Why Dex Media Buying YP Holdings Is Horrible News
In June, the former Dex Mediaannounced they acquired YP Holdings (Yellow Pages). While the company’s statement didn’t disclose any financial details, the Wall street Journal reported that it was a $600 million deal, and YP owners would retain a 3 percent stake in the combined company. The acquisition transitions Dex Media into DexYP
Joe Walsh, DexYP CEO, says the acquisition will help expand the company’s offerings and better promote their marketing platform (currently being used by almost 30,000 customers), Thryv. And according to the newly-created DexYP website:
“This transaction provides us with a greatly expanded client base and revenue profile, all with the national scale and infrastructure we need to continue to serve our clients and grow our business. Additionally, we now have an enhanced platform on which we can manage our print directories business profitably.”
On the surface, it seems to make sense. The two companies, both phone book publishers, were formerly competitors and that focused on offering directory resources and marketing solutions to small, local businesses. And as the age-old saying goes, “if you can’t beat em’, join em’.”
And yet, the acquisition is slightly confusing, given DexYP Media’s recent bankruptcy filing. Just over a year ago, the company filed for Chapter 11 protection. This was a part of a prepackaged bankruptcy-protected merger between Dex Media and SuperMedia. The bankruptcy isn’t the only warning sign: in fact, the company has had a turbulent history that goes back nearly a decade.
Google AMP – Just Another Fad or the Future of Mobile Surfing
Google has been up to a lot lately. While we continue to wait for their driver-less car, we are being treated to a number of moonshots: Google Home, Allo, Duo, Virtual Reality platform, and Android Instant among others. Whereas some of the projects are already hogging the spotlight, others are yet designed and tested in secrecy. Last year they launched Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project.
Let me explain. AMP is a new Google initiative meant to help web developers build better, more user- friendly mobile pages. The project has introduced a new set of “standard” rules for building web pages and content for mobile devices, with the main aim being the creation of ads and websites that are consistently fast and high performing across all media devices and distribution platforms.
Ever since AMP was launched, that’s February last year, it has been some big news, especially in the world of SEO. For various reasons, the speed for instance, AMP websites and pages have taken over ranking, often come up first in Google search results. Despite the thrill it has created, some webmasters are treating it with contempt. Is it here to stay or is it another fad? That’s the question.
Since its launch last year, some 1.5B pages have been developed using the new set of rules. There are over 100 Google AMP analytics as well that have been developed within this while. To this end there is some promise of a future. That it is an open source initiative makes it good for all. Web publishers and advertisers have a choice how to present their content and what technologies to use.
How SEO has Evolved the Years
Search Engine Optimization has evolved greatly in the recent past that most people who still held on the ‘ancient’ SEO practices believed that SEO died. Well, it is good to note that nothing has replaced SEO, it the same SEO that was but has just evolved.
Earlier SEO techniques
In the past, the most common SEO practices were keyword stuffing and link farming which to many people seemed unethical and were termed as spamming. However, it’s good to note that during this time, these were the most effective SEO practices, although today more effective SEO practices have emerged, we ought to know that these earlier practices laid the foundation upon which search algorithms have been improved.
Today, we can take pride in the effectiveness of social media and email marketing but it all began with these practices that we now term extinct. In 2010 for example, content spinning and link building were the main SEO practice that brought results even though they were still considered unethical.
These practices were later termed redundant right after Google updated its search algorithms. To those who didn’t embrace the new, SEO became dead but those who evolved with it saw great results.
Google releases that Changed SEO completely
During the years 2011 and 2012 google released google panda, penguin and hummingbird. These releases brought some of the prior SEO techniques to their death bed. For example, in 2011 after google panda was released, manipulative SEO practices like keyword stuffing become irrelevant. Businesses that relied heavily on keyword stuffing fell belly fast and had to fight to adjust to Google SEO standards.
Benefits Of Online Reviews And Its Impact On Search Results And Consumer Choices
During a recently concluded consumer review study by BrightLocal, the global search marketing group found quite some interesting online reviews statistics. According to the group, moving from a 3-star consumer rating to 5-star can get a business up to 25% more clicks from Google local 3-pack. Having a 5-star on the other hand according to the study can earn a business 39% more clicks.
Online reviews impact on businesses is quite high according to the study. It was further noted that 56% of online consumers select a business based on positive ratings and or reviews displayed in Google Map Pack. According to the study by the search marketing group, star ratings displayed in Local Maps usually act to generate higher Click Through-Rates (CTR) than organic search results.
The online reviews statistics by BrightLocal are not entirely unique though. Other online review impact studies by Moz.Com and The Local SEO Guide have recently given similar results. According to Moz.Com, 91% of consumers read online reviews when searching for local businesses. The SEO consulting company also indicates in their impact study that 84% of consumers trust online reviews.
Of significance is the fact that the studies agree on online review impact on ranking, click through rates (CTR), and business trust by clients. As is the case with the online review impact study by Bright Local, the studies by Moz.ComandThe Local SEO Guide both indicate that online reviews have an influence on position of a business in Google Local 3-pack and in localized organic search results.
The Importance of XML Sitemaps in SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is defined differently. It is common knowledge, however, that it is the process of getting or increasing traffic based on website content considered most “free”, most organic and most natural. What is important to keep in mind is that due to stiff competition and increased content syndication, one needs to establish that his/her website is the most original.
This is the number one benefit of XML sitemaps in SEO. But what is it exactly and how else is it important for SEO? XML sitemaps are technically referred to as URL inclusion protocols, which help to inform search engines what to crawl and or what to prioritize. To further understand XML sitemaps and SEO, benefit of XML sitemaps, and XML sitemaps generator, consider the following.
Imagine your website was a house and each page of the website was a room. An XML sitemap in this case would be the blue print of your house, showing all the rooms, where they are located and which ones among them are the most important to you. Unlike an ordinary blueprint, an XML sitemap also indicates how many times a page is visited, and when a change has been made to it.
Basically, XML sitemaps are important for SEO because they make it easier for Google and other search engines like Bing and Yahoo to find pages on your website – and this helps because beside websites, Google and the other search engines often rank web pages. XML sitemaps were first introduced by Google in 2005, others adopted the same a year later. You need XML sitemaps when:
How To Fix Business Challenges In The 21st Century
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 20% of upcoming companies and or businesses fail by end of their first year of establishment. By the end of their fifth year, 50% of the businesses go under and by the tenth year, the number of failed businesses often grows to 80%, says the federal bureau. You may not notice the significance of these figures until you start a business of your own.
The truth is that there are business struggles that are common and almost inevitable when starting. The most common business struggles companies often face when starting include access to financial and human capital, client reach, brand awareness and establishment of customer loyalty. You may relate, for most starters, the inevitable concerns are where to get capital and the clients.
You may also want to argue that despite the fact that most of the so called established businesses out here have little issue with capital and clientele, some of these business struggles are not unique to startups. Business challenges in the 21st century are more cross-cutting than unique. For the more established companies, the concerns are management, uncertainty and increased competition.
You may not notice the significance of these figures until you start a business of your own – sounds like there’s no hope. The struggles and business challenges in the 21st century indicated are all fixable.
1) Access to Capital
There’s great emphasis on capital when starting a business. It is indeed a significant requirement. What many forget is to have the right estimation, which should often come in a business plan. In most cases, a good business plan alone should be able to get you funding from financial lenders and similar bodies. You may however want to start with the support of friends and relatives though.
How And Why Content Marketing Works
The interesting bit of marketing today is that money is no longer stashed away in tight coffers. It is on the table surrounded by “greedy wolves” (read competitors), and how much you take home is entirely your call to make. That technology can make you more ‘gluttonous’ is not a hush-hush.
Online content marketing is in fact hot right now. This is despite the fact that Offline Sales is yet to go away. Reports indicate that more than half the offline market will be swayed by the current content marketing strategy trends come 2019 – that online sales will rise from $1.2 - $1.8 trillion.
Despite talks around its effectiveness, content marketing makes the difference today but what is it that makes it work? There are quite a number of reasons; one is that there’s increased access to the internet, two is that there’s increased need for information, and three, it is cheaper than advertising.
These are just but some of the common reasons why content marketing works. It is not a magical solution to marketing though. You need a good content marketing strategy to pull a success out of your efforts, which is better explained by the rather more popular phenomenon of a car dealership.
Every business can be likened to a car dealership. Car salespeople have never been held in high esteem. Most of them are thought to care more about commission than customer satisfaction. This is the journey of content marketing. Today it emphasizes more on customer satisfaction than sales.
How To Increase A Slow Loading Website
There’s nothing more frustrating than a slow loading website. According to Kissmetrics, 40 percent of internet users will abandon a site any time beyond three seconds of delay. According to the U.S. based data analytics platform, 47 percent of the users expect a page to load in two seconds or less. The truth is that the speed of a website has a great influence on page ranking and user satisfaction.
As indicated, a slow loading website is not only bad for the end-user; it’s a disaster for the website in terms of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and website ranking. Sometime in 2006, Amazonreported that for every 100 milliseconds they increased their website loading speed, they saw a 1% increase in revenue.Perhaps you’re wondering, what are some of the causes of a slow loading page?
Common Causes Of A Slow Loading Page
The most common causes of a slow loading page include; lack of domain sharding, un-optimized images and those without caching information, and content served without http compression as well as server performance. Other, less technical causes of a slow loading page include; lots of traffic, code density, outdated CMS, too many file requests and plugins, or unnecessary redirects.
Most browsers can typically support up to four concurrent downloads of static resources for every hostname, which means that if your page is loading many static resources from the same hostname at the same time then the browser will restrict access to all content. This is what domain sharding means. So by splitting resources across two different domains, you can double browser speed.
Un-optimized images are impacting 90% of slow loading websites. They are these images that can be reduced in size without visually impacting the user. The method of optimization is called lossless optimization. Images that are optimized using this method should be same in size to their original, only stripped of irrelevant metadata (useful to the designer – not the user) that describes them.
The 3 C's of Building a Successful Website
Websites are vital for any business, large or small, and even for those who don’t necessarily sell product online. Websites let customers check the hours and location of your physical shop, and can make it easy for customers to order from you without ever leaving their home. When you are ready to build a website for your business, note the 3 Cs of doing this successfully, and of having a website that really contributes to the growth of your business.
The more quality content a website offers, the more likely it is to be found online. Search engines like Google and Yahoo still choose websites with more content to show up at the top of the list when visitors search for words and phrases, so you need more than just headlines on your site. If your website is short on content, add a blog to help fill this void.
Remember, however, that most search engines also note the amount of time visitors spend at your site, so you need quality content that invites readers to stay, not just filler and fluff. Hire a web designer or a freelance writer to come up with quality content if you’re not sure where to start.
How easy is it for customers to navigate your website? Can they quickly find the menu to click through product pages, or find the page that answers their questions about your hours and location? If they cannot find these important points within a matter of seconds and cannot easily work through the different parts of your website, they may simply click away, and usually to the website of a competitor!
6 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Website
Does your business have a website? Some business owners may think a website isn’t needed unless they actually sell products online, but this can be a mistake. Here are 6 reasons why every business needs a good website, no matter what they sell, service they offer, or the size of the company.
1. Customers look online before shopping in person
If you own a brick-and-mortar business and only work or sell out of this shop, your customers may still search for your business online before visiting or requesting service. They may want to check your hours, location, and phone number if they need to call for various reason. In some cases, if a customer can’t find a website, they may not be able to find important information that aids in their decision making such as your physical location, or they may assume you’ve gone out of business!
2. Websites sell products and services
Colorful photographs of the dishes you serve in a restaurant can impel potential customers to stop by. A list of the benefits of having a professional prepare your taxes can convince people that they need your accounting services. Videos of relaxing massages can make a person feel that they need to visit your spa for such a treatment as soon as possible! The power of suggestion can be very effective, and your website can be used in this way no matter your business.
3. Online searching cuts down on interruptions
How often has your staff had to answer a phone call from someone who only needed to know your hours, location, if you have a certain product in stock, or if they needed an appointment? Having this basic information available online can reduce the minutes and hours your staff might waste answering these questions over the phone.
I'm a US Navy Veteran, current full-time college student and consultant in Digital Marketing and Social Selling for small businesses nationally. Founder/SEO specialist of Sayles Industries, a Tristate-based Digital Marketing Agency that helps businesses grow.