Invisibility – a cautionary tale for small businesses

What do these things have in common? H. G. Wells’ “The Invisible Man”, Harry Potter and your small business? All have the ability to become invisible! is your business invisible?

Invisibility for small businesses comes in two flavors – deliberate and accidental.

If you don’t have a website then you are pretty much deliberately choosing to be invisible. That’s not to say people won’t find you on-line but you are making it hard for them and if the only thing visible is a less-than-flattering review you are just beating yourself.

Accidental invisibility occurs when you have a website but can’t be seen by search engines. This happens for a number of reasons including these common mistakes: (more…)

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Google Adwords and Small Business

Did you ever wonder how Google became the multi-bazillion dollar company they are? It’s not just the awesome algorithms they invented or how they seem to know before you search what you are looking for. It’s the way the learned to make money from those things – by offering ads related to those searches and charging would-be sellers lots of money for those ads through their AdWords program (AdSense is a sister product designed to allow site owners to host those ads). The company has just reported revenues of $7.3 billion of which 97% comes from advertising.

AdWords serves up those ads as the “sponsored links” you see across the top and down the side of the Google search result page.

Why is this important to the small business person?

Even though $7.3 billion is an awful lot of money it’s made up of billions and billions individual ads placed by small and large businesses alike. Although many of the hot “buzz-worthy” search terms can command between $10-50 PER CLICK (apparently “mesothelioma” commands $100 per click) small business people should be aware that in their field the cost of advertising can be lower than $1 per click, sometimes only pennies per click if you are clever. (more…)

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As a small business owner do I need to worry/think/do anything about Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Whether your company has a website or not, most people have heard something about Search Engine Optimization (SEO).Often it’s from the sales and marketing manager who instructs a staff member to “do something about SEO” so that their site can appear on Google’s first page (good luck with that by the way…). Sometimes it’s from an “SEO” company who can absolutely guarantee that they’ll get your site on Google’s first page of results – maybe they should talk to that staff member? More often with small businesses its one of those topics that gets discussed once or twice and is then consigned to the “someday, maybe never” file.

To answer my own question – I’m here today to tell you that in this Google-dominated, internet-driven, 24/7 world SEO isn’t just something to worry or think about its EVERYTHING if you want to get found on the internet. Here are my top 5 SEO “do’s plus 5 “don’ts” that every small business owner needs to be aware of: (more…)

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Social media and small business

social_mediaMany small businesses have embraced the concepts behind social media and in-bound marketing – primarily those in the B2B services and consultancy industries, where they make their money promoting  themselves as opposed to a product. On the other hand many product based small businesses (manufacturers, distributors, etc) have done next to nothing with these new marketing avenues. Why? Because, I think, they think there’s very little ROI in it for them.

No-Cost / Low-Cost

But what investment are they referring to? The one really great thing about the new world of social media & in-bound marketing is that it’s either no-cost or low-cost. The major investment is one of time and to a lesser extent of creativity. (more…)

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