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first_imgIndia held defending champions Iraq to a goalless draw in a Group D encounter of the AFC U-16 Championship 2018 Qualifiers at the Halchowk Stadium here on Sunday.India thus maintained their unbeaten run and finished their group engagements with five points from three matches.The Indian boys started their campaign with a 3-0 win over Palestine before being held to a 2-2 draw by Nepal.They will now have to wait for engagements in other groups to finish across other venues all over Asia to find out whether they have made it to the AFC U-16 Finals by virtue of being the best second-placed team across 10 groups.Meanwhile, Iraq who finished at the top of the group with seven points from three matches, have already booked a ticket to the AFC U-16 Finals slated to be held next year.The defending champions are also unbeaten in Group D, having beaten bottom-placed Palestine and hosts Nepal in their previous matches.Knowing that only a victory will hand them a ticket to the AFC U-16 Finals, India started on a positive note. They should have surged into the lead as early as the sixth minute itself but the swift Bekey Oram, despite sneaking in from the flanks, could not get the power behind his shot and the Iraqi goalkeeper managed to save it.In the 42nd minute, Vikram Pratap made another robust move but Ricky Shabong shot straight to the rival goalkeeper as both teams were locked goalless going into the interval. (India to face formidable Iraq in AFC U-16 qualifiers)advertisementFollowing the restart, Bekey got perhaps the easiest chance of the match when at the hour mark, he had the rival goalkeeper at his mercy from inside the six-yard box. But he couldn’t finish it off.Two minutes later, Ravi flashed another cross from the left flank but it bounced out.India U-16 coach Bibiano Fernandes introduced the fresh pair of legs of Harpreet in the 76th minute. Six minutes later Harpreet barged into the Iraqi penalty box with a solo effort. But the Iraqi goalkeeper wasn’t to be beaten.India went all out thereafter but Iraq were more content to stabilise their defence as they increased numbers at the back. The Indian colts tried hard but Iraq managed to hold on.last_img read more

first_imgFiguring out if you have diabetes could soon be as easy as strapping on an Apple Watch.A new study from Cardiogram shows that by using heart rate monitors on wearables like the Apple Watch, neural networks can now detect whether the wearer shows early signs of diabetes with astonishing accuracy, Cultofmac.com reports.Medical researchers have been on a quest to find a method for non-invasive glucose tracking in diabetics for decades.Cardiogram’s findings came as part of its larger DeepHeart study with the University of California, San Francisco. Using data from 14,000 Apple Watch users, the team used its algorithms to detect that 462 people in the study had diabetes. That meant an 85 percent accuracy rating.The method can be used with other wearables, too, like Android Wear devices, Garmin watches and Fitbits with heart-rate monitors.By detecting diabetes and prediabetes earlier, those affected would be able to get treatment sooner and potentially live healthier lives.last_img read more

first_imgEvery month, climate scientists make new discoveries that advance our understanding of climate change’s causes and impacts. The research gives a clearer picture of the threats we already face and explores what’s to come if we don’t reduce emissions at a quicker pace.Our blog series, This Month in Climate Science, offers a snapshot of the month’s significant scientific literature, compiled from some of the leading peer-reviewed journals. This edition explores studies published in July 2019. (To get these updates delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our Hot Science newsletter.)Recent Extreme EventsThe past few months have brought alarming signs of a changing climate, many of which are in line with projections of a warming world:Global average temperatures for July were the highest since records began in 1880, 0.95 degrees C (1.71 degrees F) above the 20th-century average. This makes July 2019 the warmest month on record for the globe.A heat wave slammed Europe, breaking temperature records in Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, Belgium and France. Paris saw temperatures reach 108.7 degrees F (42.6 degrees C) . The World Weather Attribution project found that heatwaves in France and the Netherlands had “extremely little chance” of occurring without human-caused emissions.The UK Met Office announced that the region’s 10 hottest years since records began in 1884 all occurred since 2002. Relatedly, Europe’s five hottest summers in the last 500 years have all happened in the last 15 years.The European heat wave also sped up Greenland’s melt.Arctic sea ice extent in July reached record low levels, dropping 80,000 square kilometers (30,900 square miles) below the previous record-low set in 2012 and 1.88 million square kilometers (726,000 square miles) below the average from 1981 to 2010.Much of the Arctic Ocean was at least 3 degrees C (5 degrees F) warmer than the July average from 1981-2010.In an annual census of wild reindeer on Svalbard, scientists found carcasses of about 200 animals that had starved to death over the winter. They attributed the deaths to more rain falling instead of snow. When rain freezes over, it makes plants inaccessible for grazing.Anchorage, AK exceeded its previous temperature records by a whopping 5 degrees F. Long periods of extreme heat created the perfect conditions for wildfires, with a million acres burning since the beginning of July. Huge fires have also raged in Greenland and Russia, with several areas in Siberia declaring a state of emergency.Extreme WeatherWarming fuels California wildfires: A study found that from 1972-2018, California saw a five-fold increase in the amount of area burned annually and an eight-fold increase in the extent of its summer fires. Scientists concluded that human-induced warming is increasing the potential for such wildfires.More extreme heat in the US: Scientists estimated that the annual number of days exceeding 100 degrees F (38 degrees C)and 105 degrees F (41 degrees C) in the United States will double and triple by mid-century, compared to 1971-2000.Flood risks to U.S. East Coast: The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) found a significant acceleration of high-tide flooding events in more than 40 locations. The current national average for high-tide floods is 5 days per year; scientists expect the frequency to reach 7-15 days by 2030 and 25-75 days by 2050 (the range depends on the level of future emissions), with much higher rates in many locations.Extreme weather batters Australia’s coasts: Scientists documented extreme events like marine heat waves and high rainfall along the coast of Australia between 2011 and 2017. They found that along more than 45% of the coastline, there had been abrupt and extensive mortality of key marine species, such as corals, mangroves, seagrasses and kelp forests.  The authors noted that the heightened frequency and intensity of extreme events have been associated with climate change.WarmingThe warmest period in 2,000 years: Researchers have now established that the warmest period of the past two milliennia happened during the 20th century, affecting more than 98% of the globe. They concluded that both temperatures and extent of warming are unprecedented and human-induced.ImpactsClimate change altering Japanese forests: A new study relying on almost 40 years’ of data revealed that warming and greater rainfall in northern Japan has reduced the growth rate of conifers and increased that of broad-leaved tree species. This shift in species composition can impact the services that forests provide, including carbon storage and habitat provision.Raccoons thriving in a changing climate: A new study found that raccoons’ suitable range will expand further north. With the species spreading out, raccoons could eventually outcompete native species.Salmon at risk: Scientists found that several salmon species in the U.S. West Coast are very vulnerable to warming and ocean acidification. Furthermore, other stressors like dams and other migration barriers have reduced species’ ability to adapt to warmer temperatures.Climate connection with fungal disease: A drug-resistant fungus, Candida auris,  which can cause infections, has emerged on three continents. Scientists said it may be the first fungal disease that emerged due to climate change, given its thermal tolerance.Species on the move in the UK: Researchers analyzed a decade’s worth of data from 2008 to 2018 and found that at least 55 species changed their ranges due to climate change. Changing ranges has implications for ecosystem composition, such as competition with native species and crop damges.Climate change to hamper nutrient growth: The global availability of nutrients like iron and zinc is expected to increase due to technological advancements, carbon dioxide fertilization (increased photosynthesis with higher levels of carbon dioxide) and market responses. However, modelers have now found that increased levels of carbon dioxide will decrease such nutrient growth; researchers expert a 20% drop in protein, 14.4% drop in iron and 14.6% drop in zinc relative to what’s expected due to technological and market gains by 2050. Already, a quarter to a third of the global population is deficient in at least one micronutrient.Warmer climate brings more female turtles: Scientists found that 84% of loggerhead turtle hatchlings in Cape Verde are female. By the end of the century, they predict sex ratios could be more than 99% female, with three islands not producing males at all. They also note that by 2050, more 90% of Cape Verde’s turtle nests will be exposed to lethally high temperatures.Corals redistributing themselves: Exploring data from 1974 to 2012, researchers found an 85% reduction of coral recruitment (when coral larvae settle and become part of an adult population) throughout the tropics, while there has been an increase in the sub-tropics. Corals may be shifting to the poles, which authors said may not be able to support the same diversity of species as the tropics.Good news for the blue crab: Scientists project that warmer winters will allow the Chesapeake Bay blue crab, an ecologically and economically valuable species, to have longer and more productive seasons.Trees can’t shift ranges: It is well established that warming will push species to move to more hospitable climates. Researchers have now found that 62% of tropical forest area (roughly 10 million square kilometers) cannot shift to their future hospitable climate range, in part due to extensive deforestation. The authors suggest that it will be important to not only limit future forest loss, but also focus efforts on creating “climate corridors” to improve tropical forest resilience.Freshwater fish die off: Scientists analyzed a database of 502 freshwater fish die-offs and found that they occurred during periods of extreme heat and in lakes with warmer-than-average temperatures. They expect fish die-offs could double by mid-century for north temperate lakes and increase four-fold by the end of the century, especially at southern latitudes.IceGeoengineering the Antarctic ice sheet:  If the West Antarctic ice sheet disintegrates, it would cause seas to rise more than 3 meters, inundating coastal cities like Calcutta, Shanghai, New York and Tokyo. Scientists posited that pumping ocean water on top of a Costa Rica-sized area of the ice sheet—either in the form of liquid or snow—could improve its stability. They noted that their model simulations neglected several mechanisms and feedbacks that could compromise ice sheet stability, and there is significant uncertainty and logistical hurdles to their approach.Tidewater glaciers losing mass much faster than previously thought: Scientists found that models are significantly underestimating the melting from glaciers terminating at sea. Studying an Alaskan tidewater glacier, they found that observational data indicate a melt rate up to a 100 times faster than existing models predict.Antarctic sea ice declining precipitously: Compiling four decades of satellite observations, a scientist found that while Antarctic sea ice extent had been gradually increasing since the late 1970s, as of 2014, it reversed course. The rates of decline between 2014 and 2017 far exceeded rates in the Arctic.EmissionsEnergy infrastructure will blow the carbon budget: A study estimated that emissions from existing and proposed fossil fuel energy infrastructure across eight sectors will exceed the carbon budget associated with limiting warming to 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F). The authors concluded that existing infrastructure may need to be retired early or retrofitted with carbon capture and storage to keep temperature rise to safe levels. They also note that carbon dioxide emissions related to the extraction and transport of fossil fuel, as well as non-energy carbon dioxide emissions, such as those related to deforestation, are not included. If these were included in the estimates, the carbon budget would be even further reduced.Solving the climate problem through forest restoration: Using measurements of forest cover, scientists found that the world could restore forests to 900 million hectares, an area of land the size of the United States. Doing so could store 205 gigatonnes of carbon, which constitutes two-thirds of the total emissions from human activity since the Industrial Revolution. However, they also found that climate impacts could reduce restoration potential by 223 million hectares, and that restoring such a large area is not without significant challenges and tradeoffs. Restoration efforts would need to be carried out with care to take into account the choice of species, socioeconomic implications, impacts to food and land security, and effects on ecosystems.Elephants indirectly help with carbon sequestration: The presence of forest elephants changes forests, leading to fewer and larger trees with high wood density and carbon-storage potential. Modelers projected that if forest elephants were to go extinct, aboveground biomass in central African rainforests would decline by 7%, causing a decline in carbon stocks.last_img read more

first_imgThere’s one thing that absolutely all excellent inbound marketers have in common. Can you guess what it is?It’s that they are all remarkable content creators. That means they create and publish high quality content — webinars, ebooks, blog posts, case studies, etc. — and they do it on a consistent basis.But where some inbound marketers start to diverge is in their decision to deploy that content behind a form, or keep it form-free for all the world to see with no exchange of information. There are pros and cons to each method, and inbound marketers are still discussing which method is best. Let’s outline the pros and cons of form-free content, and delineate when exactly it makes sense to choose one method over the other.The Benefits of Form-Free ContentWhen your content isn’t gated behind a form — like this blog post, for example — it is going to be consumed by more people. Why is that a good thing? Let’s break down the benefits of more eyes on your content.Enabling Content Evangelism: The more eyes you get on your content, the more people will share it socially and via email. Not just because the probability increases that someone will read your content in the first place — thus a corresponding higher rate of sharing — but because people are less likely to tweet, email, or post a link to a form for their friends and colleagues. It’s not unheard of; it’s just less likely. David Meerman Scott, an advocate of form-free content, has noticed that content assets actually have a 50x higher rate of download when they are form-free. This means your content and ideas will spread faster and further without the barrier of a form, and by extension so does your thought leadership.Better SEO: Typically, marketers don’t search engine optimize gated content, since the goal is visitor-to-lead conversion, not SEO ranking. But if you publish more form-free content, you’ll have more keyword-optimized indexed pages that can appear in search engine results pages.More Inbound Links: Other online publications are more likely to link to your content if it’s form-free because they don’t want to send visitors to a part of your site that requires them to fill out a form. And we all know why inbound links are important, right?More Site Traffic: Better SEO and more content sharing means you’re going to drive more traffic to your site — both new and repeat visitors as your reach grows and you build a loyal audience.The Drawbacks of Form-Free ContentMore site traffic, better SEO, constant social sharing? Sounds great; let’s do the form-free content, right? Well if the title of this section wasn’t a dead giveaway, there are some drawbacks to the form-free marketing lifestyle. Consider these reasons why gated content may be the way to go.Lower Quality Leads: You might be getting more, raw leads by keeping your content ungated — that outcome is business-specific. But you’re more likely to get qualified leads through gated content. There is a higher barrier to entry with content behind a form — it has to be interesting enough for someone to want to give over their personal information to retrieve. But because of that, you know the lead is truly interested in your company’s content. Like Mike Volpe notes in the video debate, what’s the value of a view versus a contact? If your business runs on leads, 2,800 qualified contacts are more valuable than 50,000 views.Inconsistent Lead Volume: It’s harder to get a consistent volume of leads with form-free content, because you simply have fewer sources from which to collect leads. It’s hard to be a marketing executive that not only can’t set realistic lead generation goals, but also can’t guarantee a set number of leads to the sales organization every month. No marketer wants to hope for successful lead generation — gated content gives more opportunity for an accurate forecast that can be scientifically executed based on past performance.Fewer Conversion Events Means Poorer Lead Intelligence: Every time a visitor or lead fills out a form, you have the opportunity to both confirm/update information you already have about them, and learn more about them. There’s usually a higher lead-to-customer conversion rate for leads with multiple conversion events; part of that can be attributed to the fact that Sales has more information about the leads, and that information is more accurate. Knowing more about their leads lets them prioritize who to contact first based on which leads are more sales-ready, and historically have a higher likelihood of closing quickly at a high price point.Less Control Over Lead Nurturing: With form-free content, you have to relinquish more lead nurturing control — you didn’t ask for their information, so how can you get back in touch with them unless they either bookmark your site (good job, your content must rock!) or passively come across your site again? That’s often not enough control for a hungry inbound marketer looking to educate people who are interested in their company. When leads fill out a form, you can provide more educational content that is targeted to their needs so they move more swiftly through the sales funnel.Deciding Whether to Put Content Behind a FormOne takeaway marketers could walk away with from this debate is that there are simply some content assets that lend themselves better to being form-free than others. And the rationale behind determining which assets to gate and which ones to leave ungated boils down to establishing a purpose behind each content asset. When you publish something — a blog post, a case study, a whitepaper, an ebook, a webinar, a video — what are you hoping to achieve with it? What’s the point? Let’s break down how to decide whether to keep your content assets form-free.The clearest example of a content asset that should remain form-free is blog content. Unless your end goal for blogging is something other than site traffic, more indexed content, establishing a thought leadership position, and better SEO, blog content should remain ungated. Your blog is one of the most powerful tools you have for organic search success, and putting that content behind a form is seriously compromising your website’s success. That being said, you don’t need to sacrifice lead generation from your blog entirely. Just be sure to add relevant calls-to-action for your form gated, lead gen content to each blog post you publish — as well as to the top and/or sidebar of your blog (for an example, just scroll to the bottom of this post).There may be a few instances of businesses gating some of their product or service information — and there might be a good reason (leave it in the comments!) for that decision. But content assets centered around your product or service like data sheets, FAQs, and case studies are more examples of content that should be available for everyone to read without a form. Do you really want to hinder someone’s access to information about your company’s solutions? Inbound marketers almost never get to talk about themselves — this is your chance to do it guilt free, and to someone who actually wants to hear it! Don’t make it harder for interested prospects to learn why they should become a customer of yours.So when would you use a form? If you look at the content assets most often associated with the first and last stage of the buying cycle — ‘Awareness’ and ‘Purchase’ — they generally seem to align with the instances in which marketers should gate their content if they’re in the business of generating a consistent volume of leads.In the ‘Awareness’ stage, the content assets are purely educational, and not promotional of the company’s product or service. Not everyone will want to provide their information in exchange for reading an ebook or watching a webinar, but the fact is, you’re providing free education. Those that are invested enough in learning more about the solutions your company helps solve are going to be willing to fill out a form to retrieve that information. And that’s what helps you distinguish who is a qualified lead, and who is still in the low-commitment phase of browsing your website, reading your blog, and checking out your social media accounts to get information.In the ‘Purchase’ stage of the buying cycle, there’s a little less gray area. You’re offering high-commitment content that frankly requires the exchange of information. It’s pretty hard to give a free estimate to someone, for example, without a form being filled out. Prospects understand that, and are more often than not willing to comply.All this being said, inbound marketers know that this isn’t an exact science. We wouldn’t be debating it if it was. That’s because some businesses sell a product or service that is more complex than others. In the debate on this subject, Volpe and Scott discuss Dropbox as an example of a company successfully generating customers without using gated content. Leads simply sign up for a free trial, download Dropbox, and then decide whether to purchase after the trial expires. If you have a less complex product or service like Dropbox, this approach of largely form-free content may work. For companies whose products and services require more education and explanation — often those with a longer buying cycle — a mix of form-free and gated content is most appropriate. Form-free content drives the traffic, and gated content converts that traffic, multiple times, so Marketing and Sales can properly nurture and prioritize those leads.Finally, keep in mind that using forms means your content should have a reputation for being consistently remarkable. Leads will be less and less willing to part with their personal information to redeem your content assets if there’s not sufficient return in content quality.On which side of the form-free content debate do you fall? Share your reasoning in the comments!Image credit: garryknight Forms Topics: Originally published Feb 22, 2012 12:30:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

first_imgDelhi Capitals (DC) all-rounder Chris Morris is expected to take on his Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) counterpart Andre Russell in their Indian Premier League (IPL) game at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Saturday and the South African said that he is up for the challenge.”He (Russell) is an absolute genius. It will be a case of ‘if he misses, I hit’. I won’t give away too many secrets. I might look like a duck, but my brain is working overtime and I will look to trust my training.”We have got similar roles. He bats a little higher. Our job is to hit sixes and pick up wickets. But maybe he has a little more responsibility as a batsman than me,” Morris said on the eve of the match.Asked if he would take the new ball or bowl at the death, Morris said: “I haven’t spoken about my role, but I will take up the all-rounder’s role. I don’t think I will take the new ball, and will probably bowl at the death. I like to bring a little energy to the squad. I’m really looking forward to get onto the park.”The Kotla wicket has been low and slow this year and Morris agreed that it is one of the biggest differences at the venue this season.”The biggest difference is that it is a little slower and turning a bit. The wicket here has been good and quick, but it’s a little bit on the slower side this time. There is natural variation in the wicket,” he said.advertisementWith Morris coming in, there might be a change in Rishabh Pant’s batting position, but the all-rounder said the wicketkeeper-batsman is a quality performer and can bat at any position.”Doesn’t matter where Pant bats, he is good wherever he bats. My role is to play hard at the end,” Morris said with a smile on his face.Also Read | IPL no-ball controversy: Cricketing fraternity slams umpiring blooperAlso Read | Sanction unlikely for Ravi, Nandan as only 11 Indian umpires for IPL postinglast_img read more

first_img Originally published Jul 17, 2015 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Website Design Examples Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack If you’ve ever looked at your website and thought, “maybe it’s time for an upgrade,” chances are that time has passed and you’re overdue. With search engines constantly rolling out new algorithms and new design trends taking shape every day, it’s understandable that managers are getting overwhelmed just trying to keep their heads above water. Website re-designs are long, labor-intensive processes that require input from many different departments to make sure everything is moving on track.Especially in the industrial space, where resources are limited and staff members are already being pulled in a hundred different directions, adding a website re-design to the mix is an intimidating prospect, to say the least. But, if you keep a checklist of deliverables and work toward each individual component as a separate project, it will make the whole process easier.1) Define Your AngleBefore you get started writing anything – answer this question: What value do you provide to your customers? Figure out what it is that sets your company apart from others, and use that to your advantage wherever you can.For custom manufacturers, having a wide range of equipment and capabilities that can serve a variety of needs is a good differentiator. For distributors, it might be your global presence and stellar customer service. Think about what makes you unique, and how best to represent that online. Once you figure out what gives you an edge over your competition, consider the types of web pages that will help you explain these benefits.After you’ve outlined a basic site map, you can get started writing content that covers all of these bases. Remember to include keywords and terms that people are searching for online, and incorporate them naturally in the text to make it reader- and search engine-friendly.2) Put Products Front and CenterIf a prospective customer is on your website, make sure it’s easy for them to find what they’re looking for. Many industrial companies seem to think that explaining their processes and end products is enough, and that customers will call for more information.But increasingly, website visitors are looking for all of those details online so they can make a decision before they call. For this reason, your website should include a product catalog with high quality pictures, descriptions, and any customization options that are available. It’s also a good idea to include pricing, although for custom products it’s understandable if that’s not always possible.If most of your work is custom and you don’t have a catalog available, you may instead opt to include a calculator that allows users to input their unique specifications and get a custom quote. A benefit of this route is that you can create a website form that also includes contact information, allowing you to capture that data and keep in touch with interested individuals.3) Feel Free to Name DropOkay, you might not want to disclose who your customers are, but if you have a long list of distributors, that might be good information to highlight. If a prospect is looking for a local company, but your main facility is hundreds of miles away, they might be turned off by the distance. But if you have distributors located around the country or around the world, that can make all the difference. And if your distributors are well-known, all the better.4) Show Off a LittleWhen you’re thinking about purchasing a high-ticket item, chances are you’ll do your research to find the best possible option. It’s no different in the industrial space. People want to find someone who can deliver what they want without having to worry about quality issues. So if you’ve earned ISO certifications, awards, or meet any special product requirements, let it be known on your website.Create an area on the website specifically for these recognitions, and spread the word when you add any new acknowledgements to the list. Every time you win an award or obtain a new certification, put together a press release, blog, and social media posts to announce it before adding it to the master list on the site. It’s not just about bragging rights – it’s about establishing yourself as a key industry leader and trusted partner.In addition, you’ll also want to showcase certifications that are not related to quality – such as if you operate a woman owned business, or a minority owned business. Many companies are required to meet diversity requirements in their supply chains, so if they can meet those requirements by working with you, let them know that.5) Don’t Underestimate NavigationOn each website page, you want your basic navigation options to be accessible without being obtrusive. Try a couple of different locations that are easy to find while at the same time being out of the way of your main content. It sounds like a catch-22, but once you find the right place it’ll all make sense. As always, check to make sure that even on a small mobile screen your navigation is available without taking up too much space.The best way to achieve this is to “hide” the navigation in plain sight behind a smaller hamburger icon, which is essentially three stacked bars that very loosely resemble a hamburger (I didn’t make this up, I swear). If a site visitor taps on the hamburger icon, the full navigation menu will appear.Similarly, make sure any links or buttons are easily clickable with a finger-tap on a mobile device. If you’ve ever done any mobile browsing, you know how easy it is to click the wrong link or accidentally tap a button while scrolling. Run through your mobile site as many times as necessary to make sure it’s as user friendly as possible.Hopefully this information helped outline some of the important factors to keep in mind when designing an updated, responsive manufacturing website. This is just a basic introduction though; if you’re interested in learning even more, download this free responsive website design ebook for additional information.last_img read more

first_imgWhen Payal Kadakia quit her job at Warner Music Group, she didn’t have a backup plan. All she knew was she wasn’t happy in her current job — and she needed to do something about it. She spent several weeks trying to figure out what that something would be. After much soul-searching, she finally landed on her big idea: a fitness search engine that would surface new classes in your area. Unfortunately, it wasn’t all smooth sailing from there. Her original idea didn’t quite pan out — she couldn’t get the traction she needed to grow it into a scalable business. But Payal didn’t give up. Three years and several pivots later, she has landed on a business model that works. Her company, now called ClassPass, is valued at over $400 million and has expanded to 36 cities and 3 countries worldwide.In this episode of The Growth Show, Payal walks us through the twists and turns of building ClassPass — and what she’s learned along the way.To listen to this episode in your browser, click the play button below, or click here to listen in your iTunes app.Check out the latest recaps of The Growth Show episodes by clicking here. Originally published Jan 28, 2016 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

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 Topics: Originally published Aug 4, 2016 1:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 If you were in a room full of inbound marketers a couple of years ago, advertising on Google wasn’t a strategy you heard too much about. However, with the ever-increasing competition online, it’s becoming a more talked about topic for getting your content in front of the eyes of your potential customers. So, why has it taken so long for most inbound marketers to adopt Google AdWords?For this answer, let’s take a look at the top 3 myths that might be keeping you from implementing a successful AdWords campaign.Myth #1: People Don’t Click On Google AdsThis is the easiest of the myths to debunk. Remember, Google is a publicly traded company and just about anyone can access their financial records with a little bit of digging around.How much money do you think Google makes in one day on AdWords alone? $1 million? $10 million? Can you believe that Google generates over $100 million in revenue every day from people clicking on their ads? With an average cost per click between $1 and $2 (source: WordStream), that’s well over 50 million clicks per day.So yes, people definitely click on Google ads. Everyday Google experiments with the appearance of their ads to entice more users to click them. After all, why would the most popular search engine want to present you with a free, organic result at the top of the search results page when they could showcase several ads that all generate revenue?Myth #2: My Competitors Can Just Click On My Ads All Day, Costing Me MoneyGoogle has extremely sophisticated technology in place to prevent “click fraud” and “invalid clicks”. This goes beyond tracking the IP address to see where clicks are originating, and involves the analysis of several click pattern factors.What’s more, Google provides very good reports on AdWords campaign performance, and any suspicious activity is quickly exposed. If a business is concerned that they are the victim of click fraud – i.e. if they see that there’s an unusual number of clicks from a geographic area that is traditionally not part of their target market, they can contact Google directly to launch an investigation. Any questionable clicks are reimbursed.Myth #3: AdWords Is An Outbound Marketing TacticWhen most people think of Google AdWords they think of paying for advertising. Advertising is typically synonymous with outbound or traditional marketing. But, AdWords is different; it’s designed to showcase your content when potential customers are using Google to search for an answer, information, solution, etc. Unless you have access to Google’s ultra secret algorithm, it’s the only inbound marketing tactic that guarantees your content will rank high on Google when a user performs a search.In some cases, AdWords actually delivers a better user experience for the searcher. Example: I have a friend in Southern California that specializes in car wraps. He has a page on his website that talks about removing car wraps. If someone in New York performs a search for “how to remove a car wrap”, they are not going to want to ship their car to Southern California to get their car wrap removed. If my friend was using AdWords to promote this page, he could specify that the ad only be shown to searchers within a 60-mile radius of his shop. This keeps the searcher in New York from calling my friend in Southern California, while ensuring that my friend in Southern California doesn’t pay for that call.Integrating AdWords with Your Inbound Marketing StrategyNow that we’ve debunked these 3 myths, it should be easy to see how AdWords can be the perfect compliment to inbound marketing if implemented correctly. Combined with your content and SEO efforts, it allows you to dominate the search results and take traffic away from your competition. What’s even bettter, HubSpot now makes it simple for inbound marketers to create, measure, and optimize their ads right in the HubSpot Dashboard with their new Ads Add-On Product. I hope I’ve been able to give you some insight on how people actually perceive ads on Google. If you’re thinking about adopting Google AdWords or would like more information on how AdWords can add value to your overall inbound marketing strategy, please download this free eBook: Why Google AdWords Should Be Part of Your Inbound Marketing Strategy Google Adslast_img read more

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 Video Marketing Topics: Video production is not just about making videos for awareness purposes. In our experience, using video strategically can help you at every step of the marketing funnel from lead generation to revenue growth.In order to reach these goals, savvy marketing teams want to make videos that drive conversions. Whether you’re hoping someone will find your website organically, sign up for a product demo, or even purchase your product — a well strategized video can help boost your conversion rate.A video that converts needs to be clear in its goal. What do you want this video to accomplish? What should be the next step that your viewer takes in their journey after watching your video? You want that next step to be as clear as possible, making conversion a seamless experience for your audience.Identifying and Leveraging Conversion Opportunities Increasing Your Video’s Play Rate to Boost ConversionWith just a few simple tweaks, you can dramatically boost your videos’ play rates. Small changes can make all the difference for someone watching your video — whether it be a product video or a webinar.1) Make the Thumbnail FriendlyThe video thumbnail is the first thing your audience sees when they look at your video. Think of it as your video’s CEO. It represents your video to your audience, just like a CEO represents her company to the world. When putting up a video, many companies use the generic thumbnail image — usually a frame somewhere in the middle of your video. Using a custom thumbnail, however, can increase  your play rate by 34%. Your thumbnail should be something to consider before you put your video out into the wild. Each video’s thumbnail is either encouraging or discouraging engagement from your audience. If you have a person in your video, choose a thumbnail that features the face of an actor. A smiling, friendly looking person will encourage a viewer to click play and see what the video is all about.2) Show Off Your Brand’s ColorsYour brand’s look and feel is crucial to brand recognition. You wouldn’t want your video player to stand out in the wrong way. Adjusting your player color will bring your website or email together in a cohesive and branded way. We’ve found that choosing a custom player color that represents your brand increases your video’s play rate by a full 19%. You can choose to use a color that is the same as the elements on your website, landing page, or email to bring the content together and make it look more professional, influencing a higher percentage of your audience to click play and ultimately convert.3) Keep It Short You’ve probably heard it a million times — in today’s age, humans have short attention spans. We’re bombarded with content, and much of that content is in video form. In order to keep your audience’s engagement strong and convince them to convert, your video should stay within a certain time frame.We’ve recently pulled some numbers around video length and engagement, and unsurprisingly, two minutes is the ultimate cutoff. Videos that are up to one minute long have an average 70% play rate — that’s huge! For one minute, 70% of your audience is engaged, willing to stick around and learn more about the content in your video. Once your video gets just over two minutes, however, you’re in hot water. Engagement drops by 5% at two minutes, and starts to freefall after that.These simple changes can really make a difference in your play rate, engagement rate, and ultimately, your conversion rate. Just changing your video’s thumbnail and player color can increase your play rate by 53%, making it that much more likely that your audience will convert or follow your CTA. Keeping your video under two minutes long will hold your engagement rate right where you want it — above 65%. These simple actions have a huge impact, and there’s so much more you can do to increase your video’s conversion rates. Let’s look into some of the more in-depth ways where conversion is the main attraction.Boosting Your Conversion RateWhether your call to action is asking someone to sign up to your email list and become a lead, to register for a webinar, to come to a physical event, or maybe to simply buy your product — your call to action is what makes the conversion. There are many different ways to include a call to action in your video. There are several different options for how to include video CTA beyond just changing the text or color — consider your video’s goal before choosing a type4) Leverage CTAs and AnnotationsWhen considering where to put your call to action in a video, whether it be an annotation or a lead generation form, think past the usual places. CTAs are most often put at the end of videos, but we’ve found that CTAs in the middle of the video perform way better, with conversion rates at 16.95%, as compared to 10.98% at the end.You can make your CTA engaging in the middle of your video by pointing it out in your script. Script around the CTA and weave them together to create an interesting viewer experience that will make folks excited to click. Your CTA should be very clear and have a very specific goal. You can then measure how your CTA does depending on how you weave it into your video. The more custom and clear it is, the better it will convert your viewers.5) Put the Turnstile Where It Counts A turnstile is basically a lead generation form. Using a turnstile in your video allows you to capture your audience member’s email address by pulling up a form in the beginning, middle, or end of your video. Where you put this turnstile really matters, and the conversion rate differs depending on where in your video the turnstile appears.Many video marketers choose to put their turnstile in the beginning or the end of the video, so it does not interrupt the viewer’s experience. However, we’ve found that the highest converting position for a turnstile is actually in the middle of the video, with a conversion rate of 22.17%, over a 3.05% or a 8.49% conversion rate for post and pre-roll turnstiles, respectively.Adding your turnstile to the middle of your video may seem tricky — doesn’t interrupting the viewing experience leave your audience with a bad taste in their mouth? You can incorporate a mid-roll turnstile without making the viewer feel cheated. Add your turnstile into your script in order to work around the lead generation form. Creating a script that flows around the turnstile and warns viewers that it’s coming up prepares them for what’s next. Try something like “Interested? Enter your email address and let’s get in a little deeper”, or “Enter your email for more information.After the VideoPhew! You’ve gone through the whole process. You’ve created a custom thumbnail, added your custom player color to match your brand, and made sure your video doesn’t go above the two minute mark. You’ve even woven in a CTA and/or turnstile into your video’s script to make it flawless and engaging. You’re set up for success–but what now?6) Leverage Post-Production AnalyticsMake sure you’re tracking your video’s analytics. It’s important to keep in mind where folks watched and re-watched your video. Was there a bump in re-watches at a certain point mid-video? That may mean that folks are especially interested in what was conveyed at that time, meaning you have an opportunity to create another video specifically focusing on that topic. Re-watches help you figure out where your audience’s interest was piqued, letting you create more relevant content for them in the future.See how many folks converted on your turnstile and CTAs. You can take that data and test future videos depending on what you’ve done in the past. Each piece of data counts when making a high-converting, high impact video.7) Invest In Videos For Lead NurturingOnce your viewer has converted, you want to take them one step further in the process. Videos can be perfect for nurturing leads that have already raised their hand for your content. Making a short video that welcomes folks who have converted on partnership content, for example, can delight your audience and act as a great reminder of your company and the problems you solve. We do this after large lead generation campaigns, and especially after co-marketing projects. When it comes to onboarding lead nurturing campaigns, video is a great asset in boosting your click through rates, increasing the probability of your audience taking the action you want them to take. You can easily tweak your onboarding workflow to reap the rewards video creates! For example, we’ve found that using a video thumbnail with a play button in an email, instead of a plain image, resulted in a 300% lift in our CTRs! You can’t beat those numbers. Your onboarding lead nurturing emails should have a goal, and video can help you test that goal. Our onboarding emails, for example, contain a video thumbnail that links new Wistia users to a video that walks them through uploading a new video to their account. We’ve found that 48% of users who start watching  the uploading video actually do upload their video—this is huge! Without that video thumbnail in our onboarding workflow, we’d have missed a huge opportunity to get folks to engage more with the product.8) Focus On the CloseOf course, once you’ve converted and nurtured a lead, you want to focus on the close. If your final goal is to get your leads to become customers, using video can help you get your close rates up. Specifically, try making videos that are personal and human, creating a relationship with your potential customer. Sending one-on-one videos to prospects introducing yourself and letting them know that you value their business will help create trust, and may just raise your chances of sealing the deal.Marketing agency Bluleadz does a great job pioneering one-on-videos in the close stage of their prospective customer’s journey. They send out a video when the prospect has already talked to sales in-depth and is in decision mode. Their videos look something like this: These one-on-one videos help create the human element behind Bluleadz business — and they work! Bluleadz has found that prospects who receive these videos before a purchase decision close at a rate of 63%, as compared to 46% for prospects who do not receive videos. That’s a big difference!With all these tips, it’s time to put your videos to work! How do you make videos that convert? Let us know in the comments! Originally published Aug 29, 2016 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more

first_img Website Design Originally published Aug 1, 2018 6:19:00 PM, updated February 15 2019 Don’t forget to share this post! Topics: Every year, we see new elements and styles in website design begin to emerge.Some elements — when incorporated thoughtfully — help tell stories and explain your company. Other elements work to improve how content looks on a specific device. While it’s not necessary to include every trend that comes about on your website, many of them have the potential to improve your visitor’s experience.Free Workbook: How to Plan a Successful Website RedesignBut with so many options to choose from, it can be challenging to determine which ones are really worth considering. To help you narrow your focus, we’ve detailed eight important elements of modern website design that you can include to improve your site’s performance.8 Modern Website Design Elements and TrendsElement #1: Unique and Large TypographyMost companies have a particular font or typography that they use to help their customers immediately identify them versus their competitors. In recent years, designers have received a larger selection of fonts to choose from, making it easier for brands to more accurately express themselves through typography. For example, The New Yorker is recognized instantly through their use of unique font, Adobe Caslon Pro. While more unique fonts, such as Blokletters-Balpen, have begun to be used by startups and technology companies like Zero.Why is it useful?Typography uses one design trend across the website to lead readers to different parts of the page. For instance, The New Yorker website leads visitors from one section to another based on the typography and font sizes.When creating your company’s brand, your choice in typography can indicate subtle hints about who you are. Are you fun or serious? Functional or informational? Regardless of what font you choose, be sure that your designer considers its applicability across browsers and computers. Choosing a font that is not supported by common browsers and computers could mean that your website displays awkwardly on different devices. Element #2: Large & Responsive Hero ImagesYou don’t have to go far beyond the popular publishing website Medium.com to see an example of a large hero image:Large images such as this one do away with the concept of above and below the fold. By focusing on just the image with text rather than a CTA or social buttons, Medium creates a strong visual experience that encourages you to scroll down to read more. Large hero images are also often placed in the background with text and other content overlaid on top, like on Uber’s website. Regardless of the approach you utilize, large images can help visually tell your story without having to rely on just text. Why is it useful?Your customers are coming from all over the place and have high expectations. You may not be sure if they are finding your website from their phone, tablet, or desktop computer. The image that Medium uses above is extremely powerful, but if it was only visible from desktop computers, many people may miss it. That said, ensuring your images are responsive makes for a good user experience. Website visitors can look at different images — whether they are the background or product images — and be able to get the same experience no matter what device they are coming from. Element #3: Background VideosVideos that automatically play in the background can add a lot to a page. They can be used to tell a story and significantly reduce the amount of other content that is needed to explain your business.Let’s take Wistia’s website, for example. When you land on their homepage a large video automatically starts playing in the background, and by clicking on the play button, you get a deeper look at Wistia:This background video serves as a brilliant way to get the visitor engaged to click-through to the main video. Why is it useful?Background videos focus on enticing the visitor from the moment they land on your page. The video allows your visitor to understand the key points about your company without ever having to read a single line of text. In addition, video is processed 60,000 times faster by our brains compared to text. While people are often hesitant to read heavy blocks of text, videos appear effortless and can be consumed very quickly. It also helps that connection speeds are increasing and mobile device sizes are growing, making for better video experiences.Element #4: Semi-Flat DesignIn 2013 Apple fundamentally shifted to flat design. Simply put, flat design is any element that does not include or give the perception of three dimensions, such as shadows. Not only is flat design is easier for users to comprehend, but it can also load more quickly on websites without complicated or overly-technical elements.Following in Apple’s footsteps, many other organizations — both large and small — have shifted to flat design. However, company’s like Uber have put their own spin on the style by adding subtle shadows and dimensions. As you can see in the image below, the boxes have an element of depth with shadows around them, without overdoing it:When you scroll over any of the boxes on the Uber homepage the shadow disappears and relieves the image behind it.Why is it useful?Flat design helps the visitor understand your content more quickly, and adding some elements of depth can bring it to life. Regardless of whether you fully design your website using flat design or utilize shadows and other elements, it’s important to be consistent throughout your website. Ensure that your homepage, product pages, and any other key sections of your website all utilize the same design cues so that visitors can instantly understand what they’re viewing.Element #5: Hamburger MenusIt’s likely that most websites you come in contact with have a long menu of options to choose from. The advantage of this is that the menu can take the visitor directly to where they want to go. However, the disadvantage is that they generally take up a ton of valuable screen space. The hidden, or hamburger, menu changes this. This menu was common in web applications before making it’s way to web design — even in Google Chrome you can find a hamburger menu on the right-hand side.Source: UX movementWondering why it’s called a hamburger menu?If you use your imagination, the three lines that are stacked on top of one another look like hamburger patties. Get it?Why is it useful?The pages of your website should have a clear path for the user to take. Removing a busy navigation makes the experience cleaner and distraction free. This improved experiences help to improve the likelihood that the user will find the information they need to complete a desired action. Element #6: Giant Product ImagesYou may have noticed that many B2B websites are starting to display large product images on their sites to highlight different features or parts of their product. This is no coincidence. To give you a better idea of what we’re talking about, let’s take a look at the product page for the HubSpot Website Platform:There is a large featured image at the top of this page, and as you scroll down the page there are additional in-depth product images. The images are also responsive which aims to ensure an optimized experience for viewers coming from different devices, as we mentioned earlier. Why is it useful?Larger product images help designers highlight different features of a product in a more efficient and effective way.This approach reinforces the benefits of a feature by providing the opportunity to highlight the most valuable pieces. For instance, in the second image, you will notice that there are numbers on the image corresponding with benefits of certain features.These large images are also scan-friendly. They help visitors generate a solid understanding of what the different product features do by convey them through images instead of words.Element #7: Card DesignWith the rise of Pinterest, designers and marketers alike have become fascinated with cards. Individual cards help distribute information in a visual way so the visitors can easily consume bite-sized pieces of content without being overwhelmed. Brit + Co’s homepage serves as a great example of card design in action:By breaking up different pieces of content into cards, users can pick and choose which articles they want to expand. This helps to keep the homepage feeling clean and organized, without relying on a ton of text. Why is it useful?Card design is becoming more and more popular across B2B and B2C websites because it helps to deliver easily digestible chunks of information for users. Using this design on your site can help highlight multiple products or solutions side-by-side. Keep in mind that your cards should be responsive. This means that as the screen size gets smaller or larger, the number and size of cards shown should adapt accordingly.Element #8: Short Product or Feature VideosIn addition to background videos, companies are also beginning to use short product or feature videos to highlight a specific use case. These short videos are great at bringing your solution to life, while not overwhelming the visitor with a long experience that they must sit through.A strong example of this comes from the folks at InVision. They display this short illustrator of how easy it is to use their product by dragging-and-dropping a design directly on their homepage:Why is it useful?According to Inc. Magazine, 92% of B2B customers watch online video, and 43% of B2B customers watch online video when researching products and services for their business. Therefore, B2B companies need to create videos that explain their products because it is influential in the buyer’s decision-making process.These short videos allow for your prospect to quickly understand value without watching a really long, in-depth experience. Sure, both have value, but the shorter videos allows for quick understanding that is best for top of the funnel.last_img read more