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Blaming a South Dakota rally but giving protesters a Covid pass.
Some solid judges but three Senators make the choices disappointingly political.
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What would you do with an extra $1,500 a day?
With a bit of work and the right platform behind you, you can create an online store that generates that kind of revenue (and more).
Shilpi Yadav is an excellent example. She quit her job to start an online clothing store based around her Indian heritage. Despite all the risks, the brand now makes more than half a million dollars a year (averaging around $1,500 per day).
She built her online store using Shopify, one of the best ecommerce platforms on the market. However, there are a ton of different options to choose from depending on what you need.
And the most significant thing standing in the way of your own $500k success story is deciding which ecommerce platform is right for your new store.
So to help you out, I reviewed seven of the best options in the industry, depending on your current situation.
The top 7 options for the best ecommerce platforms:
- Wix – Best for flexibility and customization
- Shopify – Best all-in-one ecommerce platform
- BigCommerce – Best for medium to large stores
- Squarespace – Best ecommerce platform for creatives
- WooCommerce – Best for WordPress websites
- OpenCart – Best for selling digital products
- Ecwid – Best for integrating with your current platform
How to choose the best ecommerce platform for you
The best ecommerce platform for your business depends on several factors like your experience level, your customization requirements, and the type of products you want to sell.
But choosing the right platform can feel overwhelming because there are countless options to choose from.
To make things easier, I created a list of things to consider as you go through the process.
It may help to start with a list of requirements and the features you need. From there, you can narrow down your choices based on the following criteria.
Physical vs digital products
Digital products are a booming market. But selling and delivering digital products isn’t the same as delivering a physical product to someone’s doorstep.
Different ecommerce platforms handle each type of product differently. And some may not support digital products at all. So it’s important to understand which type you plan to sell before you make a decision.
If you already have a website, the best deployment option is integrating an online store rather than building a brand new website on a new platform.
Furthermore, if you use WordPress, you can add ecommerce functionality via a plugin.
Unless, of course, you want to start with a clean slate.
On the other hand, if you don’t have a website, you probably need a website builder with the capability to create something from scratch. So, think about the route you want to take and choose a platform that offers the right capabilities.
Order management, product creation, tracking orders, and dashboard navigation are important factors of day-to-day ecommerce management.
And it’s important to choose a platform that’s easy to use and manage on a daily basis. It shouldn’t feel like a struggle to create new products, check the status of an order, or update the pages of your website.
Furthermore, it’s important to find the right ratio of flexibility and customization to ease of use. And keep in mind, the more customizable the platform, the harder it is to manage. Why?
Because flexible platforms offer more settings and options to configure.
You can simplify your workload by choosing a platform that offers just enough flexibility without going overboard for your specific needs.
Design and flexibility
Some ecommerce website builders (like Wix) are truly drag and drop, meaning the customization options are endless. If you can imagine it, you can build it. But, that freedom also makes the platform more difficult to use.
Other platforms integrate into your current site, taking the look and feel of your existing website with very few customization options. For some users, this is perfect.
But others may want more control.
If you’re just starting out, simple designs and ease of use are more important than design flexibility.
However, if you already own a physical store or an established brand, design is more important so you can create a cohesive aesthetic from one touch point to the next.
Advanced ecommerce features
Do you want to be able to offer discounts or accept payments through different payment processors? Maybe you want to send visitors a reminder email when they exit your website with something in their cart.
Perhaps you’re interested in creating customer profiles and analyzing advanced analytics.
Other advanced ecommerce features include:
- Email marketing integrations
- Memberships and recurring payments
- Gift cards and discount codes
- Partial payments or payment plans
- Shipping and fulfillment management
- Product variations
- Product categories
Think carefully about what you need and what would be nice to have. Then, you can use your list of requirements to narrow down your list of choices.
The different types of ecommerce platforms
There are several different types of ecommerce platforms on this list. And which type you should choose depends on your current situation.
Ecommerce website builders
These are all-inclusive website builders that include ecommerce functionality.
This option is best for businesses without an existing website (or those who want to start over from scratch). Website builders also don’t require a lot of design experience to get up and running so it’s an excellent choice for beginners.
Adding ecommerce functionality to an existing website
If you already have a website, integrating an online store is much easier than starting over on a different platform. Several of the recommendations on this list can be used with an existing website so you don’t have to worry about starting over.
However, these typically require a bit of coding knowledge to customize so they’re not suitable for beginners.
This option is best for users already using WordPress to run their website.
Note: If you don’t know what a WordPress plugin is, this probably isn’t the best option for you (go with a website builder instead).
#1 – Wix Review — The best for flexibility and customization
Wix is a great option if you’re looking for an affordable and flexible ecommerce platform. It’s famous for it’s drag-and-drop interface with complete design freedom to create anything you can imagine.
With Wix, you also get access to more than 500+ prebuilt website templates and plenty of customization options (with no coding required). Or you can create pages from scratch with complete design control.
Furthermore, they have a robust mobile app so you can make changes and manage your store from anywhere in the world.
Wix also includes a wide variety of marketing features, like emails, Facebook ads, and social media posts right from your account dashboard. You can even sell directly via social media.
Their ecommerce plans include powerful features, like:
- Support of 90+ languages and local currencies
- 250+ apps to add extra functionality to your site
- No additional transaction fees
- Custom product pages
- Worldwide shipping and taxes
- Coupons and discounts
- Advanced sorting and filtering
- Product collections
- Customizable checkout
- Recurring payments
Plus, if you already use Wix, you can upgrade to an ecommerce plan in just a few clicks within your account dashboard.
Wix offers four ecommerce plans for online shops of different sizes, including:
- Business Basic — $23/month
- Business Unlimited — $27/month
- Business VIP — $19/month
- Enterprise — custom pricing
This is an excellent option if you have a small store or special design requirements. However, If you expect a high order volume and large range of products, you’re better off with BigCommerce or Shopify instead.
#2 – Shopify Review — The best all-in-one ecommerce platform
Shopify is an all-in-one ecommerce website builder that powers more than one million online stores, making it one of the most popular choices on this list.
However, it’s not as customizable as Wix. But it offers more advanced ecommerce features because it’s built specifically to host online stores. Plus, it’s easy to use with just the right level of flexibility.
It’s also incredibly versatile, powering micro to large stores, and everything in between. Shopify plans include access to an incredible suite of ecommerce features, including:
- Point of Sale for brick and mortar shops
- Real-time carrier shipping rates
- Abandoned checkout recovery
- 100 different payment gateways
- Automatic tax calculations
- Customer accounts and profiles
- Fulfillment centers
- Advanced inventory management
- Unlimited products
- In-depth analytics
Plus, with 70+ professional themes (nine of which are free) and 4,100+ apps, you can create a beautiful and highly functional ecommerce store without having to start from scratch. Or write a single line of code.
Combine that with award-winning 24/7/365 customer support and you have an excellent ecommerce platform.
Shopify offers five plans for businesses of all sizes, including:
- Shopify Lite — $9 per month
- Basic Shopify — $29 per month
- Shopify — $79 per month
- Advanced Shopify — $299 per month
- Shopify Plus — custom pricing
Shopify Lite is a great option if you want to embed products and “buy” buttons onto an existing website. However, it doesn’t come with the all-inclusive website builder.
Keep in mind that Shopify has its own payment processor. They charge 2.4% – 2.9% + $0.30 depending on the plan you choose. They also charge additional fees (0.5% – 2%) if you use a separate payment processor like PayPal or Square.
#3 – BigCommerce Review — The best for medium to large stores
Like Shopify, BigCommerce is an all-in-one ecommerce website builder specifically for large online stores. It includes more advanced ecommerce features suitable for managing high volumes and a large number of products.
With a customer base of 100,000+ stores, including some big names like Ben & Jerry’s and SkullCandy, they’re a smaller player in the industry.
But that doesn’t make the platform any less powerful.
BigCommerce plans include access to powerful, industry-leading features, including:
- Customer accounts for faster checkouts
- Mobile-optimized checkout
- Abandoned cart recovery
- Google AMP and Akamai
- Advanced product filters
- Coupons and discount codes
- Advanced inventory management
- Customer groups for personalized shopping
- 65+ payment gateways with no extra transaction fees
- Built-in shipping management
Plus, all of their plans include unlimited products, file storage, bandwidth, and staff accounts.
And you can choose between 12 free mobile-responsive design templates or opt for a paid template to make your online store stand out from the crowd without touching a single line of code.
BigCommerce offers four paid plans (with a 15-day free trial), including:
- Standard — $29.95/month with a $50,000 annual sales limit
- Plus — $79.95/month with a $180,000 annual sales limit
- Pro — $299.95/month with a $400,000 annual sales limit
- Enterprise — custom pricing
If you’re just getting started, BigCommerce is overkill for your online store. However, if you’re an established business or plan to sell high volumes, it’s an excellent choice.
#4 – Squarespace Review — The best ecommerce platform for creatives
Squarespace is well-known as a website builder, but their higher-tier plans also include ecommerce functionality. Furthermore, their design templates are famous for their ease of use and creativity, making this an excellent choice for creative online stores.
You can also install and customize multiple templates at a time to see which one you like best. And switching between templates takes just a few clicks.
Aside from beautiful templates, Squarespace offers a variety of ecommerce features, including:
- Subscriptions, digital products, and in-person compatibility
- Built-in tax tools for automatic tax calculations
- Discount codes and gift cards
- Abandoned cart recovery
- Mobile-optimized checkout
- Mobile store management
- Rich product listings
- Quick view capability
- Inventory management
- Real-time shipping estimates
Furthermore, Squarespace integrates with most of the popular email marketing and social media platforms so you can sell and market your products like a pro.
And they have fantastic 24/7/365 customer support ready to answer your questions and help you get things set up the way you want to.
Squarespace offers three ecommerce plans (and a personal plan), including:
- Personal — $12 per month + no ecommerce functionality
- Business — $18 per month + 3% transaction fees
- Basic Commerce — $26 per month + 0% transaction fees
- Advanced Commerce — $40 per month + 0% transaction fees
They also have an enterprise plan with a dedicated account manager, SEO consultations, and prioritized technical support.
And while the Business plan offers ecommerce capabilities, I highly recommend choosing Basic Commerce to start. It’s the cheapest plan with no transaction fees, plus it includes other essential features like, customer accounts and ecommerce analytics.
#5 – WooCommerce Review — The best for WordPress websites
The recommendations thus far are all-in-one website builders. WooCommerce, however, is not. It’s a WordPress plugin built to add ecommerce functionality to existing WordPress websites.
WooCommerce powers approximately 30% of stores online today. And with 80+ million downloads, it’s one of the most popular ecommerce platforms on this list.
Note: if you don’t already have a WordPress website, I don’t recommend going this route. Stick to an all-in-one ecommerce platform, instead.
WooCommerce is a lightweight plugin that adds ecommerce capabilities like accepting online payments, configurable shipping options, product listings, and more. But you have to have an existing website to use it. So, it’s a great option if you already use WordPress.
It includes powerful ecommerce features like:
- Plugin extensions to increase functionality
- Rest APIs for developers to create custom platforms
- Extensive tutorials and documentation
- 140 region-specific payment gateways
- Support of subscriptions and deposits
- Automated tax calculations
- Real-time shipping rates
- iOS and Android mobile apps
- Physical and digital product capability
- Endless product variations
- Public support forum
And the best part? It’s free to download, install, and use. Forever.
However, some of the extensions aren’t free so watch out for that if you start digging into those.
With the power of WordPress behind it, your customization options are only limited to what you can imagine. So, the sky is legitimately the limit with WooCommerce.
But with that said, it’s not the easiest or most intuitive ecommerce platform. So, I don’t recommend it if you aren’t already using WordPress and 100% comfortable with it.
#6 – OpenCart Review — The best for selling digital products
OpenCart is another open source ecommerce platform, much like WooCommerce. However, it’s not limited to WordPress websites. But you do need to have an existing website to use it.
Over 300,000 online stores use OpenCart to confidently sell products of all shapes and sizes online. Plus, most web hosting companies offer one-click installation or will install it for free, so it’s incredibly easy to set up.
Note: I only recommend going this route if you already have a website up and running.
While you can sell products of any kind, the no-fluff interface (and free price tag) makes it an excellent option for selling digital products to make more money with your online business.
All without adding an extra monthly expense because it’s 100% free forever.
OpenCart offers a powerful set of ecommerce features, including:
- Simple and centralized admin dashboard
- Advanced user roles and access controls
- Manage multiple stores from a single dashboard
- Limitless product variables and variations
- Built-in affiliate management and rewards system
- Discounts and coupons
- Unlimited products
- One-click digital downloads
- Product reviews and ratings
- 36 built-in payment methods
- Recurring payments
Plus, with 13,000 modules and themes in the marketplace, you can add any functionality you can imagine including service integrations, conversion modules, email marketing, and more.
Keep in mind that not all of OpenCart’s extensions are free. You may have to pay for more advanced capabilities.
And they don’t currently offer support for free, either.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for on their community forum, you have to pay for dedicated help. Dedicated support starts at $99 per site per month or $99 for a one-time fix.
#7 – Ecwid Review — The best for integrating with your current platform
Like OpenCart and WooCommerce, Ecwid is an ecommerce platform you can use to integrate with your current platform, regardless of what you’re already using.
It integrates with platforms like Weebly, Wix, WordPress, Squarespace, and more. So, if you already have a website set up and want to add ecommerce functionality, Ecwid is an excellent choice.
With that said, they also offer an all-in-one ecommerce website builder if you want to start from scratch. However, there are better website builders to use.
So, I only recommend Ecwid if you want to integrate ecommerce into your existing website.
This ecommerce platform includes a wide range of features, like:
- Multi-channel selling (social media, marketplaces, in-person, etc.)
- Integrated email marketing and advertising features
- Centralized inventory and order management
- No transaction fees
- Fully responsive designs
- Built-in POS integrations
- Customer accounts for easy checkout
- Real-time shipping rate calculator
- Poduct variations
- Digital product capabilities
- 40 payment options
The biggest downside is that you can’t manage your store from inside your website account dashboard. You have to log in to Ecwid instead. So, you need to manage two separate accounts.
But the good news is… you can start on the limited free forever plan to try it out before making any investments.
The free plan only allows up to ten products, so you have to upgrade if you need more. Ecwid also offers three paid plans, including::
- Venture — $15/month (up to 100 products)
- Business — $35/month (up to 2,500 products)
- Unlimited — $99/month (unlimited products)
As a stand-alone store builder you might be better off with other options (like Wix and Shopify).
But if you already have a website and want to add an ecommerce store, Ecwid is a great alternative to WooCommerce and OpenCart.
My #1 recommendation for most users is Wix. It’s great for users of all experience levels. Plus, it’s easy to use, highly customizable, and affordable as well. But if Wix is too customizable for you, Squarespace is a fantastic alternative.
Since the Google Penguin and Panda updates, a lot of SEOs finally have realized that ranking a website in the long term is not just about building a large number of links. It’s also about creating high-quality content that will attract links naturally over time.
However, one type of SEO that still is underutilized is VSEO: video search engine optimization. Although a lot of brands are incorporating video content into their overall online marketing strategies, most SEOs don’t place a high priority on it. Usually, they opt for creating various other types of content (e.g., infographics, images, written content, etc.).
If used correctly, video can be an extremely powerful form of content and make a significant contribution to your overall SEO strategy, in more ways than one.
Avoiding a Common Trap and Defining Your Goals
Although the idea of producing a video might seem like a “nice” idea, it’s important to remember that it must compliment your overall SEO strategy and generate a return on investment (ROI).
If you fail to define your goals in the early stages, not only will the video end up costing you (or your client) a hefty chunk of money, it will be money down the drain that could have been spent better elsewhere.
Failing to clearly define goals is a common SEO mistake and one that often is seen with content such as infographics.
Many SEOs will commission the creation of an expensive, cool-looking infographic without putting enough thought into the overall goal. They get blinded by the idea that “infographics build links” without stopping to think whether they want the infographic to increase conversions, increase high-quality traffic (i.e., visitors who are likely to convert to paying customers), or simply provide off-page SEO benefits (i.e., links).
It’s the same with video content. You need to know what you want to get out of it. Without knowing this, it will be difficult to conceptualize/commission a production that has any hope of successfully captivating the intended audience and leading to your desired goals.
What Are Your Goals?
From an SEO point of view, there really are only two main goals that you possibly could have – to build links and generate social shares or to increase conversions.
Let’s start by looking at the first benefit mentioned above…
1. Build Links/Generate Social Shares
If it’s done well, a video can generate a large number of links for a website; and often from some pretty reputable domains, too. I’m not just talking about a few links, either. I’m talking about hundreds or thousands of high-quality links in some cases.
The problem is there’s so much online video content that unless you create an exceptional video and have a great outreach/marketing plan, its success is going to be limited.
People don’t link to or share any old rubbish these days. So, to get the success you’re looking for, it’s important for you to really think about who you want to share the video and who you want to link to it.
Essentially, your video has to offer something to the viewer. It might make them laugh, educate them, amaze them, shock them, or annoy them (or even a combination of these). The point is it needs to evoke a strong enough emotional reaction that they’ll want to share it, either by clicking the Tweet/Share button or by writing a post about it on their blog/website (with a link back to your site, of course).
Perhaps one of the best examples of a video that generated a massive amount of backlinks is the “viral” video from DollarShaveClub.com (above).
About a year ago, hardly anyone had heard of Dollar Shave Club, but shortly after they produced and marketed the video, that all changed.
Strangely enough, the Dollar Shave Club video wasn’t produced for link building purposes. It was produced with the aim of raising brand awareness. But in the modern world of SEO/marketing, brand awareness and link building are directly related, at least when it comes to online content.
Let me explain with a timeless viral example.
According to YouTube, the Dollar Shave Club video was uploaded on March 6, 2012. Following the upload, it didn’t take long for the video to start going viral. Partly due to a great PR/outreach strategy and, in large part, thanks to its very amusing concept, it started to gain a lot of attention for the company.
Within hours, it was featured on leading news sites across the web, including Mashable (pictured above), The Next Web, Techcrunch, and literally hundreds of others. Within a month or so, it also had been featured on many other leading sites that most SEOs would work extremely hard to obtain links from, such as Forbes and BusinessWeek.
Obviously, this is great for brand exposure, but what has this got to do with link building?
Every single one of those leading news websites mentioned above linked out to Dollar Shave Club in their articles, as did the hundreds of other sites that reported on the video.
In fact, this screenshot (taken from MajesticSEO back in the day), shows just how successful the video was for Dollar Shave Club in terms of SEO.
As you can see, around March 2012 (when the video was uploaded), Dollar Shave Club attracted approximately 18,000 backlinks and has continued to attract relatively large numbers of links every month since then.
If you take a look at the cumulative view of backlinks gained (pictured below) since the video was uploaded (approximately 12 months ago), you’ll see that it has attracted almost 90,000 links to date and the site still is attracting links naturally every month as people continue to write about it (like me).
The reason for this is the video struck a chord with its intended audience, and, as a result, went “viral” and attracted links. It was funny, original, and kept its target audience in mind.
There also was an excellent outreach/PR strategy in place, which was responsible for getting the video off the ground and starting the link building process.
These are all things to note if you’re looking to use video for SEO.
Moz Whiteboard Friday
As I mentioned earlier in this guide, videos don’t necessarily have to be funny to attract links. They just have to offer viewers something they want to see. One good way to do this is to create a video that’s educational.
Every Friday, Moz posts a “whiteboard” style video on their blog. Due to the regularity of these videos, they’ve become known as the “Whiteboard Friday” videos. These videos not only attract a lot of attention from SEOs around the world, but also attract a significant number of links, embeds, and social shares; therefore increasing traffic for SEOmoz.
According to Open Site Explorer, a particular Whiteboard Friday video received 402 links from 37 referring domains and well over 1,000 social shares. Once again, proof that people love video content.
What Should I Learn from All of This?
In both instances above (DollarShaveClub.com and Moz), video content has been responsible for successfully attracting a substantial number of inbound links and social shares for the website in question. This proves that, when used correctly, videos really can provide a huge boost to your SEO campaign.
However, both of these videos successfully attracted links for different reasons.
For Dollar Shave Club, it was all about the video seeding/outreach strategy. Mike Dubin, the founder of Dollar Shave Club, came from a video seeding background, which obviously played a big part in the success of the video. No one knew about Dollar Shave Club in the early days, so the outreach process definitely played an important role in getting things off the ground.
With Moz, it’s likely that there was no outreach conducted in order to attract links/social shares, as Moz already has an extremely large, loyal community of followers who are likely to share their content naturally. For them, simply producing a high-quality video targeted at their fan base is enough to attract links.
It’s important to consider this when using videos for SEO because all sites are different, and, therefore, will require a different approach. Ask yourself: Do I have enough high-quality traffic already to attract links automatically, or do I need to conduct outreach? And, if so, how much?
It’s also important to remember that it doesn’t matter how good your outreach plan is if your video isn’t of exceptional quality. If that is the case, it’s not going to attract a large number of links.
It’s tempting to cut corners and produce a sub-standard video in order to keep costs down. But, in the long-run, this won’t pay off. Ask yourself: Is my target audience going to be interested in this? Would I link to this if I came across it? Does it evoke an emotion? If you answer “no” to any of these questions, go back and rethink things before you produce your video.
One last thing: To get the full SEO potential of your videos, consider hosting videos on your own website (instead of Youtube or Vimeo). The reason for this is to get people to link back to your domain, which will help your overall SEO efforts as well. The possible downside would be reduced exposure or shares.
Also, on most video hosting sites you can link back to your content from the video webpage. Don’t forget to do this! It’s a free link 🙂
2. Increase Conversions
Although some SEOs might disagree with this, I believe that the job of an SEO isn’t necessarily to increase rankings, but rather to increase online sales/revenue for the client.
Obviously, this is a two-part process: attracting more visitors to a website and then optimizing the website so that more of those visitors convert into paying customers/clients.
Video content can be fantastic for increasing conversions on just about any website. In fact, more brands than ever are using videos on landing pages and on various other pages of their websites to keep visitors engaged and, eventually, convince them to make a purchase.
There are two main ways to increase conversions with video – by embedding a video on a landing page and by making use of rich snippets.
Video on a Landing Page
When a visitor lands on your site, you’ve literally got seconds to impress them and get them engaged with what you have to offer. This is the whole point of a landing page. But these days, people are so used to seeing rich media content on the internet that, quite frankly, text content often doesn’t keep them engaged.
Accordingly, I’m sure it comes as no surprise to you that embedding a video on your website not only will increase the length of time that visitors stick around, but, also, the number of conversions to paying customers, which, ultimately, is what SEO is all about.
Product videos are perhaps the most common way that retailers increase the conversion rate of their website using video content. Hundreds and thousands of retailers are making use of product videos these days, and it’s easy to see why.
According to Invodo, 52% of consumers say that watching product videos makes them feel more confident about going ahead and making a purchase.
Take a look at the screenshot above from the online retailer Zappos. It shows one of their product videos being used on the page for women’s Levi jeans. According to econsultancy, Zappos found that sales increased by between 6% and 30% on products with product videos.
Obviously, not every business with a website has a product to sell, as some businesses are service-oriented.
For these, you can increase conversions with the use of explainer/introductory videos. There are varying styles for these videos, and, truthfully, there’s no exact science as to what style works best. It’s more about producing a video that explains/introduces a client’s business effectively and in an engaging way.
Dropbox found that they increased their conversion rate by over 10% by adding this video to their homepage. And considering that their homepage receives over 750,000 visitors a month, this means that it increased signups by several thousand every day and no doubt generated a huge ROI.
This video on the other hand introduces a local mobile bar company by explaining the service, introducing the guys behind the business, and showing their services in action. It’s a similar length to the Dropbox video, but it is presented in a different style. When embedded on the “about us” page of the client’s website, it increased his overall conversion rate by around 7%.
Increasing conversions with video aren’t only about what you show the visitor once they land on your website, but also what you show the visitor before they even get there.
If you’ve noticed Google’s search results recently, you have seen a significant increase in the use of something called rich snippets, and, in particular, video rich snippets.
If you’re new to rich snippets, you can watch Google’s official explanation in the video above. Essentially, though, this is what a site with video rich snippets looks like in the SERPs:
As you can see, Google displays information about the video embedded on the page, letting the Googler know that, should they click through to your website, a video is awaiting them.
To put it simply, video-rich snippets help you stand out from the other nine search results on that particular page, and, therefore, searchers will be more inclined to click your result, which will increase traffic to your website.
You’ll be able to show searchers a thumbnail of your video and the length of your video. Make sure the thumbnail stands out and sums up what the video is about if you want to maximize conversions.
How Do You Use Rich Snippets for Video?
To show rich snippets for your video in the Google search results, you’re going to need to self-host your video. If you’re using WordPress, there is a workaround for hosting your videos with YouTube using the Yoast Plugin, but it’s definitely recommended that you self-host your content, if possible.
There are a number of other SEO benefits to self-hosting your videos as opposed to using a free video host such as YouTube, as documented here.
Once you’ve gotten your video hosted and embedded on your site, it’s simply a matter of informing Google about the video. To do this, you’ll have to add the required Schema.org code to your page and submit an XML sitemap within Google’s Webmaster Tools.
It’s a bit of a hassle, but once you know how to do it, it’s pretty easy to do time and time again. Plus, if you’re already ranking for any high-volume keywords, it is well worth the effort, as the increase in conversions should bring significantly more traffic to your site.
The popularity of online video presents a huge opportunity for SEOs willing to get creative to achieve results. Producing videos isn’t always cheap, but it usually isn’t as expensive as people believe it will be, either. If you’ve commissioned and marketed infographics before, you definitely can afford to produce a video and use VSEO that will generate a good ROI for you/your client.
Remember, quality is just as important when it comes to online video as it is when producing any other form of content.
About the Author: Josh Hardwick is the founder of ShortyMedia, a leading production company specializing in viral, corporate, and web videos. He also is a freelance SEO and loves producing great content and building links.
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The COVID-19 pandemic caught the world by surprise and turned the economy upside down. If you are a business trying to make it during this time, we can help. The Federal government has approved funding through The CARES Act, including the Paycheck Protection Plan. In addition, many states and local organizations are offering their own COVID-19 relief options. Beyond that, we can help you find the best business line of credit in a recession.
A Business Line of Credit is Like Miracle Grow for Your Business
A business line of credit can be an incredible tool for your business, even in a recession. You don’t want just any line of credit however. You want the best one for your business needs.
Not all businesses are the same, and not all lines of credit are best for all businesses. Different limits, rates, and terms work better for some than others. How do you ensure you are getting the best business line of credit in a recession?
What’s a Line of Credit?
It can help to get a quick rundown of exactly what a line of credit is. The most basic definition is that it is a revolving line of credit, similar to a credit card. You have a limit and continuous access to that limit while making payments only on the portion you use each month.
For example, if you have a $10,000 line of credit, you can use however much of those funds you need each month for whatever you want, unless your lender issues some sort of restriction. If you use $2,000, then when you get your statement your payment will be based on $2,000 plus the interest, rather than a payment plus interest on the entire credit line.
If you were to pay $1,000, then spend another $500, you would pay on the $1,500 balance the next month. Your payments change as your balance changes. Just like with a credit card.
Access is most typically granted through checks or a card connected to the line of credit account. Electronic draws and transfers are also popular.
Learn bank rating secrets with our free, sure-fire guide which can even help during a recession.
Line of Credit vs. Credit Cards
The question is always asked what the difference is between a line of credit and a credit card, and why is one better than the other? The truth is that in some cases, a credit card may be the better option. There is a choice to make based on several different factors.
The main difference between the two that most borrowers need to know is that a line of credit typically has a consistently lower interest rate. Also, there are no perks like 0% interest or cash back that you sometimes see with credit cards.
What Signifies the Best Business Line of Credit in a Recession?
The best business line of credit in a recession is going to be the one with the best rates and terms that your business can qualify for. That makes finding it a little more involved. You have to know where you stand and what various lenders offer and require.
It will take some leg work on your part to pull together the information needed for application. You will also need to understand that the best business line of credit in a recession may not come from the same place you would have gotten a business line of credit pre-recession. You might have better luck with online lenders or smaller banks over larger traditional banks during an economic downturn.
A Word of Warning
Before you apply for the best business line of credit in a recession, remember that balance is important. Recession times are by default, hard. A line of credit can ease some of the burden, but be careful not to let the credit line itself become a burden. Know your limits as far as what you can pay.
If you do not make payments on-time, you could end up with more trouble than you already had.
How to Find the Best Business Line of Credit in a Recession?
There are several steps to this process.
1. Why do you need a business line of credit in a recession?
Figuring this out could be the most vital step in finding the best business line of credit for your needs. You have to understand why you need a credit line in the first place. Here are some examples of how a business may use a line of credit.
- Take advantage of a sale on inventory, raw materials, or supplies. This can reduce the cost of goods sold and consequently, increase the bottom line.
- Purchase or repair minor equipment when needed. This would be like a new printer or laptop. It would not include items like an industrial oven or delivery truck. Larger equipment would best be purchased with an equipment loan.
- Bridge temporary cash gaps or continuous, known cash gaps due to timing issues. An example of this would be several bills that are due at the beginning of the month when you know your largest contracts pay at the end of the month. The money is coming, but the bills come due before the money gets there. You can pay the bills with the line of credit, then pay off the line of credit when the contracts pay.
Another example of this is a seasonal line of credit for a business that does the majority of its sales during a certain time of the year. A florist does a large percentage of sales during Valentines day, so a seasonal line of credit can come in handy to bridge the cash gap during other times of the year.
2. Determine your options.
Shop around with various financial institutions to determine which ones offer the best business lines of credit in a recession. You will want to look at factors such as interest rate and credit limit in relation to what you need and can afford.
Check with various types of lenders to get a feel for which ones offer what you need. Check with larger commercial banks, small local institutions and credit unions, and alternative lenders such as those that operate exclusively online.
Pay specific attention to eligibility requirements to avoid wasting your time with those you do not qualify for.
Learn bank rating secrets with our free, sure-fire guide which can even help during a recession.
3. Know where you stand.
Your ability to get approval for the best business line of credit in a recession will be directly related to your business credit. Traditional banks pay more attention to personal credit, but they crack down a lot on lending when there is a recession. Non-traditional lenders may also consider income and cash flow. They may, in addition, rely heavily on your business credit score when making an approval decision about a line of credit.
A lower business credit score does not necessarily mean you can’t get approval. It could greatly affect your interest rate and credit limit however.
Consider signing up for a credit monitoring service that lets you keep tabs on your business credit and what is affecting it each month. The one offered by CreditSuite.com is easy to use and cost effective.
Once you have a handle on why you need a business line of credit, what is available, and what you may actually be eligible for, you can make a decision as to where you are going to apply and which product you are going to apply for.
Determining which of these lenders has the best business line of credit in a recession for you goes back to knowing what you need, who has it, and who will approve you for it.
When Is a Line of Credit Better than a Credit Card?
If you are going to need to make payments, a line of credit is a better option. The reason is pretty simple. The credit rate is almost always lower. The few exceptions are those cards that offer 0% APR for a short period of time.
If you are going to use a credit card to make regular purchases you intend to pay off immediately, that’s another story. Especially if you qualify for a card with perks such as cash back. In that case, you may find that you can benefit from using a credit card over a line of credit.
An example would be if you wanted to use your business credit card to make your monthly supplies purchase each month and then pay it off in the following month. You could take advantage of the cash back and reduce your overall cost.
To float a cash flow gap or make significant purchases that you will need to pay out over a short amount of time, a line of credit is almost always the best choice.
Where to Find the Best Business Line of Credit in a Recession
Some small businesses will have a hard time getting approval from a traditional lender due to poor credit or a lack of sufficient credit history. We found examples of what alternative lenders are offering currently. Keep in mind these offerings can change, so make sure to visit the lender and verify.
Kabbage offers a credit line of up to $150,000 with no credit score required. The catch is that the interest rate is between 32% and 108%. The business must have been in existence for at least one year and have revenue of at least $50,000.
The interest rate is very high. This is really only an option for those businesses that cannot get financing due to a low or nonexistent credit score and need funding immediately.
There is a credit line available here of up to $100,000. A business must have what they consider to have “reasonable credit.” It also must be in business for at least one year and have more than $25,000 in revenue. Repayment is weekly.
Due to the lower revenue requirement, this is a good option for smaller businesses with okay credit scores but lower annual revenue. Also, the interest rate minimum is lower, with the low end at 9%.
If you have a credit score of at least 600 you can get a credit line of up to $100,000 with OnDeck. There is a $20 per month maintenance fee and weekly repayment. The interest rate is a little higher here than with those that require a higher credit score minimum. It ranges from 13.99% to 39.99%.
Again, due to the higher interest rate, this should only be an option if you cannot meet the higher credit score requirement.
The credit line offered by lending club goes up to a limit of $300,000. It requires a credit score of 600. In addition, at least one year in business and at least $50,000 in revenue are necessary. The repayment term is 25 months, and they require collateral for limits over $100,000.
This is a good option for those that meet the requirement as there is a higher limit available with collateral, and the interest rate can go as low as 6.25%. The repayment terms are much friendlier as well.
Credit Line Hybrid: Another Option
A credit line hybrid is revolving, unsecured financing. It allows you to fund your business without putting up collateral, and you only pay back what you use. It even works for startups.
What are the Qualifications?
How hard is it to qualify? It’s probably easier than you think. You do need good personal credit. That is, your personal credit score should be at least 685. In addition, you can’t have any liens, judgments, bankruptcies or late payments. Also, in the past 6 months, you should have less than 5 credit inquiries, and you should have less than a 45% balance on all business and personal credit cards. It’s also preferred that you have established business credit as well as personal credit.
If you do not meet all of the requirements, all is not lost. You can take on a credit partner that meets each of these requirements. Many business owners work with a friend or relative to fund their business. If a relative or a friend meets all of these requirements, they can partner with you to allow you to tap into their credit to access funding.
Business Credit in a Recession
When you apply for the best business line of credit in a recession, consider using your business credit rather than personal credit. Some lenders will require you to use both. If you can get a credit line on your business credit only, that is best. If not, strong business credit can help negotiate better terms and rates.
Learn bank rating secrets with our free, sure-fire guide which can even help during a recession.
Not sure what business credit is, if you have it, or how to get it? Here’s a quick rundown. Business credit is similar to your personal FICO, but it is for your business only. It is not attached to your name or social security number, but rather to your business name and EIN.
The most commonly used business credit reporting agency is Dun & Bradstreet, but there are others. With Dun & Bradstreet however, you must have a DUNS number to have a record with them. If you do not have one, you don’t have a D&B business credit report.
You can get a free DUNS number on the D&B website. Before you do, your business must be incorporated. It also must have dedicated, separate contact information that is not your personal contact information. You can find out more about incorporation options and how to get a free EIN on the IRS website.
It is Possible to Find the Best Business Line of Credit in a Recession
A business line of credit is a great financing option. It offers flexibility that isn’t always available with a term loan. Interest rates are often better than those offered by business credit cards. With alternative lenders in the mix, a line of credit is an option for most small businesses even during a recession.
The post How Does Your Garden Grow? Best Business Line of Credit in a Recession appeared first on Credit Suite.
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