Google leads $145M investment in India’s Glance; backs DailyHunt in $100M round

Indian startup Glance, which serves news, media content, and games on the lock screen of over 100 million smartphones, has a new investor: Google.

The two-year-old Glance, which is part of advertising giant InMobi Group, said on Tuesday that it has raised $145 million in a new financing round from Google and existing investor Mithril Partners. The new round values Glance at over $1 billion, a person familiar with the matter said, making the startup a unicorn.

Glance uses AI to offer personalized experience to its users. The service replaces the otherwise empty lock screen with locally relevant news, stories, and casual games. Late last year, InMobi acquired Roposo, a Gurgaon-headquartered startup, that has enabled it to introduce short-form videos on the platform. Google is also investing in Roposo, a startup that Glance acquired last year. Roposo is a short video platform with over 33 million monthly active users. These users spend about 20 minutes consuming content across multiple genres in more than 10 languages on the app everyday. 

Glance ships pre-installed on several smartphone models. The subsidiary maintains tie-ups with nearly every top Android smartphone vendor including Xiaomi,  the top player in India, and Samsung. The service has amassed over 115 million daily active users.

“Glance is a great example of innovation solving for mobile-first and mobile-only consumption, serving content across many of India’s local languages,” said Caesar Sengupta, VP, Google, in a statement. “Still too many Indians have trouble finding content to read or services they can use confidently, in their own language. And this significantly limits the value of the internet for them, particularly at a time like this when the internet is the lifeline of so many people. This investment underlines our strong belief in working with India’s innovative startups and work towards the shared goal of building a truly inclusive digital economy that will benefit everyone.” 

Naveen Tewari, founder and chief executive of Glance and InMobi Group, said the investment will pave the way for “deeper partnership between Google and Glance across product development, infrastructure, and global market expansion.” The startup plans to deploy the fresh capital to expand in the U.S.

Investment in DailyHunt

Google said on Tuesday that it is also investing in VerSe Innovation, the parent firm of Indian startup DailyHunt. Across its apps including DailyHunt and short-video platform Josh, DailyHunt claims to serve over 300 million users news and entertainment content in 14 Indian languages. The startup said it has completed a round of over $100 million from Google, Microsoft, and AlphaWave among other investors and this new round values it at over $1 billion, making it a unicorn.

DailyHunt — which is co-run by Umang Bedi, former Facebook India head — plans to deploy the fresh capital to scale Josh app, the augmentation of local language content offerings, the development of content creator ecosystem, innovation in AI and ML and the growth of its truly “made-in-Bharat-for-Bharat short-video platform,” it said.

Josh and Roposo are among over a dozen apps in India that are attempting to fill the void New Delhi created after banning TikTok in late June in the country.

Google is writing both these checks from India Digitization Fund that it unveiled this year. Google has committed to invest $10 billion in India over the course of next few years. Prior to today, the company invested $4.5 billion from this fund in Indian telecom giant Jio Platforms.


Read more: feedproxy.google.com

A quick note about the reviews I do on this site. The product vendors may give me access to their products for free in order for me to do my review, alternatively, I may have bought the product myself. However I make no promises to vendors regarding what I write in my review. Should you click a link that takes you to a sales page for a paid product for sale this link will be an affiliate link and I will be paid a percentage of the sales price should you decide to invest in it.

101 Best Email Subject Lines of 2019

Welcome to the 8th annual installment of DigitalMarketer’s 101 Best Email Subject Lines!

Within this post, I’ve got 101 PROVEN,
swipeable email subject lines that are yours for the taking. And if you’re one
of our email subscribers, there’s at
least a 20% chance that you played a role in determining what made the
list. If that applies to you, please prepare for a little déjà vu. 🙂

Though you’re currently reading one of the most aptly titled blog posts of all time, you’ll find more here than just subject lines. I’m going to break down the 8 components of every good subject line AND you’ll get an analysis of our top 10 performing subject lines of 2020. That way, when you’re finished with this post, you can:

1. Start deconstructing and reproducing the elements of YOUR
best-performing subject lines…

…or…2.  Completely steal ours, if you haven’t already.

(NOTE: Looking for the subject lines from previous years? We’ve collected all 700+ top-performing email subject lines since 2013—and all the amazing analysis that comes with them—into The Ultimate Email Subject Line Swipe File! Create your FREE DM Insider account here to get instant access!)

If you’re new to the post (or email marketing in general), take a minute to familiarize yourself with the fundamentals of email subject lines.

These
are 8 different components I found again and again in our top-performing
email subject lines…

1. Self-Interest

These are your bread and butter subject
lines—you should be using them most frequently.

They are usually direct and speak to a
specific benefit your audience will gain by opening the email.

Self-interest subject lines also help
pre-qualify openers by giving them a clue about your email’s body content.

2. Curiosity

If self-interest subject lines work
because they communicate a direct benefit, curiosity-based ones succeed for the
exact opposite reason.

They pique the interest of subscribers
without giving away too much information, leading to higher opens.

Be careful though, because
curiosity-based subject lines can get old fast and are the most likely to miss
their mark.

3. Offer

Do you like free stuff? Do you like to
buy things when they’re on sale?

So does your email list.

When you are giving something away or
selling something your subscribers would be interested in, directly stating
that in your subject line is a great way to convince them to open the email and
learn more.

4. Urgency/Scarcity

This is the most powerful type of
subject line you have at your disposal.

Subject lines that communicate urgency
and scarcity tell readers they must act now.

But too many of these can lead to list
exhaustion, so use sparingly and, of course, only when there is truly a
deadline, limited quantity, or limited availability.

5. Humanity

Don’t forget to remind your list about
the person or people behind your products.

Sometimes you need to thank your
subscribers, tell them a story about yourself, or make a human appeal for their
attention.

6. News

Keeping your audience informed about new
developments in your field builds authority and keeps your open rates high.

These subject lines often work well when
combined with a curiosity element.

7. Social Proof

A fundamental characteristic of humans
is that we look to the behavior of others when making decisions.

You can leverage this in your email
subject lines by mentioning individual’s success stories, familiar names, or
highlighting how many people are already using a product or service.

8. Story

Telling a story, or at least teasing the
beginning of one in your subject line is a unique way to highlight benefit and
get the open rate you’re looking for.

As for our best subject lines of the year… here they are.

The 10 Best Email Subject Lines of 2019

10. How to keep up with digital marketing… 🏃💨CONTENT: T&C Early Bird DiscountOPEN RATE: 15.80%ANALYSIS: We’ve seen that the use of “How to” in subject lines establishes authority, and draws readers in. Your subscribers want to learn something they fear they might not know yet, but believe may be helpful to them. In this instance, digital marketing is something that seems like it changes every day. Keeping up with the changes in the industry can be pretty daunting, so content that shows you how to keep up is incredibly valuable and attention-grabbing.

9. Why my first business failedCONTENT: Tony Robbins Event Follow-UpOPEN RATE: 15.92%ANALYSIS: While maintaining flavors of curiosity, I got declarative with this one. Seeing as how the bulk of our email list identifies as a “marketer” in one form or another, and Content is something that virtually all marketers need nowadays… I knew that if I took one of THE keystone levers of the industry and used the well-known Bill Gates idiom, “Content is King,” as a departure statement that would separate us as an authority on the subject, I’d both deliver valuable information to our subscribers and get a few opens.

8. Something BIG is comingCONTENT: April Accelerator Flash SaleOPEN RATE: 16.08%ANALYSIS: We all love a good teaser. In this subject line, the tease is on full display. You want to grab the reader’s attention, AND get them interested in following your message at the same time. Just make sure the body copy in your message pays off too—you don’t want to be the boy or girl who cried wolf or you’ll lose trust from your readers (and future opens).

7. Holy crap… 21,601?!?!CONTENT: Lab Open AccessOPEN RATE: 17.35%ANALYSIS: There’s a couple of wins in this subject line. Namely, profanity is like salt: using just the right amount can be a great thing, but too much will ruin the experience. And while we’re not necessarily advocating for  “profanity” all the time, we will use a dash of it when we need to get our point across.

You’ll also score points with your reader by using a number in your subject lines, which is proven to increase open rates—bonus points if it’s a very specific number. And finally, like #8, the curiosity factor is strong in this one. 

6. 3 Rules for Marketing During a CrisisCONTENT: Newsletter for March 21, 2020OPEN RATE: 19.9%ANALYSIS: Let’s face it. This year sucked. Millions of businesses were left trying to navigate the global pandemic crisis, and the marketing industry was no exception. It makes sense that guiding principles were popular fodder for subject lines. Our big takeaway on this one is to make sure you “read the room.” Note that this subject line was used in March, when the pandemic was newly on peoples’ minds and more likely to get clicked on. There have been ebbs and flows to when audiences felt like discussing crises this year, and this was the right time to talk about it. It might not have worked so well in the summertime.

5. 🥺 80% off gone in 3…2…1…CONTENT: Content Marketing Mastery SaleOPEN RATE: 22.54%ANALYSIS: Scarcity is one of Cialdini’s principles of persuasion, and in my opinion, it’s the best. There’s no better way to stir someone to action than telling them they’ll miss out on something great if they don’t. (NOTE: This mail is a “closer” mail, the last in a week-long promotion meant to catch folks who missed earlier mails. Closers don’t typically get many clicks, but in this case the use of a this simple square emoji 🥺 gave it a boost because it looks like the content didn’t load. In fact, it grabs inbox attention more than the use of an actual emoji—just be sure NOT to lean on this tactic too much. Like crying wolf, it loses efficacy.)

4. BYE?CONTENT: T&C 2020 CloseOPEN RATE: 25.12%ANALYSIS: The ultimate goal of a subject line is to get the recipient to open the email, and sometimes less is more. With a simple, 3-letter question this subject line is able to stand out in the inbox among other generic, longer subject lines.

3. Get Certified in Content Marketing for $195?CONTENT: Content Marketing Mastery SaleOPEN RATE: 25.27%ANALYSIS: That question mark is no accident. The Content Marketing Mastery certification course is one of our most popular, and it’s always a big draw for our subscribers when we put it on sale. At 61% off the normal price of $495, a lot of people were interested in this promotion. To warm audiences, a discount of that size begs the question: “Why now?” They know they want it. They’re looking for a reason to get it, it’s why they clicked. Cold audiences click to do the comparison. Hence the question in the subject line mark feeding both needs. 😉

2. CLOSING down in 3…2…1…?CONTENT: 1-Minute Facebook Video Ad PlaybookOPEN RATE: 28.08%ANALYSIS: Again, scarcity is a powerful motivator here. The 1-Minute Facebook Video Ad Playbook is one of our most popular playbooks EVER, but when we say we’re closing a sale down, we mean it.

1. ⚠ FINAL Chance for free access!CONTENT: Lab Open AccessOPEN RATE: 34.53%ANALYSIS: Combine scarcity, the use of a powerful emoji, and the promise of free access to one of our core products, and you have a recipe for the highest open rate we saw in all of 2020.

Now that you know what made the top 10 the most opened, here are the other 91 top-of-the-line email subject lines that round us out to an even 101.

91 More Email Subject Lines to Swipe

• ISSUE #26: A match made in…? • A note to our community • Really…really!! • 10 things every marketer should know • 60 seconds to sales? • How DM nearly TRIPLED its open rates • [T&C2020 KEYNOTE] Marcus Lemonis! • Level up your marketing IRL • PUPPIES!! • Sales are slipping through your fingers • Are you skipping T&C 2020? • 🧠 Smartest investment ever? • Stop it. • Lab is now free through the end of March • It’s like 7 conferences in 1 • The Terminator Is Coming To T&C 2020 • 1.4 billion views? • [GRAPHIC] Lessons from Quarantine • IMPOSSIBLE • Issue #40: pick 3… • [VIDEO] My full Traffic & Conversion Summit 2019 Keynote • New workshop turns your email list into an 🏧 • CLOSING down soon? • [LAST CHANCE] 68% off sale ends today • 5-day marketing challenge (starts today) • 💥 95% of product launches fail, says Harvard (here’s why) • We found “hidden pots of cash” in your business 💵 💵 • The CRAZIEST marketing statistic I’ve ever heard • YOU a certified marketing specialist? (FOR FREE??) • READ: Our 11 Copywriting Book Recommendations • People really hate THIS • why your email open rates are slipping… • Email Newsletter Workshop closing tonight? • REMINDER: $1000 Off T&C tickets gone at midnight • [EMAIL MARKETERS] Build a Sequence that Primes & Converts Subscribers • [Low Ticket Alert] T&C 2020 “Early Bird” Tickets Almost GONE • 2-3x you email open rates? • You’ll be paying $700 more on Friday • Will you also 2x your business at T&C? • Last chance to try Lab for FREE! • No marketer should miss this… • [LIMITED TIME] The $7 plan for Facebook ads that convert • Are you losing ground to competitors? • open rates in the toilet? (we’ve been there) • [VIDEO] Want help selling your “boring” product? • %FIRSTNAME% – Your 8-Step Email Conversion Templates are waiting… • [FLASH SALE] The 1-Minute Video Ad Playbook • Insider #51: our glossiest issue yet • %FIRSTNAME% – THANK YOU! • %FIRSTNAME% – Don’t Miss Out! • [READ] How we’re going back to “business as usual”… • ???? • got 39 bucks? • whoops! • Get Lab FREE (No Trial, No Credit Card, No Upsell) • Let’s work on your marketing…together! • [CLOSING] No time to write sales emails? • The napkin that cleaned up a $248k mess • 😳 73% OFF gone in 3…2…1… • %FIRSTNAME%’s (less than) 10-hour warning • The lowest price EVER for ⚡ Copywriting Mastery⚡ • Email Newsletter Workshop closing soon? • $55 today, $997 tomorrow • [CLOSING SOON] $7 for my Sales Boosting Bullets Playbook • Our Greatest Hits of Copywriting • Stop binge watching our trainings! • How to slip past your prospect’s “promo-dar” 📡 • ICYMI – your refund • Free Training: 2x Your Sales In 6 Months? • READ: 100 Books Every Marketer Should Read • Feeling 🤩🎉 or 😨😱? • You’re about to miss out… • Vacation, all we ever wanted • I’m closing the doors… • 🛑 STOP blogging. Start splintering. • 🛑 Stop binge watching our trainings! • [SWIPE] Our 2020 Holiday Marketing Plan • The “Post-COVID” reboot? • %FIRSTNAME% – Last day to SAVE ⏰ • [GRAPH] Ready for your sales to look like this? • Free access expiring SOON • This REALLY ticks me off • SWIPE: 15 tools & templates for video ads that SELL • Bad news • RSVP: Free training this time tomorrow? • HATE writing your own emails? • 🔊You gotta see this, %FIRSTNAME% • no such thing as a “failed” video ad? • I’m getting rid of my 11 mastery courses TONIGHT • 🖱(Ctrl)+C & (Ctrl) + V • Too many good ideas? STOP. 🛑

Aaaand…

THAT. IS. IT.

If you’re tired of reading “NAME” and seeing “[BRACKETS WITH WORDS IN ALL CAPS],” it’s for a good reason:

Last year, those were [REALLY POPULAR FOR US, NAME].

In fact, out of our 101 best email subject lines of 2019, 23 used the [CAPS BRACKET] and 15 used the first name field.

Another cool find?

While our average subject line was 6 words, our TOP 3 of 2019 were all less than 5 words.

REMEMBER: AGAIN: Brevity is the soul of wit and pattern interrupts WORK.

My thoughts?

There will never be a “golden subject line formula.”

And that’s GOOD news, because formulas lead to stagnation. And stagnation leads to your subject lines (and as a result, your email marketing strategy) being white noise.

For all I know, last year’s [CAPS BRACKETS] and sub-5-word email subject lines could be this year’s “all emoji” or “5 en-dashes and an ampersand” subject lines (whatever that is).

That being said, I won’t chalk it up to “who knows,” because there are CERTAINLY guidelines and best practices to follow.

And if you can combine said best practices, a little creativity, the power of split-testing, and the application of the scientific method…

…you’ve got yourself a pretty solid formula for consistently pumping out winning subject lines.

Huh. Maybe some formulas do work.

Food for thought.

Anyway, if the contents of this post can act as a staple for the best practices and creativity portion of my little spiel up ^ there, it’ll’ve done its job.

Now get to work. 🙂

(NOTE: Want to see what subject lines made the list last year? What about the year before? You can get the last 7 YEARS of top-ranking email subject lines—that’s more than 700 subject lines—in The Ultimate Email Subject Line Swipe File. Sign up for a FREE DM Insider account here to get instant access!)

The post 101 Best Email Subject Lines of 2019 appeared first on DigitalMarketer.

Read more: digitalmarketer.com

A quick note about the reviews I do on this site. The product vendors may give me access to their products for free in order for me to do my review, alternatively, I may have bought the product myself. However I make no promises to vendors regarding what I write in my review. Should you click a link that takes you to a sales page for a paid product for sale this link will be an affiliate link and I will be paid a percentage of the sales price should you decide to invest in it.

The latest multistate antitrust lawsuit targets Google’s ad business

Texas announced Wednesday that it will sue Google, accusing the search giant of maintaining an illegal monopoly in online advertising. The suit, which has yet to appear in an official filing, was first announced in a video from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Texas will be joined by Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, South Dakota, North Dakota, Utah and Idaho, according to reporting from Reuters.

“It isn’t fair that google effectively eliminated its competition and crowned itself the head of online advertising,” Paxton said. Paxton argues that Google’s advertising practices and “anticompetitive conduct” give it too much power over the online advertising ecosystem, to the detriment of publishers.

#BREAKING: Texas takes the lead once more! Today, we’re filing a lawsuit against #Google for anticompetitive conduct.

This internet Goliath used its power to manipulate the market, destroy competition, and harm YOU, the consumer. Stay tuned… pic.twitter.com/fdEVEWQb0e

— Texas Attorney General (@TXAG) December 16, 2020

Paxton’s name might sound familiar. He’s the state official who led a recent lawsuit disputing President-elect Joe Biden’s wins in the battleground states of Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin on behalf of Texas. The Supreme Court unceremoniously rejected the suit on the grounds that the state lacked the standing to file it. Paxton is also currently under investigation by the FBI for bribery allegations, making him a deeply controversial figure to lead such an effort.

Last week, 46 states announced a separate lawsuit against Facebook over parallel antitrust concerns. That suit, which the state of Texas is also participating in, alleges that Facebook built a monopoly through predatory business practices like buying its rivals. The FTC also filed its own lawsuit against Facebook last week, alleging that the company is a monopoly and that its acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp should be undone.

FTC seeks to break up Facebook, alleging illegal monopoly


Read more: feedproxy.google.com

A quick note about the reviews I do on this site. The product vendors may give me access to their products for free in order for me to do my review, alternatively, I may have bought the product myself. However I make no promises to vendors regarding what I write in my review. Should you click a link that takes you to a sales page for a paid product for sale this link will be an affiliate link and I will be paid a percentage of the sales price should you decide to invest in it.

Reddit acquires Dubsmash

Reddit announced that it has acquired short video platform Dubsmash. The deal’s terms were undisclosed. Dubsmash will retain its own platform and brand, and Reddit will integrate its video creation tools. Its co-founders, Suchit Dash, Jonas Drüppel and Tim Specht, will join Reddit.

According to Crunchbase data, the app has raised $20.2 million from investors including Lowercase Capital, Index Ventures, Eniac Ventures, Heartcore Capital and Sunstone Life.

Dubsmash is now one of TikTok’s biggest rivals, but struggled for several years after a brief stint of popularity in 2015 during its first incarnation as a lip-sync video app. In 2017 it began transforming itself into a social platform and moved its headquarters from Berlin to Brooklyn. By the beginning of this year, Dubsmash’s share of the United States’ short-form video market was second only to TikTok when counted by app installs, and it reportedly held acquisition talks with Facebook and Snap.

How Dubsmash revived itself as #2 to TikTok

Credit for much of Dubsmash’s success goes to Black and Latinx users. While many of TikTok’s highest-profile stars are white, Dubsmash is known for its large communities of Black and Latinx content creators. The polarization between the two apps began to gain more attention earlier this year, when the New York Times published a piece about how dance moves by Black Dubsmash stars are frequently appropriated without credit by TikTok influencers, which means their creators miss out on opportunities like larger followings, brand deals and industry connections.

Reddit has its own issues with racism, and has been criticized for not doing enough to stop hate speech or giving moderators of subreddits targeted by racist trolls enough support.

Last year, founder and former chief executive officer Alexis Ohanian called for his position on Reddit’s board to be filled with a Black candidate when he stepped down, which current CEO Steve Huffman said the company would honor as part of a larger effort to address hate speech on the platform announced during anti-racism demonstrations after the killing of George Floyd by a police officer. Ohanian’s position was filled by Y Combinator CEO Michael Seibel.

Reddit names YC’s Michael Seibel to board, following co-founder Alexis Ohanian’s exit

In its announcement today, Reddit linked its acquisition of Dubsmash to its inclusion efforts, acknowledging that the app’s “communities are driven by young, diverse creators—about 25 percent of all Black teens in the U.S. are on Dubsmash, and females represent 70 percent of users.”

It also said the integration of Dubsmash’s video creation tools will enable Reddit’s users to “express themselves in original and authentic ways that are endemic to our communities.”

Since launching native videos in 2017, Reddit said usage has increased sharply, growing 2X in 2020 alone. Much of Reddit’s content is still text-based, however, with video, gifs and images often shared from other sources, so Dubsmash’s integration can help Reddit build out its own video platform.


Read more: feedproxy.google.com

A quick note about the reviews I do on this site. The product vendors may give me access to their products for free in order for me to do my review, alternatively, I may have bought the product myself. However I make no promises to vendors regarding what I write in my review. Should you click a link that takes you to a sales page for a paid product for sale this link will be an affiliate link and I will be paid a percentage of the sales price should you decide to invest in it.

The Best Website Builders (In-Depth Review)

Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.

Finding the right website builder is like choosing a life partner or career, only more important.

Whether you are setting up a small non-profit or are itching to take over the world with your handmade jewelry, the quality of your site will be a key factor in your success.

With a good website builder, someone with no technical experience can spin up an amazing site in no time.

Knowing what’s good is the first step, but the top options on the market have different strong points. The next step is figuring out which of the best website builders is the right fit for your needs.

I’ve been building websites for years. Let me walk you through the different types of website builders and how to choose between them.

After that, you can use my in-depth reviews of the top four options to make an informed decision.

The Top 4 Best Website Builders

Wix — Best for general useWeebly  — Best for beginnersShopify — Best for ecommerceWordPress — Best for content management

The Different Types of Website Builders

Why are you starting a website?

There are a multitude of reasons to want to start a website and they will affect the services and features you will need. 

For instance, is your goal to set up shop as an eCommerce entrepreneur, dropshipping items from abroad? 

Do you want to start a simple blog documenting your travel adventures?

Think deeply about what you want now, but also your roadmap for the future. Once you commit to a particular website builder, it can be difficult to change later on. 

After getting a clear idea of your needs, you will then need to consider the different types of web builders available. 

Keep in mind that many website builders fit multiple categories, serving each need to a different extent. 

General-purpose website builders

There are thousands of reasons to create a website, and nowadays, it seems like every person and organization has one. 

To service such great demand, some website builders have taken a holistic approach in terms of appeal and their tools.

For example, these sites typically have a lot of features that other types of website builders have, such as the ability to blog.

However, as they are multi-purpose in nature, you cannot expect these features to not be as in-depth and robust as more specialist platforms. 

Some use cases for general website builders include:

Information websites – If your goal is to simply host information online, these general website builders can be quite useful. For instance, you may have a kitchen renovation company and want to start reaching potential customers online. Personal branding – Managing your personal brand is becoming more important every day. It is particularly important for independent workers and entrepreneurs as well as for employees applying for jobs.

Here’s a good example of how an organization can use their website to push their brand identity.

General-purpose website builders are great for creating and maintaining an online presence. Keep all your readers, followers, and customers up-to-date.

Content management platforms 

Content is what drives the web, and one of the oldest yet still most relevant forms of content is the blog post. 

Considering blogging is such a crucial part of the web, some website builders have been designed with a content management system in mind.

In the case that you want to get your thoughts out there; ideally, in a serious and sustained way, a blog website builder may be the right option for you. Use cases include:

Professional writing – This goes without saying, but if you want to be a writer, you actually have to write. Typically, you need a place where you can showcase your talent. Whether you are a business writer or journalist, maintaining a personal blog is important.Thought leadership – In many industries, it is useful for people of prominence to share their unique insights on a public platform. Setting up a blog with a strong content management system helps to get ideas out in a sustained way. 

Here’s a not-entirely-random example of a content-centric website.

Essentially, blog website builders are a good choice if you plan on writing long term and it is one of the things you focus on. 

eCommerce platforms 

Another type of website builder are eCommerce platforms. These platforms allow you to build and manage online stores through the ability to list goods, fulfill orders, and take payments. 

These website builders are useful for:

Side hustles – Perhaps you are interested in selling some goods in addition to your day job and don’t have the time to dedicate to the operational side of things. These website builders are great to solve this problem, as they handle the backend of your business. Digitizing your store – Maybe you already have a brick and mortar store and are looking to make your stock available online. In this situation, this type of website builder will take all the technical complications out of setting up online.

An example of an eCommerce website.

How to Choose The Best Website Builder For You 

Now it is time to take a closer look at some of the specific features to consider when evaluating a website builder.

Remember that although some website builders may fall into the same category, each may suit your needs differently.

For instance, you may be setting up an online shop and your primary consideration may be a low learning curve, whereas somebody else may be thinking about a platform that can allow them to scale easily. 

Here are some features you should consider.

Ease of use 

Things to consider:

Intuitiveness – Some website builders are easy to use and have simple interfaces with drag and drop functionality. This is useful as you won’t have to Google changes you want to make with the tool.Learning curve – If you are not great with technology, it is unlikely you will want to spend hours learning how to set up a website. Some website builders are much easier than others.Setup time – Similarly, you may want to get your site up and running immediately, particularly if it is an event you want to promote. Ongoing management – Needing external help to manage your site defeats the purpose of a website builder. It must be easy to manage in terms of updates. 

If you are new to setting up online or are time-constrained, how easy it is to get started will likely be your primary concern. 

Scalability 

Things to consider:

Custom code – Website builders use standardized code, which are the building blocks of a website. These allow you to easily create a site with various features. In some cases, however, you may need your own custom features and the ability to write your own code.Migration – At some point, you may want to host your website yourself. However, not all website builders allow you to easily make this move. In some cases, you may have to redevelop your site from scratch.Integrations – You will probably create new goals as your website grows, such as running ads or embedding social feeds. Some website builders are more compatible with other platforms and are easier to integrate.

You should think strongly about scalability if you are already an established business looking to create an online presence. This is particularly true if you are already selling products at scale in the real world. 

Startups in the fundraising process and are looking to scale fast or even change core features of their product should also take caution here. 

Support 

Things to consider: 

Support channels – You will need to consider the different ways you can get in touch with support teams such as live chat, email, and phone. In-depth FAQ’s (frequently asked questions) are also important.Responsiveness – If your site breaks at 5 PM eastern time, but their support only works European hours, then you are in trouble. Some teams may also respond much quicker than others. Engagement – Unfortunately, some support teams are useless. Maybe they are being paid very little so they do not care, or they are overworked. Either way, you need support that can actually solve your problems.

If you plan on running a site with a lot of visitors and it happens to go down, the last thing you want is an unresponsive support team. This is especially true if you plan on driving a lot of traffic at a given time.

A website builder with a strong support team is also useful if you are just getting started online, considering you may still get stuck, even with simple interfaces. 

Price 

Things to consider: 

Cost – Some website builders can be more costly, with some reaching upwards of $299 a month (for landing pages, for instance). Others are permanently free with the option to upgrade for a small monthly fee. Trial – Before you commit, it can be useful to take advantage of a trial offer to play around with the tools. You will likely find that some are a better fit than others.Hosting & domain – Most website builders will host your website on the web, which is typically included in the price. Some may also offer a domain as part of the package. Otherwise, you would have to purchase these yourself. 

If you plan on making money from your website, either by selling products directly or to capture leads, then price should not be a key consideration for you. Make an investment in the best service for your needs. 

However, if you just want to set up a small information site, then you could do with the cheapest options. 

Generally, website builders that have feature depth are typically more expensive as they solve more specific problems. 

Features 

Things to consider: 

eCommerce shop – If you plan to sell things online, you need a website builder that allows you to do so. Consider sub-features such as payment processing and product catalogs.SEO – Some website builders have tools that allow you to rank better in Google searches.Marketing tools – You may also need other marketing tools, such as forms, pop-ups, and chat boxes.  Community – In some cases, you may want to expand your website into a community where people can communicate and network (otherwise known as a forum).Analytic tools – Website builders may also offer analytic tools that help track traffic on your website or at least integrate with other tools that do.Niche features – Perhaps there are some special features you are looking for such as the ability to set up a crowdfunding campaign in addition to having a standard website.

The features of a website builder are the main thing to consider when deciding which route to follow. This is because they will have the most impact on your specific goals.

For instance, if you want to set up a landing page for a specific product, trying to optimize with a generic site builder will be a pain. It will probably lack the in-depth analytic tools that a dedicated landing page builder would have. 

Also keep in mind that there are some features that you may not need now, but you could need in the future, such as if you plan on running paid ads to your blog posts. 

Design 

Things to consider: 

Themes and templates – Website builders allow you to start with a predesigned website that is customizable to various extents. Some themes serve different purposes in terms of branding and utility. Mobile-friendliness – You will need to ensure that your website builder automatically makes your website easy for mobile users, typically with responsive design.Customization – It is likely you will want to make some changes to your template. You will need to consider the various customization tools available. 

Regardless of your goal, you should always be concerned with providing a great user experience to the people who are visiting your site. It simply makes logical sense – if your site is hard to navigate, people won’t get the most out of it.

The actual design and branding are important too. For instance, some designs are more corporate while others are more welcoming. There may be a design template that really suits your particular brand.

And if you are selling something, you need to ensure that the design is optimized to increase conversions.

Now that you have a good understanding of the types of website builders and the features to look out for, it is time to take a look at some of the best website builders on the market. 

#1 – Wix — Best for general use 

If there is one website builder that you have likely heard of, it is probably Wix. The effort that Wix puts into their marketing is phenomenal. Wix is so successful, in fact, that they have featured high profile celebrities like Jason Stratham in some of their campaigns. 

Not only that, but Wix has results to show for it too, with over 160 million websites hosted by the company. 

Wix is the best website builder if you don’t have a specific need in mind. Even in the opposite case, this is true, such as if you have broad needs and are aiming for different functionality. 

Wix is truly the “jack of all trades” in the sense that it does everything well, but nothing is truly exceptional. However, it serves its purpose for the average person looking to set up a website.

Pros of Wix 

Here are the best things about Wix:

Powerful app market – Wix has an enormous amount of add on features that you can access through their app market. Want to book meetings directly on your site? They have got you covered. Want a live chat pop up box? Simply click and install it on your site.Covers every need – Wix covers most of the needs of people looking to set up a website. This includes setting up an eCommerce store, blog, or even just a simple information website.Lots of templates – Wix has a wide variety of templates that you can choose from to get your website up and running quickly. Their templates are well designed and take the user experience into consideration. 

Cons of Wix 

Here are the weaker parts about Wix:

The user interface can be difficult – Although Wix is aimed at the mass market, the user interface can be quite tricky especially if you want to customize your site. You will often find yourself having to Google how to complete certain tasks. .No migration – A huge downside with Wix is that you’re locked in, so you cannot take the code of your website somewhere else later on. This can cause problems if you quickly need to scale your business. Jack of all trades, master of none – Wix’s main strength is also its weakness. Although it has many features, it cannot compete with the quality of niche website builders.

Who should use Wix?

Small businesses – If you are offering a service such as legal advice or marketing, Wix is a solid website builder that will handle all of your needs. If your focus is selling products online, avoid Wix. Freelancers and professionals – In a similar manner, Wix is great for professionals who want to showcase their personal brand. It will allow you to cover all the potential bases of highlighting your portfolio, such as taking meetings and even blogging.

Try Wix for free today.

#2 – Weebly — Best for beginners 

Next, we have Weebly, which is a drag and drop website builder that prides itself on its ease of use. Weebly currently powers over 50 million websites and has been around since 2006, which is a huge achievement and testament to how effective the platform is. 

So, what has caused Weebly to be consistently favored among users? It comes down to the simple user experience and short learning curve. Weebly does not bombard you with features or a complicated interface.

Instead, it does not scare you away and allows you to get straight to the point of setting up your website.

Pros of Weebly

Here are the best things about Weebly:

Simple and easy to use – Weebly has a simple interface with drag and drop mechanics that just work. Everything feels natural and intuitive. It also helps that they have an onboarding mechanic with email and popup explanations when you get started.Migration – If you decide you want to host your own website, Weebly makes it easy for you to take your site off their platform. Affordable – Compared to other generalist website builders, Weebly has one of the most affordable pricing structures. Great customer support – Weebly has a powerful customer support team who are active every day of the week. They typically reply within 1 day by email or even quicker via their live chat or phone lines.

Cons 

Here are the weaker parts about Weebly

Lacks diversity of function – The tradeoff of using Weebly is that it is not as powerful as Wix. For example, there are fewer features. In addition, some features such as their content management system and analytic tools are much weaker than competitors. Limited customization – As Weebly uses a drop and drop interface and themes, the customization can be quite limited. Wix also has this problem, but they have more tools at their disposal to solve this issue.Scaling problems – Weebly is simply not a great platform if you have plans to grow your website in a significant way: it is just a simple website builder for day to day users. 

Who should use Weebly?

People who need simple websites – As a rule, you should use Weebly if you are not very tech-savvy and want to set up a simple website quickly. One category of users would be associations or clubs who want to set up an information site about their group.

Try Weebly for free today.

#3 – Shopify — Best for ecommerce

If you plan on selling any type of product online – from jewelry to electric scooters – then your best bet will be to use a dedicated ecommerce platform and website builder. 

Without a doubt, the number one in this category is Shopify. The platform powers over 1 million merchants in 175 different countries, and is the third-largest online retailer in the US, trailing behind only Amazon and eBay. 

The Shopify software represents a complete end to end platform that allows you to set up, manage, and promote a store online. You can easily list your goods for sale, take payments, and fulfill orders – all under one roof. 

Pros 

Here are the best things about Shopify:

eCommerce specialty – The main draw of Shopify is that it is a niche website builder focused on setting up an ecommerce store. This means that all their features and processes are geared toward that end, resulting in a powerful platform that can help maximize sales. Security – If you are going to be handling transactions, you need ways to keep your site safe and customer data secure. Shopify stores have strong cybersecurity measures in place which a self-hosted website would typically lack. Integrated sales channels – Shopify has strong integrations with other platforms, such as Facebook and Amazon. This allows you to streamline your sales by managing your catalog on each platform under one roof. 

Cons 

Here are the weaker aspects of Shopify:

Niche focus on ecommerce – Because the focus is on eCommerce, Shopify lacks some of the features and finesse of other website builders. For instance, their content management system is very limited compared to WordPress.Transaction fees + monthly fees – With each sale you make on Shopify, there is a transaction fee that ranges from 2.4% – 2.6%. Combined with payment provider fees, this can eat into your margin. 

Who should use Shopify?

Brick and mortar stores – If you have an in-person store and are looking to sell your products online, Shopify will offer you a solid footing into the digital world.ecommerce startups – Entrepreneurs that are starting new brands or drop shipping will also benefit from the quick end to end set up that Shopify offers.

#4 – WordPress — Best for content management

One of the oldest and most reliable website builders is WordPress. The platform has come a long way since it launched in 2003 and is the most popular content management system on the web today.

In fact, WordPress powers a whopping 37.6% of all websites. 

As WordPress was around during the earlier days of the web, its focus revolved around content, which was the most prominent form of website at the time. 

It maintains that focus to this day, with WordPress having arguably the best content management system out of all the different website builders.

An important caveat is that WordPress is divided into platforms:

WordPress.org – This is the open-source (free version) of WordPress that comes with greater flexibility, but is harder for non-technical users.WordPress.com – This is the paid version. You can get help with the installation of themes and management but is generally less customizable.

Pros 

Here are the best things about WordPress:

You have full control – Unlike other website builders, WordPress is fully customizable as the site is developed directly with code, as opposed to drag and drop interfaces. This means that you have much more flexibility in terms of design and function.Robust blogging and CMS – WordPress is built front the ground up with content in mind. It has some of the best tools for publishing and managing content including team management, advanced scheduling, and categorizations. Lots of plugins – There are over 52,000 plugins available for WordPress. You can measure and boost your SEO with plugins such as YoastSEO, or you could even add a new function such as a shopping cart. 

Cons 

Here are the weaker aspects of WordPress:

You may need help – As your WordPress site is developed with code, you will likely need help to install and update your WordPress theme. This can come with a hefty cost, particularly if you want ongoing changes.Learning curve – If you want to manage and update your site yourself, it can take some time to learn how to do so. Managing and scheduling posts are relatively easy, but updating how your site looks or installing a plugin is much more difficult.Security issues – As your WordPress site is self-hosted, you are more vulnerable to cybersecurity issues. Some of the plugins for WordPress also can act as a risk as well. 

Who should use it

Bloggers – If writing is your main focus, then WordPress is a great choice. The platform is designed for bloggers, optimizing content management, and SEO. WordPress will allow you to scale and get the most out of your content.Content centric businesses – Likewise, if you are building a business that is content-heavy, such as a new website, WordPress will help you to manage the operational side of content production much easier. 

Think about your goals

An important thing to keep in mind is that the website builders listed above can serve multiple functions, so this article has provided an overview for you, you will need to look into the details of each platform. 

The best choice for you will come down to both your needs at the moment and where you plan on taking your website in the future. 

After reading reviews like this one, make sure you take a step back and put your particular needs at the forefront of the decision before you commit. 

The post The Best Website Builders (In-Depth Review) appeared first on Neil Patel.

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A quick note about the reviews I do on this site. The product vendors may give me access to their products for free in order for me to do my review, alternatively, I may have bought the product myself. However I make no promises to vendors regarding what I write in my review. Should you click a link that takes you to a sales page for a paid product for sale this link will be an affiliate link and I will be paid a percentage of the sales price should you decide to invest in it.

5 Smart Ways to Increase Your Website’s Organic Traffic

Apply the correct SEO strategies

At times, it can be challenging to improve the organic traffic to your website, but when you apply the correct SEO strategies, you’ll eventually see a payoff from all your hard work. What makes search engine traffic so great is that it is both targeted and relevant. Here are five ways that you can use to increase organic traffic to your website.

Optimize For Your Audience, Not the Search Engines

The most important thing you can do to increase organic traffic to your site is to write for your audience, so you know exactly who you are addressing in your content. By creating quality, value-added content that resonates with your targeted audience, your SEO will naturally improve. This requires you to understand the central issues of your audience and utilizing the keywords that they use in search queries.

Blog Regularly

Regularly blogging is one of the most effective ways to increase organic traffic to your site. It allows you to go more in-depth than your website and creates an extensive catalog of helpful, audience-optimized content, which is centered on your niche market. However, poorly-written, spammy, content will do more harm than good.

Use Long Tail Keywords

Don’t merely use the most popular keywords in your market. You need to use keywords that are specific to your product or service. After a time, Google and other search engines will recognize your site or blog as a destination for that particular subject. This will substantially boost your content in search rankings and allow your ideal customer to find you.

Get Your Meta Data Down

Your site’s meta title, URL, and description are three critical aspects for an optimized website or blog post. Your metadata is a simple but effective way to optimize your site for the search engines. However, it’s not enough to merely add a plugin; you have to work on each page separately.

Use Internal Links

As you build up a decent back catalog of content, you want to start linking to those pages in your blogs and throughout your website to guide your audience to more relevant content. Adding internal links can keep your visitors on your site for more extended periods, which will help to boost your search rankings.

Ultimately, to increase organic traffic to your site, you need to provide your customers with what they want, quality information, advice, and insight.

Get Your Free Report Here!

A quick note about the reviews I do on this site. The product vendors may give me access to their products for free in order for me to do my review, alternatively, I may have bought the product myself. However I make no promises to vendors regarding what I write in my review. Should you click a link that takes you to a sales page for a paid product for sale this link will be an affiliate link and I will be paid a percentage of the sales price should you decide to invest in it.

4 Reasons Why You Should Consider Utilizing Paid Advertising

Driving more traffic to your website

When it comes to driving more traffic to your website, there are several strategies that you can employ that won’t cost you a dime. From SEO and social media to emails and contests, you can essentially gain enough traffic from these free methods to make the return on your investment well worth it. However, if your business has a budget for marketing expenses, you may want to consider putting it to good use and utilize the various online paid advertising options available.

Paid marketing has proven to be extremely useful in many instances, and will be sure to bring you a ton of traffic. Here are four reasons why you should consider utilizing paid advertising to drive more traffic to your site.

Faster Results

SEO and other free marketing tactics are quite effective, but they don’t provide you with instant results. It can take months, and sometimes years to build up an online presence and see a substantial boost in your website traffic. When you opt to utilize the paid advertising options available your target audience is urged to click through to your site immediately. That means, that once your ad campaign is live, you can expect to see an immediate boost in traffic to your website.

Budget Friendly

No matter what kind of marketing budget that you have, you are sure to find a paid advertising solution that will fit your needs. With lower budget offerings, you may have less of a reach, than with a higher budget, but it will still bring a significant amount of traffic to your site. Make sure you do your research to determine the best option that will fit within your budget.

Mostly Automated

For the most part, a majority of the paid advertising options are automated. The only thing that you will need to spend time completing is the initial setup of your campaign. After you set your campaign up, make the payments, and finalize how long it will run, the program will take over, and you can just sit back and watch the traffic flow.

Predictable Growth

With the other forms of marketing, there is an unknown element. There is no guarantee that people will find your site through social media or search engines. With paid advertising, there is a higher degree of predictability, and you have ensured a good return on your investment.

As you get more traffic to your site and increase your conversion rate, you can start to increase your budget and see a better return on your investment.

Get Your Free Report Here!

A quick note about the reviews I do on this site. The product vendors may give me access to their products for free in order for me to do my review, alternatively, I may have bought the product myself. However I make no promises to vendors regarding what I write in my review. Should you click a link that takes you to a sales page for a paid product for sale this link will be an affiliate link and I will be paid a percentage of the sales price should you decide to invest in it.

3 Crucial SEO Elements That Boost Website Traffic

SEO, has become a huge priority for marketers.

Over the last several years, search engine optimization, SEO, has become a huge priority for marketers. This is because the higher a company can reach on search engines, the more traffic, more leads, more conversions, and more sales they’ll gain. Today, effectively utilizing SEO for your company site is a lot more complicated than merely adding the right words to your copy. Here are the three crucial SEO elements, when done correctly, will help boost traffic to your website.

Keywords

The most fundamental aspect of SEO is to include keywords in your header tags, title, meta descriptions, and the body of your content. They are what tell search engines what your site is about and they show them that your pages are relevant when users search for those particular keywords. Your aim should be to use long-tail keywords. By focusing on the long-tail keywords, you have a better chance of ranking well and attracting more qualified leads to your site.

Along with including keywords that tell what your site is about, you should also include location-based keywords. Since the search engines have no idea where your business is located, you need to add city and regional names if you want your website to show up in searches of a particular area.

Content

In addition to including keywords, you need to make sure that your site has quality content if you want to rank well. While search engines aren’t able to read your articles, they can look for a few signs to determine whether your content is worth recommending. The first sign being the length. You want to make sure that when you are creating pages, that they have substantial content. Rather than writing short blurbs, which is easier to tackle, you should be aiming to create content that will provide comprehensive information to your visitors.

Back Linking

Your website is also ranked by the number of unique domain names that are linking back to your site. The number of backlinks to your site indicates that other site owners are referencing your content on their websites. You can increase the number of backlinks pointing to your site by guest blogging. Not only will this get more sites to point back to your site, but it is also a great way to increase traffic and gain new audiences.

If you want to attract more visitors to your site, then you need to include these three crucial elements of SEO.

Get Your Free Report Here!

A quick note about the reviews I do on this site. The product vendors may give me access to their products for free in order for me to do my review, alternatively, I may have bought the product myself. However I make no promises to vendors regarding what I write in my review. Should you click a link that takes you to a sales page for a paid product for sale this link will be an affiliate link and I will be paid a percentage of the sales price should you decide to invest in it.

Daily Crunch: Hyundai acquires 80% stake in Boston Robotics

Hyundai takes a controlling stake in an iconic robotics company, Twitter acquires a screen-sharing startup and we round up some security-themed gift ideas. This is your Daily Crunch for December 11, 2020.

The big story: Hyundai acquires 80% stake in Boston Robotics

Boston Robotics is behind a number of impressive robots, including the dog-like quadruped Spot. Over the past decade, it’s changed ownership several times, with Google acquiring it in 2013, then selling it to Japanese investment giant SoftBank in 2017.

After today’s deal, which values Boston Robotics at $1.1 billion and is subject to regulatory approval, SoftBank will still own a 20% stake.

Boston Dynamics will benefit substantially from new capital, technology, affiliated customers, and Hyundai Motor Group’s global market reach enhancing commercialization opportunity for its robot products,” Hyundai said in a press release.

The tech giants

Twitter acquires screen-sharing social app Squad — The entire Squad team is joining Twitter, while the Squad app will be shut down tomorrow.

Europe urged to block Google-Fitbit ahead of major digital policy overhaul — Shoshana Zuboff, the Harvard professor who wrote the defining book on surveillance capitalism, has become the latest voice raised against the $2.1 billion deal.

Twitter app code indicates that live video broadcasting app Periscope may get shut down — If Periscope does get shut down, it would be the end of a five-year run.

Startups, funding and venture capital

Gorillas, the on-demand grocery delivery startup taking Berlin by storm, has raised $44M Series A — Gorillas delivers groceries within an average of 10 minutes.

Sweden’s Tink raises $103M as its open banking platform grows to 3,400 banks and 250M customers — Tink aggregates a number of banks and financial services by way of an API.

Benchmark fills out its, yes, bench, with Miles Grimshaw — From his post as a general partner with New York-based Thrive, Grimshaw sourced deals in Lattice, Mapbox, Benchling and Airtable.

Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch

Cloud-gaming platforms were 2020’s most overhyped trend — The future of the technology is bright, but much less sexy.

General Catalyst’s Katherine Boyle and Peter Boyce are looking for ‘obsessive’ founders — We sat down with Boyle and Boyce to discuss what they look for in founders, which sectors they’re most excited about and how business has changed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What to expect while fundraising in 2021 — DocSend CEO Russ Heddleston peers into a post-pandemic future.

(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which aims to democratize information about startups. You can sign up here.)

Everything else

Gift Guide: 9 security and privacy gifts to keep your friends and family safe — It’s a good time to evaluate how you’re keeping your data safe, and to help others in your life do the same.

Disney+ has plans for 10 Marvel shows and 10 Star Wars shows in the next few years — The company announced an ambitious slate of streaming originals.

Give the gift of Extra Crunch for 25% off — Speaking of Extra Crunch, TechCrunch readers can send an annual membership as a gift to a friend, family member or co-worker for 25% off.

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 3pm Pacific, you can subscribe here.


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A quick note about the reviews I do on this site. The product vendors may give me access to their products for free in order for me to do my review, alternatively, I may have bought the product myself. However I make no promises to vendors regarding what I write in my review. Should you click a link that takes you to a sales page for a paid product for sale this link will be an affiliate link and I will be paid a percentage of the sales price should you decide to invest in it.

Give the gift of Extra Crunch for 25% off

This holiday season, TechCrunch readers can send an Extra Crunch annual membership as a gift to a friend, family member or co-worker for 25% off. 

The gifting feature can be found here.

Extra Crunch is our membership program that helps you spot technology trends and opportunities, build better startups and stay connected. It features thousands of articles, including weekly investor surveys, daily private market analysis and expert interviews on fundraising, growth, monetization and other work topics. Learn more about the types of articles in Extra Crunch here.

Membership also gets you access to our weekly video Q&A series Extra Crunch Live, exclusive newsletters, and an experience on TechCrunch.com that’s free of banner ads. A 20% discount for any TechCrunch event is also available exclusively for members. More on our 2021 events schedule can be found here.  

The discounted rate will only be available until the end of 2020, so don’t miss out on the savings. For questions about the deal, please contact our customer support team at extracrunch@techcrunch.com.

Give the gift of Extra Crunch here.

Not interested in gifting Extra Crunch? We have A TON of other ideas here in our holiday gift guide.


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A quick note about the reviews I do on this site. The product vendors may give me access to their products for free in order for me to do my review, alternatively, I may have bought the product myself. However I make no promises to vendors regarding what I write in my review. Should you click a link that takes you to a sales page for a paid product for sale this link will be an affiliate link and I will be paid a percentage of the sales price should you decide to invest in it.