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We’ve talked a lot about web design and best practices for setting up a professional business website, but once that’s complete, what do you do next? Generating traffic to your beautifully crafted website is the next hurdle to overcome. This is where backlinks come into play. Simply put, backlinks are inbound hyperlinks from one website to another website.

You may be thinking, “How is this relevant to my business?” Well, every backlink to your website increases your site’s popularity and pushes it higher in SEO rankings for your industry or niche; they improve your credibility and authority within the marketplace.

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Small businesses strive to define themselves in a marketplace filled with competitors. Having a credible website and stellar products and services are the pillars for any business, but in order to succeed, high rankings in search engine queries are essential. But with millions of search results available, how does a small business rise to the top? We’ll tell you: creating content with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in mind. Optimizing your content, through your website and other distribution channels, enhances your business’s position in search results. When you develop content in this way, it drives customer action and increases revenue.

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2015 Recap for 2016

We are only one day away from 2016, which means that we have become a bit nostalgic about the last year of content we have created for you.

In a digital world, tips, tricks, and tools are often being changed, updated, or have disappeared. However, we think the following articles we’ve written about web design, digital marketing, SEO, branding, and your small business growth this year will be helpful in preparing you for a happy and successful 2016.

So to get ready for the year ahead, dive in, and reflect on what we’ve learned from 2015:

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UX design vector

We’ve talked about how web design is essential to building a better small business website, but the power behind web design is fueled by what you want your user to experience.

Allow us to introduce you to User Experience (UX) design.

UX combines usability (the extent to which a product can be used to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction in a specified context of use) and the user’s emotions and perceptions to drive the success of a site.

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Webs Local Listings

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a skill that many small business owners work hard to master. Not only do they want people to find their small business website, but they want potential customers to see their location, store hours, social media profiles, and any other web presence that will convince customers to do business with them instead of a competitor.

One of the best ways to reach SEO success with minimal effort is to perfect your business’ local listing. If you need some background, we have written a number of articles on this topic:

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While big box brands may have the budget to reach a national audience, small businesses have a distinct advantage on the local stage. Not only are people gravitating more and more toward local businesses (48% plan to increase local patronage), these smaller brands are able to leverage local search listings more effectively if they know what to do.

If the hipster movement has taught us nothing else, it’s that people want the things they eat, the clothes they wear, and the places they shop to say something about them as individuals. In that environment, the local business will beat out a national chain in local search results any day. Take advantage of that starting point by making the most of your local listing. How? Check out this research and infographic from Google:

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Google Search Engine Optimization 101

By the time you are done reading this sentence, Google’s search engine will have completed over 300,000 queries, each one containing unique webpages, advertisements, photos, and other information.  The sheer computing power of Google can be mind-boggling, yet the typical user never asks the simple question, “How does Google work?”

Organic Search
All search engines, whether it’s Google, Bing, or Yahoo, work in similar ways. In order to find relevant material associated with a search term, the engine deploys their army of automated robots (software programs) to browse through billions of individual links.  If a link is seen by a robot, its on-page content, link information, and page titles are stored in a massive index. When a search is conducted, Google’s bots return to those indices and look for webpages that contain the search term. Google then considers over 200 factors to determine a webpage’s relevance and popularity. These factors include:

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Webs Stats Cover Image

We know we don’t have to stress the importance of driving web traffic for our loyal Webs users. Your website supports your livelihood, and all of the digital marketing you do is an effort to bolster your website success.

That’s why we created a website analytics tool to monitor your site traffic to support your needs.

Of course, we are talking about Stats.

If you’re a free user, you have probably visited the pageviews section to analyze how many visits you get over time. But in this post, we’re going to dive deeper to show all you can discover as a Premium user.

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Washivore Header

In honor of National Small Business Week, we’re taking a look at a Webs user website that highlights a whole industry of small business owners that most people don’t think about interacting with, but who touch our lives every day: farmers!

Washivore.org is a hub for all things farming in Washington State. Their well-branded, professional website has a lot going for it, but it succeeds in three key areas specifically. Let’s take a look:

Visual Presentation
Upon arriving at Washivore.org, you are greeted by colorful imagery that really draws you in. There’s a perfectly-sized header image carousel, images for the links to their highest-value landing pages, a rotating image gallery further down the page, and even some video embeds. But despite the volume of visual content on this website, good layout and tasteful color choices keep it from feeling overwhelming or cluttered.

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If you run a business with an online presence, your success is likely limited by the traffic your website generates and the leads you acquire. And while driving traffic to your web pages isn’t always easy, there are a number of tools and resources available to you. You simply need to know how and when to use them for optimal results.

While there used to be a time when you could separate yourself from the competition by simply paying a little extra to develop an aesthetically pleasing website, that’s no longer the case. Having a sleek, well-designed website is pretty much the norm for competitive small businesses these days. It takes much more than good-looking pages; you have to attract the right traffic to them. You have to be capable of weeding through irrelevant traffic to find potential customers that will actually be interested in what you have to offer. Typically, you can accomplish this by focusing on five important areas:

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