Using Social Media to Improve Your Local Search Results

There is a lingering question as to whether social media can influence search engine ranking, as well as local search results. Whenever this is studied by a reliable source, there appears to be a connection – but not formally confirmed by Google or Bing. Whether someone makes a statement or not, it cannot be denied that social media is indeed powerful. It gives an opportunity for businesses to connect with consumers and find out what they need. Those who are willing to pay attention to what consumers have to say will be able to come up with new ideas for products and services.

Consumers in the US use up about 19% of their digital time on social networks, which means you can get in touch with them there. Three reasons to add social media to your local search strategy are as follows:

Connect with a New Audience

Your message can reach a multitude of potential customers through social media. Nobody can deny the power of social media as a place where people come together. Millions of Facebook users have offered lots of psychographic data to the network, leaving a digital trail all through the ads, pages plus other links they have clicked. FB is capable of targeting users based on demographic data, as well as their interests.

Drive Traffic

Though social media lets you meet and engage audiences, businesses also need consumers to visit their sites.

  • Whether live or prerecorded, a video can always be helpful in educating viewers. Consumers will want to come back for more each time, building loyalty and raising awareness.
  • Another effective method for the site to get more clicks is to create custom graphics, featuring stats, tips plus bits and pieces of data, as well as include links to the site to know more about the topic.
  • When special offers are revealed first and also exclusively on social media, this builds a fan base that will make consumers keep coming back, taking notice and buying again and again.

The ultimate goal is to drive traffic to the website, which reveals a lot about the business, as well as the products and services they provide – all this to make it easy for consumers to decide or purchase.

Monitor the Metrics

Many major social platforms come with free metrics to monitor your posts’ popularity and reach. Buffer and Hootsuite are third-party apps that let you view, update and keep lots of social media accounts as well as compare their effectiveness.

In addition, it is critical to know the length of time they stay after clicking on the website, the other things they click on, and if they convert to being a customer. Incorporating Google Analytics will let you monitor where the consumer goes the moment they get to the site. You need to manage the time and money invested in different social media sites in order to maximize your investment.

As you can see, you can no longer afford to ignore social media marketing. You should also worry about your mobile website design if you want more traffic and conversions from mobile traffic.

Tips to Design a Quality Mobile-Friendly Website

Mobile-friendly websites as well as responsive designs are the current trend. For this reason, your company and clients may want to follow suit and go mobile.

When you construct a mobile-friendly website, this means you need to rethink the design process for it to look good on a wide range of screens of different mobile platforms. Your full website may be clear when viewed on tablets, but since the screens of smartphones are a lot smaller, your job is to give owners a pleasurable user experience.

To accomplish that, you need to go through various steps – a number of basic guidelines that appear to apply to nearly all projects about design for mobile devices.  Here are a number of helpful tips:

Remain Simple

Always remember that simplicity is best for mobile-friendly websites. More often than not, content overload is not good even for a desktop. A mobile site that is heavy is not friendly at all. It is actually a lot easier to make a mobile website over complicated.

Be Straight to the Point

What does the design of a mobile website or mobile app aim to do? It is to get users to what they need soonest, with fewer taps, swipes and needed attention. If an unwanted screen appears, skip it. This means that your mobile website should not have more than what it needs.

Give Access

In order for visitors to start navigating your site, they need to enter it. The server recognizes mobile devices, so you need to ensure that mobile visitors are automatically brought to the mobile page.

Make It Short

Don’t let users input a lot of text. This can be a problem for tablets, more so for smartphones, where it can hurt when you type something beyond a message, comment or tweet. In case you require a form to be filled -such as a signup – make it short. It could be a password, login or email. An added field lessens user satisfaction.

Brand it

Your website should certainly show your brand with its logo, style and colors to make it easy to recognize. You could always find a way to include them in the design without affecting usability.

Avoid Overcrowding

Avoid placing a lot of information on a single screen page. This will crowd the interface and make it hard to navigate. Visitors should be able to easily go through your web pages, without feeling pressured.

Designed for the Screen

Your designer will ask your advice before making decisions on how you like your mobile site to look. Such rules include the right size of buttons and proper space between them (to avoid pressing the wrong button). Avoid filling pages with too many images or allowing intrusive popups. These and more suggestions will create a more attractive website, because being convenient to use is attractive.

Test for Compatibility

Test your website properly in a wide range of devices, different operating system versions as well as screen resolutions. However, development companies lack in supply of mobile devices for testing therefore you can only choose a few.

When you follow some of these guidelines if not all, the design for mobile will be much appealing for your visitors.

Need more advice on mobile website design? Or perhaps you’re more interested in social media marketing. Either way, check our services section and contact us to schedule an appointment.


What are the advantages of eCommerce for your business?

Observe the Buying Habits of Consumers

Perhaps the best thing about e-commerce businesses is that they can constantly observe the habits of consumers, as well as their interests. This way, they can offer goods that would best suit their needs. When these retailers continue to satisfy the needs of consumers, they can improve and establish good customer relations.


E-commerce is a reliable and efficient method for successful business transactions. It is less costly to set up, as compared to having a physical store.  In addition, it only requires a number of permits and licenses to start an online business than a brick and mortar store. Furthermore, you can have more savings by employing a few people to bill customers and manage the inventory, among other operations.

Let Contented Clients Sell Your Products

Include customer’s reviews as well as product ratings to boost your sales, especially when new customers discover that your goods are reliable and effective.  Always mention the reviews, testimonials and product ratings of your clients. This way, new customers will be encouraged to buy your products/services.

Sell Your Products across the Globe

When you have a physical store, your customers will only be limited. Only those nearby will be able to buy from you. On the other hand, when you have an e-commerce site, you are able to sell your products/services worldwide.  There are no geographical limits when selling your entire list of products since the whole world is at your hands. Furthermore, the other limitation of geography has been eradicated by mCommerce, which is known as mobile commerce.

Your Store is Open 24/7, the Whole Year Round

Perhaps the best advantage of an eCommerce store to its merchants is the convenience of buying. They can go through e-commerce sites any time of the day and at their own comfort. This is a way to boost sales by increasing the quantity of orders. No matter where they are or what time it is, they can purchase the products and services they need.

Increase Brand Visibility and Awareness

Aside from helping B2B organizations in getting new clients, e-commerce businesses can increase their brand visibility and awareness in the market. Creating pages that search engine crawlers can index is one of the most effective ways to improve your site’s search engine optimization and to draw target audience to your site.

Reduce Costs

One of the benefits given by eCommerce is the fact that it allows you to reduce your business costs. The following are a number of costs that can be reduced by choosing eCommerce:

Promotion and Marketing

If you decide on eCommerce, you can save on the costs of promoting and marketing.  Nevertheless, you can rely on cost-efficient ways such as the pay-per-click method, organic search engine traffic and social media traffic.


You can reduce the operational costs involved by getting only a few employees that will take care of billing and inventory management.

Remove Travel Costs

Since eCommerce allows customers from over the world to buy from your online store any time of the day, they do not have to spend to travel long distances. They can make a purchase with just a few clicks of the mouse and enjoy their shopping experience.

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Google has changed a lot over the last 17 years. From the range of products to the evolution of their look and feel. Today, they’re changing things up once again:


Internet Marketing on a Budget

For those who want to start up an online business, one of the biggest challenges is controlling expenses. One of the biggest reasons that people fail when creating an online business is spending too much money on trying to promote the business. Without proper planning, the result is often that a marketing budget gets cash strapped and the website project and plans die before it even has a chance to get off the ground with serious traction.

While there is no such thing as “free” when it comes to marketing your products or services, there are ways to promote who you are and what you do for far less money. What follows are some good, proven tips that will help you manage your expenses while getting the type of promotion needed to sell your products.

Research your Potential Customers

Before you spend one dime, you will need to understand your potential customers. Every business has a customer base that is clearly defined in terms of the following;

  • Age Range
  • Gender
  • Interests
  • Financial Situation

You don’t need to hire a research firm to find out these four facts, all you really need is enough time to do the proper research to get the information. Profiling your future customers is fairly straightforward as you can start with the blogs and websites where they purchase products similar to the ones that you offer. See what the typical customers are and make notes as to their general age, gender and interests. Their financial situation can be discerned to a large degree by the items they tend to purchase. Plus, where your potential customers hang out is very helpful as well. For example, do a lot of them have Pinterest accounts? Perhaps they can mostly be found on blogs? Knowing where they are at is immensely helpful.

Once you have created a general profile, you now have the basic information needed to properly plan out your marketing campaign. You may even want to seek the advice of those who have succeeded in terms of what they offer their customers as incentives.

Set a Budget and Create Goals

You are not ready yet to spend any money as once you have completed researching your target audience as the next step is setting a proper budget. You need to account for all the money that you are willing to spend and keep accurate records as well so that you don’t find yourself without any money.

While you may sell a few items early on, it is best to plan your expenses as if you don’t sell any for the first few weeks or even months. What you do sell during this time should be added to your expenditures in terms of marketing so that you can maximize your efforts. Basically, you are trying to get your business to become self-sustaining which can take a little time, so prepare yourself by allocating enough funds to get you through the early phase.

Now that your budget is in place, the next step is creating both long term and short term goals. The long term goals are where you want to be while short term is how you get there. Your goals in terms of marketing should generally start with increasing the awareness of your business and then gradually focus more on creating profits. The more people know who you are, the easier it will be to generate profits.

Set Up Your Website

Now that you know what you’ve got and where you are going, it’s time to get started. You’ll want to purchase a website that is relatively inexpensive, but provides your online business the ability to grow. Fortunately, there are many options for your website design and we even offer a line of web hosting solutions that have these features built into the websites that we offer.

Be sure your business name is attractive to potential customers and create a simple, easy-to-navigate website free of glitz and glam and emphasizing a customer friendly experience that will help your sales conversion. This will cost a little money, but most hosting services are very inexpensive.

Build Your Brand

In order to sell products on the web, you’ll need to emphasize your brand first to build up the trust necessary for people to purchase from you. This means separating your company from the competition through name recognition and offering good products, timely service and money back guarantees so that customers will be satisfied with what you have to offer.

Once you have determined how customers should see your business, stick to that strategy. This means engaging them on social media and centering your marketing efforts on the image you want to create for your online business. Effective promotion and particular interaction are not expensive and much of it is free which can save you money while building up your profits.

The Magic of Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the best form of passive marketing on the internet. SEO is essentially using keywords or key phrases incorporated into the content you create in order to be seen by more people looking for what you do on search engines.

Using keywords, backlinks, and most importantly creating good, interesting content will help more people find your online business. However, it is time consuming and somewhat complicated and will absorb a significant portion of your budget. Still, the results are well worth it if you keep focus on your target audience and publish new content regularly.

Blogging & Social Media

The two basic means of communicating with your audience is through blogging and social media channels. Each has its advantages and both are exceptionally cheap. In fact, utilizing social media is free while blogging can be a part of your inexpensive website.

Blogging is how you place more content on your site so that it can be picked up by search engines, generate new leads and even links back to your main site. With the emphasis shifting towards creating high quality content, you will need to produce good, information articles that attract those interested in what your business offers. While this takes a little effort, it doesn’t cost you anything in terms of expenditures.

Social media is arguably the best way to be interactive with your target audience. This means promoting your website and blog posts while communicating with your customers. You’ll want to add something special to your social media efforts such as discounts, coupons or extra information to help build up this area of your marketing.

All of these methods are very inexpensive and are limited only by the amount of effort that you put into promoting your business. With only a little money, you can greatly expand your marketing efforts and create a successful online business.

Five Mistakes to Avoid When Creating a Website

Five Mistakes to Avoid When Creating a Website

Proper web design is the backbone of your online business. That means in order to translate web traffic into sales, your web design must be attractive, easy to navigate and provide information that potential customers can use so they can purchase the products or services that you offer.

Unfortunately, too many online business owners do not have the proper web design to convert the maximum amount of sales potential from the web traffic they generate. The result is that a lot of marketing effort and expense gets wasted because potential customers are turned off before they would otherwise make a purchase.

Here are five simple mistakes that online business owners can avoid which will help them make better choices when it comes to their web design.

Keep Things Simple

Arguably the biggest mistake that online business owners make is creating a website that is difficult to navigate. You want to make it dirt simple to go from the landing page to the product to the checkout and make the sale. Any complication along that route may prevent a potential customer from becoming a real customer. So keep your website navigation as simple and straightforward as possible.

Don’t Use Flash Animation

Here, you’ll want to avoid using flash animation, sparkly graphics and odd color schemes that are designed to attract attention, but usually wind up pushing away potential customers who can’t view the animation on some devices. There are places to use flash animation for example, but especially not on your home or landing page where interested customers are seeking information.

Get to the Point

The biggest enemy for online sales is time. The more time a customer has to spend on your website trying to find the product they want to purchase, the less likely it is that you will make the sale. This means that your website should start by being easy to download and view. So avoid using a lot of images, photos, videos and files that take time to download. You will need to reduce the size of these large files and eliminate the ones that do not apply so that customers can download your website quickly.

Don’t Use Unfamiliar Fonts

Basically, this means sticking to the tried and true fonts that most people are familiar. For example, Arial is a simple, attractive font that is easy to read. Using unfamiliar and exotic fonts that try to separate you from the competition only attracts attention to the odd font itself and not what the message is saying. So avoid using unusual fonts.

Do not “Be All Things” to All People

If you are trying to sell to everyone you may wind up reaching nobody as your website should be about a focused product. Unfortunately, too many web designs are cluttered in their approach to cover all the bases and wind up not appealing to the right demographic of customers for your products or services. So, your web design should be focused, professional and targeted towards the type of people most likely to buy your products or services.

By avoiding these web design mistakes you can create a website that will boost your sales conversion rates.

Top Five Alternate Internet Marketing Strategies

Running an online business and competing against dozens or more businesses can be quite tiring, especially when everyone is using the established techniques. In essence, everyone is on the same playing field each fighting for a share of the market, yet they are all using the same methods to get there.

This means that you can create an advantage for your online business by separating it from the competition. You can achieve this by using alternate techniques that can help push your business to new frontiers and reach more customers. Setting yourself apart from the competition is paramount to establishing your success. By embracing alternate internet marketing techniques to compliment the standard practices that you have been using, a new crowd of visitors may come to your website to see what you have to offer.

What follows are the top five alternate internet marketing strategies that have been used with some success in helping to separate businesses from their competition. It is arguably best that you limit your initial strategies to one or two at the most to fully test out what will work for you.

Expand Your Social Profile to Include Opinions

The old saying, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” is true in internet marketing as well. By using your social profiles to their fullest advantage by expressing your opinions on the subjects that fall within your online business, you can help generate more interest in your efforts.

Many of your competitors say the same thing day in and day out, so to reach new customers you need to cut through all of that noise by making some of your own. By expressing your opinions about the industry in which you thrive, you can generate some attention for your business. Plus, the better and more creative you can offer your opinions, especially if you inject them with some good humor, then the more attention you will receive.

It is true that you will receive some criticism and harsh judgment, usually from your competition but also from people who simply disagree with you. It is more than worth the effort at getting new potential customers for your business. So grow a thick skin and be sure your opinions are valid and strong.

Be Personal

One of the most difficult aspects is revealing a bit of yourself when marketing the efforts of your company. However, people who show a little vulnerability by revealing what they have gone through to start their own business or perhaps a true story about something that happened in your industry can go a long way towards bringing in new visitors.

This is because people are very prone to like, refer or “re-tweet” your story to others. You’ve probably seen it all the time on your own social media site where a friend has re-posted a story about someone struggling, making it big or something heartwarming that you see has many likes or re-tweets associated.

You can do the same thing, as long as the story is true, by posting about your own struggles or finding a true story about something in your industry that is heartwarming. This type of story can reach people you would never hope to see with traditional marketing efforts.

Write Off-Page Content

Basically, this is writing content that can be found away from your webpage. Such content can be crucial in finding you new customers as they can help generate more traffic for your website. Off-page content can be written for other blogs, article directories and the like. It should naturally be informative, to the point and apply to something in your industry.

Many of the best off-page content pieces are lists, tips, techniques and other very useful information that is relevant to your potential customers and demonstrates that you are willing to share this knowledge on sites away from your own. This is an excellent way to drive customers to your website, but you must be persistent and set up a schedule of writing that helps build momentum to get people’s attention.

Also, writing off-page content on a regular basis helps set you up as an authority in the field, something that many customers respect which means that they are more likely to trust your business when purchasing products.

If You are Stuck, Re-Branding Can Work

If you still cannot find an audience after putting in the work, perhaps your branding is simply not enough of an attention-getter. However, you can simply re-brand and start all over again if you want. By changing your logo, images, graphic designs and all things that are related to your branding, you can start anew and go from there.

Re-branding is not quite as radical as it may seem since after all, both college and professional football teams seem to change their uniforms and colors on a regular basis. However, your re-branding should not be as cavalier as that. Instead, this should be something that is researched and decided upon rather seriously so that you can establish your footing once again.

A re-branding effort can work especially well if there have been changes in the industry in which you are selling. By taking advantage of these changes, you can re-brand your company to help establish a new footing for your sales efforts.

The Viral Video

Last, but certainly not least, having a video going viral is obviously one of the dreams of many thousands of online business owners. However, for every attempt that succeeds there are many that fail. Fortunately, many videos that have gone viral are incredibly cheap to produce and some of them have been made on typical smartphones or tablets.

What you need is a subject that is funny, interesting and gets to the point. Whether you are sarcastic or seriously cute, the point is that investing in a viral video marketing strategy can pay great dividends with a minimal investment. Here, you will probably need some help in identifying some funny or humorous areas of your industry and exploiting them with a video that taps into some truths as well.

Whether you succeed on your first or fiftieth attempt, the good news is once a video succeeds it generally boost the popularity of the other videos that didn’t quite make it. Furthermore, it brings an entirely new audience to your online business.

These tips to alternate internet strategies can really pay off for businesses that need to separate themselves from the competition. Just remember to be proactive and aggressive in pursuing the one that you choose.

The Host Business Marketing Strategy

For online businesses and especially brick and mortar stores that have an online presence, finding new customers can be a difficult task even in the best of times. While traditional internet marketing tactics can bring in a base of customers, there are still a substantial number that you will even with the best efforts you put forth.

However, there is one tried and true marketing strategy that has worked for decades in finding new customers, the host-business marketing strategy. This particular tactic is one that can build up your profits by finding customers who otherwise might overlook your marketing efforts.

What is the Host-Business Marketing Strategy?

Basically, this is where you find another business that is different than yours, but has the same target audience. Once you find that business, you contact the owner and offer to provide one of your products or services as part of their sales program. This is especially effective if the other business deals in higher priced merchandise such as electronics, car dealerships, jewelry and so forth.

For example, for every particular type of vehicle that is sold, the customer will get a free item or huge discount from your company. All they have to do is drop by your store or website to pick it up. While this can work for online-only businesses, it is especially effective for brick and mortar stores that want to pull in more customers.

The customer then takes comes into your store and picks up the product. Quite often, they will also shop around at your store and buy more items, but the effect is even greater than that as your business brand is being built up considerably.

How to Initiate the Host-Business Marketing Strategy

In order to get this strategy working for your business, there are a few things that you need to accomplish first.

Find your Target Audience: You will need to know exactly the main type of customers that shop at your store. This means understanding their general age range and gender for a start, but any additional information is important to knowing who your products and services will appeal.

Locate Businesses with the Same Target Audience: Once you know who buys at your store, then you can see where else they shop. From this, you can then identify the best type of businesses for your needs.

Pick a High Level Host Business: Car dealerships are always a good start since different target audiences prefer different types of vehicles. By identifying the car dealership that sells the type of vehicles that appeals to your target audience, then you should choose the one that best suits your needs.

Make an Offer They Can’t Refuse: Basically, you will need to make a formal offer of one of your products that they can then use to sell their items. Such incentives are a “win-win” for both you and the host business because they are offering something that cost them nothing to sell their items while you can reap the benefits of having new customers come into your store.

The host-business marketing strategy can really work for your business if you do a little research, find your target audience and where they shop.

Advanced SEO Tips for Small Business

Advanced SEO Tips for Small Business

A website blog is actually one of the most effective marketing tools for online business owners of all types, from one-person operations to large companies. Furthermore, the ability to write your own content and publish to an audience interested in your products or services is quite powerful when it comes to drawing in potential customers. Quality content on your blog can engage your audience on a more direct level and help influence a customer to purchase a product. SEO is an important part of your blogging efforts as it can bring in more potential customers to your website from external sources such as other blogs, social media websites and of course search engines. For those who already have some experience with SEO, knowing the basics can help launch your efforts to new heights.

However, there are some more advanced tips that can help you reach an even wider audience and make your blog posts better at sales conversion. What follows are a few advanced SEO tips that can help you make the most out of your blogging efforts.

Craft your Content for Searches

While targeting keywords and key phrases are essential in having potential customers find your website, the real key is creating content that people actually want to find. What this means is that your keyword search should be geared towards what people are looking for and writing good content based on that information.

This means writing content that is not time sensitive and providing answers to information that is frequently searched on your topics. You can mix in posts about new information or news about your niche, but the bulk of your content should center on providing information that customers want.

Build more Static Pages

While blog posts can do quite well, static pages can perform even better. This is because the time or date that a post is published can cause it to fluctuate on search results when similar, newer content is published on other sites.

By creating independent static pages for your more extensive posts, guides or useful information, it can actually help protect their status in the rankings because it will be seen as timeless. You may have noticed this when searching on particular subjects, so copy their efforts and put your most valuable information that is timeless on a separate static page.

Build on Successful Posts

If you have posts that have received a considerable amount of back links, then focus more of your efforts on producing similar content. Remember, you don’t want to duplicate your most successful posts as much as you want to build upon them by adding new information. By building on success, you will create even more successful posts that people will link and share.

Be User Friendly

You want your blog to be as open and friendly as possible, so be sure to invite others to write posts, make it easy to line or share what you have written, link your work to sources that can be trusted, cut down on ads that interrupt reading and encourage your readers to comment. Good conversation can help you build up your blog.

By following these tips, you can increase your overall audience and better sell the products or services that you provide.