Online Marketing and Thinking Like a Customer

Online marketing: think like your customer.

With all the available outlets for online marketing, many small business owners are confused and overwhelmed.

There are blogs to post, social media profiles to update, and newsletters to send out. Coupons, directories, search engines, and ads all demand attention.

The online marketing strategies you’re supposed to be engaged in never end.

To make matters worse, small business owners have a hard time latching on to a clear and meaningful message. Some websites are full of industry jargon that customers can’t relate to. Some business’s tweets are self-indulgent braggery (we’re number one!) or desperate pleas (please buy from us!). Small businesses are seduced by wily SEO firms that promise “Number One Ranking for Over 500 Keywords!,” a promise that might be fulfilled but is unlikely to bring new customers to the business.

The entire purpose of online marketing is to reach out to your prospective customers and attract them to your business. So why aren’t more small business owners thinking like customers?Read More

Doing Business Online with Niche Marketing

doing business online

Niche marketing and doing business online.

Today’s businesses are learning to harness the power of niche marketing, and many modern small businesses are being built entirely around niches.

This smart strategy puts small businesses in a position to target a smaller and more well-defined pool of customers.

Niches are effective for business models in the brick and mortar world, but they’re even more effective when you’re doing business online.Read More

Website Copywriting that Compels and Sells

website copywriting

Effective website copywriting converts visitors into customers.

What happens when visitors arrive on your website? Do they find the products and services they want? Are they compelled to buy? Or do they scan your copy and then click off in search of someone else to do business with?

Professional website copywriting intrigues visitors and converts them into paying customers.

If the writing on your website is sloppy or unclear, you won’t be able to convey your message, and your potential customers will become somebody else’s paying customers.

Making a Good Impression

Website visitors want information and they want it fast. The text on your site should describe your offer, explain how it benefits people, establish why you’re the best provider, and persuade visitors to take action: order products, purchase services, fill out a form, or subscribe to your newsletter.Read More

A Beginner’s Guide to Blogging for Business

business blogging

Business blogging for beginners.

Do you have a small business? Are you thinking about adding a blog to your website? Perhaps you’ve heard that a blog can help your business attract new customers while building loyalty among existing customers. And it’s true: business blogging is a great way to grow your business online.

But blogging is a world unto itself. Think of your blog as a house on the web. Other blogs dealing with topics that are similar or relevant to yours make up your neighborhood. Like all houses, your blog needs to be carefully planned and maintained. And if you want to be a successful member of your community, you’ll have to connect with your neighbors.

Like a home, a blog is an investment. You can invest dollars by hiring a professional blogger or website administrator to manage and maintain your blog or you can invest your own time and learn how to do it yourself.Read More

Service Spotlight: Web Design

Web design in the spotlight.

Web design is a critical component of any business’s marketing strategy. The layout, colors, and language on your website are reflections of your business brand; your website’s design should align with the image you want your business to project.

A website’s content is just as important as its design. People visit a website with expectations, and you want your website to meet those expectations by providing the information that visitors are looking for. And content should always compel visitors to answer your call to action, which could be anything from making an online purchase to signing up for a newsletter.

The key to a successful web design is to showcase the content in a way that promotes your business brand and converts visitors into customers.Read More

What is WordPress, and Why Would a Small Business Use It?

what is wordpress

What is wordpress and should you use it for your small business website?

WordPress is quite possibly the best thing that has happened to websites since the Internet itself.

If you ask someone what WordPress is, there’s a good chance they’ll tell you it’s a blog platform, but it’s so much more than that.

Since it first hit the web in 2003 as blog software, WordPress has evolved into a fully functioning content management system. It stores your content, keeps it organized, and makes your website easy to manage and navigate. Best of all, it’s free.Read More

An Introduction to Website Performance Monitoring

website performance monitoring

Website performance monitoring: the basics.

Most small business owners and independent professionals invest considerably in their websites. They pay good money for design and content, and in return, they expect the site to perform well.

But what does that mean? How do we measure website performance? And what are the benefits of website performance monitoring and assessment?

Some website owners track their statistics obsessively. They log in to their statistic tools several times a day to see how many visitors they’re getting. We’ve come to think of website performance purely in terms of traffic. How many hits? How many pageviews? Then we go out and try to increase these numbers, forgetting that a proper assessment is far more involved.Read More

Why Every Small Business Needs a Website Manager

website manager

Add a website manager to your team.

Every small business needs a website. We all know that.

But what many small business owners don’t realize is that without a website manager, a website can quickly become outdated and ineffective.

A website manager will keep your site secure, updated, and working properly and can track your website’s performance, so you know exactly how it’s contributing to the success of your business.Read More

How to Get Started with Your Small Business Website

small business website

Getting started with a small business website.

If you’re running a small business, you’re probably pretty busy. You’re managing a team of employees, generating leads, balancing books, or simply doing whatever it is that you do best.

Maybe you’re a plumber. Or a personal trainer. Maybe you run a boutique or a roller skating rink. Whatever it is that you do, you know your field of expertise, and website design is not it.

How can you make smart decisions about your small business website if you’re not an expert in websites or design?Read More

What is Web Content and How Can a Small Business Use It?

what is web content

What is web content?

There’s a lot of talk on the Internet about web content. You should have it. It needs to be good. You can share it, market it, and sell it. Manage and maintain it. Have a plan – develop it. Use it to build your business. Use it to succeed.

Plenty of people sell web content and related services. You can hire a web content writer, developer, or manager. You might bump into web content consultants, specialists, or experts. You may even happen across someone who creates and then either publishes or sells web content as their entire business model.

But what is web content, anyway?

Defining Web Content

Generally speaking, web content is anything that you find on the web. It can include text, images, audio, and video.

In the early days of the Internet, which weren’t so long ago, web content was extremely limited. You could share files, but it took a long time for them to transmit. Text and light images comprised most of the content online.Read More