The Opening Bell: Where currencies start on Friday, November 30, 2018

FED FOMC minutes from the November 8 meeting just out:
– Almost all policy makers say rate hike warranted ‘fairly soon’.
– Many said it might be appropriate at some upcoming meetings to begin putting greater emphasis on evaluating incoming data.
Nothing else of note, and very little movement initially from it.

Yesterday the big news was the USD sell off after Powell’s speech, which stole some of the Meeting minutes thunder, with the highlight being the comment that they are just below the neutral rate. As the Market digested this yesterday the USD came back a little, as traders wondered if it got a touch ahead of itself.  Previously the Fed has stated that it is likely to go a bit above neutral anyway, so if the neutral rate is circa 2.5-3.5%, by definition we are indeed just below that. One hike this year and four next year still only takes us to a 3.5% Federal Funds rate, so maybe the comment was not as dovish, and not as big a change in the Feds thinking as it appears.

NZ Business confidence came out at -37.1, the same as last time. At the extremes this was really market moving, but for now has fallen somewhat to the background.

Australian Private Capital Expenditure missed, but it is a volatile data point, and there was little reaction.

Teresa May is out saying the analysis shows the negotiated Brexit Deal is the best deal, and the EU has made it clear it is the only deal. A fairly healthy dose of scaremongering one expects, and a few more headlines like this from May before the December 11th vote will be no surprise.

Nothing too major on the economic calendar for the weekend.

Global equity markets are mixed, Dow -0.24%, S&P 500 -0.19%, FTSE +0.49%, DAX -0.01%, CAC +0.46%, Nikkei +0.39%, Shanghai -1.32%.

Gold prices are up 0.2% trading at $1,224 an ounce. WTI Crude Oil prices have bounced from their lows, currently up 0.2% on this time yesterday trading at $51.88 a barre

[“source=gsmarena”]

7 Digital Marketing Jobs That Didn’t Exist 10 Years Ago

Digital jobs that didn’t exist 10 years ago photo credit: GettyGetty

When asked what degree I have to be in digital marketing, I get very confused looks when I tell them that not only do I not have a marketing degree, I actually have two degrees in journalism. In fact, at least half of my digital co-workers have journalism degrees or something similar and not digital marketing degrees. Why? Well, because when we were in school there wasn’t a digital marketing option. In fact, when we were in school, most of our jobs didn’t even exist yet. Luckily there are now many programs offered in digital marketing and some great career options in the field.

Here’s a look at 7 digital marketing jobs that didn’t exist 10 years ago and the average salaries for those positions.

Digital Marketing Specialist

With the rise of everything moving to digital, so did marketing. Instead of billboards, commercials and direct mail- we now have online ads, YouTube ads and email. While the objectives and goals of digital marketers are still in line with other marketing professionals, digital marketers had to pivot to be more tech-savvy and digitally focused concentrating on effective online marketing campaigns and digital messaging for consumers.

Avg. Salary: $51,984

Vlogger

While bloggers have been around since the early 90s, YouTube wasn’t released until 2005 starting the age of online cat videos. Many successful vloggers, also called “influencers” use their platform to make money through product sponsorship, reviews and advertising on their videos. Today’s biggest YouTube Vlogger is estimated to be worth around 15.5 million. Vloggers are digital marketers in a sense that they market products and their brand on social media. Who knew that marketing yourself could be a job?

[“source=forbes]

Dollar rallies as oil-linked currencies skid amid crude’s price drop

The U.S. dollar inched higher versus its main rivals on Friday, as U.S. traders returned from the Thanksgiving holiday, and investors closely tracked an intensifying decline in crude oil.

The global oil benchmark, Brent for January delivery LCOF9, +1.97%  was down nearly 5%. Growing output continues to weigh on the oil price, despite a recent cold snap. The price drop hurt financial assets across the board, including stocks and commodity-linked currencies.

Don’t miss: 6 key reasons the ‘bottom is falling out’ of oil prices on Black Friday

The Norwegian krone USDNOK, -0.4397%  led developed market losers, trading near its lowest level since May 2017, with one dollar fetching 8.5915 krone, up from 8.5349 late Thursday in New York. Canada’s dollar USDCAD, -0.2947%  also weakened versus its U.S. rival, leaving the greenback to rise to C$1.3208, from C$1.3190.

In emerging markets, oil-linked currencies, the Russian ruble USDRUB, +0.4221%  drifted sharply down, recently at 66.224 ruble per one dollar, compared with 65.603 ruble late Thursday.

As for the greenback’s trade against major rivals, the ICE U.S. Dollar Index DXY, -0.12%  was up 0.1% at 96.830, headed for a 0.4% gain this week.

Elsewhere, European markets continued worrying about Brexit developments ahead of a key summit this weekend.

The future for Gibraltar — a British-held peninsula in the south of Spain — following Brexit is the latest hurdle to emerge during the U.K.’s divorce from Brussels, with Spain demanding to get more of a say in the future of the key transport hub.

Meanwhile, embattled U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May has been trying to appeal to the British public to support the deal she agreed to with the EU on Thursday. The deal had led the pound to climb higher.

On the data front, November PMIs for the eurozone underperformed consensus estimates, with the composite index coming in at 52.4, versus 53 expected, which also weighed on the euro. A reading of at least 50 indicates improving conditions.

The weaker-than-expected data dealt a blow to any investors looking for a eurozone rebound in the fourth quarter, market participants said.

“Continued weakness will have many beginning to doubt the ECB’s ability to hike rates next year,” said Win Thin, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman. “Quantitative easing will undoubtedly end in December but talk of another TLTRO [targeted longer-term refinancing options] is feeding into a more dovish take on the ECB.”

[“source=forbes]

Climate change will cost economy hundreds of billions of dollars, government says in sweeping report

Bob Richling carries Iris Darden as water from the Little River starts to seep into her home on September 17, 2018 in Spring Lake, North Carolina. 

Bob Richling carries Iris Darden as water from the Little River starts to seep into her home on September 17, 2018 in Spring Lake, North Carolina.

Climate change will cost the U.S. economy hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century, damaging everything from human health to infrastructure and agricultural production, according to a government report issued on Friday.

The White House dismissed the congressionally mandated reported as inaccurate.

The report, written with the help of more than a dozen U.S. government agencies and departments, outlined the projected impact of global warming in every corner of American society, in a dire warning that is at odds with the Trump administration’s pro-fossil-fuels agenda.

“With continued growth in emissions at historic rates, annual losses in some economic sectors are projected to reach hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century – more than the current gross domestic product (GDP) of many U.S. states,” the report, the Fourth National Climate Assessment Volume II, said.

Global warming would disproportionately hurt the poor, broadly undermine human health, damage infrastructure, limit the availability of water, alter coastlines, and boost costs in industries from farming, to fisheries and energy production, the report said.

[“source=cnbc”]

One Man’s Mission To Teach More People Of Color How To Code

Photo credit: Pexels.comPixabay

Antoine Patton is on a mission: He wants to teach more people of color to code. His goal is to help 2,020 people learn how to code by the year 2020. Patton wants to increase gender and racial diversity in the tech industry. “If more people of color had easier access to learn how to code, program, project manage…then there would be a lot more people of color in tech,” Patton asserts. “[There would be] a wider pool of people for employers to select from and hence a lot more diversity.” It’s no secret that diversity is lacking in the tech industry. When looking at the demographics, women, Blacks, and Hispanics are grossly underrepresented. One study found that 70.6% of computers programmers in the United States were White. The 2018 diversity report in major tech companies like Google, Microsoft, and Facebook reflect similar findings. And while it is commonly understood that the STEM field lags behind in this area, it has been difficult for companies to make strides toward increased representation.

Antoine Patton teaching his daughter, Jay Jay, how to code.Antoine Patton

In an effort to close this gap, Patton has made it his mission to teach others how to code, offering free online classes. Patton first learned to code in 2011 while incarcerated. He found a book on JavaScript and began teaching himself. He was then mentored by another inmate who was proficient in computer programming. Patton’s mentor made him promise to pass the knowledge he shared with him onto others once he was released from prison. Patton stayed true to his word and began sharing his knowledge of coding with others. Before becoming the chief technology officer at his software consulting firm, Patton worked at three different tech companies and had over 50 freelance jobs. He teaches the coding courses through an online school he is developing called Unlock Academy. The purpose of Unlock Academy is to teach others about the tech industry and to educate people about the essentials of programming. The coding classes are taught in a live and interactive environment, that allows students to ask questions. After completing the course, the participants are connected with business owners who can provide internship opportunities. Patton is adamant about teaching kids to code at an early age. He taught his 10-year old daughter how to code and she was even able to build an app for him. “When I was released from prison, I started teaching my daughter how to code…my charity had a website but I never got around to building the mobile app. In November 2017, my daughter took the initiative to start building the app and was done building it by February 2018. It was live in the app store by April 2018.”

Research supports the benefits of teaching skills, like coding, at an early age. The Center for Childhood Creativity came out with a 2018 report on the roots of STEM success. The report indicates that an early focus on STEM learning can positively impact a child’s brain architecture and thinking skills. There are also several documented advantages to teaching coding in the classroom. Students who know how to code are better equipped for the technology revolution. In addition, teaching students how to code helps them develop and harness skills that will make them more marketable on their job search. More schools should consider making coding a regular part of the curriculum.

Increasing diversity in the STEM field goes beyond simply hiring and retaining more diverse talent. It starts at an early age. Research indicates that for the majority of scientists, their interest in science began well before middle school. Being able to spark a child’s interest in the STEM field and offer opportunities for them to grow and develop that interest, may be the missing ingredient to fostering more diversity in the tech industry. “It’s important to teach our youth how to code. They will out-consume us when it comes to mobile device usage so it’s critical we start teaching them how this technology they love so dearly is created and maintained…we want them to willingly grab the torch and lead the digital era we live in,” Patton says.

[“source=marketingweek]

Why is credit card usage on the rise?

Clockwise from top: Sumit Bali, Ranjit Punja, Surya Bhatia, and Vijay Jasuja

In the past couple of years, credit card outstanding has been increasing. It went up 35% in value during the April-October period in FY18. We ask experts about the increased focus on credit cards

Sumit Bali, senior executive VP and head-personal assets, Kotak Mahindra Bank

If you look at the overall lending market, there is hardly any demand from companies. A lot of repricing is happening, but there is no fresh demand coming in. It is the same story for home loans as well. These are two big segments going through a slowdown. On the large ticket loans, a lot of churn is happening. Borrowers with higher rates of interest are negotiating and getting lower rates or moving to other banks at a lower rate. Overall, that segment is not growing for the bank.

However, the unsecured piece has been growing. Over the last few years, we have seen systemic change in unsecured lending. Today, you have a lot of information from the (credit) bureaus. Fintech companies give you a lot of data about a customer. Even if you don’t have a customer’s credit history, you can still onboard her based on other data about her. Based on the transaction history from her savings account, though she is a new-to-credit customer, a bank is now comfortable to lend. Also, post-demonetization, acceptance of card has grown.

Another reason why personal loan is growing is that there is a segment now that is happy to consume now and pay later. Today if you want to go on a holiday or buy latest gadgets, the new generation is happy to take a loan. As consumers, you should use credit card sensibly because ultimately it will reflect on your credit history.

Vijay Jasuja, chief executive officer, SBI Card

Overall, credit card spends have increased 42% year-on-year. Our credit card outstanding growth has been 80% year-on-year. There are multiple reasons for the growth in spends. Firstly, the e-commerce boom has increased the spends on the cards. Secondly, the confidence level of consumers to use cards has gone up post-demonetization. Earlier, there was a concept that unless you have a credit history you will not be eligible for a credit card. But now individuals have a higher income in their first year of job itself. But they don’t have a credit history. Technically, they will be called new-to-credit customers. Another segment is the individuals in the tier 1 and 2 cities who see their peers using cards.

The question is, will the bubble burst if credit card spends go up significantly? In the credit card asset portfolio, the credit card outstanding amount is of people who are away from the due date. There are customers who get their high-value spends converted to EMIs, which has also increased the overall credit card outstanding amount. Then there are people who don’t have sufficient liquidity to pay. They pay a minimum amount and revolve the facility with high interest. This is the segment (that is) risky. About 20-27% of our customers fall in the last segment and it is consistently the same. That means additional and new-to-credit portfolio are not bringing in additional risk.

Ranjit Punja, co-founder and CEO, Creditmantri.com

Largely, since the last downturn in the economy, lenders have become careful about who they lend to. They typically only lend to those who have demonstrated a good credit score. They have clamped down on bad credit customers. However, today, with a general upsurge in income, the  whole advent of e-commerce, the ability to pay online and digitally savvy customers has led to utilisation of more income. Banks have started believing that newer fintech models are probably the way to go in terms of underwriting. At this point, it is a drop in the ocean. Banks are making the underwriting journey simpler. There is a lot of data available digitally.

Time will tell if that is a good way to look at lending. At this moment, the end users are enjoying the benefit. Typically, in the financial world, you see these ups and downs. You will see a bad credit cycle and then delinquencies. I am concerned with newer models that are not time tested.

As a consumer you shouldn’t spend beyond your means. Credit card and unsecured loans tend to do that to you, especially for people who don’t have the discipline to borrow and repay. Credit card is a simple way to overspend. And interest rates are very high. Being credit wise is critical for someone who has not used a credit card ever. Our advice is to start small, display discipline and make sure you service you debt.

Surya Bhatia, New Delhi-based financial planner

The push by the government has helped India convert to a cashless economy. Meanwhile, none of the banks want to miss out on the retail population. The people in the higher income bracket were already having a credit card. Digital banks like Patym Payments Bank will give this a further push. The bigger banks want to have the bigger pie, which includes the HNI segment and those in the higher income group. But the real money in terms of volume is the young population. Everyone wants to grab hold of that population. The young millennials are the people who want to spend, especially digitally.

There is also a bit of loyalty factor. For instance, I still hold the credit card that I got for the first time. In the last many years, I have bought two other cards and discarded them too. But my first credit card still continues. There is no specific reason why I hold on to it. Every bank wants to cash in on that population. The idea is to catch them young and to make them stick with you.

Consumers have also changed. They are now spoilt for choices. In the early days, they used to pay for credit cards. Now there is no concept of paying for cards. For instance, if you spend a certain amount, most of the card providers waive off the charges.

Logically, you should not have more than one card. And better still is stick to a debit card. Once you understand debit cards well enough, then may be opt for a credit card.

[“Source-livemint”]

SBI changes IFSC Codes of 1,300 branches; here’s how you can check bank names and new codes

SBI changes IFSC Codes of 1,300 branches; here's how you can check bank names and new codes

India’s largest public sector bank SBI has changed names and IFSC Codes of nearly 1,300 of its 25,000 branches in the country’s major cities owing to its merger with five associate banks and a ‘Bharatiya Mahila Bank’ in April. The Indian Financial System Code (IFSC) is an 11-digit alpha-numeric system that uniquely identifies all bank branches participating in the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) fund transfer system. The IFSC Code is mandatory to send or receive money online from one bank account to another. The SBI authorities say the decision to change the names as well as IFSC Codes was taken due the merger. They clarified it would not cause any problem to customers in case payment comes through old IFSC Code as the system would automatically map it with the new code.

Most changes with regard to name and IFSC Code have been done in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Lucknow after the State Bank of India merged its associate banks State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, and also Bhartiya Mahila Bank into itself. “Some of our old associate branches are getting merged with SBI branches. When that merger happens, the IFSC codes get changed,” SBI managing director (retail and digital banking) Praveen Gupta told PTI. He added though customers have been informed, the new codes have been mapped internally to send payment to the new or original IFSC code branch. Click on the hyperlink to know the changed bank names and their new IFSC Codes.

Meanwhile, the bank has also offered a refurbished ‘SBI Internet Banking’ facility for its customers to access their accounts and make transactions through RTGS, NEFT or IMPS methods. On its website (onlinesbi.com), the bank has given two options for its customers under personal and corporate banking categories. Those making singular transaction can avail personal banking, while you can click on corporate banking option to make non-personal transactions. If you are new to online banking, here are the steps to be followed to make quick and hassle-free transactions.

  • Register for the internet banking with your SBI branch, which will provide a Pre Printed Kit (PPK) comprising username and password for your first-time online login.
  • Call up your bank for username and password you can’t visit the branch; it will be sent through an SMS or email.
  • Go to onlinesbi.com. For personal banking, select either of three options – login new version, login and login lite – as per your data speed.
  • Login using your username and password
  • Next page will give options to manage your account, and carry out online transactions.

Corporate Internet Banking (CINB)

SBI facilitates companies, trusts, partnerships, proprietorship concerns to do online banking and manage non-personal accounts. In CINB, the corporate has the power to allow discretionary access to banking accounts by internal users and manage permissions to banking transactions and monitor them.

[“Source-livemint”]

Holiday budgeting tips for savvy consumers

Image result for Holiday budgeting tips for savvy consumers

With a tech tools and strategy, you need not go over budget this Christmas. stokkete/stock.Adobe.com

Sticking to one’s budget is important all year long, but doing so during the holiday season can be especially tricky, when expenses run high and festive cheer makes it difficult to put the brakes on over-spending.

To get a better handle on your spending this season, consider the following tools and tips.

MAKE PLANS

Decide exactly what your plans are this season. Will you be traveling? Will you be hosting a dinner party? What does your holiday shopping list look like? Add budget line items for all the associated expenses and put a price cap on each one.

ADD IT UP

Seek out tools that help make the logistics of staying within budget simple, such as desktop and printing calculators like Casio’s HR-100TMPlus, a 12-digit printing calculator with a large, easy-to-read display. It is especially well-suited for organized budget planning, as it offers special keys for tax calculations and has two-color printing, enabling shoppers to color code positive entries as black and deductions or purchases as red. For additional information on Casio’s portfolio of calculators, visit Casio.com.

Make more space in your budget during the holiday season with smart strategies. Use free apps to help you score deep discounts on favorite retailers. If you’re crafty or handy, consider making certain gift items and greeting cards. Suggest a day of volunteer service at your workplace in lieu of a gift exchange.

DON’T GET IMPULSIVE

When you’re in the store aisles, it’s easy to make impulse purchases, particularly during the holidays when every display is designed to make you spend. Make a shopping list and adhere to it.

To start 2018 on the right foot, spend no more than what you intended.

[“Source-theoaklandpress”]

SEO 2018: 15 Rules for Dominating Online Search Results

SEO 2018: 15 Rules for Dominating Online Search Results

Seems like yesterday that I was writing about SEO in 2017. Now, 2018 is near. Are the rules changing much? Sort of. But, the fundamentals are staying the same. You still can’t game the system. You can’t take shortcuts or cut corners. If you want to absolutely crush the SEO game in 2018, you need to put in the work.

The truth? Understanding search engine optimization takes time. With hundreds of rules to Google’s algorithm, it’s no wonder it’s so confusing. But, to stay ahead of the proverbial curve with SEO in 2018, you simply need to put in the time and the effort to deliver real value. Not try use shady tactics. No. Real value.

What exactly does that mean? Well, in order to properly convey the underlying rules to you, let’s start with a story. Let’s pretend you just opened up a new business and you walk into a bank. You sit down with the banker and explain your fantastic business model. You even show him a dazzling business plan.

You explain that you’re selling the latest widget, designed to impress even the most discerning customers in the XYZ industry. Yes, it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. You tell the banker you need a loan for a million dollars. He stares at you blankly. Then, after a long and unnerving pause, he asks you for the last two to three years of financials.

Financials? What financials? We’re just going into business, you think to yourself. We don’t have financials. We’re just starting out. This is the latest thing since sliced bread. Don’t you want to be a part of it? Another blank stare. This time, he shakes his head, stares down at the piece of paper you gave him, stands up, shakes your hand and sees you to the door.

The moral of this story? Most people who are trying to gain results with SEO in 2018 are just starting out. They’ve recently registered a website and are attempting to rank for some big and very competitive keyword. After about six months of trying everything under the sun, they throw in the towel and turn to paid ads.

Sure. Paid ads are great. Building a sales funnel and using ads on Facebook, Google or YouTube is quite possibly the fastest way you can make money online and present your offer to droves of customers looking to buy exactly what you’re selling. But, there are lots of variables and metrics involved in doing that. For most people, it feels like flushing their money down the toilet. And for good reason.

But, what if you could get that same offer in front of people for free? Test things out, then scale using paid ads. That’s specifically what SEO can do for you in 2018, or, frankly, in any year for that matter. So how does this work? What are the rules for absolutely crushing the competition and dominating Google (or any other search engine’s) search results?

Related: Your SEO Checklist: four Steps to Optimizing Your Website

The three Pillars of SEO

Before you get into the nitty gritty of the specific rules or strategies to use when doing SEO, you have to understand the three pillars. If we go way back to the very beginnings of Google’s search algorithms, we discover something called PageRank. If you’ll recall, PageRank was the original algorithm that Google’s search engine was built upon.

It scoured the web by moving around from link to link. It ultimately discovered the entire internet by spidering around on the so-called virtual web. The more links going to a specific page it found, the more importance or relevance it would attribute to that specific page. More links and more relevancy meant higher rank.

Now, things have definitely changed since those days. It isn’t just about links today. Sure, people will tell you it’s all about links. But, before getting into the technical details, you need to understand the three pillars that make SEO tick. You can consider these to be the fundamental driving principles. I’ve been teaching this since 2013, and although the rules have changed, the pillars have stayed the same.

Related: 4 Ways Instant Gratification Has Changed Content Marketing

1. Authority

Authority relates to the quality and volume of links created over time. The more authority a website has, the more link juice it can pass on. You can assess authority through tools like the MozBar or SEMRush. The Domain Authority (DA) and Domain Score (DS) are two ways that these companies quantify the amount of authority a domain has. However, no score will be real-time and any changes or improvements to your SEO could potentially take weeks or months to see its results.

2. Content

The content of a site is crucial when it comes to ranking in 2018. In fact, the importance of this has increased dramatically over time. Gone are the days of spinning content and using software to generate low-quality, content-farm-esque prose. Today, your content has to be excellent. It has to add value and engage the visitor. The more engagement, the more users will share that content, and in turn, the better it will rank. Invest heavily in your content and it will pay off in spades.

3. Indexed Age

The third and final pillar of SEO is the indexed age. Age does matter. While other factors can certainly trump age, in the very beginning, it’s important that you create a great track record with your domain’s content and the quality of the links pointing to that content. This happens over time. You can’t rush it. The indexed age simply refers to the original date that Google discovered the site or the content itself.

15 Rules for SEO in 2018

If you’re looking to dominate SEO in 2018, then there are loads of rules, but 15 stand out in particular. Be sure to pay homage to these rules if you’re looking to dominate the SERPs.

1. Assess your page speed and improve where necessary.

Use Google’s Page Speed Insights to determine the areas of improvement required for your domain. By considerably increasing your site’s page speed, you can vastly improve your potential visibility. You can also use tools like Pingdom, GTMetrix and Varvy. Here are the areas you should be looking to improve with any page speed enhancement:

  • Reduce the server’s response time to requests
  • Eliminate render-blocking CSS and JavaScript above the website fold
  • Leverage browser caching to enhance speeds of page elements being served up
  • Minify your JavaScript , CSS and HTML where possible
  • Enable compressions like GZip
  • Optimize all images with loss-less image optimizers like Compressor.io

Related: Your SEO Checklist: 4 Steps to Optimizing Your Website

2. Use a CDN for your domain and DNS when possible to quickly serve your content.

Utilizing content-deliver networks (CDNs) like Amazon’s Cloudfront is crucial to being able to quickly serve your content to users no matter where they’re located. CDNs spread your content across multiple servers all around the world by mirroring it, then serving that content from the closest server to the visitor.

You should also consider moving your DNS to a CloudFlare or similar configuration that will help with DNS propagation times. Often, DNS propagation can lag depending on who the registrar is and where their servers are located versus where the DNS request is coming from.

3. Build useful content that adds value.

Create great content. Always. And don’t try to take shortcuts when doing it. Google’s ability to sniff out great content is getting better and better with each passing month. Don’t try to game the system here. Actually go out of your way to make great content. When you do, it’ll reflect on your site and the traffic will increase. Great content will engage visitors and will invite them to share it. Overall, focus on these elements when building your content:

  • Never write content less than 2,000 words if you can avoid it
  • Create a healthy link profile both with internal links and relevant outbound links
  • Cite all your sources and back up facts with statics and studies
  • Section off your content and make it easy to read
  • Ensure that you place relevant, high-quality images as your primary photo
  • Utilize a healthy keyword usage but don’t overuse or stuff keywords
  • Build content that’s instructional and helps solve a problem
  • Write your content for humans by making it sound natural and organic while also paying homage to search engines

Related: The 6 Best Ecommerce Platforms for Small Businesses

4. Ensure mobile responsiveness and usability across devices.

Mobile searches are far outpacing desktop searches today. Focus on mobile responsiveness and usability. According to Search Engine Land, mobile searches were at nearly 60 percent of all searches in 2016. Take the time to ensure your site is optimized for mobile devices and can be easily used across all platforms by implementing a CSS library like Bootstrap or building out your own.

5. Focus on enhancing the user experience.

Create a great user experience. That means, make your site easy to use. Make it easy to navigate. Make it easy to search for and discover the right type of content. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Use breadcrumbs in your navigation
  • Implement a fast site search
  • Don’t make your website too graphic-rich
  • Make the main menu easy to use
  • Categorize all your content using tags or categorizes
  • Avoid using too many pop-ups

6. Supplement content with videos, audios or podcasts to increase engagements.

Site engagement is huge. Google is acutely concerned with the amount of time that users spend on your website. Thus, when you build useful and engaging content, people want to stick around longer. Now, you clearly need to leverage words and long-form content here. But, you should also supplement that content with videos, audios and podcasts as well. This will increase your average page times and session times.

7. Utilize Latent-Semantic Indexing for keyword diversity.

Latent-Semantic Indexing (LSI) is a core technology that Google uses in its Hummingbird search, which is its current iteration of semantic-style searching. LSI allows Google to serve relevant content by understanding what the user is searching for rather than trying to return back content based specifically on the keyword itself. LSI is also just a fancy way of saying the same thing in another way.

For example, “make money online” could be said in a number of ways like “generate cash on the internet” or “earn an income on the web” and so on. Google knows it’s the same keyword. Utilize this for all your content. This will allow you to create organic and natural-sounding prose without having it appear keyword-stuffed.

8. Create relevant outbound links in your content.

Outbound links are important. Don’t worry about sculpting them with nofollow or dofollow links. Simply create relevant links within the content so that people can continue on in their discovery journeys. Always have at least two to three relevant outbound links within every piece of content you create.

Related: 21 Ways to Market Your Business Online

9. Focus on quality over quantity of links.

The quality of your links is far more important than the quantity of them. When building links to your content, don’t go for mass numbers. Target the highest quality domains and ensure that those links are created naturally and organically. That should always be your goal and your aim. Think “white hat” and not “black hat” here.

10. Always market your content by leveraging trusted domains.

When I build content, even when I build it on trusted domains, I always market that content using other authority sites. No matter where you create that content, building content to market it is the key to winning SEO in 2018, or any other year for that matter. Simply create other useful pieces of content on authority sites like Quora, LinkedInPublishing and Medium, for instance, with a single link pointing to the original piece of anchor content.

11. Do not overuse ads above the fold.

Be careful of how much ad usage you have above the fold. At the end of the day, you don’t want the large part of the header being taken up by ads. This is going to detract from the user’s experience and Google specifically doesn’t like this. Also, too many ads served from too many ad platforms is going to naturally slow down your site. Keep it to a bare minimum.

12. Create ungated super-guides with clear calls-to action.

Roland Frasier, one of the most respected names in the online marketing field, says that his company, Digital Marketer, is focusing on building ungated super-guides. Super guides are simply pieces of content that are massive value posts (MVPs) and drive such an enormous amount of engagement and shares that they help to catapult a domain into the stratosphere.

13. Do not try to do anything deceptive or sneaky.

Forget about doing anything that’s deceptive or sneaky and focus on adding value. Don’t try to redirect users or trick search engines by cloaking content. If you’re serious about winning the game of SEO, whether it’s in 2018 or any other near, you have to stay away from tactics like this. You’ll lose Google’s trust and the trust of any visitor coming to your website if you try these shady tactics.

14. Leverage social media to build viral content that links back to your domain.

Social media can certainly drive a tremendous amount of user traffic when done right. Leverage social media to build viral content that’s not business-focused, but rather adds some sort of value, whether it’s entertainment value or informational value in one way or another.

15. Solicit influencers in your niche to help you supercharge your results.

Target influencers to help push your content out there. Whether it’s through Instagram or Facebook, there are plenty of influencers out there who can help champion your cause. It can help you reach a large audience, especially in the very beginning, and to help you get the word out there.

[“Source-entrepreneur”]

SBI changes IFSC Codes of 1,300 branches; here’s how you can check bank names and new codes

SBI changes IFSC Codes of 1,300 branches; here's how you can check bank names and new codes

India’s largest public sector bank SBI has changed names and IFSC Codes of nearly 1,300 of its 25,000 branches in the country’s major cities owing to its merger with five associate banks and a ‘Bharatiya Mahila Bank’ in April. The Indian Financial System Code (IFSC) is an 11-digit alpha-numeric system that uniquely identifies all bank branches participating in the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) fund transfer system. The IFSC Code is mandatory to send or receive money online from one bank account to another. The SBI authorities say the decision to change the names as well as IFSC Codes was taken due the merger. They clarified it would not cause any problem to customers in case payment comes through old IFSC Code as the system would automatically map it with the new code.

Most changes with regard to name and IFSC Code have been done in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Lucknow after the State Bank of India merged its associate banks State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, and also Bhartiya Mahila Bank into itself. “Some of our old associate branches are getting merged with SBI branches. When that merger happens, the IFSC codes get changed,” SBI managing director (retail and digital banking) Praveen Gupta told PTI. He added though customers have been informed, the new codes have been mapped internally to send payment to the new or original IFSC code branch. Click on the hyperlink to know the changed bank names and their new IFSC Codes.

Meanwhile, the bank has also offered a refurbished ‘SBI Internet Banking’ facility for its customers to access their accounts and make transactions through RTGS, NEFT or IMPS methods. On its website (onlinesbi.com), the bank has given two options for its customers under personal and corporate banking categories. Those making singular transaction can avail personal banking, while you can click on corporate banking option to make non-personal transactions. If you are new to online banking, here are the steps to be followed to make quick and hassle-free transactions.

  • Register for the internet banking with your SBI branch, which will provide a Pre Printed Kit (PPK) comprising username and password for your first-time online login.
  • Call up your bank for username and password you can’t visit the branch; it will be sent through an SMS or email.
  • Go to onlinesbi.com. For personal banking, select either of three options – login new version, login and login lite – as per your data speed.
  • Login using your username and password
  • Next page will give options to manage your account, and carry out online transactions.

Corporate Internet Banking (CINB)

SBI facilitates companies, trusts, partnerships, proprietorship concerns to do online banking and manage non-personal accounts. In CINB, the corporate has the power to allow discretionary access to banking accounts by internal users and manage permissions to banking transactions and monitor them.

[“Source-livemint”]