Key steps to improving your online research
In most cases, just about everything you want or need to find out about requires a certain amount of research. The internet makes things a lot easier of course, but how do you know that the information you are being given is entirely credible? Let's take a look at some ways of improving your online research to make sure you are getting the most accurate information.
Most people would immediately think of heading to a well-known search engine, such as Google, for their online research. In fact, you don't even need to lift a finger in most cases; simply uttering a few keyword phrases at the Google Assistant will summon up the results you're after. While Google is a great place to start, a better approach is to use different search engines, and 3 -5 keyword combinations.
But there are also other sources that are just as quick and reliable. Social media searches on sites like Facebook and Twitter are a great way to find solid sources of information. You can easily discover an expert in your chosen field who may run a website or blog that's totally devoted to your research subject, and provide you with useful info that's backed up with solid facts and stats.
If you want the lowdown on a business you may be interested in, you're quite likely to find all you need on LinkedIn. Nicknamed the 'Facebook for business' it's a fertile ground for business related research and it has remained the most business-orientated of all the social networks for many years. It's the ideal platform for those looking to network for jobs and careers in more traditional roles as well as for freelancers looking for contracts or potential new clients.
Your online research results can present themselves in various different formats, including blogs, forums, business networks, photo-sharing platforms, micro-blogs, as well as pages on the major social networks. The number of worldwide social network users is expected to reach some 2.95 billion by 2020. That is a lot of useful information circulating the planet, right there!
Is it from a credible source?
Of course, you may not have the time to learn every tiny detail about your subject, but you will want to make sure that your research is accurate. You can only do this via some fact-checking actions. Checking out the credentials of any industry experts is the first thing to do when reading their website or blog. You probably wouldn't accept the advice of an unqualified doctor on a serious medical matter, so always check the background of the advice giver to make sure they are genuine and credible.
If your research needs credible, government backed facts and figures, then you can check the statistics being quoted online through official sources, such as the Office for National Statistics (https://www.ons.gov.uk/) which is the recognised national statistical institute of the UK.
Equally important is checking that the information you've found is up to date, and has its own domain name e.g. gov.co.uk. Be wary too of any personal pages or commercial pages that have an amateurish appearance, contain a lot of grammatical errors, or that otherwise indicate the author is not a serious resource.
When in doubt, find out
If you are unsure about your research, always try to verify it with an expert. Double-checking with an authority in your research field is by far the best way to get the right information, and it could save you a lot of time and effort.
Of course, we appreciate that you may just not have the time available to carry out online research yourself, in which case why not hand it over to a fivesquid freelancer. From only £5, you can find a seller who'll do anything from in-depth academic research, to keyword research for your business and more.