Tag Archives: small business

Getting Google to Know You

Jennifer Tanzi

Jennifer Tanzi

Here is a helpful article for novice small business operators looking to understand the impact of SEO on their sales as written by my guest, Jennifer Tanzi of Buydomains.com:

Using SEO to Court Search Engines

Ever since Google became a verb, small business owners have wondered about guaranteeing prime placement when prospective clients go a-typing in their search engines. Times have changed since you simply added “AAA” to your business name and scored first place in the yellow page listings. Marketing yourself is more complicated in the digital age, but with a little bit of insight and a few simple steps, you can catch the eyes of those search engines, and propel your businesses name up those prospective clients’ lists of results.

You know how people use name repetition (sometimes relentlessly) to remember yours? (“Hi, Sandra, so good to meet you, Sandra. Can I get you a beverage, Sandra? Sandra, let me take your coat.”) Search Engine Optimization — SEO — works kind of the same way. Repeating key phrases in your domain name and throughout your website pages makes your business more appealing to the search engines. Once they find you, so will all those new clients. You just need to put some thought into choosing the right keywords, and some craft into your copy so your message sounds fresh, and not repetitive.

First, figure out your key keywords. Let’s say you sell organic lavender, tended and harvested on your own pristine acres of New England farmland. You’ve done your homework on choosing domain names that attract type-in traffic and landed one that screams “organic lavender” right there in the URL. Now, how can you ensure that every person looking for your product sees your business name in lights when they go Metacrawling?

Perhaps your website boasts glorious photos of lavender plants so vivid you can smell them through the screen, and describes memorably the many attributes of your farm — the perfectly tended soil, the soothing scents of the lavender as you coax the shoots from the earth. But when Elinor the Florist needs a supplier for her tremendously successful hand-tied organic bouquets, what words will she type into her search engine? Organic lavender. And, since she wants to go local, maybe also, “New England.”

So there you have ‘em. New England. Organic. Lavender.

Your new SEO keywords, New England organic lavender, should appear five or six times on each page of 500 – 600 words of copy. So your site needs to describe the perfectly tended soil of your New England organic lavender farm, the soothing scents of your New England organic lavender plants as you coax the shoots from the soil. Placement of the keywords is critical, too. You should include them in <H1> header tags, in your first paragraph and in links throughout the site.

As you master SEO, there are a few pitfalls you’ll want to avoid. Vary the titles and meta data of your pages, so that if several different pages of your site pop up in the search results, customers see difference slices of information about your business from your site.
When you’ve mastered the SEO strategies, test your efforts. Cruise the web yourself to see which sites your keywords bring up, and what your competitors are doing differently to place high in the results. And be sure to use web analytics on your site so you know exactly how your visitors are finding you.

To small business owners, those search engines might at first seem a fickle bunch. But once they get to know you — through SEO — they are really going to love you.

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Filed under SEO, Small Business Marketing

Green Branding Works for Printer Cartridge Company

My friend Dave McConachie runs a small business called Digitech. They specialize in Renewable Printer Cartridges. I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to develop Dave’s branding strategy for Digitech when he took it over the company a couple of years back. Dave was already passionate about the environment and as I learned more about his business over several coffee and lunch meetings on Commercial Drive, together we decided that Digitech would differentiate itself from the competition by taking a very strong, environmentally-responsible stance in the products it produced and in the way they produced them, going as far as delivering the printer cartridges in hybrid vehicles! By running his business this way, he was helping his customers be environmentally responsible by just using Digitech’s products and services. His message is catching on; his company was recently featured on Get Connected which you can watch here.

I love what Dave has done with his company, and the success he is having in standing out from the rest in his industry. What makes this work is the branding strategy is authentic because it aligns with Dave’s passion and beliefs and customers see that at every point of contact. Great work Dave!

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Filed under advertising, Branding, Business, Environmental, marketing, Small Business Marketing, Vancouver, video

PEER 1 ‘Growing Pains’ Viral Series In Production

Growing Pains Episode 3We have just completed filming episodes 2 and 3 of PEER 1’s “Growing Pains” series (episode 1 has reached 50,000+ page views on free video hosting site Viddler). Filming took place last week on location in New York City. We hope to have both episodes ready to go in the next month or so. To see photos from the film shoot, click here.

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Filed under advertising, Branding, Business, Co-location, Comedy, Hosting, Humor, Internet, Managed Hosting, marketing, Online marketing tactics, PEER 1, Small Business Marketing, Social Media, video, Viral, Web 2.0, Word-of-Mouth

Web Hosting at Home: Pros and Cons

Great article written by Zvi Grauer who weighs the pros and cons of hosting your servers in-house (home or office) versus outsourcing to a web hosting provider. Many startups and small-to-medium size businesses host their servers in-house for convenience, costs and control. What they give up is security, bandwidth performance and a redundant environment to ensure uptime. As more businesses have become reliant on their IT infrastructure to sell goods, communicate with clients, and run their support systems, it could be disastrous and crippling to your business if that infrastructure isn’t rock-solid.

Quite a few of us have an idea or a personal project worth sharing with the world through hosting on the Web. Most of us also have an older computer which is either collecting dust in the closet/attic/garage, or is in a lonely corner, waiting for someone to use it, while the family flocks to the shiny new laptop or desktop in the study. That is especially true of IT professionals, programmers and administrators. Wouldn’t it be great to put that old computer to work, hosting our personal web site? Read more

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Filed under Business, e-commerce, Hosting, Internet, Managed Hosting, Web Sites

Upcoming Conference for Small Businesses

My friend Moe is hosting the upcoming SOHO – SME Business Conference and Expo on October 16th in Toronto and 30th in Vancouver. I’ve attended, exhibited and spoken at the conference in the past and it’s a very worthwhile event for entrepreneurs, startups and small business owners who want to learn how to grow their business from leading experts. Topics covered include online marketing, public relations, sales, stress management, and financing. There is always a good vibe at this event and a great mix of people in attendance. The networking after-party is always a blast! If you have the opportunity, I urge you to go. You can get a free pass if you sign up in advance.

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Filed under Business, marketing, Trade Shows