Royal Mail Employees Reveal What It Is Really Like To Work Here

first_imgThe postal service company Royal Mail privatised last year and is said to have been damaged by competition since. Royal Mail has recently been carrying out a trial scheme by opening certain delivery offices on Sundays. But what is it really like working at Royal Mail? What do the ‘Posties’ think? The best way to find out is to turn to those on the inside – the employees.Right now, Royal Mail has an overall rating of 3.0 (OK) based on 82 reviews, just below the average Glassdoor rating of 3.3 (Ratings based on a 5-point scale: 1.0=very dissatisfied, 3.0=OK, 5.0=very satisfied). Royal Mail scores well below average in most of the workplace factors, except Work/Life Balance, and Compensation & Benefits, which employees rate 3.4 and 3.5 respectively.Check out the image below to see more about how employees really like working at Royal Mail, including how overall employee satisfaction has changed over time:Looking deeper into Royal Mail, you can see what some employees have to say about the benefits and downsides of working here:PROs:“Speaking to customers and building relationships. Good hourly rate. Good hours. pension scheme. bonuses” – Postman (Chester, England)“Good excercise, steady job , and once on the street you get to manage your own time.” – Postman (Montrose, Scotland)“Great, once you actually get outdoors. The pay is good for what I do.” – Postman (Glasgow, Scotland)“Really great place to work and people” – Postman (London, England)“Great challenges at work if you know how to create opportunities and run with it. Big company so lots of areas where you could interesting projects to deliver value and develop your skill sets.” – Senior Manager (London, England)CONs:“Sometimes change within the company is to slow, it needs to decide to do something and then just do it!” – Operations Manager (Peterborough, England)“Night-shift and endless sorting of parcels can be tiring when you’re standing for hours and lead to back pain, but with a bit of ibuprofen you get used to it.” – Parcel Sorter (London, England)“Work hours are too long and they expect you to give up your life to do the job. For the salary they pay, this is unacceptable.” – Postman (Romford, England)“No promotion opportunities, most front line managers are overpaid, unqualified supervisors who constantly use threatening/bullying tactics and lie to staff to get them to work overtime, treated with contempt if you phone in sick.” – OPG (London, England)“Terrible senior leadership. Poor leadership. Little strategy. No career development. I found this to be quite a sexist environment.” – Service Manager (Chesterfield, England)Do you work at Royal Mail? What do you think of the company? Let others know by sharing a review.Want to learn more about Royal Mail?Royal Mail jobsRoyal Mail company reviewsRoyal Mail salariesRoyal Mail benefitsRoyal Mail interviewslast_img read more

6 Real-Life Examples of Age Discrimination

first_imgAge discrimination is alive and well in America. And it’s affecting more than the community of retirees who want to re-enter the workforce. Ageism is rearing it’s ugly head in interviews and recruiting conversations amongst 40- and 50-year-olds.Can’t believe it?Neither could we, at first. When we published “5 Ways Older Workers Can Combat Age Discrimination”, we thought we were speaking to the 60+ crowd, those who were looking to repackage their skills for a new career chapter. However, when we read the comments on that article, we realized the issue wasn’t as simple as we thought. Heightening tech skills and showing enthusiasm were only so helpful for mature job seekers. The stories of discrimination and implicit bias that older candidates said they had faced were shocking and disheartening.Here are a few of the most eye-opening revelations of age discrimination and companies who are specifically hiring mature talent.Scenario #1“I met with a recruiter this week. After getting through the look of disappointment when she saw how old I am, she told me that many of their requests are for “a recent college graduate because they haven’t developed bad habits yet”. What a slap in the face. I guess checking your phone constantly, instead of working, is not considered a bad habit. If I am willing to work for entry-level wages, why wouldn’t you want my years of experience? I am sick of hearing older workers haven’t kept up with technology. I have been through MS-DOS, the many variations of Windows, WordPerfect, Dbase, Access, Word, Excel, and on and on. Each time I have had to learn and adapt. Give me a break.” —Adrienne LakeScenario #2“I have taken all dates off of my resume, and I have shortened it to only include my work history after 2000. I am considered by others to be at the very top of my field. I don’t have young children, so I don’t ever miss work because of sick children. Having lost my job when our clinic was closed, I have spent over a year looking for work. Agree with Deborah below. There is basically nothing you can do to combat age discrimination, and it is rampant. Illegal, but it is definitely out there. And yes, Jerry. The online applications, with hiring managers that aren’t familiar with the actual work being done, is not helpful.” —Barbara JenningsScenario #3“In my mid-40s, I think this issue of ageism starts quite early, as far back for me as my late 30s. Getting that interview is almost impossible, which makes me ponder about what to omit in terms of work history and years of service. Disconcerting. But it’s good to have a community to share best practices and experiences.” —Giovanna AguilarScenario #4“I have been a “bridesmaid” 4 times in the last 3 months of job searching and interviews thru all of these online sites. I don’t look a day over 43 (I’m almost 51). I’m smart, assertive, good in a room, adaptable, sense of humor…I could go on. But I feel like today’s employers think it’s normal to expect 50+ hours /week, low pay, and employees who are desperate-hungry like they’re just out of college. If you’re at all laid back, confident, relaxed, employers are turned off. Everybody wants a workhorse, but with no hay as a reward. I remember my first job at a big law firm in L.A. I had my review, asked for my small raise, and the COO (woman) looked at me and said, “I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t get the best person for the least amount. Do you want to keep your job, or not?” 25 years later, I feel like nothing’s changed. It sucks because I’m statistically slated to live another 30 years! I’m not gonna sit around, get lazy and encourage Alzheimer’s to set in. I plan on working for another 15-20 years, but where?” —Laurie Nelson AltenbernScenario #5“This is an issue I’ve been reading more and more about every day from all over the world. I think most of us over 50 understand the necessity of keeping up with the latest trends, technology, etc etc. Afterall, we were using the first version of Windows and had to continually update our skills to keep up with the multiple versions that were to follow. And that’s only one small example, there are so many. Think about all your work experiences, no matter how insignificant you think they are, incorporate all those learnings in a resume. Trying to prove age discrimination from a legal perspective is virtually impossible unless a hiring person blurts it out – “you’re too old, and because of that we’re not hiring you.” Every article I read says the same thing, that’s because there is no real solution to the problem. The only way out of it is to: keep looking for that job, start a business — after all, all that knowledge has to be worth something to someone, and network your butt off.” —Lois BrownScenario #6“I never thought I was going to be in this situation, having to deal with age discrimination. I was let go after 8 hard working years, the company personnel was restructured and I was the oldest & [highest paid] in my department, they did not consider the fact that I was the hardest worker there, I can beat any twenty-year-old when it comes to stamina! I have been thru so many interviews that when they see me I notice the look on their faces as”oh, she is older” even though I don’t look 53! I am beginning to doubt my skills and wonder if I chose the wrong career. I am a Technical Designer in the fashion industry and there is a lot of competition. So I am thinking on reinventing myself, so I will try to start something on my own and work my butt off networking.” —Dari Roldan5 Companies Hiring Mature Talent or Have Returnship Programs1. Goldman SachsDetails: The Goldman Sachs Returnship program was specifically designed for those who left the workforce for two or more years and are ready to return. This paid, ten-week program offers opportunities in a variety of divisions and the chance to experience the vast network of resources at Goldman Sachs. In the same way that an internship offers a guided period of exploration, a “returnship” provides individuals with an opportunity to sharpen their skills in a work environment that may have changed significantly since their last experience as an employee.Learn More 2. Barclay’sDetails: Barclay’s offers real skills and training, fair pay and real career option through their Apprenticeship program. Sometimes it takes a long time to find the role that’s right for you. You might have been made redundant and need to learn new skills. Whatever your situation, if you want to change careers, Barclay’s will help you find the right direction.  Anyone can be a Foundation Apprentice. 18 or 85. A parent, a school leaver, ex-military, unemployed. Whoever you are, whatever your life stage, this program is the chance to move forward and achieve your ambitions.Learn More 5. H&R BlockDetails:  H&R Block is one of the largest tax return preparers in the US, where it has approximately 11,000 company-owned and franchised retail locations. H&R hires a ton of former accountants, CPA’s, tax people who have retired but who are looking for a seasonal tax gig. Plus, Time has compiled a list of the jobs people work the longest, based on the percentage of workers over 65, and at the top of the list is tax preparers.See Open Jobs 3. LyftDetails: The gig economy has embraced retiree workers perhaps more than any other industry. In a 2016 article in the New York Times, the writer interviewed senior drivers and noted, “Ms. Johnson is among a growing number of older Americans who are driving for Uber or its competitor Lyft to augment their retirement income. Some drivers say it is a great chance to be independent and earn extra cash on their own schedule. But others, including some drivers, say it is exploitation of older people who work as independent contractors, without any benefits, because their age means they have a harder time finding full-time employment.”See Open Jobs 4. National Institutes of HealthDetails: A frequent honoree in AARP’s Best Employers for Workers Over 50, NIH nurtures and respects its mature employees. As of 2013, forty-three percent of NIH employees are age 50 or over, with an average employee tenure of 15.25 years. Employees at all stages of their careers have opportunities to receive training, and some are mandatory. These include tuition reimbursement, certification classes, in-house classroom training, online training, commercial training, professional conferences, and student loan repayment programs. AARP noted that 100 percent of employees had participated in at least one of these opportunities.See Open Jobslast_img read more

BVB ace Aubameyang only wants one Premier League club move…

first_imgBorussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would only move to England for one club.BILD says Aubameyang would only play for Arsenal if he moved to the Premier League.But Arsenal’s failure to qualify for the Champions League means they are unlikely to sign him.Aubameyang has been linked with a move away from Borussia Dortmund this summer.PSG and former club AC Milan have also been linked with the Gabon international in recent weeks.last_img

Ex-Monaco star Cisse: Real Madrid move perfect for Mbappe

first_imgFormer AS Monaco midfielder Edouard Cisse believes Kylian Mbappe could immediately make it at Real Madrid.The teenage striker is a confirmed target for Real president Florentino Perez.Cisse told Le Parisien: “Signing for Real would not be such a bad operation. Zinédine Zidane will know how to use him intelligently and Real is a club that knows how to manage young people.”As in his season in Monaco, Kylian Mbappé will be able to play twenty-thirty minutes at the beginning and if he succeeds, then he will play the big games from January. The pressure will be on the shoulders of Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema, he will not be the star of the club, despite the price of his transfer. He will be able to develop quietly, unlike Pogba who was number 1 at Manchester United.”And when arriving so early in Madrid, Mbappé will have the advantage of knowing the place when Ronaldo or Bale decide to leave. There, he could become the head of the gondola.”last_img read more

​Guardiola confident for Man City ahead of new campaign

first_imgManchester City boss Pep Guardiola insists his team will improve next season following the disappointment of a trophy-less first year in English football.We will be better, like Everton will be better,” Guardiola told Sky Sports.”The teams every year do better than the year before – we’ll be better next season.””I enjoy a lot (managing City), I said many times,” he added.”Always when you win you are a god and it’s good but during the process, 11 months together, you can enjoy being with your staff and your players and imagining new games, new actions.”But the opponents always play and play good, sometimes you can beat us but the beautiful thing is the process.”I was so happy last season in Manchester, being manager there and that’s why I’m so delighted to start again.”last_img read more

Chelsea strike personal terms with Alex Sandro, but Juventus demand…

first_imgChelsea have struck terms with Juventus fullback Alex Sandro.The Brazilian has agreed £6million-a-year with Chelsea and could be on his way to Stamford Bridge in a £60million deal after the Blues already had an offer knocked back for the defender.An offer of £45million was turned down from the Old Lady, with Antonio Conte poised to come back in with a new offer which he believes will be enough to lure him away.Corriere delle Sera says the 26-year-old is desperate for a move to West London, but only if the Serie A champions receive £60m.Juventus’ CEO Beppe Marotta recently said: “A substantial offer has arrived.“We have no intention of selling anyone, but if a player decides to leave, as has happened in previous years, then at the end of the day he has to go, because we don’t keep anyone against their will.“But at the moment there are no such situations and I hope nobody will leave.”last_img read more

Tokyo Verdy target Roma legend Francesco Totti

first_imgTokyo Verdy have expressed interest in Roma legend Francesco Totti.The 40-year-old played his final game for Roma at the end of the Serie A season, but he has an offer to continue as a director.But Totti could yet play on next season.“We are interested and have contacted him,” club President Hanyu Hideaki admitted to Japanese media.“There’s been no progress though as he wants €3m. Having him here would be a dream.”last_img

Partograph Meeting Reflections, Ctd

first_imgPosted on December 28, 2011November 13, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)More from Barbara Kwast on the partograph meeting:The meeting called by Fistula Care and the Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) at Engender Health on revitalizing the partograph for the management of labor has been an important initiative. Management of labour with the partograph was designated as one of the Essential Elements of Obstetric Care at first referral level in 1991 by WHO in order to prevent prolonged obstructed labour and thereby the tragic consequences of obstetric fistula. Among all the initiatives pertaining to emergency obstetric care, disciplined monitoring and management of labor has not been given the attention that it desperately needs within the safe motherhood initiative, like active management of third stage of labor, management of postpartum hemorrhage and focused antenatal care.Challenges include implementing partographic management with a protocol through good teaching, sustained supervision and audits and the provision of partographs at national level.Priority actions for the partograph include providing and distributing up-to-date teaching/learning materials for partograph implementation, such as the yellow manuals that WHO issued in 1993 and update the IMPAC manual with a management protocol and Providing posters for labor wards and clinics and organize implementation workshops with all members of the obstetric care team: obstetricians, surgeons, midwives, health/clinical officers and other SBAs.Read more by viewing a PDF of full report here >>Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Manifesto for Maternal Health, One Year Later: Highlights From PLOS Medicine & PLOS Pathogens

first_imgPLOS MedicineFrom our colleagues at PLOS Medicine:“PLOS continues to publish high-quality, open access research and commentary as part of our commitment to increasing the evidence base for approaches to improve maternal health. Open access publication ensures this crucial evidence is freely available to read and use throughout the world without restriction.”In line with point 4 on the manifesto, PLOS Medicine, in partnership with the Maternal Health Task Force, published a special collection of research on the theme of “maternal health is women’s health”, which generated numerous publications that take a closer look at maternal health issues within the broader context of women’s health.PLOS Medicine also worked with the MHTF to host a special launch event for the collection that brought together several authors (Suneth Buddhika Agampodi, Nosakhare G. Orobaton, and Cynthia K. Stanton) to discuss the practical implications for women of their research in Sri Lanka, Nigeria, and Ghana. Watch the dialogue here.In line with point 10 of the manifesto, PLOS Medicine published “Measuring Coverage in Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health,” a special PLOS Collection in partnership with the Child Health Epidemiology Reference Group (CHERG), which presents innovative assessments of the validity of measuring population coverage for health interventions. Learn more about the collection here.In line with point 9 of the manifesto, PLOS Medicine and the MHTF issued a call for papers for a special collection under the theme: “Integrating health care to meet the needs of the mother-infant pair.”  Through this call for papers, PLOS Medicine and the MHTF aim to generate evidence around what works (and what doesn’t) when it comes to integration—with special attention to the ways that infant and maternal health are inextricably linked. Take a look at the call for papers here.PLOS PathogensPLOS Pathogens has published numerous papers over the past year that represent critical evidence related specifically to points 4 and 9 of the manifesto.The following papers provide evidence for the adverse effects of malaria in pregnancy impacting maternal and fetal health:Intravital Placenta Imaging Reveals Microcirculatory Dynamics Impact on Sequestration and Phagocytosis of Plasmodium-Infected ErythrocytesPlasmodium falciparum Malaria Elicits Inflammatory Responses that Dysregulate Placental Amino Acid TransportThis paper demonstrates that infection of the placenta (Listeria) can lead to pregnancy complications as well as fetal and maternal disease and death:Placental Syncytium Forms a Biophysical Barrier against Pathogen InvasionThis paper demonstrates that HCMV primary infection during pregnancy can result in up to 75% of congenital infections and is a known cause of fetal death:Human Cytomegalovirus Infection Elicits New Decidual Natural Killer Cell Effector FunctionsPlease join the conversation! Tell us about your work to improve maternal health over the past year and how it relates to the calls to action from the manifesto. Send an email to Kate Mitchell or Natalie Ramm or join the dialogue on Twitter using the hashtag #MHmanifesto and help us celebrate the anniversary of the manifesto for maternal health!Share this: Posted on February 27, 2014November 14, 2016By: Kate Mitchell, Manager of the MHTF Knowledge Management System, Women and Health InitiativeClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)To celebrate the one-year anniversary of the “Manifesto for Maternal Health”—co-authored by Ana Langer, Richard Horton, and Guerino Chalamilla—the Maternal Health Task Force is highlighting the work of numerous organizations around the world to improve maternal health. The manifesto, written following the Global Maternal Health Conference 2013 in Arusha, Tanzania, was a call to action for 12 critical issues related to maternal health that were in dire need of more attention. While much work remains, it is truly exciting to reflect on all of the work that has been accomplished over the past year within the 12 core areas of the manifesto.This post showcases the work underway and accomplished over the past year of our colleagues at PLOS Medicine and PLOS Pathogens to improve global maternal health. ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

What Explains the United States’ Dismal Maternal Mortality Rates?

first_imgPosted on December 17, 2015June 23, 2017By: Anna Bella Korbatov, Intern, Environmental Change and Security Program, Wilson CenterClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)This post is part of “Inequities in Maternal Mortality in the U.S.,” a blog series hosted by the MHTF.On the world stage, the United States is an outlier for many reasons, some good, some bad. Few are more alarming, however, than maternal health. Despite spending two and half times more per person on health than the OECD average, the maternal mortality rate in the U.S. – the number of women who die during or as a result of childbirth and pregnancy – increased from 12 to 14 deaths per 100,000 live births from 1990 to 2015, putting the United States at 46th in the world. [Video Below]Globally, maternal mortality has decreased 43 percent since 1990; the United States is the only developed country where it has gone up.Maternal mortality is “the tip of the iceberg,” said Dr. Michael C. Lu, associate administrator of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration, at the Wilson Center on November 19. For every maternal death, there are 75 to 100 more women who suffer a life-threatening complication during pregnancy or childbirth.From 1955 to 1985, maternal mortality decreased by 99 percent in the United States – “one of the greatest public health achievements of the 20th century,” said Lu. Since then it’s gone steadily up.“Despite the clear evidence of a crisis in maternal mortality, there is little consensus on the causes of the problem,” said Monica Raye Simpson, executive director of SisterSong, a national membership organization based in southern states with the mission to “achieve reproductive justice by eradicating reproductive oppression and securing human rights.”The three leading medical causes of preventable maternal mortality in the United States are blood clots in the lung, hypertension (high blood pressure), and blood loss. But why more women are dying because of them is unclear, according to a panel of experts.Disentangling the CausesDeep inequities across race, socioeconomic status, and geography are major factors. “Today African American women are still three times more likely to die during pregnancy and childbirth as [white women] and it’s a gap that we haven’t been able to close for decades,” said Lu.In 2014, SisterSong partnered with the Center for Reproductive Rights and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health to produce a report on racial and gender discrimination in U.S. health care. They spoke to black women in Atlanta, Georgia, and Jackson, Mississippi, and found wide gaps in information about sexuality and sexual health and access to services. “Racial discrimination is very real in the health care system, even when [women] had socioeconomic and educational parity,” said Simpson.One young focus group participant said she was exclusively taught abstinence in school. Simpson also recounted a personal experience with her sister as she was pressured into having a Cesarean section. “She had no say in how she wanted to give birth to her child,” Simpson said.She stressed that these stories underscore how important it is to provide sexuality education and improve the ways that doctors and patients interact with each other. Such approaches help empower women to make informed choices about their own bodies and the care they receive.Better surveillance and data reporting could also account for some of the increase in maternal mortality in the past two decades. In 2003, a checkbox for “pregnancy” was added to the standard U.S. death certificate for the first time, said Lu.The demographics of childbirth are also changing, resulting in more high-risk pregnancies. More women are having children later in life and more women are entering pregnancy with chronic conditions such as hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. The rising number of Cesarean sections – a major surgery that is not always necessary – is also believed to be a contributor.Standardizing ProtocolsReducing pregnancy and childbirth-related deaths and health emergencies therefore requires a multisectoral approach, said the panelists. Technical and administrative changes to the health system are needed along with community outreach programs and greater attention to the health consequences of socio-economic disparities.Until recently in the United States, there were no standardized medical protocols to deal with maternal health emergencies, said Lu. California implemented its own protocol in 2008 which has resulted in a considerable reduction in maternal mortality below the national average. This model of best practices and standardized protocols “needs to be replicated nationally,” he said.One way to introduce and standardize protocols in health facilities are “patient safety bundles” – consistent guidelines, protocols, and best practices that can be replicated in many different settings, said Lu. The goal is to ensure consistent care in hospitals, clinics, and among private providers for conditions such as preeclampsia and obstetric hemorrhage, and to prevent unnecessary Cesarean sections.One such initiative is the Alliance for Innovation in Maternal Health, a public-private national partnership which hopes to save 100,000 women in the United States from death and severe morbidity by improving access to preventive services and reducing low-risk caesarian deliveries, said Lu.Preventive services are also seen as key since there are strong links between maternal health and chronic diseases, such as diabetes, obesity, and hypertension.Community OutreachCommunity outreach – long a staple of global health interventions – is gaining more attention domestically as a way to address socio-economic disparities. Bette Begleiter, the deputy executive of the Maternity Care Coalition, a non-profit based in Philadelphia, said that “maternal mortality looks different in the U.S.” Substance abuse and “alarming racial disparities” are major factors in most of the cases they see.In a review of all maternal deaths in the greater Philadelphia area from 2010 to 2012 that Begleiter participated in, she said reviewers found in all cases, “women had substance abuse problems and had multiple experiences with treatment.” Some were under child welfare supervision as children and as mothers, and a majority also exhibited behavioral issues.The Maternity Care Coalition’s committee members meet every three months to figure out what can be done to improve those statistics, said Begleiter. They have focused on helping women get access to stable housing, substance abuse treatment, mental health treatment, and reliable care and transportation.The Safe Start MOMobile is one effort to bring care directly to community members in their homes rather than relying on them to come into health facilities. To be eligible for the program, a pregnant woman must have a chronic health condition such as diabetes or hypertension, a mental health diagnosis, substance abuse, or intimate partner violence. A community health worker works directly with the woman, providing in-home visits throughout the pregnancy and up to four months afterwards.The health worker may also provide doula (labor) support; help manage chronic conditions and navigate health services; connect women to community resources for housing, education, and emergency supplies; and provide information about breastfeeding, immunizations, and child care.The ultimate goal is to empower vulnerable women to take responsibility for their own care and treatment, said Begleiter.No Single AnswerMaternal health is “an issue of intersectionality,” said Simpson, pointing out how even something as seemingly unrelated as domestic violence can have an effect.Ultimately, like many other persistent public health problems, there are no quick wins or silver bullets to reduce maternal mortality in the United States, but promising efforts around the country have had success.Technical and programming changes, like those made by California, can reduce women’s vulnerability to crises before they start, said Lu.The creation of a standardized protocol for family planning, increased outreach to at-risk minority groups, and increasing the availability and affordability of long-acting reversible contraceptives are other approaches that need to be considered to prevent unwanted pregnancies and pregnancy-related health emergencies, said the panelists.Ideas about best practices have evolved considerably over the last decade. Support for breastfeeding, the use of doulas, and extended post-partum follow-up are now more widely accepted among medical practitioners and mothers.“We’re talking about everything in these siloed conversations…We’re compartmentalizing women’s bodies,” said Simpson. “We need to put these conversations under one umbrella.”Event Resources:Bette Begleiter’s PresentationDr. Michael C. Lu’s PresentationPhoto GalleryVideo This post originally appeared on the New Security Beat, the blog of the Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program.Sources: Center for Reproductive Rights, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Philadelphia Department of Public Health, SisterSong, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, World Health Organization.Photo Credit: Schuyler Null/Wilson Center.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

When do we become a movement?

first_imgI’m one of those people who never saw On the Waterfront . . . or any Marlon Brando film, for that matter. I don’t know how many like me there are out there, but it doesn’t make me feel very cool. So I’m trying to correct that. Actually, my real inspiration was seeing author James T. Fisher talk this weekend about the history behind the 1954 film. It’s a fascinating mix of despicable corruption and inspiring courageousness, topped with a serving of social justice that would put any good Union member on the verge of tears. And sniffling I was, halfway through the film, at the “Christ is in the shape up” scene. If you’re a kindred haven’t-seen-it, the scene shows Father Barry (played by the late Karl Malden) giving a moving impromptu sermon/eulogy aboard a ship at the harbor; it’s a call to return to the “love of man” and a recognition that “every fellow down here” deserves respect, protection, and dignified work. Not until the end of the movie, though, do you sense that the longshoremen begin to see their union (capital and lowercase “u”) as more than an empty word. They realize that their Union need not always be a corrupt mob front, and their group identity and mutual commitment gives them the strength to change the system. I couldn’t help but draw parallels between yesterday’s longshoremen and today’s freelancers: competing for unregulated wages and work in a lawless system, unprotected by the law, and not yet aware of the enormous potential of their collective number. When will freelancers reach their tipping point and transcend from, at their most organized, a membership organization, to become a true class, a movement? With or without a Terry Malloy of our own, I think we’re getting there.last_img read more

The Five Easiest Ways to Save Money

first_imgShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Related529 Plan: 6 Ways Parents Can Save More Money for Their Kid’s CollegeAugust 27, 2019In “Family Finances”6 Ways to Set Your Finances on Auto-PilotDecember 19, 2018In “Financial Planning”5 Top Habits to Help You Stress Less About Your FinancesNovember 5, 2018In “Financial Literacy” Post navigation As someone deeply involved in the personal finance world, I’ve noticed a trend developing over the last decade or so. People are taking frugality way, way too far.It started with extreme couponing, then came DIY culture and the side hustle. None of those things are bad per se – I’ve done most of them myself – but they can easily be taken too far. When saving or earning a little extra money becomes more work than it’s worth, it’s time to reevaluate.Saving money should be simple. That’s why I’ve put together five of the easiest ways to do it.Negotiate Your BillsThe best money saving tricks allow you to avoid sacrificing something. One way to do that is by negotiating for a lower rate on your internet, cell phone, cable, gym membership and more.Make a list of all the bills you pay regularly and set aside an afternoon to give those companies a call. Ask if there are new promotions available or anything you can do to save money. Don’t hesitate to bring up a competitor’s offer, because they might be able to match it.Negotiating your bills is hard work, so this isn’t exactly free money. It takes time to wait on hold, and convincing a customer service representative to offer you a better deal can be draining. But if it works out, you could end up saving hundreds over the course of a year.Be polite. Many reps are capable of giving you a discount but under no obligation to do so. How you treat them could directly impact the discount they offer.If playing nice doesn’t work, ask to speak to the retention department in charge of keeping customers from leaving. They might have the ability to provide better deals than a regular customer service rep.Delete Your Credit Card InformationShopping online has made everything more convenient. If I’m running out of dog food, I can get it delivered from Amazon instead of driving to the nearest pet store. If I need a new dress for a wedding, I can buy one online instead of going to the mall.But the convenience of internet shopping comes with a price. A 2018 poll from CreditCards.com found that 44% of people spontaneously bought something online in the last three months. More than 20% of millennials said they’d made an impulse purchase within the last week.If overspending is a problem for you, convenience may actually be the enemy. Think of it like going on a diet – if you avoid keeping junk food in the house, you’ll be much less likely to reach for it when you get hungry.One way to prevent impulse buys is to delete any autosaved credit card information from your internet browser. You can usually do this in the settings. Also, turn off any “one-click ordering” buttons in your account.You can also institute a self-imposed 24-hour rule before buying anything non-essential online. If you let an item sit in the virtual shopping cart for a day, you might reconsider the purchase. Some companies will even email an extra discount code if you leave something sitting in your cart for a few days.Look for Hidden DiscountsWhen I interned in New York right after college, the company I worked for had group discounts at local museums and attractions. You could show your employee ID and receive a percentage off at some of the city’s most popular spots.Ask your HR department if there are any outside discounts available to employees. Big companies are more likely to offer this than small firms, but it never hurts to ask.Health insurance companies are known to offer special discounts as well. For example, mine reimburses customers $20 a month if they provide proof of a gym membership. I also once scored a $25 gift card from my insurance company by taking a wellness survey and pledging not to smoke.Trim Your SubscriptionsAlong with the advent of online shopping came the arrival of subscription services. These can range from companies that send makeup and beauty samples to boxes of healthy snacks.Like online shopping, it’s easy to sign up for a subscription. Most of them are cheap, so it might not seem like a big deal to add another $10 monthly expense to the budget. A 2018 survey found that people spent $237.33 on subscription services each month. The worst part? Customers underestimated how much they spent on these products by more than 50%.Write down which subscriptions you have and how much they cost. Then, consider how many you actually like. Do you listen to Spotify enough to pay for it? Do you watch HBO Now when “Game of Thrones” isn’t on? Do you enjoy your Blue Apron meals or dread making them?Most of these services are easy to pause or cancel, so you won’t lose a deposit or any kind of collateral. Do this for a month or two and see what you miss – and what you barely notice.Refinance Your LoansIf you have a mortgage, student loans, personal loans or auto loans, refinancing could be the easiest way to save big. Refinancing means selling your loan to a new lender who will give you a lower rate or better monthly terms.Create a list with all your monthly loan payments and rank them from highest interest rate to lowest. Then, look online to see what the current interest rates are for those loans. If you’re paying 7% interest on an auto loan and find that most banks now have 4% rates, you’ll know it’s time to refinance.Before you refinance, make sure you’re signing up for a lower interest rate with the same length you had before. If you have student loans with five years left, be careful about refinancing to a 10-year term. You might end up paying more interest overall, because the term has doubled. Keep making the same monthly payments you were before and you’ll repay your loan faster.You can’t refinance credit card debt, but you can transfer the balance to a card with 0% interest. These cards will usually offer 0% APR for a certain length of time, many for more than 12 months. You’ll save on interest if you repay the balance completely before the promo expires.last_img read more

23 Chinese Cities Commit to Peak Carbon Emissions by 2030

first_imgMore than half the world’s people live in cities, and cities are responsible for more than 70 percent of all energy-related carbon dioxide emissions on Earth. These dramatic statistics mean cities have a critical role to play in addressing climate change. This is especially crucial in China, where fast-growing metropolitan areas like Chengdu – with a population of 14 million — have become engines for economic, scientific and technological progress. Until recently, Chengdu has not focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, even as it emphasized sustainable development.That changed today during the 2016 China-US Climate-Smart / Low Carbon Cities Summit in Beijing, when Chengdu formally announced its commitment to control carbon dioxide emissions so that they reach a peak around 2025 and decline after that – a target five years ahead of China’s national aim to peak carbon emissions by 2030. With support from WRI and partners, Chengdu completed its 2010 greenhouse gas inventory, set its emission peak target and developed a low carbon-strategic plan to reach its target.At the summit, China’s Alliance of Pioneer Peaking Cities (APPC) announced that 23 cities and provinces are now members and committed to peaking emissions by or before 2030. These cities and provinces represent about 16.8 percent of China’s population, 27.5 percent of national GDP, and 15.6 percent of national carbon dioxide emissions.Why China’s Cities MatterIn China, cities play an integral role in helping the country achieve its national climate goals. Cities bore most of the responsibility for achieving the medium-term target set out in the 2011-2015 five-year plan of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 17 percent per unit of GDP from 2010 levels by 2015. The 2016-2020 five-year plan specifically mentions that more developed cities should peak their emissions ahead of national peaking target.Recognizing cities’ importance, China’s National Development and Reform Commission selected 42 pilot cities and provinces to join the national low carbon program. These cities act as pioneers for low-carbon practices such as making greenhouse gas inventories, low-carbon action planning, low-carbon economic transition planning and low-carbon technology deployment.In June 2015, China formally submitted its intended nationally determined commitment (INDC) and committed to peak its carbon dioxide emissions around 2030. Subsequently, the commission elevated its low carbon cities initiatives by establishing the APPC in September 2015. The intention is to encourage cities peak their emissions ahead of the national target year. Eleven cities and provinces joined the APPC as founding members.Cities are Key to China’s Climate TargetsThe voluntary APPC program is important for four reasons:Current national commitments are not enough to achieve the global 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F) target. Cities’ early peaking could help China to reach its national emission peak ahead of 2030 and contribute to the global 2 degrees C target. This is the first time in history Chinese cities are committed to long-term emission reduction targets. Before this, they were only committed to five-year intensity targets in line with the national five-year plans. This pioneering group of cities are expected to encourage more cities to commit to more ambitious climate actions. This could include the cities currently designated as national low-carbon pilot projects, as well as the new batch of national pilots that to be announced later this year. Different parts of China develop at different speeds. Some cities, especially those in the Western region, are still rapidly industrializing and may need more time to get to peak emissions. To balances these cities’ progress, more fully developed cities need to peak emissions ahead of 2030. APPC cities will play an important role in this respect.While committing to emission peaks is an important step, cities need to turn their commitments into action. They need well-designed plans to help make the transition to a low-carbon economy. They also need accurate data to help make the most effective decisions. They can look to cities like Chengdu and tools like WRI’s emission inventory, emission peaking, and low carbon action planning tools to reach their goals.last_img read more

Deconstructing the Qualities of High Quality SEO Links

first_img Originally published Mar 2, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Link Building Not all links are created equal. When marketers and SEOs talk about linking, they could be referencing one of these three kinds:Outbound linksInternal linksInbound linksAnd some are more important to your marketing and SEO strategy than others — especially based on how they are structured. So what’s the difference between the three? Why should we care about them? And how do we know that, when we receive an inbound link, give an outbound link, or internal link our own content, that we’re doing it the most effective way?Because there is a right way and a, well, less than right way to approach all of these links. When you do it the right way, you help your website and others’ improve their search engine rankings. When you approach it incorrectly, however, any good will and hard work is undermined. Let’s break down the right way to “do” linking, and the qualities that make up powerful inbound, internal, and outbound links.The Qualities of a Quality Outbound LinkAn outbound link is a link from your website to another site.As HubSpot co-founder Dharmesh Shah explained about the importance of outbound links in 2007, links make the internet world go round, so it would make sense for Google to incentivize a behavior that helps it deliver more meaningful results — outbound linking — by giving even a little love to sites that provide them. But regardless of whether Google truly incorporates this factor into its algorithm, outbound links do help Google crawlers discern what the site to which you’re linking is about. Plus, it builds good will among other sites, which may help you get an inbound link of your own later down the line.So what does a quality outbound link look like? Let’s start by examining the structure of a poorly constructed outbound link.Read the definition of an outbound link.Now how do we make this outbound link better?Read the definition of an outbound link.The improved version of the sample outbound link is better for three reasons:Relevant anchor text – The text “definition of an outbound link” is more representative of what this link leads to, and as such will help Google’s crawlers identify what the site to which we’re linking is about.Reader-friendly – A reader can scan the linked text in the improved example and know what they’ll be reading, whereas the linked verb “Read” could refer to much more, resulting in fewer clicks and a poorer user experience.Opens in a new browser window – If you’re linking to an outside site, you want to give credit to them and drive traffic their way, but not at the expense of your own time-on-site. Opening a link in a new browser window, as opposed to the window they are currently in (your website!) makes it less likely that a user will permanently abandon your website for the one you linked to.The Qualities of a Quality Inbound LinkAlso known as the Holy Grail*, an inbound link is a link coming from another site to your own.Inbound links are important because they are generally considered to be the biggest indication to site crawlers that your site is an authority on a certain subject. The more inbound links to your site from quality, high authority sites, the higher your website — and the individual page on your site to which these sites link — rises in the search engine results pages (SERPs).Let’s continue to examine what a good inbound link looks like by dissecting a bad inbound link. And so we don’t offend anyone, we’ll use HubSpot as an example. Why is this inbound link — which lives on the HubSpot site and points to the Social Media B2B site — a bad inbound link for Social Media B2B?Next, take a look at that anchor text — or lack thereof, rather. An inbound link with poor or no anchor text, just as with an outbound link, provides far less value to the website receiving the link. You’ll also notice this link directs a reader to the site’s homepage — perhaps the least effective page to send a visitor. It would be preferable to send someone to, say, a related blog post with a compelling call-to-action or a landing page with an offer that the visitor can download. To further examine why this inbound link is not helpful, let’s take a look at the page it was left on.This is a news post announcing the release of new Facebook ad functionality, which means that first outbound link highlighted in orange is one of five other outbound links in the post. And the more outbound links in a post, the more the “link juice” is divided. In other words, if this post only linked to one other website, that website would receive 100% of the benefits of their new inbound link; if there are five outbound links, however, each website only receives 20% of the benefits of their inbound link. This blog post is also brand new — and the older the page, the more valuable the inbound link.Despite the fact that its link juice is divided, does the above link have any redeeming qualities as an inbound link? There are two. The HubSpot blog has a high mozRank, so links coming from the site are high authority inbound links. It is also a relevant link — the link comes from a post about social media on a website that talks about social media marketing frequently, and is pointing to another site that discusses the same topics. And relevancy and authority are two key components of great inbound links.*not an official monikerThe Qualities of a Quality Internal LinkAn internal link is a link to another page on your own website.Internal links are important to your SEO strategy because, like inbound links, they help build up the authority of pages on your website that are important for you to rank for in the SERPs — except lucky for you, internal links are 100% within your control!So what does a bad internal link look like? Like this:Learn how to use internal linking.First, the anchor text isn’t as strong as it could be. As we’ve learned from the best practices around both inbound and outbound links, anchor text that includes relevant keywords that more clearly indicate what the linked content is about is best for crawlers.Second, the page being linked to isn’t the best page to choose — for readers, or SEO strategy. That page doesn’t provide an in-depth explanation of how to use internal linking, nor is it the one we want to return in the SERPs for a search query around using internal linking. To get the most out of internal linking, select one page (the best you have!) for which you’re trying to rank in the SERPs for a particular keyword phrase, and always link to that page in your internal links. If you continually link to different pages, you’re splitting any linking authority among two pages instead of one, making your link half as useful. You could edit this for more effective internal linking, though, like this:Learn why great SEOs implement an internal linking strategy.In this improved version, the anchor text is far more relevant, giving Google valuable clues about what the link leads to — in other words, what the page we want to rank in the SERPs is about. Also, this link takes us to a much more relevant page about internal linking strategy, a crucial part of a good user experience. The copy around the linked text is improved as well. Crawlers read the anchor text, as well as the words around it. So seeing a word like “SEO” near the linked copy helps clarify to crawlers that the linked page would also be a relevant result for queries that include internal linking and SEO in the search phrase.How important are internal links, outbound links, and inbound links each to your marketing and SEO strategy?Image credit: Indy Charlie Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

27 Time-Saving Tools and Tricks to Be a More Productive Marketer

first_imgData-Driven PrioritizationKeyboard shortcuts and productivity tools will only get you so far. It also helps to stop once in a while to examine your overall time investment and look for places to cut. The good news is, analytics can help you find ways to spend less time on activities that don’t move the needle, and more time on things that have the biggest impact on your marketing.Channel EvaluationTake a look at the visits, leads, and customers each of your marketing channels have generated.  You can see an example of this within HubSpot below. Do the outcomes driven by each channel align well with the time you’re putting into them?  Are there channels that are taking valuable marketing time without demonstrating any results? Use these metrics to reallocate your time into the channels that drive the greatest impact. Page EvaluationYou may spend tons of time getting your website to look just right, but do you know which of those pages are actually influential to people who end up buying? Use a conversion assists report or customer interviews to determine which pages were most commonly used by customers to make their purchase decision. Reallocate your time to focus more on testing and improving those pages before addressing other pages on your site.  Since I’ve already taken a good five minutes off your day, I’ll stop there so you can get back to being an inbound marketing superhero.  But my final suggestion is this: Cut yourself some slack. Time is a slippery devil. Letting your to-do list overwhelm you is the surest way to reduce your productivity. Instead, focus on conquering two or three key achievements each day. Then if there’s time, attack the long-tail of your to-do list.Oh, and it’s ok to whisper “King of the Mountain!*” each time you cross another item off. I recommend it.*Achievement catch-phrases may vary.Do you have any amazing time-saving tips that other marketers might want to know? Share your productivity hacks in the comments.Image credit: stibbons Topics: Time Management Today’s marketers are increasingly strapped for time. We live in a world where inboxes buzz at 11pm and “busy” is the most common response to “How are you?” If this sounds familiar, you’re probably faced with a conundrum: You can’t get in any earlier. You can’t stay much later. And sleeping any less would qualify you for full-on zombie citizenship.So what can you do to become more efficient in the time that you do have?  Find small victories against the clock. (And it doesn’t hurt to keep a sense of humor, either.)To reclaim precious minutes and hours in your schedule, you’re going to need a few good strategies, a collection of tools, and a liberal policy on office coffee consumption. Here’s a start from my own arsenal of inbound marketer time-saving tactics.Strategies to Speed You UpSo often, efficiency comes down to focus. The following strategies are designed to help you inject a bit more focus into your hectic day-to-day. They all need to be tried on for size, as some may work better than others for you and your business.TimeboxingIf I let them, single blog posts could take me a full day to complete. I could spend hours finding the right words for an introduction and punctuating each line with a “quick” break to peek at email or witter. The next thing I know it’s 40 minutes later and I’ve fallen down a rabbit hole of side-topics and funny internet memes. (Store this gem for later. I said later, surfers.)Timeboxing adds focus and urgency that helps you move more quickly through your work. Here’s how it works:1) Allow yourself a concrete period of time for each task — for example, 2 hours to research and write a blog post.2) Block that time off on your calendar to illustrate that you shouldn’t be disturbed. In fact, if possible, go someplace quiet to work.3) Here’s the hard part. Don’t do anything else during that time period. No email. No article reading. No snack breaks.4) At the end of the 2 hours, stop. Even if you aren’t finished with the post, stop and move onto something else. Doing so will help keep your focus over the long run. You can always create a second timebox later to return and finish your post.Email QuarantineEmail quarantine is similar to timeboxing but deserves its own line, because it battles one of the biggest time vortexes of all – your bleeping inbox. The trick here is to not check email continuously throughout the day. Instead, give yourself 15 minute blocks of time at the beginning, middle, and end of the day to go through it. You may lose a step in terms of immediate response, but you’ll gain epochs in your overall efficiency the rest of the day.Walking MeetingsWritten about by many, but first introduced to me by HubSpotters Jonathan Kim and Brian McMullin, walking meetings increase your productivity by actually keeping your body and mind moving throughout the discussion. Pick a loop around your office that takes about 30 minutes to walk, then use milestones along the path to indicate where you should be in your discussion. It may seem like getting out of the office would add time to your schedule, but more often than not it results in more productive conversations. I’d encourage you to try it once and let me know in the comments how it went.30-Minute Stand-UpsWalking meetings are great for one-on-one situations; for group meetings, try a “stand-up,” a brief meeting meant to keep everyone efficient, accountable, and up-to-date … not to belabor points and “brainstorm.” Limit your time to 30-minute sessions, max — sometimes we even do 10-minute sessions — and give everyone in attendance one defined opportunity to speak. While not necessary, standing during the meeting can increase the sense of efficiency and bring a new energy to your meetings.Cheetah-Like Productivity ToolsSoftware is an overwhelmed marketer’s best friend. These are a few of the tools I use regularly to keep me on schedule and prioritizing the right things.IFTTT: IFTTT stands for “If this then that.” It’s a free tool that allows you to set up notifications or other actions based on a trigger. For example, if you’re tagged in an image on Facebook, send a text message or add that photo to your Dropbox. If you’ve got HubSpot, you probably don’t need this because notifications are part of HubSpot workflows, but for those of you don’t, IFTT is a good tool. Skitch and Clarify: Skitch is a free drag-and-drop screenshot tool that helps you capture and use images more quickly. Clarify (a HubSpot customer) is just as fast, but more advanced. It combines image capture, editing, and document authoring to help you to quickly create documents and marketing collateral.Tempo: Tempo is a calendar app I just started using that is great for people hopping from meeting to meeting. Among the time saving features, Tempo pulls in webinar dial-in information, has one-click notification to let people know if you’re running late, and integrates maps and LinkedIn profiles for meetings outside of your office. It’s pretty handy. HubSpot iPhone App: The HubSpot app allows you to track new leads and see your progress toward lead generation goals while on the go.   HubSpot Social Scheduling: Mention social media and two questions inevitably follow: Where do you find the time? And is it really worth it? HubSpot’s social scheduling and bookmark tool answers both. Chime: Okay, clearly I’m a little biased here because we loved these guys enough that we acquired them, but Chime is an incredibly useful tool that helps aggregate all of your notifications in one place, easily shaving off minutes throughout the day while keeping you informed. TripIt: I don’t travel much for work, but I’ve learned from those who do that TripIt offers a really easy way to organize flight and travel information into one place.Speed of Light Keyboard TricksMost people know about keyboard tricks to bold, underline, or copy and paste in a document. Here are few more of my favorite tricks to keep your fingers moving. Every computer model is set up differently, so you’ll have to test them out, but here are a few good shortcuts.Windows/PCCreate Filler Text: All marketers need filler text. When you’re laying out a document or writing a post, save yourself from writing blah blah blah 50 times with this simple trick. While using Microsoft Word, if you need some random text type: =rand(x,y) and press Enter; x and y are numbers of your choice. For example, =rand(3,4) gives you 3 paragraphs with 4 sentences each. Delete a Whole Word vs. Letter by Letter: Control + Backspace Change From Lowercase to Uppercase: Shift F3 Go to the Desktop: Windows Key + d Minimize Everything: Windows key + mMac ComputersScreenshot: Command + Shift + 3 to take a full screenshot, or Command + Shift + 4 to take a section of your screen. These are great for educational content when you’re trying to explain how to do something to your readers.Email a Link to This Page: Shift + Command + ILook Up a Word in the Dictionary: Control + Command + D.All Computer Types Insert a Link: Highlight the words you want to hyperlink, then hold down Control or Command and hit the letter K. Quickly Search a Page: Hold down Control or Command and then hit the letter F for find. Tab Through Your Programs: On a PC, hold down Alt and strike the Tab key to cycle through your windows. On a Mac, hold down the Command button and strike the Tab key.Internet BrowsersMove cursor to the address bar: On a PC, strike F6 Accidentally closed a tab? Get it back. For Firefox and Chrome users, Ctrl +Shift + T opens that tab that you just closed by accident. I can’t tell you the number of times this has saved me when moving too fast. Move between tabs: Control + Tab. Originally published Apr 10, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated April 10 2013 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

The Worst PPC Mistakes Beginners Make (and How to Avoid Them)

first_img Originally published Oct 9, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack I’ve reviewed a lot of Google AdWords accounts at WordStream — probably thousands — and I see the same silly mistakes over and over again.These five rookie mistakes are the difference between high-performing accounts and ones that fail. If you’re not happy with your PPC results, consider this as a checklist to revamp your account. And if you’re making any of these super-common errors, it’s time to fix them.Rookie Mistake #1: Infrequent LoginsThe number-one reason most businesses fail at AdWords is they don’t sign in enough. PPC managers say they are doing work in their accounts, but when I look at the change history of the average AdWords account, the numbers tell a different story. In fact, only 1% of small businesses sign in to AdWords on a weekly basis.If you want AdWords to work for you, you have to commit to regularly logging in and actually working on your account. After all, it’s not going to manage itself.The good news is AdWords doesn’t have to take over your life. Since most advertisers do so little by way of account optimization, just logging in and working on it for 30 minutes each week (not all day, not every day) can make a big difference.Rookie Mistake #2: Not Optimizing for Quality ScoreQuality Score is often seen as a black box –- you can never know exactly how Google calculates it or exactly what your dynamic, behind-the-scenes Quality Score is for any given Google search. This has led many advertisers to erroneously conclude that Quality Score doesn’t matter as a metric.They’re dead wrong.Average Quality Score is an extremely good predictor of overall account success, as it directly affects your rankings and cost per click (CPC). Lower CPCs translate into lower costs per conversion, so optimizing for Quality Score is essentially the same as optimizing for costs.The savings can be pretty powerful:Unfortunately, though, the typical small business has an average Quality Score of 5, which offers no discount at all.Rookie Mistake #3: Ignoring Mobile TrafficAdWords advertisers have ignored the mobile space for far too long. It used to be really complicated to run your AdWords ads on mobile, because Google recommended creating entirely separate mobile campaigns. Now, with Enhanced Campaigns, it’s much, much easier.However, most PPC managers still make the mistake of thinking that mobile traffic is less valuable than desktop. We’ve found a couple of things to be true:Mobile users are quicker to convert. They often want something NOW, so you need to adjust your ads (messaging, call-to-action, extensions, etc.) accordingly to secure the conversion.For some businesses, mobile traffic is actually more valuable. We’ve seen some companies getting higher conversion rates from mobile clicks, at a lower cost per click. Test out those audiences and don’t assume mobile isn’t right for you.Fewer than one in five AdWords accounts has set up mobile-preferred ads. Make sure you’re the one that does it right.Rookie Mistake #4: Lousy Keyword TargetingWhile SEOs are flipping out about the “not provided” crisis, as an AdWords advertiser, you still have keyword data to spare. But most AdWords accounts suffer from poor keyword targeting. Some of the problems I see include:Overly broad keyword choices — Long-tail keywords are more cost-effective, especially in competitive niches, but too many advertisers focus on broad head terms.Overly broad match types — One in four small businesses only use the default broad match keyword type. This match type is great for Google, since it maximizes the number of clicks, but it’s not so good for you, since those clicks are less likely to be relevant to your offering.Too few negative keywords — Negative keywords help filter out unwanted, irrelevant clicks, so they’re a key cost containment measure. However, 20% of AdWords accounts don’t use any negative keywords at all.These targeting mistakes are part of the reason that the typical SMB wastes a fourth of their annual paid search spend.Rookie Mistake #5: Blowing Off the Landing Page ExperienceThe landing page is where you seal the deal in PPC. You can get everything else right in your AdWords campaigns, but if you’re not building solid landing pages, you’re not going to turn those clicks into conversions.And guess what? It should come as no surprise at this point that many advertisers don’t realize how important landing pages are:More than one in four AdWords accounts send all of their PPC traffic to the same landing page.Roughly one in five small businesses send all of their PPC clicks to the homepage.Sending all traffic to one landing page or, worse, your homepage is a terrible idea. You need a targeted, dedicated landing page that serves one purpose only: getting the visitor to complete the desired action, which should be closely tied to the keyword and ad that got them to your site in the first place.For even more mistakes that PPC rookies are making, check out our Extreme PPC Makeover infographic, which includes more data from our recent study of 500 small and medium-sized AdWords accounts and where they need the most help.This is a guest post written by Larry Kim. Larry is the founder and CTO of WordStream, provider of the 20-Minute PPC Work Week and the AdWords Grader. You can follow him on Twitter and Google+.last_img read more

Oklahoma State’s 2017 Regular Season Win Total Set at 9

first_imgSports betting service CG Technology released the first win totals of any outlet for the 2017 college football season and the over/under on Oklahoma States has been set at 9.This total does not include bowl games or conference championship games. Based on that, last year’s total was also 9. Here’s how some other Big 12 teams looked according to the odds.Oklahoma – 9.5Oklahoma State – 9Texas – 7.5Kansas State – 7.5West Virginia – 7TCU – 7Texas Tech – 6.5The Cowboys have a tougher non-conference schedule than people probably give credit for with a trip to South Alabama (not a gimme) and a road trip to Pitt. Don’t look past Tulsa either with a Philip Montgomery offense that they hope will be a plug-and-play duplicate of what he ran at Baylor.If the Cowboys make it into conference play unblemished, the Big 12 season sets up nicely (or nicer) with Oklahoma, TCU and Baylor coming to Boone Pickens Stadium.This season looks to be a big one for Oklahoma State and the 9-win total shows that’s not just a local sentiment. That puts the Cowboys in the same company with teams like Clemson, LSU, Michigan and Louisville. The only two teams set at double-digit win totals were Alabama (10.5) and Ohio State (10).Can we just fast forward to September? While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Award Watch List Roundup: OSU Totals 19 Preseason Accolades

first_img12-JulFirst Team All-Big 12Top 5 Offensive Lineman in Big 12 While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. AdChoices广告Rudolph finished the watch list season on five lists but was left off the First Team All-Big 12. Beaten by Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, Rudolph was relegated to the second team. He was OSU’s leader in accolades over the summer.Right behind Rudolph was Washington. 11-JulRimington Trophy Fall Watch ListBest Center 18-JulWuerffel Trophy Watch ListCommunity Service, Academic and Athletic Success 19-JulDavey O’Brien Award Watch ListBest Quarterback Tre Flowers Justice Hill 20-JulDoak Walker Award Watch ListBest Running Back 19-JulDodd Trophy Watch ListBest Coach Jalen McCleskey 14-JulHeartland Emmy AwardVirtual Reality Project 21-JulWalter Camp Award Watch ListPlayer of the Year 21-JulWalter Camp Award Watch ListPlayer of the Year 16-AugEarl Campbell Award Watch ListBest Offensive Player Washington wrapped up the summer on four lists, including the First Team All-Big 12. In fact, he was the only unanimous selection to the first team. Two players were tied for third in summer accolades after the two Cowboy stars, including one on defense. There for a while, it seemed as if Mason Rudolph and James Washington were getting put on a different preseason award watch list every day.Oklahoma State’s players, coach Mike Gundy and even the program at large are up for awards. Between July 10 and July 21, 19 nods were given to those residing in Stillwater. So after almost two weeks without any news on that front, let’s catch up on which Cowboys are poised to make runs at which awards. Brad Lundblade 12-JulFirst Team All-Big 12Top 5 Defensive Back in Big 12center_img 14-JulJim Thorpe Award Watch ListBest Defensive Back James Washington Mason Rudolph 12-JulFirst Team All-Big 12Top 2 Running Back in Big 12 OSU 18-JulBiletnikoff Award Watch ListBest Receiver 10-JulMaxwell Award Watch ListBest All-Around Player 18-JulBiletnikoff Award Watch ListBest Receiver Zach Crabtree 12-JulFirst Team All-Big 12Top 3 Receiver in Big 12 Flowers was OSU’s lone defensive representative on the First Team All-Big 12. He is second Cowboy safety to be named to the first team in as many years after Jordan Sterns landed on the team last year.Other honorees were as follows: 12-JulRay Guy Award Watch ListBest Punter Mike Gundy 16-AugManning Award Watch ListBest Quarterback 19-JulJohnny Unitas Award Watch ListBest Senior Quarterback 10-JulMaxwell Award Watch ListBest All-Around Player Zach Sinorlast_img read more

Linebackers Depth Chart Primer: Bundage, Edison-McGruder Key This Year

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Yesterday we got our first look at some defensive depth chart projections when we looked at the defensive line and what role Glenn Spencer’s group will play on the whole this year. Today, linebackers.LinebackersLB/Star – Kenneth Edison-Mcgruder – Jr. |  Calvin Bundage – So. | Kirk Tucker – Sr.MLB – Chad Whitener – RS-Sr. | Gyasi Akem – Sr. | Devin Harper/Patrick MaconWLB – Justin Phillips – RS-Jr. | Kevin Henry – RS-So.AdChoices广告Pretty exciting group here. I’m not as high as most on Whitener, but he’s the guy in the middle who should be the leader. It’s kind of a boom or bust group in my opinion, I would expect some really incredble plays and some bone-headed mistakes and growing pains. This isn’t a great run stopping group, but I do think they will be better in pass coverage than past LB corps.Glenn Spencer mentioned this in the PFB video at Karsten Creek, but he certainly plans on getting Edison-McGruder and Bundage on the field at the same time even if they’re slotted for the same position.You can see the strategy playing out, picture it 3rd and 10 and you have KEM and Bundage at LB and Darius Curry, Ramon Richards and Tre Flowers at safety. That is a really strong pass defensive group right there, and you absolutely have to be able to defend the pass in the Big 12.I would expect this more and more if you see four-LB looks, especially when both guys have ability to drop into deep zone coverage. Those two (KEM/Bundage) have the biggest play-making ability of the entire group. Bundage is my favorite player on the defense, he is extremely physical and can make plays with his length. He needs to cut down on mistakes but he is a player to watch moving forward.Justin Phillips has a lot of ability, he was able to get some valuable experience last year and looked awesome at times.Nice recognition by Justin Phillips here in zone coverage. Sees first WR through zone, feels square in and makes the play. pic.twitter.com/6x4khwGpZE— Adam Lunt (@AdamLunt817) July 29, 2017 Has the athleticism to make plays in pass coverage. He isn’t overly physical at point of attack but is sufficient enough there. I’ve said it a few times on Twitter, but I think Phillips and Bundage have the best chance to make it to the next level at the linebacker spot. Kirk Tucker will play a big role on special teams and in 3rd down passing situations.Having a Senior like Gyasi Akem at backup MLB is a nice thing to have, he is someone that provides some solid depth so we can keep Whitener’s snap count to a reasonable number. In previous years he has been on the field way too much.Kevin Henry provides nice depth at Will Linebacker behind Phillips. He had some moments last year where he played well, but he’s still young.Overall I would expect Edison-McGruder and Bundage to set the tone for this group. If they take the next step and maximize their potential this could end up being a really solid LB unit. If not I think it could be a long year for the OSU defense.last_img read more