Category: Digital Branding

i
Digital Branding

30+ Best Marketing And Tech Blogs To Follow In 2017 – Part 2

The universe of tech blogs is vast!

One of the reasons for it is an inescapable fact: people interested in technology spend hours and hours time with computers, so there’s no surprise why a Web-based medium is so wildly popular.

Just notice how many more tech blogs there are than, say, blogs about home remodeling or sailing! And, surprise, surprise there are even more tech blogs than blogs dedicated to cute kittens.

So, in the ocean of opportunities, the question becomes more difficult than ever: Which of all of these tech blogs are worth your time?

To help answer that, the following list surveys the very best

Best Tech Blogs To Read

1) Network Security Blog
Longtime blogger Martin McKeay holds forth on spammers, hackers, black-hatters, and the good IT folks who work to keep them at bay.

2) Current School News

Currentschoolnews is a subsidiary school news portal with an aim of providing useful and valuable information about Higher Institutions, Scholarships, Study-abroad, Jobs, Sport, Tech, Health and much more to students at all levels of education – Undergraduate, Masters, Doctoral and Post-doctoral levels.

3) Simple Intelligent Systems
Get latest insights, tips and advice on wide range of topics such as Web Designing, Digital Marketing, News & trends and more. The goal of the publication is to create actionable content that inspires anyone who has started a business or is willing to grow their business on web universe.

4) Brian Krebs’s Security Fix
Backed by the reporting chops of the Washington Post, Security Fix is a deep and widely inclusive resource. Very well done.

5) MediaWorld Global

A blog focusing on the science and benefits of using SEO website content. Why you need it, how to create it without it costing an arm and a leg, and the results you can expect from it.

6) Technobeep

Technobeep is a great blog and resource for everything technology news; from gadgets, apps, softwares, tools, company reviews, startup organization, mobile, hosting, web dev, and even getting started with the basics.

7) Microsoft Security Response Center
All the bulletins and updates you’ll need (or at least most of them) for Microsoft security vulnerabilities. Sign up for a notification so you don’t need to check in regularly.

8) Danger Room
National security coverage written and reported with a high profile reputation. I’ve even heard the Pentagon keeps on eye on this blog.

9) Tao Security
The personal blog of Richard Bejtlich, director of incident response for General Electric. He gets around and knows how to share his insights.

10) Logojoy

Logojoy is one of the world’s leading online logo makers, with 30,000 unique visitors passing through its website every day. Using AI and unique technologies, Logojoy provides the user with a fully guided experience to be creative, allowing them to create their own logo without the assistance of a graphic designer.

11) AgilOne

AgilOne is a leading Customer Data Platform company. The passion that drives them is to help enterprise B2C brands omni-channel customer data so they can engage with their customer authentically and optimize lifetime value.

12) Tech Desigh
A place to know latest android app & tech tips for everyone.

13) Nogentech.org
The latest technology blog for its visitors. 
A collection of contents and useful resources related to SEO, online tech, marketing tips, gadget reviews.

14) Matt Cutts: Gadgets, Google and SEO
Cutts, a former software engineer and head of Google’s Webspam team, covers a lot of Internet-related issues along with a smattering of personal tech.

15) Esther Dyson
Describing herself as the “Internet’s court jester,” Dyson blogs about Web business and social media, among other topics.

pexels-photo-123318

16) Dan’s Cartoons

Dan Rosandich profiles the cartooning business and world of cartoons.

17) TechLila

TechLila covers unique topics related to Android, Windows, and technology. The main goal of TechLila is to provide unique information, such as quality tips and tricks, tutorials and how-to guides.

18) OpsGenie

OpsGenie is an alerting and incident response orchestration platform which provides reliable alerts, on-call schedules, and escalation policies to ensure the right people are notified about any alert event via email, SMS, phone calls, iOS & Android push notifications and chat/collaboration tools. Through their tool and blog, OpsGenie empowers and teaches DevOps teams to stay connected and collaborate in real-time to respond to problems faster and efficiently.

19) Glanceinfo.com

Glaceinfo is a unique blog about social networking, gadgets, technology, blogging tips and much more. This blog provides latest updates on various modern products and gadgets.

20) WorldBank’s Section About Latin America

We live in the land of plenty and high-tech marvels, but we need to be mindful of those less fortunate, explains Gloria Hernandez from Aesbus. Latin America is gaining marketing attention more and more, but it’s important to understand the politics and culture of these emerging markets. So, although this is not technically a marketing blog, it does provide a look into global financial aspects of new market segments.

With a mission to “end extreme poverty within a generation and boost shared prosperity,” the World Bank blogs provide research and data analysis on international financial markets, developing country entrepreneurship, and government leadership and decision-making that impact economic growth, poverty reduction, and the quality of people’s lives. The range and depth of topics and the impressive list of collaborative bloggers ensure an insightful treatise of current issues that are playing out daily across communities worldwide.

21) Merixstudio

On Merixstudio’sblog you can read about software house’s everyday live, cutting-edge technologies, and web development. They cover topics such as startups and hiring developers. And believe me, it’s not everything! They even won the best company blog title in 2015 in the Polish contest organized by Blogifirmowe.com.

22) Jeet Banerjee

Jeet Banerjee is a 24 year old serial entrepreneur, author, digital marketing consultant, and public speaker. In his young career, Jeet has launched several different companies, written two books, and has helped many businesses make more money from the internet. He strives to create the next big tech company and give back to the world in the best way possible.

23) Elise Dopson

Awesome blog run by Elise, a freelance marketing writer & blogger. Perfect to show wannabe-freelancers and online biz owners how to (non-scarily) build their own successful career!

24) Akash Srivastava SEO

A blog by Akash Srivastava, an SEO consultant that helps people create or revise their SEO plan, implement it and monitor results.

A bolt-on digital marketing blog. On their blog you’ll find a ton of useful tips about lead generation, driving prospects directly to your product and service pages and how to do all of that in a cost-effective way.
Clickedwap is a tech blog that covers areas of gadget solutions, free internet browsing tips, alongside with full smartphones specifications and other technology news.
Influence is a blog of a passionate group of entrepreneurs, writers, and content junkies who love what they do. With backgrounds ranging from journalism to tech startups to fortune 500 companies, they tackle the world of thought leadership and content marketing from all angles.
Lead by Anthony Iwuchukwu, Make Money Directories.com is one of the fastest-growing digital marketing service websites. Make Money Directories has many top brands and companies on its account and a brilliant track record to show off.
A great blog and resource for everything related to Digital Marketing, Automation owned by long time blogger Rafi Chowdhury a well-known name in the Industry.

Hyperlink InfoSystem blogs are a gateway to know the latest technology around the world. Tech lovers would cherish their blogs on the latest Mobile App Development, Web Development, AR/VR App Development, Game Development – list is very long. They bring revolution by sharing some unique thoughts on upcoming technology. Mr. Harnil Oza, CEO of Hyperlink InfoSystem is a sharp tech writer and his writing is very unique which touches the heart of the reader. Stay tuned to get into a new high-tech world and get yourself updated every moment with Hyperlink InfoSystem.

31) WiredMahir

Find Interesting and Engaging Research Writing on Android, ChromeOS, Linux, Blogging and Various Useful Tutorials on Trending Technology Topic.

32) OptimWise

A WordPress web design agency that helps professional businesses succeed online.

33) Espresso Shots Blog

Espresso Shots Blog cover the latest trends and tips from the world of digital media, mobile-first web design, content and search marketing, plus freshly ground and brewed updates from the highly caffeinated agency lovingly prepared by their highly caffeinated content mavens.
Magnificent team digs into problems that marketers deal with on a daily basis. Their goal is to keep you up to date on the rapidly changing marketing world.
pexels-photo-450271-min

Wishpond is the world’s easiest marketing platform for generating, managing and nurturing leads. Wishpond’s mission is to make it easy for marketers to grow their business.

Digital Branding

3 Mainstays of Brand Strategy for Small Business

The only thing you need to know about branding: it’s a slow journey.

 

Once you start a business, you need to understand there will be no immediate results. It’s like watching a series season by season: years may go by before your business turns into a brand. And the moment will come when you feel exhausted and want to give up, but the question is:

 

Will you?

 

You look at Coca-Cola, Nike, McDonald’s… Okay, not to put too fine a point on it, even PornHub has become a brand already! (Did you see their marketing campaigns? Traditional ads can’t hold a candle to them.) And you think, “Well, they are giants. And I am a small business owner. How can I compete with those big dogs and make my little one a brand? Do I need to do it, after all?”

 

But first things first:

 

What’s a brand?

According to Wikipedia, it’s “a name, term, design, symbol, or other feature that distinguishes an organization or product from its rivals in the eyes of the customer.” And, speaking about branding, it’s “a set of marketing and communication methods that help to distinguish a company or products from competitors, aiming to create a lasting impression in the minds of customers.”

 

Ouch! Sounds too general, doesn’t it?

 

Equity is what makes your business a brand, and it bases on three keystones:

 

  • Knowledge: “What do consumers know about my product/service?”
  • Experience: “What do they say after using my product/service?”
  • Differentiation: “What makes my product/service different from competitors’? Isn’t it copied or plagiarized?”

 

Branding is not about products but missions, big ideas, and values. It’s about long-term relationship with your customers.

 

Let’s take Starbucks by way of example: when they started, they didn’t put a coffee at the top of their priorities; they wanted to become the third place – between home and office – for every person to visit. It’s about values, not products or sales. And today we all know that Starbucks is not about coffee but emotions, engagement, and experience it gives to consumers.

 

So what?” you ask.

 

To develop an efficient brand strategy for your small business, you need to consider a big idea behind what you do as well as three mainstays that will differentiate you from competitors:

  1. Visual system
  2. Verbal system
  3. PUEX (product usage experience)

 

1) Visual System

People are 90% visual beings, so they need images to associate with your brand. Just look at the picture: you don’t need words to recognize brands in it, do you?

 

 

 

Takeaway: Think of a cool logo and visual attributes (fonts, colors, illustrations, image compositions) for your brand.

 

How to choose a great logo for your brand?

 

First, decide on the type. Will your logo be a graphical sign (like Shell), graphical block (like Total), or lettering (like Coca-Cola)? Then, consider colors and size. Looking great in billboard advertising, your logo might fail in zoom; and looking great when multicolor, it might fail in black. Make sure it looks terrific and figurable, no matter what.

 

As for attributes of your brand, there’s one thing to remember: NEVER use your logo as a visual code. Think of details to influence consumers’ engagement and experience at three stages of their communication with your brand: before, during, and after. The visual code of your brand may be illustrations or the combination of particular fonts and compositions.

 

Where to use visual system for people to remember your brand?

 

2) Verbal System

To communicate a message and influence decision-making, you need to develop a verbal differentiation of your brand. Naming, slogans, roles your small business undertakes, tone it uses, and promises it makes to translate this information to consumers – these all are a big part of a brand strategy for you to take into consideration.

 

Choosing your brand name:

 

Make sure it has an ideological element, meaning, and flow of sound. It should be easy for people to pronounce and remember, it needs to be phonetically pleasing, and it should be one-of-a-kind.

 

Also, there should be a story behind your brand name. What’s the role of your brand? Is it a creator, a master, or an evangelist? You need to think about a core message to communicate with your business, choose a corresponding tone to send this message, and decide on promises your brand could give to solve a problem.

 

Choosing your slogan:

 

According to Entrepreneur’s  small business encyclopedia, slogans are a “small group of words that are combined in a special way to identify a product or company.” In other words, it’s a mini-statement of your brand’s mission, and they work great for advertising and verbal representation of your business.

 

Here go some slogans by way of example:

 

 

What do they all have in common?

 

They all impact positive feelings about a brand, they are short and memorable, they include a benefit, and they differentiate a brand from others. Keep these peculiarities in mind when coming up with the slogan ideas for your small business. A strategically thought-out verbal representation is crucial for engagement and emotions people experience when communicating with your brand.

 

3) PUEX

In plain English, it’s a creative performance of your brand aka tiny pleasant details that make it memorable, encouraging people to talk about it. It’s about giving more than a product or service itself; and it’s about what happens with a person while using your product or service.

 

What can it be?

 

  • Creative content users with generate themselves. (As far as the world is one big instabox these days, photos and shares are guaranteed. A palmary example is Starbucks’ “Give good” campaign for this holiday season.)

  • Appealing stories. (For instance, in SPLAT’s every package there’s a personal letter from CEO, written for every customer.)

 

Think of what may be PUEX for your small business to differentiate it from competitors. Think of what your brand may give consumers besides high-quality services.

 

Remember about the psychology of marketing, learn how a human brain works and makes decisions, consider insights, and speak the same language to your audience. Solve their problem as no one else does, and they will thank you with loyalty and love.

 

The last but not least…

Create stories, appeal to emotions, make every moment worth remembering, and think of your brand equity rather than monetary profits. Be patient, learn to wait, and polish every step you take to a better brand strategy. Do it well, because mediocre is what many marketers do. But you don’t want to be one of those many, do you?

 

 

 

Lesley Vos is a seasoned web writer and content strategist, specializing in text building, distribution, and promotion. Blogging for PlagiarismCheck.org, she also contributes expert articles to publications on business, branding, and self-development. Feel free to get in touch on LinkedIn.

Digital Branding

Is Your Christmas Marketing Strategy Ready Yet?

One of the things that every retailer knows is that sales-wise, the holiday season is the absolute pinnacle of the year. The Christmas euphoria, the Black Friday budget and all the free time that people often have on their hands make them particularly susceptible to your increased marketing activities. Here, however, lies the catch – you won’t be the only one approaching them. All your competitors will be on par with this idea, which leaves you and your business in a tight spot. In order to triumph against such odds, you need to ensure your Christmas marketing strategy is fully prepared and here are a couple of tips that might come in handy.

1.    Speaking numbers

In the introduction, we mentioned that the during Christmas, people are more likely to spend or at least to spend vast amounts of money, so how much exactly are we talking here? Well, according to holiday survey, in the U.S. alone, total holiday sales in 2016 went as high as $1 trillion. Now, while it may be true that a lot of people make up their minds on what to buy long before the holiday season, as much as 13 percent of shoppers are considered to be last-minute decision makers. This means that there is still enough time for you to reach out to them.

Although a lot of people believe that this is something related to the Christmas decoration of shops and malls, the truth is that the world of e-commerce isn’t spared from this phenomenon either. You see, a vast number of the Americans also shop online during the holiday season. In fact, as much as 76 percent of them made a purchase using their smartphone, which is something we will revisit later on. As you can see, holidays are the perfect time for you to go for record sales.

2.    Focus on email marketing

While holiday season may be a great time to reach out to new customers, it is much more effective to retarget your regulars instead. As little as 8 percent of your regular customers make up about 40 percent of your profit and a person who has already bought something from you already has a likelihood of 27 percent of coming back. Now, as it happens, email marketing is one of the best methods of re-engaging your qualified leads. However, you need to work on it a bit in order to make it up to the occasion.

For instance, your email should have a direct add-to-cart button, which can make the transaction a lot easier. Furthermore, it helps turn the phenomenon of impulse buying strongly in your favor. Needless to say, Christmas euphoria and impulse buying make for a truly powerful combo. Apart from this, you might also want to follow up with a coupon or even offer a seasonal sale with special conveniences available only to regulars.

3.    Create a holiday design

The reason why it is so easy to understand these increased sales during the Christmas season is since this period has its own completely unique and easily distinguishable decoration elements. Christmas tree, carols, gifts, ornaments, reindeers and Christmas sock are just some of them. It doesn’t take much imagination to realize just how easy it would be to make any or all of these elements fit your website, blog and e-store. Furthermore, in these strategic locations, they might have the same effect on your customers’ willingness to spend as they do in an actual store.

On the other hand, just piling up these elements one on top of the other is not the same thing as creating a holiday web design. For this, you need to contact an expert, like people behind Bapple and at least ask for a quote. You see, a beautiful, immersive and efficient web design can be made even with a minimalist approach, that is far more suitable for a startup or SMB. Nonetheless, pulling this off takes skill, talent and experience.

4.    Think about mobile users

In the first section, we talked about a staggering number of 76 percent of mobile users who make a purchase during holidays. This, combined with the fact that mobile users are currently the majority of all online users means that you need to pay a special attention to your mobile marketing. Here, there are a lot of issues that need some improvement, however, the compatibility across different devices is the key. Different smartphones have different screen sizes, not to mention that tablets (although less numerous), still have a significant conversion rate.

In conclusion

Even though preparing your marketing efforts for Christmas is a hard work, it gives best results when prepared ahead of time. Sure, if you failed to act all up until now, there might still be time to get ready. Nonetheless, as soon as this holiday season is over, you would be wise to start preparing for the next one. In this way, you will be able to get the most out your every fiscal year.

Digital Branding

Dunbar’s Number and Your Network

How many friends do you have? Not talking about Facebook friends or twitter followers, talking about REAL friends. People you know and recognize on a personal level and have formed a meaningful relationship with. Now, this number could be as low as one or two, or it could be as high as one-hundred. In fact, it likely is that high once you start factoring in family members, business associates, people you work with, and more. However, what is the maximum limit for the number of meaningful relationships you can have at once?

This might not seem like something people can really know, but doctors have found that hard limit – 150. It is known as Dunbar’s number and refers to the upper limit of meaningful relationships a person can sustain. The exact value tends to vary from person to person, but 150 is the average. More people than that, and a few inevitably get filtered out into another bubble.

How This Limit Impacts You

That upper limit of 150 people can be limiting to somebody trying to build a professional network who also wants to maintain a solid social network. While there is nothing wrong with the two overlapping, this can create problems where saying something that would be acceptable among personal friends could ruin your business relationships or even cost you a job. It is often easier to keep things sorted into different buckets.

However, what this means overall is that you have to cultivate relationships carefully and selectively. You have to maintain those relationships you are able to manage and let the ones that are no longer of benefit fall away to free up mental space. This allows you to maintain a healthy social life while also keeping yourself financially secure.

Getting Around Dunbar’s Number

As the world becomes more interconnected and relationship building becomes more important, finding ways around this upper limit becomes increasingly important. While there are techniques for helping expand the limit, depending entirely on your brain is counter-productive. The human mind is a wonderful thing, but it’s also prone to errors and mistakes – as such, technology is of enormous benefit.

A good contacts application can sort people out for you and maintain information on various individuals. Setting up schedules for periodic calls and outreach can help maintain those connections as well, allowing for a relationship to keep going without having a chance to decay. Applications from companies like Covve help sort your contacts out into various buckets and maintain notes on those people.

What this means is you can effectively circumvent Dunbar’s number because you are storing contact information in an offline device. Having more than 150 ongoing relationships is still a challenge, but by sorting those relationships into different ‘buckets’ you can get past the mental barriers that would otherwise limit your ability to form connections.

Technology Bypassing Limitations

As time goes on we are repeatedly confronted by our own limitations. Humans in both mind and body are simply not built for what our technology is making possible and what society demands. We have already begun this process of integrating technology as a way to augment our abilities, with the internet and mobile devices giving us access to more knowledge and perspectives than we could ever hope to catalogue and grasp within a single generation. This also helps us get around the limitations in our ability to network and socialize. Embracing new social networking technologies early helps people get ahead of the curve, and makes them appear professional and well organized. This is essential in all sectors – whether just socializing, trying to land a new job, or forge connections to make a new business idea become reality.

Digital Branding

Profit Awareness: Factors to Ponder About Business Financial Planning

Business is fairly an all-around subject matter with a wide array of components. There is a set that progress into becoming more sharp-witted, either it is learning the permissive abilities such as speaking and people governance or grasping the back-breaking skills like finance and accounting.

The procedure of financial planning in business is to determine the course of future financial results and to ascertain how to best utilize the financial resources of the company in pursuit of the organization’s short- and long-term goals. Because planning involves looking well into what lies ahead, it is an innovative assessment and a methodical one as well.

Either you just started a new business, or you are successfully managing one for quite a long time, there are always new master plans that can assist in expanding your achievement in the marketplace.

The Essentials of Data

Financial planning in an establishment needs expertise in maneuvering spreadsheet software. Even in smaller business establishments, the financial representation made to anticipate future revenues can be complicated.

Appropriate research and data gathering abilities are important as well. The precision of the financial project depends on the quality of data utilized in the assumptions for the financial models. Finally, generating realistic hypothesis for key variables such as pricing and predicted unit sales is vital.

Realistic Time Frame

An establishment should formulate a financial plan yearly. This method will involve developing an estimated profit-and-loss presentation for the next twelve months. Some companies also compose a long-term financial strategy for as long as five years.

The long-term plan is productive for businesses whose product development project need an extended time to carry out.

The Remarkable Advantages

Establishments that devise a planned effort at financial planning can increase their revenues at a faster pace in comparison to companies that have an ineffective planning practice.

Financial planning supplies the numerical rationale for decision-making. This method also illustrates where the establishment should focus its resources to achieve the greatest success in building revenues while properly managing the costs.

Also, effective financial management enables more funds to be available for expanding business operations, marketing, and product growth, which in results to additional growth.

Special Considerations

Strategic planning decides the course of operation that the establishment will take such as fulfilling the tasks planned, as well as the Ashe Morgan who is accountable for their well-timed accomplishment.

Financial planning takes the activities designated in the strategic scheme and converts them into earnings. The financial plan displays the revenues designed to result from the execution of the plan of action and the expenses needed to perform the action procedures.

Senior management and marketing and operations staff are critically involved in the tactical planning operation. Their productions must match with those of the financial personnel in authority of formulating the financial plan.

The Impact of Changes

Proper financial planning in companies is difficult because there are several factors which may affect the company’s financial outcomes, and each of these factors is very hard to anticipate.

The fickle consumer behavior is also hard to predict because you must anticipate how well clients will respond to both establishment’s products as well as the price ranges. Changes in cost components can also cause critical differences.

Like for instance, the negative outcomes of raising the costs of fuel can be serious for some companies.  Several newly established companies face the extra concern of having a business plan that has not been tested before, so there is a small-scale data accessible on which to base the financial plan.

Knowing the Potential

The actual financial outcomes and the figures in the forecast correlate every month, and it will need continuous effort to recognize and determine important differences.

These differences may need a modification in strategy to have the company back on track toward its revenue and profit objectives. Variance review displays when the competitive atmosphere has changed notably from what the establishment anticipated.

Takeaway:

Financial planning is very critical in every company because you will require a constant awareness of the statistics and data to determine if your business is heading on the right track. On the bright side, if your strategy works out great, you can surely maximize the success ratio, business growth and business longevity in a competitive environment.

u
Digital Branding

Big Data: 70 Amazing Free Data Sources You Should Know for 2018

Every great data visualization starts with good and clean data. Most of people believe that collecting big data would be a rough thing, but it’s simply not true. There are thousands of free data sets available online, ready to be analyzed and visualized by anyone. Here we’ve rounded up 70 free data sources for 2017 on government, crime, health, financial and economic data, marketing and social media, journalism and media, real estate, company directory and review, and more.

We hope you could enjoy this and save a lot time and energy searching blindly online.

Free Data Source: Government

1.Data.gov: It is the first stage and acts as a portal to all sorts of amazing information on everything from climate to crime freely by the US Government.

2.Data.gov.uk: There are datasets from all UK central departments and a number of other public sector and local authorities. It acts as a portal to all sorts of information on everything, including business and economy, crime and justice, defence, education, environment, government, health, society and transportation.

3.U.S. Census Bureau: The website is about the government-informed statistics on the lives of US citizens including population, economy, education, geography, and more.

4.The CIA World Factbook: Facts on every country in the world; focuses on history, government, population, economy, energy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues of 267 countries.

5.Socrata: Socrata is a mission-driven software company that is another interesting place to explore government-related data with some visualization tools built-in. Its data as a service has been adopted by more than 1200 government agencies for open data, performance management and data-driven government.

6.European Union Open Data Portal: It is the single point of access to a growing range of data from the institutions and other bodies of the European Union. The data boosts includes economic development within the EU and transparency within the EU institutions, including geographic, geopolitical and financial data, statistics, election results, legal acts, and data on crime, health, the environment, transport and scientific research. They could be reused in different databases and reports. And more, a variety of digital formats are available from the EU institutions and other EU bodies. The portal provides a standardised catalogue, a list of apps and web tools reusing these data, a SPARQL endpoint query editor and rest API access, and tips on how to make best use of the site.

7.Canada Open Data is a pilot project with many government and geospatial datasets. It could help you explore how the Government of Canada creates greater transparency, accountability, increases citizen engagement, and drives innovation and economic opportunities through open data, open information, and open dialogue.

8.Datacatalogs.org: It offers open government data from US, EU, Canada, CKAN, and more.

9.U.S. National Center for Education Statistics: The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the U.S. and other nations.

10.UK Data Service: The UK Data Service collection includes major UK government-sponsored surveys, cross-national surveys, longitudinal studies, UK census data, international aggregate, business data, and qualitative data.

Free Data Source: Crime

11.Uniform Crime Reporting: The UCR Program has been the starting place for law enforcement executives, students, researchers, members of the media, and the public seeking information on crime in the US.

12.FBI Crime Statistics: Statistical crime reports and publications detailing specific offenses and outlining trends to understand crime threats at both local and national levels.

13.Bureau of Justice Statistics: Information on anything related to U.S. justice system, including arrest-related deaths, census of jail inmates, national survey of DNA crime labs, surveys of law enforcement gang units, etc.

14.National Sex Offender Search: It is an unprecedented public safety resource that provides the public with access to sex offender data nationwide. It presents the most up-to-date information as provided by each Jurisdiction.

Free Data Source: Health

15.U.S. Food & Drug Administration: Here you will find a compressed data file of the Drugs@FDA database. Drugs@FDA, is updated daily, this data file is updated once per week, on Tuesday.

16.UNICEF: UNICEF gathers evidence on the situation of children and women around the world. The data sets include accurate, nationally representative data from household surveys and other sources.

17.World Health Organisation:  statistics concerning nutrition, disease and health in more than 150 countries.

18.Healthdata.gov: 125 years of US healthcare data including claim-level Medicare data, epidemiology and population statistics.

19.NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre: Health data sets from the UK National Health Service. The organization produces more than 260 official and national statistical publications. This includes national comparative data for secondary uses, developed from the long-running Hospital Episode Statistics which can help local decision makers to improve the quality and efficiency of frontline care.

Free Data Source: Financial and Economic Data

20.World Bank Open Data: Education statistics about everything from finances to service delivery indicators around the world.

21.IMF Economic Data: An incredibly useful source of information that includes global financial stability reports, regional economic reports, international financial statistics, exchange rates, directions of trade, and more.

22.UN Comtrade Database: Free access to detailed global trade data with visualizations. UN Comtrade is a repository of official international trade statistics and relevant analytical tables. All data is accessible through API.

23.Global Financial Data: With data on over 60,000 companies covering 300 years, Global Financial Data offers a unique source to analyze the twists and turns of the global economy.

24.Google Finance: Real-time stock quotes and charts, financial news, currency conversions, or tracked portfolios.

25.Google Public Data Explorer: Google’s Public Data Explorer provides public data and forecasts from a range of international organizations and academic institutions including the World Bank, OECD, Eurostat and the University of Denver. These can be displayed as line graphs, bar graphs, cross sectional plots or on maps.

26.U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis: U.S. official macroeconomic and industry statistics, most notably reports about the gross domestic product (GDP) of the United States and its various units. They also provide information about personal income, corporate profits, and government spending in their National Income and Product Accounts (NIPAs).

27.Financial Data Finder at OSU: Plentiful links to anything related to finance, no matter how obscure, including World Development Indicators Online, World Bank Open Data, Global Financial Data, International Monetary Fund Statistical Databases, and EMIS Intelligence.

28.National Bureau of Economic Research: Macro data, industry data, productivity data, trade data, international finance, data, and more.

29.U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission: Quarterly datasets of extracted information from exhibits to corporate financial reports filed with the Commission.

30.Visualizing Economics: Data visualizations about the economy.

31.Financial Times: The Financial Times provides a broad range of information, news and services for the global business community.

Free Data Source: Marketing and Social Media

32.Amazon API: Browse Amazon Web Services’ Public Data Sets by category for a huge wealth of information. Amazon API Gateway allows developers to securely connect mobile and web applications to APIs that run on Amazon Web(AWS) Lambda, Amazon EC2, or other publicly addressable web services that are hosted outside of AWS.

33.American Society of Travel Agents: ASTA is the world’s largest association of travel professionals. It provides members information including travel agents and the companies whose products they sell such as tours, cruises, hotels, car rentals, etc.

34.Social Mention: Social Mention is a social media search and analysis platform that aggregates user-generated content from across the universe into a single stream of information.

35.Google Trends: Google Trends shows how often a particular search-term is entered relative to the total search-volume across various regions of the world in various languages.

36.Facebook API: Learn how to publish to and retrieve data from Facebook using the Graph API.

37.Twitter API: The Twitter Platform connects your website or application with the worldwide conversation happening on Twitter.

38.Instagram API: The Instagram API Platform can be used to build non-automated, authentic, high-quality apps and services.

39.Foursquare API: The Foursquare API gives you access to our world-class places database and the ability to interact with Foursquare users and merchants.

40.HubSpot: A large repository of marketing data. You could find the latest marketing stats and trends here. It also provides tools for social media marketing, content management, web analytics, landing pages and search engine optimization.

41.Moz: Insights on SEO that includes keyword research, link building, site audits, and page optimization insights in order to help companies to have a better view of the position they have on search engines and how to improve their ranking.

42.Content Marketing Institute: The latest news, studies, and research on content marketing.

Free Data Source: Journalism and Media

43.The New York Times Developer Network – Search Times articles from 1851 to today, retrieving headlines, abstracts and links to associated multimedia. You can also search book reviews, NYC event listings, movie reviews, top stories with images and more.

44.Associated Press API: The AP Content API allows you to search and download content using your own editorial tools, without having to visit AP portals. It provides access to images from AP-owned, member-owned and third-party, and videos produced by AP and selected third-party.

45.Google Books Ngram Viewer: It is an online search engine that charts frequencies of any set of comma-delimited search strings using a yearly count of n-grams found in sources printed between 1500 and 2008 in Google’s text corpora.

46.Wikipedia Database: Wikipedia offers free copies of all available content to interested users.

47.FiveThirtyEight: It is a website that focuses on opinion poll analysis, politics, economics, and sports blogging. The data and code on Github is behind the stories and interactives at FiveThirtyEight.

48.Google Scholar: Google Scholar is a freely accessible web search engine that indexes the full text or metadata of scholarly literature across an array of publishing formats and disciplines. It includes most peer-reviewed online academic journals and books, conference papers, theses and dissertations, preprints, abstracts, technical reports, and other scholarly literature, including court opinions and patents.

Free Data Source: Real Estate

49.Castles: Castles are a successful, privately owned independent agency. Established in 1981, they offer a comprehensive service incorporating residential sales, letting and management, and surveys and valuations.

50.Realestate.com: RealEstate.com serves as the ultimate resource for first-time home buyers, offering easy-to-understand tools and expert advice at every stage in the process.

51.Gumtree: Gumtree is the first site for free classifieds ads in the UK. Buy and sell items, cars, properties, and find or offer jobs in your area is all available on the website.

52.James Hayward: It provides an innovative database approach to residential sales, lettings & management.

53.Lifull Home’s: Japan’s property website.

54.Immobiliare.it: Italy’s property website.

55.Subito: Italy’s property website.

56.Immoweb: Belgium’s leading property website.

Free Data Source: Business Directory and Review

57.LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a business- and employment-oriented social networking service that operates via websites and mobile apps. It has 500 million members in 200 countries and you could find the business directory here.

58.OpenCorporates: OpenCorporates is the largest open database of companies and company data in the world, with in excess of 100 million companies in a similarly large number of jurisdictions. Our primary goal is to make information on companies more usable and more widely available for the public benefit, particularly to tackle the use of companies for criminal or anti-social purposes, for example corruption, money laundering and organised crime.

59.Yellowpages: The original source to find and connect with local plumbers, handymen, mechanics, attorneys, dentists, and more.

60.Craigslist: Craigslist is an American classified advertisements website with sections devoted to jobs, housing, personals, for sale, items wanted, services, community, gigs, résumés, and discussion forums.

61.GAF Master Elite Contractor : Founded in 1886, GAF has become North America’s largest manufacturer of commercial and residential roofing (Source: Fredonia Group study). Our success in growing the company to nearly $3 billion in sales has been a result of our relentless pursuit of quality, combined with industry-leading expertise and comprehensive roofing solutions. Jim Schnepper is the President of GAF, an operating subsidiary of Standard Industries. When you are looking to protect the things you treasure most, here are just some of the reasons why we believe you should choose GAF.

62.CertainTeed: You could find contractors, remodelers, installers or builders in the US or Canada on your residential or commercial project here.

63.Companies in California: All information about companies in California.

64.Manta: Manta is one of the largest online resources that deliver products, services and educational opportunities. The Manta directory boasts millions of unique visitors every month who search comprehensive database for individual businesses, industry segments and geographic-specific listings.

65.EU-Startups: Directory about startups in EU.

66.Kansas Bar Association: Directory for lawyers. The Kansas Bar Association (KBA) was founded in 1882 as a voluntary association for dedicated legal professionals and has more than 7,000 members, including lawyers, judges, law students, and paralegals.

Free Data Source: Other Portal Websites

67.Capterra: Directory about business software and reviews.

68.Monster: Data source for jobs and career opportunities.

69.Glassdoor: Directory about jobs and information about inside scoop on companies with employee reviews, personalized salary tools, and more.

70.The Good Garage Scheme: Directory about car service, MOT or car repair.

71.OSMOZ: Information about fragrance.

72.Octoparse: A free data extraction tool to collect all the web data mentioned above online.

Do you know some great data sources? Contact to let us know and help us share the data love.

Author: The Octoparse Team

Digital Branding

Five Tips for Building a Credible Business

One of the most important factors that separate successful companies from the ones that nobody has heard of is credibility. For example, compare a new entrepreneur who’s trying to get people to believe in a product that has no track record to a successful businessperson who runs into issues with the production process and needs credit to be extended for a few days or weeks.

Of course, there are many characteristics that can help you personally become better at manoeuvring these types of situations, but having a reputation as a business owner that stays true to your word, gets things done, and has a history of success will ensure better credibility for your company. Here are some top tips on making your business more credible in today’s fast-paced and competitive world.

Tip #1. Hire Professional Help:

Whether you are looking for web design or website optimization, hiring a professional, experienced company to do the work for you will usually always be a better option than going down the DIY route or hiring somebody who isn’t that experienced with what they do. In general, when looking for web design, you should try and find a company that also appears to be highly credible and with a good reputation, as they will be able to create the same for your brand.

Tip #2. Be Honest:

When it comes to building credibility, one of the most important factors to consider is honesty. Whether you’re communicating with customers, site visitors, clients, suppliers or even other businesses that you are working alongside for a common goal, being dishonest is a sure-fire method of killing any credibility that you have, and quickly. Telling straight-up lies should of course always be avoided. However, bear in mind that misrepresentation of information due to unnecessary embellishment or failing to provide context can also crush your efforts at making your company more credible.

Tip #3. Be an Established Expert:

In considering your brand’s online presence, don’t forget that hiring the best company offering graphic design Farnham and ensuring a good visual first impression is important for credibility. However, what your website looks and feels like isn’t the only factor important to visitors today. In fact, the sooner you are able to share your industry knowledge and establish yourself as an expert in your field online, the better. Customers that are able to gain answers to their questions and solutions for their problems from your website are more likely to trust what you have to say and come back again in the future for more advice.

Tip #4. Promote Achievements:

Although you may not want to overdo it and look like you’re bragging, promoting anything that your company achieves is a sure-fire way to build credibility with your target audience. For example, let’s say that you’re mentioned in a popular business publication about being an excellent company to work for – why would you not want to shout about this a little bit, so that not only your target audience but also potential future employees can find out more about the achievement. One good way to share your achievements with the world is to put them on your website; companies such as designbypelling.co.uk offer branding in Surrey, and so will be able to help by integrating your achievements and build your brand into a flawless web design.

Tip #4. Ask for Endorsements:

As a general rule of thumb, others will find your brand to be more credible if it has been endorsed by somebody who they already trust and look up to. Asking others in the business world who have had more experience than yourself and are better known to endorse your company can be a massive move in gaining further credibility, whilst asking celebrities to endorse your products via reviews, blog posts and social media postings can also instill more confidence about your brand in your target market. If you need help, contact a branding Farnham expert.

Tip #5. Be Sensitive:

Lastly, you’ll want to build credibility with the people who are working directly with your company every day, from your employees and freelancers to the companies that you work in conjunction with to meet your goals. Being sensitive to the needs and requirements of others is an essential trait as an entrepreneur, which will help you to build personal credibility. This will, in turn, affect the credibility of your brand.

For example, if you are running a low-cost startup, it’s important to practice what you preach when it comes to emphasizing to your employees the importance of keeping expenditure low. In addition, taking the time to get to know your target audience and what makes them tick will not only help to make your company more credible but also more successful through knowing exactly what to offer.

Did you enjoy these tips? Let us know in the comments.

Digital Branding

4 Ways to Make Client Hospitality Easier

Client hospitality, sometimes known as corporate hospitality, is all too often seen by some of its critics as needlessly expensive and an indulgence.

In reality, however, this is far from the case.

Client hospitality is an effective means of fostering relationships with clients, new and old alike, and gives you the opportunity to show important clients how much they are valued by your company.

There is no reason that providing your clients with a little hospitality should cost a fortune either, in fact, some of the most effective corporate hospitality programs are relatively cheap to run. There is an ever-growing number of smaller businesses which are embracing the opportunities presented by corporate hospitality; a reflection of the growing awareness of the practice as well as the multitude of businesses and organizations who can be hired to put together a hospitality package for your clients.

The main reason that many businesses cite for not engaging in the practice is that they either feel it would be prohibitively expensive or because they don’t feel that they have the necessary planning and organizational skills to pull it off properly. Both of these assumptions are nearly always wrong.

In fact, with a little bit of planning and forethought, it is perfectly possible to offer clients a respectable level of hospitality without putting a huge dent in your annual budget and with no prior experience in organizing these kinds of events.

In this article, we will be looking at four things that you can do to make offering client hospitality a stress-free experience for all.

Keep it Informal

This is particularly good advice if you have had only limited, if any, contact with the clients up until this point.

By sticking to less formal activities and settings, you will make the clients feel much more at ease and consequently, both they and you will find it much easier to communicate. Creating the right atmosphere is essential to a successful client hospitality plan.

In some cases, a more formal approach might be better suited but for the majority, you want to keep things as relaxed as possible.

Sticking to more informal settings makes it much easier to bond and to build a personal, as well as business, relationship with the clients. When deciding on corporate hospitality and entertainment for your clients, consider how formal it needs to be.

Plan Beforehand

In order to ensure that your hospitality plans go off without a hitch, you should make sure that you take the time beforehand to properly plan out your itinerary. If you don’t have a clear idea of what you’re going to be doing, then you will be flying blind.

Similarly, if the client thinks that you are stumbling and bumbling through events without a clear direction they might assume that this is a reflection of your professional attitude.

Ease into Things

Many people find the whole experience of being responsible for client hospitality significantly easier when they take things slowly. By easing into things you will give you and the clients time and space to grow accustomed to one another.

First impressions are important, so it is important that the first activities you plan revolve around making introductions and settling your guests into their new surroundings.

Relax!

This is the most important thing to remember, if you aren’t relaxed then, of course, your guests won’t be either! Take a deep breath and try and trust your own judgment. As long as you have planned things efficiently you should find the whole experience a piece of cake.

Client hospitality is an excellent way of forming and fostering relationships with other businesses and individuals. Wherever possible you should try and offer client hospitality, it is one of the smartest investments a business can make.

Digital Branding

Easiest Ways to Boost Conversion Rates

Whilst there is a lot of focus on getting sites to the top of Google search results pages and gaining traffic to the site, conversions are the most important part. A lot of website traffic is good but it is worthless if it isn’t contributing to conversions. Conversions are what get people moving in the sales pipeline and help to generate business for the organisation.

The conversion rate is the number of times a use completes a site goal (determined by the organisation and their SEO services in Australia) divided by the amount of traffic through the site. The higher this rate is the better because that equates to an increase in goal completion. There are a few simple ways to help boost the conversion rates of a site, mostly through increasing the user experience of the site.

Improve Page Load Times

The loading time of a page can have a big impact on the conversion rate. People are more likely to spend more time on a website that loads quickly and reacts to user actions than one that doesn’t. There are statistics to show that 53% of users will abandon a site that takes more than 3 seconds to load and 79% said that they will not return to a site that takes too long to load.

This indicates that the loading speed of a page is crucial to the conversion rate as people are more likely to stay on a site and continue to use it if it loads quickly. Optimising images is a great way to help this. Resizing them through software such as Photoshop or Online Image Optimiser will aid in increasing the pages load speed.

Removing bulky code, avoiding external embedded media and minimising round trip times will all help to improve page load speed. It is easy to check this using a website speed test tool which can be found on Google.

Ensure that the Correct Keywords are Being Used

Even though keywords are a core part of improving the sites ranking on the search engine results pages, they are also critical to conversion rates. Having the correct keywords ensure that the site appears in the correct search results and therefore when people land on the page, there are getting what they wanted.

Hiring an SEO service in Australia will help to get the right keywords for the company and improve conversion rates. The assigned SEO consultant is able to research what keywords are most suited to the product or service offered and can include them. Ensuring that the site is appearing in the correct searches by using keywords that reflect the business offering will help to boost conversion rates.

Use Testimonials

Testimonials add credit to the site and the product or service that is being offered. It helps to convince people that they are using a trusted site and do not need to have another think about purchasing or at least getting in contact with the organisation.

Testimonials help to reduce the risk associated with any consumer action and as a result, encourage them to act. Increased action on the site by a user leads to a better conversion rate.

Create Dedicated Landing Pages

Dedicated landing pages are designed to make it easier for the user to see what they are looking for. It reduces the number of steps required from the search or link to the actual source of information that the user is after.

Reducing the steps required to achieve a goals, intuitively increases the chances of the user reaching the goal. Additionally, dedicated landing pages are designed to be easier to use for the given purpose further increasing the likelihood of a conversion.

This step is linked in with the use of correct keywords as ads will appear in areas of relevance. Therefore, should the correct keywords not be used it will be more difficult for the ad to appear to the desired users. Again, hiring an SEO consultant will likely be beneficial in this instance to improve conversion rates.

Accessible Call-to-Action

Providing an accessible call to action is the most direct way to improve the conversion rates of the site. As has been alluded to before, users don’t want to have to make a lot of effort to reach their goal. That means that they want everything to be put right in front of them to click.

Having the organisations contact details at the footer of the page is a good start however there are certainly more direct ways. Having a pop-up suggest that the user signs up to their emails or contacts them now is a great way to encourage the user to complete a conversion goal. The important part here is to not go over the top with the pop-ups and force it upon people.

An SEO service in Australia and the assigned SEO consultant will be able to efficiently establish a call-to-action on any landing page or even just the home page to aid in conversion rate improvement.

Digital Branding

How to Come Up with a Great Company Name

This is a guest post from James of BizzMark Blog who blogs about the latest trends in business management, economy, small business strategies, finances and employment.
___________________

If one was to analyze the names of the world’s oldest and/or most successful companies, they would probably not find out too much. Some companies still hold the names of their founders (Ford, Mitsubishi), others feature generic-sounding names (General Electric) while others ‘made a name for themselves’ with some truly attention-catching and inventive names (Google).

It may therefore seem that there are no rules to naming one’s company and that you never know what will work. However, there are some smart practices that will maximize your chances of giving your new company a great name and they will be the subject of this article.

Be Creative but Smart

At first glance, most people think that a superbly inventive name is the way to go and that it should always be something that stands out. After all, you want your company name to catch people’s attention and cause them to research your company more. And while this approach definitely has its merits, it should be pointed out that creativity has its limits and that it can become counterproductive if you don’t mind those limits.

For instance, there are certain industries in which a name that is too inventive can be a detriment. If you are starting an accounting agency, for example, people expect a name that is solid and trustworthy and they might feel that a jokey name denotes a less-than-responsible approach to serious work.

Using puns and similar concepts to name a business is also inventive but mostly counterproductive. Puns are generally difficult to gauge correctly (dancing between funny and lame) and this is the overly complex kind of nuancing that you will want to avoid when naming your business. There is also a chance that you might offend someone with risky puns and alienate that customer segment.

In short, there is nothing wrong with being creative when thinking up your company name, just don’t overdo it.

Look to the Future

To someone who is starting a business, the concept of future is relatively limited. They understand how difficult it is to get a company on its feet and ensure its survival for more than a few months. While most business owners believe their company will eventually succeed and continue to exist for years to come, they tend to concentrate on the very near future.

The reason we are mentioning this is that this can result in some very short-sighted names. For example, a business owner might decide to name their company after themselves, especially in certain industries. And while this does provide a certain sense  of security and even intimacy to the company’s initial customers, down the line it can present a problem. What if you, for example, decide to sell your company? With your name attached to it, the list of potential buyers will almost certainly be shorter.

Another future development business owners forget about when naming their company is the fact that their company might expand into other areas in years. For instance, a software company might start with a product for email marketing and it’s name might clearly denote this. Then, after a few years, that same company might decide to make a more comprehensive piece of digital marketing software. In such a situation, the initial name might be somewhat limiting.

When naming your company, you always have to consider the various paths it might go down in the future. Try to think of a name that will not constrict you or become misleading after a few years.

Consider Your Online Presence

Regardless of the industry, most companies are online these days and business founders have to consider their online presence too when naming their company. Domain names, especially shorter ones, are becoming less and less available, meaning that a company with a nice, to-the-point name might find it difficult to secure a domain name for their website.

You should also consider the fact that overly long brand names look unwieldy in the address bar, with an URL that looks like a gigantic jumble of letters more than anything else.

The good news is that there are always workarounds for your domain name if you are really set on a certain name for your business. For example, you can go for a descriptive domain name which tells people what your business is about.

Another way to get a great domain name is to use a top level domain other than .com. There used to be a time when customers were distrusting of websites that ended in other TLDs, but this is no longer the case.

Be Careful about Legal Stuff

Of course, when coming up with a name for your company, you should always consider the legal implications and the possible issues that might arise from a poor choice of a name.

For one, you will have to register the business name of your new company and you might find out that a company with a similar name exists in your industry and/or your part of the world.

You should also consider trademark registration, depending on where your company will be based and whether you will be concentrating on your area or if you will go national or even global. It is essential to research this well so as you do not get into trademark issues down the line because of a company with a similar trademarked name. This may even entail going to court where they will determine how likely it is for customers to distinguish your brand from an existing one.

If you are not sure about the legal implications of the naming process for your future business, make sure to talk to someone who will help you with this. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Closing Word

There are a number of ways to approach coming up with a name for your company. This name will be the cornerstone of your brand and you need to make sure it describes your business well without causing any problems that we discussed.