Small business owners are faced with tough competition for attention on the internet. While they can make things easier for themselves in terms of SEO by embracing local and long tail keywords, content and the ability to get visitors to engage with that content is an  increasingly important part of SEO, and without an inviting visual hook, it becomes less likely that your site will be able to generate enough attention and time spent on your pages to improve its rank. Video is a very strong option for increasing your time on site metrics. Video is one tool that can be very helpful in cutting down your bounce rates as well as improving the amount of time spent on your website on average. Getting ready to shoot a video takes time in order to create a concept that is backed by market research, as well as write a script, hire actors and a production company to tie everything together into a finished product. This can be outside

A bottleneck refers to a choke-point in your business’s efficiency. While a certain part of your operations may be humming along, if another aspect of your production is not able to keep up, then serious imbalance can build up, with departments beginning to resent each other and communication breaking down alongside of efficiency. There are many reasons why bottlenecks in production can occur, as varied as the industries and components of each small business, but in order to get at the more specific reasons why there is an issue in your business, you need to determine the root cause of the problem and then address it from there. Too much going on. It can sometimes be the case that a business is trying to do too much. This can be hard to self diagnose, since small business owners will often blame themselves if they aren’t able to handle the ambitious workloads they lay upon themselves. That said, it’s important to realize when you are simply trying

When it comes to social media followings, a lot of the time the prevailing attitude is “more is better” in terms of followers. While this concept may or may not hold water, depending on the quality of said followers and the ability of social updates to appear in feeds, as opposed to getting beat out by paid messages, it pays to know who is actually deciding to follow your business and personal accounts. Followers can accumulate over time, trickling in until you are not sure who exactly is following you. Just having followers is only half the battle, however. Getting the full value out of them for your business means you need to pay attention to who they are, what they are interested in, and where they fall in your market segmentation. Who is following your personal accounts also deserves attention. It may be the case that followers ignore your business page in favor of following you directly. Think about what this means in terms of your

Chaos is a given in the world of a small business owner, since every week there is another issue to deal with, opportunity to take advantage of and idea to act on all at once. The great part about being an entrepreneur is the ability to manage any situation that arises in your own way, creating a high degree of  flexibility that can make problems that would be much more difficult to handle in a corporate setting seem trivial. On the other hand, keeping track of decisions that you make should be taken seriously lest you find yourself three calls down the line forgetting what your endgame was supposed to be. Take the time to write things down. Even the best laid out strategies can turn into major sources of problems if they aren’t managed correctly. One suggestion for helping remember and keep track of ideas in the moment is taking a second to physically write them down. Whether it is on a tablet, or a

  Small business owners should be aware of their digital security protocols at all times. While many small businesses consider themselves too small to be the target of data theft, in fact it is for this very reason that small and medium businesses are often target by cyber criminals. Knowing that small businesses are repositories of valuable information, from email addresses to credit cards, hackers can take advantage of lax security protocols to easily steal large amounts of data. What do you know about the security protocols of your business partners? Should you have valuable information that you share with business partners, the level of security that they have should be something that you concern yourself with. Having strong security on the part of your own business is not enough to stop your information from being stolen should a business partner’s networks become compromised. If you are interested in learning about the protocols employed by your business partners, then you may which to enlist the help

  Small business owners will often have a very love/ hate relationship to social media. One day they will be thrilled to find a slew of new followers, the next they might be grousing that the time they spend managing their presences was all wasted. Ultimately, any way that they can make using and building a following on social media easier is something pretty much 100% of them would be interested in. One way for them to do just that is through looking at the businesses in the same position as themselves and reaching out. In order to show why small business owners should have each others backs when it comes to their marketing efforts, here are seven reasons why small business owners should retweet each other (and like, and reblog, etc.) 1) It builds small business awareness. The  concept of raising awareness of small businesses and promoting shopping local isn’t exactly novel, but that doesn’t mean that your business should sit on the sidelines. When

According to internetlivestats.com, Google is searched on average over 40,000 times every second. dwarfing the total search volume of all of its closest competitors combined. Current SEO hinges on making a business and its website as palatable to the search engine as possible. In the case of small businesses, many times the goal of SEO isn’t to appear in the top results for a query globally, but rather, to appear in more targeted local searches that are more likely to be coming from someone who is able to physically come and visit their business or purchase something on an e-commerce part of the website. Directly pertaining to how this local search works is Google Plus and the business pages that can be claimed using its local feature. Thanks to the new, informally named Pigeon update from Google, changes are being made that may make local pages on Google appear more frequently within local search results. Claim your business’s G+ page to begin filling it with

In a press release put out by Endurance International Group, they revealed data from 491 businesses of five employees and under, 15% had no logo, and out of those who did have a logo, 56% had designed their own. Since a logo is such an important and fundamental part of branding for small businesses, it is surprising just how many are content to go without one, or make one from scratch. Provided, many DIY logos come out looking great, at a certain point businesses should consider updating them with the help of a pro, even if it just to clean up lines and create higher resolution copies. When it comes to creating branded items such as shirts, not having a logo in a vector format can present an additional roadblock the it is better to be prepared for.  A logo is something that can continue to add value to a business throughout its growth. A logo is an important part of a business’s branding, going past

A message in this context refers to a purpose that, while business related, has a higher level of social awareness driving it forward. A big brand example of a super successful campaign is (Red), which boast participation by some of the world’s most well known brands, all helping to raise money for HIV and AIDS research. Not only is the (red) campaign for a good cause, it has become widely popular and associated with a hip message. Whenever a branding technique enjoys global success and recognition, small business owners should sit up and take note of what it is that is driving the success. In this case, it is the positive message and charity aspect itself that in turn makes the products so successful. Find a good cause for your business to support. Local charities or positive influence organizations are a good place to start, since for local businesses the added value of improving the surrounding community compounds on locals inherent desire to purchase local products.

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