Small Business Resource Center

Top 5 Ways to Market Your Business with Postcards

December 10, 2013

Postcards are the most influential and economical way to achieve a response through direct-mail marketing. With the right mailing list comprised of a highly targeted audience, you can use postcards to motivate customers to take the next step in the purchasing process, boost your lead ratio and drive sales through the roof.

Here are the top 5 ways to market your business with postcards:

1. Web traffic

Postcard-to-website marketing can be one of the single most effective direct-marketing techniques today. In fact, online marketing techniques often pale in comparison to the response achieved by postcard marketing. While online marketing can produce volume, postcard marketing produces targeted visitors that already want what you’re selling. Send a postcard with a great offer and a special URL to visit or a special coupon code to use to redeem the offer. By doing so, you’re not only able to drive response, you’re able to track it as well.

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Search Engine Marketing Lingo

Understanding industry terms before you begin your local search engine optimization (SEO) or search engine marketing (SEM) campaign can help you target specific markets and communicate more effectively with your SEO or SEM service provider. This lingo guide can help you understand the language of the digital marketing industry. Knowing industry lingo puts you in a better position to communicate with your SEM or SEO service provider and can help you talk about your visibility needs in order to reach your target audiences.

Here’s a rundown of the lingo:

Above the fold: Borrowed from newspaper lingo, Above the Fold content is any text or media that appears on the top half of a page. In web and email marketing, it refers to anything a viewer can see without scrolling.

AdSense: A Google advertising service that enables website publishers to automatically insert relevant ads near their content and share the profits from those ad clicks with Google.

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3 Misconceptions About SEO and Website Content

If you’ve been working to revise your website content to improve its visibility on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) such as those generated by Google and Bing, then listen up. The rules of SEO are constantly changing so you want to make sure you don’t get misled by common misconceptions about what constitutes strong website content.

Before diving into all that, though, here’s the gist of SEO: If your website content includes words and phrases that relate to your business, then, when users search for those keywords, your site will appear (or rank) higher on the list of results. Businesses with a physical location (like restaurants, tourist attractions and shops) use the more targeted approach to SEO — called local SEO — to generate traffic among users in the same geographic location.

For instance, if someone knows there’s a gardening shop near a certain intersection in his town but doesn’t remember the name of the shop, he may search online for “garden shop sometown.” If your website content contains these words in a meaningful way, then your site will likely appear in the person’s search results. On the other hand, even if this search phrase perfectly describes your company, your site may not appear in the search results if your content doesn’t convey that information to the search engines through appropriate SEO.

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Setting up Google Alerts to Stay in the Know

Using Google Alerts can keep you in the know about news related to your industry, enabling you to handle your own local SEO analysis — for free. You can find out what people are posting online about your company and also stay up to date on competitor announcements and trending topics among your customers. This notification system automatically tells subscribers when their search terms appear online at news sites, blogs, community forums and other locations.

One way to use this service is to watch for business opportunities. For example, the day after Humberto Rodriguez, owner of court reporting firm SOS Litigation, set up a Google Alert, he got an email notifying him about a new lawsuit. He reached out to congratulate the lawyer, offering his company’s services, and ended up with a new contract. “It cost nothing to my business,” Rodriguez said, “but [subscribing to Google Alerts] resulted in thousands of dollars of work.

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Providing a Postive Mobile Website Experience

The modern digital culture is on the move, and mobile websites are the future. According to a Google survey, 72 percent of Internet users want websites that can be accessed easily via mobile devices. That means if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you might be losing out on customers.

Yet mobile users have high expectations. According to Françoise Rose Jeanes, founder of Mobile Marketing Max, 61 percent of users won’t return to a site that has given them trouble and 40 percent have turned to a competitor’s site following a bad mobile experience.

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Using LinkedIn Advanced Search to Warm Up Cold Calls

Cold calling is a tough job, and while some seasoned sales pros embrace the challenges it presents and view cold calling as an opportunity to create new relationships, even they would probably appreciate a tool can make the process easier and more effective.

That’s what LinkedIn users have with the professional networking site’s “Advanced Search” function. According to social media trainer Patrick O’Malley, it’s one of the most powerful – but underutilized – tools for small businesses on LinkedIn.

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Optimizing Your Website for Mobile Search

The number of customers who are accessing business websites from their mobile phones — also known as mobile search — is on the rise. As a business owner or marketer, this means you need to make sure that people on the go can find your website through their mobile phone and that they have a positive experience when they visit this way.

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Mobile Advertising: A Beginner’s Guide

Mobile marketing and advertising are an increasingly significant part of the overall web marketing mix for small and midsize businesses. It’s a bit different from traditional web advertising. You have to take into account both the screen size and audience.

How Important is Mobile Advertising?

Mobile advertising consists of text and image ads delivered via smartphones and other mobile devices. Consumers can pick up their phones and find the information they want no matter where they are or what they’re doing. Your advertising must play to that immediacy.

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Logo Design Best Practices

November 14, 2013

Deluxe Logo Design Example ImageA well-considered business logo design succinctly and accurately represents the promise, personality, and product of the organization. A logo serves as the face — or front door or other type of first-impression — for a company, and getting it right makes all the difference in the world for achieving the recognition and market position you want.

Think about the logos that resonate most with you. They probably share some similar characteristics. Here are a handful of traits of compelling company logo design:

Clean and simple

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5 Reasons You Need a LinkedIn Company Page

VerticalResponse LinkedIn PageMaybe you’re among the more the 360 million people that have signed up for a LinkedIn personal profile page. And assuming you’ve leveraged the social platform to network with vendors, customers, and potential employees, you’ve probably realized how powerful it can be as a small business tool.

But if you haven’t also secured a Company Page, then you might not be embracing LinkedIn’s full potential.

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