to be designed or built. This is also when a project team can come together to define how they will work together, and what their execution plan will be, taking all outside factors into consideration.


Once the project is planned, it’s time to execute. The execution can play out in several different ways, using different processes like waterfall, agile, or variants therein. Essentially what you will find in this phase is time for collaboration, creation, review, and iteration. Teams will partner with stakeholder groups to present work, accept feedback, and complete deliverables that are mutually agreed upon, leading up to a final deliverable. This happens to be the phase that is riddled with change, delays, and sometimes even dispute. For that reason, it happens to be the phase where the PM is most active.

Testing, measuring, iterating

After a project has launched, it’s time to make sure it’s tracking well against its goals. In an agile project, a minimum viable product (or MVP) will be launched to gain early feedback to iterate. On waterfall projects, the feature-complete product will be launched and tested. In either case, test results will reveal what is and is not working for users and stakeholders. Teams will take test results and alter—or build on—the product to create something that is closer to those goals. This is natural for agile projects, but not so much for waterfall projects, which would require a new or “Phase 2” project to be added on.

There is no right or wrong way to roll out a process. What’s most important is that the process matches the values and talent of the organization. It will become quite evident if the process is not a right fit for a team, because people will be unhappy and work will not get done without issues. The best thing you can do when it comes to process is sit down with your team to discuss what will work best and why. Document decisions, roll out a process, and be open to discussing it and changing it when needed. Keep the 3 steps above in the back of your mind for an overall framework to operate by, and do what feels right for your project and your team.

What a
re the benefits of project management?

There are so many intangible tasks and qualities of project managers that it’s not uncommon for people to not fully understand their worth. The benefits of any role seem to come down to perception, but a bulk of a PM’s work is “behind the scenes,” so how can you demonstrate the benefits? First, it starts with the individual. Each and every PM should know their role and their worth and follow-through on being a good PM for their teams. Second, it comes down to the organization. A PM will not thrive in an organization that does not value the role and see the benefits of it. And, lastly, the benefit of having a PM on a team is realized by the people who work with them. If they are not bought in, the PM will have a hard time helping.

Some people see the benefits of having a PM on a team, and others don’t. And that is okay—sometimes just having someone on a smaller team to handle logistics and communications is enough. That’s right, you don’t always need a PM, but you do need someone who will handle PM tasks. If simply stating that managing tasks and communications can provide more time to team members to collaborate and create isn’t enough to sell you on the value of PM, read on for more direct benefits.

More efficient teams

Having a PM on your team means that you’ve got a person dedicated to making sure that work is done on time and at the right time. That person is also looking to make sure that the team’s practices are running smoothly, and if they are not, they will be corrected through discussion. This is the kind of thing that makes teams happier, because they can focus on working hard and producing successful products.


Everyone—clients and teams—walks away from projects that are done on time and within budget with a smile on their faces. They’re also happy when they’re communicating well. Guess who helps to make all of that happen?


Teams with project managers benefit from the fact that someone is paying attention to how, when, and why something should happen. Great PMs utilize tools like project plans and RACI matrices to help suss out the details. When you have a dedicated PM, there is time to organize and use the right tools to help a team.

Team growth and development

When you’re trying to work on a task and manage it along with everyone and everything else, it can be tough. That means that you don’t have the time to focus on your work product, or developing strategies or methodologies to do it better. When a PM is involved, that stress is peeled away and the team gets to collaborate and grow by trying new approaches to deliverables. There’s something to be said for letting experts focus solely on their craft (even when that expert is a PM).


Great PMs know that projects change, and they are always on the lookout for it. And when that change becomes a real factor, they immediately find ways to adapt the project’s path. Having a PM on your team means that you’ll always know when a risk, issue, or change is on the horizon, and you’ll be able to plan for them.


When your team is focused on their craft, the quality of work goes up because they have all the time they need (well, within scope) to do that job. And, a good PM will always have quality of work on their minds as they help to deliver work to stakeholders. It’s common for a PM to contribute to internal reviews, proofread content, and make sure that work is flawless before it goes out the door.


This one is important for business owners. When you remove the burden of PM from your team and place it on one person, you free up their time to take on more projects and produce more work. Sounds like a win-win.

There are surely many more benefits to project management, like the hard facts and details you get out of typical PM reports and deliverables: transparency on budget and timeline, accountability for tasks, and so on. Those tend to be the things people think about when they hear “project management,” and they are absolutely great benefits. But as you see, those benefits create other benefits that affect not only the bottom line, but the people and the process.

Project management tools and resources

In order to be a great project manager, you have to educate yourself and stay current with what is happening in your industry. New articles, books, courses, blogs, newsletters, templates and resources are made available to PMs and PM enthusiasts every day. But how do you keep up with it all? It’s not easy to wade through it all and know what will work best for you, and we get that. That’s why, over the past few years, TeamGantt has produced a lot of great content to help you be a better project manager. Check out these resources:

Project management terms

Project management speak can get technical, but it all comes back to terms that keep projects on track. Here’s a list of terms every project manager should know:


Agile methodologies are based on the mindset that self-organizing software development teams can deliver value through iteration and collaboration. The Agile Manifesto for Software Development was formally developed in 2001 by 17 practitioners and is based on a core set of values of delivering value and collaborating with customers. The principles are:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan


When PMs or teams make assumptions, they have to communicate them, because project assumptions can affect scope, goals, deliverables, and outcomes. In fact, assumptions can set the context for how a project is defined and even executed. You’ll see project managers bringing up assumptions and turning them into larger conversations, scope line items, milestones, deliverables, and anything else to ensure that the team is operating on concrete facts.

Change management

Projects change often and it’s the PM’s job to make sure that everyone—clients, team, and any other related parties—is aware of the change and its impacts. As the scope or business requirements change during the project, it is very likely that the effort, associated cost, and deadline may no longer be valid. In this case, the PM will draft a change order or change request document to formalize the change and its associated impacts.

Client / customers

This can mean a of couple things. PMs working in a consulting space like an advertising agency or building company work with clients to build or deliver a product. The PMs need to take those clients into account when crafting process, presenting work, and gaining approvals. At the same time, those clients might have clients or customers they are trying to please when building a product. Often, in the digital space, you’ll hear those people referred to as “users,” and a lot of work is done to ensure that a product is built to please these people.


Constraints are limitations that are outside the control of the project team and need to be managed to. An example of this might be a scope or budget, or a timeline. There is only so much you can do within those things, so they set a constraint on the work product. Project managers are hyper aware of these constraints, because it’s their job to keep projects within timeline and budget.

Critical Path

The critical path is the sequence of stages determining the minimum time needed for an operation, especially when analyzed on a computer for a large organization. It’s a formal, step-by-step project management technique for process planning that defines critical and non-critical tasks with the goal of preventing s
cheduling or timeline problems and process bottlenecks.


A deliverable is any tangible outcome that is produced by the project—either produced along the way to gain consensus, or delivered at the end as the final work product. Examples of deliverables include visual designs, documents, plans, code, prototypes, blue prints, proofs, buildings, apps, websites, products, etc.


In project management, a dependency refers to a task that cannot happen without its predecessor being completed. This is an important detail for PMs to consider when planning projects. Planning tools like TeamGantt make it very easy to point out and track dependencies.

Gantt chart

A gantt chart is a chart in which a series of horizontal lines shows the amount of work done or production completed in certain periods of time in relation to the amount planned for those periods. TeamGantt produces beautiful gantt charts to help you keep track of your project tasks, dependencies, resources, and even communications. Learn more about Gantt charts!


A project goal or objective is a documented statement of the intent and outcome of the project. Goals are used to help make decisions when at crossroads, or points of indecision (or even scope creep) of projects, because the goals determine project success.


Project managers are constantly hunting for project issues so they can knock them down before they become bigger problems. Issues typically impede the progress of the project and cannot always be resolved by the project manager or project team without outside consultation. A common example of a marketing project issue is when content is absent or delivered late. When that happens, it holds up progress and often requires the deadline to be moved.


A milestone is an action or event marking a significant change or stage in the production or development of a project. By its project management definition, a milestone has a duration of zero and no effort, because there is no work associated with it. It’s essentially a point in the project plan that signifies important work has been completed, and the project will transition to a new phase.


There are several ways to manage projects, as methodologies and processes have been formalized and taught for several years—waterfall and agile methods included. It’s good to know how methods were created, and decide for yourself how they can be adapted in the work you’re doing today. So, if you’re looking to learn, see our chapter about project management methodologies, including:

  • Traditional approaches
  • Agile methodologies
  • Change management methodologies
  • Process based methodologies


When working on several projects that are connected in some way (goals, product, client, etc.), it’s often referred to as a program. The program itself is not a project with deliverables. It provides overall management to ensure that all projects included have a central point of communication that provides consistency and alignment for the proper timing, pacing, and approval of all interconnected projects.

Program manager

Program managers are often not only responsible for projects, but also for larger strategic initiatives and sometimes teams of project managers. When it comes to programs—or sets of projects—they help articulate the goals and objectives of those connected projects and how their outcomes will impact the business overall. Knowing these goals helps the program manager focus on the strategy of each project’s implementation and how to get them done with the appropriate resources and team members.


This was mentioned at the beginning of this chapter. Projects are unique operations that are conducted to meet specific goals. Examples of projects might be the development of software to increase employee productivity, the construction of a building to house community events, or the design of a website to decrease call volume to a business.

Project manager

Also mentioned earlier in this chapter, project managers are the men and women on the front lines of projects, defending their teams, clients, and projects from miscommunication, missed deadlines, scope creep, and any other failures. They champion the well-being of the people involved in their projects and look to make or facilitate strategic decisions that uphold the goals of their projects. That’s a hefty job description, and it requires a fine balance of managing the administrative details of a project and its people. While PMs are often lumped in the “behind the scenes” aspect of project, to be highly effective, they need to be a part of the bigger strategic project conversations.

Project phase

In order to organize projects, PMs will organize a series of tasks or deliverables into phases. On a website redesign project, logical phases might be definition, design, development, and deployment.

Project plan/timeline/schedule

PMs create project plans to chart the course for how a project will be completed. Good project plans show overall process in phases, deliverables, and tasks along with corresponding details on who is responsible, the dates when the work will start and finish, and any relevant notes for each task. The project plan is a form of communication and arguably one of the most important deliverables on a project, as it provides detail on what should be happening at any point during the course of a project. You can find plenty of sample plans and templates on the TeamGantt website.

Project team

The project team includes the people who are responsible for conducting tasks and completing deliverables on a project. Project teams vary by industry and project type, and companies recruit the proper team members with expertise to conduct the work.


Requirements are critical to getting a project done right. Requirements are often included in a detailed scope of work and define how the product should act, appear, and function within the stated goals.


This is a term that is by far the least human of all PM terms. Resources are the people who do the work on projects. A better term here would be “staff” or “team” but for some reason, we revert back to this. You’ll see or hear about “resourcing plans,” which are created to ensure that staff are properly assigned to projects and not being over- or under-utilized. A simple way to sort this out is by using the resourcing functionality in TeamGantt, which allows you to assign people to tasks and estimate the time needed to complete tasks.


Issues cause risk! When PMs talk about risk, they are thinking about potential issues or events that cause things to go wrong along with the probability the event will occur and how it will impact the project overall. A good way to keep a team tuned in to potential risks is by including a risk register (or a list of risks, issues, and a mitigation plan) in a regular status report.


A scope describes, in detail, what will and will not be included in a project. It defines what the project will deliver and what it will not deliver. When in a consulting organization (like an advertising agency), this will take shape in a formalized document. When working for an internal team, it might take shape in a brief, or even in a less formalized format like an email. 

Sponsor (executive sponsor and project sponsor)

When working on large projects, you might hear the ultimate decision maker or funder referred to as the project sponsor. This person has ultimate authority over the project and will be involved to make funding decisions, resolve issue
s and scope changes, approve deliverables, and provides overall strategic direction. At the same time, the sponsor is often held responsible for championing a project within an organization, ensuring that all are on board.


Stakeholders are the people who have an actual stake in the outcome of the project. They can be internal to the project (think marketing, IT, and other departments), but also external to the project (suppliers, investors, partners, etc.). PMs work with stakeholder groups to make sure they are aware of project developments and are a part of the decision making process when necessary.


Waterfall is certainly among the most widely-known and practiced PM methodologies. The key ingredient in running a waterfall project is to complete a task and hand it down for it to be used, or built on, in a following task or phase. This requires a fair amount of planning and requirements gathering before work begins. Without that initial planning, steps can be missed, incomplete, or even out of line. Further, any alteration to project requirements can cause a change in scope.

Now it’s your turn: Define what project management means to you

Educating yourself on project management is the first step in defining what your organization needs in terms of the role, process, and everything else wrapped up in PM. The best job you can do is take this information and adapt it to your situation. One way to ensure you’re headed in the right direction is to ask yourself these questions:

  • Now that I know what project management is and understand the role, do I think it fits in my organization?
  • What are the things a PM would do for my team? And what benefits would they provide?
  • Is our process right for us? If not, what avenues should I explore?
  • What else do I need to learn about project management?

There are tons of questions you could ask, but give these a shot. Or, even better, talk to a project manager who can help you to determine the right path for your organization.

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Computer Basics Basic Troubleshooting Techniques

Lesson 19: Basic Troubleshooting Techniques



Do you know what to do if your screen goes blank? What if you can’t seem to close an application, or can’t hear any sound from your speakers? Whenever you have a problem with your computer, don’t panic! There are many basic troubleshooting techniques you can use to fix issues like this. In this lesson, we’ll show you some simple things to try when troubleshooting, as well as how to solve common problems you may encounter.

General tips to keep in mind

There are many different things that could cause a problem with your computer. No matter what’s causing the issue, troubleshooting will always be a process of trial and error—in some cases, you may need to use several different approaches before you can find a solution; other problems may be easy to fix. We recommend starting by using the following tips.

  • Write down your steps: Once you start troubleshooting, you may want to write down each step you take. This way, you’ll be able to remember exactly what you’ve done and can avoid repeating the same mistakes. If you end up asking other people for help, it will be much easier if they know exactly what you’ve tried already.
  • Take notes about error messages: If your computer gives you an error message, be sure to write down as much information as possible. You may be able to use this information later to find out if other people are having the same error.
  • Always check the cables: If you’re having trouble with a specific piece of computer hardware, such as your monitor or keyboard, an easy first step is to check all related cables to make sure they’re properly connected.
  • Restart the computer: When all else fails, restarting the computer is a good thing to try. This can solve a lot of basic issues you may experience with your computer.

Using the process of elimination

If you’re having an issue with your computer, you may be able to find out what’s wrong using the process of elimination. This means you’ll make a list of things that could be causing the problem and then test them out one by one to eliminate them. Once you’ve identified the source of your computer issue, it will be easier to find a solution.


Let’s say you’re trying to print out invitations for a birthday party, but the printer won’t print. You have some ideas about what could be causing this, so you go through them one by one to see if you can eliminate any possible causes.

First, you check the printer to see that it’s turned on and plugged in to the surge protector. It is, so that’s not the issue. Next, you check to make sure the printer’s ink cartridge still has ink and that there is paper loaded in the paper tray. Things look good in both cases, so you know the issue has nothing to do with ink or paper.

Now you want to make sure the printer and computer are communicating correctly. If you recently downloaded an update to your operating system, it might interfere with the printer. But you know there haven’t been any recent updates and the printer was working yesterday, so you’ll have to look elsewhere.

You check the printer’s USB cord and find that it’s not plugged in. You must have unplugged it accidentally when you plugged something else into the computer earlier. Once you plug in the USB cord, the printer starts working again. It looks like this printer issue is solved!

This is just one example of an issue you might encounter while using a computer. In the rest of this lesson, we’ll talk about other common computer problems and some ways to solve them.

Simple solutions to common problems

Most of the time, problems can be fixed using simple troubleshooting techniques, like closing and reopening the program. It’s important to try these simple solutions before resorting to more extreme measures. If the problem still isn’t fixed, you can try other troubleshooting techniques.

Problem: Power button will not start computer

  • Solution 1: If your computer does not start, begin by checking the power cord to confirm that it is plugged securely into the back of the computer case and the power outlet.
  • Solution 2: If it is plugged into an outlet, make sure it is a working outlet. To check your outlet, you can plug in another electrical device, such as a lamp.
  • Solution 3: If the computer is plugged in to a surge protector, verify that it is turned on. You may have to reset the surge protector by turning it off and then back on. You can also plug a lamp or other device into the surge protector to verify that it’s working correctly. resetting a surge protector
  • Solution 4: If you are using a laptop, the battery may not be charged. Plug the AC adapter into the wall, then try to turn on the laptop. If it still doesn’t start up, you may need to wait a few minutes and try again.

Problem: An application is running slowly

  • Solution 1: Close and reopen the application.
  • Solution 2: Update the application. To do this, click the Help menu and look for an option to check for Updates. If you don’t find this option, another idea is to run an online search for application updates. Checking for updates

Problem: An application is frozen

Sometimes an application may become stuck, or frozen. When this happens, you won’t be able to close the window or click any buttons within the application.

  • Solution 1: Force quit the application. On a PC, you can press (and hold) Ctrl+Alt+Delete (the Control, Alt, and Delete keys) on your keyboard to open the Task Manager. On a Mac, press and hold Command+Option+Esc. You can then select the unresponsive application and click End task (or Force Quit on a Mac) to close it. screenshot of Windows 8
  • Solution 2: Restart the computer. If you are unable to force quit an application, restarting your computer will close all open apps.

Problem: All programs on the computer run slowly

  • Solution 1: Run a virus scanner. You may have malware running in the background that is slowing things down.
  • Solution 2: Your computer may be running out of hard drive space. Try deleting any files or programs you don’t need.
  • Solution 3: If you’re using a PC, you can run Disk Defragmenter. To learn more about Disk Defragmenter, check out our lesson on Protecting Your Computer.

Problem: The computer is frozen

Sometimes your computer may become completely unresponsive, or frozen. When this happens, you won’t be able to click anywhere on the screen, open or close applications, or access shut-down options.

  • Solution 1 (Windows only): Restart Windows Explorer. To do this, press and hold Ctrl+Alt+Delete on your keyboard to open the Task Manager. Next, locate and select Windows Explorer from the Processes tab and click Restart. You may need to click More Details at the bottom of the window to see the Processes tab. screenshot of Windows 8
  • Solution 2 (Mac only): Restart Finder. To do this, press and hold Command+Option+Esc on your keyboard to open the Force Quit Applications dialog box. Next, locate and select Finder, then click Relaunch. screenshot of OS X
  • Solution 3: Press and hold the Power but
    ton. The Power button is usually located on the front or side of the computer, typically indicated by the power symbol. Press and hold the Power button for 5 to 10 seconds to force the computer to shut down.
  • Solution 4: If the computer still won’t shut down, you can unplug the power cable from the electrical outlet. If you’re using a laptop, you may be able to remove the battery to force the computer to turn off. Note: This solution should be your last resort after trying the other suggestions above.

Problem: The mouse or keyboard has stopped working

  • Solution 1: If you’re using a wired mouse or keyboard, make sure it’s correctly plugged into the computer.
  • Solution 2: If you’re using a wireless mouse or keyboard, make sure it’s turned on and that its batteries are charged.

Problem: The sound isn’t working

  • Solution 1: Check the volume level. Click the audio button in the top-right or bottom-right corner of the screen to make sure the sound is turned on and that the volume is up.
  • Solution 2: Check the audio player controls. Many audio and video players will have their own separate audio controls. Make sure the sound is turned on and that the volume is turned up in the player. screenshot of iTunes
  • Solution 3: Check the cables. Make sure external speakers are plugged in, turned on, and connected to the correct audio port or a USB port. If your computer has color-coded ports, the audio output port will usually be green.
  • Solution 4: Connect headphones to the computer to find out if you can hear sound through the headphones.

Problem: The screen is blank

  • Solution 1: The computer may be in Sleep mode. Click the mouse or press any key on the keyboard to wake it.
  • Solution 2: Make sure the monitor is plugged in and turned on.
  • Solution 3: Make sure the computer is plugged in and turned on.
  • Solution 4: If you’re using a desktop, make sure the monitor cable is properly connected to the computer tower and the monitor.

Solving more difficult problems

If you still haven’t found a solution to your problem, you may need to ask someone else for help. As an easy starting point, we’d recommend searching the Web. It’s possible that other users have had similar problems, and solutions to these problems are often posted online. Also, if you have a friend or family member who knows a lot about computers, they may be able to help you.

google screenshot

Keep in mind that most computer problems have simple solutions, although it may take some time to find them. For difficult problems, a more drastic solution may be required, like reformatting your hard drive or reinstalling your operating system. If you think you might need a solution like this, we recommend consulting a professional first. If you’re not a computer expert, it’s possible that attempting these solutions could make the situation worse.



Phone System, Calling Plans, Direct Routing

1. Domestic: 3000 domestic minutes in the US and Puerto Rico, and 1200 domestic minutes in the UK.

 International: 3000 domestic minutes in the US and Puerto Rico, and 1200 domestic minutes in the UK; 600 international minutes.

2. Tax is included in price in the US. Service usage limits exist to manage fraud, abuse, excessive use, and maintain service performance.

3. Rates listed (for tenants provisioned in the United States) do not include tax.

 International dial-out rates are subject to change monthly, and individual rates are not locked during the term of your agreement.

 Changes will be minimized where possible to avoid disruption while ensuring prices remain competitive with local market rates and conditions.


What is managed service provider MSP

A managed service provider (MSP) is a company that remotely manages a customer’s IT infrastructure and/or end-user systems, typically on a proactive basis and under a subscription model. Today, the terms “cloud service provider” and “managed service provider” are sometimes used as synonyms when the provider’s service is supported by a service level agreement (SLA) and is delivered over the internet.

The evolution of MSPs began in the 1990s with the emergence of application service providers (ASPs), which offered remote application hosting services. ASPs helped pave the way for cloud computing and companies that would provide remote support for customers’ IT infrastructure. MSPs, for the most part, initially focused on the remote management and monitoring (RMM) of servers and networks. Over time, MSPs have expanded the scope of their services in a bid to differentiate themselves from other providers.

While some MSPs may specialize in specific segments of information technology such as data storage, others may focus on specific vertical markets, such as legal, financial services, healthcare and manufacturing. Managed security services providers (MSSPs), for instance, offer specialized services such as remote firewall administration and other security-as-a-service offerings. Managed print services (MPS) providers, meanwhile, offload the task of maintaining printers and supplying consumables.

Pricing model for managed service providers

In per-device pricing, the MSP charges the customer a flat fee for each device under management. In per-user pricing, meanwhile, the MSP charges a flat fee for each user, accommodating users who use multiple devices. In all-inclusive pricing, also referred to as the all-you-can-eat model, the MSP charges a flat fee for all the IT infrastructure support and management services the MSP plans to offer.

In each of those pricing approaches, the customer pays the flat fee on a regularly scheduled basis, often monthly. Such pricing methods let MSPs sell services under a subscription model. This approach provides the MSP with a monthly recurring revenue (MRR) stream, in contrast to IT projects that tend to be one-time transactions.

MRR is one aspect of managed services work that differs from other business models in the IT solutions provider and channel partner space. Solutions providers pursuing the break/fix model, for example, usually price their services on a time and materials (T&M) basis, billing an hourly rate for repairing a customer’s IT equipment and charging for parts or replacement gear.

Companies performing IT project work, such as computer systems installation and integration, may charge a fixed price for products and services. Either way, those solutions providers generate revenue on a one-time basis from each project. An exception would be large projects with multiple milestones and associated payments. But, in general, the conventional solutions provider business is mainly transactional. An MSP’s recurring revenue stream, on the other hand, potentially provides a more stable and predictable base of business.

Service-level agreements

An MSP often provides its service offering under a service-level agreement, a contractual arrangement between the MSP and its customer that spells out the performance and quality metrics that will govern the relationship.

An SLA may be linked to an MSP’s pricing formula. For example, an MSP may offer a range of SLAs to customers, with the customer paying a higher fee for higher levels of service in a tiered pricing structure.

Challenges of managed service providers

Regardless of pricing model, a key challenge for MSP business management is to set pricing low enough to entice customers to buy their services but high enough to maintain an adequate profit margin.

In addition to pricing, MSPs pay close attention to operating costs and the cost of maintaining skilled employees. Labor is typically an MSP’s greatest expense. To keep labor costs in check and improve efficiency, most MSPs employ remote monitoring and management (RMM) software to keep tabs on clients’ IT functions. RMM software lets MSPs remotely troubleshoot and remediate issues with servers and endpoint devices. With RMM, MSPs can manage numerous customers’ IT systems simultaneously. MSPs may also use automated scripts to handle routine systems administration functions, such as checking hard disks for errors, without human intervention.

Another challenge MSPs face is the mainstream adoption of cloud computing. As more of their customers’ IT infrastructure components migrate to the cloud, MSPs have had to find ways to manage hybrid cloud environments. MSPs also seek to provide their own cloud computing services or resell other cloud providers’ capabilities, with cloud-based backup and disaster recovery (DR) a common entry point.

In addition, just becoming an MSP can prove challenging. The prospect of MRR has attracted many traditional solutions provider companies, such as VARs, to the MSP business model. However, would-be MSPs have struggled to establish themselves in the market. The MSP line of business calls for companies to adopt different performance metrics, technology infrastructure components and sales compensation programs, to name a few challenges. As a result, many MSPs derive revenue from business lines other than managed services, such as IT project work, break/fix business and on-site support. Pure-play MSPs are relatively rare in the IT services industry.

What MSPs are used for

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are typical MSP customers. Many smaller companies have limited in-house IT capabilities, so they may view an MSP’s service offering as a way to obtain IT expertise. Larger enterprises may also contract with MSPs, however. For example, government agencies, facing budget pressure and hiring limitations, may contract with an MSP to supplement in-house IT staff.

Chart showing small- and medium-sized business use of managed servicesSmall business use of MSP services

The MSP subscription model provides customers of all sizes the advantage of predictable IT support costs. And because MSPs take a proactive approach, they may be able to prevent IT problems from occurring and, therefore, from disrupting business operations.


Search Engine Marketing

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“In 2004, good SEO made you remarkable on the net.

In 2014, good SEO is a result of being remarkable.”

− Rand Fishkin, CEO of Moz.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the process of gaining market online by purchasing Ads on search engines, say Google, Yahoo, or Bing. SEM involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in Search Engine Result Page (SERP).

Search Engines

The search engines use algorithms to provide the most relevant results to every user. For producing best suggestions to the users’ queries, they consider not only the search keywords entered by users but also users’ location, type of device and operating system they are working on, users’ preferences, and their identities.

The better the search algorithm is, the happier the user is with its results.

Search Marketing Approaches

Search marketing works with two approaches −

  • Earning traffic through unpaid or free search listings (SEO Methods)
  • Buying traffic through paid search listings (PPC Ads)

In the first type of search marketing where advertisers earn traffic through unpaid listings, there are two popular methods − organic and non-organic search.

Organic SEO Non-organic SEO
It takes more time to create as more concentrated towards content creation, building hyperlinks, meta-tag optimization, keyword enhancement, etc. It is speedy.
It yields late effect. It brings immediate effect.
It focuses on long term results. It focuses on short term results.
It is inexpensive. It is very expensive.

They cannot be affected financially.

Once the design of the website and its content is good, it requires less management.

They can get affected financially.

It required high degree of management.

Organic SEO is called White Hat search tactic. Inorganic search is Black Hat search tactic.

How to Get Organic Results

Organic results can be achieved by Search Engine Optimization. You need to invest time and expertise in creating an appealing yet efficient website that can work to build long lasting trust in your business.

You need to build your business website according to SEO techniques which use White Hat Tactics for rank improvement. The SEO techniques are described in chapter SEO Friendly Website.

How to Get Inorganic Results

They can be improved in two ways −

  • Improving your quality score
  • your bids for keywords and Ads

Inorganic results are instantly reflected. Here is a checklist for inorganic search optimization−

  • Mine keywords properly. Group them into relevant themes.
  • Use correct match types. Estimate bid on all match types. Choose the benefiting one.
  • Keep testing your Ad copies and landing pages.
  • Strive constantly to improve CTR.
  • Aim for higher quality score.
  • Target relevant locations. Only look for the places that seem to give you business.
  • Run search query report. Filter prominent keywords. Bid higher on most searched keyword.
  • Bid your keywords accordingly. Calculate and strategize methods to achieve ROI.

Organic versus Inorganic Search – Which is Better?

It is better and safer to start with Organic SEO in case of small business because it requires low-cost investment. In addition, it builds your internet presence gradually and creates a solid foundation for your business. It is found that the organic search results are very much likely to get attention of the viewers.

Inorganic SEO is good for customer targeting. For example, PPC advertising. While opting for this, you need to make sure you are investing in the appropriate advertise. You need huge funds to hire a management or your own dedicated expertise, which can take care of your paid searches.

Though organic and inorganic results are independent of each other’s performance, yet you need to perform well in both to boost up your business. Paid Ads boost your business and website ranking. Organic results marks trust on your business.

Steps Involved in Search Engine Marketing

These are the general steps involved in search engine marketing −

Step 1 − Define Effective Strategy

  • Define your target audience.

  • Identify their needs and motivations.

  • Highlight how your product is best to serve their needs.

  • Review your business position in the marketplace.

  • Identify your competitors.

  • Identify your specific goals and benchmarks, such as search ranking, sales, website traffic, and other ROI metrics.

Step 2 − Choose Right Keywords

  • Select most important phrases relevant to your business.

  • Also select the phrases that are frequently searched by your target customers.

  • Conduct brainstorm sessions for potential terms your customers use when thinking about your products and capabilities.

  • Interact with your sales and customer service teams, and best customers to know the frequently used phrases.

  • Employ a keyword research tools to compile a list of highly searched terms.

Step 3 − Optimize Your Website Content

  • Focus on your website structure. Keep it simple.

  • The search engines looks for the underlying code of your website when they visit your website.

  • Create crisp, clear, and correct content that can retain users’ attention.

  • Use your keyword phrases relevantly in pages title tags, heading tags, directory names, file names, alt tags and meta tags.

  • Pay attention to meta description. It is shown in the search results below your link, providing a great opportunity for you to bring visitors to your Website.

Step 4 − Submit Your Website for Indexing

To be visible online to the customers, ensure that all the pages of your website are completely indexed by the search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

For speedy process of getting indexed by the other engines, submit your website to the, an Open Directory Project. Once DMOZ accepts your website, Yahoo and other search engines have no problem indexing your website.

Step 5 − Add Quality Links to Your Website

  • Build links to your website from valued links of other websites that are frequented by your targeted visitors.

  • The more quality inbound links you have, the more popular your website is with Google and other engines.

  • Make your website content is link-worthy. Create interesting and informative content on your website such as a library of best practices articles, blog trends in your industry, etc.

  • You can also garner links from vendors, customers, business partners, and trade associations.

  • Distribute press releases and articles online.

Step 6 − Manage Paid Search Advertise

  • Bid on the most relevant keywords. Do not pick them based on only popularity.

  • Make sure your product offer is interesting to the potential customer.

  • Tie the bidding strategy to business results. In many cases a lower Ad position will produce a higher ROI.

  • Finally, include a compelling ‘call to action’ in the Ad and send traffic to a relevant landing page tied to the Ad.

Step 7 − Measure Success of Advertise

  • Check how well you performed in the p
  • Measure CPC, CPR, Clicks, Bounce rate, Impressions, ROI, etc.
  • Employ Web Analytics to monitor progress and problems.
  • Monitor your position regularly in the search results.
  • Identify problems and plan strategies to improve your results in the future.


What is a Managed Service Managed Services Explained

Whether you’re a business executive or a seasoned IT pro, using managed services can make your job easier. When effectively executed, a Managed Service (MS) is like gaining the capability of an IT Department with the expertise of seasoned professionals to deliver focused application operations to your company’s business application users. Simply put, an MS is designed to handle the daily operations of your specialized applications providing the capability to your company end-users and therefore allowing in-house IT to focus on more strategic IT programs, also freeing your team to focus on your business’ core competencies.

This shows up often when IT professionals notice a decline in the current repository of knowledge, reducing the quality of IT service to your company. Other symptoms of a need for an MS include following:

  • “We didn’t achieve everything we wanted last year due to a lack of Service and Support”
  • “We had too many service outages and downtime”
  • “We overspent our budget on tweaks to our business applications that eroded its performance”
  • “We lost data due to lack of ability with the solution”

From my experience working with small and large client companies alike, I often suggest how a managed service can help address these challenges. In my career, I have worked with many clients that are utilizing managed services in a variety of ways. Most recently, I provided a managed service to a large energy company which found the service to be seamless and significantly improved the satisfaction of end users and IT support staff, globally.

If you’re sensing some of these dynamics at your company, here are some personnel and technology suggestions on how you can reorganize and empower your IT Department for growth via MS.

Assessing the Need

Today, IT managers are under significant pressure to meet the performance, operational expectations, and security needs of the business while trying to keep costs down. Most of the financial experts would suggest in these conditions to switch to a predictable cost model, like that of a managed service. A company that provides such services is called a Managed Service Provider (MSP). The best time to consider speaking with a MSP is when you are setting future strategic goals or deploying new services to your IT environment. Many times, a company’s existing staff may not be experienced with a new technology or able to maintain new services or applications. Hiring contractors to provide the service may be more expensive and provide less value in supporting your company’s ever-growing performance goals, given astatic or declining budget. This is often true for small, medium and large companies alike.

Managed Service models have evolved over time, and the seasoned providers have perfected their delivery. It is very effective for a business that:

  • Relies on their IT Infrastructure to properly support their daily business processes
  • Do not have sufficiently trained staff or time to formally deal with proper maintenance, updates and repairs
  • Want to pay one monthly, flat fee for services to provide a high level of service quality to the business

For most business services, IT underpins the business engine. From software to hardware and the skills required to keep the service running, a company could invest significant capital in building and maintaining the in-house support staff. However, given the maturity of the managed service models and the shift to virtualization and cloud, the need for on-site IT staff can be limited to the exceptions where operational sensitivity justifies it. To ensure greater IT cost predictability amid uncertain requirements, a company may consider leveraging managed service experts.

MSPs usually price their services on a subscription basis. Based on the services selected, the pricing is usually scoped on the number of devices with pricing aligned to packages across a range of categories. Some provide customer support on-site when required. Basic services often start with a monitoring service, which identifies potential issues, which you resolve on your own. At the other end of the spectrum, service providers offer comprehensive managed services that cover everything from alerts through problem resolution.

Benefits of Managed Services

Better Cost Control: Cost factors for a business service depend on an organization’s requirement for availability and criticality of a particular service.

The typical cost components of an IT department, including training, equipment and personnel, are absorbed by the MSP and presented as a fixed monthly charge to the company. This helps in effectively predicting costs every month when budgeting. Depending on the future requirements and the speed of the your organization’s IT maturity, the managed service can scale to address such scenarios. The biggest benefit is that a company can decide how much to scale based on factors that may include finance and the CIO’s strategic vision. IT Service interruptions and outages can also be prevented, thus mitigating the risk of further losses. In terms of the energy company, the client went from multiple daily outages to one scheduled outage a month.

Improved Risk Management: Every business carries a certain amount of risk. This can be minimized by lowering the individual risk involved with each business service identified as critical. A MSP can help reduce risk by contributing their own proprietary methodologies and access to modern infrastructure and software. This enables adherence to best practices and minimizes risk involved in the service delivery.

The MSP assumes and manages much of the risk for the company it serves by having specific industry knowledge, especially around security and compliance issues. They can partner with your business and guide you on the best way to avoid risk in your domains of expertise.

High Availability, Efficiency and Productivity: For an IT Service, the saying time is money” always applies. For optimal company performance, constant availability of a mission-critical IT services are the top priority for many organizations. While assessing the true cost of downtime is hard, it is always recommended to take proactive steps to avoid it completely. At worst, reputational risk could be a factor when the outage comes to the attention of those outside the company potentially eroding public trust. Clients experience better performance with minimal downtime when using a managed service. Many times, mission-critical applications involve multiple technologies and require them to be fully operational and integrated to achieve the IT service expected. All component applications must be available together for the IT service to function seamlessly for internal end-users. A MSP can ensure maximum uptime and minimal service interruptions.

Organizations that attempt to implement and support all IT services in-house usually have a much higher research and development cost as well as longer timelines to deploy –costs may also be passed on to the organizations wishing to consume these services. The MSP is highly efficient in delivering IT services in a way that keeps costs low and the time to deploy short while providing a high-quality service to the business.

Future Proofing IT Services: IT departments will always have funding, technical, security, and operational challenges. As you look for strategies to minimize spend, I have seen many organizations effectively utilize AMS to achieve the full benefit of seamless service integration with less worry over resource constraints. MSP’s will always have their staff trained on upcoming and new releases as well as new technologies with the ability to lock-in costs for a multi-year period. By creating more predictability, your business will reduce operational risk, challenges and minimize service disruption.

Things to Keep in Mind

Managed Service Providers bring not only practical delivery of a predictable service model an
d cost to quickly and effectively deliver new IT service to an enterprise, but also enhance the stability and peace of mind for IT and business leaders alike.

The task of delivering new business services to the enterprise while keeping costs controlled is a difficult task in the modern business environment. A managed service is a great strategy to help your IT organization be highly resilient, and cost predictable, fiscal year to fiscal year. MSPs complement and do not replace existing staff but rather free those valuable resources to lead and deliver on the strategic IT programs necessary to advance business goals. In larger organizations, an MSP will help your resources to focus on more strategic projects. You can rest assured that your company is minimizing the risks associated with maintaining client data and sensitive competitive information and more with today’s managed service offerings.

As you embark on investing in a new application, consider taking advantage of various managed service offerings to stay on top of IT business needs and minimize unsystemic risks. If you are considering a BMC technology investment, please fill out our ContactMe form to speak with someone about our MS options.

These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC’s position, strategies, or opinion.

See an error or have a suggestion? Please let us know by emailing [email protected].


How Google uses cookies Privacy Terms Google

A cookie is a small piece of text sent to your browser by a website you visit. It helps the website to remember information about your visit, like your preferred language and other settings. That can make your next visit easier and the site more useful to you. Cookies play an important role. Without them, using the web would be a much more frustrating experience.

We use cookies for many purposes. We use them, for example, to remember your safe search preferences, to make the ads you see more relevant to you, to count how many visitors we receive to a page, to help you sign up for our services, to protect your data, or to remember your ad settings.

You can see a list of the types of cookies used by Google and also find out how Google and our partners use cookies in advertising. Our privacy policy explains how we protect your privacy in our use of cookies and other information.


Tools for Building Backlinks


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame

Backlinks are links created on other sites that link to your site. As such, you don’t always know when they are created. In a previous article, “So You Want Backlinks,” guidelines were given on backlink building. When it comes time to build backlinks, you don’t have to do everything from scratch. Rather, you can analyze your site’s URLs, determine what backlinks already exist, and tap into existing best practices for link building, which improves your search engine optimization (SEO).

More importantly, a lot of bad practices were mentioned in the previous article. These were practices that can hurt your site including getting links from spammy sites, having broken links to your site, and more. Find these potential toxic backlinks on other sites can be easy if you have the right tool! In fact, there are a number of tools that can help you work with backlinks.

A Caution on Backlinks and Tools

In addition to helping you structure backlinks, they can also help you with suggestions on backlinks you should ask to be removed. Automated tools are not perfect. You should review any suggestions to remove (or even keep) backlinks. There are times when it might make sense to keep a link that is flagged as having an issue. There might also be times when a tool doesn’t catch that a link really isn’t appropriate.

There are tools that focus specifically on backlinking. There are also SEO tools that have sections focused on backlinking as part of a larger overall SEO approach. Both types of tools can be effective. The key benefit of the tools is to get a list of existing backlinks to your site or a page on your site as well as to get insights on the benefit or toxicity of each link. If the tool can help you with getting links removed, that can be a benefit as well.

You want to avoid tools that offer to build automatic backlinks for you.

The Backlinking Tools

The following are four tools that can be used to identify and manage backlinks. These are tools that have been identified as useful for backlink analysis. There is a brief description of each of these below.

  • SEMRush
  • AHrefs
  • Open Site Explorer
  • OpenLinkProfiler

Note that there are a multitude of other tools marketed for backlink analysis and building. Many of the tools suggested to me for this article included features for selling backlinks, building automated backlinks, and for tracking backlink trades. As such, they were dropped from this article. These are bad practices, and thus worth avoiding.

Backlink Tool 1: SemRush

SEMRush provides a multitude of tools including a Backlink Audit tool that will give you deep insights into the links coming to your site. You can configure it to look at backlinks in a number of ways as well see individual backlinks. In addition to providing data such as backlink types, domain distribution, top anchors, country sources, and a list of linking domains, SEMRush also provides a toxicity score for each backlink that lets you know the potential for negative impact.

Basic features of SEMRush can be used at no cost.

Figure 1: SemRush Backlink data for

Backlink Tool 2: AHrefs

Ahrefs is another of the more popular SEO tools known for its backlink tools. Ahrefs provides competitive analysis, keyword research, backlink research. Within the backlink data, you can get information on the new and broken backlinks, referring domains, anchor tags, top referring content, and more.

Ahrefs is not a free tool, but they do provide a low-cost trial.

Figure 2: Ahref backlink data for

Backlink Tool 3: Open Site Explorer

Open Site Explorer is a part of the Moz Pro SEO tools. Like the previous two tools mentioned, Open Site Explorer provides tools to help you identify and optimize your backlink strategy. This includes showing backlinks to your site, providing spam scores, showing a spam score (similar to SEMRush’s toxicity score) for links, and more. Open Site Explorer helps you identify which of your pages are most valuable, which domains are best of those linking to your site, what text is being used to build the links, and more. It also provides linking opportunities and helps you to avoid penalties by showing you which links to clean up.

You can access a limited portion of Open Site Explorer’s functionality online. There is also a 30-day free trial. Otherwise, you need a subscription to Moz to continue to use the product.

Figure 3: Moz Open Site Explorer

Backlink Tool 4: OpenLinkProfiler

OpenLinkProfiler is a free online tool that can be used to do backlink analysis. You can go to the website as shown in Figure 4 and simply enter a site URL. Once you do, you’ll get a backlink analysis similar to what is shown in Figure 5.

Figure 4: OpenLinkProfiler page for entering a domain

As you can see in Figure 5, OpenLinkProfiler provides information on active links relative to the domain you entered. You can get anchor text, when the link was added as well as the industry and topic of some of the links. A Risk score similar to the toxicity and spam scores from other tools, can also be found to determine which links are potentially harmful. While SEOLink Profiler comes at no cost, to use some of the features, such as link notifications the exporting of a PDF report, you will need to set up a free account.

Figure 5: OpenLinkProfiler review of

Dealing with Bad Links

What do you do if you find bad backlinks on another site? There are generally two approaches that are taken. One is to ask that the link be removed. The other is to ask that the link be tagged with a ‘rel=nofollow’ tag. If a link already has a ‘rel=nofollow’ tag included, then no further action is really needed unless the site containing the link is really one you don’t want to be associated with.

Dealing with the removal of links to disavow them from your site is a process in itself that is worthy of its own article. In general, using a disavow tool should be a last resort for spammy backlinks. You can use the Google Search Console to disavow links. Additionally, most of the tools mentioned in this article not only show you how bad a backlink might be for your site, they generally include tools to help you disavow them as well. Look for an article on disavowing bad backlinks in the near future!


10 of the most common computer problems with solutions

My Login Vault - Password Manager
In my line of work I get many calls about the below common problems and if I was to estimate I would say that at least 25% of them could be solved using the list below to troubleshoot the cause. Not only will this get you up and running quicker with a sense of achievement it will also save you the cost of a  technician coming out and charging you to just change a fuse for example. It could be that a cable has been accidentally pulled out or maybe your dog has chewed it all these things are worth checking before calling someone to take a look.

Just because your computer monitor won’t come on or your mouse won’t work does not mean that you have a virus or you need a new computer the solution could be much simpler. If you don’t find the solution here remember these are only very basic checks that all of us can forget to do before panicking about it been a more severe problem. It is not intended to be an advanced guide to computer problems but hopefully it will help before you decide what you need to do next.

error message common computer problems


fix common computer problemsPossible Solution/Cause

Computer will not start Check all cables are plugged in and switches turned on.
Check monitor is turned on and plugged into the computer.
Change fuse in cable.Check extension if using one.
Try a different known working socket.
Change power lead.
Check no buttons or switches are stuck.
No sound coming from computer Check that your speakers are on and plugged in
Check that the speaker is connected to the right port (Green to Green)
Check the volume is turned up
Check you don’t have sound muted (icon in taskbar)
Try plugging in ear phones to rule out broken speakers
Monitor screen blank Check monitor is correctly connected
Check monitor is plugged in and turned on
Check connection to computer is not loose
Computer Boots but wont launch windows Can you boot into safe mode? (F8 on start-up) if yes the problem is likely to be something software related rather than hardware.
Run malware, virus scans
If you can’t boot into safe mode try booting into your computers repair my computer mode to fix start-up issues
Try using system restore if you can boot to safe mode or recovery to restore to a previous date
Slow internet Reboot your router and restart your computer (reboot router by unplugging and plugging back in after 5 minutes)
Check for malware and spyware infections.
Check there are no problems with your provider
Check other reasons for slow internet speeds here
Wireless connection dropping Reboot both the computer and the router
Change the wireless channel
Move the router to a more central location
Extend your network using powerline adapters
Extend your wireless network with a Wireless N Range Extender
If your aerial is removable replace with a TP-Link TL-ANT2405C 2.4GHz 5dbi Indoor Omni-Directional Antenna or similar to increase range.
Mouse wont work or wont work correctly Ensure mouse is connected correctly to the back of the computer.
If wireless change mouse batteries.
Ensure mouse is being picked up by receiver (likely a red button on bottom of mouse).
Check that receiver has not fallen out of range
Keyboard wont work Check batteries in Keyboard
Check it is connected properly
Ensure it is being picked up by the receiver (red button on bottom)
No internet connection or Local only Check all connections to router and that they are correctly plugged in
Check none of the cables are damaged
Restart router and restart computer
Check for red lights on the router (indicates there is a problem with the router)
Check all sockets have an ADSL filter connected
Change ADSL filters
Connect router to master phone socket
Check with service provider that your service is not disrupted
Try another router
Computer running very slow or sluggish Check that no antivirus scans are running
Close some programs if running multiple programs
Malware and virus check
Low memory
Many more reasons with deeper explanations can be found at – Reasons for your computer running slow



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