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Earlier in Donna’s career as a teacher and school psychologist, she assessed, diagnosed, and helped to create interventions for children and youth who had difficulty with their executive functioning. Today as teacher educators, we are pleased that our graduates are increasing students’ cognitive, metacognitive, and executive functioning in classrooms around the world (as just one example, Texas teacher Diane Dahl blogs on teaching metacognition).
What Are Executive Functions?
Through explicit instruction and modeling, students can come to recognize the importance of taking charge of their executive functioning in their academic endeavors and later in their careers.
Executive functions can be defined as the awareness and directive capacities of the mind. By wielding these skills and abilities, students decide where to focus their attention and which tasks to undertake. As a general rule of thumb, when students of any age have difficulty completing developmentally appropriate academic tasks on their own, executive functioning may be at the root of the problem.
In the human brain, executive functions are primarily regulated by the prefrontal regions (just behind the forehead) of the frontal lobes. Neuroscientists and psychologists have made significant gains in understanding the brain’s executive functioning over the past several decades.
An appropriate metaphor that often helps students and educators alike understand the role of executive functioning in thinking and behavior is to imagine an orchestra conductor. The conductor chooses what work the orchestra will perform, decides how to interpret that work, sets the tempo for the performance, and directs each section of musicians to contribute at the appropriate time. In the same way, executive functioning allows us to:
Self-regulate by cueing, directing, and coordinating the various cognitive skills necessary for moment-to-moment functioning
Establish goals and make long-term plans
Maintain a self-image of being in charge of our learning and actions
Students can and should be taught to develop their executive functioning as a path to self-directed learning and self-determined living.
We have found that educators today are more interested than ever in teaching students to wield powerful learning and thinking tools. In other blog posts and articles we have written with Edutopia and elsewhere, we have shared popular, practical strategies for increasing students’ executive functioning by teaching them how and when to employ cognitive assets, metacognition, working memory, and selective attention. All of these learning tools come together under the umbrella of executive functioning.
Incorporating instruction on executive functions into content lessons emphasizes that:
Students are in charge of their learning.
Honing their use of these skills and abilities will improve their performance in school and beyond.
Teaching students that they are the “conductors of their own brains” conveys the need to master a wide range of thinking and learning tools for use across core academic subjects, in their personal lives, and later in their college years and careers. Success in the 21st century demands self-directed learners and independent, creative thinkers.Classroom Strategies to Support Executive Functioning
From elementary through high school and into adulthood, students will benefit from these opportunities to understand and develop their executive functioning:
1. Introduce the concept of executive functions and refer to these learning tools explicitly and often.
Define executive functioning, and lead discussions on how being aware of their thinking and taking control of their learning can help students achieve success in school and other aspects of their lives. A key message is that using executive functions often and effectively doesn’t just happen — we all have to work toward developing these abilities. Apply metaphors of executive functioning (the brain’s conductor or air traffic controller, for example), and invite students to share examples of how they can use executive functioning in their lessons and activities outside of school. How do adults use executive functioning in their jobs? How do the actions of characters in stories demonstrate executive functioning?
2. Provide student-centered opportunities to put executive functioning to work.
Include students in setting learning goals for lessons, and let them choose their own books for independent reading and subjects for classroom projects. Giving students choices enhances motivation by giving them a chance to think about subjects that interest them, and also underscores that they are in charge of their learning.
3. Be the “prefrontal cortex” for your class.
Articulate and model effective thinking practices. For example, clearly state your intent for a learning activity and demonstrate the steps of planning, carrying out, and assessing the outcomes of the activity. Identify up front any thorny problems and tough spots in new lesson content, and talk through possible strategies for identifying and overcoming any learning difficulties that arise. Use cues to remind students when activating their executive functions might be useful.
4. Catch students using executive functions effectively.
Congratulate students who recognize and correct mistakes to emphasize that mistakes are prime learning opportunities. Recognize not just the finished product, but also the hard work and the steps of planning and execution that students accomplished in completing a big project. Especially celebrate the successes of students who’ve struggled with taking charge of their learning in the past.
5. Clearly state classroom rules that support positive and productive learning interactions.
A well-organized environment with predictable rules allows students to more easily focus on the learning tasks at hand.
How do you approach teaching and encouraging students to develop their executive functioning in your classroom?
You're reading Strategies For Strengthening The Brain’s Executive Functions
Executives are always on the go. Meetings, conferences, traveling, parties, and more. During his pursuit of professional excellence, one companion is always by his side – his smartphone. If you are working for a giant corporation and the owner of iPhone 6, here we have got something useful for you. The list of iPhone 6 Executive Cases boasts protective covers that not only safeguard your phone but also help you create a perfect executive demeanor wherever you go. Explore this list and get one for yourself.
It’s the pro looking design that makes TUCCH a pretty good option for the folks who prefer simplicity. It’s carved out of high-grade PU leather. With the built-in stand, you can position your iPhone in landscape mode to watch media more comfortably.
There are multiple slots to let you keep your cards securely. It also features a large pocket wherein you can stash some cash. Additionally, TUCCH wallet case comes in six color options and is powered by the lifetime warranty.2. IZENGATE
IZENGATE gives you more. This iPhone 6 case offers you more facility as it has four slots to store different cards. The pitch-black case flaunts a 100% executive character that leaves a greater impact even while you leave the office for a day.
Operate all buttons, ports, cameras, speakers and connectors smoothly as this case has accurately cut out openings. Its built-in back stand allows you to flip and fold the case; moreover, you can comfortably watch videos, send voice messages, read ebooks and view picture gallery.3. Dockem
Dockem’s elegant dark brown synthetic leather case easily slides in and out on your iPhone 6; neither too tight nor too loose, the case is lined with soft microfiber felt that protects your phone from dust and scratches. Since the case is quite ultra-thin, it never adds any thickness to your phone.
The minimalistic design doesn’t boast any bulging clasps, buckles, bands or flaps, therefore, you can easily put your mobile in your pocket or laptop bag.
I’m sure you will like to get Labato wallet case for your iPhone 6. What makes it a pretty nice option is the practical design. It’s beautifully crafted with genuine leather.
You have multiple slots and a big compartment to keep your cards and cash securely. You can also double up the front cover to watch media more conveniently in landscape mode.
Lastly, there are five good-looking color variants to choose a befitting cover for the smartphone.
5. OtterBox STRADA SERIES
OtterBox is known to produce top-notch cases for iPhone. And its STRADA SERIES cases are no exception.
They are neatly crafted and feature a refined design. With the dual-layered casing, the covers offer the essential protection to your iPhone.
The slim and compact profile ensures you feel comfortable holding the iPhone in your hands. Besides, the cases have a vertical slot to let you store a card.
If you are willing to have a vintage belt clip pouch, give a close look to Debin. It’s made of high-quality leather and fully capable of providing the needed protection to your smartphone.
With the soft interior lining, the pouch doesn’t allow scratch to damage your iPhone. Additional belt loops offer more security, while magnetic closure lets you firmly close the case. It fits your smartphone with a
Just a look at “Belemay” leather case and you know that it’s timed to meet your executive demand. The high-grade cowhide leather endows it the much-needed longevity. With the soft pigskin interior, it keeps your smartphone protected from scratch.
You can also rely on this wallet case to absorb shock. There are interior pockets to let store cards and some cash. Stand functionality comes in handy when you wish to enjoy videos hands-free. Additionally, Belemay comes in some classy color variants like black, blue, coffee brown and more.
Manufactured in USA, this stylish case from TurtleBack is made for every day need of an iPhone user. The stylish flush design and belt clip holster protects your phone from every side; at the same time, its ergonomic design lets you access headphone jack even if your iPhone 6 is in the case.
The premium bonded leather protects the front and back of your phone against scratches & dirt. The magnetic closure keeps phone intact in the case.9. Encased
Simple is the new stylish. This black & white slider hard shell case for iPhone 6 is simple and still can beat every fashionable case in store. This high-quality case from Encased is elegant and functional as well as the novel, cute and popular among executives.
To enhance your presence, Encased has added absolute classic smooth contemporary style with top quality microfiber. Besides style, this microfiber material has anti-slip grip. Gain full access to all buttons including power and volume controls.
Its soft but non-slippery coating reduces stains and scratches. This high-quality case is flexible and tear-proof, and that’s why it stays in one form. Enjoy four-sided complete protection for your iPhone 6!10. Fenix
More than a case, this one is your real companion. Though Fenix iPhone 6 case doesn’t boast any extra facility like card slots or string, the case is going to impress you with its subtle design and sober colors. Plus, executives do like such combinations.
Its dual-layer provides an extra defense to your smartphone; the hard shell and gel flexible (TPU) layer guard your phone against bumps, shocks, and scratches. All the openings on-point, hence you can efficiently use all buttons, ports, and connectors.
I’m sure you have found a more elegant executive case for your iPhone. Would you like to tell us something about it and the qualities that you appreciate?
You might want to take a peek at these posts as well:
Jignesh Padhiyar is the co-founder of chúng tôi who has a keen eye for news, rumors, and all the unusual stuff around Apple products. During his tight schedule, Jignesh finds some moments of respite to share side-splitting content on social media.
Do small businesses need a C-suite?
The organizational structure of any business can and should be defined in whatever way makes the most sense for that particular company. While some small businesses may opt not to have a C-suite, others might decide that is what works best for them. Small and medium businesses may not require an extensive number of C-level executives, but they still need to establish a clear hierarchy of leadership. In reality, the term “C-suite” is relatively new, and a small business likely does not need to define its top leadership in this way to run effectively.What are the benefits and drawbacks of having a C-suite?
One of the main benefits of the C-suite is that these executives are there to ensure that the business is firing on all cylinders and is reaching its full potential. They make sure that nothing slips through the cracks and all systems are optimized to work in the company’s favor, both in the short term and the long term. They also coordinate with a board of directors to ensure the business stays accountable to its shareholders, if there are any.
Drawbacks come from C-suite level managers who are bad bosses. Those who fail to communicate a clear vision or set tangible goals will end up creating negative cycles within the company, impeding its ability to thrive. Having one person who is in charge of making sure that an entire subsector of the company is running efficiently requires a skilled and dedicated person for it to work.
Did You Know?
The roles of the C-suite executives are constantly changing as business structures shift. Read more about how CEOs are redefining their roles to better aid their companies.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The true criteria for each C-suite candidate will depend on the role and the specific needs of the business. However, there are some qualifications that any company should look for in its C-suite candidates.
Most candidates should have at least a master’s degree, though there are some exceptions that might be made based on their specific experience. If they do not have a master’s degree, but they have more than 30 years’ experience in the field, a business might opt to go for that candidate anyways. Either way, they should have a combination of solid education and work experience. They should also have a degree in business (or a similar subject) and a proven track record of successful team building.
All C-suite executives should be great communicators and leaders. They need to be flexible and amenable, especially in stressful situations. A combination of organization and analytical skills mixed with creativity and forward-thinking are a must.
These are the people who are leading your business as it grows. Therefore, they should be able to cultivate trust and collaboration among all members of the company through both their hard and soft skills.Studying the C-suite for success
If you want to learn more about how a company operates from the top down, study the C-suite. The more you know about the top managers and their functions, the better you’ll be able to understand the company’s overall strategy and goals. This is helpful for anyone, not just those who are looking to join the C-suite themselves.
If you are pursuing one of these positions, then start developing your leadership skills by seeking out a corporate mentor. The more experience you have under your belt, the better.
Source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.
Scaling a business is always challenging. It requires painstaking attention to the fundamentals and an ability to wear different hats.
An entrepreneur has to deal with sales and marketing, make sense of taxes and corporate compliance, and take care of customer interactions. Growing a business is hard, but it is still better than a soul-crushing 9 to 5 job.
If you look at things in perspective, growing your business will no longer seem insurmountable. With the help of an animated explainer video company, you will boost sales and brand awareness. These seven strategies will take your company to the next level quickly.6 Strategies for Quickly Expanding Your Business 1. Build a Sales Funnel
Also read: Best Top 10 Paid Online Survey Website in the World2. Utilize a CMS
A customer management system saves time and effort. There is a wide variety of CMS, so choose one that matches your line of work.
For example, Salesforce is a leading cloud-based solution, while QuickBooks will streamline accounting, and InfusionSoft will help with marketing and sales. Most popular CMSs integrate with other cloud-based systems seamlessly.3. Create a Loyalty Program
Also read: 10 Best Saas Marketing Tools And Platforms For 20234. Seek New Opportunities
Consider everything from distribution to competition, including foreign markets and related industries. Most probably, there are dozens of fresh opportunities to pursue — you just need to gather data to see them.5. Form Strategic Alliances 6. Diversify your Offers
Also read: How to Start An E-commerce Business From Scratch in 2023Final Tip
Spring is traditionally a time to commence Spring cleaning. It’s also a great time for IT teams to look at how to better streamline the development and delivery of data to better support the business operations. Here is where a DataOps approach to data integration comes into play. Similar to DevOps, DataOps is an emerging set of practices, processes and technologies for building an enhancing data and analytics pipelines to better meet the needs of the business. The promise is that this methodology will improve productivity, streamline and automate processes, increase data output and create greater collaboration across teams. According to a survey during the recent Information Management webinar “Perfect timing to thaw the data integration process
Companies are operating at a fast-pace and having the right information and analysis could mean the difference between leading the market or being one of the many followers. DataOps accelerates time to insight and solves the many challenges associated with data availability. While data managers, architects and engineers are embracing new cloud and data lake initiatives to provide a more scalable and agile infrastructure, they need to be careful to not make the same mistakes that the majority of first-generation big data projects that failed to deliver real business value and become nothing more than a large landing zone for corporate data. For organization who operate at this speed of change, they require modern data architectures that allow for the quick use of the ever-expanding volumes of data. These infrastructures – based on hybrid and multi-cloud for greater efficiency – provide enterprises with the agility they need to compete more effectively, improve customer satisfaction and increase operational efficiencies. When the DataOps methodology is part of these architectures, companies are empowered to support real-time data analytics andFive Requirements for DataOps Success
DataOps is a verb not a noun, it is something you do, not something you buy. It is a discipline that involves people, processes and enabling technology. However, as organizations shift to modern analytics and data management platforms in the cloud, you should also take a hard look at your legacy integration technology to make sure that it can support the key DataOps principles that will accelerate time to insight. Here are five key requirements you should consider to ensure DataOps success: 1. Continuous integration– Continuous integration is foundational to these modern data platforms and to meet the needs of real-time analytics. It requires individuals to think differently about integration, it can no longer be a batch process that only happens at certain points in time and impact transactional systems. Applying technologies such as change data capture (CDC) provides a non-invasive method to catch data and metadata changes from transactional systems, relational databases and applications and stream them in real-time along to the analytic platform. 2. Universal applicability– Seeks solutions that support a broad variety of sources and targets and span multiple integration use cases. For example, you should only capture changed data once a transaction system and route that data where and when it’s needed: to a data lake; or a data warehouse; or replicate to another database; etc. This provides greater efficiency and fewer moving parts. 3. Automation– It’s always a challenge to find the right people and skill sets to meet the everchanging technology landscape. Automation becomes essential to the success of a DataOps initiative, from the generation of change data streams to delivery to refinement and finally the creation of analytics-ready data sets. This becomes particularly important for data lakes where heterogeneous data is coming in a variety of formats and is continuously updated with new change files. 5. Trust– Trust comes from metadata and trust is absolutely essential from a business users’ perspective. The last thing that you want to do is build out a Data Lake or Cloud Data Warehouse that doesn’t provide data in a timely enough fashion or that provides data that can’t be trusted leaving the business users blind as to where the data came from, how it was transformed and manipulated. The architecture requires a data catalog to easily find the information; data lineage to showcase where the information came from and how it has been transformed and validation to ensure that any data movement was successful. These are the five essential items to consider when building modern data architecture and implementing a DataOps approach. Technology leaders need to be smart about future integration investments as the last generation of ETL and batch-oriented approaches are just not well suited to meet today’s rapidly evolving infrastructure and business user demands. Author: Dan Potter, VP of Product Marketing at Qlik
Every SEO needs a fully stocked arsenal of tools to support day-to-day workflows.
Just as technical SEO tools help us to identify critical areas for technical optimizations, content tools help to identify key areas for content optimizations.
Choosing the right tool to add to your workflow largely depends on how you intend to use the data.
With content optimization, we all know that the first step is identifying the opportunity, but there is a second crucial step needed before executing against the opportunity: understanding the context.
In this article you will learn how to answer the question, “What type of data do I need?” and the best tools to source that data.
These tools provide data to evaluate the level of opportunity:
BrightEdge Data Cube: SERP features, keyword research, and competitor analysis.
Advanced Web Rankings (AWR): Share of voice and SERP visibility.
SEMrush: Quick, comprehensive organic overview.
Keyword Planner: Keyword research.
Ahrefs: Competitive content gap.
And these resources provide supporting evidence to strengthen insights:
Google Trends: Search trends and identifying search behavior shifts.
BuzzSumo: Trending social topics, questions, and related content.
Mintel: Consumer and industry insights.
eMarketer: Trends in media that may impact organic search or explain fluctuations in performance caused by non-organic factors.
Think with Google: Market research insights and data points.What Type of Data Do You Need?
You might be thinking this is a rudimentary question but knowing what your data needs are can be tricky at times.
If you don’t evaluate the reason you are looking for data in the first place, you could potentially spend hours in the weeds without even realizing it.
So, think about your needs before spending hours going down a rabbit hole in a tool you didn’t actually need.
Start by asking yourself:Do I Need Discovery Data?
Discovery data helps to evaluate areas of opportunity in a landscape through keyword research, site performance indicators, and competitive analyses.Do I Need Supporting Data?
Supporting data strengthens insights found in discovery data by providing additional context and evidence in the landscape or target audience.
If you are trying to understand dynamics like the reasons why performance metrics dipped at odd times, the use of unexpected or unusual search terms or topics, evidence of shifts in traffic patterns, or other environmental factors that may have contributed to website performance, start here.
Once you understand the type of data you need, it’s easy to source it if you know where to look.
Let’s jump in and identify the 10 content resources we can’t live without in the new age of content SEO.Tools for Discovery
Discovery is probably ingrained in everything you do, and you likely have a solid toolset that you use daily.
Before developing a content strategy, you need to use discovery data to help you understand the competitive landscape and available opportunities.
Here are our top five content tools and what we believe is the best use for each during the discovery process.1. BrightEdge Data Cube
Key tool value: SERP feature analysis, bulk keyword research, and competitor analysis
If you are not sure what aspect of content you want to delve into, BrightEdge Data Cube may be the solution you need.
BrightEdge is one of our favorite comprehensive tools for keyword research, competitor analysis, and search engine results page (SERP) feature evaluation.
All you need to begin your discovery process is a relevant URL (we recommend yours or a close competitor’s).
Once you plug in your selected domain, you can view keyword rankings over time, page-level performance data, content opportunities, and SERP feature prevalence.
With an ever-changing SERP, it is important to keep a pulse on your site’s (and your competitors’) rankings in various locations in the SERP.
A useful feature that Data Cube offers is the Content Strategies tab.
The Content Strategies tab reports the historic performance of keywords for different types of organic SERP features, including images, quick answers, and People Also Ask.
You can also explore competitive opportunities by analyzing your competitors’ universal performance.2. Advanced Web Ranking (AWR)
Key tool value: Share of voice and SERP visibility
Advanced Web Ranking (AWR) brings a new meaning to share of voice through its capabilities to schedule crawls of the SERP for different search engines, from different locations, and for different devices!
AWR makes it easy to measure the impacts of content changes over time.
Through AWR, you can set up keyword groups and schedule regular crawls of the SERP to monitor ranking changes for your set list of terms.
This automated monitoring provides you with the convenience to focus on other projects while measuring share of voice changes for your keyword groups.
AWR does not limit you to just measuring ranking changes for your website.
You can also set up competitors in the platform and measure SERP visibility for a keyword group across a variety of competing sites to see how you are performing against others in the space.3. SEMrush
Key tool value: Quick, comprehensive organic overview for competition, keyword research, and performance
SEMrush is a one-stop-shop for analyzing your performance and comparing it against your competitors.
If you’re looking for a quick competitor comparison or high-level view of a site’s competitive positioning, your first stop is putting the domain into SEMrush.
First, the Domain Overview toolkit provides a summary tab with an Organic Search section that is useful in getting a quick, high-level view of your site’s performance in the overarching landscape.
Each one of the sections included in the summary tab has its own dedicated tab in the API. This allows you to dig deeper into those high-level insights quickly and easily.
Our second favorite go-to in SEMrush is the Keyword Gap toolkit. This feature is perfect for quickly reviewing opportunity keywords in a competitive landscape.
At a glance you can identify:
Weakest keyword areas.
Terms to include/exclude.
Finally, there’s the Keyword Magic toolkit.
There aren’t enough good things to say about this tool.
As we’ve mentioned, SEMrush is the place to go when you need insights fast, and the Keyword Magic tool proves our point.
The biggest time saver we find in the SEMrush Keyword Magic tool is the Keyword by Number/Volume table.
This allows you to easily identify the terms used most frequently and with the most variations in a specific, targeted landscape to help you home in on those high-value opportunities.
Another useful feature of the Keyword Magic tool is the Keyword Difficulty metric, which gives an easy, quick gauge on how hard or easy it will be to improve performance for that query.4. Keyword Planner
Key tool value: Keyword research
If you have access to an active Google Ads account, Keyword Planner can be a game-changer when it comes to keyword research.
Using the API can be like drinking from a water hose of opportunity right from the Google fire hydrant, and that’s why we love it.
The API is easy to use and takes care of a lot of the cleanup work normally associated with keyword research.
For example, the API takes into consideration similar terms and groups them for a single average monthly volume that encompasses all similar terms (e.g., plurals).
We see other tools keeping keywords verbatim (not grouped), which usually inflates total search volume metrics and is a headache to clean up post-export.
The API allows for broadening or narrowing of topical keyword research and can even account for branded terms.
Another useful feature for supporting content workflows is that the exported data gives a full 12 months of search volume, in addition to average monthly search volume, which is great for understanding seasonality for content planning.
We suggest diving into Keyword Planner if you haven’t already. It’s more than just an ad planning tool for paid teams; it’s an SEO’s dream.5. Ahrefs
Key tool value: Competitive content gap
Ahrefs is traditionally known for its backlink audit capabilities, but it also holds the secret to a quick competitive content gap analysis. Using Ahrefs’ Content Gap tool, you can analyze keywords for which your competitors are ranking but you are not, which will help you gain a better understand where there may be gaps in content on your site.
One of our favorite things about this tool is that you can perform content gaps that are as broad or as specific as you want, based on your competitor selection.
If you want a more specialized content gap, you can choose to analyze a competitor subfolder, rather than an entire domain.
Additionally, you can leverage Ahrefs’ Content Gap filters to find more specialized and longer-tailed keywords that your site could be targeting by adjusting the search volume and word count ranges for competitive keywords.Tools for Supporting Insights
There is a big, ever-changing world out there that influences how our searchers decide to use their search bar, and supporting evidence brings SEO outside of its usual search silo.
To understand what content will resonate most, you must leverage insights that speak to what potentially influences the actions of your searchers outside of the SERP.6. Google Trends
Key tool insight: Search trends and identifying search behavior shifts
Number 1 on our list of industry resources that support discovery insights is Google Trends.
It’s by far our favorite quick check and deep dive platform for understanding fluctuations in users’ search interests and identifying landscape trends.
And, bonus – it’s completely free.
The Google Trends API can seem surface level at first.
But, if used to the fullest extent, you can really uncover some hidden gems of opportunity.
For example, if you’ve used some of the aforementioned tools to identify opportunities to rank in video search, gathering supporting trend data from YouTube Search is easy, just by modifying the search type in the Google Trends API.
Other modifiable elements include region, time frame, and “category” (or industry).
Google Trends gives you flexibility in understanding different periods of high interest and periods of low interest relative to the specific time period.
It’s important to note that interest is trended relative to the highest point on the chart for a given region and time.
Another use case for Google Trends is understanding brand awareness and measuring the effectiveness of marketing campaigns in sparking user interest and raising awareness.
Evaluating the initiative time period by identifying peaks that correlate to the campaign push dates can help gauge how effective or ineffective an initiative may have been.
Two other useful features in the Google Trends API are “related topics” and “related queries.”
These modules allow you to get insights into other areas of interest within a given topic, besides the specific source search term.
We’ve just scratched the surface on the value Google Trends brings to supporting data-driven insights, and we encourage you to explore Trends data and see what creative ways you discover to leverage the tool.
You may be surprised just how far down the rabbit hole it takes you.
Good luck staying out of the weeds on this one!7. BuzzSumo
Key tool insight: Trending social topics, questions, and related content
We know SEO doesn’t live in a silo, and understanding trending topics or viral events can go a long way in interpreting quantitative search data and shaping content strategies.
That’s why we like to diversify our research by homing in on the most trend-worthy medium: social.
BuzzSumo allows you to navigate your selected topic areas of interest from a different perspective.
This enables you to better identify what messaging, content types, and relevant sub-topics might resonate most with your users.
The Discover feature is a quick way to source ideas in a given topic area and even provides questions associated with the search term.8. Mintel
Key tool insight: Consumer and industry insights
Mintel is a market research company that publishes industry reports, trends, and insights that can be leveraged to help you better understand the landscape and your target audience as you develop a content marketing strategy.
We like to use Mintel’s reports to layer additional data into landscape analyses to create a more comprehensive understanding of the industry and search environment.
In addition to providing data points and charts about the market, Mintel does a lot of the heavy lifting in its reports by analyzing the data to create tangible consumer and industry insights.
Mintel offers a broad range of report types that break down data to highlight the market, the consumer, and key trends.
Mintel’s platform even lets you filter for reports based on consumer demographics and “trend drivers,” or core influences on consumer behavior.
These report filters make it easy to find consumer insights that are aligned to your target audience to provide additional context for developing integrated content strategies that help you cover your bases and take a more holistic approach to marketing.9. eMarketer
Key tool insight: Trends in media that may impact organic search or explain fluctuations in performance caused by non-organic factors
eMarketer is an industry research publisher that provides insights to help brands do business in the digital world.
Being in the organic search industry, it is critical to understand the digital world and the various factors that can affect performance, even outside of the organic channel, in order to make sense of fluctuations in performance and even predict future trends.
One of the most prominent uses of eMarketer is for insights around the holiday season.
Search is crazy during the holidays.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday bring some of the most stressful times for brands – and probably even more stressful for agencies.
During this extended weekend of buying frenzy, eMarketer publishes industry predictions in media and search behaviors and follows these up with a look back at how the landscape performed against those predictions.
This is always an easy reference to help support recommendations or understand performance during these times of increased attention on media channels.10. Think with Google
Key tool insight: Market research insights and data points
Think with Google is one of our favorite market research tools.
New reports are consistently published, so you always have fresh insights to review.
However, our favorite part about Think with Google is that the reports come from a variety of industries and marketing channels, so its data can make it easier to develop an integrated strategy.
There is no shortage of insights in Think with Google’s repository, so we highly recommend checking it out.
If you are not sure how to get started, we suggest using its search feature to find research that is relevant to your project.
From there, you can filter the results to find the ones that best fit your needs and support your discovery data.
Additionally, its search functionality provides full reports and individual data points, so it easily caters to in-depth research and quick, high-level data needs.In Summary
Just as it would be ineffective to rely on only one tool or approach for crawling, site latency, or mobile usability insights, turning to only one or two content research tools will limit the effectiveness of your content strategy.
The secret to optimizing your SEO content is selecting the right tools to help you identify, access, and use the data required to both evaluate your opportunities and understand the context within which your content strategy will be carried out.
Each of the tools featured in our top picks has its own strengths in driving optimization, and your own circumstances will help you identify the right combination.
This article was co-authored by my fellow Merkleite Angela Petulla. She is a Sr. Specialist at Merkle and has been in the search industry for two years.
All screenshots taken by author, June 2023
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