Code Wars: Ruby vs Python vs PHP [Infographic]

Just as the Japanese, Spanish and French languages are uniquely different, programming languages also have their variations, some more popular and easier to use than others. With the recent introduction of some new ones, there is a ‘war’ of modern day languages.

What’s easier and faster to use is not always the best option.

Below we highlight three of today’s most popular programming languages. Whether you’re looking to learn PHP, grab that hot new Python class, or finally learn Ruby and conquer Rails, this infographic compares how they differentiate, who uses them, and their popularity.

Think you know who reigns? You may be surprised.

 

 

Watch a video version!

Did you decide to learn PHP, learn Python, or learn Ruby?

The Best Mockup Tools To Plan Your Dream Site

Planning and mapping out your project is a crucial step in creating your idea. Whether it’s a website, mobile application, diagram, landing page or marketing page, you need to create a website prototype of how you think the product will look and function.

This is most important if you are creating this to hand off to a designer or developer, as they need an understanding of your vision. Our five favorite mockup tools are below along with more info so you can decide which is best for you.

**Learn how to Prototype Web and Mobile Applications with this FREE, online course from UX Guru Amir Khella**

1. Omnigraffle

A favorite among developers, Omnigraffle is a great tool for Mac OSX. This program produces graphics, diagrams, fast mockups and page layouts for your sit,e creating a result similar to what the final product will look like.

It has an extended option for stencils to help you further create a more detailed mockup.

Best used for: Detailed, realistic website layouts and mobile mockups. From $99.99.

2. Balsamiq

A fun, basic tool to use for non-complex mockups. Balsamic uses sketch-like icons and images to create the layouts you need. Unlike Omnigraffle, this tool has a more playful approach with simple drag and drop actions and is amongst the most widely used tools for designers and front-end developers.

Best used for:  iPhone mockups and website layouts. From $79.00.

3. Lumzy

This web-based tool has the look and feel of a Microsoft product, though it’s fairly intuitive and clean. Lumzy has a similar drag and drop experience as Balsamic but with straighter edges and realistic images and icons.

Best used for: Website layouts. Free.

4. Mockflow

Web-based with a ‘sketchy’ look, this tool comes equipped with user-generated templates. Simply use the templ

The Surprising Relationship Between Sleep and Learning

Before you start your next Udemy course, it’s best you get a good nights rest. Here is why:

Meet Ed. He prides off thinking he only needs five hours of sleep a night. He claims to get more done after everyone else is asleep. What he doesn’t realize is that in the first few waking hours of the day Ed’s cognitive function already starts to dissipate. He hunkers down for a few more hours, grabs three more cups of coffee and gets back to work. In this stage his mind and body start to shut down, reserving energy for core body functions, not including learning or remembering. Ed, you may not have known, was a poor student. He got C’s at best in all his courses. Two more hours of sleep a night would have easily brought his grades up one to two levels. Today Ed cleans luxury cars for a living, alienated from the dream of ever being able to drive one, let alone own one in his life. Ed, go to bed!

That was an extreme example, but it’s a fact, lack of sleep does not do your body good. And worse, it has a reverse effect on your brain and makes cognitive functions much more difficult. Both your body and mind need sleep to rest and recuperate from the day. It needs the time to slow down, digest, repair and re-establish energy for the following day.

When it comes to learning, sleep deprivation impairs spatial learning including memory and simple tasks like how to get to a specific destination. It also impairs:
1. Cognitive function
2. Attention Span
3. Reaction time
4. General health
5. Immune system
6. Increases hallucinations

You see, learning itself helps to rejuvenate the brain and lack of sleep deprives the brain of this function. Historically, scientists believed that the main function of sleep was directly related to learning and memory.  Today that notion still holds true.

“Sleep is a fascinating field. Every single organ in the body is affected by sleep and can be improved by sleep.” – Jaime Boero, M.D., Ph.D.

Sleep directly affects your learning. The more you sleep (7.5 hours or more), the more ‘cognitively awake’ you are and the better you can perform. By losing sleep, you learn less, make worse decisions, accomplish less, are more rude and angry, eat poorly, are more prone to major errors and completely undermine your intellectual power.

A detailed 2002 study done by the Harvard Medical School demonstrated the effects of lack of sleep on some participants. They concluded that a good night sleep results in a 20% increase in motor speed without loss of accuracy, while in the same period of time during wake provides no benefit. Since sleep helps keep new brain cells alive in the hippocampus, a deficiency would ultimately impact overall cognition and eliminate the potential benefit of new learning, therefore decreasing the ability to learn and retain information. And since we are all lifelong learners, the more information we can retain, the larger our capacity to learn and do. [Going from a beginner Python developer to intermediate and eventually an expert, can happen more efficiently if you take care of yourself and get some rest.]

REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement), one of the deepest parts of sleep you experience typically during the last two hours of sleep enhances emotional memory and learning retention. For those who cut their nights rest shy by about 2-3 hours lose out on REM sleep and ultimately their chance to learn and remember throughout the day.

So before you go pressing play on your Udemy course, or before attending a seminar , conference or an investors meeting, make sure you clock your sleep hours. You need it for body and mind!


How To Post Content Worth Sharing

Girl shouting into megaphone

Now that you have created your keyword list and come up with some amazing blog post topics, it’s time to start shaping that content. First, consider your target audience. Whose problem does your product solve? What works for a group of high school kids might not be helpful to a group of business professionals. Create 3-4 audience ‘buckets’ to target.

The Udemy blog, for example, focuses on social media, design, programming, and startups. Most of our audience is likely to read articles about at least two of these topics. Going back to our small business accounting example from the keyword post, we know that their demographic includes small business owners, startups, and bookkeepers. Always keep your demographic in mind when shaping your content and titles.

[Read more…]

How to Track Sales for your PPC Campaigns

Before you start spending money running PPC ad campaigns, you should have specific goals in mind for what you want your marketing to accomplish. If you do not have a goal set for your marketing efforts, then you can never tell if you will be successful or not.

[Read more…]

How to Use LinkedIn to Find an Advisor for Your Startup

Boardroom

Whether you’re still brainstorming or already generating revenue and looking to scale, the right advisor’s insights could mean the difference between failure and success for your business. If you’re reading this article, you already know the benefits of bringing in an advisory board.

If you don’t have the right advisors in your immediate network, you’ll need to branch out and proactively find them. LinkedIn is a great way to streamline that process. [Read more…]

How to Conduct Google Keyword Research

Keyword research is essential to creating and managing your paid search campaigns, as well as your content marketing plan as we highlighted here. Keywords are the lifeblood of the PPC industry. If you want to drive traffic to your site from specific keywords, then you must have them inside your account. However, there’s more to the process than just adding words to your account; you first must understand what a good keyword is before you start your research.

What is a Good Keyword?

A good keyword is a word that brings you both traffic and conversions. If a keyword brings in lots of traffic but no conversions, then that keyword is just costing you money without any returns – and is not a good keyword.

A keyword is good if it is bringing in sales and profits.

Generally, the more specific the keyword is, the better it will perform. Picking specific keywords that describe both your industry and have a clear user intent is essential to ensuring that your PPC campaigns are profitable.

For instance, the keyword ‘shoes’ has 450,000 monthly searches in the United States. It has volume, but what does the word mean? Does it mean women’s, men’s, running, dress, tennis or shoe repair? This word is too ambiguous; it will rarely be a good keyword.

The keyword ‘running shoes’ has 74,000 queries per month. While there are more searches, it is a bit more specific as it includes a type of shoe. However, one of the first steps to selling shoes is to understand the gender of the shopper as men and women do not wear the same shoes.

The keyword ‘best running shoes for women’ has only 6,600 monthly searches, however, it is specific to both a gender and a type of shoe.

The keyword ‘New Balance running shoes for women’ has only 720 searches per month, but is very specific to a gender, brand, and type of shoe.

It is common to see more specific words have lower search volume than more ambiguous terms, but that does not mean you should exclude them. What often happens is that as keywords become more specific, the click through rate and conversion rate increases.

Let’s assume (and it’s unlikely, but this assumption is good enough for a quick illustration) all of these keywords have the same cost per click and average revenue per sale. The biggest difference will be the conversion rates and click through rates. This is an example of how these keywords could affect your PPC profits.

In this case, ‘New Balance Running shoes for women’ and ‘Best running shoes for women’ have the two lowest search amounts by far. However, they are the two most profitable keywords as the words are much more specific which means the click through rates and conversion rates will often increase.

We could get into an entire discussion about balancing your goals with costs and how high volume, low converting words can help build brand awareness that can increase your overall CTRs and conversion rates; however, that’s some pretty advanced math for another time.

Now that you’ve seen an illustration of how more specific keywords can be better than more general keywords, even if they have less total searches, it is time to look at the steps to conducting keyword research.

Keyword Research Step-By-Step

Keyword research can be a very methodical process that can be grouped into a set of steps:

      1. Brainstorm
      2. Create your themes
      3. Write ad copy
      4. Research your ad groups
      5. Review
      6. Put the keywords live
      7. View search queries
      8. Refine and repeat

We will examine each of these steps individually.

1. Brainstorm

The first step to keyword research is to start brainstorming for various themes. You do not have to even look at keywords yet. Your goal here is to determine the overall categories where you want to conduct keyword research. Often, these themes will mirror your site’s navigation.

Take a look at your website, analytics, search queries if you have internal search, and use tools like the AdWords Keyword Tool to start creating a list of words. Simply jot down the areas where you want to do more intensive research.

2. Create Your Themes

The next step is to take all of your research and list out your themes.  If you are new to PPC, try finding just 10-30 themes. If you have been doing this for a while, you might end up with thousands of themes.

Themes can include the different services you offer. For an accountant, these may include tax preparation, tax relief, business taxes, personal taxes, daily bookkeeping services, expense reporting, etc. Each of these themes is different because the user intent is different. If someone searched for ‘tax relief’ they want to see information about tax relief and not a general accounting page that lists all of your possible services.

If you do sell shoes, your themes might be: women’s running shoes, men’s running shoes, running shoes, women’s dress shoes, men’s dress shoes, etc. Each of these themes will be considered an ad group within your PPC account.

3. Write Ad Copy

For each of your themes, write an ad copy and choose a landing page. This is an organizational step that will help you in the next phase of keyword research.

4. Research Your Ad Groups

Now it’s time to get to work. For each of your themes, start looking for specific keywords that fit into the theme. The keyword should match the theme of the ad group, be described by the ad copy, and have information about it on the landing page. If any of those three do not apply to the keyword, then either put it aside as a keyword you might use in the future, or create a new theme for that keyword.

5. Review

Next, review your work. If you find that you have themes with hundreds of keyword in them, the theme is probably too general. Rarely will you have more than 50 keywords in a theme. It’s ok to have just one keyword within an ad group. However, if you have too many keywords in an ad group what often happens is your ad copy or landing page does not accurately describe all of those keywords and some keywords will underperform.

6. Put the Keyword Live

Inside your PPC account, create an ad group for every theme and add your keywords. Set your account live and start collecting the data.

7. View Search Queries

Once you have some data, it’s time to examine it. Unless you use all exact match keywords, your ads will show for keywords that are not inside your account. Read through the queries to find:

  • Words that are spending money but have no conversions
  • Words that are making money but are not in your account
  • Potential new themes

It is amazing what you can learn by examining the actual words people use to search. If you are ever stuck for keyword inspiration, take a look through the actual queries consumers used to find you.

8. Refine & Repeat

Examine the words that have been spending money but do not have any conversions. These words might need different ads, landing pages, or to be removed from your account. If there is a pattern to the underperforming words, then you can use negative keywords to block your ads from ever showing on those words again.

If you find keywords that are doing well, but are not in your account, then add them to your account.

Finally, take the potential new themes and do some brainstorming to find yet more keywords to add to your account.

Conclusion

Keyword research is not overly difficult. There are many good tools out there to help you along. The most time consuming aspect of managing keywords is the organization of the keywords with related ads and landing pages.

Therefore, make sure you have a solid list of themes with appropriate ads and landing pages so you can group the keywords into tightly themed ad groups. When you have good ad group organization,  every time someone searches for a keyword you did choose, they will see a related ad copy that takes them to a related page on your website.

When the keywords, ads and landing pages are all related, PPC starts to work very well. When PPC is working, it is a wonderful source of new customers.

About the author

Brad Geddes is the Founder of Certified Knowledge, a PPC Tools & training company; a regular blogger, twitterer, Official Google AdWords Seminar Leader and author of Advanced Google AdWords.

Using Your Keyword List to create Targeted Content

Successfully launching your startup requires planning and lots of it. And marketing your startup is no mean feat. From researching your keywords, to setting a content marketing strategy, to coordinating with your PR team, to establishing a social media presence, to syncing with your ‘influential’ friends, there is a lot to do.

How you maximize the online (and offline) community will ultimately dictate the success of your marketing efforts. Below, we discuss the first stage of startup marketing, generating a keyword list and putting it to work for you. [Read more…]

Top Startup Posts of 2011: Both Sides of the Table, OnStartups, Startup Lessons Learned

Marketing & Sales
1. The 5 Minute Guide to Cheap Startup Advertising
2. 16 Brilliant Insights from Steve Jobs Keynote Circa 1997
3. 3 Quick Entrepreneurial Sales Lessons
4. Cult of Product Marketing: Isn’t  Just for Losers Who Pay For Sex
5. 10 Marketing Lessons for Early Stag Tech Startups
6. How to Use PR Firms at Startups
7. Why Startups Need To Blog and What To Talk About

Lean Startup
1. 23 Tweetable Insights From The Lean Startup
2. Winter Is Coming (Lean Startup)
3. Case Study: UX, Design and Food on the Table
4. Startup Is Vision
5. The Lean Startup Junkies
6. The Power of Small Batches

Entrepreneurship and Leadership 
1. The Co-Founder Mythology
2. On Leadership, Teams, Success and Happiness
3. 12 Things Entrepreneurs Should be Thankful For
4. Why Aren’t There More Female Entrepreneurs?
5. Why You Need To take 50 Coffee Meetings

The Top Social Media Posts of 2011: KISSMetrics & Mashable

We have compiled a list of the top Social Media posts of 2011 from the Mashable and KISSMetrics blogs. These posts were selected based on their social sharing count.

Social Media

1. The Science of Social Timing #1 – Social Networks – Infographic
2. The Science of Social Timing #3 – Blogging – Infographic 
3. Social Media by Demographics. Who likes What? – Infographic
4. The History of Social Media – Infographic
5. 10 Creative Social Media Resumes to Learn From

Apps

1. 10 Apps to Watch in 2011
2. Starbucks Starts Accepting Mobile Payments

Facebook

3. 7 Tips and Marketing Strategies for the New Facebook Fan Pages
4. Are We Too Obsessed with Facebook? – Infographic
5. Woman Fired Over Facebook

Twitter

1.  Ten Twitter Tools Used by Social Media Experts

Google

1. Google + The Complete Guide
2. 50 Google Analytics Resources

Design and Other

1. Apple Is Now Worth More Than $300 Billion 
2. 10 Websites to Watch in 2011
3. 100+ Online Resources That Are Transforming Education  <—–
4. Gender and Color – True Color breakdown between Males and Females
5. The Evolution of Web Design – Infographic 
6. How Loading Time Affects Your Bottom Line 
7. What Makes Someone Leave a Website