Majority of internet users today have shorter attention spans than they once had long ago. In the past, we were more willing to sit down and read a book, newspaper or magazine. Today, people have grown accustomed to using the internet to do most of their research. Since there is so much content to sift through, folks like to skim rather than read. This is why web content is designed differently than print content. It’s also why it’s the most consumed today. With the assistance of a professional SEO service, you can improve your content to suit today’s consumers.
One way this is being done is with visual elements. Today’s internet users are highly visual beings, which means you need to ensure your content has some form of imagery.
Visual Content is Effective and Affordable
Direct marketing once consisted of direct mail letters, which later transitioned over to emails. Visual content, such as video, allows brands to provide the same effect and generate the same, if not better, results. Videos and images have proven to be cost-effective and a no-brainer way to engage users. Numbers collected from Facebook show posts with images receive 2.3 times more user engagement. This is likely why 74 percent of social media marketers implement visual content within their posts.
Quality Images Are a Must
The photos you select for your content and posts should, first and foremost, be relevant to your content. Just make sure that they are high quality and not stolen from another source. It’s great to have photographs taken by your brand, so that it’s not generic. Consistency is key, so don’t slack here. If anything, hire professional SEO services to take care of it for you.
Don’t Ignore Video
Brands are still getting away with ignoring the evolution video is bringing to content marketing. However, this won’t be possible for much longer. Syndacast predicts that 2017 will have 74 percent of online traffic stemming from video content. If you decide to jump on the bandwagon, make sure you are generating footage that’s high-definition, such as 4K and aerial footage. You can even go as far as to hire a PPC management company to create video ads for your brand to be displayed on websites and social media.
GIFs Are Gaining Traction
GIFs have already been integrated into majority of social media sites. They have been found to enhance interactions with customers and boost user engagement. There are different ways you can implement them into your content, such as by adding popular ones to your posts on social media, emails and blogs. Another option is to create GIFs combining several photos of your product into one. It’s a clever way to showcase a new product or show how a certain feature can be used.
More and more social media content indexed on Google and other popular search engines, blurring the lines between ‘web’ and ‘social media’ SEO strategies.
76% MARKETERS USE Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, In, Google+ to boost and support SEO Links to social media networks plays a role in how search engines understand your website is credible and relevant.
2. VIDEOS WILL STILL RULE
In 2015 marketers used video as a powerful tool to drive their digital and SEO efforts. In 2016 expect more businesses to embrace the trend, and use videos to capture new audiences.
80% of video. Results that show up in SERPs are from YouTube
Videos get 50X better organic page ranks in Google when compared with against plain, static text results.
Video searches receive 41% higher click-through rate a compared to plain, static text content
3. MOBILE OPTIMIZATION WILL BECOME CRUCIAL
Today people use a range of devices to access content. Tablets, smartphones, laptops, phones and even watches have become standard tools to browse web. Search engines know this and they reward websites that look good on all devices.
Google now gives mobile friendly sites a ranking boost on mobile searches.
95% smartphone users have searched for local info.
Mobile search is up 43% year on year.
Over 1.2 billion people access the web from their mobile devices.
4 out of 5 consumers use smartphones to shop.
4. VOICE SEARCH FUNCTION A MUST
Voice search is quickly becoming a huge part of mobile usage and has elevated the pain of typing keywords to run a search query. But this shift means your content need to be developed with voice search in mind.
60% teens use voice search while watching TV
40% adults use voice search for directions.
5. CONTENT AGGREGATION WILL GET BIGGER & BETTER
More than ever people are looking for content sources that provide all the relevant information they need in a single place. Search engines have noticed this trend and as a result content aggregators are becoming very popular in the SERPS.
6. THE CRAZE OF MOBILE APPS WILL GROW
As discussed above, use of mobile for web search is on all-time rise and apps just make the work easier. Just few more years and mobile apps are sure to overpower desktop and mobile websites.
Mobile apps account for 52% of all time spent on online digital media. (TechCrunch)
Internet reveals that users spend 89% mobile time using apps.
85% of people prefer native mobile apps to websites. (SearchEngineJournal)
Two years into the streamlined NPPF, more development proposals are winning planning appeals. It means more homes for Britain, but not everyone is happy.
Two years into the new rules for development in the UK – as defined in the National Planning Policy Framework, or NPPF – it appears that more residential developments are being approved by local planning authorities (LPAs). Relative to the housing shortage crisis this is welcome news.
But why exactly are more plans being approved? PlanningResource.co.uk, the independent information hub for planning professionals, reported in 2013 and 2014 that too few local planning authorities are compliant with the NPPF. This then has the effect of allowing proposals by developers (very often real asset fund managers) to win appeals after initial rejection. Said the publication: “The framework opens up new opportunities for appeal against LPA decisions. If an application is turned down because of conflict with the local plan, there now may be an opportunity for the applicant to argue that the plan has not been brought into line with the NPPF, and hence is “out-of-date”, and the presumption in favour of sustainable development should apply.”
PlanningResource.co.uk further describes the NPPF as a “game changer,” providing an advantage to developers who previously would not attempt an appeal. If the local authorities have a weak plan at all, rulings more often than before go to the homebuilders.
This is much more than a niche matter. The Planning Inspectorate (PINS, in the Department for Communities and Local Government) provided data in early 2014 that shows how only 49 of 336 local planning authorities (14.6 per cent) have plans in place deemed sound upon examination; the total number of planning authorities with plans of any sort is just over half (56.8 per cent) of local authorities. The reason for such failures may be due to staffing cuts in planning policy teams, according to Alister Scott, professor of environmental and spatial planning at Birmingham City University.
Is this a problem? Does the housing crisis not call for a streamlined process? The Director-General of the National Trust, Dame Helen Ghosh, says that pressure from the Government is forcing councils to approve too many plans too quickly. In her words, “I think events proved that you just need to take longer to do these things properly to get the land use right and genuinely to engage local communities.” Former Planning Minister Nick Boles tends to differ, reports The Telegraph. He counters that councils have been asked for a decade to “shape where developments should or should not go.”
The National Trust says their research finds that half of all councils with greenbelt land allocate some of it for development. Whether or not that is what the local citizenry wants is left to question. But the Centre for Housing and Planning Research at Cambridge University offers its own observations and advice based on multiple studies that might serve as a guide to local planning authorities:
• The NPPF has been well received by large house builders. They say that alteration to the policy is inadvisable; rather, LPAs need to focus on smart practice of the policy.
• Effective planning means adopting an effective five-year housing supply plan. Without it, the councils will more likely lose on appeal (as evidence shows often happens).
• Planning is effective once development is acknowledged as essential. When chief executives, planning officers and elected members become pro-development, a positive, get-it-done programme results.
In other words, planning works – if and when done in advance, and when the powers that be are in alignment with the national push to build more homes.
What is clear is that homebuilders, developers and their investors have a lot to be optimistic about. With more planning changes likely to be approved (or approved on appeal), this is a time to build. Surely, the opportunity can drive considerable asset growth for those participants? But with more than a million homes needed in the UK to meet a young, growing population, it serves the needs of the country as well.
Investors need to choose their investments in housing wisely. Whether it is to buy individuals homes for rental, or to invest through land fund managers, the investment should be reviewed by an independent financial advisor. The IFA can determine if it meets the risk profile of a wealth portfolio.
Investing in startups is a risky business. For every Facebook, there are hundreds of Friendsters that have fizzled into obscurity. Thus, before getting into the startup investing scene and becoming an angel investor yourself, it’s important to have a keen understanding of all the risks involved and how you can best mitigate them.
1. STARTUPS HAVE A HIGH FAILURE RATE
New startups have a 50% chance of making it through their first five years. There’s no real science for predicting which ones will survive as there are a lot of uncertainties involved in new businesses, but the top three causes for startup failure are: no market need, running out of cash flow, and not having the right team according to this study on the top 20 reasons startups fail.
Because of the high risk nature of startup investments, you should not invest more than you are comfortable to lose.
There is no sure way to eliminate this risk, however, you should conduct a thorough due diligence of the company, drilling into track records of the founding team, examining if the company can feasibly scale, and investigating the financials. If you have less experience to judge any of these aspects, you should invest with an experienced lead investor who is well versed in the industry of the startup you’re investing in and who can conduct a more thorough due diligence check. In addition, there are many strategies from leading angel investors on how to pick the right startups.
2. STARTUP INVESTMENTS ARE ILLIQUID
Startups may not have the capital to pay dividends until many years later from the time you have made your investment. Thus, the only time you are likely to cash in your investment is when a start-up exits: that is, when it is acquired by another company, or when it goes public. Thus, understanding a startup’s exit strategy is important.
3. STARTUP INVESTMENTS HAVE A LONG TERM HORIZON
Even if your startup investment does survive, it may take a while before you see any returns. A startup investment is by nature a long-term investment since it may take a while for a business to exit.
According to Crunchbase, acquired companies were an average of seven years old. On the other hand, it took around 8.25 years for a startup to IPO.
4. YOUR INVESTMENT WILL BE DILUTED OVER TIME
Each time a company raises funds, it gives up ownership in a company by issuing additional shares. Each time a company issues additional shares, existing investors’ proportional ownership will decrease. This is called dilution. Though your portion of equity may decrease over time, the value of your investment can still increase over time if the company’s valuation increases.