Hughes would be huge loss for ICT and could be Celtic boss says Collins

first_imgFormer Celtic assistant John Collins says John Hughes would be a huge loss to Inverness CT, believing his former colleague is good enough to manage the Scottish champions.Hughes’ future is in doubt with the manager at odds with the club’s board over his player budget.The former Falkirk and Hibernian boss, who led the club to third place and Scottish Cup glory in 2014/15, has been at loggerheads with the Highlanders’ hierarchy in recent times over cash for new players.With no end to the dispute in sight, Hughes’ position appears in real doubt. After working together at Livingston, Collins – who recently departed Glasgow’s east end along with Ronny Deila – says Hughes is talented enough to take the Celtic Park vacancy. He said: “The first thing I will say is John Hughes has done an unbelievable job at Inverness. He took on a team that was a long ball team, played no football and he very quickly moulded them into a total football team.“They got to the League Cup final in his first season and lost on penalty kicks against Aberdeen. In the second season they beat us [Celtic] in the semi-final and won the Scottish Cup on top of that he has sold players and made players better.“How his name hasn’t been mentioned for the Celtic job I don’t know. What he has done with average players, no support, no training ground, no sports science, no video analysis is incredible. If Inverness lose John Hughes then it will be a huge loss to them.“Do you make players better? Do you make teams better? Do you play a brand of football that is entertaining? John Hughes ticks all those boxes. “He did us a great favour by beating Aberdeen twice and drawing with them at important moments in the season. He’s proved he can make teams better. His team’s play entertaining football with no money, no supporters so why not?”Former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers held further talks with Celtic on Tuesday and while the Parkhead side will talk to other candidates, Collins feels the Northern Irishman would be a great choice for the role.He added: “Brendan would be a brilliant choice, I like him a lot. I enjoy watching his teams play football and I enjoy listening to him so I think he’d be a terrific choice. There’s lots of others in the mix.”last_img read more

For Nontechnical Hires, How Much Stock Is Enough?

first_imgscott gerber How to Meet the Demands of the Socially Conscio… How to Cultivate the Skill of Being a Creative … Guest author Scott Gerber is the founder of the Young Entrepreneur Council.In an early-stage startup, you may not have much in the way of cash to offer new hires. While you’ll often hear advice about how to structure equity for technical hires, deciding how to compensate other key hires—from cofounders to sales staff—isn’t as clear-cut.To help you figure it out, I asked founders from YEC how they figured out what to offer early-stage, nontechnical hires. Their best advice—from considerations to make to equations to use—is below.1. Base It on the Number of Employees You HaveEarly hires are more critical than late hires. Think of your company hires in terms of stages: 1–2 employees, 3–6, 7–15, 16–30, 31–60, 61–150, etc. The amount of equity an employee gets should go down with each stage, because the company is getting less risky to work for, and because you just can’t keep issuing large amounts of equity to everyone at the company. Here’s one system to follow: Employees 1-2 (cofounders) should split the company either 50/50, 67/33, 75/25, or some other reasonable amount. Employees 3-6 should get between 1 and 5 percent of the company in equity, while employees 7–15 should get 0.5–1 percent. Employees 16–30 should get between 0.25–0.5 percent, and so on. A great company to look to for guidance on this is Buffer, which opened up all its salary and equity calculations. —Mattan Griffel, One Month2. Calculate Based on Your Capital ConsiderationsAssuming you’re starting with no capital, you’re going to grant pieces of your company in order to give incentives to early-stage employees. In my experience, sales and marketing is most often handled by stakeholders when there’s no capital. If sales staff is a requirement of your particular company, revenue-share models can be more conducive with the startup economy so you’re not forced to give away critical pieces of your business before seeking subsequent investment. —Blair Thomas, EMerchantBroker 3. Decide on What You Want Everyone to KnowWe make all compensation, salary, and equity based on the expectation that everyone eventually finds out each other’s numbers. This means that people with similar positions and responsibilities should have the same compensation. Even if a candidate asks for lower equity than their peers, give them the same amount. When they find out that you gave them less equity than a peer, you’ll lose their trust. When we give out offers, we tell candidates that we don’t negotiate because what we offer is prioritizing fairness for the candidate and the rest of the team. New hires have been appreciative of this approach. —Nanxi Liu, Enplug4. Use AngelList to DecideAngelList is a great resource for determining early-stage compensation for non-founders. It shows you how much equity companies like yours in your geographical area are offering employees of various titles, and takes the guesswork out of the process. —Brennan White, Cortex5. Start With an Option PoolThe best way to manage equity for key and strategic hires is through an option pool. Most option pools include total equity in the amount of 10–15 percent, which you’ll need to allocate based on projected hires over the next 24 to 36 months. Once you establish your intended list of hires, you can allocate up to 75 percent of the option pool (leaving wiggle room for negotiation). Generally speaking, technical hires should get more equity than nontechnical hires. However, you may want to break the “technical-hire” rule for superstar nontechnical hires, especially if the hire fills a needed executive or senior-level position. Once you think through your hiring, you’ll be in a better position to allocate your option pool. Note: setting up an option pool will also be helpful should you raise venture capital. —Kristopher Jones, LSEO.com6. Tie It to PerformanceUsing equity in lieu of capital compensation until you are cash-flow positive is normal. The shares should be on a vesting schedule and should be tied to performance and agreed upon by both parties. —Lane Campbell, June7. Keep a Vesting Period in MindIn general, sales and marketing staff tend to get less equity than technical hires with the exception of nontechnical managers and executives. In my opinion, how much equity you give is less important than how the equity will vest. In general, most vesting periods are four years long, though people are experimenting with longer and shorter periods. This means that regardless of how much equity the non-technical hire is given, they will have to stay with the company (not get fired or quit) in order to achieve the full amount of equity given. For instance, if you provide a nontechnical hire with 0.5 percent equity over 4 years, the stock will vest in equal installments of 0.125 percent each year. Vesting periods are critical because they protect the company and create better alignment between the hire and his or her performance over time. —Obinna Ekezie, Wakanow.com8. Base It on How Critical the Hire IsIt’s a two-step process. First, do some research to find the industry benchmark (try AngelList.) Second, you should think critically about how important this particular hire is going to be. For example, in enterprise companies, sales positions becomes very critical for the success of the company. If it is like that, you want to sweeten the deal further. Overall, good companies tend to be more generous with their stock options. —Ashu Dubey, 12 Labs9. Use Equity to Keep Everyone in the GameCompensating those on your team with the success of your business will add extra motivation and drive. Especially early on, you need all hands on deck and everyone moving in the same direction. This includes all aspects of your business, not just technical team members. I leveraged AngelList frequently to assess how much equity to give. Putting in a one-year cliff and a vesting schedule has been critical to keep the team motivated, and gives something to really celebrate when we hit those key milestones. —Kristi Zuhlke, KnowledgeHound10. Quantify and Be FlexibleIt’s a very tricky question with many different answers, depending on who you ask; there’s no single answer, but there are ways to tailor compensation to your company and industry that will serve you exponentially better than listening to general advice. Keep in mind several factors: How big is your equity compensation pool (15 percent, 20 percent, etc.)?How many hires will you be making in the next six months with the current equity comp pool, and what types of hires will these people be (low-level, high-level)?How early is this employee and what kind of salary is this employee getting relative to their industry?How important or unique is this employee compared to other hires? Keep these things in mind relative to your equity pool, and also compare to industry what you come up with as a guideline. —Alec Bowers, Abraxas Biosystems 11. Think in Terms of Dollars, Not Shares or PercentagesYou should have a reasonable expectation of how much your business is worth today and might be worth in a year or two. You can also estimate what additional upside a new hire will need to either compensate for below market comp today, or take on the risk of joining a startup. For example, if the market for a sales person is $65,000 and commission is 10 percent, you can decide how much additional bonus per year they need to join your team ($25,000, $50,000, $100,000). Consider what that might grow into based on your valuation growth (2x, 5x, 10x) to get them to join. Then you can decide if it’s worth giving that up for what they bring in terms of sales growth or lead generation. —Avi Levine, Digital Professional Institute 12. Make Sure Total Compensation Hits Market ValueThere are market rates established for all levels and roles. Target a compensation package within 20 percent of market rate. We’ve had success by offering a menu of three choices, which allows each candidate to choose their mix of cash and equity. Just remember that a well-rounded startup has strong technical and nontechnical people, so don’t treat anyone like a lower-class employee. —Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches13. Do the MathSlicing up equity should come down to a math equation. Instead of reinventing the wheel, you should use math that other people have invented to figure it out. Y Combinator cofounder Paul Graham puts it together in this simple equation: 1/(1 – n). What it breaks down to is that if “n” is the equity you’re giving up, it’s worth it if it makes the company worth more than 1/(1 – n). Beyond that, I stick to the basics: Have a one-year cliff and four-year vesting for all equity employees. —John Rampton, Due AI Will Empower Leaders, Not Replace Themcenter_img Tags:#compensation#Equity Compensation#Guest Posts#hiring#Nontechnical Hires#recruiting#Stock Options#yec Related Posts How Connected Communities Can Bolster Your Busi…last_img read more

8 Free Links to Promote a Blog

first_imgDo you have a new blog? Want to get 8 free links to your blog? Here is a list of free links in blog directories that you can get for your blog, along with the Page Rank of the blog directory (read this article to learn more about Page Rank: The Importance of Google PageRank: A Guide For Small Business Executives).So far, none of these links have driven a ton of traffic, however, more inbound links do help you a lot in terms of search engine optimization (read this article to learn more about linkbuilding: Executive Summary: Linkbuilding and SEO for the Internet Marketing Neophyte).We have submitted our own blog to each of these blog directories and can confirm that they are quality links from reputable sources, and they are all free and do not require a reciprocal link.8 Quality Blog Directories with Free, No-Reciprocal Links Page Rank  PR: wait… I: wait… L: wait… LD: wait… I: wait…wait… C: wait… SD: wait… Blog Optimization 3 Globe of Blogs 6 5 Bloggernity Did you like what you read? Want more? Get automatic updates by subscribing to our RSS Feed or Email List (top right hand side of this page). SuperBlog Directory 3 7 BlogFlux 6 Blog Listing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Bloggapedia Blog Directory Blogarama Topics: Originally published Nov 28, 2007 12:18:00 PM, updated October 18 2015 4 6 Bloggiolast_img read more

Marketing Article Links for Week of March 17, 2008

first_img41 Blogging Tips ( A Simple Marketing Strategy ( Can I Find Keyword Cost for AdWords? ( 10 Multivariate and A/B Testing Results from 2007 ( Ways to Ensure Readers Remember You ( Originally published Mar 17, 2008 10:37:00 AM, updated October 01 2019 A little while back we launched, which is a social news site for Marketing Mavens.  There are some great articles over there, and I’m going to start sharing some of the better ones here on the HubSpot Blog.  You may want to signup for, because once you are signed in, the homepage is actually customized based on your voting history, so over time if you sign-in and vote, you should get articles more and more tuned in to your interest.  You can also add articles that you like and share them with the rest of the community.  It’s still in Beta, and some spam (non-marketing) articles sneak in, but there is some good stuff there now, and often articles you would not have found elsewhere.Here are 5 of my favorite marketing articles from from this past week.  Enjoy!center_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Top 5 Inbound Marketing Stories of the Week: Media Relations Isn’t Dead

first_img Author: PR Squared really hit home for me.  In a time when we’re constantly reminded of the pending death of newspapers due to the increasingly powerful Web, PR guru Todd Defren Lesson: 1. Translations for Facebook Connect Brand evangelists have surprising potential. Todd Defren Google Sidewiki Influential Marketing Blog Twitter Marketing: It’s More Like Email Than You Think because of the Internet; in addition, with all the biased clutter found on the Web, it’s no wonder that traditional news outlets are still seen as the most reliable editorial source.  Therefore, to get that coverage from credible media like the The Vizion Blog Speaking of the clutter on the Web, what if there were someone whose sole job responsibility was to sort through and uncover the best and most worthy content?  Rohit discusses this role and what it would entail, calling it “Content Curator,” or someone who continually finds, groups, organizes and shares the best and most relevant content on a specific issue online.  Think Lesson: How to Claim Your Website’s Google Sidewiki Apply traditional marketing tactics to the new ways of the Web. 2. , which can be used to translate websites into any of the languages Facebook supports.  Barb’s short article describes the tool, based on the same solution Facebook itself employed to translate its site, which recruited volunteers to help translate the site into more than 65 languages.  The tool will display content in a visitor’s native language if they log in using Facebook Connect.  This of course means that potentially all websites can be translated into Manifesto For The Content Curator: The Next Big Social Media Job Of The Future? Author: of of pulls us back down to earth to show us that, despite what you may think, media relations shouldn’t be dying along with it.  In fact, among the pile of biased content littering the blogosphere, traditional news outlets still stand out as the most faithful, unbiased sources, proving that we should focus on media relations now more than ever before. ‘s Pirate language Author: of Successful techniques from one tool may work for another. Mainstream Media Relations: More Important Than Ever inbound marketing kit You may have to sift through the clutter to find quality content. 3. Author: Download our Bill Hartzer Zephrin Laskercenter_img Originally published Oct 2, 2009 7:05:00 AM, updated July 18 2013 Take advantage of new technologies, and don’t get left out of the conversation (especially if it’s happening on your own site). Barb Dybwad BusinessWeek By claiming your Google Sidewiki space, website owners ensure their own comments appear at the top of all other comments.  Website owners can use this space to promote their site, direct visitors to important pages, and make sure they’re aware of what others are saying about their site.  Although only users who download the wiki will see the comments, Bill suggests it as another way to join the conversation.   Lesson: but on a much broader scale.  , Todd advises us to keep nurturing those media relationships! . Lesson: .  I’m a fan. Mashable Alltop Guy Kawasaki As a public relations professional, this week’s top story on Learn more about inbound marketing and how to combine blogging, SEO and social media for results. By some estimates, in just a few years we will reach a point where all the information on the Internet will double every 72 hours.  Does this role already exist in some places, and do we need it? 4.  Advertising Age Photo by Annie Mole Inbound Marketing Kit is here, and Bill Hartzer gives you step by step instructions on how to claim yours and why it’s an important thing to do.  The Sidewiki is an add-on to the Google toolbar that allows any Web user who downloads it to make comments on any website; the comments are then viewable to anyone else who visits the site and has downloaded the Sidewiki.  Lesson: or of NY Times With its new $100 million funding under its belt, Twitter must justify its worth by leveraging the data it knows and translating it into real results and revenue for marketers.  Zephrin’s article makes suggestions to Twitter about how to attract advertisers, primarily by capitalizing on lessons learned from email marketing. Zephrin’s thought is that email-like capabilities — such as the ability to segment audiences, access dynamic reporting, test and optimize campaigns in real time, etc. — would be valuable to Twitter advertisers.  If Twitter can deliver on these basic capabilities for marketers, they’ll have no trouble pulling in advertisers’ dollars.  What do you think? Author: 5. To support the thought that media relations shouldn’t be at death’s door, Todd points out that the number of unique visitors to newspaper websites has grown by 15.8% to 65 million in the past year.  While newspapers may be struggling in terms of earning money, their audience is flourishing.  Why?  Stories can now be spread much faster and more easily of The Facebook just announced the release of its new tool for developers,  Rohit Bhargava Don’t start cutting off ties with journalists just yet.  Media relations is alive and kicking! Facebook Releases Free Tool for Translating Your Site Don’t forget to share this post! 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Free Link-Building Directories to Jumpstart Your Search Engine Ranking

first_img Link Building Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Editor’s Note: The contents of this articles are out of date. It remains live for posterity (hah, remember when people used link building directories?), but the advice is no longer current with Google’s recommendations. If you’d like to stay up to date with the latest SEO trends, I recommend checking out this article.Links are the top metric by which search engines determine who you are and what you are about, and ultimately how you are ranked in search results.  In other words, links are your website’s life line. A great way to jumpstart your link-building efforts to get that online vote of trust is to submit your business to directories, which is a great way to get your small business website on the map.Wondering how to get more inbound linksto your website, and where to start? Here’s a list of top link-building directories, which are all FREE resources to help you get started.Access 4 Essential Link-Building TipsLocal Engine Local Business, and (to double check if you’ve been listed)Blog Directories:DoFollowBlogs.comPlaceBlogger.comBloglines.comBlogsearch.Google.comTechnorati.comBlogged.comBlogCatalog.comBlogmarks.netMyBlogLog.comZimbio.comReview and Rating Directories:Yelp.comRateitall.comInsiderPages.comDirectories not only help you get more inbound links but also bring in more qualified traffic and generate leads. As you add your business to directories, be sure to use very specific categories including location, industry-specific niches and anything else that makes you unique. Whether you are locally focused or have branches throughout the country, you should be listed where people are looking for you. Inbound links pointing to your site from other trusted sources on the Web are like people raising their hand to Google and saying, “You should pay attention to this one!”Photo Credit: Jurek Durczak Topics: Originally published Feb 11, 2010 2:30:00 PM, updated September 07 2017last_img read more

Bing Adds 5x More Facebook Content to its Search Results

first_img Topics: Just a couple days after Facebook’s hyped up “secret” announcement was revealed to be Graph Search — which, powered by Bing, uses social signals to try to create a truly social search experience within Facebook — Bing has announced that its search results will now feature 5x more content from users’ Facebook friends, including status updates, links, and comments. Big surprise, right? You know … a little of the ‘ol “you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours” action? Okay, okay, so in the marketing world, we call this ‘co-marketing.’In any event, let’s take a closer look at the social changes Bing has made to its search engine results, and why, at least as a marketer, you should give a hoot.What Has Changed About Bing’s Search ResultsI know what you’re thinking, you well-informed marketer, you: “But Bing was already incorporating social data from Facebook into its search results.” Yes, this is true. Back in June, 2012, Bing started including Facebook Likes, photos, and profile information into search results. But now, there’s even more. Five times more, to be exact. In addition to the Facebook results Bing was already showing, now you’ll also see status updates, shared links, and comments — all served up to you in the far-right sidebar of Bing’s new three-column design when you connect your Facebook account, as pictured below (click image to enlarge). SEO and Social Media So if you were to do a search for, say, “Boston restaurants” as I did above, you’d get organic results on the left, PPC results in the middle, and primarily Facebook results on the right, which could include anything from shared links, photos, comments, status updates, or Likes from your friends about restaurants in Boston. Pretty helpful if you’re a user trying to decide where to go out to eat on a Friday night, right?While social results aren’t limited just to Facebook content — they also include other social networks like Twitter, Quora, Foursquare, etc. — Bing seems to be featuring Facebook results most prominently. Check out this video from Bing to learn more about the changes: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Why Marketers Should Care Whether or not you choose to use Bing for your own personal search engine needs, there are people out there who do. In fact, according to comScore, Bing is at an all-time high. Its 16% market share is second to Google’s 66.9% as of October 2012. And after Bing’s Bing It On Challenge — which pitted Bing’s search results against Google’s in a blind comparison test and showed that people preferred Bing results to Google’s nearly 2:1 — of people who identified Google as their primary search engine, 33% said they would use Bing more often after taking the challenge.So yes, believe it or not, there is a good chunk of users — many of which are probably your prospects — who are using Bing to power their searches. And with the increased emphasis on content from Facebook in its search results, you can’t really afford to miss out on a piece of that pie. So the lesson is probably one you’ve heard from us time and time again, but that’s only because the changes search engines are making to take more and more social cues into consideration just keep on coming. And it’s not just about creating a Facebook page so you can share your content and engage with fans on your own terms, either. It’s also about consistently creating content that people will naturally want to share on Facebook and in other social networks — which can then also show up in their friends’ search results.So hop to it, marketers! Social in search is here to stay, and you can’t afford to miss out.What do you think of Bing’s partnership with Facebook?Image Credit: michperu Originally published Jan 18, 2013 4:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016last_img read more

Copywriting Lessons From BuzzFeed’s Worst Headlines [New Data]

first_img Originally published May 27, 2015 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 As more and more people begin to publish online, more channels and content will be competing for your audience’s attention. A great headline is one of the most effective ways to break through the noise — it has the potential to increase a post’s traffic by 500%. So how do you write a headline that drives that kind of results for you?Search for “how to write the best headline” and you’ll find many articles promising a blog title formula that will garner the most page views and shares. BuzzStream and Fractl decided to take a different approach: We looked at a set of low-performing headlines to identify key patterns and figure out what not to do when writing headlines.To find this out, we turned to a publisher that dominates in social shares: BuzzFeed. Using BuzzSumo, we pulled all the English-language headlines from April 2014 to April 2015. We organized headlines by the first two words — and any that began with a number received a value of “X” (e.g., “X Pieces,” “X GIFs,” etc.). The sample was narrowed down further by those that had at least 10 records, leaving us with more than 5,000 titles and their corresponding social shares.Below is a summary of what we found.Headlines with questions were some of the worst-performing types in the study.”Are You” was one of the worst two-word combinations in a headline, garnering slightly more than 14,000 shares per article. It was representative of a larger pattern: Headlines that were posed as questions were some of the worst-performing of the study. Further analysis revealed:The “Are You” headline was one the lowest-performing for three social networks — Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn.Excluding the most popular sharing network (Facebook), “What Should” was also one of the least popular headlines.After comparing all the question headlines to the 15 most-shared headlines, question headlines earned 24,951 shares per article while non-question headlines earned 83,475 — more than a 70% increase.Drawing attention to an article that comes from a less authoritative source (such as a community member) is associated with fewer shares.User generated content can bring an audience closer to a brand, generate “free” content, and enhance loyalty. However, our research indicates that readers tend to share these articles less often. Titles with “Community Post” earned the least number of shares out of the entire data set, and compared to the highest-performing headline (“X Pictures”), “Community Post” earned more than 845% fewer shares. Additional findings revealed the following:Aside from earning the lowest number of shares overall, “Community Post” also earned the fewest Twitter shares — fewer than 200 per article.”Community Post” headlines earned the least number of shares from LinkedIn and Google+ (less than 1% each) and the majority of their shares (96%) from Facebook.”Community Post” was also one of lowest-performing headline types for three social networks: Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.Without Facebook shares, poorly performing headlines earned as little as 341 shares per article.Facebook dominated social shares: The platform earned 85% or more of the shares for the 10 highest-performing headlines and 70% or more for the 10 lowest-performing headlines (the lower percentage stemming from two titles exceeding four-digit shares in both Facebook and Pinterest – “X Pieces” and “The Ultimate”).Without Facebook, 8 of the 10 lowest-performing headlines earned ~90% fewer shares. “What Should” also became the lowest-performing headline, earning only 341 shares per article. Additional findings revealed:”X Pieces” was affected the least: Excluding Facebook, the headline still earned more than 5,100 shares per article, and more than 25% of these shares came from Pinterest.8 out of the 10 worst-performing headlines on Facebook also earned the fewest shares overall.The headline type with the strongest performance — “X Pictures” — earned more than 112,000 shares from Facebook. The lowest-performing headline type — “Community Post” — earned fewer than 12,000. That’s nearly 90% fewer shares.Pinterest had the highest number of unique worst-performing headlines compared to other social networks.Shares in Pinterest proved to be valuable for titles such as “X Pieces” and “The Ultimate,” but our research also revealed that high shares from the network were harder to earn. Seven out of the ten lowest-performing headlines on Pinterest were unique to the platform, meaning that it had very few low-performing titles in common with other networks. Further analysis indicated:3 out of the 10 lowest-performing headlines referenced males — “A Man,” “A Guy,” and “This Guy.”Pinterest was one of only two social networks on which a specific number was mentioned in a low-performing headline — “The 15” on Pinterest and “The 25” on Twitter.Headlines with “A Man” earned the fewest shares on the social network — only two per article.It’s also interesting to note that using “guy” over “man” paid off: While “A Man” only earned two Pinterest shares per article, “A Guy” and “This Guy” earned 29 shares and 33 shares per article respectively — up to a 1,550% increase.Mentions of something specific (such as “whiskey” instead of “alcohol”) tend to be common in articles with low shares.One of the more interesting findings came through the analysis of word combinations. We looked at the top three-word combinations for the 10 lowest-performing headlines and the most popular two-word clusters in the bottom quartile. Our results revealed:References to two specific holidays — Christmas and Valentine’s Day — were found in the most frequent three-word combinations for “X GIFs” and “X Gifts” respectively.Although the Internet (and particularly BuzzFeed) can seem full of cats and celebrities, “Cats Who” and “Taylor Swift” were two of the most frequently used two-word clusters in headlines that earned low shares.The biggest takeaway from our research? Headlines matter: The 10 lowest-performing headlines earned 415% fewer shares than the 10 highest-performing.If you’d like to dive deeper into the research, you can check out the following infographic and review this deck, the latter which compares additional synonyms and looks at which months low-performing headlines are shared the least. 190Save 190SaveStudy by Fractl and BuzzStream. Topics: Social Media Analytics Don’t forget to share this post! 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9 Outdated SEO Tactics That Just Don’t Work Anymore

first_imgIt’s 2015 and SEO hasn’t gotten any easier for digital marketers. With Google’s Panda and Penguin algorithm updates that have happened in the past few years, it’s no surprise that the search engine optimization aspect of digital marketing is constantly changing.This volatility requires digital marketers to be agile with their tactics, frequently adapting to the latest guidelines that search engines implement into their algorithms. Throughout this post, I will help you understand which tactics you should not be using, because, let’s face it — they just don’t work anymore!Outdated SEO Tactics That Just Don’t Work AnymoreWrite Keyword Rich Content for Better RankingGet More Links to Rank HigherOnly Focus on Links and ContentBuild More Pages to Get More TrafficRank Higher to Get More TrafficGuest Blog at a Large Scale to Build SEO AuthorityFill the Title Tag With Keywords to Increase RankingDon’t Waste Time on Including Images in Your ContentGet Listed in Lots of Directories to Fill Your Backlinks Profile SEO Mistakes 9 Outdated SEO Tactics That Just Don’t Work Anymore1. Get More Links to Rank HigherIn the past, building as many links as possible without analyzing the linking domain was how SEO typically worked. By doing this, your website was sure to rank higher. Building links is still a very important part of ranking factors. According to Search Metrics, it is still top 5 most important rankings factors, but you must build links in a much different manor than you used to.Around Penguin 2.0, which was released in May of 2013, all of this changed. Nowadays, it is important to focus on the quality of links you are obtaining, rather than the quantity. Sometimes less can be more if you know how exactly to build links the proper way.2. Write Keyword Rich Content for Better RankingIt used to be important that you write your content with the keyword incorporated exact match, but now Google uses latent semantic indexing (LSI), which was conceived around February of 2004 and became more and more prominent within search through every update.With this type of indexing, the contents of a webpage are crawled by the search engine and the most common words or phrases are combined and identified as the keywords of that page. LSI also looks for synonyms that related to your target keywords.Today, it’s important to optimize your page for the user experience; this means that you do not have to place your keywords word-for-word in the content. Write the content for the user. By using synonyms and related terms, the search engines will still understand what your goal is.3. Only Focus on Links and ContentAbout 5 years ago, SEO used to be all about getting tons of links, good code, and okay content. These days, most of the websites that are ranking really well have a large social following. People argue whether it directly or indirectly affects rankings, but either way it does have an impact.Think of it this way, the more popular your website is socially, the more eyeballs you will draw to it. The more people see it, the more backlinks and traffic you will receive. Additionally, social media is a great way to send out content and get the traction you are looking for.4. Build More Pages to Get More TrafficSome people have the notion that if you have more pages, you will get more traffic to your website. Just like link building, creating content just to have more pages will not help you. Make sure you are focusing your content on quality, not quantity. If you do not have good content, you will not rank well and all of those pages you created will not help your cause.Introduced February, 2011, Google’s Panda algorithm updates have been getting better and better at detecting bad content. Nowadays, if you have poor content it is possible you may face a Google penalty, so make sure you are created great content that users want to read.5. Rank Higher to Get More TrafficThere is a big misconception that higher rankings mean more search traffic. It is true that people will see your listing, but it does not mean you will get more click-throughs. There are a couple of reasons for this:You do not have the correct keyword strategy because you are trying to rank for keywords that are unrelated to your field.Your meta descriptions are not appealing and inviting for the user.Featured Snippets are becoming increasingly more commonTo solve these problems, try using Google Adwords to create a great keyword strategy relating to your business, and be sure to use enticing meta descriptions to get people to the site. It is a good rule of thumb to think about what would entice you to click through.6. Guest Blog at a Large Scale to Build SEO AuthorityBefore Penguin 2.0, in 2013, people used to write content, whether bad or good, to anybody that would listen, with a link back to their site. A lot of the time, it was content that had nothing to do with their actual industry; they were just trying to get a backlink.Guest blogging has changed immensely since then. Now it is important that if you do end up getting one or two guest posts here and there, that they are high authoritative, relevant websites. Guest posting on a smaller scale can be beneficial if you do it the correct, ethical way.7. Stuff the Title Tag With Keywords to Increase RankingKeyword stuffing is the act of shoving as many keywords onto the page as possible. Google’s own, Matt Cutts, warned us in 2007 against stuffing your page with keywords to rank higher in the search results. Some webmasters did not take this to heart, until Google continuously came out with new algorithm updates, like Panda, every year that were meant to target bad content.Keyword stuffing is 100% against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and is a dangerous game. Because of Google’s algorithm getting more advanced each year, you are likely to get your website penalized.8. Don’t Waste Time on Including Images in Your ContentFor a long time, it was okay to neglect the images on your site and still rank without using alt text and image file names to boost your page relevance. On-page SEO is more important than ever, so excluding images will prevent your website’s SEO from being the best it can be.Search engines cannot see images on websites, so it is important to give the image an alt text and relevant file name to ensure Google knows what the image is about. By not creating this text, you lose a huge opportunity to be as visible as possible online.9. Get Listed in Lots of Directories to Fill Your Backlinks ProfileOn April 24, 2012, Google released the first Penguin algorithm update, which targeted websites with unnatural links and has since gotten more sophisticated. It is important that webmasters and marketing ensure they are not just getting a ton of links from low-quality spammy directory website.Instead focus on niche related directories that have strict standards and high authority that will benefit your personas by getting quality information about your company’s mission and website. It is pretty easy to decided which directories are natural and which are unnatural, and if you cannot decide do not risk it!If you are using any of these worthless tactics, it is time for you to clean up your SEO and create a better strategy. Go out there are create great content and create high authoritative, relevant backlinks to your website. Topics:center_img Originally published Jun 26, 2015 11:00:00 AM, updated February 13 2018 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Bring Your Community into Your Marketing

first_imgThese days, the competition for audience attention is fierce, and nonprofits often don’t have the resources or time available to compete with 7 to 8 figure big-brand marketing budgets. Marketing teams at budget-conscious organizations have another asset that they can rely on— their creativity.Instead of aiming to reach potential members or donors through expensive advertising, why not aim to partner with them and build an online community instead? After all, word of mouth is one of the most powerful, genuine, and authentic marketing channels. It’s also dramatically cost-effective: when audiences share your content and talk about your organization’s work, you’re getting free exposure.But strong ‘word of mouth’ marketing campaigns don’t happen by accident. You need a careful strategy in place to ensure that you’re reaching the right audiences. Turn “I” to “you” in your marketing—Here are a few important steps to take:Optimize Your SEO Around CausesWhen audiences search for content around your cause, they’re typically seeking out information. But are they searching for your organization, specifically? Likely not. The reason?The Internet has eradicated international borders. Somebody could stumble across your website from a completely different part of the world. Depending on your organization, you may be able to expand your member and donor base.That’s why you’ll want to position your organization as an educator and authority with rich information to share. When they look up information related to causes, they’ll find your organization.When you bring this audience to your website, make your community presence known–even if the ‘ask’ is as simple as mentioning that you’re on Twitter and that you have a Facebook page, you should take advantage of the opportunity: it’s important to establish a touchpoint, even a light one, with your target audience.Build Trust with Bundled Content OffersMoney isn’t your target member’s most valuable asset: it’s time. And when audiences venture out to research causes and nonprofit organizations, they are really looking for a way to spend some of their time.That’s why you need to put your full identity forward. But storytelling is hard, and videos are hard to produce. What should you do instead?Start a blog that tells your brand’s story. Make part of that blog accessible via free membership (perhaps, any content after the fifth most recent article)Create a few ebooks, maybe even out of that blog content that you createdFind out what topics to cover by researching the needs and pain points of your target audienceWith bundled content, you can start to build nurturing campaigns as your research-oriented audience warms up to whether or not they want to spend their time with your organization. You can even remind your audience to share these bundled offers with their colleagues and friends. Your audiences will feel great because they are sharing valuable information. You’ll be happier because you’ve increased your audience base by +2 for every +1 that you reach.Create Incentive-Worthy EmailsHaving trouble generating sign-ups to your email list?If so, you’re not alone. Most businesses in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors struggle with this pain point. That’s because an email list isn’t value proposition enough to generate sign-ups. Online audiences want more than just content in their inboxes. They’re looking for a strong enough value proposition.One way that you can generate more sign-ups is to provide an incentive like free template, ebook, guide, or case study. Explain why that asset is valuable, and continue to engage your audience with interesting content through an email nurturing campaigns.You’ll create a marketing engine that continues to build on itself, especially as your audience starts sharing and talking about these opportunities within their own communities.Provide Reminders of Your ValueContinue to remind your members why they should be spending their time with you. Offer strong members-only benefits such as events, premium content, and even webinars. In your marketing copy, provide reminders of the value that you provide by encouraging members to participate in exclusive opportunities.This messaging is especially important around renewal season. It’s important that the language and energy around your organization remain highly positive and upbeat.Create a community worth joining. Getting StartedNot sure where to get started in terms of building your community and generating engagement? Put yourself in your members’ shoes, and start conducting some field research. Talk to them about their unmet needs and perception of your organization. Use that information to start developing content that addresses your members. Provide credit where it is due, and make it public that you rely on feedback from your community during your organization’s ideation processes.Keep talking to your members to understand what’s important to them. Keep developing information to meet their unmet needs. Make it possible to engage in a dialogue within your community and between other members of your website. Your organization’s community will emerge naturally. Originally published Mar 10, 2016 7:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Community Management Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more