Online review sites are becoming more and more vital to consumers as they research businesses and products online.  Sites like Yelp and Google Local allow customers to post their reviews for others to read, making them a powerful influence in consumer buying decisions. According to the MIT Technology Review, for every one dollar U.S. consumers spend online, another five or six are going to off-line purchases that are influenced by online research. In fact, 97% of Internet users in the U.S. gather shopping information online. Yet many business owners still have not ventured into the world of online reviews, even though their customers are researching them and making purchasing decisions based on the online reviews they find.

Here are some tips to help you get started and take control of your online reviews: […]

Social networking can be a time-consuming endeavor, so the temptation to cut corners is big.  There are tools, techniques, and add-ons available that seem like a great idea to help you streamline your social media strategy and save time… until they start to undermine your efforts to connect in a real way to your customers.  Here are 4 things you should avoid: […]

Backlinks are links from related websites to your site, and they continue to be one of the most important elements in search engine rankings.  Search engines consider websites with lots of backlinks to be “authorities” or “popular.”  Unfortunately, getting backlinks from valuable website relevant to your keywords and search terms is one of the most difficult parts of search engine optimization (SEO).  Here are some major DOs and DON’Ts to help you build your backlinks.

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So you’ve heard that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the U.S., second only to Google (who owns YouTube and includes YouTube search results in Google SERPs as well), and that 20 million visitors search YouTube every month.  A savvy web marketer would jump on the opportunity to corner search results on YouTube. But just uploading a digital version of the commercial the cable company produced for you will probably not result in more website visitors and increased sales.  Follow these steps to create and promote effective online videos that generate business. […]

Search engine experts and online marketers agree that the key to attracting search engines and customers to your website is useful, unique, relevant content that can’t be found elsewhere.  Therefore, content creation is the most important task for all website developers and owners. Unfortunately it is also the most difficult.  It is very tempting to recycle content available elsewhere on the web (like manufacturer descriptions of products), or to provide bland, dated material that doesn’t engage your website visitors.  However, there are a few content types you can focus on that will drive engagement, higher search engine ranking, and conversions on your website. […]

Cyber Monday has already come and gone, and the Holiday shopping season is well under way.  Typically, online retailers should be working on their Holiday strategy some time during the summer, making necessary additions and changes well in advance and planning SEO, online marketing, promos and campaigns beforehand.  However, there are a few things you still have time to take advantage of for some quick boosts. […]

If you’re serious about online marketing, and you’ve already crafted a solid search engine optimization strategy, launched a Pay-Per-Click campaign, and undertaken a link building campaign, your next step just might be a display ad campaign (or banner ads).  However, knowing the lingo and technical jargon can mean the difference between the success and failure of your ad campaign. […]

Pay-Per Click, or PPC, is an online advertising strategy offered by the major search engines. Basically the premise is to have a sponsored link that you only “pay” for when somebody “clicks” your ad. In this post I’ll discuss how to tell if PPC is right for you and/or your company. […]

Quora’s goal is to be able to answer questions that Google and Wikipedia can’t. They are accomplishing this goal by posting user generated questions answered by the rest of the Quora community. A rating system that pushes answers up or down depending on community agreement moves the “best” answer to the top. Currently Quora is generating a large amount of buzz online. The main reason for this buzz isn’t the concept – questions and answer sites like Yahoo! Answers have been around for years – but instead the user group is Quora’s greatest strength. It seems that very influential business owners, celebrities, and other major industry leaders are actually active Quora users. Case in point, the question “What is an ideal use case for Amazon PayPhrase?” was personally answered by Amazon CTO Werner Vogels. […]

Your customers have any number of online outlets on which to spread the love (or trash your name).  Do you know what they’re saying?  Do you even know where to find that information?

Here’s a great article to give you the 411:
20 User Review Websites Critical to Small Business

Plus, don’t forget to claim your Google Places listing to take control of your business’ display on Google Maps and Local results.  Don’t know how?  We can help.  Call today.

Years ago I was babysitting my nephew.  He was sitting on the floor in his diapers with a boatload of toys and I was sitting on the floor next to him doing my best to entertain him.  I noticed that whatever toy of his I was playing with he wanted.  He’d reach out his little hand for the toy I had, dropping his current toy in the process.  Doing what any good and caring uncle would do, I decided to experiment on him.  I started picking up random items nearby and playing with them like they were really cool toys too.

“Brrrrrrrr!  Bam Bam Bam!” I exclaimed as I made a rolled up extension cord fly by like it was a fighter jet.  Sure enough, the little hand reached out to grab it, dropping a perfectly good Star Wars X-Wing fighter in the process.  It wasn’t long until I had 2 more Star Wars toys and a Buzz Lightyear figure that shot laserbeams from his wrist while my nephew had various cardboard boxes and an old shoe to play with.

We are naturally inclined to reach for whatever the next big thing is.  Right now, social media is that thing, and for the most part, it is worth reaching for.  But what shiny toys might we be dropping in the process?  Likely it is email marketing. […]

Last month I had the extreme privilege of being selected by NASA to report live at the launch of STS-132, the last scheduled mission for the space shuttle Atlantis.  After a thorough screening process I was issued press credentials and allowed 2 day access to the historic NASA Launch Complex 39 Press Site next to the Vehicle Assembly Building where they prep the shuttles (and the Apollo Saturn V rockets back in the 60’s and 70’s), put them on a giant crawler and move them out to the launch pad.  The funny thing is: I’m not a reporter.  But here I am at the final launch of Atlantis with news crews and media outlets from around the globe.  I’m meeting astronauts, NASA engineers and getting up close and personal viewing at the launch pad where Atlantis proudly stands getting final prepping for launch. How did I, a non-reporter, manage to trick NASA into giving me press credentials for a shuttle launch?  It’s simple: Twitter.

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