Schlagwort-Archive: blockchain

Godfather of Fintech Uses Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Technology to Make Crowdfunding More Legitimate

Godfather of Fintech Uses Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Technology to Make Crowdfunding More Legitimate

Thomas Carter, a fintech startup veteran and serial entrepreneur, is on a mission to disrupt the traditional finance model capital raising by leveraging cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Although ICOs are known for their scams and Ponzi schemes, Carter has found a new way to leverage the ICO model and create an alternative to bank financing without the messy scams. He calls this Dealbox, a business accelerator and crowdfunding platform that tokenizes startup companies.

A Quarter Century of Experience in FinTech

As a serial entrepreneur with over 30 years experience in the startup sector, and as a founder who has raised capital in a number industries from finance, multimedia, to sports, and marketing, Carter noted that there had to be a more accessible procedure to fund a company.

Carter mentioned to Entrepreneur Magazine that he launched Dealbox because he wanted to use his experience to help new startup founders and companies raise capital unconventionally, especially since it’s an extremely tough process.

Dealbox: a Business Accelerator and Crowdfunding Platform

Carter created Dealbox, a crowdfunding platform and business accelerator that helps companies in cutting-edge industries like artificial intelligence, 3D printing, Cannabis, payment processing. Carter intends to disrupt the traditional capital raising model by allowing founders to share their business plans with many investors at once instead of doing many rounds of pitches.

The new approach is possible by leveraging new financial technologies to handle large data sets in real-time.

Instead of the traditional crowdfunding approach, DealBox works with and sources the capital organizations from family offices, private equity firms, and knowledgeable investors during the pre-sales process before the public sale.

He noted that one of the most substantial benefits of crowdfunding is its ability to enable the startup to secure small or large investments from a large number of investors. In return, the investors gain partial ownership, dividends, and appreciation for the funds.

Bringing Due Diligence to the ICO Ecosystem

To invest in DealBox’s startups, investors need to purchase “DLBX” tokens during the pre and public sales. DealBox exchanges the cash as early stage investments in the platform. The crowdfunding and business accelerator then undergoes a “lock-up” period for 12 months.

The tokens are fixed at $1 and do not trade freely, ensuring that the investors are protected from any initial volatility. DealBox then ensures that there is an exit after this period like pursuing Form s-1 Filing or uplisting on a cryptocurrency exchange. Part of the company’s profits is then given to the investors in the form of royalties.

“Our crypto-economic analysts rigorously vet startups against the same compliance standards applied to public companies,” said Carter. “DealBox is creating real economic value by raising standards to improve the overall health of the blockchain ecosystem.”

Article From BTCMANAGER
Writen by Cindy Huynh

 

Heiko Closhen, Entrepreneur

Bitcoin Break 3000 Do Not Miss This

The price of bitcoin topped $3,000 for the first time in history today, according to the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (BPI).

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After spending much of the last week seeking direction in the $2,700 to $2,900-range, the average price of bitcoin across major international exchanges edged up over this threshold finally at roughly 17:00 UTC.

The new record comes at a time when alternative digital assets are seeing robust inflows, with ethereum's ether token setting a new all-time high of more than $300 today as well.

Indeed, analysts spoke to the ongoing broadening of the cryptocurrency market as a tide that is benefitting bitcoin.

"The inflows into 'alts' are greater than those into bitcoin. In other words, bitcoin is growing at a very nice pace, but non-bitcoin cryptocurrencies are growing even faster," cryptocurrency hedge fund manager Tim Enneking told CoinDesk.

Jehan Chu, managing partner at cryptocurrency fund Jen Advisors, agreed, noting that bitcoin is likely benefitting from new investor interest and the surging interest of "cryptos like ether".

Still, Arthur Hayes, founder of Hong Kong-based digital currency exchange BitMEX, stated that bitcoin is still the "most talked-about cryptocurrency", even as returns become more substantial in other areas of the market.

Hayes told CoinDesk:

"As investors marvel at bitcoin's historical returns and the returns of altcoins, their natural first purchase is bitcoin. Bitcoin has under performed other coins this year, it is now playing catchup."

Investor Sean Walsh largely agreed, pointing to bitcoin's growing price as a sign of its place in the market as the first stop on a road to other assets.

"Bitcoin still seems like the dominant gateway to [alternative digital assets]. So, many first purchase bitcoin in order to then trade their bitcoin for altcoins," he noted.

The development coincides with signs that the cryptocurrency market is maturing to support new inflows and increasing interest.

As noted by CoinDesk research analyst Alex Sunnarborg today, the cryptocurrency exchange market has never been more globally diverse or buoyed by such an array of possible inflows.

Such tailwinds have combined in recent weeks to bring new investor attention to bitcoin, with expectations for bitcoin's growth becoming more and more exuberant. Danish investment firm Saxo Bank went so far as to publish a forecasting report in which it placed the possible value of bitcoin at $100,000 in the next 10 years.

Chris Corey 

CMO Markethive Inc

Charts on mobile device via Shutterstock

Heiko Closhen, Entrepreneur

Blockchain Innovation Means Greater Financial Inclusion in the Middle East

Blockchain Innovation Means Greater Financial Inclusion in the Middle East

  

Financial inclusion,

something as simple as possessing a basic chequing account is significantly lacking in the Middle East, especially when compared on a global scale. Digital innovation, coupled with high mobile penetration rates, especially those aged 25 and under, can, however, open the door to reshaping the fate of the region’s estimated 85 million unbanked adults. According to the 2014 World Bank Global Findex Database, a report that measures global financial inclusion, account penetration in the Middle East, that is, individuals without access to even the most basic financial services sat at just 14 percent.

Last month, Dr. Nasser Saidi, a leading economist for the Middle East and North Africa region who served as the Minister of Economy and Industry and as the Vice Governor for the Lebanese central banks, reiterated the 14 percent figure in an interview. Saidi added, however, that the situation is even more dismal for women.He claimed that only 9 percent of women in the Middle East region owned an account. This is a stunning figure, especially when placed alongside the global average which sits at around 50 percent, according to World Bank data.

Furthermore, account ownership is at near-universal levels in high-income Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) economies, with 94 percent of adults from OECD nations having reported owning an account. Financial inclusion is critical for employment creation, for raising income levels and to consequently reduce poverty. To achieve inclusive economic growth, of course, requires the easing of barriers to accessing the broader financial system. The key to easing the barrier to financial access in today’s online environment is digital innovation, more specifically, advancement in financial technology and mobile banking.

The United Arab Emirates, one of the richest Gulf nations, has an internal battle amongst its top two cities. “There is a rivalry between Abu Dhabi and Dubai to become the fintech hub in UAE,” said Omar Soudodi, managing director of Dubai-based payments processor PayFort, as reported by Kadhim Shubber of the Financial Times, in December. Companies in the financial technology sector, including within the rapidly emerging space of blockchain technology, see the critical opportunity that exists for banking innovation. “More and more of the Arab millennials are getting into the banked world before they even graduate,” said Soudodi. “Before the trend was, ‘I graduate, I get a job, I get my first paycheck and think, oh my God, I need a bank account’.” There is potential to capitalise on the shifting demographic trends.

Changing Demographics

The UAE was cited by Google amongst the highest in smartphone penetration rates per capita as of September 2015. The UAE was in fact listed among global leaders with an overall smartphone penetration rate of around 75 percent. The mobile phone user base in the Middle East and North Africa region was second only to that in Asia-Pacific. “Just over 606 million people in the Middle East and Africa [region] have at least one mobile phone this year, and the total will pass 789 million in 2019,” reported eMarketer, an independent market research firm, in tandem with Starcom Mediavest Group as part of their 2016 Global Media Intelligence report.

The UAE has retained its regional standing as the highest per capita country for mobile phone penetration with an estimated 80.6 percent of the population reported to possess a mobile device. Further, this number is projected to inch up to 82.8 percent by 2019, as per the Global Media Intelligence report. From a usage perspective, the trend is similarly moving toward complete saturation. In 2012, only 54 percent of UAE users under the age of 25 went online using a smartphone at least as often as on a computer. This rocketed to 90 percent by 2015.

Fast-forward to data obtained in January 2017 and the trend upward continues, with the Internet and mobile use remaining high in the Middle East, according to We Are Social’s and Hootsuite’s Digital in 2017 Global Overview. Of an estimated total regional population of 246 million there are 147 million Internet users in the Middle East — a 60 percent penetration rate. Furthermore, there are 312 million mobile subscriptions, which amounts to a 127 percent rate against the overall population.

“You have a very young population, using modern technologies. Yet, the financial and banking side is lagging. Fintech therefore, can play a very important role in financial access and inclusion,” said Saidi. Top digital users are of course the youth segment, according to economist Saidi, who added, 60 percent of the population in the Middle East are aged under 30, which highlights the ripe opportunity to mobilise the current and upcoming generations.

Blockchain-Based Innovation

“The Arabian world is ripe for innovation,” said Mohammed Alsehli, chief executive officer at ArabianChain Technology, a Dubai-based software developer. “Blockchain technology is at the center of innovation in the region that is made possible by the direction and the vision of some of the countries here. In Saudi Arabia and the UAE it’s all about the digital revolution and how to digitally transform these countries in the future.” ArabianChain Technology, based in the Dubai Technology Entrepreneurship Center, recently launched its own public blockchain.

In addition to the blockchain, ArabianChain is developing a suite of blockchain-based features and products, including its own digital currency called DubaiCoin-DBIX (previously, DubaiCoin-DBIC), an exchange, and a regionally-focused marketplace. “DBIX is a secure and economical means to conduct payments and asset transfers,” Alsehli said. But ArabianChain is just a single player amidst a growing base of fintech ventures, blockchain-based and otherwise. Last September, the Dubai Future Foundation launched its inaugural Dubai Future Accelerators, a 12-week program connected international technology startups with government entities for the purpose of creating prototypes and pilots for the City of Dubai.

According to Bitcoin Magazine reporter Diana Ngo, The program “enlisted 30 companies with seven of Dubai’s public services: Health, Energy, Knowledge, Municipality, Police, Transport and the investment portfolio, Dubai Holding.” In fact, the United Arab Emirates is moving to adopt sweepingly adopt blockchain technology with aims “to become, by 2020, a leading centre for innovation and the first government in the world to execute all of its transactions on a blockchain.”

The power of this, from a financial inclusion and digital innovation standpoint, will be unmitigated access for a population that lives online, connected via a computer or mobile phone, with the latter’s penetration rate at a nearly universal level. Further, integration and adoption of a regionally-focused, feature-filled public blockchain has the capacity to heighten interaction and connectivity from business-to-business,  business-to-consumer, and peer-to-peer positions.

Daniel Diemers, a consultant with the strategy and consulting arm of PricewaterhouseCoopers, pointed to another reality in the region, that of disconnection, stating, “If you’re a payments fintech start-up in the UAE and you’ve gone through all the approvals, it [still] doesn’t give you passports in other Gulf countries.” ArabianChain and other public blockchains like Bitcoin have the potential to alter this dissociative relationship, allowing businesses and people to interact without thought of border, according to Alsehli.

Mobile banking and the advancement and adoption of financial technology applications can also shatter the often insurmountable barrier physical access predicates while alleviating costs to the account owner and the banking institution. In short, Blockchain-based innovation could mean significant progress by way of financial inclusion through digital. This guest article is authored by Brandon Kostinuk, communications lead at Vanbex Group, a Vancouver, Canada-based professional services firm and consultancy that specialises in the digital currency and blockchain technology sector.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Visit the Kairos webiste https://cabinet.kairosplanet.com/register/#111b0e

Nevada Senators Unanimously Advance Blockchain Tax Ban

Nevada Senators Unanimously Advance Blockchain Tax Ban

   Senators in the state of Nevada

have unanimously backed a proposal that would block local authorities from instituting taxes or fees on blockchain use. According to public records, after just over a month of deliberation, the Senate advanced the measure following a 21-0 vote, with zero abstentions. As CoinDesk reported last month, it’s the first measure of its kind that would prevent local officials from charging money to use a distributed ledger or a smart contract tied to one. Sen. Ben Kieckhefer initially submitted the measure on 20th March.

The bill stipulates:

"A local governmental entity shall not: (a) Impose any tax or fee on the use of a blockchain or smart contract by any person or entity; (b) Require any person or entity to obtain from the local governmental entity any certificate, license or permit to use a blockchain or smart contract; or (c) Impose any other requirement relating to the use of a blockchain or smart contract by any person or entity."

Other elements of the bill would clear the way for smart contracts and blockchain signatures to become acceptable records under state law, similar to a measure that was signed into law last month in neighbouring Arizona. The bill now moves to the Assembly – the lower chamber of Nevada’s bicameral legislature – for further consideration.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

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Dubai And The Globalization Of Blockchain Technology – And FinTech

Dubai And The Globalization Of Blockchain Technology – And FinTech

Summary

Information technology continues to spread throughout the world, even as populist governments and politicians argue that nations just need to focus on their own country. Dubai has very aggressive plans to have 100 percent of applicable government services and transactions on blockchain by 2020 and bring along the private sector to work within the system. Dubai plans to be a hub of world trade and knows that information systems must be integral to such globalization setting a standard for others to follow.

 

Recently, I posted an article relating to a conference on Financial Technology (FinTech) held at MIT. In that post, I discussed the advancement of technology in the United States financial system and reported on how far behind many experts believe the American financial system is in introducing technology to the US economic system. An interesting thread running through many of the sessions at the conference was the mention of Dubai as a leader in the advancement of blockchain technology.

Blockchain technology uses a digital ledger system to efficiently share and track information related to contracts and transactions. The records of the system are permanent, verifiable, and secure. The Blockchain Technology is the technology used to support the digital currency bitcoin. It was surprising to me to see an article by Nikhil Lohade in the Wall Street Journal on the efforts being made to turn Dubai into a blockchain center.

Mr. Lohade quotes the group chief information officer at Emirates NBD, Dubai's largest bank, Ali Saywani:

"The aim is to replace paper-based contracts with smart contracts that will help reduce complex documentation for the tracking, shipping and movement of goods."

"We have a very clear objective to make Dubai the capital of the blockchain industry," says Aisha Bin Bishr, director general of Smart Dubai, a government office tasked with facilitating innovation in the emirate. "By 2020, we'll have 100 percent of applicable government services and transactions happen on blockchain."

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

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Ripple Adds 10 New Financial Firms to ‚Blockchain Network‘

Ripple Adds 10 New Financial Firms to 'Blockchain Network'

  

Ripple is adding 10 new banks

and financial services providers to what it's now calling its "blockchain network". Founded in 2012, Ripple has raised nearly $100m for its distributed ledger tech and related payments products, but it has been increasingly active of late in seeking to formalize enterprise partnerships amid a wave of high-profile consortium efforts.

The new partnerships find Ripple showcasing its reach and influence. New members include MUFG (Japan), BBVA (Spain), SEB (Sweden), Akbank, Yes Bank (India), Axis Bank (India), SBI Remit (Japan), Star One Credit Union (US), EZ Forex (US) and Cambridge FX (Canada). In an interview, Ripple VP of product, Asheesh Birla explained the company is beginning to define its offerings in more collaborative terms. While its product allows for faster cross-border payments, Ripple is also creating a set of standards for banks to follow while using its underlying tech, he said.

Birla told CoinDesk:

"You need a whole ruleset, and that's why we call it a blockchain network and when we say that partners are joining, they’re actually agreeing to the standards and rules that accompany the technology as well.”

The new partner banks and companies are a mix of inbound and outbound services. As Birla explained, Indian banks Yes Bank and Axis Bank are receiving more cross-border payments rather than issuing payments out. MUFG in Japan, on the other hand, manages both. "They would be processing payments for a lot of Japanese that want to send money to other destinations like Turkey and India but then there’s a lot of demand for sending payments into Japan as well," he said.

Faster payments are one advantage, but members also cited other advantages. Evan Shelan, chairman of EZ Forex said, "The benefits [of the blockchain] are about adding the most advanced level of security to each payment through the distributive ledger for our financial institutions."

Global reach

Of course, a global network is perhaps a natural fit given Ripple's recent focus on the cross-border DLT opportunity. According to Birla, many banks are feeling the need to process more international payments than ever before. As such, Birla framed DLT as an advance that could help financial institutions with a broader set of problems. For instance, without a standardized procedure, he argued things gets messy when operating payments to several different countries.

"[Banks are] looking at this as a new kind of service that they can offer that would compete with a lot of the startups in their space," he said. Still, work needs to be done to boost the Ripple ecosystem, and Birla said that banks were chosen, in part, due to their expertise with their local regulatory environment.

Birla concluded:

"The reason that we chose to work with banks is that they are experts in local regulation. A lot of them have that pull and understand the regulatory environment and we built our product in such a way that it fits within the different regulatory schemes around the world."

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

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Blockchain: The Next Mortgage Industry Shake-Up?

Blockchain: The Next Mortgage Industry Shake-Up?

It has been quite some time since a new technology came along that holds the promise of revolutionising the mortgage industry. E-signatures and e-mortgages still offer the promise of a major technology shift, but 17 years later, adoption of e-mortgage technology has been anaemic

Along comes a new technology: Blockchain.

Will blockchain finally be the game-changing technology for the industry? I believe blockchain will be the next big thing. Although there were high hopes that e-signatures would be the solution that finally improves the process, the industry has been slow to adopt e-signatures as the core game-changing technology – and for good reason. Switching to digital mortgages requires substantial process and technology changes. Also, digital mortgages require the mortgage ecosystem – from the originator to the title company, to a closing agent, to a county recorder, to investor – to support the “e” process. This has been an almost insurmountable hurdle to overcome.

Although it has been close to two decades since e-signatures became legitimate under the law, e-closings are still not commonplace for mortgages. It’s no fault of the technology, per se – clearly, using e-signatures can make life easier for borrowers. Yet, the mortgage industry is still a paper-and-ink industry that requires mortgage teams and customers alike to go to the title company’s office and sign stacks of documents by hand. This is where blockchain technology comes in. I believe that blockchain will ultimately become the tool that enables wider adoption of digital mortgages.

What is blockchain, and why should mortgage lenders care?

Most mortgage professionals have heard of blockchain, yet no one knows for sure how it will impact mortgage lending. Many in the industry believe that blockchain will be used for digital currency or high-frequency trading. But the fact is that blockchain-based technology holds the promise of creating a completely new basis for the digital mortgage without any of the previous hurdles.

Blockchain technology that is correctly applied to documents and data provides the same level of preservation of information, document integrity and tamper seal solutions as the original mortgage without requiring a completely reworked “e” process. Blockchain technology can work with digital signing or with a paper signing. Notary seals, recordation information, e-notes and paper notes, and video recording of closings can all be tamper-sealed and immutably recorded.

Why is that so revolutionary for the industry? Because if you use the right blockchain solution, it helps overcome the three previously mentioned hurdles that stopped e-signatures in their tracks: With blockchain, you don’t have to have everyone in the mortgage ecosystem agree to an e-mortgage document process, nor do you need everyone to support the e-signed documents. More importantly, blockchain solutions will not require lenders to retool processes, as blockchain technology sits as a thin layer on top of the existing document management system. Blockchain technology, when properly applied, has the ability to freeze a copy of signed documentation to prove that it has never been altered – and, further, that the original document is in its original location.

An enabler, not a replacement, of e-mortgages

Will blockchain replace digital signatures? It certainly has the potential to change the way digital signatures are utilized, but no, blockchain will not replace digital signatures. The goal is to help facilitate their use by making blockchain the fundamental enabling technology. As we’ve seen through their slow adoption, e-signatures are not the right tool to be the lead player, but they are still an important tool in the mortgage industry’s toolbox.

What blockchain technology will do is shift the way that the industry thinks about an e-mortgage. In the past, an e-mortgage was envisioned as a soup-to-nuts digital file that contained only digital documents and e-signatures – a configuration that was extremely tough to implement because of the hurdles described previously. Blockchain brings something new to the table by offering the mortgage team and customer the same benefits whether signing digitally or on paper. Again, e-signatures will become the technology that makes some parts of the mortgage process better for the consumer and the lender, but it won’t be the underpinning technology around a digital mortgage.

Building on the blockchain backbone

As we look back over the past 17 years of the industry’s anaemic attempt to get widespread adoption for e-signatures, it’s important to reiterate that this wasn’t a failing of the digital signature technology itself. Instead, the failure was because e-signatures required clearance of too many significant hurdles. Within this environment, blockchain has emerged as a problem-solving technology that doesn’t require the same level of clearance of the industry’s hurdles.

Blockchain offers a completely different baseline technology on which to build the digital mortgage. Although blockchain is poised to ultimately become bigger than e-signatures and replace them as the core driving technology, the ability to sign digitally will still be hugely important in the mortgage industry. Tools such as e-signatures, electronic closings and e-vaults are vital components of the overall e-mortgage solution.

What’s changing is that e-signatures will be replaced as the core technology behind e-mortgages. These components will need to plug into the blockchain backbone, which will become the linchpin that drives an electronic mortgage. Shifting the focus from e-sign tools to blockchain as the backbone for compliance and document management is a win-win, as it still allows for the option to insert e-signatures as needed along the way. In short, blockchain is the transformation in technology that the industry has needed for nearly two decades – one that will finally allow e-signatures to become incredibly powerful.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

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Segwit on Testnet Supports 1.7 MB Blocks With 8800+ Transactions

Bitcoin Core’s scaling solution Segregated Witness (Segwit) will likely support 1.7 MB bitcoin blocks when activated, testnet experiments have revealed.

According to Smartbit, a bitcoin testnet data provider, Segwit is currently able to process 1.7 MB blocks on the bitcoin testnet, with more than 8,865 transactions. The current bitcoin blockchain capped with a 1 MB block size can only handle around 2,500 transactions.

However, the transactions processed on the testnet were p2pkh transactions. Although the standard 1 MB blocks are limited to process around 2,500 transactions, they can still handle 5,235 p2pkh transactions in each block.

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Alternatively stated, the activation of Segwit will likely result in a 75 percent increase on the current 1 MB block size if implemented in an optimum ecosystem.

On November 23, bitcoin trader and analyst WhalePanda introduced a testnet experiment conducted by the Bitfury analytics team shared by the BitFury Group chief information officer Alex Petrov. While the types of transactions settled in Segwit-enabled blocks could vary, the Bitfury analytics team’s research concluded that 1.7 MB was the average block size based on their experiment conducted on the bitcoin testnet.

More importantly, WhalePanda noted that 1.7 MB is theoretical and other numbers such as 2.1 MB or Lightning co-author Thaddeus Dryja’s 3.7 MB are also all hypothetical. The only issue with Segwit which the miners, especially the Chinese mining community struggles to deal with, is that it can’t guarantee a specific block size due to a wide range of variables including different transaction types and circumstances.

In January of this year, Dryja noted that his experiments on the bitcoin testnet demonstrated the capability of Segwit to handle 3.7 MB blocks. He explained:

“I have a script that will spam testnet and make 3.7MB blocks. It’s not a 800KB regular block with txids and output scripts, and a 2.9MB witness block with just a bunch of signatures. It’s a single block, that looks pretty much the same as old blocks with a few extra requirements, that’s 3.7MB.”

The on-chain capacity expansion suggested or discovered by Dryja is a 3.7x increase to the current standard 1 MB block size. Dryja’s discovery offers a significantly different perception of Segwit’s on-chain capacity increase in comparison to Petrov and the Bitfury team’s research. This huge gap, which at this stage is completely theoretical and based on assumptions, should be the main discussion point of Segwit activation.

As explained by security experts such as Andreas Antonopoulos in the past, Segwit is more than a conventional block size increase solution. Its advantages derives from its ability to fix transaction malleability, provide infrastructure for two-layer solutions and overall, optimize the bitcoin network. Some experts described Segwit as a “Swiss army knife of a scaling solution.”

In fact, Slush, the CEO and IT architect of Satoshi Labs, the parent company of bitcoin hardware wallet manufacturer Trezor, stated:

“Bitcoin as Gold is Bitcoin without Segwit. Just activate it and whole world of new applications and solutions will appear.”

The only question left for the community to consider is, what happens if Segwit is activated and it does not provide on-chain scaling that is on par with the community’s expectation? What if Segwit’s 1.7 to 3.7x theoretical increase is not sufficient enough to scale the network?

Then, the community can begin to consider the possibility of expanding the block size of Segwit-enabled bitcoin blockchain.

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Tips for Combining SEO and Content Marketing

Tips for Combining SEO and
Content Marketing

  

Gone are the days when search engine optimisation was enough

to land your website onto Google's good graces. Now you must to add content marketing to your arsenal of digital marketing tool if you want to gain search engines’ approval and ultimately win the heart of online users. Given the important role content marketing now plays in the success of an online business, it's time that SEO ties the knot with content marketing.

The two digital marketing tools that were once viewed as separate entities are now an inseparable couple, promising to inch businesses closer to the proverbial “overnight success. ”The amazing duo can greatly help your online business reach the pinnacle of success and outwit your competitors. Here are ways you can ensure that the two digital marketing tools work in harmony:

Set common goals.

Setting common goals is the first step to make SEO and content marketing work together to bring additional revenues. Ask yourself what activities overlap between the two digital marketing techniques. Is it increased online traffic, rankings or links? How can you align the activities to achieve common goals? The answers to these and other similar questions will give you a starting point in creating an integrated SEO and content marketing strategy with clear and focused goals and strong communication.

Establish key performance indicators.

Another way to optimise synergy between SEO and Content Marketing is to establish key KPIs that will track performance, and ensure that it is on track for achieving common goals. These KPIs include content sharing, links to content, online user engagement, call-to-action conversion rates and several others. 

Understand your target audience.

Understanding your audience is the key part of an SEO and content marketing strategy. Create personas of the target audience and develop a unique digital marketing strategy for each group. The personas can be based on age, location, gender, hobbies or interests. Don’t undertake any digital marketing activity without considering what your audience wants, and also what you want them to do in return of fulfilling their demand.

Create SEO-optimized content.

Google places great emphasis on quality content. You can make the content more relevant for the search engine by incorporating high-impression keywords. Optimising the content in this way will allow your Web pages to become visible to online users by appearing in the search results. Avoid overstuffing keywords into website content. In order to play it safe, limit the keyword density to 1 percent or less. This will ensure that your site doesn't get penalised by the search engine, decreasing online traffic.

Research high-impression and relevant keywords.

Include high impression and relevant keywords in the website. Each keyword that you select should be researched properly using online tools such as Google Planner, Google Trend, Word Stream and other similar tools. optimising your content in this way will ensure that your online content is able to attract maximum number of online users.

Attract online consumers through link building.

Another way you can make SEO and content marketing work together is through link building. Link building is a pure SEO strategy that results in a distribution of online content to a large number of targeted, qualified audiences. You can greatly increase your content’s effectiveness through these efforts. The links pointing to the published online content is placed on various high authority and high page ranked sites. These sites attract thousands of online visitors that can be diverted to your site by placing targeted links on the site they first visited. Enlist SEO professionals to enhance your link building strategy. Here are some reputed SEO companies, based on user reviews:

  • TIS India
  • SE Media Online
  • Anpee Media

Focus on internal link building.

Internal link building works wonders in increasing your website’s ranking along with your published content. Moreover, creating internal links will also result in improved user experience due to easy navigation around the site. Internal link building is simple to implement and should be part of your digital marketing arsenal. This will help to improve your ranking and guide users with the content that is relevant to them.

Optimise your website content’s title and headings.

Your website content’s title and headings should also be optimised using relevant keywords and phrases. The title is displayed on top bar of the browser, and headings are included inside the content. Your title should be descriptive, persuading users to click. Headings should be catchy enough to make the content readable. Both must also be SEO-optimized to make your content more visible in the search results page.

Measure your results.

Make use of various online tools to measure the outcome of your combined SEO and content marketing efforts. Google Analytics can track changes in search volume over time. You will also know which pages and content attracts the most visitors, and the keywords they type to enter the website. The information gathered can help you fine-tune your content.

Keep your efforts going.

Combining SEO and content marketing must be an on going effort that should not stop at any time. Make the most of the opportunity and watch the extraordinary combination of SEO and content marketing work wonders for your organization or client. It will position you perfectly on the fast track to success.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

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Essential SEO Strategies to Incorporate in 2017

Essential SEO Strategies to
Incorporate in 2017

Essential SEO Strategies to Incorporate in 2017

If you do great work with your search engine optimisation (SEO), it could mean a significant amount of revenue for your business. At the same time, however, it is also an ongoing initiative. Once you generate a steady stream of traffic from SEO, you need to constantly be maintaining and improving your SEO in order to keep those rankings you worked so hard for.

Generally, the two most important items needed to rank well in search engines are links to your website and content — the hard part is creating great content and generating those links. It is also important to note that Google, the largest search engine, has hundreds of ranking factors with some factors having more weight than others.Here are important SEO strategies outside of the basics, that are critical to getting to — or staying at — the top of the search engines in 2017.

Create an influencer who is a subject-matter expert.

An influencer is someone who people listen to online. When it comes to search engine optimisation, having an influencer in your corner will mean more people link to your website, share your blog posts and trust your content. If possible, have an influencer who is a subject-matter expert head up the content creation on your website. This person can be you, someone from your company or someone you align with.

Develop a content marketing strategy.

Every website should have a content strategy focused around your top keywords. When you create content such as blog posts, videos, whitepapers, research reports and webinars, it gives people something to link to. In addition, the content you create can rank by itself in the search engines. For example, if you write a blog post on “How to Pick an SEO Company,” there is a possibility it will rank for some of the keywords you use in the title and in the body post, especially if the post gets linked to from other websites or shared a lot on social media. It also helps if your website as a whole already has significant high-quality links. 

This results in high domain authority, which translates into better rankings for all of your content. In addition, regular content creation shows Google that your website is alive and active. By sending this fresh content signal to Google on a continual basis, it will result in better rankings for your website as a whole.

Generate powerful backlinks to your site and pages.

Having an influencer and content marketing strategy will help you develop backlinks to your website, but it is also important to actively be seeking ways to get people to link to you. Some of the best ways to do this are to write for a large publication, do industry interviews and recommend your powerful content to people who matter. You can also hire a public relations (PR) company or an SEO company that has a strong digital PR division to help you with this initiative.

In addition, you can also use tools like Majestic SEO to see who is linking to your competitors. Once you identify the links to your competitor’s sites, you can analyse these links, learn how they got them and implement a similar strategy for your website. For example, did they donate to a charity causing the charity to link to their site? You can do the same thing.

Get your website mobile-ready. 

In 2015, there was a major Google update known as a Mobile addon. This meant that if you did not have a mobile version of your website by April 21, 2015, you lost a significant amount of your rankings in the mobile version of the Google search listings.

Moving into 2017, your website needs to be mobile-ready. There are three types of accepted options for a mobile site in Google’s eyes: responsive design, being set up on a mobile subdomain or use dynamic serving. Google also now ranks websites higher that apply SEO for their apps. So if you have an app, make sure you are taking the time to implement application SEO.

Move your website to HTTPS, a secure site.

Google’s Gary IIIyes sent this tweet on August 18, 2015, saying that, “If you're an SEO and you're recommending against going HTTPS, you're wrong, and you should feel bad.” The “S” in HTTPS stands for security, and if your URL leads with HTTPS (https://example.com) instead of HTTP (http://example.com), then your website is secure. Google wants you to move your site to HTTPS so badly that they are now giving a ranking boost to websites that are secure. As we move into 2016, we will be seeing many new websites transferring to HTTPS. 

Add schema.org markup to your website.

Schema.org is a type of markup that you can put in the code of your website. Using schema.org, you can tell Google which picture on your site is your logo, where your reviews are, where your videos are, what type of company you are, where you are located and much more. Google has hinted over the last year that schema.org will help your website rank better in Google search. Recently, Google’s John Mueller said in a Google Hangout on Sept. 11 (at the 21:40-minute mark) that “over time, I think it [structured markup] is something that might go into the rankings as well.”

When it comes to SEO in 2016, these are some of the most important items you can focus on. Make sure you are adding fresh, high-quality content and generating backlinks. Also, make sure your website is mobile ready and fully secure. Outside of this, it is also important to follow normal SEO best practices. Good luck to you in your SEO in 2017.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

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