Industry Buzz

Say Hello to the most powerful hosting solution from BigRock

BigRock Blog -

Our product family just grew by +1. Some of you might already know this new member but for those of you who don’t, meet Dedicated Servers, the most powerful hosting solution from BigRock till date. This sweet new marvel of technology just increases your bag of hosting options to choose from. All three Dedicated Servers, VPS and Shared hosting have their own place and are equally great options, but your needs and your budget are what will ultimately determine the hosting type that is best for your site. I am sure we already know a lot about Shared and VPS hosting so let’s understand a bit more about Dedicated Servers today. What is Dedicated Servers? Dedicated Servers is a type of hosting that offers you the resources and capabilities of an entire server, that’s right one exclusive for you . This means that you’re the keeper of the box; you can run the scripts and install the software that you wish and so much more. Basically you can do as you please as this baby defines control. What are the benefits of choosing Dedicated Servers?  Control – You have a great amount of control over the server than you do with shared hosting because you are not sharing the server or any of its resources with anyone else. You are also going to get root access for more resource utilization which you will not get in a Shared Hosting environment. Stability – Since you are not sharing the resources with any other website on your server you don’t have to worry about other’s practices affecting your website. Also generally when you have more and more visitors on your website the chances are that your website might slow down or even crash. But this is not the case with Dedicated Servers as they easily have enough resources to reliably host several sites, even when they are consistently being bombarded by visitors. Flexibility – You are the king of your server and you can use it for whatever needs your website has as long as it remains within the allotted memory, hard disk space and bandwidth for the server. If you need to install special software or configure the server to your own particular needs then dedicated server should be your best bet. Features – These are features that BigRock Dedicated Servers provide Powerful and Efficient SuperMicro Blade servers Instant Provisioning Unlimited storage expansion with our Storage on the Cloud Powered by Intel Xeon processors, RAID 1 Hard drives, CentOS and cPanel Hosted in our state-of-the-art datacenter in Provo, Utah 24/7/365 Support 99.9% Uptime As we mentioned in the beginning, it all depends on your requirement and your budget. The more visitors reach your website the more powerful hosting plan you would need to go for. We leave this for you to decide as you are the best manager of your website . If you are ready to take up Dedicated Servers for your website then you can start here. Do drop in your comments below if you need any help or information about the new Dedicated Servers.

Showcase your small business everywhere customers are looking

GoDaddy Blog -

Did you know that small businesses are losing over $10.3 billion in sales every year due to inaccurate business information? In today’s modern world, consumers expect instant gratification. So when they search for your small business online, they want to see accurate info no matter where they’re searching. Seems reasonable, right? Having an outdated address, phone number, hours of operation or services on your website — or third party websites like Yelp®, FourSquare®, and Facebook® — can cost you customers. It’s an easily overlooked mistake businesses make all the time, and it totally defeats the purpose of being online in the first place. In an age where the average customer expects real-time results online, getting your business details updated everywhere your customers are looking can be time-consuming and costly. Luckily, there are tools like Get Found that help business owners update their information in one place, and then sends it out to top websites like search engines, social media sites, review sites and local directories — saving you time and keeping your business up-to-date. The bottom line is that staying current across the Web will help you attract more customers. Plain and simple. Customers are using the Web to search for businesses like yours today. Make sure what they see is what they get! The post Showcase your small business everywhere customers are looking appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.

Google Analytics: How to Make Smart Marketing Decisions

Social Media Examiner -

Do you want to know if your content and social activities are supporting your business? Are you wondering how you can use Google Analytics to track your progress? To learn how to use Google Analytics to help make smart marketing decisions, I interview Andy Crestodina for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More [...]This post Google Analytics: How to Make Smart Marketing Decisions first appeared on Social Media Examiner. Social Media Examiner - Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

What are .uk domain names & who can register them?

Pickaweb Blog -

What are the advantages of .uk domain names? You have probably heard that Nominet, the company that controls all the .uk domain names is introducing a new TLDN. The .uk   Why are they doing that? Nominet thinks a .uk domain name puts more emphasis on the actual domain name. It also makes the name […]The post What are .uk domain names & who can register them? appeared first on Small Business Marketing, Domain Names & Web Hosting Blog | Pickaweb. Related posts: How to transfer domain names (Easy Guide to Transferring Domain Names) I often get asked about the process of transferring a... Register Domain Names ¿Which domain should I register .co.uk or .com? Choosing domain names UK or US for your business People... Can I register domain names with hyphens, dots or spaces? I frequently get asked if a domain name can be...

Twitter and Yahoo! JAPAN partner to bring small business advertising to Japan

The Twitter Advertising Blog -

Today, we’re happy to announce that we’ll be teaming up with Yahoo! JAPAN to make Twitter Ads available to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in Japan. Under this new partnership, Yahoo! JAPAN will serve as a reseller and integrate Twitter Ads into its existing ad platform, making it simple for thousands of SMB clients to create Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts campaigns directly within its Yahoo Campaign Management Tool of Yahoo! JAPAN Promotion Ads. Since Yahoo! JAPAN is one of the strongest online media and advertising players in Japan, we’re excited about this approach to expand our SMB business into this key market. We’ll work with Yahoo! JAPAN to launch the joint solution soon. This partnership is an important milestone for Twitter in our efforts to bring Twitter Ads to advertisers big and small across the globe. A year ago, we launched our self-serve ads platform to all SMB advertisers in the U.S., enabling them to amplify their organic Twitter presence and engage with the right audience. Late last year, we rolled out Twitter Ads to all SMBs in the UK, Ireland and Canada after making significant improvements to our targeting and measurement tools based on advertiser feedback. Along the way, we’ve seen how Twitter Ads have helped thousands of SMBs grow their network of engaged followers, connect with the right customers, and most importantly, drive measurable business results. We’re excited to partner with Yahoo! JAPAN to take another major step forward in expanding the global scope of our SMB business.

Twitter and Yahoo! JAPAN partner to bring small business advertising to Japan

The Twitter Advertising Blog -

Today, we’re happy to announce that we’ll be teaming up with Yahoo! JAPAN to make Twitter Ads available to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in Japan. Under this new partnership, Yahoo! JAPAN will serve as a reseller and integrate Twitter Ads into its existing ad platform, making it simple for thousands of SMB clients to create Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts campaigns directly within its Yahoo Campaign Management Tool of Yahoo! JAPAN Promotion Ads. Since Yahoo! JAPAN is one of the strongest online media and advertising players in Japan, we’re excited about this approach to expand our SMB business into this key market. We’ll work with Yahoo! JAPAN to launch the joint solution soon. This partnership is an important milestone for Twitter in our efforts to bring Twitter Ads to advertisers big and small across the globe. A year ago, we launched our self-serve ads platform to all SMB advertisers in the U.S., enabling them to amplify their organic Twitter presence and engage with the right audience. Late last year, we rolled out Twitter Ads to all SMBs in the UK, Ireland and Canada after making significant improvements to our targeting and measurement tools based on advertiser feedback. Along the way, we’ve seen how Twitter Ads have helped thousands of SMBs grow their network of engaged followers, connect with the right customers, and most importantly, drive measurable business results. We’re excited to partner with Yahoo! JAPAN to take another major step forward in expanding the global scope of our SMB business.

Get More *High Quality* Facebook Likes With These 5 Easy Tips

Post Planner -

Here’s the harsh reality: Not all Facebook Likes are created equal. Some Likes are high-quality — and some aren’t. You should want the high-quality ones so you can reach the most relevant people. Then you can get them engaged & eventually turn them into customers. Having a bunch of male fans, for example, isn’t going to help you much if your products are fashion accessories for women. Female fans who are interested in fashion accessories would be higher quality Likes for your page. Remember — as Facebook tweaks the news feed algorithm to decrease reach for business pages, every post counts more & more! You can’t afford to waste a single one. And if you have too many low quality Likes, it makes practically every post a waste. So today I’m going to give you 5 tips for getting high-quality Likes on your Facebook page — Likes from people who are: real interested in your subject matter likely to engage with the content on your page Get More *High Quality* Facebook Likes With These 5 Easy Tips 1. Restrict Some Countries from Your Page Here’s something you probably haven’t considered before.  Did you know you can add country restrictions to your Facebook page? >> Click to Tweet <<  The general settings on your page provide 2 options:  Only show this Page to viewers in these countries Hide this Page from viewers in these countries  This works GREAT for many reasons. If your business operates in America, use the first option to only show your page to viewers in the U.S. The second option works well if your page attracts fans from countries that don’t even speak your language.  For example, Gerber restricts fans on their Facebook page. About 98% of the Likes are from the United States.  When I key their Facebook URL into my browser in Asia, I’m sent to my Facebook home page instead. 2. Post Awesome Content To get quality Likes, you must post awesome content on your page.  Imagine a free seminar where the topic is good, but the content is so boring that you nearly fall asleep. Would you attend the seminar again — even if it was FREE?! The same goes for your Facebook posts. You must provide value while also entertaining your fans.  People go to Facebook to RELAX. They catch up with friends & family, read news & generally want to be entertained. They don’t go to Facebook to be bored to death by you.  >> Click to Tweet << Need help finding valuable & entertaining content to post? No problem — Post Planner’s got you covered. Our new viral photo finder lets you find & share the most viral & popular photos from any Facebook page. // Post by Post Planner. 3. Host Contests with Amazing Prizes Facebook contests are great ways to get more Likes — when done correctly. Businesses too often give away products that aren’t relevant to what they do.Prizes like iPads will attract the wrong kind of fans — people who won’t ever Like or share your posts. You risk diluting your brand & creating unnecessary competition in areas that aren’t even relevant to your business.  Decal Drama frequently run contests — but only with prizes their fans really enjoy: 4. Never Buy Likes Repeat after me: I will never buy Likes — no matter what I’m promised in return. >> Click to Tweet <<  It’s impossible to buy a high-quality Facebook Like. Good Likes aren’t for sale!  I don’t care what the latest snake-oil salesman on Fiverr tells you. 5. Use Targeted Facebook Advertising  Another way to find relevant Likes for your page is through Facebook advertising. Facebook ads let you reach a whole new group of people. Use advertising to complement your contests & content — and you’ll have a recipe for success on Facebook. >> Click to Tweet << I recommend you read Jon Loomer’s blog if you’re new to Facebook advertising. Loomer is the man when it comes to properly managing Facebook ad campaigns. Remember to target users who will be interested in your page. It may be cheaper to get Likes in Asia, but if your business only serves customers in the U.S. — what’s the point?  Summary Quality trumps quantity every time when it comes to getting the right Facebook fans. So go for the high-quality Likes! What do you do to find high-quality Likes for your page? The post Get More *High Quality* Facebook Likes With These 5 Easy Tips appeared first on Post Planner.

Guided Search: a new way to find what you’re looking for

Oh, How Pinteresting! -

Search engines are great for answering specific questions—the weather in San Francisco or the capital of Peru—but Pinterest can help with the questions that have more than one right answer. Where’s your next vacation or what’s for dinner tonight? With so many possibilities, you might not know the best one till you see it. To help you find the best ideas, today we’re introducing Guided Search. It’s made for exploring, whether you know exactly what you want, or you’re just starting to look around. There are more than 750 million boards with 30 billion Pins hand-picked by travelers, foodies, and other Pinners, so the right idea is just a few taps away. Visual guides help you along Now when you search for something (road trips, running, summer BBQ), descriptive guides will help you sift through all the good ideas from other Pinners. Scroll through the guides and tap any that look interesting to steer your search in the right direction. Say you’re looking for plants to green up your apartment, guides help you get more specific—indoors, shade, succulents—so you can hone in on the ones that suit your space. Or when it’s time for your next haircut, search by specific styles—for redheads, curly hair, layers—to find your next look. Discover a few unexpected surprises The guides are there to get you where you want to go, but the best part is leaving a little room for serendipity. Exploring getaway ideas might lead you to a treehouse adventure, a motorcycle trip down the coast, or maybe even something else you didn’t know you were looking for. You might be surprised where you end up! We’re rolling this out on mobile in English to start, and then on web and everywhere else around the world soon. Get the app for iPhone, iPad or Android to give it a try. —Hui Xu, Head of Discovery Team, Currently pinning to Homemade Food

Scrollkit and Longreads at Automattic

Matt Mullenweg Blog (Founder of WordPress) -

You might have seen the news last week that Longreads is joining Automattic’s editorial team. Today I’m excited to announce that we’ve acquired Scroll Kit and they’re joining Automattic as well, and will be focused on making customization more visual and intuitive. We’re barely on the second inning of what WordPress could be, and the impact it can have on the world, and I consider myself very lucky to be working with the best and brightest on transforming the way the world publishes.

#ICON14: Three tips from the @TwitterSmallBiz playbook

The Twitter Small Business Blog -

I work with small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) across the country to help them use Twitter to grow their business. This week, I was excited to connect with SMBs at the #ICON14 conference, hosted by @Infusionsoft. During the “Big Ideas” session, I spoke about the value of social engagement for SMBs, and more specifically, how businesses can meaningfully engage with customers on Twitter. To help small businesses think about this topic, I offered three tips from our @TwitterSmallBiz playbook: Tip #1: Find customers in context. A recent study shows that 51% of SMB followers are daily Twitter users and 30% of them see Tweets from SMBs every time they log in. Your customers are on Twitter. To find and connect with them, it’s important to learn what they are already talking about and interacting with them on the platform. Here are some tactics to help you with this research: Search on Twitter to identify keywords and hashtags that are relevant to your business. Identify popular accounts, influencers and thought leaders in your industry. Look at what partners, community leaders and other similar businesses are tweeting about. These tactics should inform your tweeting strategy and the conversations you join, putting your business in a better position to be discovered by new customers. For example, the Tweet below includes the hashtag #smallbiz, which is frequently used in conversations related to small business. This Tweet also includes a mention of small business thought leader @GS_10KSmallBiz in order to welcome them to Twitter. https://twitter.com/TwitterSmallBiz/status/433364826593570816 Tip #2: Create a balanced content strategy.People enjoy interacting with SMBs on Twitter. In fact, nine out of ten users say they have engaged in a conversation with or about an SMB (DB5 Small Business Customer Insights 2014). The key to this interaction is content. Ultimately, most SMBs want to sell some type of product or service. But rather than solely tweeting about what you’re selling, we recommend an 80/20 principle — where 80% of your content is focused on driving engagement and 20% is focused on direct offers. To write Tweets that drive engagement, consider that people are more likely to engage with and share content that is informative, helpful or entertaining. Behind-the-scenes photos, third-party articles or Vine videos are great examples of content that will help you build relationships with customers. Once you’ve established those relationships, you can begin to mix in Tweets that include direct offers. In these Tweets, avoid elements like excessive hashtags or mentions that can distract people from your desired action, like a click on your website URL. For example, if you want people to download a new piece of content, you might structure your Tweet like this: https://twitter.com/TwitterSmallBiz/status/448197880889618432 Tip #3: Use data to asses your efforts.Now that you’ve found your customers on Twitter and created content to engage them, how do you measure the impact of these efforts? Here are a few of our favorite resources to help you understand what’s working (and what’s not): Our timeline activity dashboard helps you measure engagement by providing insight into the number of favorites, retweets and replies for each individual Tweet. This is a free resource.  Recently, we released conversion tracking to help you measure customer actions that start on Twitter — such as landing page visits or purchases — but are later completed on your website. You can track your conversions at the campaign and individual Tweet level. Our followers dashboard helps you learn more about your Twitter followers. This free resource offers insight into your followers’ interests, location and other accounts they follow. These approaches will not only help you assess your current Twitter strategy, but also serve as guidance for your future efforts on the platform. As you continue testing, integrate tactics that work well and keep iterating as you watch your results improve. Check back with us here and follow us @TwitterSmallBiz for more tips from small business events this year.

#ICON14: Three tips from the @TwitterSmallBiz playbook

The Twitter Small Business Blog -

I work with small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) across the country to help them use Twitter to grow their business. This week, I was excited to connect with SMBs at the #ICON14 conference, hosted by @Infusionsoft. During the “Big Ideas” session, I spoke about the value of social engagement for SMBs, and more specifically, how businesses can meaningfully engage with customers on Twitter. To help small businesses think about this topic, I offered three tips from our @TwitterSmallBiz playbook: Tip #1: Find customers in context. A recent study shows that 51% of SMB followers are daily Twitter users and 30% of them see Tweets from SMBs every time they log in. Your customers are on Twitter. To find and connect with them, it’s important to learn what they are already talking about and interacting with them on the platform. Here are some tactics to help you with this research: Search on Twitter to identify keywords and hashtags that are relevant to your business. Identify popular accounts, influencers and thought leaders in your industry. Look at what partners, community leaders and other similar businesses are tweeting about. These tactics should inform your tweeting strategy and the conversations you join, putting your business in a better position to be discovered by new customers. For example, the Tweet below includes the hashtag #smallbiz, which is frequently used in conversations related to small business. This Tweet also includes a mention of small business thought leader @GS_10KSmallBiz in order to welcome them to Twitter. https://twitter.com/TwitterSmallBiz/status/433364826593570816 Tip #2: Create a balanced content strategy.People enjoy interacting with SMBs on Twitter. In fact, nine out of ten users say they have engaged in a conversation with or about an SMB (DB5 Small Business Customer Insights 2014). The key to this interaction is content. Ultimately, most SMBs want to sell some type of product or service. But rather than solely tweeting about what you’re selling, we recommend an 80/20 principle — where 80% of your content is focused on driving engagement and 20% is focused on direct offers. To write Tweets that drive engagement, consider that people are more likely to engage with and share content that is informative, helpful or entertaining. Behind-the-scenes photos, third-party articles or Vine videos are great examples of content that will help you build relationships with customers. Once you’ve established those relationships, you can begin to mix in Tweets that include direct offers. In these Tweets, avoid elements like excessive hashtags or mentions that can distract people from your desired action, like a click on your website URL. For example, if you want people to download a new piece of content, you might structure your Tweet like this: https://twitter.com/TwitterSmallBiz/status/448197880889618432 Tip #3: Use data to asses your efforts.Now that you’ve found your customers on Twitter and created content to engage them, how do you measure the impact of these efforts? Here are a few of our favorite resources to help you understand what’s working (and what’s not): Our timeline activity dashboard helps you measure engagement by providing insight into the number of favorites, retweets and replies for each individual Tweet. This is a free resource.  Recently, we released conversion tracking to help you measure customer actions that start on Twitter — such as landing page visits or purchases — but are later completed on your website. You can track your conversions at the campaign and individual Tweet level. Our followers dashboard helps you learn more about your Twitter followers. This free resource offers insight into your followers’ interests, location and other accounts they follow. These approaches will not only help you assess your current Twitter strategy, but also serve as guidance for your future efforts on the platform. As you continue testing, integrate tactics that work well and keep iterating as you watch your results improve. Check back with us here and follow us @TwitterSmallBiz for more tips from small business events this year.

Improved Query Filtering and Conditional Updates for DynamoDB

Amazon Web Services Blog -

Amazon DynamoDB is a fast, fully-managed NoSQL database. You can easily create tables, provision the desired amount of read and write capacity, and then store as much information as you'd like. Each item in a DynamoDB table consists of one or more key/value pairs, indexed by a hash key or a combination of a hash key and a range key (read more about the DynamoDB data model), with additional indexing options in the form of Local and Global Secondary Indexes. NoSQL databases like DynamoDB are designed for scalability and consistent, high performance. This stands in marked contrast to the traditional relational database model where these attributes are not always as important as flexibility and generality.

Improved Query Filtering and Conditional Updates for DynamoDB

Amazon Web Services Blog -

Amazon DynamoDB is a fast, fully-managed NoSQL database. You can easily create tables, provision the desired amount of read and write capacity, and then store as much information as you'd like. Each item in a DynamoDB table consists of one or more key/value pairs, indexed by a hash key or a combination of a hash key and a range key (read more about the DynamoDB data model), with additional indexing options in the form of Local and Global Secondary Indexes. NoSQL databases like DynamoDB are designed for scalability and consistent, high performance. This stands in marked contrast to the traditional relational database model where these attributes are not always as important as flexibility and generality. Today we are making DynamoDB even more flexible with additional options for filtering query results and for updating existing items. Let's take a look! Query FilteringDynamoDB's Query function retrieves items using a primary key or an index key from a Local or Global Secondary Index. Each query can use Boolean comparison operators to control which items will be returned. With today's release, we are extending this model with support for query filtering on non-key attributes. You can now include a QueryFilter as part a call to the Query function. The filter is applied after the key-based retrieval and before the results are returned to you. Filtering in this manner can reduce the amount of data returned to your application while also simplifying and streamlining your code. The QueryFilter that you pass to the Query API must include one or more conditions. Each condition references an attribute name and includes one or more attribute values, along with a comparison operator. In addition to the usual Boolean comparison operators, you can also use CONTAINS, NOT_CONTAINS, and BEGINS_WITH for string matching, BETWEEN for range checking,  and IN to check for membership in a set. In addition to the QueryFilter, you can also supply a ConditionalOperator. This logical operator (either AND or OR) is used to connect each of the elements in the QueryFilter. Updating ItemsDynamoDB's PutItem, UpdateItem, and DeleteItem functions can optionally perform a conditional update of an item. This feature allows two or more processes to make concurrent updates to a particular item in a controlled fashion. Let's say you are using a couple of DynamoDB table to track real-time data that is flowing in from a sensor network. You can use the UpdateItem function to implement a highly reliable counting system in a scalable way. Your code would do the following: Call GetItem to read the item. Extract the count field from the item and increment it by 1. Call UpdateItem with the current and the new values of the count field. Return to step 1 if UpdateItem indicates that the current value is incorrect. With today's release, you have additional options to specify the condition that must hold for the item to be replaced (put), updated, or deleted. You can also specify multiple conditions, connected by AND or OR. For example, you could subtract an amount from a bank balance (indicating a withdrawal), only if the balance is greater than or equal to the amount of the withdrawal. The AWS SDKs for .NET, Ruby, Java, and JavaScript have been updated and you can start using these powerful new features today. We plan to update the Python and PHP SDKs in the next couple of days. DynamoDB Local has also been updated and you can download it now. -- Jeff;  

Mobile Commerce Technology - Yahoo offers web retailers access to e-commerce data from their iPhones - Internet Retailer

Yahoo! Small Business Blog -

Mobile Commerce Technology - Yahoo offers web retailers access to e-commerce data from their iPhones - Internet Retailer: commercecentral: Great press coverage, including customer interview, by Internet Retailer for the just-released Yahoo Live Web Insights mobile app.

Featured Blog: Michigan By The Bottle

Everything Typepad -

NAME: Shannon and Cortney Casey BLOG: Michigan By The Bottle TYPEPAD MEMBER SINCE: 2009 WHY YOU'LL LOVE IT: Shannon and Cortney Casey are suburban Detroiters who adore Michigan wine. Their blog, Michigan By The Bottle, covers Michigan wines and wineries, promotes events, and introduces their readers to new wines (or helps them rediscover old favorites). They also aim to dispel misconceptions that wine is appealing only to older demographics and assure newbies that Michigan's tasting rooms are places ripe for learning and exploring, not daunting havens for elitist wine snobs, proving that wine is fun! FOLLOW: Twitter | Typepad

New layouts for 1&1 MyWebsite!

1&1 Online Success Center -

A series of new, innovative and flexible layouts are now available with 1&1 MyWebsite. Named by famous squares and parks, all the new layouts offer a high degree of flexibility and are aimed to improve the user experience. Key features of the new layouts are: Responsiveness: The content of the website directly adapts to the size of the browser window, smartphone and/or tablet. Layout Selector: This tool showcases the new layouts on different devices and gives design examples. Structure: The content can be split in different columns, so that the user is able to place pictures, headlines and texts next to each other within these columns. Logo: Thanks to a new separate area, the logo can be highlighted on the website. The user can also resize and align it according to his preferences. Customization: The layouts can be individualized in the editor by the customer very quickly and easily (without requiring any HTML knowledge). For more information about 1&1 MyWebsite, visit http://1a1s.us/5h.

CloudU Kicks Off Big Data Online Course In A Big Way

The Rackspace Blog & Newsroom -

We have a saying in Texas: Bigger is better. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that CloudU, based in San Antonio, Texas, is getting bigger, too. To kick-off CloudU Big Data Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) activities, we’ve asked Dave Feinleib to be the featured author of this learning series. Dave is an advisor, entrepreneur and author of Big Data Demystified, Why Startups Fail and How Yours Can Succeed and the BigDataLandscape.com blog. He’s also writes about startups, technology and venture capital on Forbes.com. Join us on Wednesday, April 30 at the San Francisco Rackspace Office as Dave presents a condensed version of his “Actionable Insights from Big Data” workshop. This learning event is free and open to Rackers and the public as room allows (space is limited). If you’re in the San Francisco area and would like to attend, contact cloudu@rackspace.com to reserve a seat. If you’re not able to attend this event live, not to worry. The presentation will be recorded and packaged as part of the Big Data MOOC learning series, scheduled to be released in June. The MOOC will also include content contributions from other industry leaders including Hortonworks, Facebook, OCP Foundation, and MIT. Anyone interested in the Big Data MOOC or CloudU Certification can register for free at http://cloudu.rackspace.com. Once you register, you’ll have full access to all CloudU learning opportunities and become part of the global CloudU community. What are you waiting for? Class is in Session! More on Dave Feinleib: Dave Feinleib is Managing Director of The Big Data Group. He founded Content Analytics, a leader in brand and ecommerce analytics, and Speechpad, a leader in audio-video transcription and captioning. From 2009 – 2011 he was a General Partner at Mohr Davidow, a venture capital firm with $2B under management. While at Mohr Davidow, he invested in Infusionsoft, which raised $54M in follow-on funding from Goldman Sachs and others; RootMusic, which raised an additional $16M in capital; and doxo, which has raised $10M in additional capital. Prior to joining Mohr Davidow, he started four companies, one of which was acquired by EMC, another by Hewlett Packard, and a third by Keynote Systems. Before that he was a Technical Evangelist at Microsoft, promoting the then unknown Windows operating system. He holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a BA Summa Cum Laude from Cornell University, where he was a Kodak Scholar. Dave is a two-time Ironman finisher and violinist.

Is SEO The Future? No, And Here’s Why

Bing's Webmaster Blog -

SEO is a combination of technical work at the site code level, content management at the editorial level and usability work, often spanning both of the first two areas. It’s the basic work that needs to be done today. Table stakes, if you will. You cannot sit at the poker table without putting money on that same table. So, SEO is foundational work sites need to engage in – that’s been clear for a while. But as the engines get smarter with and about signals, and as new, trustworthy signals are grown and adopted, the SEO of yore becomes a bit less relevant. No one really cried when we all walked away from <meta keyword> tags after they were inundated with spam. No one cried when keyword density became a passé topic, largely covered up in the then somewhat novel approach of “making quality content”. And so it goes with what most people think of as SEO. As the Internet matures, as semantic language markup adoption increases, as new partnerships around data are formed, things change. While many fear change, a savvy SEO knows change is always just a day away, and they’re ready to learn the new, arcane and relevant tactics that work moving forward. Even if those tactics aren’t strictly SEO anymore. So, while SEO isn’t likely the “future” as it was, say a decade ago, it’s still relevant. In the history of marketing, every new tactic was met with cries of “The Future is Here” and “This Will Doom Us All”. SEO had that period of time as well. I like to think that it weathered the naysayers quite well, proving to be a viable long-term tactic. As with all those things that came before it, however, it is but a single tactic. An SEO may have work and responsibilities beyond SEO, often edging into social, usability, content, code, design, etc. But, SEO as a tactic will remain seen as a largely singular focus area. A solid tactic, to be employed if you even hope to be on equal footing with your competition, but still a single tactic. One arrow in the quiver to be chosen as needed, for a specific goal. What does this mean? Largely it means that folks covering more than just SEO will be in greater demand, and those focused solely on SEO may want to consider doing more in a broader range of areas. Yes, this may be limited by your company’s goals, budgets and planning, but nothing stops you from building your position of thought leadership within your company, across more areas than just SEO. Mostly what it means is that if a business is singularly focused (we’ll focus mainly on SEO this year, and focus on social later), you could be falling behind and not realize it. Success today, as in the past, is measured by the results of a combined effort. SEO, paid search, social media, usability investments, customer service, print media, PR, partnerships, sponsorships, etc. All, when well executed in a thoughtful fashion, can push you higher than any one area ever possibly could. Most businesses will say they perform across all those fields, but it’s actually rarer than you think. Doing something isn’t the same as doing something well. In the future SEO will be seen in the same basket of marketing tactics as TV, print, radio, social media, billboards and so on – just another tool to use (we’re pretty much already at this stage in many large companies). It won’t even seem that novel anymore, but it will remain a skill that’s in demand to varying degrees. What will be important, today and moving forward, is embracing the mix, getting the mix right and repeating that success using these newer tactics. For a business to really achieve success, they have to look beyond the search engine and set their sights firmly on impressing the customer. If you attract their attention, we’ll follow. If we’re not showing you the love you think you deserve, maybe it’s time to do some real-world testing to see if you’re impressing customers as much as you think you are. And if you are, then you should ask why your customers aren’t compelled to share that love. When that customer gets up in the morning and goes online, it’s with a goal. If your goal is to build the best optimized site then you’re misaligned. If your goal is to provide that customer with exactly what they seek, and maybe a bit more they hadn’t expected, but find very useful, then you’ll be successful. Those are the stand outs. Those are the sites that customers can’t wait to tell friends about. Those are the ones they share, link to and talk about. Where is the future? Mobile, wearables, in-home devices, automobiles. Anywhere a sensor can exist to collect data about you, an individual, that can be shared back to glean some tidbit of information about you that can help a marketer more effectively target you.  That’s the future. The difference today is that all of this technology exists, or is on the threshold of being released in improved ways. Almost none of what’s happening in these areas is actually SEO work. But, an SEO may be ideally suited to take on work in these new areas to influence the success of a business.  Want to show up on the nav unit in my car’s dashboard? Better get your local listing data optimized and submitted to the right databases. And while “local” isn’t “SEO”, so many SEOs manage that work, too. SEO might not be the future, but your past in SEO has prepared you for the coming changes. Set your sights a bit higher than optimizing H1 tags. Your business will thank you for it. Duane ForresterSr. Product ManagerBing

How'd They Do That? Using Page Layouts to Create a Stunning Homepage

The Weebly Blog -

We know the feeling. You look at someone’s gorgeous website and think, “How’d they do that?” We’d like to help answer this question with our new, “How’d They Do That” video series. These short instructional videos will explore techniques used by other Weebly users that you can use to make your site, store, or blog the best it can be. For the first video we take you step-by-step through the creation of The Whiskey Ball homepage. Enjoy!   The Whiskey Ball uses a beautiful image and clear call to action to drive user engagement and sign ups from the homepage. In order to create this experience The Whiskey Ball started with the Landing Page Layout located in Page Layouts.   After choosing the right layout, The Whiskey Ball added the Paris theme, which emphasises a large background image and bold headline. This specific page layout and theme combination requires a great background image, so The Whiskey Ball uploaded a high-resolution product shot using the edit image button. If you don’t have a high-quality image you can easily find one in the new Professional Stock Photo Library. After setting the image, the default headline and tagline space was used to create unique and powerful messaging with a font and color combination that maximizes readability over the background. The theme’s built-in call to action button placement was also used effectively, allowing visitors to drive forward to purchase with minimal friction. With just a few tweaks and the right layout and theme The Whiskey Ball was able to create a sophisticated and powerful homepage. If you have an innovative technique that could help other users get the most out of their sites, stores or blogs please share it with us in the comments!

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