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Common Car Scams and How to Avoid Them

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

Buying or selling a car is a big transaction—so scammers and thieves have come up with elaborate ways to exploit the process. Here are some of the most common schemes and techniques to watch out for, and the best ways to protect yourself.

Title washing

You may have heard the phrase “clean title” when referring to buying a used car. It’s a good thing—by clean, it means the car doesn’t have a “salvage title,” which in most states has a stamp indicating salvage status.

A salvage title means a car has been deemed a total loss, due to severe damage from a wreck, flood, or other massive damage.

Title “washing” removes the “salvage” stamp on the title by transferring the title to a state that doesn’t recognize the salvage status. (States differ on their definition of things like “total loss,” and the dollar amount that constitutes salvage status—which provides a loophole that can be exploited.)

How to avoid it:

It’s important to always make sure you know who you’re dealing with—confirm it’s a reputable dealer. (If you’re buying directly from an individual seller, it’s a little harder to know. But making sure the name on the title matches the name on their ID is a good start.)

Get a title report from a reputable company like CARFAX. Regardless of how the paper title has been manipulated, or which states the car has been titled in, a CARFAX report contains the car’s complete history, documenting any major damage.

Complicated situations/stories

This category is broad, and there are a lot of ways it can manifest. If you’re selling your car, maybe there’s someone from another state who wants to buy it—often right away, without asking many (or any questions), and usually at full asking price. Think about that:

  1. If you were buying a car without seeing it in person, you’d probably ask a lot of questions first, right? And likely have it inspected by a third party local to the car/seller.
  2. Why is someone from far away trying to buy your car? Unless it’s something extremely rare, a legitimate buyer should—and most likely would—buy somewhere closer to them, where they can see and drive the car first.
  3. Would  you just pay full asking price, without making an offer or asking if the seller had any flexibility on price?

These scams often include a complicated story; the scammer might volunteer a detailed explanation of why they’re buying the car at a distance, and why they need to pay via Western Union, or a reason they need to overpay and then have you give them the extra amount back in cash.

Often they’ll say they’re buying the car for someone else—their son who’s deployed overseas, for example—as a gift. It’s a surprise, so that person can’t know. But someone will come pick up the car from you, to give to them.

How to avoid it:

Simply offer your car for sale to local buyers only. If someone from out of the area contacts you, let them know that they’ll need to come see the car in person, and if they buy it they’ll need to conduct the transaction in person. Also follow payment guidelines in the next section.

Fraudulent or counterfeit payment or outright theft of your car

This is always a tough call; when you’re selling your car on your own, on Craigslist or any classified site, and you’re meeting a totally unknown buyer, you’re always taking a risk. You simply don’t know who you’re dealing with. They might pay you with a falsified bank check or counterfeit cash. Or, they might flat out steal the car, while test driving it.

How to avoid it:

There’s no 100% certain way to protect yourself, but here are some things to do and think about to minimize your risk:

Only allow a test drive if someone seems very serious about buying your car. It’s up to you to decide whether you want to go with them on the test drive. There are pros and cons—they could damage the car and you wouldn’t necessarily know it right away. Or, they could take off and never return. But for your own safety, it’s probably best not to go on a test drive with a stranger.

In either case, ask to see proof of insurance, and their license before they drive your car. (You also might want to take a picture of both, with your phone.) If you don’t go on the test drive, ask to hold their car keys while they’re on the test drive.

If someone wants to buy your car, insist on going, together, to their bank to get a bank check (preferably) or cash. Do not accept any type of certified check or cash unless you’ve actually seen them withdraw it at their bank. A bank check is obviously safest, as technically they could steal the cash from you after you leave the bank.

Always keep the title on you (not in the car), and don’t produce it until they’ve paid you.

Once the buyer has paid you, the safest thing to do is to go to the DMV or AAA (if you or they are a member) to complete the sale and title transfer. In most states, you don’t need to both go, and usually you have a few days after the sale in which to do this, but the safest way is to go together and do it before you hand over the keys. (A legitimate buyer should welcome this, as it protects them, too.)

Safety first: protect yourself above all else

Ultimately, remember that it’s just a car—whether you’re buying or selling, don’t put yourself at risk unnecessarily. The safest ways to sell a car is to trade in to a dealer (this is convenient, but you’ll end up getting less money for your car, as dealers have a lot of overhead to cover), or to work with a service like TRED, which takes away the risky parts of selling your car, while still allowing you to get the best price. (Those are also the safest ways to buy a car, for the same reason!)


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Grant Feek is the founder of TRED. He started TRED on a simple premise: it should be easy to buy and sell cars. He’s had the fortune of incubating TRED at General Assembly in New York and TechStars in Seattle. Prior to TRED, Grant worked in private equity and automotives at Lehman Brothers, Lowe Enterprises and BMW.

The post Common Car Scams and How to Avoid Them appeared first on SiteProNews.

Top 6 Best Video Animation Makers to Create Free Animations

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

Even a short time ago, making video animations was a very costly venture for small businesses, start-ups, etc. Thanks to the advancement in animation technology, now anyone with little to no animation knowledge can create high-quality and straightforward animated videos for their target audience. These animation creation tools help make the work easier and give you hands-on experience in creating excellent videos for your business, page, customers, or clients.

The graph above shows how conversion rates change from animation to animation and demonstrate the power of animation for your website, video presentation, or any other platforms.

Now, we are going to talk about the free tools that can help you create awesome animations without paying a chunk of money to a professional animation service. 

1. Moovly 

Moovly dominates the list of top animation creation tools hands down. This animation software comes with more than 1 million media assets  ( including sound effects, music, photos, motion graphics, etc.)  and the best part is that it is all royalty-free. Moovly offers a massive selection of features that allows you to customize any video without any hassles. All you need to do is change the template before you begin the animation. The built-in tools kit that comes with Moovly makes the animation process convenient, and, in addition, allows you to integrate Shutterstock. Moovly’s user-friendly interface makes it comfortable for beginners to become familiar with the available tools so that they can create an excellent video.

Pros: 

  • 30 day free trial time without providing credit card information. 
  • Popular types of  animations such as whiteboard, GIF, etc. are all supported.

Cons: 

  • There’s no download policy on videos made.
  • Free videos come with a watermark. 

2. Powtoon

This is a perfect animation tool for people who want to get creative. Powtoon is cloud-based and packed with many helpful features that make the animation creation process easier and allow you to make awesome animations.

The best part of using this animation tool is that you don’t need to have any prior knowledge of animation or designing. Powtoon is integrated with top sites and content creators so that you can get your hands on an extensive collection of media files which are free of cost. 

Pros: 

  • You can create both videos and GIFs.
  • Supports the MP4 format.

Cons: 

  • Free users have a 100mb storage limit. 
  • The free version has a 3 minute video limit. 

3. Make A GIF 

A very comprehensive GIF maker. When it comes to making GIFs, Make A GIF gives you some excellent options. You can create GIFs from YouTube videos, Screenshots, uploaded photos, and premade GIFs. 

It is also a free image hosting website, so once your GIF has been completed, you can link it directly to the Make A GIF gallery. 

Make A GIF offers a Premium Membership Plan for $11.95, but does provide a 3 day free trial. The premium membership plan provides –

  • High definition GIFs
  • Personalized watermark
  • Ultrafast editing/uploading 
  • The option to add social links 
  • An advertisement-free platform, and many other features

Pros: 

  • Allows you to create GIFs from your webcam 
  • Link directly to the gallery

Cons: 

  • The Premium Membership plan is not available without providing credit card details 

4. Animaker

Animaker makes animation creation a cakewalk. Features such as premade presentation templates allow you to add text to each of your slides. With this tool, you can create HD quality videos as well as 2D videos, do Whiteboard animation, animate images, etc. The interactive interface makes it easy for you to work with different animation graphic and web designing tools.

 Pros: 

  • Supports direct voice recording. 
  • Allows you to upload videos to YouTube and FaceBook directly 

Cons: 

  • The free version only allows you to make 2 minute videos 
  • The free version  only allows the export of five videos in a month 

5. Renderforest

If you are looking for a comprehensive animation video-making platform for creating slideshows, logo animations, and business explainers, Renderforest is a good choice. This platform is entirely free of cost and allows users to create unlimited high-quality videos to promote their business and products in a very professional and engaging manner.

Pros: 

  • Offers videos in HD resolution for professional users 
  • The software can be accessed anywhere and is easy to use and download

Cons: 

  • Videos are watermarked in the free version
  • The free version only allows for 3 minute videos  

6. Pencil 2D

Pencil 2D is one of the best programs for 2D hand-drawn animation videos. It works efficiently on Mac computers and is ideal for the beginner because the commands and interface are very easy to understand. Whether you want to create a simple animation or something exclusive with multiple layers, Pencil 2D is the ideal software to use. 

Pros: 

The software allows you to start with the basics like sketching character designs but you can work up to full-length videos from there. 

Cons: 

The program allows you to export images but doesn’t allow exported videos, so you will need another software to convert those images into a video. 

Any of the six excellent animation sites mentioned above can help you make and customize animations which can be saved and shared with your clients, family, friends, etc.


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Payal is a Content Consultant at Enuke Software, a pioneering Blockchain and Mobile App Development Company in the USA. Payal is passionate about the start-up ecosystem, Crypto world, entrepreneurship, latest tech innovations, and all that makes this digital world.

The post Top 6 Best Video Animation Makers to Create Free Animations appeared first on SiteProNews.

Importance of Graphic Design in Business Marketing

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

Ever watched a cooking show and noticed how much effort chefs put into presentation once the dish is ready?

You enter a supermarket selling different products from different brands. Yet every product will have different packaging. 

You go to a restaurant and ask for a menu card to order items of your choice. Every restaurant will have a different menu card even though the items may be the same.

Ever wondered why??

You guessed it right. It all comes down to Design. Because graphic designs determine how you perceive a product. Marketing and psychology go hand in hand.  Graphic Designing helps you feel a certain way or evokes certain responses.

Graphic design for businesses is in effect a visual representation of what the business is all about, what it stands for etc. It is a form of visual communication that communicates an idea, sells a product or persuades a customer to take the necessary action. 

How does this communication take place?

Through graphic design elements like logos, flyers, ads, brochures, websites etc. that act as a point of contact between the audience and the business. 

To put it simply, graphic design helps build a corporate or brand identity. Graphic design boosts your branding.

You have probably heard of the terms ‘brand’, ‘brand identity’, ‘branding’ etc. and have probably even confused them with each other.

Let’s dig a little deeper and understand what these terms mean.

According to 99designs, 

‘Brand’ is the perception of the company name in the eyes of the world. For example, people associate Nike and Adidas with sports and athletics and therefore they are popular as sports brands.

‘Branding’ is the process of actively creating that perception in the minds of the people. For instance, when BMW initially started marketing, it focused on the elite and the premium class as its target market and therefore gradually came to be associated as the luxury car brand.

‘Brand Identity’ is the collection of all the elements the company uses to convey the right image of itself to the consumer, for example:- Logo, Flyers, Brochures, Website etc.

Okay, let’s take a short test!

Think of computers. What is the first name that comes to your mind?

90% of the time it’s Apple.

Think of a luxury car. What are some of the names that spring to mind?

Audi and BMW, I bet!

Sports wear? 

Nike and Adidas.

Want to Photocopy documents? The first name that comes to mind…?

Xerox!

These names are ‘Brands’ and how people have come to think of it is ‘Branding’. For instance, the thought of BMW when one thinks of luxury cars.

These are names that have built a strong brand identity that people associate with. There’s no magic formula that they accidentally stumbled upon.  It’s the result of years of hard work conveying the right message with the product. 

Imagine that you meet a person for the first time. You get an impression about the person at first glance. You describe him by the way he looks, the clothes he is wearing, his physique etc. All this information defines his personality without even knowing his name or his profession!

It’s the same for businesses. General impressions about your product/brand are driven by different aspects like Logo, website, Flyers, Brochures, product packaging etc.  A positive impression is when consumers remember your product long after they have consumed it.  Good brands are memorable.

But what makes a good brand?

Of course, product and customer services matters, but what is it that creates the first impression?  And you don’t need me to tell you that first impressions are often the last!

A good design is what matters here along with everything else.  Not that you can justify a poor product with an excellent design and packaging but nevertheless….

1. Good Design Keeps Your Brand Memorable

When we talk of graphic designing what we mean here is everything that represents your business or brand i.e. company logo, product packaging, advertisements etc. All these elements combined make a good brand. Unique concept, choice of colors to represent your brand, layout, content of your marketing material like flyers, brochure etc, everything has an impact.

2. Product Packaging can alter Perception

A classic example of this is a cooking show. If you’ve ever watched a cooking show you probably remember that chefs put a lot of effort into presentation once the dish is ready.  There’s an old adage that says “You eat with your eyes”. The same is true for products too. The product packaging should be such that it makes the consumers want it simply by looking at it. The choice of colors, the message, package design etc. should be in accordance with the message that you want your product to convey. If you are marketing a premium chocolate bar, the package should be such that it conveys a sense of luxury, colors like black, brown, golden etc. would work.

3. A Good Design Makes Your Content User-Friendly 

You give out product information through ads, flyers, newsletters, company website etc. Simple design, clear layout and a good UI plays a major role in determining whether or not your users consume the information that you present. Keep your content short and crisp and your layout simple so your content is easy to skim through.  

A design with too many images or text or small fonts will make your content appear cluttered and difficult to read at a glance so the user will likely ignore it or trash it. Your design should be such that the content can be read at a glance especially for online customers.

4. A Good Design makes a Good First Impression

Now this is a no-brainer. When you stroll through lines of shelves in the supermarket or browse through an online catalog, you encounter hundreds and thousands of products and brands vying for your attention. Which product catches your attention? That’s right- a product with attractive packaging. Of course you may change your mind later but a good design is what catches your attention first and creates a good first impression. 

Customer attention is roughly 50 seconds which is the time a brand has to capture interest. So, it’s important that your product packaging is attractive and conveys the right message to the right audience.

5. Design is not just about good looks

A lot of people tend to think that design is just about how a product or a particular document or online website looks. Well…let me tell you, you couldn’t be more wrong! There is more to design than just that. It’s about what the product or brand in its entirety tries to convey. 

More than looks it’s about how the product/brand communicates to the audience. A designer’s job is not just to make your flyer; document, logo, and ad look good. A good designer takes into account your brand persona, what your company is all about, your content etc. They decide how to present your content so as to leave maximum impact on minds of the audience.

6. Helps Your Content Shine

The whole purpose of graphics is to make content stand out with the help of some design. A good graphic designer will make every effort to make your content understandable clearly and effectively. In fact the graphic design should be so good that the customer’s attention goes straight to the content and not to the design, colors etc. 

7. Enhance visibility of your Campaigns

Digital media is a crowded space these days with thousands of companies competing for attention. There are hundreds of campaigns running and the only way to make yours stand out is with the help of creative, unique and stunning graphics. 

What we mean here is not just the images but rather all the elements combined that make up a campaign viz. the ad creative – the theme, ad copy (text), headline etc. People are more likely to click on ads that they find attractive to the eye, assuming a relevant product/service and the right message.

8. Drives Conversions and Increases ROI 

As stated previously, graphic designing is not just about images and looks, it’s the combination of content and design. Graphics is everywhere in business. Website, ad campaigns, flyers, brochures, restaurant menus, product packaging etc. – all are products design.  

A good website does not just look good but also has easy navigation and a great UI. People will only click on ads that attract their eye and capture their mind with the right message. 

Small children will only gravitate towards certain boxes of cereals or biscuits because they are attracted by the packaging. Similarly flyers, brochures, menus all serve to tantalize the customer’s senses and urge them to take the desired action. This drives conversions, sales and therefore ROI.

Wrapping it up….

Graphics are everywhere in business. You drive down a highway and you see large hoardings or billboards on the side of the road. You receive something by post and you see a postage stamp at the corner of the envelope. 

Graphic design is everywhere. It’s an essential ingredient for establishing your presence in the market.

Graphics are an inherent part of your business. It is what differentiates your brand from countless other businesses in the market. It tells the audience what your business is and what they can expect from you. 

If you want your audience to remember you in a good way, you’ve got to make a strong impression. And how do you do that? You guessed it – a strong brand identity. Create attractive designs that effectively portray your business to your customers.


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Anupam Rajey is a seasoned marketer and a sales expert. He is the CEO of Acelerar Tech, a leading KPO that offers virtual assistant services for social media, Internet research, email & chat support, and more.

The post Importance of Graphic Design in Business Marketing appeared first on SiteProNews.

The World of Affiliate Websites for Asset Building and Passive Income Investments

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

Affiliate sites are easily one of the most profitable online businesses you can have.

Once they’re up and running they can make money passively and are highly scalable, which is the ultimate goal for most website owners.

What is an affiliate site?

An affiliate site is basically a content site, or blog.

The primary goal is to build traffic, then drive sales to partner websites. If readers click your affiliate link and make a purchase, you make a commission on that sale. Commission rates can range anywhere from 5 to 15% for physical products all the way to 50% or higher for digital products.

The biggest partner that affiliate sites go with is Amazon, the reason being that you are exposed to a huge network of buyers, as well as many different options for what you can promote. But there are many other options besides Amazon. Some industries will have more options than others.

Given that your model is simply promoting other people’s products, affiliate sites are one of the simplest business models in the world and can be scaled to a multi-million dollar business.

You can think of owning an affiliate site like owning real estate. They’re pieces of property that you can buy and sell. Only, it’s purely digital on the internet.

And people love buying them because they make money passively, are easy to manage, and are highly scalable.

How much are they worth?

Affiliate sites have the potential to make you money passively. Because of this, a lot of people prefer hanging onto them as a stream of income rather than selling them once they become profitable.

But if you do decide to sell yours, it could be sold for 30-35x its monthly earnings. Sometimes the multiple can even go 40+. 

30-35+ is the standard amount, but other assets that come along with the sale like Facebook pages, email lists, or other valuable social media accounts can drive the valuation higher. 

Other factors that can drive up the valuation is having a strong link profile. This is the holy grail for any content site, and if you’ve got strong links from authoritative sites, it will make your site worth a lot more. 

Showing growth month over month can also make it more valuable to buyers. It demonstrates that you’ve been putting effort into it, and it’s proven to have steady traffic/income flow. 

So how much can I make?

Let’s say your affiliate site is earning $1,000/month. This usually means that it’s worth 30k-35k. 

Here is a valuation tool to see how much your website is worth. 

Buying undervalued websites and flipping them

In the last few years, we’ve seen a significant market change with the selling of affiliate sites. People are building better sites, there are more buyers, and more business models, resulting in more money in the market. The sales prices are essentially skyrocketing. 

A few years ago, the average valuation of sites was at 20x monthly revenue. Since then, it’s moved to 30x, and now it’s nearing 40x. 

That means sites are being seen as higher quality assets and people are willing to pay a higher price for them. 

And if you’re experienced, buying and flipping sites could be an extremely profitable venture for you to get into. For example, you could buy a site that makes $500/month for $15,000, grow it to $3,000/month over a year, then sell it for $90,000. 

Although it takes some time, if you can do this for 3 sites, that would mean a profit of $270,000, when you only had to spend $45,000. Plus, there’s the income you would generate from the site while it’s under your possession.

Spencer Haws from Niche Pursuits is one of the biggest publicly-known affiliate site flippers. He wrote an extensive article filled with good advice. 

Building new sites from scratch

When starting an affiliate site, most people opt to build their sites from scratch. This has minimal upfront costs as you only need to pay for your domain name and hosting. 

For your content, you can choose to write it all yourself or outsource them to writers. But it’s doable to write 2-3 articles per week, which is plenty of new content for your site.

However, starting from scratch takes a long time. And there’s quite a bit that goes into the research and building phase. This also means it will take longer to start seeing profits. 

Having said that, more and more people these days are purchasing done-for-you sites as a launching ground.

These services will do the entire niche and keyword research process, build it and deliver it to you along with all the essential tools that you need to run it. It even comes with a few initial pages of content to get you started in the right direction. The amount of time this saves can make it well worth the cost.

Not to mention that you’re ensured to get the research and planning done correctly, which many beginners fail at.

A great source for passive income

Affiliate sites are one of the simplest business models in the world – build traffic, put in affiliate links, and make commissions. It doesn’t get any simpler than that. You essentially could build it once, not touch it for a year and still be making money from it.

And there are many monetization strategies you can choose to use with content sites. But affiliate sites are particularly attractive because they require the least maintenance. You don’t need to offer any kind of customer support since the product owner provides that. 

You also don’t need to ship customers any products, since vendors like Amazon will do that for you. 

It’s also extremely portable. Since you don’t need to be around to ship products, you can work on it from anywhere in the world as long as you have a good wifi connection. 

Conclusion

Hopefully, this article has given you a taste of what affiliate sites are all about, and how much you could make from selling one.

It’s a great side hobby to start off with, as it doesn’t require your divided attention. In fact, you could work on it on the side for a year and still have it grow, as long as you do put a little effort into it. Then, once it’s making money, you can either decide to sell it or hold on to it for extra income.


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Spencer Haws from Niche Pursuits is one of the biggest publicly-known affiliate site flippers. He wrote an extensive article filled with good advice.

The post The World of Affiliate Websites for Asset Building and Passive Income Investments appeared first on SiteProNews.

Search engine results: The ten year evolution

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

The search landscape has always been one that is evolving. Right now the big discussion is around Google’s control on how much search traffic goes to publishers vs. stays on Google.com.

This might end up being a really big point for Google when it comes down to challenging the long-held point of view that competition is just one click away.

Over the past ten years that I’ve been writing for this publication, I’ve written an article each year where I review how paid and organic search can work together, and how brands appear in search listings. This article over the past few years has started to evolve into how Google has changed the search page. These changes include the inclusion of more paid search results, shopping, and local listings. As you will see from the data there is certainly a trend that is fueled by both Google’s growth objectives as a publicly-traded company, as well as consumer behavior shifts (that are, mobile and local).

The first piece is the overlap of paid and organic listings. What I’m tracking here is the number of times a brand appears in both paid and organic search results as a percentage of total paid results. For example, if there are three paid search ads, and GEICO, Progressive and Liberty Mutual all appear in both the paid and organic listings that would score 100%. I’ve been tracking five verticals since 2010. What’s really interesting is over the past few years the amount of overlap has gone up on average. However, this year the overlap dropped by 44% year over year. This had a lot to do with the drops across financial services, travel, and technology.

industry-wise paid and organic listings

Source: Google Search Data

Factors driving this change

I think this trend is driven by two factors:

  1. Increasing competition & costs – CPCs (cost per clicks) were up by five percent between Q4 2018 and Q1 2019
  2.  Rise of other areas of optimization – Local Listings/Maps/Google My Business and Shopping. These additional areas have provided both a distraction and a release valve for additional traffic, and higher ROI.

graph showing the sources driving change YoY

Source: Google Search Data

So what has been happening to the other areas of optimization, especially local and shopping? I have also been tracking these areas over the last three years. The change is exactly what you would have expected. Over the past three years, the percent of search terms that have local listings has increased more than three times, from 11% in 2017 to 38% in 2019. Retail continues to have 100% of listings with the map pack. This validates the importance to both Google, brands, and consumers of having a local presence. Also gives additional credence to optimizing and cleansing your location data, not just on Google, but across the web.

graph showing industry-wise growth of shopping ads YoY

Source: Google Search Data

Shopping ads have come on in a big way

Shopping ads have also continued to have a strong presence and have grown slightly. They are up from 43% in 2017 to 47% in 2019. Shopping ads provide a more visual experience for the consumer, and some very strong conversion rates for brands. Google has also been continuing to evolve their shopping product announcing a redesigned shopping experience in May. This included new ad formats, online to in-store options, and Smart Campaigns (which help encourage SMBs to get into the game). All these changes and enhancements demonstrate a commitment to the product and the value to both consumers and brands.

What should you be doing as a search marketer?

So what is the impact of this data to us as search marketers? I think there are two key takeaways:

  1. Search is more than just keyword listings and optimizing your website. Yes, SEO and paid search are critical, but extending beyond that is also very important. Optimizing your product feed, and local listings are very important to success. You must think about how you are there for your consumers regardless of what they are trying to do, buy, visit, or call.
  2. Having a winning strategy for critical search terms is important. You might not be able to afford top placement for paid search, or technical issues might be preventing you from having the top organic listing. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to have a presence for those terms over the long term. These could be choosing specific times of the day, or including schema markup for event listings. Whatever the case may be, there are now more ways than ever to be found, and having a very thoughtful strategy for your brand is key.

The search engine results page will continue to evolve as consumer behavior and technology evolves. Think about the continued expectations of online to offline buying behavior, real-time inventory, or the impact 5G will have on the marketplace. Remind yourself to take a look around at a macro-level to see the trends vs. always focusing on detailed keyword level optimizations. You will often find some great trends to help put your strategy in context.

P.S. Special thanks to Audrey Goodrick who helped pull together this data. Thank you for your help this summer Audrey.

The post Search engine results: The ten year evolution appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

9 Web Design Tips that Complement Your On-Page SEO

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

Maintaining relevance with your product market is one of the biggest challenges e-commerce businesses face today. Since Google moderates this relevance, it has become crucial to identify which niche your business belongs to so search engines such as Google can channel the appropriate searcher to your web pages. While many SEO practices can help online merchants increase their relevance and improve their SEO score, without proper web design optimization it remains incomplete. In this article, we take the opportunity of revealing 9 web design tips that can help you boost your on-page SEO, without compromising your style or creativity. 

Maintaining relevance with your product market is one of the biggest challenges e-commerce businesses face today. Since Google moderates this relevance, it has become crucial to identify which niche your business belongs to so search engines such as Google can channel the appropriate searcher to your web pages. While many SEO practices can help online merchants increase their relevance and improve their SEO score, without proper web design optimization it remains incomplete. In this article, we take the opportunity of revealing 9 web design tips that can help you boost your on-page SEO, without compromising your style or creativity. 

1. Adding a Blog 

Getting ranked without creating a blog on your website is about impossible nowadays. Search engines are always on the lookout for fresh, trending content to keep audiences supplied with new topics and informative write-ups. Moreover, by creating a blog section, you start complementing your onsite SEO through internal linking. You can create a weekly or monthly content calendar and post resourceful articles on trending topics about your business niche. Each time you target a product or service you sell, you can anchor any product page that needs more attention than others. This gives a major SEO advantage to your website and the interactivity of the content further adds value to your brand. 

2. Site Navigation 

Site navigation is a key determinant in generating positive user experience. But more importantly, it determines if your website is on par with Google’s ranking standards or not. For instance, using Flash navigation does not sit well with web crawlers, especially if you do not know how to make flash objects web-crawler-friendly and accessible. Search engine bots take time when crawling websites that use Flash and hence it is not recommended. Instead, you can use CSS and JavaScript that is completely SEO friendly and can give almost every fancy effect you would have from flash without doing a number on your rankings. Also, make sure your Java or CSS script is externalized when your website is being coded. This can prevent the addition of several lines of code to the HTML document which can lead to slower performance of your website. 

3. Headings on Webpages 

Headings are an essential part of web design and serve as a roadmap to your website. They are also some of the key elements search engine bots use to crawl your website and determine relevant content. A proper heading used with logical hierarchy helps organize the content structure and allows the reader to find destination content faster and scan the rest of the text more efficiently. This gives the visitor a more refined UX while leveraging your on-site SEO. 

You can start by using the h1 tag once on each web page so your visitors can understand the main goal of your page while crawlers can index your website accurately in the respective categories. The positioning of H1 Tags should be above the fold and contain at least one keyword. Headers such as h2 and h6 can help organize the rest of the content, giving it a frame to hold all the information in the relevant form. As long as you are not using headers for stylistic reasons, you can use as many as you like. 

4. Tracking with Google Analytics 

Google analytics is one of the many free options you get from Google. It is a free analytics tool that helps you remain informed about each page of your website and how it is performing on Google’s search engine. It comes with several useful features to keep tabs on your web pages. You can use Goals Tracking, Event Tracking, find bounce rates, page retention, engagement level, and traffic sources, etc. This helps show how well you are doing and what needs to be improved by tracking specific trouble sectors on your website. Often many design flaws lead to bad SEO experiences which can easily upset the balance of your traffic and Google rankings. With Google Analytics you can easily identify these shortcomings and build a better web design that welcomes your audience, delivering your content more effectively. 

5. Page Anatomy 

Your page content includes a range of elements such as text, images, CTAs, search bar, navigation buttons and even the empty areas known as white space. Their correct positioning and usage in relation to the principles of the latest web design standards not only decides engagement level but how well it will be received by top search engines such as Google. If your website is neat, informative, interactive and relevant to search intent, then Google will push your ranking up. So, to make your visual hierarchy strong, you must focus on the anatomy of your page. 

6. Meta Descriptions 

Meta descriptions form the core of onsite SEO, giving an overview of the web page and helping web surfers identify which link is suitable for their search entry. <meta> descriptions or tags are a small piece of content that we see beneath every link in the search result pages. They also serve as a key component of the design theme. Write a description that not only tells what your product or service is about, but also entices the user to click on the link. In onsite SEO this is often your best chance of standing out in competition when you have customers that pay close attention to meta descriptions before clicking any result. Make sure to create attractive meta copy that fits in the 160 characters (with spaces) limit and neatly describes what you offer. 

7. Keyword Research 

Keywords play an imperative role in your entire SEO strategy. The crucial first step to getting noticed and found on the web is to target terms that customers use to search for products, services, and businesses such as yours. In online shopping, even the slightest errors can make a big difference. If you’re selling designer wear boots, you don’t want your customers to search for sneakers on google. Similarly, if you’re a company that sells company formation services to investors, you wouldn’t want to be labeled as a real estate agency. The keywords you select decide all this, and therefore every word you insert into your content has to be accurate so that the right prospects end up landing on your pages. 

8. Site Speed

Your site speed plays an important part in your website’s SEO success and serves as one of the benchmarks to great web design. According to the latest survey, a delay as small as 100-milliseconds can drop conversion rates by 7%. Therefore, optimizing your site speed is critical to help you achieve amazing results for your on-site SEO. To check whether your website is performing at optimum speed or not, you can use the free Google Page Speed Insights tool to diagnose faulty areas and get suggestions on how to improve your site speed. 

Here is what we have gathered: 

  • Compress images to reduce file sizes
  • Minimize HTTP requests
  • Use a caching solution
  • Minify CSS, JS files
  • Upgrade hosting
  • Reduce redirects
  • Remove unnecessary plugins to reduce server strain 
  • Enable a CDN
  • Use lazy load for images

9. Sitemap Generation 

A sitemap is a directory that holds all your web page information in logical hierarchal order. Sitemaps have always been a main feature of web design and also provide a vital function in SEO. Search engines use site maps to index websites faster and to stay informed about any changes you make to your website. By creating XML sitemaps, you strengthen your internal linking, improve site navigation, facilitate indexing and boost site visibility. 

Final Words

A good looking website is vital to any online business that seeks success. However, if the website fails to rank on search engines, very few people will ever get to see it. To make sure your website is search-engine friendly with good aesthetic appeal, implement the 9 web design tips noted above to improve your SEO and rank higher on search engines.

 


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Hamza Riaz is an experienced digital marketer at FME extensions, a leading Magento development agencies. He possesses a huge writing experience on technical topics related to web, AI, technology and digital marketing etc. Hamza has served numerous blogs as a guest contributor and You can find him on LinkedIn.

The post 9 Web Design Tips that Complement Your On-Page SEO appeared first on SiteProNews.

What is Email List Hygiene and How it Impacts your Lead Generation Processes

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

As a business, we sometimes do not realize how hard it is and how much effort it takes to be able to collect a list of the right prospects. It is not enough that your company gathers just any list; to successfully create lead generation, as well as avoid unfortunate consequences from getting many spam reports and red flags, it is also just as important to ensure the hygiene of your email list.

What is Email Hygiene?

Of course, the reason for your company’s email campaigns is to garner the most customer engagement. Delivering email successfully is just the first step in the process. Engagement is vastly improved and ensured by regularly ensuring email hygiene. But what is email hygiene?

It is a process by which email addresses are verified, and where invalid ones are removed from your email list. Email hygiene is also known as email scrubbing. Studies found that from 1,000 random email contacts, 4.5% will have become invalid in only less than a month. In addition, other researches on email deliverability showed a 20% failure in emails reaching their intended prospects’ inbox, which instead gets blocked or dumped into the spam folder. You should therefore always strive to keep your email list up to date, accurate, clean, and target consumers you actually want to deliver your message to. 

Maintaining email hygiene may mean removing cold or inactive subscribers from the roster. A warm list contains the addresses of people who are actually interested in your products and messages. In addition, regular email hygiene maintenance will help ensure that your messages avoid being marked by users and email service providers as spam. 

Email hygiene is thus considered to be among the most critical and important components of a successful email marketing campaign. Endeavoring to have a clean and fresh email list should be the first step to ensure that your emails go to your target audience.

The Consequences of a Poor Email List

Maintaining a hygienic email list helps your business personalize your relationships with your target audience, and engages them better because your message resonates with the right people. Today’s email service providers have evolved to regularly introduce tricky and complicated algorithms that are always changing. These security measures determine how email is delivered to the inbox – they screen out spammy messages and determine the fate of your emails. Many times these algorithms even prevent your audience from getting to read your emails at all. They calculate click rates, opening rates, spam reports, unsubscribing emails, inactive addresses, and the like. 

It is incumbent upon you to regularly track your prospective audience’s email activity along with your data hygiene efforts. If you fail to have a clean email list, your reputation and KPIs can be seriously affected, and audience engagement severely hampered or halted.

Some Reasons Why Interest Drops 

Loss of interest from subscribers is not uncommon. As a business, it is crucial for you to make sure you keep up interest and not let your audience slowly decrease and disappear. Some common causes of a decrease in engagement are the following:

  • Inactivity – you lost your audience’s interest because you have been silent and not kept them satiated with regular content
  • Selling without value – you are full of promotions in your emails but did not give your audience any substantial meat to chew on; there should be value in what you put out. Content is King.
  • Missing your mark – not only should there be content, but the content should resonate with your target audience
  • Too many, too mundane – you swamped your audience with too many emails, thus invalidating any positive impact your message could have brought

Improving your Email List Hygiene

To make it easier to maintain a hygienic email list, it may be smart to acquire the services of a lead generation professional. One of the first steps you can take is to hire the services of a reliable email verification and validation service. Such a service ensures the verification and validation of emails and helps keep your list warm. 

An email validation system reduces bounce rates, subscriber complaints from inaccurate or invalid data, and spam trap hits. Proper validation gives you an assurance that you are only sending to deliverable email addresses.  With such a system, you can remove bots as well.

Make sure you clean up your list prior to sending in order to avoid getting blocked and improve your inbox rates and sender reputation. You should also avoid inconsistently formatted data. Such a validation system ensures a consistent format for addresses.

Once you get your intended audience to subscribe to you and join your email list, you need to make sure to track and monitor their online behavior with time. It is well to remember that the permission they gave you to send your emails is not a one-time thing or is considered valid indefinitely; even those subscribers who are most active and engaged can and do lose interest eventually. This makes them a liability instead of an asset.

Regarding cold and inactive subscribers, you can send a re-engagement message through these approaches:

  • Ask those subscribers who opened your emails within the last 6 months to take a moment to click a link that confirms that they are still onboard with you
  • Give them different options for their subscription. An example of this would be an option to receive each email separately or as a digest containing several emails
  • Have them confirm that their address is active and current and that their email preferences will not be updated 

Also, keep in mind the following best practices for maintaining email list hygiene:

  • Make sure you have credible and highly reputable email sources
  • You may opt to remove inactive or cold subscribers
  • Take steps to avoid spam folders
  • Segment your lists in order to prevent complaints and irrelevant messaging
  • Create suppression lists in order to maintain a good sender reputation

Engaging and Re-engaging Your Audience

A simple way to make sure you do not miss your mark is to ask your audience what they want. Ask what content they are interested in, what insights they want that you may be able to offer, and other reasons why they signed up. You can also conduct surveys to get such information. It is also a good idea to offer personal, one-on-one consultations to selected subscribers while also asking them about the content they would most want from you. Use research to find out about what your target market wants and what your competitors do not have, in order to customize your content and make sure you capture your audience.

If you want to reconnect with your cold emails, it is a good idea to give before taking. Create an event that is laden with useful content with massive value, in order to reactivate your dormant audience. A Facebook live event or a free webinar that delivers material that is of good use to them will make you relevant again. Use all resources at your disposal such as multimedia in the form of videos, charts, short ebooks, and even exclusive content. You may also make your webinar a series so that your audience goes back again and again for more content. Each episode can focus on a specific element or expertise that your audience needs.

Always remind your audience why they should keep on going back. Personalize your content. Make sure it is packed with value. Using videos catches more subscribers and retains the old. And don’t forget to include that call to action. Employ sound marketing programs in terms of discounts, special offers, and other deals. Don’t sell yourself short. Give it everything you’ve got; use social media and other platforms, and make your offer so enticing that your audience cannot help but subscribe and stay. This is an important aspect of keeping your email list warm and clean.

Ensuring a clean email list involves many factors, but these are easy to follow and understand. Aside from making your list hygienic, also make sure the emails in your list do not become cold again. Make sure you maintain their attention by under-committing and over-delivering. Make sure your content is continuously updated for value. Having the best content you can give in your field of expertise, as well as being a consistent provider of content, will ensure that you will retain your captive audience.


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As a writer for EmailOversight, Nelly has contributed so much to the company’s success. Nelly is dedicated to being a professional digital content creator and handler. Being a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, her talent for managing digital content is impeccable.

The post What is Email List Hygiene and How it Impacts your Lead Generation Processes appeared first on SiteProNews.

5 Email Outreach Tools

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

What is Email Outreach?

An email outreach program is when you create an email and solicit people or other bloggers to review your product, site, service, etc. and hopefully gain links among other things.

The definition of email outreach is not limited. It’s expandable. The secret looming behind its success is understandable and actionable.

Purposes:

  • Growing website traffic
  • Generating leads
  • Building links
  • Promoting services
  • Getting product reviews
  • Getting influencers
  • Finding investors
  • Guest posting
  • Sales

Boost Your Email Outreach with the Help of these 5 Tools

1. Ahrefs.com

The world’s largest backlink index 

Ahrefs is the newest entry into the link research tool space. They use their own bot and their own index (Which they state is based on information from a trillion website connections).

It’s a well-known tool primarily used for checking backlinks, but what most SEOs forget to take into consideration is that it is capable of so much more. With their massive data index, Ahrefs is definitely one of the most sought-after SaaS tools on the market.

You can use Ahref to gather your prospects, track your competitors’ links, reclaim links (citations) and for keyword research.

2. Buzzstream

Organize your Outreach by Projects

Buzzstream is a software designed for marketers to help them conduct outreach activities, using a personalized relationship-building approach. With buzzstream, marketers can find influencers to have content shared and linked by the right audience.

Send your emails with a sequence of follow ups, manually tracking which sites have contacted or not.

This tool is wonderful, if you really need to work on outreach or link building. There is no better option out there. Buzzstream has a powerful CRM, complete integration with the MOZ API, is user friendly and very intuitive. If you regularly manage your links prospects with excel or google sheet, your productivity will increase 4 or 5 times with Buzzstream.

3. Moz

Filter their Domain Authority

Moz is a leading SEO tool provider that uses both basic and advanced research tools to improve your search engine optimization. In short, Moz offers keyword research tools, a SEO keyword generator, and link analysis that gives detailed data on your inbound links and link quality.

It’s a google extension that provides DA (Domain authority) and PA (Page authority). You can view it with just one click.

4. ContactOut

Email Address Hunter

ContactOut is a simple browser extension that helps you find email addresses and phone numbers of anyone on LinkedIn. 

They’ve been around for just over three years and already have thousands of users from a third of the Fortune 500 (like Microsoft, PwC, and Symantec). ContactOut finds emails from 75% of Linkedin users (2x better than the next closest competitor) at a 97% accuracy rate. It’s earned multiple mentions on the ahrefs blog as one of the best freemium email outreach tools available. 

They offer a free trial for new users.

5. Grammarly

Grammar checker

Grammarly is an online grammar checking, spell checking, and plagiarism detection platform developed by Grammarly, Inc. The software was first released in July 2009. Grammarly’s proofreading resources check against more than 250 grammar rules and can help avoid embarrassing typos and grammatical errors.

Grammarly works wherever you are. They provide desktop apps along with a Grammarly extension for your web browser. It’s even available on mobile devices.

Build your email template with this extension.

Final thought

I’ve been an outreach specialist for a year and there are a lot of email outreach tools, but these tools are the best I’ve found. Visit me here Actionable content.


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Adrian Keth Olita is an Outreach Specialist at Actionable content.

The post 5 Email Outreach Tools appeared first on SiteProNews.

Ten ways to pump out a stream of great content without burning out

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

There’s always more content to write. 

Sometimes that can be encouraging, even exhilarating. You’ve got plenty of space for all your ideas, and countless opportunities to engage with potential customers and to build a stronger relationship with existing ones.

But producing a constant stream of content can be exhausting.

You’ll find yourself running out of ideas and running out of steam. And at that point, it can be really difficult to keep creating high-quality content on a regular basis.

Even if you’re in a position to hire someone to help, you’ll still need to have a fair amount of involvement in content production – supplying ideas and outlines, at the very least.

So how can you keep up with all the content you need to produce? Before we dig into some specific tips, let’s take a look at how much you actually need to create.

How frequently should you post on your blog and your social media accounts?

There are no rules here different blogs do different things, often within the same industry. In the content marketing world, for instance:

  • Smart Blogger posts (very in-depth) pieces once a week
  • Copyblogger publishes three or four posts a week
  • Content Marketing Institute posts one piece each weekday

As a rough guideline, you’ll probably want to aim for at least one weekly post, one daily Facebook and/or Instagram post, and three or more posts a day on fast-moving networks like Twitter. (According to Louise Myers, the “general consensus” is that anything from three to 30 Tweets per day is fine.

So how do you keep up with this level of content, week after week?

How to create great content without burning out

Here are nine ways to keep up your content production without getting to the point of feeling so burned out that you simply give up.

You can use these as a step by step process, or you can pick and choose ideas that’ll make your existing process go more smoothly.

1. Decide how often you’ll post content

While there’s no “right” answer to how often to post content, there’s definitely a “wrong” one. Posting content whenever you feel like it, at wildly varying frequencies.

It’s best – for you and for your audience – to have a consistent posting schedule, both on your blog and on social networks. That might mean, for instance, two blog posts each week, one Facebook post each day (more may be counter-productive), and five Twitter posts each day.

While you might vary your schedule a little, having a clear idea of what to aim for makes it much more likely that you’ll write and publish regular posts.

2. Come up with a suitable pattern for your content

With social media, in particular, it’s helpful to “pattern” your content. This is also a useful practice for blog posts, especially if you post twice a week or more on your blog.

Rather than starting with a blank page when it comes to generating ideas, you can have a pre-set “pattern” for the content you’re going to create.

For instance, if you’re writing five Twitter posts each day, you might decide to have:

  • Two posts linking to other people’s great content
  • One post linking to your most recent piece of content
  • One post linking to a piece of content from your archive
  • One post that asks a question or prompts a discussion

3. Brainstorm lots of ideas

Simply coming up with ideas for content can take a lot of time. Instead of sitting down and staring at a blank page, try “batching” the idea generation process: set aside time once every week or two to come up with a whole list of ideas.

Some great ways to find content ideas include:

  • Common search terms within your industry: this is part of keyword research and as well as being a useful SEO tool, it’s great for idea-generation.
  • Questions that you frequently get asked by potential customers.
  • Problems that you faced when you were starting out in your industry.
  • Other people’s content – could you create something that tackles a topic in more depth, or from a different angle?
  • Your own content: can you go back to an old blog post and update it, or take some social media posts and weave them into a piece for your blog?
  • Asking influencers for their contributions – this might be in the form of a quote or two from one person, or a “round-up” post with quotes from lots of different experts.

4. Outline longer pieces of content

With short posts on Twitter and Facebook, you probably don’t need an outline – just a clear idea of what you’re trying to accomplish.

For blog posts, though, you’ll find it’s much faster to write when you’ve got a solid outline in place, especially if you’re producing long-form content. Again, it’s often a good idea to “batch produce” your outlines, by picking four or so ideas and outlining all those posts at once.

That way, when it’s time to write those posts, a lot of the hard work is already done. Plus, if you outline several posts in a single session, you’ll find it much easier to create links between them.

5. Write several short pieces of content at once

Instead of opening up HootSuite (or your favorite social media management tool or app) every single time you want to send a tweet or create a post, write lots of posts ahead of time.

You might want to queue up a week’s worth of posts all at once. Buffer is a great tool for this, allowing you to schedule posts to go out at any time you want – making it easier to reach potential clients in other timezones or those on unusual schedules.

6. Set aside focused time for longer pieces

Creating content requires a lot of focus – it’s not something you can easily do while you’re fielding phone calls or responding to emails every few minutes.

Block out periods of time (ideally two hours long) in advance, where you can shut your office door, ignore your email, and let calls go to voicemail.

6. Set aside focused time for longer pieces

While you may have no choice but to self-edit your content, if it’s possible, get an editor involved. This might be someone already on your team, or a freelancer external to your company.

A good editor will go far beyond correcting spelling mistakes and grammatical slips. They’ll help to ensure your content is well structured, that it flows smoothly, and that it’s as engaging as possible.

8. Have an assistant format and upload your content

If you’re uploading all your own posts on your blog and social media, you’ll be spending time finding images, selecting categories, adding hashtags, including links, and so on.

While these tasks are an important part of the content creation process, they don’t need to be done by you. Delegate as much of the repetitive work as possible to an assistant so that you can free up more time to write or design the content itself.

9. Get ahead and take time off

If content creation is starting to feel like a treadmill that you can’t get off, then you’re probably heading for burnout. Plan your schedule so you can get ahead, perhaps by creating an extra piece or two of content each week.

That way, you can take a week off from content creation occasionally (plus, you’ll also be covered for any unexpected events, like a particularly busy period, or illness).

10. Repurpose your existing content

There may well be excellent blog posts in your archive that rarely get read, and your social media posts will almost certainly only gather fleeting attention.

Instead of always coming up with fresh ideas and creating new pieces from scratch, how about reusing some of your existing content? That might be as simple as writing an updated version of a blog post, and republishing it – or it could involve something more involved like turning a series of tweets into a blog post, or turning a post into an infographic.

Valuable, high-quality content is great for your business, your potential and existing customers, and your SEO. By trying some or all of the tips above, you can keep up the flow of content, without burning out.

If you have a tip for creating lots of great content, consistently, feel free to share it with us in the comments below.

Joe Williams is the founder of Tribe SEO. He can be found on Twitter at @joetheseo.

The post Ten ways to pump out a stream of great content without burning out appeared first on Search Engine Watch.