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Everything You Need to Know about Google AMP

Google-AMP-Blog-Featured-Image[1]With the growth in mobile and tablet usage, more and more consumers are demanding better user experience for these devices. Today’s discerning users want and essentially demand lightning fast loading of publisher content on a mobile device. Remember, Google cites a 29% drop off when mobile users reach a site app that’s either too slow or that doesn’t provide the right information up front.

But when everyone is trying to do just that, how will you ensure that your strategies make you stand out from the crowd? This is where Google’s newly launched Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project comes to your rescue. Given that mobile usage is set to outpace desktop usage in the next few years, it could mean that, soon, AMP would become the norm, rather than exception. And we’re sure this realization will push a lot of marketers to change the way they conceptualize and create content for their sites. This article will introduce you to the nuances of Google AMP to help you stay ahead of the curve in 2016.

What exactly is Google’s AMP project?

Google has always given preference to mobile responsive designs to improve the working of mobile web. You must have experienced several times that you click on a link from your mobile and the page takes endless time to load. However, do you keep waiting for that site to open? Well, let’s see what the stats tell us. 

  • 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. (Source: Kissmetrics.com)
  • 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less. (Source: insights.wired.com)
  • A 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. (Source: Econsultancy.com)
  • If an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a 1 second page delay could potentially cost you $2.5 million in lost sales every year. (Source: Sessioncam.com)

Therefore, to reduce site abandonment and other problems faced by mobile users, Google came up with this idea of launching AMP. The AMP feature will help your pages load much faster giving a good experience to the users.

How quickly will your AMP pages load?

Your AMP content will load at least 4 times faster than the conventional mobile-friendly pages. Also, it will use 10 times less data than the traditional pages. An article published in digiday.com states Google said that in experiments, its cut load time by 85 percent.

“Any story you choose to read will load blazingly fast—and it’s easy to scroll through the article without it taking forever to load or jumping all around as you read,” Google search vice president of engineering David Besbris wrote on Google’s blog. “It’s how reading on the mobile web should be—fast, responsive and fun,” cited an article published in wirelessweek.com.

Why do traditional mobile pages take time to load?

When you click on a link which is directed to traditional page from your mobile, there are many small parcels of information such as the scripts, image carousels, videos ads and other transcripts running in the background.

There are so many thing that it becomes almost impossible for your mobile device to pull it off therefore it loads slowly with the top part appearing first (in 3 or more seconds) and rest of it loading later.

On the other hand, an AMP tries to bring all these features together and resent it in a simple way to the audience. The main purpose behind AMP is speed and readability.  It is a simple form of HTML minus the forms, Javascripts with a streamlined version of CSS.

Let’s see how an AMP-optimized mobile content looks like

You can easily get to know how your content looks like after it is AMP optimized. Just type g.co/ampdemo in a browser of your smartphone and type in any popular keyword phrases such as “Justin Bieber Birthday” or “Jennifer Lawrence.”AMP-optimized mobile content

Further, on clicking the search button you will see that the pages that appear have an AMP tag to it. And also the fact that it has higher ranking than other pages in Google. It’s only the AMP pages that are showing above the fold and the other traditional pages are below them.AMP-optimized mobile content - 1

When you select the first article to read, it will look like the following.  

As you can see, there is content, images, ad as well as videos in this page. But it looks pretty simple to read.AMP-optimized mobile content - 3

What’s the reason for Google launching this AMP?

As we discussed it above, Google is obsessed with the performance of the web on mobile as more and more people are turning “mobile” these days. For Google, the website speed should be really fast on mobile devices. This implies that everything on your website, right from the images to the content and from yourbusiness logo design to your contact details must load within 3 seconds or less.

Therefore, it launched this AMP to improve the loading speed of web pages on mobile devices making it convenient for the users. But wait, how does this Amp help the publishers? Let’s go further deep to know about the benefits of AMP to business firms.

There is no denying to the fact that people love to read. And the faster they get, more of it will be consumed.  Apart from the regular content, Google is also trying its hand on to win the news intake war. 

In 2015, both Facebook and Apple had launched applications that allowed users to consume news related content. They were known as Apple News and Instant Articles.

On the other hand, what search engine giant Google did was to simply go to the big news publishers such as Time Inc., Vox, BBC, The Atlantic and The Huffington Post and ask them to optimize content for web consumption that makes it easy for distribution. 

Later, companies such as WordPress, Adobe Analytics, Chartbeat, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest too joined this bandwagon of optimizing content for open web.

A complaint about AMP

A common complaint about AMP is that there are restrictions on the type of content you can create for mobile – You cannot have fancy designs in HTML pages as speed is what AMP focuses at. Apart from the appearance, other things such as your email lists will also get affected. 

How to develop your first AMP?

Creating your first AMP page won’t be that easy. First, go through this basic guide and follow the below written pointers:

  • Use a boilerplate code to develop your first AMP
  • Stage it.
  • Certify that your content is AMP compliant using Google’s validator and this is the most important step.
  • You can now distribute your content.

Some of your elements will carry an AMP tag after these steps. For instance, your <img> tag will become <amp-img> and the <video> tag will become the <amp-video> tag and so on.

Benefits for WordPress users

In February only this year, Automattic launched an official AMP plugin. Thus, WordPress users will just have to click on that downloadable plugin and will get their AMP-optimized content.

The only issue here is that the plugin only supports posts and no other pages or archives. But imagine, just activating a plugin and all your content is AMP optimized. Isn’t this great? 

All your posts will be easily downloaded and read but the users. This, obviously, will help in increasing your number of readers. You can easily check the AMPlified version of your posts by fixing “/amp” at the end of the URL. For instance, the AMP version of mywebsite.com/amp-wicked-fast becomes mywebsite.com/amp-wicked-fast/amp.

AMP is not a search ranking factor

AMP is not something to increase your rankings. Turning your posts to an AMP version will make it more mobile friendly. It may reduce your bounce back rate but it is not here for your rankings. 

However, if we look closely, AMP pages anyway rank better than other traditional pages on Google. Therefore, even if you are not aiming to improve your ranking, this will anyway be an added advantage. Having an AMP page will make you stand out from the others in the mobile content war. 

An article published in Searchenginejournal.com states that “what does it matter if AMP is a ranking signal or not if AMP content already has a one-way ticket to the top of the first page? For the most part AMP content is already ranking above organic results, which is one of the greatest ranking boosts one can ask for.”

Before we wrap this up, last but not the least, AMP does not impact your advertising. An article published in Businessinsider reveals that, “According to Google, they want to support a comprehensive range of ad formats, ad networks and technologies. Any sites using AMP HTML will retain their choice of ad networks, as well as any formats that don’t detract from the user experience.”

Wrapping up

This was a lot about AMP. We hope that you found this post as well as our suggestions useful and are now clear about the recently-launched Google AMP Project. There is no harm I having both regular and AMP version of your pages. In fact, it will only bring you more benefits of fast loading pages. So, if you are a publisher and have not AMPlified your page yet, we would suggest you to check it out as this is an opportunity for a good mobile head start.

 

Source Digitalvidya

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How to get more Twitter followers in 9 different ways (ethically)

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The Internet does much to level the playing field for sharing a message. Twitterflattens it. So much so, that it’s difficult to stand out, to reach the audience you’re interested in and gain their attention. How can you get more twitter followers?

If you spend much time on Twitter, you’ve certainly run across a number of bots, serial followers, and otherwise spammy accounts. These accounts take strategies for growing a following on Twitter to an unethical, annoying extreme. And, at least by their follower counts, this approach seems to be working.

But, as with offline relationships, quantity rarely trumps quality. To ethically build a meaningful cadre of followers on Twitter, you’ll have to do more than create a few lines of code or click the ‘Follow’ button a couple thousand times. To build an audience and a presence, your Twitter strategy should focus on three broad categories: Content, Engagement, and Rewards.

Read on for nine actions you can take to optimize your Twitter presence in these three categories and gain valuable followers.


Content – stuff worth sharing


1. Create Valuable Content

sharing-content-repeatedly

Strategy: Sharing content repeatedly, Buffer

If you want people to follow and share what you publish, you need to publish content worth sharing. No need to belabor that point, however, less widely-understood is the value of sharing this content multiple times.

Twitter is of-the-moment, but the majority of your followers will not be checking Twitter 24/7. Using a tweet-scheduling service like Buffer puts your content in front of your audience when they’re most likely to see it. Increase this likelihood byscheduling multiple posts for a particular piece of content.

2. Comment on relevant news/tweets

Strategy: Live-Tweeting

Commenting on relevant news, trending topics, and various other happenings on Twitter injects your voice into an ongoing conversation. Pick conversations that your Twitter followers – and your brand – would care about, and join in the discussion.

If you’re a social commentator, lifestyle brand or comedian, you might cultivate a following live-tweeting #downtonabbey. A more serious account may publish reasoned comments on #healthcare during a televised address. Whatever your focus, joining in on a tweetup, story or other hashtagged event is a great way to meet your ideal followers where they’re gathering.

3. Retweet relevant content

Strategy: Search/rank service to identify thought-leaders

Another way to capitalize on ongoing conversations is to retweet relevant content. Using a management dashboard for Twitter like TweetDeck, identify thought-leaders in your industry, and retweet meaningful content they’re sharing. Their voice is amplified, and yours legitimized. Your brand stands to benefit from associating with reputable commentators, and you’re laying groundwork for potential collaboration and reciprocal sharing.


Engagement – Ask. Listen. Respond.


Brands on Twitter

Why people follow brands on Twitter (multiple responses allowed) | twitter.com

4. Events to Engage

 

Strategy: Promoted Tweets

Twitter capitalizes on the immediacy of events and can exponentially amplify the buzz of contests. Barack Obama’s 2012 Presidential re-election campaign set a new standard for the use of social media to build consensus and drive action. Throughout the campaign, well-timed tweets captured a key moment and made it easy to share messages and emotions.

By paying to promote the most important messages, Obama’s campaign owned the conversation at crucial points in the election. Twitter is the medium of choice for discussing ongoing events. Steering and leading an event conversation in real-time is exceedingly valuable – and worth paying for.

5. Ask for Retweets

Strategy: ‘Flock to Unlock’ Campaigns

Now you have content worth sharing, and you’ve begun connecting with people whom you’d like to share it. It’s important to activate your follower base and enlist their help in growing your presence. How? Simply ask for their participation.

Spelling out the word “retweet” in your request makes your followers 12 to 23X more likely to re-share your message. The American Red Cross (@RedCross) saw this strategy drive rapid results with their #PerfectGift campaign, and easily met their fundraising goal.

A ‘Flock to Unlock’ promotion adds an element of urgency to your calls to action. A certain number of retweets or comments in a period of time unlock a discount or unique piece of content for your followers. Retweeting becomes even more purposeful and participatory.

6. Promote Responsibly

 

Strategy: Co-promotion

Following and retweeting content from thought leaders and companies with healthy followings certainly offers exposure.

Seeking out opportunities for co-promotion, merging offline and online worlds, offers your brand even greater upside. Endorsements from brands and celebrities that connect with your audience provide invaluable credibility in addition to increased reach. As long as endorsements stay on-message and conversational in tone, your followers will appreciate this promotional content.

In 2012, Ciroc Vodka partnered with artists and entertainers to include exclusive photos and videos from celebrities’ New Years Eve revelry under its#CirocTheNewYear promoted trend. Followers gladly retweeted and commented, helping Ciroc capture the conversation around keywords like “party” and “midnight” on the most celebratory night of the year.

7. Countdowns

 

Strategy: Teaser Tweets

Success on Twitter is largely a matter of capturing people’s attention. In a medium predicated on distraction, refreshed every microsecond, the ability to build anticipation is invaluable. Countdowns provide a reason to tweet frequent reminders and an opportunity to construct a narrative across a series of tweets.

Use countdowns leading up to a new product launch, feature unveiling, software update, behind the scenes access, or other content releases. Kick off your countdown with a couple of teaser tweets. Give your followers reason to check what you’re saying now, later today, and even further in the future.

8. Twitter-Exclusive content, contests and promotions

Strategy: #twixclusive(s)

While “twixclusive” may horribly bastardize the English language, Twitter-only dealsare an effective tool that belong in your brand’s social media strategy. Twitter-exclusive content and promotions boost engagement with what you’re publishing on Twitter while also offering a tangible reward to your followers.

Show appreciation for your followers’ attention and make it worthwhile to revisit your page. Use your Twitter account to give a behind-the-scenes look at your brand and take exclusive access a step further. Twitter democratizes conversation and affords unprecedented connection with elite brands and personalities. Loyalty and interest increases when you share content accessible only on Twitter.

9. Two-sided Conversations

Strategy: treat your followers like people

Talk with your audience on Twitter in ways you can’t anywhere else. What often falls under the ‘engagement’ header is really one of Twitter’s greatest potential rewards. Your brand is on Twitter to join key conversations. Your followers are on Twitter to converse with you. People invariably appreciate hearing their own name and knowing that they’re being listened to. Responding to a follower on Twitter accomplishes both. Twitter allows your brand to offer an unprecedented reward: interaction.

Summary

Content, engagement, and rewards make your Twitter account a meaningful destination for potential followers. Give your audience what they want, and more followers will want to join that audience.

While I’ve managed social media for brands with 10 times my audience, my own following is admittedly underwhelming. Over the next few months, I’ll implementing the actions detailed above. Follow my experiment @jlukechitwood.

Image credit: Bethany Clarke / Getty Images

Source Thenextweb

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15 Real Estate Logos that Aren’t Totally Lame

If you aspire to make a name for yourself in niche real estate market, then one of the first things you must ascertain is to have an impressive logo. Make it sure that only a professionally design real estate logo represents your business. But to create such logos is not easy as it requires skills and experience of professionals. Having said that we should admit that creativity is not restricted to professionals only. Even you can design a logo on your own if the design concept is unique and you have access to design tools.

Real estate logos are plenty in the market as every small to big business boasts these symbols. But not all such logos are equally impressive and useful to their businesses. In fact, many of them are careless drawings and do more harm than benefits to their companies. Remember that an appealing and engaging logo will drive potential customers to your business. But a badly designed logo even has the potential to drive away your customers. This is because people react emotionally to logo designs. If you have extracted a positive emotion, they will have curiosity to know more about your real estate company and business.

One of the best ways to create amazing real estate logos is to have a good collection of inspirational logos around you.

So, we present here some of the best real estate logo designs that will stimulate your mind for new design ideas.

Nalahiya real estate logos

eman (via logopond)

Upland real estate logos

kennybarela (via logopond)

Tood Construction real estate logos

Kris Todd (via dribbble)

Northridge real estate logos

Northridge Homes (via Logo Design Software)

Manos real estate logos

Manos Kalaitzoglou (via forrst.com)

paneit real estate logos

Graham Smith (via dribbble)

Saunders real estate logos

Logomotive (via logopond)

Hight Point real estate logos

truenorthe (via logopond)

Arizona home real estate logos

Arizona Homes Real Estate (via Creative Greed)

Riverside real estate logos

Riverside Realty (via Creative Greed)

Old west real estate logos

Old West Real Estate (Creative Greed)

new builder real estate logo

EBrown (via logopond)

grigoriou real estate logos

grigoriou (via logopond)

Richard real estate logos

richardbaird (via logopond)

Home reality real estate logos

nineteen eighty-one

Real estate logos such as these are surely inspirational even for professionals with many years of experience. These business logos will certainly prompt you to design one such symbol for your business so that it can make a mark.

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