Category Archives: Small Businesses

Measure the effectiveness of your social media efforts

Since we are all know that along with the incredible promise of social media comes the required time and energy involved, we should avail ourselves of a way to measure the effectiveness of those efforts, lest we waste loads of time and money.

This is way more than just checking the numbers of Likes and pages shares you’re getting. We’re talking about how effective your social media is at providing you with the results you are seeking. Let’s check out a handful of ways to get this done.

5 Metrics to use when determining social media effectiveness

  1. Monitor your social media presence - There are any number of tools that can help you monitor your social media effectiveness. A short list would contain tools like,, and Social Each one of the major social media platforms also offer some capability to allow you to keep track of what going on, as well as Google Analytics.
  2. Quantify your visitor’s engagement - A large number of social media visitors doesn’t really mean anything on its own. We have to understand how, or if, they are being impacted by your content. Check out the actions they are taking once there, and this can help you understand whether your campaign is paying off or not.
  3. Look hard at CTR - By tracking campaigns on a granular level right through to your desired action, whether it be sales or other, you can get a handle on how much your efforts are truly paying off.
  4. Look at your referrers - Each social media platform sends a different sort of person, and because of this you need to examine how each of them performs with a view toward ROI. A smaller number of visitors from one source could very well convert a great deal better than one that sends many more!
  5. Create campaign specific landing pages - One of the best ways for you to make things easier is by making campaign specific landing pages. This will allow you to clearly view how well that one is working for you.

Setting up a system that helps you track and measure your social media marketing is a major help in determining how well it’s working for you. Get this in motion today!

Spread Your Content Far and Wide Through Content Syndication

Now that we (appropriately) have a renewed focus on content marketing, we thought we would present a tactic that is somewhat little-used. Content syndication is a wonderful way to have your best content spread around the Web with relatively little effort. The reasons you’ll want to dive headlong into content syndication are many.

First off, the authority, traffic and backlinks created from this type of marketing can be profound. Add the social media components of these sites, and your own efforts with letting your social channels know about postings, and you’ve got the recipe for a flood of reward.

5 Excellent tips for syndicating your content!

  • Paid content syndication sites - If you have a bit of a budget, (but not a lot!) content syndication sites like Outbrain and Taboola are great choices to get your content seen on major websites like Time, The Washington Post and CNN, and a host of others. These are easy to use, and welcome smaller marketers.
  • Blogs within your industry - A free method that you can employ would be searching out blogs strongly related your market and offering your content to them. A great number of sites are too busy to keep pace with their own content needs and are looking for quality content.
  • Document sharing sites - Another no-brainer for content syndication is placing content on the various document sharing sites like Slideshare, Scribd, DocStoc and others. These websites are highly trafficked, and if your content is good you’ll get a ton of views and backlinks when they are shared and downloaded. Very easy to do, and there is no approval process.
  • Submit to content aggregators - There are actually sites that aggregate content from around the web, and some of these have grown into some of the biggest sites out there today. Think Mashable, TechCrunch, etc. You’ll be much more likely to get your content submitted to the likes of AllTop and 9Rules.
  • Submit to blogging networks - Submit your blogs posts to blogging networks like BlogEngage and Bloggersbase. These sites have a ton of visitors, and your content can find many new readers here. Which is what we’re all after, right?

Killer Small Business Analytics Tips

No matter the size of your business, understanding where your customers are originating from and how is critical if you wish to improve revenues in 2014. That’s why we need to pay special attention to the analytics we have been using on our sites.

Not using any, you say? Well, you’ve just defined job one! Until you identify a greater need, it’s okay to start with Google Analytics as it will likely deliver far more than you’ll know what to do with. And, did I mention it’s free?

Once you have this rolling in, how to deal with it? Here are 5 suggestions for applying your analytics data in 2014.

5 Ways to use analytics in your small business

  1. Choose the performance indicators you will need - While there are numerous things you are able to track, it can be overwhelming to bite off a large slice when just beginning. First pay attention to indicators that all of us need to know, like site traffic, conversions, referrals and time on page.
  2. Understand what your Analytics are telling you - This can be a lot to digest at first. There are a number of terms and acronyms you might not be familiar with, so take the time to understand what you’re looking at. The data will start to be more accessible if you do.
  3. Set up an automated email report - Many of us will be either too busy or forget to login in regularly to look at the data. Address this by setting up a regular email that sends to the data in a PDF format, so you can act upon it!
  4. You can track more than your site - There are few web properties that can’t accept the JavaScript code needed to track for your Analytics. Therefore, be sure to use it in code on all your significant pages, such as social media, squeeze and landing pages, videos and emails.
  5. Note key changes in your data - If your site went through a redesign, or you started a pay per click campaign, or some other significant change happened that impacted your site, make note of it so you will understand the variations in the data you are viewing. If you don’t understand why that surge in traffic occurred, you might find it difficult to act on it!

How to Develop a Winning Video Marketing Strategy

You’ve always meant to get a video marketing strategy started, but for whatever reason it just hasn’t gotten off the ground. Let’s end any uncertainty and delay due to lack of knowledge about what to do right here and now.

Having a great video marketing strategy isn’t just luck. It has to be an integral part of an overall content marketing plan that brings together multiple elements of your marketing, from email to social media. It’s not something to outsource unless you’re really confident in the person executing it. It’s your business we’re promoting here, after all!

Today’s successes in the video marketing arena are there because they had a plan, and they executed it. Let’s discover how you can do that with your business!

5 Tips for creating a killer video marketing strategy!

  1. Video your testimonials - Video is a great way to not only offer awesome social proof regarding your business and products, but can also generate a lot of goodwill with those who are offering the testimonial. It’s a win-win for everyone, and is miles beyond a print testimonial in terms of veracity and usefulness.
  2. Be helpful - Nothing endears you to your audience like somebody that frequently offers advice and help on topics of importance to them. Use video to teach, inspire, answer questions and deliver useful tutorials.
  3. Product videos - Showcase your products, but not simply with a salesy selection of slick images and then an obligatory call to action. Instead, show how your products can help the end user in an engaging and fun way, and you’ll have a customer for life!
  4. Brand your videos - Keeping your brand front and center in your videos is a simple way to help build brand awareness, so you’re the only outfit they think of with regards to your niche.
  5. Develop your YouTube Channel - Getting people to subscribe to your YouTube channel is a marvelous way to improve your reach across the Web, getting more views, links and consequently, more traffic and sales. Brand your YouTube channel as carefully as you would your Facebook page or website, for it can be a traffic magnet!

With over 6 billion hours of YouTube videos getting watched every month, isn’t it time for you to get in on some of that action?

How to Make Content Marketing Pay for Your Business in 2014

It’s been drummed into our head for years: Content is King! Well, perhaps it was the pre-coronation phase, for it appears that the time for content to actually rule has indeed begun.

Gone are the days of being able to manipulate the search engine results pages (SERPs) with massive doses of faux link building and other black hat methods designed to claim the top search spots for their immense value regardless of whether you had anything of value to offer. With some 27 million pieces of content posted daily, sorting out the wheat from the chaff is Google’s quest. And Google is getting significantly better at identifying the actual worth of a page, and its popularity, allowing the cream to rise to the top.

So let’s consider a few trends and best practices for content marketing in 2014.

  • Make a content plan - Just like major publishers use an editorial calendar, you should make and follow a content plan, one that is flexible enough to allow spontaneous adjustments when needed.
  • Make a blog - Since each month more than 329 million people read blogs, and businesses that have an active blog are getting 97 percent more leads than those who don’t have one, what’s your excuse now?
  • The advent of branded content - Another newish term lately is branded content. This is content created to sell while at the same time providing an undeniable entertainment value.
  • New channels - Exploring new content channels you might not have tried before ought to be on your to-do list. LinkedIn sponsored posts, Slideshare and Google+ are awesome outlets to plunder.
  • SEO your content - Preparing your content with SEO in mind is a must. Social sharing, links and tying in with email are items to consider. It never hurts to keep Google in mind when developing your content.
  • Have a social media strategy - Since 80 percent of users prefer to connect with brands on Facebook, an active social media plan in conjunction with your content is extremely important.
  • Optimize for mobile – 56 percent of Americans now sport a smartphone, and aren’t shy about using it! Make sure your content is optimized for mobile viewing and reading. No one wants to read volumes on a small screen, so always remember that.

Make 2014 the year you create and perform winning content marketing strategy. It will pay off!

5 Ways to Improve Your Site’s Conversion Rate

It’s a plain fact that converting more of your existing visitors into customers is a much easier and cost efficient way to increasing revenue than obtaining more traffic. To put this in even crisper focus, getting a 1 percent rise in traffic is worth far less than a 1 percent increase in conversion rates across the board. Far less!

In 2014 it should be a goal to not only increase traffic to our sites, but also to do a better job of converting those who do make an appearance. I’d take a 1 percent rise in conversion over a 1 percent increase in traffic every day!

5 Ways to win with conversion rate optimization

  1. One page serves one purpose - Having a single, clear purpose each and every page will serve to make not just your conversions better, but in addition your search engine rankings. Don’t clutter your pages with extraneous links, and banners that detract from the primary goal of the page.
  2. Optimize all of your funnel - Conversion rate optimization also includes any content or page that is part of your marketing message. Meaning your emails, landing and squeeze pages, social media pages and more. Everything has to be working in concert to send a clear, unified sales message.
  3. Check your site speed - A slow loading page is the number one reason people will leave your site. Additionally, it can contribute (negatively) to your search engine rankings, as a high bounce rate is a part of the Google search algorithm. If you want help determining where your problems lie in this area, try YSlow.
  4. Content and conversions go hand in hand! - Seems like everybody is looking at a content initiative right now, and that’s a positive thing, but only if you do it with the idea of improving your conversions at the same time. Optimize all of the content you publish for conversions, and keep it all in step with your primary conversion goals.
  5. Test and test again! - Even a tiny percentage gain in conversion rates can result in a significant monetary difference. Make it a part of the process to test all elements of your sales and conversion process. This can and will lead to more profits and a more prosperous 2014!

How to Dominate Your Local Search Results

You, know it’s awesome that your business can be found for whatever you sell all over the world, but really, if you’re serving a local market and you’re not successfully appearing in your local search results for your main terms, names and products, then what does it help?

Since we now know that 1 in 3 searches in Google are now local in objective, and more than 70 percent of people look online for offline services, it’s a no-brainer that you must dominate your local search results, and below are a few ways to do exactly that.

5 Easy ways to start to dominate your local search results

  1. Your Google+ Local Page - A Google+ local page for your business is a quick way to help your local search rankings. Does not only aid with indexing your pages nearly instantly, but it’s a practical aid for anyone seeking to find you.
  2. Claim Citations - Citations are listings for your business on search engines and within social media that include your name address and phone number. They can include more or less and are typically found on Facebook, Google, Bing, Yelp, and FourSquare, as well as a variety of other sites.
  3. Reviews - Getting reviews for your business, products or services is essential for ranking well on the Google local search results. Google views this as authority, and social proof. Make sure you enable your customers to help them leave a review by offering a link to where they can do this, preferably on your Google+ local page.
  4. NAP - NAP represents name address and phone number. Ensuring this information is correct across all your social media and sites is a must.
  5. Mobile - Since three out of four mobile searches result in follow-up actions like a store visit, social share, phone call or word of mouth recommendation, it’s important your site is optimized for mobile, so you can be where all your customers are at any time of the day or night!

The Business With The Best Technology RULES

I really enjoyed this video for a few reasons.

1) It shows that anyone can use technology, kids, adults, CEO’s.
2) It conveys how much technology can help a business communicate, be more efficient, solve problems and grow.
3) The ones that adopt the new wave of mobile technology can outsmart those that don’t rely ont it. The boy went through lots of trouble on his way to communicate a problem on his bike, but new methods had already solved the issue before he could reach the CEO to fix it.