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Want To Know About Hotels? Check These Facts Out!

Whether it is business or pleasure, finding the right hotel room is essential. A bad hotel can put a damper on your whole trip and keep you from enjoying your stay. So take the time to learn how to find a great hotel at a perfect price. here are some tips to get you started.

To make sure that you don’t have an allergic reaction to the soaps and shampoos that you find in hotel rooms, bring your own, particularly if you have sensitive skin. While it’s nice to find the freebies, the rash that sometimes results is quite unpleasant. Take along your own things to keep things clean.

If you are out of the room for any length of time, protect the valuables you leave in the room. In addition to leaving expensive items in a safe, leave the television on when you are out of the room. That will make it look like you are still there and thieves will move on.

Do you stay at a particular hotel chain fairly often? Consider signing up for their loyalty club. As long as it is free to do so, you really have nothing to lose. Giving the hotel your contact information could mean getting special perks that you can use the next time you stay there.

If you know that you will need to make phone calls from your hotel room, check to make sure you will have free Wi-Fi service. Rather than using the in-room phone, and getting charged an arm and a leg, use an Internet phone service that is free. For example, both Skype and Line are possibilities.

Do not always assume that staying on the club floor of a hotel is a great way to waste money. While you may have to pay for this upgrade, you will end up saving more money in the end. This is because things like drinks, appetizers and free breakfast are part of the deal, and these things are very expensive when purchased separately.

Many hotels have loyalty programs available to customers who travel often. They have benefits for those who frequently stay at a hotel. You can score things like complimentary upgrades, later check-out options and even free nights once you accumulate enough loyalty program points.

Sign up for frequent guest programs at hotels. Similar to frequent flyer programs with an airline company, hotel programs will typically give you points for each visit. You can accumulate points that you can redeem for free hotel stays, discounts at restaurants, and all types of entertainment.

Get all the information you need before booking a hotel room. In addition to making sure they serve all your basic needs, you should also ask if there are any events planned at the hotel at the same time you will be there. A convention, for instance, can mean you will be in a noisy, crowded hotel.

If you want to work on saving the environment, a green vacation is something to look into. Green hotels can feature specialized recycling programs, may only use recyclable products and use environmentally friendly cleaning supplies. Many new hotels are certified as green hotels. Older hotels may choose to take “green” standards seriously, which is a great thing. Request the help of the travel agent in identifying hotels that are environmentally friendly.

If you forget to bring toiletries with you, the housekeeping staff at the hotel may be able to help. Most hotels provide soap, shampoo and conditioner as a matter of course, but they may also have toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs, razors and other necessary items on hand for those who request them. Many even supply hair dryers in the room, so you do not have to bring your own along.

Book your hotel room as far in advance as possible. You will be surprised at how quickly hotels fill up, especially in smaller towns with few hotels. If you wait until last minute, there is a good chance you may not even be able to book a room. So, be sure to reserve your room as soon as you know you need one!

To check a bed in a hotel room for a bedbug infestation, look for certain things. You want to check the mattress and even behind the headboard for these signs. These include blood stains or small black dots that appear to be like mold or even ground pepper. Alert hotel staff the instant you find anything suspicious.

To keep the smell of swimsuits and wet feet out of your hotel room, have your kids put their Aquashoes and swimsuits out on the patio. Hanging them over the rail and letting the towels and suits dry will keep that chlorine scent out of your room, and the shoes and sandals will make your room stink, so keep them out!

To save money on your next hotel stay, try booking your room for a Sunday night check-in. Sunday nights are the slowest for hotels as weekend travelers are checking out at that time. You can often find great deals if you use this to your advantage, when hotels want more business..

Hotels that are close to tourist destinations tend to be pricy. If you do not mind traveling a few minutes to reach your destination, consider staying at a hotel that is a bit further away. The rates at hotels that are a bit off the beaten path are often much more reasonable than their counterparts that are right in the center of the action.

Be aware that many hotels charge for using the hotel’s Internet. You can avoid this fee by visiting a local coffee shop or restaurant that offers free Internet. If you must use the Internet at the hotel, do only what you have to do online and get off quickly to save the most money.

Funding the right hotel can be easy when you know how to do it. Using the hints from above are the perfect way to find the right hotel and a price that makes it even better. So remember the advice from above when looking for a hotel and you can enjoy your stay even more.

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learn how to play casino

If you’re like me, you’ll search out and play a table with a $3 minimum bet instead of the typical $5 or $10 minimum. Suppose you find a $3 table (a few are still left in the middle of the Vegas Strip). Since the minimum bet is only $3, you can make $3 Place bets, but you don’t get the full Place odds. The payoff odds for a $3 bet on the 6 or 8 are 1:1, or even money. For the 5 or 9, it’s 4:3 (i.e., your $3 bet wins $4). For the 4 or 10, it’s 5:3 (i.e., your $3 bet wins $5). UFABET

For a $3 Place bet, you get a little less than full Place odds because the lowest chip denomination at the craps table that casinos allow is generally $1, so they can’t pay you a fraction of a dollar (i.e., cents). For example, suppose you make a $3 bet on the 5. The full Place odds are 7:5, but the reduced payoff odds for a $3 bet are only 4:3. Why? Because it gives the casino another excuse to stick it to the player! The roulette table has chips for 25 cents or 50 cents, so why can’t the craps table have chip denominations less than $1? That’s right. They stick it to you again! The full Place odds are 7:5, which means for a $3 Place bet on the 5, we divide $3 by 5 = 60 cents, and then multiply 60 cents by 7 = $4.20. So, for a $3 Place bet on the 5 or 9 with full Place odds of 7:5, we expect to be paid $4.20 when we win. The craps table doesn’t have 20-cent chips, so the casino rounds down to $4.

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How to Play Slots – Play Slot Machines

If you want to learn how to play slots, then read this. You will learn how to play slot machines to win in a realistic way. ทดลองเล่นสล็อต

To be able to play and enjoy playing at slots, there are some basic secrets players need to know. If you are a player who is aiming to play, enjoy and win all at the same time with slots, here are the tips for you:

Know how slot machines work

Slots are controlled by electronic microprocessors called random number generators. With this knowledge, you will understand why lucky charms have no effect in your play at all. These generators produce numbers for combinations randomly. These are programmed. That is why you always have that feeling of thrill every time you play slots. Most of the time, the start of your game seems to go on fine.

The first and second reels are perfect. Now, you are waiting for the final reel. But, that final reel ruined your game. That is how slot machines are programmed – to allure players. Now, together with these possible combinations are the points and coins needed. So if you play, have many coins and bet the maximum. Choose the slot machines that have high payout and payback. The higher the payback, there are better chances of winning. The best range is from 95 percent above.

Choose slot machines with higher jackpots, bonuses, and more spins

If you win, of course you would want higher prizes. Thus, select the slots that offer more spins, jackpots, and bonuses. Also, there are casinos especially the newly opened ones which give their customers (mostly first time players) bonuses, freebies or giveaways, complimentary items, and other promos.

There are those that provide club cards. Avail of this. Always insert this to the slot machine you are playing win to accrue points and you may use these points to trade with comps. If you win, have it in check rather than in cash so that you will not spend your prize for playing. Casinos require cash only and they do not honor vouchers.

Practice before play

Yes, if you are really aiming to win, better practice. Casinos have free games and fun modes. You may avail these for your practice. Ask the staff of the casino about these. Develop your own techniques in playing and winning.

Enjoy your game

Of course! Slots are there for fun. You should enjoy your game. Positive outlook attracts positive energy and you will have greater chances of winning.

Know your limits

Manage your money and time. It is true that playing slots can be addicting but it is up to you to set your limits. You may either set an amount for your game or set the span of time for your play. Also, once you win, stop playing. Do not play with the same machine that made you win. It will not make you win again. You may also use up your prize for play of you will not stop.

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Cool and Useful Appreciation Gifts To Give During The Pandemic

Since March the majority of employees that can, have been working from home. While it might have been convenient at the beginning, it soon became tiresome. In the past the daily interaction with fellow employees served to connect people and keep a team spirit.

Zoom meetings just don’t cut it. Employees need to feel appreciated to stay motivated especially when they are secluded in their houses. Customers that you used to drop in on, or take to lunch are also being secluded in their homes. More and more people just search on the internet for things. Loyalties are being stretched. People just order online, and if not happy return the item and move on to the next supplier. How do you keep your customer loyal and engaged?

Here is where promotional items that are fun and useful will make an impact. A great site for ideas is coolanduseful.logoshop.com. It gives you unique items and appreciated items. Clothes that are comfortable with your logo on it would be appreciated. Think about a cozy sweatshirt or sweatpants as they live in their house. Add a funny or heartfelt design or slogan about the pandemic for more value. Personalize it for even more value. Everybody likes a cool tech item or item for their workspace. Everyone is wearing masks but they hate the smell! How about a safe and effective spray to put on the outside of the mask that is an essential oil with the scent of the beach, Roses, Margaritas, Cotton Candy,… These items will be appreciated, kept and bring a favourable impression to your company. How about a tiny item called a Crumbee that is branded with your logo. The item battery operated is like a mini vacuum that sucks up all the dirt and crumbs on your laptop, keyboard and desk. How about a squishy soft stress ball. Who isn’t stressed these day. Again brand it and stay on the desk of your employee or customer. Everyone is now concerned with germs, this will be the case going forward. How about an item that can get rid of the germs on your cell phone, mask, keys or remote controls? Again with your branding it’s an item that will rest with the person for years and be appreciated.

If you need help thinking about an item, drop me an email at

The thing to remember is that with the vaccines this pandemic will eventually end and we want to keep our customers and employees going forward.
Good Luck and Stay Safe

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Tourism in Alappuzha

The Alappuzha is known as the backwater destination of Kerala. These are dew to the fresh and clean backwater area in Alappuzha. The main attraction of Alappuzha is the pure nature that they are having as the scenery.

The other main atraction here are the fresh food that they are able to provide to others those who are the outsiders to the area.These help them to attract more people into that area.

The main attraction of Alappuzha is the houseboat tourism in that area that make them more tourist attraction area in Kerala. They provide a wide range of houseboat in Alappuzha.

There are around 1000 or more houseboat in rough figure that provide a wide range of choice for others. The Alappuzha is mainly focused on agriculture that are mainly in Kuttanad. They are mainly focused in the cultivation of rice. They are the providers of rich and fresh rice to the population of kerala. These is another area that is mainly famous for their fresh food thst are provided these mainly include the fish of Vembanattu lake these are mainly dew to the promoters who have created the information to the other world.

Alappuzha is also famous for the coir product that they are producing. They are able to produce variety of product using the coir materials these include mat bed decoration materials. Accessories are also been produced using these coir materials they are the main manufactures of coir materials that are being one of the leadind materials that are available in Kerala.

Alappuzha is a beautiful place that are being famous for the surrounding of water ways there are being a wide range of business that are being conducted in these area that are being related to the waterways.

Alappuzha is also famous in providing rich and the famous food that are being the wanted one in the market to maintain the demand of future.

The houseboats provide with a wide range of packages that are being made in order to meet the wants and the need of the people. These help everyone to cruise and enjoy the beuty of the nature through houseboat. There are different packages in houseboat that mainly include honeymoon, basic, luxury, deluxe, premium, and deluxe premium etc.

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20 Newsletters Every Marketer Needs To Stay Ahead Of The Curve

“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”

Humans without ambition – Goodbye and Goodluck!

I am a serious marketer and I want to make it big. 5 Years down the line, I want to groom myself into one of the biggest guys in digital marketing a.k.a. ‘The Wolf’. I restlessly ‘çrawl’ the web for intelligent marketing blogs and consume knowledge liberally. I do not mind sharing my learnings with people who respect time and money.

Know the dynamics of the entire marketing funnel, like the back of your hand.

Read ahead. May the Force be with you.

1. NeilPatel.com

Specialization: Thought leadership

Neil Patel is the co-founder of KISSmetrics, Crazy Egg and Hello Bar, three tools that nearly every SaaS marketer knows, as well as the founder of Quick Sprout, where he helps businesses drive more traffic and make more sales online. Neil also actively consults, invests, blogs and speaks all over the world; in short, he knows what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur.

Analytics: Whatever be the topic, the most striking feature of Neil Patel’s blogs is his love for analytics, which is so obvious in his posts. Neil primarily focuses on analytics to understand customer behaviour to improve conversion rates by tracking the right business metrics.

Actionable: As an entrepreneur, Neil is continuously experimenting and developing new and cutting edge Internet Marketing tactics, while working with some of the biggest brands in the world. All of this experience is reflected in his blog/newsletters. So what Neil offers in his blogs is practical marketing solutions rather than untested hypothesis.

This newsletter will give you practical advice on inbound marketing, It will give you data driven customer insights, it will help you leverage analytics to drive growth, it will guide you towards controlled automation and above all it will give a strong perspective to think about marketing in general. Do not miss out on this newsletter!

Most Shared Article in 2015: How To Use Growth Hacking To Attract and Retain Customers (1.4K Shares)

2. Search Engine Land

Specialization: SEO + SEM + Local Search Marketing

Search Engine Land is a news and information site covering search engine marketing, searching issues and the search engine industry. SearchCap is a daily email newsletter recap of search engine news. It provides a summary of what happened in search at the end of each business day. This includes all stories from Search Engine Land posted that day plus headlines from sources across the web.

SEM & SEO: Subscription to this newsletter will keep you updated on the latest developments in Google and Bing ads, whether they’re tweaking Product Listing Ads, adjusting Enhanced Campaigns, or changing the way ads display on various platforms. This newsletter will also keep you updated on the latest news or how-tos from best SEO practitioners and thought leaders..

Search Engine Land is launching a new industry awards program called “Landy Awards” that will recognize individuals, agencies, and internal marketing teams within the digital marketing community who have demonstrated excellence in executing organic and paid search marketing initiatives. And SEMPO Partners with Search Engine Land for the Landy Awards which will be held on September 30, 2015 in New York City.

The subscription will also keep you updated on the latest news about local search marketing, including tips to help small businesses, franchises and community locations be more visible in locally relevant search results.

Another cool feature about SEL is that they post search engine news stories throughout the day so that the users are informed the instant a new story appears. This is perfect for the content marketers who wants to keep up on everything as soon as it happen.

Most Shared Article in 2015: It’s Official: Google Says More Searches Now On Mobile Than On Desktop (10.7K Shares)

3. Content Marketing Institute

Specialization: Content Marketing + Brand Marketing

Founded by Content Marketing Evangelist and author Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute, can be described as a blog for brand marketers. The blog and newsletter features some of the best guest bloggers and thought leaders in content marketing space. The newsletter is known for its quality original content.

The blog and newsletter features a post a day written by Pulizzi and other industry leaders who discuss everything related to content, strategy, and tips for hiring. There’s also a weekly round up of current events going on in content marketing, so that readers can learn about the kinds of content other people are putting out. This newsletter is the be-all end-all in content marketing, and a serious source of research and stats.

Resources: Content Marketing Institute also offers many free resources including blogs, webinars, and archived podcasts that you can use to build up your personal knowledge and expertise.

Subscription to this newsletter keeps you updated on one of the most authentic and authoritative opinions in content marketing space.

Most Shared Article in 2015: How to Write Content That Engages Mobile Readers (3.8K Shares)

4. MWWPR

Specialization: PR

What makes MWWPR an essential subscription for a marketing professional is their expertise across practice areas and disciplines and their experience in crafting solutions & strategies that make their clients more competitive.

Comprehensive Coverage: This is the only newsletter which covers the PR related exhaustively. It discusses everything from consumer lifestyle marketing to LGBT marketing, presenting left-brained technology with right-brained content for a well-rounded offering, you won’t find elsewhere.

Research: This newsletter is an authority on PR related Research, insights and strategy. It discusses several meaningful insights and practical ways to develop highly effective communications strategies, using a mix of qualitative and quantitative research.

Strategy: It helps you arrive at the strategy behind targeted communication plans and activating consumer behaviors vital to your business – product purchases, brand recommendations and long-term engagement of key stakeholders.

This newsletter will give you a practical understanding of building working relationships with media, analysts, and other influencers that drive the market conversations. It provides you with all the latest information and skills needed to work with influencers to create your own communities, do original research, events and build partnerships. As a marketing person you need to understand and manage PR, in order to move up the ranks, try MWPR, you will not be disappointed!

5. Marketing Land

Specialization: Digital marketing + Martech

Marketing Land is a news site covering internet marketing, social media, mobile marketing & more. This is a sister site of Search Engine Land. This newsletter keeps you abreast of the latest interactive marketing news, views and how-tos. Each email newsletter will round up everything that Marketing Land has published on the topic in the previous week, including links to news stories and columns by expert practitioners.

Very well classified: This newsletter covers a wide range of topics from Display to search, from mobile to analytics. The topics of the newsletter are very well classified and gives the user the choice to select the topics of his/her choice. This is one of the few big blogs/ newsletters to cover niche topics like Retail, Marketing industry, Martech etc. This is one of the reasons why you should subscribe to this newsletter.

Hottest news: Marketing Land’s newsletter covers the latest developments and techniques in the complex marketing ecosystem. This newsletter gives you the first mover advantage with the latest updates and lets you leverage the upcoming products & tools to your brand or client’s advantage.

This newsletter consistently comes up with fresh, original and shareable ideas and is the one-stop shop for digital retail news and stats, expert opinions, how-to guides and actionable insights. Consider this as your marketing newspaper and subscribe.

Most Shared Article in 2015: What The Unofficial Death Of Google+ Means For Marketing (7.2K Shares)

6. Adweek

Specialization: Brand Marketing

What is the must-read publication for all executives at the largest advertising agencies? I wouldn’t think twice before saying that the answer is AdWeek. A publication which covers strategy, data and branding tailored for CMOs and top marketing professionals. Adfreak, the official blog of Adweek, is an excellent repository for brand marketers and exclusively covers the best and worst of advertising, branding, designing and content writing.

Brand Marketing: Subscription to this newsletter would keep you updated on a wide range of topics related to branding and advertising. The topics covered are essentially at the intersection of advertising, media and technology.

Viral Content: AdFreak is a collaborative effort by AdWeek staffers to chronicle all the latest and greatest campaigns in the ad world. Unlike the straightforward style of AdWeek Magazine, AdFreak presents its contents in a comical, sarcastic manner mildly reminiscent of the great Defamer. One can’t be expected to keep up on all the latest ad campaigns, and that is where AdFreak excels.

Adfreak is a daily blog of the best and worst of creativity in advertising media marketing and design and is a must-read news for marketing, agency, creative and advertising professionals.

Most Shared Article in 2015: What Is Branding? This Thought-Provoking Video Tells You in Just 2 Minutes (11.1K Shares)

7. Marketo

Specialization: Content Marketing Strategy and Marketing Automation

Marketo blog specializes in providing scalable marketing automation solutions. Although this is

targeted at enterprise level clients with large marketing/sales teams and large budgets this blog offers some really cool insights into a content marketing strategy that scales. Marketo blog offers loads of shareable content about marketing.

Now, moving the leads through the marketing funnel can be done faster by integrating ReadyTalk’s reliable webinar solution with Marketo

Marketing Automation: The Marketo blog is one of the most well-designed and thorough marketing sites out there. Marketo blog specializes in Marketing Automation, but is also an excellent source of content on categories such a s modern marketing, content marketing, email marketing, and social media, and every blog contains multiple images that complement the text. The content is fun to read, informative and educative at the same time.

Creative Content: Of all the blogs and newsletters discussed till now, marketo stands apart. They are creative in the way they present their content and their blogs have a viral appeal.

Automation and data are the two overriding themes of the Marketo blog. With a healthy emphasis on email, this blog gets at the heart of modern marketing. Automation will continue to be more important in marketing, so start digging in now.This newsletter is a must for all those who intend to scale their marketing efforts and i.e. practically every marketeer.

Most Shared Article in 2015: How to Integrate Social Media and Blogging from The Art of Social Media (2.9K Shares)

8. Unbounce

Specialization: Landing Page Management and Conversion Optimization

The Unbounce blog features tons of great scientific tips on building amazing web pages that are optimized to collect and convert leads.

Subscription to this newsletter gives you a very good analysis of different landing pages, it provides multiple examples of different landing pages and actionable information on what is good and what is worth testing/changing.

Data Driven Analysis: Unbounce presents content that is supported by scientific evidences and examples. It is all about conducting scientifically sound marketing experiments to build landing pages that convert. All of their posts provide a short critique after each example that can give you some A/B Testing ideas for your landing page.

Best Practices for design testing: For A/B testing, it’s often effective to start with starkly contrasting designs. Once one design wins out over the other, you can start to narrow down your tests with each iteration. This newsletter provides massive amount of useful information on best practices for designing tests.

Most Shared Article in 2015: 32 Ways to Squeeze Leads Out of Your Next Marketing Campaign (7K Shares)

9. Inbound.org

Specialization: Ultimate guide to growth hacking.

Absolutely. This community is full of awesome, friendly, knowledgeable people who legitimately want to help you. Their newsletter provides some of the best business/marketing advice can be learned from other founders.

Awesome community: Regardless of your current role/position you should always join a marketing growth hacking community. Any place where marketers, growth hackers, and founders congregate to discuss is where you need to be and there is no better place than inbound. This newsletter gives you a quick snapshot of the most popular discussions.

Traffic generation: The focus of this newsletter is a bit narrow, it specializes in growth hacking techniques particularly on how to get highly qualified prospects to your site.

Inbound is an amazing community of bloggers, marketers and enthusiasts passionate about non-paid channels like SEO, social media, content marketing, conversion rate optimization etc. Don’t think twice before subscribing to their newsletter.

Most Shared Article in 2015: Today, Facebook announced they’ll be adding a new feature to Messenger that allows you to send money (9K Shares)

10. Marketing Profs

Specialization: Marketing Education & Research

MarketingProfs is an online resource and community for marketing professionals. It provides its members with information via newsletters, blog posts, training and seminars. It is a multi-million dollar company today that serves a community of more than 492,000 entrepreneurs, small-business owners, and professional marketers at the world’s largest corporations. Their newsletter is reflective of all this knowledge and serves as a guide to practical marketing insights, lessons, perspectives, and know-hows.

Knowledge upgradation: It is essential for any marketer to keep abreast of the latest developments and updates in marketing and there is no better newsletter for this than Marketing profs. Marketing Profs is one of the best places for guest posting and naturally attracts good articles.

Wide Range of Topics: With 23 categories of content to choose from, you could spend hours a day reading MarketingProfs. And that doesn’t take into account the podcast, in-depth marketing guides and video tutorials.

This newsletter offers real-world education for modern marketers through training, best practices and research. A must subscription for all marketers.

Most Shared Article in 2015: 2015 Will Be the Year of Video Marketing (3.1K Shares)

11. Convince and Convert

Specialization: Content Marketing and Social Media

A Practical and actionable marketing blog. To the point, crisp and insightful. No wonder Convince and Convert is presently ranked as the #1 content marketing blog in the world, the #3 social media blog in the world, and the #18 overall marketing resource in the world. This is one of the best newsletters for B2B content marketing information.

Killer guest bloggers: The list starts with Jay Baer, founder of Convince and Convert and one of the most innovative thought leaders in this space, known for his consistent & quality content.

Case studies: Their newsletter and blog posts focus on case studies which will help you get better at social media and content marketing through audits, creation of strategic plans, setting up and configuring metrics and tracking.

Convince and Convert is an award-winning blog and comes out with a daily email newsletter called “Definitive”, and the weekly “Social Pros” podcast for social and content professionals. ‘Definitive’ is one of the most sort after newsletters in digital marketing space.

Convince and Convert also provides consultancy services and works with some of the biggest brands in the world. Their newsletter and blog is, therefore, reflective of their experience working for dozens of brands and agencies to bring best solutions to their social media, content marketing and digital marketing challenges.

All of this makes Convince and Convert, one of the best practical and actionable marketing newsletter. Do subscribe.

Most Shared Article in 2015: Why You Should Be Building Trust, Not Traffic (2.6K Shares)

12. Quick Sprout

Specialization: SEO + Link Building + Affiliate Marketing

The Quick Sprout newsletter, comes from one of the most popular thought leaders in Digital marketing Space, Neil Patel and is a must-subscribe for all business owners. If there is one reason for subscribing to Quick Sprout newsletter — that is to never miss a new post. Such is the importance of these posts. Every post is insightful and has practical applications.

Data driven Insights: The content of Quicksprout tends to revolve around entrepreneurial lessons related to online businesses. What makes this blog so special is that it is open about showing real data to validate the information they provide. Seeing real website traffic numbers, conversion rates and growth data is what makes this content so special.

Although Quicksprout specializes in SEO, it has a variety of articles on online marketing and some awesome social media marketing articles.

Awesome infographics: But what differentiates QuickSprout’s content from the rest of the content on the web is it’s use of infographics to explain data driven insights. Such insights help in explaining stuff real quick, this is probably what brings the newsletter it’s 35K subscribers!

Expertise: Neil Patel is an expert marketer and he puts out some killer blog posts that help his audience really get an in-depth grasp on topics like SEO and content marketing, usually a piece that is neglected by lots of ecommerce companies.

Subscribe to this newsletter before you miss out on another article!

Most Shared Article in 2015: The Ultimate Guide to Hashtags (4.6K Shares)

13. Mashable

Specialization: Social Media + Tech + Business

If you are a marketing professional who wants to stay ahead of the curve, then you can’t miss out on the Mashable newsletter. Here’s why.

There are 3 key features which make Mashable newsletter indispensable and the reason this newsletter tops our list.

Wide range of categories: Mashable has mainstream audience spread across techies, marketers, business professionals, and casual social enthusiasts. So they make sure that every blog post has a broad appeal. Mashable newsletter keeps you updated on a wide range of related categories and gives you a good macro picture.

Fresh Content: Mashable always prefers to be in the first group for any piece of news. They consider second hand news to be completely unworthy of publication. Of all the things, they do not compromise on freshness of content!

Viral content: The Patented algorithms of Mashable ensure that you don’t miss out on any content that is going viral. This newsletter keeps you updated on the biggest stories before they become big.

For content marketers staying ahead of the curve means survival. Don’t miss out on this newsletter.

Most Shared Article in 2015: Facebook reaching out to users who might be suicidal (17.8K Shares)

14. Entrepreneur

Specialization: Entrepreneurship + Business

Alert: If you don’t subscribe to this newsletter, you will miss out on some really good quality content!

Entrepreneur magazine is known for its awesome content and amazing contributors. Their ability to attract highly skilled writers, thought leaders, and innovators is one of the reasons why they rank on this list.

Good Quality Content: Entrepreneur mag has a very targeted niche audience. This gives them an advantage to be highly selective about their writers and contributors. They know their audience really well and publish tailored quality content.

Targeted Content: Articles covered in this newsletter pertain more to the aspiring entrepreneurs and early stage ventures, focusing more on topics related to technology and growth strategies. This is especially useful for marketers interested in growth hacking and viral marketing.

Good Categorization: This newsletter clearly categorizes its content into specific topics and lets you choose from these topics. You could subscribe to all the topics or go for particular ones.

From Money & Finance to Growth & leadership, this newsletter covers everything related to entrepreneurship and is a must for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Most Shared Article in 2015: 10 Success Habits That Will Dramatically Improve Your Business (40.4K Shares)

15. Buffer

Specialization: Social Media + Content Marketing

Although the newsletter from Buffer blog specializes in providing good quality content on social media, it also focuses on productivity, life hacks, writing, user experience, customer happiness and business. This makes it indispensable for content and social media marketers.

Social Media: The content of this newsletter as well as its blog is intended towards promoting buffer application,a social media management tool. Naturally the newsletter is social media centric and is a great repository for articles on sharing, creating, analyzing and converting with social media.

User Education: One of the primary reasons for the popularity of this newsletter is that it believes in providing content that educates + motivates readers to take action and still has that viral appeal. No wonder they have succeeded in growing to a 41,231 newsletter subscription base.

This newsletter comes in the form of both a blog and daily newsletter and will give you the ins and outs of scoring big on social media. Their posts will help you maximize your return from social media platforms by educating you on how to measure your performance. While they may not post as often as other blogs, their posts are thorough, detailed and data-driven. Buffer newsletter is full of all the best social media tips, tools, experiments, and advice.

Most Shared Article in 2015: The Psychology of Facebook: Why We Like, Share, Comment (9.9K Shares)

16. HubSpot

Specialization: Inbound Marketing + Sales

This newsletter provides you with the latest Marketing Tips, Trends, and Best Practices in digital marketing space. Known for their actionable content, they cover a wide range of topics that include SEO, blogging, social media, lead generation, email marketing, lead management, analytics, and more. Above all, you can’t mention content marketing without mentioning HubSpot. These guys literally wrote the book on it.

HubSpot software is a sophisticated Marketing platform which helps you in managing Inbound Marketing and Sales. HubSpot maintains specialized blogs for Marketing, Sales, Agencies and Web design.

HubSpot Academy is a blog intended for user education and provides resourceful guides on everything related to Inbound marketing and sales. It provides detailed user guides on topics from Keywords to Call-to-actions.

When you are stuck for ideas, need answers to specific marketing questions, want content to use as reference and to understand new concepts and ideas, spend time on their newsletter! This newsletter provides awesome content on everything related to Inbound.

Most Shared Article in 2015: Do You Really Need That Exclamation Point? [Flowchart] (10.7K Shares)

17. Moz

Specialization: SEO + Inbound Marketing

When we are talking about Moz, there are two things we need to know before getting into the details of their newsletter. One ‘The TAGFEE Code’, two ‘Rand Fishkin’.

The TAGFEE Code: It essentially drives everything Moz does, everything they create and cultivate – their software, content, corporate culture, and relationships. They’re all a direct reflection of their mission to be as Transparent, Authentic, Generous, Fun, Empathetic, and Exceptional as possible. Same goes with their blog and newsletter.

Rand Fishkin, The Wizard of Moz: He’s founder and former CEO of Moz and co-founder of Inbound.org. An active blogger, Rand regularly writes on SEO, content, search, & social on the web, from his multiple blogs. Known for his ‘Whiteboard Friday’ lectures, Rand is today the most sort after thought leader in Digital Marketing space.

Moz Top Ten: Almost everything Moz does with marketing seems to be spot-on and their email newsletter is no exception. Instead of pushing their agenda with tons of their own posts, the Moz Top Ten pulls a bunch of great posts from around the web and shares them with its audience.Their posts cover covers the best stories on inbound marketing, SEO, and social and this is one weekly newsletter people look forward to reading.

Get this Newsletter now! I mean now!

Most Shared Article in 2015: The Web Developer’s SEO Cheat Sheet 3.0 (10.6K Shares)

18. Social Media Examiner

Specialization: Social Media in/and business

Social Media Examiner, the world’s largest online social media magazine, designed to help businesses discover how to best use social media tools like Facebook, Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn to connect with customers, generate more brand awareness and increase sales.

Amazing case studies: Subscribing to their newsletter gives you an update on the amazing research and case studies on social media presented by SME in their blog. This blog is go-to resource for most things Social Media. They cover a wide variety of information and have some have an array of extensive articles and case studies on Facebook Marketing!

Social Media Experts: Social Media Examiner blog is one of the most important blogs dealing with social media, new updates and features, and the usage of social media in business. Want to hear what’s new on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, etc? Subscribe their newsletter and you will never miss anything related to social media.

They work with top social media experts to bring you all the news you need to optimize content marketing with social media. Their articles in the newsletter will help you integrate social media into your content marketing strategy.

Most Shared Article in 2015: New Facebook Terms: What Marketers Need to Know (12.1K Shares)

19. KISSmetrics

Specialization: Web Analytics with a focus on ecommerce and SaaS

Everything apart, these stats alone make a strong case for you to subscribe to this newsletter.

– 350k visitors a month

– 82% of web traffic is from the blog

– 70% of leads from blog (15 sales reps)

– $100k-$150k a year spent on blog (infographics, content, content promotion)

– Estimated ROI of $900,000

Data Driven Insights: This newsletter provides you with the most authoritative and scientific methods to optimize your marketing based on metrics and covers this topic in depth. Although this newsletter specializes in Analytics, it is an excellent source for data driven insights on other topics such as Branding, copywriting, E-Commerce, Marketing, Social media, Design, Twitter, Facebook etc.

Customer Insights: As the tagline suggests ‘Google analytics tells you what and Kissmetrics tells you who’, this newsletter provides insightful infographics, Data visualizations and cheat sheets on customer behavior and psychology.

Numbers and data don’t lie — they tell you what is working, what isn’t and how the business responds to testing and changes. Your ability to decipher analytical data and use that information to make changes in your business decides your success or failure. This is exactly what you get out of this newsletter. We highly recommend this newsletter for everyone into digital marketing, especially for budding SaaS and E-Commerce companies.

Most Shared Article in 2015: The Ultimate Guide to 150+ Google Analytics Resources for 2015 (3.5K Shares)

20. CopyBlogger

This newsletter is a preeminent source on using content to market a business and is ‘the’ destination site for SMBs for tools and techniques on content marketing. This newsletter gives you the solutions you need to succeed in improving traffic, links, subscribers, and a profit-generating website.

Pioneers of Content Marketing: The founder, Brian Clark, had already been using online content to build businesses since 1998, way before anyone started using the term “content marketing.” Today, many consider Copyblogger the granddaddy of blog writing and strategy.

Guidebook to web writing: This newsletter serves as a valuable guide for good web writing. Their articles are crisp, to the point and accompanied with a dash of humor. This newsletter is intended for those who are already in the good at blogging and provides advanced training.

Quality Writers: The primary reason for the success of this newsletter is the quality of the writers. Most of them are geniuses and this is no exaggeration. They share the most consummate information on the subject of blogging and content marketing. Their content is always spot on.

Copyblogger produces five to six articles each week. Each blog details the hottest trends in content marketing is written in a simple and engaging way. Subscribing to this newsletter keeps you updated on the latest posts.

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Entrepreneurship – Who Is An Entrepreneur?

I came to realize that entrepreneurship has been there for so many years and that there are many people who cannot define correctly who an entrepreneur is. This is because there is a disagreement of whether entrepreneurs are born or made. By the way, are entrepreneurs born or made? I’m afraid if we start this discussion we might not come to a conclusion.

Why is it that there is no universal agreement whether entrepreneurs are born or made? First, entrepreneurs are born because there are some people who have come up with new business ideas that are currently recognized as successful businesses but these people were never educated on how to become entrepreneurs. On the other hand entrepreneurs are made because there are some successful entrepreneurs who have studied entrepreneurship courses (diploma and degree programs) offered by colleges and universities.

Is it true that people have not succeeded in defining who a true entrepreneur is?

My own personal experience was that for ten years we ran a research center in entrepreneurial history; for ten years we tried to define the entrepreneur. We never succeeded. Each of us had some notion of it-what he thought was, for his purposes, a useful definition. And I don’t think you’re going to get farther than that-By Arthur Cole.

According to what I studied in high school under the subject of business, an entrepreneur is “a person who sets up successful businesses and business deals.” But this definition does not bring out a clear definition because not everyone who sets up a business and is running it successful is an entrepreneur. There is more of who a true entrepreneur is other than setting up a business and running it successfully.

Economics and business people don’t seem also to agree on who is a true entrepreneur. From economist point of view, “The entrepreneur is one who is willing to bear the risk of a new venture if there is a significant chance for profit. Others emphasize the entrepreneur’s role as an innovator who markets his innovation. Still other economists say that entrepreneurs develop new goods or processes that the market demands and are not currently being supplied.”

Entrepreneurship concept first came into existence in the 1700s. Since then it has evolved to what it is now today. Despite the failure of defining who a true entrepreneur is, we can all agree that entrepreneurs play a major role in enhancing the lives of people in many different ways. They come up with new ideas which have led them to create business organizations.

These organizations apart from creating job opportunities directly or indirectly they also serve people in various ways. Entrepreneurs are viewed as people who either create new products or improve the existing products so as to solve problems facing people.

Trait Approach

We can describe who a true entrepreneur is by using the trait approach. Under this approach, the common traits successful entrepreneurs possess describes if a person is a true entrepreneur. The traits are:

1.) Taking Risks: They take risks after they have discovered viable business opportunities. They already know that business ideas which have got high risks are the ones which yield high profits. Generally speaking, successful entrepreneurs have taken risks to be where they’re now.

2.) Passion: Whatever the business idea they come up with, they have passion for it. Passion keeps successful entrepreneurs going by being focused.

3.) Hardworking: Successful entrepreneurs have a common trait of working hard. They work hard in seeing that all the tasks of the business are completed on time and efficiently.

4.) Optimistic: Optimism is the trait that successful entrepreneurs have in common. They believe that in the future their ideas will be successful businesses. They have no room for doubting their business ideas.

5.) Good Leadership: They have the trait of good leadership. Successful entrepreneurs know how to motivate their employees so that they give their best in attaining success. They create policies and goals for their businesses. They oversee that these policies are followed and the goals are accomplished on time.

6.) Determined and Persistent: Successful entrepreneurs are determined and persistent in making their new business ideas successful. They don’t give up after experiencing some failures in executing some tasks but they’re persistent and determined because they’re motivated by success and not money. For them, money is only a reward they get.

7.) Flexible: Entrepreneurs who have succeeded respond to market needs swiftly. Whenever there are changes in market needs they respond to them swiftly so as not to lose their customers. They search for opportunities to exploit when a change occurs. Successful entrepreneurs have a common trait of adjusting their entrepreneurship ventures to fluctuating economic conditions. “The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity-By Peter Drucker.”

8.) Creativity: They research and come up with creative new business ideas. Successful entrepreneurs continuously innovate new ways of satisfying customers.

9.) Organization Ability: Successful entrepreneurs are well organized. They organize factors of production such as labor, land and capital in running their entrepreneurship ventures.

With all the above information, I urge you not to fail to appreciate what a true entrepreneur is still working on. This is because a true entrepreneur never gives up no matter the failures he experiences in executing some tasks. He is optimistic that one day his business idea will be a successful business.

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“Invasion of the Mold Spores” – Mold Removal Tips For the Property Owner

Mold spores. They almost sound like alien invaders from a 1950’s sci-fi movie –“Attack of the Killer Mold Spores!” But that description may not be too far off the mark. Mold is dangerous. It can be more prevalent and can cause more health problems than termites, carbon monoxide, asbestos, or radon. In fact, mold is everywhere and impossible to get rid of in nature. According to the EPA website, “There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.” From one third to one half of all buildings in the United States have the damp conditions necessary to facilitate the growth of mold, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Mold and mold spores can cause serious health problems and, in the case of someone with mold sensitivities, even death. Many people are vaguely aware of the health concerns when it comes to mold but most do not know that mold can also cause serious damage to a house or building (similar to a termite infestation.) When it comes to protecting your family and your home, fighting and preventing mold should be at the top of every homeowner’s list.

WHAT IS MOLD?

The simple answer: molds are part of the fungi kingdom, similar to yeasts or mushrooms (the antibiotic Penicillin is actually a mold.)Mold is a living organism, a part of nature, and even has a beneficial function – it breaks down all of our dead organic matter. Mold reproduces by releasing tiny spores, invisible to the naked eye, into the air. These spores land in moist areas and begin to grow and spread. While there are hundreds of thousands of varieties of mold, none would exist without the presence of moisture, air, and something to feed on. Since mold will always exist outdoors, it is important to control the one ingredient a homeowner doesn’t need inside the house – moisture.

Mold can grow on rotting wood, grass, weeds, and compost piles. The problem is that it can also grow where you don’t want it to – indoors. It can be found on food or clothing, in bathrooms and attics and damp basements, on carpeting, and even inside the walls of a house. Mold can feed on the wood in the wall, breaking down the materials as it spreads unseen throughout a house. As the mold digests organic material, it continues to spread to find new food sources.

Spotting mold can be easy, if the mold colony is visible. Mold comes in a variety of colors (including white, black, green, gray, brown, and more), bunching as spots or discolorations. If the mold is not visible, someone may not recognize mold is present until it is late in the process. People discover mold when there is physical damage to a structure or an increase in musty smells. Sometimes mold won’t be found until the occupants experience health problems. By then, it may be too late. Whenever a house or building has an overexposure to moisture, it is important to inspect for mold. Moisture overexposure can come from many sources, including:

o Floods

o Roofs or basements that leak

o Irrigation or fire sprinklers

o Shower or bath water

o Sink or sewer overflow

o Humidifiers

o Plumbing leaks

WHY SHOULD I WORRY ABOUT MOLD?

There are two main reasons to worry about the spread of mold in a building. The most important consideration – mold can cause health problems. The second consideration – property damage. Frank Foreman, President & CEO of NO ODOR, Inc, a mold remediation company, believes mold is coming to the forefront because everyone is learning that mold damage can affect property value.

Let’s start with the health issues. Molds produce allergens that can cause reactions such as sneezing, runny noses, even asthma attacks in those allergic to it. It can even cause irritation to the nose, throat, lungs, and eyes to those who are not allergic. Certain molds can also release toxins (mycotoxins) that cause more serious problems. According to the Mold Help Organization, exposure to these mycotoxins could cause people “to suffer from a myriad of serious symptoms and illnesses such as chronic bronchitis, learning disabilities, mental deficiencies, heart problems, cancer, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue, lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple chemical sensitivity, bleeding lungs and much more” (http://www.mold-help.org/content/view/478/).

Because many people are not as aware or concerned about the health threats of mold, it is also important to consider the damage it can cause to property. Everyone tends to pay more attention to a problem when it affects the wallet. A home or business is the largest investment most people have. A colony or colonies of mold can cause severe devastation. According to the EPA website, “If you already have a mold problem – act quickly. Mold damages what it grows on. The longer it grows, the more damage it can cause” (http://www.epa.gov/mold/moldcleanup.html).

Mold can cause structural damage to a building, because it feeds on and breaks down the organic matter (wood, mostly) within the structure. When mold grows in the walls, on insulation, or under carpeting, these items must be removed from the building. In addition to the damage caused to the building, mold may destroy personal items in the home. It can attach to personal property which may be very difficult or impossible to clean. Often the item will have to be destroyed because the mold cannot be completely removed.

WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT THE MOLD?

For the most part, since mold is everywhere, it is impossible to completely avoid all indoor molds. The key to preventing mold is to control the moisture levels indoors. The EPA website states, “If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem. If you clean up the mold, but don’t fix the water problem, then, most likely, the mold problem will come back”

For small areas, usually a moldy section of 9 to 10 square feet, the home or business owner can usually clean up the mold themselves. For larger areas, it is important to hire a professional mold removal contractor to make sure the problem is taken care of safely.

If you have a small patch of black, green or gray colored spots, Frank Foreman, of NO ODOR, Inc., has a smart tip to determine whether or not it is mold: put some hydrogen peroxide on the growth and watch the reaction. Almost everyone has one of those brown bottles of the 3% hydrogen peroxide solution in their medicine cabinet, so he suggests putting it in a clean spray bottle and spraying the colored spots. If the solution runs down the wall and there is no reaction, then the spots are not growths of mold (it could possibly just be dirt.) Since mold is a living organism, when sprayed with the hydrogen peroxide, there will be an oxidation process. If you hit it and the growth starts to foam up with white foam, then you know you are dealing with mold.

For small amounts of mold, many sources recommend using a combination of water and detergent to clean the moldy surfaces. However, Frank Foreman recommends using only products that are approved by the EPA to kill mold. He further states that care and precaution need to be taken when doing the cleanup by an individual. “Mold is a living organism and it can travel easily when disturbed. Someone may wash away half of the mold and the other half might release mold spores that can escape to another source of moisture in the home. Or worse, into the A/C or heating system which can spread mold spores to every room in the house,” claims Foreman.

Foreman also suggests that someone with a mold problem should really educate themselves before hiring a professional to remove toxic mold. “The mold removal industry is completely unregulated. There are no federal, state, or local regulations that govern mold removal professionals.” This means, according to Foreman, with no standards, there is no way to prove the job was done or that it is done right. “Only seventy to eighty percent of all mold removal jobs are done right, which means the property owner is going to have residual problems.”

He says that it is important to shop around, to get references, and to scan the Internet to learn as much as possible about toxic mold and mold removal. “Education is the key. Learn the basics so you can talk to the remediation expert and you’ll have a good idea if he or she really knows what they’re doing.”

Mold removal methods vary from company to company. But the process can be complicated and expensive. For example, if a 10′ x 10′ bedroom has two walls infested with mold, it may be necessary to seal off that portion of the house, remove all wall boards until there are no more visible signs of mold growth. Next, the remediation pro will have to hand sand away the mold. Then, a mold killing detergent will be washed over the surface. The exposed area will then be HEPA vacuumed to remove remnant spores. After the area is tested to make sure there is no more mold, new walls will have to be built back up and painted. As you can see, the process can be time consuming and very expensive. However, to save on excessive destruction, some professionals have been employing fiber optic technology to view within the walls or ceilings, looking for mold growth, before tearing down all the drywall.

If you have had a flooding problem or a major water leak, it is also important to contact your insurance company. Many do not know that insurance may cover the mold removal as well. However, most insurance companies are starting to put limits on mold removal coverage (sometimes keeping caps at $5000 to $10,000.) While it may sound like a lot of money, the insurance company will be giving you money to fix the damage and remove the mold. The mold removal process may cost more than repairing the damage caused by the water. For example, if the roof of a house comes off during a storm and causes water damage to the house, the insurance company may give a lump sum to cover the repairs to the roof, the damage inside, and the mold problem. By accepting their lump sum, you have to pay to replace the roof and damage from water but the money also has to cover the costs to remove the mold that may come days, weeks, or months later.

HOW CAN I PREVENT MOLD FROM COMING BACK?

Once you have removed the entire mold infestation from your property, it is still important to control moisture levels in the structure.

– If there is any kind of flooding, it is imperative you remove the water within 24 to 48 hours.

– Whenever possible, move wet items to a dry, well-ventilated place or outside to speed up the drying process. Remove drywall up to the height of the water level. Remove carpeting as soon as possible.

– Keep the indoor humidity low. If possible, keep below 60 percent relative humidity.

– If condensation or moisture collects on windows, walls or water pipes, dry the wet surface and reduce the moisture. Condensation can be a sign of high humidity.

– Keep gutters clean and make sure water drains away from the building to prevent it from collecting around the foundation.

– Run or install venting fans in high moisture areas, like the bathroom.

– Run a dehumidifier in moist areas, such as a basement or bathroom.

– Ventilating areas can help reduce moisture, as well as keeping the temperature up or the air conditioner on. However, aim the air conditioning vents away from the condensing surfaces to prevent cold spots where moisture condensation can occur.

– Adding thermal insulation to walls, ceilings, and pipes can help, too (in fact, rust spots on any water pipes could be an indication there is too much moisture in a room. Adding insulation to the pipes is a good idea.)

Mold can be a very serious problem in homes and businesses and it is important to take care of the problem as soon as possible. The consequences to health and property can be severe. While remediation of mold can be expensive, the damage mold can cause could be even worse. Frank Foreman has seen many cases where it is actually cheaper for the homeowner to knock down and rebuild an entire house rather than remove the existing mold infestation.

Keep in mind some of the potential signs that mold may be growing within a property:

o Unexplained discoloration on a surface

o Musty or earthy odor

o Dark spots on or around vents

o Water stains anywhere

o Peeling or curling of floors or wallpaper

Do your homework and hire a professional to handle even moderate mold problems as soon as possible. If one is not sure where to look for a mold removal and remediation specialist, there are services that can help everyone find a local professional.

Whenever a home or business owner believes there are signs of mold growth within their property, he or she should contact a professional as soon as possible to avoid future problems or costs. Attack those “Killer Mold Spores” before your own personal home invasion gets any worse.

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Your SEO Service, Ethical SEO, and Competitor Monitoring

When a company undertakes a search engine optimization program, whether it is performed in-house or outsourced to an SEO service, most of the attention (and rightly so) is focused on the company website. This is the one aspect where there is a feeling of control–once a website is released into the wild, the company will have to see how its site fares against all the other websites out there, whether the other sites are using ethical SEO tactics or not.

Apart from changes made to the company website, the assumption is often that the company and, if it is using one, its SEO service, has zero control over what appears in search engine results. However, this is not usually the case. Often, you or your SEO service can have a direct effect on search engine results by monitoring your competitors and reporting them to the major search engines when the SEO techniques used on their site fall outside what is popularly referred to as ethical SEO. (Please note that while I believe that the word “ethical” is tossed around too often, “ethical SEO” has become the standard phrase to describe white hat techniques, and so it is the phrase I use throughout the article.)

Primary Competitors

To start with, let’s define competitors. Almost every company has at least a handful of other companies that it considers to be primary competitors–the ones that sell the same products and services, that are of similar size, and so on. It is important that the SEO efforts (or lack thereof) of these competitors, whether they are using ethical SEO techniques or not, be monitored on a routine basis. If they have not hired an SEO service of their own, or if they have not started doing SEO in-house at all, you will have peace of mind knowing that the use of this channel, for the moment, is yours. If your competitors begin an SEO campaign, with or without an outside SEO service, you can learn much about their sales and marketing tactics by evaluating the keyphrases that they target. And you can also investigate whether they are using ethical SEO practices in their campaign.

Your Online Competitors

It’s important to keep in mind that it is unlikely that searchers are going to decide only between you and the primary competitors you have listed. They are going to consider any company that matches their particular needs and that shows up for their search term. This is why your criteria for a competitor online should broaden to encompass any company that offers products or services like yours that outranks you for any of your targeted keyphrases. If your in-house staff or your SEO service not only continually monitors your search engine positions but also analyzes the companies that appear above you in search results, you can often identify forward-looking competitors of which you were previously unaware–your primary competitors of tomorrow.

Violations

This brings us to the key issue of ethical SEO. Search engine optimization is still a very new concept to most companies. Even the most respected companies can make mistakes in this arena, either by choosing the wrong SEO service, or by trying to avoid hiring an SEO service altogether by bringing it in house with well-intentioned but unqualified people. For example, BMW’s German site was recently removed temporarily from the Google index for using doorway pages–something that is not considered an ethical SEO practice. It stands to reason that your competitors are also not immune to violations.

Bad Firms

There are very notable examples of otherwise smart and established companies hiring an SEO service that put them in a worse situation than before they pursued SEO–by getting their site removed from major search engines for violating the engine’s terms of service, for example. Not long ago, there was a well-publicized example where most of the clients of a Las Vegas SEO service were penalized. Almost all of the clients claimed that they were not informed that the firm was not practicing ethical SEO and that they were therefore at risk.

SEO firms are generally divided into two camps–those called “White Hats” (those that use ethical SEO practices and will never knowingly violate a search engine’s terms of service) and those called “Black Hats” (those that do not use ethical SEO practices and that will attempt to unravel the latest algorithms and exploit any loopholes to achieve rankings at any cost). Neither approach is invalid–it is not against the law to violate the terms of service of a search engine. Moreover, black hat techniques can be quite effective. However, the tactics are risky, and anyone hiring an SEO service that wears a black hat and does not use ethical SEO practices should definitely be apprised of this risk up front.

Internal Resources

Firms are often tempted to avoid hiring an SEO service by performing SEO in-house, and the project almost always falls onto an already overburdened IT department. The problem with approaching SEO from a strictly technical mindset is that the strategies employed, such as the keyphrases targeted, will not necessarily be in line with the goals of the marketing and sales departments. In addition, an IT resource will usually approach SEO from a purely technical standpoint, without being aware of ethical SEO practices, and this can lead to trouble. Penalization is a very real possibility, and it is hard to get back onto an index once your site has been removed.

Monitoring

A thorough SEO service will monitor not only the handful of competitors that you deem crucial but also the sites that appear higher than you for any of your chosen search phrases. This may be somewhat controversial, especially to any SEO service or webmaster that uses tactics forbidden by the search engines’ terms of service. However, many white hat SEO service firms consider it an obligation to their clients to routinely monitor the sites of any competitor found on the engines to be sure it is using ethical SEO techniques.

There is a reason that every major search engine has a form to report sites who do not use ethical SEO tactics and who violate the terms of service so that these sites can be subsequently penalized or removed. Spam filters cannot catch all violations without also removing a large number of good sites. Search engines rely on their users to help them to keep their indexes clean and free of sites not using ethical SEO tactics. There are many techniques to spam an engine–far too many to list. However, a good SEO service not only knows what all of these techniques are but knows how to identify them when it sees them so they can be reported to the engine accurately.

The End Result

Business is business, and your interests often run directly counter to that of your competitors. When you report a website that is not using ethical SEO, it is very likely that it will be removed. This means there is one less company that you need to worry about in the online arena, at least for the time being. If the site in question outranked yours, you also get the added benefit of seeing your rankings improve as the violating pages are removed–provided, of course, that you are using ethical SEO techniques and steering clear of violations yourself, or you may be reported by a competitor of yours or its SEO service!

The engine also benefits from users reporting violations. Engines do not like people trying to trick their indexes, since there might then be pages showing up for particular search terms that are not actually relevant to those terms. Clearly, search engines understand this benefit–if the engines thought they could weed out all the spam themselves, they would not provide a reporting system. Supporting such a system, after all, is not free. Real people employed by the engine have to visit the offending pages to confirm that they are not using ethical SEO tactics.

In the notable example cited earlier of the firm that got most of its clients penalized, the owner of the SEO service in question was quoted as saying, “Google can kiss my ass. This is the Wild Wild West.” He may be right–maybe it is the Wild Wild West. But there are a whole bunch of new sheriffs in town–and they are wearing white hats.

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Evaluating Marketing Profitability in Your Business

The four elements you need in place for evaluating your marketing profitability are objectives, metrics, analytics and actions, which are inextricably intertwined in evaluating the effectiveness and ROI of marketing activity. With each element in place, you are more able to take corrective action for areas of your marketing that aren’t working well.

For instance, you may wish to evaluate:

Design – how effective is your marketing funnel, what are your conversion rates, what is your lifetime customer value, as these determine how much money you can spend to turn a click into a customer.

Process – how well-controlled is your marketing activity in terms of regularly checking the ROI of time and spend on advertising / promotion.

With web analytics it’s easier than ever now to access robust data across your marketing process, tracking the customer journey from enquiry right through to high-ticket purchases.

At its simplest, marketing success is evaluated via Return on Investment (ROI), but using metrics such as cost per click and sales revenue won’t tell you how well the marketing design itself is working and how it could be improved; it only shows you the output against input.

Dive deeper and there’s a whole array of beautiful data at your fingertips. If you take the time with web, email and social media tracking and analytics, it can be very revealing. For instance, you can identify definitely:

  • What parts of your website visitors are most/least engaging with (hot
  • Which offers or opt-in forms and offers are generating the most leads
  • Where your conversions are good or where you’re losing people
  • How well your leads are engaging with you and your email messages.

Furthermore, embedding analytics tools such as GoogleAnalytics or Clicktale in your website means you’re able to evaluate your visitor behaviours and customer experience and start to see the story behind the clickthrough rates on your site.

This is critical for understanding where to focus your enhancement actions.

When you know where your best customers are coming from or going next, what they are responding to or engaging with most, you can optimise your marketing / remarketing and reduce your ad spend drastically.