How to keep your small business running over the holidays

How to keep your small business running over the holidays

As the owner of a small business, you’ve probably found that you can’t seem to take holidays too often – if at all. Business must go on and you don’t want to spend years building your business up only to have it fall apart while you take a holiday.

However, with the right forward planning, a bit of automation and some trusted staff members, it is entirely possible for you to take a holiday while your company carries on with business as usual.

Automate as much as possible

The best thing you can do to give yourself a break these holidays is to automate as much of your business as possible. By automating things, you not only take the work load off your plate, but you will set your business up to look like there is still a team of staff sitting in the office … even when they are all at the beach!

Social media is a great area to automate over the holiday period. Everyone knows how important social media is for marketing a small business, so taking …

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Information on your website

Information on your website: are you giving away too much for free?

Your website is a very important component of your business, even if you are running a bricks and mortar shop. The website can be the first place your potential customers find you, and where you can begin to engage with them. By putting information on your website, you are making it easier for them to find you as well as discover what your business is all about. But how much information is too much? If you give it all away for free on your site, won’t that stop people from becoming paying customers? Not at all. In fact, it can help attract even more customers.

Trust is an important part of doing business, even more so today than ever before. People have choices now. They no longer have to buy their products from Joe Bloggs down the road. With the internet, they can buy anything from anywhere around the world. So how do they decide who they should buy from? Or who to do business with? Usually, it comes down to the person or business they feel …

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Web Content

4 reasons you should update your website content

Your website is one of your most important marketing tools, no matter what business you are in. It is out there working for your business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Getting your name out there, advertising your services and selling your products.

That is why it is so important to have a website that functions the best it can, and one that stays relevant and up-to-date.

One way of ensuring your website is always fresh and relevant is by updating the content on a regular basis. There are many reasons why you need to take the time to do this.

Here are the top four:

Search engines

It’s important for your business that your website can be found via search engines. A way to improve your chances of being found is by having your content refreshed often.

When you update your website, the search engines will take notice and will revise your site ranking. If you leave your website alone, the search engines will assume it is dormant and will start skipping your site …

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Evergreen content

Why you need evergreen content on your business website

It’s a funny term, and one you may have heard used before but not really understood what it means: evergreen content.

So what exactly is evergreen content and why does your business need it?

Evergreen content is good quality content that is relevant now, tomorrow and always. It is not content that is centred around current affairs, but is instead based on topics that will continue to be of interest for a long time after it is published.

Evergreen content includes topics such as; parenting and family, careers and finance, health and fitness, diet and nutrition (although some ‘fad’ diets may stop being relevant over time). These are the kinds of topics that people will always be interested in and will always be searching for.

The format of evergreen content can be articles/blogs, lists, videos or ‘how-to’. Topics that are not considered evergreen is anything that is current for a specific time, such as: news and current affairs, statistics, seasonal or holiday articles and anything that is trending. If you need to put a special day or …

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Online reviews

How to handle bad online reviews

A bad review online can feel terrible, no matter what size your business is. But don’t despair, a bad review or two won’t bring your entire company down. There are ways you can handle it and in some cases, you can even turn the experience into a positive situation. Here are some tips for handling bad online reviews:

1.     Always respond

When you stumble across a bad review about your company or product it can be tempting to just close the computer and walk away. But don’t do this. Ever.

All reviews, good or bad, should be responded to. When a reviewer leaves a comment and you don’t respond it will look like you either don’t care or that you are trying to hide something (i.e. that the bad review is the truth).

Responding isn’t just for the benefit of the person who left the review, but for every other person out there who will be reading it. Once someone writes something negative about your company, there can be hundreds of people who believe it if there is no …

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Link building with real people

Link-Building: How to Do it with Real People

Inbound links or backlinks – links pointing to your website from another location – are a bit like site votes. They show that your content is valued by others and is being shared by them in their networks. When this occurs, your website is more likely to rank better with search engines.

At one time, a website’s ranking could be boosted by having copious numbers of backlinks. This led to the development of quick-fix link ‘schemes’ – networks that existed for the purposes of buying and trading links or creating automated links in order to manipulate search engine rankings.

These days, search engines are looking for backlink quality and relevance rather than quantity, and participating in such schemes could actually earn you some unwanted penalties! This means you need to work a bit harder to ‘earn’ your backlinks, by being audience-focused and providing top quality content on your site.

While some people might declare that link-building is no longer relevant, in fact backlinks still have a valid place in site rankings, which makes it important to take steps …

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Google Analytics

How Google Analytics Can Help With Business Decisions

As you will know by now, a website is not just something you create because “everyone has a website.” It is a powerful marketing tool that can draw in traffic, create leads, create customers out of leads, and help make your business more profitable. But having a website is not enough on its own.

Businesses that not only make sales but also know how to analyse why and how they make sales and from where and whom, are going to be far better resourced and informed when it comes to making good business decisions. If ‘things happen’ in your business but you don’t really know or understand the underlying factors, you are probably just going to flounder along, hoping for the best and leaving it largely to chance.

So the more useful and relevant information you can gather about how well your website is performing – for example when it comes to attracting visitors and holding their interest, determining where they are coming from, who is purchasing what and so on – the better informed you will be to make …

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Trust online

How to Communicate Your Business Credibility Online

Credibility is a word that gets a lot of use, but may not always be well-understood. According to one online dictionary, it refers to ‘the quality of being believable or worthy of trust’. In terms of running a profitable business, credibility is therefore paramount. Unless people see your business as being credible and trustworthy, you are likely to struggle to reach your goals.

Of course, having good credibility is not enough in itself – you also need to communicate it to the right people. This is especially important now, with word-of-mouth feedback becoming increasingly trusted online.

The starting point

Naturally, the basis of being credible and trustworthy is to be the best you can. After all, it will be impossible to spread the news of your great credibility unless you have it! This starts with understanding your target market really well, providing a great product or service and delivering on promises, and also building a top quality website that has great SEO – such as meta titles and tags and awesome relevant content with a judicious use of search terms. …

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Mobile friendly

How Being Mobile-Friendly is a Ranking Signal

During 2015, Google updated its algorithm for the use of mobile-friendliness as a SEO ranking signal, which was given the ominous-sounding name of ‘Mobilegeddon’ in some circles. Essentially, it means that websites that are pleasant and easy-to-use on mobile devices such as smartphones are more likely to rank better in the SEO stakes.

While there were fears that the algorithm was going to spark Mobilegeddon and destroy hard-won rankings, in reality, it only affects ranking when searches are done on mobile devices, and is relevant only for individual pages rather than whole websites. This means it won’t affect ranking for searches done via desktop.

Even so, having a mobile-friendly site does make good business sense, especially with so many people these days choosing to use their mobile device for searches, purchases, information and other tasks. Some of the data indicates that over 90% of smartphone owners use them for internet search, and three-quarters of mobile searches are done in places where desktops are present. So while many people might use their mobile for internet use while they are out and …

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Link building

Is Link Building Dead?

SEO has certainly grown up a lot in the last few years. No longer is it as black and white as before – there are now more shades of grey to contend with. If you are confused as to whether link building is dead or still alive and well, and thinking “well come on Google, which is it?” you might have a rather grey answer to contend with – “it depends”.

What’s going on with links?

Inbound links or backlinks (that is, those pointing back to your site from elsewhere) are a bit like ‘votes’ for your site. The thing is, for too long, quite a number of site owners were using cheap tactics to get ahead in rankings – such as through link schemes, or paying for links to make their site look good to search engines. You might liken this to paying people to be your friend in public so you can look like one of the cool kids!

Search engines eventually caught on, and since have clamped down on these sorts of practices. But this …

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