Why You Can’t Fully Outsource SEO

first_img . A big piece of search engine optimization is creating interesting and relevant content for your audience. That often means calling on your expertise for the content of a blog post, for example, even if it means hiring a writer or editor to put it down in sentences and paragraphs. Your Relationships quick fix on SEO 101 Your Content SEO Why Your Business Can’t Fully Outsource SEO: Topics: . Another big piece of search engine optimization is can quickly get you up to speed. All that said, this is not to say that you should not hire an SEO consultant. The key here is that you cannot fully outsource this project – you must be commited to being involved in your SEO initiatives (and should probably be wary of any SEO consultant that says they can do it all without your input). Whether you hire a consultant or decide to take on your SEO yourself, you should probably educate yourself on the basics and understand what you should be tracking and measuring to make sure you’re not wasting your time and money. Our one hour Or, really want a ? Originally published Jun 20, 2008 3:10:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 SEO Pixie Dust linkbuilding Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack . You (hopefully) know your business better than any SEO consultant you could hire. This means that you know your market and you can make the right judgments on the most relevant keywords to optimize around. When it comes to developing a smart Internet marketing strategy, you should do a full keyword research process to identify which keywords (1) have a high number of monthly searches, (2) are not as competitive or difficult to start ranking for, and (3) are relevant to your business. We talk to a lot of businesses who say they want a company to “do SEO” for them – they’re looking for a company or consultant to whom they can outsource their search engine optimization completely. Many people who are new to the space and don’t yet understand how SEO works – how it is an ongoing process that requires a business’ input – think that it’s simply a checklist of items that they can hand off to an outside consultant. But that is not actually the case. ? How about some – links serve as references for your site and signal to the search engines that you are important. Some linkbuilding you can outsource – getting listed in high quality directories, for example – but another piece of your linkbuilding strategy should include engaging in the blogosphere and developing relationships with bloggers in your industry. Much of building up your business’ reputation online involves building up your personal reputation online by interacting on a individual level with the consumers and peers in your industry – something a consultant cannot really do on your behalf. marketing webinar Your Keywordslast_img read more

7 Common Website Redesign Mistakes

first_img Topics: The following list is from my own personal experience building a website and are things I wish I knew then.  This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it should act as a good primer.Free Workbook: How to Plan a Successful Website RedesignWebsite Redesign Mistakes to Avoid 1.  Do not use your domain name in your page title.  Instead use keyword rich text separated by |(pipes). Put your most important keywords first.  If you want to include your company name and you have characters remaining, put it at the end.  Here is an example of a solid page title that includes the company name.  Plumbing & Heating | Emergency | South End Boston | XYZ Plumbing Company 2.  Do not make your page titles and your H1 tags drastically different.   Once you’ve created your page title, make sure your URL and your H1 tags align thematically.  You don’t want them to be exactly the same, but make sure you give the search engines all the information they need to confirm what is on that page. 3. Do not make your page title and your meta description a mirror image of one another.   The page title will be seen on your actual web page.  Your page title is essentially for the search engines and your meta description is to draw a searcher in. The meta description will show up in the search engines organic search results.  Think of this as your 30-second elevator pitch.  Why should the searcher click on your link? Just make sure it is fewer than 150 characters.Below is an example of the page title and meta description you would see if you typed HubSpot in the search box. 4.  Do not include another company’s name in your blog URL.   Blogging platforms are perfectly good services, but you don’t want your hard earned SEO credit to resolve itself with anyone but you.  It can be difficult to migrate large amounts of blog content after the fact.  That’s not to say it can’t be done, but save yourself the hassle.  Make sure you either create a sub-domain or a sub-directory right out of the gate. Examples of a sub-domain and a sub-directory are blog.hubspot.com or www.hubspot.com/blog .  This way you will get all the SEO juice that goes along with creating a killer blog. 5. Do not use Flash.   Flash is great looking for sure, but search engines can’t read flash.  If you have an entire flash site, in the search engines ‘mind,’ you have a blank site.  A blank site equals zero indexed pages. Zero indexed pages equals very little traffic. We did a review of a site that used flash last week.  There were actually 234 pages, but when run through WebsiteGrader.com , there were zero pages indexed by Google. If you want to use flash in some places, use it sparingly.  6.  Do not skip over the step of implementing a 301 redirect.   If you don’t do this, you are splitting up your SEO credit in two different places.  You want www.yourcompany.com and yourcompany.com to resolve to one domain.  It only takes a matter of minutes to do and it will give you points in the eyes of the search engines. 7.  Do not insert images without telling the search engines what those images are.   Search engines can’t tell what images are and it just looks like blank space to them. As smart as they are, you need to direct them a little bit. There are three ways you can do this.  The first is to use alt text when you upload the photos to describe what the image is.  Type in a few descriptive words to let those crawlers know what the image is all about.  The second way to help the search engines is to use detailed files names.  Lastly, putting a caption around the image will help too.Hope this list of tips will get you off to a great start with your website. Originally published Oct 26, 2010 1:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Website Redesign 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

How to Use Internal Linking to Improve Your Website’s SEO

first_imgGreat content and attracting inbound links are major elements of your SEO strategy. If you’ve created an exciting blog post or ebook, you’ll naturally want to work on making sure that you are driving as much traffic to it as possible. Part of that strategy should always include internal linking, and understanding how the other pages of your website can contribute value toward your new page.If you are working on any important campaign, it’s absolutely critical to figure out which of your already great, high-authority pages should be linking to your new page, or what ongoing efforts can continue to build link authority for your site over time. And with great internal linking, ranking for very difficult keyword phrases is made much easier as you share the authority of your other best content with your new efforts.Why Internal Linking Is Important Remember that a search engine’s ultimate goal is to surface the very best few pages about a topic on the web. With the focus that most linkbuilders and SEO specialists have on inbound links and developing links from other sites, it is easy to overlook how internal linking is important. If you’ve heard that inbound links are like other sites voting for your content and telling search engines what your content is about, internal links are like voting for yourself and also letting the search engine know about your vote.While it’s obviously better to have more people than just yourself voting for your content, if you don’t start by voting for yourself, the search engines will have a difficult time considering your page as one of the best on the web. Internal links are valuable not just because they are a direct signal that your content is important, but also because those links themselves pass on their own link authority.When you consider that the link authority of each page is being shared into your website from these internal links, the value of your blog and other linked pages is more obvious to search engines. While these pages are ranking well and bringing traffic into your website on their own, there is a second layer of SEO benefit that they can bring to your website if you properly apply them to your internal linking strategy.How to Leverage Internal LinkingIf there’s a page on your website that you care about a lot and that has a lot of value to you, you should be thinking about how you can explain that value to a search engine. Start by considering how a search engine understands the value of an internal link; it’s looking at how many pages on your website link to that page, and how they link to it. If every page of your website links to something, it must be important to you — like your homepage, or your blog’s homepage. If the only links in to your blog are from your ‘About Us’ section and nothing from your homepage or your website’s main navigation, you have already sent a strong signal to search engines that your blog is not very strong. On the other hand, if your blog is in the main navigation on your website, Google and Bing will treat it like one of your top pages.3 Ways to Improve the Internal Linking on Your WebsiteHere are three exercises you should go through to ensure you are effectively using the authority of your internal pages.1) Sketch out a map of your website. Make a list of each page in your main navigation and what links are on each of those major pages. This will help you understand the links that you already have between each section of your site, and how you’ve linked it together in the past. Sometimes, laying out your whole website visually is the only way to understand what you’ve overlooked and what’s working. You might just uncover that the reason some of your best pages are ranking well is because you subconsciously did a great job building your own links into them from your other content.2) Next, look at the topics that you frequently write about. If you’re writing regularly about something, you should have another dedicated page on your website about that topic — like a landing page with an offer, for example. Each of those posts should be linking to that authoritative page on the subject, and it should be optimized for conversions. If your landing page has a prominent call-to-action, your effective use of internal linking will help drive more new leads through the offer.Also consider where that page lies in your navigation, and if it’s worth linking to from your homepage or products page. Depending on your business, you might even find that linking to a specific blog post or page from your website’s main navigation might suit you well. For example, if your company often needs to explain your business to people who discover you, that would make a good blog post that deserves major promotion across your site. 3) Think about every other page that could link to your ranking page. If it is a page related to a topic you frequently blog about, make sure each of your new blog posts about that topic reference that page and link into it. You can see this in how HubSpot ranks for the term ‘how to use facebook for business.’One of the major factors behind its rank is that we regularly write about how to use Facebook for business, we have a lot of very powerful links from our blog posts about using Facebook for business, and we have at least one link in each of those entries to our Facebook for Business landing page. Those blog posts we wrote over the last five years about this topic all have great authority of their own because people have linked to them, and each of them links to our landing page to further build that value.How have you used internal linking, or seen it used, to help a website expand their SEO footprint?Image credit: disoculated Post by Brian Whalley Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Feb 22, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Link Buildinglast_img read more

How to Generate Click-to-Tweet Links for Your Content [Quick Tip]

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Oct 21, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Twitter Marketing Topics:center_img For what it’s worth, I am by no means suggesting you use four Twitter CTAs in your content. Just trying to show the different options available for hyperlinking with our free icons set.Example Use Cases of Click-to-Tweet CTAsWe’ve found these click-to-tweet CTAs to be incredibly helpful in our marketing. Here are some example use cases to help inspire your own usage:1) Tweet CTAs in Blog PostsIf you’re sharing quotes, stats, or even jokes in a blog post, including a click-to-tweet CTA can help the sharability of the post. This can lead to increased traffic to your content. Here are some examples from Unbounce and HubSpot blog posts:2) Tweet CTAs in EmailsOne of our email marketers recently tested this click-to-tweet concept in emails by calling them “lazy tweets.” After including a click-to-tweet button in the email, we saw a significant spike in tweets about the offer the email was promoting.3) Tweet CTAs in EbooksIf you’re putting together an ebook, whitepaper, or pretty much any PDF, you should optimize them with tweet CTAs. Here’s an example button from an Impact Branding ebook and example hashtag from a HubSpot guide. (If you’d like to learn how to hyperlink for Facebook and LinkedIn, read our blog post here).Now, wasn’t that simple?Where do you think you could best utilize click-to-tweet CTAs in your inbound marketing campaign? Share your thoughts with us below! Want your loyal readers, website visitors, and/or employees to easily share your content through their Twitter channels? You’ve come to the right place.Creating a tweetable link is far easier than learning custom code that you have to embed into your content. It’s as simple as having the right free tools and resources at your disposal.Not sure what we’re talking about? Here’s a text example:HubSpot customers with over 1,000 Twitter followers generate more than 800 new website visitors a month. [Source: @HubSpot] (Click to Tweet!)As you can see, clicking the call-to-action to “click to tweet” automatically populates a tweet you can publish through your own Twitter account.This post will show you how to craft a click-to-tweet CTA in either text or button form. Shall we?How to Craft a Text Click-to-Tweet CTA1) Navigate to Click to TweetFirst, you’ll need to head over to clicktotweet.com, an awesome tool we use constantly at HubSpot.2) Craft TweetNext, begin typing the copy of your tweet. Something to remember: When you paste a link into a tweet on Twitter or most third-party Twitter tools, Twitter automatically counts your link as 23 characters — even if there are more than 23 characters in your tweet.Click to Tweet does not have such functionality. So, you’ll need to shorten your link ahead of time using bitly or HubSpot before pasting it into the Click to Tweet share box.3) Hyperlink TextOnce your copy is all set, click the “Generate Link” button to create a custom link. Then, copy the generated link from the “Here’s your URL” field and hyperlink the text you want shared.For example, if you found this article helpful, just click here to share it! (See what I did there? ;-)How to Craft a Button Click-to-Tweet CTA1) Create Custom ButtonFirst, you’ll need a social media image and/or button to link to. If you don’t have time to design or create one, have no fear! We have an array of pre-built social media icons in our collection of 135 free icons you can download and use in your ebooks, blog posts, and other content.2) Craft TweetAs per the instructions above, go to clicktotweet.com and craft your tweet.3) Hyperlink ButtonClick the “Generate Link” button to create a custom link and copy the generated link from the “Here’s your URL” field. Instead of hyperlinking text, though, insert your social media icon into your blog post, ebook, or website, and simply hyperlink it with the link generated from Click to Tweet.Here’s my last chance to get you to tweet out this post … I mean, see some examples of how this looks once all is said and done:last_img read more

The 4 P’s of Email: How to Find Success With This “Dead” Marketing Tool

first_img Email Marketing: Trends, Tools, and Tactics for 2014 and Beyond From Michael BarberHave you tried following the “new” four P’s in your email marketing? How’s it worked for you? Share your experiences with us in the comments. Email Marketing Originally published Apr 18, 2014 1:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlackcenter_img Topics: Some people think email is dead. They say that it’s become so cluttered and spammy that it should be swapped in favor for newer, flashier ways of communicating. Well, hate to break it to you, but those folks are wrong. And I’ve got a SlideShare presentation to back me up.Michael Barber, VP of Strategy at COHN, Inc. put together the presentation below on the email trends, tools, and tactics you should know this year. I won’t steal all of Michael’s thunder, but he’ll explain why the platform is thriving and give you a new way of looking at email strategies by using McKinsey’s framework for the new four P’s. If you’re looking to give your email marketing an overhaul or just tweak it slightly to perform better this year (and beyond), flip through the slides below. You’ll also get some examples of brands who are currently rocking this framework in their email marketing strategies.So go on, get inspired and informed on the latest and greatest in email marketing. last_img read more

How to Easily Create a SlideShare Presentation

first_img4) Add introduction slides. After you’ve created the majority of your SlideShare presentation, head back to the start. Wonder why we didn’t begin here? It’ll be much easier to tee up the bulk of your content if you already know what that content is about. In this step, just introduce what you just wrote about — it’ll be a breeze. Want help? Check out this blog post. Though the lessons are intended for writing blog post intros, they can be applied to SlideShare presentations, too.5) Wrap up the conclusion.Then, head to the end of your SlideShare and wrap it up in a slide or two. There is nothing more jarring than going from a body slide right to a CTA slide. You only need a slide or two to conclude your presentation, but it should naturally tee up the CTA that you will have next. 6) Add a call-to-action slide.At the verrrrrry end of your SlideShare, you want to keep your viewers engaged by providing a call-to-action. The CTA could be about downloading an ebook, attending an event, or even just visiting your website — pretty much any CTA you’d like to include. Here are two CTA slide examples that we included in the SlideShare template: Please raise your hand if you’ve ever felt personally victimized by PowerPoint.When you open it up, you’re hit with stark black Calibri font on a white background, killing any creative spark you may have felt. It’s daunting enough to creating a 10-slide deck to report your monthly marketing metrics — never mind putting together a PowerPoint that could be seen by the more than 60 million unique visitors on SlideShare each month. Click here to download our templates for killer SlideShare presentations…. But you know how hot visual content is, and you want to jump on board to enjoy the engagement, traffic, and leads that follow. So what to do?Well, there’s good news: Creating a SlideShare presentation in PowerPoint doesn’t have to be that daunting. With the right templates and tools at your disposal, you could easily create an engaging, visual presentation — all without fancy design programs, huge budgets, or hiring contractors.Free Download: 4 PowerPoint Presentation TemplatesTo help you make a SlideShare of your own, we’ve created some free PowerPoint presentation templates for making awesome SlideShares. That way, your presentations will look great and be a breeze to put together.Download the free PowerPoint templates, scroll down, and we’ll walk through how to use them. When we’re done, you’ll know exactly how to create a sexy presentation that gets featured on SlideShare’s homepage. Ready? Let’s dive in.How to Create a Killer SlideShare Presentation in PowerPoint1) Decide on fonts and a color scheme. Before you get too caught up in the specifics of your storyline, figure out which fonts and color scheme you want to use. (If you’re using our free templates, you can skip this part.) For fonts, choose two different ones to use throughout your presentation — one for your headers and one for your body text. Your header font should be bold and eye-catching, and your body text font should be simple and easy to read. The contrast between the two will make it much easier for your SlideShare viewers to grasp your core messages. If you want more guidance on what fonts work best together, check out this infographic.For your color scheme, pick a scheme that will have enough contrast between colors to make colors stand out. Whether you decide to use two, three, or four different colors in your presentation is up to you — but certain color combinations go together better than others. Use this KISSmetrics infographic to figure out a good color combination.Below is an example of what certain fonts and color combinations can look like. Notice how the header fonts stand out much more than the body? You can also see what different color palettes might look like: The top is monochromatic, the middle is complementary, and the bottom is analogous. 2) Outline main takeaways and crucial sub-bullets.Next up: Creating an outline for your SlideShare’s narrative. I like to treat SlideShare outlines just like I would blog posts — you decide on the working title and main takeaways first. Then, you elaborate on those sections with a few supporting points.For each of those components (title, section headers, and a few supporting points), create a slide. Below is an example of what those slides might look like: TitleHeadersSupporting PointsYou’ll also want to create slide placeholders for the call-to-action and conclusion slides (you don’t need to elaborate on them just yet).Keep in mind that these slides should not be complex — just a title and maybe a few details that you want to remember down the road. No paragraphs. No supporting images. Nothing that’s not built into your template already. 3) Fill out the body of your presentation.Then, fill in the meat of the content — all the slides between the headers. Just make sure you’re not relying too much on text. SlideShare is a primarily visual platform — people are used to breezing through presentations. So if your presentation reads like an ebook, you should edit down the text and rely more heavily on visual content. Another thing to remember is to switch up your format from slide to slide. Try doing a checklist slide followed by, say, a quote slide — it keeps people on their toes as they flip through your presentation. Originally published Jun 18, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated November 29 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Presentations 7) Edit, edit, edit.You’re almost there! Next, you need to go through and edit your copy and design components. Try to get another coworker — marketer or not — to give it a once over. If you need some direction, you can use our ultimate editing checklist to make sure you’re catching everything you can.8) Add “animated slides” and clickable links.Though it’s easy to create a presentation in PowerPoint and upload it immediately to SlideShare, not all of the same features will appear in both programs. As a result, there are two things you’ll need to add in: “animated slides” and clickable links. As far as slide animation goes, SlideShare does not support PowerPoint animations. This means that all of those smooth entrances you planned for your text boxes and objects go out the window once you upload your presentation to SlideShare. But, it’s easy to manually introduce new elements on a series of slides to make it seem like it’s “animated.” Download our templates to get a thorough walkthrough of making “animated” slides.Once you’ve built in your animations, you’ll also need to make sure people can actually click on the CTAs in your presentation. We have a blog post with a pretty extensive walkthrough on how to make clickable links in SlideShare presentations, so check it out to learn more.9) Upload your PDF to SlideShare.After you’re finished with your clickable links, your presentation will be in a PDF format. At this point, you’re ready for the final step: uploading your PDF to SlideShare. When you do this, you have the option to add a description and tags, and even schedule the SlideShare to go live at a certain time. Once your SlideShare is live, you should spend some time promoting it on your blog and social media accounts, and to your email lists. (For more SlideShare promotion tips, check out this blog post.)Just follow this process when you need to create a SlideShare presentation, and you won’t have to fear that blank PowerPoint template ever again. Want to create your own SlideShare? Get your own SlideShare templates in PowerPoint, including some of the slides and tips featured above, by clicking here.Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2013 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.last_img read more

Ben & Jerry, theSkimm & Apple: The Inspiring Stories of 10 Famous Co-Founders

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Marketing Case Studies Originally published Mar 11, 2016 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 “Choose co-founders the way you would choose a spouse,” advises entrepreneur and author Danielle Newnham. “The reality is that you will, at least in the early days, spend far more time with your co-founders than your partner.”The co-founder relationship is perhaps the most personal of all business relationships. Co-founders are like the parents of a newborn business, and as such, they spend countless hours working (and arguing) together in order to see that business become successful.Some of the world’s most successful co-founders have had drastically different outlooks and skill sets, but it was often those differences that made the relationships work. Combine a sales-minded dreamer with a genius engineer, or combine a punk rocker with a hip-hop pioneer, and — as you’re about to discover — the sum can often be greater than its parts.The Inspiring Stories of 10 Famous Co-Founders1) William Procter & James Gamble (P&G)Source: P&GTalk about a co-founder relationship being personal: William Procter and James Gamble, co-founders of what would become one of the world’s largest companies, were brothers-in-law. Procter, a candle maker, was married to Olivia Norris, while Gamble, a soap maker, was married to Olivia’s sister Elizabeth. It was Olivia and Elizabeth’s father who convinced Procter and Gamble (his sons-in-law) to merge their candle and soap-making operations, citing that they were competing for the same raw materials (namely, animal fat and oil). So in 1837, they took their father-in-law’s advice and Procter & Gamble was born. Today, P&G is a multinational consumer goods company that employs more than 100 thousand people and has a market cap north of $200 billion. Some of its most successful brands include Crest, Charmin, Gillette, and Head & Shoulders.And to think it all started with a father-in-law’s simple suggestion. The moral of the story here: Always listen to your in-laws. (Or at least try to tolerate them the best you can.)2) Bill Hewlett & Dave Packard | HPSource: HP Memory ProjectIt’s unclear how Procter and Gamble decided on the order in which their names would appear, but for Bill Hewlett and David Packard, we know how they figured it out: They flipped a coin.The original garage entrepreneurs (garagepreneurs?), Hewlett and Packard became friends in 1934 after they had both graduated from Stanford University with degrees in electrical engineering. In 1938, they rented a garage in Palo Alto and started working on their first product: an audio oscillator for testing sound equipment. In 1939, they formalized their partnership and held their infamous coin flip to determine whose name got top billing.Hewlett and Packard both took an employee-centric view of management. And as a result, HP became one of the first U.S. companies to offer flexible work hours, profit-sharing, and several other employee benefits. As Bill Hewlett once noted, “What I’m most proud of is the fact that we really create a way to work with employees, let them share in the profits, and still keep control of it.”As partners, Hewlett and Packard always had each other’s back. When Hewlett went to serve in the Army during WWII, Packard ran the company on his own until Hewlett’s return. And similarly, when Packard stepped down as HP’s CEO to serve as the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense during the Vietnam War, Hewlett stepped up to take his place. Together, the two entrepreneur/patriots developed a company culture at HP that has persisted for decades.Today, the Palo Alto garage that Hewlett and Packard started out in is a California State Historical Landmark. It bears a plaque that reads “The Birthplace of the Silicon Valley.” 3) Danielle Weisberg & Carly Zakin | theSkimmSource: ForbesBoasting 1.5 million+ subscribers, theSkimm is an email newsletter phenomenon that’s changing the way people consume the news.TheSkimm co-founders Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin met while studying abroad in Rome, where — according to their About Us page — they bonded over “a mutual love of fried artichokes.” Both ended up as producers at NBC News in New York, and after listening to their friends constantly ask them for the latest headlines, they realized that the news media landscape was shifting.To capitalize on this shift, Weisberg and Zakin quit their jobs, moved in together, and launched theSkimm from their couch. “For two girls who grew up more ‘Morning Glory’ than ‘The Social Network,’ it took a lot of guts, and white wine, for us to make theSkimm a reality,” they wrote on their About Us page.Note: For a more in-depth look at how Weisberg and Zakin launched (and grew) theSkimm, check out our interview with them on The Growth Show.4) Bill Gates & Paul Allen | MicrosoftSource: ForbesNot all co-founder stories have fairy tale endings. And while Microsoft’s founding duo Bill Gates and Paul Allen both ended up multi-billionaires, their relationship didn’t exactly go up and to the right.Gates and Allen started out as childhood friends. Both attended the private Lakeside School in Seattle, where they bonded over a mutual passion for computers and BASIC programming. By the 1970s, both had moved to the Boston area — Gates to attend Harvard, and Allen (three years Gates’ senior) to work at Honeywell. It was there that Gates and Allen first learned about the Altair 8800, one of the world’s first personal computers. With the arrival of the Altair, Gates and Allen began to sense that writing (and selling) software for personal computers could be a big business. (Spoiler alert: They were right.) In 1975, the two formalized their partnership under the name “Micro-soft” and created their first product: a BASIC programming language for the Altair. Even in the early days, however, there was some strain on the co-founder relationship. Gates was adamant that they split ownership of the business 60/40 (in Gates’ favor), citing that he was still a student while Allen was able to earn a salary. A few years later, Gates fought to tip the ownership scales even more (to 64/36). And perhaps most egregiously of all, Allen once overheard Gates complaining about how unproductive he (Allen) had become, and how he wanted to dilute Allen’s ownership in Microsoft even more. Allen was battling cancer at the time.Allen resigned from Microsoft in 1983, but would remain on its board of directors until the year 2000.5) Steve Jobs & Steve Wozniak | AppleSource: The Next WebThe story of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak co-founding Apple in the Jobs’ family garage is perhaps one of the best-known co-founding stories ever. So for the sake of saving paper — errr, pixels — here’s the tl;dr version: Jobs and Wozniak met through a mutual friend. They were exposed to the latest personal computing technologies by way of the Homebrew Computer Club in Silicon Valley. The first product they collaborated on was a “blue box” for making free long-distance phone calls. Then, in 1976, they launched their first computer: The (retroactively named) Apple I.Unlike the Gates/Allen partnership where both founders were technologically savvy, with the Jobs/Wozniak partnership, the former was more of a sales-minded, “big picture” guy, while the latter was an electronics guru. Needless to say, that combination of skill sets worked out rather well for Apple’s co-founders.And while Hollywood might portray Jobs and Wozniak as constantly butting heads, that’s not how Wozniak remembers their co-founder relationship. “We never had a fight or an argument,” he told the Milwaukee Business Journal back in 2014. “We were always friends.”6) Rick Rubin & Russell Simmons | Def JamSource: NPRIt’s one of the more unlikely partnerships on this list: A 21-year-old NYU student who plays in punk rock bands (Rick Rubin) joins forces with the 27-year-old manager of the hip-hop group Run-D.M.C. (Russell Simmons). The result? One of the world’s most successful record labels, Def Jam.The year was 1984, and Rubin had just started dipping his toes into the world of hip-hop. He had produced the track “It’s Yours,” by T La Rock and Jazzy Jay, which got the attention of Simmons. After meeting at a party, the two instantly hit it off and start running a record label together out of Rubin’s dorm room. A year later, they released the first album under the Def Jam banner: LL Cool J’s “Radio.”By the end of 1986, “Radio” had gone platinum, Def Jam had released the Beastie Boys’ debut album, “Licensed to Ill” (which would go on to become the top-selling hip-hop album of the decade), and they had signed Chuck D.’s new group, Public Enemy.It was a good year. And it was a year that marked Def Jam’s transformation from a startup to a major music industry player. While Rubin would end up leaving Def Jam in 1988 to launch a new label, the original Rubin/Simmons partnership will always be remembered as a pioneering force in the music world. Perhaps their most notable contribution was folding the intensity of rock music into hip-hop music … something that had never really been done before. As Rubin once explained, “So up until the time of Def Jam, pretty much most of the rap records at the time were R&B records with people rapping on them. And then I think one of the things that separated our records from the ones that came prior was that they had more to do with what the actual hip hop culture was … the goal was to capture the energy that you felt at a hip hop club.”7) Linda Avey & Anne Wojcicki | 23andMeSource: BloombergIn some cases, the social impact a business could potentially have is more important to a founder than the business itself. That was the case with Linda Avey when she set out to found the genetic testing company 23andMe.As the story goes, Avey’s original business partner was on board for selling 23andMe’s testing kits, but was against Avey’s bigger plan: to build a massive genetics database for researchers, which could help lead to medical breakthroughs.As Avey was pursuing funding for the project, she learned about Anne Wojcicki, a biotech analyst at a hedge fund. Avey invited her to dinner. “She showed up in jeans with a backpack slung over her shoulder (loved that!),” Avey wrote about Wojcicki on Quora. After meeting with Avey several more times and learning more about the project, Wojcicki came to a decision: She wanted in. Avey was happy to have her, and the two worked together in a shared office to get 23andMe off the ground. 8) Ben Cohen & Jerry Greenfield | Ben & Jerry’sSource: One Life SuccessRemember: Building a successful company is a marathon, not a sprint. And this saying is especially relevant in the case of Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, considering how they met. As Cohen explained back in 1995, “I met Jerry running around the track in seventh grade gym class. We were the two slowest, fattest kids in the class. I liked him because he was funny and smart, and you could count on him.”While Cohen and Greenfield remained friends through high school and college, their business partnership almost never came to be. Cohen had his heart set on becoming a potter, while Greenfield was planning on becoming a doctor. Fortunately for ice cream fans everywhere, no one would buy Cohen’s pottery, and no medical school would accept Greenfield. So after debating between starting a bagel business or starting an ice cream business, they chose the latter based on the lower start-up costs.Having grown up together in New York, Cohen and Greenfield eventually made their way to Vermont in search of a suitable location for their first homemade ice cream parlor. In 1978, they landed on a dilapidated gas station, which they fixed up themselves. By 1983, they were franchising Ben & Jerry’s stores and selling their signature ice creams (like Chunky Monkey) via independent distributors. By 1984, they had already topped $4 million in annual sales, and by 1985, they were donating 7.5% of their annual pre-tax profits to charity via the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation.”When we first started, it was just a lark. We never expected to have anything more than that one homemade ice cream shop, but now Jerry and I are millionaires,” Cohen once said. “Our relationship hasn’t changed at all … Food has always been our binding tie – food and our girth.”9) Larry Page & Sergey Brin | GoogleSource: The GuardianIn 1995, a 22-year-old Larry Page visited Stanford as a prospective computer science doctorate student. His tour guide? A 21-year-old Sergey Brin, who was already working on his computer science doctorate at the school.The two didn’t become friends right away, as both were very opinionated and considered each other “obnoxious,” according to a Wired interview. But as Page began researching how websites link between one another, and started building out technology that could identify all of those millions of connections, Brin became fascinated.By 1998, Page and Brin had joined forces, dropped out of Stanford, and — like Jobs & Wozniak and Hewlett & Packard before them — set up shop in a garage. In the early days, their Google search engine pulled in 10 thousand queries a day. Today, it’s estimated that Google receives 3.5 billion searches per day.10) Julia Hartz & Kevin Hartz | EventbriteSource: Vator.tvJulia had a great job working at FX Networks. Her Hollywood office even came with a view. But then she met her future husband, Silicon Valley investor and entrepreneur Kevin Hartz. First he asked her to marry him (she said yes), and then he asked her to co-found a company with him (to which she also said yes).Eventbrite, a self-service ticketing platform, was born in a wiring closet in 2006. Julia was in charge of customer experience and business operations, while Kevin — with the help of a third partner, Renaud Visage — worked on the product. Today, Eventbrite has a valuation north of $1 billion.As a husband and wife co-founding team, the dynamics of the relationship were obviously a bit different compared to the entrepreneurial norm. However, as Kevin said in an interview back in 2013, “When you’re working with founders, your fellow founders, that relationship is fundamental whether it’s romantic or not.”In that same interview, Julia commented on how the two were able to preserve their relationship as the business grew: “We had this law that we would divide and conquer, and wouldn’t work on the same thing at the same time. It just so happened we had complimentary skills so that was an easy thing to do.”Any other great co-founding duos out there that we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section below!last_img read more

How Do Your Google AdWords Metrics Compare to Industry Averages? [New Benchmark Data]

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Apr 12, 2016 7:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: Google Ads As marketers, we’re always thinking about the most optimal way to target our potential customers. Trouble is, mastering Google AdWords is really tricky. With so many metrics to keep tabs on, figuring out whether or not you’re getting it right is often easier said than done.Free Guide, Template & Planner: How to Use Google Ads for BusinessTo help shed some light on the situation, the folks at WordStream released a detailed new study on AdWords industry metrics. The study reveals a ton of helpful industry-specific benchmarks for both search and display ads, including average clickthrough rate (CTR), average cost-per-click (CPC), average conversion rate (CVR), and average cost-per-action (CPA).This information can be used to inform your AdWords strategy, and ultimately help you improve your overall ad performance. (HubSpot Marketing customers: We recently launched a Google AdWords integration via HubSpot Ads to help you better measure and optimize your ad campaigns.)To help you get the most out of WordSteam’s findings, we’ve outlined the highlights from their study below.Search vs. Display Ads: What’s the Difference?Before we dive into the metrics, it’s good to clarify what exactly we’re trying to measure within Google AdWords. The most common types of advertising done by marketers are search and display ads. Although both are included in AdWords, they have completely different implications and uses for marketers.Search ads are those that appear when a potential customer searches for your product (or related item) on Google. You’ve likely noticed them right above all the organic results on a SERP:Display ads appear on a website while browsing. They are typically located either on the top or side of the page, and often contain attention-grabbing images:Google AdWords Industry BenchmarksNow that we’ve gone over the basics, let’s dive right into the data. Here is an outline of the recent benchmarking data released by WordStream, followed by a few suggestions to help you improve your own performance. Average Clickthrough Rate (CTR)Clickthrough rate reveals how often people who view your ad end up actually clicking it. CTR can be used to help you determine the quality of your imagery, positioning, and keywords. Across all industries, the average CTR for a search ad is 1.91%, and 0.35% for a display ad.Here’s a look at the average CTR by industry:Pro Tip: The more relevant your keywords are to your business or offer, the more likely users will be to clickthrough: 54% of respondents said they prefer relevant ads to irrelevant ones, according to research from Qriously.Average Cost-per-Click (CPC)Cost-per-click is the amount you pay each time a user clicks on your ad. While the most that you’ll be charged per click is reflected by your maximum cost-per-click bid, you’ll often be charged less. According to AdWords, “Actual CPC is often less than maximum CPC because with the AdWords auction, the most you’ll pay is what’s minimally required to hold your ad position and any ad formats shown with your ad, such as sitelinks.” The average CPC across all industries is $2.32 for search ads, and $0.58 for display ads.Here’s a look at the average CPC by industry:Pro Tip: Looking at your lowest or highest CPC doesn’t always tell the full story. Instead, focus on how the ads are converting, and be sure to turn off those ads that aren’t seeing a great conversion rate. (HubSpot Marketing customers: You can keep track of your conversions using the AdWords integration for HubSpot Ads. Check out this page for more information.)Average Conversion Rate (CVR)Average conversion rate tracks the amount of conversions you get from a certain ad. If you’re seeing a lot of traffic from your ads, but not a ton of conversions, this could be a red flag. To put things into perspective, the average CVR across all industries is 2.70% for search ads and 0.89% for display ads.Here’s a look at the average CVR by industry: Pro Tip: If you’re looking to improve your CVR, try leveraging negative keywords. Negative keywords are used to prevent your ad from being shown to anyone searching for a specific word or phrase. For example, if you don’t want to attract people looking for free tools or resources, you may want to use “free” as a negative keyword. Want more tips? Check out this resource. Average Cost-per-Action (CPA)Average cost-per-action (also known as cost-per-acquisition) refers to the amount you pay every time an action is performed involving your ad. Some examples include impressions, form submission, or event registration. According to AdWords, Target CPA bidding leverages historical information about your campaign to “automatically find an optimal CPC bid for your ad each time it’s eligible to appear. AdWords sets these bids to achieve an average CPA equal to your target across all ad groups and campaigns using this strategy.” The average CPA for search ads is $59.18, and $60.76 for display ads.Here’s a look the average CPA by industry:Pro Tip: Want to lower your CPA? Start by optimizing for Quality Score. According to WordStream, there’s a strong correlation between high Quality Scores and low CPAs. Click here to learn more about Quality Score.Did you find these benchmarks helpful? Share you thoughts in the comment section below.last_img read more

How to Remove the Background of a Photo in Photoshop or PowerPoint

first_img Images How to Remove a Photo Background in PowerPointKeep in mind that you’ll need to be using Office 2010 or later, and because PowerPoint isn’t as sophisticated as Photoshop, it may not work for some of the more difficult images. But if you don’t have access to Photoshop, this could be just what you need.1. Insert the image into PowerPoint.Images with white/solid backgrounds or those that have high contrast with the foreground are the easiest to manipulate in PowerPoint.2. First, click on your image. Then, under ‘Picture Format’ on a Mac (or ‘File’ on a PC) in your toolbar, choose ‘Remove Background.’3. PowerPoint will automatically try to remove the background, but it might not get it just right.4. Using the options in the toolbar, click to mark areas you want to keep or remove from the final cropped image.See how it’s cutting off part of the girl’s torso and cape above? First, drag the box around the image so it includes the entire area of the image you want to keep.Keep in mind that the areas highlighted in purple will ultimately be removed. Using your cursor, however, you can be even more precise about what you want eliminated. Hover over both the purple background and the subject in your picture — you’ll see your cursor produce either a plus sign or a minus sign. The minus sign, when hovering over your subject, allows you to mark areas to remove — simply click on any additional areas you would like to remove.If there are purple areas you actually want to keep, hover over any purple spot and click to mark areas to keep — they will feature a plus sign.To get a closer look at the areas you want to select, zoom in on your image. Below, you’ll see small minus signs surrounding areas of the girl’s hair — I clicked on these spots where I thought PowerPoint might get confused as to which parts of the background between strands of hair should go or stay.PowerPoint could see these strands of hair as the edge of the girl, and not remove the background between this hair and the rest of her head. In this type of case, these minus signs can help you.If you happen to mistakenly include or exclude something, just click on the plus or minus sign that covers the area, and it will disappear.5. Click somewhere outside of the image when you’re finished.Last but not least, save the image as a PNG file to preserve its transparent background.How to Make a Background Transparent in PhotoshopBecause Photoshop is much more sophisticated than PowerPoint, there are a few different methods you can use to make a background transparent. Each is good for a different kind of image. Click the links below to jump to the tutorial for each method:The Polygonal Lasso method is great for images with straight edges.The Quick Selection method is good for images with round edges.The Brush method is best for images whose edges require more precision.The Polygonal Lasso Method: For Images With Straight EdgesLet’s say I want to remove the blue background (as well as the pole) from this “stop spam” image.Because this image is made up entirely of straight edges, this method of background removal is perfect. Here’s how to make that blue background (and the silver pole) transparent.1. Get your image ready in Photoshop.The first thing you’ll want to do after you drag and drop your image into Photoshop is convert it into a “Smart Object,” and then rasterize it. Here’s how:Click on the Layer dropdown in your Photoshop menu, highlight Smart Objects, and then click Convert to Smart Object. Next, click on the Layer dropdown again, but this time, highlight Rasterize, and then click Smart Object. Now you’re ready to convert that pesky background into a transparent one.2. Zoom in on your image so you can be more precise with your background removal.You can zoom in and out by clicking the View dropdown and choosing Zoom In or Zoom Out, or using the keyboard shortcuts as indicated.3. Select the Polygonal Lasso Tool from the toolbar on the left.The Polygonal Lasso Tool looks like this: Once selected, click on a starting point, and trace the part of the image you want to keep using a series of clicks from point to point. I prefer to get rid of the black border on the stop sign, so I’m tracing the sign just inside the outer edge of the white border.4. Connect the line with your starting point.Once you’ve made it all the way around your image, connect your line to the first point you started with. You’ll know it’s connected when your cursor includes a little circle, as shown below.Once you connect your line to your first point, a flashing dashed line will form around your image, like so … 5. Select the background you want to delete.Do this by clicking the Select dropdown in the top menu, and clicking Inverse. This will highlight the entire background you want to make transparent.6. Delete the background.Hit Delete on your keyboard, and the background will turn into a checkered grid like you see below. This is how you’ll know your background is now transparent.7. Save your image as a PNG file. This will ensure your background transparency stays in tact. The Quick Selection Method: For Images With Round or Wavy EdgesOkay, now let’s say your image isn’t as straight-edged as the image in the example above, and it’s got some curve to it, like the image below. Here, you’ll want to use the Quick Selection Tool.1. Get your image ready in Photoshop.Just like we did with the Polygonal Lasso method, the first thing you’ll want to do after you drag and drop your image into Photoshop is convert it into a “Smart Object,” and then rasterize it:Click on the Layer dropdown in your Photoshop menu, highlight Smart Objects, and then click Convert to Smart Object. Next, click on the Layer dropdown again, but this time, highlight Rasterize, and then click Smart Object. (See step 1 within the Polygonal Lasso method tutorial for screenshots if you’re stuck.)2. Choose the Quick Selection Tool from the toolbar on the left.The Quick Selection Tool is right below the Polygonal Lasso Tool, and it looks like this: 3. Click the background to highlight the part you want to make transparent.This tool takes some getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, it’s one of the fastest and easiest ways to remove the background from a photo. Start clicking around on the background to highlight the parts you want to remove.Adjust the size of the selection tool accordingly. I recommend starting with a larger size, since that will allow you to select larger sections of your background at a time, speeding up the process.Repeat this process until the entire background of the image is selected:4. Subtract selections as needed.Oops! Let’s say you notice part of the image you want to keep is getting highlighted along with the background, like you see in the screenshot below.Have no fear — you can subtract parts of the image that accidentally get highlighted:First, click on the Subtract From Selection button in the toolbar at the top. (Alternatively, you can hold down alt while you click on a PC, or option while you click on a Mac.)This is also something that may take some getting used to, but the trick is to position your cursor right along the inner edges of the part of the image you want to keep. You may want to adjust the size of your Quick Selection tool for some of the finer details. Then click so the incorrectly highlighted section gets detracted.5. Delete the background.Finally, click Delete on your keyboard to make the background transparent.6. Save your image as a PNG file. This will preserve the transparency of your background.Pro Tip: Sometimes using the Quick Selection Tool results in jagged edges, especially on parts of the image where the edge should be a straight line. This tends to happen most on low-resolution images. If it happens to you, try smoothing out the jagged edges using the Polygonal Lasso method after first removing the background with the Quick Selection Tool.The Brush Method: For Trickier ImagesThere’s a third method you can fall back on if the first two methods just aren’t cutting it. This is great for images that need a little bit more precision, although to be honest, the first two methods usually do the trick for me.The one time this method comes in handy for me is when I need to clean up some of the edges of images whose backgrounds were removed via the first two methods. For example, I used the Polygonal Lasso Tool in Photoshop to remove the background of the shark boy image at the very top of this article, but I cleaned up the spaces in between his fingers (which needed a little bit more precision) using the Brush Method.1. Get your image ready in Photoshop.Just like the first two methods, the first thing you need to do after you drag and drop your image into Photoshop is convert it into a “Smart Object,” and then rasterize it:Click on the Layer dropdown in your Photoshop menu, highlight Smart Objects, and then click Convert to Smart Object. Next, click on the Layer dropdown again, but this time, highlight Rasterize, and then click Smart Object. (See step 1 within the Polygonal Lasso method tutorial for screenshots if you’re stuck.)2. Select the Brush Tool from the toolbar on the left.The Brush Tool is right below the Red Eye Tool, and it looks like this: 3. Change the “Mode” and “Hardness” of the Brush Tool.Right below the top menu, change the Mode to Clear. Then click the drop-down arrow next to the brush size box, and change the Hardness to 100%. This will essentially transform your Brush Tool into an eraser.4. Brush away the background.Erase your background by clicking and dragging. Adjust the size of your Brush Tool and zoom in on your image for more fine-tuned precision.5. Save your image as a PNG file. Once you have your image the way you want it, save it as a PNG. This will preserve the transparency of your background.That’s it! Hopefully image background removal is now much easier for you using at least one of these methods. You know what one of my biggest design pet peeves is? When I’m designing something, but there’s an unwanted background on the image I’m editing.In this article, you’ll learn how to remove a photo background altogether, or make it transparent so the image assumes the look of any other background you put behind it.Consider the above feature image. The image to the left would be so much more useful to my call-to-action, SlideShare presentation, blog post, or ebook if I could just remove that pesky background so it looked like the image on the right.Explore Adobe Photoshop CC basics through quick tips, video explainers, and custom photo filters here.Or maybe you’ve downloaded another one of our collections of free stock photos that could also use a transparent background.Luckily, there is something you can do about it. Using either Photoshop or PowerPoint, you can easily remove the background of your photo or image in no time. And I’m going to show you exactly how to do it.First, grab an image to practice with. You can download one from our latest collection of royalty-free stock photo here … Got an image whose background you want to remove? Great — let’s get started.Because some of you may not have Photoshop at your disposal, let’s start with instructions for PowerPoint. You can also jump down to the instructions for Photoshop here.How to Make a Picture Background Transparent in PowerPointInsert the image into PowerPoint.Click on your image. Then, under ‘File’ (on a PC) or ‘Adjust’ (on a Mac) in your toolbar, choose ‘Remove Background.’PowerPoint will automatically try to remove the background, but it might not get it just right.Using the options in the toolbar, click to mark areas you want to keep or remove from the final cropped image.Click somewhere outside of the image when you’re finished.Save the image as a PNG file to preserve its transparent background. Topics:center_img Originally published Jun 14, 2018 10:26:00 PM, updated June 15 2018 Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more