Identity Verification by Phone: Is the Process Safe Enough?

first_imgHave you ever changed your name? I have, and I agonized over what I thought the process would entail. I prepared for a long slog of copying documents and snail mailing paperwork to credit card companies, banks, even airlines.Frequent flier accountI started with United Airlines because I had recently taken two flights that I wanted credit for, but the (new) name on my boarding passes didn’t match the name on my frequent flyer account. Here is the gist of the conversation:“Hi, I’d like to update my records with my new name because I recently got married.”“Okay, we need you to mail in a copy of your marriage license, along with your name, gender, date of birth, and account number.”“Really? Wow, that’s a lot of paperwork for miles.”“Here’s the address to send it to…The change will take up to seven days.”I photocopied my license, wrote a cover letter with the information requested, and addressed the envelope.Credit card companyNext, I called my credit card company to begin the same process. It went like this:“Hi, I’d like to change my name because I recently got married.”“Okay, what’s your new name?”“Cavanagh.”“C – A…?”“V – A – N – A – G – H.”“Your new credit card will be mailed to you today. Is there anything else I can help you with?”Stunned silence. The battle was over? Without a fight?I was shocked to discover that changing the name on my credit card was completed with a phone call, but my frequent flyer account necessitated mailing in government-issued paperwork.This wasn’t a fluke. The same scenarios played out when I called another airline and my second credit card company. In fact, of all the places I changed my name, including my checking account, student loan, and retirement fund, the credit card switch was the easiest.What gives?Is the verification process too easy?I contacted my two credit card companies for an explanation.“We try to keep the process as simple as possible for our customers,” said a representative from the first company. “In all cases, we take necessary steps to authenticate the customer before permitting any changes to account information.”The other credit card company sent a prepared statement that readt: “We have enhanced authentication procedures to validate a member’s identity before processing transactions.”To be fair, before I changed my name on both cards, I had entered either a pin number or the last four digits of my social security number and I had verified my address.Perhaps the ease of which I changed my name on my credit cards is less an indication of lackadaisical security and more of a reflection of a company’s ability to complete secure transactions by phone. Imagine the frustration you would experience if every little thing – like checking the balance on your bank account – had to be done through the mail.The bottom lineThe lesson I learned is that companies rely heavily on the phone verification process, so if anyone knows the name of your favorite pet, the color of your first car, or your favorite combo of digits, Fort Knox-ify your accounts ASAP.Julia Scott founded the money-saving blog, BargainBabe.comShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Related Post navigationlast_img read more

MintFamily with Beth Kobliner: Should You Pay for An ‘A’? How to Motivate Your Child — Part 1

first_imgDid you know Giving USA reported that in 2018, Americans donated over $410 billion dollars?! It’s around this time of year especiailly that giving back becomes top of mind for many. Whether it’s for a particular occasion or we’re looking… Full Story,Dressing up for Halloween is one of the best parts of the holiday, especially if you’re a creative person. But buying a Halloween costume can get expensive, with many costing more than $50 a pop. And unless you plan to… Full Story,Open enrollment season is here!   We’re expecting to receive a big packet from human resources with all the options and benefits that our employers’ offer. While I won’t say that this is an exciting thing, we are eager to go over… Full Story,What are some of the biggest lessons you received about money growing up? For me, a few things stand out. We didn’t get too many formal lectures about money, but from time to time, I’d get a lesson sprinkled in here… Full Story,As the year winds down, you may find your spending picks up. With holidays approaching, families may be preparing for trips to see their loved ones or they’re buying gifts. However, if you haven’t been saving beforehand, it can mean… Full Story,While Raleigh is not exactly super close to the beach (we used to have a tiny apartment right across the street from the Chesapeake Bay when we were first married), it’s pretty easy to hop in our car and have… Full Story,How much money are you planning on spending this year during the holidays? For the average American family, it’s a good chunk of change. During the 2017 holiday season, Bank of America found that of those surveyed, they spent on… Full Story,It’s amazing how things change when you have kids. Before kids, weekend getaways and trips were fairly easy. When we needed to take a break, I remember we could look at the calendar and twenty minutes later, have a few… Full Story,How much does your family spend on food? If you’re like most, food is one of your top three expenses (the other two being housing and transportation). While it’s an essential expense for sure, but when digging around those receipts,… Full Story,If you’re a parent, helping your kids avoid or minimize college debt is a goal you’d like to help them tackle. Right now the average price for a public four-year college is $25,290 in-state ($40,940 out of state) while a… Full Storylast_img read more

A Visual Guide to the American BBQ

first_imgMy birthday is on Halloween, so every year I get super excited. I plan what my costume will be, decide how I want to celebrate and text all my friends to let them know. Last year, I was finally able… Full Story,Technology has transformed the way we dine out in groups. Gone are the days when friends take turns treating each other to nights on the town. Now that apps make money accessible everywhere, tabs are paid down to the cent… Full Story,Occupation: Copywriter Industry: Digital Marketing Age: 29 Location: Indianapolis, IN Paycheck (BiWeekly): $2,100/mo after HSA and 401(k) removed Monthly Expenses: Rent: $462.50 Car lease: $300 Insurances: $85 All other expenses Utilities: $200/mo Pet supplies: $30/mo Phone: $50/mo Streaming services: $15/mo… Full Story,Occupation: Digital advertising Age: 30 Location: San Francisco Bay Area Income: $5,200 month net post 401K, health insurance / HSA, and taxes Total Debt: $0 Monthly Expenses: Rent and utilities: $1,800 Auto: $275 including car insurance Internet/mobile: $120 10:00 am:… Full Story,The holidays are time for family. Here are some fun ideas from our friends at Quotacy on how to make the most of this holiday season with your loved ones, with a bit of humor. ?   With the rise… Full Story,Occupation: Social Media Manager Industry: Digital Marketing Age: 26 Location: Indianapolis, IN Paycheck: $2,500/month after health/vision insurance deductions Monthly Expenses Rent: $700 Car Insurance: $65 Renters Insurance: $16 Utilities: $75 (Internet, Electric, Gas) Dental Insurance (not through work): $15 Hulu:… Full Story,On November 30th, The Financial Diet is kicking off their nationwide book tour for The Financial Diet: A Total Beginner’s Guide To Getting Good With Money in New York.  Join us when the tour hits your city and don’t forget… Full Story,Occupation: Data Analyst Industry: Digital Marketing Age: 31 Location: Menlo Park, CA Paycheck (BiWeekly): $1,700 after auto-savings, 401k, ESPP purchase, renters & auto insurance and health care removed I have everything removed automatically as I have trouble with in-the-moment spending…. Full Story,Occupation: Account Services & Freelance Writer Industry: Digital Marketing Age: 39 Location: Longmont, CO Paycheck (3): $4,700/mo includes salary and three freelance clients (side hustles) Monthly Expenses Rent: $900 Car loan: $275 Credit card payment: $450 All other expenses… Full Story,If you’re still in college or a recent grad working with a limited budget, the idea of implementing a healthy lifestyle can seem overwhelming and very expensive. If you aren’t careful, you might find yourself shelling out lots of cash… Full Storylast_img read more

HubSpot TV – Sharing the Love on Slideshare with Guest Marta Kagan

first_img What the Fk is Social Media? How to interact on Twitter: @ Intro Survey by B to B Magazine and the Association of Natinoal Advertisers ! Register here: Most looking to implement in the next year (1) blogging (2) mobile (more for BtoC) karenrubin Webinars are almost exclusively for B2B – 48% of B2B marketers said they were effective, only 6% of B2C said they were effective www.HubSpot.tv , 13 hours of video is upload to YouTube every minute : If you’ve been watching HubSpot TV for the past year, you’d be ahead of the curve! Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack More focus on demand generation – from 39% to 47% of people – also a drop-off of people saying brand building was the goal 3 out of 4 Americans use social technology – Forrester HubSpot TV 1 Year Anniversa Marta Kagan, @ Marketing Takeaway Closing Watch the Tweetup Promo Video: Download the free webinar JamonHolmgren asks, B to B marketers embracing social media at an increasing rate Microsoft and Yahoo sitting in a tree…K.I.S.S.I.N.G! “Providing accurate, useful information that informs in a non-self-promoting manner gains credibility,” mzkagan Managing Director of US for Espresso Originally published Aug 2, 2009 8:54:00 PM, updated July 04 2013 81% of BtoB marketers using LinkedIn, then Twitter, then Facebook (Twitter much higher for B2B, Facebook lower for B2B) 5 billion minutes spent on Facebook each day Blogging in a Flooded Market Shouldn’t Mean Failure Marketing Takeaway “Bing also surfaces only the top 5 results for many queries, meaning a higher concentration of clicks on those top results.” Webinar: How to Use Online Video for Inbound Marketing Defininga “tweet” for the uninitiated and explaining how to create an accountdoesn’t resonate with everyone. “Why would I want to do that?” is acommon reaction. However, demonstrating the power of Twitter as adiscovery engine for what is happening right now through our Search andTrends often awakens a sense of wonder which inevitably leads to a muchmore compelling question, “How do I get involved?” “thebig takeaway is that Bing will now power search on Yahoo! and Yahoo!’ssalesforce will sell the premium (non-self service) search advertisingfor Yahoo!/Bing” http://itunes.hubspot.tv/ You will want to optimize for Bing since it will have a reasonable % of market share , @ Social Media Defamation Lawsuit “Beyourself and blog about the things that excite and interest you(without sounding like a commercial, of course) and you’ll be fine,” Don’t panic! You have some time on this onebut be aware that it is going on and you will probably want to optimizefor it eventually. : Make sure you understand the engagement process for your customers. Marketing Takeaway #2 “Themore you can build relationships and trust with the online leaders inyour community, the more traffic you’ll get on your site, and the morepeople you’ll be able to convert to leads and sales,” ” Top 10 Things the Microsoft/Yahoo! Deal Changes for SEO Bingvalues “keyword use in subdomains and root domain names (Google lovesexact keyword matches, but Bing really likes any keyword placement inthe sub or root)” Headlines Forum Fodder: 57% of B2B marketers “using social media channels” compared with 15% two years ago : As a business, monitor and respond on Twitter, but think twice before blowing anything up. New Twitter homepage puts search at its heart ry Tweetup Marketing Takeaway Next Week: Bonafied Marketing Genius Doing it Right http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKaJs4L290A UPDATED: Rounding up the buzz… Will one Chicago woman’s Tweet cost her $50,000? http://hstv1year.eventbrite.com “Rememberthat Yahoo! said full implementation may lag up to 24 months (2 years)behind regulatory approval (which itself could take months), so you’vegot some time.” mvolpe mzkagan Twitter Puts Search at Core of Homepage with AmandaBonnen: “@JessB123 You should just come anyway.  Who said sleeping in amoldy apartment is bad for you?  Horizon Realty thinks its ok.” Episode #51 – July 31st, 2009 HorizonRealty says she “maliciously and wrongfully published the false anddefamatory Tweet on Twitter, thereby allowing the Tweet to bedistributed throughout the world.”  (She has 20 followers.) “What can I add to the conversation that a better programmeror graphic designer or SEO professional hasn’t already covered?” 93% of social media users believe a company should have a presence in social media Social media use soars among b-to-b marketers : Don’t tweet anything you wouldn’t mind having on the front page of Google.com. – Publish something creative on Slideshare. Marketing Tip of the Week , and @ in your tweet. How do you get started with YouTube, video podcasting, live streaming, or viral videos. Marketing Takeaway to learn how to use online video to grow your business with inbound marketing. Episode Length: 23 minutes, 23 seconds Subscribe in iTunes:last_img read more

5 Tips to Improve Channel Partner Lead Generation

first_img – Email is an important part of the lead generation mix. Create a great email marketing campaign with an offer that each partner can send to new leads. Maybe it is a free assessment of a website, or an opportunity to attend a free consulting session. This campaign is to help move leads further down the funnel and to help increase a partners lead-to-customer percentages. Often channel managers have the ability to give marketing funds for offers, so why not provide them the email message to use as well. In a recent conversation with a channel marketing manager I was asked, “What can I do now to get my partners and resellers found?” As with many channel marketing managers, their time is very constrained, but the need to do more lead generation for their resellers is ever present. Additionally, they often talk about how their resellers do a great job once someone is introduced to them, but often their own websites are not helping them bring in new leads. After asking me that question, she said, “I wish I could just give them a few tips to get them started in Inbound Marketing and getting website traction” 1. Identify Longtail Keywords Online marketing is unique for each business. For large businesses that rely on channel partners to sell and distribute products, the online marketing process can be a challenge. With many channel partners across multiple locations, how can a business make sure that partners have the leads they need to help grow the business? brackenb your partners or resellers can quickly optimize their pages . 2. Provide Partners with Lead Generation Offers –  Find 10 keywords that are in the longtail for your services or products and provide them to your resellers and partners to use.  Keywords need to be used in a consistent way on each webpage in the page title, the URL, the page headers and text. By doing the background research and providing a starting point, Photo Credit: 5 Tips For Channel Partner Lead Generation 3. Create a Landing Page Templatecenter_img –  Create an offer such as a ebook or webinar that can be downloaded or accessed from each partner’s website. Maybe your company provides security software and you have a tool that does a quick, free sweep of their network to test for vulnerability. Another option would be to offer a free assessment that will help prospect better understand which product offering best fits their needs. By creating these downloads, you are giving your reseller network an offer they can give visitors that come to their websites. 5. Share Partner Successes –   If one of your partners is finding an offer is converting leads well or a free assessment is leading to more business in the door, let the network know! Inbound marketing may be new, but closing a deal is well understood and anything that drives more business to one partner will help the overall brand and network as well. Share the success! What have you done to help improve inbound marketing for your channel partners? – Create a standard landing page that every reseller can put on their main page of their website to both capture lead data, and provide an offer. 70% of visitors to a website are in the “early stage” of buying. They are not ready to purchase, but are starting to investigate. Instead of having them visit your site and then “drive on”, give them an offer in exchange for collecting some of their information, even if it is just an email address. This will allow you to stay in touch with them via email offers or turn over the lead to your sales team for qualification and follow up. 4.  Develop An Email Template and Campaign Originally published Sep 2, 2010 2:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Topics: Lead Generation Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

World Cup 2018: Suarez goes from villain to Uruguay’s senior statesman

first_imgA little man form Salto, in the northwestern part of Uruguay, will be leading his country against France in the quarter-final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Nizhny Novgorod on Friday.But that is not where the narrative starts.It was mid-2006 when scouts for Dutch club Groningen travelled to Uruguay to check out a promising young striker called Elias Figueroa.Instead, they witnessed another teenage forward play like a man possessed and score a wonder goal. Groningen signed him up on an impulse and flew him to Europe.The name?Luis Suarez.2018 FIFA WORLD CUP: FULL COVERAGEWhile those roots may be little known, including an impoverished upbringing and yearning for a girlfriend who moved to Spain, from there the Suarez story is familiar.His relentless goal-scoring took him quickly to Ajax, then Liverpool, and now Barcelona, while along the way he also became Uruguay’s all-time top scorer.FIFA World Cup 2018: Who plays who in the quarter-finalsYet the same explosive style and win-at-all-costs character that turned him into one of the world’s elite strikers also made Suarez notorious for the wrong reasons.Most infamously, he was sent home in shame from the 2014 World Cup in Brazil for biting an Italian defender – something he had done before in a seemingly impossible-to-control, bizarre impulse linked to his desperation to succeed.READ – How Uruguay plan to stop France and Mbappe in quartersFour years earlier, Suarez deliberately handled a goal-line header against Ghana – then further offended against sportsmanship by wildly celebrating the ensuing penalty miss – to deny them what would have been Africa’s first ever World Cup semi-final.advertisement”Both of those instantly iconic scenes were examples of Luis Suarez’s well-established on-pitch insanity, sentenced one sports writer of a man the world struggled to understand.During a brilliant but tempestuous club career, Suarez also failed to control his inner demons, facing sanctions for biting, diving, and racially abusing an opponent.READ – Uruguay not the same without Cavani, says France’s MatuidiYet in recent times, the now 31-year-old has largely avoided controversy, while also netting more than 150 goals for Barcelona.”I MUST LEAD BY EXAMPLE”Indeed, Surez comes to Uruguay’s World Cup quarter-final against France on Friday an all-together wiser and maturer, albeit lacking a bit of the spark and speed of his earlier days.”I have to be one of the calm ones, because there are a lot of youngsters here now in the squad, some for the first time. I must lead by example,” Suarez told reporters this week, relishing his transformation from wild child to elder statesman.”With so many games in the national squad, I’ve learnt a lot about how to handle this situation,” he added.READ – Uruguay Coach Oscar Tabarez hails team’s mental strengthAfter the trauma in Brazil, coach Oscar Tabarez kept faith with Suarez, trusting he would learn, which is exactly what seems to have happened. Where once he looked up to Diego Forlan as a mentor in the Uruguay squad, now Suarez has that role.In Russia, Uruguay have won all four games, with Suarez bagging two goals, avoiding controversy, and exuding experience.He may not have scored in the exhilarating 2-1 defeat of Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal in the Round of 16, but it was his rasping, pinpoint cross that led to Edinson Cavani’s opener.Suarez’s past sins on the field are in stark contrast with his friendly, family-man image off it.WORLD CUP 2018 – FIXTURES AND SCORESIn Europe, he did eventually catch up and marry his childhood sweetheart Sofia Balbi, and is often seen with her and their two children around matches.In his youth, Suarez used to walk to training to save money and had to borrow boots. He has retained the down-to-earth manner of those early days – though coaches do recall his transformed nature and fiery temper during games.Having now surpassed Forlan’s six World Cup goals, Suarez is just one behind Uruguay’s top scorer at the tournament and 1950s hero, Oscar Miguez, who had eight.If he equals or surpasses that in Russia, surely Suarez’s redemption will be complete.(With inputs from Reuters)last_img read more

NRAI official targets Jaspal Rana

first_imgA malicious campaign has been launched against pistol shooting coach Jaspal Rana by an official of the National Rifle Association of India which has set the cat among the pigeons.Mail Today has learnt at the general body meeting of the NRAI held three weeks ago, an overenthusiastic official had said, “Jaspal has been speaking too much to the media and needs to tender an unconditional apology.”Jaspal was in Buenos Aires recently with the Youth Olympics team and returned to India on Sunday. Peeved with this behaviour of an official, Jaspal avoided the felicitation functions in the capital and has said he is willing to quit.As one who has played a huge role in shaping the careers of Manu Bhaker, Saurabh Chaudhary and to a large extent Anish Bhanwala, Jaspal had been fact recommended for the Dronacharya Award by the NRAI after the Asian Games.It’s no secret Jaspal has spoken to sections of the media but in no way tried to touch on controversies. Why an official in the NRAI has targeted him is not clear but it’s about time president Raninder Singh cleared the air.At a time when India have done well in the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, and the Youth Olympics, some of the good coaches across various sport have come in for praise from federations and sports ministry. Some coaches who had bad experiences ran away because of differences over conditions or payments.Back to Jaspal, he has stayed clear from conflict over junior vs senior. He has not minded it even when some of the youngsters he has groomed were asked to be part of the national camp under the foreign coach.advertisementAt a time when the Indian shooters are preparing for the Asian air championship in Kuwait next month, why the NRAI has encouraged someone to indulge in the smear campaign is not clear. Officially, there is no gag order on the coaches or the shooters. They have been using social media also quite judiciously.last_img read more

Transfer news: Crystal Palace sign Batshuayi from Chelsea, Leicester bag Tielemans loan deal

first_imgCrystal Palace have signed Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi on loan until the end of the season, the Premier League clubs have confirmed.Palace completed the deal for the 25-year-old Belgium striker minutes before the transfer window closed on Thursday.Batshuayi, who arrived at Chelsea from Olympique de Marseille in 2016, made 20 appearances in the London club’s 2016-17 Premier League title-winning campaign.He netted one goal in 15 La Liga appearances during a loan spell at Valencia in the first half of this season.Meanwhile, Fulham have signed Serbian winger Lazar Markovic on a free transfer from Liverpool for the remainder of the season, the London club confirmed on Friday.Fulham said Markovic, who has played 34 times for Liverpool but not once this season, was signed after being recommended by compatriot Aleksandar Mitrovic, and club owner Tony Khan said the 24-year-old would strengthen their attack.”Lazar Markovic is a gifted young player. We’re pleased to welcome him from Liverpool for the remainder of the season. He has the support of our manager,” Khan said.Fulham’s next game is a trip to Crystal Palace for a Premier League clash on Saturday.Former champions Leicester City on the other hand, signed Belgium international Youri Tielemans on loan until the end of the season from AS Monaco, with midfielder Adrien Silva moving the other way in a swap deal.Tielemans, 21, who played at last year’s World Cup in Russia, has scored five times in 20 Ligue 1 appearances for Monaco this season, and is widely considered to be one of the brightest young prospects in European football.advertisement”I’m really excited to get going,” Tielemans told Leicester’s official website.”The Premier League is one of the best leagues in the world and when I was young, I always watched Premier League games. I’m really happy to be here and I’m excited to get started.”Tielemans started his career with Anderlecht and signed his first professional contract at the age of 16.He is the youngest Belgian to play in the Champions League and got 35 goals in 185 games in all competitions for Anderlecht over four seasons, helping them win two league titles.Also Watch:last_img read more

7 of the Coolest YouTube Banners We’ve Ever Seen

first_img Free Templates Don’t forget to share this post! Topics: When someone sends me a really great YouTube video, I always want to know who’s behind it. Was it an ad agency? A small or medium business? A B2B tech company? No matter who it was, if I’m impressed, I want to see more from the content creator.So once the video is done, I click the link to visit their profiles.Level up your YouTube channel with these free, customizable banner and thumbnail templates.And from there, if the brand is really on top of its game, I’ll see its channel art — the horizontal banner displayed across the top of the user’s YouTube channel that, hopefully, shows a combination of good design and brand presence.But how do they do it?We’ve all seen design work that inspires us, but can have a bad habit of not taking it any further than that. What makes something like strong YouTube banners so great? And how can you create your own gorgeous artwork? To answer those questions, we found three excellent resources for YouTube banner templates, as well as seven creative channel banners — both old and new — that inspire us as marketers. Originally published Apr 24, 2018 8:00:00 AM, updated October 30 2019 What Makes a Good YouTube Banner?Responsive DimensionsA YouTube channel banner will take on different dimensions depending on what platform is being used to view it. For example, a banner might have different dimensions when viewed on a TV, desktop, or mobile device.Google’s suggested YouTube banner dimensions are: Recommended: 2560 x 1440 pxMinimum for upload: 2048 x 1152 pxMinimum “safe area” where text and logos are ensured not to be cut off: 1546 x 423 pxMaximum width: 2560 x 423 pxFile size: 4MB or smallerThe recommended resolution seems like an exorbitantly large file size. But think about how YouTube banners would appear on a 30″ smart TV or higher. With a growing number of options to view YouTube videos in this way, you’ll want to make sure your channel art is large enough to display with quality on larger screens.Here’s a helpful visual representation of those dimensions:Source: GoogleBalanced DesignTake note of the “safe area” we alluded to in the first section. Your banner is essentially the biggest branding opportunity for when people land on your channel, so you’ll want to make sure your logo and supporting text is well-represented in the channel art. That’s why it might be best to place your company name and logo in that center space — this prevents viewer confusion if the name of the company behind the YouTube account is accidentally cut off.If you’re not sure how to take up the entirety of a 2560 x 1440 frame, video production company MiniMatters suggests “build[ing] the image from the middle out,” putting the most important assets in the center, and going from there.Finally, as to what to put in your banner, we like to follow a few basic rules:Use a high-resolution image. A pixelated or blurry banner doesn’t exactly signal that there’s high-quality video to follow.Keep it on-brand. While your channel art doesn’t have to be a carbon copy of your logo or tagline, it should incorporate visual elements that you want associated with your brand, like certain colors, fonts, or keywords.Your banner should represent what your company does in a timely fashion. For example, if you run a bakery and you’re gearing up for summer, an eye-catching banner might be a high-res photo of a brightly-colored work surface covered with flour and a rolling pin, along with accompanying text like, “April showers bring May flours.”How to Make a YouTube Banner”That’s just great, Amanda,” you might be thinking about these tips. “But where the heck am I supposed to get these beautiful design assets?”You’re in luck — there are dozens of free resources for creating a great YouTube banner. Here are a few of our favorites:Google: Why not start with the hosting platform itself? Google has its very own channel art templates to help you get started with your banner design. (Note: Clicking this link will prompt an automatic download of the zip file containing these templates.)Canva: One of our go-to destinations for DIY design, Canva offers several free YouTube channel art templates that allow you to use your own art, or its library of stock photography.Fotor: Similar to Canva, Fotor also offers a selection of free YouTube banner templates that allow you to use both your own visual assets or its own library of images.8 Cool YouTube Channel Art Examples1. Death Wish Coffee CompanyIn 2016, Death Wish Coffee was named the winner of a small business marketing competition held by software company Intuit. The reward? A free 30-second commercial during Super Bowl 50. Since then, the self-proclaimed maker of “the world’s strongest coffee” has capitalized on that momentum by making sure its branding stays just as robust.Its former YouTube banner banner is no exception. It’s straightforward, but also, bold. The company’s logo is displayed as the channel icon, as well as a tiled watermark that doesn’t interfere with the text display. And that message doesn’t leave any doubt about what the brand does. “World’s strongest coffee?” Okay, I’m watching.2. Adobe Creative CloudSeeing as turquoise is my all-time favorite color, there might be a touch of aesthetic bias in our selection of Adobe Creative Cloud’s YouTube banner. But color can have quite an impact in marketing — shades of blue, for example, have been found to invoke feelings of trust.This banner doesn’t just make great use of color, though. In a single photo, it connotes creativity and visual quality — two things that the Adobe Creative Cloud promises with its suite products. The person depicted seems to be creating something remarkable — an ocean inside of a balloon — with accompanying text to confirm it: “Make wow.” Plus, to learn more, social buttons are right there within the image.3. Bon AppétitIs anyone else hungry? It only seems right that the channel art for a food magazine like Bon Appétit should be, well, appetizing. And with a phrase that’s used as frequently as “bon appétit” — before a meal or as the title of a pop song — it’s important that folks who land on this YouTube channel know what they’re getting into.That’s one thing that makes this banner so great. The branding is clear, from the logo icon to the iconic title text in the center of the image. Plus, the photo itself sends a signal of the type of content visitors can expect to consume — no pun intended — when they start watching the channel’s videos: All things food.4. TauliaIncOne great thing about YouTube banners is that they can be swapped out or modified whenever you want, time permitting. That makes them especially conducive to temporary promotions or campaigns. That’s what tech company Taulia did for “P2P Superheroes”: a campaign that shows how its software can eliminate difficult, time-consuming tasks, helping everyday professionals focus more on the work that matters and turn them into superheroes.The banner communicates two things: 1. That Taulia is in the business of P2P (“procure to pay”), and 2. the brand really celebrates procurement specialists. And by using original, cartoon-like art, Taulia is turning what could be a dry topic into something fun and engaging.5. Refinery29We’re big fans of showcasing the people that make your brand great. That’s one thing that Refinery29 does well, by frequently featuring its writers, editors, and content producers in its videos. As it turns out, they’ve all become quite popular personalities — which is why the brand put them front-and-center in its channel art.Creating a banner of this nature is two-fold. First, you have to find a way to incorporate your company’s talent into video content in a way that’s engaging and appealing to your target audience. Here at HubSpot, we have our blog writers, for example, recount important information from blog posts in video and audio summaries. Then, once you’ve produced enough of that media consistently — and if it’s gaining the right kind of attention — you can use those personalities to promote your channels.6. TripAdvisor B2BTripAdvisor is a resource used by millions of travelers to discover and rate lodgings, restaurants, and much more information about endless destinations. But did you know it also offers B2B services for hotel and other property owners to make the most of their presence on the site?We like to think of it as a B2B hybrid of review site Yelp and vacation rental site Airbnb. On the one hand, TripAdvisor B2B helps business owners create a profile with photos, descriptions, and other information that’s going to be helpful to travelers. But, like Yelp, it also allows them to monitor and respond to the reviews their businesses receive.That’s represented in the YouTube banner by portraying what the site is all about — travel — but also depicts the act of visitors giving feedback on their experiences by way of rating symbols.7. Nuvolari LenardThe thing that stands out to us the most about this banner is its simplicity. It represents a Italian yacht design company Nuvolari Lenard, which is known for work that emulates a luxury and chic lifestyle. And while the channel art itself doesn’t portray anything specifically nautical, the use of capital letters and tiered monochrome does connote a brand that’s high-end.Those kinds of digital aesthetics create what’s often known as aspirational marketing — the kind that symbolizes something that’s unattainable by most, but still has a vast following of people “who covet the look and feel of the brand,” as Mediaboom puts it. Can I afford a yacht? Of course not. But seeing something like this makes me want one anyway, and makes me want to consume the video content pertaining to it.Channel Your CreativityIt’s important to note that really cool YouTube channel art is just one part of a comprehensive video content strategy. It doesn’t matter how beautiful your banner is, for example, if your channel lacks in quality video, or hasn’t added anything new in several weeks.So, along with great design must come consistency. And as you begin to create both, you can turn to these examples for inspiration.What are some of your favorite YouTube banners? Let us know in the comments.center_img Hi 👋 What’s your name?First NameLast NameHi null, what’s your email address?Email AddressAnd your phone number?Phone NumberWhat is your company’s name and website?CompanyWebsiteHow many employees work there?1Does your company provide any of the following services?Web DesignOnline MarketingSEO/SEMAdvertising Agency ServicesYesNoGet Your Free Templates Youtube Marketing Tell us a little about yourself below to unlock the offer: 10 Channel Art Templates for YouTubelast_img read more

The Beginner’s Guide to Structured Data for Organizing & Optimizing Your Website

first_imgIt’s Friday afternoon, and your team is jonesing for Happy Hour.For the last few weeks, you’ve been going to the same ol’ bar by your office, so you decide it’s time to try something new. What do you do? Step outside and walk around until you find a new spot? No, you hop on Google and let it conduct the search for you.Your ideal post-work pub is nearby, open right after work, and offers a few gluten-free options so your entire team can partake. You plug these criteria into Google, and you’ve got three viable options at your fingertips — in a handy map format to boot.Pause. Have you ever wondered how Google can whip up such accurate, precise answers in so little time … and present them in such an easy-to-read way? Moreover, what are those restaurants doing do get featured so dominantly on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs)?Heck, I’d love my business to pop up when consumers search for criteria relevant to me … wouldn’t you?No one knows exactly how Google’s algorithm works, but there are a few ways to organize and optimize your website content so Google knows what content to feature on the SERPs for the various searches people conduct to find you. This is where structured data comes in. Not sure what structured data is? That’s OK. By the end of this guide, you’ll be a structured data wizard — and your website will reap the benefits.Access Now: 22 SEO Myths to Leave Behind This Year Don’t forget to share this post! Why is structured data important for SEO?Structured data is important for SEO because it helps search engines find and understand your content and website. It’s also an important way to prepare for the future of search, as Google and other engines continue to personalize the user experience and answer questions directly on their SERPs. Additionally, structured data can make your organization more visible to potential customers and increase your click-through rate by up to 30%. What Is Structured Data? Structured data is any set of data that is organized and structured in a particular way on a webpage. In the case of SEO, structured data is organized and tagged with specific groups of text that help search engines understand the context of that information and can return accurate results to searchers. Structured Data & SEO How to Implement Structured Data Open Google’s Structured Data Markup HelperSelect your data type and enter the URLHighlight page elements and assign data tagsCreate the HTMLAdd the schema markup to your pageTest your markup with Google’s Structured Data Testing ToolDiagnose and fix any detected issuesBe patient Email MarketingHave you recently booked a flight or ordered something online? If you have Gmail, you might’ve seen your reservation or order details summarized at the top of the confirmation email. This is due to email markup. If you send emails for orders, reservations, confirmations, or bookings, consider using email markup to make your email recipients’ lives easier.👉🏼Here’s how to get started with email markup in Gmail. Originally published Apr 10, 2019 4:30:00 AM, updated October 29 2019 Google’s SERPs weren’t always as easy on the eye as they are today. Don’t remember? Check out this Google result for “pool tables” from 2008.Source Let’s compare. Here’s the same result from today in 2019. Okay … that’s enough of the fancy developer speak. What should you be using for your structured data?Schema.org is the accepted universal vocabulary standard for structured data. It was founded by and is currently sponsored by Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Yandex. It’s flexible, open-sourced, and constantly updated and improved. Note: Schema is called such because it features markup for a wide variety of schemas — or data models — for different types of content.Here’s an example of Schema Markup language (which is good for SEO) pulled from my latest article on branding.”@context” : “http://schema.org”,”@type” : “Article”,”name” : “The Ultimate Guide to Branding in 2019″”author” : {“@type” : “Person”,”name” : “Allie Decker”},”datePublished” : “2019-04-02″,”image” : “https://blog.hubspot.com/hubfs/branding-2.jpg”,”url” : “https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/branding”, “publisher” : { “@type” : “Organization”, “name” : “HubSpot”As for grammar, there’s no correct answer. Google recommends JSON-LD (and defaults to that grammar when using its Structured Data Markup Helper — as you see above), but it also recognizes Microdata and RDFa. It comes down to what your developers and webmasters are most comfortable with.Structured data affects mobile a little differently — through Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). Accelerated Mobile Pages is a Google-backed, open source project to help all mobile pages load quickly regardless of device. Pages with AMP markup appear within Google’s special SERP features, such as Top Stories and News Carousels.👉🏼Here’s how to create an AMP HTML page.SourceStructured data markup works a little differently for social platforms. This requires Open Graph Protocol and similar languages that ensure your website and blog content appear in an easy-to-read way when you promote this content on a social network. Two common social media features that use Open Graph Protocol are Pinterest Rich Pins and Twitter cards. We talk more about how to do this below. Here’s an example of Open Graph Protocol language (which is good for social media) using the same source. Developer > View Source.This behind-the-scenes code tells browsers how information should be organized on the website (as part of its website development) and tells web crawlers what’s on the page.Structured data is also at play here. Embedded tags of code (a.k.a. “markup”) throughout the HTML of a webpage tell Google and other search engines what information to display in the SERPs and what this information represents. It also helps social media platforms synthesize your social media posts into snippets that preview the content using Open Graph Protocol (which we touch on later). This markup is important. It educates search engines on what specific content is on the page, thus creating more relevant, informed searches and making the site a candidate for enhanced results like featured snippets, rich snippets, image and video carousels, knowledge boxes, and more. (We touch on this later, too.) DCMIJSON-LD 3. Highlight page elements and assign data tagsWhen the tool loads, you should see your web page on the left side and data items on the right. Highlight different components of your web page to assign data tags such as name, author, and date published. (The tool will suggest different data tags for different types of data, i.e. Events or Book Reviews.)As you select and assign data tags, you’ll see the information pop up under My Data Tags on the right panel. You can also add any missing tags that might not be visible on the web page; just click Add missing tags.4. Create the HTMLWhen you’re finished tagging and assigning data items, click Create HTML in the upper right-hand corner.5. Add the schema markup to your pageOn the next screen, you should see your structured data markup on the right side. The tool automatically produces the script as JSON-LD markup, but you can change it to Microdata by clicking the JSON-LD drop-down menu in the top menu.Click Download to download the script as an HTML file. To read more about adding structured data to your article (or any other data type), click Articles in the right corner above the markup.To “publish” your markup, copy and paste the new HTML markup into your CMS or source code of your web page. Lastly, click Finish in the top right corner to check out Google’s recommended Next Steps … one of which will bring you to this next one.6. Test your markup with Google’s Structured Data Testing ToolOpen up Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. You can enter any URL of a web page you’d like to test, or you can enter HTML code. (In the example below, I’m analyzing the code previously produced by Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper Tool.) Click Run Test to begin.7. Diagnose and fix any detected issuesThe tool will show you your HTML markup on the left side and the markup analysis on the right. Note any red errors or warnings. Click on any data row to highlight the corresponding markup on the left.If necessary, you can edit any errors in the HTML directly in the tool panel before “publishing” your tested HTML markup.8. Be patientThis last step is simple but arguably the hardest — to sit back and wait. Google can take weeks to re-crawl new HTML, and even then, your content isn’t guaranteed to show up in rich snippets or other SERP features.As long as you follow the correct structured data standards and markup, give Google all the information it needs to know, and be patient, your website and business can benefit greatly from structured data and enhanced SEO.ConclusionGoogle and other search engines continuously improve how they aggregate and present information. They offer enhanced, intelligent search experiences with the customer in mind. It’s up to you as a business to keep up, and you can do so through structured data. Structured data benefits businesses — through increased visibility — and consumers — through better usability. Use this guide, tools, and resources to optimize and organize your website and make your customers’ lives easier. center_img Topics: Wow. That’s a world of difference. Not only are these results easier to read, but the extra features make for a much more informative, intelligent searching — and shopping — experience. Between the sponsored content and live map (plus the product carousel, question snippets, and related searches not shown in the screenshot), Google shows me pretty much all I need to know about pool tables.Heck, sometimes I search for something and find the answer right on the SERP — I don’t even have to click on a result. Does that ever happen to you? If it has, you can thank structured data.Note: Unfortunately, structured data doesn’t impact your organic search ranking (besides helping you grab a spot in a knowledge panel or Featured Snippet at the top of the list). It also doesn’t change how your content looks or behaves on your website — it only affects how and where it might appear on SERPs.Examples of Structured DataTo the average internet user, structured data can’t be seen. It’s hidden among the code that makes up our favorite websites and online platforms. So, how does structured data affect what we (and our customers) see? What does it look like to the “naked” eye?When webmasters adhere to structured data standards, search engines like Google and Bing reward their websites and organizations by featuring their content in a variety of SERP features (another reason to use structured data). Let’s talk about those features — specifically on Google. Google SERPs display a wide variety of information, but the ones we talk about below are specifically influenced by structured data. There are also a couple of ways that structured data can benefit your non-SERP marketing efforts on social media and email marketing.SourceFirst, it’s important to note that structured data can manifest on SERPs in two main ways: through content features (which appear as separate search results) and enriched result features (which enhance the search results themselves).Content FeaturesCarouselsCarousels show up as images with captions related to a search, such as movie actors, cars, or news articles. Searchers can click through these images to access a separate SERP for that search. 👉🏼Here’s how to use structured data to show up on Carousels.Featured SnippetsFeatured Snippets display information relevant to a query — and link to a third-party website (which sets them apart from Answer Boxes and Knowledge Panels, which draw from public domain databases). They don’t count as one of the ten organic results on a SERP, so if you “win” the snippet, your website shows up twice. Featured Snippets can also be displayed as quotes, tables, jobs, rich cards (for movies and recipes), or the question section titled “People may ask”. 👉🏼Here’s how to optimize your content for Google’s featured snippet box.Knowledge Panels (a.k.a. Knowledge Graph Cards)Knowledge Panels pull together the most relevant information from a search and display it as a separate panel on the right side of a SERP. They typically include images, dates, and category-specific information, such as stock prices for companies or birthdays for celebrities. You can use a structured data markup like Schema to tag your content with all of these categories, but there’s no guarantee that Google will reward you with your own knowledge panel. In fact, structured data doesn’t promise anything, it only makes it easier for search engines and social networks to interpret your content. Also, Knowledge Panels aim to answer queries without requiring a click-through … good news for searchers, and bad news for businesses.👉🏼Here’s how to make your site easier for bots to crawl (to increase your chances of showing up in a Knowledge Panel).Enriched Search Features (a.k.a. Rich Search Results or Rich Snippets)BreadcrumbsBreadcrumbs “indicate a page’s position in the site hierarchy,” according to Google. Breadcrumbs appear on mobile devices, in place of a URL, above the title of the results page, and next to the site’s favicon (as of 2019). They help searchers understand a page’s relationship to the rest of a website. 👉🏼Here’s how to use structured data to display Breadcrumbs in your results.Sitelinks and Sitelinks SearchboxSitelinks are additional links displayed beneath a search result that navigate to different parts of a website. Google pulls them into a SERP when it thinks additional results would benefit a searcher. Websites with intelligent anchor text and alt text that’s informative, compact, and avoids repetition have a good chance of displaying a result with Sitelinks.Sitelinks Searchbox is like Sitelinks with a search bar directly featured in the result. That search box uses Google — not the featured website — which creates a brand new SERP. Sitelinks Searchboxes only show up in branded searches.👉🏼Here’s how to get a Sitelinks Searchbox for your website. Non-SERP FeaturesSocial CardsSocial-specific markup doesn’t have a big impact on SEO, but it’s still important for marketers to understand. Not only does this markup enhance your social posts and ad efforts, but it can also be read by search engines — which could contribute to any SEO changes in the future.Social cards display images and rich text when links are shared on social media. Any organization who uses social media to share content should be using proper social markup, such as Open Graph Protocol.👉🏼Here’s how you ensure your social content displays social cards:Open Graph Protocol (for Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram)Facebook Validation ToolTwitter CardsTwitter Validation ToolPinterest Rich PinsPinterest Validation Tool FOAFRDFa Examples of Structured Data Here’s a simple example: In college, I used to take class notes very haphazardly. I’d literally scribble information down as my professors lectured … with little to no regard about its organization or legibility. (Well, I could read it, but no one else probably could.)Me, in classWhen it came time to study for an exam, I’d pull out those chaotic notes and type them up to create organized, structured study guides, sorted by the various questions and subject matters I knew I’d be tested on. Therefore, I turned my unstructured data into structured data per my specific study system. In the case of SEO, embedding markup and coded tags that characterize each written element would be how to structure that data — much like I did with my class notes.How does structured data work?At this point, you might be asking: How can there exist a language (markup) that is consistently recognized by search engines and people alike?  In order for this markup to be accurately and universally understood, there are standardized formats and vocabularies that should be used. Let’s go back to basics for a minute. When conveying information, whether you’re communicating with a human or a computer, you need two main things: vocabulary (a set of words with known meanings) and grammar (a set of rules on how to use those words to convey meaning).Most terminology surrounding structured data markup can be organized into these two concepts: vocabularies and grammars, and webmasters can combine whichever two they need to structure their data (with the exception of Microformats). How to Implement Structured Data by Using Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper Tool What is structured data? VocabulariesGrammars How Does Structured Data Work? The concept of structured data might seem confusing, but its implementation isn’t nearly as complicated. In fact, there are a number of structured data tools that can help you along the way, namely Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper and Testing tools. Sure, you can implement structured data by hand, but Google’s tool ensures accuracy — and makes your life easier.It’s important to note that adding structured data markup on your website doesn’t guarantee a Featured Snippet or Sitelinks Sitebox. Google can take weeks to crawl your new HTML markup, and sometimes, the information doesn’t show up at all.However, taking the steps to implement structured data is critical. Google might be smart, but it can’t (yet) understand everything on its own. It might seem like a lot of extra work, but using the correct structured data markup will ensure Google can make sense of your content and can help you potentially increase your click-through rates and visibility.Here’s how to implement structured data by using Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper tool.1. Open Google’s Structured Data Markup HelperOpen up Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper tool.2. Select your data type and enter the URLMake sure the Website tab is open. Choose the type of data to which you’d like to add the HTML markup. Plug the web page URL (or the HTML code) at the bottom , and click Start Tagging. Structured vs. Unstructured Data Structured Data Schema.orgMicrodatalast_img read more