Month: June 2010

Why men cannot think straight in the presence of an attractive woman!

I suppose many read the story the other week about research that showed men who spend even a few minutes in the company of a very attractive woman perform less well in cognitive tests designed to measure brain function. Apparently when men are intensely focused on an attractive female such is the extent that cognitive resources are used up that it is almost impossible to think of anything else – in this case one researcher could not remember his address when asked by a particularly impressively built young lady. The effect does not work the other way women I’m afraid – women are more focused on status and potential in a mate and on much more practical matters such as how much dosh she can squeeze out of the hapless jerk when they get to the divorce courts

This effect is well known in fact in the psychology self-regulation area. It is thought that the cognitive resources we have to apply to particular tasks are actually finite and get used up as we carry out tasks – particularly demanding thinking jobs at hand deplete these resources quickly. In this case the young man in question was intensely studying a potential mate and the brain power needed to do this zapped his thinking powers and blood rushed to the head and elsewhere and the thinking power simply was not available to carry out easy declarative tasks like giving her his phone number (yer dummy!). The findings have implications for the performance of men who flirt with women in the workplace or even better using attractive women in negotiating situations. When an attractive female manager is presenting the product plan and talking about market penetration there is a finite chance that her males colleagues are not thinking about marketing strategies at that moment and are thus unable to come to rational judgments about the approach. There we have it – at a stroke (forgive the pun) – the reason for the lack of seriousness given to female presenters is apparently down to innate and unalterable sexual drives due to the reproductive orientation of men when confronted with an attractive potential mate – and is not due to any socialisation process (oh no its not – this is more of your sexist claptrap ed.)

By way of balance I found this up to date picture on the functional MRI breakdown of the cognitive process in male human brain that goes a long way in explaining the key aspects of behaviour described above.


The male brain

England fail again and now the search for the scapegoat is on

I am on my way to the trichologist today to see if there is any chance of sticking my hair back into the bald patches that resulted when I started pulling out my hair in frustration at eleven half-witted over paid Muppets again dismally failing at the World Cup. Yup this is one of those England dismal failure rants again. In passing did you know that a player such as Wayne Rooney is paid five centuries (500 years!!!) worth of the national minimum wage a year for this claptrap.

I feel for those who travelled out to see this debacle – most on benefits or on the national minimum wage – gutted I am sure by what happened but never-the-less I guess they will be back for more next time. Perhaps it’s the identification with the players who if it were not for the ability to kick a ball up against a garage door would also be on benefits and the minimum wage and alongside them in the terraces. Anyhoo that’s not the subject of this half baked rant today.

In period of national crisis our nation pulls together and takes stock before starting to look around for a scapegoat to blame. By way of a slight diversion (again ed.) the actual derivation of the word scapegoat is based on a ritual purification ceremony that actually took place during a king’s wedding in the ancient middle east. In this story a she-goat with a silver bracelet hung from her neck was driven out by the whole community into the wasteland. In such ‘elimination rites’, in which an animal, becomes the vehicle of evils (but not sins) that are chased from the community – and as a result the community can then carry on in the belief that it has expunged itself from all blame and evil.

What will probably happen to poor old Capello now is he will be ritually expunged and sent off into the wilderness with a silver bracelet around his neck (and a big bag of money in his pocket) – and we all think that will solve the problem. Then it will be another search for another leader who can pull this rabble into some sort of shape – which will not solve the problem at all. We call this in consulting ‘faulty diagnosis’ by the client – when they come up with an irrational statement of the problem that avoids any sort of culpability. In this case the faulty diagnosis is that the problem is the question of leadership. The king is dead so long live the (new) king so the story will unfold.

What is surprising is that organisations such as the FA buy into this discredited leadership model that is so prevalent in western management thought. The idea goes that the players must be OK (we pay them enough for gods sake) so it must be a matter of discipline and charismatic leadership – ergo lets buy someone who has apparently had great success elsewhere so he can repeat it here – surely he can take us to glory based on his success from past times. But the answer from evidence is NO – and we are going to start another re-run of history in a few weeks.

There is no evidence that leadership has any real sustained impact on performance. Leadership does not make a great deal of difference to how organisations or teams perform or survive – it is in fact a myth and team dynamics is much more complicated than this. Most reports that extol leadership are attributions – an organisation is a success therefore in western management thought it must be due to something that is good at the top. And nothing to do with how well the people in the organisation work together. Now good stewardship is important for sure but the role of a single person in yielding success (or failure) is over exaggerated and it come to our minds due to a process of recency and selective recall in the way we make sense of the world. We remember only the recent successful outcomes – and block out inconvenient truths.

So in a few weeks another England manager is on his way – the guilt expunged blame allocated and we can get on with another build up to disappointment again. The problem is we have to understand that despite high salaries our players are on average about the same in skill as those across the world – team dynamics vary and what is more important is the drive to success for the players. Perhaps it has been all too easy for the England team – young men with riches beyond their dreams who are simply not hungry enough to play well for the glory of their country.

For them there is no value in it so there is no effort.



Why do people let their barriers down online?

Why do people let their barriers down online?  The psychology of Internet Disclosure

Research suggests that many people are disclosing extremely personal information online, that they would not tell others normally – why?

A number of factors lead to this type of behaviour:

Firstly, online communications are more ‘sparse’ than face to face (e.g. no body language) and so people try to add in more information to build relationships.  One of the elements of relationship building normally is shared disclosure – as you get to know people better you give away more private information about yourself, and there is turn-taking as people build trust.  With an online system people can become what has been termed ‘hyper-personal’ – they give away more information than they would face to face to speed up the building of the relationship and develop trust with their ‘friends’.

Secondly, the open context of online networking is not clear.  You are sitting in the comfort of your own room, or office, and it feels more like having a private conversation, perhaps similar to in a pub, rather than broadcasting the information worldwide.  Research shows people have a limited understanding of privacy issues and tend not to use their privacy settings as well as they should.  They are also far more likely to assume that the risk is to other people, not themselves, (known as  ‘the perceptual hypothesis’).

Linked to that is the issue of defining a ‘friend’.  Face to face it is much more obvious to us who our friends really are – we would tend not to view 200 people in a large party a ‘friend’ and tell them all our private thoughts.  However, online many people view any contact as a ‘friend’ and indeed there is some competition around having a large number of these.  Again research shows that people have a relaxed approach to accepting ‘friends’, and tend to forget that these people are actually strangers yet can see everything they post.

Finally, there is gratification to be found from being online and sharing personal information – for some to the point of addiction. This gratification includes diversion and entertainment, identity construction and of course, building social relationships (or at least, the perception that you are building these).  You can be socialising without being social.  It can feel as though a great deal is being achieved very quickly and with little effort – you don’t even have to leave your house.  The whole process becomes routinised (and indeed expected by others).  Our own research suggests many young people keep updated online ‘because their friends expect them to’. 

As females have a tendency to be more ‘social’ and to have a stronger desire to build relationships, are more likely to divulge (or be the first in the relationship to divulge) personal information to build trust, this may be a particular issue for women.  However, research so far indicates that women spend more time in ‘offline’ social networking and less time online than men – this may be changing.

The assumption of systems such as twitter, is that people are starved for attention and/or starved for meaningless detail about people’s social lives – and humans (men and women) do like to gossip – again it becomes, at least for the technically savvy, something very simple to do ‘announcing to the world’ your current actions.  Updating your profile, or your twitter box, and being ‘followed’ can make some people feel as if they have achieved a level of social interest they do not experience in their ‘real’ lives.  On the other hand, the information given is not always flattering to themselves, although perhaps sometimes a disparaging comment about the self is intended to promote oneself as ‘fun’. There remains a buz from updating a profile to promote desirable social impressions – look I am busy/fun/interesting.  Women are potentially displaying the self in a more conscious way to a mass audience as if on a stage but are probably not totally aware of the size or nature of the audience.

Second Life adds another dimension to this for those who become immersed in their virtual life can identify very strongly with their avatar and feel as if they are really experiencing these virtual adventures (including affairs).  Again so much time may be ‘wasted’ online that the offline world starts to suffer.

An advantage of online social networking is that you can increase the regularity of contact with some more distant true ‘friends’ and can increase your ‘social capital’ – this can lead to feelings of well-being and can be very useful with business networking, for example.  (Although people tend to keep business networking separate to social, even using different sites – LinkedIn being most popular for developing business contacts – unfortunately they again forget that business contacts will also often see their ‘social’ activities on the other sites and many problems have arisen because of that.)

Further disadvantages (on top of the wrong people getting private information that you would not normally have shared) includes the risk of actually reducing the amount of ‘real’ socialising we do.  Online socialising has been called ‘para-social’ as it is does not give us the same levels of (social) support and does not, for example, reduce loneliness.  If women are privatizing their leisure time by excessive use of the internet they may be losing out on those important ‘real’ relationships.

Furthermore, it is possible that we become less reserved in the real world too – although the

Of course as always the evidence is unclear – in some studies there has been a positive relationship between online and offline social networking, in other words, the more you do of one the more the other increases!

Implications for society are that some people are reducing their face to face communication, living almost totally ‘online’ to the extent that they may even lose the ability to socialise well in person, using perhaps inappropriate online terminology face to face or becoming more introverted?  There is also a view that these more privatised forms of entertainment and socialising reduce trust and lead to a fragmented society – important changes that need to be considered…

A lot of the research has been done on teens or on older people (60+), more needs to be done on the remainder of the population.  For example some studies have suggested that the brains of younger people are changing and they are much less able to concentrate on one large document (or long conversation) as they spend so much time jumping between websites and texting.  Whether this is also an issue for more mature people has not been assessed.

Put managers and employees to work on the change to reduce resistance

Involve Managers and Staff in the work of change management

Many Change Managers assume that if the rationale for change is made clear to the organisation then they will go along with it. In the process of demonstrating the need to change and an understanding of the impact (on themselves and their group) employees will buy- in and thereafter work actively to realise it. There is an assumption behind all this that ‘Change’ is negotiated and develops over time and that the change agent’s task is merely to make clear the imperatives and the people will fall into place.

Whilst this approach has been criticised for ignoring political and social aspects within organisations it is also inaccurate when talking about major system changes, outsourcing or mergers/acquisitions where we are faced with transitioning organisations against a strict deadlines. Here the degrees of freedom are limited and failure to successfully implement can result in stiff penalties for time and cost overruns. In such circumstances our room for ‘negotiation’ is constrained, the change outcome is a given and the people affected are faced with a forced change.

Also we see that the complexity of change is increasing as many major programmes consist of several, in their own right, substantial tasks. For example, in one major change programme I worked on the client was disentangling from a parent company and implementing an IT system with new standardised processes. All of these forcing substantial changes in role and responsibilities right across the organisation – and this programme also included the outsourcing of substantial parts of the finance function!

As well as the staff managers are affected – with perceived loss in autonomy and the need to acquire new skills key concerns. In another change programme in which the author was involved the financial controller had a significant change in job scope as a result of a system implementation and outsourcing which involved the loss of fifty percent of her staff. This resulted in prevarication and concentration on detail, non-acceptance of the rationale for change and question/problem raising that came over to the central project team as structural resistance.

The focus of our intervention in this case was on a country unit that had specific change issues that made their changeover have high perceived business risk. This unit for example had already gone through several changes of ownership in the last few years and was heavily impacted again. Our first step was to understand how the change impacted on the group, department and individuals within the business. Change needed to be thought through and the changes in role and task for these three areas were worked through in detail.

The intervention strategy we considered was based around thinking through to what the changed organisation would look like when we were finished. The patterns of communication, the new roles and responsibilities, and the impact on individual jobs were considered then the transition needed to bridge from the current situation to the future mapped out. This defined the necessary training and coaching for the individuals over and above that already covered in the formal training programmes. The transition management was trickier and this was handled by facilitating the cutover planning at group level. This acted to involve the organisation in the changeover (it’s on ‘its’ way) and engaged them in participating in the design of the move process itself. Defining in detail the roles, tasks and timings during the cutover were key aspects of this intervention. Further, interviews and group meetings around the changeover allowed ‘voice’ to be given and concerns and issues to be fully surfaced – they raised the resistance and helped solve them.

Key learning points

Do not interpret all resistance as opposition to change. Opposition can often be a sign of interest in the outcome and an expression of legitimate concern Capture the concerns and rationale. It may be that someone has identified a flaw in our reasoning and may have identified a route to possible failure, perhaps from the last time this occurred. To find out why it did not work last time may reveal some interesting lessons. However, be cautious about agreeing with an issue as this may be interpreted as a sign that the change can be negotiated – capture without judgement.

The assumption that all employees will go through the same cycle of resistance is false and too simplistic. Often there are winners in a change process. Identify these and build coalitions to build a success culture. Also some departments or groups of people are more successful with handling change than others – building on these winning groups can help bring the whole organisation along.

We all know the value of clear communication but do not forget to include the need for relevancy. Exhortations of the value of the change at a high level are useless unless made clearly relevant to the people affected. The communication must be tuned to the hearers specific needs – general broadcasts are discounted and people will provide their own rationale for change processes.

Avoid the ‘Englishman on Holiday’ change strategy – ‘if they don’t understand speak slowly and more loudly!’ At a feedback meeting for research into the situation at a French plant the consultants gave a withering overview of the impact of the various initiatives, changes and improvement programmes a major high technology company was imposing on the factory. The response from the senior team – ‘the management have not explained this clearly enough therefore “they” do not understand it – they must do it again’. People in change need focused information – how does this new system affect me. Will I still have a job? Will I be able to cope – will they train me? This means communications must be relevant, focused and bespoke aimed at a segmented audience – don’t treat people as the same with the same vanilla information requirements.

Some interventions

Local briefings at department or group level to strengthen team feelings of unity and develop focus on the task in hand.
Cutover process – form well managed meetings to act as a resolution point for raising and solving problems.

Tighter linkage to the changeover (particularly for the management) to expose the organisation to the task and encounter change.

  • Activate processes to resolve/close personnel issues — close these issues managers often have difficulty in handling these.
  • Mentor the management to actively participate and lead change via the consultant is an essential task.
  • Visible presence of change manager to emphasise the company’s commitment to making the change.
  • Reflect listen but not judge issues — allow self-reflection.
  • Ensure communications is done (Watch for gate-keeping in one project when I checked the communications had got no further than the secretary)
  • Provide recognition of improvements ideas and try to push upwards any ideas the team have that have value however small.
  • Recognise that resistance is a legitimate concern for the well-being of the business.
  • Ensure communication channels are open and deployed (again this is sometimes not done).
  • Hire consultant to act as change focus (reflecting with support but not judging or leading)
  • Tighter engagement of the organisation into the change process — they will switch to solve mode.

Finally don’t assume managers know how to manage change or know how to help their people change – because often they do not. Special training and development is necessary. Also be sure that the management has bought in, in one case the stiffest resistance came from a senior leader whose scepticism fed the resistance of the whole team.


Get a service level agreement organised

Do not get ripped off in an outsource agreement the staff notice it first

The success of the Service Level Agreement (SLA) is also observed closely by your staff. We have seen in our outsource work that staff notice only too well whether their original employer is getting value or just being ‘ripped off’ and often have great fun when it does go wrong. This keen appraisal of how it works in practice impacts upon their own motivation and their relationships with both you and the outsource organisation. This excerpt from an interview gives an indication of how staff can view the situation:
The supplier had people who knew the sites, knew the systems, and so they put a sensible bid in, but the (clients) have always been screwed over contracts, we don’t have a contract team of professionals who know how to handle them (the suppliers). A classic one was colour printers in certain areas, that would not work, couldn’t get colour printing, and in the end there was a lot of banging on the table ‘you said in the contract that you would get us colour printing’ and the outsourcer turned round and said ‘the contract says we will get you colour printers, we did not say they would print in colour (laughs)! So my old company always got screwed on contracts because they didn’t understand what they were reading.

and it happens all the time…


A day in the life of a stressed out House-Person

Would you like you roof cleaned?

I was there doing the washing up – yes I know this is unheard off – when that black and white idiot of a dog of ours starts the hound of the Baskervilles impression and begins to bark the bloody place down. I don’t know what it is with Border Collies but they spend most of their day looking at the entrance to the drive waiting for someone to turn up then proceed to bark their flipping heads off – she’s turned postie into a nervous wreak I can tell you – and when they do get out they proceed to pee all over the visitor as a sign of submission. Anyhoo – ‘shut up you black and white bloody idiot’, I shouted just as she disappeared out of the front door on a blood quest – crap I’ll have to sort that out else she do someone a mortal – so I quickly squeezed out the sponge and in so doing sprayed water all down the front of my taupe trousers right across the front so it now looked if I had had a nasty accident and p*****d myself.

‘Oh hello would like more information about our roof cleaning service?’, said this chirpy lady who was standing on one of our garden chairs whilst our dog circled menacingly still barking of course. ‘Roof Cleaning!?’ ‘What? – will you bloody well shut up else I’ll strangle you!’ ‘Oh there’s no need to take that attitude’ – ‘Oh not you I meant that idiot.’ ‘Oh, I see – yes we offer to come around and clean the moss off you roof – it’s a new service we have started in the area.’ ‘Oh I suppose ‘offer’ means you do it for free?’ Well no you do have to pay but its reasonably cheap for a roof like your its only about £250.’ ‘WHAT!? £250 to loosen up and crack all the tiles and remove the moss I have been faithfully growing over the last ten years – No Way Jose.’ ‘I quite like the moss really so can live with it and as you can see I rather distracted right now.’ ‘Oh yes, wet yourself have you?’ ‘Yes I have wet myself because some bloody idiot called by when I am doing the washing up and…’ (from there it went down hill a bit). ‘Oh I see can I get down? – ‘Oh yes she quite friendly really we only trained her to go after idiot salesreps who waste my time with useless offers.’ ‘Oh I’ll go then – can I leave you our leaflet should you change your mind?’ – full marks for persistence though – and I walked back in to find a dog biscuit to reward black and white idiot for a job well done, to load the dishes into the dishwasher and find the newspaper.

Why burden students with more debt?

Industry Leaders and Conservatives contemplate commercial rates for student loans

I was a little annoyed by the recent call by the industry leaders and the Conservative policy of selling the student loan book which will mean in practice students paying the equivalent of a commercial rate of interest for their loans at University. Currently the rate of interest for a student loan is set at around the rate of inflation – so assuming inflation gets back to a more normal rate over the next few years the long term loan rate will settle at around 3 to 5%. Although this seems high it is the cheapest way to borrow money to pay for a course and in effect a student will be paying back at purchase power parity. The value of the money paid back is at the same purchase value at the money drawn now.

Actually the interest rate due on loans fell to a negative number – 0.4% recently so at least in theory the principal was being reduced but the government fixed the minimum rate at 0% which sounds great but means that in these deflationary times the loan principle remains fixed and not reduced in line with the notional purchasing power.

One of the justifications for the student loan system was that graduates over a working lifetime would earn substantially more in salary – currently this is being mooted at around £100,000 over a non graduate. This looks like a substantial figure but when the time value of money is taken into account it seems not so much of a justification and when commercial loan rates are taken into account even less so.

The value of money depends upon its timing – money in the hand now is worth much more than money in 20 years time. Over time the value of money is reduced by inflation or by interest charges. For example a shopping basket in twenty years may cost around £45 more on a hundred pound basket of goods just to account for a 4% annual inflation over the time. This means that a £145 basket of goods can be valued at £100 at today’s prices. Similarly higher salaries are spread over the working lifetime and extra cash as a result of your degree can appear in twenty or thirty years time and be worth much less in today’s terms than you might expect.

Lets assume a student loan of £20,000 at the end of a course and treat this as an investment to achieve extra cash flow over a non graduate person each year over a forty year period of £2500 (£100,000 divided by 40). On a discounted cash flow of this money stream at 4% interest the breakeven is some 13 years away and the total value of the £100,000 at today’s prices is about £45,000. In other words for the loan of £20,000 it is paid back and you make £25,000 return on your investment over someone who did not bother. Behind these sorts of figures is the sad fact that most graduates will end up in jobs that pay no more than a non-graduate and will thus never get the return.

The situation is worse if we go along with the hare-brained idea to charge students a commercial loan rate currently at 8%. If we assume a 10% average interest rate over the forty years we are talking about breaking even on the investment in 25 years and the value of our £100,000 coming down to £20,000 at today’s prices. This sort of benefit is so far down the line that in investment terms in a business such a proposal would be thrown out.

We often are taken in by large sounding numbers that materialise years away (remember the endowment fiasco) and forget to account for the timing of the investment or the probability that we can cannot achieve it per se. Most graduates will have rather routine jobs that a generation ago were handled by A level high school leavers and the rewards for others may be years away whilst they find their feet. Training graduates is a long term investment for this country in ‘its’ intellectual capital and should be treated as something that will benefit society as a whole and help us stop or even reverse the long term decline in our global position as a trading nation. University education should be available to those who can do it in a grant maintained format without burdening young people with debts that take years to pay off in exchange for dubious long term benefits.

Do you have a feasible project?

Is your project feasible?

The best way to find out whether your project is feasible is to complete a Feasibility Study. This process helps you gain confidence that the solution you need to build can be implemented on time and under budget. So here’s how to do it in 5 simple steps…
Completing a Feasibility Study
A Feasibility Study needs to be completed as early in the Project Life Cycle as possible. The best time to complete it is when you have identified a range of different alternative solutions and you need to know which solution is the most feasible to implement. Here’s how to do it…
Step 1: Research the Business Drivers
In most cases, your project is being driven by a problem in the business. These problems are called “business drivers” and you need to have a clear understanding of what they are, as part of your Feasibility Study.
For instance, the business driver might be that an IT system is outdated and is causing customer complaints, or that two businesses need to merge because of an acquisition. Regardless of the business driver, you need to get to the bottom of it so you fully understand the reasons why the project has been kicked off.
Find out why the business driver is important to the business, and why it’s critical that the project delivers a solution to it within a specified timeframe. Then find out what the impact will be to the business, if the project slips.
Step 2: Confirm the Alternative Solutions
Now you have a clear understanding of the business problem that the project addresses, you need to understand the alternative solutions available.
If it’s an IT system that is outdated, then your alternative solutions might include redeveloping the existing system, replacing it or merging it with another system.
Only with a clear understanding of the alternative solutions to the business problem, can you progress with the Feasibility Study.
Step 3: Determine the Feasibility
You now need to identify the feasibility of each solution. The question to ask of each alternative solution is “can we deliver it on time and under budget?”
To answer this question, you need to use a variety of methods to assess the feasibility of each solution. Here are some examples of ways you can assess feasibility:

  • Research: Perform online research to see if other companies have implemented the same solutions and how they got on.
  • Prototyping: Identify the part of the solution that has the highest risk, and then build a sample of it to see if it’s possible to create.
  • Time-boxing: Complete some of the tasks in your project plan and measure how long it took vs. planned. If you delivered it on time, then you know that your planning is quite accurate.

Step 4: Choose a Preferred Solution
With the feasibility of each alternative solution known, the next step is to select a preferred solution to be delivered by your project. Choose the solution that; is most feasible to implement, has the lowest risk, and you have the highest confidence of delivering.
You’ve now chosen a solution to a known business problem, and you have a high degree of confidence that you can deliver that solution on time and under budget, as part of the project.
Step 5:
It’s now time to take your chosen solution and reassess its feasibility at a lower level. List all of the tasks that are needed to complete the solution. Then run those tasks by your team to see how long they think it will take to complete them. Add all of the tasks and timeframes to a project plan to see if you can do it all within the project deadline. Then ask your team to identify the highest risk tasks and get them to investigate them further to check that they are achievable. Use the techniques in Step 3 to give you a very high degree of confidence that it’s practically achievable. Then document all of the results in a Feasibility Study.

After completing these 5 steps, get your Feasibility Study approved by your manager so that everyone in the project team has a high degree of confidence that the project can deliver successfully.

What Is Search Engine Optimization

What Is Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization is a process of choosing the most appropriate targeted keyword phrases related to your site and ensuring that this ranks your site highly in search engines so that when someone searches for specific phrases it returns your site on tops. It basically involves fine tuning the content of your site along with the HTML and Meta tags and also involves appropriate link building process. The most popular search engines are Google, Yahoo, MSN Search, AOL and Ask Jeeves. Search engines keep their methods and ranking algorithms secret, to get credit for finding the most valuable search-results and to deter spam pages from clogging those results. A search engine may use hundreds of factors while ranking the listings where the factors themselves and the weight each carries may change continually. Algorithms can differ so widely that a webpage that ranks #1 in a particular search engine could rank #200 in another search engine. New sites need not be “submitted” to search engines to be listed. A simple link from a well established site will get the search engines to visit the new site and begin to spider its contents. It can take a few days to even weeks from the referring of a link from such an established site for all the main search engine spiders to commence visiting and indexing the new site.

If you are unable to research and choose keywords and work on your own search engine ranking, you may want to hire someone to work with you on these issues.

Search engine marketing and promotion companies, will look at the plan for your site and make recommendations to increase your search engine ranking and website traffic. If you wish, they will also provide ongoing consultation and reporting to monitor your website and make recommendations for editing and improvements to keep your site traffic flow and your search engine ranking high. Normally your search engine optimization experts work with your web designer to build an integrated plan right away so that all aspects of design are considered at the same time.