Category Archives for Marketing Ideas

marketing ideas for small businesses

Marketing Ideas Calendar for June 2017

For your convenience, Small Business U. provides this marketing idea starter calendar each month. Don’t miss a month! SUBSCRIBE and get a calendar like this delivered to your inbox every month. 

Use the contents of this calendar to deliver unique offers, promotions, and social media messages. Consistency in marketing is not an option…it’s a necessity!

Marketing Ideas for June 2017

Monthly Holidays

African-American Music Appreciation Month
Aquarium Month
National Accordion Awareness Month
National Adopt a Cat Month
National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month
National Candy Month
National Camping Month
National Country Cooking Month
National Dairy Month
National Great Outdoors Month
National Iced Tea Month
National Papaya Month
National Soul Food Month
Rose Month
Turkey Lovers Month

Weekly Holidays

June 4 – 10

National Business Etiquette Week

National Headache Awareness Week

Pet Appreciation Week

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June 12 – 18

Men’s Health Week

 

June 18 – 24

Animal Rights Awareness Week

Old Time Fiddlers Week

Universal Fathers Week

Fish are Friends, Not Food! Week

 

June 22 – 25

Watermelon Seed Spitting Week

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June 23 – 25

Water Ski Weekend

Daily Holidays

6/1/2017          International Children’s Day / National Say Something Nice Day

6/2/2017          National Rocky Road Day / National Leave The Office Early Day

6/3/2017          National Repeat Day / National Trails Day

6/4/2017          National Cheese Day /National Cancer Survivor’s Day

6/5/2017          World Environment Day

6/6/2017          National Higher Education Day / National Yo-yo Day

6/7/2017          National Chocolate Ice Cream Day / National VCR Day

6/8/2017          National Best Friends Day

6/9/2017          National Donald Duck Day

6/10/2017        National Iced Tea Day / National Rosé Day

6/11/2017        National Making Life Beautiful Day / National Corn on the Cob Day

6/12/2017        National Loving Day / National Jerky Day

6/13/2017        National Weed Your Garden Day

6/14/2017        World Blood Donor Day / National Flag Day

6/15/2017        Nature Photography Day

6/16/2017        National Fudge Day / National Flip Flop Day

6/17/2017        National Eat Your Vegetables Day / National Stewart’s Root Beer Day

6/18/2017        National Go Fishing Day / Father’s Day

6/19/2017        National Martini Day

6/20/2017        American Eagle Day / National Go On A Hike with a Geek Day

6/21/2017        World Music Day / Summer Begins

6/22/2017        National Onion Rings Day

6/23/2017        National Take Your Dog to Work Day

6/24/2017        National Pralines Day

6/25/2017        National Strawberry Parfait Day

6/26/2017        National Beauticians Day

6/27/2017        National Sunglasses Day

6/28/2017        National Paul Bunyan Day

6/29/2017        National Camera Day / National Bomb Pop Day

6/30/2017        Social Media Day / National Meteor Watch Day

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how to use content to be discovered online

Getting Your Web Pages on Top Search Results

Advice for Business Owners About Getting Your Business to Show Up Online

Top search results means more visitors to your website, and that means increasing your chances of getting a lead and making a sale. As a business owner, you already know how important it is for your business to be discovered online. But for emphasis, I’m going to spell it out for you:

  1. The customers who find your business online are usually in the process of making a decision to BUY NOW or very soon.
  2. The customers who find your business online are often NEW customers.

For these 2 reasons, you should be motivated to invest time and attention understand what it takes to push your website to the top of the search results pages.  Want help getting your business discovered by new customers online? CLICK HERE.

How to Achieve High Search Ranking-For Business Owners

This post is written for business owners because it’s important you have a basic understanding of how Search Engine Optimization (SEO) works. Attaining page 1, 2 or 3 positions in the search results is going to make a difference in how many people visit your website and contact you. When your website (or specific pages of your website) display on the 1st page (2nd or 3rd is okay too) of search results, this is considered high ranking on the search results pages (also known as SERPS).

It’s unlikely people will dig deep into the search results to find what they’re looking for. They don’t have to. The search engines do good job providing enough relevant options on the first 2-3 pages of search results to satisfy most any query…and you want YOUR business to be there.

Why you should understand the basics of SEO

The fundamentals of search engine optimization are simple to understand. After reading this article, you’ll be better equipped to make good decisions and understand how to get your website moving higher in the searches.

What Determines Which Pages Get Selected For Top of Search Results?

Web pages which rank highly contain content which is relevant to what people are searching for. Not just any content-valuable content. The search engines know when a site has relevant and valuable content. They rely on several markers:

  1. The words on the web page are important. When the words on a web page are a close match with the words someone has typed into a search, that web page has a higher chance of showing up in the search results.
  2. The popularity of a page are important. Google knows when a web page is being seen by your website visitors. Visits to your website and specific pages of your site further signal Google as to the relevance of the content you’re providing.
  3. The more time people spend on a page and the more pages a visitor consumes is yet another marker which tells the search engines your content is relevant.

Web pages with little value aren’t going to rank highly in search results. For example, you can get the most amazing free publicity if Oprah Winfrey loves your book and invites you for an interview, but if your book sucks or if the subject matter isn’t a topic of interest, you’re not going to get the call from Oprah. Likewise, you can’t expect the reward of high-ranking web pages if the content is of little or no use to people.

There are a few more factors which play a role in SEO, but these 3 elements are fundamental. You can understand them and you can implement them.

content marketing for search engine optimization

This is a dessert menu for the fictitious SBU Bakery. On paper, this is realistically about the best you can do with a menu. Online, each menu item can have its own page and delivery unlimited details about each dessert. These individual pages can include images, video too! Adding a web page for all 20 items on this dessert menu would add value to the customer experience, and thus, will add value to the business. Do YOU have a web page for all your products or services? This is a serious investment in your business.

How the Relevance of Website Content Affects Search Engine Optimization

Website content is simply the words and the images on a web page. Content may also include audio or video. Why do people visit a web page? Because they’re in active pursuit of information.

The Blueberry Pie example: http://smallbusinessu.org/the-best-blueberry-near-me/

As a demonstration of how to get a web page to rank highly in the search results, we built a web page to dominate the search for “the best blueberry pie” so it would show in the search results in regions of Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia, PA. If you were to search for “the best blueberry pie” and then use a location such as Philadelphia, South Jersey, Cherry Hill, Hammonton, or any of a number of other location-based terms, this web page will often have a position on the 1st page of search results. The reason: because it the content of the web page is a close match to the words (search terms) used in the search query.

More Content Provides More Chances to Get Your Business Discovered Online

A website should be like a magazine publication which continually comes out with new content. A website is never “finished.” For the purposes of this article, let’s stay on the subject of food.

If Small Business U. were in the business of making and selling blueberry pie, surely we would be in the business of selling other pies and maybe muffins, cupcakes and other baked goods. The natural process of posting the menu of items on a website would be to have a page called something like: Baked Goods. On this page would be a list of items or categories of the baked goods.

Unlike a printed menu, on a website, we can go much deeper into detail with every menu item. (Please keep in mind, this goes for any product or service you sell, not just food items.) As we have already demonstrated with the blueberry pie page, the same can be done any product or service. Adding photos and detailed descriptions will not only build you a bigger and better website, this information will also be helpful to your potential customers.

Fuel for social media content 

Wish you had more social media content? This strategy also give you fuel for your social media posts. If the Small Business U. Bakery had 20 items on the pie & pastry menu, each item would have a post on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Every time the menu changed or when we added a special seasonal item, these would also be featured on social media. People love images, and they respond with likes, shares and comments. But even more important, many of the people who see these posts would click the link and visit the website where they could read the entire description, watch the video, and maybe even give us their contact information in return for a coupon. Wow!…THAT’S a lot of marketing!

Now this is completing the cycle of content and traffic giving the search engines the markers they’re looking for to pump your search results up, up & up.

If you want to get MY input on how THIS strategy could work for YOUR business, give me a shout at 1-866-799-2825 or fill out the simple form below.






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Social Media Advice-Be a Good Friend-Be a Good Neighbor

This not a lesson on social media marketing strategy. Rather, it’s a heartfelt, personal message to my friends, fellow Americans, fellow humans.

I’m compelled today to beseech everyone to quell your instinct to lash out, insult, use profanity, or otherwise hold anger, and hatred for those with whom you may disagree with or hold opposing values and views. These feelings are destructive to YOURSELF, OURSELVES, and to the fabric of our friendships. (We ARE friends, aren’t we?)

What Would Mr. Rogers Do?

Mr. Rogers would never suggest we harbor ill will for those with whom we disagree. He would have us transcend the urge to think up our next harsh response to a politically-charged post. Profanity and insults?…nothing good can come of it. Neither the deliverer nor the recipient gains. I contend the deliverer suffers the worst of it.

Do you find yourself capturing soundbites from the news so you can regurgitate them on Facebook? Hey, it’s okay to have your opinions and stand firm on your values, but it’s often at the expense of squaring off with your Facebook “friends” and there’s so much more productive, positive, inspiring, and hopeful things to share.

Yes, Mr. Rogers Would Suggest We Share

Share. Don’t fight. Don’t curse. A lot of us were friends in grade school. Politics were the same then as they are now. Not much different. There were these political parties with drastically opposite views and values. There was corruption. There were lies. Abuse of power, injustice, bigotry racism…these are a part of the human condition since the beginning of time. Mr. Rogers wouldn’t suggest bickering about it, you think? What would Mr. Rogers do?

Progress Can Be Made in a Healthy Debate

A debate doesn’t include slinging insults, name-calling, or profanity. STOP IT! It’s useless. It doesn’t further your cause, your hopes, it doesn’t move ANYONE to your way of thinking. You may gain support from a few who share your views, but what has been gained? Nothing. If these things fuel your ego, I suggest some introspection. (I admit my occasional guilt-sans the insults and profanity.)

Let’s ALL be friends again.

We’re not here to fight it out on every value we hold. We’re not here to pick a fight at every opportunity, are we? Standing up for what you believe in is a fine virtue. But there’s a time, and a place, and ways to do it far more appropriate than can spill impulsively from the fingertips to the interwebs.

Resist the urge to blurt out curse words and insults. “Think before you speak.” That was always sound advice. Choose to “think before you type” before you approach the social networks.

Let us know what you like and don’t like. Tell us what you agree with and what you don’t. Tell us why! And if you share, remember this: you’re sharing in a public arena and YOU HAVE INVITED US IN! If you don’t want our response or you don’t want to deal with responses which conflict with your values or expectations, perhaps you should be writing in a journal or diary instead of the ether where it’s fair game for everyone.

I care about my friends, regardless of their politics. I don’t expect to change your views but I do hope to influence you to be positive and friendly. Think about Mr. Rogers and what he would advise us to do before you post or respond to posts.

seo tips

How to Get a Business Discovered Online

Small business marketing ideas

Want to build website pages which get seen and visited by new customers? Follow this recipe and study the posts and pages on this website. Need a pro to do it for you? CLICK HERE.

The web is where your customers are so: whatever you make, do, or sell, there’s somebody looking for it online. If there’s not, you probably better look for something else to make, do, or sell! So if you want people to find you and your business online, there are lots of ways to do it. At the core, you’re going to have to build a website and provide useful, purposeful content.

How to Use Website Content So People Can Find Your Business and Products

The words, sentences, images, and the structure is what makes up the content of your web pages and website. When a website contains information which matches what people are searching for, it will often rise to the top of the search. Getting the “click” is your big opportunity to land a new customer.

What do you sell? Whether you sell physical products, services, or even advice as a consultant or a coach may do, you’ve got something to sell. These are products. Each and every product you sell should be thoroughly explained AND demonstrated on its own page on your website.

If you need more clarity or help with this, feel free to contact us. CLICK HERE for help with website content marketing.

Most businesses don’t go very deep into detail about every product or service on their website. Why? Because it takes time, effort, and work. Also because they don’t understand this very important strategy called Search Engine Optimization which I’m teaching here in this post.

The Perfect Web Page to Get All Your Products & Services Noticed By Your Potential Customers

Making the perfect web page to get your products and services discovered is simply demonstrated right here on this page. Follow this model. You found this page in your search of the question you typed into the search, haven’t you?

Website content which is helpful to your human audience, written naturally and formatted for easy reading is also content which is rich with keywords which gets the attention of the search engines. This is the fuel which makes your content, your website show up in the searches. Thus, you get traffic to your website and the opportunity for gaining customers.

Use the Language Your Customers Use to Get Your Business Found Online

When the words and sentences on your website closely match the language people are using in their search, the more likely your website will rise to the top search results.

The more you tell, the more you sell. This is the wisdom of writers of sales copy for at least the past 100 years. There are people looking for very specific information. The more specific and the more detail you provide (the more you tell), the more likely your message is going to answer the question people are asking when they inquire in an online search.

Want some help making your website a better customer acquisition machine? CLICK HERE

A Search Engine Optimization Demonstration

In a demonstration of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), I created a post and published it on September 30, 2016. In this post, I talked about The Best Blueberry Pie as if this company (Small Business University, LLC.) and this website were making and selling blueberry pie. Even though we are NOT making blueberry pie, nor are we selling it, that post is ranking very highly in many individual towns in South Jersey, and Philadelphia. (We are, however, eating blueberry pie but we’re not attempting to get ranked in the search engines for it.)

Although there may not be thousands of people every day in search of “the best blueberry pie in South Jersey,” if a restaurant or a diner were to thoroughly describe their desserts, include a photo, and tell where people come from to consume these desserts, they could imitate this strategy and surely land a few extra customers over the course of time.

Even if the restaurant didn’t land new customers on the chance they were having an uncontrollable urge for a certain dessert or dish, if the web pages showcasing each menu item were helpful to the customers, this is still a worthwhile endeavor. Serving the customers well is always going to be a payoff.

Building a continuingly growing and expanding website filled with all this detail, certainly catches the attention of the search engines and increases its chances of higher positions on the search results.

This post is designed for 3 things:

  1. To provide a model for getting your business, your products and your services to rank high in the search results when potential customers are online and searching for what you’re selling.
  2. For making OUR website show up in the search when people are looking for online marketing and search engine optimization tips.
  3. For demonstrating OUR expertise because even if we teach you how to do this, in all likelihood, most won’t make it the priority it should be…and therefore, you will feel comfortable and confident in hiring us to do it for you.

This is my best advice:

  • Give every product and service it’s own page on your website. Use 350 or more words and at least one image.
  • Do a bit of keyword research. You need to understand and use the terminology of the customers, not necessarily the words used within your industry.
  • Focus on the most important 3 keywords and phrases using the page title, H1, H2 & H3 tags to separate and organize your text while also emphasizing your keywords.

We’re here to help.






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social media marketing ideas

Don’t Forget Pinterest – It’s Good For Business

Want to get more visitors to your website? Of course you do! You'll be surprised at how healthy Pinterest can be for your website and your business. Why do I use the term, "healthy?" Because not only does more traffic to your website translate into more potential sales, but it also has a positive effect on search engine optimization. 

I wrote a post and published a video a couple days ago about advice for Facebook marketing with a Business Fan Page. It was inspired by a video I watched describing a combination of 5 facts and tips on the topic plus a couple of extras I thought should be included. Like Facebook, Pinterest is also considered a social media platform, but it's quite different.

Today, while breezing through Google Analytics for my wholesale website, www.mazerwholesale.com, I took a look at how social media impacts visits to my website. I think my findings will be valuable to you because you can- 

Generate More Website Traffic With Pinterest

Pinterest generates traffic to your website because it's part search engine, part directory, and part social media. If you use the tool properly, people who are interested in what you do, make, or sell will end up on your website. 

Adding content to your Pinterest account is easy. In the real world, it's akin to adding a photograph to a bulletin board with a push pin combined with orderliness of a photo album. So, on Pinterest, you add a "Pins" to a "Board". Here's an example: Let's say you're in the Boutique Clothing business. You would have 4 boards for clothing organized for each season and then clothing appropriate for each season "pinned" (posted) on its respective board. 

Then you would have additional boards for Casual Wear, boards for Handbags and Wallets, and boards for new fashion styles ​as well as classic fashion styles. Each item pinned to a board can be linked back to its page on your website. This effectively drives more people to your website. Now, your website has a chance to do its job to bring this new visitor closer to engaging you with a phone call, clicking on your coupon or some other offer. 

Is Pinterest right for your business? Probably is! CONTACT ANDREW MAZER for a FREE Pinterest Marketing Consultation​. 1-866-799-2825

You don't have to do it all! I have not personally uploaded any posts (pins) to Pinterest in at least 2 years. After I learned how to do it properly (for driving traffic to my website), I taught one of my assistants how to do it for me. (That's what business owners do, right?)

As company which sells tangible products, my wholesale website is filled with 1000’s of images representing each item. Pinterest is an image-centric website and each image represents an opportunity for content on my Pinterest pages.

Why I Recommend Pinterest

We backed off of adding content to our Pinterest boards more than a year ago. When I visit Google Analytics to look at traffic trends to my website, I STILL see Pinterest as the #1 social media referral source of traffic to the site. Organic Facebook, Twitter and Instagram content is short-lived as potential marketing material, but Pinterest content lasts and lasts. This is why I emphasize this is a worthwhile investment in time and effort.

Pinterest Marketing tips

In the past month, almost 8300 people visited my Pinterest content and 111 people engaged it. A number of new people started following Mazer Wholesale on Pinterest which means they'll get a notification in their email when we add new pins. Many others have "shared" some of our pins with people they thought would be interested. This is very strong marketing. (See the Mazer Wholessale Pinterest page, CLICK HERE)

Now, I’m not bragging about the numbers, nor do I proclaim to be a social media marketing maven, but this is a real eye-opener especially considering we’ve made zero effort on the platform for such a long period of time. This truly makes me feel a little foolish and I intend to immediately reengage with this media without delay. 

You Can Use Pinterest to Market Your Business Too

Wondering how your business can leverage Pinterest? Trust me, you can. This article is not a tutorial on how to use Pinterest.  It IS about opening your eyes to this platform as a real and beneficial driver of traffic and potential customers to your website.

If you’re not savvy to the Pinterest platform, I strongly suggest you take a half hour or an hour to peruse it or contact me to brainstorm some ideas on how it may be valuable to your business.

It may be difficult for you to imagine how your business can leverage this marketing weapon. If so, I invite you to comment on this post here, or better yet, on the Small Business U Facebook page where we could also get some feedback from others with experience with marketing on Pinterest.

facebook marketing tips

7 Facebook Marketing Tips March 2017

What’s working on Facebook now? Facebook always seems to be changing, doesn’t it? In this post, I’m going to share 5 practical and easy-to-follow tips to make your Facebook efforts more effective.

How to Get More Post Views and and Social Interaction on Your Facebook Fan Page

Before I get started, I’ll make my confession right now: I don’t claim to be a prolific social media marketer or expert. I picked up these tips by watching a video which was sent to me by the folks at CoSchedule.com. These tips are practical and useful and I hope they stimulate you to action as they have for me. Look, I was so inspired, I’ve made a video, a blog post AND a Facebook post as a result of it!

Get more engagement on Facebook

Facebook Tip #1. POST ONE TIME PER DAY

That’s a relief, isn’t it? One time isn’t too overwhelming. But it's not without challenges. Small Business U provides a free monthly marketing calendar with more than 50 Idea-Starters. It's free. No opt-in required. Find a link on the home page at SmallBusinessU.org.

Facebook Tip #2. POST ON WEEKENDS TOO.

According to the video, they said “Facebook reports 32% higher engagement on Saturday and Sunday” and this makes sense because you figure people have more time to engage the social networks than during work days. I assume this would also be true for holidays. Either way, the recommendation is a 7-day-a-week effort.

Continue to the remaining 5 tips below the video.

Facebook Tip #3. BEST TIMES TO POST: 9am, 1pm, 3pm

These times make sense to me because the typical adult is probably in a bit if a rush getting out the door for work and not spending a great deal of time socializing online in before 9am. Presuming most of us arrive at work right around 9am, this is login time. Then, at 1pm is the first few minutes after we get back from lunch, a good time to check-in. And 3pm, the time our brains are a bit fried, we’re just ready for a little diversion. Sensible. It will do you good to analyse your posts’ statistics over the course of a couple of weeks to see if there’s a measurable difference relative to the time of day you post.

Facebook Tip #4. MIX YOUR OWN CONTENT WITH CURATED (SHARED) CONTENT

Good news…you don’t have to carry the whole load. I’m doing it here in this post-sharing someone else’s content. I learned something which was shared with me and now I’m sharing it with you. Sort of a hybrid, really. I’m adding a little of my own perspective and experience plus a couple of extra tips (the original content had 5 tips. I’ve added 2 to make it 7). There’s nothing wrong with sharing good advice as long as you’re being honest about it. In fact, sharing other people’s stuff and being open about it can get you a lot of traction in our world (a topic for a future post). Jay Baer, founder of Convince and Convert says 75% original content an 25% curated content is the recommended mix.

Facebook Tip #5. IF IT’S NOT STRONG, DON’T POST IT

The message here is: don’t post crap. Don’t get lazy. It’s better NOT to post at all than post junk your fans will ignore. Facebook’s algorithm penalizes weak posts. Of the millions and millions of posts made every day, Facebook robots are made to learn what good content looks like and which sources deliver it best. Good content gets better visibility, weak content gets penalized. Put up too much weak stuff and your Facebook fan page score will drop and you’ll have an uphill battle getting your future posts to rank and appear on the news feed.

Facebook Tip #6: USE VIDEO (or Great Images)

Most of the Facebook posts you see lately are heavy with images or with video. If you want your posts to be seen, use images or video. If you’re reading this post, it’s highly likely you were driven here first by watching a video.

Facebook Tip #7: LINK YOUR TWITTER ACCOUNT TO YOUR FACEBOOK FAN PAGE

In case you didn’t know (and a lot of people don’t), a Twitter account can pull in your Facebook posts. This means you don’t even need to login to Twitter to make a post there! While Twitter is nowhere near the marketing powerhouse Facebook is (for most businesses), there’s no harm in repurposing your content onto the social platform, especially when the process is seamless and automated. So set that up right now if you haven’t already done it!

Social Media Marketing for Best Results

Posts from your Facebook Fan Page need to deliver value in the form of worthy content.

If you want engagement in the form of clicks to your links (taking people back to your website), Likes and Shares, deliver thoughtful content with a purpose in mind.

customer experience

How to Survive Against the Biggest Competitors

My parents had an old-fashioned, inner-city hardware store in Philadelphia. My mom worked there almost every day. It was the kind of place where customers would walk in sometimes, even if they didn’t need anything, just to say hi. Why would anybody do that?

Yesterday, I clicked onto Facebook and an acquaintance of mine, Jeff Giagnocavo was doing a Facebook Live video on a topic which is near and dear to my heart. Jeff is a customer experience fanatic…and he’s good at it. 

Experience a Customer Experience

This is Jeff. He’s all about creating a memorable customer experience. Even his company website delivers an exceptional experience. CLICK HERE to see what I mean.

Deliver a Great Customer Experience and You’ll Win the Best Kind of Customer

Jeff owns a mattress store- Gardner’s Mattress & More in Lancaster, PA. and he also teaches other mattress retailers how to compete in their marketplace.

He was talking about his experience with a local hobby shop and how, after going there at least 8 times within 10 days and spending about $1200 in that period of time, the guy who attended to him prior didn’t even acknowledge him the next time he walked back into the store…all within a 2-week period. I find this just as ridiculous,pathetic and stupid as Jeff.

The Best Kind of Customer is the one who comes back because they like you, they feel a friendship, a kinship. It transcends price almost every time. 

I’ve written on this subject many times in my One Good Idea Newsletter. Growing up in the hardware store and watching how my mom, dad and older brother were on a first-name basis with probably HUNDREDS of customers, it has just come naturally to me to be friendly and enjoy interacting with my customers. The customer experience I’ve always delivered has really just been for me. Not out of obligation and not because I want to separate my customers from their money, but it’s my joy to serve people and be friendly. The byproduct is a better business, almost impervious to competition.

Jeff has made a commitment to get his boys into a specific hobby. I’m sure he’s on the lookout for an alternative source for supplies by now.

Treat People as You Want to be Treated

In 1986, at age 21 I opened up a wholesale company which supplied hardware stores, discount stores and $1 stores. I have always noticed, in the most successful stores, the owner or the owner’s spouse ran the cash register…just like my family’s hardware store.

“Got everything you need? Do you want a key chain for those key’s you just got copied? Nice to see you again. THANK YOU.” It’s not a sales pitch. It’s not rude. It’s friendly and it’s helpful. I would like to think this would be the default human mindset. The storekeepers I’ve experienced and served who manned their cash register and approached life, business and their customers with genuine gratitude always seemed to be happier, have a stronger bond with their customers and have a stronger business.

Elevating the Customer Experience

My friend Jeff sells mattresses and related sleep-related products. It’s a very competitive industry. He and his partner are hard workers and forever students of marketing strategies. The customer experience is an area in which no chain store can compete and Jeff is vigilant to this end.

Why would anyone want to walk into a hardware store just to say hello? Because they felt like a friend. THIS is the #1 easiest, cheapest, most honest and natural marketing strategy a local business can apply. You don’t need to study it. You don’t need to pay a consultant to teach it.

Take Action Now to Build a Herd of Loyal Customers

Each one of the following suggestions will make your business better starting today.

  • Lead from the front-greet customers with a smile and make eye contact.
  • Work the room (or the cash register) as often as possible. Be where the customers are. That’s where the money (and the future) is.
  • Be the model for your employees. Don’t ever bitch about customers in front of employees. SHOW them how to behave with customers by making eye contact, smiling, recognizing and acknowledging them if they are repeaters.
  • Say PLEASE and THANK YOU, especially when they give you money. If you’re not the cashier, make sure your cashier says thank you…every single time.
  • Say, “Nice to see you again” when you know you have served this person before…and even if you’re not sure…it can’t hurt!
  • Be nice. It makes life and business better and more enjoyable. It doesn’t cost a thing but if you’re not nice, it’ll cost you everything.

It’s SO easy to stand out these days just by following the Golden Rule: Do Unto Others As You Would Have Others Do Unto You. So simple. So obvious and yet, so rare. Do THIS and differentiate yourself and your business from the pack.

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how often should I blog

How Often Should I Post a Blog On My Website?

Today, on the Small Business University Business Owners Mastermind Facebook Group one of our members asked the question how often should I post a blog on my website for good SEO?   It’s a great question. I’ve been using website content, including the blog to improve search engine optimization results for my own websites and my clients’ sites for years. It’s always good when people find and click on YOUR website in the organic search results when they’re looking for information, a business, a product, or service like yours.

Blogging For Search Engine Optimization

how often should I blog for good SEO?

Schedule a couple of hours once weekly to grow your website. After a year, your site will be bigger than 80% of others in your field.

Although SEO isn’t the only reason to add blog posts to your website, any time you can get new visitors to your site because they happen to be searching online for the subject you’re writing about is a good thing. The chances of this happening will increase by continually adding content. I always tell my clients, prospects or audience: Google loves a website in motion.  A website which continues to grow with informational content is more likely to be picked up and put on display by the search engines than a website which is stagnant.

The more your website imitates real-world media, the better. 

Think of a website as a magazine. A magazines typically come out periodically (that’s why they’re called “periodicals”). Unlike a book which gets put on a shelf after you read it (most likely never to be read again), a new edition of a magazine comes out regularly with new and fresh content. The web is all about information. The more information your website delivers and makes available to your audience, the better. It’s the search engines’ job to deliver the best, most relevant search results on the screen for each search query. (Google is the best at it. That’s why it’s far and away the #1 most used search engine.)

The More Content You Have On Your Website, the Greater Chance Your Content Matches What People are Searching For

Each blog post you put on your website is equivalent to adding a page to it. So, if you add one post to your blog every week, your website will be 52 pages bigger by the end of the year. Most websites are built with 6-10 pages. After a year, yours will be 60-70 pages. Presumably, your website will be rich with useful and relevant content. Think this will make a difference in your website traffic? You bet!

How Often Should You Add a Blog Post to Your Site?

As often as reasonably possible. If you have plans to make your website a lead-generation tool, a revenue stream, an asset to your business, you should look at it in the same light you do any other for of prospecting and customer acquisition activities and investments. Building out your website is a long-term play and it usually pays dividends. It’s not easy. Nothing worthwhile is.

The Value of Content Relevance, Quality, and Usefulness in SEO

Blog content matters. Google algorithms understand the different between blatant keyword stuffing and natural, useful communication. When you write a blog post, it’s vital to be writing for the purpose of being useful to your audience and prospective customer. Blog posts, just for the sake of forcing out content isn’t going to help you. Think about the magazine example again. If the magazine articles suck because they were written just for the sake of getting the material out to the news stands, the magazine would quickly fail. You don’t need to be a prolific writer, but you DO need to focus on adding value, keeping in mind the questions your audience and prospects have going on in their mind. (Hence, the reason I’m writing THIS article.)

Google interprets the value of your content largely by the amount of time people spend consuming it. This is the main reason for making your content relevant and not just dumping a whole bunch of jargon on your blog. You want to post good quality and relevant posts you’re proud to share. Pasting your posts onto your social media is a great way to drive people to your blog. This helps your website’s SEO by virtue of people visiting your blog and spending the time reading it. The more this happens, the more Google will be inclined to show your post in the search results for the same or similar searches.

More SEO Tactics From Blogging

There are numerous ways to make your blog ever more SEO-friendly. Some of them are happening on this very post. THIS post is about blog post frequency and content relevance. You’ll have to wait until next time to learn some of the other on-page and behind-the-scenes SEO secrets.

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Summary:

  • Blog consistently. Set aside a chunk of time every week. Commit to a content strategy. It’s an investment.
  • Be relevant. Answer the questions going on in people’s minds. This is what they’re searching for online.
  • Write as if you’re talking to a potential customer, client or patient…not the search engines. Be natural. It makes the best content and SEO.

Let me know if you liked this post. I would appreciate your comments and questions.

small business marketing newlsletter

One Good Idea Newsletter January 2017 -Promotion Ideas

small business marketing newlsletter

Get ideas for your Social Media Posts, Emails, In-Store Promotions and other tips specifically for small business owners. CLICK HERE

One good idea is all it takes to make a big impact on your business and your life. This is the theme and theory behind The One Good Idea Newsletter.

The January 2017 edition contains over 50 idea-starting topics for a full month’s worth of Facebook Posts, Twitter Posts, Emails, Print Ads, Direct Mail and In-Store Promotions.

You want your audience to READ, LIKE, and SHARE your marketing messages. Pluck some of these Fun-Provoking topics and bolster engagement and interaction.

To view and download this edition of THE ONE GOOD IDEA NEWSLETTER, CLICK HERE

Please share this with a friend in business!

Effective use of images on a website

Add More Images to Your Website

The popular idiom, “a picture is worth 1000 words” expresses the significance of images in written communication. If a picture is worth 1000 words, it’s a great advantage to use more of them on your website. In this post, I’m going to share my advice and opinion about using images on a small business website. I will use examples with a few different types of businesses so you can hopefully imagine your business type within one of them.

Website Marketing Advice: Use More Photos to Sell Your Products or Services

Photos on a website are more important now than ever. Why? Because as the speed of life and information continue to increase, the human attention span decreases. Images are the preferred source of introduction to your

use images on your website to increase engagement

Tips for improving website performance-Find out how to smartly use more images! Need some help? We’re here for you. CLICK HERE

message. Want people to learn more about your product or service? Include some compelling images. If the image(s) pass the test, people will stick around on your website a little longer to absorb more of the content (and maybe even read a few words!).

Storytelling is Powerful Marketing. Showing Off Your Products or Services With Photos Tells an Honest, Believable Story

Can you imagine a home remodeling company who doesn’t have photos of the finished basement or new kitchen project they just completed for a client? What’s going to work better, a bullet-point list of your services or actual photos of your completed jobs? It’s a no-brainer, yet most websites have few images displaying their masterful work.

Can you imagine  custom cabinet maker who doesn’t have pages and pages on his website showcasing his imagination and craftsmanship? I see it all the time. What is the purpose of your website if not to show off your product? Talking about your “pride in workmanship”, or “dedication to excellence”  is mundane and empty. The proof is in the pictures!

Ever visit a restaurant website and the website is 80% words and 20% photos (usually of their empty dining room)? Silly, don’t you think? How are restaurants advertised on TV? With images of hot, steamy food, and often in the process of being served to wide-eyed, smiling people.

Picture Testimonials

Want to really stand out? People are skeptical of testimonials typed out on a website. Picture testimonials pack a punch unlike anything else you can deliver (besides video testimonials which I’ll cover another time). Picture testimonials, just like other images will capture attention but the marketing message they deliver is more powerful than just about anything you can say about your company, your product or your service. If you get the chance, ALWAYS capture a picture testimonial.

Website Content Should Have a Well-Planned Purpose

The content on your website should communicate with your potential customers AND the search engines. If you want your business discovered by people who don’t already know you exists, the written content on your website plays a big role. The search engines DO read your website. Strategically-written web copy plays a very important role in search engine optimization, BUT let’s not get caught up with concern about this right now. For now, let’s stay focused on images because THEY are the website content focus of this post.

Although people have very little patience for reading, they will read if the  images and headlines first catch there attention. Think about a magazine article. The first thing to catch your attention is the featured image, THEN it’s the headline. If you’re not captured by the image and headlines initially, you’re likely to turn the page pretty quickly…just as you’re likely to do when you visit a website with small type and few uninteresting images.

Optimizing Images On a Website

In the previous paragraph, I mentioned how the featured image and the headline of a magazine article largely determine the chances you will read the article. These are the first and most widely consumed pieces of content on a magazine page or a web page. The next most consumed (or read) piece of content is the picture caption: the small type describing the picture or the purpose of the picture on the page.

When uploading an image onto a website, depending upon the website builder platform, there’s usually a way to add a description of the picture, a caption, and an Alt-tag. They’re all marketing opportunities. I just described the importance of the caption. The Alt-Tag and the description fields actually communicate the purpose and the content of the image to the search engines. This is a further reason and benefit to plow on the images.

You Have The Tools to Build a Great, Image-Rich Website!

If you have a smartphone, you have all the tools you need to capture images and video to use to make a better, more marketing-oriented website. If you could never see yourself taking care of uploading the images onto your website and making the modifications which will make your website into the marketing machine is can and should be, let me help you. Call Andrew Mazer at Small Business U: 866-799-2825

 

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