Silly Evolution Speculations Would Cease If Media Allowed Fair Debate

first_imgEvolutionists get away with ridiculous stories because Big Science and Big Media are intolerant of opposing views. Healthy science requires open debate.Darwinians have their own blasphemy laws. Try criticizing Darwin, natural selection, universal common ancestry or any of his core precepts and you will feel the heat of wrath and mockery, if not expulsion. Darwin skeptics have been relegated to their own institutions outside of Big Science and Big Media, where many in the public never hear that answers to Darwinian claims even exist. In the vacuum of debate about the origin of life’s amazing diversity and complexity, charlatans have rushed in with no shame or conscience, presenting themselves as reliable spokespersons for ‘science.’ Take a look at these recent examples out of hundreds we have reported over the years.Evolution might favor ‘survival of the laziest’ (Science Daily). So malleable is Darwin’s Stuff Happens Law (i.e., “whatever happens, it evolved”), anything can count as ‘fitness,’ even laziness. Look how this article begins: “If you’ve got an unemployed, 30-year-old adult child still living in the basement, fear not.” Whoever wrote this has just given slackers a new excuse for irresponsibility: ‘Darwin made me this way.’ According to champion Darwin storytellers at the University of Kansas, lazy slackers are just as fit as cheetahs, peregrine falcons and pronghorns— maybe more so!“Maybe in the long term the best evolutionary strategy for animals is to be lassitudinous and sluggish — the lower the metabolic rate, the more likely the species you belong to will survive,” Lieberman said. “Instead of ‘survival of the fittest,’ maybe a better metaphor for the history of life is ‘survival of the laziest’ or at least ‘survival of the sluggish.’”Laziness May Have Driven Homo Erectus to Extinction (Live Science). This article illustrates how Darwinians can use their vacuous theory to ‘explain’ opposite things. We just heard one argue for survival of the laziest, and now another argues for extinction of the laziest. Stuff happens! What kind of ‘law of nature’ is this? A house divided against itself cannot stand. Can we laugh out loud at this writer’s folly, or will that risk arrest by the Darwin enforcers?It turns out laziness existed long before couches and takeout. The “why bother?” attitude not only existed hundreds of thousands of years ago, but may also have led to the decline of an ancient human ancestor.The illogic of this explanation presents itself if you ask the question, “Did natural selection make Homo erectus lazy, or did they choose laziness by intelligent design and free will?” If the former, then natural selection not only evolved extinction (the opposite of survival); it also evolved the lazy reporter who believes it. If the latter, then how could natural selection come up with its opposite, intelligent design? That’s not the only illogical aspect of the story. Are we to accept the either-or fallacy that every individual in the H. erectus population was lazy, and every individual in the modern human population was not? That is clearly not the case by observation of modern humans today. The story also commits the fallacies of glittering generalities, post hoc, non-sequitur, and other blunders (see Baloney Detector). Where are the peer reviewers who should have tossed this idea into the circular file, or submitted it to the IgNobel Prize contest?Why war evolved to be a man’s game – and why that’s only now changing (The Conversation). This politically-correct argument by Alberto Micheletti (PhD Candidate in Evolutionary Biology, University of St Andrews) may please liberals who decry ‘toxic masculinity’ but deserves laughter, not serious consideration. Why? Because if “the evolution of war” is a result of evolutionary biology instead of mental activity, free will or intelligent design, so is “the evolution of evolutionary just-so storytelling.” Short circuit!Evolution and the concrete jungle (Phys.org). Evolutionists from the University of Toronto are finding that birds or plants that inhabit cities show variations from those in the wild. That much is not controversial; even the most ardent young-earth creationists accept variation within kinds. But these evolutionary biologists bring in Darwin:“These papers greatly advance our knowledge of urban evolutionary biology,” says Marc Johnson, an associate professor of biology at UTM and director of the Centre for Urban Environments. “These are the same evolutionary mechanisms first identified by Charles Darwin more than 150 years ago and the findings from these studies will be increasingly important as more and more of the world’s population flocks to urban environments.“It’s pretty remarkable. For years, biologists ignored cities, seeing them as ‘anti-life’, and only recently biologists began to realize that cities are agents of change, driving evolution of organisms living around us and even some living on us.”Clarity about terms is essential for seeing through this equivocation fallacy, which confuses microevolution with macroevolution. Darwin argued that the entirety of life, from bacteria to humans, arose by natural selection. Creationists back to Adam have known about small-scale changes, such as in flower color or plant height. There is no Darwinian evolution or ‘origin of species’ then or now. Notice:The clovers are still clovers.The Daphnia are still Daphnia.The burrowing owls are still burrowing owls.The Brachypodium sylvaticum grass is still the same species.Nothing has ‘evolved’ in a Darwinian sense. The evolutionists only observed very small-scale changes within species. Ken Ham would yawn at this. He believes even greater changes have occurred in just the last few thousand years since the Flood, so much so that we might not recognize the animals that came off Noah’s Ark. If these evolutionists cannot distinguish between Darwin’s theory and creationist baraminology (variation within created kinds), the actual data could be adduced by creationists in support of their view. Unfairly, Big Science and Big Media forbid them to make their case. Readers get the impression that Darwin’s macroevolutionary theory has been vindicated by the observations.What is nothing? Q&A with Martin Rees (The Conversation). If you don’t believe that highly-educated people can say stupid things, watch the Astronomer Royal of Great Britain flub up the definition of ‘nothing’ by making it something. This ardent materialist and evolutionist says, “empty space isn’t really empty – there’s a mysterious energy latent in it which can tell us something about the fate of the universe.” Dr Rees, please: if the vacuum of space has energy and properties, then it is not nothing. He admits, “everyone who ponders these mysteries should realise that the physicist’s empty space – vacuum – is not the same as the philosopher’s “nothing”.” OK, then answer the question: What is nothing? He commits a major sidestepping blunder by talking about something instead of nothing. A child could have noticed this.Evolutionists would be ashamed to make such arguments if creationists had a chance at the podium. Whenever an ID advocate or creationist has a fair opportunity to debate an evolutionist (something Darwin himself stated was essential to get a fair result), the evolutionist usually gets voted down by the audience. Silliness thrives in the absence of debate. Darwinist totalitarianism, enforced by Big Science and Big Media, must be overthrown!C.S. Lewis pulled the rug out from everything evolutionary materialists say by pointing out how it is self-refuting. The moment an evolutionist speaks or writes to ‘explain’ nature in material terms, he shoots himself in the foot. Here are Lewis’s inimitable words. Learn these ideas well.Unless you start by believing that reality in the remotest space and the remotest time rigidly obeys the laws of logic, you have no ground for believing in any astronomy, any biology, any paleontology, any archaeology. If my own mind is the product of the irrational— if what seem my clearest reasonings are only the way in which a creature conditioned as I am is bound to feel – how shall I trust my mind when it tells me about Evolution? They say in effect ‘I will prove that what you call a proof is only the result of mental habits which result from heredity which results from bio-chemistry which results from physics.’ But this is the same as saying: ‘I will prove that proofs are irrational’: more succinctly, ‘I will prove that there are no proofs’.”  …A theory which explained everything else in the whole universe but which made it impossible to believe that our thinking was valid would be utterly out of court. For that theory would itself have been reached by thinking, and if thinking is not valid that theory would, of course, be demolished. It would have destroyed its own credentials. It would be an argument which proved that no argument was sound—a proof that there are no such things as proofs.  (Visited 516 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Ohio’s Crop Progress Report – September 14th, 2015

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest A few producers began soybean and corn harvest last week in Ohio, according to the USDA, NASS, Great Lakes Regional Office. There were 5.9 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending September 13th. Scattered showers helped alleviate the very dry conditions in some regions, while other regions noted very hot and humid conditions leading to crops progressing rapidly. Crop condition ratings remained virtually unchanged. Most producers spent the week mowing hay, chopping corn for silage, tiling, and harvesting specialty crops. Livestock producers were thankful for scattered rains as the pastures greened up a bit from the dry spell they had been experiencing.View the full report herelast_img read more

No new car, but Apple is definitely working on autonomous vehicle OS

first_imgFor Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In… IT Trends of the Future That Are Worth Paying A… Related Posts Tags:#Apple#Autonomous vehicle#driverless cars#Internet of Things#IoT#Self-Driving#WWDC17 Tim Cook recently opened up on one of Apple’s most highly anticipated projects: autonomous cars. For the first time, during an interview with Bloomberg Television, Tim Cook revealed that Apple has been working on autonomous systems. This includes the type of autonomous technology powering self-driving cars and other autonomous vehicles.This doesn’t necessarily mean that Apple is anywhere close to announcing a product. Furthermore, working on autonomy systems does not mean there will be Apple branded cars rolling down the highway in the foreseeable future, either. The word “systems” is very important.See also: Apple receives permit to test self-driving cars in CaliforniaApple could realistically license its autonomous system to existing manufacturers like Ford, Kia, GM, and others that they could use to add the technology to their vehicles. Apple already does something similar with its CarPlay system, adding Siri and making available additional app functionality from the driver’s iPhone.Hardware, software…or both?Then again, Apple has long been known for creating closed, all-inclusive systems that include hardware and software in one package. An actual Apple-branded vehicle designed from the ground up by Apple’s team is not totally out of the question, but reports nearly a year ago indicated that Apple was focusing more on software than hardware.Apple has been rumored to be working on this technology for quite some time. In April, it received a permit to test self-driving vehicles in California. The vehicle Apple was using to test its technology? A Lexus RX450h SUV. This puts Apple in good company, as both Alphabet’s Waymo and Zoox are using the same model in their road tests.It’s hard to say exactly when Apple will have something worth announcing to the public. Autonomous vehicles are hard, and companies like Google (now Waymo) have been working on them for nearly a decade.In the Bloomberg interview, Tim Cook referred to autonomous systems as “the mother of all AI projects,” saying it’s “probably one of the most difficult AI projects to work on.”center_img Ryan Matthew Pierson Break the Mold with Real-World Logistics AI and… 5 Ways IoT can Help to Reduce Automatic Vehicle…last_img read more

Jumbos to patrol Odisha’s Satkosia Tiger Reserve

first_imgPatrolling in the Satkosia Tiger Reserve is set to be strengthened as two trained elephants would be deployed there shortly.Trained elephants will help ground-level forest guards patrol deep in the forest where jeeps cannot go.The two elephants are being brought from the Similipal Tiger Reserve.“We are mobilising a few trained elephants as per the guidelines of the National Tiger Conservation Authority. The elephant deployment in STR at present has no connection with the possible release of tigress Sundari, imported from Madhya Pradesh, from the special enclosure set up inside Satkosia,” said Sandeep Tripathi, Principal Chief Conservator Forest (Wildlife).Sources in the Forest and Environment Department said the authorities did not want to leave any stone unturned before approaching the NTCA for resuming the ambitious tiger reintroduction programme in Satkosia.The tiger reintroduction programme in STR had run into rough weather following the death of India’s first inter-State translocated tiger last year.The Odisha government had planned to bring six tigers (three male and three female) from Madhya Pradesh to increase the feline population in Satkosia. Last year, one pair of big cats was brought to Satkosia.However, the programme did not go as per plan. While the tiger T1 reportedly died after falling into a poaching trap, there was huge discontentment among villagers residing in the buffer areas over the frequent straying of the tigress into human habitation. As the situation went out of control following a human kill, the tigress was captured. Subsequently, the programme was put on hold.last_img read more

HubSpot TV – Make Content Creation Your Super Power

first_img , a financial services company SethGodin – “I think comments are terrific, and they are the key attractionfor some blogs and some bloggers. Not for me, though. First, I feelcompelled to clarify or to answer every objection or to point out everyflaw in reasoning. Second, it takes way too much of my time to eventhink about them, never mind curate them. And finally, and mostimportant for you, it permanently changes the way I write. Instead ofwriting for everyone, I find myself writing in anticipation of thecommenters…. So, given a choice between a blog with comments or noblog at all, I think I’d have to choose the latter.” Marketing Takeaway: Watch out for our new music video on Tuesday, brought to you by @ repcor abdinoor Manage your social media profiles and what content others are publishing about you. and @ Responses: “Closingoff comments is like shutting the door in someone’s face or walkinginto a room and only talking about yourself and then leaving.” in your tweet. Forum Fodder Dan Ronken Marketing Takeaway: From repcor Marketing Tip of the Week New Section: Let’s Ask Twitter Dave Carroll: ! (Starring HubSpotters @ !) vleckas Giant digital fishing net… Collects Twitter, News and Blogs! to learn how to use online video to grow your business with inbound marketing. Game created by Peak6 Marketing Takeaway: CP&B Put’s It All Out There Also, new section “Let’s Ask Twitter” — watch out for it later in the show! Don’t limit your PR outreach to traditional media, your best influencers in social media could be more effective! 1.5 Million Views Good PR pros need to develop huge networks of people on Twitter and major blogs to be effective. Episode #48 – July 10th, 2009 : Specifically targeted at Netbooks www.HubSpot.tv with Personal details of new UK spy chief on Facebook Crispin Porter + Bogusky, an advertising design factory Marketing Takeaway: Thegame is a fun, free, risk-free way for real people to learn about thestock market; gain knowledge, experience, and confidence; and empowerthemselves to take control of their financial lives. United Breaks Guitars WeSeed : Empower your audience to create content for good! Even better if your best influencers create content too! United Breaks Guitars (YouTube Video) DaveCarrollMusic.com karenrubin David Milliband, (incoming head of Britain’s international spy agency) wears a speedo…apparently. “No comment is like Communism.” How do you get started with YouTube, video podcasting, live streaming, or viral videos. Marketing Takeaway 1: Don’t worry about it with regards to your marketing. If it becomes a big enough deal, we’ll let you know. and VP Sales Mark Roberge! If you can offer free tools that people will use on an every day basis, it helps insert your brand into their everyday lives. Don’t be afraid to try new things or break new ground when generating buzz about your business. “To me, a blog w/o a commenting option is a newspaper, and we all know how those are doing” Public Relations is Social Relations cantwell Subscribe in iTunes: Closing http://itunes.hubspot.tv Spinning the Web: P.R. in Silicon Valley , @ Intro : ” Star Spangled Banner Ads and Blogging Download the free webinar Direct competition to Microsoft? Where do you go to find influencers online? Marketing Takeaway 2: Missed last week’s episode on July 2, 2009? View it here: (Episode Length: 19 minutes, 53 seconds) Initially closing off comments? Don’t undermine the power of your consumers. Listen to them because the internet makes it much easier for them to be heard! Introducing the Google Chrome OS Google Announces Their Own Operating System Happy Birthday HubSpot TV CoProducer, @ Originally published Jul 11, 2009 11:30:00 AM, updated July 04 2013 Webinar: How to Use Online Video for Inbound Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Doing It Right ” What is your opinion on closing off comments until a decent amount ofreadership is built? If I see a blog with large number of posts and nocomments on any of them, it feels less engaging to me. How to interact on Twitter: @ Bathing Suits On Facebook? Headlines Angry United Airlines customer gets attention with YouTube complaintlast_img read more

Improve Search Rankings with Effective Link Building

first_img . Here’s an example of how you can do research to work out link strategy using HubSpot. how to go about building links – directories, networking and creating remarkable content that people will link to – you may not know what sites to target for inbound links. SEOMoz’s LinkScape First, A Quick Refresher on Inbound Links Originally published Nov 30, 2010 8:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 That little “spying” activity gave us a lot of insight into how the concrete business is doing and where there might be some opportunities to seek additional inbound links. Next steps would be to do a little research about each interesting source of links and determine what they want for a link.  Links that you don’t have to share. Third, What Do You Do With That Research? Or, is it a business that you may already be networking with and you can find out if there are any opportunities to share content or promotions to help each other out with relevant links.  Search engines give a page only a certain amount of credibility. This credibility or “link juice” is split up among the links coming from that page.  That means you get a lot more value from an inbound link that is a story just about your products or services than an inbound link that lists you as one of ten hyperlinked companies. Links with relevant text descriptions.  and In this example, you see the inbound links for a concrete countertop company. 67 total links with an average of a “low” link grade.  Logically, you should start with what and who you know. Make a short list of trade publications, blogs and contacts in your network who might be good candidates. Now, don’t stop there. Links from high authority sites.  Link Building Now that you know what you are looking for in an attractive inbound link, you need to figure out WHO you’d like to link to your site. That means some combination of industry relevance, high authority and the ease with which you can get in touch to share content that is link-worthy. Wow, comparatively speaking, our concrete countertop guy is doing great – he has a lot more links (60+ vs. 10). But maybe there are still some ideas for him here. Looks like the Better Business Bureau link could be of value, as could concreteideas.com and thebluebook.com which look like listing services. Add these to the list to investigate. integrated marketing software Let’s check out the competition to find out. Here’s another local competitor.  Next, let’s pick a more ambitious competitor. Looking at someone in the concrete business that has national exposure, we can see what Cheng Concrete Exchange is up to. Turns out there are a few tools on the market to help you even further. Tools like Search engines recognize which words are hyperlinked and give value to those words. Therefore, if someone hyperlinks to your golf school and they hyperlink the text “the program” instead of “golf academy,” you are missing out and you should politely ask the linker if they wouldn’t mind shifting the link to the more SEO-friendly text. Most of the time they are happy to help. Second, How Do You Research Inbound Links? both provide this functionality. HubSpot also provides link research tools as a part of our If you’ve read a bit about search engine optimization (SEO), then you know that attracting lots of high quality inbound links is one of the most effective ways to build authority and improve your rank online. Even if you know An inbound link is a hyperlink on someone else’s web site that includes the URL for a page on your domain. Inbound links vary in quality and usefulness based on the originating site’s own authority, how many other links originate from that page and the actual text that is hyperlinked. What you want most are: Prioritize that list and start working away at it one link at a time.  You’ll find that online authority and the resulting search results improve over time and the best benefit – the more people find you, the more they link to you, creating a virtuous cycle of link building that will be really hard for your competition to beat! Is it a member directory that you pay for?  Is it a content centric site that might let you post a guest article?  Topics: Yahoo Site Explorer Wow. They are a national outfit and it shows – they have hundreds of inbound links, many of high quality. This is a treasure trove of link opportunities to research further, looking for either personal connections or maybe sites that love to link to award-winning products, great content or customer stories. What does that really mean? Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Getting a link from the New York Times has much more value than a link from my personal blog. Just like a personal introduction from your dearest friend has more value than an introduction from a distant acquaintance.last_img read more

Facebook’s Graph Search Update Offers Marketers Juicier Data

first_imgHey, remember that groundbreaking, cool feature Facebook announced back in January? It was called Graph Search. It supposedly was going to change the way people used the platform … but it wasn’t really available to be used quite yet. Then in July, Facebook announced it was going to roll out to all U.S. users — again, it was exciting, but Graph Search didn’t have great data points that I as a marketer would love to use. All in all, pretty meh-worthy announcements. … That is, until today. Facebook will start including status updates, photos, check-ins, and comments in your graph search. Yep, you heard me right — pretty soon, you’ll have access to data that will actually be useful to your life as a marketer. Previously, you only had access to pages, apps, and groups that included search terms. Now, you can search for terms in posts, updates, check-ins, and comments from your friends and people who post publicly. Here’s what the different will look like:What Graph Search Currently Looks Like Featuring Dancing With the StarsWhat Graph Search Will Look Like Featuring Dancing With the StarsIsn’t the second much more useful?This new feature opens up a slew of opportunities for marketers, such as:Monitoring Facebook posts about events they’re running. Researching product usage. Identifying content opportunities based on the interest of their most enthusiastic Facebook Fans.Tracking brand mentions by influencers.And lots and lots of other things!We’re kinda bummed because this new feature won’t be available to everyone with Graph Search. First, it’ll be tested in a small group of people, and then roll out to everyone after that. But, once it’s rolled out, marketers have a huge opportunity to make their content even more relevant to their audience with this data — which is something we all can get pumped about.Once you have this Graph Search feature, how will you use it in your marketing? Share your ideas with us in the comments.Image credit: Ksayer1 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Sep 30, 2013 5:39:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: SEO and Social Medialast_img read more

Want to Dominate Organic Search? How Blogging Can Help

first_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 Originally published Dec 17, 2013 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Blog Optimization Topics: We always hear that blogging is important for our search engine rankings. But like … why?It’s one of those things that we often just assume people know, but you know what they say about assuming.Since we haven’t explained the connection between blogging and SEO in-depth for a long time, we figured it’s high time we get to it. So, this post is going to explain how you can use business blogging to improve your SEO, and perhaps show you connections you didn’t realize existed between the two disciplines. If you nail all of the stuff on this list, your SEO will thank you!How to Improve Your SEO With Your Business Blog1) Blog.Wait, what?I know, it seems obvious, but just … blogging … is one of the easiest ways to improve your organic search performance. Why? Because every time you write a new blog post, you create a new URL for your site — and every new URL is a new opportunity for your website to be ranked in search.Now think about it. How many other parts of your website give you the opportunity to create a new page that discusses important terms for which you’d like your business to rank on an ongoing and perpetual basis? Not that many. (How many times can you really update your About page, you know? And how many different About pages could you conceivably make, anyway?)If this seems basic, forgive me — but it’s one of those things that’s so obvious it bears shouting from the rooftops. Blogging provides endless opportunities for your website to rank in search for content your persona cares about. Don’t underestimate how powerful that is.2) Create unique content.Now that you’ve bought into the connection between blogging and SEO, let’s talk about how not to screw it up. The first rule of thumb is to make sure the content you are creating cannot be found on other blogs — your own included. This is commonly referred to as “duplicate content,” and search engines don’t like it.Sure, you will probably end up writing about the same topic from time to time, but writing about the same topic from a different perspective is very different from duplicate content — and actually very important for a well-rounded blog. Why? Because examining important topics from multiple angles allows you to naturally target a variety long tail search terms. Most topics are pretty multi-faceted, and the questions people have will run the gamut. The more unique ways you can address a subject matter, the more likely it is you’ll bring in some highly targeted search traffic — and increase the overall value of your site in the process.3) Optimize your blog posts for topics … and keywords.That ellipsis will make sense in a minute.When writing blog posts, it’s important to use keywords that you want to rank for, especially in your page titles, headlines, and body content. I won’t deny that, and you absolutely should optimize your on-page content for important keywords.However, you’ll get way more SEO bang for your blogging buck if you focus more on choosing good topics. Why? Because topics are reader-oriented; keywords, on the other hand, are search engine-oriented. And you know what? Search engines are in the business of serving readers … so by extension, they’re in the business of promoting the websites that serve readers best. That means the websites that are writing topics that readers want to learn more about are the ones that win — not the ones trying to write around keywords. Google has even gone so far as to update their search algorithm to better align with topics, not keywords.In reality, if you think about reader-friendly topics, you’ll probably be naturally optimizing for keywords, anyway. So think of great blog posts that readers would want to … you know … read … and better search rankings will likely follow due to that natural keyword optimization.4) Include authorship information.Have you ever searched for a topic and seen blog posts appear with an image like this? This is what happens when you utilize Google+ Authorship. Essentially, it makes it easier for the search engines to find the author tag (rel=”author”) and attribute the content to an individual thought leader. Posts that include this authorship information often benefit from better clickthrough rates, too — probably because a pretty picture is impossible to resist. ;-)Oh, I guess that whole social proof thing — seeing how many people are in an author’s Google+ circles — might have something to do with it, too.5) Design a blog with a fantastic reader experience.Believe it or not, search engine algorithms can actually detect if a blog provides a good user experience — and they factor it into their decision to surface content in the SERPs. And it makes sense; search engines are in the business of surfacing the content that’ll make their customers the happiest. Why wouldn’t they want a top-notch reader experience for the blog content they choose to surface?Being able to navigate around a page, find the blog posts you’re looking for, and even utilize the tagging feature to search for other similar articles are all extremely important for a positive user experience on a blog. Let’s take a look at TemboStatus’ blog as an example:Their design is incredibly simple to digest: You can immediately identify the title, author, and publish date, and on the right you can search for posts by topic or month. You can even click the topic tag directly on the post to bring you to other similar topics. This blog is a prime example of phenomenal user experience because it’s easy to use and designed to be visually appealing.Note: Search engines also value quick load times — especially on slower connections like mobile. This should be considered an integral part of your blog’s user experience if you really want to knock your SEO out of the park.6) Make sure your blog is responsive.According to Google, 79% of users who don’t like what they find on a mobile site will actually go look for the information they need on another site. How do you prevent that kind of bounce? The kind of bounce that signals to Google that your content ain’t so hot? Well, responsive design is a huge part of it.Responsive design, if you’re unfamiliar with the term, means that your website is built so that it will conform to whichever device you’re viewing it from. So if you check out this blog post on your mobile phone, it’ll look different than it looks on this desktop — the content “responds” properly to the device on which it’s being viewed.People are using their mobile devices more than ever to browse the internet. But if your blog isn’t responsive to mobile and tablet devices, readers are more likely to find the same or similar information elsewhere. Check out our free Device Lab if you’re unsure whether your website is responsive.7) Build your site to be shared through social networks.We’ve been talking about search engines as businesses — their product is quality search engine results, and their customer is … all of us. What’s one way they can ensure the content they surface is community approved?By asking us all to vote on the best content.That’s exactly where social sharing of content comes into play. You’ve probably heard that your blog should have social sharing buttons on it, but you might not have known why. If a lot of people share your blog content on social media, it’s a pretty good sign to search engine bots that it’s a quality piece of content, and they won’t look stupid for surfacing it.And hey, remember what we said about responsive design? By putting social sharing buttons on your responsive site, it will be easy for your visitors to share your content on multiple devices. After all, you don’t want to lose potential shares of your content just because someone is looking at it on mobile, right? Right.What other opportunities are there to improve your SEO through blogging? Share your expertise in the comments.last_img read more

A Simple Guide to Mastering the Basics of Effective Social Media Advertising

first_imgHave you ever had any formal or informal paid advertising training or education? If you have, you’re one of the lucky few.Most marketers are presented with a chunk of their company’s marketing budget one day and told to “run some ads.” Don’t let the costs scare you, paid social advertising is incredibly measurable, and can produce real ROI. From managing your budget to choosing channels and measuring success, learn how to get started with paid advertising.1) How Do I Manage My Budget?One of the most daunting things about social media advertising is the fact that you are dropping cold hard cash on your campaigns. There are also a huge amount of channels and ad formats you can use — don’t get stuck in the details. Before launching your ad campaigns, align your marketing objectives with your advertising strategy.If your goal is to drive traffic and leads, top of the funnel content such as blog posts, free tools, or meatier content gated behind a lead generation form should be used. This type of promotion is more light touch and cheaper.If your objective is to convert leads further down the funnel to marketing qualified leads for your sales team or customers, middle and bottom of the funnel content like free trials or purchase offers should be promoted via retargeting. This type of promotion is higher commitment than reading a blog post, so it will be more expensive.Use this paid advertising budget template to map out your costs before your launch and update it throughout avoid end of the month panic!2) What Channels Should I Advertise On?The landscape of paid social advertising is constantly changing; new technologies, channels and formats are released weekly.There is no one size fits all answer to the channels you should leverage. Ultimately, testing different channels is the best way to determine what works to meet your objectives.There are many social networks you can advertise on, but here are four of the most common:FacebookWith over 1.4 billion users and over 900 million visits a day — Facebook has the largest audience available, which makes it a fit for businesses large and small. But volume is not everything in social ads. The real advantage of Facebook lies in the amount of granular data available to target users.Demographic Targeting:You can target based on education, employment, household, and lifestyle details. Categories include location, gender, age, language, education, ethnic affinity, generation, household composition, life events, politics, relationship status, parental status, and work. Zero in on whoever your audience may be: friends of couples who recently got engaged, new fathers, postgraduate students, women who work in engineering — the possibilities are endless.Interest Targeting: Allows advertisers to target people based on their interests, activities, pages liked, and closely related topics. Top level categories include business, entertainment, family & relationships, fitness & wellness, food & drink, shopping, fashion, sports, hobbies, and technology. The level of detail available means you can target very specific interests like bodybuilding, tattoos, or heavy metal music.Behavior Targeting: Target based on purchase behavior or intent, device usage and more. Categories include digital activities, expats, travel, mobile device users, and events. Behaviors like Chrome users, Facebook Page administrators, and business travelers can be used to segment your audience.Custom Audiences: Custom audiences allow you to layer Facebook data on top of your business data. Advertisers can upload lists of customer (or potential customer) email addresses, phone numbers, or user ids and target these specific lists of people. Pixel based targeting of website or webpage visits is also possible. Advertisers can create “lookalike” audiences from your custom audiences to target similar Facebook users who have a higher propensity to convert.InstagramInstagram is growing in popularity with advertisers every day and presents a huge new opportunity for anyone running social advertising campaigns. Now boasting 400 million users, as of April 2016, Instagram is a more popular channel than Twitter or Snapchat.Advertisers must use their Facebook ad account to create Instagram ad campaigns. In fact, the option to promote your ad on Instagram only appears at the advert set level in Facebook:Despite the fact that you can easily select the same ads to be shown on Facebook and Instagram at this level, you should keep your ads separate. The two platforms are very different and you should think about how the audience and experience differs.Instagram is a visually driven platform, so make sure your ads look authentic and fit in with the user-generated content that exists in your audience’s feed.Instagram is often seen as better fit for lifestyle and creative industries like fashion, food and fitness. Don’t let that assumption deter you from trying Instagram, B2B brands have seen success, too.TwitterTwitter’s ad platform is not as advanced as Facebook. Demographic and interest based targeting options are available, but they are more limited than other platforms.Demographic Targeting: Basic options only available here — age, language and location.Behavioral Targeting: Behavioral targeting exists for the U.S. only at the moment. Options include retail, lifestyle, finance, technology, travel, and more.Interest Targeting:Categories include health, beauty, business, careers, hobbies, society, sport, and more. One thing to keep in mind — if you were promoting a piece of content on SEO, the closest you could get is the Marketing topic as a whole. The options are not as granular as other platforms.Follower Targeting: Targeting specific Twitter accounts and followers means that you can build lists of industry or regional influencers to create niche audiences.Keyword Targeting:One of Twitter’s major advantages is the ability to target specific keywords and hashtags. Advertisers can target people who have tweeted using a specific hashtag with their ads. This allows very specific, targeted content to be delivered to people who are actively engaging with a topic on Twitter.LinkedInLinkedIn is an obvious choice for B2B companies due to its professional user base. If you segment your audience based on their professional information, like role, company, industry, etc., you can be very confident in relying on LinkedIn data to be up-to-date and relevant. If professional information is not an important part of your buyer persona, LinkedIn probably isn’t the best fit for you.While the ad platform is not as advanced as others in some respects (due to the lack of behavioral and interest targeting), the professional data is hugely valuable for certain industries.Targeting: Criteria available includes language, location, industry, company, job title/function, and membership for specific LinkedIn groups.Costs tend to be higher on LinkedIn than other networks, but conversions and quality can be higher than other networks and can provide valuable leads for some industries.For example, here at HubSpot, we promoted an industry-specific piece of content — The Little Book of Inbound for Finance Marketers — on both LinkedIn and Facebook. The cost per click (CPC) of the LinkedIn campaign was 4x the Facebook CPC. Clicks cost a lot on LinkedIn, but what about actual conversions? LinkedIn traffic converted 52% better than Facebook traffic and LinkedIn conversions were half the cost of Facebook conversions. LinkedIn was the clear winner in terms of targeting and channel “fit” in this case.3) How to Create Ads that ConvertMake It Relevant:Social advertising is different to Adwords search advertising. Your Adwords campaigns are centered around demand fulfillment — targeting specific keywords that people are searching for right now. Social advertising is about demand generation, fulfilling a need your audience has even though they are not actively searching for it.Let’s take this example — this ad appeared on my Facebook newsfeed:I am training for a marathon at the moment, so this is totally relevant to me! I was not actively searching for marathon training tips, but the advertisers have clearly targeted interests and demographics (it’s also a female centric ad) to present me with content that will stand out to me when scrolling through my newsfeed.Make It VisualThe image is often to most important element of a social ad — it’s responsible for capturing your audience’s attention when they are browsing a social network.Take a look at the two below Instagram ads:The first is from DaPulse and the second from Squarespace. While the DaPulse ad has a beautiful design, it’s clearly an ad, and doesn’t quite fit in with the visually focused Instagram feed. The Squarespace ad captures my attention. It looks like it belongs in my feed and I’m interested in what it is about before reading any copy. The image suits the visual theme that exists on Instagram and elicits and emotive reaction from the user.Create Copy That ConvertsAd copy is limited and you have to make every character count, when you are writing your ad copy make sure to:Be compellingCommunicate your value propositionBe ActionableTake this example from Inbound.org:  Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Be compelling : I’m going to enjoy life more? Sign me up!Communicate your value proposition: The community of intelligent marketers is what makes inbound.org an incredible resource.Be Actionable : Asking a direct question ”Will you?” challenges me to take action.Some days it’s tough to write compelling copy – when I get stuck, I follow this process for inspiration: Use Answerthepublic to map out questions people are asking about your topic.Use BuzzSumo to find content that people are sharing around your topic.Read Buzzfeed to draw inspiration from the amazingly clickable headlines. 4) How Do You Measure Success?Paid social advertising has a multitude of metrics you can (and should) monitor. Impressions, clickthrough rate (CTR), cost per click (CPC), likes, shares, frequency, relevance, and much more. Since this can be overwhelming when you’re new to social media advertising, it’s vital to make sure you are focusing in on the metrics that matter most to your campaigns.The three most important metrics to monitor that tell you how your campaigns are really performing are clickthrough rate, cost per conversion and conversion rate.Clickthrough Rate (CTR)This is a measure of the number of clicks your ad has to the number of impressions it received (clicks/Impressions). Your CTR indicates the relevance of your content to your audience and the quality of the traffic. If you have a low CTR, try narrowing your targeting or creating new ad designs.Cost Per Conversion (CPC)Every campaign should have one core conversion goal (signups, app install, downloads, visits to blog post). To calculate, divide the amount of money you have spent divided by the number of conversions resulted. This gives you views to whether your campaigns are profitable and allows you to project future spend.Conversion RateLooking at the conversion rate of the visits to your landing page from your ads gives a good idea of the quality of the clicks you are receiving and the performance of your landing page. You can also benchmark your social ad traffic against the conversion rate of traffic from other sources.The paid social advertising landscape is always evolving, to be a superstar paid marketer you need to be reactive to new channels, tactics and formats on an ongoing basis. This field is mastered through research, experience and testing – not through formal learning environments. Ready to start creating your own social advertising campaigns? Topics:center_img Originally published May 25, 2016 10:30:00 AM, updated August 09 2017 Social Media Advertisinglast_img read more

The Top 10 Conversion Lessons One Agency Learned After Critiquing 100+ Websites

first_imgWhen it comes to website design, creating a page that is visually appealing, aligned with your brand, and optimized for lead generation is no easy task. After all, there are a lot of mistakes you can make in the process.That’s why — for almost two years now — my team here at IMPACT Branding & Design has been hosting a monthly live website critique called Website Throwdown. Our goal is to help people recognize and correct some of those mistakes, while educating other viewers in the process.The best part? We critics happen to learn a thing or two about marketing, UX design, and conversion rate optimization (CRO) in the process, too. It’s a win-win. So in the spirit of education for all, I’ve recapped the top 10 CRO lessons IMPACT has learned after critiquing over 100+ websites below.The Top 10 CRO Lessons One Agency Learned After Critiquing 100+ WebsitesLesson #1: Too many brands are hiding social proof.So you’ve worked with some highly respected brands and they couldn’t love you more — why aren’t you screaming about it from the rooftops?After critiquing over 100 websites, we found that a surprising majority of brands hide their social proof far down on their homepage or worse — isolate it to a never-seen page in their navigation. Whether it’s in your headlines, navigation, or button text, always strive to be clear and concise with your copy to avoid misunderstandings and lost opportunities.Any language you use on your website must resonate with and speak directly to your buyer persona in order to be effective and drive action. For instance, while labeling your product page “our masterpieces” may seem fun and quirky, if this is not a phrase that will be immediately understood by your persona and drive them to clickthrough, it shouldn’t be used.Need help saying more with less? Try these six creative exercises for writing more concisely.Lesson #10: Be human.At the end of the day, even in a cold, cyber world, people want to interact with other human beings. They want to do business with those they can relate to — individuals who understand their pain points and concerns and will advocate for them.In this effort, use your website to humanize your brand.I can’t tell you how many companies we’ve encountered that talk about team members and collaboration on their websites, but never show a single face or name. This doesn’t do much for their credibility.To avoid coming off cold, share real photos of your team members and show some personality. Include bios of your key team members, or even shoot a short video introducing them to your website visitors. Showing an authentic, personable side to your company can make visitors feel more comfortable doing business with you and yes, you guessed it, converting. Lesson #4: Imagery and messaging need to align.Your imagery and text should send the same message to — and elicit the same emotions from — your visitors. For example, if your value proposition positions your company as the ideal solution for metropolitan corporations, don’t use photos of small business owners or a local business plaza. Bring industry proof to the forefront. That helps build trust and credibility instantly. #WebsiteThrowdown— IMPACT (@Impactbnd) September 29, 2015Nothing speaks more highly of your work than word-of-mouth and by hiding this powerful information where visitors are unlikely to look, you can risk it going completely unnoticed.To get the most out of social proof, incorporate elements of it into your homepage design where your visitor’s attention is at its highest. (A heatmap from Hotjar can help you determine where this is exactly.) Doing this will help you make a strong impression and immediately establish credibility in the eye of the reader.Take a look at Contently, for example. On its homepage, the content company shows off who has used its platform before even asking you to watch a demo or learn more. Leading with this social proof builds trust and makes the visitor think, “if it worked for them, it’ll work for me.”Elements of social proof you can consider incorporating into your homepage include:Partner/Client logosTestimonialsAwardsCertificationsReviewsAffiliationsSocial FollowingsLesson #2: Real photography is underappreciated.”Stock photos of people should never be used to represent your customers or your employees. Lose them,” commented David Meerman Scott during one of our live critiques. Now, you’re probably saying, “but, but sometimes I need to use stock photos.” And I get that — especially when you don’t have the budget for a photographer, or you’re in a time crunch. But with so many organizations using generic stock photos prominently on their websites, investing in real photography or custom graphics is an easy way for your company to establish credibility and stand out.Using authentic, real photos of your team or office can help frame your business in a more genuine, relatable light. This can make visitors feel like they actually know you, and in turn, make them more comfortable doing business with you. HubSpot does a great job with this, capitalizing on their real employees, rather than stock models on every page of their site.↓Moral of the story? If you have to use stock photos, choose them wisely — avoid results on the first page, look for unique shots, and steer clear of anything overly cheesy. (If you need help, here’s a list of quality stock photo sites to get you started.)Lesson #3: Bring differentiation to the forefront.If people can’t identify your company’s unique value within a few seconds of being on your homepage, chances are you’ve already lost their business.Attention spans today are low. When visitors first arrive on your site, you need to tell them exactly what makes you different and why they should stick around to learn more.One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is with a well-thought out and prominently placed value proposition that explains:What you doWho you do it forHow you do it differently from your competitionIn this article, I discussed how Slack nailed its value prop on its homepage. Just look at this breakdown:What does it do? It’s a messaging app.Who is it for? Teams.How does it do it differently from the competition? It makes working lives “simpler, more pleasant, and more productive.” (Plus, the team behind the Mars Curiosity Rover uses it … and that’s just awesome.) Conversion Rate Optimization Topics: Originally published Nov 3, 2016 6:00:00 AM, updated October 30 2019center_img “When it comes to your navigation, focus less on clever phrases and be clear.” – @taraerobertson #WebsiteThrowdown #UX #CRO— IMPACT (@Impactbnd) October 12, 2016 As Hotjar’s Tara Robertson said on last month’s Website Throwdown, “the last thing you want someone to do when they land on your homepage is think.” People don’t like to think unnecessarily and quite frankly, it can only lead to over-thinking.As a brand, you don’t want to burden people with the task of interpreting multiple messages or options to determine their next step. Rather, you want to focus on one action that you want taken and tell them exactly how to do it with clear copy and calls-to-action.Streamlining your messaging and telling visitors what they should be doing next reduces confusion and friction, making it more likely that people will convert. Lesson #9: Clear goes further than clever.Now, I love cheeky copy as much as the next girl, but when it comes to conversion rate optimization, clarity takes precedence. Don’t forget to share this post! Always connect your value proposition with your hero image. The message should be consistent. #WebsiteThrowdown #design #marketing— IMPACT (@Impactbnd) December 15, 2015 Using misaligned imagery like this can be confusing and send your visitors mixed messages — and nothing manages to cause conversion friction quite like confusion.Tortuga Backpacks does a commendable job with this, showing a customer wearing its product in a colorful market. The image evokes thoughts of travel, while the copy addresses a common travel pain point: checking a bag.Lesson #5: Conversion paths must be clear and direct.As obvious as it sounds, another lesson we learned on Website Throwdown is that one of the best ways to increase conversions is by making your path to conversion as clear and direct as possible.Visitors can make the decision to convert or purchase at any time, and when they do, brands like yours need to make sure that the ability to do so is easily accessible.One company that’s truly mastered this is Dropbox. With a “Try Dropbox Business” call-to-action in its sticky hello bar, the cloud storage company ensures that no matter how far you scroll down the homepage, you have a conversion point within reach when you need it.Lesson #6: Avoid carousels and sliders.If you’re considering a slide or website carousel, click here.No but seriously, whether it’s HubSpot’s Austin Knight, CMO Kipp Bodnar, or Copyhackers Joanna Wiebe, the sentiments have been the same on Website Throwdown: carousels aka “sliders” have got to go.Not only do these once-popular homepage features hide messages and take control away from the user, but they can also overwhelm the user, bombarding them with too many options at one time. When it comes to your website, each page should have one main message and one main goal for the visitor. And pulling them in different directions with multiple propositions and CTAs in a carousel will only lead to analysis paralysis — and ultimately even fewer conversions.Lesson #7: Video is a huge advantage.In Crayon’s 2015 State of Video report, the company found that video appears in 70% of the top 100 search results, while websites that incorporate it tend to see two more minutes of on-screen time than those that don’t.Simply put, this means that video is powerful.It grabs your visitor’s attention in a way that text alone cannot and adds more dimension to your brand. Video allows you to put a face and voice to your brand, making it more human. It also allows you to communicate more information about your product, brand, or culture in a shorter amount of time.The quicker you engage and explain your value to website visitors, the more likely they are to stick around and take action. Need inspiration? Check out this roundup of fabulous explainer videos.Lesson #8: Don’t force visitors to think.Like I mentioned in lesson #6, giving your visitors too much information can lead to inaction — that’s because you’re forcing them to think.last_img read more