The community has voted, and the votes have been tallied. The winner of Project Icon, with 35% of the votes, is Entry ID “BD,” otherwise known as Ben Dunkle. Congratulations, Ben! The runner-up was VS, otherwise known as Verena Segert, so we’ll be attaching that set to the alternate color palette that is selectable from the profile screen. As we prepare for RC1, Ben and Verena will be revising a couple of their icons so that both sets will use the same metaphors, creating the colored “on” states, and creating the larger size of each icon for use in the h2 screen headers. We are very grateful to have had the opportunity to select from so many great options, and would like to express again our appreciation for all the designers who participated in the contest. Thanks also to the more than 3700 people who completed the voting survey and took the time to weigh on on the individual icon sets.
|Q.18 Which one of the sets do you think we should use as a basis for the 2.7 icons?|
|Icon Set||# of votes||% of votes|
The wide lead of BD and VS made it clear that voters had a clear preference for these sets.
|Q.20 If you could choose a runner-up, which would you choose?|
|Icon Set||# of votes||% of votes|
Question 20 was not mandatory, so a few hundred people skipped it, but the responses we did get (3366 of them) reinforced the fact that the two most popular sets were also the most popular 2nd choices, which made the decision of the judges to go with the popular vote an easy one (take that, electoral college!).
A few of the individual icon metaphors also had a significant lead over the other choices.
Dashboard: 1333 voters (40%) chose a house as the best metaphor. We agree, so both Ben and Verena will be replacing their Dashboard icons.
Media: 2097 voters (65%) chose the combination camera + musical note icon, which was part of Ben’s set. We also really loved it, and Verena will amend her media icon to incorporate this idea.
Plugins: 1682 voters (53%) selected the outlet plug metaphor, which both Ben and Verena used in their sets.
Tools: 1581 voters (49%) liked the combination of two tools better than anything else, so Ben and Verena will try this approach.
So those are the results, and soon you’ll see the new icons coming to a 2.7 installation near you.
Need another look at the entries to remember which one you liked best? Here are some reminder images, as well as the identity of each set’s creator.
|BD was Ben Dunkle, a designer, professor and artist from upstate/western New York State. In case you’ve already forgotten, Ben’s icon set is the winner of Project Icon and will become the default icon set after a few minor changes.||VS was Verena Segert, our runner-up, a designer from Germany who presented sets in both grayscale and blue. Her blue icons received more specific voter comments than the gray ones, so we’re planning the second color palette to be in shades of blue so that we can use the blue icon set.|
|GB was Guillaume Berry, a designer from France who submitted two sets in the same style in order to propose a couple of different metaphors. One of his sets came in third while the other came in last, but whether you only look at the higher scoring set or you combine their votes, Guillaume had the next highest percentage of votes, and many people liked the metaphors he used for various icons. In fact, given the enthusiasm of the community for Guillaume’s icons, we think a great plugin would be one that would allow the user to upload the icon set of their choice. Any volunteers?|
|OSD was the Open Source Design class at Parson’s in New york City, taught by Mushon Zer-Aviv and consisting of students Alexandra Zsigmond, Ed Nacional, Karen Messing, Khurram Bajwa, Leonie Leibenfrost. Teacher and students worked together to determine their metaphors and visual style.||LS was Luke Smith, a designer from Iowa who specializes in icons among his other design pursuits.|
If you need to hire an icon designer any time soon, we highly recommend our Project Icon contestants, who all delivered great work in a very short timeframe. It was great to work with all of them, even for such a short assignment.
So, to sum up:
- The winning icon sets by Ben Dunkle and Verena Segert will be incorporated into WordPress 2.7 RC1.
- Someone should write a plugin that would allow anyone to upload a custom icon set (I bet the other contestants could be convinced to release their icon sets for such a purpose).
- 2.7 is still trucking away, but we can always use help with patches, especially for IE6! (I know, that wasn’t in the main post, but it’s true, so hmph)
Thanks again to everyone who participated in this experiment, and we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. And congratulations again to Ben and Verena!
SEO lowdown and making it work to your advantage.
The Internet offers users a wealth of information on virtually every topic imaginable, all within a few clicks of the keyboard. With such a vast amount of information on any given subject. How can you ensure that your article, photo, ad, or other information gets noticed instead of getting lost in the sea of information? The answer is to make use of Search Engine Optimization or SEO. Read on to learn about SEO and how it can bring visitors to your content, increase your web traffic, and possibly result in a new client, reader, or sale.
* What Is SEO Content?
So what exactly is SEO content, and how can it work for you? SEO is a strategy used in Internet marketing that makes your particular piece stand out from the others and makes it visible in search engines. So that people how are performing a search for information can find you. Even if you have a top-notch million-dollar website, What good is it if you have no visitors?
Only when potential readers, clients, or customers can locate your page will you have the opportunity to sell or promote your offer. Search Engine Optimized (SEO) content will work for individuals and businesses alike because it allows you to be discovered. The higher you rank in search engine results, the better potential you have to attract those visitors, wrack up those page views, promote your event, or make those sales.
* Understanding Search Engines and How They Relate to SEO
To understand how SEO content works. It is first essential to understand a bit of how a search engine works. First, search engines have bots or spiders, like little workers scouring the web to find new and relevant sites/pages; this is called the crawl. Once crawled by these bots, the information will go through a rigorous set of algorithms that will decide if your site/page is worthy and beneficial to the search engine’s audience. Think of it as somewhat of an old-fashioned card catalog at a library before everything was available on the computer. Only much faster and much more accurate.
* Internet Bots and Crawling
What is the bot’s job? First, they scour the net for information, websites, photos, files, videos, etcetera. Then the bots will put this gathered information into files (basically called indexing) which are then sorted depending on the search engine’s particular algorithm.
Bots will also check how often a page gets updated how many linkbacks a page or site has; they will grade the quality of the links that link back and their relevance to your site/page.
* Search Engine Ranking and Retrieval- Where SEO Content Matters
This leads us to the final stage, where information is ranked and sorted in the database to be accessed and organized for rankings. The search engines will draw from this database and give you the highest-ranking results among billions of other pages/sites. This is why SEO matters because SEO helps you get discovered (or, as many say, SEO helps get you ranked at the top of the search engine results).
* Making Your Content Rank Higher In the Search Engine Results
There is no magic bullet that works for all types of content and search engines. However, these essential steps will work 99% of the time.
- Quality on-topic content.
- Clear title and description.
- The right amount of keywords.
- On-topic internal and external links. (Marketing Resources)
- Quality links to your content.
- Regular updates.
- Proper grammar.
- Clarity and Engaging.
In closing on this subject bring high quality, relevant content. Update regularly and build links both internal and external, both out-going and in-coming. Make it clear understandable for both the reader and the Spiders (research). Most sites do better as niche sites. This meansstaying in your lane and becoming an expert. Expert’s in any given niche receive love from google and other search engines, making your SEO work more effortless in the future. (bonus your competitors will link to you as well when they see you as an expert in your field.)
* Too Much SEO Is Known As Keyword Stuffing
Keywords and phrases are beneficial. However, don’t overuse keywords in your content, as this can backfire on you. When you overuse a keyword or phrase, this will hurt your SEO endeavor, making search engines consider your piece spam. This will keep you from being listed or being poorly ranked in the search engine results. This practice of overcompensating keywords/phrases is called keyword stuffing. It might have worked in the past, but it doesn’t work anymore.
In short, if you feel you have used a word o phrase too much but it is still relevant to your story/article/content, try changing them for similar words/phrases.
* Tips For Using SEO Content
Here are some great tips for using SEO content. First, use your keyword several times throughout the piece without overusing it. Places to include the keyword or phrase include the title, first paragraph, last paragraph a few times throughout the main body of the page, in sub-headings, and the meta-title. Second, try to keep your keyword density to a certain percentage, depending upon how many words the page has. Typically, a 2% to 3% keyword density is considered a reasonable amount. However, some people may prefer a slightly larger percentage.
SEO in content helps your page rank higher in the search results so that more people will find your page/offer. Making your content visible requires the proper use of keywords and keyword phrasing placed at strategic points throughout your content.
In the end, the whole reason for taking your valuable time and creating content or posting some offering is to get the word out, to gain an audience, or to find new clients/customers. You need traffic for this, and the way to achieve this is through the correct use of SEO.
CONTENT MARKETING CHECKLIST – THE ESSENTIALS
Checklist for content marketing essentials
When creating content that is going to be valuable in attracting a defined audience it is important to remember four key areas, all of which WPcult can assist you with. Your content should try and combine all of the following:
Educational content conveys knowledge to the user. Insightful videos that answer a question can leave a lasting impression. This includes videos such as ‘how to’ tutorials across a spectrum of areas: how to tie a tie, how to start a business, how to draw, or even how to be a ninja. Educational content satisfies the consumer’s thirst for knowledge or answers a defined question. This will be content worth viewing and sharing with selective audiences.
WPcult can research what people are searching for around your brand and what consumers want to find out. This in turn will drive traffic to your content.
Whereas educational content answers people’s questions, informational content can keep people up-to-date with news and events, as opposed to responding to questions they may have. Social media is now the go-to platform for the collection and distribution of this content, as opposed to old media channels. The challenge with this form of content is its time-limited nature with content becoming irrelevant when lacking context.
Telling stories is as old as the human condition itself. Evoking emotion through entertainment is a great trap for viewers. Video is the ideal tool for evoking empathy or extreme emotion, whether this is through humor or sadness. As one statistic claims that video is worth 1.8 million words, this is the optimum medium to showcase the marketing power of entertainment. Humour also works with text-based advertising and memes, but the humor in video-form is likely to achieve more views and shares than anything else.
One often overlooked goal in content strategy is to provide inspiration to viewers and consumers. Inspiring content can be anything that encourages people to try something new, challenge themselves, or push their limits. Showing the achievements of others, those who have overcome adversity or other challenges will often inspire people to do something featured in the video or to buy a product to help them do that. This can be particularly beneficial in charity campaigns.
Not on this list but we will go over at a later date are
Findable, Readable, Understandable, Actionable, Brandable, and last but not least Shareable. Also Essential are Awareness, Interest, Consideration, Decision, and how you get there Research, Planning, and Ideas, Execution/Creation, Optimization, Distribution and Analysis of the data, Retweak until you have the best results.
Awesome list of top 28 social marketing resources
Social Automation and Scheduling
- Hoot Suite – Our favorite tool for scheduling our social posts to sync between all our devices has to be Hoot Suite. It doesn’t take a second’s thought to make sure to post regular content to all of our platforms. A little mentioned benefit of the tool is when used for social media outreach you can schedule all your posts periodically so that your current followers aren’t bombarded all at once when you send tweet copies to twenty different influencers.
- Social Quant – NOW (Click Minded) – One of the single most effective social media tools behind our Breathe Life campaign. The tool is in a sense a bot that based upon your keyword research performs a set amount of follows and unfollows per day. How well the tool performs in terms of engagement around your content relies on what you put in. For managing engagement and partnerships that might be generated by the tool you’ll still need to take the time to form connections and follow up with those who want to know more about your project. At the moment, the tool only works on Twitter, and to date, I’ve not found a comparable tool for Instagram. As well as the tool works, I do think they could improve upon the billing and KPI dashboard from a usability perspective.
Organic Outreach, Research, and Content Discovery
- Social Bakers Analytics – Easily the most comprehensive tool we’ve used to find every popular Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube account worth knowing about, divided by sector, genre, and country. Whilst using this to find the most popular accounts out there will leave you at the mercy of their own advertising placement fees, the tool is best used when finding smaller niche communities to contact.
- Zest.Is – A human-curated tab takeover of the best digital marketing and tech articles, updated every day. The quality of the app is very high thanks to the curation aspect of the platform, so much so that you may even forget to check The Drum and MarketingLand at times because you’ll have already bookmarked so much reading material just from opening a new tab!
- Growth Hackers Community – An incredibly well-thought-out platform of content creation and curation. The highlight of Growth Hackers is the wide and varied range of marketers and senior entrepreneurs that are selected for regular AMAs. It is amazing how you can so seamlessly share your conversations straight to Twitter to show that you are talking to some of the most influential marketers today.
- FollowerWonk – Find the most relevant influencers in your sector by taking a list of common keywords used and organizing results by location and popularity. Also provides wider analytics on your own account as well as that of competitors.
- Buzzsumo – Discover the most popular content in the past year for your sector, the free plan is limited to only one page of results per day. Make sure to take into account that any fake blogging networks that pay for tens of thousands of fake likes will appear as “popular” results. For results like this, the tool isn’t perfect and should be taken with a pinch of salt. One nice little extra that they have recently implemented is drawing in backlink data for top content results directly from Majestic SEO.
- Pingroupie – If you’re looking for group boards on Pinterest (and you should!) Pingroupie is your only option for searching effectively through the noise. The biggest reason to include group boards as part of your Pinterest strategy is that it only takes a few shares to triple or even quadruple your monthly views on the platform. This also leads to more engagement across your pins if you happen to curate visually stunning content.
- Twitter Lists – For everything the Social Bakers miss, Twitter lists have – for free! The quality of a list varies from user to user. When you get it right though selecting the right list that includes a major influencer will also connect you to ten, twenty, maybe even the top thousand that are most similar. You can find the lists connected to any account by entering /memberships to their profile URL.
- Similar Web – A great free tool for website overviews providing everything from traffic referrals to similar sites in your sector and more in-depth data around how different social networks are performing for you and your competitors. Audience insights are probably one of the most underrated aspects of the tool in letting you know what percentage of your traffic is actually relevant to your site.
- Hunter.Io – This is one of my top essential plug-ins currently taking up space in my toolbar. When I’m performing outreach, Hunter saves me a huge amount of time looking at third-party sites for the contact details of prospects and bloggers I want to work with. With a single click, the tool gives me a list of emails for all contacts on any webpage. Invaluable when you need to send hundreds of emails on a given day.
- Check My Links – When using a broken link-building strategy to support your wider content promotion, a link checker such a Check My Links is essential and a very quick way of sorting through a page that may contain up to around 3,000 links. Combine with Ahrefs for locating high-quality resource pages in order of ranking authority.
- Hashtagify – The perfect hashtag research tool. Use the site before posting your content to Twitter/Instagram to find like audiences connected to the keywords you already know and love. My favorite part of the site is where you can see the crossover between audiences between two or more hashtags by percentage. The Top Recent Media sidebar also shows you the type of content your post will sit alongside. This can be highly important for reputation management and keeping on top of current trends or controversies.
- Google Trends – Have you ever been interested in finding out exactly when a word started trending? Are you also interested to see if that term has yearly ebbs and flows to help plan when you create content? Google Trends is yet another free tool that proves essential in providing real insights on what people are actually searching for, when and where those searches are more prominent, and can help predict patterns of purchase intent from consumers.
- Profiles Lite from YouGov – Whilst this popular audience insights tool supports a much smaller data set than the professional platform, YouGov Lite is a great starting point for those first venturing into researching their current customer base. Striking visuals really bring the site alive, something you can’t get from viewing audience insights through a tool like Google Analytics.
Content Creation and Mockups
- Envato – These guys over the years have really built the one-stop spot for content and themes for your site if you haven’t heard of them visit them now they offer a subscription that gives you access to Videos, Audios, Fonts, Photos, 3d all sorts of templates and a mad collection of WordPress themes, add-ons, etc…
- Giphy – Create gifs to use on social media from existing video content in a matter of seconds from your most stunning video content.
- Promo Republic – Create beautiful social media posts from a suite of assets that look fresh and interesting. The inspiration section is great for examples of social posts to promote your site and even includes ideas for flyers and assets for newsletters.
- Botsociety.Io – Get a mock-up of your brand’s chatbot before launching.
- Plagiarism Checker – A tool you might not think to use whilst writing but really should. Plagiarism isn’t just a matter of hurting the feelings of content creators but also that of search engines. With duplicate content penalties-a-plenty, it is important for the quality of your site to make sure that whilst you may be writing on an already well-documented subject, take an original stance or face the wrath of Google!
- Afterlight (for IOS) – Gorgeous social posts that are curated by an art director are little needed when Afterlight brings the artist to the palm of your hand. My favorite reason to use the tool when I’m out on the go is that your audience is always looking for exciting content. The app is easily the most comprehensive free tool I’ve used to make sure my Instagram posts are perfectly color balanced before posting to keep in key with any existing branding. I rarely use the more in-your-face elements of the app, but if bold frames and burn effects are your things then you’ll also find that in this self-contained editing platform.
SEO is one of those areas where I’m not too loyal to any one source of data. As you’ll most often find that not all websites are crawled equally. I’ve found many domain exceptions in which Majestic outperforms Ahrefs and vice versa. Below are the tools we most often use in both their free and premium formats.
- Majestic – One of the more affordable backlink and authority checkers out there, the tool is very good for an overview of your own and competitor activities. Use Clique Hunter to find an audience and link crossover between up to five comparable domains of your choosing.
- Ahrefs – The pricier of the most popular backlink comparison tools provides more insights on yearly activity, anchors used, referring content, and even has a discovery tool that works in a similar manner to Buzzsumo included within the package. The single most valuable function of Ahrefs isn’t its use as a link scraping tool but its superior functionality for keyword discovery, unlink Advanced Web Ranking which relies on data you have to discover yourself, Ahrefs cuts out the middle man by pulling the data in for you before you even have time to think of linking Webmaster Tools!
- SemRush – The most useful aspect of SemRush is the amount of technical and on-site detail that they provide. From blank meta descriptions to dead links and errors that the previous two tools never alerted me to, it is the major thing that kept it in my arsenal. Out of the three tools, I also prefer SemRush’s newsletter format for weekly rankings I’m sent just for being a free member. Breakdowns between competitor and keyword rankings are more concise and perfect for viewing whilst out of the office.
- YoastSEO – Yoast is one of the few plugins that is used alongside WordPress on the wpcult site. It is so often used to optimize our pages and articles that it can be easily forgotten as one of our staple tools. Whilst a few of the metrics they judge upon have been outdated by Ahref’s 2 Million Keyword Study (which you can read here), it provides excellent guidelines to any beginner in SEO who creates regular content.
- Advanced Web Ranking – One of the best keyword ranking tools out there. Especially valuable for agencies in that it can be used for white label reports for your competitors. Weekly rankings are supplied as standard, with daily and on-demand keyword results available for premium subscribers.
- StoryBase – If your looking for some new insights and are tired of relying on Adword’s keyword planner, Storybase might just be for you. With 5 billion long-tail keywords, 100 million question keywords, and 2 billion related LSI keywords they are hardly short of data! The aspect I most like about the tool is the fact that questions have a clear separation from the rest of the other keyword results. This can make answering a customer query a lot easier to view than in Adwords, as in Adwords you have to specify terms that would be most often included in a question (e.g who, what, why?) to get the same results. This can be a bit fiddly to sort through especially in results that may not use who, what, where, why in their sentence structure.
- Moz (specifically their toolbar) – The free Moz toolbar is great for searching for discovering new linking opportunities for your SEO strategy. Finding the difference between followed and no-follow domain links are done in a fraction of the time. It also provides you with the site authority and spam score almost as soon as the webpage is loaded – very helpful when avoiding harmful websites.
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