Monthly Archives: July 2016

Center Is Coming to Shenzen

Apple Inc. will set up a research and development center in China’s manufacturing metropolis Shenzhen, the U.S. tech giant said on Wednesday, as the firm looks to spur growth in the world’s second largest economy amid growing competition.

The Shenzhen hub follows a similar plan for a center in Beijing, and comes as Apple is looking to bounce back in China, where local rivals like Huawei Technologies, OPPO and Vivo have been taking market share from its flagship iPhone.

Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook announced the plan during a meeting with senior officials from the southern Chinese city where he is attending a nation-wide innovation event, the Shenzhen Economic Daily reported.

“We are excited to be opening a new Research and Development center here next year so our engineering team can work even more closely and collaboratively with our manufacturing partners,” Cupertino-based Apple spokesman Josh Rosenstock said in emailed comments.

“The Shenzhen center, along with the Beijing center, is also aimed at strengthening relationships with local partners and universities as we work to support talent development across the country,” he said.

The Shenzhen Economic Daily, citing Cook, said Apple was keen to attract talented software developers in the city, which remains an important center for manufacturing Apple products. It added Terry Gou, founder and chief executive of Apple’s major supplier Foxconn, also attended the meeting.

In August Cook unveiled plans for a Beijing-based R&D facility, its first in China, and promised to invest more in China during a visit to the country.

What is The different Between External and Internal Links

Understanding and using the difference between external and internal links strategically as part of your overall digital marketing plan is an important part of SEO. Each type of link has its place in a strategic SEO plan aimed at boosting your position on the search engine results page.

External or internal links: What’s the difference?
External links point from one domain to an entirely separate domain. They may be links from your website to another website to provide additional information for readers, or they may be links from your website to an affiliate program. Links from other sites into yours can also be called external links, although the preferred term is “inbound” links, to distinguish them from links you’ve added to your own site that connect to other sites.

Internal links only point within your own specific website or domain. The menu bar at the top of your site includes internal links. Links from pages on your site to your contact page are another simple example of internal links.

In summary:

External = links that point to a separate domain
Internal = links that point to content within the same domain
Using external and internal links for SEO
Both external and internal links have a place in an SEO plan. Here’s how you can use them strategically.

External links can build visibility. External links from other websites into your content are a great source of free traffic as well as an important component of Google’s search engine algorithm. The quality and the quantity of links count. For example, links from poor-quality sites can actually have negative consequences.

To encourage links into your own website, add rich, relevant contentto your site. Develop an outreach program offering to guest post on other sites in your niche in exchange for a link into your own site. Other ways to encourage inbound links or external links into your site include adding link-embedded infographics with HTML code that can be copied and used on other sites, direct requests to webmasters to add links and more.

External links may help readers more than you. Links that point to someone else’s site are a great benefit for your readers, but add little in terms of strategic SEO value. These links may connect readers to resources such as products or information you deem valuable. But keep in mind that, in that case, the SEO benefits accrue for the website you link to, not your own.

Internal links can build your SEO. Internal links confer several SEO benefits. When search engine spiders find your site, they follow links to discover additional pages on your site. They follow these link webs so that they can discover and archive as many relevant pages as they can on one visit.

Sure, you can leave pages unlinked to others on your site and hope that the search engines will find each page. But that may take weeks, even months, for them to get to your page. With millions of new web pages added daily, those spiders are quite busy.

Internal links also form the structure of your website. A logical linking structure is both visually appealing and effective. It helps organize the content on your site and helps visitors find information quickly. Common page elements, a concise menu bar, and natural page links sprinkled throughout your site help both readers and search engines find your content.

Find and fix broken links
One thing that will detract from your SEO score are broken links. These are links that no longer work. They may no longer work because the target website for an external link is offline, or a page has moved. One or two broken links probably won’t impact your rankings, but multiple broken links may harm them.

Regardless of their impact on search traffic, broken links lead to a poor reading experience and decreased traffic. It’s a good idea to identify and fix them to improve your website.

To find and fix broken links, use tools such as Broken Link Checker. It’s a free tool that simply scans your site to find broken links. You then go into each page, find the link and remove or fix it.

Related Book: Ultimate Guide to Link Building by Eric Ward and Garrett French | Amazon | eBooks.com | Barnes & Noble

Links are only the start
SEO experts estimate that there are between 100 and 200 elements that Google and other search engines consider as part of their algorithm to calculate your site’s position on search engine results pages. Internal and external links are a small, but important, part of this exercise, in the big scheme of things.

PC is Not See a Comeback

Global personal computer shipments declined for the eighth consecutive quarter, marking the longest downturn in PC history.

Worldwide sales totaled 68.9 million units in the third quarter of 2016 — a 5.7 percent drop from the same time last year, according to Gartner. The research firm cited manufacturers’ “many challenges,” including weak back-to-school demand and lessening appeal among the consumer market, especially in emerging areas.

“There are two fundamental issues that have impacted PC market results: the extension of the lifetime of the PC caused by the excess of consumer devices, and weak PC consumer demand in emerging markets,” Mikako Kitagawa, principal Gartner analyst, said in a statement.

Most people own and use at least three different types of devices, she continued, adding that “the PC is not a high priority device for the majority of consumers, so they do not feel the need to upgrade … as often as they used to.

“Some may never decide to upgrade to a PC again,” Kitagawa said.

For now, Lenovo is the top PC maker with 20.9 percent of the market, followed closely by HP with 20.4 percent; Dell pulls up the rear with 14.7 percent. But while Lenovo is in the midst of a six-quarter slump, HP and Dell have recorded shipment growth since Q2. Rounding out the top five are Asus (7.8 percent), Apple (7.2 percent) and Acer (6.7 percent). Gartner’s data covers desktops, laptops and ultra-mobile (Microsoft Surface) PCs; Chromebooks and iPads were not considered.

And while mobile PCs — notebooks, 2-in-1s, Windows tablets — showed single-digit year-over-year growth, the overall results were marred by a decline in desktop shipments, according to Kitagawa.

In the U.S., PC shipments totaled 16.2 million units in the third quarter — a 0.3 percent decline from the same period last year. “With so many PCs already in the consumer market, U.S. consumers do not feel the need to buy new PCs; many parents hand down old PCs to their kids,” Kitagawa said.

The U.S. did, however, see an uptick in Q2 shipments, according to July reports, which tipped the country’s growth at almost 5 percent, according to IDC; Gartner suggested a more conservative, but still positive, 1.4 percent.

Taking a Bite out of the Booming App

“There’s an app for that” used to be a tongue-in-cheek slogan in the iPhone’s early days. Now, it’s a fact of life: By 2020, it’s estimated that 6.1 billion people will rely on smartphones. Users will install 210 billion apps between now and then, a trend that will earn developers a collective $57 billion in revenue in 2020 alone.

Related: 4 Ways a ‘Data-Driven’ Approach Anticipates Buyer Behavior

Apps are quickly becoming a brand imperative. But going after downloads or in-app purchases isn’t enough anymore; those are just the beginning stages of a product’s life cycle. To make apps a part of long-term growth strategies, companies must evolve these products based on users’ behaviors.

Every business needs an app

The app industry is big — and getting bigger — but the major proportion of the industry’s usage and revenue are still concentrated among the top 200 apps. Localytics found that 20 percent of apps are used only once. Consumers are far more likely to use Facebook, Twitter and YouTube than spend time exploring more novel smartphone products.

A word-of-mouth campaign might draw users to a new app, but what happens when their initial curiosity wears off? If there’s nothing that repeatedly engages their attention, they’ll reopen Instagram or Snapchat, as fresh content from a reliable source will always beat the flashy new thing.

Brands can’t rest on their laurels, then. They must constantly iterate on their apps to retain users. But launching occasional updates or announcing minor tweaks once a quarter isn’t enough. “Twenty-five new features” that no one wants won’t have as powerful an impact as the one key upgrade that aligns with users’ expectations and in-app behaviors.

People have finite time and energy. They want to know that an app is worth their attention, so companies must make their value propositions clear. Perhaps your company can offer users a coupon for $10 off a new feature as a thank-you for creating their in-app profiles. Such incentives will keep the app top of mind so users return to it often. At that point, brands can track users’ behavioral patterns in order to deliver better customer experiences.

Building effective apps

Companies that don’t monitor in-app behavior are taking shots in the dark with their marketing strategies. In contrast, businesses that know how and when customers use their apps can formulate campaigns based on their audiences’ needs. Users will be thrilled by the personalized experiences and become increasingly reliant on the app, as a result.

Behavioral data also plays an important role in feature road maps. Your development team might brainstorm 15 cool-sounding functions, but none of those will land effectively if customers aren’t interested in them.

Brands can’t know what the best feature set is until they monitor their customers’ patterns. How long do they stay within the homepage feed? How often do they hit “refresh”? Do they go down rabbit holes to discover new features? Or, do they favor the same one or two options over and over again?

Here’s how companies can answer those questions and build effective long-term strategies:

1. Integrate with an analytics service.

Dozens of platforms offer must-have analytics services for any company that’s serious about app monetization. The price points vary from free access to several hundred dollars a month, so there are affordable options for businesses at every level. Choose a solution based on which data types it collects and how deep it can go when gathering insights.

Google Analytics, the tried-and-true website standard, works wonderfully with both iOS and Android. It tracks how often users open an app, how long their sessions last and where they are when they’re using it. Google Analytics also records usage flows and button taps. Optimize the customer experience around these insights by creating a more intuitive, customized mobile experience.

2. Transition to feature-rich platforms as the app grows.

As the app gains traction, upgrade to more complex services, such as Mixpanel or Flurry. These platforms track in-depth metrics, including the average number of social media friends, frequency of social posts and engagement drop-off points. Deeper analytics go beyond anonymous user data and provide information about behaviors within the app ecosystem.

Branch.io enables companies to record the entire customer journey, from the moment users tap an ad in Safari to the time it takes to click download in the App Store. Those data points indicate which marketing campaigns and promotions work.

3. Refine the app experience based on user behavior.

Behavioral patterns offer raw, real-time customer feedback. Analyze this data to learn which areas draw the most attention and which inspire people to use the app day after day. Invest in the areas that generate the most significant engagement and ROI. People will appreciate the fact that the app both meets their needs in increasingly specific ways and feels customized to their interests.

Related: 6 Tips on Getting Customer Feedback and Making It Actionable