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SMX Advanced 2012: Day 2, Part 1

We’re back for coverage of panels from the second and final day of SMX Advanced 2012 in Seattle. Day two included three panels, the first covering Schema and Authorship. I’ll admit I haven’t toyed with these much in my career, so it was fascinating to learn how these things worked and how useful they can be for both the user experience, as well as SEO.

Schema & Authorship – 1 Year Later

This panel was moderated by Search Engine Land’s Elisabeth Osmeloski, and included presentations from Benu Aggarwal of Milestone Internet Marketing, Matthew Brown of AudienceWise, Rick DeJarnette of The SEO Ace and David Weichel of CPC Strategy. Here’s a look at some of the main points…

Denoting Proper Authorship Of Unique Content Is Vital – Even though I have my own blog, which I update regularly, I’ll be honest in that I never paid much attention to denoting proper authorship, at least until this panel. After seeing the presentations and listening to the speakers, I immediately jumped on getting proper authorship noted for myself and my blog. Why? Because if Google knows that you’re the author of excellent, unique and authoritative content, it not only identifies you as such, which helps make your search results more rich and useful, but it also helps you become more of an influencer, and influencers are becoming more and more important in terms of content sharing and marketing.

There are several ways to set up proper authorship notation, such as setting up Google rel code on your author bio or content pages, or using email verification. Since my blog is in WordPress, and apparently this is tricky to accomplish in WordPress without making your blog security vulnerable, I used the email verification, which worked fine and is already starting to take effect. Overall, denoting proper authorship is a great way to have you and your content gain more visibility and authority.

The Semantic Web Will Only Become More Important – Mr. Brown discussed the use of structured and linked data that help make up the semantic web, and how this data can help enhance and strengthen search results. This retreaded a bit of what was said in the previous panel on microformatting, but went into more technical detail. Rich snippets are a big part of the semantic web, but where do they get their data and how does it relate to the semantic web?

According to the W3C, the semantic web is built using RDF (Resource Description Framework), the standardized model of data interchange on the web. RDF can merge data from different sources using URIs (Uniform Resource Identifiers), which helps you build schema-based rich snippets to use in search engine results. By using this data, you help build trust and authority with the search engines, and turn results into entities, which we discussed earlier. Google especially is relying on schemas more and more for rich data results, so if you have a site that offers product reviews, customer testimony and deals, this is definitely something to consider adding to your site, not only to make it more useful for the users, but also for the engines.

Use Schemas Properly – Schemas don’t work with every type of property or vertical, so it’s important to identify which verticals are right for the use of schemas. This can include items or properties, product reviews, events and comments. Schemas should be as well-integrated into your site’s architecture as cleanly as possible, so as to make the results display naturally and the search engines can pick them up easily. Schemas help build trust and freshness for your site, and should never be abused, which brings us to the final section for this recap…

Avoid Spamming/Abusing Schemas – Matt Cutts touched upon this in his You&A on day one, however, this panel went into a lot more detail. There have been a growing number of people abusing rich snippets because it’s really not that difficult to do. With just some tweaking of one’s schema code, one can say a product or service has thousands of reviews and an overall review of five stars, even if no such reviews actually exist. Schemas should always refer to actual live reviews, and if possible, these should also be linked to a testimonials page. As Google gets smarter about the use of schemas and the semantic web, you want to be sure that they’re being used properly and honestly on your site to avoid any future issues.

Overall, this was one of the more technical panels of the conference, and my head was spinning a bit when all was said and done, but I learned a lot. As schemas and the semantic web become more useful, I’m sure we’ll be learning how to offer these services to our clients as well, to make their search experience – and also their results of course – better all around. Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for the next recap, which covers pagination and canonicalization, another fairly technical topic.

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Client Profile – CivilWar.org: Removing SEO Roadblocks for Non-Profit Organization

CivilWar.org was looking to increase their fundraising efforts and to become the leading resource provider for Civil War history.

Problem: Large-scale Competitors were Outranking Them for Many Key Terms
Solution: To improve rankings for highly competitive keywords, Wpromote enhanced and optimized onsite content in the Resources and Battlefields sections of the site. The addition of multiple tabs, maps and keyword-targeted content to the Battlefields section of the site attributed to the dramatic increase in search engine rankings and website traffic for terms such as “battle of Gettysburg”.

Problem: Google was Reporting Numerous Errors on CivilWar.org
Solution: Wpromote updated and optimized all duplicate title tags and meta descriptions to include targeted keywords and follow Google’s recommended best practices. We repaired the canonicalization error, which now redirected the non-www version of the site to the www version, also helped reduce the number of crawl errors immensely.

The Results

Wpromote has dramatically increased website traffic, search engine rankings and overall brand awareness for CivilWar.org.

In the two years Wpromote has been managing CivilWar.org’s SEO campaign, traffic to the website has increased by over 2,053%.About CivilWar.org
The Civil War Trust, America’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of the nation’s Civil War battlefields, was founded in 1987. Their mission is to promote educational programs and heritage tourism initiatives to help inform people about the war’s history and what caused it. Over the years, the Civil War Trust has saved and preserved more than 32,000 acres of battlefield land in twenty different states.

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SMX Advanced 2012: Day 1, Part 4

You&A With Google’s Matt Cutts

This was the final panel that I attended on the first day of SMX Advanced, and it was moderated by Danny Sullivan. I had never seen Matt Cutts in person, but he’s pretty much the same bubbly figure that he comes across as in his webmaster videos. Let’s take a look at some of the main talking points:

Penguin – The panel began right away with questions about Penguin, which was completely expected. Essentially, Penguin is seen within Google as trying to find a calibration level to help tackle the spam that Panda missed. It’s just one of the over 200 signals that Google uses to help determine the quality and authoritativeness of a website. Some are seeing it as a penalty because it does indeed devalue some websites, but Penguin is not a penalty, just one more algorithm change. Since algorithm changes are done monthly, we can also expect to see more updates moving forward.

Webmaster Tools Messages/Penalties – According to Mr. Cutts, if you received a message through Webmaster Tools regarding webmaster quality guidelines or unnatural links, it was likely the result of what Google internally calls a “manual action”. These manual actions are part of Google’s intent toward more transparency, as well as working toward stronger enforcement and actions regarding violations to their guidelines.

Reacting To A Manual Action – They discussed many ways to react to one of these manual actions. The main crux is that Google wants to see an honest, good faith effort to take care of the problem they alerted you to. For example, if you received an unnatural link alert, you should work to remove as many of the unnatural links in your link profile as you can.

If you send Google a reconsideration request, and they see that you’ve removed 10% of the offending links, they’ll see that as progress, and act accordingly. According to Mr. Cutts, if nothing is done after receiving a message in Webmaster Tools, your rankings will definitely drop as a result. The good news is that the week after the conference, Google launched the new ‘Disavow Link Tool,’ allowing users to “disavow” certain links, to help fight against negative SEO or links they have no control over.

Not A War On SEO – It seems as if Mr. Cutts dealt with this issue before, but certain questions regarding Google being at war with SEOs came up during the panel. Mr. Cutts reiterated that Google isn’t at war with SEO, but IS at war with spam. While Google sees value in SEO, they have problems with actions like buying and selling links. Mr. Cutts recognizes that SEO is more challenging than it was several years ago, and said it’s only going to get tougher as the search engines get more refined.

Some of the more random tidbits of information from Mr. Cutts included the following:
•    Google is going to become stricter regarding rich snippets in the future, to fight their abuse and overuse.
•    While Google is going to work to build stronger enforcement against buying and selling links, don’t write the epitaph for links just yet.
•    Google doesn’t rely on Google Analytics for any ranking factors at all.
•    “Not Provided” in Google Analytics is their way of putting “users first” and protecting their data so it isn’t abused.

My Personal Highlight – In the entirety of the discussion, my favorite words uttered by Mr. Cutts were as follows, in regards to their war on spam, “If you look at black hat sites, you’ll see stuff like, how do you fake sincerity? How do you fake being awesome? Don’t fake it! Just be genuine! We do what we do so people can compete on a level playing field.” This, I feel, is one of the best pieces of advice that could be given to anyone trying to optimize their website and make it valuable and authoritative. Be real, be genuine, be sincere, be awesome.

This concludes my posts covering day one of SMX Advanced 2012. On the second day of the conference, we’ll look at schema, authorship, pagination, canonicalization and much more. Thanks for reading!

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SMX Advanced 2012: Day 1, Part 3

Authority Building vs. Link Building In A Search Meets Social World

Elisabeth Osmeloski, Managing Editor of Search Engine Land, moderated this panel with speakers Tom Schmitz of Schmitz Marketing, Philip Petrescu of Caphyon, Casie Gillette of Grasshopper and Eric Enge of Stone Temple Consulting. I’ll admit I’ve always been interested in the concept of building authority, so I was particularly looking forward to this panel. The main discussion points included:

Recent Google Updates Signaling Importance In Authority – According to Mr. Schmitz, both the Panda and Penguin updates were geared toward devaluing sites with either low-quality content or low-quality links, respectfully. If your site got hit with either of these updates, you should either remove as many low-quality links as you can or all of your thin, low-quality content, or possibly both. Sadly, he also laments that some domains can’t be rehabilitated. These signals obviously show how Google is trying to filter out low-quality signals in favor of high-quality, authoritative signals.

Search Engines Are Better Understanding User Intent – Even though Mr. Schmitz lamented that search engines aren’t that smart, they are getting better at understanding user intent across a wide variety of platforms, whether the user is searching for a product, getting directions, or getting price comparisons. Mr. Petrescu also stated that he finds that Google is getting better at understanding user intent. To target this, it’s suggested that you engage in local search as well as make sure your site has an optimized mobile version.

Managing Authority Is Achieved Both Onsite & Offsite – There are many ways one can manage authority, in terms of gaining it, bypassing it and budgeting it. On your site, architecture is important, such as using rel meta tags such as canonical, next and prev, which help give Google a better understanding of how your site is laid out. Having your social networks all connected is another method toward managing authority, so make sure all of your social profiles link to each other.

Authoritative Mentions, Shares & Other Social Signals Increasing In Importance – Getting authoritative mentions and shares from influential people and groups – Mashable and TechCrunch were often mentioned as examples – are very important. A large portion of Mr. Petrescu’s presentation focused on the impact of these signals in which just a simple tweet by an influencer in regards to a blog post can spread like wildfire, gaining the attention of others, who will in turn either mention the original tweet or retweet it. This prodded another author to learn about the subject matter of the tweet/blog and then write a blog post about. These authoritative shares helped this one blog post rise in the rankings without any links specifically built for it.

Influence Is More Important Than Ever – It’s been mentioned before, but it came up in this session again, so it’s worthy of more attention. Mr. Enge spent a long time discussing influencer marketing, as influencers carry with them much more trust than non-influencers. Even with the same amount of connections, an influencer can get five times as many likes and shares as a non-influencer. Finding influencers in your industry is key, and can be done by looking at Klout, Twitter hashtag searches, book searches and conference agendas. These influencers can then be marketed in many ways, such as sharing a link or even writing authoritative guest blog posts.

How To Obtain Authoritative Links – Since we were discussing links, Ms. Gillette discussed some ways to get authoritative links, such as creating valuable, targeted content that speaks to influencers, so it will get shared and mentioned. Mr. Enge also mentioned that you won’t get authoritative links through article directories, blog or forum comments, or WordPress themes. Therefore, links need to be obtained through existing relationships with influencers and guest blog posts.

Overall, while the concept of influence and influencers has come up repeatedly throughout the conference, it makes sense that influence would be a major factor in building authoritative links. Recent Google updates have shown us what type of links and content they consider low-quality. We therefore have to work harder than ever to create authority and value for our sites through high-quality content, proper site architecture, influencer relationships and the proper use of social signals.

There’s one more panel from day 1 of SMX Advanced 2012 to cover, which will feature Google’s own Matt Cutts! Stay tuned!

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SMX Advanced 2012: Day 1, Part 2

Surviving Personalization with Bing and Google

The second panel at SMX Advanced 2012 was very entertaining. It was also moderated by Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan, and included three speakers; Marty Weintraub of aimClear (who thankfully provided the coffee for the event), Aaron Freeman from Spark and Rhea Drysdale from Outspoken Media. This lively discussion covered the following topics:

Personalized Search Requires That We Be Personal – This means that, like the user experience section in the previous session, we tailor our outreach to be as personal as we can. This should be done through social media and tailoring content to our visitors as best we can. You want to be personal so you can entice subscribers to your page, as well as influencers and entities, which are a big component of personalized search.

Influencers Are Key – Influencers are becoming a huge driving force in regards to how content gets found and shared. While getting your content shared from subscribers is great, influencers have a far greater reach, so these particular people are key in getting your message spread as far as it possibly can be. Crafting relationships with influencers is very important for organic and social search, since they can bring in new subscribers and followers you might not have reached otherwise.

Entities Are Becoming Increasingly Important – Entities are important, but are much less specific than influencers. Search engines, understanding not just which words we use, but how we use them generates entities. Recognizing concepts, and building search-specific entities – which could be information, links to episodes and images of a specific show, for example – help the user receive more relevant search results.

According to Mr. Freeman, we all have the potential to become an entity if we target information toward peoples’ interests, because entities are built upon interest-based demographics. Therefore, trying to craft your content and message toward these specific interests is amazingly important.

The Future Of Search Is Personalized – According to Mr. Freeman and Ms. Drysdale, search will just get more and more personalized as we move forward. By building interest-specific entities, taking into account what your friends have shared through Like or +1 buttons, keeping all of your search history and connecting to your other social profiles, search engines such as Google will get better at crafting personalized search results based on your history, location and social connections.

Quantity & Quality Are Enormously Important – When referring to quantity, Mr. Freeman refers to growing our audiences so results will be much more relevant, buying ads on Facebook, and growing connections on Twitter and Google+. Quality refers to creating unique content, being helpful and useful, and not neglecting networks. These two factors build on each other to make you, your brand and your site more valuable and more relevant.

Know The Important Factors That Go Into Personalized Search – Ms. Drysdale went into detail as to many of the factors that go into personalized search. This includes the aforementioned search history, but there’s much more. If you tell Google what your networks are, it will parse those networks and will find friends who are connected on Google+. It can then determine the interactions you’ve had with your circles of friends and find similarities, targeting those similarities.

Some tactics to help target these factors and make your results show up more effectively in personalized search include writing geo-targeted content, using schema.org markup language (referring back to rich snippets, which we discussed in my previous post), building off-line relationships to enhance on-line relationships and having a mobile friendly site. These tactics will help you better target personalized results by becoming more personal in the end.

The key takeaways from this panel are that how we affect personalized search is just as much based on our personal lives, personalities and strengths as it is on our more traditional SEO tactics of creating high-quality, unique content and targeting social networks. As was said in this panel, personalization is one of the big SEO arms races right now, and it will be fascinating to see how it unfolds. More to come from my recap of SMX Advanced 2012!

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Wednesday Web Series: Sketchy

There are a lot of funny videos on the internet. Such an obvious statement…I am actually a little hesitant to leave it, but clearly not too hesitant seeing as it lead to this long follow-up sentence which would make no sense without the previous obvious statement. What was I writing about? Ah yes. Monkeys.

Anyway, my personal preference when it comes to funny videos are ones actually created by professionals: writers, actors and comedians. Sure a sweet video gif of a dog jumping out of a moving car is always hilarious to watch over and over, but give me something with some depth or thought any day of the week…for about 5 minutes or so.

With that said, I present Sketchy. Wait, wait! It’s not what you think it is. Unless, what you think it is is a sketch comedy web series that presents new episodes once a week, by some of the top creative comedians in the biz. If that’s what you think it is, then don’t “wait, wait.” Watch the sketch below and then head on over to Sketch, on blip.tv (presented by Yahoo), and watch some more episodes later.

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How To Protect Your WordPress Blog Against Comment Spam

Just like a mini Digital Kings Landing, your blog is constantly under the impending threat of attack from your sworn enemies. Seriously, the internet is just absolutely lousy with people of questionable morals and dubious intention who would like nothing more than to exploit every little nook and cranny of your company blog for their own little ill gotten gains.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to mitigate the danger that your poor little installation lives under day-to-day. And today I’m going to talk about one of the most annoying exploits I see on a daily basis and some “sweet-as” plug-ins and services that you can one click upload and kick those crafty scammers and spammers back to the deepest, darkest corner of the internet (where they belong).

Comment Spam


These guys are cute, suffice it to say they also make your life as a blog owner or manager a living hell if you don’t have a solid system of how to deal with and or block them altogether. It all starts innocently enough, you put a couple of posts on your blog and at first they will just trickle in. An innocuous looking compliment in the back end with an email alert saying a “new comment is awaiting moderation” and they will frequently look like this…

You say to yourself “Why thank you so much Storm, Leatrix, Medford and Jace… you guys are too kind, and of course I am going to approve a comment FROM someone that wants to link back to Bing and/or Facebook… those sites are legit” and then the temptation to hit the approval button is staggering. Do yourself a favor AND DON’T DO IT!!!

These are penetration comments, designed by heavy spammers to see if you have a vulnerable blog. The second you approve them you will send a signal to the spam gods to hit your blog with all holy hell’s worth of garbage comment spam… it’s actually quite impressive.

This is just a small sample of over 6,000 queued comments that I had to clean out from a client’s site that was vulnerable and had approved the little red herring “Facebook” and “Bing” test comments… actually I wasn’t even mad, it was kind of amazing. Six Thousand comments… in one day. Gotta admire their gumption. But enough of these pests! Do yourself a favor and install these handy little blog comment spam killer plug-ins.

Akismet

This should really be a no brainer as Akismet comes standard on all WordPress installs these days (but it is really impressive how few people actually activate it). Akismet is a global spam stopping network that runs on pure love (and donations… so be sure to donate).

Activation is simple, just mosey on over to the site, make an account, register your blog and email address (this is where you donate *cough *cough), get your activation code (API Key) and input it into the Akismet plug-in on your WordPress back-end and you’re done. Akismet filters out most of the junk, leaving you free to focus more time on creating content for your readers instead of cleaning out your comment queue of spam.

Comment Moderation

Once you’ve gotten your Akismet act together (Defensio is another viable option, though not as effective in my opinion), you would be wise to install some sort of comment moderation plug-in for added protection. Disqus is great because it’s essentially an opt-in profile that requires people to sign in using one of many social networks in order to comment (Facebook, Twitter or Disqus itself) thereby forcing a sort of accountability on commenters. The best part about it is it has full API integration with Akismet, giving you two layers of security that will markedly cut down on all comment spam.

Another effective and extremely popular way to go is to install Facebook’s social comment plug-in that requires anyone who wishes to comment on your blog to log-in with their Facebook. This has the added bonus of potentially sharing a comment on the commenter’s wall, thus having terrific ripple effect in inbound traffic. The only downside we’ve encountered so far with using this plug-in is (while all signals should point to the contrary) not everyone on earth who reads and wants to comment on a blog has an active Facebook account. Disqus is a more global option, but lacks the aspect of viral sharing that the Facebook plug-in offers, so it’s really up to you.

Author’s note: this entry was going to be a larger blog post on the various exploits I’ve seen in the PHP code of some of the WordPress installations I manage and how to combat those… but I got really distracted making memes and decided to keep it comment spam specific, since it’s apparently still an issue that people are curious about. Stay tuned.

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SMX Advanced 2012: Day 1, Part 1

Last week, I was given the opportunity to attend my first SEO conference, SMX Advanced in Seattle. Over the two days that I was there, I attended several panels on a wide variety of topics, from personalization to authority building to schema and authorship and nearly everything in between. While some of the information I heard wasn’t new, quite a bit of it was. Honestly, my wrists are still sore from all of the furious note taking that I did.

There was a lot to review from these panels, so I’ve separated my recap into multiple posts. Please enjoy the first installation of my SMX Advanced 2012 overview.

The Periodic Table of SEO 2012 Edition

Danny Sullivan, the editor-in-chief of Search Engine Land, moderated this panel. Contributors included Chris Silver Smith from Argent Media, Jeff MacGurn from Cavario, Mark Munroe from Inflection and Kristine Schachinger from Sites Without Walls. The panelists covered a lot of ground, and the presentations were pretty dense. The main points were as follows:

Quality and Trust – While things such as quality scores are nothing new on Google, they’re apparently becoming more and more important. Google uses over 200 signals to determine the value of a website, and two of those signals that are increasing in importance are quality and trust. If you think about it, the two are highly intertwined. A high quality website – one that has well-written content, badges of authority from places like the BBB and TRUSTe, ‘About Us’ pages with human faces and so on – helps build trust with the user, who is more likely to engage in your products and services.

Optimize for the User Experience – This is becoming increasingly important. Mr. Munroe stated that SEO should now be called SUX, which stands for Search User Experience Engineering. Google especially wants to show their users relevant, accurate and trustworthy information, and they have mountains of data on how users interact and engage with a website, data we don’t have. Optimizing the user experience strives to bridge the gap between what we do know and what Google knows by giving the user a unique and engaging experience. This will take a lot of work, such as analyzing entry and exit pages, keywords used to arrive on the site, surveys and user testing, but in the end it should be worth it.

Microformatting/Rich Snippets – These are small pieces of data that help a search engine result be more rich and useful. According to Mr. MacGurn, rich search results get clicked on more often and bring in more traffic, since users find them more useful. This could also be entwined with the user experience topic above. Rich snippets also help with the increased use of filtering, as non-rich results get filtered out. If you have a site with products to sell, reviews of those products, events or offers; rich snippets will become more useful than ever in 2012.

Social Signals – Mr. MacGurn also had quite a bit to say about social signals and how to use them. He used a case study of the SOPA website blackout from several months ago to show how proper use of social signals and viral content can make an idea grow exponentially. Data gathered from this study and other social signals showed that people often share funny content at the end of the day and serious content in the beginning. Some suggestions included knowing when people use social media, like the example I just mentioned, as well as knowing the influencers in social media and developing relationships with them, so they can share your content.

In conclusion, there was a lot of valuable information in this panel, primarily about the user experience. All of the factors mentioned, however, can be combined into an excellent example of a holistic experience that helps the user and the search engines engage and interact better with your website. Other panels went into more detail on some of these topics, so stay tuned for more of my recap from SMX Advanced 2012!

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Wednesday Web Series – Burning Love

Reality television programming is taking away time slots from original programming. There are funny, dramatic and suspenseful television shows that we will never get to witness because we have to watch groups of people travel around the world quickly while occasionally sling-shotting watermelons at knight’s armor. Personally, I would rather watch the next “Futurama,” “Firefly” or “Awake.”

Fortunately, there are many creative minds who feel the same way as I do, and some of those creators have recently used the unlimited time slot space of the internet to give us the web series, Burning Love.

Starring Ken Morino of “Party Down” and “Veronica Mars” fame, Burning Love is a web series spoof of the “Bachelor” that will have you becoming that annoying co-worker who randomly laughs every 20 seconds at their computer screen. Morino plays Mark, a firefighter bachelor looking for someone “beautiful, smart, maybe ethnic.” He has to choose from a quirky group of women, from a range of accurately assigned professions, which viewers may recognize from movies and television shows (such as the canceled aforementioned “Veronica Mars”). The celebrity cameos are very fun and the web series itself is wonderfully packaged in nice under 10 minute segments.

As the show’s Yahoo Screen channel suggests, Burning Love is “The Most Romantic Web Series That Will Ever Be.” Check out the first episode below!

Warning! Burning Love does contain adult languages and situations. Watch when your boss isn’t near by.

 

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How To Create A Healthy Office Environment

As with most businesses today, employees spend the majority of their day sitting behind a desk and staring at a computer.  As a matter of fact if you are reading this post, you are most likely amidst your workday taking a break perusing the Internet at your desk.  With studies showing that sitting for 6 hours can lead to obesity and early death, creating a healthy office environment should be a priority on every company’s to do list.

At Wpromote, a handful of passionate health nuts formed a committee to help tackle this office endeavor.  Here are a few things they have implemented to start creating a healthier office environment.

Yoga
Every Tuesday following work, Wpromote has a Yoga instructor come to our office to hold a vinyasa yoga class.  The health benefits of Yoga are endless, including improved flexibility, strength and posture.  The stretching aspect of Yoga helps release built up lactic acid in your muscles, which can cause stiffness, pain and fatigue.

Not only does Yoga promote great physical activity, it provides stress relief.  Meditation and breathing techniques lessen the feeling of stress by lowering levels of hormone neurotransmitters, and bring on a feeling of calm.

Massages
This past year Wpromote started “Therapy Thursdays”, which has become one of the most beloved days of the week.  Not only is massage beneficial for back pain and stiffness, but it also helps reduce blood pressure, anxiety and depression by lowering levels of cortisol in the body.

To further help with back pain and stiffness caused by sitting at a desk all day, the committee also posted a series of recommended Desk Stretches throughout the office.  Taking even just a few minutes to stretch everyday can have tremendous effects helping prevent and relieve back pain.

Healthy Snacks
An apple a day keeps the doctor away? Well it’s worth a shot!  Something new you will find while walking around the Wpromote office is fruit bowls.  Not only do they make you feel more at home, but when 3 o’clock comes around and you are needing a snack, having a healthy option like fruit available can prevent a trip to the fatty, high calorie snack filled vending machine.

Plants
This is something that Wpromote has been doing for awhile, but it carries benefits twofold.  One, the office looks homier and plants can give you a comforting feeling when inside all day.  Two, plants increase oxygen production.  Air quality in offices is often an overlooked issue, and a study by the EPA found that 6 out of 10 buildings are not up to standards.  Plants in the office help improve overall air quality, and a boost in oxygen levels is speculated to reduce stress, as well as increase energy and alertness.

Nutritionist
Education is key.  Earlier this year, Wpromote had a nutritionist come in to host a lunch-and-learn.  The nutritionist educated employees on diet and exercise, and de-bunked common nutrition myths.  Often times you can get a local nutritionist to visit your office for free.

These are just a few ways to start creating a healthier office environment.  Have any other recommendations?