19 June 2013

Data Visualizations & Infographics

Need some inspiration for data visualizations & infographics?

Data visualization and infographics are powerful ways to communicate data, stats and information. In a world increasingly saturated with content and brands vying for attention, they are a potent way to tell your story, break through the clutter and persuade people to action.

One great place to get inspiration is in the explore section of +Visually which is consistently updated with new graphics at: http://goo.gl/5wnf0

If you're looking for more ways to visualize your Analytics data, check out the reporting apps in our Gallery at: http://goo.gl/GXVVa (including one from the Visual.ly team).

Forum Discussed http://goo.gl/UpMCf

4 March 2013

Advice For Launching New Websites in 2013

Whether you are new to internet marketing or a veteran that was focused only on established sites, here are some tips about what to do and not to do when launching a new site. Of course not everything may apply to your personal situation. I also encourage you to debate the cost/benefit of these items.

-Start with a good CMS (content management system) that can grow without compatibility issues 
-Minimize the use of frameworks, plugins & add-ons, they are cool today but will cause headaches tomorrow 
-Focus on urls looking good to users & less for search engines 
-Avoid getting crappy links, its too dangerous in the long term and it sucks spending time removing them later 
-Ask yourself what your new site offers that isn't already on 100 other sites 
-Expect Google rankings to be weird for your first year 
-Good Google rankings don't mean your site is good, it is more likely that you are looking at personalized serps 
-Don't launch the site until its good enough to attract webmasters to link to it 
-If you use five years old seo tricks, expect Google to have five years of filters to counteract it 
-Google doesn't really care that your domain is old, they care more about long term inbound links 
-Incorporate canonical tags & verified author profiles 
-Unique ip hosting isn't that important, reliable ip hosting is much more important 
-Use a domain that is brandable and relates to your business, hyphens & keyword stuffed domains aren't ideal 
-Domains with good backlinks tend to outpace keyword domains with weaker backlinks 
-Once you find the perfect domain, check to see if it was previously registered and used for spamming 
-Use a good analytics program, it will help you make better business decisions 
-Archive all keyword data, its going away fast 
-Don't put 100 generic navigation links on every page, better to "theme" the page with a handful of links to relevant content 
-Ask yourself again what your new site offers that isn't already on 100 other sites and this time don't lie to yourself 
-Think about where you want your site in 5 years, then plan your site to minimize the change & redirects you will need 
-Better to have 100 great content pages than 10,000 auto generated pages 
-Your content pages are too short and users don't find enough value in them 
-Did you forget to embed relevant links within your content? 
-Smart webmasters can identify your network of sites by looking at backlinks, adsense/analytics code & other tells 
-Social signals like twitter mentions by real people are great for getting new sites crawled 
-Fake social signals that you can buy are mostly worthless 
-It isn't easy to launch a new site, it costs alot of time, money & resources. It is going to cost much more than you estimated. 
-The Google ranking algorithm isn't one simple piece, it has many different pieces and these pieces are run at different times 
-Launching a new site today is a much more weird process with many more anomalies than in the past 
Those are my general observations from my latest round of launching new sites. I am sure I overlooked some stuff so feel free to add your own or to debate what I've posted. 
forum discussion WMW
Contributed By, SEO Guru

29 December 2012

Google Plus Rules of Engagement

These are not the 10 commandments. Just a basic list of things you should consider when you interact with others and what to expect as a result.

1) Followers are not a free gift granted for completing your profile.
Unless you are a celebrity or a known brand you will have to build your own audience.

2) Signing up does not entitle you to interesting stuff streaming in your home page.
All you get it's "What's Hot". Probably the most overrated content in G+. If you don't like it, you can remove it with the tool provided.
You will have to build your circles, follow people that post things you like, get rid of or reduce the noise of people that post things you don't like with sliders.

3) You must listen before you ask to be heard.
At the beginning you won't even have an audience. Shouting like Donkey in Shrek pick me, pick me won't do much. 
Posting a lot won't give you a big number of followers.
Keep in mind that control of the conversation in G+ is tilted toward the reader, not the publisher. You need 2 to tango. And you can't force anyone to read your stuff.

4) You reap what you sow.
Fill out your PROFILE and add a PHOTO. Publish 5 interesting posts about things you like to talk about (not what you want to sell). And go your merry way to find people.
If you want to be noticed +1 their posts (not all of them), comment on what you like, re-share if you want to tell others about this discovery and add the person to the appropriate circle.
If the person likes your profile, posts and comments, they will add you back.
Adding back is not mandatory in Google+. I might like you because you are a great singer, but you might see no reason to follow me.
Remember: every one is in control of their own stream by deciding who to add, who to ban and the content they want to see.

5) Shine by your posts not your comments
The post owner is the host. He is opening the door of his house but not for you to become the new owner.
Comments should be brief and to the point. Discussion is encouraged but any action that makes you take the stage will be seen as rude. If you wish to further interact with a particular person just send them a private  message rather than start a conversation within the conversation.
The quality of your posts will be reflected by the +1s, comments and re-shares you receive. Do not blame G+ for people not reacting to your post. You obviously are doing something wrong. Penalty: Go back to 4). :)

6) Only after you are recognized as a valuable member of the community, you will be able to do branding through pages, communities and expand your business
Guy Kawasaki calls it the NPR model. He says we watch the telethons because the rest of the time we get quality. If all you do is post to get a sale, you won't go far. 

7) When resharing give credit to the author and the person who made you aware of the information
Thanks +author.  Via or h/t (hat tip) +resharer. Never copy/paste someone else ideas.

8) If you have nothing nice to say just keep it to yourself
Believe me it's not worth the annoyance and the bad reputation. No matter how right you are if you tell someone off, you will be labeled a troll.
Never argue with a fool; onlookers may not be able to tell the difference. (Mark Twain). There are too many other posts that deserve your attention. Just move on.

9) Do not forget about the low hanging fruit
Those who have 100,000 followers attract a lot of comments and share a lot of valuable information. Follow them.
But if you only circle them and comment only on their posts with the expectation to be noticed rapidly, you are in the wrong place. Your comment will be drowned in seconds. Everyone is looking at the shining star not scrolling through 500 comments.
You should be searching for smaller crowds that give you a chance to be seen.

10) Expand your circles
From the book Consequential Strangers by Melinda Blau. Strangers provide novelty and information, shape our identity, and open us to new opportunities. They help keep us healthy and are invaluable when we’re sick. They fuel innovation, propel social movements, hasten the flow of new ideas, and are vital in times of uncertainty.
Stop saying "no" to new and different. Embrace the experience. Learn to accept different points of view. Start thinking about these little exploratory expeditions as adventures.  Some will be strange or duds, but most of them will be interesting and even wonderful.  Don't miss the opportunity to expand your circles.

Contributed By, SEO Guru
Source http://goo.gl/AMtxK