The Importance of Websites for Small Businesses

ec expected to become another competitive year for businesses in different industries. With the ease of entry and minimal capitalisation that is required in various entrepreneurial endeavours, it is anticipated that more and more people will try their hand in becoming their own boss through putting up their own businesses. With this, there is an apparent need to be engaged in more aggressive marketing strategies in order to successfully manage the competitive landscape. One of the most important is small business websites. Keep on reading and we will let you know why a website is an essential component of a marketing mix for small businesses.

Improve Online Visibility

One of the best things about websites for small businesses is the fact that it will help you to become more visible. It is not enough that customers hear about your business. If they are interested, they will perform a quick online search. If you are not present online, you can lose potential clients. On the other hand, if you are online, you will be more visible, especially if your website is optimised to appear on the top of search engine results.

Build Credibility

Another reason on why you should consider the importance of websites for small businesses is the fact that it makes you more credible. Your online presence has a lot to do when it comes to building a solid reputation. Even if you are a small business, if you have a notable online presence, you can easily be credible in the eyes of your clients, similar to your larger competitors.

Break Geographical Barriers

The internet is a community that has more than 2.2 billion users all over the globe. Websites for small businesses are one of the most effective tools to have an extensive reach. This will allow you to communicate to your prospects and clients all over the globe. It can break barriers and can bring your company closer to your target market. Even if you are thousands of miles apart from your audience, a website will help you to convey a message and nurture profitable relationships.

Provide a Sales Platform

Websites for small businesses are also beneficial because it can be a sales channel. Today, many businesses are tapping the power of the internet through electronic commerce. This makes it easy to sell goods and services in the absence of having a physical shop or office.

mimin / December 25, 2015 / Internet

How to Maintain a Good Online Reputation

edReputation is everything, both online and offline. Companies who have built up solid reputations will benefit in the long run. Your online reputation is based on what you do, how you handle yourself and what marketing efforts you use. Of course, as you probably know as with anything, there is a right and a wrong way of marketing your company, the one way can boost visibility and profits, the other can have a negative impact that can leave you struggling to regain control for years to come.

In order to maintain a good reputation online you will want to ensure that everything remains up to date at all times. This means keeping your website updated with product information and if you are selling online, ensuring your stock is updated. This reduces the risk of finding yourself with orders you cannot fulfill, as you can imagine this is going to give you a negative reputation in the long run.

The next step to good reputation management is to ensure that you work hard at your communication and customer services at all times. Communicate with your customers, ensure that they are up to date with the progress of certain things, such as what your company is up to and ensure that they understand the communications. Customer service is just as important and with more companies operating online, customers tend to expect better service than they have received in the past. The service you provide will determine how reputable you are online now and in the future.

You must portray a professional image at all times. This is something that needs to be taken very seriously from the products you supply and the information you provide, you will also want to pay very close attention when answering comments and posts online both on your blog, social media pages and on other pages. You want to focus on portraying that professional image at all times to ensure you are seen in a professional light by your clients and prospective clients.

Be consistent in what you do. When you are working on a blog, ensure you update it regularly so that your clients don’t get bored or disappointed that there are no more posts. Do the same with social media and ensure you update regularly. Being consistent in your advertising, services and quality of products is what is going to help you improve your online reputation and help you gain customers in the future.

If you can make use of a reputation management service, an internet marketing agency which is able to ensure that you enjoy quality content at all times. They will focus on the content you provide to ensure it is of the highest standard without unwelcome spelling and grammatical mistakes. Remember Google is looking for quality content when it comes to search engine optimization and this ensures that you gain a good reputation with them and your customers moving forward.

In addition to this, you want to share interesting facts. When you are on social media and you see so many different posts, photographs and comments, it is easy to want to push that share button on absolutely anything you find fun and amusing. Bear in mind that your social media pages are a marketing opportunity and therefore you should only be sharing content that is going to be interesting and informative for your clients. You want them to read it, like it and share it with their family and friends, helping you boost your visibility at all times.

mimin / December 22, 2015 / Internet

Four Ways to Motivate Your Team

dlIn any industry, people can get burnt out, bored, or feel unappreciated. It’s the job of a good leader to make sure each and every team member stays engaged and motivated. Here’s a list of the four most important ways to do that:

Recognition

When your team member goes above and beyond in some way, make it a point to commend her for her contribution. This can be done in several ways, and depending on the size of your team and their personalities, you can make adjustments.

Sometimes showing recognition might mean a one-on-one thank you or taking someone out to lunch. Another team member might find being thanked in front of the rest of the team to be especially gratifying. Someone else may appreciate a recommendation on her LinkedIn page or even a small gift such as a bottle of wine. Match your expression to the personality of the team member.

Compassionate correction

Everyone makes mistakes, even the smartest, hardest-working and proficient of your team members. When that happens, address the problem with compassion. If they are aware of their mistake, it’s very likely they are already embarrassed and regret the error.

It never helps to yell or to make someone feel badly. Don’t pretend it didn’t happen, but let them know you are aware of the problem and that you want it to be fixed. Also, work with that person to craft a plan to ensure the error doesn’t happen again.

Job security

Even contractors want to know that they will still be employed next month. If you don’t have a contract set up, make sure you get one signed by both sides so no one is left to wonder where they stand. If the contract is coming to a close, address it with the team member well in advance so if you want them to continue working with you, they will be available. If you don’t need their services, it’s kind to let them know, so they can start searching for a new gig elsewhere.

Competitive pay

This is a big one. In the gig economy, you get what you pay for. If you don’t want to pay much for a skilled labor (such as web development or copywriting), then you won’t be able to hire the quality talent you want. Do some research on current wages for the types of team members you want to hire, and pay accordingly. Oh, and pay on time!

But what happens when you’re deep in your business and you really don’t have time to devote to motivating your team in these ways? An online business manager keeps the team motivated in their work.

Sophie Zollmann is a wife and mother of two working as an Online Business Manager for online entrepreneurs allowing them to get out of the day-to-day management of their business to focus on what they do best. She’s been working in a virtual capacity for 13+ years beginning with data entry, moving onto mystery shopping, and finally landing in virtual assistance and online business management. She loves helping entrepreneurs get back to working ON their business not IN it.

mimin / December 22, 2015 / Internet

Create A Website That STANDS OUT

ruHow can you get more people interested in your website/products?

The Internet is a 24-hour lead machine. It has the potential for selling products and attracting interest even while you sleep. On the other hand, if not utilized strategically, the Internet can cause more trouble and damage to your business than good. Here, we will look at 4 methods people and businesses can utilize to improve their online influence through strategic SEO techniques.

1. EARN INBOUND LINKS
The number and quality of inbound links on you website directly impacts your website’s rating. An inbound link is a hyperlink from another website to your website. Because of the positive effect of inbound links to a website, some company resort to buying inbound links from other websites. However, this activity can lead to more harm than good and is forbidden by search engines. Search engines are now very good at detecting suspicious or unnatural links within websites. A detection of manipulative links can cause your website ratings to plummet; in worse case scenarios, the search engine has the right to remove your website entirely from the host site. To improve the chances of inbound links to your site, we recommend you focus on developing content that is interesting and relevant to the majority of people who will visit your website.

2. DESCRIPTIONS & TITLE TAGS
Title tags are still important for increasing SEO results. Title tags should be present on all of your site pages and should be interesting and attractive to your target group of site visitors. (Titles play a huge role in creating interest in a page and explaining the purpose and desired action for the visitors.) Furthermore, titles that are too long or too short can hurt your SEO effort. Your programmers should find the ideal balance. Meta descriptions follow the same guidelines as the title tags. The description should not be too long and not too short. Page descriptions that are too long will discourage viewers from reading while descriptions that are too short can prevent viewers from understanding the desired action on the page. A balance is required. Other elements that will affect your pages ranking include external links (the hyperlinks to other websites), images, text formatting, bullet points, and H1 tags (usually the title of a post of other important text on your page) There are services available that can audit your website information to find potential SEO problems for your website, but most of them are paid.

3. OFFERING ORIGINAL a NEW INFORMATION
The information and content posted on your website should be original and fresh for users. Information that is duplicated from other websites is frowned upon by search engines and can further damage your website ranking. New and original ideas have far greater potential for attracting customer interest and being shared than copying information that is out of date and has already been “sitting” online for several years. Encourage the writers of your website to produce new ideas/materials or to build on what other sites offer. With the idea of new content in mind, many companies include a blog on their website because new and original information will be posted by your customers and can increase your SEO benefits.

4. SITE & CONTENT UPDATES
If the information on your website has been view-able for an extended period of time, people will lose interest in your website. You should make a continual effort in updating and posting new content on your website. This will greatly increase interest and viewers on your website. Certain groups of people might be interested and likely to view the content of one piece of information you post. At the same time, changing the content might attract a group with different interests. Thus, by regularly updating and refreshing your information, you can gain greater numbers of viewers overall.

The days of attempting to increase SEO ratings through stuffing your website with keywords is over. Search engines are cracking down on this type of activity because it doesn’t focus on quality. Other web designers try to insert specific words into their text to increase their SEO chances. However, such actions may sound unnatural to your viewers, increasing the chances of lowering overall ratings and user activity. As a rule of thumb, to increase your SEO ratings, focus on creating quality. This will make your search engine provider happy, create interest among your viewers, and will increase the likelihood of people sharing your information and coming to your site.

mimin / December 14, 2015 / Internet

5 Solutions to Make an Impressive Web Presence of Your Small Business

chThe advent of computers and e-commerce has enabled small businesses to create their companies come out big online. Actually, most home-based business transactions are completed in the comfort of the entrepreneurs’ bedroom, and yet they make it appear that potential clients are dealing with big, well-established, and of good standing companies. The following are some of the ways how they generally approach it, and of course you being a budding entrepreneur are capable of doing as well.

1. Construct an impressive website

There are numerous companies that offer complimentary entry to website builder, free domain, and no-charge hosting for the completed website. All you need usually is to register as a member to make sure you could use the free services endlessly. There is an option to upgrade to Premium account which has a minimal monthly charge.

2. Get your own paid domain name

The free domain that goes along with your free hosting, such as, “http://yourcompany.freehost.com”, gives the harmful perception regarding the credibility of your company. In comparison with a paid domain that bears only your company name, for example: “http://yourcompany.com”, your company can look more dignified over the internet. Your host company definitely also provides a paid domain. However, even if you want to purchase your domain from another company that gives an inexpensive price, it is possible to mask it and have it re-directed to your current complimentary website. That company definitely has easy-to-follow instructions in order to do the work.

Your domain should match the type of business you are in. For small businesses, the dot com (.com) extension could be appropriate. GoDaddy offers the most affordable domain, so far.

3. Use a Corporate Email Address

Free email addresses such as, “admin@yahoo.com” or “admin@Google”.com also create an unfavorable impression. Bundled as part of your paid domain is one (or more) free email address, for example, “admin@yourcompany.com”. Such a company email address gives a more professional feel and look.

4. Make use of the pronoun “We, Us” rather than ” I, My”

Give the customers the impression that you are a team, instead of you working alone (at home). This kind of technique tells everyone that your current organization is run by individuals with expertise crucial to run the company competently.

5. Use a high-status business address

Unless your abode is situated in a high-end business location, making use of your home address as your business address could give you a negative perception in the event you are planning to create a picture of being big. To address this issue, you may avail of the services of a virtual office that provides a business address in impressive business areas of your country. In addition to the use of the address, the package includes the usage of facilities like conference room, a corporate office to personally entertain your potential customers, receptionists who are able to take care of your calls proficiently and forward them wherever you might be, and quite a few more that you can see in a typical office. What else, you can also make it come out that you maintain offices in numerous locations not only in the city but around the country or all over the world.

mimin / December 13, 2015 / Internet