The small business world can be a grind working in and on the business to reach goals and milestones and grow.Owners and employees wear a lot of hats and often excel at filling a lot of roles.The day-to-day requirements of sales, operations, payroll, invoicing, service, and fulfillment take a ton of time and energy.Something that gets squeezed out is marketing.The marketing mix for a small business often covers the essentials and things that are closest to the bottom line.These are often identified as the website and campaigns that impact lead or sales generation closest to the last click or to the conversion. Those include things like email marketing, SEO, and paid search.Often, social media is left out of that mix or only done in a way that meets a bare minimum to show the business is real.Social media doesn’t have to be a massive commitment or time investment. It also doesn’t have to be a big mystery as to how it could impact the business and fit into the marketing … [Read more...] about 8 Social Media Tips for Small Businesses
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That’s according to a new forecast from the National Retail Federation and its digital division, Shop.org. The estimates cover most traditional retail categories, but don’t include auto dealers, gas stations and restaurants. This year’s estimate for online sales is in line with what happened during the just-completed holiday season. The NRF says online retail grew 11.1 percent during November and December 2012. The overall outlook for all retail sales isn’t as bright. That 3.4 percent growth estimate is down from last year’s 4.2 percent estimate. The NRF blames things like the “fiscal cliff” debate in Washington and higher payroll taxes for making consumers less likely to spend on discretionary items. About The Author Matt McGee Matt McGee is the Editor-In-Chief of Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. After … [Read more...] about Online Retails Rosy Outlook: NRF Expects 9-12 Percent Growth In 2013
This may seem like a simple subject, but it’s a question most link builders hear sooner or later. That question is “How long does it take for new links to help my site’s ranking improve?” Like most questions related to links and search rank the truth (and easiest answer) isn’t very helpful. That answer is “It depends”. Depends on what? Let’s dive a little deeper into several factors that can influence the ability of new links to positively affect the search rank of your site. Impulse Links If I tweet a link to this column to my followers or share this link with those in my G+ circles, chances are a certain percentage of them will see that link and click it. This can happen in near real-time, or for those who don’t watch their social stream all day, it could happen later, or not at all. Not every shared link gets clicked. But these socially shared links do not have that same “instant” impact on organic search rank. You … [Read more...] about Understanding Ranking Lag Time For New Links
When you watch the story of Pinocchio, it's easy to get caught up in the drama of the moment. Whether he's skipping school and getting captured by a man who wants to put him in a sideshow, running off to Pleasure Island or getting swallowed by a whale...everything about Pinocchio screams "get me out of this jam right now." It's easy enough to get in the same cycle with your web site; facing down each individual area of marketing without seeing the bigger picture. That brings me to the fifth lesson in this series: The Conversion is the Goal. In this six part series, I'll be exploring six valuable lessons you can learn from the classic story of Pinocchio and offering up some input on how to apply it to your own marketing plans. If you are just joining the series, catch up on past articles: Six Lessons from a Wooden Boy: Part One: Search Engines Want to be Real Boys Six Lessons from a Wooden Boy: Part Two: Online Reputation Means Straight Talk Six Lessons from a Wooden Boy: Part Three: … [Read more...] about Six Lessons from a Wooden Boy: Lesson Five: The Conversion is the Goal
How should a company handle its search marketing needs? It depends. Many factors need to be taken into account in order to make the correct choice. Companies frequently make a choice based upon incomplete / incorrect information and end up with unsatisfactory results. I asked my fellow SEMpdx members to offer their analysis of this important decision: Kent Lewis: When deciding whether or not to build an in-house search engine marketing (SEM) team, or to outsource to an SEM vendor, it´s not quite as simple as a quick cost-benefit analysis. A successful SEM campaign is all about ROI, but comparing in-house and outsourced vendors is somewhat apples to oranges. At the fundamental level, you can look at the cost of the employees from a salary and benefits perspective, and compare that against vendor pricing (annualized). The challenge is that there are many hidden and soft costs associated with an in-house team, including recruiting, training and retaining. It´s very … [Read more...] about Ask SEMpdx: In-house or Outhouse? What Criteria Should a Company Use to Decide How to Handle its Search Marketing Needs?