How to Optimize Google+ Local without Trashing Your Rankings

The title says it all – that’s what everyone’s afraid of. Work your butt off for hours and then find out you ticked off the king of the search world by accident, seriously damaging your business in the process.

If you’re not already familiar, Google+ Local replaces Google Places, combining both Places and Plus. It provides both search and map results as people search the web.
Here’s what you’ll need to do in order to make yourself as effective as possible on Google+ Local: Continue reading How to Optimize Google+ Local without Trashing Your Rankings

Technology Tools to Grow Your Business in 2012

In today’s digital world, business and technology are joined at the proverbial hip. A business that does not embrace, and take advantage of, new technology is missing opportunities to grow. From improving operations, communicating better with customers, and expanding marketing reach, here are top tech trends that can positively impact your business in 2012:

Continue reading Technology Tools to Grow Your Business in 2012

What a Blog Is, What a Blog Isn’t, and What a Blog can do for Small Businesses

Blogs are absolutely soaring in popularity these days. It seems like everyone from our airlines to our hairdressers are publishing something online. But why? What makes blogs such an important social media tool that Marriott and Coke have decided to adopt them? And more importantly, what separates a good blog from a not-so-good one?

The first thing every social media person should know before diving into the blogosphere is what a blog is and what a blog isn’t. Technically what a blog is is a website that people update semi-regularly with news, information, commentary, or just general day-to-day details. Blogs can either be professional or personal, and both types have their own unique set of guidelines. As far a business bloggers are concerned, a proper blog is—

A Whole Slew of Pages that Search Engines can Index
Any blog platform worth its salt will give each of your posts its own unique URL, which means that every entry you post will be a page that Google can index. If you’re a chef and restaurant proprietor, odds are that you didn’t devote a main page of your site to your love affair with Wusthof knives. However, if you write a post about why you love your Wusthof Le Cordon Bleu sandwich knife for slicing cucumbers, searchers could potentially find your restaurant by way of Googling  a combination of Wusthof + knife + cucumber + sandwich (trust me, stranger search combos have been Googled).

A Place Where You Answer Frequently Asked Questions
If you hear a question a lot, why not post a thorough answer on your blog? You should answer the customer queries immediately, of course, but you could also direct them to your blog if the answer is particularly long or complicated. And chances are, if many people are asking you, many more are asking Google, and wouldn’t it be nice if a few of those Googlers happened upon your company’s blog and used your services?

A Place Where You Demonstrate Your Expertise
When potential customers visit your website, they want to know that your company is the best one for the job. If your blog is full of well-written, informative posts, customers will know immediately that the people behind your business are capable and competent.  
Continue reading What a Blog Is, What a Blog Isn’t, and What a Blog can do for Small Businesses