Search engine optimization for small and very small businesses.

Archive for the marketing Category

7 Trends for Successful Digital Marketing (Infographic)

There’s a lot going on in digital marketing lately. For your small business to compete successfully, you need to be aware of and respond to current trends and changes in internet marketing and digital marketing more broadly. Here are the 7 top trends to be aware of:

  • SEO
  • Social media
  • Video
  • Email marketing
  • Paid advertising
  • Lead generation
  • Content marketing

Below is an excellent overview of the most important trends in digital marketing you need to watch. Thanks to the folks at Serpwatch for all their hard work on this.

7 trends in digital marketing for small businesses to be aware of.

How to Drive More Readers to Your Blog Posts

There are lots of ways to attract readers to your blog.None of us writes a blog just to admire our own words of wisdom. We write it to provide information, to bolster our credibility, to illustrate our expertise, to attract new customers … the reasons are many and varied. But they all share the common factor that we want readers.


Attracting Readers

Just creating and writing a blog is not a guarantee that it will attract readers.  There are many things readers may find attractive: humor, images, pithy writing, helpful information, insightful analysis, compelling content and more. But if no one knows about your blog, no one will read it.  Just like a website without SEO, it may end up being like a Billboard in the Woods.

Where Do You Get Exposure?

There are a bunch of places to seek visibility for your blog posts. recently listed 50 of them. Let’s highlight some of the best ones for a small business blog.

  • Social Media Sites
  • Social Bookmarking Sites
  • Article Directories
    • These no longer provide link juice to your blog posts like they once did, but they can still drive traffic to your posts. Here are a couple of the best:
    • Blog Engage
    • EZine Articles
  • Personal Resources
  • Paid Advertising
    • Pay Per Click ads can get expensive, and many businesses spend thousands of dollars a month on them. But they can also help on a much smaller scale for small businesses. These are the top two:
    • Google AdWords
    • Facebook Ads
  • Specialized Sites
    • Google AdWordsBusiness2Community is a great place to automatically syndicate your blog.These are similar to blog directories and bookmarking sites, but are more narrowly focused. Here are a few examples:
    • Business2Community for business related content
    • BizSugar for content related to small businesses
    • DesignFloat for material related to web design
    • DeviantArt for the art and design community
    • for marketing related content
    • MySpace for music and entertainment related content

Tell us about your success (or lack of it) with these. Is there a technique you’ve found that’s not listed here? Please tell us about it in the comments below.

Need help with your visibility? Rank Magic can help!

12 Ways Reviews Affect Sales for Your Small Business

Customer online reviews can influence sales.Online reviews are increasingly being consulted by consumers before making buying decisions. Here are a dozen reason they can affect your sales.

  1. Local sites featuring reviews are more prominent in search than in the past.
  2. Two thirds of local directory traffic comes from people searching for products & services. (source)
  3. Regardless of your SEO, local sites drive visitors to your site. (source)
  4. Each star in a review translates to 5-9% impact on revenues. (source)
  5. Local independent businesses are the most affected by reviews. (source)
  6. 61% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase decision (source) and Forbes says it’s as high as 90%.
  7. People are 63% more likely to buy from a site with user reviews. (source)
  8. Reviews are 12 times more trusted than your web site itself. (source)
  9. More reviews lend credibility to the ratings, driving visitors and sales. (source)
  10. The Harvard Business Review says that good reviews can increase sales 32%-52%.
  11. Negative reviews can cause a drop of 15% in sales (source)
  12. But for an unfamiliar product, even bad reviews can sometimes increase sales. (source)

Do you have a process in place to increase the likelihood of getting good customer reviews? If so, let us know about it in the comments below.

Need better rankings or more visibility in local directories? Rank Magic can help!

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How Your Clichés Turn Off Potential Customers

You probably don’t use clichés in the marketing copy on your website.

Or do you?

I learned a simple rule from a marketing consultant years ago that’s stuck with me ever since. Don’t make your reader think “well, I should hope so”. But I see that all the time in website copy  — empty phrases and promises that prompt exactly that response.

  • Quality service!
    Well, I should hope so.
  • We do it right the first time!
    Well, I should hope so.
  • We always honor our agreements.
    Well, I should hope so.
  • We have expertise in [whatever it is we do] Well, I should hope so.
  • Free estimates.
    Well, I should hope so.
  • At [company name] you’re the boss.
    Well, I should hope so.
  • We pride ourselves on working hard for our customers
    Well, I should hope so.
  • We provide a job well done and done to your satisfaction.
    Well, I should hope so.
  • We respect our customers
    Well, I should hope so.
  • Fully insured!
    Well, I should hope so.
  • Your satisfaction is our goal.
    Well, I should hope so.
  • We work to make you happy.
    Well, I should hope so.

You get the idea.

The next time you write or revise your web content, I hope you will keep this principle in mind.

Well, I should hope so.

What are your thoughts about this? Let us know in the comments below.

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4 Ways to Get More Readers On Your Blog

Your Blog Is an Important Asset  — If It Attracts the Readers You Want


Promote your blog.

Your blog is one of the best ways to establish yourself as an authority in your field and to get your brand identity known broadly. It also allows you to receive and respond to feedback from people interested in your services and your blog topics. The more people who read and like your blog, the better known you and your brand become. It’s well worth the time and effort to promote your blog. Thanks to Endurance Marketing for the inspiration for this post.

1) Promote Your Blog Far and Wide

Shameless promotion of your blog on as many venues as possible will expose it to hundreds or thousands of new potential readers. Here are the most essential things to do:

  • Get your blog listed in the top human-edited blog directories. That includes directories like Technorati, Blogarama, Blogged, Blogernity, Blog Flux, On Top List, Blog Hub, and Blogger Now, among others.
  • Include prominent links to your blog from the main navigation of your website and also in your page footers.
  • Establish social media accounts at Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn, at a minimum. Include a link to your blog in the About section of each of them.
  • Include a Facebook Like button and a Google +1 button on your main blog page and on all individual blog post pages.
  • Make it easy for readers to share your blog posts on their own social pages to expand your reach to all of their connections. The tool we use here is from AddThis. It provides opportunities for readers to very easily promote your post to all of their followers on almost any social media site imaginable.

Blog2) Promote Every Blog Post Your Write

Don’t just write a great blog post and hope people will flock to it. Promote it in social media. At the very least, write about it on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. And be sure to include a link to your post when you do that. For our clients, we typically promote each of their posts on a total of 15-17 of the best social media platforms.

3)  Promote Your Blog On Your Emails

Don’t overlook the opportunity to include a link to your blog in your email signature block. That exposes your blog to anyone you correspond with.

4) Promote Your Blog on Other Blogs

Many blogs have a blogroll  — a list of other, usually related, blogs that may be of interest to their readers. You can see an example of that over on the right, in the section called Other Blogs of Interest. Seek out blogs related to your topics and contact the owners of those blogs to suggest they add you to their blogrolls. You may be asked to add them to your blogroll in return, as well. If you create compelling blog posts with great information that’s helpful to your target market, similar blogs may be very eager to link to you from their blogrolls.

How do you promote your blog? Let us know in the comments below.

Like this post? Please Like it or share it with your friends via the links above, or +1 it in the link below. Thanks in advance for helping us promote our blog!

Need help with promoting your blog and your website, and showing up prominently when buyers search for what you have to offer? Rank Magic can help.