Small Business Consulting & Startup Marketing Services

We help small business owners solve their most challenging digital marketing problems.

We are a digital marketing firm who is built for small businesses. We help small businesses of all sizes – from startup companies and new businesses; to franchises and local businesses with multiple locations.

All our marketing strategies are custom built and are determined by the problems you’re facing growing your small business.

We provide the following services:

Need help marketing your small business?

Contact our CEO directly to talk about your project.

Lindsay Knight

Chicago Ventures

You can tell Bill really cares about his clients.

In helping us launch our blog, Bill was strategic about the overall vision but also tactical enough to suggest small enhancements, spending extra time to find solutions that fit our needs and worked within specific guidelines.

You can tell he really cares about his clients and about producing a good product — he was extremely responsive and proactive every step of the way.

Small Business Resource

Here’s Why Every Small Business Needs A Great Website Design

Every wonder why small business website design seems to be behind the times? As the Internet landscape evolves, good website design has become a key factor to all businesses from startups and small businesses, to brands and large websites. Large businesses boast iconic images and initially unknown brands are skyrocketing to worldwide recognition, while startups and small businesses are having trouble competing.

At the bottom of the pack are small businesses, spending their money on low-value advertising instead of cultivating a solid brand and investing in a strong online presence through their websites and social media profiles.

Good website design is no longer an option if small businesses want to be noticed. Let’s talk about why.

First impressions are the most important

Everyone hears this anecdote at least once in life, and while it originally pertained to face-to-face meetings, it now encompasses every interaction.

Step back and take a look at your branding. Does it intrigue you? Is it indicative of what the business is or stands for? Would you would want to know more about it simply by coming across the website, or viewing the logo?

The answer should be a resounding yes.

Make sure your branding presence, the design of your website, advertising and anything else representing your business is well designed. If the design is not aesthetically pleasing, you run the risk of losing a customer simply based on appearance.

It is imperative to grab the viewer’s attention immediately. Ill-fitting colors, bad fonts, difficult navigation or unsightly products are no longer excused. Cutting costs when it comes to your businesses presentation is not wise and earning a good reputation will be more difficult.

Good website design builds trust

When you come across a beautiful website, a pleasing advertisement or clean logo, how does it make you feel? Most likely, it impresses you and for some reason there is an instant belief it must be a reputable brand without knowing much about the business or product.

Where does this impartial trust come from? Who knows. But it’s something you want to harness as a small business owner. It is important your consumers experience an emotional attachment to your brand. They should want to share it with their friends or find out more about it on their own.

A well-designed and orchestrated branding presence communicates dedication and trustworthiness to the consumer, it says, “We understand an investment in ourselves is also an investment in our customers.”

Similarly, if your website is aesthetically pleasing, easy to navigate and contains information presently clearly, customers will feel appreciated.

Contemplate Apple for a moment. The iPod and iPhone are not the only products available with mp3 and touch screen capabilities, but they continually dominate due to the clean, straightforward product design. Apply built a foundation of trust with its Macintosh clients, but innovated through the power of excellent design.

Good design is everywhere

Solid design is taking over the world as we know it. Even toilet paper and cleaning product companies are going out of their way to finesse the packaging and revamp their image. No one can sidestep good design.

This translates to an emergency level of awareness for the small business owner. Your out-of-date website is no longer acceptable, the old, flimsy logo or the poorly designed paraphernalia associated with your business. Whether they are price tags, packaging, web sites, or uniforms – everything about your business must be designed with intention.

It is a key ingredient in building a loyal base of customers and establishing yourself in a world consuming itself with pleasing exteriors.

If you do not make good design a priority for your business, you will eventually pay the price. Design is not to be pushed aside.

Good web design impacts search results

In regards to an online presence, bypassing design can have drastic effects on who finds your business. Good design can elevate your position in the search results and add potential leads.

Slow page speeds are dangerous in the eyes of Google and will send the viewer to another page quickly. Content placement below the fold is not wise and too much advertising above the fold can disrupt search results.

Internal linking can become problematic if it’s unnecessary and forgetting to add social media is online suicide.

Shows respect for your clients and customers

How many times have you went looking for the Contact Us tab on a website and was unable to locate it? How did it make you feel? Were you irritated or frustrated?

Although good design is imperative to every brand’s image in today’s economy, the first goal should be to make yourself open and available to your customer.

Business services should be simple to understand, the mission readily available and websites easy to navigate. The number one goal is to make it easy for your customer, and design makes this goal attainable.

Smart design is not just for big brands, it is an indispensable step for small business and startups that want to compete in the world market and grab the attention of consumers.

Small Business Resource

Stats Proving The Importance of SEO for Small Businesses

If you want to get an edge on the competition in 2019, then you need to know the latest facts and figures about SEO for small businesses. This year, the majority of marketers plan to use SEO as a key tactic to increase website traffic and leads. Most are using blogs, rich content, responsive websites, photo and video to capture the attention of prospective customers and leads. As a business owner or small business marketer, need to understand the SEO for small business to jump on this important opportunity.

Importance of SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) increases both the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through unpaid search engine results. A variety of factors contribute to this as search engines evaluate the health and helpfulness of your website to serve up results. The stronger your website content and design, the higher you will rank on search engine results over time. Catering to Google, as the most popular search engine, dominates most SEO practices.

So, most SEO techniques revolve around pleasing the Google algorithm to achieve a higher ranking. If you run a business website, regardless of whether you do business online, your ranking is important. It allows customers to find you, either in a brick-and-mortar building or for online services.

Small businesses must compete with three distinct entities for market share. First, they compete with other small businesses in the local market. Second, they compete with big corporations that use their vast reach and reputation to saturate the globe. Third, small businesses compete with online-only options with low overhead and innovative features. With all this competition, smart small businesses owners are always looking for ways to gain an edge.

Why SEO is important for small businesses?

SEO remains one of the most cost-effective ways to engage customers or clients. The only cost is to generate content. Whether you do the work in-house or outsource, the dollar value far exceeds traditional marketing methods. You have the chance to meet users at the ideal time in their decision-making process. You can provide helpful information that answers their key questions and pain points. Then, they are more likely to choose your business as the brand they trust.

To prove the importance of SEO for small businesses, we have collected 19 stats to influence your marketing plan for 2019. In general, the past year has seen an increase in user reliance on search engines for information. This is even more prominent at the local level, creating a boon for small businesses. If you want to capture your local market, then you should pay attention to these important search statistics.

User Behavior Stats

Each year, internet use increases among all populations and devices. By the end of 2017, some major shifts occurred. Notably smartphone use outranked desktop for the first time. Additionally, the majority of the oldest demographics are online and often, using smartphones. This means most people are using the internet on the various available devices. If you don’t have a responsive website, now is the time to update your design.

Search Query Behavior

Understanding typical search behavior can help you create content that ranks well for search engines. Notably, user intent has shifted to include an expectation for local results. Small businesses can take advantage of this through smart content planning.

Recent Google Changes

Keeping up with Google’s algorithm can be difficult. However, you can check in on the biggest changes for the year. For example, snippets are getting longer. Also, Google is favoring secure websites. These are important as you create a plan to update your content.

  • 500-600 times each year, Google changes its search algorithm. (Moz, 2018)
  • 230 characters for snippet length is now average compared to 160 in recent years. (Search Engine Land, 2017)
  • 50% of first page Google results were secure (https) websites. (Moz, 2017)

Small Business Competition

If you don’t want to fall behind your competitors, then you should start a strong SEO plan now. Most marketers are planning to prioritize SEO in the coming year. Generating helpful information, to meet your ideal customer’s pain points, will help you compete.

  • 63% of marketers rank generating traffic as their top challenge. (HubSpot, 2017)
  • 61% of marketers list improving SEO and search engine rankings as their top goal. (HubSpot, 2017)
  • 53% of marketers prioritize blog content creation as their top initiative. (HubSpot, 2017)

Small Businesses Opportunities

For small businesses specifically, SEO can be a powerful tool. Additionally, local SEO can help connect you to prime customers or clients. Take advantage of the trend by building up your ranking now.

  • 25-35% more clicks occur on business listings with a website. (Google, 2018)
  • 57% of U.S. travelers want brands to tailor their information based on past behaviors or individual preferences. (Think with Google, 2018)
  • 50% of people search for promotions or discounts online. (Google, 2018)

Final Thoughts

Whether you just started a new website or want to improve your current content, SEO allows you to increase both the quality and quantity of your website traffic. Over the past year, users of all ages and on all devices have become more reliant on search to navigate their lives. More so, they appreciate local options and customized information. Smart small business owners will take advantage of this trend by creating a niche in the market that captures their ideal audience.