Get Help With Your Utility Bills

1200 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

DOEE assists eligible low-income District households with energy costs associated with heating and cooling through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Eligible households may receive assistance towards their energy bill between $250 and $1,500 as a one-time regular energy assistance benefit. The regular energy assistance benefit is based on household size, total household income, heating source, and type of dwelling.

An emergency energy assistance benefit is available to low-income District residents who are currently disconnected from electric or gas service, or have a depleted supply of home heating oil.

ADVISORY:Appointments or online applications are required for District residents to apply for energy assistance with the DOEE.

District residents must apply for assistance by completing an online application (application TBA) or by calling 3-1-1 to schedule an in-person appointment.

If your energy service is disconnected: call 3-1-1 beginning September 18, 2017 for appointments taking place afterOctober 1, 2017.

If your energy service is not disconnected: call 3-1-1 beginning October 1, 2017 for appointments taking place after November 1, 2017.

Additionally, residents may apply for the Utility Discount Program in order to receive a reduced rate on their utility costs. To learn more, please visit theUtility Discount Program.

Emergency Assistance (your energy servicehas beendisconnected or home heating oil is depleted):

Check the income guidelines below to verify income eligibility

Visit one of DOEEs Energy Centers (location details are found below)

Regular Assistance (your energy servicehas not beendisconnected):

Check the income guidelines below to verify income eligibility

Call 311 to schedule an appointment at one of DOEEs Energy Centers (location details are found below)

Bring the following documents with you to receive energy assistance:

Your service disconnection notice or a letter from the utility company that states the service has been disconnected (if applicable);

Your most recent utility bills (or a copy);

Proof of income for everyone in your home who receives income; and

Social Security cards for everyone in your home.


2100 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave., SE

– If you disagree with DOEEs decision on your LIHEAP application, please seeyour appeal rights.

For more information, please contact the DOEE Energy Office by calling 311.

The District has banned the use of food service products made of expanded polystyrene.Read More

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RiverSmart programs offer incentives for reducing stormwater pollution.

DC was named the first LEED for Cities Platinum certified city in the world. LEED for Cities was launched last year and enables cities to measure and communicate performance. Read More

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12 Ways to Successfully Promote Your Instagram

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We get it. You took an amazing photo, put on the perfect filter, uploaded it and now youre waiting for the likes and comments to roll in your feed. Its a great feeling and payoff when you know your content does well on Instagram. And for your brand, you want that feeling to be consistent.

However, getting others to engage with your Instagram isnt as simple as uploading decent content and calling it a day. Your brand must understand how to promote your Instagram to reach your biggest audience possible. Theres more than700 million usersand casting the perfect net with your promotions can reel in big rewards.

The hard part is just learning how to promote your Instagram for success. It shouldnt take a PR expert to make you successful, so skip the pay-per-follower sites and follow these 12 tips to organically grow and promote your Instagram:

Instagram has turned into a must-have social network for marketers. Even more so, younger audiences continue to seek Instagram for brand interactions, engagement and personality. According to theSprout Social Q2 2017 Index, 51% of millennials enjoy brand personality on Instagram.

The platform continues to be an environment of sharing, liking, tagging and commenting. Additionally, younger generations can be inspired to make purchases on Instagram, despite its limited link in bio.

Instagrams core users can navigate the app seamlessly, although its not as traditional as marketing on Facebook or Twitter. The visual appeal of the app is unlike other networks as well. Images and videos from brands drive engagement, which only help you promote your Instagram even further.

According to ourQ1 2017 Index, 60% millennials and 67% of Gen Xers said they were more likely to make a purchase from a brand they follow on social media. And the single-scroll environment of Instagram puts your content front and center in the viewers smartphone or tablet.

Think about how much more engaged your brands audience would be if they had to scroll through each Tweet one at a time. It should be no surprise that a report from Forrester discovered brands see user interactions on 2.2% of their posts, which is the highest by far per network.

If youre a brand looking to promote your Instagram, this is the perfect network to boost audience engagement. Its all about learning the environment and taking advantage of how users interact.

When you want to promote your Instagram for your brand, the first thing to do is make a clear distinction between your business and personal accounts. For starters, you should optimize your Instagram account so youre focusing on the audience and not just the product.

This means selfies, friend groups and travel photos need to stay out of your brands Instagram account. While it seems completely obvious, a surprising amount of personal content makes its way to brand feeds. Think of what your audience wants to seenot your friends or an inside joke.

Absolutely stunning / lovepolaroid by @zoefortuna

A post shared byPolaroid(@polaroid) onJun 22, 2017 at 7:03am PDT

On the other hand, this doesnt mean your brands Instagram feed should only be full of products.Polaroiddoes an excellent job of separating the business from personal without taking out the personality. Its feed is extremely inviting to both newcomers and fans alike.

Striking a good balance between business and personal can give a little something to all of your followers on Instagram.

The majority of your customers know they can probably find you by doing a quick search on Instagram Explore. Your job is to make it as painless as possible to find you. Dont make it harder by using different profile names across all your networks. Keep all yoursocial media handlesconsistent and simple by following these best practices:

For example,Revolution Breweryuses the same handle across networks, simply titled RevBrewChicago. The shortened username makes it easier for users to find the brewery, but by adding Revolution Brewery as the Instagram profile name, both are searchable.

continues as we host the annualGalaxy-Hero C2E2 Cosplay Friday, March 16 from 6:00 10:00pm at the Revolution Tap Room. Join us for a heroic night of beers, comics, a Cosplay contest, and a chance to win 3-day passes to C2E2. Follow the link in our bio for party updates. c2e2 galaxyhero comics comicbooks cosplay reedpop revbrew revolutionbrewing revbrewchicago

A post shared byRevolution Brewing(@revbrewchicago) onMar 12, 2018 at 5:14pm PDT

In the same vein as your username, your bio should be just as simple and match your brand. Keep Instagram bios to a minimum, but at the same time, make sure you mention who you are and what you do. Because at the end of the day, this is one of the few places to truly promote your Instagram.

Thats why its essential to always have a link in your bio. Using URL shortening tools such as helps you keep your link concise and easily trackable. And within Sproutssocial media publishing tools, you have instant access to shortening for social posts, including Instagram.

While linking to your homepage isnt the worst idea, several brands use this space to link to promotional, sales or other marketing landing pages. This way you can keep the move from Instagram to your site more cohesive.

As a rule of thumb, hashtags are a great source of discovery on Instagram. Whether you want to increase your visibility or find exactly what youre looking for,hashtags for Instagramare the best way to do so.

Its a good idea to continually search the newest hashtags in your industry. The hashtag doesnt have to exactly correlate with your brand, but it should still be relevant. Once you find some candidates, use them in campaigns, to find new followers and get that little extra reach!

Did you know7 in 10 Instagram hashtagsare branded? Thats why you should also look to craft your own unique branded hashtag to build more awareness around your profile. Using a combination of both branded and standard hashtags is a great way to track engagement.

With SproutsInstagram analytics tools, you have the flexibility to track outbound hashtag performance by selecting any number of profiles. See what garners the most engagement and how your branded hashtags work in broader industries.

Let your creative side shine with hashtags like Nests Caughtonnest, which shows real-life events captured on customers security cameras. Even hashtags like AskWestElm show you simple party favors that can make your home a little fancier.

For those dinner parties when you wanna be REAL fancy. Got more home decorating + housekeeping questions? Send them our way with askwestelm!

A post shared bywest elm(@westelm) onJun 27, 2017 at 12:02pm PDT

Lastly, monitor hashtags your competitors use too. While it may not be your intention to compete on certain hashtags, you could still end up discovering ways to better reach your potential customers.

With geotagging features on Instagram, its easy to make yourself seen across your city or in other parts of the world. If your business has multiple locations, use geotags to promote your Instagram in various locations. This gives Instagram users a chance to see an assortment of photos and videos tagged at a specific location.

Geotags create a hub of stored content. It also gives youa great opportunity to seeuser-generated contentshowcasing your brand or place of business. From there, you can engage with customers that tagged you and thank them for using your services.

For example, if you search The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, you would find the Instagram location tag. This is the official tag of the venue where you can get tickets or see others posting. Thousands of people use this geotag when theyre in Cleveland, which gives the brand plenty of engagement opportunities.

If youre a brick and mortar store, Instagram geotags can be critical to effectively promoting your Instagram. Make sure your business is geotagged so customers can post their photos. Additionally,Instagram uses Facebooks APIto locate business results on the platform. Check your Facebook location settings to ensure youre set up correctly.

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Promoting your Instagram needs its subtletiesotherwise, your page will look like a billboard of advertisements. Its always best to mix up your feed by avoiding constant hard-sell posts.

Unless youre a major brand with massive recognition, you have to be a bit more subtle with selling. When users come to your feed, try to engage instead of directly sell. There are so many other creative ways you can sell to your audience without seeming like a shady used-car salesman.

Seanik is packed with ingredients from the sea: Japanese nori seaweed to soften hair and sea salt for volume.

A post shared byLush Cosmetics North America(@lushcosmetics) onJun 28, 2017 at 10:23am PDT

For example,Lush Cosmeticsis smart about the way they sell its product. Instead of going into grave detail about why you need it, the Instagram photo does all the talking alongside an informative caption. This is a visual space, so having your most creative folks handle your Instagram is a smart way to always look fresh.

Try to see Instagram as a promotional tool that drives traffic to your product pages. There you can do hard-selling calls to action and phrases. Youll go far on Instagram if you can produce amazing photos and videos, but your message shouldnt be lost or overbearing.

If youre following the appropriate steps to promote your Instagram, heres a trick you might want to explore. According toCuralate, a visual analytics and marketing platform, images with high levels of blue can generate up to 24% more likes than those with red or orange colors.

Additionally, photos that are brighter-colored can increase engagement by 24% as well when compared to darker images. With nearly 65% of Instagram posts receiving between 0 and 10 likes, its important to find any way possible to get more people to like, engage and respond to your posts.

Were definitely not recommending for every single Instagram photo to be blue, but when you put in the time and effort into a post, youre more likely to see your audience participate.

While its important to focus on new ways to promote your Instagram, you cant keep your efforts to just one network. To truly build your audience and promote your brand on Instagram, post links to your feed on other social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

According to Social Media Examiner,each social channelhas its own uniqueness when it comes to building an audience and promotion. On the other hand, you cant put all your eggs in one Instagram basket.

We are halfway through our jersey giveaway! Follow us on Instagram for the chance to win aBlackhawksjersey! Four jerseys still remain! /OGVKg8TdSb

Blackhawks Store (@BlackhawksStore)June 27, 2017

Try to promote across primary channels to boost Instagram traffic and followers. For example, the Blackhawks Store promotes its Instagram with giveaways.

Its a good idea to use Instagrams visual appeal to your advantage. You want to show off your product, services or employees in the best light, so why would you ever take poor pictures of them?

You can make Instagram special for your audience so they know this is where they can go to see the products or services in action. Or you try to use Instagram as a sole creative space for your brand, much like the companyReynolds Wrap.

The second you amaze your audience with your content, you earn their trust to follow and engage with you. At the same time, dont veer off the path too much. Some businesses use Instagram a little too freely to express their brand. Try tostick to your brand voiceand make sure each post resonates with that vibe.

While its great to use uniqueInstagram post ideas, its not always so easy coming up with them. If youre struggling for new ideas, try something you know is popular. Varioussocial media trendschange with the weather, but if you strike gold, youll see the payoff.

For example, one of the biggest trends in social media is face filters for selfies. Even though Snapchat started the game, both Facebook and Instagram are in the space. You can also take advantage ofInstagram Storiesto post fun and unique content with stickers, filters and other effects.

Taco Bell frequently uses Instagram Stories to make content resonate with viewers. This provides them with more ways to showcase their brand personality and ultimately helps promote their Instagram feed.

In-the-moment videos are popular enough for brands to get in the game. A report fromRecodefound Instagram Stories hit 250 million users, growing more than Snapchat.

Its always good to be in the know of social trends because they can easily help you drive traffic and build awareness without consistently creating new ideas.

How will you know where to improve your promotion strategy on Instagram if youre not tracking anything? This is an important question to ask yourself because so many brands tend to pick and choose different ways to promote their Instagram. But many dont track their steps to see if it developed a positive outcome.

WithInstagram reporting, you can successfully measure the performance of each post with presentation-ready reports to back up your claims. By monitoring your Instagram activity, you have better insights on engagement ratings and overall audience growth.

Whether you have to manage one ormultiple Instagram accounts, Sprout Social gives you the tools to measure the performance of each social profile. If you try to blindly promote your Instagram, youll end up missing out on what changes worked well and which ones fell short.

Theres so much that can go into a successful post, so make sure you have a better idea on your Instagram strategy by tracking key metrics.

As Instagram continues to surge in popularity, your brand has to take a slice of the pie and get active! Visual and interactive content is dominating the social scene, so take the right steps to get your Instagram visible.

Do you have any tips youd like to share on how to promote your Instagram? Comment and share your experiences below!

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Alex York: is a writer, Senior SEO Specialist and your guiding light to all things content. When hes not writing, youll catch him defending Ohio sports teams or endlessly scrolling through Netflix. Follow him on .

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The 7 Best Places To Advertise Your Busins Online

As a small business owner, do you feel like youre constantly wasting your marketing dollars?

Although print advertising, direct mail, tv and radio still have some relevance for some industries, for many,its a giant waste of time and money.  Consumer attention span is getting shorter, coupled with an ever increasing amount of advertising, you can see why people go about their day with blinders on.

One area of marketing that is growing though is online advertising.  According to a study by Zenith Optimedia, the current global display advertising market is predicted to reach $25.27 billion this year(2012), with a 36% growth to $34.4 billion in 2013.

If you arent advertising online yet, or are looking for new avenues to pursue,below are 7 places you can market your small business online.  While Im a huge proponent ofoptimizing your websiteso you canget found in the search engine results for free (SEO), the reality is that it takes alot of time, patience and persistence to rank high in the search engines.   While youre slowly and methodically building up your organic search rankings, why not spend your advertising dollars more efficiently online right now?

Note:  Many of the programs below offer a free credit for new advertisers.  If you dont have one or see one on their website, do a quick Google search online to see if you can find an offer code you can use.  If not, I would call them directly and ask for one, competition is fierce for advertising dollars and most will give you a credit for trying them out.

The grand daddy of online advertising.  Since Google owns the lions share of the search engine market, it makes their advertising platform Adwords the biggest platform for Pay Per Click (PPC) marketing.  Adwords lets you create text, image or video based advertisements targeting people who search for specific keywords (you bid on keywords in an auction type market) and terms in the Google search box or through demographic and behavioral targeting via their Display Network.  You can also get very specific in when your ad displays, making your marketing dollars very efficient.  Setting up a campaign can be a bit complicated for beginners, luckily Google offers an easy way for small businesses to get started withGoogle Adwords Express.

Some options available to you via Google Adwords:

Search Ads These are traditional ads you see when you perform a Google search.  There are usually 2-3 ads above the organic results as well as several ads to the right of the organic search results.  Here you target specific keywords people are typing in as they search and compete in an online auction with competitors for top placements.

Display Network These are ad placements outside of the traditional Google search.  Google owns dozens of properties such as Gmail and YouTube where you can place text, image and video ads across all of their networks.  They also partner with thousands of 3rd party websites giving Google Display Network the biggest reach out of any online advertising platform.

Remarketing With a remarketing campaign, after someone has been to your website, you have the ability to advertise to that individual person as they surf the internet.  Between Googles own properties and their 3rd party network, you have the ability to reach that person almost anywhere on the internet.  Remarketing is available for both Search and Display Network campaigns.

Similar to Google Adwords, Microsoft uses its Bing search engine to serve ads in its search engine results as well as partner networks.  The Bing search engine has a much smaller audience than Google, but this typically makes bidding on keywords less expensive and could save you money as it extends your marketing dollars a bit further.

Over the past few years Bing Ads has made great strides in improving their ad network as well as making it easy for business owners to run their own campaigns.  Bing Ads offers free advertising credits but they can be hard to come by.  If you go to the link below and submit your site to their search engine, they will offer you an advertising credit for trying it out.

A smaller player in the paid search industry, 7 Search uses smaller, niche search engines to display your Pay Per Click (PPC) ads.  They claim a better ROI than their bigger competitors and bidding on keywords is cheaper than both Google Adwords and Bing Ads.

I have had limited experience with 7 Search so far but their customer support has been really good and their Cost Per Clicks are definitely cheaper, though you wont get the same click volume as Adwords or Bing Ads.

Advertising on Facebook can be a gold mine for small businesses and their ad platform has come a long way the past few years, both in effectiveness and ease of use.

Facebook ads work similar to traditional Pay Per Click advertising (pay only when someone clicks on your ad), but the great thing with Facebook is that you can add an image or video along with your text.  Even if people dont click on your ad, youre still getting lots of great exposure to a targeted audience for free.

While platforms like Adwords and Bing Ads typically target user behavior (searching for a product or service), Facebook lets you target according to demographic makeups and user interests.  Their platform is unmatched in this respect and if you know exactly who your target market it, can be a powerful advertising platform.  Their video ad platform seeks to rival even YouTube and they seem to be pushing out new advertising features every week.

While Twitter has allowed advertising for quite some time with promoted tweets and trends, it has been way out of the budget for small business owners (unless you had a min of 10k to spend a day!).  Twitter since launched a small business advertising program that will make it much more affordable for businesses to advertise on Twitter.

While I do not know anyone currently using it that is getting a good ROI with Twitter Advertising, it still has many possibilities as they are still trying to figure out how to make advertising work on the platform.  Some interesting features that have come out areTwitter Cardsas well experiments with e-commerce, where users can buy items without having to leave Twitter.

Still relatively unknown to most people, Stumbleupon is a neat social service people use to discover (stumble on) new websites they never knew existed, related to their interests.  Its simple to use, create a profile, select your interests and start stumbling!  Stumbleupon has an advertising platform called Paid Discovery where you pay between .05 cents and .25 cents for every person that stumbles on your site.  You can select the interests you want your website to be included in and pay according to how targeted you want your stumbles to be.  There are no advertisements here, the website page you select becomes your ad for visitors.  They also have a traditional advertising platform with paid placement opportunities.

While I love Stumbleupon, I would only consider using it if you have a product or service that has general appeal as its not nearly as targeted as PPC or Facebook advertising.  I also wouldnt use it to drive sales, but to get content you have created out in front of people fast.

If youre in the BtoB or professional services industry, LinkedIn Ads may be exactly what youre looking for.  Linkedin can serve highly targeted ads to other professionals and businesses on Linkedin.  The Cost Per Click (CPC) is higher than pretty much any other platform listed here, but you can target your ads to very specific people.

I would recommend this if you are BtoB or offering professional services and you are looking to acquire high value clients.  The advertising platform is pretty easy to use and with so many highly detailed user profiles, offers incredibly detailed targeting choices.

Pinterest is a very interesting platform, driving more traffic and sales for many businesses than other social ad platforms.  Pinterest an advertising tool called Promoted Pins.

.  If you have a business that targets women and you can create visually appealing graphics, Pinterest can be a a top performing ad platform for you.  They also offer social analytics to measure the success of your ad campaigns.

Ever since they purchased Instagram, Facebook has been trying to figure out a way to monetize the platform.  They have been experimenting with different ad formats and will be opening advertising to everyone in the near future.  Advertising was originally reserved for big brands but has since opened up to everyone via a self-serve platform.

You can also create and run your Instagram ad campaigns directly inside the Facebook Ad manager, where one of your targeting options is now Instagram.  The great part about it is that you do not actually need an Instagram account to target Instagram users via the Facebook Ad platform, though I suggest you do.

Relative to traditional advertising like newspaper ads and direct mail, paid online advertising is very efficient.  The thing I like best about advertising online is that you can see exactly where your money is going and if its generating an ROI that makes sense for you.  I also like that fact that its usually a pay for performance scenario, where you only pay when someone actually clicks on your ad and visits your website.  Image if you only paid for your newspaper ad if someone called or walked through your front door?  The newspapers would go bankrupt!

Final note, paid advertising should coincide with your organic marketing efforts (Search Engine Optimization), you should really be doing both as the two of them working together can bring awesome results for you business.  Have questions about paid advertising online and how to get started?Contact me hereto learn more about how we can help.

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The 7 Best Places To Advertise Your Business Online 3Bug Media

Gary Shouldis (@3BugMedia)January 16, 2017

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Gary Shouldis is the founder of 3Bug Media, a web marketing company that helps businesses create 360 Marketing Strategies to dominate their market. His blog is read by over 20 thousand small business owners a month and has been featured in the N.Y. Times Small Business, Business Insider and Yahoo Small Business.

How To Create An Operations Manual For Your Business

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The 7 Best Places To Advertise Your Business Online

Thank you for an excellent article! I actually signed up for Stumbleupon from your page.

Thanks for taking the time to read it Kadupol.glad it was helpful!

When I do this and get a lot of contacts, what free CRM, or low cost non-cloud CRM do you recommend?

Great article on 7 best places to advertise. No matter where a business places ads, there are 2 NEW things EVERY business should include in ALL ads that can dramatically improve traffic and sales. Details are in the newsletter at:

ZOHO crm is a good choice, if youre looking for a free option. Also Insightly if you use Google Apps. Also consider Highrise from 37 signals if your looking for an easy to use, lightweight crm.

Keep them coming, love the comments. I have to totally agree with you!

Yes, these are great places to advertise, although I got burned in Google Adwords, as I did not know what I was doing, 3,000 later, I learned a hard lesson.

Hey Jeoff, Adwords can be a goldmine or a money pit, depends on how the account is set up and how much experience you have with it. If youre not familiar on best practices when it comes to Adwords, its best to have a professional set it up for you. Its always good to set a low monthly cap if you do it yourself so you can see where you need to make changes without it getting too expensive.

Hello, thanks for the list. As a new business owner I will definitely check out most if not all of these advertisers. I have recently signed up for an Ad-words account and it doubled my traffic which was nice. Once again I appreciate the list.

I appreciate your thoughts here some of the best resources you have made available under a roof 🙂 local business directory specified to area is also a good option.Cheers

I use twitter and to advertise my business, they have given me a free platform to push my products to a larger audience. Thank you for this article, it gave me a few more places to explore while growing my business.

This is a great article and in a world of small margins of nutritional supplements, I have found that CPC companies want to charge the most for them. I have tried most and have found that their is very little ROI. Can you recommend a company that only charges per sale, if you enter back end code to track sales amounts?

Low margin items are tough in the world of PPC. Especially with Adwords. You may want to try less competitive platforms like Bing and 7 Search and test your luck. You also really need to know what your doing when it comes to PPC advertising, especially when you dont have a lot of wiggle room. As for pay per sale, possibly look into affiliate marketing if youre usung a custom brand.

When was this article electronically published?

I really found the info usefull for my school reaserch paper on how to most efficiently advertise a business online.

Do a little advertising each and everyday and you will get more clients. If you dont advertise, you wont be know Advertising is the core foundation to any strong business So if you need help with any branding / logo design / Album covers etc, please contact me and thank you for this valuable information on advertising your business.

I am the owner of I found the information on this webpage very helpful. Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge about online advertising. I have been successfully building my lunarscooter brand with the help of many of the sites and tools you listed above. I am curiouse about your company 3Bug media and how we could potentially work together to help build one anothers business. Check out learn more about what my company offers.

Just checked out your website, awesome! Wish I had that when I lived in NYC. Feel free to message me, and we can chat. Im glad you found the article useful for you and your business, cheers

Hi Gary, very informative and insightful post. Thanks for offering such smart advice. Have a terrific week,

Thanks for checking it out Kevin, any questions feel free to message me. Cheers

your article very impressive and very use full for me. I am owner of I was searching best advertising companies for my website to increase the traffic.thanks for your post . I am new in internet marketing fields.

Glad you found it useful, good luck with your business

When you dont have a limited time offer, you may still create urgency by including an expression like, now or right now or today. A well picked up information for starters : In the book the details about web marketing is discussing in few words. If its not the case, move on, there are thousands of other people that would die to join your opportunity.

Great Article i am applying these techniques to get more customers to my T SHIRT PRINTING & T SHIRT DESIGNER site.. Thanks

Thanks so much for these ideas! I am marketing my business on a small budget and I found two new places to try from your article :-).

Good luck Debbie, if youre just starting out with online advertising, Google Adwords Express is a pretty easy way to start. If you want to use the regular Adwords platform and not hire an online web agency, if you call Google, they will hep set up the campaign for you for free.

Thanks again Gary for this great information. I can use all the advice and insights you have to offer and I appreciate your help :-).

BTW, I did sign up for stumbleupon thru your post but Im completely baffled by it, lol. I will learn how to use it though!

am selling gold bar and gold dust of 70kg and 30kg respectively.someone advise me where to advertise this product so i can get a genuine and serious buyer. your views are welcomed.

Great piece! I agree with many of the advertising alternatives you suggest. If you want to explore more advertising options, check out , they actually have a mix of traditional and online ad spaces.

I plan on dropping $125 on Google Adwords ($25+$100 credit). Glad to see it 1 on your list.

My site, Huzup is an online directory of websites. Here users can submit their website to different categories and subcategories. The speciality of my site in there will a button similar to like button for every site. Sites having higher number of likes will be on top in that category

Our intelligent search can tell you which website is the best according to the given keyword. For example if you input ebay it will list similar sites like flipkart, snapdeal etc and tell you which one is the best.

If you want to increase your sales help you with that.

Thank you for this article. I am the owner of While my site is SEO optimized for some keywords I have a long way to go to get my traffic where I would like it to be. I am very new to the online world and your article has been very helpful. I am anxious to try some of the sites and techniques you have recommended and that I have seen in the comments. You bet I have bookmarked your site and it will become a regular read for me!

Hello Gary, I am surely going to use some of the advertisers for my website: for this informative post 🙂

[] Online Advertising []

[] Online Advertising []

[] The difficulty is trying to evaluate them. You may not know if they are capable of doing what they advertise, so you will have to rely upon the information that you can find online. This could be in the form []

[] posted a good article that outlines some of the top places to advertise your business online. Heres who made the []

[] The Small Business Playbook. (2012) The 7 Best Places To Advertise Your Business Online . Retrieved from

[] The 7 Best Places To Advertise Your Business Online Small you arent advertising online yet, or are looking for new avenues to pursue, below are 8 places you can market your small business online. While Im a huge   []

[] you never want to stop marketing for new customers, take a look at the 5 suggestions below on how you can increase your bottom line with the customers []

[] Its about interaction and engagement so be sociable and friendly, not formal and cold. This does not mean that you can never advertise but you dont want a page full of ads and links to your companys website. You want to provide []

[] Per Click (PPC)  A paid form of SEM.  With PPC, a business will create advertisements that will show up alongside the search engine results when []

[]  If youre not sure where to start, I wrote an article on several platforms where you can get started with paid search.  In the meantime, check out this infographic from WordStream that build a pretty good argument []

[] h&1077&406&1088 &1091&959&965r business. Gary Shouldis lists th&1077 best places t&959 advertise &1091&959&965r business []

[] your photos. Jim Smith says Yelp can help your business. Gary Shouldis lists the best places to advertise your business []

[] your photos. Jim Smith says Yelp can help your business. Gary Shouldis lists the best places to advertise your business []

[] your photos. Jim Smith says Yelp can help your business. Gary Shouldis lists the best places to advertise your business []

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7 ways to protect your privacy on the internet

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The Internet can be a dangerous place these days.

Malicious software apps (malware), viruses, and phishing scams are growing in number and sophistication. Data breaches and identity theft are becoming commonplace.

Even among reputable sites, there are ever-multiplying ways that yourpersonal datais being tracked, collected, and stored. The use of your personal data, and the manner in which it is saved and secured can create real risks to your privacy and even to your finances.

Being able to maintain your privacy on the Internet is becoming harder, but its never been more important.

Here are seven ways you can protect your personal information and privacy online:

Youre probably already doing these things suggested by organizations like theNational Cybersecurity Alliance, but it doesnt hurt to be reminded because they are so important:

Since malware and phishing scams are getting more sophisticated, try not to open emails that look suspicious or unusual, especially if they relate to your email, social media, financial services, or utility accounts. Delete these messages.

This goes double for links and attachments in emails related to these kinds of accounts or services dont click them unless you are absolutely sure of the source. If you get an email about an issue or past due balance or a refund, rather than click on a link, go to the providers website directly and log in to your account there, or call the provider.

Keep your computers operating system, browser, and security software up to date. Turn on automatic updates for these wherever possible.

Be especially wary and vigilant if an offer demands you act immediately, sounds too good to be true, or asks for personal information.

Updating privacy settings on websites and servicesparticularly on social media and search sites such as Facebook, Google, and Yahoois a good place to start protecting yourself. This can usually be done under a settings menu option.

Since most sites default to information being shared publicly, changing settings will help you make sure your personal information is seen by fewer people. Ideally you should choose to share information only with people you know.

Why is this important? Oversharing of social media information leads to numerous risks, including home break-ins by criminals who see that you are on vacation. Also, limited sharing and/or deleting tags on photos and editing your Timeline can help remove potentially embarrassing material from being seen by people who dont know you well, including colleagues at work, acquaintances, distant family members, or potential employers.

Here are some privacy links and suggestions for Facebook, Google, and Yahoo:

: choose Friends only for these settings; Friends of Friends is next best but vastly increases the availability of information to people you dont know

You can also access basic privacy settings by clicking on the lock icon on any Facebook page and choosing

for actions such as removing tags of you on photos or removing something someone has added to your timeline

for additional protection; in particular, we recommend setting up

under Login Approvals (this requires confirmation from your phone if you or someone else tries to access your account from an unusual browser or Internet location)

Blocking third party cookies on your browser is another good way to maintain some anonymity while online. Blocking cookies makes it so websites will have a harder time tracking the last time you visited, what your username is, and whether or not you should be signed in automatically. While blocking cookies can be less convenient in some cases, the increase in privacy is worth the tradeoff.

Two browser plug-ins that help block cookies are:

Many websites now are giving the option to link accounts. Google, for example, allows you to link all your differentGmailaccounts in a browser. Many sites are now giving you the option to use your Google login to access their site.

While convenient, linking accounts can create more risk. If one of your accounts is compromised, all the linked accounts will also automatically be at risk. So unlinking accounts is a good way to help protect information.

Always use a secure wireless connection (and stop using public Wi-Fi networks). If you dont have a strong password on your home Wi-Fi network, its time to create one.

Use a firewall: protecting your computer from unwanted network traffic is important. The good news is that modern OS releases generally contain built-in firewalls. Make sure they are turned on and you have set security settings on high:

It is also important to have some kind of anti-virus or anti-spyware to keep your computer clean and free of viruses.

Microsoft provides itsSecurity Essentials softwarefor free.

Your username and password combinations remain critically important for maintaining security online. The problem is that with every website needing a password, people tend to get predictable or lazy by creating simple passwords or using the same passwords over and over again on different websites.

Use passwords of eight characters or more with mixed types of characters. But even passwords with simple substitutions like dr4mat1c can be vulnerable to attackers increasingly sophisticated technology, and random combinations like j%7K&yPx$ can be difficult to remember.

One way to create more secure passwords that are easy to recall is to try passphrases short words with spaces or other characters separating them. Its best to use random words rather than common phrases. For example, cakes years birthday or smiles_light_skip?.

Avoid using the same username/password combination for multiple websites.  It is especially risky if you use the same password for entertainment sites that you do for online email, social networking, or financial services sites. Use different passwords for each new website or service you sign up for.

Having trouble remembering all those different strong passwords? Try using apassword manager application like SplashIDthat organizes and protects passwords and can automatically log you into websites. Companies and groups can use a single sign-on solution or abusiness password manager like TeamsID.

You should delete cookies regularly (in Chrome, for example, go to the Chrome menu and then click Clear Browsing Data.) You should also log out of social media websites like Facebook, and even your Google account when not using them (and dont keep them open in tabs on your browser).

If you want to take the next step in getting better privacy, try using a browser such asTorthat routes your IP through a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A virtual private network routes all of your data through a proxy server so your IP address and in many cases your user data is protected.

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How To Advertise on Google and Boost Your Small Business

Google advertising is a great marketing strategy for small business owners. You can show an ad for your business to people who are searching for your type of business at that very moment AND who are looking for businesses in your area. This type of targeting makes most small business owners want to advertise on Google.

Want free advertising right out of the gate? When you sign up with , you get a domain name, website, business email, AND $150 in free advertising with Google and Bing.Click herefor instruction on claiming your ad credit.

Google Adwordsis an online advertising service that allows businesses to have their ads run on Googles search results page. The ads look almost identical to the normal search results, with the only difference being the small word Ad in green. Google ads will show at the top and bottom of a search results page.

If you are interested in learning more about how to rank highly in the organic search results, read our7 steps to increasing Google page rank.

When a consumer searches for a term or phrase, Google will show the consumer relevant ads based on the keywords used in the search. Websites that want their ads to show on the results page bid on keywords that they believe people will use when looking for their type of business. For example, a plumber located in Atlanta might bid on the keywords plumbing atlanta, plumber, or broken toilet.

Depending on how much you bid compared to other plumbers in the area, your ad may show up on the results page when people search for the terms you bid on. In addition to how much you bid, Google also takes into account the relevance and quality of your ad and website. So even if you have the highest bid, the ad for your plumbing company will probably never show when someone searches flower store.

We will go into more detail below onhow Google determines which ads to showon the results page andhow much advertising on Google costs. If you want more help with Google advertising, you should look atAdzooma. They offer an easy and intuitive Google ad builder, a simple performance report dashboard, and insights to help you improve your ads.Click here to check it out.

There are three primary benefits to advertising on Google:

People searching Google are typically in the market for the keywords they are searching for. For example, if someone searches pizza nyc, it is not too presumptuous to assume they are looking for a pizza spot to eat lunch at later that day. Since you can set the geographical location that you want your ad to show, you can make sure only people in your area are seeing your ad. For example, you can tell Google to only have your ad show to people located in New York.

Compare this to advertising on Facebook. Even though you can show an ad for your restaurant to someone who is a known pizza enthusiast, you cant show it at the moment they are looking for a pizza restaurant. Instead, you are targeting them when theyre looking at pictures of their cousins golfing vacation. This is not as effective.

This is what makes advertising on Google so successful and unlike any other type of advertising. You are specifically targeting people that are in the market for your goods or services at the moment theyre seeing your ad. Not only that, you can target only people that are located in your area, which is a huge plus for local businesses.

Another enticing factor is that you only pay if your advertisement works. Since Google uses a pay-per-click advertising model, you only pay if someone is searching for the keyword you have bid on AND is interested enough in your ad to click on it.

You can set how much you are willing topay per clickon your ad and set a maximum daily budget. This differs from advertising in your local newspaper, which costs a standard price that is paid whether or not someone even looks at your ad.

Google AdWords has revolutionized the way advertising works by only making you pay when the user has taken an action to view your site. We will go into more detail abouthow much it coststo advertise later in the article.

With the AdWords dashboard you can track how many people see your ad, how many click on your ad, and how many take an action once on your website. That way, if you notice that a lot of people are clicking on your ad, but no one is buying anything once on your site, you know you need to edit either thelanding pageor the ad itself. By keeping a pulse on how your ad is doing, you can make any necessary adjustments quickly in order to have a successful ad campaign.

The tracking capabilities with advertising on Google is a huge plus for small businesses. Imagine you own a flower store and decide to buy a billboard advertisement. Unless a customer told you, there would be little to no information telling you if anyone came to your store because they saw the billboard. You would be making a big investment without really knowing if it was yielding a positive return.

With Google ads, you can track exactly how many people visited your site because they clicked on your ad. There is little risk since you can stop running an ad at any time if you notice that you are not getting the results you want. We will explore thebest ways to track your adsa little later in the article.

Google uses a combination of three primary factors to determine when an ad shows on the results page:

The bid is the price you are willing to pay for a click on your ad. You bid against other websites on keywords that you believe people search for if they are interested in your product. A flower store might bid on the terms roses cheap bouquet or wedding flowers.

Your ad needs to be relevant to the search being made in order to show on the search results page. If someone searches wedding flowers it wouldnt make sense for Google to show an ad for a nail salon. You want to make sure you have a lot of the same keywords that you are bidding on in the ad itself, so Google can tell your ad is relevant to the search.

When someone clicks on your ad, the landing page that they are sent to should have similar content as the ad itself and the keywords used in the search. If you own a salon and are advertising manicures, youll want to link directly to a page that has more information on manicures, instead of to the homepage which includes all of your services.

Bonus:Whats better than Google Advertising? Getting traffic from Google for free.Get our guideand learn how to rank on the first page!

Mobile and desktop ads on Google are very similar. They both display ads at the top and bottom of the search results page, and you bid on keywords the same way with both. Though some business owners overlook mobile, it is something you definitely want to think about when advertising on Google. More than half of Googles searches are done from mobile devices, and people searching on their phone often have local intent.

The key differences between desktop and mobile advertising are:

There is less space on a mobile device

, so you need to make sure your message is straight to the point.

People on their phones are on the go

, so you want to tailor your message depending on if its for desktop or mobile.

Below is an example of two ads for the same company with the first showing on mobile and the second showing on desktop. Notice that the mobile ad incorporates a click to call button so that people searching on their mobile devices can easily call for more information.

When setting up your account, you can decide whether you want your ad to show on desktop, mobile, or both. We suggest setting up separate campaigns for desktop and mobile in order to track how your ads perform across different devices. Depending on your type of business, you may want to focus your efforts on one over the other.

Antonella Pisani, CEO & Founder,Official Coupon Code

In pay per click advertising, you only pay if someone clicks on your ad. The cost per click of an ad depends on how much you bid on certain keywords. The cost ranges greatly depending on if you are in a market where a lot of other businesses are willing to pay a high price to rank on a certain keyword.

For example, if you are a realtor in a small town you might be able to bid less than $1 per click on a keyword and still have your ad show on Google. However, if you own a medical malpractice law firm in a big city, the cost per click will be much more expensive.

Learn more about the cost to advertise in our guide toGoogle advertising costs.

You can use Googles keyword planner to see how much the suggested bids are for your ad to show up when someone searches for specific keywords. However, instead of strictly focusing on the cost of advertising, you will also want to think about how much you stand to earn from advertising on Google, and whether this will yield a substantial profit for your business.

Example: the average suggested bid for keywords related to the term real estate providence is $1.50 which we can compare to the average bid of $30 for terms related to medical malpractice attorney providence. A malpractice firm might be thrilled to pay $30 for a click on their ad if 1 out of 10 clicks becomes a new client. Even though they are paying $300 for a new client, they will likely still profit from the ad at the end of the day.

We will go over thekeyword plannerin more detail later in the article.

The simple answer is to advertise on Bing. In many ways, Bing provides a very similar service to Google Adwords. The only big disadvantage of Bing is that there are fewer clicks available for purchase. As a result, many advertisers focus on Google Adwords and ignore Bing. The lower competition means less fierce bidding, which in turn lowers the cost per click. According to an article by Wordstream, Bing is typically 33.5% cheaper than Adwords for the same term.

Remember, signing up forBluehostwill include $150 in Google AND Bing advertising for free.Click here to get started.

Once youve chosen your hosting plan and domain fromBluehost, youre ready to try your first Google AdWords campaign with $150 in credit. Heres how to get started:

in the top left of your Bluehost dashboard (

make sure you are logged into Bluehost)

You need to spend $25 in Google AdWords to get the ad credit

Scroll down to the gray box that says

Create your first AdWords™ campaign

: Copy the code and click on the green button that appears labelled

In the next screen, enter an email address you want to use for your Google AdWords account and the URL of the website you want to advertise with Google

You can now create your first AdWords campaign and use your discount code (learnhow to set a budgetandhow to use Google AdWords)

After you create your campaign, you can enter the code received in step 4 in the

Enter you payment information, check the box next to

I agree to the AdWords terms and conditions

In order to setup your account and begin advertising on Google, all you need is an email address and a website. Follow along with the steps and set up your own accounthere.

The first step is setting your daily budget. A good starting point is $10 per day, but you can increase or decrease this amount once you have a better idea of what you will have to bid per keyword. Its not guaranteed that you will pay this amount every day (especially if no one is clicking your ad), but Google will make sure you wont exceed your budget.

A good way to set your budget is to first figure out what percentage of clicks will convert into sales.WordStream has a nice infographicthat shows a 2-5% average conversion rate for small businesses. If 5 out of 100 people that visit your website purchase your product, than you have a 5% conversion rate. You then have to decide how much you are willing to spend for each person to purchase your product. If you sell something that is $1,000 you are probably willing to pay more per click than someone with a $5 product if you both have a 5% conversion rate.

If youd like to get started for free, giveBingads a shot as well. They offer afree $100 credit when you spend $25, which is a great way to try out different terms to see what works before you start running paid campaigns on Google.

Google lets you decide what geographical location you want your ads to show in. This is important for local businesses because you can make sure that your ad only shows when people search for the keyword you are bidding on AND are within a specified distance from your business. This can save you money and increase your conversion rate. You can even target a certain radius from your zip code by hitting advanced search and choosing radius targeting.

Most small businesses use the Google Search Network for their ads

Google lets you choose between showing your ads exclusively on Googles search results page (search network), or also including Google content sites (display network). If you choose display network, your ad could show up on other sites, such as YouTube and Gmail. We suggest starting with the search network as this ensures that your ad only shows for people searching for your type of business. The types of products that small business owners provide tend to be more successful with this type of advertising.

Keywords are the terms or phrases that users enter into Google when they are using the search engine. When setting up your AdWords account, you can choose which keywords you want to trigger your ad. Google will suggest keywords for you to use based on your website and will also let you know how popular a keyword is. For example, when setting up an account for a pizza restaurant in Dallas, a suggested keyword is dallas restaurants, which gets 18,100 monthly searches.

Google has good suggestions, so you can definitely use those at first. If you are looking to add more keywords after you setup your account, Google has a useful resource in the Tools section of your AdWords account called Keyword Planner This will help you get ideas for other terms you could be using. For example, when I typed pizza dallas and then clicked Get Ideas, one of the suggested terms was pizza delivery in dallas which is a phrase I had not yet thought of using. Since Google has data on every search, you can see trends and common searches that you may not have realized were popular for your type of business.

Another good strategy is to focus on keywords with more than 2 words, also known as long-tail keywords. These will have less competition since they are more specific.

There are 4 different keyword matching options that you can choose from:

This is the default match type that your keywords are assigned and will reach the most extensive audience out of the options. This may seem like a positive thing, but since your ad is eligible to show when a search query includes any of your keywords in any order (including synonyms), your ad could be showing on searches that arent really relevant to your site. Since all keywords dont even have to be in the search query for the ad to show, if your search term is dallas restaurant your ad could show for pizza in dallas.

This option gives you a little more control than the broad match on who sees your ad because you can lock certain keywords into place. You just need to add a + in front of the word and that lets Google know that the search needs to include that word in order to trigger your ad. If your restaurant specializes in pizza and no other types of food, you may want to bid on the keyword +pizza in dallas so that your ad wont appear when someone searches dallas restaurant.

This option is next down the line of stricter control. With phrase match, search terms need to be in the same order as your keywords to trigger your ad, but there can be other words before or after the phrase. So if your keyword is dallas restaurant your ad wont appear when someone searches restaurant dallas, but could if someone searches best dallas restaurant. In order to indicate to Google that you want a phrase match, you will need to put quotation marks around the phrase.

This option works just like it sounds. In order for your ad to show, someone will have to search the exact keywords, in the same order, and with no other words before or after. So if you want to place an exact match on dallas restaurant your ad wont show for the search best dallas restaurant or restaurant in dallas. You need to put brackets around the phrase if you would like it to be an exact match (e.g. [dallas restaurant]).

Small business owners should use a combination of these matching types for their keywords.

If you notice that your ad is showing for a search query that is not really relevant to your site, you will want to take advantage of negative keywords. So if a keyword that youre bidding on is cheeseburger than you probably dont want people to click on your ad after searching for the popular song cheeseburger in paradise if you own a hamburger restaurant. In this case, you would add paradise as a negative keyword, and your ad wont show if someone includes that word in their search.

Collin J. Slattery, Founder,Taikun, Inc.

The bid is the amount you are willing to pay for a click on your ad. You are bidding on keywords against other websites in order for your ad to show on the results page when someone searches for that keyword. If a website has an equally relevant ad to the search being made and is willing to pay more per click, then their ad will show higher than yours or even instead of yours.

Use Googleskeyword plannerto find out how much you will need to bid. Below is a comparison of suggested relevant keywords and bids for the search pizza rochester and plumbing rochester in the keyword planner. As you can see, plumbing companies can expect to bid higher than pizza restaurants in the Rochester area.

Google AdWords dashboard for writing your ad

The final step is writing your ad. You will need to write two headlines and a description. You have a limited number of characters, so make sure your ad is concise and straight to the point.

How to Effectively Advertise on Google

You need to use the same keywords that you are bidding on are in your ad so that Google will be able to tell that the ad is relevant to the search.

If you are a local business, you want to consider using location terms in your search. If someone is searching for bbq dallas then your ad with the headline Best BBQ in Dallas will be more likely to show in the results and be highly relevant for the person looking for a restaurant in your area.

Clearly state who you are and what you offer

The user should know immediately what your business is and how you can help with what theyre looking for. If you own a store that offers many different products, make sure you are matching your ad to the keywords being searched.

Tell the user what makes your business unique

There are tons of results on the first page of a Google search. You need to tell them why they should choose your business. Are you more affordable, dependable, or reliable? Do you have awesome reviews and ratings? Share that information in your ad.

Users are more likely to click on an ad if they are being instructed on next steps. Examples of this are Call today for a free quote, or Enter zip to find store closest to you.

You may want to include an offer such as 20% off shoes today! or Free shipping!. Its understandable if you dont want to offer a discount on top of the advertising cost, but even a small offer can be the difference between attracting a new customer to your site, or having them click on the website next to yours.

Extensions show additional information about your business, such as your phone numbers, store rating or address, as links extending from your ad. Including extensions will increase the amount of space you take up on the results page, and they tend to have a high click through rates (both huge benefits). Plus there is no additional cost for including extensions.

A simple step you can take before writing your ads is to search for your type of business and see what type of ads come up. You dont want to copy other businesses ads exactly, but you can get an idea of what works and what is out there.

This ad hits a lot of the things on our checklist. It is packed with keywords, offers $40 off, boasts being open 24/7, highlights what they are best at, and has ad extensions that are tempting to click on. Next, take a look at this ad:

This ad is a little weaker because although it is clear that they are offering plumbing services in NYC, there are not many keywords, and nothing in the ad makes them stand out against the other ads listed.

Google gives you a certain amount of characters to use, and in most cases you want to take advantage of all possible characters. The bigger your ad, the more it will stand out and the more keywords you can use within your ad.

When writing ads targeting mobile devices, you want to think about everything we mentioned above. However, there are a couple of things that you will need to tweak for mobile:

Include click to call and click for directions

Enable these ad extensions so people can quickly contact or locate your business when they are on the go.

There is less space on mobile and people are looking at a smaller screen, so make sure your message is simple and straight to the point.

Make sure your landing pages are optimized for mobile, or theres a good chance Google wont let your mobile ads rank.

Heres an example of a good mobile ad. The ad extensions are straight to the point, the click to call button allows people to easily contact the firm, plus you can see how far it is from your current location.

An important aspect of advertising on Google is tracking how your ad is doing. When you are first starting, you should log into your account about once a week in order to make sure your ad is performing well.

Google will assign a quality score to each of your keywords based on:

Expected click-through rate How likely someone is to click on your ad after searching for the keyword.

Ad relevance How closely the keyword is related to your ad.

Landing page experience- How closely the keyword is related to the landing page your ad link to.

You can check the quality score of your keywords by clicking on the keywords tab on your account and adding the quality score column.

Google multiplies your quality score times your bid to determine what number your ad will rank. Therefore, if your quality score is 0.9 and your bid for the keyword is $1, you will rank higher than someone with a quality score of 0.4 that bids $2.

Ex: (0.9 x $1) = 0.9 (0.4 x $2) = 0.8

David Erickson, VP of Online Marketing,Karwoski & Courage

Quality scores let you know if your ads will rank high, but you can also check statistics on the ad to see how many people are seeing and clicking on your ad:

Impressions are counted each time your ad appears on the results page. You will want to take note of the number of impressions your ad gets because a low number of impressions is a red flag. If no one is seeing your ad, there is no chance of you getting business from that ad. If you notice a low number of impressions youll want to make sure your bid is competitive and that the keywords you chose to bid on match your ad and your landing page.

The click through rate on an ad is the number of clicks divided by the number of impressions. This percentage lets you know out of everyone that is seeing your ad, how many people are taking an action to click on it. Good click through rates vary by industry, but if your CTR is less than 1% you should reevaluate the text of your ad. Make sure the ad is enticing and give a compelling reason for someone to click on your ad in order to drive traffic to your website.

CPC is the total amount paid for your ads divided by the total number of clicks. This price lets you know what you are paying for someone to click on your ad. Determining if you have a good CPC depends on the rate at which people on your site typically convert into sales. If 1 out of every 100 people that go to your site becomes a customer, then your conversion rate is 1%. If your average cost per click is $2 then you are paying $200 to get a new customer. This is great news if a conversion means $1,000 in your pocket, but not so much if you will get $20 max from a customer. If you feel your CPC is too high, youll need to evaluate your landing page and ad to get more conversions.

You shouldnt expect to get a net positive ROI until youve refined your advertisements. Thats why starting out with afree $100 Bing credit when you spend $25can be a good way to experiment on the cheap before running paid campaigns on Google.

Just like how you wouldnt settle on the first pizza recipe you come across if you own a pizza restaurant, you also dont want to settle on the first ad that you write.

You should always have at least two ads running at once. You will want to change something in one of the ads and then test which one works best. Be careful to not change too many things at once, because than if an ad starts doing exponentially better, you wont know which change led to the better results.

Matthew de Noronha, Digital Marketing Specialist,Eastside Co.

You should also consistently clean your keyword list. Use Googles search term report to see what actual searches are triggering your ad. You can find this report in your account under the keyword tab by hitting the search terms button. If you notice that your ad is showing for keywords that are not relevant to your site, you will want to remove that keyword, add it as a negative keyword, or turn it into an exact match keyword.

For example, imagine you own an eyeglass store, and your ad is showing when someone searches wine glasses because one of your keywords is glasses. You will either want to add wine as a negative keyword, or you can make sure Google only matches your ad when someone searches the full phrase eye glasses.

Having a good set of keywords is key because you only want your ad showing to people that will find your businesses useful. Otherwise, you could be wasting money on unnecessary clicks.

After you get the hang of running your first Google ad, you will want to start running multiple campaigns at once. A campaign is a set of ad groups that all share a budget, location setting and device setting. So if you own a business that has two locations, you will want to have a separate campaign for each. Then you can use targeted keywords depending on which location the campaign is for.

Each campaign is made of different ad groups. Each ad group shares a list of keywords and should have a similar theme. Therefore if you own a home goods store, you could have an ad group that consists of keywords related to dishware, and one that has keywords relating to furniture. Keep in mind that you dont want two ad groups in the same campaign to share too many of the same keywords, because then you might be bidding against yourself to have one of your ads show.

Dont forget to check outAdzoomaif you want professional help to improve your ad performance. They offer a simple performance report dashboard and insights to help you generate more revenue from you ads.Click here to try Adzooma.

When you advertise on Google, it can go a long way towards helping you get new customers, especially since you can target your ad specifically for people in your area.

Once you create your account, constantly test ads so you are using the best performing material, and keep your keyword list clean. This will help you pay the lowest amount possible for your ads. Check out ourguide to Google advertising coststo learn more.

Dont forget to sign up for web hosting, a domain, and business email withBluehostto receive $150 in free Google and Bing Ad credits.Click here to learn more.

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Who Were You In Your Past Life?

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design your own shoes

How to Customize Your Own Car Simulation Online

Best kit car gothe time money and spacwhy nobuild your own car?

10 Hotel Room Design Ideas To Use In Your OwBedroom

Its always fun to stay at a hotel. The beds are usually super comfy, you dont have to clean up after yourself, and as long as youre staying at a nice one, the design is usually beautiful. The design details included in hotels are often what make them stand out, but theyre often not that difficult to replicate in your own home.Here are 10 design ideas used in hotel rooms that you can create in your own bedroom.

1. Define the sleeping space with a wrap around headboard.

Wrap around headboards are an effective way to define your sleeping space, as well as add texture and color to a room. There are a number of ways to do it and style them, but no matter how you do it, a wrap around headboard makes a unique design detail in your bedroom.

See more photos of this hotel,here.W Hoteldesigned byStudio Gaia. Photography byMark Knight.

Hotel rooms often include a lounge or seating area in the room to provide a place for guests to sit or relax that isnt on the bed. Doing the same in your bedroom creates the perfect spot for reading, relaxing, or enjoying your morning coffee, and is as simple as including a comfy chair or cozy couch and a small table.

See more photos of theMandarin Oriental Hotelin Barcelona,here.

3. Place your bed in the middle of the room and put a desk behind it.

If youd like to include a desk in your room but dont feel like you have enough space for it, consider using a less traditional bedroom arrangement and put your bed in the middle of the room and attach a desk to the back of it. This is a trend weve been seeing in hotel rooms and it would be an easy thing to do in your own bedroom to get more functionality out of the space.

See more photos of this hotel,here.Katamama Suitesdesigned byAndra Matinin partnership with interior designers Ronald Akili, the PTT Creative Team, andTakenouchi Webb.

Raising up your bed even just a few extra inches can create a whole new feel in your bedroom. Hotels do it to separate the sleeping and living areas, but in your bedroom this could also be done to separate the sleeping and relaxing areas so you have a space within a space, designated just for sleep.

See more photos of this hotel,here. Ripple Hotel designed byXL-MUSE. Photography by Hu Yi-Jie.

5. Paint a mural on the wall behind your bed

Murals are a great way to personalize your space and add some life to your walls. Hotels usually have artists come in and do them professionally, but you could always try your own hand at it.

See more photos of theJAZ Hotel,here.

You never know when inspiration will strike and you just have to jot down some brilliant ideas. Hotel rooms are usually ready for those moments, so make sure your own room is too by including a small writing desk somewhere in the space.

See more photos of hotel,here. Hotel Indigo Helsinki-Boulevard designed byArchitects Soini & Hortoand Markus Eskola. Photography byTuomas Uusheimo.

7. Add a bench at the end of the bed

Hotel rooms often have benches for guests to put their luggage on for the duration of their stay. Its a convenient way to keep things easily at hand in hotels. In your home, a bench at the end of your bed would make the perfect spot for laying out clothes for the next day, or a nice place to sit while you put on your shoes in the morning.

See more photos of this hotel,here. TheDrake Deonshire Inndesigned by+tongtong. Architects of record ERA Architects. Styling by Carlo Colacci. Photography byNikolas Koenig.

See more photos of this hotel,here.Dream Downtown Hoteldesigned byHandel Architects. Photography byBruce Damonte,Phillip Ennis,Edward Menashy, andAdrian Wilson.

8. Create the illusion of a floating bed

Give your room a more futuristic feel by including lights underneath your bed to create the illusion of a floating bed. This is a common feature in modern hotel rooms and is an easy addition to your own bedroom that would add both safety and style to your room.

See more photos of this hotel,here. The Cave Suite at1864-The Sea Captains Housedesigned byPATSIOS Architecture. Photography byPaterakis Vangelis. Styling by Michalis Anestis.

See more photos of this hotel,here. Cocoon Suites (part of theHotel Andronikos) designed byKLab Architecture. Photography byNikos VandorosandAkis Paraskevopoulos.

See more photos of this hotel,here.Andronikos Hoteldesigned byKLab Architects.

9. Include a fold down bedside table

This fold down bedside table is a great way to save space throughout the day but creates a convenient spot to keep a glass of water or a book throughout the night. In the morning simply fold up the shelf and youve got extra space beside your bed and a cleaner design.

See more photos of this hostel,here.Generator Hosteldesigned byDesignAgency. Local project architecture byStudios dArchitecture Ory & Associes. Photography byNikolas Koenig.

Things like sheep skins, extra blankets, and piles of pillows are common features in hotel rooms and theyre easy elements to include in your own bedroom. They add texture, coziness, and warmth to your space and theyre easy to change out when the seasons or your tastes change.

See more photos of this hotel,here.Hotel Indigo Helsinki-Boulevarddesigned byArchitects Soini & Hortoand Markus Eskola. Photography byTuomas Uusheimo.

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How To Create Your Own Custom Shoes From Scratch On The Internet

Jodie Fox, founder and director of fashion at Shoes of PreyShoes of PreyImagine being able to create your own unique, handmade shoes. Youd never have to go shoe shopping and see all those nice-but-not-quite-right shoes again

Australian-based startupShoes of Preyallows you to design your own pair of shoes online. With Shoes of Prey, you can design every aspect of the shoe, from the color to the fabric to the heel height.

It can take anywhere from 10 minutes to hours upon hours to design a shoe, Shoes of Prey co-founder Jodie Fox tellsBusiness Insider.

In fact, people have collectively spent 50 million minutes designing shoes on the site, which translates to about 95 years. During that time, Shoes of Prey customers have created 10 million shoes.

Click here to jump straight to the product walkthrough

Right now, Shoes of Prey is geared toward women. But Fox says that some men have used the site to design some low-profile Oxford shoes. A pair of flat Oxfords starts at around $200, for instance, with about $169 for sandals or $379 for ankle boots.

In terms of doing a male-focused product, I think that the market behaves quite differently and perhaps isnt as exciting for me as the female market, Fox says. If you think about it, I have no doubt that men are comfortable to spend $600 on a pair of shoes but the issue is men will only have six pairs of shoes in their cupboard and will probably only buy the shoes every three to four years, with a couple of exceptions, like my publicist.

Obviously, there are exceptions to the rule. But Fox says the female market has more potential for her business.

In addition to the online store, Shoes of Prey has a retail presence where people can try on their shoe size, understand the quality of the shoe, and see what their shoe will look like in real life.

I definitely still see value in a physical presence, Fox says. If retail remains only about online and physical presence for even the next ten years, Ill be very disappointed because i think theres a lot of room for innovation and change in that space.

Fox points to 3D printing, which she calls one of the most ultimate merges of the online and offline world. Already, Fox is experimenting with developing prototypes of heels using 3D printing.

I just truly believe in that its not a question of integration, Fox says. We shouldnt even be thinking about whats simply available to us now, we should be dreaming of what the ideal solution is because were at a tipping point with technology where anything truly is possible. You just need to think what that ideal solution is and then you can go and build it.

While still unsure of the ideal solution, Fox says shes interested in using 3D printing throughout the entire creation process. But the issue there is that the materials made available for 3D printing are currently limited to plastics, metals, and earthenware.

So when youre making high-quality shoes made out of suede and other types of fabrics, 3D printing isnt the best solution, at least not yet.

At the same time, Fox sees a lot of potential in virtual try-on and holographic technologies to facilitate purchasing shoes. With Shoes of Prey, Fox hopes it will revolutionize the way women buy shoes.

Head on over to to get started. Click Login at the top to either sign up or log in.

After youre all signed up and logged in, click Start Designing.

Now, heres where the fun begins. The first step is to pick what kind of shoe you want to design.

We picked the oxfords for their class and simplicity. On the left-hand side, you can look at some inspirations to get your creative juices flowing.

But if you trust your own instincts, simply close the inspiration tab.

On the top of the screen, you can customize the look of the toe, back, and heel of the shoe.

Here, you can customize the colors, type of leather and fabrics.

If you click those little circles, you can customize the color and fabric of the different elements of the shoe i.e. insole, tongue, mid panel, etc.

In the bottom right corner, Shoes of Prey makes color recommendations based on the selections youve already made.

You can even add elements like lace to give your shoes a more elegant look. Once youre done designing your perfect shoes, click Add To Cart.

The next step is to select your shoe size. Once you place the order, you can expect to receive your handmade shoes within four weeks.

Now, check out start to finish how Shoes of Prey hand makes your shoes

Want to learn about some other Australian startups?

Rebekah Campbell, founder and CEO at Posse

The 10 Hottest Startups In Australia Right Now

centerobject classid=clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-0 width=1024 height=630 align=middle id=Design-Your-Shoesparam name=movie value= name=quality value=high![if !IE]object type=application/x-shockwave-flash data= width=1024 height=630param name=movie value= name=quality value=high!![endif]a href= src= alt=Get Adobe Flash Player/a![if !IE]/object!![endif]/objectbra href= Coloring Games/a/center

centera href= img src= border=0 width=180 height=135brDesign Your Shoes/a/center

Design Your Shoes is a free game for girl to play online at . You can play Design Your Shoes in your browser for free. Dont you love to design your own shoes ?Here you have a amazing fabulous shoes. You could choose any shape you like,and design as you like. Take a challenge to show your talent in designing .Have fun.

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If you choose Double Cuff style the Pant Lenght measurement that you measure has to be very accurate as double cuff styles the Lenght of Pants can not be adjusted,for new customers we suggest regular cuffs as it is very easy to adjust with your tailor locally.

Enter Desired Monogram/Initials English Script Only

Enter Desired Monogram/Initials English Script Only

Are you after that dapper look and in need of a perfectly fitted jacket?read moreLook no further iTailor is the place for you! You have the opportunity to design the perfect jacket, made to fit your unique measurements and with the colour contrast of your choice. Take your pick of our high quality range of fabrics, and select the style most suited to your personality. You get to handpick each part of your custom jacket, from buttons to pockets, and the front and back cut. Finally, follow our video instructions for getting the perfect measurements and you are well on your way to getting your own custom jacket.

iTailor has been a trusted partner of well-dressed men for over 40 years. We keep your pattern in our database, so you can always order again with ease. Our factory direct brand offers a great selection of high quality fabrics, so browse through our website today!

Great Choice! Please select your measurement option

Part of the tailor-made experience is getting yourself measured up.With the assistance of our easy-to-follow video measuring guide, get yourself measured up in no time!

Standard sizes provide an equally amazing fit. Select from an array of sizes from our standard size chart.Enjoy your Tailor-made product with the perfect combination of the right size and your creative style choices!

The Save Design option is available on the Checkout page. Please add your order to the shopping cart to Save a Design.

*The Measurements shown is garment size not body size.

This is the Measurements from the suit itself (it includes ease / addition already)

Your are able to adjust Sleeve Length. Length and Waist for Perfect fit!

The Save Design option is available on the Checkout page. Please add your order to the shopping cart to Save a Design.

Find your style in 10 steps free guide

40+ StyleShoes Design your own shoes: here are some of the best sites

Design your own shoes: here are some of the best sites

Its not always easy to find the right shoes. How often have you stumbled upon the perfect shoes, only to find that the heels are just too high. Or you just want to find shoes in a certain colour but cannot find any that is comfortable.

Online shoe designers can come to the rescue. These sites will allow you to create your own shoes from (almost) scratch. I sourced some of the best online shoe designer sites. So get your creative juices flowing and try them out!

This online store lets you choose of a multitude of colours and styles. Just choose your shape and colour and youre done. Its a fun process and you can even create shoes and sandals with several colours and patterns in one shoe. Fun!

Shoe Design studio also has a wide variety of colours and textures. Although it appears that they only have 4 shoe styles, you are able to completely change the shoe throughout the 7 steps. Change the heel height and which straps you like around the ankle (or not).

Nina Shoes has a more limited selection in terms of shoes, but its super easy to colour and create your final version. What do you think of my colourful parrot shoes?

Upper Street is a UK brand that comes with an easy to use online designer tool as well. Great for shoes with a difference, although I missed the flat sandals option here. Plenty of ballerina options to choose from though. Above you can see another one of my creations!

Chico Shoes gives you even more creativity. They can design your shoes based on your own sketch. A video is provided to show how to create a great sketch. If that is all a bit too difficult, you can also turn an inspiration piece, like a photo or a drawing you saw  somewhere else, and have that converted into a sketch.

Have you ever designed your own shoes? And have you tried any online shoe designers? Let me know! I would love to hear your feedback.

*GASP* How have I not heard of these sites??? What an awesome concept. Im going to play with them right now!! Thanks, Sylvia!

Its really fun Rita. If you like copy your creations and upload them to the forum!

Never knew these sites existed. Great topic. And you have designed your shoes so creatively. Love your parrot shoes. Would have bought those.

But I am too scared to do this. Not enough creativity myself and I dont know whether the end result will fit my feet nicely. How do they look on my feet? Do they feel comfortable? Are they still as nice in reality as they are on the computer?

(Reading my own comment, I have come to the conclusion I am not much of a dare devil.)

Yes, I think its quite risky. I think they offer very precise measurements for your feet, so that you know you will have the right size. Designing online is quite a lot of fun though, so you can just play until you have something you like. You dont even have to be too creative. If youre just looking for a shoe in a particular colour, you just pick the shoe type, the colour and youre done.

Its definitely risky the first time, but once you have found an online shoe designer store that you like, I think it can be a great tool in your style box.

You forgot the best one :)! We offer the highest quality materials and most on trend styles and shapes (heels, platforms, etc.) among all of the design your own shoe sites. Take a look!

Thanks for letting me know. Your site looks great too!

Such a clever idea! Even if Im not sure Id take the chance on actually ordering shoes, I imagine one can have a lot of fun with these sites!

I guess the risk is about the same as ordering shoes from any other site

Wow Sylvia! I had no idea these sites were out there. Im going to have to go check them out. Its so hard to find good shoes where I live. Well, I can fin good shoes, just not ones I want.

If you ever try it, let me know how the experience was.

I m not sure about this. I have such fussy feet that I need to try before I buy and even then sometimes get it wrong. Nice idea though. Marie S.

I designed and purchased a pair of gorgeous red pumps from Shoes of Prey in 2011 and they are just devine. Its not cheap but definitely worth the money. The quality is brilliant and the shoe is exactly what I wanted.

Great feedback Deborah. Thanks for letting us know. Fantastic to read that it really works!

A friend of mine went to Upper Street after struggling to find shoes for her wedding. She wanted something a bit different for her big day, and they offer free style and fitting appointments in their Shoe Lounge in Highbury. I have heard amazing things from her about the service.

Her final shoes were gorgeous somewhere I would definitely consider going, even if I dont have the excuse of a wedding!

Thanks so much for your feedback Emma!

There is always a risk when buying online. I didnt know what to expect. Their shoes are great quality and they fit.

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A new way to order custom converse shoes in Australia.

ConverseByYou provides a service to allow you todesign your own shoeswith Custom Converse and ship them to Australia in 3 easy steps.We are not Converse or have any association with them, we simply provide you with a service to ship yourConverse ShoestoAustralia. To get started, check out our step by step guides below.

First step is todesign your own Converse Shoeson the Converse website to fit your style. Read our detailed guide.

Once you have designed your own uniqueconverse shoes, simply share your design with ConverseByYou. We will send you detai