Friday, 7 December 2012

Most Important Online Marketing Trends For Year 2013

Lets talk about ‘online marketing’ and ‘digital experience’, because to me they are one and the same. Just like customer experiences your brand, your visitors experiences your marketing. You are either giving them a phenomenal experience, or you aren’t. If you do, people will come, they will stay, they will engage, they will convert to sale, they will have long term relationships with your company. So here are some trends :

Zero Moment of Truth
The Zero Moment of Truth is when your online visitor chooses to love you or hate you. It happens in a split second and it can make or break your chances of success. 

Quick Marketing
Don’t wait for your CMO to crash through your office door and tell you you’re going to adopt agile marketing. Go agile now. Agile marketing is absolutely the only way to manage marketing in a constantly shifting, highly connected digital world.

Content is king
We’ve been saying it since the birth of the internet, but it’s more true today. It’s all about content. To win in 2013 your content strategy should move from passive to active.

Be mobile
Not later today. Not tomorrow. Right now. According to Gartner, in 2013 mobile phones will overake PCs as the most common web access device worldwide.

Social marketing responsibility
Brands need to wake up and realize they can’t hand off responsibility for their social experience to third-party sites. Listening to a radio spot the other day for a major household brand I was shocked (shocked, I tell ya), that the call to action on their ad was to visit them at
Wha? They are paying to drive their audience to another site. A site they don’t control. A site that could change the rules about that /brandname page on a whim. It’s like advertising for someone else.
Of course there is tremendous value in building our social audience & engagement, but we have to be more thoughtful about how we do it.

It’s a highly personal world, and people expect to be VIPs (hence, the availability now of M&M candy with your name & photo on each piece!). Digital experiences can, and should be, personal. Depending upon context & appropriateness, there are varying degrees by which you can transform a generic digital experience into a more personal one. 

Data, data, data
Oh my. With all the emphasis on big data, you might be surprised to hear I still talk to marketers who don’t know their little data all that well. Keep tabs on the online metrics that matter to your business, understand how they relate to your overall business performance. - Daily Income 1.5% for 100 days, 10 Impression Points per adport, Direct Referral 5% (Unlimited Depth),   Binary Commission 10% (Unlimited Depth), Minimum Investment and payout 20$

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Five tips for driving online traffic through affiliate marketing

Used effectively, affiliate marketing can contribute up to 30% of the online revenue for a brand. Also known as performance marketing, the affiliate channel harnesses the power of a network of publishers promoting on the brand’s behalf, both extending and optimising a brand’s reach.
Unfortunately, affiliate marketing has sometimes been perceived as the poor relation behind some of its sexier industry siblings – social media, creative and advertising. With the rapid march of eCommerce however and the resultant need for a dynamic online approach,  the performance marketing channel is growing and is increasingly becoming a key part of brands’ multi-channel online marketing strategies.
It’s important of course to get the basics right. There are rules of engagement for affiliates, optimal means of incentivising the sale and the need for policies to protect brands when in the hands of third party marketers. The good news is, with the right structure in place, affiliate marketing is a highly rewarding approach for the brand and its online performance. Here are our top five tips for embarking on an effective performance marketing program:

1. Communicate, communicate, communicate

Communication is key if an affiliate program is to perform effectively at securing those all-important incremental sales. Merchant, affiliate and network need to form a magic triangle of communication where information and expertise can be exchanged and shared, and ideas generated. To assume that affiliates will know your brand and products inside out should not be left to chance, and detail is paramount. Advising on which products are best sellers will help affiliates to promote your range more effectively, and drive higher conversion. Keep affiliates posted on what’s hot and keep them motivated to actively promote on your behalf.
You should also identify important affiliates. For strategic partners that offer advantages of volume, conversion or reach, offer exclusives or a different commission structure in order to incentivise them further. High quality affiliates should be valued and working in collaboration can generate robust results – if you can show there’s more in it for them, there will also be more in it for your brand!

2. Transparency

Affiliate marketing is all about performance and offers the advantage of tracking from click to sale so that the affiliate can be recognised as the source of the sale and reimbursed accordingly. Performance marketing is inherently measurable, so you must keep a close eye on where conversions have taken place, but also be transparent around cancellations and ensure de-duping is scrupulously applied.
Clarity and consistency around your payment processes will also keep affiliates happy and in turn, more likely to promote your program again and again. Delayed payments are a major turn-off for affiliates and can damage positive relationships.
The administration of approving transactions on time is critical. Affiliates work hard to promote the brand, and you should ensure they are credited on time.

3. Tools of the trade

With great products and active lines of communication in place, it is important that the quality and availability of affiliate resources doesn’t let your brand down. Ensure banners are up-to-date and customised to reflect seasonal changes, offering accurate product info and pricing for instance. Christmas is approaching, and most big affiliates have already commenced their Christmas promotions – they can’t do this without the necessary resources in place.
The quality of the product feed you provide to affiliates is also very important in enabling performance. The feed should include all the products on site and their attributes. It should be well structured, correctly formatted, consistently labelled and updated frequently. Using all the fields an eCommerce platform utilises (categories, colours, sizes, price and images), you should ensure there are no spelling mistakes, broken links, or truncated fields. Remember, feed requirements will vary according to your vertical and your network will be able to provide detailed advice on how to optimise your feed accordingly. Make life for the affiliate as easy and simple as possible, and they will be more likely to promote your program.

4. Keep it fresh

Don’t underestimate the power of creative engagement and innovation through the affiliate channel. Jumping on current market trends, hosting affiliate events and brand immersions, developing tailored campaigns, offers, discounts and competitions with high performing affiliates will all help make your program perform even more effectively.  The other straightforward thing to ensure is that affiliates are kept up to date on any changes to the brand website.

5. Onwards and upwards

Reviewing activity regularly will enable you to understand what is working well. By incorporating this insight into future campaigns, brands will be able to prioritise their key affiliates and create offers that optimise conversion in a smooth and efficient process.
Brand-side digital marketers need to continuously tinker with their affiliate program to ensure it continues to improve in performance and drive incremental sales. By communicating effectively, exercising transparency, utilising content imaginatively, adding creativity and constantly reviewing activity, an affiliate program will grow revenue consistently and cumulatively for the brand. - Daily Income 1.5% for 100 days, 10 Impression Points per adport, Direct Referral 5% (Unlimited Depth),   Binary Commission 10% (Unlimited Depth), Minimum Investment and payout 20$

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Barack Obama wins election for second term as president

President Barack Obama handily defeated Gov. Mitt Romney and won himself a second term on Tuesday after a bitter and historically expensive race that was primarily fought in just a handful of battleground states. Obama beat Romney after nabbing almost every one of the 12 crucial battleground states.

The Romney campaign's last-ditch attempt to put blue-leaning Midwestern swing states in play failed as Obama's Midwestern firewall sent the president back to the White House for four more years. Obama picked up the swing states of New Hampshire, Michigan, New Mexico, Iowa, Virginia, Wisconsin, Colorado, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Ohio. Of the swing states, Romney picked up only North Carolina. Florida is still too close to call, but even if Romney wins the state, Obama still beat him in the Electoral College vote. The popular vote will most likely be narrower than the president's decisive Electoral College victory.

In a sweeping victory speech early Wednesday morning, Obama thanked every American who voted, and vowed to work with leaders from both parties to tackle the country's challenges.
"Our economy is recovering, a decade of war is ending, a long campaign is now over," he told a crowd of cheering supporters in Chicago. "And whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you, I have learned from you and you have made me a better president." Obama added he has "never been more hopeful about America. ... We're not as divided as our politics suggest. We remain more than a collection of blue states and red states."

In his speech, he offered clues to the policy goals of his second term, which included a deficit reduction plan that combines tax increases with spending cuts, a comprehensive overhaul of the nation's federal immigration laws and tax reform. He called on Republicans to join him in achieving those goals.

The battle for the White House between Obama and Romney divided the nation, causing, at times, bitter disputes between the parties. Obama urged his supporters to look beyond the fight of the past several months and defended the process of choosing a president.
"I know that political campaigns can sometimes seem small, even  silly," Obama said. "And that provides plenty of fodder for the cynics who tell us  that politics is nothing more than a contest of evils or the domain of  special interests. If you ever get the chance to talk to folks who  turned out to our rallies and along the rope lines of high school gyms,  or saw folks working late at campaign office or some tiny county a long way from home, you'll discover something else." - Daily Income 1.5% for 100 days, 10 Impression Points per adport, Direct Referral 5%,   Binary Commission 10%, Minimum Investment and payout 20$

Monday, 5 November 2012

Is Alexa Affecting the Page Rank ?

Web information company Alexa publishes detailed Web statistics on its website, the most well-known of which is the Alexa Traffic Rank. Webmasters often refer to this as "Alexa Rank," which measures how popular a website is. Most website owners also keep track of their site's position in search engine results, or "SEO rank." You may have interest in both rankings if you own a website, but it is important to understand each ranking and the differences between the two to make good use of either one.
  1. Alexa Traffic Rank

    • Alexa bases its Traffic Rank on traffic data from Alexa toolbar users and other sources. Sites with higher scores supposedly receive more traffic and are more important. Because a large part of the ranking depends on how many Alexa toolbar users visit a website, it is possible to install the toolbar, visit your website repeatedly and artificially boost your Alexa Traffic Rank. Thus this rank is very easy to manipulate. Most webmasters view Alexa Rank as a mild curiosity rather than an important metric.

    Search Engine Rank

    • A website's search engine ranking, or "SEO rank" refers to the position of a site in search engine results for a given keyword. A site that appears first for a keyword has the highest possible ranking. Webmasters rely heavily on search engines for traffic, so SEO rank is extraordinarily important. A wide variety of factors such as the number of inbound links to a site and frequency of keywords on a website influence search engine rank. You can use search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to manipulate these factors and gain a better ranking.
    • A website's Alexa Traffic Rank has no impact on its position in search engines. Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines each have a unique algorithm for determining position on results pages. Alexa is a separate entity from these search engines and calculates Traffic Rank using its own technology for informational purposes only. Therefore it has no impact on search engine rank whatsoever.

    Usefulness of Alexa

    • Just because Alexa rank is easy to manipulate and has no impact on SEO does not mean it is completely useless. You can still use it to categorize websites based on traffic. Even with possible manipulation taken into account, a top-100 Alexa Rank website is clearly more popular than a site with a rank above 1,000 or even 1,000,000. As a site's Alexa rank improves, it becomes more difficult to obtain a better rank and thus manipulation is less common. This makes Alexa Traffic Rank useful for analyzing traffic trends on the most popular websites.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Sandy wreaks havoc across Northeast; at least 11 dead

Though no longer a hurricane, "post-tropical" superstorm Sandy packed a hurricane-sized punch as it slammed into the Jersey Shore on Monday, killing at least 11 people from West Virginia to North Carolina and Connecticut.
Sandy whipped torrents of water over the streets of Atlantic City, stretching for blocks inland and ripping up part of the vacation spot's fabled boardwalk. The storm surge set records in Lower Manhattan, where flooded substations caused a widespread power outage. It swamped beachfronts on both sides of Long Island Sound and delivered hurricane-force winds from Virginia to Cape Cod as it came ashore.
Sandy's wrath also prompted the evacuation of about 200 patients at NYU Langone Medical Center.
"We are having intermittent telephone access issues, and for this reason the receiving hospital will notify the families of their arrival," spokeswoman Lisa Greiner said.
In addition, the basement of New York's Bellevue Hospital Center flooded, and the hospital was running off of emergency backup power. Ian Michaels of the Office of Emergency Management said the main priority is to help secure additional power and obtain additional fuel and pumps for the hospital.
The storm hit near Atlantic City about 8 p.m. ET, the National Hurricane Center reported. It packed 80-mph winds at landfall, down from the 90 mph clocked earlier Monday.
"I've been down here for about 16 years, and it's shocking what I'm looking at now. It's unbelievable," said Montgomery Dahm, owner of the Tun Tavern in Atlantic City, which stayed open as Sandy neared the Jersey Shore. "I mean, there's cars that are just completely underwater in some of the places I would never believe that there would be water."
Dahm's family cleared out of Atlantic City before the storm hit, but he says he stayed put to serve emergency personnel. At nightfall Monday, he said the water was lapping at the steps of his restaurant, where a generator was keeping the lights on.

The storm had already knocked down power lines and tree limbs while still 50 miles offshore and washed out a section of the boardwalk on the north end of town, Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford told CNN. He said there were still "too many people" who didn't heed instructions to evacuate, and he urged anyone still in town to "hunker down and try to wait this thing out."
"When Mother Nature sends her wrath your way, we're at her mercy, and so all we can do is stay prayerful and do the best that we can," Langford said.
And in Seaside Heights, about 30 miles north of Atlantic City, Police Chief Thomas Boyd told CNN, "The whole north side of my town is totally under water."
In New York, lower Manhattan's Battery Park recorded nearly 14-foot tide, smashing a record set by 1960's Hurricane Donna by more than 3 feet. The city had already halted service on its bus and train lines, closing schools and ordering about 400,000 people out of their homes in low-lying areas of Manhattan and elsewhere.
Flooding forced the closure of all three of the major airports in the area, LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy and Newark Liberty. Water seeped into subway stations in Lower Manhattan and into the tunnel connecting Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, while high winds damaged a crane perched atop a Midtown skyscraper under construction, forcing authorities to evacuate the surrounding area.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg told reporters there was an "extraordinary" amount of water in Lower Manhattan, as well as downed trees throughout the city and widespread power outages.
"We knew that this was going to be a very dangerous storm, and the storm has met our expectations," he said. "The worst of the weather has come, and city certainly is feeling the impacts."
The storm was blamed for more than 2.8 million outages across the Northeast. About 350,000 of them were in the New York city area, where utility provider Con Edison reported it had also cut power to customers in parts of Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan to protect underground equipment as the storm waters rose.
But as water crept into its substations, Con Ed said it had lost service to about 250,000 customers in Manhattan -- including most of the island south of 39th Street.
At least five people had been killed in storm-related incidents in New York state, including three killed by trees falling on homes in Queens and in the town of New Salem, near Albany, city and state officials said. Falling trees were also blamed for three deaths reported in New Jersey and one in Connecticut, authorities there told CNN.
In West Virginia, a woman was killed in a car accident after the storm dumped 5 inches of snow on the town of Davis, said Amy Shuler Goodwin, a spokeswoman for Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's office.

And before hitting land, it overwhelmed the sailing ship HMS Bounty, a replica of the historic British vessel, off North Carolina. Fourteen of the ship's crew of 16 were rescued, but the body of one deckhand was found Monday evening and the ship's captain was still missing Monday night, the Coast Guard said.
Sandy had already claimed at least 67 lives in the Caribbean, including 51 in Haiti.
Sandy's storm surges were boosted by a full moon, which already brings the highest tides of the month. And forecasters said the storm was likely to collide with a cold front and spawn a superstorm that could generate flash floods and snowstorms.
"It could be bad," said U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Steven Rattior, "or it could be devastation."
Mass transit shut down across the densely populated Northeast, landmarks stood empty and schools and government offices were closed. The National Grid, which provides power to millions of customers, said 60 million people could be affected before it's over.
On Fire Island, off Long Island, the water rose above promenades and docks on Monday afternoon, homeowner Karen Boss said. Boss stayed on the island with her husband despite a mandatory evacuation order. She said they own several properties and a business there and had weathered previous storms.
"I'm concerned that it might come into the first floor," she said. "If that's the case, I'll just move into another house that's higher up."
Based on pressure readings, it's likely to be the strongest storm to make landfall north of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, CNN senior meteorologist Dave Hennen said. The benchmark storm, the 1938 "Long Island Express" Hurricane, contained a low pressure reading of 946 millibars; Sandy had a minimum pressure of 943 millibars. Generally speaking, the lower the pressure, the stronger the storm.
In Sea Bright, New Jersey, Yvette Cafaro scrawled a plea on the plywood that covered her burger restaurant: "Be kind to us Sandy." The seaside area largely dodged last year's Hurricane Irene, but Cafaro was not optimistic that Sea Bright would be spared Sandy.
"Everything that we've been watching on the news looks like this one will really get us," she said. "We're definitely worried about it."

"The most important message I have for the public right now is please listen to what your state and local officials are saying," Obama said. "When they tell you to evacuate, you need to evacuate."Its arrival, eight days before the U.S. presidential election, forced President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, to alter or cancel several campaign stops. Obama flew back to Washington from Florida, telling reporters at the White House that assets were in place for an effective response to the storm.
And in Ohio, Romney asked supporters to drop off items and cash at his "victory centers" to be donated to victims of the storm.
"There are families in harm's way that will be hurt -- either in their possessions or perhaps in something more severe," Romney said.
By Monday afternoon, 23 states were under a warning or advisory for wind related to Sandy. Thousands of flights had been canceled, and hundreds of roads and highways were expected to flood. And according to a government model, Sandy's wind damage alone could cause more than $7 billion in economic loss.
Sandy was expected to weaken once it moves inland, but the center was expected to move slowly northward, meaning gusty winds and heavy rain would continue through Wednesday.
On the western side of the storm, the mountains of West Virginia expected up to 3 feet of snow and the mountains of southwestern Virginia to the Kentucky state line could see up to 2 feet. Twelve to 18 inches of snow were expected in the mountains near the North Carolina-Tennessee border.
"This is not a typical storm," said Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett. "Essentially, this is a hurricane wrapped in a 'nor'easter.'"

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Polls break down presidential race in Florida

(CNN) – Two new polls released Sunday break down the state of the presidential race in Florida, whose 29 electoral votes are being fiercely contested in the final days of the campaign.
The surveys indicated GOP nominee Mitt Romney ahead along the central I-4 corridor, while President Barack Obama is ahead in Miami Dade County, the state's largest.
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The Tampa Bay Times/Bay News 9 poll surveyed likely voters along Interstate 4 in the Sunshine State, which stretches from Tampa, on the Gulf coast, to Daytona Beach, on the Atlantic coast. That section of the state has swung for both Democrats and Republicans in the past, and straddles the reliably red panhandle in the north, and the more blue sections of South Florida.
The poll showed Romney at 51% among likely voters along the stretch, compared to 45% who support Obama. Four percent remained undecided. That result was within the poll's sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points.
Romney led among independents 49%-41%, and among men by a sixteen point margin. While Obama led among women, it was not by as large a margin as other polls have shown in different parts of the country. Fifty percent of women along the I-4 corridor support Obama, compared to 46% who support Romney.
Broken down, the poll showed divisions among voters along the stretch – Romney was leading among white voters, while Obama led among African-Americans and Hispanics, who accounted for 20% of the total number of voters in the Tampa Bay Times/Bay News 9 poll.
Brad Coker, the pollster for Mason-Dixon polling that conducted the survey, told the Tampa Bay Times the results showed Florida solidly in Romney's column.
"Romney has pretty much nailed down Florida," Coker said. "Unless something dramatically changes – an October surprise, a major gaffe – Romney's going to win Florida."
A second survey from the Miami Herald showed Obama leading Romney 52%-43% in Miami Dade County, which is Florida's largest. That lead is smaller than the sixteen point margin Obama won the county by in 2008, but is just outside the sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points.
Among men in Miami Dade, both Obama and Romney were at 47%, but among women Obama held a large advantage, leading his rival 56%-40%.
A big majority of Hispanics – 62% - went for Romney in the survey, a result of the large population of traditionally conservative Cuban-Americans in the region. Broken down, 76% of Cuban-Americans were behind Romney, while 56% of non-Cuban Hispanics said they would vote for Obama.
Both the I-4 Corridor survey and the Miami Dade County poll were conducted by Mason Dixon polling group, which is based in Jacksonville, Florida. The dates of the polls were also the same – October 22-24, meaning there were two days of polling completely after the final presidential debate.
The Miami Herald survey was conducted by telephone in both English and Spanish from 625 likely voters in Miami-Dade County. The sampling error was plus or minus four percentage points.
The I-4 Corridor survey was also from 625 likely voters, and the sampling error was the same.

Filed under: 2012 • Florida • Mitt Romney • President Obama

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National Hurricane Center - Hurricane Preparedness Week

Hurricane Preparedness Week

History teaches that a lack of hurricane awareness and preparation are common threads among all major hurricane disasters. By knowing your vulnerability and what actions you should take, you can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster.
Hurricane hazards come in many forms, including storm surge, heavy rainfall, inland flooding, high winds, tornadoes, and rip currents. The National Weather Service is responsible for protecting life and property through issuance of timely watches and warnings, but it is essential that your family be ready before a storm approaches. Furthermore, mariners should be aware of special safety precautions when confronted with a hurricane.
Download the Tropical Cyclone Preparedness Guide (PDF) or follow the links for more information. But remember, this is only a guide. The first and most important thing anyone should do when facing a hurricane threat is to use common sense.

Get latest updates on Hurricane direct from the National Hurricane Center.

Hurricane Season Dates

Hurricane season in the Atlantic begins June 1st and ends November 30th. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season begins May 15th and also ends November 30th.

Additional Resources

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Saturday, 27 October 2012

20 Ways To Improve the SEO of Every Website You Design

The Basics


  • Congratulations, you’ve passed freshman SEO. Now it’s time to take that knowledge to the next level by applying broad basics to specific situations. The SEO Theory blog has a whole section devoted to posts about intermediate SEO techniques like nofollow links, making the most of microsites and smartly using subdomains.
  • If you’re a small business owner, web design company GNC Web Creations offers a free SEO course run through Yahoo groups. It’s aimed at helping small business owners get their hands dirty with in-depth SEO techniques.
  • Visual learners should check out SEO firm Vertical Measures, which has a compendium of free webinarsand videos covering topics like content optimization, keywords and sitemap. Similarly, SEOBook publishes a series of SEO videos covering content creation, keyword choice and more.
  • If you’re willing to spend some money, SEO expert Kalena Jordan runs a very well-reviewed series of classes online through Search Engine College. The curriculum includes courses on PPC Advertising, copywriting, usability and more. With fees ranging from $200 to $1500, there’s something for everyone.
  • For the price of a few fee-based SEO tutorials, you could also start attending SEO conferences, where you can engage in group learning and meet other search-minded scholars. Search Marketing Expo is definitely the most popular SEO conference in its class, with conferences happening all year long around the world, but there are also numerous other conferences covering SEO, including Web 2.0 Expo in October andPubCon in November.

Advanced Placement

  • Now it’s time to sink your teeth into some serious advanced placement SEO, specifically, by tackling really technical knowledge and encountering the breakneck pace at which the industry grows and changes. The best place to start your advanced placement training, believe it or not, is actually by turning off your computer and picking up a book. Try SEO Warrior or The Art Of SEO, both of which provide fantastic in-depth SEO techniques and analysis, perfect for SEO professionals, or anyone who wants to master professional-level skills.
  • Since SEO is an industry that changes faster than the Google trending topics list, the most important advanced skill to master is staying ahead of the curve. The best way to do that is to stay plugged in to the places where people share day-to-day insights on the industry. There are plenty of SEOs to follow on Twitter, as well as SEO blogs that publish in-depth articles and analysis on a regular basis.
  • Quora has a fantastic SEO community, as does Stack Exchange. Both sites are Q&A based, so you can find answers to commonly asked questions, or post SEO queries of your own.
  • WarriorForum and SEOMoz also have thriving communities of hardcore SEO geeks who share advanced search secrets every day. In particular, SEOMoz’s Whiteboard Friday series is a wonderful way to get a weekly dose of in-depth analysis on topics like link building on Twitter and Mobile SEO. They also offer an advanced training DVD series to really help you round out your skills.
  • There’s also no better place to go than the source. And, in SEO, the source is Matt Cutts, Google’s guru of search, who also happens to post a regular blog covering everything from sculpting pagerank to his latest vegan diet. While you’re bookmarking advanced placement blogs, be sure to also include the Google WebMaster Central Blog and YouTube channel.