ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – A boatload of 75 early risers headed out on the North Atlantic off Newfoundland to be among the first to welcome Canada Day as dawn broke over the country’s eastern edge.Rain and low clouds blocked the sunrise over the flashing lighthouse at Cape Spear but that didn’t bother the flag-waving crowd.They cheered and danced to music onboard the Iceberg Quest vessel Capo de Espera as they celebrated Canada’s 150th birthday.“There’s no sun but there is plenty of mist and rain and cold, which kind of makes it a pretty extraordinary experience,” said Craig Simons. He and his wife, Jennifer, moved to St. John’s a year ago from Houston.“It has been a wonderful experience for us and the kids. It’s nice to see how much Canadians love their country.”The early-morning tour was especially moving for Gerry Cantwell who’s descended from five generations of lighthouse keepers at Cape Spear.He said it’s a day of reflection and gratitude for the men and women who have helped protect Canadian rights and freedoms.Canada Day starts in the province each year on a sombre note with services to remember how the Newfoundland Regiment was decimated July 1, 1916.Of 801 troops who went over the top at Beaumont-Hamel as the Somme campaign began during the First World War, just 68 answered roll call the next day. Families across Newfoundland were stricken with grief and shock.“We’re very fortunate to live in a country with the freedoms that we have and, on July 1, to remember the people who gave us our freedom,” Cantwell said.Kellie Loder of St. John’s sang “O Canada” as the vessel pulled in front of Cape Spear. There was a moment of silence after to remember those who have fought and died in battle over the last 150 years.Loder said as the boat passed through the Narrows from the St. John’s harbour, she thought of those who once sailed the same route not knowing if they’d ever make it home.“I think it’s definitely more than a party,” she said of Canada Day. “It’s more than the festivities and the excitement.“It’s about appreciating what was done before and is still being done around the world.”Capt. Barry Rogers of Iceberg Quest stood in the wheel house after the vessel docked and smiled like a man who knows his own good fortune.“To all you Canadians out there, stand proud. We’ve got a great country and a great province,” he said. “Newfoundland and Labrador is probably — not probably — it is the best place to live in the world. No question.”Follow @suebailey on Twitter.
US President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s policies “created ISIS”, leading Republican presidential aspirant Donald Trump has alleged.Trump, while speaking at a campaign stop in Biloxi, Mississippi, offered no evidence for his claim in which he also said that escalating tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia were signs that the Islamic Republic wanted to take over the longtime US ally in the Middle East.“They’ve created ISIS. Hillary Clinton created ISIS with Obama,” Trump said on Saturday. Also Read – Nine hurt in accident at fireworks show in French resortHe couched his remark in a brief discussion of the Iranian protests outside the Saudi embassy in Tehran, which erupted after Saudi Arabia executed 47 people, including a dissident Shiite cleric.“In Tehran, they’re burning down the Saudi embassy, you see that?” Trump was quoted as saying by CNN. “Now, what that is…Iran wants to take over Saudi Arabia. They always have. They want the oil, OK? They’ve always wanted that.” Trump has blamed both Democrats and former President George W Bush when talking about unrest in the Middle East, particularly citing Bush’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003. Also Read – Pakistan Army ‘fully prepared’ to face any challenge: Army spokesmanIn the recent weeks, he has been particularly aggressive in going after Clinton, the Democratic presidential front-runner, and her record leading the State Department.Two of Trump’s 2016 competitors, Carly Fiorina and Rick Santorum, said in November that Clinton and Obama were to blame for the rise of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Trump and Clinton have been involved in a war of words in recent weeks. Clinton had slammed Trump’s recent comments about banning Muslim immigrants, saying the Republican front-runner was “becoming ISIS’s best recruiter. He is becoming ISIS’s best recruiter. They are going to people showing videos of Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists,” she had said. Trump dismissed Clinton’s assertion that the Islamic State was using his videos as a recruitment tool saying she is “a liar” and “made up” the claim.
September 19, 2016 7 min read Everyone and their great-grandmother has heard of the internet. It’s lowered the barrier to entry for entrepreneurs worldwide. It’s also leveled the playing field where your target audience can be global rather than regional. But some entrepreneurs still don’t want to pick up web skills. And if you’re on the business/marketing side of things, I can understand why.But remember, you don’t need to be writing algorithms for Google to be tech savvy. I’ll cover a few topics worth studying that will expand your horizons and improve your online presence without the need to become a master coder.Split testing and conversions.It’s crucial to understand A/B testing for conversions. This is naturally important for ecommerce websites but also for any business site where you want visitors to perform certain tasks.Take a law firm, for example. They want to encourage visitors to setup a free consultation. You can run split test campaigns to see which colors, written copy or layout designs work best to drive more people to setup an appointment. You can even do this for free with Google. There’s no right or wrong answer because A/B tests rely on several factors like audience and conversion goals.Related: Conversion Rate Optimization: From a Luxury to a Necessity in 2016If you can understand the importance of case studies, you’ll be well-equipped to put them into action and make the necessary changes to improve conversion rates. Try reading some case studies to learn what has worked for others. You can always try changing a few different elements on your own site to see how visitors react. Here’s a small list of ideas to get you started:Color contrastChange button/link copyIncrease font sizeIncrease white spaceClarify the page title/headlineAdd quotes & reviewsManaging a blog.Just the idea of a blog might put off most non-technical entrepreneurs. But there’s a lot of value in content marketing if you learn to do it right.The first step is creating a blog. There are plenty of detailed setup guides you can follow to get a new WordPress blog up and running without much effort. In fact, once you understand the setup process, you can have a new blog online within 30 minutes.You’ll spend most of your time managing the blog and creating content. This is where the entrepreneurial value comes in. If you blog frequently and create valuable content, you’ll slowly rank in Google for certain keywords. And, you are providing information to people who need it.Related: 17 Tips for Entrepreneurs Who BlogThe benefits of content marketing can only be seen by actually doing it. You can read case studies until you’re blue in the face, but you won’t see real growth until you setup your own blog, and give it a try. Check out this beginner’s guide to learn how content marketing works and why every business should run at least a small online blog. More people have access to the internet now than ever before. And many of those people are looking for information that you can provide to build reputable credibility for your business.Tracking metrics.Learn to track the most important visitor metrics through an analytics tool like Google Analytics. It’s completely free, and it’ll help you get a picture of people’s average browsing habits.You have many different options for trackable metrics, including referral traffic, top pages and top search keywords. These are all important because you might stumble onto something novel you didn’t expect to find. For example, if your highest searched keyword is your company’s name, this means you’ve built a recognizable brand that people know by name.Another example can be landing page metrics where you have a specific goal like increasing email signups or increasing sales. The obvious metric to track is a conversion funnel from the landing page to the completed conversion. But also consider metrics like time on page and bounce rate.Related Book: Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Website, 3rd Edition by Jon RognerudThe key is learning which metrics to track and what they mean. I recommend this guide if you want to get started with landing page metrics. Unfortunately it’s hard to understand these concepts in theory. You really need to toy around to understand what these metrics mean and how they can affect your creative decisions. The good news is that it’s super easy — and free — to get started, and once you get moving you’ll learn a lot very quickly.Two free tools you must have for analytics tracking — Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools.Basic coding for troubleshooting.I don’t believe that every entrepreneur should understand how to write web apps from scratch. But any entrepreneur in the modern age should understand the importance of the internet and websites. Internet product sales are not slowing down. In fact we saw a 15 percent increase in online sales over 2014 and another 14 percent increase in 2015. It’s also predicted that online sales will reach half a billion dollars annually by 2020.More customers are transitioning online, and this trend simply cannot be overlooked. Whether you actually sell items online or not, it’s still vital to have an online presence for your business.If you don’t know anything about web hosting, domains or basic coding, then you’ll be at the whim of a tech-savvy webmaster or creative agency for every step of the process. This can be very costly. But you can save a lot by understanding some basic techniques.Related: 5 Game-Changing Skills Every Young Entrepreneur Can MasterSo what should you actually learn? Here are my suggestions:The basics of HTTP/DNS and how web hosting works — or at least enough knowledge to pay for hosting and get your site onlineThe basics of WordPress installation and configurationIf you plan to sell items online, you should learn the fundamentals of SSL certsIf you want to customize the design of your site, you’ll also want to learn rudimentary HTML/CSSThe goal isn’t to be your own server administrator or your own web developer. But you should know enough to fix basic problems, or at least guide someone else towards fixing the problem for you.Small issues on your site may only require changing one line of code or installing a free WordPress plugin. If you know how to do this yourself, you’ll have a much easier time managing your online presence without heavy reliance on a freelancer or agency. In fact, that’s exactly the goal of everything mentioned in this article. The more you understand about business on the internet, the easier it’ll be for you to conduct your business digitally. With so many consumers already online, this skillset is a huge asset in the modern age.Related Offer: Get a 10-day free trial with Lynda.com and learn new skills through video tutorials Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Register Now »