Locker Room Sports has engineered a ‘special’ partnership for youth football in the Corporate Area to provide teams in the Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA) junior competitions with match outfits from Admiral Sports, the second oldest sporting brand in the world. The deal is an extension of Locker Room Sports’ long-time relationship with KSAFA, one of the leading confederations in the country. David Shirley, CEO of the gear and equipment company, has expressed satisfaction that the initial benefactors are the city’s youth. Those immediately benefiting are clubs in the Alliance Moneygram-McKay Security KSAFA Under-20 League, which got underway recently. “This year is a very special year because we’re starting off with the youth programmes, where we’ve formed a partnership with Admiral Sports and they will be supplying all the gear for the youth programmes in KSAFA,” outlined Shirley. “Locker Room has been a partner with KSAFA for the past eight years throughout the presidency of Rudolph Speid, Stewart Stephenson, and now, Wayne Shaw. So we’ve served under all three presidents in terms of partnering and supplying them with sportswear and helping them with marrying sponsorship opportunities with equipment for the leagues and clubs,” he pointed out. A big part of assisting the clubs is more than just supplying the gear, Shirley noted, as Locker Room Sports actually seeks the opportunity through merged links with sponsors, the parent body and clubs. “What we do is try to show companies the opportunities that KSAFA brings to the table in terms of the different communities that they touch and we also, based on experience of being in the business for over 20 years, have an idea of which product would go well with the type of sport,” explained Shirley. “So once we’re able to link those corporate relationships with KSAFA, we then deal with the printing and placement and branding of the gear.” He added: “Part of the thing that makes this whole process possible is the negotiations with the sports brands. We negotiate with them so that we get better pricing to allow the whole deal to go through because, under normal conditions, the prices that we’d be offering sponsors to come on board at would be almost doubled if we were paying the retail price on the uniforms. “So essentially, we’re providing the gear at a subsidised cost to be able to allow sponsors to come on board and partake in supporting the programme,” said Shirley.
Manchester United are considering making a move for Raheem Sterling, the Sunday People say.It is claimed United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is monitoring the Harlesden teenager and sees him as a potential replacement for Nani.There has been speculation about Sterling’s future in recent weeks as he is yet to sign a new contract at Liverpool, who fully expect him to stay at Anfield.Manchester City have also been linked with him but it is suggested that Sterling’s advisers believe he may not be a first-team regular were he to move to the Etihad Stadium.The People also say Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala – managed by former Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink – are looking to sign Fernando Torres.Hiddink has a good relationship with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and the pair are understood to have discussed Torres’ current problems at Stamford Bridge.Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is finalising a £12m January bid for Chelsea forward Daniel Sturridge, according to the Sunday Express.The Sunday Mirror suggest striker Darrent Bent could join QPR from Aston Villa despite falling out with Harry Redknapp when they were at Tottenham.The People say R’s boss Redknapp wants to sign his nephew Frank Lampard from Chelsea on a two-and-a-half-year deal.Lampard is a target for Arsenal, according to the Sunday Mirror.Meanwhile, The Sun On Sunday say Redknapp is planning a move for Rennes defender Jean-Armel Kana-Biyik.This page is regularly updated.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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
There’s an old legend that Tibetan monks built a wall by levitating heavy stones with sound by beating their drums and gongs. Something not quite so fantastic but still amazing is done by cells in the embryo. Scientists have filmed zebrafish embryos using beating cilia to build little stone structures that they use for balance. Animals need to know which way is up. All vertebrates have pieces of rock in their heads for this purpose (see 10/10/2003). These rocks made of calcium carbonate, called otoliths in fish and otoconia in humans, are tied to sensory organs that measure their inertia to determine balance, direction and motion. They are interesting examples of biomineralization – the use of mineral construction materials instead of proteins, sugars, fats and nucleic acids. Because minerals are hard things, they need to be guided into place like building blocks. How does a little fish embryo place the building blocks for otoliths that will work? “Otolith number, size and placement are under strict developmental control,” wrote a team of UCLA and Caltech scientists in Nature.1 Until now it was unknown how the embryo guided the building blocks into place. The team used high-speed digital video cameras on a microscope to film the growth of otic vesicles, the organs where otoliths form. At 100 to 330 frames per second, they observed that cilia attracted precursor particles by beating back and forth, creating little vortices in the fluid. At polar ends of the otic vesicles, longer cilia called “tether cilia” beat this way and attracted particles to their tips. The beating not only set up a fluid dynamic system that pulled the particles in, it also kept the growing structure rotating for even construction. They called this a “cilium-dependent hydrodynamic system.” The cilium uses dynein for motion and is dependent on a gene called Gas8 for regulation. Here’s the jargon:Our results demonstrate that Gas8 is required for normal motility of cilia in the otic vesicle and that ciliary motility is essential for normal ear development. The otic vesicle is a closed epithelial organ and fluid flow within this vesicle has been suggested to contribute to otolith formation. Our study provides direct experimental evidence in support of this hypothesis. On the basis of high-speed video microscopy of cilia motility and quantitative analysis of precursor particle movements in wild-type and gas8 morphant embryos, we propose a new, cilium-dependent hydrodynamic mechanism for otolith biogenesis (Fig. 4). In this model, motility of tether cilia at the poles of the otic vesicle establishes a vortex that attracts otolith precursors (Fig. 4i, l), thereby biasing an otherwise random distribution of precursor particles and concentrating them near the two patches of tether cilia. This ensures preferential otolith seeding at the poles of the otic vesicle. At the otic vesicle poles, tether cilia motility further serves to disperse precursor particles locally and oscillation of the otolith increases effective contact area with precursors (Fig. 4j). Together, this prevents particles from sedimenting to form ectopic aggregates and promotes efficient uniform otolith growth.Cool. The little fish embryo uses this organ to keep itself right-side up as it swims away. Although the scientists observed this phenomenon in fish, they believe the mechanism may have more general application. “Our findings add to a growing list of developmental processes requiring fluid dynamic inputs for proper growth and patterning, further showing that epigenetic cues are part of the embryonic developmental program.” They encouraged other biologists to look for answers to hearing loss and balance problems in humans in “ciliopathies” – diseases of the cilia. The Supplementary Information page contains Quicktime movies where you can see the beating tether cilia with otoliths growing at their tips.2 1. Colantonio et al, “The dynein regulatory complex is required for ciliary motility and otolith biogenesis in the inner ear,” Nature 457, 205-209 (8 January 2009) | doi:10.1038/nature07520.2. Supplementary Information page for Colantonio et al, Nature.Think how many systems must interact in this amazing process. Cilia are among the “irreducibly complex” organelles Michael Behe described in detail in Darwin’s Black Box and The Edge of Evolution. All the parts of the cilia must be coded in the DNA – along with the assembly instructions for the cilia and the molecular trucks that build them (visit 06/14/2004 to be blown away by that fact). The cilia have to find their ways to the poles of the otic vesicle. They have to know how fast to beat to set up the proper vortex that will attract precursor particles. They have to start and stop beating at the right time and somehow “know” when the otoliths are the right size and shape. The sensory apparatus has to know what to do with the information provided by the inertia of the otoliths. The brain has to process this information and send course corrections to the muscles. A multitude of ancillary proteins, hormones and regulatory factors are involved. This is just for one sense organ in a tiny fish embryo. Did the fish figure this all out by trial and error? Remember – vertebrate fish have been found near the base of the Cambrian (01/30/2003), with all their systems appearing fully formed. OK, time for the quiz: did this paper mention evolution? For a change, YES! But you’ll get a bang out of their one lonely reference: “Cilia are evolutionarily conserved organelles that perform motility, sensory and transport functions and are required for normal vertebrate development and physiology.” Ha! You may now laugh your way to the Bank of I.D. and deposit this paper in a C.D. (Certificate of Design), where it will yield high interest, guaranteed.(Visited 36 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
15 July 2014 South Africa was set to hand over the chair of the Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) grouping at the start of the sixth Brics summit in Fortaleza on Tuesday. President Jacob Zuma is leading a high-level South African government and business delegation to the two-day summit. The business delegation will participate in Brics Business Council meetings on the side-lines of the summit. During its tenure as chair, South Africa fully implemented the eThekwini Action Plan that the five Brics leaders tasked the country with carrying out at the fifth Brics summit in Durban last year. Over the course of last year following the summit, South Africa inaugurated the Brics Business Forum, establishing its operational procedures and identifying its priority focus areas. The Brics Think Tanks Council was also established to provide critical analysis and policy advice to the Brics leaders. South Africa also hosted key ministerial meetings, including meetings of the Brics National Security Advisors and of the Brics ministers of trade, finance, agriculture, education, health, social security and science.Brics development bank The five economies are expected to sign off on the new institutions at this summit – including a Brics development bank – after two years of tough negotiations. The five countries will pool an initial US$50-billion for the bank, with each country contributing an equal amount, and seek to gain influence by offering developing nations an alternative to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. The leaders are also expected to set up a $100-billion contingency pool, which could be available by 2015, to help any of its members if they are hit by a sudden loss of foreign capital. Since its first Summit in 2009, Brics has consolidated its position as a positive force for the democratisation of international relations, and the countries have forged an impressive partnership, carrying out cooperation initiatives in more than 30 areas. “Brics membership advances South Africa’s national interests through pursuing key economic priorities related to poverty alleviation, job creation and reducing inequality,” Presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj told reporters in Pretoria on Monday.Boosting intra-BRICS trade However, boosting intra-Brics trade remains a key objective, although progress has already been made. South Africa’s total trade with the Brics countries reached R380.4-billion in 2013, an increase of 27.5% over the 2012 figure of R298.2-billion South Africa’s total trade with Brazil grew from R20.1-billion in 2012 to R21.8-billion in 2013, representing growth of 8.46%. Trade with Russia trade increased by 47.06%, from R5.1-billion to R7.5-billion, over the same period, while trade with India grew by 18.3%, from R68.3-billion to R80.8-billion in 2013. Trade with China, South Africa’s largest bilateral trading partner, expanded from R204.6-billion in 2012 to R270.1-billion in 2013, representing growth of 32.01%. At a regional level, Maharaj said South Africa sought to gain tacit support from Brics partners on a regional level for the promotion of the African Agenda. “Another key advantage for Africa in particular, is that the Brics-Africa cooperation will support Africa’s efforts to diversify and modernise its economies through infrastructure development, knowledge exchange, increased access to technology, enhanced capacity-building and investment in human capital,” Maharaj said. On the international level, South Africa seeks to obtain increased support for the reform of international financial institutions, the revival of the Doha Development Agenda, as well as the reform of the United Nations and the UN Security Council. Source: SAnews.gov.za
Topics: Here are five key ways to use QR codes in your marketing to increase leads and improve ecommerce targeting and conversions. 1. Email List Segmentation Use QR codes to create landing pages and capture email addresses. Since these codes are a new technology, people who sign up through this method are usually early adopters, meaning they’re likely to be technically savvy and more receptive to email marketing .People who can scan a QR code are also more likely to be engaged in social media, so you can also use QR codes to drive traffic to your social media presence . In addition, you can leverage custom landing pages for each QR code so you know that someone scanning an ad for “blue jeans” is interested in that specific product category. You could then link to a landing page dedicated to products related to blue jeans. On that page consider posting opt-ins, ‘buy’ buttons, links to Twitter and Facebook, or whatever else targets those specific users. This can be a very helpful tactic if you have diverse product offerings.According to a recent study by comScore , users who scan QR codes are more likely to be young, male, and wealthy. If that’s your target demographic, QR code utilization could be a very useful tool. 2. Curiosity Pull Because it’s encrypted, people are curious about what a QR code says/means/does. This element of mystery marketing means more people might scan your code and end up on your landing page even if they might not otherwise have done so. People see URLs all the time, so QR codes can help overcome the desensitization associated with them.As with any new technology, people might scan your barcode simply because they are interested in how the code works. You can even add images to your codes, which might spark additional interest. Put them on t-shirts, business cards, and have them shaved into the heads of all of your employees. …Okay, so they won’t work as a hair style, but you get the point. A QR code is an attention-grabber that can bring you customers and grow your reputation. 3. Social Sharing Since QR codes can be URLs, you can craft custom tweets that post to the person’s Twitter account when they scan the code, making it easier for them to share your specials and offers.You may have seen commercials for the new line of smartphones that allow users to post pictures straight to Twitter and Facebook with the push of a button. This is a similar concept, except with QR codes you can provide a landing page and make it simple for users to share your information.Basically, if a person with 1,000 Twitter followers scans the QR code on your business card, the outcome is similar to you physically walking around and passing out 1,000 business cards with your URL. Actually, it’s better because those followers can retweet the information to their followers as well, which expands your reach . 4. Print Media Tracking You can also use QR codes to better track the effectiveness of offline, print media by creating a tracking URL and embedding it in your QR code. Traffic from that URL will be associated with that campaign. It’s not going to be a perfect measurement, but it’s another way of aggregating information about the performance of offline media efforts. 5. Connecting Brick and Mortar (B&Ms) People shopping in stores can scan codes on products or in-store collateral and sign up for special discounts and contests/giveaways. This can help you capture in-store traffic and build your online reach for re-marketing and targeting.For example, if the same person who scanned the blue jeans ad earlier is now in a physical store and buying your jeans, you can use a code to offer them a discount at your online shop. This way, you can then maximize your exposure to that targeted customer. In what other ways can you use QR codes for your ecommerce marketing efforts? Originally published Aug 17, 2011 8:01:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Brand Experience
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 Originally published Oct 24, 2011 3:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Social Media Strategy This is a guest blog post written by Dave Larson, one-half of the voice behind @TweetSmarter, and an internet entrepreneur and investor. Who wouldn’t want to wake up one morning and see twice as many sales, visits or retweets? (Especially if you did nothing much different the day before.)A growing crop of tools and best practices for automatically optimizing and increasing promotion of tweets, Facebook shares and blog posts is promising exactly that.These new tools are so effective, existing apps have begun taking notice and integrating them into their features. Here’s a quick run-down before we get into the details:BufferApp: Single-click, editable auto-sharing (Twitter, and soon available for Facebook updates) at whatever upcoming time slot is likely to get you the most clicks, retweets and likes.BlogGlue: Have your latest blog post automatically shared on similar blogs as a “recommended” post.Timer apps: Find the times your followers are most active in clicking links and retweeting posts.Triberr: Create or join “tribes” of other users that share one another’s posts.Ten Best Practices: If you find just one tip you haven’t been doing consistently, this section alone should increase your results.Let’s start with one you can’t do without—the Buffer button.1. Automatically Share At The Best Times For ResultsIf whatever app you’re using now doesn’t already have a buffer button (yet), simply add it to wherever you share from the most: Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Mobile and/or Twitter.com (and soon Facebook).Whenever you have something to share or retweet, one click creates a “special delivery” tweet or update that is automatically scheduled to be sent at the time most likely to get the best results.A recent Twitter study showed new users of BufferApp doubled their retweets and clicks, without needing to send twice as many tweets.A not-so-obvious benefit is that “buffering” your social media shares can help space out your sharing, making it easy to increase the amount of times you tweet or update without annoying people. More shares = better results.Buffer currently offers free built-in analytics and has a “the more you share, the smarter it gets” feature coming later.Currently only available for Twitter, but Facebook integration is being tested and should be available for everyone very soon.2. Get Shared on Other BlogsIf you are starting up a new blog, having your latest blog post automatically shared on similar blogs as a “recommended” post is an excellent service for building traffic and readership. If you are already a high-traffic blog, the benefit is less clear, but it’s worth testing.BlogGlue reviews new blog posts and creates related links to them on partner sites. So what you blog about is shown on other sites in a “related links” section on their blog posts. This also means that a “related links” section will be added to all your blog posts, linking to other blogs. BlogGlue chooses partner sites that are relevant based on the user’s blog topics.3. Timer AppsThese tools show when your Twitter followers are active online. You can then tweet at the best times to reach them. These work particularly well to help you customize Buffer settings. Most have both paid and free options.The current crop of apps to check out includes Tweriod, TweetWhen, Timely, When to Tweet, and 14 Blocks.Queued.at is a little different from the rest. It attempts to automatically schedule your tweets for the most likely best times. However, it does a too-brief analysis to come up with those times, and doesn’t (yet) offer any customization or insight into what makes certain times better than others.4. Get More People Retweeting YouTriberr has become very popular—and very controversial—very quickly. It allows you to create or join groups (“tribes”) that retweet one another’s content.The controversy comes from using the automated settings. The general consensus is to NOT do this. This will cause you to retweet everything everyone shares, and this is often too much, and opens you to abuse if someone in your tribe begins oversharing. Use it instead to read a feed of things from your tribe, and select what to retweet. Of course, if everyone does this, there is less reciprocation, and those with low-quality content may find themselves retweeted less. But filtering out low-quality content is actually a good thing.The bigger fear some have is that if they don’t retweet folks more, they won’t in turn have their own conent retweeted as much. While this is somewhat true, how it actually works in practice is that by only retweeting relevant, quality things, you will typically end up focusing on a subset of your tribe (the people that share the most relevant, quality things).If this is true, simply start a new tribe, and invite them to it. The whole idea of a tribe is to find the best folks for it. If you don’t have the best folks, you’re using it wrong. Move out of low-quality tribes, and into high-quality ones, creating them if you have to.5. Ten Best Practices For Social Media ResultsI’ll talk first about some things I’ve seen people fail to do, before covering things you really should know already. Consider this your checklist!Target people you would like to share your content. Share, retweet or like something of theirs just before you share your content. When they see you sharing their content, they may then check our your recent content to find something of yours to share or retweet.Get things to share that are hot right now by check sites tracking share popularity such as LinkedIn Today, BuzzFeed or PopURLs.Award a prize to the first x people who answer a question about your company correctly. This gets people writing about you while they learn more about your company.Profile groups of key users from time to time on your blog. Also interview influential users when you can.Join relevant Facebook groups and participate in relevant Twitter chats.Poll your audience on pop culture facts, industry news, their daily life or habits.Tweet about Twitter on Twitter, update about Facebook on Facebook. Tweets about Twitter in particular get a lot of engagement (clicks, comments and retweets).Keep Tweets short (under 110 characters) to allow room for people who add comments to their retweets.Add a call-to-action to follow/fan your social media accounts to everything you do. Email signature, business card, etc. Be sure you have Twitter/Facebook share buttons on your site.Test Facebook advertising. Facebook adds more powerful features to it all the timeMarketing Takeaway: Consider this just the first wave of “Social Media 3.0″ optimization. This category of apps and services is poised to explode.Keep your eyes peeled for more services like these and test them as they come out to keep working smarter, not harder.Tried any of these services and have feedback? Have any tips or service you would add to the list? Leave your comments below.
Originally published Mar 22, 2012 12:46:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Keyword Research Getting found in organic search is one of the most cost-effective means of lead generation, so it’s no wonder marketers and SEOs spend plenty of time optimizing their online presence to get ranked in the SERPs for important keywords. And whether you’re just starting out with SEO or it’s been a part of your internet marketing strategy for a while, you’re probably familiar with the need to conduct keyword research to inform the content and SEO strategies that help achieve that rocking organic presence.The thing is … there are kind of a lot of keywords out there. So which ones do you choose? How do you even approach researching and selecting keywords to target in your content creation and link building efforts when you could realistically have hundreds of thousands in your arsenal?While it’s not a bad idea to keep an eye on a lot of search terms — you know, to see if some become more or less important to your strategy over time — you won’t get far spreading your efforts so thin. So here are some common mistakes to avoid when conducting your keyword research so you don’t end up with too many keywords, the wrong keywords, or an unhealthy mix of keywords to target in your SEO strategy.1) Selecting Keywords That Don’t Reflect How People Actually SearchSometimes the search terms companies target reflect how they think about their industry, not how their target audience does. Are your search terms full of industry jargon that aren’t even part of your leads’ vocabulary yet? Are you targeting branded terms that describe your specific solution that many searchers aren’t familiar with yet?For example, not all of the traffic that lands on HubSpot’s site actually knows that we sell inbound marketing software. In fact, some don’t even know what “inbound marketing” is. But they do know they want to learn more about a component of inbound marketing — like how to use social media to generate leads. So while it’s important to target a search term like “inbound marketing,” it’s crucial to also target a long-tail term like “how to get leads with social media.” That lets us capture traffic for the long-tail term and educate those readers about how generating leads through social media relates to inbound marketing.If you’re having trouble getting inside the minds of your target audience, it’s time to get social — in every sense of the word. Talk to your leads on the phone, ask employees on the front lines with your leads and customers how they talk about the concepts in your industry, and watch how leads and customers on Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks talk about your industry. This will give you a good indication of the language and terms they use to describe their questions. That being said, it’s important to confirm that the keywords you brainstorm are on point — you know, that people actually use them as search terms. Simply check the search volume using HubSpot’s Keyword Tool or the Google Keyword Tool. If your search term yields little or no monthly search volume, you haven’t hit the mark. If the search term turns up hundreds or even thousands of monthly searches, congratulations! You’ve got a great new search term to target.This isn’t to say you shouldn’t target jargon and branded terms in your search strategy — you should! But it should also be balanced with the typically longer tail variations of keywords that people use when they don’t know exactly what they’re looking for (but you know what they’re looking for is you!).2) Failing to Perform Competitive Keyword AnalysisOne of the reasons you’re optimizing your organic search presence is so you appear higher up in the SERPs than your competitors. Research from Optify shows that websites that appear in listing position 1 in Google had an average click-through rate (CTR) of 36.4%. It drops to a CTR of 12% in position 2, and a 9.5% CTR for position 3. Do you want your competitors getting those clicks, or you?If you don’t perform competitive keyword research, two things may happen: you could end up targeting keywords that don’t actually help you capture any competitive market share, or you miss important search terms your competitors are targeting but that you forgot to include in your keyword arsenal. Let’s take a look at the “Competitors” function in HubSpot’s Keywords Tool, for example.This indicates the company in question is 17 listing positions away from beating its competitor for the term “using facebook for business.” Is this an important keyword with an appropriate level of competitiveness for your business? That is to say, could you realistically move from position 18 to the top 3 for this search term, or is the search volume so high with so many other sites trying to rank for the term, that you would need far more content creation and link build resources than you have to be successful? For this term, there are 1,600 searches, so moving 17 positions is likely well within your grasp.3) Not Focusing on Profitable TermsNo matter what your competitors are doing, you should always focus on whether the search terms you’re targeting affect your bottom line. If your biggest competitor is in position 1 for a term that doesn’t actually yield you any leads or customers, who cares, right? Use closed-loop analytics to determine which search terms generate that great traffic that converts into leads and customers so you can prioritize your optimization efforts.First, take a look at which keywords are driving conversions. In the example below, the keyword “free advertising” yielded a lead, but the keyword “don corleone” didn’t give bunk (wonder why?).Prioritize the keywords that have the best conversion rate from lead-to-customer, and then take it one step further: look at which keywords drove the most customers. Traffic and leads are good, but customers are better. Based on the closed-loop analytics below, it wouldn’t be wise to spend time creating content and building links around the term “lil wayne,” despite the fact that it led to some website visitors. Though for what, I can’t be sure.4) Having an Uneven Distribution of Keyword DifficultyNot all keywords are created equal; some are extremely difficult to rank for, and others will be a quick win for your business. The key to seeing constant gains from your organic strategy is constantly targeting keywords of all difficulty levels. If you target only competitive terms — head terms with search volume in the hundreds of thousands — maybe you’ll see significant gains in several months. Or you could target keywords with low search volume that are easy to rank for — typically long-tail keywords, which do drive highly qualified traffic — but never see that big win that comes from ranking for a hugely important head term with tons of traffic.So the best inbound marketers target both, and they let the long-tail keywords they target feed their campaign to rank for important head terms. So if you’re trying to rank for the (possibly) highly competitive head term “unicorn farms,” you can spend time improving your rank for it while also generating traffic from long-tail terms like “unicorn farms in boston,” “unicorn farms with good reviews,” and “best unicorn farms for kids.”5) Not Knowing Your GeographyThis first little detail is easy to overlook — before targeting a search term, ensure the traffic originates in your area of business. If you only sell to customers within a certain geographical location, what good is it to rank for a search term that is searched largely in a place you don’t do business? You can filter your searches by location in Google’s Keyword Tool.And if you’re a local or regional business, get proactive with geographic search terms. If you’re one of just a few unicorn breeders in Michigan, for example, you may be fine to just target terms like “Unicorn breeders in southwest Michigan,” “Unicorn breeders near Detroit,” and “Unicorn breeders in Michigan.” If you’re in a much more competitive market, though, like unicorn insurance providers, your geographic terms should be more granular. Consider terms like “Unicorn insurance providers in Royal Oak,” “Unicorn insurance providers on Woodward Avenue,” and “Unicorn insurance providers 48201.”6) Not Monitoring Search TrendsWhen considering keywords to target, consider how their popularity trends over time so you can get ahead of a potential search boom before your competitors. This is also a crucial research tactic for seasonal businesses so you have enough content written in advance to rise in the search rankings during the off-season, and keep you in the top when your season is in full swing. You can use tools like Google Insights for Search to see how a certain search phrase performs over time — you can see when the search starts to increase for “halloween costumes,” for example, in the graph below.This is also crucial to consider because of the way Google presents search traffic — as a 12-month average. If your business’ search traffic has major seasonality swings, the search volume estimates you’re receiving could overstate or understate the current importance of targeting any given search term.7) Failing to Maintain and Adjust Over TimeJust as you should monitor the search trends of keywords over time, you should also monitor your performance for keywords over time. First, see if your content creation and link-building efforts are helping you improve your listing position in the SERPs for the search terms you’re targeting, and whether that improved listing position is actually driving traffic, leads, and customers.But, just as important, is watching how your performance tracks for search terms that you’ve already gained top positions for. Often, marketers stop optimizing for search terms that they are always in the top of the SERPs for, because come on, they already made it to number 1! But you can easily slip from that position if competitors ramp up their efforts to rank for that term. Continue to create content and build links around these terms, or you could find yourself struggling to regain lost positions — and all the traffic, leads, and customers you lost with it.What other pitfalls should marketers avoid when targeting keywords for their SEO strategy?Image credit: Danard Vincente Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! 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Your Take-Home ReadingWhat Your Traditional Marketing Education Didn’t Teach You About Marketing TodayHow to Be the Best Intern EVERHow to Write a Standout Resume and Land Your Next Marketing JobA Free, Customizable Template to Help You Prove Marketing ROI [+ SlideShare]Creating Marketing People Love: 29 Tips From Industry Experts [Slideshow]How to Master Non-Awkward, Effective In-Person NetworkingHTML Decoded for the Plain Text MarketerHave any additional tips for this year’s marketing graduates? Is there anything else you wish you’d known before graduating? Throughout my undergraduate career, I was “that” student.No, not the teacher’s pet. No, not the one who skips class on the regular. I was that student who showed up to class 10 minutes early and took a seat in the front … just to debate my professors.While my undergraduate experience was instrumental in understanding the fundamentals of marketing, it didn’t teach me much on marketing today. Marketing curriculums have yet to catch up with the constantly changing industry landscape. And this led to many tussles in class.In fact, there was once a hashtag started about me and a particular professor who spent countless class hours debating social media — he was of the belief that it was a “fad” that would be quickly gone and good-ole billboard and TV advertising would reign once more.Since leaving school and beginning my career in the “real world,” I’ve had to learn about modern marketing on the fly. But I don’t think future students should have to wait until their career begins to get the same education.That’s why I put together the following SlideShare based on a previous post for all you current and future marketing graduates. Below is a list of 21 things you actually need to know before entering the real world of marketing. There’s also some insight from other marketing professionals included and take-home resources — so you know this isn’t just me avenging my past educators. 😉 Topics: Taylor Haney, Community Specialist, MITX “I’ve interviewed a lot of students, and the ones who blow their skills out of proportion get canned immediately. Employers know you don’t know everything. Show a genuine curiosity to learn & to further hone your skills to actually become an expert at something.” John Bonini, Marketing Director, IMPACT Branding “Education doesn’t stop after commencement. Read books. Lots of them. Subscribe to as many relevant blogs as you can. Consume as much information as you can on a daily basis. Be the first at the office to try new platforms and technologies. This is how you’ll get ahead.” “Speaking up shows that you’re actively engaged and establishes your presence. If you have trouble with speaking up, ask a manager or other colleague to ask for your opinion directly so you can practice getting a word in.” Farah Hussain, Senior Marketing Manager, PayPal “Marketers often fall victim to the cobbler’s children syndrome when marketing themselves. Produce and curate quality content and proactively engage on digital channels. In essence, be the community manager of your personal brand.” Originally published May 1, 2014 1:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack “Land your dream internship but only interacting with your direct manager? Not helpful in the long run. Meet people! Talk to people in different departments, grab lunch with someone new each week, ask lots of questions, and absorb as much as you possibly can.” Marketing Advice Sasha Hoffman, Head of Strategy & Partnerships, Plastiq Brittany Leaning, Social Media Expert, HubSpot 21 Things Every Graduating Marketing Senior Needs to Know from HubSpotWhat Today’s Marketers Have to Say”Being in a communications role is no excuse. As a social media marketer, I would spend time every day looking at and interpreting data. That’s how I knew if my channels were effective and my tests were contributing to growth.” Dave Cutler, Director of Content & Marketing, MITX
Best tools to help you find keywords:Google Keyword PlannerGoogle TrendsKeyword Tool.ioTerm ExplorerMoz’s Keyword Difficulty ToolSEMRushAhrefsAccurankerHubSpot’s Content Strategy Tool Originally published Mar 29, 2016 8:00:00 AM, updated February 12 2018 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 get right down to it: The key to successful SEO is concentrating on long-tail keywords.Although these keywords get less traffic than more generic terms, they’re associated with more qualified traffic and users that are typically further down their path of intent.The good news is that choosing the right long-tail keywords for your website pages is actually a fairly simple process — one that’s made all the more simple and quick when you use the right tools to perform your keyword research.Download our free SEO template here to organize your keyword research into an actionable plan for your site. In this post, we’ll cover the nine best tools out there for performing keyword research for your website content. Before we get started though, let’s briefly go over two important things to consider as you do your research: relevance and (if applicable) location.Keyword RelevanceRelevance is the most important factor to consider when choosing the right keywords for SEO. Why? Because the more specific you are, the better.For instance, if you own a company that installs swimming pools, it’s likely that you’d attract more qualified prospects by targeting a keyword such as “fiberglass in-ground pool installation,” rather than “swimming pools.” That’s because there’s a good chance that someone searching for “fiberglass in-ground pool installation” is looking for information on installation or someone to perform the installation … and that could be you!Sure, optimizing for “swimming pools” has its place. But there’s no doubt that this keyword will attract a much more generic audience that may not be looking for what you have to offer. Go for the relevant, long-tail keywords instead.Location-Based Keywords Another major factor to consider when optimizing for the right keywords is location-based searches. When looking for contractors and services in their specific area, search engine users will usually include their location in the search. So, “fiberglass in-ground pool installation” becomes “fiberglass in-ground pool installation in Boston, MA.”If you operate in one geo-location, you may want to consider adding location-based keywords to all of your pages, since traffic from other locations isn’t going to be very much help to you. If your business operates in several geo-locations, it is also a wise choice to create a separate web page dedicated to each location so you can make sure your brand is present when people are searching for individual locations.Now, how do you choose the right keywords for your business? We certainly don’t recommend guessing, for obvious reasons. Instead, there are many ways to research and find long-tail keywords that are right for your business.Here are nine awesome free and paid keyword research tools you can use to quickly and easily identify strong long-tail keywords for your SEO campaign.Free Keyword Research Tools1) Google Keyword PlannerGoogle has a few tools that make it easy to conduct keyword research, and their free AdWords tool called Keyword Planner is a great place to start — especially if you use AdWords for some of your campaigns. (Note: You’ll need to set up an AdWords account to use Keyword Planner, but that doesn’t mean you have to create an ad.)When you input one keyword, multiple keywords, or even your website address into Keyword Planner, Google will spit out a list of related keywords along with simple metrics to gauge how fierce the competition is around each one and how many searches it gets on both a global and local search level.It’ll also show you historical statistics and information on how a list of keywords might perform — and it’ll create a new keyword list by multiplying several lists of keywords together. Since it’s a free AdWords tool, it can also help you choose competitive bids and budgets to use with your AdWords campaigns.Image Credit: GoogleUnfortunately, when Google transitioned from Keyword Tool to Keyword Planner, they stripped out a lot of the more interesting functionality — but you can make up for it somewhat if you take the information you learn from Keyword Planner and use Google Trends to fill in some blanks.Which brings me to the next tool …2) Google TrendsGoogle Trends is another free tool from Google. It lets you enter multiple keywords and filter by location, search history, and category. Once you enter that information in, it’ll give you results that show how much web interest there is around a particular keyword, what caused the interest (e.g., press coverage), and where the traffic is coming from — along with similar keywords.The best part about Google Trends is that it doesn’t just give you static keyword volume numbers like most keyword research tools. Instead, it generates colorful, interactive graphs that you can play with, download, and even embed on your website. It’ll also give you more dynamic insight into a keyword with information like relative popularity of a search term over time.Interestingly, its data doesn’t include in repeated queries from a single user over a short period of time, which makes results cleaner. It also groups together searches that it infers to mean the same thing, like misspellings.One way to use Google Trends? If you’re trying to decide between two keyword variations for your latest blog post title. Simply perform a quick comparison search in Google Trends to see which one is getting searched more often.3) Keyword Tool.ioKeyword Tool is pretty rudimentary online keyword research tool, but if you’re just looking for a list of long-tail keyword suggestions related to one you already have in mind, then it can be useful. It’s also totally free — to use the most basic version, you don’t even need to create an account.What Keyword Tool does is use Google Autocomplete to generate a list of relevant long-tail keywords suggestions. The search terms suggested by Google Autocomplete are based on a few different factors, like how often users were searching for a particular term in the past.This type of suggestion tool can help you understand what people are searching for around your topics. For example, bloggers might use a tool like this to brainstorm blog post titles that’ll do well in search.Again, all the free version does for you is generate other keyword suggestions in alphabetical order — it doesn’t tell you anything about search volume or cost-per-click (CPC). To get that information, you’ll have to upgrade to Keyword Tool Pro. The Pro version will also let you export the keywords and use them for content creation, search engine optimization, CPC/PPC, or other marketing activities.Paid Keyword Research Tools 4) Term ExplorerPrice: $34/mo. for Basic; $97/mo. for Pro; $499/mo. for AgencyTerm Explorer offers probably the deepest research reports of any keyword research tool on the market. From one single seed term, you can get over 10,000 keyword variations.Best of all, the tool does a great job of keeping the results as relevant as possible and pulling through lots of supporting metrics with them.It’ll give you data for all the results on page one of search engine results pages (SERPs), including the number of results, link strength, trust score, and keyword difficulty. To help you get a handle on your competitors, you can use the tool to research domain age, page ranking, and links, as well as the word count, page rank, links, outbound links, and the number of keyword occurrences in title, URL, and headers for individual webpages. You can also export all this data into a CSV for your own analysis.Image Credit: Term ExplorerNote: If you only plan on using it a few times a day, there is actually a free version of this tool that’ll do five tiny keyword jobs and five keyword analyses per day, with no queue priority.5) Moz’s Keyword Difficulty ToolPrice: $99/mo. for Standard; $149/mo. for Medium; $249/mo. for Large; $599/mo. for PremiumThe keyword difficulty tool from Moz is one of the most useful components of their paid suite. It’s a fantastic resource for analyzing the competitiveness of a keyword and for unearthing low-hanging fruit.When you input a keyword into this tool, it’ll find the top 10 rankings for that keyword. Then, it’ll assign that keyword a “Difficulty Score” based on the pages that currently rank for that word. You can look at search volume data for your keywords, then pull up the SERP to see the top 10 results for each term.Image Credit: MozWant to do some competitive keyword analysis? You can use the tool to see who else is ranking for your targeted keywords, along with information like each site’s page authority and the number of root domains linking to their page.You can also export all this data into a CSV for your own analysis.6) SEMrushPrice: $69.95/mo. for Pro; $149.95/mo. for Guru; $549.95/mo. for BusinessSEMrush is a competitive research tool that lets you keep an eye on on your competitors’ keywords to find opportunities to bump them out for a top position in Google’s and Bing’s organic search results. You can compare a number of domains against one another to evaluate the competitive landscape, including their common keywords and positions in Google’s organic, paid, and shopping search results.Position tracking is kind of like a sophisticated version of Google Trends, letting you see a keyword’s position in SERPs and analyze the history of rises and drops. Their colorful, visual charts are also super helpful for more quickly understanding trends and analyzing results.Image Credit: SEMrush7) AhrefsPrice: $99/mo. for Lite; $179/mo. for Standard; $399/mo. for AdvancedAhrefs Keywords Explorer is similar to SEMrush, but with some extra bonuses and a much more intuitive design.For example, it’s able to estimate how many searches become real page visits. Not all of them do so, since Google gives instant answers for some queries. With Clicks and Clicks Per Search metrics, you’ll figure out traffic-generating keywords and skip dead-end options.When it comes to the number of relevant keyword suggestions, Ahrefs goes the extra mile. It runs the biggest database – 5.1 billion keywords for over 200 countries – which means it can detect opportunities other tools could be missing.Ahrefs can also help you with competitive research. Their Site Explorer tool lifts the veil on competitors’ keyword strategies, while Content Gap lets you compare competitor keywords with your own to identify your might-have-beens.Ahrefs will also email you about even the smallest ranking progress of your competitors. Backlinks have a direct impacton ranking, and backlink research is one of Ahrefs’ strongest muscles.Brian Dean, founder of Backlinko, say that Ahrefs is his #1 go-to tool for backlink analysis: “I’ve tested over 25 link analysis tools and none come close to Ahref’s in terms of index size, freshness, and overall usability.”8) AccurankerPrice: $19.95/mo. for Beginner; $29.95/mo. for Pro 300; $44.95/mo. for Pro 600; $74.95/mo. for Pro 1KAccuranker is a keyword rank tracking tool with a key differentiator: It’s lightning fast while being extremely precise. So if you’re used to spending hours monitoring the rank progression of your keywords, this’ll end up saving you a ton of time.Other advantages of this tool? It has built-in proxies to get a quick glance at whose ranking within the SERPs for any given keyword. If you plan to report keyword metrics to your manager or your team, you’ll like its scheduled weekly reports feature.Image Credit: AccurankerIt’s also one of the best rank trackers out there that offers highly localized search engine rankings for your keywords. So if you’re marketing your business to an international audience, it’s a great tool for analyzing which pages are ranking in different countries.Finally, it has integrations available with Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Social Monitoring, and YouTube so you can keep an eye on statistics and estimated search traffic for your keywords straight from your AccuRanker dashboard.9) HubSpot’s Content Strategy ToolHubSpot also has its very own Content Strategy tool within the Marketing Hub. The Content Strategy tool helps you identify and research topics, find keywords or subtopics to go after, and ultimately help grow your content presence for generating more organic traffic over time.If you’re a HubSpot customer, you can access the Content Strategy tool, click on Content > Strategy. Now that you know about all these great tools, get out there and start discovering your best keywords for SEO.What tools and methods do you use to find long-tail keywords? Share your favorites with us in the comments below. Topics: Keyword Research
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 Originally published Apr 22, 2016 1:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 The use of Growth-Driven Design (GDD) is an effective, dynamic marketing approach. Unlike traditional web design, which can be hypothesis-based and largely static, GDD is dynamic, evolutionary, and implemented based on real feedback and user data. As such, it is particularly valuable for ecommerce retailers’ websites.Why?In order for an ecommerce site to be successful, it needs to contain consistently fresh, relevant, interesting and educational content that speaks directly to its customers and site visitors. Implementing Growth-Driven Design processes is an effective way to ensure that this always happens.Here are the basic steps to implementing GDD to your ecommerce website:Plan AheadAlways start by setting S.M.A.R.T goals, developing complete buyer personas, and doing quantitative and qualitative research. Taking the time to properly lay down this groundwork will give you a realistic sense of what steps you need to take to create a top converting ecommerce site, and exactly who you need to be speaking to in order to increase traffic, drive conversions and ensure your success in the future.How?First, setting goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound (S.M.A.R.T) will ensure that you avoid generalizations and accurately measure your progress, keeping yourself accountable every step of the way.Instead of saying that your goal is, “to generate more revenue”, set a more targeted goal like, “to increase product conversions by 10% (from 50 per month to 55 per month) in the next 6 months.” That way, you’ll be able to keep track of exactly how you are progressing and what else you need to do to reach your goal in a timely manner. Similarly, doing the research and creating fully-developed buyer personas will allow you to accurately segment and target all of your marketing efforts, making sure that they reach the right people at the right time. Ultimately, your goal as an online retailer is to attract, convert, close and delight your site visitors, and in order to create content that accomplishes this task you need to know who they are, what motivates them to buy and what will get them interested. Finally, getting feedback from your current customers and analyzing your current year-over-year metrics in terms of traffic, transactions, and conversion rates will guide your strategy moving forward and help you really keep track of your improvement over time.You’ll know where you’re at, who you are selling to, and where to focus your efforts in the future. With this information, you can start developing an informed and effective site, coming up with a global and page strategy that works to effectively attract, convert, close and delight your potential customers.Work to Create Your SiteBefore you go headfirst into putting together a full website, GDD strategy suggests that you create a wishlist and Launch Pad site, always keeping the information that you discovered in the “Plan Ahead” section in mind. To create your wishlist, sit down with your team and write down all of your “a-ha” creative ideas and everything that will set you apart from your competition.If you were creating your dream ecommerce site, how would it look and what would it include? Maybe every product detail page would include a 360° image or the site would be fully integrated with all social media accounts. Clearly not all of these ideas will be implemented, but putting together this wishlist will help you develop your vision and a clear idea of what your “best website” would look like.Once you have your wishlist, do a 80/20 analysis on it, finding the top 20% of ideas that will have 80% of the impact. What are the “must-have” items on this list – what do your buyer personas want to see, and what will effectively turn them into delighted customers?This would include features like a user-friendly shopping cart and a well-designed product page. When considering these “must-haves,” it’s helpful to think of your website as a store and try to make it as inviting as possible. What are the basics of any good store?Store entrance = homepage Aisles = category pagesShelves = attributes you sort products byProducts = product detail pageAt the very least, work to make sure that your top 80/20 list ideas work to optimize these essential ecommerce pages. Once you have this list whittled down, put together your Launch Pad website with these top must-have features. Think of the Launch Pad website as a starter site. It won’t be perfect, but it should be launched quickly so that you can start generating valuable feedback and revenue.With a starter site up, you can quickly start analyzing data and seeing what pages are working, what products your site visitors are interested in, and where you could be losing opportunities for conversions. Are your buyer personas accurate? Are you on a path to reach your S.M.A.R.T goals? Here is where you find out. Analyze and DevelopAs you move forward, continue to analyze, develop and revise your site. Always keep track of your metrics, checking the effectiveness of your strategies and make any necessary changes along the way.Are site visitors bouncing on your homepage? What items on your product page are they most interested in? Are there certain blog post topics that get the most views?Staying on top of this kind of information and maintaining this dynamic relationship with your data, progress, and customers ensures that your marketing efforts are effective and that you maintain an up-to-date, successful site over time.As you analyze this data and continue to draw conclusions, make sure that you also publish all of your important findings in a central location that everyone in your company can see and take advantage of. This will not only provide a roadmap for future site changes and decisions, but also ensure that every branch of your team – development, sales, marketing, etc. – has all of the information that they need to effect positive change on your ecommerce site. Say, for example, that the data shows that products with fun, conversational descriptions have the highest conversion rates. If this information is available for all to see, then the team can effectively and cohesively implement that language in email campaigns and throughout the site. The point, then, is to transfer all of the most impactful information that has been gathered to other parts of your site in order to see a marked positive change. Looking at it more generally, then, applying GDD in this way and following these steps gives ecommerce retailers the edge that they need to create a successful site.How?It provides them with all of the tools that they need to take full control of their websites and its performance, ultimately creating the most high-converting, successful online presence possible.With traditional web design, this kind of precision and control is extremely difficult to achieve: without using live data and feedback to speak to their buyer personas and provide relevant content, online retailers just can’t know what changes will be most effective and well-received long-term. So, while GDD may seem like a time-consuming and complex process, its dynamic, data-driven approach ultimately makes it one the best, most effective marketing strategies out there. E-Commerce Websites