All Articles Tagged "websites"
You know one when you see one, better yet when you read a comment from one. They're lurking on websites everywhere across the globe -- faceless, nameless, without a trace of contact info -- to snap on the first person saying something sensible to throw off the whole flow of the comments section on your favorite site every time a new story pops up in their RSS Feed and a Google Alert comes in. Who are we talking about? Internet trolls. And this is a day in the life of one.
For the uninitiated, native advertising is branded content that appears as an ad or sponsored post on a social network or publishing site. Social sites such as Buzzfeed, Tumblr, Twitter, and even Facebook have led the trend, making their ads more integrated into the articles they publish and less of an interruption for users.
Think of Promoted Tweets that show up in your Twitter stream or the sponsored posts from Old Navy or Virgin Mobile on Buzzfeed. Besides more social sites, publishers including The Atlantic, Boston.co, and Mashable have all introduced native ad options in recent weeks. Most recently, Skype announced that it will expand its advertising platform in 2013 to include native ad types such as interactive video placements.
For advertisers, these native formats have pros and cons. To start, the company must prepare unique ads for each platform they advertise on, in order to seamlessly fit in with the content, as opposed to creating one display ad to spread out over various platforms. That takes time and money. But the ads generally perform better.
Twitter has been very public about how well its ads perform. An average Promoted Tweet sees between one and three percent click-through rate (CTR). In comparison, the average CTR for Google’s Display Network in the third quarter of 2012 was 0.18 percent.
However, like advertorials and other types of branded content before them, native advertising can be misleading or confusing for readers and users. In October 2012, in-app social and mobile advertising company MediaBrix found that 88 percent of US internet users said they had been confused by a video that looked like regular content but turned out to be an ad. Additionally, Facebook’s Sponsored Stories and Twitter’s Promoted Tweets had also been misleading for 57 percent and 45 percent of respondents, respectively.
While consumers aren’t thrilled about most ads out there, they believe ads should tell a story. According to Adobe’s State of Online Advertising study from October 2012, 68 percent of consumers think online advertising is annoying and 73 percent said that advertisements should tell a unique story, not just try to sell a product.
Looking at the black community specifically, 62 percent of black consumers that digitally connect with a mobile devices told Nielsen they are OK with advertising if it means they can access content for free.
According to several sources including Nielsen, black consumers also respond better to advertising that is inclusive of their community and relevant to their lives. By creating a unique native ad, brands can connect with the black audience in a way that other types of advertising just can’t do.
Therefore, if you have to sit through ads, wouldn’t you rather have them not interrupt your experience, tell an interesting and relevant story, and fit into the overall theme and feel of the site you’re currently on?
Many are heralding native advertisements as the next game-changer in advertising. Others note that it is just advertorials for the internet age. However, with the growing interest in these types of ads, and the attitudes consumers have toward them, this is a shift in online advertising.
By focusing on angles that are interesting to customers—storytelling, relevant content, integrated experiences—advertising can become less annoying and more eye-catching and shareable, traits that are necessary in this social-sharing age. And while users aren’t thrilled with the sometimes misleading nature of native ads, this shift will eventually lead to advertising that will work seamlessly for consumers.
Websites are great to promote yourself or your company. But a website done wrong could cost you work. According to Inc.com there are common mistakes that people make when designing their websites.
In this age of smartphones, you have to take into consideration if your site looks good on a cell phone screen. “Mobile now accounts for 12 percent of global Internet traffic, and it’s scaling faster than the desktop did,” reports the site. “If your website is not mobile enabled, you’re going to miss out on a growing population of users.”
Keywords are a great way to optimize your site in search engines, but too many keywords are just overload. “It may be a natural impulse to load up your website with keywords and keyword hyperlinks, but what you’ll probably create is an SEO nightmare,” says the article. Speaking of search engines, don’t forget to register with the local search engines. “If you do the majority of your business locally and you’re not taking advantage of free listings in important go-to local resource directories such as Google+ Local, Yahoo Local, Yelp, or others, you’ll have to pay for better visibility through advertising,” advises the article.
Keep your designs simple; skip using too much flash. “Flash is really cool for visuals, but it doesn’t work well with search or Apple devices,” advises Inc.com. Tech expert Toi Barnhardt, associate publisher of the Women of Color in Technology STEM Conference agrees that visuals are very important. “Unless your site is about ‘The Team of Me,’” jokes Barnhardt, referencing Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins. “[B]e sure not to inundate it with too many pictures of yourself. Stick to content relevant pictures.”
Another major mistake is burying or omitting contact information. “How many times do you visit a website and want to call the company, only to find the only option you have is to complete a form? Do you become suspicious of the company’s legitimacy or interest in helping you? Make all contact information–including social-media icons–readily and repeatedly accessible,” says Inc.com.
It is also equally important, adds Barnhardt, to have user-friendly payment options. “PayPal and anything backed by Verisign are normally trustworthy methods of payment,” she tells Madame Noire.
And it may sound basic, but decide what type of site you want to have. “Be sure to know the differences between the needs of a products site and a services site,” says Barnhardt. “Products sites should always should always be updated to reflect true inventory. Services sites should thoroughly list descriptions of services and when they are offered.”
Once your site is up and running, make sure to keep up with your maintenance fees. “The biggest mistake I find that small business owners make is not preparing for the monthly maintenance fees that come with site hosting. If you don’t have the payment set up to recur permanently, your site host will absolutely pull it down,” Barnhardt says. “There is nothing worse than going to a business site only to get an error message regarding the domain.”
If you haven’t been shopping in a few months, then you probably didn’t get the memo or notice that peplum dresses are the hottest trend out there right now. Classy and cute, these pieces can be great looks for work, for fun, and even special occasions. It just matters how long your skirt is and how flirtatious and fun your peplum detail is as well. We’ve compiled a few printed, pastel colored and creative dresses adorned with a peplum waist for your viewing pleasure. And even if you don’t buy from these exact retailers, I’m sure they’ll cause you to be on the lookout during your next shopping excursion. Enjoy!
Got a party to attend? Looking to turn heads? Well baby, you’ll be killing two birds with one stone in this mint-colored dress from the good folks at ASOS. With mesh detailing at the top that helps you play a little game of peek-a-boo, and cut-outs on the side that show off your waist, you’ll be giving a bit of fun and flirty to all those staring. Can’t forget to shout out the full flared peplum frill around the waist. This color is to die for by the way…
(Entrepreneur) — You know you must leverage Facebook, Twitter and word-of-mouth marketing to increase awareness of your brand. But the fact is, websites remain infinitely more popular with consumers than all of the business pages on social media sites combined. Only 22 percent of those of us online in the U.S. visit a branded social networking page such as those found on Facebook, while 62 percent of us regularly visit branded websites, according to the latest Global Web Index report. If you were starting to let your site become outdated or haggard, consider a refresh. After all, as these figures note, websites still matter.
(Businessweek) — Define your niche and then design your website to maximize your appeal to that niche, making sure that your marketing campaign emphasizes your company’s strengths, says Gabriel Shaoolian, founder and chief executive officer of Blue Fountain Media, a New York website-design and online-marketing agency. “This is not about smoke and mirrors. There are no gimmicks to doing business online. Your website isn’t going to drive your business model. It is your business model that will drive your website,” he says. One trend that you might consider is incorporating mobile Internet applications, such as iPad and iPhone, into your site, says Brian Morgan, CEO of Adventure Life, a boutique travel agency in Missoula, Mont. Especially when they are on the road, your customers are likely to access your site using mobile devices.
(Wall Street Journal) — When Leslie Richin launched a public-relations business after getting laid off in 2009, her first instinct was to invest in a company website. But hiring a professional to build one for her wasn’t in the budget. So Ms. Richin, 32 years old, set up free profiles on LinkedIn.com and Twitter.com. She created a free online business card using a service called DooID.com. And she launched a blog, spending roughly $50 on a decorative template, though she could’ve gotten a generic one for free. “I wanted to establish myself in as many places as possible” online and without breaking the bank, says Ms. Richin, who runs her business from her home in New York and last year generated roughly $60,000 in revenue. For most businesses today, having a presence on the Internet is the modern equivalent to being listed in the phone book, say experts. Consumers expect to be able to find and learn basic information about companies when they go online. “When people get a referral to a business, what’s the first thing they do? They go look for it online,” says Bruce Freeman, an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at Seton Hall University’s Stillman School of Business in South Orange, N.J. “You need to be online.”
(Businessweek) — Just as a busy highway backs up with cars, websites often encounter the same effect when dealing with large amounts of traffic. Any website can experience slow traffic, online traffic jams, or worse, a crash. What can be done to keep your site up and running, especially if you have an e-commerce site and the busiest season is rapidly approaching?
1. Add a server. As your business grows, website usage and traffic increase. That single server may need a buddy or two to handle the traffic capacity. One server can be used for data such as e-mails, and the second server can be deployed to manage the website.
(US News and World Report) — 1. Groupon.com: If you’re a deal-of-the-day shopper and don’t mind joining the herd for a massive coupon, then check out Groupon.com. This site offers shoppers one big coupon each day for local restaurants, attractions, and retailers in many big cities across America. You can join in the group fun by signing up for email alerts, or liking them on Facebook.
2. Freeshipping.org: Hate paying big money to ship that new gadget or holiday gift across the country? A quick trip to Freeshipping.org may solve your shipping woes and save you money too. This site offers would-be shoppers special coupons and promotional codes at a variety of online stores across the internet. Find free shipping coupons at retailers like Macy’s, Pottery Barn, Target, J.Crew, and even Victoria’s Secret.
(Black Web 2.0) — A few weeks back, ChubbyBrain and their parent company CB Insights invited Black Web 2.0 readers to try out the beta version Funding Recommendation Engine (FRE), it’s latest product. FRE allowed users to search for potential investors using an algorithm based on the amount of funding required by the entrepreneur, location and experience as well as the potential investor’s past funding experience. A number of our readers took FRE for a spin allowing ChubbyBrain, to gather some rather intriguing data on the makeup of our audience, especially when it comes to entrepreneurship. Unlike the data compiled by ChubbyBrains’ Human Capital Venture Capital report, listing California, Massachusetts, and New York as the top locations for start-up founders many Black Web 2.0 start-up founders are located in areas not typically associated with technology start-ups. New York and North Carolina led the pack with 22%. Georgia and Florida came in second with 14% while New Jersey, Southern California, Illinois, and Maryland clocked in with 7% each.