Do you play an instrument?
Well actually, I play jazz trombone; but I don’t play anything that can help me pull girls. And I certainly don’t play it well enough to impress anyone.
But now there’s a YouTube service to help me learn. I can drop that old trombone, pick up a guitar, get on YouTube, and learn how to play like a pro (for free!). And if I wanted to continue playing trombone, I probably could since the new YouTube service, Riffstation, has the instrumental script for all the instruments that make the songs for every song on YouTube.
The musical score for Radiohead, for Smetena, and for literally every modern, classical, or jazzy piece is now easier to learn with Riffstation.
Instagram is the latest big thing in social networking today.
People are finding it a good networking tool. In fact, not only for personal networking, Instagram is now used for business networking and promotion as well.
If you’re looking to expand the promotion of your business online, Instagram is a tool for you to reach a group of tech-savvy people.
Instragram is all about fun, lots of photo and video uploading, and sharing. As a business, it will be easier to get the attention of your target audience by impressing them through images and videos. Sometimes images and videos speak louder and better than words, and have a more direct impact on people.
Learn the basics:
Open your own Instagram account first. For creating an Instagram account in the name of your company or brand, follow the following steps:
Once your account is created, your next move will be to utilize Instagram for promoting your business. Here are a few tips on doing so:
Get more followers
The best way to pull followers into your Instagram account will be to connect your account with Facebook. Your followers on Facebook will also be directed to your Instagram account. You’ll also have to learn and master the use of hashtags quite frequently in your image and video uploads. Go for the most relevant and widely searched hashtags to attract followers. One more way to gain followers will be to follow others. Start following more and more people, so that you catch their attention and they will then follow you in return.
Embed videos and sharing relevant photos
The videos you share in your Instagram account can be embedded to your brand’s blog and website. If yours is a food processing or manufacturing company, images of healthy foods with messages for healthy living will attract customers; if it is a garment brand, then images of your clothes placed in attractive ways will draw customers. You must know the attractive ways of pulling customers by opting for vibrant, well-edited, and collaged photos by using software like Photoshop, Diptic, Photoshake, and others.
Make an @ mention of your customers
Mentioning your customers name and showing gratefulness for buying your products through your Instagram account will encourage them to be associated with your company in the future. Post a photo of your customer in the dress you sold her, or, @mention his/her purchase they made. Who does not want to be highlighted and enjoy some attention? Give your customers that much needed attention by appreciating them, and earn a loyal customer.
Filters for quality checking the photos
By using a number of filters in your Instagram account, you can maintain a good standard for your photos. It’s the look and feel of the photos shared that matter most in attracting customers. Your photos tell your company’s story, and filters play a crucial role in enhancing the quality of those stories. Each brand promoting their service through the site has its own choice in the filters, including: Lo-fi, Valencia, Rise, Amaro, Hudson, Sierra, X-Pro II, Hefe, and more.
Rewarding your followers
One good way of attracting more followers to your brand would be to announce rewards for them. You can provide them benefits for being your follower with discount prices on the services you offer. Make free gifts and discount codes for products exclusively available for your followers only.
Narrate your business story
You can choose to narrate the story of your business; your company’s history and the life of the people behind the brand, through images and videos. Emotional stories and the journey of your brand up to the present, may connect well with customers The values and the authenticity of your brand‘s products can be represented in this way also.
Instead of simply sharing photos and videos, ask your followers to leave their valuable comments, and suggest changes, if required. Interaction will invite more customers to spend some time with your posts.
By holding photo contests related to your brand and business, you can engage a group of users. The lure of a good award for the winner, and praise for the photos posted in the contest, will encourage users to stay in touch with you. Keeping the theme limited to your business category will automatically promote your services among the users of Instagram.
Instagram is one of the most fun-filled and modern ways of promoting your business in the online marketing world, and you should never miss out on utilizing its benefits. What else can be as easy as promoting your business through Instagram where one is only required to post photos and videos?
Content theft has become a part of the online world, which a blog writer, or publisher might experience at some point. What you can do, is make it tough for content thieves to steal content from your blog, that you have put so much effort into writing. Despite the fact that there is no particular way to stop it 100%, there are methods you can use to make things difficult for content thieves.
The first thing to do is to use a copyright notice on your blog, which is very important to let people know that you are aware of your rights. This is not sufficient alone, and you’ll require some other important tools as well.
It’s necessary to first check if your content has really been stolen or copied by anyone else. For that, there are tools available, which help you determine that.
One such tool is Google Alerts, which are email alerts from Google that keep you updated on any specific keywords and phrases being copied. You simply copy a phrase or any keyword of your content and Google will send you notice via email, if that phrase, or, the blog post is published anywhere, anytime, on the web.
Here is a list tools to help you protect your content from being stolen.
1. WordPress SEO
The WordPress SEO tool by Yoast is a plugin available for those using WordPress. You can use codes with this plugin to your RSS feed, and whenever your post gets republished on any other website, a link will be inserted that will point back to your site.
Like WordPress SEO, Tynt will also let you know the number of times your content gets copied. You can insert codes in your web pages as provided by this tool, which will tell you if your content is copied and pasted by adding a link back to your website.
3. Google Authorship
The third tool is Google Authorship, which is a content marketing strategy. This tool lets you add your name or brand with your content into Google’s search index. By using this tool, you can definitely increase your ability to control your content. This is because you can use your photo next to your content in search results. This way, it will become easy for you to prove the ownership of your content, and it also becomes easier to remove stolen content in case you file a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) complaint.
Copyscape is a renowned service for providing plagiarism detection. With Copyscape you can check an entire URL for plagiarism. Copyscape also allows you to use the “Protected by Copyscape” notice on your blog.
Grammarly is another tool that provide proofreading and grammar checking service. It also allows you to check your content for plagiarism.
Plagium is another tool to check plagiarism. Here, you can check an entire URL and find out if your content has been copied.
7. Plagiarim Check by Smallseo Tools
This is another plagiarism checker available online. This tool allows you to identify the original source of any copied or plagiarized content.
By using the above tools, one can definitely make plagiarism tough for content thieves.
As the owner of an E-commerce site, generating revenue has become easier and quicker. Google Analytics is one such handy tool that helps you analyze your site data.
Google Analytics reports are available for analysis for site owners and administrators. It will help you learn about many things, like the identification of those campaigns that are actually working, identifying the maximum attention-grabbing pages, and products getting minimum response from customers, and more.
Another method of boosting sales for your site is to customize certain core areas of Google Analytics. Five of the customizations in Google Analytics that play a crucial role in boosting sales are:
1. Customization in Advanced Segments
Advanced Segments provides clear stats on traffic, which is generally not derived from Google Analytics. It specializes in isolating specific data and analyzing the useful traffic sources. There are two ways of customizing this feature and they are:
A) Segment by Traffic Channel
Through the process of segmenting reports by traffic channel, traffic generation via different sources can be assessed. The ‘Traffic Sources’ option in this feature delivers the exact numbers of emails, organic searches, and all other figures that are useful in analyzing customer data and marketing campaigns. The result of using such features is great; by finding the figures increasing, you can think of expanding your channels, and on the other hand, by finding poor statistics, you can put your efforts towards improving your business.
B) Segment by Day of Week
The process of customizing by day of the week lets the user see the number of visits, E-commerce conversion rate, and revenue generated each day, by simply setting the custom reports by days of weeks. If you find a particular day of the week, say, Sunday receiving the maximum number of conversions, then it’s an indication that Sunday is a good time to catch the attention of customers. You can display special offers and discounts specifically for that day.
2. Custom Reports
It’s true that Google Analytics sends native reports to you by default, but with Custom Reports, the reports go into more detail. For a detailed report service, the Custom Reports is better, and is found on the top navigation menu. Using it is easy, as there is a ready-made ‘Create a Custom Report’ option, and on selecting it, additional options such as Metric Groups and Dimension Drill-downs will also get activated. Metric Groups is delivers the numbers for average visit duration and the E-commerce conversion rate per pages/visit. With Dimension Drilldowns, you can track figures from source/medium and keyword. This will be helpful in getting accurate figures for running SEO and PPC campaigns.
3. Goal Conversions
Goal Conversions are an important customization of Google Analytics as it helps you measure performance of well-defined goals for your site. You first have to define the actions for which you would like to track conversions, and the four types of goals that can be defined by you in Google Analytics are:
A) URL Destination: Goal conversions are recorded for specific URLs. Such URLs include Payment Successful page, or, Shopping Cart page, and others.
B) Pages per Visit: Lets you check the number of pages that a visitor views in a single visit.
C) Visit Duration: Those visitors who linger on specific pages for a certain time period, such as a period of 120 seconds, or, 2 minutes, are tracked through these goals.
D) Event: When a specific event occurs, like when a visitor clicks an email subscription button or feedback button, then this goal tracks this activity.
Funnels are another useful customization in Google Analytics that enables you to check the performance of the entire process via URLs. Finding the response of customers on your site’s service is easier with it. For example, to learn about the satisfaction rate of your customers, you can create a funnel. The funnel should start with ‘Add to Shopping Cart’ and end at ‘Payment Successful’ page. This will allow you to find out the performance of the customers at each step of the process.
The completion percentage of every step of a funnel is easy to learn. Go to Conversions and Goal Flow Reports, and select ‘Medium’ in the dimension drop down. On doing so, you can keep checking the performance of every step via traffic channel. Some of the handy funnel segmentation ideas for sites are Add-to-Cart conversions, Track Repeat Buyers, and Location of add-to-cart. Through the Add-to-Cart conversions, you can track campaign response as well as conversions, and find out which products are added to shopping carts by the customers. The Track Repeat Buyers help in identifying shopping behavior of a valuable set of customers. It monitors the conversion rates and their average order values. Location of add-to-cart is another funnel that enables the user to motivate its buyers by introducing specific product pages or promotion pages. The specific locations that attract more customers, and how customers use them, are determined via this feature.
5. E-commerce Tracking for Mobile Apps
In this era of smartphones and gadgets, more people are using mobile devices and apps. Supplying customers with a mobile app, or a mobile-optimized version of your site, will be an appreciable step on your part. You can use Google Analytics Android SDK, or, Google Analytics iOS SDK to track the transaction data of your customers. As many people shop using mobile devices and mobile apps as well, this will be a useful feature. The Google Analytics tracking code works the same for both desktop and smartphone browsers.
There are an extensive number of metrics from Google Analytics that makes boosting sales very much possible and simple. Each of the customizations mentioned above is helpful, and worth using for online merchants.
Conducting a survey of your customers is easy, and thanks to a number of online survey tools that are available, there are multiple options for you to choose from.
Survey Questions Checklist
The survey questions list needs to be prepared well. Some of the important questions to be included in the survey:
1. How often do you visit our website?
This question in a survey is of immense value, as it lets you know whether your website is able to attract and engage visitors.
2. Do you want to suggest any changes to our site?
As the owner of your website, you might have done everything possible to design it and add relevant content. The visitors to your site may be looking for specific content that you’re not aware of, and have not yet provided. In order to cope up with the changing needs of visitors to your site, you’ll have to listen for criticisms and suggestions. Allow visitors to give their feedback about the design of the site, and ask them to provide any suggestions if they want to.
3. Which topics particularly interest you?
Once you are able to know the particular interests of your customers, it becomes easier for you to understand what content they are interested in. After all, why would one bother to waste his time surfing through a site that does not have anything of interest or use?
4. Are you interested in our premium services?
Always remain open for the customers to give their opinion on the products, services, and premium services your company and website offers. The feedback from your customers will let you know whether the premium services are useful to them.
How to conduct the survey
The process of conducting the survey is pretty simple. There are many plugins you can use if your site uses WordPress.
Here are some useful survey tools:
As one of the top survey tools, LimeSurvey has a great deal of features. The notable ones amongst them include the ability to conduct an unlimited number of surveys at the same time, multi-lingual surveys, ready-made and importable questions, unlimited number of questions, unlimited number of participants, 28 different question types, re-usable editable answer sets, and more.
SurveyMonkey is a handy survey tool that can be used by anybody. This tool lets you create questions easily, with 15 question types. It lets you add your own logo with company name and customized color especially for the survey.
Sogosurvey is another useful survey tool that combines an array of attractive features. Sogosurvey allows you to create a flawless look and design for the survey by adding your logo. It also lets you create online forms, quizzes, and polls. It’s mobile ready and can be used on iPhones, iPads, and Android devices, for conducting surveys.
Building surveys, online forms, evaluations, and event registrations are easy and quick with SurveyGizmo. The survey creator can add their own customized logo, add colors, do his own sizing, add images, and create a layout for the survey project. The survey project through this tool turns out to be quite interactive and handy, as there are quick procedures for validating the respondents’ answers, and responding to them through actions like adding, removing or customizing pages and questions.
Kwiksurveys is another tool that offers impressive services through features like unlimited questions, unlimited responses, powerful report builder, SSL encryption, and full results export, and more.
Knowing how to code, or, understanding computer programming is the door to new opportunities. The question is how and where to begin. If you have been thinking of learning to code for free, this article is for you.
Here are 10 such websites which teach coding through various online means like tutorials, videos, quizzes and much more:
LearnStreet, with its clear code-entry screen on the right side of the window, is a site that focuses on code. Here you can find the run environment just under the code, which displays the code you write. Conversely, the instructions can be seen on the left side of the screen.
You can sort the projects per level, which includes beginner, intermediate, and advanced. The projects can also be sorted in terms of category like tools, games, and algorithms.
LearnStreet presents free courseware for teachers with which they can instruct students in coding.
2. Khan Academy
The courses are divided into various categories, and each one of them has separate lessons ranging from three to 12. The videos display the lesson on the technique of coding on the left side of the window, and the result is displayed on the right side. Once you’re finished with the course, you must write code and repeat the process. If you fail in providing the right code, the site’s tutorial will offer hints to help you find the solution.
Like LearnStreet, this site also provides a sign up facility for teachers who can coach students from here, and manage their progress too.
Codecademy lets you broaden your programming prospects. This site presents a refined interface and interactive tutorials. The lessons offered in the Ruby tutorial on this site will let you back up and restart many distinct steps. Once you enter code in the Codecadmy window, it will take up the lesson screen. The instructions of the lesson are offered in the left pane and a pop-up window emerges on the right side of the screen when you save and submit the code button after entering a code.
W3Schools is a simple place, with simple and basic tutorials. Once you’ve completed the first half-dozen lessons, you’ll find the pace of the lessons keep you absorbed, and interested. You’ll find tutorials on HTML, SQL, PHP, CSS, XML, JQuery,
This site also presents demos for building websites, along with web databases and server technologies. You’ll have to read the instructions first, and then the code is shown to you afterward. You can also click the ‘Try It Yourself’ button to open a new window, which will allow you to write and run the lesson’s code.
5. Girl Develop
Girl Develop is aimed at females who love coding. This site is an international, non-profit site that offers membership and instructions. Women of all ages and races can join. It also allows women of all education levels and income to join and enhance their skills. They can develop web and mobile applications and build careers.
Udacity is one of the sites developed by Stanford University. This course, along with many others, is available online for free. The University is of the view that education is a lifelong experience and therefore it has ported loads of computer science, math and physics courses online for people to learn.
7. Code Racer
Those who want fast coding courses can consider Code Racer, which is a live, multi-player, coding game. With Code Racer, new talents can learn to build websites with the help of HTML and CSS. Experienced people can test their coding ability on this site.
The best thing about MIT is that it has opened all of its course content to web users. Anyone, from any place, can use and learn from MIT, which is one of the top research institutions in America.
Coursera is one of the big online education giants. With Coursera, you can learn courses online from dozens of top universities. The best part is that these courses are free. Coursera classes are also available in five different languages. These include English, Chinese, Spanish, Italian, and French. Professors from 62 universities teach these online courses.
With Learn Python the Hard Way, you can use free PDFs to learn coding. If you want to use the video version of the course, you’ll have to pay $29.
With this site, you cannot copy-paste anything, and this is the number one rule here.
There can be numerous reasons why the search rankings of your website might get get eliminated. The reasons for such disappearances are not as important as to whether whether you’re prepared for the day when this happens.
Below are a few points that will help you handle such situations:
1. Link quality control
Whether you are building links on your own, or, outsourcing them, it’s necessary to audit your link profile. Review them and decide what you would like to remove. For this, you can open up Webmaster Tools and view the sites that have the most links. If you find any site-wide links, replace them with single links, if possible.
Check if any particular anchor text has been used more than 20 per cent of your inbound links. In that case, you might be at risk and need to change the anchor text.
In the third scenario, if you are buying links or building private link networks, you should stop it completely. All these links are supposed to get eliminated at some point. In any case, if these links are discounted by Google, you will lose all future value. Besides, when you buy more links, it gets riskier.
2. Website Design
If you read the Google guidelines, you’ll learn that it states specifically that while creating a page, you should aim for users, rather than search engines. You can’t guarantee ranking by following this guideline, but violating it might get you penalized.
Website design is an important factor, especially when it comes to doubling traffic by doubling conversion rates of sites. Many sites do this. When you create good design, it earns natural links.
Below are some specific tips to leverage user experience:
3. Modern on-site SEO
On-site SEO is not just limited to keyword placement. Pages that don’t serve their purpose are at risk of Panda penalization and similar algorithmic demotions. Pages made for AdSense, or, pages that use ads, are also highly at risk. Pages with repetitive keyword use also face similar risks.
4. Aim for zero site errors
Errors can really harm a site that is otherwise of high quality. Check for errors in Google Webmaster Tools, and eliminate the ones that are visible. Later, you can use tools like Moz.
Some common SEO errors that can be avoided include 404 pages, redirects except for 301, no product descriptions, long title tags, missing meta descriptions, poor internal linking, no robots.txt, and no sitemap.
5. Refine content
Consider your existing pages and see the number of pages that are contributing significant traffic. If any content is not meeting the standards, you should eliminate or fix it.
6. Build quality links
Unless it is from one of the top sites in your industry, don’t just keep building links. You should start building links that meet quality criteria. You should build links that bring credibility and improve your conversion rates.
7. Social traction
There is no major direct impact of Social media activity on ranking, but they are an important and powerful source for SEO. If your site lacks social media activity, it won’t harm your rankings. There are certain situations where social media helps in a huge way, which successfully impacts on ranking. If your page offers social networks, you can expect it to gain more authority.
The popularity of WordPress as a powerful blogging platform cannot be negated in any way. Be it a free WordPress.com blog, or a self-hosted one, thousands of people start blogging every day. The important thing to consider is that out of the thousands of blogs created daily, how many sustain and remain popular for long? Do they get regular comments, or do they have to shut down in a few months due to the blog not being as popular as they wanted it to be.
Let’s discuss some useful tips to make your WordPress blog popular:
1. Concentrate on a single topic
Many people have the habit of writing about different things and about life in general, which doesn’t appeal to some readers. Though, one or two of their blog posts may appeal to people, the extensive range of content might keep visitors away from your blog, or, prevent them from coming back for more. To make your blog popular and interesting, you should focus on a single topic, and stick to it. In case you want to broaden it a bit, you can write about topics related to the one that you have focused on. This way, you’ll be able to do justice to your blogs, and make people interested in your posts.
2. Make friends with fellow bloggers
It’s quite probable that you may not be the only one posting blogs on the topics that you have chosen on the internet. There may be many others writing about the same thing. So you must look for fellow bloggers blogging on similar topics, and participate on their blogs by commenting something that is relevant and beneficial to the post. There are some bloggers who even allow commenters to leave a link and their name on the comment space. This will benefit you in terms of receiving new visitors and building rapport with fellow writers.
3. Join groups that support blogging
You can also join groups and forums that help in promoting your blogs on the right platform. Groups like bloggers.com that supports blogging is a great way to promote your blog, and find similar blogs too. The so-called “blog carnivals” are another great way to promote your blogs, and to introduce readers to similar blogs by different authors.
4. Try to keep many visitors on your blog
One benefit of offering related content is that more and more people get interested in your blog. When the reader gets all the related material of a particular topic in one place, they definitely like it. Try to use a small preview image, along with your post, rather than posting plain content.
5. Use guest bloggers
If you have Guest blogger writing on related topics, it will help in establishing your blog, along with making you an expert on the subject matter. A good way for bloggers to find guest writers is through MyBlogGuest. Be careful with guest blogging activities, and only work with guest bloggers and websites that are reputable, as guest blogging is now being closely examined by Google for link spamming schemes.
6. Involve visitors and encourage them to comment
If you receive comments from your visitors on your post, it means that they have followed your post and have things to say about it. Even if you get comments, your readers might not have shared your site or bookmarked it. In such case, you can reply to your readers and engage them to form a bond, so that the readers keep coming back.
7. Include social sharing widgets in your blog
A few small Social Sharing buttons on your website can really boost your blog’s exposure. At least the basic ones like Facebook, Twitter, and StumbleUpon, can be used without making your blog look messy.
I hope these points help you in making your blog popular. Happy Blogging! Stay tuned for more tips.
Although websites offering infinite scrolling pages are liked by users, Googlebot never appreciates them. This is because infinite scrolling doesn’t allow search engines to access the site as a user, if they do not possess the ability to scroll to the bottom of a page. Ability to click to “load more” or to click to load the next page in a series is also required in this case.
Without the ability to access content, the search engine spiders cannot make it appear in search results. With infinite scrolling, most spiders normally can’t access content, which reduces the chance of the content appearing in search results.
To ensure that Googlebot can access all the linked items in a website with infinite scrolling, the webmaster or the CMS administrator need to create a paginated series that coincides with the infinite scroll.
Google states that when changed to a paginated series, infinite scrolling pages become more search friendly. The reason is that a paginated series offers each component page a related Meta title. This Meta title comes with rel=next/prev values declared in the tag.
A demo has been created by John Mueller, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst, for infinite scroll pagination. The demo explains two primary search engine friendly characteristics of an infinite scroll page. They are:
Google offers many other SEO tips for Infinite Scrolling pages. Some of them are mentioned below:
Once you start applying the above tips, you will be able to ensure that your pages with infinite scroll become fully search engine friendly. All the content on your site will also become accessible to Google’s crawlers.
WordPress is a popular platform, and the list of free plugins that WordPress offers is in the thousands.
The important thing to notice is whether you as a blogger need to use all of them. There are people who love to use numerous widgets. Do you know that using several plugins might impact negatively on your readership? In this post we’ll discuss how using too many plugins can harm your audience level:
1. By slowing down your website
The most disturbing feature of using too many WordPress plugins is that they may slow down your website. When a reader of your site visits a page on your website, each plugin you use, sends a server request. When the number of readers increases, the numerous plugins you use on your slow things down by sending multiple server requests.
2. Some plugins are not safe
Though a plugin might work very well, it may not be secure. Some plugins, mainly the free ones, sometimes come under the scrutiny of hackers who try to hack your site through them. It’s better to stick to the necessary ones to avoid any hassles.
3. Maintenance of free plugins could stop at any time
Those who are using the maximum free plugins should be well prepared, as these plugins might close down someday. You cannot guarantee that free plugins will last forever. If that happens, your site will suffer badly. Besides, the more the plugins you use, the higher the risk of any one of them them shutting down.
4. Plugin conflicts
Often, there are conflicts on a site when one plugin is not compatible with another, and you are using them both. In certain cases, we’ve heard many stories of website content disappearing from a site after the blogger installs a plugin that’s not compatible with another one already in use. That is why having a backup of your site’s content on a regular basis is a must.
To conclude, it’s good to use WordPress plugins that are most required for your site, rather than picking and installing many, just to impress your readers. Use updated plugins, and also protect your site with security features. If possible, try to test the plugins on a backup version on your local computer before using them on your live site.