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Twitter Analytics Dashboard Now Open To Everyone



The Twitter Analytics dashboard launched back in July, and allowed users to measure the performance of all their tweets. Things like how many times it was viewed, how many links were clicked.

However it came with a catch — the service was only available to advertisers and verified users.

Few online marketers have that blue verified click next to their name, and not many advertise their businesses, products and services on Twitter. Good news, then, that the social network has made a change so that everyone can obsess over the performance of every tweet that they send.

The powerful tool is now available to everyone. Free of charge. Those of you that have a fascination for figures, or use Twitter to promote your business can now obsess over the numbers and whatnot.

Ian Chang, a front end engineer with Twitter was the first to share the news today:

“Absolutely thrilled to open up access to to EVERYONE. Check it out, and let us know what you think!”

And this page over at the support section of Twitter confirms all the details.

The dashboard can now be accessed by every account that has been open for at least 14 days. Curious. Only accounts that are not restricted, protected or suspended can use it. Obvious. You have to primarily tweet in English, French, Japanese or Spanish. Hilarious.

Hopefully some of these restrictions are eased up in time — particularly the language ones.


For what it is worth, the tool is not as detailed or comprehensive as it could be. But it is easy to use and provides a cluster of useful information. The graphs are pleasing to see, and the overviews provided are informative. Nothing beats seeing how many hits your tweets have earned you.

Data is also compared to the previous month, and you can even scroll back your entire timeline to check the performance of all post. Sadly, search and filter options are missing. For the future, perhaps?

You can locate your newly unlocked Twitter Analytics dashboard here.

Melanie Russell is a seasoned online business reporter and has been writing about the web for as long as she can remember.



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Find The Traffic Of Any Website With SimilarWeb



If you have a particular site you are competing with, or just want to find out the traffic of any website or blog, there are a number of online tools that can help.

Most of them work quite differently from one another, in how they calculate the numbers, but solutions like Alexa, Quantcast, TrafficEstimate and even SEQquake provide valuable insights. Now you can add another neat tool to this list — one that goes by the name of SimilarWeb.

In theory, it is impossible to know exactly how much traffic a website gets, as that information is private to the owners of that particular website.

Tools that promises to provide these numbers does so based on their own research, algorithms and estimates. Some even include logs from Internet service providers in their statistics. Point being, you should always take this data with a grain of salt.

They are guesstimates, at best.

But still a good source to find out website traffic and demographic information. SimilarWeb works the same way, and one advantage it provides (against other such tools) is that a fair amount of data is available for free. Other provides charge monthly fees for access to their statistics.

So simply input the URL of a website that you want to gather some insights on, and the tool will give you a brief report about that site, along with their traffic estimates.

The numbers presented are quite close, though obviously not accurate.

Obviously, the bigger a site, the more precise an estimate it will provide. For example, TechCrunch lists on their ‘Advertise with Us’ page that they receive 34 million monthly page views. And sure enough, SimilarWeb provides numbers in this range.

However a lot of smaller sites are not enumerated, understandably.

As it stands, though, this probably is one of the better traffic estimation tool available online, and you can use it to gather some good results and compare how your sites compare with your competitors.

It also works with mobile apps, so give it a try at this link.

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The 7 Phases Of A Website Project



Like most good things in life, a website is an ongoing process. A journey, not a destination. But anytime you begin the design or development of a new website, you’ll have to assess the project as a whole.

You’ll have to evaluate the different steps or phases that you, as a website owner, will be moving through. Only then can you be sure of a logical flow of development, a streamlined design process, and the long term evolution of your web property.

It could be anything as small as a simple blog, or as elaborate as an ecommerce site or a portal — no matter the complexity, a website can be always divided into a number of distinct phases.

That being said, here are the 7 phases of a website project:

1. Planning

No explanation needed here. This is when you plan and define the goals and purpose of the site you are creating. This phase will determine the identity of your website, the type of content that will go there, as well as the basic requirements for putting it online.

Some people also try to figure out the various ways they can attract visitors to their new website in this step, and this too, is a sound strategy.

2. Contract

If you are handling the complete design and development by yourself (or in-house), then this phase is redundant. But if you are designing something for a client, or outsourcing your project, then the contract phase is where the initial draft will be readied, a proposal submitted, and the work scoped out.

Financial terms will also be agreed during this phase, along with things like time frame and deliverables. Work begins, once all these factors are finalized.

3. Design

Things start with the design first and foremost. You’ll be required to characterize your target audience, while constructing the identity of an ideal visitor. Determine the demographics, the preferences, and then make the necessary design decisions regarding color, layout, organization and navigation.

Software like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator (or the various other design programs) will come into play here, which can be used to create and present your mockup.

4. Building

Next up is the crucial development phase, the backend coding — all that fun stuff. You turn your website mockup into a functional web page using technologies like HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript and whatnot. It will come down to whether you are creating a basic, static site or a programmed, dynamic one.

An important consideration for this phase is to ensure that all pages on your site look good, and function properly on all the major browsers and their numerous versions.

5. Testing

It is absolutely vital to iron out any issues that you encounter while testing your website on PCs, the Mac, and mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. Test it on the most popular operating systems, at a variety of resolutions. Also validate the code, and fix any syntax errors that may be reported.

Basically, you have to make sure that all your visitors can navigate and use the website without any technical problems in this testing phase

6. Launch

Now comes the good part. Ideally you’d have already registered your domain name by now, purchased a hosting plan and set up your web server. Upload the site files to the host server, and do one final test to make sure everything is in tiptop shape.

You can now launch the website by submitting your URL to search engines and web directories. Also post to your social media accounts, and send out press releases, emails and newsletters announcing the launch of your brand new website.

7. Maintenance

Post-launch maintenance is the final phase where you perform routine upkeep of your website in order to ensure that the content of the site stays relevant and up-to-date. You’ll also need to add new content or edit the current material, while making small improvements and enhancements here and there.


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Understanding Market Segmentation



Online marketing may have changed the rules in certain capacities, but classic marketing principles still apply. You establish goals for your online business, specify measurable objectives, and then get your promotions underway.

Your time and budget will constrain just how much you can spend on marketing, and this in turn effects how much traffic your websites (or blogs) receive.

Understanding market segmentation, then, becomes important.

No matter the type of business, you need to locate where your target audience hangs out on the web, and discover the variations — deviations like people who are older, younger, wealthier or more educated, ones that are more motivated by price than features, their geographical location, and all that.

The process of dividing your market into smaller sets of prospects and grouping them by certain characteristics they share is essential for an applicable marketing strategy that brings quantifiable and measurable results.

Here are a few forms of market segmentation, with a brief description of each:

Demographic segmentation

The most basic type of segmentation, which sorts your audience by factors like age, gender, education and socioeconomic status. Best suited for B2C (business to consumer) companies.

Vertical industry segmentation

This one is for B2B (business to business) providers. If you offer your products or services directly to other companies, then you will have to target the various elements in that defined industry.

Geographic segmentation

Another basic segmentation technique. You target your potential customers, or website visitors by their location. Target areas could be as small as your local neighborhood, as broad as a country, or even all the way up to a continent.

Job segmentation

Here you identify the various decision makers like engineers and managers in your B2B sales cycle. Could also be used in a B2C context, depending on what you offer.

Lifecycle segmentation

Consumers need different products at different stages of life. If you have an information product, you surely don’t want to pitch it to young kids. Classify your customers depending on which stage of life they are in, like teens, young singles, families, retirees and elderlies.

Psychographic segmentation

Fancy name for profiling your consumers by their values, beliefs, lifestyles, attitudes and opinions.

Specialty segmentation

This breakdown targets a custom narrowly defined market. For example, iPhone users that are using your app, or 9 to 16 year old male students in a school. Comes in handy when you have clearly defined targets that can be sorted out and distinctively outlined.

Now, the key point here is that you discover these variations by experience.

Ideally you’d want to focus on one market segment at a time, and then invest in the next market segment in order to maximize the returns from your limited marketing time and advertising budgets. Then again, this is something that you will only get good at once you indulge in.

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