How to Improve Your Google TrustRank and Rank Higher on SERP

Google’s job is to help people find content on the web.

Not just any content, however. It must be relevant and a good match to the search query.

Have you ever tried searching for important information and the sites that come up are just full of badly written blogs or articles? Or, you click a link only to be annoyed by the pop-ups and ads that make it impossible to easily locate the actual info that you are looking for. 

Sure, you need to use keywords so Google can match you with the appropriate user search. However, Google is also looking for something of quality using important SEO fundamentals. 

This is where TrustRank comes into play.

Understanding TrustRank

When you start to make blogs, Google needs to trust you before it can promote your blog.

So, it uses TrustRank, a system that grades sites in terms of their authority, trustworthiness, and overall quality. It is Google’s and other search engines’ way to combat web spam. The higher your website’s TrustRank, the better it’s likely to perform in search results. 

How does it work?

TrustRank is calculated using the distance between the page on your website and a “seed site”. This is a trusted and known internet source chosen by Google and honored with a perfect 10 Trust Score. The closer your website is to the seed site, the higher your trust score.

Moz illustrated the process like this:

Image Source: Moz

So, can you measure your TrustRank?

Almost, thanks to Moz.

They developed a metric system called MozTrust. It is the closest thing you can try to measure your TrustRank directly. It may not be perfect, but it is a helpful starting point.

Why TrustRank Matters?

TrustRank is not an official term from Google. In fact, it was built by Hector Garcia-Molina and Zoltan Gyongyi, Standford University researchers, in collaboration with Yahoo!.

But it is a real thing. It gives credibility and weight to how trust plays a vital role in both virtual and real-world relationships. A healthy relationship is built on trust, after all. 

If consumers trust a business, both parties enjoy mutual benefits. 

With regards to web content, trust helps evaluate if the “trust signals” a website has is legitimate.

For these reasons, you should ensure your website has a high trust rank. 

How to Improve Your Google TrustRank

How can you optimize TrustRank and stay on Google’s good side?

1. Optimizing On-Page Trust

You will need to make sure that your web pages themselves are trustworthy and speak of quality. This is the first place that Google will look at and determine if you’re worth promoting.

So…

How do you improve your on-page optimization in line with TrustRank?

Linking To Authority Sites

What better way to show you’re trustworthy than buddy-ing up with an already trustworthy site?

When you link out to other authority sites, you’re essentially showing Google that you are referencing authority sources and building up trust in its eyes. Also, when you reference authority sources, people can learn more from these trusted sources and can verify your claims.

Linking out is a fundamental on-page SEO tactic. But doing so with an authority site garners attention from TrustRank.

In addition, a study found a significant correlation between linking out to authority sites and a higher Google ranking.

So, what would Google consider to be an authority and trusted source? The answer is any domain that ends in .edu or .gov. These websites synonymous with authority and linking to them shows that you are seriously reliable.

Or you can also link out to journal studies, like this one:

Image Source: Verywellfit

As you can see, the page includes all its references. This ensures that they are not making claims without backing them up with facts. These links lead to recognized and high-quality journals hosted at .org and .gov domains that create credibility and greatly improve their TrustRank score.

Mind Your Bounce Rate

Google’s RankBrain algorithm now places user interaction as a ranking factor. If people are not spending more than a couple of seconds on your website, then this does not communicate anything positive to Google. Such behavior will negatively affect your TrustRank score.

Think about it, if your website offers trustworthy information, then why is everyone in a rush to leave?

Make sure to keep an eye on your bounce rate and the time on page rate in your Google Analytics. Then, do whatever it takes to keep people sticking to your website like superglue. Here are some tips:

  •  Ensure ease of navigation
  • Optimize page load time, making sure that your site loads up quickly.
  • Ensure readability
  • Include sources and references. People are more likely to stay on sites with well-researched, accurate, and quality content.
  • Make sure that your site is device responsive
  • Include visuals and visually appealing graphical objects

While traditionally thin content was found on many websites, this is no longer the case. With Google’s Panda algorithm, sites that have little to no content are penalized. So, if you want to rank on Google and improve your TrustRank score, make sure that the content on your site is high quality, well researched, and informative.

Image Source: Unscrambled Words

This can be implemented on any site in any industry. For example, Unscrambled Words, a site that unscrambles words for people, not only provides a great service, but also has in-depth information on its homepage that helps people understand how it works.

With information about what a word unscrambler is, the benefits of using such as a word solver, information on how to use it, the rules for playing scrabble, and much more, this provides everything that a user needs to know about the site, without having to search for it elsewhere.

Copyright, Terms, Privacy Policy

These are the lengthy, boring pages that you should take seriously.

The fact that Google actually pays attention to these so-called boring pages should be enough to convince you to update that copyright notice to 2020.

There’s a fair amount of consensus that including these policies, terms, and copyright information all means further credibility to your website.

Plus, if you’re using Google Analytics, then a Privacy page is a must on your website, according to Google Analytics Terms of Service, Section 7:

Image Source: Google Marketing Platform

Content on these pages actually protects you from any legal liability, so don’t even think of ditching these lengthy terms and notice. Since the beginning Google has been notorious for having lengthy contracts and terms and conditions.

2.  Fix Your Domain

Fact: Google is a domain registrar.

It is not because it wants to sell domain hosting (at least for now), but it wants to look at your WHOIS information to determine who are the registered assignees or users of your website’s registered details such as the domain name.   

When approved by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) like Google, you can check WHOIS information all day long. This is so, big G can once again ensure that you are indeed trustworthy.

So, here’s how you can gain more trust from your domain info:

Go Public

There’s no real company with private WHOIS. When a company has nothing to hide, why would it keep its WHOIS a secret?

Here’s Microsoft WHOIS, for instance:

 Image Source: Who.is

Register Domain for 2+ Years

Google wants to know if you are in this for the long-term. Although the debate of domain registration in SEO hasn’t reached a conclusion yet, it is something that cannot possibly hurt your site and might even help you.

Include WHOIS info on your Contact page

In order to really show Google that you’re all about openness and transparency, you can place your WHOIS address and phone on your privacy notice page or contact page. Doing so is another signal telling Google that you actually have an “office” somewhere.

These may seem a minor detail, but which site would you trust more: 

  • A site with private WHOIS, no contact page and is expiring in 3 months, or
  • A website with a real phone number and address that matches the site’s official contact info, plus a 5 year or so domain registration.

I don’t know about you, but I’ll surely pick the latter. Choosing a domain name that’s perfect for your business leads to trust signals that improve your Google ranking.

3.  Be a Brand. Act Like a Brand.

Google has been into brands recently.

It makes sense that Google prefers a brand name for your URL instead of “howtobeacontentcreatorandearnmoney.com”, right?

So, how can a small business look like a big-time brand?

Improve your brand signals. No matter which online business you started with, you should ensure that your brand is perceived as important:

  • Produce content that showcases your brand’s expertise. It doesn’t matter if it is written, video, screencast, or audio. Your product type will determine the channel type.
  • Get press coverage to build authority
  • Become a guest contributor to influential media outlets
  • Build your brand’s social media following 

Keep in mind that Google is a website ranking machine, and it can identify ranking by reading signals. So, to identify brands, you need to give them online brand signals.

One more thing to note, Google takes brands very seriously. Eric Schmidt, Google’s CEO, even said, “Brands are the solution, not the problem. Brands are how you sort out the cesspool”.

So, let’s help you step out of the cesspool, clean you up, and make you look like a big-time brand.

Branded Site/Domain Name

Don’t focus on the phrase match or exact match domains. The EMD update, short for Exact Match Domain, has made it very clear that exact match domains will not do you any good.

Rocking a branded domain screams “unique brand” and that you’re not just some SEO-freak trying to rank for a keyword.

Active Social Media

All big-time brands are active on social media platforms including Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the like. And even if you’re just a small-time entrepreneur growing your business, you still should get your social accounts up and rolling as it helps with brand awareness.

Don’t Skimp On The About Us Page

You might think that this is one of those pages that users don’t bother looking at, but it matters anyway, at least to Google.

And real brands have lengthy About Us pages that talk about the company, mission and vision statement, and even the people that keep it running. So, make an epic and thorough About Us page that tells your brand story.

With tools like WordPress or Clickfunnels you are able to build a great looking About Us page fast.

Brand Name as Anchor Text

Naturally, people link to brands with brand name anchor text. So, if your website is SEOPowerLine.com, then you better get some links with the “SEO Power Line” anchor text.

Branded Searches

People search for brands.

Awesome videos? YouTube.

Quality furniture? Ikea.

Beauty and cosmetics? Maybelline or Loreal.

SEO practices? Neil Patel.

Best Webinar Platform? Zoom.

4.  Get Quality Links

So, previously we talked about how linking out to trustworthy sites can improve your TrustRank score. But what about receiving a link from one?

This is the best way to catapult you up the ranking ladder.

Like everything in the Google world, trust revolves around the links. And you will need to work really hard to get quality links from credible sites. This way you can level up your trustworthiness and get more juice for your website.

Basically, getting a link from the highly trusted “seed sites” (Google’s handpicked sites with 10/10 TrustRank score) is the best. But, if you receive a link on a website, that has a link on a website, that has a link from these seed sites, then you still get a lot of SEO juice from that.

Another good example is to link on an industry site or a news site. Google said that news sites are highly reliable, particularly the sites from Google News.

Bottom line? Do what you can to get links from highly trusted sites.

How?

  • Do guest posts on sites with a higher Domain Rating in your niche.
  • Hire a freelance SEO specialist.
  • Use LinkedIn to do some influencer marketing.
  • Use press releases to get a Google News placement.
  • Ask your university for a story in the student paper.

Final Thoughts

You should now have a better understanding of Google TrustRank and why it is so important. These are just some of the best ways to improve your TrustRank score. There is so much more to it, but a lot of it comes down to common sense.

Every time you want to update your website or publish an article, ask yourself this: “Does it make my site more trustworthy and credible or not?”

And perhaps the best question to ask is: “Does this prove any value to my audience?”

Because at the end of the day, Google only wants its user to have a quality search experience so that they will keep using it.

So, that means that it needs to provide sites offering quality experiences by relying on various ranking factors such as TrustRank.

So, start improving your Google TrustRank today using the methods mentioned above, and you will soon see the fruit of your labor.

Now that you have read all about TrustRank, let’s hear it from you.

Have you tried to optimize your website for TrustRank?

How did it go?

Let’s hear it from the comment section below!

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How Accessible Marketing Benefits Your Company

Increased awareness of social issues means that accessible marketing is more important today than ever before. Without accessible marketing, your company will lose out on engagement and will seem out of touch compared to more accessible competitors. 

But creating accessible marketing can be confusing at first. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools and resources to ensure that your next marketing campaign is accessible to everybody, regardless of their particular way of experiencing the world and your marketing content. 

What is Accessible Marketing?

Accessible marketing ensures that everyone can interact with your content and learn about your product or service without undue strain or effort on their part. 

According to the National Center for Deaf-Blindness, accessibility ensures “all people can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with electronic information and be active, contributing members of the digital world.” This means your digital content should be tailored to serve everyone, regardless of “visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, and neurological disabilities.”

Being accessible sounds straightforward, but many businesses run into issues when creating accessible content. Few marketers have received formal training in accessibility, even though it is a key feature in good customer experience (CX) and e-commerce marketing. This is a major issue as e-commerce marketing should promote greater traffic, drive a higher conversion rate, and give all existing customers a great CX.

If your marketing content or website is inaccessible, folks will turn to competitors who offer a better experience and account for differences in sight, hearing, physical abilities, or cognitive and neurological disabilities.  

Fortunately, there are plenty of examples to follow when attempting to improve the accessibility of your own company marketing materials. These include things like: 

  • Ensuring content is formatted so screen readers can turn all text to speech without issues
  • Using descriptions for all anchor text to improve the effectiveness of braille readers
  • Ensuring there is enough contrast between text and background color
  • Including relevant alt-text for all images you use
  • Supporting keyboard navigation to help users who cannot use a mouse

These examples are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to accessible marketing. However, taking a few simple steps can lead to far greater reach and engagement with your digital content. 

Benefits of Accessible Marketing

Accessibility has been an afterthought in marketing for years. Most designers and web engineers favor flashy design over usability and disregard the experience that folks with a disability have when interacting with their marketing materials. 

Fortunately, this paradigm is starting to change as marketing managers realize they are losing out on revenue and harming their brand image with inaccessible content. 

Reach and Engagement 

According to data collected by the World Health Organization, 15% of the world’s population live with a disability of some kind. While some disabilities do not require reasonable accommodations for online users, many do. By accounting for these users, you can expect to gain greater reach and engagement. 

Gaining reach and engagement is particularly important if you are targeting growth in a sector that caters to folks with a disability. 

For example, if you are running a campaign for a new range of low-intensity lighting for neurodivergent people, then you absolutely must account for differences in experience between folks who live with things like dyslexia, autism, or ADHD. Folks who are neurodivergent process information and interact with the world differently from neurotypical people. This means your marketing content needs to account for differences in experience to foster greater engagement with your audience. 

Feedback

Receiving feedback from folks who live with a disability is important for your business’s long-term success. However, gathering feedback from folks with a disability is typically challenging as physical and digital infrastructure prevents their voice from being heard. 

You can gather much-needed feedback from folks with disabilities by tailoring all of your marketing to accessibility. This might include specific redirects to accessible surveys for folks who live with visual impairments or improved navigation options on your “contact us” forms. 

Gaining feedback from folks who have disabilities ensures that your brand moves in the right direction while avoiding accidental exclusions on your website. 

Brand Image

Running accessible marketing campaigns is the right thing to do — it also boosts your brand image. 

Consumers today are savvier and more socially conscious than ever before. This means that many users can spot inaccessible content and won’t be shy about their criticism. You can preempt this by actively creating branded content that is outwardly accessible and cherishes a range of user experiences. 

Creating intentionally accessible marketing materials is something that major brands already do well. Brands like Apple have championed accessibility for years, and actively promote usability with features like VoiceOver and their Braille display. This lends major credibility to CEO Tim Cook’s statement “When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind I don’t consider the bloody ROI.”

You can make an equally strong statement with your own marketing materials and create a brand image that promotes inclusion and accessibility. 

Accessible Marketing Plans

The benefits of creating accessible marketing content far outweigh the potential challenges. However, creating accessible content takes more than goodwill and some elbow grease. You need to complete a full accessibility audit and change the way you operate to ensure that accessibility is a foundational element of your marketing plan. 

You can complete an accessibility audit by tweaking design thinking in data-driven marketing. Design thinking forces you to imagine your user from a range of perspectives. This requires you to educate yourself and use empathy to consider the changes you want to make. You can experiment by simulating users who may face particular challenges like low-vision or neurodivergence when using your site. 

Once you’ve identified and implemented areas for improvement, you should open up a space for accessibility-specific queries and complaints. Accessibility-related queries and complaints should be easily located on your site map and provide a range of user-friendly data collection methods. Collecting data in this way will help identify further areas for improvement and ensure that you stay up to date with new technology and best practices.   

Conclusion

Taking a progressive approach to accessible marketing is the right thing to do. It ensures that everyone has an equitable experience while surfing the web and engaging with branded content. Accessible marketing also gives you greater reach and engagement, as previously excluded audiences can now provide feedback and spread the word about your business online.

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Stop Employee Burnout: Practical Guide for Managers

Employees often suffer burnout during stressful periods due to value disconnect, pressure, overload, and lack of managerial support. The signs of burnout include lack of concentration, physical fatigue, and reduced productivity. In the worst cases, it can cause some employees to leave their jobs. 

Managers have a role to play in reducing burnout in the workplace and increasing productivity. Knowing how to do so will help managers to retain employees and improve their overall well-being. This guide reveals the best practices for managers to reduce burnout. 

Holding walking meetings

Holding walking meetings is a great way to reduce stress and allow employees to recharge. They can get out of the office for a while and be active during the meetings. Walking meetings are more effective with small groups such as departments. Managers must ensure that the walking meetings are as productive as other meetings. 

During the meetings, teams can discuss the roadblocks they are encountering at the workplace and suggest ways to overcome the difficulties. It is also a great opportunity to share project updates, upcoming tasks, and new opportunities. People can discuss how to outsource the calling process and other non-core business activities like IT infrastructure management, HR payroll, facility management, general accounting, and more. 

Helping workers connect to their purpose

Encouraging employees to connect to their purpose can also help to prevent workplace burnout. Emotional connection to work means connection to the organization and the purpose, which could help employees cope with stressful situations. 

Managers can connect the employees’ roles to the organization’s vision, mission, and values. They should make people understand how their work contributes toward achieving the organizational goals. It is also important to help workers participate in job crafting, so they reflect on the meaning of their work. This causes the employees to think of how making small changes in their roles can make a difference in the organization. 

Promoting management training

There have been many cases of employees leaving their jobs due to bad bosses or poor working environment. Others prefer to stay in low-paying jobs if they are allowed to work with a great boss. If managers are not well-equipped, they can create a stressful environment, and this may hinder the achievement of organizational goals.  

Managers must provide management skills and tools, such as functional computers with advanced programs. Slow computers can reduce productivity among workers due to frequent overtime, which is a major cause of burnout. Computers often begin working slowly due to many junk files. Showing the employees how to clean up system junk can help to avoid having slow working computers and boost productivity. Optimizing your Mac to get the best performance should always be your top priority.

Prioritizing workplace health and wellness

Managers should regularly provide their staff with opportunities to be away from work or unplug. Employees can also manage stress by finding a quiet place to relax, pray and meditate. 

Investing in office aesthetics such as new pictures, plants, and inviting chairs could also create a less stressful environment. During periods of high workload and stress, managers can support their staff through mental health awareness. Other ways to promote wellness at the workplace include:

  • Allowing staff to rest
  • Encouraging staff to give back
  • Boosting morale by celebrating wins
  • Encouraging employees to remain calm during stressful periods

Maintaining flexible job options

The pandemic made many organizations shift to work-from-home or remote work mode. Many employers have known that people can be productive even when working from home. Leaders have learned how to manage remote teams and encourage collaboration. They should be open to people’s circumstances and offer flexible working options.

Managers can make arrangements to allow people to work from home on a part-time basis to facilitate time management. The employees don’t have to struggle with domestic activities such as medical appointments and coordinating family affairs. 

Promoting work-life balance

Maintaining a work-life balance is also a practical way to prevent burnout. Many people juggle a lot in their work, and personal lives and the line between the two can be challenging. Even with days off, some people may resist using their free time for self-development.

Taking a break to work can improve employees’ moods and boost productivity in the long run. Managers can encourage the staff to use their time to completely unplug and recharge. Organizations with flexible work schedules can offer shortened Fridays to allow employees to have long weekends, especially during summer and spring. If an employee is on vacation, bosses should avoid calling them with job-related matters. 

Encouraging social connections

Human beings are social-they cannot live in isolation- an employee will rely on their boss or other employees for support. Social support relates to factors such as well-being, stress, health, and engagement. Managers can foster community among their staff by boosting social networks and team support. Through social connections, workers can find support that can prevent stress and burnout. 

Managers can encourage employees to design plans for social connections through meeting colleagues, family members, or friends. To motivate remote employees they can also schedule regular online coffee breaks or organize virtual team-building activities. Celebrating employees and bringing teams together are also practical ways to prevent burnout and  promote a sense of belonging. 

Monitoring work schedules

One of the major causes of burnout is work overload. Leaders must ensure that employees are not tasked with unrealistic workloads or rigorous schedules. Sometimes workloads may spike, but this is not a reason to overwork people. It becomes challenging for them to sustain demanding schedules and heavy workloads.

Leaders should monitor the work schedules to improve performance and ensure business success. They can do so in the following ways:

  • Planning tasks
  • Understanding resource availability
  • Allocating tasks evenly and fairly
  • Setting priorities
  • Encouraging employees to avoid multitasking
  • Managing change effectively
  • Setting realistic goals
  • Setting realistic work deadlines

Open communication

Communication is a game-changer in any organization setup- withholding information and having minimal communication can cause stress among the staff. Managers should encourage open communication within the organization to ensure that everyone receives transparent and timely updates.

Leaders should help employees to understand expectations and how their performance can bring change to the organization. They can give members of staff opportunities to discuss stress factors and voice their frustrations. Setting feedback options could give employees a voice concerning the problems they are facing. Open communication options may help employees to relieve issues that could lead to stress and burnout. 

Offering growth opportunities

Lack of growth opportunities and advancement is a leading cause of stress in many organizations. Technology is evolving, so it is important to help employees to acquire new skills to enable them to adapt to changes in the business environment.

Employees can find new opportunities within and outside the organization. Managers should help employees to take stressful situations positively rather than see them as threats. Involving employees when setting goals makes them understand their expectations at the workplace, and this may boost their job engagement. 

Conclusion

The relationship between managers and employees helps organizations to succeed in the long run. It also offers career advancement, drives collaboration, and alleviates workplace stress and burnout. Heightened stress levels at the workplace can lead to reduced productivity, absenteeism, and employee turnover, which may be costly to the organization. Managers can implement the above strategies to prevent burnout and create a better working environment. Although other factors outside an organization could lead to stress, managers have a bigger role to play. 

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How is AI Fueling Content Marketing Efforts for Good?

With digital marketing, businesses grew, and marketing evolved. There were simply too many potential channels for brands to reach out to their target audience when it comes to digital marketing. So, the demand for digital marketing is really not a surprise. With IoT devices furthering this cause, brands have come a long way since the old-school advertising and marketing strategies.

At its initial stage, marketing was more of an art, but technology dissected it, and now it’s as much of a science as it’s an art! Marketing departments were able to increase the ROI by many folds, and moreover, with tech, they can quantify their efforts and measure the impact.

There were many influential technologies that played a major role in this transformation, but Artificial Intelligence took it to a whole new level. From AI-enabled bots to independent systems, marketing operations became simplified yet the intensity amplified. Particularly in the area of content marketing, AI played and will continue to play a significant role.

Irrespective of the industry, location, or business model, content marketing proved to be an effective tool for brands to reinforce their presence, develop new connections, and educate their customers and audience.

In this article, we will see how AI impacts brands’ content marketing efforts and strategies.

Crafting the strategy

We all know how leveraging data changed the marketplace, and its effect on marketing, too, is not to be taken lightly. And AI facilitates organizations to leverage data. For instance, a popular brand like Nike or Apple will have enormous consumer data, and if done manually or even with technology but without AI, it would take at least decades before they begin to understand data. 

With the versatility that AI brings to the table, marketing departments could narrow this window to mere days! On top of that, AI operates with insane accuracy! It’s incapable of human errors, and its efficiency and effectiveness will only go up as it works longer. With AI, brands can easily understand the area where the action happens. Based on this understanding, marketing leaders and managers can devise a strategy that caters to their audience.

Nailing the accuracy

The “Content” in content marketing is just half the answer! The other half is taking the content to the audience. Content is time sensitive, meaning they get outdated once the hype wave moves away. So, the pressure to bring the right content to the audience at the right time is on the marketers! 

However, AI systems have been found to be extremely useful in helping marketers in this regard. AI systems can understand the user’s preferences by analyzing their previous interactions and hook them up with interesting pieces of content. The neat part, however, is that the system gets better with every interaction. So, the more a user interacts (or does not interacts), the system operates with higher accuracy. 

Creating the content

Ever since AI became a “thing”, writers are often threatened with AI replacing them in the marketing fields. Well, it’s logical as to why they are afraid, as AI has grown by many folds in just a matter of years, but it is highly unlikely for AI to replace writers. Though there are AI systems in the market and in development to create content on their own, catering to the context, they are more efficient when the system is paired with a human writer!

Take Google Ads, for instance. They have completely stopped their expanded text ads and rather focused on developing responsive search ads. Though the AI system pairs the suitable headings with the body content, the copies are still being written by a writer! There are many other platforms that use AI to create content, but there is a huge difference when a writer uses it than any others.

Chatbots for the win!

As the market got increasingly consumer-centric and the business strategy became more digital, the importance of chatbots couldn’t be sidelined. Chatbots are basically independent AI systems that are modified to suit your business needs. Chatbots can not just initiate conversation but can solve most of the user’s immediate problems instantly. It can converse with a “human” tone, making the conversation more contextual and lively. 

However, in 2022, chatbots will also help a great deal by contributing to the content marketing strategy. Businesses are producing content almost daily, and it might be difficult for users to find a particular piece of information without diving deep into an ocean of manuals or articles. Enter chatbots! They can help a user find the specific piece of information that instantly helps the user out. It can also materials related to the user’s interactions without overwhelming them. It’s a great win for businesses, particularly at a time when websites are highly popular!

Predictive analytics and content marketing

Predictive analytics is helping businesses to take effective decisions by narrowing the risk horizon. With the normalization of AI, predictive analytics has become more accessible and accurate, too! Now, there are only a handful of enterprises that do not include predictive analytics in their strategy. 

In content marketing strategies, predictive analytics can help identify marketers with the type of content that a user will be interested in. Without AI, such a level of sophistication is simply out of the question! Content creators can pour their efforts into areas that actually bring value. With the market being highly competitive, accuracy has become a crucial factor, and AI-enabled predictive models can help creators to cater to the audience of tomorrow. Content creators and marketers can operate with minimum risk while maximizing their efforts at minimal resources! How lucky can it get?

Conclusion

Industry leaders have always believed and still believe that technology can bring new perspectives to a business, helping them to identify opportunities and capitalize on them. And Artificial Intelligence can further elevate this “digital vision”. Collaborating with dedicated Enterprise AI solution providers can dramatically increase your AI implementations and efforts. It could prepare us to move towards a sustainable future if leveraged properly. AI penetration is transforming the internal operations of an organization, and it certainly has a positive impact on marketing operations, too! So, it’s gonna be an exciting future for marketing!

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Top Project Management Methodologies

Introduction

Businesses always attempt to optimize their operational efficiencies by improving their project management to focus on driving growth and profits. Business leaders work on various strategies to reduce costs by improving manufacturing processes, inventory management, HR practices & systems, and project management. 

Project management refers to the use of specific knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to deliver something of value. It was used in the engineering and construction sectors but is now being increasingly implemented in Information Technology and health care industries. It involves planning and organizing a company’s resources to accomplish a task, event, or duty. Different project management methodologies have been practiced across various industries, including the Traditional, Waterfall, Agile and Lean methodologies. 

A project’s success is heavily dependent on project management professionals who play a critical role in it. Project managers must possess relevant skills and experiences to deliver planned outcomes and are, therefore, highly sought after by businesses to achieve their goals. Professionals aspiring to work as project managers can consider the industry-acclaimed online PMP certification by KnowledgeHut.

Project Management and Project Management Methodologies

Project Management involves applying specific knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to manage projects and provide value to stakeholders. 

In other words, project management is leading a team to accomplish results or deliverables within a set timeframe. It involves project documentation, planning, monitoring/tracking, and communication to deliver work successfully within time, scope, and budget constraints.

Project Management Methodology (PMM) is a framework of principles, techniques, and procedures used by Project Managers to manage complex projects efficiently. PMM vary in how they’re organized structurally and in the usage of different deliverables, workflows, and project management software development. 

There are several PMMs in practice. Project Managers need to be aware of them to decide on the methodology best suited for the organization and crystallize on the most appropriate Project Management Professional (PMP) training, especially online PMP certification. Let us consider the best project management methodologies and their unique features and application suitability. 

1) Waterfall Methodology 

As the name suggests, the Waterfall methodology is a framework wherein the project phases flow downward. In this methodology, a particular phase must be completed before progressing to the next project phase, ensuring substantial control is possible at each stage. Using a planning process, the methodology enhances the possibility of recording all project deliverables while reducing the loss of any essential data in the initial stages. This methodology uses Gantt charts for planning and scheduling. 

Though widely perceived to be a traditional methodology, it has been a leading project management methodology used for several years across many industrial sectors, especially in the construction sector. 

A drawback of the Waterfall methodology is that it doesn’t provide flexibility if a project’s scope changes midway.

The Waterfall approach is considered suitable for manufacturing and construction sectors, which are very structured in their operations.  

2) Agile Methodology

Agile methodology was developed for projects requiring substantial speed and flexibility while allowing continual improvements for delivering quality solutions. It achieves this by using brief stints of delivery called “Sprints.” Agile PPM is very interactive, permitting quick changes during a project. It is widely used in software development projects as it facilitates quick identification of issues and modifications at the beginning of the development. 

Agile methodology reduces complexity and risk, permits repeatable processes and immediate feedback, and enables faster turnarounds. It potentially needs less documentation than Waterfall, and agile requires a substantial time commitment from everyone involved in the project when going through each iterative version. Agile methodology can be ideal for projects requiring less control and provides much more real-time communication within self-motivated team settings.

3) Critical Path Method (CPM)

CPM methodology involves several steps and is typically used in projects with interconnected activities. CPM methodology comprises:

  • Identifying the critical tasks required to meet the project goal.
  • Estimating the time needed to complete the tasks.
  • Based on the above, schedule a critical path that helps achieve the project goal in the shortest period possible.

The teams have to reach milestones in the process of moving from one task to another. A key aspect of the methodology is that it reveals critical as well as noncritical processes by showing tasks that require the longest and shortest time, respectively. This analysis helps crystallize critical activities and those that are not. However, CPM’s drawback is that teams in larger and complex projects might not identify the critical actions all the time. CPM is mostly used in small or mid-sized projects.

4) Scrum Methodology

One of the online PMP certifications, the Scrum methodology’s name originates from the formation of rugby. It is an interactive component of the Agile framework. The Scrum sessions are utilized to mark the tasks that are high on priority. The process of project management is assessed by a Scrum master instead of a project manager. A group of teams work independently on assigned projects. This is followed by a meeting with the Scrum master in which evaluation of results and prioritization of backlogged tasks takes place. 

One of the drawbacks of the Scrum methodology is that bigger teams might find it challenging to adapt, leading to delayed progress and, ultimately, failure. To succeed, all the team members must be active participants. The software development industry largely uses the Scrum methodology. 

5) Lean Methodology

Lean project management, as the name implies, involves doing more by using less. In other words, increasing value in the projects and manufacturing processes by eliminating non-optimal activities and processes focuses on optimizing verticals, technologies, and assets.

Henry Ford used flow production to automate the process of building cars. Toyota picked up on this idea and extended Lean project management beyond manufacturing to continuous improvement of the product development process. The Software development sector now uses lean processes to increase value by focusing on end-user feedback. 

Lean methodology is widely adopted by the Construction and Manufacturing Industries and the Education sector, and startups and Software development firms are also following the Lean methodology. Project Managers should consider being equipped with online PMP certification and Lean methodology training to fuel their career growth.

6) Six Sigma Methodology

Motorola Engineers first introduced the methodology in the mid-1980s. Six Sigma methodology improves quality by identifying non-feasible or inefficient processes in the project. It applies quality management and empirical statistics, leveraging domain expertise.

As per the Six Sigma methodology, continual efforts in improving processes to achieve stable and expected results are most important to the project’s success. Sustain quality in a project depends on the entire organization being devoted to it. Organizations require a Six Sigma certification to adopt and practice this methodology, and the six Sigma methodology works best in large organizations.

7) PRINCE2 Methodology

PRINCE2 stands for Projects in controlled environments. A structured and certified methodology, it was initially developed by the UK government for its Information Technology projects in 1989 and was called PRINCE. This led to the development of a general project management methodology in the year 1996, which was named PRINCE2. 

PRINCE2 framework uses processes that are constant, stages that are controlled, resources that are appropriately allocated, assessing progress on a consistent basis, and alignment to organizational goals. The board manages the project allowing the project team to execute the plan separating the roles of Decision-makers and Doers.

PRINCE2 methodology is ideal for larger companies, requiring thorough documentation and process management. Project Managers should consider being equipped with Knowledge Hut’s PRINCE2 training

PRINCE2 is a popular project management methodology widely used by many UK governmental agencies, and it has since been adopted by the United Nations and several other countries. 

8) Kanban Methodology

The Kanban methodology utilizes a visual approach to project management. Kanban in Japanese means Billboard. The methodology manages workflow by placing tasks on a Kanban Board – that displays workflow and progress for the benefit of all team members. The Kanban methodology utilizes a visual approach to reduce inefficiencies. It is an excellent project management tool for Lean Manufacturing and Agile projects.

Toyota applied the Kanban project management methodology in the late 1940s to control its vehicles’ production rate as per the demand rate. Toyota used it in their lean manufacturing model, known as the Toyota production system.

Kanban was initially used in the manufacturing and software sectors and has since found extended usage in Human Resources, marketing, organizational strategy, and executive processes.

9) Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK)

PMBOK is the Project Management Institute’s book of processes, important terms, and guidelines. The PMBOK prescribes definitions and guidelines for project planning, scheduling, executing, and controlling. PMBOK is in many ways the the bible for project management processes for any industry. PMBOK involves five significant steps: Initiate, Plan, Execute, Control, and Close. PMBOK is regularly updated with the latest techniques and best practices. PMBOK is helpful for all projects -big or small, as all projects go through the various stages outlined in the book.

10) Extreme Programming (XP)

Extreme Programming, popularly referred to as XP, is an Agile software development process that improves productivity. It involves brief cycles of development and multiple releases for the benefit of Users, and it actively seeks customer requirements that can change the course of the project.

Extreme Programming was developed by Kent Beck while working on the payroll project entitled “Chrysler Comprehensive Compensation System.” He wrote the book – “Extreme Programming Explained” in 1999. XP is considered the best PPM tool when project requirements change frequently, and it’s also suitable for project scenarios when the customer doesn’t have a clear idea of what they want.

Conclusion

Project management tools are essential for businesses to accomplish their goals and objectives. Several project management methodologies are available, and organizations follow a particular project management methodology (PMM) that is best suited for their business goal. Project Managers are critical to organizations driving their business growth plans and should know the various PPMs. Training in Project Management is very important for Project Managers to deliver business results. Online PMP certification and PRINCE2 training from KnowledgeHut are excellent options worth pursuing. 

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