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Google’s YouTube Could Lose $750M Over Advertising Snafu

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Google’s recent gaffe with advertisers will cost the company big bucks, according to a note from analyst firm Nomura Instinet.

Major brands have been pulling their advertising from Google’s YouTube platform in the past few weeks over concerns of being linked to extremist video content. Google’s promises to fix the problem won’t stop the tech titan from losing as much as $750 million, however, Nomura Instinet predicts.

“We estimate that a suspension of spend from major brands on YouTube results in a $750 million impact to YouTube revenue,” the note reads, adding that YouTube would see a 7.5 percent decrease in revenue.

Although the boycott began in the U.K., a number of major U.S. advertisers have also halted all advertising spending with Google. Some of those brands are AT&T, Dish Network, FX Networks, General Motors, Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo, Starbucks, Verizon and Wal-Mart. Europe’s growing list of unhappy European advertisers includes Audi, HSBC, Lloyds, L’Oreal, Marks and Spencer, McDonald’s, RBS, Toyota and Volkswagon.

The brands have all said they are concerned about their reputations being tarnished when their ads appear alongside offensive videos, such as clips advocating for terrorism and anti-Semitism.

Google has promised to hire more people as part of its push to better review ad placements. The tech titan also vowed to offer an “escalation path,” making it easier for advertisers to complain, enabling the resolution of such cases within a few hours.

“We know advertisers don’t want their ads next to content that doesn’t align with their values. So starting today, we’re taking a tougher stance on hateful, offensive and derogatory content,” Google chief business officer Philipp Schindler said in a blog post.

“This includes removing ads more effectively from content that is attacking or harassing people based on their race, religion, gender or similar categories. This change will enable us to take action, where appropriate, on a larger set of ads and sites.”

Google is implementing changes in three main areas: ad policies, enforcement of these policies and new controls for advertisers. The changes are part of Google’s “extensive review” of its advertising policies and tools, Schindler said.

Google has also said it will also offer advertisers “more transparency and visibility on where their ads are running,” and in the coming months will expand availability of video-level reporting to all advertisers.


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U.K. Asking for Police Access to WhatsApp in Wake of Terrorist Attack

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The U.K. is demanding access to encrypted messages on Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp in the wake of the terrorist attack in Westminster last week.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said there should be “no place for terrorists to hide,” adding that intelligence agencies must be handed access to WhatsApp and other encrypted messaging services.

Rudd’s remarks, made on BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show Sunday, come after three people were killed by Khalid Masood who deliberately drove a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge last Wednesday. He also killed a police officer on the scene before being gunned down by police.

Masood, 52, had sent a message on WhatsApp just minutes prior to the attack, according to the BBC report.

WhatsApp told the BBC it was “horrified at the attack” and would be co-operating with authorities. The company did not specify what that co-operation would entail.

Rudd said it is time for tech firms to step up.

“We need to make sure that organizations like WhatsApp, and there are plenty of others like that, don’t provide a secret place for terrorists to communicate with each other,” Rudd told the BBC.

“It used to be that people would steam open envelopes or just listen in on phones when they wanted to find out what people were doing, legally, through warranty. But on this situation, we need to make sure that our intelligence services have the ability to get into situations like encrypted WhatsApp.”

The situation faced by the U.K. is markedly similar to the fight early last year between Apple and the FBI when the U.S. enforcement agency asked for access to data on the iPhone of one of the perpetrators of the deadly San Bernardino, Calif. terrorist attack. The December 2015 attack killed 14 people.

Rudd, who is to meet with a number of technology firms this week to discuss her concerns, said tech firms like Apple and Facebook need to realize the government is not asking for access to all of its data.

“We’re not saying ‘open up,’ we don’t want to go into the cloud, we don’t want to do all sorts of things like that,” she added. “But we do want them to recognize that they have a responsibility to engage with government, to engage with law enforcement agencies when there is a terrorist situation. We would do it all through the carefully thought-through, legally covered arrangements.”


Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

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6 tips for creating content to capture short attention spans

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It’s not easy nowadays to win over your audience in an abundance of online content, and the short attention span of human beings isn’t making things any easier.

It’s always a challenge to make your content stand out, but this doesn’t mean that you should be discouraged from creating it.

As the average human attention span has dropped to just 8 seconds, however, how can you make content that captures your audience’s attention before it’s gone?

Learn your audience

This is the first thing that will help you beat the readers’ attention span. It is very important to understand your audience, as this will help you create more relevant content for them.

Here are some tips for understanding your audience:

  • Analyse your existing content and the response it received
  • Monitor your channels and the readers’ reactions to your content
  • Measure the time spent on your site
  • Bounce rate is another metric that indicates whether your content is appealing to your audience
  • Perform keyword analysis to devise new ideas that are relevant for your audience
  • Monitor your competitors’ content and find the gaps that you can fill in.

Focus on structure

Having well-structured content helps readers to stay longer on your page. It’s not just the quality of the content that maintains readers’ interest, but also the way you present it.

A clear and organized structure makes it less strenuous for readers to digest your content, so remember to:

  • Organize your content into paragraphs
  • Don’t create lengthy sentences that make reading harder
  • Use headings to divide up longer chunks of text
  • Use lists and bullet points to facilitate quick reading (like this!)
  • Add takeaway tips at the end of your content to help readers digest the most important parts.

Use images

How images help you beat your readers' attention span

As with a good content structure, images make reading a page more appealing.

From the header or feature image that offers an introduction to the topic (which may also be the image used on your social shares), to the additional images included throughout the text, images help to separate one section from another in the most engaging way.

They also help the eyes relax from a long sequence of text (which might otherwise be a little dull to read), while making it easier for the brain to process what it just read.

Moreover, images can offer additional value with the use of quotes, stats, or even tips that facilitate quick reading. These images can double as shareable content on your readers’ social feed, giving you more mileage from your content.

Don’t hold back from long-form content

You might assume that a short attention span will require an equally short piece of content for consumption. This is not always the case, as well-executed long-form content is still a valuable asset to your blog.

Provided that you’re adding value to a topic they find interesting, length should not discourage your readers from consuming your content. Remember that long-form content doesn’t have to be boring: structure and images can contribute to make the reading experience easier.

In fact, according to Orbit Media Studios, blog content is getting longer year by year. In 2016 the average blog post length was 1054 words – up from 887 words in 2015.

This is a good reminder for all of us that there’s no need to be afraid of longer content. All you need is to focus on relevance and a good user experience to keep people engaged on the site.

Involve different types of content

If you want to appeal to a wider audience, then you might have to experiment with different types of content. There’s no need to limit your creativity to plain text, especially if you can include other formats like:

  • Infographics
  • Presentation slides
  • Video
  • Podcasts
  • GIFs

Every type of content serves its own goal, and all of them can enhance your message.

For example, if you want to turn a complicated concept into a simpler analysis, then a visually​ appealing infographic​ can be useful.

If you want to find new ways to repurpose your content, then you can turn a blog post into a presentation, a video, or a podcast.

These allow you to promote your content across new platforms and reach the right audience with the right type of content. And many of these content formats are more engaging to time-starved audiences than a text-based post.

After all, content marketing is all about being creative with your content and its distribution.

Use social proof

If you’re wondering how social proof can convince your audience to spend more time on your site, here’s an example of how it can work in practice.

We all have more chances to read the content that our friends, or our favourite influencers, share on their social feeds. This is due to the trust that we’ve built up with them, and the belief that their approval serves as the credential we need to visit a page.

This can become even more important if it’s about a page that we haven’t visited in the past.

It’s not a bad idea to build relationships with other people to ensure that our site’s content reaches more people. This way the connection becomes more genuine and there are more chances for new readers to actually pay attention to our content.

Creative Ways to Use Instagram Albums for Your Business via @jenns_trends | Terrific! ”</p

Uber Self-Driving Car Testing Screeches to Halt After Crash

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Uber has temporarily halted its self-driving car testing after one of its vehicles was involved in a collision in Tempe, Arizona.

The ride-hailing service has stopped all on-road testing in both Arizona and Pittsburgh, PA., where its Advanced Technologies Center (ATC) is located, after Uber’s autonomous Volvo collided with another vehicle.

The driver of the other vehicle involved in the crash failed to yield despite Uber’s SUV, which was in self-driving mode at the time, having the right of way, Tempe police said. No one was injured.

A photo posted to Twitter shows Uber’s SUV on its side beside another vehicle with significant damage to its back end, including broken windows.

An Uber spokeswoman told Bloomberg the company has stopped all autonomous tests in Arizona until it completes an investigation into the incident. It has also paused testing at its Pittsburgh location as a precaution.

“We are continuing to look into this incident and can confirm we had no backseat passengers in the vehicle,” the spokeswoman said.

News of the collision comes at a trying time for Uber, which is in the middle of a lawsuit with Waymo, Google’s self-driving car unit. Waymo is suing Uber in federal court alleging the high-tech ride-hailing service and its subsidiary Otto stole elements of its self-driving technology.

Uber was also accused of sexism by a former engineer. The company appointed former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to a panel put together to investigate the claims.

The company has also been under fire for its treatment of its drivers and was forced to shell out $20 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it misled prospective drivers.

Back in January, a#DeleteUber campaign was started via social media to protest Uber CEO Travis Kalanick’s involvement in President Donald Trump’s economic advisory council. The company lost 200,000 customers as a result.

On top of that Uber is losing its president, Jeff Jones, after just six months at the high-tech ride-hailing company. He cited differences in leadership philosophies, saying his values and approach to leadership do not mesh with those of Uber.


Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

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5 Incredible Ways to Boost Web Traffic Through Print Marketing

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Let’s get a few things straight about the print versus digital marketing debate. First, print isn’t dead; if that was true, the debate would have ended when it died. Second, arguing over which method works better is nonsense.

Digital marketing isn’t universally better than print or vice versa, because each method works best for certain types of businesses. But there is one universal truth marketers need to realize: print and digital marketing are not mutually exclusive.

In fact, print marketing is a great way for any business to boost its Web traffic. It helps businesses that focus on digital marketing expand their audience. And if you’re already relying on print, tying it to your Web presence is a great way to step up your digital marketing game.

Here are five ways to boost your Web traffic with print marketing:

Marketing binders

Most people only use small print materials like brochures and business cards. But we say go big or go home. Marketing binders let you present large amounts of information in one place and can be used for virtually anything—whether it’s a client presentation, a take-home packet, or a sample catalogue.

Binders also create a sense of exclusivity. Because their contents are so customizable, clients feel as if you’ve created a marketing packet just for them. You can also work with an online print shop like Company Folders to create a matching exterior — it offers dozens of styles to choose from and a wealth of design options. This type of high quality design makes clients want to visit your website to receive more VIP treatment.

Direct mail coupons

Direct mail campaigns are wildly popular right now. Like binders, they offer a high level of personalization and a tangible way for customers to connect with your company. So how do you utilize this print marketing tactic to increase your Web traffic?

Start by offering a physical coupon that’s only redeemable online. This gives customers the thrill of holding the coupon in their hands and seeing the discount in writing—which sparks their interest in actually using it. Some may just take the discount and go, but most people will explore the site to see if you’re offering anything else they want.

Consistent use of images

Digital marketing uses lots of images to help the brain process and store content—a highly effective method since two-thirds of people are visual learners. Better imagery means clients will draw better conclusions about your brand; in fact, multiple studies have shown that strong visual content significantly increases your chance of marketing success.

Using identical images on print and digital platforms helps viewers make an immediate correlation between your campaigns, strengthening their brand awareness. If you want to spice things up, try using a series of themed images with similar styles. Showcasing different images in different places will encourage your target audience to check both platforms for the full experience.

Social media campaigns

Social media is a huge part of digital marketing—so you need to cross-pollinate it with print. That could mean simply printing your social media profiles on your marketing materials. Or, you can step it up with a cross-platform campaign.

Nike is a great example of a brand cashing in its social media power: it converted the famous ‘Just Do It’ slogan into a Twitter campaign. Originally printed in 1988, the slogan is now a hashtag. Hashtag campaigns work well because they can promote events and generate new marketing campaigns. At the 2016 Olympics, Nike unveiled its ‘Unlimited’ film campaign — which evolved from the ‘Just Do It’ slogan.

QR codes and personalized URLs

Everyone knows QR codes make it easy to connect print materials to Web content; recipients can just scan the code with their phone to visit your site. But since QR codes alone aren’t as effective as we all initially hoped, you need personalized URLs as well.

Personalized URLs are just what they sound like: URLs that take your client to a webpage that’s just for them. Consumers enjoy the experience of having ‘their own’ site, making them more likely to check it out. Even better, PURLs and QR codes help you track cross-pollination to see how your users are interacting with your digital and print marketing.

When it comes down to it, debating between print and digital marketing won’t get you very far. Your Web traffic will soar to much greater heights when you combine print and digital marketing efforts into one cohesive campaign. 


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7 Ways Mobile Has Changed Our Lives Forever

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Mobile has changed our lives forever but, at the same time, we’ve gotten so used to our devices and how we can use them that we may not have taken the time to notice just how much our lives have changed. Technology that would have been impossible or miraculous a couple of decades ago is now affordable and commonplace. Most of it’s been good, but some negatives came along with it. Here are some of the parts of our lives that have changed forever.

1. Apps

When Apple told us, “There’s an app for that,” in 2007, it wasn’t kidding. These days, apps can be anything from fun little time wasters we can play during the morning commute, to productivity apps a workaholic can run while they’re gunning for that next promotion. Apps have become the norm across all platforms. We see them on TVs, game consoles and desktop operating systems. We are now even seeing Smart kitchen appliances that use apps – all thanks to mobile.

The price of app development has gone down enough that a company doesn’t have to be on the Fortune 500 list or be some genius that launched a successful KickStarter campaign to make one. Thanks to the market created by the mobile industry, mom and pop stores and other small local businesses can learn how to make an app without big budgets. App makers allow these small companies to build and use an app to compete against global brands.

2. How and When We Communicate

This one is huge and was affecting people even before the Smartphone came along. It all started with texting. Once people got their first cellphones, they may have sent out a text or two to see what it was like, but it didn’t take long for this feature to go from novelty to vital. Those high rates we used to pay before 9 p.m. helped push it along. Mobile made it to where people would have entire conversations via text – all without saying a word.

Mobile has made it possible to send a message or call from virtually anywhere. This has eased the anxiety many people have while going on a trip. If you get stranded, help is only a phone call away. We can keep friends and family updated during important events, and even send pictures and video while it happens. At the very least, we no longer have to keep a wad of quarters for a payphone.

3. Conversation Killer?

As much as mobile has changed how we talk, it has also changed how we don’t talk. This could be a good or bad thing, depending on the situation, and your opinion of high-tech gadgetry.

We have all seen the group of friends sitting at a table in a restaurant, all staring into their phones. It stays quiet, with the occasional person breaking the silence to show everyone something funny they found on their phone. Love or hate it, that’s how it is now. Many people will say that the people here are still communicating, just in a different way. Others will decry the death of human-to-human interaction. Remember this, though. When the telephone gained widespread use and popularity, many thought that talking to people over the phone was shallow and that it should be done properly via a thoughtful and well-written letter. There was indeed an art to letter writing, but the telephone was a faster and more efficient way to communicate and had won out to the lament of great aunt Edna.

Mobile has also made it easier to avoid the conversations we don’t want to have. Have you ever been on a plane with the annoying person who will not shut up about their boring life story filled with TMI moments? Keep your earbuds in place, whether you have music playing or not, and you are less likely to be bothered. Also, the right call or text can make for the perfect exit to a conversation you want to escape.

4. Tech Addicts

Many of us have become addicted to the rush we get from the constant input from social media. Get a like, get a share, and it gives us a little pop of dopamine. It is fun, but it can trick us into sinking an enormous amount of time into pointless pursuits. And if we lose our phones, we proceed to lose our feces. Even forgetting it at home and being without it for a couple of hours drives some people bonkers. We’ve all had that moment where we forget our phone or device, and suddenly find that we have no idea what to do with ourselves.

5. Less Privacy

Businesses track everything we do with cookies, and social media has turned our personal lives into a public forum. Mobile has only furthered this trend.

Some people have opted out of services like Facebook, but no one can live outside the digital shadow, and still be part of the modern world. Even using your phone to compare products in a store won’t go unrecorded to be used by big data. Don’t believe me. Use your phone to look up something on Amazon, and then see what ads end up on your Facebook feed.

Then there is the scary stuff. For years, cybersecurity experts have told us that none of our mobile devices are safe from hacking. Combine that with the recent headlines about how the CIA can use our mobile devices to listen in on us, even when we have them turned off, and you can see how the old idea of privacy is no more. Even if you aren’t worried about the CIA watching you, remember that every other major world intelligence agency can do the same thing.

6. Tech as Fashion

Even before having the latest iPhone or Samsung Galaxy was a bragging right, there were tons of people who wore their phone like it was a Gucci bag. Do you remember the days when people would whip out their flip-phones in pride, and brag about how their model had the color display? How about when Blackberry was the “It” device for people on the move.

These days, a phone is as much a fashion statement as a pair of Nikes. Imagine how it will be when we start getting designer cybernetics. Tech as fashion will never go away. Even if Apple and Samsung go the way of Blackberry, there will be another company who will make the next must-have phone or device.

7. Mobile Has Connected the World

Those of us from the more industrialized corners of the world have probably grown up taking things like phones for granted. For the rest of the world, the idea of a personal computer, telephone, or the Internet may as well have been what aliens living on another planet had. It was so far removed from their daily lives that the thought of having even an old rotary phone hanging on the wall was an impossible dream. The primary barrier to that dream was the cost of building the infrastructure for enough landlines to reach everyone. Mobile cut out that cost, and now people in some of the most remote areas of the planet have access to wireless communications. It also cut the cost of international calls, allowing more people from all over the world to talk to one another than ever before.


There are certain milestones in people’s live that they can point to as a clear line that separates a distinct time of before and after. It can be the birth of a child, their first job in an incredible career, or some other event, good or bad, that transformed the way they live. That is what mobile has done to every single person on the planet. Assuming you aren’t a millennial, you can remember a very different time in life before cell phones and data plans created a different world. And with the rise of some of the best app makers it will allow mobile to be intertwined in our lives even more.


Andrew Gazdecki is the founder and CEO of Bizness Apps — making mobile apps affordable and simple for small businesses. Bizness Apps is a do-it-yourself iPhone, iPad, Android and HTML5 app platform that allows any small business to simultaneously create, edit, and manage mobile apps without any programming knowledge needed. Think of it as “WordPress for mobile app creation.” Many of its customers are white labeled mobile app makers — marketing or design agencies that use the platform to cost effectively build mobile apps for small business clients.

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Google Groundhog Targeting Shady Links

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Already twice this year Google has, seemingly, sent signals that is wishes to continue the disruption of link-building schemes and shady linking practices as it has done numerous times in the past. Google has released two unconfirmed algorithm updates in an effort to support clean linking practices and punish those who continuously try to game the system.

With constant algorithm updates the question must be asked, “How should I build links in 2017?” In the words of Elmer Fudd “Be very very careful.”

Don’t use unnatural or black hat link building practices. It’s easy and quick, but you will regret it. Instead, invest in an amazing content marketing plan.  The key to a winning content marketing plan is creating content that is novel and most of all informative and useful to the audience. Once the content is created, promote it through every channel possible. This sounds easy but a successful content marketing campaign is anything but. However, this is the type of link building effort Google prefers.

2017 Link Building Updates: 

Google released its first unconfirmed update addressing shady link building on Feb. 1. This update is being called Groundhog and targets a widely used linking scheme in private blog networks (PBNs). A PBN is a network of websites (usually all owned by the same entity) used to build links to your site for the purpose of ranking higher.

2017 Link Building Updates: 

The second, and also unconfirmed update is believed to have rolled out on March 8 and has been named Fred by the SEO world. There is some confusion on if the update was a Penguin or Panda refresh. SEO Roundtable’s Barry Schwarts believes the Fred update was intended to de-index ad-heavy sites. Those websites, primarily created to generate income through ads, are of no purpose to the average person.

Yet, after evaluating the URLs that were affected, it was revealed that many sites also had poor link signals. If your site has been affected by this or another update, we recommend performing a simple task to try and mitigate any damage. First, check webmaster tools to see if you received a manual action. If you have a manual action against you and your site is ad heavy, try removing all but 25 percent of the ads and see if your site recovers. If issues persist, you should consider evaluating your links and using the disavow tool to clean-up your backlink profile. Once you recover from a penalty it is important to create more relevant and authoritative content that is helpful to the user. Finally, whether it be links, content, or other schemes, STOP trying to cut corners by using black hat SEO tactics. Below you will see examples of what to look for and what to avoid.

2017 Link Building Updates: Keys to Good Site Health

The key to good site link health is relevancy.  It is really quite simple; build relevant links from authoritative sites that have good signals. Look below for things you should look for when building links.

Say yes to the link: 

  1. Does the page rank in Google or other search engines?
  2. Is the link relevant?
  3. Is the trust flow greater than or equal to citation flow?
  4. Are other people linking to the page?
  5. Does the page have a low spam score?
  6. Are people commenting on other posts?
  7. Are people sharing the post on social?
  8. Is there valuable Page and Domain Authority?

Avoid the link: 

  1. If it is paid.
  2. If you have to exchange for it.
  3. Gained through automated link processes.
  4. Text link ads.
  5. Spammy guest blog, press release, or comments.
  6. Footer Links.
  7. Comes from a PBN ( see click here above for more insight on this).
  8. Link seems shady or too easy to obtain.

For content, even for websites created to generate money through ads, relevancy is key. What is the user looking for? The key is to not create shady content that misleads the consumer. Google’s main goal is to make searchers happy by returning the most relevant result. Shady websites and tactics that mislead users could lead to searchers bouncing off your page and going to the competition.

2017 Link Building Updates: How to avoid penalties.

The first step to avoiding penalties when link-building and creating new content is to research what has already been indexed and is ranking high. Find a keyword you want to rank for and do a search for it. Find out what other content has been shared on the topic to learn what Google is looking for but avoid simply restating what has already been said unless you are adding a perspective that has not been explored. Some easy content ideas are turning a checklist into a written blog and adding solutions or key points. If there is an infographic, create a better one that answers questions or addresses negative comments you see in the feed. Create a video that entertains and at the same time educates the reader and encourages them to share or post on their site or social platforms.  Using these tips should ensure your content doesn’t fall prey to future algorithm updates and that you build lasting value to your website.


Marcus Howling, the SEO Doctor, is a SEO strategist at Amuse Digital. As one of the largest full-service digital marketing firms in Houston, it is able to help you increase your online visibility. Marcus excels at on-page optimization, natural link building, keyword research and analysis.

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5 StartUp Hacks to Boost Employee Productivity

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Here’s a quick stat: The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the average American spends 8.8 hours in the workplace. That’s a little more than the average seven hours an American sleeps at night. The point here is that we spend more time at work than with our families. Just as even a single family member’s unmotivated and dejected attitude affects the morale of the household, imagine what a dozen unproductive and unmotivated employees can mean for your startup.

The bigger question is: how do you boost employee productivity at your startup? We’ve dug past the routine advice and brought together five hacks, tips, and suggestions that will get things in order for your firm. Read on.

1. Track Time

Nothing puts the house in order like time tracking; trust us. Of course, you can’t (and should not) nag employees about their time utilization gaps too frequently. Time tracking is meant as an aid for you to identify slackers before they become a real problem. Plus, these tools help you understand how your employees are spending their time, and in many cases, will enable you to identify critical pain points (for instance, slow work machines, too few coffee dispensers in the vicinity, etc.). Treat time tracking tools as early warning indicators of trouble, so that you can help employees channel their work time toward value-adding activities.

Dashboard of WorkFlowMax Displaying Time Tracked on a Daily Basis

Dashboard of WorkFlowMax Displaying Time Tracked on a Daily Basis

2. Gamify The Work

In contrast to conventional rewards and recognitions that have a long-term and more structured orientation, the concept of gamification of work is all about creating fun-filled, short duration, frequent competitions among workers, aligned to their core work areas.


An IT support business running week long competitions among technicians to solve the most tickets, a sales manager publishing a leader board of salespeople who do the most meetings and calls in a week, a ‘winner of day’ fame wall in a call center showcasing the executive who contributes the most to meeting daily targets – all of these are very generic examples of creating games out of work. The key here is to infuse some fun and humor into the mix, keeping things competitive.

3. Music Gets Things Done 

Research has proved that listening to certain styles of ambient music helps improve brain performance, concentration, interest and helps employees get more work done. Music also infuses a sense of liveliness in the work atmosphere and helps bring in a sense of creativity.


Of course, it’s a challenge creating a workplace where everyone is in sync with the music, the volume, the timing of the music, and so on. If you foresee issues such as these, look to encourage the use of headphones for personal music enjoyment. See how it goes for a week or more.

If your startup has only a few team members, it’s worth agreeing on some music genres that you can play for most of the day. Similarly, ambient music is a good option for startups that require creative work and brainstorming. For operations that require a lot of talking, frequent short meetings, and active collaboration, it can get challenging, though.

4. Get a Hold on Meetings

Agreed, face-to-face meetings are important. However, the average workplace spends way too much time on meetings. Then, meetings often start late, and take more than the budgeted time, because ‘keeping it short’ is not exactly what most speakers are good at. To make your startup workplace’s meetings more productive, and less of a hit on employee productivity in general, do all you can to motivate everyone to:

  • Only call for a meeting when that’s the best way to get something done;
  • Keep meetings right at the beginning of the day or end of the day (nothing inspires swiftness and brevity better and more naturally);
  • Keep meeting start times at odd times, such as 10:20 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.;
  • Take a mid-meeting stock of agenda items that are covered and pending.

5. Be Different

It’s human nature to slack off when faced with the same routine, every day, weeks and months at a stretch. Sometimes, it works to motivate employees to do something apart from work during their work day. Here are some ideas –

  • Peer bonuses, business unit wide appreciation e-mails, surprise snacks – all of these help bring a new dimensions to the ordinary workday, and keep employees engaged and productive.
  • Many companies have accessible gyms and workout rooms for employees to work up a sweat.
  • Some companies provide opportunities and aids to employees to help them explore their hobbies and indulge in experiences unrelated to work.


For startups, more than anyone else, there’s a lot of benefit to be had out of experimenting with hacks and methods that promote employee productivity. Try some of these out, and think up your own ways to get more out of your existing team.


Joydeep Bhattacharya is an internet marketer and owner of the SEO blog, SEO Sandwitch. He has been associated with SEO, SMO, PPC, ORM and other activities related to online marketing for the past 5 years.

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