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small-busines-services

A Guide To Small Business Marketing Services And Best Practices

One of our goals is to empower small business owners by educating them about the different digital marketing strategies and services. We have put together a small business guide to digital marketing which outlines marketing services such as  PPC (pay per click), SEO (search engine optimization), media buys (banners), Social Media, Content Strategy and Website Design, and defines the best...

seo-basics

SEO Basics and Best Practices for On-Page SEO

So you are about to publish a new blog post or page on your website. You are hoping that Google likes your page enough to rank it, and users like your content enough to share it and link to it. Below you will find some SEO basics and on-page SEO best practices for creating a new web page or article. This...

design-website

A Guide to Web Design Basics For Small Businesses

The days of looking up a small business in the phone book or by driving by their storefront have all but vanished like the horse and cart. Consumers these days are using the internet not just to look up specific businesses but also to discover what buying options they have, whether online or at local, brick-and-mortar establishments. Well over half...

email-marketing

Email Marketing Basics for Small Business, 6 Questions Answered

In the 21st century, email technology has more than one powerful use. Marketing strategies increasingly implement campaigns on the back of this particular tool. It is easy to take email information from customer and vendor databases to utilize as a springboard in a well-thought out strategy. However, the successful ones have specific protocols of proven best practices to maximize each...

types-web-design-companies

Warning: Not All Web Design Companies Are Created Equal

So you are thinking about having a new website design created for your small businesses, and don't know where to start. You go to Google and search for "web design company" and find there are millions of companies and individual freelancers that say they do website design. So where do you start, and how do you choose the best web...

questions-web-design

How To Choose A Web Design Company: 10 Questions You Must Ask

Choosing the best website design company for your small businesses can be difficult. Just going to Google and typing in "web design company" can bring back thousands of options, that at face value, all look the same. You'll probably try to narrow your search (maybe by taking the top 10 listed in Google), and start looking at each portfolio. This is...

seo-company

The 7 Questions You Must Ask When Hiring An SEO Company

SEO is one of the most misunderstood, and most widely scammed business strategies. There are businesses all over the globe that will promise businesses the world, and guarantee top rankings, yet have little knowledge of what it actually takes or what SEO actually is. Being in the SEO world for close to 10 years now,  I have worked for, and worked...

cms

12 Features Your CMS Must Have, Or You’ll Have Issues

There are many articles that outline how to choose the best CMS, or guides that compare enterprise, small business, free and paid content management and web design platforms. We see many that compare functionality and development, but miss the boat on important factors that impact the marketing, strategy, and website growth once a site is launched. What is a CMS A content...

wordpress

10 Reasons Small Businesses Should Use WordPress

WordPress is an amazing CMS for small businesses When we compare WordPress to other CMS such as WIX, Joomla, Drupal, or even Squarespace. It is extremely user friendly, and being such, there are not a lot of technical skills that need to go into editing sites that are built using one of its thousands of themes. WordPress can allow a small...

small-business-ideas

17 Ideas to Effectively Market Your Small Business Online

For big businesses, marketing is a breeze. There’s a large advertising budget to dip into, making it easy to get noticed both online and out in the world. However, for small businesses, marketing isn’t so easy. It’s difficult to compete with larger brands and it’s hard to market with just a small budget. Luckily, there are still a number of...

wix

WIX SEO: What Small Businesses Don’t Know Can Hurt Them

One of the biggest assets small businesses have on their side when trying to compete with large brands, is their ability to be agile, and quickly change direction to meet market needs and trends. Part of the belief system behind our Small Business Movement includes educating small businesses and giving them the proper resources that allow them to grow their online...

micro-content

The Rise of Micro-Content and What You Should Know

Are you a company that is trying to get ahead in a social media world? Are you looking for new ways to advertise your brand and stretch it across multiple platforms? Are you a startup that wants to saturate the market with your message in creative and fun ways that speak to the younger millennial audience? If you are a...

block

How To Block Referral Spam With Google Analytics Filters or htaccess

Any business who is trying to increase high-value traffic or conversions, needs to be hyper focused on their analytics. This includes reporting on metrics such as how traffic is coming to your website, where it's coming from (referral traffic), and which traffic is converting best. The challenge is that there is an analytics enemy that can reek havoc on your data...

doorway

Doorway Pages: SEO Issues and How to Check For Them

We recently had a call with a company who was being told their local franchise websites were "doorway pages". They were told that this could hurt the corporate website in regards to brand (we will talk about brand issues in another article) and SEO value. This got us thinking about what Google's definition might mean, what the difference between a...

web-cost

How Much Does A Small Business Website Actually Cost To Build

So you're a small business owner who needs a website designed, but are unsure how much it should cost. You might even wonder what your options are for building a high-quality website that your users will love, one that will rank well in Google, has the flexibility to grow with your business, and ultimately drive sales. The outline below will give...

biz-plan

How-to Guide For Writing a Business Plan

People planning to start their own businesses are taking a huge step and most are unfamiliar with where to start, so we thought we would help out with the initial step, with a guide to writing a business plan. There are many risks and rewards, and comprehensive planning and preparation are the keys to success in the endeavor. If the...

truth

SEO Basics: The 9 Truths About DIY SEO

With the vast amount SEO tips and tactics found on the web, it can be difficult for small businesses trying to learn how to do DIY SEO to cut through all the clutter and find sound advice. Below you will find a list of SEO basics, and the 9 truths you need to know about doing SEO that I've learned...

copywriting

Copyrighting Tips: 3 Keys to Stronger Sentences

Every one of us writes. And for everything we write – from articles to emails to tweets – we have an audience of readers. But what separates the great writers from those who just "get by"? To help those who are trying to evolve their writing style, we have put together 3 basic copyrighting tips to help you build stronger...

timely

The Truth About Evergreen and Timely Content

I am sure you have heard your content strategy team, or those creating content for you, mention the need for a mix of Evergreen and Timely content. Unless you are a content strategist you might be wonder what evergreen content or timely content actually is, and how it benefits the overall growth strategy for your website. What is Evergreen Content? Evergreen content...

facebook

6 Ways To Get More Facebook Likes Without Buying Them

A full 80 percent of businesses use Facebook in their marketing strategy. This is no surprise since the website has over 1.2 billion monthly users. As some marketers have discovered, though, it can prove very difficult to attract new followers without paying a social media expert or Facebook to get the word out. Fortunately, this doesn't have to be the...

twitter-head

7 Ways To Get More Twitter Followers Without Buying Them

Social media has developed a life of its own in the past few years. No one could have predicted how powerful a tool it would have been in marketing, politics, and in serving as the definitive voice for a generation of people. At the end of the day, social media is a huge popularity contest. The business, the musician, the actor,...

wireframe

Wireframe Basics: Why Wireframes Are Essential for Website Design

Web designers looking to make beautiful webpages must utilize tools to get cutting-edge results. Wireframes are an excellent tool for web designers to conceptualize a prospective website layout without dedicating excessive amounts of resources to a preliminary design. Many designers have utilized wireframes since the inception of the Internet. However, many wireframe tools are now available in today's world to...

linked-in

How To Get More LinkedIn Followers and Connections Without Buying Them

Have you ever wondered how to get a ton of LinkedIn followers and connections without paying for them? LinkedIn company pages are a great thing for brands to have. You can share information and updates without forming two-way connections, as you have to do with your regular LinkedIn profile. Plus, LinkedIn is purely business-focused. Sure, there’s a huge variety in the...

instagram-sheet

Instagram Cheat Sheet: How To Get More Followers, Likes, and Comments

With more than 60 million photos added each day to Instagram by over 200 million monthly active users, it is getting harder to stand out amongst the crowd of loyal posters, and get more followers. The good news is that engagement is rising quickly. Currently there are 1.6 billion likes per day, and on average every 33 likes you get 1...

urlbuild

URL Builder for Google Analytics: Customize Your URLs with Excel

One of the most challenging parts of Digital Marketing is accurate data analytics. It’s easy to launch a Campaign without a solid, clear measurement strategy. For example, I could set up a Facebook account, add in a credit card, write garbage copy, throw a stock photo of a family, insert the homepage as the landing page, type in a few...

Best Practices for Adding Product Reviews to Your Website

Whether you own a franchise, or a small business that is servicing a local market, reviews can be a great way to separate yourself from other companies offering the same products or services. Reviews provide insights into what you're doing well, what you can improve on, and provide you a reason to engage (and build a relationship) with people who have...

access

How to Give Access to Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools

With any of our SEO campaigns we will need access to your Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools Account to help us analyze the current state of your website. Some companies have multiple domains in each of these accounts and want to give access to just the one we will be working on. We have been asked a few times, "How...

launch

PPC Checklist for Launching Your Paid Search Campaigns

Have you ever launched a Paid Search Campaign without a PPC checklist and realized you’re text ads were running on the Display Network and you racked up about a 1,000,000 impressions (at a CTR of .08%, which ruined your Search CTR) in a few hours because you forgot a few settings? If so, you’re not alone. There are many PPC experts...

package

Packaging Design Tips: 10 Tips for Effective Packaging Design

Designing a quality product at an affordable price is step one for encouraging sales, but designing an effective package is just as important. Below you will find tips and strategies for designing product packaging that drives sales. Tips for Packaging Design It is critical to show your product off, grab attention and convey the message you are selling the consumer. Here are...

logo

Logo Design Tips: 10 Tips for Effective Logo Design

A logo is a big part of the marketing that represents a company or brand. The logos of the most recognizable brands are memorable, while also being simple and easy to recognize. Logo Design Tips Creating the perfect logo design that people recognize requires a number of steps. Below you will find 10 tips for creating that perfect logo that represents your...

print

10 Tips for Creating Effective Print Advertising Designs

Whether you are promoting a new start up company, brand or if you are looking to gain new followers for services you have to offer, utilizing print advertising within Newspapers or Magazines is still a way to build brand awareness and help to generate revenue. Print Advertising Design Tips Understanding how to create effective print advertising designs is a way to outshine...

collateral

10 Tips for Designing Effective Marketing Collateral

Marketing collateral drives your business. It should familiarize customers with your products, services and the goals that your company has while simultaneously promoting these things. Tips For Designing Marketing Collateral Effective marketing collateral can meant he difference between a near-sale and a loyal customer for life. Here are 10 tips for creating market collateral or revising the content you already have so...

How to Create a Personal Brand: 19 Tips to Build Your Personal Brand

Building your personal brand is key to having a long productive business life, and affecting others in a positive way. At its core, building your personal brand is nothing more than marketing the best parts of your core personality and beliefs in an honest and open way. When done correctly not only do you excel at building relationships with people...

youtube

YouTube SEO: Basics of Optimizing Videos for YouTube

Many small businesses don't have the resources to host and serve their videos directly from their website, so the alternative is to create a YouTube page that is optimized for search engines, and place your videos there. Once on YouTube, business owners can then embed the video on their website. Below you will find the best way to optimize the videos...

blackhat

8 Black Hat SEO Tactics You Never Want To Hear Your SEO Company Say

So you are evaluating an SEO company for a new project and as you are talking to them about their strategies, you hear some things that make you wonder how ethical they are, if they are doing black hat SEO tactics, and how well they actually know what it takes to do User-Focused SEO - the only long term, low...

billboard

Billboard Design Tips: 10 Tips for an Effective Billboard Design

The next time you take a drive, keep an eye peeled for billboards. If you make a point of looking for them, you'll notice that they surround roadways in the majority of urban and suburban areas. You probably see a hundred billboard ads each week but remember only a few or maybe even none. Billboard Design Tips [gr-hr type="" width="15" align="left"] That's because...

ps4

57 Brand Logos and The Free Font Used To Make Them

Have you ever wondered what font and typography the big brands, social networks, and pop culture icons use when designing their logos? Below you will find 57 of the best brand logos, the font used for each of them, and a link to download the free font. Dodge®/Plymouth® Lettering Circa 1970 Download this font to use in your designs: Dodge®/Plymouth® Font Peterbuilt Download this...

black-hat

Here’s Why Your Traffic Dropped After Your Website Redesign

So you were sold a shiny new website design with a new architecture built on user data and customer journey information - which is awesome, since Google loves great experiences. But did you come up with a transition plan to minimize the risk of traffic loss? Your site went live a couple days ago, you log into your analytics program to...

rank

Why Don’t I Rank In Google: How Does Google Rank Websites

We have all been confused with the Google search results, causing ourselves to ask, "why don't I rank in Google?", and inevitably the question, "how does Google rank websites?", will be explored. We as SEO's may not know all the reasons a website ranks within Google, but through testing we have found some strong correlations for why sites don't rank....

Description Tag: Where Does Google Get The Description Tag From?

With Google evolving, on what seems like a daily basis, it becomes more focused on efficiency and user satisfaction. One area that Google is optimizing is where they get the meta description tag (snippet) from when showing your website in their search results. Where Does Google Get The Description Tag From? What is the meta description tag - a definition. The description...

simon-sinek

10 Simon Sinek @simonsinek‎ Videos That’ll Change Your View of Business & Life

People ask why we like Simon Sinek so much, maybe because he aligns with our own beliefs about the direction businesses should take, or in his words, "he believes what we believe". Maybe it's because we are an endorser (non paid) of his business and marketing methodology and thus want to give him as much support as we can - and...

Keyword Research Guide: The Hunt For Valuable SEO Keywords

One of the values that SEO's (and people who understand how search works) bring to the table, is that ability to find new high-value keyword targets for websites using advanced keyword research and analysis. These keywords are used to define and shape strategies and reach new market segments. As digital strategist we all know how to do basic keyword analysis to...

mobile

25 Mobile Website Design Tips To Increase Conversions & Mobile SEO

It's no secret that mobile usage is steadily increasing, and creating a mobile optimized website is no longer a "nice to have". Consumers increasingly rely on the mobile web to research and make purchases, which makes it more important than ever for companies to have an effective mobile presence. Ensuring that your mobile website follows basic principles is key for user...

wordpress

Pros and Cons of Single Page vs Multiple Page SEO WordPress Themes

Single page WordPress themes that take a ton of information (usually about a bunch of different topics) and put it on one long scrolling page, is a growing trend that we’ve seen take shape over the last 2-3 years. The shift from multi-page SEO WordPress themes, to predominantly offering single page SEO WordPress theme designs, makes it difficult for marketing channels...

definition

User-Focused SEO: The New Definition of SEO

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? There has been a range of different definitions of SEO, yet through it's evolution most of them have not changed to keep up with the changing search landscape. So, we thought it was time to redefine SEO with users at the center of the strategies - just like Google does. At its core we believe...

Cheat Sheet: SEO Client Qualification Questions Template

When working to qualify potential SEO or web design clients it's important to ask the right questions. This discovery phase helps ensure you can provide the most value to the client, as well as making sure they are able to support and execute your digital strategies - thus getting the most value from you. Below is a cheat sheet of questions...

reconsideration

The 7 Steps To Creating A Google Reconsideration Request

So your site has been de-listed from the search engines or your rankings have drastically dropped. You're losing money, you don’t know why Google would do such a horrible thing to your website. The time has come to submit a reconsideration request to Google to explain your situation. Below you will find the 7 step process we take when creating a...

facebook-ad-types

Which Facebook Ad Types Perform Best Infographic

Have you ever wondered which ad types perform best? Social.com - part of Salesforce, analyzed that question based on CTR, CPC, and CPM and defined benchmarks for each type of ad. Methodology Data for this report was collected from January 1st to March 31st, 2013. Performance was measured from Social .com across more than one million ad units and over 114 billion impressions. This...

facebook-ad-performance

Facebook Ad Performance by Industry Infographic

Ever wonder if your Facebook ads are performing better or worse than the industry standard for ROI - searching for some Facebook benchmarking data? What is the average CPM, CTR, CPC, the average cost per like, or average page like rate for your industry or business? Or are you searching for an answer to the ultimate question - are Facebook...

machine

5 Part Series About How Machine Learning Works

[stag_dropcap font_size="40px" style="squared"]T[/stag_dropcap]here has been alot of talk about Machine learning - most notably for digital marketers and SEOs in regards to recent Google algorithm updates. But have you ever asked yourself "what is machine learning", or wondered how it actually works? BloomReach engineer Srinath Sridhar walks through probability, Bayesian models and machine learning in this 5 part video series. Machine...

journey

Path to Purchase Customer Journey Map Analysis Infographic

A customer journey map is a diagram that illustrates the steps your customer goes through when engaging with your company - whether it be a product, an online experience, retail experience, or a service, or any combination the path to purchase is a vital part of understanding the user. The infographic below is an analysis of the customer journey of a...

tableet

Tablet Usage Stats and Figures Cheat Sheet Infographic

It's no secret that mobile and specifically tablets are emerging as the primary device that people are utilizing to find information, play games, and engage with their friends on social networks. Even though this is a primary device type, marketers are still stumped as to how to properly monetize these devices. The infographic cheat sheet below outlines a few usage...

twitter

Twitter Tweet Cheat Sheet To Increase Engagement Infographic

Ever wonder about the little things that go along with Twitter that help increase engagement or drive traffic to your new website design? Things such as how many hash tags you use, how long your tweets are, or if asking for a retweet (RT) actually works to increase engagement for your Twitter campaign. As a follow up to our Facebook Cheat...

eric

Success: How Bad Do You Want It, A Motivational Video by Eric Thomas

Came across this video about motivation that really spoke to me and my mentality - good or bad. There have been days I arrive at Starbucks or a similar coffee shop to get my morning tea at 6am (which is my usual daily routine) and before I knew it, it was 6pm and I had not eaten or looked up...

facebook-cheat

Facebook Wall Post Cheat Sheet to Increase Interaction Infographic

With most marketing campaigns the devil and success lies in the execution and furthermore the details of the execution. Below you will find the follow up infographic to our "Best Days to Post on Facebook by Industry", titled "Facebook Wall Post Cheat Sheet to Increase Interaction". This Facebook Cheat Sheet, based on data from Buddy Media, contains facts and figures about...

facebook-best

Best Days & Times To Post On Facebook By Industry Infographic

Ever wonder what the best days to post on Facebook are? Or maybe you're wondering if your industry and business is different from other industries? The infographic below breaks out the best days to post as it relates to each primary industry type. The Facebook graphic also includes stats for other Facebook and metrics to help you increase engagement by posting...

googleplus

Will Being on Google+ Help My SEO and Rankings?

The question of whether or not being on Google Plus as a business will help your Google rankings or drive more organic traffic to your website is posed almost daily. What is Google+ For those of you who don't know what Google+ (Google Plus, G+) is, let's start with that. Google+ is a social platform that was built and is run by Google.com....

The Real SEO Value of URLs: Keywords, Clickthrough, & Social

I get asked weekly about URLs and the value they have from an SEO standpoint, or if a business should pick an exact match domain over one you will need to establish as a brand. We have all been told that keywords in the URL hold some weight in Google's Algorithm. But how true is this statement? In our article about...

dad

11 Lessons My Father Taught Me About Managing & Leading Teams

This is not going to be the traditional type of post where I write about SEO, Content, Infographics, or Web Design, but instead a look back at what I have learned from my father about managing and leading people. Preface My father grew up in Ridgewood, NJ. His father was a brilliant engineer (who held many patents), and his mother was a...

Website Consolidation Strategy To Avoid Losing Traffic and Rankings

"United We Stand, Divided We Fall" had a different meaning when it was first said, but it applies to website design and site consolidation efforts perfectly. When it comes to site consolidation strategy there is one question that seems to repeatedly come up from clients, "What do we do with the domains that we already have indexed or ranked for...

The Agile Method Explained: Beginners Guide & Summary of Benefits

The Agile Method is a particular approach to project management that is utilized in software development. This method assists teams in responding to the unpredictability of constructing software. It uses incremental, iterative work sequences that are commonly known as sprints. Agile Process and Method Overview Below you will find an overview of the agile process (and what has been called "agile project...

ux

Beginners Guide For Understanding UX Web Design

There is movement happening in the design world, one which begs designers to put aside their own aesthetics and create with the user in mind. This movement pushed UX, or user experience, to the forefront of design, especially web design. Previously, websites were created at the whims of a designer or their client, using personal preferences. But in this collaboration the...

seo

List Of Some of the Best #SEO’s Drawn as #LEGO People

When I read Aaron Walls article that depicted Matt Cutts and a few online marketers as LEGO people (which I thought was very cool), I thought to myself, "why stop there?". My imagination kicked into gear and I began wondering what some of the best SEOs in the industry would look like if they were all made of LEGOs (weird?). So...

Infographic Creation Tips: The 3 D’s of Infographic Strategy and Virality

Over the last 3 years that we have been designing infographics for a ton of different clients across different industries, we have learned alot about succeeding with infographics; whether success means driving traffic, links, or building brand and social channels. Like with any piece of content there have been huge successes, from infographics we never could have dreamed would drive the...

personas

How to Build Personas to Understand & Meet User Needs Infographic

Personas are used by some of the leading brands around the world to help guide their web design choices and marketing touchpoint strategies. Creating personas will help you understand your website's visitor, how they'll utilize your website, and the types of information they need most to support their buying decisions. The "Guide to Building Personas Infographic" below will help you as...

persona-google

Googlebot Persona: The Evolution of Googlebot from Robot to Person

Over the years, as we all know, SEO has evolved. With that evolution of SEO, I think it's also time to think of Googlebot in a new light. The fundamental concern with Googlebot being a robot is it assumes at a core level that if you put the same thing in, you will always get the same thing out; much...

content-reading

Google’s Content Reading Level: SEO Analysis of Top Colleges & Content Farms

As an SEO I'm sure I look at the world in a slightly different way than most people. I see most things in terms of optimization; whether that is optimizing time, value, or Google rankings. I also am a very visual person, which in some regards is counter productive to analyzing traditional data. Lucky for me Edward Tufte pioneered what today...

pinterest

Ideas For Marketing Your Product or Business on Pinterest Infographic

Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful and inspirational things you find on the web. People use pinboards to get ideas about planning their wedding, decorating their home, or finding some mouth watering recipes. For businesses it's an effective way to create awareness, drive conversation, and more importantly generate sales of your products. What are some creative ways you...

darwin

A Charles Darwin Quote Explains Why Most Big Companies Fail At Digital

This post is more of an observation than a data driven SEO article as we usually post on Linchpin SEO, but I think it holds some weight when it comes to SEO in general for big companies. The post will be centered around the following quote by Charles Darwin (English Naturalist and Author of the theory of evolution by natural selection....

microsite

Microsites for SEO: Advantages & Disadvantages of Building Microsites

I was recently asked by a client if they should create a microsite for a product set they were adding. This question really made me think about the value of microsites for SEO and branding purposes and if microsites for seo were good or bad. What is a microsite? People have different definitions of what a microsite actually is. For this article,...

tlcs

SEO Basics: The Pyramid of SEO 101 Methodology

In December of 2008 SEOmoz debuted their SEO methodology and search engine optimization basics, with an SEO Pyramid in one of their popular Whiteboard Friday Videos. Since that debuted, there have been many advancements within the search engine's algorithm and evolutions in the basic methodology that drives SEO. The Pyramid of SEO Basics Below is a revised Pyramid of SEO basics which...

resell

SEO Tips For Businesses Who Use a Distribution or Reseller Model

Distributors. Resellers. Affiliates. All are names for business entities who purchase goods and products directly from a supplier to resell, or redistribute to consumers. Distributors offer the manpower and cash flow needed to promote and sell products directly to consumers, and take the burden of mass distribution off the manufacturer, but many times this type of business partnership can create complications...

Why Submit Your Sitemap To Google

Ever wonder why you should submit your sitemap to Google and the other search engines, or if there is really any value in doing it? We explore those questions and more in our examination of HTML and XML sitemaps. What is a submitted or off-site Sitemap A Sitemap is a list of the pages on your website. Submitting a Sitemap helps make...

SEO Friendly Directories: Directory Submission and SEO, Does It Help?

Back in the day when SEO was easier, and Google was not as sophisticated when it came to detecting low quality links from directories, SEO's and webmasters would submit sites to many different directories. They would do mass directory submissions trying and gain traffic from people using these directories and to increase their page value in the search engines which ultimately...

Cheat Sheet: URL Rules to Follow To Create SEO and User Friendly URLs

So your creating a new site, or thinking about rewriting your URLs to help your users and the search engines understand your website and its pages more accurately. URLs are important when it comes to indexation, marketing, click through, and when other sites link to your website. They should be optimized to pass keyword metrics and help with click through. This...