10 Top Internet Marketers Who Will Help You Keep Your Competitive Edge

These 10 Top Internet Marketers Will Help You Keep Your Competitive Edge

One of the best ways to stay highly competitive in the online marketing field is to learn from thought-leaders who get results. Those who’ve earned praise from renown clients and respect from their industry are always worth listening to.

Whether you’re just venturing out into the marketing field or you’ve been doing it for over a decade, the following leaders are sure to spark some inspiration! In this list, I’ve included a brief background on each marketer, where to find them online, recommended reading and a notable quote.

One excellent way to use this list is to create a “marketers to learn from” Twitter List and add these marketing leaders to it. Or, maybe you want to focus on following just one or two influencers.

There’s no right or wrong way, as long as you’re learning something new every day.

The following 10 top internet marketers have helped their clients achieve impressive results. They’re trusted by brands and fellow marketers alike, so be sure to start learning from them today!

Introducing the 10 Top Internet Marketers

Neil Patel

Neil Patel is the energetic, over-delivering marketing guru who’s earned accolades from Forbes, Wall Street Journal, and even Barack Obama. He founded Crazy Egg, Kissmetrics, Hello Bar, Quick Sprout

A self-described “digital marketer and analytics junkie,” Neil specializes in SEO, internet marketing, conversion optimization and growth hacking.

Where to Find Neil:

  • Twitter
  • Neil’s Blog

Recommended Reading:

  • LinkedIn Post: The 10 Things People Still Get Wrong About Local SEO
  • Blog post: The Beginner’s Guide to Crafting Interactive Content

Words of Wisdom:

“I want to introduce you to a type of content that’s inherently engaging… Interactive content. You might have seen BuzzFeed quizzes floating in your social media feeds. They are the simplest form of interactive content and they are loved by users.

As per BuzzSumo, an average quiz gets shared 1,900 times. If the results of a quiz shine a positive light on the user, then he will most probably share the result with his friends.” (Source)

Kevan Lee

Kevan is a professional writer, editor and highly-effective storyteller. The director of marketing at content-sharing app Buffer, his areas of expertise include blogging, email marketing and content creation. He’s written for many well-known blogs, including Lifehacker, Entrepreneur, Time, Huffington Post, Fast Company, The Next Web and the Buffer’s blog.

Where to Find Kevan:

  • Twitter
  • Buffer blog
  • Also check out Buffer’s transparent blog board on Trello!

Recommended Reading:

  • Buffer post: How to Get Verified on Twitter (If I can do it, you can too!)
  • Buffer post: How to Curate Content: The Secret Sauce to Getting Noticed, Becoming an Influencer, and Having Fun Online

Words of Wisdom:

“How great is the internet! One of the most impactful, viral, influential services you can perform online is to read stuff and tell people what you like. It’s true! If you’re looking for a competitive edge, a way to establish your authority, a way to get more followers, one of the best, proven paths to online success is content curation. It’s both as simple and as difficult as finding great content and sharing it with your audience.” (Source)

Pam Moore

Pam is the founder, CEO and partner of Marketing Nutz — a social media, digital marketing, experiential branding agency. Recognized as one of the top social media influencers today, she specializes in social branding and conversion optimization. She’s also a dynamic keynote speaker, consultant, trainer, best-selling author and strategist.

Where to Find Pam:

  • Twitter
  • Pam’s blog

Recommended Reading:

  • Blog post: 10 Truths Nobody Told You About Being A Social Media Marketer
  • Blog post: Blogging for Business: 10 Foundational Requirements for Success

Words of Wisdom:

“Social media is not a band-aid for a broken business. If business leaders really want to ignite business results using digital and social marketing, they must do more than hire a social media intern who knows how to get new followers on Instagram, post to Snapchat and do a live video stream on Facebook.” (Source)

John Jantsch

John is the creator of the renowned Duct Tape Marketing System. His methodology is used by hundreds of independent marketing consultants around the world. His blog has been a Forbes favorite for marketing and small business and his podcast is a top ten marketing show on iTunes. Huffington Post has named him one of the top 100 “Must Follow” on Twitter.

Where to Find John:

  • Twitter
  • Duct Tape Marketing blog

Recommended Reading:

  • Blog post: How to Give Your Content CPR – Podcast, with guest Laura Belgray
  • Blog post: The Science of Pre-Suasion – Podcast, with guest Dr. Robert Cialdini

Words of Wisdom:

“Instead of jumping right into the look of your website, which is very easy to do based on the visual nature of the medium, make sure your well planned strategy takes center stage … Don’t bury your USP (unique selling proposition) in a glut of other content. Shout it loud, make it known why you do what you do and how you do it best.” (Source)

Peter Shankman

According to the New York Times, Peter is “a public relations all-star who knows everything about new media and then some.” Known as the founder of Help A Reporter Out (HARO), he’s an entrepreneur and speaker with real-world clout. He’s also the author of four books, including the popular “Zombie Loyalists: Using Great Service to Create Rabid Fans.” Peter founded The Geek Factory, Inc., and ShankMinds: Business Masterminds, a series of small business entrepreneurial-style masterminds in over 25 cities worldwide.

Where to Find Peter:

  • Twitter
  • Peter’s blog

Recommended Reading:

  • Blog post: The Best Way to Improve Yourself Comes from Never Forgetting You at Your Worst
  • Blog post: How I Wrote 28,482 Words on One Flight

Words of Wisdom:
“Whether it’s business or personal, do the scary thing. If it works, you’ll have an amazing story to tell, and you’ll be richer for the experience. If it doesn’t work, you’ll have a story with a lesson to tell, and you’ll be richer for the experience. Either way, you’ll have a story to tell, and you’ll be richer for the experience, and in the end, that’s all life really is. Stories and experiences.” (Source)

Amy Porterfield

Amy is a social media strategist who specializes in Facebook marketing. She co-authored “Facebook Marketing All-In-One for Dummies.” She creates educational marketing programs for small businesses and entrepreneurs to help them get more traffic, leads and sales. She also speaks at marketing events, businesses and networking events about the power of social media.

Where to Find Amy:

  • Twitter
  • Amy’s website and blog

Recommended Listening:

  • Podcast: Get Your Content House In Order
  • Podcast: How to Organize & Analyze Your Facebook Ads

Words of Wisdom:

“Entrepreneurs and small business owners tend to make the mistake of considering Facebook a direct selling platform. This mindset is misguided and can lead to frustration and ‘throwing in the towel’ on Facebook. What people need to understand is that Facebook can be a powerfully successful road to making the sale, but it is not the ‘store.’” (Source)

Kim Garst

Kim is a social media expert who’s owned an online business for over 20 years. She’s a leading influencer on digital marketing, especially social selling. Kim discusses the latest social-media marketing strategies on her blog, and curates posts that provide the most value to her readers. She’s also a respected author. Her latest book, “Show Up, Be Authentic, and Prosper in Social Media,” is an international best seller.

Where to Find Kim:

  • Twitter
  • Kim’s blog

Recommended Reading:

  • Blog post: How To Get More Snapchat Followers
  • Blog post: What is Social Proof And Why Do You Need It?

Words of Wisdom:
“Facebook is GIVING reach to those that Facebook Live. Yep, you heard it here. Facebook actually pushes FREE reach to your live-streams and the longer you are live, the more free reach you receive. For example, I can go live and have a reach of over 400,000-500,000 people in less than an hour! That’s insane, right? Oh and here’s the true value … with ZERO ad spend!” (Source)

Lisa Raehsler

Named as a Top 25 Most Influential PPC Expert for three years, Lisa is one of the marketing industry’s most Influential PPC experts. She’s founder and SEM/PPC strategy consultant of Big Click Co Search Engine Marketing Consulting. She specializes in paid search ads, paid social media, display and retargeting. With 17 years of online advertising industry experience, she’s a columnist for SEWatch, SEM Post and ClickZ. She is also a speaker for SES, HeroConf, Pubcon and ClickZ Live.

Where to Find Lisa:

  • Twitter
  • Big Click Co. blog

Recommended Reading:

  • Bing Ads Blog post: Three tips to Bing Ads campaign imports you can’t miss
  • Big Click Co. Blog post: The Art of Remarketing Video

Words of Wisdom:

“Ad extensions are one of the greatest features of Bing Ads. These provide “bonus” information in the form of text and sitelinks, phone numbers and even images. A savvy PPC manager can max out these extensions and gain better CTRs for campaigns.

Ad extensions that Bing Ads supports, will import, saving time in the set-up process. This includes: location, call, sitelinks and app extensions.” (Source)

Ramon Ray

A marketer and small business evangelist at Infusionsoft, Ramon is passionate about helping small business entrepreneurs grow their businesses. He’s the editor and publisher of Smart Hustle Magazine, as well as the editor of smallbiztechnology.com. A bestselling author, Ramon wrote “The Facebook Guide to Small Business Marketing.” He’s also a speaker who’s shared the stage with Seth Godin, Daymond John, Guy Kawasaki, Simon Sinek, JJ Ramberg, Peter Shankman and other celebrity entrepreneurs.

Where to Find Ramon:

  • Twitter
  • Ramon’s website

Recommended Reading:

  • Smallbiztechnology article: What Is Advertisement Re-Targeting And Why Does It Matter?
  • Smart Hustle Magazine article: 5 Tips for Using Facebook Live to Get Closer to Your Customers

Words of Wisdom:

“Many businesses focus their holiday marketing efforts online, relying on tools like social media and paid advertising to reach potential customers. However, local businesses should never underestimate the importance of traditional and tangible marketing materials such a signs, banners and postcards. Customers will be able to see and interact with these elements in real life. They have a more ‘personal’ feel and can also drive word-of-mouth marketing in your local area.” (Source)

Jay Baer

Jay Baer has 23 years’ experience in digital marketing. He founded Convince & Convert, “a strategy consulting firm that helps prominent companies through the smart intersection of technology and customer service.” Besides being a trusted marketer, he’s also a respected business strategist, inspirational speaker and a New York Times bestselling author. He has advised 33 of the FORTUNE 500 companies — including Nike, Caterpillar and Allstate. 

Where to Find Jay:

  • Twitter
  • Social Pros Podcast (hosted by Jay Baer and Adam Brown of Salesforce)
  • Jay’s website

Recommended Reading:
Social Media Examiner interview with Jay: Dealing With Unhappy Customers: What Social Marketers Need to Know

Words of Wisdom:

“Some brands try to bribe customers by offering product discounts to those who interact with them on social media. And while incentives can be an effective way to build a customer base, constantly trying to buy your customers’ love doesn’t build brand loyalty. This ultimately leads to brand failure because a customer without brand loyalty will happily ditch your brand for one offering a better deal.” (Source)

Meeting Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Top 7 Web Design Tips to Help Your Website Load Faster

web design tips

When it comes to business marketing, it is important to ensure these days to have a prominent online presence. And for that, having a website is a must. It can be a great marketing tool for your business. But what’s the use of owning a business website if it has no visitors? For your business to perform properly, you need to ensure that people are attracted to your website on a regular basis. There might be several ways to ensure this. And one of the most important among them is surely how you have designed your website.

The primary aim of a well-planned web design strategy is to create a unique user experience. It must be an experience that’s unparalleled and that will make the visitors return to your website time and again. And for that, it’s essential to have a website that loads fast. But how can you alter your Web design to get the best results in terms of speed of your website?

Here’s a quick look.

Make the Website Lighter

That’s the first thing you need to do. One of the major reasons behind long loading time is a heavy Web page. You have to get rid of all that’s trash. Remember, the smaller a Web page is, the faster it will load. If there are images and videos that are absolutely not relevant to your content, delete them immediately.

Getting rid of something that’s not needed is surely the hardest thing. So, take your time. Find out which components are actually adding value to your website. But ensure that you remove from your Web page everything that’s not necessary or does not add any value to you or to the visitors.

Compress the Web Page

A full size Web page is sure to take a lot of time to load. A compressed website, on the other hand, is faster. Which compression algorithm do you want to use? You can have multiple options, such as:

  • Deflate
  • Gzip

Compressing the Web page ensures that the server does not need to send a lot of data to the page while it’s loading. So, it is going to take shorter time to load.

Split Large Pages into Shorter, Multiple Ones

Why have websites become slower these days? One of the primary reasons is the increase in the size of the Web pages. Are most of the pages of your website too long? Then they are sure to take a bit of time to load. There’s no way you can help it, except one. Just split the long Web pages into multiple pages that are shorter in length.

Doing this will help you get rid of that long scroll bar on the side of the page. Moreover, the attention span of most people these days is pretty short. Having multiple pages with less information on each will help significantly to cater to these people perfectly.

Use Single Code Source for All Web Pages

Have the same script on a number of pages of your website? Just wait before you create separate scripts for each page. Once you use separate scripts, the website will have to read them every time the pages are loaded. That will take a lot of time. Instead, use an external code, that is, you should use a single code source for all the pages. It will ensure that the code remains in the cache. Thus, the time taken for loading the scripts won’t be necessary anymore. This will help the page to load faster. And more so for pages with larger codes.

Keep the Coding Clean for Google

When it comes to coding, you will have to keep it clean. It is essential to write the JavaScript properly. Moreover, you will need to avoid using a lot of external resources. Ensure that the images are not too large. You should pay proper attention to the different attributes of Web design for your page. This is because, Google likes cleaner coding.

By following these steps, you will be able to help your website in terms of SEO. It will rank high with Google’s search engine results for relevant keywords and thus, generate more traffic. It is also important to make the codes smarter to ensure they can be easily read by the search engines. The HTML should also be simple enough. It is also essential to remove the duplicate scripts to make the Web page load faster.

Reduce the Extra White Space

White space is one of the most important components of Web design these days. It can give your website a unique look. It can also form different shapes on it. But are you using too much white space? This can also have a negative impact in terms of the page load time. Remember, the white space also adds up to at least a few bytes in terms of size. Hence, reducing this space means you can cut down on that size. So, it will be less for the server to load. The result: the pages of your website will load faster.

Optimize the Images

When you are creating a website, it is essential to include images there. It helps to enhance user experience. But make sure you use the right format for the image. There might be multiple options, such as:

  • Scaleable Vector Graphics (.SVG)
  • Portable Network Graphics (.PNG)
  • Graphic Interchange Format (.GIF)
  • Weppy (.WEBP)
  • Joint Photographic Experts Group (.JPEG or .JPG)

No matter which format you use, you will need to optimize the image for the web and compress it to ensure that it loads properly and fast.

A web page that takes a long time to load usually results in reduced user interest. It is essential for the Web page to load fast, so that the visitors remain interested in the topic.

Speed Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-ndtv”]

Top 7 Mistakes With Mobile Friendly Web Design

033015 google mobile

Unless you’ve been staying away from the Internet these last few weeks, you know that on April 21 Google is going to be rolling out a mobile optimization algorithm (and if you need more information, we’ve covered the announcement here). According to Google’s Zineb Ait Bahajji from the Webmaster Trends team, this is going to be one of the biggest updates we’ve seen from Google to date in terms of how many people will be affected — bigger than Panda and Penguin — although no specific number was given.

While April 21 is the day that’s since been labeled the “Mobile-Pocalypse,” it’s important that small businesses start putting mobile best practices into action immediately. The efforts you’re making now will matter come April 21, and if you wait until just a few days before, it could be too late. Fortunately, Google is making this update very easy for us by telling us exactly what mistakes most businesses are making when it comes to mobile.

The 7 Most Common Mistakes Webmasters Make When Optimizing for Mobile

As discussed above, Google actually created a guide that outlines all of the most common mistakes that they find Webmasters make when they try and get their websites mobile-friendly. And so, without further ado, below are the top seven mistakes straight from the horse’s mouth along with links that take you to a full report for each specific point:

Blocked JavaScript, CSS, and Image Files

If the Googlebots are unable to access JavaScript, CSS, and image files, indexing is going to be harder because the Googlebot is not able to see your site like the average users. This usually occurs if your site’s robots.txt file disallows crawling, which again, poses a problem for indexing and will bring down your rankings:

How to fix it: Use the Fetch as Google feature in Google Webmaster Tools so that you can see how a Googlebot is seeing your content. You should also check your robots.txt in Google Webmaster Tools and test your mobile pages with the Mobile-Friendly Test. All three of these options will help you identify any indexing problems.

Unplayable Content

The last thing Google wants to see is a video that is unavailable to users because that is an annoying experience. Many content types, such as Flash, do not work on all mobile devices and therefore cause unplayable content.

How to fix it: Use HTML5 standard tags for animation and use video embedding that is playable on all devices. Google Web Designer can help make it easy to create animations in HTML 5 so that your content is more widely accessible.

Faulty Redirects

This happens most often if you have separate mobile URLs because it forces you to redirect mobile users on each desktop URL to the right mobile URL. Unfortunately, many companies do this wrong and sendevery mobile user to the desktop homepage, for example, which is incorrect because that isn’t what the mobile user asked for when he/she clicked.

How to fix it: The solution here is easy: Use a responsive web design. This will automatically serve the same content for both desktop and smartphone users. You can also check the Smartphone Crawl Errors of your Webmaster Tools and you can simply see if any faulty redirects were detected.

Mobile-Only 404s

Sometimes companies have their websites setup so that users can see a page on a desktop, but when they try to visit that same page on a mobile device there is a 404 error. The key here is to make sure that you have an identical page that can be served on mobile (see number 3 above) and then redirect users to that URL instead of serving a 404 error.

How to fix it: Check the Crawl Errors report in Webmaster Tools and look at the smartphone tab to see if any URLs are 404 errors. Once again, a responsive Web design should also fix this problem.

App Download Interstitials

If your business has a native app, it’s important that you make sure you don’t have any indexing issueswhen promoting that app. In other words, make sure that users can still see the page’s content and not just a large app advertisement. Visit the link above to see a great screenshot.

How to fix it: Use a simple banner to promote your app inline with the page’s content. Google recommends Smart App Banners for Safari to help.

Irrelevant Cross-Links

It makes sense that if you have mobile URLs and separate desktop URLs to try and link to each on the opposite platform. Unfortunately, many companies are linking to URLs that are irrelevant, such as the homepage you would see on a desktop when someone is reading about a product on mobile.

How to fix it: Always check your links to make sure they’re pointing to the most relevant (or identical) pages!

Slow Mobile Pages

This one is pretty self-explanatory. If your pages are loading too slowly this is especially problematic for mobile search because people are usually on the go.

How to fix it: Use Google PageSpeed Insights to see not only what might be causing your pages to load slowly but how to fix the issues.

The Takeaway

In the end, anything you hear from Google should be your first move. If you were unsure how to even begin preparing a mobile presence, start with the tips above and go down the list. Once you’ve fixed some of these common mistakes, you should be able to see clearly other things you can do to enhance your efforts. Do you have any thoughts on some of these tips from Google? Are you ready for the mobile update in April? Let us know in the comments below.


Google Mobile Photo via Shutterstock

More in: Publisher Channel Content

[“source-ndtv”]

Best Gadget Gifts for Geeks, Top Picks for 2015

Best Gadget Gifts for Geeks 2

Tech gadgets can make great gifts for business partners, clients, and tech savvy team members. And with plenty of new innovations being released each year, there are lots of new gadgets to choose from for the people on your 2015 holiday gift list.

For the really tech savvy geeks on your holiday shopping list, check out the list of gadget gifts below for some unique gift ideas.

Gadget Gifts for 2015

Bluesmart Suitcase

Best Gadget Gifts for Geeks

Business travel can be a pain. But this smart suitcase offers a number of features to make it easier, like a battery charger, digital lock, location tracking and a built-in scale.

Currently available for preorder, the Bluesmart suitcase sells for $399. So it’s likely not something you’d pick up for your entire team. But for your business partner or jetsetting top client, Bluesmart offers a unique gift option.

IZON 2.0 WiFi Video Monitor

Best Gadget Gifts for Geeks

The latest version of IZON’s video monitoring system comes with several useful features to help people monitor their home or business. The camera works with both iOS and Android systems to allow you to access footage from your smartphone.

Starting at $79.95 on their website, IZON offers options that work for both home and business. And they have monitors made for keeping an eye on babies and pets as well.

Wocket Smart Wallet

Best Gadget Gifts for Geeks

Carrying around a leather wallet with multiple credit and gift cards is so 2014. The Wocket smart walletallows users to input information from multiple credit, debit, loyalty and gift cards onto one Wocket Card, with added security features like voicematch technology and password storage.

At $179 the Wocket wallet is a unique new option. And the company plans to begin offering different wallet accessories in the near future as well.

Helios Smart Solpro Charger

Best Gadget Gifts for Geeks

This solar powered smart charger allows you to keep all of your different mobile devices charged and ready while you’re out and about. It has a 5,000mAh battery, three high-efficiency solar panels, two USB output ports and one USB input port.

Helios Smart chargers start at $119 and come in a few different colors. With so many people carrying multiple mobile devices with them at all times, this is a safe bet for pretty much any tech savvy person on your list.

ZUtA Portable Pocket Printer

Best Gadget Gifts for Geeks

Mobile devices make it easy to do business from anywhere. But printing out actual documents hasn’t always been so easy, until now. The ZUtA portable pocket printer is a small device that connects to your smartphone or computer and prints on any size paper.

With a pre-order price of $199, the printer’s second batch is already sold out. But the company is accepting orders for a January 2016 batch. So if you’re willing to wait until then, this could make a useful gift for the techies on your list.

Nyrius ARIES Home+ Wireless HDMI Transmitter

Best Gadget Gifts for Geeks

This device allows you to wirelessly stream HD video and audio from your cable box, Blu-ray player, computer or gaming console to other devices within your home.

For the tech geeks with busy families or with a strong interest in TV and movies, this could be a great solution for those times when multiple family members are fighting over one TV. Prices start at $200 for a transmitter with two HDMI inputs.

TrackR Bravo

Best Gadget Gifts for Geeks

Everyone has that friend or family member who’s always misplacing their keys or wallet. This coin-sized device can go on keychains, dog collars, or other items and connects to your smartphone to transmit a noise when you’re looking for your belongings.

One device costs just $29.99, so it’s a low-cost option for the people on your list. Or you can even order multiple devices at a discounted rate.

Gifts Image via Shutterstock

Check out our Business Gift Giving Guide for more tips about holiday trends.

More in: Holidays

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

8 Top Predictors of Handmade Business Success

shutterstock_406962421

Since launching the Indie Business Network in 2000, I’ve made a career out of studying Makers and Handmade Entrepreneurs. Day in and day out, all I do is work with, mentor, and coach people who sell the products they make. This intense and passionate focus, coupled with my personal entrepreneurial experience, has uniquely equipped me to understand what works and what does not work, and to fairly accurately predict success within the industry. Here are the eight top predictors of handmade business success.

Predictors of Handmade Business Success

1. You Have a Plan for How Your Business Will Serve Your Life

The only way to plan how your business will serve your life is to have a plan for your life. What is your vision for your life? What would make you feel like your life is “successful,” according to your definition of success? What do you see yourself doing and becoming in the future?

It’s never too late or too early to answer these types of questions, and doing so is the only way you can plan a business that serves your life.

The most successful entrepreneurs have a vision and a plan for what their lives will look like, and they build a business around that plan.

2. You Invest More Time in Yourself than You do in Your Business

One of the biggest predictors of handmade business success is how quickly you begin investing more time in yourself than you do in your business.

Do you read at least as many books to strengthen yourself personally as you do to strengthen yourself industry-wise? Do you put personal boundaries around yourself so meaningless time suckers do not threaten your productivity? Do you take intentional time off to focus inward? Do you have a coach or mentor whose mission it is to help you achieve your personal goals?

The most successful entrepreneurs are relentlessly focused on bettering themselves so they can be better leaders of their businesses.

3. You Learn How to Delegate

As an entrepreneur, it’s your job to make sure things done, but that does not mean that you have to do everything yourself. After a few years in business, you should be able to delegate tasks to others so you have the head space to lead you business.

Whether it’s help preparing meals, help with children, help with housework, help with social media, or help with customer service, if you do not delegate to other people, you will not grow personally. If you do not grow personally, you won’t grow as a business leader.

The most successful entrepreneurs delegate as much as they possibly can, freeing up head space for their role as leader.

4. You Create and Nurture a Positive Support System

I’m not talking solely about friends and family members here. I’m also talking about a circle of friends composed of entrepreneurs who are like-minded to you. You choose these people very carefully, bearing in mind that, as Jim Rohn said, you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.

Choose people from a variety of industries so you can pull new ideas from a cross section of disciplines. The more you invest in nurturing these types of relationships, the more successful your business will be.

5. You Focus on a Tightly Defined Target Niche

If the market you are going after is a large one, then you might as well not have a market. This is especially true for Makers and Handmade Entrepreneurs because so much of the work you is winning the hearts of consumers who are used to getting everything on the cheap.

Successful Makers offer products that are well-made and packaged to showcase your unique brand and value proposition to a tightly defined niche. You know who those people are like the back of your hand, and your sole focus is to engage in activities that reach out directly to them.

The most successful entrepreneurs are not selling to everyone. They are selling to the same person over and over again, just at a different address.

6. You Know the Difference Between Making Money and Making a Profit

Anyone can make money, but only those who make a profit will be around for the long haul. To be successful, you must know exactly how much money you want to make, and exactly how much money you need to (wisely) spend in order to reach that goal. You know that the difference between those two numbers is profit, and you understand that just because you make money every day does not mean you are making a profit.

7. You Learn How to Market and Sell Both Yourself and Your Products

Successful Makers fully embrace the fact that they need more than just great products in order to be sustain their business over the long haul. You need to learn how to infuse who you are into your marketing routine so your customers experience more than a product when they make a purchase from you.

The most successful entrepreneurs learn how to weave their personal story into their brand story, and to consistently and simultaneously leverage both to win sales.

8. You Regularly Look for and Shore up Cracks Before Walls Begin to Weaken and Fall

It’s not the big and obvious missteps that bite most small business owners. It’s the tiny chinks in the armor that do you in. It’s the little cracks that go unnoticed, and then, before you know it, the walls are caving in.

One of the biggest predictors of handmade business success is your ability to see the cracks before they become gaping holes, and to handle important little cracks before mature into urgent emergencies. This is a learned skill.

The most successful entrepreneurs do it every single day.

Fortune Teller Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Top 13 U.S. Microlenders for Small Businesses Right Now

13 Top Small Business Microlenders for Small Businesses in the U.S. Right Now

What is a microloan, and is one right for your small business?

If you’re a small-business owner on a quest for capital, there are several smart reasons to turn to nonprofit microlenders. These lenders go beyond making small loans to entrepreneurs and provide some benefits that traditional lenders don’t:

  • Profit is not their objective. Many microlenders are called mission-focused or mission-based lenders. They offer loans from government or nonprofit programs geared to helping disadvantaged communities, including areas that are struggling economically. Some microlenders also operate internationally, helping entrepreneurs in developing nations.
  • Microlenders typically offer loans of $50,000 or less to startups and other small-scale operations. Some make bigger loans to more established businesses.
  • Many microlenders and nonprofits provide pro bono consulting and training, including helping small businesses build credit.

Good Options for Nonprofit Financing

Top U.S. microlenders by loan volume

SBA Microloan Program lenders

Other notable nonprofit microlenders

Below, we list 13 sources for nonprofit financing. They include the top lenders based on information from two major small-business institutions, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Aspen Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based policy and educational research nonprofit.

When considering these lenders, keep in mind that microloans have limitations. Because many nonprofits rely on grants, donations or government guarantees or allocations, the number of loans they offer and the amount you can borrow are limited. Funding constraints can also mean strict borrower requirements. And many nonprofits operate only in specific states or regions.

Nonprofit microlenders are also grappling with a major trend in small-business financing: the rapid rise of online lending. It offers quicker but usually more expensive access to cash, says Steven Cohen, president of Excelsior Growth Fund, a New York-based community development lender.

“You see a lot of businesses trading off speed and efficiency for cost,” he says. “But you also see an incredibly crowded marketplace where there isn’t a whole lot of transparency. Nonprofits have the challenge of getting the word out there that, ‘We’re here. … We’re more affordable.’ ”

Top Small Business Microlenders in the U.S.

The Aspen Institute’s FIELD program runs the U.S. Microenterprise Census, which collects data from microlenders across the country. Here are the top five microlenders by total loan amount disbursed, according to the program’s 2014 survey, the most recent data available.

Grameen America

Grameen America is affiliated with the Grameen Foundation, an international organization known for programs that help poor communities address their own needs. Grameen America has disbursed more than $490 million in loans to tens of thousands of women in the U.S. The organization has a nontraditional lending system: Borrowers must form a group with four other women they trust. That group then participates in a week of financial training, at the end of which each member opens a savings account and receives a $1,500 microloan to build a small business.

Microloans disbursed in 2014: $100.7 million

LiftFund

San Antonio-based LiftFund offers microloans in the southern U.S., including Texas, Georgia and Florida. Borrowers typically use the financing to buy equipment and supplies. The microloans are also meant to help small-business owners improve their credit and more likely to qualify for a bank loan in the future, the lender says on its website. LiftFund got a boost in October 2016 when JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced almost $5 million in funding for its new small-business loan program in New Orleans, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin, Texas.

Microloans disbursed in 2014: $18.7 million

Opportunity Fund

California-based Opportunity Fund has been serving residents of the state since 1994, with more than $160 million in microloans. Its borrowers have a median household income of $31,000 per year. Around 90% are minority-owned businesses, and about 30% are women-owned businesses. Opportunity Fund also provides financial literacy education to business owners.

Microloans disbursed in 2014: $17.7 million

Accion New Mexico

Accion New Mexico offers small-business loans from $1,000 to $1 million in New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and Texas. The nonprofit also provides business counseling and marketing support and sponsors educational events. It’s part of the Accion U.S. Network, which also has major chapters in New York, Chicago and San Diego. The international Accion nonprofit offers financing services and assistance, including microloans, in 32 countries.

Microloans disbursed in 2014: $8.9 million

Justine Petersen

Justine Petersen, which is based in St. Louis, offers small-business loans, typically of less than $10,000. The nonprofit also finances businesses in rural areas through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Intermediary Relending Program and originates loans of up to $150,000 as part of the SBA’s Community Advantage Program.

Microloans disbursed in 2014: $8.4 million

Top SBA Nonprofit Lenders

Aside from its signature 7(a) term loans, the SBA issues low-cost small-business financing through a network of nonprofits.

The SBA Microloan Program offers loans of up to $50,000 administered through community-based nonprofit groups. The SBA Community Advantage Program offers loans of up to $250,000 in communities that historically have had limited access to capital. The federal agency guarantees up to 85% of Community Advantage financing.

Here are the top five nonprofits in the SBA programs based on total loan amount disbursed to small businesses in 2015, the most recent data available:

CDC Small Business Finance Corp.

CDC Small Business Finance Corp. offers different types of financing for new and expanding businesses in California, Arizona and Nevada, including SBA Community Advantage loans of between $20,000 and $250,000. It also issues SBA commercial real estate loans, known as the SBA 504 loans, for clients planning to buy an existing building or build a new facility.

SBA Community Advantage and microloans disbursed in 2015: $11.7 million

Valley Economic Development Corp.

Valley Economic Development Corp. specializes in small-business loans and microfinancing for entrepreneurs who don’t qualify for loans from traditional banks. It’s based in Los Angeles but also operates in other states, including Nevada, Illinois and New York. Aside from the SBA Community Advantage program, it participates in other small-business financing programs, including the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, the National African-American Small-Business Loan Fund and the National Microfinance Network.

SBA Community Advantage and microloans disbursed in 2015: $9.7 million

Empire State Certified Development Corp.

Empire State Certified Development Corp. is part of the New York Business Development Corp., a major SBA lender. It was the top SBA Community Advantage lender in 2014. Empire State CDC also participates in the SBA commercial loan program.

SBA Community Advantage and microloans disbursed in 2015: $7.6 million

Main Street Launch

Main Street Launch, previously known as OBDC Small Business Finance, serves clients in the San Francisco Bay Area. It provides small-business loans of $10,000 to $250,000 that can be used for such expenses as equipment purchase, inventory or working capital.

SBA Community Advantage and microloans disbursed in 2015: $7.4 million

LiftFund

LiftFund, listed above among top U.S. microlenders, also offers SBA Community Advantage loans of $50,000 to $250,000 to businesses in low- to moderate-income communities in 13 states. Business owners can also qualify if more than 50% of their full-time workforce is low-income or if their employees live in areas designated as low- to moderate-income communities.

SBA Community Advantage and microloans disbursed in 2015: $6.6 million

Other Notable Nonprofits

Kiva U.S.

Kiva U.S. is a part of Kiva, a nonprofit working in more than 80 countries. To receive an interest-free microloan through Kiva U.S., borrowers first must have friends and family members lend to the venture. This helps establish the borrower’s creditworthiness. Once that happens, Kiva opens the loan to its lenders for funding.

Pacific Community Ventures

Pacific Community Ventures is a San Francisco-based community development lender that offers loans of between $10,000 and $200,000 to small businesses in California. You need to have been in business at least a year and have at least two employees. However, if you have a solid business record and a firm grasp of your business finances, PCV may offer you a loan even if you fall short on some requirements.

Excelsior Growth Fund

Excelsior Growth Fund offers online loans of up to $100,000 for approved borrowers in less than five days and funding of up to $500,000 through its ImpactLoan program. The lender deals with borrowers who typically wouldn’t qualify for traditional financing because their company is a startup or has poor credit. Through affiliates, it also provides SBA 7(a) and Community Advantage loans.

Business Center for New Americans

Business Center for New Americans provides financing of between $500 and $50,000 to small businesses in New York City. Borrowers must be in the retail, light manufacturing, restaurant or service industry, and existing businesses must have at least three to six months of “verifiable revenue,” according to the organization. Brand-new companies must present a startup budget.

For other small-business financing, compare options on NerdWallet’s small-business loans tool page.

Compare business loans

Microlending Photo via Shutterstock

More in: Publisher Channel Content

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

20 Top Podcast Microphones for Under $200

Best Budget Microphones for Podcasting - 20 Top Podcast Microphones for Under $200

If you are a small business looking to increase your presence, a podcast is one of the best and cheapest ways to share your expertise with your customers. And with on demand podcast platforms readily available, such as iTunes and SoundCloud, it has become that much easier to build audience.

One of the most important tools of the trade is a great microphone, and depending on how much you want to invest, the price runs the gamut. But for this roundup, the microphones will be under $200.

The Best Budget Microphones for Podcasting

Pyle PDMICR42R

Best Budget Microphones for Podcasting - Pyle PDMICR42R

The Pyle PDMICR42R has a retro design that is great to look at. But it also provides the basics so you can comfortably deliver your podcast with professional-sounding results.  The microphone retails for $31.39 and has a dynamic moving coil element with a cardioid polar pattern and a frequency response rate of 30Hz-15kHz.

ECOOPRO Studio Condenser Recording Microphone

Best Budget Microphones for Podcasting - ECOOPRO Studio Condenser Recording Microphone

The ECOOPRO is a side-address condenser microphone that uses a cardioid polar pattern with HD broadcasting capability. The plug-and-play function and 3.5mm audio lets you plug it into any standard laptop or PC and use the sound card to make any adjustment to improve sound quality. At $39.99, it is a  bargain to be sure.

Stony-Edge

Best Budget Microphones for Podcasting - Stony-Edge

The Stony-Edge has simple designed for portability and can plug into smartphones, tablets and PCs. For just $49.95, it features noise blocking technology, built-in windscreen and a goose neck frame so it can easily be adjusted.

Blue Microphones

Best Budget Microphones for Podcasting - Blue Microphones

Blue Microphones Snowball iCE is a cardiod condenser microphone that plugs in directly with a USB cable. It doesn’t require any drivers, and it is Skype certified. It has a frequency response rate of 40 –18 kHz and sample/word Rate of 44.1 kHz/16 bit. For $49.00 it delivers considerable features.

CAD U37 USB

Best Budget Microphones for Podcasting - CAD U37 USB

The CAD U37 is a USB studio condenser recording microphone with cardioid pick-up pattern and 10dB overload-protection switch to minimize distortion. Retailing for just $42.00, it has a bass-reduction switch diminishing room noise and frequency response rate of 20Hz – 20kHz.

Samson Go

Best Budget Microphones for Podcasting - Samson Go

The Samson Go, which retails at just $39.99, has switchable cardioid and omnidirectional pickup patterns with a frequency response of 20Hz–18kHz and a resolution of 16-bit, 44.1kHz. The compact design and USB plug makes it easy to clip on your laptop or carry anywhere. The company offers the Samson Sound Deck Noise Cancellation Software as a paid download, which is a great feature if you are in a noisy environment.

Behringer Podcastudio USB

Best Budget Microphones for Podcasting - BEHRINGER PODCASTUDIO USB

If you want a full recording studio for just $99.99, the Behringer PodcastStudio includes a USB audio interface, mixer, microphone, headphones, and downloadable professional audio software. This bundle offers all the tools you need to get hands on experience at an affordable price. It includes the UCA200 audio interface, XENYX 502 mixer, HPM1000 headphones, the Ultravoice XM8500 dynamic microphone, XLR mic cable and two stereo RCA cables.

MXL 990 Condenser Microphone

Best Budget Microphones for Podcasting - MXL 990 Condenser Microphone

At just $84.46, the MXL 990 condenser microphone with shock mount has solid construction with a vintage look. It comes with a large 3/4″ gold-sputtered diaphragm, 30Hz-20kHz frequency response and 130dB maximum Sound Pressure Level (SPL).

Shure MV5 Digital Condenser Microphone

Best Budget Microphones for Podcasting - Shure MV5 Digital Condenser Microphone

The Shure MV5 digital condenser microphone has DSP preset modes for vocals, flat and instruments with automatic gain application, EQ, compression and limiting for better control. It also has a built in headphone output for real-time monitoring and it is Apple MFi (Made for iPhone/iPod/iPad) Certified for direct connection to any iOS device. The $99 price tag is also a selling point.

NEAT Widget C Desktop USB Microphone

Best Budget Microphones for Podcasting - NEAT Widget C Desktop USB Microphone

If you are looking for a microphone with a modern design, the $99 NEAT Widget C  is for you. It has a plug-and-play with Mac/Windows feature with an integrated pop filter and an internal shock-mounted condenser capsule. It includes a full-range 96kHz/24 bit audio and frequency response of 20 Hz – 20 kHz.

M-Audio USB Condenser Microphone

Best Budget Microphones for Podcasting - M-Audio USB Condenser Microphone

The M-Audio has a large 16mm cardioid capsule protected by wire mesh to guard against unwanted noise. It can capture 16-bit recording at CD quality and more at -44.1 or 48 kHz with the USB connection. And at $98.75, it is certainly a bargain.

Audio-Technica AT2020USB PLUS Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone

Best Budget Microphones for Podcasting - Audio-Technica AT2020USB PLUS Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone

A bit pricier at $147.95, the Audio-Technica AT2020USB PLUS comes from a proven brand delivering high quality A/D converter with 16 bit, 44.1/48 kHz sampling rate. It also includes a headphone jack with high-output internal headphone amplifier and mix control.

Blue Microphones Yeti USB Microphone – Silver

Best Budget Microphones for Podcasting - Blue Microphones Yeti USB Microphone – Silver

This is another entry from Blue Microphones, which manufactures professional grade equipment used in the recording industry. Retailing at $125.92, the Yeti has a tri-capsule array 3 condenser capsules to record in almost any environment with a multiple pattern selection of cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional and stereo. The frequency response is 20Hz – 20kHz, and a sample rate of 48 kHz.

AKG P420 High-Performance Dual-Capsule True Condenser Microphone

Best Budget Microphones for Podcasting - AKG P420 High-Performance Dual-Capsule True Condenser Microphone

The AKG P420 is a studio grade condenser microphone with dual-element design that accommodates cardioid, omni, and figure-8 patterns. Retailing for $199, it includes a shockmount and a metal case with a -20dB pad switch and a bass cut filter switch to eliminate unwanted low frequencies.

sE Electronics X1 Large Diaphragm Condenser Mic

Best Budget Microphones for Podcasting - sE Electronics X1 Large Diaphragm Condenser Mic

At less than $189, the sE Electronics X1 packs a punch. It has a 1″ hand made, diaphragm, 10dB pad and Bass cut with a solid build. The frequency response is 20Hz-20KHz, with  -32 dBV/Pa (25.1mV/Pa) sensitivity and a cardioid polar Pattern.

Behringer B-2 Pro

Best Budget Microphones for Podcasting - BEHRINGER B-2 PRO

The Behringer B-2 Pro is a German designed microphone with professional 1” gold-sputtered dual-diaphragm condenser. It has frequency response from 20 Hz to 20 kHz and two selectable pickup pattern, omni for capturing sound in all directions and cardioid. It retails for $149.99.

Blue Microphones Spark Condenser Microphone, Cardioid

Best Budget Microphones for Podcasting - Blue Microphones Spark Condenser Microphone, Cardioid

The Spark from Blue Microphones has a premium condenser capsule with professional grade recording features for a bit more: $199. It includes a pop filter and custom-designed shockmount to reduce plosives and distortion while delivering isolation during recordings. The company also provides a detailed recording guide with professional tips and a three-year manufacturer’s warranty.

Rode NT-USB USB Condenser Microphone

Best Budget Microphones for Podcasting - Rode NT-USB Condenser Microphone

Meanwhile, $169 will get you the Rode NT-USB condenser microphone compatible with recording applications on both Windows and Mac OS based computers as well as on any other recording app that accepts an external microphone. It comes with a premium pop-filter to minimize plosives (hard ‘B’, ‘T’ or ‘P’ that, when spoken, produce a harsh sound) during speech recordings.

Studio Projects B1 Vocal Condenser Microphone, Cardioid

Best Budget Microphones for Podcasting - Studio Projects B1 Vocal Condenser Microphone, Cardioid

The $119.99 Studio Projects B1 is a cardioid condenser microphone with a true 1 inch 3 um gold sputtered large diaphragm to capture high quality vocal recordings.  It has a selectable filter for 75Hz and 150Hz, as well as selectable pads for -10dB and -20dB.

Marantz Professional MPM-500A

Best Budget Microphones for Podcasting - Marantz Professional MPM-500A

Marantz has been developing high fidelity audio systems for more than four decades, and the MPM-500A is a professional grade hi-quality 45mm cardioid condenser microphone that is a tesament to that legacy. The $176.49 mic comes with shock mount, desktop tripod stand and windscreen, a frequency response of 30–20,000Hz, and complete voice-recording system for interfacing with a computer sound card.

* * *It is important to note, quality microphones practically last forever. You really have to go out of your way to break them. So if you plan to podcast professionally for an extended amount of time, it is best to buy the most expensive and highly rated unit you can afford. However, if you’re just testing out the waters to see how your podcasting will go, any of the 20 microphones listed here should be a good place to start.Microphone Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

India Among Top Five Countries Using Workplace by Facebook

India Among Top Five Countries Using Workplace by Facebook

Buoyed by the positive response from over 1,000 companies that are currently using Workplace(formerly known as Facebook at Work), the company has announced to make the app available to all.

This means you can chat with a colleague across the world in real time, host a virtual brainstorm in a Group or follow along with your CEO’s presentation on Facebook Live.

“People have created nearly 100,000 groups and the top five countries using Workplace are India, the US, Norway, UK and France,” Facebook said in a statement on Tuesday.

“We’re announcing that Workplace will now be available to any company or organisation that wants to use it,” it added.

Large multinational companies like Danone, Starbucks and Booking.com, international nonprofits such as Oxfam and regional leaders such as YES Bank in India and the Government Technology Agency of Singapore have all embraced Workplace.

“We’ve brought the best of Facebook to the Workplace a” whether it’s basic infrastructure such as News Feed, or the ability to create and share in Groups or via chat, or useful features such as Live, Reactions, Search and Trending posts,” the company said.”We’ve also built unique, Workplace-only features that companies can benefit from such as a dashboard with analytics and integrations with single sign-on, in addition to identity providers that allow companies to more easily integrate Workplace with their existing IT systems,” Facebook added.

The company also announced “Multi-Company Groups” – shared spaces that allow employees from different organisations to work together and extend collaboration beyond their companies in a safe and secure way.

“This will be rolling out to all customers in the coming weeks,” Facebook said.

“Workplace will be priced competitively – companies only pay for people who are actively using the product,” it added.

Tags: Facebook, Facebook At Work, Workplace, Workplace By Facebook, Apps, Social, India
[“Source-Gadgets”]

Top 25 Brands You Should Follow on Instagram

follow on instagram
If you’re a small business seeking a better way to use Instagram, look for some good examples. Here are 25 brands you should follow on Instagram. They are brands that are using the platform effectively. Big or small, these brands can provide inspiration for your future campaigns.

Oreo

follow on instagram

This classic cookie might not seem like the most interesting subject for a visual platform. But the brand shares a variety of creative images, projects and recipes that people can make with Oreos. The feed includes a mix of photos and videos, along with some calls to action to increase customer engagement.

Nike

follow on instagram

This feed is filled with stunning sports-related images paired with inspirational quotes. But the brand also has a few different hashtags that followers can use to connect with Nike. And the brand even re-posts some of these photos from other users periodically.

Taco Bell

follow on instagram

The fast food chain has managed to come up with some interesting ways to show off its menu and customers. Taco Bell also uses its Instagram account to announce new features such as its brand new mobile ordering app.

Audi

follow on instagram

This feed includes so many photos of different Audi models in different environments. It even incorporates photos taken by actual Audi drivers. And the brand makes use of special campaigns and hashtags like its #TDIChallenge, which shows an Audi on a cross-country road trip.

American Express

follow on instagram

American Express uses its Instagram account to share updates and news pertinent to its members. But it also shares photos and videos depicting how some members take advantage of the rewards they get from their accounts.

Intel

follow on instagram

This account is full of photos that depict everything from technology to nature. The captions often include interesting scientific facts. And Intel periodically shares some behind-the-scenes photos of new technology its team is developing.

Pabst Blue Ribbon

follow on instagram

This beer company shares a variety of photos that show the PBR logo and products in different environments. Posts include PBR cans and logos used in décor and everyday environments where people might enjoy the product. It also includes recipes in which the beer can be used.

Virgin America

follow on instagram

Virgin America’s feed includes travel-related photos and videos, along with some behind-the-scenes posts showing the company’s employees and some of its initiatives. The company also encourages follower interaction by asking customers to tag them in their own travel posts.

Sephora

follow on instagram

This feed features Sephora’s many products, along with some re-posted customer photos. But the company also utilizes the like2b.uy platform to allow customers to shop for the items depicted in each Instagram post.

Bonobos

follow on instagram

The menswear retailer posts images of its products along with some lifestyle images that go along with its brand. The company also includes some contests and questions to encourage interaction with its followers.

Gucci

follow on instagram

Gucci’s page includes a mix of professionally styled photos and videos of its products and behind-the-scenes images of its models and other team members.

Converse

follow on instagram

Converse features images of its products along with some lifestyle images that its followers might enjoy. The feed also features posts from the brand’s concerts and events.

MTV

follow on instagram

MTV’s official Instagram feed shares both photos and videos and includes celebrity news and updates. It also contains some behind-the-scenes images and special promotions or seasonal content. For example, MTV shared several celebrity Halloween costume ideas throughout October.

Warby Parker

follow on instagram

The eyeglass retailer has an interesting mix of photos and videos on its Instagram feed. Some depict new glasses and sunglasses. Other posts include images taken by actual customers. And the rest feature Warby Parker team members in their work environment.

GoPro

follow on instagram

Since GoPro wants to show off the versatility of its cameras, its feed contains images from all kinds of adventurous environments. Photos and videos show users on roller coasters, under water, surfing, skydiving and more.

Sharpie

follow on instagram

This feed features some images of Sharpie products. But for the most part, the company uses its Instagram to show off art and craft projects from actual Sharpie customers.

Red Bull

follow on instagram

To go along with its “Red Bull gives you wings” tagline, the company shares photos and videos of extreme sports and other adventurous activities.

Target Style

follow on instagram

This feed shows off Target products in real-world settings, from fashion and beauty to home décor. The company also encourages customers to show off their own Target posts using the dedicated #TargetStyle hashtag.

General Electric

follow on instagram

This company shows off posts that include GE’s innovative products along with other scientific facts and tidbits. The company also features special promotions and contests to encourage interaction from followers.

Topshop

follow on instagram

This fashion brand uses its Instagram feed to show off its various products in a variety of different settings. It includes behind-the-scenes images from fashion shoots and in-store photos. There are also photos of customers and models wearing Topshop pieces.

Vans

follow on instagram

This account features Vans juxtaposed with lifestyle images of music events, art, biking, and other activities and interests that go along with the company’s brand. Vans also regularly re-posts images from its customers.

Starbucks

follow on instagram

The cafe giant uses its Instagram account to show off more than just pictures of coffee. The company also includes coffee-themed recipes, re-posted photos from customers and artistic photos of Starbucks locations from around the world.

NFL

follow on instagram

The NFL’s Instagram feed is full of images that include updates about upcoming programming, scores from completed games, stats and more.

Playboy

follow on instagram

A tamer version of what you might expect from Playboy, this feed offers a behind-the-scenes look from the Playboy models and staff.

Forever 21

follow on instagram

This feed features professionally styled photos and videos that fit perfectly into the brand’s aesthetic. The company also utilizes hashtags that its customers can use to show off their own F21 items.

Images: Instagram, Instagram feeds photo via Shutterstock

More in: Instagram

[“source-Business-standard”]

Top 7 Web Design Tips to Help Your Website Load Faster

web design tips

When it comes to business marketing, it is important to ensure these days to have a prominent online presence. And for that, having a website is a must. It can be a great marketing tool for your business. But what’s the use of owning a business website if it has no visitors? For your business to perform properly, you need to ensure that people are attracted to your website on a regular basis. There might be several ways to ensure this. And one of the most important among them is surely how you have designed your website.

The primary aim of a well-planned web design strategy is to create a unique user experience. It must be an experience that’s unparalleled and that will make the visitors return to your website time and again. And for that, it’s essential to have a website that loads fast. But how can you alter your Web design to get the best results in terms of speed of your website?

Here’s a quick look.

Make the Website Lighter

That’s the first thing you need to do. One of the major reasons behind long loading time is a heavy Web page. You have to get rid of all that’s trash. Remember, the smaller a Web page is, the faster it will load. If there are images and videos that are absolutely not relevant to your content, delete them immediately.

Getting rid of something that’s not needed is surely the hardest thing. So, take your time. Find out which components are actually adding value to your website. But ensure that you remove from your Web page everything that’s not necessary or does not add any value to you or to the visitors.

Compress the Web Page

A full size Web page is sure to take a lot of time to load. A compressed website, on the other hand, is faster. Which compression algorithm do you want to use? You can have multiple options, such as:

  • Deflate
  • Gzip

Compressing the Web page ensures that the server does not need to send a lot of data to the page while it’s loading. So, it is going to take shorter time to load.

Split Large Pages into Shorter, Multiple Ones

Why have websites become slower these days? One of the primary reasons is the increase in the size of the Web pages. Are most of the pages of your website too long? Then they are sure to take a bit of time to load. There’s no way you can help it, except one. Just split the long Web pages into multiple pages that are shorter in length.

Doing this will help you get rid of that long scroll bar on the side of the page. Moreover, the attention span of most people these days is pretty short. Having multiple pages with less information on each will help significantly to cater to these people perfectly.

Use Single Code Source for All Web Pages

Have the same script on a number of pages of your website? Just wait before you create separate scripts for each page. Once you use separate scripts, the website will have to read them every time the pages are loaded. That will take a lot of time. Instead, use an external code, that is, you should use a single code source for all the pages. It will ensure that the code remains in the cache. Thus, the time taken for loading the scripts won’t be necessary anymore. This will help the page to load faster. And more so for pages with larger codes.

Keep the Coding Clean for Google

When it comes to coding, you will have to keep it clean. It is essential to write the JavaScript properly. Moreover, you will need to avoid using a lot of external resources. Ensure that the images are not too large. You should pay proper attention to the different attributes of Web design for your page. This is because, Google likes cleaner coding.

By following these steps, you will be able to help your website in terms of SEO. It will rank high with Google’s search engine results for relevant keywords and thus, generate more traffic. It is also important to make the codes smarter to ensure they can be easily read by the search engines. The HTML should also be simple enough. It is also essential to remove the duplicate scripts to make the Web page load faster.

Reduce the Extra White Space

White space is one of the most important components of Web design these days. It can give your website a unique look. It can also form different shapes on it. But are you using too much white space? This can also have a negative impact in terms of the page load time. Remember, the white space also adds up to at least a few bytes in terms of size. Hence, reducing this space means you can cut down on that size. So, it will be less for the server to load. The result: the pages of your website will load faster.

Optimize the Images

When you are creating a website, it is essential to include images there. It helps to enhance user experience. But make sure you use the right format for the image. There might be multiple options, such as:

  • Scaleable Vector Graphics (.SVG)
  • Portable Network Graphics (.PNG)
  • Graphic Interchange Format (.GIF)
  • Weppy (.WEBP)
  • Joint Photographic Experts Group (.JPEG or .JPG)

No matter which format you use, you will need to optimize the image for the web and compress it to ensure that it loads properly and fast.

A web page that takes a long time to load usually results in reduced user interest. It is essential for the Web page to load fast, so that the visitors remain interested in the topic.

[“source-ndtv”]