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How Founders and CEOs Can Raise Early Checks (With Pavel Cherkashin)

https://readwrite.com/2020/01/05/how-founders-and-ceos-can-raise-early-checks-with-pavel-cherkashin/play episode download
5 de gener, per  Murray Newlands[ —]
how to ceo

I’m excited to speak with Pavel Cherkashin in today’s episode of the How To CEO podcast!. Pavel is a co-founder and managing partner at Mindrock Capital. Pavel is also a managing partner at GVA Capital. I spoke with him about what founders and CEOs need to know about raising early checks.

When Should Founders Try Raising Early Checks?

I asked Pavel: When should a founder who’s just starting a company begin to think about trying to raise early checks, and what should they do to get ready?

Pavel thinks of a founder’s new startup as a baby. When a baby is an embryo, the parents don’t show it off to friends and family yet. The same holds true with startups.

“There’s a certain period when you don’t even know if your product is going to fly — if people really need your product or if there even is a product. Once you’re sure there’s a product, and once you know that all the binary risks are off the table and it’s now more about the risks associated with scaling, then you should go to investors.”

What Investors Want to See Before Investing

Pavel told me that although there’s a category of investors who are willing to fund ideas in early stages, the truth is that in most cases is that funding will include your friends and family at the beginning.

Institutional investors would want to first see that there’s a strong team. The team should have a product in hand, and the product should solve a particular problem for particular clients.

Pavel’s “Box” Analogy

Pavel tells me to look at it from this perspective: The ideal scenario for the investor is when the startup founder comes to an investor with a box and says, “We put $100 into this box. We turn the handle, and we get $200 out of it. Or $300 out of it.” Now the investor wants to put money into this box.

At first, the investor puts in $100, and nothing happens… And then puts in another hundred, and nothing happens… But probably in a year, when they put enough money into this box, coins will start coming out.

Steps That Show Investors That the Startup Will Be Successful

The investor never knows with certainty that this box (the startup) is going to actually work. So I asked Pavel, “what are some good signals a founder can give investors to show them that their startup will be successful?”

He told me about several steps a founder can take that can help get the attention of investors. Here’s Pavel’s rundown:

1. Friends and Family

First, he told me that there are always investors you can approach without having a strong pitch yet. Again, for example, you can first go to your friends and family.

2. Accelerators

You can also go to accelerators. Even if you don’t want to participate in the acceleration program, you can still use the application process as a way to get feedback and understanding for yourself to determine if your project is fundable.

Pavel strongly recommends that founders apply to all possible accelerators, and pitching all their family members. “If you’re scared or shy to show your project even to your close friends, something is wrong with it and you should get back to designing the product.”

3. Lawyers

The next layer is to go to service providers like lawyers. Most of the large legal firms, at least here in Silicon Valley, will give credit to pretty much any startup in their services. You can get 10K, 15K, 20K worth of credit from lawyers to set up your company, and they will hope that once you raise the funding, you’ll pay them back.

“If you can’t sell your project even to a lawyer, you shouldn’t start going through institutional investors,” Pavel told me. “This is a very good indication of where you are.”

4. Startup Programs with Large Companies

Then, you go to Google and get $100,000 worth of their credits, or Amazon, or Facebook, or Microsoft. All of those big companies have special programs for startups.

5.  Recommendations from Other Founders Or Investors

Another very important resource for founders is other founders of successful startups who have already raised funding. “Most of the best deals that I’d invest in, come through recommendations,” Pavel said. “The recommendations could come from large corporations if you have a good deal with them, and if you’re working on some exciting business development, they will tell us.”

Recommendations can also come from other investors. Getting a recommendation from another investor is basically convincing another investor to invest. Getting a recommendation from a founder is much easier. They’ve all been in your shoes, they know how difficult it is. If they like your project, it doesn’t cost them anything to send an email.

Pavel had much more advice and tips to give new founders. He also gave me his thoughts on valuation, others who are doing great work as investors, and more. You won’t want to miss this episode.

The post How Founders and CEOs Can Raise Early Checks (With Pavel Cherkashin) appeared first on ReadWrite.


Marketing Automation and Customer Service: How are they Connected?

5 de gener, per  Himanshu Rauthan[ —]
automation and customer service

Did you know that, on average, 51% of companies are currently using marketing automation, and more than half of B2B companies (58%) plan to adopt the technology? The statistic may be mind-boggling, but it is very much justified. Companies and marketers are always in search of ways that make things easy and convenient for them. Automating the daily repetitive tasks is definitely at the top of the list of making things effortless. 

How can offering 24*7 customer service be automated? Is it possible? If yes, then how? Are there any obstacles to automation? Analyzing and segregating tasks that need a human touch, which do not automate, can be tricky. Here is where a proper marketing automation strategy is required, but before diving in deep waters, let us brief ourselves with the basics.    

Marketing Automation Theory

 

marketing-automation-elements
Marketing automation is actually an integral part of “customer relationship management.”

Marketing automation is actually an integral part of “customer relationship management.” Defining, segmenting, tracking and personalizing marketing campaigns is the core of customer relationship management. This gives us an idea of how closely marketing automation and customer service are linked. 

The idea behind using marketing automation is to increase the efficiency of the regular repetitive tasks which are a part of your marketing campaigns. Automating tasks that would otherwise be performed manually gives you the extra traction on your marketing efforts. It also allows you to market more effectively on different channels such as email, websites, social media, etc. 

What is a Marketing Automation Platform?

Marketing automation platforms can be defined as tools or software which allow marketers to create, implement, and automate marketing workflows for multiple channels from a single source. They ease out understanding customer behavior and panning out marketing strategies accordingly. 

Marketing automation platforms are used to carry out some key tasks which include lead scoring, lead management, lead generation, converting leads to customers, managing and analyzing marketing campaigns. 

Replacing the manual workload with automated solutions is what a marketing automation platform delivers. Tips to automate your marketing are brought to life and implemented here.    

When it comes to customer service, marketing automation services and marketing automation platforms have a big role to play. These platforms make sure that the customers are satisfied and they have a joyful ride in the buyer journey as well. 

Having said that, you may want to have a look at some of the best customer service automation platforms by Bloominari.

Relation Between CRM and Customer Service

crm-worldwide-market-revenue-statista
Customer-Relationship-Management (CRM) market revenue worldwide.

Source

To serve customers with excellence requires dedicated efforts. To bridge the gap between your customers and your brand, you need to step into the customer’s shoes. After understanding their needs, you need to act. 

In the past, we used to jot everything down. From reminding customers about offers to making them aware of their purchases, we were dependent on pen and paper. Though the method is still useful, it became obsolete over time. 

Businesses suffered great losses, and competitors took advantage because their systems were not able to cope up with the changing customer behaviors. The long-term customers shifted their focus to other companies who could study and anticipate their needs better. Where did these other companies take the edge?

They used automated marketing and marketing platforms to good effect. Analyzing consumer behavior and presenting the consumers with what they needed before they could even guess. 

How Marketing Automation Helps You Serve Customers Better   

We will take a more practical approach to understand this. Say you sold your customer a software package with 6 months of support. Now, automation steps in:

  • Recommending other related products to the customer
  • Reminding the customer when his license and support expires
  • Software update notifications
  • If the customer changes his framework in the future, suggesting other software


On top of this, over the course of 6 months, answering customer queries and doubts can also be automated. 
Nowadays, automated messages on social media have made life easier for marketers. 

Customers like to engage on social media and find it relatively easy to connect with businesses there. For 45% of consumers, social media is one of the first channels they go to in case they have any questions or issues.

All of the above may not have been possible 30 years ago but is definitely a doable thing now. 

Marketing Automation Boosts Customer Satisfaction 

marketing-automation-benefits
Find out what marketing automation benefits are for your company.

Source

Anticipation is the key here. Excellent customer service is one where the company reaches out to the customer beforehand. When this happens, the customer feels elated. They will then shower more love on your business. But how do I know which customer wants what and when?

Data and anticipation.

There is a big difference between assumption and anticipation. We need to focus on the latter. When you have consumer data, you can work wonders with it. You need to make sure that all your working departments are on the same page. 

For example:

Your sales team has the expiration dates of all the software packages sold out. This data can be shared with the customer service team. The service team can then use this data to serve the customer better. 

The more we engage with our customers, the more they feel connected with us. Connection makes the customer more comfortable when dealing with businesses. With automation, you engage more and satisfy more with more efficiency as well. Ecommerce businesses should take full leverage of marketing automation in customer service and get fruitful results. 

Common Customer Pain Points With Their Automated Solutions

Marketing automation is a must-have for modern marketing teams because understanding customer behavior and the issues they face is not a piece of cake. Even if you are aware of their pain points, solving them takes time and effort. 

What do we have here with us? Marketing automation. Will it help? Certainly.

Here is how marketing automation can ease out the complications in common customer issues.

Pain Point #1: “I am not interested in the regular emails your company pitches me. I am blocking you!”

An increased email bounce rate and customers not even bothering to open your emails can hurt a lot. Customers that have no interest in the subject — trash the emails or they end up in spam. 

Resolution: With customer segmentation in marketing automation, you have a head start. You already know what interests your prospects have, and what are they fond of. 

Now, you can prepare customized emails to send to your clients. 

The customized emails will increase your email open rates, clicks, and conversions. You will take better care of your customers by not spamming them with content they don’t want. 

Pain Point #2: “There has not been any follow-up, even after contacting you for a new purchase. Are you neglecting me?”

There are so many options available for customers. If you miss out on the opportunity of converting a lead(especially when they have approached you first), you are doomed. They will find some better alternatives. 

Resolution: Real-time customer tracking and behavior study have become a lot easier with marketing automation. The top pages they visit, the sections they browse the most, and the products they are interested in the most are all invaluable insights. 

Automatic prioritization of customer support requests helps in solving issues in a suitable timespan. Quick notifications allow you to follow up instantly. 

Pain Point #3: “I have an issue with your product and need assistance, but nobody is responding to my request.”

If you fail to answer the post-purchase queries, it dents your company’s reputation. 

Putting a ding in your company’s reputation should be avoided at all costs, or else you will lose out on a lot of revenue. 

Resolution: Effective communication between its team members is the key to any business. If you get a question which you don’t have an answer to, you should be able to connect the customer with someone who can help. 

Be it any platform; communication is the key to satisfying the customer. Marketing automation helps in a quicker response rate and better assistance by automatically routing the support chats, calls, etc. to the right person. 

All this will let you provide an amazing customer experience to your users.  

How to Design a Marketing Automation Strategy for Customer Retention

Crafting out and deploying a marketing strategy that works is easier said than done. Converting prospects into potential customers and making loyal customers into brand advocates is a big deal. Expectations of marketing automation are increasing day by day.

But here is the kicker: If we are prepared to take on the challenge, we can surely succeed. 

Below are some considerable marketing automation ideas for your marketing automation strategy:  

Personalize the Interaction

marketing-automation-optimization-tactics
What are the most effective tactics used to optimize your marketing automation?

Source

Whenever we talk about connecting with our audience, personalization is vital. Everyone likes content and products crafted for them exclusively. When they get it, they feel elated. Even if we call someone by their name, they feel more valued and respected.  

Consumer data is like gold dust and should be used wisely. When we have insights with us, we can use it to good effect. 

There are proven ways which you can use to personalize your automated marketing campaigns:

  • Super personalized homepage for your users
  • Segmentation of customers and segmented campaigns
  • Personalized email marketing with fresh content 

Every marketing strategy must include personalization as its core. The results will follow.  

Offer Incentives and Discounts

Everyone likes surprises, and your customers are no different. Presenting lucrative offers can do the trick more often than not. You may offer your loyal customers extra benefits and discounts. Benefits are expected and will kill two birds with one stone. 

Firstly, they will feel valued and secondly, they will buy more from you. It’s a win-win situation. 

offer-incentives-uber-example
Treating your established customers as VIPs will serve as the icing on the cake. 

The above example is a perfect illustration of the tactic that we discussed. Marketers need to understand the significance of incentives and offers. Marketing automation can also help brands make a name for themselves during the festive season. It is just one of the many benefits that marketing automation has on offer.  

Automated incentives might be the missing piece of your marketing puzzle. Incentives will bring additional customers.

Re-Engagement and Encouraging Repeat Purchases

Closing out deals and selling products is not the end of the story. It is the beginning of a new story. Compelling your customers to keep coming back should be prioritized. 

Established buyers make up 40% revenue for an eCommerce Store – Adobe Study.

As compared to acquiring new customers, re-engaging existing customers is an easier task. Marketing automation helps you in doing that. 

re-engagement-buzz-feed-example
Proper analysis of existing customer data coupled with a marketing automation software solves the problem.  

Asking customers to buy more and encouraging repeat purchases is an excellent sale-booster. With marketing automation at your service, this is a must-try tactic and should be a part of your strategy. 

Upsell and Cross-Sell

What is upselling?

Asking your customers to buy a comparatively better and costlier product along with the one they are interested in is called upselling.

What is cross-selling?

The practice of suggesting complementary and related products to the customers is known as cross-selling.  

A sound marketing automation strategy will always incorporate upselling and cross-selling.

A marketing automation platform and lots of consumer data will allow you to both cross-sell and upsell. Shooting customized messages to your buyers regarding upsells and cross-sell can be done efficiently using marketing automation. 

With marketing automation, you can extract extra value from your customers and push them to spend more. 

grammarly-upsell-example
Brands around the world have used this with an exemplary effect. 

             

Another one: 

spotify-upsell-example
Automated emails for upselling and cross-selling might just be the right mix for your business.

A/B Test   

A/B Testing is indispensable for any marketing tactic we implement. When we A/B test our efforts, we know what is working for us and what is not. 

What is A/B Testing?

Using and comparing two variants of an entity (like webpage, ad, application) to check which one performs better is known as A/B Testing.

Understanding the performances of both the variants one by one will make sure we opt for the right choice. 

The understanding can be achieved by statistical analysis of consumer data.

Here is an example from Microsoft:

ab-testing-microsoft-example-1
The understanding of the varients can is achieved by statistical analysis of consumer data.

Variant 1

ab-testing-microsoft-example-2
Marketing automation software can breathe new life into your A/B testing efforts. 

 Variant 2

Marketing automation can easily and quickly help you set up multiple tests and can automatically administer those tests so you can focus your attention wherever else it is needed. You can maximize your response rate and test elements on multiple campaigns simultaneously, saving you time. 

You will quickly be able to draw out the best combination which works for you. From the results obtained, you can also look at a few landing page examples. Choose the best and optimize the rest.  

Quiz Yourself Before Planning a Strategy

Not everything you discuss or read about will work for you. Nobody knows your business better than you. You will need to ask yourselves some questions before panning out a strategy. Discuss it with your team members, gain feedback, check your highs and lows, and then move forward. 

If you don’t have much experience with automation, it would be better to go easy and slow. If you have a lot of experience in the field, you will have to carve out new ways to serve the customer better and explore other dimensions of the strategy. 

Few questions you need to ask yourself “right now” about automating your efforts:

  1. What should I automate, and I shouldn’t?

Big one. Simply automating your social media responses is not advised. And even if you do it, be cautious. Users on social media can behave in various ways, and your bots need to be intelligent to handle them. 

The emails that you automate must also be checked once in a while and refreshed. You need to be sure about what needs a human touch.

    2. How can I serve customers better with marketing automation?

This one needs a lot of attention as well. If you can serve your customers well, all other woes won’t count. Following up with clients, routing support chats to experts, post-purchase queries, sending reminders and promotions to loyal customers, etc. should be automated, but with care. 

 You should know your customers well and serve them accordingly.     

    3. What will I do to track my efforts?

You should have a clear-cut idea of how to answer this. You should prioritize your area of importance and then work on the same. Even if you run a single email marketing campaign, you should be able to track it.  

Did it work? To how much extent? Impact on your business objectives? Answer every question. Accumulate satisfactory answers. Then proceed further. 

Conclusion 

marketing-automation-conclusion
Marketing automation is crucial in providing an amazing customer experience.

Marketing automation may come across as intimidating but isn’t. Marketers around the world need to understand this and explore automation. The sooner they do it, the better it will be. Ecommerce marketing automation is being used neatly to increase profits and conversions.   

No one can know each and everything about you. Brands nowadays use marketing automation software and integrations smartly to study your behavior and suggest things accordingly. We may be missing out on a lot, which can be achieved through marketing automation. 

Our toughest problem may easily be solved via marketing automation.

Our biggest weakness may become our greatest strength. We at least need to try.  The goal is to connect with the audience base in more engaging ways and automation does just that. Going past the barriers of implementing marketing automation should be prioritized.

So, in case you have not included marketing automation in your marketing strategy yet, it’s high time that you do so. It is not only for marketing, and sales but also for customer service

The post Marketing Automation and Customer Service: How are they Connected? appeared first on ReadWrite.


Why You Need to Consider IoT in Improving Customer Experience

4 de gener, per  Sindhav Bhagirath[ —]
iot and customer experience

Assuredly, IoT (Internet of Things) has the potential to improve customer experience. The rapid expansion of technology has impacted businesses in many ways. Besides, IoT enables data sharing, inventory management, security, and increased efficiency and productivity. But, what is IoT? Well, in simple words, IoT is the network of interconnected devices that embedded with sensors, software, network connectivity that allow them to accumulate and exchange data making them responsive. Here is why you need to consider IoT in improving your customer experience.

The Internet of Things offers significant benefits to businesses, such as increase business opportunities.

IoT helps with asset utilization, improves safety and security, enhances productivity, saving costs, and delivers the best customer experience. Thus, businesses are taking advantage of this technology to not only improve profitability but also enhance customers’ experience. This blog focuses on the aspects of the Internet of Things applications that are deliberate helps to boost user experience. Let’s explore why the Internet of Things should be considered in improving overall customer experience.

Real-time Data

By using the IoT, companies can fetch the important, real-time data that helps them to define strategic actions. From managing unit functions to track the products, IoT gives you real-time access so that you can serve better services to potential customers. Also, you can place a sensor on transporting vehicles to given an update to the customers about the shipment.

All of these uses of IoT will help you to deliver the best customer experience. Moreover, with the computerized system, you will be able to monitor all the operational tasks to maintain the most exceptional quality of your products and services.

Personalized Communication

IoT is used to enrich communication, as well. From operational management to understanding customers’ behavior, IoT can generate important data for your business. With the insights, you can personalized communication with your customers and increase satisfaction. Also, you will be able to gauze the interest area of your customers, which is essential to personalized their experience.

You can suggest relevant products or guide them to use the specific features of a product based on the gathered statistics through IoT. The personalized interaction makes the consumers feel valuable, and they bond an emotional connection with your business. Using a passionate connective action significantly improves overall customer experience.

Ultimate Security

digital security
Digital security is of the utmost concern for customers these days.

If you provide a safe and secure shopping experience, they will come back, again and again, to buy from you. You should assure your audience about the safety of their personal information, so the customers don’t have to worry about identity theft. By implementing IoT, you can provide a safer digital environment to host data.

Because of how IoT works, the extended reach of internet connectivity addresses businesses the ability to monitor things in real-time. So you can respond to the suspicious activities right away. Besides, IoT enables companies to use biometric sensors and IDs for verification, advancing the identification more reliable. When layers of digital security strengthen IoT in customer service, you can offer ultimate safety to the customers.

Inventory Management – Safer and On-Time

In today’s competitive time, customers want their product to arrive at their doorsteps quickly. To fulfill this demand, you need to manage the inventory efficiently. IoT allows you to manage the inventory helps you never run out of the product.

With the help of technology, you can stay updated with the stocks that need to be ordered, dead stock, or the merchandise (in the highest demand). Also, using inventory management gives significant acumen about inventory items’ location, statuses, movements, and you’ll have the constant visibility of all the inventory goods. This information will help you to serve your customers better and on time.

Exceptional Customer Support

IoT plays a vital role in creating a positive customer experience. It can increase customer satisfaction by controlling equipment for problems. In some circumstances, the IoT sensors may be able to foretell problems before they occur. The IoT device can convey an alert to an engineer warning them about the inherent problem; the equipment could be repaired before the issue commences to any downtime.

An automated system offers potential solutions to fix the problems so that you can resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Addressing the issues can happen before a customer contacts the support team. You can offer ultimate customer support by identifying and solving the problems even before they arise.

Improve Products or Services

The data that you have accumulated from the usage of your products can be used to produce new products. You can map out what part of your products can be renewed. Also, with the gathered analytics, you can take appropriate actions to improve customer services. Plus, you can train your staff to improve the overall quality of your business offerings, which will help you to deliver the ultimate experience to your target audience.

IoT is hugely helpful for eCommerce or online retail businesses to enhance shoppers’ journey. By enabling the IoT for your business, eCommerce platforms can recommend the exact products customers are looking for. They can provide accurate shipping details so they can stay updated with their orders. Based on customers’ purchase habits, IoT will allow you to understand your customers in a better way and offer them a superior experience.

The imposition of Internet Of Things

The advancement in technology like the Internet of Things is a blessing for a business that significantly improves customer experience. You can easily detect any fault in operational tasks, and fix it quickly to not delay in customer services. The real-time monitoring will fetch the vital data which will be imperative to improve the products or services.
When the improvement of the overall customer experience is your priority, you’ll consider implementing IoT into your business. You’ll be looking to improving customer experience with your products or services; you should consider integrating IoT with your existing business.

Consulting an experienced IoT development company would be a wise choice that can deliver you the intended results within the stipulated time frame.

The post Why You Need to Consider IoT in Improving Customer Experience appeared first on ReadWrite.


How to Ensure Your Data is Providing Trustworthy Insights

3 de gener, per  Sudhi Sinha[ —]
data insights

For building owners and managers, data is the fuel behind their smart building operations. Leveraging the surplus of data that is readily available to them, owners and managers are making informed decisions for their facility that can create long-term performance enhancements and help them achieve goals such as improved efficiency and occupant comfort. Here is how to ensure your data is providing trustworthy insights.

Through the latest innovations in AI and machine learning, data is being mined in more significant volumes.

The data is allowing decisions to be made even faster. But as facility owners and managers become more dependent on this data to drive operations and make critical facility decisions, two essential questions remain:

  1. How can they ensure their data is trustworthy?
  2. How can they guarantee that the decisions they are making are backed by reliable, secure information and providing correct insights?

Fortunately, there are three steps facility owners, and managers can take to ensure the data from their smart buildings can be trusted to provide accurate insights into building and equipment operations:

Maintain a transparent pathway to data.

A critical component of achieving data trustworthiness is ensuring facility owners and managers have consistent access to raw data. Regardless of where the data is coming from – a single sensor or an entire building of integrated systems – maintaining a transparent pathway plays an integral role.

The role of the data allows owners and managers to engage in smart facility management and ensure their data’s authenticity and quality daily. This level of transparency and access to data is particularly crucial during time-sensitive events such as equipment failures or malfunctions.

To achieve this high level of transparency and access to data, facility owners and managers can invest in systems management technology that digitally transforms building operations and provides data access and control across all systems. From HVAC to water usage, this technology delivers unprecedented visibility into their facility’s processes.

Furthermore, through cloud technology, owners and managers can access their data remotely, ensuring they have visibility into operations no matter where they are and when they need it most.

Ensure context to give data meaning.

As important as it is for building owners and managers to have access to raw building data, it only provides a surface-level view of building operations. However, when coupled with context, this data can provide critical insights into processes and allow owners and managers to understand the full picture.

Once they’ve established this understanding, they can effectively leverage their data to make informed, strategic decisions regarding their smart building and equipment within.

For example, raw data from chillers at a hospital shows that the building is inexplicably requiring more energy for HVAC cooling systems between November and January. Without context, the hospital administration could safely assume that equipment might be inefficient or malfunctioning. But this data needs context for it to be truly understood.

By cross-referencing with patient traffic in those months, they can discover that patient volume was extremely high in the emergency room due to a bad flu season, thereby requiring extensive energy to cool the waiting room and surrounding spaces. With context, facility owners and managers are given data with meaning and can make intelligent decisions on behalf of their facilities. Ultimately, data can only be as smart as we are, and if we don’t connect the dots, we will never fully understand it.

Establish a strategy for data security.

The final step in the pursuit of data trustworthiness is ensuring building data is secure. When data is safe and uncompromised, facility owners and managers can trust that their data-based decisions are accurate and informed. To secure their data, owners, and managers can implement security measures such as two-factor authentication logins or back-up procedures and storage in case of data loss.

Additionally, a third-party professional can be brought in to audit the facility’s data security and search for potential gaps in the systems. Through these audits, owners and managers can better understand where their security systems need improvements and implement technologies and procedures to update their building and ensure their building data is safe and secure.

Trustworthy data powers informed decision-making.

When building data is trustworthy, the resulting decisions are credible too. By taking the necessary steps to transform their building and ensure transparent access digitally, context, and security for their data, facility owners and managers can be confident that their building’s data is trustworthy and delivering accurate insights.

With these insights, a company can continue to make informed decisions for long term performance and an improved building environment.

The post How to Ensure Your Data is Providing Trustworthy Insights appeared first on ReadWrite.


Need of Feedback Software for Ministry of Army and Defense

3 de gener, per  Vinod Janapala[ —]
military feedback software

In any business or organization, the customer is the king. Anything and everything starts with the customer and ends with them. And so, it is necessary to have a satisfied customer base for increased brand loyalty and trust. For this very reason, almost all businesses today rely on technology. The technology helps companies to interact with their customers. Businesses must know a customer’s opinion in the form of feedback about their products or services. Here is the need for feedback software for the Ministry of Army and Defense.

The type of software that is used for feedback is called customer feedback software — often used in the form of an app.

The feedback software allows businesses and service providers to understand their customers and clients better. Such software is not only a need of the hour but a tool for a successful corporate life. The moment you put your customer at the core of your business, you’re already a step closer to success. And this feedback in today’s diverse era isn’t easy to get and retrieve without the help of Customer Feedback Software.

What is Defense Feedback Software?

Today a customer is not limited only to business. Every organization has a customer in its varied stakeholders. For instance, for a school, the staff, the students, the helpers, and the teachers are all part of their customers. And proper feedback from them can help make things better. Similarly, in the army and defense, a proper Feedback Software is required to know whether or not the defense personnel and civilian employees in the Ministry of Army and Defense are happy and content with the service they receive.

A Defense Feedback Software is a new technology being adopted by almost all the world’s leading armies like the Defense Department of the United States of America has launched the 2016 Morale, Welfare and Recreation Customer Satisfaction Survey Software, for knowing it directly from the personnel, whether or not they are receiving the best of services for their families, training, equipment, food, etc.

Need for an Army Feedback Software in the Ministry of Army and Defense

The need for a Customer Feedback Software in Army and Defense Ministry has a huge amount of reasons behind it. It is not only needed but even advantageous for the ministry. Below are some prominent reasons why we need it in the Ministry of Army and Defense.

  • The Defense Feedback Software will help the authorities know for sure about the opinions of the military personnel from varied departments like the Department of Defense Morale, Welfare, Recreation, and Resale Policy Office.
  • This feedback helps to make major decisions in investment in equipment. It helps to know the need for certain equipment by the personnel which they require on-field and those which are in excess already. Wiser decisions in equipment purchase can help the army officials to not only defeat the enemy but save their lives too. The US Defense Department used its Defense Feedback Software to invest more than $1 million in equipment upgrades.
  • The feedback helps to improve the various training and fitness facilities for the personnel. The officials believe that improvements in fitness programs and facilities, outdoor recreation programs and single-service-member programs were a direct result of the Army Feedback Software.
  • The software provides the spouse of the personnel to take part in the survey and feedbacks with the Defense Feedback Software. In the US Defense Department, about 200,000 members of the military’s active duty, National Guard and Reserve components, along with their spouses, participated in the feedback programs.
  • The Defense Feedback Software helps to improve services designed to enhance the quality of life of the defense personnel and their families.
  • The participation in the surveys by the Software is voluntary and on the will of the employees and military personnel.  Also, all the responses are confidential and respondents can be candid in their responses.
  • Such software in the Ministry of Army and Defense not only focuses on meeting the needs of the military members but also that of the civilian employees by promoting quality services.
  • Such feedback will help to make a decision regarding the continued or discontinued use of a particular service provider.

Conclusion

Understanding the need for defense feedback software, its inculcation in army systems should be highly appreciated. piHappiness is the most helpful and highly accurate provider for such software. Having a source for military usage is essential for the quality of services used for the defense department. The Ministry of Army and Defense has long needed a source for feedback purposes.

With ensured accuracy and analytical precision, the Ministry of Army and Defense will be able to provide ways to be the best in the field and a way to prove that its methods have worked for the benefit of their military personnel.

The post Need of Feedback Software for Ministry of Army and Defense appeared first on ReadWrite.


The Challenges and Opportunities for Automation in the Real Estate Industry

https://www.salesfusion.com/resource/state-b2b-lead-generation/play episode download
2 de gener, per  Adrian Fisher[ —]
real estate

According to Ascend2, 71% of businesses use marketing automation. The benefits of marketing automation are significant across all industries, including real estate. Even better, marketing isn’t the only process that real estate agents can automate in their business. 

Managing a real estate business can be time-consuming. Numerous, repetitive tasks can prevent agents from maximizing their time and focusing on their significant business goals. However, automation helps agents eliminate repetitive tasks and become more efficient day-to-day. 

Automation is also one of the best ways for agents to grow their business. By automating social media, email campaigns, paperwork, and other tasks, real estate professionals can stay ahead of the market and their competition.

Here are four tasks agents can automate as well as some challenges they may face.

Social media marketing

A strong social media presence is no longer an option – it’s a necessity. Social media is undoubtedly on the rise, and agents are increasingly relying on social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram to build their brand awareness. 

Manually creating and posting social media content requires a lot of time and energy. However, real estate agents can use automation tools to run their social media campaigns. By automating social media, agents can schedule updates across all of their social media channels. 

Social media automation tools can pull and automatically post valuable real estate content at optimized times, on behalf of the agent. A consistent presence on social media increases an agent’s online visibility and reaches audiences where they’re most active. 

While social media automation is an excellent way to schedule posts in advance, agents should be careful to schedule posts for a week in advance or less. This ensures they’re posting appropriate content. It’s also vital to review scheduled posts in the case of unforeseen events.

Social media ad management

According to a report by We Are Social and Hootsuite, the average American Facebook user clicks on eight ads per month. Advertising on social media is one of the best ways for real estate agents to generate new leads. 

Finding the right content to post and boosting it individually on each social platform isn’t the most efficient use of time. It can also be challenging for agents to determine their target audience through trial and error and A/B testing.

 Agents can use social media ad management platforms to automatically find relevant content for their target audience and post the content on all of their social media channels. Automation tools can detect new listings and upcoming open houses in the MLS, and automatically generate ad campaigns

The advantage is that agents no longer have to worry about taking the time to create visually appealing social media ads to generate leads. However, receiving a large number of high-quality leads means agents should respond quickly. They must prepare to continue to follow up with potential clients as to not let them fall through the cracks.

Email marketing

Studies show that 94% of real estate agents prefer to communicate with customers via email. As a top priority among agents, it’s no wonder email is a massive opportunity for automation. 

With automation tools, agents can create drip campaigns that send prospects a set number of emails over time. It’s essential for agents to segment their audience based on actions or events, such as an open house or showing, so that they can send personalized content. Keeping interested clients in the loop with constant updates provides opportunities to increase engagement, thus generating new business.

While automating email marketing maintains a steady flow of communication, agents shouldn’t go overboard and bombard prospects with too many emails. The last thing an agent wants is a missed sales opportunity because a potential client gets annoyed and unsubscribes from their email list. 

Automated emails can also feel less personal, so agents should take the time to personalize the content and humanize their messaging. No one wants to feel like they’re communicating with a robot. 

Document workflow

From numerous contracts and disclosures to inspection reports and purchase agreements, agents deal with a massive amount of paperwork daily. Managing vital documents is one of the most time-consuming aspects of real estate, so it makes sense to automate this process.

Instead of spending time scanning, printing, and emailing documents, agents can use automation software to handle the necessary paperwork. For instance, electronic signature software helps agents create and share documents digitally and simplifies workflows. 

Agents can ask clients to sign all documents, such as home inspection reports or purchase agreements, in one place. They can also access forms from anywhere, regardless of their location.

Navigating automation in real estate 

While automation delivers many benefits for real estate agents, it certainly doesn’t replace every task. It’s also not as simple as setting it and forgetting about it. Agents who embrace automation should still expect to personalize content and keep an eye on their automated processes. 

Automation has undoubtedly modernized the real estate industry. By using automation software, agents can become much more efficient, eliminate manual processes, and stay ahead of their competitors.

Image source: Pixaby.com

The post The Challenges and Opportunities for Automation in the Real Estate Industry appeared first on ReadWrite.


7 Common Negotiation Mistakes to Avoid at all Costs

2 de gener, per  Debraj Chatterjee[ —]
negotiation mistakes

Many often consider negotiation an arduous task, as it involves having conversations with people, where both parties are doing their best to protect personal interests. Going over negotiations while maintaining relationships remains relevant to businesses and investments.
It hardly comes easy to conclude a negotiation that keeps both parties happy, while overlooking small processes may result in costly errors that could mar the negotiation process. The negotiation society, for instance, discusses the pitfalls to avoid, which can make the difference between a successful negotiation and a significant disagreement.

Here are seven common negotiation mistakes to avoid at all costs.

1. Failing to prepare:

Before going into a negotiation, ensure you have all your facts ready about the components of the deal. Prepare your facts on the other party beforehand and study the intricacies of the agreement. Ensure you have sound knowledge of your partner’s values, desires, and expectations before beginning negotiation.

The problem with not having an idea about these is that you may be taken unawares and may get less than you expect from the deal. It is also necessary so you can practice and perfect your argument beforehand.

2. Failing to build relationships:

When you go into a negotiation without building relationships first, a vital component of a successful negotiation is already missing- Trust. Building trust gives better insight into the other party’s interests and values.

It also makes your partner warm up to you and gives them the will to acquiesce to your demands. Failure to build relationships makes the negotiation process cold and unwelcoming. It creates unnecessary tension and strife.

3. Failing to listen:

Empathetic listening is critical in the negotiation process. It gives you an opportunity to understand the other party better. Furthermore, you can identify shared interests and positions. You may, however, miss vital information when negotiating, resulting in undesirable outcomes. Having excellent listening skills gives you the edge and shows that you are committed to the negotiation.

4. Showing extreme care:

What gives you strength as a negotiator is to know that you can back out of a deal without feeling beaten. When the other party understands your onus, you get better treatment and deal. If you make it seem like your existence depends on that deal, you are at the mercy of the other party. However, treat the negotiation with respect but do not show your vulnerability.

5. Showing excessive concern over price:

Most business negotiations are about money. However, there are more to deals than just slapping a price on it. If you go into making an agreement, concerned solely about either making the most money from it or reducing the cost to the barest minimum, you stand the risk of marring the whole negotiation process.

Instead of getting worked up about the money involved, come up with propositions on additional services, and other benefits.

6. Not considering a BATNA:

Before you go into a negotiation, you should know your Best Alternative To Negotiation Agreement. Having this in mind gives you the advantage to sign your best possible deal.

You know when to cut your losses and provide an option, the other party will be willing to agree. In the end, having a BATNA means your partner will most likely agree to your terms, as you have already forgone your first offering.

7. Hurriedly concluding deals:

Do not be in haste to sign papers. Take your time, not only to go through the terms but also to understand the agreement altogether. Take your time as well, before accepting a compromise. This will save you lots of trouble after you must have signed the deal.

Negotiation requires sufficient practice to become better. Occasionally, you’ll find yourself making these mistakes while negotiating. In those instances, do your best not to negotiate in a tensed atmosphere, take a break, drink water, crack a joke. In the end, not all negotiations will go as you planned.

Suck it up and move on. If you have made more compromises than you want, find out if you can call it off or follow through to the end. At least, you’ve learned a valuable lesson.

The post 7 Common Negotiation Mistakes to Avoid at all Costs appeared first on ReadWrite.


4 High-Potential Sectors for AI and ML Startup Success

http://www.integrity-research.com/mckinsey-traditional-asset-managers-embracing-ai-alternative-data/play episode download
1 de gener, per  Andrej Kovacevic[ —]
ai and ml startups

Today, the explosion of development in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technology has created a market for which it appears there’s no limit. No matter the industry, if you name a reasonably-sized (or larger) company, there’s a good chance that they’re investing in AI and ML technology as a cornerstone of their strategic plans. With each passing day, it’s even becoming part of the small business equation, too. Here are four high-potential sectors for AI and ML startup success.

The takeaway is that there are as many ways for businesses to use machine learning as there are businesses. It’s the kind of burgeoning market that is perfect for fueling startup growth, and entrepreneurs have started to take notice. That’s why there’s been such a recent boom of startup activity in the sector – creating what many analysts are referring to as a 21st-century gold rush.

The problem is, like in the original gold rush in the late 1800s, there’s going to be a point where the majority of those rushing to stake their claims will see their odds of success dry up. That’s why it’s more critical than ever for entrepreneurs to understand which parts of the AI and ML space still have plenty of room for startup innovation, so they can mine the right vein and strike it rich.

Here’s a look at four of the parts of the market that show tremendous potential, to use as a guidepost.

Educational AI Systems

As AI and ML technology started their march into the business world, much of the attention paid to AI with respect to the education sector centered on producing the skilled worker’s businesses would need to operate their new technological platforms. Very little initial movement or investment went toward developing AI or ML solutions for the education sector.

In recent months, however, that has started to change. Education-focused platforms have been starting to roll out AI-powered tools and are increasingly viewing the technology as a game-changer for the industry. An analysis of spending by the education sector on AI and ML technology predicts that it will be the industry with the biggest spending growth by percentage through 2022. For an education-focused AI or ML startup, that’s a very encouraging sign.

Human Resources AI Technology

Another industry that’s been somewhat slow to adopt AI and ML technology is human resources (HR). The one exception has been in the adoption of applicant tracking systems (ATS) that use ML techniques to perform application screening for potential hires. That alone has spawned a cottage industry of AI-enhanced services meant to improve applicants’ chances of passing muster, as these machine-created resume examples should attest.

The thing is, the surge in ATS use is expected to be just a prelude to much wider adoption of AI and ML technologies in the realm of HR, with industry experts expecting adoption rates of the technologies to pick up significant steam in the coming years. That means it’s a great time to launch an HR-focused AI or ML startup now, to capitalize on the all-but-certain growth in the space.

AI-Powered Marketing Tools

hologram user interface
Futuristic infographics, online trading, e-commerce, hologram, user interface, internet.                Photo: lidiia/Adobe Stock

As the world edges closer and closer to an always-on internet-connected reality with the emergence of IoT technology, businesses everywhere are coming to grips with the fact that there are more marketing channels to manage than ever before. The only feasible solution is to turn the bulk of the work over to AI-powered marketing systems, using ML to adapt and evolve marketing efforts over time.

Already, such tools are cropping up in all phases of the marketing industry, from social media management to content marketing and all points in between. That, however, is just the beginning. Businesses that have already seen how AI-influenced marketing decisionmaking can help them grow are now looking for ways to turn more of their marketing efforts over to AI-powered solutions. A startup that focuses on delivering an AI solution to enable real-time marketing automation at scale could find itself well-positioned for long term success.

Financial AI Solutions

When startups are seeking an AI or ML market with solid growth prospects, their best bet is to go where the money is – which in this case means to the financial sector itself. AI and ML technology adoption in the world of finance has been so swift and complete that it spawned the whole new business category of fintech. In particular, asset managers are already going all-in on the technology as are hedge funds, financial advisors, and the entire banking sector.

It’s also an industry that has almost inexhaustible resources to pour into worthwhile AI and ML technology, which bodes well for any startup that looks to build solutions for the industry. The size and scope of the sector mean that there’s a near-limitless number of opportunities to be had in the space – and they’re all there for the taking for any savvy entrepreneur who finds an innovative way to capitalize on them.

Fools Rush In

The bottom line here is that there’s no shortage of opportunities to be had for AI and ML startups, as long as they choose their markets carefully. It’s not a coincidence that analysts are starting to call this the AI gold rush – they’re doing it because the stampede of development will eventually lead to an oversaturated market that can’t sustain the number of startups that it is spawning.

When that happens, only the entrepreneurs that made it a point to work within sectors that have long-term growth prospects will see their startups survive. When the bubble bursts, it won’t be because interest in the technologies has waned, it will be due to two factors – a systemic need to cull underperforming members of the startup herd, and a round of consolidations that will see the best of the bunch scooped up by larger entities.

Startups in the above four sectors will stand a good chance of being part of the latter group. As for those in the former group, I suggest they do some research into the end of the last gold rush for some insight into their ultimate fate.

The post 4 High-Potential Sectors for AI and ML Startup Success appeared first on ReadWrite.


How to do Keyword Research for SEO

1 de gener, per  Raul Harman[ —]
keyword research

Keyword research is the backbone of your online presence. It’s common knowledge that this practice determines your rankings and visibility in the organic search. However, the way keyword research is done has changed over time. Today, using Google’s Keyword Planner to find phrases with a high search volume and optimizing your site for them is not enough.

To rank higher, you need to focus on improving user experiences and understanding the intent behind their searches. Most importantly, you need to create quality content around those keywords. These practices will not only improve your online exposure but also help you drive relevant traffic to your site and convert it into leads and sales.

Here are the benefits of keyword research and some key steps you should take when performing it.

What is Keyword Research?

Keywords are the phrases online searchers use to perform online searches and find the right content. For example, if someone wants to make a face mask, they will google something like “face mask diy” or “homemade face mask.”

Your goal is to identify the key keywords your searchers use and optimize your website pages for them to make them more visible in the SERPs. That’s what we call keyword research. 

How Keyword Research worked in the Past

The approach to researching keywords has changed over time. Namely, 10 years ago, Google didn’t know what kind of results its searchers expected to see. Back then, its crawlers would scan the page and look for keywords similar to the search query. In other words, it was enough for marketers to use Google Keyword Planner to identify keywords with the highest search volume and spam their content with them.

To prevent keyword stuffing and provide users with more relevant and quality content, Google introduced several algorithm updates. Some most pivotal algorithm updates that impacted keyword research are:

  • Google Panda (2011) – penalizes low-quality and duplicated content.
  • Google Penguin (2012) – penalizes sites with spammy keywords.
  • Google Hummingbird (2013) – focuses on the improvement of the semantic search and search intent.

The Importance of Google Rank Brain

In today’s era of personalized user experiences, Google is striving to understand the context behind users’ searches. Its goal is to know the search intent and provide each user with the right content. This is where it resorted to artificial intelligence and, consequently, RankBrain was rolled out. 

RankBrain is Google’s artificial intelligence component that helps the search engine understand search queries. It uses machine learning, helping Google understand how searchers interact with search results and what the intent behind their search is. 

Keyword Research in 2019 and Beyond

With the rise of Google’s algorithm updates and RankBrain, keyword research evolved, as well. Namely, it’s not all about identifying profitable keywords and stuffing your website with them. On the contrary, keyword research has become more topical and natural. It now focuses on understanding the idea behind search queries and it depends on numerous factors. 

Benefits of User-Centric Keyword Research

This way of researching keywords benefits your SEO strategy in multiple ways, including:

  • Gaining a Better Understanding of your Target Audience

Just like I’ve already mentioned above, keyword research is essentially the process of identifying the phrases your target audience uses. By finding the most popular keywords in your niche, you can also understand who your audience is, what kind of content they want to see, what their needs are, and so forth. This data will help you create more reliable buyer personas and meet your customers’ needs.

  • Tightening your Content Strategy

Keyword research allows you to discover popular topics in your industry. This way, you will increase your industry credibility, make your content more engaging and attention-grabbing and, logically, boost your rankings. This is where both a basic Google search and content discovery tools can help you a lot.

  • Identifying Relevant Keywords

When building an online brand, you want to know what people think and feel about you. In other words, you want to measure your brand sentiment. Is it positive, negative, or maybe neutral? This is where, again, keyword research can help. Namely, it allows you to track your searchers’ activities and see what kind of phrases they use to find out about you.

  • Monitoring Competitors

When conducting keyword research, you can always focus on your competitors. By knowing what keywords they’re ranking for, you will gain a better understanding of your industry, “copy” their keyword targeting strategies that may work for you, as well as find effective ways to stand out and compete against them. 

Make a List of Relevant Topics and Turn Them into Keyword Ideas

The first step towards identifying your keywords is to create a detailed list of topics relevant to your industry and business. For example, if you’re running a sports blog, you will write about different types of sports and these are your topics.

Short-Tail Keywords Vs. Long-Tail Keywords

Keep in mind that these phrases are not your keywords. They are just some broader topics that will guide you and help you focus on the right phrases during your keyword research. Your goal is to narrow them down into more specific phrases. 

Say you’re writing about cycling. You don’t need to be an SEO expert to understand that one of the keywords you would like to rank for is “cycling.” These are short-tail keywords that were extremely popular a while ago, as they have an immense search volume. However, when targeting highly popular keywords, your competition is also great. Therefore, if your blog is new in the digital marketing ecosystem, chances are you won’t rank high for such keywords. 

Still, when you dig deeper, you will see that there are many natural and organic keywords people search for. Some of them are, for example, “health benefits of cycling,” “how many calories cycling burns,” “best mobile apps for cyclists,” etc. These are examples of long-tail keywords that usually consist of more than 3 words.

Even though they have a lower search volume, they also have fewer competitors, meaning that you have greater chances to rank high in the SERPs. Also, they’re more specific, helping you attract the right traffic to your site and convert it into leads and customers. Above all, they give you the opportunity to create more user-friendly posts, where your keywords would be inserted organically and naturally.

Know what Keywords You’re Currently Ranking For

One of the first steps to take during your keyword research is to see what keywords you’re already ranking for. This lets you see what keywords work or don’t work for you and, in this way, improve your rankings. 

Numerous SEO tools can help you here. For example, with SEMrush, you just need to enter your page URL and you will see what keywords it ranks for. Ahrefs automatically detects the keywords your site is ranking for. Both AccuRanker and Ahrefs let you analyze your keywords based on a particular location. You could also enable Console data in Google Analytics. This will help you observe your keyword phrases, clicks, and the average position on Google. 

Sure, you can also augment keyword tracking by automating your data tracking efforts. There are many reporting tools that let you create customized dashboards, where you would combine the features of the tools you’re already using to gain better results. However, to get relevant results, you need to track your data strategically. The Guide to Making High-Quality Marketing Reports emphasizes that understanding audiences, setting straightforward goals, and aligning them with the right KPIs and metrics is key to creating functional dashboards.  

Powerful Sources of Keywords

There are numerous tools and tactics you could use to identify keywords. However, you should also focus on those that also help you understand your audiences and their search intent. Here are a few tactics to start with.

Google Keyword Planner

This is certainly the first (and the most popular) choice of online marketers. Even though keyword research has become more complex and many advanced keyword research tools have been created, you could use GKP as the foundation of your keyword research

To use GKP, you need to have a Google Ads account. Next, click Tools and go to the Keyword Planner tab. You have an option to “Find New Keywords,” where you should enter your seed keyword to get relevant keyword suggestions. 

Google Search

The basic Google search can serve as an outstanding source of relevant and long-tail keywords. Its major benefit lies in the fact that it displays the keywords your audiences really search for. There are three features you could use:

  • Autocomplete

Google is striving to provide keyword suggestions in its search box. As these recommendations are based on actual searches, they could serve as a treasure trove of potential keywords. For example, if you type “best cycling” into the search box and hit the space button, you will get suggestions like “best cycling apps,” “best cycling shoes,” “best cycling exercises” and so forth.

  • People Also Ask

The People Also Ask snippet is one of the valuable features provided by Google. Simply put, it displays questions people ask that are relevant to your keyword. These may help you understand the search intent and, above all, find some valuable long-tail and conversational keywords.

  • Searches Related To

This feature is similar to the Autocomplete feature. Namely, you google a certain seed keyword and then scroll down to the “Searches Related To” are at the very bottom of the page. For example, if you google “cycling app,” you will get suggestions like “best cycling app for android,” “best cycling app in 2019,” “live tracking cycling app,” etc.

Answer the Public

This app works similarly to Google Suggest. Namely, it gives you a list of questions your customers ask. Using this tool is easy. Namely, you just need to enter your seed keyword and hit “Get Questions.” Apart from the visualized data, you can also go to the “Data” tab, where you will find three major kinds of keyword ideas – question-based queries, long-tail queries, and related topics. 

Reddit

Reddit is our everyday platform for connecting with people from all across the globe, asking questions, and providing valuable answers. As such, it may serve as an amazing source of keywords. The idea behind that is simple – type your seed keyword in the search box and look for relevant subreddits. Then, seek popular treads that have numerous comments. Such threads may have lots of long-tail keywords you could use to understand the search intent.

YouTube Suggestions

YouTube is one of the largest world’s search engines. Therefore, ignoring it during your keyword research means missing out on numerous awesome keyword opportunities. There are numerous searches behind each seed keyword you could type in. For example, if you search “makeup,” you will see a bunch of potential keywords, such as “diy-makeup,” “makeup transformation,” etc.

Wikipedia

Wikipedia has a logical structure, where broader topics branch into more specific ones. For example, if you search for the “Exercise” topic, you will see a bunch of sub-categories and suggestions, including “active living,” “warming up,” “exercise intensity,” “anaerobic exercise,” etc.

Keyword Analysis

Now that you’ve created a list of keywords, it’s time to analyze their relevance and effectiveness. There are three fundamental criteria to consider during the process of analysis:

      1. The popularity of a keyword – is its search volume high enough to deliver the expected results?

You could start by analyzing the data from the Google Keyword Planner, where you can easily see the search volume for each keyword. Google Trends is also a great tool to use, as it lets you see how the popularity of the keyword is changing over time. 

      2. Keyword difficulty – how difficult it is for you to rank for a certain keyword.

Logically, a higher keyword difficulty means that it would be harder for your site to rank for a certain phrase. This is where the quality and number of backlinks play an immensely important role. There are many keyword research tools that will calculate the keyword difficulty for you. When tracking this metric, keep one thing in mind. Namely, it is only a guide that provides generic insights. How well you will rank also depends on your overall SEO efforts, the quality of your site, and the relevance of your content.

      3. Search intent – how relevant your content is to your target audience.

There are different types of search intent. The first is navigational, where a user searches for a specific site. The second is informational, conducted by users wanting to learn something online. The third is transactional queries, performed by users that want to buy something online. Finally, there is a commercial search, done by people that research brands and products before making purchases. Your goal is to understand the intent behind every keyword you use and optimize the right kind of content for it.

Optimizing your Pages for Keywords

When optimizing your site for keywords, start by choosing focus keywords. These keywords illustrate your topic and appear in different elements of a page. These are usually exact-match keywords and you should insert them into your title tag, meta tag, headings, subheadings, and text content. However, don’t stuff your pages with keywords. Always strive to add them organically, where it makes sense. 

When optimizing pages, don’t forget about the importance of long-tail keywords. In today’s era of voice searches, where searchers replace traditional keywords with conversational ones, you need to optimize your content for natural keywords, too. These keywords let you increase user satisfaction and engagement, as well as appear high in mobile and voice searches.

Most importantly, note that targeting the right keywords is pointless if you don’t create high-quality content around them. For example, when optimizing your blog, make sure your posts are informative, insightful, and authentic. They should keep users engaged and deliver value to them. Such content is more likely to rank high in the organic search, compared to spammy, keyword-packed articles. 

Over to You

Keyword research remains a crucial SEO strategy. However, the way we do it has changed significantly. In the past, exact-match keywords and keyword density were enough to rank high. Today, these practices can only compromise your online presence. To gain a competitive advantage and appear high on Google, you need to focus on aligning keyword research with search intent and, above all, to create quality content around these keywords.

The post How to do Keyword Research for SEO appeared first on ReadWrite.


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