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KeyboardBy: Josh Anish, Senior Writer at Kabbage, where small businesses get funding quickly

Owning and operating a small business has never been easy and finding creative ways to market your business and its products only adds to your growing list of things to do. The ever-increasing importance of search engines and social platforms has forced small business owners to blend traditional web marketing strategies with more innovative techniques.

Here are some tips from the experts at Kabbage about marketing your small business on the web.

Hire someone smart to optimize your websites for search engines

In the past, small business owners depended on word of mouth or a print copy of the Yellow Pages to attract potential new customers, but Google and Bing are quickly becoming the go-to way for consumers to find local businesses. According to a 2011 Burke survey, 76 percent of respondents used search engines in the past year to find a local businesses; earning a spot on the first page for your company’s website can result in substantial increases in traffic. Full-service SEO isn’t a difficult undertaking for those who understand what they’re doing, so if you don’t know anything about optimizing your website for search engines, invest in someone who does and the new business might come faster than you expect.

Make content your top priority

The notion has grown so common it has become cliché but content truly is king when it comes to effectively marketing your business on the web. Not only does excellent content have residual SEO benefit, but it will also help potential online customers feel engaged and informed; this sense of empowerment can lead to readers sharing your articles on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. This content should include everything from clever tag lines for your services to in-depth information about what you are offering and why potential customers need it. Maintaining an active and informative blog may be the most important piece of this. Blogs can have SEO benefits, they can help customers learn something, and if you actively engage with customers who have questions, they can be a great way for customers to feel as if they are receiving the personal attention every consumer desires.

Make good use of the free online business directories

This may seem like a no-brainer but it is an important marketing step nonetheless. Directories like Yelp, Yellowpages.com, Yahoo! Local and Google Local Business Center are just a few of the online business directories that inquiring consumers use to find the products they need. A 2010 consumer tracking study from BIA/Kelsey reported that nearly 97 percent of consumers use online media to search for local businesses and products and you better believe these business directories are a big portion of that online media. This doesn’t mean you should start eliciting phony reviews to pump up the reputation of your business, but if you list your business and provide excellent customer service, your online reputation will build itself. If that isn’t enough to convince you, consider the fact that you have nothing to lose. These directories get tons of traffic every day and they are free to join, so even if the directories only result in one or two new customers per month, you are still getting a great return on your investment.

Use in-depth analytics to understand your customers, Internet users, and competitors better

Data on the performance of your website, the return of investment on your blogging and social media efforts, and the success of your SEO investment will help you eliminate inefficiency in your business if you use them correctly. Most small business owners are so busy juggling tasks they can often find themselves investing in something that isn’t really affecting traffic, sales, and customer conversion. Analytics will give small business owners detailed insight into the effectiveness of their marketing efforts and can be easy to use if you are willing to spend the time to learn how to use the available analytics tools. Limited budgets and bandwidth mean that small business owners can’t afford to prioritize poorly and the best way to ensure they are prioritizing effectively is to follow their marketing tactics closely with a combination of web and marketing analytics. We recommend first getting acquainted with a Google Analytics account and moving on from there, if need be, to track revenue numbers. Google Analytics is famously awesome at reporting your traffic data, and infamously bad at tracking revenue.

Life insurance is about love. If you love someone, and they depend on you, and that dependency would be a problem if you were gone, you need life insurance. In honor of Valentines Day, we’re posting this message from the Life Foundation. The Life Foundation is a non profit dedicated to educating people on the values of life insurance. Their website is a fantastic resource. Just come back to us when you’re done checking it out ;)

LIFE_Things_We_Do_2013

 

Vote For Us!!
08Feb
2013

YourVoteCountsButtonPretty please? Sugar and spice and everything nice? Oh wait, wrong cliche. Or fairy tale. Or something.

We are honored and excited to have been nominated for Top Personal Finance Blog of 2012. Being listed among some of the best in the financial blogging business and in our first year of business, we can only dream of being at the top of this list. OR, we can reach far and wide to get as many votes as possible.

And the latter just sounds way more fun.

We’ll love you forever if you take just a few seconds to head on over to One Smart Dollar and vote for us.

http://www.onesmartdollar.com/top-personal-finance-blogs-of-2012/

PPPPPPPLLLLLLLLEEEEEEEAAAAAAAASSSSSSSEEEEEE.

8 q

I’m constantly getting questions about no exam life insurance. Let’s face it, no one wakes up in the morning saying, “if only I could have an insurance physical today.”  Or maybe there’s something in their medical records that makes them nervous.

These same people might get on the internet and find a site, see an ad for no exam insurance. They get a quote, apply, and never look back. AND WASTE A LOT OF MONEY.

A client was pimpin’ me the other day about this very thing, telling me she could do better with a no exam policy and not have to hassle with all that needles and samples nonsense. I was able to guide her in the right direction, take the exam, and get underwritten.

This morning, I came across an ad for no exam life insurance as I was doing my morning reading. Albeit from one of the best carriers out there. In the name of confirming what I had sold her, I entered the client’s information and out came this quote:

NYLNoExamPremium

Doesn’t seem too crazy now does it? It does when you look at what the client walked away with after full underwriting. The quote above is for $100,000 in coverage that lasts to age 80 for $48.75 per month. What we placed for this client was $500,000 in coverage for 10 years for $18.60 per month.

The reality is, if the client had jumped the gun and gone with the no exam policy, she would have been inadequately covered. What she really needed was a $500,000 for 10 years to cover the needs of her family should her income be lost.

Summary: she would have ended up with too little insurance for too much premium. Who wants that? Read carefully and do your research. There’s often more to it than meets the eye.

Bye for now.

M

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