Koeman takes on tough job as latest Dutch coach

first_img0Shares0000Thirty years after playing on the Dutch team that won the Euros, Ronald Koeman has returned as manager of a struggling team © AFP/File / Ben STANSALLZEIST, Netherlands, Feb 6 – Dutch former star player Ronald Koeman was Tuesday anointed coach of the national team, given the Herculean task of restoring the country’s pride after a series of humiliating defeats.The Royal Dutch Football Federation (KNVB) said in a statement that it had “reached an agreement with Ronald Koeman over his appointment as the Dutch national coach.” Koeman has “just signed a contract which ties him to Oranje with immediate effect up to and including the 2022 World Cup” in Qatar, it added.Nic-Jan Hoogma, currently with Heracles, was also named a top sports director by the KNVB.The new chance for glory for 54-year-old Koeman, comes after he was sacked by Premier League team Everton in October following a string of defeats which saw the Toffees fall into the relegation zone.Koeman takes up the national reins at the Netherlands from Dick Advocaat, who had been one in a raft of unsuccessful appointments for the Oranje since 2014.Advocaat arrived in May for a third stint as national coach, but stepped down seven months later after failing to steer the struggling European heavyweights into the World Cup finals in Russia.It was a massive humiliation for the football-mad Dutch, causing much soul-searching, and an added blow to national pride after the team also missed Euro 2016.For Koeman, the return home sees him come full circle, back to the nation where he first laced up football boots.He had already been earmarked in 2014 to replace Louis van Gaal, who left to join Manchester United after taking the Dutch squad to third place in the World Cup in Brazil.Instead, the Royal Dutch Football Federation (KNVB) appointed another stalwart Guus Hiddink, who was then replaced by Danny Blind, followed by Advocaat — all in just over three-and-a-half years.During that time the national team slumped from one disappointment to another.An attack-minded central defender, Koeman picked up 78 Dutch caps as a player between 1982-94, scoring 14 goals. He represented his country in the 1990 and 1994 World Cups, and helped his team to victory for the first time in the 1988 UEFA European championships.– Football in the genes –Tuesday’s announcement marks Koeman’s 10th managerial post since starting his coaching career at Vitesse in 2000, having already served as Hiddink’s assistant with the Dutch national team at the 1998 World Cup.He was also an assistant coach to Van Gaal.The younger brother of former international team-mate Erwin Koeman, and the son of ex-Dutch international Martin Koeman, he made his debut at 17 playing for FC Groningen in 1980.He later transferred to Ajax, where he became known for his powerful right-foot. Stints at other Dutch clubs followed including PSV Eindhoven as well as Feyenoord.In between, he played as part of the so-called “Dream Team” at Barcelona from 1990-1995 scoring the winning goal in the 1992 Champions League final.“Koeman’s sacking at Everton came as a gift from heaven for the KNVB,” the popular De Telegraaf said.Ronald Koeman played for the Netherlands at two World Cups and scored a crucial penalty against West Germany in the semis of the 1988 Euros and started as the Dutch beat the Soviet Union in the final © ANP/AFP/File / STAFFBut a tough baptism awaits, with friendlies lined up against two teams heading to the World Cup: England on March 23 in Amsterdam, and Portugal three days later.The Dutch will then face world champions Germany and France in the new UEFA Nations League in September and October.Koeman will be carrying a nation’s hopes that he can turn their football fortunes around.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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How AI Can Shape the Future of UX

first_imgRelated Posts Brad AndersonEditor In Chief at ReadWrite How to Avoid Being Part of 90% of Failed Companies Why Your Company’s Tech Transformation Starts W… Building a Workplace for the Next 100 Years Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com. Tags:#design Artificial intelligence (AI) gathers data to interpret and predict human behavior, and user experience (UX) does the same thing — it reads human behavior to anticipate what people will do next.With the same end goal in mind, AI has the power to shape the future of UX, offering new insights and context to the experiences brands build for users. The predictive analytics underpinning both AI and UX creates an intersection that will benefit both consumers and the companies hoping to cater to them.“UX is still the center,” explains Sandy Marsico, the founder and CEO of Sandstorm Design, a brand experience agency. “AI and predictive analytics are helping to determine what the user wants, needs, or does next. AI assists in adding insights, but it doesn’t tell the whole story.”Marsico and her team at Sandstorm see AI as a tool, not a replacement for human analysis, and they welcome it. “We’re all trying to predict the future,” she says. “AI won’t figure out the problems we need to solve — AI helps us have a deeper understanding of our user so we can tailor our content and messaging to anticipate motivations and behaviors.”Developing a Deeper UnderstandingMarsico’s right — AI gives us information to help solve problems, but it still takes humans to identify the problems in the first place. Humans have the unique ability to understand the context of AI’s insights and how they might impact UX design; humans are the ones capable of developing empathy for other users.Sandstorm’s usability testing and user research are designed to remove subjectivity from its work and ensure UX decisions are based on data rather than assumptions. Marsico says this has represented an important shift in a creative arena like marketing, where the work has traditionally been highly subjective. But she cautions that data alone would produce uniformity and a profound lack of inspiration.“Imagine AI learns how to build the perfect website — would they all start to look exactly the same? Would all text be black on a white background as that has the highest contrast?” she asks. “Humans don’t actually require, nor desire, perfection 100 percent of the time. We’re naturally attuned to variety.”In general, Sandstorm’s director of analytics and technology, Nick Meshes, says machine learning requires a human trainer to feed data to its algorithms and then review the results, adjust the strategy, and guide the progression of the AI. Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and Google’s Captcha efforts are examples of tools leveraging user experiences to improve artificial intelligence. “AI can’t manage complex interactions that aren’t built on simple mechanics or clear correct/incorrect grading — like judging a mobile experience as engaging — so we need humans to make that assessment,” Meshes says.Meshes points to some of the designs currently being built by AI as examples of the significant limitations of treating AI as an all-encompassing solution when it comes to UX. “LogoJoy creates functional logos, but it’s auto-designing based on limited inputs and lacks an opportunity to provide thoughtful brand direction to differentiate from competitors,” he says. It’s a cost-effective solution for the solopreneur who doesn’t have the budget for a branding agency, but it offers proof that machines can’t do everything. Making Our Way to What’s NextThis all points to a future in which UX uses insights from AI but isn’t driven by them. Marsico sees AI being widely accepted in the UX world as people recognize its value: “We currently aggregate insights from multiple and mixed research methods such as in-depth user research, ethnography/netnography, usability studies, card sorting, competitive and trend research, heuristic analysis, and big data, to name a few, to pull together our strategic thinking and UX approach,” she says. “In the future, brand experience agencies will include AI as another integral part of their process.”By relying on AI to do some of the data collection and number crunching — which it’s capable of doing more rapidly than human beings — UX experts will be freed up to do higher-level analysis of the data gathered. Like Uber, SpotHero, and those before it, AI will be treated as an outsourced service provider. “Embracing advanced technology, automating processes, and leveraging data are critical to how we operate, but at the end of the day, we focus on a deep understanding of user behaviors, which requires human interaction — so it’s a balance,” explains Karen Bartuch, Sandstorm’s director of strategy and research.“AI can be used to create a tailored message to each consumer — what we might call an ‘audience of one’ — going beyond a set list of offerings based on the individual’s previous activities and preferences to assemble a personalized message built in real time, including machine-generated text, image selection, and even video created on demand,” Meshes says. “Consumers would grow to expect that every message they receive would always be tailored to their personal interests and the current context of where they are and what they’re doing, solving the exact problem they have at that moment.”Current UX techniques address these emerging capabilities by breaking down elements into individual components, applying intuitive design principles, and assembling them into engaging layouts. This process can be adapted as the granularity and number of variations increase by applying rules to the overall layout, then using optimization testing for the AI to refine the results.One example of artificial intelligence impacting user experience is an algorithm featuring a specific piece of content. “Google’s ‘featured snippet,’ where it displays the excerpt of a webpage above all other ranked page results on a search query, makes that result the de facto authoritative source for that topic,” Meshes says. “These are coveted spots that can have a magnifying effect on driving more engagement and sales. It’s fair to assume that voice interfaces will take the ‘featured snippet’ concept and distill it to being the only possible search result, much like how Amazon features one product for a given category, called “Amazon’s Choice.’”This presents new questions for brands: How do you design the structure and layout of content so it will become the only answer selected and delivered by a machine? How do you sell a product to an algorithm that essentially does the purchasing on behalf of the consumer? And how do you continue to incorporate input from users when the machines are doing all the work? “We are excited about the opportunity AI will afford UX, but also very sensitive to maintaining that human connection,” Bartuch says. In fact, Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently said humans are “underrated” and that he regretted using robots to build the Model 3. Trapped in “manufacturing hell,” he explained that Tesla’s production had actually been slowed down by its machinery, which had complicated the process. Even tech powerhouses have discovered that robots sometimes know too much for their own good — and need human insight to achieve balance.AI and UX both aim to understand users and supply what they need, making AI a technology ripe for impacting the experiences brands build for users. UX will still need to bring a human touch to what AI supplies, applying concepts from one domain to another. Apart, their abilities to interpret behavior are limited; together, they’ll fuel unlimited possibilities. Why Your eCommerce Business Should Have a Pop-U…last_img read more

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Alaska determined to get back into playoffs

first_imgLATEST STORIES The Aces have managed to get back on track after winning back-to-back games and they’re not stopping at that.“We’re hungry to get back and get to the playoffs,” said forward Calvin Abueva Friday at Mall of Asia Arena after Alaska fended off Globalport in the PBA Governors’ Cup.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutAbueva finished with 12 points in that win, all coming from the fourth quarter.Alaska improved to 2-6 in the conference and still has a chance to get to quarterfinals if it wins all of its remaining games. “We have to take these chances bit by bit because you won’t get to the playoffs that easily,” said Abueva in Filipino. “And the team’s mindset is slowly changing. Still the two wins we had are nothing compared to the losses we’ve experienced.”“We have to get to the playoffs because that’s where we’ll know how far we’ve come.” Read Next Dave Yu pounces on chance to finally show worth for NU Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games PLAY LIST 01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversarycenter_img MOST READ Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netIt took 14 ill-fated games to tarnish Alaska’s winning tradition in the league where it has won 14 championships in 30 years.But second-winningest franchise are hell-bent on moving on from that debacle which saw them lose 14 straight games spanning two conferences this PBA season.ADVERTISEMENT Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  View commentslast_img read more

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5 Effective Calls to Action That Will Get Your Visitors Clicking

first_img Topics: Originally published Nov 19, 2009 8:30:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Salesforce.com Salesforce’s homepage includes three distinct calls to action above the fold: one that attracts people to their conference, another that gets people to a landing page, and yet another that places people in front of a demo of the software (a great example of secondary and tertiary offers.) One of the remarkable things about Salesforce’s calls to action is the simplicity of their design. Each one is a simple rectangular button with rounded corners, red outlines and simple text – and that’s it. This post contains older information, but has been left up for historical reasons. For more up-to-date information, please see our Lead Generation Hub . Calls to action are the gateways that your visitors must click through to become leads. If your calls to action aren’t optimized and attractive to your visitors, they are less likely to complete the actions you want them to on your website. Creating a great call to action isn’t simple of course, as it takes work to figure out exactly what to offer and how to portray that offer on your pages.As you begin to think about how to handle creating calls to action for your website, keep in mind that simple calls to action are often the most effective . By keeping it simple, you should be able to brainstorm and design some calls to action that really work.Whenever I start any creative project, I typically look at what other people have done for inspiration and ideas. If you’re stuck and don’t know how to portray your offer to your visitors, have a look at some of the examples below. These companies have nailed it down to a science; their calls to action convert their visitors into leads (or customers) and you should use their ideas to your advantage. Mozilla What I like about Mozilla’s call to action is that it gives a clear indicator of what a user can expect when they click on the button.The offer is laid out in front of the visitor; They get 1 Firefox download and it’s free. Clear. Easy. Attractive. The other remarkable thing about Mozilla’s call to action button is its size. It’s BIG! It sticks out on the page and draws your attention. Basecamp – 37 Signals The calls to action that 37 Signals feature are a little over the top. Check out the homepage of their Basecamp product and you’ll see what I mean. Basically the entire page, or at least everything above the fold, is a call to action. Their text is hierarchical, they employ lots of attractive images (of their products), and they top it all off with a big, fat button for the user to click on. Notice that on the button there is some text that indicates what the users can expect: a free, 30-day trial of the product and a super fast sign-up process. Remember, an effective call to action is always visible, attractive, and matched to a compelling offer. Regardless of how much time you decide to spend designing calls to action, always install the end product above the fold so that you can convert more of your visitors into leads and customers. Creating effective calls to action are a crucial piece to achieving inbound marketing success and often the most overlooked. What calls to action do you think are the most effective? What are your biggest questions about creating calls to action? Tell us in the comments!center_img Commercial IQ The nice thing about Commercial IQ’s call to action is that it’s action oriented and attracts the visitor’s eye. They also follow other call to action best practices by placing the button up high on a page on a background that contrasts with the color of the button. The user can see the button really easily and they know exactly what to do. Calls to Action Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack BarackObama.com Regardless of your political affiliation, you have to admire the marketing effort of the Barack Obama team during the 2008 campaign, most notably their inbound marketing efforts. Check out their calls to action. First of all, there are 3 above the fold (visible) on the front page. One of them rotates which incorporates 2 more into the mix. All the calls to action are well-optimized, too. They begin with a verb, are action-oriented, and each of them are simple and concise. You know what you’re getting and what to expect when you click on any button on BarakObama.comlast_img read more

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How Do I Fix My Website Traffic Decrease?

first_imgEarlier this week, you determined what organic search keywords and referring sites Finally, figure out which of your inbound links or sites that link to you frequently could ask to link to your new page. While on-page optimization and a good internal linking system are helpful to having a quality page that ranks, ultimately Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack , let’s develop a plan for recovering your search traffic. You first need to select a page from your existing website to optimize for one of your fallen words, or create a new page on your site. It’s best to create a new page if you can – Adding pages to your site is crucial to increasing your search rankings, and it can make it easier to start fresh if your other pages are already ranking and getting traffic. Don’t forget that if you have a blog on your website, a blog entry could fulfill all of these items – Attractive, interesting content that is well optimized for search and inbound links. search engine strategy and guidelines Also think about your page content, because it will both help this page rank well, and give your viewers something interesting and useful to read once they’ve arrived on this page, including a call to action to one of your landing pages or offers that can bring in your lead. Photo Credit: to your page to make it rank well. Having some really great and novel content on the page that people will want to link to helps a lot here – It’s always easier to get people to link into your site if they like what you have to say. Tell us your story of your best-optimized page. How you got it to rank in the comments? For the last step that’s directly on your website, think about the other pages on your site that could link into this page. Depending on your phrase, they might be product pages, your homepage, or other particular pages on your site. Add links on those pages with the link text of your crucial keyword, otherwise this page will be like an isolated island that no one can get to.center_img Originally published Feb 2, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Topics: alwaysmnky First Recovering Search Traffic Plan For the keywords where your search traffic has declined, let’s create new a new page on your website optimized around each word. For tips on how to optimize a page well, there’s plenty of content available on to make sure that you hit on your website. The major things to think about are simple though: Your page title, page address, the H1 headline on the page, and the meta description for your page. Make sure that they are all around the one keyword that you’re optimizing this page for, or one or two close variations off of that word (like a plural form). Measuring SEO you’ll need inbound linkslast_img read more

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The Marketer’s Guide to Pinterest SEO

first_imgOnce viewed as a niche player in the social space, Pinterest has become one of the fastest growing social networks ever, harnessing both an increased user base and its exponential growth as a referring site to become a considerable force in the marketing world.Free Resource: 12 Pinterest Templates for BusinessEqually important for businesses to consider is the buying power behind Pinterest: Pinterest users purchase items more often and in greater quantities, spend more money, and shop more frequently than any other social network. So if your initial trial of using Pinterest for business has yielded positive results and you think Pinterest is a viable social media marketing platform for your business, you know what the next step is, right? Optimization!To get you started, below we’ll outline 10 great tips to optimize your business’ Pinterest presence for search. 1) Choose an Optimized Company UsernameIn November 2012, Pinterest finally launched Pinterest business accounts, which make registering for a business account (or converting a personal account into a business account) easy and painless. Going the “business” route also makes it easier to verify your website, add links to your Twitter and Facebook accounts, and add Pinterest buttons and widgets to your company site or blog. For more detailed information about how use Pinterest’s new business accounts, check out the free HubSpot ebook, A Guide to Pinterest’s New Business Accounts here.The first thing you should do to optimize your Pinterest business account for search is to make sure your company name is straightforward. The field to indicate your company name has no character limit; but the challenge often comes with your username, which is confined to 15 characters. If your full company name fits — fantastic! But if it doesn’t, choose something memorable, keyword-conscious, and easy to spell that is also clearly associated with your business. For example, The New York Times has amassed over 44,000 followers using the username “NYTimes,” while Martha Stewart Weddings in the Middle East chose “MSWeddingsME” to differentiate itself from other Martha Stewart properties, but still capitalizing on search traffic for weddings.Furthermore, be sure to verify your website. Log in to your Pinterest account, and go to ‘Settings.’ Check to ensure you’ve listed your website here before clicking the ‘Verify Website’ button.2) Optimize Your Page’s ‘About’ SectionThe Pinterest ‘About’ section provides you with 200 characters of prime keyword real estate, so use this space wisely. In addition to being descriptive and keyword-sensitive, your ‘About’ section should also be simple, succinct, and specific. Two hundred characters is plenty of space for a keyword-rich overview that covers the who, what, and where of what you do, so use it smartly — and don’t forget to add your website URL in the space provided!3) Include Links Back to Your Website  Pinterest re-pin links used to be “dofollow” links, but last year, following standard practice with other social networks in the space, Pinterest adopted “nofollow” links. In other words, these links do not pass any SEO authority. But even those these links won’t give you any extra oomph in terms of SEO, we still recommend optimizing for user experience and brand awareness. After all, what good is search engine optimizing your Pinterest presence if you’re not ultimately driving users back to your website?Always include a reference link back to your website with your pins, and if you re-pin a post that features your content or products, edit the description to include a full link (just don’t use a URL shortener here, as Pinterest is known to mark pins containing shortended links as spam). Including a link back to your website will not only reinforce that the image is associated with your brand, but it will also open up a direct pathway to purchase (for ecommerce) or learn more (for services).Etsy is a great example of a Pinterest presence that excels at mixing great content from other sites with products featured on its own site. In doing so, Etsy always includes a direct link to purchase the item on their site along with the username of the specific Etsy shop owner. A great example is Etsy’s pin featuring a humorous burrito card, which includes a brief overview of the card under the image and a direct link to see the product on Etsy in the link’s description.Think of links in Pinterest as providing the next step for pinners — where they can find the image they loved enough to click, re-pin, Like, or comment on. Use links to make that distance between the pin and the content/product as short as possible so you can improve the experience of your users and eventually drive more traffic and awareness to your site — social signals that search engines may end up picking up on in their algorithms over time.4) Differentiate Your PinboardsBy default, Pinterest offers some general pinboard options to get users thinking about how to bucket and organize their pins into different boards. For businesses, however, getting more specific and unique in your board descriptions is critical to helping you get found on Pinterest. According to a study by RJ Metrics, more than 3% of pinboards are titled “For the Home,” followed by “My Style” and “Products I Love,” all three of which are default board names recommended by Pinterest.Break through the pinboard name clutter and be specific and keyword-conscious in the selection of your board names. If you’re an interior designer, replace “For the Home” with “Modern Kitchens” or “Children’s Bedrooms” so that potential search terms align more closely with what end users might be looking for and increase the likelihood of standing out from the massive clutter of default –or just plain unoriginal — board names.5) Speak Your Customers’ LanguagePinterest is not a place to play inside baseball and use expressions that are unique to your company. Your ‘About’ sections and board names should all be optimized using terms your target customers and buyer personas actually use in their everyday lives. Being relevant on Pinterest means understanding what your customer is looking for, what he or she is most interested in buying or pinning, and what related industries or topics the pinner might be seeking out. It should not feel like an advertising board for your products; instead, it should feel like a comfortable space that’s curated around the style, needs, and lifestyle of your potential clients.One great example of speaking your customers’ language is fashion brand 2 Penny Blue. 2 Penny Blue is a high-end fashion brand specializing in blazers, but instead of only pinning items they make and sell, the company’s Pinterest boards are centered around the types of style and advice that 2PB clients might want to emulate, including a board called “Style Muses” featuring Audrey Hepburn and Gwenyth Paltrow, accessory boards packed with current trends, and pins like a guide to navigating champagne cocktails.When you think about your Pinterest boards, consider your customers’ buying habits, average age, and lifestyle, and build your pinning strategy around their terminology, interests, and potential search terms. For example, if you’re a real estate broker, Pinterest is a great place to pin images or videos with helpful tips for buying a home, but it’s also a great place to showcase your knowledge of your community. Boards featuring local schools, attractions, restaurants, and parks will help potential customers understand the markets where you sell and build trust that you understand their needs. Create authentic boards that connect to your clients and how they live, and use terminology that is straightforward and relatable. The search engines, your audience, and Pinterest will thank you for it!6) Use Your Pins’ Descriptions WiselyThe biggest opportunity for text-based content on Pinterest is the description area for each individual pin. Here, the platform gives you 500 characters to work with, which users can fill with anything from recipe instructions, to notes and commentary, to credits for other vendors, to location and usage information … and more. When describing your pins, include terms that your users will relate to and use on their own, add links to the original product or content, and consider adding instructions on product usage or care. The great balancing act with descriptions is ensuring that you include relevant keywords, relatable context, and easy-to-follow links to the content featured in the post. For example, real wedding website Style Me Pretty has almost five million followers on Pinterest and some of the most liked and re-pinned content on Pinterest. In addition to choosing beautiful imagery that’s relevant to their audience, they also tailor their descriptions perfectly for SEO. Their pin showcasing do-it-yourself noisemakers includes a link to the Style Me Pretty website for instructions, links to the photographer and stylist, and a quick overview of what pinners can expect (DIY noisemakers and escort cards) when they click through on the pin to the website.One of the single biggest mistakes companies make on Pinterest is being lazy about their pins’ descriptions. Ignoring the descriptions altogether, using language that your customers don’t understand or relate to, linking to irrelevant content (or not linking out at all), or just repeating keywords over and over again is a great way to get lost in the SEO shuffle. Instead, focus on creating remarkable descriptions that help you stand out from the pack.7) Make Sure the Images You Pin Have Descriptive File Names & Alt TextGiven that Pinterest is a highly visual platform, using interesting imagery that is formatted and named correctly can have a significant impact on the success of your boards — and individual pins themselves. Many companies make the mistake of uploading photos using their default names. For example, an image named 1.13.13ShootImage722.jpg doesn’t help you at all in search, while a clearly named “Boston-townhouse.jpg” can help a search engine decipher what your image is about much more easily. Furthermore, if you pin an image from your website, make sure that image has clear alt text associated with it. The same rule we talked about with pin descriptions also applies here: Use naming conventions your customers will identify with. If a product you’re pinning has an obscure name that isn’t broadly known or intuitive, skip it in favor of a potential keyword search term.In addition, make an effort to size your images optimally for Pinterest. Pinterest does not place any restrictions on the height of an image, but it does constrict the width of images to 554 pixels. Dan Zarrella’s analysis shows that taller images are more re-pinnable — likely because they take up more space in users’ Pinterest feeds — so use that to your advantage. Make sure your images are properly sized for use on Pinterest, use high-quality, beautiful imagery, and keep in mind that in this case, height is a distinct advantage, so if you’re assembling a “recipe for technology implementation success” or an inspiration board of your company goals for 2013, create an image that is tall, visually interesting, and aptly named using appropriate keywords.8) Incorporate HashtagsThat’s right! Hashtags are no longer just for Twitter. In fact, hashtags on Pinterest not only allow you to organize pins by a specific theme or campaign, but they also make your pins a lot more searchable. For example, Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida knows that wedding planning is one of the most common uses of Pinterest. As a result, pins on their “Weddings @ Rollins” board, which includes photos of alumni getting married in various locations throughout campus, are organized using hashtags such as #RollinsCollege, #Knowles Chapel, and #Winter Park to ensure that brides searching by city, college, or a specific destination on campus can easily find images of their potential venue.This maximizes awareness of Rollins College’s wedding venue offerings while staying top of mind for brides searching for those terms. And these integrated efforts have definitely paid off: The Weddings @ Rollins board ranks on the first page of a Google search alongside its homepage for the search term “florida wedding rollins,” giving engaged couples great visual content to drive interest and purchase intent as they plan their weddings.9) Leverage the Long TailAs we know from the success of big brands like Amazon, Google, and Netflix, the long tail isn’t just a niche strategy for small businesses. Take a page out of their books when you put your pins’ descriptions together. For example, according to Repinly, food and drink still represent more than 11% of all pins, so if you’re trying to get found by pins about chocolate chip cookies or wine, just writing a short, literal description of your pin is not going to help you cut through the clutter and stand out from the pack. Instead, identify niche, long-tail terms that your customers might pin around, and get more granular with your descriptions.Stumped about how to get more specific? Consider adding your location, product use case details, or the audience you’d like to target to help you master the long tail. Here are some examples:Location: Mistral Boston includes its restaurant name and location right within its Pinterest username, then adds even more clarity by identifying its neighborhood (South End) and style of cuisine (French Mediterranean). Doing so helps them stand out in the space and assists pinners who are looking for great, high-end restaurants in the Boston area.Use Case: RELAX Wines fills its Pinterest account with food recipes that pair well with their wines, backyard entertaining ideas, and even ideas for how to put your finished wine bottles to good use (e.g. wine cork ornaments, garden torches, etc). Help people understand creative ways to use your product or services — it will improve your SEO while also providing followers with more context around usage.Audience: The Seattle Seahawks football team is one of the top sports brands on Pinterest. By outlining specific gift ideas for men, women, and kids, they leverage the fact that 44% of NFL fans are now female to market holiday products, gift ideas, and specific, targeted holiday promotions, all of which helps fans and non-fans alike identify wish list items for their favorite Seahawk supporters.When it comes to descriptions, think about long-tail keywords for your business and industry. Identify keywords that are slightly more specific than “chocolate chip cookies” or “insurance companies” to help people find you more readily, and to help you stand out from the crowd in search results. For more information about the long tail, check out our ultimate guide for mastering long-tail search.10) “Pinjack” Relevant Search Terms and ImagesAlthough the number and engagement of male users on Pinterest is growing, Pinterest’s core user base demographics skew toward female users, so “pinjacking” trends and events relevant to avid pinners can be a great way to increase your organic search. For example, one of the top organic Google search results for “DIY Halloween Costumes” comes not from Walmart, Target, or some costume shop, but from Goodwill Industries of Western Michigan.By combining highly shareable imagery from other highly trafficked sites, trendy costumes, and great board descriptions, Goodwill Industries has managed to improve its overall online presence and increase visibility outside of traditional terms like “Goodwill locations” or “shopping at Goodwill” by taking advantage of pinjack-able trends (think newjacking, but for Pinterest!) and timing around Halloween to maximize their online awareness and traffic.The role Pinterest plays for businesses is growing every day. With 11 million users and growing, the network provides a unique opportunity for companies to leverage visual content, quality descriptions, and insight into customers’ lifestyles and needs while growing their reach and improving their organic search results. Just as with any website, your focus as a business should be on creating remarkable content and a strong community around your product, services, and brand. Happy pinning!Image Credit: Peter Alfred Hess Originally published Jan 11, 2013 4:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Pinterest Marketinglast_img read more

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Meet Objective-Based Ad Buys: Facebook’s New Consultative Ad Dashboard

first_imgPage Post Engagement Originally published Oct 8, 2013 4:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 App Engagement Event Responses Website Conversions App Installs Facebook Advertising Then, based on your objective, Facebook makes recommendations on which types of ads you should create to meet that objective. Facebook gives an example of a Page post link ad that could be recommended to drive clicks to your website, for instance.After you select your objective and ads you want to run, Facebook’s Ads Manager will display the chosen objective, the number of times it was met, and the cost per stated objective. Basically, Facebook’s new tool turns it into a consultative resource for marketers so you can optimize and assess your ads’ business impact from the get-go. Pretty sweet, huh?According to Facebook, this update should be live, but at the time of publishing, we haven’t seen this roll out to our accounts. So keep checking back to see if you have the new layout soon.Why Marketers Should CareCool! So now Facebook is helping you set up goals and track your success — this seems like a no-brainer news story. This means all of us marketers can sit back and let the social network drive our ad campaigns … right? Wrong. While this new feature is exciting and helpful, we can’t take our hands off the wheel just yet. Be careful not to extrapolate the advertising data to the rest of your marketing activities. For example, if you are using multiple data sources, you might find that Facebook’s Ads Manager metrics show that links drive clicks while your Facebook Page organic posts’ links don’t. So be sure that you’re supplementing the objective-based ad data with other information to get a robust picture of your marketing’s success. Besides that one caveat, this update seems like a very helpful feature that will help Facebook Advertisers create ads the inbound way — something that we can’t help but celebrate. What do you think of this update? How would you use this new feature in your marketing? Leave your ideas in the comments below!center_img Topics: When I created my first Facebook ad ever, I had no clue what I was doing. I picked target demos at random (The more people who see my ad, the better!) and barely considered the difference between CPM and CPC. All I knew was that my boss asked me to make a Facebook ad — now — and it was my duty to get it up as fast as possible. No goals, no objectives, no metrics even entered my thought process.And I know I’m not the only person who has been confused by Facebook advertising — heck, we’ve even written a whole ebook trying to quell some of that confusion. I’m not surprised that people are so concerned about getting their Facebook ads right — their budgets and jobs are on the line if those ads don’t drive positive business results. Luckily, now, it’s going to be a lot easier for the average marketer like myself to advertise on Facebook. Today, Facebook announced a brand new way for marketers to create and measure ads. Now, people can create and measure ads all based on one goal, which Facebook deems “objective-based ad buying and reporting.” I know that’s a lot of jargon in one sentence, so let me break down how the new tool works. Objective-Based Ad Buying: DecodedBasically, when you go to create a new ad, you’ll be asked about which objective you want to accomplish with your Facebook ads. You can choose among these: Page Likes In-store Offer claims Clicks to Website Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

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Feel Like You’re Fighting With Your Keywords? 7 Ways to Win

first_imgAs the content manager at Half a Bubble Out, part of my job the past couple quarters has been to focus on improving our performance around 11 different keywords.However, we’ve been doing this keyword rotation long enough now that we got to a point where it felt like we were fighting the keywords. We were having trouble coming up with original angles, and quickly becoming impatient with the content creation process. It just feels likes we’ve been there, done that, you know?Since I have the privilege of reading and editing each and every blog article that we post, I’ve recognized patterns during these last 9 months about how our staff members brainstorm ideas, create headlines, and use the keywords — and how sometimes our crazy ideas actually turn into great blog posts! So I thought I’d share some of the strategies we use when it feels like the well of ideas for important keywords is running dry. I hope one of these strategies will help you, too.1) Become the Super ResearcherThe Super Researcher just can’t get enough. They could sit all day and research (and if they aren’t careful, they will). The Super Researcher is very detail oriented and it’s important to them to provide some real meat in their blog posts, not just fluffy samples. They do this by researching, reading, and clicking on just about anything that looks interesting.The thing is, the Super Researcher actually does have a sort of superpower when it comes to research. They’re able to find some of the most random — yet interesting and relevant — articles and find original tie-ins to something seemingly unrelated. Like the article our staff member wrote on baby boomers and social media.If you like researching, try this approach to research, read, and relate it to your keyword.2) Become the New AnglerThe New Angler sees things differently. They can take a keyword phrase that has been done over and over again and totally rock it to appeal to a different business persona.For example, one of our keyword phrases has been “what makes a good website.” Instead of focusing on a different aspect of what DOES make a good website, the New Angler might do something like this: “What Makes an Otherwise Good Website Completely Useless.” Totally made a 180 with the keyword.I love this because I’m so not a New Angler — so I love it when I see it. If you’re stuck on how to use your keyword, try looking at it in a negative light “what not to do…” or “5 elements you’re missing.” It might spark an idea.3) Become the Case StudierThe Case Studier sees how things work together. If an individual or company has done something right — or wrong for that matter — recognize it and talk about how it relates to your keyword.The same is true for your own company, too. If you have a client or have performed a service that you think is exceptionally noteworthy — write about it in an educational manner (not a promotional one).Here’s an example of how to use a keyword phrase and relate it to a case study: We used the phrase “why is social media important” and wrote a blog post about WestJet and how its recent Christmas Miracle video went viral with the help of social media. Check it out to see an example of this technique in action.4) Become the NewsjackerFirst of all, if you’re unfamiliar with newsjacking, here’s an article that’ll get you caught up to speed.Now, this type of keyword strategy probably isn’t the best because it’s kind of dependent on what news is out there — but when it works. it works like a charm, and is one of the best ways to add a fresh perspective to a seemingly tired keyword phrase. So jump on that bandwagon!The Newsjacker is skilled at using their knack for always knowing what’s going on, and applying it to their keyword. If Facebook just announced a new feature called “Promoted Posts,” for instance, use that to talk about how it can help you with lead generation techniques for your business. (Did you guess that “lead generation techniques” was the keyword?)5) Become the Life LessonerThe Life Lessoner does just that — uses things they’ve learned or experiences they’ve had, and writes about it.Write what you know. It’s a good place to start. The Life Lessoner is honest, sometimes sentimental, and knows themselves well enough to be able to use a keyword phrase and relate it to a piece of their life. It can be as simple as talking about an experience with a client that taught you to view a situation differently, or as “out there” as relating the public transit in Boston at Inbound to what makes a good website. (And it worked. Take a look here.)6) Become the Out-of-the-Box ThinkerThe Out-of-the-Box Thinker isn’t afraid to try new ideas. They might just work! And … they might also suck. But you won’t know until you try.One way to think outside the box when writing content is rethinking the format that content appears in. For instance, if you’re used to writing how-to and list posts, perhaps you should try creating those posts in the form of a video, a piece of static visual content, or even a list of memes. Even if the idea seems a little too bizarre, remember that you can rebound quickly from a poorly performing piece of content … just write something else!7) Become the Whatever Comes to MinderI didn’t reveal the name of each lovely co-worker I identify with each keywording style above — I thought it would be fun for them to try and figure it out — but I will say that the “Whatever Comes to Minder” is me.I get my writing inspiration from the strangest places sometimes. For instance, I had a toenail fungus keyword looming over my head. It’s for a podiatrist client, and while reading The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss to my one year old daughter, I was inspired to write a blog offering foot care tips from a podiatrist and Dr. Seuss. The client enjoyed it, and maybe even more importantly, I enjoyed writing it.Another example … one day I was driving in my car and the song “More than Words” by Extreme came on, and it gave me the idea to write about how your blog is more than words; you know, all that other stuff Google cares about like conversion rates, social shares, etc. The Whatever Comes to Minder will have something totally random just pop into their mind and wonder if they could use a keyword and create a blog out of it. If this happens to you, don’t brush this off. Just write it down because I’m willing to bet you’ll think of some inspiring ways to create excellent, keyword-friendly content.Hopefully one or all of the strategies we use at Half a Bubble Out helped you. When you feel like you’re fighting your keyword, talk to those around you and relate your keyword to the world around you. Every good fighter has a team that surrounds them. Use yours to get your keyword fight on. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Originally published Jan 6, 2014 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Keyword Optimizationlast_img read more

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Negotiating a Job Offer? 15 Rules From a Harvard Business Professor

first_img Negotiation This post originally appeared on the Opinion section of Inbound Hub. To read more content like this, subscribe to Opinion.So you’ve been through a few job interviews and now you’re down to brass tacks — you’re negotiating the offer. This can be complex, tricky business — and costly, too, if you don’t do it well.But complexity also creates opportunities, at least for people who have done some homework. Deepak Malhotra is a professor at Harvard Business School who teaches negotiation skills. He’s put together a pretty thorough list of 15 rules to follow when you’re negotiating a job offer, which I highly recommend.”Every situation is unique, but some strategies, tactics, and principles can help you address many of the issues people face in negotiating with employers,” Malhotra writes in a must-read article in the Harvard Business Review.After reading the article you might also want to watch a one-hour video where Malhotra gives a presentation about how to negotiate a job offer. You can see that here: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Mar 26, 2014 4:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017center_img Topics: Malhotra’s first rule, “Don’t underestimate the importance of likability,” may not come as a big surprise to most normal people, but remember, Malhotra is not advising normal people, he’s advising Harvard Business School students, many of whom actually do need to be told this. Another neat piece of advice is, “Negotiate multiple issues simultaneously, not serially.” If there are four things you want, mention them all at once, and let the employer know the relative importance of each one. The thing you don’t want to do is just bring up one thing, such as salary, then go back and forth on that one point, and then say, “Okay, now here’s the next thing on my list.” Do that, and the employer “is unlikely to remain in an understanding or generous mood,” Malhotra writes.Other rules include: Understand the person across the table. Understand that this person has constraints in terms of what she can offer, and know what those constraints are. Consider the whole deal, not just salary. And avoid ultimatums. And another favorite: “Don’t negotiate just to negotiate.” Apparently this is a big problem for freshly minted MBA students. They’ve just taken courses in negotiation, so “they go bargaining berserk the first chance they get, which is with a prospective employer,” Malhotra writes. If something is important, then sure, fight for it. But don’t haggle over every little thing, just to show that you can.”Fighting to get just a bit more can rub people the wrong way.”last_img read more

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Not Generating Enough Leads From Your Website? Here Are 7 Easy Fixes

first_img Originally published Apr 30, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 In order to build a robust database of leads for you or your sales team that you can reach out to at any time, you need to get people to sign up for something on your website — an ebook, a whitepaper, a webinar, a newsletter, a blog subscription, etc. But there are certain mistakes you might be making that are keeping people from signing up.Here are the biggest mistakes I’ve seen people make on their websites that are hindering their lead gen progress:1) You didn’t put your great offer behind a form.Have you ever poured your heart and soul into creating several ebooks or whitepapers, uploaded them to your website, and linked to all the PDFs from a single “Resources” page?Don’t pretend to look all innocent.Don’t worry — if this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. When many marketers first begin their inbound marketing journeys, they’re told to create remarkable content … but not what to DO with that content. So after you create your fabulous content, the next logical thing to do is to publish this content to your website. But once people download and enjoy your content, how will you follow up with them? How will you know how many people downloaded your content? How will you make sure they know what to do next on your site?You can’t do any of those things if you just give your content away willy nilly. If you’ve been doing inbound marketing for a while and have tons of leads, you can strategically give away form-free content at specific points in the buyer’s journey. But in most cases, you should make website visitors fill out a form on a landing page to get your awesome content. That way, you can follow up with them, know how many new leads you’ve acquired, and will be able to show them the next step to take via a confirmation page.2) You didn’t make your landing pages … interesting.You might think the ebook you slaved over for a month is a brilliant masterpiece with secrets that will revolutionize how your prospects think of your industry. And hey, maybe it is. But if your landing page isn’t interesting, your website visitors won’t care to fill out your form and bask in its brilliance.The worst landing pages are those with no images, dense paragraphs of text, and long forms. Think of how busy you are day-to-day. Do you have time to read tons of text and carefully weigh the pros and cons of filling out a long form in order to get … wait, what’s the offer again?You don’t have time. Your prospects don’t have time.Make your copy punchy and short. Add an enticing image of your offer. Keep your form as short as possible.3) It’s not obvious what the offer is on your landing page.There are certain elements of a landing page that should SCREAM what the offer is:The headlineThe image of the offerThe call-to-action text above the formGo to one of your landing pages in a new tab right now and check out these three elements. If any of them do not indicate what the offer actually is, or if any of these are missing, you have work to do.4) Your form is too long.If your form is too long, you’ll dissuade people from taking the time to fill it out, even if they genuinely wanted to get whatever you’re offering. Time is valuable, and people are inherently lazy when it comes to completing long forms. If you are offering something for people who currently know nothing about your business, perhaps First Name, Last Name, and Email Address are enough.On the other hand, you might have a good reason to include many form fields. You might get so many leads that you need extra fields to:Qualify leads. The answers in each field might help you determine lead quality, and which you should reach out to.Assign leads to reps. The organization of your sales team might depend on some of the criteria as determined by answers in your form fields, such as location or company size.Obviously, this is a good problem to have, but until you do get a high volume of leads, keep your forms short and let lead nurturing email campaigns do the lead qualifying for you.5) Your form is broken.Always test your form after you create your landing page. Always. So many times, I’ve come across landing pages that didn’t properly redirect to a confirmation page after clicking “Submit.” This also means that my contact information probably didn’t make it to their lead database. 6) You left “submit” as the submit button text.All text on your landing page is an opportunity to convince your visitors that they should fill out the form and get whatever it is you’re offering. Leaving “submit” as the submit button text on your form is a missed opportunity. You should customize this copy based on whatever the offer is.Here are some examples:Download this ebookSign me up for a demoShow me this presentationClaim your couponSave your seatThose are all much more enticing calls-to-action than “submit.”7) You forgot to add CTAs to your website.Your landing page may look fabulous, but it won’t matter if your website visitors can’t even find it! Here are some places you should include call-to-actions (CTAs) leading to your landing pages:Your homepageYour blog’s sidebarThe bottom of each blog post (possibly as a slide-in CTA)Each of your product/service description pagesYour about us pageYour pricing pageWant to share this post? Here’s a ready-made email:Click here to send this email to your colleagues now:Subject line: Are we making any of these mistakes on our website?Message: Check out this article I found: 7 Biggest Mistakes Keeping You From Getting Leads On Your Website – http://hub.am/1iuERDw Are we making any of these mistakes? What can we do to get more leads from our website? Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Lead Generation Topics:last_img read more

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