Top 5 Best Digital Nomad Cities To Work In

Top 5 Best Digital Nomad Cities To Work In

When people decide to pursue a self-employed career that harnesses the power and freedom of the internet, many will often associate that with what the sub-culture of digital nomads. So, we’ve compiled a list of some of the top best digital nomad cities!

A digital nomad is someone who combines their career and love of travel into one; working from anywhere and everywhere that has a solid internet connection. The most obvious choices for a career as a digital nomad involve digital marketing, virtual assistant work, public relations or freelance journalism.

The freedom that comes with not being tethered to a geographic location for work can be amazing. It’s most definitely an understandable aspirational dream for many.

Before you embark on your journey into the unknown, we have two tips to help you locate cities to work in as a digital nomad! First off, make sure you build a strong foundation of clients in your “home” city. By “home”, we’re referring to where you are presently working or studying, or the place where you have the strongest connections and networks. It could be the place you grew up in, for example. As with most things in life, once you’ve developed a solid client base, it becomes easier to get others.

Our second tip is to start off by choosing cities where you already know a person or two or if that’s not an option, to make it somewhere where you’d realistically be able to take the time to build meaningful connections with people in those cities. Having a connection or two may make it easier for you to find work and it never hurts to have someone show you around and help you get acquainted with your new home! 

Top 5 Best Digital Nomad Cities To Work In

This is a largely subjective topic; the draw will often be whichever lifestyle choices suit you, and many articles have criteria which rank cities based on their potential for work, cost of living, and of course, wifi and technology access.

With that in mind, we’ve selected five cities from five different digital nomad lists and elected to cover a total of, you guessed it: five continents! Asia, Africa, North America, South America and Europe.

So, in no particular order, here are five top cities to work in as a digital nomad…

Best Digital Nomad Cities

#1 Bangkok, Thailand

Thailand does extremely well on all digital nomad lists and repeatedly showed up while we were researching this topic. And how could it not: delicious food, endless entertainment a reliable wifi connections!

For more information on this city from the perspective of a fellow digital nomad, check out Nomad List.

Digital Nomad

By Barry haynes

#2 Cape Town, South Africa

Nicknamed Silicon Cape, Cape Town in South Africa is a well-established tech city with plenty of other things going on: stunning mountains, coastlines, beaches and great wineries. All in all, it’s a great choice and you’re bound to have a great adventure while working on the side!

Check out World Travel Guide for more information and links.

Best Digital Nomad Cities

By ReggaeWorld Costa Rica

#3 Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Though Central America’s latin roots are more associated with the South American continent, geographically it is part of North America. Costa Rica, though not as cheap as you may think, is a wonderfully jungle of a country with friendly locals and a ton of expats. 

For more details, see no 8 on Success Agency’s list for this gem of a town and enjoy the rasta-vibes!

Digital Nomad | Roche Online Business Services

#4 Medellin, Colombia

Medellin gets highlighted on many lists, too, and what we like about its mention on Chris the Freelancer’s blog is that his research is based on both reading and first-hand experience. He notes that Medellin, and indeed Columbia, has come along way in recent years.

For more information and links, take a look at Chris’ blog.

Best Digital Nomad Cities | Roche Online Business Services

#5 Berlin, Germany

The German capital is a city rich in just about everything. Though price-wise it can be beat by many other cities in Europe, its top-level tech and entrepreneurial credentials, combined with great history, nightlife and restaurants, position Berlin as a bucket-list city for digital nomads.

Mr Digital Nomad has even more to say about this city if it’s piqued your interest!

We hope this post has inspired you and if you’re a digital nomad who needs extra online business support, get in touch with us to see how we can help!

Client Case Study – Lace Brick Design

Client Case Study – Lace Brick Design

A long-term client of ours, Jackie of Lace Brick Design, is the inspiring entrepreneur behind one of Canada’s coolest fashion labels. She created a lifestyle brand for the adventure-seeking female and designs jewelry, apparel, and camping supply to empower fearless females! Read on to learn all about her journey and why she decided to bring us on board…

Jackie, tell us a little bit about your business…

Lace Brick Design is a lifestyle brand for the adventure-seeking female. We design jewelry, apparel and camping supply to empower passionate adventurers, lovers of the woods, road-trippers, full moon chasers, and backroad takers! Based near the heart of the Rockies in Calgary AB, Lace Brick Design is dedicated to building strong community vibes and styling passionate, fearless females.

Lace Brick Design is most well-known for our Mountain Girl design which can be found on our popular sweatshirts, tank tops, and camp supply.

We are grateful for a tribe of 18.3k+ on Instagram and over 15.7k Facebook followers! Lace Brick Design even has an official hashtag: #ponytailsandmountaintrails!

Alongside our online shop, you can also find Lace Brick Design in 60+ stores across Canada.

Our latest successful endeavour, in response to demand from our devoted customers, is the launch of Baby Brick! Apparel for her wild heart: Baby Brick is a lil’ sister company of Lace Brick Design. A brand to style her little adventures with an adorable line of printed onesies, beanies, and bibs. Each piece is designed for little girls who are lucky to grow up in the adventure lifestyle – a way to express her {future} love of exploring, wilderness and the places she calls home. The Baby Brick line is created with one-of-a-kind, locally-designed prints. The simple, eye-catching designs are easily loveable and will make any little girl the cutest wherever she goes! Perfect for baby shower and birthday gifts, show those independent and strong baby girls some love with a sweetheart Baby Brick present! Baby Brick clothing goods are available in sizes NB – 18 mths. Style little girl adventures with Baby Brick!

Lace Brick Design LOVES being involved with community! We can be found setting up shop at local markets, holding workshops, contributing to local events, and collaborating with other amazing grassroots businesses. Our community members (dubbed the ‘Ponytail Posse’) are THE best around town and we absolutely consider each one of them a part of the Lace Brick Design family!

At what point did you decide to hire a Virtual Assistant?

We began working with Deb as our go-to VA when business operation demands became greater than hours in a day! The best move we made as a new business!

Why did you choose Roche Online Business Services?

Roche Online Business Services came highly recommended to us from our good friends at Buttercream Clothing. We are so happy to be connected!

In what way do you think that having a Virtual Assistant has helped your business grow?

Accessing VA services has enabled our energy and focus to be pinpointed to the areas that demand our particular expertise while contracting out other tasks that our wonderful VA accurately and professionally completes.

What has been the best thing about working with Roche Online Business Services?

The proficiency and ease at which tasks are completed. Roche Online Business Services completes any and all tasks asked of them in a timely and accurate manner. We are free to complete the rest of our to-list while streamlining and growing Lace Brick Design.

What would you recommend to other businesses who might be looking to hire a Virtual Assistant? What should they look for? How should they prepare?

Businesses, new or established, should look for a VA service that has a process-based approach with professionalism and a broad offering of services at a competitive rate.

What’s your main business goal for 2018?

Our main business goal for 2018 is maintaining our authentic and personable brand ethos while growing exponentially.

A huge thank you to Jackie for working with us and answering our questions. We are honoured to be supporting her vision to empower fearless females. To learn more about her brand and shop her products, visit her website at www.lacebrickdesign.com.

We hope you learned a little bit more about how a virtual assistant can help you and your business!

Rebecca Ching | Client Case Study | Roche Online Business Services
How To Search Engine Optimize (SEO) Your Blog Posts

How To Search Engine Optimize (SEO) Your Blog Posts

If you’re wondering how to optimize blog posts for search engine optimization (SEO), you’ve come to the right place! In a recent blog post, we spoke about how content marketing can boost your search engine optimization efforts and gave a brief introduction into the expansive topic of SEO.

This post will focus specifically on how to SEO blog posts, including good practices and the best SEO tips and tricks to rank your website’s individual blog posts. It is important to apply the same optimization best practices to your individual posts as you do to your main website pages. In fact, it may even be more beneficial for you to focus on these individual pages as they will target specific topics, features, goods or services that you provide. These individual pages often have higher conversion rates than your home or about pages and since they’re more specific, they are likely easier to rank for, as you will be targeting long-tail keywords as opposed to broad phrases.

For example, “digital marketing” is a broad term that is non-region specific nor non-industry specific. The keywords “digital marketing for Vancouver landscapers” is far more specific (i.e it targets longtail keywords) and consequently far less competitive. Note: it is definitely worth remembering that some phrases are easier to rank for as they are rarely, if ever, searched for. These are the phrases targeted by unscrupulous companies to attract potential clients by promising first-page rankings.

How To Optimize Blog Posts For SEO

There are many points which should be adhered to for each and every page and post on your website. Rather than go through these individually, we’ll focus first on the WordPress plugin Yoast. If your website isn’t built on WordPress, you can still read what SEO factors the Yoast plugin helps with in this blog and then apply them to your site accordingly as it’s still very much relevant.

Yoast

Yoast is a WordPress plugin that adds fields for you to complete the SEO for your pages and posts. As you fill in each, it uses a traffic-light grading system (green, amber, red) to score your completed SEO elements. The better your optimization efforts are, the more green and amber you will see. It provides information to help you complete every element and also tips on how certain elements work together. It is very intuitive, excellent and a proven way to help improve SEO efforts.

It also has a great newsletter with additional helpful hints and blog content about SEO topics and industry developments.

It is worth noting that there are other SEO plugins, but this is the one we use, know and understand the most. While we think it is great, if it’s not for you, be sure to do your research and check out the other plugins available in the WordPress eco-system.

Keywords (Content & RankBrain)

There are many tools available to assist with keyword research. For those with a Google Adwords account, you may be familiar with Keyword Planner and Keyword Tool. Should you use any of the other numerous SEO apps available, (Moz, SEMRush, Bright Local, etc), they all have their own keyword tools that allow you to target top-searched phrases for your product, service or industry.

The top-three ranking factors for Google are as follows:

  1. 1/2 Links
  2. 1/2 Content
  3. RankBrain

Google has not yet divulged whether content or links come first or second in importance on the list, just that they are the two most important factors. Following those is RankBrain, which is Google’s machine learning (artificial intelligence) aspect of its overall algorithm.  

Keywords (content) and RankBrain are, though different elements, intrinsically linked together.

Keywords should always match the products, services, industry or information you are wanting to rank for, and as Yoast will assist with, are the words you want to have consistently on each page or post. For example, if you are writing a blog post about a new tea flavour you are selling, the word “tea” should appear in page title, url, the meta data (info that appears in the search results under the link), page headings, page copy, and also in information for the related images. 

What RankBrain does is learn how searcher intent uses different words and thoughts to find that one keyword/product/service. This semantic way of returning search results is much better for copywriting as it allows content to read more naturally while containing many related keywords. It also does a great job of ensuring that a page doesn’t have the same word repeated too often and read unnaturally.

Some keywords related to tea might be:

  • Teas
  • Hot drinks
  • Refreshing drinks
  • Breakfast drinks
  • Drinks to relieve indigestion

By having content as one of the main ranking factors, Google is essentially asking us to “write often” on our websites and is promoting content marketing as an essential element of search engine optimization. Essentially, you should see it as building more pathways to your website: the more ways there are to reach your website, the more likely you are to be found by people searching. And when people are searching, they are at a point in the sales funnel when they are about to make a purchase or buying decision.

Another great reason for writing frequently is, as the consultant and marketer Simon Sinek points out, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

Linking

“Nobody is going to link to an About page,” said Neil Patel, owner of Kiss Metrics. Not only is he correct but he, like Sinek above, is espousing the benefits of content, content, content. By publishing regularly you can do two things: create regular content that generates inbound links through its quality and relevance to your brands, topics, or services. It also create links to relevant, high-authority websites. Google very much likes to see both of these as part of your link-building plan.

Don’t sit and wait, however, for all the links to come to you. Often the Field of Dreams myth prevails: “Build it and they will come.” Ultimately this is the goal but until you have generated a strong reputation and a large enough audience, you will likely have to ask relevant websites to link back to your content.

Not only are content and links the two most important variables of the ranking algorithm but they are intertwined: one generates the other. And this is what Sinek and Patel’s quotes get to the essence of!

Social Sharing

The jury is out on whether social interactions (on Google, at least. Bing has been forthcoming with the fact that social signals play a part in its ranking algorithm). But do social signals play a part in search rankings?

This is a major area of study and conjecture, and without wishing to sound like we’re sitting on the fence, the answer is both yes and no.

There are many easy ways to gain social signals so simply posting links is unlikely to have a direct impact. However, if your brands are very active on social media with engaged and honestly acquired followers, Google will see this positively. If your content is shared for being informative, educational or entertaining, it’s also going to have a positive impact, most likely, because shares are the result of page views and various other metrics Google analytics can measure and use in SEO rankings… If people are reading your content, staying on the page for a while and going elsewhere within your site, then this is good for ranking. More shares = more eyeballs on your site.

Ultimately, you should always focus on creating quality content and engaging honestly with your social followers and SEO will (should!) take care of itself.

Here’s a useful article from Search Engine Journal. There’s plenty more out there too…

These SEO tips and tricks will help you rank your content and homepage for all manner of keyword searches. Optimization is not a dark art, as some believe, but rather a series of points that need to be regularly checked off as part of your business’s operating procedure. If you continually follow the best practices, as highlighted here in our other SEO article on content marketing and on the web you will, in time, be successful and rank higher.

If you want help optimizing your website or blog, contact us to find out how we can help!

Client Case Study – Barbara Cameron Pix

Client Case Study – Barbara Cameron Pix

A new client of ours, Barbara Cameron Pix is a fabulous and talented globe-trotting food and travel photographer that is embarking on a new journey around the world.  Read on to learn all about her journey as a solopreneur and why she decided to bring us on board…

Barbara, tell us a little bit about your business…

After ten years as a professional photographer specializing in business branding photography – food, architecture, corporate headshots, products, etc – I recently decided to shift gears and transition into a global food & travel photographer and blogger. It’s like starting all over, and my vision is big and exciting!

At what point did you decide to hire a Virtual Assistant?

Deciding to do it and actually doing it are two different things. I’ve known for a few years that I needed to get out of my own way and outsource some of my business tasks so that I could focus on what I do best. But as a solopreneur, it’s a big challenge to let go of the reins! In 2017 I had a VA help me build a brand new website, and then it got hacked…twice! I rebuilt it myself the first time but didn’t have the motivation to do it again. And in fact, that second hack was the final impetus to change career direction… if I had to rebuild my website, why not re-brand now? That was a bigger job, and one I knew I couldn’t do alone. But I didn’t have the budget to hire a full-service marketing firm or employee. So I looked for a competent VA to help.

Why did you choose Roche Online Business Services?

There’s just something about Debbie! 🙂 Seriously, I had worked with two previous VAs. The first one was great but didn’t stay in business. The second one didn’t work out too well. So I was cautious about committing my business to another VA. I wanted a long-term partner who understood me and my vision and who could get to work quickly to help me realize my goals. I researched and interviewed three potential partners, and Roche Online Business Services definitely came out on top!

Debbie’s quick and professional response to my initial outreach, and her quick understanding of my bigger vision and immediate tasks won me over. Plus, the price was right! The pricing packages are clear, concise and right within the budget range for a solopreneur.

In what way do you think that having a Virtual Assistant has helped your business grow?

In a very short period of time, I have seen a big uptick in website visitors, email marketing subscribers and social media followers. Those are the tangible benefits. But more importantly, I feel confident that I have found a real marketing partner, I feel supported by a team who is on my side, as excited for my growth as I am!

What has been the best thing about working with Roche Online Business Services?

I just love how fast Debbie and her team were able to grasp my bigger brand vision and immediate needs, and get to work to implement. They are smart, professional and super-efficient. They get more quality work done in an hour than I could ever imagine. And they communicate so well, I always feel on track.

What would you recommend to other businesses who might be looking to hire a Virtual Assistant? What should they look for? How should they prepare?

First, let go! You really do have to get out of your own way. Just because you can do or have been doing everything in your business doesn’t mean you should!

Prepare by first creating your vision and goals. Knowing that, a good VA will be able to lay out a clear path of strategies and tactics to help you get there.

Also prepare by looking at the things you do on a daily basis that you don’t like to do! Or the things that you procrastinate on, you know, the action items that get delayed and delayed and delayed. Voila, those are the things you should outsource!

And then start looking. You don’t have to look too far, because Roche OBS is truly a valuable partner. But if you insist… look for professional communication first because this is a relationship and all relationships thrive on good communication.

What’s your main business goal for 2018?

I will be recognized globally as a food & travel photography influencer!

A huge thank you to Barbara for working with us and answering our questions. We are super excited to be supporting her throughout her journey and helping her achieve her business goals. To learn more about her amazing food and travel photography, visit her website and browse her beautiful photos at www.barbaracameronpix.com.

We hope you learned a little bit more about how a virtual assistant can help you and your business!

Rebecca Ching | Client Case Study | Roche Online Business Services
Improving Your SEO With Content Marketing

Improving Your SEO With Content Marketing

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a set of holistic best practices aimed at getting a website, or specific pages of a website, ranked as highly as possible in search results.

Before we dive into a focus on the benefits of content to your SEO efforts, we will provide a brief outline of search optimization to serve as an introduction, and provide the context for why content is central to a strategy.

A Very Brief Intro to SEO

On-Page & Off-Page Optimization

There are two branches to search engine optimization: on-page and off-page.

On-page optimization refers to all the signals you send out to search engines from your website and relates to your content, the website’s architecture and layout, and the HTML elements of website design.

Off-page relates to the signals the web sends back to your site. These include trust, backlinks and the social media conversations around your content.

The two together determine how search engines rank your website/web pages.

Search Engine Land released this wonderfully helpful document called the Periodic Table Of SEO Success Factors.

The Three Most Important Ranking Factors For SEO

Search engines are constantly updating their algorithms, of course, but certain elements will always be important. In 2016 Google’s Andrey Lippatsev said the top two factors (but didn’t disclose the order) are content and backlinks.

The third is RankBrain, Google’s machine learning element, which helps it understand searcher intent; in essence, keywords that are related to topics. This is why when writing your content it is important to consider related terms for your target keyword(s) as RankBrain will reward good writing — writing that speaks to people naturally, rather than stuffing keywords into text.

This intro provides context to SEO and its relationship with content and begins to answer the question…

Why Is Content Important To SEO?

Its importance spans almost all elements of search engine optimization:

  1. It allows you to regularly target your keywords with useful and insightful content
  2. Providing valuable content will build trust with your audience. Search engines can use such elements as time on page, pages per session, and bounce rate, to measure this.
  3. Good content will get linked to by other websites, much like we have linked to other websites in this blog post. And potentially be shared and discussed on social channels.
  4. Search engines like to see websites being regularly updated, another trust-building element.
  5. Each new post allows you to constantly create quality HTML elements: URLs, page titles, metadata, internal and external links, and optimized images, for example.

Become An Authority

Beyond its relevance to search optimization, blogging regularly promotes you as an authority on your subject. Honest and genuine content — writing that seeks to inform, educate and entertain — helps you craft your story, personifying your business and allowing you to talk to your audience in a way they understand and value.

You can also target your content efforts to every stage of the buying process. There is nothing like informative and engaging content to usher your audience along the path from attracting to converting.

Link: https://linchpinseo.com/understanding-the-buyers-journey/
If you haven’t done so already, create buyer personas of your ideal target audience to help you craft your writing for your audience.

A Note About Social Media & SEO

While there is plenty of debate over whether social actions such as likes, shares, and retweets, for example, are factored into search engine algorithms, there is no debate that writing good content which gets shared and read is helpful for SEO. If all social actions were meaningless, there would still be huge value in the additional traffic generated by a healthy, active and engaged social media following. 

How To Build Backlinks

The goal is to build a strong reputation, critical mass of content and audience on your subject so people link to your writing.

Before this, though you will need to proactively seek links through outreach. This involves contacting relevant websites: suppliers, clients, and local/topic-related bloggers, for example.

Another useful strategy, especially for businesses that serve a local area through a bricks-and-mortar establishment, is to use tools such as BrightLocal to build directory links and citations. The more your name, address and phone details are consistent across the web the more search engines value your website.

Be wary of any SEO companies offering ‘x’ links per month. As with anything you do – on or offline – always remember quality trumps quantity. A useful free tool to check the domain authority of a website is the Moz Bar. Domain Authority (DA) is a way of measuring a website’s reputation. The higher its DA the greater value its link has in terms of sending a signal to a search engine for your ranking.

Get AMPed: A Fourth Major Ranking Factor?

Google has over the last couple of years been pushing Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). This is, claims the project, about making the web better. It’s certainly about making it faster, the claim it’s better is up for debate, and you can read about that here on the Yoast blog. AMP effectively strips out lots of fancy design leaving just the words to make a page load times quicker for mobile. Page load times have long been important for SEO, and Google is a big fan of AMP, helping it rank on mobile searches and News results. GT Metrix is a useful tool for analyzing files which may be affecting website performance.

While we are on the subject of Yoast, it is an incredibly useful WordPress SEO plugin that is intuitive to use and guides you through all the on-page elements of optimization.

The Formula For Good Content Marketing

While this is easier said than done, breaking down all the above into this formula makes it easier to digest in a bite-size chunk

Value+Time+Frequency+Good Html = Authority, Trust, Engaged Audiences, Backlinks

Roche Online Business Services Can Craft Your SEO & Content Strategy

This may seem overwhelming but it needn’t be like that. If you are wanting to learn more about search engine optimization and a content marketing strategy then we can help. We can arrange a free consultation and analysis of your website and business goals

Useful SEO Links For Further Reading

Yoast

Search Engine Journal

Search Engine Land

HubSpot

Moz