Document Design Help!

"Whether you’re in insurance, government or any other financial industry sector, the millennial generation has put every industry on high alert and forced executives to rethink their strategies enterprise-wide. Millennials—defined as those born between the years of 1980 and 2000—have not only just surpassed the baby boomers as the largest generation in the US labor force at 53.5 million strong, they are also currently responsible for $200 billion in annual purchasing power—making their needs impossible to ignore. However, catering to this generation is all the more difficult as they are the first to grow up in a culture prioritizing convenience and speed, sometimes even at the expense of quality or the best product.


According to a recent Celent survey on the North American consumer, only nine percent chose financial services products based on “better results” and, instead, favored “convenience” and “ease” as their highest priorities (at 23% each). This revelation helps illustrate the growing importance of your document strategy in order to align with these major changes in the new consumer journey."

For more information, please click the link below! 

http://documentmedia.com/article-1974-Top-5-Document-Design-Ideas-for-Communicating-Effectively-with-Millennials.html

11 Social Media Tips!

"Want to perfect your social media strategy? Sorry, but that’s impossible. Social media is an art, not a science, and it’s ever-changing. For example, just because posting at odd hours worked in January, doesn’t mean it’ll still be effective in March.

The solution: Constantly reevaluate your game plan and stay open to new ideas. We’ve rounded up everything you need to keep your social media strategy current."

To continue reading, please click on the link below! 

https://www.themuse.com/advice/11-new-social-media-tips-you-need-to-know-now

Easy Content!

"Everyone talks about how content is king, but everyone is wrong. Content isn't king -- only really engaging and information is.

So, you keep putting out great content like a never-stopping machine. You're always looking for new ideas to make your content interesting, useful and engaging, and probably growing frustrated with an ever-growing to-do list.

Now, I want to introduce you to upcycling -- repurposing content.

With upcycling, you don't have to reinvent the wheel with every post. By taking advantage of a few easy tools, you can cut your work in half and engage your audience on multiple levels (while also making it easy to manage multiple social accounts)."

To continue reading, please click on the link listed below! 

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/297582

Instagram Upgrade

"Instagram is a force to be reckoned with in the world of social media, with more than 700 million monthly active users and more than 200 million daily active users on Instagram Stories.

As your business endeavors to leverage this population and increase sales, you need to find a balance between posting authentic content and jumping on sales opportunities when they appear. At the end of the day, though, it’s important to recognize that social media is a place for people to consume interesting content and not to view advertisements.

Just as people change the channel when commercials come on the television and radio, they do not like to see advertisements on social media. That being said, if you utilize the platform properly, it can be an effective means of showcasing your product and slyly displaying advertisements to targeted consumers."

To continue reading, please click on the link below! 

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/297324

Free Stock Photos!

"If you've ever tried searching for free stock photos on the Internet, you probably know what a ridiculous hassle it can be.

As a general rule, free stock photos are extremely difficult to find. A huge portion of the stock photo market is owned by professional companies like Shutterstock and 123RF, who charge $20 or more for a single photo. Even when you can find free stock photos, most are low resolution, watermarked, blurry and, at best, uninspired.

Lucky for you, there are a few ways to access high-quality stock photos without any hassle or significant cost."

For more information, please click on the link listed below!

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/238646

Increase the Flow!

"You need more traffic.

More visitors on your site means more impressions, more signups, more purchases — more revenue.

But how do you capture more traffic from search results that are becoming more crowded, more diverse, and evolving in the way they are delivered?

With SEO, of course!

Today, I want to share a process we’ve developed at Siege Media to earn links and visibility, and to increase web traffic for our clients. I’m going to walk through how we built a site’s SEO strategy from the ground up — growing from zero visitors to 100,000 — and share key takeaways that you can apply to your own strategy."

 

Want to know more? Click the link listed below! 

http://searchengineland.com/seo-case-study-0-100000-visitors-12-months-277995

Learn to Dominate Google Searches

"From its earliest days, Google's core search algorithm offered the most relevant and most organic search results quickly and accurately on a simple site with an iconic logo that has now become synonymous with the search giant's business. Searching amidst the world's vast data, Google cleverly cataloged and categorized pages using its PageRank formula, which assessed the quantity and power of links to any given webpage.

For a few years, Google's search worked seamlessly, repeatedly predicting the most relevant search results every single time, again and again. In fact, it was so good that it sent shockwaves through the internet, digitally obliterating its rivals over time. However, as Google's clever search engine grew into a colossus corporation, and both individuals and businesses realized the inherent power of appearing organically at the top of any search, things began to change."

To continue this article, please click on the link listed below!

https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertadams/2016/11/29/seo-2017-8-crucial-rules-for-dominating-googles-search-results/#1b3209597415

Make Some Money!

"I’ve successfully used Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter to generate leads and sales for my digital marketing agency, The Media Captain. Social media has been one of the most instrumental marketing tools for my company’s growth. I’ve also deployed successful social media campaigns and strategies for hundreds of other B2B companies.

For those that say social media can’t be profitable in the B2B community community, my response to the naysayers is simple: You aren’t deploying the right strategy across the right channels with compelling content. 

Social media is about storytelling and distribution. My job is to explain to everyone in the business to business community how simple generating business from social media can be. "

 

To continue reading, please click on the link listed below!

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/295649

 

Want more positive social media reviews?

"Facebook and Google have introduced new programs emphasizing the value and importance of customer reviews for building a successful business. When both Facebook and Google offer to help you promote your online reputation, it becomes quite obvious that you'd better be laser-focused on consistently getting reviews from your customers, or you're failing in your reputation management efforts.

Most entrepreneurs know they should be getting online reviews, but usually treat the process as a mere afterthought. Instead, they spend more money and time than necessary to get new customers, when it would be much easier to showcase the quality of their work using reviews and social proof."

To continue reading, please click on the link listed below! 

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/295655

Considering Facebook Marketing?

"Inspired by the numbers?

We all are; the opportunities are endless in terms of improving brand visibility. But the secret lies in doing it right. Most digital marketers simply post as many updates as possible in an attempt to get as many ‘Shares’ and ‘Likes’ they can.

But wait! Gone are the days when the number of followers (‘Shares’ and ‘Likes’) directly influences an increase in profit for your business.

No doubt Facebook is a great place for many marketers to promote their business, but you should know exactly how to use this platform to your benefit. This social platform is full of people, ready to connect with brands that they find most relevant to their preferences."

 

To continue this article, please click on the link listed below! 

http://www.jeffbullas.com/top-5-facebook-marketing-mistakes-need-avoid/

Social Media Marketing Laws

"Leveraging the power of content and social media marketing can help elevate your audience and customer base in a dramatic way. But getting started without any previous experience or insight could be challenging.

It's vital that you understand social media marketing fundamentals. From maximizing quality to increasing your online entry points, abiding by these 10 laws will help build a foundation that will serve your customers, your brand and -- perhaps most importantly -- your bottom line."

To continue reading this article, please click on the link listed below! 

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/218160

Mobile App Murder

"User interactions have evolved so rapidly during the last few years that designers can barely keep up—making it tempting to use interaction design techniques from other media (or even legacy app design) when we build mobile applications.

In reality, it’s important to remember that our interaction patterns and interaction design need to change when the medium changes."

 

For more information, please follow the link below!

https://www.uxpin.com/studio/blog/6-assumptions-that-kill-your-mobile-app-design/

Factors Impacting the SEO of Government Websites

"Following the recent OMB memo that all publicly available federal websites and Web services must implement HTTPS by December 31, 2016, Web content managers across government are considering the SEO (search engine optimization) implications of the transition, among other details.

In August 2014, Google confirmed that HTTPS is a ranking signal in their algorithm. But being a ranking signal and having an impact on findability are two different things. In the post, Google describes HTTPS as “a very lightweight signal—affecting fewer than 1% of global queries, and carrying less weight than other signals such as high-quality content.” And, in October 2014, Bing found the idea of an HTTPS boost almost laughable. SearchMetrics recently found an increasing proportion of top-ranking sites use HTTPS [PDF, see page 10], but it’s still small and rankings are attributed primarily to brand strength."

Please follow the link below to continue this article! 

https://www.digitalgov.gov/2015/09/02/https-and-other-ranking-factors-what-impacts-the-seo-of-government-websites/

4 Most Important Web Design Principles Explained

There are many factors which contribute to making a wonderful website. However, I’ve picked out the four most important design principles that contribute greatly to creating a wonderful and successful website.

For each of the principle, I’m going to go into detail about what they mean and provide a few different examples to help make each point.

I don’t think any one of the principles is more important the other. When following all four of them, they do prove to be most useful and successful for the web design.

Click the follow link for more information: http://www.onextrapixel.com/web-design-principles-explained/

SEO BASICS: HOW MUCH DO URLS MATTER FOR SEO? (+ 5 QUICK TIPS)

"Interestingly, how much effect a URL has on search rankings has been a hotly debated topic among SEO experts over the past few years.

Okay, I know that’s not really interesting…

What you DO want to know are which aspects to worry about when creating new pages and blog posts on your website."

 

For more information, follow the website listed: http://daniellezeigler.com/seo-urls/

How to Think Inside the Box & Offer Free Shipping That Increases Profit Margins – Shopify

bigstock-Warehouse-8297020.jpg

"You know your numbers, right? Not the ones you’re expected to be able to recite instantly when pitching investors privately or publicly on Shark Tank . We’re not talking about how much it costs to acquire a customer or customer lifetime values for different customer segments. The numbers we’re talking about are a lot less sexy…. "

To continue reading, use the link http://bit.ly/2lXTxJV to continue with Shopify. 

Idea pitches push Shoals toward digital innovation

Community Category - First Place 2016

The community category winner brought together two farmers and a web developer with the goal of connecting consumers with locally grown foods through a smartphone app that allows farmers to input available products and send alerts to consumers.

Jason Strayhorn, of Hog on the Range, and Hope Lowery, of Cottonwood Farm, teamed with tech developer Brian Williams to solve the supply chain disconnect between consumers who want locally sourced foods and farmers.

“The problem is most farmers, like myself, are really good farmers and really good at raising hogs and stuff like that, but the problem is we are not sales people and we are not marketers,” Strayhorn said. “People need to know what we have available and where you can actually get it.”

The app would close that gap by providing a routine update of products and allow consumers to purchase products using the app and set up a pick up time that works for both sides.

“You’re going to get better quality food,” Strayhorn said. “Hopefully we are going to be able to get better prices for our farmers so they can continue doing what they do and (consumers) will have reliable information about what is available every single week.”

jennifer.edwards@TimesDaily.com or 256-740-5754. Twitter @TD_JEdwards.

Do you need an SEO?

SEO is an acronym for "search engine optimization" or "search engine optimizer." Deciding to hire an SEO is a big decision that can potentially improve your site and save time, but you can also risk damage to your site and reputation. Make sure to research the potential advantages as well as the damage that an irresponsible SEO can do to your site. Many SEOs and other agencies and consultants provide useful services for website owners, including:

  • Review of your site content or structure
  • Technical advice on website development: for example, hosting, redirects, error pages, use of JavaScript
  • Content development
  • Management of online business development campaigns
  • Keyword research
  • SEO training
  • Expertise in specific markets and geographies.

Keep in mind that the Google search results page includes organic search results and often paid advertisement (denoted as "Ads" or "Sponsored") as well. Advertising with Google won't have any effect on your site's presence in our search results. Google never accepts money to include or rank sites in our search results, and it costs nothing to appear in our organic search results. Free resources such as Webmaster Tools, the official Webmaster Central blog, and our discussion forum can provide you with a great deal of information about how to optimize your site for organic search.

Before beginning your search for an SEO, it's a great idea to become an educated consumer and get familiar with how search engines work. We recommend starting here:

If you're thinking about hiring an SEO, the earlier the better. A great time to hire is when you're considering a site redesign, or planning to launch a new site. That way, you and your SEO can ensure that your site is designed to be search engine-friendly from the bottom up. However, a good SEO can also help improve an existing site.

Some useful questions to ask an SEO include:

  • Can you show me examples of your previous work and share some success stories?
  • Do you follow the Google Webmaster Guidelines?
  • Do you offer any online marketing services or advice to complement your organic search business?
  • What kind of results do you expect to see, and in what timeframe? How do you measure your success?
  • What's your experience in my industry?
  • What's your experience in my country/city?
  • What's your experience developing international sites?
  • What are your most important SEO techniques?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • How can I expect to communicate with you? Will you share with me all the changes you make to my site, and provide detailed information about your recommendations and the reasoning behind them?

While SEOs can provide clients with valuable services, some unethical SEOs have given the industry a black eye through their overly aggressive marketing efforts and their attempts to manipulate search engine results in unfair ways. Practices that violate our guidelines may result in a negative adjustment of your site's presence in Google, or even the removal of your site from our index. Here are some things to consider:

One common scam is the creation of "shadow" domains that funnel users to a site by using deceptive redirects. These shadow domains often will be owned by the SEO who claims to be working on a client's behalf. However, if the relationship sours, the SEO may point the domain to a different site, or even to a competitor's domain. If that happens, the client has paid to develop a competing site owned entirely by the SEO.

Another illicit practice is to place "doorway" pages loaded with keywords on the client's site somewhere. The SEO promises this will make the page more relevant for more queries. This is inherently false since individual pages are rarely relevant for a wide range of keywords. More insidious, however, is that these doorway pages often contain hidden links to the SEO's other clients as well. Such doorway pages drain away the link popularity of a site and route it to the SEO and its other clients, which may include sites with unsavory or illegal content.

If you feel that you were deceived by an SEO in some way, you may want to report it.

In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) handles complaints about deceptive or unfair business practices. To file a complaint, visit: http://www.ftc.gov/ and click on "File a Complaint Online," call 1-877-FTC-HELP, or write to:

Federal Trade Commission
CRC-240
Washington, D.C. 20580

If your complaint is against a company in a country other than the United States, please file it at http://www.econsumer.gov/.

  • Be wary of SEO firms and web consultants or agencies that send you email out of the blue.

    Amazingly, we get these spam emails too:

    "Dear google.com,
    I visited your website and noticed that you are not listed in most of the major search engines and directories..."

    Reserve the same skepticism for unsolicited email about search engines as you do for "burn fat at night" diet pills or requests to help transfer funds from deposed dictators.

  • No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.

    Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a "special relationship" with Google, or advertise a "priority submit" to Google. There is no priority submit for Google. In fact, the only way to submit a site to Google directly is through our Add URL page or by submitting a Sitemap and you can do this yourself at no cost whatsoever.

  • Be careful if a company is secretive or won't clearly explain what they intend to do.

    Ask for explanations if something is unclear. If an SEO creates deceptive or misleading content on your behalf, such as doorway pages or "throwaway" domains, your site could be removed entirely from Google's index. Ultimately, you are responsible for the actions of any companies you hire, so it's best to be sure you know exactly how they intend to "help" you. If an SEO has FTP access to your server, they should be willing to explain all the changes they are making to your site.

  • You should never have to link to an SEO.

    Avoid SEOs that talk about the power of "free-for-all" links, link popularity schemes, or submitting your site to thousands of search engines. These are typically useless exercises that don't affect your ranking in the results of the major search engines -- at least, not in a way you would likely consider to be positive.

  • Choose wisely.

    While you consider whether to go with an SEO, you may want to do some research on the industry. Google is one way to do that, of course. You might also seek out a few of the cautionary tales that have appeared in the press, including this article on one particularly aggressive SEO: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2002002970_nwbizbriefs12.html. While Google doesn't comment on specific companies, we've encountered firms calling themselves SEOs who follow practices that are clearly beyond the pale of accepted business behavior. Be careful.

  • Be sure to understand where the money goes.

    While Google never sells better ranking in our search results, several other search engines combine pay-per-click or pay-for-inclusion results with their regular web search results. Some SEOs will promise to rank you highly in search engines, but place you in the advertising section rather than in the search results. A few SEOs will even change their bid prices in real time to create the illusion that they "control" other search engines and can place themselves in the slot of their choice. This scam doesn't work with Google because our advertising is clearly labeled and separated from our search results, but be sure to ask any SEO you're considering which fees go toward permanent inclusion and which apply toward temporary advertising.

  • What are the most common abuses a website owner is likely to encounter?
  • What are some other things to look out for?

    There are a few warning signs that you may be dealing with a rogue SEO. It's far from a comprehensive list, so if you have any doubts, you should trust your instincts. By all means, feel free to walk away if the SEO:

    • owns shadow domains
    • puts links to their other clients on doorway pages
    • offers to sell keywords in the address bar
    • doesn't distinguish between actual search results and ads that appear on search results pages
    • guarantees ranking, but only on obscure, long keyword phrases you would get anyway
    • operates with multiple aliases or falsified WHOIS info
    • gets traffic from "fake" search engines, spyware, or scumware
    • has had domains removed from Google's index or is not itself listed in Google

4 Ways Opena Case Changed Their Marketing To Optimize For Holiday Shopping

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You might remember that Opena Case was one of the winners of our Build-A-Business Competition last year. They won $25,000 cash, $7,500 in Google Adwords Credits, plus a VIP trip to New York to have lunch with Seth Godin. The founders of Opena, Rob and Chris, sold a massive amount iPhone case beer bottle openers - most of which leading up to Christmas.  

Since the holiday shopping season is almost upon us, I asked Rob and Chris what they did to sell so many products. 

Here are their 4 tips to help you prepare for the busiest time of the year:

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