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Salesforce reinvents its flagship conference as Dreamforce To You

Salesforce CMO Stephanie Buscemi reveals the thinking behind this year’s event.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

Reblogged 3 days ago from feeds.marketingland.com

The Best Way to Brand Your Blog

The post The Best Way to Brand <em>Your</em> Blog appeared first on ProBlogger.

The best way to brand your blog

This post is based on episode 206 of the ProBlogger podcast.

So you’re about to start a new blog. It might be first, or it might be one you’re setting up to try something new. And you’re just about to buy the domain name for it.

But now you’re hesitating, because you still haven’t decided whether your new blog should have a personal brand or a business brand.

Sound familiar?

Even if you already have the domain name, you may still be wondering which way to go. Just because you have a business-related URL doesn’t mean you can’t give it a personal brand, and vice versa.

So this week I want to talk about some of your options when it comes to branding so you can decide the best way to brand your blog.

Getting personal

Let’s start with the personal brand. This is where everything is about the blogger. The URL is often their name (or a variation of it), and the content is pretty much focused on whatever they’re thinking or doing.

Here are some of the benefits of using a personal brand for your blog.

1. It gives you more flexibility

If you started blogging about bird photography, and now want to talk about parenting instead (or as well), a personal brand gives you the freedom to do it.

2. It’s a great way to sell yourself

If one of your goals is to become a professional speaker, writer, artist, consultant, coach or whatever, creating a personal brand is perfect because for each of these professions you are basically selling yourself.

3. It helps you become known as an authority

If you want to be seen as an expert, authority or thought leader in your niche, having a personally branded blog that includes your face, your ideas and your appearances on podcasts and in videos will certainly help.

4. It helps you connect with your audience

People do business with those that they know, like, and trust. And having a personally branded blog gives you the opportunity to make a personal connection, especially if you incorporate mediums such as podcasts and live video.

So why doesn’t everyone brand their blogs this way? Well, there are also some drawbacks.

1. It doesn’t explain what your blog is about

Most people who see our problogger.com domain name will immediately assume it has something to do with blogging. But if I’d used darrenrowse.com instead, they probably wouldn’t have a clue unless they either knew me personally or visited the site. Using your personal name as the URL makes it harder for people to associate your name with what you blog about.

2. It makes your business harder to sell

Creating a brand that’s all about you will make it far more difficult to sell your blog later on. The new owners will want a blog they can start using straight away instead of having to try and de-personalise it first. If I’d set up ProBlogger with darrenrowse.com as the URL I doubt I’d ever be able to sell it – especially if someone else already owned the problogger.com URL.

3. It makes it harder to scale your blog

If you create a blog that’s all about you, then your audience will expect all the content to come from you. After all, how can anyone else write about what you’re thinking or feeling? So you will either have to keep writing all the content yourself, or face the possible backlash when you start bringing in other writers.

4. It puts the spotlight on you

Being the centre of attention can be great. But it also means that if anything goes wrong, you will be the person everyone points the finger at. You will need to fix the problem and take the blame. And depending on what happened, that could be hard to deal with.

Down to business

Now let’s talk about business brands. This is where everything is about the company and/or the product or service. The URL is usually the name of the company, product or service, and the content focuses on what the company does or sells.

Here are some of the benefits of using a business brand for your blog.

1. It makes your business easier to scale

People generally understand that businesses usually have more than one person working at them. That means you can expand your blog by bringing in other content creators without upsetting your audience. You can make them part of the team, or use them as guest bloggers.

2. It makes your business easier to sell

Having a blog that isn’t tied to a particular person will make it a lot more attractive to potential buyers. They know they’ll be able to start using it pretty much straight away without having to make too many changes. They may even be able to use the same contributors you were using.

3. It explains what your blog is about

When people see the names of my blogs (ProBlogger and Digital Photography School), they immediately get an idea of what they are about and who they are for. (It can also improve your SEO ranging slightly.)

4. It can keep you out of the spotlight

While ProBlogger is technically a business brand, I tend to feature on it quite heavily. My photo is on the home page, and I create a lot of the content. But on Digital Photography I don’t have much of a presence at all, and can keep out of the spotlight.

Of course, there are also some drawbacks to setting your blog up with a business brand.

1. It makes it harder for you to pivot

If you’ve branded your blog around a particular niche, it will be hard for you to narrow/broaden/change that niche down the track. You may have to completely rebrand your blog, or start a second one.

2. It can make it harder to connect with your readers

A lot of readers who come to Digital Photography School assume we have an actual school they can attend. They don’t expect there to be human beings on the site who will help them learn about photography. Having a personal brand makes it easier to connect with your readers.

The best of both worlds

There’s nothing stopping you from creating a business brand that’s quite personal. That’s what I’ve done with ProBlogger. While it is a business brand I’ve made it quite personal, which helps me make personal connections with my readers.

Of course, that does mean that if I’m away from it for a little while people start asking, “Where’s Darren?” But it also allows me to bring other voices onto the blog. We have many posts written by other people, and there’s very little pushback as long as their content is good.

What will you choose?

I hope this post has helped you decide how you might brand your blog, whether it’s your first one, your next one, or a redesign of the one you’ve got.

So what have you decided? Let us know in the comments.

 

Photo by Fachry Zella Devandra on Unsplash

The post The Best Way to Brand <em>Your</em> Blog appeared first on ProBlogger.

      

Reblogged 4 days ago from feedproxy.google.com

What is a website taxomomy?

While scavenger hunts can be fun, users don’t want to frantically search through a website to find answers to their questions. They want them quickly, and they want them to be easy to find.

The structure users want is called taxonomy. Scientifically, a taxonomy is a classification scheme that dictates how things are organized and classified based on their characteristics.

A website’s taxonomy can dictate the user experience, and can also influence search engine rankings. This post will go over what a website taxonomy is, and give you the resources to create a successful organization system for their site.

Website taxonomy is also related to URL structure, which is how URLs are organized to reflect content within specific site pages. Every website domain stays the same for every URL address, but subdirectories and URL slugs change as page content gets more specific.

For example, say your website’s primary domain is www.samplewebsite.com.

Your taxonomic structure will include subdirectories within your domain that are relevant to the page’s content. So, if your samplewebsite has a ‘Contact’ or ‘Announcements’ page, the URLs would change to reflect the information displayed on each page. The URLs for these pages would be www.samplewebsite.com/contact and www.samplewebsite.com/announcements, respectively.

Why is a website taxonomy important?

A well-planned taxonomy can transform how users interact with your site, especially when your content is organized logically. If users can get to your site and find what they’re looking for, they’ll view you as a reputable source and they’ll stay longer.

Websites that don’t have a specific structure tend to be difficult for people to understand. In fact, an average of 38% of site visitors will leave a site if it’s poorly organized.

A carefully crafted taxonomy is also crucial for search engine optimization (SEO), as a taxonomic organization is easier for search engine bots to recognize as they analyze and index your site.

Let’s put all of this in context with a hypothetical website. Say you own www.recipes.com. Since you know that your visitors are coming to your site for specific recipes, you want to set up categories that help them find what they’re looking for as quickly as possible. If they’re looking for desserts, for example, they likely want to find those recipes through the corresponding category page, not by browsing through a list of unrelated meals.

The URL for this page would be www.recipes.com/desserts. A user knows what they’ll find within this subcategory of recipes. For search engine bots, the URL subdirectory helps them understand what the page is about and when they should show the page in search results.

 

Best Practices for Creating a Website Taxonomy

Ultimately, you want both users and search bots to understand your site. You don’t want them to be bombarded with content that isn’t going to fulfill their needs. While it may seem clear cut, various factors go into creating a successful website taxonomy.

Know your audience.

Just like all types of marketing, the key to creating your taxonomy is understanding your users.

You’ll want to know who they are, why they’re visiting your site, and what they want to find on your site. It’s essential to understand what their specific needs are so you can structure your content accordingly. To better understand your users, you can do things like create buyer personas.

Continuing with the recipes.com example, whoever runs the site knows that their visitors are coming because they want help with their cooking. It’s great to know this, but is there anything else they’ll want from your site? They may also want you to recommend kitchen supplies that will help them make these recipes, or recommend brands to buy ingredients from.

If you take the time to get to know your future users, you can design your site accordingly.

Conduct keyword research.

When you know who your users are and what they want, you want to make sure you have the necessary information to keep them on your site.

You can use your site’s primary purpose to rank in search results, but it’s essential to have multiple keywords for the additional categories you’ll create within your site. These keywords should be directly related to the content that users will find on those specific pages.

For instance, if you run a blog on travel tips, travel tips can be your main keyword. However, your research may show that users also associate travel tips with travel packing tips and travel insurance tips. You’ll want to use that information when creating your structure.

Be consistent.

Consistency with categories and the content within those categories makes it easier for users to understand your site. It also makes it easier for those executing your content strategy to create relevant content. For example, on the HubSpot Blog, we have four different properties: Service, Sales, Marketing, and Website.

Blog posts are categorized based on their relationship to each property, and this organizational consistency makes it easier for visitors to find relevant information. For example, a user would know to search within blog.hubspot.com/website rather than blog.hubspot.com/service for a tutorial on how to use WordPress.

Consistency is also important for SEO, as bots dislike poorly organized websites, and sites with jumbled and unrelated content is considered spammy. Bots also recognize contextual relationships between categories and content, and they’ll learn how to index your site for specific search queries.

Keep it simple.

While there are certainly hundreds of categories and subcategories you could come up with to sort content on your site, less is more. The ideal web taxonomy is focused and straightforward.

With recipes.com, there are so many different types of dishes that it would (and will) become overwhelming for users to sift through hundreds of different categories.

Keeping it simple means creating fewer high-level categories that can house lower-level categories. You can have a high-level category page dedicated entirely to baking recipes, and the content you post within that page will be specific to baking recipes.

The URL for this category would be recipies.com/baking rather than recipes.com/pie-recipies and recipes.com/scone-recipies. Then, if a user goes on your site to find a blueberry pie recipe, the page URL may be www.recipes.com/baking/blueberrypie.

Leave room for growth.

Taxonomy can, and should, change as your business scales.

If you create new forms of content, you may need to shuffle categories to ensure that they still relate to each other and have room for new content.

Say you’re running a blog about content marketing, but you cover the topic generally. It’s unlikely that you’ll have multiple page categories or subfolders within those pages. However, suppose you decide to hire new team members who are experts in specific types of content creation. In that case, you’ll want to create different taxonomic categories to distinguish between the different types of content.

You may also realize that certain categories and subcategories aren’t as intuitive as you’ve hoped, per user feedback. Taking the time to understand what is and isn’t working for those who interact with your site is essential.

 

Types of Website Taxonomy

Once you know your audience and have created your keyword-relevant categories, it’s essential to decide on the taxonomic structure that works best for your site. Since taxonomy is a classification system, it may seem like the logical structure is a hierarchical one, organized by importance. However, this isn’t always the case. Let’s review the different types of website taxonomies so you can select the one that works best for your site.

Flat Taxonomy

A flat taxonomy, sometimes called unlayered taxonomy, is a simple list of top-level categories. All categories on this site carry equal weight in comparison to each other. It’s a perfect structure for smaller websites that don’t have a large amount of content.

For example, a veterinarian’s office likely doesn’t have many needs to fulfill. Their homepage may only have three to four categories, like ‘About Us,’ ‘Book an Appointment,’ ‘Location,’ and ‘Services.’ Users visiting the site won’t need much more than that.

Image Source

 

Hierarchical Taxonomy

A hierarchical taxonomy is an arrangement of categories by order of importance. Larger websites typically use it, and top-level categories are broad.

hierarchical website taxonomy model

Image Source

Moving down a hierarchical structure means getting more specific. This allows users to quickly identify and navigate between different sections and categories. Search engines will recognize these relationships as well.

For example, hubspot.com displays three main categories at the top of the page: Software, Pricing, and Resources. Each of those categories is broad and overarching. If a user mouses over them, they’re then shown more specific categories.

In turn, our URLs for these categories look like this: hubspot.com, hubspot.com/products, hubspot.com/products/marketing, and hubspot.com/marketing/seo.

It’s important to note that there shouldn’t be too many high-level categories or subcategories, as excessive groups can become confusing for users and SEO crawlers.

Network Taxonomy

A network taxonomy involves organizing content into associative categories. The relationships and associations between categories can be basic or arbitrary, but they should be meaningful to users.

For example, a ‘Most Popular’ category within a website may contain lists of different articles covering a broad range of topics that are popular among that audience. Still, they’re all similar in the sense that they are highly rated, viewed, and visited by others.

network taxonomy website structure diagram

Facet Taxonomy

A facet taxonomy is used when topics can be assigned to multiple different categories. Sites that typically use this structure allow users to find content by sorting for specific attributes. It’s also great for users who will likely arrive at certain content by different means.

facet website taxonomy model

Image Source

For example, Nike sells a variety of different products. While there are specific categories for shoes and clothing, there are also subcategories for color, size, and price. A shoe that shows up on a search for ‘blue shoes’ may also show up on a list of cheap shoes because they’re currently on sale.

 

Put time into your website’s taxonomy.

Creating and maintaining a successful website taxonomy that makes sense for users and search engines essential to your marketing strategy.

If other elements of your site are already optimized for other SEO ranking factors, the addition of a structured taxonomy will help your site rank highly in search query results, not to mention, it’ll keep users on your site.

If you want to learn more about website best practices, consider taking the HubSpot Academy Website Optimization course!

Reblogged 4 days ago from blog.hubspot.com

How 5G will pave the way for mobile app innovation

30-second summary:

  • Consumers’ and app developers’ wish came true in part when the White House announced the DoD will “relinquish 100MHz of 3.5GHz spectrum for commercial use, a process that will augment U.S. 5G networks over the next two years.”
  • These developments will lay the groundwork for some pretty cool app experiences, as well as a burst of innovation for users, advertisers, and app developers alike.
  • Digital Turbine Media’s Executive Vice President shares the top six trends to expect as 5G covers the country.

Consumers and app developers alike have been eagerly awaiting the widespread availability of 5G. Their wish came true in part when the White House announced the DoD will “relinquish 100MHz of 3.5GHz spectrum for commercial use, a process that will augment U.S. 5G networks over the next two years.” In 2021, we can expect to see more mobile customers have access to 5G, which, in turn, means app developers can offer them cooler and faster apps, and enjoy a bit of success in the process.

Here are six trends you can expect to see as 5G covers the country.

1. Progressive content: Phone and app virtualization

Progressive content, phone and app virtualization, enabled by 5G, will ultimately allow people to use their phones as they always wished they could. Here’s the concept: Rather than load up an app onto a device all at once, progressive content loads bits and bytes as needed. The result is an experience that feels more like a desktop than a mobile phone (read: lightning fast!). Virtualization, meanwhile, stores apps and data in the cloud, not the device.  And as is the case with all things cloud, the result is a more seamless experience.

2. Stronger UA campaign results

Mobile app developers stand to gain a lot with 5G. The ads that deliver the most bang for their buck — playable ads, videos, gamification — will load super fast, so users are less likely to click away from them. More than that, 5G will shorten the time it takes to install an app, lessening the chance of users abandoning it altogether (install abandonment, which can reach 80%, is the bane of the industry).

3. Better monetization opportunities

Successful monetization in the app world is largely driven by time spent inside of an app. The more pages a person views, the more ads they can be shown. When apps are slow to load and use, people get bored and move on, taking with them the app developer’s ability to earn money. In short: Faster speeds means more time spent in-app, which translates directly to more revenue.

4. AR/ER/IoT

Once 5G makes mobile phones as fast as broadband, that’s when consumers will begin to see all of the augmented reality, enhanced reality, and IoT they’ve been promised for so long. As TechRadar wrote, “This synergy between AR and 5G will also expand the potential for remote control drone and robot operation through enhanced HUDs (Heads Up Displays) and improved haptic feedback. Indeed, this lofty concept of the so-called ‘Tactile Internet’ is expected to kickstart the fourth industrial revolution.”

5. Higher quality social media live

Social Media Live has saved a lot of lives and held a lot of people accountable over the past few years. But the video feeds, stuffed through a 3G or 4G network, are super grainy. 5G will significantly up their quality, and we can probably expect to see a lot more people using it.

6. More apps

The number of companies and developers creating apps is likely to explode once 5G increases capacity and eliminates the latency woes of 3G and 4G. We’ll see a ton of AR games and wearables come to market. We’ll also see innovations in things like telemedicine, and a host of teleconferencing apps if 2021 sees another round of pandemic-induced lockdowns.

Combined, these developments will lay the groundwork for some pretty cool app experiences, as well as a burst of innovation for users, advertisers, and app developers alike.

Matt Tubergen serves as the Executive Vice President of Digital Turbine Media.

The post How 5G will pave the way for mobile app innovation appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Reblogged 4 days ago from www.searchenginewatch.com

Women In Tech SEO founder Areej AbuAli wins Search Engine Land Award for Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in Search Marketing

Recognized for her leadership in creating a support network for women and advocating for women’s voices in the search industry.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Reblogged 4 days ago from feeds.searchengineland.com

Twitter hack shows need for cybersecurity regulations, govt. report says

Twitter hack shows need for cybersecurity regulations, govt. report says

In the eyes of government regulators, critical services and lax cybersecurity don’t mix — especially when those services support the online accounts of former president Barack Obama, former vice president Joe Biden, and current president Donald Trump.

The embarrassing and costly Twitter hack this past July served as more than just a wake-up call for the scores of public figures who trusted the social media giant to keep their accounts safe. In a comprehensive report released Tuesday, New York State’s Department of Financial Services argues that the hack proved that, left unregulated, “systemically important institutions” such as Twitter pose a “risk to society.” Read more…

More about Facebook, Twitter, Cybersecurity, Social Media, and Tech

Reblogged 4 days ago from feeds.mashable.com

New ad asks Mark Zuckerberg if Facebook makes his kids proud

New ad asks Mark Zuckerberg if Facebook makes his kids proud

When Joe Biden and Donald Trump take to the stage on Thursday for the final presidential debate, someone else will be put in the hot seat: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

A new video is set to air on TV that night targeting the Facebook founder. The organization behind the clip, Accountable Tech, is spending $250,000 on the ad buy. The ad starts with a clip of Zuckerberg talking to CNN Money. “I really just care about building something that my girls are going to grow up and be proud of me for,” he says.

The ad then immediately cuts to news footage about a militia group’s “call to arms” Facebook event that preceded a shooting at a Kenosha, Wisconsin protest that left two people dead. Facebook called its inaction in taking the page down an “operational mistake.” Read more…

More about Mark Zuckerberg, Social Media, Misinformation, Tech, and Social Media Companies

Reblogged 4 days ago from feeds.mashable.com

How to turn the internet into a safer space for women

How to turn the internet into a safer space for women

Sandie Cheng narrates a conversation with Lizzie Valasquez, Anita Sarkesian, Renee Bracy Sherman where share their personal experiences and explore how we can do things differently in order to be better allies to women online. Read more…

More about Mashable Video, Social Media, Social Good Summit, Lizzie Velasquez, and Tik Tok

Reblogged 4 days ago from feeds.mashable.com

Google Ads turns 20: The most important trends and changes of the past 5 years

Looking back, we can see where the biggest trends in search (and beyond) are heading.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Reblogged 4 days ago from feeds.searchengineland.com

Marsbot is Foursquare for AirPods

Its augmented reality for your ears.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Reblogged 4 days ago from feeds.searchengineland.com