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 Jul 11, 2012 3:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 We all know there are many different strategies and tactics that can factor into generating more traffic to your website. And there are even more to consider if your business targets an audience that spans multiple countries, because you’ll need to create a global SEO strategy for your website, too!But going global can be a daunting task, and you may not know where to start. That’s why we’ve created an international SEO guide compiling all the best tips international marketers should know. That being said, it’s also important to know about the biggest global SEO mistakes international marketers typically make so you know to avoid them. So without further ado, here are the 9 worst ways to do global SEO:1. Translate All Your Content Using Google TranslateWant to make your website sound like a complete idiot and undermine your company’s credibility to an international audience? Just take all the content on your main website, run it through Google Translate, and paste that into your foreign language site. It will sound totally Google Translated — in other words, robotic, unnatural, and in many cases, completely nonsensical — to anyone who speaks the language natively. Want to avoid sounding like an idiot? Get help from someone who is fluent in the language you’re creating content for.2. Avoid Language- or Country-Specific Sites for Fear of Duplicate ContentYou might have avoided setting up a .co.uk counterpart for your .com site for fear of Google deeming this as “duplicate content,” since there’s not much of a language difference. However, Google now supports using the rel=“canonical” link element across different domains. This means you can have similar content on both the .com and .co.uk extensions of your site, and use the canonical link element to indicate the exact URL of the domain preferred for indexing. This will make duplicate content a non-issue. Also, keep in mind that this is not required when using different languages. Google does not consider foreign language translations to be duplicate content. But keep in mind that it is something to consider for multiple locale sites in the same language.3. Neglect Your Google Webmaster SettingsAccording to Trimark Solutions, many webmasters will simply keep one single sitemap for their entire website, which is not nearly as efficient to maintain and update. Google Webmaster tools allows you to submit multiple sitemaps, so you can submit one for each country or region you are targeting. Note that this is only necessary if you’re using subdirectories for each of your locale sites.In Google Webmaster tools, you can also geographically target certain websites or sections of your website to certain locations. You can find these settings by logging into your Webmaster Tools account, looking under ‘Site Configuration,’ and changing your geographic targeting in the ‘Settings’ tab.4. Assume One Keyword List Will Work for All CountriesIf you create one keyword list and assume it will serve your SEO purposes across all the countries you target, you definitely won’t be targeting your audience in those countries effectively. Different keywords may cater to different audiences depending on location, so as an international marketer, you need to identify which keywords are most popular in each country you’re targeting, and optimize the pages on that country’s section of your website accordingly. In addition, remember that even a correct and accurate translation of a keyword or term may not be what people actually use to search for a product or service locally. To help you identify international keywords for your global SEO strategy, the advanced option in Google’s free Keyword Tool enables you to choose keywords by country and/or language. Just enter one of your keywords, choose the language and/or country(ies) you wish to target, and Google will provide you with a list of keyword ideas and their associated monthly search volume.5. Make Your Different Locale Sites Hard to FindEven if you’re taking all measures possible to send website visitors to the right domain or website section, such as auto-detecting their location and redirecting them to the right web page, there will be people who are traveling, or simply slip through the cracks and end up on your main .com. So make sure your different locale sites are easy to find. If you have several versions of your site in different languages, add visual cues linking to your multilingual content in or near your top navigation. For example, you can use flag icons to link to each country or language’s site/website section. You can also add links to each country or language site in your sitewide footer.6. Add Multiple Languages to a Single Web PageGenerally speaking, you shouldn’t mix languages on the same web page. You might think that doing this will help your website visitors understand that your website caters to them even though your company is based in another country, but in reality, it will not help your website’s overall user experience. You’ll only be making your page confusing to sift through, as your visitors might not understand the content at the top of the page, leading them to immediately click the back button. Instead, refer back to #5, and use your website’s top navigation or footer to link to sections on your site dedicated solely to that country/language.7. Build Inbound Links Only to Your Main HomepageGenerating inbound links is one of the most important elements of SEO, no matter what countries you’re catering to. The more inbound links you have from external websites, the better your site will rank, and the more visibility it will have in search engines. However, when you guest blog or request inbound links, make sure your homepage isn’t the only page getting linked to. You should aim to increase inbound links to each of your locale sites from sites of the same country. In other words, get sites in the UK to link to your co.uk extension, sites in Ireland to link to your .ie extension, etc.8) Make Cultural AssumptionsAs you’re designing your website, you might think your sleek white layout will have a positive connotation for website visitors around the world. After all, in most of Europe and the Americas, white is associated with purity and marriage. But did you know that in Japan, China, and parts of Africa, white is traditionally the color of mourning? The same cultural assumptions might hinder your SEO strategy. If your business targets customers in countries foreign to yours, learn about the different countries’ cultures to understand what appeals to them versus people in your country.9) Forget to Take Local Competition Into AccountIf you’re located at your primary headquarters, you know who your local competitors are. But when doing global SEO research, don’t forget that your competitors in different regions may be different. Just because you’re an international business, doesn’t mean that all businesses abroad are also global. In other words, there might be some competition that you don’t even know about yet! Take that into consideration when you’re identifying keywords to target in each country so you can compete for search engine ranking positions local searchers may be using to find products and services like yours.Do you have anything to add to the list? Add your #10 in the comments below! SEO Strategy
As 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 Optimization
Originally published Feb 11, 2015 12:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Social Selling This post originally appeared on the Sales section of Inbound Hub. To read more content like this, subscribe to Sales.Just like anything shiny and new, social selling suffers from a fair amount of hype. And with hype comes misunderstanding.Sales reps and leaders eager to embrace the next generation of selling tactics often jump in with both feet. While this enthusiasm is great, sometimes they dive in before they understand what social selling really is, or what they’re trying to achieve. This is a recipe for disaster.So instead of another piece listing the benefits of social selling and the results that can be reaped through social selling tactics, I thought I’d combat some of the hype by writing on what social selling isn’t. Then business leaders can go in with a clear understanding of what they’re getting into — and what they’re not.Social selling isn’t outsourcing to Marketing.Social selling is about curating and sharing content. Since content is generally Marketing’s job, some companies think social selling falls under their jurisdiction. Wrong. How can salespeople connect with their buyers through social and become known as thought leaders when they’re not actually doing the work themselves?Social selling isn’t about automation.Setting up salespeople’s social accounts so the same piece of content is shared at the exact same time looks inauthentic and fake. Don’t do it.Social selling isn’t a one-time event.You can’t just share one article or favorite one buyer’s tweet and then be done with it. Social selling is a continuous journey. Salespeople must commit to infusing social media into their daily routines for social activity to have an impact on revenue.Social selling isn’t immediate.Don’t expect to see major results after one week. Social selling is a marathon, not a sprint.Social selling isn’t about selling.If you’re using the same hard sales tactics on social that you’ve always used, you’re doing it wrong. LinkedIn messages aren’t just another avenue to send your cold pitch to buyers. Social selling is about nurturing relationships over time. Connect with and socially surround your buyers.Social selling isn’t modern trickery.If done right, it’s about creating genuine relationships with people. Nothing tricky or underhanded about that.Social selling isn’t the new channel for spam.If you’re mass sending your cold email pitch through LinkedIn messages or Twitter DMs, you’re doing it wrong. Spam — regardless if it’s sent through email or social channels — is still spam. That’s just #SocialStupid.Social selling isn’t cold calling.It’s way more fun than that.Social selling isn’t about sharing as much content as you can.Nobody likes someone who won’t shut up, and it’s the same on social media. Social selling is just as much (if not more) about listening to buyers to discover their interests as it is about becoming an effective content curator and thought leader.Social selling isn’t replacing face-to-face interaction.In person meetings will never die in sales. But modern salespeople should strive to be in all the places their buyers are. And that includes social media as well as trade shows.Social selling isn’t magic.If your company has a lackluster product or service, social selling isn’t going to change that. Don’t expect it to.Social selling isn’t stalking.Don’t favorite, retweet, share, or comment on every single post someone puts out. That’s just creepy. Show a sustained interest without crossing the line into stalker territory.Social selling doesn’t replace phone and email outreach.It’s strictly additive.Social selling isn’t about media.Getting involved on a social platform for the sake of being seen on the platform doesn’t make sense. Don’t forget the “social” in social selling — networking and connecting with people should be the crux of your strategy.Social selling isn’t right for everyone.If your buyers aren’t on social, I’m not sure why you would need to be there. Be where your buyers are — whether that’s on social media platforms or groups, or somewhere else entirely. 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
SEO and Social Media Topics: Originally published Feb 25, 2015 6:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Years ago, it was commonplace to find real-time tweets in Google Search results. Twitter and Google had inked a deal that gave the search giant access to the social network’s data stream. In turn, Google would display tweets in search results in real time. But that agreement expired, and in the middle of 2011, Google lost access to Twitter’s data stream. Now, nearly four years later, the gang’s back together. Recently, Google and Twitter announced that they are working together again to index tweets as soon as they are posted.How should a marketer to react to this news? In this post, I will focus on how you can benefit from the new deal between Google and Twitter. You will need to be active on Twitter to obtain these benefits, but I will include some tips for those of you who are just getting started — you can still benefit from this development if you’re doing the right things. The good news is that it will take some time for Google to implement changes based on the new data they will be getting from Twitter, so you have some time to get ready. But the sooner you get started, the better.So let’s dive into what the deal actually is and learn how you can take advantage of it.What’s the Deal With This New Deal?Basically, this deal gives Google real-time access to tweets via a data feed, commonly called the Twitter Firehose. While the agreement seems to be in effect already, the two companies are saying only that it will take effect in Google Search sometime in the first half of 2015. The reason it will take some time to implement is that Twitter needs to figure out how to prep the data for Google, and Google needs to look at this data stream and decide what they want to do with it. However, one thing we know they will do is increase the number of tweets that they are indexing. What that means is that your tweets could start showing up in the search results.Google actually does show some tweets in its search results today, but it’s only a very small portion of what’s on Twitter. My company, Stone Temple Consulting, recently did a study of 133,000 tweets to see how Google indexes tweets, and what we found is that Google indexes less than 8% of all the tweets we tested.That’s not a high level of indexation at all. To make matters worse, it also appears that Google is quite slow to index tweets, as you can see in the chart below:Currently, that means tweets have little chance of getting indexed. In fact, the people whose tweets were most likely to be indexed, according to our study, had much higher than average followings. For people who are just starting out on Twitter, chances are that the indexation rate is near zero.The new deal between Google and Twitter may well change all that. It’s hard to predict just how many more tweets Google will index, but you can count on it being a significant change — otherwise doing this deal makes no sense for Google.As a result, you may have an opportunity to use Twitter to increase your presence in Google’s SERPs. However, remember that Google will need a few months to implement changes to leverage the Twitter data feed, so don’t expect instant results.How Will Google Choose Which Tweets to Index?Google has made no statements about what their plans are, so we don’t know for sure. But, based on their history, we figure that Google is going to work hard to find the tweets that offer the most value to their audience. They will also most likely implement strong anti-spam measures.While the new Twitter data feed will be valuable to them, frankly, it’s an add-on. They will be conservative in what they allow into the results, and they will only include things that they have a very high degree of confidence are not spam.As a consequence of that, trying to game this new arrangement will likely be very difficult to do. Google is going to look for signals that certain tweets have greater value. Here are the types of signals that could be available to them:Links from third party web sites to the tweets. (This signal is already available to them today.)Links from third party web sites to a user’s profile. (This signal is already available to them today.)How many times a tweet is retweeted, and by whom. They may get this info directly from Twitter, or they may use their own means to determine it. (This will be new data for them.)How many times a tweet is favorited, and by whom. They may get this info directly from Twitter, or they may use their own means to determine it. (This will be new data for them.)I don’t see how this deal makes sense for Google unless they get the info on points 3 and 4 above, or at least number 3. This would mean that Google can use retweet data, and the knowledge of who is performing the RTs to determine which tweets have the most value. This is the source of where I see significant potential value for companies and publishers.Maximize your engagement on Twitter, and you are sending out signals that your tweeted content is valuable. So how do you get more engagement?How Should You Maximize Engagement on Twitter?This was the subject of another study my company did recently on Twitter engagement. This particular study focused on what factors within your Twitter content cause increases in retweets and favorites. By far the most significant factor was the use of images in your tweets:Here you can see that your chances of getting at least one retweet are more than doubled for most low and moderate social authority accounts. That’s quite a significant difference. Our data also showed that you can also get five to nine times as many total retweets by including images. That’s a big deal!Other factors that matter, though not quite as much as images, were the use of hashtags and implementing longer tweets. Factors that mattered less were time of day, including links to content off of Twitter, or mentions of others.While the above info can definitely help you optimize your own presence, you can’t forget the importance of developing relationships on Twitter. Focusing on key friendships and relationships with influencers is a big key to success, especially if your presence on the platform is not currently that strong. Imagine someone with a highly influential account retweeting your most important content. This could be gold for you, as it can make Google aware of the content very quickly. The influencer’s tweet with the link to your content may appear in search results and help expose it to much wider audiences. Of course, this may also result in more links to your content as well.Even if Google does not get information in the Twitter data feed that allows it to understand who is retweeting whom, Google could still use link data to better understand whose profiles are most important. Then, they can place more value on their tweets, and place them within their index, driving traffic and exposure to that tweet. If it contains a link to your content, your traffic and exposure could go up.SummaryWill this fundamentally alter the digital landscape? No, but it does mean that a strong presence on Twitter will have more value than it did before. To capitalize on this shift, do the following:Increase your time invested in Twitter.Create engaging content that people will want to retweet and favorite.Build relationships with others who will help amplify your content.Make sure to build relationships with influencers whose tweets are more likely to get indexed by Google.Watch the indexation of your tweets grow while you build your own influence on the platform.As the full partnership takes effect, we may discover other ways to optimize our Twitter strategies for search, but until then, preparing for the shift using the steps above is a wise move.Want to learn more about search? Check out our SEO course. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Bengal Warriors host Dabang Delhi in an inter zone wildcard match of Pro Kabaddi League season six at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Indoor Stadium in Kolkata on Sunday.The Bengal Warriors became the fifth team in the tournament to qualify for the playoffs after beating Patna Pirates by a comfortable 16-point margin (39-23) on Saturday.The Bengal Warriors hve an opportunity to seal the second spot in Zone B with a win on Sunday – the third day of their home leg. Ran Singh’s men now have 58 points from 19 matches, three more than Patna Pirates who have 55 points with only one match left.The home team will pin their hopes on star raider Maninder Singh, who starred in their win over the Pirates with 11 raid points.On the other hand, having already sealed a spot in the playoffs, the Dabang Delhi will be hoping to head into the knockout stages with winning momentum. They are assured of a third-place finish on Zone A.What time does Bengal Warriors vs Dabang Delhi match in Pro Kabaddi League 2018 start?The PKL 2018 match between Bengal Warriors and Dabang Delhi will start at 8 PM IST.What TV channel and live stream is the Pro Kabaddi League 2018 match between Bengal Warriors and Dabang Delhi?Star Sports 2 and Star Sports 1 HD will show the match on TV. Hotstar will live stream of Bengal Warriors vs Dabang Delhi match.Where will the PKL 2018 between Bengal Warriors and Dabang Delhi be played?The PKL 2018 match between Bengal Warriors and Dabang Delhi will be played at Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Indoor Stadium in Kolkata.Where can I watch the Bengal Warriors vs Dabang Delhi live?advertisementThe match will be shown in Star Sports network and can also be streamed on Hotstar.com.What are the squads for the PKL 2018 match between Bengal Warriors and Dabang Delhi?Bengal WarriorsRan Singh (c), PO Surjeet Singh, Ameares Mondal, Ziaur Rahman, Baldev Singh, Vijin Thangadurai, Manoj Dhull, Mithin Kumar, Jang Kun Lee, Mahesh Goud, Amit Kumar, Amit Nagar, Rakesh Narwal, Ashish, Vittal Meti, Bhupender Singh, Shrikant Tewthia, Ravindra Ramesh KumawatDabang DelhiJoginder Singh Narwal (c), Tushar Balaram Bhoir, Satpal, Viraj Vishnu Landge, Vishal Mane, Anil Kumar, Ravinder Pahal, Naveen Kumar, Khomsan Thongkham, Pawan Kumar Kadian, Chandran Ranjit, Shabeer Bappu, Yogesh Hooda, Kamal Kishor Jat, Sidharth, Rajesh Narwal, Vishal, Meraj Sheykh, Tapas Pal.
Topics: Originally published Jul 23, 2015 9:30:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Website Design Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Back in 2007, we launched a tool called Website Grader. Since then, it’s evaluated 4 million websites, helping many businesses identify website optimization opportunities.But a lot has changed since 2007. Websites have changed significantly in terms of design, functionality, and purpose. So, to continue to be helpful, Website Grader needed to change, too.Well, today, we’re excited to unveil a redesigned Website Grader capable of assessing websites using modern ranking criteria. Read on to learn what the new tool does and how you can get a personalized assessment of your own. What is Website Grader?Website Grader is a free online tool that allows anyone to receive a free, personalized report that grades their site against key metrics, including performance, mobile readiness, SEO and security.How does Website Grader differ from Marketing Grader? Website Grader isn’t the same as Marketing Grader. While Marketing Grader focuses on assessing a website in terms of marketing activities such as blogs, landing pages, and social media, Website Grader is built to specifically focus on the core areas that impact a site’s ability to rise to the top of search rankings. How does Website Grader work?Simply enter your website URL and email address and, within a few seconds, Website Grader will generate a personalized score between 1-100. You’ll also receive a report that details your website’s performance against each of the key criteria. The criteria are as follows:Performance: Optimizing your website’s performance is crucial to increasing traffic, improving conversion rates, and generating more leads and revenue. We’ll assess your site’s page size, page requests, page speed, and more.Mobile Readiness: Traffic from mobile devices is more important than ever before. It’s important to optimize your website for mobile to ensure you aren’t missing out on valuable traffic, leads, and revenue. We’ll check how mobile-friendly your site is against criteria such as responsiveness and viewport settings.SEO: Your site has to be easy to discover. We’ll assess whether your website is easy for users to find and easy for search bots to understand by grading page titles, meta descriptions, and more.Security: Using an SSL certificate protects your website from attacks and provides your visitors with the confidence that your site is authentic, which means they might feel safer when entering their contact details. If you have it, your site will receive a higher grading.At the bottom of the report, you’ll also find some recommendations on the issues you should tackle to improve your site’s performance and, of course, your Website Grader score.I’ve graded my website, what’s next?Got a score below 90? That’s okay, there’s always room for improvement. Why not share your results with colleagues and work together to implement any necessary improvements? With Website Grader, you can quickly email your personalized report to others. Just click on the share icon on the top-right navigation and enter the email address of your intended recipient.Scoring higher than 90? Wow, your site is pretty amazing so why not let the world know?! You can quickly and easily share your report far and wide to colleagues and friends! Just click on the relevant icon to share it via your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.Have you used Website Grader to assess your website already? How’d you do?
60% of leading advertisers will review their agencies within the next 12 months, according to a study from Advertiser Perceptions. As if to prove the point, Procter & Gamble announced in January they will review all ad agency contracts in 2017.Whether it’s due to the demise of the agency-of-record, growing concerns over transparency issues, or the invasion of management consulting firms on ad agency turf, marketers are actively shopping for agencies like never before.So what does that mean for agencies? You just might start seeing an increase in the number of RFPs landing in your inbox. Good for the upper-end of the sales pipeline, but you’ll increase your chances of converting a prospect to a client if you treat your RFP responses like the strategic sales tools they’re meant to be — and that means avoiding these six hazardous pitfalls.Download Now: Free RFP Templates6 Seemingly Harmless Proposal Mistakes1) You don’t know enough to make informed choices.The Fix: Ask the right questions.Having an RFP from a new prospect show up unsolicited in your inbox can elicit a giddy response. It’s a shiny object that leads you to believe your pipeline problems are over.Hallelujah. You knew something would come along eventually. Instead of thoughtful consideration of the RFP’s requirements and the client fit with your agency, you rally your team and dive right in.This is a risky, time consuming approach to winning new business.Instead, gain control from the start by asking the right questions. Why is the client conducting this review? Why now? Why us? Who will decide the winner? What’s the budget and timing? Has this scope of work even been approved?And don’t just ask the questions — know the right answers in advance to qualify this prospect as a worthwhile opportunity for your agency.2) You take the RFP at face value.The Fix: Interpret the RFP.Clearly, you must read the RFP. In fact, you must read the RFP multiple times and throughout the proposal process to make sure your response stays focused on the client’s needs, and doesn’t go off on unnecessary tangents.The hazard is taking the RFP at face value without interpreting important information that’s hiding in plain sight.For instance, most RFPs provide a list of people who will be involved in the review process at some level. Look at this list critically for things like who the decision-makers are versus who’s in a supporting or supervising role.How involved is senior leadership? Are some disciplines represented more than others? Are there any surprises, such as roles and responsibilities that aren’t typically associated with a marketing function (e.g., a big regional franchise operator in the case of a quick-serve restaurant chain)? All these considerations reveal internal politics and agendas, as well as valuable insights into the client’s decision-making process. 3) You use your response to tell the prospect all about you.The Fix: You grasp the issues that are important to the client and tailor your response to address them.Sounds like such obvious advice, doesn’t it? Yet I’m surprised at how infrequently agencies follow it.Suppress your natural desire to tell the prospect all about you. It’s hard, because many RFPs will give the impression that they want to know everything there is to know about your work process, capabilities, team bios, etc.Instead, start the process by establishing key messages you need to communicate (probably no more than three) to win the business. If you’ve hedged your bets and avoided hazards one and two on this list, you’re in a strong position to make those decisions.Make sure everyone who is contributing to the response knows what those messages are. Be a ruthless editor and discard anything that distracts from presenting your best argument.4) You “save” your best material for the presentation.The Fix: You reinforce your messages through artful repetition.We give clients way too much credit for remembering what we tell them. Here’s a reality check: they may be reading (or, more accurately, skimming) a dozen or more responses, most of them badly written, few of them with any differentiating qualities.If the story is good, telling it once is not enough. Humans love to be told the same good story over and over again. That might be why West Side Story was such a hit despite the fact that Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet preceded it by almost 400 years, and Ovid’s Pyramus and Thisbe by almost 2,000.5) You weave yourself into a cocoon of jargon and generalization.The Fix: You tell a good story.Ad agencies deliver value to their clients predominantly through intangible services like strategy, planning and creative development. It’s difficult for agencies to describe those things in tangible ways. In their struggle, many fall prey to jargon and generalizations that end up telling the prospect nothing. This is why so many proposals sound the same.Storytelling is a foolproof cure.It makes the intangible tangible. It gives your prospective client, who may know almost nothing about you, something to relate to. It makes it easier for them to remember you — and to repeat to others what they liked about you.It’s not difficult to incorporate some basic storytelling techniques into your RFP responses. When I do persuasive writing workshops with agencies, I often use the Pixar Pitch as an easy framework to gently but effectively encourage my clients to experiment with storytelling.6) You break the wrong rules.The Fix: Don’t play fast-and-loose with stupid stuff.Sometimes it’s to your advantage to take a risk and break some rules. Usually these are “go big or go home” kinds of risks.What are the wrong rules to break? The ones that will buy you nothing except the client’s annoyance. These include changing the sequence of questions because you feel it would “make your response so much better.” Or putting your response in an unusual format to make a creative statement.Think about how your prospective clients are going to interact with your response. The client probably has a reason for organizing the questions in the way they did — like being able to compare answers apples to apples. You may not agree with their approach, but why put yourself at a disadvantage but messing around with their system?Don’t make responding to RFPs harder or riskier than it needs to be. Topics: RFPs Don’t forget to share this post! Originally published Feb 22, 2017 5:00:00 AM, updated August 26 2017
A German court has fined former cyclist and Tour de France champion Jan Ullrich for attacking and injuring an African sex worker in a luxury hotel, public prosecutors said on Wednesday.Ullrich was convicted on the charges of body injury and attempted coercion and the court in Frankfurt decided that he had to pay a fine of 7,200 euros ($8,023.68), the public prosecutors’ office said in a statement.Previous charges of attempted manslaughter and grievous bodily harm were dropped in the course of the investigation, it added.The 45-year-old defendant was accused of having physically attacked and injured a 31-year-old Congo-born sex worker in a room in a luxury Frankfurt hotel in the early hours of Aug. 10, 2018.First, he insulted the woman and asked her to give back 600 euros he had given her in advance for her services, the statement said, adding that the defendant was under the influence of alcohol and drugs.The defendant then grabbed the woman by the neck with one hand and pushed her against a wall. After that, he gagged her with both hands and slammed one fist against her arm, it said. The woman suffered a haematoma and pain-related restrictions in the movement of her shoulder muscles and cervical spine.The public prosecutors’ office said that the woman was not interested in any further prosecution after Ullrich apologised for his behaviour and paid her compensation.
Realme XT will launch in India on Friday, September 13. The company has sent out invites for the launch event of the Realme XT, which will begin at 12pm. The Realme XT will be the first 64MP quad camera phone to launch in India. The launch comes soon after the Realme 5 and Reame 5 Pro, which also highlight quad cameras. In addition to a 64MP quad camera system, the Realme XT also touts a Snapdragon 712 SoC, Dewdrop AMOLED display, premium glass design and up to 8GB of RAM, among other things.Realme recently gave India Today Tech a chance to go hands-on with the Realme XT while confirming its key specifications as well. The price and availability of the Realme XT will be announced on September 13. Considering the Realme XT is a premium mid-range smartphone, we expect the phone to slot just above the Realme X with a price somewhere around Rs 20,000.Realme XT specificationsRealme has revealed that the Realme XT sports a 6.4-inch FHD+ (1080×2340) Super AMOLED display. It will offer a waterdrop notch rather than a completely notch-free screen. This will also be Realme’s first phone to offer Gorilla Glass on the back. It is a curved glass panel that will come in white and blue gradient colours.The Realme X is powered by a 2.3GHz octa-core Snapdragon 712 SoC, which is the same processor powering the recently launched Realme 5 Pro. The XT will come in 4GB, 6GB and 8GB RAM options in India along with 64GB and 128GB of internal storage. It will also support storage expandability up to 256GB via microSD card, a feature that was missing on the Realme X. Realme XT packs a 4,000mAh battery and supports VOOC 3.0 fast charging over Type-C.advertisementThe USP of the Realme XT is its 64MP quad camera setup. Realme is using Samsung’s 64-megapixel Samsung GW1 for the primary camera that will use Tertracell technology to combine multiple 16MP shots to offer a bright and detailed high-resolution photo. The quad camera setup will also include an 8-megapixel ultra wide-angle lens, a 2-megapixel macro lens and a 2-megapixel depth sensor, which are similar to what you get on the Realme 5-series as well.Realme XT will be the company’s most premium offering yet. It will launch in India on September 13, edging out Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 8 Pro by a few weeks. To recall, the Redmi Note 8 Pro is also a 64MP quad camera phone that was recently launched in China. The Redmi Note 8 Pro will come to India sometime during the end of October.ALSO READ | Realme XT quick review: All about that 64MP quad camera setup
Italian teenager Jannik Sinner beat top-seeded Alex de Minaur in straight sets at the Next Gen Finals on Saturday to claim his first ATP title and a big payday.Wild card Sinner triumphed 4-2, 4-1, 4-2 in the final, serving out to love and clinching victory when De Minaur hit a return into the net, much to the delight of a boisterous crowd in Milan.It was a second successive runner-up finish for De Minaur at the season-ending tournament for top under-21 players.”He’s an unbelievable player,” Sinner said. “I just tried to play my game and not make any errors. I didn’t make many so I’m very happy with my performance.”The title caps a fantastic season for the 18-year-old Sinner who opened the year at No. 551 but is now the youngest player inside the Top 300, having risen to No. 95.He only recorded his first ATP Tour main-draw win in April.Sinner picked up $372,000 from this week’s tournament, surpassing his career total before arriving in Milan.But he doesn’t plan on splashing out to celebrate.”No,” Sinner said with a smile when asked if he was going to buy himself something special. But he admitted even he didn’t expect to do so well in Milan.”I’m surprised because it’s been an unbelievable week. All the players are unbelievable players. If not, they are not here.””Sinner-Mania” is sure to grow. His run in Milan has stirred the crowds this week to near-hysteria and fans have packed the stands just to watch him practice.advertisementDe Minaur has only lost two of his 10 matches in two editions of the tournament in Milan, but unfortunately for the Australian they were both finals.”It’s a pretty simple match to evaluate,” said the 20-year-old De Minaur, who is ranked No. 18. “I had nine break points and I wasn’t able to convert any of them.”Jannick played a really impressive match. He was putting me under pressure. In the end, he just played too good.”Sinner dominated from the start and, after the opening games had gone with serve, broke to love to take the first set.Roared on by his home crowd, Sinner never looked back and again broke De Minaur’s serve at his first opportunity in the second set.De Minaur managed to save a set point on his serve but that was simply delaying the inevitable as an imperious Sinner served it out to go 2-0 up.The noise grew to a fever pitch when Sinner broke again in the third game of the final set and he went on to wrap up the match in just over an hour.