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Kirien Sangha, Search Engine Marketing, Social Media, Uncategorised

SEO marketing can be a confusing topic and it’s made worse with the amount of terrible information on the web. But we’re here to change all of that.

What’s the problem?

Our clients approach us and say, ‘We’ve heard that we just need regular content,’ but are frustrated that their SEO efforts haven’t succeeded. How many times have you read that ‘interlinking is key’, but been left thinking, what on earth is that? And don’t even get us started on ‘keyword stuffing’. We want to wave a magical wand to erase all of the low-quality ‘expert’ advice on the internet. But since we live in the real world, we decided to write this post. This is the guide that we wish someone had handed to us when we first began working with SEO.

What is SEO?

In our humble opinion, we think SEO comes down to 3 core principles:
1) Be heard — you must stand out among your competitors.
2) Understand customer needs and behaviour — know your customers’ pain points and what they want from you.
3) Create high quality content — produce content that outperforms anything else in your niche to establish yourself as an industry authority.

We’ve created this super-actionable list of 20 SEO marketing techniques that are tried and tested by us. For each of these points, we’ve provided you with clear examples that you can apply to your own SEO marketing. You can use the quality advice contained in this guide to kick-start your SEO efforts, or give your existing SEO marketing efforts a boost. If you apply just a few of these techniques to your website, you’ll see positive changes in your SEO rankings. Whether you know nothing about SEO, are just getting started, or are an SEO pro, we’re sure you’ll find something valuable in this guide.

Download these 20 tips as a PDF. Easily save it on your computer for a quick reference or print it out for your SEO or Content Manager.

write content for your audienceWell, let’s get started:

#1. SEO is just about publishing regular content on your website, right?

WRONG! When we hear this advice we want to bang our hands on the table — repeatedly. It’s about having content that your audience wants to read. Never make the mistake of going past market re-search and not asking your customers about their pain points. Let’s take an example. Do you sell school lockers to local primary schools? Your first instinct may be to write content about how affordable your lockers are compared to the competition. But is this the biggest pain point the headteacher is facing? Maybe it’s the delivery process that’s more important. The head teacher wants to know how long it will take. So it makes more sense to write a blog post around these pain points. A good way to find this out is asking your sales team customer’s most common questions. This is something echoed by Kayako’s Content Marketing Manager, Adam Rogers.

Always put the reader at the heart of whatever keyword you’re ranking for. Why would they be interested in this? Why is your page, service, or blog any better to what’s currently there? When you match your keyword with powerful content and SEO best practices, that’s how to really rank in Google.

#2. Make your YouTube videos into mini blog posts.

This tip comes from Backlinko and our favourite SEO guy, Brian Dean:

I don’t need to tell you that YouTube video results are dominating Google’s first page. And considering that Google owns the popular video site, it’s a trend that’s not likely to change anytime soon.

Did you know there’s a simple technique that can get your YouTube videos to rank higher for competitive keywords in both YouTube and Google? If you’ve taken the time to create a video but haven’t included at least 200 word description in your videos, you’re missing out! This is major real estate. Remember that Google can’t watch or listen to your video. They rely on your video description for you to tell them what it’s about. Not only does this let you rank better for your targeted keyword but it also ranks you better for your long tail keywords. seo marketing checklistYou’ll see in the above example that the lifestyle channel called The Alternative Daily makes sure they have clear descriptions in their YouTube videos.

#3. Provide longer posts — 1000 words minimum

There’s a lot of evidence to show that longer posts crush 200-300 word articles. It shows Google that you’re providing in-depth information in your subject area. Note: longer posts don’t mean boring! The point is that you want to provide so much valuable information that the user spends more time on your page. This sends a strong signal to Google that what you’re sharing is important. Look at your industry, most posts lack depth. Most blog posts tell you why you need to do something without explaining how. Maybe you can fill this gap in your niche?

#4. Provide something different to what your competition is doing

I know we just spoke about providing longer posts of high quality content when most people are producing 300-400 word pieces. But you need to show that you’re better than your competition. What do we mean? Emil Shour is the content marketing manager at Snack Nation. He created the hugely successful post titled: 121 Creative Ways to Reward Employees – The Ultimate List When the competition were putting together 8 or 20 tips for employee wellness Emil went all out, he gave 121 examples. Here’s what he says about effective SEO marketing:

“When we created the 121 employee wellness ideas post, I noticed that most people in our industry were writing thin, short-form content. So our strategy was to put together long-form and more detailed content.

However, if other people we’re creating long-form content, I would have thought about creating more visual content (videos or infographics). I think being different has really been the “secret” behind the success of our content strategy.” Emil Shour

#5. SEO Friendly URLs

Clean up those ugly URLs and make them SEO Friendly Sometimes when you publish a blog post the url can look like this: www.domainame.com/u74sgb But it needs to look like this: www.domainname.com/20-seo-tips Why? This goes back to been user friendly. It makes it easier for your users to know what the blog post is about.

#6. Optimise your images using ALT tags that include your keywords

Google doesn’t see images, it reads the tags that appear over the images. Let’s look at how the team at the Ultimate Paleo Guide do this. They’ve chosen to share a recipe for a Tropical Fruit Salad, and they’ve made sure that when a user puts their cursor over the image, it’s tagged with their keyword “tropical fruit salad.” If you’re unsure how to do this ask your agency or whoever built your website and blogging platform. on-page seo image optimisationUse variations of your keywords to tag your images. Other version of the keywords, tropical fruit salad could be: Fresh fruit salad Tropical salad 5 minute tropical salad

#7. Internal linking

Link blog posts to each other. Make sure you link new posts to older posts. This is an easy thing to do and it’s likely that your blog posts relate to previous blog posts that you’ve wrote. With several parents to young children in the office, our team often visits A Mother Far From Home which is a blog all about how to handle the busy life of being a parent. Interlinking is done extremely well on this website. Just look at this example here You can see that within the first two sentences, the author has linked content to previous blog posts that she wrote.

#8. Keyword frequency – mention your keyword at least a few times throughout your blog postseo interlinking

Tread with caution here, though. Too many people make their content spammy. In an instant you can go from having an effective SEO strategy to been like every other blog post that someone clicks off. Not to mention that Google will penalise you. Here’s our suggestion:

  • Mention your keyword in your title
  • In the opening paragraph
  • A few times in your text

#9. Focus on user experience

Does a user want to read a block of text or are you more likely to read a post that has beautiful images and infographics and headers? The answer is obvious. Why put in this effort? You want the user to stay on your page, Google notices the dwell time and responds to it. A nicely designed website is more likely to get the users to stay on your page. Don’t know how to design your blog post? Most people don’t. But this is a major advantage you need to capitalise on. Ask your agency if they design blog posts. If you don’t work with an agency contact a freelancer using UpWork or by doing a LinkedIn search. Let’s look at someone who does this amazingly well. It’s a blog post by Michael Patterson on Peg Fitzpatrick’s website. I mean just look at the visuals here:- user experience for seo   You’re glued to the website. This is one that’s been done exceptionally well and it needs to be that good.

#10. Ensure your website loads quickly

Speed — or lack of speed — is a killer. It’s estimated that the majority of internet users expect websites to load in 2 seconds and if it doesn’t, they go to a website that does. Make sure you’re using a solid hosting provider. It’s as simple as that. The following advice comes from Minuca Elena who is known for expert roundups.

“Having a site which loads quickly is very important as it affects two parameters, website visitors and Google.

If your website is slow, visitors will leave your site as it is a poor experience and if your site is slow, Google will rank your site lower than other sites in its search listing. One easy solution is to convert your pages to AMP pages which is really very fast and can give amazing results.”

#11. Sprinkle your keywords in your heading and title tags not just your blog copy

Look at your on-page SEO. Erik Emanuelli tells us:

“Basically, you want to optimize your content for specific keywords. This includes adding your keywords in the URL of your page, in the title, at beginning and within the content in a certain percentage, in the images, in the H2, H3, etc.”on page seo strategy

Remember to use variations of your keywords. Let’s say that you’re targeting “steel doors” You can use variations of this keywords such as: strong steel doors blue steel doors Steel doors for small businesses

#12. Give away free things  that your users find valuable

We’re taking our own medicine here because you can download this guide for free. Any company, and we mean ANY company can produce high quality content that their customers want to read. The simplest way is creating an eBook and offering it to your users. A security firm? Well how about “20 ways to keep your office secure”? Do you sell curtains online? You could provide an eBook titled “How to take care of your curtains with this 1 handy tip.” Providing personalised printed t-shirts? How about “The 60 most iconic printed t-shirts of 2015”? Let’s take an example from: WTF professor As soon as you land on his website you see: He gives you 3 different documents you can download that are completely FREE and super helpful to his target market. Here’s what the site owner Tom Miller says about his strategy:-

“Because my site is targeted at college students in math, science, and engineering, a big part of my strategy for converting visitors into new email subscribers has been to create short 1-page pdf’s of the problem solutions and study strategies I write about on the blog.”

on page search engine marketingAt this point a lot of people tell us that they don’t have time to do things like this. Producing high quality content does take a lot of time. You want to produce something better than the competition and this takes hours of effort. But again you want to show you’re better than your competition.

#13. Invest in good copywriting

At most offices, the blog writing is outsourced to the new intern. This is one of the worse mistakes. You need to make your content worthwhile and something that you’d want to read. Here are some fantastic resources to get your writing up to mark. 10 Ways to Write Damn Good Copy The 3 parts to a remarkable blog post Ogilvy on Advertising If you don’t have the time to learn reach out to a content marketing agency and ask them to write the copy for you. A few pieces of high quality content that speaks to your audience is more important than hundreds of pieces of content that mean nothing.

#14. Set up your Social Media channels

If you still think Social Media isn’t important you’ve probably already been left behind. social media for SEO But don’t just take it from us, Sam Hurley is ranked the #1 Digital Marketing Expert in the world and this is what he says about social media:

“It’s all about relationships. Social Media is your gateway to building strong connections and *must* be a component of any digital marketing strategy today.

Connections lead to backlinks, mentions, interviews and guest posts which consequently aid SEO…which then in turn, provides clientele and/or sales! Do not underestimate the power of social as a key driver of business.

Check out the backlinks I’ve acquired to my completely unfinished, one-page website. It’s all been achieved through Social Media…”

The point is that companies shouldn’t just focus on Google as their search engine forum they need to look at social media platforms too. When someone searches for you on social media make sure it’s super easy to identify who you are. It should be clear that you’re page is the official page. How? At a minimum, do the following

  • Have the same contact details across your website and all of your social media channels
  • Make sure you have consistent brand images across Facebook, Google+, Instagram etc.
  • Fill our the “About Us” section and include your keywords
  • Post content users will find interesting

#15. Put your keyword in the title & make it catchy

If your keywords are make extra money, put that into the title. But make sure it’s something exciting like 50 simple ways to make extra money There’s no doubt that your title is the key piece of your blog. It’s your first chance to grab your reader’s attention. Here’s some examples of headlines we love: 37 Reasons You Should Never Visit Serbia Serbia isn’t exactly the place you have on the top of your holiday list. What is there even to do there? Is it like a real country? The authors of this post know you’re thinking this and play into it. And then you click on it. How to tour the U.S.A. for £35 a week If we’re going to reference amazing headlines how we can ignore the king that is Mr. David Ogilvy? When he wrote this title he knew that Europeans had an exaggerated outlook on how expensive it was to visit America. This headline is ultra specific, it answers their pain point with a solution and the benefit is clear – Visit American on the cheap.

#16. Get rid of your broken links and 404 pages

No one wants to click on a link and find out that the page is dead. Prune your website! Jeff Bullas tells us

“Search engines consider a large number of broken links as a signal of an old, neglected site and this can impact your SEO ranking.”

Don’t have time to go through every single page on your website to find broken links? Neither do we, here’s a handy website that does it for you — W3C Link Checker Get deleting.

#17. Make sure your website is mobile friendly

mobile friendly website You only need to look around you to see how many people are on their smartphones. With this in mind, you should absolutely make sure that when you design your website it’s mobile-friendly. What does that mean? It means that your website should load and display correctly on a mobile device so that visitors can have the best user experience. Unfortunately, too many websites look distorted when you view it between desktop computers, tablets and smartphones. It’s one investment you can’t afford NOT to make.

#18. Include meta descriptions

Your meta description is the snippet of text that will appear beneath your title in search engine results. Let’s look at an example, if you search “curing tennis elbow” on Google, on the results that show you will see the keywords “tennis elbow” appear in the description. Notice how Google puts the key word in bold text. Therefore it makes sense to work your keywords into the meta description text.Include your keywords in meta descriptions

#19. Have a Google Listing

This allows customers to review your company directly on Google. It also lets customers find out where you are, show your opening times, contact details, and it lets them know you’re a real person The point is, if Google knows you’re real, people will know you’re real. Go to Google and type in “google my business”to get started. Here’s our Google listing:

#20. Connect with influencers in your niche

Part of any good SEO strategy is promoting your posts. This doesn’t happen by itself. The aim is to have content that others want to promote and link to. You need to know who the key influencers in your niche are so you can build relationships with them and let them know when you’re going to publish a new post.

tip 19 get a google listing
How do you do that?

Let’s say you own a driving school. A relevant blog post will likely be how to find the best car insurance. Go to Google and search “tips for finding cheap car insurance.”Here you’ll have a list of the most popular articles on this topic. Add these websites and bloggers into an excel sheet and note their contact details so you can connect with them and let them know when you publish your post.

Conclusion

No matter what sector you’re in and no matter the size of your business, you will benefit massively from an effective SEO strategy. SEO is a vital part of building your brand, attracting new leads and making more sales. Many of the best SEO strategies are done by companies who want to provide the very best information to their audience, information that will genuinely help them. We urge you to take this approach, too. Now it’s your turn. What strategies are you going to implement?




Author

Kirien Sangha works in the digital marketing team at Creative Ideaz. If you have any questions at all about this article you can email him on kirien@creativeideaz.co.uk or tweet on @kirien89. If you found any use in this article, we’d love it if you could share it.

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Contextual links are links which connect you to a relevant site within the body of the text. There are primarily three kinds of contextual links, namely: external links, internal links and reciprocal links. While external links (also called outgoing links) carry you to another website, internal links move you to a piece of content within the website. Reciprocal links are cases where two websites come to an agreement to link to each other. Backlinks refer to those links which refer to your website (these are also called inbound links). The popularity of your website will be determined by how many backlinks refer to your website. Backlinks form a core brick in SEO as many search engines (particularly, Google) will give more merit to those websites, which are backed by many quality backlinks and rank them more relevant than others during a search query. When a website refers and sends the audience to your website, then it passes the link juice, which decides the rank of the article and also enhances authority of your domain.

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How can you increase backlinks to your website? The trick with creating backlinks is that it is not the number of backlinks but their quality that decides how your SEO scores. In case you use paid services to attract links to your website, you could be penalised by Google Penguin’s algo. The best way to form quality backlinks to your website is by writing authoritative content, intelligent commenting and submission to web directories. The basic formula for success while producing outstanding content is to make your content relevant and precise, while providing the readers with a way to travel to other websites, which could give out detailed information on a subject. This is made possible through contextual links. By using contextual links, you link back to a website by placing it within a relevant context. Here are ten ways in which contextual links form the best way to link back to a website: 1. With contextual links, there an increased awareness of your website is created (more so with reciprocal link building). The audience that visits the mentioned website will come across your piece on social media or through a search. 2. As your site receives more head counts, writers will be more liable to check out your website and include link backs to it in their pieces. 3. Your website can get in contact with the companies which are contextually mentioned in your content. Either your company could be mentioned on their content or your article included in their archive. This will bring you a backlink, which will positively impact your SEO. 4. Once your company gains some popularity, the social media shares will also increase gradually. Apart from the audience of your website and of the website mentioned, you will also grab eyeballs for your company through multiple social media platforms. 5. Adding contextual links to your content brings you greater credibility because you are ready to carry your content to authoritative sources. This shows that you have researched well and are ready to include them in your content. 6. By being able to connect to other websites, stand up for certain queries and provide particular answers, you show that your priority is not to put out answers to everything, but to direct your audience to the best places for getting the answers. 7. Your rankings will also improve as the experience of your readers is enhanced through well-corroborated content 8. As your content gets increasingly recognised, the traffic to your website will also increase. 9. Once the traffic to your website increases, you will encounter an increase in sales. 10. Most importantly, your reader becomes a loyal advocate of your services as you provide the most comprehensive network of data on the subject. Now that we have covered why contextual links are the best way to link back to your website, here are five most important factors for building contextual links: consistent content development, promotion of content, social media shares, SEO and traffic absorption.
  • Consistent content development: Make sure you post at least once a week. The main point is to produce content, which syncs with the current trends and focuses on bringing in not only links but potential customers also.
  • Promotion of content: Once you have created authoritative content, you need to let it spread through the online world. Apart from optimising the content, make sure you categorise it and promote it across segments. For instance, recognise the different segments attracted to your website and promote content according to their inclinations.
  • Social media shares: Plug in social buttons as calls-to-action on your posts. Make sure you post content, which has potential for interaction and also join conversations where your target audience resides.
  • SEO: The best way to build contextual links is to create content, which can be searched for and found easily. Starting with accuracy of page titles (use of target keywords), the raging truth of SEO is that the length is taking a back seat while quality of content is driving the SEO. Make sure you have engaging ideas and credibility through links to authoritative sources.
  • Traffic absorption: The ideal way to bring in new readers and potential clients is by becoming an active part of the readers’ community. If you’re writing on fashion, then become a part of forums, communities and blogs that are well-known. Make sure you do not simply add the link but include the link in a comment, which answers to queries/provides valuable information. In this way, you will lead readers from these external sources to your website.
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Today, when a company is initiated into digital life, what determines the success of its website, to a great extent, is if and how it provides a uniform experience across all devices that a customer uses. Moreover, in a world where even a second of interruption could lead to distorted user experience, companies cannot risk being even minutely inefficient when it comes to design and intuitiveness of their website. Making your website efficient and intuitive To ensure efficiency of web pages, Google suggests Restrictive Loading – that is, the website can have prioritised content, such that above-the-fold content, is loaded first, while the remaining is loaded in the background. Google suggests that the server response time should not be more than 200ms; add another 200ms as the maximum time to render the remaining above-the-fold content. Other tips for a responsive website include reduction in number of redirects, not using external blocking CSS and JavaScript in above-the-fold content, and optimisation of JavaScript rendering time. The problem of heavy web pages Web pages are becoming heavier – today, the average size of a web page is 1532kB, and this number is rising daily! With constantly escalating page weight, slow performance and high bandwidth rates follow. Such heavy page weight are most unfavourable for mobile users. Particularly those who use 3G will not be able to access the one quality that sets smart-phones apart – information anytime and anywhere instantly. Responsive Web Design to the rescue Responsive Web Design (RWD) emerges as an efficient solution for the issue of heavy page weight. With responsive web design, the entire site layout is designed to suit all types of screen resolutions. The use of word ‘responsive’ implies that the layout of your web page responds according to screen resolution of the user’s device. RWD was invented to allow a uniform/continuous experience to the user, irrespective of screen size of their browser or device. Traditionally, coding was done for particular screen resolutions. But with increasing number of devices and screen resolutions, we end up with a complicated bunch of stylesheets. When you employ Responsive Web Design, the different mobile resolution aspects are inherently taken into account, and one doesn’t have to worry about external CSS properties. The only thing to remember is – “What is the smallest possible display screen you are developing for?” You can use the traffic data of Google Analytics for this purpose. While you might not be able to get the website working on every possible device, you can focus on a majority depending upon average width of the screen.

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Becoming mobile responsive and mobile responsible Here are seven ways to make your website more mobile responsive: Select an mResponsible Framework The previous section introduced Responsive Web Design. Such frameworks as available on Foundation and Twitter Bootstrap enhance the speed of heavy web pages. The main objective of such framework is to lay out a platform for rapid prototyping of varying mobile functionalities and layouts. This allows designers to divert and invest their energies into exhibiting the brand with greater precision and uniqueness. Preparing for Text Wrapping When the device you use is narrow, the content would get automatically wrapped and this could cause a display issue. You can use plugins like Fit-Text (jQuery plugin) to resolve this issue. They will permit the minimum and maximum size of texts and can also auto-update the font size. Designing for Mobile-First While desktops can handle complex functionalities, mobiles have limited capacities. When diving into developing website for mobile devices, it is important to follow the mobile-first approach where you add functionality depending on features of mobile devices. Resize image to sync with screen The mobile web performance can be altered greatly by fitting the images according to size of the screens. The optimal image sizes have to be mentioned according to the mobile device. Since images eat up the highest amount of kB, there is a need to compress and alter them into other image formats like WebP, which can decrease size of the image without lessening the quality. You can also use adaptive images for easing the task. With adaptive method, you can detect the screen size and instantly create cache to supply the required reduced and embedded HTML images without modifying the markup. Adaptive images make use of a single PHP file, a line of JavaScript and one htaccess to identify screen size of the user device. Push Down the Content, Pull up the Performance Performance of a site is hugely dependent on the amount of content on it. You can reduce the number of scripts by moving them to end of HTML templates. This will do away with unnecessary blocking. Limited HTTP Requests While the number of HTTP requests is considered a technique for web performance traditionally, things take a twist with responsive designs. With responsive web design, the network overhead for every HTTP request is of utmost importance. Instead of using data URIs, you can use CSS sprites for mobiles. This will reduce the request of images. Make sure the CSS file is at top of the document as modern browsers do not operate unless they encounter a downloaded CSS. Sticking to a Single Domain According to Google, you can improve the SEO score on your responsive websites by sticking to a single domain. With a single URL for all devices, publishers will not need to redirect a high-cost browser from mobile to desktop site and vice and versa.
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Live streaming is the delivering of live content over the internet. The last two years saw a steady growth of this feature into a raging trend today. Late 2014 released the Total Audience Report revealing that viewing of videos over the internet is increasing at the rate of 60% per month. Recently, Facebook made its live-streaming video option available to all users around the world (in contrast to the earlier celebrity-only option). With this announcement came a series of tools to accompany this feature: Mevo is the first camera which syncs exclusively for Facebook Live. That live streaming video is becoming a trend is evident through the competitive rise of live stream: Twitter’s Periscope, Facebook Live and now, Google’s (upcoming) YouTube Connect. Live-streaming app Periscope signed up over 10 million people within the first few months.

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The shocking popularity of live streaming Live streaming has become a buzzword over the last 5 years. Started off in mid-2011, Justin.tv managed to become one of the most famous repositories for video game live streams – their viewership per month ran to 45 million in 2014. January 2016 found over 19,000 people glued onto a live stream of a puddle in Newcastle. April 2016 had over 800,000 people hooked onto Facebook Live watching an exploding watermelon! Why is live streaming such a hit with today’s viewers? It gives the viewers experience of being present in the event itself. It allows the audience from across the world to connect to the content in a richer way. As the content can be played almost immediately, viewers do not have to go through the delay of buffering and downloads. This stands in deep contrast to the earlier practice where brands put up blog posts or updates post-events or happenings. Such posts lack the concrete connection one can feel through a real-time stream. Using Live Video Streaming for Company Growth How to increase customer base with live streaming video While corporate firms can use live streaming facilities to improve productivity within the firm and reduce expenditure; the real essence of this phenomenon is clear when it comes to increasing customer base and retention rate. Corporate organisations can get their target audience to deeply involve with the company by sharing their events live on stream. Regardless of how small-scale the event is, by streaming it live, you tell your audience how deeply they are part of your company and the level of commitment your company has towards their involvement. By streaming live events, you reach a larger number of people than only the physically present ones. Compare watching a spontaneous meet-up with a customer and a recorded version of comments: the former will definitely have a humanistic touch that is lacking in the carefully-manufactured video. Stream real-time conversations with members of company and customers to add a personal touch to your brand marketing. Rooting with Live Streaming Video: Introducing Your Company Make a live profile of your product/service. Begin the video by talking about what need (social/emotional- primarily, psychological) you are catering to and follow it up with how your product is the answer to this need. Since such a video will have to be short, make sure you condense the content with precision. Behind-the-scenes shot is a well-proven social media marketing tool. Live shoot the backstage scenes to increase your company’s credibility before the customers. Train and troubleshoot through live-streaming. You can train your employees over the streams. Live-stream chat could also become a common support system where the customers will be shown how to use a product or make modifications to it through videos instantly. Companies can thus increase their revenue and productivity as well as reach out to higher audience using live streaming video. Those who desire to watch live streams online are also met with a warm space with instant playback and inter-audience interaction through forums. Thus, both companies and users benefit greatly from the use of live streaming video. Even though the first steps towards live streaming were taken in 1990s (with garage band Seven Tire Damage being the first to broadcast live), it has only developed rapidly over the last ten years. As social media platforms continue to become stronger spaces for marketing, we can expect live streaming videos to gain greater performance (in quality of broadcast) and user-friendly accessories (online forum along with online shows, resource database to check online stream channels across the world). Live streaming videos could be stepping stones to creating full-fledged online lives of brands where people from across the world would pitch in live streams of your product as comments. Live streaming video has paradigmatically shifted the way in which we perceive video content: it has shown the possibility of instantly replicating reality through machines. One prediction will definitely be actualized: that live streaming video is here to stay!
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Most artists, be it writers, designers, or even entrepreneurs, face creative or mental blocks at some time or the other. How the artist works through such a creative block determines his or her success. Here are five tips to get you out of creativity blocks and get going again.

1. Clear the mind

When there are too many commitments to fulfil, when there are many ideas, or when the artist is overwhelmed by the sheer volume of incoming demands, the brain feels paralysed, and a mental block sets in. Clearing the mind, just as one reboots a system, is the way to go. Very often, creative blocks happen when there is too much thinking, and the brain is “overheated”. It is a good idea to step back, and take stock of the situation. Pause and think clearly, create a to-do list, and assign realistic timelines. Review the priorities, identify the pain points, and infuse order into the mess. If there are too many commitments, it may be time to say “no.” It may also be worthwhile to prioritise and relegate some tasks to the backburner. Finding a method out of the madness can help to overcome the mental block.

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Suffering from a creative block? Here’s how you can infuse some creativity!

2. Take a break

Mental blocks can also come from working too much. Very often, artists get trapped in their own familiar way, and fail to see other options. In all these cases, taking a break to refresh oneself can work wonders. Much of creative work requires staring at the computer screen for long hours. Breaking the routine is the quickest and most effective way to break from the rigmarole and activate new parts of the brain. Taking a break can be as simple as walking around the neighbourhood, going jogging or doing some other exercise, taking a vacation, reading a good book, or anything to get the mind off the tasks on hand. It could also mean simply getting enough sleep.

3. Keep a Journal

Creative block is essentially a thinking rut, or a stuck thought pattern. Jotting down the stream of consciousness helps to get thoughts out of the head and onto paper, clearing the mind for the task on hand. “Journalising” need not be literary exercise. Simply writing down the words or phrase that come to the mind should be enough to develop the idea further at a later stage. Over-thinking may defeat the very purpose.

4. Stick to a Routine

At times, having too much on one’s head, or endless possibilities, can be overwhelming, and ultimately result in a mental block. Setting the rules, establishing a routine, and sticking to it help to overcome such blocks. A routine makes it easy to push through the mental resistance one encounters, when one is confused as to what to do next. It makes applying willpower easier. There are no hard and fast rules as to how to set a routine, but establishing fixed working hours, fixing specific times for answering emails or browsing the social media, and the like helps. Waiting for the right inspiration to get started works mostly for amateurs. Professional creativity is rather cultivated. Looking for an infusion of creativity? Creative Ideaz can help. Call us at 0845 094 2153 or visit www.creativeideaz.co.uk.
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Web designers excel through their creativity, but they also require a ton of resources to translate their creativity into works of art. The hardware apart, they require a host of software and other tools, including programs, educational resources, premium fonts, vectors, icons, stock images, and more, to make the magic happen. Adobe Creative Suite offers access to the basic tools of the trade, such as Photoshop, Dreamweaver, After Effects, and Encore. Without these programs, most web and graphic designers would be out of job. However, a successful web designer draws on several other resources, both free and paid, to make their lives easier. A host of tools serve various niche purposes. Gliffy makes it easy to create diagrams, floor plans, flowcharts, and technical drawings. Stat Silk’s StatPlanet is very popular for visualisation and mapping. Tableau Public makes creating and publishing infographics and interactive data a piece of cake. Typecast is a rich depository of over 23,000 fonts. Typography offers thousands of typefaces. FontSquirrel’s Webfont Generator helps designers search a database of different fonts. The free gbdfed Bitmap Font, Fonstruct, BitFontMaker2, and others all go a step further, allowing the designer to create new bitmap fonts or modify existing fonts.

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There is a host of online tools for graphic and web designers to dig into and work their magic!

Pictaculous is a handy tool that makes it easy to experiment with various colour and images, useful for editing and imaging enhancement. Colorotate facilitates the editing of scope, tint, hue, image, blend, and other finer features of the design.

Among the other popular tools, PicMarkr makes it very easy to add watermarks to images, useful for asserting copyright and pre-empting plagiarism. Lorem Ipsum Generator uses a set of meaningless words or characters and makes paragraphs to fit into designs. No web designer can go far without stock images. Shutterstock, with over 25 million stock photos, vectors, illustrations, and videos, ranks among the most popular stock image repository. There are hundreds of other similar resources, such as MorgueFile, flickr, and others. Other programs, such as TextureMate and CG textures offer free textures, and brushes, besides images. DeviantArt is one of the largest online art communities, offering rich resources such as fan art, skins, and other unique drawings, which users can shop. Dribble is the most popular online community for designers, aimed at collaboration. It allows users to upload images or GIFs, for other members to provide feedback and engage in discussions. The community makes it possible to create teams. The Estetica Design Forum is similar in nature, allowing collaboration and discussion between artists and graphic design professionals, and also offers value added features, such as information in programming, flash, and web design. 1stwebdesigner.com is a popular website, offering rich resources such as coding, tutorials, downloadable source code, and more. Just as a person building a house does not create the bricks themselves, web designers and graphic developers draw in resources from various curated repositories and platforms. Success depends on how well they leverage the readily available building blocks. Creative Ideaz offers a host of resources and solutions for your web and graphic design requirements. Contact us at 0845 0942153.
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Visual representation is always more interesting, and results in a long lasting impression in our minds. What we see has a deep rooted effect on what we feel and what we do. Our brain processes visuals faster, and the retention factor is much higher compared to text only. On that note, have you looked at your website lately? If you lack the visual aspect, then know now that your business has the spark missing. Communicating your thoughts and ideas become easier when you have the right visual content. For your content marketing efforts, you need to know what will trigger the growth and capture more audience. Any presentation with 43% visual aid is more effective.

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We live in an era with social media dominance. There are multiple platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+ and others, which are fantastic forums for social media marketing. And if you notice, all of these are image centric. New sites such as Tumblr and Pinterest have also shown to gain popularity very quickly. Images, videos, gifs (Graphics Interchange Format) are a few different ways to pump your visual content. It has been observed that individuals tend to want to finish a write up which has images incorporated in them compared to plain text. Studies show that articles with images have 94% more views. That’s a huge number you are playing with if your content misses that much-needed visual appeal. It is always advisable to use original images. It could be a time consuming task, but the result would be worth the effort. Photo sharing sites such as Flickr and Morguefile, which are free to acquire, are used by many. Apart from images, videos are powerful tools to enhance your visual content. Videos are often used to depict a problem, followed by providing a solution your business can offer. They can be made in multiple ways based on the target audience. Videos can be interactive, animated, demonstrating customer testimonials, etc. When you consider linking, you will notice that videos receive a stupendous amount of inbound links. Bloggers have a fascination for infographics. People share it often and the sooner it goes ‘viral’, the more publicity you are likely to gain. It is important to have the right layout and design for an effective infographic. Meme, a term coined by Richard Dawkins in 1976, is another brilliant way to communicate ideas by adding the element of humour to it. Initially used only by college goers, it is now used by many, often as a friendly come-back to their competitors. If you feel that your business needs that visual touch, reach out to Creative Ideaz to get the most innovative and effective solutions. Get in touch with us at 0845 094 2153 or visit www.creativeideaz.co.uk.
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