Why Visualize Data #THURSDAYTIPS #NanoPoblano2019

What is Data Visualization? It is the visual presentation of data to inform your target audience.

These data are meant to complement the relevant information you share. They serve as proof or factual evidence to support any claims you have and to help people understand the value of the data being presented.

Image from PCMag.com

The Evolution of Visual Presentations

In the old days, these visualization tools were simple graphs, charts, tables, timelines, and maps. They were materials you could physically touch. Over time, with the arrival of better technology, we learned to make more effective presentations. They were created using computer graphics and online spreadsheets.

In the Internet age, however, visualization tools have become much more sophisticated and interactive. Various software, widgets, Application Program Interface (API), and other programs are used to make them instead.

Today’s data visualization tools include the usual but more detailed charts (bar charts, pie charts), infographics, geographic online maps, and sparklines, which are small designs for numerical and statistical information. Heatmaps are included, too, as they are snapshots that indicate two things: what catches your website visitors’ attention, and where they stay the longest in your site.

The Advantage of Newer Technology

A visualization software helps give people a better idea of your data by showing the relationships between items and the patterns and trends. They can be more detailed, able to show information that would otherwise be missed. Unnoticed details could cause unexpected problems or misinterpretations.

Meanwhile, visuals attract more attention. They help the audience to understand data. People normally get bored with dull and cold presentations. With today’s technology, we are able to maximize a material’s potential while we improve how people interpret our data.

For instance:

With the Timeline JS widget, you can show stunning, interactive timelines to impress people. But it’s not just to impress, rather, to emphasize the significance of the presented data. The timelines can have slideshow and embedabble capabilities.

ZingChart is a feature-rich API and is very interactive. It allows animation to be used in its visuals. People are attracted to visuals and they love animation. ZingChart’s JavaScript library has hundreds of chart types to choose from, which also means hundreds of ways to let your audience digest information. 

TheTableau software updates information in real-time and is great for team collaboration. It allows you to create powerful, beautiful visuals and is very easy to use with its drag and drop ability.

Now MS Excel, Google Charts and Google Sheets maybe “old”, but they are still popular. In fact, they keep up with the modern times quite well—the better to stay competitive. Try out their library of data visualization tools and see that they are not at all behind when it comes to new technology.

The Importance of Data Visualization

The question is, why get these newer tools when you can use the old ones? The problem is, it is not really advisable, especially if information may be lost using the older technology.

You like to inform. You like to write. But how do you make sure your presentation sets you apart and shows you as an authority? Today, content is king. Part of that content are data that, as said earlier, should support any relevant information you share.

 

If you want to be seen as an authority in your field, show it. Make people know you are trustworthy, competent and knowledgeable. Use effective data visualization tools. Remember, though, that being resourceful is good, but it does not necessarily make you an authority. No matter how visually striking the look, if content is lacking, you will only be wasting both your and your audience’s time.

 

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NOTE: This was written in 2018 (never published, at least, not without my consent) so the visualization tools mentioned may not be that updated. Technology changes fast.

DISCLAIMER: I am not endorsing any product, tool, or company. Any mention was just for information purposes.

“Do I have to make every detail in fantasy fiction logical or acceptable?” #ThursdayTips

Well, I haven’t done this in a long time, so why not?quora-believable-fictionThis was where the excerpts came from: The Truth in Your Make-Believe.

Fellow fictionists, feel free to add in more tips!

 

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Sorry, I hadn’t been posting guys. There are just many things on my plate lately. But I promise to be a little more active again the next days…Toodles!

Four Tips From Seasoned Bloggers

In my line of work, I’ve already read much about blogging and have written stuff and tips about it as well. I have to say I don’t exactly follow them all, but that is because I have a different focus or different agenda, plus I am not that bothered about gaining a huge following, not yet anyway, Maybe someday, I’ll have more time and decide to be more active. That said, I think this post and tips from WordPress.com should work for anyone who is serious enough to be one of the best bloggers out there in the blogosphere. Congratulations to those whose names and blogs are mentioned. 🙂

The WordPress.com Blog

Some of the best blogging advice we hear is from you. On Discover, we publish interviews and profiles of bloggers around the world, who also impart their own tips on how they’ve gotten the most out of WordPress.com. If you’ve missed these interviews, not to worry — we’ve compiled some of the best bits of blogging wisdom here.

Join communities that sustain your interests.

When you start to click around, follow blogs, and fill your Reader with posts to read, you’ll discover that WordPress.com is full of many smaller communities. For example, some participate in black and white photo challenges led by blogger Cee, while others join our multimedia Discover Challenges, hosted every Tuesday.

discover challenges

Novelist Claire Fuller credits two communities on WordPress.com for supporting and influencing her: Friday Fictioneers, a group of bloggers that writes a weekly 100-word story inspired by a photograph (hosted on the blog of Rochelle Wisoff-Fields), and The Prime Writers, a…

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An Author’s Responsibilities by Aya Walksfar

I have been meaning to write an article about something but have not been able to. Coincidentally, I chanced upon this guest blog post over at The Jumbled Writer. It’s a very good writeup on author responsibilities from novelist Aya Walksfar.

I have decided to reblog it (with permission). Actually, I am unable to click “Reblog” so I just provided the link. Just click on the title or the image and…ENJOY!!!!

AN AUTHOR’S RESPONSIBILITIES

article-on-author-responsibilities

How to Improve Site Performance? Audit, for Business’ Sake!

Nothing but quality products, 24/7 customer support, a lovely website, excellent service overall. Discriminating customers demand for the best, and that’s what your business is all about. So now you wonder, after doing everything right, how come business is not picking up? Frustrating, I know.

Basically, what you need is to reach out to more people than the usual. Make your online presence solid and felt. That said, have you checked your site lately? Start checking!

A lovely website” needs to show brains and brawn, too, otherwise, you lose prospective customers. Perhaps, it’s time to hire a web content writer to help you.

Basic Auditing How-to

audit-your-site

I got this image from the well-known Search Engine Watch that incidentally has written a more extensive article on this topic as well

Site checking or auditing is essential. For a website to be an effective tool in your business, keeping it should involve critical analyses, content strategy and the right people to make it work. If you already have a writer in your stable, then good. Make sure she knows or learns how to audit sites as well.

Writers mainly take care of the articles, but the misconception is that’s the only skill expected of them. A skilled one helps take care of things beyond the articles. In the web business, content means a lot of things aside from textual information.

For a start, in auditing, you need to know how your site is faring in the online world. What is its domain authority and page authority? How many backlinks and by whom? On what pages do search engines list it when a search is done, if it gets listed at all? And so on.

Next, find out its existing page status problems and technical issues. Those maybe getting in the way of good user experience, therefore, visitors leave.

Then there’s the matter of whether keywords, optimizations, web designs and layout work or not. An SEO content writer with ample knowledge of web development and design would be a prize to find.

All of the factors mentioned, your auditor needs in order to identify and analyze problem areas and consequently fix them.

To be able to do this, she has to have enough know-how, especially in using helpful software and platforms like Google Analytics, OpenSiteExplorer, SEMrush, WhiteSpark, and ScreamingFrog. She has to be able to interpret what the results mean.

But the more critical part is the analyzing, the precursor to crafting solutions.

Questions to Consider for Review

site-health-check

Of course, you or your current employees can do this, provided you have the time and necessary skills. You can start reviewing the contents, design and layout of your site based on some of the questions I have gathered.

Contents

  1. Are the business names and logo/brand visible and clear? Where are they?

  2. Is there a header image?

  3. Where are the Name-Address-Phone (NAP) details in the site? Do they include emails and toll-free numbers?

  4. Is there a Google map at the Contact Us page? How about at the footer?

  5. Is there a working contact form in all the pages?

  6. Is there a navigation menu at the top? Does the top menu have dropdowns? Is there a navigation menu at the bottom?

  7. Are there pages specifically for Home, About Us / Firm Overview, Blog (if any), News, Resources, and FAQs at the navigation menu?

  8. Are there pages for the Terms and Conditions and the Privacy Policy? Are there links leading to them?

  9. Are there sidebars? Does your site need them?

  10. Are the images and videos posted in the site relevant and clear?

  11. Are there visible social media logos around the site?

  12. Do all the links redirect properly and to the right pages?

  13. How many fonts are used in the site?

  14. Are accreditation and/or rank seals added?

  15. Are there copyright details at the bottom? If yes, are they present in all the pages?

Design Principles

  1. Is there precedence (guiding-the-eye)?

    – position (where something in particular is placed), color, contrast, size (does it affect perceived order of relevance), design elements (largely based on what is added to the site and how it affects visitor’s actions)

  1. How effective is the spacing?

    – line spacing (affects readability), padding (putting space between text and other elements), white space (for balance, proportion, and contrast)

  1. How clear, easy and user-friendly is the navigation feature?

  2. Are there breadcrumbs in all the pages, sub-headings and a sitemap?

  1. How are the texts (typography) looking and working?

    – font choices (do they look good and appropriate for the site, how many used), font sizes (affects readability), spacing, line length (affects readability), color (must make sure the texts can actually be read by anyone), paragraphing (left-alignment is always suggested to avoid gaps)

  1. Are things aligned in an orderly and polished manner?

  1. How is the design clarity? Are the pixels creating problems?

  1. Does everything match (consistency)?

    – sizes, choices, coloring, styles, elements, etcetera

  1. Is the site aesthetically pleasing as well as useful?

  1. How relevant, clear, appropriate and useful are the pages and contents to the site?

  1. Are there unnecessary elements (music, flash, autoplay, etc.) that can be done without?

  1. Are the title pages/headings easily understood and logical?

  1. How informative is the FAQ page?

  1. Are testimonials included in the site? How many? Do they appear real or fake?

  1. Is the Call to Action clear?

    – contact forms, online customer service representative, registration feature, email address for questions and feedback, indirect action items like “learn more”

  1. Is the site selling something? Does it have an SSL certificate?

  2. How mobile-ready is the site?

I have given you initial ideas on how to audit your site. These are culled from research (like a Psdtuts+ article I found very useful) and my own auditing experiences. There are more to find and learn but the further research, I will leave to you. Meanwhile, your auditor must be able to work with your web developers and designers to incorporate changes.

In auditing, it’s not simply knowing what to look for. It takes a lot of common sense, an analytic mind, patience and practical approach—all of which, the writer hopefully has. If your current writer is not cut out for this, find another who is. Hire a web content writer who can.

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NOTE: I’ve been saying this for a year or so already. This was originally a guest blog that got published along with my byline. Unfortunately, the site soon became inaccessible for quite a while. It went back then I found that somebody else took my place as author. I tried every way to reach them and actually sent a message telling them to fix it, to no avail. I just checked last Friday and found the site missing again. So here it is, I thought I’d share here. It’s just fair considering that it was supposed to be a reciprocal thing. No one paid anybody and if the other party is unable to hold its part of the bargain, we have the right to take back what is ours.

Learn How to Blog, Dummy

“Many businesses are on the lookout for writers to join their creative teams or to outsource content writing. Whichever route you want to tread as a content writer, freelance or otherwise, you’d like to be The Chosen One, right? But how to do this is another matter.” 

Are you a budding writer? a blogging newbie? Get a blog! How to blog? Fortunately, I’ve whipped out this How to Blog guide just for you.

Special thanks to In2Town for offering to publish my article.

THE WRITING DUMMY’S GUIDE TO BLOGGING

how-to-blog

New to blogging? A few tips to help you blog right

 

Feel free to LIKE, Tweet, Pin it, share…Just link to it or to the published article itself. If you have other stuff or tips that we can include in the list, let us know! Leave a comment below 🙂

 

SEO Checklist for 2013

Very nice and informative infographic on SEO!!! Thanks, Chris Jones, for the post. Thanks, Ben Norman, for the great, detailed infographic. Thanks, Cosmotown.com for leading me there  =>

Chris Jones

We all know that the SEO landscape has changed a lot over the last year or two and with Penguin 2.0 on the horizon it may change again.

Many things that we as SEO consultants carried out as recently as last year no longer work and for the inexperienced it can be very confusing as you can be told or read on blogs conflicting stories about what you should be doing to be ranking well and gaining good levels of targeted traffic for your website.

To help make things clearer I came across this excellent infographic from Ben Norman entitled “SEO Checklist for 2013” and here it is:

SEO Checklist

By Chris Jones

Google

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Business Do: Audit Your Site

“Nothing but quality products, 24/7 customer support, a lovely website, excellent service overall. Discriminating customers demand for the best, and that’s what your business is all about. So now you wonder, after doing everything right, how come business is not picking up?…Site checking or auditing is essential. For a website to be an effective tool in your business, keeping it should involve critical analyses, content strategy and the right people to make it work.”

Check out this article at SEO Wix! To get you somehow get restarted, I have gathered ample site auditing tips through research and my own experience to help you check your business site. Just click those red words below ;p

HOW TO IMPROVE SITE PERFORMANCE? AUDIT, FOR BUSINESS’ SAKE!

auditing-business-site

You know you’ve got a great business, but it’s performance is somewhat dismal. How to improve it? Site check, please!

 

Feel free to LIKE, Tweet, Pin it, share…Just link to it or to the published article itself. If you have other ideas worth mentioning, let us know! Leave a comment below 🙂

 

Website, Check…Contents…Uh, Check?

“Since information is available right there at the office, content development is done in-house. Your people know the business, they have a clear understanding of what it is about. Who better to write about your business? Therefore, you delegate a content writer for the site right from your own team.

Contents, check. How hard can writing be?”

Why do you need a web content writer for your business? Let me tell you why at DAILY SEO TIP. Glad to be writing for Ann Smarty’s blog. Means I could be doing something right 🙂

LET CONTENTS DO THE TALKING

why-hire-web-content-writer

Okay, you’ve got the foundations of your online home. Will they get you more visitors, though? Maybe it’s actually time to think about contents

 

Feel free to LIKE, Tweet, Pin it, share…Just link to it or to the published article itself. If you have other thoughts to add, let us know! Leave a comment below 🙂

 

Blogging the Ethical Way

Are you a blogging web content writer? Do you know that there are certain dos and don’ts in blogging?

“As a blogger, there are several things you must remember… These are quite important, considering that as a web content writer, writing is your life and, most probably, your bread and butter. You’ll want to look as professional as possible.”

Here is my newest published piece, a blogging web content writer’s brief lesson on the importance of brand awareness and following blogging ethics. Thanks to Techie Boom for publishing 🙂

BLOGGING ETHICS: FIVE WAYS TO KEEP IT PROPER

five-ways-to-blog-right

If you’re a web content writer who loves to blog, you might want to read this

 

Feel free to LIKE, Tweet, Pin it, share…Just link to it or to the published article itself. If you think I have left out more important points, let us know! Leave a comment below 🙂