Search Engine Optimization for Small Businesses

Posted by Pete Caputa on Jul 23, 2008 1:05:00 AM

I found this article, "Why SEO Industry Needs Small Business", written by Matt McGee of Marchex.

Here are the reasons why he thinks the SEO Industry needs SMBs, according to the article:
  • Your big clients will eventually disappear. (Meaning they will have in-house SEO talent.)
  • Small businesses are/will be increasingly interested in search marketing.
  • Finding accurate information about SEO and search marketing is tough.

I agree with all of his points.

Unfortunately, Matt is looking at this from the angle.

Small businesses need Search Engine Optimization. They are now educated enough to know they need it.

Unfortunately, large SEO firms will never serve small businesses.

What IS happening is that most small businesses rely on local web design and development firms to do SEO for them.

This isn't good either because most of these firms aren't that good. Or the good ones are too expensive. And worse, most do it in isolation without their clients involvement and treat SEO like a one time activity.

That's fakin bacon. Not SEO.

SEO should be done by the people that invent, make and sell the products at the company. They will need to learn the basics and manage the process internally. After they learn the basics and have the right SEO tools and systems in place to track leads and sales generated from their activities, they should should hire a full time blogger and social media marketing coordinator who is responsible for teaching the entire organization how to leverage the web to generate interest, website traffic, leads and sales. Outsourcing this task is like outsourcing your face to face networking or all of your customer service. It's core to the business.

The most time consuming task required - in order to do SEO successfully - is content creation. Should you really fully outsource the voice of your company? If you're going to outsource it, shouldn't it be to a writer or a messaging person

Further, in the very near future, even GOOD SEO skills will ultimately be like html writing skills. Many more people know how to write html now than in the 90s. Now, you wouldn't pay someone $150/hour to write html like people did in the 90s. In a few years, we'll look back at the $150-$300/hour pay that good SEO firms receive and think that was pretty silly too.

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Topics: SEO, search engine optimization, small business advice

Business Advice from Mark Paskell

Posted by Pete Caputa on Jul 22, 2008 11:14:00 PM

Business advice from design build remodeler coach, Mark Paskell:

  1. What is your unique selling proposition? The Contractor Coaching Partnership coaches and mentors residential contractors, using litmus tested, proven, best practices specific to the residential construction industry, and combines them with a powerful self improvement program.
  2. When & why did you start your current business? When? I started my business in February of 2008. Why? To have my own business and go after my dreams.
  3. What was the smartest business decision you've made in your current business? To build my business through referrals and personal introductions.
  4. What do you like most about internet marketing? I like the fact that you can reach many economically.
  5. If you had one piece of internet marketing advice for another business owner, what would it be? Do not waste your money on unproven website and IT services or people.
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Topics: small business advice, business advice, internet marketing advice, internet marketing

Inbound Marketing Advice from Betsy Davison

Posted by Pete Caputa on Jul 21, 2008 12:23:00 PM

Mike Volpe interviewed my HubSpot Client, Betsy Davison, Founder of ArtID, the artist marketing community website:
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Topics: small business advice, business advice, internet marketing advice

Business Advice from Darcy Cook

Posted by Pete Caputa on Jul 9, 2008 8:17:00 PM

Business advice from CPR recertification expert, Darcy Cook:

  1. What was the smartest business decision you've made in your current business? We purchased a subscription to salesforce.com and transferred all of our client information into a client and sales management system.
  2. What person has had the most impact on the success of your business? My brother, Joe. He is the behind the scenes, "make it all happen", unsung hero of my company. I don't make a decision on growth unless I have his support. I create it and he makes it happen. He allows me to manage the business while he works hard to operate the business.
  3. If you had one piece of internet marketing advice for another business owner, what would it be? Do it right the first time. Moving toward the "latest and greatest" technology is inevitable. So, spend the time and research all of the options out there. Learn about how to maximize your website, SEO, Blog, Social Media, Video, webinars, etc..... Find someone who is already doing and using all of the tools, buy them a cup of coffee and listen.

If you're in central MA, I recommend you beg Darcy [or Joe] to buy her lunch (not just coffee) and ask her to tell you how they've become Central MA's latest internet marketing success story.

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Topics: small business advice, business advice, internet marketing advice, internet marketing

Internet Marketing Advice from Gabe Amey

Posted by Pete Caputa on Jul 7, 2008 8:13:00 PM

Small business internet marketing advice from Gabe Amey:

  1. What's your unique selling proposition?: HawaiiVALoans.com is an informational website provided by VA approved lender, HomeLoan Financial. Our main goals are to provide Veterans the facts about the VA Guaranteed Home Loan Program so that they are aware of this great benefit. As a lender who specializes in VA Loans, HomeLoan Financial has the people, tools and resources to streamline the home buying process and help Hawaii's military personnel and Veterans enjoy the benefits of Homeownership.
  2. When & why did you start your current business?: HawaiiVALoans.com was Launched in December 2007. Through my years in the mortgage industry it was apparent that VA eligible home buyers were not properly informed about their benefits and many of these home buyers chose to acquire mortgage financing through subprime sources that had high interest rates that were not locked in - rather than doing a VA loan. I knew I had to educate these buyers to help them understand that utilizing their VA loan benefits would provide a better long-term financial situation for them instead of doing a subprime or Alt-A mortgage.
  3. What was the smartest business decision you've made in your current business?: Building the website HawaiiVALoans.com.
  4. What person has had the most impact on the success of your business?: Frank Schilling - Domain Investor (http://www.SevenMile.com).
  5. What do you like most about internet marketing?: Internet Marketing is still in it's infancy. First participants in this marketing channel have an advantage over their competition for the specific keywords they are targeting. Also, internet marketing is easier to measure and track than traditional marketing methods.
  6. If you had one piece of internet marketing advice for another business owner, what would it be?: There are many levels of internet marketing, and the methodology behind internet marketing is always evolving and changing. You constantly need to be reading, learning and testing new strategies to stay current with the most effective methods of internet marketing - or you will be left behind. "If you are not growing, you're dying".
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Topics: small business advice, business advice, internet marketing advice

Business Advice from Kara Brook

Posted by Pete Caputa on Jul 7, 2008 10:37:00 AM

Business advice from internet marketing expert, Kara Brook:

  1. When & why did you start your business? I started my business to get through college (I was self supportive from a very young age), on the day that I graduated I figured that not all 12 clients would fire me on the same day. I stuck with it for the last 20 or so years, reinventing it every five years or so out of necessity to keep up with the times.
  2. What was the smartest decision you made in your current business? Focusing and specializing purely on the web, rather than trying to do everything (print, broadcast, etc.)
  3. If you had one piece of internet marketing advice to give to another business owner, what would it be? Start your web projects with a keyword strategy. Don't go right to design without first considering how people will find you using your most important keywords.
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Topics: small business advice, business advice, internet marketing advice, internet marketing

Business Advice from Dave Lima

Posted by Pete Caputa on Jul 3, 2008 9:18:00 AM

Business advice from MA bankruptcy attorney, Dave Lima:
  1. When & why did you start your current business? I worked as in-house counsel for a real estate developer in Concord, MA. He did projects in New Mexico, Florida, the United States Virgin Islands and Martha's Vineyard. In addition to doing his legal work I acted as his office manager. In 1992 he told me he planned to retire in 2 years and I should plan for that. I decided to open my own practice with a law school room mate. He did workers comp and personal injury. I did real estate, bankruptcy, and family law.
  2. What was the smartest business decision you've made in your current business? Using the Hubspot marketing software. It's already produced 3 new bankruptcy clients and 1 divorce client since May. Much more than the yellow pages EVER did.
  3. If you had one piece of internet marketing advice for another business owner, what would it be? Put the time in and follow a plan. Create the content. Then optimize for key words. Then build links. Most importantly blog, blog, blog!
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Topics: small business advice, business advice, internet marketing advice, internet marketing

Business Advice from Dr. Edwark Kwak

Posted by Pete Caputa on Jul 3, 2008 9:17:00 AM

Business advice from Dr. Edward Kwak:

  1. What is your unique selling proposition? Our business is one of the few practices that specializes in Asian Cosmetic Facial Surgery.
  2. What was the smartest business decision you've made in your current business? First and foremost was incorporating an effective and targeted internet marketing strategy.
  3. What do you like most about internet marketing? What I find most rewarding is the immediate and direct changes you can make on your business plans. If done right, the impact can be significant and immediate.
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Topics: small business advice, business advice, internet marketing advice, internet marketing

Business Advice from Sanjib Sarkar

Posted by Pete Caputa on Jul 2, 2008 6:25:00 AM

Business advice from Sanjib Sarkar 

  1. What is your company's unique selling proposition? We sell homeopathic medicine products online.  Our company also sells other natural products to consumers such as Poison Ivy Lotion, Poison Ivy Pills, Natural Pet Meds, Sun Block and other products.   
  2. When & why did you start your current business/take your current position? Our website started in March 2001.  I basically saw a need to provide homeopathic medicine on the Internet.  We were the first company to offer this type of service.  Now many other companies are started to offer similar services.  I have been president of Hmedicine.com since 2001.
  3. What was the smartest business decision you've made in your current business/current position?  Drop shipping products.  We carry quite a bit of products so our company is not a 100% drop ship company.  However, we specialize in selling hard to find homeopathic medicine.  These are great items to drop ship because consumers have a difficult time finding them.  Also, they make poor items to stock because a few select people are looking for these homeopathic medicines.  We were able to create a niche market because of this.
  4. What person has had the most impact on the success of your business/career? It has been a host of partners and people helping with the business.  I could not name just one.  It really takes a team effort to be successful.
  5. What do you like most about internet marketing?  The challenge of dealing with Google.  Your site can be ranked in the top 10 one day and you may be in the top 100 the next day.  This makes Internet marketing very challenging but at the same time very interesting.
  6. If you had one piece of internet marketing advice for another business owner, what would it be?  Patiently create great content.  The website rankings will take care of themselves if you create the great content.  You need to have some patience because it may take search engines and people longer than 6 months to start responding and sending you traffic and sales.
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Topics: small business advice, internet marketing, content creation

Business Advice from Dave Kurlan

Posted by Pete Caputa on Jul 2, 2008 6:16:00 AM

I'm starting a business advice interview series, mostly small and mid sized business owners, who are willing to share some advice with my readers.

Business Advice from Dave Kurlan:

  1. When & why did you start your current business? Sales development was a calling - destiny - what I simply must do in this lifetime.
  2. What was the smartest business decision you've made in your current business?  A 1992 decision to have PENTA Communications handle marketing and public relations.  By 1994 I was playing to national audiences.
  3. What do you like most about internet marketing?  Internet marketing includes writing, blogging, emailing, connecting and reading... activities that I enjoy but don't have any time for during regular business hours when the greatest impact I can have on my business takes the forms of selling, managing, coaching or training. That forces me to perform internet marketing either at night or early in the morning, where it doesn't interfere with the more profitable activities.  I don't have time to conduct traditional marketing activities during the day and they can't be performed outside of regular business hours so the intersection of after hours availability and internet marketing make a nice couple.
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Topics: small business advice, internet marketing, business lessons

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