Tag Archive | "Free"

Dropbox is Now Offering 1TB of Free Cloud Storage for Some Accounts

It’s a good time to be a Dropbox user. The company recently revealed that it will be giving certain accounts an additional 1TB of storage for free. The move will bump up storage space for Professional account holders from 1TB to 2TB, while Business Standard clients will have 3TB up from 2TB.

Current Dropbox subscribers will receive the free extra storage in the upcoming weeks while new subscribers to Business Standard and Professional accounts will be able to enjoy the larger storage space immediately.

Dropbox explained that they put great stock in providing their customers with a seamless experience, therefore they have to be extra careful in migrating current accounts. This is to ensure that the transitions to the new 2TB and 3TB plans will go smoothly.

New Dropbox Professional subscribers will only need to pay $ 16.58 a month for 2TB of storage while Dropbox Plus will cost users $ 8.25 monthly. Meanwhile, company teams will have more room to maneuver with the Dropbox Business Standard. Even though storage space will jump from 2TB to 3TB, clients will still only pay $ 12.50 per user/month with a required minimum of three team members. Dropbox is also offering unlimited storage with its Business Advance plan for only $ 20 per user/month. 

With the extra storage, subscribers will have an easier time sharing CADs or huge video files with their customers. This will allow subscribers to mark previews using any browser without requiring users to download third-party software.

As it stands, Dropbox is offering the most free storage of and file-sharing service, but you only get to take advantage of it if you’re a paid subscriber. Customers who use the service for free will remain limited to the 2GB Basic plan. That allowance is a far cry from the 15GB offered on Google Drive and the 5GB that comes with Microsoft OneDrive accounts.

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Microsoft Now Has a Free Version of Teams, Takes on Rival Slack

Microsoft is gearing up for its yearly Inspire event and has drummed up interest with the announcement of a free version of Microsoft Teams.

The Teams platform has been around since 2016 and 200,000 companies are now using it. However, the lack of a free version or a freemium tier and the $ 60 annual fee made it inaccessible to freelancers and small businesses.

This oversight may have been costly, as small and medium businesses comprise more than 90 percent of businesses worldwide. Unlike Microsoft, Slack has had a free version of its service since its launch in 2014, which helped the work chat application gain a lot of attention and subscriptions.

It’s better late than never as far as Microsoft is concerned, as the free version of Teams will include most of the features paid subscribers enjoy. Of course, these features have limits that will hopefully encourage people to sign up for an Office 365 subscription.

The Teams free version boasts unlimited search and chat messaging and includes support for up to 300 people. It also has integrated audio and video group calling. Users also have unlimited app integrations, so they can add applications like Trello without fear. It will also have guest access and a limited file storage of 10GB. Each member will have 2GB of private storage.

Microsoft is also introducing improvements like cloud recordings of meetings, inline message translation for members who speak a different language and background blurring for video calls.

In contrast, Slack’s popular free version is limited to 10 app integrations, 10,000 searchable messages, and 5GB of storage. There are no options for guest accounts or group video chats, but one-on-one video chatting is offered. In short, Teams has fewer restrictions as long as you keep the team to less than 300 people.

However, Microsoft is limiting full integration of desktop versions of Excel and Word to paid Office 365 subscribers. But users of the free Teams platform can enjoy the web versions of key Office apps from Office Online.

The free version of Microsoft Teams is available now in 40 languages. Companies that have reached the limits of the app have the option to upgrade to an Office 365 subscription for as little as $ 5 a month per user.

[Featured image via Microsoft]

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Join Us for a Free, In-Depth Workshop to Improve Your Sales Skills

At Copyblogger, we love to teach! We really have a great time teaching copywriting, content strategy, search engine optimization, social media strategy … The one thing we don’t teach? Selling. Because it’s not what we’re fantastic at. Fortunately, we found someone who is fantastic at it, without being … a creepy weirdo. (There, I said
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Sign Up for the Free Copyblogger Workshop on Persuasive Presentations

On Monday, I unveiled our new Copyblogger book club. We’ve been having a great time working through Ursula Le Guin’s Steering the Craft, and we’d love to have you with us! On Tuesday, webinar “gun for hire” Tim Paige swung by the blog to talk about one of the things that can make webinars so
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How to Craft No-Brainer Marketing Offers [Free Poster]

Want to craft high-converting offers? Below I’ll tell you how I failed multiple times over several years until I finally learned how to cap off my marketing funnels with can’t-miss deals my customers were eager to pay for. But before we dive into persuasion strategies and tactics, let’s address your own fears and hesitations. Because
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Free Workshop *Today* on an Awesome New Content Tool

First things first: Brian Clark is co-hosting a free workshop today (in a few hours, at 12:00 p.m. Pacific Time / 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time), all about getting started with chatbots. If you don’t know much about chatbots, or even think they might be weird or creepy, check out my post from Monday explaining why
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Transform Your Business Website Using Our Free ‘Design 101’ Ebook

Is your current website design working for your business as well as it could be? You might know that it’s not, but don’t know where to start when it comes to a redesign. We understand that. Choosing a WordPress theme for your website can be a little overwhelming and leave you with lots of further
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Boost Your Search Engine Visibility with Our Free ‘Smart SEO Steps’ Ebook

As you develop your traffic and conversion strategies this year, knowing how to appeal to your human audience while optimizing for search is vital. Luckily, Rainmaker Digital CFO Sean Jackson wrote an excellent free guide that you can download right now — and you don’t even have to enter your email address. There’s no silver
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Free Local SEO Tools That Belong in Your Kit

Posted by MiriamEllis

What a lot can change in just a few years! When I wrote the original version of this post in January 2014, the local SEO industry didn’t have quite the wealth of paid tools that now exists, and many of the freebies on my previous list have been sunsetted. Definitely time for a complete refresh of the most useful free tools, widgets, and resources I know of to make marketing local businesses easier and better.

While all of the tools below are free, note that some will require you to sign up for access. Others are limited, no-cost, or trial versions that let you get a good sense of what they provide, enabling you to consider whether it might be worth it to buy into paid access. One thing you may notice: my new list of local SEO tools offers increased support for organic SEO tasks, reflective of our industry’s growing understanding of how closely linked organic and local SEO have become.

Now, let’s open this toolkit and get 2018 off to a great start!


For Research

US Census Bureau Tool Set

Looking to better understand a target community for marketing purposes? You’ll find 20+ useful resources from the US Census Bureau, including population statistics, economic data, mapping and geocoding widgets, income and language information, and much more.

Client Onboarding Questionnaire & Phone Script

Onboarding a new client? Reduce repetitious follow-ups by asking all of the right questions the first time around with this thorough questionnaire and easy-to-follow phone call script from Moz. Includes helpful tips for why you are asking each question. As local SEO veterans will tell you, a missed question can lead to unhappy (and costly) surprises down the marketing road. Be sure you have the total picture of an incoming client in clear view before you begin strategizing.

Location Information Spreadsheet

Vital when marketing multi-location businesses, this free Moz spreadsheet will ensure that you’ve got all the info at your fingertips about each locale of a company.

*Pro tip: When working with large enterprises, be certain that the data you’re inputting in this spreadsheet has been approved by all relevant departments. It’s really no fun to find out six months into a marketing campaign that there’s internal disagreement about company NAP or other features.

Local Competitive Audit Spreadsheet

Now we’re really getting down to brass tacks. When you need to look for answers to the perennial client question, “Why is that guy outranking me?”, this free Moz spreadsheet will help you document key competitive data. The end result of filling out the sheet will be two columns of stats you can compare and contrast in your quest to discover competitors’ ranking strengths and weaknesses. Need more guidance? Read my blog post in which I put this audit spreadsheet into action for two San Francisco Bay Area Chinese restaurants.

Manual GeoLocation Chrome Extension

Watch Darren Shaw demo using this tool to show how a local pack changes when a user virtually crosses a street and you’ll quickly understand how useful this Chrome extension will be in approximating the impacts of user-to-business proximity. Works well on desktop devices.

Our industry still hasn’t fully recovered from Google removing the Local Search filter from its engine in 2015, and I still live in hope that they will bring it back one day, but in the meantime, this extension gives us a good sense of how searcher location affects search results. In fact, it may even be a superior solution.

The MozBar SEO Toolbar

Local businesses in competitive markets must master traditional SEO, and the free MozBar provides a wonderful introduction to the metrics you need to look at in analyzing the organic strengths and weaknesses of clients and competitors. On-page elements, link metrics, markup, HTTP status, optimization opportunities — get the data you need at a glance with the MozBar.

Google Advanced Search Operators

Not a tool, per se, but the best tutorial I have ever seen on using Google advanced search operators to deepen your research. Dr. Pete breaks this down into 67 steps that will enable you to use these search refinements for content and title research, checking for plagiarism, technical SEO audits, and competitive intelligence. Be totally wizardly and impress your clients and teammates, simply by knowing how to format searches in smart ways.

Google Search Console

Apologies if it already seems like a no-brainer to you that you should be signed up for Google’s console that gives you analytics, alerts you to serious errors, and so much more, but local SEO is just now crossing the threshold of understanding how deeply connected it is to organic search. When playing in Google’s backyard, GSC is a must-have for businesses of every type.

BrightLocal’s Search Results Checker

This popular tool does an excellent job of replicating local search results at a city or zip code level. In some cases, it’s best to search by city (for example, when there are multiple towns covered by a single zip code), but other times, it’s better search by zip code (as in the case of a large city with multiple zip codes). The tool doesn’t have the capability to recreate user-level results, so always remember that the proximity of a given user to a business may create quite different results than what you’ll see searching at a city or zip code level. I consider this a great tool to suss out the lay of the land in a community, identifying top competitors.

Offline Conversion Tracker Form

Give this handy Whitespark form to anyone who answers your phone so that they can document the answer to the important question, “How did you hear about us?” Submitted information is saved to Whitespark’s database and tracked in Google Analytics for your future reference and analysis. For local businesses, knowledge of offline factors can be priceless. This form provides a simple point of entry into amassing real-world data.


For Content

Answer the Public

One of the best-loved keyword research tools in the digital marketing world, Answer the Public lets you enter a keyword phrase and generate a large number of questions/topics related to your search. One of the most awesome facets of this tool is that it has a .CSV download feature — perfect for instantly generating large lists of keywords that you can input into something like Moz Keyword Explorer to begin the sorting process that turns up the most powerful keywords for your content dev and on-page optimization.

Buzzsumo

Another great content inspiration tool, Buzzsumo shows you lets you enter a keyword, topic or domain name, and then shows you which pieces are getting the most social shares. For example, a search for wholefoodsmarket.com shows that a highly shared piece of content at the time of my search is about an asparagus and broccoli soup. You can also sort by content type (articles, videos, infographics, etc.). Use of Buzzsumo can help you generate topics that might be popular if covered on your website.

OSHA Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) System Search

Another interesting resource for brainstorming a wide pool of potential keywords for content dev consideration, OSHA’s SIC search returns big, comprehensive lists. Just look up your industry’s SIC code, and then enter it along with a keyword/category to get your list.

USPS Look Up a ZIP Code Widget

Working with service area businesses (SABs)? Note the second tab in the menu of this widget: Cities by zip code. When you know the zip code of a business you’re marketing you can enter it into this simple tool to get a list of every city in that zip. Now, let’s not take a wrong step here: don’t publish large blocks of zips or city names on any website, but do use this widget to be sure you know of all the communities for which an SAB might strategize content, link building, brand building, real-world relationship building, social media marketing, and PPC.


Schema/JSON-LD Generators

Rather than list a single tool here, I’m going to take the advice of my friend, schema expert David Deering, who has taught me that no one tool is perfect. In David’s opinion, there isn’t currently a schema/JSON-LD generator that does it all, which is why he continues to build this type of markup manually. That being said, if you’re new to Schema, these generators will get you started:


For Citations

Moz Check Listing

I can say without bias that I know of no free tool that does a better job of giving you a lightning-fast overview of the health of a local business’ listings. On the phone with a new prospect? Just plug in the name and zip and see how complete and accurate the company’s citations are on the sources that matter most, including the major local business data aggregators (Acxiom, Factual, Infogroup, Localeze) plus key platforms like Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp, YP, and more.

Literally at a glance, you can tell if inconsistencies and duplicate listings are holding a business back. It can also be used for competitive analysis, defining whether a clean or messy citation set is impacting competitors. The value of the free Check Listing tool becomes most fully realized by signing up for the paid Moz Local product, which automates aggregator-level listing management even at an enterprise level with hundreds or thousands of listings, and offers options for review monitoring, ranking analysis, and more.

Whitespark’s Local Citation Finder (free version)

The free version of this cool tool from our friends at Whitespark will give you a sense of how the paid version can help you discover additional places, beyond the basics, where you might want to get listed. It also analyzes your competitors’ citations.


For Reviews

The Hoth’s Online Business Review Checker Tool

You’ll have to sign up, but this free tool gives you an overview report of a local business’ reviews on a variety of platforms. This is a smart thing to do for every incoming client, to gauge reputation strengths and weaknesses. The state of a company’s reviews indicates whether it has an offline problem that needs to be corrected at a real-world structural level, or if its core challenge is a lack of strategy for simply earning a competitive number of positive reviews.

Free Review Monitoring

Need to know when a new review comes in on a major or industry-specific review site? Signing up for this free tool will send you email alerts so that you can respond quickly. Watch the little video and pay attention to its statement that the majority of unhappy customers will consider visiting a business again if it quickly resolves a complaint. Good to know!

Review Handout Generator

Another freebie from Whitespark in partnership with Phil Rozek, this very simple resource lets you enter some business info and generate a printable handout your public-facing staff can give to customers. Active review management has become a must in even moderately competitive geo-industries. How nice to have a physical asset to offer your customers to get more of those reviews rolling in!

Google Review Link Generator

Google’s local product has gone through so many iterations that finding a link to point consumers to when requesting a GMB review has been foolishly difficult at times. Whitespark helps out again, at least for brick-and-mortar businesses, with this easy widget that lets you enter your business info and generate a shareable link. Unfortunately, SABs or home-based businesses with hidden addresses can’t use this tool, but for other business models, this widget works really well.


For social

Notify

Whenever your business gets mentioned on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Linkedin, Reddit, and a variety of other platforms, Notify uses Slack or HipChat to send you an alert. By being aware of important conversations taking place about your brand, and participating in them, your business can achieve an excellent status of responsiveness. Social media has become part of the customer service environment, so a tool like this comes in very handy.

Followerwonk

A free trial is available for this app which acts as serious analytics for Twitter. If Twitter is a favorite platform in your industry, definitely give this resource a spin. Understand the characteristics of your followers, find and connect with influencers, and use data to improve your outreach.

Character Count Online

I use this ultra-basic tool all of the time for three specific tasks. Some social platforms either have character limits and don’t always have counters, or (like Google Posts) truncate your social messaging so that only a limited snippet appear at the highest interface. Just plug in your text and see the character count.

And, of course, you’ll want a character counter to be sure your on-page title tags and meta descriptions read right in the SERPs.

My third use for this counter relates to content marketing. Most publications have character count parameters for the pieces they will accept. Here on the Moz Blog, we’re not into length limits, because we believe thorough coverage is the right coverage of important topics. But, when I’m invited to blog elsewhere, I have to rein myself in and be sure I haven’t galloped past that 800-character limit. If you’ve found that to be a problem, too, a character counter can keep you on-track as you write. Whoa, horsie!


So, what did I miss?

If you’re saying to yourself right now, “I can’t believe this totally awesome free local SEO tool I use every week isn’t included,” please share it with our community in the comments. One thing I know I’d love to find a free solution for would be a tool that does review sentiment analysis. Paid solutions exist for this, but I’ve yet to encounter a freebie.

My criteria for a great tool is that it makes work better, stronger, faster… or is that the intro to The Six Million Dollar Man? Well, Steve Austin had some amazing capabilities (and a cool 70s jogging suit, to boot!), and I’m hoping you’ll feel kitted up for success, too, with this list of free tools in the year ahead.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!


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4 Ways to Make Free Shipping Profitable for Your eCommerce Business

One of the most crucial decisions an eCommerce business has to make is whether to offer free shipping. If the retailer does opt to provide free shipping, then other equally important decisions have to be made, like what kind of go-to-market process will be implemented.

An online retailer’s free shipping policy can boost conversions, but it can also add to expenses. Luckily, there are several strategies open to a company.

Here are four ways that can make free shipping profitable for your business:

Image result for flat rate shipping1. Offer Your Clients a Flat Rate

One of the best ways to make good use of free shipping is to offer a flat rate for all packages, or flat rates for total orders and weight ranges.

However, this method requires intensive planning and preparation. The company has to figure out the average cost of shipping. This is to ensure that they do not overcharge or undercharge clients. When they do come up with the right cost, the price will likely be a little over or under the actual shipping cost. But this discrepancy would even out eventually.

Retailers considering a flat rate should be aware that they would need to conduct several tests to see which would work better – pricing by weight range or order totals.

2. Add Shipping Cost to the Product Price

Integrating the shipping cost to the product price will also work in the company’s favor. Consider the following options:

  • Offer 1: $ 50 for the product + $ 5 for shipping
  • Offer 2: $ 55 with free shipping

The majority of consumers would undoubtedly favor the second option. Studies have shown that the conversion numbers for the second offer were double that of the first offer. This method also works very well for unique products and items that are hard to find.

So how does one incorporate the cost of shipping into the product’s price? One way is to change the price of items below the free shipping threshold so that it would include part of the expected shipping cost. For instance, you can add 13% of the expected shipping cost to items priced at $ 10. So from $ 10, the product will now cost $ 11.30. With this strategy, you get to offer free shipping while recouping part of the cost.

Image result for ground shipping3. Substitute Service Types

Thousands of online retailers have found that ground shipping is the most affordable option, so this is the most common type used in free shipping. But retailers should make it clear to customers that this is not overnight shipping and that an additional fee will be charged if they want to expedite the process.

Ground shipping can actually reduce your shipping expenses by as much as 50% and most can easily meet 2-day expedited shipping requirements. If the product is to be delivered somewhere near the office or distribution center, then you can use the cheapest ground option available, meet the delivery window, and save money.

Don’t be afraid that your clients will be put-off by the 2-day wait. Nearly all online buyers are willing to wait longer for a product as long as shipping is free.

4. Exclude Specific Products From Free Shipping

Another way to reduce the negative impact of free shipping is to exclude specific products from the service. Companies can exclude large and heavy items with high shipping cost and products with low margins from free shipping. They can also just offer the free service exclusively to high volume products with low shipping costs.

Do not look at free shipping as a financial black hole. Savvy retailers can utilize free shipping as leverage to boost conversions and average orders while reducing any negative impact it might have on revenue.

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