The Power of Simplicity

The Power of Simplicity

You might have a simple product or service; you might have a complex product or service; either way, the more you can make everything simple, the better. It falls in line with focusing your business, having a seamless elevator pitch, and knowing your position. The easier you can explain who you are and what you do, the easier it will be to sell your product or service.   Simplicity Sells There are a couple thing working against you if your company does something more complex: People have relatively short attention spans People can be dismissive of technical jargon   The more mired you get into the specifics of what you do, the more chance you have of driving someone away. … Read More

Can Proper Market Positioning Increase Your Company’s Value?

We’ve been talking about two things simultaneously for the last few days: the value of a company and exit strategies or selling a business. They tend to go hand in hand as any value built into a company translates directly into its valuation. Even intangible things like employee morale, or perceived value play into the value of your company. What about an intangible like market positioning?   Market Positioning and Company Value How you position your company has long term and lasting effects. Believe it or not, it affects your business immediately and in the future. Position your company incorrectly or in the wrong market and you may not have a business for long. Set up your company in a … Read More

Crawl, Walk, Run: Small Business Growth

Small business development can be tough. It can take patience, discipline, and faith. But all of these can pay off massively. Knowing your small business better than anyone and building on your success are some of the best ways to create a viable company. If you try to grow too fast, or get into unfamiliar waters, or pigeon hole your company, those can be costly mistakes.   Crawl Bootstrapping is a common term for doing things yourself. As a small business owner, you may have expected to most things on your own, or maybe you have the income or capacity to hire someone to help. The important thing is that you build a solid base that your company can grow … Read More

Filling the Small Business Web Platform Need

There are lots of ways to get a great website: you can pay a digital firm to build you something that is typically over $10,000, you can pay a freelance designer or developer to build you something that is slightly less than $10,000, you can build one yourself and just pay hosting fees, or you can find a small business web platform (like Businesstastic). There are pros and cons to every type of website, but here are some quick notes that should be helpful as you are thinking about the best website for your small business.   Using a Design/Development Firm First off, these guys are expensive, and that is the biggest setback. If you have a limited budget, chances … Read More

Quality Content SEO for Small Business

You’ve filled out all of the meta descriptions, all of the title text and alt text, all of the blocks and forms that you didn’t think mattered before; all of your pages are focused and contain good keywords that pertain to each page. But your site isn’t converting the traffic that comes to it despite showing up in SERPs. Maybe your site is getting a lot of impressions – showing up in SERPs – but people aren’t clicking on the links. The answer to your problems? Quality content.   How Do You Know if Your Site Has Quality Content? If you’ve built your site solidly and you have good keywords and you have individual pages that are focused around a … Read More

The Best Tools for Small Business SEO

A solid SEO gameplan doesn’t have to cost you a ton of money. Luckily there are some great tools for small business SEO that can help you audit your site, find out what is working, and fix what is broken. Good SEO is like free advertising. It means your site shows up higher in SERPs and gets more viewers and potential users. Really, really good SEO helps convert those users to sales and customers. While you can pretty easily inspect a web page for some basic SEO, there are tools that make small business SEO improvements much easier.   Screaming Frog The folks at Screamingfrog have built a site auditor that crawls your website like the Google crawl spiders and … Read More

5 B2B Networking Styles

We spend a ton of time talking about websites here: SEO, web development, digital marketing, link building, site architecture, social media and on and on. All of these things are in an effort to build a digital network, of sorts, but there is still nothing like good old fashioned face-to-face networking. Last week, we attended the SEMpdx Rooftop Networking Party, which is one of, if not the, best networking party in Portland for digital types. It got us thinking a bit about networking and how it is still an essential part of B2B business and how we are not very good at it.   B2B Networking: Stranger Danger On the whole, the developers and marketers at Businesstastic are more introverted … Read More

B2B Content and the Sales Funnel

Yesterday we talked about how keywords should reflect your site architecture and your site architecture ought to reflect your sales funnel. With B2B websites, you are trying to capture anyone at pretty much every stage of the funnel and your content can be a massive help. Using keywords to help your content and positioning your content appropriately along your site to reflect the sales funnel progression will see your site turn more conversions. B2B content is unique in that it is informative, positions your company as experts, and attempts to move users through the sales funnel without being a full on sales pitch.   B2B Content and the Sales Funnel Like with keywords, moving from general to specific – like … Read More

2 B2B SEO Essentials

We’ve briefly discussed AdWords and paid search campaigns. For B2C websites, search queries can be very wide ranging: someone looking to purchase shoes might only type ‘shoes’ into the search engine to see what comes up. B2B queries, and therefore keywords, are much more specific and purchase related. Like we mentioned yesterday, there is very little emotional content involved with B2B websites, in the same vein, the keywords used on B2B websites and the B2B SEO strategies involved focus on purchasing. When a business searches with an intent to purchase, they are looking to purchase, not browse. An airtight, purchase driven SEO strategy is essential for B2B websites.   B2B SEO: Basics While there are certainly basic SEO principles that … Read More

5 Essentials for B2B Websites

Your website can either be like the blindfolded person in a game of “Marco Polo” or an excellent extension of your small business. Certainly, anyone can have a website, and plenty of people choose to throw a free website into the ether that is the internet, but that isn’t going to do you any good in the long run. Your website is an investment of time and money and you need to see a return on that investment. But how? 5 Essentials for B2B Websites   Lead Generation Your website is, first and foremost, a dynamic business card that allows people to reach out to you and ask you about your business. A Contact Form is essential to generating leads. … Read More

Social Media Basics: Pinterest for Small Business

Pinterest is dominated by women – about 81% of their users are women – and the nature of pins and boards makes it an extremely viable way to promote your small business. From landscaping ideas to cool websites to apparel and pretty much everything in between, Pinterest allows you to share your ideas and pictures across the internet in a more permanent, and potentially more professional fashion than other social media channels.   Pinterest for Small Business Pinterest is basically an online cork board. Users can pin web pages, much like bookmarking, to their boards. Their boards are then shared with other users. Users can share their pins back and forth to create networks; users can also include other users … Read More

Social Media Basics: Instagram for Small Business

While Instagram has more users than Twitter – over twice as many at the last count, it is still a newer frontier for growing a small business. While there are over half a billion users on Instagram, using this channel to promote your small business is a bit tricky. Users tend to be younger women between the ages of 18 and 29, but more importantly, outside the US. So how can you effectively market your business on Instagram?   Instagram for Small Business Instagram is a wonderful way to communicate a lot of information via pictures. Hashtags work similarly to Twitter, engagement is gauged based on likes and comments, and they already use user’s data to show them other relevant … Read More

Social Media Basics: LinkedIn for Small Business

We’ve covered how to act in your neighborhood (Facebook), how to report your small business’ news (Twitter), and today we are going to talk about how to use social media to network – LinkedIn. While you shouldn’t go around constantly reminding folks of your business on Facebook, LinkedIn is made for that. LinkedIn is where you can promote the heck out of your company unabashedly, refine your elevator pitch (your company’s About Us section), and network like crazy. Again, there are some different rules for how to act, but these rules of thumb should be more than enough to get your small business noticed on LinkedIn.   LinkedIn for Small Business: The Internet’s Cocktail Party Networking events are not an … Read More

Social Media Basics: Twitter for Small Business

Yesterday we talked about not alienating your neighbors on Facebook, but where on internet can you go to really promote your business? There are a few social media channels where you can speak openly about your business without worrying about alienating your network. The best part about social media is that it is totally free to promote your business and doing so in the right way can bring in lots of quality traffic and customers to your site. Let’s talk about Twitter today. We like to to think of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn as the three social media channels that every business should be on and each has their own rules for engagement: Facebook for neighbors, Twitter for news, and … Read More

Social Media: Facebook for Small Business Basics

We touched on social media channels briefly in this post, but each channel warrants its own blog – maybe its own book – so here we are! Facebook is massive, nearly a quarter of the world’s population uses it at least once per month, over 80% of 18-29 year olds use the website or mobile app, of the over 2 billion monthly users, 1.66 billion are daily mobile users. And Facebook is  still growing! Facebook for Small Business Facebook is like an internet within the internet and that is pretty important for small businesses. It offers a platform for customers to engage with you – for better or worse – it allows a small business to have a page without having … Read More