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10 Best Websites to Source Stock Photos

SEO Tips No Comment

In today’s dynamic world, no one likes it black and white, be it a newspaper, project report, any blog and so on. All of us prefer attractive stuff, full of colorful content, pictures, videos, and graphs. We come across so many blogs and articles full of pictures which are both appealing and easy to understand.

Now, the question that arises here is that do the bloggers click those pictures for themselves or hire those high charging professional photographers for the purpose? Well, sometimes they do but most of the times, they do not. So from where do, they get what exactly they need? No, Google is not the answer this time.

Stock photos are high resolution, properly clicked, professional photographs of the most common landmarks, places, people, events or nature that can be used for both commercial as well as non-commercial purposes. The ownership lies with the photographer or the distributor, as the case maybe. Stock photography is one of the most cost efficient ways of yielding high quality photographs, one doesn’t require to spend that large sum of money which we usually pay to the professional photographers.

Here is a list of top 10 websites from where one can source stock photos:

1) Flickr Commons

If you are searching for free images having some set quality standards, then this is the site for you. The cherry on the cake is the Spokal attributes that it provides. Find the relevant image and apply Spokal, it will fix all the legal gibberish on your behalf which is simply awesome.

2) Negative Space

The limelight of this website is that it offers the photos without any copyright restrictions, implying you can use them as per your whims and fancies. It’s an ever growing collection of photos and just the right spot for you.

3) Pixabay

With a collection of around 42,000 images and counting, it is one of the top go to websites whenever you need stock photos. The image licenses are least confusing and therefore you can use the pictures without any hassle. The pictures are available for both commercial and personal use.

4) Stocksnap

Well, who would like to get into the complicated copyright agreements for using just a few photos? No one. This site not only offers the images without any copyright obligations but also keeps a tap on the most trending images that updates you about the most popular photos on this site. Also, it keeps a count of the number of views and downloads of every image.

5) Unsplash

This is the site that delivers what you need at your doorstep. You can subscribe to receive 10 new images every day which will be mailed directly to you. Although, we love to give the picture courtesy on social media but when it comes to work, we like to steal it and keep it to ourselves. This site lets you copy, download, alter and distribute the pictures without the need to give the credit.

6) Death to Stock

Ever been a part of a cool club at a minimal fee? No? Well, this is the site for you. It offers you membership, both normal and premium at reasonable rates. A new set of photos will be delivered straightaway to your mailbox every month if you become a part of this club.

7) Startup Stock Photos

Startups are common nowadays. With hundreds of startups beginning daily, they hit the right spot with a catchy name. This website offer a plenty of professional options irrespective of the industry the startup belongs to.

8) Snapwire Snaps

Who doesn’t like the free dessert along with the dinner? Snapwire not only offers the free dessert, here the dinner is only free. Not only does it deliver free images to your mailbox but also gives new offerings daily. The images are highly creative and are of every possible variety. No restrictions on the use is another plus point.

9) Pexels

With a constant addition of almost 10 new high resolution pictures on a daily basis, Pexels is rising up the ladder at a fast pace. Not only is their collection, highly customized because the team hand-picks almost every image that you see. And all this, without any restrictions on the usage.

10) Splitshire

Last, but definitely not the least, in this list is Splitshire that provides tons of amazing free images that you are allowed to use without any hassle or commercial restrictions. From some awesome portraits to amazingly sleek workstations, this site offers the perfect photo that you need without any trouble.

What is Structured Data for SEO?

SEO Tips No Comment

We come across so many questions from different people in our day to day life like can you help me with the meaning of this word? Have you heard about that new website or did you check out that new restaurant.

And if the answer comes out to be a ‘no’, it comes with a ‘but let me Google it’. Google and other search engines like Bing, Yahoo, etc. have become our saviors.

But have we ever thought why a list of options does come up when we type a word or a phrase in the search box and hit the search button? Why is it that there’s something on the top while the others follow? Well, here comes the concept of ‘Search Engine Optimization’, popularly referred to as SEO. In simple terms, SEO is the process of enhancing your online content in an effective & attractive way so that it becomes the part of the top results for searches of a certain keyword.

Knowledge Graph box

Google uses structured data to populate the Knowledge Graph box as shown in this photo. (Source: Moz.com)

So, if SEO is the recipe that would put your content on the top searches list, ‘Structured Data’ acts as a salt to that recipe. Now, search engines act just fine in interpreting the general context of any website. However, they don’t perform well when it comes to analyzing the detailed specifics of a particular website or webpage.

In such cases, they need help and that is where Structured Data comes into picture. In day to day language, any data which is organized in a way that makes it easier to interpret and analyze, is called as Structured.

Technically, Structured Data is a markup on the webpage that assists the search engines to better intuit the information and the data presented on the webpage, and thereby use the same to improve the page’s search engine ranking.

For example, if you have a company website and you use structured data to present the online content, it will make it easier for web crawlers (an internet program for browsing the World Wide Web in a systematic way and returning the information so obtained to the search engines) not only to interpret the company’s basics, including the Name, Place, Address, Contact Details, etc. but also it will help analyze the more complicated information such as production schedules, recipes, events, etc.

(Source: www.horuswebx.com)

To present the online data in a structured format, you will have to implement a markup on your webpage. There is a dire need that this markup is clearly interpreted in a suitably consistent manner not only by the search engines but also by the people. And therefore, there are a set of protocols, in the form of standardized implementations (commonly called as formats or syntaxes), classification of relationships, conceptualizations, and finally terms (often referred to as vocabularies) that one must follow.

Apart from optimizing the web content for enhanced search results, there are a various other uses of structured data which include providing additional context for articles, recipes, products, star ratings and product reviews which presents the website as a rich snippet. It can also be used to present your AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) in rich results. It will also assist in the Social Media Marketing of your product or website.

To conclude, in a world full of cut throat competition, where everybody is willing to go that one extra mile to surpass their competitors, people must not ignore the importance of structured data in SEO and the other benefits that comes handy with it.

E-commerce SEO: Writing Meta and Product Description that Sell

E-Commerce, SEO Tips No Comment
seo-for-ecommerce

Image from: Webappick.com

The field of e-commerce has become quite massive in the last few years. Almost every business nowadays tries to have an online platform so that they can easily interact with and attract a huge audience who can be their potential customers.

Now, we all are aware of the fact that day by day competition is becoming tough and surviving in this market of e-commerce is becoming difficult. If you want to stand on the top, then you got to have top-notch SEO tactics for your business.

Yes, the success of any e- business primarily depends on the SEO tricks it opts and among all the tricks, writing a creative as well as apt Meta and product description is something very crucial.

Meta description is a synopsis of the content of the concerned website or web page. In the case of e-commerce, it must contain a short and to the point description of your business. It must not exceed a limit of 320 characters, though earlier it was 160 characters only.

Meta description can also contain keywords which are often searched by the site visitors. On the other hand, as the name suggests product description is a small and the required information mentioned about the particular product of a website.

As an owner of any e-commerce, it is very crucial to understand the importance of these two things. An exceptional meta-description helps various search engines to fathom the aim of the concerned web page, and then provide it with the required search results. Similarly, it is recommended to provide an exceptional product description so that it helps the e-commerce business to attract a good sale.  Here are E-Commerce SEO tips on how to write meta and product description that sell.

How to Write a Proper Meta Description?

  • It must be unique and should provide the three basic information- the brand name of your business, about your online store and a unique feature related to it.
  • Don’t exceed the required limit of characters, which is 320 characters per description.
  • Do remember to mention the USP or the main feature of the products you sell. Try to write in a way that attracts the potential customers in the first look.
  • Pay special attention while mentioning the keywords. It would help your site to get a better ranking on the search engines.
  • Try to write those specifications, which the customers look for.

How to Write a Proper Product Description?

  • Mention about the product your website sells in a way that it addresses the ideal buyers.
  • Try to avoid useless phrases like- yeah, of course, etc. These phrases make you sound less appealing to your customers.
  • Mention genuine stats related to the products you deal in, and use superlatives while writing so.
  • Try to provide a better, large and clear pictures or videos related to the product. This is a part of the product description only, and visual appeal contributes a lot towards attracting the sales.
  • Avoid writing a story kind of description, as it just makes it less rational and less appealing.

Thus, if you want your e-commerce business to touch heights and survive in this cut throat competitive market then do make use of the above mentioned suggestions.

 

The 10 Best Note Taking Apps (Evernote and OneNote Alternatives)

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best-note-taking-appsTaking important notes at crucial times is often the hardest part of someone’s work. Gone are the days when people used to carry small writing pads. Now, people refrain from using the conventional pen and paper and use the new technology to jot down important notes.

When you are at the office or at your home, the closest thing you have is either your smartphone or your laptop. So it is essential that the device is equipped with a good app that would help you take down notes quickly. We all know of Evernote and OneNote, they are the two giants when it comes to note-taking. But did you ever wonder if there are other good note taking apps out there?

Here are the Best 10 Note Taking Apps- (BEST Evernote and OneNote Alternatives)

  • Google Keep

Another quality product from Google, Google Keep allows you to quickly take down notes. The app is quite lightweight and requires less RAM. However, it is loaded with features. You can create checklists and even record audio for transcription. Like all Google Products, Google Keep works with your cloud storage. So all your data is automatically saved.

  • DropBox Paper

Available only to web users, this app quickly allows you to scribble ideas. Then you can attach photos or videos with your idea and then export it as a full-fledged PDF.

  • Bear

This application is exclusive to Mac users. One of the few apps in this sector that offer Mac support, Bear works well for people who keep getting phone calls. You can easily write down notes on your Mac. It is available at $1.49/mo and gives high storage.

  • Box Note

Available across web, Android and iOS, Box Notes offer basic editing tools. Also, it comes with a toolbar, so you can easily edit or organize the written data. This app offers cross-platform synchronization.

  • Apple Note

The best notes app for iPhone users. This app is widely available on iOS, Mac and Windows devices. Windows users can access the Apple Note through the web. It uses your iCloud credentials to sync data across all devices.

  • Quip

This app is available across all the platforms. The application boasts of a simple user interface. It gives you the option of adding another person to the note, so you both can edit it later. However, this app isn’t free and comes at a price of $30/mo.

  • Penultimate

Exclusive to iPad users, this app allows you to scribble and doodle on your iPad. This app was recently acquired by Evernote.

  • Squid

Available for android and windows users. Squid allows you to scribble notes onto your device. Also, it gives you the option to type in the notes using the keyboard. When you are done noting down, just export the file as PDF and view it later.

  • SomNote

Easy note app that allows you to sort your notes according to color. Also, it comes with password protection and encryption. Costs $39.99/mo but also offer a free version.

  • Paperwork

A free open source app that allows you to run your own server. So you can control what you want, when you want. However, it is not easy to execute and is best suited for people who have familiar knowledge of the coding.

The 5 Best Team Messaging Apps

Business Advice No Comment
5-best-team-messaging-apps

Source: Handshake.com

You would wonder why team-messaging apps are required when you have so many of instant messaging apps to communicate. Well, these apps help organize team conversations about different topics at the same time as well as give you the freedom to search for the question’s already answered.

In addition, you do not need to search for the email addresses or contact information of your company’s employee. These apps also offer conference video calls, screen sharing, private messaging and discussion groups. It helps to keep all communications in one place, which makes it easy for everyone to communicate.

Team messaging apps help save time and make your company an exciting place to work. Here are the five best team messaging apps for your company:

 

Slack
Platforms: Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, Web
Pricing: $8/month/user

“Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge” or Slack is an easy to use platform wherein you can join chat rooms based on the topic, and can also join private groups and enjoy direct messaging.

All the content inside slack is searchable including files, people and conversations. It offers a feature known as Teams, which allows groups, communities, or teams to join using a particular URL or invite sent by the team admin.

 

 

Stride (formerly HipChat)
Platforms: Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, Web
Pricing: $2/month/user

HipChat is a web service for the internal private online chat and instant messaging. Hipchat offers one-on-one and group/topic chat. Other features include cloud-based file storage, inline-image viewing, video calling and searchable message-history, 5 GB of file storage and SMS messaging. Custom emoticons and inline GIF playback are also noticeable features.

 

Workplace by Facebook
Platforms: Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, Web
Pricing: It offers a free 3-month trial account
$3/month/user for 1000 active users
$2/month/user for 1001-10000 active users
$1/month/user for more than 10000 active users

Workplace by Facebook allows you to communicate via different groups, to chat with employees and offers the features of the social network for your company. Walmart, Spotify, Air Asia, and Starbucks are noticeable clients of Workplace by Facebook.

It is also free for registered nonprofit organizations and staff of educational institutions.

 

Flock
Platforms: Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, Web
Pricing: $3/month/user

It allows users to configure different apps and integrations from their App Store, and receive notifications and updates directly into Flock app. The app supports multiple languages, including English, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. You can create multiple teams for the entire company, a department or selected members of the organization.

 

Microsoft Teams
Platforms: Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Web
Pricing: $6 /month for a normal subscription
 $15/month/user for a premium subscription

Microsoft Teams is a wonderful platform that helps you organize meetings, make notes, join chats and send attachments. You can easily integrate Microsoft Teams with the Office 365 subscription including Microsoft Office and Skype.

It has channels that are topics of conversation that allow your employees to communicate without the use of email’s or SMS (texting). Users can also reply to posts using different images, GIF or custom-made memes.

The 10 Best SEO Tools

SEO Tips No Comment

Source: PCMag.com

Search Engine Optimization is all you need in a world where every industry irrespective of its size, has its web pages selling their key products on the internet. This is why ‘optimization’ is required for your web pages. SEO tools make your websites appear on the Google’s top searches without the tag of AdSense. Also, and you even do not need to pay for your advertisement charges levied by Google. SEO is the largest source of free organic and targeted traffic. Here are the top 10 best SEO tools for your website to be browsed easily among billions of websites.

Ahrefs

It is used for conducting keyword research and is free to use. Ahrefs helps marketers to improve their search rankings. It has two main features: Site Explorer (used for back analysis) and Content Explorer (used for searching the most popular web content).

Seoquake

This tool is used for Competitive Research. It is free to use and comes as a free browser extension. The tool helps you in:

  • Conducting on-page SEO audit
  • Examining links
  • Exporting all data

Google Analytics

It shows complete web stats and searches insights. You get to know what keyword/terms are used to browse your website.

Keyword Planner

It lets you know what keyword people search for. Reach the right customers with
the right keywords. You can discover new keywords, compare keyword trends, create and share your plan. It lets you start using new keywords.

Google Trends

Explore trending topics and stories from all over the world.  You have filters to different categories and countries to choose from. You can also search for YouTube trends and can compare top charts.

Advanced Web Crawling

It includes selective, focused, distributed and parallel web crawling. Web Dynamics are also used for search engines to update indexes.

SEObility

This tool is used for performing SEO Audit of your website.

You can sign up for free or can get a paid account that allows usage for multiple domains. It lets you know as to how good your website is in terms of SEO. The four major features of the tool are:

  • SEO Check: Gives you tips on better search engine optimization
  • Ranking Compare: It checks your webpage’s ranking for any particular word.
  • Keyword Check: How frequently a certain keyword appears on a certain page.
  • SEO Compare: It will compare two pages for specific keywords.
  • Majestic SEO

It is the largest link index database. Developers, entrepreneurs, media analysts and SEO professionals use it. It has features like Site Explorer, Backlink History Checker, Search Explorer, and Link Intelligence API.

SEOptimer

The tool is used for Competitive Research. It’s free for use and comes as a free browser extension

LinkMiner

It finds out the backlinks that you can replicate easily. You can enter the domain for which you need to find backlinks. It also shows you the link strength and metrics. You can mine the most powerful backlinks of your competitors. You can also save the backlink opportunities for later.

How Broken Redirects affect SEO

SEO Tips No Comment

Broken Redirects SEOIf you want that your website should be a popular then, this popularity can only be achieved if Google has ranked your site fairly fine. For this, your SEO strategies must be good and free from all kinds of damages.

Broken links act as an unfruitful experience for your beloved customers. This is due to the reason that whenever a customer visits a website, he/she wants to immediately land on to the website which is useful for them. But, the interference of these unwanted links forbids that task. This is the reason as to why it is recommended not to have broken pages on your website.

When your website links to a different website, it is called outbound links. These outbound links affect SEO in the following ways:

Increase of load on your page

Under outbound links, a chain of redirects goes from one URL to another. At every step in this process, about 10-20% of authority is lost. This also increases all overload of the webpage. All this, in turn, decreases the quality of your website, and you lose your customers, unfortunately. Even a single step redirect can do this damage.

Increases the time of loading

There is no denying the fact that even a single redirect of URL can increase the loading time of the actual website one wants to reach. This wastes the time of all the visitors of a particular website. And certainly, that website may lose traffic in future.

Harm created via your internal links

Another way in which an outbound link can affect your SEO is through your internal links. Due to this defect, your internal links start to point out to those unnecessary URLs that are redirected to another place altogether.  This way the customers lands up to wrong and unwanted sites.

Following ways may help you to avoid outbound links:

  1. First and the foremost prevention you should carry from your side is keep on auditing your webpage and website on a regular basis. This gives you an assurance that your traffic is not directed to broken pages.
  2. If your site is comparatively large then it is not possible to check each page manually. Under such scenario, it is recommended to pay and have back-link checkers. These checkers help to find out the broken links and repair them.
  3. Try to update your page or content and do not remove it once you discover that your webpage is infected with outbound linking. This prevents unwanted 404 pages (it is that type of error which may result due to relocation or deletion of content on the page).
  4. Also, if the old content of your website still exists but you have changed the location due to outbound linking, then make sure to redirect the visitors to the new page. For this, 301 redirects can be used.

Above everything, if you want to save your website from such harmful attacks, and want a proper ranking on every search engine, then keep a regular check of your website. This regularity only helps you to catch and repair the problems at their roots only.

Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]

How Bing SEO Differs from Google SEO?

SEO Tips No Comment

Source: improvemysearchranking.com

We often forget to explore and understand the business opportunities which are provided by various search engines other than Google. Yahoo and Bing are undoubtedly two famous names. To a great surprise, they contribute about 33.6 % to the total searches in the U.S. In certain other industries, the percentile is even more when it comes to the total searches related to education, automotive, fashion, telecommunication, and the likes.

Google SEO and Bing SEO differ from each other considerably but if you know about Google SEO or have invested in it then you can easily see the search results on the various other search engines too. This implies because Google and Bing have many common ranking signals.

A few important differences between Bing SEO and Google SEO are as follows:

Keywords

Google’s search concept basically relies on the Semantic search theory- it focuses more on accuracy. Google tries to sense the intention behind the search. For this matter, the visitor is not required to enter the exact keywords for the right results. On the contrary, Bing requires the visitor to enter the most exact keywords for the optimum search results.

Moreover, if you are searching for something which can yield multiple meanings for a particular search, then Google makes use of Contextual clues whereas Bing focuses more on the local search results first.

Meta Keywords

As stated above, both the search engines Google and Bing share some common ranking signals. But Google doesn’t consider Meta Keyword as its ranking signal, unlike Bing which considers Meta Keywords to pose substantial influence on the search results.

Backlinks

Both Google and Bing give enough weight to the Backlinks. They basically are signs that indicate that your content proved useful to the visitors or the information provided by you is authentic and trustworthy.

Google accomplishes this with the help of PageRank whereas Bing relies on the age of the domain and other related extensions.

Social Signals

Google pays very less attention to the Social Signals whereas Bing is much more possessive about the Social Signals and considers it really important.

For facilitating business through Bing SEO, you will have to gather audience, tweets, likes, shares on various social media platforms. While Google considers Twitter and Facebook pages as merely indexed pages.

Multimedia Content

When it comes to multimedia content, both Google and Bing share a huge difference. Bing supports audio, video, graphics web content. It can also comprehend the content on the Flash Websites. That means, if you are looking for business through Bing and your website has a great deal of multimedia content, then it will be encouraged via Bing SEO.

Google primarily focuses on textual content and treats it as a priority, while Bing encourages more of the visually appealing and the multimedia content.

So, above mentioned are a few differences that make Google SEO differ from that of Bing SEO.

 

Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4]

Web Design Trends Predictions For 2018

Web Design Tips No Comment

Looking at the ongoing trends used in web design market, there is no denying that the motto for 2018’s web design trends will be ‘ready for everything’.

With the growing technology, we should be ready for some good technological surprises in the area of graphic web designing. All this is happening or will happen in the future due to the changing taste of the customers.

So, let’s look at some of the web design trends which may play an important role in 2018:

  • Telling a story through the web designs and conveying emotions

Storytelling is going to be the most used web design trend in 2018 without any doubt. Storytelling helps to connect the customers with the company they are interested in, as they convey the motto and bigger picture of that company.

So while designing a web page makes sure to put up a good story – that will keep the customers engaged to the company’s products, services etc. This web design trend of 2018 is all about building a more emotional or humane connection.

  • Use of Mobile phones will be prioritized

We all are aware that in today’s time, a person is more close to his/her mobile than any other thing. It is because it contains each and every kind of information you need on a daily basis and makes your work easy also.

So, in 2018, those web designs will be preferred more which are mobile-friendly. In fact, Accelerated Mobile Pages, (an open source coding which has the ability to load the websites more quickly), will be an important part of this trend.

  • Adoption of new trends of fonts and coolers

In order to keep up with the changing and the modernizing of the layout trends, one will need the type of fonts which have the ability to catch the attention of the customers and are new as well.

For, example bold colors and large fonts will help to keep the attention of the visitors on your website. They will be easier to read. The font colors will not be usual or boring. The main aim will be to create blissful and easy experiences for the customers.

  • Gauging the mood of the customers for proper interface

Honestly speaking, it will be a very huge and brand new web design trend in the coming year. This is difficult but not impossible. If human mood can be predicted and it can be used for design interface, then it would be a very witty invention in the world of web design. This is the reason that the mobile apps and software are becoming more and more personal.

  • Blending of progressive web apps with web designing

We all are aware of the fact that, various apps constitute about 60-70% of our mobile’s media. Now, this point was noted by web designers and they are coming out with various ways, to mix the best features of the web with various apps. In technical terms, this blending is called as Progressive Web App. Some examples of the same include- push notifications, splash screens etc.

Source: [1] [2] [3]

SEO Predictions for 2018

SEO Tips No Comment
SEO Predictions for 2018

Source: v9digital.com

The concept of SEO is evolving with each passing day. With new Google updates paving the path, many SEO practices have also come in the limelight.

In this case, the website owners too will have to make various strategies in order to enable their website stand among the top searches. For this, one should be aware of the latest Google updates and the SEO trends.

Here listed are some of the SEO predictions for the year 2018:

  • The evolvement of SERP features

Apart from the traditional organic ranking, in order to gain an audience on a website, SERP features too are becoming the choice of the website marketers. Some of the SERP features are local packs, featured snippets, knowledge panels etc.

Now the question is how can you accomplish this?

Well, with the help of software, one can easily find out the ranking of their website in accordance with the SERP features. Moreover, one can also supervise and find out those SERP features which boost your website’s keywords and that which also direct the targeted audience.

  • Structured data

It is a well-known fact that the area of search results is getting wider in terms of diversity. Under such scenario, one cannot ignore the chance to make full use of this fact. Structured data helps search engines to understand content using specific vocabulary, it also specifies the fact that how a content should be presented on SERPs. So, they definitely enhance your SEO ranking, and so you should try to incorporate structured data as soon as possible.

  • The fastest survives

Speed plays a vital role. It not only serves as a parameter that decides the ranking of your website but also serves as a major UX factor. The question arises what is termed as the “fastest”? Google specifies the page that loads in 3 seconds.

To begin with, examine the Google’s page speed. Launch the website auditor and build a project. After this, switch to the content analysis and enumerate the page on which the test needs to be carried upon.

  • Relevance 2.0

Google employs a number of ways to check the quality of content. One way out of them is to check if a piece of content is comprehensive or not. So, try to compress your content too. For this, you can use tools like Website Auditor or TF-IDF tools. These tools, search the best pages which can give you top ranking on search engines.

  • Voice search is the DEAL

Still not sure about carrying the search via voice? Let us tell you that as per Google census about 50% of the people carry voice search and this percentile is growing at a very fast pace. The most lucid feature about the voice search process is that one can use very common and normal sentences for the same.

These are some of the SEO predictions and trends that are expected to rule in 2018. What are your views on this? Do share with us in the comments.

Source: [1] [2] [3]