There is no doubt that Google has evolved drastically over the course of 10 decades. For legends that started their life with Nokia 3310, they know how much the internet itself has evolved since the time it was born using dial up and how it was used at home using internet cards. Many of us will remember the pain when someone in the house would pick up the phone and immediately disconnect our Internet. If you remember Google back then, you will already have an idea of how Google has changed, in better words, evolved.
For those who are having blurry memory, Let’s take a look through the nostalgia of Google.
Google homepage in 2008
Google homepage in 2018Google search results in 2008
Google search results in 2018
Google search results in 2008 were more based upon a word to word tally of what was put in the search box. The sponsored links were separate and did not blend in with the other search results. This meant that the researchers knew this was the advertised section and many would not click it. The search results were pretty basic and did not go beyond what could be potential search results for the researcher i.e it lacked the intelligence to predict what the research may want.
While the Google search results in 2018 is a much smarter screen of search results. Every result blends in including sponsored links, suggestion and possible answers. Nothing on the screen looks like forced advertising. There are images as well as other related researches in case the researcher may want to look beyond what they searched.
Another huge difference in Google search result of 2018 is the use of Google’s algorithm to give back better results depending upon user’s preferences and previous search history so they are not just getting what they typed in, but they are getting an experience of searching for all the possibilities against their mentioned search keywords.
SEO experiments through the time.
SEO is an unpredictable strategy, one that cannot be written down as a theory. It is rather much practical requiring an action plan and putting the theories to test through different approaches and thereby pulling out the results of which action plan worked and which drastically failed.
Google realizes their SEO game has to be on the top if they have to remain on the top as a search engine keeping their competitors behind. They have tried, tested and turned their SEO theories into experiments. These has helped them understand which SEO strategy works which further made them update their search engine over the time for a better, effective and time saving search result to users.
Here are some of the Google updates through the time.
1. CTR Affects Organic Rankings.
Google has been closely monitoring people’s click to evaluate their search pages and how it can be made better. As per Google’s former chief of search quality, every click data is important in evaluating the search result page. So if they found that most of their clicks were going to a specific ranked result, they would switch things up based upon the click.
2. Link Echoes/ Link Ghosts.
The experiment was done to see if the links still continued to increase website rank even after they were removed. And after a series of experimentation, it proved that once the link was removed, Google still continued to track and consider its positive and negative value.
3. Rich Answers On Search Results.
For a long time it was misunderstood that being number 1 on the search result page meant you were on the top but that game is entirely changed now due to Rich Answer Update in Google. Now the search results are not a list of websites based on raking anymore. They provide Rich Answers, sometimes even without you having to click a link.
4. Converting to HTTPS.
Google is invested in making websites a better experience for users and therefore another update it laid was converting sites from HTTP to HTTPS which directed towards safer browsing and would in return get a ranking boost.
5. “People Also Ask” Feature.
Another great attempt by Google in the last year was the addition of “People Also Ask” snippet that appears on the search page in an expandable box, mixed in with organic results. This definitely increases user experience as they are exposed to similar queries that they can relate to. Clicking on any of the question opens expands it so the user immediately finds answer to their related query.
6. Mobile friendly site update – Mobilegeddon.
In April 2015, one of the biggest update that was expected to be way larger than the Penguin update and Panda update was updating sites into mobile friendly site by 21st of April and those whose site did not make the update would sink. Although it did not show immediate results, in the long run, it proved to be a huge update.
7. Video Snippets.
Google is no more just a list of websites appearing on search results based upon their ranking. It is now more versatile towards giving organic and smart results to user. With its addition to video snippet features, when a user searches for a something, Google immediately processes it to give back the closest search results and video snippets to help with the search.
8. Image Search Upgrades.
Google has come a long way in their image search results as well.
Instead of showing a list of websites on the search results, Google has become more sensitive to the searches made, by showing image results on the main page along with various other search results. This enables the user to get a quick look at what he is actually looking for just by looking at the image.
Apart from the better image result on the main page, Google has upgraded its image search page to a way better search than it was before. Now the search results show different variety of clean, clear and clever images. You also can see suggestion tabs on top of the images to help you get deeper into the details of what you are looking for.
9. Top Stories.
Many years back Google search results showed news in a side bar vertical list that looked plain, simple and only news worthy. This put a huge gap between what could appear on the result and what stayed behind. With the update from Top News to Top Stories, Google has opened up information in a much wider horizon. Anything you search now shows related top story that you could be interested in.
People feel more inclined towards stories rather than news, So this update led to a 14% spike of searches in the tracking set. As shown by the graph on MOZ, “in the news” dropped to 3% and within a matter of few days, top stories took its place.
10. In Depth Articles.
This is one of the latest feature that Google has added to its system. The “in depth articles” look like a block of news that are originally rich SERP elements. These blocks have image thumbnail, a catchy title, a few words description, publisher’s icon, publisher’s name as well as author’s name.
According to Google, they believe that in-depth articles will trigger for “broad” topics.
There is also a connection between the news and in depth article that can be visibly seen. Many search results showed news alongside in depth articles, but neither of the two overlapped. In depth articles are not introduced as a replacement for news, but there is algorithm connection between the two which makes it more likely to spike up.
11. Long Meta Description.
Back a few years and we remember cutting down words and trying to figure out which keywords to use and which to omit because of the limited character in snippets. Google increased the limit to 300 characters in December 2017. But as of 2018, we are now seeing snippets that are more than 300 characters which give snippets a more reliable description that the user can pool information from.
The study conducted by MOZ, shows a graph that points out the cut-snippet lengths that are around 325.
12. Local Pack Ads.
This update is mostly for searches made by smartphones and is one of the updates that although may be disliked by the local businesses, it does provide a better search service to the users. So what is this update? Basically what Google has done is, every search you make from your mobile that links to local results, it is linked directly to local packed ads, a rich Google result. This means that every business needs to take local pack ads seriously. These results do not directly have links to business’s site but what it does mean is that Google is giving them more useful information regarding directions, contact numbers and service timings of your business without them even visiting your site. This lets them open to all information about you and your business.
13. Voice Search.
Google has updated its voice search which used to be a red mic icon with something more of an assistant that will help you further. This feature is introduced in Google app v7.26.14 beta so we know that it is still in working. For those using Version 7.25.17 (stable), you will still see Google voice search.
In a nut shell, let’s look at how Google has changed.
The addition of Rich Answer Snippets at the beginning of search result to give the users a quick brief and insight to what they are looking for. Sometimes and frankly most of the time these rich answers quickly give the answers without even having to click on the link such as asking for meanings for definitions of any words.
A “People Also Ask” expandable snippet that gives user an exposure to all the other possible questions that they might be interested in.
Video search results are the fastest way to answer user’s query because the new generation would rather look at the entire process of working instead of just reading and following instructions. This feature enables users to see the video and find definite results for their query.
Search results with long meta descriptions that help users pool out more information about the given link which was a little difficult earlier with short meta descriptions that ended with “ …”.
Image search results to give a quick look at what else could be related and might be the possible answer to user’s query.
Related search results that help users get further details if they want to go deeper into what they are looking for.
Graduating soon? Well, that means you must be looking for jobs to kick-start your careers. If you are looking for a career path that is interesting and fruitful and at the same time challenging so that you can prove yourself then you have come to right place. We are going to introduce you to a new career option which doesn’t only promise rapid growth but also keeps you engage in all the happening stuff around the world.
But, before that, have you ever wondered, what is the purpose of so many pages on search engines? Or why do some websites appear on the first page and the rest on 2nd, 3rd, and 4th and so on? Well, this article post will tell you why all this happens and how. And this is exactly the new career path we will be talking about. The new career path is the SEO that stands for Search Engine Optimization. It has grabbed the attention of the marketing world and it became the most prevailing Marketing technique of recent times. Moreover, there’s seems no end to this particular field of digital marketing.
Not convinced yet? Up to 27% companies claim to invest in Digital Marketing and hire the field professionals.
It is a set of productive techniques, used to optimize and rank your websites for various search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. It helps in revamping and boosting a website’s reach and visits by the targeted audience.
How does Search Engine Optimization – SEO works?
SEO is the most important part of Digital Marketing and it purely revolves around website content which consists of the most suited information about the business in the form of correct and applicable keywords. There is nothing magical about it; it’s just primarily a measurable process that can be used repeatedly to indicate to search engines that your web pages are worthy enough to be in the list of Google’s index.
It helps in proving that your site is one of the finest sites, most reliable, most credible and most authentic site that they can offer to their customers – the searcher. And in order to achieve all this you need to get people to talk about you and along with that, you are responsible to produce excellent quality content to assure Google and other search engines that you are worthy of being ranked on the very first page of their search engine.
Is SEO the new “Rising Career Star”?
Well, Search Engine Optimization – SEO has become one of the most wanted elements of Digital Marketing. And so, this particular field creates numerous and a variety of opportunities to build careers. In fact, it is soon becoming one of the largest recognized careers worldwide. The reason for it as a successful path for a career is the interesting and lucrative nature of the SEO. Moreover, because it provides opportunities for beginner to expert level, young students are the most attracted audience to SEO. The web has completely changed the way, companies do business and the know-how of the Search Engine Optimization – SEO has become the basic necessity for the marketers and advertisers to be successful. In today’s era, Search Engine Optimization – SEO is a logical step ahead if you come from the clan of marketers and advertisers especially.
An Overview of the Digital Marketing and SEO Industry
There’s an increase in the use of search engines to look for information because of the increase in the use of web technology. This increase is witnessed since last few years and is still expected to boost in coming years.
Large brand owners are investing in Search Engine Optimization Technology actively to broaden their horizons worldwide.
Traditional marketing techniques are considered cliché and therefore, marketing is now divided into Direct and Digital segments which cater the needs differently. Digital Marketing and SEO are the fastest and the most effective means of marketing today.
The increase in usage of mobile phones has resulted in an increase of web searches which are basically search engines based.
Organic SEO searches and listings are considered more trustworthy and credible as compared to other listings and searches which are done through various digital advertisement techniques.
Google and other search engines are evolving by leaps and bounds, which shows a dire need for SEO functions. These engines are making demographic and geographic search results which are useful for many businesses around the globe.
Future prospects of Search Engine Optimization – SEO
The rapid increase in the use of technology, in the realm of businesses is creating a dramatically growing demand for such digitalization of activities for sure. The career option in the segments of Digital Marketing, SEO, Social Media Marketing, Internet Marketing and Search Engine Advertising – SEA is huge and can be seen rising swiftly – at least in the foreseeable future of Marketing.
Search Engine Optimization’s – SEO’s career path is definitely a safe path due to its never-ending demand and prominent desire in the World of Marketing. The technicalities involved in SEO keep on evolving as the technology keeps on evolving. Therefore one must be a keen to learn and groom his or her skills and keep him or herself updated with the most recent knowledge of SEO, algorithm changes, new marketing tactics, etc.
Scope of Search Engine Optimization’s – SEO’s Careers for Freshers
Search Engine Optimization – SEO is one of the most happening areas and there’s a huge scope of building careers in this filed. Today, every business is investing a huge amount of money in SEO and is looking forward to getting hold of SEO services for itself in order to grow and expand their business reach. And this is absolutely very important for any organization due to increase in globalization.
This specific field of Digital Marketing has an extremely bright future for young people who excel in analytical skills and are dynamic. All you need is to keep yourself restored with the latest trends in the field of SEO, have an intense passion for research and should be able to strategize marketing campaigns creatively to beat your competitor and have an edge over all others in order to make yourself stand out.
Here are a few reasons for Freshers to opt for career in Search Engine Optimization – SEO
This is one of the quickest ways to get a job opportunity. There’s no other technology that offers opportunities to fresher than Digital Marketing and SEO. There is a huge space for freshers in Digital Marketing and SEO.
Salary is usually paid on the basis of skills an individual possesses. But still, the least that one can expect ranges between 15k and 20k per month as a starting salary.
If you are planning to get your hands on the IT field, then the field of Digital Marketing and SEO is the best choice one can make. This field promises generous growth in your skills, your expertise and experience as well as in your career.
In case, you are not planning to opt for Digital Marketing and SEO as a job, still, this field has ways to help you make extra money as a freelancer, blogger, affiliate marketer, etc. All you need is some extraordinary skills, and have to be sensible enough to grab the right opportunities.
Digital Marketing and SEO have plenty of small-scale job opportunities as well, such as content writer, link builder, page experts and what not. This means that the field of SEO offers a wide range of jobs which are as small as a link builder and as big as analysts or programmers as well.
Digital Marketing and SEO is a field where the job is almost And this is the only field which has enough openings anywhere anytime.
A lot of educational institutions do not have Digital Marketing and SEO as an academic field or course as a part of their curriculum. This means there’s less competition present in the market form the perspective of manpower.
Be it Information Technology or Marketing, both of these contribute to the foundations of Search Engine Optimization –SEO. Because IT is a comprehensive field, and Marketing is a creative field the nature of both the fields are relevant to Digital Marketing and SEO.
SEO Careers / Job Categories / Designations
There are multiple positions in the field of Digital Marketing and SEO. These positions vary from the field of Information Technology and Marketing. Almost all the career options require enough knowledge of IT as well as marketing. The field of IT and Marketing makes up composite job descriptions for the roles. Most of the large firms have the following job categories as a part of their hierarchy.
Can Freshers be a self-employed individual in this field?
One can always be self-employed in the field of Digital Marketing and SEO. And especially young and fresh students can easily be self-employed even before completing their education. Yes! You read it right. You do not need to wait to have a degree to start your first job.
Want to know how? Here are a few tips to get you self-employed in the field of Digital Marketing and SEO:
Attend various sessions, workshops and conferences which are attended by marketers from Digital Marketing Industry. This is going to help you in getting know-how of how the Digital Marketing world operates.
Social networking sites such as LinkedIn.com are good places to meet new people and explore networking opportunities.
Team up with web designers because they typically require SEO services or at least content writing services which you can offer.
Or you can easily team up with web developers, content writers, social media analysts, SEO analysts, etc. and manage your own business as well. You can become an entrepreneur on your own by capturing the right people for the right opportunities.
SEO Training and Certifications for Freshers
There are hardly any official governing bodies for SEO industry and there’s no fixed standard to follow as well. But there are several institutions which are known for their reliability and credibility in offering international certifications to help individuals to complete their SEO courses and get certified. Moreover, apart from regular college or university education, one should get his or herself registered in a Digital Marketing Education Program for a comprehensive learning and training experience. Eventually, you can enrol for the exclusive courses on Search Engine Optimization and get yourself certified by Google.
A sneak peek at the salary and benefits offered by Digital Marketing and SEO
The growth in the field of SEO is not just limited to the career of individuals; in fact, it is related to their financial terms as well. But all this comes with acquiring compelling skills like Google Analytics, Google Adwords, Content Marketing and Electronic Customer Relationship Management (E-CRM), which can help you earn more. So, once again it’s all about how do you make yourself stand out with these additional skills in your job profile apart from your basic education.
The salaries paid to SEO professionals are based on various factors such as basic qualification, knowledge, skills and expertise, job profile, certifications, experience, role, etc. A fresh graduate without much of a sweep can easily expect AED4000 to AED7000 per month. Moreover, if you possess a combination of skills such as freelance consultancy + Content writing + Blogging + Affiliate marketing and so on, you can easily freely earn a handsome amount of money and enjoy a decent lifestyle.
There are thousands of job openings in the Digital Marketing industry every day which more or less require experience in Search Engine Optimization –SEO of both entry-level and expert level. This is another proof of how essential is SEO knowledge for the jobs of Digital Marketing industry.
Is Digital Marketing the right career? OR Is SEO a good career choice?
People who come from IT background often ask, whether SEO is a good career path to walk on. The answer to their question is YES! Being prepared for a job is one thing, but loving and enjoying it enough because of learning that you experience every day and earning handsome amount of many to make it a career is another.
If you are the one who loves doing stuff in a different and innovative way, then we would suggest you jump in and enjoy the ride. You’ll get to acquire SEO ninja skills which would help you build your career to the most senior level positions and responsible roles in the field of Information Technology and Marketing both.
Let’s cut the chase and start with the definition of SEO strategy for ecommerce site which directly puts it as a great advertising solution to get high quality customers.
This simple statement basically renders this entire article useless after the definition of SEO strategy for ecommerce has clearly linked SEO and content as both a requirement for great advertising to get customers.
SEO has become a game changer in ecommerce marketing. It wasn’t a few years ago but trends have changed and now if you do not have a good content against your product, search engines will not recommend you to researchers which means you are missing out on clicks. For a blog site, no clicks is end of story right there. But when you have a site that sells products, no clicks means no sales.
In 2011, Search Engine Watch reported that a research study by Optify discovered that “websites ranked number one received an average click-through rate (CTR) of 36.4 percent; number two had a CTR of 12.5 percent; and number three had a CTR of 9.5 percent.”
Let’s understand search engines’ mind set for content first.
Search engines today want to give their users a perfect search experience. Apart from giving the closest research to what they are looking for, search engines focus on giving the most relevant researches which gives their users more information for what is asked.
This means that search engines only work around optimized content. If you have a good optimized content backed up against your product, search engines will gladly put you on first result pages.
To proof my point, here are 2 images,
I searched for two “products” – best oatmeal brand and best chino joggers for men. Note the trend of results I got on Google. Instead of showing results of products directly, we have results of blogs that have content written about the searched product.
This means search engines favor content based results to their researchers. A good content will best describe your product and increase its selling probability.
Search engines hold key to the door which allows researchers in the online world.
So now that you have learned content is important to sell your product, you need to learn that just content alone does not stand against all the high end rivals in your market. It will fall back in the blink of an eye.
In order that your content stays upright, stays strong and becomes visible, it needs to be optimized properly and intelligently. Ranking #1 has become the ultimate goal for websites because number 1 sites get better impressions than what a site at number 2 gets.
Search engines closely monitor content so that bad content does not become visible to the researchers because this will harm their user’s experience.
Imagine there is an invisible door that keeps the good content on one side and bad content on the other side. What makes your content pass through that door is SEO.
When you have a good content and you put good SEO in it, your optimized content is approved easily by search engines and it will become visible to the researchers.
Optimized content puts your product in spotlight.
If your site SEO is not strong, you will miss out on valued impression. This becomes vital for ecommerce marketing because more impressions means more clicks and more clicks mean more sales.
In a totally lay man’s term, If you happen to go street marketing, you will find more customers walking in the shops that are front row. The shops that lie behind have less walk in customers. More walk in customers mean more chances at sales.
SEO is the best strategy to place your site on the front where it will be more visible.
Look at the above website – Booking.com. It is a travel booking website and does not require a blogs field to it yet, they have blogs that are related to travelling. This content helps them improve in search engine results and researchers will easily be directed towards the site.
Most of the websites these days are now trying to have related content on their webpage even if the site itself does not require it.
Good content makes for a good reliable brand following.
Have you noticed the latest story trends? A few years back, if you wanted a recipe for something, all you got was a straightforward recipe. But the trend has changed to a whole new level. Now you get stories and family event descriptions, the family reaction to that recipe and then finally the recipe.
Because now even if you have a good user friendly website that serves the best user experience, what people need more is the depth of information. Just a shot of your product, product name and price are not enough for your online customers. They want to know more. They want to know every little detail to it which makes them feel closer to your product as it has a personal touch.
“Your customers don’t care about you, your products, your services… they care about themselves, their wants and their needs. Content marketing is about creating interesting information your customers are passionate about – so they actually pay attention to you.” – Source
When you put stories and words to your product, it makes a strong fan following. Customers feel attached to your brand and this makes them loyal to your brand.
It’s the chicken and egg story all over again.
Good content needs good SEO and good SEO needs good content. There is no way either one can win without the help of the other.
Your good content needs to be optimized properly in order to get maximum shot at search engine’s traffic. This can be achieved only when you have a great content about your product, promoted perfectly and optimized intelligently. That’s when the magic happen. That’s when customers get pulled in.
You first have to sell your product to search engines and from there search engines will help you sell your product by recommending it to researchers.
You need to consistently create content worthy of attracting, converting and retaining customers, AND you need to know how to get that content in front of the right people.
Optimized content helps you sell your product in the offline world.
Today even if we have to buy something from the market, we first read and research about the product online. This goes especially for digital products like mobile phones, laptops, tablets, watches etc.
But who are we kidding. Today we would even read reviews online about a brand of shoes or jeans or hand bag before buying it in physical market.
Cosmetics market is a totally different game online. People read reviews and product descriptions and celebrities endorsements which make for great sales, both online and physically.
So bottom line – content sells your product but SEO helps your content reach out to the prospective audience.
What every business needs? Every business has its own set of needs for instance a bakery will need ovens, a finance company will need accountants, a health care will need dispensary instruments but with all those different requirement, every business needs to have a visible identity to get more clients. This universal need is rightly fulfilled by an online presence. Internet is the fastest growing system; people belonging to every faculty or any age group turn towards internet to find answers. So it’s best to be there where people are searching for you!
But just being there is not enough! Have you ever come across a site that never works … Or all you can see is a “bad server error” on display? What do you think of such a business!? Or will you wait for the website to start working? That’s Crazy! So while setting up an online presence, it is highly important to make sure that you are always available for your clients!
For this purpose a safe and reliable web hosting company is on top of the check list. But then there lies a frequently asked question
With so many options it can be difficult to find the perfect web hosting company for your self. Get help from the manual below, to find a perfect web hosting company. The following 15 points are a “must look into” while selecting a source.
1. Storage Capacity
Of course storage capacity is the primary concern while selecting a web hosting service. The more features your website has, the larger space it will need. So pay keen attention on whether your host provides you with the right amount (your required amount) of disk space on the server or not.
2. Price Tag
Your next concern should obviously be cost per megabyte for storage space. The offer of unlimited storage for a minimal fee may sound very appealing but its better to check their terms and conditions before choosing any such service (as you can get yourself in grey area!).
3. Close Watch on Bandwidth
Bandwidth decides the amount of traffic you can receive. It actually sets the limit for you and your visitors to upload or download data through your website. So while choosing a web hosting company you need to have a close watch on the amount of bandwidth and limitation. On initial levels it’s wise to choose a hosting provider that allows you a good number of visitors and can offer upgrade in a descent cost with increase in visitors. Again, unlimited bandwidth like storage capacity might put you in grey area, so it’s always better to go for a hosting that clearly outlines the limits and sets the bar where all can see it.
4. Multiple domains hosting on Single Account
After hosting a website successfully there always is a good chance that you need to setup another domain or a sub-domain. Having single account for multiple domains can be a convenient option. Make sure your hosting service accommodates you to do so. However in general there is a limit on the number of multiple domains you can have on one account; so while selecting a hosting service ensure that you have room for enough number of domains you might need!
5. Rights to.htaccess
.htaccess is quite important when it comes to the selection of a web hosting provider. You need .htaccess file for authentication, authorization, URL rewriting, redirecting or any other decentralized execution of web server. So, check if your host is providing you with the rights to this file or not.
6. What Language Support Will You Have
Although every hosting service supports almost all programming languages, but with day to day increase in these languages, its better to double check if your web hosting service provides support for the server-side languages you want to use (for instance ColdFusion). You can probably find this piece of info through the list of supported frameworks. Having multiple options is always good so don’t hook with PHP as your only option unless you’re sure that’s all you’ll ever want or need!
7. Mobile Websites and Applications
Internet is booming quickly but mobile internet is growing even faster, so the support of mobile website is an important feature to look for while choosing a web host. However, it could be extra nice if your host offers mobile website as well as applications to access your site administration through your cell phones on the go.
8. How Much of Technical Support
This one is important: While choosing a web hosting provider, find out all about the tech support your potential host has to offer you. Do they offer email support or have a ticket system? Can you ring them when needed? At what time can you call? How soon will they take action? Do they offer any tutorials or help articles? Choose a host only when you know what support they offer exactly. Although this sounds quite complicated but you will be happy in the long run, for sure!
9. Selection of OS
This may go without saying as it is quite obvious. Of course an ASP.NET site (or for Microsoft Developer) would need Windows hosting (it may be a bit expensive and not very easy to find). On the other hand for an open source language you can conveniently use Linux/Unix. But if you have some preferences, its worth mentioning to check if your potential hosting service provider supports it or not.
10. Will You Have Site Back Up
Your Hosting Service is as susceptible of losing data as your computer. After all servers are just larger computer holding your information so it is highly recommended to confirm about the back up option (if any). Site files and database both need backup, so if your potential host is not offering a site backup, you should have a second plan to do it yourself.
11. Easy Access for Frame Work Support
Like selection of OS this should also go without a word, as almost every popular framework, Content Management or blogging systems are supported by a lot of web hosts. However, it is always better to ensure if your web host offers easy one click install for Word press or any other CMS (if needed).
12. Some Extra Applications are Always Good
Having a bit extra is always good so it wouldn’t hurt to inquire for some social networking features for instance forum, bulletin boards, newsfeeds etc. Some hosts even offer eCommerce solutions for your online store.
13. Access to Shell Access
Shell Access is a great feature to have on your web host. What is Shell Access? Shell Access is access to run command line programs, copy or delete files and more from any computer system. So you can connect to your site through shell access from any corner of the world and work without any hindrance.
14. Cron Jobs
There is a good chance that your host offers Cron Jobs if he is supporting Shell Access. Cron Job is a job scheduler through which you can carry out tasks on the server at a mentioned time. While it is not necessarily something you may need, but it can be a plus point for you at times when you when you need to automate the execution of some particular maintenance tasks on your web server such as backups, monitoring, etc.
Database is a technical question that can be best answered by your web designer, according to your site design requirements. While choosing a web hosting program, ensure that the database support is clearly spelled out in your service contract before you pay any of your money. Settling to anything less will only cause you a good deal of trouble and extra bucks.
I never liked going to the supermarkets with my mom and dad when I was little. It was a routine chore on every damn weekend, which I couldn’t escape from. My young mind wanted to stay at home and play video games rather than pick milk from the shelf and potatoes from the pile.
The boredom of the entire trip doomed upon me specially when I sat by the window seat in the car while my parents spent the time discussing taxes, work bitches and Mrs. Susan’s tasteless lasagna at last night’s dinner.
Yet in all those loathsome trips, one thing always fascinated me – The billboards on the roads. I would gaze outside the window upon every billboard. It intrigued me how an image and a few words could make so much sense and heavily impact a person.
The words along with images had so much influence on me that I would read every billboard and try to make out the story behind that advertising. The ones that caught my attention the most were the billboards with questions. It somehow made me obligated to answer whatever the hell was asked in the billboard.
A billboard would only say “Why Not?” with an image of a healthy woman eating farm fresh salad. Immediately I would form the story for it. The woman is healthy because she is eating fresh salad from a specific farm. She is choosing a lifestyle that is good for her.
And since then I have had this vivid attraction with digital marketing.
Why ask questions in marketing?
It’s true to say that questions have a great impact in marketing. In fact, let me rephrase it. Questions have a great impact in every field, whether it is blogging, teaching, lecturing or advertising.
Your words are like the trunk of a tree. They just stand in one place with the main big idea. Questions however become branches of the tree. They bring actions, opinion, suggestion, comments etc. and thereby actually help your main idea grow and spread around.
One question will branch out million answers.
So, to understand how questions impact digital marketing, let us first understand “Questions.”
A question is,
“Derived from the Latin root word, quaestio, which means to seek. “
It is interesting to find that inside the word ‘question’ itself is the word ‘quest,’ suggesting that within every question is an adventure, a pursuit, a curiosity which can lead us to a hidden treasure.
Questions Make A Ripple Effect Wherever Asked
Questions have the tendency to ignite an urge into people to respond with their respective answers. When different answers accumulate for one single question, it starts a rapid fire response.
Suppose you are giving a lecture on professionalism in a room full of 500 people. They are all listening to you. Some are yawning too. Some want to know when the “after lecture lunch” will be served. But then, you wrap it up by asking, “Do you think women are less professional than men?”
When a few answers come up, immediately there will be a sizzling hot debate, discussion and strong comments coming from all of the 500 people.
Now, how does a question make ripple effect in digital marketing?
Because everyone is now on social media and everything is connected to it, when a person responds to a question associated with your product, it immediately gets shared on their connected social media. It goes on twitter, facebook and instagram.
This introduces your product to a new audience.
This new audience will further like, rate, comment or share your product. And this starts the ripple effect.
You asked one question on your product and it reaches a million different destinations because people love to respond and share their feedback and opinion.
Try posting a question on your product on twitter and see how many tweets, retweets and comments you will get. Your mind will be blown.
Types of Strategic Questions
Asking right questions in the digital world is equally important as in real life. When you ask the right question, you will be promoting a dialogue that will permit you to make relationships and eventually develop those relationships.
You can use different types of questions to communicate with your audience. Different types of question have different impacts.
A well asked question is a well-played strategy in digital marketing.
To find out, I checked several brands websites and social media pages to see how they are using questions strategy for interaction. Here are all the strategies with examples.
Fill in the Gaps:
Example question: “Your favorite category of our blog post is?”
People love investing their time in Mind Libs. Ask your audience what they think, is the best way for improvement and to generate some ideas as well.
Example question: “Your favorite thing about our product is?”
Everyone wants to be heard! Ask your audience to speak up and give feedback about your services and products. The good part of feedback is that you do not have to invest for this functionality to improve your online services or products.
Example question: “Do you like our new product?”
Ask for your audience’s opinions to show them that their opinions matters, which in turn helps to build trust and devotion, and further strengthens your brand presence and repute.
Example question: “Which product of ours has helped you the most?”
Again, this is an important way of keeping your audience on the edge, as they will understand how much their opinion means to you. A happy audience leads to a happy business.
How Can We Help?:
Example question: “Which product would you like to see next?”
Such type of questions are useful when you are trying to develop your services and are looking for new ideas from the audience. As you do this, you will know what they want from you and your services.
Example question: ” Are You Ready?”
An upcoming product launch or the poster of a match screening, this question would generate excitement and curiosity amongst the masses who would impatiently await the product or rush out to buy tickets.
Example question: “How likely will you visit us again?”
This helps you gauge the customer’s response to your product and the extent to which they enjoy it. Restaurants and online shopping sites can use these questions to unveil their true customers.
Overall, you need to ask open-ended and simple questions to keep your audience focused and engaged.
Successful Ad Campaigns | Learn from the best:
California Milk Processor Board: Got Milk?
This is an American advertising campaign encouraging the consumption of cow’s milk. According to reports this campaign brought a remarkable increase of 7% in Milk sales in merely a year. The advertisement’s impact permeated across borders and was not only able to strengthen brand loyalty but was also able to attract new consumers!
Paws got milk? commercial - YouTube
Whassup? (also known as Wazzup) was a commercial campaign for Anheuser-Busch Budweiser beer. The term itself is an unclear version of the phrase “What’s up?”, however it managed to reign the advertising world by becoming a pop-culture catchphrase and setting the comic bar high for other beer/soda companies to emulate in their advertisements.
budweiser wassup commercial - YouTube
‘fun, anyone?’ Ad campaign from Playstation2
Sony Computer Entertainment NZ, unveiled the “Mountain” television commercial as …fun, anyone? New PlayStation®2 Brand Campaign. The Ad campaign came with the strategy to diversify the consumer base and the appeal of PlayStation 2 to a wider audience as a social, accessible and fun form of entertainment. PlayStation’s marketing strategy- in this case ‘Curiosity’ had quite a turn out. It remained one of the most successful, effective marketing campaigns of all time.
The slogan ‘Have you Driven a Ford, Lately?’ wasn’t loud or flashy, however it did succeed in sticking in the minds of. The 1982 jingle was attractive, and believe it or not, the montage of Ford’s full line taking tight turns and pulling cargo was innovative for its time. Modern car commercials haven’t strayed far from this format, a testament to the success of Ford’s slogan and campaign.
Best Have You Driven a Ford Lately? Commercial - YouTube
Are you using the right words?
It is funny, isn’t it?
I just asked a question, to help you understand questions.
The trick to asking effective questions is to use the right words. Researchers have long known that the way a question is asked can influence underlying psychological processes, and, consequently, can affect the response to the question.
A trick to asking questions would be to ask only that question that prompts your target to give only the response that you had intended.
A teaching institute website may advertise:
” Do you want to learn more? ” – Incorrect
” Wouldn’t you like to achieve Excellence?” – Correct
A Bank website may advertise:
“Would you like to upgrade to PREMIUM?” – INCORRECT
“Want to avail more amazing discounts, savings and what not? ” – CORRECT
A consultant medical practitioner website may advertise:
“Would you like to have a consultation service? ” – INCORRECT
“Do you want a healthy life for you & your Family?” – CORRECT
The thing common in all the incorrect questions is that they all are vague and allow the reader to reasonably ponder upon them and say “no”.
An effective question would be one that compels the readers to say “yes, yes and YES”.
All the correct questions are leading questions that provides the reader with the possibility of a favorable outcome, for example: savings, healthy life etc. and then question the need for it. Thus, making the customers wonder:
“Why wouldn’t I want this?” instead of “Why should I get this?”
This transition in consumer mentality allows very little room for the consumer to say “no” to a question or generate a negative response, thus attracting him towards the product.
Use your questions wisely
It is important to ensure that you don’t go overboard with the questions like an annoying TV reporter and instead, ask the right questions at the right time. Questions may not be an effective marketing strategy in the following situations:
When you have a significantly competitive market you ought to use questions in order to develop a niche. However when your product is an easy sell questions may not be necessary. For example, in the summers you may not have to use questions to sell an Air Conditioner, however in the winters you would need to adopt this strategy to create a new selling point such as “Are you tired of waiting in long lines?”
Questions can make you look untrustworthy or your product questionable when you have certain negative relation to the market. For example, a dealer of used goods when asks too many questions may come across as dishonest or aggressive and may cause the loss of credibility in their products
Quick tips to nail your questions
Be Precise: Your message should be covered in one sentence; longer sentences or too many questions tend to put off the readers right away.
Know your message: Your question should not only capture attention but also be able to convey your message. Your question should provide enough to help the audience to reach a particular conclusion about your product.
Know your target audience: Your question must be mindful of the features of your target audience i.e. lifestyle, income etc. and be phrased in a way which would be unique to these features so the audience can respond/react appropriately.
Tone: Keeping a friendly and engaging tone will always do the trick. This may vary depending on the age of the audience or the nature of the product. For example, a toy would require a more playful tone whereas a medicine may require a serious tone.
Refrain from Complex Questions: The question should be simple and easy to understand. When the question is too complex and the audience has to think about the answer they may get distracted and lose interest.
Marketing Magazine shared data that showed 70% of 18-24 year olds in the U.K. stated that brands that fail to personalize marketing would lose them as customers. This personalization comes because of interacting with your customers. In the digital world of advertising, with the internet saturated with a variety of products, the key to personalize your products and make them stand out is to ask effective questions. This gets your audience curious about your brand and persuades them into visiting or getting involved with the marketed good. The trick is to ask the right question at the right time to the right audience and Bam! Your question will be just enough to garner the attention you need.
Are you still struggling to come up with the right questions? Do you have any queries? Feel free to contact us at any time to get you out of this ques-ception!
Social Enterprise is a tricky concept. What does it mean to be an organization with a “triple bottom line?” How do you fund your business? And what does this mean to Dubai?
Social Enterprise Defined
A “social enterprise” is a business that lies at the intersection of traditional business and social good. To a social enterprise, yearly profit goals are not limited to the bank account, but extend into the community as the company seeks to improve the society and environment with which is works.
Social enterprises cover the full spectrum of opportunity. Many social enterprises are involved in microfinance, providing banking and financial solutions to low-income or disadvantaged communities. Others are engaged in supporting or providing education, housing, agriculture, energy, healthcare and other services and projects. 
Examples of local social enterprises include Balthazar Capital, a microfinance firm based in Dubai. The firm, who presented a forum on financing for social enterprise at Shelter, aims to “reduce poverty in the Arab world” by bring “social capital” to the region and by supporting responsible growth of microfinance infrastructure.
CareZone is another Dubai-based social enterprise, developed to support local and international causes. CareZone’s mobile app allows users to collect coins, each holding a small monetary value that can then be donated to an organization or cause of their choice. The company also partners with local businesses, encouraging small business growth and increasing social impact.
Impact investors are the financial backers behind social enterprise. These are a cadre of investors who seek to invest in companies that will not only be financially profitable, but will also be able to report quantitatively on their impact on communities and the environment.
Impact Investors include private equity funds, banking clients, affluent families and large foundations, all of who are dedicated to supporting social services and investment. 
These investors, and their international partners, tend to enter into longer-term contracts than typical investors, reflecting the extended length of time required to show return on investment in a social enterprise. Impact investors will generally invest in a social enterprise for at least five years before exiting.
Impact investors in the Arab region include Acumen Fund, Willow Tree Impact Investors, Ashoka, Skoll Foundation, Synergos (Arab World Social Innovators), Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship and Gray Ghost/Matters.
The Synergos Arab World Social Innovators (AWSI) program, for example, provided funding to an inaugural class of 22 social entrepreneurs in 2008. Marilena di Costi was among the first class of recipients. Ms. Di Costa runs The Butterfly Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that educates persons with disabilities in the United Arab Emirates. 
Social Enterprise in the Arab World
According to a 2010 report on social enterprise released by the Global Impact Investment Network Inc., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and The Rockefeller Foundation, the Middle East and North Africa are in the bottom of the pack of social investments.
By tracking the volume and value of impact investment deals in across the globe, the report seeks to quantify the number of social enterprises active in each area. In 2010, just six investment deals were recorded in the region, compared to 268 deals in Latin American and 411 deals in the US and Canada. Without a high volume of investment, social enterprise in the Arab world has been unable to flourish as it has in other regions.
The Emerging Social Enterprise Class in Dubai
Despite being largely ignored by international social business, Dubai has emerged as a regional hub for social entrepreneurs. The Emirate’s reputation for security, safety and support for entrepreneurship has contributed to a positive environment for business concerned with the social good.
To explain the trend, we spoke to Medea Nocentini, a social enterprise consultant and founder of Consult and Coach for a Cause, a volunteer organization that provides consulting services to social entrepreneurs.
“Dubai has been particularly successful in attracting young professionals from all over the world while promoting the local growing entrepreneurial spirit,” Ms. Nocentini said. “In addition, the slim start-up procedures and a tax-free environment facilitate social businesses’ set up and growth. I believe this is a perfect recipe for social businesses.”
As Dubai’s business portfolio has expanded, so too has the desire to promote a double or triple bottom line.
“Local entrepreneurial opportunities are particularly interesting in the technology and services industries, as well as in health care, education, and consumer goods. Dubai has shifted from a speculative to a more socially conscious environment where more and more professionals strive to make an impact on the community,” Ms. Nocentini observed.
Supporting Social Enterprise in Dubai
A number of organizations have emerged to provide support to young social ventures. Mentoring networks, governmental institutions, community projects, private sector companies and volunteer initiatives have each contributed support and guidance to social entrepreneurs.
Mowgli, Infive, Shelter, Baraka Ventures and Dubai + Acumen are just a sampling of the businesses and organizations shaping the social enterprise climate in Dubai. These organizations provide a mix of community, consulting services, educational programming and funding for social enterprise entrepreneurs.
Such efforts have not gone unnoticed.
“There are more and more signs that people are interested in creating social enterprises and supporting them,” commented Nicola Tanner, a social enterprise entrepreneur working in the education sector.
Ms. Tanner participated in a Speed Consulting event held at Shelter. The event, which was organized by Consult and Coach for a Cause and Baraka Ventures, matched a dozen social enterprise entrepreneurs with consultants who were particularly qualified to discuss some of the specific concerns facing these new ventures. Participants received advice on issues ranging from marketing to financing.
Ms. Tanner and the other entrepreneurs who partook in the consulting event were an active embodiment of Ms. Nocentini’s final piece of advice for social enterprise entrepreneurs:
“Share your ideas, challenges, dreams, experiences with as many people as possible and get feedback, advice and positive energy… and most importantly… never give up!”
If Search Engine Optimization can talk, it would probably scream by now. The reason is simple: It has taken a lot of flak from critiques and skeptics who don’t believe in what it can do for businesses. Some say it’s a form of black magic you can use online; others say it’s a common practice of geeky “thugs” with no morals. Some reasons have become so absurd it’s not even worth mentioning, but one thing you should never say is that they DON’T WORK. Believe it or not, they do. And they can be one of the best things that will ever happen to your business.
What is SEO? In its simplest term, SEO (or Search Engine Optimization) has only one goal–to make your website rank higher than the other websites on the internet. Suppose you’re looking for companies who sell the plant, Siam Aurora. You type “Siam Aurora plant” on the Google search box and voila: along comes 2,000,876 websites related to the plant. Now, if the searcher starts on the first page, how long do you think it will take before he stops searching? Probably around 7 pages, or maybe the 35th page if they have eyes of steel. But the real question begins: What happens to the rest of the 2,000,841 then?
Nothing. They all go down the drain.
Of course, this won’t be a problem if your company’s website can be seen on the first to third pages; however, the possibility of being seen dwindles after the next succeeding ones. So the moral of the story here is to make sure your site ranks on the first couple of pages, because you’ll have a better likelihood of being seen by people.
And the best way to do this is by using SEO.
Think of it this way: around 30.4% of the global population are internet users; which is around 2,110,000. Google gets an estimated 2,262,000 searches everyday. Now, let’s say you’re a company that sells Siam Auroras. If your business can get only 2% of this internet population, that would be a whopping 42,200 customers already. And if there are around .05% of searches for Siam Auroras everyday, you’ll be getting around 1,131 qualified prospects for your business each and everyday.
But alas, you’re on the 7,994th page…
Can you see the logic now?
SEO will do what it does best: to help your site move from that 7,994th page to the top five to ten pages. There, your website will be highly visible, which increases your chances of being seen by your target market. And if they can see you, the possibilities of getting them as customers will definitely increase tenfold.
A word for the wise: before you decide to hire an SEO expert to do your job, make sure they know what they’re doing. Many people claim to be SEO’s when in fact, they’re not. Always choose wisely—and you’ll soon realize how optimizing your website can help your business grow to its fullest potential.
Advice for writers from authors, publishers and distributors in Dubai.
You have written your story, your scoop, your screenplay or your poem. But how do you distribute your content? What are the steps for successfully publishing your stories to a broad audience in the Arab world?
On the eve of the Emirates Literature Festival, Shelter Dubai hosted a panel discussion investigating some of the ins and outs of publishing in the Middle East and specifically in the United Arab Emirates.
The panelists, each representing a different market for published content in Dubai, reflected on the status of publishing in the region and offered advice for writers of all genres looking to break into the market.
Step One: Entertain
“Books are not competing against other books,” author Qais Sedki explained. “They are competing against everything else.”
Most readers pick up a book for a single reason: to be entertained. But in a world where hand-held entertainment has become increasingly interactive and self-guided, a traditional book is, for some, a tough sell.
Mr. Sedki found a way to make books more entertaining by producing the first-ever Arabic-language manga series, The Golden Circle.
“When you read manga, you almost do not feel like you are reading,” Mr. Sedki said.
Whatever you are writing, your material has to be more attractive than any other option: a reader will have to chose your story over the next guy’s book, app or video game.
Step Two: Write What They Want To Read
“There is a huge hole in Arabic literature for seven-to-eight year olds,” said Zeyna Al Jabri, founder of Buzoor, an organization dedicated to distributing Arabic language children’s literature. “We don’t have enough variety to satisfy these readers, and the content does not match their age level or mental level. Their ability to read in Arabic might be limited, but they are able to understand more complicated plots.”
This gap is an area of opportunity for aspiring children’s authors in the region, especially Emirati authors and others publishing Arabic content for children.
Yazad Darasha, managing editor of Zawya, echoed the call for more Arabic content.
“Google released a survey revealing that in 2010, 60% of web searches in Saudi Arabia were conducted in Arabic and 70% of web searches in Egypt were conducted in Arabic. There is a massive opportunity to provide information that is credible and intelligent in Arabic, and I don’t think we are doing enough of that in this entire region,” Mr. Darasha said.
Whether you are writing a children’s story or a news piece, explore the possibility of publishing in Arabic. There is a need to Arabic language content, especially in the United Arab Emirates.
Step Three: Explore Your Options
Technology can be a hindrance to reading, as Mr. Sedki and Ms. Al Jabri pointed out. But technology can also be a great tool for young authors.
Blogs are one way to create a strong readership, advised David Haddad, co-founder of the media-matching service, PressPass. Another option is to make your content available for download. “Put your book on Pirate Bay,” Mr. Haddad said, “and see how many downloads you get.” This data can help you contact friends and partners to help promote your product and set up subscription systems as well.
For the author who is eager to see her writing on printed-paper, print-on-demand is an option to seriously consider.
“Increasingly, you do not need a publishing house,” Mr. Sedki said. “Sites such as Lulu.com are set up to help writers self-publish and bypass publishers.”
Self-publishing is also a method for saving money. “Unsold inventory is essentially money that you have locked in a box. But digital enables print-on-demand, when you don’t print a book until someone is interested in buying it. You can have a print run one one,” Mr. Sedki said.
However you approach publishing your work, you will still need to spread the word about your product, Ms. Al Jabri said. “It is one thing to get your content out. It is another thing to get it out to everybody you want to hear or read your content. You need something to push your content, whether it is a publisher, or an award, or marketing.”
Whether you go with a publisher, maintain a blog or print-on-demand, the storytelling tradition will continue to evolve.
“The art of storytelling will be a business opportunity as long as there are human beings,” Mr. Darasha said. “It started with cave paintings, where someone had to tell someone else, ‘I killed a bear, and this is how I did it,’ and he draws it on the wall. Storytelling is an art that will always be with us. It is only how it is delivered that is going to change.”
Today, authors have the unique opportunity to choose which method of delivery works best for them. Find the option that works best for you, and market yourself.
Step Four: Relevant Content is Key
Whether you publish your work on a blog, in a book or via tweets, you will only be read if people want to read your content.
However, the barriers that traditionally existed between good content and the public are slowly being overcome.
“In the past, it was a gated city. Now we have all these ladders on the gate, and people are climbing the walls,” Mr. Sedki said, explaining the phenomenon of consumers now being the judges of content as opposed to publishers.
“The roadblocks to getting content published have been removed and the channels have been made smoother,” Mr. Darasha said, “but it is still all about the content. Unless the content is relevant to the consumer, its not going to get delivered.”
In Conclusion: What does it take to be a writer in the UAE?
In closing remarks, panelists were asked to share – briefly – their tips for getting work published in the United Arab Emirates. Their advice is recorded below:
“The will to write. It is all you need, and you will find everything else. I did that and I didn’t have anything else. You learn what is missing and you go ahead.” – Qais Sedki
“As an Emirati, if you just have an idea, it is very easy because there is a craving for Emirati writing.” – Zeyna Al Jabri
“Start a blog. Build your readership post by post. There are no barriers. If you want to do something just go ahead and do it, to getting published. Just do it.” – David Haddad
“The will to learn how to structure, the dedication to do it every day and the ambition and the push to constantly print and publish, publish, publish.” – Yazad Darasha
Chances are, you are reading this article on your smartphone. Most men and women would sooner give up a romantic dinner or a weekend getaway than their mobile phones; mobile phones are omnipresent. If you want to reach someone, the mobile device is the way to do it.
The power of mobile marketing has never been stronger. If you have not yet made the move towards mobile marketing, here are our Top 8 reasons to develop a mobile marketing strategy:
8. Ever-Expanding Audience
Google ranked UAE #1 for the smartphone usage, it grew 73.8% in 2016, and growth shows no sign of slowing. Data usage is up as well, growing 70% in 2012. More smartphones in more hands using more data equals even more opportunities to reach your customers.
7. Internet In Your Pocket
One-in-four site visits originated from a mobile device in 2012. This means people are accessing the Internet from cafes, malls, parking lots and other public spaces – all perfect opportunities to grab a potential new customer’s attention and direct them to your store or product!
6. 100% Access Guaranteed
Mobile phone ownership in the UAE is 100% (as measured by Insights MENA). You have the opportunity to reach 100% of you customer base when you go mobile. Data usage in the UAE is also high at 59%.
5. Conversion Channel
The mobile device can be the conduit for each step on the customer conversion channel: build awareness through mobile advertising; convert new customers with a sound user interface; inspire brand loyalty through social interactions.
4. Options, Options, Options
Mobile marketing provides a variety of means for accessing customers: SMS, in-app advertisements, mobile search engine optimization and proximity targeting.
3. Instant Communication
The average read time for an SMS message is 4 minutes, compared to 48 hours for email. By contact customers through their mobile devices, you could be getting new business within minutes, rather than days.
2. The Power of Local
Mobile marketing allows you to target customers based on their geographic location. Proximity targeting is particularly successful at concerts, in airports, at malls, in hotels, at transit stations and at trade shows. Your customer is close – bring them all the way to your door!
1. Lifestyle of the Future
With smartphones in almost every pocket, tech developers are try to make instant connections ever easier. iWatches and Google Glasses are products that are already on the market, and more are coming.”The future isn’t about mobile. Its about mobility.” – David Armano