Wednesday, July 5, 2017

11 things to do in Curacao on a Budget

This June, Kofi and I had the opporutnity to travel to Curacao for a much needed vacation and we had a great time! When planning our trip, we challenged ourselves to create an itinerary that would allow us to have fun and experience the culture without spending a bunch of money. How did we do it? Lots of googling. Renting a car for $25 a day for 6 days and visiting points of interests we found on google and various articles allowed us to be our own tour guides. The roads of Curacao are fairly easy to navigate and google maps was helpful although the map information was not always up to date (thank God Kofi is good with directions). All the meals we ate costed us between $12-$20 per plate (most times closer to $12 when we ate at local restaurants in Willemstad). Visiting and walking across the Queen Emma Bridge was something we did everyday as our hotel, the Curacao Suites, was a five minute walk from it. Excursions such as Hato cave and the Ostrich farm were under $20 per person and beaches were either a few dollars or free. See our list of 11 things to do in Curacao on a budget below:

1. Stay in Willemstad and visit the Queen Emma Bridge
2. Tour the Ostrich Farm and feed ostriches
3. Taste the local food. Willemstad has lots of local food spots filled with delicious meals
(Kofi eating a goat burger with sweet potato fries)
4. Eat lunch at the old market
5. Then stop at the batido cart and taste the best smoothie you've ever had in your life! My favorites were soursop and mango
6. Visit Hato cave. You may just find some bats staring at you while you learn about the history of the island
7. Tour the distillery and try the famous Curacao liquor
8. Go flamingo watching
9. Visit the beaches. We visited Mambo beach, playa kinepa grandi and playa cas abao
10. Visit the floating market
11. View the street art
(this man said he painted the wall)
I fell in love with Curacao as soon as I saw the beautiful colors of the buildings in Willemstad. Curacao is a vibrant island and I think the way they paint their buildings speaks to that. My next favorite thing about Curacao was the food. Growing up in a Caribbean household, the food definitely catered to my taste buds. I thoroughly enjoyed every meal, snack, and beverage. My favorite dishes were the beef stew and peanut stew (made with chicken and sweet potatoes). I could easily tell that every meal was made with love. The beaches gave me so much joy and peace. Curacao beaches can be rocky but contain some of the clearest water I have ever seen. The island is also known to have great scuba diving and snorkeling.Thank you to the kind and beautiful people of Curacao for our vacation enjoyable. This may have been our first visit to the island but it definitely won't be our last!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Learn About NJ SEO

If you own a website, I am sure you have heard the word SEO before, but do you know what it actually stands for, or what it means? I put together a list of questions that I commonly hear people asking about SEO and digital marketing. I really hope this helps answer some of your questions that you may have!


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What is SEO? To start out, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Search Engine Optimization is the process of optimizing your website so that it ranks on search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. The reason you want to use SEO tactics for your website is because when you rank on search engines, you are more likely to be found by readers, which leads to more traffic. The higher you rank, the more traffic you get.


So, why is it even important to rank? We are currently in a digital marketing age and I do not see it going away anytime soon. If anything, I think we will become more and more in a digital marketing age and eventually, all paper advertising will be gone. With that being said, online marketing, or digital marketing is ESSENTIAL for businesses and bloggers.


How does SEO have anything to do with online marketing? SEO is the heart of online marketing. Yes, you have email lists, newsletters and social media, but SEO is what attracts most of your NEW readers to your website, if you are doing it correctly. Your goal is to provide quality content to your readers, but your goal for growing is to gain more readers, which is only done by marketing and word of mouth.


How does SEO affect Google searches? Let’s break this down for you: Pretend you are a searcher on Google. You need to find out information on how to pack for a trip with your baby, so you type in your question on Google. Which article do you click on? Would you go for the article on the first page, or would you click straight to the sixth or eighth page to find an article? (Hint: most people go for the first page). So, if your website is found on the first page, you are more likely to get traffic compared to a blog that has almost the same post as you, on the sixth page. Like I mentioned above, when you rank higher, you gain more traffic, leading to conversions, which is your ultimate goal.


Do I need to submit my website to Google?
You don’t need to submit your website to Google to become ‘ranked,’ they already have your information. :)


You are optimizing for readers, not for a search engine
Yes, you are trying to become ranked on search engines, BUT what it comes down to is that you are trying to make your website an inviting space where people want to come and gain insight into your life.


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If I have more pages and articles, will I automatically rank higher?
NO. Just because you have tons of articles does not mean you are going to rank higher. You need to focus on putting out quality work compared to filling your website with useless articles.
Can SEO target people in certain areas?
Yes! It can target specific people and that’s a good thing, especially if you own a business!


How can I get started with SEO?
Getting started with SEO is as simple as doing research, but it takes a lot of time and effort, which is why I think it’s a great idea to hire professionals to do the heavy lifting for you. NJ SEO, a Search Company in NJ helps with all of your online marketing needs to make it easy for you. NJ SEO is the number one online marketing agency in the New Jersey area and they have the case studies and testimonials to prove that they really do beat out all of the other competition. NJ SEO provides service that they are proud of - their days do not start at 9am and end at 5pm, the communication between clients keep going, at all times. They even have an option to call them 24 hours a day, that you can find on their website. They say, “In fact, we see a client relationship drastically more personal than that of most agencies in our field.” Another way you know you are getting great service by using NJ SEO for your marketing need is by looking at the people that work for the company. For example, Matt Anton is listed in the top 62 Local SEO marketers. He is also cited as an SEO expert and worked as the former online marketing manager for Liberty Travel, with a 250k monthly budget. The facts about Matt are why NJ SEO is so successful and worth giving a shot with your marketing needs!


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Matt Anton and family

If you own a website, or are thinking about starting a website, I really think these answers to frequently asked questions about SEO will help you! Don’t forget to check out NJ SEO if you are in need of online marketing - they will take great care of you.

Thursday, June 15, 2017