Episode 5: Soak An Entire Roll Of Toilet Paper In Kerosene

Guys and gals, we’re still trying to hash out this whole Mac Mini situation. And we detail portions of it in this episode. We also obtusely discuss the scammer situation in the after market sales arena. To sum it up for you here: It’s bad. Like, real bad. To the point that I ended up just taking my listings down because I never got any legitimate offers from actual local people. So, beware scammers when trying to sell your used items.

We discussed Apple. Again. A lot. Sorry not sorry.

And we bought a Chromebox! Having a full fledged, fully functional browser on your TV is kind of surreal. Something that pre-teen me would have salivated over.

Enjoy!

By |2018-11-18T08:43:12+00:00November 18th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Episode 5: Soak An Entire Roll Of Toilet Paper In Kerosene

Episode 4: It’s Gonna Be A Power Horse Computer

It’s interesting when you’re trying to purchase a used Apple product. People tend to have an overblown sense of what the price should be for something. A 6 year old computer, even an Apple computer, isn’t worth several hundred dollars. But I digress.

We get off to a great start complaining about a review for the Mac Mini. And we made some truly insightful things about the Mac products gained through this terrible review.

There’s a brief discussion about why you’ll never see Mac OS X available for purchase without Mac hardware.

Later we also talked about the differences between Microsoft’s business model versus Apple’s business model.

 

By |2018-11-11T11:23:13+00:00November 11th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Episode 4: It’s Gonna Be A Power Horse Computer

Voice Search

Speak: How Voice Search is Changing the Way we Ask and Answer Questions Online

 

It seems that human consciousness has been making another shift between written and verbal languages in the field of technology. And it is no surprise really. After all, cave drawings most likely came before speech in the prehistoric world. And oral story tradition had been the primary method of storytelling before the mass production methods of the printing press. It would make sense that speech would ebb back into the sphere of human influence. Especially since texting became a huge technological movement with cell phones over the last two decades.

But, part of me wonders, what does this mean for computer algorithms and search engines?

Also, what does it mean for the world of SEO? And how does that translate to how web-based businesses are trying to be seen (or heard )organically on search engines.

Well, computer scientists, mathematicians, and coders are already laying out the foundations for the implementation of this new movement.

 

How A Computer Can Recognize a Voice

 

There are four ways that a program can recognize speech patterns. 

  1.  The first is simple matching, where a word is recognized in its entirety, and it is compared to similar sound stored in the memory.  However, voice search, marketing, seo, since it relies only on the specific sounds stored in its memory, there is a wide margin of error.

2.  With this flaw in mind, the second form of speech recognition came to be, pattern and feature analysis. In this form of analysis, each word is broken into bits that are recognized from key features, like vowels, and other phenomes.

However, various languages use different phenomes. For instance, English uses about 46 phenomes while Spanish used only 26.

If a company wanted to sell speech recognition software internationally it would need to know what variables to keep and what to drop per user.

3. This lead to the third approach to speech recognition software, language modeling.

In language modeling, knowledge of grammar and the likelihood of certain sounds or words to follow each other is used to improve the accuracy and speed of voice recognition.  It’s like the predictive text of your cell phone. If you curse a lot, use slang, or antiquated vocabulary words, the predictive text and speech will pick up on your patterns.

However, there was still a problem with voice search and recognition software. The programs still didn’t know how to distinguish background noise and how to shut them out specifically. What’s more, there was still a strong chance for accuracy to suffer overall.

4.  The solution to that was to take the best model we knew for learning and recognizing human speech, our brains, and convert it to voice search software in the form of artificial neural networks.

 

If you want to learn more about it, Click here. It’s fascinating stuff. 

 

How Many People are Using Voice Search Now?

 

We know how it works, but do we have any proof that this is an actual trend. Yes, actually.

According to current data from both the NPR and Edison Research, “One-in-six Americans (16%) own a voice-activated smart-speaker.” It has also been shaping our current e-commerce marketplace. According to that same study, “22% of U.S. smart speaker owners have purchased something using their devices.” And the numbers are projected to rise drastically by 2022.

It is very tempting to take the information and to utilize this trending towards your business for fun and profit.

However, the very last thing I want to do is to contribute to another dotcom crash. Instead of telling you to do something foolhardy like invest in stocks that have no guarantee of returns, why don’t I tell you how you can set up your website for voice search software. It can increase awareness of your business all around. Mainly, by modestly working as part of a passive portion of your overall advertising and marketing portfolio.

 

How to Optimize your Website for Voice Search SEO

 

Voice searchThankfully, it is not all that difficult for you to optimize your website for voice search. Mainly, because of a lot of the steps for basic website SEO run are mostly the same steps that you would take for regular SEO. This includes making sure you are properly listed on Google maps and creating engaging content on your website. However, there is one notable difference that needs to be addressed if you are going to optimize your website for voice search.

It is keywords.

See, when it comes to speaking, and writing, people have different habits overall.

When a person is typing something up on Google, they have learned to treat it like a library index.  People expect to type in a word or three before they hit the search button and look at the front page.

When a person is asking a question organically, they speak in a complete question, as if talking to another person.  So if you want to optimize your keywords for voice recognition, the best way for you to go about it is to write down relevant questions as your keywords.

Why is that?

It is my personal hypothesis that it is because the act of typing and keyboarding was only stressed as a marketable skill for a few decades at best.  The act of talking and socialization, however, has been a marketable skill for as long as public speaking existed in ancient civilizations.  What’s more, people feel comfortable personifying things like inanimate objects and animals, because it gives people a chance to relate to something alien to them. So why should it be a stretch that we talk to our voice recognition software like we would another person?

 

Conclusion

As technology marches on, we continue to lean on both the written and spoken word. Who knows what will be in store for us by the year 2050. Until then, let’s learn to speak the language of voice search technology.

www.purpletieguys.com

By |2018-11-07T16:28:01+00:00November 7th, 2018|Post|0 Comments

Episode 3: Fresh Baked Lies

Well, we managed to squeeze another podcast out this week. This one is all about the Apple Keynote that dropped on Oct. 30th. They introduced a new MacBook Air, a new Mac Mini, and a new iPad Pro. All with impressive hardware spec bumps.

We get into a bit of a discussion about a YouTube reviewer who reviewed the keynote, claiming that the new iPad is for the 1%. We also discuss the futility of upgrading your Mac products.

By |2018-11-04T11:53:13+00:00November 4th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Episode 3: Fresh Baked Lies

Episode 2: The Most Ridiculous Business Card Sized Phone

Let’s get this out of the way. I was wrong about a lot of stuff on the Palm Phone off the bat. The cameras and storage, specifically. Here’s a link to a review by The Verge. If you’re interested in getting this extremely small smartphone, and you’re already on Verizon, and you’ve already got a data plan and phone service with them, here’s a link to the product page for the (snicker) Palm Companion Device.

We also discussed Google’s G Suite of products, specifically the email service. It’s leaps and bounds better than the C-Panel email we’d been using before. If you have been thinking about moving your email servers away from your web host, DO IT! What’s keeping you! Do it, now! And used Google’s G Suite.

By |2018-10-28T08:03:28+00:00October 28th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Episode 2: The Most Ridiculous Business Card Sized Phone

Digital Billboards: Should you Add it to the Digital Marketing Mix?

Digital Marketing: Billboards

 

Have you seen the two-hundred-foot-long billboards in the country beyond town? Did you know that once billboards were only twenty feet long? But cars started rushing by so quickly they had to stretch the advertising out so it would last.”- Clarisse, Farenheight 451

While we haven’t gotten a fire department that would be starting fires, as opposed to putting them out, one of the major themes that the book Farenheight 451 predicted was the rapid growth of technology. It also unwittingly predicted the detachment of personal connections that come with the increase of technology, and the gymnastics advertisers and marketers have to make to catch up.

But their future didn’t shape exactly the same way as our present. Instead of fast cars, large screens taking up the entirety of the walls, and violent teenagers, we have rising gas prices, little electronic screens that take up our lives, and teenagers that are too lazy to go outside to get in said violent fights. Not too bad a tradeoff.

The point I am making, however, is that while our billboards are still 20 ft long, the landscape of billboard advertising has changed to match our current technological landscape.

We can now debut our advertising electronically, along with public service announcements, the time, and even the temperature.

But what makes it a legitimate form of digital advertising? Is it too dangerous to invest in?

So, we are going to be talking about the history of the digital billboard, its progress, and the progress it has made for advertising.

 

The Birth of the Digital Billboard

 

digital marketing, billboardThere is no definitive timestamp for the launching of the first digital billboard. However, I can tell you what I found based on my research, and you can decide for yourself when that was.

Unofficially, Daktronics, a South Dakota based advertising company claimed on their official site that they were the ones to have at least been the first to integrate the idea of digital display on outdoor billboard advertising. According to them,

“Some of the first “digital billboards” we sold were not 100% LED displays. Before manufacturing full LED displays, we sold products to billboard companies here and there, but most of these consisted of static displays with a simple message center integrated into the campaign displaying messages or time and temperature displays. Full LED displays were simply too expensive for billboard operators to justify purchasing. When we began attending tradeshows for the billboard market, we were practically unknown. In the year 2000, this began to change, and we started to get interest from outdoor companies.”

This digital billboard was sort of a visual hybrid with a 2/3rd to 1/3rd ratio between a digital and traditional format. The pixel quality was low and it was an expensive endeavor at the time, but the concept was intriguing enough for Lamar’s Outdoor Services to try it out.

Daktronics claimed that it wouldn’t further catch on until 2004-2007.

According to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, the first digital billboard was erected in 2005. While the suggested timeline matches Daktronics, there was no mention of them by the OAAA, which leads to some confusion about when the first digital billboard was launched.

 

Safety Concerns

The job of any billboard on the road is to capture the attention of the passersby in traffic. That much is obvious. But when it came time to focus on the possibility of safety regulations, some people were worried about the potential damage that Digital Billboards could cause drivers.

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, (AASHTO), conducted a study in 2009, regarding that issue.

“Although some such signs use scrolling characters across a screen, and others use rotating
panels (called Tri-Vision or Roller-Bar signs), it is the LED technology that has the
greatest potential for capturing attention, and therefore, distracting the driver.”

This caused enough of a concern for highway beautification interest groups enough to bring it up in court. The Department of Transportation provided their own data and determined that this was not a problem.

The study concluded that while drivers certainly paid more attention to electronic billboards more than their nonelectronic counterparts, it was only by about 30 more milliseconds. It was not enough time to cause a drastic increase in accidents.

” The results were both well below the “currently accepted threshold of 2,000 milliseconds,” the study said.

 

A Conclusion to Part 1

So, we know how they came to be and how it affects the safety of drivers. This demonstrates that digital billboards are certainly a legitimate form of advertising with little ethical issue involved. But what sort of businesses are best for the electronic billboard format? Who responds to a billboard advertisement the best and what added advantages does the digital format have in comparison to its analog counterpart? The answers to these questions will come at a later date. Next week we will we look more at the” marketing” aspect of “digital marketing”. We will also examine the most effective ways digital billboards work for companies.

By |2018-10-26T16:18:32+00:00October 26th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Digital Billboards: Should you Add it to the Digital Marketing Mix?

Episode 1: Mt. Olive, you may have heard of the pickles.

In our premiere episode, Robert and I talk about getting started in business together, our lives before entreprenuership, and everything in between (without going into too much detail).

Join us as we go through the trials and tribulations of being business owners in our brand new podcast, The Purple Tie Show!

By |2018-10-21T19:03:11+00:00October 21st, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Episode 1: Mt. Olive, you may have heard of the pickles.

Citations

The Benefits of Using Citations

citing sources, citation

The written rules of grammar can be flexible. There are times when you can end a sentence with a preposition, use contractions, and use slang, and it is perfectly acceptable. And it makes sense. These rules change depending on the context and placement of what you are trying to accomplish. However, there are some rules in grammar and by extension, blogging that is absolutely sacrosanct. You always start your sentence with a capital letter, and you always end it with a punctuation mark. So, where does the rule of citing your sources fall on the basic rules of writing and grammar?

When it comes to blogging, citing your sources is not only common courtesy, it is considered an absolute imperative. Especially if you are trying to create content that is both relevant and accurate. Penalties for copying and pasting other people’s content can range from being buried by search engine algorithms to possibly getting sued by the original content creator.

However, there is more to citations than simply protecting your website and dodging legal trouble. There are some actual benefits that come with citing your sources and giving credit to other contributors.

 

You Appear More Credible to Others

Have you ever gotten into an argument with someone at 3 AM on Facebook over something that was clearly in the wrong with their political information? Have you ever needed to write a convincing essay or blog post about something you were passionate about? What would be the one thing that you could do to solidify an argument? You cite a source.

People spread useful information for means of survival. When people spread certain information to other people, they are trusting that information to have a benefit for everyone who is able to hear it.

So, when multiple people point to a single source of information as something reliable, they are giving it credibility.

When you point to where you can get your information, and combine it with an authoritative tone, you are far more likely to win the trust, or at the least begrudging respect, of your opposition. That is because you have clearly shown that you took the time to research and understand your position before you try to establish it in an argument.  People don’t respect others who don’t know what they are talking about. Especially when it comes to debate over serious and controversial topics.

 

citation, connectionsYou Can Make Connections

When you are crediting the people who research the topic you are writing about, you are essentially doing them a couple of favors. For starters, everyone loves recognition. Everybody, in some way, shape or form, likes the idea of their work deserving credit  That sort of recognition gives people a little ego boost, and who doesn’t need that from time to time when it comes to their own accomplishments?

Also, it helps reinforce the credibility of the source you just cited.

The one thing that people love more than a small amount of recognition, is a larger amount of recognition. When you reinforce the credibility of another person’s research and hard work, you are elevating them to a standard of important knowledge. So, people will feel more than flattered when you cite them as a source.

If you get in contact with the people you cite, it can also give you a chance to establish personal connections over something you are both passionate about. Who knows? Maybe if you keep crediting and contacting your sources, you might very well land a career out of something you blogged about?

 

It Boosts your Web Visibility

Getting your blog/business website indexed on a search engine is the fastest way to getting it seen. However, there is a laundry list of rules and regulations that these search engines go by that determine what is relevant, and what is not. There are a few things you can do to your site to make it count towards your favor. For instance, you can format your site so it is mobile friendly. Or you can blog at least once a day for five days a week to increase your activity count. And while that alone might work, that does nothing to draw other people towards your site.

This is where citation will help you out the most. When you link out to other sites and have them link back to you as a citation, more people will naturally find your website.

Not to mention, the algorithm for search engines like Google or Yahoo will reward you for it. When it sees you linking out to other pages both outside and inside your website, that gives them a trail to follow. When you give them a trail to follow, they will take notice and see it as credibility.

 

How To Cite a Source

Citing a source is ridiculously easy. All you need to do is create a link to what you are talking about. So, If I was talking about Huntsville, Alabama, I would link it and it will send you to a page that will talk about the city in length. Just make sure you keep it relevant and occasionally talk about the experts who you researched in the first place, and it will be smooth sailing from there.

 

If you like this article, Click here for more! If you want to set up an appointment with Robert, feel free to click on the pop up at the home page!

By |2018-10-23T12:12:45+00:00October 19th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Citations

Everything You Need To Know About Hiring A Marketing Consultant

Everything You Need To Know About Hiring A Marketing Consultant

Marketing Consultant is not an easy job, but in the digital age, it feels like there is so much to keep track of. Metrics, trends, and analytics data are more accessible than ever, but at the same time, it takes such a great effort cognitive- and time-wise to truly make use of them all.

This exasperation with the complexity of marketing is the decision point at which you may find yourself thinking about hiring a marketing consultant for your business. In digital marketing, you might find that it’s especially important to do this with SEO, which requires a large time and effort investment to get right and implement.

Hiring an SEO marketing consultant isn’t any more or less involved than hiring any other kind of consultant, but it comes with its own unique challenges. Here’s what you need to know.

Freelancer Or Agency?

In hiring your consultant, the first question you’ll have to answer is that of the budget, and that directly leads to a freelancer vs agency dilemma.

Freelancers are cheaper than agencies, and it’s typically faster to get the ball rolling with them since you’re only dealing with one person rather than a team. However, freelancers don’t have the benefit of the combined expertise of a dedicated SEO marketing team, and on top of that, they may well be juggling several projects at once, which can cause them to prioritize another client if they become overloaded at any time. It’s an unpredictable prospect.

On top of that, if your needs have a somewhat large scope, you might end up having to hire several freelancers at once, which requires micromanagement on an unwieldy scale because you’re going to have to align your objectives with each individual freelancer at once. And of course, if any single freelancer leaves the team, you’re going to have to go through a lengthy turnover process.

A better bet, even if it’s a more expensive one, is to hire a dedicated SEO marketing agency. Yes, it’s more expensive, but you’ll also get the benefits of having a team work on your project for you, with dedicated account managers and specialists taking care of alignment, reports, implementation, and team management. All you’ll have to worry about is the fulfillment of your SEO needs, not how it’s done behind the scenes.

And of course, working with an agency means building a long-term partner with whom you develop a relationship, who would eventually share your vision with you and understand your needs better than anyone else.

How To Choose A Consultant

As with any kind of consultant, choosing your SEO marketing consultant requires you to ask a few questions about their background and how they can help you.

1. How successful is your work with your other clients?

A successful SEO marketing consultant’s work should be plainly obvious – their clients should be highly-ranked in their niche on search engine results pages! Answering this question should involve determining whether their clients’ websites experienced improvements in their rankings on SERPs, and whether the consultant’s work is directly involved in these improvements.

Another quick way to determine if their work is good is to check their own website’s performance in their marketing niche. Many consultants market themselves within their region, so you can look up something like “SEO marketing agency [city/region/province/state]” and look for their ranking.

Finally, if they have any case studies to offer, that would be an extremely useful way of determining their success. Not only will you see how effective their work was, but you’ll also get a glimpse of their practices.

2. What are your methods in implementing SEO practices?

Asking this question and getting a meaningful answer involves researching about SEO on your own. Learn about best practices and deprecated techniques. See what makes good SEO keyword research tick. And of course, look for red flags like the use of Private Blog Networks or article spinning. Compare all that you find out, against the practices that your consultant candidate intends to use.

3. What are your KPIs and reporting methods?

Every business will have different ways of determining their success, and a good SEO marketing consultant will know how to isolate these key performance indicators and report them. Elucidating these reports and indicators to you will show how well they can demonstrate the success of their efforts – and thus your return on investment with them. It’s also important for them to report to you frequently and effectively, while not needing to be micromanaged.

Don’t Cheap Out

Good SEO is expensive, let’s get that out of the way. And it has to be because cheap SEO won’t just be ineffective, but it may even damage your SEO ratings! Cheaper SEO consultants and agencies often use shady or outdated tactics to improve your search engine rankings.

For example, we mentioned Private Blog Networks, which are sites that you can pay to have links to your site included in their posts. Google and other search engines are constantly cracking down on PBNs, and punishing sites that make use of them. If your potential consultant says that they make use of “link schemes” that don’t involve organic traffic, turn around and walk away!

They may also use keyword stuffing, an old holdover from the early days of search engines, which is another SEO “technique” that will end up getting your site treated as spam and sent into search engine oblivion, never to be found.

Finally, they may also output low-quality content. After all, good content needs not only the expertise of the marketing consultant, but also an editor, a manager, research skills, and all these other man-hours that you simply can’t cheap out on.

Start Early

The minute your digital marketing presence is created, it should be optimized to improve its rankings in your niche as much as possible. Starting early with reach and engagement is key in order to capture as many potential customers as possible.

SEO is a long and involved process that will build up steam and grow an audience over time, and you need a marketing consultant who will be with you every step of the way, building a relationship with you and your needs. That means you should make sure you hire someone you trust, and who you believe aligns with what you want to happen. Do your homework, don’t scrimp on this, and you’ll achieve success.

By |2018-10-19T12:45:17+00:00October 19th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Everything You Need To Know About Hiring A Marketing Consultant

Know the Difference: Good Internet Marketing

Good Internet Marketing: What does it look like?

So, I mentioned before that internet marketing, in general, is more of a solid business decision than a fly by night fad. Building a website, creating a product listing for your store, or at least listing your location on Google will more likely help than hurt.  However, I cannot help but feel more inclined to hit my head against a wall repeatedly when I see the video search results for internet marketing techniques.

 

internet marketing

 

There is a laundry list of promises for passive income that range from $100 dollars a day. Some of these promises range into 5 digits. And these promises are made by people who either only know a fraction of what they are talking about. Either that or they are so desperate to get rich quick that they are willing to lie.  It is people like that, that give people who truly want to work in promoting other businesses a bad name. And the terrifying thing about it? Desperate and hopeful people continue to fall for it. The hype of false internet marketing claims that are not only unsustainable but can cost them what little they already have.

Since a lot of these “courses” stem from either a fundamental misunderstanding of how internet marketing works, I am going to go over the seven different types of online marketing and the ideal situation you want to be in when applying them.

 

Search Engine Optimization

As much as we talk about it, we don’t talk enough about the right timing for businesses to undertake SEO services. For those of you who have recently visited this site, or have never read internet marketinganother article about it, here is a brief definition.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.

This is done through a series of strategies that increase the odds of your website being accessed by people looking for your type of goods or service.

The ideal situation to start implementing SEO services would be :

  • If you have a strong business model already in place
  • If your website is easily accessible for everyone to see
  • And If you understand that this produces slow but long-term results

 

Search Engine Marketing

While the term has become somewhat generalized to mean all kinds of internet marketing regarding search engines, Its original definition still stands in marketing circles.  Search engine marketing is a form of internet marketing that increases the visibility of websites, through paid advertising. Think Google Ads with a combination of SEO and a small amount of PPC. This form of advertising has seen a lot of backlash lately since people have become warier of clicking on ad results on search engines over the years.

Still, it is a viable method of advertising if your company:

  • Has an older, more established website
  • Wants more results from an older/ less internet savvy target demographic
  • Can afford to spend more money for results to save time

 

Pay Per Click

This often goes hand in hand with Search Engine Marketing and is often hosted by the same top-tier search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Facebook. In the PPC model, advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Once the click happens advertisers do their best to gain business from the website visitor. If the cost of the incoming business is worth more than the price of the advertisement, then the business gets a profit.

While the idea of it sounds tempting, this only works for certain business objectives, ones that rely on the impulsivity of the potential customer.  For this model to work you would need:

  • An online store on your site
  • You are creating a contact list from those clicks
  • Money to invest in those ads
  • A good or service that requires little risk on the part of the consumer

 

Content Marketing

This form of marketing is a little more subtle but can be powerful depending on who you get behind your product or service. This sort of marketing is the internet version of “word of mouth”. It involves the creation and sharing of online material that does not expressly exist for the sole purpose of branding but does at least garner some interest in a product or service. This sort of marketing is more organic compared to its other counterparts.  However, because it is organic, you will get new business and genuine interest this way.  This sort of marketing is good for:

  • Businesses  that can give away free samples to influencers
  • A business with a brand/identity that coincides with the influencers
  • Businesses that let their product speak for itself.

 

Affiliate Marketing

This sort of internet marketing revolves around the idea of two different companies or affiliates to work symbiotically for mutual profit. Affiliate marketing is an online sales tactic that lets a product owner increase sales by allowing others targeting the same audience – “affiliates” – to earn a commission by recommending the product/ website to others.  I see this all the time on Youtube channels for things like Audible and the Dollar Shave Club.

It works with a more niche environment, and it is certainly not for everyone. To pull it off successfully, businesses that want to use this tactic need:

  • A good business partnership
  • A strong tactic that can close sales and increase profit for both you and your partner
  • Enough time and creativity to update content regularly.

 

Email Marketing

This is a case where the marketing term is exactly what it says on the tin. Email marketing is the act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email. It is probably the oldest form of internet marketing, yet is the hardest method used to get clientele.  While it is cheaper and easier to send than traditional mail, it is the absolute worst way to get in new clientele. This is due to the existence of spam filters, and the occasional fear of malware or viruses that come from e-mail attachments.

Email marketing is best when:

  • Your company is contacting previous clients
  • You have a newsletter or a promotion for people who already opted in on receiving messages
By |2018-10-13T14:26:56+00:00October 13th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Know the Difference: Good Internet Marketing