Ireland’s O’Briens make Breeders’ Cup a family affair

first_img The Turf, the richest grass race of the weekend, also features Ulysses, trained in England by Sir Michael Stoute. Other notable international stars in the Breeders’ Cup include: • Aidan O’Brien’s Seventh Heaven in the $2 million Fillies & Mares Turf today. The 3-year-old has already captured the Irish Oaks and the Yorkshire Oaks this season. The race also includes Japanese mare Nuovo Record, a career winner of just under $5 million. • Mongolian returning to defend his title in today’s $1 million Turf Sprint. The first Breeders’ Cup winner owned and trained by Mongolians was greeted in last year’s winner’s circle by a large group decked out in colourful native garb. ARCADIA, Calif. (AP): The Breeders’ Cup is a family affair for the O’Briens from Ireland. Horse racing’s international festival, the Breeders’ Cup features 13 season-ending championships worth a combined $28.5 million over yesterday and today at Santa Anita. Once again, many of the best runners in the world will assemble for the prize money and the prestige of taking home a trophy. Not surprisingly, the foreign contingent is led by Aidan O’Brien who brought 12 horses from his Ballydoyle training centre in Ireland. O’Brien is the leading international trainer in the Breeder’s Cup with 10 wins, ranking third overall. O’Brien’s horses have earned a collective $17.2 million in the series. O’Brien also brought along son Joseph, a former Breeder’s Cup winning jockey, now following in his father’s footsteps as a trainer. Joseph O’Brien rode St. Nicholas Abbey to victory in the 2011 Turf for his father. Now O’Brien, 23, could make history as the youngest trainer of a Breeders’ Cup winner if Intricately takes the $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf. Joseph O’Brien retired from the saddle this summer after a losing battle to maintain riding weight. “The last few months I was riding became quite hard weight-wise. I don’t really miss it (the riding) and I love training now,” O’Brien said. Joseph O’Brien will have brother Donnacha aboard Intricately, a 6-1 shot who most recently captured the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh in Ireland. Joseph’s biggest obstacle could be his father. Aiden O’Brien saddles two runners in the race: Roly Poly, the 4-1 choice and Hydrangea at 6-1. The star of Aidan O’Brien’s Breeders’ Cup crew is Found, the brilliant 4-year-old filly who returns to defend her title against the boys in the $4 million Turf. She rallied from far back to win last year over a rain-softened course at Keeneland. Conditions should be firm this weekend in sunny Southern California. As if Found wasn’t enough firepower, O’Brien will also send out Highland Reel, the Arc runner-up. Trained in Englandlast_img read more

Christopher Ram challenges Govt’s “business as usual” approach to contracts

first_imgNo-confidence resolution …seeks order preventing payment of contracts over $15M As the Coalition Government continues its “business as usual” approach following the passage of the no confidence motion back in December, Political Commentator and Attorney-at-Law Christopher Ram has turned to the High Court to stop the awarding and payment of contracts over $15 million.The legal proceedings were filed on Friday by Attorney-at-Law Anil Nandlall on behalf of Ram, and named Attorney General Basil Williams and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of the Presidency, Abena Moore, as the respondents.Ram is asking the court to declare, among other things, that any procurement (contract) in excess of $15 million approved by a purported Cabinet after the evening of 21st December, 2018 is unconstitutional, unlawful, null, void, and is of no legal effect; and that the court should issue an order restraining Permanent Secretaries within all Government Ministries from making any payment towards any contracts in excess of $15 million approved by a purported Cabinet after the passage of the no confidence motion.The High Court is also being asked for a declaration to state that “…there exists no Cabinet to review or award any contract which exceeds fifteen million Guyana dollars (G$15,000,000).”It was noted in the court documents seen by Guyana Times that Section 54 (1) of the Procurement Act gives Cabinet the right to review and approve all procurements (contracts) in excess of $15 million. However, Ram pointed out in his grounds for the application that all functions and duties of the Cabinet ceased on December 21, 2018 when the no confidence motion was successfully passed against the Coalition Administration.The Resolution gives effect to Article 106 (6), which states: “The Cabinet including the President shall resign if the Government is defeated by the vote of a majority of all the elected members of the National Assembly on a vote of confidence.”According to the legal documents, the subsequent ruling of acting Chief Justice Roxane George (on January 31 in a case filed by Ram) was that the National Assembly properly, validly and lawfully passed the motion, which immediately effected the resignation of the Cabinet.“…the president and the ministers who constitute the Cabinet [were] compelled to resign their functions in Cabinet but retain their office until elections are held… I have observed that the Cabinet has not complied… and neither the Cabinet nor the President has expressed a public intention to resign or fixed a date prior to or on 21st March, 2019 for the holding of national and regional elections, nor has a resolution supported by no less than two-thirds of the National Assembly determined that elections should be held after an extended period,” Ram outlined in his application to the court.Immediately after the passage of the motion, the Coalition Government had said it would uphold the Constitution, but subsequently took a U-turn, ignoring calls from stakeholders, including the Opposition, to resign.President David Granger has maintained on several occasions that there is no provision in the constitution for a “caretaker” Government. Furthermore, the Government went on to challenge the passage of the motion in the National Assembly back in December.However, the acting Chief Justice found that the no-confidence motion was validly passed, and that Cabinet should have resigned. Government has since appealed this decision, and those matters are expected to come up for hearing at the Appeal Court next week.Meanwhile, following the High Court ruling, the Coalition has been meeting as a ‘Ministerial Plenary’, which is imbued with Cabinet powers, to carry on Government business. In fact, they have noted contracts from the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) and given their approval for various appointments.This is a move which Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has called illegal. “They have a ministerial plenary to bypass the Chief Justice’s ruling, which is illegal,” the Opposition Leader has said.Jagdeo had noted, too, that if the People’s Progressive Party, of which he is also the General Secretary, returns to office, then all the actions and decisions of the Coalition Government since December 21 will be reviewed and reversed.last_img read more

College of the Redwoods pitcher Matt Becker signs on to play at Lewis-Clark State College

first_imgEureka >> Matt Becker has been a California kid his entire life.It doesn’t matter if it’s growing up and going to high school in Sonoma County or spending the past year in Humboldt County playing baseball, Becker has known nothing but what the West Coast has to offer.Come a few weeks from now, that will all soon change.Becker, who spent his sophomore season at College of the Redwoods and is currently playing for the Humboldt Crabs, signed a letter of intent on Thursday afternoon to play at …last_img read more

Ramon Laureano taking at bats, running every other day as return date nears

first_imgKANSAS CITY — It’s been five weeks since Ramon Laureano fell on the 10-day IL with a stress reaction in his shin. Doctors told him back then he’d need a 4-to-6 week recovery period.It looks like Laureano could return to the lineup well within that frame. He’s taking at bats and running every other day, a routine that could be enough to prevent a trip to Stockton or Las Vegas for a rehab assignment.“We’d consider this the rehab assignment, facing pitchers,” manager Bob Melvin said. “They’re …last_img read more

The Rank Nazi: Your Content Is Not Worthy, No Rank For You! [cartoon]

first_imgShare . The book’s been a runaway success (I think it’s because of the cartoons, but my co-author thinks its the marketing advice — you decide). Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media and Blogs Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack By the way, if you’re a Seinfeld fan, what’s your favorite episode/scene?  (I’m looking for more ideas for future cartoons).center_img Looking to get more organic traffic from Google? You need to create content that’s worthy! (Yes, it’s that simple.  Not easy, but simple). Originally published Nov 6, 2009 3:18:00 PM, updated March 21 2013 If you liked this cartoon, you can find more cartoons in the recently released book:last_img read more

7 Best Practices for a Successful Mobile Check-In Campaign

first_img Mobile Marketing Originally published Jan 4, 2012 3:45:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Topics: Located at the intersection of mobility and marketing, the “check in” is one of the latest iterations of social media marketing.Location-based social media, such as Foursquare , encourage consumers to “check in” at a business using their smartphone, allowing them to keep the people in their social network constantly apprised of their whereabouts.For example, friends meeting at a bar/club or family members gathering at a ballpark/stadium can check in to those locations using these social media tools. And in exchange for patronizing and promoting their venues via these tools, many businesses reward their customers. Foursquare, for example, bestows the title of “Mayor” on those frequenting a particular establishment the most often during a given period of time. In a nutshell, check-in promotions offer one more channel for marketers to engage consumers with their brands.Before you try running your own check-in campaign, check out these 7 tips for success: 1. Reward the Right Behaviors As with any other marketing initiative, it’s important to provide incentives that reinforce the behaviors you’re trying to induce. If in-store visits are the goal, your check-in promotion needs to reward that behavior. If your objective is creating awareness for a specific product or service, be sure your check-in promotion reflects that. 2. Get the Ball Rolling If you’ve ever been the first one to arrive at a party, you know that awkward feeling when it’s just you and the host until the other guests arrive. Seed the action by offering a special incentive for the first, or the first 10, checkins. 3. Stand Out From the Crowd Anybody can offer 10 or 20 percent off this or that. Where’s the excitement in that? Create check-in promotions that make customers feel special. Hold a monthly inauguration celebration for your “Mayor” during your busiest times, and do it up right. Hand them the proverbial keys to your business, or give them a one-of-a-kind T-shirt or baseball cap. It doesn’t have to be expensive; it just has to be memorable and fun. 4. Keep in Touch… With Your CRM While a standalone or one-off check-in campaign has some value, check-in promos tied into the rest of your inbound marketing programs are better still. Make sure you connect your check-in systems to the rest of your inbound marketing platform so you can analyze the results and leverage the social networks you’re working so hard to tap into. 5. Follow Through in Advance If check-in campaigns are new for you (and for about 98 percent of you, they are), be sure that everything needed to fulfill the rewards is in place before you roll out the campaign and that your staff understands how the campaign works. Almost nothing is worse for a business than setting up expectations and failing to deliver on them. 6. Spur Socialism Remember, this is social media . Use checkins to multiply the uptake on your campaign by reminding and rewarding people who bring a buddy—the more the merrier. Not everyone has to check in; they just have to show up with someone who does. 7. Metrics Still Matter Use your inbound marketing platform to measure and analyze the results of your check-in promotions. Keep an eye on total checkins, total spend, spend per checkin, social influence, and how many other online behaviors (such as email opt-ins, Likes, or tweets) customers engage in.Check-in mobile marketing is just getting off the ground. Every marketer is learning as they go, but here’s the key— learning . Apply solid marketing principles, and test and modify so you can improve with each campaign. Is mobile part of your 2012 marketing strategy? Join us for our free mobile marketing workshop on Thursday, January 12 at 12 PM ET to learn how to master mobile marketing in 2012. Reserve your seat for the webinar here . Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

How to Audit Your Website for Improved SEO and Conversions

first_img Originally published Apr 23, 2018 10:41:04 PM, updated October 30 2019 Topics: Conversion Rate Optimization What Is a Website Audit?A website audit is an examination of page performance prior to large-scale search engine optimization (SEO) or a website redesign. Auditing your website can determine whether or not it’s optimized to achieve your traffic goals, and if not, how you can improve it to increase performance.When was the last time you gave your website a checkup?Download Now: Free 8-Week Conversion Rate Optimization PlannerIf you’ve never before audited your website, it’s been a while since you have, or you’re planning a website redesign in the near future, use this post as your go-to website audit checklist to make sure your website is primed for maximum SEO and conversion results.Keep in mind that in most cases, you’ll probably want to pair up with someone with a technical brain for this, whether that be someone in your in-house IT department or an outsourced party.The Benefits of a Website AuditBefore we dive into the things you should be keeping an eye out for as you’re auditing your website, let’s review some of the benefits of doing one. Here are some of the top benefits from a marketing perspective:Website Performance OptimizationWebsite audits usually evaluate a site not only for its content, but also for its technical performance.As a result, an audit will give you a chance to inspect the robustness of your website’s technical framework and infrastructure, assess how friendly your website is to search engines, and determine how easy it is for users to navigate and intuitively find content on your website.Search Engine OptimizationBy conducting a website audit, you’ll be able to identify any missed SEO opportunities and remedy any misguided or poorly executed SEO pitfalls (e.g. keyword stuffing, exact match anchor text links, etc.) throughout the content of your website.It will also allow you to re-focus your SEO efforts on users first and search engines second. This will safeguard you from constantly chasing changes to search ranking algorithms, meaning you won’t be applying misguided practices just to show up in the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs).Conversion Rate OptimizationThirdly, website audits enable you re-evaluate the effectiveness of your website in terms of lead generation and conversion. As a result, you’ll be able to spot any previously overlooked opportunities to convert visitors into leads so you can add relevant CTAs, as well as identify deficiencies in your landing pages so you can optimize them to boost conversions.As you can see, assessing both the content and technical aspects of your website will open up opportunities to drastically improve the traffic and conversions your website generates.The 4 Assessments to Make When Auditing Your WebsiteLet’s talk about how to pursue each of the three benefits above, and what you should specifically be checking for in this four-part website audit.But first, enter your website into HubSpot’s Website Grader — this will give you a general overview of your website’s strengths so you can gauge your focus on each of the assessments that follow in this article.How’d you do? Got an idea of which website audit benefits you need the most? Here we go.1. Website Performance AssessmentIn the first part of your website audit, you should be focusing on how users navigate your website — from your homepage, to blog posts, to landing pages, and any related content in between.Make a list of the pages on your website and ask yourself the following questions to evaluate them for optimization opportunities: Is Your Website Optimized for Maximum Usability?The more visitors you can attract to your website, the more opportunities you’ll have to generate leads and, ultimately, customers. But only if your website performs well.As I’m sure you can imagine, just having a website does not guarantee results. As part of determining the overall efficiency of your website, your audit should check to make sure your site is designed with your visitors in mind. The design and overall navigability of your website should correspond with what a person would come to the site to seek out, such as more information on a business-related topic, resources, product/pricing information, testimonials, etc. This will largely depend on your individual business.The main goal here is to make it easy for people to get to the information they’re looking for. As a result, you’ll likely see conversion rates improve on their own.To audit your website for usability, consider the following:Are all the main value propositions of our business easily accessible via our main navigations/menu items?Do we have a simple yet intuitive website design and page layout? Make sure pages aren’t too cluttered; littered with ads, CTAs, or links; or void of internal links altogether.Are your conversion paths and/or shopping cart or checkout processes intuitive? Are there a ton of distractions along the way that could be creating friction for your site visitors?You might also consider doing some user testing with members of your target audience to ensure you’re effectively surfacing the content they’re looking for, and that they find it easy to navigate to the parts of your website they’re interested in.How Is Your Website’s Overall Speed?Are there excessive page sizes and/or long page load and server response times? Does your site go down frequently? Site speed can be impacted when image files are too large or HTML and CSS needs to be cleaned up, all of which can drastically improve your site speed.Ultimately, fast-loading and optimized pages will lead to higher visitor engagement, retention, and conversions. To quickly check a web page’s load time, download MozBar, a toolbar by Moz that you can attach to your browser for simple page analysis every time you visit a website.2. SEO AssessmentOptimizing the performance of your website is crucial to holding onto visitors, but the above question isn’t the only one you should be asking. You should also audit the content you’re publishing to ensure it’s actually solving your visitors’ problems.Is Your Website Content High Quality?As you evaluate your content for quality, think about it from your target audience’s perspective. Did this information leave me satisfied? Did it answer all of my questions? Does it give me all the resources relevant to this topic? Do I know what to do next?Keep in mind quality content should appeal to the interests, needs, and problems of your buyer personas; be interesting and well-written, provide valuable, thorough and detailed information about a particular topic; and leave the reader with next steps (such as calls-to-action, links to resources, etc.).If you’re still not sure if your content is high quality, evaluate it with this checklist:” How to Tell if Your Marketing Content Is Actually Valuable.”Is Your Website Search Engine Optimized?Make sure all your web pages are following on-page SEO best practices. To audit your content for on-page SEO, conduct a keyword analysis in which you do the following:Consult your analytics to review keyword performance. Which keywords are giving you the biggest gains in traffic and leads?Assess how well you’re factoring keyword performance into your content strategy. How much relevant content are you adding to your website to target those keywords?Review basic on-page SEO elements like URLs, page titles, meta description, and copy. Make sure keywords are included where relevant.To help you conduct an on-page SEO audit of your content, read the “Step-by-Step Guide to Flawless On-Page SEO,” which also includes a free downloadable on-page SEO template to keep you on track.3. Conversion Rate AssessmentWhile high-quality, search engine optimized content is a great way to boost your traffic numbers, it’s what happens once those visitors are on your website that really counts. Unless of course, you don’t care about conversions (ha!).Is Your Website Optimized for Lead Generation and Conversions?This is where optimized calls-to-action (CTAs), marketing offers, and landing pages play a major role in the performance of your website. Not only do they offer you opportunities to capture visitors’ information so you can follow up with leads, but they also keep your visitors engaged with your content and your brand.To audit your website for maximum conversion potential, ask yourself the following questions:How many marketing offers do I have in my content arsenal to gate behind landing pages?Do I have a variety of marketing offers that appeal to all my different buyer personas?Do I have any landing pages/conversion forms on my website to begin with? How optimized are those landing pages?Do I have conversion opportunities for visitors in varying stages of the funnel?Am I using calls-to-action effectively? Am I missing opportunities to include calls-to-action on various pages of my website?To learn more about CTA selection, check out our post, ” How to Select the Right CTA for Every Page on Your Website.”4. Technical AssessmentOnce you’ve addressed the three primary goals of a website audit, it’s time to loop in a developer or someone from your IT department for a technical evaluation. You could also hire an outside agency — just be sure to do your homework first.Keep in mind that there may be some carry-over from the three assessments above — website performance, SEO, and conversion rate. The technical evaluation, however, addresses all three to maximize the user experience (UX).Here’s what you should be looking for in the technical assessment stage of your website audit …Is Your Website Design Responsive?Does your website have a responsive design? Meaning, is it a mobile-friendly website? The usage of smartphones to access the internet is only growing. As of 2017, mobile devices account for half of all web page views worldwide. As a result, websites must be compatible with that growing demand.For more on mobile compatibility, check out our “Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Mastering Mobile Marketing.”Is Your Website Error Message Free?Are response code errors popping up all over your website where there shouldn’t be any? Calling out 302-, 404-, and 500-level response codes can be useful to tell users that something’s wrong.However, having this happen is also an indication that someone isn’t cleaning up broken links and, as a result, leading users to dead ends. Find those error messages and clean up your broken links. Tools like Google’s Webmaster Tools or Xenu’s Link Sleuth can be very helpful for this.Are Your Website URLs Optimized?Does your site have URLs of excessive length due to keyword stuffing? Do they contain session IDs and/or include tons of dynamic parameters? In some cases, these URLs are difficult for search engines to index and result in lower clickthrough rates from search results.Learn more about SEO-friendly URL syntax practices in this helpful post from Search Engine Land.Does Your Website Have Too Much Flash or JavaScript?Identify areas of your navigation that are entirely Flash or JavaScript. Search engines have challenges reading and accessing these, which could prevent your site from getting indexed.Furthermore, these elements present problems from a usability perspective. Visitors are often looking for a very specific piece of information when visiting your site; if they have to sit through a 10-second visual introduction before they can find your hours of operation, you’re going to have a pretty frustrated visitor on your hands.Is Your Site Structure Optimized for Search Engines?We already talked about site structure as it relates to accessing content and usability for users, but it’s also important to make sure your site structure is optimal for search engines. If pages on your site are not internally linked to from other pages on your site, those pages are less likely to be indexed.Learn more about effective site structure for SEO in this Moz article.Are You Defining How Your Web Pages Are Crawled and Indexed by Search Engines?This can be done through various methods that include everything from robots files and tags, to sitemaps. These measures are a way for you to guide search engines toward your website’s most useful content.Robots Files or TagsThe robots meta tag lets you utilize a granular, page-specific approach to controlling how an individual page should be indexed and served to users in search results. These tags should sit in the section of a given page.The robots.txt file, on the other hand, is a text file that allows you to specify how you would like your site to be crawled. Before crawling a website, search engine crawlers will generally request the robots.txt file from a server. Within the robots.txt file, you can include sections for specific (or all) crawlers with instructions (“directives”) that let them know which parts should or should not be crawled.Public and XML SitemapsYour website should also have public and XML Sitemap files. The public sitemap is one that users can access to review the pages of your site, like the index of a book.The XML Sitemap is for search engines to review pages that get added to your site, all in one place. The usual location of a sitemap.xml file is www.domainname.com/sitemap.xml. The XML Sitemap is something every website should have; it offers an opportunity to tell Google and the other search engines what pages on your site you want to be crawled and indexed.While search engines don’t guarantee they will abide by your sitemap, anecdotal evidence has proven time and time again that XML Sitemaps help provide insurance that your pages are found, and found faster — especially if your sitemap(s) dynamically update your new web pages.Are You Defining Canonicalization of Content?The canonicalization of your website content is the final major technical consideration to make. To gain more control over how your URLs appear in search results, and to minimize issues related to duplicate content, it’s recommended that you pick a canonical (preferred) URL as the preferred version of the page.You can indicate your preference to Google in a number of ways. One such way is to set the Canonical Tag (rel=”canonical”) in an HTTP header of a page. Be sure to have someone check that the Canonical Tag is properly implemented across the site by making sure it points to the correct page, and that every page doesn’t point to the homepage.It’s important to establish an audit framework early on. Ask yourself questions ideally centered around gauging “How am I doing?” These questions may also include things like, “How does this compare to others, especially my competitors?”Website audits aren’t easy, especially if you’re not totally tech-savvy. For additional resources, check out this article by Distilled, which highlights a list of tools to use as you conduct your technical audit; as well as this complete site audit checklist by SEER.I also recommend passing the Google Webmaster’s Guide along to anyone implementing this kind of work. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Why We Acquired Two More Companies … And We’re Just Getting Started

first_img Marketing Strategy Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack As you may have seen this morning, HubSpot has acquired Chime and PrepWork, both of whom will bring great innovation and unique IP to the HubSpot team. Below, I’ve outlined why we made these specific acquisitions and explained how we view acquisitions like these as part of our commitment to rapid growth and transforming the marketing landscape entirely.1) Both Chime and PrepWork deliver on our vision for new ways to humanize bottom-of-the-funnel interactions.At HubSpot, we started with a fundamental belief that the ways in which humans interact is changing rapidly as a result of technology. That vision influences both our culture and our product, which is focused on making every marketing interaction more human, personalized, and lovable. Both Chime and PrepWork have created products that make bottom-of-the-funnel interactions fundamentally more human, and that’s paramount to us as we think about the next generation of marketing and our product. Personalizing and humanizing the customer’s journey is critical to our mission, and both of these companies deliver upon that promise.The Chime team built a Chrome plug-in that allows users to get all of their social media notifications in their browser in a user-friendly manner. PrepWork constructed a platform that syncs with your calendar to give you relevant information about people you’re meeting with. Streamlining all my notifications in one place and arming me with information about sports scores relevant to the person I’m meeting with next? That’s relevant, contextual information consumers love. In other words, both companies were focused on personalization and solving for a customer need. That’s exciting to our team here at HubSpot, because we believe that’s what inbound marketing is all about, and we look forward to the knowledge, assets, and user feedback that both Chime and PrepWork bring to bear on our vision of creating marketing people love.2) 1+1=3At INBOUND 2012, we talked about how having a back end leads system and a front end web system together in HubSpot uniquely facilitates a more personalized customer journey. These two companies take an additional step forward by allowing people to have much more personalized engagement with customers, but with a true commitment to efficiency and effectiveness. The HubSpot product always helped convert strangers into prospects — then the acquisition of Performable allowed us to more effectively convert prospects into qualified leads. Now, the addition of Chime and PrepWork gives us deeper knowledge and assets to convert qualified leads into customers. Attracting, converting, engaging, and delighting customers has never been so easy because HubSpot delivers all the tools you need to personalize each interaction in one, easy-to-use interface.Hundreds of companies email us each year about getting acquired by HubSpot, and many of them dazzle us with their technical knowledge or specific expertise in a given area. However, one of the key elements we look for — which stuck out to us about both Chime and PrepWork — was both companies’ commitment to solving for the needs of a customer and getting that interaction right. Chime has over 20,000 users in public beta as well as outstanding ratings in the Google Chrome App Store, and there’s a reason for that: The Chime team took user feedback and considerations seriously to create the right signal to noise ratio. PrepWork was founded by Dan Wolchonok and provides briefing emails relevant to forthcoming meetings via a sync with users’ calendars. Chime and PrepWork ultimately built and brought to market successful products that solved for customer needs. That dedication to the customer is core to what we do at HubSpot, and we love that both companies set out to solve for a market need and worked furiously to deliver upon it. Replacing loud, interruptive advertising with engaging and personalized marketing efforts is inherently linked to understanding how consumers live, so Chime and PrepWork align perfectly with our criteria and our notion that having all-in-one marketing software creates better engagement for customers and a more efficient approach for marketers.3) Cultural FitDharmesh and I have always taken culture seriously. So seriously, in fact, that we recently doubled down on our commitment to employee autonomy and transparency with the Culture Code deck Dharmesh presented to our company and the world two weeks ago. As a result, acquiring companies isn’t something we take lightly when it comes to cultural fit. We look for people who are incredibly smart, operate at a rapid pace, are innovative, independent thinkers, and are driven by GSD: getting stuff done. In both PrepWork and Chime, we felt fortunate to find teams who fit wonderfully into the existing culture at HubSpot, and we can’t wait for them to join us full time in June.At HubSpot, we have a strong tradition of acquiring companies and integrating them seamlessly as contributors to our team, culture, approach, product, and customer success. Just as we have done with Performable and oneforty, we believe we’re adding some incredible rock stars to our team and are honored and excited to announce that they are now officially part of the HubSpot family.This is an exciting step in HubSpot’s growth, and we believe we’ll have more of these announcements to share moving forward, so keep visiting us here as we continue to expand our team, our product, and our commitment to changing the world of marketing. Originally published Mar 28, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics:last_img read more

12 Inspirational Writing Tips From History’s Greatest Authors [SlideShare]

first_img Writing Skills Originally published Apr 2, 2014 4:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: This post originally appeared on the Insiders section of Inbound Hub. To read more content like this, subscribe to Insiders.We’ve all been there — staring back and forth between an empty, glowing white screen and the clock as your deadline crawls ever closer. Would it help to know you’re not alone? Probably not.But even the world’s greatest authors have had trouble starting, finishing, and doing everything in between with their writing. So when it comes to writing tips, they certainly have their opinions. Here are twelve of them, written in a way that only they could.center_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Great Quotes on Writing from History’s Greatest Authors from StratusInteractive1) William Allen White – Journalist/News Editor“Substitute damn every time you’re inclined to write very; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”Though often mistakenly referenced as a quote by Mark Twain, White knows that adverbs can be dangerous if used overbearingly (see what I did there?). Very and similar words can bog a sentence down, and are often used where they shouldn’t be.Most experienced writers do their best to avoid them. Was that memo you just read very important, or important — either way, the message remains the same. As Stephen King has said, “the road to hell is paved with adverbs,” and most of us would be hard-pressed to disagree.2) Ernest Hemingway – Author, Nobel Prize Winner“The first draft of everything is shit.”Nothing is perfect, and with writing it’s no different. Things rarely work out the way you want on the first go, whether it’s writing, art, music — anything. It takes practice, and constant checks and balances to produce a well-rounded piece, as first drafts are meant to be experimented with.If you’re sticking with the first draft, you’re effectively saying Eh, good enough, so remember to be honest with yourself. In the end, you know your audience will voice their opinions, so make it harder for them to voice the negative ones.3) Stephen King – Author The Shining, The Dark Tower Series“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time — or the tools — to write. Simple as that.”Reading and writing go hand in hand (I’m on fire right now). They belong together, and if you don’t actively read, you’re actively limiting your vocabulary and breadth of experience. As human beings, we never stop growing or learning, so if you’re a writer who doesn’t read … well that’s like being a cook who can’t taste. Do yourself a favor and pick up a book and read to learn new diction, or better yet, a new perspective on something. You can only experience so much in your life, but reading opens you to countless settings, experiences, and points of view.4) Maya Angelou – Author, Poet“What I try to do is write. I may write for two weeks ‘the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat.’ And it might be just the most boring and awful stuff. But I try. When I’m writing, I write. And then it’s as if the muse is convinced that I’m serious and says, ‘Okay. Okay. I’ll come.’”Some of the greatest ideas come from accidents. I’m astonished by how many times I’ve accidentally hit gold as a result of throwing my thoughts on a blank piece of paper and free-writing to empty my mind. The trick is to spend 15-30 minutes a day just writing. It doesn’t matter who, what, when, where, or why — as Angelou says, just write. You’ll be surprised what you can get out of yourself.Worst-case scenario? You become a better writer.5) Harper Lee – Author To Kill A Mockingbird“I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide.”This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Any writer knows that thick skin comes with the territory, but not only with your audience. When you’re collaborating with coworkers or clients on a piece of writing, it’s best to take the ‘no pride of ownership’ route. The goal, after all, is to produce the best writing possible and being able to handle a healthy dose of criticism — or welcome it for that matter — is imperative. Not being able to handle this has ruined many would-be writers’ careers before they got a chance to show what they’re made of.6) J.K. Rowling – Author Harry Potter Series“Sometimes the ideas just come to me. Other times I have to sweat and almost bleed to make ideas come. It’s a mysterious process, but I hope I never find out exactly how it works.”Good writing can’t always be forced. It’s like trying to remember something that you can’t — the more you try, the harder it is, and taking a break can give your mind the refresh it needs to get back on track. Like I said earlier, sometimes you accidentally happen down a path that you would never be at if you had tried to force it. Writer’s block happens to everyone, from sixth graders to best sellers, so stick with it.7) Mark Twain – Author The Adventures of Tom Sawyer“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter — ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”Sometimes there’s only one way of saying something, and when you can find the perfect way of articulating it, the impact on the reader will be that much more powerful. As any writer can attest, finding the perfect way of illustrating a picture with words can take hours — even days or months. It may seem insignificant at the time but you only get one chance before your work is published, so make sure it’s the way you want it then, not later.8) Thomas Jefferson – Author Declaration of Independence, President“The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.”This one hits home, doesn’t it? It’s also pretty self-explanatory. Over-explaining is exhausting for everyone, so if you’re able to narrow your difficult thoughts or sentences into a concise one-liner, why take time to fluff it up? Cut the fluff.9) George R.R. Martin – Author A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones)“Writing is like sausage making in my view. You’ll all be happier in the end if you just eat the final product without knowing what’s gone into it.”George R.R. Martin wrote this on his blog, letting his readers know he’s not one of those writers who has to tell everyone what he’s been writing, and how much he completes each day. It doesn’t matter how you get to the end, all that matters is who’s reading it and if they’re enjoying it.This is important, because too many writers today worry about the process, but sometimes, there isn’t a strict process to adhere to. The more you write, the more you’ll find you have to say. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve changed a line, or word — the only one your audience will remember is the one you chose to use last.10) F. Scott Fitzgerald – Author The Great Gatsby“Writers aren’t people exactly. Or, if they’re any good, they’re a whole lot of people trying so hard to be one person.”Writers need to be everyone. That’s the task they embody — the best writers know how to get inside the heads of their audience, and the voice they’re trying to portray. They’re able to cut away from the norm or common denominator to give their topic a well-rounded appeal. F. Scott Fitzgerald was able to do just that by getting in the head of Gatsby narrator Nick Caraway, without which, the novel would never work. Goes to show you that the little things matter, and connecting to your audience is paramount.11) Neil Gaiman – Author The Graveyard Book, Coraline“The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.”Writing is tricky. On the one hand, like Gaiman says, there are no rules. You can write anyway you want to. On the other hand, there are a lot of rules, so it generally helps to play it straight down the middle.The key word here is honestly. Writing honestly is one of the most powerful ways of affecting your audience, instilling trust in your words and more importantly, your ideas. All writers run into difficult comments or criticisms, but if you can look in the mirror after it all and be proud that you tackled the subject in an honest, confident way, you’ve done your job.12) William Faulkner – Author As I Lay Dying“Don’t be a writer; be writing.”This is one of the shortest, most powerful quotes there is on writing from the late, great, William Faulkner. Too often, writers focus on the person behind the story, but great writing doesn’t translate into how many published works you’ve created. As a writer, you need to be writing constantly in order to hone your craft.The simpler explanation: If you aren’t writing, you’re not a writer. It’s not about your title, but your actions.last_img read more

5 Data-Backed Reasons to Redesign an Ugly Website [Infographic]

first_img Topics: 1K+Save Website Design Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlackcenter_img For even the most seasoned marketer, website design can be both really exciting (so many possibilities!) and totally daunting (so many possibilities …).The final product is a combination of many, many little details: What should the color scheme be? Should we write in bulleted lists or paragraph form? Is stock photography okay, or should we take our own photos?Though these tweaks all seem like small, inconsequential changes, making the wrong choices can actually stunt your traffic and conversions.So, what are the right choices? Red Website Design gathered the data to answer that question in this easy-to-follow infographic. Learn which parts of your website design impact users the most so you can properly plan, prioritize, and optimize your site.1K+Save Originally published Aug 18, 2014 12:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more