Alphabet: Antitrust Suits Will Weaken Google's Dominance - Seeking Alpha

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Alphabet: Antitrust Suits Will Weaken Google's Dominance - Seeking AlphaAlphabet: Antitrust Suits Will Weaken Google's Dominance - Seeking AlphaPosted: 06 Jul 2020 12:00 AM PDTIntroductionIn this write-up, I will discuss the antitrust risks Alphabet (GOOG) is currently facing. In my opinion, Alphabet is facing the most substantial antitrust risks out of all the big tech firms, but this has been overshadowed for years by controversies surrounding Facebook (FB), Apple (AAPL) and Amazon (AMZN). There are tons of reports from reputable news agencies mentioning that the DOJ and a group of states are separately investigating Google's dominance in multiple market segments. However, the sources in these reports are most often anonymous sources or Google's direct competitors like DuckDuckGo. Therefore it might be a possibility that these reports are partially incorrect. In this article, I will discuss Google's dominance in-depth, discuss in which market segments G…

What Entrepreneurs Should Know About SEO - Business.com

What Entrepreneurs Should Know About SEO - Business.com


What Entrepreneurs Should Know About SEO - Business.com

Posted: 01 Oct 2019 11:19 AM PDT

Considering how much the internet can become a sales outlet for a business, more entrepreneurs are open to establishing an online presence, typically through a website.

Having a website, however, isn't the be-all and end-all if you want your business to succeed online. And before the design of your website comes into play, consumers have to first find your site. This is where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in.

SEO is a collection of techniques that one uses to boost the ranking of a website in search engine results pages (SERPs) of Google, etc. The higher a website ranks on a  SERP, the more visible the website is, which, in turn, leads to a greater chance of being getting clicked by users. All those clicks mean organic traffic, which could result in greater leads and conversions for your business.

So, as you can see, boosting the visibility of your business and generating more sales isn't just about creating a website. Here are seven additional things about SEO that entrepreneurs should know.

On-page optimization

On-page SEO refers to techniques that you implement within your website to catch the attention of search engines, whose crawlers or bots scour the internet for relevant keywords typed in by users.

Among the many on-page optimization techniques you can use include creating a meta description for each page. A meta description is essentially a brief summary of a web page. A meta tag is a snippet of text that appears in the source code of the page; it doesn't show up on the page itself. Therefore, it's important to carefully choose the right keywords and phrases for your meta tags, because this is what search engines crawl whenever a user types in a search.

Off-page optimization

Off-page SEO refers to steps you can take outside of your business's website to improve the visibility (and ranking) of your company on SERPs. One method is link building, which is where other websites link back to your company website.

Guest blogging is a primary example of an off-page SEO action, wherein you reach out to other webmasters and ask them to publish content you created on their blogs. Submitting content to article directories and posting to social media are yet other off-page optimization strategies.

White hat SEO

Google and other search engines have set rules and conditions that all websites hoping to rise in search rankings have to follow. White hat SEO refers to optimization practices that comply with these rules.

Creating original and high-quality content, making your website easy to navigate, boosting the load speeds of your pages, and anything that will improve the user experience (UX) are some white hat SEO practices that help you create a website and business that's ethical and sustainably successful.

Black hat SEO

Any technique to improve search rankings that violates the rules and conditions set by the search engines falls under black hat SEO. Getting caught – and you will be caught –  can ban your website from Google and other search engines.

Among the many black hat SEO tactics that can tank your website are

  • Keyword stuffing, which is squeezing as many SEO keywords onto a page as physically possible
  • Duplicate content, which is essentially copying and posting a substantial amount of content from another website
  • Irrelevant keywords
  • Clickbait, usually in the form of a deceptive headline that pulls users into a website only to show them uninteresting or unrelated content;
  • Link-buying, where you pay another webmaster to publish a backlink to your site

Content is king

You've probably heard the above phrase a million times, but it remains true. In the early days of SEO, many in the optimizing business didn't bother about providing quality content.

That isn't to say, however, that not all websites didn't provide quality content. In fact, many sites did, but they didn't occupy higher ranking on the SERPs.

Before its earth-shaking algorithm updates, Google gave prime ranking to websites that were stuffed with keywords but had garbage for content. It wasn't uncommon for sites to have nothing but keywords for content stay at the top of the SERPs. Websites that actually offered engaging and useful content but didn't have much in the way of keyword density often found themselves occupying much lower search rankings.

That's ancient history now, thanks to the significant and continuous changes Google has been making to its algorithm since the early 2000s. Panda, Penguin and all the other updates have restored content to its throne. Today, quality content is one of the top Google ranking factors, and webmasters would do well to provide their audience that.

So what types of content should you provide your website users to improve your SEO? Here are some suggestions:

How-to articles

People scour the internet for solutions every day in search of solutions to problems. How-to articles covering specific topics relevant to your industry or niche serve that need, which is something that Google will undoubtedly notice. Are there articles you could write about common questions or problems relating to the products or services you provide consumers?

Authoritative blog posts

Assuming your website has a blog, authoritative posts can position your business as an authority within your niche. Relevant industry news and opinion pieces about developments within your industry qualify as quality content.

List posts

People enjoy well-conceived and written, engaging, and relevant lists. They are likely to be shared, which is always good for your SEO.

Infographics

An article about a certain topic is good, but an infographic covering the same subject tends to be easier to digest for many people. It is also more visually engaging and more likely to be shared.

Videos

Aside from being more engaging than infographics, videos are poised to account for 82% of all web traffic by 2022.

Mobile is the future, and that future is here.

About 70% of internet traffic comes from mobile phones. As of April 2019, nearly 4 billion people are unique mobile internet users. This data alone should convince entrepreneurs to have a mobile version of their website done.

One more thing to consider is that Google now bases rankings and search listings of websites based on whether a mobile version exists. That is a clear indication that Google, the biggest search engine, wants people who have websites to go mobile.

Of course, the best way to go mobile is to work with a web designer to make your site responsive. With a responsive web design, your website should display perfectly on smartphones, tablets and all mobile devices.

SEO is for the long-term

There is no such thing as instant SEO results. You cannot expect your site to rank high in search results immediately after optimizing it. Even the best optimized websites take  four to six months to achieve any results, and the first results aren't earth-shattering.

SEO results improve over time. With a consistent SEO campaign, you will reach your optimization goals. However, once you get there, don't ignore SEO work. You have competitors, and they will stop at nothing to pull the rug out from under you and get that top ranking for themselves. And SEO work is never done.

SEO is a very young field, and it will continue to evolve. Learn what you can about SEO, and keep abreast of future developments.

5 Ways To Make More Online Sales From Your Website - Forbes

Posted: 30 Sep 2019 10:07 AM PDT

Today's entrepreneurs have more avenues than ever before to generate sales. Countless brands and individuals have found success selling on platforms like Amazon, Etsy, eBay, across social media and otherwise. But many of the most successful brands know that when done right, your own website can become the best channel for driving online revenue.

Of course, turning your website into a sales-generating machine, is easier said than done. That's why I recently spoke with Jacob Elggren, founder of Andar, a maker of handcrafted leather goods like wallets, phone cases and other modern accessories. Elggren's website topped revenues of over $1.1 million last year—and has seen that figure increase by an additional 60% so far this year.

By implementing a few key practices, you can apply these five principles to achieving similar growth figures for your own website.

1. Optimize For Search Engine Traffic

Search engine optimization is essential no matter which industry you're in. This was a lesson Elggren learned early on, even before his website became his brand's primary focus. 

He shares, "We originally launched on Amazon and did a ton of Amazon SEO to ensure that we'd perform well for relevant keywords. Once we switched our focus to our Shopify-powered site, the same principles still applied. Investing in organic and paid SEO is key for getting people who are interested in general product to discover your specific brand."

When you combine on-site optimization efforts like utilizing proper title tags, writing strong meta descriptions and alt tags—with paid bidding on relevant keywords through platforms like Google Ads, your website will become much more discoverable.

Just be sure to do thoughtful keyword research to guarantee you're allocating budget toward the right terms customers are already searching for, as related to your products.

2. Influencer Marketing Makes The Difference

During our conversation, Elggren attributed much of his brand's recent sales growth to successful social media marketing efforts. While traditional Instagram, Facebook and YouTube ads have been efficient over the years, some of their best results recently have come from working with influencers.

"We've tried to focus on influencers with between 10,000 and 100,000 followers," Elggren explains. 

He adds, "Not only are they more cost-efficient, but they also tend to have a more highly engaged audience than those with a larger following. Their followers respect what they say, so when they make a recommendation, people are more likely to visit our website and check out our products."

In fact, as AdWeek reports, micro influencers with less than 30,000 followers tend to have a 60% higher engagement rate than those with a larger following, making campaigns 6.7 times more efficient than those involving major celebrity influencers. So, if you want to experiment with influencer marketing—start smaller with micro influencers and you'll likely see the strongest return on your investment.

3. Use Pop-Up Offers To Push Sales

Pop-up offers can sometimes seem irritating, but when properly utilized, they can dramatically help increase sales. These offers are a great way to inform customers of a limited time offer or to encourage them to opt in to your mailing list in order to receive a special discount. Such combinations can boost immediate sales, while also giving you more email contacts to use in future marketing campaigns.

Rather than seeming intrusive, by instead offering a special deal, these popup offers can become a welcome part of shopping on your site—as long as you don't overdo it.

Whether you're getting someone to sign up for a loyalty program or join a newsletter, an opt-in program will make it easier to convert these customers in the future and encourage repeat sales. That's well worth the trade-off of giving visitors free shipping or a one-time 10% discount.

4. Offer More Payment Options

"To get people to buy from your website, you have to eliminate the potential barriers that keep them from being able to complete their purchase. The more payment options you give to your customers, the easier it is for them to buy from you," Elggren notes. "If you accept methods like Paypal, Apple Pay or Google Pay, you'll expand your audience to those who don't use their credit card for online shopping."

While credit cards and cash payments may be more popular for brick and mortar purchases, statistics have shown that eWallets and other alternative payment methods are rapidly rising in popularity for digital purchases. 

The 2018 Worldpay Global Payments Report notes that 36% of global online shoppers prefer to use eWallets, with credit cards trailing behind at 23%. By 2022, that disparity is expected to increase even more, with an estimated 47% of shoppers preferring eWallets.

5. Unlock The Power Of Customer Reviews

According to survey data from Podium, 93% of online shoppers claim that an online review directly impacts their decision to buy a product. In fact, part of Amazon's rise to prominence could be attributed to its user-generated reviews, which help customers objectively evaluate the pros and cons of different products.

Customer reviews have subsequently played a big role for Elggren. "Since we started out as a Fulfilled by Amazon partner, we quickly learned just how valuable online reviews can be for generating more sales," he says.

Elggren continues, "That's why we put an option on our website for customers to leave reviews for each of our products. A five-star rating and positive review from a real person verifies the claims that we've made on our site. It gives new potential customers confidence to buy."

There's no doubt that turning your website into an online sales juggernaut is a process that won't happen overnight.

While you may need to revise your website content, refocus your marketing spend or undergo a fair amount of A/B testing to land on the right page layout, the results are well worth the effort.

Improving how you utilize and market your website to generate sales could lead to massive long-term revenue growth for your business—and less platform dependency on the major marketplaces.

Law Firm SEO Marketing: Tips to Get Your Firm Quality Results - EIN News

Posted: 30 Sep 2019 03:47 PM PDT

Law Firm SEO Marketing: Tips to Get Your Firm Quality Results - EIN News

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