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How To Navigate Google Optimize – A Free Website Optimization Tool

July 16, 2020 No Comments

This post explains basic navigation, features, and setting up tests in Google Optimize, a free website optimization tool.

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Get a free annual Extra Crunch membership when you register for Early Stage 2020

July 13, 2020 No Comments

We’re a few days away from kicking off TC Early Stage 2020. Join us on July 21-22 for a two-day online masterclass designed to help early-stage startup founders build their business and keep moving forward.

Bonus: Buy your ticket now and you’ll get a free annual membership to Extra Crunch, our subscription program focused on startups, founders and investors with more than 100 exclusive articles published per month. Read how-tos, weekly investor surveys, IPO analysis and in-depth interviews with experts on fundraising, growth, monetization and other core startup topics.

Here’s what you can expect from TC Early Stage. More than 50 experts across the startup ecosystem will lead interactive workshops focused on essential topics and skills that all pre-seed through Series A founders need to know.

We’re talking everything from effective fundraising, how to scale and marketing tactics that help you stand out from the herd to the nuts-and-bolts of tech stack security, smart hiring and the ins-and-outs of structuring term sheets.

Need an example or two? Here’s a taste.

How to avoid 1,000 landmines: When you’re starting your company, there are thousands of small, avoidable mistakes that can turn success into failure. Learn how to navigate around those and maximize your chance of success with key learnings from Garry Tan, founder and managing partner at Initialized Capital.

Hiring your early engineers: The first few employees determine a startup’s trajectory. Learn the dos and don’ts of hiring your early engineers from entrepreneur and investor Ali Partovi. And hear how these hiring decisions can determine not only the type of culture you build for your employees, but also the overall success of your company.

Check out the event agenda here to see all the sessions and the gurus who will show you the way.

Make haste because some sessions are already filled. We’re limiting capacity to keep the workshops smaller so you can get the most out of your experience. Good news: All pass holders will have exclusive video access to all the sessions after the event ends. No FOMO for you.

Buy your Early Stage pass, score a free annual membership to Extra Crunch and dive into a business-building masterclass designed just for you.

If you are already an existing annual or two-year Extra Crunch member and have not yet bought a ticket to Early Stage, you can reach out to extracrunch@techcrunch.com to request a 20% off discount. If you are an annual or two-year member and purchased an Early Stage ticket without the 20% off discount, we’re happy to extend the length of your existing membership by 6 months for free by contacting extracrunch@techcrunch.com.

Alternately, if you are an existing monthly Extra Crunch member, we’re happy to extend the length of your membership by a year for free; however, you won’t be able to claim the 20% off for an event ticket for Early Stage. You will be eligible for the 20% off event tickets for Disrupt and other future TechCrunch events. Please contact extracrunch@techcrunch.com if you are an existing monthly customer and want to take advantage of the membership extension.


Startups – TechCrunch


Tracking Your Free Google Shopping Ads

June 25, 2020 No Comments

Tracking for Surfaces Across Google clicks in Google Merchant Center leaves something to be desired. The step-by-step process in this post is an alternative.

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Free resources to grow your business during lockdown

May 21, 2020 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • Lockdown and self-quarantine are causing consumers to spend more time online. 
  • To encourage growth, companies may need to pivot the way they interact with customers or the goods and services they supply as demands change. 
  • Organizations need to optimize their SEO strategy, website and online presence to stay relevant among competitors. 
  • Several free resources are available to analyze SEO and websites. You can use them to make changes and improvements so that during lockdown your business continues to grow. 

The Coronavirus outbreak is changing life as we know it. As billions of people shelter in place, they’re spending even more time online. This is good and bad news for businesses. 

The good news is that there are more consumers online, more of the time. The bad news is that they have time to be more discerning in their choices and that your rivals are looking to capitalize on this and grow their companies just as much as you are… 

Getting ahead without crunching your pocket

To ensure your business stays relevant in this strange new world, you’ll need to up your game. This involves interacting with customers in novel ways, creating attractive campaigns and special offers, and possibly pivoting the goods and services you offer to meet new consumer demands. 

Digital marketing and SEO have always been cutthroat, and they’re even more so in the face of the COVID-19 lockdown. The changes that you make to your company – to ensure it survives and even thrives during this time – may mean that your current marketing strategies are no longer optimal. 

With all that in mind, updating your organization’s website and general online presence is crucial. Reviewing and refreshing these should always be a regular habit, but as the world’s economy and demands are changing so much, it’s especially important right now.

Luckily, there are several resources to help you with such updates. A lot of them cost money, but there are some excellent free options if you’re looking to cut back on expenses. Some of the top free tools that can perform tasks like checking if your pages are indexed by Google, analyzing onsite SEO efficiency, and evaluating content are listed below. 

1. GTmetrix

Search engines (Google included) are increasingly giving preferential treatment to sites that load content quickly and putting them higher in their search results. GTmetrix analyzes sites’ load speeds, identifying the specific features that make a site too big, too slow, and satisfactorily fast. It also supplies a list of practical suggestions for you to speed up your load times.  

Enter a URL into the tool, and you’ll get a thorough report highlighting the areas that need improvement. 

Free resources GTmetrix

2. Linkody’s Free Google Index Checker 

As a big part of your site’s health and growth is impacted by Google crawling it, you need to stay on top of indexing. With this free index checker, you can determine whether a specific page or an entire domain is indexed. All you need to do is enter your URL and Linkody alerts you about the current index status. Not indexed can indicate that Google hasn’t crawled a page or site yet, or that a page is considered low-quality or even worse, a site as a whole is de-indexed. Indexing problems happen to the best of us (looking at you, Linkedin) so a basic check should be part of your SEO routine. 

Linkody's Google Index Checker free resources

3. Ahrefs Academy’s: Blogging for Business 

The video tutorials on Ahrefs Academy are informative and easy to understand, making them great resources. Blogging for Business is no exception, and includes sections on everything from basic principles of blogging to growing companies, to creating content that promotes itself. Scroll down the site and watch all of the short videos in order, or jump to the section you’re interested in. 

4. Harmon Brothers University Script Challenge

Marketing masterminds Harmon Brothers are offering a free resource, a 14-day Video Script Challenge, where they’ll give you everything you need to write a video script that will successfully sell a product or service. The step-by-step instructions are scalable so they can be implemented no matter how big business grows. 

5. Shopify’s 90-Day free trial

As part of Shopify’s COVID-19 response, the multinational ecommerce company is offering several informative free webinars and giving new clients a free 90-day trial of its services. Businesses can sign up and create their virtual stores in just a few minutes, complete with attractive themes and customizable responses. 

6. Chrome’s SEO Ruler

SEO Ruler is a free Chrome extension that provides over 25 tools in a single package. Link Tools, OnPage Copy Tools and SERP Page Tools help to maximize your SEO, while OnPage Viewer, Schema Viewer, and Quick Google options enhance user experiences so that they search for – and find – much more. 

7. SEOAURA’s website responsive test

Search engines have also started to prioritize websites that look good across all platforms, regardless of their orientation or size. In other words, if your site is equally attractive on desktop, tablets and smartphones, you’ll rank higher on the SERPs. 

SEOAURA free resources

Make sure your website’s looks and functionality are perfect on every device by putting it through the SEOAURA Website Responsive Test. If your site doesn’t pass muster, consider updating it yourself or consulting a professional designer. 

8. SERPerator by MobileMoxie

MobileMoxie offers a range of tools that enable companies to analyze their mobile websites and improve their traffic, which ultimately boosts revenue.  

The tools can all be tried free for a period of seven days, and the SERPerator SERP test is available for five runs per day at no charge. Just enter the business details, the search term, the search engine and the phone language and run the SERP test for two mobile devices of your choice. 

9. Free courses from Moz Academy

Software as a Service (SaaS) giant Moz offers exceptional software and educational materials on SEO. Now you can access a lot of their online courses for free to help you take your marketing strategy to the next level. Until May 31, 2020, check out the full course content for Page Optimization, Backlink Basics, and all their other subjects, which usually retail for over $ 100 each. 

10. Moz Local

One of the top SEO products that Moz offers is its Moz Local, which helps companies check their local business listing, automate online deletions, and optimally manage their profiles in real time. Various plans are offered for different prices, but you can perform the simple task of checking business listings’ online presence by heading to the Moz Local page, selecting the Check My Online Presence button, and entering the company’s physical address. 

11. Scout Suggest

This keyword tool allows online marketers to find phrases, synonyms and modifiers for your keywords to use for any subject. Simply enter a keyword, select the region that you’re interested in, and run the tool to get a report with thousands of related terms, phrases and questions. You’ll also get N-grams which groups related keywords into clusters that make it easier to plan for your next content piece. 

12. Calendly’s Virtual Meetings Integration

Finally, to keep companies and marketing campaigns on track all involved stakeholders have to meet regularly. But these meetings don’t have to be physical, and at the moment they can’t be. Calendly offers free GoToMeeting and Zoom integrations until the end of June 2020. Everyone who works remotely can stay on track with projects and, just as importantly, connect with co-workers and clients too. 

Closing thoughts

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, no one is sure what the final fallout will be. While waiting for the dust to settle, you might need to pivot your business several times if you want to continue its growth. Reviews of its SEO performance should be conducted whenever you make changes – and at regular intervals, as a matter of best practice.

The post Free resources to grow your business during lockdown appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch


Facebook to supply free Portals to some care home residents under NHS scheme

April 12, 2020 No Comments

The U.K. government is pulling in tech firms to connect family and friends with isolated residents and patients in care via video call devices and services during the COVID-19 crisis. First to join is Facebook, which is supplying up to 2,050 of its Portal video-calling devices for free to hospitals, care homes and other settings, including hospice, in-patient learning disability and autism units. The logistical rollout will be supported by Accenture.

Fifty of the devices have already been deployed to pilot sites in Surrey, with Manchester, Newcastle and London and other areas to follow.

Iain O’Neil, NHSX Digital Transformation Director, said in a statement: “Technology companies big and small continue to pledge their resources and expertise to support our NHS and social care system in these unprecedented times. We are working hard to find and develop services that meet people’s equally unprecedented needs. Technology has never been so important to providing one of life’s most essential things — the ability to communicate with the people we love regardless of where they are.”

The NHSX said it is working with “a range of technology companies to support the NHS and social care system.”

Freddy Abnousi, MD, Head of Health Technology, Facebook said in a statement: “We designed Portal to give people an easy way to connect and be more present with their loved ones…That’s why we are piloting a program with NHSX to provide Portal devices in hospitals and other care settings to support patients and help reduce social isolation.”

Additional solutions to be deployed under the scheme include enabling health and care staff to work remotely if needed; improving communication between clinical and care teams; shifting hospital outpatients to virtual appointments; and accelerating the use of online and video consultations within GP and primary care services.

Commenting, Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “It is great to see Facebook giving care home residents and patients the devices they need to connect with their family and friends at such a challenging time. The technology sector is rising to the challenge at this moment of national emergency and we in government are working closely with them to help people stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.”

Facebook and NHSX have agreed that the care homes and care settings involved in the pilot will be able to keep the devices free of charge, and use as they see fit, following the pilot phase.

Where the Portal devices go will be chosen on the basis of their Wi-Fi connectivity and ability to run devices in residents’ rooms or another private location.

At the same time, NHSX said it is exploring connectivity options for care homes without Wi-Fi, including the use of 4G hotspots or data-enabled tablets.

The venues for the portals will be advised on how to set them up by the NHSX, as well as infection control and data protection. Concerns about privacy will be addressed by completing a factory reset on the portal before passing the device to a new user.

A Facebook spokesperson said: “Residents/patients will be supported by care staff to initiate calls to family/friends.” Each care home/care setting will be free to make their own decisions on how best to manage this; for example, whether to pre-arrange specific call times with families in advance. Staff will be supported with easy-to-use setup guidance, device instructions and guidance on infection control. Care homes will also be asked to assist residents who do not wish to use their own personal accounts by setting up a new, generic personal account to be used instead. Where residents or patients wish to use a personal account, the care home will complete a factory reset before passing the device to a new user.


Social – TechCrunch


How to Forecast Spend Potential for Paid Social Campaigns [Free Tool]

October 25, 2019 No Comments

Ideating and building strategies is often much more fun than presenting your plan and being pressed by the question, “what am I going to get from this?” Today, we go through two approaches, including a free tool, to forecast spend and conversion potential for paid social campaigns.

Read more at PPCHero.com
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Daily Crunch: Zuckerberg has thoughts on free speech

October 21, 2019 No Comments

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here.

1. Zuckerberg on Chinese censorship: Is that the internet we want?

The Facebook CEO spoke yesterday at Georgetown University, sharing his thoughts on speech and “how we might address the challenges that more voice and the internet introduce, and the major threats to free expression around the world.”

Among his arguments: China is exporting its social values, political ads are an important part of free expression and the definition of dangerous speech must be kept in check.

2. Atlassian acquires Code Barrel, makers of Automation for Jira

Sydney-based Code Barrel was founded by two of the first engineers who built Jira at Atlassian, Nick Menere and Andreas Knecht. With this acquisition, they are returning to Atlassian after four years in startup land.

3. Swarm gets green light from FCC for its 150-satellite constellation

Swarm Technologies aims to connect smart devices around the world with a low-bandwidth but ever-present network provided by satellites — and it just got approval from the FCC to do so. Apparently the agency is no longer worried that Swarm’s sandwich-sized satellites are too small to be tracked.

4. Nintendo Switch hits another sales milestone

Nintendo’s North American Switch unit sales have already surpassed the lifetime worldwide unit sales of the Wii U. The company announced Thursday that they had sold 15 million units of the popular handheld console in North America.

5. HBO Max scores all 21 Studio Ghibli films

WarnerMedia has been on a shopping spree for its HBO Max service. It bought the rights to “Friends” and “The Big Bang Theory,” and now it’s using its outsized checkbook to bring beloved Japanese animation group Studio Ghibli’s films onto the web exclusively on its platform for U.S. subscribers.

6. Volvo creates a dedicated business for autonomous industrial and commercial transport

The vehicle-maker has already been active in putting autonomous technology to work in various industries, with self-driving projects at quarries and mines, and in the busy port located at Gothenburg, Sweden.

7. How Unity built the world’s most popular game engine

Unity’s growth is a case study of Clayton Christensen’s theory of disruptive innovation. While other game engines targeted the big AAA game makers at the top of the console and PC markets, Unity went after independent developers with a less robust product that was better suited to their needs and budget. (Extra Crunch membership required.)


Social – TechCrunch


Daily Crunch: Zuckerberg has thoughts on free speech

October 21, 2019 No Comments

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here.

1. Zuckerberg on Chinese censorship: Is that the internet we want?

The Facebook CEO spoke yesterday at Georgetown University, sharing his thoughts on speech and “how we might address the challenges that more voice and the internet introduce, and the major threats to free expression around the world.”

Among his arguments: China is exporting its social values, political ads are an important part of free expression and the definition of dangerous speech must be kept in check.

2. Atlassian acquires Code Barrel, makers of Automation for Jira

Sydney-based Code Barrel was founded by two of the first engineers who built Jira at Atlassian, Nick Menere and Andreas Knecht. With this acquisition, they are returning to Atlassian after four years in startup land.

3. Swarm gets green light from FCC for its 150-satellite constellation

Swarm Technologies aims to connect smart devices around the world with a low-bandwidth but ever-present network provided by satellites — and it just got approval from the FCC to do so. Apparently the agency is no longer worried that Swarm’s sandwich-sized satellites are too small to be tracked.

4. Nintendo Switch hits another sales milestone

Nintendo’s North American Switch unit sales have already surpassed the lifetime worldwide unit sales of the Wii U. The company announced Thursday that they had sold 15 million units of the popular handheld console in North America.

5. HBO Max scores all 21 Studio Ghibli films

WarnerMedia has been on a shopping spree for its HBO Max service. It bought the rights to “Friends” and “The Big Bang Theory,” and now it’s using its outsized checkbook to bring beloved Japanese animation group Studio Ghibli’s films onto the web exclusively on its platform for U.S. subscribers.

6. Volvo creates a dedicated business for autonomous industrial and commercial transport

The vehicle-maker has already been active in putting autonomous technology to work in various industries, with self-driving projects at quarries and mines, and in the busy port located at Gothenburg, Sweden.

7. How Unity built the world’s most popular game engine

Unity’s growth is a case study of Clayton Christensen’s theory of disruptive innovation. While other game engines targeted the big AAA game makers at the top of the console and PC markets, Unity went after independent developers with a less robust product that was better suited to their needs and budget. (Extra Crunch membership required.)


Social – TechCrunch


Kadena brings free private blockchain service to Azure Marketplace

August 27, 2019 No Comments

The hype around blockchain seems to have cooled a bit, but companies like Kadena have been working on enterprise-grade solutions for some time, and continue to push the technology forward. Today, the startup announced that Kadena Scalable Permissioned Blockchain on Azure is available for free in the Azure Marketplace.

Kadena co-founder and CEO Will Martino says today’s announcement builds on the success of last year’s similar endeavor involving AWS. “Our private chain is designed for enterprise use. It’s designed for being high performance and for integrating with traditional back ends. And by bringing that chain to AWS marketplace, and now to Microsoft Azure, we are servicing almost all of the enterprise blockchain market that takes place in the cloud,” Martino told TechCrunch.

The free product enables companies to get comfortable with the technology and build a Proof of Concept (PoC) without making a significant investment in the tooling. The free tool provides 2000 transactions a second across 4 nodes. Once companies figure this out and want to scale, that’s when the company begins making money, but Martino recognizes that the technology is still immature and companies need to get comfortable with it, and that’s what the free versions on the cloud platforms like Azure are encouraging.

Martino says Kadena favors a hybrid approach to enterprise blockchain that combines public and private chains, and in his view, gives customers the best of both worlds. “You can run a smart contract on our public Chainweb protocol that will be launching on October 30th, and that smart contract can be linked to a cluster of private permission chain nodes that are running the other half of the application. This allows you to have all of the market access and openness and transparency and ownerlessness of a public network, while also having the control and the security that you find in a private network,” he said.

Martino and co-founder Stuart Popejoy both worked at JPMorgan on early blockchain projects, but left to start Kadena in 2016. The company has raised $ 14.9 million to date.


Enterprise – TechCrunch


Midwest Digital Marketing Day: Free Day of Training On July 25th

July 24, 2019 No Comments

Midwest Digital Marketing Day is an intentional event focused on creating a space for shared learnings and communication with our fellow PPC heroes in the heartland. We know that working in digital marketing in the Midwest means we’re spread out, and it’s harder to find meet-ups and swap ideas. This event is designed for connecting with fellow marketers and deepening your PPC skills. 

Read more at PPCHero.com
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