Merchants Bancshares appointments Hesslink president and CEO

first_imgVermont Business Magazine Merchants Bancshares, Inc (NASDAQ: MBVT), announced today that its Board of Directors has appointed Geoffrey R Hesslink as the President and CEO of Merchants Bancshares, Inc. (Merchants), effective January 1, 2016.  Mr. Hesslink currently serves as President and CEO and a Director of Merchants’ operating subsidiary, Merchants Bank. The Board of Directors also appointed Mr. Hesslink to serve as a Director on the Merchants’ Board, effective January 1, 2016.Michael R. Tuttle, who currently serves as President and CEO of Merchants, will step down from those positions at the end of 2015, but will remain on the Boards of Directors of both Merchants’ and Merchants Bank.  Mr. Tuttle served as President and CEO of the Bank from January 1, 2006 until December 31, 2014 and has served as President and CEO of Merchants since January 1, 2007.Board Chair Jeffrey L. Davis said that the Board of Directors is “very pleased that Geoff will continue a tradition of extraordinary Merchants bankers and the Board expects this transition to enhance Merchants’ position as a superior community bank.  Geoff will continue to bring his passion to leading the Merchants Bank organization during an era of continued change.” Mr. Davis also said, “We thank Mike for all he has done for the organization during his tenure, particularly in navigating the financial crisis, and his proven leadership in strategic initiatives. During Mike’s tenure as CEO, Merchants has established a steady forward momentum with a strong balance sheet, solid credit quality, and excellent growth prospects.  He has had an extraordinary banking career.”Mr. Hesslink said, “I am honored at the confidence the Board has shown in me, and am looking forward to my additional responsibilities.  The Company is well positioned and I am optimistic about our future.  It has been an honor to work with Mike for over 20 years and I am delighted he will continue to contribute to the Company as a Director.”Mr. Hesslink graduated cum laude, with a bachelor’s degree in business administration-finance from the University of Vermont in 1987 and completed a management training program at Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company in 1989. Mr. Hesslink joined Merchants Bank in 1995 as a Corporate Banking Officer. He was appointed Senior Vice President and Senior Lender in 2006, and Chief Operating Officer in 2013.  He became the Bank’s President and CEO on January 1, 2015.Established in 1849, Merchants Bank is Vermont’s largest and sole remaining statewide independent bank. Consumer, business, municipal and investment customers enjoy personalized relationships, sophisticated online and mobile banking options, and 32 branches statewide.  Merchants Bank (Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender, NASDAQ “MBVT”) and Merchants Trust Company employ approximately 300 full-time employees and 40 part-time employees statewide, and have earned several “Best Places to Work in Vermont” awards. American Banker ranks Merchants Bank a “Top 200” in America among 851 peers. www.mbvt.com(link is external)SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt., Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Merchants Bancshares, Inclast_img read more

Twins Sign Pair Of Infielders

first_img 360p Visit Advertiser website GO TO PAGE Skip About Connatix V56892 The Minnesota Twins announced the signing of second baseman Jonathan Schoop and utility player Ronald Torreyes to one-year contracts.Schoop split 2018 between Baltimore and Milwaukee, hitting .233 with 21 home runs and 61 runs batted in. He was an All Star in 2017, posting a .293 average to go with 31 home runs and 105 runs batted in. About Connatix V56892 Auto (360p)center_img Torreyes appeared in 41 games with the New York Yankees in 2018. 1080p HD 1/1 720p HDlast_img read more

Help make South Africa a success: Zuma

first_img30 April 2012 South Africans celebrate Freedom Day in order to ensure that the present does not erase the past, and in order to protect the future, President Jacob Zuma said as the country marked its 18th year of freedom on Friday, calling on all citizens to work together to make the country a success. “We must put the country first in everything we do, and work together to make a success of the second phase of struggle, that of working towards a prosperous South Africa.” The President was addressing the national Freedom Day celebrations held at the Union Buildings. The day commemorates the first democratic elections held in the country on 27 April 1994. “Together we have built from the ashes of apartheid a country that is dedicated to patriotism, nation-building and reconciliation,” Zuma said, adding that South Africa had been able to tackle its socio-economic development challenges through the creation of a stable democratic system. “It has been a short but very meaningful road from a pariah state to a peaceful, stable, vibrant non-racial, non-sexist, democratic country that is working hard to achieve prosperity for all,” Zuma said. “On Freedom Day we celebrate our victory over racial bigotry.” He the government was working towards eradicating unemployment, inequity and poverty. “The challenge has been to ensure that more of our people benefit from economic growth whilst maintaining and indeed building on the strength of our economy.” South Africa was recovering from the effects of the global financial crisis of 2008-09, with the past 18 months having seen a substantial economic recovery, Zuma said. “The challenge now is to accelerate our gains, to ensure above all that growth supports increased inclusion, employment and equity.” The proportion of the population living below the R422 a month poverty line had decreased from 50% in 1994 to 34.5% in 2009, Zuma said, while in 2011, 75.8% of the country’s households had access to electricity compared to 51% in 1994. “Most importantly, primary health care is now accessible to all South Africans regardless of race, background and nationality,” said Zuma. Efforts to improve social conditions in the country include an R8.2-billion allocation for school infrastructure, while 43 regional bulk projects for water infrastructure will be completed by 2014, benefiting 3.2-million people. South Africa was also working to support unemployed young people through the expansion of public employment programmes, Zuma said. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

China’s carbon emissions may be 13% lower than estimated

first_imgChina has emitted significantly less carbon since 2000 than previously estimated because of erroneous assumptions about the quality of the country’s coal, a study released today claims. That may sound like great news—but it doesn’t mean that the world is warming at a slower rate or that the need to reduce emissions has become less urgent, the researchers warn. China remains the world’s largest carbon emitter, and the new study doesn’t make its target of reversing its growth in emissions by 2030 any easier to attain.The main benefit of the study, based on new analyses of the carbon content of the country’s coal, is that “it provides a baseline for future emission policies,” says Dabo Guan, a co-author of the paper and a climate change economist at Tsinghua University in Beijing and the University of East Anglia, in Norwich, U.K.”There is no doubt that the authors have made a significant step forward” in characterizing China’s emissions, and the country’s effort to improve the quality of its climate data “is very welcome,” says Josep Canadell, an earth system scientist at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Canberra.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Key to the new estimate are so-called emissions factors, which are derived from the carbon content, heating value, oxidation rate, and other variables that allow carbon emissions to be calculated for the amount of a given fuel consumed. In the absence of better data, emissions factors for China’s coal were so far assumed to be similar to those of coal mined in the United States and Europe, Guan says. But the coal actually used in China is of lower quality, with a lower carbon content.The team was able to derive new emissions factors based on data from Chinese government programs that analyzed nearly 5000 coal samples taken throughout the country. “It’s the first time ever for someone to take into account, systematically and comprehensively, the quality of the coal actually used in China,” Guan says. They also made new estimates of emissions from imported coal, oil, and gas, and from cement production. In a paper published online today in  Nature, they conclude that between 2000 and 2013, cumulative carbon emissions for the energy and cement sectors were about 2.9 gigatons—or 13% less than previous estimates, which pegged China’s carbon emissions at something over 22 gigatons. (This paper uses carbon emissions rather than the more frequently cited carbon dioxide emissions.)It is not all good news, however. Relying on low quality coal “is a bad thing,” Guan says. More of it must be burned to produce a given amount of heat, and that increases the release of particulates and other pollutants. And the new number has little effect on the big picture of climate change. The time frame in which China’s emissions were overestimated “is too short to have a cumulative impact on climate scenarios,” says Zhu Liu, the lead author and a climate change specialist at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.Last November, China pledged to halt the growth in its emissions by 2030. That target has been “applauded by the international community given China’s emissions have been growing at rates of 5% to 8% over the past decade and a half,” says Canadell, who is also executive director of the Global Carbon Project, an international consortium of scientists studying the global carbon cycle. Not all climate scientists agree, however; the Climate Action Tracker, an alliance of four European research groups, rates the targets “inadequate.”But whatever you think of China’s ambitions, the lower estimate of past emissions won’t make fulfilling them any easier. “What is important is the rate of present growth and how this growth goes down to zero by 2030 at the latest,” Canadell says. In fact, the research team used a new approach to conclude that between 2000 and 2010, China’s energy consumption grew by 9.9% annually, faster than the 8.8% indicated by national statistics. This will make getting emissions growth to zero “extra challenging,” Canadell says.Regardless of past totals, the focus should be on reducing emissions, says Wang Yi, director-general of the Institute of Policy and Management at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, who was not involved in the study. “This research can help China’s government form policies that more accurately target emission reductions,” Wang says.last_img read more

Last 5 winners of the ICC Cricket World Cup

first_imgThe ICC Cricket World Cup is one of the most celebrated sports events of the world and is held every four years.  It consists of the One Day International cricket matches with a league and knockout basis. It started in 1975 in England when the games were test matches. In accordance to the 2015 index, 20 teams had played for the qualifiers and 14 made it to the World cup mains.Australia has won the World Cup 5 times and India has won twice and Pakistan, Sri Lanka and West Indies have won the game once each.While Australia has been the champion five times, the most number of runs scored in the World Cup is by Sachin Tendulkar, which is 2,278. The highest wicket taker of this game is Glen McGrath with a total of 71 wickets taken so far. Considering the last five World Cups and their winner, a detailed study of them is enlisted:>  In 2015, Australia won the cup playing against New Zealand in Australia>  In 2011, India won the cup against Sri Lanka in India by 6 wickets>  In 2007, Australia won the cup against the Sri Lankan team in West Indies by 53 runs>  In 2003, the World Cup saw Australia winning against India in Zimbabwe by 125 runs>  In1999, the World Cup was again won by Australia for 8 wickets against Pakistan in LondonAustralia, being the hat trick winner of the World Cup in this century, are usually termed as the best and the masters of cricket. Their record still remains intact with another win being added to their kitty after winning the 2015 World Cup.advertisementlast_img read more

Study Shows More Pages Indexed by Google Means More Leads

first_img keywords Originally published Apr 1, 2010 7:55:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 It might be reasonable to think that only larger firms have sufficient resources to create hundreds of pages that make it into Google’s database. To test this, we calculated customer size mix for each category of indexed pages. Our proxy for customer size is number of employees. Improve each page’s optimization Our analysis of over 1,400 firms shows a clear positive relationship between pages indexed by Google and the leads a company generates; companies with more indexed pages tend to generate more leads.  based on results from these companies. The report and this article were written by Sophie L. Schmitt. consider To represent the relationship between Google indexed pages and leads, we divided customers evenly into five categories based on number of Google indexed pages. For each of these categories, we graphed the median number of monthly leads. We used median instead of average to lessen the impact of outliers. incremental 50 to 100 indexed pages can cause double-digit lead growth Off-Page Search Engine Optimization: Marketers are likely to ask: Marketing Takeaways lead generation best practices It is interesting to note that the number of inbound links did not have a meaningful relationship with leads. Inbound links did correlate well, however, with unique visitors. This implies that for those interested in generating leads, quality of sites vs. quantity is more important when building inbound links. to quickly increase number of pages On-Page Search Engine Optimization: as per Google’s methodology to maximize chances of having all of your web pages included in the index: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Build page volume: . What we found is that Wednesday, April 7, 2010 at 1:00pm EDT  Learn how companies are using inbound marketing techniques to generate higher volume and lower cost leads and customers. State of Inbound Lead Generation report Reserve Your Spot Now placing This is the first of three articles that share findings from  The State of Inbound Lead Generation Date and time: The graph above shows the strong positive correlation between the number of Google indexed pages and median leads. More specifically, it reveals that an building inbound links Is Company Size a Factor for Growing Indexed Pages? starting a blog Want to read more? Download the full  up until customers reach several hundred Google indexed pages. Customers with more than a few hundred indexed pages appear to be in a league of their own as median leads are more than 2x that of the prior category.   Increasing Google Indexed Pages by 50-100 Causes Double-Digit Lead Growth Live Webinar: The State of Inbound Marketing Lead Generation Measuring SEO in the right places on web pages such that Google and other search engines know what each page of your web site is about, and what keywords to rank you for , a new HubSpot report based on statistical analysis of 1,400 customers’ inbound marketing activities. The study identifies  for achieving significant volumes of Google indexed pages. Size and number of pages are mildly positively correlated, mostly in the extreme categories of Google indexed pages. While HubSpot’s large customers formed the biggest group with 311+ indexed pages in Google, small and medium-sized customers together outnumbered large ones in this category. In addition, small customers formed the largest group with 176 to 310 Google indexed pages. What are techniques for growing the number of Google indexed pages on my site? Topics: size is not a critical factor from reputable sites, thus demonstrating your popularity to search engineslast_img read more

Study: 72% of Businesses Have a Social Media Strategy

first_img Original content, both branded and expert are by far the most used tactic for social media (73%; 72%, respectively). Video content (51%), user case studies (45%), and reviews (41%) are also used by roughly half of all respondents. Should we use social media? Clearly, marketers are increasingly realizing the essential role that social media—and engaging content for those media—must play in any brand campaign, but it is just as clear that marketers are still struggling to identify best practices in the cluttered and often confounding space.  All of which might explain why a majority of companies (64%) aren’t yet requiring definitive measurable ROI to justify their social media budgets. Only 9% of surveyed organizations have full-time positions dedicated to managing social media responsibilities, while 90% include those as part of someone’s overall responsibilities. The following is a guest post by 85% of companies are handling their social media efforts internally. Topics: and Join and   Instead, the common refrain has become, How do we use social media and how do we know it’s working? This spring, custom media company Kipp Bodnar What about ROI? HubSpot HubSpot, Junta42 to survey more than 450 senior management and marketing executives on their ever-evolving relationships with social media.  We wanted to know how important different social media channels are to them, how they’re using them, who’s doing the work, and how important measurable results are.   Now we’ve pulled together their responses—along with some helpful analysis from us—into a new study:  No one can argue that social media isn’t ubiquitous.  But some people—particularly those who are business-minded—just can’t seem to get away from asking:  to have access to these charts for use in your own presentations King Fish Media. Branded original and expert content is used more often than any other type of content.  And development of an audience for content is one of the top objectives of marketers. , Director of Marketing and Research, Download the complete findings of the King Fish Media Survey on Social Media Usage, Attitudes and Measurability , Director of Marketing and Research at 43% of respondents revealed that they don’t need to show positive ROI to get social media funding from their organization. Originally published Aug 11, 2010 1:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 But is it relevant?  Does it really have a valid place in marketing? “2010 Social Media Usage, Attitudes, and Measurability:  What Do Marketers Think?” partnered with . Additionally you can hear a detailed explanation of these findings on a free webinar Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 2 p.m. EST/11 a.m. PST. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack as they review the results and discuss the implications and applications for marketers.   And, King Fish Media , Inbound Marketing Manager, Download the ebook now! So, what did we find?  Well, first and foremost, the vast majority of companies are now not only using social media in some form, but also have an actual social media strategy behind their online presence. Among the other key findings of “Social Media Usage, Attitudes and Measurability: What Do Marketers Think?”: Social Media Strategy Nearly three quarters of all companies (72%) currently have a social media strategy, and of those that don’t, the majority (80%) will within the next year. Free Download: Marketing Data: 50+ Marketing Charts and Graphs HubSpot has compiled over 50 original marketing charts and graphs on topics including Lead Generation, Blogging and Social Media, Marketing Budgets, Twitter and Facebook 85% of survey respondents say that original content is critical to the success of their social media campaign. Gordon Plutsky   It’s time for them to pull themselves firmly into the present.  Today, rare is the marketer who is asking, Gordon Plutsky King Fish Media Two thirds of the company’s surveyed (67%) focus their social media efforts on their company as a whole, while 41% promote individuals within the company and 24% promote a specific brand.last_img read more

I’m Not Ready for Dessert, I Just Want Some Leads!

first_img Inbound Marketing Use a landing page to capture leads Originally published Nov 30, 2010 1:00:00 PM, updated March 21 2013 I hope that the Crazy Baker sees the sanity in these suggestions, and that you can take away some of these tips and adapt them for your business.   . then allows users to create separate lists dependent upon which form a visitor converted on and send them personalized emails.  Of course in order to have a landing page you must have something to offer in return for the visitors information.  In Hitzig’s case perhaps he could offer some recipes for some of the pastries he has created over the years (of course he wouldn’t want to give away all of his secrets ) I think it’s great that the Crazy Baker is utilizing social media with presences on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn, but honestly there’s only so much you can promote if you aren’t constantly creating useful content.  The easiest way to consistently add content to your website is through a blog.  A lot of people worry about not having anything interesting to blog about, and most of the time they just aren’t looking in the right places.  Hitzig, for example, could blog about his experience at Culinary School, his training at hotels and restaurants in the US and abroad, and about the many other baking questions he probably gets asked on a regular basis from friends and through email.  Instead of answering a question for someone in a one on one scenario why not turn that into a great blog post and share that knowledge with the world?   Topics: Use Simple, Action Driven, Calls-To-Action Thanksgiving is over and after the amount of pumpkin pie I ate over the weekend I thought I would never want dessert again.  That was until I , and his premium desserts which are made from 100% pure vanilla, fresh local eggs, imported chocolates, and high quality flours.  Got your taste buds watering doesn’t it?  He’s even attracted the attention of Martha Stewart and Rachael Ray which in turn has driven lots of traffic, but converting that traffic into customers is where this batty brownie baker is struggling.  The problem that Hitzig is facing is one that many online business face, which is that people are often not ready to make a purchase on their first visit to a site.  Most of the time people need a little appetizer to get their stomach growling for the full meal. the Crazy Baker Like I said before, most people are not willing to make a purchase on their first visit to a site.  Many people probably visit Hitzig’s site and think to themselves, “These pastries look delicious.  They would be great for a special occasion.  I’ll come back in a couple months.”  Unfortunately for Hitzig most of these visitors probably forget to come back and he has no way to remind them. If he had a landing page and a form to capture the name and email of these visitors he could easily create a list and email them special promotions or offers during a time they might be more inclined to purchase premium pastries…maybe the week before Christmas? HubSpot, for instance, has a The link that stood out most was the “Click here for Customer Service” link, and I don’t really think that Hitzig’s primary goal is to drive visitors to his customer service page.  I would remove many of the superfluous links contained on the page and replace them with one large call to action to “order some premium pastries today!” Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlackcenter_img different links to pages and not one that seemed to be the preferred path for a potential customer.   landing page application , Hall Hitzig, also known as After taking a look a look at Hitzig’s site I would suggest working on ways to nurture the visitors that come to his site, so that even if they don’t purchase on their first visit he increases the chance that they will come back and make a purchase at a later date.  Here are a few suggestions I would make for improving the site that I think will start raising that conversion ratio.  read about inbound marketing kit Download our that allows users to whip up a landing page in a matter of minutes.  Our 25 Free Internet Marketing Kit – Download It Now! Create Content, Content, and More Content! email marketing tool When I first visited thecrazybaker.com I was a overwhelmed by the number of different links I could click.  The homepage contained Learn more about inbound marketing and how to combine blogging, SEO and social media for results.last_img read more

5 Misconceptions About the Mobile Web

first_img Mobile Marketing Topics: Originally published Jul 15, 2011 11:30:00 AM, 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 SlackSlack This is a guest blog post written by Adrian Mendoza.  As co-founder of Marlin Mobile , he  helps businesses create and deliver a winning mobile user experience by understanding and overcoming the fragmentation in the mobile market.  The mobile web is growing faster than we can imagine.  I compared it last year to where the web was in 1998, but this year we leap forward to roughly the state of the Internet in 2001.  Standards are coming into place with HTML5, adoption is growing faster on the mobile web than the desktop web, and companies are starting to do real business off of mobile devices.  Despite all the growth, major misconceptions exist among businesses about how to effectively use the mobile web to best serve their customers and support their business. Misconception #1:  The Mobile Web Screen Is Small, So Designing For It Must Be Easier. The mobile web browsers you find on your smartphone are far less forgiving than desktop browsers.  Your Google Analytics code, all those style sheets, and a portion of the HTML code on your website are not mobile optimized.  Don’t forget that Flash does not work on the iPhone either.  You might think, “I don’t have or need a mobile site”.  However, your customers are already visiting your page on their mobile devices.  Guess what?  You own a mobile experience, whether or not you decide to be!The amount of content you place on your mobile website can make the difference in whether it loads in two seconds or ten seconds, winning or losing customers and sales. A mobile web site requires you to reconsider your content, resize your graphics, and rethink how your customers view your experience on a mobile device.  Remember your web strategy is NOT your mobile strategy.  Mobile does not not just mean a smaller experience, it is a more complex equation. Misconception #2:  It Is Easy To Copy and Paste Mobile Apps From Platform To Platform. An iPhone is an iPhone, and a Android is an Android – their users are different and so are their habits.  Don’t think that every smartphone and their users are the same.  For example, Android users are accustomed to a menu button, but iPhone users have no idea what that concept even means.  iPhone users spend twice as many hours playing games as compared to android users 1 , while Android users are the largest consumers of data compared to the other smartphone platforms 2 .  Asides from usage, the iPhone now sports 4 different models (not including iTouch and iPads), while over 50 different carrier and phone combinations (and growing) exist on the Android platform in the US!Not only are the physical experiences different, but the performance of different phones and tablets is also an issue.  Even though a Motorola i1 performs slower than an Evo 4G by a factor of 10 3 , your brand is still impacted by the experience across both.  You must make optimize your mobile experience across multiple operating system, smartphones, tablets, and even carriers. One solution will not cut it. Misconception #3:  It Is Best Yo Fit Everything On One Screen. Amongst mobile devices, different screen sizes, proportions, and even screen types exist. Forget about designing for 1024 pixels or 320 pixels wide.  You must think about making a fluid design that fits across all phones and tablets.  Your customers are accessing the web on all kinds of devices, and your brand must be well presented across all screens.  Create a strategy for what you want your page to look like on tablets and phones.  Ask yourself these questions:  Do you deliver a different experience for Android and iPhones?  Do you want tablets to open your full site?  Do you want to deliver different versions of your mobile site based on a device’s performance?Once you have chosen a mobile strategy for delivering your site across the different platforms, now is the time to think about what you place on the pages.  Forget about cramming all of your existing content into this one screen.  Your mobile site is not your desktop site, so not everything needs to come over.  Be clear, clean, and make sure the important content is on top. Misconception #4:  Businesses Determine The User Experience. Your customer determines the user experience.  Your customers’ needs are unique on mobile.  Whether they are comparison shopping, checking their bank balance, or reading highlights from news stories, the mobile experience is different in nature.  The mobile experience is about information at the tip of the user’s fingertips (literally!).  Mobile users will NOT navigate through a four screen registration process or a complicated user experience on their small device.  Spend the time to survey your customers and ask for their feedback on what they want to experience on their phones and tablets.  By conducting research and soliciting customer feedback, you make sure that you deliver the optimal use cases.  Better to take the time to find out what your users want and give them that, rather than dictating what you think they want.  Again, copying what your desktop site is NOT the solution. Misconception #5:  Buttons Are Still For Clicks. Design using your finger, a small button does not cut it anymore.  The iPhone introduced us to the swipe, the tap, the double tap, and the pinch.  The “tap” is now part of the vocabulary across all smartphones.  Whether they are left handed or right handed, your customers use their phones leveraging these gestures by using both hands and multiple fingers.  Gone are the days of the mouse.  You do not have the luxury of such precision any more.  Your mobile site must be both friendly and accessible to the fingertips.  Buttons must be bigger and require more space around them to make sure fingers tap on the correct option.  Flustered fingers mean frustrated customers.These five misconceptions are just the starting point to understanding and embracing a mobile strategy.  As daunting as the task may seem, tools are available to help.  Your mobile success is contingent on how well your experience performs for your customers across the multitude of smartphones and tablets, bearing in mind factors like carrier, location, and signal strength all have an impact. What would you add to this list?  Image credit: mikeburns last_img read more

How to Optimize Your Google+ Content for Lead Gen, From the Experts at Google

first_img Social Media 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: Pause for a moment to think. Are you really making the most of your Google+ presence? As in, are you leveraging Google+ for all its lead gen potential? The most organic way to use Google+ to generate leads is by posting compelling content updates that include links back to your website.And in order for this to work, you need marketing content that will interest your audience and capture their attention. This includes content such as blog posts, videos, webinars, ebooks and whitepapers, reports, and interviews. When you share compelling content on your Google+ business page, you’ll not only engage your audience and generate discussions, but you’ll also drive your followers back to your website where they can read/view the entire resource. And from there, you can convert them into leads!In this article, which is an excerpt from our new, free ebook, 6 Ways to Generate Leads From Google+, featuring insights and best practices from Google+’s team itself, we’ll walk you through the steps you should be taking to optimize your content updates and improve your organic lead generation from Google+.Share Compelling ContentFirst and foremost, give your followers a reason to visit your page! Share content that grabs their attention and fulfills a need/want, whether it be in their family, personal, or professional lives. A data-driven approach to identifying the types of content you should share is to look at your marketing analytics and identify the most popular pages on your website. For instance, in HubSpot’s software, we look at the Landing Page Analytics tool to figure out which marketing offers (e.g. ebooks, webinars, kits, presentations) are most popular. We sort these pages by views and check their conversion rates so we can easily pinpoint the type of content that our audience gravitates toward.If you haven’t created many marketing offers or you don’t have access to such comprehensive landing page analytics, you can also check out the analytics for your blog. That should give you a good idea of which topics are most popular to your audience. Once you have identified the content that drives the most traffic, use them as fodder to share on Google+. Through this data-driven approach for selecting content, you’ll increase the probability of grabbing the attention of your Google+ followers.Optimize the Timing & Frequency of Your UpdatesPosting all your updates at the same time isn’t going to do anyone any good. You need to space them out; otherwise, your followers’ Google+ feed will get overwhelmed with a sudden flow of content. If you intend to publish 3-4 posts per day, Google explains, make sure you stagger them throughout. This approach is very similar to a marketer’s behavior on other social channels, like Twitter and Facebook.While there are general industry suggestions for optimal time and frequency of posting, it’s important to test your timing and frequency with your particular audience. You might find that your followers are a bit different in the way they access and engage with information. Look at your target persona(s), and take into consideration their locations, lifestyle habits, and activities. This context will point you in the right direction for discovering when and how often you should be posting content to your Google+ business page.Google+ Tip: Create a posting schedule, and post an update at least once a day. (HubSpot has even created a customizable, free social media scheduling template to make this process very easy!) The best times to post are between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Remember to +mention (more on this later) others who you may add valuable commentary to your post so they feel the love and share your post with more people.Learn From Other Successful Companies on Google+Many companies, like the following two, are making a good use of Google+, using best practices like mentioning specific people in their updates and using hashtags.CadburyThe UK chocolate manufacturer Cadbury, which is liked by and in the Circles of close to 2 million people, presents a great case study for using Google+ effectively. Specifically, Cadbury is a good example of how to effectively incorporate hashtags in Google+ updates. You can easily create a hashtag — just start your keyword phrase with the # symbol and don’t use any spaces. While the post below is not designed to directly generate leads for the company, it certainly helps Cadbury increase its following on Google+. Just a few hours after going live, the update had generated more than 140 likes and 60 comments.SEOmozWith its nearly 18,000 +1s and more than 15,000 followers, SEOmoz is another company that shows us a great example of using Google+ updates the right way. SEOmoz is consistent with its use of Google+ mentions. In the example below, SEOmoz has tagged the author of a blog post featured on its website. This adds a layer of personalization, as Google+ followers can learn more about the authority and experts behind SEOmoz’s writing.Personalize Your PostsIt turns out that making your posts more personal is a best practice that Google strongly recommends. As we saw with SEOmoz, tagging other Google+ users in your updates is one way to achieve personalization. Let’s look at some other ways:Mention Other Google+ Users by Adding the + SignSimply add a + sign in front of the name of the person who you want to tag, and select the right user profile. By mentioning other Google+ users and pages in your posts, your update will appear in search results when people look for them on Google+. This gives your content even greater reach.Add Personal SignaturesAt HubSpot’s we’ve found that personalized signatures work great in our email marketing. So why don’t you try incorporating them in your Google+ updates? Signing your posts with your name gives your page more personality and enables the user to identify with the people behind your content.Use Your Own VoiceBe consistent in the language and tone you use across the various different social networks you participate in, as well as on your blog and other marketing assets. Make sure that your voice represents the identity of your company, and also engages your audience so it sparks discussions.Optimize Visual Content for Lead GenerationVisual content on Google+ can open up a lot of lead generation possibilities. Similar to Facebook’s new timeline design, on Google+, you have the ability to add a cover photo and a profile image to your business page. You can also create albums with visuals, and leverage the ‘Videos’ tab to add clips. The trick — for lead generation — is to always accompany your visual content with a link back to a landing page on your site.The important thing to remember with visual content and video, is that there are two pieces of real estate to which you can add your landing page link:Add a landing page link to the actual image/video.Add a landing page link to the description of the image/video.By adding links to both of these locations, you’ll increase the chances of Google+ users clicking on the link and visiting your landing page. In other words, you’ll drive more traffic to your website that you can then focus on converting into leads. To make this work, of course, you need to share compelling visual and video content. Google+ recommends sharing exclusive photos and videos with your fans and followers. Don’t forget that you can edit your photos directly in Google+ and can even share animated GIF images — a great way to draw attention to your page.Now let’s look at a few great examples of companies using the above mentioned lead generation tactics in their visual and video content. We will also cover a few companies that have compelling cover and profile photos to instantly capture the attention of their Google+ visitors.Adding Links to Image DescriptionsIn its public album ‘Trend Update, 2012,’ H&M took advantage of the best practice to include links in the descriptions of its featured photos. The fashion brand not only showcases some of its trendy recommendations, but also tells people where they can learn more about these items and potentially purchase them. “See our latest trend collection at http://bit.ly/OsL5bT,” reads one call-to-action in H&M’s photo album.Adding Links to Actual ImagesDon’t forget that your visuals themselves can feature links! If you think that the message you’re trying to convey can benefit from a reference to a specific page, then go ahead and feature a URL. This is especially easy to do if you’re using an image of your logo for brandingpurposes. Below, check out how The New York Times managed to incorporate a link right beneath its logo.Adding Links to Your VideosIn this example, General Electric is featuring a video on its Google+ page. The company is following best practices by including a hashtag in its update and even mentioning specific Google+ users in the comments section. If you play the video, you will see that it features a link to get further engaged with G E— this is their call-to-action. One recommendationwe have for GE is to also include its desired link in the description of the video as they post it on Google+. This would increase the chances of people clicking through and learning more about the stories behind GE.Etsy is another company that has shown us great use of video calls-to-action on Google+. In the example below, Etsy showcases its most recent product feature and also links to the page on its business’ website where users can get access to the feature.Surprise Users With Unique VisualsYou can also capture people’s attention with some creative and unorthodox visuals. Verizon, for instance, features five individual animated GIFs on its Google+ Page that come together to convey one message. Since this is something new and unexpected in this virtual environment, it grabs the attention of the user and directs them to take a specific action, which in this case would be to check out Verizon Wireless for faster movies, music, and apps.Forever 21 is another company that used animated GIFs to make its cover picture stand out.Are you effectively optimizing and leveraging your best content for maximum Google+ lead generation? center_img Lead Generation Originally published Jul 31, 2012 8:09:00 AM, updated March 21 2013last_img read more