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How Millennials Are Changing Stock Investing

January 25, 2021 4 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
There are differing opinions on what defines a millennial (though they are generally considered to have been born between the very early 1980s and late 1990s), but with numbers totaling approximately 72 million, this cohort has become the most populus living adult generation in America. Thus, Wall Street pays attention to their immense purchasing power and investing behaviors.
According to a 2018 survey by CFA Institute, millennials cite, amongst their top money goals, to avoid living paycheck to paycheck and the ability to pay their monthly bills. They are also saving more money than older folks and, part and parcel, don’t like paying for costs that undermine one’s ability to save and invest. Here’s how this age group is changing the $35 trillion U.S. stock market.
Related: 5 Simple Tips You Can Use to Capture the Attention of Millennials
Low commissions on trading
To trim expenses, 44% of millennials cook at home; 32% use coupons; and 31% cancel subscriptions, according to a 2017 survey by Discover. Thus, brokerages are reducing or eliminating trading fees to accommodate these investors’ preference for low-cost investing.
So, how are investment firms adjusting their operations to accommodate lower fees? “Given that younger consumers are searching online for better deals, large and small brokerages have been slashing stock-trading fees,” affirms Steven Woods, founder of New York-based Stirlingshire Investments. And then there’s Robinhood, which disrupted discount brokers by eliminating fees. 
According to the same 2018 CFA Institute survey, 42% of millennials don’t know what type of fee finance professionals charge. But many will know value when they see it.
Zero-commission trades are extremely valuable long-term. These add money to an investors’ pocket and can be worth thousands of dollars when compounded over a lifetime. In fact, Warren Buffett advises people to avoid paying commissions as much as possible due to their expensive compounding effect.
Micro investing and fractional ownership
The same Discover survey found 81% of millennials are saving money. That’s compared to 74% for Gen Xers (ages 41-55) and 77% for Baby Boomers (ages 56-75). A recent 2020 survey by Bank of America found that 24% of millennials have stashed more than $100,000. Their top three saving motivations are retirement (75%), emergency fund (51%) and travel (42%).
Last year, the S&P 500 gained 31.5%, making stock investing an important strategy for building wealth. And the stock market has democratized over the past decade by becoming more financially inclusive. Thanks to micro-investing and fractional ownership, people of all economic backgrounds can invest for the future if they possess the discipline to save from each paycheck. This method is great for putting extra cash to work instead of letting funds earn a measly 2% at a bank savings account.
For example, micro-investing apps like Acorns and Stash are popular with millennials. When it comes to fractional ownership, Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary’s Beanstox app lets anyone buy and sell securities in small dollar amounts. Students, young professionals and even unemployed workers can still participate in the stock market and diversify a portfolio.
Decentralized finance
Finally, decentralized finance (DeFi) represents the biggest threat to traditional banks and brokerages that don’t pivot towards a fast-growing digital asset industry. During the 2008 financial crisis, millennials across America saw their parents weep at dinner tables for losing their job and losing a nest egg due to Wall Street’s unethical practices in the mortgage sector.
Bitcoin (BTC) was birthed during last decade’s housing crisis. As non-sovereign, borderless money, Bitcoin has risen spectacularly to its current $16,000 valuation. It’s also the first and most important decentralized financial instrument, commanding 65% dominance in the $465 billion cryptocurrency market.
Related: Why Small Businesses Should Consider Bitcoin
So what do cryptos have to do with stock investing? First, Fortune 500 companies are beginning to accept Bitcoin as a method of payment. If you believe in the continued rise of cryptocurrencies, this may be a factor in your equity-purchase decisions. Global brands like Visa, PayPal, Starbucks and Microsoft let users transact with bitcoins.
Secondly, Wall Street banks are exploring tokenization to drastically cut trading and remittance costs. While these are centralized coins, DeFi is putting pressure on the equities ecosystem to consider frictionless technologies to gain efficiencies at scale. 
Finally, DeFi ventures are offering people high interest rates in exchange for staking their digital coins. Crypto lending can lead to investors earning more than 10% to 15% in annual interest. This gives the younger crowd an alternative to dividend-paying stocks that won’t pay nearly as much.
Millennials want to do business with business- and tech-forward companies. These changes will improve the consumer journey, as well as make the U.S. economy more inclusive and efficient.

5 Keys to Having a Remote Staff That's Engaged

January 25, 2021 7 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Remote work is no longer a privilege or a highly sought-after flexible option. Instead, it’s become the backbone of many businesses and organizations, required to keep things on track and moving forward. As you’ve probably realized already, having a well-run virtual meeting is one thing, but developing an engaged, remote staff is its own kind of superpower. So whether you’re hiring remotely for a few key positions or you have moved your entire operation online, these are the keys that will take your staff from distracted and scrolling to engaged and winning. 
Personalized recognition
Your team is made up of individuals who have different likes, interests and experiences. Their perspectives are diverse, and what means one thing to one person could mean something drastically different to another. That’s why it’s vital to recognize and celebrate your team members in a way that they can receive it instead of simply having one standard process in place that might leave some of your team members feeling unsupported.
During your employee onboarding process, make sure to ask and document how your new hires prefer to be recognized for their achievements. You can also do this in quarterly reviews, where you can update any preferences existing employees have so your leadership team can make sure they’re boosting team morale across the board. 
Related: 4 Ways to Personalize the Employee Experience
Systems and processes
Whenever you have more than one person working on a project, it’s easy for things to slip through the cracks. The systems put in place to make collaboration more streamlined are what keeps your team on track and helps you align your company’s mission and values. The systems and processes that are implemented should reflect the needs of your team. 
For example, if your team is made up of a mix of auditory learners, visual learners and experiential learners, the system through which they can deliver their projects should be accessible to their favored mode of learning. This will help your team be more productive and deliver things faster than trying to work with systems that aren’t built to support their natural processes. 
Expectations and standards
Setting expectations for your team and how they interact with one another is a great way to head off issues before they become problems. It’s through this process that you set the standards for how your team operates. 
For example, if you set the expectation that when a team member runs into a problem they’ve struggled to solve for a certain period of time, they should reach out to their supervisor or another colleague for help, then you create a safe space for collaboration to flourish. 
Expectations and standards let your team know how they should show up in the business, even when they aren’t sure what to do next. It mitigates the gray areas so they can keep the momentum going easier.
Related: The Power of Clear Expectations Between Managers and Employees
Quality communication
Communicating with your team is one of the ways to make them feel included and show them that they matter to your organization. You may not be able to communicate all of the time, but when you do, your team should have your attention. Likewise, when leadership or management is communicating with your team, it’s helpful to have a standard operating procedure that fosters inclusivity.
Other ways to build quality communication are to make sure you’re celebrating your team’s wins, as well as addressing their struggles, and to communicate in ways that your individual team members can receive. With more organizations going online, there’s more email and chat-based communication in business. It’s important to remember that it’s easy for tone and intention to get lost in text-based communications, especially in quick conversations. So when you prioritize quality communication with your team, you create a space for engagement to flourish.
In an online environment, it can be easy for team members to fall into lone wolf behavior. It’s crucial that your team communicates with one another regularly and that they lean on each other for support. This can keep everyone rowing in the same direction and help to keep your team on task.
Related: How to Improve Communication Between Generations in the Workplace
Build camaraderie 
Camaraderie is essential for a team that works well together. Gallup uncovered that employees who had close friendships at work were more than twice as likely to be engaged than their counterparts who did not have close relationships at work. Not only do close friendships at work create more engagement, but they’re also more likely to inspire employees to make decisions for the good of the team and the business that they otherwise would not make. 
So how do you build camaraderie with a virtual team? Pretend you’re in person. 
Before 2020, it was much easier to get team members together for a day in the park or to take part in a community service activity together. Today, these activities need to transition into a virtual environment. Here are a few things you can do to build that camaraderie: 

Virtual bucket filling sessions: If you’ve ever been to camp, you’ll know compliments and saying kind or appreciative things to one another can create a bond quickly. This can especially be helpful for team members who are more isolated and don’t receive regular interaction with other people.

Virtual happy hour: Instead of grabbing a drink with employees when the workday is finished, set up an evening virtual call where everyone can bring their favorite drink and dessert. Creating a relaxed atmosphere where your team can simply be people connecting with one another is a powerful way to build trust and connection within these relationships.

Watch party: Now you can stream movies and TV shows with other people, no matter where you are in the world. This gives your team the opportunity to laugh with each other and share in an experience together that has no bearing on work or productivity. They just get to relax and enjoy one another’s company.

Community service projects: If your team is moved by altruistic work and values, it could be a powerful opportunity to work on community service projects together that are online instead of in person. A couple of examples would be to strategize and run an online fundraiser together for your team’s favorite charity or to do individual charity projects culminating in a team debrief. However your team chooses to serve, it gives them the opportunity to develop their connections with one another beyond work.

What your employees need
In order to be fully engaged at work, your employees need to feel like they matter to the company, that their efforts make a difference, that they belong to the culture, and that their work is more than just a job. If you utilize these techniques for engaging your employees, you’ll facilitate the kind of environment where your team’s needs are met on a consistent basis. When your employees’ needs are met, you’re more likely to draw out the best in them. 
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Free Webinar | Feb. 11: Smart Storytelling for Impactful Marketing

Join Julian Mitchelll, co-founder of IQ Labs Inc to learn the art of strong brand building through impactful storytelling.
Free Book Preview Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising
Get a glimpse of how to use Facebook’s marketing resources to your business’s advantage.

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The convergence of media, marketing and technology has redefined the mechanics of building brands in the modern world. In a digital era dominated by social media and short-form video, brands express their value and perspective through storytelling, making content the language brands use to communicate. Thus, the most impactful brands understand that content is more than a marketing strategy; it’s a tool to create conversation, build community and design culture.
Join Julian Mitchell, award-winning marketer, multimedia journalist and co-founder of IQ Labs Inc, for a workshop about the mechanics of building impactful brands through smart and effective storytelling.
Lesson 1: Identify the market-fit opportunity
Lesson 2: How to shape your brand story
Lesson 3: How to break into the market
Register Now
Julian Mitchell is an award-winning marketer, instructor, and multimedia journalist and co-founder of IQ Labs Inc. He’s spearheaded content and campaign strategy for brands like Beats By Dre, Honda, Wells Fargo, Google, Amazon Studios, Luc Belaire, the NFL and Magic Johnson Enterprises. In 2013, Mitchell worked alongside Sean “Diddy” Combs to launch REVOLT Media & TV as Social Media and Editorial Director.
Prior to launching IQ Labs, Mitchell spent four years as a Forbes columnist covering disruptive entrepreneurs and startups, in addition to profiling the biggest names and news across music, media and entertainment. Mitchell carries years of experience as an instructor for MediaBistro, also speaking and serving on the advisory board of notable conferences such as CES, VidCon, Summit, Social Media Week, ANA, A3C, and MegaFest among others.

5 Stock Design Asset Resources to Help Drive Sales and Traffic for Your Business

Marketing is easier when you have the platforms to support it.
Free Book Preview Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising
Get a glimpse of how to use Facebook’s marketing resources to your business’s advantage.

January 25, 2021 3 min read
Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.
Marketing is a creative pursuit, especially in a supersaturated digital landscape. It can be expensive to make your brand stand out from the noise, which is why it’s so important to invest in high-quality, attractive, compelling marketing materials that tell a coherent story. You want your brand to look as amazing as your product is, so you need access to awesome digital design assets. As such, we’ve rounded up some of the coolest design libraries online today. Check them out.
1. StockUnlimited Vector Plan: Lifetime Subscription
TechCrunch describes StockUnlimited as the Netflix of stock imagery. This all-vector graphics content store gives you access to hundreds of thousands of modern, one-of-a-kind vector designs that you can download royalty-free. Plus, they add thousands of new designs monthly.
Get a lifetime subscription to StockUnlimited for $34.99 (Reg. $684), a savings of 94 percent.
2. Scopio Authentic Stock Photography: Lifetime Subscription
Real life makes for great ads. Scopio’s enormous library of amazing photos from all over the world allows you to create marketing campaigns, sales briefs, and more materials that truly immerse people in your brand. Scopio’s talented photographers and creators hail from more than 160 countries, adding authentic imagery every day.
Get a lifetime subscription to Scopio for $29 (Reg. $3,480), a savings of 99 percent.
3. VectorGrove Unlimited Vector Images: Lifetime Subscription
VectorGrove aims to simplify any design project with more than 1.2 million royalty-free vector images. You can use them for web design, social media, video advertising, brochures, and much more, all without having to worry about licensing. Plus, you can resize all files indefinitely without losing image quality.
Get a lifetime subscription to VectorGrove for $39.99 (Reg. $4,999), a savings of 99 percent.
4. Foto Video Club 10 Million+ Stock Media: Lifetime Subscription
With Foto Video Club, you pay just once to access a massive stock media library. All of their resources are royalty-free and are available for unlimited downloads. They even offer an editor onsite to help you streamline your workflow.
Get a lifetime subscription to Foto Video Club for $44.99 (Reg. $197), a savings of 77 percent.
5. JumpStory™ Authentic Stock Photography: Lifetime Membership
JumpStory offers one of the most impressive stock photo and video libraries on the planet. With more than 25 million images, illustrations, vector icons, and videos, you can supercharge blogs, websites, emails, social media, ASMR, and so much more. JumpStory uses AI to help you find exactly what you’re looking for within seconds, and can even predict the potential marketing performance of photos.
Get a lifetime membership to JumpStory for $99.99 (Reg. $2,340), a savings of 95 percent.
Prices subject to change.

Marketplace Networks: A Solid Advertising Attribution Opportunity

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By Jeff Keenan, SVP Media Attribution, co-founder at LeadsRx, helping customers improve revenue by implementing attribution and a customer-centric attitude.

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Being the owner of an aggregator, directory, franchise or other marketplace site providing marketing assistance to an entire ecosystem requires diligence and, now more than ever, unbiased measurement of marketing performance. Network partners on the selling end of the partnership will demand it, if they are not already.
First, let’s go over some definitions so we are on the same page.
• Networks are businesses that market by promoting and advertising the products and services of partners within the network (Zillow, for example)

• Partners are members of a network. All partners perform marketing, but only some partners do the actual selling of the product or service (a real estate agent, for example)
• Ecosystems are a collection of networks and partners working together — or sometimes competitively — to sell within a particular industry (real estate, for example)
Seems simple enough. But, as an entrepreneur, I often seek out interesting niches with problems to see if a solution can be provided — and this notion of ecosystem marketing caught my eye.
How can you, the owner of a network working so diligently to promote and advertise on behalf of the partners in your network, prove that all your effort is indeed paying off with sales conversions? Because each partner uses analytic systems that are not shared with you, they likely aren’t including all the valuable touch points you create. Ultimately, the service value you provide could seem lackluster and understated.

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It sure would be nice if you received credit for the value you are delivering across the entire network.
The Problem With Attribution Across Networks
For years, savvy entrepreneurs have used marketing attribution to determine which marketing channels and combinations thereof provide the best return on ad spend (ROAS). But with these unique ecosystems — with network owners on one end and selling partners on the other — customer journey and attribution analysis can get sticky if collaboration and cooperation are not happening.
Partners are not sharing marketing data across the ecosystem. Without this, networks within the ecosystem can’t accurately attribute the value their various marketing campaigns are delivering.
To a marketer who manages a network and advertises on behalf of its partners, that’s incredibly concerning because shared insights and visibility prove the efficacy of their campaigns. It also gives them the data they need to actually improve those campaigns, because they know what is and is not working.
A Typical Ecosystem Customer Journey In Need Of Attribution
Let’s look at an example. Pick any auto network — say cars.com, cargurus.com, autotrader.com. Those marketplaces represent likely thousands of dealers, from Hank’s Country Dodge to Volkwagen Autohaus of Missoula to Sherry’s Southeastern Kia — all local or regional dealers who advertise with the car-shopping marketplace sites in hopes of garnering interest in the inventory of vehicles they have on their lots.
Each network buys offline ads (radio, TV) and online ads (paid search, social media) to promote their brands and push visitors of their sites to their partners (dealerships) in their network. Here’s a possible customer journey:
• A radio listener hears an ad while commuting to work.
• After settling in at their desk and knocking out essential emails, they visit the site of the car-shopping marketplace heard advertised minutes earlier.
• Motivated to get out of their current repair-riddled ride, the consumer sees a listing for a two-door sport coupe in their price range.
• They click the ad, visit the Volkswagen Autohaus site and fill out a form to see if they qualify for the 0% financing deal.
• They qualify, so they call the dealership and ask if they can see the car in person and then drive to the lot.
• After a test drive, the consumer determines the car and price point are perfect. They sign on the dotted line and leave the lot in their new ride.
Sounds complicated, right? Actually, for a car purchase, that’s a pretty typical route to a conversion.
Again, the problem is the journey is disconnected, and no one partner gets to see the whole picture.
The Hope For Attribution
A key technology that could step in here to solve the ecosystem challenge is marketing attribution. At its core, attribution captures buyer journeys across all touch points to see which common paths lead to conversion. Once attribution is capable of working in the collaborative-marketing environment of networks and ecosystems, we’ll have a solution the industry will be clamoring for.
When deployed properly across networks and partners, attribution across the ecosystem would allow the transparent sharing of data across all constituents — upstream and downstream — so true attribution credit is given, and the exact buyer journey is revealed. Networks can prove they are not only delivering top-of-funnel leads, but they are contributing to bottom-of-funnel conversions.
The trick for ecosystems, particularly networks and their partners, will be to collaborate and share attribution data so the benefit is mutual and results transparent. That is when marketing performance would flourish across the entire ecosystem. But without proper attribution, networks can expect that their ad revenue will dry up. Advertisers will move away from those channels that lack the impartial attribution they demand.

Financial Independence In 3 Years Instead Of 30?

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Living in freedom due to financial independence.
Photo by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash
It is possible to become financially independent in three years, especially the coming three years?
Retirement planning promotes a 30 year plan of saving, scrimping and cutting back in the hopes that discipline and patience will payoff. So when someone becomes financially independent in one-tenth of that time, was it because they took more risk, hustled harder or was it just luck?
Most likely, it’s none of the above. You don’t need to take risks to get rich, but learning to manage it is helpful. Hard work won’t help if you have the wrong methodology. Cutting back isn’t the answer either, people don’t just “shrink” their way to wealth. Obsessing over what can be cut or reduced is finite and leads to a mindset that is unlikely to create wealth.
So if the answer is not risk-taking, hard work or cutting back, how can you gain substantial wealth in three years? I’m going to break it down for you, but first, there are a few steps to consider and criteria to know how to navigate in order to stack the odds in your favor.  

How To Recover Your Cash
Before we get into wealth creation, let’s look first at keeping more of your money. There are four I’s to recovering your cash that will have a big impact on these three years.
First is the IRS: make sure you’re not tipping the government. The majority of business owners overpay on their income tax. Look to maximize your deductions and reclassify your income to pay less on what you earn. This requires a proactive approach of meeting with a tax team that may include an attorney, tax strategist and even a cost segregation engineer if you own a commercial building.  
Next up is interest. This is about restructuring loans, renegotiating interest rates and reallocating resources if you have underperforming assets that could be used to pay off high-interest loans.  Interest rates are low right now, look to refinance and lower your interest rates.  

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The third I is investments. Protect the downside, eliminate non-performing fees and look to create cash flow with them immediately.  
Finally, insurance: eliminate inefficiency or duplicate costs by having the right design.
Criteria For Gaining Financial Independence
Recovering cash is important, but, if you don’t have all the pieces in place before you start, you won’t get to where you want to go.
First, don’t borrow to consume. If you have loans beyond car loans or mortgages, your cash flow is going in the wrong direction. Instead, if you do borrow, only use loans tied to assets that produce cash flow. Examples would be a business or the right piece of real estate.
Expand your means with the right relationships. A catalyst is an amplifier relationship. This person believes in you, connects you to people and opportunity and sees the potential in you, perhaps even more than you do. If you have two or three catalysts in your circle of relationships, even better. This is also the right time to remove toxic relationships in your life. 
Finally, you have to forgive yourself for past mistakes and face any pain that has caused you to lose confidence, kept you from loving yourself, or destroyed your self-esteem. You don’t need money to make money. That’s what people tell you when they want your money. Wealth creation all starts with you, your mindset, and your ability to deliver value.  
The Value Equation
Wealth is a function of your Mental Capital and your Relationship Capital. So many people get this backwards. They want to put financial capital at the beginning of the equation instead of at the end. 
The value equation is: Mental Capital x Relationship Capital = Financial Capital.
Maximize your Mental Capital. What are your ideas? What knowledge do you have? Can you share unique strategies, insights, or wisdom that will offer value to the world?
An oft-repeated saying on this topic is: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” To that I say: “If you don’t know anything, nobody will want to hang out with you!” One of the most precious forms of capital is what’s inside your head, so how can you bring that to people in order to serve them and solve problems?
On the other hand, Relationship Capital is key.
It’s an overlooked resource that actually has the greatest potential to grow your wealth because people are the only true assets. Relationship Capital comes in the form of networks, organizations, customers, friends and family.
Who are your friends? I consider friends the people who want me to succeed and are willing to support me. They’re the people I can count on and I want to spend as much time as possible with them. On the other hand, there are people I’m friendly with who don’t share my values, are constantly creating drama, or even in some cases, take joy in seeing me suffer. I will politely decline any invitations from these types of people because I don’t want to invite them into my life. If you have the mental capital but aren’t getting the results you want, examine your relationships.
Business As The Bridge
Business is the bridge between your Mental Capital and Relationship Capital.
Wealth is about value creation. It’s about leveraging your Mental Capital to provide value to as many people as possible, or simply serving those in your orbit with the highest possible impact and focus. It’s not about leveraging money. If you borrow money without the right Mental Capital, you take unnecessary risk. For example, if you buy real estate without knowing how to cash flow that piece of property, risk is created.
But with the right Mental Capital and the right relationships, you give yourself a huge advantage by minimizing risk.
You don’t need to have all the resources to be financially independent in three years, you just have to plug financial leaks, turn accumulating assets into cash flow, and become a better investor by surrounding yourself with the right team and increasing your Mental Capital. To be a better investor and create more cash flow It’s about your Mental Capital—identifying and utilizing the unique value you can offer. It’s about your Relationship Capital: who you spend your time with and how much value you offer them.
Value creation comes from a willingness to serve others and solve problems. 
If you have a clear path to do that, you can capitalize on the massive wealth transfer taking place.

Entre Institute Review: Has Jeff Lerner Changed His Spots Now?

This Entre Institute review is not the first review we did on Jeff’s products. Just the other day I did a Class With Jeff review which just turned out to be a portal to Entre Institute.  Jeff Lerner has been considered by many as a serial scammer, and for good reason. He has a bad history of releasing pieces of internet … Read more
The post Entre Institute Review: Has Jeff Lerner Changed His Spots Now? first appeared on The Make Money Online Blog.

How to Be a Business With a Longevity Plan

For most small businesses, it was a rough year. Many owners learned that they now need to build a business with a longevity plan in place and not just think about how to generate revenue this month.
On the Small Business Radio Show this week, Seth Kaplowitz, an attorney who brings his practical and legal experience directly to entrepreneurs, discusses a plan that focuses on growth and exit opportunities.
Interview with Seth Kaplowitz
Seth believes that small business owners don’t focus on the long term because they are looking at generating short term revenue. He says that while this is important, they also need to be aware how “what I do today” is going to affect the business 5 to 10 years from now. It is critical to “create business assets that are monetizable and not only what generates business now.” In any longevity plan, Seth suggests looking now at what your goals are and over what period of time you want to achieve it.
One of the roadblocks for a longevity plan this year for small businesses has been to navigate all the existing and new local, state and federal regulations. With COVID, Seth notes that the volume of regulations has increased and they have been drafted quickly to deal with the urgent situation. He suggests staying connected to your state and local government and understand what their requirements are since not following them could later be very costly.
Seth warns that small business owners that are reimaging their business during COVID and perhaps adding new functions to their website or doing e-commerce for the first time, may face a lot of new privacy policies. Seth says that every small business needs to have some type of privacy policy on their website that informs people how they handle their information and how customers can control that information.
Listen to the entire episode of the Small Business Radio Show.
Image: kaplowitzfirm.com

Navigating Google E-A-T For SEO Success In 2021

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By Matt Bertram, Enterprise Seo Consultant at EWR Digital, and co-host of the SEO podcast “The Unknown Secrets of Internet Marketing.”

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Are you looking to truly ramp up your organic search result rankings and subsequent revenue during 2021? If so, Google’s E-A-T should be high on your digital radar.
E-A-T stands for expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness, and the concept of rating websites is nothing new for top-level SEOs. The concept was first published in Google’s 2014 Search Quality Guidelines, and it has gained more and more importance over the years. E-A-T was mentioned 131 times in the 168-page guidelines for 2020.
To establish E-A-T guidelines, Google has thousands of actual humans manually reviewing various webpages and then reporting their quality analysis to Google. 
Yes, actual humans, not machines. 

It’s no simple task, but this is the type of work that keeps Google at the top of the search engine game. In October, Google controlled 88% of all search queries. Though E-A-T is not necessarily a direct ranking factor through the algorithms, its data helps Google improve its algorithms. 
What you can learn from E-A-T that will help you grow your online revenue. Google says this is especially true for Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) websites, which offer advice or products around medical, legal or finances.

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First, let’s quickly describe these three terms from Google:
Expertise: This element focuses on the context of the content providing an expert outlook. It looks at the expertise of the page of contents, not the website’s content as a whole. Though Google is unclear of the criteria, having an expert author or expert opinions within content will likely help you score high in expertise.
Authoritativeness: This element focuses on the authority of the website’s content and the strength of the domain. These rankings arrive from external signals such as qualitative links from other relevant websites and brand mentions across forums and social media channels. 
Trustworthiness: This element is similar to expertise but focuses on the trustworthiness of the content in relation to the trustworthiness of the domain. For example, if you had poor and untrustful content across your sales consulting website but then landed a guest post by Jordan Belfort, author of Wolf of Wall Street, the article would appeal to the expertise element of E-A-T but not the trustworthiness of the website. 
Let’s move onto some tips that can improve your E-A-T and increase your search rankings and revenue. 
Again, establishing a strong E-A-T on your website is not achievable by simply using targeted keywords, having a quick technical platform, and building a few links from reputable websites. You need to follow the guidelines across each page and build out the strongest content possible to feed all Google’s E-A-T demands.
Google outlines many ways to improve your E-A-T. Here are a few of the highlights from those guidelines: 
• Does the content contain original information, reporting, research or analysis?
• If content pulls from other sources, does it provide substantial added value and originality rather than simply copying or rewriting from sources?
• Does the title or headline of the page steer away from exaggeration or shock in nature?
• Is this content written by an expert or enthusiast who demonstrably knows the topic well?
• Is the content free from easily verified factual errors?
• Was the content produced well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
• Does content display well for mobile devices when viewed on them?
• Does the content provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
From my own experience and from other experts in digital marketing, I’ve built a deeper dive into what can help your E-A-T in 2021 and beyond. E-A-T strategies are unique to each niche, but the following can strengthen E-A-T of any website type. 
Expert Content 
Make sure all is written by an expert or attributes experts within the industry. If a Google reviewer visits a webpage and the blogs are authored by someone not even found on Google, how can they trust that content? This should set the intentions beforehand. 
For example, if you’re creating content about real estate investing, searchers will undoubtedly want expertise. Tips and success stories from real estate gurus will provide the energy for such content. 
A tip for building truly expert content? Have the most successful and known person become the voice of most of your content, regardless if some work must be ghostwritten. Also, seek known experts within your niche, and ask them to guest post. Think of if you sold chef’s knives and had a top-rated chef contribute content about how to slice various meats and vegetables correctly. That would provide more exposure for the chef and more E-A-T for your website. 
Strong And Relevant Signals From Other Online Channels
Another guideline has to do with everything outside of your website itself. This means links pointing to your website (and link quality) and brand mentions in other articles and social media.
Sometimes those brand mentions won’t be linked, but they help drive authority and are recognized by search bots. 
Links, brand mentions, and how anyone online is talking about you is relevant to your E-A-T score. If you’re marketing SEO and one of your articles is mentioned on a pest control website, that signal is irrelevant. Actively build relationships with authors and websites that mention you. 
Set up Google Alerts for anything related to your brand, from author or company names to the names of services and products you provide. Once you’re mentioned online, reach out and thank them. This will help build trust and influence whether they use your material in the future. 
Google has put much energy into explaining E-A-T and outlining guidelines for strengthening it. Many online businesses are ignorant of E-A-T, which is unfortunate. If you want to remain a leader in your niche, take an intense look at your website’s content and signals from other channels.
Take the advice above as an opportunity to refresh your website’s content and SEO to ramp up your E-A-T. The results will allow you to build stronger rankings and revenue and scale your authoritative voice within your industry.

Working from Home (Again) – Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle

Reading Time: 5 mins Many of us are either working from home again, or never stopped since the first lockdown! It’s much harder to keep healthy when it’s cold and dark outside. Here are some tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle while you’re working from home. Hopefully these will keep you motivated throughout the long winter months. Exercise While … read more
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