Friday, December 30, 2016

10 Powerful Habits for Building a Personal Brand


CREDIT: Getty Images
Building and promoting your own personal brand is as important for you as it is for any company. Maybe more.

We all know the power of brands. Who anywhere in the world isn't familiar with McDonald's fabled golden arches, Coca-Cola's distinctive red-and-white logo, or the green Starbucks mermaid?

But here's a secret--building and promoting your own personal brand is just as important for your success and happiness as it is for any business. In fact, since it's you we're talking about, it might be even more important.

In her book Personal Branding and Marketing Yourself, executive coach, trainer, and consultant Rita B. Allen explains that there are 10 habits you should adopt to market yourself while building a more powerful personal brand.

1. Identify specific target markets
When you're building your brand, it's better to first focus on a few, most-promising targets, than to try to reach out to the entire world all at once. You'll get the greatest payoff for your time and money by identifying the segments of your market where you are likely to achieve the greatest rewards, and then pursuing them relentlessly.

2. Know your marketplace
Your brand is only as good as you are. Stay up to date with your industry--the latest news, practices, companies, and other information. The moment you begin to fall behind is the moment your brand will begin to tarnish.

3. Be visible and "in play"
Building a brand means getting out of your office and becoming very visible to your target audience and potential customers and clients. Attend networking events and become active in your profession and community. The more visible you are, the stronger your brand.

4. Become a source of relevant information
You should be someone people contact when they want expert advice or information on a particular topic. When you build a following as a content expert, you put yourself in position to be viewed as a trusted authority, which will attract people to you.

5. Always give something back to your profession and community
When you give back to others, not only will you gain the personal satisfaction that comes from doing it, but you'll build your brand in ways that money can't buy. People will remember the good deeds you have done, and your personal brand will benefit as a result.

6. Practice networking etiquette
Networking is all about marketing yourself, but it's also about giving others the opportunity to market themselves to you. Make sure that your networking efforts are beneficial to both you and to the people with whom you are networking. It's a two-way street.

7. Maintain your shelf life and develop an effective social media presence
In the publishing world of which I am a part, you're only as good as your latest book. Don't rest of your laurels, as impressive as they may be. Continue to do great work and achieve great things. And in these days of social media, don't ignore your LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and other accounts.

8. Create a networking database
Keep an up-to-date computer listing or database of all your networking contacts and social media connections.

9. Have a clear, brief message to deliver
The founder of every startup has a well-honed elevator pitch--ready to break out at a moment's notice when the opportunity presents itself. You should have a similar pitch ready for your own personal brand. What is your value proposition? Why should someone work with you?

10. Don't ever stop!
Building and marketing a personal brand is all about generating momentum--and then sustaining it over a long period of time. Once you get the ball rolling, then keep it rolling. It's a lot easier to keep the momentum going than it is to start all over again from scratch.

Source: Inc.com

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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

How To Find Out How Much Traffic a Website Gets



There are numerous reasons you might want to find out how much traffic a website gets. Perhaps you are interested in researching websites that compete in the same niche as a website you own. Maybe you are considering starting a new website, and you want to research the niche to see if there is enough interest in the topic for your new website to be viable. Perhaps you want to grow the traffic to a website that you own. Maybe you’re curious about how much traffic some of the big media publishers’ websites get.

When I visit a website for the first time, I don't look the design; look at something else. In less than few seconds, I get a estimate of how much traffic that website gets which helps me decide whether or not to stay.

Knowing how much traffic a website gets help me validate the website’s content and let me know how much traffic I need to get to see similar results.

Here are My 7 favorite techniques for figuring out how much traffic a particular website gets.

1. Alexa
The Alexa Ranking isn’t exactly “little-known,” but it is the best-known metric for ranking websites. Alexa tracks stats for everyone who has the Alexa toolbar installed on their browser, which accounts for less than 1% of internet users. So it’s not very accurate, but it’ll give you a rough idea of the website’s popularity.




Alexa data is not completely accurate, because it involves flawed methodology. Alexa ranks websites based on how much traffic they get from users who have chosen to install the Alexa toolbar. Alexa toolbar users are a small minority of website users, which makes the data somewhat skewed. However, basic Alexa data is free to the public and easy to obtain, and it does give you insights you wouldn’t have had otherwise.

2. Compete.com
Compete.com is a web traffic analysis service of Compete, Inc. which operates in the United States and publishes the approximate number of U.S. visitors to the top 1,000,000 web sites.

Based on checking my sites and Income Diary, the “Unique Visitors” stat that it generates is much lower than the actual traffic.

3. SimilarWeb.com
SimilarWeb is another website traffic checker that’s similar to Alexa and Compete, except, it’s got a lot more detail put into it, so it’s more accurate!

The main takeaway is that it gives you a line graph with values for the number of daily unique visitors and the sources. You can see the countries that your traffic comes from, top referring sites, the top destination sites (sites people visit after yours), display ads, audience interests, and up to 10 organic keywords with the free version.

4. comScore.com Reports
comScore is an American global media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to many of the world's largest enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers.

Comscore publishes a number of different traffic reports. Their reports tend to cover only the largest publishers, and they include metrics by country for websites with the highest traffic numbers. This can be useful if you are interested in learning about how much traffic the most prominent websites on the Internet are generating.

5. Traffic Estimates by TrafficEstimate.com
This free resource gives you a bunch of data in one place, although some of it is inaccurate. You’ll be able to find out some basic Alexa rankings, keyword phrases the website is targeting, other websites targeting similar keyword phrases and websites with close relationships.

If you’re researching smaller or newer websites, you might not get any results from this tool. The closely related websites report is flawed; in some cases it does find closely related sites, but in other cases the sites it shows are all unrelated.

6. quantcast.com
Quantcast is an American technology company, founded in 2006, that specializes in audience measurement and real-time advertising.

Quantcast offers you a multiple opportunities to discover a website’s traffic measures. If you are interested in finding out metrics for your own website, you can subscribe to their services to receive detailed insights.

Quantcast also offers website owners the choice to make selected analytics data publicly available. Many website owners take advantage of this because they think it benefits them to show potential advertisers their site’s metrics as verified by an unbiased, trusted third-party source. So you can check to see if the website you are interested in researching has a public Quantcast profile available.

7. searchmetrics.com
The Searchmetrics Suite for enterprise companies is the global leader in SEO marketing and analytics, SEO optimization, social and content marketing.

Similar to SEMRush, Searchmetrics will show you the organic search visibility for a website and also some of their top keyword terms.

Unless the owner of the website reveals exactly how much traffic they’re getting, every other figure is a best guess. Most tools are surprisingly inaccurate when it comes to generating stats. They are good, however, for comparing yourself against others.

Do you know of any other ways to figure out how much traffic a website gets?

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Friday, December 2, 2016

Google Drops Their Feature Phone Crawler & Error Report in Search Console

No Feature Phone Crawler & Error Report Available in Google Search Console
November 29, 2016 Google Announced Goodbye to Content Keywords, Wednesday, November 30, 2016 Wrote on Webmaster Central Blog that they're doping Google's feature-phone crawling & indexing in Search Console. Although there are probably a lot of feature phones around, I wonder how many people actually use search with a feature-phone.

No surprise there, This does not impact how Google crawls or indexes smartphone content, just feature phones. Feature phones are those old Nokia phones that let you access websites in a text-based interface.

Google said that “Limited mobile devices, "feature-phones", require a special form of markup or a transcoder for web content. Most websites don't provide feature-phone-compatible content in WAP/WML any more".
"We won't be using the feature-phone user-agents for crawling for search going forward."
It Means, Google Bot won’t be using the feature-phone user-agents for crawling for search going forward. So you will no longer see those in Search Console logs.
Use "handheld" link annotations for dynamic serving of feature-phone content.
Some sites provide content for feature-phones through dynamic serving, based on the user's user-agent. To understand this configuration, make sure your desktop and smartphone pages have a self-referential alternate URL link for handheld (feature-phone) devices:  
<link rel="alternate" media="handheld" href="[current page URL]" /> 
 This is a change from our previous guidance of only using the "vary: user-agent" HTTP header. We've updated our documentation on making feature-phone pages accordingly. We hope adding this link element is possible on your side, and thank you for your help in this regard. We'll continue to show feature-phone URLs in search when we can recognize them, and when they're appropriate for users.
It means, that if you do have a feature phone support on your website, you need to use “handheld” link annotations for dynamic serving of feature-phone content.
We're retiring feature-phone tools in Search Console:
Without the feature-phone Googlebot, special sitemaps extensions for feature-phone, the Fetch as Google feature-phone options, and feature-phone crawl errors are no longer needed. We continue to support sitemaps and other sitemaps extensions (such as for videos or Google News), as well as the other Fetch as Google options in Search Console.
"We've worked to make these changes as minimal as possible. Most websites don't serve feature-phone content, and wouldn't be affected. If your site has been providing feature-phone content, we thank you for your help in bringing the Internet to feature-phone users worldwide!" Posted by John Mueller, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst.
This is a change from previous documentation for feature-phones of only using the "vary: user-agent" HTTP header. Feature-phone tools are going to disappear from the search console.

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