South African restaurants on World’s Best list

first_imgFor the first time, two South African restaurants have made it onto UK-based Restaurant magazine’s prestigious World’s Best 50 Restaurants list.(Image: La Colombe restaurant, Cape Town)Brand South Africa reporterAt the announcement of the 2006 awards in 10 April, Cape Town’s La Colombe was placed 28th – and named the best restaurant in Africa and the Middle East – and Le Quartier Français in Franschhoek 38th.The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards were started informally in 2002 by Joe Warwick, editor of Restaurant. Now in its fifth year, the 2006 list was compiled in a new way: the world was divided into 20 voting regions, each of which was headed by an appointed chairperson who selected a voting panel for their respective region.The list is almost entirely dominated by restaurants from Europe and the US, making South Africa’s winners all the more remarkable. The only other developing country restaurants to feature were India’s Bukhara, at 46th place, and Brazil’s DOM restaurant, at 50th.This is the third time Le Quartier Français has made the list, while La Colombe’s strong showing as the region’s best restaurant is its first placing. La ColombeAt 28th place on the World’s Best 50 list, La Colombe lies among the vineyards of the Constantia Uitsig Estate outside Cape Town. Opened in 1997 by executive chef Franck Dangereux from Provence, France, and co-owner Marlene McCay, La Colombe has won the Business Day National Best Restaurant of the Year Award five times, and a Platinum Award for its wine list.Dangereux has a classical French training, honed in the Michelin-star kitchens of Roger Verge and Louis Outhier. His food combines the cooking styles of his native France with South African ingredients, and is served in a Provence-style dining room with walls and woodwork painted sunshine yellow and sky blue.Restaurant specialities include delicate deboned quail, and pan-fried sole and aubergine on toasted brioche surrounded by snails in a garlic cream, finished with a star anise jus.Dangereux’s cookbook, Feast, was named one of the three best chef cook books in the world in 2004.Visit the La Colombe website.Le Quartier FrançaisLe Quartier Français hotel takes its name from the town of Franschhoek, meaning “French corner”, which was founded by French Huguenots in 1688.Lying in the heart of the Cape winelands and surrounded by the Franschhoek mountains, the hotel’s real draw is the accomplished cooking of Dutch-born Margot Janse.She presides over the Tasting Room, Le Quartier Français’s fine dining restaurant, where she prepares individually tailored menus that make the most of the Cape’s rich larder, accompanied by the finest local wines.The restaurant was placed at 38th, with its speciality dishes made from South African game – impala, warthog, springbok and more.Le Quartier Français has won numerous awards, including Tatler magazine’s Best Small Hotel in the World for 2006. Last year it was named the best restaurant in Africa and the Middle East in the World’s Best 50 Restaurants awards.Visit the Le Quartier Français website.The World’s Best 50 RestaurantsEl Bulli, Spain – The World’s Best Restaurant and Best Restaurant in EuropeThe Fat Duck, UKPierre Gagnaire, France – Chefs’ ChoiceFrench Laundry, US – Best Restaurant in the AmericasTetsuya’s, Australia – Best Restaurant in AustralasiaMichel Bras, FranceAlain Ducasse’s Le Louis XV, MonacoPer Se, New YorkArzak, SpainMugaritz, Spain – Highest New EntrantEl Raco de Can Fabes, SpainNobu, LondonGambero Rosso, Italy – Highest ClimberGordon Ramsay at New Hospital Road, LondonAlain Ducasse’s Plaza Athenee, France, ParisJean Georges, New YorkLe Cinq, FranceDaniel, New YorkOud Sluis, HollandChez Panisse, USEl Celler de Can Roca, SpainPascal Barbot’s L’Astrance, FranceHof Van Cleve, BelgiumLa Maison Troisgros, FranceL’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, FranceCharlie Trotter’s, USLe Gavroche, UK – Outstanding ValueLa Colombe, South Africa – Best Restaurant in the Middle East and AfricaEnoteca Pinchiorri, ItalyRockpool, AustraliaLe Calandre, ItalyLe Bernardin, New YorkNoma, DenmarkRestaurant Dieter Muller, GermanySt John, UKHakkasan, LondonMartin Berasategui, SpainLe Quartier Français, South AfricaChez Dominique, FinlandL’Ambroisie, FranceSchwarzwaldstube, GermanyDal Pescatore, ItalyBocuse, FranceAlain Passard’s L’Arperge, FranceGramercy Tavern, New YorkBukhara, India – Best Restaurant in AsiaDe Karmeliet, Belgium Oaxen Skargardskrog, SwedenComme Chez Soi, BelgiumDOM, BrazilSource: The World’s Best 50 Restaurants ListWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Tsima uses video to help fight Aids

first_imgAccording to the organisation, Tsima traditionally means working together to plough a field. (Image: Tsima)Through a series of short videos, the Tsima – Treatment as Prevention gets people to talk about the issue of HIV/Aids. The aim is to encourage the community to mobilise against the spread of the virus.The project is a three-year community mobilisation intervention and research trial established in 2015 by Sonke Gender Justice. It is being implemented in eight villages in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga.Sonke Gender Justice is an NGO that works across Africa to strengthen government, civil society and citizen capacity to promote gender equality, prevent domestic and sexual violence, and reduce the spread and impact of HIV and Aids.According to the organisation, Tsima traditionally means working together to plough a field.The main goal of the project is to mobilise communities to learn and understand that HIV treatment is also a form of HIV prevention.Download the full Tsima booklet here.Two examples of such storytelling come from Rhulani Mkansi and Mpho Lewele, both of whom are residents of local villages and are HIV-positive.last_img read more

Brand South Africa flying the flag at the World Economic Forum’s New Champions meeting

first_imgJohannesburg, Wednesday 11 September 2013 – Brand South Africa will fly the South African flag at the World Economic Forum’s Summer Davos or Annual Meeting of the Champions in Dalian,Peoples Republic of China from 11-13 September 2013.The high powered South African delegation to the Summer Davos will use the opportunity to network with government leaders, business representatives, and civil society to profile and position South Africa as a competitive, developed economy that offers investors good returns on investment and other benefits.The New Champions meeting follows the World Economic Forum’s announcement of its 2013 Global Competitive Index which revealed that South Africa has improved on four of the 12 pillars of competitiveness, namely: Institutions, Goods & market efficiency, Business Sophistication and Innovation.South Africa has also made steady progress on the Innovation pillar, improving by three positions to 39 this year.  This must be harnessed to drive the National Development Plan as South Africa’s blueprint for economic and social development by 2030.Brand South Africa CEO Miller Matola commented on this saying, “Economists recognise that innovation is a product of entrepreneurial activity and injects dynamism into an economy.  This reflects very positively on the South African economy and opportunities for growth.  It is also the factor that has been shown to drive social and economic development in other developing countries.  South Africa open for business and we invite investors to look at what we have to offer.”Meanwhile, South Africa retained its position on three pillars: financial market development, technological readiness and market size.South Africa will be represented at the Summer Davos by:NameDesignationOrganisationMiller MatolaChief Executive OfficerBrand South AfricaPaul Scott MatthewDirectorAfrica North Star AllianceImrhan ParukExecutive, Corporate DevelopmentAfrican Rainbow Minerals Ltd (ARM)Patrice T. MotsepeFounder and Executive ChairmanAfrican Rainbow Minerals Ltd (ARM)Anne Githuku-ShongweFounder and Chief Executive OfficerAfroes Transformational GamesBronwyn NielsenSenior Anchor and Executive DirectorCNBC AfricaTsholofelo B.L. MolefeGroup Executive, Group Customer ServiceEskom Holdings SOC LimitedSteve J. LennonGroup Executive, SustainabilityEskom Holdings SOC LimitedZola TsotsiChairmanEskom Holdings SOC LimitedMartyn DaviesChief Executive OfficerFrontier Advisory Pty LtdMonhla Wilma HlahlaChairman of the BoardIndustrial Development Corporation of South Africa Ltd (IDC)Lynette NtuliFounder and Chief Executive (Pty) LtdInnate Investment SolutionsJayendra Naidoo (Jay)Executive ChairmanJ&J GroupAvril HalsteadChief Director, Sectoral OversightNational treasury of South AfricaEllis MnyanduEditor: Business ReportSekunjalo Independent MediaIqbal SurvéExecutive ChairmanSekunjalo Investments Ltd South AfricaPatrick SchofieldFounderThe Indalo ProjectBruce HartHead, China Africa Business DevelopmentThe Standard Bank Group LimitedKuseni DlaminiChairmanTimes Media Group LimitedLungisa MatshobaFounding Chief Technology OfficerYOCOAbout Brand South AfricaBrand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, in order to improve its global competitiveness abroad. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, in order to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.Further resources from Brand South AfricaMedia are invited to visit http://www.southafrica.info/ for further resources which can be reproduced without any copyright infringement.  Kindly attribute to Brand South Africa.For more information or to set up interviews, please contact:Nadia Samie-JacobsPublic Relations DomesticTel: +27 11 712 5007 Mobile: +27 (0)72 777 9399Email: [email protected] www.brandsouthafrica.comEndslast_img read more

USDA Announces DMC 2020

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Chris ClaytonDTN Ag Policy EditorOMAHA (DTN) — Dairy farmers may have just finished enrollment for the Dairy Margin Coverage program for 2019, but USDA has just opened enrollment for calendar year 2020.“We know it’s tough out there for American farmers, including our dairy producers,” Bill Northey, undersecretary for farm production and conservation, said in a news release. “As Secretary (Sonny) Perdue said, farmers are pretty good at managing through tough times, and we know that more dairy farmers will be able to survive with this 2018 Farm Bill and its risk mitigation measures, like the Dairy Margin Coverage program.”All dairy farmers who want 2020 coverage must visit their local USDA Service Center office to pay the annual administrative fee, which is $100 for the lowest level catastrophic coverage. Producers must visit their local office even if they locked in coverage for five years to take advantage of the 25% premium discount. Enrollment for the 2020 DMC runs through Dec. 13.“Dairy producers should definitely consider coverage for 2020 as even the slightest drop in the margin can trigger payments,” said Northey. “Dairy producers should consider enrolling in DMC to guard against what has been, for several years, an extremely unforgiving market.”The DMC program offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer.For the 2019 enrollment, USDA reports 22,682 operations signed up for DMC, which the department stated amounts to just under 81% of dairy farms with established production history. As of Monday, dairy farmers have received $303.9 million, or an average of $13,400 per operation.Looking at individual states, Wisconsin has the highest number of dairies enrolled at 5,792 operations signed up, or about 86% of those operations with production history. In total, Wisconsin farmers have received $67.9 million in DMC payments, the largest in the nation.A few states have significantly smaller percentages of dairies enrolled. Georgia, for instance, has 219 dairy farms with production history, but just 120 signed up for the 2019 program, or under 55%.DMC enrollment information is updated weekly and can be found at https://www.fsa.usda.gov/….Chris Clayton can be reached at [email protected] him on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN(ES/AG)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Saving Sustainably: Installing Drains and Vents

first_imgEditor’s note: This is one in a series of blogs detailing the construction of a net-zero energy house in Point Roberts, Washington, by an owner-builder with relatively little building experience. A list of Matt Bath’s GBA articles can be found at the bottom of this page. You’ll find Matt Bath’s full blog, Saving Sustainably, here. If you want to follow project costs, you can keep an eye on a budget worksheet here. Now that the frame of the house is complete and safe from the elements, I have some flexibility on what to do next. I could, for instance, decide to finish the exterior of the house, put the shingles on, run electrical wire, or install the ductwork. There really isn’t anything to hold me back from working on any of those things. I decided that the most intelligent thing to do would be to finish installing the roofing as soon as possible whenever I had some decent weather, and when it was too wet to be on the roof I will work on the plumbing. The drain, waste, and vent (DWV) system really needs to be done first because there are three vent pipes that will penetrate the roof, so I want to have those installed before putting the shingles on. The only other roof penetration will be the Soladeck for the solar array electrical connection.RELATED ARTICLESSensible PlumbingService Cavities for Wiring and PlumbingGreen Plumbing Systems Save Water and Energy The DWV is one of two systems that make up the plumbing of the house, the other one being the water supply system. The job of the DWV system is to remove water from any plumbing fixtures in the house (drain), transport it to the septic system (waste), and ensure that air pressure doesn’t interfere with the process (vent). Most people have a pretty good sense of how the first two parts work but are completely oblivious to the operation of the last one. An easy way to explain it is to think back to when you were a kid playing with a drinking straw. You could fill the straw with water, hold a finger over one end of the straw, and the water would magically defy gravity. The venting part of the DWV system is the equivalent of removing your finger from the end of the straw to allow the water to slide out. Without it, all of the pipes installed to drain and waste would be completely ineffective. In fact, best practices allow for each individual fixture to have a vent of its own. Some of these vents are eventually combined together until they exit out of the roof. Start with the building code There is quite a bit of planning that goes into installing a DWV system, but all of the rules are clearly spelled out in the building code. Washington State uses the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC), whereas other areas may use the International Residential Code (IRC). Planning starts with deciding on the number and type of plumbing fixtures you will have in your house. Next, you will use the tables in the code to figure out what size pipes to use for the drains and vents. The code dictates minimum pipe sizes and applies a number to each fixture called a “drainage fixture unit value” or DFU. That becomes important when you decide to combine drains or vents. The system would be pretty inefficient if every single fixture had its own independent drain and vent, all running separately into the sewer or septic. The code allows you to use larger pipe sizes than the minimums and combine smaller pipes into bigger ones as long as the total DFU in the pipe is below the maximum allowed for that particular pipe size. Additionally, each fixture must have a trap, and the codes spell out what size trap must be used for each fixture. A trap is the U-shaped part of the pipe you may have seen under your sink, and it’s a monumentally important part of the DWV system. Without a trap, noxious fumes from the sewer or septic tank would be free to travel directly into your home.  Water in the trap prevents those fumes from entering the house. Armed with this knowledge, you are now prepared to grab a piece of paper and a pencil (or a computer with CAD) and plan your very own DWV system. There is no wrong way to do it as long as you stay within the rules. But if you are wise about things you may be able to dramatically reduce the amount of piping you need to buy and install.  The best practice is to design the system before the framing has been started so that you can plumb in any hard-to-reach areas, as I did before installing the subfloor. Remember to include a slope Installing the plumbing is a relatively simple process that involves drilling holes in studs and joists, cutting the pipe to fit, and cementing the fittings to the pipe. The key is to always remember the old plumbing sage’s advice: “Don’t be a dope, slope.” Every drainpipe must be angled so that it descends towards the septic (or sewer) at the rate of 1/4 inch  for every foot of pipe. Vent pipes, on the other hand, should be installed level, or with only a very slight slope toward the drain. Flexible metal straps must be used to attach the pipes to the framing at least every 4 feet on a horizontal run. This will ensure that the slope is maintained even if the pipes get jostled in any way. Drain lines should be secured firmly with flexible metal strapping. I had already installed the drains for the first floor way back, before I poured the concrete slab on which the house is built. Furthermore, I had installed all of the vents and drains that ran through the load-bearing wall when I laid down the subfloor. This left very little plumbing to complete on the first story – basically just the stub-outs and vents for the kitchen and bathroom sinks, and excavation of the tub and toilet drains. Sink stub-outs are typically placed 19 inches above the floor level. I attached a test cap to the end of each stub-out, and once the entire DWV system has been installed I’ll fill all of the pipes with water to make sure I don’t have any leaks. If the water test is successful, I will cut off the test caps and install the traps for the sinks. After the stub-outs, the pipe continues as a vent up to the second story. Uncovering drains for tub and toilet One of the last things I did before pouring the slab was to place a cardboard box around the trap for the bathtub and fill it with gravel.  A thin layer of concrete had been skimmed over the top so the box was now completely invisible. I took a sledgehammer lightly to the spot where I knew the outer edges of the box were, and it cracked away pretty easily. Once the thin layer of concrete was removed, I was able to scoop out the rocks and uncover the trap. I was pleased to see that it was exactly 15 1/2 inches from the wall, which placed it right in the center of the tub. Later, I will use some leveling compound to ensure the area below the tub is perfectly level, and then connect the trap to a tailpiece that will link the drain and the overflow for the tub. Likewise, a thin film of concrete covered the drain for the toilet (also called a closet bend).  I had to chip it away so that I could align the metal ring correctly. In the photo below, you may be able to spot two mistakes I made during the concrete pour. The water supply for the toilet should come up inside the wall, but perhaps I didn’t secure it well enough and it got jostled during the pour. I will end up just plumbing it up out of the floor instead of out of the wall which is the standard practice. The supply line for the toilet should have been routed through the wall directly behind. In this case, that won’t be possible. The other mistake is that the toilet flange is supposed to sit up 1/4 inch or so above the concrete so that after the tile is set in place it is sitting on the tile. I will most likely have to cut it off, go out and buy a new one, and reattach it. If I leave it as is, the connection between the toilet and the flange will need to be filled with an extra wax ring or a spacer. Both methods are widely used but neither is as safe as just installing the flange at the correct height. When it comes to the possibility of dirty toilet water leaking, you can never be too safe! Drain lines installed between the joists For the second story, the drain lines run between the floor joists just under the subfloor. I drilled holes in the top plates of the first story walls and then installed the horizontal drains between the joists. There was just enough space to ensure they were adequately sloped. The photo below shows the stub-out for the washer and dryer.  You will notice there are two drains, one for the washer and one for the ventless dryer. Instead of venting the moist, hot air to the outside, as would be the case with a conventional dryer, this one will keep the heat in the house. The water drains out, just like the washer water. The rough-in for the washer and dryer drain has two outlets instead of one. The second drain will accommodate the ventless dryer. In addition, there were stubouts for the shower, two sinks, and another toilet. The closet bend for the second story is screwed down to the subfloor once it has been aligned in just the same fashion as the one on the first floor. After the stubouts, the vents continue up through the walls and connect above the bottom chord of the trusses.  To satisfy building code, at least three of the vents must continue through the roof. Through the roof The whole point of working on the plumbing first was to make it easier to install the shingles. I used interlocking aluminum shingles due to their proven record of longevity and their ability to stand up to the high winds and salty air of Point Roberts. As an added benefit, the shingles are made from 95% recycled material, and they reflect heat back into the building rather than absorb it like most roofs. One of the few downsides is that because the shingles interlock, the only way to adjust one of the shingles in the middle of the roof is to start removing them from the top corner and continue removing them until you get to the one you want to adjust. Obviously that wasn’t something I wanted to take a chance on having to do, and if I tried to just drill through the singles after they were installed they would get bent. The best approach was to complete the DWV system and install the vents through the roof before installing the shingles. According to building code, plumbing vents must extend a minimum of 6 inches above the roof.  Due to the slope of the roof, an oval shape must be cut out to accommodate the round pipe. Once the three vent pipes were brought through the roof, I glued test caps onto the two lower vents but left the highest one open. This completed the DWV system so that every single outlet was capped and sealed. Now it was time to test for leaks. I dragged a hose up to the uncapped vent and filled it up all the way to the top to ensure the entire system was filled. Then I turned a full water bottle upside down and placed it over the top. This gave me a reference to look at to check for leaks. If I could no longer see the water in the bottle, then there obviously would be a leak somewhere. Fortunately, I had done an adequate job of cementing all the ABS together and there were no leaks. The test caps will remain in place until the water supply system has been installed and tested, at which point I will be ready to have the building inspector come by to check everything. The only other roof penetration will be for the electrical connections to the rooftop solar array. I will be using a Soladeck to both protect the roof opening as a flashing and house the electrical connections all in one. The Soladeck can be positioned pretty much anywhere. I decided the best spot would be near the top of the solar array at the center of the roof ridge. The key was to position it so several of the screws would attach to one of the trusses, which will provide a much stronger connection than just attaching it to the roof sheathing. With all of the roof penetrations complete, I was ready to install the shingles. Other posts by Matt Bath: An Introduction Foundation Formwork Designing and Installing a Septic System Pouring the Slab Framing the First Floor Framing the Second Floor Framing the Roof Shingling the Roof Wall Sheathinglast_img read more

Marcello Lippi returns for second stint as China head coach

first_imgLATEST STORIES Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess FILE – In this Nov. 15, 2016, file photo, then China’s head coach Marcello Lippi gestures during the Group A World Cup 2018 Asian qualifier soccer match against Qatar, in Kunming in southwestern China’s Yunnan province. Lippi is set to return for a second stint in charge of China’s national team as the country targets a place at the 2022 World Cup, the Chinese Football Association announced Friday, May 24, 2019. (Color China Photo via AP, File)Marcello Lippi is set to return for a second stint in charge of China’s national team as the country targets a place at the 2022 World Cup.The Chinese Football Association announced Friday that the 71-year-old Lippi, who guided Italy to the World Cup title in 2006, will start back next month. He ended his initial 27-month tenure after China’s exit in the quarterfinals of the Asian Cup in January.ADVERTISEMENT “When Lippi was previously in charge of the national team, the players showed a positive attitude and a fighting spirit,” the CFA said in a statement. “We believe that with Lippi and his team of assistant coaches, the Chinese men’s football team will leave no stone unturned in realizing their dream of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup.”China’s only appearance at the sport’s marquee tournament was in 2002, when the World Cup was co-hosted by South Korea and Japan.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsLippi, who led Juventus to the UEFA Champions League title in 1996 and China’s Guangzhou Evergrande to the Asian version in 2013, first took the China job in October 2016 during the last round of qualification for the 2018 World Cup. He didn’t meet that objective.Qualification for the 2022 World Cup starts in September. MOST READ O Canada: Hockey hotbed now produces tennis players, too Lippi succeeds fellow Italian Fabio Cannavaro, who had a brief stint in charge of China’s national team while also remaining head coach of Guangzhou in the Chinese Super League.Cannavaro, the 2006 World Cup-winning captain, quit as national coach after two losses in March to focus on his club duties with Guangzhou.___ADVERTISEMENT Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:2760-40 sharing ‘fair’ as China will spend for WPS exploration—Esperon01:19Magalong: Albayalde also got SUV out of ‘agaw bato’ operation in 201302:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFPcenter_img DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

The Definition of Smart Content [In Under 100 Words]

first_img Originally published Mar 15, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Smart Content Topics: Smart content, also referred to as dynamic content, is website content that changes based on the interests or past behavior of the viewer.Smart content is designed to offer a more relevant and personalized experience to your website visitors — one that static content can’t provide.Using intel from your marketing software or CRM system, marketers can customize their site pages for every type of visitor. For instance, you could segment your pages to provide a different experience for your leads versus your customers, so you can deliver the most personalized and relevant experience possible to everyone who visits your site. 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

How to Make a Mobile-Friendly Website [Free SEO Guide]

first_img Originally published May 5, 2015 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Mobile Optimization Topics: The search engine goliath Google hath laid down its wrath once again — this time targeting the mobile web.On April 21st, 2015, Google began rolling out its “mobile-friendly” update, which makes mobile-friendliness a stronger ranking factor for mobile searches. The aftermath of this rollout, dubbed “Mobilegeddon,” has resulted in thousands of non-optimized websites plummeting in mobile search results. According to the Searchmetrics blog, some of the websites most-affected by Google’s mobile-friendly update include reddit, NBC Sports, SongLyrics.com, and Upworthy, just to name a few.The good news in all of this: “Mobilegeddon” wasn’t really the end of days for non- or poorly optimized mobile websites. Google’s algorithm runs in real time, so even if you weren’t able to get your site up to snuff before the April 21st launch date, you can (and should!) update it now and Google will reward you for it in its mobile search rankings.To help ensure that you have all of your mobile SEO bases covered, we created a new guide: How to Make a Mobile-Friendly Website: SEO Tips for a Post-Mobilegeddon World.The guide is available both as a .pdf file and as a responsive sitepage that you can view on a mobile device. Inside, you’ll find information about Google’s mobile-friendly update and how you can test your site for mobile-friendliness, as well as tactical tips for optimizing your website for mobile SEO and usability.We’ll also cover the differences between Google’s three approved mobile configurations: responsive design, dynamic serving, and mobile-only websites.Ready to go mobile? Click here to download the guide.Do you have any tips for making websites for mobile-friendly? Sound off in the comments section below. 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

Are Publishers Measuring Success Correctly?

first_img Topics: Originally published Jun 16, 2015 7:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Marketing Analytics For digital publishers, there is no shortage of data you can glean from your website. Rather than waste efforts trying to drink from this fire hose of information, you should instead determine which metrics are worth paying close attention to—and when.What Are You Trying to Measure?Before you can begin looking at individual stats, you should first stop and separate out the key goals you have in pursuing this data—the areas of your business you need to track, optimize for, and pay attention to in order to offer advertisers a worthy value proposition.  Generally speaking, this comes down the three things: 1) Outreach MetricsTraffic-producing keywords, site visits, headline clicks, social media shares and engagements, etc.These are metrics that help you understand how you’re succeeding or failing at getting eyes on your page. A failure at the outreach stage can result in low traffic (or high-volume, low-value traffic).2) Sales MetricsConversion rates, ad impressions, ad clicksThese metrics indicate your ability to make visitors transition to potential customers—your ability to sell your readers on a course of action. When your readers won’t take action, these metrics help indicate why. 3) Value MetricsQualified lead rates, number of SQLs, pipeline generated, sales-per-lead, advertiser ROIHere is where real ROI numbers begin to develop. Publishers should think like marketers by setting goals and tracking long-term progress using these metrics; developing outreach and sales efforts without considering the value of the effort is bad for business.There is, of course, going to be overlap—some metrics matter a great deal to two or even all three areas. Finding Value in Publishing Industry MetricsDigital publishing industry metrics associated with outreach and sales have been discussed at length, to the point where most every publisher understands them. What many articles skim over however, is that the worth behind these metrics alone has dropped markedly in recent years as content loses it’s independent allure. Instead, digital publishers should be paying increased attention to the third group: Value metrics—the metrics that advertisers really care about.While outreach and sales numbers play a major role in illustrating site and content performance, value metrics inform to a great degree whether traffic and engagement is actually making an impact on revenue. More people clicking on an article or ad is a good thing, but proving that those visitors are transitioning into qualified leads and paying customers matters more.First, it’s important to understand how traditional marketing lifecycle stages translate for a publisher:Subscriber: People who regularly visit your site and read your contentLead: Readers who have shown additional interest by filling out a form or converting on your site in some wayMarketing Qualified Lead (MQL): Leads whose personal or professional information indicates that they’re particularly valuable to you or your advertisersSales Qualified Lead (SQL): Leads who your sales team or your advertisers consider worth direct follow-upOpportunity: Leads who become real sales opportunities in your CRMCustomer: Subscribers or contacts who have made a purchase from one of your advertisers as a result of your sponsored content campaignEvangelist: Satisfied customers who refer new business to youWith this in mind, your ability to generate MQLs and SQLs is extremely indicative of your site’s ability to monetize visitors for advertisers. If you’re generating a high value of qualified leads, but still unable to create worthwhile ROI from them, it may be one indication that you’re not creating the right content offers or need to improve your lead-handoff proccess with advertisers.So where do the ‘opportunity’ and ‘customer’ lifecycle stages fit into the picture? Connecting the dots between the first time a visitor lands on your site and these two stages is one great strategy publishers can use to ultimately prove-out ROI for their advertisers. Having a closed-loop reporting system in place, with one unified database, is crucial for measuring this outcome. When you understand which leads are converting to customers and which are not, you can begin to edit and optimize your outreach and sales strategies. For example, if your visitor to contact or contact to opportunity rate for a particular workflow, like: SEO > landing page > newsletter > email nurturing > sponsored seminarleads to more profit for your advertisers than one like:social media clicks > landing page > subscribed reader > native advertisementyou gain insight into what’s hidden behind your other top of the funnel site metrics.When final ROI becomes a tangible number rather than a theoretical goal, you can use your other metrics more efficiently to improve your publishing and profitability together. The actionable data that you find at the bottom of the funnel is what proves your site is a sound investment for advertisers. Don’t forget to share this post! 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How Publishers Can Increase Time on Site

first_img Originally published Aug 20, 2015 7:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Website Design There are a lot of metrics that you can look at as a publisher to understand how well your content is resonating with audience members—pageviews, returning visitors, keyword performance, referrals, etc. Each of these gives you insight into some form of reader engagement.One metric in particular that is particularly indicative of overall reader engagement, is time on site.Why Time on Site is ImportantWe’ll start with an example.Let’s say you see an average page view count of 4.5 pages per visit. Sounds great, right? But then you take a look at your average time on site, and it’s around 55 seconds. This means people “read” each of those 4.5 pages in less than a minute. It doesn’t take much math to realize that’s not a lot of time on each page, meaning your readers are just skimming. Or, even worse, this could indicate your readers aren’t finding anything valuable enough to look at more deeply.The longer someone remains on your site, the more likely they are to convert on an offer or display some other trackable form of purchase intent. So, while overall traffic indicates top-of-the-funnel strength, time on site is indicative of  middle-of-the-funnel health. At the top of your site’s marketing funnel, a high number of visitors is healthy. As you move down the funnel however, your job is to identify those visitors who are demonstrating more interest in your content, and possibly more purchase intent. Time on site is an indicator of how much and how deeply readers want to interact with your content. If someone is on your site longer, they’re more engaged. When they’re more engaged, they’re more likely to trust you, and exchange personal information for sponsored content and even product/service recommendations.To advertisers, these engaged users are the needles in the haystack that they care about. These readers are the qualified leads you want to be generating. What You Can Do to Increase Time on SiteThere are several things to think about if you want to see your time on site improve. Create Great Content Most obviously, you need to continue to create great content. Always think about value and relevance to your reader, and balance in-depth pieces with short, snackable articles that are easier to digest. Make sure you’re including visuals and have well-organized articles that appeal to different target personas, and use on-site analytics to understand what content is performing best! Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and try new formats.Encourage Exploration Your site should encourage exploration to lead people from one piece of content to the next. Make page or section transitions clear, include additional content suggestions related to what readers have already consumed, and have an easy site search tool available. Even after you’ve gotten a conversion, you should encourage them to stay on your site rather than close the browser. For instance, if you have someone come in on a landing page that doesn’t feature a navigation bar (so they focus on the CTA), bring the navigation bar back on the confirmation or thank you page so they have more places to explore.Personalize the On-Site ExperienceRelevance has everything to do with time on site. The more a page is geared toward your unique user experience and interests, the more likely you are to continue browsing. Amazon.com, and the titans of ecommerce have learned this lesson, and now it’s time for publishers to take note as well. Use smart content to serve followup content and CTAs that are new and relevant to their personal interests.  Additionally, make sure that people aren’t being driven away by ads that aren’t relevant to them.Think Mobile FirstRemember, 27% of consumers will leave a site if it is not mobile-optimized. The second screen has to be a first thought when you think about web design, sponsored content distribution, emails, and any other type of content that readers will be interacting with. Analyze and AdjustMake sure you know where your strong and weak points are. Look at the bounce rates and exit rates of individual pages to see where people are leaving your site and where they’re sticking around. Use that data to improve page content and build out new strategies to keep readers engaged.With a few quick changes and a focus on site organization and structure, you’ll likely see increases in the amount of time readers are spending on your site, and therefore their overall engagement level with your content.last_img read more