Social media is driving us crazy, and for some, the best solution is to get rid of it altogether. But just how hard is it to erase your digital self? Read more…
Reblogged 1 hour ago from feeds.mashable.com
Elizabeth Warren is all about making plans, and she’s bringing her expert policy-making skills to social media.
On Saturday, comedian Ashley Nicole Black asked her 88,000 followers if they thought Warren had a plan to fix her love life. On Sunday, Warren, queen of policies, unexpectedly replied to the tweet directly.
“DM me and let’s figure this out,” Warren tweeted. Simply iconic.
Reblogged 1 hour ago from feeds.mashable.com
Tesla has reportedly hired Adam Koszary, former program manager for the Museum of English Rural Life, as its new social media manager.
Reblogged 1 hour ago from feeds.mashable.com
If you believe Ben Mezrich’s reporting, young Mark Zuckerberg was a huge asshole. Like, the make a fake and racist social media profile for someone you don’t like kind of asshole.
The author of The Accidental Billionaires, the 2009 basis for Aaron Sorkin’s The Social Network, is back at it again with some wild claims about the Facebook CEO’s early days. Specifically, while promoting his latest book on The Jim Rome Show, Mezrich alleged that Zuckerberg once made a fake online profile for Cameron Winklevoss that just so happened to be sexist and racist.
The book, Bitcoin Billionaires: A True Story of Genius, Betrayal, and Redemption, focuses on both Bitcoin and the Winklevoss twins. In it, Mezrich claims he documents an episode where Zuckerberg hacked the Winklevoss’ ConnectU website (previously known as , and the supposed inspiration for Facebook) in order to make a fake account for Cameron. He bases the accusation on Instant Messages that were shared after The Social Network was written. Read more…
Reblogged 1 hour ago from feeds.mashable.com
It looks like another Google bug. Good luck finding new content within the hour.
Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
Reblogged 2 hours ago from feeds.searchengineland.com
The new look brings some branding to the search results, but also preps the results pages for more types of content and actions for users to take right from the search results.
Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
Reblogged 2 hours ago from feeds.searchengineland.com
If you can name it, there’s a WordPress widget for it.
What started as a way to customize your sidebar has become an unimaginable wealth of usefulness. Widgets allow you to easily add complex functions to your site that can have a huge impact on the user experience.
Whether you want an eye-catching display of your best Instagram posts, Google Maps so customers can find you, or a simple but eye-catching contact form to gather more email addresses, there are innumerable options waiting for you to explore.
But what makes a widget a good widget?
It should go without saying, but unfortunately, it doesn’t always. A widget is there to serve a specific purpose. If it fails to do this, it’s useless.
Checking reviews or the number of active installations gives you a good idea of whether the widget does a good job or not.
Any WordPress plugin you use should be up-to-date and tested by other users. The last thing you want is to put work into customizing a widget only to find out it has a fatal bug that crashes your entire site. You can check the status on the plugin’s page on WordPress.org.
When things go wrong (and they always do, right?) you want to be sure someone will help you out. Look out for widgets from trusted developers who are known to give great support and who provide detailed troubleshooting videos and articles.
You want to be able to customize your widgets to fit with the branding of your site. With some widgets, you’ll need to upgrade to the premium version of the plugin to fully customize, while others offer all the options you need right out of the box.
If the widget ticks these four boxes, you’re good to go.
With that in mind, here’s a rundown of the 15 best, most useful widgets for your website.
WordPress.org rating: 4.6/5 | 104 reviews
Why have one widget when you can have many? HubSpot offers a whole box of tricks via its widget bundle. The bundle is brimming with slide-in boxes, banners, overlay pop-ups and much more, which work right out of the box. It works well with other tools you may use as well, such as meeting schedulers or landing page builders.
One of the most innovative widgets is the live chat widget, which allows you to have real-time conversations with your visitors, or even install a chatbot to cover the times when you’re not around.
This is one of the most useful bundles out there, putting the awesome power of HubSpot’s CRM, marketing, sales, and customer service software right into your WordPress dashboard.
Price: Free | Premium from $99/year
WordPress.org rating: 4.7/5 | 227 reviews
Relevanssi upgrades the notoriously basic WordPress search bar with a smart search more akin to what we’re used to with search engines. Settings can be configured to your liking with features to search within PDFs, run searches across multiple sites, or add custom fields.
On top of that, search results can be displayed by relevance rather than just by date. However, by the team’s own admission, Relevanssi takes up a lot of memory. Apparently, it will triple your database size, so be warned if you lack storage.
The free version offers all the features you could want, but there is also a premium version, which provides the use of the widget on an unlimited number of sites, along with upgrades and support.
Price: Free | Premium from $24.98/year
WordPress.org rating: 4.9/5 | 4520 reviews
This popular plugin lets you easily add a multitude of social icons to your WordPress site via a widget. Encourage sharing, likes, and follows at the click of a button. All the major social networks are supported and you can choose from a range of button designs. It also supports quirky features like sticky floating buttons, animations, follower counters, pop-ups and more.
The free version will do nicely for most uses but the premium version supports far more button designs and more obscure social sharing sites.
Price: Free | Premium from $39 for the first year of updates and support
WordPress.org rating: 4.9/5 | 2200 reviews
Instagram Feed is a handy widget that displays one or multiple Instagram feeds in the format of your choosing. Adding a colorful grid is a good way to attract more followers to your Instagram feed and grow your audience. This simple widget makes it incredibly easy to put a mobile-responsive Instagram feed in a strategic location on your WordPress site.
Displaying a beautiful feed is all covered in the free version. Premium offers more advanced features like a pop-up light box feed, the option to display feeds for specific hashtags, the ability to show likes and comments for each post, and much more.
WordPress.org rating: 4.9/5 | 114 reviews
Siteorigin Widgets Bundle is packed full of useful widgets that you can insert into any page or sidebar, or into the Siteorigin Page Builder tool. It’s a good option if you want to commit to this bundle over all others — in fact, the ever-growing list of widgets for Siteorigin currently sits at 22. Highlights include widgets for Google Maps, sliders, contact forms, a price table, buttons, images, and more.
This is a useful bundle if you were going to grab a ton of these widgets anyway, but it’s important to note the large bundle will take up a fair bit of space, so there’s a trade-off.
Best of all, the widgets can be easily turned on and off via the settings page and the whole thing won’t cost you a dime.
Price: Free | Premium from $49
WordPress.org rating: 5/5 | 88 reviews
If you post recipes on your food blog, WP Recipe Maker simplifies the process of formatting, and makes the results look better than a table or bullet points of ingredients.
Simply input your recipe information into a form and this widget creates a professional recipe box, including helpful details like serving count, cooking time, measurements, and anything else you might want in a recipe.
It is lightweight, easy-to-use and has become the most popular recipe widget on WordPress, with 20,000+ active installations. Premium features add ingredient links (so you can make some money from affiliate links), recipe taxonomies, user ratings, nutritional information, and more.
Price: Free | Premium from $14
WordPress.org rating: 4.9/5 | 122 reviews
Embed a mobile-responsive YouTube video or entire video gallery anywhere on your WordPress site with this widget. Filter by playlist channel or username, and customize the size and layout of your widget display. This is the simplest YouTube widget available and is now moving ahead of its older rivals in terms of ratings and active installations.
This is a phenomenal way to add video content to your site while also driving more followers to your YouTube channel. Try the Premium version for additional layouts, adding video metadata, custom text for buttons and more — although the free version is excellent for most needs.
WordPress.org rating: 4.8/5 | 1054 reviews
Envira Gallery is the most popular gallery widget on WordPress and allows you to create a professional photo or video gallery with zero coding. It’s designed to be clean, simple, and easy-to-use. Best of all, it’s responsive, SEO-friendly, and social sharing-ready.
The drag-and-drop gallery creator is intuitive and takes the hassle out of creating a gallery from scratch. The free version supports watermarking, slideshows, pagination, Instagram feed imports, and password protection, among many other features. It’s a no-brainer if you need a beautiful gallery widget.
WordPress.org rating: 4.3/5 | 1506 reviews
The best thing about this calendar widget is the versatility in its placement and design options. The widget allows you to easily customize your view — including options for daily, weekly, or monthly — and lets you incorporate sidebar widgets or Google Maps.
You can filter by tag or category and share to Google Calendar, Apple iCal, and Microsoft Outlook. In my opinion, it’s the best calendar widget you’ll find for your WordPress site.
Add-ons are available for a fee, including more view options, or auto-sharing of events on Twitter and SuperWidget, which allows you to put your calendar on any website.
WordPress.org rating: 4.8/5 | 188 reviews
This handy widget allows you to insert rich text and media elements into your WordPress sidebar. The WYSIWYG interface was originally introduced to replace the basic text editor that comes with WordPress, but it still does a better job than even the current default editor.
The widget supports switching between visual mode and HTML, although coding is not necessary to use it. It’s a useful addition to your widget arsenal.
WordPress.org rating: 4.4/5 | 161 reviews
This powerful plugin offers a suite of lead generation tools, including the ability to create highly-customizable forms in the form of pop-ups or sidebar widgets to collect information. The drag-and-drop builder makes it easy to quickly build customizable forms — alternatively, you can choose from one of their templates.
OptinMonster also allows integration with email marketing services like HubSpot and MailChimp, so you can easily export contacts to your existing lists along with all their data. This is a useful tool for collecting email addresses and syncing with other services, but you want to be careful that your pop-ups aren’t too intrusive. You don’t want to negatively impact the user experience.
WordPress.org rating: 4.7/5 | 763 reviews
Live chat is popping up in the corners of screens everywhere, and WP Live Chat Support has emerged as the best widget to add live chat to your WordPress site. The simple interface has made it the most popular WordPress live chat widget, with over 60,000 active installations.
There are six chat box designs to choose from, which can be placed wherever you like on your pages, with optional animations thrown in for good measure. Other handy features allow you to disable the chat box for mobile users, or have it pop up automatically for other users. A chat box is a great way to capture email addresses to build your list, and this widget allows you to turn this feature on or off.
A simple and effective live chat widget — best of all, it’s absolutely free.
WordPress.org rating: 4.8/5 | 19 reviews
The difficulty of adding a good tabbed widget into WordPress has long been a frustration for users. Whistles is billed as a brand-new approach to tab plugins. It involves adding some short code, but allows you to add a tabbed widget anywhere on your WordPress site. Additionally, it performs much more reliably than previous tabbed widgets have.
The formatting options are somewhat limited, but the widget does support tabs, toggles, and accordion designs so you can customize to a certain degree.
WordPress.org rating: 4/5 | 30 reviews
If you have a ton of blog content and you want to give some love to older or less-appreciated posts, a random posts widget is a good solution. It will display random posts from your content library to entice readers to click on something they didn’t even know they wanted to read.
This clean and simple plugin allows you to add an attractive random posts thumbnail widget to any sidebar or page. You can sort by taxonomy and display the post title, excerpt, and post date. You’ll need to add a little bit of short code to the relevant page, but the plugin walks you through how to do this with ease. Additionally, the simple tabbed settings page makes customizing your widget a breeze.
Price: Free | Premium from $39
WordPress.org rating: 4.7/5 | 481 reviews
Including a functional Google Maps widget on your website is critical for helping your customers find you — additionally, it’s also a major Google ranking factor. This widget adds a custom-fitted and designed Google Map to your site, which pinpoints your location.
Plus, the Premium version allows users to open a larger map as a light box and interact with it by zooming in and out, or switching between satellite and road views.
As we have seen, there is a widget for just about everything. Whatever functionality you need to add to your site, this list gives you the best option for each specific purpose.
If you’re looking for a great bundle of widgets that come from a trusted provider of market-leading software, HubSpot All-in-One Marketing is an incredibly helpful choice, providing a multitude of fully-customizable options and plenty of support if necessary.
Reblogged 3 hours ago from blog.hubspot.com
Grabbing — and keeping — your audience’s attention has never been harder. Nowadays, people are bombarded with marketing 24/7, and yet, the average attention span actually dropped in 2015, to a mere eight seconds.
Fortunately, there are fun and unique strategies you can implement to engage your audience — and one of those strategies is an online quiz maker.
Similar to the addictive nature of Jeopardy, online quizzes are a fun way for people to engage with your brand. Additionally, consistent online quizzes can help you stay top-of-mind when your consumer is finally ready to buy.
For you, online quizzes can also help you gain a better understanding of your users, and help you create stronger relationships with them.
But, whether you’re looking for a professional survey tool or a more lighthearted quiz maker, there’s a range to choose from — which one will help drive the best long-term results?
We’ll explore our favorite 16 quiz makers shortly, but first, let’s take a look at the key features of great quiz makers.
Quiz makers come in all forms. Some are incredibly professional, while others are pretty casual. Some are intended for fun, and others are meant to drive real business growth.
Whatever your goal, you should always look for the following key features in your quiz maker software.
You’re trying to gather as many responses as possible, right?
So, choosing a service that has built-in sharing options should be a top priority, as it’ll help increase reach.
Make sure your solution has a native sharing option for better social media reach.
How are you going to collect and use the data?
This is a huge issue. If the data that’s collected is difficult to sort through and doesn’t help you identify key trends, then it’s useless.
Make sure the data you collect can be exported or analyzed in-app in a way that’s easy for you.
In 9 out of 10 instances, you’ll also want your quiz to capture lead data from the user.
Make sure there’s a built-in method to collect more than just respondent’s answers — and ensure it can integrate with your primary CRM or ESP.
Now that we’ve covered that, let’s get into our favorite quiz making solutions.
Price: Free | Premium from $25 per month
Survey Anyplace is one of the lesser-known but more advanced tools out there, and is focused on giving the best user experience possible. With fun interactive elements and personalization features, it aims to be the best option for customer engagement. For example, the tool offers the ability for respondents to download a personalized PDF at the end of the survey, based on their answers to the questions.
Price: Free | Premium: From $30 per month
Typeform takes quizzes and makes them intuitive for both the creator and the user. By offering one question at a time and delivering the quiz in an attractive, responsive interface, Typeform has become a leader in the world of online quizzes and surveys.
The platform is easy to use with its drag-and-drop editing tools. It’s also versatile, offering customer surveys, quizzes, lead generation tools, and more. There are numerous templates to choose from which can be customized to your individual needs.
Using Zapier, Typeform can be seamlessly integrated into CRM services like HubSpot. This way, all the data you collect is automatically added to your existing contacts.
However, it’s important to note some people might feel frustrated when receiving questions one at a time, since it can be more time-consuming. Additionally, the free version limits you to collecting only 100 responses per month.
Price: Free | Premium: From $31
With Survey Monkey, you can create basic polls and questionnaires in minutes, and the basic version is free to use. The software features hundreds of templates and questions written by ‘survey methodologists’, and are specifically designed to draw the right information out of respondents.
Although you can customize the design and layout of your quizzes and surveys, a common criticism is that you can’t fully brand the surveys because the Survey Monkey logo remains.
Price: Premium: $39 per month
Fieldbloom surveys and quizzes are particularly aesthetically-pleasing. The templates feature high-quality images and the graphics are excellent. This is a good option for creating quizzes, surveys, and forms with seamless data integration with HubSpot, MailChimp, Google Sheets, and many more.
Advanced features like skip logic and answer piping directs users into pathways based on their answers, making this one of the more advanced tools available.
Price: From $24.99 per month
Qzzr was built by inbound marketers with the specific goal of bringing in qualified leads. It creates fully customizable quizzes and surveys through its simple, elegant interface.
Users can also leverage its comprehensive data analysis of the responses, and use its social sharing integrations to reach a larger audience.
One of the most impressive features is the ability to target offers based on the users’ answers. For example, you can add a ‘Buy Now’ CTA on the results page for a product a user expressed interest.
It’s one of the cheaper options in the list, but lacks the advanced logic features of some of its competitors.
Price: Premium: From $50 per month.
GetFeedback prides itself on its aesthetically-pleasing interface — both customer-facing, and the back-end. It is one of the more advanced options for quiz and survey creation but is still relatively easy to use for the novice. It offers integration into Salesforce CRM software, and detailed analytics so you can put your newfound data to good use.
Offering full customization to your branding and coming very highly-rated, GetFeedback is one of the premium options on the market, ideal for larger teams and companies that really want to drill down into their audience data.
Google Forms is a free and easy-to-use form tool that runs within G Suite. The functionality is on the basic side and the interface isn’t the prettiest, but you can make decent forms and create quizzes to capture customer data. Since Google Forms is part of G Suite, you can pull data straight into Google Sheets for analysis.
Price: From $15 per month
Riddle’s Quizmaker is another easy-to-use tool with a focus on capturing email addresses. You can collect data from leads and send it directly to your lists in MailChimp or other software. Riddle’s Quizmaker is particularly good value for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
The tool is available as a WordPress plugin, or quizzes can be embedded into your site via an embed code. The quizzes are fully customizable, so you can stamp your branding all over them.
Full of cheap-looking ads, but absolutely free, Playbuzz is a great option for those who want to jump in and have a go at creating quizzes without the outlay upfront. Try it out, and if it works for you, move onto a premium quiz maker with more features and a better, ad-free interface.
The tool is quick and easy to get started, so it’s a good beginner’s option. Additionally, it’s easy to share your pro-looking quizzes on social media once you’re done.
Price: Free | Premium: From $25 per month
SurveyGizmo is a feature-rich quiz and survey creation tool with a user-friendly interface. There are two versions — one geared towards individuals and small businesses, and another for larger enterprises. The former focuses on ease-of-use, while the latter enables deeper analysis of data and focuses more on customer research.
The free version is limited to three surveys, so you can use it as a test run. The cheapest paid version is on the pricey end of the spectrum, but still offers good value for teams that need a powerful customer survey and quiz making tool.
Price: Free | Premium: From $14.08 per month
A versatile tool for form design, survey creation and quiz making, Wufoo is a cloud-based platform used by some of the biggest names in the industry. Its most notable feature is the advanced form logic and the ease with which you can collect, store, and organize data.
Not as easy to use as some of the more basic tools out there, Wufoo takes a bit of getting used to if you’re using the more advanced features (basic coding may be required!), but for basic form creation, it’s still pretty intuitive.
The free version limits the number of responses, but above that there are a number of price points, so it’s a good option for quickly growing businesses.
Price: From $375 per month
Ask Nicely is a form and survey creator with a focus on customer feedback and improving your Net Promoter Score (NPS). The software integrates with HubSpot, Salesforce, or Slack and allows you to automate customer follow-up to improve ratings and reviews on sites like Google.
Ask Nicely is more than just a quiz maker — it’s an advanced marketing tool suitable for medium to large companies who really value customer engagement. Pricing is based on your needs, but $375 is a rough idea of how much it will cost you. (It’s not cheap.)
Price: Free | Premium from $19 per month
Brandquiz is a good option for quickly and easily creating fun branded quizzes with a range of templates available. The platform enables integration with major marketing tools like Salesforce, HubSpot, or MailChimp, to make the most of the data collected.
The free version extends to up to 100 participants per month, while a range of paid plans offer value for growing companies.
Microsoft Forms, similar to Google forms, was probably developed just so that they were present in the marketplace. The tool has seamless integration with other Microsoft Office software. It’s not the prettiest of interfaces nor the best software on the market, but it’s free to use and is a solid option for creating basic forms and quizzes.
Price: From $15 / month
Although designed for creating simple questionnaires, newsletter sign-ups and the like, Form Crafts supports multi-page forms so it can also be used to make quizzes. With real-time analytics, conditional logic, and easy integration with WordPress via a plugin, it offers a good alternative to the mainstream options.
Pricing is competitive with a range of options to suit any growing business.
Price: From $39.95 / month
ClassMarker is a quiz maker designed for education professionals with custom plans for business users, too. You can create tests and exams online that are accessible to as many users as you like. The test can be customized to your branding and can even include branded certificates. A sophisticated results platform allows you to easily analyze the data and draw your conclusions.
This is a good option for large businesses who need to survey a lot of users. Pricing plans are pretty competitive for the level of functionality and customization available.
Of course, the best quiz maker for you is largely dependent on your company goals and audience. If you’re looking for the most beautiful quiz maker with seamless integration into the best marketing software, you probably want to go with Typeform.
However, if you’re looking for an advanced and customizable tool that’s great for lead generation, I like Survey Anyplace.
For the most basic free tools out there, choose Google or Microsoft Forms depending on your tribe. However, Fieldbloom and Qzzr are two of the most attractive looking options at mid-range pricing.
Check out our comprehensive guide if you want to find out the best ways to capture more leads with quizzes — and good luck in your quest for the best quizzer on the market.
Reblogged 3 hours ago from blog.hubspot.com
Posted by Dr-Pete
One of the many bits of news from Google I/O 2019 was that Google would soon start displaying podcasts in search results. “Soon” turned out to be very soon, as we’re already seeing these results surface. Here’s one from a search for our own podcast, MozPod:
While the feature itself is interesting, and the fact that the main result goes to Apple while the episodes go to Google is entertaining, the talk out of I/O suggested something much more intriguing – that Google would soon be indexing podcast content and returning audio clips in search results.
Is this currently possible? In a word: yes. We know that Google has offered a speech-to-text service as part of Google Cloud Platform since 2017, which has already undergone a few iterations and upgrades. Earlier this year, Android Police spotted source code changes which suggested that Google was proactively transcribing some podcasts on the Google Podcasts platform.
We see evidence of this capability in the broader Google ecosystem. For example, here’s an automatic transcript on my Google Pixel phone for a recent call …
We even see evidence of this capability in search results, but in a different medium. As early as April 2017, Google was testing suggested clips in YouTube videos. Here’s a current example from a search for “how to swim butterfly”:
Note the “Suggested clip” highlighted in the blue box, and starting at the 2:30 mark. What’s interesting is that variations on this search not only produce different videos in some cases, but different clips within the same video. Here’s the result I got back for “how to swim the butterfly” (adding only the definite article “the”):
Now, the suggested clip is 101 seconds long and starts at the 1:54 mark. It’s clear from some suggested clips that the feature is still in its infancy, but it’s difficult to imagine Google being able to implement this feature dynamically without create a transcript of the audio portion of these videos.
Why start with video? For Google, it just makes bottom-line sense. YouTube is a planetary system to the pleasant suburb of Google Podcasts and has an immensely powerful infrastructure backing it. If Google can return results based on the audio portion of a video, it’s only natural they can do the same for audio files.
The obvious starting points will be extensions of the podcast engine, including automatic transcription and full-text (full-audio) search – both of which already seem to be in the works. Once you can search within Google Podcasts, though, expect that search capability to broaden to general Google searches.
One big question is whether Google will return audio content directly or will use transcribed text. In some cases, returning audio clips may be a better match to searcher intent. If you’re searching for a movie clip or something you heard in a podcast, returning the original is a richer experience than returning plain text. The big advantage, though, will be to voice devices, such as Google Home. Returning audio would fill a content gap for voice devices and provide a direct bridge into full podcasts and other non-text content.
We do seem to be in the midst of a minor podcast revival, and audio search may spark that revival. As always, though, expect Google to release changes gradually and test them for weeks or months. If you’re already producing a podcast and want to make it accessible to search, make sure you’re part of the Google Podcasts ecosystem and are entering and updating the currently available meta data.
Other than having clean audio in a format Google can process, there’s probably nothing specific you’ll have to do down the road to get that content transcribed. It may be worth thinking about how your audio content is structured. Completely free-form content, while it certainly has a place, may be harder for Google to evaluate. Is the theme of your podcast and each episode evident? Is there a structure where a machine could potentially parse questions and answers. Are there concise takeaways – maybe a summary at the end of each episode?
Ultimately, audio SEO will mean treating our audio content in a more structured and deliberate way. The broader evolution of Google across many devices also means that we need to be more aware of what type of content best fits our audience’s needs. Is the searcher looking for text, video, or audio? Each modality fits a different need and a different device (or set of devices) in the broader search ecosystem.
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Reblogged 4 hours ago from feedproxy.google.com