Having been in the world of online marketing and business for roughly 20 years now, I’ve experienced many of the drastic changes and transitions over the years. Everything from back when the internet was a world of straight HTML and dead simple… to the new and interactive social platform it is today.
Along with these many changes, so has the way businesses work and manage data. In the past you would collect and email address and treat it like gold, now you collect an email and can pull into all of it’s demographic data from other sources and third parties.
Yes, data and technology has quickly changed the world of business and how we run our everyday lives.
The rapid rate that technology and access to real-time data is impacting businesses is often inspiring and occasionally overwhelming. So the question now is, how can you harness this power of information benefit your business?
Quickly processing data allows small and midsized businesses to compete in a global market by using the same technologies as Fortune 500 companies with the additional benefit of easy accessibility and low overhead costs. VentureBeat noted that the use of data analytics and cloud computing are undeniably on the rise as “technology infrastructures shift to cloud-based platforms to increase business speed and agility.”
In today’s article we are going to look at some of the most interesting ways data and technology advancements have changed how businesses work in the world today and how you can improve your overall growth, earnings and productivity through these same methods.
Access to Customer Data Instantly
Industry focus on Big Data is expected to shift to increasingly forward this year. Emerging trends note that it is not just the pace data is processed and delivered, but how it can be delivered with an uptick in the popularity of self-service tools providing business-user generated data. Real-time applications that offer quick and targeted analytics in ecommerce and financial services will allow companies the competitive advantage by leveraging data in new ways.
A good example of this would be how Facebook has revolutionized the way online marketers and affiliates advertise online. Facebook completely changed the game by not only opening up their own self-serve advertising platform, but also allowing advertisers to target their audience on a whole new level through demographic and pixel / targeting based advertising.
This benefits both the advertiser and Facebook by having a system in place that offers minimal turnaround time, increased productivity and more opportunity for scalability. It’s not just marketing companies who are changing the way brands and businesses connect with their audience through the use of real-time data, we are continually seeing ecommerce and financial services actively progressing in this space as well.
Keeping Your Business in the Clouds
The importance of cloud computing on business is undeniable, and almost inevitable with all of the new cloud trends to look for this year. Cloud applications such as Google Drive and Microsoft 365 are poised to gain ground in replacing traditional software as we come to the close of the year.
Cloud computing isn’t just for big name brands and businesses. Small to mid-sized businesses are quickly finding the value in connecting with cloud ERP systems, which offers the same benefits and functionality of cloud computing the big players are spending millions on, but also cuts back the management costs and resources to make sure they aren’t overloaded with too many extra features in the process.
While cloud computing is nothing new to Fortune 500 companies, for the average person something like Dropbox might be a complete game changer. It’s one thing to have a software tool like Dropbox running on your laptop or desktop, but once you start using cloud-based applications on your mobile device, that’s when the fun really starts to begin!
Mobile is Still King
As with virtually any other web-based function, accessing business programs via mobile web browsing is on the rise. Not only are more users relying on mobile for basically every aspect of their lives, it’s also allowing for more direct advertising and engagement from brands to consumers to as well. Whether it be through in-game advertising, mobile applications or coupons being sent directly to your mobile device — this is the new standard for seeing immediate engagement and response rates like never before.
However, it’s not just customer data and engagement that is being changed my the mobile industry, it’s also how mobile is allowing entrepreneurs and online based marketers to run their business from anywhere. For example, take a look at any of the best business mobile apps like HootSuite, Trello to Dropbox. All of these solutions are now relying on mobile usage more than ever before to increase their customer base and allowing their users to get more done.
While the world of mobile is still in it’s infancy, there is a growing need for even more easy-to-navigate mobile collaborative business applications. Operations and data analytic providers are offering cloud-based systems that are completely functional and easy to use, with a “clicks not code” intuitive and user-friendly interface that allows businesses the flexibility to adapt to changing business demands.
Customer data, cloud-based technology and mobile are going to continue to dominated how well all connect with each other and run our businesses in 2016. The only question left to ask yourself is… how are you and your business going to be taking advantage of it?
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Quick and Effective Tips to Maximize Speed of your Website or Blog
Few things are worse than when you click over to a new website or blog, and then it’s loading slow as anything. With everyone having an extremely short attention span, and so many options for other websites and entertainment online, a fast loading website is a must for every blogger, brand, or business on the internet.
There are also many benefits associated with a fast loading site, beyond just user experience. Google is now penalizing sites that take too long to load, and boosting up other sites that a mobile-optimized and running super fast.
Depending on how technical your design or WordPress skills might be, the process of speeding up your site and maximizing it’s optimization might vary. To help with this process, I’ve listed a few of the best working methods below.
Optimize your Homepage to Load Quickly
With the homepage being one of the most vital parts of your website or blog, you should be doing everything possible to make sure it loads quickly. Different things can be done to speed up your homepage such as lowering the number of posts on the main page, minimizing applications and widgets from third-party sites, and also optimizing your images so they are either loading as a smaller sized file or through a CDN service. It’s also a good idea to use an SEO friendly theme or template, as these are more often cleaner with their coding and already optimized right out of the box.
Use an Effective Caching Plugin
If you are using a CMS like WordPress or blogger, then using an effective cashing plugin can contribute nicely in the process of making sure your site is loading as fast as possible. Since caching is an apparatus for a temporary storage of web pages to diminish bandwidth and to improve page loading performance as well, it saves the server’s time to make web pages load faster. Caching plugins are easy to install and use. All you need to do is perform some research online to see which plugin is best for your site, then click a few buttons to have it installed right within WordPress. Once this is done, it’s usually just a matter of copying the account number of your CDN and letting the hosting provider and WordPress plugin do its work.
Use CDN (content delivery network)
We’ve already referenced content delivery networks or CDNs, a few times now. The way these solutions work is that they host a version of your site on their server, and then loads the content from another server that is closest to that individual’s location. More and more site owners and bloggers are using CDNs not only to improve page load speed but to provide users with a great experience to make them stay longer on the website. Also mentioned earlier, this can help with how well a site ranks in Google, while also moving your site above the competition. Moreover, if one of your server locations is overloaded due to huge traffic and visitors, then users can automatically be switched to a new server location to enjoy fast loading website experience.
Improve Your Hosting Plan
If you have a slow loading website or blog, it’s likely due to your hosting plan. If you are pushing a lot of traffic through your site and making money in the process, you should definitely upgrade from a shared server. Shared hosting is often fine for new site owners and bloggers, but as your site gains more attention, backlinks, and traffic, it will also likely be using more server resource. On a shared server, your site is also sharing the server resources with many other sites — sometimes hundreds, or even thousands! Upgrading your hosting plan to a VPS or dedicated hosting package can greatly improve the performance of your site as well. So, if you are still using a cheap web hosting plan with an average price below $5/mo and receiving massive traffic from search engines, then it would be the right time for you to upgrade your hosting plan with a better one to speed up your website loading speed.
Use Optimized Images
Big images take up a lot of space and resources when it comes to loading data from your site. This is especially true with very high-quality images. While these images are going to play a big role in the beauty and engagement on your site, there are still ways to optimize such large images so they load faster and put less stress on your server. There are many plugins are available that can drastically reduce the file size of an image without reducing the quality. Image optimization will not only help you boost website load time but will also save disk space for more files and media. If you really don’t want to overload your website with plugins, then you can also use online image reducer apps and software to optimize image before uploading to the media library of the site.
Minimize HTTP Redirects Requests
How and where content is being loaded on your site can also affect its overall performance. You may need to use redirect requests to redirect the web browser from one URL to another. There are a variety of reasons as to why you might want to do this, such as to specify a new URL location, to track visits and clicks on the site or to connect different elements of the website with each other. Since redirects might be necessary to enhance overall UX of the website, you should only be using the redirect requests that are most important because excessive redirect requests can have an ultimate impact on the loading speed of your website/blog.
Don’t Leave Your Audience Hanging
When browsing the internet, few things are more annoying than accessing a slow loading website. It’s hard enough to get someone to visit your site, let alone stay for a few seconds. Don’t give them a reason to leave right away because your site isn’t loading as fast as it should be.
Follow each of the simple and effective site speed optimization tips above to make sure your site loads as fast as possible, ranks higher than the competition and also doesn’t disappoint your audience when they hit your site.
7 Examples of How to Rank Higher in Google for Your Name
Your name is important and when someone searches for it online, you want to make sure they find your correct information. This isn’t just about reputation management, it’s also about looking your best and delivering a great first impression.
The key thing to remember here is no matter what someone is searching for online, they are likely going to start with a simple Google search. Since most people share their name with hundreds or even thousands of people in the world, having your content rank for your name might be quite a challenge. This is especially the case if you share a name with a popular celebrity, politician or well-known personality.
The good news is that when it comes to ranking for your name in Google, anything is possible. Implement each of the seven methods below into your content creation and marketing efforts to see your own site and content start ranking higher for your personal name.
Create a Website or Blog with YourName.com
It’s not just about creating a site and putting it out there, it’s also about making sure the site acts as your main hub for everything you do online. This means you should be creating original content for the site, linking to your social media profiles and also referencing back to your site when contributing to other sites or getting quoted/referenced.
Once you have a platform in place, it’s something that will continue grow and develop with your personal brand over time — while also gaining in authority and SEO power as well.
Promote Your Social Profiles
Speaking of social profiles, Google loves to rank sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter right at the top of their search results. Depending on the competition around your name, your social profiles might already be ranking at the top of Google, even above your own websites.
You can see an example of what currently ranks in Google should you search for “Taylor Swift” below.
With millions of sites and new content pieces covering Taylor Swift every single day, it’s her social profiles (Twitter, Instagram and YouTube) that continue to dominate the search rankings.
This same method works for all names and not just celebrities. If you want your social profiles to rank higher, just keep sending more links to them using a variation of your name as the anchor text.
Boost Profiles and Authority Sites
As mentioned in the beginning of the article, ranking at the top of Google for your name is important if you want to deliver the best and most accurate information. If you are having trouble ranking your own site or want to focus on ranking other high authority content in addition to your own, this is a perfect option to explore.
For example, let’s take a look at Warren Stephens, who is an entrepreneur and has multiple bios and articles written about him online. His Wikipedia profile ranks first, then a bio on Forbes and another based around “Warren Stephens net-worth” on TheRichest. While Wikipedia and Forbes are both mega-huge outlets, TheRichest is still quite powerful to be ranking number three for his name.
Celebrity networth sites have quickly been gaining more and more attention lately as they continue to ramp up the number of celebrities, entrepreneurs, and well-known personalities they continue to cover. Even if you don’t think your one of the most famous people in the world, your profile could soon quickly be picked up by their platforms and covered in the media.
How long before we see these “networth” sites ranking on the first page for many average individuals, YouTube stars and entrepreneurs?
Guest Blogging and Author Profiles on Other Sites
While you might already have a site of your own that is ranking well for your name, it’s always a good idea to try and rank for multiple positions with other relevant content. If you are an expert in your industry, a great way to secure even more page one rankings for your name is to contribute content to other high-authority sites.
Not only does Neil have his own sites, he is also a contributor to many big media outlets like Entrepreneur.com and HubSpot.com. Doing a quick search for his name in Google will result in not only his main sites and social profiles ranking for his name, but also each of these contributing bios on other sites as well.
Once again, a perfect example of how you can deliver a great first impression (and your best content) when someone searches for your name on Google.
Rank with Other Content Sharing Sites
As covered in a few of the examples above, a great way to quickly rank at the top of Google for your name is to do so with other well-established sites. In this example, we are going to look at Jeff Bullas, who is one of the most well-known bloggers and social media influencers in the world today.
His site at JeffBullas.com already ranks number one for his name, then his social profiles follow afterward. However, when you move further down the list you will see his profiles with SlideShare.net and WordPress.com also make it on the first page of Google.
Even though Slideshare and WordPress.com are two extremely popular sites, not many people consider them when trying to rank for multiple positions for their name. These are definitely two free options everyone should consider when trying to dominate the whole first page of Google for their name.
Do Interviews and Media Outreach
A common theme in this article has been the power of using authority sites and media outlets to quickly rank at the top of Google. One of the best ways to accomplish this is through interviews and getting mentioned or covered by relevant industry sites that rank well.
A quick example of this can be seen if you search for my name in Google. A few years ago I was interviewed for IncomeDiary.com, and that post still ranks extremely well for my name today.
The same holds true for even big name celebrities or entrepreneurs who do interviews or get covered for stories based around their success and fame. If you do a search for “Lori Greiner” of Shark Tank, you will see interview-based stories from BusinessInsider.com, Inc. and Entrepreneur.com all ranking on the first page for her name.
Not sure how to get media coverage on sites like Entrepreneur or Inc? Simple… just look for the author bio section in each article. Share their content, build up a relationship and maybe your story is a perfect fit for their next article.
Don’t Forget About the Power of Video
Video is a fascinating beast in itself, yet one that is often overlooked by content creators that mainly focus on “text” based articles.
Here’s two quick things you need to know about video.
- People love to share and reference videos
- Google loves to rank video since they own YouTube
Now that you know that, you should definitely be using video in your content outreach and SEO practices.
Still not sure how effective video ranking can be? Richard Branson is one of the most well-known and successful entrepreneurs in the world, with billions of searches for his name annually. With all of that competition in play, do you think a video would rank for his name on Google? — The answer is yes, and even more surprising… it’s not even a YouTube video!
Don’t Just Rank #1 — Rank for All Ten!
The ultimate goal for everyone trying to rank in Google for their name shouldn’t be to just grab that elusive number one position, but instead to rank for multiple (if not all) page one locations.
Run through the above seven working methods again and see what type of content you may already have ranking in Google. It’s much easier to improve your rankings with any existing content that you already have ranking on page 2 or 3 pushed to page 1, versus trying to come up with new and original content of your own.
In the world of SEO and ranking at the top of Google, it’s all about getting your content in the right places and building authority links and references around them
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