Are You Being Misled by Your Website Performance Reports?

Most small business owners invest a considerable amount of money in their websites. They pay for domain registration and hosting. They hire a website designer and a copywriter. They may even have a website manager on payroll. Some go even further, hiring graphic artists, social media consultants, and SEO specialists. And after all that, a shocking number of small business owners don’t bother to check their website performance reports to make sure their investment is paying off. I’ve worked with clients who have installed a tracking system on their websites but never checked the reports; I’ve even had a few Read More

What Does a Website Manager Do?

Back in the 90s, forward-thinking businesses realized that the Internet provided a viable and profitable marketing opportunity. Those businesses bought domain names and hired designers. When their websites were done, their web projects were over and they went about their business. But things have changed. In today’s business world, a website is one of your most important marketing assets, a platform you can use to promote your business and its offerings. The content on your site and your peripheral online marketing campaigns can strategically draw targeted traffic to your website, making a significant and measurable contribution to the success and Read More

How to Plan Your Small Business Website Design: Tips for Non-Designers

In any small business website design project, the planning phase is the most critical. If you’re working with a website designer, it’s essential that you communicate your vision clearly so the designer can make your vision a reality. And your designer should provide clear examples, ideas, and images that will help you understand what the site will look like and how it will function once it’s completed. There are three basic components to any design: the design itself (look and feel of the site), content (text and images that will appear on the site), and functionality (how it works). As Read More

Web Content Development Step One: Brainstorming

Have you ever heard of the five Ps? Proper planning prevents poor performance. This saying is simple and easy to remember, and it conveys an important message: the best results come from a well-laid plan. That’s what smart web content development is all about — proper planning. If done right, a good content development plan will ensure a stellar performance, one in which your website plays the starring role. This all starts with a blueprint, a map you follow to take your website from concept to completion.

Social Media Marketing: Does Your Small Business Need a Facebook Page?

These days, small business owners are flocking to social media networks to promote their businesses. Social media marketing provides ample opportunities for businesses to strengthen customer loyalty, generate buzz, and attract new customers. Social media is not difficult for anyone with basic computer and Internet skills. However, there is a learning curve for each network. Twitter and Facebook don’t function the same way or share the same purpose. LinkedIn is targeted to a different audience than Pinterest. In order to truly benefit from social media marketing, it’s crucial to examine each social media network and decide whether it’s a good Read More

How to Conduct Comprehensive SEO Research

Research is one of the most important steps in optimizing a website to increase search-engine traffic, and it’s one of the steps that laypersons often skip or complete inadequately. Before starting on research, you need to know what information you’re looking for. But research also requires some critical thinking. Once you get the information, what are you going to do with it? How will it impact your SEO project? For example, let’s say you’re a personal trainer. You want people to be able to find you online, so you figure you’ll optimize for the keyword “personal trainer.” You create content, Read More

The Benefits of a Mailing List for Small Businesses

We recently asked (and answered) the question, what is a mailing list? Put simply, it’s a list of mail contacts. Traditionally, a mailing list included physical mailing addresses, but these days, most mailing lists are filled with e-mail addresses. Mailing lists allow businesses to reach out to people who have opted in to receive communications from them. Let’s find out why mailing lists are so important to small businesses.

Building Brand Recognition with Online Marketing

A picture is worth a thousand words. Branding and marketing professionals understand the power of image. Think about the Apple logo, the Nike swoosh, and Starbuck’s emblem. These symbols are burned into our minds, and they immediately prompt brand recognition as well as the feelings and attitudes we hold individually or collectively toward the companies and products that they represent. We’re used to seeing logos and image-based branding on business cards, television and print ads, and product packaging. However, there is no medium more powerful for propelling brand recognition than the Internet. In today’s technology-driven world, online marketing is the Read More

Ten Strategies for Doing Business Online

These days, having an effective online presence can make or break your business. Even if you have a traditional brick-and-mortar location, setting up shop online will give you access to a larger customer pool, provide a cost-effective avenue for information sharing, and dramatically open up your opportunities for marketing. More and more entrepreneurs are skipping brick and mortar altogether and are exclusively doing business online. For small business owners who are used to working behind a storefront or in an office, making the switch or expanding into the online arena can be challenging, confusing, and overwhelming. The benefits of doing Read More

What Does a Copywriter Do?

A copywriter is a professional who creates written marketing materials, which can include text for advertisements, websites, brochures, social media, e-mail marketing campaigns, and more. Copywriting has a distinct objective: get the audience to take action. Usually the goal is to put the reader on a path to becoming a paying client or customer. Copywriting is a specialized field of commercial writing. Copywriters might work for large corporations that have their own marketing departments. They also work for marketing firms. And many copywriters are independent consultants, sometimes referred to as freelancers. These are the copywriters most often hired by small Read More